Monday, December 28, 2015

2015 is really sealing the deal on be a fuck hole: RIP Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead


I'm not going to be like a fucking poseur and claim that I was a huge Motorhead fan because I wasn't even a minimal one - literally the only songs of theirs I know are Ace of Spades and the trio from WWE: The Game, King of Kings, and Line in the Sand - but Lemmy was a goddamn pop culture icon. The documentary some dude made about him a few years ago is one of the few docs I have ever bothered to watch and it was engrossing. Finding out he died is a huge fucking deal, easily up there with all of the other celebrity deaths this year.

2015 is really a steaming pile of shit, dude.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

John Boyega has his priorities in order

Hokage is a Naruto reference. Had to google that because I don't watch any of the new animes and by new animes, I of course mean anything made after like 2001. I'm Toonami trash, okay?!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Nerd Trash and 2016

Just thought I'd give you folks (the ones who actually read this blog) a heads up on what I thinking of doing with Nerd Trash next year. There's not going to be any huge changes in the next year, but I do have some things up my sleeve:

Posting and content: I'm going to try and increase the number of daily posts up from my average of like one or two in a blue moon. Tumblr is the number 1 culprit in stealing my time and attention away from Nerd Trash, so I plan on decreasing my time on there in exchange for more time spent on here. Not a big deal because my interest in Tumblr has been on the decline since it became a battleground for the social justice/anti-social justice/actually went overboard with the social justice brigades and everything else that's made the site not as fun as it used to be.

In terms of posts, most of them will be short things and pictorials daily, with longer posts showing up about once or twice a week. The content will be whatever catches my eye or the attention of the internet. I don't plan or have any desire to regurgitate the same content that the bigger blogs crap out, but if I see something that I think is worth posting, up it goes. I'll also be posting about whatever I'm reading, since I'm planning on reading a lot of books next year. I read eleven this year and my goals 15 for 2016.

Then there's the videos. I've been watching Let's Plays from the Achievement Hunters YouTube channel, so I'll be posting my favorites along with videos from other channels. The same with music. I also want to post more about the shows I watch, both on TV and any that I find online. I might try and get back into watching Geek and Sundry's videos, so there's that.

I mentioned pictures earlier and one of the features I plan on adding is a person of the month. I'm shamelessly stealing the idea from top blog HeroPress and its proprietor, Tim Knight, who runs such a feature and it's a real good one. Not a lot of people are going complain about a monthly post filled with pictures of beautiful women and occasionally, guys and fictional characters that I think are cool enough to be highlighted. I had to add my own spin to it. So who is going to be the inaugural Nerd Trash person of the month (I'll eventually come up with a proper name for it)? You'll just have to wait till January 1st. ;)

More gadgets in the sidebar: I'm aiming to personalize Nerd Trash by adding what I'm reading (which I've already done), watching, listening too, etc. in the left hand sidebar. More links to blogs and websites of interest will be added too, as I find them.

One more goal I have in all of this is to increase the number of hits the blog receives on a daily basis. I know I'll never reach the hundreds of thousands or more that the big websites get and I'm more than glad for that, but I'd very much like to up the number of visitors into the several hundreds, if not a thousand. Ultimately, I'd like Nerd Trash to become one of those blogs that is well known enough to attract a respectable number, while remaining small and not bloated.

Well, that's all I can think of right now. I aim to make 2016 the most fruitful and productive year for Nerd Trash so far.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Really wish I hadn't missed that episode of Matlock

I caught the tail end of "The Dare" yesterday and what grabbed my attention was how tense the last few moments were. Ben Matlock, Cliff, and Jerri all had stunned, defeated looks on their face. But why? Did Terry O'Quinn's character (who was on the witness stand) buy all of the hot dogs Atlanta? Did Ben's entire wardrobe of cheap gray suits get destroyed? What happened? Fortunately, there's a thing called The Google, so I looked the episode and found this summary.

Basically, O'Quinn plays some rich guy named Malcolm Engle who swore revenge against Matlock because the latter successfully defended a psychotic (and got him institutionalized) who later murdered the former's wife. So in return, Engle gets payback by murdering a character named Bob Brooks, a police lieutenant who appeared in the first six seasons of the show, then fell off the face of the Earth until season 9 when he was Murder Death Killed in this ep. Engle not only murdered Brooks, but told Matlock that he was going to do it and that the victim was going to be somebody close to the aged lawyer.

Let's jump to the ending because it makes the whole thing kind of amazing. Matlock gets Engle on the stand and comes close to proving him guilty when the bombshell drops: Engle has cancer and will likely die regardless of the outcome of the trial. The final line in the episode are Engle asking "What are you going to do, Ben? Get me the death sentence?" That's some straight up Law & Order shit right there. What caught my attention was just the expression on Matlock's face. There's no look of horror or shock, but he just stares at Engle as the realization that he'll almost certainly escape punishment for his crime, that Lt. Brooks will never have justice. Matlock failed, he lost.

Season 9 was the final season of the show, so I guess the writers wanted to do something bold before the show wrapped up and I think they nailed it.

Monday, December 21, 2015

And this will probably be the only Christmas post on this blog right here

The town's park gets decorated for Christmas every year and this was one of the more adorable additions.

