Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Finally watched Dark Knight Rises

Detective John Blake and Commissioner Gordon.
I finally decided to watch the final installment in the Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy--Dark Knight Rises. Yeah, yeah--I know--I should have watched it ages ago. But please remember that I live in Denver, therefore the theater shooting was rather close to home...one can understand why I would avoid seeing this "very awesome" movie for so long.

Yes, I found the movie very awesome.

Of course, I watched this installment of the Nolan's Batman trilogy right after watching the previous two movies (Batman Begins and The Dark Knight) the night before.

The three movies are rather neatly tied together. The first movie ties into the third movie, and the second movie illustrates why Gotham really needs to be destoryed.

(I will admit that the real villian of Dark Knight Rises did surprise me.)

Now, I do have a complaint about the movies--Bruce Wayne is rather a whiner. Ok, I realize that his reason for putting on the cowl in the first place is guilt over his parents' death. But when you watch all three movies back to back (more or less), it gets annoying to listen to Bruce blaming himself for his parents' death.

Honestly, I want Dark Knight Rises to be the last time I see Bruce Wayne as the Batman.

Now, the question is: Will I get my wish?

Probably not, after all--it is Hollywood...it is only a matter of time before a really bad decision happens and somebody wrecks what I like most about Dark Knight Rising.

And that is the possibility of seeing Joseph Gordon-Levitt be the next Batman.

I liked the character of John Blake as soon as he opened his mouth (I had no clue about the character's first name); and when Gordon told him that he was a detective now, therefore he was no longer allowed to believe in coincidences (a line Blake later said himself), I thought "Oh, he has to become Robin." Yeah, I loved the final scenes of the movie because of the possibility that we will get to see Batman the Detective rather than Batman the Wounded Poster Child of Guilt Dressed in a Million Dollar Battlesuit.

Hey, I can dream--after all, I occasionally dabble in fan fiction...which is probably the closest I will get to actually seeing what would happen if John Blake became Batman.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Red Dwarf season ten--the first two episodes (spoiler alert)

This is how I felt about season nine of Red Dwarf.
As many people know, I was one of the people who were very disappointed in season nine of Red Dwarf. So disappointed, I refused to hold my breath that season ten was going to be any good.

Well, after watching the first two episodes last night, I have to say that they are doing it right this time. Sure, the crew is older--and it shows--but they have returned to the style that made Red Dwarf an interesting science fiction comedy in the first place.

Now, I will admit that I worry about the references to past seasons...but that may just be to help new viewers figure out what is going on. For instance, the first episode dealt with a member of Rimmer's family, and an issue that has plagued Rimmer for years; likewise, the second episode dealt with Dave Lister's family...and well, that is complicated in timely woobly type of way.

Verdict? Well, so far so good. But I am still a little cautious about looking forward to the next episode...because I remember how bad season nine was.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Why the TARDIS is always lost

Apple Maps will ensure that the TARDIS never gets lost.
There have been a lot of theories about why the Doctor cannot pilot (steer) the TARDIS with even fifty ten percent accurancy. Well, I now have a new theory for why the Doctor is never sure where he is going to materialize--Apple Maps. At some point in time, the Model 40 TARDIS designers decided to cut corners (we need no stinking map makers; we just need to plug in data), and installed Apple Maps as part of the standard TARDIS software package.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

MDE artwork--The Master (Roger Delgado)

The Master--Roger Delgado (MDE March 1992).
Sometime during 1991, I started experimenting with grease pencil (or china markers). To this day, they are actually one of my favorite drawing instruments. At the time, one needs to remember that I was working at a Burger King--I was surrounded by grease pencils; it was only a matter of time before I started to use them in artwork.

