Todd Ross Nienkerk

Judge Judy’s wrath shakes the ground

Yesterday’s 5.4-magnitude earthquake in Los Angeles was caught on camera during the filming of my favorite syndicated television program: Judge Judy.

For my twenty-fifth birthday, my wife surprised me with a trip to LA to see a live taping of Judge Judy. It was probably the best day of my life – and that includes the day I found a million dollars inside a giant chocolate bar while having sex on the moon.

Here’s proof:

What you probably don’t know about your credit card

photo / Brett L. Creative Commons license graphic Painted credit card mural in San Francisco 

Last week, the Consumerist published an excellent list of ten things you might not know about your credit card – a veritable Bill of Rights for those who pack plastic. Excerpted below are four of the most important points addressed in their piece, plus some clarification and discussion from yours truly. (Bolded text is quoted from the Consumerist.)

Unsigned cards are not valid, and merchants can and will refuse them.

Think you’re protecting yourself by writing “Check ID” in the signature space on the back of the card? You’re clever, but you’re wrong: Credit cards must be signed.

Scrapping Baldwins at the house of Egerton

Matt Stuart Morton Fencer 
Matt Stuart Octopoleon 

Owen Egerton, author of How Best to Avoid Dying, is opening his home tomorrow evening to an exhibition of Matt Stuart’s unique art. From Egerton:

Matt Stuart’s work is full of scrapping Baldwins, lovesick Napoleons and the kinds of surprise beauty that makes me shiver. He’s had showings in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Whittier. [T]his is his first in Austin… They’ll be martinis and goodies, but feel free to bring some of your own as well.

Stuart will exhibit 10-15 new pieces, including some from his Fencers collection and some brand-new, never-before-seen linocuts. Several examples of Stuart’s work is available on his website at

Dragons having sex with castles (NSFW)

Finally! Another lead in my ongoing quest to chronicle the sexual proclivities of dragons. First cars, now castles:

(See the full post for the image)

What I love about this drawing is the level of detail the artist put into his creation. (Before you scream “patriarchy,” can I safely assume that a man drew this? Are there any feminists out there who really want to take me to task on this?)

How much porn can be printed from a single ink cartridge?

howmuchinside_goldschlager.jpg / all rights reserved 750 milliliters of Goldschlager has this much gold inside 

Admit it: You’ve wondered how much gold is inside a bottle of Goldschlager. It’s real gold, so it’s gotta be worth something… right?’s series How Much Is Inside? has answered that very question:

Unfortunately, the gold weighed less than a tenth of a gram (0.1g). It wouldn’t even register on my scale. This thin smear of gold… was worth less than $1.38.

Need to know how many kegs to buy for your upcoming frat party, shithead? Sure, you may know that a 15.5 gallon keg contains roughly 165 cans (6.5 cases) of beer, but how does that translate to red Solo party cups? Cockeyed performed a highly scientific test: They threw a party and counted the drinks. The results? A keg contains 141 cups of beer – and, in the case of their test brew (Michelob), 25,810 calories.

Web comic: The Adventures of Bone Boy

This morning, I stumbled into Robert Berry’s brilliant Adventures of Bone Boy.

The Adventures of Bone Boy: Sex Change

From the author:

Get it? See, she’s dead so she can’t get a sex change, now! Let this be a lesson to you, kids!

Check out more Adventures of Bone Boy at retro CRUSH. Also included in their comics archive: The Adventures of No-Eyelid-Man and the scatological Adventures of Shit-Boy McJohnson.

Writer’s ‘Block’: My arch-nemesis wrote a book

Proof of my failure 

You know that feeling you get when someone reminds you that the Beatles achieved worldwide super-fame, revitalized rock ’n’ roll, and changed the course of music… all before they turned 30? Or how Orson Welles wrote, directed, and starred in Citizen Kane, the most important American film ever made… before he turned 26? (Oh, and that whole War of the Worlds thing, too.)

Sucks, right? Well, I’ve had that feeling for the past two weeks.

Tomorrow night at BookPeople, my foil and high school rival, Stefan Merrill Block, will discuss his debut novel, The Story of Forgetting. The story weaves three narratives: a teenage boy whose mother is diagnosed with a rare strain of early-onset Alzheimer’s; an old, hunchbacked hermit burdened by the memory of a lost love and a way of life long-forgotten by the suburban sprawl that swallowed up his farm; and the fantasy world of Isidora, whose inhabitants live in perpetual bliss because they cannot remember anything at all.

