Monday, December 31, 2012


By Mike Mignola.

"The significance of the guy holding out his arm, dipping at the wrist, is that that's a gesture that magicians use to imitate the cassowary"

Jared Diamond:
the local people were afraid of him, because he was such a powerful magician.

The significance of the guy holding out his arm, dipping at the wrist, is that that's a gesture that magicians use to imitate the cassowary. The cassowary is New Guinea's biggest bird. It's flightless. It's like a small ostrich. Weighs up to 100 pounds. And it has razor-sharp legs that can disembowel a man. The sign of the cassowary, if you hold out your arm like this, that's the cassowary rolling its head and dipping its head when it's ready to charge. So magicians will imitate a cassowary in order to show their power. Because the cassowary's big and powerful. Magicians identify with the cassowary. They intimidate people.

So, here's this crazy guy. Why did that crazy guy come into our camp at night? I don't know why he came into our camp. It's safe to assume that he saw the green tent and he knew that there must be a European inside the tent. It's safe to assume that his reasons for coming to a camp were not friendly.

David Aja's Hawkeye

From Hawkeye #3.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Link roundup

1.  "The Order of the Occult Hand is a whimsical secret society of American journalists who have been able to slip the meaningless and telltale phrase 'It was as if an occult hand had…' in print as a sort of a game and inside joke."

2.  Road House just got infinitely funnier:
[The Onion Audio Visual Club]: It seems like your sex scene in the film must be one of the most uncomfortable in cinematic history, being up against a rock wall and all.

[Kelly Lynch]: Oh, I know, but I was padded. [Laughs.] No one knows, so it looks more painful that it was. They really liked everything about the way that scene looked, with the blonde hair against the rocks behind me, but I was like, “Isn’t this kind of… mean?” So they put a thin padding under my dress, so you can’t see it. But he’s still slamming me against the rocks, so I had to be careful not to hit my head. Thank God Patrick was so strong. He could’ve carried me around that room forever.

By the way, speaking of Bill Murray, every time Road House is on and he or one of his idiot brothers are watching TV—and they’re always watching TV—one of them calls my husband and says [In a reasonable approximation of Carl Spackler], “Kelly’s having sex with Patrick Swayze right now. They’re doing it. He’s throwing her against the rocks.” [Away from the receiver.] What? Oh, my God. Mitch was just walking out the door to the set, and he said that Bill once called him from Russia.

AVC: Sorry, not to dwell on this, but you said that Bill Murray “or one of his idiot brothers” will call. Which brothers are we talking about? 
KL: All of them! Joel has called; Brian Doyle has called. They will all call! Any and all of them! 
AVC: This was already an awesome story, but now it’s even better. 
KL: I know, right? I dread it. If I know it’s coming on—and I can tell when it’s coming on, because it blows up on Twitter when it is—I’m just like, “Oh, my God…” And God help me when AMC’s doing their Road House marathon, because I know the phone is just going to keep ringing. It doesn’t matter if it’s 2 or 3 in morning. “Hi, Kelly’s having sex with Patrick Swayze right now…” 
3. James Cameron's Titanic as a secret prequel to Terminator.

Paolo Bacigalupi on his career struggles

Paolo Bacigalupi participated in an Ask Me Anything session at Reddit:
it appeared as if I had emerged out of nowhere. The reality was that I had emerged from ten years of brutal failure, but no one saw all that learning. All people initially saw was the successful short stories, and I think that helped readers, and editors get excited about me. For a little while, I appeared to be a phenomenon, instead of just another writer who had been grinding it out for years. 
When I started working on short stories, I had pretty much given up on novels. I knew I liked writing, but I couldn't take the rejection of seeing a year+ project die. Short stories/novelettes were a risk I could stomach. Interestingly, by that time I'd been writing for probably six or seven years, and I'd done a ton of book projects, so when I started to focus on short stories, I finally had my craft dialed in. 
The thing that short stories really did for me was that they provided me with a market that wasn't afraid of the very dark stories I was writing. F&SF and Asimovs were happy to take me on, and it wasn't a risk for them the way it was for novel publishers to take on my long work. 
So the short markets gave me exposure and legitimacy and a readership that I couldn't get by myself, and ultimately, that exposure was also what made Night Shade Books willing to take a risk on both my collection, and later on, THE WINDUP GIRL, when none of the major publishing houses would touch it. 
The Drowned Cities took me two years to write, and it was a mess from the start. I wrote an entire draft of the book (90,000 words) and ended up throwing it away.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Flame Alphabet

Cover by Peter Mendelsund

Ghost Rider

By Mike Bear.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Two prints from Julian Montague's state collection.

Little Black Dresser, and so much more

Whimsical furniture and toy designs by Straight Line Designs.

