Friday June 8, 2007

The Superiority of Generation X

Sign that you might be a big ol' nerd:

You're attending an invited talk by a big-name linguist, and while he's showing an example of a superiority violation found in the wild on the Web, you're thinking, "Hey...I'll bet that's from a piece of Generation X fanfic!"

Continue reading "The Superiority of Generation X"

I am The Tensor, and I approve this post.
04:38 PM in Comic Books , Linguistics | Comments (7) | Submit: | Links:

Sunday March 11, 2007

Stalking the Psychic Nosebleed

Over at Polite Dissent (previously mentioned here), one of the regular features is titled "Your Moment of Psychic Nosebleed Zen".  In it, intrepid physician and medicine-in-comics blogger Scott writes about instances of a very common trope in comics and science fiction.  To quote the TV Tropes Wiki:

Purely mental battles are hard to show with special effects.  Therefore, when a character with psychic powers pushes them to the limit, or when a character is under mental attack, often you'll see a thin trickle of blood oozing from their nose.

Recently, Scott posed a question to his readers: what was the first appearance of the psychic nosebleed, in comics, literature, or film?

Continue reading "Stalking the Psychic Nosebleed"

I am The Tensor, and I approve this post.
05:23 PM in Comic Books , Science Fiction | Comments (7) | Submit: | Links:

Tuesday September 5, 2006


Pop quiz, hotshot.  In the opening credits for the old Adventures of Superman TV show, is Clark Kent described as:

...mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper...


...mild-mannered reporter for a great Metropolitan newspaper...

You make the call!

I am The Tensor, and I approve this post.
12:32 AM in Comic Books , Pop Quiz , Television | Comments (12) | Submit: | Links:

Tuesday August 15, 2006

Steven Who?

Last Tuesday after our intensive German class, The Wife and I headed over to Elliot Bay Books.  We were hunting a copy of Dzur, the latest novel in Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos series.  Having just been released that day, it wasn't out on the shelves yet, we were told.  "We'll wait," we replied, and so we did until we had a copy in our hot little hands.  (Capsule review:  Good, but now I want another one.  For a full review, try here.)

Now, at this point you may be asking yourself, "Just who is this Steven Brust character?"—and you'd be right to do so.  For the answer to your question, let's turn our attention to the pages of Marvel Comics...

Continue reading "Steven Who?"

I am The Tensor, and I approve this post.
03:03 AM in Books , Comic Books , Fantasy | Comments (7) | Submit: | Links:

Friday July 14, 2006

Poulpe Pulps

Always on the lookout for narrowly defined genres, I bring you (via Incoming Signals) Poulpe Pulps: A Silly Website, which is a collection of pulp novel and comic book covers featuring octopi octopodes octopussies octopuses.

(This post is for Chiara.)

I am The Tensor, and I approve this post.
02:21 AM in Books , Comic Books , Science Fiction | Comments (1) | Submit: | Links:

Friday March 17, 2006

Polite Dissent

Every so often, I get worried that the original inspiration for this blog—linguistics in science fiction, in case you've lost track—is too specialized to interest more than a tiny minority of specialists.  Whenever I start to think that way, though, I always seem to stumble on a blog based around an even more improbable idea.  Case in point: Polite Dissent, a blog focused on the field of medicine as it's represented in comic books.  The author regularly puts up "Picture Quiz" posts (like this one), where he includes a page from a comic book portraying a medical scene, asks how many mistakes his readers can find, and later posts the answers (like these).  They're great fun to read, even if, like me, you don't know much about doctorin' and such-like.

Continue reading "Polite Dissent"

I am The Tensor, and I approve this post.
04:34 AM in Comic Books | Comments (6) | Submit: | Links:

Monday December 19, 2005


Having read some pretty positive reviews, I picked up the trade paperback of Warren Ellis's science fiction comic Ocean last week.  It sounded like an interesting read—it's not a hybrid superhero/SF book like Adam Strange, it's straight-up science fiction—but unfortunately, the science in the science fiction was bad, bad, bad.  I'm willing to play along and suspend my disbelief, and I'm even willing to adjust my suspenders of disbelief to the genre (e.g. I don't complain about the non-silent space ships in Star Wars), but the mistakes in Ocean were so egregious I wanted to throw the book against the wall.  Worse, several of them were linguistic, including linguists' favorite misconception: the number of Eskimo words for snow.

[Warning: spoilers after the jump.  I'm not going to spoil every detail of the story, but I am going to mention the Big Surprise in order to make fun of it.]

Continue reading "Ocean"

I am The Tensor, and I approve this post.
04:28 AM in Comic Books , Linguistics in SF | Comments (7) | Submit: | Links:

Friday July 30, 2004

Wall of TVs Meme

In an article in Slate, Dana Stevens laments:

If only it were possible to monitor all the channels at once from a wall-size bank of television monitors, like a crazy millionaire in the movies!

Hmm, the image of an evil genius watching a wall of TVs is really familiar. Where's it from?

Continue reading "Wall of TVs Meme"

I am The Tensor, and I approve this post.
09:55 PM in Comic Books | Comments (4) | Submit: | Links:

Thursday May 27, 2004


On my about page I mention comic books as one of my interests, but I haven't written anything substantial about comics yet. Here's the first tidbit, an eerily prescient quote from Uncanny X-Men #189, "Two Girls Out To Have Fun!", originally published in January 1985 and now available again in the (black-and-white) trade paperback Essential X-Men Vol. 5.

Continue reading "Uncanny"

I am The Tensor, and I approve this post.
05:30 PM in Comic Books | Comments (2) | Submit: | Links: