Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My Intro Music

Stardate 12-17-2008

Have you ever wondered what your intro music would be if you were the one walking out through the bleachers on your way to fight in the WWE, UFC, or a Boxing Match? I always think about this. For me, I would need something that in addition to pumping me up, would also strike fear into the heart of my opponent. I have finally found the perfect song for my into music; Warriors of the World United, by Manowar.

Manowar has to be one of the greatest American Metal bands. In 1984 they were included in the Guinness Book of World Records for delivering the loudest concert. They have since broken their record twice and hold the current loudest concert record. The also have the longest Heavy Metal concert record after playing for 5 hours and 1 minute in Bulgaria in 2008.

Here are my favorite lines from the song:

"Now swear the blood upon your steel, will never dry"

"If I should fall in battle
My brothers who fight by my side
Gather my horse and weapons
Tell my family how I died
Until then I will be strong
I will fight for all that is real
All who stand in my way will die!!!
BY STEEL!!!"

Enjoy



What would be your intro music?

Monday, December 15, 2008

X-Men: First Class

Stardate 12-15-2008

Readership, I have excellent news. Josh Schwartz, the creator of The OC, Gossip Girl and Chuck has been selected to write the script and possible direct the next X-Men spin off, X-Men: First Class, which will be an X-Men movie about teen mutants. I think that Chuck Bass would make an excellent young Magneto...so diabolical.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Special

Stardate 11-25-2008

Check out this trailer for a movie called Special, starring Michael Rappaport. It was an indie film that came out couple of years ago. Its finally found some footing and will receive a nation wide release. Its about a timid nice guy who loves comic books. After trying out an experimental antidepressant, he discovers that has developed super powers. He amazingly has telepathy and the ability to levitate and run through walls. As any good superhero lover would do, he decides to use his powers to fight crime.

The twist is what makes this movie look incredibly funny. Are his powers real or just a psychological side effect to the experimental drug?

Enjoy

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thrawn Trilogy

Stardate 11-13-2008

I recently finished reading the Thrawn Trilogy. The trilogy takes place in the Star Wars Expanded Universe and was written by Hugo Award winning author Timothy Zahn. The first book in the series was the first book written for the Star Wars Expanded Universe and many still claim that these are the very best Star Wars books out there. The first book takes place 5 years after the evens of Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi.

I really enjoyed these books. My favorite part about the books was the author's ability to bring Han Solo's personality to life. He was able to capture the voices of all the characters, but Han stood out the most for me.

In addition to the regular cast of characters, Zahn introduces us to some great new characters. They are: Talon Karde, a smuggler whose operations have filled the void left by the death of Jabba the Hutt. Mara Jade, the former Hand of the Emperor who after finding herself unemployed after the Emperor's death, has found a job working for the smuggler Karde. Master Jorus C'baoth, a once master Jedi turned mad clone by the emperor. All of these characters are great, but the best by far is Grand Admiral Thrawn. Thrawn is neither Jedi nor Sith. He is the last living Grand Admiral and commander of the Imperial Fleet. He is dead set on finishing the Emperor's work and destroying the New Republic. His character brings so much fun to these books. He is incredibly brilliant and a master strategist. The book is full of incredible, creative and well thought out war strategies. As a reader, you never know what Thrawn is going to do next, but after a while you become convinced that the New Republic doesn't stand a chance.

The three books in the series are: Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command. Check them out. You will be happy you did.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Legend of the Seeker

Stardate 10-28-2008

Let me ask you a question. While watching Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, Lost, re-runs of Star Trek TNG, or Chuck, have you ever said to yourself, "This show is pretty awesome, but I wish it was just a little bit nerdier."? For all of you who answered YES, have I got great news for you.

The creators of Hercules and Xena: Warrior Princess are back to the small screen and they have brought with them something that fans of fantasy have been waiting for for years. The Legend of the Seeker. The Legend of the Seeker is a new TV series based off of The Sword of Truth book series from Terry Goodkind. There are 11 books in this series. I am about to start book 5. I love the series. Its full of excellent story telling, creative original creatures, original uses of magic, fun characters, brutal violence, and for those of us with a softer side, heart pounding romance. The books are each pretty long; around 900 pages each. The producers of Legend of the Seeker plan to cover each book over the span of a 22 episode TV season. They have stated that they are going to stray from the books at certain parts and expand upon the series mythology. I hope they get it right.

The new show starts this weekend on the CW. I think they are going to show one hour on Saturday and then the second hour on Sunday. From then on, the show will be on every Saturday night.

Please enjoy a Youtube clip of the first 10 minutes of the show.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

"Someone Saw a Cockroach Up On Twelve"

Stardate 10-01-2008


Harold Ramis, Egon, of Ghostbusters recently wrote in to the Chicago Tribune to confirm that a script for Ghostbusters 3 is in the works. Ramis confirmed that the writing team for Ghostbusters 3 will be himself, Gene Stupintsky, and Lee Eisenberg. The three of them recently finished up Ramis's most recent film, Year One, which was co-produced by Judd Apatow. Ramis also stated that he is hoping to tap into Apatow's talents and the young talent of actors that Apatow works with.

Ramis also stated that Dan Aykroyd and original director Ivan Reitman are currently involved on a consulting level and that Bill Murray will also be involved in certain aspects of the script.

Ramis explained that the original Ghostbusters would appear in the film in some mentor capacity.

I'm pretty excited about this news. I really wish that we could get another Ghostbusters movie with the original guys still in the prime of their lives and comedy careers, but I think that has past. I'm content with just having them be in the movie at all.

So, if the original Ghostbusters will be in the film as mentors, what cast of actors would you like to see as the apprentices? If Apatow is attached and Ramis likes those who tend to be attached to Apatow films, then chances are, it could be any of the following:
Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Adam Sandler, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill, John C. Reilly, James Franco, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Jason Segel, Michael Cera, Martin Starr, or Jack Black. Thats all I can think of right now.

Who would you like to see as the new Ghostbusters?
How do you feel about new Ghostbusters?
Who do you think would ruin the Ghostbusters franchise if attached as a new Ghostbuster?

My dream team would be Steve Carell, Jason Segal, Seth Rogan, and Ben Stiller
My kill list would be Jack Black and Adam Sandler

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Darth Spencer's Fall TV Preview

Stardate 09-10-2008

My literally thousands of readers have been screaming for me to come out with my fall TV preview. It is very clear that my readership respects my amazing ability to watch TV. Here are my thoughts at the shows that I will or won't be watching this fall.

Monday Nights-
7:00 PM on Fox-Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, started off its second season the other night. I'm going to continue to watch, but the episodes have gone progressively down hill since its amazing pilot. I am going to watch this show for one reason, Terminator Salvation, the next Terminator movie staring Christean Bale as John Conner. The guys behind the movie are also tied into the TV series. The problem with the TV series is that we already know whats going to happen in the future. There is no real suspense. We all know that Sarah Connors is going to die, Skynet is going to launch the bombs, John Connor is going to become the leader of the Resistance and figure out a way to defeat Skynet. So, my hope is that the guys that are involved in the TV show and movie will create a new idea to expand the mythology of the story. Something that is just amazing which takes place in the TV series that is a key plot element in the new movie. That would be very cool.

7:00 PM on NBC- Chuck, this is a fun show with excellent lead and supporting characters. On top of that, Buster from Arrested Development joins the cast as the new Buy More Assistant Manager.

