Archive for the ‘Vintage Sci-Fi’ Category

May the Holiday Force Be With You   Leave a comment

I’m not going to lie.  This has been an awful year for me.  Annus horribilus.  I’m not sorry to see 2014 go; in fact, I’ll be personally booting it out the door come 11:59:59 on 12/31/14.  I can’t wait.

That doesn’t mean I’m going to go all Bah Humbug during the holidays, however.  In fact, as a result of this terrible year, I’m determined to finish it on a positive note, or even a humorous one.

Sometimes when the self-spirit’s lacking, one has to dig deep to find the certain stuff to pull it up and out.  Get that old smile back on the face.  Muster up some cheer.  To that end, I started with lights.  Dug out the old LED outdoor string and got to work putting them on the gutters for all to see.  Have a few strands of solar lights and stuck them on the bushes on the front lawn, since there’s no outlets there.  Already, the house looked much better.

We did notice a couple of our older strings weren’t working, so Andrew and I went over to Lowe’s and bought replacements.  Hanging in the aisle was this:

Star Wars 6

It’s a Chewbacca stocking.  Andrew walks over to it and says, “I don’t care how much it costs” and throws it into our basket, along with our new color icicle lights.

The next day, I’m in Target, wandering the aisles for a few last-minute gifts and holiday supplies.  I’m looking for Archer Farms Caramel Chocolate Popcorn mix when I happen upon this:

Yoda Lights

I say to myself, “I don’t care how much it costs” and toss it into the basket.  It’s truly horrible, but I don’t care.

We’re the sort of family that gets its tree a few days before Christmas, so that the holiday actually has some kind of special anticipation (as opposed to those who put theirs up right after Thanksgiving, a month before).  I went to the local farmers market.  They always have great trees at good prices.  Of course, they also have all sorts of other things that go along with holiday decorating too, so I saw this:

Star Wars 5

Oh boy.  This was hard.  Oh, these would look soooooooooo fantastic on the lawn, now, wouldn’t they?  A storm trooper with a candy cane?  R2D2 with a Santa cap?  I already had a holiday Yoda, but he looked kinda cute, almost determined to celebrate Christmas with great force.  One look at the price, though, and I wasn’t about to shell out $59.95 when the tree cost half that.  Sensibly, I moved on.

So the other day, my son wanted to go Christmas shopping.  Again, we’re back at Target and he spots these:

Star Wars 2

Oh, heck, they were only $10.00.  On clearance.  Such a bargain!  What better way to drink egg nog?  Of course, the bottom of the glass had the expected caveat:

Star Wars 1

NOT A TOY.  Well, it’s not like we go tossing these things around.  Who’d even think a glass is?

So here we are, putting nice things on tree.  It’s all sparkle and light.

Star Wars 3

Yoda fits in so well with all the other sparkly bits and such.  He’s so serene, stuck in the branches:

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It’s as if he’s the keeper of the holiday spirit, beckoning joy and light, and be of good cheer.

So I will.

So should you.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Festive Festivus, Sassy Saturnalia, Kickin’ Kwanza, Happy New Year and all of that, to all of you.

Star Wars Pas de Deux   Leave a comment

Imagine this:  You wanted a big change in your life and, unwittingly, you set out on this epic adventure wherein you witness the death of your mentor, you pick up a woman with danish for hair, you make friends with a giant carpet and a bum on the run.  With no marketable skills, somehow you all manage to wreak major damage to a major investment of a major empire.  Oh yeah, and there’s this big hulking guy after you.  Through pluck and luck, everything works out in the end and you receive official recognition from a whole bunch of people in a very big hall.  For all its majesty, there’s something a bit awkward and uncomfortable about it.  Hmmm…

Then much, much later, after all those demons have been conquered and the next generation actually admits they might be able to learn a thing for two from you, there’s a bit of tarnish and patina on the legend.  Denial plays heavily into what you’re still able to accomplish, but then again, you have luck and pluck, and the once impossible becomes possible again:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/07/snl-star-wars_n_6284190.html

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

A Very Sci-fi Christmas!   1 comment

 

 

 

Nativity Scene

Credit: PAZ

This picture showed up on my Facebook page.  It’s a riot.  I’d love to have that under my tree!  Or maybe even Christmas card?

So I got to thinking: what else is there out there?  I mean, to properly inspire me for the holidays? Here’s a few for you to pass around and enjoy.  I got them all of the web in many different locations, so I can’t rightly say where, exactly, these belong, except in your consciousness during this lovely holiday season.

