Finished my first full week with the students, and I’m on a roll! It’s been tricky getting accustomed to the new schedule demands, but it’s not so bad. Link round-ups are the most time consuming, but that’s just because I’m anal-retentive and feel like I need to review every article that goes through my feed in a week. Also, on a celebratory note, this round-up marks my 100th post! Hurray!
1. Rachael has a very good post this week discussing one of the central conventions written language that I think writers should always keep in mind: the fact that writing is linear.
2. From 300 Stories this week, a short piece about the troubles that a militant atheist group has over the decades trying to get its message out.
1. At Coding 2 Learn (a blog I think I should be following if its posts are all as good as this one) there’s an article about how most children, contrary to popular belief, are actually technological idiots, just like the majority of adults. I don’t consider myself extremely technologically competent, especially not in comparison to the writer here, but I really related to his stories about people at his school who ask for his help to troubleshoot some extremely basic technology problems.
1. At Experimental Theology Richard Beck posts about the ontological argument for God’s existence, and why he doesn’t think it’s very persuasive, though it is useful for filling out a framework of understanding about the Kingdom of God as both a model that condemns our world’s current failings and a goal that helps point us in the proper direction.
2. At Mercy Not Sacrifice, Morgan Guyton has a great post about morality and its relationship to the Fall. I’d say my favorite part has to be this passage:
The Great Commandments to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul and love your neighbor as yourself are infinite commandments. No one can possibly live up to them, and it’s not because people are utterly immoral or our concept of goodness apart from Christ is infinitely nihilistically corrupted, or any of the other tough-sounding but Biblically unsupported claims of the fundamentalists. It is simply the case that love can be perfected ad infinitum. We will always miss the mark because the mark is forever retreating before us into infinity.
Check it out.
3. At Defeating the Dragons, the latest installment in Samantha’s review of Fascinating Womanhood.
1. These straws are amazing. Don’t let anyone lamenting the fact that this needed to be invented get you down; as a safety feature for anyone who enjoys going out for an evening of socializing, this is fantastic.
2. I love random science facts, and this video has 60 in rapid fire succession. The ones about moles were probably the most interesting.
3. Slow motion cameras are magical things. Slow motion cameras taking video of birds in flight are like drinking elixir of life distilled from a philosopher’s stone… or something.
4. A new mammal’s been discovered in South America. That’s a big deal, because it’s the first one discovered in 35 years. It’s also adorable, and will probably eat your face off if you try to cuddle it.
5. Okay, so we probably won’t be able to physically teleport matter for a long while yet. But scientists are working on how to teleport bits of information.
1. I’ve only played one of the games on this list (Gloom; it was quite fun) but they all look like a great way to pass an evening, especially when played with friends who want to do some storytelling, but don’t want to get too bogged down in the technical rules that go into running a traditional tabletop gaming session.
2. I like LEGO. I like Transformers. I like video game consoles. So a LEGO Nintendo 64 Transformer is pretty much the highlight of my day.
1. Last week I posted a rant from one of the regular users over at i09 about some comments that Mark Millar, Len Wein, and a few other big names in comics made that were more or less sexist. From what I’ve been reading about the incident, it sounds like these guys are speaking from a position of privilege where they don’t realize that they’re being sexist and exclusionary. It doesn’t excuse what they said, but it helps explain a little. Nonetheless, here’s a good examination of these guys’ comments and why their thinking is problematic for comics as an industry.
2. I was a big Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan when I was a child, but it was mostly because of the early ’90s cartoon show. I never really got into the original gritty comics. Nonetheless, I think this fanart captures the spirit of those comics well, and also has some nice touches from later iterations (specifically the color coded bandannas).
3. The Killing Joke is one of those quintessential Batman stories that everyone who’s interested in the character has probably read. Grant Morrison recently explained his take on it, which I’m not entirely sure I agree with, but which does offer a take that I hadn’t considered before. By the way, if you have not read The Killing Joke, then you most definitely should. It’s an excellent exploration of the three character of the three central figures of the Batman mythos: Batman, the Joker, and Jim Gordon. My personal opinion is that it does a fantastic job of highlighting how Gordon’s the real hero, and Batman is just a sad, broken man who’s only a few steps away from being just like the monsters he fights.
4. On a less serious note, the Silver Age of Comics was insane. So was the Dark Age, but for completely different, less awesome reasons.
5. It always tickles me to see a mainstream news site tackle nerd topics. Here’s one from Slate that analyzes the strange symbiotic relationship between Marvel and DC, along with a pretty astute analysis of their current business models and how these parallel their respective billionaire playboy philanthropists with self-loathing issues.
1. I like Thor. I like Arrested Development. I laughed at Thorested Development.
1. Richard Beck mentions the fun blogging phenomenon of marveling at the weird search terms that bring people to your site. He gets some regular hits from people searching for various cartoon characters. I typically get a couple hits a week from people who are Googling for catchy titles to whatever creative project they’re working on. Also, for a couple weeks back when I first started this blog, I regularly got hits from people who were searching for art by the late Michael Turner, who’s drawing of Supergirl I featured as an example of how comic artists fail to draw women realistically.
1. And now, a gif of lightning striking a train in Japan.
2. This map distributes one dot for every person reported in the 2010 American Census across a map of the US based on where they said their address was. Zoomed out, it’s a very cool population density map. Zoomed in, it shows with remarkable detail how neighborhoods are segregated by race. If you live in the United States, definitely take a look at it and figure out what the make up of your local area looks like.
And that’s it from my little corner of the internet this week!