Wednesday, December 11, 2013

San Francisco Gets Stomped in First Official Trailer for Godzilla 2014

Dec. 11, 2013 - GODZILLA! The long awaited trailer for Director Gareth Edwards' Godzilla has been released by Warner Bros and Legendary . Uploaded to YouTube only yesterday at 1PM ET, it already had over 7,120,000 views by the time I saw it at 10:10 PM ET. If that's any indication, you could say that Godzilla will definitely be -- ahem -- a monster at the box office next summer.

Godzilla 2014 concept sculpture
Godzilla concept sculpture. Source: CosmicBookNews
But it was worth the wait: This is one helluva trailer, and it does a fine job of building the suspense for the ultimate release of the film (in 3D) on May 16 next year. That just happens to be the 60th anniversary of Godzilla, notes Variety.  The film stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, Ken Watanabe, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn and Sally Hawkins.

In a review of the trailer, Wired.com lamented that "there’s not much of the magnificent beast to see in this first teaser – just a few seconds of him letting out a terrifying roar – but the mood an vision of this first trailer is pretty chilling."

Indeed, the trailer does send chills down your spine, with poignant, eerie music and sound effects punctuating each second perfectly. Actor David Strathairn portrays a commanding military officer, whose voice is heard over the visuals as he tensely speaks to his troops moments before they parachute into San Francisco in a HALO jump (high altitude-low opening) to confront Godzilla. We see the mass destruction left in Godzilla's wake. We see terrified human faces, and we feel a need to run from the unseen monster. We smell fear, and the fact that we don't see Godzilla until the very end only adds to the suspenseful feel. And that roar will make your hair stand straight up. Continued below the teaser video...



Gareth Edwards posted a special video message to introduce the first official Godzilla trailer. Watch his trailer launch message on YouTube.  Worth noting is a fun video that Legendary released in August. Titled "BREAKING NEWS: KAIJU ATTACK," it's a compilation of mock TV news reports about a huge creature, or "kaiju," attacking San Francisco (watch it below). Loosely translated, kaiju is Japanese for "strange creature." In the case of Godzilla, that's an understatement.


Below: The original Godzilla!


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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Ex-CIA Guy Says 'Hackers' Can Bring About Peaceful Revolution

In this must-watch video, Robert D. Steele explains how traitors walk among us, right here in the United States. He was a clandestine intelligence case officer for CIA. He even tried to run for President, but was unable to get the nomination of the Reform Party.

Steele has done counter-intelligence. Steele has done a lot. (See his full bio at the website of Strategic Studies Institute, United States Army War College.) "I'm basically intimately familiar with the way in which the U.S. government does or does not do the craft of intelligence," he said in his keynote speech at the Gnomedex 2007 conference. Watch that speech in the video above.

(I do not agree with everything that Steele says. For example, in the video below he accuses Walmart of "killing jobs" within a 200 mile radius of their stores. A two-block radius would be with the realm of credulity, but 200 miles? I'd love to see the documentation for that, but I don't want to make this into a post about Walmart. My point is that Steele says some things that are believable and some that are questionable. Even so, he's a bright guy who cannot be ignored.)

Robert D. Steele
photo credit: Unknown
"Bloggers.... you grab onto an issue or something, and you are part of structured citizen journalism blogging thing that lets no evil-doing thing go unnoticed, and that rules. I think we're at a turning point," said Steele, "I think we're at the very beginning of a historic title shift of power restoring the Constitution." Another factor on the side of the people, said Steele, is that government is actually too disorganized to effectively spy on its own citizenry.

Interestingly, Steele refers to bloggers, or citizen journalists, as "hackers." It's not what you might think, as we see in an excerpt from a PBS interview of Steele while he was attending the "Hackers in the Twenty-first Century" conference in 2000:
PBS: Your view of hackers will come as a surprise, I think, to a lot of viewers, who view them as greasy-haired, goth louts who are spending too much time in front of a computer screen.
Steele: Well, I myself have participated in a very well attended debate on whether hackers were a national resource--which is my position--or whether they are pathological scum. I would say to you that it is the media's fault that hackers are seen in this light. And it is the fault of the US Secret Service, and it is the fault of certain governments around the world who chose to treat hackers as a threat because they didn't understand hackers; they didn't understand the electronic environment that that hackers were addressing. The bottom line is that hackers are the pioneers in this electronic frontier. They are way out in front of the rest of the world. They are seeing the dangers, the vulnerabilities, the shoddy, unethical, inappropriate business behavior by communications and computing companies. They're basically saying, "Hey, look what we found." And everyone wants to shoot the messenger. 

