January 15, 2018

We've Come Admirably Far From Where we Started, But Strayed So Far From The Path That I fear We May Be Lost.


Embed comes via Cdr Salamander, who also makes a very important point about primary sources, one that we've touched on here before


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January 14, 2018

An Honest Trailer

This film is exactly what is promised.



Thor Ragnarok is not a particularly profound film, but it is a remarkably fun one. It is also, in writing and art direction, a love letter to the late Jack Kirby, his creations and his fans. 

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Justice League

In stark contrast to a certain other recent tent-pole film, this latest installment in Time Warner's answer to Disney's Marvel franchise is a surprisingly thoughtful yet enjoyable romp that fills in rather than creates plot holes and has considerable respect for the source material.




A direct sequel to Batman VS Superman the film takes place less than a month after the events in that film and is a direct continuation of that story and it both reinforces the good elements of that film and fills in some gaps. 

The film is a superhero flick so there is much fighting, biologically improbable displays of prowess, dubious physics, spectacular fight choreography and exquisite pyrotechnics. It also has a damned good story and has some unexpectedly insightful things to say about leadership and command. This film also develops the characters quite well. Ben Affleck's Batman for instance is not particularly likable but what makes the character work is that he is aware of this fact and trying to correct for it. Gale Gadot as Wonder Woman is awesome in a way that defies my ability to describe in words. Aquaman, redneck prince of Atlantis is a completely off the wall take on the character that works surprisingly well and The Flash is just perfect. Odd man out is Cyborg, who is not really given an opportunity to shine character-wise in the same way ( and who is from a different book anyway). Nevertheless he does develop during the course of the film and there is a perfectly valid reason plot-wise that his bionics are so far beyond the state of the art. 

The film, although it is fantasy, it is quite consistent with and follows its internal logic and rules...unlike some movies we've seen recently. 

Justice League got some negative buzz and had a dissapointing box office, so I was surprised at how good it turned out to be. If it has a weakness, it is it's prequel, Batman vs Superman. That is, the two films are really one story, much more tightly integrated than is usually the case with sequels. The events and plot devices of the first film are so important to the second, that, having seen both movies, I'm unsure if the exposition is adequate to explain some of the plot elements if one has not seen the first film. The two films are more like two chapters in an old serial in that regard.

Anyway, if you have a chance I strongly suggest you go see the film before it finally vanishes. 

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Crying Wolf

As everyone in the world knows, Hawaii was not hit with an ICBM yesterday. This appears to have been a similar screw up to what happened in Guam last year, but much more widely noticed. 


A few things to takeaway from this....

Despite its position as a major strategic target from which there is no escape, Hawaii doesn't seem to have much of a public fallout shelter system online.  (There are reports  that they're working on this though)We don't here either, but that is due to geology (and a water table 4 feet below the grass).


"Duck and Cover" will actually increase the chances of survival, especially in a limited attack. Note that even if duck and cover only increased ones survival odds by one percent, in a nation of 320 million that's 3.2 million more people who would survive than would otherwise. 

Enough of these false alarms will assure that if/when the actual attack comes innocent fatalities will be maximized. 

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January 13, 2018

A Week Not For the Weak

Is this thing still on? 
Probably not, it's been 10 days. 
Be advised that banality lurks below the fold. Here as partial atonement is something pleasant, tangentially related and literate by Fuji Choko.


more...

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January 04, 2018

The View From My Window Just a Few Hours Ago























Or as Wonderduck and Pete might say "Oh. It's Thursday".
For us here in the south it was remarkably novel to have winds approaching hurricane force with...snow. And almost as novel to have so much snow. 

Don seems less unimpressed with the weather than one might expect from a Wichitanerainian, though the results of his web searches may be contributing factors. 

On the other hand, Pixy, despite dodging the snow bullet completely, has nevertheless encountered a perfect storm of his own....


We may be offline intermittently. 

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January 03, 2018

Oh Dear.

We all knew this was coming eventually...but it hurts to see it come to pass nonetheless.



Regardless of context, this is unfortunate.

No. It's real. They just could have worded it better.

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January 01, 2018

2018


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