Monday, February 28, 2011

Golden Age Moment of the Day (65)

From Clue Comics v. 1 #11's Nightmare and Sleepy feature...

Apparently, wrenches let you smash people so hard they fly into the air and strike improbable poses?

-Signing off.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Monsters of Mass Distraction

So I was curious about something related to Godzilla today... and spent the whole rest of it wikiwalking on Wikizilla.

While this means that I've got no time for a post at the moment, it also was a source of great joy. You might even say that it was...

...yeah, I won't say it.

Also: This short Lovecraft inspired film... is incredibly narmy. (It's mostly the screams the one guy keeps letting out.)

This isn't entirely bad-in fact, it's rather amusing-but I think they didn't quite hit the tone they were looking for.

-Signing off.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Other NHL Guardians Who Are Completely Nuts

A few weeks ago, Chris Sims commented on the characters from the NHL's hockey team-themed superheroes (official bios for the characters here).

Not to knock on Sims, but I think he missed a few. (A bit late to point it out, I guess, but hey, no reason not to.)

The Capital

The guy who is associated with Washington, D.C. is "half bald eagle," whatever the heck that means, can fly and has incredible vision, is a shapeshifter, and can emit an immensely powerful sonic scream that causes him to turn bright red.

Just like any other Washington politician, see?

The King

This guy? Protects Hollywood from movie-related crimes. Seriously, in his little PDF story comic, he keeps a guy who calls himself "Hitchcock" from stealing the Academy Awards. No, really.

The Senator

The Senator, who rounds out the Guardians' governmental personage lineup, is credited as being great at motivating his allies and destroying his enemies' hope. He also has telekinesis (not mentioned in his bio but shown/mentioned in his story) and the power to neutralize enemy superpowers, and supposedly was once an actual gladiator. I'm not even sure how that could be any crazier.

The (Jersey) Devil

Then we have this guy, who is supposedly descended from the legendary cryptid called the Jersey Devil. He also "doesn't so much defeat his opponents... as completely annihilates them."

Dude. That's how it could be crazier.

The Predator

Predator is described as having "adamantium" fangs (seriously), can devour any matter or energy, can vomit up consumed matter and energy in the form of a "slightly radioactive slime," and can also disrupt electronics with his screams (once again not mentioned in his bio, but shown in his story). So he's got the powers of Matter-Eater Lad (with a disgusting bonus), G1 Frenzy, and has Wolverine claws in his mouth.

I'm not even sure what more I could say about that.

-Signing off.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011



Over at my long-neglected Power Rangers blog, I've finally done a new post after nearly a year of not posting anything at all. (I blame the fact that 2010 was kind of a bad year for the franchise.)

So I didn't really have time for much over here, but I'll leave you with a chuckle:

Debating on the Internet is like a fighting game where both players have infinite health-repetitive, meandering, ultimately rather pointless, and it can take forever.

(I see the above as a more socially acceptable alternative to a certain other saying about internet arguments.)

-Signing off.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Game Reviews: Cartoon Network Game Creators

Recently, my kid brother and I started playing with Cartoon Network's so-called Game Creators. (Note that the preceding link links to all three "game creators" and the links will be interrupted by "leaving this site" type warnings.)

There are three of these, a Ben 10 game, a Batman: The Brave and the Bold game, and a Star Wars: The Clone Wars game. I say "game" because what these actually are is a set of games with what are essentially level editors and no default level designs.

I think I like the Ben 10 game the best, possibly because I have no emotional attachment to anything in it (I do, on the other hand, have at least a mild attachment to Batman and Yoda), but more probably because the game has the most internal variety between its characters, both in terms of design and abilities.

The Ben 10 and Batman games have the same basic structure: A level no larger than one game screen, which is a fairly typical platform-jumping game. Most of the components of the two games other than the controllable characters have only cosmetic differences from each other, though there are also a few significant differences.

The real caveat is that if you're just playing rather than creating, there aren't a lot of particularly creative level designs. While the one above is quite well-constructed, a lot of them attempt to create difficulty or interest through what I've come to call feature spam; in the below case, enemy spam.

The problem with enemy spam is that it slows the game down. That, and it's either shockingly easy or a tremendous pain, depending on both the rest of the level and on the character. The above, for instance, features the character Swampfire, who is all but unassailable thanks to his powerful flamethrowing attack.

