Friday, March 21, 2008

Ben Stein is making a big stink for creationism with his film Expelled.

He wants people to believe he is striking a blow for freedom. Says so on the front page of his website:

"Ben blows the horn on suppression!"

But he kicked one of the scientists he interviewed for the film out of the premier!

Because he doesn't like what that scientist has said about his role in it?

The film's producers claim it was only a minor deception!

WWJD? Start with a lie... end with supression? Excellent!

Sunday, March 16, 2008


I am in the process of working on two novels (finishing mine, editing my wife's), running two games (doing a huge amount of set up to finish my several years long campaign, and cut and paste editing of rules and some stat blocks for my interim campaign), joining a new writing group, and trying to read a book that I will be running a book group for in April. At some point, I should brush up on the rules for the games I want to run at Marmalade Dog at the end of March.

Oh yeah, plus my real job.

The upshot being, as usual, the blogs have fallen a smidge behind.

I am a fickle and highly distracted man, however. I could not work on all these projects sans break time. However, I have to find things that comfortably squeeze into the cracks in my life.

Geek culture is a hardy recreational weed that way. In many ways, since it up grew alongside the internet, it has adapted it's many formulas to be highly exploitable in bite sized parts. So while I've been slaving away in the word mines (I don't wordsmith so much as I wordslave), I've gathered notes on the geek cultural diaspora to bring to you.

A great deal of this I share with my daughter. Or gets shared by my daughter. Kids are natural geeks: they gravitate towards bite sized bits of high fructose culture. Any little thing captures their attention.

Several weeks ago, Ruby ran across a song by a guy named Jonathan Coulton. I've posted about him before, in the context of his song about zombies. Ruby ran across Code Monkey, which is the earworm to end all earworms. Listen at your own risk.

Coulton is a funny song writer and performer, who has a nice little online career. He writes odd little song about how super villains and cubical rats feel about life. Ruby and Poppy and I all listened and enjoyed it (be careful before you show it to your own rugrat... there is a swear in the song). And listened and enjoyed it. And listened and enjoyed it. And before you know it, the damn thing was stuck in my head for two weeks! I still have to be kind of careful thinking about it.

Anyways, I listened to a bunch of his other songs. My favorite line, currently, is from Skullcrusher Mountain, a song about a super villain who can't figure out why the women his monsters drag back to his lair don't seem to dig him: "Isn't it enough to know I ruined a pony making a gift for you?"

I know guys like that.

Notice that both of these videos are made with World or Warcraft graphics. This was like a weird sympathetic magic, because while we were geeking out on Coulton songs, we were also playing a 10 day demo of Warcraft. Ruby wants to get the game. I don't think I need that kind of slacker temptation in the house. I did play a troll hunter to 10th level. Ruby says her Tauren hunter got hit on by tons of Warcrafties. Dudes, she's a cow.

We kind of reveled in nerd culture the last few weeks.

Poppy also joined the MMPORPG nation. We bought her a Webkinz stuffed toy so she could play the online game with one of her friends. Her Webkinz is a leopard named Spotz. Ruby introduced her to Neopets, so that she could keep track of her on that site. Neopets has great flash games. Just fun little time wasters with cute graphics. I'm tempted to get my own account just so I can indulge in the games.

Lastly, this is a link I've been saving awhile, but it's appropos of the general theme of this post, so I'll share here.

War of the Worlds: an online graphic novel from Dark Horse comics. So pretty, and the story really holds up over time, I think. I would be very happy to see this filmed with the budget they gave that crappy Tom Cruise movie. A must read if you like comics or science fiction at all.

Lastly, highly inapropos of this post, Ruby and I got to go to a real, adult restaurant. We tricked... er, one of our friends offered to have Poppy for a sleep over. Sucker. We said yes, and went into Kazoo, to a place called Fandango's Tappas Bar, and had dinner. I've been wanting to try Tappas. It's been an up and coming thing since about the time we became parents. This was our first real chance. Great place. Too bad they don't have a website. Excellent martinis, fun selection of dishes. I can say I had the rattlesnake and rabbit sausage. It was tasty, but you expect more from the ingredients. And the lamb wasn't so hot. But everything else was delicious.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

So, John Scalzi, over here in his blog, Whatever, says that Michigan and Florida Dems should stop whining about their Delegates to the Democratic convention not being seated. John Scalzi says: "Screw 'em."

In the response thread, a bunch of different people are chiming in, telling Michigan and Florida residents: "You broke the rules. You should have known better."

Are these Democrats, telling their fellow Democrats to sit down and shut up over an issue of proceedure?

As an American, I am often hear that it is my civic duty to vote. I feel pretty strongly about my opinion. I try to be polite about it, but I value my opinion. In some ways, I think of it as a contribution. I feel strongly about the responsibility to vote. I try to do it every chance I get.

The dems are telling me I should get over that. Fuck my opinion. I showed up to the polls too early.

This is the party that I've voted for in pretty much every election since I came of majority. Do I agree with everything my party does? No. Probably I'm still left of the Democrats on a lot of issues. But I support the party that I think has the best chance of getting some good done.

I'm not bad to the bone. I'm a nebbishy, anxious librarian. I don't go out of my way to rebel against society. But I feel that the phrase "broke the rules" in concert with the time you show up to the polls is... ridiculous. This isn't a matter of criminal proceedings. It's organizational proceedure. Michigan and Florida upset proceedure? And you're willing to tell them their vote is valueless because of that? If I were a swing voter, I'd be angry about that.

I'm not suggesting the DNC be intimidated. I'm suggesting that, as Americans, we should support the right of two states worth of voters to be fully heard by their parties. That should be valued more than proceedure.