Saturday, April 21, 2012

Where Do Beards Come From?

Have you ever asked yourself "why don't I grow a beard?" or instead, "why did I grow a beard?" Maybe you have no choice in the matter and can't grow one at all, which can apply to both men and women, as many do not possess the power to grow a full beard in half a day. (NOTE: this is not a very useful power to have, and in fact it's probably the complete opposite).

Sooooo, if you've ever wondered ANYTHING AT ALL about beards... this awesome infographic from OnlinePHD, titled "A PhD In Facial Hair" is for you! All of your questions will be answered in one really long, but informative image.

Are you ready to learn!? Click through the jump for your lesson of the day.

John Love's "Faith" is a Solid, Worthwhile Space Opera

I've been reading so much fantasy as of late that I was starting to wonder if I lost my taste for good sci-fi. The last few I tried to pick up didn't sit well with me at all, and I had high hopes for this one based on some reviews I had read.

he book is not 100% perfect - it starts out slow, and, frankly, kind of ridiculous. There's good concepts about this mysterious ship that essentially made a civilization regress centuries with how soundly it defeated them, and the ship, known as Faith to those in the system, is back. We have some strange races around, and we have a class of ship that operate outside of the realm of the system government, all of which are named after serial killers. This story revolves mostly around the crew of the Charles Manson, who believe they have the capability to defeat and destroy Faith.

What follows, after nearly 100 pages of sometimes tiring setup comes a simply awesome, very exciting battle between two massive spaceships nearly the rest of the way through. It's tactical, it's psychological, nothing at all happens the way you'd expect, it becomes very philosophical, and it rarely lets up on the gas the entire time. I kept waiting to see the climax of the battle to come and to come, and the book just rewarded me with more action instead.

It's not a traditional sci-fi space opera, even though it hits all those chords perfectly. It was a great read because it scratched my specific sci-fi itch, but it was also a great read because it was so unexpected and unpredictable. I can't say for sure that it broke a lot of new ground, but it felt fresh and different, and that meant something for me.

This book definitely lived up to the hype for me. Glad I grabbed it when I did, and I'm glad I stuck with it. If this is your style, I definitely recommend it.


You have 16 hours in which to buy this shirt before your baby brother... becomes one of us... forever. Such a pity.

As much as I'd like to be the only person I know wearing this shirt, it was too good not to share.

Should You Need Us -  teevstee's amazing Labyrinth design, is only available today at It's only $10, so don't miss out.

And if you're in the Labyrinth mood (like I am now), click through the jump to for some sweet Magic Dance.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Possible Pextinction

Recently, I started a page on the website called Pinterest. I did it basically at the suggestion of my Mother in Law, because she created a pin to the charity group I am a part of, and I had been really lax about creating the page. Been meaning to, but you know how it is. Time. All that shit.

Then on my wife's cousins' blog there was a recipe for some vegan stuff that I clicked on, but it was only on Pinterest. Did I mention to you here that I recently adopted a no-meat, no dairy plant strong lifestyle?

Probably not. I tend to keep that kind of thing on my own blog. But the health benefits are ASTOUNDING. You would not believe it.

So anyway, I went to look at this recipe, and I couldn't see it right away. IN fact, it took TWO DAYS. Wanna know why?

Best High School Ever

Does the layout of this school look familiar?

It may not look like much, but... how about the satellite view?

It's Millennium Falcon High School!!! Also known as Parkland High School... the school that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Captain Pronin, Superstar

Meet Captain Pronin, post-Soviet Russia’s equivalent of McBain.

The grandson of a famous Soviet pulp hero, Pronin fights to protect the new Russia with a combination of Soviet toughness and American machismo. The world he works and lives in is strange, with blue henchmen and mafioso with poker dice for teeth. A few years before, Captain Pronin would have been forced to protect the Communist way of life, and to do it with a lot less of a nod to Western culture.

But this is 1992, the Americans and British are his friends, so much so that Captain Pronin has to be helped by James Bond in order to save his wife. Instead of Ronald Reagan or Uncle Sam, Pronin has to later do battle against Don Corleone, and protect the cowering Bill Clinton from an evil cyborg out to get him. And let’s not forget about Pronin’s excursion into outer space, or his biggest challenge of them all: having to go undercover and perform Swan Lake.

This ePaper Watch is My New Favorite Kickstarter

I noticed this Pebble ePaper Watch a few days ago when going around Kickstarter, and quickly got alerted that it's now the most funded Kickstarter ever. And for good reason - it's a fancy looking affordable watch that has a lot of great features.

The quick and dirty is that the watch syncs with your Android or iPhone via Bluetooth, and runs a number of apps that allow you to keep time, control your music, etc. The possibilities are really limitless on this, and with it using ePaper (which is what the Kindle and Nook use), the battery life (USB chargeable, naturally) is about a week. That's incredible, and with the amount of money they've raised so far, it's not scratch/shatter resistant and waterproof.

My watch finally died on me last fall, and I've been resistant to get a new one. This might be changing my mind, because the idea is so neat, the technology feels so advanced - it's almost like what I pictured the future to really be like. I love it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Amazing Nokia Lift

Here's some Nokia commercials pranking people in lifts in Russia to sell their new phone Nokia Lumia

I love that first guy.

