Nerds of the Round Table

For all things good and nerdy

The Legacy of Jobs Being a Square

Steve Jobs had a sense of humor.  And if you have an iPhone, you look at it every day.  Ever wonder about the design of the home button?  It is a recessed circle with a square icon on it…

One of my favorite notions that he expressed is that people do not know what they really need until it is shown to them.  He meant to say that sometimes we work with a deficiency or handicap we don’t even realize until it is pointed out to us.  Out of habit, we can get used to compensating for a shortcoming in our position.  Or overcoming a hole in our lives never really seeing it is there…

Steve also believe that his products didn’t have to do everything.  As a matter of fact, he insisted that they should not do everything.  When they do something, they should do it simply and completely.  So rather than stretch his products to cover all possible options, he built a very solid square product…

So in honor of these two philosophies, Steve left a reminder in the design of the iPhone.  Every time you look at it, just remember that Steve solution is to put a square peg in a round hole.

And if you buy that I'll throw the Golden Gate in free.
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Joss Whedon Returns for The Avengers 2

Good news everyone, Disney has announced that fan favorite writer/director Joss Whedon is returning to both write and direct The Avengers 2.  There is no way anyone can think this is a bad idea.  Whedon nailed The Avengers.  It was probably my favorite movie of the summer.  Whedon is long known for being able to handle large ensemble casts and that is exactly what The Avengers was.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel Studios signed Whedon to an exclusive deal for film and TV through June 2015.  There is further news that Whedon will be involved in a live action TV series for ABC.  Rumors are this show will somehow tie in to The Avengers movie world.  This could lead to some very interesting cross connecting TV and movie series.

Good move Marvel and Disney.  For what its worth, I think you made the right move!

Kickstarter Recs: The Mighty Titan

The first Kickstarter Project I wanted to highlight in this series is a comic project by Joe Martino.  This project is called The Mighty Titan and draws a lot of experience from Joe Martino’s past.  Titan was created in 2004 during his first bout with kidney cancer, but his own word’s are much more powerful for describing the premise of this comic series.

Imagine for a moment that you were the worlds strongest protector. Imagine that no knife, bullet or bomb can harm you. Then imagine in that moment you are told you have cancer.

Titan is a character who is for all intents and purposes, invulnerable. He cannot be harmed by any means known to man. His alter ego doesn’t have such luck. Titan’s alter ego is dying. What now?

Isn’t this the perception that we all have when not touched by cancer? We are all under the belief that we are invulnerable. Aren’t we all someone’s protector? Aren’t we all everything to someone? Not until that lump, or pain, or (un)lucky scan.

How we deal with this defines us. How we live with this strengthens us. What we lose is innocence and the loss of a clear mind.

This is my epitaph. This is my way of dealing. This is my way of helping others understand what it feels like to be invunerable…

And then, one conversation, one sentence later… never feeling that way again.

“I am sorry, Mr. Martino. You have renal cell carcinoma.” were the last words my 33 year old innocent, clear-minded self ever heard. From that day forward, I had cancer. Life was over. Even though, through the support and resolve of my friends, family and doctors. I survived. Twice.

This is actually the second project I have backed on Kickstarter.  As for why, there was something about the premise of the Titan that appealed to me.  This superhero is invulnerable but who alter ego is not.  How will Titan shape the world before his time is up?  This is a story that is unique and shaped my personal experience, I think that’s why it appeals to me so much.

My sincere hope is to see this Kickstarter project succeed.   If its something that appeals to you as well, check out the project.  It has until August 14th to get funded. As I write this the funding goal is $10,550 and backers have pledged $7213.  There are 8 days left to help publish the Titan and tell his tale.

I hope that a few folks who read this might be inspired to read Joe’s story and help publish The Mighty Titan.  If you want to find out more about the Titan check out the Kickstarter page or send a tweet to @jgmcomics.  I’ve got my fingers crossed that this project comes to fruition.  There’s only 8 days left to help out so act quickly!

New Series: Kickstarter Recs

If you guys have listened to the All Things Good And Nerdy podcast you might have notice we have talked alot about Kickstarter in the past.  Opinions were mixed on the show, but I’m a fan of Kickstarter and how it can be the boost/initial push to help someone’s dream come alive.  I’ve been tracking a lot of the Kickstarter projects in the comics arena.

