New Year's Eve in the Dawn of Apocalypse

Happy New Years! One of my favorite holidays, tainted only by the fact it's based on a Christian calendar. But I can rise above that. Of all the holidays, people are most open and friendly on this night, willing to kiss strangers in the Common - when else does that happen? Mardi Gras in New Orleans, perhaps. The best night - Halloween might run some competition, but it gets a little too serious and demanding. New Year's is all about the part-aying. But don't drink and drive kids! Except on rural country roads, then it's cool.
And why not drink and drive? We've got less than a year left before the dreaded MAYAN APOCALYPSE! December 21, 2012, and the World ends, by some means which is not clear. But there's a cosmic alignment involved for sure. So feast and and be merry while ye can, for surely DOOM is nigh.
I'll admit I used to half believe in this Mayan Apocalypse bullshit - but it was a long time ago, 1998 or so, and I happened upon a Weekly World News article that was quite convincing. After further research, it seemed likely the world would end in 2012, due to a MAGNETIC POLAR SHIFT.  Because it's true, the magnetic poles on Earth do shift on semi-regular schedules, with North becoming South and South North. Think what that would do to our electronics were it to happen? Frazizzled.
There are lots of ways, in fact, our World (that being our human existence, and not the World itself) could easily end, tomorrow in fact. Herewith is REDSHIRTS TOP TEN APOCALYPSES (not in order):

1. Asteroid Impact. This is inevitable. It will happen at some point, the only question is when. Tomorrow? A million years? Sometime in between? Who knows. We might have years of warning, or, even with our awesome technology, a killer asteroid could sneak up on us unawares and be on our doorstep in days.
2. Super Volcano. Also inevitable. There are a dozen or so super volcanoes on Earth that when they explode, are powerful enough to darken the skies with ash for years. Can you imagine how tough it would be to live on this planet without sunlight for 10 years? We'd starve.
3. Nuclear War. The most likely doomsday scenario. All it takes is some dumb Repuglican with his/her finger on the button and we're all doomed.
4. Solar storm. Also inevitable. Our reliance on electronics would cripple most of so called "modern" society. If strong enough, could toast most living things.
5. Gamma Ray Burst. If a star of certain mass goes supernova and happens to have one of its poles pointed directly at us, we could be in the line of a sight of a high mass, super powerful gamma ray burst that would fry most life on Earth.
6. Global Warming. Happening right now. The real deal and we'll find out how well we can deal with Change - no thanks, once again, to Repuglicans, the crazy fucks.
7. Magnetic Polar Shift. Also inevitable. An event that would have zero impact on a tribe living in the Amazonian rainforest, but which would devastate "modern" society.
8. Ice Age. One of the consequences of global warming could be a new ice age, ironically. Snowball Earth would freeze most life to death.
9. Geologic Instability. Also inevitable. Imagine all the plates of Earth undergoing a vibratory effect that levels anything over 30 feet tall.
10. Super Virus. A bacteria that proves lethal to any human that comes into contact. Easily enough to conceive of, and gosh darn we've got people researching the subject worldwide.

Scared? You should be (but of course shouldn't be). Life is a tenuous proposition on this planet, and we could be shaken off like so much lice. And so, take nothing for granted! There is nothing permanent here at all, in the least bit. Every moment is a gift and you should treat it that way. Let us pray:
Dear ambiguous New Age God, give my Chakras the Crystaline Energy to survive the coming Tribulation.

I don't believe in a prophesied apocalypse at all anymore, in case you can't tell. I worship Science now and believe you me, it's the only Faith that delivers.

Alien Jesus N'gath'luxt for your Hlex'gnath

If we're lucky (unlucky) enough to discover advanced alien life, I wonder how christianity, and all religions, would take it? I can imagine there would quickly develop a myth that Jesus did indeed appear to the aliens - in their form - to save them from their own fall in the Garden of Nr'ex'lux-nagath. And then was crucified upon an alien cross on an alien Golgotha. Indeed, re-write the bible in alien terms and you've got your ends tied up, and are free to keep on Believin'. The discovery of alien life - even microbes - will do nothing to shake most people of their religion, as this belief is mostly immune to facts in the first place. Hence the word "belief".
At least - hopefully! - we'll get some good art of it. Though I've not seen much good religious art these days, or for the last 200 years or so. Seems as if the Muse has left it behind. Good for Her!


