Ratatoskr FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Keeper of Logics

from Austin, TX

  • Activity

    • Apparently I'm the FU

      18 hours ago

      Ratatoskr Keeper of Logics

      Well, that happened.

      Hello there. Get to know me:

      - I've probably talked your ear off about AI theory at some point.

      - This year will be my fifth RTX, all consecutive.

      - I usually hang out in the Oxford Comma Cafe, the best forum ever. Of all time.

      If you're coming to RTX, and want to know everything useful about Austin, I made a guide. If you're looking to become more involved in the site, read this instead. Actually, read both.

      And, yeah... that's it. Have I mentioned how great you look today?

      - Toskr

    • Graphic Novel Review: The Black Monday Murders, Vol 1 ( Mostly Spoiler-free)

      4 weeks ago

      Ratatoskr Keeper of Logics

      Let's change this up, shall we?

      I picked up a copy of Jonathan Hickman's The Black Monday Murders this week, and I was impressed enough to write up a loose review.

      Here's the cover, just so we understand what we're getting into -


      Yes, that is a goat skull, and the name of the trade paperback is: "All hail, God Mammon"

      It is very up front with what's inside.

      The reviews I read called this 'cryto-noir', a phrase that's definitely fitting. It's decidedly noir, all thick shadows and disillusioned characters. As the beginning of a murder mystery, it's got my vote. But it's the crypto- where things get interesting.

      When people use the the term 'Lovecraftian', they usually mean a piece of fiction with an uninteresting doomsday prophesy, and some tentacled horrors. Which is... fine. Keeps the genre alive. 

      But one of the core concepts that Lovecraftian fiction bases itself on, is the idea that the whole world is rotten to the core, and puppeted by vast and uncaring forces. There are no winners, and the Big Bad is never finally defeated, just held back. Cthulhu and associates need not apply. Which makes modern economics a perfect environment for this kind of story. That's right - this is a Wall Street tale, rich in corruption, mystery, and a body-count that would make George R.R. Martin cringe. All wrapped in a thick and leering tapestry of occultism and conspiracy.


      I'd like to say a great deal about the writing, but I hate spoilers with a passion, so here goes: This is a noir murder mystery, spliced with a grand conspiracy of generations. The interlinking connections, grudges, and betrayals form a rich net of deep distrust, one that the reader gets a sense of immediately. There are plots, none of which are fully revealed in this issue, and a sense of real depth. The shifting perspective shows off the world almost effortlessly, not sparing time to explain for the reader. It's a hazard, but it plays well. At times, characters build a bed of lies, half-truths, and hidden traps that are far more visible to the reader than anyone else. In others, it's blunt and efficient, a Darwinian scheme of power and violence made manifest. A trade paperback isn't a full story, or even half of one, so calling full judgement is difficult at best. But when this novel needs to be punchy, it goes for the kill, and it's unsettlingly subtle whenever else.



      Artist Tomm Coker delivers the noir vibe and sensibility even more then the writing. The photo-realistic style and muted, strategic use of color pulls the eye. In contrast with a lot of modern releases, there are only a few truly stand-alone splash pages. Most of the powerful visual moments are quiet, tense, and ultimately threatening. The horrific subject matter isn't on full display, but rather down-beat. At no point does the book ask the reader to stare at a bloody scene for its own sake. Often the darkest of events happens off-screen, or on one memorable case, just to the side. The rich, stark style plays beautifully, and makes every scene utterly believable, relatable. Especially the titular murders.


      What The Black Monday Murders is not is accessible. The excellent and fun Rat Queens tells you who it is from page one. The reader knows instantly what kind of stories will be told. The surpassing Saga does the same, with fever-dream sensibility and brass balls. 

      Here, Hickman jumps into the deep end without a snorkel. Layers are peeled back, little by little, with the help of a plethora of conversation transcripts, maps, and histories to lay a foundation for the madness happening in the pages. This is where The Murders shines, if you can make it there. A great many first volumes in graphic novels dither. They spend a majority of their time setting the scene, and their world-building can really hurt the flow of the story. Hickman asks you to dive, and hopes you'll get a feeling for things on a first read. And that's the appeal. This novel asks, practically demands a second and third read, as the mysterious and rune-splattered organization charts and history clips snap into focus.


