My take on…Star Trek Beyond (and the three-screen Barco Escape system)

July 25, 2016

My take on…Star Trek Beyond (and the three-screen Barco Escape system)

This is the fiftieth anniversary year of Star Trek. It has been a big part of my life: Spock is one of my fictional heroes (along with Doc Savage and Kwai Chang Caine). There are several Star Trek related events in The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project.

So, naturally, my Significant Other and I watched Star Trek Beyond this weekend.:)

Before I talk about the movie, I want to talk about the way we saw it.

We saw it in “Barco Escape”.

What’s that?

It was one of the choices at our local movie theatre. We could have seen it in 3D, or in another digital format…but we chose to pay $3 extra per ticket to try out a new option.

In the theatre, there was the regular screen (a bit smaller than the largest screen, I think…and two more screens, angled at something like 30 to 45 degrees. You had the screen in front of you, and then two “wings”…sort of like giant goggles.

You can see it here:

Ready2Escape.com

The idea reminded me a great deal of the old Cinema 150 concept. I saw a movie in a Cinema 150 once (The Rocky Horror Picture Show): they took a 70 mm print and magnified it to make it cover the 150 degree curved screen…and it was a tad fuzzy at the edges.

Why 150 degrees?

I remember that it was supposed to cover all of your peripheral vision.

For the Cinema 150, it was effective, even though I still ended up turning my head from side to side some time, and seeing the edges. It was pretty immersive, though…sort of like primitive and “practical effect” VR (Virtual Reality).😉

Barco Escape?

Not as good.

The first issue is that the screens had very distinct edges where they met…there was no seam, like standing three decks of cards in their cases up on their long edges next to each other. That meant you were constantly aware of it…and that it interfered with the suspension of disbelief.

This may be a temporary installation, but it wouldn’t have been hard to have cloth cover those seams, so you didn’t see the shadows.

The other thing was that the additional screens were used intermittently, not all the time. It might be in a scene where a lot was happening…imagine a meteor storm. The two screens would have additional meteors…and then they would go dark again.

That was very distracting…and the people next to us felt the same way (we talked about it a bit afterwards). My SO, when I asked, also used the word “distracting”…and pointed out that there was no added value. You didn’t see something creep along the extra screen…you kind of can’t do that, since most people who watch the movie don’t have those screens…you can’t have that different an experience.

Bottom line: we wouldn’t pay extra for Escape again.

Now, the movie itself:

While I’m not going to spoil specific plot turns, I am going to say some things which you might prefer to wait to read until after you’ve seen the movie, so

MILD SPOILER ALERT

Simon Pegg (who plays Scotty in the new continuity) co-wrote this movie (along with Doug Jung). Pegg has done brilliant work in the past (I’m especially fond of Shaun of the Dead and Spaced), and clearly knows Star Trek inside out (it’s worth noting, Pegg also appeared in last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie…and was given special thanks).

That had given me hope for a strong entry, and I had been hearing it was like the original series (still my favorite).

While there aren’t false notes, it didn’t feel much like TOS at all.

The key thing is that this is pretty much non-stop action…we are in crisis mode virtually the entire movie.

That means that there is really very little strategic thinking, or philosophizing…yes, there are tactical decisions, but what might have been ten minutes of a TOS episode was basically the entire movie.

Also, people are clearly good or bad. No one seems at all unsure about their motivations…there is some mulling about future actions, but no consideration about what current actions might mean.

I miss that.

I also miss them having conversations…or  there being a real mystery.

That’s why we thought of TOS as being like literary science fiction…it wasn’t just visual with snappy repartee, it got you thinking.

There was one bizarre scene…I’m still not sure what they were trying to do. Early in the movie, there is a scene between McCoy and Kirk. It clearly appeared to me that this was after the death of Chekov. I appreciated that…a way to pay respects to the current actor who played Chekov, Anton Yelchin, who recently died tragically.

Dr. McCoy has a bottle of alcohol, which he says he “found” in Chekov’s locker. If a crewmember had died, naturally, the locker  would be cleaned out…and items would be found. Otherwise, why would McCoy be in Chekov’s locker…and take something?

When they drink they pour into an “absent friend’s” glass…another way to pay respect to a colleague who has died.

However, Chekov is in the rest of the movie.

Ambassador Spock (not Mr. Spock), played by Leonard Nimoy in this continuity, has died (reflecting the heart-rending loss of Leonard Nimoy recently)…but that doesn’t appear to be known to them at this point in the story, from what I recall.

Why the absent friends toast? Why steal from Chekov? I don’t know.

In terms of the acting and the characterizations generally…Karl Urban nails McCoy again, and that’s not an easy character. I like Zachary Quinto, I like his performance as Spock…but I’m not crazy about this version of Spock, who is a lot more emotional and isn’t struggling with two halves. It makes him as confident as the rest of the world (with the possible exception of some of the Bridge crew) thought the TOS Spock was…but we knew better.

Chris Pine, who I also like, is having a lot of fun as Kirk…Shatner would, I think, of loved playing an early scene. That does work, even if it isn’t quite like what we saw on TOS most of the time (it’s like every episode was A Piece of the Action). That’s fine, though…it is an alternative timeline.

I like Uhura in TOS a lot better…in this series, she seems to be largely defined by her relationship with Spock, where in the original series she was a powerful, independent person.

Sofia Boutella, as new character Jaylah, is charismatic. However, the character will seem quite a bit like Rey in The Force Awakens to many…she’s been on her own, scavenging from a crashed ship, and is a powerful warrior. Obviously, that’s not enough to say it is a derivative character, and I could certainly believe that it was conceived before the release of The Force Awakens…but some people will see similarities.

Idris Elba is already at the top of our

2016 The Measured Circle’s Box Office MVPs

list (with roles in Zootopia, The Jungle Book, and Finding Dory, to mention three), and this will only cement that position.

I wouldn’t say that there was much that especially stood out about Elba’s big bad role of Krall, though. It was also quite jarring to hear him refer to Kirk as “my old friend”…when it appears they have just met. I’m guessing that’s an homage to Khan in the Wrath of Khan, who says the same thing, but it made sense there: they had a history.

END SPOILER ALERT

Overall?

I enjoyed seeing the movie, but it was really one long CGI fest, where combat scenes vastly dominate over character scenes. For that reason, it didn’t feel much like a 1960s Star Trek episode, but it wasn’t an affront to that legacy, either.

Generally, I think most people will enjoy it…I just suspect we haven’t seen the best of this new crew yet, and I hope people also watch TOS (although, you know, don’t start with the third season…that’s another whole story).😉

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Join the TMCGTT Timeblazers!

