700 Uplifting followers 

I reached a key milestone today,  with my 700th follower. 

Uplifting Daze

Pressed that follow button and made that leap to land on my planet,unknowingly making herself the 700th follower to my blog. Check her blog out, its as uplifting as it suggests with sime amazing posts, a fitting blog to be given this crown.


Thanks you uplifting daze and the other 700, you are what makes me want to blog. Some if yoy are friends, some of you i even met recently and i hope i will many times over. I wish i could know you all, but its simply not possible. I love you all as followers and everyone is welcome to say hi.

There’s more to come from here, old and new, funny and poetic.Enjoy my utopia! Lol

Have a good weekend all. 

Simon 🙂

Oblivion – What did I think?

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I loved Oblivion it’s a story with twists and turns. Full of big, powerful imagery and the sound track was amazing, it’s a real SciFi gem in my opinion. The pictures I’ve put up on this post (found on google image search) show some of the start imagery the film uses, the broken moon, ruined cities all this adds so much to the film’s ‘personality’. This isn’t a film review as such, although you would be forgiven for thinking so – this isn’t to be a film review blog – I just wanted to write about it because I liked the film.

Oblivion is a story about a post apocalyptic Earth after an attempted alien invasion leads to war, where the humans win, but the Earth is said to be scorched and mostly uninhabitable. Jack and Victoria live and work together to maintain the drones and power stations that are going to help them return to the rest of the remaining human race at Titan. This turns out to not be true at all and the story is turned onto its head when Jack realises that they are clones and there are many of them all over the Earth and that Jack and Victoria are working for the invaders – sucking the Earth dry of all it’s resources.

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Jack has dreams about another life and specifically about a woman who he thinks he remembers. Victoria is like a custodian, watching over him while on his missions and back at home, their relationship is shattered almost at once when he rescues the young woman from his dreams. Her arrival throws the whole story wide open, leading to Jack teaming up with those his thought were his enemy to finally destroy the TET – a pyramid like spacecraft that was the main vessel for the alien invasion.

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While watching this I couldn’t help thinking that Victoria knows more about what is really happening than shes lets on. Nothing is said, it’s all in the acting and the mood they give the character. She’s there to please, inform and maybe even control Jack without him knowing it. This rapidly falls apart when the young woman from Jack’s dreams is suddenly thrown into the mix and Victoria’s mood changes to something beyond jealousy.  This is for made what made the film entertaining, they left gaps in the plot that they let you decide for yourself, it’s not all spelled out and I can imagine different people having different views on this.


 

What I liked about this film was there was no lesson or something to be learned. Many SciFi stories do this, while it doesn’t ruin them I don’t always want a story to have a lesson. What this story was about though was living in a confined world and questioning what you’re told is your existence. This has been a popular topic in Scifi for many years, especially since the Matrix. But here we have Jack unknowingly trapped in a life which is a lie. It’s one of the most powerful parts of the story (and the ‘ah-ha’ moment when you’re watching it) when he finds out what there is beyond the radiation zone.

 

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If you’re into SciFi and haven’t seen it – I would recommend it, it’s powerful, clever and well constructed. The music is powerful and adds yet more dimension to the story. I enjoyed so much I hope they don’t ruin it with a second film.

 

Simon 🙂

Looking out across the void


I sit there, at the end of what has been. The void seems so large, the task ahead so big even from a far .

I will not look back, I have to look ahead and cross this void. I have to climb this mountain. 

I know what’s behind me,  I’ve just come from there. Only by going forward can I hope to find what I’m looking for. 

Whatever that might be… 

Simon 🙂

I did it!!!!!

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The power of our own future really is in our mind, I wavered yesterday – I almost didn’t do it!

Then today I though -Fuck it! I got the letter and I handed it to my boss – I resigned. Now the path for my future is possibly clearer. We will see, it might not be bright or orange or any other colour, rosy or bleak. But I’ve actually changed something and I can work with this and maybe make a difference in my life for the better.

