Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Smug

Thanks to ReadWriteWeb we know about the Smart Mug or Smug.  This plastic reusable coffee mug from Smug Coffee adds a radio frequency ID chip into the base.  When you present the mug at stores with special RFID readers you will be able to order and pay for your coffee without opening up your wallet.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Free Coffee from Borders and Seattle's Best

Borders and Seattle's Best Coffee are teaming up to offer you a free cup of coffee.  All you have to do is download the Borders eReader app to your mobile device and then show it to the barista at any Seattle's Best Coffee cafe inside Borders and they will give you a free small coffee.  

That's an interesting use of  your mobile device as a coupon generator.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Web Comics Wednesday: Cleopatra in Spaaace!

Wow, Cleopatra in Spaaace! is one of my new favourite web comics which came to my attention courtesy of my buddy Ryan and the talented artist Katie Cook who posted a pin up of Cleopatra on her blog recently.

The strip quite literally follows the adventures of a teen-aged Cleopatra from 52 BC transported through space in time to the future.  The comic is like a 1950's pulpy sci-fi adventure mixed with Egyptian myths.

I'm really digging what writer/artist Mike Maihack is offering here.  The first 28 page chapter has just recently completed and now chapter two is kicking off.  It is a great time to jump on this strip as there is not too many pages to read in the archive before you've gotten caught up.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday Book Review: Julian Comstock

Wow, I mean wow.  The Hugo nomination for Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America by Robert Charles Wilson is well deserved.  This is one of the best examples  of the unreliable narrator that I've ever had the pleasure of reading and I did really enjoy this book.  But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

The narrator in the book is Adam Hazard who is writing a biography of his good friend and former president of America, Julian Comstock.  I say he is an unreliable narrator due to his naiveté about certain facts of life, his love of certain characters keeps him from speaking ill of them and the fact that as he states later in the book some things were changed for dramatic effect.

The book follows Adam and Julian from their early days in a wilderness town to the war against the Dutch and finally to the presidential palace in New York City.  You've probably noticed some inconsistencies in that last sentence a the world that Adam inhabits is some 200 years in our future.

In this future the world has run out of oil without a valid alternative energy source.  Society has degraded quite severely and we are back into a feudal system complete with serfs which is actually more like slavery.  Without ruining anything about the book the potential future that Wilson paints is very plausible given the current state of affairs in the world.

As you can probably tell I'm rating this book a buy.  My next sci-fi book will be another Hugo nominee The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi.  That will round out my reviews of this years nominees where others include:

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
The City and the City by China Miéville
Wake by Robert J Sawyer

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thorsday Review - Thor: The Mighty Avenger#1

Perhaps it is divine providence that the American Independence Day pushed the release of new comics from their regular Wednesday delivery date to Thursday as Roger Langridge and Chris Samnee's new book Thor: The Mighty Avenger drops on the day that is named after the titular character.

I was a big fan of the Thor run by Walt Simonson and I've been meaning to check out the recent, slightly unfinished, JMS run but this new book was right up my alley.  First, I really like Marvel's approach on this one.  They know they are going to have a big budget movie out next year so they are launching a new title now so they can have a nice size trade waiting for people who want to learn more about Thor either before or after seeing the movie.

Second I broke my current rule of only buying trades and pre-ordered the book from my local comic shop.  I really had to as what I've read of Roger Langridge's work has entertained me with it's wit and levity.  Plus, I've been saying for a few months now that this would be Chris Samnee's break out year in the comics business.

I was not disappointed.  Langridge quickly introduces us to the main characters of the series Thor, Jane Foster and Jim North.  In one particularly hilarious scene Jane and Jim see Thor being thrown out of a bar.  At this point the characters in the book do not know this is the Norse god of thunder but as readers we are well aware of his power so what could possibly toss him out a bar?

On the art side it already looks like Samnee has been drawing these characters for years.  The facial expressions on Thor and Jane really convey their emotional and mental states.  Also, Matthew Wilson's muted colors for this this book really gel well with Samnee's pencils and inks.

The issue ends on a good cliff hanger type moment which sets up the drama for the next issue which will be out in two short weeks.  I'm rating this issue a buy if you like well scripted and drawn comics that are accessible to new and veteran comic book readers.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Strengthen Your Teeth with Green Tea

Looks like drinking green tea can help keep your teeth well into your old age. Researchers think that it has to do with some anti-bacterial elements in green tea. However drinking tea with sugar negates any benefits.

Monday, July 5, 2010

French Press Instructions from Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Some great instructions on how to make French Press coffee from Stumptown Coffee Roasters. I hear really great things about Stumptown and I'd love to get out to Portland some day to try them out.

Thursday, July 1, 2010