Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 091

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order. After I read each story I will post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

Adventure #164 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #164 (May 1951) - The Strangest Questions in the World!

When Brad Jensen graduates from the Coast Guard Academy, he hopes for a sea job but it bitterly disappointed to be assigned to a department that answers questions from ships at sea.

I've got mixed feelings about this one. It's a cute story, but Aquaman's help for Brad seems a bit off. For the first problem, the dust storm, it's not bad. But the second problem... why didn't Brad ask Aquaman to save the burning ship?

Aquaman's goal is to make Brad look good so he'll get a sea posting. While Brad has "weeks of training" before he takes command of the department, it's only a few days before he's moved up. All well and good for Brad... except the Coast Guard wasted all that training on him, and what about the poor guy who has to take his place?

Finny Friends Report: On the splash page, Aquaman has squids releasing "Aquatic Ink" which is being provided in jars by a line of lobsters. Aquaman rides a giant sea turtle up to the dock at the graduation. Aquaman gives Brad some pilot fish in case he runs into any questions he cannot answer. In Brad's first problem, Aquaman calls in whales to clear up the dust storm. For the second problem, Aquaman has sawfish carve up blocks of ice, then has turtles move them close to the burning ship so the gold can be saved.

Quotefile: Opening Text Box: "What kind of noise annoys an oyster? How deep is the ocean? How do you stop a dust storm at sea? These and dozens of equally fantastic questions daily pour into a special department of the Coast Guard which prides itself on its ability to answer every query, no matter how bizarre!" I just want to note that they never do answer those first two questions.

We're getting into the stories that I'm really familiar with, because many of these late Golden Age/early Silver Age Adventure comics aren't hard to find in poor to good condition. The next few issues are ones that I've had longer than just about anything else in my collection.

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 10:23 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Weather Linkdump

Ah, Wednesday! I've got a number of places to go... errands to run, comics to pick up, I might drop by work to discuss things with L, and swimming tonight! All in my van that has bald tires... so as I'm working through my 'netting, I look up and out the window and am stunned to see it's snowing. Ok, no big deal, I thought, it's light, it'll rain, I'll still get my errands in today. An hour later it's still snowing. But hey, it isn't sticking to the roofs or road, so I'm fine. Right. An hour later, it's sticking. There's a nice sheen of snow on the road outside. I turned on the news, to see how widespread the snow is. Nothing at all about it still snowing anywhere. Oh boy. The shops I'm going to don't open for another hour. I don't know if I'm getting out today. I doubt swimming is going to happen, as I dare not drive that van in these kind of conditions in the dark.

Oh weather, why must you mock me so?!

The Comic Treadmill reviews Tony Loco #2, which I will be doing soon as well.

Speaking of Illusive Arts, they want to know if fans of Dorothy would like to buy yellow foam bricks as a promotion. Go fill out the survey. I want a few yellow bricks to throw at hubby-Eric.

Congrats to Heidi on her weight loss! I know just how hard it can be.

MetaFilter gives us lots of handy links to the death of honeybees story that really should be front page news, considering just how it's going to hit crops in North America.

How not to impress people: write a screed against copyright violation when you illegally use copyrighted images on your own site. Methinks it's more of that "do as I say, not as I do" attitude.

ART THEFT ALERT: At least two Picasso paintings worth millions of dollars were stolen from the home of Picasso's granddaughter.

Milk: It Does A Body Good. If you have the right genes for it, at least.

Jon Swift covers Conservapedia, and a comment on that post tells the evolution, oops, DESIGN, of the tree octopi! And if that wasn't enough, Wired is also covering the story. I have to disagree with that second-to-last paragraph, though.

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-by Tegan at 11:57 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 090

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order. After I read each story I will post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

Adventure #162 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #162 (March 1951) - Under the Sea for Life!

Steve Sender wants to become like Aquaman, and Aquaman offers to make him able to breathe underwater, but he wouldn't be amphibious.

The splash page has nothing to do with the story. Aquaman, riding a whale, is going past a beach of surprised people who watch as his fishy friends frolic. I love the dancing fish that are riding the whale with Aquaman.

Steve begins his lifelong fascination with Aquaman when he sees Aquaman perform at a charity event, and dive into a pool with flaming oil on the surface. He immediately starts to practice, staying underwater in the bathtub as long as possible and trying to train sea turtles.

After many years, he becomes a strong swimmer who can hold his breath for nearly three minutes. He hangs out with the press so he can meet Aquaman, and nearly gets himself killed. After he rescues Aquaman in a later incident, Aquaman decides to give him the chance to live underwater, but through a series of tests that Steve can't possibly pass.

Steve's temporary Aquaman costume is a yellow scaled shirt, blue pants, and red belt and gloves. His diving helmet and tank are orange.

Finny Friends Report: Steve Sender trains sea turtle and dolphins with mixed results. Aquaman gets some "airfish" stationed under a stuck submarine, and uses reeds running to the surface to fill them with air, and free the sub. Aquaman has "Luminous X-Ray Fish" provide light while Steve searches the wreck. Aquaman chases off an octopus that broke an underwater warning signal. Aquaman uses a lobster to free Steve from the carnivorous plant, then has squid create a rescue signal for the wrecked pilots.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is caught by a giant clam when the electric fish trap paralyzes him temporarily.

Quotefile: Aquaman, "I'm giving you a chance to be my assistant, Steve! The operation my father performed on me is known only to one living surgeon! But he can't make you amphibious! If he operates, you must remain underwater the rest of your life!"

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 9:30 PM Seattle time - Permalink


Outpost Gallifrey has confirmed that new Doctor Who will start March 31st (while I'm at Emerald City Comicon!).

Boing Boing on DMZ. And if you aren't reading DMZ yet, check out the first collection from your local library. It's good. Check it out.

Oz and Ends examines The Great British Punctuation Shortage.

Check out this truly cool newspaper report from 1901, telling of a conspiracy of silence on the existence of dinosaurs and mammoths in North America! Like today's news, the old newspapers never let facts get in the way of a good story!

There are Tree Octopi in the Conservative Fantasy World! Boing Boing has more Conservapedia fun.

Wired has a NYCC 2007 Photo Parade. The Comics Reporter sums the con up.

A strange story about a strange hen.

School choice can make a difference.

Frankly, it doesn't look like the hijab violates FIFA Law 4 to me. I think the referees went over the line on this one.

Library Stuff directs us to OpenCongress, and attempt to make Congress and its arcane doings more accessible to the average voter/net user.

MetaFilter debates taxes. There's some good stuff in the comments.

Vanishing honeybees are a serious problem, one that's finally being noticed by more folks around the world.

Step 1, take a picture of yourself. Step 2, photoshop a Gucci logo and perfume bottle on it. Step 3, send it to a weekly paper and have them bill Gucci for it. Step 4, see yourself in the paper.

If I see anyone with this thing near my computer, I'm bringing out the hammer to use on them and the USB thing.

Yet more phone outages due to copper thieves.

Four times the usual weight for a kid his age, but at least he gets to stay with his mom, who can't stop him from snacking.

The cultural gulf and marriage in Afghanistan.

The Supreme Court is going to hear about Washington State's Primary. So far, the courts have consistently ruled for the parties and against the people. Let's see if they keep their perfect record of denying voters the right to vote for who they want, instead of who the parties want them to vote for.

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-by Tegan at 1:53 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Note To Webcomic Creators

If you want to grow your readership, please create an RSS feed for your webcomic. It doesn't have to include the comic itself, it could be just a link to it (a la Girl Genius feeds), but if you haven't got an RSS feed, chances are I'll forget to check your webcomic. And I'm sure I represent some small but significant portion of your audience. So please, make an RSS feed.

As a "for instance", I've started reading Compass at GirlAMatic, and I really enjoy it, because of the RSS feed GirlAMatic offers for many of their strips. If a collection of Compass is produced, I will likely buy it, and that's only because I subscribed to the feed to get Galaxion and Mad Bun. Hrm, now that I think of it, maybe the key to growing your audience is to get your comic on an RSS feed that has some already popular webcomics on it...


-by Tegan at 10:38 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Monday, February 26, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 089

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order. After I read each story I will post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

Adventure #160 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #160 (January 1951) - Aquaman's Sea Cops

Harbor Patrol chief Juan Jones resigned his position when he couldn't prove that Tim Weed was smuggling gold, but he's still certain of the crime and the criminal... and Aquaman is willing to help him prove it.

Aquaman alone could have wrapped this one up, but helping Juan get his job back, not to mention his self-respect, was an important aspect to the story. Juan used to be the chief of the Harbor Patrol at the International Port, and one aspect of the port is that the police are recruited from all over the world. The other three officers that help Juan are Angelo Caesar, Pierre Brunn, and Lee Chang.

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman calls in giant sea turtles to act as "prowl boats" with swordfish escorts. Electric eels act as transmitters, and glowfish somehow receive their messages. A giant lobster opens the sub, and a giant sea-clam pulls the bad guys to the surface and the harbor patrol.

Captured/Knocked Out report: A depth charge knocks out Aquaman after he finds the sub, and the bad guys pull him into the sub as bait for the rest of the patrol.

Quotefile: The bad guys sum up the story: "That fool, Juan Jones, is back, and he and Aquaman stopped me tonight! But they had to let me go when I showed them our "ancient" coins! Haw!" "I'm running off "15th Century Florins" from our last shipment of gold bullion!" "This tarnishing acid really makes them look 500 years old!"

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 10:05 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Really Rapid Reviews

These are mini-capsules: about one sentence per book with whether or not I recommend the book.

21 February 2007

52 Week Forty-Two: "Trigger Effect": Oh. Wow. Oh, what a payoff. Wow. Man. Wow. Recommended.

Checkmate #11: "Corvalho Part One": A strange misprint on the second and third pages made them hard to read in our copy of this book. Otherwise, it's another solid installment of a solid book. Waller is some piece of work, isn't she? Recommended.

The Flash #7: "Speedquest Chapter 1: Angel City": Not a bad jumping on point. It's a set-up story, which is what I needed, since I haven't picked up Flash in awhile. Mildly recommended.

Brave and the Bold #1: "The Lords of Luck: Roulette": A solid Silver Age-y book that is well worth checking out. Recommended.

Ion #11: "Lovers & Enemies": I could still dump this book in a second, but at least Soranik shows up. Mildly recommended.

Shadowpact #10: "Cursed": I really liked this one. The team may be cursed, but this is a pretty good book. Recommended.

Superman #659: "Angels": Whoa. Very interesting standalone story, that also happens to work within the greater arc. Highly Recommended.

Birds of Prey #103: "Truth or Dare": Oracle losing control of her spiderweb, intriguing. Recommended.

Aquaman: Sword of Altantis #49: "Dreams of the Fisherman": A great ending to a good story. This revamp of The Fisherman is one of the more successful retcons of a villain in a long time. I love it. Highly recommended.

Powers #23: I just wish this story would speed up the pace a little. Otherwise pretty good. Mildly recommended.

Star Trek: The Next Generation #2: "Captain's Pleasure": Nice little mystery, in the Star Trek style. Not bad. Mildly recommended.

Local #8: "food as substitute": Megan needs to crawl her way back from the depths she's hit, and I think the end of this one started that process. Mildly recommended.

The Spirit #3: "Resurrection": A retelling of the origin of The Spirit, and a good 'un. Recommended.

DMZ #16: "Public Works 4/5": Man, what a cliffhanger. This is a painful book, but wow, it is GOOD. Recommended.

PS238 #20: Time travel is the most difficult of concepts to deal with in a comic book, but I do believe Aaron Williams has managed it this time. Highly recommended.

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-by Tegan at 8:31 PM Seattle time - Permalink


Best moment of the Oscars: Al Gore pulling his "My fellow Americans" bit with Leo and being cut off by the orchestra: thus poking fun at himself, the Oscars, and the people hoping he'd declare a run for President at the Oscars. It was very nicely done, and got a belly laugh from hubby-Eric and I. The rest of the show was ... typical.

Another ten of a kind! Go Bully!

Unintentionally amusing team-up: Sci Fi and Virgin. Oh dear. I can hear the snickering from the peanut gallery already.

Follow the Golden Arches. I predict really crappy McD's food in my future, as they are having a Wizard of Oz promo in their Happy Meals.

Journalista reports on Monthly Shonen Jump being shut down, as it's lost its audience to competing mangazines. Weekly Shonen Jump will continue to be published. Note that the sales on Monthly Shonen Jump have dropped to 370,000 copies per month... numbers any American comic book would kill for.

The Alcatraz Redemption, DI covers the only successful escape from Alcatraz... well, sort of.

Doctors who play video games have steadier hands?