Jesus Christ!

Repuglican Jesus will kill your meek ass, loser. USA! USA!
Or, if sporting, knock you on your sorry pagan butt in EXTREME MMA style.
No Crucifix can stop Him; Ye can only hope to contain Him.
I hope Santa smites Him, as Consumerism is way better for the Economy than money changer shakeups hippy guy, amirite?


Meta 4

Unlike mythical Jesus, Superman really has no conflict, or you never see it. Sure, his homeworld was destroyed, but does it bother Kal-El? Not really - he's got Earth to protect, which he does without doubt or despair. Now, that is, and over the last 50 years or so. But the Superman as originally created (Action Comics #1 1938 - the most expensive Comic Book in the world) was a Super Lefty - perhaps like Jesus - who fought stupid Repuglicans of the day. Check it, from the Wiki:

An influence on early Superman stories is the context of the Great Depression. The left-leaning perspective of creators Shuster and Siegel is reflected in early storylines. Superman took on the role of social activist, fighting crooked businessmen and politicians and demolishing run-down tenements.[34] This is seen by comics scholar Roger Sabin as a reflection of "the liberal idealism of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal", with Shuster and Siegel initially portraying Superman as champion to a variety of social causes.[35] In later Superman radio programs the character continued to take on such issues, tackling a version of the KKK in a 1946 broadcast.[36][37] Siegel and Shuster's status as children of Jewish immigrants is also thought to have influenced their work. Timothy Aaron Pevey has argued that they crafted "an immigrant figure whose desire was to fit into American culture as an American", something which Pevey feels taps into an important aspect of American identity.[38]
Another sign of the times, right? Also too, this guy:
Batman suffers for all our sins. But, really? He's a billionaire playboy, who's something of a highly functioning psychopath. Is that really a hero we should admire? A vigilante? Sure, he's doing the right thing, but in many wrong ways. But did not Jesus break many laws in service to a higher calling? Was he not a criminal in the eyes of the powerful and corrupt? Jesus as Batman would be awesome - kicking ass in the Temple, than fighting some Romans, than escaping with powered grappling cables and a dramatic use of the Robe Glider. Awesome!

Also awesome in the eyes of many - but not really me - is the ultimate tortured "hero", the Hulk. If a hero he is it all. He smashes many things, and inevitably this causes the loss of many innocent lives - for no real reason, usually, for the Hulk is a force of nature, of rage and anger and confusion. And guilt - perfect qualities to be a priest!
The Hulk is Jekyll and Hyde, man and God, wishing to do right but all too often doing wrong. We as humans have foibles and failings, we impose and are imposed upon by fictional moral standards, frightened by demons and boogeyman, lost in this world so often that makes no sense we cry out for an answer! For a why! For someone in charge!
The longing for heroes: A miraculous empowering that frees us from what we perceive as our failed human nature, and the chaos of nature. An answer to the why. And so for the whole of human history we have made up stories to answer the why's, and these stories get repeated and repeated, transformed and multiplied, till over and over again and again across the world for all of human time, we've had our Gods, our mythical heroes This does in no way mean there are such things as Gods, but rather speaks to our need for answers. It defines our use of metaphor, as we are defined by our metaphors.

And I would argue now, at last, we have the true means to find these answers: Science! With Sci Fi and Comics for fun and stimulation!


Thor's Day

This is like the 6th appearance of Big G in the Marvel Universe, and boy was it exciting. Check it out! Galactus.

