Category Archives: Off-Topic

It’s That Time Again! Help Me Support Food Allergy Research

Best Food Forward by Jason RogersLast year, Speed Force readers helped me raise over $1000 for food allergy research, awareness, education and advocacy by sponsoring me in the Walk for Food Allergy. The walk was a success, and even got a bit of a Superman/Flash race: My son and I were both wearing Flash T-shirts, and we started off next to a family wearing Superman shirts!

This year’s walk is coming up in October, and so I’m reaching out again.

Food allergies aren’t like hay fever, and they’re more than just hives. Anaphylactic shock can kill in minutes.  I have a severe allergy to peanuts, and I always carry an epinephrine injector everywhere I go, just in case I miss something on an ingredient list, or in case someone preparing the food mixes things up.*

There’s no cure yet for food allergies, and researchers are still trying to determine just what causes them in the first place. 15 million people in the US alone have food allergies, 6 million of them children. As a parent, it’s frustrating not knowing whether I’m doing the right thing to keep my son from developing the kinds of allergies that I have.

Epi-Pen auto-injector

The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network is dedicated to promoting research, awareness and education about food allergies, and providing advocacy on behalf of those living with them. One of FAAN’s big pushes this year has been to encourage schools to keep a spare epinephrine injector on hand — and get laws in place allowing personnel to administer it.  Often, a child’s first-ever allergic reaction happens at school, before they’ve even been prescribed medication. On the research front, they’re supporting a clinical trial in suppressing peanut allergy through desensitization.

Please support my fundraising efforts with a tax-deductible donation. Even a small donation helps.

If you can’t contribute, but would still like to help, I’d appreciate it if you’d spread the word. Please use this link:

Thank you for your support,

FAAN Walk for Food Allergy

*Mistakes happen more often than you might want to believe.  Last month my family flew to Chicago for Worldcon. The night we arrived, we ate at the hotel restaurant. The kids’ menu featured a Sunbutter sandwich (made with sunflower seed butter), but they brought us an actual PBJ. I don’t know yet if my son has inherited my peanut allergy, but I didn’t want to find out the hard way late at night, in a strange city thousands of miles from home. Thankfully nothing happened, as my wife caught it before he tried to eat it, but if she’d missed it, and he had turned out to be allergic…

Photo Credits:
Best Foot Forward by Jason Rogers (used under CC BY 2.0 license)
Epi-pen by Kelson Vibber

Quick Thoughts: DC’s New 52 Wave Three

So, along with the #0 origin issues in September, DC is also launching four new ongoing series. Here are my first thoughts:

Talon – Spinning out of “Court of Owls.” Sorry, but I tuned out right there. I’ve never been a big fan of the Bat-verse (heresy, I know), so a Batman spin-off doesn’t really do much for me.

Sword of Sorcery – A genre book similar to All-Star Western and G.I. Combat. At least to start with, it’ll be headlined by a revival of Amethyst, with backup stories about a post-apocalyptic Beowulf. This is the one I’m most interested in, not for Amethyst or Beowulf in particular, but to see what DC does with the fantasy genre. Demon Knights has been a fun read, and is currently the DCU book I’m most eager to read when a new issue comes out.

Team Seven – Set shortly after the Justice League’s debut, about a special-ops team put together to counteract superhuman threats. The team features characters from all over DC and Wildstorm, including younger Deathstroke, Grifter, Amanda Waller, and others. This seems like something I would have been fascinated by 10-15 years ago when I was more heavily into the DC Universe itself, rather than seeing the DCU as just the setting for some comics I read.

Phantom Stranger – His origin and connection to Pandora. Um…no. In my opinion, the Phantom Stranger should be left mysterious. He’s the Phantom Stranger, not the Phantom Guy that the Audience Gets to Know Well. The fact that they decided to re-introduce him by giving him a definitive origin suggests they’ll be taking the character in…I don’t want to say the wrong direction, but certainly a direction I’m less interested in reading.

IGN contacted DC and confirmed that they won’t be canceling four books right away, though in a Newsarama interview, Dan Didio reiterates the plan to stick with 52 ongoing series in general, so we’ll probably see a brief bump in September followed by a few books getting canceled in the next couple of months.

I’ve noticed lately that the less connection a book has to the mainstream DC Universe, the more appealing I find it. That’s kind of sad, but I think it’s partly the fact that DC is actively courting an audience I’m not part of, and partly a consequence of my slow drift away from the super-hero genre and toward sci-fi/fantasy.

So how about you? Which of these books do you find most interesting?

Vibe: Rebirth – For Real (sort of)

Vibe in FCBD: The New 52

Long-time Speed Force readers may remember an April Fools’ prank I did with the Irredeemable Shag of Once Upon a Geek and Firestorm Fan, “revealing” that Geoff Johns and Ethan van Sciver’s next project after revamping the Flash would be Vibe: Rebirth.

Three years later, Vibe did indeed turn up in the background of DC’s Free Comic Book Day offering, and he’s been making appearances on the animated DC Nation.

Today, in a CBR interview with Geoff Johns & Jim Lee, there’s this bit of news that should make Scipio of The Absorbascon happy:

As for what underused character he’d like to explore next, the answer was simple.

“Vibe!” Johns replied with a laugh. “They told me you can’t make Booster Gold work, and we made it work; you can’t make Aquaman work, and we made it work. I want to find the B character who everyone says is a complete waste of time, and Vibe is — he’s recent, he’s Detroit League and I have a soft spot because I’m from Detroit, so he’s my next challenge.”

Yes, that’s right: Geoff Johns wants to revamp Vibe.

Now if he can just get Ethan van Sciver on board…

Do you want the Internet to be Censored?

If you live in the US and you use the Internet, you need to know about this. There are two proposed laws, SOPA and Protect IP, that would set up a system to block access to websites deemed to be “infringing,” in the name of stopping piracy. Of course, “infringing” could refer to the actions of one user on a large site, like, say, Facebook or Wikipedia. Imagine if someone at Warner Bros. filed a complaint about someone’s fan art on DeviantArt, and the government blocked access to the entire site. Sort of like shutting down an entire mall because one shopper was accused (not even proven!) of wearing a counterfeit Rolex.

Of course, once a system like this is in place, we all know it’ll never be abused, right?

And that’s not even getting into the technical implications of the bills, which would put an extra burden on tech startups and actually undermine efforts by the US government itself to make the internet more secure.

████, the ████ ████ █████ ██████ the ████████ ██████ the US in the ████ of ████████ ██████ (█████ it ██████’t), isn’t ████ yet. In ████, it’s █████ to a ████ ████ ████.

Uncensor This

(Cross-posted from K-Squared Ramblings)

Superman vs. the Flash, for Charity

Thought you’d all get a kick out of this story from the Food Allergy Walk this weekend: My son and I both wore Flash T-shirts. (He “walked” the event in a stroller, since he’s mostly crawling.) As we started off, I noticed that the family walking next to us was all wearing Superman T-shirts.

Technically it wasn’t a race, but for the record: We finished first!

More at my other blog.