Monday, February 28, 2005

JAGS :: It's not Just Another Gaming System

I came across this after seeing postings by the author on, so I decided to check it out. While it doesn't look like it is my thing rules does have some interesting background material and the production values are pretty darn good. It is certainly a game system worth checking it is free. Free is always good.


"JAGS is a free, high quality, universal, pencil and paper RPG. It's got great support and exciting things are happening for it right now! "

Looking For Gamers

I posted this on, looking for some new people to game with. If you're in the Cleveland area, and this sounds interesting. Leave a comment and let me know how to get in touch with you.

Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)

The system is Mutants and Masterminds, the concept is fairly open ended but it is a campaign influenced by Vertigo Comics, and comics like Planetary by Warren Ellis. It is about the world of secrets behind the veil of the standard four-color worlds of comic book super-heroes.

Sometimes, a person wakes up with a jolt from their everyday world to discover that everything is different. That all of the rules have changed. Or sometimes they discover that everything that they knew, everything that was safe and comforting to them was only on the surface of the world and they had fallen into the cracks. These cracks can be their own worlds, then, fractally reflecting the world of the surface while at the same time subtly hinting of darker, deeper worlds laying in wait in cracks of their own.

The cosmology of the world is built around my reimagining of the Cthulhu Mythos. The names and faces are different, but the concepts underneath are the same so that things can once again be unsettling and unknown to the players. Things are frightening once again. But the characters are still the heroes of the picture, facing an uncertain and unsettling world where, unlike with many heroes, things cannot be easily settled with a fist fight.

The game will be using a number of variant rules developed by myself. If all of this sounds interesting, and you would be available on Sunday evenings (and able to commit to a weekly game) then leave a comment. Of course, it also helps to be in Cleveland...

Dorkland!: Februar 2004

So, I was looking at my refererers and I saw that someone translated this page into German. Now, I really wish that I knew who or why. If you were the person who did this, and are still checking the blog a comment on this and fill me in.

I'm just curious.

Dorkland!: Februar 2004

"Eine Erforschung aller Sachen, die ich betrachte, dorky, in dieser sonderbaren und wacky Welt von unseren merkw�rdig und ungew�hnlich zu sein. Wie die Tides, die oben auf dem Ufer waschen, ebb meine Definitionen und flie�en und �ndern mit den Phasen des Mondes."

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Retro Junk

This site is cool. You need to check it out...right now.

Retro Junk

Hunter S. Thompson, R.I.P.

I know that I had already put up a link to the story when it broke, but this obituary was too well written for me to not put it out. The more of this story that comes out, the stranger it gets. Of course, in the life (or death) of Hunter S. Thompson I would expect no less. "When the going gets weird...the weird turn pro."

Again, he will be missed.

Hunter S. Thompson, R.I.P.

"With Thompson's suicide, journalism lost a deeply flawed and unconventional practitioner – but one who always sought the truth with his highball."

Whitley Strieber: The Scum Rises: Peter Jennings on UFOs

Everyone's fan favorite kook Whitley Strieber (so much fun that I named my grey cat after him) weighs in with his "unbiased" opinions towards the recent UFO Special done by ABC News. I thought that it was ok, they did a good job of showing both sides of the issue and I think that the two sides alternated in looking like kooks. I find this quote from Whitley to be rather ironic: "The result is that their efforts become an exercise in hubris. They end up making judgements based on inadequate information because they believe that what they have gathered is sufficient."

I would watch throwing stones in that glass house, Mr. Strieber.

Whitley Strieber: The Scum Rises: Peter Jennings on UFOs

"The much heralded ABC special on UFOs has come and gone. Predictably, it was more of the same, a large number of lies sprinkled with a few truths. At least it wasn’t as relentlessly negative as such programs have generally been in the past. But people like Peter Jennings and his producers are cursed with the belief that they can understand—or already do understand—what they are looking at. The reality is that the UFO phenomenon is the most complex event in history, and a cursory examination of its surface by a few overworked and ill-informed television producers is not going to succeed in any way whatsoever to come to any truth about it.

"They are filled with belief in their own competence, however. The result is that their efforts become an exercise in hubris. They end up making judgements based on inadequate information because they believe that what they have gathered is sufficient. But it is not sufficient, it only fulfills their expectations and serves their assumptions. That's always where they stop, and it’s never enough.