But this is all about Thor, God of Thunder. Introduced in comic form here:
Look how weak and scrawny he is! Speaks of the changes over time, yeah? Thor's a God of course - but as everyone knows, just a mythical one. So why not make him a super hero in your fictional universe?
No, this is not Thor smashing up a church. But being a Viking God, you'd think he would. A lot. But that would never be allowed in the comics, or any public fiction. While you can tell the tales of Asgard, you could never depict Jesus in such a manner. The Gods Hercules and Ares get the same treatment, though they're nowhere near as popular as Thor. I first learned about Norse mythology reading Thor comics as a wee lad and for that, I give thanks - they were serious reading, with big words and cool concepts (Ragnarok) and I would encourage every child to read comic books. At least the ones from the 60's and 70's. The comic books these days... I don't know. Lots of boobs.

Many super heroes have entered our cultural mythology, with Superman chief among them. These are our true new Gods, and they are way cooler than Jesus, who, like Thor, is just another God, and all a God is a mythical super hero. Let us learn from their tales of battle and betrayal, and go forth and spread the good word!
Also too, as long as were pointing out mythological influences:
It would be an awesome project to try and get some super crazy religious Fundie nuts all upset about the "pagan" origin of the names of our days. That's blasphemy, right? Why can't we have proper Christian named days? Jesusday being the day Football is played, amen. And then when all the days of the week were changed and we've entered a Religious Police State, you can say, "Yeah, that was me."


The Reason for the Season

Nerd pop quiz! Name the reference.

As you ponder that, let us consider the always ignorant declaration: "Remember the reason for the season" said, no doubt, in the context of criticizing consumer based Xmas culture - what's Santa got to do with it?

Time's up! The answer is Jesus as Galactus, eater of worlds.

But that of course is not really the reason for the season. But rather, like all wise conquerors, Christians took over existing holidays and rebranded them all Christ style (see, Mithras) - pro tip! Jesus was not born on 12/25. That is if Jesus actually existed, which he did not, unless you're referring to some Mexican dude, then yes, there are very many Jesuses, some of which were born on 12/25 - and how cool would that be, just from the gift reception perspective?

No really. The reason for the season is this:
Shortest day of the year - death of the old year, and rebirth of the new. That's the basis for all myths from all religions - the cycle of the seasons, and the cycles of life. Everything else is nothing but flowery prose and forms of control.

And lo! We've gained 24 seconds of daylight so far this year!


Callisto or Bust

Let me start this by saying I am a huge hippy and truly believe in peace and love and all that shit. But I am also coldly pragmatic and logical. So believe me when I say IF all the nations of the Earth today stopped spending money on weapons of war and instead spent that money, or even half that money, on space exploration and colonization, we'd have Lunar bases already, and would be well on our way towards colonizing the Solar System. Instead, we languish in low orbit, reverting to baser modes down below. I would not be surprised if mankind loses the ability to get to space in the near future. But! This is not the post for such soothsaying.

Instead, let's pretend it all works out swell and humanity is united in pursuit of spreading out, and colonizing. You could start with the Earth trojans as described previously, and build out from there, OR, you could just say "F it, let's go for it" and head directly for Callisto. Here:
All those white marks you see are water ice. Water is everything, and the easier it is to obtain, the better your chances of success. There's water on Mars, but you'd have to mine for it. On Callisto, on the other hand, it sits ready to melt in gigantic ice reservoirs, there for the taking. Land a ship on one of those huge white marks and you'd have all the water you'll ever need.
Ice not only, obviously, supplies water, but it also supplies hydrogen, and that is the fuel that makes this Universe go round, and we'd be wise to use it any way we can. So in one fell easy swoopies, you've got drinking water, greenhouse water, mining water, all kinds of water, all the water you'd ever need out in space - fun fact! The moons of Jupiter contain more water, by far, than all the water on Earth. Earth is dry in comparison. And all the hydrogen you can use, which could power fuel cells, nuclear reactors, and/or future space age tech.
But that's just the start. For Jupiter has Lagrange points too - as does everything that has an orbit, to greater or lesser degrees - and they are massive. And within them, at L4 and L5, sit a mighty collection of Trojan asteroids. And within them lies all the materials humanity would need to build enough tech to completely colonize the solar system and beyond.