7:00 PM on CW- Gossip Girl, Spotted, DS and A with a TIVO overload. Three shows to record Mondays at 7:00. What are two St. George westsiders to do? Simple. Record Gossip Girl with the TIVO in their bedroom. There's no better way to set the mood than by sitting down and sharing an hour with S, B, C, Lonely Boy & N. I know you love me, XOXO, Gossip Girl. If you have a void in your life that was left by Dawson's Creek or The OC, then this is the show to fill it.

8:00 PM on Fox- Prison Break, I've watched Prison Break from day one. The first season was amazing. The second and third, not so much. But I've stuck with it and I'm glad that I have. We've already seen the first two episodes of season 4 and both have been excellent. They've finally figured out a logical and somewhat realistic way of keeping all of the characters involved. The magic of the first season was Michael and his pre-meditated plans to escape from prison. They've been able to capture this magic again now that Michael has resources available to him. Plus, we are learning all sorts of fascinating things about civil engineering.

8:00 PM on NBC- Heroes, I've blogged more about Heroes than any other show on TV, most of which have been complaints. I rag on Heroes so much because up until the season 1 finale, it was my favorite show. The writing and story lines have gone down hill in a big way. I've seen the ads, read the articles and drunk the purple koolaid. I'm convinced that season 3 is going to be awesome. They better kill some heroes off for real this season. That would really up the drama.

9:00 PM on NBC- My Own Worst Enemy, This is a new show starring Christian Slater. The easiest way to describe it is Bourne Identity meets Jekyll and Hyde. I'm excited for this new action drama with a sci fi twist. And for all of you nay sayers who are wondering why in the world they cast Christean Slater in an action role, I've got something to say-- Gleaming the Cube. Action and drama at its best my friends.

Tuesday Nights
7:00 PM on NBC- Biggest Losers Family Edition, I'm not going to watch it this year. I hate when they stray from the norm and do couples or families or friends or crap like that. Its never as good. Plus I'm super skinny and hot right now so I don't need the extra motivation to exercise.

7:00 PM on CW- 90210, Holy crap I was excited for the relaunch of one of the greatest shows of all time, and man have I been disappointed. Two episodes into the season and West Beverly High just isn't the same. No side burns, no cool school dj's, and no one has accidentally shot themselves in the head with their dad's gun. The cast is annoying and everyone is too nice and fake. I'll keep watching to see if they can up the drama.

8:00 PM on CBS- The Mentalist, This is a new show about a cop that is visited by dead people who help him solve murder mysteries. How many crap shows like this are the networks going to try and put out. I will not be watching. CBS is on the shit list for cancelling Jericho and replacing it with crap like this.

8:00 PM on Fox- Fringe, This new show is a must watch for all fans of the Sci Fi Nerd Blog. Its the latest incarnation from JJ Abrams and the writing team behind Transformers and the new Star Trek movie. We've already seen the pilot and it was awesome. The show deals with fringe science which covers such topics as reanimation, teleportaition, telekenetics, and other cool stuff. There was quite a bit of science talk, but I actually really liked that. Did I mention that Pacey is one of the leads? Yes he is and he will be awesome once again.

Wednesday Nights
7:00 PM on NBC- Nightrider, NBC tried to kick start this new series with a Nightrider movie that aired last Spring. It came with mixed reviews. I never watched it even though I really wanted to. Apparently they've made some changes and are excited about the show. I'll give it a try but am hesitant. Some of the writers who worked on Bionic Woman last year are giving it another go with the new Nightrider. Lets hope its better than Bionic Woman. I have a feeling that Wednesday nights will be a night to catch up on shows that I have recorded from previous nights.

8:00 PM on FX- Sons of Anarchy, This is a new and original series from FX. Its about a motorcycle club. I've already watched two episodes and I'm very pleased. This isn't one for the kids. So far there has been plenty of excellent violence. On this weeks episode, a guy to an axe to the back of the head. He actually walked around for a second with a dizzy look in his eyes before collapsing dead to the ground. It was a great scene. I was most surprised by how many cast member I recognized.

Thursday Nights
7:30 PM on NBC- Kath and Kim, Molly Shannon and Selma Blair take on over the top roles in this remake from a popular Australian show. I'm really excited for this one. My Name is Earl has lost its magic for me so I'm hoping that this can become a regular comedy for me.

8:00 PM on NBC- The Office, Nothing really needs to be said about this amazing show which is easiest one of the funniest shows on TV if not the funniest.

8:00 PM on ABC- Grey's Anatomy, Code Black, Code Black!!!! Grey's is easily the most dramatic show on TV, which is why I love it, even though I often find myself wanting to slit my wrists rather than deal with the drama.

8:00 PM on FX- Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia, this great comedy starts its 4th season this fall. This show was started by a few friends who just couldn't land the roles that they wanted in Hollywood, so, they decided to create their own. They filmed a pilot for super cheap. I think the only thing they paid for was the digital tape for the camera, and then sold it to Fox. Because of its gritty content, the show landed on FX. If you've never watched it, then now is the time to start. It is so incredibly funny. In my opinion, Charlie, is one of the funniest characters on TV. Here is a classic clip from the show. Charlie is the one singing the song.

8:30 on NBC- 30 Rock, This is another comedy must watch. Its going to be great to see how they incorporate the presidential race into the show.

9:00 on ABC- Life on Mars, This is a new show about a contemporary cop who gets hit by a car and somehow gets teleported back to 1973 where he continues to be a cop and fight crime. Though this will be a cop drama, there is some buzz about the pre-politically correct era comedy in the show. Should be funny. I'll give this a try. They are describing it as a cop show without the fake forensics crap that is found in CSI. More focus will be put on the bad guys. I'm going to give it a try though it could get lost in the shuffle on a night that is full of great TV.

Friday Nights
8:00 PM on NBC- Crusoe, I'm going to TIVO it and see if I like it. Its never a good sign if a new show starts out on Friday nights.

We are still feeling the effects of the writers strike. They really had to rush to get the new shows for this season into production. Luckily for the networks there are a number of returning shows that have been pretty popular in the past and they didn't have to try to come up with replacement shows. The good thing is that a lot of the new shows that were not filmed in time for fall will come out mid season. There are some great new shows to look forward to such as, Welcome to the Dollhouse, Virtuality, and The Legend of the Seeker. I'll keep you posted on these new shows.

Have a wonderful Fall TV Season.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Dragon Rock Opera

Stardate 09-06-2008

Have I got a treat for you. As some of my readership may know, I am totally into heavy metal right now. Some of my favorite bands include Iron Maiden, Dragonforce, Dark Moor, Nightwish, Hammerfall, and of course, Rhapsody of Fire. Not only is Rhapsody of Fire an Italian Symphonic Power Metal band, they pretty much invented the genre. These guys are big time fantasy nerds, and I love it. So what is symphonic power metal you ask? Well, its power metal that combines elements of baroque and classical music. On top of that awesomeness, their lyrics are focused on epic fantasy themes. It only gets better from here.

Every album that Rhapsody of Fire has released has been a rock opera. Their first five albums told a story called, "The Emerald Sword Saga." Each album released was a new chapter in the saga. The booklet included in each album started the chapter, but the lyrics and musical content of each song would further the story. The Emerald Sword Saga is an epic fantasy story filled with heroes, evil lords, dragons, monsters and wizards. The story is about the Warrior of Ice, a brave and fierce warrior who sets out on a magical quest to find the Emerald Sword. The only sword with the power to slay the evil dark lord.

