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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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  1. Avatar Oscar Gordon
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    says:

    The Netflix movie Bright came out this week. I haven’t seen it yet, but friends have and they tell me it is solid home popcorn fare.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Oscar Gordon
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      says:

      @oscar-gordon

      Every review I read of the movie said it is horrible and makes no sense.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw
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        Its a fun movie if you don’t take it too seriously but it needed more work. The biggest problem with it is that it seems like a very extended pilot for a tv series or a series of movies rather than a stand alone movie. Lots of world building and sequel hooks. My other criticism is that it doesn’t take the entire humans, orcs, elves, fairies, and others live together as seriously as it should because more than a few stereotypes about different human groups are also present in the movie. If humans are supposed to be a sort of in-between group between the upper class elves and lower class orcs than they should all sort of behave with a petit bourgeois mindset. They don’t.Report

  2. Avatar Chip Daniels
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    I’m reading and giggling over this:

    GALVESTON, TX—According to sources, local family the Fullers mistakenly selected a violent imprecatory Psalm as their chosen verse for this year’s Christmas card, which was mailed to all of their friends, family and coworkers.

    The verse in question is Psalm 58:6, which reads, “O God, shatter the teeth in their mouths,” according to witnesses who have received a copy of the card.

    Which would be amusing enough.

    But for maximum hilarity in the “Not Learning A Lesson” category:

    The Fullers plan to use a New Testament verse next year, to avoid a similar problem. “We’ll pick something Jesus said—he always spoke kind words of gentleness,” Jim noted.

    2018 Fuller family Christmas card:
    Matt23:33;“You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?”Report

  3. Avatar gabriel conroy
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    I just learned that Black Mirror season 4 will be coming out on Netlix in a couple days.

    I just finished reading Steinbeck’s In Dubious Battle and Scott Turow’s Presumed Innocent. I probably can’t tell my opinions of the former without getting into politics. But the latter I found an interesting read although like so many novels, too much seems to tie together in too unlikely a way at the end. (Maybe that’s what novels and fiction are supposed to do, but sometimes it makes me want to roll my eyes.)Report

  4. Avatar Fish
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    I’m about a third of the way through A Canticle For Leibowitz and for me it is riding the cusp of “boring enough to put down.” Luckily, it’s short enough that the investment for finishing it isn’t that great.Report

  5. Avatar Maribou
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    I read The Power, by Alderman, which was brilliant enough that were I not exhausted I’d be tempted to write a not-Mindless-Diversions post about it.

    Ka, by John Crowley, which is one of the most beautiful and stirring existential fantasies I’ve read in years, definitely one of my favorites in his extensive corpus.

    A million picture books (approximately) of which my two favorites were The Way Home in the Night by Miyakoshi – the most beautiful and non-annoying soporifica I’ve ever read – and Mahin and Turk’s Muddy, about Muddy Waters, which has the clarity and accessibility and heart that kid’s picture book biographies often beat out adult biographies because of.

    Now I’m reading a trifle of a thing called The Nutcracker Mice, which has ballet and animals and Russia and literary and artistic allusions and a dash of romance, but is basically just a cracking good adventure story for middle-graders. Um, where “adventure” has an end goal of successfully mounting a mouse production of the Nutcracker. But there is bodily peril a-plenty! Um, not that any normal ballet company isn’t in bodily peril. But there’s LETHAL! Bodily! Peril! And roguish persons. And daring risks taken and richly rewarded. And exploration of hitherto unknown locations far outside the scope of the heroine’s daily life.

    Thus, adventure story.

    I haven’t been watching that much or listening to that many podcasts, because it’s Christmas music time for me in the rare minutes I can sit still somewhere. In fact, I’m about to start catching up on Tod’s Advent Calendar of Christmas songs, now that I’ve steeped myself in all my new seasonal purchases (Jann Arden! More Loreena McKennit! Sesame Street! Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings! And more!).Report

  6. Avatar Zac Black
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    says:

    As a Christmas present to myself, I picked up a gorgeous hardcover copy of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Incal, which I’d had recommended to me by several friends over the past couple years. And man, what an amazing graphic novel. It’s strange and beautiful and you can really see how it influenced so much of the aesthetics of the sci-fi that came after it. I’m only about a quarter of the way in and I’m hoping to knock out another sizable chunk this evening.Report

  7. Avatar aaron david
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    says:

    Reading Among the Believers, by V.S. Naipaul – excellent as is everything by him.

