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News post – Catch-23 No. 1041 Rock on

After doing a few digital painting tutorials, I wanted to practice painting some rocks.

I wondered if I could bring some of the rock painting tricks I had learned into the comic strip, so I popped a rock in between Jaffa and Bagel and waited to see what they’d talk about.

The rock being plastic made me laugh, but I struggled to figure out a location for them where a plastic rock would be as likely as a real rock. A garden centre was my first thought, but visually you need a lot of information to convey ‘garden centre’, so the second idea was a playground. A slide and a seesaw is all you need to get this across.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1040 Barf

The cats help me come up with ideas for the comic strip, it’s one of their many talents.

I was also searching for something for Alex to exclaim in panel 2, then Boris Johnson became the new British Prime Minister. Silver lining, I guess.

For a little background on Boris, head over to John Oliver’s piece on Last Week Tonight.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1039 Dream on

When our dogs have a dream while they’re sleeping, I often wonder what they dream about. If their legs are twitching and jumping, they’re probably dreaming about running or chasing. When their tails are wagging in their sleep, I figure they’re dreaming about their humans, telling them what good dogs they are (this may be egocentric, but studies have shown that dogs prefer praise from their humans over getting their favourite treats).

The beagle x cav loves sleeping so much that I suspect she dreams of being asleep, so I made that into this comic strip.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1038 Cats – the trailer for the movie of the stage musical

The trailer for the latest film version of the musical Cats appeared and…

Well…

There are freaky cat people in it.

Cats, the musical, is a bit of hot mess already – some outstanding songs, and then a lot of people dancing around a garbage pile in cat costumes. In that way, the film version seems to be sticking true to the stage show.

The film assembles the right talent for this sort of endeavour – the director of Les Miz, the choreographer of Hamilton, great singers and actors. Unfortunately, the human-cat things look both unsettling and terrifying, and at the end of the day, it’s adapting Cats.

There’s a great episode of the Netflix sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, where they explain that the stage show Cats began as an unscripted improv fake musical where any actor can join in, as long as they don’t spill the shows’ secret. This is as reasonable explanation as any I’ve heard.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1037 Kennel cough

This week, our doggies were under quarantine due to being exposed to Kennel Cough.

Our new foster dog, Zac, came down with symptoms and despite all the dogs being vaccinated, it’s like the flu for people – vaccinations may not cover all the strains of the virus that they come into contact with.

All canines are doing better, but had to take a few days off work (we called it sick leave but they don’t get paid).

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1036 Netflix Tax

NBN casually floated the idea that they might recoup some costs by taxing streaming video, such at Netflix. This caused a bit of a storm both in the IT community and the general public – the IT community because it raises some worrying privacy issues about what NBN thinks they have access to, and the general public because we’re already annoyed that we have to use the NBN and now they want to tax us for using it.

NBN walked it back afterwards, but it certainly got our attention.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1035 Reason

The phrase ‘what gets you out of bed in the morning?’ was buzzing around my head. Since the answer, both emotionally and practically, is my doggies, I thought it would make for a good comic strip.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1034 Facebucks

Facebook officially announced their cryptocurrency called Libra and once it launches, Facebook stands to become one of the biggest names in global banking. Libra is different from the other cryptocurrencies like bitcoin because the power to create the currency (known as ‘mining’) will be privately-held for at least 5 years.

Trust in Facebook has been on shaky ground since the Cambridge Analytica scandal with usage on the platform dropping by 20% since then, so will users be comfortable putting their money in Facebook’s hands?

People that know more than I do about global economics, including Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, have voiced their concerns that rather than empowering people to share their money more easily, that money will really just be funnelled back towards large corporations like Facebook and their financial partners.

Maybe this will actually herald in a new age of global financial harmony. I have been accused of cynicism in the past.

Mat

 

 

 

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1033 Microplastics

Plastic may have already found it’s way into our bodies, mostly through drinking water, according to a study from the University of Newcastle.

Is this bad for us? We don’t know yet. It’s probably not great but it hasn’t been going on long enough to have good data on it.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1032 Prequality

It’s been two decades since George Lucas, finally free of all that annoying studio oversight that produced the excellent original Star Wars trilogy, released Episode I onto an unsuspecting public.

It was a hot mess of midichlorians, Jar Jar Binks, baby Anakin, trade embargoes and Darth Maul.

Since Disney took over, the Star Wars factory has been pumping out excellent films every year, including two prequels in Rogue One and Solo. We don’t think of them as ‘prequels’ because prequel has become synonymous for disappointment and disaster.

And if you’re not a Star Wars nerd, here’s what kyber crystals are.

Mat