Archive for November, 2006

Visit Monitor Duty’s new aStore!

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

I’m still building it as we speak, but I’m giving out the URL now:
Monitor Duty’s aStore

Harry Belafonte was bad enough

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

Every time I buy bananas, I end up looking them over tentatively. Why?

A beautiful bunch of ripe ba-na-na
(daylight come and me wanna go ho-ome)
hide de deadly BLACK TARONCHLA!
(daylight come and me wanna go home)

i know, I know, it’s a goofy song and tarantulas aren’t even deadly, but I think of that every time I am in the supermarket. Belafonte has had me creeped out for decades now because of his stupid little hit song.

And now there’s an actual deadly spider hiding in storebought grapes in my state! Aagh!

It’s getting so an arachnophobe can’t go to the store these days!

Sorry Mike, I couldn’t resist…

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

Can we all agree on the death penalty for spammers?

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

[WARNING: Angry, angry rant follows. If you want to skip over the screaming and find out where this impacts you, just scroll down to the bold part.]

Spam is getting to be far more than just an annoyance.

Here on Monitor Duy, our comments get spammed all the time. Our trackbacks get spammed. Our message board was losing visitors because the spam posts were so constant. Dealing with this spam is just getting to be too much, even with filters. It’s just enough of a daily hassle that it makes this site an unpleasant chore.

And now, after a long respite, the spammers are kicking into overdrive for the holidays. I know this because they spoof my domain’s address. They find a list of established domains and send out spams that hide their sender’s real information by claiming to be from that domain. Thus the sender field reads “” and “”, the first name generated at random, and the recipient doesn’t know who is really sending it.

A victimless crime? Not when I get 400 e-mails in six hours all addressed to nonexistent users. I have to deal with all the bounced e-mails that I didn’t send, all the “I’m out of the office” notifications, all the spam-weeding systems that ask me to sign in before my original spam message that I didn’t send can go through. I try setting up rules and filters to deal with all of this, but legit e-mails always end up paying the price.

I don’t even get why there are spammers. Can there really be any people left taking stock advice from an e-mail from someone they don’t know with a subject line “Outbursts not incongruent” followed by a two page fiction story to mask the e-mail’s content hidden in a graphic? I recognize the principle at work here, that of casting a wide net and catching just a few, but I can’t believe it pays at all anymore. Yet spammers continue to be relentless.

Why can’t you see your comments on this site until I approve them? SPAMMERS! Why do e-mails to me get lost or not read for days? SPAMMERS! And why do I have to write “fred-at-” instead of “fred@”? Because SPAMMERS steal e-mail addresses from web pages.

Spammers take everything wonderful about the world and turn it to crap.

Spammers should be shot in the head…and I’m suggesting such a fast, painless death merely so that the proposition can gain a wider appeal. What I truly wish would happen to them involves ferrets.

Henceforth and heretoforthwith this site now requires a Typekey ID to comment. I’m sorry to have to do this, but as I said, spammers ruin everything good. The upside of this is that all comments will now appear instantly.

I ran this by you a couple months back and some of you said you wouldn’t get a Typekey ID. Your reasons are your own, but I wish you weren’t afraid of it. Here’s the Typekey main page, and check out the short signup page which asks for just a name and e-mail. Your information is totally secure, and once you’ve signed in you can comment more easily than before.

I realize some of you said you prefered the confirmation code box. I realize that it’s a satisfying alternative for the really desperate libertarian or those who crave total anonymity, but these things are at the very least a hassle and sometimes they’re dang near impossible to read. Every time I contribute to the Homestar Runner Wiki I have to squint and try to determine whether a line is an uppercase I or a lowercase L, whether the squiggly thing is a u or a v and whether it’s a small uppercase or large lowercase. FORGET IT! It’s ridiculous to install a hassle when Typekey is hassle-free.

The only downside I can see is that our most-commented-on-post ever will not receive any more comments.

Until we can hunt spammers for sport, this will have to do.

Surprised this isn’t a worldwide sensation

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

These people made a Non-Newtonian Fluid from water and cornstarch. Result? It’s a liquid, but if you hit it with enough force it’s solid. You can run across the surface of the fluid as if it’s a sheet of Jell-o, even when someone else is floating in it like it’s a swimming pool.

Just water and cornstarch. Amazing that this isn’t something we’ve heard of before. You’d think fraternities would be whipping this stuff up for fundraisers.

Comment by JHoughton on MAKE:

“Two 50# bags of cornstarch from a food products supplier. That part’s easy. Getting rid of the Oobleck afterwards is a bit of a pain.
N.B. Don’t try to run it down the drain. It didn’t really work with the hotel bathtub full that I was involved with. Turns out it doesn’t decompose quickly when left outside, either.”

Hat tips to TechEBlog and MAKE.

80s cartoons you might remember

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

Watch Intro Clips of 1980s Cartoons

This guy’s linked to YouTube hosted videos of the openings from many Saturday morning cartoons. Some of these are my favorites… like…


PvP: The Animated Series

Monday, November 27th, 2006

Scott Kurtz announced today the 2007 launch of “PvP: The Series”, a hand-drawn animated cartoon that will be viewable on the web for subscribers only. Subscriptions are $19.95 for the next month, after which they will be $29.95.

Dave Cockrum 1943 – 2006

Sunday, November 26th, 2006

This has been a tragic weekend for comic book fans. At age 63, Dave Cockrum, the man who was so influential to the worlds of the X-Men, the Avengers, Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes, passed away. It has been know for years that Mr. Cockrum has been in poor health due to complications from diabetes. He died in his sleep early this morning.

