Tag Archives: Futurama

Saturday Reviews | Rocket Raccoon #1

rocket #1

Kicking off the official launch of Saturday Reviews is Rocket Raccoon #1. Rocket is not the most likely of Marvel characters to get his own series but with the movie Guardians of the Galaxy coming out in just under a month, this is the perfect time for it. Skottie Young is on both art and writing duties, and I can think of no one better to helm this book. Young brings a great sense of humor that is needed in a book whose premise is as ridiculous as this. The book starts off with Rocket rescuing a princess and then abruptly cuts to Rocket taking a different woman on a date to a wrestling match between Groot and what appears to be Horrible Gelatinous Blob from Futurama. Things take a pretty quick turn for the worse for Rocket and chaos ensues.

Since it’s hard to take a book like Rocket Raccoon seriously, Young doesn’t. That not to say that he doesn’t put his best effort into the book, because he obviously does, but instead it means that Young feels free to be as off the wall and goofy as he can be. From Rocket’s over the top attempts to show his date a good time to the conversation with Star-Lord, he and the other Guardians are attempt (in comical fashion) to run away from something large, angry and pink this comic is just the right level of funny and absurd.

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It’s pink, that’s about all I can tell you.

Young’s art is spot on in this issue. I’m also very impressed with how  he is able to make both Rocket and Groot so expressive. I’m certainly no artist, but I would imagine that making a raccoon and a giant tree emotive is no easy task. The colors in this book are also great, making use of very bold and bright colors. The color pallet fits Young’s pencil style extremely well and adds to the sense of fun and adventure.

Groot is out to get some.

Groot is out to get some.

Rocket Raccoon benefits from not taking itself too seriously and by being a book that is just fun to read. I can’t wait for more. 4.5/5 Death Stars

4.5 Death Stars

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Filed under Comic Reviews, Comics, Saturday Reviews, Weekly

Geeks You Should Know: Gary Gygax

gygax

I think it’s appropriate to bring back Geeks You Should Know with one of the true heavy hitters, Gary Gygax. Gygax is best known as the creator of Dungeons & Dragons, the mother of all roleplaying game. Growing up in Wisconsin, Gygax developed a love for games of all kinds which eventually led him to find more complex miniature war games. Unsatisfied with the games that existed, Gygax began to develop his own game which didn’t require expensive, detailed miniatures and that allowed for more freedom of play. Through several iterations and in collaboration with fellow gamers, Gygax gradually developed the rules that would become D&D. Eventually Gygax, along with Don Kaye, founded Tactical Studies Rules (TSR) which soon published the initial run of D&D rulebooks. In 1986 Gygax had a falling out with TSR and resigned all his positions in the company. Gygax passed away in March of 2008.

red box dungeons and dragons

Gygax is the one person most responsible for the development of Dungeons & Dragons. While the initial run of D&D was more of a collaborative effort, by the time Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) rolled around, Gygax was doing nearly all the writing. For geeks raised in the 80’s there is nothing quite like AD&D. Many of these people didn’t even realize they were geeks until they set eyes on their first “red box.” Not only is D&D still a significant part of geek culture, but it also inspired all manner of other roleplaying games. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the direct connection between those first games in Gygax’s basement and modern roleplaying games like World of Warcraft. Gygax was also not afraid to be a geek publicly, even voicing his animated self in an episode of Futurama.Gary_Gygax

In addition to co-creating Dungeons & Dragons, Gygax is also the founder of Gen Con, the annual gaming convention. Lake Geneva is Gygax’s home town and the location of the very first convention, from which the name Gen Con is derived. It’s worth noting that although they are moderately different in focus, Gen Con pre-dates San Diego Comic Con by two years.

If Gary Gygax had one major flaw, it was being a geek and a gamer first, and a business man somewhere else, way down the line. Due to his less than ideal leadership, TSR was eventually forced to sell out to Wizards of the Coast, though doing so allowed D&D to continue through many updates to this day. Several generations of geeks owe the foundations of their identity to the efforts and imagination of Gary Gygax.

 

 

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Filed under Andrew Hales, Geek Life, Geeks You Should Know

Winning Science February 26, 2014

I think at one point or another just about everyone takes a moment to ponder their own death. Certainly no one knows the exact moment that it will come, but now science is inching closer to giving us that information. Researchers in Finland and Estonia have determined that elevated levels of four biomarkers may indicate that otherwise healthy people are more susceptible to illness and are more likely to die within five years. Scientists involved, who refer to the test as a measure of general “frailty”, were so skeptical of the results from the initial 9842 participants they included an additional 7503, just to verify their results.

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Things don’t look good for Fry.

Maybe in the future we will have Futurama‘s Death Clock.

Authorities in New Mexico are now prepared to send workers back into a salt mine that is being used to house nuclear waste left over from the creation of nuclear weapons. The facility was shut down when airborne contamination monitors tripped and secured the ventilation for the facility. While there was a small release to the desert surrounding the site, there was no danger to the public. The isotopes detected by remote monitors corresponded to the materials known to be stored in the plant.

Layout of WIPP facility.

Layout of WIPP facility.

My only real concerns here are that they seem to think that everything is fine despite the fact that they haven’t determined the cause yet. This all seems a little hasty.

Now it’s time for one of my favorite branches of science, the branch where we shoot lasers at stuff and see what happens. (I’m pretty sure this comes from watching too many science fiction movies as a kid.) Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have discovered a new quasiparticle that acts much like a drop of water.  Researchers discovered this unexpected response while pulsing a laser at a semiconductor. While there are currently no practical uses for this new information, it will help provide insight into how these materials work, and may lead to improvements in all kinds of things sooner than we think.

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This article also provides a wonderful, plain English description on how conductors and semiconductors work.

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