Thursday, March 21, 2019

The Wicked + The Divine #45 cover by Olivia Jaimes

Article comparing the USA's overseas military bases to Bond villain lairs

"Power Is Sovereignty, Mr. Bond"

Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, knew something about islands. During the Second World War, he’d served as the assistant to Britain’s director of naval intelligence. In 1943, he traveled to Kingston, Jamaica for a high-level intelligence conference with the United States. The Caribbean was then in dire straits, tormented by German submarines that evaded the Allied navies. Rumors floated that the boats were finding safe berth at a secret harbor built by Dr. Axel Wenner-Gren, a mysterious Swedish multimillionaire with Nazi ties who had established himself on an island in the Bahamas.

The accusations that Wenner-Gren was using his island as a secret Nazi base proved false. But Fleming nevertheless found it all irresistible. He bought an estate in Jamaica (named Goldeneye, after one of the intelligence operations he’d help run) and began writing his Bond novels from there.

...

What, specifically, could the United States do with a base? A fine example is the Swan Islands, a small cluster of three islands in an isolated part of the Caribbean, not far from the fictional location of Doctor No’s island. In the 1950s, the CIA secretly built a landing strip and a fifty-thousand-watt radio transmitter on Great Swan. That single transmitter could reach South America, allowing the United States to cover with its radio beams territory inaccessible by ground.

Soon after the CIA built that radio station, a delegation of Honduran students carrying arms came to Great Swan to “liberate” the islands and claim them for Honduras. They had no idea of the CIA’s presence, and the agency was determined to keep them in the dark. give them plenty of beer and protect the family jewels read the frantic cable from Washington (i.e., don’t let them discover the broadcasting equipment). Marines sped to the island to repel the invasion.

What happened next can be best appreciated by reading the cable traffic from Swan to Washington:
*Previously: "Is the United States about to lose control of its secretive Diego Garcia military base?"

"A dev trained robots to generate 'garbage' slot machine games—and made $50K"

Ars:

they opted to buy a 3D slot machine asset off of the Unity Store (a marketplace that lets game makers pay modelers and animators for unrestricted use of various 2D and 3D assets) for $15. They then spent the rest of the jam creating a system that would automatically generate the rest of the skinning needed to make this basic virtual slot machine just unique enough to be published as its own smartphone app.

...

The most scintillating name they went for at that point was "3D Sexy Librarian Slots."

...

The team came up with a theory: "All of our advertising keywords were related to casino related content," Schwartz said to Ars. "We had an epiphany: our game looks so fucking terrible, but people downloaded it for some reason. When they see an ad for a much better slot machine or casino, they click it because... of course you do!

Ten funny tweets





















































(Kind of true.)

Starforce Captain Marvel and Goblin Queen figures available for preorder



The newly-revealed Diamond Select toys are available for preorder, including Westworld. The new "Ultra Deluxe" Alien Queen by NECA is available, too.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Zima Blue from Netflix's Love Death Robots is great










The Wonder Woman statue based on Robert Valley's design is 50% off at Amazon, btw.

Miles Morales designer vinyl toy



Available for preorder. There's also a Deadpool, Black Panther, and Thanos.

Into the Spider-Verse Kingpin cosplay



Speaking of cosplay:







"About 1,600 people have been secretly filmed in hotel rooms in South Korea, with the footage live-streamed online for paying customers to watch, police said Wednesday"

CNN:

the scandal, which involved 42 rooms in 30 accommodations in 10 cities around the country. Police said there was no indication the businesses were complicit in the scheme.

...

Cameras were hidden inside digital TV boxes, wall sockets and hairdryer holders and the footage was streamed online

Star Wars roundup





































*More Star Wars.

Teeny-tiny third-party Omega Supreme figure



Available for preorder:

From Mechanic Studio & Mech Soul, the MS-11 Mini Sentry figure stands about 2.5 inches tall and can transform from robot to base mode. Also included with this set is a head tank patrol unit and doctor figure.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Two reviews of Netflix's Love Death Robots animation series

Rolling Stone:

the worst installments feel like the show is simply hitting every lowest common denominator for the Comic-Con demographic and turning the volume up to 11. Both “Sonnie’s Edge,” about psychics who engage in Lovecraft-monster cockfights, and “The Witness,” about a belle du jour running from a homicidal perv, look and play like toxic cut scenes from old PlayStation games
Guardian:
If cyberpunk stories about harassed exotic dancers and distressed sexbots are supposed to be state-of-the-art science-fiction, then an R2 #MeToo moment seems long overdue.