When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Emmy nominations 2016: not your grandparents’ Emmys…or, um, your older sibling’s

July 18, 2016

Emmy nominations 2016: not your grandparents’ Emmys…or, um, your older sibling’s

Primetime Emmy nominees were just released…and it feels a lot fresher than we saw even just a few years ago.

Sure, no question that non-broadcast network shows have been dominant in recent years, but this year we’ve got nominees you might never have seen on anything bigger than your phone. Both Epic Rap Battles of History and Honest Trailers were nominated in the new Outstanding Short Form Variety Series category. Yep, YouTube series nominated for Emmys!

It also seems like more geek-friendly (GF) artists and works are nominated this year…it was just recently that the Clone Club was lamenting the omission of Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany…but she does appear in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category this year (and no, not as all of the nominees). Yes, this is the second year a row, but still.:) Since Game of Thrones is really an ensemble show, look for the acting nominees in the Supporting categories…where a third of the total nominees are from that one show! You want an Emmy as a guest star? Take a look at Big Bang Theory! That’s a testament in part to the security of a cast who has been working together so well for so long.

Let’s take a look at GF nominees:

  • Outstanding Drama Series: Game of Thrones, Mr. Robot
  • Outstanding Comedy Series: Silicon Valley
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Rami Malek (Mr. Robot)
  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black)
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth)
  • Outstanding Television Movie: Sherlock: The Abominable Bride
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie: Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock: The Abominable Bride)
  • Outstanding Reality Competition Series: American Ninja Warrior
  • Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series: Bob Newhart (The Big Bang Theory)
  • Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series: Christine Baranski (The Big Bang Theory)
  • Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series: Laurie Metcalfe (The Big Bang Theory)
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Kit Harington (Game of Thrones)
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones)
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Lena Headey (Game of Thrones)
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones)
  • Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series: Max von Sydow (Game of Thrones)
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie: Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story: Hotel)
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie: Kathy Bates (American Horror Story: Hotel)
  • Outstanding Structured Reality Program: MythBusters
  • Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series: Jack Bender (Game of Thrones: The Door)
  • Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series: Miguel Sapochnik (Game of Thrones: Battle of the B*stards)
  • Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series: David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (Game of Thrones: Battle of the B*stards)
  • Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series: Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot: eps1.0_hellofriend.mov ((Pilot)))
  • Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series: Mike Judge (Silicon Valley: Founder Friendly)
  • Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series: Alec Berg (Silicon Valley: Daily Active Users)
  • Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series: Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe: Episode 1)
  • Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series: Alec Berg (Silicon Valley: The Uptick)
  • Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series: Dan O’Keefe (Silicon Valley: Founder Friendly)
  • Outstanding Short Form Comedy or Drama Series (Fear the Walking Dead: Flight 462)
  • Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series: Patrika Darbo (Acting Dead)
  • Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series: Michelle Ang (Fear the Walking Dead: Flight 462)
  • Outstanding Short Form Nonfiction or Reality Series: A Year in Space
  • Outstanding Short Form Variety Series: Epic Rap Battles of History
  • Outstanding Short Form Variety Series: Gay of Thrones
  • Outstanding Short Form Variety Series: Honest Trailers
  • Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special: Robert Smigel, David Feldman, RJ Fried, Michael Koman, Brian Reich, Andy Breckman, Josh Comers, Raj Desai, Jarrett Grode, Ben Joseph, Matthew Kirsch, Matthew Lawrence, Craig Rowin, Zach Smilovitz, David Taylor and Andy Weinberg: Triumph’s Election Special 2016

While you can always come up with “snubs” (and feel free to mention them by commenting on this post), I think this year’s list is continuing evidence of the mainstreaming of the geek.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Join the TMCGTT Timeblazers!

When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

 

Shop through your Echo  device and get a great deal on a Tap today

July 8, 2016

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160708005141/en/

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the Measured Circle blog

Dear Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: here’s my advice on playing Doc Savage

June 22, 2016

Dear Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: here’s my advice on playing Doc Savage

Dear Mr. Johnson:

Oh, actually, I don’t know…do I call you The Rock? Dwayne? The? Please pick whatever appellation you would prefer.

I believe you make intelligent choices as an actor (being a former actor myself), and that you’ll possibly appreciate some insight from a fan of Doc Savage.

You see, while Doc clearly inspired Superman and Batman (and others), you’ll need to find a way to make him stand out, to be different from all those other heroes out there.

He is…and you can be, and still make it appealing and commercial.

You see, Doc is vastly superior to most of us, but believes that he will never be good enough.

That’s the key.

He is intensely introspective, and acutely aware of anything he sees in himself as an imperfection. Of course he is self-sacrificing…perhaps, he thinks, even in dying, he could contribute in some small way to make the world a better place…and what right does he have to stay in it?

Where does he get this attitude?

It goes back to his childhood…not to get all Sunday Supplement psychological on you.

Doc’s mother died when he was a baby. Does Doc blame himself for this? Possibly, but it’s what happens after that which shapes his sense of unworthiness.

Doc’s father was already an adventurer, a world traveler. Clark Savage, Sr., makes the decision to raise his son to be a “superman”. Doc is raised on an island, and (exclusively male…he doesn’t see a woman until he is an adult) experts are brought in to tutor him, to make him into Homo superior.

Pressure, much?

Any slight failure proves to himself that he has not achieved his father’s life’s purpose for him.

Once he gets into the real world (fighting in World War I), his obvious physical and mental superiority (in part derived from an incredible self-discipline and commitment to improvement) becomes apparent to him. He becomes a leader to a group of extraordinary friends.

In the first few adventures, he kills people right and left, perhaps a bit overwhelmed to be that superior…he may actually believe he has a chance to make the difference he was raised to make.

Then he fails.

He comes to believe that his killing people was a weakness…a proof of his flaws. He vows never to kill again, and would rather die than kill even a villain.

He is driven to, as the Doc Savage oath (not part of the original adventures, but from that time) says, “…strive, every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, that all may profit from it.”

He can never be good enough. Not as a brain surgeon. Not as a pilot. Not as a leader. He can, though, be better than he is now.

That’s the core.

It explains a lot of things.

It’s why he ignores questions about what he thinks is happening in a mystery, until he is sure. He thinks he could be wrong, and his error could be disastrous.

It explains his two hours of exercises a day…exercises which include mental and sensory exercises. Why does he do it even when imprisoned by a bad guy? He’s not worth surviving as he is…he needs to be better, to closer to the goal his father had for him. If he dies, the world might be better off without him.

He risks riding on the running board of cars…his being able to see better and possibly help his associates is worth the risk of his life.

It shows his anger at being told he was more useful at home in World War II than being in the thick of the fight.

It’s why, in the later adventures, he abandons many of his gadgets…if he relies on them, he isn’t getting better, no matter how useful they are.

That’s not to say he wants to die. He doesn’t: he wants to make the world a better place, and dying for its own sake doesn’t do that.

