Science Fiction Brewed Fresh Daily

Talk Like Warren Ellis

The other day I was telling Shadow about some of the people I follow on Twitter. I mentioned that one of them was Warren Ellis, and he asked me why I followed him. Because here is an example of one of his recent tweets:

Good morning, fluorescent sex weasels of the internet. It’s a new day, and fresh victims are everywhere.

How could you not follow that?

It appears that I am not alone in my appreciation of his turn of phrase, in that Six-Sided Space Ninja has created a site that will randomly generate phrases based on his Twitter greetings.

Warren Ellis

They sound very authentic.

Link (via, um, @warrenellis)

Posted in Books & Authors, Humor August 31st, 2009 by Chip
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Book Blog Bonanza

The Crotchety Old Fan is guaranteeing that he’ll never lack for blog posts* by taking John Ottinger’s List of Book Review Blogs and doing capsule reviews on all of them.

Here are his first three installments:

Day 1
Day 2

Keep an eye on his site for the rest. There are all kinds of good blogs just waiting to be added to your reading list.

*He never lacks for blog posts anyway. He is a blogging juggernaut.

Posted in Books & Authors August 28th, 2009 by Chip
1 comment

DIY Steampunk Maps

Steampunk MapSteampunk fan Chris Howard has posted a short tutorial on turning vintage city maps into maps of fictional places for use in gaming or as costume accessories. His method assumes you have some artistic talent, but you could do something similar with clip art.

Obviously, you don’t have to go steampunk. You could create maps of Mieville’s New Crobuzon or Poe’s Baltimore, or just use a map as a jumping-off point for a realm of your own devising. In addition game aids and props, they’d be lovely framed or used as part of an art project (books covered in old maps are especially striking).

(Cross-posted at The Art of Darkness)

Posted in News August 27th, 2009 by Chip
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Fandom Secrets

Fillion Secret

You’re probably familiar with PostSecret, a site which features secrets sent anonymously on postcards. There’s now a site called FandomSecrets which allows fans to submit their deepest secrets about actually hating Tim Burton’s films or wanting to become one of Warren Ellis’ harem girls.

As the site warns, some entries may be NSFW or contain spoilers.

(via io9)

Posted in Ephemera August 26th, 2009 by Chip
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Fossil Squid Drawn with Own Ink


We haven’t done a squid post in ages.

Paleontologists digging at a Victorian excavation in Trowbridge, UK unearthed a 150-million-year-old squid (Belemnotheutis antiquus) whose ink sac was so well-preserved that they were able to reconstitute it and draw a picture of it using its own ink. Which is either really cool or the final indignity; I’m not sure which.

Link (via The Presurfer)

Posted in Squid August 25th, 2009 by Chip
1 comment

The Bloggess vs. William Shatner

It all started when Jenny the Bloggess (whose head has been featured on BoingBoing and who routinely makes me shoot coffee out my nose anyway [“I’m going to read the Bloggess. Where’s the tarp?”]) sent a series of possibly-drunken tweets to William Shatner, to wit:

Okay, don’t ask why but I need to get William Shatner to come to my house asap.

Seriously, does anyone know him? My marriage is in peril.

Dear @WilliamShatner: I need you to come to my house to save my marriage. No sex involved.

Unless you *want* to have sex. Which is totally fine.

But not with me though because I’m married. Please bring your own hooker.


Oh my God, what am I saying? I am the worst hostess ever. I will totally provide the hooker if you just come to dinner.

I need to know your preferences though or else I’ll just default to hot Asian cheerleader.

Fuck. Dear @WilliamShatner. Please ignore my last several tweets. I’m a little drunk. And dangerously close to paying too much for travel.

Please come to my house and save me from myself.

There may or may not be hookers here.

Please give me a sign.

And then he blocked her.

And her army of loyal Twitter followers rushed to her defense.

And…just read the whole thing. Better get a tarp first.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Posted in Humor August 24th, 2009 by Chip
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Link Dump

Whedonesque Needlepoint – Joss Whedon-inspired stitchery. I especially like the Firefly/Oregon Trail mashup.

Food Photography: Star Wars Edition – Y’know, it never seems to be the kids you see playing with these action figures.

Evolution – Extremely cool animated gif.

Continent of Stupidea Under Quarantine – John C. Wright has written some interesting-looking books. I won’t be purchasing any of them.

Make a Yoda Hat – Simple sewing project.

Star Wars Bookends – Clever bookends that reenact the Trash Compactor scene.

She Crafted it with Science – Roundup of science-inspired crafty things. I love the little framed bacteria collection.

Cantina Band Galactic Tour T-shirt – They’ve got a pretty ambitious schedule.

The Greatest Bed in the Galaxy – I completely agree with Topless Robot.

Video Embedded in Print Ad – This is kind of a neat use of new technology.

On the Effectiveness of Aluminium Foil Helmets: An Empirical Study – I love MIT.

Posted in Ephemera August 21st, 2009 by Chip
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Augmented Tourism

In an effort to enrich tourists’ appreciation of historical sites, the iTACITUS (Intelligent Tourism and Cultural Information through Ubiquitous Services*) project is using augmented reality to create a virtual time machine. Tourists can snap a picture of a site, upload it to a central server, and have instant access to cultural and historical information about the location.

“[Tourists] can look at a historic site and, by taking a photo or viewing it through the camera on their mobile device, be able to access much more information about it,” explains Luke Speller, a senior researcher at BMT in the United Kingdom who oversaw development of the technology.

“They are even able to visualize, in real time, how it looked at different stages in history,” he adds.

The technology can also be used to create “smart itineraries,” choosing efficient routes to sites that match a particular tourist’s interest.

I like the idea, as Discoblog put it, of being able to say, “Look Kids, Big Ben in 1890!”

Link (via Discoblog)

*Sometimes I just want to find the people who come up with these tortuously backformed acronyms and pat them on the head.

Posted in Computers & Internet August 20th, 2009 by Chip
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More from the Chipmunk Guy

ShowtimeChris McVeigh’s photos of chipmunks interacting with Star Wars action figures were all over the blogosphere recently (I think Worst. Copilot. Ever. is my favorite). He’s got loads of other entertaining photos on Flickr, and Terry Border of Bent Objects has done an interview with him.

I had no idea that The Force had such a strong almond component.

Posted in Ephemera August 19th, 2009 by Chip
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Hell Yeah, Hubble

That’s the title of this post from Starts with a Bang, and I think it just about sums this up. It’s a 3-D flythough simulation of the Hubble’s Ultra Deep Field photos. And it is sort of amazing.

Posted in Space August 18th, 2009 by Chip
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