Virtual Pwnies

Virtual Pwnies
Delving into the overlooked world of horses in media and video games.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012!

Merry Christmas from all of us at Virtual Pwnies and the Roadside Landscaping Horse!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

2012 Apocalypse Ponies

Well, 12/21/12 came and went.  And according to some historians it already came and went awhile ago since modern calendars are apparently way off.  Most blame the Mayans for this prediction of the end of the world.  But the Mayans never did predict the end of the world.

Yay history!

Most people wonder what the apocalypse would have entailed since details were lacking.  Some say the poles would reverse, destroy all satellites, cause continental shift ect, ect.  Others say a rogue planet would hit the earth, not unlike Lars von Treir's Melancholia.

:cough:Unnecessary friesian at (1:28):cough:

 Still others have a firm belief that humans will die due to their own hubris, from messing with the world and altering it with chemicals and science.  I'm, of course, talking about the most poetic of all Apocalypse Scenarios.  The ZOMBIE Apocalypse.

The Walking Dead is n(e)igh!

I even have a book on my shelf in case of such a reanimated former-human emergency.  The Zombie Survival Guide.  While the plan of "Going to the Winchester, having a pint, and waiting till the whole thing blows over" is a really good idea, this goes in depth if you don't live in Britain where bars are more sturdy against the undead.

For instance, it has horses in the chapter on transportation.  Horses would be beneficial in the apocalypse since they don't need gas to run and act as an early warning system against the shambling hoards.  However, they lack self-defense.

Or you can do what Sarah did with Uther on Youtube and clicker train your horse to not only make an escape.  But take out as many walkers as possible on the way!

Had the zombie apocalypse happened, we like to think they had a good chance of survival.

Artist's interpretation

Had the positive reinforcement not failed...

Horses have been an integral part of the apocalypse in Judeo-Christian lore.  In the form of the four horses of the apocalypse.

The 4 horses of the apocalypse have even shown up in video games.  Like Darksiders, where you play the horseman War and obtain his kick-rump steroid steed named Ruin. 

Awww...  It's like a rhino-pony-volcano abomination of awesome.

Even Red Dead Redemption decided to take their spin on the 4 horses.  During a zombie apocalypse in the alternate universe of Undead Nightmare.  Forget Cowboys and Aliens.  We have Cowboys and Zombies!  There are even normal horses turned into zombies in this game and the decaying, yet at the same time accurate, anatomy accomplished on them is outstanding.  They have accurate teeth (with canines) and proper neck vertebrae placement.

 Out of the 4 horses, Pestilance has a swarm of lucusts that... don't really do anything, and a high pain threshold.  While Famine has the power of ocular bleeding... and infinite stamina.  Both of them are 'eh' since ALL of the 4 horses technically have a 'high pain threshold" by being practically immortal and all have an infinite stamina bar.  But War is on fire, and Death explodes zombie heads on impact.  You can guess which ones most people ride in the game.

Happy 14th Baktun!  Enjoy the world until the next apocalypse.  I'm off to play some Red Dead Redemption Undead Nightmare!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

talkingMongo0se v.s. Threnody

So hi all!

I'm planning on starting to finish some videos that I have been working on for a long time.

One of them will be the update on the dominant white standardbred colt.  Heather has recently had power returned to her house and I can start compiling our media to make a video.  This one will be my first priority to finish.

I also found out that most people don't know I'm a contributor on several barn forums and go by the name of Threnody.  The main reason why is that the name I use is different there than what I use on the blog.  I felt the need to explain why I purposely use different names between boards and this blog.   talkingMongo0se is a reviewing persona, while I use Threnody, for the most part, to represent myself.

But why?  Well, like Doug Walker of ThatGuyWithTheGlasses fame, AKA The Nostalgia Critic, I want to keep a persona and myself a bit separate.  With the character of talkingMongo0se I not only have a degree of separation between my more serious scientific posts on other boards as Threnody, but this also allows the character talkingMongo0se do and say things for the sole purpose of a joke or entertainment and to generally be taken less seriously.

Like how rodeo halfpipe would be hardcore.

 But the ethics of rodeo riding, much less doing so in an all concrete environment that would likely harm the animals participating, as well as pointing out the dangers of helmet-less riding, would get in the way if that comment is to be taken seriously.   

Please note the image above comes to us through the "friendship is magic" of Photoshop.

Though please note that I only desire to entertain with jokes of other characters and 'virtual' things in movies, games, and other media, not real individuals.  Plus to make fun of what Hollywood thinks really happens in the world of horses.


Going back to Doug Walker, he recently had a bit of a problem with people not discerning between his character and himself.  Not from his lack of trying, but this is the internet and these things happen.

