Thursday, February 11, 2016

She-Hulk Thursday #2: She's really playing hardball

Thought you forgot about She-Hulk Thursday, didn't you? Hahaha...I totally did.

Guest starring Red She-Hulk because I never said She-Hulk Thursday was strictly about Jennifer Walters! :V

I dig how meta the writers would get with She-Hulk.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

B-b-b-book haul

I keep forgetting to post my most recent book buys from last Saturday, so here they are:

The names are hard to read on some of them, so here's a list:

Jack of Kinrowan - Charles de Lint
A Killing in Comics - Max Allan Collins
Faceless Killers - Henning Mankell
The Dante Club - Matthew Pearl
Fall of Giants - Ken Follett
Under the Dome - Stephen King
The Illuminatus! - Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson
The Relic - Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
The Strain - Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

I scored these from two different Goodwills and it only cost me $9 combined, sans taxes. I'm reading Faceles Killers now, but I don't know which one I'll read next or if I'll just shovel them into the queue.

See anything you like?

What if Oliver isn't talking about Damian Darhk? (Arrow) (SPOILERS, maybe)

I woke up the other morning with that thought in mind. You know how this season they keep going to Oliver standing in a cemetery in front of a grave and vowing to Barry Allen that he's going to kill somebody? We're all assuming that he's vowing to kill Damian Darhk, the big bad of season 4 and the man responsible for Felicity being paralyzed. But, what if it isn't Darhk? What if Oliver is talking about somebody else entirely? We know that Oliver makes the declaration six months after the season four premiere, but for all we know, that's when the season ends. I'm starting to think Barry's presence was merely a red herring to make us think that Felicity was the one in the grave, but of course she wasn't. So who do I think is the target of Ollie's wrath?

Malcolm Merlyn or an as yet to be introduced baddie. I think it's Malcolm because of all the damage he's done to Thea. After all, he's the one who drugged and used her to kill Sara Lance, which caused Ra's al Ghul to go to war with Team Arrow. This in turn led to Ra's mortally wounding Thea and the latter developing a blood lust after being dunked into the Lazarus Pit. Thea can't break the curse because Ra's is already dead and because she refuses to kill in order to satiate the blood lust, now she's dying. The promo I saw for tonight's episode implies that despite the profession of love he has for his daughter, he's actually okay with her dying. I mean, didn't Malcolm start the war so he could become the new Ra's al Ghul? If Thea's the one in the grave, then that gives Ollie more than enough reason to want to kill him.

As for it being a new baddie, it makes sense if the grave yard scene is taking place at the end of season 4 and whoever Ollie wants to kill is the big bad for season 5.

So, who's in the grave? I have a few guesses: Lyla Diggle, Quentin Lance, Donna Smoak, Thea, or Oliver's son (and man that would be BRUTAL). It could also be Felicity. I know we saw her in the limo after Ollie left the grave and she told him (while crying) to kill whoever Ollie is determined to kill. Buuuuuut how do we know that that's actually Felicity and not some figment of Oliver's mind. I mean, he's clearly wrecked emotionally, so it wouldn't be far-fetched if he's imagining things. Plus, if Felicity is dead, it would be a total and absolute mind frak and the fandom would lose its collective shit.

We'll find out sooner or later.

The Flash 2x13 "Welcome to Earth-2" (SPOILERS)

I think Cisco's face sums up my feelings about this episode pretty well.

