Friday, March 30, 2012


While RunPee has been around for a while, 2011 was a big year as the app was rebuilt from scratch and launched new Android and iPod versions last June and July.

The app runs a timer (that can be set to vibrate), which let's you know when the best times are to visit the rest room during a movie, ie when a 3-5 minute opportunity appears when nothing is really happening. When you return, you can hit a button to reveal a synopsis of what you missed, without spoilers.

Great, I can use this app after I've downed a couple of pints at the pub, need to make a call or experience and undeniable urge for Twizzlers in my ice cream. The RunPee database has more than 400 movies and the family of reviewers is adding new releases all the time.

Other bonuses? RunPee can give you a synopsis of the first five minutes of the movie in case you're running late, and let's you know if you should stay after the credits for bonus content. Best of all, this app is still free.

Monday, March 26, 2012

No Globes

Yeah, so I've blogged about Dorothy, the UK-based art collective before. That's because they are totally awesome. This time, I want to show you their "No Globes", a kind of reverse snow globe art with a cutting environmental statement.

From the Dorothy website: "The single greatest threat to the climate comes from burning coal but despite this a whole new fleet of dirty coal-fired power stations are on the verge of being built in the UK (the first for 30 years)."
The globes are a limited edition of two, so its pretty much a fat chance that you'll be able to own one of these babies.

How's about you head to your own hearth (or demolish some black tissue paper) and make one, yourself. I'd recommend adding black glitter to your mix.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Neil deGrasse Tyson gets mad.

Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist, current Director of the Hayden Planetarium and all around good guy. He is a frequent guest on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report and it's always a fun show when he's on. What I'm saying is we like him here at Candy Buffet. So when the seemingly nicest astrophysicist you'll ever meet starts ranting we tend to listen. And what is it that has him all riled up? The fact that we've all but abandoned manned (I want women astronauts too, sexy nerdy women astronauts) space exploration.

Back in 2010 President Obama cancelled the Constellation program and while he did increase NASA's budget he endorsed a kind of wishy-washy plan for the ultimate goals of NASA. He said, essentially, yeah, we should go back to the Moon and probably Mars and there are some asteroids and things we should check out but our current plans won't get us there so let's kind of, you know, do some studies or something. And probably the biggest shift was the decision to move away from government backed heavy lifters to a private enterprise based  system.

I don't like this and Mr. Tyson doesn't like this. As he points out, the space program of the mid to late 60's was a huge boon to the economy and the technological superiority of the U.S. as well as a great motivator to the next generation. Going into space in a sustained, permanent way should be the ultimate goal of humanity and we're not going to get there by saying maybe we should go check out some asteroids sometime.

Which is why I was pretty excited when Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said that by the end of his second term we would have a permanent Moon base. Then my head exploded and I wept for 24 hours straight questioning my own existence, because, FU@#$%, I actually agreed with and liked something   horrible, hypocrite pus-bag Newt Gingrich said. But then it got worse, everyone started laughing at Newtie and I was in the position of defending him until I realized that Newt is probably basing his ideas on comic books and he's a crazy person that everyone laughs at all the time regardless of what he says.

Now I'm hoping someone in the Obama administration is listening to Mr. Tyson and not the people laughing at Newt because I do feel that a definitive statement from the President of a bold and clear plan outlining the next step in our exploratory journey could again reap vast benefits for all humankind. A statement like this one.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Robot Unicorn Attack

So I'm slow on the uptake. Even though Robot Unicorn Attack came out in 2010, its mystery tour has just recently bedazzled my smartphone.

You race a rainbow coloured unicorn through clouds, stars and fire. Besides sounding like the power-up of a Sailor Moon magic attack the game is otherwise Completely. Awesome.