"Jennings was somewhat open to the notion that some UFOs might be actual unknowns, and he actually told the truth, for once, about Project Bluebook: it was indeed a publicity stunt.

"But the characterization of the Roswell Incident as a hoax and the people attempting to investigate it as cultists was a grotesque lie, and, I think, an intentional one. It is classic disinformation—tell a little truth so that your lie will be swallowed along with it. Of course, how could anything more be expected from a man like Jennings? He’s a prostitute to the establishment, nothing more or less, and it is in the interest of the establishment to conceal the reality of Roswell." [via Posthuman Blues]


Just when you think that the powers that be can't get any more stupid...

(Although the kid's grammar isn't that great either.)

Student Arrested For Terroristic Threatening Says Incident A Misunderstanding

"A George Rogers Clark High School junior arrested Tuesday for making terrorist threats told LEX 18 News Thursday that the 'writings' that got him arrested are being taken out of context.

"Winchester police say William Poole, 18, was taken into custody Tuesday morning. Investigators say they discovered materials at Poole's home that outline possible acts of violence aimed at students, teachers, and police.

"Poole told LEX 18 that the whole incident is a big misunderstanding. He claims that what his grandparents found in his journal and turned into police was a short story he wrote for English class.

"'My story is based on fiction,' said Poole, who faces a second-degree felony terrorist threatening charge. 'It's a fake story. I made it up. I've been working on one of my short stories, (and) the short story they found was about zombies. Yes, it did say a high school. It was about a high school over ran by zombies.'"

Friday, February 25, 2005

Hooray For Hollywood

Well, I haven't posted anything from The Smoking Gun for a while, but I thought that this would make a good nod to this weekend's Oscar awards. Check the link and enjoy the fruity goodness of those celebrities that oh so many of us idolize.

Hooray For Hollywood

"In recognition of Sunday's Academy Awards, The Smoking Gun offers this special tribute to Hollywood, the source of many memorable lawsuits, restraining orders, narcotics arrests, palimony beefs, divorce petitions, indictments, and other assorted paper-based entertainment. With so many stars and so many documents, TSG actually had trouble singling out our top Tinseltown hits (so excuse us if we forgot your favorite bit of debauchery). Below you'll find our favorite confidentiality agreement, the one Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman once had their household employees sign. After you read that beaut, make sure to check out these other movie classics: Roman Polanksi's perversions; Sharon Stone's demands; Jack Nicholson's hooker problems; Winona Ryder's probation report; Christian Slater's drug rampage; Bruce Willis's aching head; Nick Nolte's Hawaiian shirt; Ben Affleck's voting record; Michael Douglas's errant golf ball; Jim Carrey's support woes; Matthew McConaughey's naked bongoing; Catherine Zeta-Jones's diet and topless photo beefs; Bud Abbott's porno stash; Lou Costello's porno stash; Linda Fiorentino's nudity rider; Diane Lane's modest proposals; Cruise's heterosexual exhortation; Barbra Streisand's paparazzi rant; Roddy McDowall's pirated films; Mark Wahlberg's youthful indiscretions; Lucille Ball's Red run-in; Demi Moore's nettlesome nanny; and Arnold Schwarzenegger's bothersome bobblehead. Oh, we almost forgot about this pussy."

Hasbro Launching Musical Toothbrush

This is pretty screwed up.

Hasbro Launching Musical Toothbrush

"Toymaker Hasbro, Inc. is injecting music into the act of brushing teeth. The company announced Friday that it's launching 'Tooth Tunes,' a toothbrush that transmits music through the jawbone to the ear when its bristles touch teeth.

"'You can clearly hear the words and the music,' said Brian Goldner, president of Hasbro's U.S. Toys unit. 'You can hum right along if you like.'

"For someone standing near a person brushing, the noise would be a muted hum, Goldner said.

"The battery-operated toothbrush contains a tiny microchip that stores the song. When the user presses a button and starts brushing, the sound vibrations pass through the tooth, to the jawbone and directly into the inner ear. The song plays for two minutes, the amount of time dentists recommend people spend brushing their teeth."

Thursday, February 24, 2005

American Science & Surplus

Is it dorky? I think it can be. It is certainly a cool site. If you can't find some ool here then you just aren't looking hard enough. Start your Holiday Gift Shopping now!