      The Black Monday Murders is a dark story, and it makes no apologies. But it has a deep story to deliver, with noir sensibility down to the bones. Volume One impressed me from the first few pages, and lays a concrete foundation for further volumes. It's bloody, haunting, and rich. Like swimming over a continental self, the drop-off is vast and inky. I'm itching, somewhat spasmodically, for Volume Two.

      Note: This is not a comic book. This is an adult graphic novel, intended for people not bothered by mature themes. Don't buy this for your fourteen-year old cousin.

    • Monday

      3 months ago

      Ratatoskr Keeper of Logics


      Courtesy of Welcome to Night Vale, the most inventive fiction podcast around, and the day of the week that can't stop kicking me in the shins.

      Goddamn Mondays.

    • The Austinite's Guide to RTX - Finished!

      4 months ago

      Ratatoskr Keeper of Logics

      edit: New link provided for next year.

      After much blood, sweat, and procrastination, the guide is done! Get it here!

      This is a guide full of vital resources for Rooster Teeth Expo attendees, written and collected by a local for the community. Information includes, but is not limited to:

      • City of Austin information
      • Navigating downtown Austin
      • Transportation
      • Weather Preparedness
      • Entertainment
      • Useful language tips and quick Spanish phrases
      • Restaurants and eating out downtown
      • Coffee Shops
      • Night-out recommendations
      • Keeping safe
      • Fourth of July events

      All the information you need to conquer RTX and get around downtown is here, with dozens of useful links in the text. With this, your RTX experience will be even better, with a local Austinite's advice on getting around and having fun in downtown Austin.

      Tell everyone you know going to RTX this year! Tell your friends! Tell people you don't like and who owe you money! Tell the RT staff, so they can get it out there!

      Thanks to @madmanmoe for editing, and the community for being itself.




    • Help Me Shine a Light?

      5 months ago

      Ratatoskr Keeper of Logics

      I'm thinking of doing a semi-regular feature on the site, but I could use some suggestions.

      I love small bands. Especially obscure small bands. And I hate seeing small good bands slide into complete and total obscurity. So, I want to do an occasional feature - my rather insane schedule permitting - on some of my favorite small bands that time has overlooked. I want to shine a light. These artists deserve it.

      I want to do discographies, influences, and some links. Maybe some pictures from live shows. Here's where I have a problem - I never studied music. I can talk about lyrics and some musical style, but that's where my music vocabulary dead-ends. 

      I don't know music better than most. I just know the bands that deserved to get the attention and success they never got.

      So - if I do this, what can I, as a musically uneducated fellow, say? What do you, the RT community, want to read? What do you want to see?

    • The OCC Steam Group, PC Gaming, and Planning Thread

      in Forums > The OCC Steam Group, PC Gaming, and Planning Thread | Follow this topic

      Ratatoskr Keeper of Logics

      We have a Steam group: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/oxford-comma-cafe If you aren't a member, ask for an invite.

      So far, the only agreed upon game is Team Fortress 2 (free on Steam, PC & Mac), for which we have a private server. Which will be linked here at some point. Headphones/mics are recommended, so we can chat/conspire.

      What days are good for this group? When can we blow each other up?

      106 replies

    • Because Why the Hell Not?

      6 months ago

      Ratatoskr Keeper of Logics

      Tagged by @Radius55


      Username: Ratatoskr

      From: Austin, as far as anyone knows

      Sponsor: Not currently, getting that fixed.

      Date Joined: July 26, 2013

      Last Signed in: Tonight? Wait, what day is it?

      Rooster Teeth Content:

      First Rooster Teeth Video you saw: RvB Season 8, Episode 10. (Protect me, cone!)

      Last Podcast you watched: Not sure?

      Favorite member of the Rooster Teeth Cast & Crew: There is no right answer here.

      -If yes Which one: N/A

      Did you watch a Rt video today: Nope.

      Favorite RT Series: RvB 

      Favorite RT video: Grrr.... Any RvB season finale.

      RT Site:

      Current Number Of Notifications: 2
      Name of first Journal: "Where Have All The Great Romantics Gone?" which goes here.

