Author Archives: Colleen Kiphart

Ridley Scott Lied to Me (Ask a Guy in an Unrelated Field)

Every now and then science comes up in the news. Since none of us at The Cool Ship are scientists, we turn to the one science-y person we know – Colleen’s husband, Mike Padgen. Mike is proud to be The Cool Ship’s resident non-expert and our Guy in an Unrelated Field.

So you finally got around to watching Prometheus when your wife was out of town. What did you think of it?

It was fine. I enjoyed a lot of it. It was well made, but the whole time I kept thinking, “When is this guy going to show up?”

Georgio from tumblr

Really, Ridley Scott? Image courtesy of Tumblr.

The Ancient Aliens guy?

Yeah. It’s just such a silly show – “Why would these people have done this? How could this happen? Must’ve been aliens!” To make a serious movie using those ideas, it’s just boring to me. The possible answers to how life can come from non-life and, for that matter, what distinguishes life from non-life, are so much more fascinating than anything conclusions we could possibly draw by saying, “Must’ve been aliens!”

So then, if Ridley Scott is lying to us and it wasn’t aliens, how did life on Earth come about?

Well, it’s important to preface the rest of what I’m going to say with the fact that we will never know exactly how it happened on Earth. What we can know (even if they’re not fully understood as of yet) are plausible mechanisms by which the conditions on Earth 3.8 billion years ago (or so) would yield simple, self replicating life forms.

Life on Earth started 3.8 billion years ago?

Well, there’s no exact date, but it seems to have started soon after the Earth cooled enough to have liquid water on it, which happened when the Earth was only a few hundred million years old. Interestingly, the fact that life came about fairly quickly on Earth lends credence to the idea that life is common throughout the universe, even though we have no direct evidence of that.

So how could non-life become life?

The primordial soup, approximated in the famous Miller-Urey experiment, is not exactly right. One missing piece in that hypothesis is the lack of thermodynamic push – there is nothing pushing the ingredients in the soup to sustainably react with each other. Instead, it is thought that life originated in hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the sea, which provide both reactive hydrogen and a state of thermal disequilibrium that can drive the formation of complex molecules. The porous rocks in these vents contain small compartments that allow the organic molecules to accumulate, allowing further reactions to occur.

Since all life on this planet uses DNA to store genetic information, it is thought that the last universal common ancestor must have also had DNA. However, the very first self replicators could not have used DNA due to a chicken-and-egg type problem. The proteins that duplicate DNA are also encoded by that DNA. There is no selective pressure that would ensure that the genes responsible for duplication are maintained. It has therefore been posited that the initial life forms on this planet used RNA, which is able to catalyze its own duplication.

But where did the RNA come from?

where did the lighter fluid come from

Come to think of it, where did the lighter fluid come from too?

Several organic molecules, including precursors of amino acids and sugar, can be formed in space and have been found on asteroids and meteors. The period before life arose, the Earth was bombarded with asteroids, so these interstellar organic molecules were delivered from space.

So it was aliens!

No, that’s not what I’m saying at all. These organic molecules form spontaneously in space, and with the right conditions on earth, can be organized into nucleic acids and proteins and all the other stuff life needs to exist. There is no infinite regression required.

Sounds like it was aliens.

Ugh.

Georgio from tumblr

Called it.

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The Week in Geek: Oct. 19, 2012

I’m taking time out of my busy birthday (that I’m sure you care about so much) to let you know what we’ll be talking about at my party.

Snow White and Death by Amy Mebberson

Uno is a great way to pass the time waiting on a prince. Illustrator Amy Mebberson has some brilliant work on her site and Tumblr. Everything from pinups to modernist posters to cute pincesses. Check her work out! Image courtesy of Amy Mebberson.

First and foremost, as if there were any other news this week, AGENT PHIL M*****F***** COULSON IS COMING BACK!

Speaking of people with M*****F***** as a middle name, Bill Murray crashed some dude’s kickball game because he’s Bill Murray. If you have to ask why, you’ve clearly never heard of a Bill Murray Story.

After many years of having games played with our hearts in ways that that Backstreet Boys could never have imagined, it looks like Ghostbusters 3 is moving forward….without Venkman. Here’s a history of this film’s risen from the grave yet again.

When he isn’t impersonating Honey Boo Boo Child, Christopher Walken is playing a pretty mean Boarderlands 2.

You know those TED Talks that we all think will change the world but secretly know won’t (and we’re actually only checking out because it looked like it was about dinosaurs or sex or dinosaur sex)? Well, The Onion has started their version creatively called “Onion Talks.”

