To celebrate the return of Doctor Who this Saturday (5 April 6:20pm BBC1) here's something that everyone should see and hear...
On an unrelated note, fulfilling an ambition I wasn't aware I had, I was contacted by a real life superhero last week. The Geist, a superhero who walks the mean streets of Minnesota emailled me to complain about Rob's earlier article (Rob's, not mine. I must assume supervision and detective skills aren't part of the Geist's crimefighting arsenal).
I am tempted to become his enemy in a Jonah Jameson kind of way but he (the Geist) does good work with the homeless so I won't. I will however go into greater detail about this later in the week.
One of the great things about the Dilbert comic strip is that you can read it, have a laugh, and yet think, "This is what happens in these large organisations!" Like many great comedians, Scott Adams has the knack of taking reality and presenting it in a way that makes you think twice about some of the ludicrous situations which occur in life.
Ah, yes they exist. An estimated 150 and 200 real-life superheroes (or "Reals" as some call themselves) are believed to, er, fight crime in the United States. About 50 are believed to "work" internationally.
Of course in the real world, things don't always quite work out as they do in the comics, or the movies.
Soon Geist faces his first obstacle: parking on the left side of a one-way street. "Usually one of my superpowers is parallel parking," he chuckles as he eases his car into the spot, emerging victorious with a foot and a half between curb and tire.
In addition, there's the costumes to contend with:
On the street, he encounters businesspeople on lunch break—some stare openly; others don't even notice his garish attire. "It's easier in winter," Geist says with a laugh. "Winter in Minnesota, everybody's dressed weird."
If you don't want to make the suit yourself, there's a guy who'll do it for you online at Hero-Gear.net.
There are some interesting anecdotes:
One evening when Master Legend was on patrol, he heard a woman scream and ran to investigate. But when he located the damsel in distress, she thought he was attacking her and called the cops. "They wanted to know if I was some kind of insane man, a 41-year-old man running around in a costume," he recounts. "Apparently, they had never heard of me."
If you read the full article, don't forget to have a have a look at the Details box, which has links to an excellent slideshow of "Reals", video and other links, plus a Real Life Superhero Map (via Google maps).
The UK's contributions to the ranks of "Reals" are the "Black Arrow" whose work includes instructing people on how to care for their pets and the environment, and a hero I have heard of before, and for whom I have much admiration, Angle-Grinder Man. It seems that there are many others in the UK whose good work goes unnoticed and unrecorded.
World of Warcraft (which I don't play) has a couple of new ads out, employing the services of Mr T and the Shat. These are funny. They don't particularly make me want to play World of Warcraft, though.
Charlie Brooker has written an excellent piece for the Guardian Unlimited website called Nightclubs are hell. It seems to strike several chords ... or is that just the introvert in me?
Clubs are despicable. Cramped, overpriced furnaces with sticky walls and the latest idiot theme tunes thumping through the humid air so loud you can't hold a conversation, just bellow inanities at megaphone-level. And since the smoking ban, the masking aroma of cigarette smoke has been replaced by the overbearing stench of crotch sweat and hair wax.
A very clever website whose only real feature is a cursor. When you move over the central coloured circle, the cursor gets magnified, so you can see how it moves. Make sure you have your speakers switched on.
Do you suffer from a fake-looking smile? Here is an excellent (comic) tutorial on how to fake a smile. I'm quite good at faking a smile, a skill which has arisen from smiling approvingly at Sim's cartoon scripts.