Archive for August 26, 2008

Not Down with a Brown Harry Potter (or Prince of Persia)?

From the Head of the Q.U. Crypto-Visual Media Department

Warner Brothers is suing a Bollywood film company because the title of their film is ‘Hari Puttar: A Comedy of Terrors.’  And Warner Bros. thinks that name is too much like Harry Potter. 


Yet the film has nothing to do with wizards or magic.  It is a Home Alone-style story.  And according to the article, Hari is a common Indian name, and "puttar" means son. 

Meanwhile, a quick search of the ethernet (purely as research for this article, I assure you) reveals that there are a number of porn movies that are actually based on the Harry Potter films:

Hairy Pooter and the Sorcerer’s Bone
Harry Potter in Hermione’s Chamber of Secrets


Read more on this fascinating topic…


Klingon Terrorist Caught

From the Q.U. Crypto-Journalism Department:


Note: The following article was inspired by the Earth17a-reality events reported on via the ethernet here at


This just in:


A man was holed up in his New Jersey home wielding what police officials referred to as “one of those giant knife thingy’s from Star Trek,” after police responded to a noise complaint.  All non-lethal attempts to subdue the man with tear gas, rubber bullets, tasers, fire hoses, nets, a giant roll of fly paper, and sustained blasting of Celine Dion music failed. 


“That knife thing is truly a formidable weapon,” one officer was quoted as saying.  “Not at all unwieldy and impractical.  Not at all.”  The weapon was later identified as a Klingon “bat’leth.”

 Possibly (but not likely) the Klingon in Question

As the suspect appeared to have brown skin and a beard, the U.S. military anti-terrorism unit was called in.


Military negotiators were unable to communicate with the man as he was speaking some guttural language, presumed to be “one of them Arab languages” the negotiators claimed.


Unfortunately, due to the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of the U.S. military, most linguists likely qualified to provide translations had been discharged, and those that remained were too busy sorting through the thousands of hours of civilian wiretap recordings to assist.


Luckily, Chuck Davis, a local comic store owner, happened to see footage of the event on the news and rushed to the scene armed with a fluent knowledge of the language (which was apparently Klingon), and a deluxe replica lightsaber.  Davis boldly entered the house, and emerged minutes later with the disarmed perpetrator, and only a small cut on his arm. 


Davis was overheard telling the military officials that, “The guy was just upset to hear that Worf’s ancestors were not being worked into the new J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie.  Does he really need to go to Guantanamo?” 


When asked about the cut on his arm, Davis replied, “What, this?  ‘Tis merely a flesh wound.”




Nessie v Leprechauns: Bigfoot Memo

Internal Memo from the Head of the Q.U. Crypto-Zoology Department

As you may have heard, the frozen Bigfoot found in the U.S. was “revealed” to be a hoax – just a gorilla suit frozen in a block of ice.

Bigfoot Pic

The Ethernet article to which the link above jumps to also mentioned, however, that the two men who purchased the Bigfoot also search for leprechauns and the Loch Ness monster.  


As we here at Q.U. well know, leprechaun operatives from the U.S. Leprechaun Protection League actually spirited away the real Bigfoot corpse and replaced it with a fake.  After all, if these men were to prove that Bigfoot is real, folks might start to consider the possibility that leprechauns are real as well, and no wee leprechaun would want that.


However, the leprechauns took this action without first consulting with Nessie, who was hoping to somehow leverage the resulting media exposure about her to raise awareness of issues such as ocean warming and pollution.


Nessie is therefore suing the leprechauns. 


I have thus been advised by the Q.U. legal team that any queries you receive regarding Bigfoot, leprechauns, the Loch Ness Monster, environmental issues, or, as always, banana cream pies, should be forwarded to them and NOT responded to.


Thank you all for your cooperation.




Sir Penguin

 A penguin in Scotland was knighted by the Norwegians.  I don’t really have any commentary on it — the story pretty well stands on its own. 

I will say, however, that the penguin speaks remarkable Norwegian Penguinese — you can’t even hear his Scottish Penguinese brogue.  Which is actually kind of a shame, because his brogue is so damned charming.


How Frodo, Sam (and possibly you) are “Mostly Gay”

From the Head of the Q.U. Crypto-Psychology Department

I’ve heard many a person who has watched the Lord of the Rings movies say that Frodo and Sam were gay.  But as it turns out, they were probably just “mostly” gay.


In fact, the new information presented in an article by Robert Kunzig in the June, 2008 issue of Psychology Today  suggests that even the manliest of heterosexual men and feminine of heterosexual females who read this are likely a little “gay,” though they may not realize it, and would benefit from picking partners that are at least a little “gay.” 


No, I’m not talking about in Valdemar.  I’m talking right here on good ole Earth.


Whether you favor evolution, intelligent design, God’s creation, Goddess’s blessing, or alien guidance, there has been a shared difficulty in explaining why homosexuality would occur in nature when it does not appear to provide survival or reproductive benefits. 


