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Until April 25, SF's Civic Center is host to five giant luminescent bunnies. =:D



Music video of the week: Miike Snow "Genghis Khan", a wonderfully whimsical yarn, in the style of 60s spy thrillers. (Their The Rabbit is a brilliantly catchy track, even if only fleetingly featuring a bun. At least of the furry kind =:)

And iOS game of the week: Star Billions. Take a planetwide apocalypse and a lost spaceship, and you have the perfectly logical basis for a spaceborne version of Animal Crossing, with adorable alien AIs as your villagers. ^_^

How and why would you make extremely strong coffee? "At some point, all of us start wondering how much coffee we can drink before our hearts explode. This typically happens when we are up, very late, in college with either the panic of a final the next day or have nothing particularly better to do than try to achieve acute caffiene poisoning. What do you mean you haven’t done this? Liar. You’re letting yourself down and making Baby Jesus (ten time running All American Most Valuable Jesus) cry."

And thus began the author's experimentation into Ludicrous Caffeination.

"Figuring that this was going to be long night of cramming before the test, I collected everyone’s No-Doze and broke out the espresso maker. At 8pm I prepared a bowl of macaroni, popped two No-Doze, and washed it all down with the first quadruple mocha of the evening. Around 1am, I figured I’d better repeat the 8pm dosage. At 4am, I had two more No-Doze. At 6am, worried that I wasn’t feeling any caffeine kicking in, I popped four more and had another pot of espresso. The fact that I was still awake at 6am should have been a hint to me but I’d sailed far beyond the horizons of sanity by that time. The final began at 8am.

I sat in the front row of Thimann Lecture Hall 3, right leg bouncing. I was politely asked to take a quick lap around the building as I was vibrating the entire row of firmly bolted chairs. I then sat down for my test and completed the three hour exam in a mere twenty five minutes, scoring a 93%. I then had lunch with same friend mentioned in the “Origins of Funranium” car ride, introduced her to Sempervirens Falls in Big Basin State Park, drove back to my apartment and then promptly collapsed into bed, sleeping for 23 hours. I woke up with a more fiendish hangover than I’d ever experienced before or since. The body does not appreciate overexposure to caffeine any more than it does to alcohol. I didn’t touch a cup of coffee again for over a decade."

But that merely sowed the seed for what was to follow..

"Fast forward 14 years. An acquaintance working and living in Japan went on holiday and discovered a bar with this exceptionally beautiful rig for the preparation of Viennese Triple Cold Extraction Coffee. Upon sampling this, he felt that, and I quote, “I could see colors that weren’t in the visible spectrum, and could vibrate through walls.” I looked at this I said to myself, “Hey, you’ve got enough virgin laboratory glassware lying around the house that you could probably build something like that.” Probably several somethings, actually, but that’s beside the point."

The whole tale is fabulously entertaining, working on the right grind (and what happens with too fine a grind, as with Turkish style), and the first human trials.. and yes, you can buy the results. If you really enjoy coffee, I'd love to hear your experiences with it. ^_^ (Me, I doubt it'd make it through Customs)

Good news on the renewable energy front: wind and solar are seeing double the investment in capacity over fossil fuels. As you'd expect, as solar prices fall, installations soar.

Some great political musical fun, courtesy of German broadcaster ZDF: Be Deutsch! [Achtung! Germans on the rise!].

Okay, I'm curious.. how many of the comics I follow do you too? (Oog. I apologise to my English tutor. Though I suppose she got her revenge when I attempted, as a homework assignment on summarising a book, to distill The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

Poll #2041842 Comics!

Which of these daily comics do you follow?

Sinfest, which many of you already know. ^_^
6(22.2%)
2(7.4%)
Skin Horse, about a Black Ops team in charge of social services to sapient non-humans.
3(11.1%)
1(3.7%)
Scary Go Round, an evolving slice-of-life series brimming with dry humor.
2(7.4%)
1(3.7%)
2(7.4%)
3(11.1%)
2(7.4%)

Which of these at-least-weekly comics?

