3/27/2015

A Chart by Dorkly Grading Mad Scientists From Movies and Television Shows by Their Level of Intelligence and Sanity (via /Film)

I'd love to hear what you think of the Internet's greatest moments in this week's "Geek Bits."

10. 7 Postcards From Fictional Destinations


9. ‘Star Wars’: Gareth Edwards and Josh Trank to Attend Star Wars Celebration 2015 (via Screen Rant)


8. Akira, Redrawn using The Simpsons, Is Incredible (via io9)


7. Awesome short film shows Star Wars from the Empire's perspective (via io9)


6. THE X-FILES Returning for Six-Episode Event Series (via Collider)

5. Star Trek 3 May Have Discovered The Only Way to Get Me to Watch: Cast Idris Elba (via The Mary Sue)

Details are scarce at this point but Variety is reporting he may be taking the villain role for the Justin Lin directed film:
Details of Elba’s role are keeping kept under wraps. Early rumors suggest that Klingons would be the main villains in this movie, as they have not had a full presence in previous installments, but sources would not confirm if that was the case. Paramount and Skydance had no comment.

4. Miles Morales Joins The All-New, All-Different Avengers? (via Bleeding Cool)
If Miles Morales is joining the Marvel Universe (not just Ultimate) then we're in for some pretty exciting crossovers. Plus, did you notice that three of the heroes are minority and two of the seven are women? Nooice!


3. Jason Clarke Says Terminator: Genisys Packs Some “Truly Amazing Surprises” (via /Film)


2. 'Extra' Hangs with 'The Avengers' on 'Age of Ultron' Set (via /Film)


1. ALIEN NATION Remake In The Works At Fox (via Comic Book Movie)

Reviews

Star Trek: The Animated Series - "The Lorelei Signal" (01x04) - Not Recommended

Official Synopsis: "While on a mission to investigate a region of space in which starships have been disappearing at the rate of one every 27.346 years, the Enterprise is probed by a signal from the Taurean system — a signal which causes all the men aboard the ship to experience intoxicating visions of beautiful alien women and exotic locales. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and security officer Carver beam down to the second planet in the Taurean system, where the women from their visions greet them. The women give the landing party food and drink, which turn out to be drugged. When Kirk and his officers awaken, they discover that their phasers and communicators have been taken, and that they have been fitted with jeweled metal headbands, which are causing them to age at a highly accelerated rate, rapidly draining away their life energies."
This futuristic retelling of the Odysseus Siren's legend is interesting, but falls flat. It was written by Margaret Armen, who wrote three of the Original Series episodes ("The Gamesters of Triskelion", "The Paradise Syndrome" and "The Cloud Minders") and is meant to be a feminist call to action. It has a theme of female empowerment and had Uhura commanding the Enterprise which is one of only three times a woman commands the starship Enterprise. This, of course, paved the way for other female captains including Janeway on Voyager. It's an interesting episode, but it's not memorable.

Here are some of the other reviews from my friends in the blog hop
What do you think of this week's news and links?

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3/26/2015

Another reason why Canada is awesome, besides universal health care, is their reaction to the death of Leonard Nimoy: defacing currency.

The Canadian five-dollar banknote has a portrait of former prime minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier.
A few years ago, it was discovered that drawing pointy ears, pointy eyebrows, and a bowl cut on Laurier made him look remarkably like Mr. Spock from Star Trek. This came to be known as "spocking." 

In 2008, a Facebook page was set up to promote the practice called "Spock Your Five." While this provided some amusement for Canadians, after the death of Leonard Nimoy, the practice of "spocking" became an actual movement. Canadians were encouraged to "spock" their five-dollar bills as a tribute to the iconic geek hero.

Not only has this proved very popular, it's also not technically illegal. According to Uproxx, the Bank of Canada's official response to the "spocking" movement was that there are no laws prohibiting defacing or mutilating banknotes, but:
Nonetheless, bank spokeswoman Josianne Menard pointed out there are reasons to resist the urge to scribble on bills.  
"The Bank of Canada feels that writing and markings on bank notes are inappropriate as they are a symbol of our country and a source of national pride," Menard wrote in an email.
They also pointed out that some retailers may not accept or use the spocked currency, which would shorten the bills' circulation. So if you care about your country and wanted to keep money in circulation, stop "spocking" it. But if you don't care about Canada's national pride or just want a souvenir, get out your Sharpies, and go to town.

[Via CBS News]

What do you think of spocking?

