Saturday, February 26, 2011

Danny MacAskill

If you only watch one video of a guy doing insane, mind-blowing, beautiful tricks on a bike, in Edinburgh, make it this one. In-fucking-credible.

This clip has been around for a few days but it's well worth checking out. It features a pro rider named Danny MacAskill doing things that would lead to instant death if you tried them.

Boy in my day we thought you were hot stuff if you could pop a wheelie!

Danny MacAskill is a beast. After his first video featuring him riding through Edinburgh basically doing bike parkour, he decided to take a field trip, and get a better camera. Same inspirational soundtrack, more bike stunt glory inside.

Way Back Home is a journey from Edinburgh to his hometown of Dunvegan.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Meme Alignment

Friday, February 11, 2011

10 Misconceptions About Common Sayings

by JFrater

It is no secret that I love language and all things related it to. Also, being a bit of a pedant, I love to share titbits of information about words, phrases, and language in general. Therefore, I have put together a list of misconceptions (one of my favorite types of list) about common sayings. Some involve spelling errors, while others involve conception or comprehension errors. Be sure to tell us your favorite (and by that I mean most hated) common errors in the comments.

Scot Free


Common Saying: To get off scot free

Many people think that this saying refers to Scottish people being tight with money – hence something being free, but in fact the word “scot” is an old Norse word which means “payment” – specifically a payment made to a landlord or sheriff. So this phrase – while meaning what most people think it means, has no connection to the Scottish people – it just means to get off without having to pay.

Fit as a Fiddle


Common Saying: As fit as a fiddle

This is another phrase where a single word has confused people – “fit” in the context of this saying does not mean “healthy” which is a 19th century definition. Its original meaning was “suitable” – and it is still used in that context in the sentence “fit for a king”. As fit as a fiddle means “as appropriate as can be” – not “in excellent health”. The first use of the phrase, incidentally, was in the 16th century and it was originally “as right as a fiddle”.

Another Thing Coming


Common Saying: If you think that, you have another thing coming

This is a complete aberration of the original phrase because of the sound of English. The correct phrase is “if you think that, you have another think coming” – in other words, “what you think is wrong so think again”. Because the “k” in “think” often ends up silent when saying “think coming” people have changed the phrase over time. Of course, “another thing coming” makes no sense at all. To illustrate how global this error is, when you google “another thing coming” it returns 139,000 results; when you google “another think coming” it returns a mere 39,000 results.

Eat Humble Pie


Common Saying: Eat humble pie

This phrase means “to be humble in apologizing for something.” I was slightly reluctant to put it on the list because it actually does mean what people think it means, but there is still a misconception here; people think that this phrase means to eat a pie made of humbleness but it actually means to eat a pie made with umble (pictured above). Umble is an old English word for offal – the bits of the animal seldom eaten today (sadly). It was a pie that was normally eaten by the poor as the finer cuts of meat were left for the rich only. “To eat a humble pie” is an example of metanalysis (words being broken down into parts or meanings that differ from the original) as it sounds just like “to eat an umble pie”. Other examples of this in English are “an apron” which used to be “a napron”.

Rule of Thumb


Common Saying: Rule of thumb

People commonly think that this saying is a reference to a law allowing a man to beat his wife as long as he uses a rod no thicker than his thumb. It is, of course, completely untrue. There is no record of any judge in Britain ever making a ruling like this – or any lawmaker passing a law. The phrase actually refers to doing something by estimates – rather than using an exact measure.

On Tender Hooks

10 78.Jpg

Common Saying: On tender hooks

This phrase is very commonly misspelt. First off, what exactly is a tender hook? It doesn’t seem logical does it? Well – that is because it isn’t. The phrase is actually “on tenterhooks”. A tenter was a medieval tool used for making cloth – the tenterhooks (pictured above) were small hooks to which the fabric would be stretched in the manufacturing process. To be on tenterhooks means to be left hanging – or to be in a state of suspense.

Take a Raincheck


Common Saying: I’ll take a raincheck

This phrase is usually meant to mean “I won’t do it now but I will later”. This is the commonly accepted meaning (and has been for a long time) so it is now considered to be correct. It is included here merely out of interest because its original meaning was slightly different. Initially, a raincheck was offered to people who had tickets to a baseball game that was rained out – they would offered a “raincheck” which was a ticket for a game at a later date to make up for the missed game. This eventually found its way into shopping jargon in general where a raincheck was an offer to sell an out-of-stock good when it arrived back in stock. The meaning has eventually broadened to a point that it is not an offer any longer but a response.

Free Reign


Common Saying: To give someone free reign

This is a spelling error that leads to a misunderstanding – though the meanings remain the same fundamentally. Many people presume this phrase to mean that a person given free reign, has the “royal” power to do anything they want. In fact, the correct phrase is “free rein” and it comes from the days before cars when horses were used as our main mode of transport. When navigating a steep or winding path, one would relax the reins so that the horse could pick the safest path as he was more likely to do a better job than the rider.

Wreck Havoc


Common Saying: To wreck havoc

Havoc means chaos – and to wreck something is to put it into a state of chaos. So why would you make chaos out of chaos? You wouldn’t. What you might do iswreak havoc though – because “to wreak” means “to cause to happen”. The two words are pronounced differently – wreck sounds like “rek” while “wreak” sounds like “reek”. It is a small – but common, error.

