Sunday, May 28, 2006

'Food for thought

This is a cover Jim Mahfood did for an old issue of Polyhedron. It's what sold me on the RPG D20 Modern, even though I've since more-or-less given up on RPGing. I find 'Food's art to be fairly inspiring to me, and as odd as it is to say, I think my life's changed for the positive thanks to Jim Mahfood.

Yeah, I know, that's really messed up, but it's actually encouraged me to explore places and things that'd I'd never really considered to go. For example, thanks to 'Food, I discovered Deltron 3030 and DJ Shadow. I got back into indie comics with his art on the first two Clerks. comics. I also caught the creative bug again, which I hope won't go away this time.

Lots of stuff.

So, yeah, I owe a lot to this artist that I've never met, and probably never will. I feel like some oddball fanboy to admit this, seeing as I'm talking about a comic book creator, but it's true.

So, I've giving this shout out in tribute to the guy who through his funnybooks broadened my horizons.

A Star is born

From CNET, by way of MSN:

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency released on Monday the first pictures from its project to create a high-resolution map of the universe. The infrared image of the Nebula IC 4954 (left) shows the birth of stars in their cradle of formation about 6,000 light-years from Earth, according to a statement from the U.K.'s Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council.

The left-hand image comes from the Akari infrared space telescope, which can capture images that are much sharper and more detailed than those from any previous telescope. The pixilated photo (right) is of the same nebula, taken from the first infrared satellite known as IRAS, which was launched in 1983.

"These first images are extremely promising. The beautiful filigree structure in the nebula was impossible to see with the previous satellite IRAS...Akari can do many things that no other telescope on the Earth or in space can," Stephen Serjeant, senior lecturer in astrophysics at the U.K.'s Open University, said in a statement.

The Open University is one of several institutes involved in the mapping project. In addition to the U.K., the Netherlands and European Space Agency are also involved in the project.

Credit: U.K.'s Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council

Friday, May 26, 2006

Recovering from computer woes redux

So, I broke down and bought a new video card tonight. It's a Diamond Stealth S120 w/ 128 mb. It's not top of the line, but it is DX9 capable and I got it for 60 bucks. The other bonus is that it came with a complete version of the cyberpunk conspiracy game Deus Ex: Invisible War which has taken away the past 2.5 hours of my life.

So, sure, I spent about 68 bucks, tax included, that I really didn't have, but it's working out in the long run. Next computer purchases will need to be a new monitor, a new hard drive, and a DVD burner.

Update (May 27, 10pm): Scratch the monitor. Got a used, but much more new than the one it's replacing, 17" Dell M770 CRT (makes it sound like a tank) off a friend.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Don't Panic!

Arthur Dent with a towel.
Have a Happy Towel Day.


Well, it turned out that Powergen Italia was a hoax, but Pen Island appears not to be.

Presented W/O Comment

(Warning: Contains violence and general stupidity.)

Holy Crap

My blog's been cited elsewhere, and on something as goofy as garden gnomes for that matter. This site, um, cites this post. I'm utterly amazed.

Shocked, even.

(As an aside, Blogger's spellchecker doesn't include the words blog or blogger. Weird, that.)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Jay wants...

Know your X-Men

MSN's got an X-Men quiz. The only problem with it is that if you know your X-Men well, you'll get some of the answers wrong, as the person who put it together doesn't.

(For example, Storm's an American, but the writer doesn't seem to be aware of this.)

For the record, I got 100%, despite knowing that some of the answers were wrong. I just chose the least wrong of the bunch.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

George Lucas, thy name is irony

Okay, you may have heard that Lucasfilm is releasing the original, unaltered Star Wars trilogy on DVD. You may have also heard that the DVDs are old, non-anamorphic transfers that were done for the laser disc release in 1993. Needless to say, people are pissed.

Lucasfilm, on the other hand, is trying to convince people that this is a good thing, and that they're going the extra mile for fans.

The fans aren't convinced.

Here's a quote from THX 1138, Lucas' first film.

"Buy more. Buy more now. Buy more and be happy."

Ah, I love it when people are unintentionally ironic. I brings joy to my heart, and a smile to face.

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Well, it's been the better part of three weeks, but I finally have a stable computer. It's been one thing after another, but at least I've got a better system than the one that died... except for the videocard, but that'll be rectified in the near-ish future. The system isn't all that impressive, but it's night and day compared to before.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Mixed feelings

Ever come across one of those things that you can't get your head around?

Not because it's strange, or insane, or alien.

You can't get your head around it because it the very concept of it conflicts with core beliefs in a way that's totally unexpected. So, without further ado, I present Lazy Ramadi.

I don't know whether to laugh along with these guys who've kept their sense of humour about things, cry because there's a good chance that one (or both) of them probably won't be coming home, or be outraged at how lightly they're taking the situation.

I really don't know.

On one level, I feel for these guys. They're stuck thousands of miles from home, throwing themselves in harms way for a government that really couldn't give two tugs about them, but need to save face for destabilizing the country in the first place. They need a release like this in order to just keep on keeping on because each day may be the last one they spend on this planet.

On another level, I feel like they've taken things too lightly, and they spout grunt jingoisms a little too comfortably with what seems to be little irony. I mean, what would the Iraqi people think about these guys who are basically trespassers in their country? Would they find this amusing? (Granted, it could've been a hell of a lot worse, and it shows that these guys are generally good folks.)