Readers of the blog have no doubt noticed that I have a great love for comics.  Mostly I have read a lot of Marvel and DC books but recently I’ve started moving into the indie arena.  But now, I have found a lot of projects on Kickstarter that really interest me.  It may sound corny but I like helping to fun these comic projects because I like thinking that I can play a small part in someone achieving one their dreams.

I’m new to Kickstarter but there are a few projects I have taken a liking to.  This new series is my attempt to shine a spotlight on projects that intrigue me and I have backed.  My hope is that some readers might find a Kickstarter project that draws them in, and then help to fund somebody’s dream.  Starting this week I’m going to highlight some of the projects that appeal to me.  Please note then when I highlight a project I have no intention of disclosing how much I have given to back a project.  I don’t want to influence a reader’s opinion on how much support they should give.  Hopefully this blog can help to send more backers their way.

Here are some of the projects heading your way soon in this series.

  1. The Mighty Titan
  2. Oxymoron Hardcover Graphic Novel
  3. Unmasked: The New Age Heroes Volume 1
  4. Telkios Protocol

Stay tuned I’m hoping to roll out the first Kickstarter Rec tomorrow evening!

ATGN: Batman Special

I’ve been bad about getting content on here lately mostly because I’ve been busy with the podcast.  But we did record our Batman special with a review of The Dark Knight Rises.  Its spoiler laden, but check it out.  The video is posted below, but the audio can be found on the All Things Good And Nerdy site.

New The Dark Knight Rises Trailer [Update]

Holy crap this new trailer looks good. I’ll try to do some analysis tonight.

Update: Better late than never, but I do have some analysis for the trailer.  At least I do after I pick my jaw up off the floor haha.  This trailer was that good.

  1. It looks like Bane will break the Bat in some way.  We’ve gotten that thought from past trailers but this really seems to hint at it a lot more.  That probably explains why Bruce is walking around with a cane in part of the trailer.
  2. Bane knows that Bruce Wayne is Batman.  We kind of figured that would happen but the trailer confirms it.
  3. There seems to be a time gap between when Batman is ‘broken’ and when he returns to save Gotham.  The trailer shows Bruce with hair length varying and all the past trailers have shown Bruce with two different beards and clean shaven.
  4. I want this movie now.  This movie looks damn good and I cannot wait for it to come out!

E3: Halo 4 Trailers

I make no secret that I am a Halo fanboy.  So when I heard that Microsoft was going to be showing both a new trailer and gameplay footage at E3 I was damn excited.  Let’s take a look at the trailers and then I’ll give some opinions.

First, it seems as though its only been 4 years since the end of Halo 4, and now humanity is trying to go the route of peaceful exploration.  But something will draw the human vessel across the galaxy to where the Master Chief is currently in hibernation.

Despite the end of the war, the Chief is still fighting Covenant.  I wonder if he is unaware that the war has ended?  But the big shocker is the new enemies.  Either they are Forerunners or descendants of the Forerunners.  Regardless they look fairly freaky and have some powerful weapons.

I for one cannot wait for Halo 4.  Luckily we only have to wait until November!

All Things Good And Nerdy (Episodes 5/6)

Hey guys, I’ve not been around a lot lately.  But, I have been busy working with the All Things Good And Nerdy crew putting out new shows.  All of the audio podcasts are available for download and can be found in the RSS viewer on the side of the homepage.  However, if you are a fan of video I have provided the videos below.

We do use Google Hangouts to record the podcast, and it is streamed live on both Google+ and Twitch.tv.  If you want to watch the livestream its on at 11 AM EST every Sunday.  The show runs for about two hours.  Also, if you would be interested in guest hosting please let me know.  We are always looking for someone to be one of our rotating guest hosts.

The Avengers Review

Its taken me a little while, but I had every intention of reviewing The Avengers.  As I said on the podcast, this is the movie I’ve been waiting for since I first started reading comic book and it really didn’t disappoint!  I’ll to not got into spoilers right away, but they are coming.  And honestly, you really should you seen this movie, so hopefully I won’t be spoiling anyone!

There was tons of hype heading in to this movie and I think this is something that was expected.  After all, Marvel was doing what many people thought to be impossible and assembling a team of superheroes onscreen in a live action movie.  I had thought that Joss Whedon was the perfect choice to direct this movie.  Throughout all of his past TV series he has proven that he can handle a large ensemble cast and still build up each character individually.

