He falls for the booty. He is killed by knife.

As I bebop 'round the 'net looking for freelance writing/editing gigs, I encounter some awfully, ah, unique creative opportunities. This is the best I've seen yet.

booty_knife

The dude definitely has a vision ... and I kinda admire the hell out of him for that.

--J.C.

BONUS: "Star Trek: USS Proxima" -- OUTTAKES

proxima_logo

Filmed in 1992 in a basement with no script, no budget and a borrowed videocamera, two teenagers made a Star Trek fan film. Nearly 10 years later, the footage was edited with music and sound effects, creating this result... This week, I've been posting a hysterically bad (but, based on fan reaction, very charming) Star Trek fan film I helped create when I was a teenager. Part One showed us the setup; Part Two delivered the punchline. In 2001, using video editing software nearly 10 years after friend Adam Fisher and I shot this silly little flick, I created the version of USS Proxima that we'd always wanted to make.

However, the original version of the movie wasn't as polished as what you've seen. (If what you've seen could be called "polished," natch.) Now you can witness a far more accurate take on what Proxima originally looked like sans music, sound effects and "special effects" in this outtake reel.

There's plenty of blank stares into the video camera, flubbed lines, windbag stream-of-consciousness "Captain's Logs" ... and perhaps best of all, what our original "special effects" shots looked like.

Set phasers to stunned.

--J.C.

BONUS: "Star Trek: USS Proxima" -- J.C.'s childhood fan film, PART 2

proxima_logo

Filmed in 1992 in a basement with no script, no budget and a borrowed videocamera, two teenagers made a Star Trek fan film. Nearly 10 years later, the footage was edited with music and sound effects, creating this result... Yesterday, I posted Part One of a preposterously, wonderfully bad Star Trek fan film that me and childhood friend Adam Fisher created 16 years ago. Star Trek: USS Proxima was filmed in about five hours with a bulky VHS video camera in the basement of my childhood home. Adam and I made up the story as we went along, shamelessly (and wittingly) aping the plot of our favorite Trek movie for inspiration.

This footage remained untouched for nearly a decade, but using a video editing app in 2001, I cut out a great many flubbed "lines," and spliced in sound effects, a soundtrack and "special effects" shots (read: footage from several Trek movies). The result is this video, a slightly less-bad version of the flick. This was the version Adam and I always wanted to make.

Here's the second part of the movie; expect a blooper reel to drop tomorrow. Among other sundries, that episode features what our "special effects" shots initially looked like. (We pointed our vidcam at a TV screen that played Trek movies).

As with most science-fiction epics, the final act of USS Proxima relies heavily on space battle shots. There's not as much "acting" in this episode as there is in Part One, but I'm fairly happy with how my 2001 editing turned out. More important, the ending -- featuring close-ups of the crew -- should make you chuckle.

More to come tomorrow, but for now, enjoy the conclusion of Star Trek: USS Proxima....

--J.C.

BONUS: "Star Trek: USS Proxima" -- J.C.'s childhood fan film, PART 1

proxima_logo

Filmed in 1992 in a basement with no script, no budget and a borrowed videocamera, two teenagers made a Star Trek fan film. Nearly 10 years later, the footage was edited with music and sound effects, creating this result... Those two teenagers were Louisville, Ky., residents Adam Fisher and Chris Hutchins -- that "Hutchins kid" now known on the World Wide Everywhere as me, J.C.  We recorded the footage for what became Star Trek: USS Proxima in about five hours, spread over two days. I was 16 or 17 at the time. Adam was a year younger.

The locale in which you'll see this fine 16-year-old cinematic masterpiece (or farce, depending on your sense of humor) take place is the basement of my childhood home. For a handful of years, Adam, me and other neighborhood boys would "play Bridge" -- meaning, play in this subterranean Star Trek bridge -- for hours, day after day. We built the set out of scavenged wood, milk crates, old chairs, and broken computer and audio equipment. Our wall-mounted readout screens were chalkboards. We even rigged "red alert" lights and other fixtures to make our bridge as believable as possible.

I have a very clear memory of being electrocuted in the Proxima bridge, while connecting a strobe light to an overtaxed electrical outlet. That knocked me on my ass, and blew a fuse, to boot.

