Picture of Today 5/25/2017, “Don’t call me a mindless philosopher”

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40 years ago on this day, a cinematic vision appeared detailing interesting conflict in a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. That was the first the world would truly know of the STAR WARS!

You may have heard of it. If not, here is a trailer.

I would know of it a bit later in my childhood, initially through the first sequel. But its presence was clear, and ingrained into my constant pop-culture appreciation for all things that involved dueling space wizards, weird-looking spaceships, bizarre aliens with mundane lifestyles, and robots that beep or speak with English accents.

My favorite character in the original is C-3PO (See-Threepio), a humanoid shaped droid with fluency in over six-million languages yet still seems to know so little of the universe around him. He discovered much but with hesitation, guided by his beeping, short astromech droid companion. His journey is not center through the film, and not very useful. But his humorous observations and interactions give the story a much needed dimension from someone less familiar or interest with galactic conflicts and strange religions. He just tags along, and provides funny comments.

My favorite Threepio line of the 1977 classic:  “Don’t call me a mindless philosopher.you overweight glob of grease!.”

 – Orion T

Picture of Today 3/5/2017, The Heart of the Emerald City Comic Con..

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I spent much of this past weekend at the 2017 Emerald City Comic Con, here in Seattle.

Many attended, for which this was its 15th year in annual rotation showcasing the latest in geek culture through various guests, events, and merch. The good portions were the plentiful choice of awesome products, the many attendees in colorful cosplay, some cool guests, and plentiful opportunities to make new friends and discover new obsessions. The sad portions ran the lack of promotion towards the current comic book industry. Its artist alley ended up in a separate smaller space above the main floors, benefitting less for reaching out to possible new fans. The comic dealers and publishers were kept further to the back, while non-comic dealers carried a heavier presence in the main hall showroom. TV and movie celebs were promoted far more to the audience, with barely any marketing toward the new and exciting stuff happening in the comic industry. This is sadly the direction of many “comic cons” lately. I wish they would just stop pretending to emphasize that.

All that aside, I still love these events. The interaction is still there. I met a few creative people, whose work I have enjoyed past and present. I took part in some fantastic gatherings, bought a lot of cool things, and enjoyed myself with friends here and there. I will post more on the details in the near future.For now, I must rest. Excitement on a large scale can also be exhilarating.

– Orion T

In the above picture is Barry Kitson, a comic book professional artist from a wide range of well-known Marvel and DC comics titles.The character in the picture is Angela, a heavenly warrior currently residing in the Marvel Comics universe. Barry was sketching all weekend for the Hero Initiative, a non-profit charity helping comic creators in a time of desperate need. For more info, visit www.heroinitiative.org.

 

Picture of Today 9/8/2016, Boldly Still Going..

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50 years ago on this day, a five-year mission began.

To explore strange new life and new civilizations, and you probably know as that message began the science fiction phenomenon, Star Trek. For decades, I have always been a Trekkie at heart, following all the series and all the movies with so much I wish I had the time to say about it all.

And here we are, looking back to the show that put forth some pretty crazy concepts back then (and through later reboots and spin-offs). Behold a crew exploring the final frontier, where all were welcome on a Federation spaceship with no boundaries on race, religion, gender, or non-threatening alien species

Much was already gained in that experience, centuries earlier. We have expedited the tech used in the show. I took the picture above with my phone, that can communicate at the touch of a button. We have computers that can respond to voice commands, give us endless amounts of information at any time, do video-conferences, and more. We have handheld devices that can detect heartbeats, sleep patterns, and give medical data on the fly. With simple instructions, we can produce objects through 3-D printers. Modern VR tech might as well be the earliest form of the holodeck. And if testing goes well, the NASA EM Drive will bring us much faster to the planet Mars. Who knows how far the tech will progress after that?

And, there is so much more to learn from the show about ourselves and the many interesting moral challenges we continue to face. Star Trek examines every facet of humanity to some extent, including religion, war, philosophy, politics. There are challenges to the open mind in many episodes, while there are breaks of fun and action-packed sequences.

Cheer’s to the five-year mission, that was originally televised for less than three, yet expanded and built upon itself for fifty and beyond. The legacy shall last for as long as humanity shall move, perhaps into that final frontier.

But for now, some of us have a railcar to catch. Here is are a couple more shots of the transport craft above, promoting the nearby Star Trek exhibit at the Experience Music Project (EMP) Museum.

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– Orion T