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Hiatus in Temperus

Mysidian Moments Photojournal

Greetings friends and followers!

Well, some good news and some bad; first, the bad. Life (personal and professional) have decided to get a little more tumultuous than I would like, which is going to put a crimp in getting the weekly postings up. Hopefully, it will only be a few week interruption, but I did want to at least give a heads up.

But, the good news should make up for the temporary silence on the blog front:
* First and foremost, the primary Mysidian Moments website is getting a major renovation. Its been in the works for a while now, but the trigger has been pulled, as it were. Once the bugs are worked out and I’m happy with the look and feel, it’ll go live.
* Next, I’ve been looking at how to sell prints and canvases of my photographs online, so the website will be incorporating a…

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It was a good birthday…

Mysidian Moments Photojournal

LACMA Selfie LACMA Selfie

On 22 January 2014, museum visitors, curators, managers and mascots from all over the world will be taking part in #MuseumSelfie day – a Twitter project aimed at raising awareness of the great collections being housed by national and regional museums across the globe. This photo was my submission to the event, taken in from of LACMA’s Urban Lights installation.

I thought it was appropriate to share today.

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Just in case you wanted to have a rematch in order…

Geekritique

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Mysidian Moments Photojournal

As we close out 2013, take a moment to reflectonwhathashappened, what has changed, what we’ve learned, what and whohasbeenlost– and as we make determinations to move forward…

 

 

* Note- this photo was actually taken with my cellphone, asI did not have my proper camera with me at the time. But as you can see, I couldn’t let this gorgeous moment in time disappear…

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Hell via Michigan

So Dave is driving home in winter in Dearborn, and while turning left gets broadsided by semi slipping on a patch of black ice.

He wakes up in Hell, and is immediately shredded, branded, and thrown into a rock quarry- breaking rocks, pushing them to another part of the quarry, where other souls are forced to beat them into boulders.  While the souls are wailing in torment, Dave just whistles a toon and breaks the rocks and pushes the carts of them over.  A demon flies up- “What the hell, man?  Why aren’t you screaming?”

“I grew up on a farm, this ain’t too much different than bailing hail or digging the fields.”

“Okay, motherfucker!” The demon snatched up Dave’s soul threw him into the Lava Slurry- shoveling lava from the hellpits into canals that flowed downwards back into the pits- a real Sisyphusan nightmare.  While souls screamed from the heat and the pointlessness of it all, Dave hummed ditties throughout the day.

A different demon flew up a few days later. “Dave, isn’t it?  Why are you humming?  It’s godsdamned lava, this shit it hot.  And just repetitive shit over and over, its never gonna end.  Stop humming.  Suffer, man, c’mon.”

“I worked on an assembly line for years- same shit, over and over, getting hot as hell in the summer.  I done this.”

The demon got on his cellphone, then turned back and smiled evilly.  “We’ve got you, Dave.”  He snatched Dave up, and brought him to a freezing wasteland.  No work, no other souls, just ice and snow and freezing cold reaching into the sub-absolute-zero range.  The demon threw him, naked and alone, into a snow drift and flew off…

Moments later, Lucifer himself appeared, laughing in triumph.  He knew this would break Dave’s soul- until he looked down and saw Dave dancing, singing, throwing snow into the air like a kid whose school was just cancelled.

“WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS, MORTAL SCUM?!?” Lucifer roared.  “I COMMAND THEE TO SUFFER!!”

“I can’t be mad, man, the Lions just won the Super Bowl!  The Lions just won the Super Bowl!!!”

Sala Kakuhle, Madiba

Nelson Mandela, 1999 by Mike Hutchings, Reuters

Mandela's signature

As you know (or know now), Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela passed today, peacefully, at the age of 95.

He is one of the few men who I could truly look up to.  He practiced what he preached, he went and searched for those who needed help, he adapted, and he never gave up the good fight.  His accomplishments, and the means he brought them about- against insurmountable odds- are a testament to the human spirit.

Now, we must rise up to continue his work- that of togetherness, forgiveness, enlightenment and striving towards a better, united tomorrow- we must rise.

Rest, Rolihlahla; enjoy the rest you have so greatly earned.

Sala kakuhle, Madiba

Glorious!

Mysidian Moments Photojournal

A few weeks ago, in December and January, Jupiter was very visible in the night sky (at least in the northern hemisphere; not sure about south of the Equator). A few nights, it was even in close proximity to the Moon… This photograph was taken during that near conjunction, with a 300mm lens- but no telescope or the like.