Because holy cow, that was one hell of an episode! As the title suggests, this was the ep where Barry, Harrison Wells, and Cisco travel to Earth-2 in order to rescue Wells's daughter, Jesse and stop Zoom. If you like easter eggs, then "Welcome to Earth-2" is going to put you on cloud nine. We get several when the three while traveling through the Speed Cannon to Earth-2:

  • John Wesley Shipps's Flash from the 90s TV show
  • A certain Kara Danvers, whom Barry will be meeting next month
  • Connor Hawke, who is set to appear in a future episode of Legends of Tomorrow
  • Jonah Hex, who I think is also set to pop into LoT
  • A Legion of Super-Heroes flight ring
  • Grodd

None of those are in order of appearance and unfortunately, I missed seeing the last three, but fortunately the internet didn't. I love that they included Shipp's Flash, which was a nice tip of the hat to the actor who went from playing Barry Allen to playing Barry Allen's dad, which is another thing I love about this show. Supergirl's brief cameo is a no-brainer, given the impending crossover. A number of fans on Tumblr said that news of the crossover should have been held back until after this episode aired, since that the news would be that much bigger. The flight ring is the most intriguing out of all of the cameos because of the possibilities it presents. Is the Legion slated to make an appearance on one of the shows? Legends of Tomorrow seems the most logical because of the time travel element. On the other hand, Supergirl has connections to the superhero team in the comics and the Justice League Unlimited cartoon, so that's an option. Could a Legion of Super-Heroes spin-off be on the horizon? Granted, it could have just been nothing more than a tease, but the mind wonders.

Wikipedia Wednesday #3: I'm on a boat!: The Bougainville-class aviso

From the Wiki.
The Bougainville class was a type of colonial aviso or sloop of the French Navy of the 1930s that were designed to operate in remote locations of the French Empire.

The ten ships of the Bougainville class were built from 1931 to 1940 in various French naval yards. The ships were designed to operate autonomously from French colonies in Asia and Africa with a capacity of 297 tons of diesel, giving an endurance distance of 13,000 nautical miles (24,000 km). Their shallow draught allowed them to operate on large rivers, while carrying an infantry company. In this respect they were an improvement over existing gunboats.
Not much to say about this, really. Everything else that clicking "Random article" brought up was either too brief or boring. Plus, I like warships anyways, so this worked well.

Truth be told, Wikipedia Wednesday isn't as fun as I thought it would be. I didn't factor in how many tiny and uninteresting articles I'd get. Oh well, I'll keep it chugging as long as possible, or at least until I come up with a better replacement.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Off Topic Tuesday #3: Ad blocking

I thought I'd talk about ad blocking on the internet and whether it's right or wrong. This was sparked partly because of something I heard in a podcast I listened to last year, wherein the people on the 'cast were talking about Marco Arment, the co-founder of Tumblr and creator of multiple apps, who had created a hugely successful ad blocking app for Apple's Safari browser, then pulled it after two days because it made him feel guilty.
Achieving this much success with Peace just doesn’t feel good, which I didn’t anticipate, but probably should have. Ad blockers come with an important asterisk: while they do benefit a ton of people in major ways, they also hurt some, including many who don’t deserve the hit.

Peace required that all ads be treated the same — all-or-nothing enforcement for decisions that aren’t black and white. This approach is too blunt, and Ghostery and I have both decided that it doesn’t serve our goals or beliefs well enough. If we’re going to effect positive change overall, a more nuanced, complex approach is required than what I can bring in a simple iOS app.
As you can see, his problem wasn't necessarily with the blocking of ads itself, but that his app, Peace, was more of a sledgehammer than a scalpel. I agree with his opinion here because while I favor ad blocking, I don't believe it should be unilateral. You can read about his ad blocking ethics here, if you wish.

Why I ad block

As I said, I'm in favor of ad blocking and have been ever since I discovered the Adblock extension. The first thing I do after installing Firefox on a new computer is slap Adblock Plus on it. It's not that I hate internet adverts, I'm just wary of them for a couple of reasons:

1. They can be annoying and intrusive. I've been online since like '98, so I've been around ad banners for a good little while and possibly, this is the reason for my pro-blocking views. The 90s and 00s were a terrible time when it came to banners because they were just so annoying. Imagine trying to read something on a website and having a banner flashing in the corner of your eye. I know ad banners have come changed since then, but even today, I'll come across ones that are only a few steps above those aforementioned disasters. If you want people to stop blocking ads, then make them less intrusive. Video ads are just as bad. I've watched YouTube on my phone and tablet and while I have gotten some not terrible and pretty interesting ads, most are irrelevant and annoying to me and my interests. I don't know how common it is, but there have been a few times when YouTube will just up and decide to run an ad right in the middle of the video. Like literally just cuts right to it, then back to the video after it's done. Imagine having that happen in a movie theater? People would be massively pissed off and rightly so.

