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I'm a geek working as a distance learning specialist for a large corporation.

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I talked about this one before, but I had to mention that I just watched a Mythbusters episode on the Discovery Channel that confirmed that impairment is at least asImpairment while driving on phone > drunk driving

Last month's podcast was such a great success that I decided to do another one. When I say it was a great success, I mean that it was successfully uploaded andTIDBABSH the second, part the first

Okay, supposedly everything is migrated. If you don't get notified of this post, let me know... ;)Testing the new feed

Out of the ashes of our future destruction, a new hero has been born. Gabriel Bright. Beacon of hope. Defender of justice. Burdened, as are we all, with the knowledgeThe Birth of Gabriel Bright - DC Universe

The main "event" around here lately is that this website was down for two days while we switched servers. Apparently there were issues with the process. I'm not convinced everythingThe Event

I just saved myself 12% in interest fees in a 10 minute conversation. I've been working in earnest to get myself out of credit card debt for a few years now.Saving 12% in interest in 10 minutes

The time is shortly upon us. The wait is nearly over. Let the glorious holiday IMAX season BEGIN!!! Wait... let me get my oxygen... Okay. I feel better now. Got a little giddy thereHoliday trailers - Tron: Legacy, Narnia 3, and HP:TDH

I thought I was done with posting about Watchmen. But then I found this: There are a huge number of these Marvel vs. DC clips, and a lot of them areTuesday TubeWatch: the final Watchmen-related post

First, the confession: I've been a Doctor Who fan since I was about 8 years old. Sitting and watching those episodes (Tom Baker, at the time) with my Dad isReview: Doctor Who 2005 & 2006 seasons

Back in January, there was a major disaster in the world. Perhaps you heard about it? There was lots of media coverage. This isn't a trick question. I'm talking about theWalking the talk

There is nothing more perfect than the punch line of this Dilbert strip. Who among us cannot relate? I actually considered making that my new theme on this site. There areWhat futility doesn't feel like

[caption id="attachment_1656" align="alignright" width="300" caption="This is funny, but not what I'm after."][/caption] I saw an article today stating that the BBC ran a survey and received results showing it was "anti-Christian"Christianity on TV

This is a follow-up to my previous, spoiler-free post. I have a few observations about continuity problems in Superman Returns. Spoilers below! If you want to read it, take your mouseReview: Superman Returns :: Spoilers!!

[caption id="attachment_562" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Kirk and Spock over the Enterprise"][/caption] First off, if you haven't yet, go see the trailer. This one is worth the HD download. It's pretty. Okay, back already?Star Trek (2009) full trailer released

Well, my last sci-fi news post was a bit late, but all this news is at least recent-ish. :) First off, two bits of Battlestar Galactica related stories: The Sci-Fi channel hasMore recent sci-fi updates

The Colors of Control: Ex Machina

Ex Machina coverAn extremely long time after I started it, I just finished Ex Machina‘s 50 issue run. Brian K. Vaughn puts on a heck of a story.

This is one of those stories that I think would work well as a TV series. It would be a bit different than most series, in that it covers two time periods at once, but that’s part of what makes it compelling. The basic structure of an issue is that it starts in the past, and then moves into the present.

The story in the past covers the origin and selected high points of Mitchell Hundred’s career as “The Great Machine” – a flawed superhero with the ability to listen to and command machinery. For example, he can command a gun not to fire, a truck to drive away, or a bomb to not explode (for a while). He can have a cell phone tell him where it’s been… or tell it to shut-up. We see the “accident” that gives him this power, and watch as he learns to fight crimes, petty and large. We meet his nemesis, Pherson, who has the ability to command animals (excluding humans), and uses this power to cause destruction and death. And we see him in his final act as The Great Machine: stopping one of the planes on 9/11.

Each story in the past, however, quickly gives way to (and informs the plot of) the present. Mitchell has parlayed the popularity of his time as The Great Machine into a run as the mayor of New York City. Here we see him dealing with many social and political issues, intertwined with resurfacing issues from his super-heroic past. He’s vowed to put his past behind him, but can he ignore the ramifications of what he’s learning about himself and the true source of his power?

The government is watching him. His police commissioner is watching him. One of his ex-partners wants him back on the job as a super-hero, even if that means destroying his political career. The other will protect him with his life. He’s having dreams of his future – and visions of pain.

Can he single-handedly stop the destruction of the world, or is he fated to be the architect of its demise? Or maybe it’s somewhere in between?

It’s pretty cool stuff!

Excerpt from issue #1 - and more foreshadowing than I realized, despite its bluntness

Color plays an important role in the books. Those gifted with powers are scarred by lines on their faces that look like wire leads. Mitchell’s scars glow green. Pherson’s glow purple. White plays an important role later. Each color is part of the spectrum of control. Green for control over machines, purple for animals, white for … well, that’s a spoiler.

Even the final word in the entire series is a color: black. And it’s layered with self-reference, not to mention a kind of breach of the “fourth wall.”

Really well done. I recommend it as one of the better comics I’ve read. It’s for adults, though – graphic language, themes, violence, and visuals do appear. This one isn’t for kids. The themes explored about the nature of corruption and man’s motivations, hero worship and disappointment are pretty seriously tackled. (For more, with spoilers, about that, check out the view “from the gutter.”)

If you want to see Issue #1, DC Comics has made it available online.

Have you read it? Any thoughts?

(Btw… just because I avoid spoilers in the post doesn’t mean they aren’t in the comments.)

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