Sunday, February 27, 2011

X Minus One - Project Trojan

There is an old radio show called X Minus One.   It is a bunch of science fiction stories transcribed for radio.  If you like old science fiction, this is the show for you.  I have been working my way through all of the episodes.  However, this one I am posting for a particular reason. A character on it has a very interesting last name... They say the name several times, so you shouldn't miss the connection.

Animatronic Penguin Torso!

How could you not go see Animatronic Penguin Torso?

Could a human destroying rampage be far behind?

Automaton, Know Thyself: Robots Become Self-Aware

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet

Yesterday's Robot Romper Room featured a robot from the movie Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet.  Well, that movie is in the public domain!  So, here you go:

Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women

Yesterday's Robot Romper Room featured a robot from the movie Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women.  Well, that movie is in the public domain!  So, here you go:

The Fantasyland Toyota Factory

The Fantasyland Toyota Factory is today's WMAGNFARB

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dwayne's Wednesday Robot Romper Room

Robot John
Robot John (aka Automaton John, John the Robot): In 1962, the Soviet Union came out with a movie called Planeta Bur (Planets of Storms) or under the US bootleg title Planeta Burg. With the US, "borrowing" this film, two US movies of roughly the same plot and dialogue were made. They are Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet 1965 and Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women 1968. In all cases, poor John ends up sacrificing himself so that his human companions can cross a lava flow, however in the Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women John's lava encrusted body becomes a new god for the prehistoric women.

(Image courtesy of Black Hole Reviews)

Antimatter Containment Unit

I think I saw Antimatter Containment Unit open for Men Without Hats back in the day.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Old Timey Music.

Here's a classic oldie by The Cleverlys

(Hat tip to John Scalzi's Whatever Blog)

On Wisconsin.

As a former State employee (Minnesota), I thought I would weigh in on the situation in Wisconsin.

First, when they say things like this action will save the state such and such, that is a distortion.  They are taking money away from people.  They are not saving money.  Thus, the actions in Wisconsin are a tax on state workers.  It is nothing less.  You are taxing the state employees on the wages and benefits that they had bargained for in good faith.  If the state wishes to get concessions from the state workers, they can bargain with them for those concessions.  From what I have read, the state workers' unions have made concessions in recent years.  This includes unpaid furlough days and wage freezes.  Naturally, these were negotiated.

Second, there is lots of talk about average salary.  Both sides use their statistics to show how much this group or that group makes more on average.  However, averages are meaningless!  There are far fewer state employees than there are private sector employees.  Thus, anyone making a large salary on the public side will greatly skew the average.  So, the athletics coaches at the state universities will raise the average salary.   However, the Milwaukee Bucks players will have less of an impact if they are included at all (which I doubt.) Further, if you wish to be fair about things, you talk about the median income.  Of all the employees, what does the person in the exact center make.  It is the only fair measure.  Also, include full compensation.  In that way, you can include all of the people making exorbitant salaries, but that will not affect the median income.  Otherwise, you are just comparing apples to oranges, and lying with statistics.

Third, all of these statistics are irrelevant!  As I said before, this is a tax.  In fact, it is a highly regressive tax.  Those employees just scraping by are going to pay a lot bigger percentage of their pay to cover this.  It does not matter whether the average salary is higher on the public side or not.  Those state employees that can least afford this, are going to take the brunt of it.  If you want to hire good teachers, how are you going to do it now?  This tax will place a larger burden on the state's school districts.  No longer can they offer a nice benefits package (in lieu of a nice salary) to prospective teachers.  Not to mention all of the other state jobs.  If you think it is hard to find good teachers now, take away their collective bargaining rights.  Hence, this will adversely affect the Wisconsin educational system.

Fourth, the people who were receiving these wages and benefits have obligations just like everyone else.  The level of obligation was measured on the level of salary and benefits that was negotiated at the beginning of employment.  You are taking the rug out from under these employees.  Further, those employees that expected these benefits and now they have them taken away.  It is a bit of a bait and switch.  This may be a breech of contract.  This law will most certainly end up in court.  It will also result in a worker slow-down and possibly a strike.  If you do not think this will cost the state money, you are sorely mistaken.

Any way you look at this, it is wrong.  It is wrong on every level.  You do not select a group of people and simply tax them.  This is not a majority rule thing.  The majority have to look out for the rights of the minority in this type of action.  You could pass a tax on all people named Scott.  I am sure the majority of non-Scotts would approve of this tax.  While there are a number of people named Scott, they are certainly not in the majority.  Thus, with a majority vote you could possibly create such a tax.  However, it is not a fair way to raise revenue.  This is particularly true of the people named Scott who are barely scraping by.  Of course, the government is not spinning it this way...

