5M.net on LJ
not to be confused with 5MV on LDS
commodore_zeke
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commodore_zeke
Oo! Speaking of things that are done but unpublished, I just discovered something perfect to kick off the new year.

Back in '07, I posted FLASH: Chain Lightning in 30 Seconds, my entry in a contest at Chris's Invincible Super-Blog. (Full details can be found in the update thread.) My entry was a bit late and didn't get mentioned in Chris's offical wrapup post, but it got some good traffic through the comments, and still does through links on a couple of Flash sites. All told, a success.

But that wasn't the last year Chris held the contest. I participated again in 2010, this time getting in just under the wire and securing a proper link. But it seems I relaxed a bit too hard afterwards and never got around to mentioning it here at 5MV! I was probably planning to polish it up first, adding more colour and such.

I may still do that later, but it's fine now and I've waited too long to share it. Here is MARVEL COMICS #1 in 30 Seconds -- my take on the 1939 comic that introduced the first Human Torch. Happy New Year!

- Z

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commodore_zeke
5mv
commodore_zeke

Merry Christmas! Hope you all had, and are having, a good one (remember, it's twelve days long).

I've got many things on the go, but nothing was quite ready to make an update out of. Then my good friend Jim Wright did me a favour: he got sick! Illness at Christmastime is a rotten break, so I pondered whether I could do anything for him -- and suddenly remembered I had something specifically for him that I'd forgotten to post.

Jim, for those who don't know, runs the greatest Voyager site ever, Delta Blues. It's been largely dormant since the show ended, but back in the day it was the place to be (and its forum was the cradle in which 5MV was born). Along with his famously wordy synopses and reviews, Jim also wrote some fanfic, most notably an epic what-if story called The Best of Both Girls. He started writing this during the "Scorpion" season break as one possible direction the Borg storyline might go from there. It got bigger than he expected and took him a few years to finish -- by which time he'd actually seen his central premise appear on the show, though in a very different form.

Anyway, it's a great story, and back when Jim got married I fived the first chapter of it as a present. The VOY subsite has had a "Season B" ever since, but I never got around to doing more... until I recently noticed it had been ten years since the first one. High time that changed! Be on the lookout for cross-fiver references, since this chapter of BoBG intersects with several canon episodes.

Here's Five-Minute "The Best of Both Girls, Part 2", Jim. Feel better!

(Note: If you haven't checked out the Facebook page, you really should. Really. As in this isn't just casual shilling, there's actually something there that's not here.)

- Z

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commodore_zeke
5mv
commodore_zeke

Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Mario, once said "A late game can eventually be good, but a bad game is bad forever." I've always had the same philosophy with this site -- I'd rather take ridiculous amounts of time than settle for lousy results.

But darn it, today's my birthday, and for once I'm giving myself a break. Here are two things I've been waiting for a big event to unveil.

First is our new Facebook page. Because why not? It's pretty plain right now, but all the updates will be posted there and maybe other little stuff too.

Second... oh man. You're gonna love this.

You can call the site 5MV again.

See, a few months ago I had a revelation. I've never been happy with "5M.net", but I couldn't think of a better option. I joked in the T100 list about buying a Venezuelan domain (and there's now a top-level .voyage domain, which would be even better), but all the Vs are either geographically restricted or too expensive.

And then it hit me. I don't have to change the name or address of the site to change the abbreviation for it! I live in a world where SAT doesn't officially stand for anything and SHIELD keeps changing what it stands for and RWBY is pronounced "ruby"! I can have a site called FiveMinute.net and abbreviate it 5MV if I want! Am I sultan or am I sultan?

A kind of peace came upon me with this decision. I feel really good about it. In fact, I've already been calling the site 5MV again at the forums, in PMs, and such. It rolls right off the fingers just like it used to.

The time has come to share this peace with you. FiveMinute.net is officially 5MV for short.

But make no mistake: it's 5MV, not FMV. I will hunt you down.

- Z

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commodore_zeke
5mv
commodore_zeke

Ladies.

Gentlemen.

Welcome to an update ten years in the making.

In 2003 we had a Hallowe'en event. My contribution to it was Five-Minute The Ring, written in an effort to make myself less terrified of that brilliant film. (It didn't work, but the fiver's been popular, so I'll take it.) Two years later, we had a partial followup event, and by then The Ring 2 had come out. I had managed to watch it (tip: turning the volume way down makes cheap scare chords less effective), and I got a few scenes into the fiver, but then dried up. I wound up doing the between-movies DVD extra, Rings, and saving the sequel for a later date.

Every Hallowe'en since then, I've tried to finish that fiver and post it. It's become a ritual. Sometimes I watch the movie again (I don't even have to turn the volume down anymore!). Sometimes, when I get really confident, I do some silly buildup like pretending to catch the Ring Virus in newsposts. But this year was special for two reasons.

One: This year is the tenth anniversary of when I started working on it.

Two: I finished it last year.

Yep. I got on a roll, but wasn't done till a month after Hallowe'en, so I decided to save it. It's been a long wait -- not to brag, but this is a really good one. And now, after due buildup (you noticed the static background, right?), here it is.

Five-Minute The Ring 2. DRINK THE TEA.

(Note: Apparently some readers find the static headache-inducing, so here's a version without it. The static on other pages is gone now. Why? Because I've passed on the curse.)

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commodore_zeke
5mv
commodore_zeke

Four months ago, we lost one of the greats: Leonard Nimoy passed away at the age of 83. You probably noticed the memorial banner I made for the site and forums, but I had something else in mind too, and it's now finished. Hot off the presses, here's This Just In Brief #8: Nimoy announces results of Search.

This is a significant month here at FiveMinute.net -- old-timers should know why -- so stay tuned.

(Side note: You may notice a couple of things in that TJI. One is that I've changed the look slightly: there's now a gray outline that should make the text easier to read against the unevenly-coloured background. Been meaning to do that for ages.)

- Z

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commodore_zeke
5mv
commodore_zeke

Oh, nothing big today.

Just our FIRST CANON TREK FIVER SINCE 2006.

I reserved it when the subsite was created. I got halfway through it for the 5MST finale event. I finished it an hour ago. And given that this site makes fun of Star Trek, odds are you've been wondering where it was since you first visited.

Ladies, gentlemen, and especially zombies... here is Five-Minute "Spock's Brain".

- Z

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commodore_zeke
5mv
commodore_zeke

For all its virtues, Wowbagger's "Eleven is Prime" is definitely long. No surprise, really -- the man is infinitely prolonged. If only there were a site out there that condensed Trek-related things for the reader on the go!

...Hmm?

Oh, right, that's me. Then I guess it's time for Five-Minute "Eleven Is Prime"! It concentrates on the points of difference between XIP (as I call it) and canon, and you don't have to read Wowbagger's whole dissertation to enjoy it. (Of course, if you find bits in the fiver that intrigue or puzzle you and want to understand them, welllll...)

That's my little tribute to Wowbagger's magnum opus. A few other followups:

  • We have a comment thread going, in which I posted the commentary I promised last update. All are welcome to participate. (By the way, if you've tried to register at the forum recently and found it impossible, that was a temporary thing. You should be able now, and if not, email me.)

  • There's also an XIP discussion going on at The Daystrom Institute, Reddit's "scholarly" Star Trek board, a very interesting place to visit. By the way, if you weren't aware of this, Reddit's boards are called "subreddits". I'm still waiting for my royalty check.

  • After Wowbagger watched Star Trek: Into Darkness (I haven't decided yet if I'm willing to write it without the colon), the first thing he did was assure me that Twelve Is Prime. As a mathematician, I knew that already (base 5), but let that be the answer to anyone saying the new movie has fatally damaged this thought experiment. He's not claiming there aren't contradictions, of course; he's saying XIP's methods are equally applicable to them. Quite frankly, I hope the next movie makes his job harder. I'd love to see an XIIIP that had to justify stuff like Species 8472 showing up and Chekov getting a sex change.

