Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Nein Nein Percent

Saw this cartoon hosted by Daryle Cagle the other day skewering the social divide between the Haves and the Have Nots. While the artist is Romanian the cartoon can certainly be applied to the current mood in the United States of the 99% and Occupy movements.

The cartoon served to remind me of the introductory page from the May 1979 issue of the Marvel Comics series Super-Villain Team-Up #16.

In this latter-day iteration of the characters the Hate-Monger and the Red Skull are Nazis and the victims displayed for their amusement beneath the glass floor are being persecuted for their heritage. If one was not aware of the back-stories of the characters it would be the setting and the dead-on captions that could also serve as an example of the gap between those with power and money and the average citizens who are expected to kneel, obey and use their paychecks to support the goals and lifestyles of those who would be our masters.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday with Hayley Mills: Top Billing

A picture of the cast and an article from a July 1964 paper featuring an 18 years old Hayley Mills appearing in a revue show at the Palladium in London.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Can you name all the Time Machines?

In the amalgamated Star Trek and DC Universe the despotic immortal caveman Vandal Savage has captured many devices used to travel through time. Can you name all the various time machines and where they appeared?

The fanboy in me is a little disappointed that I don't see the Ivy Town University Time Pool used by the Atom in there, unless it is that glowing blob under the balcony. There are three I'm not sure of.

From IDW/DC Comics Star Trek and Legion of Super-Heroes #5 (2012).

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Buzz Off

I've mentioned a few times the benefits of having a deaf spouse. They can't pick up on the mutterings under your breath and then divorce you for being a jerk and of course sign language is useful for communicating through windows and at a distance when phones are not practical. Another advantage to sign language is that solicitors, beggars and hippies wanting signatures give up when they see someone using ASL (see here) because yeah, they want to save the Earth but not bad enough to learn how to communicate with a large percentage of the population.

There are several devices for the deaf we use to make life a little bit easier. Gizmos that flash lights when there is someone at the door, a camera connected to a monitor for telephone relays from deaf-to-deaf or deaf-to-hearing people and a few smart phone applications. Text messages is one of the greatest aids that exists for the deaf. From the caveman days of the TTY and expensive typing pagers to the ease of modern versions on cellphones it is texting that will probably be the primary and easiest form of communicating over a distance for the deaf. Texting is an equalizer (though many deaf I know dislike lowering themselves to the hearing standard). Video applications like Face Time has proven valuable and so has a similar application from Sorenson VRS that works on the computer and smartphone. Sorenson company supplies the high-speed internet-enabled cam-phone in our home and it works great.

Sorenson also have made available some flash cards for the phone for use when dealing with the non-signing public called Buzz Cards. Basically you show the Buzz Card to a cashier or cab driver or whomever to communicate your needs. They read it and then get your request wrong just like with all their hearing and speaking customers. I made some of my own in the past (right here) that where a bit artistic or practical for the spouse to use but I have to say the Buzz Cards are pretty handy. The basic set in the app comes with a few slides ready to go but the best thing about them is that they are fully customizable and the user can add new ones as they see fit.

As you can imagine that allows many shenanigans. Here are some examples (with shocking words pixelated for the faint of heart):

Yes, as much as I don't like jack-booted authoritarians I hate hippies even more. So the majority of what I have termed Buzz Off Cards (see what I did there?) are intended for them. When I'm at the mall and some girl pauses in texting her BFF (omg!!! hez sooo cute!) long enough to attempt to get my signature on a clipboard I have a choice of several images to show her. But they are not intended only for people who are trying to make the world a better place by standing around in shopping malls doing nothing! No, sir. Teens or older people begging for change at the stoplight can get an eyeful, too. You hold a sign up to my car window and I'll respond in kind with a Buzz Off Card.

So thank you, Sorenson. I express in all sincerity that by creating your application and making it available you have made people's lives better. The deaf can communicate with the hearing public a bit easier. My wife can order a coffee, find a restroom or successfully use a drive-thru through (especially at night after the dining area is closed or in areas she doesn't feel comfortable getting out of the car) thanks to you. I know it really improved my visits to the mall and made those uncomfortable meetings at traffic intersections a little less awkward.

And now, a pretty lady signing to The Sound of Sunshine...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday with Hayey Mills: Movie Marathon Edition

Found some links on ehow featuring Hayley Mills!

