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Dr.Bedlam last won the day on July 11

Dr.Bedlam had the most liked content!

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About Dr.Bedlam

  • Rank
    Nice Hat!
  • Birthday October 6

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  • Gender
  • Location
    his top secret Lab-Matory hidden under the gift shop at Buffalo Bill's gravesite
  • Interests
    Miniatures painting and modifications, general gaming, psychology, education, medieval metaphysics. My greatest joy in life is knowing that somewhere out there, I have made someone snark their drink all over the monitor.

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  1. Dr.Bedlam

    Don't ask me anything. Tell me something.

    Prototype data storage disk for Univac computers, 9000 series. The year was 1966. "Won't it be great, no more tape drives, no more messy magnetic tapes flapping around?" Storage capacity: a staggering 2.2 megabytes.
  2. Dr.Bedlam

    Don't ask me anything. Tell me something.

    Soldiers are infamous for repurposing military equipment for their own comfort and convenience. Bill Mauldin, 1944. Supposedly based on a true incident.
  3. Dr.Bedlam

    Happy Birthday Sylverthorn!

    Have a grand one!
  4. Dr.Bedlam

    D&D books?

    PH: $12 MM: $12 DMG: $15 ______________ Total: $39 plus tax ....in 1978.
  5. Dr.Bedlam

    Don't ask me anything. Tell me something.

    That's a honkin' crime. Tearing down a historic inn to build a BANK? Shameful. Your version makes more sense. You could still spend the slightly mutilated twenties. And at the cost of a little bit of federal crime, you could actually make a profit. My guy, on the other hand, was an idiot. They busted him anyway.
  6. By request: A HITCHER and a HOMECOMING GHOST are two different but similar critters. A HITCHER is a ghost who died on the road... who's all about the ride. Going places, and BEING places. Hitchers are self aware, and usually fairly harmless, although there are exceptions. A HOMECOMING GHOST is a similar spirit who died on the road, but rejects its own death and is obsessed with getting home, because everything will be OKAY if they can get home... and they invariably vanish when they get there, returning to the scene of their death sometime later. Harmless at first, but over years, as its obsession begins to wear thin the illusion that it CAN go home, it begins to get skritchier... and if "home" is torn down or altered to unrecognizability over the years, they sometimes... fairly often... turn homicidal. There's other road ghosts, as well. Just get the book already.
  7. Dr.Bedlam

    Randomness XIV: THE FLOOR IS LAVA!

    And then they wonder why there's piracy.
  8. Dr.Bedlam

    Don't ask me anything. Tell me something.

    Hollywood Reporter tells us that Zombieland 2 is a go, and that all the original cast has agreed to return to reprise their roles. Well, the main four cast members. The zombies are still questionable. And Bill Murray is dead in that universe, so we won't be seeing HIM.
  9. Dr.Bedlam

    Randomness XIV: THE FLOOR IS LAVA!

    Well, it reminds me of when I went to go see Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow. I know the movie tanked, but I liked it, and when it came out on DVD, I promptly bought it. I REGRET that, because that damn DVD came with SEVENTEEN MINUTES of unskippable commercials, promos, ads, and crap before it would let you access the dratted film. I TIMED it. SEVENTEEN MINUTES. Whoever thought that was a good idea was a fool. I watched the video twice before selling it off to Half Price Books. When I want to use my own property, I want to use it NOW, not seventeen minutes from now. And when I dial up a movie or TV show on demand, I want it NOW, not whenever you think I've seen enough commercials. Grrrrr.
  10. Dr.Bedlam

    Don't ask me anything. Tell me something.

    I did not know that.
  11. Dr.Bedlam

    Randomness XIV: THE FLOOR IS LAVA!

    GOOD: the concept of TV programming on demand, making it possible to binge watch television at a time of my choosing. BAD: putting five %#$^ minutes of unskippable commercials at the front end of the programming. I could stand commercials placed throughout the show; that's what TV DOES. But being told right up front that "we're going to waste a good four or five minutes of your time before even letting you see the opening credits? It's the sort of thing that makes me wonder if I really wanted to see that particular show today.
  12. Dr.Bedlam

    Don't ask me anything. Tell me something.

