4/30/2012

Z is for Zod


We all love General Zod from Superman II. Ruthless, arrogant, elegant, and awesomely powerful. But he wasn't always a general. At some point, Zod had to be a fresh recruit, just starting out in the Kryptonian military. So once again, we present the continuing story from "I, Zod: The Journal of Private Zod." For parts 1-3, click here. For parts 4-6, click here.


20 Gree, 341 KC

I have met another soldier whose stupidity is equaled only by his brute strength. He is named Non. I first met him during a weapons drill. We were all issued laser rifles and had to practice loading energy crystals and unloading them. I was, of course, carrying out this task with exceptional speed and dexterity. Yet I heard cries of alarm behind me. I looked over to see an enormous soldier peering directly into the front of his rifle's barrel. He tried to push the energy cartridge into the front, then the handle. Other soldiers fled from him, but not before his rifle went off and killed the soldier next to him.

One wonders how such an ignorant brute could have made it into the Kryptonian army. It says much about the standards of the modern Kryptonian army.


25 Gree, 341 KC

Last night, I was the victim of a childish prank where my sleeping hand was placed in a bowl of warm water. I awoke to find my bedclothes soaked in urine and my fellow soldiers laughing around me. The ringleader seemed to be Mok-Ar. Their laughter soon turned to screams as I drew my cutting crystal and attempted to slash Mok-Ar in the throat with it. Unfortunately, my sodden pants entangled around my legs and I ended up falling onto the floor. This only served to delight them further. I warned them they would pay for their defiance and fled.

The supplier said that I will not be allowed a new pair of pants, so I was forced to dry out my urine-soaked pair and put them on again. This is hardly fitting of a man of my stature. Mok-Ar shall pay for his treachery.


4 Iona, 341 KC

Last night, I saw a program featuring a scientist who claimed to have invented a new substance made from rocks melted down and reformed. He called the resulting concoction "metal." He claimed that metal could be shaped into geometric shapes or small objects. He even suggested that these smaller objects could be combined to build larger objects that he called "machines." The scientist's theories were held up for derision, as they should be. I fail to see why Kryptonians should reduce ourselves to such barbaric methods when our technology of forming needed tools through the growth of crystals is so highly refined.

Still, the theory does have merit. I imagine creating a knife or sword from this "metal" that would go undetected by the weapon scanners at skyports and government offices. Yes, indeed, a man could do much damage with this "metal." Perhaps, it would be wise to investigate this further.


7 Iona, 341 KC

Today, we began weapons training. Each soldier was issued a crystal capable of generating a beam of lethal force. Our sergeant went into great detail on how to clean the crystal, load its power battery, and how to fire. He then advised that we would begin target practice. I took the opportunity to aim and fire at the private next to me, who immediately incinerated into a cloud of ash. For some reason, this caused great confusion and panic. Sergeant confiscated my weapon and ordered me locked in the stockade. I failed to comprehend his reaction. After my release two days later, it was explained to me that the sergeant intended for us to practice our weapons on non-living targets placed on the field across from us. I blame the sergeant for his lack of clarity.


10 Iona, 341 KC

Before I was drafted into the military, I had a female companion named Jud-Ee. She professed her love for me, but I found her intellectual inferiority tiresome. However, I complimented her on her good taste in selecting me as a mate. I informed her that she would one day be my queen, and I would rule the Galaxy with her at my side. Once, she asked if that meant we would rule together. I corrected her. I will rule the Galaxy, and she will stay at home to breed my progeny. She seemed taken aback by my statement, which I find confusing. Surely she could not believe that a mental giant such as myself would require another to aid him in his rulership, nor would I tolerate another interfering with my commands. Besides, she is a female, inferior to even the below-average male, let alone a giant of masculinity such as myself. This explanation seemed to upset her even more.

Even with my vast intellect, the folly of women escapes me.

Since beginning my military career, I have been corresponding with Jud-Ee on a daily basis, but have yet to receive a reply. This confuses me. Surely she could not endure my absence for long. I'm sure my letters have simply failed to arrive. Once I rule Krypton, repairing the dysfunctional postal android system shall have my priority.

Want to read more of the Journal of Private Zod? Let us know in the comments


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This post is part of the month long "A-Z Challenge." For 27 days, we'll be choosing a letter from the alphabet and crafting a post around it. To read more of the posts in the series, click here. To find out more about the challenge go here.

