A Snapshot of Facebook in 2010 | Facebook

A Snapshot of Facebook in 2010 | Facebook

Here's a free sample of your private data Facebook is giving away for free on it's front page. Enjoy!

Next year I wanna see Ask Grandpop on that list. Got it ;)

Eek! Aliens in the Laundry!

Picture 73I bought Chloe a bucket of these little guys and they’ve been doing deep recon around the house for the past week. These two are fresh from the washing machine. I am sure they are the first of many.

The FCC Wants to Regulate the Internet

Net neutrality. Yes, again. Look, I read an article that claim in a poll only %21 of people are pro net neutrality. Why? Because it was framed similarly to the sensational headline on this post. Your gonna hear net neutrality twisted as “The FCC wants to regulate the internet just like it does TV and radio". This is incorrect. The FCC wants to regulate ISPs (Internet Service Providers) such as Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon to ensure all data and devices are considered equal.

Just… ya know. Heads up.

Still Don't Think We Need to Reform IP Laws?

Gibson Forces Wowwee to Pull Paper Jamz Guitars: "

One of the favorite toys of the season was the Paper Jamz guitar and amp. Sadly, Gibson didn’t think it was so great and sued the manufacturer, WowWee, for infringing on their image. See, the Paper Jamz may be made of paper, but they kind of look like the Gibson, so the guitar company sued them for trademark infringement, suggesting that WowWee claimed that the guitars “looked like” Gibsons. While this is untrue, Target and a number of other stores have pulled the toys.

via Crunchgear via Techdirt

Quirky Digits Makes Any Gloves Touchscreen-Friendly

Someone asked me about gloves with touchscreens. Or maybe it was a stylus... Whatever. I'm still infested with folks' offspring, so here is this thing:

Quirky Digits Makes Any Gloves Touchscreen-Friendly: "

Anyone that’s ever done the remove-a-glove-to-use-a-phone dance should appreciate the Quirky Digits. It’s simple, really. These little pins transfer your body’s magically power to use a touchscreen through your gloves to little conductive pads on the other side. $13.99 nets buyers a 4-pack for either totally equipping one set of gloves for multitouch goodness or spreading the love over four pairs.

Recap the beginning of the WWWWI

The World Wide Web War 1™ began this year. About six months ago. You read, you know. Stuxnet, Operation Payback, Wikileaks, Viacom v Google, Google v China, humanity v Comcast, Zeus botnet, US government illegally seizing web domains, Amazon, Paypal, and Vista bow down before Joe Liberman, etc.
Whether or not you are picking a side or sitting it out, EVERYONE needs to know what is going on with the ‘Net right now. Seriously. The fight over who (or no one) controls the future of global communications has started. Wired has an… acceptable recap of this here.

Knowing is half the battle. Welcome to the future. William Gibson was right.

Ed. I'm gonna pull a couple of quotes because you won't click thru:

“A lot of really important stuff happened this year that forces us to begin to think about that there are so many people who depend on private companies to enjoy the fruits of technology,” said Cindy Cohn, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s legal director. “If the private company stands up for us we have rights, and if it doesn’t, we don’t.”

More than anything, the online protests exposed a generational struggle for the heart and soul of the net. It’s a high-stakes conflict between corporations that have grown fat and powerful off the web over nearly two decades and the first generation to grow up with the modern internet as a daily element in their lives.
Both sides believe the internet belongs to them. If history is a guide, it would be unwise to bet against the kids over the establishment.

F U Sony Playstation 3

Day after Xmas. I’ve got a shiny new PS3 game and BOTH the baby and Mrs. are down for a nap. I tear off the shrink wrap and stuff it into the console. Tossing aside the stacks of children’s Christmas DVDs, I plunk down with a grin and a controller.

The game needs to download a patch for 30 minutes.

It cannot download in the background so I could play a different game or use the media center.

Didn’t even see a title screen. Guess it still has to install to the hard drive too.

I guess it’s a Christmas miracle the damn thing didn’t need to spend 20 minutes updating its firmware this time… yay…

Epic Cardboard Gundam [Pic]

Epic Cardboard Gundam [Pic]: "Epic Cardboard Gundam [Pic]
December 24, 2010 by Geeks are Sexy

Don’t Understand Net Neutrality? Here’s a pic!

This is what happens without Net Neutrality. This slide is from the fine folks at Allot Communications re: their new “Openet” mobile data use. Net Neutrality says this is a “no-no” and all data must be treated the same. 


Christmas Light Display as Video Game

I recognized this driveway as soon as I started the video Winking smile Yep, it’s the guy who put Guitar Hero in his Christmas display last year. This year he has an all new game!

Picking on iPhone 4 is like spitting on roadkill

Katherine told me that she and her boyfriend were disappointed in the iPhone episode of Ask Grandpop. They were looking forward to 3 minutes of iPhone mocking.


That's one of the first jokes of the episode. Why do it anymore? After "It only drops calls when you hold it," where can you go? I guess you could mention the fact that it shatters if you take in and out of the case too much. See? Its like the XBox 360. No jokes. Everyone knows the facts. No one ever talks recall. People know what they're getting into.

Economy can't be that bad...

JoCo for the Hollidays

The whole damn ‘Net’s gone to hell lately: Illegal domain seizures, cyber gangs, proliferation of DDoS weapons, leaks, hacks, theft. The Wikileaks story climaxing with the arrest of Operation Payback coordinator was so amazing I felt I didn’t have the time to do it justice here (that's why I have the newsfeed). BTW, if you haven’t changed your passwords for everything, you really need to go do that now. Go ahead. I’ll be here Winking smile

Anyway, I need a little pick-me-up. Let’s check in with Jonathan Coulton, a true friend of The Internet, and the inhabitants of Chiron Beta Prime:

China deploys knockoff Gundam statue

China deploys knockoff Gundam statue: "China deploys knockoff Gundam statue

China has overtaken Japan as the number two economy, but that hasn't stopped the country's bootleg masters from erecting their own version of the famed giant Gundam robot statue.


All my girls accounted for and snuggled down for the night. The big ones, little ones, college one, the crazy one, and the married one. (Well, I guess baby2 is still ?, but lets let Grandpop have his moment Winking smile)

Whew… Should be smooth until Christmas week. I hope.

Teddy Bear Bouquet

$55 shipped air from Japan. Very cute.

Cami is off with her mom tonight. Ya know why? $8 in overnight shipping is why! Stupid Murphy’s Law thing. Won’t be the last we’ll see of her this weekend, I’m sure. If nothing else, we drive her back to the meeting spot with Dad. Yeah. We were always on the docket for baby taxi Eye rolling smileStill, Grandpop beats the hell out of Step-Father. You’ve go NO chance as a Step-Parent. Grandparent automatically gets reverence. Quite heavy holding up 3 generations tho… Long way to go, but I’m starting to see a bit of progress.

