How to Destroy a Conversation

I’m gonna lead with the thank-yous this time.

A big thank you to Bacon, Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms Explosives for having sponsored the comic for the last two weeks. Thank you to all of you readers who went and checked out the blog during the sponsorship. He says he had a nice bump in traffic in the last two weeks. If you’re interested in sponsoring Basic Instructions, please drop me a line.

Thank you to everyone who has used or is using my Amazon Affiliate links (USUKCanada). They are performing well enough that I’m seriously considering removing the traditional pay-per-impression ads from my site permanently and just throwing up Amazon banners to products I personally like whenever I don’t have a sponsor. That way I know there’s never an auto-playing audio/video ad, or an ad for something I don’t want to endorse.

Finally, thank you to everyone who has subscribed to the comic. Progress remains slow but steady, which is fine by me. I’ve moved the progress meter to its permanent home in the upper right-hand corner of the page. From here on in, expect a brief progress report once a week. For the numerous people who have contacted me expressing concern about using Paypal, I am looking into options. You are not being ignored.

« How to React When You are Being Patronized | How to Build Upon an Existing Concept »

Reader Comments (25)

I prefer a verbal torus. Mmm... doughnut.

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSoul of Wit

Anyone on the fence about the subscription: Do it... it's really cool getting these comics well in advance and well worth the $2.50 per month. C'mon.. you likely spend more than $2.50 a DAY at Starbucks.

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

Panels 2 and 3 rule. Verbal Mobius strip - gonna use that one. And how engineering related stuff turns off women - all to true.

As an Engineer, I know!

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMikey

Did...did Jenkins just...win?

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStacheMan

Oh, man. Scott, actually I'm not sure where you personally come out on this, but yeah... I'm a big fan of Mythbusters, but so far every episode of Unchained Reaction I've seen has been stupid and pointless. At least with Mythbusters I have a chance of learning something. With Unchained Reaction, it's a bunch of over-complicated dominoes (can't call it a Rube Goldberg machine -- don't want to owe his estate anything) that accomplishes precisely nothing.

At least with Junkyard Wars, there seemed to be some kind of worthy goal that measured much bigger than anything seen in UR. I actually wanted to write Jamie and Adam to tell them to stop wasting their time on the crappy second show. Give us more Mythbusters (more Kari Byron, too, please).

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKozz

Engineering skills are totally arousing if the engineer is fixing something that the woman wants repaired.

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergobbler

Chicks dig Mythbusters; chicks don't hate Unchained Reaction (altho, I personally don't agree that the designos should always win - the BUILDERS should absolutely have won this last time). Unchained Reaction isn't as good as its premise, unfortunately, so it won't likely last.

More Kari Byron, yes, please!

As a chick, I approve this message.

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBI Fan

Only seen one episode of Unchained Reaction, think that's enough. There's the standard reality TV editing where they try to make things more "dramatic" with quick cuts to facial expressions and a mid-sentence commercial break. There's no clear explanation of the judging criteria or the reward, or even the point. And Adam and Jamie are bit players at best. They're just there to try to dredge up viewers for season one. Guarantee they don't show up in season 2, if such a thing ever gets made.

Note from Scott: Yeah, I wrote this comic after seeing one episode. I've now seen several and I agree with everything you've said. Adam and Jamie give the impression that they're trying to make the show work, but kinda know it isn't working. The thing that really bothers me about the show (and most other reality shows) is the insult to my intelligence. For example, half way through the show, EVERY SHOW, Adam and Jamie watch footage from the teams and spontaneously decide they "need something" to help them "take it to the next level". Then one of them says, as if it's a brand new idea "I think they need a ... MISSING LINK!" Then, something only tangentially related to the theme is foisted on the contestants.

I stand by the comic, and Adam and Jamie (and the rest of the Mythbusters) have earned a great deal of good will from me, but Unchained Reaction needs some reworking.