Alien Santa

Santa passes by his alien counterpart

 

Robot and Tree

Robot Elf

 

Santa and Aliens

Even little aliens deserve a little treat from Santa, who seems a little off…

 

Astronaut & Christmas

The Christmas Star, reimagined

Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

 

The Dark Side of Star Wars   Leave a comment

Star_Wars_poster

http://t.co/EKG1mEpIgC

You’re sitting in your favorite chair, reclining and relaxing to that iconic sci-fi morality tale trilogy, Star Wars.  You’re petting the cat, eating popcorn as you watch planets blow up, walkers trip and burn, even the Death Star going ka-blammo!  It’s all good fun, and you even find yourself cheering.

But did you even consider the toll?  I hesitate to say “human” toll…many species lives were lost.  And it’s kind of sad, don’t you think?  But then again, it’s all in the name of a heroic cause, and now, if you click on the above link, you’ll have your opportunity to cheer on the death and destruction, as Digg has tallied all 2,005,645,868 deaths in the original Star Wars trilogy.

Quite a feat, I’m sure, but worthwhile, just in case you wondered…and admit it…you have…

Enjoy!

Star Trek Continues   Leave a comment

 

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Star Trek Continues! Check it out!  

I’ve known about this for a long time, and should have written about it long ago, but as most things go, I forget, run out of time or life gets in the way, as it often does.  But my husband Andrew reminded me of this and sent me a link, and that’s what got me poking around this topic once more.

“Star Trek” and I go back a long way.  My brother and mom used to watch it when I was a mere speck of a kid, and then by the time I got to college I pretty much knew all the episodes by heart.  My friend Linda did me one better.  She memorized all of the credits.  That in itself’s pretty impressive, considering that’s an awful lot of information to plaster within one’s head.

Anyway, back to the topic.

“Star Trek Continues” is a perfect example of allowing passion to guide you to success.  I don’t know what’s more fascinating: the fact that the original Star Trek is continuing or the cast and crew that pulls out all of the stops to pull it off.   It’s a fan-created web series with serious street cred.  Make no mistake: it’s about a professional as anything that comes out of Hollywood.  Each episode is faithful to the spirit of the original 1960s series in every way: storytelling, sets, costumes, music and more.  After watching an episode, you’ll be convinced that the old set found new life.  And in a way, it did.

How about the cast?

Let’s start with Vic Mignogna – that’s James T. Kirk, to you and me.  Yes, he’s not only the star, but the director, writer and one of the producers.  He’s a also a voice actor and musician, too.

The rest of the gang’s all there, too.  Tod Haberkorn is Spock, Larry Nemecek/Chuck Huber is Dr. “Bones” McCoy, Chris Doohan is Scotty (and what better person to play the part – his Dad is actually James Doohan, the original!), Kim Singer as Uhura, Wyatt Lenhart as Pavel Checkov, and Grant Imahara as Sulu (who’s also known to blow up things on the show “Mythbusters”).

For added sparkle, various “Star Trek” cast members put in appearances in “STC.”  Michael Dorn and Marina Sirtis haven’t yet played their original roles, but they do show up as computer voices.

Anyway, why let me tell you all about this when you boldly go and see the episodes for yourself?  Here’s their official website.  For more behind-the-scenes information, the website The Scene has this.  Here’s the Facebook Page, too.

Live long and prosper, and long live “Star Trek!”

 

 

 

Starship Spectacular!   Leave a comment

600px-Star_Trek_Warp_Field

From the In Case You Wondered department:

Here’s a complete chart of all the spaceships out there.  Sci-fi ships, that is.

This chart comes courtesy of artist Dirk Loechel and one look at it will tell you it’s a true work of genius and labor of love.  Apparently it’s missing a Tardis, but he explains why at his site.

Enjoy!

 

Quick but Quotable Links!   Leave a comment

59eff703213872dbf2f7e140bec260a0

Hey There!

In addition to my regularly-scheduled blog entries (which, I admit, have been rather slim as of late…sorry!), I’m dishing up a delicious serving of quick but quotable links.  That is, once you take a look at what I’ve got here, you’ll be talking about them to your friends, family and blogosphere buds.

