12.31.2012

Mecha Monday: Windmill Gundam is truly the best Gundam

Gather around, children, and hear the tale of a godawful Gundam series called Mobile Fighter G Gundam and it's entirely ridiculous Gundams. The show's premise was simple: Every country on Earth emigrated to an orbital space colony that bore the name of their nation, but with the "Neo" prefix. In order to decide who would rule the colonies and Earth, these nations hold a tournament every four years and each sends a Gundam "modeled" after their culture. In actuality, the Gundams are based largely on cultural stereotypes. Neo-Mexico's Gundam, for example, wears a poncho, a sombrero, and is called Tequila Gundam, but that's a post for a different day. Neo-Holland's Nether Gundam has always been one of my favorites from the series for no other reason than because it can transform into a windmill.

Now you see it...
Credit: Gundam Wiki.
Now you--hey, where'd it go!?
Credit: Gundam Wiki.
In fact, Neo-Holland's entire strategy in the tournament was simply not to fight. Their Gundam pretty much just stayed in windmill mode and progressed to the finals by default. Not surprisingly, when you have a Gundam that is also part windmill, it's not going to very good at fighting and it got curbstomped.

12.27.2012

NASA planning on capturing an asteroid and turning it into a space station?

I saw this first on Wikipedia's Current Events page, where I usually peruse for news. Say what you will about Wikipedia, but their news aggregation is top notch. Anyway, it was there that I found the most curious of headlines: "NASA scientists are planning to capture a 500 ton near-Earth asteroid, relocate it and turn it into a space station for astronauts on their route to Mars after 2025." Needless to say, I got a bit giddy. I mean, how awesome would it be to capture a freaking asteroid, move it to where we want and turn that sucker into a space station? That would be a major milestone for both NASA, science, and the human race. Not bad for something that might cost all of $2.5 billion. It would also be nice to see NASA get its swagger back and start thinking big again.

My elation was stifled, however, when I saw that one of the news sources cited was the Daily Mail, or as a lot of people call it, the Daily Fail. The Daily Mail is a tabloid at best and at worst, makes Fox News look unbiased. The second source was for the Times of India, which is more reputable, but I decided to look around on Google for more verification and failed. Most of the news websites reporting on NASA's supposed plan were either less reputable than Daily Mail, or just copied and pasted their report.

I did notice that both the Mail and Times of India, along with reddit and Slashdot are linked to a .pdf on Caltech's website about the feasibility of actually capturing an asteroid and turning it into a space station for a future manned mission to Mars, so there's some creditability. I hope this is true, because it would be an incredible step towards becoming a space faring race. Today, capturing one asteroid, tomorrow, asteroid mining, colonies on the Moon, Mars, and beyond!

Things I want, need, and desire: Doctor Who stamps!

Yes, the Royal Mail is set to release eleven Who themed stamps, each bearing the face of one of the Doctor's eleven incarnations to celebrate Doctor Who's fiftieth anniversary. Check out four of them below.

I have a soft spot for the Eighth Doctor. He tends to be overlooked.
 
Clearly, I was born in the wrong country. The stamps, which undoubtedly will find their way to the states via eBay or TARDIS, will be available in March.

h/t the BBC for the pictures.

12.26.2012

Holy crapicus! Rayguns and Space Suits broke 200 hits today!

The blog has been hitting over a 100 pageviews for the past several days, but a sudden spike in activity has pushed the counter well past 200 pageviews for today, a first! This is pretty encouraging, actually, as it means that I'm clearly doing something right. I've thought about making Rayguns and Space Suits my primary blog from time to time and if I can sustain and even grow the number of hits it receives daily, then I might very well.

Plus, I'm slowly recovering from my scifi book burnout that I've been afflicted with for the past several months, so that's good. I'm going to finish The Short Victorious War, then move on to either The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Dreadnaught or The Reality Dysfunction.

Thanks for reading my humble little scifi blog!

Edit: The counter stopped at 282 pageviews before resetting, but given that it resets at like seven something at night, I think it's safe to assume that I probably hit 300 or more before midnight. Woohoo!

Thoughts on the Doctor Who Christmas Special: The Snowmen

I liked it, but felt it could have been better. The Doctor's new companion, Clara, is intriguing and I can't wait to see more of her. Going by the promos for the next season, she's definitely a firecracker!
Look at that dapper frakker.
And the Doctor doesn't look bad either.
I think what hurt the special was the difficulty of doing an Christmas themed episode year after year. Murderous snowmen was an interesting idea, though, even if the plot was a bit wanting.