His character Nostalgia Critic would riff on movies with Matilda child actress Mara Wilson.  NC would say how he didn't like the movies and would make fun of Mara's roles.  When the now adult Mara Wilson found out about his reviews she was upset.  Doug Walker an his associates went out of their way to contact Mara and to resolve the misunderstanding.  Doug deeply respects Mara and her work, he just was never a fan of the movies themselves.  What resulted after everything was resolved was some of the best episodes ThatGuyWithTheGlasses site has made in collaboration with Mara Wilson herself.

Please check out Doug's site and I hope you enjoy the content to come on Virtual Pwnies!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Halloween '12, Zebra Cupcakes!

Happy belated Halloween!

So we kinda almost didn't have a Halloween this year on the east coast due to Hurricane Sandy.  We will get to that later.  Warning, this post is long with lots of pictures and equine color ranting.

In the mean time, I was lucky enough to have a Halloween get together at my place right before Sandy was a problem.  I wanted to bake something for my friends that was a little out of the ordinary.  And while I was checking out the store aisles I started to notice that there are a lot of black and white foods described as "ZEBRA (insert food here)".  A good example are those Zebra Marshmallows we here at VP reviewed before.  This time I finally decided to buy a box of those Little Debbie brand Zebra Cakes that have been staring at me whenever I pick up rootbeer.


I never really have been a fan of processed cakes.  To sweet for me personally.  But, with the equid theme of the cakes and being the writer of a blog on virtual equids, why not?  Sadly upon purchase I started overthinking this whole zebra-themed-foods thing.  Like how most of these zebra foods are white based with black stripes.

Heather's horse Beauty does not care either way.  She lurves them.

And this starts getting into the argument of "Are zebras black with white stripes, or white with black stripes?"


The real answer is kinda neither.  Zebras are dark based animals, their skin is black and not pink.  So from the dark skin alone, zebra's are not white with black stripes.  But hair is different from the skin.  Take a look at the extinct Quagga.  This subspecies of plain's zebra has brown tones showing on the rump while the stripes on their front half dilute and concentrate pigment so extremely their stripes are black and white.  So zebras are dark based with an extreme dun-like dilution as seen in horses.

And these zebra cakes are so skimpy on the chocolate stripes they should be called Quagga Cakes.  How do they taste?  If anyone says they can taste the chocolate, they have super-human tastebuds.  They honestly taste like hexagon shaped Twinkies.

Zebra imposter!

 Heather, however could not participate in this part of edible blog-fodder, due to recently being diagnosed with lactose intolerance, and Celiac disease.  This means milk and gluten (wheat) are no longer friends of her stomach.  And those two things are nearly in everything to begin with.  Let's take a look at the Zebra Cake ingredients.
Red = Gluten, Green = Milk, Purple = possibly contains gluten or milk

As a crazy horse color enthusiast, I thought we can make it better, more accurate, better tasting even.  And for the sake of our co-producer Heather, lactose and gluten free.  To Michael's craft store!

Zebra colored cupcake liners?

And zebra stripe brownie tattoos?  

And the tatoos are made by Duff from Ace of Cakes?  Hecks yes!

Now for the diagram!

The anatomy of a zebra hide from the outside in is as follows.  Diluted and concentrated colored black and white hair, dark skin, meaty zebra center.   This translates into Zebra brownie tatoos (they have both dark and light stripes to represent the color concentration and dilution in the zebra's hair, chocolate frosting (for the dark skin), and a red velvet center.

We got the recipe for the gluten and dairy free cupcakes made with coconut flour and coconut oil instead of wheat flour and butter from Elana's Pantry.  Love her site.

To make the cupcakes look like red velvet I got red food dye.  However we weren't 100% sure it was gluten free (no listed gluten ingredients, but didn't state if it contained wheat on the labels) so only half were made with the dye just to be safe.

  Stabby bottle opening goodness! 
The red just makes this more... disturbing.

 We suggest letting your eggs reach room temp before adding in liquid coconut oil.  It solidified in the chilled eggs.  It's a Halloween post, gross stuff can be shown.


After pouring the fully blended batter in the zebra liners we had some batter left over.

 So I made a pink cupcake pancake.

The cupcakes upon leaving the over were for some reason not as red.  That one on the bottom right had the most dye in it too.

 Frosting was applied and then the brownie tattoos were cut into circles.

These things feel like a thin film of pudding skin.  And when placed they latch onto the moisture in the frosting melding onto the surface of the cupcake.

  And then we had some pretty cool looking treats.

 You decide which looks more zebra-like.

But when cut into, they weren't as red as desired.  So I fixed it.  

 Yay, blood red food dye.  Happy Halloween!


Hurricane Sandy came through and power is still out in some areas.  I was without power for a few days, and Heather still doesn't have any.  Our update on visiting the Dominant White Standardbred Colt is delayed.

