Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Oh, Yeah: I just remembered I have a blog. And that both of us who read it like to find interesting things here.

I figure if Homestar hasn't updated this week, nobody's going to complain that I haven't.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

WoTF: Well, I finished one story. One more to go . . .

Thanks To Google I Now Know: There's a bunch of guys named Erik Peterson in the world.

And we all look like dorks.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Let Me Live Vicariously Through You: If you have the money to spare, you can go to this.

Finishing Stories: I have two stories I'm trying to finish in time to get them off for March 31st deadlines. One of them is almost done. So why the heck am I blogging?

Because I should never try to write a story without a finished outline, that's why.

Regarding Henri: This is from the Sleeping Beauty DVD special features, from an excellent short entitled "Four Artists Paint One Tree."

"The best advice I have ever given to students who have studied under me has been just this: Educate yourself. Do not let me educate you."

I'm reading from Robert Henri in response to a question often asked in letters from Art students. However they put it, it always boils down to this:

Students become confused by honest admiration for one school of painting, mixed with recognition of the success and popularity of another style, along with advice to follow a still different approach. Frequently a student will ask which one he should imitate.

Robert Henri would advise, don't imitate anyone. He says, "One of the great difficulties of an art student is to decide between his own natural impressions and what he thinks should be his impressions." And on another page, "Go forward with what you have to say, expressing things as you see them."

Time after time, in his Art spirit, Henri says, "Be yourself." --Walt Disney

I admit to being terribly guilty of this. Rather than write stories or essays from the heart, I sometimes feel I'm attempting to create something that fits what I think a short story or essay is supposed to be.

Too often, I attempt to impress rather than make an impression.

The result is stilted and awkward. It's too derivative to touch anyone else, and it's too withdrawn from who I really am to be cathartic for me.

In fact, since my goal was solely too impress, I inevitably end up feeling like a failure, whereas when I write something that pleases me, I get to enjoy it for myself, opinions of others notwithstanding.

But usually those turn out to be the peices others enjoy. My first bit of published fiction was cranked out in an hour, the result of an idea I was passionate about, of my having something to say.

(For further reading, check out Ray Bradbury's Essay "Zen in the Art of Writing," in the book by the same name.)

Out of Fairness: Okay, I have to admit I like the McGriddle. But it's purely a nostalgia, comfort food thing, as they remind me of the breakfasts on campouts when I was in Boy Scouts.

But that's not entirely a good thing.

An Apology: I just want to apologize to everybody who reads this blog for the font and font color this site has been using. Actually, for the whole look of the site. I was messing around with the template one day, learning html from this site, and just kind of left it. Then I never got around to fixing it. I still don't love it, but at least now you can read it.

The fact that some of you still read this thing shows you have great patience, and good eyesight.

Friday, March 26, 2004

It's Dreamworks's Fault: Yeah, it's been Shrekified. But I still plan to see the movie version of Ella Enchanted.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Autism: Around the time I found out my wife's brother had Autism, I heard Science Fiction author Elizabeth Moon give a wonderful talk on the subject that still shapes my thinking on the topic. I rushed out to read her fiction, but found most of it to be hard-core military cruiser space opera that didn't appeal to me. I was slightly more interested in her fantasy.

But now, it seems, she's published the kind of book I thought she would have been doing all along, and she talks about it in this month's Locus.

It's About Time: McDonald's has finally come around on one of the two requirements for me to eat there.

Now, if they just make a sandwich fit to eat . . . .

Seriously, welcome to the new millenium, guys. This will go a lot further towards getting your customers back than all the other weird stuff you've been trying. Now get teenagers who are as attractive as the ones in your commercials to work behind the counter, and have them smile at people.

So, Um, Can I Have The Money Back?: No.

FoxTrot: The ever funny-to-geeks Foxtrot has been doing a bit lately on if Jason ran Disney. If you've missed it, check it out.