You should buy Knights of Pen and Paper

If I describe iOS game Knights of Pen and Paper, it'll sound stupid and boring.  And if I show you screenshots, it'll look ugly, too.  But I'm telling you it's the best $1 you'll spend today.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Ask Me About My Facehugger

Ask Me About my Facehugger t-shirt available at Amazon.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Minecraft wallpapers

Lots of new Minecraft wallpapers posted at Dead End Thrills this weekend.

*Buy Minecraft at iTunes.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Link roundup

1.  Science tattoo.  (NSFW.)

2.  From the latest chapter of An Illusionist in Skyrim:
After a moment of total bafflement, I realise it’s a dragon. The reason I didn’t recognise it is that it’s crashed skull-first into the ground, its massive pelvic bone wiggling weirdly in the air. It’s not a skeletal dragon, it’s a dragon skeleton. In fact, it’s almost certainly the skeleton of the dragon the guards killed for me out at the guard tower. What the hell it’s doing here, and why it plummeted out of the sky, I will never know. 
Backing slowly away, I see there are only two Stormcloaks left now, so I Fury one of them into killing the other. When the spell wears off, he looks round at me, the Imperial soldiers behind me, and the massive dragon skeleton on the ground between us, and he runs off into the night. Whiterun is ours. 
I head back to the city gates, stopping briefly to check my journal and make sure that’s where I’m meant to be going. When I put it away, a titanic mess of bone crashes down on my head. Jesus goddamn Christ! Get it off me! 
The gibbering dragon skeleton wobbles awkwardly between me and the city gate, then slumps down to the ground. It’s the same one, it just jumps on top of me every time I bring up my inventory. Is this glitch meant to remind me how bad I should feel for setting angry giants on the guards who killed this dragon for me?
3.  Wired looks at how a vinyl toy gets made.

Is it ok to fire someone to avoid sexually harassing them?

A dentist acted legally when he fired an assistant that he found attractive simply because he and his wife viewed the woman as a threat to their marriage, the all-male Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday.  
The court ruled 7-0 that bosses can fire employees they see as an "irresistible attraction," even if the employees have not engaged in flirtatious behavior or otherwise done anything wrong. Such firings may be unfair, but they are not unlawful discrimination under the Iowa Civil Rights Act because they are motivated by feelings and emotions, not gender, Justice Edward Mansfield wrote.

US Military Drone Recognition Kit

Drone Recognition Kit by James Bridle:
This kit consists of three models of contemporary military drones: the MQ-1 Predator, the RQ-170 Sentinel, and the RQ-4 Global Hawk. Human figures are included for scale. 
The kit was produced using 3D modelling software and desktop 3D printing technologies, with the assistance of Digital Fabrication Specialist Carlos Cruz. 
All three UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) depicted here are in use at the present time to provide situational awareness in conflict zones around the world for a number of armed forces, as well as in domestic use, including border patrol, forest fire and storm observation, and humanitarian relief. These three UAVs are all configured as unarmed surveillance drones, although they may be weaponised. 
The kit is based on military and civilian recognition kits: collections of models used to train gunners, radar operators and visual observers.
(Not for sale.)  Via.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Bears vs. Cardinals

By Austin Madison.

Link roundup

1.  Myst creators Robyn and Rand Miller knew how to draft a great press release.

2.  "Prostitutes in blacked-out wartime London would feel for the rank insignia of prospects before naming their price."

3.  Grantland named Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich to their version of the pro bowl squad: "Once a practice squad journeyman and backup long snapper, Ninkovich has become an essential part of the New England defense virtually overnight."  (He was drafted by the Saints in the fifth round of the 2006 draft.)

4. "Honey bees trained to stick out their tongues for science."

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Best Crowd Interaction

From David Shoemaker's summary of last weekend's pro wrestling events:
To the tag team of Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas, who have wrestled in Ring of Honor intermittently since getting laid off by WWE, and who hear tons of snarling sass from the crowd because of their WWE tenure (you might remember them as Kurt Angle's cronies). They indulge the boos by copiously flipping off the crowd. The fans' hatred of them felt especially virulent because Benjamin and Haas's opponents were indie regulars Rhett Titus and B.J. Whitmer. The match had been billed as an "NYC Street Fight," and in honor of the holiday season, it included a Santa bag full of weaponized candy canes and a plastic Christmas tree along with the usual supply of kendo sticks and tables. At one point in the match, Benjamin was on the verge of striking one of his opponents with a kendo stick, but the crowd intervened. "Use the tree! Use the tree!" they chanted. Benjamin flashed an evil grin, picked up the tree, and seemed to ponder what it would be like to bash somebody with it. Then he went stone-faced, tossed the tree onto the floor outside the ring, and flipped off the now-apoplectic crowd.

