I moved

So I moved. This blog used to be on Tumblr, but I decided to to bring it over to Mostly because, uh, I work here now.

I’ve been kind of quiet for a while, so let me catch you up. Up until May, I was working for the feds, doing work for It was okay, but government work wasn’t my favorite.

My buddy Dennis, who I met writing at, recommended I apply for Automattic, the company behind I gave it a shot because it sounded like a great job, but, frankly, I wasn’t sure if I had much of a chance.

Then, I got an e-mail. They wanted to talk to me! And then they wanted to do a follow-up. And then they offered me a four to six week trial. And then they asked me to stay on full-time.

So now I work here, and it made sense to move my blog over and try to work more from the user side as well as the employee side. (Weird Shit Blog is staying on Tumblr because I’ve got way too many followers to ditch that.)

I imported some of my Tumblr posts over. Not all of them. The old site’s still there, if you give a shit.

As for writing stuff, I’ve put my freelancing on hold to focus on the new job. I’m still working on my short story collection, Other Gods. Did you know that writing fiction is super fucking hard when you haven’t done it for a couple of years and people have been paying you to write non-fiction instead? Because it is.

I wanted to finish Other Gods for Weird Shit Blog’s fifth anniversary (7/6/15). That’s looking super unlikely, unless I somehow find a way to go back in time. (Believe me, I feel like a huge asshole for not having it finished yet, especially because some people have already paid me for it.)

I’ll be writing here, though. I’m thinking of bringing back my “I’ve Never Seen…” series that I was doing at Film School Rejects. It didn’t bring a ton of traffic, but I ain’t give no fucks ’bout traffic round here. I watched the second Indiana Jones movie a few weeks ago (for this column at Cracked) and had Thoughts (tm) about it.

I’ve got some other ideas I can dig back out, too. Things that felt too long for Tumblr, but would work fine here. Terrible, disgusting things. Okay, probably not. But maybe?


GLaDOS (Beware: Portal 2 Spoilers)

I’ve been getting comments and messages from people asking why we didn’t mention anything about Portal 2 in today’s article, specifically about the reveal that GLaDOS actually is a trapped woman, of sorts. There’s a few reasons:

1) We wrote the article about a month ago, before Portal 2 was even out.

2) It’d kind of kill the article for people who hadn’t played the game yet. (They’d have to duck out at the spoiler warning, like I imagine people will do for this blog post.)

3) It apparently wasn’t actually intentional.

On that third point, I’ve been playing Portal 2 with commentary on (which is how I found out that GLaDOS’s model in the first game was based on Venus, plus it’s just fun and interesting) and in the underground Aperture Labs levels, there’s actually a node that specifically mentions that Caroline and GLaDOS’s backstory came later in Portal 2’s development. (It’s right at the beginning of chapter 7. It’s seriously right out of the gate.) Originally, Cave Johnson’s assistant was a pitiable scientist named Greg, but they didn’t want to hire a new actor just for a couple of lines. So, they changed Greg into Caroline, had Ellen McLain (GLaDOS’s voice actress) do the lines, and that’s when they realized that it made a good hook into GLaDOS’s backstory.

Here’s a screenshot of what it says:

Seems like it was just one of those happy accidents. Still, though, it’s pretty fucking rad that it worked out that way.


Adult Swim aired a bump tonight that references my first article I wrote for!

It says:

“Hold on. We just read that between 2003 and 2008, 108 people died from ‘cattle induced injuries’, but only four people died from ‘shark attacks.’ We’re sorry sharks, we had it all wrong.”


Deleted Scenes: 6 Songs That Were Decades Ahead of ‘Groundbreaking’ Music

First things first: I had a lot of questions about this article, about why I didn’t include one thing or another, or why I didn’t choose this song for the modern comparison instead of this other one. The truth is, a lot goes on behind the scenes of a Cracked article that you don’t see. The editorial team and the writer(s) involved (in this case, myself) spend a lot of time picking and choosing what does and doesn’t make it into the articles, and the final decision lies with the editors at all times. They’re the guys who know what works and what doesn’t because their job depends on it. Cracked didn’t get where it is now by making arbitrary decisions about what will and won’t work on the front page. Everything is carefully crafted to be funny, informative, and interesting. Keeping people’s interest is one of the most important things an article needs to do.

So, if I could have used Throbbing Gristle or Einsturzende Neubauten for my comparison on Caledonia, I would have. (I actually really wanted to use Skinny Puppy’s Dig It.) In the end, though, the editors wanted me to stick to popular bands so that the majority of readers had a hook to get them interested, and truth be told, Nine Inch Nails is just far more familiar to most people than any of those other bands. It’s not a perfect match, but I think most people got the point. I hope so, anyway.

That said, these are the songs that didn’t make the cut. I’m not going to do the whole comparison thing here. I’ll just show them off for the folks who are interested in seeing what got left in the editing process.

(Also, I turned on the option for people to ask me questions because I just figured out where it was. Hooray!)

Los Saicos – El entierro de los gatos (1965)

This was my favorite of the ones we cut. Peruvian punk rock from 1965. Yeah, it’s not fantastic or anything, but still pretty cool to see where garage rock started to turn into punk.

Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup – That’s All Right (1946)

This one came from an article I found where a music historian declared it to be the first true rock ‘n’ roll song. The thing I thought was interesting was that Elvis’s first single was a cover of this song recorded eight years later, and he barely changed a thing.

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – I Put a Spell On You (1956)

Hawkins really had his own thing going on in the 50s and 60s, and he was amazing to watch. Long before there was even such a thing as shock rock, this guy was doing faux-voodoo rituals and wearing insane costumes. (Arthur Brown had a really theatrical flair, as well. Check out this song of his from 1968.)

