Valor Charge (Ring #6)

A Charge of Valor
(The Sorcerer’s Ring #6)
by Morgan Rice (2013)

Thor continues on his quest to retrieve the stolen Destiny Sword and save the Ring.

This tells the second half of the war that begun in #5. Eventually the heroes prevail, and at the end everything seems to come to a close. Only there is a nice reveal at the end that changes everything.

As usual, heroes survive for unexpected reasons and it seems there is now a group that are destined to survive to the end of the series.

 

Fresnel

In 1818 French physicist Augustin Fresnel submits his prizewinning “Memoir on the Diffraction of Light”, precisely accounting for the limited extent to which light spreads into shadows, and thereby demolishing the oldest objection to the wave theory of light.

Fresnel (10 May 1788 – 14 July 1827) was a French civil engineer and physicist whose research in optics led to the almost unanimous acceptance of the wave theory of light.

He is perhaps better known for inventing the catadioptric (reflective/refractive) Fresnel lens and for pioneering the use of “stepped” lenses to extend the visibility of lighthouses, saving countless lives at sea. The simpler dioptric (purely refractive) stepped lens, first proposed by Count Buffon and independently reinvented by Fresnel, is used in screen magnifiers and in condenser lenses for overhead projectors.

Archer #1

Archer is an American adult animated sitcom created by Adam Reed.

It follows the exploits of the title character (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin), a dysfunctional, irreverent secret agent and seven of his colleagues—domineering boss/mother Malory Archer (Jessica Walter), professional Lana Kane (Aisha Tyler), mild-mannered Cyril Figgis (Chris Parnell), delusional, psychotic Cheryl Tunt (Judy Greer), gossipy Pam Poovey (Amber Nash), openly gay Ray Gillette (Adam Reed) and bizarre, mysterious Dr. Algernop Krieger (Lucky Yates).


It’s fun to laugh at stupid people. And that’s all there are here. Supposedly a secret agent company, ISIS personnel spend more time on their personal issues than the ‘bad’ guys.

Very biting  satire at times, but mainly bad taste jokes about the characters.

Aisha Tyler was the host of ‘Who’s Line is it Anyway’ after Drew Carey.


Glory Vow (Ring #5)

A Vow of Glory
(The Sorcerer’s Ring #5)
by Morgan Rice (2013)

Thor embarks with his Legion friends on an epic quest into the vast wilds of the Empire to try to find the ancient Destiny Sword and save the Ring.

Gwendolyn must lead half of King’s Court to the Western stronghold of Silesia, an ancient city perched on the edge of the Canyon that has stood for one thousand years.

Silesia’s fortifications have allowed it to survive every attack throughout every century—but it has never been faced with an assault by a leader like Andronicus, by an army like his million men.


With it’s big battle scenes (the first in the series) this feels like a re-telling of the siege of Helm’s Deep (from Lord of the Rings).

The stakes get raised significantly, unfortunately this is undermined by the author’s twists of fate to keep the primary characters alive and surviving unbelievable odds.

As mentioned before, it’s good vs evil. No shades of grey here.

With things going downhill for Thor and Co, it’s going to be interesting seeing where things go….

Hacked

The Great Hack

Is not about a hack. It follows the story of Cambridge Analytica, it’s involvement in the Brexit vote and the American 2016 election.

It focuses on Brittany Kaiser, who was employed by CA at the time. She appears to have had a change of heart as she comes around to talking to UK & USA governments.

An interesting documentary for those interested in media history, but it could have done with more technical background, and less of Brittany floating in her pool.

Future Man

Future Man is an American comedy web television series that premiered on November 14, 2017. The series follows an underachieving janitor who is called upon to save the world. It stars Josh Hutcherson, Eliza Coupe, Derek Wilson, Ed Begley, Jr., Glenne Headly, and Haley Joel Osment and is executive produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.


It seems like a winning premise. Slacker guy, expert at a computer game gets visited by characters from the game. They take him to the past (1969) to ‘fix’ the future. It’s ‘The Last Starfighter’ mixed with “Back to the future”.

I should have know what it would be like with Seth Rogan in charge. While the setup is interesting and obviously plenty of money has been spent things go awry regarding the ‘comedy’ part.

It just isn’t funny. There are sexual jokes at least 20 years old. Racial stereotyping that misses the mark and a lot of actors just cruising through the dialogue. It’s the lowest denominator toilet humour at best, derivative and boring. Why they made another two series I will never know.

Mr Robot

Mr. Robot is an American drama thriller television series created by Sam Esmail. It stars Rami Malek as Elliot Alderson, a cybersecurity engineer and hacker who has social anxiety disorder and clinical depression. Elliot is recruited by an anarchist known as “Mr. Robot”, played by Christian Slater, to join a group of hacktivists called “fsociety”. The group aims to destroy all debt records by encrypting the financial data of the largest conglomerate in the world, E Corp.


OK – so there is an ‘evil’ corporation E-Corp, and employees refer to their own company as ‘Evil-Corp’. This seems to break the first rule of being evil – you are the hero.

Dismissing this, the series starts with an interesting premise of Elliot as a gifted by flawed hacker. Along with his group, they intend to bring down the world’s biggest institution so all debts will be void. And for the first few episodes the plot proceeds on this basis.

Rami Malek (who played Freddy Mercury in the recent film) sells it as the dis-functional hacker. But then, in episode six it begins to feel not like a long story, but more episodic. Things seem to wrap up nicely at the end of the episode.

Then, in the next episode a major revelation changes Elliot’s relationship with Mr Robot. Suddenly the plot and intent seems to shift. Is this a thriller, or a family drama.

And what of Elliot’s reality/imagination dis-function. Is is real or is he trying to break the forth wall. In the end the series concludes with a terrorist act. Then some tacked on philosophy. It feels like the writers just got lost along the way, went for something different before returning to the main plot.

And the final scene was just so forced and preaching. Really detracted from the tone of the story. Somehow I won’t be bothering with the next series.

Rami Malek as Freddy Mercury

Model A

The original Ford Model A is the first car produced by Ford, beginning production on this day 1903. 1,750 cars were made from 1903 through 1904.

The car came as a two-seater runabout for $800 or the $900 four-seater model with an option to add a top. The horizontal-mounted flat-2 engine situated in the middle of the car, produced 6kW.

A planetary transmission was fitted with two forward speeds and reverse, a Ford signature later seen on the Ford Model T. The car weighed 562kg and could reach a top speed of 45 km/h. It had a 1.8m wheelbase.

Band brakes were used on the rear wheels. However, it was $150 more than its most direct competitor, the Oldsmobile Curved Dash, so did not sell as well.

Oldsmobile Curved Dash

Honor Cry (Ring #4)

A Cry of Honor
(The Sorcerer’s Ring #4)
by Morgan Rice (2013)

Thor has returned from The Hundred as a hardened warrior, and now he must learn what it means to battle for his homeland, to battle for life and death. The McClouds have raided deep into MacGil territory and as Thor rides into an ambush, it will fall on his head to fend off the attack and save King’s Court.

Things threaten to blow up into a civil war, and the scope of the story increases to involve parties outside the protected ring.

Things continue on a big, epic scale. And while some characters threaten to derail the story by doing stupid things, it still provides am interesting and enjoyable read.