Callisto is the perfect base for the ultimate conquest of the Galaxy by Humanity - and wouldn't that rock? Either we establish our presence with the Earth Trojans and build huge space craft there, well prepared to venture further out into space, OR we make a mad dash directly for the greatest prize in the Solar System - Callisto - Moon of water and metal and everything we need. Callisto is the 4th moon out of the major moons of Jupiter, and this makes all the difference. Callisto is not subject to the radiation baths the other 3 moons are, nor is it subject to the tidal pull of Jupiter, and thus it never experienced gravitational heating, and also thusly never differentiated. This may sound like a minor deal, but it means in truth all kinds of major elements sit on the surface/near the surface of Callisto, whereas on a differentiated planet or moon, all the heavier elements sink to the core as everything melts. So, unlike on Earth and Mars, Callisto would present rich treasures of concentrated ore at the surface, like found with asteroids but on a much larger level.

So, Callisto sounds pretty swell, right? How about a hypothetical base:
Wherever we go in space, we're going to need to grow plants. Unless we evolve into creatures that need not eat.

What I propose: We mine the Earth trojans, building large ships and a supply chain which then feeds a line of colonization from Mars into the Asteroid Belt and settling (for now) on Callisto, and there establishing mankind's next shining star. Using the Jovian trojans for an unending supply of any and every element desired, and all the water you'd ever need on Callisto, if we as a species were ever so lucky to make a permanent presence out as far as Callisto, then truly the entire Galaxy would be our next step, and immortality as a genetic representation. And is that not the goal of us all?!


Next (Giant) Steps

You remember Lagrange Points, right? Spots of gravity around the orbit of Earth and the Sun where things are relatively still and balanced - you could just hang out at any L# spot above and be cool, but especially cool, as you see, is L4 and L5, for there lay the Trojan Asteroids orbiting about Earth and the Sun cool as could be, stationary. There for the taking.

And that's where our future lies: With the Asteroids. Some are pure metal, worth billions upon billions and billions of dollars in today's funny money.  The industrial potential of such asteroids is beyond compare - mine them in space, build huge structures in space, and so on:
From the asteroids we can build huge space machines that could do all kinds of crazy things:
Eventually we'll make spaceships of asteroids - why not? Big shield of rock with all your futuristic shit all snug as a bug inside the iron walls. The spinning of the ship will simulate perfect Earth gravity, leading to:
Living large in the Lagrange, y'all...
This is where we will survive as a species - in space, living in humongous space spheres spinning through the Black... do you think we can survive like that? I do, if we have enough ships - say a million, all sent out in different directions in space. Humans would conquer the galaxy!  And is not that the point? To spread?

We can spread as a species off this planet and into space. Isn't it our obligation to do so?


Mars is Hard

Here's a graphical representation of all missions to Mars, indicating whether they were successful or not, and if so, what type of space craft. As you can see, most missions have been failures, though the success rate has been pretty good of late. Getting better! But! These are just robots, and who cares what happens to a robot? Sending humans will be far more difficult for the foreseeable future, and ultimately, what's the point?

Mars is not enough, and it poses so many difficulties. There's no special mineral wealth, little water, lots of radiation, and the low gravity means any long term habitation will be permanent - you could never come back to Earth. Couple all that with the difficulty of getting there, and it's not worth it, at least not for a long time.

I've given up on Mars, and the Moon (leave them for the robots), as they are nothing more than stunts, and our true future lies in space itself, and with the little asteroids floating all around about it.


Nerd's Delight (Fantasy Aside)

Click for big. And you really should, especially if you are a nerd or a person with nerdish tendencies. For it shows - to scale - every spaceship of every fairly recent space based sci fi show. It's remarkable! Take your time, please.

I marvel at, 1. The scale of my old favorite Star Trek ships to Star Wars, and 2. How I, since I was but a wee lad, have been obsessed with space ships. There's something so resonant there for me, and always has been there, it must mean something, right? What, I have no idea. Other than I have always been a giant nerd.

But I am TOTALLY cool with my nerdom now (not so much as a younger man), since I've scaled the ranks of the Popular Kid's club over and over again, mostly on my own terms, and what I found up there was: Nothing much.

