Thursday, July 22, 2010

getting turned on by cartoons is a weird feeling

and, while I am at it, I'm tempted to forward this on to my Star Wars friends:

Saturday, July 17, 2010

wet fireworks for cheap

well, I'm not sure "don't try this at home" even begins to cover it, especially since I am planning to try this at home myself at some point, but here goes:

I am posting this more for my reference than anything else, in case I forget to try this.

A guy at work told me about a cheap alternative to fireworks he tried one year, and it really impressed him and his family, not to mention his neighbors.

Water spouts, from what I understand. Huge splooshing watery explosions.

The secret being dry ice.

He said he placed some crushed dry ice in a two-liter plastic Coke bottle filled with hot tapwater, twisted the cap on, and then ran.

Boom! Sploosh! Patter...

Apparently, dry ice is nowhere near as expensive as regular fireworks, although I don't know where to get it at the moment. I don't think it's hard through, because their are plenty of applications, industrial and otherwise.

what have you read in the Star Trek: Titan series?

(My apologies, but I am still not sure how to italicize in headers. Crud.)

[Begin non-spoiler section]

Anyway, just two days ago I picked up Synthesis, the most recent entry in the Star Trek: Titan series, otherwise known as the Ongoing Adventures of Captain Riker (post-Nemesis). Written by James Swallow, who isn't a stranger to Trek books.

At least, I think it's the most recent entry. I tend to lag behind in these things lately. I didn't even read the Destiny trilogy until over a year after. The struggle of the daily grind has set me back time and again.

After looking: Yes, the next Titan book is supposedly being released October 2010. Synthesis was November 2009. I'm only half a year arrears.

Anyway, I really love love the cover, and it was really cool to see Minuet on the cover as a kind of "easter egg" for long-time TNG fans. Well, I guess "easter egg" isn't the appropriate term, but you get the idea. Whatever the case, it was a cool surprise and has made me look forward to the book for months.

I thought it was very ironic that the cover makes no allusion to the action-packed peril-filled alien encounter teased at length on the back cover. Similarly, the back cover makes no mention of Minuet. You just have to already know who she is, and why it's really cool to see her again, after so long, and especially with Riker and Troi. Again, that's a treat for the fans. Thanks!

[/end non-spoliers]
[begin spoilers]

I can't seem to get over how in every single Titan book they gets their asses kicked. (Can I say "ass" on this website without an adult-content label? Dunno. Going to just do it anyway.) Every single book, without fail, it seems. Sometimes by clever aliens, sometimes by unusual technology, and sometimes by a big rock. I'm not joking about the rock, sadly enough. Yes, I can easily accept that space is a dangerous place to work, and especially uncharted space, and even more so in a universe filled with aggressive sentients like Trek has. I am willing to grant that the books focus on stories of peril, and what the readership doesn't see are the months and months of humdrum between the novels. But, come on, it's starting to feel pretty redundant! "How are we getting our asses kicked this week, Captain?" What irks me more even is that the Titan's crew doesn't seem to process their close calls. I mean, when I commit an act of monumental error and almost kill myself, such as falling asleep at the wheel on the Interstate, I tend to at least recognize the fact and try to do better. The Titan crew doesn't. Not within in the book, and certainly not between them. I mean, I do realize these are not drawnout philosophical treatments of life and death. These are casual-reading action books, and that's a big reason I choose to read them. Besides the great mix of SF ideas and concepts, and the Trek I love, and some good writing from time to time (depending on the author), I get to just sit back and enjoy the ride. That's not a criticism! In fact, it's an essential quality of the Roddenberry concept: socially progressive thought and philosophical encouragement and scientific awareness delivered in packets of entertainment. At least, that's how I understand it, from listening to tapes of the man's discussions. But even within that context, can I please have a little believable human reactions? I know these are supposed to be heros and all cavalier about danger, but even the bravest people I've seen who aren't insane seem to express "whoo, that was close; I can't believe I just did that"

Monday, July 12, 2010

Riker Hill
When I saw a blog entitled the above in Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs, the first thing to pop into my mind was this image:

I'm sure the Riker Hill Fossil Site is amazing, but a living Doc Ree is even cooler

...close nerdy moment...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Solpugids finally get starring role

Heck, any role at all. Mostly unknown to American audiences (except many veterans of the Mess-O-Potamia) solpugids, aka camel spiders, aka wind scorpions, aka unusual arachnids with a heck of a bite and that run like the wind, to be featured (I read) in a new movie Extraction giving a unexpected foe to Iraqi forces. From what I understand, they do not bite like a spider (who jab at prey), but have grinding mouthparts, without venom, trusting to sheer ripping force. Aparrently, they'll tear off a little peice of flesh if they get a hold of you.

I found this thru:

It's "in development" and I don't even know if it's legit, but there's a trailer!

While I'm at it, have you guys seen Nazis Invaders From the Moon?

new "Dorothy of Oz" animated

I just saw this today:

I like this comment:

"[I]t won’t be subject to any unsavory ‘dark fantasy’ whims. For that reason alone I’m willing to think about giving it a shot."

I found this at:
Patrick Stewart's guest role also caught my eye ;-)