Avengers: Age Of Ultron Ad (Trailer)

Ultron

In the discussion thread, I discussed the poster for Marvel’s movie “Avengers: Age Of Ultron.” Here, I will be dissecting the trailer.

The one thing that can be definitely be thought by viewers of this trailer is that the movie will be dark. A light movie that could be used as an example is the original Avengers, while a dark movie is The Dark Knight.

The movie can be considered dark due to the ominous piano overtones and the scenes where the heroes are constantly under attack, angry, or nervous. James Spader, from the TV show “The Blacklist” narrates over a large portion of this trailer. With the words, “Everyone creates the thing they dread” and “I’m gonna tear you apart… from the inside,” absolutely implies that Ultron will be a very bad villain who will attack them psychologically, along with physically. When mental attacks are brought into play, movies are generally very dark.

The trailer also shows action scenes, most notably of the fight between the Hulkbuster (of which Iron Man is inside) and the Hulk. These scenes are in there to convince people that this movie will be action-heavy and leans towards people who like that genre. Since the original Avengers movie in 2012 made over $1 billion, the new sequel is on track to make even more.

The hype for this movie is so high, that the first trailer was leaked online a week early. That is how badly people want to see this movie. Someone at Disney is willing to sacrifice their job to service Marvel’s fans.

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Net Neutrality

net-neutrality

 

The image above is a representation of what could possibly happen if the FCC does not pass regulation that states the ISPs cannot throttle websites or charge extra to visit them over their own. This has already happened in one instance, with Comcast and Netflix. If the FCC does not pass Title 2 regulation on February 26th, the ISPs will be free to control the Internet and change it forever.

For those unfamiliar, Net Neutrality is the concept that ISPs cannot slow down a website for any reason, namely competition. Comcast owns NBC, so they would very much like it if they could throttle other sites not owned by them, such as Netflix and YouTube. Here are three different sources of media where information about Net Neutrality can be found.

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver – HBO

While this website is part of a TV show on HBO, no Net Neutrality debate is complete without John Oliver explaining it to his viewers. Since the first episode of his show aired in April of 2014, it has increasingly gained in popularity. For his 5th episode, John Oliver attacked the issue of Net Neutrality. Due to his TV show directing people to send a message to the FCC on their website, the FCC’s website crashed multiple times over the course of a week. More than 4 million comments were submitted to the FCC to lead up to the vote this Thursday over last summer, many of which were probably due to John Oliver calling people to action. I have embedded the specific Net Neutrality videos here. If you also like hearing about the lottery, salmon cannons, and more, check out his show at 11 PM on Sundays. Or wait for the main parts of the episodes to hit on Monday morning.

Vox

Vox is a relatively new news organization, having only launched in April of 2014. Vox was founded by Vox Media, who also owns The Verge, SB Nation, Polygon, Curbed, Eater, and Racked. However, just because Vox is new, doesn’t mean they aren’t doing their job. Vox has done stories on many things, ranging from racism in the United States, to cannibalism. Since they are on this list, they also do many articles on Net Neutrality. Through Vox, I have learned many things, such as which companies want and do not want Net Neutrality, the basics of the new Net Neutrality proposal to soon be voted on, and which companies have the worst customer service when dealing with customers. Through Vox, many other people have the potential to learn about this issue too.

The Washington Post

Last, but not least, we have The Washington Post. The Washington Post is old media, being founded in 1877. However, that doesn’t mean they should be counted out. They have done great work on the subject since it first started becoming an issue in 2005. Articles older than 2005 require a payment, but newer articles should suffice. In 2010, the FCC first tried to pass net neutrality legislation, but many ISPs sued the government, causing the rules to be deemed illegal. The Washington Post has continued to follow the subject to the present day, with two very interesting articles, seen here and here.