By the way, we have a Trek quote game going on. What does that have to do with anything? Eh, we need more players, and if we let Wowbagger in he'll just prove that every quote was really said by Morn between episodes.

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commodore_zeke
5mv
commodore_zeke

Hey! Been a while (okay, a year, not counting the April Fool's gag), but I've got a real treat for you today.

Wowbagger needs no introduction, mostly because the last update was all about his fan series. What you may not know, however, is that he is also a master of the time-honoured Trekkie art of rationalization. (Call it "fanwanking" if you absolutely must.) For instance, I've made fun of the four-day trip to Qo'noS in "Broken Bow" many times, but any fan worth his salt can come up with an explanation for it. The bigger the contradiction, the more elaborate the explanation has to be -- but there's no upper limit.

Some time ago, I discovered a long piece of writing Wowbagger had done at the Trek BBS a while after the reboot movie came out. I knew within a few paragraphs that I had to have it for this site. It is the Great Pyramid of rationalization, the towering work that will stand for millennia as a testament to what is possible. (It also has a title no number theorist could resist.)

What is it? A completely reasonable explanation that the 2009 movie is not a reboot. No changed history, no alternate universe. It's all one timeline.

I have lots more to say about this thing, but I'll save it for the comment thread. Without further ado, here's Wowbagger with Eleven Is Prime.

- Z

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commodore_zeke
5mv
commodore_zeke
New subsite launch! There's a story behind this one, too. For the details and the new content (no less than eight pages!), head over to the traditional new-subsite article: Five-Minute Excelsior.

- Z

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commodore_zeke
5mv
commodore_zeke

One more link day! Tomorrow there's stuff. Anyway, here's an interesting resource for writers that I stumbled on recently: Writing Injuries. As the name suggests, it's a list of various wounds, lacerations, traumas, contusions, freezings, burnings, shootings, and otherwise tormentings, and how they actually affect people. By consulting this site, you can avoid embarrassing mistakes like having a high-school cheerleader get impaled on a rebar and basically walk it off, while a grown man in another of your stories dies instantly from impalement. Or having a strong guy "save" someone who's falling from the upper atmosphere by leaping up and catching him. Or having the villain get a single bruise from having a car thrown at his head offscreen. Or -- look, I just think Joss Whedon could benefit from this site, okay?

- Z

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commodore_zeke
5mv
commodore_zeke

Quick one today: The Global Edition. Basically, if you like The Onion, here's more of it. Global Edition is remarkably similar in both its good and bad qualities. It does, however, lack two of The Onion's recent annoyances: video articles and the nag screen that pops up if you forget to click Stop in time.

- Z

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commodore_zeke
5mv
commodore_zeke

Today's link post didn't get long. It's just a link to one of my favourite programming jokes (or rather, infinite families of programming jokes), "now they have two problems". This blog post will introduce you. For more, consult here and here. The latter is a user-submitted site, so some of them suck, but there are some good ones not found elsewhere. Put "1" in the URL and keep clicking Next to read them all.

(Me, I've got five problems, but a minute ain't one.)

- Z

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commodore_zeke
5mv
commodore_zeke

Today's link post got long! It got so long that it became an LJ post instead. Go read it.

- Z

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commodore_zeke
5mv
commodore_zeke

At this point I hardly need to inform anyone about Cracked.com -- after all, it's been America's only humor site since 1958. (FiveMinute.net actually goes back to 1938, but we're from Canada.) It's a comedy extravaganza with neat history and science facts thrown in for good measure, and it's the most dangerous timesuck on the net, up to and including TV Tropes. What's more, there's often pretty good stuff in the comments, as today's link will demonstrate.