Grover Batman by Amy Mebberson

Grover’s not just the monster at the end of the book, he’s also the night! Image courtesy of Amy Mebberson.

There’s a new plot summary for Iron Man 3 out and it’s as vague as you assumed it would be! Excise “Iron Man” from this paragraph and it literally could be about any movie ever.

As the Ponds swim off to new lakes and streams, Rob won’t be weeping for them.

Lots of people get paid lots of money to be on the teevee, but the Internet would respectfully disagree with who pulls in the big bucks. Here’s how they’d like to see it in their happy little world.

No, sir, I do want to put these monsters in my pocket! I don’t care if they’re called Pokemon! Those realistic illustrations are just too freaky! I said good day!

Liberal level 9000 that I am, you should be proud that I waited this far in the article to link to the Binders Full of Women Tumblr.

Capt Kirk-met by Amy Mebberson

Captain Kirk-met directs his ship to the Pig Planet for reasons unknown to his crew. Image courtesy of Amy Mebberson.

In news that ruins your hypothetical childhood, if you ever imagine what life would be like if you were nine last summer, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Helicarrier  wouldn’t work. You can trust them because their website has the word “tech” in is and it is on YouTube.

J. Fortune has learned more from the space dive than just that it is really cool when someone jumps to the planet from space, a’la the most recent Star Trek.

The Avengers are back….as pugs. And it’s adorable. And it’s why the Internet exists. And the end, when Pug Thor can’t take off his helmet is hilarious.

Julie wants you to remember to takes the Zombie Survival Guide’s advice and organize before they rise.

The secret to getting Wolverine claws is to come up with a catchy viral K-Pop song. Who knew?

New York Comic Con was last week, and people were in costume, cosplaying as we in the geek industry would call it. Sorry to throw jargon at you. I don’t like to brag, but I’m preeety geeky. Aynwho, here and here are some badass cosplayers. Gabrielle agrees that costumes are for more than Halloween!

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The Week in Geek: Oct. 12, 2012

I had a ton of great links. Then I accidentally exited the window and didn’t realize it for a few minutes. Now you’re stuck with what I remembered finding. Sorry, the internet is a fickle fig.

mario+luigi droids

What makes you think we’re the droids you’re looking for? Itsa me, Luigi, sir! Image courtesy of Andrea Gerstmann Art.

You’re not the only ones trying to figure out what to be for Halloween. Professional Caricaturist Andrea Gerstmann gives everyone’s favorite droids a costumed makeover.  (via Neatorama)

These brother’s built an absurdly detailed Lego Batcave with more than 20,000 pieces over the course of six months. That’s impressive, but what I really want to know is if they managed to do all that and never step on a brick barefoot. (via Kotaku)

TJ has to make Sophie’s Choice…between two games.

John Gurdon won the 2012 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine and is generally considered to be, in technical terms, a Science Beast. However, in 1949, a high school teacher said pursuing a career as a scientist would be a “sheer waste of time.” Guess what Gurdon now has framed?

The New York Times has a fabulous profile on lady-geek entrepreneur/ voice actress Ashley Eckstein and her geek-with-boobies-friendly clothing company, Her Universe. Note: My birthday is coming up, and my closet is conspicuously lacking this.

Arrow premiered and now it looks like I won’t be the only one on staff watching the CW anymore!

oscar + bigbird droids

I’m going to make a Mitt Romney joke here because I’m liberal and topical! Image courtesy of Andrea Gerstmann Art.

The PS1’s graphics often looked like the “Money for Nothing” video, and the licensed games had a tendency to be a giant ball of suck. Topless Robot has six licensed games that not only rock, but still stand up to playing.

Yeah, I lack the skill to make these spectacular geek-o-lanterns. Could I interest you in a charmingly lopsided face? (via MentalFloss)

Just when you think the world couldn’t get any better, what with the crunchy leaves, the pumpkin spice lattes, and my wedding coming up (You know you care), Pixar releases a charming short, “Partysaurus Rex.” (via /Film)

In related news, Pixar has created a delightful website for Monsters University. Not the movie, the university the monsters go to in the movie. Oh. Pixar, thank you for filling my week with win! (via TDW)

Thinking thoughts about Angry Birds: Star Wars Gabrielle has.

Remember the eccentric billionaire who sad, “Bah!” to science and reason and set out to build his own Jurassic Park? Well science and reason have respectfully replied with a logical smackdown of your childhood hopes and dreams.

