It would seem I’m always but one step away from reaching for an endeavor to occupy my time with at any given moment. Besides what’s obviously available on this website…from Bridgetown, a Ruby-powered site generator, to Yarred, my musical alter-ego, there’s something for…well…somebody.
So I’ve been sad hearing the rumor mill pontificate that the mini size will be going away due to middling sales numbers. However, the flip side to all this is I’ve never been a fan of the notch. Sure I understand why it’s there, and it doesn’t bother me in daily usage. Yet it’s always felt like a hack, a necessary evil, a stain on an otherwise “perfect” form factor.
The pill-and-hole design brings us much closer to perfection. There’s no visual interruption along the edges of the display. It feels much more symmetrical, especially in landscape orientation. Obviously I can’t come to a final conclusion without seeing the final product in the flesh (assuming the rumors are true), but I’m far more impressed by the mockups so far than with the iPhone X-era notch.
If that’s the new design language of the iPhone 14 Pro, I’m afraid I’ll have to kiss my mini goodbye and embrace the bigger size once again. The pill-and-hole styling is simply irresistible.
Strange New Worlds feels a bit like a reboot done right.
Before you misunderstand me, listen: I’ve been pretty pro-Discovery since its inception and particularly loved seasons 3 & 4. Picard Season 1 was a masterpiece in my view and one of the best seasons of any Trek show ever. (Season 2 was a disappointing step down from those highs…but that’s a tale for another time.) And regarding the movies, while I didn’t much care for the two J.J. Abrams films, I thought Star Trek: Beyond was pretty freaking fantastic.
Yet in spite of all that, I do think we’ve been missing out a bit on that good ol’ Trek TV formula, and apparently the producers at Paramount agree: because Strange New Worlds fills that void with glorious aplomb.
Anson Mount continues to impress as Captain Pike. He weaves in elements of the original “Cage” Pike, Kirk’s swagger, Picard’s experienced poise, Sisko’s playfulness, and the endearing emotionality of later captains in Trek canon. Yet in the end he remains a fully individualized and memorable character. Mount as Pike doesn’t feel like a copy of the captains we’ve already seen, so much as he feels like the blueprint from which they later sprung. Accomplishing that in a prequel series made nearly 60 years after a failed pilot might just be one of the cleverest hat tricks in show biz.
I’ll refrain from commenting on the rest of the cast because honestly we haven’t had enough time with them yet. I will say that—no offense to Zachary Quinto’s acting prowess—Ethan Peck is the best Spock we’ve seen since 80s Nimoy. He’s filling immeasurably large shoes, and while his performance might not turn heads per se, it’s understated and competent. And honestly, that’s all I could hope for. I can believe he’s Spock more than (for example) I ever believed Alden Ehrenreich was Han Solo.
All in all, I am extremely satisfied with Strange New Worlds. I suppose things could fall to pieces in future episodes, but if they can keep the quality up this high in episode 3 and thereafter, I will claim without reservation that this is the most made-for-Trekkies Star Trek we’ve seen since The Orville. Oh snap!
I feel like it was a long time waiting for another Stange movie to arrive. I must reiterate that Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange is my favorite character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Way back in 2016, I wrote concerning the first Doctor Strange movie that it featured “excellent characterization, stunning locations, a surprisingly top-drawer script, and a director that manages to pull off some of the most breathtaking effects visuals I have ever seen on screen…this is clearly one of Marvel’s best cinematic efforts to date.” Eight years and several rewatches later, I still hold by that assessment.
So believe me when I say I’ve been very, very excited to head out to my local movie theater to see Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Unfortunately, while I did enjoy the experience and by no means think this is a bad film, overall my opinion is mixed on the merits of this second outing. There were aspects to the movie I thought were utterly delightful and wickedly clever. Yet there were other moments where I found myself befuddled and disappointed at the choices made by the Marvel story team. Without giving away any spoilers, I thought the tie-ins with Wandavision were the weakest links in the chain by far. Elizabeth Olsen certainly pulls off an amazing acting feat in her role, but the role itself in the context of the entire story arc left me cold. I honestly wish they’d gone in a different direction and not touched her character at all. (Perhaps leave that to a “Wandavision 2” or standalone Scarlet Witch movie.)
I’ll share this spoiler-filled dive into the film by one of my favorite YouTube pundits, Kristian Harloff. I think his thoughts echoed my own in nearly all cases, so if you’ve watched it yourself by now, you might find his commentary intriguing.
In the end, I did appreciate much of what was in the movie scene-by-scene and enjoyed my time at the theater, but the problematic elements of the story took the entire experience down a notch. Overall, I’d have to rank this in the lower half of MCU productions to date, and nowhere near my Top 10. Which is a real shame considering the first Doctor Strange film is one of my favorite comic-book / #scifi#movies of all time.
Look, I get it. You already subscribe to too many newsletters. So much to keep up with. But guess what? I only send out a newsletter occassionaly. It’s no big deal. And if you peruse the Creator Class archive, you might find something that resonates with you. It’s a great way to stay current with what I’m publishing, and newsletter recipients always get some extra insight just for them. So what are you waiting for? Let’s roll!
In this possibly final episode of the show, I candidly share my struggles with creative identity and finding success in the "wrong" genre. I contemplate whether I should cancel Fresh Fusion and put greater effort behind other projects. And I wonder what makes sense as a creator in a year when I expect to be on the road more often than not. Should I stay or should I go?
The official debut of my kids on Essential Life! 🥳👏 (also apologies for some of the shaky footage here and there…they were also my cinematography assistants! 😉) This is part ONE of a two-part vlog of our summer vacay up in #Seattle. We were tickled pink with our GORGEOUS hotel room and got to see many incredible sights along the way. Enjoy!
There was a time not long ago when my life was in a major upheaval. Signs of online success were slim to none. I wasn’t sure if anyone out there would really care if I were suddenly Thanos-snapped out of existence. Yet the valuable lesson I came to learn during that dreadful time was how to become intrinsically motivated, the significance of value creation, and the trick of cultivating T-shaped skills.
I needed to take some time off work to think, to dream. Instead I listened to the advice of family and friends and charged into a new business opportunity. Was it successful? Was it an utter disaster? Read my story to find out.
When we have difficulties helping our children learn new skills or cope with the tumult of everyday life, it's tempting to want to blame ourselves. But we can choose to see the learning opportunity inherent in every emotional moment.
If you think as I did a couple years ago, you probably assume that people who struggle with depression must be sad a lot and just need to be cheered up or adopt a more positive attitude. Well, as I came to discover, that notion is dead wrong.