American Science & Surplus

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

F.M. Busby (1921-2005)

F.M. Busby (1921-2005)

"Both fandom and prodom suffered a loss today, Feb. 17, with the passing of F.M. 'Buz' Busby, who died this afternoon after battling an abdominal problem that put him in the hospital about a month ago. Buz, probably best known for his 'Rissa Kerguelen' series of science fiction novels, was also a BNF in the fandom of the late 1950s and early 1960s. He and his wife Elinor edited Cry of the Nameless, winning a Hugo for best fanzine in 1960. Buz underwent another operation a few days ago, and was moved yesterday to a care facility because his Medicare coverage ended. He was 83 years old, born Francis Marion Busby on March 11, 1921. You can leave notes of condolence or memories on this CaringBridge page page, where additional details will be posted; I'll pass on any notes posted below to Elinor."

Superman is a Dick

I guess that this requires no further introduction then. It is a National Lampoon site, but the covers appear to have been legit and not doctored. It is worth it, if only for the name of the page.

Superman is a Dick

De gustibus non est disputandum.

De gustibus non est disputandum

(day GOOS-ti-boos nohn est dis-poo-TAHN-dem) Latin for “There’s no disputing about taste.” Another version of this saying is “There’s no accounting for taste.”

Words to live by.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The Wold Newton Universe - Chronology Central

Originally created by SF author Philip Jose Farmer for his "biographies" of Tarzan and Doc Savage, the Wold Newton concept has been used and refered to by a number of authors looking to link the worlds (and families) of the great heroes and villains of the past.

The Wold Newton Universe - Chronology Central

Any GM interested in running an RPG campaign in either the Pulp or Victorian eras (or even in modern times) would do well to look over the information contained on this website. There is a lot of good, usable information contained there. I cannot reccomend it strongly enough.

The Dorkland Shop

Ok, I need the money. Proclaim your dorkiness for all of the world to see with Dorkland shirts, stickers and messenger bags. Check out the shop and the snazzy logo that I designed for Dorkland. I will probably be adding some other merchandise as time goes by. There is some nice stuff, and the quality is pretty good. Eventually, this should become your one stop dork shopping place!

The Dorkland Shop

"Welcome to my store of dorkiness. By purchasing Dorkland products and proudly wearing them you can proclaim your dorkiness loudly and proudly. Join the nation of Dorkland!"

Monday, February 21, 2005

Writer Hunter S. Thompson kills himself

This was some pretty shocking news for me to wake up to. This is a great shame...I am just at a loss for words. He will be missed, he already is.

Writer Hunter S. Thompson kills himself

"Hunter S. Thompson, the hard-living writer who inserted himself into his accounts of America's underbelly and popularized a first-person form of journalism in books such as 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,' has committed suicide.

"Thompson was found dead Sunday in his Aspen-area home of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, sheriff's officials said. He was 67. Thompson's wife, Anita, had gone out before the shooting and was not home at the time."

Sunday, February 20, 2005

DigitalGlobe -- Images For The Media

Do you want those high-res satellite photos for your game sessions like the ones that you see on the nightly news? Here is a place where you can find them. A great resource for GMs and Publishers as well.


Saturday, February 19, 2005

Classic Marvel Super-Heroes RPG

I know that I have this main site linked in my Dorkroll, but it is worth having an entry for it to bring attention. The original Marvel Super-Heroes RPG (as published back in the day by TSR) is one of my all time favorite RPGs. This site is great, and I have been a fan of it for at least five years now. It reproduces the core rules, and a few of the supplements, for the game in PDF form. If you like super-heroes and/or simple RPG systems and you missed this the first time should go to it now.

Classic Marvel Super-Heroes RPG

"In the early eighties, TSR put out a roleplaying game called, aptly enough, 'Marvel Super Heroes.' The set was less numbers-based, and geared toward first-time players, people unfamiliar with role-playing games.

"The system really took off with the release of the Advanced Set in 1986. New powers and rules were added, the rank system made more flexible, and a number of supplements were released afterward to make for an even richer gaming experience."

This page has a link to a compendium of PDFs of the old Marvel-Phile articles that TSR ran in Dragon Magazine to support the system. There's some good stuff, plus official stats for Howard the Duck (of course I think that would be good stuff too).

Both of these sites are worth checking out. Good games don't die anymore...thanks to PDFs and the internet...they just become something that gets supported by the fan base instead. One day there won't be any more out of print RPGs.

