Monday, May 10, 2010

Britannia's Fist by Peter G. Tsouras is an Outstanding Work of Alternate History

I've finished reading Britannia's Fist by Peter G. Tsouras. I've been trying to find an email address for the author so that I could tell him how awesome it is, but to no avail.

Tsouras was an Army intelligence officer and a military historian, and it shows. The back of the novel is actually a full set of endnotes for his sources, both real and fictitious. It was a nice touch.

The story, in which Britain enters the American Civil War after the Laird rams controversy gets ugly, is meticulously researched and quite realistic. I await, with trembling pleasure, the sequel.

Grade: A+

Sunday, May 09, 2010

How to Make Your Own Iron Man Arc Reactor

Instructables user Honus created a replica of the arc reactor that Tony Stark wears to stay alive. He provides instructions so that you can make your own, too.

via Technabob

Superman: Origins

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via krushisabitch

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Cosmo Magazine in The World of Warcraft

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The Daily Blink is a webcomic about World of Warcraft, produced by a pair of Blood Elves called Chris and CP. Here's their vision of Cosmopolitan magazine would look like if it was published in WoW.

via reddit

Top 10 Mothers in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Tomorrow, call your mother because it's Mother's Day, and you'll (be made to) regret it if you don't. But until tomorrow, you may want to look at Matt Blum of Geek Dad's list of the ten greatest mothers in science fiction and fantasy:
8. Martha Kent - You think it’s tough to deal with your kids’ temper tantrums? Imagine having to worry they’ll register on the Richter scale! And imagine his birthday parties: “OK, Clark, blow out the candles… CAREFULLY!” It’s a miracle she had any hair, gray or not, left by the time she was getting old.

7. Padme Amidala - Yes, we know, she never actually had the opportunity to be a mother to Luke and Leia. And she did spend most of Episode III sitting at home being pregnant and spouting mind-numbingly bad dialogue. But she was pretty badass in Episodes I and II, and she did produce her twins, who did eventually help bring about the downfall of the Empire.

Who would you add to the list?

7 Enormous Game Worlds Compared

What you're looking at is a compressed image of seven large game worlds, laid over each other to scale. They are:
  • Grand Theft Auto 3
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
  • The Elder Scolls 4: Oblivion
  • Farcry 2
  • The World of Warcraft
  • Burnout Paradise
  • Just Cause 2
Click here to view a larger size.

via Digg

Video Game Merit Badges

Since the Cub Scouts are offering awards for playing video games, Kotaku hosted a photoshop contest for more specific video game skills and accomplishments.

New Harry Turtledove Short Story

Harry Turtledove, master of alternate history, has penned a short story about life on Earth, decades after it has been partially conquered by aliens.
The President of the United States looked out of an Oval Office window at Grand Junction, Colorado. The Oval Office was square, but the President’s workplace kept its traditional name. Harris Moffatt III sighed and bent to his paperwork again. Even in Grand Junction, that never disappeared.

Washington, D.C., remained the de jure capital of the United States. Harris Moffatt III had never been there. Neither had his father, President Harris Moffatt II. His grandfather, President Harris Moffatt I, got out of Washington one jump ahead of the Krolp. That the USA was still any kind of going concern came from his ever-so-narrow escape.

Harris Moffatt III was also Prime Minister of Canada, or of that small and mountainous chunk of Canada the Krolp didn’t control. The two countries had amalgamated early on, the better to resist the invading aliens. That, of course, was before they realized how far out of their weight they were fighting.

A Stargate: Atlantis Movie

Geek Tyrant reports that a Stargate: Atlantis movie is in the works:
Stargate:Extinction is directed by veteran Stargate director Andy Mikata and was written by the also returning team of Brad Wright, Robert C. Cooper, Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie. These guys have spear-headed every single Stargate franchise episode so it's still in good hands!
Although it wasn't as strong as SG-1, I enjoyed Atlantis, so I'm looking forward to this movie.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Cross-Species Pregnancy

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A few seconds of pleasure and a lifetime of responsibility. By Joel Watson.

