Star Wars at Madame Tussauds

If you are living in or around London you have to head over to Madame Tussauds, because they’re showcasing some awesome Star Wars scenes!

Star Wars Attack of the Clones

Star Wars Attack of the Clones

I went to London about 5 years ago, but they didn’t have the Star Wars section back then 😦

Star Wars Jabbas Palace

Star Wars Jabbas Palace

Overall there are 11 Star Wars scenes and 16 Star Wars characters  over a range of all 6 films to immerse you in this lovely sci-fi universe. The accuracy looks amazing.

Star Wars Han Shot First

Star Wars Han Shot First

Has anyone been to London’s Madame Tussauds recently to see the Star Wars scenes? Please share your pics!

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Let’s Make a Satellite!

I’ve been trying to educate myself on how to build a satellite. I don’t want to spy on anyone, and I don’t want to commandeer any Earth media to make derailed broadcasts or anything, but it’d be totally cool just to have your own satellite roaming in orbit and potentially exploring space. The problem with this is; most satellites are only for near-Earth orbit.

PocketQube Kit

PocketQube Kit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I would use my satellite to try to communicate with potential aliens (yes I know there are qualified people already using sophisticated technology on these sorts of endeavors, but can we trust that these people are communicating the right messages on our behalf hmmm? Exactly!)

PocketQube Board

PocketQube Board

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So basically my satellite would communicate my message representation of humanity (brief history, a future projection of our needs, and how we might expect to collaborate with the receivers of the information).

PocketQube Panel

PocketQube Panel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a Google search, and 3 ambitious links later, I have more knowledge on how to build my satellite. However, building it is not as complicated as having to launch/ get it into space successfully. Apparently at the least it will cost US$ 40 000, and it will only probably stay in orbit for about 1 – 4 months. That’s a huge short term expense. Anyhow, you can buy parts (or a full satellite) from PocketQube, but it’s still pretty expensive. Would you go for this or somehow build your own?

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Those Feelings

I cannot remember much of much

For nothing has had the worth of such

To be remembered.

 

It’s only my mind whose fleetful thinking

That will keep my heart from deeper sinking

But a moment is a moment that will pass.

 

Dreams follow dreams after each has fled

And after each chase my sorrow is shed

But I cannot hide in those worlds.

 

Not in the Snowglobe of activity

But outside I dwell; observing with liberty

The buzz and chaos of the world.

 

Alone, just let me be

Without any noise or company

Loving the melodies of silence.

 

Imaginary, hope of mine

Cannot dispel my fear of time

Nor failure, nor the disappointed reflections of thine eye.

 

Oh time machine of day to day

It is you who has brought me to future dismay!

Is life a gift or burden…?

 

It is the human touch of tarnish-potion

That has left me bleak without emotion:

Human morals are yet to evolve.

 

I’m consoled only by nature’s gentle touch

For I have never experienced anything as radiant as such

As by being kissed by the beauty of a sunset.

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Concerned About the Global Economy?

Seriously, is the tech bubble about to burst? A few people are predicting it will (some of the same people who predicted the 2008 housing bubble bursting – which led us into global recession).

Behind-the-Scenes-at-Banks

Behind-the-Scenes-at-Banks

Like every day I’m seeing thousands of start-ups getting millions of dollars in funding. Is this based on the projected valuation of these start-ups? Because I’ve read a few articles where some of these start-ups have been operational for years and they’re nowhere near yielding the seed investments of the early stages and ongoing investments.

If you want to know more about debt and wealth pretenses happening all around you, go ahead and read this article: Behind the Scenes at Banks.

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Merchandise Monday #47

Happy Monday everyone! There is nothing greater than warming your Monday blues up with a basket of cute and cuddly Ewoks:

Ewok Basket

Ewok Basket

They are of course one of the most loved species in the Star Wars universe. I got this limited edition Ewok celebration basket from the Disney store. There are six Ewoks in total (Wicket, Chief Chirpa, Teebo, Logray, Romba and Princess Kneesaa):

Ewok Celebration Basket

Ewok Celebration Basket

My mom keeps talking to them when she comes in and out of my room; saying things like, “come Wombles, you must pay rent Wombles, you can’t live here for free…” So I was like, ‘WTF is a Womble?’ I looked these things up, and I was pretty insulted – I’m sure the Ewoks would tear these Womble things to shreds:

Wombles

Wombles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who do you prefer, Ewoks or Wombles?

Logray and Wicket

Logray and Wicket

Oh, and I’m also petitioning to have the banishment of Logray overturned.

 

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Fan Art Friday #26

Jesse Walter was kind enough to share some Star Wars fan art with us. I believe these were from his high school days:

Luke Skywalker

Luke Skywalker

Both are sketches, and I think they were done in graphite:

Ben Kenobi

Ben Kenobi

Jesse has art talents that extend beyond the pencil. He is qualified in the areas of game art and design (2D and 3D modelling), level design and animation to name a few.

Visit Jesse Walter to find out more about this talented artist.

