Fantasist's Scroll

Fun, Fiction and Strange Things from the Desk of the Fantasist.


Planets Older Than Suspected?

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

How old is it all, really?

Well, this might seem like an esoteric topic, but it really effects how we percieve the universe quite a bit. According to this article on MSNBC, scientists think that there’s a planet that’s much older than it should be. Which means that the entire universe is older than people thought, which, in turn means that life, the universe and everything may have developed at an entirely different rate than was previously thought. So, while a little heavy on the theoretical side, it can really change some things we “knew” about the universe.
Makes you wonder what really did happen a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.


Movie Review: League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Dog which is in the evening time.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

Over all, not bad.

Okay, I have to admit that I didn’t read the comic book on which this was based, but it was still an enjoyable movie. The basic plot, without giving too much away, is a mad genius is out to cause world-wide chaos and mayhem and, somehow, plans to turn a profit off it all. To thwart this madman’s nefarious schemes, a group of quite unusual adventurers are gathered together. Adventure and mayhem ensue.

The characters are well developed, and unique even though they’re based on existing literary figures. The writers manage to make these characters their own fairly well. Of course, that means making some changes to them. The most disturbing of the changes, I found, was making Captain Nemo Indian. Not that I have anything against Indians, and certainly, the character in the movie was great, but it really has nothing to do with the literary character at all! But, once I set that aside, I’d say that Nemo became probably my second favorite character. My third favorite is a tie between Dorian Grey and Skinner, the second invisible man. Both were well thought out and “real” in a way that such gimmicky characters rarely seem to be in movies like this.
My favorite character, however, was the aging Alan Quartermain. And, that, of course, was due to Sean Connery. I’ve loved him as an actor since he was James Bond.

There were only a few internal inconsistencies that were troubling. The first being a vampire walking about in the sunlight. The second being the aforementioned Nemo changes. And, of course, there was all of Nemo’s technology. It was far, far in advance of anything even thought of at the time. It relied on concepts not even dreamt of yet.
The other thing I found both troubling and intrigueing was totally personal. There was quite a reference to Freemasonry in the film, not all of it flattering. But, that only bothered my because I am, in fact, a Freemason.

Over all, a good movie, but hit the matinee and save a couple of bucks.


Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Well, maybe not so mighty, but I think it’s cool!

So, I finally did it. I went and made myself an on-line sound changer. It’s based on The Sound Change Applier by Mark Rosenfelder and utilizes the Lingua::SoundChange module from CPAN. Other than that, though, I did the whole thing on my own, just using the examples and the Internet. So, I’m really proud of this one.
As far as I know, there’s not another one like it on the web, so enjoy it. And, now, I’ll be taking a break from doing any programming for the site. So don’t ask!

(The poem from which I stole my title, BTW, is Ozymandius by Percy Bysshe Shelley.)


More Ocean News

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Here’s a follow-up story to yesterday’s post.

It’s on MSNBC. The article is all about the expedition that produced the lovely website that I posted about yesterday. Apparently, the whole discovery of new species was a product of serendipity.
These folks went out to study a totally different feature of the ocean floor, had trouble with that, then quickly revamped their mission and made some good progress. The interesting thing, to me, though, is that the article really illustratres how little we know about our oceans. The Earth is 2/3 ocean, but we have almost no idea how their ecosystems work or how much of an impact we have on that ecosystem. I know it’s been done to death, but the ocean really is the last frontier on Earth.
Of course, the list of science-fiction books with the ocean as a major component are almost limitless, too. And, I think, there’s still plenty of room for more.


Strange New Life

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

…found deep in our own oceans.

I recall reading a book about writing science-fiction once that said, basically, any crazy, wild, “different” idea for a creature a writer can think of has already been out-done by Mother Nature. And, I have to say that I’ve found that to be a Universal Truth. One of the things I love about National Geographic, for instance, is the strange beasties that it brings me almost every month. Insects and plants that I never dreamed existed in their natural habitat in full-color photographs. Simply amazing.
Here’s another simply amazing collection of photos. In this case, of deep sea creatures, but sea creatures like I’ve never seen before. Twelve pages of fantastic creatures with names like long-nose chimera, lantern shark, and goblin shrimp. What a great place for a fantasy writer to use as source material for other-worldly oceans. Take the time to check out at least some of the pictures. You won’t be dissapointed.


Touchy-Feely Tech

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Reach out and touch someone, indeed!

In this article on Wired News, they’re working on a technology that would allow people to feel things via the Internet. They list all kinds of good, sound scientific reasons why this would be a useful technology, like sports training and medical training. I, of course, can see other applictions for it that are less purient. Teledildonics takes on a whole new dimension! I shudder to think how this will be perverted.


Genetic Manipulation Taken Too Far?

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Dragon which is in the early morning.
The moon is a Full Moon

I think so, in this case…

According to this article on Wired News, scientists have made “she-males” from embyronic cells to “better study” genes. Of course, this raised quite an outcry from a number of groups, most of whom I disagree with on this stuff. But, not this time. Of course, my father tried to tell me about this when I was a kid, but would I listen?
Sooner or later, scientists are going to push the envelope of ethical behavior in the name of research. I get especially worried about this when they’re pushing ethical boundries in biology. Haven’t they read Aldous Huxley? Haven’t they at least seen the movie “Gattica”? For pity’s sake, the science-fiction world has been trying to warn us about the dangers of this for decades, when will we listen?



Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Well, if you believe in that kind of thing, which I do, it sure seems like a miracle.

There’s a new story on MSNBC about a man who woke from a 19 year coma last month. He was in a car accident 19 years ago this month which killed the other occupant of the car and put him into a coma. He was 20 at the time. Now, he’s 39 and a quadriplegic, but he’s out of the coma. Interestingly enough, the car accident occured on Friday the Thirteenth and he came out of the coma on a Friday the Thirteenth as well.
Now, I find myself trying to imagine what it must be like for him. He’s got a 19 year-old daughter that he’s never met. He has to learn how to function again and, hopefully, regain at least partial use of his arms and legs. Then, he’ll have to find a way to get by financially for what looks like a fairly long life. It’s hard to imagine the struggles he’s about to face.

And, I have to admit, it strikes me that this is a great idea for a very, very compelling story. Not really fantasy or science-fiction fare, but, still, it’s a great premise for a potentially touching and inspiring story.

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