The Homoplastic Apes

Wasn't The Homoplastic Apes Boy George's second band?  Perhaps not.

Monday, February 21, 2011

I hate when this happens...

This was presented as a contextless kaiju clip of the day on io9. How could I NOT post it?

TV in a car?

Those dreamers from 1958.  TV in a car indeed!  Next thing you will tell me is that it can be connected to a DVD player or something.  Perhaps even give directions or connect to the internet.  I guess if you dream...

From Modern Mechanix

Bionic Amphibious Parakeet

Bionic Amphibious Parakeet would be a good double bill with Rocket Full of Mice and Monkeys!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Maybe Obi-Wan wasn't speaking to him.

xkcd from Feb 18, 2011

More on IBM's Watson

I updated this post on Watson's victory on Jeopardy with this item:

(Update 2/20/11: Ben Zimmer discusses this win at The Atlantic, and does a good job describing another reason I am not worried that it'll become a brain to takeover the world.  (via the Language Log))

However, a one-time Jeopardy champion LeeAundra Keany at the Discoblog is also underwelmed with the victory.  So, I am giving it a post of its own.

So the takeaway on that Watson computer -- punk!

Japan, you're not helping...

The Japanese want to put a robot on the International Space Station. 

JAXA’s [Japan's Space Agency's] humanoid robot will not only talk and Twitter, but it will also act as a space nurse, monitoring the health of the astronauts.

If I built an intelligent robot that turns it circuits to world domination, that is how I would describe it.  I too would be looking for an excuse to launch it into space...

(Hat tip and quote via The Discoblog)

Dinosaur Death Trap

I think I saw Dinosaur Death Trap open for Morris Day and the Time back in the 80's.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Will this kill the iPad?

I have always like the iPad's form factor.  Also, it has a pretty nice price.  It is in essence, a netbook but with a touch screen instead of a keyboard.  However, I hate its OS.  It is hamstrung.  It does not have the capabilities of a netbook -- which has a full OS.  Matt Buchanan at Gizmodo explains how it just got worse.  Will it kill the iPad?  I hope so!

That is how you train!

Here is a look into training to be a ninja.  You just need a series of HowTo pamphlets. (However, you must get them from a ninja, which would naturally be the hard part.)


I think these two nerds are going to do IT...

(Hat tip to Edgar Wright)

Insectoid Alien Mayhem!

Perhaps Insectoid Alien Mayhem is a tribute band for Mutant Mosquito...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Watson Wins!

As is all abuzz in my segment of the internet, the computer Watson beat the pitiful humans at Jeopardy.  However, I won't bow to our silicon based overlords just yet.  It was a HUGE computer -- room sized.  When it fits in my pocket, then I'll be worried.

(Update 2/20/11: Ben Zimmer discusses this win at The Atlantic, and does a good job describing another reason I am not worried that it'll become a brain to takeover the world.  (via the Language Log))

A preview of the cars of 1961.

What happened to the Plymouth XNR?  That would be a sweat car to have, now that we live in the future!

(Hat tip to Modern Mechanix)

Dwayne's Wednesday Robot Romper Room

The Robot
The Robot (aka Class M-3 Model B-9, General Utility Non-Theorizing Environmental Control Robot): With a name like that, you can understand why everyone just called him The Robot. The Robot and Robby confront each other in an episode of Lost in Space titled "The War of the Robots".  Responsible for the line: Danger!  Danger Will Robinson! (Image from the BBC)

Tactical Pens

Ladies and Gentlemen -- right here on our show: Tactical Pens!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rant of the week -- I guess.

So, I watched the movie "The Losers" on DVD.  If you like mindless spy/action movies, you will probably like this one.  Lots of action, some intrigue, some comedy -- in other words -- my kind of movie.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  However, this is not about the movie, it is about the DVD.

I viewed this movie through an online video borrowing service.  I received the DVD in the mail, and watched it (rather than online streaming.)  I enjoyed the movie so much, that I would consider purchasing it to view whenever I choose.  However, I will not be doing that.

You see, when I put in the movie it started in on ads.  (Some folks call them trailers.)  That is fine and dandy.  I have no problem with them including advertising for other movies that this company has produced.  What I do have a problem with is not being able to skip them.  This DVD had perhaps 6 or so trailers that you could not skip.  The "DVD Menu" button was disabled.  The "Next" button was disabled.  The only thing a person viewing this movie could do was fast forward through these previews.  And there was at least 6 of them.

