Mean and Done


If you've ever left a comment on a blog, you may very well have come across “word” verification.

On blogs hosted by Blogger, as elsewhere, the author can select an option asking
people commenting to type a seemingly random bunch of letters to prove that they're actual humans rather than automated envoys of mischief or malevolence. This used to take the form of a single nonsense string that almost always could be a real word, but wasn't; then, last year, the hosting service joined the ranks of websites using heinously jumbled-up, visually skewed mixes of characters. Previously the nonsense “words” tended to have vowels and consonants placed in such an order that they were pronounceable, leading me to invent definitions for them based on actual words, morphemes, and phrases they suggested.

I took to sharing those definitions in comments, when they came readily to mind, then filing them away and periodically presenting batches here on my own blog. It was an endeavor not unlike Sniglets, which Rich Hall popularized on HBO's Not Necessarily the News and in a series of books back in the '80s, except in reverse. I've laid absolutely no claim to being either the first or the best at this, but I've been told I'm not bad at it either, and I'm genuinely sorry that the absence of that older format of word verification has led to a near-total shutdown in new definitions.

cztory — [ztoh ree] n. A Slavic tale.

ermend — [uhr mend; ee ahr mend] v. Fix someone up in the trauma center.

archMC — [artch em see] n. Preeminent (or sly) rapper.

It Won't Be Long


Fringe 5.11 The Boy Must Live / Photo of Michael Cerveris as September / Donald with Spencer List as young bald Observer boy Michael

This post is currently down for maintenance.

Greedo, Buzz Lightyear, and
Spider-Man Walk into the Batcave...


I'm not setting up a joke there. It's just what happens when toy lines collide.

Photo of various action figures along with toy fire truck, Batvan, and Bat-Signal outside Batcave playset

During my sister's visit with her kids last summer we decided to drag some old stuff
out of the basement. I had gotten my nephew Ishmael (real name classified) a Batman figure for his birthday — from the 2008 Dark Knight movie line, I think, although I
was happy to find one with a gray-&-black motif rather than the solid black seen in the films. He told me that he "really, really wished" for a Batmobile and he thought that we could find one. Aware that no Batmobile per se was in my stash but having discussed with my sister giving him my Kenner Star Wars figures, I decided to literally dust off a couple of great Mego items for him: the Batcave playset and what was officially titled the Mobile Bat Lab; I liked to call it the Batvan.

Future Tense


Art of older Wolverine and Kitty/Kate Pryde cornered in front of a wall, spotlight on them and the poster behind them listing mutants who have been captured or killed, from the cover to 'X-Men' #141 with new text reading 'Welcome to 2013, X-Men... Hope You Survive the Experience!'
Art from cover of X-Men #141 with text based on the cover
to
X-Men #139 © 1980 Marvel Comics. Pencils: John
Byrne. Inks: Terry Austin. Colors: Unknown.



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