Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wordle.

http://www.wordle.net/

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text.


Cool and useless. Like most things.

Wordle of the book-in-progress, one hundred-ish pages in:


If you click on the picture, it will get bigger. Like magic. Oh no! I mean... As magic. Whew.


I guess it could tip you off to words you're using too often. I take back the useless bit. Except some words get counted twice, like Danny and Danny's, look and looks, and Red and... Red. So maybe it is useless. But it's still cool, damn it.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Masked Review: Secret Identity

Paul Cornell wrote this story. Who, if you did not know, also worked on Doctor Who. What episode, you ask? Oh, just "Human Nature" and "The Family of Blood." Also known as the most quotable two-partner of Doctor Who EVER.

His blog is located here.

He's kinda cute, too.



On to the review! Watch out for spoilers.



---



There's this scene only a couple pages in where a group of university kids try to get into a gay bar. The bouncer refuses them entry on the basis that they're straight. The Manchester Guardian doesn't understand how this makes sense. The bouncer explains they're only here to point and laugh. The Manchester Guardian still doesn't understand, and frankly, neither do I.

What kind of straight people go to a gay bar just to make fun? Have they never heard of lesbians? Have they never even seen a lesbian? If there is one thing I know to be true, it's that you NEVER fuck with lesbians. The only conclusion I can draw is that these kids have absolutely no problem with... No. They actively desire to wake up in a Dumpster the next morning, their wallets and purses empty, their faces broken up and reconstructed like they'd been worked on by a knife-wielding Picasso.


The before is on the right. Don't laugh. She'll never be a model now.


The Manchester Guardian is the superhero of Secret Identity if you haven't caught that yet. He's gay. Not just a superhero who's gay, but a gay superhero. The difference is important and necessary to this short story. As a gay superhero, the Manchester Guardian can't wear a mask. It wouldn't make any sense. He'd be hiding who he was.

It's here where a number of Superman parallels pop up. The Manchester Guardian's real name is Chris Atlas. His boyfriend's name is Jim Ashton. Jim gets referred to (in story!) as Lois Lane. Chris wears glasses, and Jim lampshades what a piss poor disguise that is. Because, really, everyone in the Superman-verse is probably brain-damaged from all the kryptonite that's just lying around, saturating their water supply. Plus, both Superman and the Manchester Guardian have the same powers. Although, Superman's are because he's an alien, and the Manchester Guardian gets his through a magic word. Which is more Captain Marvel than anything else, but whatever.

You also get the question of who exactly Jim is dating. Is it Chris or the Manchester Guardian? This is something I associate more with the movie Spider-Man 3. If you've never seen it, there's this scene where Mary Jane flips a shit over Spider-Man kissing another woman for some publicity photographs. Never mind that Mary Jane is an actress and KISSES OTHER PEOPLE ALL THE TIME.


IRL, too! What a bitch.


Here's where the twist comes in. When Chris is the Manchester Guardian, he's straight. When he utters the magic word, his body changes. Muscles forged from pure fire and testosterone, flight, bulletproof teeth, etc. A side effect, Chris and Jim speculate, is that his brain chemistry alters in such a subtle way it renders him heterosexual. He's already had sex with a female cat bugler (holy shout out, Batman!) and he's afraid he won't be able to resist next time he encounters her.

Jim is understandably upset at this turn of events. And it's nice to know that Chris is, too. He wouldn't be very heroic if he wasn't.

Luckily, much earlier in the story, he was able to procure a supervillain's hat that grants wishes so he's able to wish himself into two separate entities. Chris and the Manchester Guardian. Happy endings for everyone!

