US Horror Movie Death Count: How Safe Is Your State?

I know we just had a not entirely scientific pop culture article, but when CableTV.com reached out to me with this, I couldn’t resist sharing. “US Horror Movie Death Count: How Safe Is Your State?” Awww, yeah.

So, what is the methodology? Pretty solid. “First, we narrowed down Rotten Tomatoes’ 200 Best Horror Movies of All Time to include only movies with a US location. Then, we found the number of deaths in each film using Bodycounters.com and Fandom’s list of deaths.

With 63 films containing over 1,300 frightening fates, we totaled how many cinematic slaughters stack up in each state. (And if you’re in one of the 26 states not included, you should be safe . . . for now.)

Death totals include some non-human characters, and we did not include any deaths that weren’t shown on screen.”

Here’s the regional breakdown:
Northeast: 954 deaths
West: 225 deaths
Midwest: 108 deaths
South: 93 deaths

Apparently living near the coastline helps balance out your odds: The twenty non-coastal states accounted for nearly 59% of the horror movie deaths while the thirty coastal states accounted for just over 41% of the total kills.

Okay, no more teasing, here are the deadliest states according to horror movies:

State          Number of Deaths          Number of Movies
Pennsylvania          615                       6
New York              254                       7
California            163                       17
Maine                 60                        4
Illinois              45                        4
Ohio                  39                        4
South Carolina        36                        1
Nevada                34                        1
Missouri              16                        1
Texas                 15                        2
West Virginia         14                        1
Massachusetts         13                        1
Utah                  13                        1
Rhode Island          12                        1
Virginia              10                        1
Michigan              8                         2
Colorado              7                         2
North Carolina        7                         1
Florida               5                         1
Washington            5                         1
Tennessee             4                         1
Oregon                3                         1
Washington D.C.       2                         1

You can read the whole report by Trevor Wheelwright here.

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The Most Valuable Fan Collectibles

Everybody collects something. You might not consider yourself a “collector” because perhaps the thing you collect has a practical use, or won’t increase in value, or you just don’t. Nobody gets to define you except you, right? I refer to myself and my husband as “eccentric collectors” because it sounds classier than pack rat or hoarder.

Knowing that everyone collects SOMETHING, I was intrigued by a press release sent to me about what fandom has the most valuable collectibles. Even though most of us don’t acquire and hold onto things with the intention of it appreciating in value (I take my Funkos out of the box!), it’s still interesting, right? You want to know, don’t you?

The list was put together by FandomSpot.com, a website devoted to, you guessed it, assorted fandoms. Sadly, FandomSpot didn’t include their methodology. The list was put together by, “pop culture memorabilia experts to compile this list, which includes general memorabilia, props, cards, and figures from a variety of fandoms including anime, fantasy, sci-fi, and superhero.” And I certainly cannot imagine encompassing EVERY fandom, and all sorts of other disclaimers, but with that said, here’s the list:

1. Pokémon – Pikachu Illustrator card – $233,000
2. One Piece – Solid Gold Monkey D Luffy – $200,000
3. Gundam – Solid Gold Gundam Converge – $200,000
4. Gundam – Solid Gold RX-78-2 Gundam – $200,000
5. Star Wars – Rocket Launcher Boba Fett – $150,000
6. Star Wars – Obi-Wan Kenobi With Double Telescoping Lightsaber (1977) – $76,700
7. Harry Potter – First edition book of Philosopher’s Stone – $51,680
8. Pokémon – First Edition Shadowless Holographic Charizard card – $50,000
9. Star Wars – Brazilian Glasslite Vlix Figure (1988) – $45,000
10. Game of Thrones – The Iron Throne Official TV Prop – $30,000
11. Pokemon – Magikarp Tamamushi University Promo Card – $27,000
12. Dr Who – 50th Anniversary 9ct Gold Doctor Who Ingot – $15,357
13. GOT – Game Of Thrones Pinball Machines – $9,000
14. Harry Potter – Wax sealed prop envelope – $6,500
15. Dr Who – Full Size Giant Robot figure – $3,841
16. Dr Who – Limited Edition Sevens Movie Dalek – $3,494
17. Game of Thrones – Full set of 1st edition books – $3,000
18. Marvel – 32 inch Sentinel figure – $2,800
19. Marvel – 1976 Marvelmania Ghost Rider figure – $2,595
20. Supernatural – Dual Wardrobe Card OM21 – $1,290

