Arrested Dev 1.11

Arrested Development 1.11 – Public Relations

After a series of negative publicity, Michael hires a female publicist for the family, but she turns against them when he decides they shouldn’t date in the interest of George Michael.

Featuring Carl Weathers

Jessie: Your father’s religious now? We’ll play that up. It’s very sympathetic.
Lucille: Yeah. Who doesn’t love the Jews?

George Sr.[in prison] Gentlemen, we do not wave our genitals at one another to make a point!

 

 

 

Drastic Measure


Drastic Measures
(Star Trek: Discovery #2)
by Dayton Ward (2017)

An original novel based upon the new Star Trek TV series.

It is 2246, ten years prior to the Battle at the Binary Stars, and an aggressive contagion is ravaging the food supplies of the remote Federation colony Tarsus IV and the eight thousand people who call it home. Distress signals have been sent, but any meaningful assistance is weeks away. Lieutenant Commander Gabriel Lorca and a small team assigned to a Starfleet monitoring outpost are caught up in the escalating crisis, and bear witness as the colony’s governor, Adrian Kodos, employs an unimaginable solution in order to prevent mass starvation.

 

Using two of the main characters of the new Star Trek: Discovery, Gabriel Lorca and Philippa Georgiou, this is set 10 years before of the beginning of the new TV series. There are cameos of a young James T. Kirk and Captain Robert April.

The story of this novel is based on the events developed in the TV episode “The Conscience of the King” of Star Trek: The Original Series. In the episode, Captain Kirk crosses paths with an actor suspected of having been a mass-murdering dictator many years before.

The book tells the story of Kodos on Tarsus IV. The colony suffers a fungus plague which contaminates all crops along with food storage and food processors. It was imminent that the whole population will suffer from hunger…

This could have been told in a single 45 minute episode of the TV show. But here it is expanded out to a novel of over 100,000 words. There is a lot of padding with back story and character profiles. In the hands of a tough editor, it would have been significantly shorter. Not that it’s a bad or slow read, it just does not have the expanse and impact of other Star Trek novels I have read.

Abba

Swedish pop legends Abba have recorded their first new material in 35 years.

The band says they’ve got two new songs in the bag. One of them, ‘I Still Have Faith in You’, will be released in December as part of a TV special in which the band will perform as holograms.

“The decision to go ahead with the exciting Abba avatar tour project had an unexpected consequence,” the band said in a statement.

“We all felt that, after some 35 years, it could be fun to join forces again and go into the recording studio. So we did. And it was like time had stood still and we had only been away on a short holiday. An extremely joyful experience!”

Abba sold millions of records, not just in their 1970s heyday but for decades after their split in 1983.

Classics

Some stories never lose their grip on us. They compel us to recast them in different ways. For every myth preserved in written form there are variations of the story that did not survive—but are just as true.

Here are five of Ilana C. Myer’s favorite retellings. (A Tor Posting)

Beauty by Robin McKinley
The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley
The Once and Future King by T.H. White
The Bloody Chamber” by Angela Carter
The King Must Die by Mary Renault

 

 

Markus Reuter

Markus Reuter is a German multi-disciplinary musician, composer, record producer and instrument designer.

In 1991, at the age of 18, Reuter attended Robert Fripp’s Guitar Craft. He has been a member of multiple bands, including centrozoon, Stick Men, Tuner, The Crimson ProjeKct and Europa String Choir.

A specialist in touch guitar playing, Reuter became known as a leading player of the Warr Guitar and Chapman Stick during the 1990s and 2000s before developing and marketing his own U8 and U10 Touch Guitar instruments. In collaboration with former King Crimson member Trey Gunn, he runs the Touch Guitar Circle, a teaching and support network for touch guitar players.

The majority of Reuter’s solo releases have consisted of ambient textured music using heavily-effected touch guitar, Warr Guitar or Chapman Stick, plus laptop. A number of these albums have been released on Bandcamp.

Alba Ecstasy

Alva Ecstacy is a Romanian electronic musician & sound designer.
This is generally in the Berlin School of electronic music.
There are over 100 released albums at bandcamp.

Pwned

Pwned
by Shannen Crane Camp (2015)

Reagan West has the perfect life. She’s gorgeous, she’s popular, and she’s at the tip-top of the high school food chain as co-captain of the cheerleading squad. She’s also best friends with the most evil girl in Albany, Tawny Perez, which means she’s never on the receiving end of Tawny’s wrath.

The only trouble in Reagan’s perfect life comes from the constant threat of her fellow classmates discovering her dirty little secret—Reagan West is a closet gamer.


This was obtained as part of a StoryBundle.

