Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday March 30

I had made some level of conscious decision to just hunker down and ignore the Canadian election until it's time to vote...but clearly, my deeply-held anger and fear won't allow that. So, now I'm angry and depressed which is not the way to begin a morning in which I'd like to get lots and lots of creative work done...let's see if I can work past it in the next few minutes!

So, to get it out of the way and move's an article from The Australian which is making the 'rounds of those I know on FB. The title pretty much says it all, Canada watches its democracy erode. It is not inaccurate.
A couple of professors from The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee decided to conduct a study of female engineering students/engineers to see why they dropped out of their programs, or their employment. The initial thinking was that it would be stories of dropping out to have babies and raise a family and found that was true only for a quarter of the women. Read on for the other reasons...
Perez Hilton To Publish Children's Book. No, it's not April 1.
Heather Mallick, of The Toronto Star, has written What to wear for Slutwalk.  Like the article (not generally a fan of her writing though), don't like that no one thought to include any links. So, read the article then click through to Slutwalk to find out the Who, Why, What, Where and When of it all.
Okay. I'm not all happy and positive yet. But blue trees should help!  The Vancouver Biennale, an outdoor art show will feature "...a set of trees that have received a rich yet enviromentally-safe “temporary colourant” designed to fade gradually over the course of a few weeks." From artist Konstantin Dimopoulos, they're featured on the blog, The Dirt. Click through for more photos and information.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday March 29

Okay, intertubes? I'm not kidding about the whole snake thing.  Stop it. Just...STOP IT!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- lists are a mixed bag--some are the funniest things I've ever read; some are merely okay. Today's recommendation is one of their informative lists, 5 Important People Who Were Screwed Out of History Books. Did you know that there was not one but several black women before Rosa Parks who had been arrested for refusing to give up their seats to a white person? One was arrested nine months before Rosa; one six week before. The amazing part? Same city, same bus routes! Click through to read as to why you've never heard of them before this list...
A photo slideshow? Yay! You're excited, right? Today's is from HuffPo and comes from the private collection of a US tour manager for The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Apparently, he took thousands of photos during those tours and allowed few to be published meaning that there is suddenly new Beatles stuff available in the world. Apparently. We'll have to get some serious Beatlemaniacs to have a look and see what they say (oh, if only I could find one living in my own house!)
According to Adel Zakout, of Huffington Post,
"Parametric design is a method of intelligently designing architectural objects based on relationships and rules using the computer. These are defined in parametric software and are easily manipulated to quickly generate multiple iterations of the design in 3D. "
To illustrate this, he's put together a slideshow of buildings that incorporate soem level of parametric design...and there are some beauties in the bunch. Take a look at his choices for the Top 10 Buildings:  Parametric Design. 
It's a short list today, and it's primarily slideshows...but what the heck. Pretty pictures, a bit of text, and hopefully, people walk away with a bit of a grin because they've seen some fun photos of the Fab Four, of gorgeous buildings or...Mr. Nathan Fillion.

I have often said that I don't understand the geek love for Mr. Fillion...but somehow, every time he turns up in something, I start grinning. There is a magic, undefinable something about him...I do remember channel-flipping past his soap opera way back in the day and wondering, "Who the heck is that stupendously good-looking human?" He didn't look quite real he was such a stunner. But I thought he was a bit wooden in his acting...I wasn't jumping up and down when he turned up on Buffy as Caleb in the final season. But, I think it was probably Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog that did it for's a reluctant love, and it's not an all-encompassing "I'll watch anything he's in" love, and it's probably more a really strong affection, but okay, I have a reluctantly strong affection for Nathan Fillion and if he's in something I'm interested in, it makes it that much more fun for me. (That is to say--I had not a clue he was in Lost or Desperate Housewives.)

With that much of an's an slideshow of Nathan Fillion's comments on twelve roles he's played (and it actually really is 12, and not that 11 photos and the 12th is an ad nonsense that the online mags usually pull).


Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday March 28 I was away for the weekend and didn't post anything...and someone closed all the links I'd left up to post. And I don't want to search anymore because I keep coming across this damned "cobra escapes from Bronx Zoo. I don't like snakes. I REALLY don't like snakes. Cobras--yeah, especially don't like really truly frightening looking snakes that can KILL ME! (I scream like a bansee at innocent garter snakes...)

Let's see if there's anything interesting to talk about...Amy Adams as Lois Lane blah blah blah Elizabeth Taylor everyone who ever knew her coming out of the woodwork to tell a story and link to their old interviews blah blah blah a bunch of reality shows I avoid like the plague blah blah blah...
So the comic book internet is all afire with talk of Rob Granito...fraud...copier...swiper...liar....  Given that a couple of the prints he's been selling as his work were based/traced from some of  The Guy's work, it has been a very loud topic of conversation in my house. The conversation is not helped by the fact that we sat in direct eyeline of this guy's back at Wizard World Toronto Comic Con 2011 where he was a featured guest.

