Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.

at 01:16 on 28-06-2009, Sonia Mitchell
I thought of you guys the other day when I saw a review card on one of Cassandra Claire's books in Borders. As closely as I can remember, it contained the phrase, "this book is comparable to Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series, and that's saying something!"

Yes indeed.
at 13:52 on 26-06-2009, Arthur B
If we're going down this road...

Q: What was Michael Jackson's last big hit?
A: The floor!
at 12:49 on 26-06-2009, Wardog
As one of my guildies quipped last night, Where were you when the King of Pop died? Grizzly Hills.
at 00:00 on 26-06-2009, Rude Cyrus
Michael Jackson has died, something I didn't think was possible, considering his less-than-human appearance. RIP King of Pop.
at 17:07 on 25-06-2009, Wardog
Rock Paper Shotgun on Ron Weasley's ejaculate. No, God, no!
at 12:52 on 25-06-2009, Arthur B
Using sockpuppet accounts to post 5-star reviews of your own work on Amazon is a dick move, but did you know that it's also against European competition law?
at 11:32 on 25-06-2009, Arthur B
The most insane political cartoons devised by man, hosted on a free comic hosting service that has a ferret for a search engine.
at 22:36 on 22-06-2009, Robinson L
Thanks Viorica! I'll be sure to pass it on.
at 18:52 on 22-06-2009, Viorica
There's this interview with Nichelle Nichols, where she talks about the fact that the kiss between Uhura and Kirk was originally scripted between Uhura and Spock, and the reactions the whole thing got, as well as Uhura's role in general. Actually, the whole documentary's a great source for information about what went on behind the scenes.
at 18:00 on 22-06-2009, Robinson L
Hey, uh, Viorica, got a question for you. In your response to Arthur's review of the new Star Trek movie, you said: "(apparently Gene Roddenberry originally wanted Spock and Uhura to be an item, and the network put their foot down)."

My sister is writing her own review, and she wanted to know if you have any sources for that factoid you could point her to.
at 02:15 on 22-06-2009, Viorica
Hell, if I was Robert Pattinson, I'd be thowing myself in front of taxis too. The really sad thing is, the fangirls will probably be blaming the driver rather than themselves.
at 01:07 on 22-06-2009, Arthur B
Best summary of Watchmen ever, as told by a man with sleep deprivation. (Second part here.)
at 00:56 on 22-06-2009, Arthur B
Amazing Russian version of Winnie-the-Pooh. In Soviet Russia... Pooh still eats Rabbit out of house and home.
at 19:17 on 21-06-2009, Jamie Johnston
"... Robert Pattinson was hit by a taxi in New York as he tried to run away from a crowd of teenage fans..."

No, no, you're supposed to get into the taxi and then get out on the other side. Have the 60s taught you nothing, young man?
at 15:35 on 21-06-2009, Arthur B
Soviet propaganda cartoons from World War II. Plenty of antifascist bile, with a side order of SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL PURGE.
at 21:52 on 18-06-2009, Arthur B
at 21:22 on 18-06-2009, Shim
Come on guys, the moon is blatantly showing itself off here. It was totally asking for it. It was probably jealous because of all the attention other astronomical objects are getting, but now it turns out the attention wasn't what it wanted after all, well, maybe it should have thought of that before it started with all the orbiting.

(Actually, coming up with this stuff is pretty terrifying)
at 14:53 on 18-06-2009, Wardog
He's just *appreciating* the lunar form. It's a mark of respect.

I bet that's exactly what the probe said.
at 14:43 on 18-06-2009, Rami
That's one celestial body
Dude! That kind of talk is unacceptable! You shouldn't be objectifying moons, you should clearly be asking their opinions on things!
at 14:21 on 18-06-2009, Arthur B has more details of the incident, including (grainy, hard to interpret) photos of the actual crash and (wonderfully clear, breathtaking) footage from the probe from shortly before it impacted, as well as fun videos it took before it ruthlessly violated the Moon out in space where everyone could see it.

Oh yeah. Check out the fear in the Moon's eyes. That's one celestial body that's going to get what's coming to it.
at 14:16 on 18-06-2009, Claire E Fitzgerald
Well I, for one, am not OK with this. It means that (a) it is someone's job to build massive big rockets for millions if not billions of dollars, purposely designed to shoot across the solar system and smash into stuff, and (b) that person is someone other than me.

Actually this is quite remarkable, since despite being so short, it contains 4 of my top 5 Ways Of Telling When Someone Has No Idea What They Are Talking About. (It only fails by not being in the Daily Mail. Which is a sentence I never thought I'd type.) At the top of the list is that left-brain-equals-rationality-(equals-science) thing. Actually both hemispheres of the brain contribute equally to both "rational" and "creative" thought, as well as bollocks thought which is clearly neither. Less well known is that scientists - especially Japanese onese - have an extra cerebral hemisphere known as the Awesomal Cortex. This is where they come up with new ideas for blowing shit up. And robots. And, occasionally, blowing shit up with robots.

(Mine is sadly underdeveloped because my class wasn't allowed to play - sorry, *experiment* - with dropping lithium in the sink, after the whole fireball incident. Bah. This is obviously why I ended up in the "soft sciences" and became a professional Internet Psychologist, instead of working as an Awesomeologist at the International Institute of WOAH! DUDE!!! So thanks, second law of thermodynamics. Thanks a sodding million.)