Nylon magazine recently said the game induced the "girly '80's joy of a Lisa Frank notebook". One commenter on the Nylon's website claimed, "I love dashing through the stars more so when dolphins are with me!" And Kieron Gillen of Eurogamer wrote
"Like a comet made of gold, glitter and Lady Gaga's eyelashes, Robot Unicorn Attack circled the Earth and filled the firmament with its irresistible radiance for the whole of 2010. It changed lives. It challenged sexualities. It involves pressing two buttons. It is undoubtedly the greatest game of all time which features a Robot Unicorn, unless you're a metalhead who digs its sequel." 
Pay just a buck for android, iphone and ipad. You can also play at

Friday, March 16, 2012

Some Planets Are Alien Invaders

In "Some Planets Are Alien Invaders", Science magazine explores the possibility of the existance of a super-large gas giant in our own solar system, far beyond Pluto.

The impetus for this theory is the number of exoplanets we have been discovering revolving around neighboring stars, more than 100 sun-Earth distances (AUs) from their stars. The Nature article, "So many lonely planets with no star to guide them", supports that the number of free floating planets in the galaxy may be more abundant than stars.

Ready for the big stuff? This theory isn't new. Nemesis theory has been bandied about since the eighties, suggesting that a (far away) brown or red dwarf may be orbiting the sun to explain for the elliptican nature of our planets' orbits and the large number of comets we see originitating from the oort cloud.

In the immortal words of Obi Wan Kenobi, "That's no moon".

Monday, March 12, 2012

DC Metromaster

In time not so immemorial, when riding the DC Metro, I often dictated to friends which car I wanted to be in. Not even just which car. But beside which door.  The reason? I had a mental map of where the escalators were for my favorite stops. Getting off at Woodley Park from in town? Second car, last set of doors. Going to RFK for a DC United match? Front of the train baby, you'll beat masses of fans.

So hats off to the makers of, DC Metromaster, an iPhone or iPod app that tells you the best place to board Metro trains to be as close as possible to your desired station exit. Metromaster also one ups my mental map with a 'heat map' which indicates which cars are most likely to hold empty seats (based on yearly ridership demographics).

Washington Post's Express has a great snippet, "Left to Your Devices", in the February 24 issue.

And remember that the side of the tunnel with the florescent lights is the side that the doors are going to open next.  No, thank YOU for riding Metro.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Essential Geography of the United States of America

My appreciation of geography outside of studying the covers of the classic Belgariad series and the indices of Middle Earth are, to say the least, latent. But the underdog story of David Imus's creation, "The Essential Geography of the United States of America", an enchanting, edifying and information infused map of the United States, is as compelling as it is educational.

Winner of the prestigious “Best of Show” award at the annual competition of the Cartography and Geographic Information Society, the highest honor that only the geekiest of cartogrophiles would remember (that's right, I just made up a word), Imus's map is the equivalent of an information-rich, geography-is-delicious layer cake. Check out the masterful shading of the sub-oceanic architecture of the Hawaii islands, something I have been wondering about for seven years. I kid you not.

Bob Welch's lovely article, "A labor of love finally validated" describes Imus's torturous climb up the cartographic ranks. A masterful review of the map itself can be found at the Slate article, "The Greatest Paper Map of the United States You’ll Ever See: Made by one guy in Oregon" by Seth Stevenson.

Buy one of these darn things to educate your self, your classroom, your kids and America, who could use a reminder that the artistry and labors of one guy in Eugene, Oregeon can be greater than all the corporate buying power of every big name cartography institution in all the States.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Super Best Friends Forever

Lauren Faust has created a series of animated shorts in which Batgirl, Supergirl and Wondergirl hang out and fight supervillains. Who is Faust? She is the genius (genius!) story artist behind Power Puff Girls and creator of My Little Pony's: Friendship is Magic, that's all. io9 spills all in, "Super Best Friends Forever".

Here is a scan from the page about the shorts in TV Guide via supercool comics. The interstitials will be scattered throughout a new "DC Nation" block of Saturday morning cartoons that Cartoon Network will be airing featuring DC Comics heroes, premiering March 3rd.

Thank you, Faust.  Thank you for getting it right over and over again. Here is a fun, adventurous albeit lighthearted view of classic comic book heroes unfiltered through the eyes of girls.  Now draw some more after being inspired by Mike Maihack batgirl & supergirl webcomic.

Erm, you too sugar addicts.