Luke: Is the Dark Side stronger?
Yoda: No, no, no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.

(Yes we're not acknowledging the violence the prequel trio did to all of the themes and metaphysics of the Star Wars universe.)
These people in Minneapolis seem pretty cool, The Geek Partnership Society. They run themed "nerd proms", gaming events, writer workshops, parties at cons, volunteer things, nerf wars, and organize getting authors and scientists to come visit some of the local schools. It's an idea with potential.

(Also, I just realized I have a "geekery" and a "nerdity" tag, and I think only one can survive. Now to figure out which.)
So, Fred Phelps (the "God hates fags" guy and his famiy) decided to mount a protest at... San Diego Comic-Con. Seriously. No, I don't know why either.

But, word of this got out beforehand, so there were a few more protesters than expected. AWESOME protestors.

(Also, you're not supposed to use the flag as clothing, according to the Flag Code, also she has it upside down, which is a distress signal)
One of the only redeeming fearures of Vista is the text box in the start menu that will either act as a search, or launch the program you type in. Much easier than menus for running programs you don't run all the time.

And I swear I've linked this before, but I'm not sure, so here it is again, Fanspeak, a webpage made from a Usenet post about a speech pathologist's impressions of geek culture, once removed. At least at cons. A bunch of it seems dead-on to me. And the part about talking with your hand under your chin struck me, and yeah, I can. That's weird, I guess? At least to some people? (Found via the comments of [livejournal.com profile] theferret's post "If Nerds Can Learn Linux, Why Can't They Learn Not To Interrupt People?"
Aaron of Dresden Codak has had a brilliant idea.  Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day, December 8th.

The rules, from his post:

1) Utopian/cliché Future - "If the Future did a documentary of the last fifty years, this is how badly the reenactors would dress." Think Star Trek: TNG or the Time Travelers from Hob. Ever see how the society in Futurama sees the 20th century? Run with it. Your job is to dress with moderately anachronistic clothing and speak in slang from varying decades. Here are some good starters:

- Greet people by referring to things that don't yet exist or haven't existed for a long time. Example: "Have you penetrated the atmosphere lately?" "What spectrum will today's broadcast be in?" and "Your king must be a kindly soul!"

- Show extreme ignorance in operating regular technology. Pay phones should be a complete mystery (try placing the receiver in odd places). Chuckle knowingly at cell phones.

2) Dystopian Future - This one offers a little more flexibility. It can be any kind of future from Terminator to Freejack. The important thing to remember is dress like a crazy person with armor. Black spray painted football pads, high tech visors, torn up trenchcoats and maybe even some dirt here or there. Remember, dystopian future travelers are very startled that they've gone back in time. Some starters:

- If you go the "prisoner who's escaped the future" try shaving your head and putting a barcode on the back of your neck. Then stagger around and stare at the sky, as if you've never seen it before.

- Walk up to random people and say "WHAT YEAR IS THIS?" and when they tell you, get quiet and then say "Then there's still time!" and run off.

- Stand in front of a statue (any statue, really), fall to your knees, and yell "NOOOOOOOOO"

- Stare at newspaper headlines and look astonished.

- Take some trinket with you (it can be anything really), hand it to some stranger, along with a phone number and say "In thirty years dial this number. You'll know what to do after that." Then slip away.

3) The Past - This one is more for beginners. Basically dress in period clothing (preferably Victorian era) and stagger around amazed at everything. Since the culture's set in place already, you have more of a template to work off of. Some pointers:

- Airplanes are terrifying. Also, carry on conversations with televisions for a while.

- Discover and become obsessed with one trivial aspect of technology, like automatic grocery doors. Stay there for hours playing with it.

- Be generally terrified of people who are dressed immodestly compared to your era. Tattoos and shorts on women are especially scary.
I just got back from seeing Jonathan Coulton (his site was down during the show, but seems to be up now) with Paul and Storm at the Birchmere in Arlington.