Hosts: Arlee Bird at Tossing it Out, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Stephen Tremp at Breakthrough Blogs, Jenny Pearson at Pearson Report, Matthew McNish at The QQQE, Tina Downey atLife is Good, Jeremy Hawkins at Retro-Zombie, DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude, Shannon Lawrence at The Warrior Muse, Elizabeth Mueller, Damyanti Biswas at Amlokiblogs, Karen Gowen at Coming Down the Mountain, and Konstanz Silverbow at No Thought 2 Small. Check the Facebook page and the Twitter hashtag is #AtoZChallenge.  
The Avengers opens this week. Your friends are excited, but you could care less. Here's how you can look like you know everything there is to know about the movie in nine simple phrases.

Your friends talk about some guy named Thor and "Mjolnir" like you should know what they're talking about. They make you feel silly since you have no idea what a "Loki" is. As for "The Hulk," you remember hearing about the TV series, but that's it.

Maybe you know a little bit about the movies, but haven't seen them all and don't have time to catch up.

Here are nine easy phrases you can use to pretend you totally understand what The Avengers (2012) is all about.

9) "I Miss Ed Norton"

Why? This is a hot button. There are two big budget Hulk films. The first, by Ang Lee, is generally regarded as artsy crap. The second is considered really, really good starring Ed Norton. When they announced the Avengers movie it was presumed Norton would cast as Bruce Banner (Hulk), but at the last minute they cast Mark Ruffalo. Most fans miss him.
Warning: If they ask you why you prefer Ed Norton over Mark Ruffalo, just roll your eyes and say, "Have you seen The Incredible Hulk?" That will start a whole new conversation about the film and should allow you to sit back and relax.

8) "Tony Stark. Am I Right?"

Why? The most popular Marvel character right now is Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr. If anyone says anything about the movies, just say that with a knowing look. They'll nod, agree with you and you can go on to talk about any of his other films in the context of what a great actor he is.
Warning: If they ask you what your favorite part of Iron Man I or II was, just shrug and say, "The suit." That should cover a lot of bases.

7) "Is It Pronounced Mee-Yohl-Nahr or Mee-Yohl-Neer?"

Why? Thor's hammer is called Mjölnir. Frankly, it doesn't matter. Even the director of the Thor movie, Kenneth Branagh, admitted he wasn't sure. But, it's a great conversational topic. Plus, most people have no idea the hammer has a name. It gives you geek cred.
Warning: If anyone calls you out on it just point them to the dictionary pronunciation of the word which is myawl-nir.

6) "You Know, For A Crazy Homeless Person... He's Pretty Cut."

Why: It's a line from the Thor movie that got big laughs. Just drop it into an awkward silence and watch everyone crack up.
Warning: If no one laughs just point to the nearest Avengers poster say "Hey, it's Myow-Myow." That line from the film should get a few smirks and can redirect attention to the movie poster. It can also lead to a call-back or segue to #8.

5) "Gwyneth Paltrow?"

Why?  Gwyneth Paltrow was cast as Virginia "Pepper" Potts in the Iron Man films. Some hate her while others love her. Based on the reaction you get you can know which way to swing your knowing looks while you say, "I know right?"

4) "I Hope They Make a Solo Black Widow Movie" 

Why? This one will make it look like your a fan of the films. The Avengers team is made up of six members. Four of them have stand-alone movies (Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man and Thor) but two do not: Hawkeye, played by Jeremy Renner, and Black Widow played by Scarlett Johansson. We don't know if Hawkeye deserves a solo movie, but most fans thought she was great in Iron Man II. Since you know she wasn't in the other films people will assume that you've seen them all.


3) "You Know, Lou Ferrigno Does The Voice of the Hulk"

Why? It makes you look like a fountain of useful trivia. Body-builder Lou Ferrigno has played the Hulk in the TV series The Incredible Hulk and three TV specials. He voiced the Hulk in the The Incredible Hulk movie and various animated shows. When people think "The Hulk" they think Lou Ferrigno. Since he's not likely to be visible on-screen, most people wouldn't realize he's in the movie.

2) "This is Going To Be Great. Firefly was amazing."

Why? Joss Whedon is the director of the movie and has a cult following for his short-lived science-fiction western-space series Firefly. Not only will it build your cred for this movie, it makes you look like a Firefly fan. That's two fan points for the price of one!
Warning: This may lead to a conversation about the TV show Firefly. If you've never heard of it, just say "Jane right?" Then nod knowingly to whatever everyone else says.

