Monday, June 30, 2014

Daily Cosplay

Falls of Areos

Coming to the headwaters of the Ardeen River he ordered his people to make camp so that he might explore further and find a good place for them to settle and build homes. He traveled by boat, bringing with him a small company of rangers led by his brother Areos and a company of soldiers led by his youngest brother, Kayomar. They followed the river down its southern way, exploring and mapping as they went. After many weeks they came to a bend in the river that sent them into a deep valley surrounded by stark cliffs and mountains. until at last they came to the confluence of two rivers and a mighty falls.

They camped and explored the lands all about and pondered how best to master the falls. It was Areos who found a way to pass over them and he brought them to the low river safely. But there, tragedy struck, for they came upon a creature of ill intent and it rose from the waters and fell upon the company, slaying many and dragging Areos to the bottom of the river. Aedgen alone with his younger brother Kayomar, escaped, washed ashore south of the cliffs. They stood in the far south of the Ethvold, alone and unarmed, with no way to return to their people. They could not go back up the river for the course was too strong, so they struck out into the deeps of the wood, hoping to move north and return to their people. But there were no roads and the tracks of the wild beasts led him ever deeper into the long valleys.

~The Codex of Aihrde


Map to Barsoom

Still one of the greatest epics in modern literature, John Carter of Mars. When plunged into another life upon the Red Planet John Carter learns the world is called Barsoom.

Here's a road map.

Check out all kinds of ERB goodies over at the ERB zine.

Movie Trailer ~ Jupiter Ascending (2)

From the UFO Files

So, in case you've been out of the loop for awhile, the Roswell crash consists of several competing theories. The most notable is that an alien space ship, shaped like a saucer in some accounts, broke up over New Mexico, crashing in two locations. Some have this saucer split open and aliens laying about the desert, others the remnants of a saucer. 

Whatever the case, the US Army Aircorps, after first announcing they had found a saucer, then recanted and said it was nothing more than a weather balloon. The confirmed this later, in 1995, saying it was Balloon 4 from the top secret Project Mogul flight. 

So was it a saucer, or a balloon?

Well in order to taunt everyone, NASA, decided to design a saucer shaped craft, attach it to a helium balloon and send it up into space . . . they say to test a vehicle for possible landing on Mars. 

The test ended when one of the devices parachutes failed to open and the saucer  . . . you guessed it . . . crashed.

Of course it did so in the Pacific, how awesome would it have been, if it had crashed in New Mexico!

How the Pteosaur Flew

So this is how the dragon took off. Interesting video about the ancient pterosaur and how it and all its kin managed to achieve flight.

More on the beast over at livescience.

Word of the Day -- Lochaber Axe

The Lochaber axe is a type of halberd. The weapon was employed by the Scottish highlanders. The axe itself is similar to tools used with crops, such as the scythe, which is designed for reaping. The hook on the back bears a passing resemblance to a shepherd's crook, although within agriculture a smaller hook such as this may have been used in order to lift and carry tied bundles of a harvested crop or pull down tree branches. Early Lochaber axes, like the billhook, served a dual purpose as both building instruments and farming tools.

The Lochaber axe took many incarnations, although all of them had a few elements in common. It was a heavy weapon, used by infantry for a defence against cavalry and as a pike against infantry. Like most other polearms of the time, it consisted of two parts: shaft and blade. The shaft was usually some five or six feet (1.5 or 1.8 m) long, and mounted with a blade of about 18 inches (45 cm) in length which usually resembled a bardiche or voulge in design. The blade might be attached in two places and often had a sharp point coming off the top. In addition a hook (or cleek) was attached to the back of the blade. A butt spike was included as a counterweight to the heavy axe head. Langets were incorporated down each side of the shaft to prevent the head from being cut off.

Armor Up (the Barbarian)

No Bad Advertising

A host of billboards across Hollywood are coming down, all thanks to a worm sliding out of an eyeball. The billboards were/ard advertising del Toro's new show, The Strain, which, I assume, is about some kind of disease that involves worms in the eyeballs. But so many complaints rolled in that the producers decided to pull the images and replace them with something less offensive.

You can see the billboard here. I'm not going to post it as it makes my eyeball hurt.

Avengers Chitauri Toy

Here's some pretty cool toys for you Avengers fans out there. The detail on these things is nothing short of astounding.

More here.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Daily Cosplay

The Chariot Kings

Here the Aenochians took a wholly different course than all the others peoples of the world. Their worship of gods extended only to their use to them. Idolatry became the order of the day, as men worshipped creatures of all shapes and sizes and tribes came to call on beasts at their patrons. They adorned their houses with the emblems of their patrons, as well, they decorated their armors, weapons, and tools. The first chariots came to the world, made by Aenochian smiths and these bore their princes and lords in battle against all foes. But most they contested with each other, over domains great and small.

During the Stone Wars the people of Al Liosh began to triumph over their neighbors and their domains spread down the long reaches of the river Udinilay. Towns fell to them and the men of Al Liosh forced tribute from them and men called them the Chariot Kings. 