      Name of you latest Journal: Bad Night In Austin; Anaphylaxis, You Saucy Mix
      Last Photo you uploaded: Amorous Gendo Ikari
      Last Thread you commented on: "How Powerful is Crescent Rose" - I think?
      First group in your group list: RvBTX
      Last Private message sent: @Priest

      Achievement Hunter:

      Gamer Score/ Total Trophies: I honestly don't know.

      Team Lads or Team Gents: Nepal

      Favorite Achievement Hunter: There is no correct answer here.

      Minecraft Skin: Look, I like curvature and angles outside of 90 degrees. To hell with Minecraft.

      Favorite AH show: Whichever one I click on.

      The Community 
      Favorite Group: Oxford Comma Cafe
      Have you gone to a community event: Yep!
      Have you gone to RTX: Four in a row!
      Favorite Fellow Community member: Seriously? Uhh... @crofteria? @Priest? @Kiwi? @madmanmoe? *emphatic shrug*

      Tag 5 People: You can't bleeding make me! If you want to do this, then do it!

    • Bad Night in Austin; Anaphylaxis, You Saucy Minx.

      7 months ago

      Ratatoskr Keeper of Logics

      So, I had an interesting night. Thought I'd share.

      I, and my immediately family, are some of the only people I know that have an anaphylactic reaction to marijuana and hashish (and all help products). Which makes living in Austin a treat, let me tell you. Pot isn't so bad - I just have to leave the vicinity. Immediately. Hashish is worse. I found that out tonight.

      I was going to attend the nationwide RWBY screening, at the grand Austin staple, the Alamo Drafthouse. Waiting at the bus-stop this afternoon, I met a gaggle of hippies. This is not unusual in Austin. Hippies are part of the cultural ecosystem. What was unusual was the smell, while Capital Metro lived up to it's reputation of being just on time, or ten minutes late. It wasn't the unwashed hippie smell, or the mosh pit smell. It was hash. They were passing a hash-pipe around. 

      Going into anaphylactic shock comes in a variety of flavors of severe discomfort. If you hit that magic exposure dose, you are going down. Fast. I found myself on the edge, where breathing is hard, your throat feels like a straw made of sandpaper, and your head is killing you. The last one is because the oxygen level to your brain just plummeted. 

      Buses in Austin have that blessed invention: Air conditioning. Which took the worst off my reaction, while still leaving me in bad shape. I alerted people around me that I was having a severe allergic reaction, and took deep breathes. Where the bus left me off, near Zilker Park, I immediately waved down a couple to help me out. Because I was crashing. The lady kept me talking and awake, and the gent called 911. Interesting people, actually.

      I've been in a few ambulances, but give these paramedics their due. Funny, professional, exactly what you want when you're passing out. Nice guys. Turns out dirty jokes are the best medicine.

      I'm fine. I missed the show, and the friends I planned to meet, which is a pain. But I'm fine now.

      Point of this story? 

      - Well, screw hippies, that's for sure. The good ones know to do this at home.

      - Know your allergies? Very likely. 

      - Really, I'd like to say that Austin is amazing, and the sober people will help you out when you need it.

      Thanks, Austin. It's been an interesting night.


      Willie Nelson would be ashamed of you amateur hippies. You don't do this on a public street. For shame.

    • Webcomics for Intelligent People

      7 months ago

      Ratatoskr Keeper of Logics


      A friend of mine is without interesting reading material. So as the reigning (and self-appointed) researcher of all things webcomic, here's a small list of high quality works.

      Star Power

      Created by two of the best webcomic artists and authors around, a sci-fi superhero story with heart.

      Gunnerkrigg Court

      Imagine if Hogwarts was full of impossible machines, and gods lived in the woods outside. Possibly one of the best known and respected comics around. 

      Dead Winter

      A zombie apocalypse forms the minor backdrop to a story about poets, professional killers, and learning to live with life. Bursting with well-executed feeling. 

      Kill Six Billion Demons

      I honestly don't know how to describe this. Indian mythology, cosmic powers, and female lead learning to be strong. I don't generally like the phrase "badass", but it fits. Every single thing about KSBD turned up to eleven.


      One of the absolute best webcomics written. Hugo award winner. 

      Cassiopeia Quinn

      Light-hearted space adventure. Hilarious, colorful, and geeky as hell.

      Crimson Dark

      A high-scifi space opera. One of the few stories that ever captured the Firefly vibe. Big space battles, beautiful rendering, and chili. The artist and author was recruited by Bioware Austin to work on graphics for the Star Wars MMO.