Hit the jump for the rest, but fair warning:


RIP Gerry Anderson

While I never watched Thunderbirds, Space: 1999, UFO, or his other shows (too young, before my time), their and his reputations preceded them. Sad to see him go, but not entirely a surprise, what with the revelation of his Alzheimer's earlier this year.

12.24.2012

Mecha Monday: Voltron

Truly, the greatest of all mechs that are made up of other robots. Sorry, Power Rangers.

I used to watch Voltron when I was a kid during the late 80s/early 90s, though I don't remember match. I remember the ass kicking and one of the original members of the team, Sven, being replaced by Princess Allura after he's bitten by a cat. He was actually killed in the Japanese version, but they couldn't really say that back then.

Voltron could also dance, but is a loser when he gets served.




Picture via Tumblr.

12.17.2012

Mecha Monday: Giant Gundam statue? Giant Gundam statue.

Because what better way to celebrate the 30th anniversary of your flagship anime franchise than with a sixty foot tall statue of a goddamn Gundam?



It lights up too! Batteries not included.
I wrote a post about the statue last year on my nerd blog, Giant-Size Nerd-Thing!, which you can check out right here. They did disassemble it after a while and laid the dismembered mecha on an artificial island. But fortunately, decided to reassemble and station it in Tokyo, presumably to ward off Kaiju attacks.

Did I mention that this fucker is sixty feet tall?

Pictures via TechCrunch, Pink Tenticle, and Punyari. Hat tip to Geekspective.

New Star Trek Into Darkness trailer!

Wow, that was unexpected, but not unwelcomed.


Nothing really new, but the focus of the trailer is on Kirk and his "lack of humility". Well, that's what happens when you promote a guy to captain straight out of the Academy. Contrary to what people on the internet seem to believe (based apparently on the whole glass touching scene in the trailers), I don't think Spock's going to die in this movie. That would be too Wrath of Khan-ish.

Edit: Frak, it looks like Paramount had the trailer deleted.

12.15.2012

Pacific Rim is one of those "looks so bad, you have to see it" movies

But hey, it's got mechs! Plural! Kaijus! Also plural! GLaDOS too for some reason, but it's nice to see Aperture Science lending a hand in defending the Earth. Probably could have used Gordon Freeman too.



I'm intrigued by the control system and the fact that each mechs takes two people to operate. Normally, you only see the latter with Voltron and the various Megazords of the Power Ranger franchise. I don't know if casting Ellen McLain as the AI and making her sound like GLaDOS was just a coincidence or a sly wink at the geek/nerd community, but I approve.

12.10.2012

Mecha Monday - Mechagodzilla 2

I was going to go with the original, but then remembered that I had a Mechagodzilla 2 toy when I was a kid and nostalgia won out.

Credit: Wikizilla.
Unlike the first Mechagodzilla, which was created by a race of alien gorillas, its second incarnation was created by G-Force, a taskforce created by the United Nations to counter the King of the Monsters, Godzilla. Mechagodzilla 2 had a second form called Super Mechagodzilla, when combined with Garurda, an aircraft that was created prior to MG2 to fight Godzilla, but was deemed a failure, because really? Someone thought an aircraft was going to do what other Kaiju and a hydrogen bomb repeatedly failed to do?

Mechagodzilla (in his super form) actually came close to winning during his battle with Godzilla and would have, had a Kaiju named Fire Rodan not sacrificed itself to heal the latter and supercharge him.

12.06.2012

Who wants to see the new trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness? No one? Really? Huh, alright then.



The movie looks awesome, but what the hell is up with Benedict Cumberbatch's voice? It's definitely different, if that is him doing the voice over. The synopsis for the movie has also been released
When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis.

With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction.

As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.
So Cumberbatch's yet-to-be-named character is a member of Starfleet, both according to the synopsis and because he's seen wearing a Starfleet uniform (albeit a dark colored one) in the trailer. That makes me wonder if he's playing Garth of Izar. I mean, it would take someone with a mind like Garth's to pull off something like taking out the entire fleet (if he really did take out all the ships except for the Enterprise, which I'm skeptical of) in one stroke. On the other hand, it could just be a disgruntled member of Starfleet who is either making a massive power grab or is a turncoat. We'll just have to wait to find out.

h/t to EXONAUTS! for posting about the trailer first.