It was fucking AWESOME. Paul & Storm, it turns out, are two of the dudes who used to be in Da Vinci's Notebook, which I didn't know. They were funny and awesome, and Jonathan Coulton was fucking awesome, and also funny. They packed the place, which was over 400 people, and there were two standing ovations and an encore of two songs.

Some highlights.
- The Birchmere is a really cool venue, and decorated all sorts of interestingly.
- Meeting up with [livejournal.com profile] kjatar, and his friend and friend's girlfriend, whose names I have shamefully forgotten. [livejournal.com profile] kjatar looks a little like Doc Ock from Spider-Man 2. Not how I expected for someone I've known online for an absurd amount of time. Also, they helped by saving us good seats.
- Paul and Storm singing their song "Opening Band" and getting to the line of not having panties thrown at them. Three sets were subsequently thrown on stage.
- One of which was a pair of men's briefs.
- One of the others of which was a minuscule thong, which Paul called an eyepatch, and said he'd have worn as an eyepatch, but his wife wouldn't have approved.
- Paul and Storm's audience participation pirate song, and the varieties of "ARRR!"s involved from the audience.
- A wiseass in the audience (not me) called out "Freebird!" and Paul and Storm played it, with a few modifications, and the audience waved their cell phones since only like two guys had lighters.
- Apparently many people in the front had coordinated to bring plush octopi and monkeys (and a jellyfish and a toucan?) to which they'd pinned $1 bills, or notes.
- One of the notes was a guy asking him to play a bachelor party in Vegas, in exchange for a room and travel fare and such.
- This led to a comment about Neil Diamond already turning the bachelor party down, which led to a really awesome singalong of "Sweet Caroline" with no preparation.
- The audience response part of "Re: Your Brains".
- Getting my CDs signed by Jonathan Coulton, who seems to be a really nice dude, and was willing to talk to a big line of fans and sign all sorts of things even though it meant he didn't get out till midnight, and overall seems a really cool dude.
- The Awesome.

More details later. Sleep now. Also later, picture.
Darth Vader is a Dr. Doom wannabe.

Brilliant!

Apr. 2nd, 2007 12:20 pm
So I've been watching the first and second seasons of the new Dr. Who. Hadn't watched any before. And I just have one word. Brilliant.
Even moreso than the tightass paladin, the stereotypical character type that pisses me off in D&D? The "Chaotic Neutral" person who uses it as an excuse to be all "WHEE I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT WITHOUT CARING." Or the people who think Chaotic Neutral = Psychopath. And the worse part is how so many of the official D&D books give that exact kind of stereotype in the descriptions of the alignments.

No. Just, no people. Come on. Chaotic Neutral is made up of two parts. The first is Chaotic, which means they don't care about laws. That DOESN'T mean they don't have at least some kind of their own code, or morals, or anything. It means they don't really care what society thinks. But it doesn't mean they're like Bizarro versions of lawful, who always have to break the laws, just because that was the law. They might flout the law when it suits them, and probably would, but they're not going to go running around and being crazy and breaking every law just because they can. Chaotic people have reasons, they're just reasons like "He looked at me funny" or "I was bored" or "I thought it'd be funny, did you see the Baron's face?" They don't have to be a jerk to everybody, or try and rip people off because only lawful tools pay for stuff. They just don't care what the regular law says, and do things because they want to.

Neutral's the other part. They're not good, but they're not really evil, either. Most of the time that gets used as an excuse like "Well you guys can't hate me, I'm not REALLY evil." Seriously, come on. Neutral means the person cares more about themself, but it doesn't mean they're completely selfish. They can have compassion, and friends they care about, but they can also be big jerks too. Like...most people, really.

