Batman: Dead End fan film

Man I love fan films especially when they are top notch.  This is one of those, Sandy Collora on a budget of $30,000 dollars released Batman: Dead End in 2003.  Kevin Smith called it “possibly the truest, best Batman movie ever made”


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Star Wars fans to build a 1:1 scale Millennium Falcon

mil-fal-1A group in Nashville, Tenn have undertaken the grueling task of recreating the ship that made the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs.  Yes, the Millennium Falcon!!  Headed up by Chris Lee they have plans to build a 1:1 scale Millennium Falcon that will be 114 feet in length.  Their site is already loaded with pics of turrets, panels among other things.  I can’t wait to see this pop up on Google Earth.  Go over to their site to learn more about their project.  The Full Scale Millennium Falcon Project


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Are we living in the Matrix?

pillsThe Matrix.  In the 1999 Wachowski film, humans are harvested for energy by sentient machines.  The humans are kept in a simulated world called the “Matrix” unaware of their true surroundings.

A few years later in 2003, British philosopher Nick Bostrom published a paper in the Philosophical Quarterly called “Are You Living in a Simulation?”  Basically he argues that one of these are true:

  • The human species is likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage.
  • Any posthuman civilization is very unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of its evolutionary history.
  • We are almost certainly living in a computer simulation.

Now scientists at the University of Washington have proposed a way to test this theory.  The problem with testing Dr. Bostrom’s theory was limitations in our current technology.   UW professor Martin Savage and physics graduate student Zohreh Davoudi say they have come up with a method for testing whether this universe we call home is a simulation – even a simulation within a simulation.  In their paper “Constraints on the Universe as a Numerical Simulation” they present the idea that they can test this theory by studying cosmic rays trying to find or not find any constraint limits in the rays.

“In our present day simulations in the very small volumes, we already see that particles have a maximum possible energy.

With finite computational resources, it will be the case that this is true in simulations of our universe performed by our descendents, of which we might be one.

The issue then becomes what is that maximum value and can we see it today in the spectrum of ultra high energy cosmic rays?”

Here is how it was presented by UW in its article “Do we live in a computer simulation? UW researchers say idea can be tested

I have added wiki links to make understanding this easier.

“Currently, supercomputers using a technique called lattice quantum chromodynamics and starting from the fundamental physical laws that govern the universe can simulate only a very small portion of the universe, on the scale of one 100-trillionth of a meter, a little larger than the nucleus of an atom …

Eventually, more powerful simulations will be able to model on the scale of a molecule, then a cell and even a human being. But it will take many generations of growth in computing power to be able to simulate a large enough chunk of the universe to understand the constraints on physical processes that would indicate we are living in a computer model.

However, Savage said, there are signatures of resource constraints in present-day simulations that are likely to exist as well in simulations in the distant future, including the imprint of an underlying lattice if one is used to model the space-time continuum.

The supercomputers performing lattice quantum chromodynamics calculations essentially divide space-time into a four-dimensional grid. That allows researchers to examine what is called the strong force, one of the four fundamental forces of nature and the one that binds subatomic particles called quarks and gluons together into neutrons and protons at the core of atoms.

“If you make the simulations big enough, something like our universe should emerge,” Savage said. Then it would be a matter of looking for a “signature” in our universe that has an analog in the current small-scale simulations. …

If such a concept turned out to be reality, it would raise other possibilities as well. For example, Davoudi suggests that if our universe is a simulation, then those running it could be running other simulations as well, essentially creating other universes parallel to our own.

“Then the question is, ‘Can you communicate with those other universes if they are running on the same platform?’” she said.”

So which is it going to be the Red or the Blue Pill?

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Review

An Unexpected Journey is the start of a new trilogy based on the J. R. R. Tolkien book “There and Back Again” directed by Peter Jackson.  Now before I start my review I have never read any of the books.  Before Lord of the Rings came out my only experience with Tolkien was the 1977 cartoon “The Hobbit”  and Leonard Nimoy’s “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins”

That has to be Nimoy’s worst video ever!! Sorry, back to the review. I personally enjoyed the movie and would definitely see it again but on an IMAX screen.  I have read many reviews that have stated that it is a slow-paced movie, however I did not find that to be true.  The movie had a very nice flow to it, and kept me entertained the entire time.  The main group that you see in the movie are Gandalf, Bilbo and thirteen dwarves, which after each skirmish Gandalf is seen counting to make sure all are present.  Some of the cast from the Lord of the Rings trilogy(Saruman, Frodo, Old Bilbo, Elrond and Galadriel) have returned as well making the familiar faces a nice blend with the new ones.

There were a few spots that I saw where the special effects stood out and did not look as clean as it should for a movie of this caliber.  The biggest one was during the opening prologue, but the rest of the film was aesthetically pleasing with rolling landscapes in both the real and digital world.  The 3D seemed to be above average than with other films which gave depth to the beauty of Tolkien’s Middle Earth.  There was however a “song” while the dwarves were cleaning dishes that I felt was really unnecessary.  I personally am not the type to like “songs” in movies, feels a little too much like an older Disney movie to me.

There are more sorcerers in this film as well.  Along with Gandalf the Grey and Saruman the White, there are two Blue sorcerer’s and Radagast the Brown.  Radagast is more in touch with nature than anything or anyone else and according to Saruman, has a “mushroom” habit.  He has a sled pulled by Might Grey Jack Rabbits and has birds living in his hair which have left him a poop streak down the side of his face.  I believe he is just a mention in the book but has at least 20 minutes of screen time in the film.

The fight scenes were decent enough, there is not a character like Legolas in the group yet so there are no jaw dropping moments but fun none the less. I don’t want to spoil anything but one of my favorite creatures from the Return of the King has come back a the end of the movie.  Gollum was also just as crazy/sweet as in Lord of the Rings and the FX department has improved their game on making him more realistic.  There is also a closeup of Smaug’s eye that was very impressive.

A friend of mine asked if they could see the movie without seeing the other movies.  If at all possible I would at least take a look at Fellowship of the Ring so you can be familiar with the returning characters as well as some events that are mentioned from the Fellowship’s prologue, plus the first Shire scenes in The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring is within an hour or two of each other.

I did find out afterwards that even though it was filmed at 48 fps ( Jackson’s way to future proof the series) our local theater showed it in 24 fps so I did not experience any headaches like some movie goers have reported.   Thanks for reading and when you get a chance check out the Hobbit and let me know what you think.


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This is a sad world we are living in…. My Prayers to the families of the ones lost in this tragic event.

Star Wars Episode VII Announcement Next Month.



Kathleen Kennedy, in an interview with ABC News Radio, stated that pre-production will start in the Spring, and that there is an announcement coming next year.

What else can she tell us about the new Star Wars project?  She teases, I have no immediate update, but hopefully in January I’ll have something that I can say.

This should be an announcement for the director, which most are guessing will be Matthew Vaughn.    Sorry not much of an update, but Disney has been very tight lipped about this.

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