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Free Comic Book Day: May 2

Dr. Z
Just a reminder.  Free Comic Book Day is this weekend–the first Saturday in May.

It is an event–as cheesy as it may sound–a cultural event.

Last year, I had a great time standing outside of Half Price Used Books, going through cases of discounted comics.  The buyers were chatting, comparing findings, and offering advice.  (Nobody spotted me as the poser that I am.)  It was fun lingering, eavesdropping.   Lingering, though, was not tolerated.  I was expected and cajoled into participating.

Standing around paper boxes crammed with old comic books, I was a part of a community–excited to share its culture.


Big Hero 6

Big Hero Six


We saw Big Hero 6 on opening weekend. It was good.

Sadly, the most interesting and most fleshed out character (Hiro’s brother) dies early in the film (or does he?). The villain has the coolest costume.

It has a couple of plot twists that should shock most kids under 10 and be mind-numbingly obvious to anyone over 12 who has seen a film in the last 30 years. In this case, it doesn’t take away from enjoying the film. It’s not about the destination. It’s about the journey.

I would have liked to have had Godzilla appear but there will likely be a sequel so there is hope.

There is lots of cool science in it. Tons of near future tech too. One review I read said the reviewer’s daughter said she wanted to go to college to study science after watching it.

The main lead is mopey and angst-ridden for much of the film. He’s likable but very much like a younger brother. The rest of the team while not completely flat are 2 dimensional overall.

The Stan Lee cameo is funny. There is one post credit scene. It doesn’t really set anything up but it’s funny. Think the shawarma scene after the credits in The Avengers.

Overall, I’m looking forward to the DVD when I can watch it again.

Still Working…

We are still hard at it–gathering our blogs, linking sites, and finding clever anecdotes about DC shows, classic horror thrillers, and classroom feats of wonder.  Running herd on academics, software engineers, and marketing types takes some serious wrangling.

Like any construction project, we have a completion–or perhaps more accurately an opening–date: April 1.

Bare with us.  And for now, stop by our Instagram account to see one of our many distractions.

Oh yeah, and keep May open!  Houston’s Comicpalooza is coming.

Oppressive Civility

A Recent Note from Zimm
My company has a very small Bistro, which is run by M.  Every day, she emails the office with a ‘food-for-thought’ – so to speak.

For some reason, I thought today’s thought was something that I wanted to share.

“Civility” has a new vocabulary. “Welcome”, which originally combined the Old English words for “pleasure” and “guest” to express an openness to visitors, was re-branded by Shakespeare as a response to “thank you”. Since 1900, it has been automatic. Not anymore.

In “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion,” marketing and psychology professor Robert Cialdini cautions that the reciprocal “thanks/You’re welcome” leaves us with a power struggle—a sense of obligation for a larger return favor. And, the speaker of the phrase “you’re welcome” gets the last word, creating a subtle tension.

Now “you’re welcome” has taken on a sarcastic gloating tone. Will Ferrell took his George W. Bush SNL impression to Broadway with his one-man show entitled “You’re Welcome America”, which depicted the 43rd President as incompetent and entitled. The arrogant alter-ego of Stephen Colbert gave a “you’re welcome” to his home state of South Carolina. Damien Sandow of the WWE and Kobe Bryant also joined in on using the new meaning.

Now the gag/phrase is common on Twitter to introduce an idea, picture, and whatever silliness comes along. The new rudeness of “you’re welcome” is not really stealing a phrase spoken with sincerity or grace. The words, when combined with an arrogance and edge, are generally used by males in the tech sector. (Girls are usually more insightful about words and have their own issues with praise and thanks.)

Cootz’s Experience
I found myself writing no problem instead of you’re welcome 13-14 years ago when I started teaching online classes. It only lasted a little while. Something about it sounded weird and went against my upbringing. I adjusted about halfway through the first semester.

Robert’s Thoughts
My laid back and slacker like nature made “No problem” work for me until someone pointed out that “Hell, yeah! It was a problem!” and that “You’re welcome!” was the appropriate response.

The conversation petered out.  The question lingered, though.  Is expecting a formal, stylized response a covert power struggle?  The workplace is a culture of its own.

Under Construction

Give us a bit.

We are gathering our information, marshaling our resources, and building our snarks.

We will be posting the ramblings of two college professors, some of their geeky compatriots working in marketing and software, as well as the thoughts and insights of whatever students can be herded into responses.  All of us and others will be weighing in on topics ranging from CW’s Arrow to the latest DC statues to showing college students Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins.

When we slip, it may sound academic.  For the most, part, it is the on going debates, discussions, and diatribes of group of friends who are in search an outlet for the geek.

Dr. Z