Most of the big fandoms are represented. I’m surprised to not see DC Comics, Disney, or maybe Lord of the Rings in the top 20, but it’s hard to argue with what’s there.

FandomSpot seems like a fun site too. I also learned that they’re offering $4,000 to binge watch Studio Ghibli films. You can learn about that here.

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The Wakanda Files

Attention Marvel fans! Epic Ink was kind enough to send me a copy of their new book “The Wakanda Files: A Technological Exploration of the Avengers and Beyond” by Troy Benjamin, and it is a Marvel Cinematic Universe fan dream.

“The Wakanda Files” is framed as a compilation of Shuri’s research of the advanced technology of the MCU. Shuri is T’Challa / Black Panther’s intelligent, savvy, younger sister, so it makes since that “The Wakanda Files” reflect her accumulated knowledge of human enhancement, weapons, artificial intelligence, armor, and more from the MCU. As anything worthy of the Shuri name, “The Wakanda Files” is full color, hardcover, with a frosted plastic slipcase. It also comes with a UV light that when shined on pages reveals extra information printed in UV ink.

I wish I could hand the book to you through the screen, so you feel the quality.

Sexy hardcover.The center “bead” is the UV light.


Hard to photograph, but the UV light works!


You know Shuri was all up in Pim’s business.


Loads of schematics throughout!


Loads to geek out on!

With so much content, “The Wakanda Files” would make a great gift for any fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe!

You can learn more here.

Shop your local indie bookstore <---This is an affiliate link to IndieBound, which supports independent bookstores throughout the United States. If you use this link to purchase the book, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Do you enjoy The Magical Buffet? Considering supporting The Magical Buffet on Patreon! For only $5 a month you’ll receive monthly tarot/oracle forecasts, classes, and behind the scenes updates! https://www.patreon.com/magicalbuffet

Docu-mania!

Have you been spending more time at home? Well, you should be, there IS a pandemic going on after all. I should be using this time to accomplish loads of things, but honestly, I’m not. Sure, some people are learning new skills, or getting shape, but there is nothing wrong with just maintaining. That’s pretty much what I do…. maintain.

An odd, but welcome development is that I have been all about watching documentaries. In a world of limitless new entertainment content, for some reason I have settled on this. I have been watching loads of them, from various streaming services. In case you have been looking for a diversion from your usual entertainment I thought I would highlight the tons of documentaries I have been watching.

Remastered: Devil at the Crossroad (Netflix)
Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil to become the greatest bluesmen to ever live. This fantastic documentary dives into the life, death, and legend of Robert Johnson, who was one of the greatest bluesmen to ever live.

Kathy Griffin: A Hell of Story (Amazon Prime)
I have ALWAYS loved Kathy Griffin, and this “docu-comedy” just makes me love her even more. Follow the fallout from the publication of the infamous photograph of her holding Trump’s severed head and into her comeback. All of it culminates with a fantastic stand up special that is not to be missed!

Bill Nye: Science Guy (Netflix)
An intriguing look behind the scenes of Bill Nye’s life. It covers his roots as the “Science Guy” to his strong second act of becoming the public face of science in the climate change debate. What’s nice about this documentary is that it shows Nye as a human being, prone to ego and fear as well as a kind-hearted proponent of science.

Tickled (Hulu)
This documentary begins with the directors attempting to make a film about the world of “competitive endurance tickling”. Believe it or not, it gets jaw droppingly weirder from there. Welcome to the unintentional conspiracy film you never knew you needed.