There is nothing wrong with the writing or characters here. It’s just that I have a problem with the whole premise of the book. It is based on the nerd/jock dichotomy but in female culture. If this was written 30 years ago it would be relevant.

The nerd/jock thing I came across around the early 1980’s, as depicted in Animal House (1978). As a school student at the age depicted here, this culture just didn’t exist in New Zealand.

Now, in my young relatives who are equally at ease with sports and technology it seems to have dissipated. This was written in 2015, and it just seems to be out of it’s era.

Because of this I find it difficult to understand the motivations of the characters.

The other film it reminds me of is Heathers (1988). I can cope with young female protagonists (e.g. Anthea Sharpe’s Feyland series) but here it just doesn’t work.

 

Minions

Minions is a 2015 American 3D computer-animated comedy film, serving as a spin-off/prequel to the Despicable Me franchise.
Directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda, written by Brian Lynch, and produced by Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy.
It was first foreshadowed in the end credits of Despicable Me 2 (2013), where Kevin, Stuart, and Bob, three of the Minions and the film’s main characters, are seen auditioning for the film. A sequel is planned for release in 2020.

Cast:
Geoffrey Rush as The Narrator

Pierre Coffin as Kevin, Stuart, Bob and The Minions
Sandra Bullock as Scarlet Overkill
Jon Hamm as Herb Overkill

Michael Keaton as Walter Nelson
Allison Janney as Madge Nelson
Katy Mixon as Tina Nelson

Steve Coogan as Professor Flux and The Tower Guard
Jennifer Saunders as Queen Elizabeth II

Michael Beattie as a VNC Announcer and Walter Nelson Jr.
Hiroyuki Sanada as Dumo, the Sumo Villain
Dave Rosenbaum as Fabrice
Alex Dowding as The Royal Advisor
Paul Thornley as a News Reporter
Andy Nyman as Frankie Fishlips, a Gill-man-like creature super-villain

Steve Carell as Young Gru


The minions were always the best part of Despicable Me. Here they get to play to their strengths of causing mirth and mayhem. The basic plot is that they want to work for the biggest, baddest villain of the time. We get to see them working for everyone from the Egyptians to Napoleon. This is set in 1968 (although it feels very modern). Three minions leave their home in the Arctic and journey to America where they find Scarlet Overkill. She takes them to England where they are instructed to steal the Queens crown….

Sandra Bullock gets the right amount of villiany to be fun without
menacing. Jon Hamm is surprisingly good as a really thin husband to Scarlet. And Jennifer Saunders really nails a young Queen Liz, who would have been 42 at the time.

This is a movie that survives repeated viewings. Each time you get
something new from it.

Megamind

Megamind is a 2010 American 3D computer-animated superhero comedy film directed by Tom McGrath. The film was released on November 5, 2010.

The film tells the story of a super-intelligent alien super-villain, Megamind, who after a long-lasting battle one day actually destroys his foe, the much-loved superhero Metro Man. Having Metro City for himself, Megamind finds out that his villainy has no purpose and thus creates a new superhero to serve as his nemesis.

His plan backfires, as he ends up creating instead a new super-villain. With Metro City spiraling out of control, Megamind attempts to set things right and discovers his newfound purpose—as a superhero.

Cast:
Will Ferrell as Megamind, an extraterrestrial mastermind.
Tina Fey as Roxanne “Roxie” Ritchi, a TV news reporter.
Jonah Hill as Hal Stewart/Titan
David Cross as Minion, Megamind’s sidekick
Brad Pitt as Metro Man, Megamind’s former nemesis.
J. K. Simmons as the Warden, the head of Metro City Prison.
Ben Stiller as Bernard, a museum curator.
Christopher Knights as a prison guard.
Tom McGrath as Lord Scott and a prison guard.
Jack Blessing as Newscaster.
Justin Theroux as Megamind’s father.
Jessica Schulte as Megamind’s mother.

Hal’s Back

Double Trouble
(Hal Spacejock #8)

by Simon Haynes (2018)

 

Hal Spacejock dons a flash suit, hypershades and a curly earpiece for a stint as a secret agent, while a pair of Clunk’s most rusted friends invite him to a ‘unique business opportunity’.

Inevitably, things turn sour, and it’s all hands to the pumps as the good ship Spacejock springs leaks from stem to stern.


The last in the series ‘Big Bang’ was from 2014. I thought the series was over, but not only has #8 turned up, but #9 is also due this year. In addition the author has a new series, ‘Harriet Walsh’.

Hal and Clunk are up to the usual mis-adventures. Hal stuffs things up and Clunk rescues him. This is light on the science fiction and an easy read. Recommended for anyone who likes comedic science fiction.