Steampunk and crafty (Aren’t all Steampunks somewhat crafty, or is that a stereotype?) people alike will be interested in Needles and Artifice, a book of Steampunk knitting patters.

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The Week in Geek: Oct. 5, 2012

You may not know what you’re going to do this weekend, but after reading this you know you you’ll be doing it full of fantastical Internet knowledge!

Also, whatever you’re doing this weekend, bring a jacket. It looks like a cold snap could be coming. Don’t give me that look! Just leave it in your car. You’ll be glad you have it when it gets dark.

Princess Sally by matthewhoworth

Maybe Sally’s never been considered a Disney Princess because she doesn’t dress like one. This lovely portrait takes care of that! Image courtesy of DeviantArtist matthewhoworth.

You know the silhouettes of you and your siblings that Ma and Pa have over the sofa? Yeah, photographer David Reeves’ action and occasionally zombie-packed vignettes are nothing like those. (via Geeks are Sexy via Geekologie)

TJ is a little excited that Halo: Forward Until Dawn is here.

Etsy seller Tannim is selling Game of Thrones-themed Converse All Stars (aka: “Chucks”) that he or she designed themselves. Insert overplayed play on,”Winter is coming,” here. (via Geekologie)

These kicks might be perfect for John since he just can’t stop discussing Game of Thrones!

What in the World (of Warcraft)?! Maine Democratic state senate candidate Colleen Lachowicz is under fire for her participation in the MMORPG. It has also led to an inadvertently hilarious press release. (via Kotaku)

What the hell is up with these non sequitur covers of classics put out by publisher Tutis? I’m 90 percent convinced this is a Dadaist art project that has gone too far. (via The Mary Sue)

Love the new Leatherface? A fan of the facelifted Freddy’s? Jonesing for some more Jason? Rob’s got a list of his favorite horror remakes.

You’re cold, but you’re too weak to carry a fresh taun taun carcass everywhere for warmth. Think Geek’s got you(r head) covered with these adorable Star Wars hats. Yoda you will look like. (via Laughing Squid)

a_tip_of_the_hat_by_matthewhoworth-d4c43b8

Deviant Artist matthewhoworth has a fantastic series of classic Disney villains done in this style! Image courtesy of DeviantArtist matthewhoworth.

May have guessed this because I’ve told you, but I’m a wee bit on the blue side of the Congressional fence. Because I very much disagree with Mitt Romney (And I’m the writer here), I’m sharing this link showing just what public television contributes to America. (Thanks to my friend Jess for the tip!)

Megan’s Movie Alphabet is not just an example of stunning graphic design; it also makes for some potentially twisted kids’ room art. (via Laughing Squid)

The Doctor Puppet is a blog that’s about pretty much what it says on the tin. I sit sad when you’re envious of a puppet’s globe-trotting lifestyle? (via I forget where! I’m sorry!)

Voters, listen up (You should all be listening since you should all be registered to vote!)! J. Fortune knows you’ve been guilty of fraudulent reasoning.

Are you a lady in possession of a larger than average bosom (counts me out)? Are you an experienced DM? Do you have a half hour to spare? Do you either have very high self-esteem or very low? Then you might want to answer this ad for a topless Dungeons + Dragons DM for a bachelor party. (via Nerd Approved)

Adele’s theme for the upcoming James Bond flick Skyfall was released yesterday. I haven’t listened it yet because I forgot my earbuds.

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The Week in Geek: Sept. 28, 2012

You may have added pumpkin spice to everything you’re eating and drinking, but I’ve got some geeky spice to add to your weekend! (Not my strongest opener,  I’ll grant you. I just got back from the dentist. I’m traumatized; cut me some slack!)

Avengers part 1 by La-Chapeliere-Folle

What if Tim Burton had been given the reigns of The Avengers instead of Joss Whedon? Deviantartist La-Chapeliere-Folle has a pretty good idea. Image courtesy of La-Chapeliere-Folle on DeviantArt.

Edgar Wright screened test footage for his finally confirmed Ant-Man. Thanks to talented Deviantartist Samurai Jack, who storyboarded his recollection of the footage, I can pretend I hopped a plane to San Diego, spent seven hours standing in line for a panel, and then spent two more in a massive room that slowly became filled with fanboy/girl farts. (via Topless Robot)

A Reddit user with the handle “european_douchebag” took a surreptitious photo of a Sikh woman with facial hair and posted it to be mocked. Her dignified, lovely, and forgiving response would have been enough. But then, the internet imploded and the original poster actually wrote a sincere apology. Internet, just when I think I know you, you surprise me. (Thanks to Colleen Carow for the Facebook tip!)