    Watching The Magicians – not worth the time, but I have almost no control of the tv…

    Also watched True Detective season 2 – better than I was led to believe, will have word and thoughts later.Report

    • Avatar Maribou in reply to aaron david
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      says:

      Huh, I caught up on The Magicians this week and I really enjoyed it. One thought I had though, is that if I hadn’t read the books it would probably not appeal to me. Because the books, for all their flaws, did a really great job of fleshing out the characters. And the actors are doing a solid job of acting those characters. But the writers of the show are not particularly doing ANYTHING with the characters…. and what they are doing they’ve kind of f’d up. So if I didn’t have the books in my mind, I’d pretty much want to strangle the show. (There’s also the bonus of “oh, I like that bit better than the books, it can stay,” vs “UGH WHAT ARE YOU THINKING *mental erase that that ever happened and replace with the far superior book version*” – though more of the time than not I can just happily accept that they’re telling different stories but with the same people.)

      Dunno if that makes sense or even relates to your objections, but it is what crossed my mind while I was wondering why I was enjoying a show that had such crap character writing.Report

      • Avatar aaron david in reply to Maribou
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        says:

        “So if I didn’t have the books in my mind, I’d pretty much want to strangle the show.”

        That is a good way to put it. Basically, if you need to have read the books (as my wife has) to understand what is going on you have a real problem. I find it quite impossible to follow, what with the “crap character writing” and seemingly deus ex machina plotting. The idea of Harry Potter meets Brett Eston Ellis is not a bad one but doesn’t push any west coast buttons for me – not my world. SyFy (?) put some money in it, but again you are putting your finger on the problemReport

  8. Avatar pillsy
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    Drove down to see my folks in DC; the drive was rendered tolerable by my audiobook version of Alastair Reynolds’ Pushing Ice, which is (so far) a fine bit of hard SF, reminiscent of the best bits of Larry Niven mixed with the best bits of Arthur C. Clarke.Report

    • Avatar Zac Black in reply to pillsy
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      Ever since I scored a copy of Reynolds’ Revelation Space a few years back, I’ve been hooked on his writing; have you read any of his other stuff? If not, I highly recommend checking it out, I’ve read most of his books at this point and I haven’t found one yet that wasn’t highly enjoyable.Report

  9. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    says:

    I’m still reading the Seventh Function of Language and Wicked CompanyReport

  10. Avatar LeeEsq
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    I watched the George C. Scott version of the Christmas Carol. Its the best version and closest to Dickens. The only flaw is that the Ghost of Christmas Past has eighties hair and everybody else has period appropriate hair.Report

    • Avatar pillsy in reply to LeeEsq
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      I have trouble keeping all the versions I’ve seen straight, but I’m pretty sure my favorite is the one with the Muppets.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to LeeEsq
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      I keep a soft spot for the 1970 Albert Finney musical version.

      Looking back now, I find myself wondering “wait, they saw A Christmas Carol and thought ‘WE NEED TO DO A MUSICAL OF THIS’?” but, you know, you’ve Albert Finney. Might as well do a musical, right? It could arguably be a waste of investor money if you have Albert Finney and you do *NOT* do a musical!

      Anyway, it’s been at least a decade since I’ve seen it and “Thank You Very Much” and “You Were New” and “Father Christmas” all immediately pop into mind and I know I’m forgetting at least the Tiny Tim one which was calibrated to make everybody a little bit weepy.

      Ah, 1970. What were you thinking?Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird
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        That if Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol could do an animated musical version on TV in 1962, how could a non-animated film fail?Report

        • Avatar Michael Schilling in reply to Michael Cain
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          Mister Magoo’s Christmas Caro was awesome. It didn’t try to be clever; it just told the story, hitting all the emotional beats of Scrooge’s transformation, and Jim Backus’s voice acting was superb. I don’t know when it stopped being shown on TV, but some kind soul has YouTube’d it.

          Report

      • Avatar rexknobus in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        I’m a big fan of the Finney version. Great music. Fine adaptation. Some fantastic acting by all concerned, especially Mr. Finney. Lots of little touches and plenty of big “Oliver”-type extravanganza. No idea why it gets so little respect.Report

    • Avatar Jason in reply to LeeEsq
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      It’s my favorite as well.Report

  11. Avatar LeeEsq
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    says:

    Reading wise, I’m finishing The Sot Weed Factor by John Barth, its a comedic novel of colonial Maryland. My non-fiction reading is Taste of Empire, which is how the drive for food led British imperialism.Report

  12. Avatar Michael Cain
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    says:

    Kim Stanley Robinson’s New York 2140. Perhaps because people have been complaining about the Star Wars science all week, but I’m finding Robinson’s view of science and engineering progress 125 years out to be really uneven. Some big changes — spray-on super-strong transparent waterproofing — but much of it things that we have, or could have, today.Report

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