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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Anti-Harry Potter Email Confuses Satire with Satan

by Ken Newquist / September 4, 2007

It was a big summer for Harry Potter. The seventh and final book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released, as was the fifth movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. After reading the first and seeing the second, I was reminded of a hoax I've had sitting on my hard drive for a few years, just waiting to be debunked.

It's entitled "Magic Vs Jesus" and it claims that not only is are the Harry Potter books inherently Satantic, they are also causing a mass conversion to Satanism among today's youth. And it's got the quotes to back them up.

Unfortunately for the e-mail's author, the quotes it so feverishly believes in were taken from a fictional article in the satirical webzine The Onion.

Here's the original e-mail:

Subject: Fw: Magic Vs Jesus

"Jesus died because He was weak and stupid"; this is a quote from
6-year-old Jessica Lehman of Easley, SC, after reading the HARRY POTTER BOOKS!
"Hermione is my favorite, because she's smart and has a kitty,"

The following is an email sent for the American Family Association:

Dear friend:

This is the most evil thing I have laid my eyes on in 10 years ... and no
one seems to understand its threat. The Harry Potter books are THE
NUMBER ONE selling children's books in the nation today. Just look at any Barnes

Battlestar Galactica RPG: Playtest Results

by Ken Newquist / September 3, 2007

The Hellion-class heavy cruiser Cerberus took flight Friday night as my gaming group put the Battlestar Galactica RPG through its paces. As I wrote in my earlier Game Day column, the players took on the role of members of the Hellfire Aces, an elite squad of Marines and pilots attached to the Cerberus, a decommissioned cruiser brought back to life after the genocidal Cylon attack on the Twelve Colonies.

Game Day: Battlestar Galactica: The Flight of the Cerberus

by Ken Newquist / August 31, 2007

 Battlestar GalacticaThe new Battlestar Galactica RPG was a long time coming, and for a while, it seemed as legendary (and as likely to be found) as Earth is in the television series. But Margaret Weis Productions was selling the game at GenCon, and the general public should be able to get their hands on it by September. Beta Goes Live

by Ken Newquist / August 29, 2007

After months of tinkering, the new version of is online. The updated site features a new look, a new WordPress back-end, and the ever-entertaining "Random News" block. Berin's also been working on a variety of other projects, including the long-discussed Imagination's Toolbox, so you can look for a steady stream of coolness emanating from over the next few days/weeks.

Space Westerns: Green River Rain

by Ken Newquist / August 29, 2007

"Green River Rain" by John M. Whalen is the latest short story up on Whalen's work has also appeared in Ray Gun Revival.

Jake Bracken never liked the rain. It always seemed to bring him bad luck. It rained that night back on Earth when Holly left him. Took off with a pharmaceutical salesman from Abilene. It rained the day he came home from the Terror War and saw that the Qaeda had burned his ranch to the ground. It was raining now, as he pulled his Hover Jeep up to the boardwalk in front of the Green River saloon.

Can Preshoolers Get Drunk on Hand Sanitizer?

by Ken Newquist / August 28, 2007

Can a prescooler get drunk and even die from drinking hand sanitizer? The short answer is ... yes, they can. The following e-mail describes swallowing a squirt of hand sanitizer was enough to make a four-year-old loopy and while it gets some of the specifics wrong -- namely that the child couldn't have had an 85% blood alcohol level, since .10% is enough to kill you, and she probably had a lot more than one quirt -- the general warning is valid. Most hand sanitizer contains a large percentage ethyl alcohol, which can be intoxicating and even deadly if swallowed.

Dates for Next Three MEPACONs Announced

by Ken Newquist / August 26, 2007

The dates for the next three MEPACONs have been announced by the staff of the mid-eastern Pennsylvania game convention. The dates are:

  • Fall 2007: 2-4 November
  • Spring 2008: 11-13 April
  • Fall 2008: 7-9 November

All three conventions will be held at the Holiday Inn in Dunmore, Pa. You can learn more about the convention by visiting its web site at

Mars to Earth: You Missed Your Big Close-up (Again)

by Ken Newquist / August 25, 2007

An e-mail claims that Mars will soon be looming so large in our skies that it will rival the moon. The truth is that while Mars did get very close to Earth a few years ago, that merely turned it into a slightly brighter red star in the sky. If it actually did get as close as the email claims, the Earth would be wracked by high tides and thrown out of its orbit.

Here's the email.

Captured 8/24/07

Two Moons on 27th, August 2007*

*27th August; the day the Whole World is waiting for .....