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Oblivion 2013

Its off to the movies for me today with my wife to see the new Science Fiction  epic Oblivion, yes I know its got Tom Cruise in it but it looks quite nice in the trailer:

It may be good it may be crap but I doubt that it will be lacking in action and cute visuals which will look good on the big screen.

Cheers Comrades

Flower Gif wallpaper 240x320

A quick  review as an update

I had limited expectations of this movie and in some aspects there were the usual tropes of the genre but there was also a rather grown up plot and a nice lack of space opera silliness.  The CGI was delightfully seamless and convincing which made the world believable and the plot twists while easily predictable to this old cynic were not overplayed  or inconsistent with the vision of the film.

Over all it scores an eight out of ten  on the old  Iain-O-metre, quite worth watching and worth the price of admission to the Cinema .

Cheers again Comrades



Boldly there, on the second floor

I just loved the new Star Trek film and all things Sci fi get a run here at Chez hall but I don’t think that I could possibly be such a fan that i would transform the living quarters into replicas of a Starship interior…

Star Trek fan Tony Alleyne tucks into Earthly toast in his one-bedroom studio flat

Step into my spaceship: The stunning level of detail he has put into transforming his home

Click on the picture for the story. I must say however that Tony Alleyne has done a cracking good job and at least he does not have a bloody water feature 😉
Cheers Comrades

Using “The Force” on the the force

Rather jokingly I added “Jedi” to the choice of religions in my reader survey right here in the left hand sidebar of my blog and even more surprising is the fact that at least a few of my readers have chosen that option. So it is with some mirth that I note this report:

Strathclyde Police

Strathclyde Police

A POLICE officer in Scotland has confessed to following the Jedi faith beloved of Star Wars film fans, respected policing analysis group Jane’s reports.

Pam Fleming, a 45-year-old beat officer in Glasgow for Strathclyde Police, said that she thought all police officers “should be Jedis,” when interviewed by Jane’s Police Review.

“For me, it is not a joke,” she said. “Being a Jedi is a way of life.

“I love the Star Wars films and the concept of being a Jedi, that the faith is not divisive.”

Ms Fleming said she knew of other Jedis in Strathclyde Police – the force apparently has eight in total.

According to Britain’s Office for National Statistics, a total of 390,000 people in England and Wales listed their religion as Jedi in the most recent census in 2001. Scotland has a reported 14,000 followers.

There certainly are nuttier religions out there (the Warministas  springs to mind) but at the very least the Jedis have their hearts in the right place but I can’t get a recruiting slogan out of my head:

Use The Force on the force and together we can defeat the dark side…

Until next time Comrades


A fanciful bit of fantasy

There are some mornings when what you read  on the News feeds does not offer much inspiration for a blog post. You find yourself scanning through looking for anything that will arouse your blogging muse, all to no avail.

I could have written about the abysmal situation the NSW branch of the ALP finds itself in but I just did not feel in the mood for gloating.

I could have written about the not yet dead organ donors thing that is getting a run in the Age but I could not get the image of John Cleese out of my mind long enough to write anything sensible.

I was even tempted by the attempts being made at deprogramming Muslim extremists in British jails, but thought why write about lost causes ?( the  cure for the disease of Jihadism only  needs a stout beam and a hempen rope…)

The one amusing little thing I did find was a blog that I read but do not mention by name finally deciding to admit that we all have to have and police a comments policy. The fact that this newly discovered realism means that their many posts complaining about the comment policies of other more conservative sites ( they have complained about the comment policies at Andrew Bolt’s, Tim Blair, AWH, and even this humble blog) means that their change of heart  now makes them look like hypocrites is a real treat.

However  none of that tickled my fancy enough to write a proper post. So when in doubt what is better than to slip into a fanciful bit of fantasy? The pictures below show that  the new Star Trek movie looks pretty swish and I must say that I like the modernised retro look which pays appropriate homage to the original vision of the show.

The first image shows the bright, clean bridge of  the newly minted Enterprise. Click below to see Spock delivering a distinctly non-standard Vulcan neck pinch, Simon Pegg as Scotty, and what seems to be our first glimpse of a villain for the movie.Trek5_3Trek4_2Trek2Trek1



(pics various sources but principally Cinema Blend)

A film that will be best on the big screen I think
Live long and prosper Comrades

Blog of the month nominations/0pen thread

It is nearly June and I want to find a blog that is worthy of being my blog of the month so I thought that I would ask you, my dear readers, for nominations. The blog can have any topic or focus as long as it is interesting and well written. I will even consider blogs with leftist political leanings if they are good enough.

Failing any ideas for blog of the month please feel free to comment on any topic that takes your fancy, except Moi.

I have a very busy day ahead what with Gym classes for daughter number one, a visit to the library, a session on the bench grinder to make some suspension components for my sports car and playing genial host for a musical afternoon; it is going to be all go here today.



Energise !!

THE ashes of James Doohan, better known as Scotty in Star Trek, were blasted into space aboard a private rocket yesterday from a launchpad in the New Mexico desert.Many fans turned out in full Star Trek regalia for a memorial service for the Canadian-born actor the day before the launch of the SpaceLoft XL rocket.Doohan’s widow, Wende, said her husband was eager to reach the final frontier: “He would be ecstatic. He would be the one pressing the button. He totally was so into space.”(source)

Finally beamed up 🙂

Artificial reality, “Second Life” and Tabletops

In my youth I was an avid reader of speculative and science fiction and one of the stories that struck a cord with me was Fredric Phol’s “The tunnel under the world”(synopsis) written in 1954 long before the advent of the PC or any concept of artificial reality.

The story is really a vehicle to explore the manipulation of a population by advertisers and propagandists who have recreated an entire city in miniature upon a table top. Thus they can test out different advertising strategies and even political campaigns without having to do so on real people.

I read this Novella and it sent a chill down my spine and spoke so eloquently to the question the nature of humanity; If a simulant is sentient enough to believe it is a real person Is he real? The ending had me wondering about the dichotomy between knowing the nature of the universe and the comfort of ignorance.

Subsequent to this story there have been many further explorations of the Artificial Reality in print, in film, and on television The writing of Philip K Dick and William Gibson and the simulations of Star Trek’s Hollodeck all owe a debt to Fred Phol’s story and I suppose that “Second Life” does as well. This online world is becoming more and more like the real world. With its own currency, sex, deviance, drugs and now politics.

That avatars act just like humans is not surprising to Yee: “It’s hard to forget or ignore the norms that we have used every day in the physical world since we were born,” he says. “These social norms help guide and sustain interaction.”

This could be why the Second Life population models itself on real society. Behind every furry, flying or androgynous avatar is a player made of flesh and blood, whose preconceptions have been formed by his or her real life environment. Another Second Life expert, the French blogger Loic Le Mer, put it this way: “If you have a stupid player who creates an avatar, that avatar won’t be smart just because it’s a digital creature.”

In any case, the similarity in avatar and human behavior is likely to increase even further in the future. American company Vivox announced on Tuesday that it was developing a voice program for Second Life which will enable avatars to speak with each other — and even overhear other avatar’s conversations.(source)

How long will it be before we have people who begin to live for the time spent in on this tabletop rather than living in real life?

How long until there are people who think that the simulated existence is superior to the real?

Nonetheless I am fascinated by such simulations and the creation of artificial realities but is that not the case for everyone who has even written a story or even a humble blog post?

Break out the Popcorn

Having just finished watching the first four series (thanks to my local library) of this show how could I resist buying this for less than $23 aud?

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