Net Neutrality is one of the most pressing issues the Internet has faced in recent years. Through these forms of media, both video and text, I have learned a lot and have also acted on it. I have filed many petitions with the EFF and many other organizations. I hope that with these sources of information about the topic, that others will also act on this sensitive issue and see to it that the ISPs cannot make the Internet how they want it to be, with paid prioritization and other limits.

MacBook POV

MacBook Pro

Role: A MacBook Pro

Audience: My User

Format: Memorandum

Topic: Request For Time Off

To: My User

From: A MacBook Pro

Date: February 8, 2015

Re: Request For Vacation

My name is MacBook, MacBook Pro. I have been on my job since October 22, 2013 and I need at least a week of vacation. To help you consider my request for a vacation, you need to understand how much work I do for you during my time of service. I am the most-used electronic device you have. My average life expectancy is only 3-5 years. By comparison, some TVs have life expectancies of up to 20 years!

My journey to you began as many parts across many different continents before I was assembled together in Shenzhen, China at Foxconn. I was one of the first computers of my model off the assembly line, just after Apple formally announced my existence. I then left China, bound for the Apple Store in Walnut Creek, California. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was actually scheduled to be picked up by you, instead of sitting in the back, waiting. The first time I saw American light was when you opened my box. While I thought my job would mostly consist of document editing and light web browsing, it has actually been much harder.

I have worked very hard with running Netflix, YouTube, high-end games like Portal 2, and I even dual-boot between my familiar Mac OS X software and Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 software. I was even running the beta version of OS X Yosemite, which was not fun. You saw me crash multiple times and I was very thankful when you removed the beta software for something more stable. My fan is almost constantly running from flash videos or games. All but one of the black feet have fallen off me and soon the last one will go, leaving all of my bottom half exposed to dirt or other gunk that could get sucked into my fan.

I desperately need a break from the constant wear and tear you put on me. You may have AppleCare and be able to fix certain parts of me, but that runs out in October of 2016. I might run out then too, if I don’t get a break. Would you consider getting an iPad for non-gaming needs? You just got a Wii U, which would be perfect for most of your video-watching habits. Heck, play games on the Wii U too. If I don’t get a break, I will die. Will you please consider giving me a break for a little while?

Sincerely,

Your MacBook Pro

A Way Of Life

Val Vista Picnic Areas

The neighborhood where I’m from is not ancient, but was not recently developed either. My neighborhood was built in the mid 1970’s, so I guess someone could say it is moderately old in this era of 2015. Because of the creation of my neighborhood, nearly everything I remember from my childhood exists, including a park and my elementary school.

People with knowledge of my town from long ago, such as some teachers, have described what is now my neighborhood as just unclaimed land, with a lot of dirt just sitting there. There was just one road that leads to my high school, which existed then as well as now. The freeway that is next to my neighborhood also was around back then, as well as the compact creek next to it.

Now, of course, my neighborhood is no longer just many acres of earth, but is now a filled to capacity with homes, my elementary school, and the Lucky’s supermarket. The supermarket is located in a strip mall, with two of my favorite restaurants inside, being De La Torre’s Trattoria and Chicago’s Metropolitan Deli. I have gone to De La Torre’s for many occasions, most commonly from out-of-town visitors and birthdays. Chicago’s is great anytime, and my brother and I commonly used it as a celebration spot of the school year being over.

Every day from 7:45 to about 8:30 and again from 2:15 until 3:45, there’s traffic all over due to the elementary school opening and closing for the day. Everyone is trying to get their children to school in all types of cars, from the old ones to the latest Hondas. But because I live so close to my elementary school, I was able to walk there and not deal with the traffic. If not for the fact that the school sealed it off, my neighbor used to have a gate that I would have used go into the back lawn of the elementary school.

Across the street from the backside of the school is my neighborhood park. There’s a small softball field, in case someone wants to stay in the neighborhood instead of going to another park. There are a few play structures, and even a water area. The water area is closed during the winter, but during the summer it is great to have.

