Sun Halo Behind a Plant FrameI spotted this great halo yesterday while we were out shopping for plants for a vegetable garden. The bright, colorful upper arc just jumped out, and while I searched for something I could use to block the sun for a photo, I also shaded my son’s eyes with my hand so he could look too.

It was still visible 20 minutes later and a few miles away, when I noticed that the upper arc looked like it split to the left, probably a circular 22° halo with a circumscribed halo around it. That would touch the circle at the top, where it’s brightest, then branch off on tangents to the sides — and it does look like that may be going on even in this shot, on both sides, though I didn’t notice it at the time. Halos like this are caused by reflections in ice crystals, but the ice can be in the upper atmosphere. It was plenty warm down here on the ground, around 80°F.

We did make it out to Mysterious Galaxy for California Bookstore Day (though they only had a few of the exclusives left by the time we arrived — apparently there was a massive rush that morning), but ended up missing Free Comic Book Day. It became clear while we were out running around that J wasn’t going to stand for waiting in line in the heat, and I never quite managed to get back out there myself after the rest of our errands were done. It didn’t really seem that urgent, two weeks after WonderCon (I still need to write that up, but you can check out my convention photos now).

The CBLDF has issued a press released detailing the victory in the Gordon Lee case. This was the case in which a comic book store in Rome, Georgia, as part of a 2004 Halloween promotion, was handing out free comics left over from that year’s Free Comic Book Day. Among over 2,000 comics, they accidentally included a copy of Alternative Comics #2, which included a story about Picasso which included him running around his studio in the nude. And they accidentally gave it to a kid. The parents wouldn’t accept an apology, and pressed charges instead. The DA has been determined to make an example out of him, pushing grossly overinflated charges including felonies that would have given him prison time. 3½ years, 3 trial dates, a mistrial for prosecutorial misconduct, and $100,000 in defense costs later, the Rome DA finally agreed to drop the case in exchange for a written letter of apology — which is exactly what the store owner had offered in the first place.

Cookie Security in WordPress 2.5. The latest version of the blogging software has a feature that can make it harder for attackers to grab your login sessions. It involves setting a pass phrase in wp-config.php, one which you’ll never have to remember, but which will be unique to your site. You have to copy the SECRET_KEY section from wp-config-sample.php and add in your passphrase…or you can generate a random code at (be sure to put it in the middle of the file!)

The Internet Storm Center writes on Hundreds of Thousands of SQL Injections — all websites that have been hacked to host various sorts of malware.

Scott Pilgrim vol. 3 Front CoverAfter seeing it recommended on several blogs (sorry, I can’t remember which ones), I eventually tracked down the first book of Scott Pilgrim. It was great fun—a wonderful balance of comedy, drama, and sheer post-video-game absurdity—and I immediately went out and got volume 2. Then I started watching for volume 3, which was supposed to come out early this year.

The scheduled date came and went. For about a month, I would walk into the comic store each week and ask whether Scott Pilgrim volume 3 was out. After a while I didn’t even have to ask. All that anyone knew was that it was behind schedule. Way behind.

So I started checking the website from time to time. Nothing, then nothing, then more nothing… so I checked less and less often… until tonight, I found a note that not only is volume three done, it’s at the printers, tentatively scheduled for May 24!

Plus, there’s a book scheduled for Free Comic Book Day, which is coming up on Saturday. (Yes, you can walk into a participating comic store this weekend and get a free comic book.)

I’m sure this is just like the Animaniacs DVDs that everyone seemed to know about before I did, but just in case anyone missed the announcement…

[Free Comic Book Day]I just realized I’d completely forgotten about Free Comic Book Day, which is coming up in just 10 days: Saturday, May 7.

This year’s books include the usual big names. DC’s got Batman Strikes!, Marvel’s got a team-up book, Archie’s got Betty and Veronica, Dark Horse has a Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith tie-in, etc. Plus there’s another dozen and a half small-press books. It looks like a pretty good round-up of genres, too.

The purpose of FCBD is to introduce people to comics. A lot of people still think comics are just for kids, or just super-heroes, or unsuitable for kids, etc. A lot of people don’t know where to find comics. (Check out the store locator if you fall into this group.) And a lot of people just don’t want to spend $3.00 for a 24-page comic book when they could spend it on renting a movie, or saving up for a video game, or—let’s face it—lunch. The promo books put out for Free Comic Book day are a sampler, ranging from kid-friendly super-heroes, teen dramas, and Disney cartoons to the more story– or art-driven books aimed at adults. In other words: something for everyone.

Free Comic Book Day 2004: Saturday, July 3Tomorrow is the third annual Free Comic Book Day! Head down to your local comic store and pick up a free comic book!

Some of the books available include:

  • Spider-Man (of course)
  • Teen Titans Go!
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars
  • Mickey Mouse
  • And more…

Looking for a comic store near you? Use the store locator.

And while you’re at it, check out the list of creator signings — there may be one in your area.