7 Hilarious U.S. Rip-Offs at England's Drayton Manor Theme Park

Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 6:00 am

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One of the ways to lure my wife to England for a vacation was the promise of seeing the Harry Potter studio tour outside of London. The other was Thomas the Tank Engine Land, which is a small corner of the larger theme park called Drayton Manor. Thematically, the larger park is a bit disjointed - it wants to have something for everyone, and thus there's no overarching theme. You have the Thomas rides for kids, from which adults without accompanying minors are actually banned; a small zoo tucked away from everything else that mostly seems to have emus; various high-intensity thrill rides, various not-so-thrilling rides, and rather disappointing food stands.

One thing that is clear is that whoever designed the park based parts of it on popular American theme parks...apparently without entirely understanding why. If Disneyland and Universal Studios are Superman, Drayton at times feels like Bizarro's cube-world...or an Axel Braun porn parody without any naked people. Here are its strangest interpretations of American attractions...

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Weekend Open Thread: Become Robocop, Shake Some Tail and Drone in on Disney

Friday, August 22, 2014 at 7:05 pm

There won't be a Weekend Hangover post on Monday, as Monday morning's list will be Liz Ohanesian's report from Power Morphicon. So let me try to throw as many items as I can out there now:

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-Rob Liefeld just looks like he's blatantly feeding the trolls with that variant cover above.

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Ask Luke's Mother-in-Law: Haters Gonna Hate

Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 8:00 am

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Martha Boyd is not just Luke's mother-in-law - she's also an ex-cop, a landlord, a self-described crazy cat lady, a major Star Trek geek and the widow of a green beret. So go ahead: ask her anything. And we mean anything.

But get on her bad side, and she's gonna let you know...

Hello, hello. I have several things to rant about this week, and as I did not get alot of questions, I have lots of room to vent. I have both good and bad to comment on. Let's get the bad right out of the way...


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Visiting Space Shuttle Endeavor at the L.A. Science Museum

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 5:31 pm

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We went this past weekend. I figured some of you who can't make it to Los Angeles might like to see some pics.

It costs $2 to see - a token amount that basically just allows them to count how many people go in at one time, and ensure that people who are there want to be there (Hall H at Comic-Con, you should try this). What you notice most, especially if like me you grew up with toys of the Columbia and the James Bond Moonraker (they were the same toy with different stickers), is the sheer size of this thing - it's bigger than you think.

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A Homemade Robot is Hitchhiking Across Canada

Monday, August 18, 2014 at 1:00 pm

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Hitchhiking isn't something that happens as much as it used to, largely because we've become ever more paranoid of total strangers than we used to be. But robots don't feel pain, and are less likely to be molested (though it's not impossible), so here's HitchBot, a robot in Wellington boots who can have rudimentary conversations with the various drivers that pick it up.

Much like poutine, this is the sort of thing that could only happen in Canada. In the U.S., the robot would be target practice by day 3, minimum.

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17 Stories You May Have Missed: Chicken Gimp Suit, Lego Mario, Weaponized Horse Crap, More

Monday, August 18, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Hello Kitty in Space

SummerSlam happened this weekend (result: John Cena gets time off to make movies), as did my best friend's birthday, so it's a treat to catch up on things that happened elsewhere, about which I did not know. With the aid of Kyle LeClair, here are some reader-submitted stories we might not have caught otherwise.

This week's tipsters include: troi, Anyone00, jaganar, SlyDante777, Gallen_Dugall, Timely_Flower-Hermit, Dr.Gonzo82

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Weekend Open Thread: Friday Fun Links and VerSpanken!

Friday, August 15, 2014 at 5:30 pm

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Don't forget to enter the two contests we currently have running. And read on for some Friday fun links, including stick-figure porn. Seriously.

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Super Terrific Japanese Thing: A Genuinely Sh*tty Museum for Kids

Friday, August 15, 2014 at 10:00 am

I know it's been a long time since I did one of these, but there really haven't been that many compelling examples of Japanese weirdness worth writing about in a while.

And then one day you see a picture of kids wearing little turd hats sliding into a gigantic toilet.

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Ask Luke's Mother-in-Law: Made Contact, Now Back to Earth

Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 8:00 am

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Martha Boyd is not just Luke's mother-in-law - she's also an ex-cop, a landlord, a self-described crazy cat lady, a major Star Trek geek and the widow of a green beret. So go ahead: ask her anything. And we mean anything.

Wow, amazing how fast Thursday comes back around when you are having fun. As you know I spent last weekend at Contact in the Desert. Thank you all for reading my report on the event and thank you LYT for printing it - I hope that I get to cover something again for TR. Anywa,y the event was pretty good and I would volunteer for it again if it is held in Joshua Tree next year. There were some rough edges at the event, but I am pretty sure the venue will have the taken care of before next year. They can't do anything about the heat. The speakers were great. I loved getting to meet George Noory and the other speakers.

But this week it is back to Earth and reality. We have had heavy rain and flash flooding again, so I've been getting out to do my appraisals early in the morning before it gets too hot and humid. Got some stuff going on this weekend, and will let you all know next week. So now, let's see what you have come up with for me this week.

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Turkish Robot Built to Frighten Bears Will Terrify You

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at 4:00 pm

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If you don't think this seven foot robo-Turk that flails its arms and even swings a friggin' chain of electrocution to repel bears is scary, that's just because you haven't watched in motion yet. Yes, a chain of electrocution - this is basically like Mickey Rourke in Iron Man 2, but more expressive.

I love the top YouTube comment: "He figured out what bears fear most: Amish fishermen."

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