Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Brian Michael Bendis Pens Comic Tribute to Stan Lee 

Stan Lee passed away yesterday at the age of 95.

I didn’t know Stan personally, but his work permeates my life. I’m sure I don’t even comprehend how much his work has influenced me. Brian Michael Bendis’ tribute was my favorite, because from all accounts, Stan was a kind, optimistic, generous, and hilarious person.

From my perspective, Stan stood for the less fortunate and the ones society deems odd. His smile and great sense of humor will be missed, but thankfully we haven’t seen the last of him.

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Pull List for November 14, 2018

Comics I read last week
From left to right, from the back: The Green Lantern #1, X-Men: Red #10, Deadpool #6, Bully Wars #3, and Dead Rabbit #2

What I read last week

  • Dead Rabbit #2- I know, I know. There wasn’t much good coming from me about this book’s first issue. But, it’s unfair to judge a book completely on one issue, and I was intrigued by the story. Unfortunately, I again wasn’t very impressed after this second issue. However, the covers continue to be stellar.
  • Deadpool #6 - Ever wonder what Deadpool would be like if he was depressed? Wonder no longer! Lots of cameos in this one, but wasn’t really feeling it.
  • The Green Lantern #1 - Ok, so what the hell just happened? I have no idea what is going on in this issue, which is strange for a #1. All the hype around this book twisted my arm into picking this up, but I don’t think I’ll be continuing.
  • X-Men: Red #10 - The conflict with Cassandra Nova has been slow-burning. By the end, this one story arc will have taken eleven issues to tell. Still, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every minute. It’ll be exciting to see how the book ends in the next issue, but safe to say Tom Taylor did an excellent job with the series. No matter how it ends, the battle against Cassandra Nova hasn’t felt easy. She’s been a formiddable villain, often a few steps ahead of the X-Men.

Favorite of the week: X-Men: Red #10

Picking up this week

  • The Amazing Spider-Man #9 - Last issue ended on a pretty awesome cliffhanger. Everyone’s stuff has been jacked, and Spidey’s in mid-air without his web shooters.
  • Catwoman #5 - Holy moly. That Artgerm variant. Really hoping my LCS has one for me. I was a bit confused with the point of the last issue, but now I understand it was to expand on Selina’s backstory. Looking forward to getting back to the main story in this one.
  • Daredevil #611- My LCS didn’t have any extras of #610, so I’m a bit behind here.
  • Fantastic Four #3- Delays, delays! The last issue we got was in September. I really want to like this series, but I may drop after this first arc.
  • Oblivion Song #9 - Here’s the one I’m looking forward to the most! Robert Kirkman is telling a really cool story! If you’re not reading Oblivion Song, definitely give it a try.
  • Uncanny X-Men #1 - I love Tom Taylor’s X-Men: Red so much that I kind of resent this new series. But Kelly Thompson is involved, and I love her work.
  • Wonder Woman #58 - New creative team! G. Willow Wilson is the new writer, so I’m really hoping this is a Wonder Woman run I can get into. Also, really want the Jenny Frison variant.
Monday, November 12, 2018

Cherish Thine .dotfiles

Setting up a new Mac is so much easier these days

Earlier this year, I started to feel it was time to buy a new Mac, but wanted to make a sensible and adult decision. I’d wait till the Fall, see what Apple had announced for the year, and then decide.

The Fall Apple events came and went, and none of the new announcements spoke to me. While the Mac mini looked interesting, I’d need to plug in an eGPU for the video editing I do. I didn’t want to maintain another expensive piece of hardware.

One day while I was hanging out in the #applenerds channel in the Changelog Slack, someone brought up buying refurbished. One of my previous Mac’s was purchased refurbished from Apple, and I’d had no issues with it. To my surprise, there was a refurbished 2018 MacBook Pro with a bigger hard drive, faster processor, and more RAM than my previous Mac. After talking to my wife, the buy button was clicked.

Getting a new machine always makes me ner-cited (nervous and excited). You get used to the way you’ve setup a machine—which depending how long you’ve had it—there’s no telling how many settings you’ve customized just right to your tastes.

All this makes me a lot less anxious these days though. Ever since I started version controlling my .dotfiles on GitHub, and putting all my files in Dropbox, moving to a new machine is a lot simpler. Sure, it’ll still take you a few hours. This last time took about 3-4 hours, but it was mostly headache free. And more importantly, I don’t have that feeling of, “did I forget anything on my old machine?”

If you’re curious about how I do it, I’ve written extensively on my process for setting up new machines. It could probably be automated even furthur, but it’s a pretty sweet setup.

Buying a Tesla Also Means Being a Beta Tester for New Driverless Tech Without Even Knowing It 

Jack Stewart writing for Wired:

Every Tesla built since the end of 2016 comes with eight cameras around the car, a radar behind the front bumper, and ultrasonic proximity sensors embedded into the front and back bumpers.

The big upside for Tesla is data gathering. The automaker can run its software in “shadow mode” on all those cars, to test new features against real roads, without the drivers ever being aware. The fleet of Tesla vehicles—growing at around 30,000 cars per month now—scoops up data about the environment and driver behavior, on a wide scale, at speed.

Reading about technology like this gets me excited for the future of transportation. In fact, I’m amazed some of it already exists in my lifetime.

I guess it comes down to this: with how much disolusionment the internet and other technology has brought me, it’s nice to read a tech story where the future actually looks bright.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Vulture Interviews ‘Saga’ Artist Fiona Staples 

Abraham Riesman writing for Vulture:

The comics industry owes a debt of gratitude to Fiona Staples. The artist joined up with famed writer Brian K. Vaughan in the early part of this decade to create one of the most effective gateway drugs for comics novices ever printed: the ongoing Image Comics series Saga.

A great comic book requires words and art to come together seamlessly to tell a story. If there was ever a perfect example of that, it’s Saga. Just in volume nine, there are several back-to-back panels that are completely textless—but due to Fiona’s spectacular art—no less expressive.

Staples has designed and created a vast number of worlds and species throughout the series. Characters like The Stalk who are a combination of what looks like a woman and a spider, or the Robot Kingdom, a race of people who have TVs for heads. Sure, these most likely are the ideas of writer Brian K. Vaughan, but it’s Staples who’s brilliance shines as these characters and locations come to life on the page.

All this to say, Fiona Staples is incredibly talented and Saga wouldn’t be the same comic (or maybe even as successful) without her.

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