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Credits

Ten thousand years of Roboshrub.

Fangs for the memories.




In today’s state, Roboshrub Incorporated is an entity entirely devoted
to the execution of what normal people would refer to as “bad ideas.”

It was the creator’s original idea that all concepts, whether
useful or not, contribute to the global subconscious level of progress
for the human race. Therefore, we contend that no idea is an unfit
idea, and vow to act on each and every one of them.

Roboshrub Inc.
Public Communications Department






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For your insolence, I condemn you to...

Suffer the Fate of a Thousand Bees!
(Before they go extinct)

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11.25.2006

To Roosevelt’s House We Go

Over the last few decades, disturbing and conflicting reports have surfaced regarding the United States’ 32nd president. Charges ranging from his indirect connection to the Ayatollah Khomeini’s overthrow of the secular Iranian government in 1979 to the infamous “Martian Escape Pod” debacle of 1896 to the suspicious 2003 death of Fred Rogers (a.k.a Mr. Rogers, a.k.a King Cobra, a.k.a Marvin Smalls). A quick trip to the socialite’s Hyde Park house this weekend dredged up all kinds of weirdness.

She'd rather light a candle than curse the darkness.
Eleanor Roosevelt’s disturbing collection of preserved, laminated hands.

An outsider from the start, young Franklin spent his youth traveling the dangerous and grass-coated landscape of 19th century Europe. He was frequently involved in complicated plots of international subversion and intrigue, having at age 10 unmasked Kaiser Wilhelm II as “just a man in a mask.” His only companions on this a-wandering were Mr. T, a hologram from the future, and a talking dog. Socializing only with the upper crust, FDR’s voice changed to reflect his journeys; by the time he’d entered boarding school in Groton, Massachusetts, he spoke with an accent that sort of reflected every place he’d ever been to. All the other students had basically the same eastern dialect (stressed “a,” almost silent “r”), and FDR had to adapt quickly, before his blue-blooded brethren brought a beating on his blond brow.

A box full of hair.
Proof that Roosevelt was a blond, and had a creepy mother.

Although Roosevelt suffered from that most crippling disease, polio, he managed just fine thanks to a series of ingenious inventions. To help him give the appearance of health to the peasants which tilled his farmland, a 1936 Ford Phaeton was retrofitted with levers and pulleys to create a Rube Goldberg device. While the original purpose of this machine is still unclear, its primary use was military in nature. Using this modified Ford, FDR was able to take the battle right to the Germans, plowing through their front lines like a chainsaw through butter. Bionic legs were used to a lesser extent, and were completely abandoned once the Manhattan Project completed work on the world’s first atomic hovercycle. Unfortunately, Roosevelt never took supernatural phenomena into account when conducting his numerous postwar expeditions into Northern Africa, and his entire family was petrified when he brought back a dormant Medusa egg.

FDR!
“The Roosevelts have never been quieter since the Medusa incident!” says longtime family friend Hershel Gistoff.

11.22.2006

Happy Tanks Giving

How do they make it shine so brightly? Tadodaho wondered, running the fingertips of his left hand over the horse’s back. It was a bronze chariot, perhaps of Roman origin. But... it can’t be Aztec, he thought as his eyes rolled over the charioteer’s Mesoamerican headdress. Emblazoned in microprint on the headband was the ancient phrase “All Your Base Are Belong To Us.”

“Gracious Tadodaho, I trust you find the accommodations acceptable?” beneath the slight lilt of the voice was a commanding undertone so powerful it slapped the Iroquois chieftain upside the head. Two seriously overweight guards stood on each side of the gold-trimmed hall as Darius meandered through; his ceremonial Persian pyramid helmet did a superb job covering the emperor’s growing bald spot.

The... Great British spelling of fart? Maybe...
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Tododaho bowed, not out of respect for his potential ally, but because it gave him a chance to crack a sandal joke. Unfortunately, Darius had anticipated this and wore Hush Puppies. He truly is a military genius.

“Darius the Great... or may I call you Darius?”

“I take offense to anything other than Darius the Great.” he said coldly. Tadodaho shifted uncomfortably. “Got ya!”

“Your perfect piety to pervasive precociousness precedes you, portly Prince of Persia!”

Darius clasped Tododaho’s forearm with a Vulcan-like death grip, and snapped his fingers twice. As if by magic, thirty or forty servants raced through the room; harnessed to their backs were a mahogany table and two slender chairs. A really short man with a really long beard rolled a hand
truck full of equipment out from a beaded curtain and began setting up a microphone, two large speakers, and what looked like an 80s style turntable. After a successful “testing... 1 2 3,” he motioned for the two to sit down.

“While I appreciate your grandeur,” Tododaho gushed, “The rapping is a little overblown.”

“Would you prefer Persian Punk?”

“I’d prefer a little military strategy.”

“Burn!” Short Xerxes (the short man with the long beard) yelled as the vinyl phonograph ground to a halt.