Beg the Question


Common Saying: To beg the question

Let’s face it – 99% of people reading this list will not know the correct meaning of “beg the question”, but that implies that the mistaken meaning should really be considered correct through common usage – so let us not fight about right or wrong – I will just state the facts: “to beg the question” does not mean “to raise the question”. Originally the phrase was “to begge the question” and it appeared in English around the 1580s. It is a reference to a question (or phrase) which implies the truth of the thing it is trying to prove. Confusing? Okay – here is an example: “why does England have fewer trees per acre than any other country in Europe?” This is a “begged question” – the person asking is implying that England has fewer trees – when in fact, it may not. Another example is “he must be telling the truth because he never lies”. Decartes was begging the question when he said “I think, therefore I am”. Oh – and for those of you who are used to using the term in the wrong way, consider using “prompt the question” as a correct alternative.

Contributor: JFrater

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Optical Illusion

Star Wars 1942


A very fun element to the Custom Con is the occasional team-up, where 2 customizers work together on a line. I am a big fan of the work of a guy named Glorbes. So when we decided to do something together I was very excited. We kicked a few ideas around but we settled on an idea I had previously had about line that emphasized the WWII elements of Star Wars. So we set the line in that era with the rebels as the Allies and the Empire as the Nazis.

SERIES 1 (2008) SERIES 2 (2010)


Capt. HANK SOLOWSKI (Han Solo)

The Han Solo figure shows the influences of the WWII bomber pilots on the Han Solo character. The figure bares the likeness of actor Harrison Ford with the classic WWII pilot hat. The bomber jacket comes complete with fur collar and detailed bomber nose art on the back of the "Millennium Falcon". The figure comes with a gun, the German Mauser, which was actually the base for the prop used in the Star Wars movies.

1st Lt. CHUCK BACKER (Chewbacca)

The Chewbacca figure continues the look of the bomber crew. Chewbacca's uniforms shows the rebel insignia and his name on his chest. His machine gun is a modified Thompson made to be reminiscent of Chewie's crossbow.

Corp. LUCAS S. WALKER (Luke Skywalker)

The Luke Skywalker figure has a slightly more stylized look. The figure bares the resemblance of actor Mark Hamill. His removable helmet displays the rebel logo and removable goggles that can be lowered and raised. The orange leather is reminiscent of the classic orange jumpsuit from the films. The figure comes with a parachute and chest pouch that is suggestive of the control panel on Luke's jumpsuit in the films. Although not very accurate to the WWII era, you can not have Luke with out the lightsaber. The lightsaber looks like an older flashlight, has a removable blade and is connected to a battery worn on the belt.


The Imperial Snowtrooper is based on the look of WWII soldiers during the siege of Stalingrad. The troopers face still obscured, but by a scarf this time not by a face plate. The goggles have the look of the classic helmet's visor and the helmet has the classic Nazi flared edges. The long coat that juts out is suggestive of the skirt worn by the film's version and the hard ammo pouches are like those of the film as well.


The Imperial Biker Scout is a blend of a Nazi motorcycle soldier and the film's Biker Scout. The chest armor and pouches are suggestive of the classic costume. He wears a German Luger on his boot, like his movie counterpart. The bike is of classic WWII design but has the same color scheme as the speederbike. The saddlebags are suggestive of the rear of the speederbike.


Battle Droid Mk. C3 (C-3PO)

As an early automated automaton designed as a smaller tank operated on radio command signals for more close quarter combat then a Sherman tank can offer. He features a desert tan color scheme and replacement leg in battleship gray and features a machine gun arm.

The color of the figure is reminiscent of C-3PO's color scheme, the abdominal wheel is similar to his disc design, and the overall thin frame is like that of his cinematic inspiration.

Battle Droid Mk. D2 (R2-D2)

Designed as a smaller manned tank, the Mk. D2 can be piloted by a smaller framed driver. His is more of a utility model then a combat weapon. The driver can access the vehicle from an access hatch located on the top of the unit. He offers assistance in the form of tools, fuel, and war supplies.

The model comes in a battleship gray which is meant to be a combination of R2's classic white, blue, and silver color scheme. The figure also has 2 sets of tank treads like the classic 2 legged droid, the various metal plates are evocative of R2's numerous doors and the single cannon is meant to represent R2's single eye.

General Ben Kenworthy (Obi-Wan Kenobi)

A battle tested soldier and seasoned veteran of WWI. The General is called back up to active duty to oversea a dangerous rescue mission with ties from his past.

Designed to evoke a kind of General Patton feel, Kenworthy is wearing combat fatigues and boots, along with a leather bomber jacket and field helmet.

Imperial Stormtrooper (Stormtrooper)

The backbone of the secret order of the SS, the Todesstern, was the Sturmsoldat, or Stormtrooper.

The figure comes in gray fatigues (the white just did not seem logical in wartime) and the standard MP40 submachine gun and a grenade canister on his back where the stormtroopers wore thermal detonators.

Reichsführer Vater (Darth Vader)

Reichsführer of a Einsatzgruppen, or special task force, known as the Todesstern, he was tasked with the most high level and important missions.

Vater, is German for father, just as Vader is Dutch for father, a slight nod possibly to his later explained lineage. He comes donned in traditional black leather, with a very sinister gas mask, and the famous German flared helmet. This image was inspired by Glorbes drawings with slight modifications by Sillof. The figure now evokes a more menacing, hulking frame that hunches over slightly.

Bodo Vett (Boba Fett)

Bodo Vett was an SS Sonderkommandos, elite secret troops, whose existence was so secret other high ranking members had no knowledge of their existence.

Bodo still has that classic gray and green color scheme. The shovel is meant to evoke the profile of the rocket pack. His gauntlet weapons are now a knife and flashlight. The gun is similar in design to Fett's movie blaster. The armor is based off of actual photos of real WWII combat armor. The helmet is an original design that incorporates the flared look of the other helmets with Fett's classic "T" visor.


Glorbes is one of my favorite customizers. He is a master at redesigning figures and giving them his unique feel at the same time. He is also quite talented at using fabric convincingly on figures. Here are his great entries in our line.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Friday, February 4, 2011


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