In 2004, they came out with the album, Symphony of Enchanted Lands II: The Dark Secret. This is the album that I have. This album starts The Dark Secret Saga. It is the same idea as The Emerald Sword Saga except for that this saga holds an extra super special surprise. This time around, the narrator of the tale is none other than Count Duku himself, Christopher Lee. When I heard the first song, I said to myself, "that sounds like Saruman." I was of course correct. I have no idea how he got involved in this project. I am forced to assume that he also recognized the greatness in Rhapsody of Fire. In fact, he loved being part of the project so much that not only did he agree to be a part of the their latest album, the second album in the Dark Secret Saga, he also insisted that they allow him to sing back up lyrics on some of the tracks. I can't wait to hear it.

Just to give you a taste of their awesomeness, I've included a YouTube video of one of my favorite songs from Rhapsody, Unholy Warcry. The first part of the video features Christopher Lee as he begins the narration of the The Dark Secret Saga. It then transitions into the song. The clip is pretty long so you may want to FF through some of it. There is a sweet power metal guitar solo at about 7.5 minutes into it. Enjoy.



In case you need further proof of how awesome they are, check out the cover art from a few of their CDs.







Sunday, August 31, 2008

Devil's Cape

Stardate 08-31-2008

A book review by Darth Spencer

Devil's Cape is the name of a fictional city in Louisiana that was founded back in the 1800s by the pirate, St. Diable. Having been founded by pirates, you can guess that the city has a vast history of corruption, greed, crime, and murder. Actually, its very similar to Gothem City. In all honesty, a lot of the stuff in this book is similar to the Batman comics, so if you love that stuff, you will most definitely love this. To the authors credit, though it does share some similarities with Batman and other various comics, it is jam packed with tons and tons of fresh and creative, dark and sinister, good guys, bad guys, and narrative. Devil's Cape is a wonderful setting for one of the funnest books that I have read in a long time.

The novel is pretty much a comic book that was written in novel form. My favorite thing about this book was the Cirque de Obscurite (The Circus of Darkness). This group of bad guys were once a traveling circus freak show made up of a strong man, fire eater, contortionist, bearded boy and other great circus freak characters. In a great flash back sequence, we learn how the circus freaks get their power. Basically, they blow up a superhero who was genetically engineered by the US government. Whatever the Government used to give this super hero his powers, splatters all over the freaks. Somehow, this enhances their already freak like human abilities in amazing ways and they morph into super villains.

Read this book. You will not be disappointed.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Harvey Two-Face

Stardate 08-06-2008



Spoiler Alert!!! Don't read this post unless you don't mind having one of the exciting conclusions of The Dark Knight ruined for you. I've seen The Dark Knight twice already and I really loved it both times. Instead of doing another review of the movie, I wanted to blog about the secondary villain, Harvey Two-Face. Though I enjoyed Aaron Eckhart's portrayal of Harvey Dent, I wasn't that amazed with what he did with Two-Face. I've come to realize that I can't really blame Eckhart because it was pretty hard not to compare him with the other bad guy in the film, and just about any bad guy would seem weak compared to Heith Ledger's portrayal of The Joker. In fact, for me, the coolest thing about Two-Face was the way that The Joker pushes him over the edge from sanity to insanity, and how The Joker used Two-Face as his puppet in an attempt tear down the morale of the people of Gothem City. After thinking on it for a bit, I've decided that even though I wasn't blown away by Two-Face, I would like to see more of him in a future Batman movie. I think that given the chance to be the mastermind behind his own schemes, that Eckhart/Two-Face would be extremely entertaining. Which brings me to my big question. Do you think that Two-Face is dead?

I don't. I believe that they will bring Two-Face back in the next film. There is an ongoing theme in the comics between Batman and Two-Face. Batman never stops seeing the good in Two-Face. Every time Two-Face gets out of Arkham Asylum, he returns to a life of crime. Soon, Batman captures him and sends him back to Arkham, hoping that this time, Two-Face will return to how he once was. I believe that Batman and Gordon secretly sent Two-Face to Arkham to rehabilitate.

I did a little bit of searching about the subject of bringing Two-Face back and this is what I found. Producer Emma Thomas said that "Two-Face's fall at the hands of Batman was ambiguous enough to suggest that he may still be alive." Also, Eckhart has stated that given the chance, he "absolutely" would return to the role in a possible sequel. Of all the other stuff that I've read, the only real interesting thing that people have noticed is that after he falls, there is a shot of his coin which shows that the unmarked side us up, suggesting that chance says he lives.

So, is Two-Face dead or alive? What did you think of Eckhart's performance? Which bad guys would you like to see in the next Batman movie?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Guillermo del Toro

Stardate 07-15-2008

I have a man crush and Guillermo del Toro.


And its not just because I like el sabor latino; he is also a genius and is one of the most talented directors out there right now. My crush on Guillermo started about a year ago after I saw Pan's Labyrinth, which is now one of my all time favorite movies. The other night I saw Hellboy 2 with the Rumbler and we were both blown away. After watching both these movies for the first time, I was deeply motivated to go out and do something creative. I was left with a longing desire to create something as original and fun as the story that I had just seen. Its rare that a movie or a book can do this and I love when it happens.

The original Hellboy didn't do that much for me when I saw it a few years ago. I watched it again in preparation for Hellboy 2 and I must admit that I enjoyed it much more the second time, but I still wasn't blow away. Hellboy 2 was amazing. Guillermo did such an amazing job of writing a fun and original story. I'm amazed at how well he is able to make up a fairy tale. Though I've come to really like Hellboy as a character, I think that I loved the second movie much more than the first because the focus seemed to be not on Hellboy himself, but on the world that surrounds him, and this world was increadibly entertaining. The movie reminded me a lot of Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman in the sense that we share our world with magical unseen beings. They surround us, yet we are blind to their existence.

So whats up next for Guillermo? According to IMDB, Guillermo is set to direct Doctor Strange, which is a comic book movie. Dr. Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme of the Marvel Universe, responsible for defending it from mystic threats. He is a master of the mystic arts, using his abilities to battle evil magicians and other supernatural villains. He is also often consulted by other superheroes on supernatural matters. Neil Gaiman has been approached to write the screen play. This should be awesome.

After that, Guillermo heads off to New Zealand where he will direct The Hobbit and The Hobbit 2. After Peter Jackson decided that he did not want to direct, but instead decided to stay on as the executive producer, his first task was to find a director. He decided on Guillermo. I'm extremely excited about his decision. I hope that they work very well together. The interesting thing is that the first Hobbit movie will be based on the book. The second will be an original story written by Jackson, Guillermo and their creative team. The story will bridge the gap between the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Some may have mixed feelings about this, but I am extremely excited to see what they come up with. I have a ton of faith in Guillermo's creative mind and writing ability.

Here are some of the monsters that Guillermo helped to create:










Thursday, July 10, 2008

DragonForce

Stardate 07-10-2008
Holy crap!!! I have a new favorite band.  I was playing Guitar Hero III tonight and was able to unlock the bonus song, Through the Fire and the Flames by DragonForce.  It was pretty much the coolest song I had ever heard.  DragonForce is a power metal band from England whose signature sound is duel guitar solos.  I'm totally running over to East Millcreek Library tomorrow to see if they have any of their CDs.  Here is a music video of the song that I got to play on Guitar Hero III.  My favorite parts of the video?  The incredible hair of every member of the band, the keyboard player head banging, the duel guitar solo at the end.  You'll love the picture picture effect that allows you to see an up close look at the intricate guitar work and an up close of the guy's face at the same time.


