Recycling the News

The practice of recycling old news articles still throws me off at times. For instance: here are two recent LA Times articles using big disasters as springboards to talk about possible giant earthquake scenarios in California. They start out talking about the Houston flooding from Harvey and yesterday’s quake in Mexico, then segue into Los Angeles disaster planning. By the end, they’ve segued into the same text. I was reading today’s and thinking, “I just read this, recently.” A ten-second search turned up the older article.

It’s not plagiarism. It’s the same reporter at the same newspaper. It’s basically the equivalent of stock footage, and it’s hardly the only example. It’s probably not even a new practice, just a lot easier to find now that everything’s online and searchable.

Color Scheme: Brutalist Blue

Adding a splash of color to Brutalist design, in the final stages of converting an office building near LAX to a hotel. Believe it or not, the bolted-on cross pieces are new. I can’t imagine they’re aesthetic, which makes me wonder if it’s some sort of earthquake retrofitting and they’re making the best of it.

It’s an interesting approach, but it still looks way more institutional than inviting, IMO.

Update: It turns out the scaffolding is being used to hang a full-height geometric design. I’m still not convinced it didn’t start as some sort of seismic retrofit, but it will at least look a little more inviting once they’re done.

These are all on three different days, incidentally, which is why you can’t see the first square on the left side in the middle photo.

Update: This LA Times article on what to do in an earthquake may be relevant. In most cases, you want to drop, cover, and hold — don’t run outside, since you’re more likely to be hit by something falling off a building than crushed in a collapse. But “brittle concrete buildings” are more likely to collapse than other types.

The city of Los Angeles in 2015 passed a law requiring those buildings to be retrofitted, but gave owners a 25-year deadline to do it once they are given an order to seismically evaluate the building. The city is still working on preparing its list.


A Short Visit to Long Beach Comic-Con 2017

We finally got the whole family out to this year’s Long Beach Comic Con on Saturday! That was the plan last year, but Katie and J. both got sick.

Whitney Frost (2/2)

Katie brought her Whitney Frost cosplay and managed to find not only an Agent Carter, but another Whitney Frost!

Sumo BotsAt 6½, J. wanted to spend the whole afternoon at a LEGO club’s booth, though we also managed to do a round of laser tag and check out some of the robots and telescopes at the space exploration area. He was in a very hands-on mood all afternoon, which was OK in some booths, but not in others (like the demo of the automatic embroidering machines).

I didn’t get to do much exploring myself, but I figured I’d make up for it on Sunday.

The con was back at the front entrance and lobby this year, so Lobby Con was back as well. Artist’s Alley continues to be the biggest part of the main floor. Space Expo had some cool stuff, and I think the Cosplay Corner was bigger than last year, and of course there were the usual small press, fan groups, and lots of vendors.

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Catching Up on Two Years of Comics

Last night, I did something I haven’t done in ages: I read a bunch of this week’s new comics.

Over the last two years I’ve gotten behind on just about every comic book I read, and the further behind I get, the harder it is for me to catch up. (Making things worse: I stopped organizing comics as I got them, so I had to find a solid run in order to catch up on it.) After a couple of colds kept me on the couch earlier this year, I started finally making some headway, and I’ve reached the point where I’m current on six — count them: six ongoing comics:

Saga: The sci-fi drama about family is also the book I’ve kept up with the best, despite the fact that I absolutely must wait until the inquisitive six-and-a-half year old is in bed before I open the book. I did fall four months behind at one point, after Isabel’s disappearance. I just couldn’t bring myself to pick it up for a while. I didn’t want to know who was next.

Astro City: This one was “easy” to fall behind on because it’s isolated from other series and the stories tend to be short by modern standards. This also made it really easy to catch up on ~15 issues because I could read one or two at a time and still get a full story. The sequels to classics were fun, and I’m fascinated by what’s been revealed about the Broken Man.

Flash: This book really goes by fast. Seriously, with double-shipping, I keep picking up an issue and discovering that I’m already two or three behind.

Titans: I missed an issue of the crossover earlier this year, and my local shop sold out of it, and I finally decided to just buy the missing issue digitally and plow through. I really want to like this book more than I do, but I’m beginning to think it may be time to drop it after the current story ends. (It’s still better than the DEO kids era)

Jessica Jones: I was a fan of Alias back in the day, and while this is a little more plugged into the mainstream Marvel Universe than I remember that book being, it’s still got the same snarky sensibility. Just reading her complaining to Maria Hill about LMDs was hilarious.

Lady Mechanika: The first series of this steampunk adventure was delayed so long I decided to wait until it was done before reading any further. And then the gap hit. I felt so bad at last year’s Long Beach Comic Con when I talked to the writer and had to admit to her that I hadn’t read it in over a year. I finally caught up, so if I run into her or the artist this year, I can actually talk about the comic! My favorite has been “Tablet of Destinies,” both in terms of story and for the way it reframed alchemy as the misunderstood remnants of ancient nuclear physics.

I’m still behind on I Hate Fairyland and Saucer State (and Shutter, but that’s finished), but I’m at the point where I’m able to re-evaluate my pull list and take another stab at paring down my collection. Which has led to some interesting decisions (but that’s for another post).

I also finally got around to: Continue reading