The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Cerebus is dead

The first 1,100-page graphic novel in the history of the medium, and the reaction could be summed up as the sound of one cricket leg chirping. Just as there was no “storm of misinterpretation” following Cerebus' “marriage” to Astoria. I'm not sure the quotes belong on there. That was part of my point. If Cerebus is the Pope and he declares himself married to Astoria and has sex with her, is that rape? There were a number of levels to that one, but that was the joke as far as I was concerned. To give it a greater immediacy: Why does having a priest say a few words to a couple make what they do marital relations, and if he doesn't say the few words, it's fornication? And if a priest can make fornication into marital relations, why can't he make rape into marital relations?

Via Michael Duff, Onion A.V. Club: Writer-artist Dave Sim

I was introduced to Cerebus back in 1990 by my friend Sean Williams. At that point Dave Sim was nearly done with Church and State and I had a great time in catching up and getting current with the storyline. I had read the first 25 issues, but sadly, Sean did not have a copy of High Society (the next 25 issues, forming a single story arc). I became familiar with the whole 300 issue story arc Dave Sim was planning, and became a great fan of not only the writing but of the artwork as well.

But that was the early 90s. Over the next ten years I lost track somewhat of Cerebus, managing to get a copy of High Society and a few volumes past Church and State and hearing about the infamous screed against feminism but that's about it. And it surprised me that March of 2004, the last month of Cerebus has already come and gone.

And thus ends, as Dave Sim says, “comic-book equivalent of one Russian novel” at 6,000 pages of beautifully drawn art (well, nearly—the first few issues were rather rough around the edges).

Dave Sim may be a right-wing conservative anti-feminist facist, but he still has the best take on intellectual property I've read in a long time.


Photography of heavenly bodies

Last month The Kids received a telescope from their father. I helped The Kids to set it up (read: I put it together) and use it to view the moon and what I think was Jupiter. It's too nice to let them keep it in their room, so it currently lives in our room.

Late Sunday night, I was talking with my friend Ken D, who just received his Ph.D. in physics from FAU and currently teaches an astronomy class and he pointed out that the bright star south west of the moon was most likely Saturn, so when I got home, I decided to break out the telescope and do a bit of viewing.

Or rather, an attempt at stellar photography. Or would that be, planetary photography?

Anyway, I set up the telescope (which has a computerized controller which makes fine adjustments quite nice) and then attempted to use my digital camera to take pictures, first of the moon.

Considering I have no camera mount for the telescope, I think I managed to get some decent photographs of the moon through the telescope. Not an easy task to line up the camera optics with the telescope optics and take a picture without the image becoming hopelessly blurry. Even with a tripod it was difficult since the moon was so high up that the camera would just barely reach the eyepiece if I tipped the camera tripod up on two feet—in retrospect, I should have lowered the telescope, but hey, it was a learning experience.

I spent so much time with the moon that by the time I got around to Saturn it was just above a strand of trees and setting fast. At least, I think it was Saturn—it was a planet (since I could make out a distinct disk) but the rings were very hard to see, if in fact they were rings and not a form of spherical abberation due to the telescope optics. Twice I moved the telescope and lowered it in a vain attempt to get a picture of Saturn, but to no avail—it had set behind the trees and the one shot I did get was a light blob, not worth saving.

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