Tag Archives: best of 2010

BEST of 2010: Comic Book

This year was a very turbulent year for comics.  DC continues to disappoint me, they seem to have for the last decade been in a giant multi-title story arc.  I am not an opponent of multi crossover epics, in fact I sort of enjoyed a few of them but here is my issue with the issues; forcing me to read titles I could careless about is not helping DC’s sales from my perspective.  Because instead of buying a few dozen Batman and Superman titles throughout a calendar year I have just stopped reading them and moved over to new stories that are containing themselves.  Now I am not talking about a “to be continued” that brings a Batman story into JSA for an issue or two, I will happily read an issue or two of a comic I won’t normally read.  I have issue with these epic after epic: 52, Darkest Night, Brightest Night and so on and so on that require you to read every title to be able to follow along.  No thanks.

On the flip side there have been numerous great titles. The re-launch of Peter Parker has been great, and these different Spidey-titles all depict Parker at various stages of maturity and age.  Good for the guy like me how does not care for married Peter in the “Amazing” line.

I would have possibly picked Ultimate Comics: Spiderman as my top, I really enjoy the clumsy and naieve Parker in his high school years.  His learning to be “SUPER” is a great story and actually has him weighing the possibility of misusing his gifts.  The original Ultimate line was awesome and I was sad to see it go, and with the return last year I have been nothing but pleased with its continuation.

But my favorite of the year was hands down: The Green Hornet Strikes!

The whole relaunch of the Hornet titles at Dynamite have been great.  The main Kevin Smith-line has been solid and the launch of the title transitioned from one generation of GH to the son taking over the cloak of crime fighter.  But the Launch of Brett Matthews character has been refreshing.

Matthews decided to throw out tradition and history and created a Green Hornet of the future so to speak.  The issues reveal slow bits of info towards GH’s identity and the way about how he became the newest hero of Chicago.  The mix of familiarity and mystery keeps the comic new and vibrant but also giving you that sense of old friend.

All four titles could qualify for best of the year, but if I am cornered into one title it is Green Hornet Strikes! for its new taste on old.

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BEST of 2010: Television Show Sitcom

There is no debate here:

The Big Bang Theory

This might not only be the best show of 2010, but the best sitcom of all time.  I can not remember ever enjoying 3o minutes each week so much.  The geek-geared humor and references make you feel like there is a faction of producers and writers that actually understand more than just cheap jokes.  Constantly taking aim at movies, video games and comics leaves 2 possible conclusions, these guys are doing their research or they were your average kid in high school.  The change of pace from the jock being the popular kid is great, in fact the jock is usually the but of the joke on BBT.

Jim Parson has neurotic and yet brilliant Sheldon Cooper down to a science… no pun intended.  Supporting characters Raj and Howard make the side humor absolutely side-splitting.  And Penny (aka Kaley Cuoco) is beyond words beautiful and as funny as any character on the show.

Who ever said TV doesn’t make you smarter?


BEST of 2010: Television show drama/60 minute episode

This was tight for 3 ways, I will discuss the runner ups:

The Event- If you asked me after 3 episodes or the show stayed as intense as those 3 episodes I might have gone with the newbie.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike The Event, I just think it has tailed off.

Lost- I love the show, one of my top 3 all-time favorite dramas on tv behind the X-Files and Law & Order, but the finale season really was not that watchable.  The season should have been condensed into a few episodes and stuck on the end of Season 5.  Seasons 2 and 3 really were the high point of the series, unfortunately they sort of tailed off and got a bit deep and forgot about the great story they had going.

That brings me to the best of 2010:

V

The return of V was everything I hoped, and the new leader Anna is every bit a vicious as Diana wanted to be in the original but was just not able to bring to the screen with her acting skills.  Morena Baccarin plays a cold and absolutely heartless lizard with her sights set on one goal and she will take out anything in her way, including her own daughter.

Seeing a few returning characters/actors to guest spot on the new series will be fun, but not at the expense of the decent acting the new V actually has in its cast.

Even with a rehashed story the writers have found ways to make the series unique and interesting without just making V and shot-for-shot remake to cash in on a captured audience.


BEST of 2010: Science

TELEPORTATION

No you are not reading the best in scifi, very quietly scientists broke through a very minor wall and actually were able to make a single object exist similtaniously in to planes of existance.  The tiny metal object just slightly big enough to see with the naked eye was transported visually ajacent to itself for a brief moment. 