On Wednesday, Cracked posted 8 Cheap Ways to Fake Being a Pro Chef. This was the debut article of Tim Ferriss, a name you may have heard (or may not); he's a motivational efficiency-coach type, and this article was a glorified ad for his new book, The 4-Hour Chef. It's disappointing to see Cracked do this, but understandable -- this sort of thing must be worth more in sponsorship money then simple ad banners. Regardless, Ferriss has been eaten alive in the comments, and there's one in particular I want to call your attention to. Click the Votes link and scroll down to the comment by "bradyyy" (fourth highest-ranked as I write this). He didn't just take Ferriss down a peg, he wrote a better article and posted it for free. I love the internet.

- Z

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commodore_zeke
5mv
commodore_zeke

November 21

Quick link today to a pretty self-explanatory site: Search of the Day.

- Z

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commodore_zeke
5mv
commodore_zeke

Today's link is another of my deviantArt finds. Take a look at this picture. Looks like a pretty good photo, eh? Now look at it again, this time knowing that it's drawn with ballpoint pen.

What you're seeing is the unique art of Samuel Silva, a.k.a. VianaArts. He reproduces photos with what must be a million colours of ballpoint pen, and he does it astonishingly well. (For my money, the animal pictures are the best.) The latest one is NSFW, but otherwise go nuts.

- Z

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commodore_zeke
5mv
commodore_zeke

Party hats! This is the tenth update of NaNuPoMo 2012, which means I've officially done better than last year (when I vanished after the ninth one). Time to take a step back.

So what did happen last year, anyway? You may recall that I was being taken over by Samara from The Ring (and I'm tempted to just say she killed me for a year or something). This was meant to build up to the long-delayed publication of Five-Minute The Ring 2, which I've been trying to do for Hallowe'en every year since '05. But I just couldn't seem to finish the damn thing, and once again I'd newsposted myself into a corner. I'm not yet immune to being embarrassed about backing out of an event, but there are only so many times I can interrupt a newspost with [kssh], so I stopped, intending to come back spectacularly with the fiver done. Guess how that went!

Anyway, we're back to normal now. Several of the regular forumgoers have shown up, so hopefully we can get some interesting discussions going. (We also have an RSS feed now, if you missed that update.) I've got plenty of good updates in progress -- schoolwork permitting, as always.

And I've almost stopped seeing Samara's reflection in stuff and coughing up electric centipedes. Turns out the Ring Virus is much less dangerous if you stay away from video cassettes. It's been hard, but somehow I've managed...

- Z

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commodore_zeke
5mv
commodore_zeke

Here's a goofy link to round out the week. The US and Canada have their share of sensationalist papers (USA Today, various Suns), but none that quite compare to the UK's Daily Mail. One Paul Battley has helpfully compiled a list of everything the Mail has identified over the years as either causing or preventing cancer... and yes, there's overlap. Check it out. Just don't do it over wi-fi.

- Z

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commodore_zeke
5mv
commodore_zeke

Hey, speaking of BSG... here's a little something I stumbled on that I wrote years ago (probably for the '09 BSG event). It should come as no surprise; in fact, if anything, the surprise should be that I added a BSG subsite and didn't post one of these. Here's The Top 10 Signs That Your Girlfriend is a Cylon.

- Z

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commodore_zeke
5mv
commodore_zeke

Today, some interesting sci-fi news for those who haven't already heard. A new BSG prequel movie has been made with the impressively generic title of Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome. For some reason, instead of airing on TV, it's first being serialized on YouTube in 12-minute segments. It's set in the first Cylon war and has a character we actually care about (Adama in his Viper pilot days), so there's more reason to watch this one than Caprica. Ron Moore isn't involved, but several other BSG staffers and fellow Trek veterans are, most notably Michael Taylor.

Should be worth checking out. It's nice at least to get something new from one of the big sci-fi franchises. A lot of them are lying fallow at the moment. I still can't believe they didn't capitalize on the success of Abrams' Trek reboot with a TV show -- that should've been a no-brainer.

- Z

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