Happy Holidays, especially to the people who think saying Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas is somehow religious persecution. A very, very, very Happy Holidays to those people.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

World's Second Biggest Asshole* Martin Shkreli arrested on securities fraud

And it really couldn't have happened to a better asshole. For those who don't recall the name, Shkreli is the SOB who bought the license to make an out of patent drug that's used to treat some kind of blood parasite in AIDs victims...then raised the price over 5000% from like $13 to $750. That's some straight up Lex Luthor villainy right there. Scratch that because I don't think even Lex would pull that kind of jackassery. The fraud charge is from before he did this because if being a massive asshole were a crime, the prisons would be even more overcrowded that what they already are.

Really, if you add this to the new Star Wars movie coming out, this really is the best Christmas season ever!

*Donald Trump being the world's biggest, of course.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

How to re-enable extensions that have been disabled by Firefox 43

I updated Firefox just now and lo and behold, two of my extensions were disabled with no way of flipping them back on. Rather annoying, but I found a solution after a little bit of googling. Somebody created an extension that'll re-enable the ones that have been disabled, but it simply does automatically what can easily be done manually. I tested out the latter and it works, so here's how to do it:

1. Open a new tab (or use a current one, whatever) and type "about:config" (none of the quote marks are required).

2. Click through the warning page and in the search box on the next page, put “xpinstall.signatures.required” and change the value from “true” to “false”.

3. Finally, restart Firefox and boom, the extensions should work again.
 Now bear in mind that this disables the new "signed" security feature that's suppose to protect against bad and potentially harmful extensions, so there's a small risk if you're inclined to install new extensions. At best, this is just a short term workaround until those disabled extensions are signed by their creator or Mozilla allows them to be re-enabled individually. Of course, if whoever created the extension is no longer supporting it, then you're pretty much screwed.

To be honest, I think automatically disabling unsigned extensions is a load of BS. It wouldn't have been a problem to me if Mozilla had included an option to re-enable them, but just unilaterally disabling something I chose to install and use is just plain being an asshole.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Well, so much for the gangbang joke about Olivia Newton-John's "Physical" music video

I was originally going to post the video and make a joke about how the ending (or what I thought was the ending) looked like the setup to a porn. If you've never seen the video or just forgot, it's this whole thing where she's acting as a personal trainer for a bunch of fat fellows who can't do even the simplest exercise without suffering a coronary. She eventually gives up and hits the showers. Meanwhile, all the fat guys somehow transform into bodybuilders and when Newton-John comes back, she does what I imagine a lot of women would do in this situation and basically gropes them all. You can check the video below.

Like I said, I thought the video ended with the now fit guys surrounding Olivia Newton-John and her giving the camera a "I'm gettin' some dick today!" look, but I was wrong. Boy, was I ever wrong. Somehow, the whole "the guys are all gay" twist ending escaped my memory. Keep in mind that it wasn't until near the end of the 70s that the American Medical Association removed homosexuality as a mental illness. This video came out in 1981, so only a few scant years later. With that in mind, the ending was really quite bold.

Aside from that, the video was pretty controversial for the time. It was overtly sexual, what with Olivia Newton-John touching and rubbing against half-naked guys in speedos, to say nothing of her shower scene and some very interesting camera angles (like the one in the thumbnail). Nowadays, the video wouldn't even raise an eyebrow except among the very conservative crowd.

I'm going to get a little cheeky with the url for this post, just to see how many pageviews it'll get.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Uzo Aduba would be amazing as Hannibal Lecter. Also terrifying as dicks.

Glamour Magazine's doing a series of videos called "Role Reversal" where actresses take a turn as a character originally played by a guy and if Uzo Aduba's performance is any indication, Hollywood may need to do some genderswapped reboots.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to hide under some blankets for the rest of the night.

I appreciate the cat-based humor, Entertainment Weekly

(via Entertainment Weekly)
The Real Housewives reference I could have done without. It is nice to see to finally see more superheroes of color start to emerge in superhero movies and in comics. Definitely need more superheroines, though.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Arrow definitely went a bit too far tonight with "Dark Waters" [SPOILER WARNING]

(via Arrowverse Wiki)
So the winter finale of Arrow, "Dark Waters" aired tonight (this seems like the week for winter finales) and while it was a good episode with a cliffhanger ending that left me with a big pile of nopes, there was a part in the plot that was incredibly insensitive. Hit the jump for spoilers.

Still with me? Alright, so in "Dark Waters" there's a point where Damian Darhk kidnaps Felicity, Diggle, and Thea in an apparent ploy to gain leverage over Oliver and use him as a puppet in controlling Star City. It turns out, however, that his real plan is to kill them in order to destroy Ollie emotionally and psychologically. Unfortunately and this is the tasteless part, he plans to kill the trio with a gas chamber. A gas chamber.

I'm with you, Reigns. I'm with you.
Did I mention that Felicity is Jewish? Yeah, the writers decided to put a Jewish character in a gas chamber and at no point did that strike anybody involved in the production of Arrow that that might just be a teeny tiny bit insensitive. Even though all three were rescued by Black Canary and Not Captain Jack Harkness, it still rubs one the wrong way. What's weird is that Darhk mentions the Nazis use of the gas chambers during the Holocaust and even condemned Hitler as being an extreme evil and yet, that doesn't stop him from using the very same thing for the very same purpose. Wow.

