Friday Night Links – 21 June 2013

June 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

Your weekly round-up from the interweb.

Joss Whedon explains how to be prolific.

“You know, it’s so easy to just get nothing done, but you’ve got to rock a little David Allen out to be able to get things done and break your list down into next actions. And this is true of producing and directing but even of writing. It’s like, Okay, today I am going to figure out this action sequence. Today, I am going to watch a shit ton of other action sequences, whatever it is, but that would be the other side of it after the specificity of knowing. Don’t just say, ‘Oh, I need to work on that.’ Say, ‘I need to work on this element of that.’ Absolutely eat dessert first. The thing that you want to do the most, do that.”

Geez, gender is a persistent issue with comic book reporters. This writer seems guilty about not noticing women.

Get women into power at the Big Two, and progression will trickle through the industry, is the argument made by many. Start at the top and work your way down. But surely we can view things from the other way round, as well? If female creators are getting hired more frequently to work for hire projects at IDW or 2000AD or Boom (and they ARE), then the battle is already being won. It’s only a matter of time before the best will get noticed by the big two, and asked to pitch for them. If we, as the audience, help them get there.

And a Batman cartoon that actually looks unappealing.

Friday Night Links – 14 June 2013

June 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

I suck with posting on time these last couple weeks!

This old review of Vladimir Nabokov’s Ada, or Ardor: a Family Chronicle is worth revisiting, if only to remember when high-brow authors wrote science fiction novels – or just to remember that high-brow authors once existed.

Like those other great protean modernists, Joyce and Picasso, Nabokov uses parody to re-investigate the fundamental problems of this art. While Van in the early chapters is waiting to be born, so too is the great age of the novel. Van’s concluding “blurb” notes that “the story proceeds at a spanking pace,” but the pace is sometimes purposefully slow, befitting an infancy of sorts, as Van plots time’s texture and parodies the realist’s efforts to limn “reality.”

Memory deficit: another reason not to play soccer.

Players who headed balls the most showed more abnormalities than those who headed fewer. For one brain region, 850 headers represented a threshold: Players above that mark clearly had more abnormalities than players below it. For the other brain regions, thresholds were about 1,300 and 1,550 headers.

From TTAG, a basic summary of the gun control debate:  irrational statements followed by logical statements that the other side ignores.

The flip side of those 15,000 deaths per year are the 2.5 million crimes prevented by legal gun use every single year. Crimes including rape, murder and felony assault. But for some reason, gun grabbers never seem to recognize that side of the equation.

And Jackie Chan on Bruce Lee (via Fitanium):

Friday Night Links – 7 June 2013

June 7, 2013 § Leave a comment

Your weekly round-up from around the interweb, the “It’s Hard To Be A Hero” edition.

At Sequart.org, Mark Ginocchio questions the great responsibility that comes with Spider-Man’s great power.

During his initial trial as Spider-Man, Octavius has the astral form of Parker steering his actions as a pseudo-Jiminy Crickett, often preventing him from “crossing the line” and doing something “regrettable.” But the spirit of Parker is unable to prevent Octavius from doing what he believes is truly the responsible course of action to deal with the serial killing villain Massacre, in Superior Spider-Man #5…

In the real world, people are surprised that the government is mining through their phone records and email without any warrants.  (I took this for granted.)

The PRISM program allows the NSA, the world’s largest surveillance organisation, to obtain targeted communications without having to request them from the service providers and without having to obtain individual court orders…

The presentation claims PRISM was introduced to overcome what the NSA regarded as shortcomings of Fisa warrants in tracking suspected foreign terrorists. It noted that the US has a “home-field advantage” due to housing much of the internet’s architecture. But the presentation claimed “Fisa constraints restricted our home-field advantage” because Fisa required individual warrants and confirmations that both the sender and receiver of a communication were outside the US.

After the government has taken away our 4th Amendment Rights without asking, do we really want to give them our 2nd Amendment rights, too?  (Superior Spider-Man does not.)

Freedom is a responsibility.  What do you think will happen when you give all that responsibility to your government?

Friday Night Links – 24 May 2013

May 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

Your weekly round-up from around the interweb.

Indiewire has stills from Jim Jarmusch’s vampire flick, Only Lovers Left Alive, in competition at Cannes!

The Atlantic laments the fall of charm, as if it was that commonplace in the good ol’ days.