I waited until Saturday to see the movie, and the theater was still packed.  Even in my 2D showing there was a huge crowd.  It seemed the 3D was just as crowded as well as there were tons of people exiting when I came in.  Sadly, I wasn’t one of the lucky ones that received a trailer for both The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises.  In fact I got neither of those trailers.  However, that didn’t matter as the main attraction, the movie, was incredible.  The 143 minutes just flew by and at the end the first thing I thought was, ‘I want to see this again!’

The scary thing is, that Whedon has said in earlier interviews that he ended up cutting a bunch of material from the movie to make it flow better.  Some reports say there is as much as 40 minutes of content that ended up on the cutting room floor!  In that case, I can’t wait for the Director’s Cut of The Avengers.  One of the scenes that Whedon spoke of was Cap going to go meet with modern-day Peggy Carter in part to see her with his own eyes and explain what happened to him.  This wasn’t included in the movie and I can see why as it wouldn’t fit very well.  However, the scene would be emotionally poignant and help to beef up Steve’s character some more.  I can’t wait to see this deleted scene in the future.

Just a heads up everyone, from this point on there will be spoilers and a discussion on the plot of the movie.  Read at your own risk!

There were so many things I liked about this movie and I really only had one minor quibble.  That surprised me as I can generally find something to complain about in most comic movies.  Some of the things I bring up here might sound familiar and if you’ve listened to the All Things Good And Nerdy podcast that’s why.  I was lucky enough to geek out about this movie with 3 other co-hosts.  To be fair, I am a big Iron Man fan so I probably focus on him a little too much.

Things I Liked:

  1. Black Widow Gets to be a Badass - In Iron Man 2 Black Widow served as little more than eye candy.  Luckily, Joss Whedon knows how to write strong female characters, just look at his work on Buffy, Angel, or Dollhouse.  In The Avengers Widow has a chance to proves what a good asset she is.  The opening scene with Black Widow was both funny and badass as Widow is tied up and being interrogated when SHIELD calls to recall her.  The fight and the humor within just made for a great moment.  And then Black Widow basically played Loki like a violin later in the movie where she just manipulates him into revealing his purpose on the SHIELD Hellicarrier.  It was a great moment that showed off the manipulative background of a spy.
  2. Mark Ruffalo is Bruce Banner – I loved the way Ruffalo portrayed Bruce Banner as the smart quiet man in control of the beast inside.  Ruffalo’s Banner is easily the best in the Marvel movies as gives him a quiet strength.  I have to say I loved the chemistry between Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr. as well.  The two played off each other extremely well.  The most powerful scene between the two was in the lab as Tony said he understood Banner.  Both of them received their ‘gifts’ through a tragedy.  In Stark’s case one of his weapons nearly killing him and for Banner his experiment going haywire.  Both Stark and Banner are making the best of a bad situation and trying to help others.  Meanwhile the other heroes chose to use their natural or non tragically acquired gifts.
  3. Continuity Moments - It was a very simple piece but Coulson informing Thor of Dr. Jane Foster’s status was a good moment to remind everyone why Thor is so attached to the Earth and to bring back references to previous films.  Including Pepper Potts in the movie in a couple short scenes also reminded viewers that we are in one big Marvel Universe.  And it was good to see how Tony’s relationship with her had improved.
  4. Killing Coulson – I had a feeling that Whedon would kill of a popular character but I can see why it was done.   Coulson’s sacrifice is the motivation all of the heroes needed to set aside their differences and band together.  The moment where Nick Fury plays on Coulson’s death to motivate the team is a perfect portrayal of Nick Fury.  He wants so hard to achieve his mission that he will manipulate or lie to make it happen.  Lying and saying Coulson had the Captain America trading cards in his pocket upon his death due to his belief in the heroes was just the tool to bring everyone together.  Was it right to play on everyone’s emotions?  No, but it was necessary to save to world and I doubt Coulson would have objected.  I hope this is a death that sticks, if they find some cheap way to bring Coulson back it would cheapen his death a great deal.
  5. Iron Man Armor Removal  - The platform on Stark Tower that is used to remove the Iron Man armor just makes the process look so cool.  It’s really impressive to see the evolution of this process over the span of the Marvel movies.  Originally, getting into or out of the armor was time-consuming and awkward but Stark has continued to refine it in each movie.
  6. Iron Man Mark VII – This armor was just cool.  When Tony was putting on the wristbands I was trying to figure out just how they would come into play.  Seeing Stark get thrown out a window and a suit of Iron Man armor deploy around him was just like something out of the comics.
  7. Quips and Humor – In typical Whedon fashion the movie is full of quick one-liners and puns thrown in the midst of a battle or dramatic moment.  This never takes away from the movie and leads to fun moments.  There were times in the theater where people were laughing so hard I missed bits of dialogue.  I think Thor had one of the best quips during a discussion about Loki where he tried to defend him only to learn Loki had killed 80 people in two days.  His response immediately thereafter of ‘he’s adopted’ had the theater rolling.
  8. Sibling Rivalry – It was interesting to see Thor try so hard to redeem his brother in the beginning of the movie.  In his own movie Thor had learned humility and how to set his pride aside.  It was very cool to see him try to pass that on to this brother.  Even at the end Thor tries to save his brother only to get stabbed in the gut.  Seeing no choice he has to fight and the realization of that on his face is powerful.
  9. Tony the Hero – In the earlier parts of the movie Tony and Cap had butted heads.  Cap pointed out that Tony wasn’t willing to do the hard things as a hero and that he was in fact not a soldier.  This fact, not being a soldier, is something Stark readily agreed to.  However, when faced with NYC getting nuked or sacrificing himself Tony didn’t bat an eye.  And how heartbreaking was it to see Tony trying to call Pepper and say goodbye and she doesn’t even see her phone ringing?
  10. Hulk is the Man – To steal a phrase here, Hulk does more hulking in Avengers than he ever did in his own movies.  There were so many great Hulk moments throughout the film.  There were two in particular that stand out to me.  One is Hulk grabbing a fallen Iron Man out of the sky and bringing the fallen Avenger to the ground.  The other is his confrontation with Loki, where Loki continues one of his longer evil rants and Hulk just grabs him by the ankle and throws him around like a ragdoll.  What made that moment perfect was Hulk muttering ‘puny god’ and walking off.  That was something that felts so much like the comics to me.
  11. Thanos! – This was an awesome setup for the future Marvel movies.  I’m guessing we will see the Infinity Gauntlet come into play as it was already seen in Odin’s vault in Thor.