I checked the Arrow tag on Tumblr as I usually do when I'm watching the show and boy, to say people were upset and downright pissed off at the showrunners for putting Felicity in a gas chamber would be a pretty accurate statement and I honestly can't blame them.

So, will this permanently wreck Arrow? I doubt it. I would be surprised if the show didn't lose fans because of this and there will probably and should be a backlash from the fandom because of this, but I don't see it having a hugely negative impact.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Why we're more shocked by the terrorist attacks in Paris than in Beirut

I think one of the reasons why people are paying more attention to the attacks in Paris than the one in Beirut is because unfortunately, we’ve become desensitized to that sort of violence in the Middle East. The frequency of attacks there has created the perception of them being so commonplace that when such attacks occur, we no longer react to them like we would when they happen to an area where they're uncommon and stand out more prominently, like Paris. Obviously, of course, that doesn’t make the bombings in the Muslim world any less tragic than the attacks in Paris or elsewhere.

Is there a racial bias to it? Probably, but I want to point out that some of the victims were not white. At least fifteen of the victims were from Africa and Latin America. The number goes up depending on whether or not people from Portugal, Spain, and Turkey are considered non-white and who knows if all the victims from the U.S. and other European countries were themselves white. My point is that this isn't strictly a case of racial bias. Yes, there will be people who will be more effected by the attacks in Paris than in the Middle East because most of the victims were white, but it won't be the sole reason, which goes back to the desensitization.

Speaking of which, I believe the media is a big, big reason for this desensitization and racial bias. When was the last time you saw CNN, MSNBC, Fox, CBS, NBC, ABC, etc. report on the Middle East and Muslim world when it didn't involve DAESH or terrorism in general? Not for a long time, probably and that's the problem. If the news media only reports on the bad and not the good, then it creates a perception in the public mind that only bad things happen there and thus, the lack of response to terrorism there. But it isn't just the news that creates this perception, but the entertainment medium as well. Whenever you have a movie or an episode of a TV show set in a Muslim country, it almost always involves terrorists. Similarly, that country will be depicted with a dusty, open-air market that looks like it came from the 12th century, rather than showing any modern and sophisticated cities that almost all of these countries have. This helps create and reinforces the perception that countries with Muslim-majorities are backward, terrorist-ridden lands that need to be pitied and saved by the Western world. So basically, a contemporary version of the White Man's Burden for the late-20th and 21st centuries.

Is there a solution to this? Of course. If the news media did more human interest pieces about the culture and everyday lives of people in those countries and less on suicide bombings that contrary to news reports, don't happen all of the time, then perception would change. If the entertainment medium would show more positive depictions of Muslims (you know, as something other than terrorists bent on America's destruction), then maybe just maybe Islamophobia would decline. Media is a powerful entity that can create cohesion or disunity depending on how it's wielded and the reaction between the attacks in Paris and Beirut are an unfortunate example.

I hear that selfies are all the rage these days

So is giving handjobs in Church parking lots and selling meth behind your local 7-11, but one thing at a time!

Eh, it'll do.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Please subscribe!

(Credit: PvP)
It's not a funny strip, but I chuckled (darkly?) at the last panel. I think it's just the sudden switch from her ranting about Destiny and flipping the bird to her "Please subscribe!" at the end. I'm kind of hoping that the current storyline leads to Jade quitting PvP and becoming a full-time vlogger. I think it would be an interesting direction. The strip that comes after this seems to be pointing towards a conflict between her and Lucille, PvP's partner or owner (I actually forgot her role in the comic) over her vidya game opinions.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

What did that lone doctor know?

You know those commercials for toothpaste and drugs where the voiceover goes "Nine out of ten doctors recommend/agree that you should use this product"? What's up with the lone dissenter? I don't care about the nine who gave a thumbs up, I just want to know why that other one didn't go with them. Did they know something that the rest of us didn't know or chose to overlook? Are they like "Hold up, this toothpaste can cause cancer of the everything" and the others are like "Nah, it'll be fine, man. Chill and let's collect that sweet, sweet payoff for reccing this cancer causing crap."

It's almost like that one star review on Amazon. All the others are four and five star, but then there's that single star and I don't know about you, but I always have to check those out over the latter because that may be the one honest reviewer.
Five star review: This lube worked great! Just a little squirt and I was able to demolish my wife's backdoor like nobody's business!

One star review: This lube turned my dick purple, then my dick fell off. Would not use again.
On the other hand, it could just be a troll who fires off a one star just to be an ass. "Never actually used product, I just hate everything."

Friday, November 6, 2015

Ginger or Mary-Ann from Gilligan's Island?

Definitely Mary-Ann. Dawn Wells was a babe.