TJ has found a way to make his boredom disappear in a Flash (game)! (Come on, stop groaning! That was moderately clever! No? Alright, then.)

Hope Larson explains why she said, “Yes!” to adapting A Wrinkle in Time. I think the reasoning should be, “They asked me to adapt A Wrinkle in Time. What other answer is there?” (via Huffington Post)

Avengers part 2 by La-Chapeliere-Folle

Loving the Hulk interpretation here. Which is your favorite? Image courtesy of La-Chapeliere-Folle on DeviantArt.

Nerd Approved thinks that this Thor and Loki snuggle blanket is bizarre. I have two alternate synonyms to suggest: “Sold out online” and “Perfect for my living room.” (via The Mary Sue)

You’ll be able to download your tweets before 2013. That’s great because I was getting worried that all my shameless self-promotion on Twitter was just going to be lost forever. (via Geekosystem)

Gabrielle showed us where you can buy fabulous comic-covered kicks; but let’s assume you don’t have cash to burn on these nerdgasmic shoes. The Offbeat Bride has tips on how to make them yourself. (via Offbeat Bride)

Hey, what exactly do you get a search engine for its 14th birthday?

The companion of the Clown Prince of Crime, Harley Quinn, is 20 this year. What better way to remember many women’s (and men’s) favorite felon-ess than with a stunning sculpt…that (ugh) features her Arkham Asylum Juggalette of Death outfit. (via Kotaku)

Rapunzel by La-Chapeliere-Folle

A waifish, innocent blonde pulled into a mysterious world? I’m surprised Tim Burton hasn’t made an interpretation of Rapunzel already! Image courtesy of La-Chapeliere-Folle on DeviantArt.

They’re creepy, kooky, spooky, and all related. Rob runs down his favorite Halloweenie families.

Why were the Nazis obsessed with this Buddhist statue carved from a meteorite? If you have to ask, you’ve clearly never seen an Indiana Jones movie. (via io9)

Mark Millar, the creator of Kick Ass, has signed on to consult Fox on the future of the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises. As much as I loved X-Men: First Class, I’m hoping this means 100 percent more Nic Cage insanity in future installments. (via CBR)

These adorable images prove Dr. Seuss and Star Wars go together like Boba Fett and a sarlacc. (via Neatorama)

Like sands in the hourglass so goes the flow of power in Game of Thrones. Not really, but John’s back with part two of his hella insightful analysis of the series.

A long time ago in a yarn shop far, far away, a motivated crafter bought patterns for these squee-worthy Star Wars ships amigurumi. Then she gave me one just because I’m awesome, and it’s that kind of story. (via Laughing Squid)

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Ask a Guy in an Unrelated Field: The Science of Immortality

You have questions, and he has… sort of answers and maybes. That’s right, it’s time for another “Ask a Guy in an Unrelated Field.”

By: Mike Padgen

In your last article, the level of handwaviness  was so astounding.

You’re welcome.

Uh, thanks? Well, as I was saying, it was so astounding, I just can’t help coming back for more. So, let’s get to it. How do I live forever?

Wait, what? That’s your question for me?

582px-White-Rabbit-making-elixir-of-immortality

This apparently has something to do with immortality. Thanks Wikicommons!


Yeah, isn’t technology gonna let us live forever? The singularity is near, and all that?

I’ll get to the singularity in a second, but let’s start with what technology can do for us. Advances in medical science have certainly improved our quality of life and our ability to fight diseases that were once death sentences, and will continue to do so. But extending our lifetimes past the current limit (around 125 years) is far away, unless, of course, you can pull off the Three Stooges Syndrome.

Keep in mind, medical progress is slow. For example, when the Human Genome Project started, it was thought that, once we could sequence someone’s genome quickly and cheaply, we would be able to provide personalized medicine that would, among other things, allow doctors to correct mutations a person inherited from their parents through gene therapy, either preventing or treating a whole range of diseases – essentially revolutionizing every aspect of health care.

[Ed. note: That was an impressive run-on sentence. I’m going to let it slide since I’m not 100 percent sure where to cut it off.]

Mad scientist

He looks legit. I’d trust this fellow with my mortality. Image courtesy of dzingeek on Flikr.

Hey, Ed., get out of here!