New Phonebook

Seems I have a lot to blog this morning… Anyway, just got a phonebook dropped off. Not even The Phonebook; One of those oddball phonebooks. Such a waste. I think there is an opt-out for this somewhere. Ah, well. At least the phonebook gave me an excuse to stop cleaning and sit down to tap this out Winking smile

Freeze, Burn, Spear, and Catapult Google’s Chromium Netbook

Here’s Google’s commercial for their new netbook. Many netbooks were harmed in its making

Otaku-Verse Zero

These guys just started their podcast. Its very refreshing to see a professionally made video podcast that isn’t about tech. I posted this episode because I thought Brandon would like to see the weapon shop in Japan.

I’m such a nerd

Big Baby Girl still hasn’t gotten to see her mom yet this visit and all I can think is “OMG! She doesn’t even have her own handheld!” LOL

Edit: Amazon got my back! Pink Leapster2 and Spongebob overnighted for $60. Yeah, I know: Christmas. If things go pear shaped (par for the course), I wanna have an ace up my sleeve ;)

Pfft! Babies walking around without LCDs. Might just as well let 'em draw on the wall with feces!
Cami will be here thru Sunday. Can’t believe we got caught by surprise. We only got notice we’d be “supervising” this visit last week, but duh: Should’ve been prepared for Cami to be in our care. Too much other holiday stuff. My new Grandpop skills are working just fine.

XMas is here!

Its been so long since we’ve had to deal with Sarah, I forgot to expect the BS. Cami (Baby 1) is inbound for a couple of days with Mom coincidentally checked into the hospital. My first reaction is “Keep bailing her out and she’ll keep doing the same thing”. My second reaction is “Oh, I kinda get it now.”

Okay, actually my first reaction involves swears that would make George Carlin spin in his grave Winking smile

Sony Suggests Best PS3 Gifts

Let’s define Epic Fail for a second. This is from Sony’s PS3 newsletter:

“Designed to maximize your overall entertainment experience, finding a new Bluetooth Headset, a Surround Sound System, or a “Candy Pink” DualShock 3 wireless controller under the tree is sure to make anyone’s holiday a little brighter this year – at prices starting as low as $49.99(MSRP).”

Really? THIS is what Sony suggests? A headset, a sound bar, and a PINK controller?!

“Whatcha doin?”

“Fraggin’ N00bs with my new pink DualShock! How about you?”

“Chatting on my new $50 bluetooth headset! Sound sucks. Gonna switch it with my cell phone’s headset that cost half as much.”

“Wish I got a game.”

“No, you don’t. Sony suggests ‘any of our newest titles, such as Gran Turismo 5, The Sly Cooper Collection, or SingStar Dance’”


2015: VGA goes Away

AMD, Dell, Intel Corporation, Lenovo, Samsung Electronics LCD Business and LG Display today announced intentions to accelerate adoption of scalable and lower power digital interfaces such as DisplayPort and High-Definition Multimedia Interface® (HDMI) into the PC. Intel and AMD expect that analog display outputs such as Video Graphics Array (VGA) and the low voltage differential signaling technology (LVDS) panel interface would no longer be supported in their product lines by 2015.

I still use a tube monitor. I can’t stand looking at the dot matrix on those LCDs; knowing that they won’t scale correctly; seeing all those squares. Ugh.

No more analog display, in 2015 VGA goes away. ‘No,’ I say! ‘Yes,’ say they. A sad day, when VGA goes away.

Maneuvers and Movement

There’s a punny poop joke in there! Nice to see we’re back on track around here!

There’s been a lot of military movement around here since December started. Lots of Black Helicopters and fighter jets. Saw a whole wing of fighters in formation flying overhead last weekend. Just this morning I saw a black helicopter with a flight of birds tagging along behind it. Would have been cute if I didn’t know those birds were racked out with WiFi snooping devices sponsored by Disney.

Gotta get all the Disney hate out of my system. Once Comcast and NBC merge we’re gonna have a whole new Evil Overlord (and you won’t be getting Netflix anymore).

Cargo! PC game announced

Yeah, I’m gonna bother to write about a game you’ll never hear about again. Why? Because you should see The Void! I’m getting a head of myself here.

PC Gamer has info on Cargo!, the new game from Ice-Pick Lodge and it will probably never see retail in the US. Ice-Pick Lodge first made a game called Pathologic. I’ll review that now:

Gah? Hmm… okay. Okay so this is about- Ow. ow. ow. Ow. OW. Stop it. Ow. STOP IT! F*@k this game! The translation was kinda shaky too.

Then they made The Void. The Color is gone and you have seed some of your own Color then nurture it to grow. Havest the color and feed it to The Sisters to open the way. Not too much! If you run out of color, you die! You also have to fulfill the wishes of The Brothers lest they know you work against them.



Oh, and it seems that feeding the Sisters Color will open the way for they destroyer. or savior. or prior destroyer, now savior? And if you do anything wrong you have to start over because there won’t be enough time or Color to continue. Awesome game! Don’t play it!

So here’s their new game Cargo!


“A short-haired woman in orange overalls and suspenders, meets a god who looks like a giant floating tiki statue. He explains how boredom has prompted him and the others to turn off gravity. Most of Earth’s inhabitants and landmarks have hurtled off into space, and you’re one of the last remaining humans.

In humanity’s place are creatures called Brats. They look like elderly babies, bald and squat, but when you entertain them an element called ‘Fun’ is generated. It’s how you buy back objects from the sky.”

This one I get! I’m not the only one who got a baby dropped on his doorstep it seems. Sing, dance, throw crap around to make the Brats generate Fun so you can get you stuff back out of the garage… er, sky. I’m so in!

Aliens vs. Tron

GET AWAY FROM HER, YOU 01000010 01001001 01010100 01000011 01001000 !!!
from Benni Diez on Vimeo.

Scatological Medicine

Hmm… Spellchecker didn’t find anything wrong with that? Okay, whatever…

Surprise fatherhood has taught me many interesting lessons. For example, I can gauge %70 of the baby’s health from the poop. The Mrs. and I discuss baby poop in great detail. Size, color, consistency, frequency. Bam! Check up in a bag!

Fecal samples should be a standard part of any medical checkup. Might make the bills a little easier to swallow knowing that someone had to paw through a handful of your crap. Eat a lot of eggs and tuna before hand for an extra giggle!