This, despite the fact that a single minor contact with any enemy or projectile would instantly kill him. It takes an attack from an unexpected angle to harm this guy.

The titles for the games are... well, they're word salad titles, because you can only pick from preselected words. I found this one particularly amusing.

The Ben 10 games grant diverse abilities which are generally interesting, while the Batman games grant a special property and more generic attacks. For instance, Aquaman can breathe underwater. (Duh.)

The above level, by the way, is horribly constructed, because Aquaman can just swim past all the enemies unharmed and reach the gate. I think a lot of the kids making these games don't understand how to set the game's goal properly.

This game is differentiated by each character's ability to change into Batman, who isn't as powerful but can jump upwards indefinitely with his grappling hook. Also, there are powerups that grant "power attacks" and temporary invulnerability. However, the levels often suffer from much the same problems as the Ben 10 ones.

The Batman and Star Wars game creators have a "game chain" feature that apparently lets you string together multiple levels, though I haven't investigated this much. I don't know why the Ben 10 game lacks it.

The Star Wars game is very different from the other two-it's a top-down game, the character has hitpoints, and you can have the character independently or riding in a vehicle. Each character has a "power attack" which can be used in limited amounts. Yoda has an awesome power attack that destroys almost everything en mass.

This game has a rather fun basebuilding aspect to it, but unfortunately, it's just not quite as fun to play for me.

Overall, all three of these level editors are interesting and bear some investigation if you like games, and if you like the characters, it couldn't hurt.

-Signing off.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Golden Age Moment of the Day (64)

From Fantastic Comics #10's Stardust feature...

I'll let you try to hash out how a "thermal spore" (for a fire fungus?) is supposed to cause a planet to spontaneously combust for yourself.

-Signing off.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Hey, Look, A Robot of Some Sort

I seem to have been distracted from coming up with content by YouTube. Bad YouTube! Bad!

So here's a "transforming" robot I've never seen before.

Kinda cool.

-Signing off.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Before Adam West's Batman Was, It Was

Recently, I watched the first (1943) Batman serial.

To say that it was somewhat... cracked is an understatement.

Not entirely in a bad way, though. (FYI, "Batman's ray gun" was actually a stolen piece of villain's equipment which he just happened to be using because it was convenient.)

According to Wikipedia, this serial introduced the "Batcave proper" (although they called it the "Bat's Cave") and also strongly influenced later depictions of Alfred, and additionally was an enormous influence on major parody fodder for the "Adam West Batman" series.

Although I don't recall ever seeing a desk in the Batcave.

Yes, really. A desk. I guess they wouldn't have come up with a computer for him to sit at just yet.

Incidentally, not only is this one of the smallest and least cavernous Batcaves I've ever seen, it also apparently has one really stupid bat that can't fly in a straight line-it keeps going backwards. (I know I shouldn't pick on the "special effects," but I can't help it.)

Batman and an incredibly curly-haired Robin are actually supposedly secret agents for the government in this, reason being that '40s to '50s era censorship didn't permit depiction of flouting authority without said flouters being punished in some way. (If you've ever read The Ox-Bow Incident and then watched the film adaptation from that time period [or vice versa], the significant plot changes are a direct result of similar censorship.)

Batman calling the police on a police callbox frankly made me smile, if only because it made me think of the TARDIS (even if it had no resemblance to the TARDIS at all).

His calling card, folks:

The plot of the main story opens when Bruce Wayne and his girlfriend (who, in one of the last episodes of the serial, inexplicably is suddenly his fiance and probably knows his identity even though before she was completely clueless about it) go to pick up her uncle from jail.

Her uncle was supposedly wrongly imprisoned, but nobody who matters (i.e. the judge and jury) believes him on this point, even though everybody else takes his statements of innocence at face value. He's a rather harmless-seeming old man, which makes this even more incongruous. (Incidentally, it was a corporate crime he was accused of.)

Before they get to the prison, a couple of suspicious looking guys pick him up and drive off with him. When Bruce and company notice and pursue, they manage to get out of sight for a minute, spin around on the road...

...and cause their car to change color via the magic of incredible special effects pulling a tarp blocking a bright light out of the way and swapping license plates (and disguising the driver with a hat while having the others hide beneath the view of the windows).

Having lost their pursuers, the villains return to their headquarters in "Little Tokyo," which has been abandoned because, as the narrator cheerily relates, all the "sneaky Japs" have been rounded up and carted off.

