Let’s be honest. At this time last year, a lot of us were in a bad place. The COVID-19 pandemic was going full throttle. We didn’t have a vaccine yet and had no idea how long it would take to get one. Even by then, the deniers and the idiots couldn’t avoid it. This crisis was real. These lockdowns and public health measures were real. We didn’t know how long it was going to last. Normal, as we knew it, may as well have been another lifetime.
Now, we can actually say with a straight face that the pandemic is almost over. Thanks to widespread vaccine efforts, we’re at a point where many of those emergency measures are being lifted. Even among the states that were hardest hit, the final restrictions are coming down. The normality we once took for granted is almost upon us once more.
I cannot overstate how big a relief that is. I also doubt anyone will forget what it was like to endure over a year of lockdowns and restrictions. I like to think we won’t take this sort of thing for granted again, although that may be hoping for too much. For me personally, this pandemic has taught me a lot about just how frail our modern world is. It also taught me how vulnerable we still are as a species and a society.
That’s just one of many lessons. Others have learned them to and then some. Now, as the restrictions are lifting and life as we knew it is returning, I think it’s beneficial that we all take a moment to reflect on what this pandemic helped us realize. Many of those realizations were harsh, to say the least. They’re still worth acknowledging.
To that end, I found a helpful video from the YouTube Channl, Radio TTS. This channel covers some posts from the popular r/AskReddit subreddit. Some of these responses are a lot more personal than anything I experienced. They’re still worth sharing. If you have others you’d like to share, please do so in the comments.
We all have that one book that has a lasting impact on us. Sometimes, we seek it out. Sometimes, it comes to us unexpectedly. Even if you’re not a voracious reader, it still affects you in a profound way. Whether it’s the story, the characters, or the underlying message, it resonates with you and you still feel it years later.
That’s how I feel about Gorge Orwell’s famous novel, 1984. To date, it’s one of my favorite novels and that’s counting all the comic books I’ve read. It’s considered a modern classic and for good reason. This book, its author, and its message came along at a dangerous time for civilization. While times have changed and 1984 has passed us by on the calendar, the message of this book is still as important as ever.
To celebrate that message, I made a video about it on my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. If you need a book to add to your summer reading list, I hope this video convinces you to put 1984 at the top. It had a profound effect on me. It changed the way I thought about politics, authority, and freedom. I hope it can do the same for others.
The following are a couple of new videos for my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. These videos are actually an experiment, of sorts. Since I’ve started my channel, I’ve explored all sorts of topics to discuss. I’m still not entirely sure what I’ll focus on with this channel, but I do want that focus to be on something I love.
As it just so happens, I do love video games. One game, in particular, is a mobile game called “Marvel Strike Force.” I’ve been playing it for years and I really enjoy it. I’ve also seen a number of other channels stream themselves doing various types of gameplay. Having just recently learned the right kind of video editing software, I thought I’d give it a try.
The two videos below are me making my way through the Dark Dimension IV levels of Marvel Strike Force. These are some of the hardest parts of the game and it took a long time, just to develop my team to a point where I could manage. I do plan on sharing the gameplay from other nodes. I didn’t include any commentary, but if you’d like me to add that in future videos, please let me know.
Here is me completing Node 11. This one was trickier and I forgot to turn off notifications, so you’ll see some graphics here and there. To those playing this game at this level, I hope it helps!
The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. It’s the latest entry in my ongoing Jack’s Comic Gems series in which I highlight a quality gem from the world of comics. This one brings to light a gem from the world of Duke Nukem, a video game character who hasn’t been relevant since the 90s. However, he still managed to be part of an unexpectedly good comic. I was surprised too, but in a good way. Enjoy!
The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. It is my full review and reaction to “Falcon And The Winter Soldier,” which just finished its first season on Disney Plus. I know reviewed multiple episodes of “WandaVision,” but I had a hard time stopping myself from speculating after every episode. I didn’t want to do that with this one, so I waited until the series was complete.
Overall, I’m glad I did. This show was really something. It also got me plenty excited for the future of the MCU and yes, that means more wild speculating in this video, as well as plenty others. Enjoy!
The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. It’s a more serious video than I usually do. I started working on it a number of weeks ago. I’ve been writing about the COVID-19 pandemicoffand on since it began last year. It has been depressing, to say the least. I don’t deny I have been downright dire at times.
However, the end is in sight. Having gotten my first shot of the vaccine, I can honestly say the worst is behind us. It’s not over, but it does raise a number of questions. This pandemic is going to have a ripple effect for generations. People are going to remember this. It led me to wonder how we’ll talk about it in the future. I decided to make this video as a means of offering a big picture overview.
It’s serious, but I try to make it hopeful. Enjoy!
Last week, I got my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. It was a smooth, pleasant experience by every measure. Those involved were kind, professional, and diligent. My arm was a bit sore for a while, but other than that, I felt no major side-effects.
