Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lifehacker: Five Best Desktop Media Players

You've collected hundreds of thousands of megabytes (and maybe even gigabytes) of digital music and video in the past 10 years, and as your media library has grown, so has the necessity for finding the perfect desktop media player. Not only must the perfect player be capable of playing back your media, but it also needs to be able to help you search through and find any song or movie you're looking for at a moment's notice. On Tuesday we asked to hear about your favorite desktop media player, and over 600 comments later we're back with the most popular answers. Hit the jump for a glimpse at the five best desktop media players, then help us choose the best of the best.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


In a recursive move, I am attempting to push the feed for this (my blog) into my Twitter account. Will it work? Only time will tell. - Soviet Literature Summarized

Here's a cool little site for those of you looking for interesting period literature but you don't want something from the viewpoints of the West.

I'm sure that there's a lot of useful information for gamers to be found at this site.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

BBC NEWS | Why is John Barrowman gay?

Torchwood star John Barrowman has known he was gay since he was nine. But was he born that way or did his upbringing have something to do with it? Here, he explains why he set out to try to solve this mystery, for the BBC One show The Making of Me.

I was in the closet for three hours once in 1972. It was dark, uncomfortable, and really cramped. Plus, I was convinced I wasn't alone (a crumpled jacket lurking in the corner looked pretty dangerous). I was five and my brother, Andrew, then 10, and my sister, Carole, 13, had shoved me into the coat closet because, well, really for absolutely no good reason. I mean what baby brother has ever annoyed his siblings to the point of needing to be locked up or tied down?

This story still gets a laugh from my nieces and nephews. Depending on who's doing the telling, Uncle John was either locked up for 30 fleeting minutes or for three long, tortuous, oxygen-starved hours. As simple as the story is I think it's an apt metaphor for the way I've chosen to live my life - openly, honestly, with no regrets. And, whenever I can, I try to confront the monsters in the dark. As my favourite Jerry Herman song proclaims: 'There's no return and no deposit. One life. So open up your closet.'

Robert Kirkman Made Partner at Image Comics

This is pretty big news in comics, I think.
22 July 2008 - As reported by the New York Times earlier today, THE WALKING DEAD and INVINCIBLE's Robert Kirkman has become a corporate partner of Image Comics.

'Image Comics has been a huge part of my life for as long as it's been in existence,' said Kirkman. 'Being inspired by the creation of Image, I've entered into my comics career not wanting to write corporate characters as much as I've wanted to create my own. Being a partner at Image, having the chance to help run the company as well as continue to contribute strong creator-owned series to its publishing line is more than I've ever thought possible for myself. I'm very excited to have the opportunity to sit at the table across from my fellow partners, and steer the direction of comics as a whole.'

Howard Chaykin's American Flagg! is Waving

This week, Image Comics and Dynamic Forces will release a hardcover collection of Howard Chaykin's legendary creator-owned series 'American Flagg!' to comic shops across America. At least, that's what Chaykin's been told.

'My understanding is that it actually exists,' laughs the writer and artist, noting that he'll believe the long-delayed volume has been printed when he holds it in his hands. Announced over three years ago, the hardcover will include the first twelve issues of the series (originally published in the early '80s by First Comics) as well as an all-new Flagg tale by Chaykin. 'What delayed the process were the solutions to a series of technical problems that were created by a number of unforeseen circumstances - getting our hands on the film, things like that. That was what extenuated the process and made the process more difficult,' Chaykin says.

However, while the 'Flagg!' hardcover took a number of years to assemble, few would argue that the wait would not be worth it. While a number of younger fans today never experienced the series, the story of former TV star Reuben Flagg fighting his way through corruption in a giant, gang-infested mall in an America abandoned by the U.S. government for new digs on Mars is a keystone of creator-owned comics and Chaykin's groundbreaking graphic style.

