Angels from Another Pin
(Small and powerful, but without the Communist dictator)

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Our very own Jessica Gothie has written what I suspect is the world's first in-your-face reader's guide to Moby Dick: "Contrast. Nothing exists in itself. Whoa. Profunditity in a whaling novel." "The following question and answer socratic method to achieving clue has been brought to you by the number 6 and the letter N." If you're interested in following Jessica's guide as it was meant to be read, you will need this link to the text of Moby Dick.

You know, I think Satanists as a general rule are imbeciles, but I would pay to see them host a convention in Inglis, Florida.

30 January 2002 ::   You don't dance to Gordon Lightfoot, fools!
M-I-C K-E-Y E-N-R-O-N: Disney, it seems, has for years been shredding documents related to royalties owed to the estate of A.A. Milne for use of the character Winnie the Pooh.

Noel Tominack
29 January 2002 ::   You can't Malkovich the Malkovich's hand and say you're Malkovich.
We had a visitor yesterday who surfed by from Id Software via a Google search for Armadillo Aerospace. Hi, Mr. Carmack!

A little searching on the Web turns up an early version of the script to one of my favorite movies, The Fifth Element. The changes made between this script and the version which was filmed are enlightening.

Planning a trip to Venus? Better take a map.

28 January 2002 ::   Take this job and shove it.
It's job-change week here at Angels from Another Pin. We start you off with that perennial favorite, Dilbert.

With a little bit of scripting and the password to a remote-control network application, you can recover your sister's stolen iMac. Does the writer's AppleScript Suicide Code generate a little laughing skull-and-crossbones before destroying the alien mothership?

25 January 2002 ::   You can go careening off into the sun for all I care, you little weirdo.
Rule the Playground: The Vulcan cannon BB gun.

Noel Tominack
A satellite which cost $50,000 and which has strips of a metal tape measure as antennas is orbiting the Earth, accepting and retransmitting signals from the surface.

24 January 2002 ::   I respectfully decline the invitation to join your hallucination.
We're going to drop the One Ring into Mount Doom...just as soon as we can lever it off Frodo's finger. You know how hard it is to pry those darned bricks apart: Lego of the Rings

Mike Ryan
Religious nuts decry the danger of witchcraft and spells in fictional works such as Harry Potter and D&D. So one clever guy fights fire with satire and tries to cast the spells from the books, with the predictable results.

23 January 2002 ::   Guest starring Buzz Aldrin as the voice of the hungry bear.
With a new Indiana Jones movie now in the works, perhaps it is time to think of all the unfortunate archaeologists who struggle every day with terrifying apparitions from beyond time.

This map of Mars is beautiful, labeled, and denotes topographic data with color. Imagine that anything in blue is deep sea, and anything in green is continental shelf, and you can see a hypothetical terraformed Mars. This other map has everything which is telescopically visible labeled. More data on the topography of Mars can be found here.

22 January 2002 ::   I know when I'm hearing voices coming out of someone's head, and there are voices coming out of your head.
Sheldon Gleisser makes informational films for the state of Ohio. In his spare time he makes comedy movies. I want to be him when I grow up.

A nifty new scientific theory posits that a physical phenomenon called a gravastar is created when a large star's core collapses, instead of a black hole. Here we have negative gravity, an explanation for gamma-ray bursts, and the solution to the nasty theoretical paradoxes caused by black holes, all in one fell swoop.

21 January 2002 ::   Because no one really wants to see a picture of Bob Dole dancing around the screen in toaster pants to some Orbital track.
Any society will eventually gather myths around it. The mythology of Miami's homeless children reads like a vivid, nightmarish version of their world: God has fled, demons drift into the world through the tinted windows of Jeep Cherokees, and the forces of good are outnumbered and outgunned.

Synchronize your computer's time with the NIST atomic clock. Just like the time the astronauts use!

Project Entopia has a very clever revenue model. The game is free to play (unlike other online games, which entail a monthly charge), but special items will cost money. They expect 100,000 players will make them profitable.

18 January 2002 ::   Somewhere, in a parallel universe, Mike Resnick is writing an alternate history novel about what would have happened if Reagan had survived the assasination in 1981.
The SoloTrek XFV is a flying backpack with ducted fans and a sleek, Buck Rogers look. I want one.

Glenn Juskiewicz
Borland is a software company best known for its programming language products. Little did I know they also have an ancient history rife with Biblical overtones. It helps to know the history of Borland in order to get some of the jokes, but a general familiarity with bad management decisions will make most of the humor clear.

17 January 2002 ::   You don't have criminal tendencies, you have managerial tendencies.
There is a level of genius and dedication visible in Li'l Bill and Hill that boggles the mind. This fan site for an imaginary Saturday morning cartoon show displays a clever sense of humor, a knowledge of cartoon trivia (the one time Al speaks, he is voiced by Elizabeth Taylor), politics (Linda is used as a reference in a Psychology Today article on child bullies), and the foibles of Web fan sites (the logo for the TV network on which the show supposedly appeared is a "broken" link).

The Dr. Fun comic strip is a worthy successor to The Far Side. Recent gems include stoner cats bogarting the Habitrail bong, the top-secret Internet pixel control center, the weird life of temp-worker Ultraman, the difficulty of finding lost pets in a Lovecraftian horror story, and the danger of allowing superheroes to read philosophy.

