Monthly Archives: March 2015

The League of Extraordinary Gamers – A Conversation With…Matt Holden of The Indie Game Alliance

Go Forth And Game

I’m pleased to have Matt Holden of The Indie Game Alliance on Go Forth And Game this time. I asked him to be my guest because I wanted to learn more about IGA. IGA is a very interesting idea but I’ll let Matt tell you about it.

Tom: Hi Matt, tell us about you.

Matt: I’ve been trying to get into the game industry full time since I was about 8. Amazingly, Capcom and Konami weren’t really interested in my design documents, no matter how carefully I colored the pictures. When I got old enough to realize there were actual skills involved in pulling this off, I went to Full Sail University and got my degree in game design and development.

Finding work difficult to get in gaming here in Florida, and being unable to leave the state due to family matters, I’ve spent most of the last ten years…

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Environmental Storytelling Continued

Rowan Ryder

At GDC in 2010, Matthias Worch and Harvey Smith gave a presentation titled “What Happened Here”, which was all about environmental storytelling. They used this image:


To demonstrate their example. Before I continue, here’s a link to the presentation transcript, which I absolutely recommend if you have even a passing interest in environmental storytelling:

In the above example, the speakers had the crowd guess at what had happened to these goldfish – why are they stuck to a window? Why are they in a house, but not in a bowl? Because this is a blog post and not a live demonstration it’s going to be hard to gauge your answers – try yelling them into your monitor or phone, and we’ll see how you do.

Before revealing an answer, the image was pulled back to reveal more information, though I can’t actually find a stealable picture to use, so you’ll have…

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PSRC Progress (March)

Reactorcore Games

A quick PSRC update for March

This month I kept on drawing more guns, this time from the futuristic side as seen here:

What you see here is only 10% of all the guns on this huge sheet. What you see here is only 10% of all the guns on this huge sheet.

Aside from that, there was also major work in figuring out the business side of things, taxes and the other official stuff. I am doing all this alone, so its pretty overwhelming and I broke a neuron or two reading through those legal rules. So many exceptions, terminology and things to keep in mind is tiring to say the least. I understand why accountants exist now.

Meanwhile, I also ran into a very significant discovery relating to large objects in games. The PSRC sprites are foremost designed for game development featuring ease of creation, consistency, flexibility, gameplay and performance. At a certain point, making large sprites will not be sustainable.

During the…

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Rediscovering AC Comics’ Bolt from 1984

Cavalcade of Awesome

Cavalcade Comics

I started comic collecting back in the mid 80s. I still have my entire collection in a filing cabinet and a longbox sitting in my garage. I thought maybe I’d go through some of those issues and find long lost gems and sort of spotlight some characters and issues that I’ve always been fond of.  Today’s character is the perfect place to begin this quest.

Recently while digging through my comics I re-discovered a comic that I got WAY back in the day. It was called Bolt and Starforce Six #1.

Bolt and SF6 #1

It was published by AC Comics in 1984.  AC Comics may not sound familiar but they made a name for themselves publishing Femforce which was a huge indie hit in the 80s-90s.  For a while in the early 80s they also had the rights to publish comics featuring Charlton super heroes right before DC bought them out.  AC would create…

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Adventures in Science Fiction Art: Tentacles and Other Strange Appendages

Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations


(John Schoenherr’s cover for the 1964 edition of Alien Worlds (1964), ed. Roger Elwood)

Michael Whelan’s cover for the 1979 Dutch edition of Greybeard (1964) by Brian W. Aldiss appeared in a collection of SF art Space Wars, Worlds & Weapons (1977).  I remember encountering the collection at a used bookstore, perhaps in Philadelphia when I went to visit my grandparents…  It terrified me for years.  The bizarre metal construct looming over the destroyed world—and most of all, the strange tentacled hands…

…hence, today’s themed art post!

Tentacles and Other Strange Appendages.

 I have a confession:  I am warming to the art of Charles Moll—1974 edition of New Dimensions 3 ed.

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Political and Organizational History of the Cavaliers, Paladins, Rangers, and the Dragoons

Continuing with a post and description of my own gaming milieu and world, that of Iÿarlðma, or The Other World.