The Brink (Hulu)
This film follows Steve Bannon from getting booted from Donald Trump’s administration through his attempt to create an international super group of nationalist world leaders, and the United States mid-term elections. It is presented judgement free, but trust me, you will judge him.

Get Me Roger Stone (Netflix)
Some people love to be the villain, and Roger Stone is one of them. This neutrally presented documentary will leave your jaw on the ground…. or else you might not have a soul.

Struggle: The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski (Netflix)
A genius sculptor, the underground comix scene, Nazis, redemption, the nature of language, and more are to be found in this riveting documentary. Hands down an amazing story. It is hard to encapsulate, you will just need to trust me when I say, watch it.

Have you seen any of these? If you have, or watch some of them, leave me on comment on The Magical Buffet’s social media letting me know what you though!

Do you enjoy The Magical Buffet? Considering supporting The Magical Buffet on Patreon! For only $5 a month you’ll receive monthly tarot/oracle forecasts, classes, and behind the scenes updates! https://www.patreon.com/magicalbuffet

International Talk Like a Pirate Day 2019

Ahoy mateys! It be International Talk Like a Pirate Day! A day to celebrate pirates of the past, and it’s a high holy day for the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster! This holiday has been acknowledged on The Magical Buffet website nearly every year since we switched to the blog format! As the holiday approached, I did an informal poll on social media as to whether I should bother with the holiday, and if so, what I should say.

In a not so surprising turn, everyone wants to see some rum! Of course, then I was left wondering what rum thing I was going to write. As with all matter’s alcohol, I turned to the Master Po to my Kwai Chang Caine, Warren Bobrow. (You may remember we spoke about rum on a previous International Talk Like a Pirate Day.) I reached for “The Craft Cocktail Compendium” he wrote and found what I was looking for!

Sailor’s Friend
This toddy is built with simple, honest materials that haven’t changed much over the years: hot water, a large dose of spiced rum, and lemon – a trinity that can’t help but hasten the old closed-eye relaxation. And we have seamen of yore to thank for the popularity: Sailors whose watch was scheduled for the middle of the night would have to force themselves to sleep during the day, whether they liked it or not. This historically accurate toddy would have been a sailor’s best friend when cold, misty weather made it difficult to get some shut-eye. Plus, honey has been used as an expectorant since Roman times. Today, it’s still a powerful ally against scratchy sore throats and those pesky, chesty coughs that can keep you tossing and turning at night.


Turns out the recipe is super easy. Warm up a mug with hot water. Dump out the water. Pour yourself 3 ounces of dark, spiced rum. Top off your mug some more boiling water. Add honey to taste and lemon to prevent scurvy!


Considering how long I’ve been a rum drinker, it’s incredible that I’ve never tried a toddy type rum drink before. It’s delicious! Also, warm lemon smells delicious. Every time I put the mug to my lips I inhale deeply. I suspect I’ll be drinking these all winter long.

And there ye’ have it me hardies, rum for International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Consider showing the always amazing Warren Bobrow some love by checking out his books on IndieBound.org! (These are affiliate links to IndieBound, which supports independent bookstores throughout the United States. If you use these links to purchase a book, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you.)

Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics
Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics

The Craft Cocktail Compendium
The Craft Cocktail Compendium

Apothecary Cocktails
Apothecary Cocktails

Super Soldiers

If you follow me on social media, particularly my personal Twitter (@ElsonRebecca), you know I’m a fan of comic books. However, I haven’t read a lot of superhero comics and with the rise of the superhero comic book movie I’d like to learn more. That’s why I agreed to read “Super Soldiers: A Salute to Comic Book Heroes and Villains Who Fought for Their Country” by Jason Inman. Well, that and the delightful endorsements from a variety of interesting folks like Dan Aykroyd, Anthony Swofford (author of “Jarhead”), Joshua Hale Fialkov (writer of “I, Vampire” and “The Ultimates”), Dan Jurgens (writer/artist of “Superman” and “Captain America” and creator of Booster Gold), and more!

