Link’n’Blogs – 12.8.17: Almost Infamous?


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I loved Lincoln Logs when I was a kid. Though I never entertained the idea that I would be a designer, engineer or architect, something about putting together these wooden and plastic pieces was simply simple fun. Connecting to ideas through the blogosphere seems similar to this pursuit, hence the title of this weekly post. Each Friday, I intend to post something interesting I’ve read out there on the internets. Hopefully others will find these posts as thought provoking as I have.

Yesterday was the anniversary of FDR’s famous address to congress which launched the United States into World War II. One wonders where eloquence, even on such a terrible subject, has gone in our political discourse. I read again this past week a fascinating NPR piece on what that speech almost was what it wasn’t. Click the photo below for the article.

pearl harbor

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The 2017 Denver Broncos Week Fourteen: New York Jets @ Denver Broncos


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 New York Jets @ Denver Broncos

Sunday, December 10, 2017

 Untitled

LAST WEEK’S RESULT

Prediction: Denver 9, Miami 35

Actual: Denver 23, Miami 17

BACKGROUND

And the beat (ings) goes on… We will stick with this line until the beatings stop or my morale improves.

 

Two teams. Going nowhere. Changes coming. This Sunday on CBS!

There has not been a time in my adult life when I have thought “why would anyone (me included?) watch the Denver Broncos play football.

The time is now.

I am not sure why this is watchable.

KEY MATCH UP

This feels like another winnable game for the Broncos. The Jets? They are no good. The Broncos? Are they worse?

I guess that remains to be seen.

Let’s watch the Denver defense again this week. Not only have they been bad, they were embarrassed last week. Deep throws completed in the fourth quarter of a game that was already over? NOT COOL, Adam Gase. Perhaps the Broncos respond angrily and, at home, get the crowd on their side and beat up the J-E-T-S, Jets!

I would love to see it.

X-FACTOR

I want to see Von Miller break through. It is not that he has been anything but stellar this “wasted” year, but I want to see him dominate and take over a game.

This would be a great one to do it in.

He’s due, right?

PREDICTION

Make mine, for no other reason than they really CAN win this game, Denver.

I just cannot believe they will lose out. They will pick up a game or two. This is as likely a candidate as any.

Give me another defensive score and some… SOME… offense.

Denver Broncos – 17

New York Jets – 13

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Filed under Denver Broncos, Football, Football Prediction, NFL, NFL Football

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: November 29 – December 5, 2017


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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.

Then I read them.

Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

Comics I Read Last Week:

One

 

The best comic I read last week was Batman Annual #2.

Writer:  Tom King

Artist:  Lee Weeks and Michael Lark

The cover of Batman Annual #2 reads “Date Nights | Last Rites” and it should be taken literally. Writer Tom King continues his engrossing exploration of the Batman/Catwoman relationship which has, recently, taken a turn toward marriage. This annual reframes the beginnings of the conflict between the two characters as a budding flirtation centered on the idea that they both fill in pieces for the other, that each fits in the other’s life.

It is a compelling premise and the “joke” at the center of it – that they cannot agree on when they actually first met – plays out effectively and fulfillingly throughout the issue.

Broken into two parts, the Date Night portion and the Last Rites section, this issue is remarkably satisfying and surprisingly affecting. If the Last Rites chapter represents the “true” history of Batman and Catwoman, there is much for which to root and much for which to despair.

Lee Weeks handles the Date Nights section and Michael Lark the Last Rites piece. Both are terrific pencilers and have very complimentary styles. Both hew closer to the realistic than the cartoon-ish and, in that, they are perfect for writer King whose most absurd tendencies as a plotter remain anchored in the real world. And Lark draws the cutest black kitten you are likely to ever see in a comic book.

King and collaborators continue to make Batman a must, must, must read. This annual was no exception to that rule.

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Filed under Batman, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Marvel Comics

Link’n’Blogs – 12.1.17: The Emotional Weight of Being Graded


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I loved Lincoln Logs when I was a kid. Though I never entertained the idea that I would be a designer, engineer or architect, something about putting together these wooden and plastic pieces was simply simple fun. Connecting to ideas through the blogosphere seems similar to this pursuit, hence the title of this weekly post. Each Friday, I intend to post something interesting I’ve read out there on the internets. Hopefully others will find these posts as thought provoking as I have.

As students and teachers all over the country rocket toward Christmas Break, many will be completing final exams prior to the weeks off for the holiday. This made me consider the pressure of grades and grading both on students and teachers and called to mind a wonderful post by The Junior Senator on his blog Socratic Review (have you not subscribed yet!?!). Click the picture below to get his take on this challenge. This is a short, thought provoking and excellent piece.

