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Topic Archive: Hodgepodge
The 14 Posts I Should be Writing: Mad Scientists, Sky Pirates, and Giant Robots

Filed under Hodgepodge

Giant Robots!

From the amazing Link Bait Generator:

  • 6 Mad Scientists that almost destroyed the world
  • 8 ways Mad Scientists can help you survive a plane crash
  • 10 reasons why Mad Scientists should give you nightmares
  • Are Mad Scientists treated unfairly in the USA?
  • Top 10 secrets of Mad Scientists
  • 8 horrible lessons about Mad Scientists that Hollywood teaches kids

  • 7 important things we can learn from Sky Pirates
  • 10 ways Sky Pirates can help you get a date
  • 8 reasons to fear Sky Pirates

  • 10 well kept secrets about Giant Robots
  • Why Giant Robots suck: myth vs. reality
  • 7 bizarre ways Giant Robots can kill you suddenly
  • 7 health problems associated with Giant Robots
  • 8 pictures of hot chicks and Giant Robots
    Five Words That Should Never Appear Together

    Filed under Hodgepodge


    Delayed Linkage: Greg Brotherton’s Dystopias, and Atomic Rockets

    Filed under Found on the Web, Hodgepodge

    I spend most of my days inside my own head. I admit it. I’m not ashamed. But usually I make the time to pop my metaphorical head above the waters, notice interesting things, and jot them down in here.

    Lately I’ve been keeping that head down a bit more than usual because what I’ve been immersed in is not a metaphor: it’s just a great big project that I hope to finish soon. Ish. So today, here are a couple of things I’ve meant to share… but haven’t. After which – head down, full speed ahead, silent running.

    Greg Brotherton’s New Museum Show

    Greg Brotherton's Dystopian SculpturesI’ve written before about Greg Brotherton’s sculptures, which are remarkable pieces that combine found objects with new metals, wood, and other materials.

    His newest work is now on display in a show called Discoveries in Dystopia at the Oceanside Museum of Art, near San Diego in California. The new work concentrates on dystopian views of workers in fascinating but forbidding settings: cubicles, desks and machines that enfold their laborers in Sysiphean toil.

    Like Brotherton’s other works the textures and their contrasts are lovely to the eye and there are occasional grace notes (like the "Back Space" typewriter key shown here) that reward the careful observer. Wonderful stuff!

    The museum’s show runs through March 19, and there’s a "Meet the Artist" event on February 6.


    If you’ve seen my own work, you may have guessed that of all the things I may be about, scientific accuracy is, well, absent. If I can fool you into thinking that a thing might work, well, job done, right? Because things like open cockpit roadster "rockets" aren’t the most practical or likely sort of vehicles in the first place.

    Atomic Rockets!On the other hand, I appreciate scientific accuracy in science fiction (which is not exactly what I do, anyway). Authors can get away with fooling me, too, but they have to work at it a bit if what they’re doing is cast in a realistic mode.

    So I was delighted on a couple of levels when I discovered the Atomic Rockets web site. It doesn’t hurt for me to get a little better at fooling you, after all, and the material’s pretty interesting in its own right.

    Because Atomic Rockets is a large and growing compilation of information about how spaceships and related technologies actually need to work, and why. The examples are a mix of real aerospace experience and research with science fiction examples – good, bad, and ugly – from decades worth of fiction and movies.

    And there are plenty of equations to help you to calculate whether your own space ship is going to be able to make that trip to Neptune. If not, you can research some of the other types of propulsion!

    So I’ve made plenty of discoveries there already and look forward to more. The site is the ongoing project of Winchell D. Chung Jr. – have a look!

    Today & Tomorrow: Winsor McCay and Me

    Filed under Hodgepodge, Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual, Works in Progress

    …from Winsor McCay, via Golden Age Comic Book Stories.

    Here’s hoping all our futures will be better ones.

    Winter’s finally decided it’s really here at the Secret Laboratory and it’s doing its best to make me glad I’m in here, finishing up the last of the remaining characters for Part One of The Toaster With TWO BRAINS, The Mysterious Doctor Rognvaldmy first installment at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual.

    This is the mysterious Doctor Rognvald. The big interior set I’ll still need to build is his laboratory – and to do that, I’ll have to sequester myself with Just Imagine and an old Boris Karloff film because they have such great mad scientist glassware. The sacrifices I make, I just can’t tell you.

    That’s what I’ll be up to till that freelance job attains "check on the desk" status, anyhow. Then I’ll have to drop everything – carefully! there’s all that glassware to think of – for a bit.