Dying in the service of others would.

He’s not illogical in this…he knows the value his skills give to his team and to society at large. He’s not going to throw his life away on a small item.

To play Doc, work with this motivation: “I can never do enough to be as good as I should be…but I can be better than I am.”

I hope that helps! You’ll get a lot of advice about being Doc Savage, and some of it will be contrary to this, I’m sure. No doubt, there will be some who suggest you play him as supremely confident. I would say this: on the surface, he can appear confident, because he knows it benefits others that he seem to be so…but that unconscious trilling will show you that there is an uncontrolled undercurrent in Doc Savage’s thoughts.

Take the opportunity to make Doc as complex as he is…we don’t need to see it overtly on screen, but I hope to see it inform your performance in a movie I have anticipated for years.

No pressure, though…I’m not Clark Savage, Sr.😉

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Geeky reference books on a great sale!

June 5, 2016

Geeky reference books on a great sale!

In my I Love My Kindle blog, I recently wrote about getting an alert from eReaderIQ that

Universal Horrors (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

was on sale for $3.99 (the digital list price is $29.99).

I’d had that one on my Amazon Wish List for some time, and snapped it up at that price.

What I didn’t realize was that this is a sale on many titles from the publisher McFarland!

I know McFarland best for producing high-quality reference works on topics that generally get short shrift. You aren’t going to find a heavily researched book on “monster movies” (as is Universal Horrors) from most university presses.

Typically, the books are not inexpensive. $29.99 is a lot for a Kindle edition, usually, but this falls into that category for me where it’s a legitimate price. It’s not like a novel.

These books will make excellent gifts! You can delay delivery of a Kindle store book for the appropriate gift-giving occasion. Even though I don’t often buy books for myself any more, since we have

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

but some of these are too good not to have in our library.

Here’s a search for 885 (!) McFarland books for $3.99 each (those seem to be the ones on sale…not all McFarland books are) in the USA Kindle store right now. Some of these may be false positives…Amazon’s search sometimes seems…imprecise, and an author of “McFarland” may be returned when I searched for the publisher McFarland (using Amazon’s own advanced search):

McFarland books for $3.99 (at AmazonSmile*)

I have no idea how long this sale will last, so check the price before you click or tap that sale button. I might be getting some gifts for other people, too.:)

Oh, one other note: these are often “coffee table” type books…they will be large files to have on an EBR (E-Book Reader, and may have color pictures which render best on a tablet)

Here are some that caught my eye:

  • The Literary Monster on Film: Five Nineteenth Century British Novels and Their Cinematic Adaptations by Abigail Burnham Bloom
  • Keep Watching the Skies!: American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties, The 21st Century Edition by Bill Warren and Bill Thomas (I bought this one)
  • Illuminating Torchwood: Essays on Narrative, Character and Sexuality in the BBC Series (Critical Explorations in Science…by Andrew Ireland and Donald E. Palumbo (put it on my wish list…love the show, but this interest seems too narrow for me to buy right now)
  • Italian Horror Film Directors by Louis Paul
  • Visions of Mars: Essays on the Red Planet in Fiction and Science by Howard V. Hendrix and George Edgar Slusser (bought as a gift)
  • Sounds of the Future: Essays on Music in Science Fiction Film by Mathew J. Bartkowiak (wish list)
  • Mass Hysteria in Schools: A Worldwide History Since 1566 by Robert E. Bartholomew and Bob Rickard (Bob Rickard is a driving force at Fortean Times) (bought as a gift and wish list)
  • Hammer Films: An Exhaustive Filmography by Tom Johnson and Deborah Del Vecchio (wish list)
  • In the Peanut Gallery with Mystery Science Theater 3000: Essays on Film, Fandom, Technology and the Culture of…by Robert G. Weiner and Robert G. Weiner
  • Super-history: Comic Book Superheroes and American Society, 1938 to the Present by Jeffrey K. Johnson (wish list)
  • Inside Gilligan’s Island by Sherwood Schwartz (wish list)
  • A History of the Doc Savage Adventures in Pulps, Paperbacks, Comics, Fanzines, Radio and Film by Robert Michael “Bobb” Cotter (bought this one! I just wrote a piece on Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson being cast as Doc Savage…Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Doc Savage: a fan’s view)
  • Creating Characters: A Writer’s Reference to the Personality Traits That Bring Fictional People to Life by Howard Lauther)
  • Encyclopedia of Television Pilots, 1937-2012 by Vincent Terrace (digital list price $99.99)
  • Fright Night on Channel 9: Saturday Night Horror Films on New York’s WOR-TV, 1973-1987 by James Arena
  • Teaching with Harry Potter: Essays on Classroom Wizardry from Elementary School to College by Valerie Estelle Frankel
  • Of Bread, Blood and the Hunger Games: Critical Essays on the Suzanne Collins Trilogy (Critical Explorations in…by Mary F. Pharr
  • The Body in Tolkien’s Legendarium: Essays on Middle-earth Corporeality by Christopher Vaccaro
  • Encyclopedia of Imaginary and Mythical Places by Theresa Bane
  • Respecting The Stand: A Critical Analysis of Stephen King’s Apocalpytic Novel by Jenifer Paquette
  • The Wizard of Oz as American Myth: A Critical Study of Six Versions of the Story, 1900-2007 by Alissa Burger
  • A History and Critical Analysis of Blake’s 7, the 1978-1981 British Television Space Adventure by John Kenneth Muir (this show came up in a comment recently on this blog)
  • Fan CULTure: Essays on Participatory Fandom in the 21st Century by Kristin M. Barton and Jonathan Malcolm Lampley
  • Kermit Culture: Critical Perspectives on Jim Henson’s Muppets by Jennifer C. Garlen and Anissa M. Graham
  • The Heritage of Heinlein: A Critical Reading of the Fiction: 42 (Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and…by Thomas D. Clareson and Joe Sanders
  • America Toons In: A History of Television Animation by David Perlmutter
  • The Video Games Guide: 1,000+ Arcade, Console and Computer Games, 1962-2012, 2d ed. by Matt Fox
  • The American Popular Novel After World War II: A Study of 25 Best Sellers, 1947-2000 by David Willbern
  • Marketing Your Library: Tips and Tools That Work by Carol Smallwood and Vera Gubnitskaia

I could keep going and going, but I’m worried about the sale ending while I’m writing this.:)

I’ll get this out, and I might add to it later. If you are thrilled (or puzzled) by any when you go to check it out (which I recommend) feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post. Update: I did add…I couldn’t leave off the Vincent Terrace book(s)…I have some in hardback, and they are terrific!

Enjoy!

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Doc Savage: a fan’s view

June 5, 2016

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Doc Savage: a fan’s view

I can legitimately say I’m a fan of Doc Savage.

