Author Archive: BW_admin

Issue 69: Holiday Break

To quote Andy Williams, it is the most wonderful time of the year. The main reason for this is that the Blog Wyrm staff has been enjoying celebrating Christmas with our family and focusing on domestic pleasures. As a result, we’ve decided to take a month off and return at the end of January with new content. See you then and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Issue 41: A View From Munich

The reason for last week’s missed deadline can finally be revealed – the Blog Wyrm staff has just spent the last week across the pond in the German city of Munich. As might be expected, some things are really nice and other make us long for home. The people are generally polite and well ordered but we were really surprised by the number of smokers. All walks of life and all demographics are seen to light up on a fairly regular basis. In this respect, it was like stepping back in time to the 1960s. In other respects, they do several things much better. Especially convenient is the way that credit card purchases are done, especially in restaurants, where the waiters bring those small devices to the table to settle the check.

Munich itself is a lovely and clean city. It has a strange but delightful mix of old-world buildings and culture grafted with the globalized reach of modern business. It is not uncommon to see American exports, like McDonald’s and Pizza Hut built into buildings that date back hundreds of years and which once formed the castles or walls for the core portion of the city.

But enough of Munich. Returning closer to home, we have a nice set of columns this week.

At the top of the list, Green Screen gives a thoughtful review of the new movie Crimson Peak. This Gothic piece by Guillermo del Toro seems to have done a lot of things the right way and Green Screen is only too happy to talk about it.

Common Cents examines the recent move by Gravity Payments’ CEO Dan Price to set a minimum salary for all his employees. Perhaps this is the long-hoped-for control experiment that will help settle the controversy over the minimum wage.

What does the new comic Negative Space have in common with the old 1988 cult classic They Live? About Comics thinks a great deal. Read to find out why.

Is it ever wrong to killer a killer? Does it matter how you do it or why? Aristotle to Digital wrestles with these questions as it examines the actions of the robust and rotund fictional detective Nero Wolfe in the case of The Red Box.

Finally, Under the Hood looks at the most favorite approximation of the controls engineer – linearization. After all, when the only tool you have is a Laplace Transform every system tends to look linear.


Issue 24 – Bigger and Better

This week marks a landmark in Blog Wyrm’s history. Not only have we gotten a new column but we’ve actually gotten four new ones written by three new contributors. It’s exciting to see all of the hard work and great writing coming being contributed. So without further ado, let’s talk a little about what is in this week’s issue.

In its premiere installment, Green Screen makes a shocking statement about Quentin Tarantino: namely, that his films are overrated. Yes you heard correctly, they are overrated.

Ever try playing a fighting game (you know Street Fighter, Injustice, Marvel v. Capcom etc.) but still can’t get past button mashing? Then here comes a new column devoted to taking you to the next level. This week’s Pretzel Motion starts with the basics cause when you have mastered the fundamentals you are halfway to being a master.

Ballgame takes a look at what one man did for a university and what he means to the community as a result.

Tidbits opens sets the stage with Andy Grammer’s secretly-terrible “Honey I’m Good.”

About Comics dusts off an old format for comics books and shows how older stories were reprinted in the age before comics became mainstream.

This week’s Under the Hood begins an in depth look at the applications of Lie series to solving differential equations. Could it be that there is a ‘linear-looking’ method that solved nonlinear problems?

Common Cents offers a public service announcement for all those journalists who are confused about the debate on trade currently wending its way through the halls of government and shows that if you just apply yourself, you can understand the various Ts that are bandied about.

Aristotle to Digital brings home the bacon with not one but two English philosophers who made significant contributions to our modern mode of scientific thought. How many degrees of separation are they from Kevin? Hmmm…..


Issue 16 – Sweet Sixteen

I suppose that if Blog Wyrm were a young woman, we would be thinking about holding a party and would be shopping for cars. If it were an NCAA men’s basketball team, we would be swelling with college pride, looking forward to a doubling of admission applications and burning cars, sofas, and mattresses in the street. Well Blog Wyrm is none of these things but 16 issues is still an awesome achievement and a reason to celebrate – although we won’t be burning anything.

When launched, Image Comics was a prepubescent’s dream: big muscles, big breasts, big guns, big action and no story. Things have change in the past twenty years as discussed in this week’s About Comics.

What do language, metaphor and Star Trek have in common? Come read Aristotle to Digital and find out.

The calculus of variations is a rich body ot techniques that has untied many disparate fields of study. Sadly the notation is often fractured by sloppy presentations. Under the Hood tries to set things right.

Contrary to popular belief, capitalists are not limited to business owners, bankers, and Wall Street wolves. Common Cents talks about what capital is and how there is a little bit of capitalist in each and everyone of us.


Issue 14 – A Fortnight

The Blog Wyrm staff have always been fond of the unusual and quirky.  This should come as no surprise considering our tongue-in-cheek nature and our eclectic subject matter. So in celebration of our quirkiness and the fact that our fourteenth issue is coming out on Friday the 13th, we thought we would focus on the word ‘Fortnight’. Fortnight comes from old English where it literally means fourteen nights. A popular unit of speed, the furlong per fortnight, is a blazingly fast, if you are snail. At that speed, it would take only a short 21 minutes to cross, from left to right, a typical 8.5×11 sheet of paper. Quirky enough for you or perhaps too quirky? In any event, let’s get on to the columns.

The January jobs report is in. The economy has been producing new jobs at a good rate. So why did the unemployment rate go up and what should the Fed do about it? Common Cents has some answers.

About Comics finishes the backstory of our favorite Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. with a look at Skye’s very huggable and lovable father – Calvin Zabo – and looks ahead to what the future may hold for her in the Marvel cinematic universe.

Aristotle to Digital takes a random walk through thoughts on the use of uncertainty, statistics and probability in everyday life.

Ever been on a merry-go-round and things look different because you were going around in a circle? Well Under the Hood explains how to describe what you see and we promise it won’t make you sick.


Issue 2: Two weeks in and going strong

Welcome to our second issue.  The posts this week are a bit longer.  Perhaps too long as it was a real effort getting them all out the door.  Nonetheless we did it.  This week we have an article on the three best ways to screw up a comic story in About Comics, We explore some philosophical implications of object orient programming in Aristotle to Digital.  Common Cents features a discussion of a provocative question concerning wealth. Finally, Under the Hood discusses applications of the Helmholtz theorem to the physical understanding of the Maxwell’s equations.  Quite the eclectic mix! Let no one say we don’t deliver on our tagline.

Issue 1: Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween and welcome Autumn!  While it is true that each season ushers in changes and the promise of things to come, Autumn has a particular flavor all of its own.  Lots of interesting and exciting things happen in the fall months.  Kids begin to really buckle down in school. The leaves change color and the weather has a mind of its own.  Lazy summer months fade into memory as bustling activities and preparations for the coming Winter take place.

It seems appropriate that this time of change ushers in a bold experiment on our part – our blogzine.  What is a blogzine? To us it is more than a blog or a set of blogs.  It is a collection of columns, launched on a weekly basis every Friday, with a common look and feel that is designed to make you feel like you are reading a magazine.  But unlike the ‘professional’ media outlets our blogzine covers items near and dear to us, which are off the beaten track and hopefully interesting to you.  We look forward to reading your comments and your feedback.