Monday, February 27, 2012
Personally, I have no hesitation and I can't wait to arrive and get started in a new career and a new life. This is what I've been working for over the last several years, and there were definitely times when it seemed I would never get a position like this in academia. I intend to make the most of it, and hopefully, when all is said and done, those around me will agree it was the right choice.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Apart from DC Comics' Daily Planet, the most famous fictional media outlet in comic books is probably Marvel's Daily Bugle. As the employer of Peter Parker, the Bugle has served as the springboard and setting for Spider-Man stories for decades, and became enough of an institution that other series set in New York often make use of it. In a 1996 three-issue limited series, the staff of the Daily Bugle got a chance to star in stories not dominated by Parker & his alter-ego.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Justice Inc., a short-lived (4 issues) 1975 DC series, featured the exploits of a crime-fighting hero from the pulp magazine era named The Avenger. The Avenger is a funky dude. After some sort of disfigurement, his face is pale white and lifeless, but with the consistency of putty so that he can manually re-arrange it to disguise himself as other people! He carries a tiny 4-shot revolver named Mike and a knife named Ike. He starts his own group of like-minded allies, including a veritable giant who is actually a genius. He fights villains who discover ways to turn airplanes invisible, cause earthquakes, and turn men into grotesque beasts. It all sounds like a lot of fun, and perhaps presented in the right way, with a sense of humor and a knowing wink, it could be. Alas, it's played deadly straight and just comes across as . . . old-fashioned and dumb. Kirby art on issues 2-4 though!
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World was an entertaining and original adventure game that hearkened back to some of the classic games of the late 80s/early 90s. In true adventure game style, you come across a bunch of obstacles and objects, and have to figure out how to combine the objects in order to make it past the obstacles. The premise is that Kaptain Brawe is a somewhat muscle-brained space captain in a quirky, intentionally silly galaxy and has to escape from space pirates and even his own treacherous lieutenant. For the most part the puzzles were fair, though there are a couple of spots where I had to get a clue online because if you don't put the cursor in exactly the right spot you'll miss an important object. The game has a good sense of humor and interesting artwork, though lines of dialogue do not receive audio support. All in all, a fun entry in the genre.
Friday, February 10, 2012
Patriots vs. Giants
The Wife: Patriots
The Wife: 159-111
Friday, February 3, 2012
Normally I’m pretty proud of my self-taught ability read French, but the first story (Le fantôme) in this collection of works by A.E. Van Vogt (an author I’ve never read before) made me feel as though I might as well have been reading Greek. I had absolutely no idea what the heck was happening in the story and I dreaded having to slog through the rest of the book. Fortunately, for whatever reason, subsequent stories made more sense to me, even if they still presented far more of a challenge than, say, reading Harry Potter in French. I think the one I enjoyed the most was Le premier Rull, which is a prequel of sorts to a series of Van Vogt novels--it sets up a good sense of dread at how deeply and easily Earth has been infiltrated by aliens they don’t even know exist. The other stories didn’t do much for me, but again that may be partially caused by my partial inability to figure out what was happening. I did enjoy a short essay by Van Vogt included at the end of the book, in which he reveals his iron-clad rule of how to write good SF: every scene should be about 800 words and reveal something important about the story.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
My Nintendo DS sat pretty much untouched for well over a year before I finally got around to finishing Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box--not because it's a bad game, just because I got busy. Like its predecessor (The Curious Village), this is a puzzle-based game with charming animation and voice work that helps carry things along. One of the best parts about the game is that all but a handful of puzzles are optional, so you rarely if ever get stuck--and there's plenty of mini-games and things to stay busy with if you ever do need some time to figure one out. The Wife, who is an avid player and finished the game before me, was a bit skeptical of the somewhat cheesy ending, but we've already picked up the sequel (The Unwound Future) and are looking forward to playing it.