I’ve read (and have on my shelves) all 181 of the original “adventures”. I’ve kept the Doc Savage oath (not in the originals, but still dating from that time) on my computer, and recited it for inspiration. I have a Flipboard magazine devoted to linking to Doc resources and news articles on the web (Doc Savage Fanflip), a Doc Savage category of articles on this blog, and Doc’s introduction is one of the “des-time-ations” in The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project.

Doc is one of my literary heroes: I am a better person because of Doc Savage.

I also like Dwayne Johnson: I have The Rock Clock, which is a fun alarm app from the actor/wrestler, on my Galaxy S7 Edge.

However, when I heard that The Rock was being considered for the role of Doc Savage in Shane Black’s new movie, I was not immediately convinced.

First,  there’s the physicality. I find it hard to imagine the Rock in disguise as an “ordinary person” and making it work. It’s hard to think of him as anything but big…when he walks into a room, that’s going to be the first impression. Famously, Doc doesn’t look big, until you realize how tall he is because of some item of scale. Yes, he’s tall. Yes, he’s muscled, but not broad like a bodybuilder. However, they may be able to work with that…I’m just concerned that casting someone who is that big suggests perhaps an inaccurate surface assessment of the character. I expect, though, that Shane Black has read all of the adventures, and he’s smart and a good screenwriter…I’d call it a yellow flag, rather than a red one.

Second, I tend to think of the Rock as comedic or intimidating, in most roles. Neither of those fit my image of Doc Savage, who is taciturn…an immovable object rather than an unstoppable force, perhaps.

That brings up a reason why this casting can work.

Doc evolves.

Some characters, like Sherlock Holmes, come to us largely fully formed. Outside of some practical elements, you can read any of the stories about them and it doesn’t matter much in which order you do it.

The Doc Savage stories are self-contained…it’s not that a story continues from one book to the next (although there are some callbacks to previous events). It’s that Doc in the first stories is different from Doc in the middle stories who is different from Doc in the last stories.

Maybe it was because Lester Dent, who wrote the vast majority of the stories, wrote them so quickly…in the beginning, it was roughly like writing a 100 page book with a complex plot, clever dialog, and distinctive characters…every month. I think he had to be very engaged with the character…and if Dent evolved, Doc would evolve as well. Not that they held the same attitudes at the same time, but that Dent’s philosophy and emotional state would influence how he wrote Doc Savage.

Let’s take a look at some things Doc Savage fans would tell a non-fan in describing the character and the books:

  • Doc is a physical and mental marvel. He isn’t just unusually strong as well as being fast and skilled athletically. He is literally a brain surgeon. He is an inventor. It doesn’t matter much what the scientific discipline is: Doc is at the level of the best in the world. That doesn’t change much during the books
  • Doc never kills. He would rather die than kill someone else, even a villain. This was a radical change in the books: in the beginning, it’s not unreasonable to describe Doc as bloodthirsty. He kills right and left, and kills for vengeance. He rethinks this (Doc is always thinking, and examining his own behavior), and comes to believe that killing is wrong. He develops special non-lethal weapons (guns that fire “mercy bullets” that only knock people out, anesthetic gas glass globes…). Because his associates respect him so much, they adopt the same policy…at least officially. Monk, one of Doc’s aides, never really seems to get on board with this…he doesn’t kill because Doc doesn’t like it, not because the rule is part of his moral core
  • Doc has gadgets…he even wears a “utility vest”, the forerunner of Batman’s “utility belt”. The pockets are full of all kinds of things, including  underwater breathing apparatus, the aforementioned gas globes, a grappling hook, and so on. In later books, though, he eschews these, believing he has come to rely on them too much (again, being introspective). The “gadgets” extend to vehicles: a submarine, an autogyro (sort of like a helicopter), cars, planes…and a high-speed elevator in the skyscraper headquarters
  • There are five “aides” who accompany Doc on his adventures: Monk, a chemist who looks so much like an ape he is sometimes mistaken for one; Ham, a Harvard lawyer, and Monk’s “odd couple” verbal sparring partner; Long Tom, an electrical engineer; Renny, a civil engineer who, unlike Doc, is immediately noted for how big he is (especially his fists); and Johnny, a geologist and archaeologist noted for his use of big words. Outsiders might think of this as being a team, like the Justice League or the Avengers, but that’s not the case. They are friends, and Doc is the leader in their group…but being a Doc Savage aide is not a full-time job. Any of them may be too busy to join an adventure (and we usually hear what they are doing instead)…think of it more like buddies going on a road trip than an organization of crimefighters. Doc might even have an adventure with none of them around
  • Doc is disciplined. He does two hours of self-improvement every day, regardless of the circumstances.  These are often described as “exercises”, but it’s important to note that this is not just a physical workout. Doc does math problems in his head, practices identifying smells, hones his sense of hearing

I think that discipline is key to the character. Doc is always trying to make himself better…and that doesn’t just mean new personal records. It also means being a better person, for the benefit of society at large. Doc, like Mr. Spock on Star Trek and Kwai Chang Caine on Kung Fu, believes he is imperfect morally…a failure, in a sense. Rationally, he knows he is superior to most people physically and intellectually…but that doesn’t mean he thinks he always does the right thing. Doc repeatedly ignores questions when his aides ask them…it’s not because he doesn’t respect the aides, it’s because he thinks he could be wrong.

That part of the character is where Shane Black and Dwayne Johnson will have to convince me yet. There’s a real temptation with an iconic character like this, who has every reason to believe he is the best in the world, to play him as supremely confident. Doc doesn’t need to have angst on screen…he doesn’t have to doubt his cause to do good in the world, he never questions that. He has to doubt that he is morally strong enough, and to always think he can be better.

I am looking forward to the movie, and there is no question that casting Dwayne Johnson has called a lot more attention to it than it would have had as this stage. I like Shane Black. I like Dwayne Johnson. I like Doc Savage. I just hope I like them all together.

Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard 

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the  The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

 

80 geeky quotes from the Eighties: a quiz (the answers)

May 31, 2016

80 geeky quotes from the Eighties: a quiz (the answers)

Note: these are the answers to a game. If you would like to play the game without seeing the answers, start here:

80 geeky quotes from the Eighties: a quiz

CNN’s documentary series The Eighties is a winding down its run, and I’m working on a big post with lots of geek-friendly (GF) information about the decade. As I was writing that, though, I was struck by how many quotations and catchphrases there are from movies and TV shows during that time! Here are eighty GF quotes. Give yourself one point if you know the movie/show, three points if you know the character/actor (I would accept either one), and ten points if you know the writer (I would count the show creator for a TV series). In no particular order:

  1. “No matter where you go…there you are.” [1 point: (The Adventures of) Buckaroo Banzai (across the Eighth Dimension); 3 points: Buckaroo Banzai/Peter Weller; 10 points: Earl Mac Rauch]
  2. “Where does he get those wonderful toys?” [1 point: Batman; 3 points: Jack Nicholson/The Joker; 10 points: Sam Hamm and/or Warren Skaaren]
  3. “I do not mean to pry, but you don’t by any chance happen to have six fingers on your right hand?” [1 point: The Princess Bride; 3 points: Mandy Patinkin/Inigo Montoya; 10 points: William Goldman]
  4. “Replicants are like any other machines. They’re either a benefit or a hazard. If they’re a benefit, it’s not my problem.” [1 point: Blade Runner; 3 points: Harrison Ford/Rick Deckard; 10 points: Hampton Fancher and/or David Webb Peoples]
  5. “I don’t make monkeys, I just train ’em.” [1 point: Pee-wee’s Big Adventure; 3 points; Pee-wee Herman/Paul Reubens; 10 points: Phil Harman and/or Paul Reubens and/or Michael Varhol]
  6. “I’m not all alone in the dark. I like the dark. I love the dark.” [1 point: The Goonies; 3 points: Chunk/Jeff Cohen; 10 points: Chris Columbus]
  7. “Did you know, Mr. Torrance, that your son is attempting to bring an outside party into this situation? Did you know that?” [1 point: The Shining; 3 points: Delbert Grady/Philip Stone; 10 points: Stanley Kubrick and/or Stephen King and/or Diane Johnson]
  8. “That’s a big Twinkie.” [1 point: Ghostbusters;  3 points: Winston Zeddmore/Ernie Hudson; 10 points: Dan Aykroyd and/or Harold Ramis]
  9. “I’ve had enough practical jokes for one evening. Good night, future boy!” [1 point: Back to the Future; 3 points: Doc Brown/Christopher Lloyd; 10 points: Robert Zemeckis and/or Bob Gale]
  10. “You Americans, you’re all the same. Always overdressing for the wrong occasions.”  [1 point: Raiders of the Lost Ark; 3 points: Toht/Ronald Lacey; 10 points: Lawrence Kasdan (the story was by George Lucas and Philip Kauman…take a total of five points for either or both of those, or a total of ten points if you got Kasdan, who also co-wrote The Empire Strikes Back and The Force Awakens]
  11. “If you want to be a party animal, you have to learn to live in the jungle.” [1 point: Weird Science; 3 points: Lisa/Kelly LeBrock; 10 points: John Hughes]
  12. “Try not. Do…or do not. There is no try.” [1 point: The Empire Strikes Back (with or without Star Wars V]; 3 points: Frank Oz/Yoda; 10 points: Lawrence Kasdan and/or Leigh Brackett]
  13. “I ain’t got time to bleed.” [1 point: Predator; 3 points: Jesse Ventura/Blain; 10 points: Jim and John Thomas]
  14. “I’m an alien, from the planet Melmac. I have powers you can only dream of. ” [1 point: ALF; 3 points: ALF/Paul Fusco; 10 points: Paul Fusco and/or Tom Patchett]
  15. “Maybe it was an iguana.” [1 point: E.T. – The Extraterrestrial; 3 points: Michael/Robert McNaughton; 10 points: Melissa Mathison]
  16. “Believe it or not, it’s just me.” [1 point: The Greatest American Hero (theme song); 3 points: Joey Scarbury (singer); 10 points: Mike Post and/or Stephen Geyer]
  17. “A day in the Marine Corps is like a day on the farm.” [1 point; Aliens; 3 points; Alpone/Al Mathews; 10 points: James Cameron]
  18. “Come with me if you want to live.” [1 point: Terminator II: Judgement Day; 3 points: Arnold Schwarzenegger/The Terminator; 10 points: James Cameron and/or William Wisher Jr.]
  19. “These aren’t my rules. Come to think of it,  I don’t have any rules.” [1 point: Beetlejuice; 3 points: Beetlejuice (Betelgeuse)/Michael Keaton; 10 points: Michael McDowell and/or Warren Skaaren]
  20. “So, how do we know who’s human? If I was an imitation, a perfect imitation, how would you know if it was really me?” [1 point: (John Carpenter’s) The Thing; 3 points: Keith David/Childs; 10 points: Bill Lancaster]
  21. “Confronted by their true selves, most men run away screaming!” [1 point: The Neverending Story; 3 points: Engywook/Sydney Bromley; 10 points:  Wolfgang Petersen and/or Herman Weigel]
  22. “Teenagers. They think they know everything. You give them an inch, they swim all over you.” [1 point: The Little Mermaid; 3 points: Sebastien/Samuel E. Wright; 10 points: John Musker and/or Ron Clements]
  23. “…a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless, in a world of criminals who operate above the law.” [1 point: Knight Rider (opening); 3 points: Richard Basehart; 10 points: Glen A.  Larson (creator)
  24. “Whatever you do, don’t fall asleep.” [1 point: A Nightmare on Elm Street; 3 points: Nancy Thompson/Heather Langenkamp; 10 points: Wes Craven]
  25. “You’d better get yourself a garlic T-shirt, buddy, or it’s your funeral.” [1 point: The Lost Boys; 3 points: Edgar Frog/Corey Feldman; 10 points: Jan Fischer and/or James Jeremias and/or Jeffrey Boam]
  26. “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick *ss…and I’m all out of bubblegum.” [1 point: They Live; 3 points: Nada/”Rowdy” Roddy Piper; 10 points:  John Carpenter (aka Frank Armitage)]
  27. “Excuse me, I have to  go. Somewhere there is a crime happening.” [1 point: Robocop; 3 points: Robocop/Peter Weller/Alex Murphy; 10 points:  Edward Neumeier and/or Michael Miner]
  28. “You all remember what to do whenever anybody says the secret word, right?” [1 point: Pee-Wee’s Playhouse; 3 points: Pee-Wee Herman/Paul Reubens; 10 points: Paul Reubens]
  29. “May the Schwartz be with you!” [1 point: Spaceballs; 3 points: Yogurt (other characters say it, too) ; 10 points: Mel Brooks  and/or Thomas Meehan and/or Ronny Graham]
  30. “In the end, there can be only one.” [1 point: Highlander; 3 points: Ramirez/Sean Connery (other answers possible); 10 points: Gregory Widen and/or Peter Bellwood and/or Larry Ferguson]
  31. “Two men enter, one man leaves.” 1 point: Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome;  3 points: Aunty Entity/Tina Turner and/or Dr. Dealgood/Edwin Hodgeman; 10 points: Terry Hayes and/or George Miller]
  32. “I never drive faster than I can see.” [1 point: Big Trouble in Little China; 3 points: Kurt Russell/Jack Burton; 10 points: W.D. Richter]
  33. “Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women.” [1 point: Conan the Barbarian; 3 points: Arnold Schwarzenegger/Conan; 10 points: John Milius and/or Oliver Stone]
  34. “They’re the world’s most fearsome fighting team!” [1 point: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (theme song); 3 points:  James Mandell aka Mike Doppler; 10 points: Chuck Lorre and/or Dennis Challen Brown]
  35. “If you build it, they will come.” [1 point: Field of Dreams; 3 points: “The Voice” (rumored to be Ed Harris) 10 points: Phil Alden Robinson]
  36. “Need input!” [1 point: Short Circuit; 3 points: Johnny 5/Number 5/Tim Blaney; 10 points: S.S. Wilson and/or Brent Maddock]