The Basement Tapes: Definitive Run

A very interesting article, as told as a conversation between Joe Casey & Matt Fraction. I'm not sure who Matt Fraction is, but I do know Joe Casey (as I am sure do many of the readers of this blog). But still a very interesting conversation on comics today. This quoted bit is by Matt Fraction. It is well worth the read.

The Basement Tapes: Definitive Run

"From January of 1981 through February of '82, Frank Miller wrote and drew what's widely considered the definitive run of 'Daredevil.' In September of '82, he and Chris Claremont kicked out the 'Wolverine' miniseries, which is probably as definitive a run as that character has come close to having. Then, in July of '83 through August of '84, 'Ronin' came out-- at which point Frank both reinvented himself and caught his breath-- until early 1986, when he and David Mazzucchelli brought out 'Born Again' which I'd argue supplanted his earlier run as the definitive Daredevil book.

"So, as Daredevil #228 hit the stands, so did the first issue of 'The Dark Knight Returns.' Two months after that ended, 'Elektra: Assassin' began over at Epic, and at some point in there his Daredevil GN 'Love & War' also hit, both painted by the always-astonishing Bill Sienkiewicz. Then, as 'Elektra' was wrapping up, 'Batman: Year One' was starting and if there's been a Batman story more definitive and permanently iconic than 'Dark Knight,' it was 'Year One.' Think about it, the phrase 'Year One' has become industry shorthand, you know?

"So-- depending on how you look at it, that's easily five masterworks in six years, several of which are still held as the best those characters and/or books have been. Even today, this period of Miller's creative life is as inspired as it is inspirational-- whatever deal with whatever devil he made came to fruition and the guy was just on fire.

"I was pretty young during all that-- by 'Year One,' 'Frank Miller' was kind of a license to print money (maybe not Miller's license, but DC's, certainly) and, y'know, killer runs. Even 'Rolling Stone' did a story on Miller, mid-'Dark Night,' where he was giggling about the Reaganomic nightmare he'd cooked up for the caped crusader, and giggling even harder about how worried Marvel seemed over Daredevil being out of costume for six months...

"...My point, longwinded though it may be, is that this era of Miller's work was important and you knew it while it was happening.

"Is there anything or anyone comparable today? Not 'Who's the new Frank Miller,' but rather, can there be a new Frank Miller? I don't feel like creators are allowed to define themselves and their runs quite like they used to be... does that make sense? You know what I'm talking about?"

The Unofficial Thriller Web Page

This was one of the first comics that I remember reading that was written for an audience other than pre-adolescent boys. Engaging, complex and true to its pulp roots, Thriller (no connection to Michael Jackson) was a brilliant comic. I really wish that the creators had been allowed to finish it. Maybe DC Comics will get off of their butt, release the initial issues through their Vertigo line, and then get the creators to finish the first storyline and then continue on to new ones.

This would make a pretty cool RPG setting too...

The Unofficial Thriller Web Page

Beatles & Bizarros

And now for something completely different...Certainly an interesting blog.

Beatles & Bizarros

"Gives listings of various appearences of The Beatles in comic book format, as well as the DC character, Bizarro."

The Stars Are Right In Nigeria

This is just too funny to not post for everyone to see. The reverse Nigerian way of Cthulhu.

The Stars Are Right In Nigeria

"It's October! In this spirit of Halloween, for this scam I'm trading my Tom Udo persona for Randolph Carter. If you're familiar with the works of H.P. Lovecraft, a fantasy and horror writer from the 1920s, you'll appreciate this, as I include a bunch of references to Lovecraft's "Cthulhu mythos." If you're not, sit back and enjoy the ride as Randolph gets way more than he bargained for. In the exchanges below, Randolph's messages have blue headers, and the Nigerian Lad's are in red. To help you read through faster, the important parts of the Nigerian's are highlighted in red text."


The Five-Billion-Star Hotel

"On the Las Vegas Strip, home of the biggest and most extravagant hotels in the world, shell-shocked tourists file past one stunningly ostentatious display after another. In the desert city, water says wealth like nothing else, and there’s a lake of it in front of the Bellagio, with fountains blasting 240 feet in the air in time to Broadway show tunes. Just up the street, the Mirage demonstrates that it has money to burn with a fiery volcano erupting from the top of a 119,000-gallon waterfall.

