Wednesday, June 4, 2008

4e Pre-order

I am not one of the fortunate individuals who pre-ordered their copies of D&D 4e from, so I don't have mine yet. However, since the books are set to release on 6/6 mine should be hitting my front porch in a few short days. Once I get a chance to skim through them I will most definitely be posting my review and opinions of the new rules set.

Weezer: The Red Album

I am a Weezer fan. I have enjoyed every album, for the most part, that the band has ever put out and the Red Album is no different.
When I first saw the video for Pork and Beans on youtube, which is over flowing with youtube celebrities, I immediately began searching itunes for the album to download. It's been a few years since they've had a new album and it has been worth the wait.

The Red Album is possibly one of the most interesting and different Weezer albums to date, yet very reminiscent of their older albums. It starts off with some upbeat pop songs, like you would expect from this band, and evolves into some edgier, more melodic and more mature songs as the tracks progress. Halfway through I got a very real sense that the songs were part of a story, there is a definite rock opera feel.

I've only managed to listen to it in its entirity twice so far, but that sense of a story was definitely there and during the second listen I could actually visualize it. I don't know if this is what the band intended but if not it was a very fortunate mistake. Individually there are a couple of tracks that are not my favorites, and if I heard them on the radio I might take the time to change the channel, but in the context of the rest of the album they fit perfectly.
Over all this is another creative and fun group of songs put out by one of my favorite bands. It may not be for everyone, but I think Weezer fans will be able to appreciate their latest release. If you want some music that is insightful, occassionally deep, and definitely fun, then check it out.
Pork and Beans Youtube video

Good Geeks Wear Black

Black t-shirts are a staple of geek culture. You can almost always pick the geeks out of a crowd by the color of their shirt (go to any convention) and the logo/design on the front (almost always relating to gaming, comic books or computers). Here are a few of the multiple reasons for the Geeks Must Wear Black rule.

1. Black tends to be slimming and since geeks tend to survive on Cheetos, Pringles, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Jolt Cola and Mountain Dew (I prefer Mello Yello) we need all the help we can get.

2. Comic book characters look better on black backgrounds, mostly.

3. Black is what cool people wear and there is no one cooler than a geek. Or at least if you are wearing black no one will think your a geek, until they see Spiderman on the front of your shirt.

4. It makes us harder to see at night. So it is kind of like casting an invisibility spell.

5. Geeks are not known for their fashion sense and black goes with anything. So you are never mismatched, unless you are a complete moron, and it is easy to accessorize.

6. It shows off our pasty white skin that we earned from hours of sitting in front of computer screens, dark movie theaters, killing orc in our basement and generally avoiding the terrible UV rays emitted by the sun.

7. Black is the symbol of counter culture. Rockers wear black, beatniks wear black, goths wear black, it helps us show our dressing the same. It give us a sense of unity, as Geeks tend to be solitary creatures, who only venture out to replenish supplies, and go to conventions.

8. The coolest superheroes & villains wear/wore black : Batman, Spiderman, Venom, Superman, Punisher, and Ghost Rider are just a few examples.

Black is also popular as an indicator of power.

10. Black absorbs all light in the color spectrum. Take that red!

11. Black is seen as mysterious and there is nothing more mysterious than a geek.

12. Chuck Norris wore black, plus has a black belt, and everyone knows he kicks butt.

So there you have it, just a few of the reasons why real geeks wear black.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Summer Movies

What would summer be if Hollywood didn't throw its biggest and best, well at least biggest, blockbusters at us. This year's crop of Summer releases actually looks to be promising. There are more than enough geeky movies coming out this summer, actually in all of 2008, to help insure that our delicate skin maintains its pasty whiteness.
  • Iron Man- playing now: If you haven't seen this stop reading now and go see it!
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull- playing now: I've heard mixed reviews on this one. I'll wait for the DVD.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian- playing now
  • Speed Racer- out now: I'll pass
  • The Happening- June 13th: Can M. Night Shyamalan recapture the success of Sixth Sense? The trailer looks pretty good.
  • The Incredible Hulk-June 13th: It can't be as bad as the last one... can it?
  • Get Smart- June 20th: Missed it by that much...
  • Wanted- June 27th
  • Hancock- July 2nd: I want to see this one. The trailer looks pretty funny, but they took it back for reediting to get a PG-13 rating which probably does not bode well this close to release.
  • Hellboy II- July 11th: If it is half as good as the first one it will still be awesome.
  • Dark Knight- July 18th: This may be the king of the summer. Everyone will want to see Ledger's last full movie. I've even heard talk of an Oscar nomination and no one has seen the movie!
  • X-files: I Want to Believe- July 25th: This probably has no chance against Dark Knight, but I want to believe this will be better than the series finale, really I do.
  • The Mummy 3- August 1st: Jet Li as the new kung fu Mummy! Brendon Fraser doesn't stand a chance.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars- August 15th: The Lucas juggernaut rolls on