IP Violator Witchhunt Continues

In Iceland, a few kids (aged 15-20) were jailed for running a BitTorrent site. One claims not to have been fed for 28 hours.
It turns out the United States wrote Spain’s anti-piracy law. This was suspected all along.
Joe Lieberman is looking to shut down Wikileaks due to the fact that they have infringed on copyrighted material from the US Government.
After winning the Youtube copyright case, Google has launched a new system to make it easier to submit DMCA takedown request.
Next time on IP Witchhunt: NBC merges with Comcast. Netflix traffic is throttled then capped. Legislators (or those who pay for them) still want neither Net Neutrality nor revisions to the DMCA.
Its turning into a police state out there. In a decade, the Internet will be as useful at getting you content from “everyman” as your cable box is.

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

New pics are up in the new Chloe@18mo album (via Picasa in the sidebar (or via email in your inbox ;))

Elizabeth and Chloe are off  to a children's Hanukkah concert this afternoon.

In a vaguely related topic, I could not be more pleased with the Jewish day care thing. I've been %112 satisfied with their service. The activities and the reports we're given are all beyond what I expected from any day care. Especially after seeing some :(

Hello Dolly! Again! and again and again and again!

Dolly the cloned sheep is not dead! Well, she is, but there are more! Have been for a while. Its just that no one thought to mention it. Phft! People wonder why we need WikiLeaks.

Not even death can stop Dolly the cloned sheep 

Dolly was the first mammal ever cloned from an adult cell. She was born in 1996 to three moms and no dad, and after she died in 2003 she was stuffed and put on display in a museum in Scotland. But now, she's back. Four of her.

Four genetic duplicates of Dolly are alive and well in Scotland, after having been cloned from some of the original tissue samples that had been sitting in a freezer for ten years. They were born in 2007, and have been living as pets at Nottingham University ever since, but nobody really knew about them until the professor in charge happened to mention their existence at a recent lecture. Surprise!

It took 277 tries to clone Dolly the first time, but it only took five tries to clone each one of these new Dollies. And while the original Dolly only lived to age six (about half the average age of her species), Dollies two through five aren't exhibiting any of the health problems that Dolly one had.

Peeking at a persnickety preschooler

from Elizabeth:


Chloe was very cheerful when she got up at 6:15.  She ate breakfast after kissing the Christmas tree.  She  blew it kisses all through breakfast.  She was wheezing alot so I gave her a breathing treatment which helped.  She seemed better after the treatment.  She even helped me give her the treatment and did not even need a video to do it.  Then she went and kissed her green dreidel.

She is wearing her new blue jean jacket she got from Diane today.

Miss Jessica says she has been getting winded and fatigued at school -  so she probably needs to have the treatments more regularly. 

Also I gave her tylenol this morning for teething.

Amazon ceases WikiLeaks hosting – Tech Products & Geek News | Geek.com

Amazon ceases WikiLeaks hosting – Tech Products & Geek News | Geek.com: "The office of Senator Joseph Lieberman issued a statement which looks to have broken the news of Amazon’s decision. It said:

This morning Amazon informed my staff that it has ceased to host the Wikileaks website. I wish that Amazon had taken this action earlier based on Wikileaks’ previous publication of classified material. The company’s decision to cut off Wikileaks now is the right decision and should set the standard for other companies Wikileaks is using to distribute its illegally seized material. I call on any other company or organization that is hosting Wikileaks to immediately terminate its relationship with them."

One for the Mrs.

Two of the things Elizabeth loves are Vin Diesel and Dungeon & Dragons. Mashup time!

He’s such a nerd Winking smile

April 11, 1954: The most boring day in the 20th century

Cambridge Business News | Cambridgeshire Local Business & Corporate News | April 11, 1954: The most boring day in the 20th century: "“For fun we wrote the program and set it going. When the results came back the winner (or perhaps loser) was April 11, 1954 – a Sunday in the 1950s. Nobody significant died that day, no major events apparently occurred and although a typical day in the 20th century has many notable people being born, for some reason that day had only one who might make that claim: Abdullah Atalar – a Turkish academic.

“The irony is though, that having done the calculation, the day is interesting for being exceptionally boring.”"


I haz been very very g00d th1s year an even wor lil hats!!1

I Wud like to git a P0ny and iPad!


PiR8 Kw33n KL0E

World War II era British robot

Tony Sale with his most advanced robot,

Meet George, a working World War II era British robot | Geek.com: "It’s just like a real-life Boiler-Plate, except from the Cold War instead of the Victorian-era: in 1950, former Royal Air Force officer Tony Sale ripped apart the scraps of a crashed World War II bomber and built it into a 6 foot tall robot…. and forty five years later, he’s still tinkering with it."

Cookie Monster Auditions for SNL

Been enjoying these new viral Sesame Street videos

Next Lego Star Wars Anounced

Gaming Nexus - Traveller’s Tales isn’t done with Star Wars - by Jeremy Duff: "The next installment in the LEGO Star Wars game series is being released on Februrary 15, 2010 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The title, LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars follows the popular Clone Wars animated show from Cartoon Network. TT hopes to break the monotony of the series by adding in a slew of new features including squad commands and new battle modes."

Do Not Buy: Ocedar scrubbing roll-away mop

I had picked up a nice new mop and the wife bitched about the.. $10 or so. So I got this Ocedar for $1 cheaper and told her to shut up (marriage is about compromise and compromise means no one is happy Winking smile). This is a cheap POS! The head tore off after something like 3 uses. The head is GLUED onto the mount point of the mop. You know what doesn’t hold up well in hot water? GLUE!
I miss that broken floor scrubbing machine.

Now Intel Has an App Store

Yep, Intel now doing what everyone else is. Some free, some paid. Did I mention some are free? Here’s da linky: http://www.appup.com/applications/index

Lego Zombie Apocalypse — Bricks and Brains

Lego Zombie Apocalypse — Bricks and Brains: "

Image by Andrew Becraft via Flickr

According to The Brothers Brick at least 35 participants contributed nearly 30 original buildings, dozens of vehicles, and hundreds of minifig zombies and survivors to make this awesome Zombie Apocalypse at BrickCon 2008. There are some great ideas in this diorama and the one from 2009 for anyone looking to spruce up a Halloween project or creep out a Christmas one.

Check out Andrew Becraft’s Flickr stream of Zombie Apocafest 2008 and Zombie Apocafest 2009. Sadly I could not find one for 2010 but I did find the The Lego Zombie Apocalypse Flickr Group for more undead brick zombies goodness.


Today's Rock Band Ripoff

Just bought The Doors' L.A. Woman and B.B. King's The Thrill is Gone for Rock Band.

The thrill IS gone. They don't work.

Turns out Harmonix has gone back on their promise. All new Rock Band DLC is NOT compatible with ANY older Rock Band game. RB3 or die. Anyone got $4 I can borrow before the Mrs. finds out?

Also, in case anyone didn't know, Lego Rock Band song export ($10) does not seem to work in RB3.

Trifecta … Of Death!

Only one actor has been killed by Aliens, Predator, and Terminator.

