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Jaybird

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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17 Responses

  1. Avatar Tod Kelly
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    says:

    This week I read Annihilation, the first book in the Souther Reach trilogy. It reminded me a lot of Scott Smith’s The Ruins, in as much as it was just a well written combination of [creepy + nihilism + fantasy]. I’ll probably get to the other two books (I’ve already purchased them), but I won’t be rushing.

    I also read City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett, a book that I think I have to call speculative fiction. (It’s not quite a fantasy, it’s not quite scene fiction, it’s not quite a murder mystery, it’s not quite a political thriller.) I was fantastic, and so now I’m in the middle of his American Elsewhere — which is nowhere near as good, but still quite entertaining.

    I’m also just starting Liberty for All by Yahoo’s Rick Newman, because MacMillan was nice enough to send me a copy and ask that I give it a try. Martha Grimes’s Foul Matters waits in the wings that is my night table.

    I haven’t watched anything this week, really. Partially because I’ve been to of town for a small stretch, partially because the Moth was taken a bit of my time this past week, and partially because — I swear I am not making this up — I went to a cuddling convention for a piece I’m hoping to sell elsewhere.Report

  2. Avatar zic
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    says:

    I’m in the first 100-pages or so of Neil Stephenson’s Readme (Link goes to NYT review); a book built on the economies of an on-line game modeled after World of Warcraft; exploring how the market for magical stuff translates into the real world (among many, many other things). In the book, the main character figures out how to turn hordes of 3rd-world gamers time into paid time as they earn the magical talismans that they sell to rich 1st worlders who don’t have time to earn that stuff on-line.

    Which has me thinking about my virtual/real world stuff. For instance. I’ve recently started using a photography social-media platform called 500px; which I like a lot in some ways, it’s virtual eye candy, and offers a bonus of a platform to sell stuff. All well and good. But there’s also the whole +1 meme to it, and I’ve noticed that virtually single photo I post gets liked by people, I’m suspecting, are fulfilling a similar function; that the platform is, in fact, probably paying 3rd-world uses to just give everything a little love. I could be wrong. But I can’t get it out of my head seeing how the place works.

    Thus far, the book itself varies between paragraphs of exquisite beauty and extreme bore; as with most of Stephenson’s books, the real places we’re going aren’t obvious until after we’ve already arrived.Report

  3. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    says:

    I decided to watch Manhunter last night. Manhunter is Michael Mann’s adaptation of Red Dragon (aka the first Hannibal Lecter book). Brian Cox plays Hannibal Lecter. Some random thoughts:

    1. Brian Cox is just as good as Lecter as Anthony Hopkins.

    2. The jail was pretty much filmed at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. The museum was stripped bare but it still looks like a museum. Demme’s decision to place Lecter in a subterreanean basement of a prison in Silence of the Lambs was much better.

    3. The movie looks very 80s. Michael Mann was famous in the 1980s for Miami Vice and the style/design of Manhunter is very Miami Vice.

    4. Films that take place in 1980s to early 90s are kind of weird for me because the technology is just old enough to be old-fashioned and out of date but the settings are just recent enough to be modern history and my history and this is a bit of a disconnect. I had the same issue in The Silent History when the narrator mentions using typewriters (another movie that takes place in the early 1980s). So the characters seem like they can be from today but their tech is ancient history like huge VHS tapes and cameras that actually require film. If Red Dragon/Manhunter were filmed today, it would be a period piece because of the tech. For some reason the old stuff in 1930s and 40s films does not bother me because that is farther in the past. An old pillbox camera with a separate flash causes much less of a weird feeling than a VHS tape or an old disposable camera.

    5. Nostalgia is a very strange and powerful beast. There is a scene in Manhunter where Will Graham is talking to his son (probably aged 8-10) about the psychological turmoil and stress that he underwent to capture Lecter and how he needed to start thinking like Lecter in order to capture him. This scene takes place as they are grocery shopping. So part of my brain is paying attention to the scene and the dialogue and the other part is thinking stuff like “I remember Snack Packs!” as they pass by foods from my childhood in the background. Also this is very pre-coffee revolution because everyone drinks Folgers.Report

  4. Avatar Will Truman
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    says:

    I am caught up on Arrow and Flash. I stand by my previous comments about DC doing much better with TV shows than movies. The CW universe is going to be so much better than their movie universe.