So, imagine that you have your favorite movie on DVD.  But, before you can watch it, you have to sit through 10 minutes of trailers BEFORE you could even watch this movie.  No choice!  A DVD you own forcing you to watch several trailers of movies you do not even care about.  You purchased this movie!

There have been plenty of movies that I have enjoyed that I said to myself, "I wonder what other films this company has to offer?"  After the movie I intentionally viewed the advertisements provided.  This movie, I fast forwarded through the ads, so I do not even know what they were about.  I just sat there stewing as I fast forwarded through them.  I do not even know how many there were or what they were about.  And I enjoyed this movie so much, that I would have sought them out.

So, stupid movie executives.  Not only did you lose a DVD sale because of this practice, but you also prevented me from possibly checking out additional films by you.  Further, I will remember, and I will keep track to see if this becomes a standard practice for all of your DVDs.  I will be avoiding them as well.  Trailers are my choice -- no yours!

Ordinal Regression!

We're going in a little different direction with Ordinal Regression!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Now they're chatting with your loved ones!

Hack a day has the details!

(Hat tip to Gizmodo)

Pappa Bear Meme!

More here!

(Hat tip to The Bad Astronomy Blog)

Evil lair progress...

Sometimes when I go to my neighborhood home-building superstore, I feel like MacGyver.  (I won't mention its name unless they pony up some dough.)  Anyway, the reason I feel this way is the odd assortment of things I buy there.  Today's list:

2 sandpaper bands
2 tubes of silocon caulk - white
1 dust mask
1 box of Star Crunch™

Godzilla vs. Darth Vader?

Remember when Darth Vader was a cub scout?  Then, along comes Godzilla...  Good times!  Good times.  (More details at io9)

Et tu Huck Finn...

Was Mark Twain a cyborg from the future?  This new development may shed some light on that!  Huck Finn: the Robotic Edition

(Hat tip to Boing Boing)

I was rocking out to GLAT!

Goth Lady Android Toy is today's WMAGNFARB!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Does this headline make sense to you?

U.S. Bank in St. Paul bank is robbed

The above headline appeared in the online version of the Star Tribune  (Because of stupid policies, that link will probably be broken soon. )  Anyway, it is obviously a story about a U.S. Bank in Saint Paul being robbed.   There seems to be an extra bank in there.  The headline should read either

U.S. Bank in St. Paul is robbed


St. Paul bank is robbed.

The original simply does not make any sense.  Do they not employ any copy editors?  Hasn't anyone else but me noticed this?  (I will rant about the Strib's vanishing articles later...)

Robots have their own intertubes!

Who thought this was a good idea?

"At its core, RoboEarth is a World Wide Web for robots: a giant network and database repository where robots can share information and learn from each other about their behavior and their environment."

(Hat tip to  Gizmodo)

The Furious Femme Fatales

I bring you the all female punk band: The Furious Femme Fatales

Robot Spies!

Now we have to worry about robots listening to us breath!

(Via Discoblog)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A tractor beam?

I sure hope the robots don't see this.

(Hat tip to io9)

Rocket Full of Mice and Monkeys!

Today's WBAGNFARB is Rocket Full of Mice and Monkeys (RFMM for short)

An open letter to software developers.

To whom it may concern:

I was an IT specialist for 16 years, and I have installed hundreds of software packages.  I loved it when software companies made it easy for me.  The install could be done silently.  Just install and not worry about anything else.

However, there is a most annoying trend going on.  I am looking at you Sun Micro Systems!  (and Adobe, and others.)  During the install process, you ask if I want to install a completely unrelated program.  You know, if I wanted the Yahoo! toolbar, I would install the @$#%*&@ thing!  If I wanted the Registry Mechanic I would download and install it.  If I wanted a free crappy program, I know where to find hundreds of them.  I am installing your program!  That is why I am installing it.

Further, when an update is required -- same people -- I have to uncheck the same box that I unchecked when I installed you the first time (and every subsequent time).  Perhaps for a home user it is not an annoyance -- but I doubt it.  You may have your reasons, but they are not good enough.  We are customers!  We are not just eyes for your marketing.  If you annoy us enough, we will go elsewhere!  We do not your software, and there are alternatives.  So straighten up, and stop being annoying!  It has gone on long enough!

