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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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15 Responses

  1. Avatar Maribou
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    says:

    Hm. What do I remember at 4:50 in the morning when I haven’t slept since yesterday morning?

    *thinks*

    This was a week with a lot of Hugo reading in’t. Read 2 graphic novels from hugo packet that I had no expectations for, was delighted by how much I liked them both. Ancillary Mercy was a satisfying conclusion to the series, but slightly less providing of delighted-surprise than the first two books; my favorite part of the book was actually the middle (unusual for me). Binti was wonderful, the kind of coming-of-age sf story I was hooked on when I was a teenager, but delightfully more sharp-edged than such books were back then. The Builders was alright, but there were egregious GLARING zoology mistakes that kept knocking me out of a story that was taking all my suspension of belief to read, so it ended up being kind of a pain in the rear. Slow Bullets was good, if far from my favorite Reynolds. Still there was an unexpected sweetness to its premises.

    Decided after much deliberation to skip reading Seveneves. Even the people I could find on the internet who are voting for it admitted to skimming large parts of it. Given my pre-existing strong bias against reading it, I’m willing to just not vote for it and move on.

    I’ll be reading fifth season (by jemisin) when I get home, I started it the night before we left and it’s quite promising.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Maribou
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      says:

      I enjoyed the hell out of Seveneves and skimmed not a word. With that said, yes, some of the “gee whiz” stuff, especially about giant space whips, could have used more aggressive editing and still kept the detailed geektasticness that is a Neal Stephenson trademark.Report

    • Avatar Slade the Leveller in reply to Maribou
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      says:

      Seveneves kept me entertained on a trip to Scotland a couple of years ago. New Stephenson is essential reading for me.

      Just finished Class A, an account of a season on the lowest rung of the professional baseball ladder. It follows the 2010 season of the Clinton Lumberkings, and it’s a moving account of the hopes, dreams, and failures of a bunch of 20 year old baseball hopefuls.Report

  2. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    says:

    I’m reading Millennium by Tom Holland, it is a history of Europe during the Dark Ages.Report

  3. Avatar Burt Likko
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m reading Shadi Hamid’s Islamic Exceptinalism and will probably get to make some good progress on that on the plane home.

    Today will be a definite health day after two days of partying in Portland’s Pearl district.Report

  4. fillyjonk fillyjonk
    Ignored
    says:

    “Competence porn.” That alone tells me that maybe if I’m looking for bingewatching material, I should look Person of Interest up. (I’ve seen bits and pieces when it was on various networks – I think WGN America reruns it? But it’s never at a time I want to sit down and just watch).

    Right now, I’m re-reading (got about 2/3 in and stalled out) of “The War that Ended Peace,” an account of some of the stuff that was the run-up to WWI. I feel very ignorant about WWI – it’s really badly taught in American schools, even the good school district I attended in the 70s – and that I need to read more about it so I know. I also have “The Guns of August” on my shelf to read some time.

    I also (huge, irritated sigh) have a copy of “R for Dummies” I need to start as my uni is allegedly not renewing our stats-package site license and I need SOME way of analyzing research data, and R apparently has the virtue of being free. Programming is so not my forte that I expect there will be several rounds of tears….Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to fillyjonk
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      says:

      I’ll just warn you: it’s binge-watch material that ends on cliffhangers at the end of Seasons 3 and 4.

      So don’t say “just one more” if it’s the season 3 or 4 finale and you have to go to work tomorrow.Report

  5. Avatar Mike Schilling
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    says:

    I’m reading Wodeouse’s The Prince and Betty, which I picked up at Powell’s, in between drinking with Jaybird, Maribou, and Vikram, and drinking with Jaybird, Maribou, Vikram, and Zac. Explaining why this is awesome will take a bit of time.

    In 1912, Wodehouse published two very different books called The Prince and Betty, one on the UK and one in the US. The American one incorporated much of the plot of the third Psmith serial, Psmith, Journalist, which had not yet been publish in book form. (Psimth was renamed “Smith”, a fairly transparent disguise.) The British version was later replaced by the American one, and had not been available since since 1920s, until it was republished last year.

    So, a new book by an author who’s been gone for forty years. Awesome.Report

  6. Avatar Stillwater
    Ignored
    says:

    What you wrote reminds me that not only have I thought the short leash on TV series (eg., Firefly) is a mistake, but the midrange leash is a mistake as well (eg., Angel. Well, it DID get better.) Talented writers/producers/show-runners/etc need time to get their legs under them, and talent will out. So your review of PoI makes me happy not only because that the network allowed talented people be talented, but that talented people actually demonstrated their talent.

