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Leo Campos
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Leo Campos

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Just leaving this here. Windings always freak me out - does anyone know the reason for them at all? Apart from some drunken programmer thinking it would be funny?
Owl Turd Comix is a comic from the creator of Owl Turd Comix!
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Wingdings were apparently developed and licensed by Microsoft in 1990, probably in an effort to generally standardize (and insulate against lawsuits about) character-mapped iconography in Windows and related products, and to serve the need for bullets and small symbols in the desktop publishing that was becoming important at the time. They used a lot of characters 'inspired' by the original Zapf Dingbats font, created by Herman Zapf and licensed through ITC in 1978. But graphic fonts have been around forever -- since about five minutes after the dawn of movable type.

Likewise, character-mapped graphics appeared very shortly after computers were introduced. They were useful in creating early games and animations. And 'sprite' systems in general -- which involve designing and animating a sequence of square or rectangular bitframes that get block-copied into a bitplane of screen memory (or XORd into the screen after saving the contents of RAM in affected locations) share DNA with them. As do things like .ico file entities (e.g., favicons) and, as you note, emoji.
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Ultron
I promise this will be spoiler-free +Ralph Uy.

+Adam Campbell and I grabbed the early showing of Avengers last night. It did not disappoint: big battles, big problems, big reveals. There was a little of a too-sprawling feeling to it, but at some point I think it is safe for Marvel to assume that everyone knows the background stories of these guys. It is like Star Wars, I guess - you can safely assume some beloved characters need no introduction, and that the universe and its rules are understood.

The film moves fast - I cannot think of a single wasted scene, and Whedon navigates it all like some manic imp - camera angles, sweeping arc shots, super-closeups, and of course jaw-dropping FX. The 3D was done well, and there were none of the silly objects flying in your direction gimmicks. Mostly the 3D was used to add a sense of massiveness to the scale - and it works well.

The dialog is fast-paced and funny. For those who groan at quips, you might want to skip this movie - actually the whole franchise.

There was plenty of opportunities to see the actors with their hair down, just chilling out and drinking together. Think "shawarma clip" but in a movie form. Funny and appropriate.

There were also the in-action requisite jokes - and I leave one here which is not a spoiler but those who know will know: beep! beep! :)

Spader as the oily, literally, bad guy is great. He clearly honed his charm in Blacklist, and here he can take that to epic levels. You can also tell that Whedon really loves this villain! There is plenty of villainy goodness: at moments Ultron is your typical evil overlord, at another he is a sulking teenager. This is what happens, I think, when a self-aware AI sucks up the whole of the internet! Think: Reddit Gone Bad.

The one question I am left with is whether or not this moves the cinematic universe forward. We have this massive arc with the gauntlet after all. At some point all these lines (from all the movies) will have to intersect into one wear-diapers-to-the-theatre massive epic. Personally I hope they take a note from LOTR and Potter and Hunger Games and do a two-parter!

From a character perspective we did see some progress. This is important because what makes superhero stories special is that the heroes are shown in moments of vulnerability. As a kid me and my friends all wished for that radioactive spider or that mystical amulet or that alien glowing green ring that would transform our mundane lives into something bigger. It was escape!

But what keeps me coming back to these medium and its stories is the opposite. The appeal is in seeing the Regular Joe struggles of heroes trying to live their lives in-between fighting aliens and other fiends. In the case of the Avengers it has always been about leadership and teamwork, about how to get along with very different personalities, and about how a team can do more than anyone by themselves. This is a struggle that everyone can relate to: from the office to the family, how do you cooperate and coordinate?

Hero stories work only when the heroes are us. This latest installment of the Avengers takes a good step in that direction as well, dealing with group issues.

Ok DC and Lucas Film - the gauntlet is thrown!
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It's clear that Marvel has found the right formula for these movies. Lots of action, lots of humor and lots of character development. They did a great job showcasing each character and giving them time on screen. So even if you haven't seen a lot of the other single movies you can pick up character personalities and where they stand in the group.

Along with that they do a good job of utilizing the powers of the characters and combining them. Think of the first Avengers where Iron Man shoots his laser beams off Caps shield. They do lots of this and it's awesome! They also do a good job with the power rule set. Like Hawkeye isn't punching some guy in the face and he is launched a 100 yards in the air. That is Cap/Thor/Hulk level stuff.