Over many years and the rule of many Kings the whole of the country from the fertile lands to the sea, bordering the river, lay under their standards. None could stop the Chariot Kings.

~The Codex of Aihrde

Stone on Downs

Movie Round Up

From Brad Pitt. He's just good on film . . . and this one reminds me of the old Haunted Tank comic book.

Draula Untold. Holy Lima Beans! This one harks back to Bram Stokers Dracula with Gary Oldman, at least the opening sequence. Even the armor is the same.

Its the big one!

And then there's last year's Stalled

Fermi Principle

The Fermi Principle stems from a question posed by Enrico Fermi, "if there is intelligent life out there, why have we not encountered it yet?" He goes on to say that a species that could master space ravel could quickly expand and conquer the galaxy.

That whole comment is just wrong on multiple levels.

No single human civilization has survived more than a few hundred years. The belief is, of course, that previous civilizations did not possesses the intellectual sophistication to expand beyond their narrow scope and therefor collapsed, whereas ours possesses a longevity theirs did not. A concept that is mind numbingly arrogant. Many of those civilizations would not look upon ours with wonder, anymore than we do theirs. We aren't that special. But to assume that once you've reached a certain level of technological sophistication…which we have not, just visit any common port a john…that you suddenly transcend history and can never suffer the degradations of all civilizations is just wrong.

Like any living organism Civilizations collapse for a variety of reasons, but age is a huge part of it. Populations decline with wealth acquisition…the biological drive to secure oneself through numbers is dampened with ample food supplies…and when populations decline or stagnate the civilization begins to suffer a wide range of other problems.

To assume that this concept doesn't apply to other species that evolve in similar environments is a pretty big assumption. So alien civilizations could have grown, expanded and collapsed any number of times without us being privy to them. We've only been poking around for about 4000 years, only in the last 500 have we had telescopes begin enough to see beyond our solar system.

Furthermore, that intelligent life might not be bound to our own terrestrial needs. Perhaps some creatures from a gas planet have evolved and expanded through the galaxy and seeing our own planet can do nothing with it. No resources for their use.

The idea that we can determine what life is like elsewhere because we see a slight wobble in a flicker of star indicating a planet, doesn't mean we can see that planet. Hell, we can't even see Venus through the cloud bank; nor even the other side of our own moon unless we go there!

With this in mind Fermi's question is too narrow minded and bound by terrestrial habits.

Why haven't we seen extraterrestrial life? Maybe, just maybe, because we don't know what to look for and when we do see it, we don't believe it.

Earth-Like Worlds

Scientists are in the constant drive to find life, or at least planets that might be able to harbor life. It seems some fear the lonely dark, but whatever the case has posted an interesting article about super-earths that might have a greater ability to maintain life as we know it. Of course life as we don't know it is a wholly different thing.

You can read it here.

Armor Up

4000 Years Ago

A Lord of men was set with his retainers in a deep chamber. The chamber was lined with stone and wood and his chariots were placed with him. Into the dark went six of his retainers and concubines. Gold and weapons, food and stores of other design were set in the chamber before it was sealed. The Lord's wife looked on, the wind pulling her black hair in wild array as she looked upon the end of him with fortified sorrow….

Or so we can imagine.

Archeologists have unearthed a burial chamber, a Kurgan, in the south of the country of Georgia in the Caucus Mountains. The chamber had seven bodies, two chariots and a variety of ornaments and gold decorations. There were no animals in the mound and it is believed that the burial occured before our ancestors domesticated the horse.

More here.

Word of the Day -- Baldric

A baldric (also baldrick, bawdrick, bauldrick as well as some other, mostly rare or obsolete, variations) is a belt worn over one shoulder that is typically used to carry a weapon (usually a sword) or other implement such as a bugle or drum. The word may also refer to any belt in general, but this usage is poetic or archaic, and not considered standard.

Baldrics have been used since ancient times, usually as part of military dress. The design offers more support for weight than a standard waist belt, without restricting movement of the arms, and allowing easy access to the object carried. For example, the late 18th-century British Army's distinctive "Red coat" uniform pattern featured a pair of white baldrics crossed at the chest, with a soldier's bayonet sheath suspended from one and his canteen suspended from the other. Alternatively, and especially in modern times, the baldric may fill a ceremonial role rather than a practical one.

Not to be confused with this Baldrick…

Pacific Rim Coming Back Around

Looks like Universal has confirmed a second installment in the Pacific Rim franchise, slated at the moment for release in 2017. In the meantime, Guillermo del Toro has confirmed an animated series of the same . . .

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Daily Cosplay

Antlers and Traders

A find in southern Denmark yielded an axe-head made of antler, whose origins were traced to Germany. The axe head itself is from the Neolithic period and if its origins are confirmed it gives more weight to the concept of long distance trade in those long ago days. The Neolithic era is roughly 10,000 BC to 2400 BC, that means we've been swapping spit across the river for some time.

Read this very good article over at Past Horizons.

