Well that was a longer time than I expected. I was hoping to write something before a day like my birthday, but at least I made this one mark (thanks for the wishes guys!). I've had to streamline the loads of NYT articles to just the best quotes and information for this entry, and my personal hope is that I will be sharper with these entries but with a lot of things dA related I'm admittedly far back. Just so you know, my replies section is a mere 1,600+ long, not including comments on artwork polls etc. I will try and get to all of you hopefully. Artwork wise, I've got my cartoon strips rolling, I'm hoping to work on some new stuff for the heliossacrifice website and if I can find time to set up a twitter maybe expand my social networking base that way. Oh as for what I've been doing this whole time, well there's been some art some videogames some caregiving, (which has been stressful and something I'd rather not get into) and some exercise, really my life is that boring in a nut shell.
I wanted to talk about two things, first is an anecdote from a while ago. I had been recently popping into this coffee shop (not a national chain) that was located in an upper middle class commercial center where in the night time the shop often got local singer/songwriters to perform a few sets for the patrons, acoustic guitar kinda cra-- music. A few of these musicians you could tell were the sort that were only angling for a few visits to their itunes page, and most were the sort that drew a paltry attendance minus their still supportive friends and significant others. One night though the cafe was packed with a ton of high schoolers, and one glance at who was performing reminded me why my social circles in high school were never that big nor estrogen attracting. A duo of bawling women singing acoustic Weezer songs would be people repellent under normal circumstances or at least guy repellent, but there were at least 10 dudes sticking it out just to chat with those talented young women after their set. To be fair socially I was never even invited to stuff like that when I was in high school, so I couldn't really say for sure that I wouldn't be a male groupie trying to up my stock with a woman flirting with 5 other dudes right in front of me, but this whole situation felt a tad Siren songishto me. I guess now that I'm older I get more of a laugh at their futility, rather than empathy with their soon to be discovered self-delusion of having a chance.
I really wouldn't feel right without taking a chance to comment on some big movie/comic book news which of course leads right into talking about Man of Steel 2. Now to recap I liked MOS, I thought some of the fight scenes were a little too long and repetitive, but overall it was a decent outing. It does seem as of now that MOS2 is going to be one overcrowded whale of a film. First off as someone who had to endure Daredevil (but was lucky enough to not have to pay for it! haha!) the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman was to me a bad call. Not because he can't play Batman, as Tina Fey once said to Alec Baldwin "any dummy can act", but because rather than stoking up the hardcore fans of DC the move has the chance to make them more critical, meaning you don't get the blind crazed this is awesome fanaticism that covers all sins. If they don't hit a home run with this one, they're not gonna get a shot at the Justice League movie Warner wants to do.
Secondly, you can tell by the rumor that they want either the Rock or Denzel to play Green Lantern DC's only interested in superficial changes to its characters. Other than a memorable story line on the Justice League cartoon, that iteration of Green Lantern gets zero respect in the DC world. Take a cue from Marvel here- if you want to turn a character black go the whole Nick Fury, that is give him the background and origin story you would to white Green Lantern, sorry that may be a little confusing, I meant Hal Jordan. Still that's only one issue, when you've got two guys faster than the speed of light, three people strong enough to hold up buildings and one regular dude in a bat suit, those varying power levels are gonna make it hard to craft the right sort of villain against them. If I'm being positive here, MOS 2 could deliver some much needed origin/power revision to DC characters that otherwise wouldn't be considered for it. If I'm being honest, the second Amazing Spider-man, Captain America, and X-Men First Class show wayy more potential.