Political and Organizational History of the Cavaliers, Paladins, Rangers, and the Dragoons

Being a brief and basic political and organizational history of the Cavaliers, Paladins, Rangers. and Dragoons and a basic Organizational description of Dragoon Commands, Motivations, and Goals.

General Information/Basic History: The Cavaliers, Originally the Cohort of Holy Cavaliers was formed as a special guard for Pope Boniface I, the Pontiff of Rome in the year 419 AD. The Cavaliers served faithfully and were recruited from famous horsemen and officers drawn from the various provinces of the Roman Empire.

The Cavaliers were allowed to secretly exist by the emperors, who on occasion also employed them as personal guards or as special agents for various military, political, diplomatic and espionage missions. In time they came to be seen as a very powerful organization and elite military force in their own right. Many began to fear them, especially in the halls of civil government where the Imperial Guards considered the Cavaliers as a threat and a dangerous competition.

Eventually in the year 498 AD the Emperor Anastasius turned a blind eye to events in Rome as the Imperial Guards, some seditious prelates and the governor of Rome set up their own anti-Pope, Laurentius. This new pope threatened the existing pope Saint Symmachus, whose successor upon Symmachus’ death was forced to flee first to Sicily and then eventually into Gaul. Some of the most loyal Cavaliers then at Rome also fled with the newly elected but unordained pope Palladius (after whom the Paladins are named) as he left the city. Many others were arrested in secret by the Imperial Guards at night and executed. Some of the leaders of the Grand Cohort, as the Cavaliers were popularly known escaped initial arrest when the Italian Garrison refused to detain them, and fled the city accompanied by the remains of the Theban Legion (Thundering Legion) who had survived the pagan revival massacre and had continued to exist as an underground organization in service to the pope. Those who fled took ship and made their way first to North Africa and eventually east coming to Alexandria and then to the eastern Capital at Constantinople. Those Cavaliers serving along the frontiers, after hearing of the dissolution of their order and of the fate of their comrades deserted their ranks and melded into the local population or joined mercenary patrols under false names and backgrounds. The anti-Pope then formed his own personal guard of hand-selected Imperial soldiers as well as deserters and traitors from the ranks of the Cavaliers who were eventually to become known as the Dragoons. These Dragoons acted as a virtual Praetorian guard for the anti-Pope Laurentius and for several anti-popes to follow.

Goals & Ideals of the Dragoons: The annihilation of the Cavaliers and the destruction of any organization which might be considered a splinter group of the Cavaliers, such as the Paladins of the West, the Palademes of the Eastern Roman Empire, the Rangers of the West and the Vigilantes of the Eastern Empire. They also intend to depose the current Pope and install their own Anti-Pope. The basic history of the group is as detailed above, and their origin as a result of the Cavalier Purge is well known in educated political, military and church officiate circles, and among some few in the higher social classes. The more secretive history, as detailed in the Inner Workings section below is far less well known and is a closely guarded secret known by few. The Dragoons of all ranks and commands are a very secretive group, go to great lengths to hide their activities and have also gone to great lengths to make it appear as if their group has disbanded or simply faded out of existence in the past 100 years or so. Many of the Paladins and Rangers they hunt to death are not even aware of their existence until they are ambushed, poisoned, captured, tortured, or murdered. The Dragoons are less active in the East, being more numerous and driven in the West but do also occasionally send hunting parties into the Eastern Empire and even as far East as the Middle East and Persia. No matter where they operate their goals are the same.

The Dragoons have also spawned much smaller tactical operation teams and parties such as the Consociatio and often work in partnership with barbarian kings and even with organized crime syndicates such as the Keishon (the Black Hand) and with pirates and brigands. They tend to support their activities secretly with an underground financial organization of minor nobles, corrupt military and civil officials, and by engaging in various criminal activities, such as arms smuggling, tax interception and theft, and kidnapping/ransom/extortion operations.

Despite the vicious reputation of the order and despite the fact that by most every objective standard the group is indeed inclined towards evil and self-promotion the members of the Dragoons consider themselves completely justified in their actions and actually think of themselves as working for the good. They consider their Anti-Pope to be an ideal leader and they consider the eradication of the Paladins and Rangers to be a Holy Objective and Divine Purpose.

