Sunday, February 25, 2007

Better Sunday Comics

There’s really no good reason why the Sunday Comics should be as bad as they are. Even the big syndicates distribute some good strips including—wait for it—Judge Dread.

Here are some of the more interesting ones. The text is from the PR hype. CLICK EACH IMAGE TO ENLARGE AND READ.

An exciting adventure strip drawn in cutting-edge artistic style, MYTHIC LEGENDS brings alive periods of history that have long been forgotten. Stimulating, but never too violent, this series holds the attention of young readers and leaves them yearning for more.

Judge Dredd
Holy Smokes! Judge Dread in the Sunday Funnies?!

Ink Pen
Ink Pen is an irreverent slice of comic life centered on an employment agency for cynical, out-of-work cartoon characters. Ink Pen is a well-written and well-drawn workplace comedy, a "retro" look at the Hanna-Barbera cartoons of the 1950s, 60s and 70s, and an expose on the trappings of advertising and corporate sponsorship.

Modesty Blaise
If James Bond epitomizes a gentleman hero with killer elegance, then Modesty Blaise is his female counterpart. This adventure series, begun in the '60s, has inspired numerous film adaptations, television programs and novels, and continues to be fresh and popular for readers around the world. Love her, but don't get in her way!

James Bond
The world's most famous secret agent is now in daily newspapers. Follow every move of Ian Fleming's hero as he dives headfirst into international intrigue, scandal, romance and more.

Fisher by Philip Street

Fisher is an anomaly in the world of comic strips in that it only runs in one newspaper, albeit nationally—The Globe & Mail out of Toronto.

Mail Order Ninja
TOKYOPOP is the largest English-language publisher of manga in the world. TOKYOPOP scores again with MAIL ORDER NINJA, the story of young Timmy McAllister from Indiana, who orders his very own ninja through the mail! When Yoshida Jiro arrives in a shipping crate, Timmy and his family are thrown into a whole new world of adventure!

Prince Valiant

Carol Lay

First LIO has no dialog. It tells stories only with images—a "pantomine strip" says Mark Tatulli, the creator. Next, LIO's main character is a curious young boy with an imagination that's unleashed by bumps in the night and things hiding under the bed. And LIO offers various shades of dark humor along with straightforward laughs.

James by Mark Tonra. Archives Only.

Pooch Café

Liberty Meadows
Always some nice art by Frank Cho with some inspired Sunday Strips. Only available as archives.


Saturday, February 24, 2007

Father of 'Automata' Born This Day

Jacques de Vaucanson (Feb. 24, 1709 - Nov. 21, 1782) was the French inventor of 'automata' - robot devices of later significance for modern industry. In 1737-38, he produced a transverse flute player, a pipe and tabor player, and a mechanical duck, which was especially noteworthy, not only imitating the motions of a live duck, but also the motions of drinking, eating, and "digesting." link

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Light and Matter United

Albert Einstein and just about every other physicist insisted that light travels 186,000 miles a second in free space, and that it can't be speeded-up or slowed down. But in 1998, Lene Hau, for the first time in history, slowed light to 38 miles an hour, about the speed of rush-hour traffic.

From an article by William Cromie:

Two years later, she brought light to a complete halt in a cloud of ultracold atoms. Next, she restarted the stalled light without changing any of its characteristics, and sent it on its way.

Now her team has made a light pulse disappear from one cold cloud then retrieved it from another cloud nearby. In the process, light was converted into matter then back into light. For the first time in history, this gives science a way to control light with matter and vice versa.

Forever People © DC Comics
A weird thing happens to the light as it enters the cold atomic cloud, called a Bose-Einstein condensate. Atoms at room temperature move in a random, chaotic way. But when chilled in a vacuum to about 460 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, under certain conditions millions of atoms lock together and behave as a single mass. When a laser beam enters such a condensate, the light leaves an imprint on a portion of the atoms. That imprint moves like a wave through the cloud and exits at a speed of about 700 feet per hour. This wave of matter will keep going and enter another nearby ultracold condensate.

That's how light moves darkly from one cloud to another in Hau's laboratory. This invisible wave of matter keeps going unless it's stopped in the second cloud with another laser beam, after which it can be revived as light again.
Coherent control of optical information with matter wave dynamics. Naomi S. Ginsberg, Sean R. Garner, Lene Vestergaard Hau. Nature 445:623-626, 2007.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Domiciles of The Dead

Should cool things I saw recently

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Hyborian Age: Chapter Five


Script by Roy Thomas; Art © Walt Simonson;
The Hyborian Age and Conan © their current copyright holders.

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four

Friday, February 16, 2007

Opened This Day: Tutankhamen's Tomb

On this day in 1923, archaeologist Howard Carter opened the sealed doorway to the sepulchral chamber of King Tutankhamen's tomb in Thebes, Egypt. A group of invited visitors and officials was present, including Lord Carnarvon, the aristocratic Englishman who had funded the excavation. link

Art by Roy G. Krenkel. Creepy is © and™ Warren Publishing Company.

