Category Archives: General

Articles that don’t fit into other categories. Some articles may not have a science fiction and fantasy connection.

Humanity is Threatened

Production still from 'Independence Day: Resurgence'

Production still from ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’

2016 is proving to be a great year for fantasy movies and games, in my opinion.  Although I am not much of a gamer I appreciate the quality of the games that are being released.  I know someone with an XBox, for example, and have watch him play some of the games he enjoys.  Talk about immersing yourself in a fully cinematic experience!  Wow!  But my attention is now fully given to the movies and I wanted to share a review I wrote for A1 Movie Reviews for “Independence Day: Resurgence”.  Short version: I really like this movie. Continue reading

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Science Fiction and Fantasy Ideas for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is coming up on May 11 and like many other people I have been trying to think about what I can do that isn’t quite the same thing I have always done. So I have been scouring the Web for unique ideas (there aren’t really any). I did, however, come across some less frequently shared ideas and that got me to thinking. What would you do for your mother if she was a hard-core, dedicated science fiction fan? My mother is not such a fan although she certainly enjoyed some of the bigger SF movies when they came out.
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WordPress.com Makes It Near Impossible to Update These Blogs

I rarely have a complaint about the quality of service from WordPress.com (it is, after all, a FREE blogging platform) but lately it seems like the good folks at Automattic have jumped the shark, lost touch with the mothership, gone off the deep end, and otherwise invested themselves in a forest of bad platform decisions best described by cheesy metaphors.

This silly fascination with infinite scroll is driving me nuts. Worse, it’s overheating my computer. I mean LITERALLY overheating it.
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Being There in Science Fiction Fandom

Science fiction fandom is becoming more mainstream these days. I’m not sure I fully agree with how the transformation is happening because it seems to be driven mostly by commercial interests. For example, we’ve had King of the Nerds and Beauty and the Geek as reality TV shows, both of which have made references to science fiction and/or fantasy topics; and now we have Heroes of Cosplay, which is all about the drama behind the costumes.
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Viral-based genetic manipulation

Having just returned from vacation I’m a bit behind in posting things. So while catching up on some of my science reading I came across a story about gene-based research into anti-aging bladee-blah (has something to do with shutting off the srr-2 gene or something like that).
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Canadian government testing Second Life experience

The headline of the article (“Navis wanted: feds go in search of avatars interested in civil service”) is more science fictiony than the subject matter itself, but The Winnipeg Free Press has an interesting article about a 12-week pilot project where the Canadian government is testing out interacting with citizens through virtual communities.

There are a few precedents for something like this in science fiction. Whether the idea’s time has come remains to be seen. One of the problems with the use of avatars is that you lose the “human” face — the emotional interaction we engage in when we are actually in the presence of another person.

The movie “Avatar” wasn’t using a virtual reality motif but rather an extended reality motif. That is, the avatars were hosting the consciousness of their operators and were physical bodies that could act, react, and emote just like the operators’ bodies. The lack of emotional connection that Internet-based communication struggles with will ultimately force us more toward using Skype-like videophone technologies and less into avatarish virtual communities.

The need to know that the other person in the conversation cares about what you are saying and sees what you are feeling demands something more effective than a cartoon-like avatar.