Monday, August 29, 2011

You can have your League, I'll take the Society any day

Art by Alex Ross
The Justice Society of America was the first superhero team in comics, after all.

Superheroes that actually existed: Matter-Eater Lad and Arm-Fall-Off Boy

KoldCast TV Blog

The Legion of Super-Heroes: Home of the weirdest goddamn characters ever.

Honorable mention goes to Blockade for his ability to turn into a steel wall.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Spidey's Women by Adam Hughes

Adam Hughes
Reminds me of the old Spider-Man stories from the Silver and Bronze Age. I really want the trades of those.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

18 things you didn't know about Firefly. Now you do.

Nerd Approved
Some of those are pretty interesting, actually, like Nathan Fillion saying yes to Joss Whedon without even waiting to here what the latter was offering, and copies of Firefly and Serenity being on the International Space Station. Oh, Firefly, you were taken much too soon.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What Doctor Strange does on the weekends

Let's Be Friends Again

In a Game of Nerds, you either win or you run out of 1Ups

Unlike that other throne, you won't get tetanus from sitting on this one.

Nerd Approved

Steve Jobs' letter of resignation

For those sleeping for the last 24 hours, Steve Jobs resigned yesterday as CEO of Apple, but will remain with the company as Chairman of the Board. Here's his resignation letter.

Letter from Steve Jobs

To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.

I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.

I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.

A sad day indeed. I know there are people rolling their eyes at the reaction his resignation is getting, but the fact remains that this man was is a giant of the tech world. He helped create the Apple I and II, and founded Pixar. What he did with Apple when he returned to the company is pretty amazing. At the time, Apple was near bankruptcy and there was speculation that the company might not survive another year. Now it’s the most valuable company in the world. Not bad. Granted, Jobs does have a reputation for being kind of an asshole, but you can’t deny he hasn’t had a huge impact not just in the world of computers and consumer electronics, but also on nerd culture.

I don’t own anything made by Apple and probably never will, but I do respect Steve Jobs and what he’s done, and honestly, I’m sorry to see him resign.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I'm posting this Questionable Content for two reasons

First, because it has a William Gibson reference.

Questionable Content
And second, because of the corresponding news post in which Jeph Jacques nerds out.

Artificial intelligences are created in a virtual environment, where they are stored in a "creche" of other AIs in their generation. When bootstrapped to self-awareness, they are given a choice of function- commercial use (AnthroPCs), military, scientific, etc, or allowed to subsume in the global meta-AI. If they choose to go into "retail" they are allowed to choose a self-identity and are shipped to a reputable "dealer" (such as Idoru, in today's strip) where they are put up for "sale."

Purchase of an AI is not a binding contract- either party is free to terminate the relationship at any time, and the transaction agent will refund the contract fee. The use of terms like "sale" and "owner" are considered offensive by some, and are becoming rather politically incorrect (my use of them here is solely for sake of comparison, hence the quotation marks).

One would think that the majority of AIs would choose to simply be given a chassis and left to make their own way in the world, but the majority who do not go into a specialized profession choose to pair up with a human "owner." There has been much speculation by both humans and AIs as to the reason for this- no aspect of their programming indicates a cause for such a bias. The general consensus is that the average AI simply finds your average human entertaining, and enjoys the companionship.

Mass Effect explains everything

Awkward Zombie
Pretty much true. For those who haven't partaken in the Mass Effect series (and boy, are you missing out!), all the tech does in one way or another rely on Element Zero and Mass Effect technology to function. Bit of a flaw, if you ask me. Anyone who could develop a weapon or device to neutralize Element Zero could potentially dominate the ME galaxy. Future plot device, anyone?

The guns don't really have infinite ammo, though. Instead of bullets, you stick a block of metal in the gun, which is equipped with a computer and microlasers. The computer cuts off small amounts of the metal, depending on the range of whatever you're trying to hit and other factors, and propels it using a Mass Effect field. In the first game, they tried to balance the lack of ammo consumption by having heat buildup if you fired a gun too much. Once the gun overheated, you had to wait for it to cool down sufficiently. In Mass Effect 2, they ditched that and replaced it with these clips that acted like disposable heatsinks, but unfortunately, and quite annoyingly, they became de facto ammunition, because guns wouldn't fire without them.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

10 reasons why the Dark Side is just plain better

Via Death Star PR.

Poll results: People like things to be a bit more sonic

I'm surprised by the results, namely that there are results. I honestly did not expect anybody to vote, but I guess posting a link on Tumblr helped, lol. Anyway, I'm almost equally surprised that the sonic screwdriver won - I knew it would garner some votes, but I never expected it to beat out lightsabers. Finally, whoever voted for orgasmatron, you are a perv, but I love ya.