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) - Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg)

What do you think of Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor? There are a lot of questions about director Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice but one of the biggest ones was about Superman's greatest villain Lex Luthor. He's being played by Jesse Eisenberg and the question of whether he was going to shave his head was a closely guarded secret. Set pictures showed him with a towel and various other headgear to hide his head before going on set. After filming we saw him with a buzz cut, but that didn't confirm anything. Finally, yesterday Entertainment Weekly debuted an exclusive first look at Lex Luthor from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and he's very, very bald. You can't get much balder. He also looks very, very angry.

Lex Luthor first appeared in Action Comics #23 (1940) as a diabolical genius and mad scientist, but in the 1980s he was transformed into a power-mad billionaire and industrialist. There have been a few actors over the years that have played Luthor over the years.
  

Michael Rosenbaum played Luthor in Smallville.


Kevin Spacey played him in Superman Returns (2006).  


John Shea played him in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1997)

The ultimate Luthor is Gene Hackman in the Christopher Reeve Superman films. 

Snyder promises that said this version of Lex Luthor will be "not any of the Lexes that you’ve seen, that’s for sure, other than him being a captain of industry and one person to the world and another person to himself. And bald, of course." He also adds "Our Lex is disarming and he’s not fake. He says what he believes and he says what’s on his mind. If you can unravel the string and decipher what he means, it’s all there." This implies that Luthor may not be the deceitful liar we've come to know him as.

So, what do you think of Eisenberg as Luthor?



If you're on Twitter join in the discussion!

   

If you have an idea for a poll send it to us using our contact form or email us at geektwins (at) gmail.com!

What do you think of the look of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's Lex Luthor?

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3/25/2015

Source: FOX
A few weeks ago, we talked about why Storm in X-Men The Animated Series didn't have an African accent. The voice actress chose to use a more Shakespearean tone. If you haven't seen it or if it's been a while since you've seen it, here's the perfect chance to experience her dialogue. PlutoPlanetPower created this compilation of Storm's overly dramatic speeches from the TV series. It kind of seems like her command of the weather depended on her talking to it like a trained dog.



What do you think of Storm's speeches?

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Nilah Magruder, winner of the first Dwayne McDuffie Diversity Award for her web comic "M.F.K." at the Long Beach Comics Expo (Source: Bleeding Cool)

What's it like to win the first Dwayne McDuffie Diversity Award? A few weeks back, at the Long Beach Comics Expo, Nilah Magruder won the first Dwayne McDuffie award for her web comic "M.F.K." Webcomics (also known as online comics or Internet comics) are comics published on a website and have slowly been gaining recognition. The first webcomic was a parody of Wizard of OZ published on CompuServe back in 1985. Now, comics like Pokey the Penguin, Penny Arcade, Jerkcity and PvP have pushed the medium into the limelight. Now, even major comic book companies like DC and Marvel have webcomics.

At this year's Long Beach Comics Expo they presented an award named after Dwayne McDuffie, a prolific writer who co-founded the wonderfully diverse Milestone Media which spawned the animated series "Static Shock." That show earned he and his team the 2003 Humanitas Prize for a script about gun violence in schools. He also worked on DC’s "Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight" and "Justice League of America" and Marvel’s "Fantastic Four" comic book titles. He died in 2011 at age 49 of complications after undergoing emergency heart surgery. The award celebrates the contributions of comic book creators to the representation of minorities in comic books.

Charlotte McDuffie, Dwayne’s widow said in a statement, "I am so proud that my husband’s personal mission to include a more diverse array of voices — both in content and creators — is able to continue now through this award in his name, by encouraging others who share his vision of comics, characters, and the industry itself better mirroring society."

The winner was Nilah Magruder who started her webcomic back in 2012 and faced stiff competition. The other nominees were "Hex11" by Lisa K. Weber and Kelly Sue Milano (HexComics), "Ms. Marvel" by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona (Marvel), "The Shadow Hero" by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew (First Second Books) and "Shaft" by writer David F. Walker and artist Bilquis Evely (Dynamite). The finalist was announced on February 28th at the Long Beach Comics Expo.

"Nilah Magruder’s M.F.K. is a great read," Matt Wayne, director of the McDuffie diversity award, said in a statement. "Nilah created an incredibly engaging post-apocalyptic fantasy world peopled with a broad array of characters. In terms of both excellence and inclusiveness, this is just the sort of comic the award was created for."

