Saturday, January 23, 2021

Legends of Yesterday

Today's experiment in "If intellectual property wasn't a thing:" 

I present The Legends of Yesterday, a secret cabal of extraordinary individuals long thought lost, retired, or dead. No one but their mysterious, never-seen leader (voiced by Bruce Campbell) knows that these reluctant heroes are not only alive and restored to their primes, but gifted with immunity to aging and disease. How will the 21st century react to these relics of yesteryear? What is the hidden agenda of their secretive leader? And what about M.A.L.I.C.E., the Malevolent Alliance of Lawless Individuals for Crime and Extortion? Can they be stopped, even by the Legends of Yesterday?

The Legends: 

The Six Million Dollar Man (television) - pilot, astronaut, espionage and brute force

The Bionic Woman (television) - teacher, tennis, espionage and brute force

Michael Knight and KITT (television) - crimebusting, infiltration, policing

Rollin Hand (television) - espionage, disguise

Barney Collier (television) - engineering, invention, mechanics

Colt Seavers (television) - stunts, brawling

Robby the Robot (film) - food and drink synthesis, driving, butlering, comic relief

Foxy Brown (film) - revenge, infiltration, knife fighting

Kelly Garrett (television) - infiltration, seduction, karate, pistols

John Clayton, Lord Greystoke (novels) - brawling, jungle survival, exploration, animal handling, hunting

John Shaft (novels, film) - investigation, pistol, brawling

Big Jim (toys) - kung fu, camping, driving, SCUBA

Alan Carter (television) - astronaut, pilot, wisecracks

Stretch Armstrong (toys) - stretching, brooding

Isis (television) - animal friendship, elemental control

April Dancer (television) - espionage, glam

Roy Hinkley (television) - science

Mary Ann Summers (television) - morale, logistics

John Drake (television) - espionage, rage

Belt Jones (film) - brawling, martial arts 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

New Superman & Lois Trailer


I will admit I prefer the classic Superman trope--that is, the Clark/Lois/Superman love triangle, with all its painful angst--but judging by the trailer, this looks like it might be a half-decent take on a Superman and Lois who've taken the plunge, gotten married, and raised a family. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Brief Thoughts on Joe vs. the Volcano

Audiences are used to seeing character arcs, and we get a lovely one in Joe versus the Volcano (John Patrick Shanley, 1990). But the writer/director also treats us to a fascinating arc in tone, as Joe's story begins in an absurdist dystopian factory with the worst working conditions since Fritz Lang's Metropolis, eases into a more mundane middle-class idyll, then glides to a paradisiacal tropical finish. It's the journey Joe needs to take in order to recapture his love of life, a journey made possible by a gift from on high, a not-quite-random act of kindness rewarding Joe's courage and perseverance.

What a strange, beautiful film.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Adventures in Decluttering

While decluttering my office the other night, I found this small collection of music-themed trading cards. I can't imagine I would have ever bought these, so I theorize that someone at Warp One slipped them into my purchase as a freebie (I spent an embarrassing amount of money there back in my 20s). I recognize Belinda Carlisle, Janet Jackson, the Pretenders, and Blues Traveler (thanks only to "Ride, Captain, Ride," one of my favourite songs. The rest of these artists are complete mysteries to me. But they were SUPER*STARS at some point! 

Saturday, January 16, 2021

The Railing Room

To the uncaring heavens I shriek
Here at the nadir of existence 
Four walls in search of a ceiling and
Someone's left the door open again

Friday, January 15, 2021

Escape from Gilligan's Island: The Roleplaying Game, Part III: Character Creation, Part II

Skills on Gilligan's Island
Like all humans, Castaways possess a wide range of skills thanks to natural aptitude, many hours of practise, or both. During the game, characters will find their skills tested by many challenges, suffering penalties to their chance of success if they do not possess the particular skill needed in the given moment. 

The following skills are most relevant to life on the island:

The ability to bob, dodge, weave, balance, and perform other feats of dexterity.

The ability to play a role convincingly on stage or film or even during one’s personal life.

Animal Friendship
The ability to make friends with animals, or at least to convince them you’re not a threat or prey.

Animal Husbandry
The ability to breed livestock.

The ability to shoot a bow and arrow.

Bamboo Building
The ability to create buildings and vehicles out of bamboo.

The ability to play the banjo.

The ability to play brass instruments, such as the tuba, sousaphone, trumpet, etc.

The ability to threaten and coerce others into doing your will.

Butterfly Collecting
The ability to identify, collect, and display butterflies.

The ability to create a campsite and live comfortably outdoors for days or weeks at a time.

The ability to use tools and raw materials to assemble structures.

The ability to competently shoot motion pictures with a motion picture camera.

Climbing, Cliff
The ability to scale cliffs, with or without equipment.

Climbing, Mountain
The ability to scale mountains, with or without equipment.

