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Progressive Bedtime Stories

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start rant

Star Power

Red riding hood

The quote in the last panel of today's comic is from the well-known astronomer Carl Sagan, a man who made explaining the physical intricacies of the universe, in a way that anyone could understand, his life's work.

To me he'll always be remembered as the man who cogently pointed out that we, and everything around us, are made of atoms that were once part of much older stars that collapsed and exploded, seeding the universe with their rich harvest of atomic material both light and heavy. We are, he said, literally made of star stuff.

As though that's not fantastic enough, this "star stuff" which composes our solar system may be third generation material. In other words, age-old stars blew up, reformed as new stars, then eventually exploded again, affording new building material for world's like our own.

Mr. Sagan, in his prime, was often lampooned as being a little too poetic for his own good, but he will not be soon forgotten.


knew from the start that today's comic was not going to be all things to all people, especially those louts who populate the churches and synagogues and what-not around this globe, but that's their problem. Although the comic has generated some positive critical response there is yet some talk of a necktie party from fringe elements despondent over the lack of inclusion of ye olde Mormons. You'd almost think Mormons had killed their dogs or something.

While a comic emcompassing the whole of religous nuttydom would have been the ideal solution I simply wasn't all that keen on devoting my life to the job nor on researching the minutia of off-sects like the Universe People or Nuwaubianism. I mean, most people don't even know about the Mormon's Secret Magic Underpants and it's hardly a minor sect.

But, seriously ladies and germinates, you try compressing an entire religion into one tiny cartoon panel. It took me much longer than I care to mention to come up with the gag just on the Buddhist angle.

And, yes, I realize the story I'm referencing was actually Goldilocks and the three bears, not Red Riding Hood. I swapped-in the figure of Red on the aesthetic grounds that she's simply more fun to draw. Hey, I'm making it up as I go along, anyway.

But don't we all?

tom lehrer's The elements animationI'm now going to take a moment or two to shine a small light from under the door of my cell.

I'm primarily a commercial illustrator but I love to play with Flash. Next to Adobe Illustrator it's my favorite cyber-toy.

Some years ago I took the illustrious Tom Lehrer's rip-snorting rendition of "The Elements" and animated the living hell out of it. I added it to my online portfolio and I'm proud to say it has since been viewed over a million times. Not content with that I recently created a Youtube-d version for people everywhere to share, and you can find it here.



end rant

Raging Pencils salutes the Mystery Readers of
Glostrup, Denmark
Whoever you are, thanks for reading my friendly little 'toon.

Today's mystery web comic is:


Raging Pencils is a inquisitive conceit of:

Mike Stanfill, Private Hand
Mike Stanfill, Private Hand
IllustrationFlash AnimationWeb Design



Can't make sense of the news? Try our selection of progressive nosh:
DailykosCrooks and LiarsThink ProgressTalking Points Memo


Today's Google Chow.

And now, another edition of Progressive Bedtime Stories

Little Red riding-hood felt lost. She was having an existential crisis.
" How did I get here? And what's the deal with this hood?"

She tried Christianity but it was too hot.
Sign: God hates fags. Xtian: "He likes guns, though."

She tried asceticism but it was too cold.
" F-f-f-f-fuck this."

She tried Scientology but it was too expensive:
" Zenu? Are you sure you don't mean Ponzi?"

She tried Judaism but it was too Jewish:
" No shrimp or bacon? REally? Hey! I just remembered I left something on the stove."

She tried Buddhism but it was too conciliatory:
" Outta my way, ya namby-pambies!"

She even tried Islam but it was too unfashionable:
" Thanks but, ahh, it's just not me."

At lastshe tried atheism, and it was jusssst right.
" We are star stuff comtemplating star stuff." - Carl Sagan

The End

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