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Comic for Monday March 26, 2018

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Pixa
27 days ago
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Have you played… the original Pokemon on a GameBoy emulator running on a SuperVGA monitor?

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pokemon

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

No? You should. It’s one of my fondest gaming memories.
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Pixa
31 days ago
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I'm Loyal to Nothing Except the Dream

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There is much I take for granted in my life, and the normal functioning of American government is one of those things. In my 46 years, I've lived under nine different presidents. The first I remember is Carter. I've voted in every presidential election since 1992, but I do not consider myself a Democrat, or a Republican. I vote based on leadership – above all, leadership – and issues.

In my 14 years of blogging, I've never written a political blog post. I haven't needed to.

Until now.

It is quite clear something has become deeply unglued in the state of American politics.

As of 2017, the United States, through a sequence of highly improbable events, managed to elect an extremely controversial president.

A president with historically low approval ratings, elected on a platform many considered too extreme to even be taken literally:

Asked about Trump’s statements proposing the construction of a wall on the US-Mexico border and a ban on all Muslims entering the country, Thiel suggested that Trump supporters do not actually endorse those policies.

“I don’t support a religious test. I certainly don’t support the specific language that Trump has used in every instance,” he said. “But I think one thing that should be distinguished here is that the media is always taking Trump literally. It never takes him seriously, but it always takes him literally.”

The billionaire went on to define how he believes the average Trump supporter interprets the candidate’s statements. “I think a lot of voters who vote for Trump take Trump seriously but not literally, so when they hear things like the Muslim comment or the wall comment their question is not, ‘Are you going to build a wall like the Great Wall of China?’ or, you know, ‘How exactly are you going to enforce these tests?’ What they hear is we’re going to have a saner, more sensible immigration policy.”

A little over a week into the new presidency, it is obvious that Trump meant every word of what he said. He will build a US-Mexico wall. And he signed an executive order that literally, not figuratively, banned Muslims from entering the US — even if they held valid green cards.

As I said, I vote on policies, and as an American, I reject these two policies. Our Mexican neighbors are not an evil to be kept out with a wall, but an ally to be cherished. One of my favorite people is a Mexican immigrant. Mexican culture is ingrained deeply into America and we are all better for it. The history of America is the history of immigrants seeking religious freedom from persecution, finding a new life in the land of opportunity. Imagine the bravery it takes to leave everything behind, your relatives, your home, your whole life as you know it, to take your entire family on a five thousand mile journey to another country on nothing more than the promise of a dream. I've never done that, though my great-great grandparents did. Muslim immigrants are more American than I will ever be, and I am incredibly proud to have them here, as fellow Americans.

Help Keep Your School All American!

Trump is the first president in 40 years to refuse to release his tax returns in office. He has also refused to divest himself from his dizzying array of businesses across the globe, which present financial conflicts of interest. All of this, plus the hasty way he is ramrodding his campaign plans through on executive orders, with little or no forethought to how it would work – or if it would work at all – speaks to how negligent and dangerous Trump is as the leader of the free world. I want to reiterate that I don't care about party; I'd be absolutely over the moon with President Romney or President McCain, or any other rational form of leadership at this point.

It is unclear to me how we got where we are today. But echoes of this appeal to nationalism in Poland, and in Venezula, offer clues. We brought fact checkers to a culture war … and we lost. During the election campaign, I was strongly reminded of Frank Miller's 1986 Nuke story arc, which I read in Daredevil as a teenager — the seductive appeal of unbridled nationalism bleeding across the page in stark primary colors.

Daredevil issue 233, page excerpt

Nuke is a self-destructive form of America First nationalism that, for whatever reasons, won the presidency through dark subvocalized whispers, and is now playing out in horrifying policy form. But we are not now a different country; we remain the very same country that elected Reagan and Obama. We lead the free world. And we do it by taking the higher moral ground, choosing to do what is right before doing what is expedient.

I exercised my rights as a American citizen and I voted, yes. But I mostly ignored government beyond voting. I assumed that the wheels of American government would turn, and reasonable decisions would be made by reasonable people. Some I would agree with, others I would not agree with, but I could generally trust that the arc of American history inexorably bends toward justice, towards freedom, toward equality. Towards the things that make up the underlying American dream that this country is based on.