Climbing, Tree
The ability to climb trees.

Clothes Washing
The ability to wash clothing.

Coconut Crafting
The ability to create useful tools out of coconut shells, oil, meat, and leaves.

The ability to cook with primitive equipment.

The ability to ride a bicycle.

Dancing, Ballroom
The ability to ballroom dance.

Dancing, Tap
The ability to tap dance.

The ability to fool someone into believing something that is not true.

The ability to change your appearance with clothing, makeup, and appliances.

The ability to drive an automobile.

Dynamite Handling
The ability to handle dynamite without blowing yourself up.

The ability to understand and repair electronic devices and understand the principles behind their function.

The ability to plant, raise, and harvest crops.

The ability to invest wisely in capital markets.

First Aid
The ability to provide basic first aid to an injured person.

The ability to catch fish.

The ability to engage in fisticuffs.

The ability to arouse someone’s interest in you as a sexual being.

The ability to grow small-scale plots or planters of flowers, herbs, vegetables, small fruits and berries, and trees and shrubs. 

The ability to gather fruits, nuts, and other naturally-occurring foodstuffs.

The ability to maintain one’s own personal hygiene and personal appearance.

Guitar, Rhythm
The ability to play rhythm guitar.

Guitar, Bass
The ability to play bass guitar.

The ability to cut and style hair.

The ability to play the harmonica.

The ability to play the harpsichord.

The ability to walk long distances through challenging terrain.

Understanding the study of history, focused on the past of the human species. 

Hot Air Ballooning
The ability to operate a hot air balloon.

The ability to track down game.

The ability to perform feats of illusion through slight-of-hand or other trickery.

The ability to conceptualize and assemble a device for some utilitarian or artistic purpose.

The ability to juggle two or more small items such as balls, boomerangs, jars, pineapples, coconuts, pies, torches, batons, etc.

Language, American Sign Language
The ability to speak American Sign Language.

Language, Cannibal
The ability to speak the language of the cannibals on nearby islands.  

Language, Cantonese
The ability to speak Cantonese.

Language, English
The ability to speak English.

Language, French
The ability to speak French.

Language, German
The ability to speak German.

Language, Japanese
The ability to speak Japanese.

Language, Mandarin
The ability to speak Mandarin.

Language, Spanish
The ability to speak Spanish.

Language, Swedish
The ability to speak Swedish.

Language, Tagalog
The ability to speak Tagalog.

Language, Transylvanian
The ability to speak Transylvanian.

Lip Reading
The ability to read lips and discover what a person is saying even if you can’t hear them.

The ability to pick small locks.

The ability to apply makeup to oneself or others.

Martial Arts
The ability to use your body as a weapon.

Mechanics, Aircraft
The ability to repair aircraft.

Mechanics, Astronautics
The ability to repair spacecraft.

Mechanics, Automobile
The ability to repair automobiles.

Mechanics, Bicycle
The ability to repair bicycles, tricycles, unicycles, penny-farthings, etc.

Mechanics, Motorcycle
The ability to repair motorcycles.

Mechanics, Ship
The ability to repair seagoing ships. 

Mechanics, Submarine
The ability to repair submarines.

The ability to diagnose and treat a variety of ailments.

Melee Weapons
The ability to use weapons such as clubs, brass knuckles, swords, hammers, screwdrivers, bottles, knives, daggers, and other non-ranged implements of menace in combat. 

The ability to mime.

The ability to locate and safely deactivate mines.

The ability to lower someone’s morale by insulting, degrading, or humiliating them.

The ability to use appearance and performance to showcase consumer products.

Mouth Harp
The ability to play the mouth harp.

The ability to know where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going in a boat, raft, submarine, or other watercraft.

The ability to make deals that benefit both parties.

Organ, Electronic
The ability to play an electronic organ.

Organ, Pipe
The ability to play a pipe organ.

The ability to pack goods into the most efficient space.

Painting, Canvas
The ability to paint works of art on canvas.

Painting, House
The ability to paint a house, fence or other large pieces of infrastructure.

The ability to play drums.

The ability to shoot photographs with a camera.

The ability to play the piano.

Pilot, Fixed-wing
The ability to safely operate a fixed-wing aircraft.

Pilot, Rotary
The ability to safely operate a helicopter.

Pilot, Ship
The ability to safely operate a ship.

Pilot, Space Capsule
The ability to safely operate a space capsule.

The ability to maintain and shoot a pistol or flare gun.

The ability to mix ingredients and calculate the correct dosage to kill or incapacitate a human or animal with poison. 

The ability to shape clay into pots and other ceramic items, and to use a kiln and paint and glazes to finish said items.

The ability to comically stumble or crash in a way that may be painful and embarrassing, but avoids significant injury.

The ability to craft puns in order to trigger a desired emotional response from an audience.

The ability to pilot a raft.

Repair, Appliances
The ability to repair appliances, given the right tools.