Let’s get to what you really want to know, who did Inman write about? Here we go, starting at the top: Captain America, Gravedigger, Captain Marvel, War Machine, Green Lantern (John Stewart), Captain Atom, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Flash Thompson, Isaiah Bradley, Sgt. Rock, Batwoman, Beetle Bailey (that’s right, Beetle motherflarkin’ Bailey), Nuke, The Punisher, Deathstroke, and Nick Fury.

Now, why do we care what Inman has to say? Well firstly, Inman is a comic book lover and writes about their characters with obvious affection and enthusiasm. He is the co-creator and co-writer of “Science!” for Bedside Press and “Jupiter Jet” for Action Lab Entertainment. He was also the host of DC All Access, DC Comics official web series, for over three years. And you know, before becoming a writer he served in the U.S. Army and Kansas Army National Guard, deploying as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. This means that not only does he talk about the characters military experience, but he compares that with his own. It offers a different perspective.

So, if you’re looking for an interesting introduction to world of comic superhero characters, “Super Soldier” by Jason Inman is the book for you!

You can learn more here.

Shop your local indie bookstore<---This is an affiliate link to IndieBound, which supports independent bookstores throughout the United States. If you use this link to purchase the book, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Batman: Gotham By Gaslight

At the end of January “Batman: Gotham by Gaslight” was released direct to video. It’s an animated feature based on the stand alone comic of the same name. I never read the comic, so when I learned the movie was out on DVD I picked it up, and well, I have feelings to share.

Let’s start with the film’s description from the back of the case:

It’s the Bat against the Butcher!
Gotham City, at the turn of the century, is experiencing a golden era of discovery and industry as showcased by affluent businessman Bruce Wayne’s World Fair. Down in the darkest alleys, however, there is a killer on the loose. Preying on the city’s women, this killer is precise as he is cruel. As Commissioner James Gordon tries to calm the fears of Gotham’s citizens over the butcher named Jack the Ripper, masked vigilante Batman does some detective work of his own, with the help of the sultry and surefooted Selina Kyle. Witness a world in flames as the killer’s controlled savagery meets the calculated stealth of the Dark Knight!

That relays the gist of the film quite nicely. Seriously, who can resist a dark, Victorian era version of Batman? Not this gal. However there is the weird feeling that they couldn’t convey the era without beating you over the head with it. For comic book folks, it’s generally believed that Gotham is a stand in for New York City (and Superman’s Metropolis is Chicago). Yet not only did they drop Chicago’s World Fair, complete with ferris wheel into NYC, but Batman is pursuing Jack the Ripper who we all know was a British problem. I get that this is a whole alternative universe thing, but it did feel kind of wonky.

Now let’s discuss the star of the show, Selina Kyle. This a fantastic version of the character. A shrewd business woman, a badass brawler, and a sexy show girl. Way cooler than Bruce Wayne or Batman. In the film she invents the Bat Signal and alternate universe or not, I’ve decided it is canon and that’s that.

The story, which I assume at least this part matches the comic, takes a surprise twist at the end, which I found pretty daring and well done. I won’t say more for fear of spoiling it.

The film is rated R for violence, but compared to many Jack the Ripper stories, the violence if fairly tame and never feels gratuitous.

Yes I had some petty gripes, but the good definitely outweighs the bad. If you dig Batman and the whole Victorian Era Steampunk thing, “Gotham by Gaslight” is worth checking out.

Spidey Saves the Day!

By Bob Batchelor

All lean muscles and tautness, a new superhero bursts from the page. Swinging right into the reader’s lap, the hero is masked, only alien-like curved eyes reveal human features, no mouth or nose is visible. His power is alarming: casually holding a ghoulish-looking criminal in one hand, while simultaneously swinging from a hair-thin cord high above the city streets. In the background, tiny figures stand on rooftops, looking on and pointing in what can only be considered outright astonishment.