The Guy's internet response? Besides a lot of comments across the 'net, his Saturday 'toon, Rob Granito Comic Fraud Funnies:
The first time I saw the term "manic pixie dream girl" I laughed myself silly--yep, it is completely and utterly the right term for that girl. According to The A.V. Club,
"...Nathan Rabin coined the phrase "Manic Pixie Dream Girl" to describe that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that "exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures." writer Drew Grant has decided to give us all a break and posts a slideshow of the "darkly sardonic geek girl", the girl with
"...[the] take-no-bullshit attitude, snarky quips and almost complete lack of interest in helping some poor schmuck figure out his life."
Of course she's on the list--you knew that before you even clicked through.
Abercrombie & Fitch Introduces Padded Bikini Top For Girls. Young girls. Like...girls in second-grade girls.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday March 25

Hmmm...what to say, what to say?
So, as per Elizabeth Taylor's instructions, her funeral started fifteen minutes late on Thursday--so she could be late to her own funeral. A sense of humour even in death.

The headline pretty much says it all, "Autistic boy, 12, with higher IQ than Einstein develops his own theory of relativity".. His professors are hoping that he'll begin work as an astrophysics researcher soon.
(Be aware that the link is to The Daily Mail...for starters, they call him "autistic", then later state that he has Asperger's "a mild form of autism" which it is not.).
Absolutely nothing profound here! I just really liked this idea...and I don't even "do" my nails...
Comics creator Stuart Immonen has a take on the new American Idol judges...and it seems to be "la plus ça change, la plus c'ést la mème chose." Click through to check out the blog, maison immonen.
And to finish out the work week...Movie/Line has The Eight Most Memorable Elizabeth Taylor Cameos. I never watched television as a child, so I had absolutely no idea that Elizabeth and RICHARD BURTON had done an episode of Lucille Ball's sitcom. Really, truly. And not just a glorified cameo--Burton had a role to play!

(which reminds me--and I hope I get most of the details right!!...I think it was when Phil Donahue was planning to end his eponymous talk show--that which beget Oprah Winfrey--and he was doing a series of shows with "best of" moments. In one of them, while showing a clip of Richard Burton, he explained that Burton, despite the money, despite the extravagance, despite Elizabeth Taylor and the jewels, was famously...actually I don't even know what word I want. Parsimonious? Always concerned with the bottom line? Anyway, when asked to be a guest on the show, Burton asked if he would be paid for his appearance. When told that only members of the American actor's union, and that it was a token amount (I think $600ish?), Burton promptly became a member.)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thursday March 24

When a determined to have content be anything but the Big Bads of the news cycle, it can be a little overwhelming sometimes trying to find that content. That is, if that person has also decided to avoid the names Charlie Sheen, Nancy Grace, Lindsay Lohan, Anybody Named Kardashian or Jenner (do you think when the cameras are turned off that Bruce Jenner ever gets annoyed by the constant insistence that it's the Family Kardashian--does he ever say, "I actually won a Gold medal at the Olympics. Seriously--what have you people ever done of value? Why isn't this the Jenner family?"), many more.

So, here's my attempt at something other than the dregs...or endless Elizabeth Taylor links.
Okay, maybe one Elizabeth Taylor link! I really like Andrew O'Hehir's writing over at Salon, and his article, "The short and strange career of Elizabeth Taylor, movie star" has the line,

She's far more famous for being famous -- but she began as a profligate, sexy, immensely compelling actress.

Which immediately got my attention. So, there you go..

I grew up during the Taylor-Burton marriage. To me, growing up in a small town without a cinema, watching very little tv, they were images from the black and white tabloids I saw near the cash register at the supermarket. As I got older, People magazine turned up, and Elizabeth Taylor turned into this colour-image:  the unbelievable eyes which everyone described as violet, and I realised, seeing them, that there really was no good way to describe that rich dark blue that no one else on the planet seemed to be walking around with. At the time, she had turned from goddess and icon into a joke (Joan Rivers solidified her career as a comedian with her "Liz Taylor is fat" jokes)--the marriages, the boozing, the not-so-slow dissolution of her glory during her marriage to the stolid John Warner.

When I moved away from that small town, and ventured out into the world, I found a world where one could see movies in theatres, on tv and on video. At some point, I don't remember when, I saw Cleopatra. I know I turned it on thinking snidely, "Let's see how bad this is!".  Within minutes, I desperately wished I had one gram of the charisma, energy and beauty of Miss Taylor (and promptly fell madly in love with Richard Burton).

