August 31st, 2009



  • 02:24 @kittysneezes Happy birthday! #
  • 11:00 RT @comicgoodness How science reporting works #comics #
  • 11:41 Why does @NowIsStrange keep telling me not to get my hair cut? It's too shaggy! #
  • 11:43 I had a dream about attending a vice presidential debate. Sarah Palin was there, but I don't think the other candidates were real. #
  • 11:43 The dream also involved a lot of pencils stuck in the ceiling, which I found disturbing. #
  • 12:06 Whatever happened to Bulk and Skull from Powe
    r Rangers? #
  • 12:17 Cats never want to be where you put them, even if that's where they would have gone on their own. #
  • 13:36 Photo: They sure are starting young these days, aren’t they? thedailywhat: #
  • 15:08 Photo: If Robocop can ride a unicorn, does that mean he’s a virgin? geektopia: #
  • 16:53 The God of the Bible is like Rudy Giuliani. He doesn't always agree with Himself. #
  • 16:58 Photo: mudwerks: #
  • 17:14 Did you know that aspirin got its name because it was originally made from snake venom? #
  • 17:19 I'm up to 1000 tweets! Again! Seriously, why did my count suddenly decrease a little while ago? #
  • 17:41 @thepipettes If I can't trust a green man, can I trust a hunkypunk? #
  • 18:22 Man, I hate the Thwack spell! #
  • 19:28 My character in Dragon Quest V was turned into a statue, and restored by his kids a few years later. #
  • 19:31 @heiditron3000 The nursery rhymes are coming true! #
  • 19:32 @oz_diggs I wonder if Hungry Tiger Press still has plans to republish that. #
  • 19:43 Why is Michelle Trachtenburg not in the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players? #
  • 20:28 When I hear the XTC song "Scissor Man," I think of Cut Man from the first Mega Man game. #
  • 20:31 @gick7 Ah, so she's a costumed mountain, rather than a costumed fortress. My mistake. #
  • 20:33 Do you think Sonic the Hedgehog could outrun the Roadrunner? What about the Flash? #
  • 20:35 When I need to buy a cliff, I always look on Cragslist. #
  • 23:10 @kattmoff I wouldn't say that's lame, but I think the song predates both the movie and the video game. #
  • 23:30 @eehouls That dog looks a bit like Dewey. #
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Monday Morning Miscellanea

1. While writing this post, I thought about how common it is for people who accept one belief system without thinking will often be the harshest critics of others. Look at Jack Chick talking about Islam, for instance. And for an example with more modern relevance, take the people who are always going on about how you can't trust the "liberal media," yet have no problem with anything Bill O'Reilly says, even when he contradicts himself. In a way, they're right. You shouldn't implicitly trust the mainstream media, or the government, or the Bible, or the Quran. But that doesn't mean you should just find alternatives that you DO totally believe. The thing is, I'm in favor of skeptical attitudes, but I think some of your Fox News viewers and the like don't really HAVE skeptical attitudes. Rather, they're so keen on false dichotomies that they feel that one news network or holy book is entirely right, and another entirely wrong. That doesn't mean I think you should consider every opinion equally valid, which often seems to be what the mainstream media want to do. No, Sarah Palin's death panel fantasies don't deserve equal time with ACTUAL coverage of the health care debate, any more than Creationism deserves to be taught in science classes.

2. The "bromance" concept is pretty popular in the film industry these days, isn't it? I guess it's just not something that appeals to me, because I've never really had guy friends. I've had friends who were guys, but not friends I did Guy Things with. Honestly, guys' guys kind of make me uncomfortable.

3. Are celebrity crushes more of a girl thing than a guy thing? I think the stereotypical view might be that girls can have fairly intense crushes on famous people, while guys just want to have sex with them, but I don't think that always actually holds up. Still, from the not at all scientific sample I've seen, it looks to be more men who say, in essence, "I don't like whatever it is that she does, but I'd still bang her!" For me, it's kind of difficult to separate the two. That can also work the other way, though, and I often find myself attracted to people whose work I do admire, physically as well as mentally. It's sometimes at least partially sexual, but not always. I mean, I think I have a certain level of attraction to Andy Partridge, but being a straight male, I wouldn't want to shag him. I don't know. Sometimes it's difficult to know where to draw the line, especially when you only know someone through a public persona.

4. I don't think I agree that pizza and sex are both at least pretty good even when they're not THAT good. For instance, I don't like pizza with onions on it. And while I haven't tried it, I imagine I wouldn't like sex with onions, either.

5. Happy birthday to themall, and happy belated birthday to revme!

Do You Herku?

Herku is a city in the Winkie Country of Oz with inhabitants who have the reputation of being the strongest people in the world. You wouldn't think it from looking at them, as they have very scrawny physiques, but appearances can be deceiving. The Herkus partake of a magical compound called zosozo, invented by their ruler Vig the Czarover, which provides superhuman strength, but leaves the body as essentially just skin and bones. One teaspoon of zosozo per year makes a person strong enough to crush marble with their bare hands, or to subdue a giant. And, in fact, the Herkus HAVE subdued giants, keeping them as slaves. They've been known to treat the giants quite brutally, with Vig having thrown one out a window when he interrupted the Czarover's audience with visitors from the Emerald City.

Paul Dana's Time Travelers of Oz gives an origin story for the Herkus and their slaves, explaining that Mrs. Yoop turned some of the inhabitants of the city into giants, and the zosozo was invented to help the ordinary people in dealing with these newly-made giants. If that's the case, however, I have to wonder why the smaller Herkus would treat their old neighbors so abusively. I'd propose that they forgot about the origins over the generations, but the story has Vig living in Herku at the time of Mrs. Yoop's invasion.

I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that it took me a while to realize the obvious derivation of "Herku" from "Hercules." The name of the city's ruler might well be a play on "vigor," with his title being "czar" (as in the the Emperor of Russia [1]) plus "over" (to fit with his reputation as the World's Most Mighty Ruler). But then, it's not like I have official word from L. Frank Baum on any of those.

Tomorrow, we'll take a look at the most infamous Herku of all.

[1] The Lost Princess of Oz was published in 1917, the same year in which the last Tsar, Nicholas II, abdicated.