By 1992, Adam and I were the only kids on the block playing Bridge. The fun had died for the others -- understandable, as we were growing up, after all. But Adam and I got a wild idea for one last hurrah: a movie. Neither of our families could afford video cameras, so I borrowed one from Blockbuster Video, where I worked. We shot the footage, and as wise filmmakers, even filmed "special effects" -- i.e., we pointed the vidcam at Star Trek movies playing on a television. Spaceships!

Since there were only two of us, but numerous roles to fill, you might notice that many of the Proxima crew are very similar in appearance. Run with it.

We ad-libbed the story and dialogue as we went, shamelessly stealing the plot of our favorite Trek movie near the end. (We were tired.) It was all so wonderfully, desperately cheesy and bad, but we had a blast. Our plans to take our footage -- and Trek movie videocassettes for our "special effects" -- to a local video editing company died on the vine. As the years went on, I lost contact with Adam, as well.

I don't recall ever playing Bridge with Adam after we made this movie.

When I moved to Florida for my first post-college pro gig, I bought an iMac and used iMovie to create the version of USS Proxima that Adam and I envisioned. I added music, sound effects and those all-important "special effects" shots we'd pined for back in the day. What you see here is the first half of the movie; I'll soon post the second half -- and a "deleted footage" reel in which you'll bear witness to some classic flubs -- in the days ahead.

Watching this movie takes me back, man. I'll likely blog about how Star Trek, playing Bridge, and that tiny basement room made a big impact on my life. But that comes later. For now, just dim the lights, hit play ... and watch the biggest little movie two teenagers could make, 16 years ago.

--J.C.

Even Hitler's pissed about Twitter

Proof that I'm not the only one fretting about Twitter. But with friends like these...

For the record: I hate Nazis. In my home, I call them "Nazi fuckheads." It's true. Listen to my books if you want to know how much I hate the bastards.)

--J.C.

Killer Content: CokeTag FB application

In my grand vision of the Internet and how I interact with folks in the online space, I see this website, JCHutchins.net, as my "fort" -- a base of operations from where most of my content hails, and where I want most folks engaging with me and my art. However, I perceive social media networks beyond my site as "beachheads," and have presences on services like Facebook and Myspace because I know that's where people congregate. My perceptions of these beachheads have changed throughout the years. My opinion of them has improved, mostly because of the cool tools and applications folks are now creating that transcend the one-dimensional "Bite A Friend" games. I crave something useful in my social media apps, something that can not only help evangelize my work, but organize my thoughts and share some fun personal details with my audience. Of course, being an indie content creator, I want to do all this on my terms.

Imagine my surprise when this scrappy, indie writer learned how uberbrand Coca-Cola could help me do just that.

The folks at Coke have concocted something very clever with their "CokeTag" Facebook Application. (You can see my personal CokeTag at my FB Profile.) Here's an elegant app that allows you to share information about yourself, spread the word about worthy causes, or promote your friends and the great things (or nonsense) they're up to. The app is robust and flexible enough for folks like me (who like to control nearly every aspect of the information piping through the thing), yet intuitive enough to get users rolling in seconds.

The app gives you five "categories" with which to fill with content. As I configured my app, I selected a category called "Music That I Like" and simply typed the names of my favorite bands. Here's the groovy part: the CokeTag app cross-referenced my hand-typed content with Amazon's Alexa web search engine and automatically inserted the URLs of those bands' sites into the app. There was zero fuss or management on my end, and nearly all of the auto-results were accurate. Very cool.

I appreciated that I could override those auto-results with better URLs when needed.

You may choose from a list of pre-created content categories, or create your own. I chose to create a "Podcasts I Dig" category to give my audience a peek into what shows I enjoy ... and also help promote my podcolleages. (Every link helps.) This homebrew feature has great promise. I can easily create a Cool Stuff category, which I can update with the interesting links I discover as I bebop around the Web. BoingBoing lite.

