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

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39 Responses

  1. Avatar Will Truman says:

    I finished my first Librevox audiobook the other day, The Time Machine. It was pretty well read. The first reader was truly awesome. Subsequent readers were… okay. Their mediocrity would have been less noticed had the first reader not been so great. Having never done a Librevox before, my expectations weren’t high, but they were exceeded.

    On TV right now is an episode of Arthur that has South Park style animation.Report

  2. Avatar KatherineMW says:

    Can’t watch. 🙁 CTV is the only Canadian station showing it, and they’re only letting people watch it if they have a cable subscription.

    My guesses would be:

    Best Actor: Leo for The Revenant (everyone says it’s his time)
    Best Actress: Brie Larson for Room (heard a lot of good things about Room)
    Best Supporting Actor: No idea – Mark Rylance should get it, he was the best part of Bridge of Spies, and that was a good movie. Not likely to get it, though, based on your predictions.
    Best Supporting Actress: Probably Rooney Mara in Carol, it’s the Academy’s kind of thing
    Best Animated Film: Inside Out, obviously
    Cinematography: The Revenant (I’d say Fury Road deserves it, but I haven’t seen The Revenant so that’s an uninformed opinion. Fury Road had amazing visuals, though).
    Costume Design: Mad Max: Fury Road. Please
    Writing (Original Screenplay): Probably Spotlight – disappointing to me, because it’s the only one of the five that’s conventional Oscar fare. Nice that Inside Out got a nomination, but I’d like to see it win – it’s one of the most creative and original things I’ve seen in a while.
    Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Probably Room?
    Visual Effects: Fury Road if the Academy voters have any sense, but that’s a big “if” with a lot of evidence against it.
    Production Design: The Revenant or Fury Road
    Directing and Best Picture: Could be The Revenant, could be Spotlight

    Despite the lack of…chromatic diversity in this year’s Oscars, I’m pretty pleased with the number of nominations for films outside the usual Oscar bailiwick. Fury Road, Ex Machina, Inside Out, Star Wars, The Martian…science fiction/fantasy seems to finally be “in” at the Oscars, even if it’s not winning the big awards yet. The writing nomination for Straight Outta Compton was suprising to me as well (didn’t watch it because some disturbing stuff in the casting calls, but maybe I should, it’s from a part of US history and culture that I know virtually nothing about) – even if, for both it and Creed, nominating only the white people involved in the process feels off. It’s not like Stallone was overwhelmingly impressive in Creed; he certainly didn’t do more or better acting than Michael B. Jordan, even if Jordan’s performance wasn’t quite of the Best Actor caliber. Or maybe I just find boxing movies underwhelming.Report

  3. Avatar Chris says:

    I want to recommend Oleg Pavlov, but I am not sure who here would enjoy him. Certainly Aaron, and probably Jaybird, since Pavlov was once a guard at Karabas, but I dunno who else. Anyway, I’m reading him. Requiem for a Soldier right now. Definitely worth reading.Report

  4. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Chris Rock’s opening was excellent. It helps that the theme he used has been core of his act for just about all his professional career.Report

  5. Avatar Kazzy says:

    I’m not watching the Oscars, but I will share a book rec: A Man Called Ove. The book manages to be simultaneously dark/morbid and uplifting/charming. I’ll stop short of saying it is a “fun” read, but it is a thoroughly enjoyable and pleasant experience.

    Then again, I have a couple chapters left so it is entirely possible the darkness wins out.Report

  6. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Alicia Vikander won Best Supporting Actress which means that Eddie Redmayne will not be winning Best Actor.

    So maybe it is Leo’s year after all…Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Am I reading this right? Mad Max has five Oscars so far???Report

      • Avatar El Muneco says:

        People believed that “Mad Max” would be shut out because of analysis of historical voting patterns regarding insurgent candidates tapping support from a looked-down-upon demographic vs. establishment candidates backed by set-in-their-ways elitists.

        That analysis has always worked up until now – what could possibly go wrong?Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        I’m just going to say it: MM was “Meh” for me. I think it was the lack of dialogue and my complete ignorance of any backstory. There were some cool visuals but I just did not get it. What am I missing?Report

        • Avatar Chris says:

          It didn’t do anything for me, either. It was a good car chase scene.Report

          • Avatar Kazzy says:

            A good car chase scene? Without Vin Walker or Paul Diesel? Psssht.

