xkcd – Only the second webcomic worth reading?

Posted by me on Sunday, the 28th day of January, anno domini 2007 at 11:12 PM, local time.

So, previously, I have blogged about

blogged about
Dinosaur Comics, by Ryan North, a comic genius. Now, I would like to make a praiseful mention of xkcd by Randall Munroe. I don’t remember who first sent me the link, I suspect it may have been Kyle. He at least claims the distinction. Anyway, I have seen a couple of the comics off and on when people or websites mention them to me. They have been funny, and all, but just recently, I found myself going through the entire archive of comics. Many of them are down right hilarious. Some are scary in how well
well
they describe me. All of them are quite good
good
.

And, if you go and read some of them, don’t forget about the mouse-over text for each comic. Much like dinosaur comics, it is often a punchline, or commentary on the comic. But, they are always a vital part of the day’s offerings. Unfortunately firefox has a bug with long mouse-over texts, so sometimes you might not get to read it all. I do have a solution for Dinosaur Comics, which goes and grabs the mouse-over text and displays it prominently below the comic for easy reading. It also takes Ryan’s mess and makes proper XHTML out of it. That is one point where the author of xkcd is better: the source is clean. I respect that. Thank you, Mr Munroe.

I do plan to write a script to make it easier to read xkcd as well, but haven’t gotten to it yet. Please stand by.

As for a comparison between Dinosaur Comics and xkcd in terms of goodness, I think I still have to go with Dinosaur Comics. They are consistently of a level that xkcd usually, but not always, manages to reach. Besides, everybody seems to already like xkcd. Its not as fun to evangelize as Dinosaur Comics is (which, for some reason, a lot of people don’t seem to get).

Anyway, I recommend you keep an eye on these comics! They are sometimes rather niche in their audience, but a lot of times, pretty much everybody can appreciate the humor.

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The Amateur, or, Way Too Much Time On His Hands

Posted by me on Sunday, the 31st day of December, anno domini 2006 at 1:01 PM, local time.

Here is something I was going to post about some weeks back, when Kyle (the Mauian) sent me the link. I forgot. Then I was reminded to post about it after Adam posted an article about people with way too much time on their hands. That, of course, was over two weeks ago, and once again, I forgot.

Anyway, this YouTube video is what I wanted to post about. The Amateur is where this nobody records himself pressing some keys on the piano and banging on some drums. Then, through the magic of modern video editing, he resequences the video into something truly amazing. You should go check it out!

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BookMooch. [This title edited to fit your screen.]

Posted by me on Tuesday, the 5th day of December, anno domini 2006 at 8:20 PM, local time.

So, I don’t remember who first sent me the link to an article about BookMooch, but it was a while ago and my memory isn’t all that great. Anyway, I thought I would write a bit about it here so others can learn about it as well. As a disclaimer, I have not started using BookMooch, and I am not sure if I ever will, but that’s just me and I know a lot of other people don’t get as attached to books as badly as I do. On the other hand, I do have some duplicate copies (same editions, don’t worry) of books that I might be able to put up on BookMooch to get rid of.

But anyway, that was a horrible introductory paragraph for this piece on BookMooch. BookMooch is a community site where everybody is trying to get books that they want, and trying to get rid of books that they no longer want. Its all free, except that if you send a book to someone else, you have to pay postage fees. So really the site gets no money what-so-ever from you, it just finds you people to send books to, and finds people who you can contact to get books from, as well as providing an easy way to do that contacting. Of course you can read more about it on their site, but the idea is pretty simple.

Here is an example to illustrate (names unchanged, to protect no one):

Let’s say Darcy is done reading some books that she owns. She will probably never read them again, Andy doesn’t want to read them, I’ve already read them, and Adam is too snooty to read them. Well, she simple lists the books on BookMooch as available. Kyle, in Hawaii, is searching around on BookMooch for the next book to read, and finds one of the books Darcy listed and says, “Hey, look, that might be interesting.” So he asks Darcy to send him that book. She puts it in a lovely little mailing box from the post office, pays cheap book rate shipping charges and sends it over to Kyle. Everybody is happy: Kyle has a new book to read, and Darcy got rid of a book she no longer wanted.

There is a point system involved, where the more books you list and then actually send to people, the more points you get. And in order to get a book sent to you, you have to consume a point. So I don’t really know how well the point economy balances out in the end, but its a relatively new site, so they may make adjustments to the point system until it works out to keep people from accumulating all the books (like me) and to try and give a reasonable amount of trust that if you request a book they are going to actually send it to you. But, even if they don’t you don’t really lose much on the deal (though if you are the only person in the system actually sending books, the postage could build up… but I would recommend not sending any more books if people don’t send you the ones you had asked for).

Anyway, its an interesting little community and I think you all should go and try it out. And let me know how it goes. Maybe I can use it to my advantage somehow…

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Lots of Books

Posted by me on Monday, the 4th day of December, anno domini 2006 at 10:17 PM, local time.

So I found this quote on my google homepage today. Its accuracy is remarkable, yet somehow depressing. Oh well.

Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them! How I need them! I’ll have a long beard by the time I read them. – Arnold Lobel

On another book related note, yesterday, when I foolishly went to the bookstore, I purchased a couple more books, which is unremarkable in and of itself. However, one of these books was a small collection of poems by Tim Burton (whom you might recall from such movies as The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride). I thought, well, I like his movies, they are touchingly surreal; surely his poetry will be similar. And so I brought it home.

It was definitely surreal. But rather than being touching, most of it was just disturbing. The art was very familiar as Burton’s, the poems were all short doggerel at best, but the topics were downright grotesque. I am slightly disturbed. Note, Kyle, if you are reading this, this is definitely a book that you would enjoy. Everyone else reading this, I would recommend perusing a bit so you are fully aware of Mr. Burton’s psychotic tendencies, but only do so on an empty stomach and only if you are of healthy constitution in general.

On a completely unrelated note, yes, it has been months since I last updated this. Yes, I plan to continue to update it on the same loose schedule. And yes, if anyone still bothers to come here and read these things when updates do happen, I do appreciate each and every one of them.

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