Bill Paxton. Killed in The Terminator, Aliens, and Predator 2.

Ask Grandpop - I Don't Want To Sleep

**episode 8 of 6**

When B.G. doesn't want to go to sleep, Grandpop spells it all out.

Catching Up

BG received a clean bill of health (kinda) and is back in school for 1/2 day today. She is still on breathing treatments. Just in time for Thanksgiving vacation next week. Today is blue day.

Lemme take care of some old paperwork:

Calling BS on Diane’s ‘All dr.s must have iPhone’. Seen A LOT of drs since hearing that. No two dr.s are using the same gear and ZERO of them used an iPhone. Acer netbooks, tablet Thinkpad, Palm TX, never one iPhone.

Liz is working Thanksgiving, so… yeah.

Domestic Goddess award to LU. Liquid fabric softener fixed laundry funk immediately.

Ask Grandpop is the best animated short series you will EVER see. Hit my YouTube channel via the sidebar (My YouTube). Share with everyone Winking smile

Its hard to teach women honor because they cannot be kicked in the balls.

I got work to do. Later.

Ask Grandpop - Recycling

**episode 6 of 6**

When B.G. can't think of a topic, Grandpop call it quits.

Best Video Game Kill Ever

Here is a game winning shot from Call of Duty: Black Ops with a tomahawk.

BG is coming back nicely. Puffiness and pockiness are nearly gone. In the “carefull what you wish for” category, I’d gladly take midnight baby medicine over having to keep a gas mask on the baby twice a day…

Medication switch and benadryl. BG has an alergic reaction. Hopefully more convient medication schedule.

Spell check no work on netbook. ZSrry

The Return of Baby Pocky

BG once again has an “impressive rash”. Dr. has been called. We’ll see. She’s doing a lot better in terms of the cold. Just ignore the fact that she’s red and we’re all set to go. Those midnight medicine doses suck for everyone.

Ask Grandpop - I Want An iPhone

**episode 5 of 6**

When B.G. wants an iPhone, its up to Grandpop to explain how Apple ruins peoples lives.

This was originally Episode 3. Coming right off of the wacky Where Babies Come From, this was the “important” one. This was also the topic the wife requested (oddly enough, shortly after I already started on this). For a while, I figured this would be the template for all other episodes. It’s a lot like Charlie Brown, except that one had an obscure topic (IP Copyrights) in a bizarre metaphor (Grandma’'s Apple Pie). This one is pretty clear.

GOD DAMNIT! I hate Linux!

If I have to listen to this all day, so do you!

World’s Oldest Torrent Could Use Help

According to TorrentFreak, the oldest torrent on the ‘net is an ascii re-encode of The Matrix from 2003. Currently there are 6 seeders. Here’s a magnet link if you have BitTorrent and and want to help. Also here.

The baby ain't bouncing no more. She's pretty sick.

Baby Update

BG has just been upgraded to Very Sick. She's now on a stronger anti-biotic and a pro-biotic.  Our little Terror Tot is still bouncing around as usual, so don't be too concerned. Yesterday she learned to say "Uh Oh" and throw stuff on the floor. Delightful...

Sesame Street did an iPhone gag!

Kinect released

Everyone else on the ‘net ran this story, so I might just as well too. My way.

Still Here

Everyone has been sick. Again. We all went to Dr. and are on antibiotics. Again. If you’ve been missing me here, LU and I have been playing Flame War in the latest Foxconn story. We both started out rusty, but it came together Winking smile Hope you all hate the new cartoon (inside joke you’d get if I had the time to write up my production notes this week).

Ask Grandpop - Behind The Beard

Ask Grandpop - Behind The Beard
**episode 4 of 6**

Go Behind the Beard on Ask Grandpop.

Foxconn Update

Here’s a great bunch of shots from around Foxconn Shenzhen plant. Obviously this was done with permission and under supervision. There is a factual error I would like to point out: There has, in fact, been a suicide since the nets went up.

Pictures are worth 1000 words


Ask Grandpop–Where Babies Come From

**episode 3 of 6**

When B.G. wants to know where babies come from, its up to Grandpop to explain The Birds, The Bees, and The Peanut Butterfly Effect.

This was the big one. Technically the second episode. After struggling thru 2 rewrites of the Charlie Brown download, this is where it all came together. I knew I had… something, but this was the first time I could truly SEE what I had. This was also where the Mrs. came around. There were some problems getting the… stranger jokes to work, but YouTube came to the rescue with the 1st episode of Burns&Allen. For the first several minutes of this show, George Burns does a bit on how to be a Straight Man. It saved the Peanut Butterfly Effect and brought Storks back from the cutting room floor.

Whatever you do, odds are someone has done it before. And better.

After this episode, I decided to create the into/outro. I felt it deserved it. I then reworked Charlie Brown AGAIN and thought about doing an ongoing series.

I’ll blab some more on Thursday’s release of Ask Grandpop – Behind the Beard

BG is sick again.

Halloween Spirits

Here is Star Treks’s Q reading The Raven:

and here is a giant pumpkin being dropped on a car

Ask Grandpop Series Premier

Welcome to the unveiling of my latest project Ask Grandpop. I have uploaded 2 episodes for you tonight. Thanks for the chance to share. The wife is a big fan Winking smileSorry Hon, not releasing in order after all Winking smile

Ask Grandpop - Downloading Charlie Brown

**episode 1 of 6**

B.G. has missed 'Its The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown' on TV. Maybe Grandpop can download it.


Ask Grandpop - Selling Out
**episode 2 of 6**

When Geico uses Xtra Normal for its new ad, B.G. Wants to cash in.

BG has been remarkably sedate and snuggly tonight. She’s probably getting sick again…

Ask Grandpop–Tech Test

embeded HD test failed. no fit 4x3 monitors
html5 checked

New embedded player. very nice. Reading my tech notes? shoula used noteppad...
Try This At Home! right click on that vid and hit "Take Speed Test".
Wonder why Google has a monthly record of my YouTube speed? Seems a little... odd. I mean, it makes sense. I can see why they would, but thats a whole lot of resources to use. Um... maybe not 4 google :)
Glad they are sharing at least.

Anyway, looks like we're ready to roll. YouTube is fast(er) and easy since its overhaul. So, blah-blah, Ask Grandpop, blah. I wanted to do a bit more "role playing" on the blog, but it ended up in the show. Maybe I'll do some later.

Correction: You can still get a Walkman

Turns out Sony is only stopping production of the Walkman Cassette player in Japan. ?! Yes, there will still be new old Walkmans for the US. Go figure…

I did what now?

