Suck it, Tom

How’s 18-1 taste?

Heathen Central would like to point out our favorite NFL name, Plaxico Burress, bagged the go-ahead TD for New York. We also, of course, enjoy the back-to-back Manning wins, as the Heathen Homeland is also the Manning Homeland.

BTW, how cheesy is it that Belichick left the field before the game was over? He’s a fucking class act, that one. Eat it, Bill.

NFL, copyright, and douchebaggery

It’s no surprise that the NFL, like any large corporation, seeks to abuse its copyrights willy-nilly to prevent anyone from doing anything that might have anything to do with their business. Hell, we’re talking about a group that sued churches last year for having Super Bowl parties with TVs larger than 55″. Seriously. The linked article details more of their absurd chicanery; we urge you to avoid their sponsors whenever possible on the grounds that apparently the whole organization is run by fuckwits.

However, there is a funny part to this, hinging on some serious New England hubris:

This year, the big news … is that the New England Patriots have applied for a trademark on “19-0” to represent the undefeated season the team will have if it wins this season. The NY Post, snarky as ever, filed for a trademark on 18-1 in response, supporting the home town NY Giants.


WLBT: Doing Its Part To Remind Everyone How Silly Mississippi Can Be

Some sad-sack ratings-seeking “consumer” reporter at the Jackson TV station (“Kandiss Crone,” who appears to be trying to live up to her surname) has done a hard-hitting expose on the fact that an adult bookstore was selling illegal sex toys. Madcap hilarity ensues, probably because it’s hard for anyone who’s not a TV news douchebag (or raving nutbird fundie) to supply even fake outrage over violations of such a ridiculous prohibition. Really, Kandiss? This is the best you can do?

Perhaps our favorite part is this quote from Jackson Vice, supplied when Crone went to JPD for comment: “The adult store is not a priority for our vice and narcotics officers. We will do the best we can. Citizens would rather see us using our resources to get drugs and prostitutes off our streets and work to decrease violent crime.”

Believe it or not, it’s therefore the State the comes off (marginally) better here. The “news” dorks, however, remain worthless wastes of oxygen.

(Via BB.)

(Sidenote: the anchor in the first part of the story, one Howard Ballou, was the m.c. a couple years back for the JDRF gala we attend. When introduced (“Heathen, this is Howard Ballou, he’s our MC tonight” was all I got), I had no idea who he was. I shook his hand and made with the cocktail chat, which — much to my brother’s amusement — included me asking about his line of work. If you ever want to have fun with these pseudocelebs, apparently one of the best ways to make them nearly spit-take is to be unaware of their identity.)

Hardcore Geek Eyes Only

This longish discussion of retcons in comics is quite a read.

A retcon, for those of you too lazy to follow the link, is a device used in long-form narratives to RETroactively change the CONtinuity of the story. Because comics are among the longest narratives we have, it comes up a lot in that world.

For nongeeks, perhaps the most widely known retcon came at the end of Dallas‘s 1985-86 season, when Pam found Bobby in the shower — which rendered the entire season a terrible, terrible dream. A more drastic retcon just happened to James Bond, as Casino Royale is the story of an operative only just promoted to 00-status; for Daniel Craig’s Bond, there has been no SMERSH or SPECTRE, no Cold War, no undersea madmen, no Goldfinger, no marriage to Diana Rigg, and, sadly, no Octopussy. (Bond’s retcon is a drastic enough example to warrant being called a reboot, but that’s just a special type of retcon.) Comic retcons are typically (but not always) less ham-handed, but it’s this sort of shift.

Comics, unlike soaps, are faced with an undeniable need for retcons, precisely because they’re long-running but also, at least to a point, at least somewhat frozen in amber [1]. If they didn’t keep shifting or handwaving about some aspects of Superman’s backstory, for example, we’d be dealing with a decidedly geriatric Man of Steel; at his introduction in 1938, he was supposedly in his late 20s, which puts his birth at about 1910[2]. I’m pretty sure the current comic incarnation isn’t supposed to be 98 years old. Even Spiderman would be at least middle aged if his story moved in real time; he was a student in 1962.

To add to the complexity, comic publishers are forever having crossover events where Batman and Superman team up to fight Evil Dude X, which means their continuities are blended; a retcon for one will necessarily affect the other. In the persistent world of the DC (or Marvel) universe, this gets very complicated very quickly.

