It's available on iTunes, y'all, but for those of you who aren't interested in buying it, you may wish to view the following link:

It's been said that court jesters / fools had the unenviable job of not only entertaining the ruler of the land, but also to offer an unorthodox view on matters trivial and important - to allow us to think about things in a new light.

This particular webcomic from "We The Robots" does just that:

Go see Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.

Funny, touching, though Act III kinda startled me with the shift in the storytelling style. The casting of the primaries -- Dr. Horrible (Neil Patrick Harris), Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion), and Penny (Felicia Day) -- is fantastic and I love the performances.

Here are the lyrics I could make out from one of the songs:

Bad Horse, Bad Horse
Bad Horse, Bad Horse
He rides across the nation, the thoroughbred of sin
He got the application that you just sent in
It needs evaluation, so let the games begin
A heinous crime, a show of force
A murder would be nice of course

Bad Horse, Bad Horse
Bad Horse, He's bad
The Evil League of Evil is watching so beware
The grade that you receive will be the last we swear
So make the battle skillful, or He'll make you his mare
You're saddled up, there's no recourse
It's hi-yo Silver! Signed: Bad Horse

The Newborn Experience

It's wonderful to discover things about infants; every day we're learning something new about our son. Just to recap what we've gotten so far:

1. baby poop has no smell -- at first. It slowly acquires an interesting aroma as it shifts from its initial dark, dark green hue and annoyingly rubber cement-ish consistency to its mustard-and-sesame-seed incarnation (indicating a healthy supply of breastfeeding)

2. our generation is doomed. Those of us who were raised largely on formula are doomed, doomed, doomed, based on the insistent and sometimes downright dictatorial adherence that OB-GYNs and Pediatricians have had on the need to breastfeed. No formula, no bottles, just breastfeed. We understand that breastmilk helps pass on immunities and that it has antibacterial properties, but --

-- it's like we're being told to do something that's good for our son without being told the whole story, because it'll just worry us (neither my wife nor I were breastfed to a great degree, we're mostly formula babies). WHAT AREN'T THEY TELLING US?

3. diaper changing is all about timing: you have to change the diapers as soon as possible so that your child doesn't suffer diaper rash, but not TOO soon or you may discover that he wasn't quite finished. If you're lucky, you'll just have to change the diaper that you just changed. If you're not lucky, well... if it's number one, boys tend to arc their liquid waste. if it's number two, oh boy.

4. laundry load has increased substantially! Even with disposable diapers (sorry, mother earth!) we keep changing blankets, shirts, and sheets with astonishing frequency due to spilled milk, small regurgitated puddles of milk, and the afore-mentioned waste-related accidents associate with diaper changing

5. our child is brilliant! Yes, I'm sure most parents feel this way. I'm savoring the fact that I'm more tickled and proud than annoyed when
- our son wriggles his way out of the tightly-swaddled receiving blanket / straightjacket
- our son interrupts his crying with a patient smile when he thinks he's finally getting what he wanted in the first place (food / diaper change / temperature change)
- our son manages to force off his mittens using both hands
- our son manages to force off his mittens while wrapped ing the blanket / straightjacket
- our son manages to gum my finger off during a particularly alarming state of hunger through a surprising burst of coordination -- he launched himself from one end of the changing mat to the other using only his neck and back muscles (his arm control is still iffy, and his legs were being held because we were changing his diaper)

More news as it develops!
A good friend of mine is fond of stories involving time travel. I enjoy the odd time travel story too, but it's difficult to pull off a time travel story that isn't a bad re-hash of something that's been done before, or something incredibly confusing involving paradoxes and multiple instances of the same person.

However, there is a fantastic game that bends your mind as far as thinking in terms of solving problems through time travel. It's called Chronotron.

Try it!

I was perusing the recent pvponline comics and ran across LOLBAT!

Pretty funny! I don't know if it has legs, but for a short strip, quite funny. It assumes that you're familiar with l33tsp3ak or whatever netslang is called.

Prepping for a New Arrival

It's getting close to July and our preparations for our soon-to-be son are shifting into high gear. On the schedule for this weekend - clearing up and boxing books from the shelves, figuring out how to transfer two older shelves down to the storage room, and rescheduling the move of the computer table to my sister's room.

And then there's the baby stuff that needs to be bought, and the preparation of the emergency "we gotta go to the hospital NOW" plans and gear.
So if we look at Nikolai at we see that:

Russian and Bulgarian form of NICHOLAS. A notable bearer was Nikolai Gogol, a 19th-century Russian novelist.

Looking at Nicholas at the same link, we find:

From the Greek name Νικολαος (Nikolaos) which meant "victory of the people" from Greek νικη (nike) "victory" and λαος (laos) "people". Saint Nicholas was a 4th-century bishop from Anatolia who, according to legend, saved the daughters of a poor man from lives of prostitution. He is also known as Santa Claus (from Dutch Sinterklaas), the bringer of Christmas presents. He is the patron saint of children, sailors and merchants, and Greece and Russia. Nicholas was also the name of two czars of Russia and five popes.