I do find this meme photo a bit eerie given our last VP blog post.

We had a tree uprooted and leaning on the electrical cables.

And what do you do with a ton of heavy cream, and no power to keep it refridgerated?  You empty a mason jar and make butter!

In the aftermath I found this drawing a child did for their grandparents completely saturated into the ground.  It was still legible, but if you tried to pick it up, it would have disintegrated.

Hopefully things in the Garden State will be returning to normal soon.  Wait...  There is a nor'easter snow storm on it's way?


Monday, October 15, 2012

Riding Gangnam Style

Oh viral videos.  How fast you spread.  And how 'what the crap' you can be.  Such is Gangnam Style...

It has ponies, and a carousel, and a gorgeous indoor riding arena, and ... lots of other random, funny, and/or disturbing things totally unrelated to those horse related things I just mentioned.

This mainly being an example...

I think they made PSY dance in the barn aisle during feeding time to get the horses to stare confusedly at him while awaiting their grain.  That one chestnut sabino at 00:27 pulling a Ginger wants their noms naow!

Gangam Style, according to the interwebz, is a song about the style of those who live in the Gangnam area of South Korea, and is comparable to Beverly Hills in the U.S.A.  And it's about sexy ladies.  Apparently.  Just guessing.  The dance also looks like a combination of Men Doing Dressage, and Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy.

If this wasn't random enough, the Bronies got to it.

Now 20% cooler in Rainbow Dash flavor.

So how to react this this?  I suggest Gangnam be considered a new modern style of riding.  And it doesn't even require a horse... or coconuts.

Shirts now available, and I will be having way too much fun coming up with different themed "Styles of Riding" shirts.  After I come up with enough I plan to make a poster combining all of them.

If anyone is interested in purchasing a T-shirt, please contact me through

Thanks to Heather and Blab for introducing the Gangnam and the MLP versions.
Due to a new job and applying to graduate schools updates will continue to be sporadic!

Saturday, August 4, 2012


What is CLOP?  CLOP is hard.

the sound a horse's hooves make against hard surfaces, such as packed ground, or the cobblestone streets of old London.

 Every horse person from a young age learns the gaits of a horse and how it moves.  When the timing of footfalls occur and names of each mode of movement.  The 4 beat slow walk.  The two beat diagonal trot and parallel pace.  The three beat canter.  And the four beat gallop.

We also learn the exotic gaits, such as the running walk, foxtrot, tolt, and fancy moves like the pasage, piaffe, spanish walk ect.

However most movements like jittering and spazzing around until you fall over are reserved for neurological or spinal issues that are best left to the large animal veterinarians.  Not in CLOP!

You play CLOP the unicorn helping your young man friend trying to get to a virgin damsel.  Unicorns and virginal damsels go together like peanut butter and chocolate, so he cannot deny her call. (We at VP are still looking for a unicorn with low standards.)  But instead of this young jakanape walking to fair damsel.  Because he is a solid mass of unmoving pixels, plus he's probably lazy.  He sends you, his kinetically animated, uncoordinated, top-heavy, unicorn friend.  Why would a unicorn be friends with this Casanova?  He probably has those lower standards we were talking about.

Seriously this thing's horn must be made of tungsten.   

You control the legs individually to make the unicorn move.  And boy does this sound fun, but it is not.  You would think a horse person has some advantage over the non horsey.  I mean, we did spend all those years learning horse gaits and all that crap I mention above, right?  Sadly the advantage is minimal.  It helps you, until you get to the hill.  The biggest problem in this game is keeping the unicorn's legs under him and him off his back.  You can fall on your face.  You can do that plenty of times.

It's until you get the thing on it's back that it's limbs decide to break themselves and all hope is lost.  The young lad shalst go unlay'ed this night.  And to add insult to injury he insults you when you fail.

 The meter at the bottom keeps track of how far you have gotten.  And yes.  That is a silhouette of the Andalucian Stallion Breyer model created by Chris Hess.

 Please don't tell me when you reach the maiden she runs away.

Also you may find the dragging yourself with your front legs is easier.  The back legs stretch out and you have a wider base to not fall over.  However the creator foresaw this and you will enter "LAME HORSE MODE"  where your stifles break and you become paralyzed from the loin down.  You cannot regain the use of your back legs in this mode, nor does how far you get count.

You would think a magical beast could just walk it off.

This game may seem impossible to finish.  And as far as I know it is, for anyone who isn't the creator of the game himself.  This was tweeted a year ago, so who knows, some brave unicorn hill-warrior may have shown that hill what for.

You would think that would discourage extended play.  But this game is addictive and insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.  So I've gone mad.  I'm off to go fall backwards off a hill repeatedly.

Have fun flailing, falling, and failing!