Watch this space…

Simon 🙂

 

 

Minecraft Steve and the Lost City – Part 3

The torch gave Steve a much needed but dim light, stepping forward he could only see a little way ahead. at first he could see nothing but darkness ahead, but after what seemed like forever he could finally see a shape ahead. Steve walked a few steps nearer and out of the darkness a pure white marble block appears, sculpted into an ornate head with a crown on it’s head.

“This must be the head of a king or ruler here!” Steve thought to himself. He looked back and the entry to the tunnel was now tiny and dimly lit.

“Have you found anything Steve?” he heard Preeta calling, his voice was faint but he could hear his question.

“Yes, I have!” Steve called back “I haven’t found the key yet!”

“Keep looking Steve- it’s there!”

Looking round the head Steve saw nothing, standing next it he looked round the room and thought  for a moment. He rested his hand on the crown. As he put his hand down the stone moved and Steve moved away quickly, looking at the statue head he saw the mouth drop open and inside was…

“The Key!” Steve shouted. “I have it Preeta!”

“Good! Bring it to me Steve!” Preeta shouted back. Turning to go back down the tunnel Steve stepped on something soft, in that instant he thought it was strange as he hadn’t felt it as he walked in. At that moment a huge stone door slid down and shut off the tunnel.

“I’m trapped!” Steve shouted out, really not certain why as Preeta probably couldn’t hear. After a few moment Steve was aware of another noise, then in each of the corners of the room water started flowing up and onto the floor. Steve was feeling as if this was going to be his last moments as the water rose higher and higher, over his knees the water rose and it showed no sign of slowing.

Steve was holding the torch up to keep the light as long as he could. With the water over his shoulders Steve was treading water and wondering why he ever started this trip.

“This has just gone from bad to worse!” he mumbled to himself as the torch finally dropped and the room was plunged into darkness.

“Great!” he said to himself. It was then that he could hear the sound of grinding, then a loud whoosh as water rushed from the room. He had no idea which direction he was going but Steve felt himself suddenly pulled down. Holding his breath he had no idea where he was or what was going on.

Sometime later Steve found himself laying on the floor of another chamber, some time must have passed – it was light outside, the light streaming through long slotted windows. As he went to get up he was aware of a figure in the corner of the room.

“You had to go exploring didn’t you?” The figure spoke to Steve in a calm tone, but he was obviously angry.

“You had to go and find this place didn’t you?” The figure spoke again.

“I don’t know what you mean?” Steve replied.

“No, that’s the problem isn’t it? You don’t know and you just keep going around, digging up things, trouble and getting into things you shouldn’t!” The figure stepped forward into the light, Steve was shocked.

“Mike? What are you doing here?” Steve asked.

“He’s here to take the key Steve – Don’t give it to him!” A voice from behind him said, Steve recognised it as Preeta’s.

“Why not?” Steve Asked, looking back at him.

“He’s the rogue crafter that has imprisoned the city!” Preeta replied. Looking back at Mike he had drawn his diamond sword and was walking towards Steve and Preeta.

To be continued…

©Simon Farnell 2016

No ownership claimed on images

Following my own path… or shall I?

 

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I behave randomly… I will do my own thing and I will go my own way if that’s what I decide. But… maybe today I won’t. Maybe today I’ll walk with you to share the ride and see what it’s like. Don’t expect me to behave in the way that you think. I might, but it depends.

Don’t think that because you are following the masses that I will follow you. If you see my back while walking away, I’m not lost. I’m finding my own way. Maybe I think it’s shorter, or that it’s somehow better. But if I get halfway down and it’s not what I need… I’ll turn and follow you instead.

Am I awkward? Am I just contradicting the crowd? Perhaps I’m trying to find another way just because I can and it will be better doing it this way. If I don’t try I won’t know. Where’s the harm in doing what everyone else isn’t. Going the other way round means that I can see all your faces rather than your backs. Ask me why if you like, but there may not be an answer. The crowd moves in it’s own way and I move in mine. Am I sheep choosing to go it alone sometimes, or the wolf moving with the crowd when I want?