Far better to pursue your sincere interests - and work hard to broaden your mind to discover interests you might never have known - with honesty and passion, and never any shame. For what is there to be ashamed of? Trust me: It doesn't matter what the Popular Kids think. They're pretty much all dumbasses, douchebags, and bitches. Who cares about them? And thus, let your Nerd Flag fly proudly!

Like this guy:
Live Long and Perl!

Oh, and since I know you're dying to know - and I am dying to record for posterity - I won a miraculous comeback in Fantasy last night, with everything going my way. It was incredible, as I put the odds of such an event happening at about 10%. But happened it did, and now I move on in the playoffs. And to clear up your confusion, I see Fantasy Football as only tangentially related to real football. I don't really care much who wins or loses any real football game, but rather only care about my current, past, or future Fantasy investments. For it is all a mathematical game more akin to a closed stock market, with of course plenty of luck and bad breaks. Buy low, sell high, maximize short term situations but always with a long term plan. Also, know your scoring rules and exploit them in every capacity. I've been consistently successful for many years, but have never broken through and won the big game. This year I came in with some bold new strategies and the number 1 pick and have flown high all year, but I am in it to win it and anything but the Title Belt will be a failure. And so my heartbreak on Sunday as I got torched by Brees and while doing well, saw all kinds of chances slip through my fingers - Et tu, AP? But alas! Monday night miracles happen, complete with explosions and power outages - and I prevailed by the slimmest of margins - 2.2 points. The last thirty minutes of the game were incredibly exciting.

As I'm sure was this entire aside. Thanks for reading and good luck to you if you are still alive in the greatest game of skill in the land: Fantasy Football. Who-Ah!


From Mind to Life (A Fantasy)

From a sketch poured forth from the brain of a nerd to a...
To a model constructed by more nerds to...
To a representation of reality on a fictional TV show that has inspired millions for decades, directly shaping our current technology, so in part...
To some nerd's computer skills ably demonstrated in variations on the classic Klingon Battle Cruiser.  And who knows where that nerd will take those skills into the future, maybe even doing something of real value to the world, rather than a wondrous indulgence in fantasy.

Speaking of, I think my season ends tonight, barring a miracle. Woe! Once again all my cunning plans are foiled tragically in the end. I never learn, however.


Klingon Derivations

Truly, a terrifying spectacle. Burger King Klingons. Magical, menacing monsters of burgers and space.
This, too, is a thing on the internets: Mods of "My Pretty Pony" dolls. There's all kinds of crazy ones out there. But this post is about Klingons, not foolish dolls!

Modern mythology, spreading across the nations via the Internet. Comicons are spiritual gatherings akin to Druid partays of yore. Or maybe not.


Klingon Smorgasbord

Klingon is not just an unrealistic alien species, but also a language. A real language, with grammar rules and gerunds and all that shit. "Tah Pagh Tahbe'" translates to "To Be or Not To Be". Oh look, Shakespeare in the original Klingon:
An actual production of Hamlet, in Klingon. Odd, is it not? Consider the utter luxury of it! That we (as a species, as a society) have such spare time as to learn a real language from a fictional universe and make a play of it. Or performance art:
It's decadent, really. And completely wonderful. This is how a species advances - by exploring all kinds of weird shit. Who knows what will turn up? Or who will be inspired by what. For example:
Imagine ballin' down Main Street in this Bird of Prey! You'd get pulled over and hassled eventually, for sure, but even then, it'd be pretty sweet. I'd just start cold blastin' everything in my path, Klingon style.
Klingon style. Kahless bless them.


Klingon ladies all classy like

Everything's classy in painting form (well done, of course). I wonder what she's embroidering?
The noble Princess B'rianna, 16th century AK (After Kahless), brief ruler of a small moon in the P'tak! system.

Klingon edition of Playboy, centerfold 1971 AK, B'r'andi, who likes a strong man and dislikes cowards.


Orion Slave Girl a Go Go

It's the future, and green girls are dancing in metallic bikinis for your cyberpleasure. These are Orion Slave Girls and they are a small but strong meme floating about pop culture. And why not? Green is naturally sexy.