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Sunday, September 30, 2007

DC comics is having a comics contest through their new Zuda Comics label: the prizes are various amounts of cash. Sign me up!

There are rules to follow: the comic for the contest is to be 8 pages of 800x600 pixels. The comic can't be shown anyplace other than their site during the contest. Beyond that, anything goes.

I thought a bit about what story to tell with what characters. I decided that making something totally new would lower my chances of making a good comic: good stories take lots of time to work out the details. I settled on my favorite character at the moment: Keeley Walker and her superheroic storyline. The setting is a few issues beyond where I'm at right now. It's kind of like fast forwarding the action a little to get to some cooler stuff I've had in mind.

I had to think a lot about what specifically will occur in the comic. 8 pages isn't a lot for introducing the character, having something interesting happen, and providing some type of closure. I wrote out the first draft of the script, and now it's time to work on that some more and sketch out the thumbnails. Progress updates later, I hope. Wish me luck!

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Not Enough Happens in Peru

The Onion

Peruvians' Mysterious Illness

Nearly 150 Peruvians claim that they have been made ill by a meteor that crashed in Carangas a week ago. What do you think?

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

In lieu of actual updates, I added a few more links to the sidebar. I'll tell you a little about each of them to entice you to go... elsewhere (?). This site's sister site, which is kind of creepy because it belongs to my ex-girlfriend. She hasn't updated since May, but if you leave taunting comments in her last post, she may do something about it.

Newsarama: It's actually just comics news, which is a little odd considering the name. They seem to update often, and aren't as appalling to look at as other comic news sites. I wish they had an RSS feed though. Going to a site is so 2002.

Comics 101: This used to be part of Kevin Smith's (now Quick Stop Entertainment) but it broke away. The feature is a large series of articles written by Scott Tipton about the history of comics and comic characters. If I have to catch up on Iron Man before the comic comes out, without reading all of the comics, here is where I'd go.

Kotaku: A gaming blog which doubles as a news source. Their headlines and pictures are usually funnily appropriate.

Hardcore Gaming 101: I mentioned this site earlier here. Kind of a Comics 101 but for games, they also have articles on the lengthy history of franchises and characters. A news blog about all matters anthropology. They seem to cover the four fields fairly evenly, with a slight lean towards human evolution.

Anthropology in the News: More of a news list than a blog. They show links to other sites with current anthropology news.

The last three sites are highly recommended for readers of all backgrounds. They aim to set straight common misconceptions about important scientific matters.

Race: This site is run by the American Anthropological Association and gives evidence that what a lot of people see as set, permanent races is actually one fleeting glimpse at variation that is always changing. Even scholars who should know better (say for example, a geneticst student who is a huge jerk and attacked a very minor point I made about the non-existence of race in a presentation I gave... oh my what a tangent, sorry!) get race wrong.

Understanding Evolution: This site is made by UC Berkeley (yay!) and teaches evolution. Many people, whether they subscribe to evolution via natural selection or not, don't really understand the hows of it all. This is a great resource for learning it from the basics.

Bad Science: When I started this blog one of my goals was to talk about how the media almost inevitably misconstrues articles about science. That kind of fell by the wayside but I was very happy to find that someone already does it: Ben Goldacre, writing for the Guardian. For example he rightfully points out that the recent story on how all men are attracted to a certain hip/waist ratio and Jessica Alba's mastery of it is based on no research at all. Read his updates as the group that started that a story defends themselves pretty much by acting like jerks. There are a lot of jerks in science and pseudoscience apparently.

I hope you have fun reading some of those sites. I have a few posts of my own coming up, including a tempting contest (not of the Seinfeldian kind).

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Monday, September 3, 2007

Tripping Out

The weekend after I came back from Peru I went to visit some of the bioarchaeology students. We agreed to meet at Beckies' in Indiana, which was kind of a central location. I didn't have a license since my wallet was stolen so I spent one of my few days in Columbia standing in line at the DOT (Department of Transportation).

The drive was uneventful which is good. My iPod kept me company. It's weird driving so far alone because I'm used to taking turns with Kristin. The highlight of our get-together was the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Wisconsin. That was some week! Over the course of a few days I went from Peru to Missouri to the Renaissance.

The Faire was good, and I had a lot of delicious food like cinnamon roasted almonds and a portabella mushroom burger. It started to rain though. A lot. Since only Andrea's boyfriend was smart enough to bring an umbrella, the majority of us got completely soaked.

Link to Flickr: Me w/ wet t-shirt.

{So very cold.}

The next day I was going to visit Anna and Anthony at their new house and spend the night. I had the morning and afternoon to do whatever I wanted so I went to the Field Museum in Chicago. There was a new exhibit on the peopling of the Americas as well as a few temporary exhibits on dinosaurs and Darwin. It was like it was custom-made for me!

As it turned out, the exhibit on dinosaurs was kind of lame. When I pay money to see stuff on dinosaurs, I expect robots! But instead it was more on biomechanics and adaptation. What?! There was a cool walking model of a T-rex skeleton but the rest was very boring. The Darwin exhibit was also just Ok. They had a lot of actual items Darwin used, but I didn't find that very interesting. That's probably why I don't do historical archaeology. Now if they had his bones....

I did get some cool pictures of the Field Museum. Well, not of the two exhibits I paid for since there was no photography allowed in those (another sign of a ripoff).

Link to Flickr: A meat-eating dinosaur's skull and neck.

Link to Flickr: A bear skeleton (?).

Link to Flickr: Moche pottery.

{A Moche portrait sculpture.}

I was a little late getting back on the road but I made it to Anna and Anthonys' that evening. They had just gotten their own house so I wanted to bring them a housewarming present. I didn't really know what to get so I asked myself "What would I want for a housewarming present?" That was a dangerous question. If I asked "What would Kristin want?" I'd come up with some kitchen gadget or new sheets. But I'm not really into those. I would want a Wii. So back in those few days in Columbia I went to Super Walmart on a lark to see if they had any in stock. As it turned out, they had four so I got one for them and I had it with me as I stopped by.

It was a really fun weekend seeing everybody again. Two weeks later, last weekend, I was on the road again, but only to St. Louis. Anna and Anthony were in town for a wedding and they invited me to lunch at the Schafly Bottleworks. They had an interesting menu with bison, venison, and lots of vegetarian choices, but their food was just so-so. Dinner was a lot better: we went to Gian-Tony's for some swanky Italian food. The wait staff was eerily helpful and we almost didn't notice that we sat next to the main hallway in the restaurant. Between us all we had plans to see the City Museum, the Laumeier Sculpture Park, and the zoo, but we spent the rest of the day digesting the gigantic amount of pasta we had. All in all it was a really fun trip. I even found a comic store near the brewery.

My wanderlust is pretty much gone now so I think I'll be in Columbia for the next month or so. But in the future I plan to visit the family, and who knows what else is out there?

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