Phobos Vanishes: For those worried about the recent disappearance of the Phobos website (I would link to it, but that would be pointless, since this post is about how the link doesn't work. If you want to see, there's still a link to the right.) don't worry! We have assurances form Destineer at Hatrack it will be back soon, because they have a terrific new editor. And, yes, the contest will be back as well.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

More Antics From PETA: PETA is terrorizing children. Myria not only criticizes them, but could write better press releases.

Obscure Movie Review of the Day: Before there was Elmo In Grouchland, there was Follow That Bird, the Children's Television Workshop's first attempt at a feature film.

I like Carroll Spinney, the guy who has probably sacrificed his own spine putting that bird suit on day after day, year after year. And there's some great cameos, typical of Muppet movies. Chevy Chase, George Lucas, John Candy. Good ol' Boy Waylon Jennings even does a song.

The movie was made in 1985, the same year Marty McFly went back to the fifties to get hit on by his mom, and in a sense this movie also attempts to go back and recapture a bit of innocence that even then was disappearing from the screen.

Does it work? I don't know. My kids were bored with it, and frankly, so was I. But I have to wonder whether that says more about us than it does about the movie.

I will say this though--it's obvious that the budget was minimal, despite the big-screen format. They didn't even do thunder when the Count would finish counting, for crying out loud. And a couple of times, that would have been really, really funny.

In fact, that's what I thought they were doing at one point. While Big Bird is locked in a cage, they try to free him without waking the guys who took him captive. There's a huge ring full of keys they're trying, and as they try each one, Count would count it. I thought they were adding a level of tension--if Count finished counting before the key worked, lighting would sound and the bad guys would wake up--but they did get to the last key, and no lightning. Say what?

One thing it did make me miss, though, is Jim Henson. The Bert and Ernie banter is what it used to be--nearly antagonistic, rather than sappy and palling around, like its become since Henson's death. The Frank Oz/Jim Henson dynamic was incredible, and responsible for the success of the Bert and Ernie/Kermit and Piggy/Kermit and Fozzie team ups. The differences in the characters created the conflict that underscored the humor--now, as if in posthumous tribute to Henson, the characters all treat each other with such love and respect it falls flat. Sparks come from friction, not from sappy sugar.

While I'm on the subject of CTW movies, you know what would have been really cool? A Bloodhound Gang movie. Like from 3-2-1 Contact. I wonder who has the rights to it now. I can just see the teenagers doing Matrixesque wire-fu with a rocked-up version of "If you've got the crime, they got the time . . ." bumping the theatre. And the end will be all of them standing around going "You can't fool us, Mr. Roberman! That rock's not from the sun! The sun's made of GAS!"

Menagerie: From the Kit Williams link below, I discovered that this year is the 25th anniversary of his classic treasure-hunt book Masquerade.

As a tribute, someone has created another contest, with a silver hare going to the winner.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Graeme Base: Got to meet Graeme Base tonight, and he was as delightful and full of creative energy as I had hoped.

I got quite a grin out of him when I asked if Kit Williams had been an influence on The Eleventh Hour. He told a fun story about the time he met Kit Williams through a mutual friend.

Apparently, he's in the LA area for the next few months trying to wheel and deal some film sales. When I brought up Finding Nemo, he put down his pen and said, "Finding Nemo has killed Sign of the Seahorse. Sign of the Seahorse has been in various stages of development for twelve years, but now nobody wants to touch it. It's dead."

He was a fun, friendly, intelligent guy, and I hope he doesn't have to wait for the people who loved his books as kids get into positions of power in the studios before his films get made. There's so much story and vision to be found.

It sounds like his new one, Truck Dogs, would make a terrific animated feature.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Back From the Dead . . . Again: Amazing Stories, one of the oldest and most noted of the pulp sci-fi mags has found its way into print yet again, and is seeking fiction submissions. They've got a 5,000 word limit on the upper end. I have trouble keeping my posts in this blog under 5,000 words.

A New Cartoon: Homestar Runner, eh? Sounds like a no-goodnick to me.

Remember, only you can prevent scouting.

Can't Keep Up: Am I the only one who thinks it's ironic that the Blogger spellchecker doesn't recognize the words Blog, Blogger, and Blogging?