Why is this big?  It is the infant stages to the transoprter you see on Star Trek and even the thoughts of time travel in Back to the Future.  Quantum mechanics is far above my understanding of knowledge so I suggest to read this press release from Cal Tech:

01/28/09
Caltech physicists achieve first bona fide quantum teleportation

In the October 23 issue of the journal Science, Caltech physics professor H. Jeff Kimble and his colleagues write of their success in transporting a quantum state of light from one side of an optical bench to the other without it traversing any physical medium in between.

In this sense, quantum teleportation is similar to the far-fetched “transporter” technology used in the television series Star Trek. In place of the actual propagation of a light beam, teleportation makes use of a delicate quantum mechanical phenomenon known as “quantum entanglement,” the quintessential ingredient in the emerging field of quantum information science.

“In our case the distance was only a meter, but the scheme would work just as well over much larger distances,” says Professor Samuel Braunstein, a coauthor from the University of Wales in Bangor, United Kingdom, who, with Kimble, conceived the scheme. “Our work is an important step toward the realization of networks for distributing quantum information—a kind of ‘quantum Internet.'”

Teleportation of this kind was first proposed theoretically by IBM scientist Charles H. Bennett and colleagues in 1993. The Caltech experiment represents the first time quantum teleportation has actually been performed with a high degree of “fidelity.” The fidelity describes how well a receiver, “Bob,” can reproduce quantum states from a sender, “Alice.”

Although quantum teleportation was recently announced by two independent labs in Europe, neither experiment achieved a fidelity that unambiguously required the use of quantum entanglement between Alice and Bob.

“True quantum teleportation involves an unknown quantum state entering Alice’s apparatus and a similar unknown state emerging from Bob’s remote station,” says Kimble. “Moreover, the similarity of input and output, as quantified by the fidelity, must exceed that which would be possible if Alice and Bob only communicated by classical means—for instance, by normal telephone wiring.

“Although there has been wonderful progress in the field, until now there has not been an actual demonstration of teleportation that meets these criteria.”

In the experiment, the Caltech team generated exotic forms of light known as “squeezed vacua,” which are split in such a way that Alice and Bob each receive a beam that is the quantum mechanical “twin” of the other. These EPR beams, named after the historic Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) paradox of 1935, are among the strangest of the predictions of quantum mechanics. It was their theoretical possibility that led Einstein to reject the idea that quantum mechanics might be a fundamental physical law.

A trademark of quantum mechanics is that the very act of measurement limits the controllability of light in ways not observed in the macroscopic world: even the most delicate measurements can cause uncontrollable disturbances. Nevertheless, in certain circumstances, these restrictions can be exploited to do things that were unimaginable in classical physics.

Here, photons from the EPR beams delivered to Alice and Bob can share information that has no independent existence in either beam alone. Through this “entanglement,” the act of measurement in one place can influence the quantum state of light in another.

Once Alice and Bob have received their spatially separate but entangled components of the EPR beams, Alice performs certain joint measurements on the light beam she wishes to teleport together with her half of the EPR “twins.” This destroys the input beam, but she then sends her measurement outcomes to Bob via a “classical” communication channel. Bob uses this classical information to transform his component of the EPR beam into an output beam that closely mimics the input to Alice, resurrecting at a distance the original unknown quantum state.

A unique feature of Kimble’s experiment is a third party called “Victor,” who “verifies” various aspects of the protocol performed by Alice and Bob. It is Victor who generates and sends an input to Alice for teleportation, and who afterward inspects the output from Bob to judge its fidelity with the original input.

“The situation is akin to having a sort of ‘quantum’ telephone company managed by Alice and Bob,” says Kimble. “Having opened an account with an agreed upon protocol, a customer (here Victor) utilizes the services of Alice and Bob unconditionally for the teleportation of quantum states without revealing these states to the company. Victor can further perform an independent assessment of the ‘quality’ of the service provided by Alice and Bob.”

The experiment by the Kimble group shows that the strange “connections” between entities in the quantum realm can be gainfully employed for tasks that have no counterpart in the classical world known to our senses.

“Taking quantum teleportation from a purely theoretical concept to an actual experiment brings the quantum world a little closer to our everyday lives,” says Christopher Fuchs, a Prize Postdoctoral Scholar at Caltech and a coauthor. “Since the earliest days of the theory, physicists have treated the quantum world as a great mystery. Maybe making it part of our everyday business is just what’s been needed for making a little sense of it.”

