Thursday, May 22, 2008

Abney Park

McGuinn’s Folk Den

Do you like folks music? Real folk music that stretches back into history for hundreds of years? Then check out Roger McGuinn's (if I have to explain who he is I am going to be disappointed in you) folk tradition website.

If you don't know who he is, I leave that as an exercise for the student.

This song is what lead me to his site:

That's Cab Calloway singing though.

Monday, May 19, 2008

WotC at GenCon Indy

Well, it looks like the worries of D&D fans can be put back into their pockets. WotC will be in attendance at Gen Con this year.

Gen Con is pleased to announce that once again Wizards of the Coast, will be a co-sponsor of Gen Con Indy. Fans of all ages come to Gen Con each year to see and experience the latest in analog and digital gaming, and Wizards’ participation is a highlight for many fans. This year, Wizards of the Coast will be showing off their latest offerings, including the release of Dungeons & Dragons® 4th Edition.

Matt Fraction/Casanove Interview Podcast

If you aren't reading Casanova the question that you should be asking yourself is "Why Not?"

Matt Fraction interview

Go out and get it and come back. I'll wait.

Ohio State "Super" Collection

In comic book terms, it might be on the scale of a merger of the X-Men and the Justice League of America: two collections combining to form what's believed to be the world's largest treasury of cartoon art.

Ohio State University's Cartoon Research Library said it's acquiring and plans to display the collection of the International Museum of Cartoon Art, about 200,000 works that have been in limbo since the museum's last physical location closed six years ago.

The museum's original drawings for comic books, comic strips and animated cartoons, as well as display figures, toys, collectibles and films, will double the size of the library's cartoon art collection, said Lucy Shelton Caswell, the library's curator.

Man says JetBlue made him sit on toilet

A New York City man is suing JetBlue Airways Corp. for more than $2 million because he says a pilot made him give up his seat to a flight attendant and sit on the toilet for more than three hours on a flight from California.

Gokhan Mutlu, of Manhattan's Inwood section, says in court papers the pilot told him to 'go hang out in the bathroom' about 90 minutes into the San Diego to New York flight because the flight attendant complained that the 'jump seat' she was assigned was uncomfortable, the lawsuit said.

Mutlu was traveling on a 'buddy pass,' a standby travel voucher that JetBlue employees give to friends, from New York to San Diego on Feb. 16, and returned to New York on Feb. 23, the lawsuit said.

Company to reprint yearbooks after head switching

School officials say they are appalled by altered photos — including heads on different bodies — in hundreds of McKinney High School yearbooks delivered this week.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Look at the Pentagon’s Five Step Plan For Making Iron Man Real

'The human being is almost singularly pathetic. We lack claws, sport tiny little teeth, and are covered with thin, delicate skin. Most of us can’t even walk outside barefoot.' Roboticist Daniel Wilson is pointing to a singular riddle of humankind’s place on the planet. We are one of the weaker species physically and yet we sit at top of the food chain. The reason is our technology. A saber tooth tiger may be able to chew us to bits, but once that first cave man learned to shake a stick, its time was over. Today, we could literally bomb that tiger back into the Stone Age, that is, if it hadn’t already been made extinct by our stick-wielding ancestors.

And yet, while we have exponentially gone from stick to nuclear bombs in our destructive power, our human bodies aren’t any stronger, faster, better protected, or even that much smarter. About the only things that have even moderately changed about us are our waist sizes and hair to body ratio.

Technology again offers the lure, however, of solving for this weakness of the human body, an idea frequently played with in science fiction. Iron Man is the Marvel comicbook series in which Tony Stark, a playboy industrialist, dons a technologic suit of powered armor. The suit gives him superhuman strength, virtual invulnerability, the ability to fly, and packs an array of weapons. In the comic books, Iron Man uses his suit to battle the communists, a Chinese warlord, Godzilla, and the Incredible Hulk. In the new movie starring Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow, Iron Man takes on our 21st century versions of arch-villiany: terrorists and an evil CEO.

Vatican: It's OK to believe in aliens

Believing that the universe may contain alien life does not contradict a faith in God, the Vatican's chief astronomer said in an interview published Tuesday.

The Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, was quoted as saying the vastness of the universe means it is possible there could be other forms of life outside Earth, even intelligent ones

Real Archaeologists Question Indiana Jones' M.O.

Indiana Jones managed to retrieve the trinket he was after in the opening moments of 'Raiders of the Lost Ark.' He pretty much wrecked everything else in the ancient South American temple where the little gold idol had rested for millennia.

Though he preaches research and good science in the classroom, the world's most famous archaeologist often is an acquisitive tomb raider in the field with a scorched-earth policy about what he leaves behind. While actual archaeologists like the guy and his movies, they wouldn't necessarily want to work alongside him on a dig.

