March 31, 2015

The awesomeness of Kelsey Mitchell

So, just how awesome is Kelsey Mitchell?

As the Buckeyes season wrapped up with a round of 32 loss to North Carolina, Kelsey set the following records...
  • With three three-point field goals, including a tying basket with 39 seconds remaining, Kelsey Mitchell set the all-time NCAA single-season record for three-point field goals made with 127. Lisa McMullen of Arkansas State (1990-91) and Sade Logan of Robert Morris (2007-08) previously held the record with 126.
  • Mitchell made at least one three pointer in all 35 games this season, an NCAA record for consecutive games in a season with a three-point field goal.  
  • Mitchell scored 873 points this season, which leads the country. That is also the second-most points ever scored by an NCAA Division I freshman in a season. She finished 25 points behind Tina Hutchinson of San Diego State, who scored 898 points during the 1983-84 season.
  • Mitchell's 873 points scored is a Big Ten single-season record, previously set by Kelly Mazzante of Penn State (872) in 2001-02.

March 30, 2015

Right to Work is wrong.

"Right to Work"

It's like the Patriot Act. You can't be against the Patriot Act.

Just like you can't be against something called Right to Work. Who doesn't want the Right to Work.

I, for one, don't want the Right to Work.

I want the Right to Organize.

I want the Right to Collectively Bargain.

I want the Right to Earn a Fair Wage.

I want the Right to Bargain my Working Conditions.

I don't want the Right to Work-for-Less.

Right to Work is wrong.

March 27, 2015

That wraps up the 1970s.

And now we shall never speak of the music of the 1970s again. In a week and a few days, I'll start a tag for the 1960s.

March 26, 2015

I'm sure something important happened in 1971.

But this really isn't about the historical events of 1971. This is about the music, the feeling, the flow.

March 25, 2015

The Olympics were in Munich in 1972.

There was happiness, and there was sadness at the 1972 summer Olympics. The music of 1972 was more universally happy.

March 24, 2015

Back and back now

Stepping backwards in time...1973 it is...

March 23, 2015

I wasn't born yet.

And now we start counting backwards from the year of my birth. 1974, you're up.

March 21, 2015

I'm hoping the Hoosiers are still in the tourney when this posts...

...because they are as I write this on Thursday night.

March 19, 2015

Now, please

Marvel Studios and Charlie Wen, you are doing everything correctly, because I desperately want this to come out like yesterday.

March 18, 2015

So, whatcha been reading, ChemGuy?

Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Innocence) - I will readily admit that I didn't get it.

I went into Birdman excited and really wanting to get it. I'd heard that it was one of the best films of the year and that it was some sort of technical marvel - not that any of the hints and reviews that I'd done fair diligence to avoid made more than oblique reference to whatever the technical marvel was just saying that Birdman deserved high praise for its special effects.

I get most of the film, an aging former comic book movie star directs, produces, and stars in his own adaptation of a Raymond Carver play trying to redeem himself - for himself and for his reputation. I get the lack of cuts in the film - that's impressive, yeah. I get the impressive acting from all involved - Keaton, Stone, Norton, Galifianakis. I get the older actor trying to stay relevant in the internet age.

I don't get what the truth of the film was. (Spoilers: highlight at your own risk.) I saw things that clearly aren't real - flying, telekinesis, floating, voices from inside Keaton's head, fire raining down on the street, a giant bird landing on and destroying a building, Keaton shooting himself in the head on-stage and surviving. And I saw clear signs that those things weren't real - the taxi driver chasing Keaton into the theater for his fare, the street not really being destroyed from the bird attack, Keaton using his hands to toss his dressing room after using his 'telekinesis' to do the same. Then came the ending with Stone looking into the sky...with joy. Dead or not dead? Really a superhero or not? In a dream or in reality? What are we supposed to believe? (spoilers over)

I like to think I'm a sophisticated enough movie watcher that I can tolerate a little ambiguity, but for whatever reason, this ambiguity didn't sit well with me.

I don't get it.

Saga (vol 4) - The saga of Saga continues to roll along. The first three were spectacular. This one's a notch or two below those, but it's still good quality reading. Don't start here but do start from the beginning and get here.

