Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

The Johnstown Monster - 1971 (1).JPG

Now, I can tell I have you thinking two things here. First, you’re wondering what the Johnstown Monster is and, second, you’re wondering what mystery about it has been solved. A headline like this is the kind of thing you expect from a Nessie or Bigfoot site when writing their latest article about how they’ve solved the mystery of the monster’s identity and determined the Loch Ness Monster is an overweight eel that hasn’t had sex in over fifty years. This would not be that type of mystery solved article.

No, this is about a movie. This is about the identity of a movie I’ve been trying to find the identity of for decades now. The mystery for me was what was the name of the movie I watched many moons ago in my long-forgotten youth. The answer I have finally found is 1971’s The Johnstown Monster.

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Okay, some of what I’m going to bring up may come across as a bit “Duh!” to many of you, but… I’ve been going to Dragon Con since 2006. In that time, I have seen and heard so many discussions where people talked about the things they missed or messed up and felt stupid for doing so. First, don’t feel stupid. Anything that’s a large undertaking requires at least a little research and/or a little bit of a learning curve. I’ve been going for 13 years. I still occasionally learn something from someone else that makes my preparation or my Dragon Con weekend easier and I know people who have been going for 20 to 30 years who can say the same thing. Additionally, it’s easy to make mistakes that seem embarrassingly obvious to you after you’ve discovered you made them, but a number of people- very smart and normally on top of everything people -who have gone to Dragon Con have made some of the very same mistakes I’ll be touching on.

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[This article was originally written for publication on the Needless Things website in August of 2018. Unfortunately, it was a part of the archives lost in the September 2018 migration of the site to a new platform. In the case of this and the other ‘Around Dragon Con’ articles being published this month, the things covered here are still as contemporary and relevant as they were when these articles were originally on Needless Things. Enjoy this one and the others, and, hopefully, you’ll find something in the ‘Around Dragon Con’ articles that will make your time in Atlanta better than it’s been before.]

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Located in downtown Atlanta by Centennial Olympic Park- just a few blocks diagonal from the Dragon Con host hotels -is the Georgia Aquarium. Officially opened to the public in 2005, it was the largest aquarium in the world until the 2012 opening of the Marine Life Park in Singapore. Someone else coming along and beating it out for sheer size was no small feat. The Georgia Aquarium is home to several thousand species of saltwater and freshwater life from around the world living and swimming in over 10 million gallons of water. Just a little over 6 million gallons of that water can be found in the aquarium’s primary exhibit, allowing it to be one of only two institutions in the world to house whale sharks. You’ll also see swimming alongside the whale sharks some of the largest manta rays you’re likely to ever see, as well as more fish and more varieties of fish than you can likely count in one single day’s trip to the Georgia Aquarium.

What’s sometimes still a surprise to me when at Dragon Con is talking to my fellow con-goers and discovering how many of them have never been to the Georgia Aquarium. It’s even more surprising when they seem to not even know there is a Georgia Aquarium. Why? Well…

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Pride

I wrote this on Facebook about two weeks ago. I’m sharing it here because it’s easier to link to this blog and have things seen than it is to link to Facebook and, frankly, I’ve gotten tired of writing and rewriting even the much shorter explanations. 

Yes, there is a valid need right now for a Pride Month and Pride events. No, there is no valid need for Straight Pride events. Here’s why.

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So, Max Landis…

Posted: June 19, 2019 in Life, News
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Christ, this is very much some dark, scary reading. One aspect of the scary bit is the timeline. I’ve heard for a few years now some rumblings and outright accusations, but this covers a decade or more and is far darker than what I had heard. The thing that’s the most fucked up about that isn’t the timeline in and of itself, it’s more a matter of who he was at the time it was happening. Or, maybe the better way to say that is to say it as who he wasn’t.

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For those coming into the story late…

Stuff happened in 2018. It wasn’t particularly good stuff. It was noisy and it was occasionally ugly and nothing particularly good spun out of it. I didn’t discuss it in any great detail back when it was happening and I have no desire to dredge it all up here now. But the fallout from the not particularly good stuff that happened in 2018 is more than just a tad somewhat relevant to what and where the convention found itself this year. So, know that stuff happened, some somewhat not particularly good stuff, and it put into question more than a few matters about the convention’s immediate and long-range future. There was also apparently a lot more on the line going into con this year than I knew going into it, and it created a vastly different experience at this convention this year than I expected to have.

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When people do something in a monumentally stupid way, I usually have no issue pointing out that they just did something in a monumentally stupid way. When people do something in a monumentally stupid way and then follow that up by doubling down in perhaps an even more monumentally stupid way, I usually have no issue with pointing that out. Occasionally, when someone doesn’t end up doubling down in ways that makes them come off as a bit of an ass, I’ll even try to be fairly polite about it. Blunt honesty about how someone is behaving might not come across as “polite” in a way Miss Manners would endorse, but, hey, she occasionally over the years came across as less than polite and sometimes even more than a tad condescending.

However, one thing I do hate to do is to punch down. A few days ago, a statement- perhaps in the eyes of some even a borderline challenge -was directed at me where I just rolled my eyes, joked with a few friends about it, and more or less decided to leave it alone and move on. At the time, as the person seemed to be desperately trying to sink himself and a project he wanted to launch, it seemed like responding in the way he suggested I do so would be a little bit like me punching down- in this case punching down on a guy barely holding onto a life preserver in shark-infested waters while simultaneously dumping chum all over himself.

It’s a few days later. I’ve thought about it. Not all that much, mind you, but enough. Just enough to realize that something I said to this fellow was fairly accurate and worth following up on. His actions and his reactions to the fallout from his actions are worth noting and discussing if for no other reason than they are a “How To” guide for everyone else out there. However, in his case, he is and seems to be intent on becoming even more so a “How To” guide on everything you want to not do if you’re hoping to do a project along the lines of his proposed project.

I’m going to work very hard to rein in my natural tendencies towards sarcasm here. There are three reasons for this. First, this is the kind of mistake many fans or fan/pros out there could easily make in this day and age. Second, while the man is acting in a damned fool way, he hasn’t exactly (yet) struck me as someone trying to be a jackass. That could change based on things he’s already expressed on the matter, but I’m going to give him some benefit of the doubt for now. Third… Well, I’ll touch on that reason towards the end of this.

Actually, I’ll add a fourth reason why I’ll rein in my natural tendencies towards sarcasm here. He may very well be a nice guy who doesn’t act like this very often. I don’t know. I have no real way of knowing that. He may normally be a nice, fairly on top of it guy who is just acting in an extremely poor manner here.

Oh, also… If the individual in question sees all of this and feels it puts him in a poor light or that my using him as an example for others of what not to do casts his recent actions in a negative light… Well, there’s a part of me that’s at least a little sorry for that. However, keep in mind; he basically suggested I do this.

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