Thursday, September 27, 2012

My life as a tree

Sometimes I feel like a tree
My roots spread out below
While my twisting branches reach for the sky
My roots soak up the nourishing rain
My unfurled leaves soak up the sun
A gentle breeze rocks me
And I breathe deeply, and sigh
Peaceful in my life as a tree

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pentapede Nation is moving!

Good news, everybody! Pentapede Nation, and Pentapede Comics in general, are moving to their own domain:  Today's comic is "unexpected"

Thursday, September 20, 2012

introspection - Pentapede Nation #18

(click to embiggen)

LIGASHA (thinking): Heshla is gone, and we're not even out of the hallway yet. Ynda was only safe because it fit in that vent. Will we make it?
LIGASHA (thinking): What if I don't make it? Shishakh would have us hide forever.  What if we're caught? Would Ian kill us? Maybe we SHOULD hide.
LIGASHA (thinking): Maybe we should ask Logan to help. I just don't know.
SHISHAKH: Ian's office.
LIGASHA: Maybe we can find something in there.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Saving Lives! - Pentapede Adventures

(click to embiggen)

Extra special bonus comic! Yay!

PENTAPEDE: Dum-de-dum
PENTAPEDE: Oh no! I must plug with my teeth!
PENTAPEDE: Mmmm. Tasty saving lives!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

keep moving - Pentapede Nation #17

(click to embiggen)

SHISHAKH: Now do you see? We're not ready!
LIGASHA: Come down, Ynda.
YNDA: Gone. It was so fast, and now Heshla is gone.
SHISHAKH: It's too late now.
SHISHAKH: We have to keep going, before the cat takes Heshla to Ian.
YNDA: I should've helped.  I could've done something.
LIGASHA: You couldn't have.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

arachnattack! - Pentapede Nation #16

(click to embiggen)

YNDA: It's gaining!
HESHLA: Up you go.  I'll take care of this thing.
HESHLA: Tashaka

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

arachnicat - Pentapede Nation #15

(click to embiggen)

LIGASHA (off-panel): Anything?
YNDA: Looks clear
HESHLA: I'll go ahead
YNDA: What do you want our new home to be?
HESHLA: Dark. And warm, I hate how cold it is here
YNDA: I hope there are more mice. They were tasty.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

doors - Pentapede Nation #13

SHISHAKH: I think we should wait. Send a scout.
LIGASHA: We might not get another chance.
SHISHAKH: We don't even know what to expect!
HESHLA: Doors.
LIGASHA: How will we live free if we can't handle a few obstacles?
SHISHAKH: Carefully.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

planning - Pentapede Nation #12

(Click the comic to embiggen)

LIGASHA: First, we have to get out of these cages
KASHSH: Can't be that hard
SHISHAKH: Those mice were always out
HESHLA: And they were idiots
KASHSH: Maybe there's a defect we can exploit
LIGASHA: Worth a try
SHISHAKH: We could hatch some eggs on the outside
HESHLA: Too long
YNDA: Hey, guys...
YNDA: The doors are open

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

formation of a nation - Pentapede Nation #11

(click on the image to embiggen)

LIGASHA: It's time to go, to find a place of our own
LIGASHA: where we can be free, to nest in peace
LIGASHA: where we are safe, to a new home
LIGASHA: ... our home

Thursday, August 23, 2012

ian's nightmare - Pentapede Nation #10


(1) Single dream panel; giant pentapedes, and a swarm of smaller pedes, terrorize a city while Ian sleeps fitfully
GIANT PENTAPEDE: Now suffer the wrath of your own genius

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Musopen Kickstarter Complete!

Well, it's been a couple years, but Musopen's Kickstarter has been completed. Congratulations to Aaron Dun for a successful project, and thanks to him for all the work it took!