Leadership: The top ranks of the leadership of the Dragoons remains a secret and is unknown to any except the leaders themselves. Every rank has a leader as does every overall Command. These leaders also operate in secret with assignments and missions being passed down from higher level operatives and leaders through a secretive transmission and code/messenger system. On the local level the Dragoons are divided into small tactical commands which undertake missions, hunt Cavaliers and their descendants, steal tax monies, engage in criminal activities, smuggle weapons, corrupt and bribe officials and surveil any target of interest. The name of the current Antipope is unknown, as his identity is an enigma, however it is believed by some he may be a high church official stationed either at Rome or in Ravenna.

The names of the leaders of certain splinter groups, such as the Consociatio are known (his name is Leticus Cambrius) and such people and groups are even famous and well respected, however nothing is known about the shadowy and covert activities of these groups and men. The Consociatio is publicly known but is not known to have any ties to the Dragoons and the Dragoons intend that all such aligned groups are fronts for other activities and that their true intentions remain secretive and hidden.

Inner Workings: The antipope and the Imperator (Supreme General) of the Imperial Praetorian Guards for the Western emperors were unsatisfied with the initial purge of the ranks of the Cavaliers. Fearing that the survivors who had escorted the pope into exile and that those who had escaped to Africa would rise again to power and take revenge decided upon a hunting pogrom to fully eradicate any surviving Cavaliers and their families and associates. They also intended to capture and imprison the deposed pope. Those Imperial Guards who had best known the habits, training, and numbers of the Cavaliers, along with Cavaliers who had been tortured and disaffected from the pope’s service were formed into a new unit, officially known as the Cavaleem, whose public duty was to apprehend and arrest the outlawed Cavaliers. However their real duties were to hunt down and kill the remaining Cavaliers, as well as kill their families and seize any possessions they might have as tribute, and to capture and imprison the pope in exile.

The most powerful arm of the Cavaleem were organized at a secret training base in Hispania where they divided themselves into special units devoted to particular kinds of work and assignments. These Cavaleem, who called themselves the Dragoons were to become the most famous of all Cavaleem and eventually, would give their name to all Cavaleem, as the popular name for the Cavaleem soon became the Dragoons.

The Dragoons divided themselves into four Commands; 1) the Emeralds, who served as political police for the emperors and various other high officials in the civil government, and as Special Bodyguards for the antipope, 2) the Crimson which served as city detachments of political and civil police, both at Rome and in frontier cities, 3) the Argent who were a unit assigned to the regular legions as officers and informers to keep the civil authorities and the emperors informed of possible intrigue or insurrection, and 4) the Ebone, who served as special forces agents, usually operating alone or in small detachments. The Ebone Command were the most well trained unit of soldiers in the secret Cavaleem force, being experts at weapons, horsemanship, tracking and hunting, and unarmed combat. Often they were also trained as assassins proficient at killing men in secret, and in the uses of poison. The Ebone unit was the detachment assigned with the hunting down of and the eradication of the escaped or exiled Cavaliers. Because of their dedication in fulfilling this assignment the Ebone were also called the Cavacaedere, the Cavalier Killers, but they earned their most famous nickname later because of the enmity that developed between themselves and the Paladins. They became most popularly known as the AntiPaladins. After the official line of popes were restored some AntiPaladins, especially the Ebone agents, began to sell their services to others who wished to seize the papal seat and become new antipopes, or to those who wished to seize Imperial crowns or foment rebellions among the barbarians. Some even went to hire for the Arabs, Muslims, Persians, and others in the Orient where their reputations for ruthlessness and for espionage and insurrection were unmatched. A secret core of Dragoons remained in the Western Empire however, operating from Sicily, Hispania, North Africa, and Ravenna, determined to forever eradicate any remains of the Cavaliers and their descendants and to reestablishing an antipope favorable to themselves so that they might rise again to power in the West.

