This week on Moore In The Morning I’m saving lives with a twisted transit safety game of death, whistling new music with a sheet music app, and finding the cheapest way to read popular comic books right back to their beginning.
Dumb Ways To Die
With a catchy tune and cute, animated characters, Metro Train’s hilariously macabre PSA on transit safety was a viral hit last year. Now it’s back as a game that tests your reflexes and quick-thinking on the hazards of railway crossings, subways, and piranhas.
You must tilt the screen, blow on your microphone, and even spell out the word “patience” if you hope to avoid death through mishaps with rattlesnakes, toasters, and superglue. Tapping the screen will put out fires while wiping it will clean up vomit. The more tasks you win, the faster they get and the more extras you’ll unlock, although watching the characters get sliced, diced, bitten, and smeared is such a laugh that it’s a game that is as much fun to lose as it is to win.
Sing, hum, whistle, or play a made-up tune on an instrument and ScoreCleaner will listen and translate your performance into sheet music. It can pick out your pitch, tempo, and time signature before playing back your composition for you on a MIDI piano.
As with apps that translate speech, text, and languages, ScoreCleaner’s success improves as you learn to meet its limitations and perform each note carefully while avoiding things that might confuse it like lyrics, multiple instruments, and background noise. To save more than four songs, you’ll need to register for an account that includes an optional cloud storage solution.
It’s a handy way to record little melodies and for those with no musical training, an ideal way to see and explore our own natural desire to sing and make music as part of the way we communicate with each other.
Services like Netflix and TMNGo have made it easy to take a television series that you’ve discovered late and watch it from the first episode in order to catch up. Marvel Unlimited is an attempt to do the same for comic books, offering Marvel’s 77 years of super hero stories for $10 per month. You can download the very first Iron Man issue, Tales of Suspense #39, for example, and just keep reading until you reach the present day.
It’s a rental service for past issues only, current issues are still sold separately through the Comixology app, and you’re limited to storing just six issues on your device at a time. The presentation lacks the slick MotionFlow technology of Comixology and so what you’re getting are simple page scans that leaving it up to you to zoom and move from panel to panel.
Thankfully there’s a lot of content to check out for free without a subscription. There are plenty of sample pages and books among the catalog to try out, no registration necessary, including the early days of Iron Man for those still riding high from the new movie.
For comic book lovers, getting your hands on the early books in the series has always been an expensive challenge. As clunky as Marvel Unlimited can be, what it offers for its $10 is invaluable and I only wish it had been around when I first started reading.