Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sleep Cycle

Sleep Cycle is the name of the latest iPhone app I’ve been using regulrly. In part, it’s a re-invented alarm clock, designed to gently lead you out of your slumber instead of jolting you awake.

It uses the phone’s built-in microphone to monitor your breathing while you sleep and charts the depth of your rest throughout the night.

if you set the alarm for 7:00 am for instance, Sleep Cycle actively monitors the half-hour window leading up to seven, choosing a moment when the depth of your sleep is at its most shallow, and then plays soft music to bring you out of it. While you may wake up a bit sooner than you intended, the effect is that you’ll awaken feeling more rested than if your sleep were interrupted in the conventional manner.

The app passively monitors your sleep all night long. The feature of this program that has caught my attention most is the graph, recorded nightly, that illustrates and rates my night’s sleep. Here is how I did last night:

IMG_0360Sleep quality, 70%, which is generally about at high as I get. On just as many nights, I get a grade in the mid-to-low forties, which I’ve come to resent. On this chart, that area around 1:00 am shows that I was in a very profound deep sleep, which grew less deep throughout the night.

Anyway, I find that I’m now going to sleep more purposefully, with an aim of beating my best record. I haven’t cracked 75% yet, but I’m determined. No more 40’s!

Sleep Cycle is a free download in the app store, if you’re interested.

 

Monkeemobile!

Continuing series of fictional and/or fanciful vehicles
Continuing series of fictional and/or fanciful vehicles

Reports/rumors are circulating about a new Monkees album planned for June to coincide with the group’s 50th anniversary! Called Good Times, the album is said to be made up of new songs from writers such as Andy Partridge as well as Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork, plus newly-completed vintage recordings from the group’s early days.

Official info is expected to drop on Monday, Feb. 8.

The German Spider-Man!

German_Spidey

Got these in the mail yesterday: The first two issues of a comic zine, The German Spider-Man, produced by my friend Peter Stangenberg, whom I first met at the Pittsburgh Comic Book Show in, I think, 2013. I LOVED finding these zines in my mailbox, as I so seldom receive stuff like this through the mail these days. Now it’s all online or down at the comics shop. But these take me back to my early fanzine-collecting days of Star-Studded Comics, Trumpet Magazine, Dallascon Bulletin, The Buyer’s Guide For Comics Fandom, The Comics Reader,  Stan’s Weekly Express — all that stuff that had the smell of ‘homemade,’ the days before it all became too slick and institutionalized and the line between fan and pro became so blurred.

Anyway, Peter sent me these because I contributed some art for the April issue,  and he was nice enough to feature me in an extensive interview for the August issue. My knowledge of the German language is nil, so reading the pages is a bit of a trick, but I love browsing and looking at the illustrations, and Peter’s love and enthusiasm for the subject matter comes through loud and clear. I have owned many of the comics, books and magazines pictured and discussed in the pages, so these issues of The German Spider-Man were a fun time capsule for me.

I’ll add additional links when I get them from Peter.