Um… Hold the phone. 1st off, yeah, brace for more Project Ask Grandpop crap. 2nd, it looks like I’ve only been doing this for a week. It REALLY feels like its been longer. A LOT LONGER. Okay, here’s the funny part:

I’ve produced 23 minutes of animated content in a week. Alone. An actual CG TV show. LOL This is has got to be how South Park is done these days. That’s why they can turn around such timely pieces.

I’ve looked at the PC version of Xtranormal (horribly named “State”. Try @#%#ing Googling that!). You COULD make South Park with that. I’d be on board with it but… its barely functional. Its their side project. The website “Text-to-Movie” has much newer tech than State. With the Geico commercial thing, I don’t see that priority changing any time soon. The site’s always been twitchy, but this weekend was brutal. Twitter says they’ve got a big boost in traffic. I actually lost a whole completed episode yesterday. It was a short one, but still about 4hrs. work.

How Cutting Edge is Ask Grandpop?

Geico's new TV commercials will be using Xtra Normal. Sorry, embed broken. Been trying for 20mins.

These Song Don't Transfer to Rock Band 3

FYI for Bob:
AC/DC - "Let There Be Rock"
Journey - "Any Way You Want It"
Metallica - "Battery"
Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Give It Away"
Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Dani California" (RB1)
Soundgarden - "Black Hole Sun" (RB1)
Soundgarden - "Spoonman"

Shame. Dani California was one of my favorite RB tracks. Also sucks to loose a Journey song on the version that adds keyboards :\

Italy want Google Street View cars clearly marked. Really?

Lego Racer!

Here's a pic of Brandon's Lego racer from the Brickmaster 500 @ Toys R Us
So cool!

How US Marines Fix XBox 360

I was just writing a XBOX joke last night and wondering if it was a little out of fashion. I think this vid shows its still funny.

Blowing Up A Mac Book Air

PSA: Remember! YouTube has these experiments so you don't have to do them at home. Its better in Slo-Mo than in real life anyway :)

Lessened Bloggery

I've been putting everything I've got into my latest project, Ask Grandpop. It is creatively draining and I'm... a little at a loss for funny bloggery at the moment. I'll probably finish up on Ask Grandpop this week and will be putting up some amusing propaganda for it this week with the premiere on Thursday.


Here is a fun site that lets you make cards, movies, stories, and other stuff with drag/drop sticker book like interface.

Ask Grandpop: Downloading Charlie Brown

Its Halloween and Baby Girl has missed It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, created by late cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, as well as a bonus PEANUTS cartoon, You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown, in which Linus runs for class president, will air THURSDAY, OCTOBER 28 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.


Sony to Start Selling SD Cards

Why is this news? Well, for starters Sony is very, very late to the party. A few manufacturers have pulled out of making SD Cards due to low RAM prices and the fact it was becoming difficult to make a profit off the stuff.

Secondly, Sony has their proprietary Memory Stick cards. Now, Sony hasn't said they're quitting production of Memory Stick, but it makes ya think.

Looking Back: Disney buying Marvel

I guess this wasn't the end of the world after all. Its not like we're seeing Spiderman hawking Disney movies, right? What's that? Tron tie-in covers for Marvel comics? Hmm. Well, I'm sure it will be done in good taste . I mean, they're not gonna put Ghost Rider on a lightcycle or anything, right?

Oh, my...

Gene Simmons Responds to DDOS Attack

"Some of you may have heard a few popcorn farts re: our sites being threatened by hackers.

Our legal team and the FBI have been on the case and we have found a few, shall we say "adventurous" young people, who feel they are above the law.

And, as stated in my MIPCOM speech, we will sue their pants off.

First, they will be punished.

Second, they might find their little butts in jail, right next to someone who's been there for years and is looking for a new girl friend.

We will soon be printing their names and pictures.

We will find you.

You cannot hide.

Stay tuned"

As Slyck notes, the ability to identify those who are participating in a distributed denial-of-service attack would be pretty challenging, if not impossible. But Simmons's threats and attitude (not to mention his lack of understanding of "hackers") echoes his misunderstanding that everyone who participates in peer-to-peer file-sharing is a criminal who needs to have their pants sued off or end up in jail.

Full Story

So this puts the fabled Kiss Army (Soldiers of Satan, mind you) on the side of RIAA, Hollywood, ACS Lyons, VP Joe Biden, and the British Parliament, right? Can you see Mandy and Gene throwing down pints at the pub giggling about the anal rape of a kid they sent to jail for downloading a crap MP3 version of Love Gun? Yeah, me too :(

Operation Payback Still Doing Something

The pissy masses of teens out to download the latest Simpsons episode are still marching under the command of an anti-Scientology group based on a bad sci-fi movie. Their latest attacks have shut down a MPAA DRM site and the UK's Intellectual Property Office. Fringe members took out Kiss frontman Gene Simmons.

...and no one is talking. They have squandered their "shock and awe" and are now yesterday's news.

“He Gave Us Order Out of Chaos” — R.I.P. Benoît Mandelbrot, 1924-2010

Benoît Mandelbrot, the father of fractal geometry and one of the most famous mathematicians of all time, has passed away about a month shy of his 86th birthday.

After the jump, enjoy an awesome video based on Jonathan Coulton’s awesome tribute to Mandelbrot and his most famous subject of study (which was not actually discovered by him, despite its name).

Is it possible for my hot water heater to be making stinky water? Is there a way to clean it?

Look at These Minis!

I don't show too many tabletop miniatures on this page, so you'd better pay attention when I do. Its gonna be good: Nazis on Dinosaurs!
Check out the full line of Jurassic Reich figures.

The 600 Years

Art, architecture, and technological wizardry combine to tell the story of a 600 year old clock tower in Prague. You know, that big, square clock tower that was in every third movie, game, or comic from 1997-2003. Yeah. That one :)

The 600 Years from the macula on Vimeo.

Its The Great Torrent, Charlie Brown

Lucky you! Two of my cartoons in a row to admire ;)
Based on a True Story

Dead Rising 2 Review

Growing Up Otaku presents a brief conversation with the game Dead Rising 2

Google Chrome

If you follow any tech news, you've heard a lot about Google's web browser Chrome. I've been using it myself for several weeks now.

Should you switch? Not really. Firefox 4 will do all the new stuff and look a lot like Chrome. I'd use the beta of that more but it doesn't work well with my iGoogle.

Bronchitis (+bonus bloggery)

I think I spelled that right! Wow! That's what having a sick wife will do for ya. Anyway, we got it. Getting better. Lot of content to do bloggery, but no energy.

Maybe 1...

Liz told me about new device called "address book". Paper based device! Didn't need to loose family database every 5 years! Didn't believe. Checked Wiki to settle argument ;) Good Read! Liz wins.