Alright so we all know two basic things about being an artist. One is that with a little hard work and passion, you will get good and create art you and others will enjoy. The second is when you do, people will take your work and then claim it as their own. Now I've personally taken to using obscenely obscuring watermarks to protect some of my pieces, but I find the techniques that some photographers use to protect their works perhaps the most useful. The key is insertion (giggle away) so for example in a skyline shot, a photographer may insert buildings into the skyline that were not there , replace billboards and other media with their own personal logos. These sorts of watermarks have the advantage of certain protections under the DMCA
even minus the $35 to get a copyright. While those copyrighted artists can seek damages up to 100k + attorney fees, a watermark could snag you up to 25k. Source
News to me
Okay because I've failed to write an entry for so long, this is going to be a bit of a catch up, meaning there are gonna be some old pieces here, but nothing that I feel is irrelevant or is no longer the case. They are in no particular order and cover a variety of topics from conspiracy theory to criminal justice to just crap I find fascinating for some reason. Since I don't want this to be a downer towards the end let me start with the grim 'state-of-the-American-justice system' kinda stuff:
Go Directly to Jail, and don't come out:
No matter what you think of the American Civil Liberties Union, this heartbreaking report on the fact that 3200+ Americans are serving prison sentences of life without the possibility of parole
for non-violent offenses
is such a travesty of justice its hard for me to develop a witty end to this sentence. Perhaps saddest of all is the inability of our political system to enact any kind of reform or use executive power to fix some of these injustices.
Easy way in, the long road out
Annie Dookhan was a state chemist who was processing criminal cases at a fast speed. How fast? apparently criminally fast. Dookhan "declared drug samples positive that she had not bothered to test, tampered with evidence, forged signatures and lied about her credentials to enhance her standing in court as an expert witness. In all, her actions may have tainted more than 40,000 drug samples involving thousands of defendants."
At the writing of the article 300 had been released (50 later rearrested on other charges) while "Thousands of other cases are in limbo".
M is for Mercy
I'm sure that there will be all sorts of takes on this, but after 19 year old Conor McBride killed his girlfriend, her parents wet through a process called restorative justice-where in the consideration of harm done, offenders victims and the community come together to reach an agreement on making amends. Its a powerful story, either way you want to look at it, I found the anecdote by the national expert on restorative justice perhaps the most enlightening.
..of the same
Discrediting a Child
let's lighten the mood by talking about a 15 yr old girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban. A teenager who survived a terrorist attack and who is advocating for better educational opportunities for young women like herself is a pretty potent political force, so how would one oppose that if say you liked the status quo? Enter conspiracy theory stage right. "...conspiracy-minded citizens loudly branded Ms. Yousafzai a C.I.A. agent, part of a nebulous Western plot to humiliate their country and pressure their government."
and this gem: "Muhammad Asim... dismissed the Taliban attack on Ms. Yousafzai as a made-for-TV drama. "How can a girl survive after being shot in the head?" he asked. "It doesn't make sense.""
Right, because foreign intelligence agencies recruiting 15 year olds and then faking an assassination attempt makes so much more.
Work for peeping Toms
Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan knows how to win conservative voters, last November he sought to eliminate coed dorms at state universities. Why? "Invoking his credentials as a conservative and saying that the government receives "intelligence" about what goes on inside coed housing facilities... Erdogan... was quoted...as saying "Anything can happen. Then parents cry out, saying, 'Where is the state?'...we need to intervene."
Two points here, one is that the qualifications for being an informant in Turkey seem to be on the same level as being a 'creep' anywhere else in the world, and two if the guy peeping on coeds to report them to the state is also the one doing the 'intervening' then the fear that 'anything can happen' won't be a fear for very long.
Can't find this link:
I've quit soda for about a few years now, with basically all the other crap I eat I figure its the bare minimum I can do along with exercise to stay in shape. So when Coca Cola aired its anti obesity commercial (the closest I can find to it is this parody video
I genuine questioned the sanity of their marketing department. Considering that soda is basically one of the worst things for you, and the easiest to substitute (I mean really would you rather give up ice cream just to not drink water?) I suppose telling me to exercise more and eat less is the only way to sell me soda as part of a healthy lifestyle. Still coke may as well just bite the bullet on this one and go the full Nick Naylor
; with all the information out there about obesity obviously people love their sodas no matter what. Honesty for coke may be better than a ham handed attempt at trying to look like the good guy.
I've decided to retire my old list, because its just time to move on ya know? Maybe I'll start a new one, but for now I'd rather just take on a book every time I have the chance. Just a disclaimer, I have't actually read these books. I've read reviews of them and am using that review to make a determination upon them.