Snackshotz Treat Launcher: Pets are too much work

photo / Todd Ross Nienkerk Creative Commons licensed: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 
photo courtesy / all rights reserved 

Now on clearance at Target: The Snackshotz Treat Launcher™ (as seen on TV). According to the packaging, this indispensable accessory can “launch treats up to 10 feet” and is made “for all ages and activity levels.”

What they really mean to say is: You can’t throw anything farther than 10 feet, and your activity level is precisely zero.

Finally – a solution for all those people who bought a pet for the sole purpose of not having to do anything with it! And how can you resist a product so obviously developed with the Space Age in mind? Nothing says “the future is now” quite like a silver costume glove.

JC Penney wants your kids to look like ‘Queer Eye’

JC Penney – yes, they still exist – is prominently displaying the outfits pictured below… in the children’s section. The photos don’t really communicate the scale (or the luscious pinstripes): These ensembles are tailored for three- and four-year-old boys. All Junior needs now is some product and a messenger bag!

photo / Todd Ross Nienkerk Creative Commons licensed: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 
photo / Todd Ross Nienkerk Creative Commons licensed: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 

(No, I’m not calling these outfits “gay.” I’m saying they’re “awfully reminiscent of the pastel, Urban-chic, vest-friendly couture hawked by the flamboyant hosts of a certain television series that irrationally gripped our nation’s collective attention from 2004–2005.”)

Real Ale’s latest brew: Real Heavy

According to I Love Beer, Texas brewer Real Ale is working on a brand-new Scotch ale called Real Heavy. Scotch ales are characterized by their high alcohol content and sweet, roasted, and malty flavor. This isn’t much of a stretch for the boutique Real Ale brewery – best known for their Brewhouse Brown, Rio Blanco Pale, and Fireman’s #4 Blonde ales – whose lineup includes such unusual brews as Shade Grown Coffee Porter and Phoenixx Double Extra Special Bitter. delivers Infinity and Verizon ads during Abu Ghraib slideshow posted some previously unseen photos of Abu Ghraib torture (NSFW) pulled from a presentation by Philip Zimbardo — the master psychologist behind the groundbreaking and unprecedented Stanford Prison Experiment — on how “ordinary people can, under the right circumstances, become evil.” Pretty gruesome stuff.

98 bottles of beer on the wall: Do Shiner’s anniversary brews count?

Shiner's anniversary brews

Beginning in 2005, the Spoetzl Brewery started a countdown to its 100th anniversary by unveiling the first in a series of annual, limited-edition beers. That Other Paper editor Todd Nienkerk reviews the commemorative brews released to date.

Rewind Kindly wrap-up: ‘Beastmaster’ takes top honor

The Rewind Kindly competition concluded last night at the finalist screenings and awards ceremony. And the winners were…

Ren and Bambi

Rodrigo Huerta’s entry in the Rewind Kindly competition is a dead-on homage to John K, the animator responsible for the grotesque and hilarious (and therefore short-lived) series Ren and Stimpy. He even nailed John K’s signature public-domain music and sound effects!

Blade Runner: the $50 director’s cut

The attention to detail in this Rewind Kindly entry is amazing. Who are these people? Where did they come from? Why aren’t they hanging out with me right now?

You can be my wingman any time

Movie-mocking mainstays Owen Egerton and John Erler have entered the Rewind Kindly competition with an old favorite: Top Gun. It’s familiar territory for the two, who (with Jerm Pollet) have parodied the film before live audiences a dozen times as The Sinus Show. And – aww! – this is the first movie-mocking Owen and John have done since Sinus split more than a year ago.

But enough about them. This entry is unusually brimming with local talent.

Be Kind, Rewind Kindly

Team The Beta Maxx has turned Rewind Kindly on its ear by submitting an entry based on the inspiration for the competition itself: Michel Gondry’s Be Kind Rewind. And it’s really, really good.

TBIM! Too bad it’s Monday…

It’s Monday! Time for a trip to the comedy vault.

The Kids in the Hall: Secretaries

“Mondays, huh? Yeahhh…”

John Todd Ramsey is the Interrogator

Lawyer-turned-Funniest Person in Austin John Todd Ramsey not only has the coolest middle name in history, he’s also a filmmaker. Here’s John announcing the release of The Interrogator:

Hello, everyone. My brother and I have released a new comedy short (4 mins 3 sec) that reminds each of us that we could be a hero to someone.

Fred Bothwell is The 40-Year-Old Virgin

Fred Bothwell and Joel Keith, the brains behind the performance/comic strip duo Honest to God, have joined forces with local improvisers to produce a low-budget version of The 40-Year-Old Virgin for the Rewind Kindly competition.