  37. “A man with the brightest of futures. A man with the darkest of pasts. From Africa’s deepest recesses, to the rarefied peaks of Tibet, heir to his father’s Legacy and the world’s darkest mysteries.” [1 point: Manimal (opening); 3 points: William Conrad; 10 points: Glen A. Larson]
  38. “Won’t that be grand? Computers and the programs will start thinking and the people will stop.” [1 point: Tron; 3 points: Barnard Hughes/Dr. Walter Gibbs; 10 points: Steven Lisberger]
  39. “I want to be shipwrecked and comatose, drinking fresh mango juice.” [1  point: Red Dwarf (theme song); 3 points: Jenna Russell; 10 points: Howard Goodall]
  40. “But the most important rule, the rule you can never forget, no matter how much he cries, no matter how much he begs, never feed him after midnight.” [1 point: Gremlins; 3 points: “Chinese Boy”/John Louie; 10 points: Chris Columbus]
  41. “Don’t have a cow, man!” [1 point: The Simpsons; 3 points: Bart Simpson/Nancy Cartwright; 10 points: James L. Brooks and/or Matt Groening and/or Sam Simon]
  42. “I assure you, Mrs. Buttie, the Ministry is very scrupulous about following up and eradicating any error. If you have any complaints which you’d like to make, I’d be more than happy to send you the appropriate form.” [1 point: Brazil; 3 points: Sam Lowry/Jonathan Pryce ;  10 points: Terry Gilliam and/or Tom Stoppard and/or Chuck McKeown]
  43. “The owls are not what they seem.” [NOTE: this was an error…it actually was not broadcast until 1990, so it does not belong in this list. If you got it right, still give yourself the points. 1 point: Twin Peaks; 3 points: Giant and/or Carel Struycken;  10 points: David Lynch and/or Mark Frost]
  44. “Does this look inanimate to you, punk?” [1 point: Little Shop of Horrors; 3 points: Audrey II/Levi Stubbs; 10 points: Howard Ashman]
  45. “I watched you very carefully…Red light: stop. Green light: go. Yellow light: go very fast.” [1 point: Starman; 3 points: Jeff Bridges/Starman/Scott Hayden; 10 points: Bruce A. Evans and/or Raynold Gideon]
  46. “We’re now a quarter of an inch tall, and sixty-four feet from the house. That’s an equivalent of 3.2 miles. That’s a long way, even for a man of science.” [1 point: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids; 3 points:  Wayne Szalinski/Rick Moranis; 10 points: Ed Naha and/or Tom Schulman]
  47. “Shall we play a game?” [1 point: WarGames; Joshua/John Wood; 10 points: Lawrence Lasker and/or Walter F. Parkes]
  48. “Has it occurred to you that it might be unsettling to see you arise from the grave to visit me?” [1 point: An American Werewolf in London; 3 points: David Kessler/David Naughton; 10 points: John Landis]
  49. “I have been, and always shall be, your friend.” [1 point: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; 3 points: Mr. Spock/Leonard Nimoy; Jack B. Soward and/or Nicholas Meyer]
  50. “Sword of omens, give me sight beyond sight!” [1 point: Thundercats; 3 points: Lion-O/Larry Kenney; 10 points: Jules Bass and/or Arthur Rankin, Jr.]
  51. “Just repeat to yourself it’s just a show, I should really just relax” [1 point: Mystery Science Theater 3000 (theme song); 3 points: Joel Hodgson; 10 points: Joel Hodgson]
  52. “This is where the wealthy and the powerful rule. It is her world…a world apart from mine.” [1 point: Beauty and the Beast (opening); 3 points: Ron Perlman/Vincent; 10 points: Ron Koslow]
  53. “What if courage and imagination became everyday mortal qualities?” [1 point: Clash of the Titans; 3 points: Thetis/Maggie Smith; 10 points: Beverly Cross]
  54. “Make it so.” [1 point: Star Trek: The Next Generation; 3 points: Jean-Luc Picard/Patrick Stewart; 10 points: Gene Roddenberry and/or Rick Berman and/or Michael Piller]
  55. “It’s yet another in a long series of diversions in an attempt to avoid responsibility.” [1 point: Real Genius; 3 points: Val Kilmer/Chris Knight; 10 points: Neal Israel and/or Pat Proft]
  56. “She’s fantastic, made of plastic.” [1 point: Small Wonder (theme song); 3 points: unknown 10 points: George Greeley and/or Ed Lojeskie
  57. “It all started when a time travel experiment I was conducting went a little caca.” [1 point: Quantum Leap; 3 points: Dr. Sam Beckett/Scott Bakula; 10 points: Donald P. Bellisario]
  58. “The Visitors are our friends.” [1 point: V; 3 points: posters; 10 points: Kenneth Johnson]
  59. “From days of long ago, from uncharted regions of the universe, comes a legend…” [1 point: Hercules: The Legendary Journeys; 3 points: Al Chalk; 10 points: Christian Williams]
  60. “Danger lurks behind you, there’s a stranger out to find you…” [1 point: Darkwing Duck (theme song); 3 points: unknown, theme music by Steve Nelson and Thom Sharp; series created by Tad Stones]
  61. “More than meets the eye!” [1 point: Transformers (theme song); 3 points: (unknown); 10 points: theme song by Ford Kinder and Anne Bryant]
  62. “Wowzers!” [1 point: Inspector Gadget; 3 points: Inspector Gadgets/Don Adams; 10 points: Jean Chalopin and/or Andy Heyward and/or Bruno Bianchi]
  63. “Dance your cares away…worry’s for another day.” [1 point: Fraggle Rock (theme song); 3 points: the Fraggles; 10 points: Philip Balsam and/or Dennis Lee]
  64. “Man lives in the sunlit world of what he believes to be reality.” [1 point: Tales from the Darkside; 3 points: Paul Sparer; 10 points: George Romero]
  65. “Truly, truly, truly outrageous!” [1 point: Jem (theme song); 3 points: Britta Phillips; 10 points: Christy Marx]
  66. “We travel through time to help history along, give it a push where it’s needed.” [1 point: Voyagers; 3 points: Jon-Erik Hexum; 10 points: James Parriott]
  67. “Insects don’t have politics.” [1 point: The Fly; 3 points: Jeff Goldblum/Seth Brundle; 10 points: Charles Edward Pogue and/or David Cronenberg]
  68. “Call me Snake.” [1 point: Escape from New York; 3 points: Kurt Russell/Snake Plissken; 10 points: John Carpenter and/or Nick Castle]
  69. “My mind is all I have! I’ve spent my whole life trying to fill it!” [1 point: Flash Gordon; 3 points: Topol/Dr. Hans Zarkov; 10 points: Lorenzo Semple Jr.]
  70. “I have the power!” [1 point: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe; 3 points: He-Man/Prince Adam/John Erwin; 10 points: Lou Scheimer]
  71. “Every duck has his limit, and you scum have pushed me over the line!” [1 point: Howard the Duck; 3 points: Howard the Duck/Chip Zien; 10 points: Willard Huyck and/or Gloria Katz]
  72. “I don’t want to live forever if you’re not going to be with me.” [1 point: Cocoon; 3 points: Joseph Finlay/Hume Cronyn; 10 points: Tom Benedek]
  73. “You wanna see something really scary?” [1 point: Twilight Zone: The Movie; 3 points: Ambulance Driver/Dan Aykroyd; 10 points: John Landis]
  74. “…television is reality, and reality is less than television” [1 point: Videodrome; 3 points: Brian O’Blivion/Jack Creley ; 10 points: David Cronenberg]
  75. “You are thirty-five years old, Mr. Vale. Why are you such a derelict? Such a piece of human junk?” [1 point: Scanners; 3 points:  Paul Ruth/Patrick McGoohan; 10 points: David Cronenberg]
  76. “God isn’t interested in technology. He cares nothing for the microchip or silicon revolution. Look how he spends his time: forty-three species of parrots!” [1 point: Time Bandits; 3 points: Evil/David Warner; 10 points: Terry Gilliam and/or Michael Palin]
  77. “Credit is a sacred trust, it’s what our free society is founded on.” [1 point: Repo Man; 3 points: Harry Dean Stanton/Bud; 10 points: Alex Cox]
  78. “What in the blue blazes is the circus doing here in these parts?” [1 point: Killer Klowns from Outer Space; 3 points: Farmer Gene Green/Royal Dano; 10 points: Charles Chiodo and/or Stephen Chiodo]
  79. “Meet little Melvin…he’s a ninety pound weakling. Everyone hated Melvin.” [1 point: The Toxic Avenger; 3 points: unknown/narrator ; 10 points: Joe Ritter]
  80. “Hey, I know this guy [Ronald Reagan]. Is this another movie?” [1 point: The Philadelphia Experiment; 3 points: Michael Pare/David Herdeg; 10 points: Michael Janover and/or William Gray]