Where was I? Basically, personalized medicine was supposed to be available by now. Unfortunately, we are not as simple as the pea pods everybody learns about in high school biology. Craig Venter (also of “synthetic” life fame), whose entire 6 billion nucleotide genome has been published, noted that even his eye color could not be determined from examining his genome. It turns out that knowing the nitty gritty details of things like the epigenome and the microbiome, among other “-omes,” of a person may be required to deliver truly personalized medicine.

Ok. But I want it now.

Well, even if we figure out ways to treat every form of cancer, infectious diseases, and all the other scary ways Mother Nature tries to kill us, our bodies will still age and deteriorate. There are a lot of people trying to understand how and why we age, and from that what can be done to slow the process of aging.
Stem cell therapies might be able to replenish our old tissues, but that becomes a problem with the brain. If your brain cells are replaced, you lose the connections that have been established over your lifetime – you would lose your memories and you wouldn’t necessarily be you.

So this is where technology comes in and saves the day and we all become uploaded… 

I’m gonna stop you right there. Ray Kurzweil and Co. do believe that once a sophisticated enough model of our brains can be created, we will be able to transfer our consciousness onto a computer. And yes, as computer technology advances past the end of Moore’s Law to Post Moore and beyond, we will eventually have computing power that matches our brains.

But our understanding of how our brains work is still in its infancy (Thanks a lot, “Ethics Boards”). Essentially, the hardware isn’t far off, but the software will be.

But let’s say at some point in the future someone copies their consciousness perfectly onto a computer that is somehow attached to a body that provides the same inputs as that person’s actual body. The non-deterministic behavior of the quantum world will cause the person’s brain and the copy to diverge almost instantaneously, meaning the copy will no longer be an exact copy.

Hmm… when do I get my adamantium skeleton then?

I think we’re done here.

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The (Late) Week in Geek: Aug. 24, 2012

Ok, so this is really “Last Week in Geek.”

Believe Wonder Woman by Kerrith Johnson

Artist Kerrith Johnson has a series of these “Believe” posters on his DeviantArt page. They’re quite worth the looksie. Image courtesy of Kerrith Johnson.

It’s late mostly because I’ve been in the process of moving Kiphart World Headquarters across the state. I’m sorry I left you without conversation topics all weekend, but I’m here to make sure you’re twice as interesting this week!

The world mourned astronaut Neil Armstrong. He voyaged further than any of his predecessors, set foot on the shores of the moon, but still returned to his homeport.

Comic artist, writer, letterer, and inker Karl Kesel is selling his personal collection to help cover adoption fees and medical bills for his new son, Isaac. I’m not tearing up; it’s just really dusty. I told you, I’ve been moving.

The new “Borderlands” game will feature a “Best Friends Forever” skill tree, or as the lead designer calls it, “Girlfriend Mode.” Causal Girl Gamer Gabrielle wonders if it’s really worth all the hubbub.

Only days away from seeing the good Doctor, the BBC gives us a look at “Pond Life.”

Nic Cage and his hairline are starring in a taken ripoff called….wait for it….oh crap, you already guessed it! Stolen. Thank you, gods of the Internet and cocaine-fueled movie executives for this gift.

superman_x_wonderwoman_by_zuthell-d42r1xc

Do not think he saw that coming. Image courtesy of Zuthell on DeviantArt.

Want to know what happened in the season five finale of “True Blood?” Here you go.

Rob can barely contain his excitement for anything Quentin Tatantino touches.

Because at their core comics are sort of like high school, the quarterback is totally taking the head cheerleader to Make Out Point. Superman and Wonder Woman are all up in each other’s business.

Speaking of doing personal things in public (They’re up in the sky! Anyone can see them! Get an ice cave, you two!), today is Read Comics in Public Day.

No big secret or surprise, I am both liberal and in possession of lady parts. Which is why I just fawn over the President’s response to Sen. Todd Atkins’ insanity.

TJ has found neat stuff lurking on Kickstarter, behind the motivational tapes for cats.

Seth Green’s long-promised “Star Wars” comedy show may turn out to be the least-disappointing “Star Wars”-related production since the “Clone Wars” cartoon.

Felicity wonders when the presidential election went from a campaign to a competition in stupidity.

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The Week in Geek: Aug. 17, 2012

Comic artist, writer, creator, and educator Joe Kubert died Sunday. The creator of Sgt. Rock was 85. In his memory pull up a corner of sofa and try your hand at a sketch or two.