1) "Avengers Assemble!"

Why: Tagline from the movie, and the comic books. It'll get everyone pumped up. If you want maximum impact say it right as they open the door to the theater.
Warning: Don't say it more than twice or it gets really annoying, really fast.

Are you planning to watch The Avengers this Friday? If you're a fan, do you have any advice for someone new to the movie?

If you're here for the A-Z challenge, my brother's post will be up later today. Check back soon!

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4/28/2012

Y is for Yoga

Graphic artist Rob Osborne has created a series illustrating yoga poses with Star Wars characters. Starting with Boba Fett, he got all the way to Vader Yoga and Yoda Yoga. Osborne used to sell prints with it, but Lucasarts has ordered Osborne to cease and desist selling material with his artwork. Kind of a shame. Click the images below to enlarge.

s





What do you think of the Star Wars yoga?


[Via Rob Osborne via Buzzfeed]
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This post is part of the month long "A-Z Challenge." For 27 days, we'll be choosing a letter from the alphabet and crafting a post around it. To read more of the posts in the series, click here. To find out more about the challenge go here.

Hosts: Arlee Bird at Tossing it Out, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Stephen Tremp at Breakthrough Blogs, Jenny Pearson at Pearson Report, Matthew McNish at The QQQE, Tina Downey atLife is Good, Jeremy Hawkins at Retro-Zombie, DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude, Shannon Lawrence at The Warrior Muse, Elizabeth Mueller, Damyanti Biswas at Amlokiblogs, Karen Gowen at Coming Down the Mountain, and Konstanz Silverbow at No Thought 2 Small. Check the Facebook page and the Twitter hashtag is #AtoZChallenge.  

4/27/2012

W is for World War Three

World War III has been a threat looming over Mankind ever since the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Although technically the concept of WWIII is simply another war that draws in the major superpowers, the fear has always been that the war would escalate into a nuclear exchange that destroys the world. Here are 10 movies that provide an overview of the concept of WWIII.

Some WWIII movies are about avoiding the war.

1. Watchmen - In an alternate world where superheroes exist, the US and the Soviet Union are still on the brink of nuclear war. This is one of few modern movies to focus on the Cold War definition of WWIII, ainly due to the fact that it's adapted from an eighties comic.

2. X-Men: First Class - Set in the 1960's, the superheroic X-Men race to stop a psychotic mutant from provoking the Cuban Missile Crisis into triggering World War III. The idea is that a nuclear war would wipe out humanity, leaving mutants as rulers.

3. Escape From New York - In this near-future, New York is a maximum-security prison, and Snake Plisskin has to rescue the president and recover an audiotape. It's implied that Snake's mission to deliver the tape will avoid World War III.

Very few movies are set during WWIII. 

4. Red Dawn - Red Dawn is one of the rare movies set during World War III as the Soviet Union invades the US. Most of the war is told second-hand with the battle fought from the perspective of some teenagers in a small Midwestern town.

5. Time Machine - The original movie is about a man from the 1800s who travels through time to the far future. As he travels in fast-forward, we see World War III in passing destroying the world, and then society rebuilding itself.

Most of these movies are about the aftermath of World War III.

6. The Day After - As nuclear apocalypse movies go, The Day After is by far the most realistic. Literally set in the days after a nuclear war, the movie follows the survivors as they deal with radiation sickness, chaotic riots, and the collapse of infrastructure.

7. Equilibrium - World War III is a distant memory in this movie, but is also the catalyst. After a devastating war, a dictatorship arises based on the idea that emotions are the cause of all ills. Emotions are banned, and one police officer finds himself at odds with his job of destroying things that cause happiness.

8. The Terminator - In this movie, a future World War III is fought between all of humanity and an army of robots led by an artificially intelligent computer, Skynet. WWIII only serves as a backdrop, though, with the focus on time travel back to modern day.

9. The Matrix - In the distant future, a man wakes up from a virtual reality to discover that Mankind has been conquered and enslaved by machines. Much like The Terminator, World War III was fought between humans and robots. We lost.

10. Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome - A rebellious warrior named Mad Max roams a post-apocalyptic wasteland and becomes embroiled in a power struggle in a lawless town. It's established late in the movie that a nuclear war caused the collapse of civilization.

