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News post – Catch-23 No. 1205 Tic Tac of Death

This is based on the news in the week that a mining company transport truck misplaced a Tic Tac-sized piece of Caesium-137 approximately somewhere in Western Australia. It wasn’t Bagel that lost it, but just go with it.

I’m sure it will be fine.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1204 Dear Ms. Ardern

We Aussies are quick to adopt anything good to come out of New Zealand as our own, so why not Jacinda Ardern as well.

It’s a pity she can’t stick around in the top job longer, but pandemic years in a job feel like they are measured in dog years, so the world was lucky to have her as long as we did. A reminder that it’s still possible to have a beloved, caring and smart leader in charge of a country. It’s not just something that happens in history textbooks.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1202 Honourary

This comic strip started out with Jaffa planning to use one of the AI writing bots to get a doctorate, and Bagel talking about the guy that invented an app that checks for AI-written essays. A bit more digging and I ended up here.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1199 Day after Tuesday

OK, I admit it. I was Jaffa.

I saw the trailers for Netflix’s Wednesday and I said some things. I said it was a bit on the nose, and that everything Tim Burton makes is basically the Addams Family, so isn’t this whole thing redundant. I said big deal, Wednesday goes to spooky Hogwarts.

I was that snob.

I can admit when I am wrong, and in the case of Wednesday, I was very wrong.

I cannot say enough good things about the show. Jenny Ortega as Wednesday is one of the best things I’ve seen on the small screen. The nods to the old tv series, print version and 90’s movies are there, but in a gentle way, never overpowering. The entire cast is superb, and I would quite happily live in some of those sets.

Do yourself a favour, once you’ve finished the Crown or whatever you’re currently watching, watch some Wednesday.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1197 Black and white

I had a couple of ideas floating around. The first was inspired by this video about a painter talking about drawing in a style for painting, which is sort of the opposite to cartooning. The second was playing with the idea of black and white, both as the colour palette and the metaphorical way of discussing rigid thinking.

Catch-23 was a black-and-white comic strip for many years, but that was more to do with time-management and the availability of easy-to-use tools like drawing tablets and software.

Now, doing a black-and-white comic strip is an artistic choice to make the idea work, and because I was trying a bit of a new way of working, it actually took about twice as long to draw as my regular strips.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1196 Recycled topics

The suggestion that recycling isn’t the solution to our waste woes used to be derided as climate denial, but the stats now tell us that recycling may in fact be part of the problem.

This report by Greenpeace sums up the sad truth – every year we are recycling less, and consuming more. Banning single-use plastics is a good first step, as is separating out the easier-to-recycle glass and PET plastics.

The average consumer, though, is having a hard time counterbalancing the pollution coming from the big industries, much of which is invisible in our day-to-day lives. Al Gore’s name-and-shame polluters registry Climate Trace should make the big polluters more visible and more accountable.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1195 Eclipsed

During the week, we were treated to a blood moon lunar eclipse. My dad suggested that if we looked close, we would see the bunny ears shadow puppet he was casting on the moon, so that had to be the comic strip.

Jaffa says ‘fair play’ because we’ve been rewatching all of Gavin & Stacey, and all their in-jokes have a way of making it into our everyday speech.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1194 Domesticated

A study published a few years ago says that, as domestic cat DNA and wild cat DNA are more or less the same until a few hundred years ago – long after the cat was part of human society – that means that the cat self-domesticated.

Some days, calling a cat ‘domesticated’ feels like a stretch. Any cat owner can tell you that a house cat is never too far from it’s feral roots and it’s only a few missed meals away from turning back into a wild animal.

Mat