56 Responses to 681 – White Smoke Mountain • 49

  1. Hmn…where did Erias…get his hands on a laser pointer?

    Or is it a wand that’s serving the same function, but magically?

  2. Doesn’t seem like squid-face is too happy with his companions. Being evil and all I believe that only really leaves him with one course of action.

  3. Ech. I spent to much time writing a reply to Elfguy’s posting in yesterday’s Thursday Blog, about who invented the first computer, that I don’t have the energy to comment on today’s strip anymore.

    Not to mention, everything that happens happens in the other room. 😉

    • This is not the first time this has happened to you Christine. Maybe you should just let the past go.

      (Edit: I just went back and read your post. I take it all back. That was a wonderful story.)

      • Too bad the Z3 was a developmental dead end, while ENIAC was part of the chain of development that actually lead to modern computers…This is the same reason that the Wright Brothers get credit for the first powered aircraft, and not a German named Cress (I forget his first name) whose attempt at a seaplane launch would have beat them by years if it had been successful (I can go back and watch James Burke’s Connections series, if you want to know his full name)

        • Or we can credit it to the geared ancient Greek “computers”, but not really. My former materials science professor credited it to a materials engineer. He said transistor theory was around in 1900 but it was unmake-able. After the development of the super-purification of materials, including silicon, the transistor appeared within 1 year. After all vacuum tubes can’t make anything more sophisticated than a room-sized pocket calculator

        • Don’t flatter yourself too much. The company that produced ENIAC had previously worked with Zuse, and Zuse’s work didn’t stop with the Z3.

          The fact is, the US government grabbed a ton of German scientists and engineers after WWII, in addition to all those Germans who had fled to the USA during the 1930s, which resulted in a massive brain-drain for Germany, not to mention that Germany’s economy in the late 40s and early 50s was shattered and people were concerned mainly with rebuilding, not with financing this new electromechanical calculating engine gadget. Even in the USA during that time, many engineers and company men considered it a fancy new toy but didn’t foresee that the room-sized calculators with their vacuum-tubes and blinking lights and punchcards would one day turn into personal computers. Heck, not even after microprocessors were invented.

          Self-styled futurologists in the 1950s thought we’d be flying around in personal helicopters by the 1980s, but computers? Pfft. Geez, even the Scifi “positronics” of Asimov’s robot stories (1950-85) and the Perry Rhodan Scifi series (started 1961 in Germany) spit out punch tapes in the beginning.

          “Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equipped with 18 000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers of the future may have only 1 000 vacuum tubes and perhaps weigh 1½ tons.” — Popular Mechanics, March 1949.

          «There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.»
          — Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC), maker of big business mainframe computers, arguing against the PC in 1977.

          • One of Hitler’s “better” moves was to kick out all the Jewish brains that ran half his economy and scientific advancements, and persecute most of the rest for not adhering to his ideology, keeping lots of “yes men”(especially in the army) instead.

              • Not at all. And it’s obvious you’re just out to me!

                Jewish-centric or not, my point is still valid. Some of the greatest German scientists were Jews, and I imagine quite a lot of the gentile academic elite wasn’t all too happy with the Nazi’s ideas.
                Nazi Germany was mentioned regarding technological developments, and also how this Mr.(Dr.? Prof.?) Zuse had to deal with them.

                I also see no reason to let people forget about it all when there’s at least one country whose head of state speaks just like Mr. Hitler while the world’s busy obsessing about each and every terrorist the IDF guns down, while the USA, Russia, Britain, Turkey, China etc. are killing people by the hundreds(Including, oops, civilians…Sorry about those flattened villages) and no one condemns them like they do to Israel.
                Or when my peaceful “neighbors” deny anything much ever happened in Europe 70 years ago beyond WWII, and say Israel has no right to even exist, anywhere, and it makes me mad to think these are the people my mainstream media is pushing me to make peace with, calling them peace lovers.
                Or, you know, the fact that just yesterday several policemen on a search for illegal weapons in a Druze village(these aren’t even “palestinians” from the Gaza Strip, in case y’all think Israel is a desert with camels and Bedouins roaming the countryside) have been forced to flee inside the building while an angry mob of around a thousand waited outside to lynch them. This last story was barely mentioned by the media, and today the papers are full of justifications for it, because the police should’ve known better how to behave…I guess by not enforcing any laws in any Druze, Bedouin or Arab settlement and letting them keep up their armed, thieving, robbing gangs.