Not Gilligan's Island, but who cares?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Monday, October 5, 2015

Buzzfeed's "48 Books You Need To Read In Your 30s" list has about zero actually useful books for a thirty year old

Book Riot linked to this list last month and I was decidedly whelmed. As one commenter said, the selection tends to be full of navel gazing and angst. Another is a librarian and claims to have only heard of five of them. To be honest, the list looks like a jumble of randomly chosen books aimed to show off "how well read" the choosers are more than actually help improve anybody reading the list. The main problem, at least for me, is that it lacks any books that would actually be helpful to someone in their thirties. I'm talking about books that cover a wide variety of subjects. If I made the list, I'd have included that stuff along with the following subjects:
  • Finance, including saving and investing money and getting a mortgage
  • DIY repairs
  • Medical (like how to do stuff in an emergency until help arrives)
  • Vehicle maintenance: Because knowing how to do simple things like changing oil is a money saver
  • Time management
  • Cooking simple meals
And so on. Sure, I would include fiction in the list, but having books covering the above subjects would be far and away more useful to someone in their thirties than fucking "Always in Vogue" or "What Is This Thing Called Love". There is one book about running that would be useful, but the other 47 sadly aren't.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Golden Age Flash, Jay Garrick, had the dumbest origin story ever

Seriously, this is how he got his super speed:

I know smoking can be hazardous to ones health, but this is a bit ridiculous. DC must have thought the same because they retconned the source of his powers later on to come from the Speed Force, like all the other Flashes. I think his current 52 incarnation gets his powers from the blessings of the Roman god Mercury or something like that.

But still, let's point and laugh at Jay getting his powers because he had to have a smoke.

(via imgur)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

In which 2015 continues to be the shittiest year ever: RIP Yvonne Craig (Batgirl)

(via Collider)
Yup, in a year that has seen the deaths of Leonard Nimoy, Terry Pratchett, "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes, and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, the Reaperman has taken another icon of popular culture: Yvonne Craig.

Talk about a shitty year.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Thundercats are on the move, Thundercats are loose

Feel the magic, hear the roar, Thundercats are loose.

I just love that theme song. I regret never owning any of the toys, especially the Sword of Omens. Had the Blazing Sword from Voltron, though, which was nice.

At least until my brother took it apart and wrecked it. Asshole.

Masters of the Universe's Man-E-Faces has...many faces.

(Credit: MattiasFahlberg)
Well, I mean, three is many faces to have. Three is the number. Four is too much and two is not enough unless it's followed by a third. And five is right out*. I actually had a Man-E-Faces when I was a kid. It was a pretty good toy and the face switching never got old. Need a Wolverine-like berserker? Covered. Need a robot to team up with your Autobots or plot with the Decepticons? Done. The human face would probably work well with superhero action figures as either a hero or villain from the future. Like many of my childhood toys, I have not one clue about what ever became of it.

*I'd like to take this moment to apologize to Monty Python and the entire fandom for that butchering of a classic scene from Holy Grail.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Have I already posted the intro to the classic 90s X-Men cartoon? Yeah, probably

Doesn't mean that I won't keep doing it!

New name, same low-quality posts

So yeah, I decided to rename Giant-Size Nerd-Thing! to Nerd Trash for a number of reasons:

1. Felt like it. What can I say? I'm whimsical.
2. Giant-Size Nerd-Thing! is a bit much to type.

In addition, I used my nascent MS Paint skills to create a header. Check out that sweet ass font, yo. Here it is, in case you're reading this post after I've undoubtedly changed the header a dozen times in the near future.

I do plan on changing the header from time to time, but it won't be on like a monthly basis or anything and it'll be more of a rotation, so previous ones will be revisited.

I'm also going to be cleaning up the blogrolls, adding new blogs and eliminating others. Theme-wise, I'm going for old cartoons, comics, movies, toys, etc. In light of that, I'll probably be purging posts that are no longer relevant.

Fun times ahead!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Meet Fallon Grey, Marvel's new Blade the vampire slayer.

And I like this promo image a lot.

(via CBR)
The new Blade is a high school girl named Fallon Grey who also happens to be the daughter of original Blade. You know, the one Wesley Snipes played in three movies? He's in the series too, but I'm assuming that from the above picture, she's probably going to get more of the attention. Comic Book Resources has an interview with Tim Seeley, the writer of the new series. Worth reading.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Meanwhile in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a single Commodore Amiga controls the heat/AC for public school district

Seriously, all 19 schools have their boilers and ACs controlled by a Commodore Amiga that was bought in the 80s and programmed by a student. In fact, the same person still provides the tech support for it.
The computer is responsible for turning the heat and the air conditioners on and off for 19 school buildings.

“The system controls the start/stop of boilers, the start/stop of fans, pumps, [it] monitors space temperatures, and so on,” Hopkins explained.

A Kentwood High School student programmed it when it was installed in the 1980s. Whenever the district has a problem with it, they go back to the original programmer who still lives in the area.
Parts for the computer are difficult to find, Hopkins said. It is on its second mouse and third monitor.
“It’s a very unique product. It operates on a 1200-bit modem,” said Hopkins. “How it runs, the software that it’s running, is unique to Commodore.”
There are some problems though:
Hopkins said the system runs on a radio frequency that sends a signal to school buildings, which reply within a matter of seconds with the status of each building. The only problem is that the computer operates on the same frequency as some of the walkie-talkies used by the maintenance department.