This demonstration of teleportation follows other work the Kimble group has done in recent years, including the first results showing that individual photons can strongly interact to form a quantum logic gate. Kimble’s work suggests that the quantum nature of light may someday be exploited for building a quantum computer, a machine that would in certain applications have computational power vastly superior to that of present-day “classical” computers.

Contact: Robert Tindol (626) 395-3631 tindol@caltech.edu

Media Relations

prmedia@caltech.edu

http://media.caltech.edu/press_releases/11935


BEST of 2010: MMA Finish

Ok so it is not a true “finish,” but if you saw the fight it was directly responsible for the finish. Anthony Pettis took his future into his hands and closed out a swing round that was a 1-point victory on 2 of 3 judges cards. The WEC closed out a great run with an awesome card and a great highlight. Not having the WEC will be a big loss for MMA, sure all the guys will be in the UFC but its was mainly a free-for-view promotion and a smaller cage which made for increased engagement. Hopefully the deeper talent will increase the quality of the cards the UFC puts out now.


BEST of 2010: Blockbuster Movie Trailer

This was tough, but at the same time very easy, two film trailers were absolutely intoxicating for me this year: Transformers Dark of the Moon and The Green Hornet. Both look very cool and both are franchises I have loved since a child. How was it so easy to choose? First, while the first Transformers was awesome, the second was a stinker… I am not completely convinced this great trailer equals a great movie. And second, the Green Hornet has not been done on the big screen.

Seth Rogan takes on the role of Britt Reid which will make for a perfect casting for the humor and actual lack of superhero abilities for the Hornet. Jay Chou a fairly unknown in American cinema will take on the role of the sidekick Kato. Anyone remember how the career of the last guy to take on the role of Kato turned out?


BEST of 2010: Domestic Theater

How can you even think anything but the Expendables?

Sylvester Stallone
Jet Li
Bruce Willis
Jason Statham
Dolph Lundgren
Mickey Rourke
Arnold Schwarzenegger

That is not a cast that is an Action Hero Hall of Fame, add in UFC Legend Randy Couture and Steve Austin and you have some serious testosterone in the room.

Does the plot even matter? No. But it is good, Stallone heads a group of “soldiers of fortune” who get jobs done in hostile areas that no one else can touch. Think international A-Team.

The rumor of a sequel with even more legends is in the works, how awesome is that?


BEST of 2010: Best Album

As I Lay Dying – Powerless Rise

Not their greatest album, topping “Frail Words Collapse” will be a difficult task, but what is “not their greatest” is better than most bands hopes and dreams.

Hard, brutal and to the point, Powerless Rise is awesome.  Like lolcats awesome.


BEST OF 2010: Foreign Cinema

While really a 2008 release for Hong Kong, ‘Ip Man’ did not make its way to America until 2010.  Ip Man is the semi-biographical cinematic look at the life of the first Wing Chun Kung Fu Master to openly teach to the public.  Sometimes refered to as Yip Man he was also the teacher of Bruce Lee and many other great masters who went on to teach others the way of Wu Shu which is the framework for most of our Asian action heroes such as Jackie Chan, Jet Li and the films start Donnie Yen.

Yen, while from Hong Kong spent a portion of his childhood in Boston, while his hometown connection gives him a bias in a sense that I enjoy seeking out his films this movie stands as solid on its own.

You should know Yen as the spear-weilding first opponent of Jet Li in the epic ‘Hero’ the first of the three challenges Li’s character a nameless warrior fights on his way to his audience with the Emperor.

Ip Man deals with the earlier “coming of age” years of Yip up until the late 1940’s.  A sequel to the film was released earlier this year which continues the tale of his life loosely through the 1950’s, the final scene of the sequel is Yip’s introduction to Bruce Lee. (Hopefully it makes its way quickly to America.)


BEST of 2010: Print News

Unless it is local news or national news with an interesting topic I really don’t care.  Not that I don’t like to be informed but news follows the “if it bleeds it leads” motto a bit to harsh.  Tiger Woods cheating on his wife was a national story every night, but The Druckenmiller’s donated $705 Million to medical research & fighting poverty and it barely even say the news.  In the midst of a recession someone give 3/4 of a billion to research and the poor and the news can’t make room.  Screw’em, I will just scan Google News and pick stories worth reading.

POPULAR SCIENCE

PopSci much like AotS is filled with geek news and gadgets, then you add in some killer robots and a mutating disease and you have material that will keep you in the bathroom clear through dinner.

 



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