    I’ve been watching Sense8 and having a great time with it. At first, the lack of a conventional plot threw me for a disturbing loop, one adequately compensated for by the phenomenal characters and cinematography. But now, deep into the series, I view the lack of a clearly delineated plot as an asset rather than a liability. Which is pretty cool.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
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      says:

      There was this thing I read about how the problem is that writers aren’t willing to start investing until two seasons have been established. You don’t want to use your best stories on a one-season show, after all. So season 3 is amazing… as is 4 and 5.

      At this point, writers have used up all of their ideas. Now they’re writing stuff like “let’s… have our protagonists find… an underground city?” and it takes two seasons or so for this to run its course and get cancelled.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        Firefly might be a good example here. The network (apparently) wanted more XY&Z so they cancelled it. If they stayed with it … well, who knows? Joss has shown his chops and all that. (Ironically, I just got done watching an REM documentary in which record execs kept demanding that REM do XY&Z or they’d end up LOSERS…)

        It certainly may be that writers are holding back their best stuff, but I tend to think the dynamic goes the other way: writers don’t bring their best stuff because Best Stuff requires establishing a (show) history in which that stuff can even make sense.

        Adding: Network TV anyway.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
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          says:

          Joss is an outlier.

          I also suspect that stuff like Orange is the New Black and Game of Thrones have changes the formula a little bit.

          Or it probably goes back to stuff like The Sopranos and Six Feet Under or something.

          A willingness to use up all of the good writing on the first two seasons… like the BBC does.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        Jaybird: There was this thing I read about how the problem is that writers aren’t willing to start investing until two seasons have been established

        I did not think writers have enough juice and leverage to hold out that like, but I could be wrong. Particularly on regular network TV, where cancelation well short of a complete season is a common enough occurrence.Report

  7. Avatar DavidTC
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    says:

    PoI’s ending is…OH MY GOSH IT WAS AWESOME

    The entire season is pretty awesome, in fact, because, thank goodness, the showrunners seemed to realize they didn’t have time to focus on their standard plots, and that they, in fact, needed to wrap the damn show up! Only about half the episodes had a normal POI, and a good portion of those POIs were related somehow to the main plot, or to the characters’ histories.

    Their insistence on focusing on normal plots is part of what made season 4 so uneven. Hey, let’s totally restructure everything and make what should a huge problem to deal with…and then let’s not deal with it…and do a lot of our plots like we’re still in season 3. Uh, that’s a bit weird, guys. Your arc forgot to arc at all. You’re just…leaving the giant menace that took over the world and wants to kill you completely alone, eh? Interesting narrative choice.

    So, to make up or that, weirdly, in season 5, they ended up cramming so much arc plot in they barely had time for anything else.

    Granted, they didn’t resolve some stuff, and there are actually some entirely lost characters even at the end of the show. I mean, for an example of minor characters that no one cares if I spoil the fate of, we don’t ever figure out what the hell the super-secret nerd trio were even for. You know, that group Root went around collecting in season 3, stuck them in Canada, hacked Samaritan to ignore them, and then…they made the stock market fix, offscreen, mid-season 4, and that was it? Huh? No mention of them ever again? Weeeird. They *sounded* really important. (Maybe they couldn’t get the actors back…except they had a choice of three of them, surely they could get one, and have him show up because the other two were killed offscreen or something.)

    And a few other dangling threads I guess they didn’t really have time to do deal with, including one that really annoys me. Although they did deal with one that I had completely forgotten needed resolving.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to DavidTC
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      says:

      Oh, and spoilers in case other people want to know, the unresolved thread that annoys me is…wait, I have to space this out or the spoiler shows up in the box at the top, right?

      So…I don’t how much I have to space here. Let’s see, something about PoI season 5 that isn’t a spoiler…I like the mystery, at the very very start of season 5, of WTH Root’s voiceover was talking about, because it makes absolutely no sense at the time.

      I urge people binge-watching PoI to watch the first episode, and then start the episode over *merely to listen to that* before you go on, and try to figure it out.

      And then, later in the season, a thing will happen, and you’ll realize you were completely wrong about what you figured out, and at that point, go listen to it again.

      Okay, spoilers. The unresolved thread that annoys me is: What happened to Control? Seriously. Seems like she could have been a help, especially what was going on at the end. Instead of sending Reese and Shaw to rescue Finch, the Machine should have sent them to rescue her, (Or both her and Finch) and had her join the team for the last episode.Report

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