All of that is to say that in a world where Taylor has not been a working actress in decades and today's young ones have no clue who she is (my teenager announced, "Liz Taylor, I love her!" and when I glared at him for being a smart-ass, he happily pointed out that she had been a voice on The Simpsons. Not that he loves her--but he loved an opportunity to pretend she was relevant to his world), I still have a residual fondness for her.
The beauty, the talent, the fierce support of her friends in their struggles, the tireless activism, the rollicking ridiculous embrace of living--a woman who happily announced with a giggling pealing cackle of laughter that she was "just a broad".

Maybe--but the very best a broad could be.
One last line...Carrie Fisher, said in a statement of the woman who was for five years her stepmother,
"This was a remarkable woman who led her life to the fullest rather than complacently following one around." 

We should all be so lucky...
So, we all like to roll our eyes and complain when we hear about Hollywood remakes. Right now, it seems as if they're all films from the 80s so there are those of us who saw those films in first-run. We express loud and considerable surprise because we're not really emotionally equipped to do the math and figure out just how long ago that was and that most of those in the desirable 18-35 demographic for advertisers and movie execs weren't even born then.

Anyway...this ain't a film from the 80s. And it's not beloved. And...I for one am a little surprised that anybody thought there was any reason whatsoever to remake Plan 9 from Outer Space.

I kid you not.

Last, but not least...

Making the rounds of the comic-centric internet this week has been links to comic creator Dean Trippe's blog. There he posted ideas from a long-ago pitch to DC Comics for Lois Lane Girl Reporter. The designs, by Daniel Krall, are beyond wonderful. The idea--fantastic. Would have utterly appealed to girls, young and old--and the appeal would have gone far beyond that, utterly proved by how far 'round the 'net it's going, and all the positivity and regret being expressed by fans and creators alike.

Do yourself a favour and wash all memory of current hsyterical newsreporting out of your mind (ignoring you N***y G***e)  by checking out the designs--even without a whole book to read, you will still get a smile out of the characters.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wednesday March 23

I think I lost a day in there. How the heck did that happen? It's Wednesday all ready?
So...Toronto has a Complaints Choir. Yes, you did read that correctly. "Complaints Choir". As in, choir which sings complaints.

(No:  I can't sing a note.)
Fossil of giant rabbit discovered on island.
So Sarah Hampson of The Globe and Mail asks, Can "10-year-old pop queens have a happy childhood?" The question was triggered by Willow Smith, with her hit single Whip It still echoing in everyone's heads, co-hosting Oprah's show one day.

I've seen Willow's oldest brother, Trey (he's named after his grandfather and father and is Will Smith III) in ads years back--but other than some modelling, I don't know if he's done anything else. At the time, there was some talk from Will that it was "something" his son wanted to do, and he didn't want to keep his son from doing so. When son Jaden started appearing in movies, the press was told that it was absolutely something that Jaden wanted to do and really, Jada and Will couldn't keep him from doing it. When daughter Willow put out her first single, the press was told that it was absolutely something that Willow wanted to do and really, Jada and Will couldn't keep her from doing it.

As the mother of a couple of children who do their everloving best to be the star of every moment of everyone else's life, I'd like to make a suggestion here:  actually, it's completely possible. You say "no--wait 'til when you're older." And the world is full of parents making similar suggestions. I get that kids get a "leg up" by first appearing on the scene as children--children are cute and interesting, wow, look at how charming and self-possessed they are. And oh! isn't she stylish?! To some, in truth, it's not so much that the child is absolutely determined "to be a star" as it is that in ten years time, the child will be competing as an adult against other adults, and will lose that advantage of being in a much smaller field. Let's face it--there are an awful lot of people posting their own covers of Lady Gaga's Born This Way...but it's the adorable 10-year-old who stands out for being, well, an adorable 10-year-old. Heck, how hard can it be to find a talented 20something singing karaoke?

With most child stars, or wannabe-stars, it's hard to avoid that sense that what hangs around them is their parents lost chances. The child will be the star where the parent was not. Parents will insist that they have no interest in being a star, that the child is driving the train to stardom--but when the child isn't old enough to be signing contracts or driving to auditions or to meet agents, it's an argument that rings a little false. When the parent is insisting that it's what their child really, really wants and the parent goes along with it, reluctantly, it rings very false. From the ages of 4-7, my second son was obsessed with all things dinosaur. He still has a bookshelf filled with what were the latest books at the time. The kindergarten teacher at his school brought him into her classroom to lecture her students when they did their week on dinosaurs. He absolutely, utterly could not imagine any better job in the entire world than to be a paleontologist. Today, at 15?--perhaps ironically for the purpose of this entry--he wants to be an actor. And a stand-up comedian.