                *End rant*

                But yes, you’re right, I have no reason to feel alarmed. I am, however, quite fed up with my mainstream media representing the far-left to the center-left, and using special words and phrases in order to shape the world to their liking, much like the good, friendly party in 1984.
                And to have all those cowards flee southwards or abroad when in 2006 I had shrapnel-filled rockets falling around my house and then return to their fairy tales of peace.

                *Really End rant*

                Well, I think I got that out of my system for a while. Well, at least until tomorrow.

  4. I don’t get it… Erias why don’t you just kill Tammi, and then when you actually need her Ressurect her. As a Super Evil Being Erias is not at all being “eeeeeevvviiillllll” in the slightest.

    I would cross tie that pony and give him the necessary snip.

  5. That is no laser pointer. That is an evil Sonic Screwdriver. I should know I own one. Nice use of red.

  6. I’m just throwing my idea out there on what the mollusk face is. Mind Flayer. Just a guess. The reason for this was I was in my local fantasy shop and saw the cover art for Underdark, which is a Mind Flayer. He had a bunch of tentacles on his face. Or maybe a spawn of Cthulhu. You have to love Lovecraft.

    • Nonsense. Those two would be copyright infringements, so of course Kevin’s creation is something else entirely.

      Phew, I think I managed to keep the lawyers at bay, for now.

      • Of course. Mind flayers have four tentacles, and our villain only has two. Nope, definitely cannot be a mind flayer.

        That’s like saying an ant is a spider – it’s only missing two legs, right?

        • I thought I heard that they were asexual. Cthulhu is not copyrighted. And as long as he doesn’t confirm that they are something copyrighted he is not breaking the law. Or he could name it Mind Fleyer.

          • I think calling it Mind Flayer, or any similar name, would still be a copyright infringement, as a very close naming, imitation of design etc are under the law’s protection.

            Richard Burlew also doesn’t use Mind Flayers.
            Well, he tried once, but IIRC the Lawyers dragged the poor tentacle face away. And Zz’dtri too.

            I’m not sure how dedicated WoTC are to eradicating copyright infringements in webcomics and if Kevin has real reason for concern(or even being on their radar), but I’m guessing he does since he also profits financially from sale of related merchandise, and if that included a such a name/creature they’d have a case against him.

            Personally, I’ve illegally downloaded all my D&D sources, so they can choke on their billions of “expansion” books that would be nothing more than small patches if it was a video game, that they churn out for full price.
            That and I’m a cheap bastard.

            • I’m not saying anything one way or the other, except that if I thought something in the strip were in danger of copyright problems, I would certainly change it enough to remove the probability of legal action. I so very much doubt that anyone at WotC has ever even heard of this strip, but if they ever did, I wouldn’t want them coming after me for what amounts to free advertising on their behalf. That would just be… irritating.

          • Cthulhu isn’t, but only because people ripped off Lovecraft’s ideas even beofre his stories became public domain in the USA, so he’s pretty much fair game.

            Mindflayers, however, are copyrighted by TSR/WotC. I think they’re not even among the Open Gaming License d20 3rd edition monsters. And mindflayers (illithids) are a bit more than just “humanoid creature with tentacles on its face”.

            • Lovecraft gave permission to use his creations to his writer friends, as part of an exchange of characters, themes etc between his and their works(like with his close friend, Conan the Barbarian writer, Robert E. Howard.
              From what I’ve read(on Wikipedia, I think), it was also one of the reasons he was dirt-poor, because he didn’t get anything when others started using it…Or it could’ve been another writer in a similar situation.

        • Dwarf chicks do. At least in Middle Earth and on Discworld. 😉

          WotC took beards away from dwarven women in 4E because, according to one pre-launch interview I read, game designers thought male gamers would be put off by the idea of female dwarves with beards, and female gamers would not want to play one. 🙄

    • They’re not shadows, they’re stains caused by patches of mould on the walls. It’s pretty dank in those dungeons.

      Or Erias has been renovating recently and the cement where he walled in some luckless victims alive is still fresh. 😉

      • Or perhaps it is the remnants of a recently Disintegrated “guest”. They do still have Disintegrate in 4e right? I still play 3.5 so I wouldn’t know.

        • I’m quite sure I saw a spell of that name for wizards, but I know it’s not even close in power to the old one, none of them are.

          My theory is that this room is made of/coated with florescent materials, so they keep their brightness even in the dark, except for the the areas which previously had less lighting on them(shadowed areas) and are thus darker in the dark.