Einstein a la potatoes

A portrait of Albert Einstein made out of potatoes. This makes me hungry…for knowledge of physics! Image courtesy of Quorkey on DeviantArt.

PBS brings us the little known collaboration between Julie Child and T-Pain in honor of Child’s 100th birthday.

TJ and John are at GenCon, and their first day did not go too well.

Marvel announced that “Avengers 2″ will be released in 2015. In other news, I have reminders on my phone for the release dates of all Phase 2 Marvel movies. Is that awesome or a cry for help?

This spoon art isn’t geeky, I just wanted to let you guys know what I want for my birthday.

Laura saw “The Campaign” and used the only election-related pun I know in her title.

Alex Alva has given us the Iron Man/Boba Fett mashup you never knew you needed to see. Click this link or, one day, fifty years from now, you’ll be aware of a nagging emptiness. Emptiness could only have been filled by looking at this helmet all those years ago.

Nikola Tesla > Thomas Edison. All geeks know this, and now The Oatmeal is raising funds for a (legitimate) Tesla museum. Give and know that you’re striking a blow against Cult of the Direct Current.

Einstein Yoda

Insert something technical related to relativity said backwards. Image courtesy of Rabbittooth on DeviantArt

Helen Gurley Brown, author of “Sex and the Single Girl,” longtime editor of Cosmopolitan Magazine (aka: Cosmo), and confusing figure for feminists everywhere, died Monday at age 90.

Disney Imagineers in Pittsburgh have created a technology that makes real plants expressive and interactive. I predict this is going to cause a crisis for more than one vegetarian.

Baby, what’s your sign? Just because I’m a Year of the Robot doesn’t mean we can’t still snuggle as we tackle the original MegaMan. Find out your Geek Zodiac here.

Lego’s 80 and looks back on its life in the most adorable Pixar-ish way possible. Gosh, I look forward to the day when I have kids, and I can give them Legos. And then I can spend the next ten years watching to make sure I never step on one.

The full trailer for WoW’s expansion, Mists of Pandaria was released. I didn’t realize there was so much generalized anger in the WoW community against Kung Fu Panda.

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The Week in Geek: August 10, 2012

I’ve slogged through all the cats on the Internet to find you the best, cat-free stuff around. Here’s what happened this week. You’re welcome.

Doctor Pepper

It’s Doctor Pepper’s Lonely Time Lord Band! It was more clever in my head. Image courtesy of raisegrate.

Like a flipping boss in a bad action movie, Mars rover Curiosity emerged from the 7 minutes of terror (that it only had a 30 percent chance of surviving) and made a cheeky quip. Bill Nye was right, science rules.

People take themselves too seriously and it is hilarious. Gabrielle shows us “The Drama of Yelp.”

The real-life inspiration for the film-version of Tony Stark, Elon Musk, wants to put humans on Mars in 15 years. Total Recall really chose the wrong week to not be set on Mars.

Joss Whedon will return to write and direct Avengers 2 and shall helm that live-action Marvel TV series everyone’s chattering about. I’m too happy to make a joke, so just imagine I wrote something snarky about Firefly’s cancellation here.

Julie wants you to know that no matter how empowered Whedon or Christopher Nolan’s superladies are, their clothing is hella impractical.

Is my skirt too short?

Speaking of impractical clothing, this answers the ago-old question of, “What would the Doctors look like in their companion’s clothes?” Image courtesy of Bestiolina.

Sure, she said she was happy to win silver, but American gymnast Mckayla Maroney’s expression on the podium told a different story. What’s a world to do? Meme it, of course!

Here is a painting of a pug as a Jedi with a lightsaber. Your argument is invalid. (Note: I love that the artist went with the realism of tying the lightsaber to the pug’s paw because they don’t have thumbs. Duh!)

Speaking of high art, this guy nibbled highlights of Britain out of Jaffa Cakes. So, it’s not the end of the Internet, but you can see it from here (Joke made with credit to Jon Stewart).

Though millions of World of Warcraft fans might disagree, Tim argues that the MMO bubble has burst.

Last art one, I swear! DC has released prints reimagining classic titles and characters. Minimalist and noir to Victorian and beaux arts, there’s a lot of variety.

Doctor Companions

Everyone should be drawn as beaux arts poster people. It’s a fact. Image courtesy of strawberrygina.

Love the cult comic Love and Rockets? Of course you do because if you don’t you won’t seem cool and hip. In honor of their hipster fans, the cartoonists will be going on a tour of the the Northeast. Shimmy on your skinny jeans and hop the bus to Brooklyn.