Nilah Magruder Photo by Michelle Kinne
Magruder was born and raised in Pasadena, Md and got her B.A. in communication arts from Frederick’s Hood College in 2005, before getting her B.F.A. in computer animation from Ringling College of Art and Design. She said she "developed an eternal love for three things: nature, books, and animation. Naturally, all of her school notebooks were full of doodles of animals and cartoon characters."

Maurice Mitchell: Thank you for joining us Nilah. For those not familiar with your webcomic (mfkcomic.com), how would you describe it?
Nilah Magruder: Teenagers with psychic powers! But a slightly more informative description: a girl travels through a country plagued by the threat of civil war to carry her mother's ashes back to her homeland.

M.M. What made you initially decide to do a webcomic?
N.M.: Back when I first came up with this story, I was a huge fan of long-form webcomics that were running at the time: Strings of Fate, Demonology 101, Cascadia, Fallen, a few others. I actually didn't read trade comics or graphic novels much (though I did fall into Manga a little later), and I was completely oblivious to the indie scene, but I loooved webcomics. I wanted to do a webcomic because that was my chief model at the time.

M.M.: That's interesting because most people, including myself are the opposite. Starting with traditional comics and reading more web. How important was it to represent diversity in your work?
N.M.: It was the driving factor behind starting M.F.K. Toward the end of high school, I noticed that when I drew or came up with stories, the characters were rarely black. It really began to bug me, and I started thinking a lot about why that was. At the same time, I noticed that girls never had a very powerful role in my favorite action comics; the rule seemed to be that a girl could be bada** as long as she didn't go up against a guy, at which point she was soundly beaten.

When I was younger, I didn't realize how much the lack of characters who looked like me had an impact on me. But, once I saw it, I couldn't ignore it. I guess it's fine for some creators, but I didn't want to tell stories that ignored reality or made whole populations of people feel unwelcome. I didn't want to perpetuate the idea that black people have no place in fantasy stories, unless they're sidekicks that won't make it to the end.

Over time I've become pretty committed to the idea, haha. I feel like I've got to keep drawing women and people of color to make up for the lack of them.

M.M. There is a lack right now, but it's getting better. We definitely need more illustrators stepping up like you have. Besides the thrill of winning the award, what does the McDuffie award mean to you?
N.M.: It means that every year, a spotlight will be placed on the wider community of comics, the part where more than just straight white able-bodied male heroes exist. It means that more and more comics are going to find the audiences that have been longing to see their stories told. I'm very excited for this future.

M.M: It is an exciting future and I think it would have made McDuffie proud and humbled. So, do you think that this will raise awareness and respect for webcomics in the industry?
N.M.: I sure hope it does! It thrills me when I see people including webcomics in comics discussion. I think a webcomic winning this award right out of the gate is huge. There was a time when it seemed like we got totally overlooked, but now with things like Kickstarter and regular features on io9 and other sites, people are seeing the variety of talent and storytelling in webcomics. Webcomics are free, but that doesn't mean the creators don't put their hearts and souls into them.

M.M.: Over the years what's the biggest piece of advice you'd give an upcoming comic artist?
N.M. The one I usually go with is: tell your story. Just tell it. Don't worry about whether you've got the skill or if this is the best time. You learn by doing, and there's never a good time, so you might as well get started now.

Oh and if you're doing a long-form comic, having a buffer doesn't hurt. :)

M.M.: Finally, would you rather sell your webcomic for $5 million and have it cancelled or keep running your webcomic, but have your audience restricted to 100 passionate fans? Why?
N.M. Cancel my comic for $5 million with no hope of ever returning to it... tempting, but no. I'd rather keep ownership of it, and hey, 100 passionate fans is pretty good!

Thanks Nilah! You can read the whole amazing webcomic at http://www.mfkcomic.com and learn more about Nilah at http://nilahmagruder.com

What do you think about Nilah and her webcomic? How should diversity in the industry change?

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3/24/2015

Hiro and Baymax from Beyond Infinity; Source: Facebook
Big Hero 6 was a great movie with heartwarming characters and fantastic visuals, but one thing it hasn't gotten much credit for is its diversity. The main character Hiro Hamada was Asian, which is extremely rare in American animated movies. That has allowed a new opportunity for Asian cosplayers, some of whom have brought Big Hero 6 to life. For example, cosplayers of Beyond Infinity have been creating an incredible series of photo shoots recreating scenes from the movie. Check this one out:



You can view all the scenes from Beyond Infinity's Tumblr, as well as their Facebook page.

[Via Goboiano]

What do you think of the cosplay?