To that end, he applied to the local high school with a Regional Arts Program. When he wasn't accepted, he threw himself into drama at his current high school, auditioning for the first play they put on back in November. Got the lead, actually. The director so liked him she cast him in her Ontario Sears Drama Festival entry without an audition. He's provided a voice for an online radio podcast--a freebie project done with his father. Next year, he thinks he might try to write a play for the Peel Student Wrights Festival. Maybe this summer he'll try improv classes.But you know what he won't be doing? Getting an agent and looking for work.If it's what he really truly wants, no matter how mad-talented he might be, he won't be doing that until he's old enough to sign his own contracts. We'll happily give him advice then, and probably even drive him to agents and auditions--but not until he's an adult.

My 10 year old is trying her best to model herself after Taylor Swift. Every day she rushes home from school to practice singing with her microphone and amp, occasionally accompanying herself on guitar. She writes her own songs. She performs at the drop of a hat--especially if anyone else in the family is getting some level of recognition for their achievements.She'll push forward to fight for her place on centre stage--but that stage is in our house, or at her school and will continue to be so until she, too, is old enough to sign her own contracts. She might see Taylor Swift as a role model, but when she's 14, we won't be pushing her forward to start her career. It can wait.

I understand the arguments that some parents make--that there really is something to the idea of getting the kid out the door and onto the stage while they have the advantage of interest because there are fewer other performers on it at that age. YouTube is filled with talented children whose parents hope that someone will see their child's video and reward them with a career akin to Justin Bieber's (whose story is that when the call came from someone who wanted to be his agent, Justin's mother went to her church elders and they all prayed together for guidance. Eventually, they all decided to send him off to the States to meet the manager--and the rest is history as they say. That was when Bieber was 14 years old. I'm going to try and avoid all cynicism as to why church elders would have felt that was the decision to make).

I think what bothers me about the Smith kids (Will's, not mine) is that they don't need that kind of advantage. If they're truly talented, they can head out at 18, and still have the advantage of their father's name. They can co-star in dad's movies when they're 18. They can co-star in each other's movies. He might not be in a good place now (or have been for a lot of the last few decades) but I was kind of pleased to read that when Charlie Sheen was young, he would make home videos with his friends Chris and Sean Penn--no child stardom for him. (the fact that a lot of his problems seem to stem from his dad's problems, and his dad's work and his dad's fame is a different subject altogether).

But the reality is that the Smith kids' lives are so different from my kids in every way--their parents live for their work, and are constantly seen on red carpets at events and premieres. Perhaps there is no chance for them to be normal kids leading normal lives. Perhaps it is their normal. But to me, sending a child out "on the road" for a publicity tour, for performances, to be photographed on the red carpet and judged on their personal style, to be in the studio working, how can it be normal? They do not need to work to support their family, so they don't have that pressure. And clearly, the parents can say, "this is what you wanted--we didn't need you do to do this." I think of Amanda Bynes, briefly announcing her retirement from show business last year. A lot of people laughed themselves silly and wrote nasty entries about her--but the truth is that she's been working as an actually paid person in show business since she was ten years old.

Think of how hard it is to get a child to do their homework when video games and time with friends beckon...  Imagine that it wouldn't be at all difficult to get them to do anything involving show business--getting to sing or to act everyday?  Now imagine, that you're telling the child that they have to go off to a red carpet premiere of their movie for the fifth time in a month, that they're going to spend the next day in interviews for six hours answering the same five questions. And that they still have to do three hours of school work somewhere in there to meet government standards. There will come a day when the child will be tired of it and wonder how to stop it all. And be told that they need to keep it going, that fame is fleeting...and fame is clearly what's important here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday March 21

Monday, Monday, Monday!

Yeah, I'm not excited either. First day back from March Break and it's pouring rain--I feel for the teachers who are going to have a bunch of overexcited kids completely off schedule after a week at home...and they can't send them outside to run it off. Yikes. Then, they send those kids back home, completely wired for sound. Double Yikes.
So, the Wizard World Toronto Comic Con was this past weekend. Sequential has a list of links of people talking about it, complaining about it, being happy about it (including a link to my write-up over at KEIREN SMITH. You'll just have to take my word for it as they list me as "Kieron").
Instead of one the usual whacky funny comics, xkcd has a Radiation Dose Chart. Although, maybe in a way it's whacky-funny given how terrified people are making themselves running around buying up all the iodine pills--even in Ontario. But only if you're easily amused, I's sad to me, how panicked people are, how willing to be terrified by the media, and how unwilling to do some research and figure it out...  But take a look at the chart and get a sense of what dangers you personally are facing. (Of course, all it will do is make some people buy lead vests with which to sit in front of their computer monitors).
Last week, there was a viral video--no, not the girl singing--the video of an overweight 16 year old being bullied by a bunch of 12 and 13 year olds, who finally snaps and body slams his 12 year old tormentor. Most people cheered and roared approval--I was frankly shocked by the body slam (although I completely understood where it came from). Probably the really shocking part to me was the fact that after he does so, the kids don't back off--they, in fact, try to go after him because, of course, now he's gone after their buddy and rather than seeing it as fair, now they have an excuse. Bullies are like that.

