April 15th, 2010



  • 12:19 Photo: My post on Ultros, one of my favorite Final Fantasy VI villains tumblr.com/xpy8m8x8o #
  • 12:48 @brokenglasseye Here you go: www.hungrytigerpress.com/images/johndough_lg.jpg #
  • 12:48 Spotted in NY yesterday: a refrigeration and AC truck w/a pro-Kabbalah message on the side. #
  • 12:49 @JaredofMo Do gummy sharks live on Swedish Fish? #
  • 12:51 @TheRealTavie Which one? The thing about th
    e alligators in the sewer? #
  • 12:51 Don't tease the octopus, kids! #
  • 13:10 Video: Ultros Boogie! tumblr.com/xpy8mannz #
  • 15:55 I think this is the first day I've worked here when Pepsi One was actually in stock. #
  • 16:22 @poisonyoulove Because he hooked up with Justin Bieber? :P #
  • 16:24 Never quite understood how Luke was "a little short for an Imperial Stormtrooper." Were they even that tall? #
  • 16:39 @kittysneezes So he was the 19th-century Ann Coulter? #
  • 16:41 Now that Ricky Martin is out of the closet, will Roger Baum finally admit to never having read his great-grandfather's work? #
  • 16:46 @jlbellwriter Haven't read that one in some time myself. My old copy isn't in very good shape, so maybe I should invest in the hardback. #
  • 16:50 @kattmoff Eh, it's still a better source than Fox News. #
  • 17:02 @oz_diggs I don't get why people insist on portraying Nick that way when there already is an old-fashioned robot in O
    z. #
  • 17:03 Does Tik-Tok count as steampunk, or is he clockpunk? #
  • 17:06 @suicideblonde Justin Bieber is new tonight? Well, I figured they'd replace him eventually. #
  • 17:07 I failed the old grey whistle test. And all because I can't whistle. #
  • 17:17 @kidicarus222 I wouldn't rule out gremlin activity. #
  • 18:13 @DVDBoxSet Does it count as art if no real creativity went into it? #
  • 20:45
    I feel like I screw up everything, even the simplest tasks. #
  • 20:50 @JaredofMo You mean the house-elves weren't based on the SillyOzbuls? #
  • 21:50 @Nellachronism My thought would be that steampunk is generally intentionally retro, which the Oz books usually weren't. #
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Don't Mess with Loch Ness

Since I've had my mind on water monsters recently, I figured I might as well turn my attention to that pillar of cryptozoology, the Loch Ness Monster. I'm not entirely sure why Nessie would capture the public imagination more than any other monsters that conspiracy nuts claim to have seen, but it has, being right up there with Bigfoot. Nessiemania started in the early thirties, with the Inverness Courier publishing a supposed sighting of the creature in 1933. The following year was when the most famous picture of the monster, known as the Surgeon's Photo, was taken.

In 1994, it was revealed that this picture was a hoax, with its actual subject being a toy submarine with a sculpted head. A faked photograph doesn't necessarily mean that the monster isn't real, however, and some still hold on to the hope that it is. Really, though, how would a monster of that size get to a freshwater lake in Scotland, and continue to thrive there for years? Has it been the same creature the whole time? If not, doesn't that require a family of monsters? When you get down to it, it's an absurd conspiracy theory. But at least it's a FUN conspiracy theory, without the offensive nature of other such theories.

Whether stories of the monster predate the sightings in the thirties isn't entirely clear. There are a few older mentions of monsters in the area, beginning with the account of the sixth century monk St. Columba. Adomnán of Iona's account of this saint's deeds has him stopping a monster on the River Ness by making the sign of the cross. Some people have apparently also tried to tie Nessie to ancient stone carvings in the Scottish Highlands.

Nessie is commonly identified as a plesiosaur, although the pictures and reports of its lifting its head and neck out of the water make this pretty much impossible, even if some plesiosaurs DID miraculously survive into the modern era.

Some have linked the Loch Ness legends to those of kelpies, tricky shape-shifting water sprites from Scottish folklore. Traditionally, the kelpies would fool people by turning into horses and then drowning anyone who mounted them, but I suppose one could turn into a big plesiosaur-like monster as well. In fact, the Harry Potter tie-in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them identifies Nessie as a kelpie.

Clod of War

Today, I once again heard someone complaining that we shouldn't be treating terrorists like "common criminals," this time with regards to trying them in civilian courts. Putting in the word "common" seems like a trick to make it sound silly, like, "You can't prosecute terrorists the same way you do some bozo who holds up a liquor store!" Aren't there plenty of UNcommon criminals who go through the same justice system, though? Really, I'm not sure that way of thinking has to do with justice so much as it does vengeance. It's like how some of the same people insist that torture works, despite all the evidence that what you usually get when you waterboard someone is whatever you want to hear. I don't know that it's even about torture working, but about thinking terror suspects need to suffer. And while I can understand this desire, it's not really supposed to be how our justice system works, is it? Sure, there's often a punitive component, but isn't it primarily about protecting the innocent? And what if some of these suspects turn out not to be guilty? I'm not sure that even matters so much to the vengeance-obsessed, just so long as someone who could possibly be guilty gets hurt. Hey, go to war with a country that has nothing to do with what you're trying to avenge, and Congress will be hunky-dory with it (but NOT with minor changes to the health care system; THAT'S a huge deal). But even in a just war, there's a lot of fighting that doesn't actually involve anyone with any power to do anything, but simply people who happen to live in the same country. Just because the war itself is for a good cause doesn't mean everything done within that war furthers the cause.

You know, as much as I hate warmongers blathering on about Jesus as if he would be on THEIR side, there's a certain connection to Christianity in there. Not to anything Jesus himself taught, mind you, but to the idea of Jesus dying for the sins of humanity. HE didn't commit those sins (in fact, many Christians insist he was sinless), but his dying somehow still satisfied God. I'm not even going to get into the Trinity issue here, as that isn't what this post is about. Rather, how can it be considered just for someone who DIDN'T do anything to be killed, and how does this atone for what anyone else did? It just seems like kind of a similar idea. As long as people's bloodlust is satisfied, it isn't that important to know what actually happened and who really did it.