Saturday, May 12, 2007

Jennifer Mally, a 26 year-old teacher at Paradise Valley High School in Pheonix, Arizona, was arrested after being accused of boosting the self-esteem of a 16 year-old male student, after his parents complained. Someone needs to send the police in Phoenix a copy of NOW Toronto Magazine where they say adult women having sex with minor children is a good thing.

We here at Life in the Banana Patch encourage Ms. Mally, whose booking photo is not too flattering but still looks kinda hot, to write in and tell us her story of teen love. Remember Jennifer, you're competing for the Pete Townsend Teen Erotica Award.


Friday, May 11, 2007

Today's comic books suck.

There. I said it.

Don't get me wrong there are some great writers out there, but by and large, comics suck. Everyone's trying to be Brian Michael Bendis. The problem is, there already is a Brian Micheal Bendis. We don't need any more. Bendis created the Marvel Ultimate line, and brought a modern feel and real world aspect to super heroes. It's a trend furthered by Kurt Busiek in Astro City, and actually started by Busiek and Alex Ross in Marvel Comics' The Marvels. It showed how superheroes intersected with the people of New York City. I loved Marvels, and I love Astro City. Ultimate Marvel? Not so much.

The basic concept of the Ultimate line was to publish comics featuring Marvel's stars in lines independent of continuity. In other words, start publishing a title from the 60s like it started today. It's a great idea, but the first Spider-Man origins story took a 11 pages to tell. Bendis stretched out the story to 180. And that, dear readers, is why modern comics suck.

There are no more stand alone stories. Instead creators write arcs, expanding a panel or two into entire issues. A perfect example is a Superman arc from the 90s. Superman is on his way to the Fortress of Solitude, or is looking for Lois who has disappeared. In the middle of this arc, there's an issue about Superman fighting a sea montster. Maybe it wasn't an entire issue, but it was several pages. It was, for lack of a better term, padding. On the text page, the editor proudly noted how far comics had come. In the 50s and 60s, he asserted, the fight with the sea monster would have lasted only two or three panels. Today we give the sea monster motivation and explain where he came from, he added. The thing is, the fight with the sea monster was not involved with the main plot, looking for Lois or going to the Fortress! Leaving it out wouldn't have changed the ending, except for the three pages of Superman explaining what took him so long.

Here's another example: I'm enjoying Dynamite Entertainment's new Lone Ranger series. But here we are in issue #5 and we just got the Long Ranger on his fucking horse to ride into town to avenge the deaths of his fellow rangers. After a hundred or so pages! Granted, the TV series took an hour and a half to tell that story. At this rate, we've got three more issues before the Lone Ranger brings Butch Cavendish to justice. Does a comic book editor doany editing?

Captain America's dead? GOOD! His latest series borders on being dull because it takes too long to tell a single story. Maybe the new Cap will have writers that can wrap things up a little quicker.

And could we get Wolverine in a couple more titles. He's not getting enough exposure.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Using Wndows Vista is Torture

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Daniel Stroh1 posted a great article about building a solar heater for his garage. Stacking 50 soda cans painted black, he was able to increase the air temperature by 15 degrees from input to output. Daniel remembers that his father had built something similar that generated a 110° difference between incoming air and outgoing air.

This is a great idea!


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

O wise and all-knowing Goreacle, please answer my earnest query:

Which is better: an incandescent bulb we can through in the trash can, or a CFL Mercury florescent lightbulb, that, if broken, could cost over $2000 to clean up, and could be deadly to the person breaking the bulb? Do you honestly believe that mercury contamination of our environment is better than a few incandescent bulbs and huge profits for multinational corporations?

There are conflicting stories out there on the web. The story above says the Maine Department of Environmental Protection found mercury levels in the bedroom in excess of six times the state's "safe" level for mercury contamination of 300 billionths of a gram per cubic meter and had the homeowner contact a hazmat team to clean up the mess for for $2000. Yet a recent article on says there's nothing to that, pointing the reader to an EnergyStar PDF document. The document says not to vacuum the glass, but to sweep it. Could that be to prevent getting Mercury vapors, which is at such low concentrations that your biggest health risk is cutting your finger, from getting in the air? Then it says you should open your windows to ventilate the room from this minuscule amount of mercury. Then they tell us not to throw this small amount of mercury in the trash, but take it to a hazardous materials center. Sounds safe so far.

But what happens if the house goes up for sale and the buyer has an inspection done and they find elevated levels of mercury in the house? Can you refer the buyer to the Goreacle who will tell them that the Earth has been saved, or the EPA who can tell them to open the window?

I still say, use florescents. But I don't believe they are the silver bullet that will save the planet. They will destroy it in another way that we will have to replace in a few years.


Monday, May 07, 2007

I have a question for the Liberals who might be reading: If you support Hillary over Obama, are you a racist? Or are you picking the best qualified candidate?

The reason I ask is that it is racist for a business or college or Republican to choose a White applicant over a Black applicant. It's called Affirmative Action, and is a cherished plank of the Liberal platform. Liberals have complained that there aren't enough Blacks in Bush's cabinet, for example. Shouldn't they be complaining that there haven't been enough Black presidents, too? Or is this another case of Liberal "Do as I say, not as I do"? Like Ralph Nader's support of Union labor, except for his employees who cannot unionize.

Or is it a case of breaking the male stranglehold on political power by electing a woman? Or is it because Obama smokes?