Archive for December, 2011

And Now: Rollerman

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Rollerman has created a 31-wheeled suit of roller-blades, which he uses to go very, very fast. Click the play button to watch three minutes of insanity.


Smith is Back! Andrew Mayne’s Chronological Man Adventure: The Martian Emperor Available Now

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

skitched-20111223-112131.jpgWho is the Martian Emperor?

When a giant airship descends on New York City in 1892 and threatens destruction if the world doesn’t submit to the Martian flag, it’s up to the mysterious Smith, inventor and adventurer to find out what forces are at work.

From the dangerous basement fan-tan parlors of Chinatown to the top of the Statue of Liberty’s torch, Smith and his brilliant assistant, April Malone, will have to unravel the clues and avoid danger lurking behind every corner. To stop the menace they’ll need they enlist the help of Theodore Roosevelt and other early twentieth-century heroes.

The second book in The Chronological Man series, The Martian Emperor combines mystery, airship battles and back room Tammany Hall politics against the backdrop of a world on the verge of war.

53,000 words – approximately 160 pages.

Available for all Kindle platforms including iPhones, iPods, Android and Windows 7.

Get it now for only 99¢


“Mayne’s books just keep better! The Chronological Man: The Monster in the Mist was excellent! It had well written characters, good dialog and a great story to be told!” – Simone Allyne

“In many ways I enjoyed it better than the canonical Doctor Who books.” – Joseph Rochetto


Are Pigeons as Smart as Primates?

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Oft-maligned as disease stuffed flying rats, pigeons tend to get a bad rap. But it looks like the city birds could be much smarter than we initially thought, or at the very least able to keep track of all the people calling them disease stuffed flying rats.

Pigeons may not be so bird-brained after all, as scientists have found the birds’ ability to understand numbers is on par with that of primates.

Previous studies have shown that various animals, from honeybees to chimpanzees, can learn to count when trained with food rewards. In 1998, researchers discovered that rhesus monkeys can not only learn to count to four, but can also pick up on numerical rules and apply them to numbers they haven’t seen before, allowing them to count up to nine without further training.

Add this alongside “friends with Mike Tyson” on the Cool Things About Pigeons list.

[Live Science]

Large Metal Capsule Falls to Earth, Baffles Authorities

Friday, December 23rd, 2011


In what is surely not the seemingly harmless opening salvo for an intergalactic invasion, a mysterious metal ball has fallen to Earth outside of an African village.

The hollow ball with a circumference of 1.1 metres (43 inches) was found near a village in the north of the country some 750 kilometres (480 miles) from the capital Windhoek, according to police forensics director Paul Ludik.

Locals had heard several small explosions a few days beforehand, he said.
With a diameter of 35 centimetres (14 inches), the ball has a rough surface and appears to consist of “two halves welded together”.

This is apparently a trend, with identical metal balls hitting elsewhere in Africa, Australia and Latin America over the last 20 years.

Can someone please dispatch an, at first, wary Jeff Goldblum to investigate this as he will surely soon stumble upon a terrifying pattern that the president must be warned of?

Thanks to our pal Chad Johnson for forwarding this along. Also, please excuse us posting the theme to the Mel Brooks’ classic Space Balls immediately below.


Helen Mirren as Doctor Who HELL YES [FACT]

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

So some mouth-breather on this site decided to pour cold water on the idea of Helen Mirren playing Doctor Who. We’ll forget that this person up until recently called the Doctor “Dr. Who” and stick to the facts.

“It’s a gimmick”
Yes? And the problem is? If anything, this series needs, besides, actual better writing, is some fresh ideas and a new approach. Writing for Mirren could provide just that.

“It’s an unnecessary complication for an already too complicated premise”
What’s complicated about a Time Lord changing into a woman? This is nowhere near as big of a complication as time travel. Partly because it’s, you know, real. People switching genders is so old hat, it hardly counts as science fiction.

“It’s a young role”
Let’s get past the ageist and sexist comment and look at exhibit A .

A Case Against Helen Mirren as Doctor Who [Opinion]

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Helen Mirren says she wants to play Doctor.

Not a “sidekick” but a proper Doctor, what with a screwdriver and everything. Everyone thinks this is a great idea. So what’s the harm at letting such an accomplished actress spend a regeneration zipping across time and space as the first Timelady in this venerable franchise?

Well, the following for starters:

It’s a gimmick An aged science fiction franchise will never be the permanent home for Helen. Although a one season run as the last child of Gallifrey isn’t the worst thing in the world, the greatest heights reached by the current incarnation of the series has come on the backs of two actors for whom the Doctor was the biggest stage they’ve reached. Both Matt Smith and David Tennant saw the massive opportunity of a beloved character became the Doctor.