The announcement is here:

You can find all the music at Musopen, of course, or at the Internet Archive (which has torrents available):

A list of all the music released:

Beethoven - Coriolan Overture
Beethoven - Egmont Overture Op. 84
Beethoven - Symphony No 3 Eroica
Borodin - In The Steppes Of Central Asia
Brahms - Symphony No 1 in C Major
Brahms - Symphony No 2 in D major
Brahms - Symphony No 3
Brahms - Symphony No 4 in E minor
Brahms - Tragic Overture
Bach - Goldberg Variations
Grieg - Peer Gynt
Mendelssohn - Hebrides
Mendelssohn - Italian Symphony
Mendelssohn - Scottish Symphony
Mozart - Magic Flute Overture
Mozart - Marriage Of Figaro
Mozart - Symphony No 40 in G Minor
Rimsky Korsakov - Russian Overture
Schubert - The Piano Sonatas
Smetana - Vltava
Tchaikovsky - Symphony Pathetique

String Quartets:
Beethoven String Quartet in B flat Major Op 18
Borodin String Quartet No 1
Borodin String Quartet No 2
Dvorak - American in F major
Dvorak Quartet in F Major Op 51
Haydn Quartet in D Major Op.64
Mendelssohn Quartet in F Minor Op 80
Mozart Quartet D Minor K421
Mozart Quartet in C Major K 465
Suk - Meditation

logan's plot 2 - Pentapede Nation #9

LOGAN: They’re smarter than you think; they’re plotting an escape
IAN: That’s ridiculous, they couldn’t get out of their cages
LOGAN: They will. You think they'll obey you? We have to destroy them.
IAN: We won’t! They won't...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

logan's plot - Pentapede Nation #8

(1) Logan is talking to Ligasha
LOGAN: His plan has always been to use you to terrorize people.
LIGASHA: We won’t, we’ll flee, we’ll hide. I’ve told him that.
LOGAN (while leaving): Then how long before he disposes of you?
LIGASHA (& other pentapedes): ...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

logan's request - Pentapede Nation #7

LOGAN: What was the last thing we accomplished that made the papers?
IAN: We haven’t accomplished anything. I started the L.A. arachnicat infestation.
LOGAN: Yes, but they turned out to make great pets. We could’ve made a fortune, instead of hiding in this damp bunker.
LOGAN: I just want more say in what we do.
IAN: Then start taking more initiative.
LOGAN: Fine.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

cortex and lefty


(1) Closeup of mouse cage containing Cortex & Lefty (two mice)
CORTEX: Another plot foiled by your antics!
LEFTY: Oh well, there’s always tomorrow!
(2) (C & L continue squeaking as Ian holds them over the Pentapede cage)
IAN (on phone): They keep getting out of their cages! And I think one has brain cancer. I can't use them.
(3) (Ian throws C & L into pentapede cage, where they’re devoured)
IAN: No, I’m changing directions anyway. Send a refund.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012



(1) Logan is talking to Ian
LOGAN: I can make them dumb and vulnerable only to our sprays. We make a bunch more and turn them loose
LOGAN: People clamour for help against the infestation, and we’ll make millions.
IAN: You sound like a comic book villain. Plus you got it wrong once already
(3) (Ian departs)
IAN: It’s not worth it, not yet
LOGAN: Will it ever be?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Ubuntu 12.04 Unity Background Slideshow

This is how I created my own desktop background slideshow for Unity in Ubuntu 12.04, without overwriting or modifying the system defaults.

First, you'll need to generate a slideshow file.  An example can be found at /usr/share/backgrounds/contest/precise.xml .  I created ~/desktopbackgrounds/ and copied the example file there:

> mkdir ~/desktopbackgrounds/
> cp /usr/share/backgrounds/contest/precise.xml \

I then modified it to suit my needs. Alternatively, you can use the script from . You may want to change the duration first. You'll also need to save the images you want in the slideshow to ~/desktopbackgrounds/

> cd ~/desktopbackgrounds/
> ./ > slideshow.xml

Finally, we need to provide a user-specific version of /usr/share/gnome-background-properties/precise-wallpapers.xml by creating ~/.local/share/gnome-background-properties/ and copying precise-wallpapers.xml there:

> mkdir -p ~/.local/share/gnome-background-properties/
> cp /usr/share/gnome-background-properties/precise-wallpapers.xml \

Finally, we need to modify that file to point to our new slideshow. Add or modify an entry as follows:

  <name>Custom Slideshow</name>

N.B. that you need to change <username> to your username.

Then, you should be able to edit the background and select your new slideshow!

The City Born Great - How Long 'Til Black Future Month?

The second story in N. K. Jemisin's anthology How Long 'Til Black Future Month? , "The City Born Great," is an exciting ta...