The Silliest Of Bands

Preorder HijiNKS ENSUE Book 2!!!BOOK 2 DEADLINE UPDATE!

The deadline for ordering the Ultimate Fancy Edition AND getting your name in the book on the Fancy Wall of Fancy Fame is January 15th!!!

Less than half of the 150 UFE’s remain! Show your support for HE and preorder the shit out of Book 2!

I’ve been seeing these commercials on late night TV for a while now touting rubber bracelets that “balance your core” and are “tuned to your body’s frequency” and “take your $30” and “affirm that you shouldn’t be allowed to make your own purchasing decisions” and “call into question your ability to care for yourself without supervision.” I get so angry when I see these types of products that claim to be based on science then proceed to use nonsense, unrelated buzz words in rough juxtaposition to confound the consumer into believing all the answers to their problems lie in $0.40 worth of silicone.

I wasn’t really thinking about PowerBalance Bands as a possible comic topic until I saw a few tweets from Mythbuster Adam Savage on the subject. I guess his followers were asking why they didn’t debunk the bands on Mythbusters, to which he replied, “I can’t debunk the science of the stupid bracelets, because there IS NO SCIENCE TO THE STUPID BRACELETS.” It’s nice to see that such blatant snake oilery produces the same ire in Adam as it does in me.

He’s right. There IS NOTHING TO TEST. If you are at all curious as to how they pull off the balance tests on the commercials to seemingly awestruck passers by, it’s a simple bit of physics trickery. Slight of hand. An illusion [not a trick… tricks are something whores do for money, Michael].

Adam also points out how fascinating the Placebo effect is. When I was 17, I had a friend (he was around 40) who could play guitar in essentially every conceivable style with expert level prowess. He was really gifted. He also had carpal tunnel syndrome in his right hand that was preventing him from playing as often as he needed to (he made his living as a guitar teacher). The pain was awful. One day I brought him a magnetic bracelet I’d purchased at Wal-Mart. I was a stupid teenager and hey, magnets right? How the fuck to they work? Long story short he strapped that bracelet on, the pain (which was caused by a medically verifiable condition for which he required surgery) was gone and he continued to play full time with no problems. What I’m saying is the human brain is a stupid, stupid lump of crap and a dirty liar.

I’d also like to point you to this video (and 100’s more like it) where the individual lets you know how to tell the difference between a real Power Band and a fake one. Go ahead and try to wrap your mind parts around that one. I dare you. If you really need one of these things, may I suggest Placebo Bands? They work just as good (which is to say they also do nothing, but at least they come with a free layer of irony).

Somebody’s Watching Me Watching Me

Preorder HijiNKS ENSUE Book 2!!!BOOK 2 DEADLINE UPDATE!

The deadline for ordering the Ultimate Fancy Edition AND getting your name in the book on the Fancy Wall of Fancy Fame is January 15th!!!

Less than half of the 150 UFE’s remain and I really need to sell ALL OF THEM to get the print run covered. Show your support for HE and preorder the shit out of Book 2!

Something about a home-brewed camera backpack that let you watch yourself from a third person point of view seemed like it would fit right in with Josh’s particular brand of finely attuned narcissism.

Commenters: What other cinematic tropes might Josh encounter in his personal docu-drama? What would it be called? What would happen to the other characters in his film?

Episode 75 of the HijiNKS ENSUE Podcast is live!

RE: there being a comic on Tuesday when there was previously one on Monday – I am trying something new. Sort of an experiment within The Experiment. No promises yet. I will go into more detail as I figure out what I’m doing.

Along that same line of thinking… Do you enjoy HijiNKS ENSUE? Would you like to enjoy it more frequently? Feeling tipsy? Then drop a tip in the Tip Jar and help me make a crucial decision regarding the future of this comic.