How many did you know?:)

Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard 

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the  The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Why not make your Memorial Day travel a geek time trip?

May 28, 2016

Why not make your Memorial Day travel a geek time trip?

While there are certainly serious observations on Memorial Day weekend, it is also a time when people enjoy entertainment options. It’s a really big weekend in movie theatres (this year, there are Avengers, X-Men, Angry Birds, and Mowgli and friends for you to see, just to name a few), there are TV marathons, sports, family outings…and reading, of course!

It’s also a big weekend for travel…that might be by plane, it might be by car, or foot, or bicycle, or, maybe if you are in the land of Oz, flying Gump (“the thing”).😉

Well, I want to help you out.😉

You can visit my

The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project

and stream or download public domain materials, legally for free!

When you look at the timeline, look for events with a “>” at the end…those link to somewhere you should be able to get the content at no cost. That’s going to be works that are not under copyright protection. There are “events” listed in TMCGTT which are under copyright…in that case, I’ll link you to somewhere you can still get it, if possible…just not free for everybody. For example, I’ll link to a movie at JustWatch.com, which will search streaming options for you (so you can see if you can watch it on Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, or some other services). For a book, I’ll link to a WorldCat search of public libraries…if they have it in e-book at a library where you are a member, you can likely download it without leaving your couch.😉 I also link to GoodReads, which in turn links to stores (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo…)

I don’t link directly to a place where you can just buy it…TMCGTT  isn’t about advertising (and I don’t get income directly from anything you do there.

I’ll recommend a few:

  • When I’m flying, I like having Old Time Radio shows on my tablet (Kindle Fire) as an option. I’ll read, but I like to do different things on a long flight. 2000 Plus is an anthology science fiction series with some really odd stories. You’ll find it on March 15, 1950
  • If you want to read a book, let me suggest you go to “H. Beam Piper born” on March 23, 1904. That will link you to ManyBooks, where you can download (or read online) Little Fuzzy. It’s a fun story which I think will still make a great limited TV series
  • For comics, maybe try Atomic War on November 1st, 1952…this is a weekend when we remember the military, and this comic book series posits a war
  • For a movie, The Yesterday Machine on January 1st, 1963, is low budget, tacky…and appears to me to be an inspiration for the beginning of The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Want to binge watch a TV series? There isn’t much surviving of Captain Video and His Video Rangers, but they are linked on June 27th, 1949

There are a lot of other options (including pulp science fiction magazines), and I’m adding more. If we get outside public domain, that really opens up the horizons…Stingray Sam, The Guild, The Mighty Boosh…

In the near future, I’ll be opening up the “Timeblazers Program”, where I’ll be looking for other people to volunteer to contribute to TMCGTT. I’m waiting for some things to be in place technically, but I’m excited to see it grow as a resource for fun and information!

Enjoy your weekend!

Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard 

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the  The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

80 geeky quotes from the Eighties: a quiz

May 24, 2016

80 geeky quotes from the Eighties: a quiz

CNN’s documentary series The Eighties The Eighties is a winding down its run: let’s see how much we’ve learned (or perhaps should have learned…or already knew) about geek-friendly works of that amazing decade! Here are eighty GF quotes. Give yourself one point if you know the movie/show, three points if you know the character/actor (I would accept either one), and ten points if you know the writer (I would count the show creator for a TV series). There will be only one quote from each work (but there might be more than one from the same character). I’ll post the answers later. Good luck and have fun!

