George R.R. Martin's Wild Cards #4

Feb. 16th, 2019 02:27 am
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"I wanted to tell a story that had the darkness and grittiness that's fairly classic Wild Cards, but that was also small and personal like Demo and the best of Astro City." - Daniel Abraham, co-creator of The Expanse

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There was a monster called Rex-O.

Feb. 15th, 2019 10:56 pm
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He'd been sent after some kids.

They'd been saved from him by the psiot Livewire, looking into what Toyo Harada'd left behind.

She wanted to know more about Rex-O, so she dove into the dark web.

" Rex-O. What is your story? "

" I WAS DEAD. "

She was engaging in technopathy. )
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“When we first teamed for Daredevil, DC called us. This was years ago. They offered me and Alex to leave Marvel and come do Batman. We looked at each other and were like, ‘ahh they finally called and we can’t come!’ Anyone can relate to this, once in a while you get a call and later you think, ‘I wonder what would have happened if I had done this?’ There was no sliding door, we weren’t going to leave Marvel at the time. But we’ve always thought about it. So when I came to DC, I had to call Alex. He said, ‘I want Batman! I’ve waited so many god damn years!’ If you put a piece of paper in front of Alex, he’ll draw Batman. That’s his go-to. So there was a lot of context when DC offered us to do a story in Detective Comics #1000. I was like oh yeah, this will scratch that itch beautifully for me and Alex.” -- Brian Michael Bendis

Story under the cut... )

Batman: Damned #2

Feb. 15th, 2019 12:30 pm
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The next issue has yet to come out but it's been over a month so I'm posting a third from this one.

Warning for rape

Scans under the cut... )

Rushing the season

Feb. 15th, 2019 10:41 am
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Today I saw Easter egg Oreos in Market Basket. Easter is April 21 this year.

Am I going to have to write "Keep Your Easter out of February?"

Religious lingerie (relingerie?)

Feb. 15th, 2019 09:46 am
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(Seen elseweb)

A man went into Victoria’s Secret to get his girlfriend a bra. He was completely flummoxed by the endless choices everywhere he looked. The saleswoman pulled him aside and, with sympathy, explained that there were really only four kinds of bras, all of them religious. This completely confused him, so she explained:

“There’s the Catholic bra, which holds up the masses.

There’s the Salvation Army bra that lifts the fallen.

There’s the Presbyterian bra that keeps them upright.

And there’s the Baptist bra, that makes mountains out of molehills.”

“Well,” he said, “Sometimes she wears a bra and sometimes she doesn’t, and I can’t always tell by looking.”

“Maybe you want the Agnostic bra: Is there a bra or isn’t there? You just can’t know.”

“Hmmmm... You know, she’s a Quaker...”

“So she needs a Quaker bra,” said the saleswoman, showing a bra that was virtually invisible. “Quakers hold them in the Light.”
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From the Chicago Sun-Times
01/30/2019, 11:14am

University of Chicago’s Miguel Civil, top expert on ancient Sumerian, dead at 92
University of Chicago professor Miguel Civil was a leading expert on the ancient Sumerian language.
By Maureen O'Donnell

Miguel Civil was a linguistic time traveler. The University of Chicago professor was considered the world’s leading expert on Sumerian, an ancient language of Mesopotamia.

“Nobody has understood Sumerian as well as Miguel Civil since the beginning of the second millennium B.C.,” according to Chris Woods, director of the university’s Oriental Institute, who said Mr. Civil was “the greatest living Sumerologist.”

Mr. Civil died Jan. 13 at the University of Chicago Hospitals, according to the school, which said he was 92 and had a pulmonary infection.

Colleagues said his command of the intricacies of Sumerian culture revolutionized translation of the language, which was inscribed on clay tablets with a reed stylus and which flourished in Sumer — what’s now southern Iraq — from about 3,200 B.C. to 1,800 B.C.

