Scooby Doo + Batman + Weird Al Yankovic

My sister was telling me the other day that her 4 year old was watching an episode of Scooby Doo with Batman and Weird Al Yankovic. As it turns out, it was actually a special episode of Batman the Brave and the Bold. Three of my favorite things are in this cartoon! There are actually 3 cartoons stitched together in this episode, so I just fast forwarded to the last one with Scooby Doo. Check it out on Netflix!

Gender and Race Swapping Part 2

In a previous post I talked about how gender and race swapping for characters sometimes bothers me. Upon further observation, I think it’s more of an OCD type of flaw in me. After seeing the new Fantastic Four trailer, I feel like all is right with the world. It’s awesomeness has trumped my OCD. And my OCD has subsided, I think it’s good that we are changing things up a bit. We can’t continue to have the same exact story brought to the screen with new reboots and reinterpretations.

But now the Ghostbusters will be women! For shame! I hope you detected the sarcasm there. From the sounds of it the Ghostbuster’s reboot will be similar only in name. Yes there will be four leads that are going to have comedic roles, but it sounds like the filmmakers are also going to try to be genuinely scary as well. I see no problems with this new version of Ghostbusters, I only wish I could have a true continuation of the original story. The best I have is a video game, which I must admit was pretty fantastic.

Now enjoy the Fantastic Four Teaser trailer.

Wearables

For years I thought it’d be very convenient to be able to look down at my wrist when I’m getting a phone call or a message to see who was calling me or the message being sent. I think that’s a great idea. But you know what’s not convenient? If you guessed charging another device daily, you read my mind.

Apple is releasing it’s first smart watch as a response to Android Wear (Google’s watch platform for third party watch makers). Apple, as always, has created both the hardware and software for the watch (as opposed to Google’s approach of just creating the software). Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, is saying that Apple’s watch battery will last all day before needing to be recharged. But according to 9To5Mac, the battery could die after 2.5 hours of heavy usage.

The other reason I’m interesting in a wearable device is that I am a runner. I have been since high school. And though I’ve been slacking a little in the past few years, I hope to get back to the prime directive of boldly burning those calories. Fitness tracking is an import feature for me.  Many of my friends have the Jawbone Up wrist band to track fitness data. Jawbone is advertising that their new Jawbone UP3 (release date still unknown) will track the following things:

  • Steps
  • Calories Burned
  • Distance Traveled
  • Sleep (REM, deep, light)
  • Resting Heart Rate (I’ve read active heart rate may come later)
  • Skin temperature
  • Ambient temperature
  • Hydration level (coming soon)

Additionally, in their phone application you can manually log weight, caloric intake and mood. It can also connect to your phone with apps like run keeper to log GPS information. It also sports a smart alarm that can wake you at an optimal moment in your sleep cycle.

While the Jawbone UP3 seems like it will be a great device, it doesn’t have the kind of notifications that a smart watch has. Additionally, if active heart rate is added, I’m guessing it can only be viewed via their phone application (due to the device’s lack of display). But the device should have a week of battery life.

The Apple Watch can track the number of steps you’ve taken, whether you’ve been standing or sitting, and the number of calories you’ve burned. It uses its very own accelerometer, heart rate sensor, and your iPhone’s GPS to track this data. It can also sets goals based on the data it collects. It does a decent subset of the things the UP3 will do, but you can’t do sleep tracking because you’ll be charging the device every night.

There is another big player when it comes to fitness devices and that is Fitbit. Their Fitbit Surge watch can track the following things.

  • Steps
  • Calories Burned
  • DistanceTraveled
  • Sleep
  • GPS position (with no phone)
  • Heart rate (active or resting)

Additionally the Fitbit Surge also has a silent alarm and has a companion app that ties the whole experience together and gives additional value with the ability to manually track weight and caloric intake. But there’s more. This device is a watch that gives notifications on phone call and text messages. It also lets you control your music.  Oh, and without GPS turned on, you can get up to a week of battery.