This will simply be the next in a line of great roles for Mirren.

skitched-20111222-193820.jpgIt’s an unnecessary complication for an already too complicated premise There is already so much baked into the concept of DW. Each episode deals with time loops and collapsing realities and the rules of a ever shifting timeline that either can or cannot be changed depending on the whims of the writer’s room. So we really need to add a massive gender identity complication for our central character who doubles and the expert in every situation no matter how muddled?

It’s a young role Can Helen, who turns 67 in 2012, shout “run!”, clasp the hand of a companion and hightail it out of danger whilst Dalek laser fire peppers the wall behind her? Yes. Would it be as visually dynamic as an actor a third of her age? No. DW as we know it today is an action series relying on a spry hero.

Hollywood folks like to classify young actors by asking if they “can hold the gun.” Meaning, if they were cast in a action movie would they be believable as the good cop who’s in too deep and has to shoot 14 drug dealers to escape an abandoned marina?

Although Hellen has played an action role as recently as last year’s Red, I simply don’t think it would hold up over the length of a season.

Let me wrap this up by saying that Mirren’s quote was an off handed comment and likely nothing more than a tempest in a teapot. However, with Matt Smith creeping up on Tennant’s episode number whispers about a new Doctor are only going to increase and we are going to find ourselves thinking about who “can hold the sonic screwdriver” more and more.

Should We Name the Recently Discovered Kepler Planets Romulus & Remus?

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011


There seems to be a movement afoot, begun on’s Facebook page, to colloquially refer to the recently discovered Kepler planets Kepler-20e and Kepler-20f by the Star Trek-inspired nicknames Romulus and Remus. According to Gene Roddenberry’s lore, those planets were home to the nefarious Romulans whose names were in turn taken from the twin mythological founders of Rome.

Good reasons abound.

1) it’s easier to remember for researchers who admit that even they get the order and naming of the Kepler planets confused

2) it’s easier to remember for the general populace who would be more encouraged to talk about it if they could remember the name

3) Star Trek rules

In fact, the only downside is the very real possibility that a miner baring a striking resemblance to Eric Bana will one day be born there only to see the planet destroyed despite the too-late interventions of ambassador Spock. Red eyed with revenge, he’d eventually destroy Vulcan before attempting to destroy Earth.

But other than that, we are behind it.

[ Facebook poll]


Petty Hate Never Dies: 1,700-Year-Old Furious Complaint About Grocer Recovered

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011


Ever feel guilty about complaining? Sure the drive through clerk at Wendy’s forgot to remove the tomatoes from my Spicy Chicken sandwich, but do I really want to go back into the store?

And even worse, what if my friends call me cheap for requesting a new sandwich or even worse a refund? Is it worth the reputation as a skinflint to not pick off the tomato slice?

Well instead of complaining to a middle manager, why don’t you take your grievance to a higher authority: God. That’s what one fine citizen of the Roman city Antioch did when he cursed a random grocer in a 1,700 year old screed.

“O thunder-and-lightning-hurling Iao, strike, bind, bind together Babylas the greengrocer,” reads the beginning of one side of the curse tablet. “As you struck the chariot of Pharaoh, so strike his [Babylas’] offensiveness.”

Iao is an ol’ fashioned word for God.

So just remember, if you complain about service from a random food worker someone 1,700 years from now might find your complaint and then another person will make fun of you on a digital network inconceivable in your modern era.

[Live Science]

Perry Bible Fellowship Creator Stars as Villainous Sheriff in Awesome Western Webseries

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Stargazin’: Trails Of Tarnation – Chapter 4 from New Picture Agencies on Vimeo.

Trails of Tarnation is a western serial shot on 16mm film in Upstate New York and using awesome model sets and green screen to tell an equal parts hilarious/effective frontier adventure story. In the newest installment, “Stargazin'”, they are joined by Perry Bible Fellowship mastermind Nicholas Gurewitch as a menacing sharp shooter with a high warbling voice and a very particular way of honoring his enemies.

Well worth your time.

[Trails of Tarnation]

NASA Finds Earth Sized Planets, How Big are They Compared to Earth, Venus?

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

The Kepler telescope has spotted two Earth-sized planets circling another star. Although they are too close to the star to be habitable, they are the smallest planets we’ve ever observed circling as close to their star, not unlike our sun.

This handy reference guide gives you a good look at how Kepler-20e and Kepler-20f stack up against Earth and Venus.

Also, we’d like to hereby suggest Tango and Cash as permanent names for the new kids on the block.