We need to sort out Wi-Fi laws, as this story makes clear. If a public Wi-Fi spot is left on after hours, is it a crime to use it?

Fourteen Years Ago, a new Sci-Fi show premiered. The actual premiere in Bellingham, where I was living at the time, was the next day.

Ok, this whole James Cameron finds Jesus' tomb and makes a documentary thing is silly enough, but ... DNA tests? Just whose DNA are they comparing?!?? (For the record: I certainly believe Jesus could have been married and had a kid or two, he was 30 when he started his ministry after all, and considered a relatively normal guy before then. I don't expect it to be proven, though, as all evidence is 2000 years old.)

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-by Tegan at 10:26 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Tegan's Tech Talk - Various Stuff

The Oscars must have started, as the TiVo has started recording something, and I'm pretty sure the only thing we set up for tonight was Oscars. I've spent much of the day helping hubby-Eric learn how to use our new domain names and server. It's been an interesting day.

First up: Google Reader.

Yes, I like it a lot more than Bloglines. The interface is much better, I prefer the method of "starring" entries that I want to go back to, and having them all in the same place to look at. The sharing function has so much possibilities, as you can subscribe to other people's shares as feeds and suddenly get a whole new world's worth of blog reading. Lots of potential there.

But the problems! Ay!
  • I really need the ability to blogroll from my reader. It is so much easier to keep a blogroll updated if it's wrapped up in the way I read my feeds. The lack of a blogroll function is one big strike against it.
  • There is currently no way to tell if an entry has been updated. This is a VERY annoying problem, and may be the biggest strike against Google Reader.
  • Related to the updated problem, there is currently no way to tell when an entry was first posted. The dates in Google Reader seem to be when the app reads the feed. Not good. No "first posted" date, and no "last updated" date makes a cranky Laura.
  • Lastly, more speed, a way to see how many users are subscribed to a feed, and a way to mark entries as read from the list view. Minor problems, but still problems.
If anyone from Google is reading this, pass this along to the Reader team. So, sooo close to being a perfect app for me. But those first two strikes mean I have to still use Bloglines, and I hate having to use two apps when one should do.

Next Item: Dreamhost.

As you all know, hubby-Eric and I sprung for a domain name and new server space. We got space at Dreamhost in part because of recommendations from various folks, and in part because it's a big operation and I hoped that would mean better service/uptime/etc. So far, with some minor flubs, it's been more than worth the price we paid for it. But hubby-Eric has been so busy, it took until today for me to get him up-and-running on all the fiddly bits and such. So I've been immersed in Dreamhost today... and today Dreamhost has had one of the worst outages they've had in a long time. Ah, the excellent timing I have! Now, that's not to say we weren't able to make progress. In fact, the worst effect it's had on us is that we haven't been able to send out e-mail like we want from our domain. But it still strikes me as funny that the one time I get to sit down with hubby-Eric and really spend some time helping him learn the new system, it flakes out on us.

Last Item: Mac Computers.

They are weird. Installing programs is either incredibly easy compared to a PC, or outrageously odd. For instance, we attempted to install Thunderbird, but somehow managed to run it from the file that we downloaded. I really have no idea how that worked. Eventually we figured out how to put the program into the right folder/directory/whatever and get rid of the downloaded file, but it seemed like it defaulted to the wrong way. I thought Macs were supposed to be easier! I guess if I understood Macs like I understand PCs it would be simpler, but man, jumping into OSX from an XP machine is strange going. Hubby-Eric says, "They're quirky. But I like quirky."

Well, back to the fun. Dinner to make... then I suppose we'll start watching the Oscars with lots of fast-forwarding. And lots more to do on our websites. Probably no Ripples Through Time tonight, as I'm too teched up at the moment. Who knows, maybe I'll recover.


-by Tegan at 5:38 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Hello World

Happy Blogday to Neilalien, who hit the big SEVEN YEARS today!

And from the Seattle Times comes a story that reminds me how proud I am to have attended a college with no Greek nonsense on campus.

Glenn reports on the Manga library at NYCC.

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-by Tegan at 4:43 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 088

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order. After I read each story I will post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

Adventure #158 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #158 (November 1950) - Portrait in Peril!

Tom Renfrew must paint an action picture of Aquaman to win a scholarship, but Aquaman is busy repairing an undersea cable, and Tom cannot dive after injuries in the War.

Aquaman founded an art college? Of course, one related to marine arts. Fascinating stuff. I wonder what the curriculum is like? In addition to the three previous scholarship paintings, the dean's office has paintings of eels and water plants and sculptures of dolphins and Aquaman.

Major plot hole... Tom dumps enough luminescent dye into the ocean to see Aquaman clearly enough to drop the diving bell on him. Why on earth didn't he just paint Aquaman once he had him visible? Another major plot hole, how can a man who did "lots of diving" during the War be unable to swim?

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman has ramoras attach to the diving bell and lift it away from him. Swordfish rip apart Tom's "portrait" of Aquaman (a caricature with water wings).

Captured/Knocked Out report: Tom traps Aquaman in a diving bell to get him still long enough to paint him.

Quotefile: The Dean and Tom, "The scholarship is yours, Tom -- on one important condition. Within three days, you must submit an original action portrait of our founder!" "You mean a portrait of Aquaman, sir?" "Yes... Each year, the student awarded the scholarship must complete this requirement! You see -- 1947 -- Aquaman captures Captain Skull. 1948 -- Aquaman subdues a waterspout. 1948-- Aquaman attacked by tiger sharks... but your job in 1950 may be the most difficult!"

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 8:44 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Eek! Another Linkdump!

Mercury Studios directs us all to read Flytrap: Episode One and Flytrap: Deep, too for FREE! You just can't beat "Free" as a price for a new and different comic book.

NYCC seems to be having some of the same problems as last year. Much to the detriment of early panels. But otherwise it seems pretty fun.

Brian Wood posts a Northlanders Promo Image. MMMmmmm. Tasty.

I want. Who wouldn't want a cuddly crocheted Dalek? Really?

A Boy and His Frog (YouTube). A tribute video to Jim Henson, set to the music of FilkerTom.

The Door of Science. The oddity of being a scientist and a woman with men around you who aren't sure whether to be gentlemen or just fellow scientists.

Ok, it's a funny quote. Just trying to imagine it.

DRM Causes Piracy. So says Eric Flint, author and Editor at Baen Books. And he backs up his position with solid numbers.

Thirteen Dots Unlucky?

Navigate the pitfalls of copyright law, with a nifty interactive flowchart.

Why would anyone be opposed to a $5 rental that could save lives? Nicole Brodeur looks at the issue.

I've often wondered why we aren't using tidal power to generate electricity. Here's an article about some efforts to set up generators in Puget Sound.

A piece of software attempts to determine if you are using a pirated key, then deletes files on your computer if it thinks you are trying to pirate the software. Not a good idea, in my opinion, simply because of all the things that could go wrong (what if someone mistypes a key and the program thinks it's a pirate key?). Slashdot debates it, and Boing Boing has more.

Seattle area quilters help the world.

MetaFilter takes on Conservapedia - because if you can't deal with reality, you should create your own!

Muggers beware! Don't mess with the elderly! They may look weak and harmless, but you never know when you'll run into a retired soldier that fights back.

Oregon Sentor has dangerous elderly terrorist women arrested for attempting to speak with him in his office.

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-by Tegan at 1:30 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Net Neutrality

-by Tegan at 11:11 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Friday, February 23, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 087

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order. After I read each story I will post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

Adventure #156 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #156 (September 1950) - Aquaman Versus The Sea!

Aquaman agrees to set a record for crossing the English Channel for charity, but learns that he's being used in a nasty swindle.

The new representative of the European Seamen's Charities convinces Aquaman to swim the English Channel for charity, and gets Aquaman to sign an agreement that also requires him to keep silent about his participation. When Aquaman learns that several young hopefuls trying to set the Channel Record are going to be in the same race, he confronts Hartwick and learns that the whole thing is a set-up, as Hartwick is betting that none of the favorites will win... since no one knows that Aquaman will be in the race. Hartwick reminds Aquaman that he signed the contracts, so Aquaman must compete and attempt to win the race. He does so, but alerts his finny friends to the fact that he doesn't want to win the race, so they stop Aquaman from winning.

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman walks across a line of dolphins to get to Hartwick's yacht. Once Aquaman learns about the swindle, he tells his problem to a 200 year old turtle and a 100 year old whale, along with other fishy friends, and encourages them to help him without breaking the contract. During the race, an octopus drags Aquaman down and a whale forces him into the grip of a giant clam. After Aquaman frees himself, he gets swordfish to free Pierre from Hartwick's net. After Hartwick attacks Kathie, Aquaman decides the contract is broken and attacks with the help of swordfish and dolphins. At the end of the story he thanks his finny friends for helping him lose the race.

Quotefile: Text box, "Returning to his undersea palace, on a sunken island, he consults his friends of the deep..." Yes, another appearance of the pre-Silver Age Aquacave.

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 9:50 PM Seattle time - Permalink


Garrett is joining the fight against leukemia. Consider a donation if you have any cash to spare.

Dorothy #7 is about to hit the stands. *WHAM*

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #91. Hubby-Eric wants to know when the book is coming out.

Brian Wood gets letters.

Jeff Parker continues to speak of the forbidden. What a brave, brave man.

This reviewer clearly has read the book.

The Seattle Times is excited about Pogo collections.

Hey, where's Oz? The DC Universe map is interesting... it contradicts the recent map in Aquaman (and probably pre-dates it by awhile, too).

Masi Oka and Stan Lee behind-the-scenes.

Paul says to go listen to song. I did, I laugh. Ha ha ha ha!

Twenty-Six Toes!

This guy is right out of Usagi Yojimbo.

How to Avoid Colloquial Writing. Just reverse all the instructions, and you have lessons on how to write blogs. Via Unqualified Offerings.

Comments about the food service on campus. I recall our dining hall up at Western had a very responsive staff, even when we made up foods to complain about.

A Total Lunar Eclipse is coming March 3rd! Sadly, I'm too far West to see it.

I want.

Can we trust an accounting firm to count the Academy Awards?

Great Headline of the Day: Naughty potty to blame for accident on I-5.

SETI@Home finds a stolen laptop.

On-ice beating may have saved hockey ref's life.

The History of Electronic Arts. Oh man, I loved those games. I'd love to play Standing Stones again.

All of my hunting through old comic books to find old Aquaman stories has given me an appreciation of Mutt and Jeff, so it's good to see that those tales are being reprinted. Couldn't happen to two nicer guys.

The Leaky Cauldron reports on hubby-Eric's friend Gili Bar-Hillel, the Hebrew translator of the Harry Potter books (and a big Oz fan).

Wanna go Skyfishing.

Ooooh pretty picture of a Russian rocket blowing up over Australia.

One way to prepare for a possible flu pandemic: store food and water.

Beware Young People. Be sure to follow the links, the Penny Arcade note from the stepmother of one of the murderers is absolutely heart-breaking.

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-by Tegan at 1:25 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 086

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order. After I read each story I will post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

Adventure #154 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #154 (July 1950) - Aquaman's Sea-Circus

Ichthyologist Enoch Druten summons Aquaman to Zero Island, then threatens rare species of fish with poison unless Aquaman performs in a sea circus.

Druten's motive is a bit weak. He just wants to be recognized as a genius fish expert, and decides the way to do so is to get Aquaman to perform in his sea circus with one of virtually every type of fish in the sea. This harkens back a little to Adventure #109, in which a man had spent his life gathering specimens of every type of fish, but Druten is a wee bit more insane and considerably less honest.

As usual, Aquaman outwits the bad guy with the help of some finny friends. In general, heroes of the Golden Age were simply smarter than their opponents. Despite being a self-declared genius, Druten was no match for Aquaman. Always be suspicious of people who call themselves smart.

Finny Friends Report: In the sea circus, Aquaman has four fish "sing" a quartet, two swordfish duel, flying fish perform on a trapeze, and an archer-fish spits at targets. As a finale, Aquaman enters a cage of "man-eating tiger sharks" to the awe of the crowd. To thwart Professor Druten, Aquaman sends pilot fish on a special mission. They summon sawfish, electric eels, and sharks who bypass Druten's poison system and free the threatened fish. Then Aquaman has dolphins haul Druten to the nearest Coast Guard patrol.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is "trapped" by Druten's threats to the fish in the electric cage.

Quotefile: Megomaniac talking, "I've sent over 2,000 message afloat. Aquaman is sure to find one! Wait until he learns that professor Enoch Druten, the world's greatest ichthyologist, has summoned him!"

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 10:03 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 085

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order. After I read each story I will post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

Adventure #152 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #152 (May 1950) - Don't Go Near The Water!