Minor Quibbles:

  1. Cap’s Costume – I think they really gave Cap a near perfect costume in his movie.  I understand why they changed the costume, mostly to modernize it, but it would have been cool to make it look a little closer to his WW II uniform.
  2. Thor’s Return To Earth – With the destruction of the Bifrost Bridge in the Thor, many were left wondering how the God of Thunder would return to Earth.  To me, just saying as an aside that ‘Odin did it’ seemed a little bit like a cop-out.  My guess is that the explanation for Thor’s return is in one of the deleted scenes.

Overall, I loved this movie and I think it opened up a lot of possibilities for future Marvel films.  If I had to give it a score I’m thinking a 9.5 out of 10.  There were a couple of things I was left curious about that I’m hoping are in the deleted scenes.  I’m anticipating that the Director’s Cut of this movie will make this a 10 out of 10!

It is pretty interesting to note that Mark Ruffalo has already been signed to appear in 6 Marvel movies.  I would love to see him have a cameo in Iron Man 3 if only to continue building upon the friendship Stark and Banner seemed to develop in The Avengers.  In fact I think the Internet agrees with me based on one of the newest memes floating around.

Time for Science!

Time for Science!

The Dark Knight Rises Trailer 3

I’m a little late to jump in with this news, but last night Warner Bros released the 3rd, and probably final, trailer for The Dark Knight Rises.  The last trailer was good, but it really told us nothing about the plot of the final movie.  Below is the trailer, I’ll post some of my thoughts after the video just in case you don’t want to see speculation.  Remember, there are no spoilers here as I’ve gone spoiler-free for TDKR!

  1. It looks like Bane might be taking over Gotham, and not for a short time either.
  2. It looks like Bruce is imprisoned by Bane, but for how long we don’t know.
  3. Selina might know that Bruce is Batman.
  4. The end quip from Selina Kyle just screams Catwoman to me.
  5. This movie looks really dark.

I really hope this movie is good, and I have every faith in Christopher Nolan.  However, historically the third entry in a trilogy is not very good.  Hopefully this movie breaks that convention.

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