In no particular order:

  1. “No matter where you go…there you are.”
  2. “Where does he get those wonderful toys?”
  3. “I do not mean to pry, but you don’t by any chance happen to have six fingers on your right hand?”
  4. “Replicants are like any other machines. They’re either a benefit or a hazard. If they’re a benefit, it’s not my problem.”
  5. “I don’t make monkeys, I just train ’em.”
  6. “I’m not all alone in the dark. I like the dark. I love the dark.”
  7. “Did you know, Mr. Torrance, that your son is attempting to bring an outside party into this situation? Did you know that?”
  8. “That’s a big Twinkie.”
  9. “I’ve had enough practical jokes for one evening. Good night, future boy!”
  10. “You Americans, you’re all the same. Always overdressing for the wrong occasions.”
  11. “If you want to be a party animal, you have to learn to live in the jungle.”
  12. “Try not. Do…or do not. There is no try.”
  13. “I ain’t got time to bleed.”
  14. “I’m an alien, from the planet Melmac. I have powers you can only dream of. “
  15. “Maybe it was an iguana.”
  16. “Believe it or not, it’s just me.”
  17. “A day in the Marine Corps is like a day on the farm.”
  18. “Come with me if you want to live.”
  19. “These aren’t my rules. Come to think of it,  I don’t have any rules.”
  20. “So, how do we know who’s human? If I was an imitation, a perfect imitation, how would you know if it was really me?”
  21. “Confronted by their true selves, most men run away screaming!”
  22. “Teenagers. They think they know everything. You give them an inch, they swim all over you.”
  23. “…a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless, in a world of criminals who operate above the law.”
  24. “Whatever you do, don’t fall asleep.”
  25. “You’d better get yourself a garlic T-shirt, buddy, or it’s your funeral.”
  26. “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick *ss…and I’m all out of bubblegum.”
  27. “Excuse me, I have to  go. Somewhere there is a crime happening.”
  28. “You all remember what to do whenever anybody says the secret word, right?”
  29. “May the Schwartz be with you!”
  30. “In the end, there can be only one.”
  31. “Two men enter, one man leaves.”
  32. “I never drive faster than I can see.”
  33. “Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women.”
  34. “They’re the world’s most fearsome fighting team!”
  35. “If you build it, they will come.”
  36. “Need input!”
  37. “A man with the brightest of futures. A man with the darkest of pasts. From Africa’s deepest recesses, to the rarefied peaks of Tibet, heir to his father’s Legacy and the world’s darkest mysteries.”
  38. “Won’t that be grand? Computers and the programs will start thinking and the people will stop.”
  39. “I want to be shipwrecked and comatose, drinking fresh mango juice.”
  40. “But the most important rule, the rule you can never forget, no matter how much he cries, no matter how much he begs, never feed him after midnight.”
  41. “Don’t have a cow, man!”
  42. “I assure you, Mrs. Buttie, the Ministry is very scrupulous about following up and eradicating any error. If you have any complaints which you’d like to make, I’d be more than happy to send you the appropriate form.”
  43. “The owls are not what they seem.”
  44. “Does this look inanimate to you, punk?”
  45. “I watched you very carefully…red light: stop. Green light: go. Yellow light: go very fast.”
  46. “We’re now a quarter of an inch tall, and sixty-four feet from the house. That’s a equivalent of 3.2 miles. That’s a long way, even for a man of science.”
  47. “Shall we play a game?”
  48. “Has it occurred to you that it might be unsettling to see you arise from the grave to visit me?”
  49. “I have been, and always shall be, your friend.”
  50. “Sword of omens, give me sight beyond sight!”
  51. “Just repeat to yourself it’s just a show, I should really just relax”
  52. “This is where the wealthy and the powerful rule. It is her world…a world apart from mine.”
  53. “What if courage and imagination became everyday mortal qualities?”
  54. “Make it so.”
  55. “It’s yet another in a long series of diversions in an attempt to avoid responsibility.”
  56. “She’s fantastic, made of plastic.”
  57. “It all started when a time travel experiment I was conducting went a little caca.”
  58. “The Visitors are our friends.”
  59. “From days of long ago, from uncharted regions of the universe, comes a legend…”
  60. “Danger lurks behind you, there’s a stranger out to find you…”
  61. “More than meets the eye!”
  62. “Wowzers!”
  63. “Dance your cares away…worry’s for another day.”
  64. “Man lives in the sunlit world of what he believes to be reality.”
  65. “Truly, truly, truly outrageous!”
  66. “We travel through time to help history along, give it a push where it’s needed.”
  67. “Insects don’t have politics.”
  68. “Call me Snake.”
  69. “My mind is all I have! I’ve spent my whole life trying to fill it!”
  70. “I have the power!”
  71. “Every duck has his limit, and you scum have pushed me over the line!”
  72. “I don’t want to live forever if you’re not going to be with me.”
  73. “You wanna see something really scary?”
  74. “…television is reality, and reality is less than television”
  75. “You are thirty-five years old, Mr. Vale. Why are you such a derelict? Such a piece of human junk?”
  76. “God isn’t interested in technology. He cares nothing for the microchip or silicon revolution. Look how he spends his time: forty-three species of parrots!”
  77. “Credit is a sacred trust, it’s what our free society is founded on.”
  78. “What in the blue blazes is the circus doing here in these parts?”
  79. “Meet little Melvin…he’s a ninety pound weakling. Everyone hated Melvin.”
  80. “Hey, I know this guy [Ronald Reagan]. Is this another movie?”

Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard 

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the  The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

 

TMCGTT: A comic book with an anti-profiling message and a female hero…from 1942

May 2, 2016

TMCGTT: A comic book with an anti-profiling message and a female hero…from 1942

There has understandably been a lot of discussion about diversity in comics.

Lately, we’ve seen a rise in female-led stories. Minorities who are the victims of prejudice have been given starring roles…and respect.

Some people assume that this is a modern phenomenon, an evolution.

However, there is precedent.

I was adding an item to

The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project

It’s a public domain comic from March 1942…Captain Courageous Comics #6.

Not surprisingly for the period, the title character fights Nazis.

Here’s what it interesting in that story, though…the victims.

The innocent victims are German-Americans.

German American

That’s right…just about at the same time that an order was given for the internment of Japanese-Americans, a comic book wasn’t demonizing German-Americans, but defending them.

An unrelated B-feature in the same issue is “Kay McKay, Air Hostess”. Kay is as tough as any man in the comic book: resourceful, innovative, and an undeniable action hero. She’s not a superhero, and she can’t do everything. Captain Ned flies the plane (a commercial prop plane) on a special mission for the government…but he’s the one who needs rescuing from Nazi spies, and Kay is the one to do it!

Kay McKay

Sure, it’s great to see Agent Carter, Supergirl, Black Widow, and the women in Arrow’s incredibly diverse cast. Almost 75 years ago, though, Kay McKay was already saving the day…

To read the entire comic, see the link in the event at TMCGTT.

Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard 

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help!

For more information on the Echo and Alexa, see The Measured Circle’s Echo Central.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the  The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.


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