    On to The Blacklist.

    I also finished Cry of the Halidon, which I had difficulty getting in to. Now I’m listening to old episodes of The Good Wife. I’ve decided not to wait for my wife to get caught up.Report

  5. Avatar Maribou
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    says:

    I’ve been watching Burn Notice and How I Met Your Mother and pretty much nothing else. (The public library
    somehow canceled my hold on Nashville season 2 instead of filling it so I am denied Connie Britton for another 24 people in the hold queue… *shakes tiny fist*)

    I’ve been reading mostly plane books and other lightweight fare. Started some antique lightweight fare, Wilkie Collin’s _The Moonstone_, and I was surprised by how intentionally-funny it often is.Report

  6. Avatar Chris
    Ignored
    says:

    A Simple Story and The Case of Sergeant Grischa in the backpack and Peaky Blinders (rewatching with R. this time) and the last season of Psych on the boob tube.

    Inchbald reminds me in many ways of Conrad. Unlike Joseph, English was her first language, but she was largely uneducated and when she wrote her early novels, mostly untraveled. This means her English is provincial, or at least non-“standard,” so it’s not the English of a novel at all (even a late 18th century novel, and I think I’ve previously professed my love of the gothic romance), which is wonderful. It’s like an adventure with a time machine and a local guide. Even the punctuation takes getting used to.Report

  7. Avatar Damon
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    says:

    I watched Burn Notice when it was on TV and will eventually probably get the dvd set to work out too. It’s just too recent for the end of the series and too much cost for a “work out video”. I really enjoyed the series.

    I saw Birdman in the theatre and it was “odd”. But hey, Namoi Watts kisses another woman and Emma Stone was in the movie so there was that….:)Report

  8. Avatar Glyph
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    says:

    I have a whole slew of stuff on the DVR (Justified, Americans, Agent Carter, Parks & Rec, Fortitude)…if I can stay awake I will try to burn through some of it tonight.

    I’m about halfway through Horns, by Joe Hill (Stephen King’s boy). It’s a good read so far, and shares certain tics with his dad’s work.Report

  9. Avatar James Pearce
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    says:

    Finished listening to the first book in Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy. I read it years ago as a kid, remembered enjoying it then but not enough to read the rest of the novels in the Thrawn trilogy, or any other novels set in the Star Wars extended universe.

    The audiobook had music and sound effects playing throughout the whole thing, which was unusual, but also not unwelcome since Star Wars is, after all, the paragon of sound design. The narrator did his best impressions of the cast, with varying success. His Han Solo wasn’t bad, but his Lando was a disgrace. Admiral Ackbar had me rolling –very on the nose– but the funniest character was the wookie with a speech impediment.

    The book doesn’t hold up. The story is meh, and the writing was a bit sloppy. If it wasn’t for Marc Thompson’s narration I don’t think I would have enjoyed it at all.

    As for TV, it’s freakshow night: Girls and Shameless. I do want to check out Bosch (from Amazon) in the near future and I’m hoping that’s a little more even-keeled.Report

  10. Avatar Michael Drew
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m totally watching Ep. 3 of Better Call Saul tonight!

    Oh wait, I’m totally not, because it being on last Sunday (or whichever Sunday) was a complete feint designed to get me to show up to pad Walking Dead numbers tonight and still show up to help Saul lead a night completely on its own, even though longstanding TV convention dictates that a brand-new show follows an established show for at least its first uninterrupted run of episodes, in order to build an audience and help people remember when it’s on. Except because Saul is the younger brother of a certain “Other Show Which Shall Remain Nameless Because I’m One of The Three People In America Who Didn’t Watch It,” apparently the Rules don’t apply to Saul. So it’s not on until Monday, and I am disappoint.

    Well, eat it AMC. #SNL40 is on tonight and I’m not into zombies to begin with. And just to spite you, I will wait and watch Saul on demand, FFing the commercials, which for whatever reason you allow to happen.

    You will be thwarted, AMC. You will be thwarted.Report

  11. Avatar Michael Drew
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    says:

    Reading this week (parts of in the bookstore):

    A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain by Marc Morris

    The Lost History of 1914: Reconsidering the Year the Great War Began by Jack Beatty

    Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy SnyderReport

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