Just as he's about to embark on a coast-to-coast swim across America, Aquaman is doused with a chemical that makes it impossible for him to touch water.

Another story in which Aquaman cannot touch water for over 48 hours! We last saw this theme in Adventure #107, when exposure to radiation made Aquaman unable to touch water.

In order to swim across the country without touching water, Aquaman first dives into a giant glass of champagne, then various vats of dye (blue, red, green), then caustic soda and sulphuric acid, then orange juice (freshly squeezed... er, crushed), then milk (which he churns into butter), then mercury (!!), then cactus juice, then crude oil. As he leaves the oil pipe, he stops some thieves and dives into water after them, much to the astonishment of the camera crew following his every move. Aquaman explains that the oil sealed him from the water.

Finny Friends Report: The splash page has a cute image of Aquaman on a rock surrounded by confused finny friends, and on the final page Aquaman is talking to a fish about his adventure.

Quotefile: Camera crew, as Aquaman dives into vats of dye, "Great stuff, Aquaman! You're graceful as a porpoise!" Aquaman, diving into red dye, "If you're calling me a poor fish, notice how read my face is about to turn!"

With the next issue of Adventure Comics, DC decided to try out alternating Aquaman with The Shining Knight. As it worked out, Aquaman and the Shining Knight alternated in issues of Adventures Comics until Aquaman's 10th Anniversary in Adventure Comics #170. Aquaman was meant to appear in the even-numbered issues, and did so except for Adventure Comics #166, which featured a second Shining Knight story in a row. The Aquaman story possibly meant for 166 was published in 167... with new Aquaman artist Ramona Fradon. Make of that what you will.

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 10:10 PM Seattle time - Permalink


Countdown. Hey, the pic includes Aquaman. And yes, I like the new guy quite a bit, thank you.

Jeff Parker speaks of the forbidden. Seriously, as one commenter said, if you want to know what sort of advantage a publisher can get by having free digital copies of their books available, TALK TO PHIL FOGLIO. I would love it if all my comics followed the Girl Genius model - months of daily/weekly pages followed by a collection. I'd buy nothing but collections and love it. But I digress from the topic... Jeff is wondering about pirated comics.

Lots of folks linking to Kevin's rant about buying comics that suck. It's a slow progression for me, but yeah, I've been moving my money from superheroes to more diverse books for years, and never regretting the books I leave behind. But you'll have to pry Aquaman from my cold dead fingers.

I love (postmodern barney)'s Blogging post. Go read it if you have any intention of blogging, or even if you already blog.

Brian Wood is exhausted but fine.

Yay. I've bought my tickets to Emerald City Comicon and only paid $7.12 extra for the privilege of making the purchase through #&%@$! Ticketmaster (and yes, the obnoxious fees are worth the lack of hassle... just barely... my main issue with them is Ticketmaster doesn't tell you about them up front, only after you've gone through multiple steps do you find out the full amount of fees).

I was once told by a computer science student that it was possible to predict with 100% certainty what a computer program would do. Having had several years of tech support under my belt by that time, I contradicted him, saying it was theorectically possible, but in reality not possible at all. He called me ignorant. I've been vindicated.

Oz and Ends reports on a clueless review of the Bridge to Terabithia movie.

Encourage the fans, grow the fanbase. Duh.

Paul Cornell has pictures from Gallifrey. MAN I wish we could go back to that convention. Someday, Paul.

Here's a link to a lovely review of the new AirPort Extreme Base Station. I used Netgear routers for a couple of years, then realized they were crapping out on me too quickly. We've had almost no problems since we switched to an AirPort. When our current AirPort craps out (if ever) I'll plan on buying the new one. Nice to know it's even better.

Look, Up In The Sky!

Check out Garrett Fitzgerald's Report on hearing Paul Rusesabagina speak.

You can help Julie, the tech-ignorant substitute teacher who has been threatened with 40 years in prison at the worst, and the loss of her ability to teach at the least, for other people's mistakes.

Evoting researchers buy used machines on the cheap. Yeah, REAL secure.

More on the robber from the Seattle Times.

Really cheap solar power.

Uh-Oh. They're Back!

Another Pug for the in-laws.

Tech Corner:

Ok, I've found one BIG problem with Google Reader. It does not appear to alert me when an entry has been updated. This could be a problem, as I've often been interested in the update more than the original entry (usually with Boing Boing). This, along with the lack of blogrolls, could be the killer for this app. Well, that and the fact that it's very very slow.

What Google Reader needs, in my opinion (only one full day using it): Blogroll capability, original AND last updated dates on entries, a way to indicate when an entry has been updated, more speed, a way to see how many users are subscribed to a feed, and a way to mark entries as read from the list view. Not a lot, but possibly more than they will deliver.

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-by Tegan at 4:29 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Tegan's Tech Talk

I should've seen this one coming. Time for RSS 101, Tegan-style.

Ok, an RSS Feed is simply a file that takes all the entries in a blog and puts them into a standard format. When you publish your blog, an RSS feed is published. A group of programs called "readers" note the change in your RSS feed, and update with your new entry. Anyone using a reader to read your blog then sees your new entry. Nifty!
Aside: RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication"... when you publish a feed, you are syndicating your blog entries: sharing them with other sites in a standard format.
There are a lot of advantages to using a reader to read blogs. For one thing, I have 300 or so blogs I want to read. Going to each and every blog to see if they've updated every single day would be a pain. With a reader, I see only new entries since the last time I checked the reader. That makes it really easy to read 300 plus blogs in a fairly short amount of time as I can quickly see which have been updated. In addition, most RSS Feeds show full entries, so I can usually read the whole entry in the reader instead of needing to visit the blog itself.

Yes, I still visit blog pages themselves. Usually to comment, or to view images that don't show up in the reader (some methods of preventing hot-linking prevent feeds from showing images). But most of the time, when I read blogs, I use my reader and get through them quickly.
Aside: Using a shared service (like Bloglines or Google Reader) to read feeds is good netiquette, because the service only has to visit each feed once to retrieve the feed for thousands of users, thus saving bandwidth for the publisher of the feed.
I prefer reading blogs this way. It's faster. I don't mind people reading my blogs through RSS feeds. Some people do mind. They want people to visit their site, so they get the hit on their site or so you'll see the advertising they put on their page. But it's rapidly getting to the point that I won't read a blog if there is no feed for it, because I read so many blogs I wouldn't be able to keep up without feeds.

So, suppose I've convinced you to give a reader a try. From my e-mail, I'd say I got at least one person interested. Here's what you need to do. Go to one of the readers I've mentioned, Bloglines or Google Reader, and look for a bit that says "Add" or "Add subscription". Click on that. It'll ask for a URL. Put in this: That's the feed address for this blog. It will give you something to start with.
On Google Reader you could also start with a pre-defined "Bundle" that they've set up (next to "Add subscription", click on "Browse" and then pick a bundle).
Almost every website that updates an a regular basis now has a feed. You can often spot them by looking for "RSS", "Atom", "XML", or an orange graphic. Even better, some sites have feed for particular subjects on their sites. For instance, if you only wanted to read my Ripples Through Time posts on a feed, you could use this link. Many browsers have the ability to search for feeds on a site, and will allow you to subscribe in the reader of your choice with a click. In short, you should not have difficulty finding feeds you would be interested in.

Once you have a feed or two, play with the program. Check the entries, see how they are displayed. Decide if you want to read blogs that way. Every entry should have a link back to the blog site itself, so try using the links to visit the original blog. Explore. I don't really know what else to tell you at this point, because at this point I've usually gotten so interested in the new program that you'd need a crowbar to remove me from my computer. I know most people aren't like me, but if you haven't got the hang of it yet, I'm unlikely to be able to give you useful tips.

I will mention that when I started using Bloglines, I only had a handful of blogs in there, all the others I still checked by hand. Eventually most of my blog reading migrated over to Bloglines because it was just so much easier to keep up.
And that's it for this boring edition of Tegan's Tech Talk. Regarding yesterday's entry that spawned this followup, Google Reader is DEFINITELY winning. Except for blogrolls, it has everything I need, and except for subscriber counts, it has everything I want.
To finish off the post, how about some of my favorite feeds? In no particular order, and leaving tons of great feeds out: The Aquaman Website, The Aquaman Shrine, AiT/Planet Lar, Brian Wood's Livejournal, Bully, Mike Sterling's Progressive Ruin, Girl Genius (main storyline), The Modulator, Paul Cornell, Rashy's Livejournal, Journalista, Bad Astronomy, Snopes New Urban Legends, CNN Top Stories, Pen-Elayne, The Johnny Barcardi Show, Jeff Parker, Boing Boing, MetaFilter, and Slashdot. These are just a handful of the sites I check every day thanks to my RSS Readers.

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-by Tegan at 12:03 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 084

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order. After I read each story I will post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

Adventure #151 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #151 (April 1950) - The Biography of Black Jack!

After finding a book on famous pirates in the library of one of his victims, Black Jack decides he needs to have a book written about himself.

As far as I know, this is the last appearance of Black Jack. I'll continue to look for him while I read other stories, of course, but I think that this is the tale that finally sunk him.

Black Jack finds a book called "Lives of the Great Pirates" on a captured ship, and reads about Captain Bartholomew Roberts, Captain England, Captain Kidd, and Henry Morgan. He gets a bit jealous that they are immortalized in a book, and decides he has to be immortalized as well, so he orders his crew to find and capture an author.

The author he gets is a famous biographer, Derek Hartley. After hearing about the kidnapping, Aquaman decides to give Derek some material to work with. The end result is an entirely different book than the one ol' Black Jack wanted. And, apparently, the publication of that book marked the end of Black Jack's career.

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman has some whales corral and polish an iceberg, which he uses as a mirror to fool Black Jack. He has some whales bring an old Navy ship used for target practice onto Black Jack's course, and Black Jack attacks the ship only to get used as target practice himself. Aquaman also has some sea creatures help him finish off Black Jack when he attacks the yacht.

Quotefile: Black Jack, "Not a word about me, Black Jack, the greatest pirate of them all! Ye might think people never heard of me!" Prophetic words indeed, Black Jack.

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 10:27 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Tegan's Tech Talk

I've been using Bloglines to quickly read my blogs ever since my Blogmama Elayne introduced me to it years ago. But several sites I read (in Bloglines, no less) have directed me to Google Reader as a viable second option. I've been having minor problems with Bloglines for a long time... not enough to make me dump them (since I'd found nothing better) but definitely enough to make me willing to look at something else.

Here's my thoughts, as I go through the new Google Reader... First off, before I even open the thing, I'm thinking how Google is slowly taking over my life. Their e-mail system is better than many others (I love being able to put emails in multiple "folders" with the labels function, and the spam filter is better than just about anyone else), I use their search engine almost exclusively, and they've bought Blogger. Despite their mantra "Don't Be Evil", they've made some very depressing choices regarding politics and internet freedom. Hmmm... do I really want to turn over my blog reading to them as well?

Ah well, here goes. I poked around the site a bit, constantly being told that there was nothing to see because I wasn't subscribed to any feeds. I finally figure out to click on "Manage subscriptions" in the hopes I can import my feeds from Bloglines. Under this page, there's an "Import/Export" tab. Lovely. *click* Hmmm, must export from Bloglines first. Hey, it says I can "Learn more about exporting your subscriptions from another feed reader." Ok, *click*. Bloglines export instructions. I follow the instructions. Go back to the "Import/Export" tab. Import the file I just exported from Bloglines. WHUMPF! I've got a bunch of feeds. Back to the main page!

Ok, it appears to be an unsorted mess. Of course, the first time you go into a new program, it always looks like an unsorted mess. I'll give this system a chance. First thing to do is mark everything read. I've already read them all in Bloglines, don't want to read them all again. Lucky, there's a "Mark all as read" option. So I start with that. Ok, the sidebar has my subscriptions, good... and they are listed under the "folders" I had in Bloglines. I minimize the folders. Looks better. Ok, new items are appearing, so I can see what happens.

Top of the left sidebar, "Home" item. If I click on that when there are new entries, it gives me a summary of some of the new entries. Not bad! "All Items" shows me the entries, apparently organized by whatever is newest. If I click on a folder, I get just the entries in that folder organized by whatever is newest. So far so good. Bloglines let me sort by feed, but this is good too.

Oh, hey... at the top right there is "Expanded View" and "List View"... I think I prefer the "List View". It shows me the title/first lines of entries, what feed it's from, and time of update. The "Expanded View" shows the whole entry. I can see more entries with "List View", and when I click on a title it expands to the whole entry AND marks the entry as read.