See, I liked Secret Identity. It's a cute story and doesn't try to be anything other than that. There's minimal angst, the dialogue is realistic, and I LOL'd in multiple places. As opposed to Cleansed and Set in Gold, which had a great premise and only a so-so execution, Secret Identity has an eh premise, but it's polished perfectly. It manages to hit every note it needs to succeed. We get little details here and there on how the world has adapted to superheroes and villains; it even touches on issues of coming out, acceptance, and identity. Normally I'd probably give a story like this a 3, but since Paul Cornell obviously knows what he's doing, I have to give it a 4 out of 5. He really took the time to edit and make what little plot he had shine.

JUST SHUT UP STOP TALKING CEASE AND DESIST THERE'S A GOOD GIRL

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My bad.

Every day will be a different type. Post your favorite Pokémon of that day’s type. Provide a picture and an explanation as to why you love it.

Day 1: Normal
Day 2: Fire
Day 3: Water
Day 4: Electric
Day 5: Grass
Day 6: Ice
Day 7: Fighting
Day 8: Poison
Day 9: Ground
Day 10: Flying
Day 11: Psychic
Day 12: Bug
Day 13: Rock
Day 14: Ghost
Day 15: Dragon
Day 16: Dark
Day 17: Steel



Favorite Dragon-type: Garchomp.



At this point, do I really need to explain why I love this 'mon? Shark + jet plane + dinosaur. I rest my case.

Favorite Dark-type: Tyranitar.



Tyranitar are one of those unfortunate Pokémon that are RAWR-some but have abilities that suck. His ability is Sand Stream which causes a sandstorm every time he enters battle. Basically, that means your team better be made up of only Rock, Ground, or Steel-types or they will take damage every turn. Lame. On the plus side, he looks like Godzilla. And his arms are just stubby enough to be adorable.

Favorite Steel-type: Metagross.



This 'mon was one of my favorite from the third generation. I'm not even gonna play around. I mean, a giant mechanized spider? Sign me right the fuck up. And he only has two weakness. Count 'em. Fire and Ground. And if he uses Magnet Rise, he becomes immune to Ground-types. A giant FLYING mechanized spider? I think I just crapped my pants.


P.S. The next Masked review will be up, at the very latest, this weekend.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day 13: Rock + Day 14: Ghost

Every day will be a different type. Post your favorite Pokémon of that day’s type. Provide a picture and an explanation as to why you love it.

Day 1: Normal
Day 2: Fire
Day 3: Water
Day 4: Electric
Day 5: Grass
Day 6: Ice
Day 7: Fighting
Day 8: Poison
Day 9: Ground
Day 10: Flying
Day 11: Psychic
Day 12: Bug
Day 13: Rock
Day 14: Ghost

Day 15: Dragon
Day 16: Dark
Day 17: Steel


Some may say the new Pokémon designs are lazy. I say who gives a fuck? It's an Anomalocaris!



No, sorry, that was Anorith. I get confused. This is Anomalocaris:



The only difference seems to be that Anorith has feathers and Anomalacaris has soul-sucking eyes of death. Which makes sense since it was the Earth's first apex predator. Also, feathers make everything look gay.


"ORANGE IS THE NEW PINK!"


I love my gay Anorith.

While we're on the subject of unoriginal Pokémon, here's my favorite Ghost-type:



Fine. It's a candle. Lumière's love child. I think it's cute. Fuck you.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 12: Bug

Every day will be a different type. Post your favorite Pokémon of that day’s type. Provide a picture and an explanation as to why you love it.

Day 1: Normal
Day 2: Fire
Day 3: Water
Day 4: Electric
Day 5: Grass
Day 6: Ice
Day 7: Fighting
Day 8: Poison
Day 9: Ground
Day 10: Flying
Day 11: Psychic
Day 12: Bug
Day 13: Rock
Day 14: Ghost
Day 15: Dragon
Day 16: Dark
Day 17: Steel


As in real life, as in Pokémon: There are a lot of fucking bugs. I hate bugs. I hate them all. Well, except ladybugs. Ladybugs are okay. And spiders aren't so bad.


Spider-squirrels, though... Spider-squirrels are the worst.


