Mock The Movie: 2-Headed Shark Attack!

Stephanie Zvan has the details, as well as our upcoming MTM schedule:

What do you get when you combine Carmen Electra, the less-popular O’Connell brother, and the daughter of a professional wrestler? Heck if I know, but it’s called 2-Headed Shark Attack. It went straight to video. We’re going to watch it and mock it this Thursday, August 16, at 9 p.m. EDT. I’m sure not all the bikinis are blatantly gratuitous. It might even be more coherent than its trailer.

If you have Netflix, you can stream the movie, or you can rent it through Amazon instant video. Sadly, this one isn’t free for everyone.

We injected this particular stinker into our schedule because of Shark Week. Ohhhh yeah. Even Syfy needs to get in on that shark action.

Fossil Gears, by Flying Trilobite

Last week, Jodi and I hosted Glendon Mellow (a.k.a The Flying Trilobite) and his lovely family for an all-too-brief night right before the end of their road trip through the Maritimes. I was more than willing to put them up just for a chance to reunite with Glendon and to meet Michelle, their adorable son, and their nephew Christian, but they saw fit to gift us with this great piece of shale art as a thank-you.

Trilobite fossil painting, with clockwork gears, on shale

It was still wet in spots when he presented it to us. A personal gift like this means a hell of a lot to me. It will get a prominent place in our office, once it’s re-done. (The office is kind of in shambles at the moment.)

Thank you, Glendon. You know you didn’t have to.

Megaman, Liefeld Style

I’m sure you’re wondering where I’ve been this weekend. I built myself a new media server using Serviio so I won’t get caught flat-footed on another NASA live-stream, so I can stream it to my PS3 in the future. My wife and I went to see Brave and Avengers at a real honest-to-goodness drive-in (yes, we still have those here!) on Saturday night. And I’ve also been tinkering with a whole-site backup of Freethought Blogs, trying to run it off my netbook just to see what happens (and to give myself a playground in case I decide to go all mad scientist). Plus, I’ve been on overnights for work for two straight weeks, and look to have two more before getting back to some semblance of normalcy Wednesday or so. Sorry I’ve been absent.

Jeffrey “Chamba” Cruz is a comic artist whose work is heavy on Capcom representation. One of those representations apparently includes a piece he drew for a Megaman tribute
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What Thunderf00t did, and how.

By now, I’m certain you’ve read Phil Mason’s, AKA Thunderf00t’s, confession about how he’s done exactly what people have accused him of: accessing the back channel after being kicked off the blog.

He spins himself as a whistleblower about vast conspiracies within Freethought Blogs, how we’re looking to destroy people’s careers every time we commiserate with one another about someone who’s aggrieved us. How this back channel operates like a “clique” where achievements are lauded, messages amplified, and disagreements mocked mercilessly. In other words, it’s a social club for people who choose to participate, to help spread collegiality amongst our bloggers and support one another when under attack. As such, considering that many of these private thoughts are not fights we wish to pick publicly and how Thunderf00t now controls what fights we have with whom because of misplaced trust in what happened to be a compromised listserv, Thunderf00t now gets to control much of the dialog of this blog network.

How very conspiratorial.
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NASA press conference: first color photos from Curiosity

Awwwww yeah, science baby. You need to check out this Youtube video to see — in high-def, if you choose to view it in that resolution — the entirety of Curiosity’s first day on Mars.

Fabulous. And the technology that we managed to safely deposit on another planet is simply the best way to actually examine this planet. I expect great things from this project. Even if it turns out there’s nothing special about Mars, even if it turns out to be nothing but a rust ball, we’re actually exploring and collecting data on another fucking planet. That’s… big. That’s astronomically big. Hells yes.

Gamers Against Bigotry hacked repeatedly by computer-savvy bigots

Example #645,257,329 of why one must always sanitize every piece of user input that your code has to process. Doesn’t matter how foolproof or dead simple you think the action will be, or how safe or sane your users — someone will try to buffer overrun, break out of the current SQL statement and inject their own code, or just generally find any way imaginable to deface or destroy your work. Especially if your work is a direct confrontation of a particularly entrenched bit of misogyny amongst a terribly entitled and relatively tech-savvy audience, and that audience is inclined toward trollishness to begin with.

A group of social justice advocates in the video gaming community put together a pledge website called Gamers Against Bigotry (WARNING: Chrome reports malware!), asking people to sign onto the following statement:

As a gamer, I realize I contribute to an incredibly diverse social network of gamers around the world, and that my actions have the ability to impact others. In effort to make a positive impact, and to create a community that is welcoming to all, I pledge to not use bigoted language while gaming, online and otherwise.

Bigoted language includes, but is not limited to, slurs based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and disability.

Read more about the pledge, including what is and isn’t included, and the overall purpose here.

Read why you shouldn’t use the word “rape” casually here.

All in all, it’s a simple statement, and a rather unobjectionable one at that. The only way one can end bigotry within a community is to “be the change you want to see” — to never engage in bigoted behaviour, and to challenge it when one is able.

The response, however, was in no way proportionate to the pledge, especially given its entirely voluntary nature.
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Peter Sinclair reports on the 2012 drought: “This Is Not Cool”

While you can’t take any one data point in isolation, the really steep data points — as 2012 has been — do help to clue people in to what’s happening on this planet. Global temperatures are, on average, rising, and it is already having dramatic effects on local weather and natural disasters. Peter Sinclair of Climate Crocks synthesizes the disparate information into a coherent whole. The reality is fairly grim.

Curiosity successfully touched down on Mars

The terror is over. Our first 256×256 snapshot of the surface of Mars after the utterly terrifying touchdown sequence.

Eight years to plan and build this rover that’s bigger than your car and taller than you.

36 weeks of travel across 562 million kilometres of space travel.

And it missed its mark by a mere couple hundred metres.

Science rules.

Heard on the live NASA TV stream: “Holy shit!” I concur, good sir. I concur.