Happy New Year!
Just before Christmas, the Hawkeye season finale premiered. Here are my notes on that and on the series as a whole:
- Having not seen Daredevil, I can’t really say how Vincent D’Onofrio’s portrayal of the Kingpin differs from there to here. What I will say is that he was a very effective final enemy. His entry to the show actually reminded me of Bill Cipher’s first appearance in Gravity Falls, in the way he was clearly a more serious threat than anything that had appeared in the show before.
- The reference to Rocky, the saw-whet owl that was found in the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree last year was a fun reversal of the usual situation. This time I knew what the reference was and a bunch of comics fans were confused and Googling things.
- I had guessed Jack wasn’t actually a villain a few episodes back. In the comics, it seems that the Swordsman is only a villain some of the time, so there was already some ambiguity. But the way things had been set up, it seemed too obvious for him to be evil, so he couldn’t be. I liked his character; he was funny.
- Overall, I really liked this show. It’s probably my second favorite MCU show, behind WandaVision. It had the strongest finish among all of them, and Kate Bishop was a very welcome addition to the MCU. I can see myself watching this again during future Christmastimes. 8/10
The Book of Boba Fett
Star Wars is back on screen! The Book of Boba Fett is the latest show (not, confusingly, a book) from Dave Filoni, who is once again working with Robert Rodriguez to tell the story of Boba Fett. The first episode released this past Wednesday. Here are my notes:
- Going into this show, I had a question, and now, one episode in, I still have it: what does Boba Fett want with Jabba the Hutt’s criminal empire? I’m not really sure why he’s trying to take over the Tatooine underworld, given what we know of him so far (which, admittedly, isn’t much since the novels featuring him were all de-canonized.) I’m thinking we’ll learn more of his motivations in future episodes, maybe with some more flashbacks to his time with the sand people.
- The show’s off to a quiet start, though I’m not really complaining, since the scenes we got were good. One exception: the fight scene between Fett, Shand, and the ninjas with the shields. Not only was it awkwardly staged, it seems someone forgot that Fett has a jetpack and could have flown outside the circle.
- Compared to The Mandalorian, I don’t think this show’s as good, but it has time to improve.
I’ve built and played Caliban now. My take on him is that he looks pretty cool. His abilities are largely focused on damaging enemies, with some self-preservation thrown into his 3. To test those abilities out, I did a couple of runs in the Simulacrum, once fighting with my abilities, and once with my weapons.
Now, I did mess up a bit using his 1, which would ordinarily be more effective than shown here, but the point stands that it’s easier to kill enemies with weapons, which any frame can carry, than with Caliban’s abilities. But he does look pretty cool.
Bird of the Week
Once again we have an owl. A proper owl, this time, not a barn owl (which are sort of a different thing from other owls). The Eastern Screech-Owl, is a small owl found throughout North America east of the Rockies. It comes in two (or three) colors: Red, gray (as pictured), and brown, which is the rarest morph and which might be the result of interbreeding between the other two. There are also five subspecies, which can be distinguished by size and spotting. Screech-owls are common but rarely seen, due to their small size and nocturnal habits. They roost in tree cavities, or in man-made boxes. They are both birds of prey (feeding mainly on mice) and prey birds (being eaten by a wide number of woodland creatures, including larger owls).
Screech-owls, as their name suggests, do not deliver the hooting calls associated with owls. I wouldn’t really say they screech, either. They whinny, sounding quite a bit like horses.
Screech-owls were initially grouped into the genus Otus, alongside the even smaller scops-owls. Johann Jakob Kaup, a German naturalist who espoused quinarian taxonomy, split them away to their own genus, Megascops, which, understatedly, means “large scops-owl”. The Eastern species’ Latin name is asio, which originally applied to a different small, eared owl.
How to Survive Winter | Bernd Brunner, Lapham’s Quarterly
The author of Winterlust: Finding Beauty in the Fiercest Season writes this overview of humanity’s evolving relationship with Winter. In ancient times, winter was an ordeal to be survived. But as improved technology has given us dependable refuge from the cold and reliable food stores in the off-season, winter has taken on an austere charm.
All in Your Head | Adam Rogers, WIRED
Since Galvani first started shocking frogs, some understanding that the “life force” is at least partially electric has been present in the sciences. Today, it’s understood more specifically: the nervous system is like a circuit, sending electrical signals to and from the brain, which works as a processor and command center. This means it should be possible to augment that system with electronics. But just how possible would it be to plug into a brain?
Sunset | Tobias S. Buckell, Lightspeed Magazine
[FICTION] On the far-flung world of Yelekene, a starship crashes into the sea. The people of a nearby island gather to investigate, but the first to reach the ship is a young boy...
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