The Last Few Weeks in WTF, June 2015

Since I got behind on my regular series here, consider this make-up work.

– Behold my steed: Old-school tech meets 21st-century bicycles with Trotify, a wooden device that makes your bicycle sound like a galloping horse (h/t Danielle).

Yes, this totally sounds like something someone thought of while high, but then actually got around to building while sober. Kudos for that, I suppose.

– Was there also show & tell?: You might not expect parents to be asked to attend a parent-teacher conference at their adult children’s places of work, but you’d be wrong if your kid works at one particular startup in New York City (h/t Jen). Continue reading


This Week in WTF, May 15, 2015

– It’s dangerous to go alone!: Video game-themed condoms were once a real thing, and maybe still are. I can’t decide which one is currently destroying my childhood the most: “Sextris,” “Donkey Schlong,” or “The Long End of Zelda.” (I’m not even sure what that last one means.)


– Will that be on the test?: I’m not going to pick on this law school professor too much. I mean, who hasn’t sent a mass email to one’s students and almost accidentally sent a link to anal bead porn instead of a law blog post? She just wasn’t as lucky as the rest of us, you know? But we’ve all been there. Continue reading


When Are Orcs More Plausible than Women?

By anonymous (modified image: [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsThe short answer is “never,” but bear with me.

Some guy who goes by the name Vox Day on the internet has announced plans to create a medieval combat video game. The game will allow players to manage the combat of a variety of characters, including humans, elves, and dwarves. The game will also have goblins, orcs, and trolls, but I don’t know if those are playable characters or enemies. (I don’t play much of this style of game, so I don’t know exactly how it works.)

What the game will not have is female characters. At all. Because as far as Vox Day is concerned, women don’t fight in combat, and to claim otherwise would require him to “throw out historical verisimilitude.” (Also, he figures “whiny women” won’t be playing his game anyway.)

As David Futrelle (linked above), Ophelia Benson, Jason Thibeault, and PZ Myers have all pointed out, women have in fact served in combat throughout human history, including in the European Middle Ages (PDF file). I will describe another woman warrior below, but first, I have an observation about Vox Day’s game.

He will include goblins, trolls, orcs, elves, and dwarves in his game, but he considers women to be implausible.

Forget historical accuracy for a second. If you have difficulty even imagining a woman in a combat role alongside actual mythical characters, well, you may have issues.

By U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Keith Brown [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Women in the military? That’s unpossible!

Now then, let me tell you a bit about Milunka Savić. Continue reading