Announcement of the Creation of Gygax Games

July 23, 2008 Trigee Enterprises Company announced today it will now be conducting business as Gygax Games. Gail Gygax owner of Trigee Enterprises Company and the intellectual properties created by the late E. Gary Gygax also recently brought on board, Spencer Wright as Director of Operations & Product Development.

Gygax Games will focus on a number of projects including Castle Zagyg™ and the Gygaxian Fantasy Worlds ™ products created by the late Gary Gygax.

Gygax Games has plans to re-launch the Legendary Adventure™ line in the future.

Gail Gygax stated she wants to focus on maintaining the integrity of the product lines and is dedicated to working with other authors to continue the legacy of her late husband.

Contact Gail Gygax
262 745 5577

Spencer Wright

Castle Zagyg, Gygaxian Fantasy Worlds and Legendary Adventure are trademarks owned by Trigee Enterprises Company.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Calvinball Rules at Simply Calvin and Hobbes

Here's a compilation of Calvinball 'rules' through the years. Of course, they are all open to interpretation and contradiction...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Gi Joe: Warren Ellis Is Resolute About GI Joe

So, Warren Ellis has written the script for a PG-13 animated G.I. Joe movie.
The idea was, as I understand it, that bringing in a writer with absolutely no nostalgia for the property would give them the tone they were looking for. I think they were happy when I presented them with the initial list of characters I was going to just kill. And then the list of things I was going to blow up.

The people at Hasbro were actually remarkably supportive. And I did apologise after shouting at them those times. And they did give me one of those conversations that you never really expect to have when growing up:

HASBRO: No, Warren, you cannot wipe Beijing from the face of the earth.

ME: Shit. (pause) What about Moscow?

HASBRO: Wiping Moscow from the face of the earth would be fine.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Boom! Comic's Josh Medors Benefit

From Mark Waid via Warren Ellis' Mailing List:
This September, Boom! -- in partnership with Dan Taylor -- is releasing a one-shot anthology, PULP TALES, 100% of the profits of which will be donated to artist Josh (30 DAYS OF NIGHT ANNUAL, FUSED) Medors, who's fighting a losing, health-insurance-light battle against cancer. Steve Niles, B. Clay Moore, Josh Fialkov and Tony Fleecs are just a few of the artists and writers who've donated their time and effort to this project, and they're all bringing their 'A' game.

Mike Wieringo snuck up on us. The suddenness of Michael Turner likewise surprised us. Josh isn't as well-known as those two guys, but he's a talented man with a good heart who's done well by us all and has been a great spokesperson for comics with the way he treats his fans--and while our donations can't make his cancer go away, they can make life easier for Josh and his family in a way we didn't get a chance to provide to others.

We've got two editions of this book shipping--a $3.99 edition with a Ben Templesmith cover and, for those readers who'd like to kick in a bigger donation to the cause, a $9.99 cover by Josh himself. I'm a terrible shill and a lousy salesman, so I'm not going to hard-sell anyone on this--but if whoever's reading this can help us make a difference to a fellow professional and his family while we still can, while it still counts, I'd be very grateful. Thank you.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

FUNimation Acquires Geneon and ADV Anime Titles

FUNimation Entertainment, announced that not only they have acquired a number of anime titles from the recently closed doors of Geneon, but approximately 30 recent titles from what is now the former (as of 2007) #1 distributor of Japanese animation in the United States, ADV.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Thomas M. Disch RIP

Science Fiction author Thomas Disch has died. According to Ellen Datlow he committed suicide on July 4th in his home.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Independent Government Observers Task Force

The Internet has created a new generation of individuals and institutes that practice the time-honored tradition of observing and reporting on the activities of government. These are reporters in the sense of court reporters, not journalists, auditors as in independent investigators rather than CPAs.

The classic independent observer is the court reporter, such as Henry Wheaton and Richard Peters, two businessmen in the early days of the Republic who took it upon themselves to collect, print, and sell the decisions of courts.