Stevie Wonder – Close To You (1972)

It’s 1972, and Stevie Wonder just pulled out some motherfucking autotune on The David Frost Show. I thought this one was funny, but it just wasn’t strong enough to stand as its own entry.

Jacula – Triumphatus Sad (1969)

This was the song that inspired me to do the article. Someone linked it in a thread on Cracked’s forums and set me off finding others like it. This one had a few problems with authenticity, though. There’s some controversy over whether or not it’s real or a re-recording with modern instruments. Some people have said that you couldn’t get that sound out of a guitar in 1969. Originally, this song was going to be used to illustrate that loud, crunchy guitars weren’t necessarily out of the question for the 60s, but the editors weren’t happy with the possibility of it being a hoax. So, when it died on the vine, Francoise Hardy took its place.

I hope everyone enjoyed the article and these leftovers. I’ve got two more collaborations with Max Yezpitelok in the pipeline (And, as always, we have plans for more in the near future.)

I also have a collaboration with Pauli Poisuo on the way that I suspect my long-term readers will really love. (That should be a big hint regarding the subject matter.)


Deleted Scenes: 6 Supervillain Devices You Can Make at Home

I thought I’d share some of the things that ended up on the cutting room floor from my article this morning, because they’re still pretty damn weird, even if we couldn’t use them. Check it:

Taser Glove:

Some dude has Instructables for making an electro-shock glove. It has two modes: A quick, short zap, or you can charge that bitch up like Mega Man and blast the shit out of someone. Also looks like you’re a janitor out for blood.

Dry Ice Cannon

Another weekend DIY project. This thing can fire pretty much anything you want. Huge can of beer, kittens, human feces, you name it.

BFG – Dry Ice Cannon from sonium on Vimeo.

It’s really pretty simple to make, too. Here are some instructions.

The Dragoncycle

I couldn’t use this one because Robert Brockway beat me to it, that magnificent bastard. It’s still a weird, wonderful device, worthy of any deranged maniac.


Basically, it’s a bunch of motorcycle parts all mashed together to vaguely resemble a walking dragon machine that actually breathes fire. It looks more like a dog to me. Cerberus themed villain, anyone? No?

Some Awesome Robot Henchmen

These ended up being totally outside the scope of the article, so they never even got editor-approved. Still, they’re way, way awesome.

First we’ve got this robot built from a Microsoft Kinect and a Roomba. It uses the Kinect to see the world (since a Kinect is really just an infrared sensitive camera) and interpret voice and gesture commands. All you have to do is add a machine gun, point at your nemesis, and yell, “GET HIM!” Just don’t, you know, point at your crotch and yell, “GET SOME!” or something while taunting said nemesis. Wouldn’t want the poor thing getting confused.

Similarly, this little guy uses ultrasound in addition to infrared light to navigate its way around. It’s more of a built-from-the-ground-up version of the Kinect-Bot. The difference is, this one is already shaped like a tank.

Automated Lair Security Turrets

These got left out because the mind-controlled flamethrower kinda overshadowed them. Okay, so they were actually meant for paintball, but come on. “>These guys will sell you their targeting program, to which you can attach anything you please. Machine gun, bazooka, no one’s gonna judge. I just wonder how their neighbors put up with that shit.

Badass Coil Gun

This shit just looks crazy, like Cable came to life and realized that this world did not have the kinds of guns he was used to.

It’s what’s known as a coil gun, and the idea (though not this specific weapon) got used before, so I had to drop it. Instead of using tiny, controlled explosions to fire, this thing uses electromagnetic energy. It may not be quite as deadly as a traditional firearm, but when has efficiency been a higher priority than looking cool when we’re talking about supervillainy?


Strange Dreams

My wife and I frequently like to compare dreams. She has odd ones fairly often, so a few months ago, we both picked up journals to record our dreams in. I can’t find mine at the moment, and now several hours have passed, so the memories have faded, but it seemed interesting enough to share what I can remember:

Someone vaguely resembling my older brother invented a time machine. It was just a huge bag that you covered yourself up with that slowly dissolved. The problem was, the “machine” would only take you to the year 1988. Why 1988? How the fuck should I know? I knew it was 1988 because the A*Team was still on the air, though. (Now that I’ve looked it up, though, The A*Team went off the air in 1986, but it made sense in the dream.)

I don’t remember all the details, but one of the other scientists who invented it decided to abuse it by going back to 1988 and beating up kids who would later grow into adults he didn’t like.

At some point, the dream shifted so that the time machine was no longer a time machine, but a computer that could make anything you wished happen. I assisted Daffy Duck, who could walk through walls, in his attempts to steal said machine from a huge warehouse. Plucky Duck joined us and used the computer to wish that he could give a blowjob to a cyclops. (One of the huge ones from the Odyssey, not the X-Man.) That’s the last thing I remember about it.

What the hell is wrong with me?

In other news, my wife bought me a copy of Amnesia: The Dark Descent on Steam as a belated birthday present. (We were broke when my birthday actually happened.) I kept putting off playing it for various reasons, mostly due to time spent writing or researching, but I finally sat down and played it last night. Current impressions are that it’s a very simple game, but incredibly effective. It’s very intense, and it doesn’t hold back on the suspense one bit. I’m about two hours in. I may share more thoughts on it later, as I get further along.

Finally, I wanted to say that I’ve got two more Cracked articles on the way, both collaborations with fellow writers, and another possibility that’s solely mine. I’ve no idea when those first two might go up, or if the third will go up at all, but I’ll post something on here/Facebook/Twitter when they do.

PS- My short story (The Holiday Spirit) took first prize. Sure, it’s just bragging rights and there were only four entries total, but I’m happy anyway.