“I’m Offended! I’m Just Unsure HOW!”

We live in a day and age of outrage.  Perceived prejudice lives around every corner.

Internet commenters just can’t get enough of it, in particular.  So when the Wall Street Journal published a piece on Yahoo!’s CEO, Marissa Mayer, and the commenters start piling on for her questionable success at the company (to be fair, they ARE selling the company), someone sees something wrong and calls out his/her fellow commenters on it:

WSJ comments on Yahoo!'s Marissa Mayer

Personally, I think if you’re going to find fault with the cis het white women (did I miss anything?) Mayer’s job performance at Yahoo, it would likely be due to reasons of sexism. Maybe misogyny, more specifically.  The frequent references to “that girl” kind of fan those flames…

But, hey, just in case, “something like that” should cover all your other “ism”s nicely.  Don’t leave anyone out!

I have to admit, though, that I did giggle a bit at another commenter who joked (I think) that she had played Diane on “Cheers.”  She’s got the perfect look for that.

Diabetes Cured! Somehow! Only Type 2!

Here at VariousAndSundry, we scour the web for news of every new cure for diabetes that gets announced, while nobody is ever actually cures.

Today comes news that scientists have once again cured diabetes.

In rats.

With Type 2 diabetes.

But they don’t know how.

Yup, this will go far…

It does all lead to this delightful turn of phrase:

But because scientists already have the protocols and know-how to safely deliver FGF1 to human noggins via intranasal routes, moving toward clinical trials seems like a no brainer, they argue.  

They can insert this into your brain through your nose!  YES!  SIGN ME UP!  Wait, no, I’m Type 1.  Nevermind.


Drawing Abbey Chase for #MerMay

Former Disney animator and current podcaster, Tom Bancroft, came up with the idea of #MerMay, where you draw a mermaid/merman everyday for a month.  You can see his on his Tumblr.

While I’ve been a day or two behind the entire way, I’m doing my best to complete the mission.  I hope to be caught up just in time for the month’s end.

My drawing process is usually that I do a sketch in pencil in my sketchbook, scan that in, and then ink and color it in Clip Studio Paint.  This video (using Screenflow) shows all the digital work for the Abbey Chase mermaid I drew last night, after the scan has been loaded up.

The full video ran 20 minutes, so I sped it up to about two and a half. Here we go:

I know what you’re thinking, and I agree: That gun is awful.

All of my #MerMay drawings can be found on my Instagram page.


Finally, They’ve Restored The Marx Bros.

At least five of the original movies have been digitally cleaned up and, in some cases, with lost or cut footage restored.

I watched a couple of these movies last year and loved them all over again, but wondered why nobody had come in and done a better restoration.  I figured it was a money thing and there wasn’t enough interest in it from studios too busy putting out billion dollar blockbusters.

Thankfully, I was wrong.

There’s no planned Blu-ray release schedule yet, but I’m sure we’ll get one eventually.  I am a patient man.

Schade points out that a print of Animal Crackers was located in the British Film Institute archives, and it contains bits of monkey business that were cut by American censors, including the excised lyric “I think I’ll try and make her” from the song “Hooray for Captain Spaulding,” as well as a bit where Harpo, rolled-up newspaper in hand, plays “slap-ass” with a society dame.

Hello, Nurse!

Update: I first wrote of my excitement about the Marx Bros. movies coming to DVD in 2004 on this very blog.  The money quote from that:

Yes, five others were released years ago, but they received no special attention. There aren’t any special bonus features added to them, the prints weren’t cleaned up at all, and they were released almost like they were public domain films someone was trying to dump.

It only took twelve years (or more)…

The Greatest Quora Answer of All Time

My vote for Best Quora Answer Ever is still this answer from Elliot S. Maggin (yes, the comic writer) about security for the President.  Makes me wonder jow many other great stories there are out there…

On a whim, a friend of mine went to play a round of golf at the Hillcrest Country Club in Los Angeles one day. Somewhere among the first nine holes he realized that the foursome behind him included the then-current sitting president, Bill Clinton. My friend looked around, noted that the big golf course was surrounded on all sides with hills peppered with high-end houses.


Click through for the rest…

The Day the Bird Died

It’s the 15th anniversary of that fateful day of Major League Baseball when a bird flew in the way of a Randy Johnson pitch and instantly exploded/vaporized.


Mourning Dove, like the one Randy Johnson hit

By derivative work: Snowmanradio (talk)Zenaida_macroura_-California-8.jpg: Don DeBold – originally posted to Flickr as Dove by Almaden Lake and uploaded to commons as Zenaida_macroura_-California-8.jpg, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4680992


Newsweek asked some ornithologists for their thoughts on the incident.  The best one is in the conclusion:

There are many reasons why Mr. Johnson should not feel bad about this event. First, the mourning dove is one of the most common species in urban areas of Arizona and across the country, and it is not a species of conservation concern. So he didn’t impact the future of a species or anything like that. Second, although he did hit the bird outside of the dove season in Arizona, which happens in September, it is a game species, and there are plenty of hunters who wish they could get off such a clean shot. Third, millions of birds are killed each year by outside cats, glass windows, wind turbines, airplanes and other human-related problems. So in perspective, it is just an amazing coincidence that got caught on camera.