So without further ado, here they are:

1.  This comes via the website Cool Infographics, which offers a wide selection of ordinary data magically transformed into wonderful graphics detailing ideas, thoughts, facts and other items of note.  Randy Klum is the author of both the site and the book of the same name.  The link below details 50 years of visionary sci-fi computer interfaces, or, in other words, television shows and movies’ predictions for our digital futures, starting with “Lost in Space” and continuing onto the movie “Oblivion.”

http://www.coolinfographics.com/blog/2014/8/13/50-years-of-visionary-sci-fi-computer-interfaces.html

2.  There’s a whole batch of brash storm chasers following tornadoes, or hurricane hunters that fly planes directly into the eye of a hurricane to see what’s going on inside.  I’ve witnessed tornadoes forming myself (not by choice) or totally nasty thunderstorms approaching while driving.  Now imagine yourself aboard the Cassini spacecraft and zipping around Saturn.  You’ve discovered a storm at its north pole unlike any other.  Click here and prepare to be amazed…

3.  Here’s a followup to the blog a wrote a few weeks ago regarding the zombie spaceship otherwise known as the International Sun-Earth Explorer-3, or ISEE-3.  Unfortunately, the hardworking citizen scientists were unable to steer the craft into a direction that would bring it closer to the moon.  However, I highly recommend that you not cheat yourselves out of this remarkable adventure and learn more about its extended mission and those that made it possible.  Visit its website here.

4.  The Martian Confederacy  by Paige Braddock and James McNamara is a relatively new online graphic novel.  It’s the year 3535 and three outlaws struggle to save Mars, once a former vacation destination.  Read it!

5.  Thinking about the perfect Christmas present?  You can’t go wrong with a genuine lightsaber!  Pick out the perfect one for your favorite Jedi knight right here.

That’s it for my quick short list!  Enjoy!

 

 

 

Worming One’s Way Through Space   Leave a comment

What’s your preferred method of space travel?  Is it this?

ds^2= - c^2 dt^2 + dl^2 + (k^2 + l^2)(d \theta^2 + \sin^2 \theta \, d\phi^2).

Or this?

ds^2= - c^2 \left(1 - \frac{2GM}{rc^2}\right)dt^2 + \frac{dr^2}{1 - \frac{2GM}{rc^2}} + r^2(d \theta^2 + \sin^2 \theta \, d\phi^2).

I know, I know.  Pretty hard to decide which one to choose.

Allow me to provide you with a clearer example.   This is a depiction of the first equation:

Wurmloch

CorvinZahn – Gallery of Space Time Travel (self-made, panorama of the dunes: Philippe E. Hurbain)

This is the second:

220px-LorentzianWormhole

Credit: Allen McC

Give up?  Here’s a clue:  There’s a connection between this:

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…and the space it occupies.

And the answer is…WORMHOLES!

Okay, okay, maybe I’ve gotten a bit esoteric for you.  I’ll get simple.

The first mathematical equation is otherwise known as traversable wormhole, or one that allows you to move from one end of the universe to the other.  The second one represents a Schwartschild wormhole that, for the most part, is a black hole that allows travel usually in one direction, but also connects one universe to the other.

The definition of a wormhole is a method within the theory of relatively of moving from one point in space to another without crossing the space in between.  To properly explain a wormhole properly means one has to drag out the big guns (i.e. Einstein) and spew forth a lot of verbiage that’s guaranteed to gloss over the heartiest of eyeballs.  A short history of the term is this: Albert Einstein and his colleague  Nathan Rosen came up with the basic principles of wormholes and their relation to time and space in the 1935 and called their concept the “Einstein-Rosen” bridge.  John A. Wheeler, an American theoretical physicist coined the term wormhole in 1957.

Science fiction writers have jumped on the concept ever since.  Carl Sagan, Arthur C. Clarke, Iain M. Banks, John G. Cramer, Stephen Baxter and many, many others have all used wormhole technology to develop their plots, as well as popular shows as the Stargate franchise.

With wormholes, one easily solves the problem of traveling great distances in short times, as long as you don’t exceed the speed of light (a wormhole no-no).  Just about anything can travel through them as well.  The mightiest of space vehicles right down to tiny gnats can zoom through distant reaches to discover, conquer or just make new friends.  It’s a simple device that captures everyone’s imagination because it’s so freeing and limitless.  Need to get someplace?  Hook up to a wormhole, and in seconds, you’re there.