Any other movies you can think of involving World War Three?
[Image Source: giantbomb]



This W post is part of the month long "A-Z Challenge." For 27 days, I'll be choosing a letter from the alphabet and crafting a post around it. To read more of the posts in the series click here. To find out more about the challenge go here.

Hosts: Arlee Bird at Tossing it Out, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Stephen Tremp at Breakthrough Blogs, Jenny Pearson at Pearson Report, Matthew McNish at The QQQE, Tina Downey atLife is Good, Jeremy Hawkins at Retro-Zombie, DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude, Shannon Lawrence at The Warrior Muse, Elizabeth Mueller, Damyanti Biswas at Amlokiblogs, Karen Gowen at Coming Down the Mountain, and Konstanz Silverbow at No Thought 2 Small. Check the Facebook page and the Twitter hashtag is #AtoZChallenge.


Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) and Emma Frost (January Jones)
X is For X-Men
Update: All the entries are great, but the winner is Reno4711!
We're doing another long-overdue caption contest. This one has a picture from X:Men: First Class (2011) of Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) and Emma Frost (January Jones) sitting on a couch in his groovy pad.

Enter a comment below of what you think they're saying to each other. Next Monday morning we'll update the picture with our favorite caption and submit it to several image sharing sites along with your name and (if you have one) blog.

Here are a couple to get you started:
"Yeah. I know Bob too."
"You're right. Bell bottoms are always going to be in style."


Must be PG-13. No cursing or objectionable language. Feel free to enter as many funny comments as you can come up with.

Voting will be based on the personal favorite of my brother and I and weighted using the comment votes. That's right. The Disqus commenting system has a little "like" button. Why not forward it to your friends and have them submit or vote too?

What are you waiting for? You know you're funny, so submit a caption today! If you can't come up with a caption, why not help out by voting for your favorite caption?

Update: All the entries were great, but the winner is Charles from Let's Get Out Of Here (Reno4711)!

What do you think they're saying? 




This post is part of the month long "A-Z Challenge." For 27 days, we'll be choosing a letter from the alphabet and crafting a post around it. To read more of the posts in the series click here. To find out more about the challenge go here.
Hosts: Arlee Bird at Tossing it Out, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Stephen Tremp at Breakthrough Blogs, Jenny Pearson at Pearson Report, Matthew McNish at The QQQE, Tina Downey atLife is Good, Jeremy Hawkins at Retro-Zombie, DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude, Shannon Lawrence at The Warrior Muse, Elizabeth Mueller, Damyanti Biswas at Amlokiblogs, Karen Gowen at Coming Down the Mountain, and Konstanz Silverbow at No Thought 2 Small. Check the Facebook page and the Twitter hashtag is #AtoZChallenge.  

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4/26/2012

Back in 2005 The Daily Show with John Stewart ran a piece about Hasbro's merchandising tie-ins for Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. It was called "Sith Happens"
Hasbro toys rolls out a new line of toys to celebrate the opening of the final Star Wars movie.
Everyone laughs about the talking Yoda doll and "Darth Tater," but no one wants to do anything about it.


It was funny then, but jump seven years and we have Darth Maul selling iced tea.  Lucas has no shame.

The saddest part is I'm tempted to buy that talking Yoda doll on eBay for $35. I draw the line at Mr. Potatohead though.

What do you think of Star Wars merchandising? Do you watch John Stewart?

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4/25/2012

A lot of boardgames are being adapted into movies these days, so it's only a matter of time...

Would you watch this movie? What other games should become movies?
[Image Source: IMGUR]

[Via heltarez via IMGUR via Reddit]

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V is for Villains
Where would Vader be if he hadn't died from the Emperor? What would Jason be doing when he's in his twilight years?  What would the twins from the Shining be doing when they were in their sixties?

Laughing Squid has a bunch of photos of your favorite villains being somewhat less heroic things.
For Horror Vacui, Italian photographer Federico Chiesa has imagined what evil film characters would look like in their later years, including Darth Vader, Jason Voorhees and more. Carolina Trotta provided special effects, makeup artistry and styling for the project.






Via Collider

Thanks to Neil for the tip!

Are the photos funny? What do you think your favorite villain would be doing retired?