11.26.2012

A little something different for Mecha Monday: Who wants to watch the original Gundam?

Because, as it turns out, the entire series is on YouTube for free! I feel a tad dumb for not knowing this sooner, especially since it's been on there for two years. I'd suggest muting the sound for the first minute or so on each episode. All of them have a commercial for the Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn DVD at the beginning. Then there's the music. I mean, if you're into listening to a guy singing the theme music overly-dramatically in Japanese, then you're day is made.

If you've never watch Mobile Suit Gundam, you are in a treat. The whole premise is that it's the year 079 UC - Universal Century) and a good chunk of the human race is living in giant space colonies orbiting the Earth, called Sides. Well, at the beginning of the year, a group of colonies, Side 3, join together as the Principality of Zeon, declare independence from the Earth and proceeds to commit acts of genocide that, if real, would made the Holocaust look minor by comparison. Both Zeon and the Earth Federation employed nukes, but the former went further. Zeon forces would actually wipe out the entire population of Federation-allied colonies or ones they suspected supported their enemies by pumping nerve gas into their air supply. Oh, it gets worse, believe it or not. I guess the writers really wanted to make Zeon totally despicable, because these guys would use colonies themselves as weapons against Earth. Believe it or not, Zeon would drop a colony into the Earth's atmosphere and completely wiped out Sydney, Australia.

Space colonies as kinetic weapons. Damn.

In any event, before the year was over, half the populations of the two sides were killed and common sense finally came to them. Horrified by what they'd done, Earth and Zeon signed a treaty in Antarctica agreeing not to go extreme like that again. The show opens in the eighth month of the One Year War. Anyway, check out the first episode below.



That awkward moment when a teenager with no prior experience at piloting a mecha manages to destroy several experienced veteran pilots.

11.21.2012

Here's the first episode of On The Table

On The Table is that show on YouTube that I posted about two weeks ago that covers wargaming, RPGs, and other tabletop gaming. The premiere episode went up on Geek & Sundry's channel the other day and I finally got around to watching it.



It's okay, but I wasn't particularly blown away by it. I was hoping for some actual discussion or coverage of the subject matter, not just a guy reporting gaming news. Then again, it's the first episode (of the fifth season, since the show just changed hosts to G&S), so it'll probably get better. They should add a co-host to split the reporting so that it isn't just fourteen minutes of one guy.

So, thoughts? Is On The Table worth watching?

11.19.2012

Mecha Monday: Mazinger Z

Mazinger Z by Jose Manuel Liebana.
Originally, I was going to go with Gigantor, since he was the first super robot of anime/manga. The thing is, Gigantor isn't a mecha, since he's controlled externally. So, I did some checking and discovered that the first mecha was Mazinger Z. Whereas the former was controlled by a 12 year old with a remote control system, Mazinger was piloted by Kouji Kabuto from Mazinger's head. The cartoon's intro isn't bad either.



I like the bit where the snake monster grabs Mazinger's arm and he just rocket punches the fuck out of it.

Oh, you need a hand? How about a fist? A ROCKET FIST, I MEAN! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

But in all seriousness, the placement of the cockpit just seems bad. I mean, when I watched the intro for the first time and they showed the whatever it is drop down inside Mazinger's head, I figured top would close up, but it doesn't and you have to wonder about it. One lucky shot and the mecha is just a big statue. I do regret not watching this show, though. To be fair, I was like two years old when the show was imported to the U.S. as Tranzor Z in 1985, so I wasn't up for it. Always a good time to catch up, I suppose.

11.12.2012

Mecha Monday: MS-05A Zaku I Early Type from Mobile Suit Gundam

Seemed appropriate, since it was the first mobile suit the Principality of Zeon mass produced prior to the One Year War.

Gundam Wiki.
While the MS-05A Zaku I Early Type was the first mobile suit to be mass produced, it was not the first to be deployed. By the time the OYW erupted, the Zeon military had already moved on to the Zaku IIs and the Is were relegated to construction and support jobs in the rear. They were ultimately deployed near the end of that war as Zeon had lost a considerable amount of its mobile suit force.

Awesome new thing: Mecha Monday!

Because like a incontinent person, this blog needs some regularity, I'm creating a new weekly feature that (should) run every Monday: Mecha Monday! The mechs will come from various franchises such as Gundam, BattleTech, Macross/Robotech, and more.

And if I actually manage to keep this up for more than four weeks, I'll be amazed.