In Stargate SG-1, the cast would travel so quickly through these things that bullets came flying right out of the gate, thanks to the wormhole.  Conversely, robotic probes made their way out into the new planet, seeking information regarding conditions.  True, a proper stargate was needed to connect two points together.  It wasn’t without its risks, either.  Wormholes invite all sorts of malfeasance, if one isn’t careful.  Evil characters often took advantage of this plot device and wreaked havoc, threatening Earth and its inhabitants over and over again.

Next time you look up at the sky and gaze at the stars, think about this: somewhere out there lurks a bridge to another time.  One day, maybe soon, some thing might be transversing it to visit.

 

 

Official “Star Wars” Leaks   Leave a comment

You knew it had to happen.

With the impending arrival of “Star Wars: Episode Seven”, there’s all kinds of stuff being posted on YouTube.  My husband sent me one link today and after viewing it, I drooled.  If you hadn’t seen this one already, go ahead, take a glimpse:

Note the exquisite detail.  Whoever did this is a dedicated geek worthy of award status.

Of course, if you have that, you’re also going to have to look at the leaked TMZ photos of Episode 7, too.  Since these have been out for a while and no doubt everyone’s had a look already, I’m including these as a matter of convenience.  You know, so you can geek out all in one space.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/06/leaked-star-wars-footage_n_5562440.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share#slide=start

Enjoy!

Happy Independence Day!   Leave a comment

Independence-Day-1996-MOvie-Image

Scene from the movie, “Independence Day” 

Hooray for America!  Tomorrow is Independence Day, otherwise known as The Fourth of July.  It’s a big deal in this part of the world, mainly because we get the day off, drink beer, eat BBQ and shoot off fireworks in the hope that the cops won’t show up and have you arrested for setting fire to the neighbor’s roof.

July 4th has always been about fireworks of a sort, especially when the aliens come and visit.  You never know what they have up their sleeve, those sneaky gits.  Take, for example, the well-regarded film, “Independence Day.”  As pictured above, the aliens had plans about freeing Americans from the slinky tethers of the White House, because they knew to arrive there and blow it up.  Out of all the grand buildings dotted across the USA, the aliens carefully researched the most appealing targets and thoughtfully removed them from the map.  Intentionally, aliens freed ordinary Americans from the drudgery of law, order and the relative stability of a democratically-elected government…or made a statement about the Tea Party and the Koch brothers.

Independence_Day_Alien

“Independence Day” Alien

Aliens, on occasion, are sticky.  I could name a whole bunch of films that depict our off-world colleagues as drippy, goo-piles that slurp and ooze.  It’s never explained why, but I’m certain if a human should, on the brink of death at the alien’s hand, mentioned that their acceptability rate would skyrocket if they only dried off a bit, then the inevitable all-Earth obliteration would be so much more palatable.  So here’s our friend that I’ll name Indy, dripping.  It could be that the crack in his skull is releasing vital body fluids, or it secretes when harmed/threatened.  Either way, it’s gross.  Stop it, already, before your cred plummets even further!

Independence_Day_Bill_Pullman

Bill Pullman as President Thomas J. Whitmore, in “Independence Day” 

Often, American presidents are played by grey-haired but dignified old(er) men.  Who wasn’t impressed with prime-of-his-life, hunky Bill Pullman as the ex-Air Force pilot tackling those nasty aliens?  Instead of sitting on his buttocks complaining about the state of things, he went out and did the job himself, just like Obama does when he gets sick of all that congressional shilly-shallying.  And yes, he didn’t quite get rid of the problem (that was left to Randy Quaid, possessor of a problematic off-camera life), but gee, doesn’t he look hot just for trying?

images-7

Brent Spiner as Dr. Brackish Okun in “Independence Day”

What sci-fi film would be complete without data…or Data?  Playing against type, Brent moved away from his android role in ST: TNG to this guy.  Here’s something a few of you might not have known: around the same time (or at least the same decade), he appeared on Broadway in the play, “1776,” which is also about American independence.  I went.  Even took my parents.  And damn, he was good.  The man can sing!

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Swaggering heroes Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum

Because this is an American film using an American holiday as its title, America is entitled, so to speak, to claim the victory.  While three-quarters of the planet’s wiped out, Americans came in and saved the day!  Woo hoo!

So what are you going to do tomorrow?  My suggestion: watch completely predictable, over-the-top, stereotyped-rife Independence Day.  What better way to celebrate?

And you don’t even need to be an American to do so.

 

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