August 31st, 2013

Kermit And Piggy

Aw, It's Too Bad He's Not Around To See This

It was one of the most spectacular moves in music history.  Michael Jackson managing to grab the rights to the Beatles catalog from under Paul McCartney's nose.  Jackson claimed he did it to save the songs, but not only had rumors long circulated that he had his eye on the Beatles catalog, but he promptly leveraged it into a $1 billion loan that he would pay back with the expected royalties and rights licenses.  At the time of Jackson's death, Sony had paid to be part owner of the catalog.

While my own feelings on McCartney's music can be iffy at times, he remained the one member of the Beatles to be a genuine human being and a great guy.  I thought the whole thing was bullshit, but what can you do?

Turns out, he just has to wait five years.

There's a funny little thing in the US copyright act that was enacted in 1976.  Made to bring the US more in line with the international community, it included bits about reclaiming ownership.  Songwriters, for example, can reclaim ownership of songs after 56 years.

That means McCartney can reclaim a significant portion of the Beatles catalog starting in 2018 from their 1962 days all the way up to their 1970 compositions in 2026.

All McCartney has to do is live until he's 76.

And all the lawyers in the world can't stop it from happening.

And that is what we call "just desserts."
Bleeding Cool

You're Slipping, Peter


The Night The Lights Went Out In Beckland

Whoa!  I get to kick around Glenn Beck?!?  Cool!  It's been too long!

As longtime readers know, I'm on the fence about global warming and climate change.  My personal belief is that the weather changes are triggered by sunspot activity and we don't have enough scientific data (I'm aware of anecdotal that claims to disprove global warming, but there's also anecdotal evidence supporting it.  What's more, these are cute little factoids that don't really prove anything, but people bring them up just to piss off the other side.  That's not science, that's trolling, and I usually automatically dismiss such things).

Now, just because you say global warming is real, that doesn't mean I dismiss you as a kook or even disregard everything about you, and just because you think this is a natural cycle, that doesn't mean you are my kind of guy.  I do not look at other people as simply supporters or opposers to my cause.  I will listen and consider from both sides as long as they have something intelligent to say.  There are several people who believe global warming that I dismiss because I don't think they've thought very hard, they conveniently overlook facts as they wave their flag.  As ying_ko_4 pointed out about my slamming Bill Nye, "So you liked him as long as you agreed with him."  Technically, he's right about that, and I admit it.  On the other hand, the immortal Cecil Adams likewise believes global warming is happening.  Now, when The World's Smartest Human says there is something to this, HIM I will listen to.  That one fact, that one endorsement, is enough to get me to think that maaaaaaaaaaybe I don't have all the facts and I need to keep in mind there might be something to this after all.

If only the debate was limited to smart people.

Glenn Beck is a walking talking argument for retroactive abortion rights.  The guy isn't a right winger, the guy is a fascist.  Beck recently tried saying he was going to turn down his rhetoric and be a better human being.  Us longtime Beck bashers thought, "Yeah, right."

On his radio show, Beck ordered an employee to write a memo saying that anyone in his office caught using CFL's instead of regular light bulbs was to be fired immediately.  Boy, I can't wait to see how the Employment Commission rules on THAT.  ""I'm dead serious.  I fire the person that starts to purchase fluorescent light bulbs, unless that is the only light bulb for a very specific reason, and I want to be cc'd on what that reason is."  Uh, incandescent bulbs were redesigned a few years ago to be more efficient, so if you want to avoid anything that isn't wasteful, you're now working by candlelight.  People want to use CFL's because they feel they are saving the environment.  Let 'em!  How does someone using a CFL affect you in the slightest?  And that's just people who want to use them, not those of use who have to use them.  I use a CFL in my drawing lamp because I can use the equivalent of a 250 watt bulb in a fixture that is only rated for 60 watts.

Beck also ordered his employees not to order recyclable spoons anymore, either.  “If anyone does anything in this company because of global warming, they’re fired.”  I know the economy is rough out there, but is it really worth working in a place like that?

And what's really sad is, people will cite him as proof that global warming is a myth.
Thor Likes It

Women's Rights, Lefts, And Uppercuts To The Jaw

Readers!  Come and honor a hero among us!

Gail Simone is the current writer of Batgirl.  Before that, she wrote Birds Of Prey.  She is almost as well known for her writing skill as she is for her political beliefs.  The woman is not shy about stating her feelings.  Some people like to say, "Well, yeah, anyone can be gutsy on the page.  But would she do that stuff in real life?"

Well...yes.  Yes, she would.  And she did.

Simone posted to her blog about how she and another guy literally risked their lives to save another woman.

"So I grabbed my keys and my phone to go see what I could do. By this time, she's full on screaming and the guy is cursing and yelling, and at the very least, I can hear that he's hitting her. I run towards the sound, and she comes running out of the dark area between two of the apartment buildings--she's thrown her shoes off to be able to run.

"And she's screaming HELP ME.

"And the guy comes out after her.

"Now, it's dark, and there's nobody around. And when I worked at a crisis center, they used to warn us not to go into dark, enclosed areas like this when there's a dangerous situation.

"So the guy is chasing her, and I make it to her, and put myself between him and the girl. I have my keyring clenched in my fist with the keys sticking out, which does a lot of damage very quickly, if necessary. I am weirdly, completely calm, but it is also very clear that this guy is not going to be allowed to put his hands on the girl. What I don't know is that my son, in his room on the third floor, has heard the shouting and is looking for the number for the complex's security."

It's at this point the other guy shows up, and joins Simone in blocking the guy's path.  Her son can't find the number, and rushes down to see if he can help.  He joins the human barricade, meaning this asshole is facing a three to one fight against people ready to take him down.

Then the girl they were protecting found her cell phone and called the cops.  He split.

Keep in mind this could have gone horribly horribly wrong.  What if the attacker had a gun?  What if he tried attacking Simone before the next guy showed up?  Someone could have been hurt, maimed, maybe even killed.

But that didn't matter.  Saving this woman was all that counted.  And they did it.

Simone wrote about it on her blog.  She then wrote another entry telling people to quit praising her, she wasn't a hero.

Bullshit she's not.

One of the things you learn when you get into any field is that 90% of the people you thought were so cool when you were on the outside looking in?  They're actually total douchebags, ready to fight by the corporate masters that own them or just to serve their own egos.  That happened to me just this month.

Which makes discovering that 10%, the genuine people who WILL do the right thing, that much more wonderful.

Come and honor these heroes among us.

No, It's Not What You Think

So I've gotten messages from people asking me if I'm going to either a) actually make an Escape From Lavender Town game for the Atari 2600, or b) if I'm going to port the actual Escape From Lavender Town to the 2600.

No.  (Jesus, you guys sure didn't think I'd be making Pokemon Creepy Black.  Well, then again....)

For those who don't know, Escape From Lavender Town is a creepypasta, campfire stories for the Internet age.  They're all phony, and their whole thing is to spook the listener.  Naturally, you have jump scares (the Tails Doll story), but you also have ones that are pretty damn convincing and work quite well (Suicide Mouse).

There are several for Pokemon, including Lost Silver, Creepy Black, and, of course, Escape From Lavender Town.  Garage programmers have taken it upon themselves to actually make playable versions of these. EFLT is the shortest, only about five minutes from start to finish, and you don't really do anything.  Here's a video of the play through.  There is some weirdness to it, but I didn't find it all that spooky or scary, just a waste of time.  (Note:  standard epilepsy warning because of flashing images and whatnot.)

So, no.  I don't see the point as this isn't really a game.  I do have some standards.