Friday, September 28, 2007

The E-zine, New Site and The Haunted History of Halloween

Next Monday is October 1st and with it we will see the launching of my new site as well as the long awaited Issue #9 of If - E - Zine(tm). Be sure to check it out on Monday, folks.

Until then, let's all settle in and get ready for our favorite holiday, Halloween, with this History Channel documentary: The Haunted History of Halloween.

PART 1


PART 2


PART 3


PART 4


PART 5

Thursday, September 27, 2007

BONUS POST! Follow-up on Mysterious Meteorite Illness

I posted this story on 9/18/07. Here's a follow-up:

"On what started as a normal Saturday night one week ago, residents of a small, remote Peruvian town saw a bright light streak across the sky, heard a resounding bang and suddenly found themselves at the center of a media frenzy.

Initial suspicions of an airplane crash quickly spiraled into widespread reports that a meteorite had plummeted to Earth and left a smoking, boiling crater whose supposedly noxious fumes were reported to have sickened curious locals who went to peer at the hole.

Despite doubts expressed by geologists that the crater was actually caused by a meteorite and firm explanations that a meteorite would not even emit fumes and that the "sickness" was likely a case of mass hysteria, numerous onlookers far and wide were fascinated by the idea that this event could be some real-life "Andromeda Strain" (the 1969 novel by Michael Crichton), where a mysterious rock falling to Earth from outer space made anyone who went near it ill."

SOURCE

Mass hysteria seems to have caused the 'illness'. A sort of mass psychosomatic reaction.

Friday, September 21, 2007

KAIJU! KAIJU! And more KAIJU!

While doing some research on Wikipedia I came across a list called "List of unproduced Toho kaiju". For those not in the know, Toho is most famous for creating the character Godzilla. Kaiju is a general term for any giant-sized monster.

Here today I present to you the list of unproduced Toho kaiju (the pictures provided are a mix of concept art and fanart):


Film Kaiju

Bagan

Bagan, as originally slated to appear in Godzilla vs. Bagan.
Bagan is a monster that appeared in a Godzilla video game called, Super Godzilla. He was planned to battle against Godzilla in the original script for The Return of Godzilla and Godzilla vs. Bagan and he was also planned to fight Mothra in Mothra vs. Bagan, but he somehow did not have the chances to fight the two kaiju. There is a kaiju that has a similar appearance to Bagan named Monster X who appeared in Godzilla: Final Wars.

Ghost Godzilla

Ghost Godzilla was the spirit of the Godzilla killed by the Oxygen Destroyer. He was planned for a film called "Godzilla vs. Ghost Godzilla" (also referred to as "Godzilla vs. Godzilla") that was dropped in favor of "Godzilla vs. Destroyah". In the film he would have rematerialized and fought Godzilla at several points across Japan during the film. The outcome allegedly had Ghost Godzilla kill Godzilla and then fade away but the full details are unknown. This idea came about as a result of Toho wanting Godzilla to be the one to kill himself.

Gigamoth

Gigamoth was originally meant to be a pollution spawned dark twin of Mothra, possessing similar powers to Hedorah. He was to appear in Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992), but was later replaced with Battra.

Deutalios

Deutalios is a rat-like monster that was originally going to be in Godzilla vs Biollante, but was scrapped in favor of Super-X2 and Biollante's first form.

Erabus

Erabus is a kaiju that was expected to appear in the planned Godzilla movie, Godzilla vs. Redmoon, but also got scrapped. She was to be the mate of Redmoon and the mother of Hafun. The Erabus suit is a modified version of Daigoro's Mother's (a Toho monster) suit.

Hafun
[NOTE FROM CHARLES: Sorry, no good pics were available at time of posting]
Hafun is a kaiju that was also expected to be in Godzilla vs. Redmoon, but he became a failed creation. He was to be the son of Redmoon and Erabus. The Hafun suit would have been a modified version of Daigoro's suit.

Hitodah

Hitodah is a kaiju that was supposed to appear in a planned sequel to Godzilla vs. Hedorah, but got scrapped. Hitodah's appearance is supposedly a mutated starfish.


Majin Tuol

Majin Tuol is a sword wielding god statue that became a failed creation. He was expected to appear in a lost project, Godzilla vs. the Space Monsters: Earth Defense Directive.

Mogu

Mogu is a red dragon-like kaiju that was supposed to be in the planned The Return of King Ghidorah, however she did not make it.

Nessie

A 1978 project was to be made about the Loch Ness Monster.

Redmoon
[NOTE: No picture actually exists]
Redmoon was a gargoyle/dinosaur like creature that appeared on the moon (hence his name) in the canceled movie Godzilla vs Redmoon, he was to be the mate of Erabus and father of Hafun. His suit was a modified version of Goliath's suit.