“Because they share the same frequency as our maintenance communications radios and operations maintenance radios — it depends on what we’re doing — yes, they do interfere,” Hopkins said.
If that happens, “we have to clear the radio and get everyone off of it for up to 15 minutes.”
According to the article, the Amiga is slated for replacement by a $1-2 million system if the school district gets a $175 million bond approved. It just amuses the hell out of me that a 30+ year old computer is still responsible for making sure that students and faculty in almost twenty schools don't fry or freeze. On the other hand, it was pointed out in the comments of the original article and at the BoingBoing forums that the Amiga could easily be replaced with Raspberry Pi, which costs like $30 per unit. It would do the exact same thing that the Amiga is doing so well, but wouldn't cost millions.

h/t BoingBoing.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

DC's Legends of Tomorrow trailer!

Rip Hunter! Hawkgirl! Captain Cold & Heatwave! White Canary! Atom! Half of Firestorm! Whoever Jay Jackson is!

This is going to be good. I like the choice of Vandal Savage as the big bad. Can't wait until next year.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Shoutout to the person on Tumblr who just spoiled Age of Ultron for me

Because apparently tagging a post as a spoiler is just too much work. Bravo. I'm not sure if I'm even going to see the movie on Monday like I planned to.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Things are progressing on the third Arrowverse TV show: more casting, possible title, and episode run

Man, oh man, the details for that new show is just coming out of the woodwork. First, two more characters have been revealed: Hawkgirl and Rip Hunter! Ciara Renée will be playing the most recent incarnation of Hawkgirl, Kendra Saunders, while Doctor Who alumni Arthur Darvill will be playing time traveler Rip Hunter. Yeah, Rory just can't escape time travel. I just wonder how many (if any) Doctor Who references the writers are going to toss in. There's gotta be at least one or two. I wonder which version of Saunders they're going to use though: the original or the New 52 version.

Personally, I'm hoping for the latter.
(via DC Comics Database)

So far, this is the cast list:

Brandon Routh - Atom
Wentworth Miller - Captain Cold
Caity Lotz - ?
Dominic Purcell - Heatwave
Ciara Renée - Hawkgirl
Victor Garba - Martin Stein/Firestorm
Arthur Darvill - Rip Hunter

Notably absent is Robbie Amell, who plays Ronnie Raymond, the other half of Firestorm. According to Greg Berlanti, there's a reason why Amell wasn't in the casting in the announcement for the show, but he "can't say why". Curious. Maybe Robbie Amell doesn't want to be tied down to a TV show and might have more of a recurring role? Or maybe they're going to replace Ronnie as the second half of the Firestorm matrix? After all, Jason Rusch exists in the Arrowverse, having appeared in The Flash episode "The Revenge of the Rogues", played by Luc Roderique.

(via Anglophenia)
Title-wise, ComicsAlliance is reporting that "Legends" is the working title. It works in the context that in Rip Hunter's time, the team and its members are considered legends. The only problem is that TNT already has a show called Legends. No idea what else to call it, since Warner Bros and DC probably want to avoid using Justice League before they finally get around to making a JL movie.

Could always call it Super Buddies. Yeah!

Whatever it's called, the show is getting a 13 episode run, according to original Flash, John Wesley Shipp. Regardless of what it's called, which Firestorm they use, or how many episodes the first season gets, I'm totally hyped for this show!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Ouch, Taskmaster, that's harsh

From Ant-Man Volume 2 #3 (Spencer/Rosanas).

So this entire time Scott Lang has had some kind of one-sided arch-rivalry with a guy who wasn't even aware of it? Hopefully Scott won't spend the rest of his day listening to Taylor Swift songs and moping. Scott does get back at him with a nice zinger about the rather incoherent theme of Taskmaster's costume.

I actually like Taskmaster's costume, but yeah, the skull mask is an odd choice. I mean, it looks cool as hell, but why a skull and one so realistic? Back in the aughts, UDON redesigned the costume to make it look more realistic and it was pretty cool.

Certainly more realistic than the pirate-themed one. His regular costume edges the UDON one out as my favorite, though.

Ant-Man #3 pictures via darkermydesire.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

IBM, CP/M, Microsoft, and creation of MS-DOS

(via ExtremeTech)
Found a rather interesting article on a website called that explains the origin of Microsoft's MS-DOS and thought it was interesting. The article itself is actually about why hard drives are labeled "C" by default, but it's not as interesting compared to the story of MS-DOS.

(via Wikipedia)
It all begins back in '80s. IBM was about to make it's presence felt in the personal computer market by introducing their IBM PC in '81 and they wanted their machines loaded with a then-popular operating system called CP/M, made by a company called Digital Research, Inc. What's interesting is that CP/M was itself based on the CP/CMS OS created by IBM back in the '60s. Well, things didn't work out for whatever reason, supposedly because the wife of the Digital Research refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement. So, not being able to license CP/M for their PCs, Big Blue turned to a little software company run by Bill Gates and Paul Allen called Microsoft.

You might have heard of Microsoft, it's sort of a big deal. I hear Gates and Allen did pretty well for themselves, too.