            I actually fell asleep. Both times. Which doesn’t necessarily mean anything because I fall asleep during EVERY movie. But a supposed ground breaking action movie should maybe buck that trend.Report

            • Avatar Chris says:

              Visually, it was really impressive. I’ll give it that. It looks like those are the Oscars it’s winning, too: the visual stuff.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                I agree with that. But many of the visuals highlighted unique facets of the universe that were never explained (and intentionally so). Chief among them: in a world where gas is rare, why waste any on the world’s least aerodynamic speaker-mobile and some guy’s flame throwing guitar?Report

            • Avatar Maribou says:

              @kazzy weird question – have you had your thyroid and vitamin d checked (lately / ever)? ’cause i used to fall asleep during EVERY movie and it turned out i was pretty damn deficient in both of those areas.

              Now I only fall asleep on purpose.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:


                Thanks for checking in! To my knowledge, I’ve never had either tested. Unless that would come up in a relatively standard blood screening? I get those every few years for work.

                I’ve always assumed it was an issue with attention/stimulation. I’m never wanting for energy. I regularly function on 4-5 hours of sleep. And by “function” I mean I teach 4-year-olds for 6 hours a day, workout, and then parents a toddler and an infant. But I crave stimuli. So sitting down to watch a movie — even a good movie! — is sometimes not enough stimulation and I think my brain just drifts off.

                At least, that is my theory. It is worth getting checked out though, I figure. Can a regular doctor do the tests you mention?

                (And if you’d rather talk about this ‘offline’ since it may wade into personal medical histories, just let me know and I’ll email you.)Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                A regular doc can order the tests, can be done at a normal lab. Not part of the standard bloodwork afaik, the doc usually has to add mine to the list.

                if you’re only getting 4-5 a night it’s probably not thyroid or vitamin D – it’s could just that you are running a sleep deficit – SO NORMAL for parents – and have to keep moving so you don’t drift off? But it MIGHT be one of those, still – when my thyroid started to go bad, I was in a high intensity situation (the summer we spayed 16 cats and also I had a lot of work stuff going on) and I basically never had time to drift off except in the movies or something like that – I felt like I was fine because look at how much I’m getting done! But I was running on fumes …. as soon as that high intensity situation went away, I started exhibiting more traditional symptoms. Might be worth having a sleep study (though good luck finding the time to do one).

                But if you don’t FEEL tired (except in movies), you’re probably fine. Then again Jaybird kept telling me he wasn’t tired right up until he became a CPAP convert and could tell how tired he used to be… he just thought things took that much energy for everybody before.

                The nice thing about thyroid or vitamin D deficiency is that if it WAS one of those things, it is so very easy to fix – just have to figure out the dosage and then you are good to go with a daily pill.

                You can email me if you want more info. Between me and Jaybird we have run the gamut of sleep-related issues, pretty much.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:


                AH! Just seeing this. Thanks so much! Definitely lots for me to consider and look into as some of what you describe definitely applies to me and this gives me a new perspective of thinking about a variety of things related to sleep, health, energy management, and life organization. I’m not sure if I’m in position to do anything right now about it, but summer will provide a lot more time. And given that I first remember falling asleep in the theater watching “Passion of the Christ” — which Google tells me came out back in 2004! — I’m confident I can manage a few more months.

                But, yea, I’m going to look into this because I do worry about the sustainability of my current lifestyle. I’ll be in touch (probably behinds the scenes.)

                Thanks again!Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          Well, you have to keep in mind that the Mad Max movies are the best movies ever made.

          Well, after the first one. The first one wasn’t very good.

          But from The Road Warrior to Beyond Thunderdome to, yes, Fury Road, these movies are the pinnacle of movie making. The xenoanthropology alone deserves a bunch of statues.

          I’d say that you need to start with Road Warrior and try to watch it as a story being told about an ancestor.

          “How did we get to this place, Grandparent?”
          “Well, kiddo, I’ll tell it to you the way it was told to me…”

          And Mad Max is the reluctant hero who is haunted by his legion of past failures. He seems to be the only guy in the story who remembers the time before the apocalypse happened… and his morality is a pre-apocalyptic morality. He encounters a group of people who are trying to eke out a meek “don’t start none, won’t be none” existence just in time to see them threatened by a wicked warlord with a distinctly *POST*-apocalyptic morality. He tries to resist the call to action but gets swept up in it anyway despite himself… those darned pre-apocalypse morals!