Inhuman Relations, the world of some New Jersey locals, with more than a nod to Walt Kelly.
1(2.5%)
1(2.5%)
3(7.5%)
Scandinavia and the World, Humon's personifications of Nordic and other nations.
3(7.5%)
OGLAF (sometimes very NSFW!)
4(10.0%)
Collar 6 (sometimes NSFW)
3(7.5%)
1(2.5%)
Robot Hugs, being deeply considered musings on life, society, sexuality, and more.
1(2.5%)
3(7.5%)
Never Satisfied, regarding a group of aspiring young magicians and their familiars, in a gorgeously realised Mediterranean-like town.
1(2.5%)
Snarlbear, a beautifully vividly colored fantasy tale.
1(2.5%)
Peritale, about a fairy alone in being flightless, but with implacable ambition regardless.
1(2.5%)
1(2.5%)
2(5.0%)
2(5.0%)
Swords and Sausages, comedic fantasy.
3(7.5%)
3(7.5%)
1(2.5%)
Kappa, in a world of undersea civilisations.
1(2.5%)

Which of these occasional comics?

1(33.3%)
1(33.3%)
Happle Tea, taking unorthordox angles on mythical figures.
1(33.3%)

And finally, which of these comatose strips?

1(12.5%)
The Abominable Charles Christopher, one of the most gorgeously drawn and conceived webcomics ever, sadly lain dormant.
2(25.0%)
2(25.0%)
1(12.5%)
2(25.0%)
 
 
 
 
 
 
The only comics I follow these days are Freefall, Daughter of the Lillies, and Atomic Robo. Girl Genius I check on occasionally to see if the plot has actually moved.
Ah, I should check in on Freefall again. ISTR the guy's style occasionally grating on me with blunt libertarianism (which certainly has good points, I'll admit, such as on the "war on drugs", but less so with, say, environmental responsibility, where the school of thought tends to fall back onto the comfort of externalities), but also being often novel, incisive, and plain funny.

I'll give DotL a try. I admit, I don't tend to go for classical fantasy settings, but ultimately, it all comes down to how engaging the writing is, as well as appealing artwork.

Atomic Robo's now a webcomic? Huh! I recall picking up some issues on ComiXology or the like, soon after iOS comics became A Thing.

GG I definitely should check in on - I've certainly enjoyed the Foglios' work in the past, especially the wonderfully playful XXXenophile, and Buck Godot. Is GG maintaining a regular schedule?
DotL starts out as a standard fantasy comic, but took a Sudden Genre Change recently which you may or may not agree with. [1]

Freefall seems to be finally wrapping up the Robot Emancipation arc, so I think it may be going to work on settling Florence's status.

Oh, and Sam stole a planet.

AR moved to webcomic style a few months ago, collecting arcs into paperback editions like GG. Both are on a Mon-Wed-Fri schedule.

Also forget to mention Phillip Jackson's Sequential Art which updates irregularly.

[1] Think Chronicles of Narnia.
My other comics are Questionable Content (weekdays), Go Get a Roomie (weekdays)(currently running guest strips while Chloe is away). Irregular intervals: xkcd, JL8, Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi, Two Kinds of People, The Oatmeal, Maximumble, Channelate, The System, Fredo and Pidjin, Megatokyo, and Does Not Play Well With Others (NSFW – and not as good as Exploitation Now, Poe’s best – but has Jordan Kennedy)
Forgot to say that Go Get a Roomie is NSFW
Ah! Not a problem. For me, at least. ^_^ (OGLAF may not always hit the mark, but can be brilliantly funny and quite explicit at the same time)

I'm pretty sure I was reading the PPG doujinshi at one point - maybe it got lost in one of my system migrations. And I'm not sure why I haven't added The Oatmeal yet!
QC rings a bell - that might be one I've had as a bookmark for ages, intending to return to catch up with it. (A tragic fate to befall any comic =:) xkcd I should've included - most comics I keep up with either as an OmniWeb workspace (for the dailies) or in Vienna, my RSS client, but xkcd I have as a syndicated feed in LJ, along with Wondermark.

Ye gods, Megatokyo's still running? Impressive! I definitely want to try catching up with that, though by now, that's a lot - still, I did re-read all of Sinfest a few months ago. ^_^ (Took something like a week, I think, on and off. It's quite something, seeing how it evolved from being basically a gag strip, with Monique rather shallow and self-absorbed, into a far deeper world, with its own history building up between loosely linked factions. And just who is Vainglorious? Only trouble, of course, is some of the plot threads can take a long time to wrap up)

Definitely plenty I'll be checking out! Thanks for those. ^_^
Quite a few comics on those lists that I used to follow, but ended up bumping when I realized there was not enough (or, in cases like Sinfest, nothing at all whatsoever) left to recommend them. In fact I'm just about about to bump another, SMBC.