[Silicon Republic]

And Then There Was The Time They Sold Golf Balls With a Radioactive Core

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

This one is going straight on my “Do Not Want” list. Apparently, back in the good old days of 1910, the Worthington Golf Ball Company produced golf balls with a radium-laced core. Known as the “Ball of Mystery that never loses life or shape due to its inherent radioactive properties”, this bad boy was supposed to travel farther than the competition. Check out the original advertisement.

“I have not found any company literature that specifically states that the ball contained radium but an advertisement (see below) in the May 17, 1918 issue of the New York Tribune quotes “one of the greatest of American Golfers” as saying that the ball had “what is known as a radium center.”

An analysis by gamma spectroscopy clearly shows that it does indeed contain radium: approximately 150 Bq (4 nCi).”

[Oak Ridge Associated Universities via Improbable Research]



Want to Spend New Years Eve with Brian Brushwood & Justin Robert Young?

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

What are you going to be doing New Years Eve? A whole bag of nothing, that’s what. Why not kick 2011 in the pants with your friends? Brian Brushwood will be performing his full magic show, Justin Robert Young will be hosting the event and we’ve even heard unconfirmed reports of dungeon master Andrew Mayne being in attendance.

Music? They will be joined by DJ Skratchy, who is nationally recognized for being one of the industries most elite DJ and RemoteKontrol, a group of three enormously talented poppers.

Where and when? I’m glad you asked.

Saturday December 31st–DROP Zone Nightclub presents. . .
NewYears Eve Bash 2012
Come Dressed To Impress For This Event
8:00 p.m.-5:00 a.m.
Located at: Drop Zone Nightclub @ Orlando Sun Resort & Convention Center
6375 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy Kissimmee, FL 34747

$25.00: includes entry into event

VIP Package for Two
$149.00: includes
private table
for 2, 2 dinner buffets
2 admissions to our New Years Day party
a one night hotel stay (must be booked by

VIP Table Package
$119: includes
private table for 2,
Entry for 2
2 dinner buffets



Dutch TV-Show Hosts Eat Each Other’s Flesh

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Two Dutch television-show hosts said they had their flesh cooked by a top chef and then dined on each other before a studio audience.

“Nothing is really that special when you’re talking about the taste of the meat,”  host Dennis Storm told “But it is weird to look into the eyes of a friend when you are chewing on his belly.”

Yeah, so. Dutch cannibalism on TV. Nothing I can add to this.

[ABC News]

[Video] Spy Plane or UFO? Russian Pro-Democracy Protesters Spot Silent Flying Craft

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

[UFO Casebook]

Mystery Creature Lurking in London Lake Next to 2012 Olympics Site

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011


It’s under the water. Just below the gentle, lapping surface near Olympic Park in East London. It lurks.

What it is, we don’t yet know. Aside from the apparent taste for fat Canadian Geese, not much can be confirmed as no one has yet to put an eyeball on it.

Witnesses alerted environment bosses after seeing a 16lb Canada goose dragged under the surface, with fears there could now be a pike, alligator or even a large python stalking the waters near the Olympic site.

The number of swans on the river and waterways near the newly-built £9bn Olympic Park is also dropping.

No matter what manner of beastie is currently snacking in the waters, we will suspect it’s still less terrifying than the official Olympic mascots.

[Daily Mail]

Did a Young Benjamin Franklin Seriously Write About a Mermaid?

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011


Did Benjamin Franklin report on an unsubstantiated mermaid claim in Bermuda as a young writer, or was it all a big joke?

Here is what Franklin wrote in the Pennsylvania Gazette on April 29th, 1739:

“From Bermuda, they write, that a Sea Monster has been lately seen there, the upper part of whose Body was in the Shape and about the Bigness of a Boy of 12 Years old, with long black Hair; the lower Part resembled a Fish.”

“He was first seen on shore, and taking to the Water, was pursu’d by People in a Boat, who intended to strike him with a Fishgig; but approaching him, the human Likeness surpris’d them into Compassion, and they had not the Power to do it.”

The question is, was this meant as an April Fool’s joke? Many Franklin biographers believe this was supposed to be included in the 4/1/1739 edition of the paper but was instead included later by an editor not realizing it to be silly folly.

But don’t be so quick to dismiss this as genuine reporting from the most colorful Founding Father. Remember, The New York Times was writing about sea monsters as recently as 1855. Franklin nowhere in the report claims to have seen the mer-creature himself but rather relies on outside gossip and writings, which were prevalent throughout the Caribbean through that time.

[BerNews via Cryptozoology]