Angry birds don't mess around in this game

Nick O Teen where's that cigarette!

Celebrity Apprentice Recaps: Episode Nine. Lisa Loses It.

Aaaah the Celebrity Apprentice. The kindergarten of the business world! A show that has become such a ridiculous farce than I’m amazed the competitors have yet to be tasked with a silly-face-pulling competition. Which, come to think of it, isn’t all that far removed from the humiliations that the celebrities will undertake today.

Join me after the jump to discover who bitched about who, who got fired, how wide Lisa Lampanelli’s giant unhinged jaw opened, and whether or not it inadvertently sucked in any innocent passersby.

Superman Never Say Yes to a Cigarette

Richard Williams the man behind Who Framed Roger Rabbit did this pretty cool Superman animated antismoking commercial

Although after this commercial by Richard Williams' company (animated by Eric Goldberg the man behind the Genie animation of Aladdin) you and even Superman may want to ask Nick 'O Teen for the hook up

War For Cybertron GRIMLOCK!!!

Can't wait for this game to come out...never MIND that space T-Rex's don't make sense...just watch!!


What's Out? 18th of April 2012

Another look at new releases! It's a little later in the day than usual due to personal reasons (I forgot). Let's do it!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

F**k Yeah Game of Thrones! Episode Three: What is Dead May Never Die

Season Two of Game of Thrones continues to simmer away pleasantly while we all really hope that it will soon explode violently, showering everyone scalding hot, but delicious, figurative soup.

I am thoroughly enjoying the series so far but finding it very difficult to consume such an epic story in relatively small weekly doses. Inevitably it leaves me greedy for more. The show is currently juggling so many characters right now (and adding more all the time) that some of my favourites have had no more than five or so minutes of screen time across an entire three episodes, making their complete absence in any given episode even harder to take. I realise that - much like the long-promised winter - all of these things are coming, but it’s a tough wait. It almost makes me want to read a book...

To see what I thought about this week’s episode, along with wild speculation, jumbled names and factual errors, do me the honour of joining me after the jump!

Stryder's Favourite Comics - 4/11/2012

They say that April is the cruellest month, but so far I've got to say that it only seems like the FASTEST month!  I can't believe we're all ready half-way through.  This month is faster than a...hmmm...what metaphor could I use?

Anyhow...Comics, right?  Here's some more #8's for ya...

Batman And Robin #8 - This is an issue of Batman and Robin where both very little and a great deal happen.  Bruce and Damien both have to deal with the horrible aftermath of their battle with Nobody last month, and the toll it has taken, both physically and mentally, on each of them.  Upon return to the batcave, Alfred puts them both on house arrest due to each suffering concussions, multiple fractures, etc.

So Batman and Robin don't fight any criminals this issue.  They don't solve any mysteries or hunt for any clues.  Rather, they have a heart-to-heart about what it means to be a member of the Wayne family, a member of the Bat family, and at the end of the day, what it means to be a human being in a world that would rather kick you when you're down than give you a helping hand back up.  Then they play fetch with Bat-Dog.  His name is Titus by the way.  He slobbers a lot. 

So if you like characterization, you'll like this issue, with insights into the minds of Bruce, Damien AND even Alfred.  If you'd rather see the Riddler or Killer Croc or someone get punched in the face a lot, this probably isn't the issue for you.  Personally, while I'm all for comic-book face-punching, I still loved Batman and Robin #8! 

Batgirl, Green Lantern and more after the JUMP!

Nerd History: The Lost Cosmonauts

Conspiracies just aren't as much fun unless there are Soviets involved.

Back in the 1950s, as the space race was heating up, when the USSR sent Sputnik and Laika up into orbit, two brothers in Italy were listening in on the broadcasts. Achille and Gian Battista Judica-Cordiglia recorded, among other things, Laika's heartbeat during the dog's orbit, so they knew what they were doing. Then there was a fateful day in 1960, when they were tipped off to another broadcast. Assuming it was a satellite, they nearly threw in the towel until they were able to key in on a morse code transmission of "S.O.S." over and over again, as it slowly faded away. This would be strange in itself if the brothers had not intercepted a transmission months later of a man supposedly wheezing and trying to get his breath. Later, following the brothers made what was arguably their most famous recording - one of a Russian woman this time, communicating with someone on the ground, becoming increasingly panicked as something is happening before the transmission abruptly ends.

So what's the deal here? The Soviets certainly did their share of secret stuff, and while there's no hard evidence of the Soviets having lost cosmonauts in the late 1950s and early 1960s...well, the evidence we do have is fairly convincing. I suggest reading this detailed Fortean Times piece as well as listening to the actual recordings via Skeptoid, where Brian Dunning offers a plausible skeptical opinion about this history mystery.

The Book Was Better Podcast: Teaser for Episode 16

Our ten minute teaser episode for The Book Was Better podcast episode 16 is now live! Jessica and I read your mail, talk bullshit, and reveal the novel we'll be discussing next week! And it's an amazing one. So if you're feeling ADVENTUROUS, then WHIP into itunes for another SHORT ROUND of BWB!