Only the self-aware can have charm: It’s bound up with a sensibility that at best approaches wisdom, or at least worldliness, and at worst goes well beyond cynicism. It can’t exist in the undeveloped personality. It’s an attribute foreign to many men because most are, for better and for worse, childlike. These days, it’s far more common among men over 70—probably owing to the era in which they reached maturity rather than to the mere fact of their advanced years.

I just discovered Blake and Mortimer, a sci-fi comic book (and later cartoon) cousin to The Adventures of Tintin.  Check out the opening credits of the TV show:

Friday Night Links 17 May 2013

May 17, 2013 § Leave a comment

Okay, most of my posts this week were links to other stuff, but here are a few more…

On Monday, some 20-somethings got b*tt-hurt about Meg Jay’s talk on 20-somethings.  Apparently, some 20-somethings think you’re still a “youth” in your 20s, and the motto “Life is short” no longer applies. (Blogger Thu-Huong Ha does have some sensible things to say, but they’re mostly Meg Jay quotes.)

If my father’s house had a mantra, it would be “Life is long.” I was infused with the belief that I could do anything I wanted, at any age. No one likes thinking about life as a series of limitations, and certainly no woman likes to think of herself as a ticking time bomb.

From NY Post: there’s a new way to jump the line at Disney World.  I think it’s a great idea.

Some wealthy Manhattan moms have figured out a way to cut the long lines at Disney World — by hiring disabled people to pose as family members so they and their kids can jump to the front… The “black-market Disney guides” run $130 an hour, or $1,040 for an eight-hour day.

Stoya, on the political influence of art:

If it takes giant, gorgeous paintings with curlicues and gold leaf to get me interested in the global financial crisis, then those pretty images are an important step on the path to awareness. If a fashion-news article on Casey Legler’s career modeling menswear inspires people to examine their views on gender, then I see it as visually appealing and good. We’ve had very different experiences and I disagree with many of Aurora Snow’s opinions, but I’m glad she’s out there writing things that make people think and using her popularity as an adult star to put her articles in front of more eyeballs.

And if Pacific Rim isn’t enough for you, there’s also Atlantic Rim:

Friday Night Links – 10 May 2013

May 9, 2013 § Leave a comment

Your weekly round-up from around the interweb.

U.S. Department of Justice doesn’t think it needs a warrant to read your email.  From CNET:

The Justice Department’s disinclination to seek warrants for private files stored on the servers of companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft continued even after a federal appeals court in 2010 ruled that warrantless access to e-mail violates the Fourth Amendment. A previously unreleased version of an FBI manual (PDF), last updated two-and-a-half years after the appellate ruling, says field agents “may subpoena” e-mail records from companies “without running afoul of” the Fourth Amendment.

Most American’s won’t care, as long as they have the secret to a long, healthy life.

A 105-year-old woman from Richland, Texas says that the key to long life is bacon…

“I love bacon, I eat it everyday,” [Pearl Cantrell] told a reporter for Abilene-based Big Country Homepage in April. “I don’t feel as old as I am, that’s all I can say.”

There’s a different sort of immortality for Laura Thornhill Caswell,

a girl from the 70′s who was a fashion icon, a girl who skated like the wind and had the grace and style to make you stop and look, and look again. She spun 360 after 360 while the boys watched in awe, she rode before it was the “popular” thing to do, she practiced freestyle routines in the hot summer sun, she traveled with the  boys from contest to contest up and down the coast of Southern California instead of going to prom, shopping at the mall or any other of those  other “popular” girl activities. If you are a girl and skate now,  she is one of the women who paved the way for you.

And though the 4th Amendment may be taking some hits, the 2nd Amendment has a new friend:

 

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Follow my horror webcomic MetaMorphosis! Updates every Wednesday.

Friday Night Links – 3 May 2013

May 3, 2013 § Leave a comment

Sorry it’s late, but here’s your weekly round-up from around the interweb!

Steven Soderbergh on the state of cinema:

When I was coming up, making an independent film and trying to reach an audience I thought was like, trying to hit a thrown baseball. This is like trying to hit a thrown baseball—but with another thrown baseball. That’s why I’m spending so much time talking to you about the business and the money, because this is the force that is pushing cinema out of mainstream movies.

