Category Archives: Various and Sundry

Video

Moon Knight: For when you might have to get a little bit crazy…

The comic collecting of my youth was dominated by some of the less popular titles (e.g. Rom), including some that came and went in various volumes of subsequent comic book series (e.g. Alien Legion) — what nowadays we might call “reboots”

One of my favorite examples of this was Moon Knight, because every new comic series of the character seemed to focus on different aspects of the mercenary-turned-“Fist of Khonshu.”

However, one of the most interesting aspects of this particular superhero is that, when not dressed up in his superhero regalia, he assumed multiple alter egos in different social strata to find out information — and sometimes you had to wonder which identity was real. The character certainly did. With that in mind, watch on:

As I may have mentioned elsewhere, I essentially stopped collecting almost all comics in the early 90s, which has led to what I find a very enjoyable situation: I understand the basics about most of the long-running superheroes and supervillains, but have no earthly idea about anything that’s happened in the comics for the past 30 years.

That means whenever I watch an Arrowverse show or MCU film, I can be delightfully surprised even if the plot is taken wholesale from some recent run in the comics. I have no problem with many a friend who has continued to follow their favored comic crusaders in the intervening decades, but my ignorance in these matters has, time and again, proven to be superheroic bliss.

So I really have no idea what’s happened to Moon Knight since 1994, but if they’re going for the crazy, I am here for it.

Da Vinci: Code for “Meh”

I had another post slated for today, but, I figured I’d be a bit more timely, considering the video above came out this past Sunday.

John Oliver can lambaste and rant with the best of them, and his snark regarding the pop culture phenomenon of The Da Vinci Code speaks to me. Why? Because I was convinced by a number of very energetic people to go forth and read now –right now– The Da Vinci Code and in the history of things people have urged me to watch or read or listen to “right now,” this is possibly the most mismatched. Tain’t my thing. Watch and perhaps you can guess why…

Resolve to Reframe Your Worldview

Last Monday, I posted about lots of little things to add some joy or satisfaction to your day-to-day life. So from the micro to the macro, here’s a few overarching goals you might want to take on for this new year… or for the rest of your life in general.

“The Thinker” by Auguste Rodin

Bear in mind, this list from Maria Popova for The Marginalian gets pretty heavy, but if you’re in the headspace where you’re thinking about how you want to live your life better writ large, there are worse ways than examining the notions presented by some of these folks.

Video

The Trash Heap Speaks Again!

Gen Xers and the like, this is not a drill! Let’s see what the Recylcotron has in store this time.

A Cold War that’ll Give You an Ice Cream Headache

Running contrary to the New Year’s notion of doing better for several years running is the McDonald’s Ice Cream machine, a notoriously finicky piece of equipment that has its own online dashboard of failure. And if the efficiency experts in your life don’t gnash their teeth at that, they likely will when they read Andy Greenberg’s article in Wired.

Photo: Gabriela Hasbun

It’s really infuriating to see miserable experiences be standardized, but to see the lengths to which people go to preserve a sucky status quo, well, it may not be surprising, but it is dispiriting (that said, it’s a fascinating read).

Nudge Your Way to a Happier New Year

You can pretty much bet I’ll be thinking about planning and goals for the new year all this month. I was particularly struck by a friend who had a very productive 2021, but decided an overall goal for 2022 was to be happier.

Sometimes, the eternal Internet meme factory helps.

With that in mind, I liked this very British list from The Guardian overall, though –besides the very British parts needing some translation to one’s own country– there are some that I must note a difference with:

  • #4 – I’m all about the first part of bringing fruit to work. The fruit in bed –especially the graphic– makes me wonder if the Guardian staff have some weird kink they feel should be more mainstream than it actually is (Michael Palin notwithstanding).
  • #5 – Is this a British thing or a non-American thing? Because I’m pretty sure many people would love to go down to a four-day workweek, only that’s not an option.
  • #8 – Dear Lord, no. Don’t do this to me. I hate texts enough and I can read fast. Don’t do this unless the person receiving them will enjoy it.
  • #99 – Is this a British thing? I would just make the bed quite nice.

On the other hand, I support the following.

  • #4 – As mentioned above: viva fruit at work. Fruit as snacks or even dessert aka something-sweet-after-dinner-because-you-can’t-do-cheesecake-or-ice-cream-every-night-come-on-now.
  • #7 – My gardening skills remain mainly in the realm of destruction, but I try and grow more each year.
  • #9 – Definitely something to put on the to-do list.
  • #11 – Absolutely yes. And slowly get rid of those horrid florescent fixtures as you can.
  • #12 – Really overdue for more of us than we all probably care to admit.
  • #15 – I’ve been doing this for some time and heartily recommend it.
  • #27 – Yes.
  • #30 – Oh, so thrilling.
  • #46 – A dialect/voice teacher advocated reading poetry aloud regularly and I find it quite good.
  • #78 – Oh yes. And if you can be sure your first day back from work isn’t Monday, definitely do so.
  • #91 – I’m not the only one to advocate this, the entire State of Wisconsin advocates it. It is both just and right (assuming it isn’t deadly to your digestive system).

Odds are your lists of “don’t agree/definitely agree” with the Guardian’s list will differ, but the important thing is that this is a great month to consider small ways to make your life a bit nicer.

Video

TCM Remembers, 2021

Once again, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) does an artful job of honoring the film artists lost in the past year. When you’re ready to be wistful, or perhaps outright verklempt, give it a watch.

For those interested, here are the editions for 2020, 2019, and 2018.

WTF NFT?

Non-fungible tokens or NFTs have been a bit a media rage this past year, as a trend, a new investment opportunity, and possibly a silver bullet that contains your daily recommended dose of antioxidants.

I keep thinking, they can’t be as stupid as they sound, can they? You can find out the answer to this and many other questions about NFTs in this excellent article by Vicky Osterweil which, spoiler alert, is called “Money for Nothing.”

Cartoon via Adam Sacks
Video

Where’s Alien Waldo?

Some days, do you ever wonder, what with all the exoplanets being discovered and concerted studying of the skies, where all the aliens are? And why haven’t we found any evidence of them? And do they make their spacecraft entirely out of the black box?

Well, Jill Tarter is here to clear some of that up. And by “clear up,” I mean “tell you how much we don’t know.”

Mind you, it might be good to go back and check with her on the UFO question, since this is from 2019, but I’m pretty sure most of her answers are, for better or for worse, still quite accurate and frustratingly open-ended.

Circle Back on Jargon and Put a Pin in It

Last Wednesday, I was in more meetings than not, so when it came to figuring out a good “wonky Wednesday post,” this article by Olga Khazan in The Atlantic resonated with me.

Basically, the article points out how much of the jargon is not only used in business and office settings a form of the office culture, but that it’s also, shall we say, an act.

Both from my background in theater and anthropology, I find that rituals and, frankly, cliched lines uttered at the office ring false.

One of the most interesting aspects of the article is that many of the main users of certain types of jargon find it to be, on at least one level, ridiculous. Yet they continue to use it. I suppose I need to go back and read up ethnographic appraisals about the power of “normal.”

In fact even business consultants can find it goes too far (though I wonder if they lose business because they’re not optimizing innovation).

I guess I’ll stick a pin in these thoughts and circle back at a future Wednesday.

I mean, even business consultants admit jargon can be useless…