Anyway, an Australian tv show has an interview with the victim in which he talks about his years of bullying, being abandoned by his friends and being essentially alone except for an older sister (who is not at the school). By the end of it, I wish I'd bodyslammed the other boy. I hope that Casey gets some actual real live friends to be with, to support him and "have his back" and not just the army of online supporters...(if you click the photo, there's a link to a second story)
Absolutely nothing seems to impact on Canadians' opinions of Stephen Harper and The Harper Government currently running Canada without any interest in the will of the people, but here is a story on the escalation of their smear campaign against Michael Ignatieff. This time, Ignatieff is furious that the Tories are actually running an ad smearing his parents.

I, for one, am getting sick to death of Canadians who refuse to see anything wrong with anything the government does under the guise of, "Well, it's not as bad as in the States--this is all small-potatoes stuff." Yeah--the potatoes we know about. Let's try and remember that potatoes are buried in the ground out of sight and we don't know they're there until we dig them up...

So, any time spent reading the news this morning and you will feel like Life Sucks. So, here's a bunch of photos of Saturday's "Super Moon"
....and one of cute baby animals. Squee, loosen up some of that tension...then head off to start your day.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Saturday March 19

It's Saturday. Yep. It's a convention weekend (Wizard World Toronto Comic Con) but The Guy has been sick the last few days. And he stayed up all night to finish his Saturday Morning Bun Toon because it's the one year anniversary of Bun Toons and he didn't want to just recycle (which is what I, wanting more sleep had suggested). So, I'm going to make it quick with MY blog so I can go off and colour today's which is about...well, you'll just have to wait and see it.
Oh, wait--I have to get a cup of coffee first. Then, I start.

Here we go...
It ain't a pop culture reference, but it's a headline that certainly caught and kept my attention:  according to The Toronto Star, Power Firms were paid millions not to generate power. The study specifically concerns Ontario and it should wipe the "I. Am. Canadian." smugness off of your face if you live in the same province as do I.  I may never actually smile again...  For anyone who shook their head but then postulated as to how Enron could happen in the States because, well--you know, and was very vague about how corruption exists anywhere but in the perfection that is the Frozen North, think again. The article is, we have to figure out how to get some changes.
Starring Adam West..saw this on Adam West's Facebook Fan Page (he's not as much fun to follow as Roger Ebert, but he does post some cute photos).A fan is making a film of Adam West in the hopes of getting him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and has a listing at KickStarter looking for investors. Check it out...
Starring Adam West
(I have mentioned on another blog how the kids almost spilled hot dogs and ketchup all over Mr. West as we were exiting an elevator at Fan Expo 2010...boy, does he look good. Really good.)
I feel that I will have a need to comment on this more extensively elsewhere (is it sad, ridiculous or what that I have to think "which blog? which blog?" when I want to write an entry...there are a few now, some off the radar), but I'm starting here. So...big breath, here I go...

According to this article from The Toronto Star, and Men's Health magazine did a survey together and discovered that 1 in 4 women did not like the marriage proposal they received from their male partner. I discovered that I apparently want to cause injurious harm to 1 in 4 married women.

There's more at the link...I'm probably going to get really angry if I write too much about it at the moment (and I have that colouring to do, remember?). If  I read again about women who talk about how hard it was because they were anticipating the proposal for so long and then the man didn't come through with one that they thought was romantic or profound enough...  Or how hard it was to wait for years until he propopsed (wait? WAIT?). Or the woman who mentions that they actually bought the damned ring TOGETHER but then he was left to come up with the romantic proposal.

Okay, I get that the whole wedding thing does nothing for me...frankly, the whole marriage thing means a big nada to me. That the parents in my second family were together almost 46 years before he died didn't manage to counteract growing up in a household where divorce filings came along every couple years...and life would have been a lot easier if just one of them had actually gone through. There were some really great reasons to get divorced. So, I'm disinclined if ya know what I mean...but I think if you're living with someone and they are your life-partner (the expression for a common-law or same-sex partner back in the old days when people were trying to get comfortable with the shock of such a thing), and you actually BUY THE RING TOGETHER, then I think you've clearly decided that you're getting married. That's the point of the ring, right? Ring means engaged. If you're engaged, you're getting married. To pick out the ring together and then wait for him to surprise you with the perfect proposal? Seriously? No wonder you're disappointed--anytime your argument is that you "helped" pick out (the unnecessary and expensive) ring ("because he might not get the right one") you obviously have very clear ideas as to what the proposal should be. At that point, you should probably plan that too. And probably propose to him, too. And you might want to apologise--"By the way, although this is supposed to be a big moment, and I made it into this big thing that you had to do before I would agree to marry you when you presented me with the ring I picked out and made you pay for...I just want you to know that I'm going to be incredibly picky like this for the rest of our lives together. Are you sure this is the best decision for you?"