Some Harvard folks take 75 years to figure out what makes most people happy:

The project, which began in 1938, has followed 268 Harvard undergraduate men for 75 years, measuring an astonishing range of psychological, anthropological, and physical traits—from personality type to IQ to drinking habits to family relationships to “hanging length of his scrotum”—in an effort to determine what factors contribute most strongly to human flourishing…

I find most interviews with authors annoying, but this is an interview with James Salter:

“It seems to me that literature is giving way a little bit to the immediacy of other diversions, other forms of entertainment. What will it be in fifty years? I don’t know. Will there be printed books? Probably, but I’m not sure. There’s always going to be literature, though. I believe that. I think literature has a way of getting deep into people and being essential. Literature has its own powers.”

My new favorite TV show:

 

And don’t forget:  FREE COMIC BOOK DAY IS TOMORROW!

Follow my horror comic MetaMorphosis! War is Hell.  Home is worse.

Friday Night Links 26 April 2013

April 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

This week’s oddities from your interweb.

Not concerned about human extinction? You should be… You should be…

Dr Bostrom believes we’ve entered a new kind of technological era with the capacity to threaten our future as never before. These are “threats we have no track record of surviving”… Likening it to a dangerous weapon in the hands of a child, he says the advance of technology has overtaken our capacity to control the possible consequences. —BBC News

Basically, Iron Man could bring about the end of human life.

The way to integrate the Extremis concept for Iron Man with modern neuroscience is to create an interface through the skin using the basic concepts of regenerative medicine… Tissue would be extracted from the person for whom the interface is being created, the appropriate cells (neurons in this case) would be isolated and cultivated. In vitro the process would continue with proliferation of the neurons but in a targeted way using a tissue scaffold to direct and shape the growth. After shaping by mechanical and electrical stimulation, these artificially integrated tissues would then be implanted back into the user. —E. Paul Zehr

Are you scared yet?  Larry Fessenden tells you why.

Check out my horror comic MetaMorphosis! War is Hell. Home is worse.

Friday Night Links 19 April 2013

April 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

This week, from around the internet.

Will the real Franz Kafka please stand up?

Kafka’s genius is easily snatched for misappropriation because it asserts itself in shadows. A vision of existence as seemingly cryptic and complex as Kafka’s inevitably becomes a strip of flypaper to catch any interpretation that buzzes by it.

Doing anything is NOT just as good as doing something effective.

The Founding Fathers worried that “some common impulse of passion” might lead many to subvert the rights of the few. It’s a rational fear, one that is played out endlessly. Obama, who understands how to utilize public passion better than most, flew some of the Newtown families to Washington for a rally, imploring Americans to put “politics” aside and stop engaging in “political stunts.”

Dehli rape inspires a chastity belt upgrade.

After talking to women living in hostels about their experiences of harassment – called Eve-teasing in India – [students at SRM University in Chennai] developed a bra designed to deliver a 3800kv electric shock to any would-be rapist, enough to cause severe burns.

Replace your limbs with Legos.

Be sure to check out my webcomic MetaMorphosis!  War is Hell.  Home is worse.

Friday Night Links 12 Apr 2013

April 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

Matthew McAlister thinks that no one reads Simenon anymore  (and he blames the class system).

He craved fame, craved the celebrity that came with prizes. But whatever Faulkner and Hemingway thought of his work, it was spurned by prize committees and critics, who felt that he wrote for the “common people.” Simenon was not only fine with that characterization, he was proud of it.

CBR talks about where to take the future of comics.

The increasingly loud voice is presenting an upstart opinion that comics are cool, they are smart, they are imaginative, they are creative, they are daring. That voice is followed by a second voice not as loud saying that comics aren’t just superheroes. That voice needs to be just as loud as the first. Given enough time, those two voices will be heard and internalized by enough people that it will be just as culturally established as the “comics are for kids” mantra that sprung from the 1950s.

PoliceOne’s gun control survey gets the expert opinion.

Contrary to what the mainstream media and certain politicians would have us believe, police overwhelmingly favor an armed citizenry, would like to see more guns in the hands of responsible people, and are skeptical of any greater restrictions placed on gun purchase, ownership, or accessibility.

And don’t miss superheroine documentary Wonder Women, airing on Independent Lens this Monday, April 15th!

 

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Be sure to check out my horror webcomic MetaMorphosis!

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