Edit: Oh, and a new poll is coming soon!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Dio - Holy Diver

The song and video should appeal to the fantasy and RPG nerds.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Random nostalgia: Seeing Star Wars on the big screen

It was 1997 and the special edition of the Original Trilogy was being re-released in theaters, like one every four months. I only saw Episode IV, but man, that movie hadn't lost the awe-inspiring luster! It was especially important to me because as far as I can remember, I hadn't seen any of the movies straight through. Sure, I knew what happened and had watched chunks of it, but not straight through. It was one of the building blocks that made me a nerd today.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011

One of the most epic scenes from Doctor Who ever

From Doctor Who Season 5, episode 1 - The Eleventh Hour.

Atraxi: You are not of this world.
The Doctor: No, but I've put a lot of work into it. [looking at different ties he might wear] Hm, I dunno... what do you think?
Atraxi: Is this world important?
The Doctor: "Important?" What's that mean, "important?" Six billion people live here; is that important? And here's a better question: is this world a threat to the Atraxi? [pause] Well, come on, you're monitoring the whole planet. Is this world a threat?
[The eye scans through images of the human race]
Atraxi: No.
The Doctor: Are the peoples of this world guilty of any crime by the laws of the Atraxi?
Atraxi: [scanning through more images] No.
The Doctor: Okay! One more, just one. Is this world protected?
[The Atraxi scans through pictures of Cybermen, Daleks, Racnoss, Sea Devils, Slitheen, etc.]
The Doctor: But you're not the first lot to have come here. Oh, there have been so many. And what you've got to ask is... what happened to them?
[The Atraxi shows pictures of the previous incarnations of the Doctor, finishing with an image of the Tenth Doctor that the Eleventh Doctor then steps through]
The Doctor: Hello. I'm the Doctor. Basically... run.
 And then the Atraxi high tail it on out of there. Smartest thing they ever did. Quotes via Wikiquotes.

Edit: Fixed. Had the wrong video, lol.

Like a record baby, right round, round round: A review of Robert Charles Wilson's Spin

I finished Spin the other day and I thought it was pretty good. The plot involves an event called the Spin, wherein all the stars disappear all at once and every satellite in orbit crashes back to Earth. Two things are soon discovered: 1. The stars are still there, the Earth has been surrounded in what is eventually called the spin membrane. 2. Time is moving faster on the other side of the membrane. Very fast. Months are like millenia. The plot is told from the perspective of Tyler Dupree from two different time periods - one where he witnesses the Spin happening and grows up in a increasingly desperate society. The second period is sometime in the future and concerns him undergoing a medical procedure in Indonesia. I don't want to give away too much of the plot, so I'll leave it at that. The supporting cast includes Diane and Jason Lawton, Tyler's childhood friends and as the book progresses, we see how they each handle the situation. Of the two, Jason plays a more prominent role. The segments of the story where Tyler meets and interacts with Diane as they grow and age are a bit of a drag, because they don't seemingly progress the story at first, but it all comes together at the end.

Spin is the first in a trilogy of books, the other two being Axis and Vortex. I haven't read them yet, but I plan on diving into Axis soon enough. I'm not terribly good at reviews, so instead I'll just give my recommendation on this book: Read it. I enjoyed it.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Wil Wheaton just reblogged one of my posts on Tumblr

This one. I'm nerding out a bit and I may have just leveled up, but it is pretty cool. Good times.

It's a poll, I'm doing a poll now, polls are cool

I thought this might be fun and nerdy (which always go hand-in-hand): What is your favorite weapon or device from science fiction? Do you love the lightsaber, an elegant weapon for a more elegant time? Maybe you prefer something a bit more sonic? If there's something strange in the neighborhood, do you automatically reach for a Proton pack, or do you prefer to lay down the law? Either way, your choices are:
  • Lightsaber
  • Phaser
  • Sonic screwdriver
  • Lawgiver (Judge Dredd)
  • Tricorder (Star Trek)
  • BFG9000 (Doom)
  • Orgasmatron (Barberella)
  • Proton Packs (Ghostbusters)
For the fantasy nerds, I'll be doing a poll for you after this one. Expect a lot of swords, lol.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Read Jim Shooter's account of Stan Lee's reaction to the All-New, All-Different X-Men

This is hilarious.