In Bloglines, if I want to save an entry to link to later, I click on the "Keep New" option. There's a "Clip" option, but it requires moving to another tab, and I haven't used it. I prefer everything right in front of me. As usual, Google keeps users in mind and has a "Star" option. Mark an item with a star, and you can use the third option on the top of the left sidebar, "Starred Items", to quickly view everything you have saved.

Not sure what "Shared Items" is for yet, must play around some more.

Ok, entries are sorted by when they come in. This is very different than Bloglines, but all things considered I think I prefer it. And it looks like I can put a single feed into multiple folders, because the folders are just labels, like in Gmail. That could come in VERY handy.

No way to edit subscriptions to only look for new entries and not updated entries. Hmmm. I wonder if that has anything to do with the way this system stores old entries? It sure looks like it keeps EVERYTHING, which is really nice if you tend to read a feed item and then 20 minutes later think, maybe I should blog that, only to be unable to find it on Bloglines, because Bloglines makes everything vanish once you've read it. Ah, there is an option to show only new entries in Google Reader, good. I can have it both ways.

Another advantage to seeing everything... I can see when some of these blogs I have sitting in my feeds were last updated. Some of them haven't been updated in months. I'm going to have to have a good cleaning here soon. I can't do THAT in Bloglines, and I've requested it from them before.

Hrm... site is a little slow. Massive amounts of code, or massive amounts of people hitting it?

I use Bloglines as a blogroll for one of my pages, and I wouldn't mind doing that on other pages. Can I do that with this system? Doesn't really look like it... at least not the same way. It appears that in order to make something shared, I have to mark the item shared, then either direct people to my sharing page, or create a "clip box" javascript app that shows the latest items I enjoyed. Which would be fine if I only wanted to link to items, but doesn't do much if I want to link and comment on them, which is much more my style. Still, a page of links I find cool could be useful. I'll have to ponder this one.

How many people are subscribed to my feed? I can't see a number on any feeds, like in Bloglines. That's another annoyance.

Ok, summary time:
  • Bloglines: has blogrolling capability, shows how many subscribers are on a feed, allows you to view and edit feeds (including ability to not see items that have been updated).
  • Google Reader: has multiple viewing modes, doesn't remove items (just marks them read), has easy way to highlight items for later view, sorts subs in a folder by last updated, allows you to put feeds into multiple folders.
Hmmm. I'm going to give the edge, by a fraction, to Google Reader. I'll probably use both for awhile, then switch to whichever suits me best in a few days.

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-by Tegan at 4:11 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Free Pancakes

Uh-huh. Free.

Shrove Tuesday:
The reason that pancakes are associated with the day preceding Lent is that the 40 days of Lent form a period of liturgical fasting, during which only the plainest foodstuffs can be eaten. Therefore, rich ingredients such as eggs, milk, sugar and flour are disposed of immediately prior to the commencement of the fast. Pancakes were therefore the perfect way of using up these perishable goods, besides providing a minor celebratory feast prior to the fast itself.
Hubby-Eric and I headed out to the nearest IHOP, in Lynnwood, expecting a crowd. Nope. There were maybe a half dozen folks in the whole restaurant aside from the staff. We got great attention from our server, who made sure to mention the free pancakes. We each got a stack of free pancakes with a side of bacon and orange juice, then we let ourselves be talked into fruit toppings (apple for Eric, blueberry for me).

The stack of pancakes was HUGE. I've been so careful with my food intake recently that three pancakes was nearly too much. I would've been fine without the side. I do believe my pancakes had blueberries in them, as well. I will note that the pancakes themselves were free, but the bacon, orange juice, and fruit was not. We left a tip for the server and a donation for the Children's Miracle Network, and came out ... well, not with a free breakfast, but certainly a good one.

Huzzah for Fat Tuesday! I think maybe we'll have to participate this way next year, if we can.


-by Tegan at 10:27 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Monday, February 19, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 083

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order. After I read each story I will post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

Adventure #150 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #150 (March 1950) - The Boy Who Went to Sea!

Young Jerry Higgins wants to go to sea and become a sailor, but when he runs away to become a cabin boy, he has the misfortune of ending up on Black Jack's ship.

For a very long time, this was the earliest (by date) comic book I owned, so this story has a special place in my heart.

Jerry's luck is pretty awful. He gets on Black Jack's ship, witnesses the crimes of the crew, then is threatened to keep Aquaman in line. That's what you get for running away from home, kid! If it's a moral tale, though, it's not a great one. Jerry is rescued by Aquaman and rides a porpoise home.

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman has a whale push Black Jack's ship off the rocks, then has a giant clam cover the hole in the hull. A school of whales hides Black Jack's ship from the Coast Guard cutter. Aquaman enters the ship with a seal through the hole by asking the clam to move aside. Jerry rides a porpoise to safety while the seal pretends to be him. Aquaman and the seal beat up Black Jack and his entire crew, with help from the giant clam who let the water into the ship.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is forced to do Black Jack's will, or see Jerry killed.

Quotefile: Jerry, leaving home, "If I expect to become a sailor, I'd better start now! I'll get on a ship as cabin boy, and learn the ropes... it won't be long before I become a captain!"

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 9:22 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Really Rapid Reviews

These are mini-capsules: about one sentence per book with whether or not I recommend the book.

14 February 2007

52 Week Forty-One: "Miracles & Wonders": Is there an annotations site for 52? I probably could use one. Mildly recommended.

JLA Classified #34: "The 4th Parallel" part 2b: Some impressive Justice League action, including Aquaman, in this one. Recommended.

Justice Society of America #3: "The Next Age" Chapter 3: I like Cyclone. The rest of the book was "eh." More Ma Hunkel! Mildly recommended.

Batman #663: "The Clown At Midnight": Normally I don't mind innovation in comics, but this isn't innovation. This is purple prose pretending to be a comic book. I wasn't in the mood for it, didn't want to read it, didn't enjoy it when I did. Avoid.

Green Lantern Corps #9: "The Dark Side of Green" Conclusion: Is it over? Yes? Good. Neutral.

Showcase Presents: Aquaman Vol 1: Forty-nine stories featuring Aquaman, starting with his Silver Age origin in Adventure Comics #260, for only $17. Well worth it. Highly recommended.

Truth, Justin, & The American Way #5: Nice finale. It would've been even better if it were on time, but you can't have everything. This was a decent book. Mildly recommended.

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-by Tegan at 4:02 PM Seattle time - Permalink


Free Pancakes, February 20th.

Wiki list of endless songs. AAAAAAaaaaaaaaa....

Paul Cornell on Gallifrey Sunday.

People Who Know Nothing About Schools Telling Us How to Fix Them.

Ok, here's a YouTube video that explains Web 2.0 in under 5 minutes. You don't need the sound to understand the video (music soundtrack).

According to several news reports, the robber who hit my local comic shop has been arrested.

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-by Tegan at 3:30 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Sunday, February 18, 2007

I Suppose I Should Report This

Armed Robber Hits Comic Store. Yes, that is the store I go to. Yes, the owner and employees are ok. No, I don't have anything to report that the local news hasn't already covered. The robber is hitting a lot of businesses, so this isn't an isolated thing. He hasn't hurt anyone yet. We hope he doesn't go back to the comic shop. And yes, I hope he's caught soon before he does hurt someone.

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-by Tegan at 10:01 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Sunday Links

I'm still not sure whether or not I have the flu. I feel awful, but I don't think I feel awful enough to say it's the flu for sure. I'm still going to take it easy. This iteration of the flu is pretty bad (two girls in Seattle have died from it, and a woman in BC, if I remember right) and wasn't in the flu shot (not that I ever get the flu shot anymore, since I'm over-sensitive to it and get flu-like symptoms whenever I get it). If you get it, take it easy. Entire schools have been closed because of this one.

Now, on to the linkage:

If you speak French, Linda Medley wants your help. Also, Castle Waiting needs letters for the new Letter Column, so write to Linda with your comments.

Mark Evanier links to this YouTube video of Chicken Fat, performed by Dinah Shore and Nanette Fabray. When I was in elementary school, every PE class for several years started with this song. I never did manage to do any pull-ups, but I was a good runner.

Mike Sterling gives us Crimin-El amusement.

Aqualad & Robin = Goofus & Gallant?

Paul Cornell on the Gallifrey Convention. Saturday's report. I wish I was there. Really. Eric and I haven't been down to the Gallifrey con for years, and we miss it.

Len Wein Likes Jeopardy.

Hijacker Beaten. More on the Book Video.

Textbook Disclaimer Stickers and Science vs Faith flowcharts.

The MPAA thinks it's ok to sue people for violating software agreements, but they are in violation of software agreements themselves. It's only ok to steal if you are a corporation, apparently.

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-by Tegan at 10:46 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Saturday, February 17, 2007


A massive headache this afternoon turned into a migraine, which then turned into a ... well, let's just say I lost my lunch. I believe I may be coming down with the flu. I know that at least three people have died from this flu so far, so I'm going to take it easy if I do feel that flu is what this is. Did that make any sense? I don't know, I'm going to rest some more now. No Aquaman stuff tonight. Too much pain.


-by Tegan at 5:13 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Friday, February 16, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 082

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order. After I read each story I will post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

Adventure #149 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #149 (February 1950) - Undersea Artist!

Walter Mason uses the last of his funds to paint a seascape in the hopes of winning a big prize, only to have it stolen just as the exhibition gets underway.

The first panel of the story shows Walter's landscape, and why it becomes important later in the story... I fully expected the bad guys to be familiar, but they were just generic thugs... Walter has run out of money and needs to win the prize in the exhibition to keep painting underwater... Walter is delighted to find that the thieves didn't destroy his painting, and Aquaman figures out what Walter himself didn't while he painted, and there's the happy ending.

Finny Friends Report: A swordfish accidentally cuts the air line to the bathysphere Mason is in, so Aquaman has a group of seals push it to the surface. During the attack on Mason, an octopus is hit by a bullet and releases a cloud of ink that allows the bad guys to escape. Aquaman pursues them and has a sawfish cut a hole in their ship, then attacks them with giant lobsters and an octopus to get them off their ship. An airfish blows their boat over and they surrender.

Quotefile: Aquaman, "I've seen many odd forms of life under the surface of the ocean... but this is the first time I've seen an artist!"

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 8:51 PM Seattle time - Permalink


Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #90.

Chris has some thoughts on the Girl Genius interview with Phil Foglio.

Owly has a cute website, don't miss the great sketches.

Seattle gets Baby Calder Eagles in its new Sculpture Park. yay!

Bacon Krispy Kreme Burger. Wrong on so many levels. So why do I want to try one?

Speaking of food-like things: Wheel... Of... Food! Enter your zip and spin, and it'll tell you where to go for lunch.

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-by Tegan at 3:56 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 081

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order. After I read each story I will post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

Adventure #148 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #148 (January 1950) - Cowboy of the Coral Seas!

When Cheyenne Charlie has to leave his beloved Wyoming for moister climes, he takes up ranching sea life.

This one has more awful cowboy-speak than I've seen in many Western comic books. Cheyenne Charlie is a happy cowboy, enjoying life until a doctor tells him that he has six months to live if he stays in dry Wyoming. When Charlie learns that seals travel in herds and are valuable to circuses and aquariums, he decides to open a sea-ranch. Wearing the same gear he used to wear as a cowboy. I'm not sure how he stays on his surfboard with those boots.

Black Jack gets involved, as a seal rustler! Once again, Black Jack has Aquaman caught, but doesn't kill him, just puts him in a motor boat and expects him to die from the crash. Villains in the Golden Age never figured out that a bullet was better than rich revenge.

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman rounds up Charlie's scattered seals for him. A bunch of sea-horses chew through the ropes Aquaman is bound in. And octopus threatens Black Jack and his crew as Aquaman takes them underwater, and a sawfish destroys Black Jack's rifle. Aquaman ties up the bad guys with eels.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Black Jack throws a grenade at Aquaman, and he's too close when it goes off and is knocked out by the blast.

Quotefile: Black Jack, on his devious plan to get rid of Aquaman, "Look at that Bronc, bucking like mad! But Aquaman is staying on... till he crashes full speed into that coral reef! It'll smash him to bits!"

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 10:10 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Really Rapid Reviews

These are mini-capsules: about one sentence per book with whether or not I recommend the book.

3 February 2007

JLA Classified #33: "The 4th Parallel" part 2a: Eh. I could take it or leave it. This one just does nothing for me. Mildly recommended.

Phantom Annual #1: "Five Days of the Dragon": I really liked this one. The ending was a bit weak, but the other stories were wonderful. Recommended.

Nodwick #36: "The Evil Wed(ding)": I like how everything ties up at the end. It's a good one! It's also the final issue of this version of Nodwick. Recommended.