There is a low-key "viral" element to the app -- you can post your friends' CokeTag apps within your Profile, and there's some business about tracking clicks to your CokeTag (which calculates how "influential" you are) -- but its truly spiffy evangelical element is the ability to share the app in Facebook messages, or on a friend's Wall. Suddenly, I'm armed with an easily-sharable portal into my personal interests, and a sly way to spread the word about killer content.

The app is fun to use out of the box, and has enough customization features to please scrappy DIYers like myself. Highly recommended.

--J.C.

John Alpha '08 VIDEO

Only one man is brilliant and determined enough to uproot the current political system. Only one man can transform this great nation into an even greater one. John Alpha is that man. Support him. Now.

Grassroots support is growing for the bona-fide, as seen in this news report. You, too, can evangelize Alpha's cause. To receive a free "John Alpha ‘08" bumper sticker, visit his campaign website at JohnAlphaForPresident.com.

(Special thanks to News3Online.com, and 7th Son fan John for telling me about the site!)

Mur Lafferty is writing for Suicide Girls!

Fellow geeks, behold the ascent of one of our own -- the incomparable Mur Lafferty -- as she attains the ultimate status in both geekdom and uber-coolness: she's now writing for SuicideGirls.com! This is huge news because Suicide Girls is a huge site, with ferociously cool content ... and an even cooler audience. And while I have a paid subscription to the more, ahem, purremium features of SG.com**, Mur's column -- which debuted today -- is free to access and read. Check out her blissfully geeky inaugural SG article here, in which she marks the milestones of her life by the numerous releases of Mario Kart video games. It's funny as hell, and it's pure Mur, a geek essayist at her finest.

So check out her column, and be sure to leave a comment on the Suicide Girls site, or contact the editors of SG and tell them that their money is well-spent on our favorite podcasting geek diva!

--J.C.

** Yes, the site is for grown-ups. No, I won't give you my l / p. Nyah.

WWJCD? #1: How to promote your podiobook (or podcast)

WWJCD? is a blog series in which J.C. offers advice on whatever the hell's on his mind. If you have a question for J.C., email him. He may offer sage words of wisdom about your issue (whatever it may be, sweet Christmas) in a future WWJCD?. I distribute my fiction at Podiobooks.com, and receive a daily email digest of discussions from other Podiobooks.com authors. This digest is a lively, eclectic mix of opinions, insights and gripes. Recently, an author asked for some ideas on promoting his podiobook. I obliged with the reply, found below. While the advice is specific to podiobooks, much of it can easily be applied to traditional podcasting, blogging or other creative endeavors.

So, What Would J.C. Do? Read on to find out....

Here are a few suggestions on how podcast novelists can promote their works. This is based solely on my personal experience.

Promoting to mainstream media is out: Don't ping them if you're a newcomer to podcasting, or don't have many listeners. They don't get the niche market of podcasting, and they certainly won't get the nano-niche of podcast fiction. I've found that even if you do have large mainstream media outlets covering your work, it rarely translates into more listeners. (I believe this has to do more with the audience of newspapers than the quality/circulation of the publication.)

Promoting to large blogs is out: Unless you're doing something truly different in the space, save your email clicks. We're at a point where podcasting and podiobooks are on bloggers' radars, but announcing the existence of your content isn't enough. Are you doing something interesting with your audience? Promoting the work in an unusual way? These timely angles are what you need to get coverage. Sadly, just having a podiobook isn't enough.

Promoting to podcasters is in: This is the only sure-fire way to get new listeners. There is a mighty network of new media entertainers out there, many of them with successful podcasts (and large audience sizes). They got there by promoting their work, and playing promos on their podcasts. If you're a fan of podcasting, you're probably familiar with 'casters who play promos. Reach out to them. If you're using podcasting to distribute your novel but *don't* listen to podcasts, get on the frickin' stick and do so. Make the time to learn the space, the influencers, and who might help you.

Send personalized emails to those who might help: Podcasters pour their passion into their projects, and are rarely paid for their efforts. A form email with no personal touch (i.e., making reference to their work, stroking their egos, etc.) gets deleted every time. Be sincere in your praise, and direct in your proposal.