          And then he gets all post-apocalypse on the post-apocalypse tribe. To the hilt.

          During this process, some of the people he’s trying to save die… and those become another handful of failures and ghosts to haunt him… but he manages to defeat the wicked and give the meek enough of what they need to get started with a new life with some tiny, misunderstood, seeds of this pre-apocalyptic morality of Max’s.

          And there are stories all over the new world of this Mad Max.

          You are lucky enough to be able to hear three of them.Report

          • Avatar Kazzy says:

            I genuinely have no idea if you are being sarcastic or not. Ha!

            What I will say is that I sat there watching the movie with little concern for what happened to any of the characters and far more interest in the details of the universe. Who were the white skinned dudes? Who was the main baddie? What was up with his sons? And the milking? What’s Gastown and the Bullet Factory? Do I even know that the baddies are bad and the good guys are good?

            Basically, absent any of that information, I didn’t have any stake in it. Why should I care if Max died? He was just some dude. And for all I knew he was a bad guy.

            Now, I can totally see how for people steeped in the universe, the movie might have been hella fun because it DIDN’T answer any of those questions and instead just jumped in medias res to a story that exists within it. So my dissatisfaction with the movie shouldn’t be read as a criticism as much as a recognition that I was probably not its target audience.

            If watching the earlier movies will fill in that story and make me think, “Oh crap! There’s Joe Blow! Crazy to see how they’ve reimagined his character!” or whatever, than I’d probably be game.

            My only knowledge of Mad Max was when “Waterworld” came out and my dad said, “They already made this movie and it was called Mad Max but instead of too much water it was not enough gas and it was much better than Waterworld.” Only he hadn’t seen Waterworld. But why let that get in the way of my dad shitting on something?Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              Each tribe in each new place is different.

              Lord Humungus is the big bad in Road Warrior.
              Auntie Entity is the big bad in Beyond Thunderdome.
              Immortan Joe is the big bad in Fury Road.

              Seriously: watch it for the xenoanthropology. Each tribe is surprisingly rich.Report

        • Avatar j r says:

          I loved Fury Road! One of the best movie experiences that I had in 2015. That said, I loved it in a completely different way than I love, say, The Godfather. It’s not about plot or dialogue. It’s all in the visuals. So, I guess different strokes for different folks.

          I saw Deadpool yesterday and that has cemented for me the fact that I just don’t like comic book/superhero movies very much. Again, different strokes… Except, that there is something peculiar bout the current pop culture zeitgeist that makes it difficult to leave it at that.Report

  7. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Ugh! It was Leo!

    I’m never watching the Oscars again.Report

    • Avatar El Muneco says:

      I dunno. I think it’s a reward for reinventing himself over the last ten years. A former child star who spent the 1990s being overmatched by roles, then most of the 2000s overreaching for roles… And in his maturity he found himself and this was his fourth nomination.

      Admittedly, Peter O’Toole had five nominations in the first half of his career and three in the second half, and no one thought there was a queue forming then.Report

    • Avatar aaron david says:

      Meh, I heard the bear sucked.Report

  8. Avatar aaron david says:

    Reading Greenmantle and Koestlers Arrival and Departure. So, a twofer for @chris

    Also have started carrying a paperback in my backpocket again, ’cause I will forget my phone.

    ETA: the paperback is McPheesThe Curve of Binding Energy.Report

  9. Avatar Maribou says:

    Still watching Mr Rogers all the time. And reading Paris guidebooks / memoirs / etc like whoa.

    Read Marissa Meyer’s 800-page-ish Winter in less than 24 hours. Woman knows how to keep the pages turning (especially considering I was never in any real doubt about the ending – how can there be suspense when the ending is predictable??? mistress of her craft).

    Stumptown and Shutter are both fun comics that I think comixy people here would like to read. I will be reading more volumes of them myself.Report

  10. Avatar Kim says:

    And in the Jewish History Oscar, we have Son Of Saul…
    Can’t say as it’s all that weird (Last year Poland, this year Hungary)
    Pity the poor Germans, they picked a bad year to blow smoke up the Academy’s ass.Report