Today, we get a rare look at non-fiction. With comediennes like Tina Fey and Mindy Kailing making the genre a great deal more palatable, non-fiction is slowly wooing me back. Today's book isSlow Getting Up: A story of NFL survival from the bottom of the pile by Nate Jackon
a satirical memoir of Nate Jackson's 6 year NFL career. "A lot of the tragicomedy in “Slow Getting Up” springs from sex, mostly empty sex, a pastime even lowly N.F.L. players are able to pursue avidly. On a typical night in a club, Mr. Jackson and a few of his Bronco teammates turn around to find that “women have emerged from the fog, pulled toward us by our oversized pituitaries and our cave man libidos, vibrating the floorboards like a Dr. Dre bass line.” He remarks: “Now everything is open wide: arms, doors, and legs. We are young, physically powerful men with money.
I'm starting to understand why many take the risks to play football. Mr. Jackson also does as good job when describing the action on the field "Guys who don’t get to play much, Mr. Jackson notes, get pretty worked up when they are allowed onto the field. During one preseason game, he is put in for a few plays late in the contest, when everyone else is going through the motions. “I run around like a crazed jackal,” he says. “I want blood. I want to taste the iron on my tongue as I rip the flesh from a safety’s bones and play Hacky Sack with his testicles. Everyone looks at me like I’m an idiot.
As a stereotypical straight male sports fan (I know my life is cliche! off my back already) this book seems like the perfect response to every tailored made image the NFL and the networks that broadcast it try to sell us (especially on their oblong pregame shows). We get carefully crafted pieces on player generosity and personal integrity, all while the NFL Hall of Fame is a who's who of guys who have children with women that aren't their wives
or guys who perv on masseuses
. Jackson is giving us a glimpse into what sort of culture someone who plays in the NFL is going to experience, a testosterone loaded ride from beginning to end that more than likely shapes and twists the young men in it. And that ultimately indicts the media and the sports journalism industry. Sexual excess and bad behavior is widely reported in yet another elitist industry (Hollywood)-and generally seen as a negative, but today's sports reporters are so busy reading the pre-prepared nonsense ball clubs coach their players to say most of our idol's real lives are only uncovered well after their playing days have ended. Jackson's book touches on how easy it is to maintain this image: "About pain and the media, he notes how players are schooled to talk to reporters. "Do say:We're taking this thing one game at a time and we'll see what happens. Don't say: Man, I really would like to go home and eat a heroin sandwich."
I often wonder how the NFL's gutter culture interacts with supposed high-character' leaders like Tony Dungy, is it all just image? do these guys just sit back in the background talking about virtue at business conferences while silently suffering at their day jobs? or are they talking out of one side of their mouth and then doing something quite provocative with the other side of their mouth? It'd be an interesting story for sure, but I'm also sure there's a snowballs chance it'll ever be looked into.
(fyi will update this as I plow through my messages!)
Rounding it out...
Two questions today, for the smarties:
A doctor gives you a blood test for a disease that strikes 0.1% of people like you. The Test is accurate 99% of the time for those who do/do not have the disease. Your test is positive, what is the probability you actually have the disease?
a.at least 99%
b. more than 90% but less than 99%
c.between 10% and 90%
d. less than 10% but at least 1%
e. at most 1%
and for the not-that-kinda-smarties:
In 2012 this woman joined Aretha Franklin and Madonna as the third female artist to register 40 hits on the Billboard Top 40:
a. Taylor Swift
c. Tina Turner
d. Whitney Houston
In a mood for a good laugh? Well on Amazon.com Samsung is selling an 85'' flat screen TV for the very affordable price of $40,000. The 300+ amazon reviews
though are nothing short of comedy genius from the couple that sold their daughter as a slave, to the guy whose family left him (but is sure they'll come back) after blowing their life savings, and my personal favorite, the guy who passed on a $13000 84'' Toshiba because "as a rather insecure male, its well worth the extra 27k to have that extra inch."