How Gary Gygax lost control over D&D and TSR


Jon Peterson, author of Playing at the World, tells the gripping tale of how Gary Gygax lost control over TSR and Dungeons and Dragons, ousted by his business partners after a series of miscalculations and mistakes.

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Classic Omni art and articles gallery


Neeraj writes, "The Museum of Science Fiction in D.C. Has launched its first curated online gallery as part of our partnership with OMNI Reboot."

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The Shadow Hero: giving an origin story to comics' first Asian-American superhero

Gene Luen Yang has made comics history with his graphic novels about race and identity, now, with Sonny Liew, he goes back in time to reinvent the first Asian superhero in the history of comics. Cory Doctorow reviews The Shadow Hero and presents an exclusive excerpt.

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Side-scroller life-lessons


Owl Turd's most recent webcomic, We Go Forward, has a surprising barb hidden in its lighthearted parable about life considered as a side-scroller. It brought me up sharply this morning when I read it, and I can't get it out of my mind.

Star Trek Mirror Mirror beach towel


The Star Trek Mirror Mirror beach towel ($20) features Juan Ortiz's retro-art celebrating one of the greatest classic Star Trek episodes, and the origin of the evil-twin/goatee trope.

Theremin score from The Day the Earth Stood Still

Robbo sez, "Bernard Herrmann composed the score for the 1951 film The Day The Earth Stood Still, directed by Robert Wise."

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The rules underpinning Porky Pig's stutter

Looney Toons voice actor Bob Bergen explains the logic underlying Porky Pig's stutter, which is surprisingly regular.

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That reaction gif you've been looking for


Punk dancing on street of london, 1970s . (via Goths and Punks)

Horror movies and the Haunted Mansion


Long Forgotten continues its masterful inquiry into the horror movies that gave rise to Disney's Haunted Mansion.

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Konami Code necklace


Etsy's Ha Ha Bird made this brilliant $23 Konami Code Necklace, made from black-engraved 3mm mirror acrylic. It's 18" long, with a magnetic clasp. (via Geekymerch)

Once there was a show called "The Hat Squad" and it was very, very stupid

I remember the day I realized that TV was controlled by idiots: the day I watched Hat Squad. It only ran for one season, but the idea that anyone green-lit such a manifestly terrible idea literally shocked my conscience. The plot: a crusty old cop adopted a multi-ethnic trio of orphans and raised them to fight crime. Now that they are grown, Buddy, Rafael and Matty go abroad in the world, wearing distinctive hats, to dispense justice.

This show was so offensively stupid that for many years I thought I must have misremembered it, but I discovered its Wikipedia page this morning and realized that it was every bit as bad as I recalled, and possibly worse. That there were people stupid enough to spend enormous amounts of money of this turd sandwich is startling, but even more startling is the realization that these people were also allowed to operate motor vehicles and (shudder) reproduce.

Zelda-themed stop-motion chalk-drawing animation

Chalk artist Chris Carlson sends us this astounding stop-motion animation of his 3D chalk drawings of Link from Legend of Zelda, popping out of two-space and having a mischievous adventure in our world. I can't even begin to imagine the amount of labor that went into drawing the frames of this animation -- bravo! (Thanks, Chris!)

CS Lewis explains why you should be proud to read children's books

A stupid, shaming, linkbaity screed against young adult literature in Slate has got lots of peoples' backs up. But reactionary nonsense about children's literature is nothing new, as CS Lewis's classic 1952 essay On Three Ways of Writing for Children (currently available in the excellent collection Of Other Worlds) demonstrates. Lewis demolishes the knee-jerk fear of being caught reading "kids' stuff," and reveals it for what it is: insecurity about your own maturity and seriousness (he also tackles the stupid idea that fantasy literature makes it hard for kids to know what's real):

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Stretch limo made from three bodged-together Deloreans


Redditor Viking 187 posted this image of a stretch Delorean made from three deloreansworth of parts -- Marsandtherealgirl has context for it:

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Laurel and Hardy and horror-Mickey-fursuit perform "Babes in Toyland"

The 1934 adaptation of Babes in Toyland with Laurel and Hardy featured a horrific, off-model, unauthorized Mickey fursuit that had to be seen to be believed. It's still in copyright, but you can get a cheap DVD on Amazon, under the alternate title "March of the Wooden Soldiers."

March of the Wooden Soldiers