The future freaks me out.

There's no mistake that our world is immensely fucked up, and there's not a whole lot most of us can do but sit back and suck on it and hope that nothing too crazy happens to us or the ones we care about. The future is freaky, the future is terrifying; but the future is also pretty damn incredible looking. Today I'm going to show you two new, and pretty astounding things that the world will soon be offering to us.

First, spray on clothing: Not exactly new, but newish (and I certainly was unaware of it until a few weeks ago). Fashion designer Dr Manel Torres has invented a new product, called Fabrican. Litterally, it's fabric in a spray can. Made of cotton fibres, polymers and a solvent that keeps the mixture in liquid form, Torres has created a product that is quick, cheap and of course automatically fits perfectly. Though it seems crazy, after your shirt has dried (onto you!) you can remove it, wash it, and wear it again.
Here are some photos:

Next, we have a paper thin, flexible phone developed by Canadian researchers of Queens University that memorizes what you do to it. This video will explain much better than I would myself:

There you have it. The next steps toward the future none of us see coming.


What is now proved was once only imagined.

 "Nobody tells this to people who are beginners. I wish someone had told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it's just not that good. It's trying to be good, it has potential, but it's not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. and your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase; the quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn't have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know that it's normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. It's only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. It's gonna take a while." - Ira Glass


"It's been 15 years since I had to take out a green beret. Even so - he deserves a handicap."

In honor of Free Comic Book Day, I give you (in no particular order) my top five comic books:

1) Y: The Last Man
    When a mysterious and horrible plague wipes out every other male mammal on earth, escape artist, wisecracking smart ass Yorrick Brown and his pet monkey Ampersand (also a bearer of the now near extinct Y chromosome) find themselves as the last men alive, and on a quest to save womankind from extinction. Protected by the ultra secret, ultra deadly government agent named only Agent 355, meticulously studied by the leading authority on human cloning left alive and pursued by the maniacal Amazons (women who believe that Mother Nature eradicated all males as the next step in evolution, and cut one of their breasts off to show their dedication) he fights, loves, and searches his way to the truth about what has really happened to man. It has some of the most entertaining characters I've seen in a comic book, and a conclusion that gives new meaning to Shakespeare's "Alas, poor Yorrick.". Length: 60 issues.

2) The Walking Dead
   After being shot, and put into a coma Sheriff Rick Grimes wakes up to an empty, destroyed hospital and a world overtaken by undead zombie hordes. He sets out to search for his family, not knowing whether they will be alive or undead. Eventually he hooks up with a small band of survivors and becomes their at times official, and other times unofficial, leader. Writer Robert Kirkman is delightfully unafraid to kill off his main characters, so that as it stands now only a few of the original cast remain among the living. Rick leads his people through the most unimaginable circumstances - including a crazed power drunk man who leads a large community of survivors into total savagery and calls himself the General, untold numbers of flesh eating zombies, and even some living cannibals. There is some incredible character growth as well as degradation, as you would expect of people who survived the end of the world and had to kill tons of people and do plenty of other horrible things to do it.  Length: Ongoing (currently 84 issues).

3) Batman: Year One
    Written by genius comic veteran Frank Miller, this is the best, and seminal story of Batman's origins. This story arc chronicles a young and inexperienced Batman's first days wearing the cowl. We're introduced to characters like members of the Falcone crime family and Catwoman. But the real highlight for me is the supremely badass Jim Gordon and of course, the Dark Knight himself. Length: Four issues.

4) The Dark Knight Returns
    The opposite end of the spectrum from Year One, this classic and incredible book (also written by Frank Miller) features a Batman who is over half a century old. Having faked his own death, and disappearing for quite a few years, the aging vigilante decides it is once again time to revive his fearsome alter ego. He takes on mutant foes half his age, confronts his oldest and maybe deadliest enemy, the Joker, and even lays the smack down on government stooge Superman. Batman is a monster, even as a senior citizen. Length: Four issues.

5) Calvin & Hobbes
    Not really a comic book, but a comic strip. Follow the fantastic and imaginative adventures of a hyper intelligent and very devious six year old boy named Calvin and his stuffed tiger Hobbes. He imagines himself as everything from a T-Rex to a superhero named Stupendous Man to the intrepid space explorer, Spaceman Spiff. He builds monstrous snow horrors and invents his own sport, Calvinball, which only has one real rule: you can never play with the same rule twice. One of the best things about this comic is that Bill Watterson didn't drag it on for a thousand years, but instead ended it while he was ahead. Length: 1985-1996.


A choir of furies in your head.

This space, renovated and decorated by Swedish interior designer Marie Olsson Nylander, is utterly fantastic. Some of the accessories are a little much for my tastes, but the beams, high ceiling, all of the wooden doors and of course the spiral stairs make it quite remarkable. I wish I could give a little more background, but the site it comes from (www.mixr.se) is all in Swedish, I believe. But admiring it is enough for now.


A sentence in five words.

I came across this interesting, and kind of impressive writing exercise which is from Roy Clark's book Writing Tools:

"This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals–sounds that say listen to this, it is important."


The world is in Peril!

Recently I watched a movie called Paper Man. Despite the trailer making him look like a handicapped older man, it is actually about a seriously distressed author who takes some time away in the country to sort of exorcise his demons and hopefully mend his dying marriage. He clearly is a little crazy though, as he regularly converses with his only (and imaginary) friend: a witty, self deprecating super hero named Captain Excellence. He meets a young girl, and decides to make her his friend. It's a little cliche at times, seemingly aware that it's an indie movie, but Jeff Daniels, Lisa Kudrow, Emma Stone, Keiran Culkin and Ryan Reynolds all play their characters splendidly and it certainly has it's moments. Worth a watch.

Or at least watch this.