    Truly Awesome Retro Future Sculptures by Gary Haas

    Filed under Hodgepodge

    sci fi sculpture by gary haas

    I’ve just unpacked a wonderful acrylic sculpture by Gary Haas – it is not the one you see pictured here, but it’s very similar – and it’s an amazing and beautiful piece of work. More pictures of this one are at his Deviant Art page, and the sculpture pictured here is currently for sale at Etsy.

    Gary carves these from solid blocks of acrylic using tools that I’m trying to picture in my mind. I know that they’re rotary tools (which describes a heck of a lot of powered tools, when you think about it) but in order to do the undercuts it seems as though a cutting bit would have to deploy whirling flanges of death after it was already inserted. Which, you know, is really cool. In fact I’ll continue to believe in retractable whirling flanges of death even after I find out I’m totally wrong.

    Because some things just ought to exist. And to get back on topic, this sculpture is one of ’em.

    Gary seems to think I’m inspirational, and I sure won’t argue with him ("Whirling flanges of Death!") Either way I’m awfully glad to have this in my office. My advice: you should have one too.

    Update: he’s just posted a photo of mine at Deviant art. It’s here.

    Tee Junction declares that I’ve designed 3.5% of the best Steampunk-Inspired T-Shirts

    Filed under Hodgepodge

    mad scientist tee shirts
    Tee Junction has posted its list of the 50 Best Steampunk-Inspired T-Shirts, of which there are actually 56, and of which 3.5% are from my Retropolis Transit Authority shop. Even though, as I’ve mentioned before, this ain’t Steampunk.

    But heck, it’s an honor just to be nominated. Now how did he miss those "Airship Ballast" shirts?

    [tags]t-shirts, mad scientist, steampunk, 50 best steampunk tees, retro future[/tags]

    Artist Adele Lorienne S. puts my book of knotwork borders to good use

    Filed under Hodgepodge

    Elvish by `Saimain on deviantART

    Artist Adele Lorienne S. (Saimain at Deviant Art) has posted this wonderful drawing in which she used my book of knotwork borders in exactly the way that I’d hoped people would.

    She chose one of the art nouveau flavored designs, for obvious reasons: if Mucha had been an Irishman, we might have seen more like this!

    I’m just so pleased to see this. It’s exactly what I hoped for when I was working on the book.

    In which I am cited (but not for speeding)

    Filed under Hodgepodge

    Light Speed Tee Shirts

    In a surprising instance of somewhat academic thoroughness, Discover magazine has cited my “Speed Limit” tee shirts in what is (otherwise?) a pretty impressive article about near lightspeed travel using pulse drives – whether the altogether possible nuclear version, or the “hey, maybe in a hundred years” antimatter version.

    I’m pleased to be a part of it. Even though I quail a little at the thought of using nuclear bombs for propulsion I have to admit that there’s something sort of appealing about chucking those puppies out the back of a spaceship and hanging on. “Fire in the hole!”

    [tags]speed of light, t shirt, relativity, 186000 miles per second, retropolis, pulse drive, interstellar travel, spaceship, space ship, who needs a catalytic converter anyway[/tags]

    A T-Shirt Sale Named After Me! Or By Me.

    Filed under Hodgepodge

    Awesometastic T-Shirts Sale!

    Hey! Every so often my friends over at Printfection turn a sale on over at the servers where my Retropolis Transit Authority lives – and for about a week, you get some sort of deal on my “Nifty T-Shirts from Yesterday’s Tomorrows”. But this time they’ve done something unusual.


    They let me name the discount coupons myself!

    I know, I know, you’re thinking “self involved”. But it’s kind of a kick. Well, okay, for me, anyway. But why not enjoy my elation, if only vicariously? I’m normally so glum.

    Here’s how it works. Go look at the streamlined & modern T-Shirts at Retropolis Transit, add one or more to your cart till your order (before shipping or tax, if applicable) meets the minimum order requirements, and enter the discount coupon during your checkout.

    Hint: since the dark colored shirts clock in at just over $25, you’re almost sure to qualify for a $5 discount. And on a $100 order you almost, but not quite, get one free.

    Printfection’s impregnable fortress sits on top of the Rocky Mountains – so the sale ends at midnight, Mountain Time, on May 16.

    It Looks Like I have a Lot of Legos to Answer For

    Filed under Hodgepodge

    retro rocket in lego vitro

    Chris Giddens writes to share with me his astonishing Lego retro rocket, complete with pilot-adventurer, which he tells me was inspired by my Retropolis pictures. I can’t help but wonder whether it takes him longer to build one than it takes me to model it :). Whillikers!

    There are three photos of the little roadster rocket in his Flickr stream (here, here, and here) and those pictures share tags with some other pretty neat stuff I might otherwise have missed.

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    Down in the Basement. Where it Strains Against its Chains and Turns a Gigantic Wheel of Pain, for all Eternity. Muahahahahaha.