Archive for the ‘sci fi’ category

Churchill and the Aliens…

February 16, 2017

Now this is kinda cool, especially if you’re a bit of a history buff as many nerds like myself are.  The history and science fiction nexus gets thick at times over World War II, what with the insane speculation that Nazi Germany was scientifically advanced due to alien “assistance.”  So it really floats my boat to hear that a lost essay has been discovered by none less than Winston Churchill in which he supports the existence of alien life…

…I swear that I am not making this up!  The unpublished essay from 1939 by Churchill was discovered in of all places a Missouri museum to which the paper had been donated and then forgotten.  Now Winnie was a remarkable guy; a politician, statesman, writer, and even a friend of the sciences who while prime minister of England appointed a science adviser, and regularly met with scientists.  Radar was developed during his watch, and may have kept England afloat when the Nazis came calling.  Anyways, Churchill in this essay ponders the timeless question of alien life, and concludes that we are not alone

…remarkably, Churchill’s reasoning even from over seventy years ago mirrors scientific thought even today, proving that the cigar-smoker was both broad-minded and a man ahead of his time.  Churchill and Carl Sagan probably would have liked each other.  The best politicians are scientifically friendly; if only such could be said of Mr. Trump…

Mulder Returns!

January 25, 2016

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I was a big X-Files fan in the 1990’s, and somewhere I still have an action figurine of David Duchovny as Fox Mulder, one of my few heroes…and so almost nothing could be better for me than when I learned that half a dozen new episodes of the show were being made, complete with many members of the original cast!  The previews looked promising and true to the spirit of the original show.  I was more than ready for this; it was the Holy Grail of paranormal television.

So primed and ready, I tuned to FOX at the listed time expecting to see Fox,  and got…a football post-game show!  It was a cruel thing to see jocks celebrating themselves when you’ve gone so many years without a Mulder fix.  No doubt this was some kind of government conspiracy.  Fortunately the DVR and “On Demand” gods were there, and I was able to watch the whole glorious episode later.

The first episode was heavy on exposition and the series mythology, beginning with Mulder’s cerebral, analytical monotone voice and flashing back to the seminal Roswell UFO incident, with the crash gloriously depicted.  Since the series last ended, Mulder has been living a low profile life while his partner, Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) has been aiding in the surgical creation of ears for earless children.  The duo is reunited by a wealthy arch conservative talk show conspiracy adherent (Tad O’Malley), and Mulder appears to have mastered the scruffy cool look to perfection.  From there, things get twisted and complicated, with alien technologies, genetic manipulations, and unspeakable dark conspiracies thrown into the mix.

Some episodes after the second will focus less on the confusing and mysterious X-Files mythology, with some stand-alone episodes presented that will follow the popular “Monster of the Week” format during which the series was at its most enjoyable.  We will apparently, however, be getting visits from such iconic series figures as the Cigarette Smoking Man and The Lone Gunmen, who had a brief unsuccessful spin-off show of their own once upon a time.

All in all, the limited revival series is worthy, and makes us want to put on suits, grab large flashlights, and follow conspiracies and monsters wherever they may lead, for The Truth is Out There…

SubterAlien on”Monsters Underground”

October 15, 2014

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The Destination America network has become a kind of mecca for shows on cryptic creatures and the paranormal, and a series airing there called Monsters Underground follows in the shoes of such shows as Mountain Monsters.  One episode of the former series covered a creature called the SubterAlien, a reputedly intelligent, armed, and hostile being that is both a kind of alien and a hidden life form as well, providing something for the fanciers of both genres.  

The essential format of the show is familiar, and time-tested on similar series.  An investigative team under the leadership of Bill Brock in the episode mentioned went to the supposed habitat of the SubterAlien, an abandoned mine system in Calaveras County, California.  In the 1840’s, the Shadow Mine was a working gold mine which closed when 13 men perished there.  It has since been believed that the SubterAlien was responsible for a series of bizarre occurrences, including the disappearance of electronic equipment.  This burrowing alien stands upright, has huge black eyes, and likes to tinker with the electronics to make other devices of unknown purpose.  At least this guy recycles and re-purposes human technology, kind of like The Thing.  I like to see aliens keep stuff out of landfills!

Well, the exploratory team set up trail cameras, and went into the depths of the winding caverns armed with radiation detectors as the creature’s presence is said to spike radiation levels.  The team did find electronics inexplicably strewn in the tunnels, and heard strange noises.  Radiation levels appeared to be rising, and an alarm was triggered on one of their trail cameras.  Tremors in their location about 200 feet underground caused the team to fear being trapped in an unstable, collapsing mine, and they accordingly beat a hasty retreat, pausing only to recover their trail cameras.  When safely outside, the alarm-sounding camera was scrutinized, and found to contain a blurry image of something passing before the camera lens and obstructing it…a scenario we’ve again seen repeated elsewhere!