The superhero is off-center, frozen in a moment, as if a panicked photographer snapped a series of frames. The image captures the speed, almost like flight, with the wind at his back. The hero’s deltoid ripples and leg muscles flex. Some mysterious webbing extends from his elbow to waist. Is this a man or creature from another world?

The answer is actually neither. Looking at the bright yellow dialogue boxes running down the left side of the page, the reader learns the shocking truth. This isn’t a grown man, older and hardened, like Batman or Superman, one an existential nightmare and the other a do-gooder alien. No, this hero is just a self-professed “timid teenager” named Peter Parker. The world, he exclaims, mocks the teen under the mask, but will “marvel” at his newfound “awesome might.”

It is August 1962. Spider-Man is born.

Spider-Man’s debut in a dying comic book called Amazing Fantasy happened because Stan Lee took a calculated risk. He trusted his instincts. Rolling the dice on a new character meant potentially wasting precious hours writing, penciling, and inking a title that might not sell. The business side of the industry constantly clashed with the creative, forcing fast scripting and artwork to go hand-in-hand.

In more than two decades toiling as a writer and editor, Lee watched genres spring to life, and then almost as quickly, readers would turn to something else. War stories gave way to romance titles, which might then ride a wave until monster comics became popular. In an era when a small group of publishers controlled the industry, they kept close watch over each other’s products in hopes of mimicking sales of hot titles or genres.

Lee calls Marvel’s publisher Martin Goodman, “One of the great imitators of all time.” Goodman dictated what Lee wrote after ferreting out tips and leads from golf matches and long lunches with other publishers. If he heard that westerns were selling for a competitor, Goodman would visit Lee, bellowing, “Stan, come up with some Westerns.” This versatility had been Lee’s strength, swiftly writing and plotting many different titles. He often used gimmicks and wordplay, like recycling the gunslinger Rawhide Kid in 1960 and making him into an outlaw or using alliteration, as in Millie the Model.

A conservative executive, Goodman rarely wanted change, which irked Lee. The writer bristled at his boss’s belittling beliefs, explaining, “He felt comics were really only read by very, very young children or stupid adults,” which meant “he didn’t want me to use words of more than two syllables if I could help it…Don’t play up characterization, don’t have too much dialogue, just have a lot of action.” Given the precarious state of publishing companies, which frequently went belly-up, and his long history with Goodman, Lee admits, “It was a job; I had to do what he told me.”

Despite being distant relatives and longtime coworkers, the publisher and editor maintained a cool relationship. From Lee’s perspective, “Martin was good at what he did and made a lot of money, but he wasn’t ambitious. He wanted things to stay the way they were.”

Riding the wave of critical success and extraordinary sales of The Fantastic Four, Goodman gave Lee a simple directive: “Come up with some other superheroes.” The Fantastic Four, however, subtly shifted the relationship. Lee wielded greater authority. He used some of the profit to pay writers and editors more money, which then offloaded some of the pressure.

Launching Spider-Man, however, Lee did more than divert the energy of his staff. He actually defied Goodman.

For months, Lee grappled with the idea of a new superhero with realistic challenges that someone with superpowers would face living in the modern world. The new character would be “a teenager, with all the problems, hang-ups, and angst of any teenager.” Lee came up with the colorful “Spider-Man” name and envisioned a “hard-luck kid” both blessed and cursed by acquiring superhuman strength and the ability to cling to walls, just like a real-life spider.

Lee recalls pitching Goodman, embellishing the story of Spider-Man’s origin by claiming that he got the idea “watching a fly on the wall while I had been typing.” He laid the character out in full: teen, orphan, angst, poor, intelligent, and other traits. Lee thought Spider-Man was a no-brainer, but to his surprise, Goodman hated it and forbade him from offering it as a standalone book.