So somebody who's Chaotic Neutral is going to put what they want before society and (most) other people, but they're still people and can put off doing things because of the consequences or because they'd feel bad about it or because it's too much work. They don't have to be crazy like the Joker or loony like a Toon. At least, not all the time. Because if you're always crazy, that gets predictable, and that's not really chaotic, now is it?
(Crossposted to [livejournal.com profile] snarkoleptics)

[livejournal.com profile] theferrett of Livejournal fame has been doing a series of weekly webcomic reviews on Fridays. Today's review is of a comic called Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic, which is slightly NSFW, because of boobs and nipples. But it's the same sort of fun with boobs as Pawn, nothing really explicit, it's all implied. And the art style also reminds me some of Pawn, with the vaguely Disney-ish big eyes and the fun and did I mention the boobs? And like The Ferrett recommended, I'd say not to start with the current strip but to go back to the beginning. And it's genuinely funny, it's made me laugh out loud several times while reading though it. I'll link two of my favorites and then leave you to find your own.

http://yafgc.shipsinker.com/index.php?strip_id=77
http://yafgc.shipsinker.com/index.php?strip_id=94
I need suggestions for a Mix CD. I'm making a nerd music CD, with songs about math, and supermassive black holes, and that sort of things. I'm also going to make a second one of nerdcore rap songs about the internet and math and stuff, but that's gonna come later.

Here's my list so far, in no real order.

Jonathan Coulton - Re Your Brains
Jonathan Coulton - Code Monkey
Jonathan Coulton - Skullcrusher Monkey
Jonathan Coulton - Mandelbrot Set
TMBG - Why Does the Sun Shine?
The Metasciences - Four Color Love Story
Freezepop - Science Genius Girl (live)
Da Vinci's Notebook - The Gates
Da Vinci's Notebook - The Big Chair
Songs to wear pants to.com - Experimental Film (cover)
Consortium of Genius - Blinded by Science
Consortium of Genius - Science Party
Thomas Dolby - She Blinded Me With Science
Muse - Supermassive Black Hole
Becky - Less Than Three (Ricardo Autobahn Remix) (as soon as I can get a copy of the mp3)
Weird Al - Yoda
Weird Al - Don't Download This Song
David Bowie - Space Oddity

So there's still a fair bit of room left for any sufficiently awesome suggestions.

Links to band pages with downloads of some of these:
http://www.consortiumofgenius.com/ (click downloads for the mp3s)
http://www.jonathancoulton.com/ http://www.myspace.com/jonathancoulton (some on the downloads page, some on his myspace)
http://www.songstowearpantsto.com/ (Same guy who made the theme song for Killroy and Tina)
http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/344532 (Less than Three flash video)
http://www.davincisnotebook.com/ (their website seems to currently be down though)
http://www.muse.mu/index.php (Warning: huge flash interface, not sure you can download the mp3s from there)
http://weirdal.com/ (no download links, except for "Don't Download This Song")
http://www.freezepop.net/news/index.html (holy crapsticks, they did an Achewood song!)
http://www.tmbg.com/ (derr hey!)
http://www.myspace.com/themetasciences
Some kind soul posted these absolutely bizarre Russian Star Wars posters, over in [livejournal.com profile] warren_ellis's LJ. They are weird and awesome.
(crossposted to [livejournal.com profile] snarkoleptics)

In the course of a totally awesome thread that kept coming back to Batman (and proved many times over that Batman can make anything funny, over in the Killroy and Tina forum, somebody linked this page of Batman sprite icons. Well, originally, they linked this page of some of the goofiest Batman stuff ever. Which is awesome enough on its own, but if you hit the "home" button on the top enough, it brings you back to the root page which is inconceivably awesome. Not just superheroes, but TV shows, movies, etc. It's like a kit to build your own Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny.

DUDE.
Joss Whedon and Warren Ellis being nerds in the comments section of Warren's website.

http://www.warrenellis.com/?p=1848#comments

Probably not the best thing to read at work, though.
Even outside biking. On the way back home, I found myself steering to hit fallen leaves, on the theory they might be powerups.

Also, to give this a point, a joke!

A bunch of students are taking an exercise class. "Okay," the teacher says, "for this exercise, I want you all to lie on your backs and stick your feet up in the air. Then pedal, like you're riding a bike up a hill. Two minutes from now. Go."

So the students start furiously kicking away at the air. After a minute, one of them stops. The instructor walks over and asks "What are you doing?"

"Well, you said we're biking up a hill. I got to the top. Now I'm coasting down."

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