Baby Report

Haven't plagerized Liz's baby report in a while, so here is a cute one:

Chloe was so happy to go to school today.  As usual, she did not want to wait for me.  And when she got there she smiled and waved at her teacher and walked straight over to the table that Piper (ed. new girl @ school) was sitting at and sat next to her.  The two of them smiled and giggled together while I put her lunch in the fridge.  Chloe waved me away when I went to give her a goodbye kiss.

Credit Where Credit is Long Overdue

Liz ended up doing most of the heavy lifting yesterday. The baby was sent home in the morning for having the squirts (from antibiotic). I laid down during Baby Nap Time and couldn't get back up for several hours. Poor sick Elizabeth took care of the baby, dinner, and projects for work while being home sick. That girl is a rock. Always has been. You need something done, you sure as hell want Elizabeth on your team. Was like that even when we worked together. That's why I made damn sure she'd be on my team forever :)


Blah blah obscure reference blah. Blah blah blah inside joke. Blah blah.

BLAH !!!!1

Punny closing

Foxconn Update

Foxconn Employee Update: "A new report is saying that the 30% raise Foxconn had announced back in June was a sham. Reports are stating the raise was no higher than 9.1% and that workers are missing out on bonuses which were promised to them. What is even more shocking and appalling are the reports of privacy invasion and physical abuse.

A survey, conducted by more than 60 teachers and students from 20 different universities in Hong Kong and Taiwan found that at the company's Shenzhen, Kunshan, Taiyuan, Wuhan and Shanghai plants, workers were being abused and were the victims of other human rights violations. In some plants, the abused workers made more than 50% of the plants employees

Full Story: http://www.neowin.net/news/new-report-says-foxconn-employees-abused

Just back from baby store. BG was snuggling a fuzzy sleeper and got a coat hanger stuck under her bottom eye lid. She's fine. In related news, baby eyelids stretch surprisingly far.


Guess who woke up with a bad cough this morning :( Guess I'll be tagging along Monday.


BG went to the Dr this morning. New antibiotic. She decided she could shove the aspirator up her nose herself today. Saw that coming? Yeah, well screw you. If your so smart come babysit ;) She had a big day with food shopping, Dr's office, buggy ride around the park, and ruining an outfit with 1/3 inch thick coating of poop. Super Happy form today. If it wasn't for the giant slug trails dripping out her nose you never would've known she was sick.

Not so with the Mrs. Elizabeth is pretty damn sick. She'll be in the Dr's Monday.

Elizabeth's mom is feeling well today. Its been a few weeks since we've heard that! Just an infection but you worry about every little thing.

Lisa broke her hand today too. Dunno the details. I was manning the baby front whenever that was happening and Liz crashed early.

Me? I'm okay. There is a surprising amount of peanut butter on my pants today. Peanut butter sandwich does not seem to be a "walking around" snack. The smell of roasted peanuts is certainly the best baby smell I've ever been contaminated with. Kinda pissed I farted around and didn't get the Halloween decorations up this week. Feeling good though. Ready to take care of a house full of sick girls.

Here is what happens when you hit nitroglycerin with a hammer:


Google Shuts Down GOOG-411 [Telephony]: "

Google is closing 1-800-GOOG-411, their first speech recognition service that acted as a free 'voice-powered directory assistance', on November 12. It provided the foundation for Google's more recent voice-powered efforts, included Voice Search and Voice Input and Actions (the latter two are only available on Android devices). If you were still a GOOG-411 user, you might want to consider one of their other voice search options, or switching to the still-available alternative, Bing 411. [The Official Google Blog]

Boo. I really liked this service. have to try BING411

Nose Sucking

Parenting story time.

There's this thing called an aspirator that is a rubber ball pump for sucking out baby snot. This was a real pain when she was small(er). Now its easy. Grandpop grabs this pump and puffs air in her face and says "Okay Baby Girl. I'm gonna shove this up your nose." You just can't say that without giggling. I giggle; She giggles; I shove the nose vac up there. Boggies come out and everyone cheers.

Its all in the presentation. Ya gotta have Zaz. Babies love Zaz.

Always Greener Pastures

NEVER thought I'd miss the formula smell. Spilled milk is so much worse. Been chasing cheese smells all week :(

Dead Rising 2 Review

Today I sit down with the new game Dead Rising 2.

GUO: Hi! Nice to see your father did well enough to warrant a sequel. Hard to go wrong with a game about surving in a mall full of zomies, eh?

DR2: You trying to say something?

GUO: Yeah. Hi!

DR2: [unintelligible grumbling]

GUO: So... Like to share a little about yourself?

DR2: You familiar with Harlan Ellison?

GUO: Of course. Out site is called Growing Up Otaku and written by a Polock in the US. I am versed in all major forms of cold war sci-fi.


GUO: Yes. I Have No-


GUO: Yes. I see. You know-


GUO: Cut to commercial!

"Punched Up" Civ 5 Review

I forgot to post this a while back. I talked with Elizabeth about "the funny" in the cartoons. This was an attempt to fix up the end of the Civ5 review. I figured out what she meant later. Needs a full rewrite to truely fix, but I was sick of it. So anyway, watch again for the first time!

Here's the setup again: Growing Up Otaku presents a Civilization 5 Video Review wherein our American player sits down with Civ5's AI Queen Elizabeth for a brief chat.

Defending the Netbook

Ya know, I've been putting down netbooks a lot lately (and rightly so!), but my netbook has been a steadfast companion that I still use nearly every day. Its capabilities are just barely sufficient for it to function as a modern PC. I'm just spoiled by the power of a hand built desktop PC. Of course I paid $150 for this thing too. Manufacturers really screwed up by listening to people and trying to make them happy. Netbooks never should have been marketed as normal PCs. Tablets learned from that.

Well, they didn't "learn". They bumbled into it by having a 10" iPod Touch.

iPad v Shotgun

Who do you think will win?

You guess right? Yeah, me too.

Rock Band out to screw you yet again

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is out and it is good (enough) and silly fun. Let us turn our attention to its "smarter", more "adult" sibling.

Pro Guitar mode will NOT be available for future DLC in many cases. When a Pro Guitar track is added to DLC, you will need to pay an extra $1 to get it. Yep, moving up to $3 per song.

It should be well known that owning Rock Band on anything other than a X360 is dumb. The PS3 gets off hand support 4-6months late and the Wii... Just don't ask. The Wii versions of Rock Band games are usually just flat out insulting (except Beatles Rock Band). How will Rock Band continue this tradition of neglect? No keyboard bundle for the PS3. Shocking...not.

Track import from RB2 has not been announced other than the fact that it will exist. No pricing (expect $10-$15) and no list of exportable songs (expect to loose 5).

While there is a mode similar to GH's "party mode" it will not allow you to drop in/out except between songs and you cannot mix/match hardware. Standard band or bust.