11.09.2012

I totally forgot that Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome was still a thing

Hopefully the title card won't be the coolest part of the series.
Battlestar Wiki.
I blame Syfy, who unceremoniously dumped the prequel series to Ron Moore's excellent remake to the internet after the failure of the other BSG prequel (to both series), Caprica. Blood & Chrome is set during the tenth year of the First Cylon War and the main character is a young Viper pilot named William Adama (that name rings a bell) who is assigned to the Galactica. Here's to hoping that this series has a copious amount of battles and a lot less pseudo-religious mysticism.

Griping aside, the first two episodes of the ten episode series just premiered on Machinima Prime's YouTube channel and Syfy plans on airing the series as a movie next year, which means that the episodes must be super short. Awesome. Check out the first two episodes after the jump and share your thoughts in the comments.

11.08.2012

A new internet show about wargaming, you say? Jolly good!

This should be quite a treat for any wargamers who read Rayguns, Geek and Sundry announced the other day that they'll be debuting a new series on their YouTube channel all about miniature wargaming. The series is called On The Table and interestingly, is replacing Wil Wheaton's TableTop series, which itself is about tabletop gaming and is going on hiatus until January. That last bit scared me a little when I first read it, since TableTop is so damn good. Anyway, On The Table will be hosted by Warren Johnston from Beast of War, a wargaming website.

The first episode is set to premiere on November 15 on the Geek and Sundry YouTube Channel. I think it's interesting and really shows how popular wargaming is growing. If you look at the rest of G&S's lineup, OTT seems like an odd bird. You have Sword & Laser (based on the podcast of the same name), The Flog (creator Felicia Day's vlog/show), the aforementioned TableTop, The Guild (which is worth watching), and a couple of other shows are all fairly lighthearted. Having a show about Warhammer, Flames of War, Warmachine, historical wargaming, and more is a very nice change of pace and hopefully, it'll be a success.

If you do watch it, remember to click the like button, because that's apparently how they gauge how well the shows are doing.

So, what do you think? Is your interest peaked enough to check it out?

10.30.2012

A great disturbance in the Force - Disney's buying LucasFilms

Pop Junk.
You can almost feel the countless Star Wars fans crying out in terror. Also, they plan on doing a Star Wars Episode VII, which I doubt will be based on any of the novels and will only serve to destroy the post-movie canon. This is why we can't have nice things!


God, this is worse than that one time I watched the Star Wars porn parody and saw Vader banging his own daughter.

10.29.2012

THERE.ARE.FOUR.LIGHTS! Or why Picard is a better character than Kirk

First off, let's appreciate Sir Patrick Stewart's acting chops, shall we?



That was from Chain of Command Part II and is without a doubt, one of the best scenes in Star Trek and television ever. How does this make Jean-Luc Picard a better character than James T. Kirk? Simple: He's more realistic. Kirk strikes me more as one of those "infallible heroic" characters that were practically a stereotype from the old days of scifi. He was always assured to pull his ass and the Enterprise out of danger and never showed any deep emotion. I mean, when Spock died, he didn't cry. During his eulogy at the funeral, his voice cracked like he was going to, but he didn't. Hell, even Saavik had tears in her eyes and she was a Vulcan! When his son, David, was killed in Star Trek III, there was nothing.

On the flipside, you have Picard, who restrains himself on normal accounts, but does show emotion, nonetheless. There's an episode that takes place after Best of Both Worlds, Family, where Picard visits his brother and his family while recovering from the events of those two episodes. There's a scene near the end where Picard and his brother get into a fight that ends with them sitting on the ground, covered in mud, laughing at themselves. Suddenly, Picard goes from laughing to crying as all the emotions he had pent up inside him about his ordeal finally come out. In Star Trek: Generations, when he receives word that his brother and nephew were killed in a fire, he cries. In First Contact, he showed a vengeful side, that he was willing to do almost anything not only to stop the Borg, but to get a measure of revenge for assimilating him all those years ago.

It's not just crying that makes Picard more realistic, though. At the end of Chain of Command Part II, Picard reveals to Deanna Troi during a therapy session that he had come close to breaking, that if that Cardassian officer hadn't walked in when he did, Picard was going to give in and tell his torturer what he wanted to hear - that there were five lights, not four. Can you imagine James Tiberius Kirk giving in under torture? Me neither.