There’s one more device that I’d like to talk about quickly here. It’s the Pebble Time. As you can see it looks very similar to the sport edition of the Apple Watch. It has no fitness tracking capabilities, but it should be great at giving notifications. It sports a color e-ink display that is gorgeous. And because of that display type, the screen is always on and the battery life is a week. It has a great interface that is solely based on time. One of the cool features is that you can make voice replies via a built in microphone. If I only cared about getting notifications, this would be the device for me. Check out their Kickstarter Page. apple-watch-vs-pebble-time-comparison-2

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I have not included Android Wear devices in this blog post because I no longer have an Android based phone. But to me, they have been a bit underwhelming. But here is a link for completeness.

Out of the devices that I researched, my favorite was the Fitbit Surge. It has an awesome battery life with the features I care the most about. But I’m definitely going to wait until after the Apple Watch is released before I make a decision on a wearable. I may even wait until the second generation Apple Watch is released to make a decision.

Or I may wait for the Nike Band that will tell you why you’re running.

http://www.theonion.com/videos/embed?id=2107

The Mask You Live In

It’s a breath of fresh air to see a documentary coming to fruition that focuses on the detrimental effects caused by the world’s view of masculinity. We’ve seen many documentaries similar to this for women, but sometimes we forget to analyze these sort of things for men.

I can remember wanting to die when I was a child due to the pressure of my peers (seriously, there were thoughts of suicide). I was the awkward smart kid who needed a little work on his social skills. I can remember being lured into a fight once because I didn’t want to be seen as weak. I can remember being called ‘fag’, ‘goomer’, ‘pussy’ and ever other word you can think of that kills self esteem. I can definitely relate to the premise of this documentary and I cannot wait to watch it.

 

Make sure you like and share on Facebook.

Snow Funding

As you may know, I recently helped produce a short film called Snow: Dark Days. It’s purpose is to bring hype and attention to obtain investors for the motion picture Snow. The Director/Creator Jason Hough is looking for funding and if you know any business people in Alabama that may want to help fund this adventure please contact Jason Hough. He just posted this to Snow’s Facebook page.

Jonathan Strickland Music Video – How it Came to Be

Recently I had the pleasure of being involved in a music video shoot for Jonathan Strickland, a rapper from Huntsville, AL. He’s very talented and in his song Hope City he makes several references to comics and pop culture. Specifically, he references Tony Stark, Michael Scott, Superman, Pepper Potts, Bruce Wayne, Bane, Killer Croc and Wolverine. Strickland is down to earth, super nice, and knows how to work a crowd.

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Strickland (pictured right) outside "The DeeP Comics" in Huntsville during national Comic Book Day.

The organizer of the music video shoot is a good friend of mine whom I met at National Free Comic Book Day this year at The DeeP. When I first met Jason, he was taking video asking people who they were cosplaying as and why they were there (and everyone would obviously say “free comics”)1. It was a promotional video for The DeeP. When he released the promotional video he added in Strickland’s song Hope City Strickland liked the video so much he asked Hough about shooting a music video for him to help promote his music.

Hough responded with something extraordinary. He had recently met Santiago Cirilo (Julio from The Walking Dead) at a convention. He was able to get Cirilo to agree to be in the music video.

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Santiago Cirilo (left) and Jason Hough (right)

Securing Santiago was only one piece of the puzzle. Hough had already worked out a great premise but he needed a good supporting cast. The premise was simple: there is a zombie outbreak at a comic convention. So a call went out over the internet for cosplayers and zombies. By having Santiago involved, excitement was increased and participation was high.

It was only fitting to have cosplayers in the music video since the promotional video for The DeeP is what got the ball rolling. The premise also fit the song pretty well considering the vast geek culture references. Additionally this video shoot was a great opportunity to promote Santiago, Strickland, The DeeP, Blogmen Media, Sylvester Photography, and Sparky Cosplay.

The music video was shot in two afternoons and while I was there I met some great new friends. Everyone acting in this video really got into it.  On night one, I was dressed as V for Vendetta and during one of the shots a zombie girl was so intensely acting that she actually ripped my pants. Luckily my pants stayed together (for the most part) until I got to my car to change into some others.

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On night two I dressed as Smallville’s Clark Kent and I got the opportunity to get zombified.

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By the time the night two was over, we all felt like a bunch of Zombies. Even Santiago. But I wouldn’t trade in the experience on anything.

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The music video will premiere at The Geek Gathering in Sheffield, AL (September 20-21).

1 I was surprised to find out that Jason knew that my superman jacket was specifically from Smallville Season 10

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