June 25, 2013

obsessed.: Young Americans, fantasy cycling and XKCD's "Time"

I recently read a book (The Burning Sky) that reminded me of a favorite TV show that aired during the summer before my senior year of high school. The show, Young Americans, aired on The WB (precursor to today's The CW) for only eight episodes. As ridiculously cheese-tastic as they were, I was totally obsessed. with the show that summer. I watched it with my best friend and my mom, and they both loved it too. (So much that my mom and I both bought bootleg copies off of ebay because we couldn't find it any other way. These days, the episodes are also on YouTube.)

The show centers around a group of kids who live in the fictional town of New Rawley, somewhere in New England. Most of them are in town to attend the summer session of Rawley Academy, a prestigious all boys boarding school. Of course, typical teenage hijinks (and standard 2000s-style WB drama) ensue.

Thanks to the book, I was inspired to re-watch the series. Here's a teaser:

I've really never been able to resist this sort of overly dramatic teenage angst. Even now, when I have 15 years under my belt since being a 15-year-old, I can still appreciate it, albeit in a bit more of a cynical sense.

(If you're interested in rewatching with me, I'm doing a series about the series for FYA.)


And this week, from the Mister:

The biggest and most exciting event in all of pro cycling—the Tour de France—starts in T-minus three days (give or take a few hours.) Colt, who loves him some bikes, is super excited about the event. Combine that excitement with a love of fantasy sports, and you get the CyclingNews Fantasy Tour de France Game. According to the game's rules, "Fantasy Tour de France is based on the 2013 Tour de France cycling race. ... You will score fantasy points based on the real-life performances of the riders, cycling teams and bonus stages that you select for your fantasy team."

I know far less about cycling than I do football (the only fantasy sport I've ever played), so I won't be taking part in the game, but I think it's fantastic that he can get this excited about the sport. (I'll admit—I like watching for the lovely French scenery!)

And from TGG:

XKCD is a webcomic you're likely familiar with, and one which Wes is a big fan of. Most often, the comic is just a few panels of stick figures or walls of text making some comment on science, math or philosophy. But occasionally, creator Randall Munroe surprises everyone by randomly releasing a comic so ambitious that it makes regular readers question its significance and delve deeply into the meaning behind it.

(This is not one of those ambiguous ones. I just thought it was a cute example of Munroe's art.)

The comic labeled "Time" was posted on March 25 with the hover text "Wait for it." Since then, readers have discovered that what they were waiting for was an ongoing story told through single panels updated at regular intervals. For the first 5 days or so the comic was updated with a new panel replacing the previous one every 30 minutes. Since then it's updated every hour on the hour. This has been going for over 90 days and is currently sitting at around 2300 frames. It's still not totally clear where the story is headed, but there are plenty of theories.

Only one frame is shown at any given time on the XKCD page, but there are several places that have made them all easily accessible and viewable, like this link which even has controls to allow you to make your way through the story at your own pace. (For a breakdown of what's happened so far and some of the release history of this comic, here's a link to the Explain XKCD article.)


  1. OMG. I freaking loved Young Americans when I was in high school. I thought I was the only one that watched it. *sigh* That was when I fell in love with Kate Moennig and Ian Somerhalder for the first time.

  2. I keep finding more people who've seen it—I totally thought I was alone in my love for the show, too!

    And OMG, yes. Hamilton and Jake are by far the best part of the show.