Don’t Press that Button!

imagesHave you ever stopped to notice the button that you can push before you cross the street? Nearly everyone at one point or another has attempted to press these buttons to cross the street, and most likely have been frustrated. Here’s where the frustration comes from:

In the book, The Works, by Kate Ascher, which was published in 2005, Ascher states that more than ¾ of NYC’s sidewalk buttons are reported as not working. The buttons were originally intended to speed things up. But, as more and more people flooded into the city that never sleeps, there was more and more traffic. This makes the buttons inefficient. But now, the buttons serve no purpose and actually slow things down because people tend to get frustrated. This can cause jaywalking, which causes accidents. Accidents slow things down. The reason that the city just doesn’t remove them is because it would cost taxpayers a fortune to do so. 

What will you do when you see a crosswalk button? Will you press it? Or will you ignore it? 

The Story Behind C-3PO’S Red Arm

C-3PO ...AND HIS RED ARM

C-3PO …AND HIS RED ARM

If you saw the new Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, you may have wondered why C-3PO’s arm is red. The movie was officially released to the public in the US on December 18, 2015. C-3PO #1 a one-shot ( a single issue in the series) comic book, was originally set to be released around the same time as the movie. However, the comic was delayed multiple times until Marvel got approval from J.J. Abrams, director of The Force Awakens.

Admiral Ackbar

Admiral Ackbar

The story told in the comic is as follows. Right before the events of The Force Awakens, Admiral Ackbar was taken hostage. A team attempts the rescue mission, but the ship crash lands and all life aboard the ship is lost except for the droids. The droids need to make it to a beacon. The beacon will tell the droids the location of Admiral Ackbar.

All of a sudden, these unnamed animal-like beings attack the droids. They try to fend them off, but there are too many of them. All of the droids are completely destroyed except for C-3PO and Omri. C-3PO’S arm is ripped off.

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Omri

Omri and C-3PO escape the beasts and journey to the beacon, but it starts to rain. Acid rain falls from the sky. Omri sacrifices himself for the beacon and for the mission. The paint wears away from the acid rain of Omri’s arm, which reveals a red colored primer underneath. C-3PO is eventually rescued because a rebel pilot receives feedback from the beacon. Omri’s red arm is used to repair and replace C-3PO’s missing arm. Omri’s arm is used to serve as a reminder of the friends that C-3PO had made and lost. Omri, who was a prisoner on board the ship, decided that saving a new friend was more important than whose side of a war one is on.

The comic had a very serious tone, unlike the usual ones that make fun of C-3PO.

3D Printing Copyright , Patent or Free

 

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3d printing brings up new issues with patent and copyright law.

3d printing has changed the manufacturing process of goods. There is a 3d printing revolution taking place as we speak. But how users will be able to copyright intellectual property such as 3d printed designs stored on a computer using maker software? Copywriting has always been a complicated issue and coming to a consensus will not be easy. Laws need to be put in place in order for the industry to advance in the right way.

Some 3D Printing creations are eligible for patents, others are eligible for copyrights. Functional items, such as hinges and handles are covered by patents. Other items are covered by copyright such as decorative items. But Copyrighting and Patenting is a grey area, in respect to how it will be enforced. People will be able to 3d print anything copyrighted, patented, or not. But this presents a problem: 3d scanners and printers functions are combined together, which will cause a black market to emerge because items can easily be replicated from the comfort of users’ own homes.

So, laws need to be put in place and software developed to restrict users from easily obtaining things that they shouldn’t have by just pressing a few buttons.

 

My Business is Your Business

Lots of teenagers have different types of jobs that make different levels of money. Most jobs pay minimum or slightly above minimum wage. When I started working, I didn’t want this to be the case. Like anyone else, I like making money.  And, comic books are a passion of mine. But for many years, I never thought of combining the two things.

My display at a show.

My display at a show.

It all started one afternoon over the weekend in October of 2010 after my father left the house for several hours. I, being an adventurous ten-year old, decided to explore the attic of my house. Within a few steps, I came across stacks of comic books– 1960’s and 1970’s comic books! I started reading them until my father came home and discovered me going through his comic books that he had saved all these years. The rest is history. What started as a hobby would give me the opportunity to earn thousands of dollars in the coming years. So, what do I do exactly? I buy and sell comic books.                                          

The hobby of comic book collecting has grown bigger and bigger over time. This is because of publishing companies growing bigger and bigger due to gaining interest. The film industry has drastically changed the amount of interest in comics today. Companies like Disney, Marvel, and even DC are making huge amounts of money at the box office with their comic book-themed movies. Televisions shows are also being premiered on network TV and streaming services such as Netflix, and Hulu. The fact that via mass media, individuals are able to experience these stories without even having to read the comics, is a big deal. The comic market is so big, many comic conventions have sprung up all over the world. There, you can meet creators and buy and sell comics and other related merchandise. But where does this stuff com from? How is it sold? That’s where I come in.