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Angelina Jolie's Twins

Stardate 07-01-2008


I thought I would try to increase my readership by posting these pictures of Angelina's new twin babies. I'm pretty confident that those who want to see my exclusive pics (my aunt is a nurse at the hospital in France) are the same demographic that love science fiction blogs. So to bridge the gap between Angelina Jolie lovers and scifi, I'm going to do a movie review of Wanted.

Today was Duane's bday, so for our hot date, I let Duane pick the movie. He must be a huge Angelina Jolie fan because this was his first choice. Wanted is about a secret creed of assassins called the Brotherhood whose members are assigned a person to kill. This assignment comes by the powers of fate and a weaving loom. The main character is a loser, a nobody, a blank wall, until he finds out that he is a member of this secret assassin group. It only takes him a day and some money in his pocket for him to magically transform into a total bad A. I must say that there are some excellent action sequences and some very clever and fun special effects. There his a huge level of violence, always a plus in my book.

On the downside, the characters are extremely unlikable. This movie was adapted from a graphic novel. I usually love comic book movies because I am a nerd and its easy for me to relate to the main characters. Peter Parker is the best example of this. Well, its a bit different in the movie Wanted. I would say that the kind of person who would really like the characters and would relate most to their personalties would be someone who played high school football. I'm going to go ahead and say that this is the Varsity Blues of comic book movies.

Don't waste your time.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Epic Fantasy

Stardate 06-24-2008

Even for a nerd, I have hit rock bottom. I am currently reading or listening to 3 different epic fantasy series. For those who don't know, epic fantasy is a genre of fantasy where the stories are epic in scope and deal with themes of grand struggles against supernatural, evil forces. Typically, these stories are full of fantastical elements such as elves, dwarfs, magic, wizards, invented languages and are usually multi-volume stories. The best example and the one that just about every fantasy author lists as being a major influence on their work would be The Lord of the Rings. I've done some research and there currently about 4 very popular epic fantasy series that were either finished recently or are currently being written. The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind, A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin, and The Dark Tower series by Stephen King.

In all honesty, I've turned to epic fantasy to fill the void in my life that came as a result of finishing all the Harry Potter books. I'm sure that many fans of epic fantasy would turn their noses up at me for saying that. In fact, my good buddy who was the first to tell me about The Wheel of Time series told me that he refused to read Harry Potter and that he doesn't consider a book to be true fantasy unless its full of chics in iron clad bikinis. With that in mind, here is a little bit about each of these epic fantasy series in case you would like to start reading one. At the end of each brief review, I will give a ranking of Wizard's Wands on a scale from 1-10, one being the least and ten being the greatest for numerous categories which could help you decide which you would or wouldn't like to read.


The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind. I just finished listening to the first book, Wizards First Rule. It is the only book that I have read or listened to in this series. I really enjoyed it. The narrator wasn't the best, but it was a good listen. This book examines themes such as truth and the powers of love and hate and how they can be used by both good and evil people. Though a bit cheesy at times, the violence and creative wizard magic made up for it. I am excited to read the next book in this series. There are 11 books in this series and it has been completed. The first book is currently being made into a TV series for ABC. Sam Raimi the director of the Evil Dead series and Spiderman 1, 2, & 3 will produce and oversee the show.
Wizard's Wands:
Use of Magic: 8
Was it written well?: 5
Violence: 6- My favorite violent act was when one of the characters uses magic to force a pedophile to cut off his own testicles and eat each them before she kills him.
Sex: 1- This book is very clean and has no sex.
Language: 1- There are only a couple of swear words

A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin. I've read the first book and I'm about a 1/4 of the way through the second. So far, this is my favorite series. I really enjoy it because it tells the story from the good guys and the bad guys perspectives and gives almost equal time to both. Also, you never know who is safe and who is going to die because the author does not shy away from killing main characters off. So far, the use of magic in this series has been very limited but I can see that it is being set up future books. The characters in this are excellent. Its full of both very likable and hateable characters. My favorite character is a midget who has a sharp tongue and who adds great intelligence and humor to the books. So far, there are only 4 books in the series. The fifth comes out in a couple of months and then the author has plans for 2 more. HBO is currently working on turning the books into one of its TV series.
Wizard's Wands:
Use of Magic: 3
Was it well written?: 8
Violence: 9- Lots of Braveheart type violence. The description of the overall battle strategies and individual violent acts are incredibly detailed and very bloody.
Sex: 6- Unfortunately there is a lot of sex and even some incest in this book.
Language: 8- Lots of swear words. Even the really bad ones.

The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. I've read the first two books and really enjoyed both of them. The twist or the difference between this and the others is that The Dark Tower series takes place in a time that is similar or the same as ours. So far, it ranges from what feels like the old west to modern day 1980s. Its interesting how King blends fantasy and magic in a modern day setting. It took King over 30 years to create this story and put it to paper. He considers it his greatest work.
Wizard's Wands:
Use of Magic: 4
Was it well written: 7
Violence: 6- Lots of shoot 'em up old west type violence
Sex: 3- Some sex. Not too bad.
Language: 10- Lots and lots of swear words. Even the really really bad ones.


The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. Perhaps the most popular epic fantasy series out there right now. I've heard so many people tell me how much they love this series, but I am hesitant to read it. I've also heard that the author died before he finished the last couple of books. His son took up the task of finishing the story based off of his father's notes and journals. I've heard that the last couple of books fall way short of the others and it leads to a disappointing end. I will probably read them but its quite a commitment to read a 10,000+ page series all for a measly end.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Grand Opening

Stardate 05-28-2008

Last night was the grand opening of Barnes and Noble here in St. George. I am very proud to say that I was there for this great moment and that I was the first person to go into the Science Fiction/Fantasy section. This truly will be a moment that I can share with my grandkids some day. Here is what I picked up.



The second book in the Song of Fire and Ice Series. The only thing cooler than reading a 1000 page epic fantasy novel is reading a bright purple 1000 page epic fantasy novel.


After listening to Neverwhere, I couldn't resist trying something else out by Neil Gaiman. This book is a blend of Americana, mythology, and fantasy. This book won the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards for best novel.

I'm sure you will all wait in suspense to hear what I think about them.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Lieutenant Dan Runs In the Olympics

Stardate 05-20-2008

A lot of you have heard about the protesters, gathering in droves, writing catchy phrases on their picket signs, and shouting at the top of their lungs at the human rights violations that are going on at the Beijing, China Olympics. I would like to speak about one of these atrocities today. Apparently, a frakking cylon/human hybrid has been cleared to run in the Olympics.

The bionic man in question, South African Oscar Pistorious, and his cybernetic magic legs are once again training for the Olympic qualifiers. Just four days ago, he was unsure if he was going to be able to compete or not. For some time, the Olympic committee had rightly said that he could not compete because the cyborg legs created an unfair advantage. Luckily for Oscar, there must be a fellow cylon skin job on the European Court of Arbitration for Sports, the group that gave him the go ahead. For the last couple of months leading up to the decision, Oscar was busy at work with MIT, running tests (no pun intended) to determine if his robot legs that he wears when he runs gives him a biochemical or a metabolic advantage over regular humans. MIT says that the legs do not give him an unfair advantage. What do a bunch of nerds know about running anyway?
Here is further proof that Oscar is a Cyborg. Check out this YouTube clip. The music that plays during the clip is perfect robot like music.
Please voice your opinion and fears about robots competing against humans.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Iron Man

Stardate 05-08-2008

Mr. Rumble and I went and saw Iron Man last Saturday night and we both really enjoyed it. The evening started off on the right foot when we were able to buy excellent assigned seats for the movie at the Gateway. This meant that we were able to go see a movie on opening weekend and enjoy the comfy feeling of not being rushed or worried about sitting on the front row. We showed up right as the Prince Caspian trailer was ending and went right to our empty seats. Amazing. Mr. Miller, you may hate gay people (Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist), but you sure do know how to run a movie theatre.