Snickers “Godzilla” Commercial…

July 16, 2014

 

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Godzilla, as we learn in a Snickers commercial, is an alright dude!  We are shown footage of the big guy in just slightly larger than human form, hanging at the beach, riding four wheelers, playing ping-pong, and making the scene at a party.- – What a party animal!

Godzilla’s actually pretty cool!,” comments one male party-goer to his friend.  “Except when he’s hungry,” corrects the buddy.  Then the footage cuts to Godzilla in full rampage, hundreds of feet tall and blasting cars airborne with his breath.  Fortunately, someone in the crowd knows the remedy for this situation, and lobs Godzilla a Snickers bar. – – He eats the morsel, gets a blissful expression on his massive face, and then suddenly…Party Godzilla is back, water skiing and blending happily into human society again!  

You’re not yourself when you’re hungry, we are told. Studies have shown that hunger and anger can be linked. Maybe then the answer to unrest in the Middle East and elsewhere is simply to bombard the combatants with Snickers bars…heck, diplomacy doesn’t seem to be doing much, so make chocolate, not war!

Godzilla Resurrection!

April 28, 2014

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I have a confession to make; I’ve always loved Godzilla, ever since the days that he appeared in badly-dubbed Japanese movies and was obviously played by someone in a rubber suit!  Godzilla fans have endured a variety of outrages over the years, including a series of increasingly lame and outrageous adversaries (e.g., the “Smog Monster”), bad storylines, and even alteration of the character’s gender. The last major studio film treatment in 1998 portrayed Godzilla as an iguana-like creature, focused on a human love story, and was almost universally hated by fans.  It appeared that Godzilla might have fallen to bad treatment rather than an oxygen destroyer, but we who believe have maintained our faith.

The upcoming reboot of the Godzilla franchise by Gareth Edwards promises to take Godzilla back to his 1954 roots.  Co-produced by Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. under license from Toho, the new movie will be live action while Godzilla will be computer-generated.  Unlike the 1998 film, Godzilla will again fight several monsters rather than just the military.  The opponent monsters, referred to as “mutos,” will fly and be multi-limbed.  Godzilla himself will stand 350′ tall, the biggest incarnation ever.

The plot should delight conspiracy theorists.  It seems that Godzilla’s existence has been covered up by the U.S. government (like aliens, ‘ya know), and nuclear tests of the 1950’s were actually attempts to kill the creature.  Godzilla’s face is supposedly modeled on elements of features of bears, dogs, and eagles.  The big guy’s fighting style is based on that of bears and komodo dragons.  His roar is the original one pioneered by Toho, with improvements and enhancements.

Godzilla is conceived as “a terrifying force of nature,” and his kung fu should be the best.  He’ll be stomping his way into theaters this May, hopefully a monster for our times…

 

 

Rocket Raccoon Explodes Onto The Big Screen!

April 22, 2014

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Raccoons are kind of bad boys in the furry community; you might want to watch your wallet and your sister around one. While they are rascals, raccoons do seem to get the job done, and they’re good to have on your side, even if they don’t always take the high road.  For this reason, it’s only a slight stretch to see a raccoon as a kind of deviant action hero, and Rocket Raccoon fits that bill perfectly.

With his name supposedly inspired by the Beatles song Rocky Raccoon, Rocket Raccoon is for my money the most captivating character in the Guardians of the Galaxy team, a more obscure Marvel property certain to gain fans following release this August of the movie by the same name.

The Rocket Raccoon character debuted in 1976; his backstory is too complex and lengthy to go into here, but suffice it to say that he is an anthropomorphic bipedal raccoon who is an accomplished starship pilot, a master tactician, and an expert marksman who prefers really large guns!  He has anger management issues, and a touch of obsessive-compulsive disorder…but what raccoon doesn’t wash their paws often? Voiced in the movie by actor Bradley Cooper, the CGI Rocket is in part modeled after movements of a real-life raccoon called Oreo. Muscle for Rocket is provided by a tree-creature named Groot, voiced by none other than Vin Diesel.

One of a ragtag team of intergalactic aliens, Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy promises to be a breakout furry character…

 

 

Acura’s “Let the Race Begin” Horses…

March 19, 2014

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– – These are horses as one imagines they would be designed by Skynet in the dystopian world of the Terminator movies.  The spot begins with a crowd gathering for a horse race around a futuristic, surreal track. What’s really cool is that the four breathtaking horses competing are robotic, and as they enter the race they vie fiercely for position, complete with metallic sounds as they bang heads with one another in an almost gladiatorial event.  

From behind, however, enters a flesh-and-bone equine who assumes the leadership position, and then the horses morph into vehicles.  Acura, you see, is casting itself as the “dark horse” in the luxury-performance car market, a field in which it hopes to assume leadership.

I sadly know that I will never own a luxury-performance vehicle as my budget barely allows fox kibble.  I do know that I haven’t seen robotic animals this good since the group Swedish House Mafiia did their Greyhound video, and I hope that advertising delivers up more of these fantastic creatures…