Graded

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Filed under Education, Education Blog, Link'n'Blog, Teaching, The Junior Senator

The 2017 Denver Broncos Week Thirteen: Denver Broncos @ Miami Dolphins


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Denver Broncos @ Miami Dolphins

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Denver-Broncos-vs-Miami-Dolphins-NFL-Matchup-jpg

LAST WEEK’S RESULT

Prediction: Denver 30, Oakland 20

Actual: Denver 14, Oakland 21

BACKGROUND

And the beat (ings) goes on…

Another week, another loss and the only interesting parts of last Sunday’s latest debacle – this time against the Raiders – was found in an fight in the first quarter and an injury in the fourth – both terrible things in which to find interest.

Aqib Talib and Michael Crabtree certainly do not like each other. They might also be idiots. While it seems Crabtree “started it” (welcome back to elementary school) with a sucker punch to Chris Harris to which Talib responded, losing one of the best players Denver has impacted the game. Greatly. Denver may have won it with Talib. His ejection made that much of a difference.

And power Paxton Jack Sparrow. This guy cannot catch a break. After leading a moribund Denver offense to NO POINTS for three quarters, Lynch watched injured from the sidelines as Trevor Siemian sparked the team to 14 points and gave fans like me (maybe I am the idiot) hope that Denver might win a game.

What a bad, bad year.

 

KEY MATCH UP

Bad vs. bad for the right to go… nowhere, except higher in the draft.

I have selected Denver vs. Denver as the key to many games in this losing streak (the likes of which Denver has not seen since before I was born, and I am not a young man). I will go with that again this week. I believe Denver can win this game.

Will they?

That is harder to believe.

X-FACTOR

Okay, 13. It is your team. Again.

I firmly believe Siemian is playing for a spot on someone’s roster next year. He is a more-than-serviceable NFL backup. If he can put some good play on tape to counter the last few games he started for the Broncos, he will get a modest contract somewhere, perhaps here in Denver.

He will not be a starter, though. Anywhere.

His fire – a quality for which he is not known – will be the X Factor on Sunday.

PREDICTION

Okay, I’ll take the Broncos. Again.

Will I ever learn?

The Dolphins (like almost all the teams on the rest of the Broncos’ schedule) are beatable.

Are the Broncos really going to lose out to end the year?

I doubt it. They will win at some point… why not Sunday at Miami?

Denver Broncos – 23

Miami Dolphins – 17

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Filed under Denver Broncos, Football, Football Prediction, NFL Football

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: November 22 – 28, 2017


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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.

Then I read them.

Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

Comics I Read Last Week:

One

The best comic I read last week was The Doomsday Clock #1.

Writer:  Geoff Johns

Artist:  Gary Frank

Perhaps it was inevitable, but it is also kind of gutsy: to revisit and write what amounts to a direct sequel of one of the most revered comic book narratives of all time. It was inevitable because, let us face it, there is money to be made. It is gutsy as Doomsday Clock will relentlessly be compared to Watchmen, the classic 1980s graphic novel and there is hardly any way to imagine that Doomsday Clock will not come up wanting.

I expected something different from this book. I expected it to be more of a DC Universe/Watchmen crossover than it actually is. Though Superman appears at the end of the book (and in remarkable fashion: Geoff Johns has had a terrific feel for this character for years), Doomsday Clock is very much chapter 13 of Watchmen and it plays exceedingly well.

Gary Frank is not aping the work of original artist Dave Gibbons here, but he is adopting the panel structure – of course – and is bringing to the book his top work. Frank is an artist whose best asset is the detail he puts into the page, the expressions, the stands of hair, the crumpled garbage in the streets. He is on point in Doomsday Clock and his gritty realism really works here.

I love what Johns did in continuing Alan Moore’s appropriation of DC properties. In Watchmen, Moore used facsimiles of the Charlton characters DC had just purchased. In Doomsday Clock, Johns creates the Marionette and the Mime, DC’s Punch and Julee simulacrums and the trick is pleasant and works.

The whole issue works and I read it three times this week. Each time, I was more deeply pulled into the story. I am sure I can dive in and feel the same way again.

Big event comics seem to rarely deliver on their promises these days. Doomsday Clock, at least for one issue, does.

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Filed under Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Geoff Johns, Marvel Comics, Superman, Weekly Comic Book Review

Link’n’Blogs – 11.24.17: Giving Thanks In Film


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I loved Lincoln Logs when I was a kid. Though I never entertained the idea that I would be a designer, engineer or architect, something about putting together these wooden and plastic pieces was simply simple fun. Connecting to ideas through the blogosphere seems similar to this pursuit, hence the title of this weekly post. Each Friday, I intend to post something interesting I’ve read out there on the internets. Hopefully others will find these posts as thought provoking as I have.

Thanksgiving weekend is not quite over. Looking for something to do with the family? How about taking a look at one of Cosmopolitan’s list of the best Thanksgiving movies for 2017? Click the picture below of, perhaps THE BEST Thanksgiving movie.

Planes

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Filed under Holidays, Link'n'Blog, Thanksgiving