Saturday, February 6, 2021

Heraldry and Coats-of-Arms

I recently wrote an article analyzing the meaning behind the Umbrella Academy's coat of arms through the lens of medieval heraldry.

Read it here: What Medieval Heraldry Tells Us About the Umbrella Academy and the Sparrow Academy!

I don't have much more to say because I recently cut the tip of my thumb off while mincing ginger.  Ginger is only one letter removed from "finger," has the precise consistency of a human finger, and comes in units called "thumbs," so really, I should have been more wary.  But although typing is prohibitively difficult at the moment I wanted to write a brief note on heraldry.

Heraldry has been an interest of mine for a while, probably because my own family has a coat of arms, including a crest and a motto.

The blazon of our arms is sable, two pales argent, or chief, as seen below:


The crest on top is a vert cockatrice, representing invincibility in combat, and our motto is "Dum Spiro spero," meaning, "while I breathe, I hope."  It would be easy to interpret this as a hokey "live, laugh, love" kind of phrase, but when taken in context with the aggressive military signaling of the blazon and crest, it's meant to be interpreted as more like,  "you'd better hope I'm dead or I'm gonna keep going."

(This is actually pretty much the meaning behind all Irish mottos, though.)

Friday, January 22, 2021

WandaVision, the first canonical TV series in the MCU, strikes gold!

Hello, blog!  Two days ago, we said good-bye to the Trump administration and hello to Joe Biden.  I don't want to get my hopes too high, so I won't, but I will say that I feel a deep sense of relief that we experienced a peaceful transfer of power (January 6th insurrection notwithstanding) and that things can hopefully not get worse.

On the negative side, my Anxious Knitting™ productivity has severely decreased.  I guess I'll have to wait for another fascist leader before I can finish this afghan.

My writing has been wholly unaffected.  I'm currently sitting on a few commissions, and still writing weekly spots for the Grand Geek Gathering.

My latest post there is about how WandaVision, the new Disney+ Marvel series, ties into the comic line "House of M," with a broad look at some of the Easter eggs and hints within the series.

You can read the article here.

Special personal blog bonus: this may be a stretch so I didn't include it in the article, but if one checks all of the watch faces in the first episodes, one might possibly be getting a hint at the eventual introduction to mutants in the MCU!


A new episode of WandaVision is on today and I'm looking forward to is, as I am looking forward to many things this year.  (I'm taking juggling lessons!)

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

2021 Offers Hope (and Streaming Services)

 Happy 2021, blog!

While many have scoffed at the idea that this year will be better, I truly believe it will.  (It could hardly be worse than the dumpster fire that was 2020.)

I'm looking forward to ongoing writing projects, an end to the Trump presidency, a Covid-19 vaccine roll-out, and a couple of really great new Marvel shows coming out.  In the meantime, I recently finished Pixar's latest movie, Soul, and wrote a quick little article about its mechanics and plotholes.

Check it out here!

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Santa Claus is (Still) Coming to Town!

Covid-19 has made this year into a bit of a nightmare for many of us, but, just as the Grinch attempted to do away with Christmas only to discover that Christmas is rather tougher than he'd imagined (V in V for Vendetta notes that "you can't kill an idea"), so have I discovered a bit of Christmas spirit at the end of the year.  It was unexpected but a small, bright beacon of light in an otherwise largely dreary season.  I've gotten to enjoy time with my family, including my wonderful new son, and although some things have changed (we met with Santa on Zoom instead of in person), others didn't (we still sent an obscene number of holiday cards - you're welcome, USPS).

Because I love both Christmas and "fictional" science (aka "comic book" or "super-hero" science), I decided to round out the year with a beloved topic of mine crammed through a pseudo-scientific lens: the topic of Santa Claus.

I've been a big fan of Santa for over 30 years and this year was no exception.  I wrote an article explaining how Santa is handling the Covid-19 pandemic and what various Santa experts (including Santa's elves) have informed us about Santa's annual gift-giving journey.

If you'd like to know about how Santa is managing 2020, click here!  Don't worry, kids; he's still coming, and he's being extra safe!

Merry Christmas, everyone.  May our 2021 days be more merry, and brighter.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Good Reads: Skyrim Edition

Did you know that the video game Skyrim has over 300 readable books?  They don't do a thing except tell you a story and you can, in game, open them up, flip through the pages, and read a story.

Most people don't take the time to read every volume, but yours truly did, and wrote a massive, 10-page article summarizing the best books AND personal journals in Skyrim, for the curious readers who wonder which tomes are worth their time.

Check out my article here!  (Spoiler alert: No, "Palla" isn't #1, though it did make the top five.)  This article details the best Skyrim reads, where to find them, if they confer any special skill points to your in-game character, and offers a broad plot summary so you can choose if you want to track them down and give them a read yourself.  Enjoy!