My only beef with the movie is it lacks tension. I'm not worried at all about the well being of these characters because they're over powered as hell. The tension is also cut down because of the humor. While most of the humor is good and made the crowd laugh it also brings down the tension. It feels almost like a bunch of Spider-man's fighting regular thugs. I hope Civil War and Infinity Gauntlet amp up the bad guys and start to bring the heat. The Russo brothers are doing IG and they directed Winter Solider so I think they will go for a little big more of a serious tone. It doesn't have to be Dark Knight serious, but I would like to feel like bad guy is competent in possibly winnings.

Overall it and a fun movie that used the same formula as the first. It's hard to top the first because it blew me away with how well they actually pulled it off. Now my hype levels are above normal and expectations are higher. This movie met most of my expectations and a little more, but I'm still waiting for that IG story that has been teased for like 4 years now.
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Bicycle face
So that's what it was called before we dubbed it RBF...see there is nothing we can come up with that wasn't already around for centuries, especially when it comes to protecting the weaker sex...

If you are lucky enough to have a grandparent around who lived through most of the 20th century go talk to them! You will be able to get all sorts of new ideas for memes and what-not. (Obviously if you have a grandparent who is in their 90s and can still have a good chat then WTF are you not going there to chat to them anyway? This is living history! But I digress).

Personally, much more worrisome than bike-face is developing a high tolerance for pudgy middle-aged guys is tight bright spandex. Honestly people - tight spandex is not a requirement at the speeds you are traveling.

Gentlemen, repeat after me: tight clothes are not an entitlement, they are a privilege. You got to earn that.
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LoLoLoL!
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Rational selfishness
No this is not a pro-Objectivist post. Rather I am fascinated about how the same approach can either be a virtue or a vice. Rationality, for example. Is it always virtuous? Is it always better to be rational? My preference is to say yes. But then I read about the rational premises of not immunizing your child. It is an interesting, and mostly safe, gamble. Until it isn't. 

This is very similar to the arguments I hear about the futility of voting in general elections. One vote is not going to change the outcome. Thus, selfishly, I can decide that the hour it will take for me to vote is much better spent watching sports on TV (or whatever). This too is a rational decision.

Both of these choices are, in the end, very American. 

Tocqueville describes this American self-interest this way: "I do not think, on the whole, that there is more selfishness among us [the French] than in America; the only difference is that there it is enlightened, here it is not. Each American knows when to sacrifice some of his private interests to save the rest; we want to save everything, and often we lose it all. Everybody I see about me seems bent on teaching his contemporaries, by precept and example, that what is useful is never wrong. Will nobody undertake to make them understand how what is right may be useful?"

But his point is a contradiction of the anti-vaccination rationale. Or is it? Tocqueville continues: "I do not think that the system of self-interest as it is professed in America is in all its parts self- evident, but it contains a great number of truths so evident that men, if they are only educated, cannot fail to see them. Educate, then, at any rate, for the age of implicit self-sacrifice and instinctive virtues is already flitting far away from us, and the time is fast approaching when freedom, public peace, and social order itself will not be able to exist without education."

Ah yes to believe that education would solve all issues! Those were grand times. The large pockets of anti-vaccination believers live in affluent and well-educated areas. AS the author of the linked article puts it: "facts alone, even if believed, aren't enough to change people’s views."

That is, education is not enough. So what is needed? 
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Ooh I dunno about that...I guess it depends which party you vote for...
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Spidey
I am pretty sure +Adam Campbell is giggling maniacally, and probably already standing in line for tickets...

About bloody time if you ask me. 
It's the moments fans have been waiting to hear for months.
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Battleworld
What wait what? 

The appeal of superhero stories lay in the fact that there were heroes among us. your mild-mannered neighbor could be Superman, the slacker kid with the quick wits could be Spidey. Heck, I had a chance to be secretly save the world!

When you move all heroes to a planet which is not here and now, something completely fictional, you lose some really important storytelling. Not that I don;t love a good fantasy setting for some heroic stuff. I do. But you are now moving into a different genre I think.

The Watchmen portrays the power of the superhero-among-us. Moving off to Battleworld...meh. 