What's the Difference Between an Action Figure and a Doll?

Doug Cravens' The Buckets explains.

via reddit

Some Jedis Are Jerks


(YouTube Link)


As this great video illustrates, some Jedi knights never develop a maturity to match their powers.

via Nerd Bastards

The Real Pac-Man

I'm not sure who made this illustration, but it nails the Pac-Man psychosis. (via Cool-O-Rama)

Previously: Pac-Man: The Movie

Environmental Assessments of Star Wars Characters

environmental impact

Seven Star Wars characters are graded for their stewardship of the Empire's natural resources.

via Theresa Coleman's Facebook page.

10 Things You May Not Know About Firefly

Zach Oat of Television Without Pity has a list of ten things that you might not know about the space western Firefly. A sample:
9. A Firefly Musical Episode Was Not Implausible
No, Whedon wasn't planning one or anything like that, but the musically inclined showrunner apparently likes to sing on set, and during one break in shooting he started singing the theme from Oklahoma! Immediately, Nathan Fillion, Fillion's stand-in and a half-dozen others joined in, and they sang the whole song through before returning to work. We're imagining a hallucinatory coolant leak on board the Serenity, with feelings expressed through song and, in River's case, interpretive dance.

via io9

Upcoming Art Show on The Twilight Zone

The Los Angeles art gallery Gallery 1988, which has created shows on Lost and He-Man, is planning an exhibition of art related to The Twilight Zone.

via Comics Alliance

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Street Fighter: Legacy is a First-Rate Fan Film


(YouTube Link)


Street Fighter: Legacy from Streetlight Films is so good that it carries CAPCOM's official endorsement.

via reddit

Britannia's Fist: From Civil War to World War by Peter G. Tsouras

I am currently reading the first book in an alternate history trilogy by Peter G. Tsouras. Britannia's Fist imagines a British entry into the American Civil War, specifically against the Union.

Tsouras is a retired US Army intelligence officer. Although I've heard of his name before, I have yet to read his work. So far, several pages in, it is clear that Tsouras is trying to create a historically plausible scenario. This is the most important task in the writing of alternate history fiction.

Harry Harrison wrote a similar trilogy, beginning with The Stars and Stripes Forever. I would describe it as wildly optimistic because every lucky break goes America's way. Nonetheless, it is fairly plausible and worth reading.

Buffy Comic Goes the Way of Twilight

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Thankfully, this is just a parody comic book cover, and not the sign of the impending collapse of all that is good and righteous in the Buffyverse.

via Comics Alliance

Giant Iron Man Lobster

Meimi 132 reports that various lobster models are on display at the seaside British town of Cromer. Apparently creating such things is a local tradition. There are more pictures of the Iron Man lobster and an Avatar lobster here.

via Fanboy

Tetris Fabric

This fabric was designed by Jenny at Chronically Uncool. It'd be handy for making Tetris clothing without resorting to quilting.

via Geek Crafts

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Excellent Star Trek Parody


(YouTube Link)


This parody of the recent Star Trek abomination makes more sense than the original. But it does need more lens flare.
Kirk: Scotty, we need more explosions!
Scott: You bet your hairy ass, Captain!

via Awesomesauce

Atari 2600 Table Lamp


(YouTube Link)


Instructables user Seamster made this lamp from an Atari 2600 console and game cartridges.

via Make

Cthulhu Family Circus

via Nerdcore

King Crab Attack: A Spoof of 1950s Monster Movies


(YouTube Link)


King Crab Attack! is a short film in the form of a trailer for a faux monster movie. Massively destructive crabs are attacking the Normandy coast. Only one fisherman can discover who is behind these mutants and end their reign of terror.

via Nerdesque (where there's a promotional poster)

Rubber


(YouTube Link)


Do you remember the Stephen King novel Christine about a murderous car? Rubber is a horror movie by Quentin Dupieux with a similar premise. A tire, after seeing humans burn its companions, seeks revenge by stalking and slaying anything with two legs.