Just sayin'.

Ah cynicism out of the way...what now?
Spoke too soon!

So, Morgan Spurlock has a new documentary and it's a doozy! It's called The Greatest Movie Ever Sold and it's about advertising. And Morgan Spurlock being Morgan Spurlock, he financed it by getting advertising...including selling the space above the title. Seriously.

There's a trailer at the link on I laughed my ass off. See if yours remains on.

A nice little review from of Limitless. I actually had little interest in this movie, but Charlie Jane Anders argues that if asked, she would have picked this as the Philip Dick movie, not The Adjustment Bureau. The review is interesting...certainly makes it seem like a much more interesting movie than I'd imagined.
This has nothing to do with anything...and I actually hate bathing suits, but while hop skip jumping around the internet last night, I happened upon a site called Mod Cloth, which features indie designers who have a decidedly vintage vibe to their work. If you like that sort of thing, give it a look...there's a lot more than just bathing suits at the site. But boy, the bathing suits are really nice.

When you read the header All Eighty Variant Covers of Godzilla #1 from IDW,you immediately have some ideas and they're probably not polite ones. But I'm here to tell you--this is SO COOL. And smart. I think it's incredibly smart and savvy...IDW offered retailers that if they ordered 500 copies of Godzilla #1 that the cover would feature their store being stomped by Godzilla! Advertising for the store, the comic and IDW all in one nice little cover illo. The article points out that only 75 stories chose to do so--but 500 is an incredible order these days (the biggest store in downtown TO doesn't order over 150 for it's best selling issues), and 75 x 500?  Well, I'm a girl so I can't do the math, but I'm pretty sure that's an impressive amount. And probably a lot more than Godzilla #1 might normally sell. Click through and read and check out the covers...I'm seriously going to find me one of these.
Here's a PhotoEssay for Torontonians...where famous people lived in Toronto. James Earl Ray, Michael Cera, Lester Pearson and Neil Young amongst others are featured. How's that for an eclectic group?
I'm off to colour...check in at Bun Toons in a couple of hours to see the results. And if you're in Toronto, come down to the Wizard World Toronto Comic Con...we should be there by 1:30ish (depending on how this colouring and The Guy's need for sleep goes).

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday March 18

I think I'm going to start some sort of official petition to make sure that the start of Daylight Savings Time and March Break never coincide again:  the kids and I have spent the whole week looking at the clock and announcing in shock, "Is that the time? Is THAT really the time?" and of course, it always really is.
There is a new translation of the Bible out called, New International Version Bible. This version is done with gender-neutral pronouns and the idea that there probably were a few women wandering around...  Big surprise! There are groups upset with this.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- writer Mandi Bierly says,
There’s only one guy we know of who could get mobbed by the hordes at Comic-Con and the moms at Costco: Nathan Fillion.
She makes a very good point. Anyway, Mr. Fillion is on EW's cover this week.

I'm kinda loving the constant interneting from Roger Ebert--I'm sorry he's lost his ability to speak, but  his electronic communication with the outside world is frequent and often pretty darned interesting. I'm not getting up in arms about his posting of links (he's upfront about the fact that he does make money off them which he uses to fund his website...and that if a new tax law comes into effect, he will probably be stopping that), and sometimes I don't recognise the people in the photos he posts (from various film festivals) unlabelled. But he posts lots of links to quickie articles, interviews, snippets people send him, etc.

Today's link from Mr. Ebert is from a site called How to be a Retronaut, and is Impractical Inventions from PopSci.  I used to love looking at all the inventions that featured in Popular Science--it was a long time before I understood that their inclusion didn't mean that they would necessarily ever exist (I read far above my age level for a long time. When I was 11, the town librarian told me I wasn't allowed into the adult section of the library until I was 12, after I borrowed a copy of Addie Pray. Not sure why that put her over, but it did.)
So...Sperm whales have names for each other.