Usagi Yojimbo #100: It's the freakin' 100th issue. Of course it's good. It's just not the normal stuff, since it's a jam issue with all kinds of guest art and writing. Recommended, but only for people who are already fans of Usagi.

7 February 2007

52 Week Forty: "Man Ain't Nothing But A Man": Lorena has a good role in this, and it confirms that she's part of the Titans during the missing year. Now I want to see more of the Titans during the missing year. Recommended.

Detective Comics #828: "Sharkbite": Another great standalone story, yet set in the wider context of modern Batman comics. WHY CAN'T MOST COMICS BE LIKE THIS? The Aquaman reference didn't hurt my opinion of the book, either. Highly recommended.

Action Comics Annual #10: Not bad. Kind of Silver Age-y in a good sort of way. If I was more interested in Superman, I would have enjoyed it much more. Recommended.

Justice League Unlimited #30: "Heavy Mettle": Booster Gold and Speedy? Booster Gold and Speedy!?? Oh my. Recommended.

Shazam: The Monster Society of Evil #1: "YROOB SZH Z HVXIVG!*": Very cute. Kinda cuddly, even. And sweet. Odd, in some ways. Recommended.

Astro City: The Dark Age Book Two #2: "Eyes of a Killer": If you are going to set up a story like this, the cliffhanger at the end of this issue is definitely a fantastic pay-off! Highly recommended.

X-Men Annual #1: "Covenant": My friend asked me to pick this book up for him because he'd been told it would be a good jumping on point. So I thought, what the heck, I'll read it too! Not bad, but the cliffhanger means nothing to me. Mildly recommended.

Lone Ranger #4: This book jumps around a little too much for me, but it's starting to come together in my mind. Mildly recommended.

Star Trek: The Next Generation #1: "The Space Between": Artwork on a licensed comic is so difficult to do "right", and I think this book just barely manages it. The story was intriguing, at least. Mildly recommended.

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-by Tegan at 9:06 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Thursday Linkdump

ACK! The Foglios were burglarized! More here.

The DC Alphabet.

Hmmm... Little Orphan Annie visits Atlantis, and meets a strange scientist with a very familiar looking time machine console. I linked to the first day of the Atlantis trip, so hit the next button to read the rest or just visit here to see the familiar time machine console.

Mike has some notes about the history of Valentine's Day and Valentine's Day in Japan.

Even music executives hate DRM.

This story continues to be insane. Why should a tech-challenged substitute teacher go to jail for 40 years because the school district didn't update their anti-virus and firewall software?!?? ARGH!!! FilkerTom has thoughts on it too. CNN coverage. And a final thought on the problem... if an innocent teacher can get 40 years in prison for these pop-ups, I think the folks who create the pop-ups and infest the internet with them should get life in prison for their part in damaging our youth. Don't you? Life in prison to spammers!!!!

Aaron Williams has some good links as usual. In particular, here's another one for the in-laws. PUG BOWLING:

And for some final fun, more monorail cat.

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-by Tegan at 10:28 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 080

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order. After I read each story I will post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

Adventure #147 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #147 (December 1949) - The Man Who Was Rescued 100 Times!

Aquaman rescues Dan Dunbar from different perils across the world, and eventually goes to find out why.

Finny Friends Report: A giant sea turtle gives Dan a resting place after his first rescue. Aquaman breaks up a fight between an octopus and a swordfish. He then has to save Dan from a group of sharks, using a giant squid to create a smokescreen. Aquaman rides a dolphin to the Sargasso Sea. He rescues Dan from a giant clam, an angry walrus, and a giant lobster. Aquaman rides a whale in his final rescue of Dan. He then allows an octopus to play with Dan after he learns the truth.

Dan Dunbar and his jet-powered blimp (!) claim to be mapping all the ocean currents. But Dan quickly arouses Aquaman's suspicions, as Dan has to be rescued three different times in three different parts of the world... all of which just happen to be near where Aquaman is. Hmmmm... Oddly enough, Aquaman allows the rescues to continue and doesn't confront Dan directly. He eventually climbs up to the blimp himself and finds a movie crew filming each rescue for "the greatest sea epic of all time"! A large donation to charity, and Aquaman allows the film to go ahead with his name on it.

Certainly not the best tale of this era. It does have the distinction of pointing out that Aquaman doesn't always control sharks. It's also the last of the 1940's tales, as the next story is cover-dated January 1950.

Quotefile: Text box: "Vicious sharks are the renegades of the sea, and Aquaman must outwit them with the aid of a friendly denizen of the deep!"

Aqua-Exclamations: "By Neptune's beard!", "Suffering Seaweed!"

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 10:35 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Tony Loco Needs YOU

Check out this release from Illusive Arts:
Tony Loco #1
Critics loved it. Consumers fell into it. Just not enough of them got a chance to read it. So Illusive Arts Entertainment, with the encouragement of Diamond Comic Distributors, has decided to relaunch the unique series Tony Loco.

This February, several hundred comic book stores will receive free copies of Tony Loco #1 so they can experience this fresh story and recommend it to their customers. Tony Loco #2 was originally intended for release on February 14, but to allow comic book stores and comic book fans that haven’t yet seen Tony Loco the time to take it in, Tony Loco #2, will be re-solicited in Diamond’s March Previews and will be released May 2, 2007. The bi-monthly release schedule will continue with Issue #3 coming out in July.

"We have decided to go ahead and print Issue #2 at this time, so we can have it at our Spring conventions- WonderCon, Emerald City, and APE- to allow the public a chance to become familiar with Tony Loco and grow the audience," said Illusive's Chief Make-It-A-Success Officer, Anna Warren Boersig. "We apologize to the wonderfully supportive retailers and fans that placed orders for Issue #2, but we need to relaunch this series and re-solicit the second issue to raise the order numbers and meet Diamond's bar, so that Tony Loco can be a successful comic book. Our first series Dorothy has an amazing following and we think that this sophomore effort should get a chance to build the same audience and thrive."

Series creator, writer and artist Mark Teague said, "Tony Loco is a complex story of personal quest. As such, it will take time to find its audience, but we are committed to do so."

If you haven’t heard the buzz, take a look:

Tony Loco #1
"Tony Loco ROCKS!"
- Keith Champagne, writer (DC's JSA, Green Lantern Corps and World War III)

"I enjoyed 'em."
- Patton Oswalt, comedian/actor/writer (JLA: Welcome to the Work Week, Negative Burn)

"I can't wait to see what happens next."
- Tim Bradstreet, artist (The Punisher, Criminal Macabre)

"With its haunted atmosphere and weirdly compelling storyline, Tony Loco is spellbinding from page one."
- Mark Hamill, actor/writer/director

"If you want something different then check this out. You will not be disappointed."
- Richard Vasseur,

"Yet, the story of TONY LOCO never falters or stumbles. It pulls you right in and moves you along. It combines elements of drama, humor, pathos — and just about anything else you'd want in a story."
- T. E. Pouncey,

"The writing and dialogue of this issue is engaging and tight. I was actually made uncomfortable and ill at ease by the setting and the treatment of the residents by the staff. It's difficult to really describe the overall sensation of reading the set-up issue of the series, but I will state that I'm hungry for more."
- Koben Kelly,

Tony Loco can be described as "Batman in the barrio" while being a "dark re-imagining of Don Quixote." Tony Loco is a bi-monthly 32 page color comic and carries a retail price of $3.50. Art samples and further details can be found at
My own review of Tony Loco #1 has a choice quote for you all:

"This isn't an easy book to categorize. It promises to be adventure, but has horrific overtones. It also has mythic roots that show up in the artwork brilliantly. It's a very strange mix. To be completely honest, I really don't know what I think of it. I know I want to read the next issue, even if I'm not certain what I'm getting.
What I suspect, though? I suspect I'll be getting a fascinating and well crafted tale with a unique art style. After all, that's what Illusive is good at."

-Laura Gjovaag, Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog

Go talk with your retailer, order a copy of this book, and give it a chance. So many great books never get off the ground because they lack enough readers. Give this one a boost. I can't promise you'll love it, but I'm certain it'll be different than what you are currently reading.

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-by Tegan at 4:39 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 079

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order. After I read each story I will post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

Adventure #146 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #146 (November 1949) - Aquaman Loses His Powers!

Aquaman is stung by a strange deep sea creature and loses all strength in his muscles for a week.

Imaginary pitch for this story: "Hrm, we made Aquaman unable to touch water, and then we made all his finny friends attack him, then we made it so he couldn't breathe air... what do we do now? I know, let's make it so he can't swim!"

Lots of fun in this one. First off, the ship Aquaman helps is carrying a covered load marked "Top Secret U.S. Government, which falls overboard and sinks in a storm. Aquaman is called to salvage the lost cargo and does so... and we never get the slightest hint of what is in the package.

The cargo sinks to four miles deep, and Aquaman meets the rainbow stingray there, which gives him an electric shock that weakens his muscles. As in previous stories, the news that Aquaman is out of commission gets around entirely too quickly and Black Jack goes on the attack. His first target is a Sea Extraction Plant that pulls salt, iodine and kelp from the sea, but also extracts gold, silver and platinum. You can guess what Black Jack was after. Next, Black Jack attacks a bathysphere with men taking valuable deep-sea pictures. I admit, I can't quite figure that one out.

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman gets two large fish that look a bit like killer whales to take the sunken item to the surface. Then he goes to examine the strange deep sea creature and is stung. After he learns of Black Jack's attacks, a dolphin and swordfish escort him to the area. The swordfish rips up the boat of the thugs, while electric eels make them drop their loot. Other fish return the loot. When Aquaman decides to convince Black Jack that he's back in action, he has two transparent fish push him to the scene of BJ's latest crime spree, then has an octopus create a smoke screen so BJ won't see another fish give Aquaman a push to go with his punch. Then a hammerhead shark attacks at the same moment as Aquaman and with enough speed to fool the criminals.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is zapped by the deep sea creature and has to be pulled aboard the ship he just helped out.

Quotefile: Aquaman, "By Neptune's beard! I never ran across that deep-sea type before. It gives off rainbow colors! I must examine it and... ugg! Worse than any electric eel!"

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 9:22 PM Seattle time - Permalink


Oh man, it's so hard dealing with new technology (YouTube link). Go, look. Do you have that problem with opening it? Via Tara Tallan (read Galaxion!).

Comic Book Resources chats with Phil Foglio about the web success of Girl Genius.

Rob at The Aquaman Shrine interviews Norman Alden, the voice of Aquaman in the first few seasons of Super Friends.

Polite Scott provides us with Valentine's Cards from the Legion of Doom and More Valentine's Cards from the Legion of Super-heroes.

John Barrowman & Ruthie Henshall - "Anything You Can Do". Get that gal on Torchwood. Via (postmodern barney). There's a longer clip of backstage stuff with more of John Barrowman, including a bit with Russell Davies, here.

If you want your blood to boil, read some of Lea Hernandez' recent entries about how her new house is coming together... or not, as the case may be. Why do people feel it's ok to steal from someone who already lost everything?

That didn't take long: processing keys for Blu-Ray AND HD-DVD extracted by hackers. Companies waste millions of dollars on trying to create hacker-proof DRM, when they should by figuring out how to make profits in the new paradigm. It's possible, but they're too stuck in the past to adapt to reality.

Stupid cats: Worst Turn Signal Ever and Monorail Cat Animated.

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-by Tegan at 8:15 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Unrelated to Anything Else

Today's morning weigh-in shows that I've lost 65 pounds since I started my efforts on June 10th 2006. I've made my goal for Emerald City Comicon, and the con isn't for another 45 days! Maybe I can lose another 5 pounds by that time! It's certainly possible.

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-by Tegan at 7:31 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Monday, February 12, 2007

Coming Soon (DC Solicits for May)

Solicits for DC Comics due to ship in May 2007 have been posted on various websites: Comic Book Resources, Newsarama, Comics Continuum, IGN, ComicList, and The Official DC Site. Here's the Aquaman stuff I spotted:

Tad Williams visits San Diego... or is that Sub Diego?... in Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #52.

Did anyone spot anything else? It's looking like a pretty light month for Aquaman.

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-by Tegan at 5:36 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Monday Links

Definitely worth reading: The Australian Treasurer makes a snarky comment about comics, is smacked down thoroughly for it. That's how we make comics popular with all the population again... get politicians to make stupid remarks about them.

Another definitely worth reading: Naruto: bigger than Spider-Man? The Beat's summary of the original article is very well-done, and I seriously recommend folks take a look at it.

Marv Wolfman watches 300.

Amy Unbounded Fan Art.

Mark Waid on the perils of writing a book with lots of secrets in a shared universe where said secrets make up part of the foundation of other books.

BWAH-HA-HA-HA!! I don't know why I find this one laugh-on-the-floor hysterical, but I do.