All of them except for the villain, Doctor Prince Tito Daka.

(He's the one wearing bad makeup that's supposed to make him look Japanese and smoking a cigarette.) When I call him "Doctor Prince Tito Daka," it's because he was generally referred to as "Dr. Daka," his name was also established as "Tito Daka" (yes, really), and he was often called "Prince Daka" as well. It's possible that "Prince" was supposed to replicate the impression of the honorific "-sama," but I'm not sure I want to give them that much credit.

Anyway, Dr. Daka's evil plot involves mind-controlling people as "zombies" with incredible strength and using a "radium gun" (the aforementioned ray gun) to commit acts of sabotage, recruiting disgraced former businessmen and the like as minions.

And pretty much all of this is established in the first chapter.

This serial is an amusing artifact of its time period, and I think that people interested in comic book characters might be interested to watch it purely for its historical amusement value.

That's not even going into the increasingly ludicrous cliffhangers, which in the serial's climax involves about three or four scenes being added that changed what happened when the final cliffhanger resolved. (I'll probably save talking about some aspects of this for later posts.) To give you an idea of it, the "Batman's ray gun" scene takes place around when the cliffhanger of the previous episode appears, and in the cliffhanger, they conveniently omit Batman falling out of the armored car just before it flies over the literal cliff.

I would talk more, but I think that's enough for one post.

-Signing off.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Game Review: Ben 10 Battle Ready

Yes, really.

Ben 10: Battle Ready (the site just generically calls it "Battle Ready"-the Ben 10 part is assumed) is obviously based on the Ben 10 cartoon and toy franchise.

And if you think I'd be embarrassed to talk about it, there's a guy who's in his mid-thirties or so I know of who thinks the show is cool, so no.

I don't really know much about Ben 10 beyond 1) it's a cartoon that seems to be rather popular, and 2) the main character can turn into a bunch of different aliens with superpowers who are kind of interesting (though admittedly cartoony).

This game is all about the latter aspect, and that makes it pretty fun.

Here's how you look when you start the game.

Pretty boring, let's be honest.

By simply hitting the X key and holding it down, however, you can transform into one of ten different "alien forms." This one is called Diamondhead.

Each alien has a distinct appearance, and many of them have distinct powers. (Diamondhead lacks strongly distinct powers-he is one of three whose only distinction is shooting projectiles, and one of the others, Heatblast, is mostly better at it than he is.)

When I say this, some of them are big...

...while others are small.

(Incidentally, Fourarms there can take most enemies out with a single attack, while little Grey Matter can't even break most scenery.) Each alien form has a stage that you must complete while locked into that form before you can reach the final stage, which is a straightforward (albeit painfully hard) boss battle with a giant robot.

The structures of the stages are partially determined by the abilities of the aliens you become for them-Ghostfreak has lots more walls in inconvenient places for him to phase through...

...and XLR8 ("acc|el|er|ate"-yes, really) has lots of wide-open straightaways that exploit his incredible speed (which unfortunately can't be captured with a screenshot).

The game involves searching for these stages in a "pre" stage where there is a time limit on transformations, using various alien forms to fight off enemies or reach otherwise inaccessible areas. Some of the individual stages are fun (XLR8's is joy) while others are torturous (Wildmutt's attack is clumsy and unwieldy, the enemies are more frequent in his stage than in others [especially likely to double-team you, which is instant death for poor Wildmutt], and there are too many exploding barrels, great friend to a ranged attacker but mortal enemy to a short-ranged klutz like Wildmutt). Some stages feature things irrelevant elsewhere in the game-Gray Matter's stage is a tiny environment matched to his size (graphically different from the rest of the game), and the enemies are small enough that he's only slightly less powerful than Fourarms, while Ripjaw, an amphibious form, has an underwater stage.

Hilariously, this all takes place in a factory that appears to have an enormous multi-section basement and at least two distinct sewer zones underneath it. (It also has cardboard display stands that are harder to destroy than barrels and boxes, and about as difficult to destroy as printing presses.)

There's one significant oddity to gameplay-as you might be able to tell, it's a completely top-down game, yet all enemies and characters can only attack to the left and right. Sometimes, this is annoying (if you're trying to attack an enemy and it's directly beneath or above you, trying to move into place to attack it can give the enemy a free attack), and other times, it's a life-saver (when a mob of enemies shows up and come at you one at a time instead of just surrounding you and mauling you like they ought to). I do tend to look at the game and think it probably started life as a side-scrolling game and was retooled partway through development, and it might possibly have given more ways to make the characters distinct if it was a sidescroller instead (but then again, maybe not).