The Mummy gets Funky in The Mad Monster Party:

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Bats Prey On Nocturnally Migrating Songbirds

image Batman & Man-Bat © DC Comics
It was previuosly believed that nocturnally migrating songbirds could stop their anti-predator vigilance at night. A new study shows that the giant noctule bat, Nyctalus lasiopterus, exploits [eats] the billions of Eurasian songbirds when the birds' flight routes converge around the Mediterranean basin, such as the Iberian Peninsula.

They showed that the bats ate only insects in summer, included some songbirds' flesh in their diet during spring, and depended a great deal on passerines during autumn. Moreover, a higher fraction of songbirds' flesh in autumn than in spring was attributed to the more massive passerine migration in autumn, because both parents and offspring migrate then towards their wintering grounds in Africa.

Nyctalus lasiopterus. Credit: Ana Popa-Lisseanu
The ability of giant noctules to prey on the wing upon nocturnally migrating passerines appears unique not only among bats but also within the whole animal kingdom. The unique ecological niche of the giant noctule may in turn explain some of its peculiar natural history traits. First, the species occurs almost exclusively in some restricted parts of the Mediterranean where major streams of migrating birds congregate. Second, it is among the largest Palaeartic bats and even belongs to the heaviest aerial-hunting bats of the world, a prerequisite for subduing prey items as large as passerines. Link: press release

The Noctural Predator In Action:

Bats Conquest of a Formidable Foraging Niche: The Myriads of Nocturnally Migrating Songbirds. 2007. Citation: A.G. P.-Lisseanu et al. PLoS ONE 2(2): e205.

Monday, February 12, 2007

How To Ingite A Cosmic Lighthouse

Researchers have been able to show that all supernovae of a certain type explode with the same mass and the same energy - the brightness depends only on how much nickel the supernova contains. This knowledge has allowed the researchers to calibrate the brightness of supernovae with greater precision. This means that in the future, they will use the brightness of a supernova that they are observing through their telescopes to determine more accurately how far away from the Earth the cosmic lighthouse is emitting its rays.

The arrow points to the supernova 2002bo, the explosion of a white dwarf in the galaxy NGC 3190 in the Leo constellation--60 million light years away from earth.Image: Benetti et al., MNRAS 384:261-278 (2004)

All supernovae have low-velocity cores of stable iron-group elements. Outside this core, nickel-56 dominates the supernova ejecta. The outer extent of the iron-group material depends on the amount of nickel-56 and coincides with the inner extent of silicon, the principal product of incomplete burning. The outer extent of the bulk of silicon is similar in all supernovae, having an expansion velocity of 11,000 kilometers per second and corresponding to a mass of slightly over one solar mass. This indicates that all the supernovae considered here burned similar masses and suggests that their progenitors had the same mass. link

A Common Explosion Mechanism for Type Ia Supernovae. 2007. P.A. Mazzali et al. Science.

Hey, Where's Capt. Kirk!?

Friday, February 9, 2007

Chilean Army Reveals UFO Data

More than 1,000 enthusiasts and experts gathered in Viña del Mar for the Tenth International Ufology Conference, organized by the Chile’s Ufology Investigation Group (Aion). The highlight of the meeting was a display of photographs taken by members of Chile’s Armed Forces.

The military photographs and videos were revealed late Tuesday evening. They included a photograph of a spherical metallic object captured flying over Antarctica and a video of Navy ships being pursued by a luminous object in 2000.

Also presented at the conference was a report by Rodrigo Bravo, Captain of the Army’s Fifth Division, who talked to a rapt audience about his thesis, entitled “Observations of unidentified aerial phenomena identified by the Civil Air Force.” While Bravo’s talk was not technically representative of the institution’s position on UFOs, he had been authorized to give it by his commander-in-chief.

“Captain Bravo gave his talk from the point of view of the importance of UFOs as a phenomenon,” said Fuenzalida. “He talked about encounters such as that of three helicopters near La Unión, when a UFO was spotted parked on the ground, and what happened in 2000, when five people were pursued by a luminous object that did not show up on radar screens.”

Fuenzalida denied the existence of “secret investigations” being carried out by the Armed Forces about extraterrestrial activity. link via the Fortean Times

S.H.A.D.O. battles the U.F.O’.s!

But here’s the real reason we watched Gerry Anderson’s “U.F.O.”

Little known fact is that Lt. Ellis was Nick Drake’s sister.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra

On this date in 2001 The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra premiered. That’s all you need to know!

Watch the trailer….Now!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

The Hyborian Age: Chapter Four


Script by Roy Thomas; Art © Walt Simonson;
The Hyborian Age and Conan © their current copyright holders.

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Building The Creature From The Black Lagoon

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us