    I understand that grapes, garlic, and onion is also poisonous to dogs. Knowing is half the battle, after all, and if someone reads this and remembers not to feed chocolate or onions to the dog, I feel that something of worth has been accomplished. And now I will talk about something of worth, and how little can be accomplished with it. 1. POSTAGE STAMPS There is in England a chap name of Angus McDonagh. He's apparently been making his own postage stamps for years, and mailing letters with them, and getting away with it. For years. And British postage stamps are really no cheaper than American, taken as a whole. He apparently started out simply scanning and printing copies of Royal Mail stamps, but over time branched out, and began using his own face on them, including a special Christmas stamp featuring him with a Santa hat and beard. Over time, he apparently just quit TRYING to fool anyone, and printed up any damn thing he liked, and mailed letters with them, and no one noticed, still. The story broke when he outed HIMSELF to the London Telegraph; the story can be found HERE, for the morbidly interested. Which makes me wonder about British postal inspectors... And this leads us to the even WEIRDER story of... 2. ONE DOLLAR BILLS Counterfeiting is almost as old as the concept of money itself. It got REALLY popular when paper currency began to replace precious metals. After all, how much skill does it take to make fake paper coupons? And this has led to a sort of arms race between governments, who are rather selfish about who gets to print money, and jolly freeloaders determined to profit by printing their own. As technology and art advanced, though, and it got harder to fake, most counterfeiters tend to do very limited print runs of LARGE denominations of currency... $100 bills being most popular, but some counterfeiters have gone on to print fifties, and even twenties. Only one counterfeiter in history has printed $1 dollar bills. One guy. They called him Mister 880. Y'see, the Secret Service, in addition to the unenviable job of bodyguarding the President, has other duties, one of which is jurisdiction over investigations dealing with counterfeiting. And they took an interest when fake ones began turning up in New York City, circa 1938. And they gave this Case Number 880. And it slowly began to drive them crazy. I mean, on the FACE of it, it seemed EASY. The bills ONLY turned up in a small area in Manhattan. The bills were VERY badly made; one of Washington's eyes was an ink splotch, and the fine linework visible on any bill was simply suggested, as opposed to executed. As opposed to the linen pulp paper used for currency at the time, THESE bills were made on what seemed to be laundered typing paper. Furthermore, as more bills began to turn up, it was obvious some were from different print runs; one particular run of bills spelled the name on the portrait as "Wahsington." But at the height of the Depression, who'd look too close at a one dollar bill? It started out low priority for the Secret Service, but ten years later, it was becoming an itchy embarrassment. Whoever was passing the bills seldom did so in the same place twice, and despite the SS's best efforts, he eluded them as if he were invisible. A map set up to track his activities was THICK with red pushpins... in this one small area of Manhattan, with occasional outliers elsewhere in the city. Who WAS this lunatic, and how was he getting away with it? Over time, it achieved Holy Grail status with the Service; OTHER, more ambitious counterfeiting cases cracked and were done, but this one guy in New York was nothing short of invisible, and it was GETTING to the Secret Service, as they began personally interviewing every shopkeeper who turned up one of the fake bills. It was, at its height, the biggest counterfeiting investigation in the Secret Service's history. The case finally broke in 1947. NOT because of dogged investigation... NOT because of clever or determined police work. The fall came after a group of kids found a toy handcranked printing press, some engraved zinc plates, and some actual bills in the garbage behind their apartment building. The children took one look at the money and concluded that it was play money, as it looked quite fake. One kid's parents looked at it... asked a few questions... and called the cops. Who looked at the money, and called the SS. Who showed up and investigated. Turns out that an apartment fire the previous week had put an old man out on the street, one Edward Mueller, who'd barely escaped with the clothes on his back; his beloved terrier had died in said fire, and he'd lost everything he had. The printing press was in the middle of a pile of his burnt possessions, tossed out by the firemen. He had since moved to Queens to live with his daughter while he figured out what to do. And it was there that the Secret Service finally caught up with him. He'd been retired for years, and basically just printed enough money to make ends meet occasionally when his income ran short. His total crime against the economy ran to roughly $5000 over a period of ten years. And he seldom passed a bill in the same place twice because he felt bad about hurting the neighborhood merchants; he usually passed the bills at various places as he walked his dog on various routes. His apartment was indeed smack dab in the center of the cluster of red pins on the map. Further investigation revealed he almost never spent the funny money on anything except food for human and dog. A federal judge sentenced him to one year and one day; good behavior meant he actually served about four months. He paid a fine... of one dollar... which, it is said, the clerk examined very carefully before giving a receipt. The judge cited Mueller's sad circumstances and "complete lack of greed" as his reasoning behind the unusually light sentence. New York Daily News has a nice little puff piece on it here. In addition, Hollywood later bought the rights to Mueller's story, and made Mister 880, a rather odd little comedy loosely based on the true events. It starred Burt Lancaster as the intrepid Secret Service investigator... and Edmund Gwenn, aka "Kris Kringle, Miracle On 34th Street" as Mueller. Wanna see the movie trailer on Youtube? Click here! Oh, yeah... in the late seventies, the Canon corporation sold a photocopier that was so good, it printed disturbingly good copies of American currency, when laid on the plate. With a little practice, you could get it to do accurate front and back copies of entire sheets of money. After a little consultation with government officials, this particular model of printer was removed from the market, and today, you'll find that commercial copiers do NOT print decent copies of currency; several, in fact, will black out the whole sheet of paper if you try. The Secret Service also has a file on this one counterfeiter they caught. He didn't print anything. What he DID was to clip the corners off a twenty, and glue them onto the front corners of a one. He was manufacturing reasonably good twenty dollar bills... at a cost of $21 per bill. They busted him anyway.
  13. Dr.Bedlam

    Don't ask me anything. Tell me something.

    Don't get me started about caffeine in chocolate. Years ago, I worked at a psych center where chocolate was treated like an opiate, because we couldn't have the patients getting any chocolate, lest they go berserk or their heads explode...
  14. What? Donnie Darko was simple enough, especially if you've seen the director's cut. Mulholland Drive, on the other hand...
  15. Dr.Bedlam

    Red dragon

    If I am not mistaken, that's a D&D prepaint that was recycled for their Wrath Of Ashardalon board game. Yours is better.