(via Forbes)
IBM wanted MS to create a copy of CP/M, so that it would be compatible with software that ran on CP/M. Microsoft in turn bought a clone of that OS called 86-DOS and turned it into MS-DOS.  In other words, MS-DOS is based on a clone of an operating system that itself was based on an operating system created by IBM. Now add in the fact that Windows is based off MS-DOS and that is one hell of a lineage. IBM would rebrand MS-DOS to PC-DOS for their own computers and later developed it into a separate product.

In case you're wondering about the C drive thing, it's because back when computers still used floppies, the disk drives were labeled A and B (if the computer had two). Hard drives weren't a common feature back then, but when they did become common, they were just naturally labeled C. Like I said, not as interesting as the creation of MS-DOS.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Commodore PET

Credit: Tomislav Medak.
CPU: 6502, 1 MHz
RAM: 4 or 8 kB / 8, 16, or 32 kB
ROM: 18 kB, including BASIC 1.0 / 20 kB, including BASIC 2.0 (disk drives not supported on the original 2001)
Video: discrete TTL video circuit, 9" monochrome monitor (blue phosphor on the original 2001, green on 2001-N PETs), 40×25 character display
Sound: none / single piezo "beeper" (optional external speaker driven by MOS 6522 CB2 pin)
Ports: 2 MOS 6520 PIA, MOS 6522 VIA, 2 Datassette (1 used / 1 on the back), 1 IEEE-488
Notes: 69 key chiclet keyboard and built-in Datassette / full-sized, full-travel keyboard, no built-in Datassette
32 KB memory! Monochrome monitor! 1 whole entire MHz! Man, computer technology certainly has advanced since this Commodore came out in 1977. It amazes me that at the time, this was a top of the line computer that could be found in businesses, schools, and probably homes. I know it might sound like I'm dumping on this computer because it's not high-tech compared to today's hardware, but trust me when I say I'm not. I really and truly like old electronics because they represent markers in the evolution of technology.

American Horror Story: Oh God, Why is That So Dusty?!
Credit: Marcin Whicary

While I do especially like the design of the PET, I can't say that the keyboard is blowing my socks off. The keys look ridiculously small and the placement next to the datassette had to make it awkward to use. It seems like you would either have to hold your hands and arms at an uncomfortable angle to use the keyboard or sit just a little to the right, which would make looking at the screen awkward, since it's not directly in front of your eyes.

And remember kids, keep your electronics dust-free or else the ghost of Steve Jobs will smite your computer and turn it into a Lisa.

A control panel for the Large Hadron Collider

(via The Guardian)
I like how there's a key involved to turn this thing on. This thing looks more like it's the control panel for a nuclear arsenal than for an atom smasher. Then again, atom smashers probably have a high degree of danger once they're turned on, so precautions are good. I can't even imagine what it must feel like to be the one who gets to fire that sucker up. Of course, the thing is that there's two beams involved, so there's probably a second panel just this for the other one.

It's probably one of those things that seems cooler than it actually is. It's probably about as mundane as flipping on a light switch or pressing a button on a vending machine.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Thank you, AJ

(via IGN)
So it was announced yesterday that AJ Lee is retiring from WWE. Huh.

You ever have one of those days where it just does not pay to get out of bed? I'll post something longer on Monday, because this isn't something to be rushed.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

RadioShack lives to see another day

Remember that post about RadioShack going bankrupt and how Sprint was planning on turning like half of them into Sprint stores? Well, according to Wired that's what's happening. The remaining 1,740 stores will share a third of their space with Sprint and both companies will have their names on the signs. The main reason why RadioShack still exists is because it was bought out by some hedge fund called Standard General. Apparently this didn't sit well with some other company called Selaus Capital Group who were RadioShack's biggest lender. You know, for an electronics company that is like universally agreed to have been outdated and moribund, The Shack sure has a lot of companies fighting for and over it.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The first game console I ever played was an Atari something

(via Wikipedia)
For a long time I thought that the first video game console I ever played on was an Atari 5200 because being all of six years old at the time, all I can remember of it is that it was black as the night. WELL, it turns out that it might not have been a 5200. The controller doesn't match what I remember.

Then there's the 7800. I don't think this was it because I can't recall the color strip and the controller isn't right either.

(via Wikipedia)

The closest match I think is a model of the 2600 called the "Darth Vader" because of it's all black casing.

(via Wikipedia)
My memory's foggy, but it does look more like the Atari I played when I was a kid, at least moreso than the others.

In any case, the first game I played on the Atari (and first period) was E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. Yeah, that game.

(via Wikipedia)
And all those stories about how terrible that game is? All true. All so very true. The main problem with the game was falling into these damn pits and not being able to get out! In the game, E.T. has to find three pieces of a phone hidden in pits (because that makes sense?) in order to phone home. During all this, you have to avoid FBI agents, scientists, and a diminishing energy counter that can only be replenished by collecting Reese's Pieces. Once E.T. phones home, the game restarts, but I never got that far, I got tired of falling into all those pits.

Fear the Walking Dead? Really?

Wow, that is certainly a name for a spinoff of The Walking Dead. Certainly a name. Yep.

