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.

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