Apple’s new iKrorg: contains 500% more storage space than the iPod.
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Darius stroked his moderately short beard, inhaled, squinted, and made a protracted sighing sound. It wasn’t a normal sigh, but an almost comically loud sigh, one with far too much effort behind it. To Tododaho, it seemed as if Darius had taken a breath in anticipation of a long-winded reply, but had totally blanked at the last second and had no recourse other than to make a really loud sighing sound to expel the air. How shameful!

“Darius,” Tododaho leaned over to gaze right through the man’s corneas and into his soul. “Darius, do you know why I’ve come here?”

Before he could answer, Tododaho grabbed his arm and pointed out the large open window. “There!” the Iroquois laughed. “Do you see the armies of Teh User?”

Darius’ face was flushed, his complexion was ashen, and his voice sounded completely flummoxed. “Teh User is here already?”

“No... and that’s the point, Darius.” Tododaho whipped out a scroll concealed in his sleeve. “Behold,” he said as he unrolled it on the polished mahogany.

“Is this...”

Yes. It’s a replay. One of many, I admit. But aren’t they all the same?”

Darius looked down, unflinching. “How did you gain access to a replay?! Replays are heresy!”

Even this one knows Teh User is evil.
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“We are royalty,” Tododaho bellowed, raising an angry fist to the air, “and no ‘file protection’ or whatever they call it can stop us.”

“What... does it say about us?” Darius asked, his interest in the forbidden text easily transparent.

“One hundred six.”

“What?”

“One hundred six losses. Darius, I’ve seen them all personally. They all go the same way: Teh User selects the lowest difficulty setting, the smallest map, and the maximum number of factions. Then while we fight amongst each other to build a stable power structure, and waste our collective resources in the process, Teh User is free to turtle.”

“Turtle?”

“Teh User builds all manner of fortifications, while simultaneously researching upgrades. Once Teh User has completed all possible upgrades, they’ll have an army capable of crushing all other forces in the Game. And we’ll have... nothing.”

Darius chuckled softly. “Bah! Teh User is a total newb! I say we continue sending small waves of soldiers at Teh User’s cities where they can be easily killed by defensive buildings.”

This is just a classic example of Blogger being rude.
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“You’re not listening to me!” Tododaho thundered, slamming the table and rasping with an almost pleading look on his visage. “We’ve done all that before, in the replays! And I can tell you one thing, Teh User isn’t a newb. Teh User is a n00b. A newb would’ve started at the easiest level, but improved over time, gradually advancing to harder and harder games. Teh User has stagnated, content to fight the exact same war again and again. That’s total n00b.”

“Even is what you say is true, how can you be so sure it’ll happen again?” Darius protested. “How do you know that this time, gradually sending small groups of units to be destroyed by Teh User while fighting each other won’t win this war?”

Tododaho swept the replay scroll up into his sleeve. “That’s what Tsarina Catherine the Great asked. Fifteen minutes later, Teh User captured Moscow.”

“I thought something was up when the Russians didn’t return my calls...”

“Emperor Darius, we need to rally the units! We’ve been defeated in over a hundred identical wars.” Tododaho stood up. “The time has come to abandon the current difficulty setting-”

“It is forbidden!”

“-and pwn this n00b. Indeed, Teh User must be pwned as no n00b has been pwned before! This will be—and I’m absolutely sure of this—the greatest pwnage in history. Thousands of years from now, our descendants will sing songs of this pwning.”

“Okay... just stop saying ‘pwn.’”

I think this one is French Scottish, and is claiming a falsehood.
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Tododaho bowed gently. He’d said all that needed to be said, and had done so with the honor and silent dignity of an Iroquois. Even Short Xerxes was cowed, and played an upbeat techno waltz as Tododaho walked through the palace arches.
***
“Shall we turtle our forces?”

The Persian general waited for his Emperor to look up. Darius knew the despot wanted orders; from his side window, Darius spied the passing Iroquois caravan. Surely Tododaho would never suspect him now...

“General, marshal our standing forces... and attack Saratoga.”

“Sir? That’s an allied city!”

Ghosts in the blogging machine.
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“Tododaho’s fretting about forbidden files and frivolous force formations foretells of a fortuitous Farsi federation!”

“And what of Teh User?”

Darius wrinkled his pointy mustache. “Short Xerxes, do you remember what Tododaho said about Teh User?”

“Oh, I remember,” Short Xerxes bleated belatedly over the booming bellicose beats. “He said something about...” But the rest of his sentence was cut off by the endless spinning of the Persian turntables.

“I didn’t catch that part,” the general yelled, trying uselessly to out-shout the DJ.

“He said you should go do what I’ve commanded of you,” the soft-spoken leader of over one hundred military units chided.

Tododaho would pay for his foolishness. “Imagine,” Darius sneered, “Teh User, a n00b!”

He tapped his Hush Puppies. “Would a mere n00b offer the Emperor of the Persians such comfortable footwear?”

You just can’t overtax Blogger. It feels pain.
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“You are wise in all ways, Great Darius.”