American Vampire (vol 7) - I'd kind of forgotten that there was a thorough and over-arching plot here, but this volume is all plot, bringing Skinner Sweet back into the plot as he, Pearl, and the other remaining American Vampires find themselves being hunted by the Grey Trader, the first vampire, the devil. Here we see a the American Vampires tying into the greater vampire family tree, trying to save child vampires from the older clans from the Grey Trader.

Then the final, largely prose, story comes along and knocks it all out of the park. This is one of the better volumes of the series, but it would certainly be a tough one to step into without having read the rest of the series up to now.

It's another one to read...but from the beginning.

Amazing X-Men (vol 1 & 2) - Boring, not great...

Nightcrawler is dead but comes back to life. The X-Men find their way to heaven, hell, and purgatory in a quest to find their friend, a quest that they happened to find themselves on rather than one for which they went questing. Meh...

The second volume with the curse of the Wendigo (you turn into a Wendigo if you eat human flesh on Canadian soil) is a bit more impressive but not exactly spectacular, either. Meh again...

Superman: Red Son - This is probably the best read of the week. This Elseworlds tale posits what might have happened if Superman's rocket had landed on Earth twelve hours later (or earlier, who knows which), putting him in the Ukraine where he grew up believing in truth, justice, and the Soviet way.

Along the way of Superman's rise from poor kid on the collective farm to world leader sees the characters of Batman, Lex Luthor, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and most of the supporting characters in the Superman mythos. It's a brilliant rewriting of the entire story that becomes even more impressive as the tale wraps around to eat its own tail in the last page.

Great stuff...

The Superior Spider-Man (vol 6) - I'd been curious as to how the writers were going to wrap up the story of Otto Octavious living Peter Parker's life and residing inside Parker's head. Their choice - to have Otto realize that he couldn't possibly beat the Green Goblin as Octavious but rather must give himself back to Parker and allow himself to dissolve away. It all works very well here. Nice job, Dan Slott.

The Amazing Spider-Man (vol 1, 1.1, 2) - Dan Slott continues here with the recently restored Peter Parker trying to slip back into a life that has changed in some drastic ways thanks to Otto's running of it while the true office holder was out on other business. Turns out Peter likes some of the changes, and people are somewhat reluctant to hang out with the recently grouchy PP. Anna Marie, Otto's soon-to-be fiance, takes things surprisingly well. Well enough that I have to assume there's another shoe to drop somewhere along the way.

The return of a racked off Black Cat, a retelling of the Spider-Man origin with new 'villain', the introduction of a pending Spider-Verse, team-up with the new Ms Marvel, surprising return of the 'villain' from Peter's origin all works really well. It's good to have the original back.

Teen Titans: Earth One (vol 1) - boring...I do appreciate that it's the Teen Titans without Robin but that otherwise it's pretty much the team that I know and love (Terra, Cyborg, Joseph Slade, Changling, Raven, and Starfire). I didn't appreciate that their origins all came from alien 'DNA' grafting. I won't be hunting down the second volume. Even the artwork from the Dodsons didn't do anything for me. Yes, it's cute to see alternative-reality versions of the storylines I know and love with tons of little nods for people who had read the original comics, but nostalgia doesn't mean greatness.

Thanos: Infinity Revelation - I don't know whether this is an example of synergy between the movie and print arms of the Marvel mega-megia empire or just coincidence, but Thanos is about the has his profile raised significantly with the coming Marvel Phase III films. (As always, go Charlie Wen)

The story is written to be epic in scope and to further the continuing rivalry between Thanos and Adam Warlock. I don't know the two characters' combined history, so it didn't have much impact on me. Meh...

Inhumans - The artwork is Jae Lee at his sloppiest barely looking in many cases like the gorgeous artwork he's produced in the past. The storyline revels in a horrible combination of 'I'm smarter than you' between Black Bolt and his jailed brother. Each tops the other by claiming he had known all along what the other's plan was and showing...telling us, he had anticipating that exact move. Little too much of that for all of me. I do appreciate the somewhat creative way to get the Inhumans moved into hiding again.