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I’ve learned the opinions of others shouldn’t dictate my thinking, I’ve often found it doesn’t help and the people that dictate to you are no better or wiser. They certainly won’t stick by you if their way of thinking gets tough, I’ve watched as they have hidden away in any place they can. So if I agree with you, it because it’s what I think, but if I don’t it’s not personal. It’s a another part of my awkward way of thinking.

I slip up all the time, not physically although that has been known to happen. No, I make mistakes ALL – THE – TIME. But I will try not to make the same mistake twice. Many who have been educated to a higher degree than I have haven’t learned that one. They’ve been to their great universities, I’ve come from the university of hard knocks and it shows sometimes.

Some people look at me and either can’t or don’t want to work me out, they think I’m too soft or change my mind with the wind. To them I say this: We have but one life on this Earth. We weren’t put here to work all the time to pay bills or to live someone else’s way. We’re here to try and make the best of what we’ve been given, to love those around us as much as we can, to solve problems and not make more or make them worse. So often I see people wrapped up in their ways that they cannot see the other perspectives, they close their minds to other possibilities. No one is perfect – especially not me. But I have a gift, to be flexible, think about things another way to help or encourage. Sure, I’m no perfectionist, but I’ve met a few of those and I’ve never seen a more miserable person than the perfectionist.

So, take my imperfect, random and contradictory self as I am. I’m not going to change because you want, but I won’t stay the same either.

Simon 🙂

 

Science fiction or possibility – The Martian

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Just the other day I watch the film The Martian on DVD having missed it at the cinema and had the DVD for months without having had chance to watch it.

The story hinges around scientist Mark Watney (Matt Damon) left behind on Mars after a freak storm forces the Aries 3 landing team to abort the mission. In the rush to evacuate Watney is injured and separated from the team, with the data from his suit indicating that he is dead they leave without him, presuming he is dead. Watney wakes having been impaled by  a mechanical part, which has destroyed his bio sensor (hence why his suit indicated he had died) and also sealed his suit – keeping him alive.

He gets back to the mission habitation module and starts planning how he’s going to stay alive until the next Aries mission arrives, he pins his hopes on being able to ration the food he has, grow more food and hope he can keep the life support functions operational. He also has to work out how to make his rover vehicle travel a huge distance to the Aries 4 landing site. The rover was only designed to travel around 30 miles, some few thousand miles short.

If this wasn’t enough, Watney needs to work out how he can communicate with NASA so they know he’s still alive. Meanwhile back on Earth they hold a memorial service for him and it’s only after this that images showing the rover has changed location tell NASA that Watney isn’t dead after all.

What follows is a story of courage, determination, survival, problem solving the shit out of everything as Watney takes one step forward and three steps back before he is finally rescued in what is probably the most ad-hoc fly by the seat of your pants rocket launch ever.


The things I liked

I liked the pace and the variety of the film, much of it was about Watney realising each of the problems he faced and one after the other solving them. One of the key moments for this was Watney growing potatoes inside the habitat module, and the magic of the moment he found the first plant growing.

There were moments of helpless humour, blowing himself cross the room with a hydrogen flame, falling through the roof of the rover as he jumps on  it trying to punch a hole through the roof. This is many senses is a very human story – we don’t have the hero making everything right and the whole thing running smoothly. He makes mistakes and learns from them, tries again and again to get to where he needs to be.

One of the surprises in the cast was seeing Sean Bean in it. I was wondering why this was as usually the Brit in a film is the bag guy. In a tiny little way you can kind of see a bad guy as he causes the crew of the Hermes to mutiny in order to rescue Watney.

But for me the reason why he was in this film was for one line. When the engineers are explaining how they’re going to save 5000kgs from the launch module, they have just finished explaining that all of the extra seat and the control modules have to go – the spacecraft being controlled remotely from the Hermes. The NASA official in dumbfounded at which point Bean’s line of “He hasn’t got the best part yet!” is slipped in. This kind or irony comes best from a Brit and it’s for that reason that Sean Bean is in this film I think – it magic and had me in stitches!