This is no longer the case.

I truly believe we are at an unprecedented time in American history, in uncharted territory. I have benefited from democracy passively, without trying at all, for 46 years. I now understand that the next four years is perhaps the most important time to be an activist in the United States since the civil rights movement. I am ready to do the work.

  • I have never once in my life called my representatives in congress or the house. That will change. I will be calling and writing my representatives regularly, using tools like 5 Calls to do so.

  • I will strongly support, advocate for, and advertise any technical tools on web or smartphone that help Americans have their voices heard by their representatives, even if it takes faxing to do so. Build these tools. Make them amazing.

  • I am subscribing to support essential investigative journalism such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post.

  • I have set up large monthly donations to the ACLU which is doing critical work in fighting governmental abuse under the current regime.

  • I have set up monthly donations to independent journalism such as ProPublica and NPR.

  • I have set up monthly donations to agencies that fight for vulnerable groups, such as Planned Parenthood, Center for Reproductive Rights, Refugee Rights, NAACP, MALDEF, the Trevor Project, and so on.

  • I wish to see the formation of a third political party in the United States, led by those who are willing to speak truth to power like Evan McMullen. It is shameful how many elected representatives will not speak out. Those who do: trust me, we're watching and taking notes. And we will be bringing all our friends and audiences to bear to help you win.

  • I will be watching closely to see which representatives rubber-stamp harmful policies and appointees, and I will vote against them across the ticket, on every single ticket I can vote on.

  • I will actively support all efforts to make the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact happen, to reform the electoral college.

  • To the extent that my schedule allows, I will participate in protests to combat policies that I believe are harmful to Americans.

  • I am not quite at a place in my life where I'd consider running for office, but I will be, eventually. To the extent that any Stack Overflow user can be elected a moderator, I could be elected into office, locally, in the house, even congress. Has anyone asked Joel Spolsky if he'd be willing to run for office? Because I'd be hard pressed to come up with someone I trust more than my old business partner Joel to do the right thing. I would vote for him so hard I'd break the damn voting machine.

I want to pay back this great country for everything it has done for me in my life, and carry the dream forward, not just selfishly for myself and my children, but for everyone's children, and our children's children. I do not mean the hollow promises of American nationalism

We would do well to renounce nationalism and all its symbols: its flags, its pledges of allegiance, its anthems, its insistence in song that God must single out America to be blessed.

Is not nationalism—that devotion to a flag, an anthem, a boundary so fierce it engenders mass murder—one of the great evils of our time, along with racism, along with religious hatred?

These ways of thinking—cultivated, nurtured, indoctrinated from childhood on— have been useful to those in power, and deadly for those out of power.

… but the enduring values of freedom, justice, and equality that this nation was founded on. I pledge my allegiance to the American dream, and the American people – not to the nation, never to the nation.

Daredevil issue 233, page excerpt

I apologize that it's taken me 46 years to wake up and realize that some things, like the American dream, aren't guaranteed. There will come a time where you have to stand up and fight for them, for democracy to work. I will.

Will you?

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Pixa
447 days ago
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5 public comments
StunGod
431 days ago
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Sharing, in case it causes one more person to read and be moved to do more than complain on the internet. Really a powerful essay.
Portland, Oregon, USA, Earth
samuel
433 days ago
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This is incredible and considering the source, it's going to be read by a lot of people.
The Haight in San Francisco
moschlar
444 days ago
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… but the enduring values of freedom, justice, and equality that this nation was founded on. I pledge my allegiance to the American dream, and the American people – not to the nation, never to the nation.
Mainz, Deutschland
wmorrell
447 days ago
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And the nerds start to get a little more woke.
pmac
448 days ago
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Powerfully well said.
Atlanta, GA

Too Short a Season - 1.16

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Ugh I’ve been sick ALL WEEK and the only productive thing I’ve managed to make myself do is to watch this episode. This is one of those sneaky eps that from the description doesn’t seem like it’ll have a lot of fashion, and then lo and behold, there are some real zingers there! We start off with the Enterprise picking up an old admiral who is supposedly some whiz hostage negotiator.

