When Wargames and Childrens’ Books Collide…..

The result is…… something horrible. And yet, strangely beautiful. That kind of beauty that makes you stay up at night, squirming. In this case, someone combined Warhammer 40K and Thomas the Tank Engine. The result was:

Thomas the Chaos Engine

A hellish vision of Thomas the Tank Engine, done in the style of Warhammer 40K.
Original Source: Reddit
Creator Unknown

I take a particular kind of delight in this because I always kinda hated the Thomas books and TV series. Admittedly, I was entering into teenage angst and horniness when the TV series first hit, but even in my younger days, the books seemed obnoxiously cloying and bland. I can’t even imagine why these fucking things have been around since the mid-40s.

Now Thomas the Chaos Engine, that I’d watch.

And frankly, I’ve never been a huge Warhammer 40K fan, either. Too much of a focus on militarism and strategy, and not enough on character-building. So, it’s kind of a fusion of two things that I really don’t give a shit about into something that’s way cooler than either of them.

In the picture above, Thomas has been rendered as a Daemon Engine:

A Daemon Engine is a nightmarish artificial construct used by the Forces of Chaos that is a fusion of a realspace vehicle or combat walker with a possessing daemonic spirit of the Warp. Daemon Engines are gigantic war machines that prowl on mighty piston-driven limbs.

Jutting from their armoured torsos are gargoyle-muzzled cannons and heavy weapon-arms that end in murderous tools of war. To compare a Daemon Engine to an ordinary vehicle is folly, for each of these beasts possesses its own malevolent sentience rather than a crew.

Warhammer 40K Wiki

From what little I know of Thomas (and Friends) there always seemed to be a little bit of quiet horror lurking in the bland, happy setting of Sodor Island, so the idea of Thomas going from a happy, passive little worker to a nightmarish hell-machine sounds easily plausible to me.

- 30 -
When Wargames and Childrens’ Books Collide…..

Surrealism in Everyday Life: Avoid Sexual Harrassment by Becoming a Spy

Sponsored posts on Facebook often make me sigh in frustration or roll my eyes, but all I could say when this one popped up was — what the ever-loving actual fuck?


Unlike working in Silicon Valley, women in STEM at NSA enjoy the kind of work-life balance that only comes with the Intelligence Community. That’s because you literally can’t take your work home with you (it’s classified). Learn more…

Facebook, November 2, 2019

Maybe someone at the NSA has a sense of humor or something, but is there actually anyone who thinks that the solution to misogynist techbro harassment is — to become a spy? To go into the intelligence business, <sarcasm>well-known for its embrace of feminism and queer rights? </sarcasm>

Screenshot from “New Wave Feminists” website.

I’m undecided about whether this counts as Ultra-Peak White Feminism or not, because it seems unlikely that it came from an actual feminist. On the other hand, we have groups like New Wave Feminists grabbing the handle as a way to make anti-choice politics “hip” again, so you never know. In the age of Trump, every day makes me feel like I’m on a really bad acid trip.

- 30 -
Surrealism in Everyday Life: Avoid Sexual Harrassment by Becoming a Spy

An Ambivalent Proposal: Make “Incel” a Verb

I had an idea the other day: Let’s turn “incel” into a verb. Not just a verb, but an insulting curse to wish bad luck on people who just can’t help being assholes. Instead of saying “Fuck you!” now we’ll say “Incel you!”

Continue reading “An Ambivalent Proposal: Make “Incel” a Verb”

An Ambivalent Proposal: Make “Incel” a Verb

Frivolous Friday: Hevesh 5 and the Joy of Tipping Dominoes

Lily Hevesh's Dominos

I’ve grown weirdly fascinated with the YouTube channel of a young woman named Lily Hevesh — also known by the handle Hevesh5 — lately. I’m not the only one; she’s been building up notoriety as an expert domino tumbler. If you’ve heard of her at all, you’ve almost certainly seen her “Triple Spiral” video, which went viral last month. The video shows an amazing construction of 15,000 multicolored dominoes, which Hevesh built over 25 hours. It takes less than two and a half minutes for it to collapse.

Continue reading “Frivolous Friday: Hevesh 5 and the Joy of Tipping Dominoes”

Frivolous Friday: Hevesh 5 and the Joy of Tipping Dominoes

Frivolous Friday: Can Dungeons and Dragons Be Too Queer?


I’m a tabletop RPG geek, but I actually don’t play D&D that much. In the jargon of the hobby, it’s too “crunchy” for me. That is, it’s heavy on over-detailed tables and game mechanics. D&D has a tendency to go into excruciating detail about combat. You can’t just attach the dragon with your sword. No, you have to determine initiative, distance from the dragon, figure out if your attack type is uses a skill or a feat, add or subtract seven different kinds of modifiers (depending on your character’s health, the distance between you and your opponent, the terrain, how much stuff you’re carrying or how heavy your armor is, etc.) and whether or not someone is eligible to make an “attack of opportunity.”  In the wrong circumstances, D&D can make Fizzbin look like a friendly game of Hearts.

The result is that D&D campaigns are structured kind of like this: Your party travels thirty miles in under a minute, then spends the next three hours simulating a melee that would take about 90 seconds in real life.

I prefer rules-light games that are based on character development and interaction. My friend Maggs is currently running a game of Changeling: The Lost for me, and I’m always up for a solid campaign of Unknown Armies1 or the delightfully fucked-up Paranoia.

All of that being said, if Ali Osworth, the geekery editor at Autostraddle ever invited me to be in one of her D&D games, I would play it. If I had to, I would play one of the old-school magic users from early D&D, the ones that were banned from using bladed weapons, could only do one spell per day, and whose only offensive spell was a Magic Missile that could do 1D4 of damage. Because her rules for queering up her games sound like that much fun. A few examples:

  1. Rolling a nat-twenty while flirting means I just play a Crash Pad episode for thirty seconds.
  2. If a male player makes a misogynistic comment that has nothing to do with storyline or character development, he has to complete a lap around my living room while impersonating John Cleese in The Ministry of Silly Walks.
  3. New option on the Wild Magic table: upon rolling a 69, you transform into that Snapchat filter such that when you open your mouth, you puke illusory rainbows. Attacks against you have disadvantage for the next three rounds.

Frankly, I’d like to advocate for making rule 19 a part of the official rules. Maybe a mandatory rule.

I will admit to being put off a little bit by the title. Is there such a thing as a D&D campaign that’s too gay? If so, I can’t imagine it. The whole point of RPGs is to enable fabulously over-imaginative outcasts to indulge their fantasy lives, so if there’s anything that’s in the spirit of the games, queering it up is definitely it. Check out the rest of the article.

Photo by Marco Hazard

Creative Commons logo

  1. For those of you who know the game, I am breathlessly awaiting the release of the third edition of UA next year. 
Frivolous Friday: Can Dungeons and Dragons Be Too Queer?

A Weekend Break From Reality: Kermit the Frog Does Talking Heads


Stop Making Sense is one of my favorite albums and concert movies EVER. Listening to the album got me through more shitty data-entry gigs with my sanity intact than I can possibly count. “Life During Wartime” remains one of my go-to songs when I’m depressed. I’ve been known to sit at cafes in Berkeley, listening to that song over and over again. Along with URGH! A Music War, the concert film is one of the best artifacts of 1980s New Wave. The Talking Heads were New Wave at its peak, and Stop Making Sense is the Talking Heads at their peak, on their very last live tour.

Continue reading “A Weekend Break From Reality: Kermit the Frog Does Talking Heads”

A Weekend Break From Reality: Kermit the Frog Does Talking Heads