Out of all the ads I encountered back in the 90s and 00s, pop-ups were without a doubt, the most annoying. I'm pretty sure if Dante Alighieri were alive today, he'd have added an eighth circle of Hell just for whoever created pop-up ads and the people who proliferated them across the web. How bad were these things? Well, the fact that all browsers have long since added a feature to block them by default is a pretty good indicator.

I can't believe The Brady Bunch only ran for 5 seasons

I never realized this until like a year and a half ago when I looked up Wikipedia's article about The Brady Bunch to see what the final episode was and then found out that this famous show that has never been off the air and holds a place in the annals of pop culture only ran from 1969 to 1974. Surprised me, because I always assumed that the show ran for much longer because of how old the Brady kids looked at the end of the show's run. Hold on, I think some visuals will help here:

Season One.

Season Five.
It's surprisingly difficult to find pictures of the famous 3x3 grid, but these will work. As you can see, the Brady kids grew fast in those five years. No idea how old he really was, but Barry Williams (Greg) looks like he's somewhere in his twenties. I think fashion also had a hand in making the show's run seem longer. The first season, their clothes are traditional white bread style and closer to Leave It to Beaver attire. Then as the show progressed into the 70s, the wardrobe changed to what was hip at the time. I mean, damn, Mike went from straight hair to curly! Another factor is that I've never watched every episode of The Brady Bunch and especially not in the order they aired, so going from straight-laced to groovy, I just figured that it was on TV for more than five years.

In case you're wondering, by the way, the final episode of The Brady Bunch is the one where Bobby tries to make money by selling hair tonic and it turns Greg's hair orange when he uses some of it. Yup, they ended the show on a high note.

I guess nobody's angel is a centerfold anymore: Playboy ditches nudity (sort of)

My blood runs cold
My memory has just been sold
My angel is the centerfold
Angel is the centerfold
-- "Centerfold", The J. Geils Band.

So yeah, there was a lot of buzz on the internet about Playboy's decision late last year to ditch their nude spreads and centerfolds and here's the cover to the first issue since then.

(via US Weekly)
It's meant to be a send up to Snapchat, but also a thumbing of the nose at the ubiquity of nudity on the internet, which was the reason why Playboy moved on from nudity. The lovely lass on the cover, by the way, is Sarah McDaniel. And what of the Playmate of the Month? Apparently it's sticking around, but will lack nudity for the most part. I had to italicize that for emphasis because while there will no longer be straight-up nudity like in days past, it doesn't mean that the ladies posing in the magazine will always be clothed, but if they do pose nude, it'll be covered strategically. It's not unlike how other magazines like Vogue and such will do photoshoots of celebs in the buff with their bits and bobs covered by a well placed limb or prop.

Sorry for the lack of posts yesterday

I had meant to post on Sunday that there likely wasn't going to be anything on Monday. The lack of posts was due to my dad having to go into the hospital for a potential heart procedure. His doctor thought he might have needed the stint replaced or second one added. Fortunately, he didn't need either. Normally, I would have queued up at least Iron Monday over the weekend, but obviously stress and worry dominated too much for me to get anything substantial done. So Iron Monday resumes next week and hopefully we won't run into anymore interruptions.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Well, this is it, my blog belongs to the Devil now

Anybody know the number of a good exorcist?

To be fair though, one of those posts doesn't count because it's been in the drafts for almost three years.
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