There's no two ways about it, though-being able to change into nearly a dozen different forms with different abilities is fun. Sure, quite a few of them are redundant, and a couple of them are mostly pretty lame. But there are enough with distinct, useful powers or abilities that it creates a feel that's pretty fun. My personal favorites to play are probably XLR8 (you might have guessed) and Ghostfreak, because XLR8 is exhilarating to watch and using Ghostfreak to sneak through walls and ambush guys (or destroy them without even emerging from the wall) is frankly kinda hilarious.

The big problem with the game comes from the boss fight. The boss is an enormous robot (as tall as Fourarms and with enormous spidery legs that take up much more area) which mostly behaves similarly to the more conventional enemies-it moves towards you and tries to attack, in its case with both ranged and melee attacks. (All other enemies only have one or the other.) This is actually pretty harmless-once you're close enough with Fourarms or a ranged fighter, you can hit it with frequent attacks that will keep it effectively paralyzed from its repeated spasms of simulated pain, and it's too slow to run you down easily except in your slowest forms. Keep it up for too long, though, and it suddenly switches attack patterns, essentially turning into an enormous spinning rotor blade that's completely invulnerable and faster than any form but XLR8, chasing you relentlessly. Also, despite its huge-looking footprint, it can fit into in any space that you can fit into (only relevant because there are a number of destructible scenery items in the boss arena mixed in with some lesser enemies).

This might not be such a problem, except that during the boss fight, your time in alien forms is roughly halved for some reason. Adjusting to this handicap takes a lot of practice, although the game autosaves and will remember for some time how much you've done in it, so you don't have to slog through the early stages over and over. Thus far, between the shorter time in alien forms and the sheer toughness of the boss, I have beaten the final stage exactly once, and that seemed to be partly the result of incredible luck. (Although it may have been that the pause in my bombardment caused by changing back sooner than I expected kept it from going all TOTAL DEATH on me that first crucial time. Also, for some reason, I kept accidentally changing into Gray Matter, and I'm not sure, but that might actually have helped.)

All in all, Battle Ready is a fun and somewhat short game which mostly isn't too hard, but also is partly interesting because it suggests possibilities. The easy shapeshifting ability is a winner, and I personally think it ought to be explored in more games, especially simple ones like this.

There's a good chance that my next game review will also be Ben 10 related.

-Signing off.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Invid's Guide to the Star Wars Universe: Alien Species #11

Last time, I broke into triple digits. Let's keep going.

101. Blubreen. Blubreen are "amphibious near-humans." They live on a planet named Poo Ploo.

Rating: 2/5. I'm being generous because the page picture is of an attractive female blue person. I don't think slapping gills and fins on a human and coloring it blue is a very good alien species.

102. Blue bantha. Blue banthas are Force-sensitive, sapient banthas-wait, what?!

These guys are "ambiguously canonical," but that they are apparently all Force-sensitive and are smart enough to communicate with other species makes them kinda awesome.

Rating: 3/5. Why not a 4, which was my first inclination? Because they actually had white fur (they were called "blue" for their horns).

103. Boltrunian. Boltrunians are ANGRY. So angry that a Boltrunian Dark Jedi's rage was enough to keep him alive after he had been cut in half.

Rating: 2/5. I like the Boltrunian design, but they've essentially defined this (admittedly quite rarely seen) species by its anger.

104. Boma. Boma are ambiguously canonical furry aliens who appeared in an earlier draft of what became A New Hope. Some of them would have been among the pilots on the Death Star run, and they almost took the place of Wookiees.

Rating: 1/5. I don't think I like the idea of short furry guys replacing Chewbacca.

105. Bomodon. Some Bomodons were seen by Greedo once! How important!

Rating: 1/5. I'm pretty sure that exact description was used for some other species.

106. Borlorian. Borlorians are a sapient alien race.

Rating: N/A. Garrrr.

107. Borlovian. Borlovians (presumably no relation) are primitive birdlike aliens who are so bound by tradition that they rarely leave the villages they were born in (being medieval). One of their number was less bound by tradition and joined the smuggler Booster Terrik to, well, smuggle.

