July 2018 Media Diet

These are all the things that I consumed media wise in July.

The World Cup – 5/5. There were so many great games. So many upsets.

Star Trek: Voyager – 4/5. We started in April and finally finished. I haven’t connected with the characters as well as I did in TNG and DS9 but it’s still a great show.

Star Trek: Enterprise – 3/5 so far. Just started season 2. Definitely watch on Netflix so you can skip that horrible Rod Stewart intro.

Deception – 4/5. This show was cancelled by ABC and while it was a bit campy and definitely quirky I thought it would have made a decent show. The first season is available on iTunes if you want to check out something new.

I’ve finally finished Killing Eve. 5/5.

I’ve also finally started The Americans. I have no idea why I didn’t watch this before it ended but here we are. 4/5

Snatched – 1.5/5. I watched it because I love Goldie Hawn. She couldn’t save this.

Set It Up – 3.5/5. One of Netflix’s original movies, this rom com is cute and bad for all the right reasons.

Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta – 4/5. This was a beautiful novel. It tells the story of Ijeoma as she navigates a civil war in Nigeria and discovering that she is a lesbian. “I thought once more about the way that life so often takes us the long way around. But perhaps it didn’t matter, long or short, as long as we eventually found our way to where we needed to be.”

Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Books 1-3 – 5/5. This is a such a great series.

Small Country by Gaël Faye – 5/5. Emotionally complex, beautifully written, heartbreaking. One of the best books I’ve read so far this year.

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera – 4/5. “People are complicated puzzles, always trying to piece together a complete picture, but sometimes we get it wrong and sometimes we’re left unfinished. Sometimes that’s for the best. Some pieces can’t be forced into a puzzle, or at least they shouldn’t be, because they won’t make sense.”

Season 2 of In The Dark – 5/5. The first season of In The Dark was great but the second season has blown me away. It’s very informative and highlights so many problems with the Criminal Justice system.

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway – 5/5. Hemingway writes broken people really well. If you’re looking for a story that describes war in detail, this isn’t it. However, it captures the loneliness and sadness and anxiety and worry of war really well.

Still Lives by Maria Hummel – 3/5. This book was good but I didn’t find anything particularly great about it. It held my interest and followed the familiar mystery/thriller pattern.

How It Ends – 4/5. This isn’t an Oscar movie. It’s a really great end of the world action movie. It was suspenseful enough and crazy enough to keep my interest.

America, Vol. 1: The Life and Times of America Chavez by Gabby Rivera – 5/5. This was a great comic. Bonus because it has so many queer characters.

America, Vol. 2: Fast and Fuertona by Gabby Rivera – 5/5. See above.

Paper Girls, Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan – 5/5. There’s so many things going on here that I love. Time travel, the 80s, Aliens (?).

The Kissing Booth – 4/5. This was a great rom-com and I liked how it wasn’t a typical teen movie.

Paste on macOS

On macOS, the default paste command copies the original formatting. If you do a lot of copy and pasting, this makes life a bit easier.

Why Co-Ed Sports Leagues Are Never Really Co-Ed

Co-ed social sports leagues aren’t really co-ed. They’re men’s leagues, where women are required to be present for the game to happen.

From Why Co-Ed Sports Leagues Are Never Really Co-Ed

I play in two sports leagues–one kickball league and one softball league. They both have gender ratios that you need to maintain on field in order to play a game, however I have very different experiences between the two leagues and that’s mostly because of the teams I play on.

My kickball team is great and I’ve never felt like I wasn’t allowed to play or wasn’t a valued member of the team. Softball, on the other hand, is different.

Our Team Captain is a woman but within the first two weeks of playing one of the guys staged a coup to take over the team. He wanted more playing time, he wanted a better batting position, so he forced his way into managing the team. I was relegated to Right Field despite having no outfield experience. I’m also one of the more experienced players on the team. Men get the best positions, both on offense and defense. When the men on the team started complaining because there were too many men on the team, they didn’t care at all that there weren’t any subs for women.

On Eating Meat

As humans gain an ever-increasing understanding of animals’ ability to [think, feel, and experience pain], many of us are asking whether eating meat is morally acceptable.

From Thoughts on the family dog and eating meat

Eating meat has really been weighing on me lately. I love meat, I don’t think I could ever slide into a vegetarian or vegan diet unless possibly by force. For me, it’s not so much that animals are cognitive beings and are aware of and feel pain, but more so that industrial agriculture is morally abhorrent. Participating in an industry that has such a huge disregard for animals, for the environment, for the communities they operate in, for the people that they employ doesn’t align with the kind of person I hope to be. It is in direct contradiction to my morals and ethics(fn).