"Tucked away on the service roads behind the Strip, the humble Budget Suites of America hotels are, in contrast, nearly invisible to tourists. Catering not to revelers but to the hordes of migrants looking for quick work in America’s tourism epicenter, Budget Suites eschews flashy displays of any sort, flaunting instead affordable weekly rates and the homely comforts of laundry rooms and kitchenettes.

"Still, when it comes to grand ambition, the impresarios of the Strip are mere pikers next to Budget Suites owner Robert Bigelow. For his next hotel enterprise, Bigelow is looking beyond the bright lights of Las Vegas—beyond Earth’s atmosphere, in fact. He is actively engaged in an effort to build the planet’s first orbiting space hotel. Bargain-basement room rate: $1 million a night. For its water show, this hotel will have all of Earth’s blue oceans flying past its windows at 17,500 miles an hour. Guests on board the 330-cubic-meter station (about the size of a three-bedroom house) will learn weightless acrobatics, marvel at the ever-changing face of the home planet, and, for half of every 90-minute orbit, gaze deep into a galaxy ablaze with stars." [via Daily Illuminator]

Thursday, February 17, 2005

My Little Golden Book About Zogg

This reminds me of Henry Darger.

My Little Golden Book About Zogg

"I was in a supermarket recently searching for a brown mustard-and-conditioner in one. It was while I was reading the ingredient label on a jar of Gouldens Dry Scalp Formula that I looked to the children's book rack and there spied the title 'My Little Golden Book About God.'

"Now as anyone knows, my interest in life's headiest metaphysical mystery has led me on some stange journeys; from the highest mountain peaks of Peru to snort crystalized alpaca urine with an Incan shaman to the sewers beneath Istanbul to read 900-year old grafitti scrawled by the heretical Saint Phoqallyall. Having found no theological resolution in these rarified encounters I have left the door open to the chance that sublime truth may be found where I least expect it.

"So it was with genuine anticipation that I opened the book, curious to know what the people at Little Golden Books believed small children who stick Beeferoni up their noses could absorb about the Inscrutible One.

"You cannot imagine my horror, however, when my eyes met pages filled with saccharine, pastel artwork depicting cold-eyed androids that were clearly not of our realm. In a Beautiful Mind moment of schizophrenic clarity I saw the book for what it was: not a gentle introduction to life's most profound curiosity, but a primer for the parasitic offspring of an invisible invasion!

"For the safety of our race (if any still remain) I have translated this book in the hopes that a resistance may arise. Read the baby powder scented Final Solution of our enemies from beyond, otherwise known as My Little Golden Book About Zogg."


This I thought was really funny...

EROTIKEA [link removed because, sadly, the original page appears to be dead]

"SEXY murals are among a wealth of Roman relics which have been uncovered on the site of a new Ikea store.

"The erotic paintings were found by workmen building a massive new outlet for the Swedish furniture giants." [via Jonny]

Vatican offers exorcism lessons

Vatican offers exorcism lessons

"The Vatican university is launching a new course for exorcists - Roman Catholic priests who cast out evil spirits from the possessed.

"Lessons at the prestigious Athenaeum Pontificium Regina Apostolorum will include the history of Satanism and its context in the Bible.

"Practical lessons in psychology and the law will also feature.

"Concern is high in Italy about the influence of Satanic cults - especially among the young and impressionable.

"And there will also be seminars at the Athenaeum, or Upra as it is known, on the spiritual, liturgical and pastoral work involved in being an exorcist." [via Jonny]

Saturday, February 12, 2005

SPI Died for Your Sins

SPI Died for Your Sins

"The scene: Saturday morning at Origins [19]77, the national simulations gaming convention, hosted that year at a college on Staten Island by SPI. Inside the dealer's room, game companies feverishly prepare for the onslaught. Outside, beyond the locked doors, visible through the glass wall of the room, are the gamers, hundreds of them, pressed against the glass. At ten, the doors open, and the hordes pour through, charging into the dealer's room. Most make a beeline for the SPI table, where they stand, six deep, demanding copies of the new wargame releases, overwhelming the dozen staffers who stand behind the table to fulfill orders.

"The scene: GenCon 96, the largest adventure gaming convention, Saturday morning in the open gaming area. We browse around, moving from table to table, seeing what people are playing. D&D, of course; Magic; Vampire; GURPS. Perhaps a game of Civilization, or Rail Baron.

