IMDB Justice and the STS

Wil Wheaton is reviewing old ST: TNG episodes for a website known as TV Squad. He’s just reviewed Justice, and my trivia sense tingled; Brenda Bakke, the half-naked actress who gleefully welcomes Worf as the “Huge One”, also played Nim, the Texas Air Ranger in Gunhed.

This, of course, contributes nothing at all to your day.

Slighlty more interestingly, astronomer Phil Plait has posted that tonight’s 9:35 launch of the Space Shuttle will be visible over most of the US’ east coast. A link to a similar opportunity from ’97 suggests that Norfolk viewers might be able to see the STS reach 12 degrees over the south-southeast horizon, while Roanoke area space buffs will only see the engine glow for 5 degrees (possibly discounting intervening mountains).

(I’ll probably forget to go look, though.)

Checking in

I’ve been gone for a while, here. Sorry about that, but I’ve been going through a rough time and haven’t been feeling quite outgoing enough to post stuff here. But I’ve got a lot of backed-up reviews and links, now, so I’ll at least slap them up here before they spill over.

Fantastic Four: Decently cast, well-executed, and pretty dull, at least until the last half hour. If you know some science, be sure to bind and gag that knowledge and lock it in the car trunk before entering the theater 🙂 OTOH, isn’t it great to be a comic-book fan in an year where the worst superhero movie of the summer is still fairly decent, and the best is Batman Begins?

War of the Worlds: Not necessarily better than the George Pal version, but certainly prettier. I sure would like to see Spielberg’s people do a Godzilla or Battletech flick – at least I would believe all the visuals. This is the first version of the story I know of that gives humanity a glimmer of a workable tactic against the aliens before the traditional denouement takes care of things. It would have been nice if they’d somehow worked a USS Thunderchild into the river crossing scene.

Half-Blood Prince: Far superior to Order of the Phoenix, both IMHO and in an unscientific poll of people I’ve asked. Hard to talk about it much without causing spoilers or boredom, but Tonks and Lovegood (not a 70’s cop show) are still two of my favorite characters.

Shortpacked! on why there will be a few changes to the G1 characters in the Transformers live-action flick.

Shortpacked! again on Batman reaching the pinnacle of human reflexes and agility.

Brad Hicks on “The Spaceship We Have”, parts one, two, and three. He talks about why we have the Space Shuttle instead of the equipment every space geek in the early sixties thought we were going to have by now; and why that’s going to be a real problem real soon.

Rutan’s servers feeling the Monday

I guess I won’t be watching SpaceShipOne’s attempt at the X-Prize. Looks like they’ve been slashdotted. 🙁

The good news of the morning is: my lady is once again living under the same roof as I am. It’s amazing how good it felt to wake up this morning knowing that!

Edit: based on the 5 seconds of video I managed to grab before the badnwidth again freaked out, it looks like they made it. Yay 🙂

Geekery, sappy and comedic

I was lucky enough to be near a broadband connection yesterday when SpaceShipOne went up again. The live feed from the small rear-mounted camera was breath-taking: no movie effects, no footage released by NASA months later; the viewers were all stowaways, participating in this ride.

No thunder, flames, pieces designed to fall off; yesterday some guy just got in a plane and went up to space for a bit, just like all the science fiction said would happen. It doesn’t hurt that his launch system looks like Hayao Miyazaki and Gerry Anderson went out drinking together one night.

You know why I like this setup – both launches have suffered control problems, and both times, it didn’t matter. It was a minor inconvenience, not even as major as a flat tire in a car. That’s the sort of ride I’d feel good about, over a system “guaranteed” to have no issues at all. Leonardo DeCaprio and Kate Winslet learned a truth about systems that “can’t fail”.

In unrelated news, mollyringwraith has posted “Lord of the Rings told in lines from Star Wars“. You should check it out.

GANDALF: Lord Saruman. I should have known. Only you could be so bold. The Wizard Senate will not sit for this, when they hear you’ve attacked a poor little–
SARUMAN: Don’t play games with me, Gandalf. You weren’t on any pipeweed mission this time. You passed directly through a magic-infested area. Several transmissions were beamed to this tower by palantir. I want to know what happened to the Ring you found.
GANDALF: I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m a friendly old wizard on a diplomatic mission to Hobbiton…
SARUMAN: You’re part of the western Alliance, and a traitor. Take him away!

Add another picture to the Rec Deck

The transport, entertainment, and communications group Virgin has commissioned Bert Rutan to begin construction of the VSS Enterprise next year. This vessel is intended to take passengers on suborbital flights at $200,000 a ticket as part of the new, whimsically named “Virgin Galactic”.

In the past 40 years, the cost of putting a human into space has lost 4 zeros off the right end; perhaps it won’t be too much longer before we lose another two. It may turn out that Heinlein and others were right – space will not belong to countries, but to companies. No matter what, it’s fun to watch.

And a note to rubinpdf – now that we’re putting Rutans into space, can Sontarans be far behind?

“It’s All Sticky!”

Since most of us have long forgotten (though I can name specific people on my friends list that I know haven’t), today is the 35th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s landing on the moon.

Of course, the Apollo missions were all complete fakes, as reputable psychics and conspiracy theorists will tell you. The truth is that both Americans and the Soviets have been on the moon since the early 50’s, where we have established a diplomatic post for our continuing negotiations with the Xothar Dominion. There is, however, no truth to the rumor that German war criminals escaped Earth around that time to set up their own base in the southern hemisphere of the dark side. Fnord.

Not because it is easy, but because it is hard.

The first private manned spaceflight occured today over the Mojave Desert in California.

I honestly believe we’ve just increased the alotted lifespan of the human race a bit. D.D. Harriman would be proud.

Because It’s Him

Youre just downright silly, but thats exactly what
everyone loves about you.

Which Eddie Izzard Joke Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

I’ll be brief.

All I currently plan to say about Saturday morning:

“We choose to go to the moon and do these other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”
— John F. Kennedy

The What Planet Are You From? quiz says that I’m a…

“Child of Mercury… Your soul is thoughtful and in constant motion. Children of Mercury are driven to communicate. Equipped with charm and intellect, they are ready to face a situation with a view that sees all sides. — Being so occupied with the mind tends to cause you to distance yourself from others. As a member of the race who makes everything definable, remember to create deep relationships with others. Keep aware for your dark and light side, they are exactly that – in extreme. — Learning to use the mind as a tool and not your master is your key in this life. You can make anything happen if you really want it to. Remember, your beauty as a being goes beyond your mind. You are a beautiful expression of balance.”

« Previous PageNext Page »