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergfrank98

I like both MMA and Engineering shows. I'm torn.

Also, I apparently have something in common with Jenkins other than never having filled an RJ-17 form. I want to feel clean.

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCzernobog

I wanted to watch UR just to see how bad it was, but it seems to have disappeared. I guess it's already been cancelled. Oh well...

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

Ha ha, back to back snide Jenkins action. Give the man two strips in a row and it starts getting to his head.

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames Mason

I like MMA and mythbusters and I think Jenkins won

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterE.Nigma.

"What'cha talking about?" is just as big a mood-killer as "What'cha reading?"
Love the comics, keep 'em coming!

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMN

But Scott: While the Mythbusters Hour is the best 30 minutes on TV, I believe that Unchained Reaction is the best 15 minutes on TV. Thank god for TiVo!

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNew Mexicow

Panels 2 and 3 rule. Verbal Mobius strip - gonna use that one. And how engineering related stuff turns off women - all to true.

As an Engineer, I know!
This is one straight woman who doesn't find engineering a turn-off. Neither do the female engineers I know (I work at JPL - there are more than a few female engineers here).

Then again, my boyfriend is an astrophysicist, which I find incredibly sexy and hot. I do love me some big...brains. :)

I love Mythbusters. The one episode of UR that I watched was with the engineers and the artists. I loved seeing how each group approached the problem, but I don't think it's something I'd want to watch on a regular basis.

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarol Elaine

I thought that this was a rerun for a moment, but then I realized that I was privy to this in advance as a subscriber! Subscribe today and know this feeling of ultimatish power!

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDoug Frye

I read that Adam and Jamie aren't scientists or anything, they're stage/prop designers and builders. A lot of the stuff they do they claim is as close as to the real thing as they can do, but really, it isn't.

I'd like a more sciency-real-show though.

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

Would that it were like Junkyard Wars! I miss that show. I know a lot of the machines couldn't be built without seeding, so some of the shows really suffered for that, but there were some standout awesome episodes--especially in the first season or two. And the centennial of flight episode was not to be missed, as it actually produced a pretty awesome plane. I think Junkyard Wars mostly suffered from running out of good ideas.

I think Unchained Reaction is actually trying to do way too much, solving too many simple problems rather than solving one interesting problem in an informative way. When watching Junkyard Wars I always felt like I learned something. In Unchained Reaction there's creativity, but not a lot of engineering makes the cut.

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLummox JR

Hey, Oh wise and mighty maker of comics, can I subsribe even if I use superior and significantly more valuable grown-up money, instead of your simpering excuse for a currency?

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRowan

Mikey, then you're talking to the wrong kind of women. I can tell you engineering stuff is a turn on to lady engineers, and yes we do exist :)

And to echo other posters here, I was really excited for Unchained Reaction due to Adam and Jaime, but was seriously underwhelmed. I think it needs more explosions or something.

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

I've been following Basic Instructions for several years, and believe what you have, Scott, is pure gold. I'm sure this has probably been suggested in the past, but what would it take to get you sponsored by a newspaper? Even if your strip was just part of the Sunday comics, I'd be more than willing to subscribe to any newspaper to see this. Is there a way to start a petition, or some other way your following could help?

Note from Scott: I currently run in the San Diego Reader and the South Tampa Community News. Sadly, newspapers really only start bringing in a substantial amount of money when you get a bunch of them, and the news papers aren't doing too well these days.

April 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdande313

engineering stuff does not turn off women. I have actually brought dates to the lab, or built machines with them. Most girls get a kick that there man can just sit down and build something from scratch.

April 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterisiah

Is it me or is Jenkins better looking in the third panel? On purpose?

April 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFloridaMike

That sucks i ahte it when peopele ruinthe conversation that i enjoy talking about.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFrank Taylor

A guide that helps wannabe trolls getting started. Great, the internet really needs more trolls.

May 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMr grayhat

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