Release your work on your personal site: Podiobooks.com wisely asks authors to not include podcast promos or "intro chatter" in their episodes. Why? Because that timely information gets dated, fast. If you're hungry to go beyond the PB.com website with your exposure, release your episodes on your personal site. (Use Libsyn hosting and the WordPress "PodPress" plugin, or equivalent, to do this. Google this stuff; information is widely available.) Promote your content as being available at both your site and PB.com. The episodes streaming from your site can include bonus material, author chatter and more. This engages the audience. This makes you an entertainer. This creates a connection between you and them, and that's important because....

You must ask your audience to help promote your work: You're one author. There are only so many hours in the day. By creating a product that engages your listeners beyond the story, you can encourage them to assist you with evangelism. Have them vote up your book at Podcast Alley. Ask them to review your novel in iTunes. Have them burn CDs of the book for friends. Ask them to email pals about your great podiobook. Request that they blog about your work, or post a link on their MySpace/Facebook page. Whatever it is, you'll be empowering them to help define the success of your work -- and you'll be building a community of engaged fans.

As your podiobook grows in size and success, consider:

  • Soliciting fan-created artwork, music, videos, etc. inspired by your story. Post them on your website and thank them by name in your podcast.
  • Concocting an online "street team," where you provide evangelical missions for your audience, and provide public recognition (and swag, if budget permits) for their hard work.
  • Creating forums or a Ning community for your audience, so their involvement with your work transcends the podcast.
  • Conceive non-traditional ways to promote your podcast that go beyond the "promo play" model.
  • Creating a "media kit" with noteworthy milestones, a plot synopses, etc.

Shoot passivity in the head. If you want your work to be heard by more people, waiting for them to show up will get you nowhere. Get proactive, don't sit still, and shake your ass. Yeah, I know: You don't have any marketing experience. So what? Nearly all successful podcasters and authors don't, either. The only way to start ... is to start.

Again: Don't count on listeners "finding" you. Create content -- and promotions -- so compelling, that they can't *not* listen to you.

I'm certain that other podcasters and new media entertainers have even more suggestions. Care to share?

RIP New 7th Son Logo (Feb 15, 6:44 PM -- Feb 15, 7:45 PM)

7th Son listeners know that I love to experiment with my storytelling, marketing and darned-near everything else I do for my podcast and website. I'm wired to surprise my audience with things that are familiar ... but off-plumb enough to be delightful. I often concoct these experiments on the fly, unilaterally release them into the wild, and see what sticks. In the interest of connecting with the community (and knowing that many creative minds are usually better than one), I've pulled back the "curtain" a bit in recent weeks, and invited 7th Son fans to chime in on some creative decisions. I did that last night, and received some intriguing results.

Months ago, I crafted a new logo for the 7th Son experience. I wanted something different and dynamic -- something that implied danger, action and excitement (things the 7th Son trilogy is well-known for). I spent several days crafting it, and last night, finally posted it on the homepage here at JCH.net. I asked my Twitter followers if it was "hot or not."

About 75 percent of respondents liked it. The rest, vociferously, did not. I found myself in a fascinating conundrum.

7th Son is my novel. I wanted a new logo. My informal poll suggested that most folks dug the new design. But the minority was large (and vocal) enough for me to take pause and listen. An hour later, I pulled the plug. We're back to the status quo.

What have I learned from this? Three things. First: Community rocks. It's flattering and humbling to know that so many 7th Son listeners care enough to chime in on these ideas, offer their creative perspective, and make suggestions.

Second: If you open the floor for discussion, expect it, listen to it -- and prepare to make tough choices, should the community split on the issue, or vote against your personal point of view.

And third: Consider strongly what you open up for debate. If you're convinced in your heart that a certain creative course should be taken, take it. Run with your gut, and be willing to live with the consequences.

I'll never know if the resistance I encountered with the new logo was legitimate disdain, or the natural reluctance to embrace something new -- after all, living things crave stability, and change disrupts that. I'm not dedicating brain cycles to it; I asked for opinions, the people spoke, and it's done and done.

And so, I present to you the very short-lived "2.0" logo for the 7th Son trilogy. It was either a bad design, or ahead of its time. But it certainly taught me a great bit about community, the power of crowds, and the unabashed love 7th Son fans have for the podcast. As always, I'm amazed and humbled by that.

