Life Update: A Few Things…

This does feel like somewhat of a cop-out content wise but I felt compelled to address somethings.

I’ve been back at University for just under 3 weeks and it’s definitely be an experience re-adjusting to academic life, more so than ever with the natural increase in difficulty. Whilst I fear I have yet to see the really nasty challenging stuff (We start the Quantum Mechanics module soon. Nervous excitement best describes that prospect…), I am looking forward to another year of (intense) study. In attempt to be a more well-rounded human being I have also taken on a role on the physics society’s committee which should be enjoyable (Provided people turn up to my events, here’s to hoping). All in all, it should be an exciting and positively formative year.

I’m enjoying being back in Bristol. I’ve missed taking (relatively) long walks along the Harbourside and on the Downs (Even if the weather has been less than brilliant) and I’m hoping to go a little further a field this year (By that mean I across the Suspension bridge to the larger open spaces but still, somewhat further afield). Being within walking distance of Forbidden Planet once more is also exciting (More so now that I’ve finally had my own folder set-up).

As is to be expected, I’ve picked a number of comic books since my return which I’d like to discuss briefly:

An assortment of pleasant picture books (Which I think constitutes a 1/4 of my total acquisitions since being back which is alarmingly not too bad for me…)

Spider-man #1: Hot off finishing Spider-man: Life Story (A truly brilliant limited series with an ageing Peter Parker at its heart. Read it if you get the chance, it was excellent), I was curious to see more alternative Spidey content. This curiosity just so happened to line up with the release of J. J. and Henry Abrams’ new Spider-man story. As a fan of J. J. Abrams’ work with Star Wars and Star Trek, I was excited to see him take on Spider-man and the debut definitely piqued my interest. The father-and-son duo definitely didn’t hold back and I look forward to seeing where the story goes. It’s also one of the first times (If not the first) where I’ve ended up buying two copies of an issue with alternate covers. In truth I hadn’t intended on picking up a variant but the Kidd Variant really caught my eye whilst I was wandering around Forbidden Planet (A past-time that occurs more than I care to admit). A fantastically simplistic cover which I’m happy to add to my collection.

Marvel Monsters #1: I vaguely remember seeing the preview for this on Facebook a month or so ago and at the time thought it sounded rather fun. In truth the story wasn’t particularly exciting but the art, particularly for the Monster guide bit, was exquisite. Superlog, who handled the Monster guide section as well as the variant cover I chose (I’m not a huge fan of monster movies but the cover was simply wonderful), did a phenomenal job illustrating the catalogue of Marvel’s most notable monsters. To the issues overall merit, it definitely sparked a curiosity for future Monster projects that may come from the House of Ideas.

Doctor Doom #1: This purchase was in part due post-receiving-my-10%-discount where I was left decidedly excited to what in reality wasn’t that big a change but still felt rather exciting. Dr Doom is a character I haven’t seen a lot of, the only really strong memories I have of him stemming from Secret Wars (2015) and the Fantastic Four films (Not the most recent one… *shudders*). Whilst it is a little too early to say if I’ll be sticking around for the long haul, it offered a fascinating look into Victor von Doom’s mind which did portray a vulnerability that caught me off guard. I’m definitely picking up #2 as ol’ Doom is in for a bumpy ride by the looks of things. Definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of the character.

Star Wars Adventures #1: As you may or may not know, I am a rather avid fan of Marvel’s Star Wars comics (To the point where I can no longer skip trades (Not that I want to for the most part)). However, I haven’t really touched the IDW content, mainly because I was vaguely aware of its more junior focus so figured I could afford to skip it. However, for a rather excellent 50p I figured I give the first issue a try. The anthological approach means the stories were relatively self contained, though the Rey segment was part 1 of a 2-parter. I enjoyed reading about Obi-wan and Dexter’s foiling of a criminal, giving greater credibility to their friendship seen in Attack of the Clones. I’m not entirely convinced I want to invest into catching up with the rest of the series. I might give Tales from Vader’s Castle a go in the near future as that is definitely a concept that excites the imagination. We shall see.

Alongside comics I’ve also picked a couple of books whilst being back (There is some excitement to be had in charity-shop-book-hunting). I was particularly excited to find The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli as I was a big fan of his 7 Brief Lesson’s on Physics (Both for its simplicity and it being a mere 80 (ish) pages). I look forward to being confused by it in the near future. The other find was A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms which is a book I have been keen to pick up ever since I finished reading the current instalments of A Song of Ice and Fire (I really hope Martin finishes it because I would love some closure (That and I rather enjoy his writing style). From what I’ve read things seem way too cheery for Westeros (Though it did open with a burial…) so I suspect it to take a more gory turn soon). A Brief History of Time was included in the pile mainly because I haven’t read it yet which feels like a cardinal sin at this point in my academic life.

I’ve also welcomed the return of £5 cinema tickets since I’ve been back in Bristol. Since I’ve been back I’ve watched two rather sombre films:

Ad Astra: In truth this was only on my radar as it was set in space which is something that I am rather interested in. It was certainly a more gritty feature exploring what the near-future of space exploration could be like as well the strain that focusing strongly on work can place on relationships. The Mad-Max-esqe sequence and the Attack of the Killer Balloon felt somewhat surreal in what was otherwise a rather grounded film. The relationship element of it was rather thought-provoking and raised interesting questions about how far people would go in the pursuit of knowledge.

Joker: I don’t have an awful lot to say on this film mostly because it has been well covered by numerous media sites and I’m not particularly knowledgeable when it comes to DC. That being said, I did enjoy it even if I did feel incredibly uncomfortable whilst watching it. I am inclined to agree with the idea that the rather dangerous portrayal of how isolation and vulnerability can lead to negative consequences is problematic in terms of addressing the subject but I also recognise that this kind of situation is unfortunately a reality for too many. I’m not knowledgeable enough on the subject to offer any kind of profound discussion but I hope that it encourages more open and supportive conversations about mental health and watching out for each other in an world that seems to get stranger with every passing day. I could probably do with a rewatch to process it all but I’m not sure I’m ready to endure the rather visceral imagery again just yet.

Now to the motivation for writing this post: the future. For those who did follow my new site, What The Phuck, you may (Or rightfully may not; I haven’t posted on it nearly as much as I wanted to) have noticed that it is no longer available to view. I’ve made it private for the time being whilst I work through some stuff, namely my confidence in my abilities and in making sure I’m keeping on top of my other, more pressing responsibilities. I am honestly rather disappointed in myself as I had wanted to make it something rather fun but these kind of things take time and I feel like I need to become a better physicist before I venture into trying to discuss the topics with any kind of expertise. I can’t put a time frame on this as I can’t really say when I will feel this way but I am feeling motivated to improve so we shall see.

With regards to this site, it should come as no great surprise that I anticipate posting to continue to be rather sporadic especially now that I’m back at Uni. That being said, whilst Yoda would likely scold me for saying so, I will endeavour to try and post at least semi-regularly even if this only manifests as a post a month. My biggest issue is finding meaningful content to discuss (I’m aware of the wellspring of potential that arises from current world affairs but, quoting the semi-immortal words of Obi-wan, I’m not brave enough for politics (Thought the climate protests are definitely of interest)) but I do have a couple of things in mind so watch this space.

He can’t even bring himself to look at me (Though I would be rather alarmed if he did)

Thank you all for your continued readership, I am truly grateful for your support even if my irregular posting suggests otherwise. May the Force be with you all and I’ll hopefully see you soon.

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