A Christian Gamer Offers 5 Reasons to Watch Dark Dungeons (And 5 Not to)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Daniel Suchman Photography
Just your average RPG group.

Dark Dungeons is a movie that dramatizes the infamous Jack Chick tract of the same name. For those of you inexperienced with the works of Mr. Chick, he is most famous for his warnings about the evils of games like D&D, rock music, and pretty much everything else that was invented after 1950. On the one hand, this is something funny; a remnant of history. On the other hand, such scares continue today on any and all sides of the political aisle, from GMO food to vaccinations to terrorists to nuclear energy washing up on shore from the Japanese tsunami. No one seems immune, and the Internet lets these things travel faster than ever.

I personally had my life influenced by this hysteria, as I was fascinated by role-playing games (RPGs) but due to some vague fear of cults and "real spells" I was banned from playing them. This was my status quo for many years until I reached my teenage years. I became the worst teenage rebel ever, making excuses for being out so I could attend game sessions, then smuggling D&D books back and forth. While other people took up drugs, illicit drinking, or casual sex I was trying to hide my Player's Handbook behind my back while leaving for the game store. It's pretty funny now but it led to some tense moments at the time. Having lived the hysteria, was I impressed by Dark Dungeons? Read on! [SPOILERS for those who don't know or can't guess how an evangelical tract about something Satanic is going to end]

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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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CONTEST: Losing the Loathing for a New Site Motto

Friday, August 15, 2014 at 11:59 am

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Since its inception, TR has jokingly tossed around the term "self-loathing," usually referring to a particular area of fandom we find embarrassing, or say that we "hate ourselves" for liking. We all knew what it meant, and it was part and parcel of the humorous tone.

It doesn't feel that way any more.

Not only have I found that overseas readers and family members don't really get the humorous take on that phrase and find it off-putting, but after Robin Williams' death and reading the outpouring of your personal tales of depression yesterday, I realized something: I don't ever want any of you to loathe yourselves. Self-loathing is a very real problem for so many of us, and I don't really feel right making light of it...not as a mission statement, anyway. Don't get me wrong - I'm not changing the site's content or tone one iota from whatever it is now. We will continue to look at the worst parts of fandom along with the best, from porn tie-ins to terrible fan fiction, and we will continue to criticize people and things that deserve it. I just want a new motto, and you can help.

Let's have ourselves a contest.

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Tags: Contests

I READ YOUR FANFIC! "I Am Groot"

Friday, August 15, 2014 at 8:00 am

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If you want to submit fan fiction for me to read, please send it - or a link to it - to toplessrobot-at-gmail-dot-com with subject line "Read my Fanfic!"

This is a little shorter than normal...in fact, it clocks in at a perfect 4:20, which is also the best way to watch it.

Title: "I Am Groot," by sherlocksmyth

Logline: Guardians of the Galaxy's Groot describes several terrible and ridiculous sex acts.

Acts Involved: Masturbation, nipple-twisting, hetero and homo sex, three-ways, beastiality, fuck your ass make you humble, and possibly more...depending upon your point of view

Participants: Groot, Gamora, Jerry the King Lawler, The Iron Sheik, Hordak, Imp, Goat Man, and possibly more...depending upon your point of view.

The Live Reading/Performance...

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8 Reasons D&D 5th Edition Is Better Than Pathfinder

Friday, August 15, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Wizards of the Coast
Prepare for the editon war to begin

A new version of D&D is dawning that intends to unite the fractured fan base, as currently D&D is playing underdog to Pathfinder, a game which itself was based on D&D 3rd edition rules. Imagine if the legal vagaries allowed an old partner of Microsoft to make a Windows 7 variant which then beat Windows 8 in sales, and you're pretty close to the situation with D&D and Pathfinder at this point.

The makers of D&D have long had a problem with gamers finding it easy to ignore their releases of new editions. The old books are still available, as well as the aforementioned Pathfinder, and any one of these has enough adventures, class variations, and settings that anybody with a normal life as well as a gaming life would not be able to completely devour them in a lifetime. D&D 5th Edition aims to fix that by appealing to fans of all versions of the D&D experience and thus get them to start buying books again. I was able to get the new Player's Handbook thanks to a limited early release, and despite being pretty firmly in the Pathfinder camp I was really impressed with it - enough to switch our home game over to the new system. Here are eight reasons why...


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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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7 Dinosaurs That Are Cooler Than the Crappy T-Rex

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Lionsgate

Lovers of dinosaurs (and by that I mean everybody) should have August 15 marked on their calendars. That's the day that the documentary Dinosaur 13 debuts. It's the story of a bunch of scientists who discover the remains of something like the biggest Tyrannosaurus Rex ever, and the fight that ensues over said bones.

The story sounds interesting. But I can't help but wonder if all the parties involved were wasting their time. Because, let's be honest here: Compared with many other dinosaurs, T-Rexes are pretty overrated. And overexposed. And just generally given too much bandwidth in any conversation having to do with primordial lizards. Yes, they were the marquee dinosaurs in all the Jurassic Park flicks. They're always the main draw in any dino-flavored museum exhibit.

And why? Those little tiny grabby front claws don't do much for anybody.

Let's change things up right now. Behold: A list of dinosaurs that are - were? - so much more worthy of our time.

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The Tick Bites That Will Turn You Vegetarian

Friday, August 8, 2014 at 12:00 pm

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On TV and in the comics, the Tick would attempt to stop the Man-Eating Cow. In real life - and most ironically, in Texas - ticks are now preventing men from eating cows. Just like their big blue namesake, they seem to have misinterpreted the script.

Here's how it happens: The bugs harbor a sugar that humans don't have, called alpha-gal. The sugar is also is found in red meat -- beef, pork, venison, rabbit -- and even some dairy products. It's usually fine when people encounter it through food that gets digested.

But a tick bite triggers an immune system response, and in that high-alert state, the body perceives the sugar the tick transmitted to the victim's bloodstream and skin as a foreign substance, and makes antibodies to it. That sets the stage for an allergic reaction the next time the person eats red meat and encounters the sugar.

Doctors have no idea if the newly created meat allergy is permanent or not, but smartasses like me would suggest that if there is a God, He couldn't have delivered a more ironic pestilence upon Texas unless there were somehow a way to be allergic to football.

h/t Broos Campbell

Wonder Woman Unveiled

Saturday, July 26, 2014 at 11:06 am

Apparently, he didn't show this in Hall H. But he tweeted it out to the world. Glad I didn't wait in line.

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She's ready for anything.

What do you think?