Lesson of Joe: Leaping Before You Look

Tonight I was reminded of a lesson my friend Joe Connolly taught me back when he was Propmaster of the long-forgotten Aaron Spelling series “Savannah”. That fabulous, opulent saga of murder and intrigue by the rich and powerful was actually being produced out of the drafty old storefront of a disused lumber yard more than half an hour north of Atlanta’s state capital . It was so far out of the way that I sometimes wondered if the owner (referred to by some as “Secret Squirrel”) was actually paying Aaron Spelling Continue reading Lesson of Joe: Leaping Before You Look

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 20 Years of Cosplay Trends at Dragon Con

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 What Happened to Klingon Cosplay?

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

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 Dragon Con Turns 31 – Is It Too Big Now?

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 Protecting Your Cat from a Solar Eclipse

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 The Palmour House in College Park

Remembering the Great Atlanta Fire of 2017

While the collapse of the elevated portion of Interstate 85 has been a major inconvenience for people traveling through the region around Atlanta, it can hardly compare to the devastation that affected our city 100 years ago this month.

May 21st will mark the 100 year anniversary of the Great Atlanta Fire of 1917 which raged for approximately 10 hours, burned more than 300 acres, destroyed more than 1,900 buildings (mostly wood-frame), wore out firefighters’ horse teams, and was only stopped by dynamiting Continue reading Remembering the Great Atlanta Fire of 2017

Basil Eleby’s Fabulous Weaponized Love Seat (That Destroyed Atlanta)

Like most Atlantans I am fascinated by the story of Basil Eleby, a man whose life might have come and gone without leaving a mark in Atlanta’s history books if it were not for his (alleged) creation of a “couch bomb” following an (alleged) nip of crack cocaine. Most of us native Atlantans were not surprised that all it took to bring our hometown grinding to a halt was a piece of discarded furniture placed on top of a shopping cart and Continue reading Basil Eleby’s Fabulous Weaponized Love Seat (That Destroyed Atlanta)

Skidmark

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I remember when the Marriott Marquis was still shiny and new, back in the 1980s. Somewhere in my stack of sketchbooks I have a little student study I made of the hotel while I was in the architecture program at Tech. In that write-up I compared the elevator cabs to blood cells pulsing through heart of the hotel, mostly because back then the elevators were painted bright red! Somewhere along the line an interiors person must have been paid good money to come in and inform hotel management that rocketship red was Continue reading Skidmark