Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Horrors- Still Life

This sounds a heck of a lot more like New Order than that New Order song I posted a few days ago.  The difference is this is coming out in 2011 not 1983.  I really like the new wave/shoegazing revival thats been happening for awhile now.  With the way these things work though, I bet we'll be hearing a bunch of hair metal homages very soon... which I am not looking forward to at all.

Blogging for Dollars

So this is all getting crazy.  Last month's traffic increased significantly again as did the number of clicks on those annoying Adsense ads.  I'm actually not far away from receiving an actual check in the mail (albeit a small one) for writing ridiculous nonsense and posting youtube videos.

I feel sort of silly about all of this.  I'm not supposed to encourage people to click on the ads and I'm embarrassed that I am getting actual, real-life, money for blogging, but I'm certainly not going to complain.  I'll probably end getting some comics, books, and other useless nonsense after cashing the check.  Comics, books, and other useless nonsense that I'll end up writing about on this very blog.

Maybe this will become a self-perpetuating thing.  Who knows.

Friday, May 27, 2011

How Research Works: 35


I got you something for helping me get into grad school!

Is is poison?  A bomb?  Some time of poison bomb?

No!  Why would you say that!?

Because I helped you get into grad school.

You're so funny!  Its a t-shirt with a brain on it!  Because you like brains! 

A year from now, when you are knee deep in grad school, I want you to remember that I warned you about what you were getting into. 

Don't worry!  I think I'll enjoy grad school!

Try to remember that optimism a year from now.

Abraham Lincoln: Secret Avenger

The context of this doesn't really matter.  It doesn't really make sense in any case.  All you really need to know is that Nazi robots are invading Washington D.C. and that the Smithsonian Institute, The Lincoln Memorial, and the ghost of George Washington won't stand for that.

Usually its pretty obnoxious when comics try to do politics.  At best, it comes across as stilted and pandering.  This isn't exactly subtle, but at least it embraces the ridiculousness of injecting politics into superhero stories.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hal Jordan is the Worst Green Lantern

Warning: Inane nerd ranting ahead.

I think my criticisms of the forthcoming Green Lantern movie are well documented.  Other than my distaste for most things involving Geoff Johns, the main problem I have, even more than the trailer looking like a horribly animated cartoon, is that Hal Jordan is the worst Green Lantern.  Literally any of other characters who hold the Green Lantern moniker would make for a more interesting movie than Hal Jordan.

Seriously, John Stewart (superhero architect and former marine) has already been featured on television for years and Kyle Raynor (former artist adapting to his role as the last of the superhero policemen) is frankly the most interesting character to be featured in a Green Lantern comic.  Even Guy Gardener (angry dude that got punched out by Batman once) is more interesting than Hal Jordan, and he is one of the least interesting comic characters ever.  Any one of those characters (or any combination of them) could be featured in an interesting movie about alien space policemen fighting evil from beyond imagination.  Hal Jordan?  No so much.

Maybe in the 1950's professional test pilot with no fear was enough of a characterization to get by, but in 2011 I think we deserve a little more depth from our superheroes.

With all that said, click behind the cut to read about one of the best Green Lanterns.


Half of a good movie with a heck of a lot of overacting. See the 2-D print as I can't imagine the 3-D will add anything.

Half of this movie takes place in a little sleepy town in New Mexico. The other half takes place in a technicolor Jack Kirby-esque version of Asgard. This makes for several jarring shifts in tone as the movie goes forward. One scene will feature Natalie Portman and friends complaining about the loss of their research equipment (something I can relate to) and the very next scene will feature Anthony Hopkins giving an insane speech about frost giants or rainbow bridges or whatever. It makes some sense in context, but its more than a little awkward when the two world collide. Especially since everyone in Asgard talks like Stan Lee writes.  Norse god aliens like their exclamation marks apparently!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Checking In with Game of Thrones

This turned out to be a lot better than I imagined.  I had thought the show was going to be fantasy epic by the numbers, but it has turned out to be a highly complex political drama that happens to take place in a medieval fantasy world.  I'm up to the 7th episode so far and I think every episode has been an improvement on the last, with the last two episodes being especially stellar.  I usually hate medieval fantasy, but when a fantasy show is closer to The Wire in tone than anything on television save for Treme, I can deal with some overwrought dialogue and deus ex machina (of which there has actually been very little on Game of Thrones so far).  Peter Dinklage is still the best thing about the show, but thats more a complement on his acting (and the writing of his character) than a mark against the rest of the show.

Link Clicking

Much to my surprise someone somewhere has been clicking on the adsense links.  To the point where I've earned something like $30 in 2 months.  This of course is $30 dollars too much considering how little effort I put into this most of the time.  I'm not sure why anyone would want to click on ads for for-profit universities (much more on those later) and other random things... but thanks I guess?

The fact that I'm getting something like 1300 hits a month now (and 7 subscribers via Google Reader!) is just stupid .  I don't get that many comments so I really have no concept of who is reading all the drivel that I write.  I wouldn't read it myself except to proofread.

Arcade Fire- Culture War

This is the other track thats been leaking all over everywhere.  I like it less than "Speaking in Tongues" but its still worth listening to.  As for the deluxe version of "The Suburbs", I guess it is going to come with a documentary by Spike Jonze as well as some other extras.  I'll be watching the documentary once it hits Youtube and I've already posted most of the extra music... so yay internet?  Though I like the Arcade Fire a lot, releasing a deluxe version of an album for purchase in stores seems a bit silly in 2011.

Arcade Fire - Culture War by MergeRecords

How Research Works: 34


You can't park here.

But I work here.  Look I have a faculty pass and everything.

This lot is for commencement parking only.  If you have a pass you can't park here today.

Is the other lot open?

All parking on campus is for commencement only.

So... nobody who works here is allowed to park on campus today.

That is correct.

I guess it figures that commencement would be as big a disaster as everything else around here.

You have no idea.  Do yourself a favor and stay far away from the fountains today.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Arcade Fire/David Byrne- Speaking in Tongues

This is an outtake from The Suburbs.  Apparently its being released as part of some deluxe version of the album or something.  Anyway, its obviously leaked all over the internet already.  Well worth a listen.

Arcade Fire - Speaking in Tongues (feat. David Byrne) by MergeRecords

The Muppets Trailer

I'm not quite sure what to make of this yet.  I've heard some good things, but it looks like the focus might be on the human characters rather than the muppets themselves.  I guess we'll have to wait for a more straightforward trailer to get a better idea.

How Research Works: 33


So I noticed the world didn't end over the weekend.

Didn't it?  Macho Man Randy Savage died.

I'm sure I don't know who that is.  Anyway... we should come up with a summer research plan.

I thought we had already.

I wanted to add a few more things.  You aren't going anywhere this summer right?

Not anymore obviously.