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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Atlantic Magazine brings ultra high definitions photos that have to bee seen...

Remarkable ultra high definition photos of the sun, solar system and NASA on earth.

http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2012/09/around-the-solar-system/100368/


Lincoln Interviewed


New 'Tune,' Same Key From Cartoonist Derek Kirk Kim



Tune 1
Tune 1
Vanishing Point
Paperback, 155 pages purchase
By the time cartoonist Derek Kirk Kim was 30 years old, his prodigious talents had already won him an Eisner award, an Ignatz award and a Harvey award, the top three honors of the comics field. Chalk that up to the simple fact that in the much-plaudited Same Difference and Other Stories, which he first serialized on his website and later self-published (it has since been collected and published commercially), Kim wrote what he knew: It's a story of self-deprecating, disaffected 20-somethings besotted with pop culture and beset by lassitude.
His characters — most, like Kim, Korean-American — didn't share their parents' rigorous work ethic, preferring to while away their days discussing love, life and bathroom habits as they struggled to understand and be understood by the world around them. Kim captured it all with empathic, wistful humor and deft, expressive line work.
Like Same Difference before it, Kim's latest graphic novel began life as a Web comic; the first pages of what fans have come to know as the Tune seriesappeared online in December 2010. At this writing, 18 chapters have been posted; Tune: Vanishing Pointcollects the first 10.
Kim eagerly revisits many of the subjects and tonal qualities that earned him so much initial acclaim. We meet Andy Go, a callow art student whose decision to quit school worries his parents, with whom — it may not surprise you to learn — he lives. He's crushing madly on fellow art student Yumi, though he's convinced he has missed his opportunity with her. Reluctantly, he attempts to enter the workforce, only to have his efforts repeatedly confounded. (Kim gets in a decent swipe at mainstream comics when Andy endures a lecture on the importance of realistic anatomy from a superhero comics editor whose walls teem with posters of women smuggling medicine balls under their spandex.)
It's engaging stuff — certainly Kim's artwork is cleaner, smoother and more expressive than ever. But it begins to feel awfully familiar. Andy is a funny but troublesomely voluble narrator whose running commentary is rife with metaphors that wheeze with effort ("as reliable as a mullet sighting at the Indy 500"). After a while, all those glib jokes at his own expense — which strike exactly the same characterizing note each time and serve only to underline what the artwork has already so efficiently established — distance us from Andy and from the book.
But just then — aliens! Mysterious, possibly sinister but cute-as-all-get-out aliens! When a pair of beings from an alternate universe recruit our young hero for a job that is not what it first appears, their presence adds to the tale exactly the z-axis the reader has been hungering for.
Once Andy's interactions with these helmet-headed beings (known as Praxians) take center stage, Kim gets out of his own way and lets his dialogue and his character's "acting" (body language, facial expression) take up the narrative load. As a result, Tune starts to move at a refreshingly crisp pace; jokes land lightly and true, and we find ourselves back on Andy's side for good.
The Praxians don't show up until the final chapters of this first volume, which, yes, ends on a cliffhanger. But this is by no means the first adventure tale to dawdle in the early going (Tom Bombadil, anyone?). And, as those of us who've read the next chapters can tell you, when this series really starts to hit its stride you'll be glad you were around for the starting gun.

Conversation Matters

Loren Ekroth Check resources atwww.conversationmatters.com. Lots of insights from "Dr. Conversation," yours truly.
www.conversationmatters.com
ConversationMatters, Home of Better Conversations free weekly ezine

Take this opportunity to study how things work and why

Health care and the health care debate.

This is an issue that may seem over-visited by this blog.

But hear me out.

The issue impacts us, our children and our grandchildren. It will impact the next two to six congressional elections, shape the future of your government, impact the nature of you and your families health care and possibly change our discourse and how we communicate as a society forever.

These are not understatements.

It is a once in a life time chance to study communication at its core and on the macro level.

I am open about my views and why, mostly pre-existing conditions, potability of insurance wtihout the high cost of COBRA, skyrocketing cost of the current system (rising at more than three times the level of inflation) and how lower income and ethnic minorities are discriminated against by the current medical system (not discrimination so much as use of actuarial tables that put them at higher risk and therefore those who can least afford it pay the most).

Put that aside and this debate brings the best and worst of rhetoric to the forefront. In other words communication.

Look at the designs, structures, organization of the arguments (or of specific speeches). Find the fallacies in argumentation (and there are plenty as short rhetorical bursts replace long reasoned discourse). Look for the  flaws and the truths, then ask why you see these as flaws or truths. Question yourself and others based not on the content, but on the style and applications of communication theory. 

Look and you will see the battling use of ethos, pathos, logos and mythos. You can clearly see the codes, noise (screens, filters, interference) of both transmitter and receiver at work. You witnessed talking points and the over simplification of message. You can visit how many people do not understand numbers, abstract concepts or even how the current system actually functions. You will see abundance of semantic noise, both on purpose and by the very nature of the complex issues involved. You could study organisational communication structures, interpersonal interactions, group dynamics, conflicting concepts in journalism, or almost any are of the wide range of the field of communication. Because of how many issues and areas of our lives health care impacts, demographics (including psychographics) comes into play,  with education levels and religious beliefs at the forefront.

How many people realize the decision making process, both their own and that of their elected representatives. It's much easier to stereotype, use bias or prejudice, or to over simplify than to look at the complex and very real emotions, thoughts, calculations, priorities and other elements of decision making.

Psychology, sociology, social anthropology, history, political science, journalism, communication, business, economics, and health science are only a few of the many fields of study, interests and career areas through which you can study and seek to understand the issues that too many have boiled down to simple and non-descriptive, or even hateful bullet talking points and special interests inspired posters or t-shirts.

So, in addition to any actions you wish to take as a citizen, why not also step back and look upon this entire debate as an opportunity to review history in the making form a wide range of study areas, or to apply the course you are in or your particular area of expertise in as removed and scientific a manner as possible.

Your responses are appreciated.

As for my students, "there is extra credit in 'dem 'dare hills." See me if you are interested.

First posted 3-19-10