--J.C.

What I'm reading. (And what are YOU reading?)

I'm never one to turn down a good writing challenge, particularly if it hails from one of my favorite bloggers. Lorelle's blog is inspiring because she offers practical advice about blogging and the online life. She also issues weekly blog challenges. This week's challenge is a must-participate for me: "Blog about what you are reading, what you like to read, and why."

I'm up to my eyeballs in good books these days. I'm coming down from a months-long fiction binge (more on this in a moment), so I'm currently enjoying some excellent non-fiction.

Reading serves two purposes for me: entertainment and creative inspiration. My mind rarely seeks out new ideas for my own novels/short stories when I read fiction; I'm there to escape. But when I'm questing for concepts to explore creatively -- either in my fiction or my in "zero budget" marketing adventures -- I dive into non-fic.

So. That recent fiction binge. What did it entail?

  • Rainbow's End by Vernor Vinge: Vinge is my favorite SF author; his far-future A Deepness In the Sky is so damned good, I wish I could read it for the first time all over again. Rainbow's End is a near-future story, and its world is meticulously realized. Sadly, I wasn't invested in the characters (and there wasn't enough conflict for my tastes), and I dropped it halfway through.
  • NEXT by Michael Crichton: A book that had a lot of potential, but felt more like a "101" on the genetics industry than a true narrative. Again, the characters and conflict weren't compelling enough for me to recommend it. Sloppy.
  • Planetary and The Authority by Warren Ellis: Killer epic SF thrillers by the wickedly subversive Warren Ellis. Yeah, they're comic books ... and they've got better pacing and character depth than most traditional novels these days. Highly recommended.
  • Garden of Beasts by Jeffrey Deaver: I'm an unapologetic Deaver geek; no one can bonk you on the head harder with an unexpected plot twist than this guy. Garden of Beasts is a fascinating look at Nazi Germany, just before World War II. Deaver deftly educates readers on the history and political climate of the era, and throws in an excellent assassination plot, to boot. Recommended, as are his Lincoln Rhyme thriller series.

But my belly's full of fiction for the moment (aside from some podcast novels, which are serialized and feel more like "shows" than "novels" to me), so I'm currently immersed in non-fic. It's all tickling my creative side something fierce.

  • Merchant of Death by Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun: Just finished this remarkable true story about Victor Bout, an infamous and reviled Russian black-market arms dealer. In addition to directly arming many of the conflicts in Africa for the past 18 years, he's also put guns (and rockets, and helicopters and frickin' jets) in the hands of Columbian drug lords, the Taliban and other slimebags. The most terrifying part: He's still doing it. Excellent read.
  • Join the Conversation by Joseph Jaffe: Terrific read for mainstream noobs (or know-it-alls) who don't know it all about social media, the speed of communication, and the connectedness of the online world. Jaffe's prose is punchy and mischievously irreverent, and the perspective he provides is an excellent resource for folks interested in diving into the soc.media space.
  • Meatball Sundae by Seth Godin: Another excellent marketing-related read for folks curious about the social media explosion. Godin speaks volumes with few words (a rare writing trait indeed), and offers intriguing insights for marketing folk who aren't grokking the conversations -- and opportunities -- found in the soc.media space. Currently reading.
  • Letting Go of the Words by Janice (Ginny) Redish: This isn't just a great resource for bloggers, podcasters and anyone who wants to effectively communicate on the Web -- it's a fun, spunky read. Redish provides great writing advice (and context for that advice) in a style that keeps my peepers moving. The very execution of the book proves that she practices what she preaches. Currently reading.

So those are the things on my plate these days. What about you? What are you reading? Talk to me in the comments! Share your recommendations with fellow JCH.net readers!

--J.C.

Support the GRIFFIN/HALE ticket!

After some irreverent pondering (and some mischievous encouragement from some Twitter friends), I decided to whip up a bumper sticker in support of your favorite 7th Son presidential candidates, Hank "Gator" Griffin and Vincent Hale. (In honor of 7th Son's prologue, there's a hearty spattering of, ahem, red in the design.)