In fact, this difficulty has led many to say homosexuality is learned and chosen behavior (in spite of its existence throughout recorded time, and in non-human species). 


And likewise, I have heard complaints when homosexuality appears in fantasy worlds.  I imagine that this happens most often when a person buys a fantasy novel looking forward to epic battles and awesome magic, and feels the inclusion of homosexuality is as unnecessary and arbitrary as disco dancing in a medieval period. 


They may see it as equivalent to sticking a Mormon missionary into the middle of Lord of the Rings, or having the heroic champion pause to rail against liberal tree-huggers who don’t understand the war against the Tarerids mages in Aroc.  They see it as a product of our society that need not exist in fantasy worlds, or as the author’s personal view being thrust upon them.


Well, the Psychology Today article offers not one but three answers to the mystery of homosexuality’s existence, and further proof that homosexuality is natural.  While the research he discusses focuses on mundane earth-folk, I’d say these same answers would apply equally whether you’re from earth or Middle Earth. 

First, it turns out there is not any single “gay gene.”  Nope, not even Rock and Republic bootcuts.  Rather, a wide variety of genetic traits and bio-chemical influences must all be just right for a man to turn out biologically homosexual (as versus the variety of hormones and recreational chemical influences that may make a young man experimentally bisexual).


Which means that yes, a man can be, say, 63 percent biologically gay.  His sexual preferences may be completely heterosexual.  He would be seen as a “real man” by today’s standards (or even by King Denethor’s standards).  But he may have increased levels of kindness, sensitivity, and other nurturing traits one might consider more feminine than masculine.  Think Aragorn.


Only if the other 37% of biological factors needed to make Aragorn gay had been just right during his creation would he have been born truly homosexual, and thus felt exclusively attracted to other men (or male elves, I suppose, although that’s a whole other level of sexual ambiguity and confusion).


So any woman seeking a man who is likely to stick around and help raise her child in a loving, nurturing environment would choose a guy who has a large number of the same “feminizing” traits that contribute to (but do not individually cause) homosexuality.


And this is how these traits have been selected for and perpetuated down through the generations, spreading them throughout the male population. 


Another genetic factor, passed down from the mother to some male homosexuals, may literally drive a desire in some women to have lots o’ sex with men.  Cue lusty bar wench.  This is good for the mother since it increases the number of offspring and therefore the overall odds of her family line continuing.  For even if one of her many sons turns out to be gay because of this trait, she has plenty of other children to produce grandkids. 


Finally, there is the “fraternal birth order effect.”  Basically, male homosexuals often have a large number of older brothers, and in fact the more older brothers a man has, the more likely he is to be gay.  Why? 


The leading theory is that women’s immune systems react to male fetuses, and with each successive pregnancy its resistance to male-specific proteins increases.  Once this immune response reaches a certain strength, it may affect the developing fetus such that it becomes gay.  This may very well explain the rarity of seventh sons of seventh sons – there’s a high probability that the first seventh son is gay, and not too likely to be fathering seven sons of his own. 


Speaking of women, what of female homosexuals?  Well, the studies focused on male homosexuals, allegedly due to the greater difficulty in determining female sexual orientation – as the article states, “women are much more likely to report fantasizing about both sexes, or to change how they report their sexual orientation over time.” 


I’m sure that is part of it, as is, I suspect, that female homosexuality is seen as more acceptable by men and therefore less “controversial” (and thus in less urgent need of explanation).  But the article suggests that perhaps similar factors that lead to male homosexuality may lead to female homosexuality – for example, a buildup of “masculinizing” genes that benefits the mother by making her a better protector of her child.


So what do all of these revelations on homosexuality mean?


It means you should replace your gaydar with the new improved gay-o-meter.


It means that homosexuality is natural and isn’t going anywhere.  Nor should it, since the individual traits that contribute to it are actually beneficial in many ways – who could complain about fathers being kind and nurturing parents? 


And it also makes sense that homosexuality can certainly exist in fantasy worlds and fantasy races as well.


On the flip side, it means that it makes no sense to deny gay couples the right to marry based on the argument that the union is “unnatural” because they can’t have offspring. 


And it means that when you say some guy who just cut you down in World of Warcraft is “so gay” as a put down, you are technically correct, if arguably as rude and unthinking as someone who uses a racial slur. 


Because every guy you can think of, both real (George W. Bush, Rick Santorum, the Pope, and Pastor Fred W. Phelps – if you actually believe they are real, that is) or fictional (Indiana Jones, Perrin Aybara, Colbey the Renshai, or Captain Sun Wolf), is likely a “little bit gay” — genetically speaking, of course.  

Your Assignment:
Share your thoughts on the issue of representations of homosexuality in genre fiction; or the use of the term “so gay;” or your evidence supporting your gay-o-meter reading of genre fiction characters; or whatever you would like related to this topic.