A British woman has failed her Driver's Test 90 times now. And is still trying.
And, finally, if you're a Canadian, wandering around the downtown of whatever town you're in, and you're thirsty...there's an organisation which has got storeowners to agree to refill water bottles for anyone who asks. Stores are identified with the Blue W stickers. According to the article in The Toronto Star, it's not just stores--eight ReMax Real Estate locations signed up to be providers after hearing about the organisation. Read the story at the link.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wednesday March 16

Trying to get back on track with my schedule today...TCW's Fit to Print is tonight, and I have lots of work to get prepped for Wizard World Toronto Comic Con this weekend (for The Guy, not myself). So, just a few quickies today...
According to Gawker TV, This Video Will Tell You if You're Prone to Mind Control.  Ahh, the dilemma--obviously, with that title you feel like you should resist the urge to click...but with that title, how can you? You have to find out what the heck it's all about...
Obviously, I spent a bit of time on Gawker yesterday, (I'm sorry), 'cause I found the story on Russian Bomb Squad Successfully Defuses Sex Toy there as well.
(No word on whether it was one of THESE **NSFW**--don't sip your coffee as you click the would be a shame to spit-take it all up)
Instead of cognitive behavioural therapy (which, as the article points out, involves contact with people) how about cognitive-bias modification therapy...self-directed from your computer?
Because of all the interest last week in Amanda Hocking, the new queen of self-publishing, HuffPo has a slideshow of others for your inspiration or just plain old information.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuesday March 16

Yep, I missed a couple of days. Being completely depressed and mildly terrified will do that to a person! I would have just ended up posting picture after picture of kittens.
The headline from The Toronto Star, on Saturday, read 83 rescued from Kentucky restaurant that floated down river  and I know that it's not a funny story, that would be pretty frightening--heck, I can barely stand on the end of a dock, or drive over a bridge...I would have died of a heart attack if I'd been on the boat. reminded me of when Captain John's in the Toronto Harbour, located on an actual boat, sank. Flash forward to me working in a restaurant, looking at an application for a waitress:

Reason for leaving last job:  Restaurant sank.

Strange coincidence that tsunamis are very much the news as reports come that archeologists truly believe that they've found Atlantis, which from Plato's description, they believe was destroyed by a tsunami off of Southern Spain. Story at HuffPo...
Jamie Lee Curtis, an American Red Cross supporter, has written a blog entry, at HuffPo about disaster preparedness. Give it a read and consider how well supplied you would be in an emergency...
I run hot and cold on Bill Maher and his opinions (politics, yes...women--Bill, please shut up)...but I both laughed and agreed with a monologue from his show Real Time about the shows that show millionaires and millionaire bosses finding out what it's like to one of the "little guys" (ie, poor), and then "reward" them with some of their money after. It's funny...and informative. Although quotes like,
This is America, where the top 400 people have more money than the bottom 150 million combined.
might blow your brain circuits for a few minutes and you might have to rewatch the video to get it all.
The Guy and I were talking about Marlo Thomas just the other day...and I clicked on HuffPo to check it out...and there was Marlo. Who knew she blogs there? Not me, clearly. In fact, Ms. Thomas also has her own eponymous website, keeping the cause going. This blog entry is a nice little read about the early days of her career and politicization, with a photo essay from her own personal collection (so funny that you really don't need Marla to point out that Bella Abzug is always, always "the one in the hat"). Lots of who's who of the Women's Movement, as it was known waaaaay back then. Ah, the old days when people would mock it and tell stories of women burning their bras, and men would laugh heartily about how they were willing to give women the right to walk around without bras. Fun....because, of course, we've come so far. Right?

I'm sure there's a way that this is a bad, bad joke and someone will whack me for including this...but I actually think these (FAKE! They're clearly FAKE and no one will really get their leg trapped, okay!) Hipster Traps are amusing. Perhaps I'm easily amused...perhaps hipsters deserve it. You be the judge...
(the Daughter has decided that, at the age of ten, she is a hipster and that she is in a band called The Hipster Chicks. We had to go shopping for skinny jeans, Converse sneakers and many black shirts with graphic images. When we came home, her brother who likes to wage a lengthy and confusing verbal war against Hipster culture came racing up to inspect her purchases. "Turn around! Turn around so I can see that t-shirt...does it have a graphic image? Tell me the truth--is there...a...GRAPHIC IMAGE on that?!" His sister was not sure for a moment if it was actually a shtick as he managed to give "graphic image" the absolute right inflection so that it sounded like the worst epithet on earth. He eventually announced he couldn't live in the house anymore and stormed out...  Okay, he eventually returned. It was really cold out.)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saturday March 12

Thank god for the I can quickly Google, "What's the date today?" I usually only have a sense of whether it's a weekday or a weekend; because one requires me to get up an hour before The Teenager in a vain attempt to get him to school on time. The other is for sleeping in! Woo hoo!