Those Cavaliers who escaped into exile with the pope would eventually form the basis of the Paladins of the Holy Roman Empire of Charles Martel (The Hammer) and eventually of Charlemagne in the West. Those Cavaliers who escaped to Africa and eventually to the east became the champions of the Eastern Church, the Palademes and War Monks of the Orient. Those frontiers Cavaliers who had deserted their post or who had become mercenaries also became very famous, especially in the Eastern Empire, as the legendary Rangers. The Rangers were often employed by the Eastern Empire and by the emperor as frontiers’ sheriffs, spies, infiltrators, bounty hunters, anti-insurgent operatives, and anti-raiding outpost defenders. Whereas the Paladins gained great public prestige and eventual political power as the servants of the church and the defenders of the civil order, the Rangers, because of their background, preferred to operate alone or in small groups and often in secret and/or in disguise. The Paladins became the new public face of the Cavaliers and were considered the champions of public law and the authorities and of urban life, while the Rangers became the heroes of the poor and the oppressed along the frontiers, the defenders of the land, and the champions of private justice. Eventually the Rangers in the East would take on a new title, the Vigilantes, and would keep law where no official law existed and the hand of no army could reach.

Whereas the AntiPaladins became almost fanatical in their hatred of and hunting of the Paladins, because they greatly feared the rising political and civil power of the Paladins, the Rangers never forgot the original purge of the Cavaliers and held a fierce and secret hatred for the Dragoons, of all commands, but especially against the Ebone Dragoons. So while the AntiPaladins covertly hunted the Cavalier survivors and the Paladins, the Rangers and Vigilantes, with their own secret plans, hunted the AntiPaladins.


DC Comics beat Marvel to the punch in announcing its first solo female-driven superhero film with Wonder Woman. Israeli model-turned-actress Gal Gadot landed the role of a lifetime in bringing this comic book heroine to the big screen for the first time, and she’ll be popping up alongside Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Will she be able to stand to-to-toe with her male cohorts? If this latest description of her abilities are any indication, she’s way more badass than these guys.

Gadot recently spoke with an Israeli publication, Ynetnews. Understandably, the translation is a bit rough, but one strappy member of the SuperHeroHype Forum did the dirty work for us. (You can read part one HERE and part two HERE.) Among her talking points was a rundown of Diana Prince’s superpowers.

She has unbelievable endurance. She is exceptionally strong. She can jump really high and practically fly. She know tons of martial arts styles. She is a strong and serious Woman.

These are all attributes that jive with a daughter of Zeus, which producer Charles Roven had seemingly confirmed would be a part of her cinematic origin story. We’ve also seen from the flashy first-look image at Comic-Con, that she’ll also have her signature sword, lasso of truth (though we’ll have to wait and see if it’ll have its magical qualities) and her bullet-protecting cuffs.

Gadot is definitely getting in the fighting spirit. According to the translation, the interviewer asked her how well the actress would do in a fight with him. (Note: I’m assuming the interviewer is male, as Itay is a Hebrew name for boys.) To which she responded, “I will kick your ass. I’m really strong.” When the interviewer responded with a mix of shock and fear, she continued, “So close your recorder and let’s check it out.”

When Gadot was first announced in the role of Wonder Woman, many fans blasted this decision on social media, citing her slim figure as reason for doubt. There’s been some progress after the actress revealed she’s bulking up in the gym and the first image of her in costume, but Gadot continues to find it all amusing. As she said, the fans thought she didn’t have good enough breasts to pull it off, but the real Amazons only had one breast each so as to not interfere with their archery. Spoken like a true Amazonian warrior princess.

In addition to Batman v Superman, Gadot will also appear as Wonder Woman in a solo film, directed by Michelle MacLaren and scheduled for release on June 23, 2017. She’ll also presumably be a part of the two-part Justice League affair; Part 1 will drop on November 17, 2017, and Part 2 on June 14, 2019.


‘Batman V Superman’: New Villain, Hero & Plot Detail Rumors

Published 3 months ago by , Updated February 6th, 2015 at 8:27 am,

Batman V Superman Header Batman V Superman: New Villain, Hero & Plot Detail Rumors

Now that production has finished on Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice we can start to move away from the mountain of speculation, and towards more concrete details about what the film – which features possibly THE most iconic superhero team-up of them all – will offer.

But while fans wait for a trailer or more solid story/character details, we still have only the rumor mill to go by. However, with a working script already put to film, we can probably say that there’s higher probability that any Batman V Superman rumors coming our way at this point are going to be a lot more credible.