Better Call Saul of the Walking Dead would have been a better choice. Just saying.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Dat Deadpool movie costume

Dang, that is a nice bear skin rug.
(via /Film)
Ryan Reynolds tweeted it today and it looks nice. I like how some movie costumes are being made with all the fake musculature like the batsuits have. I don't think baddies really give two shits about whether a hero has a sixpack or not.

Pop quiz, hot shot: When I problem comes along you must:

A. Study the problem in order to formulate a plan of action.
B. Flee in terror into the night.
C. Whip it, whip it good.
D. None of the above.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

New old posts

Just FYI, I just imported posts from a blog that I'm shutting down. Mostly just mysteries and thriller stuff.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Here's the first two pictures of Melissa Benoist as Supergirl in CBS's upcoming show

 I really like the costume, even though others don't. It's obviously patterned after the costume Henry Cavill wore in Man of Steel, but it's a much better design. The skirt might seem a bit outdated, but I think retaining it was an excellent idea because it's a signature part of Supergirl's many costumes across all of the different media she's appeared in. The stockings are the only thing I'm feeling iffy about because they're an odd addition. I'm assuming they're supposed to help maintain the dark color scheme of the boots, skirt, and cape. And maybe to provide some coverage in case there's an updraft and Kara doesn't want to world to know she wears Minecraft underwear?

From what I've been able to gather, Melissa Benoist (who previously starred on Glee) will being playing a 24 year old Kara Zor-El and unlike Smallville and it's handling of her cousin's trek to superherodom, the new series will have Supergirl fighting crime early on as she learns about her great powers and presumably the great responsibilities that come with them. Calista Flockhart will be playing Cat Grant, head of her own media corporation and Kara's boss. Jimmy Olsen's in the show too, played by Mehcad Brooks. Very interestingly, Hank Henshaw, aka Cyborg Superman, will also be on the show (played by David Harewood) as the head of the Department of Extra-Normal Operations.

I'm just wondering if DC/Warner Bros. have any plans to connect Supergirl to either the DC Movieverse or to the universe of Arrowverse? Will she get at least a mention in Batman vs Superman? It makes more sense to go with the latter. Greg Berlanti is both one of the creators of and an executive producer on Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl, and CBS co-owns The CW along with Warner Bros. It also makes sense because the various DC series on TV right now obviously exist in continuities separate from the ones that Man of Steel and the upcoming movies are in, so why not bundle Supergirl, Arrow, The Flash, and Constantine all into a single shared universe?

Unfortunately, CBS President Nina Tassler isn't all that keen on the idea, wanting to "keep Supergirl for ourselves for a while." and pointing out that Arrow and The Flash air on a different network. Yeah, a network that your parent company co-owns. CBS would make money either way and especially from crossovers. You can't tell me that the hype of seeing Supergirl teaming up with The Flash and/or the Arrow wouldn't be huge and successful. Of course, she might just be wary of the show's success or maybe how continuity between the three might become complicated. But seeing as how Greg Berlanti is involved with all three, he could easily make sure everything runs smoothly. Just give it a chance!

Supergirl pictures via The Verge.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Google backs off of adult content ban

This week, we announced a change to Blogger’s porn policy stating that blogs that distributed sexually explicit images or graphic nudity would be made private.
We’ve received lots of feedback about making a policy change that impacts longstanding blogs, and about the negative impact this could have on individuals who post sexually explicit content to express their identities.
We appreciate the feedback. Instead of making this change, we will be maintaining our existing policies.

What this means for blog owners

  • Commercial porn will continue to be prohibited.
  • If you have pornographic or sexually explicit content on your blog, you must turn on the adult content setting so a warning will show. If a blog with adult content is brought to Google’s attention and the content warning is not active, we will turn on the warning interstitial for you. If this happens repeatedly, the blog may be removed.
  • If you don't have sexually explicit content on your blog and you're following the rest of the Blogger Content Policy, you don't need to make any changes to your blog.

Monday, March 2, 2015

This cat just had the soul brushed out of it

Remember that one time Rocko from Nickelodeon's Rocko's Modern Life worked as a phone sex operator?

I don't even know what constitutes a "children's cartoon" anymore. Oddly, when I was a kid, Rocko having phone sex for a living didn't strike me as odd or anything. His monotone, almost confused 'Oh, babys' made me bust a gut, though.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Selina Kyle (Catwoman) is bisexual and that's just keen

I haven't read a Catwoman comic in...well, ever, but the news that the current writer of the Catwoman comic, Genevieve Valentine, has confirmed that Selina Kyle is bisexual is fantastic. As you can see above, the most recent issue shows Selina smooching the new Catwoman, Eiko Hasigawa (according to the Buzzfeed article, Kyle is a mob boss now).

The reason I think this is awesome is two-fold: First, there's not nearly enough bisexual characters in fiction period. It seems like a lot of writers treat non-heterosexual characters as either gay or lesbian with no in-between or spectrum. Second, there's a tendency in both fiction and real life for something called bisexual erasure. What this means basically is that if a bisexual person is in a relationship with or only dates a particular gender over the others, then they're "not really" bisexual. So if, for example, a bi woman dates other women, then she's not really bisexual, she's a lesbian regardless of whether or not she's also attracted to men. It also works vice versa if said woman primarily dates men, but is still attracted to women, then she's straight. Same thing if she were a man.