Darker than a slice of blackberry pie during a power outage, animated short The Ballad of Poisonberry Pete is a nice way to waste five minutes at work.

Comic writer extraordinaire (and lover of frosted Pop Tarts), Gail Simone is Kickstartering to fund her graphic novel Leaving Megaopolis. It sounds like Irredeemable meets The Walking Dead in the best way.

Emily points out that not only has London declared that they’re going to put on the greenest games ever, it looks like they’re going to pull it off.

Kelly Sue DeConnick, who has been in comics for more than a decade, sat on a panel with Matt Fraction. A news website introduced Fraction by all is work. They introduced DeConnick as the wife of Matt Fraction. Fortunately for my faith in humanity, other creators, illustrators, and tastemakers good naturedly chimed in.

Superman is a more than a jerk. He’s a super-loser at the Interplanetary Olympics.

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The Week in Geek: Aug. 3, 2012

One thing I’ve learned watching the Olympics this week is that it’s all about techn-geek (technique, get it?). That doesn’t really work, but I’m bad with puns. Here’s what you need to know to sound fascinating this weekend!

Avengers Babies! We make our dreams come true! Avengers babies! We'll do the same for you!

This is probably the only way to make AvX interesting – make it adorable. Image courtesy of Scottie Young on Deviant Art.

British gymnast Jennifer Pinches flashed the Nerdfighter sign before her routine, but that wasn’t the only nerdtastic moment from the ladies in leotards.  Mexican gymnast Elsa Garcia Rodriguez Blancas did her floor exercise to a Zelda medley.

Some tremendously disturbed and wonderful person created Goodnight Dune.

TJ is filling his custom world in Mutants and Masterminds with superheroes and intrigue and he wants to fill you in.

Some guy who has only ever seen the first 30 minutes of Jurassic Park wants to build his own. With live dinosaurs. Before you say it, no, Mike, we will not honeymoon there. 

Oh, Coulson!

Oh, Coulson, you old stalker, you! Image courtesy of krusca on Deviant Art.

Proving that sometimes stereotypes exist for a reason, a team of Russian scientists is working on the more than slightly unethical mission of making us immortal. What’s better is that they’re supposed to have it by 2045, comrade.

Proof that not only am a geek, I’m kind of a jerk.

Someone get a squeegee because the trailer for the 7th season of Doctor Who is out, and it’s making Whovian heads explode.

Making the joke that everyone else has made because I love me a bandwagon – the title for the X-Men: First Class sequel has been released, and it is not X-Men: Second Class.

Speaking of film developments and Dr. Who, ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston has been tapped to play the villain in Thor 2. Before you get your panties in a twist, Loki will be there, and Rose will not.

They just ordered in schwarma.

Black Widow isn’t there because she’s out being a spy, not slacking like these Aven-jerks here. Image courtesy of Hallpen on Deviant Art.

Everyone needs an inspiration. J. Fortune’s was none other than the manliest man of mystery, James Bond.

Proving the nerds are more successful than normies, Todd McFarlane’s cover art of Amazing Spider-Man #328, featuring Spidey gut-busting the Hulk, sold at auction for a record $675,250.

Even though Bane sounded like he was narrating a particularly violent episode of Masterpiece Theater, I presume starring Dame Maggie Smith as the Tomb Raider (Armed only with withering comebacks no less! Admit it, you’d watch it.), it could have sounded much worse.

Felicity took a long look at Mitt Romney, and the longer she looked the more she found wrong.

J.K. Rowling has said the wizarding gene it dominant, but how to you explain wizards born to muggles or squibs? Biology student has it all figured out.

In a theme near and dear to my journo heart, Topless Robot, in addition to having a wonderful name, has a list of the 10 best journalists from comics.

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Why I Corrected your Grammar

I don’t pretend to be an expert on grammar. But, as a professional editor, I suppose I sort of am.

Maybe I’m not an expert but an enthusiast and hobbyist. Yes, because editing is not the primary function of my job, I think it is safe to classify me as a grammar enthusiast.

I am definitely not a grammar dilettante.

Duty Calls

I’ve done this. Image courtesy of XKCD.

And that, dear friend, is why I corrected your grammar when we were speaking.

Oh, I didn’t do it out loud. No, that is douchier than an Ed Hardy T-shirt on Daniel Tosh at the Gathering of the Juggalos.

Though, I did think about  it.