Indy's bull-in-a-china-shop approach to archaeology will be on display again May 22 with 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,' in which he's sure to rain destruction down on more historic sites and priceless artifacts.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Man Dressed As Darth Vader Attacks Jedis

Filed under the "I Couldn't Make This Up If I Tried" category
A man who dressed up as Darth Vader, wearing a black garbage bag for a cape, and assaulted the founders of Britain's first Jedi church was given a suspended sentence Tuesday.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Neil Young gets new honor -- his own spider

Iconic singer and songwriter Neil Young has had an honor bestowed upon him that is not received by many musicians -- his own spider.

An East Carolina University biologist, Jason Bond, discovered a new species of trapdoor spider and opted to call the arachnid after his favorite musician, Canadian Neil Young, naming it Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Esperanto and Klingon and Quenya...Oh, my!!

This summer, at the Cleveland Public Library:
Running May through August 2008, Cleveland Public Library will present an exhibit entitled 'Esperanto, Elvish, and Beyond: The World of Constructed Languages' on the second floor of the Main Library.

What are 'constructed languages?' Quite simply, they are languages that have been intentionally constructed. Languages like English, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Swahili, and Guguyimidjir (a nearly-extinct native language of Australia) all evolved naturally, arising organically within a group of people through various natural forces. No single person defined their vocabularies, designed their syntaxes, or deliberately decided to create them.

Constructed languages, or 'conlangs' for short, stand at the other end of the spectrum: a single person (or a small group) defines the vocabulary, designs the syntax, and deliberately decides to create a language. Why would someone want to do this when there are so many 'real' languages to learn? The reasons are legion: from the simple artistic desire to play with linguistic concepts to the obsession to provide the world with a universal language. 'Conlangers' (those who construct languages) bring a myriad of skills, tastes, and goals to the art and craft of conlanging. Conlangs have been used in fiction (like The Lord of the Rings) and movies (like Star Trek) to add a sense of realism but have also been purely personal projects intended to stand on their own. Conlanging is a worldwide phenomenon practiced by people of all ages. It is hoped that this exhibit will provide a glimpse into the fascinating world of conlangs and those who take part in this art. As J.R.R. Tolkien may have said in Quenya: Á harya alassë! Enjoy!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Cleveland's Summer of Superman

CLEVELAND, OH – A group of Cleveland leaders met in New York City with executives at DC Comics, the owners of all Superman property rights, on Monday, April 28, 2008. The purpose was to launch collaboration on a series of events and legacy projects to celebrate Cleveland as the birthplace of Superman. The Man of Steel was created in 1933 by writer Jerome “Jerry” Siegel (1914-1996) and artist Joe Shuster (1914-1992), who both lived in Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood. Superman’s first appearance in a comic book was in 1938 in Action Comics #1.

The organizing committee determined that the best course to follow would be to form a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization to work with DC Comics in planning events for the summer of 2009 and, if successful, for many years to follow. Mr. Richard Pace, the principal of Cumberland Development LLC, was selected to lead the organizing efforts, and he will be supported by staff at Positively Cleveland. His primary charge in these early stages is to consult with DC Comics about every aspect of the planned festivals and to assure compliance with all legal and creative requirements for the use of images of the legendary super hero.

'The only way this effort can succeed to the greatest benefit for our committee is to apply the demanding standards prescribed by DC Comics – the very standards that made Superman the best known comic superhero of them all', Pace said. 'We will do this right, or we will not do this at all!'

Other geeky/Superman somewhat related events in Cleveland this summer:

May 11 is the North Coast Comic Con, located just a wee bit south of Cleveland at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Middleburg Heights with, among others, Sean McKeever, (Teen Titans); Marc Sumerak, (Marvel Adventures); Eddy Newell, (Black Lightning); Sean McArdle and me (Phantom Jack and Tales of the Starlight Drive-In.) Relatives of Jerry and Joe will be there, ready to share stories about those wonderful, creative days.

Jamie Reigel, ( huge collector of all things Superman, will have an exhibit of his rare and wonderful toys. Comic dealers and collector John Haines will show off his Superman comics collection. for more details.

Anyone in the Cleveland area is invited to a casual, free, party Saturday evening, May 10, at the hotel.

In July, the artists celebration called Ingenuity Festival of Art and Technology July 25 - 27 will have several cool Superman components. Visit for details.

Beginning in September and running though through January, the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood, near Cleveland, will host a superheroes exhibit. That’s in addition to the fine Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster exhibit the museum already has.

Visit for more details closer to the event. No comic fan’s visit to Cleveland is complete without a visit to the Maltz.

And even though it’s a little further away from Cleveland, the Screaming Tiki Pop Kulture Convention in Niles, Ohio, falls under the very broad Summer of Superman umbrella.

On Oct. 17 to 19, the convention welcomes Margot Kidder (Lois Lane, of course) and Sarah Douglas (Ursa in “Superman II.”) The convention will have a 70th birthday cake for Superman and host an auction to benefit the Christopher Reeve. Other featured guests include the original Batman TV show cast: Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar and the original Batmobile.

For more info, visit

All of this via Michael San Giacomo and Newsarama.