In addition to the first known written language, the Sumerians might also have invented the wheel. And some of the world’s first cities rose in Sumer.

The Sumerians were “great, great bureaucrats,” Woods said, producing hundreds of thousands of tablets with cuneiform — wedge-shaped characters — with which they recorded everything from business deals to the movement of animals and grain.
Mr. Civil could decode their reports on the region’s irrigation methods, agriculture and medical practices. He also understood their colloquialisms, jokes, riddles and proverbs.

His translation on lackadaisical laborers appeared in the University of Pennsylvania Penn Museum’s Expedition magazine: “At harvest time, your work does not match your appetite! You disappear from work, and they find you gossiping in the market place.”

“He just had an intuition, a type of genius that allowed him to make connections,” Woods said. “He was a pioneer in using modern linguistics to understand the language, to decipher it.”

The professor even knew about Sumerian beer-making, Woods said, thanks to having deciphered drinking songs involving Ninkasi, a beer goddess known as “the Lady Who Fills the Mouth.”

The translation fermented into the recreation of a 3,800-year-old recipe for Sumerian beer, according to a 1991 publication of the Oriental Institute in which Civil wrote his work had “attracted the attention of Fritz Maytag, the president of the Anchor Brewing Company of San Francisco,” makers of Anchor Steam.

Maytag traveled to Chicago to interview Mr. Civil. The brewmaster said that when he questioned the professor about whether there was a dictionary to consult about Sumerian, “He looked up at me, and he said, ‘I am the dictionary.’ ”

Mr. Civil, Maytag and Solomon Katz, a University of Pennsylvania bioanthropologist, ended up working together to create Ninkasi Beer, which was served at a meeting of micro-brewers. “I called it the beer that won’t die,” Maytag said.

Though the beer didn’t keep well, “Everybody connected with the modern reconstruction of the process seems to have enjoyed the experience,” Mr. Civil wrote, including the taste, which they likened to hard cider.

“It is difficult to think of any other scholar, in this or any other field, whose range and depth can be compared to Civil’s, from his first publication [in 1960] on Sumerian medical prescriptions to his many contributions on matters as diverse as grammar, literature, agriculture, economic developments, royal inscriptions,” according to the preface of a book that other scholars dedicated to him on his 90th birthday, The First Ninety Years: a Sumerian Celebration in Honor of Miguel Civil. A “prodigious photographic memory. . . enabled him to join fragments of broken tablets, which were often housed at museums in different countries.”

“There is hardly an aspect of the Mesopotamian textual record that Miguel Civil has not immeasurably advanced our understanding of,” wrote Paul Delnoro, a contributor to the book who is an associate professor of Assyriology at Johns Hopkins University.
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Thankful Thursday

Feb. 14th, 2019 06:05 pm
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[personal profile] mdlbear

Today I am grateful for

  • My family.
  • Our cats, with extra thanks to Desti for letting me type with her on my lap.
  • Fifteen years of Opportunity, and a lot of good memorials.
  • Warmer weather and mostly-clear roads.
  • Finding something that looks very much like a profitable writing gig.

Starust VS ...(deep sigh)

Feb. 15th, 2019 11:59 am
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The last Stardust the Superwizard story, by Fletcher Hanks.
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"I like treating these characters as the stars of their own vignettes. I see the book as these little glimpses into all of their lives, their personal stories, and the complication of their lives is what seems to keep them apart or drive them apart most of the time." -- Gerard Way

Scans under the cut... )

As a heads up Dark Horse via Comixology is having both a sale for 'Umbrella Academy' as well as a standard 50% off sale for Valentines' Day. The latter works on the former so if you check out the sale here and use the DH50 code before tomorrow you will be able to get most of the series for 75% off. 
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Starting tomorrow on DC Universe and spinning out of "Titans", comes the series about the misfit superbeings the world doesn't want, but probably needs.

The World's Strangest Heroes - The Doom Patrol )

Me

kjn

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