Repair, Electronics
The ability to repair electronic devices, given the right tools.

The ability to discover new information by referring to books, journals, photographs, interviews, and other data collection.

The ability to maintain and shoot a rifle or machine gun. 

The ability to break into a safe or other sealed container.

The ability to sail a sailboat.

The ability to find useful resources or trinkets.

Science, Astronomy
Understanding the science of celestial phenomena and their motion in space.  

Science, Astrophysics
Understanding the science of ascertaining the nature of astronomical objects. 

Science, Biology
Understanding the science of  life and living organisms, including their physical structure, chemistry, physiology, development, and evolution. 

Science, Chemistry
Understanding the composition of elements and compounds and how they react with other substances.

Science, Computer
Understanding algorithmic processes and computing machines. 

Science, Entomology
Understanding the classification, structure, and habits of insects. 

Science, Geology
Understanding how the solid earth changes over time and how that informs the structure of the Earth and its natural history. 

Science, Ichthyology
Understanding the habits, structure, and classification of fish. 

Science, Mad
The ability to apply several different scientific disciplines to achieve unconventional--some might say impossible--results, often with evil intent. 

Science, Mathematics
Understanding the study of quantity, structure, space, and change through numbers and formulae. 

Science, Metallurgy
Understanding the physical and chemical behaviour of metals and alloys. 

Science, Physics
Understanding matter, energy, spacetime, and the other foundations of the universe. 

Science, Political
Understanding systems of governance and political thought and activities. 

Science, Radiology
Understanding how to use medical imaging to diagnose and treat diseases. 

Science, Rocket
The ability to design, build, and maintain rockets, satellites, probes, and other Space Age infrastructure. 

Science, Zoology
Understanding the classification, evolution, habits, and distribution of animals and how they interact with their ecosystems. 

SCUBA Diving
The ability to use SCUBA equipment to explore underwater.

The ability to create sculptures from clay, ivory, stone, wood, or other raw materials.

The ability to use charisma and sex appeal to change the behaviour of others in a way favourable to you.

The ability to create and repair garments with a needle and thread or sewing machine.

The ability to sing melodiously.

The ability to draw.

The ability to skydive with a parachute.

The ability to fashion a sling or slingshot, to gather stones of the proper size and shape to serve as ammunition, and to use the sling or slingshot to incapacitate targets. 

The ability to use a snorkel to look below the surface of the water while swimming.

The ability to maneuver in space with a spacesuit and tether or jet propulsion.

The ability to fashion a spear out of native materials and use it to incapacitate targets. 

Sport, Bowling
The ability to bowl.

Sport, Boxing
The ability to box.

Sport, Field Hockey
The ability to play field hockey.

Sport, Ice Hockey
The ability to play ice hockey.

Sport, Darts
The ability to throw darts.

Sport, Golf
The ability to golf.

Sport, Roller Skating
The ability to roller skate.

Sport, Tennis
The ability to play tennis.

Sport, Wrestling
The ability to wrestle.

The ability to play stringed instruments such as the violin, viola, double bass, fiddle, etc.

The ability to operate on a person to fix an ailment.

The ability to swim.

The ability to set traps for small game such as bunnies, wild turkeys, snakes, and so on.

The ability to ride a unicycle.

The ability to use natural landmarks and tools like compasses to avoid getting lost on land.

The ability to weave blankets, mats, and other items out of cotton and other natural materials.

The ability to play instruments from the woodwind family, such as saxophones, flutes, etc.

The ability to create useful implements or works out art out of wood.

Writing, Essays
The ability to write non-fiction works that present a compelling argument.

Writing, Fiction
The ability to write a compelling short story or novel.

Writing, Journaling
The ability to write an interesting personal diary of life events.

Writing, Poetry
The ability to write poetry evocative enough for publication.

Writing, Scientific Papers
The ability to write scientific papers suitable for publication in peer-reviewed journals.

Writing, Screenwriting
The ability to craft a screenplay suitable for the demands of motion picture production.

Writing, Travel
The ability to write compelling travelogues.

The ability to yell powerfully enough to startle a person or beast and perhaps cause them to flee or respond to a challenge.

The ability to yodel compellingly. Can be used as a signal of distress, success, or call to attack. 

Have I missed any skills that someone might need to survive on Gilligan's Island? Post in the comments below! 

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

My First Scratch-Built Terrain

Tonight I assembled a 28mm-scale MDF kit to make some assorted traffic barricades, pylons, and warning lights, along with some shipping equipment. There were some MDF pieces left over, and I found myself assembling them into this 28mm scale . . . closet? Parking lot booth? Wardrobe? I suppose it could serve as any of those things, though how I choose to paint it may wind up limiting its versatility. Still, it amounts to a free piece of terrain! 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Pet Epiphany

 Are pets called "pets" because you "pet" them? I'm afraid to research this question.