Or spellchecker, I just discovered.

Double Duty: I'll be guest blogging this week over at Freespace, home of the illustrious and "noted libertarian" Timothy Sandefur.

Step two in my evil plan to take over the internet.

Obscure Movie Review of the Day: Get a Clue!

Not be confused with the Disney channel film with Lindsey Lohan, this film, which aired on Showtime before coming to DVD, and made by the same folks who created such "classics" as P.U.N.K.S. and My Brother the Pig, is based on the Newberry Award winning book The Westing Game.

The book is a puzzle book, a mystery, and a fun one at that. The kind of thing you sit down and read with a pen and paper as you figure it out. Then, about halfway through the book, when you realize the whole thing was more complicated than you thought, you either start over, or you just read through and realize how much more time you could have spent on it if you wanted to. The plots are many and convoluted and confusing, and the characters are numerous and quirky.

Naturally, the filmmakers were faced with a problem. How do you convert a fully interactive book, one that is meant to be read slowly and carefully, full of intricacies and deliberate convolutions into a movie, deliberately our least interactive and most streamlined medium known to modern man?

The answer is, you completely gut everything that made the book work as a book, and only leave in the stuff that works as a movie. And I guess, as far as it goes, the filmmakers did that pretty well.

But, without giving you undue hints towards solving the mystery, some of the key clues in the real mystery are left out of the movie--understandably so, since they're better understood written down than showed onscreen, but dang it, that's so much of what made the book memorable. Films are all about character and plot, and let me tell you, nobody who reads The Westing Game comes away talking about how much they really enjoyed any of the people. The group of suspects in the mystery are deliberately an eclectic bunch, interesting for film, but not the kind of people who would manage to tug on your heart strings. The book is about the puzzle, and they leave out so many of the key peices in the name of keeping up the flow.

I would be curious to know where it got dropped. Was it in the original script? Was it in the editing room? Did they even try to make it work, or is what we saw on film what they shot?

So as far as kids movies go, it's a good one. A far sight better than lots of the made-for-cable mindlessness that's being cranked out nowadays. But considering how good the source material is, that's kind of like how even a really bad picture of Cameron Diaz will still look hotter than average.

If you've read The Westing Game, and dug it, then check out Ellen Raskin's first book, The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel).

Friday, March 19, 2004

Ah, the Humor Of Senators: Ever wonder if your Senator has a sense of humor?

One guy did.

Be sure to check out Senator Kennedy.

Obvious: This, to me, is a no-brainer. Rather than inspiring them to back down, the Spain bombings should have helped the world understand that this isn't just between the US and al-Quaida. This is between everybody who wants to respect neighbors and fences, and everyone who wants to kill innocents in order to have their way.

By rewarding the terrorists for killing more civilians, these nations are encouraging the terrorists to kill even more.

Whereas if more nations finally realized that this isn't just an anti-US campaign, that al-Quaida's quite comfortable with killing anybody to make its point, and more nations joined the coalition as a result of it, lives would be saved as the terrorists knew that was an ineffective tactic.

But, the world is spineless. And that's a great environment for terrorists.

I don't know why I'm even posting this. I guess it's like Douglas Adams said--Humans continual need to repeat the obvious comes from the fear that if their mouths stop moving then their brains would start working.

My Other Website: We're prepping to move the servers. We will now be server-mates with, yet another key blog in the vast, right wing conspiracy.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Writers of the Future: This quarter's entry came back a quarter finalist. Not quite as good as last time, but still a strong showing.

Help for Stalkers: Next Tuesday I'm going to be at the San Bernardino Public Library where Graeme Base, author and illustrator of some of my favorite children's books is going to be doing a reading and signing (probably my favorite of his is The Eleventh Hour, a puzzle/mystery book about some stolen food).

And I'm also going to the April 16th They Might be Giants concert at the Downtown Disney House of Blues with some friends. Really looking forward to it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Happy Holidays!: Happy St. Patricks Day--the holiday that gives creepy guys an excuse to pinch people.