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Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015) - Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise)
Tom Cruise is the biggest box office draw in the world and he's had an enduring career. He's also done some pretty crazy things over the years. One thing is for sure, any guy that would do the stunts that he did for Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation at 52-years-old has to have a few screws loose.

In the new trailer, Tom Cruise runs along the wing of an A400 airplane where a bird or even a small stone could have ripped through him like a bullet. Crusie told USA Today, "While we are going down the runway, we're worried about bird strikes, any kind of particle that the propellers could pick up, any kind of stone. I remember I got hit by a stone that was so tiny, you cannot believe. I thought it broke my rib. Lucky it went to my vest and not my hands or my face, it would have penetrated and gone right through." He also gets strapped to the side of the massive plane as it flies into the air and hangs in the freezing cold with only a suit to keep him warm. "I wanted to wear a suit." Cruise recalled, "For the image of that. You know things did not go as planned. That's the fun of 'Mission.' I remember being hypothermic. At a certain point it was just bone cold."

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation brings back Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt with Jeremy Renner as William Brandt, Simon Pegg as Benji Dunn and Ving Rhames as Luther Stickell. The film also stars Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris and Alec Baldwin. We're especially excited to have Ving Rhames back to the movies since we missed him in Ghost Protocol.

Here's the trailer


One things for sure, even when Tom Crusie isn't jumping on Oprah's couch, he's still crazy.

Here's the official poster and some stills from the movie





In addition, Paramount Pictures announced that tickets for the first showings of Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation are unlocked with the trailer debut and on sale now – four months before the film’s theatrical release. The advance tickets are available for Thursday, July 30th showings at 7:00 p.m. in IMAX® and premium large format theaters and 8:00 p.m. at additional participating locations nationwide. The tickets are available online at Fandango, Movietickets.com and participating theater box offices.

Official Synopsis: "Ethan and team take on their most impossible mission yet, eradicating the Syndicate – an International rogue organization as highly skilled as they are, committed to destroying the IMF."

Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions present a Tom Cruise / Bad Robot production. The film is directed by Christopher McQuarrie and produced by Tom Cruise, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk. The executive producers are David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Don Granger of Skydance Productions and Jake Myers. Drew Pearce, Christopher McQuarrie, Will Staples, Laeta Kalogridis & Patrick Lussier and Dylan Kussman wrote the screenplay, based on the television series created by Bruce Geller.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.MissionImpossible.com
Mission: Impossible 5 opens 12/25. Sign up for Fandango FanAlert to find out when tickets are available near you!

You Might Also Like


Is Tom Cruise crazy? What do you think of Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation? Are you planning to watch the movie?


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3/23/2015

Scientists are really smart, but not everyone appreciates their genius, especially in  disaster movies. In fact, it wouldn't be a disaster movie if there wasn't at least one scientist who tries to warn everybody about the coming danger, but gets ignored. Usually the scientist is the hero. Here are eight particular scientists who could have saved a lot of problems if people had listened to them.

1. Jor-El (Man of Steel)
Jor-El (Russell Crowe), Man of Steel
When the planet Krypton starts doing strange things, only one person seems to notice the warning signs: Jor-El. In all versions of Superman's origin, Jor-El is the one person who knows the planet is going to blow up, but no one ever listens. He was the only one smart enough to build a spaceship and send his son to Earth.
If They Had Listened: If everyone had listened to Jor-El, the whole planet could have evacuated to Earth. Of course, then Earth would have been flooded with super-powered beings, and they probably would have taken over. So it’s kind of a good thing they didn't.

2. Jack Hall (Day After Tomorrow)
Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid), Source: Day After Tomorrow
When Earth's climate starts changing drastically, only one person seems to notice the warning signs: paleoclimatologist Jack Hall. Hall has some crazy theories about how global warming could cause another ice age, but the president and vice-president don't listen to him. Of course, the ice age immediately starts shortly afterwards.
If They Had Listened: Well, by the time Hall made his prediction, the ice age was due to start already. It would have taken years to reverse the trend, so Hall wouldn't have helped. But they could have started the evacuation to Mexico sooner.

3. Ira Kane (Evolution)
Ira Kane (David Duchovny); Source: Evolution
When a meteor crash lands in the desert, it spawns alien organisms that evolve rapidly into a new ecosystem. Seeing the danger, the army plans to bomb the crash site. Dr. Ira Kane tries to warn them that fire will only cause the creatures to rapidly evolve a defense, but they don't listen. Of course, the bombing has the effect he described.
If They Had Listened: They could have sent army helicopters equipped with Head and Shoulders to hose down the creatures before they ever got loose.