The publisher had three complaints: “people hate spiders, so you can’t call a hero ‘Spider-Man’”; no teenager could be a hero “but only be a sidekick”; and a hero had to be heroic, not a pimply, unpopular kid. Irritated, Goodman asked Lee, “Didn’t [he] realize that people hate spiders?” Given the litany of criticisms, Lee recalled, “Martin just wouldn’t let me do the book.”

Realizing that he could not completely circumvent his boss, Lee made the executive decision to put Spider-Man on the cover of a series that had previously bombed, called Amazing Fantasy. Readers didn’t like AF, which featured thriller/fantasy stories by Lee and surreal art by Steve Ditko, Marvel’s go-to artist for styling the macabre, surreal, or Dali-esque. It seemed as if there were already two strikes against the teen wonder.

Despite these odds and his boss’s directive, Lee says that he couldn’t let the nerdy superhero go: “I couldn’t get Spider-Man out of my mind.” He worked up a Spider-Man plot and handed it over to Marvel’s top artist, Jack Kirby. Lee figured that no one would care (or maybe even notice) a new character in the last issue of a series that would soon be discontinued.

With Spider-Man, however, Kirby missed the mark. His early sketches turned the teen bookworm into a mini-Superman with all-American good looks, like a budding astronaut or football star. Lee put Ditko on the title. His style was more suited for drawing an offbeat hero.

Ditko nailed Spider-Man, but not the cover art, forcing Lee to commission Kirby for the task, with Ditko inking. Lee could not have been happier with Ditko. He explained: “Steve did a totally brilliant job of bringing my new little arachnid hero to life.” They finished the two-part story and ran it as the lead in AS #15. Revealing both the busy, all-hands state of the company and their low expectations, Lee recalled, “Then, we more or less forgot about him.” As happy as Lee and Ditko were with the collaboration and outcome, there is no way they could have imagined that they were about to spin the comic book world onto a different axis.

The fateful day sales figures finally arrived. Goodman stormed into Lee’s office, as always awash in art boards, drawings, mockups, yellow legal pads, and memos littering the desk.

Goodman beamed, “Stan, remember that Spider-Man idea of yours that I liked so much? Why don’t we turn it into a series?”

If that wasn’t enough to knock Lee off-kilter, then came the real kicker: Spider-Man was not just a hit, the issue was in fact the fastest-selling comic book of the year, and maybe that decade. Lee recalls that AF skyrocketed to number one.

The new character would be the keystone of Marvel’s superhero-based lineup. More importantly, the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man transformed Marvel from a company run by imitating trends into a hot commodity. In March 1963, The Amazing Spider-Man #1 burst onto newsstands.

Fans could not get enough of the teen hero, so Lee and Marvel pushed the limits. Spider-Man appeared in Strange Tales Annual #2 (September 1963), a 72-page crossover between him and the Human Torch. And in Tales to Astonish, which had moved from odd, macabre stories to superheroes, Spidey guest-starred in #57 (July 1964), which focused on Giant-Man and Wasp. When The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 appeared in 1964, with Lee dubbing himself and Ditko “the most talked about team in comics today,” it featured appearances by every Marvel hero, including Thor, Dr. Strange, Captain America, and the X-Men.

Spider-Man now stood at the center of a comic book empire. Stan Lee could not have written a better outcome, even if given the chance.

All this from a risky run in a dying comic book!

About Bob Batchelor:Batchelor, who teaches at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, is the author of more than 25 books, including “Stan Lee: The Man Behind Marvel” (Rowman & Littlefield, September 2017, adult trade, retail $22.95). Amazon: http://amzn.to/2q4lNYe

A lifelong comic book fan and noted media resource, he has been an editorial consultant for numerous outlets and been quoted in or on BBC Radio World Service, Today.com, Columbus Dispatch, msnbc.com, The Miami Herald, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Dallas Morning News, Taiwan News, Associated Press, The Guardian, and The Washington Post.

Batchelor is the author of “Mad Men: A Cultural History”, “John Updike: A Critical Biography”, and “Gatsby: The Cultural History of the Great American Novel”, among others. He is a noted popular culture commentator and editor.