Here's the thing about bisexual erasure, it's just as bad as homophobia or any other discrimination based on sexual orientation because you're denying a person's sexuality just as you would a gay or lesbian person by telling them "Oh you're not gay, you're just going through a phase" or "You're too young to know what you're orientation is". Bisexuals can be harassed and go through the same trials and ordeals that any other LGBTQIA person goes through and honestly things like Catwoman being bisexual can be just as big of a deal with some celebrity or fictional character coming out as gay, asexual or trans.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Looks like there is going to be an Atom spinoff sorta starring...the Sara Lance Black Canary?!

Just read this on The A.V. Club. I saw it earlier while Googling, but brushed it off as one of those wild rumors/clickbait that pops up all the time. Boy, was I wrong. According to The A.V. Club, The CW is planning on doing an Arrow/The Flash spinoff starring The Atom, Firestorm, Captain Cold, and...Sara Lance?

Careful with this meme, it's an antique.
No word on how they're bringing her back, unless Caity Lotz is going to play a brand new character and Mark Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg expect us to look the other way. Of course, they could easily have Oliver take Sara's body to Nanda Parbat and revive her with the Lazarus Pit. The preview for the next episode of Arrow, "The Offer", seems to indicated that the Pits exist in the Arrowverse. The article also says that there's a chance that the spinoff might go straight to series, skipping the need for a pilot. If it does, then that's a huge vote of confidence from The CW to Berlanti, Kreisberg, and Guggenheim.

Captain Cold being in the cast is an eyebrow raiser, considering he's a supervillain on The Flash. I like Wentworth Miller and the way he plays Cold, so I'm not complaining in the least. I just wonder what their team will be called, since Justice League is presumably off the table. Justice Society sounds too formal. The Outsiders, maybe?

The article also says that there's going to be "three major DC Comics characters who have never appeared in a TV series" but they haven't been named yet. Sam Barsanti wants The Question to be one of them and I totally agree. Maybe add at least another female character so Sara isn't alone in what is otherwise a sausage-fest?

I guess the only thing to do is sit back, watch, and hope that this turns out to be yet another smash for the Arrowverse. If it is, then Berlanti and company should just be handed the reigns for the DC Cinematic Universe to run because right now, they're the only ones getting it right.

Unite the Seven!

(via Zack Snyder's Twitter)
Duuuude, Jason Momoa as Aquaman is one of the best casting choices. I know there are people who either don't like his appearance or his race, but who the fuck really cares? This is how Arthur Curry should look. I do hope they keep the name Arthur Curry, though. I think what I like is how Aquaman looks like what Poseidon or some other ocean deity would look like.

I was thinking just now and you know who would have been a good second choice as Aquaman? The unfortunately late Paul Walker. Of the two (provided that Walker were still alive), I'd still probably go with Momoa.
(via Wikipedia)

5 Arrow spinoffs I'd like to see

Arrow's been on the air for three seasons and has already spawned one spinoff, The Flash. So why not more? Here's five spinoffs that I think would be worth watching.

(via Arrow & The Flash Wiki)
The Atom: This is the most likely of the five to happen. In fact, there's already talk of a spinoff. We’re seeing Ray working on the suit and he has a stated intent to use it to fight crime, so a spinoff makes sense. Plus, it would capitalize on the success of Marvel’s Iron Man movies and possibly the Ant-Man movie if it doesn’t bomb at the box office. Ray is being portrayed as a technologist in the same vein as Tony Stark after all, and he'll presumably have size-changing powers like his comic book version (white dwarf star matter was mentioned in the episode ("Draw Back Your Bow") and Ant-Man. The difference is that the writers are trying to broaden his abilities beyond mere shrinking. I like technological/scientific superheroes. Their gadgets tend to be awesome.

(via Arrow & The Flash Wiki)
Wildcat: He fought against Brick’s gang in the episode "Uprising" and he already had prior experience as a vigilante, so why not? The premise would be that The Glades is left incredibly unstable due to events over the past seasons, so Wildcat springs back into action to help fight crime there. Ollie gives him his blessing because it helps reduce his own workload.

(via Arrow & The Flash Wiki)
Black Canary: Laurel decides to strike out on her own and takes up in the defense of her own section of the city. She still helps out Ollie and crew. Like with Ted, Ollie gives her the greenlight because he realizes he needs much more help defending Starling than ever before.

(via Comic Vine)
The Question: Use his origin as a reporter who also fights corruption and organized crime. Maybe give him aspects of Denny O’Neil’s run on the character? The Sara Montoya version is another option, but she's more tied to the Batman side of the DCU.

(via Arrow & The Flash Wiki)
Thea Queen: Well, I mean, Malcolm Merlyn did give her loads of combat training and she’s quite capable of fighting, plus she has multiple trophies in archery, so she has those skills like her brother. Maybe Ollie takes her as a sidekick (to keep an eye on her) and insists on calling her Speedy. Obviously, that's not going to strike fear into the hearts of criminals, so she'd have to go with something else on the streets.