Things just got better from there. I was curious to see Downy Jr. as a superhero. I had some mixed feelings about him playing Tony Stark, but soon, all worries were put to rest. I instantly fell in love with the character. Downey does an excellent job. I can't wait to see him in Tropic Thunder this summer.

Mad props to Jon Favreau on his directorial skills. Iron Man was an excellent blend of story telling, special effects, acting, and some really cool shots. I must say that that this is probably the first movie I have ever seen where the special effects looked 100% real. They were amazing.

Another cool thing was that after the credits, there was a cameo by Samuel L. Jackson playing the part of Nick Fury (Mr. Rumble and I didn't see this, but it can now be seen on YouTube). He showed up to tell Tony Stark about The Avengers. The Avengers is an elite team of superheroes fighting for the good of the world. The team is made up mainly by Iron Man, The Hulk, Ant Man, Thor and Captain America. It is rumored that a similar cameo will be made by both Iron Man and Nick Fury in the upcoming Incredible Hulk movie, obviously to build momentum for a future Avengers franchise. Very cool.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Winter is Coming

Stardate 04-30-2008


Nerds of the world!!! Pay close attention. I just finished the first book in the Epic Fantasy Series, A Song of Ice and Fire. It is a seven book series. There are currently four books published, number 5 comes out this Fall, and the last two will be out probably in the next three or four years. There are three main story lines throughout the series which are: a vast Civil War between several feuding families, fighting for control of the Kingdom of Westeros, the rising threat of the Others, a race of towering Giants and demon like creatures who live beyond the great Wall of Ice which is at the end of the Northern Border of Westeros, and the journeys of Daeneryes Targaryen, the exiled daughter of the rightful king who was killed in another Civil War 15 years previously and now plans to return to Westeros and claim her rightful throne. The Series was written by George R.R. Martin. Martin has stated that he and the series were greatly influenced by J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, the biggest difference between Lord of the Rings and A Song of Ice and Fire is that Rings was influenced greatly by Mythology, whereas, Ice and Fire was influenced by Medieval History.

Book One, A Game of Thrones, takes place on the fictional continent of Westeros. There is also another unnamed continent to the East. The seasons on the continent of Westeros last for thousands of years. Summer is ending, and the freezing Winter is about to begin. This book was definitely not what I expected when I bought it. I was really excited to read a book full of dark magic, mythical creatures, and creative made up races of people. These items are found in book one, but I would say that it only makes up about 10% of the 700+ page book. At first I was disappointed and frustrated, but once I realized that these things were not going to be a major part of book one, I accepted the story for what it was and really began to enjoy it. Rather than a Fantasy feel, the book has more of a medieval feel. The story is full of knights, castles, sword and axe fighting, feuding, betrayal, and a touch of incest.

There are a lot of things that I really loved about this book. The fight scenes, whether they involve a couple of knights or entire armies, are told in vivid detail, are full of blood and gore, and plenty of creative strategy. The good guys don't always win. There are plenty of deaths in book one, including those of major characters. The diabolical and ruthless plotting of individuals to gain control of the Throne of Westeros is full of twists and surprises.

I'm not comparing this series to Harry Potter, but ever since that series ended, I've been craving another long fantasy book series. I'm happy that I decided to start the Song of Fire and Ice. If you are really looking to improve your Nerd Cred, I would recommend that you stop reading crap like Pride and Prejudice, and
start this series ASAP.

This Series has a huge following. Enjoy some of the Ice and Fire culture.

Fan Art

These handsome young men are engaging in the Game of Thrones Board Game/RPG


Monday, April 14, 2008

Neverwhere

Stardate 04-15-2008

I have a new love in my life and his name is Neil Gaiman. Gaiman is a pretty famous Brit who is probably most well known as a Comic Book author. He is also an author of novels, and a TV and movie producer. Most of you will know Gaiman from the movie Stardust. That movie was based off of a novel that he wrote of the same title. Though there was cruelty to magical beasts in that movie (both PETA and I were outraged), I decided that I wanted more Gaiman, so I used last month's Audible Credit and chose to listen to another of his novels, Neverwhere. Gaiman is also the narrator and does an excellent job with the various voices. I would defiantly recommend this listen to those of you out there who use Audible.

I loved Neverwhere because it is probably one of the most imaginative books I have ever read. The descriptions, metaphors, analogies, and the authors attention to detail amazed me and had me smiling throughout the entire book.

Neverwhere is about Richard Mayhew, a Scot living in London who one day finds an injured girl on the street. He decides to help her and as a result, Richard starts down a path that leads him to an alternate realm or reality called "London Below." The story follows Richard as he joins the injured girl (named Door) on her quest through London Below in her attempt to discover who killed her family and figure out why they are also trying to kill her. Their journey through London Below is full of mystery, danger, and treachery.

Throughout the book, Richard, Door and the rest of their caravan are pursued by Messrs. Croup and Vandemar who are the most diabolical, evil, and powerful of all cutthroats and assassins. They are excellent characters who add both humor and evil to the plot.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes well written fantasy full of imagination.

Happy Birthday, Female

Stardate 04-14-2008

BE' NAL, quSlIj DatIvjaj

For those of you who don't speak tlhIngan (Klingon), please allow me to translate.

Woman, Happy Birthday.

If any of you forgot to get Allison a present, here are a list of things that she really wants:
1. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare or Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword for the Nintendo DS
2. 311 concert tickets for June 30th at USANA
3. Capt'n Eli's Root Beer Soda 12 Pack

Allison, you complete me.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Techmology: Hulu

Stardate 04-04-2008

Do you feel like your not wasting quite enough time on the internets? If so, I have the solution that will allow you to not spend minutes, but hours with our BFF, the Interweb. Hulu.com allows you to watch full length TV shows and Movies online for free. The majority of Hulu's content comes from deals that they have with Fox, NBC, and Universal. Hulu is yet to reach deals with ABC and CBS, but that is obviously one of their future goals. Another plus is that the picture quality is excellent and the shows stream without any d/l time.
Though awesome, if I had to categorize Hulu, I'd say it awesomeness is in likeness to the glory of the moon. It receives my glory of the moon award because you the viewer can choose what you want to watch, whenever you want to watch it- with very little commercial interruption (there are a few 15 second commercials here and there). In order for this technology to receive my highest level of excellence, the glory of the sun award, I would need to be able to take this same techmology, and use it on my TV. That way I can watch my shows and movies in the comfort of my living room, on my couch, with my woman massaging my feet (and taking care of the babies at the same time) and a root beer in hand.
Here are some of the shows that I'm excited for:


Kitchen Nightmares- I currently have a huge man crush and Brit chef Gordon Ramsey. I love when he talks dirty to the camera. The British version of this show is incredibly entertaining. We'll see if Fox screwed up the American version.


Buffy the Vampire Slayer- I never watched it and never really wanted to. Since watching the short lived season of Firefly a few times (Firefly can also bee seen on Hulu), I'm craving more Joss Whedon. We'll see if Buffy can deliver.

Total Recall 2070- Good news for the Cain family. They are about the biggest Total Recall fans I know. Now we can enjoy all 22 episodes of this amazing series.


