What’s in a Name | Ponder This

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Have you noticed that digital content creators are now being called “influencers”? It seems like an odd word choice. What are they influencing?

In the case of ProJared and James Charles, I’m not sure that the influence is all that good.

The term keeps making me picture the Internet Police showing up and saying, “You’re under arrest for surfing while under the influence.”

Though, I do have to say it is better than “Internet celebrity” or “digital celebrity.” Not every YouTuber, artist, or coder reaches a million views or subscribers or what-have-you–they don’t reach that celebrity status. What would you call them?

Calling them “makers” or “creators” isn’t too bad, but it does make them sound like some kind of new religious deity. “And lo, It’s Alex Clark created a video and it was good.”

The influencer term is also better than calling them “YouTubers.” Not all indie creators are on YouTube. Artists, writers, songwriters, and so on “influence” people just as much as YouTubers (for good or for bad).

I guess the powers that name things is still trying to work it out. Internet influencers is a pretty new concept so there’s bound to be some bugs to work out. But, it seems likely they’ll be sticking with “influencers” now.

What would you pick as a name for those who don’t use traditional media as a way to showcase their ideas?


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Recommended #30

The following are my opinion and do not reflect the opinion of any organization or person.

A robot runs for President in the USA.I series. You need to download the hitRECord app to play it. Episodes 1-3 are available.

Namor the Sub-Mariner comes to the Marvel Contest of Champions mobile game.

Character designs for the Powers of X and House of X Marvel Comics series revealed.


Do you have any recommendations or news? Tell me in the comments.

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Global Warming | Just Shapes and Beats (Spoilers)

Contains spoilers for the video game Just Shapes and Beats.

Over on the GTLive YouTube channel, MatPat and crew finished the game Just Shapes & Beats. It’s a video game of a blue square working its way through levels of deadly red shapes all to music tracks. *For the first part click here. For the second (final) click here.*

On the surface the game seems to be just about a square trying to save his friend (a larger square) from an evil collection of red shapes that looks somewhat like a rocker. But since I’ve obviously watched way too many Game Theorist videos, I started to come up with a theory as to what was happening.

In the game, the red rocker steals three giant triangles. The blue hero travels through levels in order to retrieve all three pieces. At the end of each level, the blue square collects a smaller triangle. Once you’ve beaten the final, final boss, the three giant triangles form a tree with a bunch of triangle trees appearing with it.

So, the red foe stole/cutdown the trees and the blue square is getting them back.

At one point in the game a volcano erupts. An erupting volcano is usually symbolic of nature’s wrath. The red rocker destroying the trees (aka nature) has caused a natural disaster. Nature is out of balance. On the way to the volcano, you have to journey across a red infected sea–once again, damaged nature.

After the volcano, you visit a factory to save the larger square. The camera pans up, quite a lot, to show the rocker standing on a tower playing its corruption music–or playing “noise pollution.” The rocker’s beats infect the other shapes. This factory is pumping out toxins.

During your stay inside the factory, you must escape blades as they grind up pieces of land. This looks very similar to a factory grinding up trees to make products.

Then after defeating the rocker, it gets hit by the triangle and becomes diseased. The rocker begins spawning in egg-like things which hatch and unleash virus looking monstrosities. Eventually, the boss transforms into what looks like an evil sun and says that you are destroyed. It proceeds to smash the blue square to pieces. If you respawn, it comes from the sky and smashes you again–almost like a solar flare or extreme heat.

You are saved by the larger square, who now wears a simple crown of two triangles–much like someone would wear a crown made of nature/flowers. The blue square is finally able to fight back and destroys the evil sun-thing. After this, the sun returns as its normal yellow self (the only time you see a color other than red, blue, or white). The trees reform and everything is normal again.

So, my theory is that the red boss/rocker began chopping down trees and putting them through its factory. The boss’ pollution began to damage nature, causing disasters. The damage then caused a virus (as seen by the corrupted triangle infecting the boss and spawning in egg hatching beasts). Finally, the sun becomes evil and begins destroying everyone and everything. But it isn’t until the blue square is powered up by the triangles (aka nature) that it is able to defend itself. The plant life is then replanted and the world is once again in balance.

It seems like Just Shapes & Beats is a game about global warming, or at least a warning against aggressive destruction of forests/nature.

Lastly, the title seems to be telling us the game is simple–just shapes and beats–but it really has something more going on. But, what that story is, just might be up to the listener/player. The images you see when you listen to music is different from what I see–kind of like how one person can see a bunny in the clouds while another sees a dragon. Just as I saw a rocker in the red boss, the Game Theorists saw their cat.

So let me know in the comments, what did you see? Cat? Rocker? Just shapes and beats? Or something else?

Thanks for reading. Consider following, leaving a like/comment, and sharing this post. And until the next wormhole…bye.


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ONN Wireless On-Ear Headphones | Review

Reviews are my own opinion and not those of any person or organization.