The Rage of Gods

Kirby to the Supremes

Three Amicus briefs have been filed with the Supreme Court to hear the Kirby Heirs versus Marvel law suite. The suit claims that Marvel does not own copyright to Kirby's many characters, noticeably the Xmen and Fantastic Four. They Kirby folks have lost on a number of court rulings but the Supreme Court could change that and it is increasingly likely that they will hear the case.

If they won the Kirby folks would be due alot of money I suspect.

Just for the record, I have no idea what an Amicus Brief is.

I'm Not Sure this is a Good Idea

These probes we keep sending to other planets and then out and beyond into deep space (where Voyager II has already gone and Voyager I is headed) always have some greeting from Earth. The latest is the probe headed to Pluto, which, once it surveys that planet (I know its been classified as a dwarf planet but I refuse to downgrade it), will spin on out and into deep space is carrying another message from earth.

This is all well and good if alien life isn't hostile, but there is very little in the biological record to indicate that when two species interact that one doesn't rapidly come to dominate the other for territory and its food usually. And with this in mind, perhaps we should approach yakking with creatures from outer space with a little caution than excitement.

Ask Hudson!

Armor Up (Celtic Chieftain)

UFO Files

A couple in Missouri spotted a triangular shaped UFO while driving down Highway A. The vehicle stopped and hovered above their car. The female occupant was too shaken up to take pictures with her phone. This lands Missouri with a UFO rating of 4, meaning there have been 13 or more sightings of UFOs in that state this month.

Read more here.

Marx Toys

Still the best toys made by man or god!

Predator Reboot

Ain it Cool News has broken that Predator is going to get a reboot. The last film, the fourth?, was fair to midling, but was a little off beat and too out of touch to reach audiences. But now they are bringing in Shane Black who wrote Lethal Weapon back in the day and directed Iron Man 3 and teaming him with Fred Dekker of Monster Squad Fame (not sure I've seen that but thought you might) to reboot the adventure series.

It would be nice to go back to the original concept of simple safari.

Word of the Day -- Scabbard

A scabbard is a sheath for holding a sword, knife, or other large blade. Scabbards have been made of many materials over the millennia, including leather, wood, and metals such as brass or steel.  Most commonly, scabbards were worn suspended from a sword belt or shoulder belt.  Wooden scabbards were usually covered in fabric or leather, and leather versions also usually bore metal fittings for added protection and carrying ease. Japanese blades, however, typically have their sharp cutting edge protected by a wooden scabbard called a saya. Many scabbards like the ones the Greeks and Romans used were small and light. They were designed for holding the sword rather than protecting it. All-metal scabbards were popular items for a display of wealth among elites in the European Iron Age, and often intricately decorated. A number of ancient scabbards have been recovered from weapons sacrifices, a few of which had a lining of fur on the inside. The fur was probably kept oily, keeping the blade free from rust. The fur would also allow a smoother, quicker draw.

Entirely metal scabbards became popular in Europe early in the 19th century and eventually superseded most other types. Metal was more durable than leather and could better withstand the rigors of field use, particularly among troops mounted on horseback. In addition, metal offered the ability to present a more military appearance, as well as the opportunity to display increased ornamentation. Nevertheless, leather scabbards never entirely lost favor among military users and were widely used as late as the American Civil War (1861-65).

The metal fitting where the blade enters the leather or metal scabbard is called the throat, which is often part of a larger scabbard mount, or locket, that bears a carrying ring or stud to facilitate wearing the sword. The blade's point in leather scabbards is usually protected by a metal tip, or chape, which on both leather and metal scabbards is often given further protection from wear by an extension called a drag, or shoe.

The Dwarven Glory

This was the stuff. I loved this old set by Wee Warriors!

R.I.P Mr. Wallach

Eli Wallach passed away yesterday at the age of 98. Though the name might not leap to your tongue, you've seen him in The Good, The Bad, The Ugly with Clint Eastwood. He did a mountain of film work including the Magnificent Seven but was better known for his stage work.

Deadline does a very nice tribute. Check it out.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Daily Cosplay (Han Solo?)

Harrison Ford's out! Broke his leg. Time for the understudy!

Triceratops meet Mercuiceratops!

A new dinosaur has been unearthed, seems to be a relative of the bad-boy of the herbivore kingdom triceratops! A few tons and 20 feet long the mercuiceratops. He stomped about in the late cretaceous period, about 77 million years ago. This fellow has a curious boney protrusion that vaguely resemble wings (though not bird wings for sure). They were herbivores, probably feeding on thick, lush bush leaves and what nots.

They theorize that the boney protrusions were probably to attract mates. I doubt it, that wing like device is pretty, but it looks pretty tough. Maybe, or maybe they were used in battle. Animals, all animals, tend to raise a ruckus and they have adaptations to keep them alive, fit and in control of the food source. That's the whole point of many of these acquisition. Of course mating is a huge part of it too, but as I said, those horns look more than ceremonial.

Memories from the Office of a Game Publisher – Office Space

Everywhere I look across social media I seem to be encountering two things. Economic news about the pending commercial real estate collapse,...