DSLR vs Mirrorless cameras

DSLR vs mirrorless cameras: How do they compare in 2018?

Mirrorless cameras have been around for almost a decade now, and in that time they’ve changed in countless ways.

While some of the designs many have stayed constant, the extent to which these models are more capable for a broader range of tasks means that many people have happily ditched their DSLRs, sold their glass (or not, as we shall see) and jumped across to one of the more recent but rapidly expanding mirrorless systems. Many others, however, are more hesitant, and they continue to ask the same question: are mirrorless cameras better than DSLRs?

If you’re expecting a short answer, it’s this: mirrorless cameras are certainly more capable than DSLRs in many respects, and they hold a number of different advantages, but there are many reasons why novice users and seasoned pros alike would still be better served by a DSLR.

My first semi-pro camera was a Canon T3i. I still have it, although I’ll be looking to sell it soon. I recently bought a mirrorless camera, a Sony a6300. I debated getting a more pro camera, but with the advances that Sony has made with their mirrorless cameras and the availability of some very good, very affordable lenses I felt that it was worth it to look into getting a mirrorless instead. I have loved it so far and I haven’t regretted opting for a mirrorless camera over a DSLR at all. The photos from San Diego were taken with the Sony a6300.

April 2018 Media Diet

I figured I’d start keeping track of media I consume, similar to kottke.org’s and subtraction’s. Here is the inaugural post, a few months late because I forgot to hit Publish.

Star Trek: Voyager – I started this after finishing Deep Space Nine. While I am a huge fan of The Next Generation, I think Deep Space Nine offers a completely different picture of the Federation. TNG’s view was that the Federation was basically a socialist utopia, but Deep Space Nine exposed the flaws of the Federation and the limits of it. Voyager is different. What’s it like in the absence of the Federation? Oddly, I didn’t even know this existed when it was out despite watching TNG a bit. It ended my junior year of high school.

I am a huge fan of the Rocky series so I loved this 1976 behind the scenes look of Sylvester Stallone and Carl Mayweather practicing the choreography for a fight in Rocky.

The Murder on the Orient Express (3 out of 5) – I’m a huge fan of Agatha Christie’s Poirot series and I love David Suchet so much. Watching someone else play the character is rough, even if it’s Kenneth Branagh. However, it was a pretty decent movie and I enjoyed it. Although, not a fan of Johnny Depp and I have been trying to avoid anything that he stars in.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (4 out of 5) – I did not see this in theaters, which I can’t believe. I think it’s the first Star Wars film (that I’ve been alive at release time) that I haven’t seen in theaters. I loved it. I am disappointed that Rey’s parents are nobodies. I hope they come into the next one and tell everyone that it’s a lie.

Blade Runner: The Final Cut (4.5 out of 5) – Blade Runner is one of my favorite movies. I wanted to watch it again. I haven’t seen 2049, although it’s on the list.

Power Rangers (3 out of 5) – Maybe 3 out of 5 is too generous but I’m giving it at least half a star for nostalgia. It’s supposed to be campy and weird and it delivers. I used to watch Power Rangers religiously when I was a kid and this did not disappoint. It’s bad in a good way.

“It” by Stephen King (4.5 out of 5 stars) – This was an undertaking. It’s a large book, over 1000 pages, and while it was a great read I had to put it down for about a week to take a break. Now I can watch the movies.

“Not That I Could Tell” by Jessica Strawser (3.5 out of 5 stars) – It’s a quick read (I read it in two days) and it is a page turner. It’s predictable like others in the genre but the twist is a nice one.

“Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI” by David Grann (5 out of 5 stars) – What a book. It reads easy like fiction. I couldn’t put it down.

“The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah (4 out of 5 stars) – It gets a little weird towards the end but it’s a great story about loneliness, being alone, violence, and perseverance.

“An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones (4 out of 5 stars) – There’s a lot to unpack here. It’s riveting. I cried at parts and laughed at others, I was angry as well.

“Annihilation” (Southern Reach #1) by Jeff VanderMeer (4 out of 5 stars) – An intriguing story about a piece of abandoned land called Area X.  The novel follows a biologist as her expedition team sets out to explore Area X.