The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is one of the more terrifying events of the past year. At this point over 10,000 people have been killed by the virus and it has devastated several countries to the point where it will takes years, if not decades to recover. There is thankfully, a bright spot for those working with the disease. Based on new research, it appears that the virus involved in the current outbreak is not mutating at an accelerated rate as was previously thought. In fact, the virus is mutating at about the same rate as viruses from previous outbreaks. While this is a relief for vaccine researchers, it doesn’t leave them worry-free as even small mutations may have a dramatic impact on the effectiveness of a vaccine.
This doesn’t go well.
I’m glad to hear this news. I’ve seen Outbreak, I know this doesn’t end well if it mutates. Continue reading
This week the new comic solicitations came out, much as they do every month. This month however, they came with considerable controversy. Among the many titles in Marvel’s line up is X-Men ’92 written by Comics Alliance’s Chris Sims. This announcement touched off a very quick and unexpected downward spiral in conversation on the internet. Things started with an impressive Twitter rant by comic writer Valerie D’Orazio. Going back about ten years ago, Sims was part of a very vocal group that significantly harassed D’Orazio over one of the comics she was currently writing. Sims’ comments in particular went beyond just commentary on the book and often became personal attacks. In response to this coming back into the spotlight both Sims and Comics Alliance have issued statements in which Sims apologized for his previous actions, though well after the fact.
This serves as a potent example for why people should be both careful and civil in what they say and do online. Continue reading
When the US Navy started talking about using electromagnetic catapults to launch planes, I distinctly remember someone saying that if Disney was having issues with similar tech, the Navy had absolutely no hope. While this might have been hyperbole, it is also true that Disney is regularly pushing the edges of technology in order to bring a better experience to park goers. The latest of these innovations is the Magic Band. Wired has a wonderful article this week about both the tech and process that went into making the magic, as well as the extensive, untapped potential that exists within the current hardware. I had no idea the amount of work that went into the development, or the one BILLION dollar price tag that went along with it. Then again, Disney never does things in half measures.
Of all the corporations following my every move, I find Disney much less worrisome than most. Continue reading
After last week’s emotional news that Leonard Nimoy had passed away, the geek community had a close call this week when Harrison Ford crashed his plane into a Los Angeles golf course. The engine on Ford’s plane failed shortly after takeoff and he requested to return to the airport for an emergency landing. According to a tweet by Ford’s son, the actor was not seriously injured, just battered. Ford was taken to the hospital to treat his injuries. I’m sure Disney was relieved, since they are just getting started on a new Star Wars trilogy and he’s already been hurt once during this production. Can we please just keep him in a nice safe place until the movies are all done?
If we had lost Spock and Han Solo in the same week, I’d be catatonic for like 6 months. Not even joking. Continue reading