If you would prefer something a little more human, try running and climbing with these two similar games from the same site.  And sadly, CLOP is the easiest between the three.

I would have made a video review of this game.  But you would have just seen a unicorn falling ass-over-tea kettle in the same spot over and over and over...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Visible Horse: Second Impressions

Alrighty, so the second and overdue installment of the construction of the Visible Horse is underway.  The problem?  It got finished a few months ago.  The other problem?  It wasn't my Visible Horse I helped finish.

Awhile ago my younger friend Sarah and I got together to put an older model of the visible horse together.  A friend of her grandmother's had a set they had held onto for years and gave it to the her since they heard their granddaughter was completely horse crazy.  I was asked to help since my friend's grandmother was there when I purchased my own set at the horse expo.

So with a bottle of gel superglue (get the gel kind, it doesn't melt everywhere), a nail file, and an unconstructed translucent pony of bones and innards we went to town!  And about 3-4 hours later we had this.

But in those 3-4 hours we had bodyparts everywhere.  And also the instructions...  You remember how I threw aside the instructions before?  Predictably that came back to kick me in the ass.  USE INSTRUCTIONS.  Learn from my hubris.

First thing to do.  Put the head and brain together again because this is the most fun, and (honestly easiest) part.

 :Insert bad Godfather joke here:

Next, check out the heart.  This model has much more fine detail than the one I have.  That's because this model was created around the 70's or 80's.  Since mine is newer, the molds have eroded some of the fine details away with every casting.  Oh the things you learn about horse-shaped-object molds from having friends in the model horse world.  (Looking at you Heather and Blab)

 :Insert bad Titanic theme joke here:

Another easy part to find was the tongue.  And although it does snap together quite nicely, use the glue.  Otherwise it will have a tongue similar to a thestral's.

 After that we found the neck.  And the neck bones are admittedly flatter than anatomically correct on the model than in real life, but that's a nit pick. 

You can now have your in-construction model look like the LochNess Monster.

Next, find the lung parts, glue them together, and then make a heart-hoagie with the lungs as the bread.  The ripples on the lungs line up with the rib placement when it will be placed in the skeleton.  Love the detail.

 Fun fact.  This model is based off the anatomy of a male racing thoroughbred.  The average horse's heart is 6 lbs.  The average racing fit thoroughbred's heart is 8 lbs.  If this model was based off of the famous race horse Secretariat (in stud condition, not even racing fit), the heart would be 275% larger than you see here (22 lbs!).  Yah, almost three times bigger than this because of the X-Factor mutation that causes enlarged hearts founded in the famous stallion Eclipse.  For a better comparison for how large a normal horse heart is on its own, check out this screen capture from Inside Nature's Giants with anatomist Joy Reidenburg holding a horse heart. (Warning: Graphic.)

After that was all taken care of, we moved on to the  digestive system.  I'm showing these images also in case anyone attempting to make this gets as confused as we were as to how this section goes together.  The kidney bean looking thing is not a kidney, but the stomach.  There is the spleen and the liver, since we didn't bother painting anything it all admittedly looks like a giant pink mass.

I'm also showing these images  in case anyone attempting to make this gets as confused as we were as to how this section goes together.  There are strangely multiple wrong ways to put this section together that fit and could almost work.

This is the finished digestive system with a huge pile o'intestines.  Since horses are grazers and lack a multi chambered stomach, this is a large percentage of their internal organs.

And yes, the bulgy part in the back is the colon.

Now to connect the lungs and heart sammich' with the spaghetti like innards... Maybe I shouldn't use food as comparisons to their appearance. 

These are separated by the diaphragm, and the model structurally fits them together with the aorta connected to the kidneys.  They are laced through a section of the diaphragm.  And this is the weakest most ill fitting part of the entire model.  

Why is it the weakest part?  Because you need to put a  square peg into a round hole.

Square peg...

...Meet round hole.  
We can attempt to make this work with counseling.

To be continued until next time.  Will the aorta and the heart beat as one?  Will the skeleton prove more complicated than necessary?  And has Liz been reading too many comic books to end a post like this?  All this and maybe, possibly, sorta more in Part III of Visible Horse Impressions!


Bonus bad cellphone pic.  Brave came out recently and Heather and I were able to see it.  Angus is a very cool 3D modeled shire.  I just wish he was in the movie more.  I came across a Disney doll of their latest princess Merida.  I love her design, but boy did they screw up her doll.

Merida, quirky red head bad-ass.  
Pixar had to make a program from scratch just to animate her hair.

Merida's doll, with hours in makeup, a flat iron, and plastic surgery.

Angus is also a solid piece of cheap painted plastic.  Le sigh. 
He also should be at least twice his size to be in scale to the movie. :P

I'll be honest though.  If I was 7 I would still want it just for the horse.

Until next time!