Recently, I got a pair of ONN Wireless On-Ear Headphones. I have to say they are pretty great.

First, they were fairly easy to set up. It took me about ten seconds to pair the headphones with my iPad. It took me longer to remove the headphones from the package. Speaking of which, I did not like how they “hid” the charger and audio cable in a pocket behind the logo. It was lucky that I found them before I threw the box away.

I really liked that the headphones came pre-charged and it lasted for awhile. I was able to listen to music for about eight to ten hours before I needed to charge them for the first time. And considering that you’re supposed to get 14 hours of playtime per charge, that’s impressive. I also appreciate a voice telling me that the battery was about to run out.

I didn’t like that the instructions were a little confusing. I had to read it a second time to fully understand them, but that could be because I was speed reading.

I was able to get about 50 feet away from my device before the headphones started to cut out. I enjoyed that when they did start to cut out, they would just cut out. There wasn’t a loud static sound nor did the voices start to slow down. It let me know that I was out of rage without annoying me.

There was a problem with the headphones and the Vudu app. Right in the middle of the video, the app would crash and even shut down the Internet. I had to reboot the iPad in order to get the Internet back. But seeing as the headphones worked with every other app, I think it was more a problem with Vudu than the headphones.

I do wonder if the volume resets every time you turn the headphones off. I’ll turn the volume down to listen to some music; but when I turn the headphones back on later, the music blares.

But my favorite feature is that when I have the headphones on, I can barely hear anything outside of what I’m listening to. I can’t hear people, unless they address me directly and speak up a little (even if I have the volume turned down low), but it isn’t complete silence–I am able to hear the phone ring. It is like they cut out enough noise that I am able to enjoy my music or video but not so much that people have to scream at me in order to get my attention.

I was a bit unsure about getting the headphones because if I wear on-ear headphones for a long time, my ears get uncomfortably hot. Also, on-ear headphones tend to knock my glasses out of alignment so I can’t see well with the headphones on. With the ONN headphones, they do cause my ears to get hot but it doesn’t seem to last long. They also do move my glasses but I am able to right them fairly easy.

The ONN headphones aren’t perfect, but they are definitely better than other wireless headphones I’ve had. 4.8/5


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Who’s that Villain? | Spider-Man 24 (Spoilers)

Contains spoilers for Amazing Spider-Man #24.

In Caped-Joel’s review of Amazing Spider-Man #24, he talks about Spider-Man’s newest foe, Kindred. Kindred who seems to know way too much about Spider-Man (like knowing he’s Peter Parker) tells Spidey that he can’t learn Kindred’s name until the final battle. He states that once Peter knows his name, it’s all over and they will have to battle each other and Peter will have to face what he did.

So, who is Kindred?

My theory is that Kindred is Uncle Ben.

GASP! *dramatic music sting*

Kindred looks very much like a rotting corpse. He is bandaged and his face is, well, not pleasant. He also has bugs crawling all over him–another sign of decay.

There is also the fact he is calling himself “Kindred.” It can mean like “kindred soul,” where the two are similar, but it can also mean “family or relative,” like an uncle.

Kindred also states that Peter will have to face what he did. And what is the thing that bothers Peter all the time: not being there for Uncle Ben. He let the thief pass him and the thief killed Uncle Ben. Spidey is finally going to have to confront that regret.

Lastly, over in DC Comics, they took a beloved dead family member and made them evil. I’m talking about Jor-El. Jor-El has always (or mostly) been seen as a benevolent, wise father figure. Now…he’s crazy. As we know with Marvel and DC, when one does something the other soon follows. So, who’s the most beloved dead family member in the Marvel Universe? That’s right: Uncle Ben–Mr. Great Power Great Responsibility himself.

But during the comic, Mysterio says that Kindred was just another human in the Underworld who worked his way up to being a demon. That doesn’t sound like Uncle Ben. What would kind, loving Uncle Ben be doing in “The Bad Place?” First, no theory is perfect–if it was, it’d be a law. Second, I’m thinking that this isn’t really Uncle Ben but Peter’s guilt. He’s going to have to face his guilt over what happened to Uncle Ben. We’ve seen plenty of instances where an abstract idea takes on a concrete form–such as the villain Nightmare.

Kindred even states that when Spider-Man and him fight, it’ll be the end for both. Spider-Man, the hero, was created from Uncle Ben’s death. It is what drives Peter to be Spider-Man. If he “defeats” his guilt, would he be that Spider-Man? He’d probably stay a hero, but maybe be a new version–a less angsty one always going on about “The Parker Luck.”

That’s my theory at least. What do you think? Do you think a battle between Peter and Uncle Ben would be epic or disrespectful? Feel free to check out the video (or read the comic) and make your own theory–and post them in the comments. Don’t forget to share, like, and follow.

Thanks for reading! And until the next wormhole…bye.


Alone is now available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and many other online retailers. Sparks of Rebellion is now available in paperback from Barnes & Noble.