Geek Month in Review: September 2015

By JB Sanders

You know, Fall’s coming…

A Record Player, with Lasers
Stop making Dr. Evil gestures! It’s a real record player, vinyl disks of grooves, only instead of crude needle jolting through the channels, it uses lasers. No damage to the original at all. Plus if the record is already dinged up, it’ll compensate.

Lost Tunnels of Liverpool
So, there are these tunnels underneath the city of Liverpool — which is not exactly odd, except that no one knows who made them, or why. They’re over 200 years old, too, so it’s a mystery with some dust on it.

Archaeologists Reconstruct Doggerland
Remember that island off the east coast of England? No? It so totally used to be there, about 8000 years ago. Then the sea levels rose.

Recover Sound from Silent Video — and More!
This is some straight-up science fiction, here, only now it’s science fact.

Prosthetic Hand That Can Feel
DARPA researchers have created a prosthetic hand that can actually send a sense of touch to the wearer’s brain.

That’s Not Slow Motion, This is Slow Motion
Scientists have developed a camera that takes a trillion pictures a second. Yeah, you read that right. A trillion, with a “t”. It slows things down so much, they can observe light moving across an object.

Touch Screen That Grows Buttons
Those crafty folks at MIT are working on a screen that creates real buttons when you need them, right on the screen.

Blindsight and Human Consciousness
There’s more to human perception, and to human consciousness, then … er … meets the eye. It starts with a guy who is blind in one eye, but in repeated tests can still somehow perceive out of it. It gets stranger from there.

About John:
John’s a geek from way back. He’s been floating between various computer-related jobs for years, until he settled into doing tech support in higher ed. Now he rules the Macs on campus with an iron hand (really, it’s on his desk).

Geek Credentials:
RPG: Blue box D&D, lead minis, been to GenCon in Milwaukee.
Computer: TRS-80 Color Computer, Amiga 1000, UNIX system w/reel-to-reel backup tape
Card games: bought Magic cards at GenCon in 1993
Science: Met Phil Plait, got time on a mainframe for astronomy project in 1983

Geek Month in Review: August 2015

By JB Sanders

Not as hot as expected August…

Roomba Makers Exploring Autonomous Lawn Mower
Yup, robotic lawn mowers, just trimming away on their own. What could go wrong?

HyperLoop Actually Happening
Remember that crazy scifi pneumatic tube train that Elon Musk (super villain in training) was talking about a while ago? Sounded like a crazy, looney-tunes idea, right? Super-high-speed trains, running in tubes with little or no air, and getting places in an hour that normally require six. Yeah, that. They’re starting construction in 2016. Really.

Oldest Message-in-a-Bottle Found
At over 100 years old, this bottle has been floating around for a long, long time.

Real Locked Room Puzzle
Apparently, there’s a craze spreading around where people build real locked-room puzzles. Remember those things in video games where you find yourself locked in a room, and have to solve a variety of mechanical (or magical!) puzzles to unlock the door. Well, now people are doing that in real life.

Integrated Space Plan
Originally conceived by scientist Ron Jones, the “wildly detailed” plan to map how humans will expand into space has recently been updated. It sets out milestones and technology we’ll need to do things like permanently settle Mars, create a self-sustaining Moon base, and other fun items. Plus it comes in a handy poster form!

About John:
John’s a geek from way back. He’s been floating between various computer-related jobs for years, until he settled into doing tech support in higher ed. Now he rules the Macs on campus with an iron hand (really, it’s on his desk).

Geek Credentials:
RPG: Blue box D&D, lead minis, been to GenCon in Milwaukee.
Computer: TRS-80 Color Computer, Amiga 1000, UNIX system w/reel-to-reel backup tape
Card games: bought Magic cards at GenCon in 1993
Science: Met Phil Plait, got time on a mainframe for astronomy project in 1983
His Blog:http://www.glenandtyler.com/