Sometimes, I know what month it is--but the actual number is generally not on my radar.
Ahh, the internet...  The Guy was having major frustration because he posts cartoons to his art blog every Saturday and watches as the readers come. When anyone links to it, it's a good and exciting thing--unless they actually just post the whole cartoon to their blog, tag the heck out of it with everything but his name and don't link to ART LAND. Once that happens, it will get reblogged and off it goes...  He has actually sent out some letters and comments to people asking them not to post the whole cartoon (he generally does a vertical strip so that it's easy to excerpt the title card and the first panel) or at least to link to his site with his name listed. Of course, it's the Wild Wild West and you can't make anybody do anything--just hope that people enjoy your work!

All of that is to say...I'm posting a link to a cartoon which is clearly not from the originating site! But it was reposted from a Tumblr and so on and so forth. Tumblr is an interesting but often frustrating blogging platform--once someone posts something it's soooooo easy to reblog (one little click) but it's dependent upon the first person posting it with some level of attribution (which again, Tumblr makes very easy). But Tumblr is all about popularity and notes and reblogs so people will often just post with no link other than their own little Tumblr.

So, very long explanation, look at this funny cartoon:
An interesting, strange, crazy-ass idea for a skyscraper which would use lightning...for power. Check out the slideshow over at HuffPo.

An interesting little read from Alec Baldwin about how and why he was ousted from the sequels to The Hunt for Red October (I know they made a ton of money, but artistically--what a bad, bad decision. Alec was sooo believable as the young green agent just figuring everything out. Harrison Ford's entire persona was built on the "no matter what happens, I win" scenario. Was there ever any tension in either of the sequels? No.) that is a long introduction to his mini-lecture to Charlie Sheen.
In one of those odd resonating coincidences of life, colour photos from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake were publicised this week. Check out the slideshow. (on HuffPo, but Roger Ebert gave the heads up on these)
EW has a list of which shows are on the bubble, which are gone, which are completely utterly safe. Check for your favourites.
(If they cancel Supernatural, I may never ever watch tv again.)

The danger of letting my kids use my computer is that they often close links I have up despite fierce warnings not to do so...I made the mistake of trying to get some sleep yesterday, and the kids went WILD while I did so and closed my link to the following...luckily, I just remembered and found it again.

If you're a knitter and slightly off your's a knitting kit for you! You can (bwhahhahahahahahahahah) knit the entire royal family as they might look at William and Kate's upcoming wedding. (hahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahaha!!!!) Seriously.

Okay, I'm done.

Friday, March 11, 2011

This is a pretty self-explanatory little article, Wives per GOP presidential candidate, 1988-2012.
I don't actually understand what the big deal is--the argument is that all those divorces mean that the GOP candidates don't actually believe in marriage, when clearly they believe in it so much they want to do it over and over again.
Wil Wheaton is apparently a fairly prolific's the list at
Bic for Her. Lady pens--not lady razors. Seriously.
I used to always feel sorry for Alexis Stewart--how much fun could it be to grow up with a maniacal, workaholic Martha Stewart as a mother? In a Christmas special, Martha once told a story of coming home to find that her daughter had baked cookies and carefully decorated "the hall Christmas tree" (and that phrase right there says so much!) with them. What a charming story! How lovely that must have been! How nice for Martha that her daughter had a similar drive to beautifying her surroundings with lovely handmade items...  Martha then explained that she had so loved the idea that, the next year, she decided to do the same. And so Martha--not Alexis--made cookies, from the same recipe, of course, choosing only the ones most uniform in size, of course and stringing them from ribbon of the same color, not different recipes, sizes and colours of ribbon like Alexis had used. At no point after the initial "charming" story, was Alexis even mentioned. And I had such a vision of Alexis--simmering with resentment that Mom had taken her loving, lovely idea and...well done a Martha Stewart to it. 

So, this morning I read a quick story of Alexis Stewart giving birth to Martha's first, and likely only, grandchild. (Alexis is 45 and had much difficulty getting pregnant). Alexis tells of Martha arriving at the hospital with
"...this huge box from Bergdorf [Goodman]," Alexis said. "I open it up and I look inside and it's full of baby clothes, all with embroidery, and I'm like, 'Wow, I guess I'm going to be allowed to buy myself something pretty nice because all this stuff's going back!"
Yep, Martha bought the baby clothes and Alexis refused them. She refused a present for her child because it wasn't what she wanted for her kid. And Martha is Martha because Alexis doesn't like "grandma". One wonders if she has a problem with more than just the term...

Writing a movie review is an art in and of itself...this one of Red Riding Hood, written by Andrew O'Hehir, particularly amused with a few choice turns of phrase, ending
...this plucky, idiotic and almost irresistible movie, which has moments of transcendent silliness but never quite manages to ssing wiss ze love of Sssatan. 
Give it a read over at Salon.
I'm going to end on a beautiful photo essay (it seems to be the week for photo essays). This one is The World's Most Colorful Destinations.