This is serious business.

This is serious business.

I capitalize on this strong and growing market by purchasing anything I think I can make decent money on, such as collections, at shows and on eBay. Something I look for the most are first appearances of popular characters. So far, I’ve spent thousands of dollars on comic books.  In a nutshell, I buy comics from Dealer A, then sell them to Dealer B. Usually, it is much more complicated: imagine the above scenario and multiple it by many dealers with lots and lots of inventory, which means lots and lots of cash.  It’s hard work, but it’s well worth it. 

This is something that I enjoy very much and over time, I hope to make my business even bigger than it already is!  

 

 

Big Apple Con 2016

Last weekend, Big Apple6664e9_e1d4745e675a4e82ba63bec24dabcca3 Con, a comic book, art, sci-fi, and toy convention took place. The convention was located at the Hotel Pennsylvania, which is across the street from Penn Station.

In 1996, Frederic Greenberg, host of Great Eastern Conventions cancelled his show. Mike Carbonaro, with Metropolis Collectibles CEO, Vincent Zurzolo, quickly planned a show to replace it. Over 4,000 people attended. The show was a huge success and so were the shows that followed.

On March 5th, the convention was held again. In my opinion, it was a great show. I bought and sold vintage comics for the duration of the show. There was also cosplay. Cosplay is basically like dressing up for Halloween, except that it is superhero, comic, movie and pop culture themed. Some people spend hours and hours of time making their costumes. For some of us who are lazy, we buy costumes which can cost hundreds and even thousands of dollars for the sake of authenticity. There were panels where people held discussions about a specific predetermined pop culture theme, this along with comics, of course. There were creators/artists/writers/actors/ and other celebrity guests.

This convention was definitely a great opportunity for fans to make friends and meet new people along with reestablishing old relationships. It is enjoyable and I hope more people will get to experience it in the coming years.

DC Mobile App Unites DC

     On February 25, an app was introduced to Apple’s A01-56ce798c7fac81-02168859-47de0pp Store and Google Play. This app is called “DC All Access.”  This app is a DC fan’s dream! The app has news about products, movies, and comics. It also has a comic reader that allows you to purchase and read the latest DC comics. There are chances to win prizes and get free DC- related products. You can even purchase movie tickets for DC movies.  Fans can meet other fans using the built- in DC fan community. A huge feature of this app from a technical standpoint is the DC keyboard. Users can use characters, words, images, or emojis related to DC comics while typing. The app also uses an interesting system that introduces challenges, such as following a director of a DC movie on Twitter, which gives you points that are redeemable for rewards.

      The app is not perfect, though. It abruptly crashes at times. The makers are working to fix the problem, which is essential to help DC beat Marvel at the box office. This app is an attempt to further this goal and without the fixing the problem, becoming top dog will be harder to accomplish.

   

 

Deadpool Turns Worried Parents Against Divided Fanbase

Deadpool is the most risque of Marvel films yet.

Deadpool stars Ryan Reynolds and is getting attention for its violence and obscenity.

Deadpool, the long anticipated film starring Ryan Reynolds, was banned in China due to extreme violence and obscenity. For Fox, economically speaking, it would have been very expensive to cut scenes and remake the film in order to meet the demands of the Chinese market. 

Before its release, it was unknown how the rating of the film would affect the box office overall. What was known, however, was that Disney, who bought Marvel in 2009, was taking a huge gamble. But given that Deadpool is a character geared toward more mature readers, (it features mature themes like abuse, sex, and extreme violence and goriness) the rating has turned worried parents against their enthusiastic kids who want to see it. Many underage children have seen PG-13 movies, but not many are permitted to see rated- R movies, so it was unclear how the film would be received upon opening.

But, Deadpool grossed 152.2 million dollars over the four day opening holiday weekend and has a strong chance of being the highest grossing Marvel movie ever produced. Judging by the numbers, the rating did not negatively impact ticket sales and may have even been a benefit.