Now, on to a real holiday, one with candy.

Here's a fun website about Peeps.

We're All Scum: Am I the only guy whose wife gives him dirty looks for like two hours after she watches a Lifetime movie?

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

100th Email: Hey, Homestar fans, am I the only one who can't get whatever's here to download?

Bill: Added my good buddy Bill to the Blogage in the links. As you can see from this colorful post, one of Bill's defining qualities is that he doesn't believe in absolute truth.

I think the notion that there is no absolute truth isn't true.

And in a weird, circular, ironic sort of way, I think he's perfectly fine with that.

Although I admit to being one of those opinionated type that irk him so bad.

And, gratefully for our friendship, I think he's fine with that, too.

Kerry's Soooooo Different: Alright, so today Rush Limbaugh (yeah, yeah, I know, but I have to credit my source) discusses this editorial which claims that Kerry's advice to Bush before the war in Iraq matched up almost exactly with everything Bush actually did.

The basis of this claim to be able to read Kerry's thoughts?

This op-ed piece Kerry wrote and published in the New York Times on September 6, 2002.

Here's the key paragraph:

For the sake of our country, the legitimacy of our cause and our ultimate success in Iraq, the administration must seek advice and approval from Congress, laying out the evidence and making the case. Then, in concert with our allies, it must seek full enforcement of the existing cease-fire agreement from the United Nations Security Council. We should at the same time offer a clear ultimatum to Iraq before the world: Accept rigorous inspections without negotiation or compromise. Some in the administration actually seem to fear that such an ultimatum might frighten Saddam Hussein into cooperating. If Saddam Hussein is unwilling to bend to the international community's already existing order, then he will have invited enforcement, even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act. But until we have properly laid the groundwork and proved to our fellow citizens and our allies that we really have no other choice, we are not yet at the moment of unilateral decision-making in going to war against Iraq.

Emphasis added.

And then a closing comment from the Human Events op-ed:

Nor can Kerry claim he was fooled by sexed-up intelligence from the Bush administration about WMD. He is on the record talking about Iraq's WMD threat in 1998, when he said, simply, "Saddam Hussein is pursuing a program to build weapons of mass destruction." As early as 1990, he stated in the Senate that "Iraq has developed a chemical weapons capability, and is pursuing a nuclear weapons development program."

In other words, Kerry wouldn't have done a dang thing different.

Naming the Leaders: I think the Bush strategy to try to get Kerry to say the names is a bold one. If Kerry does come out and say the names, or, as is more likely, other world leaders come out and publicly announce their support for Kerry, Bush is going to end up with egg on his face, and a reiteration of the fact that he's hated around the world (And this right after the Spain bombings reminded everybody we DO have allies, and aren't, in fact, acting unilaterally).

And in the meantime, Bush has set himself up to be the target of real obvious jokes by the late night crowd.

The Great Wall: What I'm most impressed with is that a dictator is willing to admit when published propaganda is wrong.

If it were the American "Free" press, they'd start lamenting the "hateful naysayers" and quietly push the facts to the side in order to make themselves remain right.

Monday, March 15, 2004

BBC Stuff: So, out of fairness to Neil Gaiman and the folks at the BBC, I rented the Neverwhere miniseries.

It was okay. Door is cute, the Marquis is fun, and the two heavies are just as drool as you want them to be.

But other stuff--for example, it's obvious the bad guy is the bad guy from the moment he appears on screen, where in the book, it is sort of a twist. And the sets and costumes aren't much. I wouldn't even count that against the series, except that in the DVD interview, Neil Gaiman keeps going on and on about how great the sets are, and how they're glimpses "Inside his head," that are "better than he imagined" whatever that pair of phrases mean together.

So I liked it. But I wouldn't recommend it to anybody who isn't British or patient with the British.

Speaking of My Guest: Here's a list of the things we've learned from the Spain bombings:

1. Al-quaida and Iraq are allies. If Al-quaida is going to the trouble to blow up trains to retaliate for countries helping in Iraq, it becomes painfully obvious they're in it with Iraq.

