The Changelog – June 2022

This issue came a bit earlier. In fact, tomorrow I’ll be traveling to Athens for work (and fun, I hope), and I’ll be back on July 3rd. So I think it is better to release earlier than late and leave the traveling part for next month.

But let’s come back to the chase: June. June started as May ended: in an emotional disaster. Fortunately, though, things got better along the way. If it weren’t for my usual travel-induced anxiety, I’d be in a very good spot.

The real funny thing is that time slipped by extremely fast. Juggling with a bit of anxiety, sadness, anguish for our society, and worrying for people I know in distress. In these cases, you may end up paralyzed and let time fade away, like watching a clock tower burning.

But it wasn’t all waiting.

For once, I started a new project at work that allowed me to focus more on the research part. Then I have enjoyed a more artsy and creative part of myself.

Finally, I have drafted an article and a small demo for a Utility-Based AI in Games. Hopefully, I’ll get it out in July (writing is HARD).

For everything else, I should find a way to transform these bleak emotions into some drive for change.

(Ah, and June has been HOT. And in hot temperatures (40°C now that I am writing), I simply do not work. At all. I work 10 minutes, and then I die in front of a fan for 20 minutes. And Summer just started! Yikes!)

“Clock Tower” by MidJourney Bot
Figure 1. “Clock Tower” by MidJourney Bot

Reading

This month I read Rogue Element by John Jackson Miller. I will not talk about the book because it is not very good. It was one of those easy-going summer books based on Star Trek. So it is not by no means a must-read, but I usually enjoy these fandom books. They make me happy.

Not this one. Ew.

But the point, as I said, is not about the book. It is about the question: do you keep reading a book that is clearly dragging just for completion?

Unfortunately, I do more often than I would like. Life is too short for reading bad books. With an average of 30-40 books per year, we can read only 2000-2500 books in our lifetime. So why, in the name of God, would we allow bad books to be in such a small elite? No idea.

Yet, I find out that I am disrespecting the author and the Gods of Books, and I cannot let it go. And as a result, the book slowed me down, made reading unpleasant, and forced me with a single book completed in June (I’ve read part of other books, though).

I should really find the determination to drop these dead woods when I realize I am going nowhere.

Oh, well. What do you do? Do you cling to bad books as well? Let me know.

Music

This month I listened to less music. The cause: a badly depressed mood in the first weeks. In the end, I only listened to 887 tracks against 1242 from last month.

As a consequence, I have been all over the place. Look at my monthly 5x5 (top 25 albums).

My most rated album was Hounds of Love by Kate Bush. Of course. As a long-time fan and admirer of Kate Bush, it has been a blast to see her skyrocket to the top of every streaming chart. Yes, thanks to Stranger Things 4 (I yet have to see it), but it was finally deserved.

As we discussed with a friend of mine, it is a real shame that Kate Bush is often ignored as an artist. While we can understand the general public, she is sometimes also overlooked by music journalists. And that is not a shame: it is a criminal offense.

Watchlist

In June, I continued my full rewatch of Seinfeld (mainly as background entertainment). As for the new stuff, I have a gigantic watchlist I’ll probably never complete.

So let me talk about Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. Okay. I am a trekkie, I know, and I am generally positive about the franchise. But I can tell you this: Strange New Worlds is the best first season of any Star Trek series ever. Hands down.

The cast is fantastic. The stories are modern but old-school. The visuals are great, and the music is spot on. The opening intro is goosebumpy. There is nothing I didn’t like so far (yes, some details, but who cares).

So I am confident in my “best first season” ever review. I don’t think the last two episodes can undo all the beauty I have seen so far.

If you are a Trek fan, jump on it 100%. And if you have never watched a Star Trek series, I’d say it is not the wrong place to start.

(And yes, I need to see Season 3 of For All Mankind. Give me a break. I have limited hours in a day)

Gaming

For the second month in a row, I didn’t play anything. Zero. Nothing. Nada.

What did I become?

Other Interesting Things

  • 🎨 Artist of the Month: Elhyana. She is a talented illustrator based in France. I am bringing her to your attention because she is talented, of course (I’ve already said that), but also because she is funny and she is coming out from a burnout period. And I know burnout well, and I know it sucks. So now go share a bit of support!
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