Doctor Who Timeline / Infographic

So, I like this mostly because it is really long, and thus exploits one of the affordances of the web format. I mean, it would either look like crap in a magazine, or involve a big fold-out thingy, and probably no one would bother to make it then.

Anyway, this comes from It’s got all your Doctors, your Companions, your villains, and little fun facts.

Minor quibbles:

Considered by many to be the most iconic Doctor, the fourth Doctor appeared in more seasons seasons and adventures than any other.

The Fourth Doctor is the only Doctor.

 “Blink” is consistently cited as one of the most popular episodes in the history of the series, even though the Doctor is largely absent from the majority of the episode.

The supposed “Doctor” in this case is the tenth “Doctor,” in light of which I would suggest replacing “even though” with “because.”

Fun fact not included in the poster: Lalla Ward, who played the second Romanadvoratrelundar, is married to Richard Dawkins.

Occupy Wall Street Lego Set

So, the other day I was talking with my kid, and he was bemoaning the fact that with Playmobil and Lego, the criminals are often much cooler looking than the police. I’ve been encouraging him to use the criminals as occupiers, so that the criminals can be the good guys. Remember, the Rebels in Star Wars rarely did anything that was not against the law!

On that topic, here is a pitch-perfect video from Slate, and I soooo wish you could actually buy these.

Ultra Justice!!!

Merry Pastafarian Christmas

So, I was hoping to find a FSM-themed Christmas video to post for you. There are a few out there, but none that I felt surpassed the quality threshold I try to apply to the blog.

What quality threshold, you ask? Fair enough.

Anyhoo, here’s an excellent little video. It’s lack of explicit Chrismas themèdness is more than compensated by the hypnotic tune and rockin’ graphics.

“Let him clean up your mind / Feel the power of his balls”

Music by The Oufs, who, adorably, have a myspace page. Graphics by Noam Raby.

If you prefer, the video is also available with Turkish subtitles.

Steampunk Star Wars

So, how awesome would this have been?

Yes, that’s Steampunk Princess Leia. Presented here to rekindle the 21st/19th-century version of all of your adolescent fantasies.  
And here’s the corresponding stormtrooper, to rekindle your nightmares.

And finally, here’s Yoda, taking a drag on . . . um . . . let’s say it’s that spice stuff from Dune. He can totally see what color the force is now.

These are the work of visionary genius Bjorn Hurri, whose mother, I assume, went through only a thirty-minute labor.

via Bit Rebels, where you can also find Boba Fett, C3PO, and an in-progress Jawa.

Ronin Institute website up-ish

So, I have finally created a webpage for the Ronin Institute. It is quite bare-bones at the moment, and will be morphing considerably over the next few weeks. Those of you who have used WordPress will immediately recognize it as what a webpage looks like when you set up a WordPress site without doing anything else.

The URL is

I have included a disclaimer in reference to this blog (Lost in Transcription), that it does not represent the views of the Ronin Institute. This might seem a bit weird, since, at the moment, the Ronin Institute consists of, well, me. The issue I see going into the future is that I often spout off political / religious / cultural opinions here. Those opinions are honest and mine, but are not directly related to my scholarship / research. Furthermore, once the Ronin Institute has established its tax-exempt status, I believe that it will be prohibited from expressing particular forms of political opinion.

So, the Ronin Institute will have its own blog, the Ronin Blog, which is currently at:

The Ronin Blog will provide updates from the Ronin Institute, some cross-posted from here, information about Ronin Institute activities, and, hopefully, discussions about the challenges, rewards, intricacies, etc., of doing scholarship outside of the traditional academic structure.

If you’re an independent scholar, and would be interested in contributing, let me know! Happy to have cross posts from your own blog.

I Am An Action Scientist

So, I Am An Action Scientist is an excellent little song by Adam WarRock written for the Atomic Robo comic. About Atomic Robo:

Atomic Robo is secretly hired by the US Army to infiltrate the hidden Himalayan mountain base of Baron Heinrich Von Helsingard before he perfects a superweapon for the Nazis.

So, you know, sort of like Captain America meets Short Circuit.

This is my new motto: “I am an action scientist. / That’s why the science is guiding my fists.”

Notice: best heard at max volume with pipette in hand.

Check out the comic here. Download the mp3 here.

via Boing Boing.

Calvin and Hobbes Winter Wonderland

So, this is an excellent little musical montage of snowman scenes from Calvin and Hobbes lovingly rendered by Jim Frommeyer and Teague Chrystie. If you’re interested in how they did it, you can read (and watch) more here. If you’re more of a consumer, just sit back and enjoy.

Note that at the time of this posting, the YouTube page actually has more likes than views. I don’t know how that’s done, but seems right. I certainly like it more than once.

via Topless Robot.

Don’t try this at home: High School incest prank is hilarious, apparently

So, apparently in Minnesota, spin the bottle is a game for the whole family.

Here’s a prank from Rosemount High School. Some of the team captains were blindfolded and then kissed by a special someone. The twist? The special someone was one of their parents! Hilarious, right?

When I read the description of this, I assumed that the parents were also blindfolded, but no, they knew exactly what was going on. Although, in retrospect, if the parents were blindfolded and thought they were making out with someone else’s high-school kid, maybe it wouldn’t be that much better.

Hard to know what to say about this, except, hey, everybody seems to having a good time, so maybe the rest of us should, you know, sit down and quit judgin’.

The video is a little shaky, so it won’t be that satisfying for those of you with mommy and/or daddy issues who are watching in a darkened room with a box of kleenex.

The description in city pages is actually much racier than the actual video:

And these are not just innocent pecks on the lips. The parents are intimately lip-locking their children for several seconds. One even progresses to rolling around on the gym floor. In another instance, a mother moves her son’s hand south so he’s grasping her butt.

via Boing Boing, Gawker, where everyone seems to be completely scandalized.