Changes may still come, but don't hold your breath. On the upside, I have a large RB library and am looking forward to an engine update. Still would like to see a less...geriatric song list tho.

Submerged PC in Fishtank [Bioshocky]

Aquarium Media Center PC from sirleechalot on Vimeo.

OnLive Drops Monthly Access Fee

THe Onlive service is now free. Head on over and check out the service for yourself. Games will still cost you, but the "demo" system allows you to play the first 30mins, so nothing to loose.

Check out The Future. OoooohOOooo

96.529 mph in a Lawnmower

New Speed Record

3186 kb/s via uTorrent. That is 25.49 Mpbs! Faster than a double speed DVD drive!

State of the Blog Address

BIG month! Moved to our own domain, added the feature I just love to say" "On Site Movie Nite", and did a good deal of tweaking and design work. Was the logo new this month? Probably. Anyway, paydirt! Page views for September are nearly DOUBLE Aug's. Most of that was me working on the site and testing new features, but WOO HOO! Just need to stand back and watch the VERY generous donations roll in.

Reminder that I will be swapping out the Movie Nite selections this week. Watch 'em or bookmark 'em if you care. Its not like any of that is going to disappear from the net anyway. I don't have a page counter on that so I can't tell who's using it (smart money says no one).

Picnic Day

So very nice outside this week. Took the girls down to the park for a picnic this afternoon. Its pretty awesome to have that thing so close and never touch a major road. or car.

Look! An Atom!

Kudos to Lou for finding this! Here is an actual picture of an atom:

Homemade Space Cam @ 100,000ft

Now THIS is a project to do with the kids! 8month, 1 HD camcorder, 1 iPhone, and 1 weather balloon. This is some great footage.

Homemade Spacecraft from Luke Geissbuhler on Vimeo.

Operation Payback Continues... Still.

Ugh. The least they could do would be to take out whoever is keeping the public bt trackers down. They're just going to burn out all interest and become a fad.

Looking back

I miss having a RAID array in my rig. There's nothing like having 2 hard drives doing the work of 1. You can keep your SSDs with their wear leveling and totally unacceptable write times, just give me a line of good ol' mechanical drives running in unison.

Really Hulu?

Hulu asks if its ads are relevant to you. Why? This isn't hard. Here's my real life example:

I'm watching Dr. Who vs The Daleks on the Internet. Yes on smartphones. No on eyelash enhancement cream. DUH!

Chloe can haz moar apples now?

BG got a hold of another apple off the table today. We now have 2 somewhat gnawed apples to get through. I'm gonna get some cut up for her to take in her lunches. Its a shame she doesn't usually eat them cut. Its the novelty of chewing up a big fruit she likes.

She actually made some nice headway on this one :)

Dragonforce in Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock

I know some of you really want to see this:

She's no TtFaF, but its still 7 minutes of Dragonforce. If stuff looks crazy (star power, multipliers), its from the Quest mode. This is All Powerful (all maxed powers).


Elizabeth just scared the crap out of me. Just after lunch and I'm waiting on the laundry to finish so I fired up Stalker (excuse me S.T.A.L.K.E.R.) to play for a bit. Sneaking into a mercenary camp in a thunderstorm over a 100ft bridge littered with anomalies (invisible firebombs). I've really gotten into it and Elizabeth burst through the front door! Seems she had the car in for maint. this morning which is just down the street.

Still freaking shaking :)

You Have To Burn The Rope...Again!

Its been a while. Long enough for memories to fade; for generations to change; for mold to grow; for semi-colons to be on sale 10 for $1.

Let us return together to the past. Again. While there is still time. For the first time. Amen.

Huh? I don't know. Anyway,

You Have To Burn The Rope


Don't forget the little song at the end :)

Moving Up In The World

Just had my first bit of comment spam. Packed full of porn sounding links that probably download malware.

Civilization 5 Video Review

Growing Up Otaku presents a Civilization 5 Video Review wherein our American player sits down with Civ5's AI Queen Elizabeth for a brief chat.

Aliens Saved Humanity

Superman IV was a terrible movie.

(redacted tangent about how Rrichard Pryor should only be in movies with Gene Wilder, how Hollywood sucks, how awesome Gene Wilder is, and why Batman is a punk) So then they made Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.There is one line in that movie that I still quote today:

"I have done that which your leaders have been unwilling or unable to do."

Superman took it upon himself to rid the Earth of nuclear weapons. Then he snorted a bunch of red Kryptonite an hit on his old girlfriend, but that's not the important part. This is:

An alien saved mankind from itself.

Pretty awesome, huh? Psyched? Go read this:

Edited this 3 times. Certain punctuation now doesn't show in blogger.

Eureka 4 in 1 Stick Vacuum


This thing is great. Its a large, high powered dustbuster with a pop on head and telescoping neck to be a upright vacuum. This is the only way I've been able to keep the dining intact during Tropical Storm Baby Girl. Its a high powered dustbuster and a low powered bare floor vac.

Cord is a little short. Maybe 6ft. 3 prong plug makes using a small extension cord tough. No beater bar, so it can't do much for high pile carpet.

Got this at Big Lots for $18. Walmart has 'em for $20. I'd say its worth $25.

Creative Commons Licencing - Video Report

Since we have visually impaired readers I wanted to make sure no one missed our Special Report
I just had the first comment on my last TWO blog posts. I feel like such a douche.

Comments on Creative Commons Licensing - Special Report

Creative Commons is such a beautiful license. Do what you want with it, just give credit and don't sell it. Its the way of The Internet. Of The Future.

Managing Editor Krutzler of Growing Up Otaku would like to take a moment to remind you that none of the original content here at Growing Up Otaku is available under such licensing conditions. If you reprint my material I will find you. I will sue you. I will take your house and dog and I will track mud all over your carpet. The legal staff of Growing Up Otaku live only to see my enemies broken and hear the lamenting of their women. Post it on Facebook? Gimme. Use that email button down there? Dolla Dolla Bill, Ya'll. Print it out? You owe me. Mention the URL to someone? Royalties time. You bookmark this site? What's the name of the bookmark? Nickel please. Once I have the technology to track it, you'll pay two cents everytime you type the address into your address bar. Five cents for a bookmark is a better deal. Here, try this:

Say "growing up otaku" out loud.

Go ahead. Its okay. See, no capital letters. Say "growing up otaku".

Okay, and add the bookmark, referal, both written and oral use of... Hmm... Ya know, why don't I just cut you some slack. Let's make all this mess go away for $12,000. Whadya say?
I was getting a giggle out of reading an article about playing Dungeons & Dragons with a 4 year old. Linky.

