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    • Talking to Small Children over Coffee

    • Posted by Rootfireember on 5 Feb 08
    • I'm not sure why people think it is a good idea to let me near their small children. Certainly, I don't, but this hasn't stopped the parents of 5-6 year olds from having me babysit their kids, nor the kids from throwing tantrums when I have to leave.

      Part of this may be because I draw. Kids love drawings. Kids love it when you can draw puppies and kitties on request. Parents seem to think that because I can draw puppies, kitties and winged moose (shush, they are cute), that all my drawings are kid-okay; so I've dealt with adults looking at my sketchbook quickly then passing it to their kids while I go "Er- You don't want to do that".

      Which lead to me trying to explain the story of Merrick, the elephant man, over coffee, to a four year old this morning. The kid seemed to understand what I was getting at: The guy was deformed and sickly, but just because he looked weird, it didn't mean he was a bad person, and somehow that turned into a segue for what color push-pops were good, and how green was a good flavor, even if it was an 'icky color' and how the kid's dad's favorite color was chartreuse. The dad seemed pleased with the discussion, and the fact that I was paying attention to the kid.
    • Worst court case defence ever...

    • Posted by alwayscrashing on 5 Feb 08
    • The Guardian | Murder accused admits sex with dead woman, court told

      "Mark Dixie admitted he had sex with Sally Anne Bowman as she lay in a pool of blood on her driveway, but said she was already dead, Brian Altman, prosecuting, told the court."


      First let's set the scene here... A dead body is found, the girl had been victim of a violent rape and had been stabbed to death. Stabbed to death in the neck and chest. Stabbed so hard the knife came out the other side.

      They proved this guy had sex with her. They had various examples of DNA, his teeth marks all over the body and his fingerprint in blood on her shoe. He couldn't have left more evidence even if he had a friend video it and uploaded it to YouTube.

      Fair cop, you'd think. Just accept your fate. You've fucked up and it's time to face the music?

      No. The best thing, of course, is to claim that you chanced across the mutilated dead body lying in a pool of most of it's blood and then thought to yourself, 'Well, another opportunity like this won't come along...." and had sex with the corpse.

      It might work... I mean, it's worth a try. The judge may just say 'Well, why didn't you say so earlier? Case dismissed.' and let him go. If anyone is going to understand how tempting the cold, blood-smeared corpse of an eighteen year old girl is then it is going to be a judge after all.

      Also, he was a chef.... He could have at least cleaned up after himself and made her into a Spaghetti Bolognese or Chilli Con Carne. She was a model, it's not that much meat to get rid of...
    • Would you like red or white whine with your meal?

    • Posted by Will Couper on 5 Feb 08
    • I seem to have gotten myself into a bit of a pickle writing my MySpace blog this week. You see I'd planned on doing a series of stories that were at least a thousand words long as pieces people could get their teeth into.

      I've since looked through my list of stories that I've still to post and discovered that I have only one more story that fits the bill. I thought I had at least two.

      This is...bothersome. So what do I do? Do I throw myself at the keyboard, rattle out another masterpiece in the 1,000-words-plus range? No. I jump on here and spend precious, precious time telling people about it!

      I'm a genius, I am.


      Will
    • The Old Photoblag : 5

    • Posted by Ben on 5 Feb 08
    • soju

      I believe this was taken in the area of Hyehwa, but the giant Hangul signs may be saying something different. The stack that looks a bit like coke bottles in plastic flats is actually full of soju bottles. Little 750ml bottles of gin for a buck. Christ, you could almost never go wrong with that. The stuff gave me hangovers that felt like my entire body was trying to force itself out of my body through the pores on my face. No wonder the streets had fresh piles of vomit every morning.

      I remember so many little alleyways like this though. Populated with restaurants and random PC rooms. When was the last time you walked down an alleyway to get a bowl of soup and check your email?
    • Random Geek: Stark Contrast (2) - Central, Dynamic and On Sale Now

    • Posted by TechnocratJT on 5 Feb 08
    • Consider Iron Man - Marvel editorial touts him as the central figure of their shared universe now, the most dynamic figure, the most controversial figure (almost think a movie is coming) - and he is all these things.

      But, perhaps not in the way intended.