Having covered the development of this vaccine, I cannot overstate what a monumental achievement this is for science, health, and the general improvement of human well-being. Those involved in the development of this vaccine are real-life heroes. It’s because of them that this terrible pandemic will never claim as many lives as it could’ve.
Some of those people cannot be reasoned with and are just a lost cause. For others, though, who may be nervous or reluctant to take this vaccine, I feel we should reach out to those people. I’m sure they’ve heard plenty of conflicting messages as well about the vaccine. There are real answers to those concerns and I’d like to share them.
Below is a video from the YouTube channel, asapSCIENCE. They’re a good YouTube channel with millions of subscribers and great production values. They have a talent for breaking down major science-related issues in a simple, easy-to-follow manner. I sincerely hope this video allays any concerns you might have about getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. It covers some recent rumors that have been circulating about the future of the X-Men in the MCU. Please note that these rumors are not substantiated. There is no inside source at work here. Most of this information comes from the site, BGR. So, please take them with a grain of salt.
That disclaimer aside, I made this video as a general reaction of sorts. This is also the first time I used my new video editing software. Please let me know if you can see a difference in the overall quality. Enjoy!
Learning new skills can be difficult. That difficulty only compounds when you try to teach yourself. I know it’s cliché, but anything worth learning tends to be difficult. When it’s part of a genuine passion, however, it can even more rewarding. You just have to be ready to endure some setbacks and frustration.
I bring this up because recently, I announced that I had purchased a new PC with my stimulus check. Alongside that purchase, I also bought a new video editing software, Adobe Premier Elements 2021. While getting the new PC up and running was mostly a formality, learning to use this new software was bound to be challenging. I just didn’t expect it to be this challenging.
The thing is I knew I had to get new video editing the second I decided to buy a new PC. The software I’d been using on my old PC, Movie Maker 2012, wasn’t just limited. It had been discontinued. When it came to getting my YouTube channel, Jack’s World, off the ground, it got the job done. However, if you’ve seen some of my early videos, you can tell the quality was not that great.
I did what I could to make up for the software’s limitations. That included purchasing a new microphone and modifying a few images. The plan was always to upgrade to something better and, having done some research on what other successful YouTubers use, I went all in on Adobe Premier Elements 2021.
Now, after spending an entire weekend, plus a few days, just learning the basics of the system, I now realize I have a long way to go. To be perfectly honest, I overestimated the complexity of basic video editing. Everything from making proper transitions to inserting the right text to adjusting music volume has proven incredibly challenging.
I got stuck on several major issues. Most of them involved panning around certain images and getting the right text graphics in place. It took nearly an entire afternoon just to figure out how properly time each image or video. I eventually figured it out, but only after messing up at least a dozen times.
I’d hoped I could get by with the basics for a while before moving onto more complex features. I now know that was hoping for too much. My goal was to use this software to make one 20-mintue video, just to get a feel for how long it would take. I managed to complete that video, but it’s taking me a lot longer and I’m still getting the hang of numerous features.
As a result, I’m going to use the old software to complete a batch of videos that were already in progress before I bought my new PC. You’ll be able to tell by the graphics and panning which videos were made with the old software. This one video I made with Premier, though, will look different. It won’t be completely obvious, but the signs will be there. If it looks a little messy, then assume it’s due to me struggling with certain functions.
I hope to post that video soon, as it covers a fairly timely topic. Yes, that topic involves superhero movies and X-Men. That shouldn’t surprise anyone. After that, any new video that I didn’t start with the old software will use Premier. In time, I hope it makes a difference in terms of quality and visuals. If you’re not seeing that improvement, please let me know so I can keep working at it.
In the meantime, to all those out there who are also struggling with using Adobe Premier Elements 2021, consider checking out some free tutorial videos. I found this one below to be particularly helpful.
I ended up referencing this, and a few others, many times whenever I got stuck, which was frequent. In hindsight, I probably should’ve referenced these videos sooner. They probably would’ve saved me a lot of frustration.
Then again, that’s the price you pay when you try to learn a new skill by teaching yourself. I’m not a very good teacher in that respect, but if I can do this, then anyone can. Video editing is definitely a skill worth learning and one that’s sure to become more critical in the future.
The following is a YouTube video from my channel, Jack’s World. It’s a fresh entry to my ongoing Jack’s Comic Gems series in which I highlight a rare and special gem from the comic book world. This time, I focus on Psylocke, a character whose star has been on the rise lately in Excalibur. However, she’s always found a way to stand out, as a character.
If you’ve been enjoying he most recent exploits in the pages of the X-books, then you’ll really enjoy “Psylocke,” by Chris Yost. This 4-issue mini from the early 2010s stands out in many ways, but it’s also a Psylocke story that involves ninjas and former lovers. Need I say more?