The things that were like “come on…”

When a spacecraft is orbiting a planet and at some point you need to make it home in a rush – it doesn’t happen. There is a window for which a spacecraft returns home, when a mission has been cut short you don’t suddenly pop home at a few hours notice. The fact that main spacecraft the Hermes had left Mars for Earth within a day of evacuating is to me the thinnest part of the story. I see why it had to happen, as without it there wouldn’t have been a story but in reality they would likely have been there months before heading back to Earth.

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Also – the 8 minutes it takes radio signals to travel to / from Earth seems to have been forgotten about – ok, I don’t want to watch 8 minutes of delay, but this wasn’t even indicated.

Finally and many of the films get this wrong – the mission commander get’s suited and booted into her space suit in literally seconds at the end when they need to grab Watney from floating away. It’s nail biting for sure, but it takes (apparently) over an hour to get into a spacesuit. I can forgive it to a point as it’s 2035 or something and it’s the future, but so far in 50 odd years they’ve not yet solved that problem.

Lastly on this, Watney needed to remove the nose cone of the launcher in order to escape, the cone (even under Mars’s light gravity) seems to weigh a huge amount. Is that right? Surely it would be a lightweight metal or composite?


 

My thoughts

This film raises a few points for me:

  • Watney reels off a set of legal facts during the film where he realises that he is in fact a pirate – the first human space pirate. This is to do with the legal system not yet accounting for exo-planet activity as such maritime law takes over. My point is… how useless is the legal system in reality?
  • The crew of the Hermes mutiny against NASA to save Watney. In reality, once humans leave Earth orbit, orders from command become worthless and in reality only the people on a mission are really in charge of themselves. Orders in reality are pointless and merely guidelines.
  • The reality of a real Mars mission is it has to be treated as one way only and has to be self sufficient. This is going to be an immense challenge, but one that can benefit all of mankind.

 

This is a really good film, being into scifi and an engineer also it really speaks to many things I find interesting. To me this was a film to entertain and to appeal to many genre’s and cultures. Because of this I personally think that much of the mood of isolation and desperation was lost in favour of a commander with crap taste in music and creating problems that didn’t really exist.

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This is all minor to me though, because I think if much of this had been done it would have made the film less popular and guess what – it has to make money. But, there were some magical scenes of Watney sitting on the martian surface looking out at the landscape, it was pretty epic and captured a feeling very close to isolation.

Because this was a good film with so much to it – I will be watching it again and praying they don’t make The Martian II – Damn we left the bugger behind again!

Simon 🙂

The Miranda Sings Award

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Thanks to my good friend  Lennon for nominating me for this fun little award. Lennon is a friend more like a sister on here to me. I love all of her posts, much of it about how to get through your Monday on the joys of hump day. Along with this she’s led an interesting and amazing life, which has made her into the fabulous with glitches person she is today. She always knows how to bring on a smile whatever day of the week – so go and look at her blog!

The rules for this award are:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • Name seven things you love about yourself.
  • Nominate and notify seven bloggers about this award.
  • You can’t nominate the person who nominated you.
  • Don’t forget to display the award in your post.

 


 

Seven things I love about myself:

  • I love building or making things – I’m nor perfect at it but I’m not bad!
  • I love solving problems.
  • I love cooking and baking.
  • I looooove eating!!!! (Too much)
  • I love writing and of course blogging.
  • I love wearing jeans.
  • I love listening to music.

The hardest thing for many of us is to be positive about ourselves. We’re taught from a young age to not be too positive or to be negative so we can learn. This is a real mind trap so for me, this was harder than I thought writing these out.


 

Seven Bloggers I Nominate:

I hope you all participate – if not no worries. Just enjoy the fact that I nominated you!

Icy Sedgwick

Fijay

Morgan

Cheeky Column

Faceless Moon

Colleen Ackerman

Poetry of M

I’ve got a mix of new and old bloggies here. I always like to mix it up a bit. I hope you like it even if you don’t take part!

Simon 🙂