I imagined myself leaping up and shouting from the rooftops, “You actually said, ‘I and my brother went to lunch!’ Did you learn nothing in elementary school?”

Or, I’m reading your blog. I come to a typo (With which my writing is rife), and like Andre the Giant getting body slammed by Hulkamania, I tap out. I start to write a comment (Itself full of misspellings and errant commas), detailing where and how you have grammatically failed.

I don’t click “Post,” of course.

We all make grammar mistakes. We all slip when speaking, when the ideas come too quickly, or when we’re among friends and just feeling lazy. I know this. I accept this. This is precisely why I didn’t jump to the rooftop. This is why I just let my left eye twitch after you finished speaking or skipped that paragraph and let a sleeping dog lie.

Well, that and because if I humiliated my friends wholesale for minor grammar slips, I’d be left justifiably friendless and alone.

Mother Kiphart and I were having a discussion (read: argument) about the purpose of grammar. I gave the longwinded explanation that is the trademark of the former English major. I pompously blustered on for a several minutes before Mother Kiphart cut me short.

Effect an Effect

You’re on another level, man. Image courtesy of XKCD.

“So, what you’re saying is that that proper grammar makes things easier to read?” she said.

Sassafras! She was right.

Like good manners, that confusing codex of behaviors known fully only by old bitties, etiquette columnists, and any member of the High and Mighty Club, grammar has moved away from its purpose. Good etiquette is supposed to put those around you at ease and ensure their comfort. Instead, it’s often ill used as a whip to shame those daring to have a budget-friendly potluck wedding or who lean in toward their soup spoons.

There’s a reason people like me are commonly called “grammar Nazis,” and I don’t think it’s because people think WWII was hilarious.

I make many grammar errors and typos on my own. My typing skills are somewhere between mitten wearing toddler and that same toddler in the dark. I have no right to comment on your grammar. My hypocrisy should drive me to silence, but it won’t.

Because I’m probably a little jerky, and because you really should know not to end a sentence in a preposition.

Super Style: From the Con to the Runway

Five Superhero Styles (That Aren’t T-Shirts!)

Offices tend to frown on wearing underwear outside your clothing. Same with winged helmets. Don’t even think about rocking a jumpsuit! Unless you’re heading to the danger zone with Maverick, you tend to get some strange looks.

But, just because you can’t go full cosplay everyday doesn’t mean you can’t find subtle ways to show your allegiance. From high fashion to fun-derwear from the wading pool to the wedding ceremony, here are some sly ways to be subversively super.

Image courtesy of nOir Jewelry

Image courtesy of nOir Jewelry

1.Gotham Fabulous
Noir Jewelry’s DC Collection let’s you be a hero or a villain. Supergirl rocks her S across her chest, but for a mere $500 you can rock yours across your neck.

Maybe your tastes go darker? We’re loving this Gotham City ring ($225). Not only is it hella chic, it could come in handy in a fight should you run into some goons. With prices from $65-$500, this is special occasion stuff, but come on, who wouldn’t feel more confident walking into a board room wearing their favorite Amazonian’s cuffs ($140)?

2. Finding Namor
Ok, so Speedos are rarely, if ever, a do. I’m not saying that this is a good thing; I’m just saying this exists. Awkwardly pursue your own Sue Storm poolside in these tiny trunks ($29.95).

Unless you’re into DC, then you’re totally dressing as a warm water Aquaman.

3. Stealing PeeGee’s Look
Ok, so this might not be everyday style, but it is interesting to see Power Girl’s look go from the convention floor the runway.

Victoria’s Secret’s annual Fashion Show won’t air until Nov. 29. Until then you’ll just have to look to your books for women with impossible bodies in physics defying fabrics…well, there or the Internet, movies, or television…

4. Strutting It Spider Style
Have your own ideas how Spider-Man 3 should have ended? (Who doesn’t? Let’s never speak of it again.) A new climactic battle is at the end of your feet with these hand painted shoes ($110).

Prefer to keep it more noir? How about the Dark Knight and Clown Prince of Crime($110)? Etsy seller WalkingDeadApparel says that he/she can create just about any superhero pairing. Get creative! The possibilities are endless! Hulk and Banner! Thor and Loki! Tony Stark and a bottle of Jack Daniels!

Image courtesy of vintagecovers

5. The Phantom iPad
If you have an iPad odds are pretty good you’re already using it to read digital comics. Why not save one from your analog collection or from Etsy seller VinageCovers’ collection and turn it into an iPad cover ($54)?

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