May 31, 2015

Consumerism for a good cause

The Friends of the Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (who desperately need a better, shorter name) are currently holding their annual, biggest book sale (which really means books, DVDs, CDs, and probably antiquated cassettes and video tapes) at the downtown branch, the coolest library branch in the city.

The sale goes through this Friday, and all proceeds go to supporting the best library in the country.

May 30, 2015

It is no great thing to stop and sing.

May 28, 2015

Humble Bundle...a humble bargain

Go and buy the Humble Bundle right now.

For about twenty bucks, you can get the entire Locke and Key series (digital format, not print), one of the absolute best series in the past decade.

And that's only six of the more than sixteen collected editions (including Alan Moore's full Nemo series) that you'll get.


May 27, 2015

Breaking down the bracket

From xkcd last week...

Left column, from the top down...round one...
  • Neil over Louis Armstrong (walked on the moon wins almost every time)
  • Stretch over Lance Armstrong (one-ball cheated)
  • Bridges over Jeff Gordon (at least that's what the Earnhart fans say)
  • Jack over Jeff Daniels (Gentleman wins)
  • Orson over HG Wells (love Citizen Kane)
  • George Orwell over Wells Fargo (1984 is stunning)
  • Kurt Russell over Russell Brand, Crowe, and Simmons (on the basis of Tombstone and Wyatt Erp)
  • Richard over Gene Simmons (meh)
  • Alan Rickman over Hugh Jackman and Gene Hackman (toughest call yet)
  • Alan Parsons over Alan Partridge (better project)
  • Eugene McCarthy over Jenny, Joseph, and Eugene V Debs (ventriloquist for the win)
  • Gene Wilder over Olivia and Oscar Wilde (though Olivia is way prettier)
  • Oscar de la Hoya over Renta (boxing hits fashion)
  • Jack Nicholson over Nicklaus (Jack!)
  • Phil Mickelson over Nicholas Nickleby (real over fiction)
  • Ryan over Bryan Adams (le enfant terible)
  • Chubby Checker over Fats Domino
  • Collin Farrell over Firth (Firth's too proper)
  • Will Ferrell over the Farrelly Brothers (one is better than two)
  • Joseph Godron-Levitt over Jennifer Love Hewitt (though JLH is pretty)
  • Donald over Danny Glover (and I'm not being Childish here)
  • Mark over Donnie Wahlberg (say hello to your mother)
  • Ruffalo over Mark Shuttleworth (who?)
Second round, same side...
  • Neil over Stretch Armstrong (moon man walks on)
  • Jeff Bridges over Jack Daniels (the Dude continues to abide)
  • Orson Wells over George Orwell (Orwell had one work, Orson had many)
  • Kurt Russell over Richard Simmons (in a romp)
  • Rickman over Parsons (it's Hans frickin' Gruber)
  • Gene Wilder over Oscar de la Hoya (creepier Willy Wonka)
  • Jack Nicholson over Phil Mickelson (he'd drink Phil under the table, too)
  • Ryan Adams over Chubby Checker (my fave here)
  • Will Ferrell over Collin Farrell (more hits)
  • Donald Glover over Mark Wahlberg (better music)
Third round, same side...
  • Jeff Bridges over Orson Wells (tough call, though...both are multitalented)
  • Alan Rickman over Kurt Russell (points off for "Sugar, Sugar")
  • Gene Wilder over Eugene McCarthy (Wonka creams him)
  • Jack Nicholson over Ryan Adams (Jack was wilder by far and cooler)
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt over Will Ferrell (JGL has been more consistently awesome)
  • Donald Glover over Mark Ruffalo (no hulking out here) 
 Fourth round, same side...
  • Neil Armstrong over Jeff Bridges (the fickin' moon!)
  • Alan Rickman over Gene Wilder (also the voice of God)
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt over Donald Glover (Glover's too inexperienced to go further)
Fifth round, left side still...
  • Neil Armstrong over Alan Rickman (Rickman just plays being awesome)