      Central, at first, seems the most clear under analysis. Stark is central because the nature of the post Civil War Marvel Universe he touches on every book. Each character is defined in relation to a position that Iron Man has come to represent, and that position, fictional or not is a political one. In a literal sense many books have had the same scene, Tony Stark shows up and informs the title hero to register, resulting in a confrontation or acceptance. Tony is central because he looms large, and has a political label strewn across is armor.

      So we come to the, very fictional, politics of the Super Hero Registration Act.

      The water immediately clouds here, for it is not the clear what those politics are. The very details and intentions of the fictional SHRA blurred across different writers pens. A permanent prison, or no? Do you have to sign if you have powers or simply if you act like a powered vigilante. Other continuity details, and contradictory statements and presentations, ripple and vanish across different books and different writer's pens.

      Several people are now giving me odd looks. Geek you are Josh, but continuity discussion, really? No, hah, no. Just need to get to a point.

      The central figure in the Marvel Universe stands in proxy for a story point - a fictional law built on fictional politics which of course has not text and no history. Yet, it has no clear defined now either. The SHRA only has a vague shape, and thus is an empty jar waiting for each writer to fill.

      Tony Stark, narrative icon of the plot line, becomes dynamic, shifting and changing with the contents of the jar, what ever waters get poured in become a political mirror for the writer and the readers.

      Controversy, well I will get to that latter.
    • WITCH DOCTOR Workblog 4: The Red Queen War

    • Posted by Brandon Seifert on 4 Feb 08
    • Witch Doctor is a forthcoming medical horror comic from writer Brandon Seifert and artist Lukas Ketner. Witch Doctor combines horror archetypes and really sick shit from the real world. This is the book's workblog. For more information, read the first entry.

      Yesterday I named one of the central elements in the backstory of Witch Doctor: The Red Queen War.

      The Red Queen is a character in Through The Looking Glass. When she meets Alice, the Queen takes her on a frantic run -- in which they fail to move at all. "Here, you see," the Queen tells Alice, "it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. " In biology, the Red Queen's Race has become a metaphor for the evolutionary arms race between a parasite species and a host species. Every time our bodies evolve some helpful new adaptation that makes it easier for us to fight, say, malaria, the malaria parasite Plasmodium finds a way to adapt too. Both species are fiendishly working to come out on top, only for both to usually end up in the spot they started.

      In the cosmology of Witch Doctor, the universe itself is a living organism, and the creatures of myth and folklore are its parasites. The supernatural evolved in a greater spectrum of universes, and initially found our single, isolated world and its quaint little creatures easy prey, the same way rats and crabgrass that evolved on a continent finds it easy to take over an island's ecosystem. But over time, our realm's immune system has gotten ever more adept at locating and destroying the supernatural... which just leads to supernature adapting new tricks to fool our realm's scouts and overcome its soldiers.

      Take Bram Stoker's Dracula. Dracula is famously unable to enter someone's home until he's been invited in. If Dracula was a character in Witch Doctor, that'd be because humanity as a whole, as the primary unit of the universe's immune system, has adapted an unconscious psychic defense that prevents vampires from entering their homes. So Dracula's ancestors evolved a countermeasure -- Dracula's mind control. It doesn't matter that his mind control is a brute force assault that shatters the sanity of his victims, leaving people like Renfield locked in asylums; it gets him in their houses, and for the vampire species, that's the part that matters. So what adaptation will humanity evolve next to counter the countermeasure?

      The world's mystical community calls this The Long War. Our protagonist Dr. Vincent Morrow, he's recognized it for what it really is. He calls it the Red Queen War.

      (The most interesting thing about the Red Queen arms race in biology, to me, is what happens when the host species no longer has to deal with its traditional parasites. There's that adage about old soldiers and dying, and it's the same thing about weaponized adaptations... But that'll have to wait until Part 5.)

      Previous Entry: 3: Lukas Ketner rocks your flip-flops, all winter long | Next Entry: 5: Meet the good doctor
    • I hate my developmental Psych book

    • Posted by Rootfireember on 4 Feb 08
    • So. I'm in a Developmental Psych Class. Go me.

      It's not as easy as Abnormal, because I've had little experience with sprogs*. In any case my problem isn't the class. It's the book. First off it came pre-highlighted. Not as in someone had the book before me, but in that the book has words and sections already highlighted in it straight from the printer; I suspect the book was created and mainly formated in some version of WORD. The thing is, highlighting stuff in warm colors is part of how I learn, and are we really that stupid that we need other people to highlight our crap for us, now?

      Continued->
      *Sprog: a Small Child.