Tag Archives: Internet

Saturday Reviews: Memetic #1

memetic 1

Memetic (BOOM! Studios)
Written by James Tynion IV, Art by Eryk Donovan

At various points throughout the last few years I’ve occasionally joked that cat pictures on the internet will be the downfall of modern civilization, but I never actually considered it a possibility, much less worried about the logistics of such an apocalypse. Memetic from BOOM! Studios has put quite a bit of thought into this scenario, with some startling results.

Memetic is the story of what happens when an internet meme is responsible for destroying the world. As bizarre as this premise sounds, it’s actually a very well thought out and coherent story. The protagonist, a college student named Aaron, is one of the few people unaffected by this new internet meme that pops up overnight and causes everyone who looks at it absolute euphoria. Writer James Tynion IV does a good job weaving the story in and around the everyday lives of our main characters. While he is dealing with the beginnings of the meme problem, Aaron is also in the middle of a fight with his boyfriend, which comes across as genuine and indicative of life as a college student who is trying to find himself. Given that the meme is responsible for the end of civilization, things have to turn bad at some point, but I was surprised at the manner in which they turned. It was dark and unexpected and I loved it.

memetic 2

Of course since this is a comic book, readers have the luxury of seeing the meme in question. While I didn’t have the promised euphoric feelings, the “good times sloth” is definitely a good looking meme thanks to art from Eryk Donovan.  Memetic is a book full of extreme emotions, from euphoria to absolute madness, and Donovan does a great job with both the individual facial expressions as well as the rapid transition from one to the other. There are a lot of great little touches in this book that I enjoyed. One character, Marcus, is a retired Military officer who is suffering from Macular Degeneration which is shown by making his eyes a milky white color. While in real life his condition wouldn’t necessarily lead to this effect, it does a good job of letting the reader know there is something obviously wrong with Marcus’ vision, also making him immune to the meme. The two page title splash, which shows the same portion of street, one just before the meme hits and one three days after, is one of the best of the book. It provides a haunting foreshadow of things to come, letting readers know that things are going downhill quickly and that they are now along for the ride.

For those of us who grew up along side the internet, this kind of story is both something we can relate to and something profoundly disturbing. 4/5 Death Stars.

4 Death Stars

Be sure to listen to our interview with artist Eryk Donovan from Tidewater Comicon.

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Winning Science March 12, 2014

For years scientists have been pushing green technology. Things like solar panels and wind turbines are more ecologically friendly, but are they really green? One group of researchers is working tech that is both figuratively and literally green:  moss. Scientists at the University of Cambridge have been able to power a small radio using the energy generated by a particular form of moss, it what is called a photo microbial cell. Despite only being able to power the radio for a few minutes, this experiment shows that it might feasible to provide small charges for things like cellphones with some additional research.

"Green" tech...get it?

“Green” tech…get it?

Not only would this mean using less energy, but it also would help remove CO2 from the atmosphere thanks to photosythesis.

Happy 25th birthday to the internet. The internet as we understand it was the brain child of a CERN scientist named Tim Berners-Lee who submitted a memo in March of 1989 on how to link documents between computers that were networked together. While this project didn’t move forward for another year, the World Wide Web Consortium is choosing to celebrate the day on which the memo was first filed, as opposed to when the system began operating. I’m hoping they didn’t invite Al Gore to any of their parties.

CERN in Switzerland.

CERN in Switzerland.

Who still uses the terms World Wide Web or consortium any more?

There is a star in space that is 1300 times bigger than our sun!Researchers recently published a study of this hypergiant named HR5171. Now I realize that our sun is actually pretty small when it comes to stars, but the fact that HR5171 is that much bigger makes it insanely massive. Not only is HR5171 that large, but it is part of a binary star. So basically this star is so big it has it’s own star. untitled

We need to come up with a better way to name stars. This one sounds like a bill before Congress, and space is way cooler than Congress.

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Editorial | Internet Slang: My Quest for the Perfect Retort

Ahh, the fascinating world of internet slang! Both impressive in its scope and absurd by its nature, this satirical style of commentary captures my attention completely. I relish oddities and foibles more than I can say. There is a great line in Jane Austen’s book Pride and Prejudice regarding Lizzy Bennett: “”[She had] a lively, playful disposition, which delighted in anything ridiculous…” That line is me. Not only do I love to read internet slang, but I thoroughly enjoy learning to use my favorite phrases correctly.

Typically, my method begins when I see a phrase that seems concise enough to suit the grammar Nazi on one shoulder and snide enough to satisfy the sarcasm genie on the other. For instance, “seems legit” was a perfect phrase for me. I found it deliciously snarky and yet short and sweet. For such a little phrase it packed a punch, and I knew as soon as I saw it posted as a comment under a glorious, badly photoshopped photograph that this was my new idiom.

Here is the thing, though: once I find a phrase I wanted to express properly, I cannot just slap it onto just any status update or picture. It is imperative that I use the expression correctly. Sarcasm can very easily be misunderstood or (far worse) sound awkward. Usage must be perfectly timed and correctly implemented.

The hunt was on! I kept my eyes peel for woebegone status updates by teenage females believing they will never find true love, an image of the President holding an upside-down telephone, or Pamela Anderson’s bosom.

My first attempt with the phrase was on a silly meme of a Scottish bagpiper. While technically the phrase would apply, I could feel the wrongness as soon as I pressed the submit button. Sure enough, the deafening silence of the internets confirmed my suspicion that my usage had been awkward and I slunk away from my laptop, shame-faced.

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No one would even have known this was photoshopped if it weren’t for the slight variation in pixel sizes.

My next opportunity came when a Facebook friend posted a rant about her job and how she planned to quit the next day. “Seems legit,” I commented cheerfully. Sadly, I was shot down by seven of her girlfriends who were miffed at my carefree attitude. (I do want to point out that my “friend” did not quit her job the next day.)

Finally, my chance arrived. An Instagram friend posted a scanned photo of himself cut out and copied onto a postcard style photo of a surfer riding a monstrous, perfectly shaped wave. Success!! My comment was the very first response and was liked a whopping twenty seven times! Pleased with myself, I closed my laptop, folded my hands behind my head, and leaned back with a sigh of happiness. Victory was mine.

Last week I noticed someone on the internet using the word “feels” to mean strong emotions. Not sure what that’s all about, but I think I want to use it…

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Filed under Editorial, Tracy Gronewold