Go is the New Poker?

And so it ends, with Google’s AI winning 4 out of 5 Go games against a top Korean player.

A few days ago, this part of an article after the third game caught my eye:

The machine plays like no human ever would—quite literally. […] The result is a machine that often makes the most inhuman of moves.


This happened in Game Two—in a very big way. With its 19th move, AlphaGo made a play that shocked just about everyone, including both the commentators and Lee Sedol, who needed nearly fifteen minutes to choose a response. The commentators couldn’t even begin to evaluate AlphaGo’s move, but it proved effective. Three hours later, AlphaGo had won the match.  

Remember when the amateur players flooded the poker playing community about 15 years ago? Just after Chris Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker?  Many long time professionals were baffled.  The new kids were playing a completely different game, often informed by playing thousands of hands of poker — often four or more at a time — at home on their computers.

The game changed and everyone had to adapt.

Many professional poker players adapted by taking on endorsement deals, hitching their stars to shady on-line poker sites, and teaching the game.

Isn’t that always the way, though?  The first to make money wind up teaching it to the throngs who want to follow in their footsteps. And 99% of them won’t, but they’ll splash some money around, anyway.

Your Birthday on the Internet

Your birthday is the day that you’re reminded of any message boards you joined in the last twenty years:

birthday email greetings from message board forums

And that CVS thinks you’re beautiful. Aw, shucks.

Also, it’s a reminder that Google KNOWS you.

Google's logo changes for your birthday

…which, I have to admit, is pretty cool.

It’s also the one day of the year everyone remembers you’re on Facebook, and you feel guilty about all the people you didn’t wish a happy birthday back to in the last year.

I’m on the Elixir Fountain Podcast!

Elixir Drop records a podcast with Elixir Fountain

Recorded on Wednesday, today sees the release of my conversation with the ever-amiable Johnny Winn on the topic of Elixir. And Phoenix. And Perl. And Ruby. I may have even mentioned Haskell at some point in there. We cover a lot of stuff. (And then we talked comics, naturally.)

It was only afterwards that I realized I’m a complete blabbermouth and didn’t go too deep on any one topic and likely will need to explain myself at length on a couple of things after the fact.

In other words: More blogging material! =)

But if you have any questions, leave a comment or send me a tweet, and I might just make a post here out of it. Thanks!


(Cross-posted from VariousAndSundry.com/cs)

Joe Dante and Chuck Jones

25 years ago, Joe Dante developed a movie that would have been a dramatization of the Warner Bros. animation unit/Termite Terrace in the 30s and 40s.  It’s a movie many of us would kill to see to this day.

It never got made.

Pity.  Sounds like perfect Oscar bait. Nothing Hollywood loves more than movies about Hollywood.

In any case, this will likely be as close as we ever get to the movie: a six minute interview with Dante describing how the project came to be and why it died so young.  (“Space Jam.”  Ugh)



(Via Cartoon Brew)

Diabetes Still Not Cured; Insulin Ain’t Cheap

I admit, I’m protected against this by a good health care plan, but I know how ridiculous the prices are — especially when I did take more one month and am close to running out before the renewal date.

In the United States, just three pharmaceutical giants hold patents that allow them to manufacture insulin: Eli Lilly, Sanofi and Novo Nordisk. Put together, the “big three” made more than $12 billion in profits in 2014, with insulin accounting for a large portion.   What makes this so worrisome is that the big three have simultaneously hiked their prices. From 2010 to 2015, the price of Lantus (made by Sanofi) went up by 168 percent; the price of Levemir (made by Novo Nordisk) rose by 169 percent; and the price of Humulin R U-500 (made by Eli Lilly) soared by 325 percent.  

I’ve used two of the three of those in my life.

To make insulin affordable, we need more competition. Nothing would do this faster than a “generic” form of insulin. (Technically, because insulin is made using bacteria, it should be referred to as a “biosimilar” instead of a “generic.”) Unfortunately, there isn’t one available in the United States.

Don’t hold your breath, kids.

Star Wars: Back to Basics


A new (unauthorized) release of Star Wars gets back to the original. They recreated the original movie with the mission to not change a single thing. Let the imperfections fly!

I’d love to own a clean copy of the original Star Wars trilogy, like most people my age. But I do have to admit that I wouldn’t mind it so much if they cleaned it a little to get rid of the visible strings and matte boxes and whatnot. Don’t change anything in the movie; just clean up the dirty spots. Keep the final dog fight as it originally was. Greedo shoots first. Yes, even keep the guy in the werewolf halloween mask.

All the Presidents’ Heads

I’m almost in awe of this.

Presidental portraits in stone

There was a park opened in the 2000s that featured Rushmore-like rock sculptures of all the presidents up to that point. They’re each 20 feet tall. The park closed a few years ago, and a farmer nearby took all the sculptures for his backyard.

Click through the link to see some more pictures of the site. It’s eerie and cool and crazy all at the same time.