Anyway, that’s a retcon. Check out the first link for discussions of them done well (Frank Miller’s work on Daredevil; they actually skip my favorite) and badly (pretty much the last 20 years of the Legion of Super Heros), all through the lens of the gawdawful bullshit they’re pulling with Spiderman these days. (There’s a literal deal with the Devil that undoes pretty much the last 2 or 3 decades. I shit you not.).

(Via Wil.)


1. An amusing example of retconning is ongoing with the Simpsons, who have taken being frozen in time very seriously. The show’s nearly twenty, so flashbacks to teen/early 20s time periods for Marge and Homer have ratcheted from the 70s through the 80s and into the 90s.

2. The cinematic Supes has also been retconned, and recently: Superman Returns is itself a bit of a retcon in that it branches off the film continuity after Superman II, and renders moot all subsequent Reeve films.)

In which limits are explored, exceeded, and documented

The following is a list of the electrical items which can be used without incident simultaneously in my office:

  • MacBook Pro
  • Two external monitors
  • Two tower PCs
  • Shredder
  • Stereo
  • Two active outboard hard drives
  • One router
  • Two switches
  • One laser printer
  • Two overhead lights
  • Two cordless phones
  • One Vonage network adapter
  • One space heater

The following is a list of the electrical items which, when used simultaneously, will cause a breaker to flip:

  • One MacBook Pro
  • Two external monitors
  • Two tower PCs
  • One Shredder
  • One Stereo
  • Two active outboard hard drives
  • One router
  • Two switches
  • One laser printer
  • Two overhead lights
  • One space heater
  • Two cordless phones
  • One Vonage network adapter
  • One vacuum cleaner

That is all.

It seems like a small thing, but it matters

Because the iPhone uses the same charging system as my iPod, my capitulation means I have to carry one fewer charger when traveling — and that, in the event of a loss, replacing it will be significantly easier, since it’s easier to find an iPod dealer than a cell phone shop with the ProprietaryCharger du Jour in stock.

iPhone Day 2

In which I discuss and comment upon the new toy.

Really? You paid $400, and you still need to be told this?
The manual includes this: “Do not drop, disassemble, open, crush, bend, deform, puncture, shred, microwave, incinerate, paint, or insert foreign objects into iPhone.”
The iPhone totally wins on the “speaker, phone, or earbud?” interface mechanism. With the RAZR, I was never sure what would happen if I took a call with Bluetooth on and my headset in range. With the Treo, it was somewhat more predictable, but still a pain to switch during a call. With the 8525, it was back to nightmare mode. The iPhone’s “in a call” menu has a button clearly marked “Output” the brings up a three-item menu. Choose what you want. End of story. WIN.
Free Stuff!
My first iPod, well before the craze took over, was the original 5 gig model with a physical scroll wheel. It came with the a wall-wart, the Firewire charging cable, a dock, and headphones. In the years since, Apple’s trimmed the kit down to just a sync cable and some earbuds, which kind of sucks if you’d prefer to charge by plugging into the wall. The iPhone, though, comes with the whole kit again, which is nice. It means we also now have enough kit that we keep an iPod charging setup in the living room, for Erin’s Nano, plus one at my desk for the iPhone during the day, plus the one that never leaves my briefcase for use when I travel. No forgotten chargers FTW!
MORE free stuff!
I just discovered a polishing/buffing cloth in the box. Nice.
In which we expose our Aaron Sorkin geekery
The iPhone means we can always carry “Shibboleth” with us, which keeps Mrs Heathen happy. “Once More With Feeling,” too, once we get ahold of something to rip it with.
Native Sync Wins
A decade ago, when the first Pilots emerged and before Outlook took over, Palm quickly established itself as the de facto desktop PIM *because* using it was part of what made the Palm so successful. The effortless sync meant you never thought anything of adding an event or address on one device or the other, because you knew the data would flow without any worries about lost or duplicated entries or whatever. It’s great that we can now sync any phone with any desktop, nearly, but the tight coupling of the iPhone and Apple’s native calendar and address book tools means my sync troubleshooting days are over.
The Triumphant Return of HeathenPix
As with the halcyon bygone days of the Treo, the iPhone makes it simple to take quickie phone shots and email ’em to Flickr. Enjoy.