20 Years of Cosplay Trends at Dragon Con

A graph showing the popularity of costuming groups at Dragon Con from 1997 to 2017

While writing my post What Happened to Klingon Cosplay? I went off on a bit of a tangent on the rise and fall of various cosplay groups as seen at Dragon Con. I decided that this attempt at recording our collective nerd history was so interesting that it deserved its own post.

Star Trek peaked in the 80s and 90s and had entered into its decline by the early 2000s, with Star Wars easily shouldering past to take the lead by the time the new films began to hit. The Lord of the Rings trilogy gave quite a chase and was wildly (wildly) popular, but the much younger Harry Potter series blew past them both to Continue reading

What Happened to Klingon Cosplay?

T'Kuvma, a "new" style Klingon and the first villain of Star Trek Discovery

A dispute about the new Star Trek show Discovery has recently bubbled up online, with several of my younger adult friends stomping their feet, gnashing their teeth, and waggling their tiny fists in the air in an expression of their dislike for the new series. Their complaints range from a repudiation of the darker, more warlike tone of the new series to the fact that CBS has elected to stick the first Star Trek series to air in 12 years behind an ill-advised pay wall in a bid to emulate HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Perhaps the most audacious, unforgivable thing they feel has been done with this new show is the reinvention of the Klingon race (using archival Trek material). It’s almost (but not entirely unlike) the way that Gene Roddenberry allowed makeup artist Fred Phillips to depict the Klingons in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (STTMP), based on drawings by costume designer Robert Fletcher. Turns out that depicting the Klingons has been a bit of Continue reading

BeltLine Creator Launching Post-Apocalyptic Pub “Aftercar” in Atlanta

2017 Wasteland Weekend Cards and Drinks Photo by Thomas Kerns

A few weeks ago my photographer friend Thomas Kerns returned from the end of the world with his camera bursting with images from Wasteland Weekend, the world’s largest full-immersion post-apocalyptic festival. As I was looking through photos of people living the Mad Max Fury Road experience, I was reminded of an obscure posting I’d read earlier in the summer: the visionary who dreamed up the Atlanta BeltLine was going to launch a post-apoc Continue reading

The Funeral Service of JL Parker

Miss Cindy's famous Blue Truck.

This past Saturday morning we met down near Forsyth, Georgia, to celebrate the life of JL Parker, who passed on September 27th, 2017. I have written down my memories of the funeral services for those who could not be there, and for posterity.

 

An Unexpected Surprise

As I exited the highway I noticed that my car’s low fuel indicator had come on during the drive down to the funeral. I couldn’t help but think back to a time when JL’s crew had kindly filled my tank on one of those occasions when I was young and dumb and had coasted on fumes to set.

As I coasted down the final quarter mile to the church on Saturday I was surprised to see a big tractor trailer rig emblazoned with the TEAMSTERS logo. It was an impressive honor from the union that JL had belonged to for so much of his career in the motion picture industry.

And then, as I began to turn into the driveway, I saw the Blue Truck. Continue reading

Dragon Con Turns 31 – Is It Too Big Now?

This aging dragon has certainly grown!

Just look at that graph!

It’s based on data I found on a Dragon Con wiki, which explains that its data was collected from snapshots of the Dragon Con website as preserved on the Internet Archives. I also used numbers from the Wikipedia article on Dragon Con to fill in the graph. Attendance figures for some years differ from those listed in the history section of the current version of the Dragon Con website, but I believe these numbers are close enough to deliver a good approximation of the growth this convention has experienced over the past 31 years. Continue reading

How to Turn Off Automatic Sound on Facebook Videos

Did you recently receive this rather helpful message from Facebook’s mobile app?

“We’re always working to make Facebook a better place to watch videos. That’s why videos now play with sound on automatically. Use the volume icon on any video to make the sound right for you.”

Well it popped up on my screen and I sure do wish that I had clicked on that “Learn More” button because it might have spared me from what started happening about 4 days later: every freaking video I scrolled across began Continue reading

Protecting Your Cat from a Solar Eclipse

I don’t know about your part of the country, but in Atlanta everyone has eclipse fever and people (like me) have been racing all over the city in last minute bids to score a pair of highly sought after solar eclipse glasses, designed to allow the user to stare directly at the sun when the blessed event finally arrives. In my case I was lucky enough to get some from J.D. Taylor, one of the directors of the popular MTV series ‘Teen Wolf’ and a huge space exploration nerd.

This morning I realized that while we’ve been in the midst of a fervor to protect human eyeballs from the nuclear furnace raging at the center of our solar system, but what about Earth’s other precious treasures? When the total solar eclipse begins carving an enormous slice across highly populated areas of the United States how will we protect our nation’s feline population from having their tiny little eyeballs burned to a crisp??

I don’t know about your Atlanta-based cats, but mine will be entirely unprepared when our moon obscures the sun, and chances are high that they will stare directly at the curious event for the duration of the event since they have a lot of time on their hands, having given up on Days of Our Lives weeks ago. Of course I can’t really blame them since Continue reading

The Betrayal of Steve Sansweet

Today one of the people in my circle of friends became infamous for the systematic theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Star Wars collectibles. I cannot believe that it was his goal to become reviled by the fans of one of his most beloved fictional universes or to be publicly castigated on Twitter by the actor who played Luke Skywalker.

Steve Sansweet, who many of us early Star Wars fans looked up to for guidance when he began publishing an annual Star Wars collectibles price guide, confessed that his sense of trust had been badly damaged after discovering numerous thefts of rare items from Continue reading

The Palmour House in College Park


A few days ago I was headed to lunch in College Park but overshot my destination so I hung a right at the very next street, Hemphill, in order to loop the block and make another pass. As I drew near the end of that side street I was confronted by this big beautiful old lady. This morning I did a bit of searching and learned that this is listed on the Historic Register as The Palmour House, but the majority of search results are MLS listings from real estate companies and the top result rendered this interesting tidbit Continue reading