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Hoggle?

No, no, it’s Admiral Mark Jameson sitting in front of a backdrop of some really nice Hanukkah wrapping paper.

Anyway, he old, right, though clearly that is some age makeup I WONDER WHY. Anyway, onto his outfit in a second… the important thing early on to know is that this guy is going to be HIGH MAINTENANCE and makes all sorts of demands on Picard before he even gets on the ship. P-Stew gives us some middle-manager realness face here though so it’s all good.

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Subtle facial expressions of Picard: Translated

So our guy is like “I’ll beam over at 1500 with my wife” and Data’s like, “Captain it’s 1500 RIGHT NOW” so Rikes and JLP book it to the transporter room.

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Professor X and Mystique look turbs

I mean, I think we can all agree that this dude is indeed in Charles Xavier’s chair, right? As for the outfits, I think we need to consider them separately, but we’re not going to see this traveling hood again, so let’s just say that thing looks hella soft and will not protect her from any of the elements. Okay.

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THUNDERBIRDS have not aged well…

Right though? I mean, he looks like great-great-grandpa Tracy (I did have to look that up), complete with strings, single movement mouth, and eyes that move before the head does.

As for the Admiral’s outfit, we know that these were revised in later seasons, and it’s probably for the best, as it looks less like something denoting seniority (shoulder pads necessary for that) and more like pajamas you might find at Prince’s house. Clearly there’s a more gold = more fancy idea going on here, but it’s just too much. Contrast this with the outfit worn by the Admiral who kicks off Episode 5.19 and I think you’ll agree. Plus, this outfit has the black spike pointing diagonally at the guy’s left hip, a kind of ’80s asymmetry hangover, whereas the later admiral has her spike pointing directly to her crotch, a.k.a., her Power Box. 

Oh, also, his rank looks like a space harmonica.

Of course, something is UP and guess who can sense it.

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Executive from the neck down, reject Leia ’do from the neck up

This is one of my favorite Troi looks from the early seasons, especially with the whole “my hair is a pile of rubies” setup. YOU KNOW WHAT, DEANNA, YOU’RE NOT WRONG. I want a suit made out of that fabric. I’m sure it exists. Bonus points for matching lip color to hair accessory.

She’s not the only one who’s suspish about this guy.

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Sometimes the only way to get the captain to pay attention to you is to shoot him a FULL REBA.

Again, standard setup, but Crusher is working everything she’s got. This is also during the period of the show where the doc wasn’t entirely sure that Picard was taking her seriously because of their #baggage. I wouldn’t want to be on the other end of that stare… or would I??? (I would.)

The other major fashions belong to the Admiral’s wife, Anne. Let’s get another shot of her traveling outfit.

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Sorry, I went a little crazy in Taos.

It’s hard to really know what’s happening here but I think I like it?! That blue is a real good blue, and the patterns keep it interesting. That necklace has a touch of Klingon craft-market but since it matches the dress I’m going to allow it. 

In other news what the fuck is that … plant? … on the shelf behind her? I know Guinan’s not in this episode but

image

What else does that outfit have going for it?

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You can ring be-e-ell (sleeve) ring my bell (sleeve)

I don’t actually know if this is a bell sleeve, though I did try and do some sleeve research to figure it out. My best guess is that it’s somewhere between a long butterfly, a bell or some sort of glorified cape sleeve, but either way, LOOK HOW SHINY! I dig it.

Girlfriend only brought ONE other outfit for this trip so we might as well look at that now.

image

What I’m trying to tell you is that this dress is trying to strangle me.

Not quite as successful as the blue getup, I’d argue. It looks like an outfit that came out of a sewing challenge on RuPaul’s Drag Race from one of the queens who don’t know how to sew. (Also if you find out you’re going onto Drag Race and don’t take a crash course in sewing, I don’t even know what you’re doing there.) The colors are nice kind of the way Olive Garden is nice, i.e., as long as you don’t think about it too much. 

I’ll be honest, I kind of hate it. She does have a weird brooch on that you can’t really see in this shot.

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In my off-hours I’m a jewelry display stand in Taos

We can all agree that she’s just pinned a pair of earrings to her shoulder, right? Great. Let’s move on.