The Latest Plot/Character Rumors

Batman V Superman Dawn of Justice Header1 Batman V Superman: New Villain, Hero & Plot Detail Rumors

Badass Digest is once again dropping rumors about what all is going down in Dawn of Justice, and here are some tidbits about the initial setup of the film:

  • The movie opens with a flashback of Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) arriving in Metropolis during Superman’s fight with General Zod. We get to know the new Batman here.
  • Dawn of Justice actually takes place a few years after Man of Steel, when Superman (who is the focus) has established himself as a hero – with some obvious detractors like Lex Luthor and Batman.
  • Clark Kent and Lois Lane are still together – living together in fact – and are working at the Daily Planet.
  • Clark is covering fluff pieces for the Planet (like a certain Metropolis vs. Gotham football game that may or may not introduce Cyborg). However, his personal area of interest is investigating The Batman.

Man of Steel Ending Superman Kills Zod Batman V Superman: New Villain, Hero & Plot Detail Rumors

Moving on, here are some alleged details from the actual story of the film – including how Superman is perceived after killing Zod in Man of Steel:

  • While covering a story in the Middle East, Lois requires a save from Superman. This causes an international incident, as other nations see Supes as an American weapon.
  • General Swanwick (Harry Lennix) has supposedly come around to supporting Superman. When the final battle comes (Doomsday is name-dropped) it’s Swanwick who vouches for Supes’ ability to win the battle – safely, away from human casualties (wink, wink).
  • At one point, after stopping an unnamed villain’s scheme, Superman tells him that he’s not going to break his neck, he’s going to take him to jail instead (WINK! WINK!).

Previous Plot Rumors/Details

Batman V Superman Commissioner Gordon Rumor Batman V Superman: New Villain, Hero & Plot Detail Rumors

Now that you’ve read the latest rumors, here are a few things we heard before (or recently since the film has finished up production):

Lex Luthor vs Batman Batman V Superman: New Villain, Hero & Plot Detail Rumors

Ever since Batman V Superman was announced, fans have figured on a story that feels something like this; i.e., the controversial ending of Man of Steel provoking characters both good (Batman) and bad (Luthor) to question the danger of a world with Superman in it.

Additional details in today’s rumor report also synch up to what fans have been speculating about for some time – specifically ever since this film’s Justice League connections were made evident in the title. We knew that there could only be a handful of villains able to draw Superman, Batman AND Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) into some kind of major third-act alliance – so hearing Doomsday’s name dropped again is little surprise.

Superman Doomsday Movie Rumors Batman V Superman: New Villain, Hero & Plot Detail Rumors

Doomsday is a threat that could conceivably be spawned within LexCorp – whether through genetics research, or as part of the early machinations by another villain like Brainiac, who is rumored to be the villain in Justice League.

As we’ve repeatedly pointed out, Doomsday is also just a great mindless physical threat for heroes like Superman or Wonder Woman to beat on – while Batman’s technological and strategic prowess could be utilized to defeat the unstoppable brute.

Batman Superman Wonder Woman Movie Suits Batman V Superman: New Villain, Hero & Plot Detail Rumors

How do you feel about the latest rumored character/plot details? (Beyond casting) is this the sort of Batman/Superman movie you always hoped to see?

NEXT: Possible Justice League Villains

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will be in theaters on March 25, 2016.

Source: Badass Digest

“Should Christians play video games?”

God and gaming

If you are a Christian, you may have been asked or been asking the question: Should Christians play video games at all?

As a Christian gamer with a blog called God and gaming, it’s pretty obvious what my answer to this question is. But I’d like to take some time to explore the reasons why I believe Christians are free to play video games.


In his first letter to the Corinthian church, Apostle Paul discusses the then controversial issue of whether Christians should eat meat previously offered to pagan gods. His teaching on this subject is nuanced and applies to any activity that God has not declared absolutely wrong (for example, murder) or a universal requirement of all followers of Jesus (for example, the Great Commission).

Playing video games falls into this category. So do countless other activities, like watching films…

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Review: Dragon Ball XenoVerse

Christian Comments on Everything

Dragon Ball games have become something of a norm in the past several years, getting annual releases more often than not. It is to be expected from the most popular anime franchise in the world, especially considering the series lends itself to gaming so easily with its epic stories, explosive fights and iconic characters. But ever since 2004’s Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3, developed by Dimps, the anime series has struggled to find a game that captures everything that encapsulates the beloved franchise. But hardcore fans can rest easily for the first time in over ten years: 2015’s Dragon Ball XenoVerse comes within inches of accomplishing that feat.