Fantastic 4 (by James Robinson) - The only good thing I can say here is that I love the cover to the first volume (seen to the left). Nothing else is worth perusing.

Daytripper by Fabio Moon & Gabriel Ba - This one was fascinating and oddly, wasn't about super heroes. I know how rare it is for me to turn to the non-spandex stories, but I did, and I'm glad I did.

We get here a retelling of a dozen birthdays of the fictional Bras, the son a great author in Brazil. Bras's story is told through retellings of what might have been on each of his birthdays. Unluckily for Bras, he dies in the course of each retelling - though it appears that he doesn't die when Bras shows up the next issue as fine as frog's hair.

Great stuff here

March 17, 2015

Don't Overlook this

That's pretty frickin' awesome. Adam Savage of the Mythbusters built a near-perfect scale model of the Overlook Hotel's magical maze from The Shining, and he built it in ridiculous stunning, OCD-level detail.

And he filmed the process and did an hour-long podcast after the fact.

I've watched them both, and the podcast is further afield into the minutia of the program. Both are fascinating, though.

March 16, 2015

Another series coming

Yes, the Kwik-E-Mart is gorgeous, but I'm not going to spend $199 for a Lego set, no matter how cool the set looks.

Yes, the printed tiles are pretty stunning...

...and the sticker of frozen Jasper is entertaining (though printed is always better than stickered)...

 But the real stuff for me is the new collectible minifig series, Simpsons 2.0.

A feel guide here could be tough because there are a whole lot of two-by-two tiles in the bunch this time.
  • Professor Frink - Erlenmeyer flask...should be easy enough to distinguish from the rest of the accessories
  • Martin Prince - short legs and a book
  • Patty (or Selma) - 2x2 tile, distinctive hair
  • Selma (or Patty) - purse, distinctive hair
  • Sunday best Homer - 2x2 tile, smooth head, no hair- going to be tough to tell from Dr Hibbert
  • Waylon Smithers - 2x2 tile + 2x2 plate, Smithers's head
  • Maggie - weird, baby body, dog
  • Sunday best Lisa - cat, short legs
  • Groundskeeper Willie - plunget
  • Comic book guy -  2x2 tile, squishy (1x1 round brick)
  • Fallout Boy - short legs, coffee
  • Edna Krabapple - 2x2 tile, coffee cup
  • Marge Simpson - big hair
  • Hans Moleman - short legs, 1x2 tile (thankfully, only one in the whole set)
  • Dr Hibbert - 2x2 tile, nothing else (going to be tough to tell from Homer)
  • Ths Bartman - sling shot, cap
May 1st...Lego's are coming

March 13, 2015

And done...for now...

And we're up to 2014 now. That's the last year as we march forward.

In a couple of weeks, we'll start counting backwards with 1974.

March 12, 2015

Almost to today

2013 has us almost caught up to today.

March 11, 2015

March 10, 2015

March 9, 2015

Back to the run...

2010 had some decent music. Take a listen to what I'm talking about.

March 7, 2015

March 6, 2015

The mess that is Mount Everest

I've said it before: Mount Everest is a deathtrap.

Now I'm finding out that not only is it a deathtrap because of the lack of oxygen leading to decreased cognitive functions among the climbers and climbing routes overcrowded with inexperienced climbers. It's also a deathtrap because of the open pits filled with up to 26,500 pounds of human excrement.

I couldn't find an actual photo of the fecal pit, so here's one of Everest's many trash piles.

I do appreciate that local officials are using economic incentives to force people to at least bring an amount of trash equal to their own leavings (or at least the average leaving) from the mountain. I would up that economic incentive. Make people bring off more than the average leaving so trash can start to be decreased. The goal shouldn't be to hold level but rather to improve that level.

March 5, 2015

Buy me this

It's so simple. I want this.

Actually, I want to know the measurements (height, volume, whatever) more than just that it's "upscaled 10 times" from the original

March 3, 2015

Requium for a way of life

Nice tour of New Castle's Chrysler fieldhouse, the largest high school gymnasium in the world. The fieldhouse seats 9325 people over at Max Preps.

It's awesome.