“This one,” he said, pointing at Storm, “must be Banshee.”
“No, that’s Storm,” I said. “Here’s Banshee.”
“Jim, don’t you know that banshees are female?”
“Yes, but, you should take that up with Roy [Thomas]. He created this guy a long time ago.”
Roy?!” Stan had that look of horror and incredulity you get when you discover that the guy who’s been doing your taxes can’t add or subtract.
Roy doesn’t know banshees are female?!”
“I guess he thought it didn’t matter.”
Stan pointed at Wolverine. “This one, I guess, is Colossus.”
“No, this one is Colossus,” I said, pointing. In Stan’s defense, each character was on his or her own board, they were all the same size and Wolverine’s claws were not extended.
Read the rest here. (via Newsarama)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Something I've noticed about Syfy's Alphas

I've noticed that almost every episode of the show ends with the "Alpha of the week" being sent to Binghamton, the government's holding facility for Alphas deemed too dangerous for the outside world. I get the feeling that if Alphas survives Syfy's swinging axe long enough, there will be a storyline where there's either a major breakout at the facility and a bunch of Alphas escape, or a plot will be uncovered to turn the incarcerated superhumans into an army or death squads.

The show, by the way, is steadily becoming better than Heroes after the first season.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Syfy can go frak themselves out an airlock - Eureka canned

They announced they're canceling the shortened sixth season. Frak them sideways with a dull, rusty knife. I was going to write "why do they hate quality science fiction shows?" just now when the answer came to me. It's because they have quality. Eureka, Stargate: Atlantis, Stargate: Universe and all the other shows that have been canceled were not shows that could be easily made dirt cheap like faux-reality shows like Ghost Hunters and Destination: Truth. Syfy is headed for the same ditch that's claimed the History Channel, TruTV, A&E and others - full of faux-reality shows and not original content. Syfy didn't fail when they changed their name, they failed when they put their desire for more profits ahead of creating quality shows that would attract just as many, if not more viewers and revenue.

I wonder when they'll set their crosshairs on Warehouse 13, Alphas, and Haven. Frak Syfy.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bradley Cooper claims wants to direct a Hyperion movie so bad, he'll retire to do it

Dude is really jonesing for it. For those who don't know what I'm squawking about, Hyperion is a science fiction novel by Dan Simmons; the first book in the Hyperion Cantos. It is one of the great works of scifi, if you ask nerds and geeks.

My take on is if he thinks he's got the talent to make it and there's nobody else who could do the job, then sure, why not? The whole "willing to retire from acting" thing is a nice touch and certainly the media loves to eat that stuff up, but it has no real bearing on him getting the job.

h/t Blastr.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wonder Babe

I Am Wonder by dangerousladies
Holy cow.

The new Ultimate Spider-Man revealed

Last month Marvel killed off Spider-Man. No, not the main universe Spidey, but the Ultimate Comics version. Since then, they've been running a mini called Ultimate Comics Fallout and tomorrow's issue reveals who will replace Peter Parker as the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. Now, for the sake of spoilers - since Marvel doesn't give a shit about them, but I do - I'll hide the picture behind a 'read more'. Hat tip to Topless Robot.

I'm sure the Donald Glover 4 Spider-Man groupies will be ecstatic.
His name is Miles Morales. Interesting move, actually and hopefully not a temporary thing until a Peter Parker clone shows up. Knowing Marvel, that's exactly what will happen. Poor Miles is fucked!

Bonus costumes for Batman: Arkham City revealed

via Nerdbastards
So the above six costumes are the bonus costumes you can get by pre-ordering Batman: Arkham City, with each costume being specific to the place your place the order. For the non-Bat fans or the ones a bit foggy, the costumes are:

  • Batman Beyond - notable because while Bruce Wayne initially wore the costume before he retired, his successor, Terry McGinnis is the one who made it famous)
  • The Dark Knight Returns - Frank Miller's masterpiece.
  • Earth One - Although it looks like Bruce's new costume from Batman, Inc.
  • Silver Age Batman costume - The one he wore from the 70s until probably the 90s. Notable for having a color palette that wasn't solely blacks and grays.
  • Batman: The Animated Series - Awwwwwwwwwwwww Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah
I guess the last one is the default skin. I don't really like the BB costume, it looks too muscly. It should be like the BTAS costume, smooth and not realistic. My favorite one is the Silver Age costume. It looks nice and it evokes a time when Batman wasn't a paranoid borderline psychotic with plans for literally every possible situation.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mary Shelley: Mother of science fiction

Source: Wikipedia
Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, The Last Man, and the first science fiction writer. Certainly, there were proto-science fiction stories written before Shelley, but she probably holds the strongest claim to being the first science fiction writer because she wrote more than one book. Although Frankenstein is normally classified as a gothic novel, it was science fiction, pure and simple. It featured a mad scientist (a first) building a creature out of body parts and bringing it to life. It was a story meant to as a warning against the perceived dangers of science. The Last Man was about a plague that ravages the world and is set near the end of the 21st century.
While Jules Verne and H.G. Wells helped refine and bring science fiction into the mainstream, let’s not forget the person who created it.