I don't really know what to think at all here, and I can't form a solid opinion either way. While I don't support the war, I do support the folks who have been sent there. They're just doing their jobs, and while there's been some atrocities, most of the folks are generally good, well-meaning people who are stuck in a situation beyond their control... even if they are well-armed.

It's the saddest place on Earth

Okay, porn I get. Visual stimuli. Sex acts. Arousal. What's not to understand?

I don't get hentai. I own some hentai, but I don't 'get it'. I can't figure out how this stuff is as popular as it is, especially since real porn is, well... real. The stuff I own is for humour value, as it's pretty damn funny, but it's not to some people.

This is where I present Exhibit A: All Sex Hentai.

This is a compilation of nothing but hentai sex scenes. No plot, just sex.

It's a frickin' collection of cartoon sex. Just cartoon sex. Nothing but cartoon sex.

This DVD is marketed to what has to be the saddest demographic on the face of the Earth.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

42 Wheels of Pandora's never heard of it

Heh, I stumped Pandora.

I've thrown some semi-obscure stuff at them in the past, but they got me each time. Now, without trying to stump them, I stump them. Recently, I've been jonesing for a little Hunters & Collectors, the big Australian group from the 80s and 90s, particuarly their song 42 Wheels, and what do you know... Pandora's never heard of them.

These guy's aren't exactly obscure... well, compared to their related bands, maybe... but it's not like they're some small indie band with a regional following. These guys headlined festivals in Australia, and probably had the same kind of following as The Tragically Hip has up here.

But, no... Pandora's never heard of them.

They've heard of the Japanese indie band The Pillows, but they've never heard of the band lead by Mark Seymour, older brother of Crowded House's Nick Seymour.

I need a damned CD, but I can't even find them via file sharing.

Friday, May 19, 2006


Peter Parkour

Think about it.

(I'm playing Ultimate Spider-Man, so sue me.)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Delineation of the Blogs

Since I seem to be getting new readers now that I'm back using Blogger, I should explain my blogs a little:

Dyson's Fear is my geek/fluff blog. It's the one I'll be publishing on a more regular basis.

Herding Cats is my, sporadically published, writing blog. It's really not for public consumption, but I really don't care much. Feedback's always welcome.

Textploitation is the issues/whatever mob-blog. It's as much mine as it is the others.

This isn't to say that there won't be crossover, but I've decided on this line of delineation in order to divide the audiences.

I think I'm going to Wii myself

(Okay, I had to make at least one Wii joke. Sue me.)

Anywho, here's one of the E3 Wii vids. The opening part with Metroid is what's got me interested. I think that the video really illustrates the potential new levels of immersion and interactivity that the controller concept implies. This indeed might end up being the Nintendo revolution.

A long time ago...

I feel vindicated, as I have found the proof that there's footage from Star Wars that I remember, but never seem to have made it to any release of the movie since I saw it in the drive-in when I was six. Youtube has a couple of them here. (At least until Lucasfilm sends a C&D order.)

Last Stand? Probably not.

Dell presents a 7 minute preview for the upcoming X-Men: the Last Stand.

I was skeptical before, but now I think I really want to see it.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Not boding well?

Is it just me, or was this year's E3 sort of lackluster? Yeah, we got info on the PS3, the Wii, and Spore, but that was really just it. Okay, there was Final Fantasy XIII as well, but that's pushing it.

This article, from Gamespot, is about all the no big no shows at the expo. These would've been showstoppers, but nope, they're all MIA.

Maybe the gaming industry really has finally hit critical mass. Who knows?

Media Rundown

Well, I figured I should at least christen the new place with one of these, plus it has been over a month since I did anything resembling one of these.

Watching: TV- Battlestar Galactica, DVD - Fight Club, Clerks, Mallrats (Extended Version), Unleashed, (Ryuhei Kitamura's) Alive, Premonition, Final Fantasy VIII: Advent Children, Karas: the Prophecy, You're Under Arrest vol. 1, Onmyoji 2, Thunderbolt, Infernal Affairs, Bubba Ho-Tep, and Serenity.
Listening (to): Wolfmother, MIA, Massive Attack, Rob Zombie, Portishead, DJ Shadow, and Sneaker Pimps.
Reading: Not much of anything. I did, finally, polish off William Gibson's Pattern Recognition though.
Playing: Kingdom Hearts, Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King, Area 51, X-Men Legends II: The Rise of Apocalypse, Batman: Vengeance, Final Fantasy VII, Wild Arms 2, and Tekken 5.

It's been a stressful month, but I've finally come through. Almost made some choices that I know I would've regretted, but I'm glad I had at least some sense not to go that way.

Quote of the ________

"Good art never saved a society. Good thoughts did."

-Henry Rollins


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Here we go again...

Thanks to my computer a'sploding the other week, I've basically lost my old Dyson's Fear blog. Mind you, at least I can link to the archives of the first two incarnations now.

Dyson's Fear 2.0 : March 2005 to May 2006. (Note: Some of the personal links have changed, use the ones on this site to link to.)

Dyson's Fear 1.0 : December 2002 to March 2005.

I'll be playing with the template more when I get time.