That's not to say that I don't like Kirk. He's a damn good fighter and leader and if I had to choose which captain I'd want commanding a ship during a battle, I'd go with him and not Picard. However, I'd much rather serve under Picard during exploration and first contact missions than Kirk.

Plus, you gotta love a guy who gets stabbed through the heart and laughs at it.

10.23.2012

Holy frak! This is the greatest Star Trek thing ever!

Behold! The most awesome thing ever to awesome!

Click to embiggen.
By dusty-abell, who is some kind of mad genius and a Class-A Trekkie. This is just mindblowing. Wow.

10.17.2012

Meanwhile in space...holy frak, it's a planet!

Looks like Star Trek and science fiction in general were right all along - There is a planet at Alpha Centauri! Astronomers announced it today, though I wish they had come up with a better name than Alpha Centauri Bb. Unfortunately, while the planet has about the same mass as the Earth, it's too close to its Sun to be of any use.

Imagine if it wasn't though, if it was in the right orbit and habitable? The human race would have a reachable goal to set its sights on. True, at four light years, it would take far too long to reach it by conventional means, but it could be the motivation mankind needs to push itself. We could set up a globally-funded science organization to work on building generation ships and the best, fastest propulsion systems possible, while working on making relativity and physics as a whole our bitch, and invent an FTL system.

10.08.2012

I dig Vulcan starships

Because they're just so cool looking! Check out the D'Kyr type, a combat cruiser, for example.

Memory Alpha.
Lovely ship. One of my favorite things about Star Trek: Enterprise were the Vulcan's navy. Their cruisers were decidedly unique and original. The most unique feature, of course, is the ring. Believe it or not, that is their warp engine, because screw nacelles! It's more than a shame that this feature was never adapted by Starfleet after the Federation's formation. There's another configuration, as seen in the Suurok-class, a combat cruiser and science vessel combo.

Let's all look at this awesome artwork of Jean-Luc Picard

Click to embiggen.
By Sebastian Ciaffaglione. You can check out his website here.

h/t SyFy City.

10.02.2012

Which scifi universe has the most realistic space battles?

Some magazine called Foreign Policy asked a naval analyst named Chris Weuve and his answer were Babylon 5 and the Battlestar Galactica remake.
FP: What about ships turning in space like airplanes?

CW: Babylon 5 was closer in that it understood that there is no air in space and you don't bank. But even on that show, the ships would be under thrust, and then they decide to go back the way they come, they would spin around and almost immediately start going in the opposite direction. That doesn't work. They ignored the fact that acceleration is cumulative. But I do like that they can rotate in flight and fire sideways. Babylon 5 and the new Battlestar Galactica are far and away the best in trying to portray vector physics. There are a lot of problems with the way they do it, but I'm willing to give them an A for effort.
I have to agree. BSG also scores points for not having sound effects in the airless vacuum of space. On the other hand, Space warfare doesn't have to be realistic. I enjoyed the hell out of the battles they showed on Deep Space Nine during the Dominion War.

Via Neatorama. h/t SF Signal.

9.25.2012

Welp, there's that.

Your results:
You are An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
65%
Jean-Luc Picard
60%
Geordi LaForge
50%
Deanna Troi
50%
Spock
42%
James T. Kirk (Captain)
35%
Chekov
30%
Uhura
30%
Data
30%
Will Riker
30%
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
25%
Worf
20%
Mr. Sulu
15%
Mr. Scott
10%
Beverly Crusher
10%
Since your accomplishments are seldom noticed,
and you are rarely thought of, you are expendable.
That doesn't mean your job isn't important but if you
were in Star Trek you would be killed off in the first
episode you appeared in.
Click here to take the "Which Star Trek character are you?" quiz...

9.21.2012

Games worth playing: Starcraft

Note: I plan on writing a series of posts about Starcraft over the days and weeks. I started replaying the game recently and fell in love with it again. The posts will cover aspects of the game, the lore, and how amazeballs it is.

God, what can I say about this game other than just gushing about how awesome it is? In 1998, Blizzard Entertainment didn't just strike gold when they released this RTS (real-time strategy game), nor did they hit the mother-lode. They struck something better. I have no idea if it has retained its popularity since the release of Starcraft II, but I do know that this came transcended almost every other game in terms of popularity and longevity. A game so popular that in South Korea, competitive play was akin to a national sport. You know how people in the U.S. will watch football every Sunday during the season, or how soccer fans are glued to the World Cup? It was like that in South Korea with this computer game. Pro-gamers - and I swear, I am not making this up - would play against each other in stadiums. Thousands, even tens of thousands of people would go to those stadiums and watch two people play a computer game against each other. Units from the game graced the fronts of bags of chips and cans of soda. Hell, the South Korean Air Force even formed and sponsored a team of Starcraft players who were serving out their compulsory military service.