The GRIFFIN/HALE 2008 sticker is only three bucks, and I don't take a cut of the cash. Naturally, you're doing the 7th Son trilogy a favor by slapping one of these blood-soaked stickers on your ride: The Griffin/Hale website address will redirect to this site. :) The sticker is available for purchase here.

This November, re-elect character and faith! Re-elect Griffin and Hale!

--J.C.

Purples and Tigers and Fire, Oh My!

Something not many folks know about me is that I'm an amateur graphic designer. I used to do it for cash ... but these days, I do it for fun, and for friends. For instance: Nearly all of the typographical elements you see in the 7th Son covers and here at JCH.net were designed by me. I'm no pro; it's just another way to flex my creative muscles.

When time permits, I lend my meager pixel-pushing talents to worthy causes -- namely, my friends' projects. One such pal is Mur Lafferty, author of the Playing for Keeps podiobook. Each week, I collaborate with brilliant writer and artist Jared Axelrod (and more recently, Natalie Metzger) to create the "comic book" covers seen in the free Playing for Keeps PDFs. But when Mur informed me that she had an idea to reward her faithful evangelistic Street Team members, I was stoked, and wanted to help.

Behold the fruits of that collaboration: Personalized online avatars and images for Street Team members. Folks who spread the word about Mur's novel will receive a cool "Third Waver" picture and avatar, complete with spiffy name. (Since I'm one of the many regular contributors to Mur's project, I'm a "First Waver.") You can use the avatar on Twitter, LiveJournal, etc. ... and you can post the larger image on your site, or blog. Mur has created yet another "first" in podiobook promotion! Very cool.

Visit the Playing For Keeps site, sign up for the Street Team and get evangelizing. Those who do will receive a custom-made hero and name (created by Mur Lafferty herself), and these whiz-bang cool rewards!

--J.C.

The cow says ... clonnnnnnne.

7th Son listeners should get a kick out of this: After years of development, companies specializing in animal cloning -- cow cloning, specifically -- have received FDA approval to call their cloned critters "safe to eat," the AP reported recently. This proclamation comes after a six-year federal study. The agency has requested a temporary moratorium on the selling of cloned animals for food. The cloning, announcement and moratorium don't surprise me. What I find interesting are the regulatory loopholes detailed in the article. While some major food companies (such as dairy powerhouse Dean Foods Inc.) have wisely vowed to not sell products produced from cloned animals -- and at $20,000 per cloned cow, why would they? -- the FDA will permit the following:

  • The offspring of the cloned cattle can be bred, slaughtered and consumed for food
  • Cloning companies such as Viagen Inc. and Trans Ova Genetics intend to begin selling offspring of cloned cattle immediately
  • Food companies are not required to label products that hail from cloned animals, or their conventionally-bred offspring

Companies like Viagen Inc. have been pursuing cattle cloning for breeding purposes, the AP story says, "to produce a steady supply of cattle that are particularly tender, for instance, or for prize dairy cows."

As the article reports, it is well-known that current technologies create fatal birth defects in many cloned animals, and those that survive -- such as Dolly the sheep -- often have shorter life spans and health problems. According to the story, the FDA concluded that "cloned animals that are born healthy are no different than their non-cloned counterparts during their prime food-producing years," and also produce healthy offspring.

The agency conceded, however, that "it is not possible to draw any conclusions regarding the longevity of livestock clones or possible long-term health consequences" of those animals.

It should be noted that the FDA isn't alone in its findings; European regulators and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences have filed similar reports recently.

Where does this leave the consumer? In the dark, it appears. Putting aside the ethical concerns of cloning and animal experimentation in general, the AP story suggests that we will never know if the burger we're munching has meat from either cloned animals (should the FDA moratorium be lifted), or their offspring.

Should this matter? In a world where a person's DNA can be patented and become corporate "property" -- and where, as Eric Schlosser brilliantly reported in Fast Food Nation, a pound of supermarket or fast food ground beef is the product of dozens, perhaps more than 100, cows -- does it make a difference?

I am a cloning advocate, on nearly every front. But not knowing if I'm eating beef from a cloned cow (or its offspring) gives me the heebie-jeebies -- if only because of the illnesses and lower life expectancy cloned animals experience. Imported produce is labeled as such; it'd be awfully nice to have a similar standard for this kind of meat ... at least for the next decade, or when this concept becomes more "marketable" and "mainstream" for consumers.