2. Despite what everybody says about the lack of Iraq/Al-quaida connections, in their hearts everybody has always believed they were in it together. This is apparent from how quickly even the biggest war detractors said that if Al-quaida was behind the bombings, it was as punishment for Spain's support in Iraq.

3. The threat of terrorism is not exaggerated. The terrorists are into killing people, and they will do so as often as they need to and are capable of.

4. They can only be encouraged. If we attack them, they will fight back. If we surrender to them, like the people of Spain did, they'll just be encouraged to do the same thing elsewhere. The only way to get it to stop is to track down every one of them.

5. Kerry isn't willing to do whatever it takes. Therefore, to me, the election is a no-brainer.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Good-bye Guest: We'd like to thank this week's guest blogger, Osama Bin Laden, for spending some time with us. We understand this was a busy week for him, so we're grateful he gave us even the few posts that he did.

Look forward to more guest bloggers in the future.

Writing Stuff: Just shot a cute little piece I wrote on a plane off to Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, a really fun Australian magazine that purports to be the in-flight magazine for an intergalactic cruiser. I thought the magazine's aura was fun, so I wrote the piece up specifically for them.

I'm also encouraged that rejects are starting to come back for the Writers of the Future contest, and I haven't heard anything yet. Maybe this time I'll move up from semi-finalist to finalist . . .

And finally, because I like you, here is a handy dandy little tool you can use for tracking submissions of stories or articles to markets. I like it a lot, and my sales-to-reject ratio has been 1:1 since I started using it, so I also consider it lucky.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

How to: Write a bestselling fantasy novel. If only it weren't true.

About Terrorism: Since, based on the number of hits this site is getting, nobody believes I'm really Osama, I guess it's okay to let you in on a little secret of terrorism.

Are you ready?

The whole purpose of terrorism is to keep people afraid.

Sounds obvious, right?

What may not be so obvious is that as long as people are afraid, we don't have to/need to do any attacks. We can save our resources for when people start forgetting to be afraid.

Now, on the flip side, if you can't do something as scary as what you want to do, do something as scary as you can, and then tell everybody you're on the brink of doing what you want to do.

In other words, you can rest pretty assured that there is no "even worse" attack on the US that's 90% ready to go.

If there were, we'd have just done it. No need to fiddle around with "warnings" and "leaving riddles around" or other comic-book villain tactics.

The Attacks: Yes, I figured it out on my own that today is the two-year and six month anniversary of the September 11th attacks. So yes, even if it wasn't al-Qaida, it was somebody trying to invoke them.

Rounding up Magicians: In Turkey, they're going after people who meditate, the "cultural elite" and yes, magicians.

Casting Movies: My wife and I were lamenting the awful, awful casting choices that are inevitably made when Hollywood remakes old TV shows and movies into new movies.

Part of the problem comes from the difficulty in recreating the spirit and feel of the original. Rather than try it and fall short, most filmmakers opt for the option of ridiculing or paroding the source material. "Yeah, this movie is stupid, but so was the show everybody liked!" seems to be the message behind these movies.

I hate those. I refuse to watch The Brady Bunch Movie or Starsky and Hutch for this reason.

People who make those movies should take their cue from The Fugitive, and try to do everything the original series did as well as they can.

What got the conversation going was the new Bewitched movie coming out. Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell are completely wrong for both parts.

Elizabeth Montgomery's appeal was that she was girl-next-door cute and seemed so down to earth, that you fell in love with her despite her being a witch who kept allowing her Mom in the house even after she had turned her husband into pigs and stuff. Nicole Kidman is way to "movie star" to capture the spirit of the show, and I'm guessing she's going to come across as unlikeable, because if the filmmakers understood why we all liked Samantha, they wouldn't have picked her to begin with.

Darren's primary job was to scream and mug. Will Ferrell is about as capable of mugging as I am of flying to the moon. Every character he plays comes across as so desperate and forced--I have no idea why anybody thinks he's funny. So he's not going to be believable in the role.