Stuff I'm still reading includes Ask Fluffle Puff, Ask Gamer Luna (for no other reason than that it's drawn by John Joseco; otherwise I'd not bother), Ask the Princess of Friendship with Benefits (NSFW), Bizarro, Bonpun, Freefall, Irregular Webcomic! (the reruns), Optipess, Pandyland, PBF, Prequel, Sabrina Online (when I remember to check) and xkcd. Oh, and a bunch of others which are dead for all practical purposes.
Sinfest we'll have to disagree on. =:) I'm finding it tremendously rich these days, with the multiple factions occasionally linking up, and the history ever extending, introducing the occasional new mystery.

SMBC I'll admit is a bit teetering on the edge for me. The guy's inventive, but the tone of the humor's rather too often quite nihilistic. I'm not sure if that's my taste changing, or his style, but I joined his Patreon at the outset, receiving the mini-poster as a perk, and wound up cancelling a year or so later, when I realised I just wasn't enjoying it very often.

Dilbert took me a long time to drop - he occasionally has some fun ideas, but at this stage, it's all sort of just going through the motions. And then he occasionally spouts off on politics and feminism, and I just had to grit my teeth.. =:P

xkcd, as above, I ought to've included in the poll. D'oh!

Quite a few I've not heard of, plus a couple I've been aware of, but haven't added back, like PBF - is that maintaining a regular schedule these days? How's Sabrina Online going? I dropped SO a while back, when it seemed to be becoming all about the new babies. (For that matter, are they actually growing up? I always prefer it when strips permit the characters to age. Although Nine to Nine seems to be reverting to University life.. =:)
Yeah, fair enough. :) I imagine different people find different things in comics; personally I felt that not only had the strip lost everything that had initially made it appeal to me, it had also become abundantly clear, after I waited for a long time for it recover, that — well, it wouldn't.

SMBC is OK, but it's too prone to taking things to absurd conclusions. May well be what appeals to some people, but for me, if you're losing me at the third panel, you're not gonna recapture me twenty more panels further down. "Just not enjoying it very often" is pretty much spot-on.

Dilbert — that still exists? :) Dilbert was good in the first half of the nineties (the late 80s strips were not so great, but then every strip needs time to figure itself out), up to about the time that "Dilbert Future" was published. From then on I think Adams has just been milking the cow of success, as it were — not that I'm blaming him, but the strip's not great anymore. And even Garfield used to be good.

Funny that you should mention politics. That's one thing that also turns me off in strips, and it's one of the few things I dislike about Freefall. Stanley takes care to not make his political views obvious, but sometimes they shine through. Still, the strip's good enough to keep me reading.

PBF — no, that's not updating regularly, but it isn't entirely dead either. No harm in keeping it for when it does, I reckon. (Except for when "it" is a Tumblr comic where the author either posts promise after promise that they'll have something "soon", or starts reblogging all sorts of random crap nobody cares about.)

Sabrina Online's seen some developments. Timmy is growing up, and I think so's Tabitha; time IS passing in the strip, things ARE happening, and characters ARE aging, but the rate at which time's passing has slowed down so much that it's hardly noticeable with the kids. EWS has either become bogged down in the perceived need to tell things in greater and greater detail that befalls so many webcomics, or he's anxious to let the characters grow up and move into potentially unexpected directions; who knows. But Sabrina recently had a vision of the future that was quite interesting and seemed to suggest that the possibility of seeing a few years pass was still there. SO isn't the Simpsons, fortunately.

Re: the rest — Bizarro is a newspaper daily (usually single-panel) that often makes me laugh. IWC! wrapped up a few years ago after a long, drawn-out, agonizing time-travel arch; the reruns haven't reached the point where it went downhill yet, though. Optipess is decent, but often rather bleak. Pandyland updates infrequently, but has an interesting absurdist quality to it.

Finally, Prequel hasn't updated in a while either, but has seen a new prequel (heh) and a successful funding campaign that the author's presumably busy with right now. I think this is my favorite comic right now, bar none, and I really hope it'll pick up again soon. :)