Anyone actually excited about this? 
Marvel announces more locations to the recently revealed map.
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Not excited for this either. I'll just read about it online when the major stuff drops.
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Have them in circles
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Just leaving this here...for those us with a slightly more refined syntactical palate, this ring true. As an addendum I should mention the damage done to the more literate corners the BDSM community by the success of 50 Shades. Words matter m'dears...safe words doubly so.
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Colors
This is for the +Ralph Uy's and the +Adam Campbell's of the world who live in color palettes.

The other day I also saw a timeline of colors for paintings (http://flowingdata.com/2015/04/08/color-use-in-paintings-by-year/).

I am not sure what it reveals (apart from it being both neat and pretty). Someone's gotta be able to draw (see what i did there?) some conclusions! No?
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It comes down to technology, cost and attitude. Back then comics wasn't as big a franchise as it is today, so printing costs had to be at a minimal. Flat primary colours are cheaper to produce then full photo like print. The attitude is a big factor too, because comics were meant for kids. Again kids responded well to bright primary colours. With readership age ranges changing and writers like Frank Miller and Alan Moore coming into the fray, the color scheme needed to change to fit the mood of their stories. As the comic industry started to grow, they were able to afford higher quality presses, as well as computers able to blend better colours.

I remember Todd McFarlane's Spiderman, and the colours seem to jump out of the page, and had more depth. Then Image comics came out, and the beautiful array of colours complimented the beautiful artwork.
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Book covers
Last book I bought purely based on the cover was Initiate Brother, and I am glad I did (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/364472.The_Initiate_Brother). But the connection between beautiful cover art and purchase is surely much more tenuous on the i-net than it is in the old brick-and-mortar stores. I can browse many more titles faster online, get more information, and double-check the reviews. 

I cannot recall buying any e-book based on cover - it is always (in this order): content description, a sample reading, and price. I do not know if KBP allows authors to select how much of a book can go into the Sample - but if they do can I suggest authors, especially of non-fiction with their endless Intros, give the reader at least a good 50 pages of the actual material to read. I hate going through the two introductions and the first words of chapt.1 and then be asked to buy the book.

Link is for +J. Hancock and +Nicola Smith... :)
Send your finds to kindlecoverdisasters@gmail.com
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Indeed...probably wise +T. Pascal 
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Cupid
Might as well start with the jokes.

More importantly check out the rest of the art captions in That is Priceless - some of them are indeed priceless!

+J. Hancock will appreciate the laugh yoga.
One of the many great comics you can read for free at GoComics.com! Follow us for giveaways & giggles.
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LoL!  good stuff there, +Leo Campos!  thanks for thinking of me!
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Comic books are evil
Oh I just love some of the stuff from the 50s. It is like looking at life in another planet, or perhaps same planet different species. IDK. 

I, for one, am glad for the selfless and thankless work done by the brave men (I assume since women would be in the kitchen or suffering from headaches or whatever), the let us not mince words, the heroes, of the Comic Code Authority! 

+T. Pascal join me in saluting! 
  Fast on the heels of the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency investigation into the dire influence of comic books, innovative and transgressive E.C. Comics released its brief educational, edifying New Direction series. One of the New Direction titles was Psychoanalysis, beginning in May 1955, illustrated by Jack Kamen and depicting psychoanalytic therapy sessions as story lines. It was an unusual idea to present such a realistic, near-c...
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This message is not approved by the Church of Scientology nor their leader, Tom Cruise.
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commented on a video on YouTube.
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Mesmerizing
I keep imagining this being all one person, and what exactly is it they are researching. A lot about coal and energy in general, but this is England and coal matters. A lot.
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Leo has the heart of a troll....in his hand....with a fork in it to test if its done yet.
Introduction
“There is no one today who does not see the uselessness and injustice of collecting taxes from the toiling masses to enrich idle officials; or the senselessness of inflicting punishments on weak or depraved persons in the shape of transportation from one place to another, or of imprisonment in a fortress where, living in security and indolence, they only become weaker and more depraved; or the worse than useless and injustice, the positive insanity and barbarity of preparations for war and of wars, causing devastation and ruin, and having no kind of justification.” (Leo Tolstoy)
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I am a compulsive Epicurean (not a hedonist). I have not felt, loved, and played enough, nor experienced enough saudades. I have not answered all my emails from friends and family, and might not be able to. I am looking forward to telling my grandchildren all the stories my grandparents told me about their grandparents.