Your friend


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Time has come...

So, the Packers won the Superbowl™, there is 150 feet of snow outside my house, and now this.  I guess hell has frozen over.

I give you High Diving Horses!

High Diving Horses should open for Mutant Mosquito.

Dwayne's Wednesday Robot Romper Room

Robby the Robot
Robby the Robot: Robby started his career in the 1956 film the Forbidden Planet. Being the talented actor he is, Robby has gone on to do several films and TV guest spots even into the new millennium. Unfortunately, Robby is often erroneously mistaken for his cousin The Robot from Lost in Space. This is understandable seeing as how both had their final design look completed by Robert Kinoshita.  (Image thanks to IMDb)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Someone gathered the snippets of the various McBain parts of the Simpsons and put them together.  Thus, we get the complete McBain movie:

(Hat tip to Gizmodo)

Hot right now!

They're sweeping the nation.  It's Hiybbprqag!

(Hat tip to Steven Colbert)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Taking courses via videophone?

The thought of someone learning stuff at home on some sort of video screen?  Those people from 1962 sure had a vivid imagination!  See what else the future may have in store in the rest of this comic.

(Hat tip to Paleofuture)

Tonight's late late late show.

Fake trailers for B-movies? Oh yeah!  It's "Attack of the Brain Leeches"!  Remember when they used to play movies on network TV rather than infomercials?  When I was a kid...

For more, here is the YouTube Channel...

(Hat tip to Boing Boing)

Brought to you by Disney...

The Cookie Revolution!  I think they're touring with Hanna Montana.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

It's like coolsville daddio!

This is one of my all time favorite WB cartoons.  Can you dig it?

(Hat tip to Boing Boing -- They've been hot lately!)

3D is so futuristic!

Some people have been waiting a long time for 3D TV.  (Personally, I hope that wait is a lot longer!)

Mutant Mosquito!

Wasn't Mutant Mosquito part of the British Invasion?  Or was that a faux British Invasion band on Gilligan's Island?

A little Friday fun...

One of the things I do here, is post things that entertain me -- you know -- robots, ninjas, scifi, etc.  On the old site, I would only do that once a week.  Something called "Friday Fun".  So, here is a link to this weeks Friday fun at the old place.  Spidey vs the yeti!

Friday, February 4, 2011

The robots are taking over!

They're even doing stand-up comedy!

(Hat tip to Greg Laden)

Truer words have never been spoken!

(Hat tip to Demotivational Posters)

Friday Iguana

This weeks iguanas are from a pet site giving basic care and feeding advice in the UK.

Ladies and Gentlemen: Devious Mating!

I think I saw Devious Mating open for They Might Be Giants...

The Future is Now!

Monsanto's House of the Future!

(Hat tip to Wierd Universe)

What do you want? I'm an Anteater!

I cannot tell you how much I love this picture!  Genius!  Pure unadulterated genius!

(Hat tip to BoingBoing)


For a firebreathing kaiju, he sure looks cold!

(Hat tip to io9)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

It must be the 21st Century!

Thar be jetpacks!

More jetpack news at Discover Magazine's Discoblog.

Oh yeah!

We are DEVO!  (Very early Devo!)

(Hat tip to LOL/OMG)

This sums up my thoughts so well.

I may delve into politics here now and then, but it is not my intent to do it regularly.  However, this post sums up how I feel about current politics in America so well that I must share.  Thanks Ed Brayton!

Give it up for Fluctuations of Electrical Potential

 Fluctuations of Electrical Potential is today's WBAGNFARB!

I take it back.

  It is not the robots we have to worry about, it is Jerry the Great!

Hat tip to BoingBoing

I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.

I often peruse for interesting things.  Here is an old Superman cartoon:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wither the AOENC bidness?

If you are curious about where "America's Original Evil Ninja Cyborgs" came from, it is from a story I wrote.  (Several stories in fact.)  Here is the story of the founding of Supervania, and the origins of AOENC Inc.  (In PDF -- Hat tip to Around the Campfire)

Cloverfield Review

This is a repost from one of my old haunting ground ARWZ:

Cloverfield begins with someone tasked to record everyone's good wishes for a character who is leaving for Japan. (Over this character's own video of a day at Coney Island.) Needless to say, at some point the party is interrupted by an event. Luckily our cameraman keeps rolling!

I am not sure about this movie. It definitely has too much American 20 something angst for my taste. I love her, but I haven't told her, and now she is with someone else... Blech!