Honeybees are dying in huge numbers, threatening US crops.

Trying to do some upkeep, changing e-mails to my new domain... it's been an adventure. I can't believe how many on-line accounts of some sort I have, and worse, how many I actually care about and visit on a daily basis! However, I've taken some advice from someone else (can't remember who now) who owns his own domain who told me he set up different e-mail addresses for different companies he signed up with online so he could tell if they sold his address to someone else. I figure that as long as I'm changing the e-mails in the first place, I might as well sort 'em out so I'll know where the spam is coming from. Let's see if it works!

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-by Tegan at 1:23 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 078

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order. After I read each story I will post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

Adventure #145 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #145 (October 1949) - The Sea Hitch-Hiker!

Quentin Ward draws the comic strip Al's Adventures, and when a skeptical editor claims Al's adventure is impossible, Quentin sets out to prove it's possible by doing it.

Quentin has a neon outlined giant thumb which he uses to attract ships and rides. His goal is to get around the world, entirely by sea, by hitch-hiking the entire way. Aquaman meets Quentin and gives him assistance on some of the legs of his ride.

Quentin's character parallels the events that Quentin himself eventually goes through, including riding a turtle and scrubbing decks to pay his way... Quentin tells the editor, "I'm on my way! My assistant can fill in on the deadlines while I'm gone."... The story spells Sydney as Sidney, Australia... The canny editor uses Quentin's adventures to double circulation on his newspaper.

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman gets a giant turtle to give Quentin a ride to Panama Canal. An octopus helps him free a boat, and a pod of dolphins pulls it to catch up with a ship bound to Australia. A whale gives Aquaman and Quentin a ride from the Cape of Good Hope back to New York.

Quotefile: A ship captain to Quentin, "You're a queer one! But come on, mister! We'll take you through the canal!"

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 9:13 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Links and Domain Move Update

ComicMix has now gone live, after defeating the gamma rays, apparently.

Bully's ten of a kind: Skeletons!

And the domain change to continues. I've got most of the stuff from eskimo either moved to new places or backed up on my laptop, and I'm starting to put up redirect pages on eskimo now. My new e-mail, which matches my name, is fully active and utterly spamless so far. That won't last long, I suspect. It's nice to have my own domain... I set up a new address for my eBay auctions so I wouldn't lose them in the piles of spam. Anyway, the images on my sidebar now all reside on my new server, and my little quote scripts all go to too. There will be some broken links as I continue to go through and fix things, but for the most part I'm actually up and running on the new domain!

Once again, for anyone coming in late, the new URL for the Aquaman page is, which is much shorter than the old one, but a little harder to spell. Other subdomains will be listed at as I get them fully up-and-running.

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-by Tegan at 6:39 PM Seattle time - Permalink

eBay Adventures

Hubby-Eric and I are really short on cash this month, AND we want to clear out some of the mess in our house. Hubby-Eric has decided to sell off his Green Lantern collection, and I'm going to prune my own collections a bit. The result is that we've been readying ourselves to put stuff up on eBay. And finally, now, we have posted our first three non-KBTC auctions. All for PVC sets that feature Green Lantern.

If you want to look at my auctions, I'm the user tegan. There should be three KBTC auctions (all the money we get from those goes to a local PBS station) and three PVC sets.

Heh. The original goal was to just get the stuff out of the house and find a good home for it. Now that I've seen our monthly bills, I'm really hoping to see a bidding war and some nice prices, though I suspect we aren't going to. *sigh*

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-by Tegan at 4:22 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Saturday Links

Paul Cornell has an article on "canon" and the mess it makes in the fandom circles of Doctor Who.

Make a self-portrait illustration without any artistic skills at all. Via The Generator Blog.

Len Wein has it figured out.

Save Boston from the Mooninites or read a Peanuts strip that explains the logic of the Boston reaction.

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-by Tegan at 8:23 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Friday, February 09, 2007

Review Copy Review

First Moon: I got another review copy from Larry, who always sends something fascinating about the time I'm feeling forgotten. This book has taken me awhile to get back to because before I reviewed it I wanted to read it a second time. Mostly because I found a strange dissonance in the way I saw the art. I wanted to make sure it was my perception of the art making the weirdness, not the art itself. I think it is.

This is a complicated story that's actually very simple at its core. It has to do with the Roanoke Colony and werewolves. I loved the Roanoke part of the story, but the modern bits turned me off on the first reading. It wasn't until I finished the book and everything came together that I started to enjoy it as a whole.

The artwork is strange and in a style that I'm not fond of, for the most part. I thought it worked extremely well in some places of the Roanoke story, but there were often bits where the faces were far too exaggerated, and I wasn't sure if there was a story reason for it or if that was just the artist's style. The fight scenes made no sense to me on the first read, only on the second read did I understand what was happening in them. In any case, after my first read-through I thought the Roanoke parts were well-drawn while the rest of the book was not. On my second read-through I dismissed that as being a trick of my perception: I wanted to enjoy the Roanoke part of the story more, so I did. The art is not as uneven as I first thought.

Once I got past my issues with the artwork, (which are entirely a matter of my tastes, I think, and not the skill of the artist) the story is pretty darn good. It's a bit of a horror story about the original Roanoke colonists and the terror they provoked, seen through the lens of a modern descendent of ... but that would be telling. It's a good read, and I enjoyed it greatly on my second pass. As we've seen before with AiT/Planet Lar, there are text pages in the back of the book with more information. This time a wonderful summary of the history of Roanoke Colony and its fate. All told, this is an excellent package, worth checking out.

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-by Tegan at 4:14 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Announcement and Linkages

Well, I've done a lot of behind-the-scenes work on my new domains over the last couple of days, and it's now time to officially announce that I have a new home on the web! Yep, if you visit you'll find a list of links to my and Eric's various websites, which will grow as we finish migrating sites to the new host. Heck, poor hubby-Eric hasn't really even had a chance to start migrating his site over yet. In any case, the Aquaman website is now moved to, which might be a little easier to remember than the old URL, but harder to spell!

You can also now e-mail me at my name. Heh. That's the most fun bit of all. And yes, I'll be switching over to that e-mail for personal correspondence. My e-mail will stay active, as will my gmail account, and I'll continue to check both of those daily.

I'm also going to point out the donation link on At this point, with the amount of space and bandwidth we need, if someone donates $10 through that link, they've paid for a FULL MONTH of our web hosting. That's really cool! I'm hoping that once Eric has migrated his Oz website over to the new host and puts up a donation link there that enough grateful Oz fans will donate to keep us up and running for a few months extra each year.

Anyway, that's my news... on to the links at large...

You may have noticed a little link on the bottom of my Haloscan comments. It goes to, which tracks comment threads you have participated in. I didn't think I would be all that interested in the service, but it's come in amazingly handy for keeping track of comments I'm making on other people's blogs (who use Haloscan, at least). Anyway, I thought I'd point it out and explain what it is for anyone who might have missed it.

That's where my boss is at. And Peter Fries gives me the first look at an Aquaman toy to be shown off there. Ooooooh!

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #89.

Mike Sterling is also a sinner.

Without copying would we have any culture?

Get free sourdough starter. I like sourdough, but I'm not much of a connoisseur, so I'm not sure if I want to go through all the steps to make this stuff work. Still, it's tempting.

Breaking news: Young Woman Dead in her Prime. Another complaint about the news media in this country. Via filkertom.

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-by Tegan at 12:34 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 077

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order. After I read each story I will post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

Adventure #144 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #144 (September 1949) - A Martian Adventure!

The FBI calls in Aquaman to investigate an S.O.S. signal from the Himalaya Mountains.

I was born after the first Mars probe visited the red planet and proved that there were no canals on it. Thus, it's kind of hard for me to take the FBI agent and Aquaman very seriously when they look at a picture of the valley and immediately say, "That looks like the canals on Mars!" Luckily, the fact that there are no canals on Mars doesn't really destroy the premise of the story. The people of the valley looked at Mars, saw the same optical illusion that other astronomers saw, and got inspiration for their own canals. I can live with that.

There is one major contradiction in this tale. The people of the valley inform Aquaman that he cannot leave the valley because they don't want contact with the outside world, and its savage wars. But they lit a gigantic flaming S.O.S. symbol when a jet flew over! If they don't want attention, that's the worst way to avoid it!

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman notices a fish native to the Arctic Sea in a canal, and figures out that there is a subterranean river connecting it to the valley. He gets lobsters and crabs to weaken the wall blocking the water source, then gets some Arctic whales who live in the river to push the wall the rest of the way down.

Let's not go into the geography of a valley in the Himalayas being connected underground with the Arctic Sea. Nor should we worry overmuch about the fresh water/salt water issue. And I'm not going to wonder why the FBI is involved.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is told he can never leave the valley.

Quotefile: Opening Text, "Ever since the telescope was invented, the baffling canals of Mars have been a mystery to Earthly imagination! Are they the superb engineering feat of a valiant people, staving off the extinction threatened by dwindling water supplies? Nobody knows!"

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 9:54 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Thursday Links

Aaron Williams informs us that has gone "live" and you can now read the book as a webcomic, online Mon-Wed-Fri!

Temporary Tattoos for Librarians.

Three of the 13 backbone servers of the internet were attacked by zombie computers, possibly from South Korea, and most users didn't even notice thanks to better load distribution and quick action by computer scientists to deal with the problem.

Stephen Colbert Ice Cream??!?? I want some.

If you don't like pictures of cats with captions on them, don't go here.

Why can't we get miracle fruit in the United States? Well, you can. It just isn't FDA approved. I'd certainly love to try it, though.

Another pug for the in-laws.

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-by Tegan at 12:42 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


If you read nothing else of this post, read the last line.

Spider-Man's first TV appearance.

The Bad Astronomer takes on the really awful FedEx commercial.

Speaking of bad advertising, Terabithia Ads Mislead. "The ads show a boy and girl entering a fantasy world; the scene actually takes place at the end of the movie."

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-by Tegan at 10:24 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Ripples Through Time - 076

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order. After I read each story I will post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

Adventure #143 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #143 (August 1949) - The Second Robinson Crusoe!

Phineas Pike is stranded while out testing his new boat, but his deserted island turns out to be a hideout for Black Jack.

Strange splash page... it shows Robinson Crusoe stunned as he finds the footprint, but Black Jack is behind a rock aiming a gun at him while Aquaman leaps at Black Jack from above (not from the water). To finish off the level of surreal, the Sea Sleuth is watching the whole thing from a handy spot on a cliff. Crusoe himself never actually appears in the story, as Phineas takes that role.

Finny Friends Report: Phineas uses the beak of a dead swordfish as a saw, gets a turtle to haul logs for him, and somehow gets seals to assist in building a log cabin. He takes a shower by standing in a spot that a bull-whale like to "blow off steam" at. Aquaman has fish crowd around Black Jack's boat to stop it from moving, but is foiled when Black Jack's crew pours tar on him. Sharks chase off his fish. Later, on the island, he throws fish at Black Jack and his crew to attract sea gulls, then throws sea gull eggs at the crew. He has a walrus and giant sea turtle sit in Black Jack's rowboat to prevent escape.

Captured/Knocked Out report: None in this story, unless you count Phineas crashing his boat and saying "Glub!" a couple of times.

Quotefile: Opening text box, summing up the entire story, "Who can forget the thrilling saga of Robinson Crusoe, stranded on a deserted island, valiantly battling against all odds to survive? But his feat is now duplicated by none other than the Sea Sleuth, Mastermind of the Marine, Sherlock Holmes of the Sea! And as a crowning touch, he aids Aquaman, King of the Waves, in foiling notorious Black Jack! All this and more results when the Sea Sleuth becomes... The Second Robinson Crusoe!"

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 9:52 PM Seattle time - Permalink

A Special Note To My Readers

If you read this blog via RSS feed or some other site syndication, please make sure you turn off any options to reload entries if they are updated. In the near future, I'm going to be making a LOT of changes to past entries, and the result will be flooded feeds if you don't make sure that option is unchecked. If you do not have an option like that (I know Bloglines has it, but I don't know about other readers), then you may want to consider unsubscribing from my blog for the next few months unless you don't mind flooded feeds.

To everyone else, here's what is happening. I finally got myself a domain so I can host my own website instead of having the long URL that I currently use for my personally hosted images and files. While I don't plan to host this blog on my new domain, I will be hosting most of the images that I put into posts on the new domain, which means I'll be changing the URLs of those images as I go back through posts. This will take some time, but most of you won't notice anything unless I completely screw something up.

And yes, the Aquaman website will be moving. While I'm fairly certain of the URL, nothing is set in stone yet so I'm not going to link to it right now. The URL will be much shorter, though possibly more difficult to spell. Heh.