So far Baby Girl is much more of a "kiss the duck" than a "slay the dragon" type of person. Still pretty sure I can adapt some form of tabletop wargame ruleset to "pick the flowers"

Amazon Mom Gives Free Amazon Prime Accounts to Parents [Dealhacker]

Amazon Mom Gives Free Amazon Prime Accounts to Parents [Dealhacker]: "

We've highlighted how Amazon Student offers a free year of Amazon Prime—the mega-retailer's free two-day shipping program—to anyone with an EDU address. If it's been a while since you've been a student but you've got a young one running around, reader spcomputing points out the Amazon Mom program:

You can get a free 3-month Amazon Prime membership if you are the primary caregiver of your children. For every $25 you spend on baby stuff per order, you extend your membership 1 month, up to a maximum of 1 year free. Plus up to 30% off on select diapers.

If you're bristling a little at the bad name, Amazon emphasizes that:

Despite the name, Amazon Mom is open to anyone who is responsible for caring for a baby or young child—"Amazon Primary Caregiver" just didn't have the same ring to it.

[Amazon Mom]


Civilization. One of the greatest game series of all time. Been playing this one since I was a kid.


Seriously! I mean I wasn't expecting Civ4's AI (Soren Johnson is probably the best AI programmer today), but COME ON! Seems like it should do something. I'm even playing on a harder difficulty than I usually do. Sadness :(

We Love The Webmaster Day

Aww. Katherine's boyfriend Sean sent me a game on Steam (Serious Sam 1:HD).

In other love related news, Mom is sponsoring a new video card. Actually that happened earlier this week, but I haven't had a line on a sweet deal. There's also a price war going on I'm waiting to stabilize.
Poor little thing still coughing so much when she lies down. Still taking it all in stride tho. This whole baby thing sucks, but I really couldn't have gotten a better one.

Poop Everywhere

BG had a big, mushy poop in the highchair. We trailed it all the way back to the bedroom. Both of us had to be changed at that point. Had to wash floors, highchair, changing table, baby, and myself. Pfft. One day home and I get this.

Culture Time

Courtesy of the Mrs:

Here is Chloe's holiday for today - Sukkot. When I was a little girl, I always thought the idea of eating all my meals in a Sukkah would be exciting and glamorous.    I am not sure how many Jewish families actually build a Sukkah for this holiday - who has time or carpentry skills?

Personal Update

Everyone is nearly over the Jewish cold. There is still some sniffling and coughing, but its pretty much done here. Finally.

Really didn't want to work on the blog today. Think I've forgotten how to relax
BG is home tomorrow. The keeps with her perfect record of not ever attending day care for a full week. Fine by me :)
Again, I really appreciate the help with Dropbox. Since I'm most folks tech support guy, this service will be invaluable to all of us. Google Docs is nice, but the 1GB file limit has its problems. Besides, now everyone has a 2.2GB backup drive in the sky and that is always a good thing.

Also gonna pimp On Site Movie Nite again. Hopefully someone will get a chuckle. It wasn't exactly hard, but none of this stuff is "just click that" easy either. You wouldn't believe a pain it is to change that baby pic ;)

The Management

Operation Payback Continues

4Chan is still DOSing anti-copyright lawyers at the behest of Anonymous. Once you get the masses riled up its hard to stop all the raping and looting. As usual, Torrentfreak has the best article that will ever be written on this. Link at bottom.

I feel a bit better about this is A)It has stopped when it was supposed to and B) Anonymous wasn't involved. I'm not a fan. Any group formed by a shared hatred is not really... dunno. I'm frequently shocked at how much anti-Scientology talk I've heard out of otherwise open minded people (like anyone reading). Its like any other religion. Just let 'em do their thing. They aren't hurting anyone who doesn't want to be hurt.

Also, basing you image on a movie as bad a V for Vendetta? Bleh. Yeah, it was visually striking but...bleh.

Finally, read at least the last third of the article. I think our "contact" is a writer for Torrentfreak and is testing using the news to co-ordinate attacks.


Also, this is why  the 'net's been running so bad the past few days. In case you were wondering

Foxconn's Suicide Nets

You know you've been dying to see this:

New D&D Red Box

D&D. Who doesn't have fuzzy memories of it. Mom bought me the original D&D Red Box in a clearance bin of a department store that no longer exists. Can't remember the name. Mom got her first CD player there too. It was whatever was before Luria's. Anyway, the joy this box brought was huge. It wasn't long before my sister and I would be chopping up owlbears and setting slime on fire with our babysitter. I would go on to play D&D for nearly 10 years from there. I guess that's nothing. Elizabeth has been playing D&D with her family since (at least) Katherine was born. Such a great hobby. The socal, math, logic, and reading skills needed to play are wonderfully integrated into the system. And the dice! How I still love polyhedral dice! Ah the nostalgia! I can't believe they brought the box back with the exact same artwork. Make me feel fuzzy just looking at it :)

Here's a blurb from Geekdad:

The new Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set is the most unique and engaging way to introduce someone to a roleplaying game I think I’ve ever seen.

OK. Let’s back up for a second. The new Starter Set was designed to mimic the appearance — and to an extent, the purpose — of the 1983 D&D set. The ‘83 set was designed to contain all of the Basic D&D rules in one location, and unless you wanted to buy another adventure, you were good to go.

But that was a more innocent time. These days there are decades of rules. Countless races, more monsters than would even fit in three books, entire worlds, and dozens of adventures ranging from slim booklets to hardbound campaigns. The Player’s Handbook could easily be the size of a phone book, with players howling over all the important rules that didn’t make the cut.

So, one might ask, what could Wizards of the Coast possibly put in the new Red Box that could meaningfully prepare someone for playing D&D? The idea that Wizards of the Coast could cram a relevant portion of the rules into a boxed set is absurd.

Instead of serving as a rulebook, the D&D Starter Set has a different purpose — to lure n00bs into becoming D&D fans. The set consists of two booklets, one for players and one for Dungeon Masters, as well as dice, character sheets, power cards, a battle map and character tokens.

The player’s book downright fascinates me. You remember the classic Choose Your Own Adventure books? Well, that’s what the player’s book is. Give the book to a n00b and he or she can self-direct through a simple adventure and learn the basic terms and rules.

The DM’s book presents like a more traditional basic rulebook. It begins where the player’s book leaves off — OK, you basically like what you’re seeing, now what? The DM’s book guides the reader through game terminology, gives gamemastering tips, and includes adventures, monster listings and other classic staples. The group can make a small number of archetypal characters, and battle a small number of archetypal monsters.

Best of all, a group of neophytes can get a handle on the game without a huge investment in time. Nor of money — the suggested retail is a non-allowance-busting $19.99 ($13.59 on Amazon!) so it really isn’t a major gamble for kids to buy.

Like any product, it’s not for everyone. Experienced players will find little of value in the set. However, if you or someone you know wants to dip their toe onto the vast and turbulent D&D swimming pool, this is the set you’ll want.