So who would I cast? I don't know. I was kind of thinking of Ray Romano as Darren, or maybe Bill Pullman. What about Samantha? I don't know. Wholesome girl-next-door isn't a hot commodity in actresses these days.

What about other movies?

The A-Team: This one's going down right now, and if they do it up as a semi-parody like Charlie's Angels, I'll have to shoot somebody. They need to take it as seriously as they can.

For Hannibal, I've always thought Mel Gibson would be perfect for the cigar-chomping leader of the group. However, after Braveheart and The Patriot and now Passion, I don't think he's making this kind of movie any more, and, quite frankly, more power to him. Which leaves me with Tommy Lee Jones, the actor I love for his ability to take anything, no matter how stupid, very, very seriously.

B.A. is obvious--Michael Clarke Duncan. He's sort of become Hollywood's generic "Big guy," and he's able to pull off both "mean big guy" and "lovable big guy" so I think that's a no-brainier.

The Face Man, Templeton Peck, is a tough one for me. As much as I hate him, Ben Affleck would actually do pretty well in the role. Denzel Washington would tear it up, but I think he's a little too high-dollar an actor to play a second-tier role. But I like to think of the show as an ensemble, rather than a star-driver.

And what about Murdock? Who should play the Howling Mad one?

This is actually the casting choice I fear the most. Who will the casting folks stick in this role? My guess is that it will be Will Ferrell, because I think it's in his contract that he's required to have at least some role in every movie made right now. Any SNL alum would be a nightmare. Rob Schnieder? I'd rather shoot myself. Chris Kattan? Please. The only SNL alum I could see in the part is Dana Carvey.

The no-brainier choice for the role is one I don't think I like in the role, and that's Jim Carrey. Carrey lacks the credibility that Dwight Schultz brought to the role. Especially as a kid, when Murdock would walk an invisible dog, there was a part of me that always sort of suspected that maybe there was a dog there, and Murdock wasn't crazy so much as he knew something the rest of us didn't. There was even a dignity in his madness--even as he'd be wearing flight goggles and a red cape, he'd carry himself like it was stone cold serious. It was great, and it's a subtlety of performance Jim Carrey couldn't capture if you gave him a net.

So I don't know. Maybe Ryan Stiles?

Subtlety isn't a hot commodity in Hollywood these days, either.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

A Heads Up: Note to this guy: David Blaine is a magician.

That means it wasn't real.

But, hey, if you want to try it, go nuts.

Then saw yourself in half when you're done.

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah: I know you all want me to respond to this this story.

What's my response?

I'm actually dead, and the Bush administration is concealing my death because they don't want people to call for an end to the war on terror.

Which is funny, in a way. Because I may have kicked a couple of bucks towards the hijackers, but I didn't fly any airplanes. So the threat to the US isn't me, per se, but the fact that guys like me are teaching people killing Americans is fun, and that a good number of people are buying into that. So my death shouldn't be an excuse to call for an end to the war on terror, but you know it would be.

So like I said, I've been taken captive by Cuba, and they're threatening Bush that if he doesn't take back Elian Gonzalez, they'll air a video of me dancing on the American flag and singing the original words to "Yankee Doodle Dandy."

Believe whatever you want.

How Fake Is It?: Think you're the guy who always spots the fakey CGI parts in movies?

Try your skills.

Everybody's Mickey: An interesting article about Copyright Law and public domain.

Mickey will be yours . . . just you wait and see.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

The Consistent Editorial Hand: Proof that editing for political correctness can get silly.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Nintendo: Ever want to play Duck Hunt again? This time, do you want an option where you can shoot at the dog?

You're not the only one. But other people not only have the desire, but the knowledge of Shockwave.

Not Us:I want to set the record straight, right out of the gate, that we had nothing whatsoever to do with this guy.

I mean, yeah, I'm a terrorist, and the terrorist handbook says you're supposed to take credit for everything, up to and including the phases of the moon. And the idea that we're going to force travelers to do bad things for us is one that should strike fear into the hearts of many business travelers and their families.