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-by Tegan at 1:29 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 075

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order. After I read each story I will post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

Adventure #142 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #142 (July 1949) - Undersea Big-Game Hunt!

Two big-game hunters, tired of the same old boring hunts on land, take the hunt to Aquaman's private preserve.

Not one of Aquaman's finer stories. The fantastic fish are fun, but otherwise I'd label this one a miss. The family of fish on the splash page, a group of plesiosaur-like creatures with strange heads and stegosaurus-like plates on their backs, are pretty cool... but don't appear in the regular story.

Aquaman's marine preserve has signs to warn humans away, but of course the hunters ignored them. One of the signs is a bit amusing: "Last Warning/No Man's Water/Danger/Turn Back". I guess it couldn't be "No Man's Land".

Finny Friends Report: A porpoise warns Aquaman that hunters have entered his marine preserve. He protects the first endangered species, a sea serpent with a lion's head and walrus teeth, but putting a piece of glass coral between the creature and the hunters' electric guns. When the giant lobster/rhino attacks the hunters, Aquaman calms it down. Then he has an octopus steal the hunters' guns. A giant turtle with a horned fringe on its head chases them into a giant shell, which is inhabited by an irate giant snail. As a finishing touch, Aquaman has a small fish with very large teeth chase them the rest of the way out of the grotto.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is shot at by the hunters, but they miss and he escapes easily.

Quotefile: Aquaman, "You fools! Is there any sense in killing off rare creatures, for the sheer sake of killing? Get out of this marine preserve - or you'll be sorry!"

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 10:42 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Blogging About Blogging is... oh, you know.

Kevin put up a blogging tutorial.

I think I'll add some thoughts to that. Most of mine parallel Kevin's, so I may be duplicating him here to some extent. Sorry. I hope I add enough to his thoughts to be useful to someone.

First off, I don't recommend getting your own host until you're sure you want to keep blogging. Yeah, having a website is nifty, but if you are an absolute beginner, just try the stuff before you dive in. Both Blogspot and Livejournal are really good places for beginners to go to give blogging a try. I'm going to go into them a bit more in a second, but my recommendation to new bloggers is to dip your foot in the pool before trying to be a lifeguard. Yes, it's a lousy metaphor. But you probably get the idea.

Livejournal... Kevin doesn't recommend it for blogging, and neither do I. But I do recommend it for a certain personality type. Namely, people who crave feedback. If you start on some other system, you are unlikely to get an audience as quickly as if you start on Livejournal and comment on other people's posts. As Kevin says later, commenting (on topic, NOT spam) on other people's commenting systems is probably the number one way to build an audience. With LJ, it happens faster. Livejournal also seems more suited to personal stuff, which is what I post on my LJ. Yes, you are allowed to have multiple blogs for multiple topics. Don't limit yourself, but don't stretch yourself too thin, either.

Ahem. Anyway, if you are a person who can endure shuddering silence from your audience for a long time, possibly years, before you start getting feedback... then I say you might make it as a blogger. It takes a great deal of time to build an audience on a regular blog, and it's easy to lose their interest as well. More on that in a bit.

Blogspot is still the easiest and fastest way to set up a blog... and it's free and has a decent interface as well. So I recommend starting there. Set up a basic blog using one of their templates (which you can edit later as needed), test the interface, play a bit. If you like it, keep doing it.

Now, as you might know, I play Blogshares(B$) on a regular basis, and one of the main things I do in B$ is remove dead blogs. Dead blogs, or "clogs", are blogs that haven't been updated in the last six months. And there are a LOT of them. People start out without knowing what they plan on doing with their blog, and end up abandoning it, usually fairly quickly. Do not become a Clogger! Blogging isn't difficult, but it does require persistence. If you don't plan on persisting, don't start. You can still build a good reputation as someone who just comments on other people's blogs. Don't start blogging unless you've got enough thoughts bouncing around in your head to last you for awhile.

Now, I'm not saying you have to have ideas for 2 gazillion posts right now in your head! I'm just saying you've got to be a person who has something to say, and think you can say it regularly. One way to prove that... I'm going to go on and on about this point... is to post on-topic comments on other folks' blogs. If you keep commenting, people will start to recognize your name, and eventually they might even start to wonder why you haven't started a blog.

Ok, so you decide to start a blog. What do you need to do to build an audience? Well, we've already covered getting your name out by commenting on other people's websites. You can also put your blog address in your signature when you post on message boards and such. If people like the message board posts you make, they are likely to check out your blog. If they see posts like, "READ MY BLOG! I AM AWESOME!" they will never visit your blog, and you'll probably get banned from the message board. That's because of another major part of building an audience: content.

There are a LOT of good writers out there blogging. I place myself in the lower half of active bloggers as far as talent is concerned, but at least I have some writing skills. The vast majority of clogs I remove from B$'s listings are very poorly written screeds that say nothing of interest to anyone but the writer. Remember, this is a PUBLIC website, which means that people will be visiting, reading, and thinking about what you say. If it makes no sense to them, they won't come back. You've lost a part of your audience.

Concise writing is hard. Good writing can be difficult as well, but it's mostly just a matter of re-reading what you've read after you write it to make sure it makes sense. For instance, this post I'm writing right now will be re-read at least five times before I post it. Typos will still sneak through. But I'll fix most of the horrible grammatical errors and logical leaps before I post it. Most of my posts I just re-read once or twice before posting.

Also, don't pass by on the basics: write in complete sentences (mostly), use proper grammar (unless you're making a point), use a spell-checker (unless you are a spelling bee champ). Don't use slang except in small doses. Don't use "cute" spelling tricks or AlTeRnAtInG CaPs. They are hard to read and, unless they are the message, they distract from what you are trying to say. Punctuation and capitalization matter.

Then there is the matter of what you are writing about. Kevin makes the point well, I think, in establishing that you need to have something interesting. If people know that your website offers some sort of reading they cannot get elsewhere, they will come back. This applies to all blogs, not just comic book bloggers. Write about what you know, and make it interesting!

Now, we can't all be an awesome stuffed bull who loves comics, a doctor who examines the medical aspects of comics, or a retailer with a sense of the absurd fun of comics, but it sure helps if you've got an angle. Like Kevin says, let your personality shine through. Otherwise, you come across as bland (like, um, me).

The third part of building an audience, in my opinion, is posting regularly. Once a month isn't enough, unless you are already a master writer with a huge following. Once every two weeks... not enough, unless you are simply incredible at writing. Once a week isn't bad and will suffice for a standard blogger. Multiple times a week is better. Once a day is pushing into the blog-addict stage, and may be too much for some folks. Multiple times a day is fine only if you have a lot to say. The whole point of this is that people can expect new content when they visit your blog. If you post at least once a week, people know they can visit your blog once a week and find something new. Then everyone is happy. Long, unexpected delays between posts loses audience. And, like B$ points out, if you haven't posted in six months, your blog is dead.

Ok, so you've been blogging for a few months, have an audience, and now you want to make some money at it. Pardon me for a second while I go in the other room... *sounds of laughter from other room* ...ok, I'm back. You say you want to make money blogging? Well... don't expect too much. True there are some bloggers who hit a chord and gain an audience quickly. They can run fund drives or get advertisers and make real money by blogging. But most of us poor schmucks are not going to get anything from this. It's a hobby, not a job. Some of you may make it to the point where you can make profit from words. Most of you will not.

And yes, I have been offered a paid blogging position. It was not something I was interested in, and I turned it down (it also wasn't very much money, so don't think I was turning down a full-time job or something!). I've been offered places in group blogs as well. But I'm not reliable (despite the evidence to the contrary) and I refuse to join a group blog on the grounds that I will let everyone down. Only you can know whether or not you want to take such opportunities as they come to you. And if you blog long enough and well enough, they are bound to eventually come to you. And who knows, I may accept the next offer that comes to me, if I think I'm up to the challenge!

On another track, you've been blogging a few months and want to get your own host. Well, go read Kevin's recommendations. You can still post from blogger to your own host, or set up Wordpress (which isn't half bad either). If Blogger is working correctly, you can even move all your old posts over, if you choose. I admit to knowing very little about web hosts, but I'm learning very rapidly. Nowadays, setting up your own host is no longer too expensive or too difficult. So it's certainly a good option if you intend to keep blogging for awhile.

So, you still want to try blogging? Oh c'mon... give it a shot. Or at least start commenting on other people's blogs. Join the discussion. There's a lot of fun to be had. I know I've gotten a lot out of it these last four plus years.


-by Tegan at 4:52 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Monday, February 05, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 074

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

Adventure #141 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #141 (June 1949) - Return of the Sea Sleuth!

Aquaman starts to teach Phineas Pike how to swim when he notices a stray fishing boat and goes to warn them, only to fall into a trap.

The opening splash page has nothing to do with the rest of the story, except that it shows all three principal characters. Aquaman is tied up and being guarded by two thugs, while Black Jack stalks Phineas Pike, who is studying footprints in sand.

Nice bit of wordplay between Aquaman and Phineas at the start of the story, as Aquaman comments on Phineas' sign ("Sleuth of the Sea/Marine Mastermind/Wizard of the Waves/Phineas Pike/Cases Solved--/Cheap") then tells Phineas he's going to learn how to swim. Aquaman starts to teach him to swim, and says, "Elementary, isn't it, my dear Phineas?" Apparently not, as Phineas still is unable to swim at the end of the tale.

Aquaman follows Black Jack and the phony Aquaman to a water carnival, where Aquaman (the double) is presented with a small box of pearls in honor of the work he does for all seafaring folk. The double was to bring the pearls back to Black Jack, but he's interrupted by the real Aquaman. Phineas figures out that Black Jack wouldn't bother with a disguise for his ship at the water carnival, since a pirate ship would only be expected at a carnival like that.

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman sends a fish to find Phineas, as his sea friends apparently can't open the box he's in. Phineas rides his giant sea turtle, which he calls "Myrtle" in this tale, out to Aquaman's location. Aquaman rides a dolphin as he follows Black Jack's trail. Aquaman puts a lobster in the pearl box which pinches Black Jack when he opens it.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is captured in a fishing net when he goes to warn the stray boat that the fishing in the local waters is very poor. Black Jack shows Aquaman his double, then locks him in a steel fish-proof box, which he dumps into Black Bay.

Quotefile: Phineas, looking at a fish that just bit him, "But this is a corealis porcel, native only to Black Bay! Why did it come here, to strange waters? It must have been sent! Deduction -- Aquaman sent it!"

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 9:46 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 073

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

Adventure #140 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #140 (May 1949) - The Sleuth of the Sea!

Phineas Pike, a master detective who knows everything there is to know about the sea, is unemployed and looking for a job.

The introduction of a new repeating character happens in this story, as we meet Phineas Pike, the Sea Sleuth, for the first time. Phineas is a Sherlock Holmes wannabe, even down to wearing a deerstalker, who uses small clues to figure out details. Like figuring out where a ship docks based on the barnacles on its hull. He also knows how to ride a giant turtle by using a fish as a lure to keep it moving forward. He can tell the age of a fish by looking at its teeth. And figures out where a message in a bottle came from using a map of currents. Aquaman takes advantage of Phineas' skills, and they apparently work well together as a team.

Phineas likes using the Latin names for fish species. He refers to a salvelinus fontinalis, a coralima equatis, and the chelonia major he uses as a steed. He also inadvertantly reveals to Aquaman that he cannot swim.

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman is visiting the Aquarium to deliver a rare fish from Madagascar. He has a clam squirt a thug in the face, then when they try to escape to a boat, he has two sharks stop them. Phineas rides a giant turtle, not under Aquaman's command, to stay with the action. Aquaman has an octopus throw him aboard the ship he's attacking. Then he has his fish friends weave a net, which he throws over the bad guys after electric eels shock the guns out of their hands. When Phineas falls off his giant turtle, Aquaman has an octopus rescue him.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Not in this story.

Quotefile: Aquaman, "The Sleuth of the Sea! The Wizard of the Waves! The Marine Mastermind! But he can't swim!?!"

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 9:56 PM Seattle time - Permalink

In Celebration of Commercial Success

Once a year, the United States holds a long special in which corporations debut their newest, attention-grabbing ads. Every year, the most creative minds in advertising get together to come up with a ad that outshines every other ad. This year, some companies even ran contests to allow the average person a chance for their ad to shine during the massive extravaganza. This event is known as the Super Bowl (I've heard tell they even hold some sort of contest of physical prowess to fill time between the ads). A good portion of the ads are on YouTube already. And here are the results, according only to me and my opinion:

I enjoyed the Chevy ad created by Katie Crabb, a freshman at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, who pitched a hilarious ad featuring men who removed articles of clothing to wash a Chevy car with four young women in it (one of whom covered her eyes and said, "Tell me when it's over" much to my glee).