Or grab it right now from the official site!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Tuesday Bounty! Glorious Bounty Displays Rare Fox-Like Cunning.

It's Tuesday and that can only mean a brand new page of humour/sci-fi web comic series Glorious Bounty all up in your grill. It's drawn by the mighty, punch-happy fists of Edward J. Grug III and is written by me, and addressed only to you.

When we last left the Bounty crew they had pretty much come to terms with the fact that the PK series of robots were an easily dismissed piece of shit. Which gave Bruce (in his temporary PK robot body) a cunning idea. Now we cross to some characters that we don't know or care about...

Click to embiggen or read on the official site.

And don't be a 'fraidy cat. If you're a Glorious Bounty first timer then you can start reading from the beginning right over HERE.

Help Me Makaveli, You're My Only Hope

Was the 2Pac hologram Coachella performance really just a viral teaser for a new Return Of The Jedi special edition? And will the outraged fans that are still angry about the Hayden Christensen ghost, prefer the 2Pac hologram?

You gotta admit the 2Pac hologram puts on one hell of a performance. Plus he already has a Star Wars-y name.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Real Time Tweets From The Titanic Disaster

For the past few days @TitanicRealTime tweeted the events of the Titanic voyage in real time... just 100 years later. I found out after the fact, but wish I found out sooner because I would have stayed up all night reading along. Yes, I'm a sucker for event live blogging.. even if it's a semi-fictional recreation of an actual event that isn't "live" in any way, shape or form. Either way, this was REALLY COOL and REALLY WELL DONE.

Click through the jump for a full breakdown of every perspective that was offered, or read the entire timeline at The same group, @TheHistoryPress, is also doing a Whitechapel investigation live tweet session in August of 2013, but here's hoping these happen sooner and more often.

Hold Me, Jack, I’m Heiling: The Nazis’ Titanic Flop

This past Sunday marked the 100th anniversary of the RMS Titanic’s sinking. With this macabre anniversary came a resurgence of “Titanic Mania”, which gripped the world when its ruins were found in the mid-1980’s, and again in the late 1990’s when James Cameron’s film became a worldwide box office sensation.

The History Channel, more specifically their sister station H2, had a unique way of commemorating this tragedy’s centennial. They had me at “Nazi Titanic”.

Some Spoiler-Free Reasons to see Cabin in the Woods

I went to see Cabin in the Woods last night, and it was awesome. It's exactly what you'd expect from a horror flick written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, and while it's absolutely best to go in blind (my wife and I went with people who didn't even know the movie existed), if you're on the fence, there are a few spoiler-free reasons to go:

* It's the smartest horror film you're likely to see: Trust me on this one, and trust the folks who made it. If you have an appreciation for the genre, you'll find a lot to love here. If you're not a fan of the genre (like myself), there's plenty here to appreciate. It's something you can go see with your horror-loving friends without much of a hassle.

* The casting is perfect: Without giving anything away, there's not a bad choice in casting at all. Fran Kranz (who you probably know as Topher from Dollhouse) steals the entire movie, Chris Hemsworth (Thor) was perfect, as were the two leading ladies, Kristen Connolly (who I hope to see in a lot more in the future) and Anna Hutchison.

* A few great cameos/casting choices on the side: Those who are fans of the Whedonverse in general will find a few fun Easter eggs casting-wise, as well as one major cameo that comes out of nowhere.

* Solid writing: Again, expected from Whedon/Goddard, but it's classic Whedon one-liners combined with what may be the best euphemism I've heard in a while...

* You're best to go in blind: If you haven't seen a trailer yet, don't. If you haven't read any real reviews, keep it that way. The less you know going in, the better off you'll be. It's a movie that's truly more fun the less you know. You'll thank me later if you're on the fence.

I know this is probably the worst, least informative review you'll read about this movie, but it's like that for a reason. You need something to bridge the Hunger Games-to-Avengers gap in your movie watching this month, and this really should hit your list. Totally, completely worth your time.

Tumblr Rulz: Shitstarter - The Graveyard For Failed Kickstarters

Last night, I had the opportunity to speak about games on Kickstarter for the Philadelphia IGDA monthly meeting. We discussed personal success (LangGuini - 245% funded) as well as local success (Auditorium Duet - 118% funded, Velociraptor Cannibalism - 916% funded and still going), and we also discussed personal failure (my project Famous Missions that died at 10% of it's goal).

I've learned so much from that failure, and started looking at what people do right, and what people do wrong with their project campaigns. But you may notice that Kickstarter does a great job of keeping the unsuccessful / poorly made projects hidden away. You won't find any of them by looking at the curated Kickstarter favorites pages, or at the front of any of the category pages. You'll need to search by name or dig deep into the archives of thousands of projects.

Luckily, now we have Shitstarter, a fairly new tumblr site that showcases failed Kickstarter projects. They do all of the hard (and torturous) work for you, by finding the best of the worst.

Here's a gem:


GOAL: $5,000

“Think of it as This Old House meets Ghostbusters.”