Another thing I didn't like is that some of the shows and movies (mostly movies) are not full length. They are only clips. It works well for SNL, but not for everything. I was pretty pissed when I figured out that I could only watch a few clips from Day Watch, the follow up to the biggest Russian Sci-Fi epic ever, Night Watch, rather than the whole thing.
I hope that through Hulu, you can all strengthen your relationships with the Interweb.








Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Blue Eyed Child

Stardate 03-25-2008


I've never met a prophesy I didn't like. That is until I saw 10,000 B.C., and then I met about 6 prophesies that really annoyed me. Prophesies have to be one of my favorite forms of story telling. They bring so much mystery with them, and its this mystery that keeps me into the story. Who made the prophesy? Where did it come from? Who will fulfill it? What happens when they do?

10,000 B.C. is about a small group of Cavemen (Cavemen, so hot right now) who hunt the mighty Mantec (Mammoth). Thanks to Global Warming and the White Man's greed, the mighty Mantec are almost extinct, leaving this group of Cavemen very hungry. However, the group really isn't too worried because one prophesy has already been fulfilled. The first is the prophesy of a blue eyed child. The coming of the blue eyed child prompts the crazy, old, voodoo, witchdoctor to make a second prophesy, that "four legged demons" (horses) would come and with them a great destruction. Not to fear because the prophesy also says that though they will bring destruction, they will also bring an abundance of food. The rest of the story is about the Cavemen and the chain of events brought on by the "four legged demons."

The rest of the movie is an anthropologists dream come true. As the Cavemen journey into the strange lands prophesied by the ancient ones, they meet all types of different tribes and peoples who also have their own prophesies. They all team up and decide to attack those who ride the "four legged demons" because they have enslaved their peoples and forced them to build pyramids.

Not to be outdone, we find out that those who ride the "four legged demons" also have a prophesy warning them of the good guys.

If my calculations are correct, there are about 5 different prophesies all foretold by the ancient and wise ones, and you guessed it, all come to pass.

Now don't get me wrong, Mr. Rumble and I enjoyed this movie in the way that we always enjoy crappy scifi/fantasy/action movies. We were fully entertained not only by the crappiness of the movie, but by our own whit and negative comments throughout.

On a side note, we snuck into Never Back Down and enjoyed its awesomeness for about 20 minutes before our movie started. I can't wait to go back and watch the whole thing.

Friday, March 14, 2008

I'll Put You in a Body Bag

Stardate 03-14-2008

It is with great sadness and dismay that I announce my official retirement from Karate. Though shorter than my time working at Kyoto, I must admit that I had a good run with Master Jeff Openshaw at the Bobby Lawrence Dojo. I loved my time in the Dojo. Nevertheless, due to my commitment to family, lack of funds, and a nagging groin injury brought on by trying to do the splits, I've decided its time to step down. A word to the wise. If you don't want your face to be smashed in by my double hand palm and a little move I call Prancing Hoof, don't throw a round house kick my way. If you don't want your balls crushed by a double hammer fist courtesy of Wild Crushing Hammer, don't try to grab me from behind. And if you really don't want a mouth full of teeth, I would suggest that you don't charge at me from the front, because I won't hesitate to put my knees to your face with a little move called Halting Ram.

In honor of Darth Spencer's month long stint in the Octagon, I will be offering, for a very limited time, this commemorative Darth Spencer Karate Poster. Darth Spencer will only print 10 of these so act fast. $20.00 shipping and handling not includ.

Since my retirement, I've been looking for alternative ways to fill in the Karate void in my life. I've found that watching endless episodes of UFC Unleashed and reruns of The Ultimate Fighter just won't cut it. Here are some gems that I've come across:
Bas Rutten's "Lethal Street Fighting" Self Defence System DVD. Bas is the winner of over 200 deadly street fights. All of the knowledge, nay, WISDOM, that Bas has earned from these deadly brawls is taught in this DVD. I can't wait to buy it. Here are some of the gems that you can learn (I've added EMPHASIS to my favorites):
*Strikes including the straight right punch, uppercut, the deadly palm heel strike, elbow strikes, nasty eye gouges and nose breaking head butts.
*Kicks including front kicks to the groin and solar plexus, knee smashes to the face and body, stomping kicks for when your opponent is down, roundhouse kicks to the head and body plus deadly low kicks to the legs.
*How to use everyday instruments as deadly weapons against your attacker such as beer bottles and chairs, street fighting strategy and much, much more!

Here is a portion of my favorite Amazon review for this DVD

"Bas explains the difference between a fight with rules and the no rules world of street fighting. The street calls for pure savagery when your life is on the line and there are no judges around to stop the bout. You will get an eye opener as to what street fighting is all about from spraying Tabasco in your attackers eyes to breaking his leg with one sharp turn of your body. Good stuff and great quality from Bas all the way. Bas is "THE MAN"! "
Probably the thing that both I and my woman are most excited for is the soon to be released movie, "Never Back Down," which opens in theatres today. Here is a brief synopsis. Jake is the new kid in town. After getting invited to a party, Jake is introduced into the underworld of MMA fighting in Orlando, FL the hard way. Jake better watch out. The guy who beats him up is the same guy who killed Marissa Cooper in the 3rd season of The OC. Not to be shown up, Jake takes lessons in MMA from a sagely trainer. Here is a trailer so you can see the awesomeness.
Is it just me or does this story seem awfully familiar?
I wonder how Jake will do in the All Valley Tournament? He better pray he doesn't face me.


Monday, March 10, 2008

The Return of Pacey

Stardate 03-10-2008

The two main reasons that I love JJ Abrams are:
1. His amazing ability to tell a good SciFi yarn.
2. His love for coming of age romances.

The man created Felicity, cast Matthew Fox from Party of Five in Lost, and now he's bringing Pacey back to TV. Pacey was just cast as Peter Bishop, the lead in Abrams' next Pilot called, Fringe. The $10 million Pilot is currently being shot for Fox. Fringe is about an FBI agent who teams up with Pacey and Pacey's father, an institutionalized scientist, to investigate unexplained phenomena. Pacey's character is a high school drop-out with a 190 IQ and a gambling problem. I'm willing to bet that he can also throw a mean right hook. He may also be good at hockey.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Chiasm of Lost and Somewhere In Time

Stardate 02-29-2008

Last nights episode of lost was about the best hour of TV that I can remember watching in a very long time. It connected with my woman and I on multiple levels. Here is a very cool connection that Allison and I picked up from tonights episode. Tonights episode seemed to be based off of Richard Matheson's sci-fi/romance novel called Bid Time Returns. The book was later turned into the movie Somewhere In Time. Here are the connections:

1. At the start of Somewhere In Time, Richard is approached by a mysterious old woman. She gives him a watch and says, "Come back to me."

2. Richard visits his old physics professor and asks him about time travel. The professor explains to him that time travel is in the mind. That it is possible for oneself to hypnotize the mind. If accomplished, the body stays in the same place, but the consciousness goes somewhere else.

3. It is further explained that this can only work if everything remains constant. Specifically for Richard, his consciousness of 1912 cannot remember anything from 1979 or the hypnosis will break. The professor warned that the breaking of the constant greatly weakens the body.

4. Richard finally does make it back to 1912. He finds Elise McKenna, the mysterious old woman who asked him to come back to her. As you all know, the two eventually fall in love and after a beautiful afternoon of love making and fried chicken, Richard pulls a 1979 PENNY out of his pocket. The constant is broken and Richard's consciousness returns to 1979.