Back to the Gnomedex speech. "The reality is," said Steele to his audience, "the federal government is broken in every possible way, and it's going to be localized bottom-up resilience networks that will save us. That's where you guys come in."

So, in Steele's estimation, the people he refers to as "hackers" just mbe the salvation of democracy and constitutional government in the U.S.

In the second video here, Steele says, "I think we can have a peaceful, non-violent, legal revolution. The one vulnerability that both corporations and the U.S. government have is the power of the people to vote. Not only on election day, but with recall movements, and by removing their money from the stock market - which I expect to crash again - and from refusing to buy products." Now that's food for thought, and the beginning of a plan of action.

“A nation can survive its fools and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly against the city. But the traitor moves among those within the gates freely, his sly whispers rustling through all alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears no traitor; he speaks in the accents familiar to his victim, and he wears their face and their garments and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation; he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city; he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared. The traitor is the plague”  — Tullius Cicero

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

RIP: Gerry Anderson, Thunderbirds creator dies at 83

Dec. 26, 2012 - The Brit who created the 1960s hit TV show "Thunderbirds" died today at the age of 83. Thunderbirds became a cult classic, as did his other creations "UFO" and "Space: 1999." Anderson's death was announced by his son Jamie in a blog post today:

"I’m very sad to announce the death of my father, Thunderbirds creator, Gerry Anderson. He died peacefully in his sleep at midday today (26th December 2012), having suffered with mixed dementia for the past few years. He was 83. Please make donations in his memory to the Alzheimer’s Society via this just giving link: http://www.justgiving.com/RememberingGerryAnderson"

Jamie Anderson linked to an obituary "kindly written by his fan club: Fanderson."

"In addition to the shows mentioned above and many others," notes Giant Freekin Robot, "Anderson was probably best known as for his use of 'supermarionation,' the use of marionette puppets in shows such as Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet and the Mysterions. The shows and the supermarionation process have been referenced and parodied many times in the years since, notably in the 2004 movie Team America: World Police, from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone."

UFO was a 1970 British science fiction television series about a secret military organization which defends the Earth from Alien invaders, created by Gerry & Sylvia Anderson. Watch the show's first episode.  Space: 1999 was about Moonbase Alpha, a multinational scientific research facility that finds itself on a Moon without an Earth, wandering through the cosmos. Watch the show's first episode.)

The first video below includes an interview with Gerry Anderson, Ed Bishop and the cast about the making of the 1970's TV series UFO....



Saturday, December 8, 2012

Watch Huge Killer Catfish Grab Pigeons On Shoreline

Giant, bird-eating catfish in Europe (thelocal.de)
Dec. 8, 2012 - This is one scary catfish! These big catfish actually leave the water to attack pigeons near the water's edge, grab them by the neck, then devour them. (VIDEO BELOW) These river monsters, also called "freshwater killer whales," were recorded while eating pigeons in southwest France. The big fish are "Wels Catfish" (Silurus glanis), an invasive species.

"A group of catfish in southwest France have learned how to hunt pigeons," says Science World Report. "Researchers agree that the bizarre hunting techniques were formed as a result of not being able to find their normal prey in their current ecosystem."  According to the Christian Post, the big fish measure 1 to 1.5 meters long and "have a success rate of 28 percent" in catching pigeons.

However, it is nothing new for catfish to attack and eat birds. In September, 2012, DigitalSpy reported that "giant catfish are reportedly causing a headache for German fisherman as they are clearing rivers of all of their wildlife population - even ducks, swans and fellow catfish. The fishermen are becoming worried by the immense damage being caused by the catfish, which are growing increasingly both in size and in number." And then there's the legendary catfish known as "Kuno the Killer." According to a Reuters report, Kuno gained notoriety in 2001 "when he sprang from the waters of the Volksgarten park lake to swallow a Dachshund puppy whole."