Rating: 2/5. They're excused for a planet of hats culture because they're in the medieval stage (and it could be that other parts of the planet are actually different). And at least one got to rebel against that.

108. Bormterran. From Wookieepedia: "The Bormterrans were four-armed, fearsome, loyal, dragon-like, reptilian, sapients indigenous to Bormter." Not Bormterra?

Rating: 3/5. They're "primitives who must learn to adjust to advanced technology," but I am quite amused by their slightly confused run-on description, and they look interesting.

109. Borneck. Bornecks are "near-Humans" who are "patient, sensible pacifists who enjoy hard work and holidays."


Wow, they're so different from humans.

Rating: 1/5. Different skin color is barely even worth mentioning.

110. Bosph. Bosphs are from Bosph. And they look awesome.

Rating: 4/5. I just like 'em. They look cool.

Hm, looks like next time I'll be rating the Bothans. Many pixels will die to-never mind.

-Signing off.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Tough Guy Jokes

Over the weekend, my sister read the novel The Way of Kings, which I reviewed late last year. Note that she flouted my advice in the linked review, which basically said "don't try to read it all at once, because you won't have time to do anything else." She read it (400,000+ words of story) in less than 36 hours. Basically, she didn't sleep.

Regardless, I was happy that she finished it, because it meant that I would be able to talk with someone about it and not be worried about the spoilers. (And let me tell you, when she was in the process of reading and asked a question that had the potential to be a spoiler, it was really hard to give her a good answer.)

And even before she had completely finished, we started talking about one of the characters, Kaladin Stormblessed. Here, I'll go briefly into mildly spoilery territory, so watch out if you haven't read the book (you should).

Kaladin Stormblessed is really tough. He did several things in the book that were incredible feats of fighting prowess. (And that's all I'm willing to say-go here if you want any real spoilers.)

And sis decided that he was absolutely her favorite character. "He's tougher than Chuck Norris," she proclaimed simply.

I responded "When Chuck Norris hears Kaladin Stormblessed's coming to town, he goes on vacation." (Okay, not precisely, but that's the gist of it.)

She said "Even Batman doesn't mess with Kaladin Stormblessed." (She doesn't subscribe to the idea that Chuck Norris would kill Batman, and for that matter, neither do I; but that's neither here nor there.)

And then we laughed about the idea of Kaladin Stormblessed jokes. Then we went to bed, because it happened to be really late.

And that's pretty much all I have to say on that.

-Signing off.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Superman Cartoons

Y'know, those ancient Superman cartoons that you can find on cheap DVD/VHS releases or on YouTube have actually aged pretty well, at least in the quality of animation. Sure, it's not super-spectacular or anything, but the way that they drew solid objects is, well... solid. (Look at the buildings, cars, and rocks and things. You don't see 'em drawn like that too much anymore.)

Fun fact: I first saw this cartoon dubbed into German. It wasn't too hard to follow, even though my German learning was frankly pretty questionable. (I'm actually good at German grammar and pronunciation, if for no other reason than because it's actually just like English but simpler and more flexible [yet more rigid-funny how that works], but can't remember more than a peppering of words.)

Anyway, I quite enjoyed and still quite enjoy these old Superman cartoons. And here we have a tribute of sorts to both this cartoon and the probably contemporary Superman serial. (Check out the movie poster on that Wikipedia page.)

(If you don't like the tiny size of the embed, you can always click on it after it starts playing, which will open the video in a new tab or window. That's an awfully huge widescreen for my poor blog.)

This little cartoon is pretty much like one of those old cartoons, but with sharper, more stylized animation. My sister said "Somebody give that guy lots of money."

I must concur. Give that guy a job.

-Signing off.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Invid's Guide to the Star Wars Universe: Alien Species #10

Hm, it's been a while since I've done one of these. Better rectify that.

91. Besalisk. Besalisks are bulky four-armed creatures. If you watched Attack of the Clones, a Besalisk was the Dex of Dex's Diner. They are described as "being mistaken for reptilian, but are actually avian." I suppose you might interpret that as a comment on dinosaur paleontology.

Rating: 4/5. These guys are visually interesting, their societal description isn't unpleasantly narrow, and named Besalisk characters include a good-natured guy running a low-class restaurant and a psychotic Separatist general. I think they're fairly diverse. (And I know that there are people who believe that Dexter Jettster's role in the film undermined the Jedi Order, but depending on who you ask, it may have been intentional, to show that the Jedi Order was, as Count Dooku said, weak and corrupt.)