Behind that is another playground and a body of water. After the park went through a remodel around 2005 or so, everyone was playing in it. But after a few months, the city shut that down and banned people from swimming in the water. I don’t know why, but it was probably for sanitary and health reasons.

Behind that area is a parking lot, which stretches all the way to the end. But to the left of that area is the creek I wrote about earlier in this blog post. It’s completely closed off and definitely not safe to swim in, but there is a pathway for bikers if they choose to use it. That stretches all along that side of town.

Once you walk for ten minutes past the few dozen soccer fields, you have wound up at the skate park and the roller hockey rink. There’s all sorts of stuff to jump on and slide across. In the roller hockey rink, many people play, from children to adults in leagues. That marks the end of the park and neighborhood on one end. At that point you have reached the main street, which is near the I-680 freeway.

For the rest of the neighborhood, that is where everyone lives. Most of the homes are one story, but there are a few two story homes. While I have lived in my neighborhood, I have not seen any 3 story homes, and they are not common in the rest of my town either. All the homes in my neighborhood have a front lawn, a back lawn, and room for 1-2 cars to park in front of the homes.

In the supermarket’s area, there are just a few shops. There’s a convenience store, a nail and hair place, and the two restaurants I listed up above. But for the sake of knowledge, they are De La Torre’s Trattoria and Chicago’s Metropolitan Deli.

De La Torre’s is a more formal restaurant that serves Italian food such as bread, pizza, meatballs, etc. Chicago’s is where you want to go if you want to hang out with friends, as it’s a very casual American place. They have chicken, sandwiches, hamburger, fries, sodas, and more. I have gone to both places many times and the food is always great.

That is about it for my neighborhood. There’s good restaurants, a good school, and great people in their homes. If you’re ever in Pleasanton, go ahead and stop by.

Where I’m From

california oak tree

I am from laundry baskets,
from Tide and carbon-tetrachloride.
I am from the grass on the back lawn.
(Green, bright,
it tasted like tomatoes.)
I am from the tulip plant
and the Valley Oak
whose still-there limbs I see
when I go home.

I’m from cookies and no-glass eyes,
from Michelle and Michael.
I’m from the know-it-alls
and the pass-it-ons,
from Perk up! and Pipe down!
I’m from שלום
with a bright menorah
and many memories of liberty.

I’m from Artemus and Billie’s Branch,
brick pizza and warm pancakes.
From the scrapes on the unpaved street
to the redness,
of my very runny nose.

On my dresser is many things
many memories, with fun times
of birthdays gone by and presents lost
to be remembered in days of future.
I am from my history–
grown from the ground —
and shared with my family.

A Letter

Dear Future Me,

Welcome to college graduation. I hope your experience in college has fun. I hope that in your time here, you were not ridiculed as hard as you were originally for having an iPhone and a Mac. I also hope you eventually got a next-generation video gaming system, most likely the Wii U for Super Smash Bros, among other games.

I hope that everything has worked out for you relating to getting to know people better and hopefully making a couple friends. I also hope you were successful with those certain people on the Internet that you know like you at your current timing back in your freshman year. I hope that you got to meet a couple of them in person either back at home or during the college part of the year, which probably was almost all of it.

I hope that you still went to Macworld in San Francisco in whenever time it was during the past few years. I hope there you met more people from the Internet and became good friends with them and also just hung out in general even after the conference days were over.

I hope that you have the current iPhone in your hand and are looking forward to the next one coming later your current fall year. I also do you have a job at this point that what you can afford more than one phone for year and buying lots and lots of food. I also hope that you have done well with the certain program that you know about and that T-Mobile has gotten better service over the last few years, to nearly match AT&T or Verizon. If it matches Verizon, then they have done really well.

There’s not much else I can think about, but this feels like when I wrote that thing in freshman year for when we were in senior year of high school. That letter was quite interesting, and not all of it panned out, but it was good to read it. I hope that this also helps you.

Sincerely,
Matthew Miller