Satan
[NOTE: No picture exists]
Godzilla was supposed to fight "Satan" in Godzilla vs. The Devil, but did not make it, possibly from use of religious characters. It was given the go ahead after the completion of Terror of Mechagodzilla. Toho's rendition of "Satan" would've been in a form of a demonic dinosaur, shark, and lion.

Titans
[NOTE: No pictures exist]
The Titans are two separate prehistoric kaiju that were supposed to form Titanosaurus in Terror of Mechagodzilla, but they failed to appear in the movie.

Video Game Kaiju

Firelion

Firelion was a kaiju that was expected to be a playable character in Godzilla: Unleashed, but was out-voted by Obsidius along with two other kaiju made just for Unleashed. The four monsters were contestants on an IGN poll to see who would be a new playable character in the game, which ended April 20th, 2007.

The Visitor

The Visitor was another kaiju created specifically for Godzilla: Unleashed. The Visitor was controlled by the Vortakk aliens. He was out-voted by Obsidius on the IGN poll.

Lightning Bug

Lightning Bug was the final monster in the voting roster at IGN, created for Godzilla: Unleashed. He was, however, out-voted by Obsidius.

SOURCES:
"List of unproduced Toho kaiju" article
Wikipedia
Toho Kingdom (fan-site in English)
Toho (official Japanese site)
Toho article on Wikipedia
IGN Readers: Roster Vote article on IGN


Also, a quick note: Sorry I've not really kicked off any serials yet on this blog. I am genuinely working hard on this year's Halloween issue of If - E - Zine(tm) and the site re-design. I'll start posting serials here as soon as I am able.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

BONUS POST! Diseased Meteor Will Kill Us All!



LIMA (AFP) - Villagers in southern Peru were struck by a mysterious illness after a meteorite made a fiery crash to Earth in their area, regional authorities said Monday.

Around midday Saturday, villagers were startled by an explosion and a fireball that many were convinced was an airplane crashing near their remote village, located in the high Andes department of Puno in the Desaguadero region, near the border with Bolivia.

Residents complained of headaches and vomiting brought on by a "strange odor," local health department official Jorge Lopez told Peruvian radio RPP.

Seven policemen who went to check on the reports also became ill and had to be given oxygen before being hospitalized, Lopez said.

Rescue teams and experts were dispatched to the scene, where the meteorite left a 100-foot-wide (30-meter-wide) and 20-foot-deep (six-meter-deep) crater, said local official Marco Limache.

"Boiling water started coming out of the crater and particles of rock and cinders were found nearby. Residents are very concerned," he said.

SOURCE


OTHER RELATED HISTORICAL AND FICTIONAL METEOR STORIES:

TUNGUSKA EVENT

The Tunguska event, sometimes called the Tunguska explosion, was a massive explosion that occurred near the Podkamennaya (Under Rock) Tunguska River in what is now Krasnoyarsk Krai of Russia, between 7:00 and 8:00 AM on June 30, 1908.

The explosion was most likely caused by the air burst of a large meteoroid or comet fragment at an altitude of 5 to 10 kilometers (3–6 mi) above Earth's surface. Different studies yielded varying estimates for the meteor's size, including 60 meters, 90 to 190 meters and up to 1200 meters in diameter.

Although the meteor or comet is considered to have burst prior to hitting the surface, this event is still referred to as an impact event. The energy of the blast was estimated to be between 10 and 20 megatons of TNT — 1,000 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The explosion felled an estimated 80 million trees over 2,150 square kilometers (830 sq mi). It is estimated to have measured 5.0 on the Richter scale.

The Tunguska event is the largest impact event in recent history. An explosion of this magnitude had the potential to devastate large metropolitan areas had it occurred over a large city. This possibility has helped to spark discussion of ways to potentially stop large asteroids or comets from hitting Earth.

SOURCE

THE BLOB



THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN

Friday, September 14, 2007

A Cornucopia of Cyborgs and Robots

Well, this is a HUGE post today. Got some pop culture stuff and a lot of scientific research here. I hope everyone enjoys. Be sure to post your thoughts!

One of my favorite comic book characters.



Robot maker builds artificial boy


RICHARDSON, Texas - David Hanson has two little Zenos to care for these days. There's his 18-month-old son Zeno, who prattles and smiles as he bounds through his father's cramped office. Then there's the robotic Zeno. It can't speak or walk yet, but has blinking eyes that can track people and a face that captivates with a range of expressions.