Comic Book News & Rumors

  • Apparently Marvel had a great deal of success with the adaptation of Stephen Kings Dark Tower books and are planning to continue their relationship with the King of Horror. Marvel is now planning to release The Stand in comic book form.
  • Invincible Iron Man #1 reportedly shipped with 11 variant covers. Two of these variants had movie photo covers, the newstand edition and the super secret movie version. Expect the variants to be hard to find. 11 Covers! Is it the 90's again?
  • Bizarro appeared on the most recent issue of Sports Illustrated. What does a whacked out Superman clone have to do with Baseball? Pick it up and find out.
  • Disney is starting their own comic book company called Kingdom Comics. They will adapt Disney classics in the hopes of rejuvenating the properties as well as create new properties that can be developed into movies. This is just Disneys next step towards world domination. When Mickey and Goofy get elected president and vice president it is time to head for Canada.
  • Marvel is going to release Marvel Zombies 3. WHY WON'T YOU DIE!!!
  • Sales for Marvel's Secret Invasion mini-series are pretty strong. The first issue is said to have sold around the same amount of copies as Civil War #1 and more than twice the number of copies as the final issues of DC's Countdown to Final Crisis.
  • Ultimate Alpha Flight made their first appearance in issue #94 of Ultimate X-men. It was revealed that AF and Colossus are all junkies. What is the world coming to!?!? Filthy mutant junkies!
  • Barry Allen fans will be happy to know that the character will more than likely be making his come back in Final Crisis.
  • I've heard rumors, nothing official, saying that some of our favorite Lanterns may not be green much longer. When the the Blackest Night story line hits next year some fan faves may be trading in their green power rings for violet, indigo, black, red, orange, yellow, or blue ones (seen in GL #25). There have even been some rumblings that DC plans to have Barry Allen come back as a Blue Lantern, but you know how people love to speculate, and it could all be completely false. Still it would be kinda cool.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Green Lantern

Right now I am on a Green Lantern kick. Sure GL, specifically Hal, was one of my favorite comics as a kid, but somewhere between the ages of 10 and 15 I got bored with the character. I never did like John Sterwart and couldn't stand Guy until he was in the JLI. I did pick the book up when Kyle Rayner took over as the last Green Lantern and honestly I enjoyed the book a great deal and he quickly became my second favorite GL.
Time goes on and Hal comes back, as do the the other Lanterns and I was ok with that. After all the GL Corps is suppose to be the police force of the universe, a force of one isn't very effective on that scale. I wasn't exactly thrilled to have Hal back because I knew that Kyle would get bumped down to supporting character, and with the success of the Justice League animated series Stewart would get bumped up. It all came to pass as I thought. Not only did they knock Kyle down, they bumped him off planet along with Guy, and gave their spot on earth to John, blah.
I can't say that I'm happy with the decision and I still can't stand John, but since the Sinestro Corps story the GL books are some of the best superhero books put out by DC. Kyle and Guy are great in the Green Lantern Corps book and Green Lantern, starring Hal, is again one of my favorite books.
The upcoming Blackest Night story line seems like it will be phenomenal, probably outshining any of the Crisis stories that have come out these past few years, and I can't wait. Sure DC has some crappy books out right now, as do many othe publishers, but if they are smart they will capitalize on the emerald gems they have right now and turn that momentum into a top shelf GL movie.

Star Struck

Microsoft has unveiled something for all of us stargazers, Microsoft Worldwide Telescope. This program is absolutely amazing! It uses images from multiple telescopes to give very detailed shots of objects in space. You can use it to view the earth or any of the other planets as well as distant stars and galaxies. You can create slide shows using the images you find and set them to music to share with friends or just spend your time surfing the universe. The images are clearer than any of the similar programs I have seen and is well worth checking out.
The one draw back to the program is the system requirements recommended to run it.
  • Microsoft® XP SP2 (minimum), Windows® Vista® (recommended)
  • PC with Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 2 gigahertz (GHz) or faster, recommended
  • 1 gigabyte (GB) of RAM; 2 GB RAM recommended
  • 3D accelerated card with 128 megabytes (MB) RAM; discrete graphics card with dedicated 256-MB VRAM recommended for higher performance
  • 1 GB of available hard disk space; 10 GB recommended for off-line features and higher performance browsing
  • XGA (1024 x 768) or higher resolution monitor
  • Microsoft® DirectX® version 9.0c and .NET Framework 2.0
For a lot of geeks these specs are nothing, but for the average user this may be a bit much for your economy system. The download time is estimated at 10 minutes, though mine went a little faster, and the program is easy to use, even for the average user. If you are an amateur astronomy buff, or even a pro, I think you will really enjoy what this program has to offer.

More 4e News.

According to several websites as well as the Wizards of the Coast message boards, copies of D&D 4e are already circulating. apparently broke the street date and released the books nearly two weeks early. Wizards of the Coast, fans who didn't pre-order from and many brick and mortar game store owners are very upset. To make matters worse there has apparently been a leak at WoTC or the printer because advance copies the books have been popping up on numerous file sharing and bit torrent sites.
There have been unofficial comments from insiders saying that WoTC is more upset by the early release of the hard copies than the digital copies as they expect the downloaded copies to actually drive up sales. Many game shop owners are infuriated by both copies making their way into the public's hands because they have a hard enough time competing with online stores as it is. This is especially true since you can pre-order the books online for around $56 while retail price is over $100.

Given recent events, and the apparent changes in how gamers feel about the new edition I think that 4e will be a success. 4e may be just the thing that the rpg industy needs to pick up some steam. If we are lucky we may be on the verge of a new renaissance in table top gaming.

I knew we'd buy it!

According to Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition is a huge success, and it hasn't even hit stores yet. Apparently there have been so many pre-orders that the book is already going back to the printers. According to the article the initial run was 50% higher than it was for 3.5e. This just goes to show that no matter how much we gamers whine and complain we can't resist buying new editions. It's like an addiction.
From everything I've seen regarding the new edition, I have to admit that I'm eager to give the new rules a test drive. I'm not selling all my older editions just yet, but I am more than willing to give 4e a chance.

The Geek Gazette Blog!

After 3 years of putting out the print and pdf versions of The Geek Gazette I've decided to change things up a bit. For the foreseeable future the Gazette will only see print in the form of a blog. I've made this change with the hopes of keeping my information up to date. I'll still cover the same geeky topics as I did in the old Gazette, but the information will be available on a more regular basis, hopefully.
For those of you that are new to the Gazette you can check out past issues here :

Ok for some reason this link isn't working, but I have another on the right side of the page. It works.