Dragon Ball XenoVerse puts players in the role of a fully customizable, created character as they go on a journey that transcends time, intervening in the most recognizable battles throughout Dragon Ball Z’s history as original villains Mira and Towa…

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Empire of the Petal Throne Character Sheet

Dyson's Dodecahedron

In a serious bid to increase my “Old School Cred”, I’ve joined a classic 1975 Empire of the Petal Throne campaign being run by Grognardia’s James Maliszewski.

Ok, that’s just a bit of hyperbole about the whole Old School Cred, but the rest is true. I’ve started playing an EPT campaign being run by James along with a cool crew, most of whom seem to know a bit more about the setting than I do. But it is great learning it as we go.

Empire of the Petal Throne Empire of the Petal Throne

One of the cooler aspects is that James is currently producing and selling an EPT ‘zine (The Excellent Travelling Volume, issues 1 & 2 on the left) and the second issue gives rough details of the city where our game is being held along with a wonderful city map by Simon Forster.

But the one thing missing from my…

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Now available: Notes from the Thursday Night Group

The Tékumel Foundation

Notes from the Thursday Night Group was originally a booklet printed in limited copies and sold at the U-Con gaming convention a decade ago.  The booklet is written as a series of vignettes that offer a rare glimpse into both the everyday events and the secret rituals that are intrinsic to the vast and richly detailed world of Professor M.A.R. Barker’s Tékumel. These stories were taken from games played by the Thursday Night Group in Professor Baker’s home. Rather than entire game sessions, these are highlights taken from gaming sessions that include a day at the Hirilákte arena, witnessing a midnight ritual of the mysterious Pé Chói, notes on the hideous hybrid people of the Nyaggá, and a detailed account of a ritual of revivification and an after-death experience in the Isles of Teretané.

While this is a slender volume, it provides never  before published primary information, making it…

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On Exploring The Empire of the Petal Throne

Continuing on with my own, and others, exploration of Tekumel.

Dyson's Dodecahedron

As I mentioned last week, I’m now taking part in an Empire of the Petal Throne campaign being run by James Maliszewski. This has involved finally reading that venerable RPG book from the very early days of gaming (published in 1975, four years before I discovered D&D).

Empire of the Petal Throne

One nice thing with this edition is the ease of making a copy of the book in question. OneBookShelf sells an excellent official scan of the original book in PDF format. Unless your printer has exceptionally small margins if you print it WITHOUT using the “shrink to fit” option the print job will not include the watermarks at the bottoms of the pages.

(Although note that page 97 has been duplicated and appears as both the 101st and 102nd pages of the PDF. If you want your pagination to stay true when double-sided printing, skip one of those or remove it from the file for…

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A War Photographer Embeds Himself Inside a Video Game


Leonard Nimoy's Son Is Making A Documentary About Spock image
It’s been a little over a month since the loss of Leonard Nimoy, and the wound still feels quite exposed. The beloved actor and artist touched fans with not only his acting and portrayal of Spock in the Star Trek franchise, but also with his beautiful words of acceptance beyond the screen. It is because of his expansive fan base and inspiration that a documentary about Nimoy’s life and the character whom he brought to life took fruition. And no better person to produce and direct the film than Nimoy’s own son, Adam Nimoy.

The project hopes to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the cult-classic sci-fi franchise which aired for the first time on September 8, 1966. According to Variety, Adam Nimoy announced his plan for the documentary last week to play tribute to the Vulcan hero. Nimoy told Variety:

This will be a tribute to my dad and Spock. We have plenty to work from because my dad loved telling stories and he was very fond of the role.

Young Nimoy’s project is also something that him and his father had previously discussed several months before the actor’s passing. They agreed that it would focus on the enduring nature of Spock and Nimoy’s personal portrayal of the logical Vulcan-human first officer. Adam Nimoy discussed the extensive material they have to take from for the doc including the two books Leonard Nimoy wrote, I Am Not Spock and I Am Spock as well as a number of recordings. The late Nimoy was suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, but had continued working on this project with his son up until about two days before his death.