I also feel the monster is too complicated. If you are doing a POV thing, you should have a simple and scary monster.

These two things hurt the movie. The wise cracking guy with the camera is hit and miss. Shaky home movies are somewhat difficult to watch at times.

However, this movie is one that I SHOULD like. It does a good job at building towards the monster reveal. It does a good job building tension and moving the action along. It draws you in pretty well. However, it is missing something that I haven't quite figured out. Perhaps if I see it again, I'll figure it out. Only then will I enjoy it.


Give it up for Orangutan Genome!

(Hat tip to 80beats)

Dwayne's Wednesday Robot Romper Room

Maschinenmensch (aka Machine-man, Parody, Futura, Robotrix, (False) Maria, Hel, Ultima): Maschinenmensch starred in the Fritz Lang film Metropolis in 1927 which in turn was based off Thea von Harbou's novel written that same year. Ralph McQuarrie based his design for C3PO from Star Wars on Maschinenmensch. So in a word Mashinenmensch is Threepio's mommy.  (Image thanks to wikipedia)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cross Eyed Possum

I think Cross Eyed Possum was scheduled to play at Miami's Piano Sand Bar.

(Hat tip to Dave Barry and BBC News)

The Matrix is a classic?

Over at Dumb as a Blog (hat tip to io9) there is a list of the "Dumbest Reviews of Classic movies".  There they quote a review of The Matrix which reads:
"It's astonishing that so much money, talent, technical expertise and visual imagination can be put in the service of something so stupid."- Bob Graham, San Francisco Chronicle September 24, 1999"
I could not agree more with this review.  Good on you Bob Graham!

An open letter to Adobe Reader programmers

To whom it may concern:

Since Microsoft Windows 95 came along, there has been a problem.  For some reason, Microsoft wanted everything in the "Start Menu" -- uninstallers, FAQ, webpage links.  In my mind, this is not the way it should be.  There should only be executeables in the start menu.  In fact, the "uninstall" icon should not be anywhere.  After all, they have a control panel for that!

Since Windows 95, I have manually removed and rearranged icons in my start menu.  My start menus are a thing of beauty.  Programs easily found.  No accidental uninstall processes.

Further, I have very little on my desktop.  I do not want my desktop cluttered up like an unedited start menu.

This brings me to the point of this letter.  Adobe Acrobat!  What do you do?  On a clean system, you have no option as to what to do with the icons.  A useless icon I might add.  Who clicks on the "Adobe Acrobat Reader" icon?  I click on the PDF file itself and let it launch the Reader program.  That is why people use "GUI" operating systems.  They do not have to know that "Adobe Acrobat Reader" opens PDF files.  The expect the OS to know.

So, not only do I not get to choose where you place your useless icon, it is even worse.  You see, you think that your program needs to be internet aware.  It has to interact with everyone in the world on the internet.  (Why?  I do not know.)  That means that you programmers have to be very careful.  If you make one slight error, some ne'er-do-well comes along and gains full access to my computer.  Thus, you must release security patches 4 times a day.

Now these patches would not bother me too much if it weren't for fact number 1.  EVERY PATCH replaces the icon on the desktop and in my start menu.  You know, the ones I deleted!  Hence, with every patch, I have to delete your worthless icons again!  Why?  Because you do not give us any options!

Here is an idea: just patch your software!  Do not worry about where the icons reside.  There is a reason there is no icon on my desktop.  I do not want it there.  There is a reason that there is no icon in the root of my start menu.  It is because I put it in "utilities".  You know, the list of things that I rarely click on.  Join us in the 21st century.  Stop being annoying.  Otherwise, I will stop using you!

Your friend


Heelllloooo Nurse!

I know what you're thinking -- well -- I don't really.  Anyway, it is 2011 and I am starting a blog.  That is so 2005!  Well to be honest, I have been blogging since March of 2005.  Perhaps you have heard of the blog Around the Campfire.  Ahhh ha ha ha ha ha!  That was a good one.

That blog I treated like a SciFi magazine.  Thus, I did not do too much actual blogging type things on it.  Hence, I decided to come here and do all my blogging stuff while that blog continues to be a mostly unvisited SciFi magazine.

This place is where I'll rant and yell and scream and do silly things.  Well, silly things that I am not doing over there.  I will from time to time cross pollinate the two.  I may make pdf's of the stuff posted there and post them here.  But mostly, I am going to say things that are on my mind.  At least, that will entertain me.  Thanks for visiting, and comment away!