This particular drawing is the famous Doctor Who villian--the Master. I am fairly sure that the local PBS station was showing the episodes of the Third Doctor at the time, hence the Roger Delgado version of the Master.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Free for today only

Shakespeare's Monkey
Today (well technically until Friday September 14, 2012), you can get a free copy of my ebook Shakespeare's Monkey when you enter coupon code EX49A at the checkout. Why free today? Well, one of the stories contained in this volume was based on 9/11--apologizes to the dozen people that I blended together to create the characters (it was creative license)--and today is as good of a day to share that piece of fiction as any other.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Star Trek Google Doodle

For Star Trek's 46th anniversary, the Google Doodle of the day is a Star Trek interactive doodle. Star Trek was first broadcast on September 8, 1966.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

More artwork--Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein--Morgan Eckstein 1992.
Here is another piece of artwork from my old sketchbooks. This one was done in January 1992, and is of Albert Einstein, who must be included (sooner or later) in every nerd and science fiction geek's blog (it is in the rules, I tell you).

Monday, August 6, 2012

More artwork--Captain Kirk

Captain Kirk (E. M. Eckstein 1991).
Here is another piece of artwork that I did in 1991. This one is of Captain Kirk (William Shatner). Like the previous picture, it was done with ball-point pen on newsprint.

Monday, July 23, 2012

MDE artwork The Valeyard

Ball point pen drawing of the Valeyard (6-6-1991 MDE).
Going through a pile of old sketch books the other day, I ran across some of my old artwork. It is so old that one can see that I was still using my birth name as an artist (since then, I have placed everything under my penname...except for the bits that I do not want people to easily connect with myself).

This particular drawing of the Valeyard (Michael Jayston) was done is June 1991. I used a black ball-point pen on newsprint.

The Valeyard is one of those Doctor Who villians that had so much promise, but the BBC failed to get the most out of him. Of course, let's be honest--it is not easy to do so when you are involved with a fourteen espisode story arc with multiple writers...and no one really knowing how it is really supposed to end.

One would hope that the final story of Trial of a Time Lord would have cleared up some of the problems and difficulties, but no, it is BBC pulp theater hour with the last story being written by the unknowing at the very last second.

I always wonder what happened to the Valeyard, just like I wonder how he came into existence, but we will never be given official answers to this because the Time Lords are no more.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Do tools and weapons make us human?

Do weapons and tool use make us human?
I am currently watching 2001: A Space Odyssey. Call it research for what life will be like in the early days of the High Frontier. In particular, I am interested in the spaceships. Pretty much for film and television, it is 2001: A Space Odyssey and StarCops if you are interested in attempts to make the early High Frontier space vehicles realistic.

Nevertheless, I do find some things disturbing about 2001.

One of which is the thought that the movie implies that it is tool and weapon use that make us human. No monkey has ever used a tool or thought of beating his neighbor with a stick--unless there was a monolith involved.

I guess it is the fact that I have watched too many animal shows where animals are using tools or using their built-in weapons to fight with one another or kill a tasty meal of rich protein. Either that or it is the current semester of Chinese Philosophy and Religion that has warped my brain.

Early man did not survive because of tool use; they survived because they figured out how to keep a fire burning. If anything separates us from the animals, it is the use of fire. Other animals have weapons, and make a form of war on others; other animals use tools. Only mankind has harnessed fire.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ereaders are here to stay

Not only can you read an ebook in Star Trek, you can write it on a PADD too.
Ereaders and ezines and ebooks are here to stay. I know that it is true. After all, Star Trek wouldn't be wrong about this, would they? The first time I encountered the idea of an ebook was Star Trek. I am not sure what episode. I am fairly sure that I remember seeing Scotty reading technical manuals in ebook (ereader) form in the episode Trouble With Tribbles...but I could be wrong...for the life of me, I cannot find a picture of it on the internet.

But seriously, ebooks and ereaders are here to stay. And engineers will be using them. And we do not need Star Trek to tell us this. The US Air Force is telling us this.

The USAF is currently looking to obtain 63 to 18,000 "iPad 2, Brand Name or Equal devices." And for what? To replace the bulky technical manuals and flight charts that the crews of the C-5 Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster cargo airplanes are currently using. Let's be honest---if the military is adapting these devices, they are sure to be around for decades. And while weight is a consideration in their decisions here on Earth, one knows that when we finally kick the dust of this planet from our heels and slip off into space, weight will be a major reason why there will not be any paper books being shipped to Mars.