But the more I think about it, the less I want to be the whipping boy for every guy who wants an excuse to jet off to some city for some rendevous with some hoochie. So no, I'm not backing this guy up, and I'm not backing up anybody else who wants to use me as part of whatever story they're going to tell their wives.

But, on the other hand, I really do miss this ice cream shop. I like the raspberry cheesecake swirl.

What's Up?: Hey folks! I'm really pleased that the Doc has given me a place to blog this week. Since he and I really don't agree on anything, I can only assume he's doing this for publicity, but that's okay--I understand a good hearty craving for publicity.

And whatever the reason, I plan to take advantage of it. I look forward to posting for you this week.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Guest Blogger: In the spirit of other blogs, I am going to introduce guest bloggers in this forum as well. Since I don't have any actual friends to invite, I am instead going to have to resort to publicity hungry celebrities.

This week's guest blogger is Osama bin Laden. You may know bin Laden as the star of many internet cartoons and Shockwave games, and a regular cover boy for the Weekly World News.

Please give it up for Osama Bin Laden.

Lickin' Issac: Gordon Van Gelder, editor of the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, is backing the recent campaign to get Issac Asimov's face put on a postage stamp.

Asimov died more than ten years ago--the requirement for being able to appear on a postage stamp--of complications from HIV, as was recently revealed.

How To Never Be Able to Make A Typo Again:

1. Be a Judge
2. Get a Typo-ridden Brief
3. Write a scathing, funny opinion, making fun of the lawyers poor brief
4. Sit back and watch as every legal journal in the world pours over your every word, from then on, looking for typos, humorous phrasings, or possible double-entendres.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

William Hung: Saw the clip of his American Idol appearance last night. A few points.

First, Ryan Seacrest proved, in case any skeptics remained, that the people who make the show don't get it. While he did make the scripted comment, "Just because you didn't win doesn't make you a loser," he also quipped, "Does American Idol change your life or what?"

How arrogant of them to take credit for "creating" him. They brought the kid on in an early episode to be a cheap laugh. Give the public a few giggles at his expense.

However, he proved far more popular than their show.

Now, rather than his story ending as scripted, with their smugly booting him off as an absolutely worthless performer, they've had to go back to him, tail between their legs, because he'd gotten bigger than them, and they needed him to raise themselves up.

But the greatest display of network ignorance was the dancing cheerleaders and "hype" of his schtick. Mystified at the cause for his appeal, they fall back on all the "known" stuff, the things the TV executive handbooks say makes people stay tuned.

The kid's appeal is his sincerity. He's the genuine article, and we feel that with every awkward gyration and mispronounced line. He's proud of who he is, and the combination of confidence, sincerity, and incredible optimism have won us all over.

But that's a language network brass doesn't speak. So bring on the dancing girls.

The solo performance of "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" was far more entertaining than the hyped-up dance number.

Even better was the "unseen footage" of him doing Phil Collins' "You'll Be In My Heart" from Disney's Tarzan with no accompaniment.

I'm enjoying his 15 minutes far more than any celeb I've seen come around in a while.

The Sum Of All Directors: Christian Duguay (the director, not the Mad TV alum) has been chosen to helm the Runelords movie. Looking at his history, and drawing on my knowledge of his films, I can reccomend him based on his work in . . . nothing. I've never heard of this guy.

Ah, well.

::Keeps Fingers Crossed::

Monday, March 01, 2004

Get Rope: As you probably noted I used to play text adventure games. The ones that came out sort of around the same time as the Atari 2600, for people who liked staring at little screens but wanted more depth to their adventures than the 6-bit systems could provide.

Well, Strong Bad described them pretty well in an email response from a couple of weeks ago.

And now Videlectrix has posted a full game--Thy Dungeonman II.

Online SF: There's a good list of online SF stories here.

Some authors I enjoy (Although I haven't read all the stories linked) are Robert Silverberg, Octavia Butler, M Shayne Bell, Gregory Benford, David Langford, Connie Willis, and Roger Zelazny.