92. Bezim. The Bezim are humanoid with dome-shaped heads. And now you know... all the story that is to be had on Wookieepedia.

Rating: 1/5. They get a negative rating instead of "N/A" because I hate reading "humanoid" in a description, because there are so many things it could mean that it doesn't mean that much.

93. Biituian. The Biituians are green-skinned humanoids from the planet Biitu. Biitu was the planet that the Empire apparently sent the Great Heep to, with the intention of ruining the planet.

Rating: 2/5. They get an extra point if only because they were involved in the Great Heep plotline (and I love me some Abominor nonsense). I'm sure that they could be made more interesting, but it isn't likely to happen.

94. Bilar. Bilar are hideous hairless bear/Grey hybrids. They apparently form smallish (probably never more than ten creatures) group minds.

So they're basically tiny hairless hive-minded bears.


RUN! They're deadlier than Ewoks!

Rating: 4/5. They get points for being hive-minded on a limited scale rather than a single massive totality, and for being bears instead of something more stereotypical.

95. Bimm. Bimms are actually two species, one of which is "near-human" and the other of which is merely "humanoid." The "humanoids" have long ears and slightly more animal-like/less-human appearances. They treat each other as members of a single, fully integrated society. Nice to see.

Rating: 3/5. The reason there are two types is to cover a minor continuity snarl, but it's still nice to see two species interacting in what appears to be excellent harmony.

96. Bith. These guys were the jizz-wailers in the Mos Eisley Cantina. Bith are tiny-mouthed aliens who can only eat heavily processed food and are known for being majorly "cultured."

Rating: 4/5. The reason they don't get a 5 is because their cultural description tends to indicate that they view themselves as "better" and "more civilized." But they make awesome music, so I can't get on their cases too much.

97. Bitthævrian. The Bitthraevians (I'm not taking the time to figure out that key) are "warlike" humanoids. They have porcupine-like spines on their elbows and knees, and apparently practice a Muay Thai-like martial art which involves lots of knee and elbow hits. They also used flails in personal combat. They hated the Old Republic because it defeated them, and they hated the Empire less even though it was repressive because they could respect it.

Rather interestingly, Bitthraevian men took the surnames of their wives in addition to their own when they married.

Rating: 4/5. Wow, I like these guys pretty well for never having heard of them before. They've got an interesting, developed culture and a reasonably interesting look; alphabetical order also amusingly places these ever-cranky and belligerent individuals next to the pacifistic Bith.

98. Blagwahr. The Blagwahr are primitives that live on some planet or another. From the limited description of events in stories they appeared in, they could be Ewoks for all I could tell.

Rating: N/A. The name apparently just filled in a role in some story.

99. Blood Carver. Blood Carvers are so-called because they carve statues out of bright red wood and because they also as a society produce excellent assassins, and they view assassination as little different from sculpting. They also look like birds from the mind of H. R. Giger or Wayne Barlow.

Rating: 4/5. Aside from the cool appearance, they have just about the best (non-risque) double entendre I've ever heard for a name.

100. Bloxian. Bloxians are described as "very large" and red.

"Very large?" Compared to what? An insect? A human being? A starfighter? (And what shade of red?)

They're also described as being strong and not very bright.

Rating: 1/5. Bah, that whole thing comes across as a combination of an odd sort of racism and general lack of details.

Huh, for a bunch of guys I'd heard/read pretty little about (other than Bith and Blood Carvers), there were quite a few good ones.

-Signing off.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Golden Age Extended Moment of the Day (63)

The most famous character from Fantastic Comics was probably Stardust (I've mentioned him a few times in the past), and in this story from #7, it's demonstrated why:

Because he and his enemies followed a truly special kind of logic.

For the record, while it would be very bad for the world to stop rotating (the H.G. Wells story The Man Who Could Work Miracles has a depiction with at least limited realism in it, though the means through which rotation was stopped didn't even bother with realism, which is just as well), it wouldn't be the sudden cessation of gravity.

Which you should probably be at least vaguely, intuitively aware of, or at least figure out from looking up gravity on Wikipedia.