Make no mistake: animal cloning will become mainstream. Human cloning is on the horizon. But when it comes to this issue, I'm reminded of what the Beta Clones in 7th Son realize during their adventure: the world is not quite ready for it.

I'm curious to know what you think. Chime on in in the comments. (And thanks to Mae Breakall for sending me the link to the story!)

--J.C.

Fans create 7th Son soundtrack!

Just days before the groundbreaking 7th Son podcast novel trilogy concludes, J.C. Hutchins asked fans following him on Twitter to suggest "soundtrack songs" for the novels. Below is the list of 7th Son-esque songs they recommended. Visit the soundtrack iMix in the U.S. iTunes store, or browse and preview from your favorite online music seller! (Note: J.C. is not getting an affiliate kickback for this. Making money wasn't the goal; it was all about having fun with 7S fans.) The list goes: Title, Artist, Album. Enjoy!

  • "Toy Soldier" - I:Scintillia - Optics
  • "Ghost In Your Mind" - Black Lab - Passion Leaves a Trace
  • "New World Man" - Rush - Signals (Remastered)
  • "The Lies We Tell" - Munk - Severed
  • "What's on Your Mind (Pure Energy)" - Information Society - Information Society
  • "Killer On the Loose" - Thin Lizzy - Chinatown
  • "Man On a Mission" - Chance - Chance: Eleven Through Fifteen
  • "Brothers In Arms" - Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms (Remastered)
  • "No World for Tomorrow" - Coheed & Cambria - No World for Tomorrow
  • "Digital Man" - Rush - Signals (Remastered)
  • "Strangers Like Me (Soundtrack Version)" - Phil Collins - Tarzan
  • "I Think I'm a Clone Now" - "Weird Al" Yankovic - Even Worse
  • "Independent" - Chance - Chance: Eleven Through Fifteen
  • "Sympathy for the Devil" - The Rolling Stones - Beggars Banquet
  • "Symphony of Destruction" - Megadeth - Countdown to Extinction
  • "It's the End of the World As We Know It" - R.E.M. - Document
  • "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" - Iron Maiden - Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
  • "Not Fade Away" - The Rolling Stones - England's Newest Hitmakers

Thanks to these fans for their suggestions -- I wish all of the songs you mentioned were available on the iTunes store: Tyrion, zard, Songjewel, akaMonty, GlennWebber, elizasea, pseudojoe, dickey, Corwin, aikidoka1977, lmorchard, bpende, chelpixie -- and a special thanks to MartynDarkly, who started this twittermeme in the first place!

Take THAT, John Alpha!

Perhaps the coolest video in the history of humankind has been released on YouTube! Behold, beautiful 7th Son superfan Robin in Seoul (who can be seen in the Beta Clone Army gallery page) at the firing range ... wearing a 7th Son T-shirt! Totally badass. 

The "real" MemR/I Array?

Supercool 7th Son fan John Wilkerson sent me an email featuring an excerpt from a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute press release. Take a peek: Supercomputing Center Will Advance the Frontiers of Computational Biology

Rensselaer researchers will continue to advance the frontiers of computational science with the help of IBM's Blue Gene supercomputer. Awarded under IBM's Shared University Research (SUR) program, this Blue Gene will complement the $100 million partnership between Rensselaer, IBM, and New York state to create one of the world's most powerful university-based supercomputing centers.

Read more...

Next stop, vaporwear!

More technology news that falls into the realm of 7th Son. Check out this story in USA TODAY, which describes a material that "cloaks" objects, making them invisible to microwaves. Now microwaves are a tiny segment of the electromagnetic spectrum ... but who's to say that visible light/colors won't someday be similarly cloaked? Is this the beginning of Vaporwear? Link to Duke University video showcasing the technology. (RealPlayer required.)

If you think DNACs were fiction....

...you're wrong. Dig this link to learn more about DNA computers ... and how they're being used to -- ah -- play Tic-Tac-Toe. Global domination is just around the corner, kids. Thanks to Christiana for the link!