Lord of the Rings Thumbnail Theater: One Usenet wag has written a script which explains how to compress The Lord of the Rings into only two hours. Saruman: See, all I had to do was cross out "Good" on my business cards and write "Bad," and I'm all set.

More info on the cosmic color green.

In response to September 11, a score of Buddhist monks from Atlanta are constructing a sand mandala at the Sackler Gallery in Washington. The mandala is intended for the healing and protection of America.

15 January 2002 ::   If you're not with us, you're with the pretzels.
In Alaska, believing that there are computer chips implanted in your head, thinking that you're being injected with chemicals to kill you, and failing to follow the state law regarding notifying officers you have a concealed gun aren't sufficient cause to revoke your concealed carry permit. Madness is also not a barrier to membership on the Alaska state appeals court, I suppose...

It's not quite a superintelligent shade of blue, but it's nifty nonetheless: scientists at Johns Hopkins have discovered that color of the universe is green. (A rather dull shade of green.)

14 January 2002 ::   I got kicked out of my place for being dead. Can I stay with you?
If you're running Windows 2000, you'll want to know about the canonical list of all hotfixes released since service pack 2. It's a long list. Too long.

11 January 2002 ::   He's making a mockery of the food court.
NASA has created a central location for information regarding the discovery of new planets and planetary information: Planet Quest. The site includes pictures, data on probes, and scientific commentary.

Angband comes to South Park. I never would have looked for this if not for Mike Ryan. Blame him. Or blame Canada. Your choice. (Warning: Full of cursing and other such South Park shenanigans)

10 January 2002 ::   It only takes three or four seconds to become helpless in flowing grain.
Science, ever on the lookout for unanswered questions, has determined why the Mona Lisa smiles.

Mike Ryan
Two great powers fight a terrible war. Humanity has to throw in its lot with the winning side before the war is over, or be destroyed. Interesting plot, brilliant art, and a vain hope the comic will ever be finished: Outsider.

9 January 2002 ::   That's my favourite book! Apart from all the other ones I've ever read.
My name comes up on a Webster's search for the word "untroubled." Yay me. (Actually, Webster links "untroubled" to Mark's site; my name just happens to be at the top of the page.)

Japan is considering building a space shuttle. After that, they're going to be refitting a World War Two battleship as an interstellar space cruiser... (Seriously, though: Does anyone in Japan think this plan will get past Parliament in the current economic situation?)

Everyone, please bow your heads and open your Lego sets to Deuteronomy...

Noel Tominack
8 January 2002 ::   And since when is my job title "Slap Cheese"?
The first directly observed circumstellar object is a brown dwarf. Five minutes after I read this, I saw it on Mark Sachs' weblog... Curse you, Sachs! You are always one step ahead of me!

Microsoft Hogwarts(tm): Bill Gates dresses up as Harry Potter. Who do you want to turn into a frog today?

When you absolutely, positively have to play Doom on your company's rack-mounted LAN, you need a rack-mountable gaming computer. It's designed as the LAN party enthusiast's portable computer.

Glenn Juskiewicz
James Lileks, conservative columnist and chronicler of the world's goofiest motel, uses his time machine to look back on the year 2002.

7 January 2002 ::   Your mouse is the sledge!
If you're running Windows NT 4.0 Workstation or Windows 2000 Professional, then you may want to run the Microsoft Personal Security Advisor, a free Web product which can detect a number of security holes in these Microsoft products.

Glenn Juskiewicz
Engineers are working on a method of launching aircraft from the decks of carriers using maglev--a technique which can also be applied to launching civilian rockets.

4 January 2002 ::   If it helps, visualize him as a cantaloupe.
The view from 2020: The VLT (in use in 2002) is so powerful that the Hubble occasionally acts as a finder scope for it. The hypothetical OWL telescope would be able to directly measure the chemical spectra of planets circling other stars. The solar foci probe would be able to see planets circling other stars well enough to make maps of their surface features.

This screed by a phone support tech is written with more passion than grammar, but it is a good window into the thought processes of your favorite technical person.

Mike Ryan
3 January 2002 ::   Bob is harmlessly testing Earth's magnetosphere when suddenly...
Observe: The Grand Heirarchy of Geekdom.

The story of the origins of biblical monotheism is long and involved, but strangely fascinating. It's like reading about some weird political infighting happening far away.

Are you thinking of launching a satellite to monitor the weather or control the minds of your evil minions? You need a space computer.

2 January 2002 ::   Shoot, I'm not good at this "maintaining a vague sense of all-encompassing power and doom" thing, am I?
Okay...I don't mean to scare you, but... there's a huge, scary meme crawling up your arm! (Actually, that game looks kinda cool.)

Happy palindromic new year! While you're celebrating the onrushing future, why not read about life among the Jupiter brains?

(The Side of the Angels)

A Miracle of Science

Other Pins:
Project Apollo

Glenn's LiveJournal

Alyce Wilson's Portfolio



G. Webber

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Biomechanoid

Radioactive Fanboys

Occasional Fish

House of the Whispering Woods


Maximum Verbosity


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