Zachary Quinto who has played a newer version of Spock in the last two Star Trek films is signed on to narrate the documentary. And William Shatner, who played captain of the Enterprise, James T. Kirk, and is also a dear friend of Nimoy has agreed to appear in the doc.

As far as those behind the project. David Zappone, the president and owner of 455 films will produce. He has produced a number of Star Trek-related content including The Captains, William Shatner’s Get a Life and Still Kicking. The younger Nimoy has extensive history in the entertainment industry as well, starting as an attorney in entertainment law only to soon become a TV director directing episodes in shows such as NYPD Blue, The Practice, Ally McBeal and Gilmore Girls. He also wrote an autobiography entitled, My Incredibly Wonderful, Miserable Life.

The documentary still seeks financing, and Nimoy said he wouldn’t be opposed to starting a crowdfunding option. If this plans to release around the 50th anniversary though, we can expect it in 2016.

Just like the weather


North America was a very different place during the Pleistocene. There were no skyscrapers, no highways, no concrete structures at all. Instead the landscape was wild, with grasses and white spruce forests dominating. This rich environment was filled with incredible creatures, including, amongst many, many more; giant short-faced bears, the weird rhino-like Toxodon, huge bison, the speedy pronghorns, enormous Mastodons, saber-tooth cats, cheetahs, and even the American lion.

Enormous herbivores were hunted and eaten by incredible predators. This was a time when giants succumbed to giants. Enter this world, through the amazing art of Ted Rechlin, where you can experience a snap shot of life in North America 13,000 years ago. Life was unpredictable. Just like the weather.









All images copyright Ted Rechlin (@TedRechlin)

Top text Jan Freedman (@JanFreedman)

Further Reading:

A great post on the Giant short-faced bear here.

A lovely…

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Using the Dead to Interpret Daily Life in Bronze Age Spain

The Fayum mummy portraits

A Blast From The Past

Some Fayum portraits, dating collectively to the period AD70-250. The numbers refer to discussions in the text. Some Fayum portraits, dating collectively to the period AD 70-250. The numbers refer to discussions in the text.

She is very beautiful. Her face is flawless: long and olive skinned, the nose long too, but neat and narrow, the brows crafted, the chin just firm enough to suggest a certain liveliness of character. She has dark hair, and one gets the distinct impression that it has potential for unruliness, but it has been called to order and fashionably styled, cut short over the ears in order to display expensive jewellery. A half-smile plays about her lips, and it does not seem too much to read a hint of amusement into her large brown eyes. It is easy to imagine meeting her at some elegant affair, for she seems alive – yet she is dead, and has been dead for rather more than 1,800 years [1].

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The blood eagle

A Blast From The Past

Vikings as portrayed in a 19th-century source: fearsome warriors and sea raiders.

Ninth-century Scandinavia has had a good press in recent years. As late as the 1950s, when Kirk Douglas filmed his notorious clunker The Vikings—a movie that featured lashings of fire and pillage, not to mention Tony Curtis clad in an ahistorical and buttocks-skimming leather jerkin—most popular histories still cast the Denmark and Norway of the Dark Ages as nations overflowing with bloodthirsty warriors who were much given to horned helmets and drunken ax-throwing contests. If they weren’t worshiping the pagan gods of Asgard, these Vikings were sailing their longships up rivers to sack monasteries while ravishing virgins and working themselves into berserker rages.

Since the early 1960s, though—we can date the beginning of the change to the publication of Peter Sawyer’s influential The Age of the Vikings (1962)—rehabilitation has been almost complete. Today, historians are…

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In the cave of the witches

A Blast From The Past

A photo sometimes said to depict members of Chiloé’s murderous society of warlocks—founded, so they claimed, in 1786 and destroyed by the great trial of 1880-81.

There is a place in South America that was once the end of the earth. It lies close to the 35th parallel, where the Maule River empties into the Pacific Ocean, and in the first years of the 16th century it marked the spot at which the Empire of the Incas ended and a strange and unknown world began.

South of the Maule, the Incas thought, lay a land of mystery and darkness. It was a place where the Pacific’s waters chilled and turned from blue to black, and where indigenous peoples struggled to claw the basest of livings from a hostile environment. It was also where the witches lived and evil came from. The Incas called this land “the Place of Seagulls.”


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