4. Desmond's constant is his girlfriend, PENNY. She exists in both 1996 and 2004. He has made contact with her in both times, therefore anchoring his consciousness to both places.

3. When Eloise, the rat dies, Daniel explains to Desmond that she had no constant. Nothing to anchor herself to. Her jumping from present to future confused her. She could not tell which was which and eventually, her brain exploded.

2. When 1996 Desmond meets 1996 Daniel the physicist at Oxford University, Daniel explains to Desmond that Eloise the rat did not travel into the future, rather it was her consciousness that was sent into the future.

1. At the end of the episode, when Desmond makes his 2004 connection with Penny, the two share a very tender moment together over the phone. One of the last things that Desmond says to Penny is, "I promise, I'll come back to you."

Allison was a bit skeptical when I first pointed out the connection and thought it was a bit of a stretch, but when she heard Desmond promise that he would "come back" to Penny, she was sold. In fact, Allison is who I should thank for making this amazing connection. She was after all the one who introduced me to Somewhere In Time.

Another interesting tidbit is that the author of Somewhere In Time is Richard Matheson. He's the guy who also wrote I Am Legend.

What do you think of the connection? Am I off my rocker? Where do you think Lost goes from here? Are you happy with the strong sci-fi tones of time travel and paradoxes that this season has introduced?

Oscar Wao

Stardate 02-28-2008

A couple of months ago I noticed that the book, "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao," by Junot Diaz was on numerous "Best of '07" book lists. I checked it out and decided to use my Audible credit for January on this book. I was pretty happy that I did. The book is a blend of Dominican History, Dominican Culture, and Science Fiction. The story centers around Oscar and his family. He is a Dominican, born in New Jersey, who is obsessed, he says, "with the more speculative genres."

As I said above, the book is a blend of Dominican history, Dominican culture, and Science Fiction. It sort of seems like a funny combination but it really works. Here is a breakdown of the three:

1. Dominican History- the book goes into great and vivid detail about Trujillo and his dictatorship. It talks about his government, his high ranking officials, his murderous and sexual exploits and what a crazy psycho he was.

2. Dominican Culture- FUKU. Fuku is the name of a curse put upon anyone who dared defy Trujillo. It passes from generation to generation. Oscar's grandfather was the one who first brought the curse upon their family. Almost half of the book is dedicated to Oscar's mother and her life in the D.R., her exploits and connections to Trujillo. While this is interesting and entertaining, it is also my only complaint about the book. I wish that more of the story had been dedicated to Oscar.

3. Science Fiction. Oscar is posibly the best nerd that has ever existed in the world of literature. Growing up in the 80s, Oscar loves role playing games, anime, comic books, science fiction and fantasy presented through movies and through books. He writes and wants to one day be known as the J.R.R. Tolkien of the Dominican Republic. He is fat, has an afro, and can't score any ladies, though he desperately, desperately wants to. One of my favorite parts of the book is one that greatly demonstrates Oscar's love for women and his nerdiness at the same time. The narrator is speaking of Oscar's obsession with anything post-apocalyptic and shares a high school fantasy of Oscar's. The fantasy involves a post-apocalyptic scenario such as a super virus or a nuclear attack. Only Oscar and a beautiful girl from high school have survived. Oscar has survived because of his incredible knowledge of all things post-apocalyptic and is able to save and protect this beautiful young vixen. She of course falls in love with him. I laughed way hard at this part and thought that only a true nerd would contemplate a scenario like this in his dirty high school fantasies.

My favorite part of the book is all the sci-fi and fantasy references, analogies, and metaphors. The D.R. is often referred to as Mordor and Trujillo is ofter called, The All Seeing Eye or Sauron. I was amazed at how many references I didn't know, but became ecstatic when I did recognize one.

Here is my verdict-
Read this book if: you love sci-fi, are interested in the D.R., love memorable characters, enjoy slang in the Spanish language (there are numerous. My favorite- when someone calls someone else a "come guevo").
Don't read this book if: you are offended by the F-word, N-word, sex and violence. It is full of all of them.


Friday, February 22, 2008

The Dark Knight Returns

Stardate 02-22-2008



I love the darkness of Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins. I can't wait for his follow up, The Dark Knight. Though Christopher Nolan is am amazing director and story teller, he can't take all the credit. I don't know for a fact, but I'm pretty sure that Nolan was greatly influenced by Frank Miller. Back in the mid-80s, Miller wrote a couple of graphic novels about Batman. The most famous is Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. In fact, along with Alan Moore's Watchmen, Dark Knight Returns is named as the most influential comic book of all time. Both are famous for adding and edge of evil to the genre which made them appeal more to adults than to children.

I've had The Dark Knight Returns on my Amazon Wish List for two years now, waiting for a fellow nerd or loved one to graciously buy it for me. I got sick of waiting and decided to check out the Washington County Library system. Seeing that they actually had it filled me with shock and joy, and I must say that after reading it, I was not dissapointed.

The Dark Knight Returns takes place 10 years after Batman has retired. Rising crime in Gotham and the release of Two-Face from Arkham is finally enough for Bruce Wayne decide its time to come out of retirement. Batman's return is controversial. Part of the reason that Batman retired is that US Government has declared that all superheroes, except Superman, are terrorists. Batman's return to crime fighting is strongly debated throughout the book by news casters, political pundits, and psychologists. The debate focuses on Batman as a vigilante. Some say that what he does is justified. Others say he has no authority and is breaking the law.

Batman faces some great foes throughout the book. Some are original and some are classic villians like Two-Face and the Joker. The best however, is Batmans final showdown against Superman. Because the State is unable to control Batman, President Regan sends Superman in to clean up and take Batman out. The technology that Batman uses as the two go toe to toe is amazing and very innovative. The ending is believable and memorable.

I was very entertained by the writing, darkness, and tone of The Dark Knight Returns. These themes are recreated well in Batman Begins. If you loved Batman Begins, you would also love The Dark Knight Returns.

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Fistful of Quarters

Stardate 02-11-2008

My woman and I watched and both really enjoyed the documentary King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. The documentary follows underdog and out of luck Steve Wiebe as he attempts to break the 20 year uncontested Donkey Kong record held by "The Gamer of the Century", Billy Mitchell. Here is what I loved about the movie: Classic Good vs. Evil story, an amazing cast of side characters who are the epitome of nerd, and a deep and insightful look at Donkey Kong.

Enjoy some Youtube about the King of Kong



Here is a group of clips featuring my favorite side character



If you still want to know more, here is a clip explaining why Donkey Kong is the most difficult game of all time



Another thing that I loved about this movie was seeing the underdog try to break into and earn the respect of the existing gaming community. Its amazing to see how terrible they treat him and the lengths they go to discredit him.

Enjoy.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

2012: The End of the World

Stardate 02-07-08

I ran over to the mall today to try and buy a new pair of running shoes. On my way out, I overheard a couple of security guards talking politics. One of them said to the other, "Don't you think its wierd that our next President will end their first term in the year 2012; the same year that the Mayans predicted the world would end?" I really wanted to stop and ask her who she thought the next President would be. Instead I decided to blog about 2012.

Here is the low down. The Mayans were a bunch of science nerds who came up with mulitple calandar systems, which are actually more acturate than the calandar that we use today. Two of these calanders were called the "short" and "long" calanders. The amount of time in the "long" calander is was called "The Great Cycle" by the Myans. The amount of time in The Great Cycle converted to our time would equal 5,125 years. It was also calculated that the start of this cycle began in the year 3114 B.C.

