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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Two out of three ain't bad.

(From Irregular Webcomic! Click for full-sized dream motivations.)

We've been on a trek across history over the past week or so, and either the recreation of the universe has resulted in changing history, or more likely, we're restarting all the themes at the effective beginning of their respective stories.

(Wouldn't it be funny if the last comic was the same as the first one? Spoilered out to avoid giving David Morgan-Mar any ideas, not that I would object to seeing it if he already came up with the idea.)

But there appears to be an added side effect of the ongoing Irregular Crisis. It appears that Morgan-Mar has now introduced a new "Scientific Revolution" theme.

And this new theme not only includes Ishmael's encounter with Isaac Newton in the afterlife, but also the encounter the Pirates had with Lewis Carroll. (Which appears to have a bug: the former strip skips the latter when you click on the new theme's "Next" button.)

Despite the fact that Carroll lived in the 19th century and Newton in the 17th.

It's apparent that Morgan-Mar has a lot of plans for this theme.

But just enough about it is off-putting to me that it may accelerate my departure from IWC, especially if it becomes clear quickly just what we're doing, which could come as soon as any theme's second strip, especially the new one's.

Oh dear God, this makes it a gazillion times harder for me, doesn't it?

Freehostia appears to be down for some reason, so you get the comic here now while I wait for it to come back up again.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I got really REALLY distracted with various matters over the course of the day. I may have a double webcomic post over the course of the next week so I can focus on Sandsday now.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Not a good day.

I was all set to have a mostly April Fool's-free day. I would be spending most of my time preparing for the next epic Sandsday series. I wouldn't get tripped up by anything today, that's for damn sure.

Well, I've been dodging April Fool's jokes left and right on the Internet, while getting bogged down in writer's block and distractions for the series and fighting off a headache. (Right now I have two strips written and they're probably going to get the hatchet treatment.) And I have an assignment I need to get done for tomorrow... and last night I got around to coming up for an idea for the OOTS post that doesn't rely on following the current strips but which is going to take quite a bit of doing... and I still need to look for a job... and I'm already getting a head start on falling behind on the textbook...

Maybe I can make some incremental progress on the series while waiting to see the new OOTS strip...

You know this isn't an April Fool's joke because it's an update on a previous post.

Honestly, I wasn't planning to have more than the Random Internet Discovery today...

So Awful Announcing has an early look at the new SportsCenter graphics and intro and... it's basically a modified version of the ESPNEWS graphics. The new intro looks rather spiffy though:

SportsCenter Opening Animation from ESPN Communications on Vimeo.

Neither AA nor ESPN's press site has "regular" graphics for talking heads and the like, but you really have to see the graphics up close to appreciate them. There's actually a slight parallelogram look to the Bottom Line, and some sort of beveling effect going on down there as well.

Still intend to get up early on Monday to see it in action.

God must be playing an April Fool's joke.

Is it just me, or is complaining about snow in spring becoming an annual Da Blog tradition?

I'd make a global warming comment, except I just got out of a class where the teacher told an anecdote about it snowing on Tax Day (well, today's Tax Day) in his youth.

Random Internet Discovery of the Week

(Debating whether to give this the webcomic treatment...)

I only really understand a few panels of it, actually. Which is probably to be expected, considering I'm not that much of a geek.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Before, I might have thought V could stretch the splice into the next book. Now? Not so much.

(From The Order of the Stick. Click for full-sized terms of lease.)

I'm going to try and be quick with this.

Because it was a makeup for arguably not having a February OOTS post, I don't consider the post I made when V took this deal to be an official OOTS post for most purposes.

That means I still owe you a March OOTS post, and that will probably come when the next strip does.

But I do want to give a cautionary tale to Aspiring Webcomickers Everywhere, regarding the previous strip, which I don't think Rich thought through.

OOTS doesn't accompany its strips with posting dates, which means later archive bingers won't realize the connection to March. More to the point, now and in the future, non-Americans won't get the joke at all. And it doesn't help that, legibility reasons or no, the Arizona State Sun Devil is misidentified as simply "Arizona".

The moral: Use topical strips with caution.

That is all.

Okay, I have to check this out.

Sometime next week, you're going to get a sports TV graphics roundup and review.

Because SportsCenter is overhauling its graphics package.

I may wake up slightly before 6 AM on Monday just to see it debut. I wonder if this is a sign that SportsCenter and other ESPN programs are (finally) moving to the graphics package that has populated ESPN's actual sporting events since the debut of MNF on ESPN (and been ubiquitous on them since April 2007)?

Or... is it an entirely new graphics package, and I need to watch baseball's Opening Night the previous night to see if it makes its "real" debut there?

A funny thing happened on Around the Horn Monday...

The topic was Tiger's win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Bob Ryan opens the discussion by saying it's his second-best win behind his first win at the Masters! Kevin Blackistone slides it behind only his win at Pebble Beach nine years ago.

Then after Jay speaks, Woody Paige chimes in: hey, remember his last win? The one he won in a 19-hole playoff on one leg at the US Open? And Ryan quickly slides this win below the US Open win and Blackistone claims Woody's somehow agreeing with him even though he still has only the Masters and 2000 Pebble ahead of this one, not the Open.

It's still absurd to rank it this high when it's really a stage-setter for this year's Masters, though. It's like after the Super Bowl when it seems like everyone leaps to call it the Greatest Super Bowl Evar(r) every single year.

Monday, March 30, 2009




If you're willing to put a channel on the sports tier, why not let it be ESPNU? Or even better, why not let cable operators decide for themselves which channel to put on the sports tier? You're going to abandon Classic like that? Baby steps!

(Does this mean the end of Classic as an overflow channel?)

How odd is it...

...that the top 16 entries in Yahoo Sports' Tournament Challenge ALL have North Carolina winning it all? I should have picked UConn so I could beat them all. I still wouldn't place first, but still.

And how bizarre is it that, in a year in which I picked almost at random, I'm in the ninety-seventh percentile of Yahoo rankings? Or that even with that, I'm still not in the top 65,000? That means they got something like over two million entries, and they're not ESPN. Ouch.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The 2009 Mid-Major Conference

Refer to this post if you don't know what this is about or to catch up on the rules.

This year, only three conferences produced multiple bids to the NCAA Tournament: the MWC, A-10, and Horizon League. These conferences are guaranteed one spot each in the Mid-Major Conference.

Three teams reached the Sweet 16, all from different conferences. Of these, Gonzaga and Memphis did not come from a multi-bid conference, while Xavier did. From the Mountain West Conference, neither team won its first round game; from the Horizon League, one team won its first round game while the other did not. Utah and BYU split the season series, but Utah won the conference tournament and BYU, obviously, did not.

This leaves three spots in the MMC to be determined by my discretion, with no conference restrictions.

Without further ado, the eight members of the 2008 Mid-Major Conference:

Memphis (Conference USA)
Gonzaga (West Coast Conference)
Xavier (Atlantic 10)
Cleveland State (Horizon League)
Utah (Mountain West Conference)
Siena (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference)
Western Kentucky (Sun Belt Conference)
Utah State (Western Athletic Conference)

Davidson and Creighton were the only teams to make the NIT second round from conferences that didn't qualify teams automatically, and both lost. After being passed over under the Northwestern State rule last year, Siena was a shoo-in for the MMC this year with a #9 seed and first-round tournament win. That left Western Kentucky, which won a first round game, to compete with VCU, Utah State, and Northern Iowa for the remaining spots. Northwestern State rule aside, I decided to push the Hilltoppers through because of their seed, and the remaining spot went to the team I most associated with an at-large bid opportunity.