Random wonderful things

I’ve been bedridden for days, so my already active trawling of the web has really gone off the charts. Here are a few gems that I feel compelled to share:

  • The “I Can Read Movies” Series: these imaginary paperback novelizations of hit movies are so beautiful and mid-century perfect they bring a tear to my eye.

  • Comics Grammar & Tradition: I moan about some of the typographic conventions in comics, but I can at least acknowledge that many of them are at least reliable conventions. Here’s a good guide to what they are.

  • Paul’s Boutique, remastered: The Beastie Boys finally re-release one of my all-time favorite records, one that completely blew me away from the first instant I heard it. The accompanying site is Flash-heavy, but filled with good stuff, including a free commentary track of the B-Boys telling stories about the tracks as the entire record plays.

  • Chip Steele, R.I.P.: Chip Steele has been a bit of legend to me for a long-time, ever since my pal Dave went sky-diving with him. If you’re going to jump from a plane, you want a man named Chip Steele strapped to your back! Unfortunately, Steele had a fatal mid-air heart attack while giving a lesson to a young Army private, soon after uttering these now-immortal words: “Welcome to my world.” Pvt. Pharr then landed himself safely, but was unable to revive Steele. If I have ever heard a good premise for a bro-mantic action movie, this is it.

The Middle of Nowhere

As long as I’m fantasizing about secret lairs, I guess I should also consider a remote island. While there’s certainly something about the aptly named Inaccessible Island that appeals to the comic-book fan in me, I’m more tempted to keep it in the family (my mom’s side, at least) and seize Gough Island for my sinister retreat.

Tristan da Cunha

But which part of the island would make the best spot for my lair? Quest Bay? Hag’s Tooth? Cave Cove? Perhaps even something around Snug Harbor, just for old time’s sake? So many possibilities!

My Aim Is True


So it wasn’t my imagination. When I was stopping to take a quick leak on my way through Schiphol Airport yesterday morning, I spotted this little thing that looked like a fly in the urinal, except it clearly wasn’t a fly. It sort of seemed like something stuck to the bowl, so I found myself trying to wash it away. I fell right into their nefarious social-engineering trap! What a chump.

Stop men from peeing on the floor. Authorities at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam have etched the image of a black housefly into each urinal. It seems that men usually do not pay much attention to where they aim, which can create a bit of a mess. But if you give them a target, they can’t help but try to hit it. Similar designs have been implemented in urinals around the world, including mini soccer goals, bulls-eyes, and urine video games (seriously). Do they work? Since the bugs were etched into the airport urinals, spillage has decreased by 80 percent.

[From Good, via BoingBoing.]

Actually, it’s a pretty brilliant idea, and really not sinister at all. I have to admit that when I first realized it wasn’t a fly or a speck of dirt in the bowl, my immediate instinct was that it was some kind of viral ad campaign, since I’ve been getting more and more pissed off [heh.] about how hard it is to escape ads in public spaces. I’m really pleased this was an intentional attempt to get dudes to do the right thing. (Note to other airports/places with public restrooms: Please don’t try to do this with ads. The urinal cakes with ads in them are horrifying enough. Thanks.)