When we check out Benjamin, we get:

From the Hebrew name בִנְיָמִין (Binyamin) which means "son of the south" or "son of the right hand". Benjamin in the Old Testament was the twelfth and youngest son of Jacob and the founder of one of the southern tribes of the Hebrews. This name was also borne by Benjamin Franklin, an American statesman, inventor, scientist and philosopher.

I've lost interest in Final Crisis because of most of the unintelligable and unengaging stuff going on in Countdown.

But this news item sparked my interest.

Yes, Virginia, all the past Legions are now part of DC Continuity! And there's going to be a kick-@$$ story that's going to pit Superman and the heroes of the 31st Century against 'Superboy' and the villains of the 31st Century. Written by Geoff Johns, Art by George Perez.

Oh, I am so there.

I'm tickled to see people like Universo, Dr. Regulus, the Time Trapper, and Validus on this cover.

They're pulling out all the stops in this one, and the crumbling power battery may reveal what actually happens to Rond Vidar!

I got this from my sis, who got this from the following link:

The A-TEAM Movie

If you've been holding your breath for The A-Team movie, well, we feel sorry for you.

But help is on the way for you and your oxygen-deprived brain. So just hold on. Until June 12. Of next year. Feel better? You should, actually.

The release date, as reported by Variety, is the first for the long-discussed, long-suffering project.

John Singleton, who last yelled cut on Four Brothers, will direct; Michael Bandt and Derek Haas, who helped shoot the lights out with 3:10 to Yuma, are writing the screenplay.

As reported, the movie will follow the basic recipe of the 1983-87 TV series: Take four ex-military men; add one war crime they didn't commit; mix in chases, pursuits and more chases.

TubeWatch: 30 Rock

I follow the TV Show 30 Rock
. It appeals to my sense of humor, and the characters are somehow both archetypal and unique. The situations usually start somewhat plausibly and in grand network TV tradition spiral into silliness without sacrificing my viewer engagement.

I also like the occasional breaking of the fourth wall to do some serious entertaining while still pushing the storylines forward.

Check out this YouTube link:

It's no secret that I'm a fan of the Hero System, especially the Champions super-heroic setting.

Recently, there have been two announcements that promise to shake up the Hero System fandom:

  1. Hero Games is coming out with a 6th Edition set of its rules in 2009;
  2. Cryptic Studios is coming out with an MMORPG based on the Champions setting in 2009.
According to the Hero Games website, the reason they're coming out with the 6th Ed is to take advantage of the marketing opportunites that the MMORPG will provide them. They want to revise the rules to make it easier for fresh blood to jump onboard to the pen-and-paper RPG bandwagon (with the Hero System as the prime candidate for initial gameplay). It's also been mentioned that the Champions and Dark Champions intellectual property has been purchased by Cryptic Studios:

"Cryptic bought the Champions and Dark Champions intellectual property from us — the characters, places, events, and so on — and licensed back to us the right to produce Champions RPG books."

Interestingly, the RULES of the Hero System still belong to Hero Games.

To me this implies that if things go all crappy down the line, Hero Games doesn't own the settings that they created in these genres, but still retain copyright on the ruleset. It also means that Hero Games can technically use all that nice art in their 6th Edition books.

The Cryptic Studios website has a link to the Champions Online MMORPG website and there you'll find the general level of art that I hope to see in the Hero Games books come 2009.

Those Awful Green Things...

Just recently, my wife and I found ourselves looking to overcome boredom (and a potential onset of pregnancy-fuelled nausea), and after enduring several card games that are somewhat boring with two players, I pulled out my copy of "The Awful Green Things from Outer Space."

This is a classic boardgame currently published by Steve Jackson Games, and is surprisingly fun.

The Awful Green Things (played by me) were ultimately defeated by the valiant crew of the ship ZNUTAR (played by my wife). The captain of the ship did extremely well, as did the Robot (before it was destroyed by three adult AGTs). One of the pilots managed to evade them until the showdown in one of the rooms, where he and his fellow pilot were finally eliminated.

Gameplay has interesting choices for the AGT side (which AGTs do I grow this round, and where do I place them) and for the Crew side (which weapons do I use/test, what crew members do I send out). The only problem we really had was handling the counters, which were small and tended to slide on the uneven bed.
The Internet, Computers, College, and Guido

That's not his real name, but this guy's an old classmate and roomie of mine from college.

In fact, as on the occasions that we've briefly exchanged e-mail o'er the internet, I was reminded that my initiation to complex world of the Internet, electronics and computers began in those years.

I was, of course, a dabbler in computing - having cut my teeth on Basic and messing around with the old Apple II clones - but I was no where near the level of knowledge and sophistication of Guido. In fact, he introduced me to some of the folks at the Computer Engineering lab and we stomped around in MUDs and I slowly learned about TCP/IP and e-mail and the early HTML uses. I can still remember the lab TAs and some of the students discussing the performance of the early Mosaic browsers and how it compare to Lynx.

Now he's here, visiting along with his girlfriend, and I hope he enjoys his visit (and maybe we'll find a slice of time to meet up, even for a few hours at the airport)!