David Brownman

    • hardware

    Thunderbolts and Lightning

    When moving into my new apartment, the outlets and the cable were arranged in such a way that it wasn’t convenient to plug the modem into a power strip. "So what," I thought. "If lightning does strike, worst case I lose my modem and I’ve got an excuse for an upgrade! Plus, how often are there thunderstorms anyway?" I mused, foolishly forgetting that I had lived in weather-less California for years. I didn’t have a great handle on the dangers of lightning, but I was about to.

    Read more
    • politics
    • sports

    The Party of Lincoln

    When I was in middle school, I was struck by the story of Jackie Robinson. He was the first black major league baseball player when he was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 (a very controversial move at the time). Years later, they moved to Los Angeles. They left seasons behind and came to year-round sun. They could no longer take the train to games; LA is a city of cars. Though the teams share a name, the Dodgers of today share little else with the team that broke the major league color barrier in 1947.

    Read more
    • movies
    • Airtable

    On the Rating of Media

    Once I started tracking media in earnest, I found myself in need of a consistent way to rate what I had watched and played. There's a lot of different ways to rate something, such a 10 star scale, a score out out of five, or a simple thumbs up/down.

    My biggest gripe is that none of the scores really mean anything; they're good for comparing everything someone has scored, but they each have their problems. A 10 star scale is too wide; what sets a 6 star movie apart from a 7 star? The yes/no is informative but has the opposite problem: it doesn't allow for any striation between good and great. A score out of 5 is closer, but it begets my worst enemy: apathy. I'm ultimately making these lists to help steer the reader towards the good stuff. If I'm neutral on something, it doesn't provide a definitive signal. Ultimately, none of these scales provided what I needed.

    Read more
    • movies
    • marvel
    • Airtable

    David's Definitive Marvel Movies Ranking

    We're fast reaching the climax of the most ambitious film projects ever conceived: 18 movies over the course of 10 years, ranging from "really good" to "I wish they hadn't made this, but here we are". To properly prepare myself for Infinity War, I went back and watched the entire canon of MCU movies. It was the perfect opportunity to compile my personal power ranking for all 18 films, which I'm pleased to present to you now.

    While building this list, I watched each movie in order. Movies were judged loosely on categories such as humor, action, cohesiveness, and writing. Then I decided where it fit in based on those I had watched already.1 All movies I watch fall into one of four categories: Awful, Bad, Good, and Great, which is also how I bracketed these. You probably won't agree with everything, but this is my list. If you need a refresher of what all the movies are, check out Wikipedia.

    Without further ado, from worst to best, here's every Marvel Cinematic Universe film (so far).

    Read more
    • boardgames
    • books
    • lookback
    • movies
    • television
    • videogames

    A Few More of my Favorite Things

    In my advanced age, I've found myself with the time and inclination to consume a lot of media. As part of that, I feel like I have am obligation to share the best things I experienced in the past year with you, the loyal reader. I wrote a similar article last year, but in case this is your first time (welcome!), I'll run through the rules for how media qualifies for the coveted "Davy" award:

    • media qualifies for the list for the calendar year during which I finish it for the first time
    • winners are picked based on what I enjoyed most, not what is objectively "the best". You probably wouldn't rank stuff the same way, but that's okay. This is my list, not yours
    • if something is critically acclaimed and I'm just getting around to watching it, it probably won't win. Sorry, The West Wing

    With that under our belts, let's dive in!

    Read more