via io9

Baby Announcement in the Form of a Star Wars Mashup


(YouTube Link)


Jennifer and Jeff had difficulty conceiving, so when they finally got pregnant, they announced the good news through a mashup of scenes from Episode IV of Star Wars.

via BoingBoing

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Terry Pratchett: Doctor Who Isn't Science Fiction

Sir Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld series, says that Doctor Who can't be classed as science fiction:
It’s no good, I’ll go with the Doctor, even if those Ood look as if they should have been confronted by Tom Baker. After all, when you’ve had your moan you have to admit that it is very, very entertaining, with its heart in the right place, even if its head is often in orbit around Jupiter. I just wish that it was not classified as science fiction. Much has been written about the plausibility or otherwise of the Star Trek universe, but it is possible to imagine at least some of the concepts becoming real. But the sonic screwdriver? I don’t think so. Doctor Who’s science is pixel thin. I’m sorry about this, but I just don’t think that you can instantly transport a whole hospital onto the moon without all of the windows blowing out. Oh! You use a force field, do you?! And there’s the trouble; one sentence makes it all okay. But it’s fun and occasionally wonderful, as in the episodes “Blink”, “Human Nature” and “The Family of Blood”.

via BoingBoing

Alternate Histories That I'd Like To See

I've pondered this issue before, but after reading Red Inferno: 1945, I've thought of some other scenarios that I'd like to see explored in alternate history novels:
  • White Russian forces are victorious in the Russian Revolution, squashing the Bolsheviks.

  • After British interference in neutral shipping and at the agitation of Irish immigrants, the US enters World War I -- on Germany's side.

  • The Congressional vote to annex the Republic of Texas fails and Texas continues to be an independent state.
What alternate history scenarios would you like to read about?

Birds Singing The Darth Vader Theme



Some people own birds. I don't mean eating chickens, but birds. As pets. I don't know why. But if a person has a bird, teaching it to sing a tune from Star Wars seems like a good idea.

via Urlesque

Iron Man 2 Outtakes

Monday, May 03, 2010

Leonard Nimoy Gets Career Advice from John F. Kennedy


(YouTube Link)


In this video, Nimoy talks about his early years as an actor. In 1956, he was working as a cab driver and Senator John F. Kennedy hired his services. At the 2:50 mark in the video, Nimoy spoke of this encounter. Here's a selection:
It was only about a 10-minute ride. He said, "What are you doing out here?"

I said, "I'm an actor."

So he said, "A lot of competition in your business."

I said, "Yeah."

He said, "Just like mine."

And we kicked it around a little bit, and then he said, "Just keep in mind, there's always room for one more good one."

That was very helpful.

via Sci Fi Wire

Some Privacy, Please?

Image by deviantART user Matt Moylan.

Man Hand Farts Imperial March from Star Wars


(Video Link)


At least, I'm assuming that it's a man. It could be a woman. I mean, women do this sort of thing, right?

via Nerd Bastards

Star Wars Lotería Cards

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Lotería is a Mexican game somewhat similar to bingo. Artist Chepo Peña created cards for that game inspired by Star Wars.

via BoingBoing

Multiplayer Mode James Bond


I can't find the cheat codes anywhere.

Video Game Cocktail Recipes


The Drunken Moogle is a geek humor blog that regularly features cocktail recipes inspired by video games. Pictured above is the "Barrel of Bananas", which is taken from Donkey Kong. Here's the recipe:
3/4 shot of 99 Bananas
3/4 shot of Coconut Rum
about 1/2 a highball glass of Root Beer
about 1/2 a highball glass of Fuze - Banana Colada

Directions: Throw some ice into a nice, large highball glass. Pour in the 3/4 shots of 99 Bananas and coconut rum. Then, simultaneously pour in the Banana Colada Fuze and your favorite root beer evenly until it reaches the top of the glass. Stir and enjoy.

via Nerd Bastards

Ripped from the Headlines!