First off is the instructional How to Have a Hayley Mills Movie Marathon submitted by Angela DeFini. A good, family-friendly list but I'd add Tiger Bay to it. Never hurts to teach kids (and adults) about honesty considering the shenanigans Hayley gets up to in a few of the other films.

Don't forget that any movie marathon starring Hayley Mills is not complete without watching her first screen appearance in the classic film So Well Remembered.

Next up is some Hayley Mills Cosplay from submitter Robin Raven. Don't judge. Hayley is the answer.

Some classic LTMS inspired by Hayley Mills: Parent Trap Noir. Only a month or so back is a mashed-up movie poster.

Finally, Twitter account @HayleyMills has plenty of fan photos attached to the entries you won't find anywhere else. Wish it really was Hayley's twitter feed but it is actually a fan account for the Hayley Mills Army, which is pretty awesome and by last count, millions strong.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Nobody digs a word we say

Nearly 50 years after it was first unleashed upon the world the love song Eep Opp Ork Ah-Ah as performed by the multi-talented Howard Morris for The Jetsons animated television show is a cultural and Valentine's Day classic. Originally broadcast in 1962 in the episode "A Date With Jet Screamer" Eep Opp Ork Ah-Ah has outlasted many of the "serious" pop songs of the day and has been sampled and covered by such bands as the Dickies and most famously, the Violent Femmes. Plus: Starkids reference.

More on Howard Morris: Wikipedia, YouTube and as Professor Lilloman!

Big Barda commands you to be her Valentine

Big Barda Valentine (Be mine, or else!)

Originally posted 2007

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Practical Fashion

The over-sized scarf prevents leering at the chest, the low-hanging bag prevents ogling of the backside.


What came first, the need by women to protect and conceal or esthetics? Was the end-result of the impractical scarf worn in even the warmest weather conditions and the bag a happy accident or intentional? Some combination of all, perhaps.

Women: 1 / Perverts: 0

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Before Watchmen: The controversy as Advertising

Yes, I'll be getting those Watchmen prequels. I'm a completist. Even though Alan Moore is my comic book god and I re-visit several of the series and characters he helped guide at least once a year I really do not want to give up my small doses of entertainment. I'm weak and I really like the Watchmen concept enough that I'll buy and read them.

Of course it is the internet discussions (to use the term loosely) and controversy that is the best advertising possible for the up-coming series. Another slap across Moore's face is publicity you can't buy that was surely worth hundreds of thousands, if not a million or more, in ad dollars that DC did not have to shell out. The controversy over Before Watchmen is the best advertising. DC knew the fans would have strong opinions about Before Watchmen and was fully prepared to get through all the bad press. Even the renewed spotlight focused on the history between DC and Moore, in the deal given the creators where the rights would revert away from the company after the books went out of print that was not honored (so far) is just a blip on their concern-radar. Comic fans are used to exposure of the creatively shady practices of big business comics. People still purchase Batman even with the knowledge that for decades creators were "shafted" by today's standards. DC is undoubtedly monitoring the chatter and isn't that concerned.

If DC abruptly went insane and suddenly signed over all rights to the original creators the result in sales would likely remain the same. The die-hard fans will buy it, the scans will be shared world-wide and the exposure to the product will ensure that any licensing and marketing deals they signed will be lucrative. The comic books of today, in whatever format they find a reader, are little more than periodical advertisements for future media projects anyways. Comics long ago stopped being the product in and of itself and became sales pitches and ads the consumer pays for, like t-shirts with product logos printed on them. Whatever the future holds for the Watchmen cast can be predicted but not with any real accuracy. Technology almost guarantees that there will be an Watchmen animated series in the future and digital comics are, once the business models get smoothed out, only going to gain in popularity (though the digital form wipes out the collector market and the only cache in "collecting" those would be an artificially created desire to be "first" or in receiving limited edition serials restricted to a limited market).

It is doubtful DC will honor the old Watchmen agreement so many years after the original series was published. It would be like an oil company giving up regional drilling rights because the native population was there in the area first.

Is the story of the former and current Minutemen all told? It was in the 12-issue maxi-series. I doubt there are many surprises in store in the prequels. What could be said? We all know how the future of the gang turns out. I speculate that what I most will take away from the prequels will be the remembrance of a particularly cool turn of phrase or artfully rendered panel.

Foreshadowing events in the original series would be a mistake primarily because most creative teams are not known for subtlety and the prequels don't have the luxury of 12 issues to lay clues throughout the panels. If this endeavor is a success then be prepared for a series about what happens after Seymour discovers Rorsach's journal.