      Now two comics by Ben Fleuter:
      The Sword Interval

      This one's about a world on the verge of a supernatural apocalypse. And one woman's quest for revenge. This one is a personal favorite, because it's a reincarnation of Fleuter's first webcomic from years and years ago. Updates are something I really look forward to.

      "... taking place in a flooded Earth, roughly 100 years from today. In addition to flooding and societal collapse, the world has had to contend with an eldritch fog that snuffs out life while populating the earth with its own breeds of monsters.

      The story mostly follows Dang Thu Mai, a lone scavenger trying to survive the hazards of her environment while making a living for herself picking the bones of the old world."

      Fine, I grabbed the official description for once. Imaginative sci-fi at its best.


      There you go, Fly. Hope you find something you like!

  • Comments (14)

    • ArnettV FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Gif Addict

      18 hours ago

      Happy happy happy FU day!

    • IronBridge FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Flibbity Jibbit

      18 hours ago


    • PhoenixFilms FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Community Hunter, Austin

      18 hours ago

      Happy FU

      • Ratatoskr FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Keeper of Logics

        18 hours ago

        Oh, good lord. Nnonononono

      • PhoenixFilms FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Community Hunter, Austin

        17 hours ago

        It occurs to me that you're here in Austin and yet we still haven't met yet.

    • Joron093 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Keeper of The Forges

      7 months ago

      Thanks for the friend request.  It didn't occur to me that this hadn't already been done, what with all the goings on in the OCC.

      • Ratatoskr FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Keeper of Logics

        7 months ago

        Same here! I keep assuming I added everyone.

    • madmanmoe Keeper of Shenanigans

      11 months ago

      So marvel is releasing some kind of free comic for everyone this coming July. Its called Marvel Now. thought you might be interested.

      • Ratatoskr FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Keeper of Logics

        11 months ago

        Worth a look!

      • madmanmoe Keeper of Shenanigans

        11 months ago

        oh yeah!

    • Cinomari FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Keeper of N00bs

      1 year ago

      I'm moving to Austin soon and I'm TERRIFIED HELP ME.

      • Ratatoskr FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Keeper of Logics

        1 year ago

        Looks like this is my thing now. I'm okay with this.


        Here's your go-to resource. What else can I help with?

    • spanksthellama FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Silly Little Donut

      1 year ago

      Fellow Austinite!! Woop.

      • Ratatoskr FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Keeper of Logics

        1 year ago


  • Questions answered by Ratatoskr

    I wouldn't? No, that won't do.

    I'd probably move some things around so that the backdrop is all bookshelves. Wherever the camera pans - bookshelves. The trick would be rotating the books, so it's never the same.

    A bag of very crispy fries at the first place, and a Mexican Coke at the next. For a practical limit of infinity as the number of Asian fast food restaurants, there are a practically infinite number of chopsticks, to some power of ten. I assemble these, and make a great bonfire. Fries, Coke, and entertainment.

    A rogue dwarf planet would be fun. See the galaxy, spend eons in the engulfing black between stars. But assuming the science could be taken care of, a the surface of a Wolf-Rayet star would have a certain novelty to it.

    There is a long and arduous path to Keeper-dom. Many are broken along the way. Look within. Look within your skin. Look within your bones. When you see the Taco within, you are that Keeper.

    Didn't get one.

    But you get bonus points for calling me 'lord'.

    Brunch, because I can choose to have it or not.

    I really shouldn't answer this hungry. A Pad Thai, probably. Spicy, delicious goodness.

    Brick and mortar, as land is cheap if you know where to look. I can build a red brick castle, like the Knights Teutonic.

    Every other red light, on the theory that an iPod on shuffle can last for hours.

    *Thinking pose for five minutes. Googles furiously for fifteen.*

    Okay, you got me. Nice one!

    Okay, I carry a pocketknife. Nothing fancy, perfectly utilitarian. What I want is the shape changing scenario-judging weapon from the webcomic Supernormal Step. Move forward a couple pages to see it in action.

    Why? Sometimes you need a knife to open packages. Sometimes you need a keen-edged chef's knife. And sometimes you need a magical liquid metal construct to morph in to fuck-off polearm for you.

    Nice one!