This post is part of the month long "A-Z Challenge." For 27 days, we'll be choosing a letter from the alphabet and crafting a post around it. To read more of the posts in the series click here. To find out more about the challenge go here.
Hosts: Arlee Bird at Tossing it Out, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Stephen Tremp at Breakthrough Blogs, Jenny Pearson at Pearson Report, Matthew McNish at The QQQE, Tina Downey atLife is Good, Jeremy Hawkins at Retro-Zombie, DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude, Shannon Lawrence at The Warrior Muse, Elizabeth Mueller, Damyanti Biswas at Amlokiblogs, Karen Gowen at Coming Down the Mountain, and Konstanz Silverbow at No Thought 2 Small. Check the Facebook page and the Twitter hashtag is #AtoZChallenge.

4/24/2012

U is for Universe

Today, we thought we'd blow your mind. Here's an interactive infographic that lets you scale up and down from atoms all the way to galaxies. It's an amazing way to appreciate the truly vast size of the Universe.


The Universe made possible by Number Sleuth

What was it like to magnify the universe?





This U post is part of the month long "A-Z Challenge." For 27 days, I'll be choosing a letter from the alphabet and crafting a post around it. To read more of the posts in the series click here. To find out more about the challenge go here.

Hosts: Arlee Bird at Tossing it Out, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Stephen Tremp at Breakthrough Blogs, Jenny Pearson at Pearson Report, Matthew McNish at The QQQE, Tina Downey atLife is Good, Jeremy Hawkins at Retro-Zombie, DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude, Shannon Lawrence at The Warrior Muse, Elizabeth Mueller, Damyanti Biswas at Amlokiblogs, Karen Gowen at Coming Down the Mountain, and Konstanz Silverbow at No Thought 2 Small. Check the Facebook page and the Twitter hashtag is #AtoZChallenge.

Update: Removed duplicate wallpaper
If you want to bring the force to your computer desktop here are some of my favorites.

With six movies and hundreds of characters there are literally thousands of wallpaper backgrounds. You can't see them all, but I brought you some of my favorites.

Last time I brought you the best Star Trek wallpaper sites. I decided to bring you the best Star Wars wallpaper ever.

Even if you don't  use a computer wallpaper you can still marvel at the beautiful images below. Here are my top ten wallpapers for Star Wars.




4. 
5.

Do you have a favorite wallpaper? Do you you use wallpapers on your computer or phone?

4/23/2012

T is for Tenderstar
Watch a cool sci-fi style video for a band called "Tenderstar." The animation was created by a fellow blogger buddie you may know named Joshua Westbury AKA Sci-Fi Gene.

Here's how Joshua, the creator of the video describes it:
For me the best part of making this video was working with the songwriter and lead singer who were both willing to share what the song meant to them. We started with abstract visualizations of the different sounds which also set the tone for the video, then added more concepts based on the verses and the overall theme. The songwriter describes "2007" as "a song about getting your head together over the course of a year" and we came up with the elevator journey as a way of representing this.


See Tenderstar live:
24th April - Monto Water Rats, London
http://www.facebook.com/events/271263409628480/

30th June - The Ballyhoo, 36-38 New Oxford Street, London
http://www.facebook.com/events/147494075379636/

Directed by Joshua Westbury
"2007" music and lyrics by Asher Dresner, performed by Tenderstar
Production assistants: Mike Chapman, David Novan
Make-up: Avital Jacobs
Produced by Asher Dresner, Matt Burns and Joshua Westbury

London Independent Film Festival 2012 - Official Selection

With thanks to:
The Blender Foundation
South West Essex and Settlement Reform Synagogue
St. John's Wood Reform Synagogue
Suzanne Westbury
Kino London
Rotoreliefs

"2007" (C) Tenderstar 2010 http://tenderstar.bandcamp.com
Animation (C) Joshua Westbury 2011 http://sci-fi-gene.blogspot.com
 
What do you think of the video?
[Image Source: YouTube]


This post is part of the month long "A-Z Challenge." For 27 days, we'll be choosing a letter from the alphabet and crafting a post around it. To read more of the posts in the series click here. To find out more about the challenge go here.
Hosts: Arlee Bird at Tossing it Out, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Stephen Tremp at Breakthrough Blogs, Jenny Pearson at Pearson Report, Matthew McNish at The QQQE, Tina Downey atLife is Good, Jeremy Hawkins at Retro-Zombie, DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude, Shannon Lawrence at The Warrior Muse, Elizabeth Mueller, Damyanti Biswas at Amlokiblogs, Karen Gowen at Coming Down the Mountain, and Konstanz Silverbow at No Thought 2 Small. Check the Facebook page and the Twitter hashtag is #AtoZChallenge.

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