Eyes Wide Shut poster

By Sam Smith for a showing of Eyes Wide Shut, on sale here.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Love notes by Madeleine Flores

Madeleine Flores's series of love notes are charming. (She also has art on sale here.)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"Soldiers in Nepal are on the hunt for a wild elephant after it strayed into villages in the southern part of the Himalayan nation and killed four people in three months"

"pulled an elderly couple from bed and trampled them to death"

Epilogue to Zero Dark Thirty

"Five female Pakistani polio vaccination workers have been fatally shot in a string of co-ordinated attacks - four within 20 minutes across Karachi."

Giveaway: Flash Gordon: The Tyrant of Mongo

UPDATE: Lawrence won and has been contacted.

Flash Gordon: The Tyrant of Mongo is a brand new 176-page, three-pound book, collecting the Flash Gordon stories appearing between 1937 and 1941.  Alex Raymond's art is gorgeous, and the pulpy proto-Star Wars stories are good fun.  There's plenty of rocket ships, and space monsters, and gleaming futuristic cities.  But the most fun is space mimbo Flash Gordon finding one flimsy excuse after another to take off his clothing:

and endlessly expressing befuddlement at the gorgeous space princesses competing for his body:

The book's 43% off at Amazon.

I also have one copy to give away.  For a chance to win, simply comment on this post and include your email so I can contact you if you win.  One comment per person, and USA residents only, please.  I'll pick a winner on Friday.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Lost Boys poster

By We Buy Your Kids going on sale tomorrow at Mondo.

Nightmare fuel

A lorikeet's tongue.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

"workers are forbidden from quitting their jobs"

Belarus wants to stop workers from moving to higher paying jobs in Russia:
"A decree is being prepared that says that until the end of the planned modernization and reconstruction of [wood-processing] enterprises [in 2015], workers are forbidden from quitting their jobs," Lukashenka announced during a visit to the Barysaudrev wood-processing plant in Barysau, a bleak industrial city about 40 kilometers northeast of Minsk, on November 30. "Workers cannot quit their jobs without the agreement and permission of the management of the enterprise."

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"The Hitler Brand Is Huge In India Right Now"

Indians buy Mein Kampf by the thousands every month, and it is a must-read for business school students.

The two articles presented a few theories on why Hitler is big in India. One being that the country has never had a strong charismatic leader. Another being that Hitler's weakening of Great Britain in World War II led to them voluntarily leaving India.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Defenders

Proposed lineup for the Defenders by Kyle Starks and Dylan Todd.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Before Watchmen cover by Olly Moss

Before Watchmen variant cover by Olly Moss.

*Buy Olly Moss posters at ebay.

Miami P.D. Bomb Squad Patch

Miami P.D. Bomb Squad patch available at ebay. Via.

Leaving the EU

Illustration by Jon Berkeley for an article about Britain possibly leaving the European Union.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

"a predatory drill sergeant"

"The new issue of Army Times has a good piece by Michelle Tan about a predatory drill sergeant who in one 10 day period earlier this year had various forms of sex with one female recruit, oral sex with another, a groping and kissing session with a third, and indecent language with some others."

Link roundup

1.  Robin Hanson on learning the wrong lessons from fiction:
Good guys, who do good acts, have more other virtuous features than in reality, and and good acts are rewarded more often than in reality. 
A lot of our biases come, I think, from expecting real life to be like fiction. For example, when we have negative opinions on important subjects, we tend too much to expect that we should explicitly and directly express those negative opinions in a dramatic conversation scene. We should speak our mind, make it clear, talk it through, etc. This usually a bad idea. We also tend to feel bad about ourselves when we notice that we avoid confrontation, and back off when from things we want when we encounter resistance. But such retreat is usually for the best.
2.  From the beginning of a BusinessWeek article titled Why Can't India Feed Its People?:
It was 1958, my father was still a child, and India was running out of food. That year’s wheat crop had slumped by 15 percent, the rice harvest by 12 percent, and prices in the markets were soaring. Far from his village in eastern India, ships loaded with wheat were steaming toward the country, part of Dwight Eisenhower’s plan to sell surplus grains, tobacco, and dairy products to friendly countries. All India Radio gave daily updates on the convoys, and the army barricaded ports in Mumbai and Kolkata against the hungry crowds. 
“It was this very coarse, red wheat,” says Narsingh Deo Mishra, a childhood friend of my father’s and now a local politician in Auar, their home village. “We were told it was meant for American pigs,” says Mishra. “Back then, we weren’t any better than American pigs. So we ate it. We ate it all, and we begged for more.”
3.  "Movie Poster Design Trend: Hero Stands, Weapon In Hand, Before a Cloudy Background, With Flying Debris, and Sparks."

Paper elves

By Philippa Rice.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Army and Navy football uniforms by Nike

Base layers for the Navy and Army football uniforms by Nike.