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Still love this one…

Mysidian Moments Photojournal

Newlyweds on their Wedding Days

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ImageLast year, Steven Spielberg’s (“Saving Private Ryan”, “E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial”) “Falling Skies” introduced us to the world in six months- if an alien invasion had happened today.  With 90% of humanity wiped out, we join the 2d Massachusetts Militia Regiment under the command of Captain Dan Weaver, played by Will Patton (“The Postman”, “The Agency”).  His second-in-command is Tom Mason, a professor of American History portrayed by Noah Wyle (“ER”, “Pirates of Silicon Valley”).  They lead a group of 300 strong survivors as they retreat, regroup, and eventually retaliate against the alien invaders.

Three of Tom’s son survived the invasion: The eldest Hal, played by Drew Roy (“iCarly”, “Hannah Montana”), and the youngest, Matt, played by Maxim Knight (“Special Agent Oso”, “Three Rivers”), both escaped with their father.  The middle son, Ben, played by Connor Jessup (“The Saddle Club”, “King”), was captured and harnessed by the Skitters.  ImageThe young actors turn in consistently competent performances, a pleasant change from many young actors in demanding roles.  Their characters fill important roles throughout the season, while additionally providing Tom his primary motivation. 

Rounding out the 2d Mass we have Anne Glass and John Pope, portrayed by Moon Bloodgood (“Pathfinder”, “Terminator Salvation”) and Colin Cunningham (“Stargate SG-1”, “jPod”), respectively.  Anne Glass is the unit’s medic, a pediatrician before the invasion, who advocates for the civilians to boot.  She and Tom have a close friendship which took a romantic turn in the finale.  Pope is a fan-favorite who serves as the cook for the 2d Mass, having been pressed into service once his post-apocalyptic gang was destroyed.  The former felon has a variety of skills that come into play through the season, with his intelligence and grey morality proving their worth several times.

The alien invaders consist of the Skitters, which are insectoid foot soldiers.  They are aided by the robotic Mechs and rapid Airships.  Landed motherships based in the ruins of the major cities, such as Boston, serve as their headquarters.  One of the primary objectives is capturing and “harnessing” human children, rendering them servile as well as allowing communication with the Skitters via radio waves.  These forces are all controlled by the Slenders- tall, thin and vaguely humanoid aliens who make their entrance toward the end of the season. 

The series does suffer from pacing issues.  Good drama in any genre focuses on interpersonal relationships with multidimensional characters.  Science fiction and military dramas, however, also give us some action while moving the story forward.  The first season gave us a too much exposition and an overabundance of clichéd character drama without moving the plot significantly forward.  Further, until the finale, there was not a sense of danger.  This took a promising if familiar story and sapped a lot of its potential.

There are two main plot points that weaken the series.  The first would be the ”mech bullet”, which made human pistol strong enough to destroy Mechs.   It comes off as a cheap videogame deus ex machina- “You found Super ImageBullets”- not a solution for a supposedly gritty series.  Secondly, the reason for the invasion seems to defy logic.  They have interstellar travel, advanced weaponry and presumably technology in general- find Earth, come to Earth and invade to capture child slaves and scrap metal.  The former might make sense at some level, but the latter does not given the abundance of metals on other planets or in the asteroid belt.  If these major issues and the pacing are addressed in the next season, the show can make up for its lost momentum.

Overall, the first season felt ponderous.  The action was slim though generally well done.  The characters have been fleshed out pretty strongly, but there have also been times that people broke character for the sake of forcing drama.  The motivations of the invaders are still unknown and somewhat illogical.  However, the finale was impressive with a genuinely surprising twist.  If the pacing and quick fix issues are addressed early in season two, there is a lot of promise in “Falling Skies”.

We have an assortment of bonus features on the DVD and Blu-Ray versions.  An extended version of the pilot is welcomed, but doesn’t provide any big surprises.  It does feature its own commentary track, as do five of the other episodes.  The featurettes, (“Making the Skitter”, “Harness Makeup” and “Director One on One”), are fairly blasé.   The last one, “Day in the Life”, is somewhat interesting in explaining the so-called normal activities, but even it falls flat.  Likewise, the deleted scenes and character profiles don’t do much but extend some scenes without adding anything to the overall story.  The 2011 Comic-Con panel movie is a welcome addition.  The Blu-Ray has two exclusive extras- a short film on creating the comic book plus a collectible trading card.  To sum up, the extra features are fairly mediocre, but do add a bit of value. 

If you enjoyed Falling Skies, these discs are a good buy.  Or, if you have a history buff in the family, Father’s Day is this weekend- they might enjoy the series given the American Revolution parallels.  

Season Two of “Falling Skies” premieres this Sunday (June 17th) at 9pm/8 central on TNT.