Okay, I think I've established that South Korea is a bit...odd. But it was a global thing with this game being not just hugely popular, but professionally played globally. I think almost every country had at least one pro.

Now that I'm done gushing about the game's popularity, let's move on to what I really wanted to post about. One of the things I love about Starcraft is how revolutionary it was. You see, RTSes of the time had no unit diversity. What I mean is that every race/faction in a game had the exact same units in form and/or function. In the Age of Empires series, which was hugely popular, every faction had bowmen, and cavalry, and chariots, etc, etc, etc. Starcraft, on the other hand, ditched that and gave each faction their own unique units.

9.17.2012

Not dead, just busy

Sorry for the lack of posts recently, but I found myself recruited by chaps representing the Rylan Star League to do battle with the Ko-Dan Empire. At least, that's what they claim; I don't remember the Gunstar looking like a windowless white van with "Free Candy" scribbled on the side. But whatever.

But in all seriousness, I took a break because I was feeling burned out from reading science fiction and fantasy. That's all I read and well, it was bound to frizzle my brain. But, I'm getting back into the saddle. Currently reading some Charles Dickens until I'm reading for some scifi. Been playing Starcraft, so that's helped a lot with getting me back into the mood.

9.03.2012

And that's how you destroy a ship!

From Red Faction: Guerrilla.


I'm guessing the Hydra didn't have any kind of point-defense. By the looks of it, no early-warning system either, because they didn't even spot the missile until it was too late.

9.01.2012

Man, Han Solo is old

For whatever reason, I got curious about how old Han Solo is in the Star Wars Expanded Universe - the novels, comics, etc. - and so went on Wookieepedia to look it up. According to that, Han was born in 29 BBY (Before Battle of Yavin, which is used as Year Zero in Star Wars). The most recent novel he's been in is set in 44 ABY (After the Battle of Yavin). Now, I'm no good at the maths, but that would make him 73 years old.
Credit: Kate Beaton.
Then, I decided to check to see how old Luke and Leia were. According to Wookieepedia, they were born in 19 BBY, ten years after Han, making them 63 years old. You know who's really old, though? Chewbacca. If Chewbacca were still alive, he'd be 244.

8.27.2012

Doom Stars, because Death Stars are for wimps

What's a Doom Star? This:
The big green ones.
Doom Stars are warships from the popular - and to be honest, epic as hell - computer game, Master of Orion II. Specifically, it's a planetoid-sized ship that, when armed with a stellar converter (or several, if you're sadistic), become the most powerful ships in the entire game. Really, though, the Doom Star is a Death Star knockoff, right down to the planet destroying uber weapon, the stellar converter. Hit the jump for a demonstration of the technological terror you can construct:

Another book finished

Fuzzy Nation is done! I'm going to start work on the non-reviews for it and The Clone Republic tonight. I absolutely recommend Fuzzy Nation, however. It is a must read.

8.25.2012

Farewell, Neil Armstrong


As you might be hearing right now, Neil Armstrong has died. He was 82. He was also a hero. I don't mean an American hero, but a hero of mankind. When he set foot on the surface of the Moon, it wasn't as an American, it was as a human and for the benefit of his species. His family summed up the best way to remember and pay tribute to Armstrong:
For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.
I'm not going to lie, as soon as I found out that he died, I had tears in my eyes. Losing a hero is hard. I'm going to be very disappointed if there isn't a statue erected in his honor. Maybe rename Johnson Space Center to Armstrong Space Center?

Farewell, Mr. Armstrong.

Picture via Wikipedia.

8.23.2012

SyFy's doing a Blake's 7 remake

And maybe this time, Blake will stick around for more than two seasons. There's also a Space: 1999 remake in the works by some other network, called Space: 2099. Seems like remaking old scifi shows is still in vogue. BSG, Star Trek, and V have all had remakes, though the latter was less than successful.

So, what old scifi show do you want to see remade?

h/t The Wertzone.

8.22.2012

"It's called marriage, honey" New Doctor Who trailer!



River Song! Daleks! River Song! Weeping Angels! River Song! A little over a week to go, I can't wait.