I also liked the fan-created Doritos ads, which even included the creator names. Very lovely.

The Blockbuster ad featured a really old joke with familiar talking animals from previous Blockbuster ads, but still managed to be somewhat funny.

The Garmin ad with Navigation Man versus a map-grown monster was also cute.

The FedEx ad with an office on the moon made me continually wince. Folks, the Moon has gravity. Really. The guy would NOT float off into space. Papers would NOT float into the air. Ug. Horrid.

CareerBuilder ads were good. The jungle office was nasty, as they were trying to portray it. I think the ads worked well.

The Coca Cola Black History ad was well-done, subtle, and striking. I hope they play it more.

Both the Toyota Tundra ads were impressive in the feats they depicted. The See Saw was particularly cool to watch. I like that they emphasize braking power as being just as important as speed and strength. Those are nothing if you can't stop the vehicle.

Connectile Dysfunction. A new term has entered the lexicon.

The only beer ad that amused me was the "He has an axe!" one, but like all beer ads it only reinforces the idea that only stupid people drink beer.

And lastly, the only ad that made me want to try the product was the delightfully surreal Emerald Nuts ad, which just bizzared its way into my mind. I've gotta try some Emerald Nuts.

So, what was your favorite, if you bothered to watch the ads?

Update: Here's IFILM's archive of Super Bowl ads.


-by Tegan at 8:59 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Linkdump for Saturday

There is a tiny hack to help folks who want to see more than 20 posts for a label in blogger. The hack is detailed here. In short, you have to manually edit the URL for the label page to tell it to return more than 20 results, by adding "?max-results=x" (where x is the number of posts to return) to the end of the URL. Annoying? Yes. But you can see all my Ripples Through Time posts on a single page! Doesn't that make it worth it?

Mah Two Cents has PowerPuff Girls Z Episode 2.

Johnny B predicts the Superbowl. I have my own prediction: whichever team the officials want to win will win the game. I will ignore the game entirely, personally, and watch the ads to see if anyone actually made anything decent this year.

Doctor Who meets The French Dalek. Oh. My.

The Beat on Aqua Teen Hunger Force (which I've never seen, so don't ask me).

What sort of fees are you getting hit with if you use a Credit Card in another country?

"Does fifteen billion dollars worth of food a year depend on a bunch of retired hobbyists?". Yes, yes it does. Via Diane Duane.

Cory Doctorow on Shrinkwrap Licenses and just how stupid they are. In response: READ CAREFULLY. By reading this blog you agree, on behalf of your employer, to release me from all obligations and waivers arising from any and all NON-NEGOTIATED agreements, licenses, terms-of-service, shrinkwrap, clickwrap, browsewrap, confidentiality, non-disclosure, non-compete and acceptable use policies ("BOGUS AGREEMENTS") that I have entered into with your employer, its partners, licensors, agents and assigns, in perpetuity, without prejudice to my ongoing rights and privileges. You further represent that you have the authority to release me from any BOGUS AGREEMENTS on behalf of your employer.

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-by Tegan at 7:51 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Puget Sound Race for the Cure

The 2007 Puget Sound Race for the Cure will happen on June 16th. Our local Doctor Who group, the Emerald City Androgums, are going to put together a team. If we can get enough members this year, we'll try to do the walk with matching t-shirts and all that jazz. Maybe we'll even get berets and carry eating utensils, who knows?

The registration doesn't open until March 5th, so I probably won't be mentioning it again until I've signed up and put up a donor page. Unlike the 3-Day, I don't need to raise a certain amount to qualify for this event, but our team will no doubt have some goal for fundraising.

If you live in the Seattle area and are interested in joining our team, drop me a comment or an e-mail.

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-by Tegan at 12:57 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Friday, February 02, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 072

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

Adventure #139 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #139 (April 1949) - The Man Who Owned The Sea!

Simon Drago claims to own the sea by virtue of a 2000 year-old document, but Aquaman is unconvinced.

The story is pretty basic... nasty pirate dude comes up with unique justification for his crimes, which Aquaman has to disprove. What's truly fascinating about this one is the undersea supreme court and its members. For the first time ever, we have Aquaman's undersea friends talking to a surfacer in plain English! Both the walrus and the large golden fish speak during the court session.

And there's even a merman! The first merman ever in Aquaman's history. Indeed, the first hint in the Aquaman stories that such a species exists, as he's said before that they don't exist. This remarkable character only shows up in three panels, is never given a name, and I don't believe he ever shows up again.

Finny Friends Report: A walrus acts as court clerk for Aquaman's undersea supreme court. A merman (!) is the prosecuting attorney, and a gold fish is the first witness. An octopus acts as guard, and a variety of other fish are the jury. In the flashback, Aquaman rides a whale and has the whale spout at Drago and his crew to stop the fighting. A large group of Aquaman's fish friends surround Drago's boat and create a whirlpool, making Drago and his entire crew too dizzy to fight.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman isn't captured or knocked out in this tale.

Quotefile: Aquaman, reading from Drago's document, "We, Augustus Rex, Emperor of the world, grant to the House of Drago, and all its heirs, full ownership of all the seas of the world!"

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 8:18 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Friday Thoughts

Bully makes a DC teaser image. I like it better than the official one, cuz Bully's includes Aquaman.

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #88.

I need to get myself a slanket. I'm always cold, and would love one of these suckers to keep me toasty.

The King County Library System ordered 400 copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I'm 409 on the list. ARGH!!!!

You can now do site feeds by post labels/tags! This means that if someone was interested in only my Ripples Through Time posts, they could use this site feed and get only those posts, nothing else. Happily, it's system-wide. Check out this help topic to see how to set up a label-specific feed for any blogger site that 1) has an active feed already and 2) uses labels.

Now, if they just fix this bug, labels will be much more useful to me.

Speaking of Blogger and its new system... I still haven't had any posting problems. Feed issues, yes, but no posting problems.

I have started looking at layouts, the new templates for New Blogger, and I'm irritated. The code design is ugly and uncommented, and while there seems to be lots of room for personalization, Blogger's unhelpful help methods are downright useless. I thought that converting the least customized of my blogs, The Wonderful Blog of Oz, would be easy, but I keep hitting major roadblocks. New Blogger has no "recent posts" widget, and there is no description of how to edit an existing widget without using the useless tools Blogger provides. For some reason, the templates I've seen put the site feed link at the bottom of the page instead of in the sidebar, which makes no sense to me, and there's no way I can see to move the feed to the sidebar because it's integrated into their ugly/messy blog post widget.

Still, despite the lack of useful help pages on Blogger, I'm making some progress with the conversion attempt. Haloscan, for one, was easy to set up as there is a conversion wizard, and I was able to compare the before and after code to see what they did. That's led me to figure out some of the other pieces of the puzzle. By the time I try to convert Bloggity's template, I ought to be an expert in this crap.

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-by Tegan at 3:54 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Really Rapid Reviews

These are mini-capsules: about one sentence per book with whether or not I recommend the book.

31 January 2007

52 Week Thirty-Nine: "Powers & Abilities": Yay! Aquaman appearance! The rest... eh, so-so. Mildly recommended.

Ion #10: "Tales of the Green Lantern": Ah, the multiverse! And a new way of travelling in it! Interesting stuff. Recommended.

JSA Classified #22: "Fire and Ice!": If I wanted a Hawkman/Hawkgirl tale, I'd buy the Hawkbook. As I want a JSA tale, this is a disappointment. Not recommended.

These are the only books on my list that arrived at my store on Wednesday. Yup, we got screwed by Diamond again. I might get the rest this weekend, we'll see. Otherwise, it's a big week next week.

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-by Tegan at 7:42 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Ripples Through Time - 071

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

Adventure #138 Aquaman Splash Page
Adventure #138 (March 1949) - Marooned in the Deep!

Aquaman is unable to breathe open air for a week after a dive six miles down into the Great Deep, and Black Jack gleefully takes advantage of the situation.

Aquaman's condition is leaked to the press very quickly, as in previous stories. Apparently there is no sense of doctor/patient confidentiality, or the paparazzi in the Golden Age DCU are particularly nasty and effective. They GA DCU paparazzi might well be paid a lot by the underworld to report on superheroes' conditions... anything that might give the bad guys an advantage.

Black Jack's ship has an electrified smoke-screen, to throw off radar as well as visual contact.

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman starts the story assisting a fish who is trapped in the Great Deep, six miles under water. When he learns that Black Jack is raiding the Gold Coast, he has dolphin steeds take him to the area. Because he can't surface, he has a swordfish poke a hole in Black Jack's rowboat. An octopus grabs the thugs, but Black Jack fights it off and escapes. Aquaman uses a swordfish and turtle in a sword fight with Black Jack and his thugs.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is knocked unconscious by the pressure at six miles down, and is put in a pressure tank when he's found to prevent him from getting the bends. He wakes in the pressure tank.

Quotefile: Aquaman, walking through a polluted city at the end of the story, "Oh boy! Is it great to breathe in air again -- or is it? Cough... Choke!"

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 9:12 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Thursday Thoughts

Still drinking buckets of lemon ginger tea and trying to feel better. My head is stuffed up now, but not too badly. Just enough to keep me from exercising (I tried the exercise bike but nearly fell off because I was out of balance) and from getting enough done.

Bully appears to have had the best National Gorilla Suit Day, even meeting the Doctor and Rose and giant mutant Kitten Kong.

July 21st 2007. If I'm lucky, I'll be at the top of the library list and able to get it right away. The dates are between The Winkie Convention and San Diego Comic-Con, so if I make it to either or both of those I should be ok. Let's hope I get on the library list early enough. I want to read the book before our copy from Canada gets here.

Ok, the whole Boston lite-brite terrorism thing... I'd be more impressed if the things hadn't already been up around town for THREE WEEKS before anyone noticed one, wet pants, and called police. If they had been bombs, the whole town would've been levelled before anyone reacted. Sheesh. And I really don't think the guys who put the artwork up should be punished. The mayor and media who overreacted and caused gridlock and terror should be punished instead.

Meanwhile, in usually overreacting Seattle, the things showed up and provoked little response. Apparently there were even three of them in Bothell, where I live. Makes me wish I'd seen it. Kind of a surprise when Seattle shows more common sense than Boston...

We're a paranoid society, with our so-called leaders screaming about terror so much that a portion of the populace can't see anything unusual without wetting pants and calling police. The truth is you're more likely to die in a car accident caused by some idiot using his cell phone while driving to notify police of a suspicious box than you are to die in a real terrorist attack. In the meantime, this quote from the Associated Press article sums it all up:
"It's almost too easy to be a terrorist these days," said Jennifer Mason, 26. "You stick a box on a corner and you can shut down a city."

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-by Tegan at 5:38 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Frankenhaus Strikes Again

I watched the moon set this morning.

As I mentioned, we had an electrician come out to fix our kitchen light this morning. He arrived just after hubby-Eric left for work, and I directed him into the kitchen and apologized for the dimness of the room. It took him about ten minutes to fix the ballast. He basically took it apart and reconnected all the wires, which had gotten loose, and reassembled it again. That was it. Loose wiring. If not for the fear of getting electrocuted, I could've done the job myself (I actually had considered taking the thing apart and trying to fix it). He told me that it's good for another 20 years.

But far more embarrassing was the light in the garage. It's been out for months. Very annoying. Worse, I couldn't for the life of me figure out what was wrong. When the previous bulb went out, we replaced it, but the new bulb didn't work. We tried a bunch of bulbs, none worked. We just assumed no power was getting to the light socket. HA! What had happened is that the previous, old-fashioned, bulb went out while we were in the midst of replacing all the old bulbs in our Frankenhaus with new compact florescent extended-life/lower-energy bulbs. What we didn't know was this: although the new bulbs appeared to fit fine into the socket, the socket was actually too deep for them to make a connection. That's right. The bulbs we were using just didn't fit into the socket. AAAARRRRGGGGHHH!!!! He put in an old-fashioned bulb and it worked great. Lovely.

We have no old-type bulbs in the house, except the one he put in. I'm going to have to buy some for that light socket, or replace the socket. I may just replace the socket so I can take the old one and smash it to kingdom come with a sledgehammer.

When I asked for a price quote yesterday, I was told that it would cost $130 just for the electrician to come out. I figured since he took such a short amount of time, he would only charge me for the trip. I was wrong. When I asked how much I owed, he said, "Oh, let's say $40." Whew. I'm willing to pay $40 for a lesson in loose wiring and bulb sizing. Way better than $130.

And, after he left, I watched the moon set behind the trees out of our front window.


-by Tegan at 8:33 AM Seattle time - Permalink