Thursday, March 20, 2008

An Unusually Verbose Random Links Post

The "Blog" of "Unneccessary" Quotation Marks: There was a billboard I used to drive past all the time that advertised "'Free' Breakfast" at a local motel. And every single time I did pass it, I could not stop myself from wondering what the catch was. I can't help but imagine it as the premise of some kind of horror movie: The breakfast may look free, but, oh, the terrible, terrible hidden price. Bwhahahahaha! Ahem. Anyway, here's a whole blog devoted to that kind of thing. It makes the grammar centers in my brain go all twitchy.

What Real-Life Dungeon Exploration Might Look Like, Graduate Students in Tow: There's been a lot of Dungeons & Dragons-themed stuff on the web lately, in a fitting tribute to mark the passing of Gary Gygax. This one probably made me laugh the most.

Astronomy and Space Exploration in America's National Parks: An astronomer and physicist visits 12 national parks, takes some gorgeous photos, and talks about their views of the night sky and how their geology relates to that of other places in the solar system.

Futurama Timeline: From the birth of Nibblonian civilization 17 years before the big bang on into... THE FUTURE!

Ten Things You Don't Know About the Milky Way Galaxy: I knew some of these things, but not, I admit, all of them. It's amazing how long you can live somewhere and still not see all there is to see.

J. Wood on Lost, at Powells Books Blog: I happened to have a copy of Philip K. Dick's Valis sitting around on the old book pile, waiting for me to get around to reading it Real Soon Now, so when the novel made an appearance being read by a character on Lost, I thought it might be fun to join in with him. (Never mind getting kicked out of the book club, Ben! We'll start our own!) The experience was... interesting. Valis is a freaky-ass book, even by Dick's standards. It left me thinking, "Wow, somebody somewhere has got to have posted a more thoughtful analysis than I can come up with of how the themes in the book and in the show reflect each other." Sure enough, someone had. In fact, Wood posts a thoughtful analysis of every episode, with particular reference to literary themes and references. Definitely recommended for literate Lost fans! Warning: all discussions are heavy with spoilers for the episodes in question.

Match It for Pratchett: Author Terry Pratchett, who was recently diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's, has donated half a million pounds to Alzheimer's research. Fans of Pratchett's have taken up a collection hoping to match his amount. Donations as small as $2 are happily accepted, so if you've got a couple of bucks, why not pitch in?

Robot Battle: Who's the Coolest?: Cast your vote to determine the coolest robot of all time! Although at least one of those is technically a cyborg.

UNIT Recruitment Video: A video that will be amusing for old school Doctor Who fans who know the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce well, and informative for new viewers who've only been very briefly introduced. And who knows? Maybe after seeing this, you'll want to go and sign up! The world can always use more people willing to fight against the rubber-suit-and-tentacle brigade.

Worst of the Time Lords: The new version of Doctor Who has occasionally been criticized for giving us a Doctor who is "too emo." Whether you agree or not, this comic, which takes that idea to parodic extreme, is highly chuckle-worthy, and it gets funnier the longer it goes on. Note: posts with spoilers for the 2007 Christmas special or season 2 of Torchwood are marked with a banner at the top (look for the cartoon of the Doctor with a Titanic life preserver to indicate the former), but there's anything before that that you haven't seen, it's read at your own risk.


  1. uhhh, what's the difference between a robot and a cyborg?

  2. A robot is completely artificial. A cyborg has organic parts. If you take a living creature and graft robotic bits onto it, that's a cyborg. Think Robocop.

  3. I thought the "Worst of the Time Lords" was very well done, and the illustrations are much better than some comic strips on the funny pages today. Unfortunately, the "UNIT Recruitment Video" was lost on me, as the new monitor they gave me at work doesn't have speakers.

  4. Yeah, I think sound probably helps. :)