  • Jack Nicholson over Joseph Gordon-Levitt (it pains me, though)
Semifinals, left side...
  • Neil Armstrong over Jack Nicholson (seriously, to the moon, man)
 Right side...from the top...
  • Bill Paxton over Phillip and Bill Pullman (fodder for the next round)
  • Bull Murray over Dan Akroyd (oddly not named at all similarly)
  • Fred Rogers over Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers (not even in the same Neighborhood)
  • Mr Spock over Doctors Spock and Octopus (too cool for this)
  • Docton Manhattan over Strangelove or Strange (Manhattan was a God)
  • The Doctor over No and Doctrow (He is a time lord)
  • Jerry Lewis over Lee (wrote, directed, starred)
  • Jenny Lewis over Xeni Jardin (had to look up Boing Boing)
  • Chris Evans over Hemsworth (played two superheroes vs played one)
  • Pratt over Chris Pine (Captain Kirk can't quite make it here)
  • Shallots over Scallops (chewy) and scallions (garnish)
  • Souzanne Vega over Souxsie Sioux (too hard to spell)
  • Arnold Palmer over Tom Arnold and Amanda Palmer (Jack before Jack was Jack)
  • Anderson over Wes Craven (no nightmare here)
  • Paul Thomas Anderson over Poul Anderson (had to look Poul up)
  • Raleigh over Sir Walter Scott (prefer the name)
  • Frank over Sir Francis (science rules)
  • Halen over Vans Morrison or Wilder (Hagar, really)
  • Robert over Rip Van Winkle (dun dun dun dunnu dun dun - tss)
  • Natalie Imbruglia over Rip Torn (funny stuff)
  • The Body Shop over Bath and Body Works (is there a difference, really?)
  • Bed Bath and Beyond over Beyond Thunderdome (We don't need another hero)
Next round, right side, from the top...
  • Bill Murray kills Bill Paxton (our early favorite on the far weaker side)
  • Fred Rogers over Mister Spock (niceness over logic)
  • The Doctor over Doctor Manhattan (tough call, though)
  • Jerry over Jenny Lewis (she's a one-note pony)
  • Pratt over Chris Evans (funny guy)
  • Shallots over Suzanne Vega (garlic and onion together in one package)
  • Wes over Paul Thomas Anderson (more great films, though Punch Drunk Love is a fave)
  • Sir Francis Drake over Sir Walter Raleigh (I really have no idea what any of them did)
  • Van Halen over Robert Van Winkle (Vanilla Ice comes up against the real deal)
  • Bed Bath and Beyond over The Body Shop (far creepier place)
Third round, I think, right side...
  • Fred Rogers over The Doctor (kindness is more eternal)
  • Jerry Lewis over Chris Pratt (check out his appearance on Mad About You)
  • Shallots over Arnold Palmer (his drink isn't to my taste...gimme a John Daly)
  • Wes Anderson over Sir whoever we have left (I know what he did)
  • Van Halen over Natalie Imbruglia (two great singers over one great song)
  • Bed Bath and Beyond over Beyonce (upset, but Bey doesn't really do much for me)
Fourth round, I guess...
  • Bill Murray over Fred Rogers (no one will ever believe you)
  • Shallots over Wes Anderson (I hope they taste better)
  • Van Halen over Bed Bath and Beyond (even if one lead singer gets lost...)
Quarterfinals, right side...
  • Bill Murray over Chris Pratt (weirder dude, funnier, too)
  • Van Halen over Shallots (shallots get chopped)
  • Bill Murray over Van Halen (seriously, no one will ever believe you) 
The final...
  • Neil Armstrong downs Bill Murray (Bill Murray is weird and funny and brilliant...Neil is a national treasure)

    May 26, 2015

    Looking more powerful

    Time's article on "5 Scientifically Backed Ways to Seem More Powerful" hits at least one thing that I already do.

    I'm not exactly wearing red sneakers, but I have worn nothing but the same jeans (three identical pairs that I bought a month and a half ago), white shirts (I bought a couple of those then, too, but stupidly ran one through the dryer with a red ink pen), and ties to school every day since.