At 17 inches tall and 6 pounds, the artificial Zeno is the culmination of five years of work by Hanson and a small group of engineers, designers and programmers at his company, Hanson Robotics. They believe there's an emerging business in the design and sale of lifelike robotic companions, or social robots. And they'll be showing off the robot boy to students in grades 3-12 at the Wired NextFest technology conference Thursday in Los Angeles.

Unlike clearly artificial robotic toys, Hanson says he envisions Zeno as an interactive learning companion, a synthetic pal who can engage in conversation and convey human emotion through a face made of a skin-like, patented material Hanson calls frubber.

"It's a representation of robotics as a character animation medium, one that is intelligent," Hanson beams. "It sees you and recognizes your face. It learns your name and can build a relationship with you."

It's no coincidence if the whole concept sounds like a science-fiction movie.

Hanson said he was inspired by, and is aiming for, the same sort of realism found in the book "Supertoys Last All Summer Long," by Brian Aldiss. Aldiss' story of troubled robot boy David and his quest for the love of his flesh-and-blood parents was the source material for Steven Spielberg's film "Artificial Intelligence: AI."

He plans to make little Zenos available to consumers within the next three years for $200 to $300.


READ MORE

ZENO'S OFFICIAL SITE

ZENO'S BLOG!


BUILDING GODS
A movie wherein a cyborg, brain builder, theologian, and philosopher debate the future of artificial intelligence, robotics, cyborgs, and living inside of computers.



OFFICIAL SITE


BRAINGATE






BRAINGATE HOMEPAGE


REAL TRANSFORMER

Thursday, September 13, 2007

BONUS POST! D&D song

Always fun to watch.


Monday, September 10, 2007

BONUS POST! Viking queen exhumed to solve mystery!





SLAGEN, Norway (Reuters) - Archaeologists exhumed the body of a Viking queen on Monday, hoping to solve a riddle about whether a woman buried with her 1,200 years ago was a servant killed to be a companion into the afterlife.


As a less gruesome alternative, the two women in the grass-covered Oseberg mound in south Norway might be a royal mother and daughter who died of the same disease and were buried together in 834.

"We will do DNA tests to try to find out. I don't know of any Viking skeletons that have been analyzed as we plan to do," Egil Mikkelsen, director of Oslo's Museum of Cultural History, told Reuters at the graveside.

READ MORE

Saturday, September 8, 2007

RIP Madeleine L'Engle

Madeleine L'Engle Camp Franklin, 88, of Goshen, CT and New York City, died Thursday, September 6th. Born November 29, 1918, in New York City, to Charles Camp and Madeleine Barnett Camp, she was educated in Switzerland and South Carolina, before graduating from Smith College. She was the author of over 60 books, including the award-winning A Wrinkle in Time.



RIP Madeleine L'Engle


OFFICIAL SITE

Friday, September 7, 2007

Robo-One GP

Here's some clips from the Robo-One Grand Prix in Japan. It's all about robots wrestling! Most of the moves are sloppy, but some of the moves are so prety you'll be crying out "DAAAAAMMMMMNNN!!!"

They're not REALLY robots, as they are not autonomous, but they still fall into the realm of robot-like machines (remotely controlled, however).

Pay particular attention to the belly-to-back suplex executed at ~2:45 in the first video.

Enjoy!

2007 - Retro (Silver) vs. King Kizer (Red)


ROBO-ONE 10 - Championship Match: Ivre (Silver with long sword-like limbs) vs. King Kizer (Red)


Super-Moves! (Various 'super' moves featuring various competitors)



ROBO-ONE GP (Official Korean site in English)

ROBO-ONE GP (Official Japanese Site)


And of course be sure to check out the site that brought us these great videos.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

a mind full of things spilling out of the mouth and dying

I've been tired as hell lately. Writing and editing have been on my mind but I've not had the energy really to do either. Money matters weigh heavily on me. So much to do.

Luckily the writing bug is infecting me. Or so it seems. At least, that's what I'm hoping. My mind has been on two tales in the last 2 or 3 days. Those tales include a throwback hardboiled pulp noir set in the 1940s-ish in a traveling freak show. The other story is a neo-noir futuritic cyberpunk mafia deal.

As for reading, I'm doing a little. I'm struggling through Something Wicked This Way Comes by Bradbury. I'm struggling through it not due to the material, but due to my lack of energy and concentration. The book itself is beautifully written and had I read it at another time I'd probably be voraciously flying through it.

Tomorrow I'm hoping to return Hamlet to the library and I've got another book to pick up, waiting for me. The book that is waiting for me is Look Homeward, Angel. It's Thomas Wolfe's first novel first published I believed in 1929.

Very, very tired.