Why Sarcasm Doesn't Translate On The Internet

This is what the Christian Science Monitor writes about the petition by Star Wars fans for NASA to develop a working hyperdrive:

"We need better propulsion systems. Right now I'd say that would be the one invention that would really help us out a lot," said Joseph Tellado, a logistics manager for the International Space Station. "It'd be great if our astronauts could go at hyperspeed."

This is how I'd have written it, and how it probably was said:

"We need," said Jeff Tellado, a logistics manager for the International Space Station, with a dramatic pause, "better propulsion systems!" Chuckling loudly, Tellado rolled his eyes. "Right now I'd say that would be the one invention that would really help us out a lot. [LOL!]"

As he said this, Tellado lifted his right arm and began rotating the forearm at the elbow in a sort of "helicopter" motion.  With his left arm, Tellado formed a hollow fist and began jerking the fist up and down, furiously.  Then, Tellado put his right thumb and forefinger together, lifted them to his mouth, and slowly pulled them away, making a choking noise. "It'd be great if our astronauts could go at hyperspeed," Tellado said in a high, nasal tone, which struck this reporter as reminiscent of that used by Sean Penn, playing Jeff Spicoli in the film Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

As for me, I'll be content when the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign delivers that Heuristic ALgorithm 9000 machine I've been waiting for since 1997.  I'll bet it has better graphics and runs games a lot faster than the stupid laptop I'm using to write this post.


I Can Go About My Business — Hey, Let Go Of Me!

Oppression of the Jedi faith runs rampant in the United Kingdom, as supermarket giant Tesco defends its policy prohibiting shoppers who wear hoods, even for religious reasons.

Daniel Jones, 23, who created the International Church of Jediism, claims he was “victimised over his beliefs” by staff at the supermarket in Bangor, North Wales. …

Mr Jones, from Holyhead, said that staff ejected him from the store over security fears when he refused to remove his hood.

Mr Jones, also known by his Jedi name Morda Hehol, told The Sun: "I told them it was a requirement of my religion but they just sniggered and ordered me to leave.

Via Overlawyered, which with a total of two posts concerning British discrimination against adherents of the Jedi faith, automatically becomes the world's leading blog on Jedi religious freedom.

Chewbacca: Not Gay

"As I have stated before, these are terms [gay, lesbian, homosexual] that do not exist in Star Wars. Thread closed."

George Lucas and his companies are well-known for the lengths to which they'll go in pursuit of those who would sully the Star Wars canon, which long ago devolved from fun pulp-art to a Disneyfied vehicle for selling action figures and other branded merchandise to six-year-olds, so, without knowing much about the cause, I'll assume that the Lucas entities are the reason Bioware won't allow fans of its upcoming Star Wars massive multiplayer game even to mention these verboten concepts.

And perhaps they have a point:  As we're often told, in non-Star Wars contexts, equal rights for gays and lesbians can only lead us further down a certain slippery slope.

I Used To Conceal Womp Rats In My Pants Back Home. They're Not Much Bigger Than Two Meters.

Convenience store robbers, beware of Kentucky.  Among the items that may be carried by the holder of a Kentucky concealed weapon permit:

  • Any weapon from which a shot, readily capable of producing death or serious physical injury, may be discharged.
  • Any knife other than an ordinary pocket knife or hunting knife.
  • Billy, nightstick, or club.
  • Blackjack or slapjack.
  • Nunchaku karate sticks.
  • Shiriken or death star.

Thanks to Joel Rosenberg for sending me down this dark path.

I Still Want To Be Friends. I Just Don't Want You In My Party Any Longer.

Rock Paper Shotgun on what has to be the most irritating part of massive multiplayer online games: other players.  I enjoy these games quite a bit when they're well made, and have been fortunate in that I'm wired into a couple of online networks that mean I don't have to play them with people I don't know (in a virtual sense), but there is little in gaming as soul-crushing as being forced to play, in a non-adversarial posture, with bunnyhoppers, ninjalooters, leetspeekers, horndogs, droppers, hackers, and the other assorted mishmash of anti-social losers who while they don't make up the majority of players, stand out from the majority.

There's also a good bit on BioWare's just-announced entry into the field, a Star Wars themed game set in the Old Republic, the same setting BioWare used for its excellent Knights of the Old Republic single player rpg.  The promise is that the game will allow single-player party-based play, using npc characters similar to those of Guild Wars, only with the scripting and personalities that make BioWare's single player games such a pleasure.  In other words, a BioWare rpg that never ends.

We shall see about that.  I'm skeptical, but if it hits it will wash away all of the bad taste from Lucasarts' miserably executed Star Wars: Galaxies.

Ended, Finally, These Clone Wars Have

I took Evan to see Clone Wars. Honestly, it wasn't as terrible as I expected, though it dragged quite a bit.

Two observations:

1. If your aim is to build an invincible clone army to keep order, please try to avoid naming your commanders things like "Captain Rex" and "Commander Cody." That suggests that you really wanted to raise Golden Retrievers and only got into the army-building thing by accident.

2. If one of George Lucas' kids turns out to be gay, I can't imagine how George will ever look him or her in the eye after pushing the whole flaming gay Hutt thing. Really, that was just embarrassing.