So this crippled, aged Admiral is supposed to basically be dying of… Iverson’s Disease? Yes that’s right. Except he starts doing WEIRD THINGS. 

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He can walk? He can walk! He can walk? He can walk! I CAN SIIIIIIING!

Oh and this also happens:

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Subtle facial expressions of Picard: Translated, continued: #DAFUQ?

So the admiral has found some magic potion from some peoples somewhere that helps him age backwards. To make a long story short:

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Can we get Val Kilmer? No? Then get his knockoff equivalent!

Fortunately there were no unanticipated side effects from this extremely unreliable and essentially magic process, thank goodness.

Oh, wait.

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If Guinan had been there it would have been an episode of The View.

So Bev has to break the news to Anne that her hubs is dying. But unfortunately he’s also cray and also is the highest ranking person on the starship, which becomes problematic when he commandeers an away team to try and blast the hostages out instead of negotiating. How does this go?

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Category is: Dirty Stormtrooper

There’s a moment right before this where Geordi is like “Wait, I see some infrared beams with my Visor, let’s be careful” and then literally there are like eight of these guys shooting at them. EYES ON THE PRIZE GEORDI. Wait, is that disablist? I apologize. Visual cortex on the prize.

Who’s this punk who’s keeping these hostages?

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Tie-dye military cargowear is VERY in right now.

I don’t know exactly what this would help camouflage him in front of… a field of lavender? Rubble under a VERY strong blue filter? Also look at all those buttons! Clearly not an advanced race. Let’s get a closer look at those medals.

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LOOK UPON MY TETRIS MEDALS AND DESPAIR

They’re not even *very good* Tetris medals. Anyway, this is from a final tense scene where Jameson and this guy HASH OUT some HISTORY.

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Aging backwards makes you sweat A LOT

I feel for any actor who has to die on screen, because, like, you just have to make it up? Anyway, this guy is doing the best he can, but yeah he gonna die.

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This tableau feels almost Christlike until you make it to P-Stew’s facial expression

#SRSLY?

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Pixa
797 days ago
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XKCD Stack

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This site requires Sun Java 6.0.0.1 (32-bit) or higher. You have Macromedia Java 7.3.8.1¾ (48-bit). Click here [link to java.com main page] to download an installer which will run fine but not really change anything.
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Pixa
811 days ago
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4 public comments
Zaphod717
812 days ago
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"A dev typing really fast"
lulz
The Belly of the Beast
aaronwe
815 days ago
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I want Microsoft Bob Server. Now.
Denver
aaronwe
815 days ago
Also, I'm disappointed that Hypercard.js isn't a thing. Someone needs to get on that.
gradualepiphany
815 days ago
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Oh man. It would be utterly horrifying / hilarious for someone to try and take a single big VFX shot and actually write down the ENTIRE stack that generated the final image.
Los Angeles, California, USA
tdarby
815 days ago
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I literally recoiled a bit at the MongoDB/Excel layer
Baltimore, MD
Covarr
815 days ago
What's wrong with MongoDB? I heard it's web scale.
samuel
815 days ago
Your reply is stored in it.
srsly
811 days ago
Nothing (or at least not too much) is wrong with MongoDB. It's the MondoDB/Excel combination which is terrifying. Are we updating spreadsheets which are stored inside the database?? OR DO WE HAVE A SPREADSHEET WITH A DATABASE SAVED TO EACH CELL??

I Hate the Lord of the Rings

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Today, we're breaking out something a little different. I put this together more for fun than anything else, and we piloted it around in the Side Bar, along with a few other shares.

After some feedback, we're happy to bring this to the front page, and we plan to produce more of videos in this vein as a recurring periodic feature.

Sometimes, it feels like getting our work done is an epic struggle, suitable for retelling by the greatest of bards. And you know what? You're absolutely right. IT is an epic quest- and that's why I can't stand the Lord of the Rings. It's too much like work.

[Advertisement] Release! is a light card game about software and the people who make it. Play with 2-5 people, or up to 10 with two copies - only $9.95 shipped!
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Pixa
814 days ago
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rtreborb
802 days ago
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I can typing!
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