The last day of the cycle in on our calandar is December 21, 2012. The crazy thing is that this happens to be the day of the Winter Solstice, but not any ordinary Winter Solstice-The Winter Solstice of all Winter Solticeses. On this day the there will be a conjuction of the Winter Solstice Sun with the crossing point of the Galactic Equator (equator of the Milky Way) and the path of the sun.

What does this mean? No one really knows, but everyone agrees that its probably going to be bad. Similar predictions for 2012 have been made by Merlin, the Chinese Oracle of the I Ching, the Book of Revelations, and The Web-Bot (The Web-Bot is a computer program used to predict the future. Guess what? It also predicted the end of the world would be in 2012. Does the interweb lie?).

Everything that I've said can be summed up much better in this 4 minute YouTube Video. Not even the soothing sounds of Enya will calm you as the end of the world unfolds before your eyes in this video. My favorite part of the video is when it shows the Anti-Christ.





So, who do you think will be the President in 2008? You better think twice about who you vote for. I know I will.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization

Stardate 01-25-2008

I believe in Bigfoot. In fact, I know he exists. How do I know? Well, in truth, I've never seen him, spotted his tracks, heard him howl, stepped in his feces or spoken with anyone whose had a Bigfoot encounter. So, how do I know? My belief in Bigfoot comes from what can most easily be described as my "Spider Sense." A tingling or bubbling in my Native American blood tells me he is out there. Up until today, this has been enough to quench my thirst of having a Bigfoot encounter. It is no longer enough. Today marks the day that I start my quest to discover Bigfoot.

Today, I begin my research with The Bigfoot Field Researches Organization. This is an amazing website which documents everything Bigfoot. Here you will find scientific research, pictures, recorded Bigfoot sounds (which are haunting), and discussion boards. One of my favorite features is the Sightings Database. This a vast and detailed database of Bigfoot sightings. Where is the best place to go and track a Bigfoot you may ask? Thanks to the database, I know that I would be wasting my time if I started right here in St. George, UT. There has never been a sighting in Washington County. In fact, there have only been 43 documented Bigfoot sightings in Utah. I would be better off starting in Weber County, which has had nine sightings.

The very best thing about the BFRO is that they invite Bigfoot enthusiasts from all over the world to join them in there Bigfoot expeditions. The BFRO has identified many potential habitat zones after collecting thousands of sighting reports for more than 10 years. The expeditions target these habitat zones. Of the 700 people who have attended these expeditions, more than half of them consider themselves class B witnesses and 35 have had a class A sighting.

Class B sightings are those that happen in poor lighting conditions, at a distance or are very brief. Class B sightings are usually auditory.

A class A sighting is a clear sighting which happens in daylight, with artificial illumination, bright moonlight or with night vision goggles. It must be clear enough and close enough to be unmistakable.

Unfortunately there are no expeditions in Utah, but luckily there are some in Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming and California. For a mere $300, one can go along on one of these 3 day expeditions. Here are some things that you may see along the way:

Bigfoot Hair


Bigfoot Feces. No one drops a deuce like Antrhopithicus.


A Female Bigfoot. I wouldn't mind getting a Class A look at her.

Do you believe in Bigfoot? Are you brave enough to join me on a Bigfoot expedition. I'm not joking when I say that I really want to go on one. Does anyone have any Bigfoot experiences that they would like to share with me and my readership?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Here Be Monsters

Stardate 01-16-2008

I just finished a great and extremely nerdy fantasy novel. It was the first book in the Fantasy Series, The Age of Discovery. The first book is called, A Secret Atlas and it takes place in a time that would be very similar to our the 15th and 16th century--except for that magic exists and is a very important element of society. It is a time of exploration when the most important key to success is the accuracy of the explorer's maps. The story centers around a family of Royal Cartographers. The grandfather of this family is the foremost map maker in the known world and his two grandsons are his apprentice map makers. The main characters in the story are these two grandsons and we follow them as each sets out on a new quest to explore and create new maps for the region. One goes out by boat and the other is to explore a far off land.
As the book progresses we learn more and more about the history of this land. The land is basically one huge continent that used to ruled by two peoples; humans and viruk. The humans were ruled by a queen. Many years ago, this queen gathered her most powerful magicians and warriors and set out on a quest to destroy the viruk. This viruk are basically a group of magical 10-12' giants. The two groups did battle in the North. Their battles were so great and their use of magic became so out of control that there was a great magical cataclysm which changed the face of the land and killed just about everyone who was involved in the battle. The result is that there is wild and uncontrolled magic that has infested the land. It continuously creates magical storms that are deadly to those around it and the face of the land constantly changes, which makes it almost impossible to chart routes through the land. One of the brothers is sent to try and map out this region of the land.

The use of magic is very cool in this book. Swordsman, map makers, archers, even whores who become so good at what they do can reach what is most easily described as a zen state, which allows them to call upon the power of magic. This magic allows them to do great and unbelievable things. Only a select group of people are able to do this and as the novel progresses, we find that people are learning to harness this magical power in different ways. For example, there are a group of grave robbers who are digging up graves of those who died in the great magical war. By just using the weapons of the dead, they are able reach this state of magic for a time. Another thing that ordinary people do who wish to attain this power is grind up the bones of the dead and sniff up the powder like a drug. Again, this allows them to use the magic for short periods of time. The common man figures out many more and interesting ways to use this wild magic to their advantage.

The other brother sets sail with a great armada in an attempt to chart a path around the world. Along the way they discover unknown lands with different races of people. They also discover and are attacked by different kinds of sea monsters. His story line is entertaining, but its more of a set up for great things to come in the next two books.

I would reccomend this book to any of the cousins except for Amber. She would hate it. In fact, if she started to read this review, I'd be really suprised if she even gets this far.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Decision 2008- Obama

Stardate 01-03-2008

Readership, lets examine our second candidate. Today is the big day in Iowa. There is tons of buzz surrounding Hillary, Obama, Mitt, Edwards and Huck. The race is wide open and no one has the balls (bollox, to my English and Australian readership) to make a prediction. Its only proper that we take a close look at one of these front runners. In fact, lets take a look at who I, Darth Spencer, Dark Lord of the Sith, predict will win the Dem Caucus today. Obama.

Obama talks a lot about his past and different events in his life that have shaped who he is as a person and as a politician. After college he took time off from his studies to move to Chicago. It was here that he got involved with a church based organization that worked to improve the living conditions of those who lived in poor neighborhoods with high levels of crime and low levels of employment. Next came law school. After graduating from law school, Obama moved back to Chicago and became a Civil Rights Lawyer. Since then, Obama has been hard at work, never forgetting the common man. No longer will the bourgeoisie elite be able to tread over the proletariat with The Iron Heel. His appeal to the masses of Iowa is one of the reasons that he will win the Caucus.

Another reason that he will win is that Obama appeals to a very select minority. A group that is often looked down upon, laughed at, and mocked for their beliefs, dreams, and culture. No more will we be forgotten. Now you may be asking yourself, "Which minority group is this?" You and I both know the answer...The Science Fiction fan.

I'm proud to say that Obama has not forgotten us. Take a look below at a page from the official Barack Obama web site. Here is the link if you would also like to join.

After years of being spit upon for my belief in Science Fiction by the Bush Administration, I'm excited to look towards the future and what it may be with Obama.

On top of that, check out this smoking hot platter of truth that Obama serves to Big Brother Hillary.



For his plight and effort to reach out to the Nerd Demographic, Obama officially stays on my list of possible Presidents. May he Live Long and Prosper.