Saturday, April 23, 2005

Happy Urf Day

A recursive reminder from Tempus Fugit and Inštitút pre Slobodnú Spoločnosť.


You Are Incredibly Logical

(You got 100% of the questions right)

Move over Spock - you're the new master of logic
You think rationally, clearly, and quickly.
A seasoned problem solver, your mind is like a computer!

English Genius
You scored 100% Beginner, 100% Intermediate, 93% Advanced, and 86% Expert!
You did so extremely well, even I can't find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don't. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you're not afraid to use it properly! Way to go!

Thank you so much for taking my test. I hope you enjoyed it!

For the complete Answer Key, visit my blog:

My test tracked 4 variables. How you compared to other people your age and gender:
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You scored higher than 76% on Beginner
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You scored higher than 69% on Intermediate
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You scored higher than 38% on Advanced
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You scored higher than 96% on Expert
Link: The Commonly Confused Words Test written by shortredhead78 on Ok Cupid

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Monkey with a badge

Yahoo (Reuters) | SWAT Monkey! a Natural for a Television Show
PHOENIX (Reuters) - Send in the SWAT monkey.

It's not an order police commanders are accustomed to giving, but that could change if an Arizona police department follows through on a proposal to train a capuchin monkey for high-risk police operations.

A Special Weapons and Tactics veteran from Mesa, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix, has researched the possibility of landing a $100,000 federal grant to fund a pilot program to train one monkey.

"Everybody laughs about it until they really start thinking about it," Sean Truelove told the East Valley Tribune, a local newspaper. "It could change the way we do business."
Sure, PETA needs something new to worry about.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Of course I just bought one

The Register | Our phones don't work - Verizon boss
If you're infuriated by your cellphone's lousy reception indoors, stop fretting. It's a feature, not a bug.

So says Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg, who was interviewed by the San Francisco Chronicle's Todd Wallack on Saturday.

"Why in the world would you think your (cell) phone would work in your house?" he said. "The customer has come to expect so much. They want it to work in the elevator; they want it to work in the basement."
They want it to work in movie theaters, they want it to work at funerals...

Monday, April 18, 2005

No surprises

Your Linguistic Profile:

50% Dixie
40% General American English
10% Yankee
0% Midwestern
0% Upper Midwestern

LATER: So, I gather California (not otherwise accounted for) is "General American English"? And where in this breakdown does the distinctive New Orleans accent belong? And which is "real" Yankee, Noo Yawk or Bahstan?

I know, I know, it's just an Internet quiz.

That's "the WORLD FAMOUS Elongated Man"

Perhaps there's a reason the Elongated Man never made it into the top tier. Too hard to spell. Difficult to pronounce. Doesn't clearly say what his power is. Difficult to work the word into a dynamic logo.

Well, perhaps there are several reasons.

It is difficult to come up with a name that hasn't been used. The Elongated Man dates from 1960, but editor Julius Schwartz has said that if he'd known that DC owned the rights to Plastic Man at the time, he would have used that name instead. He could have gone with Elastic Man, but Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen was having intermittent adventures as "Elastic Lad". Worse, Jimmy and EM both wore relatively featureless purple tights--although Jimmy had the worse taste to actually have "Elastic Lad" on his chest.

Even the Incredibles' "ElastiGirl" was already taken. (
Uncharacteristically, she was the "muscle" of the Doom Patrol. She didn't stretch, she grew to gigantic size.*) (I remember reading at IMDB that DC allowed Pixar to use the name in the film so long as it wasn't used in merchandising. There are precious few toys of Pixar's ElastiGirl, and the only one I can find, the cloissone pin, is labelled "Mrs Incredible".)

So, actually, the Elongated Man is the only major stretching superhero whose name doesn't rhyme with "plastic".

Most of them are played for laughs, anyway, with the conspicuous exception of Reed Richards, the Fantastic Four's "Mr. Fantastic". (Usually. Remind me to tell you about the time Dr Doom was bragging about having his own European country and Reed shot back, "I have a hundred pairs of stretch socks!"** But it still rhymes with "plastic".) I suppose when you think about the kind of distortion these characters are theoretically capable of, you could go either grotesque, or goofy.

I'm taking this too seriously, I guess.

* By the way, that green kid on the "Doom Patrol" cover? That's Beast Boy. Yeah, the same one who's currently appearing in "Teen Titans."

Okay, I cheated. The "stretch socks" scene wasn't in any "real" adventure of the Fantastic Four. It was a parody in the pages of Marvel's short-lived but fondly-remembered "Not Brand Ecch." The funniest part of this uneven humor title was just how short the distance was from Stan Lee's melodrama to out-and-out comedy.

More information: Great Comic Book Database (from whence the covers come): Dibny Dirt, the Elongated Man Website.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

You wish

Reset button for the Silver Age

Last week I bought these three comics:

Since DC's promotional preview images don't always have the logos--and sometimes even having them doesn't help--I'll identify these three books: Seven Soldiers of Victory #0, Zatanna #1 (a Seven Soldiers tie-in), and the unnumbered DC Countdown to Infinite Crisis.

For those who think that these two universe-spanning Events are intended to reset the DC Universe to its pre-"Crisis on Infinite Earths" Sweetness and Light atmosphere, I'll commit a thesis-disproving spoiler: In the course of these three books (which I was unfortunate enough to read all at once), twelve heroes die, and a thirteenth is severely injured.

For those keeping score, that would be: Vigilante, Gimmick Girl (aka Merry, Girl of a Thousand Gimmicks), Blue Boy, Dyno-Mite Dan, I, Spyder, The Whip II (Seven Soldiers); Timothy Ravenwind, Ibis, his wife Taia, Dr 13 (Zatanna); Blue Beetle, Skeets, Booster Gold (critically injured) (DC Countdown).

Later: You can't tell the crises without a scorecard (spoilers ahoy).

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

What are you looking at?

Classically, one of the first signs that you may be outgrowing comic books is when you realize that if you really had x-ray vision, you'd be peeking under people's clothes all the time. This is a thought that mainstream comic book writers and artists used to try not to draw attention to... normally.

So, my question is, now that we've established that Superboy does, in fact, look under people's clothes just for the hell of it... Gosh, there's no easy way to ask this... Why is Lana Lang on this cover? And why is Clark more curious about what new-kid-in-town Gary Crane has under his shirt than...

Well, I guess by this time Lana, how shall I say this, holds no mysteries for him.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Time, see what's become of me

I don't imagine this will stay up for much longer, but you could always set the wayback machine for yesterday and look at it again. How often do you get to see an artifact from 2239?

Saturday, April 02, 2005

"I want my hour back!"

National Review | John J Miller: Unhappy Hour
Urban businessmen were a major force behind the adoption of DST in the United States. They thought daylight would encourage workers to go shopping on their way home. They also tried to make a case for agriculture, though they didn't bother to consult any actual farmers.

...Perhaps farmers should take one for the team — i.e., put up with DST even though they don't like it because it keeps city cash registers chinging into the twilight. Yet the contention that DST is good for business is doubtful. It may help some businesses, but it also stands to reason that other ones suffer. If people are more likely to browse the racks at Filene's Basement in the daylight, then they're probably also less likely to go to the movies or take-out restaurants. And in the morning, when it's darker during rush hour, commuters are perhaps disinclined to stop at the corner store for a newspaper or the coffee bar for a latte.
And it has all but killed the already-staggering drive-in movie industry, where the show cannot begin until dark--which now means 9:15 or 9:30 pm.