I met Dave Cockrum a couple of times and found him to be an absolute delight who loved comics and greatly enjoyed talking to fans and fellow creators at any time of day. He was a wonderful man who was responsible for creating the characters Nightcrawler, Storm and Colossus of the X-Men and Wildfire of the LSH. He pencilled the stories that featured the origin of the villain Immortus and provided the artwork for the now famous Avengers story “The Celestial Madonna” and the popular X-Men story “The Phoenix Saga.” Cockrum was the writer and artist of the first Nightcrawler mini-series. Without Len Wein and Dave Cockrum’s revival in the mid-70s, the X-MEN title would have remained a cancelled comic book series and possibly would have vanished into obscurity. Cockrum also did his own comic The Futurians and had a proposal for a Legion of Super-Heroes/Blackhawks crossover that would have been a lot of fun.

He was a great man and a fun man and he loved creating art. He will be missed.

Dave Cockum’s LSH/BLACKHAWKS proposal

Jerry Bails 1933-2006

Saturday, November 25th, 2006

Jerry Bails, universally acknowledged as the Father of Comic Book Fandom, passed away on November 23.

Turn your photos into comics!

Saturday, November 25th, 2006

Pop Art Inspired by Lichtenstein – Online Tutorial at Melissa Clifton

This is a “simple” tutorial for using Photoshop to convert your photos into comic books (or “pop art” as it says here; same diff!).

New attraction for Cleveland: Ralphie’s house bought by fan.

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

According to this story in Yahoo! news, the Cleveland house used in the filming of A Christmas Story has been bought by a fan. It is his hope to open it as a tourist attraction. Yes, he’s already put the leg lamp in the window. A slide show of the house accompanies the story.

“Burt, you might want to guess this one”

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

This hardly seems fair. Michael McKean of Spinal Tap is playing on Celebrity Jeopardy and they have an entire category on Stonehenge? How is that fair?

I never understood why Saturday Night Live was insinuating that Jeopardy dumbs down the questions when celebs are on the show, but I guess it’s true.

Fore more on the story: U.S. Secretary of Education loses big on Celebrity Jeopardy

And if you didn’t get my subject line, you haven’t seen the first episode of Celebrity Jeopardy on SNL. Sorry, I couldn’t find it on Youtube…but I did find this one:

The Hobbit won’t direct The Hobbit

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

New Line Cinema informs Peter Jackson his services aren’t required for “The Hobbit”

It sounds like this is directly the result of a lawsuit which Jackson brought against New Line regarding the reported profits for “Fellowship of the Ring.”

It’s sad that Jackson will not be involved since LOTR was his baby and while any other director will most likely reuse the Hobbiton set and follow in his footsteps, the honor should really go to Jackson.

On the other hand, Jackson’s absence from the project means that “The Hobbit” will clock in about 47 minutes shorter now.

“Popeye” director passes away

Tuesday, November 21st, 2006

Director Robert Altman dead at age 81


Christmas episode of Bunny Club

Tuesday, November 21st, 2006

Christmas Vacation re-enacted in 30 seconds by Bunnies.

Silver Age Marvel vs. Silver Age DC

Monday, November 20th, 2006

As Monitor Duty’s Official Marvel Contributor, it occurs to me that I should, perhaps, write something about Marvel Comics. 🙂

For decades, there was a weird kind of brand loyalty among comic book fans, and people would get into heated discussions as to which universe was better, Marvel or DC. This reached its apex, I think, with the Marvel vs. DC and Amalgam events during the mid-to-late nineties.

I think the rivalry has died down today; brand loyalty (and, to some extent, character loyalty) has been replaced with Creator Loyalty. I know, for example, that I would never have given Superman and Action Comics a try if I hadn’t seen the names of Kurt Busiek and Pete Woods on the cover. And though it’s too soon to tell, I think I might enjoy the Johns-Donner-Kubert story arc more than Busiek and Pacheco’s over in Superman. (I know: blasphemy!)

The fact is, there’s such a diverse number of creators working today that you simply can’t dismiss or endorse one universe over another, at least not wholesale. You can’t really sit down and say, this is what a DC Comic Book is like, and this is what happens in a Marvel Comic.

It wasn’t always this way. So, sit down, children, and let’s go back to take a look at the Greatest Comics Ever Created: let’s look at the Silver Age and what it meant for both of the Big Two.


Superfriends – “Not for Air”

Friday, November 17th, 2006

A few years ago, Adult Swim did these short bits called “Not For Air” which played during commercial breaks. They consist of real cartoon footage that are either edited or redubbed. Here is one of them.

I wish I could find the other one I’ve seen, where Fred Flintstone is arguing with Wilma.

UPDATE: I removed the part where I said that Fred complains about Pebbles smelling like dinosaur doo-doo because that was a mismatched memory. I was thinking of Harvey Birdman. But there IS a Flintstones “Not For Air” where it looks like they’re swearing at each other.

The Wisdom of Erik Burnham

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

Someone call Bartlett’s:

“On the other hand, if you can’t say something nice, welcome to the internet!” – Posted on Dixonverse November 14, 2006

I had to preserve it for posterity, since the Dixon board drops posts after a week.

Something to make you smile.

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

I dare you to not love this!

This is one of the beauties of YouTube. How could this guy NOT get a job with Pixar (if he wants it) after doing this cartoon?

Thanks to Tony Cranfield!

Alternate Spider-Man 3 Trailer Leaked

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

An alternate, unfinished (but confirmed to be genuine) Spider-Man 3 trailer was illegally leaked onto the web. YouTube had it before Sony stepped in and yanked it from them. Now the only site I know of that still has it is HERE. The biggest difference is that this trailer features more dialogue from Topher Grace’s character Eddie Brock and gives us a peak at what Venom will look like.

Go check it out before they take it away! Kistler has spoken!