Did I mention River Song?

h/t Nerdvana.

8.21.2012

This ship from Terran Trade Authority looks vaguely familiar

You know, just vaguely. This was originally published in Spacecraft 2000-2100 AD in 1978, as part of the Terran Trade Authority book series. I wonder if Joss Whedon ever read those books?

Picture via cee-emily.

8.19.2012

Best reason to donate to Hulks and Horrors' IndieGoGo fundraiser: Space Bears

Arguments are now invalid. But in all seriousness, Hulks and Horrors looks like a fun scifi RPG that has, inexplicably, not reached its goal of a meager $5,000. I say meager in the sense that compared to other fundraisers on both IndieGoGo and Kickstarter, $5,000 is a small sum. Currently, it's just barely past the halfway point, but only has 38 hours left before the fundraiser ends, so check it out and maybe donate? There's always room for a scifi RPG.

Do it for the space bears.

h/t EXONAUTS!.

8.15.2012

Just finished The Clone Republic by Stephen L. Kent

Non-review coming soon. Like it, though.

RIP Harry Harrison

While I've never read his Stainless Steel Rat series, one of his standalone novels is quite famous. In 1966, he published a novel called Make Room! Make Room! which was the basis for the 1977 movie, Soylent Green.

(via SF Signal)

8.14.2012

On the heels of that last post, more Who news!

The first episode of the new season, Asylum of the Daleks, airs on September 1st!


Depending on your feelings about Matt Smith, this will either be good news or the worst thing ever

But it looks like the Eleventh Doctor will be staying for quite a bit longer, through 2014 at least. As for the title, it's a poke at those Whovians who have never warmed up to Matt Smith taking over the role as the Doctor. Some just don't like his portrayal, others still hold a preference for Smith's predecessor, David Tennant. Then again, there were and probably still are people who didn't like Tennant when he took over from Christopher Eccleston. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if there are still Whovians miffed over Patrick Troughton replacing William Hartnell.

I like Matt Smith and the Eleventh Doctor. I like the other ten incarnations as well. Those Whovians who still gripe over him just need to accept that Smith is the Doctor until he or Moffat decides that it's time for a Twelfth Incarnation. Speaking of the Twelfth Doctor, I'm hoping they cast a woman, as such Helen Mirren.

8.09.2012

Awesome posts for popular TOS episodes

Saw these over at Geek Flag. The one for The Ultimate Computer is my favorite.

I'll admit that I haven't seen a lot of episodes of TOS - I was more of a TNG and DS9 man, myself - but The Ultimate Computer is an episode I really want to see. I've read the synopsis, so I know what goes down, but still, seeing several Constitution-classes in one ep? Yes please! Apparently the current four are just the first of a whole bunch of similar posters by Quantum Mechanix. - each episode is getting the treatment. You can check the rest out here.

What's your favorite episode of The Original Series? I like The City on the Edge of Forever.

8.06.2012

NASA: Landing car-sized robots on other planets because they can

And amazingly, they did it with a meager annual budget of only $17 billion! No, really, NASA's budget this year was only 17.7 billion dollars. Seriously. Yet, using a small bit of that budget, they managed to put Curiosity on Mars. Imagine what they could do if they had more money? I tell you, if I were president, I'd fight tooth and nail to ensure NASA received a hundred billion dollars a year, or at least as close to it as possible. Of course, were I president, I'd also push for the creation of a cabinet-level Department of Science and Technology that would handle this kind of stuff. Neil DeGrasse Tyson would be the inaugural Secretary.

But no, NASA has to make due with a small budget because while we've put on a man on the Moon, we've lost the drive to do anything else. On September 12, 1962, President John F. Kennedy gave a speech at Rice Stadium, a line from which has become famous:
We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.
We chose to go to the Moon and we went several times, but when it came to do the other things, we lost our will, our enthusiasm for it. We look at the moon landings and decided "well, that's good enough." Well, it isn't and never was "good enough". We have two choices, not as a country, but as a people: Choice one, we content ourselves with small technological achievements, and stay on Earth and not do a damn thing more. Choice two, we get our act together, return to the Moon, go to Mars, colonize both, and journey to the stars. The first choice ends with oblivion, either from an asteroid, total ecological collapse, or our very sun burning out and destroying us. The second choice sees the human race fulfill its destiny as explorers, as pioneers, and uplifts us from hairless apes from a backwater planet to that of a great species.

Personally, I prefer the latter to the former. How about you?