What An As Hole

UPDATE: The Book 2 presale has begun!
Hijinks Ensue Holiday CardsThis is a comic about multiple disappointments. The first is concerning NASA’s announcement that they found non-carbon-based life on earth found some bacteria that don’t die when you replace their phosphorus with arsenic, or whatever. First contact this is not. The second is related to the all CG costume in the Green Lantern movie and how silly it looks [hint: EXTREMELY SILLY]. When I first saw the trailer on Youtube as a clip from some entertainment news magazine show it was super small, super grainy and the costume looked embarrassing. Then I saw a second clip from the same show, but cleaned up and more clear. It was still small but at that point I thought I might have misjudged the rediculatude of the costume. Then I saw the full HD trailer and realized that it looked just as crazy titty-balls as I had originally thought and the film makers had made a huge mistake. There was a valley in the curve of the quality of the various trailers. We’ll call it “Hope Valley.” Just after hope valley there’s a steep jump off into “Plastic Neon Glowin 8-Pack Nonsense Abs Chasm.” No one survives the fall.

NEWS!!!

The HE Podcast site is somewhat broken and I can’t properly post the new episode. In the meantime you can download it directly HERE. UPDATE: It’s fixed and Episode 73 is HERE.

Check out these damn HE Holiday cards in the store! You need to get them now so you can receive them in time to mail them back out before the Squash Lord crawls through your heating ducts and puts meat pies in your shoes!

HE Book 2 goes up for pre-order on Monday 12/6/2010. Without a successful pre-order there will be NO BOOK. This is also your only chance to get an artist edition other than at cons.

Speaking of cons: Austin/San Antonio Fancy Bastards MUST ATTEND the Dragon’s Lair Webcomic Rampage next weekend (12/11 to 12/12/2010)

Here is a video that FB Locke Cole made for school regarding copyright using some clips from an interview that I did.

I Wanna Dip My Buckyballs In It!

Apparently none of our giant-headed physicists can use their science brains to figure out what would happen were one to slip a wayward hand into the particle stream of the Large Hadron Collider. If you watch the video, their guesses range from, “I don’t know,” to “You can’t because it’s 100 meters below ground,” to “It’s like an aircraft carrier the size of a proton is driving through your hand but also there’s several billion of them so you die.” I like the last answer best. Instead of a circle, we need to re-engineer the LHC into a straight line and start some Dr. Doom “hold the world for ransom” type shenanigans.

My own personal theory is that your hand would dematerialize in the stream only to travel back in time to just before you put your hand in the beam and sign “STOP IT! STOP BEING AN ASSHOLE YOU STUPID ASSHOLE!” in ASL as it fell to the ground. Of course this would create a causality loop (because the fact that you see the hand before you stick your hand in the beam means you already stuck your hand in the beam) and a paradox (because you don’t know sign language, therefor neither does your hand) both of which would take turns unravelling the fabric of space-time.

The quantum sex act Josh describes in panel 3 is referred to in scientific circles as a “Swedish Fiddler,” a “A Golden CERN,” or a “Hot Black Hole with a Reverse Baby Universe.”

Commenters: Feel free to post your theory about what happens when you stick your hand in the LHC. Also, I’m designing holiday cards tonight. You have an idea for a card? Post it in the comments. This is your ONE shot to make suggestions.

Looking At The Big Bang Picture

If you have a chance to watch Into The Universe With Stephen Hawking, and enjoy having your mind blown by space science then I strongly suggest you do… both things. The  watching the show thing and the mind thing. It is essentially an updated Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, but is still wildly enjoyable. Though Hawking’s robo-voice (which he appears to control with eye movements now that his hands no long function) introduces each segment, the voice over duties are quickly assumed by a pleasant sounding British gentleman.

If you enjoy HE and and would like to show your support for the comic or The Experiment, please consider getting a book or shirt in the store or making a donation.

There are two things I LOVE about specials like this (especially this very special special):
A) Even when you know in the back of your mind how enormous and random and chaotic and unlikely and OLD the universe is, it’s a real kick in the cosmic pants to be reminded of just exactly how much it is each of those descriptors with stunning visual effects and real world metaphors.
B) Stephen Hawking approaches physics and the universe with what can only be described as love.