    Now I just need to work on the eye contact, because I don't know that I can do the big-picture language crap. I don't have any patience for those kinds of people. Sadly I'm rarely in elevators.

    May 25, 2015

    An outstanding radio episode

    This American Life is brilliant.

    Seriously, you could probably pick any of the series's episodes at random and find yourself with an hour of outstanding entertainment.

    But I particularly want to endorse Superpowers 2013. The four acts are perfect from tip to tale.
    • Act one - John Hodgman uses your choice of which superpower to choose in a magical world as exploration of who you are as a person.
    • Act two - A woman aims to be a CIA agent and then realizes that she isn't a superhero.
    • Act three - Who knew there was a website of Gone and Forgotten superheroes?
    • Act four - Superman gets his butt kicked but in the most morally debilitating way.
    Listen to it...listen right now...

    May 23, 2015

    The effort to suggest the poor are sponges, leeches...don't wanna work...are lazy...if you watch Fox News on a regular basis

    May 16, 2015

    May 12, 2015

    Checking in on XKCD

    XKCD, another of my favorite are some highlights from the past year...

    May 11, 2015

    The Awkward Webcomic

    The Awkward Yeti is really funny, and it's vaguely scientific, too.
    Check out some of my favorites...

    Actually, I have to add some words here so that awkward Yeti over there to the right doesn't block the full-width panels that I'm going to include down below.

    Sheesh, that takes a whole lot of words.

    Am I finished with that yet?

    I think I am, yeah...

    May 9, 2015

    May 4, 2015

    And we go again...

    What've you been reading?

    Here's my answer...
    • Batman: Zero Year - Secret City - Holy crap with the long title and subtitles...weak artwork, moderately interesting story about Bruce Wayne when he was first being Batman...fighting 'Red Hood' who he throws into a vat of Axis Chemicals in the finale...nothing revolutionary but probably something necessary to establish in the New 52 that this happened there, too...three out of five stars...
    • Wolvering and the X-Men (vol 8) - interesting stories of the students at the Jean Grey School for mutants or weirdos or whatever with Wolvie as headmaster...they've written some new and intriguing baby X-Men of late...worth a read but certainly not required...three of five...
    • Justice League (vol 5) Forever Heroes - Crime Syndicate (from Earth, I think, 3) come to the main title and the main Earth in the New 52...weirdly, this volume doesn't have a single appearance by Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, or the rest of the actual Justice League...six issues without the main characters other than Cyborg who has to save the day...kind of a fascinating premise...I really do like the Crime Syndicate way more than I should...I'm curious to see where this is going...four of five...
    • Adventures of Superman (vol 1-3) - bunch of short stories about Superman - some a full issue long, some only a few pages - most of which could have shown up at any time in the New 52 continuity...not every one is perfect, but a lot of them are of really high quality...four of five
    • X-Men (vol 1-3) - this has to be the twentieth series titled X-Men, good lord...actually, I think it's only the fourth, but who's counting...most of these issues are of a team of all-female X-Men (Ororo, Rogue, Jubilee, Psylock, Rachel Grey, and a couple of others I don't know from before)...decently interesting stories including some inner-team conflict and some reborn lady villains (no idea who female heroes can only fight female villains - Lady Deathstrike, Madelyn Pryor, Selene, Arkea)...three out of five...
    • Fables (vol 9) - I've read the whole series before, but I'm rereading them as I get the collected hardbacks...this one was a gift from the parents for m'birthday (don't know if I mentioned, forty)...war comes to Fables - and ends within this volume...great plan from the Fabletown Fables to take down the Empire via a series of surgical strikes...great writing...four of five stars

    May 1, 2015

    Once More With Feeling, finally

    I'm working my way through the full series of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer (wonder if there really should be a colon in there or not) on Netflix. I watched most of the first five seasons when it was on the WB but lost track of the series when it moved to UPN for the last two seasons.

    That meant I didn't get a chance to see "Once More With Feeling", the nearly-all-musical episode in season six. Turns out it's pretty spectacular. Who knew?