8.02.2012

100 posts!

Wooo! *throws some confetti* Par-tay! Okay, that pretty much blows the party budget. *ahem* So, here's a status report:

Hits: 5,945, over 2100 of which were from last month.
Followers: 23. I'm shocked.
Posts: According to Google Reader, about 5.1 a week. I'm going to try and ramp that up.

According to the stats, I've been received the most hits from TamsinP and Desert Scribe's blogs. The most popular post is the one about the Enterprise-F from Star Trek Online. The lion's share of my readership is from America and Chrome just narrowly edges out Firefox as the most used browser.

Now let's party like it's on sale for $19.99!

The Doctor is in - Doctor Who season 7 trailer

Originally posted at Giant-Size Nerd-Thing!.



Rory: "Who killed all the Daleks?"
Doctor: "Who do you think?"

Oooh, Eleven's got some darkness in him. The Doctor still blames himself for the way he ended the Time War and added The Master's sacrifice from "The End of Time" to his guilt trip. Absolutely can't wait until Fall when the new season finally premieres!

7.30.2012

Boom, new header is up

And it looks pretty good and I didn't have to alter it in any way. It's the Orion, an Ancient warship (designated Aurora-class by the Atlantis Expedition) from Stargate: Atlantis. The picture depicts the Orion about to enter hyperspace. Sadly, the Orion was destroyed while trying to stop two Wraith (primary antagonist race of the series. Basically, space vampires) Hiveships from reaching Earth. The Orion managed to destroy one of the ships with a massive barrage of Drones (uber-advanced missile thingies that can plow through a ship over and over and over again), but was destroyed in turn by the other Hiveship because the Orion's crew had to sacrifice its shields to power the weapons. The Orion wasn't exactly a brand new ship and the Ancient's technology would make the Federation from Star Trek look downright primitive.

Here's the runner up that I almost chose:

Photobucket.
I might use this at Giant-Size Nerd-Thing!, it's just too sexy not to use.

Hat tip to Laughing Ferret for his suggestion which I almost went with right off the bat. I plan on switching headers again later this year and it'll be in the finals for sure.

Time for a new header

And I'm not really sure what to replace the current one with. I found an image tonight that would be nice:

Retro-Futurism.
It's the cover art for the September 1949 issue of Super Science Stories. Here's the cover:

Lines on Paper.
The only thing that nags me is this thought that the first picture is a reproduction of the second created by the person who posted it on their LiveJournal. I might just go ahead and disregard that picture and look elsewhere for a new header. If I had even minor skill with image manipulation, I'd create a nice one, but eh, I'll just stick with what works: Taking a cool picture and adding the blog's name to it in GIMP. In the words of the immortal Rick Hunter: "Works for me."

Anybody have any suggestions?


And we're back

Okay, so it wasn't two weeks, but I got itchy to post here again!

7.26.2012

Another companion gone: RIP Mary Tamm (Romana from Doctor Who)

Not much I can say, since she's from the Classic Who era and I've never had the chance to watch any of those episodes. Tamm played the first incarnation of Romana, the only one of the Doctor's companions to be a Time Lord (well, Time Lady) like him, during Tom Baker's term as the Fourth Doctor. She left after a year because her character had become the standard "companion that gets in trouble and needs rescuing by the Doctor", as opposed to one who could hold her own. She died of cancer today at age 62.

There's something about her death that bothers me greatly. Mary Tamm is the fourth actor from Doctor Who to die from cancer in about a year and a half. Nicholas Courtney, who played Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, died back in February of last year. Elisabeth Sladen, who played Sarah Jane, died last year as well, while Caroline Jane and now Mary Tamm have both died a month apart. The fact that they all died of cancer makes it hard to believe that this is mere coincidence. I know that last sentence probably comes off as conspiratorial, which is unintended. The idea that keeps bopping around in my head is that maybe it was environmental. Maybe there was some kind of chemical or material they used during filming of the old Doctor Who series that was carcinogenic. I don't know, it just seems hard to believe that four people who worked on the same TV show would ultimately die from cancer and it's all just coincidental.

Picture via the TARDIS Index File.

7.23.2012

7.21.2012

Going on shore leave

I've decided to take a short vacation from the blog in order to focus some more attention on my other two blogs. As much as I love Rayguns, I've been neglecting the other two and plus, I want to get some writing for this blog done. Maybe find a new banner too. So, see you in about two weeks!
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