-Signing off.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Subconscious Anthropomorphic Radical Character Team

I've recently been browsing through a particular website, and came upon a specific page where the webmaster makes the following remark:

"At the time, I thought a couple of pictures and one paragraph about an obscure toy line was a perfectly noteworthy addition to my sparse little corner of the internet, but little did I realize that these things were very thoroughly ingrained in my generation's subconscious, and that virtually nowhere else on the internet had ever so much as acknowledged them."

The thing about the subject, Snailiens (yes, really) is that it perfectly enmeshed itself in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles zeitgeist from roughly that era. It even took up the historical figure theme naming that so many other series dropped like a rock, though it dropped the whole food obsession thing.

It didn't so much tap into the collective subconscious of the Ninja Turtle generation so much as was the collective subconscious of that generation. That is to say, generally speaking, nobody thinks about it, but it's there.

On that note, here are some completely random links related to the subject that amuse me.

-Signing off.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Power Rangers: Pirate Guys

I don't generally talk about this subject over here (my currently very inactive second blog is what I'd normally use), but this is something which I think even non-Power Rangers/Sentai fans can appreciate.

This year's Sentai will be pirate-themed.

And how are they going to be represented as pirates, beyond frilly jackets, stylized flintlocks, and sabers?

They're not going to attack shipping and steal it (this would be a questionable method of fighting monsters of the week anyway, although a series that managed to build around the idea of monsters of the week being created to stop a pirate Power Rangers/Sentai team would be one of the most incredible things ever).

No, they're going to be the other kind of pirate-intellectual property thieves. And this will be represented by them "stealing" other Super Sentai/Power Rangers characters' abilities for their own use (though, as an anniversary series, it'll probably be rife with teamups, which is why I quoted the "stealing"-presumably the other guys won't have problems with it).

Yes, seriously.

-Signing off.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Tiny Vader

Here's a funny commercial that you might have seen elsewhere already.

There were two interesting "highly rated" comments on YouTube on this that amused me. One said "This makes me want to watch Star Wars instead..." while the other was a "Download FREE STUFFS!!!?!" spam comment. Yes, that second one was the second most popular comment at the time I looked at this video.

-Signing off.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

That's Not a Language

My sister and I had a small disagreement today on which language The Three Musketeers was originally written in.

She believed for some reason that it was Spanish, while I insisted that it was French.

According to Wikipedia's infobox, we were both wrong.

I... think Wikipedia might want to get someone in there to correct that.

-Signing off.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

And You Thought Bees Were Scary

I was poking around on the internet the other day, and stumbled on a description of an insect that was most intimidating. While that description was inaccurate (it involved spraying acid, which is kind of nonsensical), it turns out that the real deal is scary enough.

Aside from the fact that the Asian giant hornet has a sting which will cause the same allergic reaction as that of a bee's, attracts other giant hornets, and even has a neurotoxin whose buildup from multiple stings can be lethal, apparently the species is the sole reason why it's impossible for European honey bees to be imported to Asian countries: These monster hornets slaughter them by the thousand. (If you ever feel empathy for insects, as I do, you might find this video very uncomfortable to watch.)

And if you're wondering: That video features a group of probably no more than thirty giant hornets methodically and casually killing as many as thirty thousand bees.

They aren't invincible-the native bees have a defense against them-but they're darned scary bugs.

Not that there's anything wrong with that (though if you visit their range in Japan, watch out, because they kill something like seventy people a year there).

-Signing off.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Something Something Month

You know what my least favorite month of the year is?

It's February.

You know why?

It's not because it's generally the wintriest month-though that fact is trying my patience a bit right now. (Heavy snowfall is no longer more than a mild inconvenience to my household, ever since my dad bought himself a riding snowblower. We don't even have to rely on the neighbor bringing over his tractor with a snow plow anymore.)

First off, the name. "February" is an eternal source of frustration to young children, just like "library," and for the exact same reason.

Second off, and much more importantly, is that whenever somebody chooses a month for some kind of special cause-remembering black history, women's heart health, and who knows what the heck else-nothing comes to mind-it seems like it's always February that gets it.

Why? What's so darned special about February?

Is it because of St. Valentine's Day? Because that's a dumb reason. (Fun fact-Valentine's Day is a day not of celebration of romantic and other love in Japan-for them, that's Christmas-it's a day of personal sexual devotion.)

I hereby move that February be declared "Everything Ever Awareness Month." That'll save us all a lot of time, and it'll free up the other months to just be themselves again.

-Signing off.