Dateline: Silver Age is a blog of classic comic book panels that depict strange newspaper headlines.

via Miss Cellania at Neatorama

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Goofus and Gallant in the 21st Century

goofus1

Goofus and Gallant is an educational comic that has appeared in Highlights for Children since 1948. It contrasts two boys, Goofus and Gallant. Gallant has good social skills and Goofus poor. Here is a comic illustrating the two boys in a hilariously and increasingly dystopian 21st century. I had to break it into three pieces to get the picture to load properly.

Here's part 2 and here's part 3.

via Awesomesauce

Perfect for the Nursery: Bioshock Mobile

From Etsy seller SaltyandSweet for $133.

This reminds me of a time when I went into a grocery store on a chilly December day a few years ago. The store's speakers were playing music and I thought, "OMG! They're playing the theme music from Hitman! This is cool!" Then my brain cranked away little bit and I realized "Oh, wait, that's just 'Ave Maria', which Eidos used as theme music in Hitman."

I lost my innocence that day.

via technabob

St. Mario and the Dragon

mario and the dragon

Butt Johnson created this lovely depiction of the art icon St. George and the Dragon. It's presumably modeled after the one below, of which I can find no information. (via Ovablastic)

St_George_and_the_Dragon-

This Is My Preferred Nomenclature

MAGIC-THE-GATHERING1-478x500

Although I think that "geek" entails that the hobby lacks widespread social acceptance. So a person who knows a lot of sports statistics is not a geek of any kind.

Link via reddit

The Stoners' Twilight

Twi-Lit is apparently a parody of Twilight from Antarctic Press:
When the vampires on campus would rather bake in their weed than drink blood, life is pretty mellow. Well, except for the occasional scraps with the werewolves, but as long as they vacuum up afterward, the vamps are cool with it.

What's worse is the furry fan down the hall who's convinced he's a werewolf, but isn't. If the vampires didn't need him to handle the UV lights for growing their stash (vaporized limbs are a real downer), they'd drain his blood like that...if they weren't out getting more snack cakes for the munchies.

via Comics Alliance

Saturday, May 01, 2010

The Firefly/Fraggle Rock Theory


Caleb Goeller speculates that Firefly is actually a subtle parody of Fraggle Rock:
Now, I'm not saying Alan Tudyk has a huge foamy nose or a tail, but Hoban "Wash" Washburne certainly shares a few superficial characteristics with the famous eye-rolling Fraggle. From his full-bodied blonde mane to a shared fashion sense, the fictional man and Muppet have enough in common to merit some kind of (all-ages) fan fiction.

Rhode Island Declares Today Official "G.I. Joe Day"

As Rhode Island goes, so goes the nation:
Fans of the world’s first action figure are holding their 17th annual convention in Providence this weekend. It’s the first time the convention will be held in Rhode Island, home of Pawtucket-based Hasbro, which makes G.I. Joe.

To celebrate the event, Gov. Don Carcieri has proclaimed May 1 as G.I. Joe Day.

via Comics Alliance

Wait for Me -- A Life in 8-Bit


(YouTube Link)


This is a music video for the song "Wait for Me" by Moby. It's a tale of silent desperation by an ordinary man leading an ordinary life in 8-bit form.

via Nerdcore

Radio Controlled Plane that Looks Like the Enterprise


(YouTube Link)


Or at least as much as one could hope for and still be a functioning airplane.

I'd like to point out (in fact, I have an obligation to do so) that this was modeled after the 1701-A, and so the use of the opening from The Next Generation was inappropriate.

via Fanboy

The Problem with Time Travel

TDmNr


via Awesomesauce

Super Mario Bros. Dog Costumes

Do you need to humiliate your dogs in a trendy, retro-cool style? Then etsy user Young Urban Puppy has a set of Super Mario Bros.-themed dog costumes for you. Pictured above is the Princess Peach costume.

via technabob