Tag Archives: college

Just One Day at San Diego Comic-Con 2011

Darth Joker cosplay at Comic-Con 2011This year, we approached Comic-Con International a bit differently than usual. For the last seven years we’ve been staying in town for all four days. With the baby, we decided to do Comic-Con 2011 in just one day. So we left him with relatives and took the train down to San Diego for the day. We arrived in town about 9:00, walked down to the convention center, and had our badges just after the floor opened at 9:30.

(Full photo set on Flickr, Flash-related coverage on Speed Force.)

Jack Skellington Puppet/Costume at Comic-Con 2011Planning a trip to Comic-Con is always about trade-offs. It’s so big that you can’t see everything, and there are so many events going on that you can’t attend them all. With four days, there’s some wiggle room. With just one, it seemed like I was constantly thinking about those choices.

One of the first choices I made: No news panels. I could get that the next day online (and did). I wanted to focus only on what was unique to the con: exhibits, meeting people, the art show, etc. Basically, I wanted to experience as much of San Diego Comic Con as I could in one day.

Katie decided to pick two things and build her day around them: visiting The Field, an Irish pub our friend Sean introduced us to a few years ago, and seeing the new Thundercats screening. Continue reading

Links: Traffic, Scott Pilgrim, Soviet Hobbit, Facts, Moon, Toyota and New Spice

Want to see what Los Angeles traffic looks like on a typical Friday evening? You can! A co-worker pointed out to me that you can view statistical traffic on Google Maps in addition to live traffic. To see it, go to Google Maps, enable traffic, then look at the inset traffic key and hit “change.” You’ll be able to choose a day of the week and time.

A Scott Pilgrim fan tracked down the real-life locations in Toronto that Brian Lee O’Malley used as reference, then took photos to match them up with the comic panels.

It reminds me of a story that O’Malley told at Comic-Con last(?) year about the movie production. They tried to use actual locations when possible, and at one point went to film a scene with a particular phone booth, only to find it had been torn out. They rebuilt the phone booth for the scene!

How To Be a Retronaut has a fascinating gallery of illustrations from the 1976 Soviet edition of The Hobbit. (via @dixonium)

Copyblogger presents: Five Grammatical Errors that Make You Look Dumb. Please, people: learn the differences between your and you’re, and between they’re, their and there! (via This Is True)

A university library has put together a great parody of the Old Spice ad campaign: Study Like a Scholar, Scholar. (also via This Is True )

NPR story: In Politics, Sometimes The Facts Don’t Matter

New research suggests that misinformed people rarely change their minds when presented with the facts — and often become even more attached to their beliefs. The finding raises questions about a key principle of a strong democracy: that a well-informed electorate is best.

This makes me feel a little less enthused about the next two items:

It’s incredibly cool that we’ve got photos of the Apollo 16 landing site. But that won’t convince people who are absolutely certain that the landings were faked.

And a U.S. Department of Transportation investigation of Toyota crashes blamed on sudden acceleration has implicated driver error in nearly all cases. Of the 75 fatal crashes investigates, only one could be verified as a problem with the vehicle: the Lexus crash last August in which the accelerator was caught on the floor mat, leading to a recall. Of course, the court of popular opinion has already made up its mind…

Re-creating Ansel Adams’ UCI

Here’s a cool project: In Ansel Adams’ Footsteps, re-creating his photographs of UC Irvine from the 1960s. There are a lot more trees now. (Or, as a friend pointed out, the trees that were there are a lot taller!) It’s a really impressive look at how the campus has changed…plus it’s always fascinating to look at Ansel Adams’ photography. I remember when I was in college, prints of Adams’ photos lined the walls of one of the Student Center hallways.

A couple of years ago I did my own then and now project — well, less a project than a spur-of-the moment 2007 re-creation of a 1997 photo I took of the Student Center as seen from what was then the Humanities Office Building (now Murray Krieger Hall). In this case the trees hadn’t changed much in 10 years, but UCI had flattened the Student Center complex and built an entirely new one.

Under Construction Indefinitely

We went to Wayzgoose* at UCI on Saturday, which meant getting our annual taste of what’s changed about the college campus. I’d caught the new Student Center last fall, but Katie hadn’t been back since last year, before it was finished.

Some of the meeting rooms buried in the hill still remain from the previous building. In a food court next to the bookstore, I found a window looking down on this familiar-looking atrium.

Through the glass paneling is a stairway that leads up to the ring road entrance. Clone Copy and Clone Notes used to be on the lower floor to the right (off-camera). In the mid-1990s, the area below the overhang to the left was a pool hall whose name escapes me. I think they converted it to a study area when they remodeled the upper floor to create Zot Zone (which has since been demolished and relocated). The area where I was standing used to be an outdoor walkway connecting the main courtyard to the bookstore.

What was really odd was the west food court, where my brain kept trying to overlay the old layout even though I’m sure they ripped out and replaced that section of the building entirely.

The sad thing, though, was that they’re tearing up the large grass area in the middle of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts and putting in another building. Everything in the quad bordered by the Claire Trevor Theater (formerly the Village Theater), the Studio Theater, the scene shop, Studio Four, and the drama offices is a big fenced-off area of dirt.

Aside from the usual uses for a lawn, it was a great place for people to rehearse. It’s not clear how much of the fenced-off area will actually be turned into a building, but they may have finally finished paving the entire school.

I found it a rather ironic discovery to make at this time, considering that Wayzgoose/Celebrate UCI is also combined with Earth Day.

*Update 2019: Since the link seems to be dead, some context: Wayzgoose was part of Celebrate UCI, a combination festival, open house (for prospective sutdents and parents), and club fair. It started with a medieval theme in the 1970s, though by the 1990s that was already fading. Once that was gone, there was a slow shift of emphasis away from Wayzgoose and toward Celebrate UCI as far as branding went, presumably because nobody knows what a Wayzgoose is, but everyone knows what a celebration is.