But there honestly aren't that many Bug-type Pokémon I dislike. So this was a hard choice. Ultimately I had to go with:



Parasect! One of the worst Pokémon in the game!

Seriously. He has no Speed so he always goes last. He's weak to six different types, including two 4x weakness. And if he has the Dry Skin ability, he's 5x weak to Fire. No other Pokémon has a 5x weakness. But, still. He's cool. Parasect is based on the Cordyceps genus of fungi, all of which are parasitic. There's an interesting article here on Parasect, but, basically, Parasect is a zombie. A zombie Pokémon! How is that not cool? I mean, really. C'mon.


Totally cool.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 11: Psychic

Every day will be a different type. Post your favorite Pokémon of that day’s type. Provide a picture and an explanation as to why you love it.

Day 1: Normal
Day 2: Fire
Day 3: Water
Day 4: Electric
Day 5: Grass
Day 6: Ice
Day 7: Fighting
Day 8: Poison
Day 9: Ground
Day 10: Flying
Day 11: Psychic
Day 12: Bug
Day 13: Rock
Day 14: Ghost
Day 15: Dragon
Day 16: Dark
Day 17: Steel


Obviously, I must think pigs are adorable.



SPOINK! It's even fun to say! SPOINKSPOINKSPOINK!

But check this, bro. Its Pokédex entry: "It bounces constantly, using its tail like a spring. The shock of bouncing keeps its heart beating."

What? How? Why is Mother Nature so cruel? Or, in this case, Mother Pokéture. How does Spoink sleep? How does it eat? It can't lie down or it will DIE? That's horrible. God damn you, Mother Pokéture. You're a stupid bitch.



But for real, bro. Bro. Isn't this thing stupidly adorable?

Monday, November 1, 2010

I'm behind by how many, you say?

Every day will be a different type. Post your favorite Pokémon of that day’s type. Provide a picture and an explanation as to why you love it.

Day 1: Normal
Day 2: Fire
Day 3: Water
Day 4: Electric
Day 5: Grass
Day 6: Ice
Day 7: Fighting
Day 8: Poison
Day 9: Ground
Day 10: Flying

Day 11: Psychic
Day 12: Bug
Day 13: Rock
Day 14: Ghost
Day 15: Dragon
Day 16: Dark
Day 17: Steel


Swinub is too cute for words.



If Pokémon were real, I would own one in five seconds. Maybe four seconds. I seriously can't handle how cute this thing is. Let's move on.



Toxicroak. Technically, this is cheating because he's a Poison-type first, Fighting-type second, but fuck that noise. He was the first Generation IV Pokémon that caught my eye with its badassness, and I usually hate Fighting-types.

Plus, he's a fucking poison dart frog. I mean, that's awesome. The only thing more aweso-ALL GLORY TO HYPNOTOAD



That's Muk. I think the reason I like Muk is 'cause I have fond memories of it from the anime. He was always trying to hug Ash, and Ash would be all like, "WTF GET OFF ME YOU LITERALLY ARE MADE OF MEDICAL WASTE." And I LOL'd forever.

And now deviantART is freaking out on me. We will have to make use of official pictures from this point forward. GOD DAMN IT, DEVIANTART. DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND? I AM TRYING TO COMPLETE A POKÉMON MEME.



I'm sorry. Did you just shit your pants? Steelix has that effect on people. Yeah, yeah, he's primarily a Steel-type, but I stopped giving a fuck two Pokémon ago, nerd.

FYI, there are no Pokémon with Flying as their primary type. Well, technically there's one, but it looks like this:


deviantART is working again. This is the best it would give me.


What is that? It's like my brain breaks looking at it. What am I looking at? Why does it have a squid tentacle coming out of its cloud-ass? Why is it so buff and green? Is it related to the Hulk? Is it an elf? It has pointy ears. WHAT AM I LOOKING AT?



This is Drifloon. It is a balloon. Ghost/Flying-type. I like it. That is all.