Running Commentary 2/15/2021
4 min read

Running Commentary 2/15/2021

WandaVision (Episode 6), BattleBots, Iron Man 2, Northern Cardinal


There have been some robins outside for a couple days, which just shows that I’m right and you should wait for the grackles.




Episode 6 of WandaVision released on Friday. We’re up to the ’90s, and that means obnoxious talk-to-camera kid action. *SPOILERS*

This episode guest directed by Roger Corman | Photo Credit: WandaVision Twitter.
  • Last week I mentioned that Agnes didn’t seem to be under Wanda’s control, but apparently, she was?
  • Pietro is clearly aware of what’s going on though. He references that Vision is dead, for one thing, even though the MCU Pietro was already dead by that point, and wouldn’t know that. X-Men Quicksilver shouldn’t know anything about this world. Something’s up there.
  • I have no idea what the commercial this time is in reference to. Apparently, no one else does either, there’s just a lot of guessing. I’d imagine that it will become clear watching back once the show has concluded.
  • Big cliffhanger this week, huh?


We had the final episode of the regular season, and now we know who will be fighting who in the opening round of the tournament.

Uppercut lost to Hydra, which won the battle for low ground. Still, Uppercut proved its durability in this fight.

Rusty survived its fight with Sawblaze, in that it still ran at the end. It lost handily since its armor just isn’t enough to stand up to a high-energy weapon. This felt a bit like the Tombstone vs. SlapBox fight, in the sense that it was really unbalanced. But Jamison Go had something to prove after that big loss to Uppercut, and Rusty wasn’t dying, so the fight went on for the three minutes.

Tantrum beat Gamma 9. I don’t really care. Both bots have really clumsy designs, and neither one would be going very far in the tournament.

Endgame beat HyperShock the same way they beat Tombstone, by getting a lucky shot that stuck their opponent outside of the arena. I think there should be a change to the design of the Box to prevent this kind of thing for next season.


Beta fought Grabot, and won, of course. Beta is one of the bots that are supposed to be so good that they each get their own tournament that we’ll want to pay extra for, but in the season it got to fight Rusty and then Grabot. So that’s nice for them.

Whiplash went plain lifter in their match against Valkyrie, which was smart, since it turned the match from a hitting competition to a driving one. It wasn’t the best final match we’ve had this season, but it got Whiplash the win they wanted.


I watched Iron Man 2, which I hadn’t seen before, and which is supposedly the worst MCU film to date. I certainly didn’t hate it, although it did seem like a bit of a dead end, narratively, considering that the biggest impact it had on the franchise overall is bringing in Don Cheadle and Black Widow. Whiplash was not a great villain either. Still, it was entertaining.

Bird of the Week

In honor of Valentine’s Day yesterday, we have this mate-pair of Northern Cardinals. These birds aren’t as strictly monogamous as swans, but they often stay paired for multiple seasons. Usually, when you see a male Cardinal, a female will be somewhere nearby; they’re shyer and less colorful, so they’re usually harder to see. Sometimes you’ll see the male feeding the female beak-to-beak, as part of their courtship rituals.

Northern Cardinals live throughout the U.S. east of the Rockies, as well as Mexico and the extreme southern parts of Ontario. Their diet is largely composed of seeds; a feeder stocked with black sunflower seeds can attract them to a yard. These are recognized and loved birds among even non-birders. Northern Cardinals are the official state bird of more states than any other species.

The name “Cardinal” is a reference to the red-robed high officials of the Roman Catholic Church. It comes from the Latin word for “hinge”, as in, the cardinals hold a pivotal role in the church. The current binomial for the Northern Cardinal is Cardinalis cardinalis, though they were previously called Richmondena cardinalis, in honor of Smithsonian birds curator Charles W. Richmond, and before that Cardinalis virginianus, the Virginia Cardinal, which was an older common name for the species. Other cardinals exist, though their range does not overlap much with that of the Northern Cardinal, so Cardinalis cardinalis is generally known simply as the Cardinal to most of the people who see it.

American Hippopotamus | Jon Mooallem, The Atavist Magazine

“Burnham was here at the Maryland Hotel to call these animal lovers to a higher purpose, to gather them behind an idea. It was a grand and sparkling idea, an idea with momentum…The idea was to import hippopotamuses from Africa, set them in the swamplands along the Gulf Coast, and raise them for food. The idea was to turn America into a nation of hippo ranchers.”

America’s First “Food Spy” Traveled the World Hunting for Exotic Crops | Anna Diamond, Smithsonian Magazine

An interview with David Stone, concerning the subject of Stone’s book The Food Explorer, the botanist David Fairchild, who scoured the world for fruits and vegetables to form American cuisine.

The Failed Dianas | Monique Laban, Clarkesworld

[FICTION] The story of a clone having dinner with her previous clones, all of whom have disappointed their parents in some way.