Stargate Continu-dumb Review

From the Head of the Q.U. Crypto-Visual Media Department


Summary – lamerific.  And since I’m not feeling too lazy to come up with anything better (unlike the writers of the movie, apparently), here’s some detail as to why.


Ark of Truth neatly wrapped up most of the loose ends of the series, and had plenty of action.


Stargate Coninuum served no purpose that I could see, and took a long boring time to do so. 


The premise was okay – Baal goes back in time and messes with the timeline so SG-1 is never formed.  A premise with great potential that was, unfortunately, already explored with better results in the series (with that super-geeky Sam and Daniel episode.  No, no, the other one.  No, not that one, the – oh, never mind).


But here’s a (lightly spoilerish) short list of why the movie dropped the ball:


1.  It Takes Forever for Anything to Happen.  Really. 

Okay folks, this is the last Stargate SG-1 movie.  Ever.  You have one and a half hours to give us a movie that will be the culmination and apex of the Stargate SG-1 saga.  Every minute should count. 


So what do they do? 


Open with a boring ceremony, and have SG-1 stand around talking about how boring it is.  (i.e. the exciting battle against … falling asleep).


Next, have them spend time using their incredible investigative skills to figure out that they are in a frozen ship (i.e. the exciting battle against … being lost). 


Then have them find a way out of the frozen ship (i.e. the exciting battle against … frozen water). 


Then have them wandering across a frozen landscape for a while (i.e. the exciting battle against … being cold). 


Then have them be rescued, and have a thrilling, long montage of … talking.  About nothing we don’t already know. (i.e. the exciting battle to … uh, whatever).


Then have them stuck in boring, everyday lives (i.e. the exciting battle against … being normal).  Which would have been fine if they had done anything with those lives that showed some character development, or if they had formed relationships that they then would have to sacrifice if they restored their timeline (emotional risk).  But nope.  Sam buys fruit-flavored cereal.  I’m SO glad you made a final movie so I could see THAT!


Oh look, movie’s more than half over, and so far, NOTHING INTERESTING HAS HAPPENED!


2. Completely Unnecessary Coincidence:

The captain of the ship that brought the Stargate to America was the grandfather of Colonel Mitchell?  Why?  How did that in any way add to the story?  Answer: it did not.  It only strained belief.  The captain could have been anybody and the story would have remained exactly the same.  Mitchell’s grandfather could have been killed in WWII as a result of the changed timeline without having to be the captain of the ship if the “grandfather” paradox was really so important to maintain. 


I can only assume that one of the writers suggested that Mitchell go back and turn out to be his own grandfather; they drafted the script, and then when the “own grandfather” idea got scrapped (rightly so) mid-production, they forgot why they even had Mitchell’s granddad as a character (and they’d already invested in the aging makeup), so still worked him in somehow.



3.  Where was Jonas Quinn and Anubis and Janet Fraiser? 

Seriously, Jonas was a key member of SG-1 for an entire season, and I enjoyed that season just as much as any other (and more than some).  If this is the final hurrah, you couldn’t find a way to work him in as well?  Have Baal scoop up the naquadria for a super power source to power his time machine or something? 


For that matter, where was Anubis?  He was a near-invincible super-baddie across multiple seasons, so if SG-1 didn’t stop him in this new timeline, how did Baal do so?  A nod at least to the biggest big bad, please.


And you couldn’t even slip in Janet as the doctor who examines the team after they’re rescued or something?  Sure, that’s stretching credibility, but that’s the kind of stretching the fans would be forgiving about.



4. No Relationship Resolutions. 

They hinted in the end of the series that Sam and O’Neil finally hooked up.  And that in the future, Jackson and Valla would do so.  So what’s the point of having a final movie if you don’t actually progress or wrap up the relationships of the characters at all?



In Conclusion

Seriously, this movie was just a waste of time to make, and a bigger waste to watch.  Not that that will stop anyone from watching it – it is, after all, the last bit of SG-1 you’ll ever get.


Stargate Continuum could have been great, should have been great, and instead it ended an exciting series with a yawn.  For shame.  I hope they decide to treat it like Marvel did the Ang Lee Hulk movie by pretending it never happened, and go make the REAL final Stargate SG-1 movie.  You know, one with some action.



On a Side Note

What’s up with the credits on these movies?  For both Stargate movies, all the other actors are listed with just their real names “Ben Browder,” “Amanda Tapping,” “Christopher Judge,” “Claudia Black,” et al, and then, at the end, in the place of honor, even after “Special Appearance by Richard Dean Anderson,” comes: “and Michael Shanks as Daniel Jackson” as if they were saying “and Charlton Heston as Moses” or something. 


Your Assignment:

What were your thoughts on Continuum?  How could it have been better?  Let me know, so I can go back in time and prevent this disappointment from ever being made.