Ja! Now, play that be-be-be-bop-bop, Short Xerxes! Don’t skimp on the bass, or I’ll make a coat rack out of your spine!”

11.19.2006

Hour Of Need

Hour of Need

11.12.2006

Learn How Dagwood Splits The Atom!

Author’s Note: To be sung by a barbershop quartet.
*Update* May 11, 2007: You can download the actual comic here.

Learn How Dagwood Splits The Atom!

(Chorus)
Learn how Dagwood splits the atom!
Learn how Dagwood splits the atom!

Split the atom into neutrons,
Take a nap upon the sofa.
Load a salad down with croûtons,
Sign a missile pact with Russia.

Dag-wood! Dag-wood! Dag-wood! Dag-wood!

Learn how Dagwood splits the atom!
Learn how Dagwood splits the atom!

Grab a hearty midnight snack,
Turn the Geiger Counter’s knobs.
Knock the mailman on his back,
Fire up the carbon rods.

A-tom! A-tom! A-tom! A-tom!

Learn how Dagwood splits the atom!
Learn how Dagwood splits the atom!

Pro-ton!
Nu-cleus!
Knock the mailman to the ground!

Learn how Dagwood splits the atom!
Learn how Dagwood splits the atom!

Particle accelerator!
Nuclear refrigerator!

Learn how Dagwood splits the atom!
Learn how Dagwood splits the atom!

Leave the carpool in the dust,
Refine the standard isotopes.
Eat a sandwich by its crust,
Pan four electron microscopes.

Learn how Dagwood splits the atom!
Learn how Dagwood splits the atom!

Blon-die! Blon-die! Blon-die! Blon-die!

Learn how Dagwood splits the atom!
Learn how Dagwood splits the atom!

Dithers really likes to scream,
Complete the broken valance shells.
Cue the fission by fluorine,
And go tell Lou this tuna smells.

Learn how Dagwood splits the atom!
Learn how Dagwood splits the atom!

Sci-ence! Sci-ence! Sci-ence! Sci-ence!

Learn how Dagwood splits the atom!
Learn how Dagwood splits the atom!

Here we go, the chain reaction,
Teach Elmo the Hokey Pokey.
Proton power builds a nation,
Get your hair cut like a monkey.

A-tom! A-tom! A-tom! A-tom!

(Crescendo)
Dag-wood! Dag-wood! Dag-wood! Dag-wood!

(Fades out)

Learn how Dagwood splits the atom!
Learn how Dagwood splits the atom!
Learn how Dagwood splits the atom!
Learn how Dagwood splits the atom!

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11.08.2006

Crushing Failure!

As many of you are probably aware, the American election cycle has just reached its most moderately exciting phase-- the midterm election. The polls aren't in yet, but the slim hope that the Robots Robots Robots Party might pick up seats in the house and senate has been practically decimated. The Mint Tea Mystic will probably drop by the facility to gloat, because nobody won every seat. Again. He'll deflate a little when I remind him that his precious CAP still has no seats. And Gyrobo will be glad to hear that Maurice Hinchey won by a 100% margin, though to be fair, he was running unopposed. My roots are still crossed, though! It seems that RRRP Candidate Thothz-2 has a marginal lead for representative of Vermont... then again, those people will elect anybody. Yes, anybody.

Thothz-2Thothz-2 cares about human-robot relations. Bernard Sanders has never voiced his opinion on the matter!

I wasn't really paying attention to the rest of the results. Something about democrats being in position to take the house and senate and Republicans being asked to "shove it." I'll just wait for tomorrow's newspaper to give me the final tallies and to report whatever lawsuits will be flying over these poll machines.

I knew I should have hacked them...

11.05.2006

Under A Bipolar 19th Century Sun


Poor, poor Jekyll worked at home.
He had no friends and ate alone;
Three feet of dust entombed his phone!

But in his cellar, undebated,
A secret potion was created;
His good and evil separated!

Dear old Jekyll morphed to Hyde,
A man of snark, and constant snide;
The tragic irony of pride!

Throughout the months, Hyde would appear
To sew his special brand of fear;
He’d download files, peer to peer!

When Utterson saw Hyde, his head hit the roof
And he lumped off to Lanyon to learn him the truth;
’Cause that ornery buzzard had right firsthand proof!

Then, like a pinprick to a bubble,
Jekyll realized he was in trouble;
His chemical test had birthed a double!

He creeped out Lanyon, who passed away
And took dire secrets with him to his grave;
That the sky isn’t blue- or bleu en français!

Secrets, of course, Utterson would find out,
Leading him to storm Jekyll’s abode with a pout;
“Working hard, hardly working?!” he’d gleefully shout!

Amid cauldrons and beakers he and Poole had found Hyde.
Or perhaps they had Jekyll, a twin suicide;
Either way it was over, a Pyrrhic riptide!

Jekyll’s body is worm food, his soul is at rest.
Yet sealed in his lab rots the fruits of his quest;
Who will next drink the potion? Feel free. Be my guest.