Nothing special here, just a bunch of links to keep you occupied and unproductive at work. Enjoy!
• So I’m a little confused: On the one hand, Space Daily reported there http://www.spacemart.com/reports/Angola_To_Launch_Telecom_Satellite_999.... that Angola, one of the poorest countries on earth, was about to launch their own communications satellite. On the other hand, this site here http://www.hudsonfla.com/aangola.htm informs me that Angola has basically less-than-no space program whatsoever. I don’t know what to make of this, but I’m inclined to believe the latter since Angola is perilously close to being a failed state and space programs are, y’know, kinda’ pricey and hard. This is oddly lax reporting from Spacedaily.
• Star Wars sucks. Just admit it. Yeah, yeah, it was cool when I was 10, and it was even cooler when I was 13 and Empire came out, but then 1983 rolled around and STAR WARS WAS NEVER COOL EVER AGAIN. Then those Godawful TV specials – The Ewok Adventure, remember that? Or those shitty cartoons? Droids and Ewoks? Those entirely appaling “Special Editions,” and those prequels that spend seven-and-a-half hours of screen time showing us crap that we already knew from three lines of dialog in the first two movies. I mean, what the hell was the point? Aside from Toy Sales, of course. And the 2nd Indiana Jones movie sucked out loud, and if we’re honest, the 3rd one sort of sucked too, though not as bad. And don’t even get me started about Willow, The Radioland Murders, or goddamn Howard The Duck! My point being that we’re decades beyond the point where George Lucas should be forbidden from ever being allowed to make another movie, nowadays we’re to the point where Lucas should just be taken out and savagely beaten every day at 4PM, just as a cautionary example to others. And that, my friends, is why this link made my cold, black little heart sing: http://www.peoplevsgeorge.com/ Hey, george? 1984 called, and wants you to shut the hell up and go away.
• Speaking of which, we all know where my loyalties lay. This is amazingly stupid, but still pretty frackin’ cool, yes? http://youtube.com/watch?v=zxX0DKE3oqw
• Harlan Ellison insults people who wear their baseball caps the wrong way! Fight the power, brother! http://www.youtube.com/v/F8yzK7bfVwI
• If you’re interested in “Torchwood,” but live in the 97% of the united states that *doesn’t* get BBC America, here’s a helpful introduction to the premise of the program: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGGTfuM1RGM (By which I mean it is in no way helpful, and its really not much of an introduction as you sort of have to know the show already to get what they’re talking about. Oh, just watch the damn link already, will ya!)
• You know the old question about what you’d do if you had a time machine? Invariably it always ends up with someone talking about how they’d try to perform a retroactive abortion on some particularly heinous historical figure. Well, here it is in webcomic form: http://www.viruscomix.com/page382.html (Warning: contains offensive imagery)
• Ok, here’s the deal: in 1983 I was over at a friend’s house, watching their big screen TV w/ the terrible picture quality downstairs while my folks and them chatted about whatever, and I saw this amazingly super cool science fictional video from “Brian May and Friends.” Having no idea who Brian May was, I loved the video and the song, and I told my best friend about it. He agreed it sounded cool, and I predicted that it would be a big hit. And of course I never saw the video nor heard the song again. Until now: http://youtube.com/watch?v=Pjijteu0gcQ Its really not nearly so good as I remembered it being – in fact, both the song and the video kind of suck - but after 25 years I figured it was worth at least a mention.
• So there was this original web Science Fiction series called “Venus Rises!” Its wasn’t quite done, but at least it wasn’t yet another trek fanfilm http://www.venusrises.com/ It had a promising (If not particularly original) premise. The sets looked tolerable, the CGI galleries looked neato-keeno, but, alas, the project appears dead now. I don’t know what happened. If anyone has any information about it, please let us know here, ok? [NOTE: Since this article first ran, we've gotten tons of info about Venus Rises, and an interview with one of the cast. Check this out: http://www.republibot.com/search/node/Venus%20Rises ]
• NASA just more-or-less announced they’ve kind of been yanking everyone’s chain about the whole “Life on Mars” thing for the last 15 years. http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2008-026 Anyone who’s been paying attention knew that anyway, but it’s a damn strange PR course the agency has been taking, reporting finding microbe fossils in meteors (Then quietly retracting it and saying they were stress fractures in the rock); reporting the ‘discovery’ of water on mars (When Water has been known to exist on Mars since the 1880s), etc. It’s like they’ve been reporting common knowledge as though it were ‘new’ and deliberately misrepresenting the odds for life in an attempt to get popular support. Never a good move. Furthermore, it turns out that not only would the water on Mars kill ya’ dead in short order, there also was something like 3.2 metric sh!tloads of sulfuric acid there, enough to melt rock: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/21/science/space/21mars.html?_r=2&ex=1361...
• Hey, whadya’ know! Warren Ellis has a new free online webcomic, available here: http://www.freakangels.com/ (Given that it’s Warren Ellis, it’s probably NSFW)
• Say, you know those snazzy “Tablet” computers that Rodney et al are always using on Stargate: Atlantis? Turns out they’re not just props – they’re *real* computers being used as props. Here’s the website for the manufacturer: http://www.motioncomputing.com/products/tablet_pc_le17.asp
• Here’s a little something for all you hippies who didn’t get the memo that Nuclear Power is Cool Now: http://nuclear.energy.gov/genIV/neGenIV1.html These new Generation IV nuclear reactors are very environmentally friendly, produce faaaar less waste than their ancestors (Which really wasn’t all that much to begin with), and the waste is faaaaaaaaaaaaar less toxic than the oldschool stuff was. Nukes! Its what’s for dinner!
• So now that the revived Knight Rider series is circling the drain, it’s time to reflect on previous failed revival attempts: Were you aware there were 3 previous sequel attempts? Knight Rider 2000 (1991, which wasn’t bad), Knight Rider 2010 (1995, which was terrible), and Team Knight Rider (1997). Turns out that KR2010 was originally supposed to be much more like the original Knight Rider in concept, and less “Mad Max w/ a Talking Car.” Here’s the original, un-filmed script: http://www.fortunecity.com/tatooine/phlebas/339/id62.htm Its not great - I mean, its Knight Rider for gosh sakes – but its far far far better than what actually was filmed, and quite a bit better than what you’d expect from a sequel to a show about a talking car. I like that the entire plot revolves around cigarettes.
• Old news, but there’s allegedly a remake of Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” in the works, easily the most blasphemous remake since the useless 90s “Psycho.” Well, the good news is I found the novelization of the *original* movie online, written by the original screenwriter! http://www.archive.org/details/Metropolis_63
• Wait, I forget: which was bigger, the Death Star Mark 2 from “Jedi” or the original Unicron from “The Transformers: The Movie” in 1986? Check this bit of ultimate geekitude out, m’boy: http://www.merzo.net/index.html
• And finally, though it’s not related to Science Fiction in any way, the Republibot labs have discovered that if you take some Campbell’s Soup “Chunky Style” Clam Chowder, cook it, and then cram a couple handfuls of “Smartfood” brand white cheddar popcorn (Available at the finer gas stations around town) into the chowder, it is damn good! DAMN good, I say!
[NOTE: Despite being a family site, this article contains quite a bit of uncharacteristic profanity. I was young, I was drunk, I needed the money. I probably should have warned you about that up front. Sorry. --- Republibot 3.0 2/11/11]