"Oh, here's someone playing a wargame. What's he playing?

"Why, an out-of-print SPI wargame. From the seventies."

A Refutation By The Author of FATAL of a Review

The review (which is linked in this) is quite funny to read, if you haven't previously. I haven't fully read the author's refutation (my word not his...I wouldn't credit him the vocabulary) but having read FATAL (and taken the resulting Sanity loss) I am sure that it is amusing. All that I can say is, if you haven't read is in the best interests of your psyche to not be tempted.


A Refutation By The Author of FATAL of a Review

"Although it is technically not a review, but mostly an attack against me, Byron Hall, I will demonstrate the fallacies of the authors, Darren MacLennan and Jason Sartin. Obviously, they hate F.A.T.A.L. and anyone involved with the game. Their hatred can be only the result of fear. They are fearful because they know it will be published. They are fearful because the material in the game is supported, and is dissimilar to anything that attracts them. People fear what is different to them, mostly out of cognitive laziness; it takes effort to explore what is different. Nonetheless, I appreciate the attention to the game, and inefficient effort."

Friday, February 11, 2005

Death of A Playwright

Death of a Playwright

"Arthur Miller, dramatist, was born on October 17, 1915. He died on February 10, 2005, aged 89.

"The American playwright who wrote Death of a Salesman, withstood the anti-communist witch-hunts and married Marilyn Monroe

"ARTHUR MILLER will be remembered by some as the intellectual who made a famously unsuitable marriage to Marilyn Monroe, and by others as the staunch liberal who risked imprisonment by defying the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities. But his main legacy is the series of plays — Death of a Salesman and The Crucible prime among them — that had established him as his nation’s leading dramatist by the mid-1950s and continue to be revived and studied throughout the world."

Jack Chalker Passed Away

Jack Chalker News

"As of 11:12AM Friday, February 11th, 2005, Jack Lawrence Chalker has now passed away and is now in a greater place. We thank all that have kept Jack in his thoughts and prayers."

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

My Hate of D02 Know No Limit

Does your hat of d02 know no limit? Then you should play d02 RIGHT NOW! When you go here you will learn to have a hat of d02 also.

D02: Know No Limit

"This game is serious! There are ninjas and crocodiles! IF you need a bonus on your role, you can give the D02 master some of you change and buy it. It KNOW NO LIMIT!"

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Steven Shaviro's DOOM PATROLS

An old school Favorite of mine, I am suprised that I never got around to rebookmarking it through my blog. A postmodern novel/criticism of Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol comic, among other things. A reat source for the GM who wants so very deserately to be postmodern, but isn't sure where to start.

Steven Shaviro's DOOM PATROLS

Sunday, February 06, 2005

The long shadow of Dracula

This must be a particularly strong meme, because every now and then you come across a story about people doing this. I'm sure that from time to time the ripping out of the heart of a corpse is required, but I am glad that it isn't my job. Not even for time and a half.

The long shadow of Dracula

"Last week, six men were jailed for ripping out the heart of a corpse they believed was 'undead'. As Monica Petrescu in Bucharest writes, to many Romanians, vampires are not legend but terrifying reality

"It was just before midnight as Gheorghe Marinescu and five of his relatives crept into the graveyard in the small Romanian village of Marotinul de Sus. They knew which plot they were looking for – a simple earth grave with a wooden cross bearing the name Petre Toma – and quickly, but quietly, set about digging."

Thursday, February 03, 2005

When the zombies take over, how long till the electricity fails?

This is an important question that needs to be answered.

When the zombies take over, how long till the electricity fails?

"Dear Straight Dope:

"After watching Dawn of the Dead, I am left to wonder about one thing: If we were to suffer an apocalypse where most of the living became flesh-eating zombies, how long, assuming I survived, would I continue to receive hydroelectricity from my power company? Is it a mean-time-before-failure situation, or would the system automatically shut itself down after a few days? (I am assuming that most of the people who were supposed to be maintaining things at my hydro company would be out looking for brains, and that the surviving hydro employees would be busy digging shelters, etc.) Also, what's the outlook like for people whose chunk of the power grid is supplied by coal, nuclear, and other types of energy? Just wondering how many solar panels I should be putting on my roof! —Jason, Vancouver, BC, Canada"