4. David Levinson (Independence Day)
David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum); Source: Independence Day

When an alien fleet arrives on Earth, only cable engineer David Levinson notices a mysterious signal being broadcast in our satellites. He tries to warn the White House, but by the time anyone listens, it's too late. The spaceships attack and most of Earth's monuments are destroyed. Oh yeah, and billions of people, too.
If They Had Listened: The army could have attacked the alien ships first, and the White House and the Empire State Building could have been saved.


5. Dr. Zarkov (Flash Gordon)
Dr. Hans Zarkov (Chaim Topol); Source: Flash Gordon

When Earth begins experiencing strange natural disasters, only Dr. Hans Zarkoff realizes they're being caused by an alien warlord who's moving the moon closer to Earth. He tried to warn NASA, but got fired for his trouble. Fortunately, he built a spaceship in his backyard (like you do) and forces football player Flash Gordon and journalist Dale Arden to come along to the planet Mongo.
If They Had Listened: The whole world could have launched a counterattack to save Earth, instead of leaving it in the hands of a football player. Of course, Flash handled it pretty well all by himself.


6. Carter Blake (Deep Blue Sea)
Carter Blake (Thomas Kane), Source: Deep Blue Sea

When a scientist researching Alzheimer's treatment needs bigger brains, she thinks it would be a good idea to make shark brains bigger. In the process, she creates a race of genetically engineered sharks with super-intelligence. Only shark wrangler Carter Blake figures out that maybe making sharks smarter isn't such a hot idea. Of course, he was right. The sharks figure out a way to escape and wreak havoc.
If They Had Listened: If they had listened to Carter, they would have killed all the sharks before they ever escaped, and all the people who got eaten would have survived.

7. Scientist (28 Days Later)
David Schneider (Scientist), Source: 28 Days Later
In this zombie movie, a group of animal activists try to release captive animals from a lab. One unnamed scientist begs them not to release a monkey infected with a virus that induces rage. Of course, the activists don't listen, and release the creature to infect the world.
If They Had Listened: That monkey could have stayed locked up, and the rage virus wouldn't have decimated the world's population. Let that be a lesson to you, kids. When a guy warns you not to release a monkey with an infectious disease, listen to him.

8. Joe Brody (Godzilla)
Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston); Source: Godzilla
When a Japanese nuclear power plant goes into meltdown due to unexplained tremors, plant supervisor Joe Brody loses his wife in the destruction. Years later, he's still obsessed with the accident and has become convinced the incident was not a natural disaster. He realizes mysterious signals are being causing by echolocation, and tries to warn the government that something is coming that will destroy Mankind. Unfortunately, he's ignored, and the prehistoric MUTOs arrive along with Godzilla to attack San Francisco.
If They Had Listened: The government could have just killed the MUTO they had in protective custody, and kept the other MUTO from attacking. But then we wouldn't have gotten to see the cool fights with Godzilla.

Which is your favorite ignored scientist? What other scientists should have been heard?

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Solar Eclipse from ISS (Image Credit:  ESA/NASA)
Expedition 43 Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti took a series of photographs of the March 20, 2015 solar eclipse from the International Space Station. Cristoforetti wrote on Twitter, "Orbital sunrise and the #SolarEclipse... could it go any better?"

What is an eclipse?
A solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, and the Moon fully or partially blocks (or "occults") the Sun. It only happens at new moon and when the Sun and the Moon are in conjunction as seen from Earth ( an alignment called a "syzygy"). The difference between a partial or anulal eclpise has only part of the Sun is obscured, but a total eclipse happens when the disk of the Sun is fully obscured by the Moon.

Last week, on Friday, March 20, 2015, there was a total eclipse. Because of it's position, it was only visible on remote Arctic islands and clouds made it only partly visible in Europe, Africa and Asia.

Thankfully, there was one place that had a perfect view: The International Space Station. Samantha Cristoforetti took a series of photographs of the solar eclipse and they are spectacular.





















The Italian European astronaut also took this amazing picture of the shadow cast by the eclipse on Earth.

European Space Agency’s Sun-watching Proba-2 minisatellite also used its SWAP imager to capture the Moon passing in front of the Sun

The next partial solar eclipse is on September 13, 2015 and the next total solar eclipse is on March 9, 2016.

Learn more at NASA's Solar Eclipse Page and ESA's page

What do you think of the solar eclipse photos? Are you planning to watch the next one?

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