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Bio-Engineered Mosquitos

Now let me start off by saying that I may be wrong about this, but let’s just entertain it as a conspiracy theory for now… Last year there was some hype around mosquitos being engineered to completely eradicate malaria. Basically mosquito genes have been successfully altered to resist being infected with malaria – and this engineered DNA will then be organically passed down to subsequent mosquito generations to quell the spread of the virus with the hope to eliminate it completely in some regions.

Genetically Enhanced Mosquitos

Genetically Enhanced Mosquitos

Scientists want to release these ‘gene-drive candidates’ (engineered mosquitos) into parts of the world where normal mosquito populations flourish (they named the Middle-East and North Africa as test regions when i watched the news), in the hope that cross-breeding will eliminate the mosquito as a malaria carrying vector entirely (in the long term). This obviously sounds like hero work (and if malaria is truly eradicated that’d be great), but I can’t help but think there may be a sinister side to all this experimental gene engineering…

Engineered Virus Bio-Weapon

Engineered Virus Bio-Weapon

Let’s just entertain a conspiracy theory here (and yes I want to hear your opinions and why you have them), what if these mosquitos are a front for an actual bio-weapon? Maybe this gene engineering is a precursor to giving mosquitos an immunity to other scarier engineered viruses? Maybe the mosquitos are being turned into indestructible vectors to carry and spread an apocalyptic virus without harm to the mosquitos (and without detection, since no one would suspect a mosquito to be a weapon). But mosquitos can be a very real weapon. Malaria kills more people every year than any other infectious disease (Smart Global Health.org) . So as an engineered weapon carrier; they really could detonate the apocalypse. Obviously mosquitos won’t survive in all geographic climates, so whichever country is engineering these bio-weapon carrying mosquitos, they will have to choose suitable countries to deploy their vectors. For example, look at the current crisis in South and Central America…

Zika cases

Zika cases

The Zika virus is currently being transmitted by mosquitos in 14 countries. The CDC has even issued travel precautions to those visiting: Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Pregnant women who have become infected with the Zika virus are at risk of having birth defects in their unborn babies.

“According to Brazilian health authorities, more than 3,500 microcephaly cases were reported in Brazil between October 2015 and January 2016.  Some of the affected infants have had a severe type of microcephaly and some have died.” – CDC

What do you think the potential and dangers are for mosquitos to be lethal engineered bio-weapons? How much weight does this conspiracy theory carry?

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Necroa Virus

I recently bought the Necroa Virus add-on to the Plague Inc. video game, which is the zombie pathogen. For those of you who are not familiar with the game, you basically choose a pathogen class to evolve, infect and destroy humanity. I named my Necroa Virus ‘Venom’. As you mutate the symptoms of the virus, the host’s brain starts to visibly change, as shown in the below cross-section progression:

Necroa Virus as Severity Increases

Necroa Virus as Severity Increases

I chose my patient zero to be geographically located in the UK. Since the UK is a major logistics hub on a global scale, my infected vector took hardly any time at all to spread the virus:

Geographic Spread of my Virus

Geographic Spread of my Virus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since the spread of my Venom Necroa Virus was so exponential, the global news picked up on it pretty quickly, and several countries started to work on a cure:

In Global News My Virus was Identified

In Global News My Virus was Identified

Up until this stage of the game, people had only been infected with the virus, and no one had yet been killed. However, due to mutating the abilities of the virus over time, the severity and lethality increased to the point where the virus was causing deaths. Only when infected vectors die can you convert them into zombies, which i obviously proceeded to do:

I'll Be Back - The Dead Come to Life

I’ll Be Back – The Dead Come to Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can see above that i evolved my zombies to employ horde instinct and mentality to swamp countries and spread the virus – you can see the pop-up of a zombie swarm hitting Australia above. During the spread of your virus, you will receive information on global happenings. Notably (if you choose the Necro Virus pathogen class) after a while one country will set up ‘Z Com’, which is a project set in motion to combat the spread of the virus. As you will see in the consolidated information feed below, Z Com was set up in Mexico during my game, and i was successful in overthrowing them:

Information During Spread of Virus

Information During Spread of Virus

Even though i was able to overthrow Z Com, i still was unable to infect and destroy the global population in totality. The leading research countries were able to find a cure for the virus, and overall 3 percent of the global human population survived my zombie apocalypse (they probably had Gordon Freeman on their team or something):

3% of Humanity Survived

3% of Humanity Survived

You can download Plague Inc. on your phone. You get standard plague types with the game, but the following plague types require special download: Neurax Worm, Necroa Virus, Simian Flu and Unknown. I think in US$ it cost me about $3 to get the special Necroa Virus download. Let me know if you’ve played any of these special plagues and how successful you’ve been in attempting to eradicate humanity with your apocalypse.

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Lightsaber Escape

Have any of your friends challenged you to play Lightsaber Escape yet? Well if not, now its your chance to challenge them…

Lightsaber Escape

Lightsaber Escape

 

 

 

 

 

 

First off, log into your Google Chrome account. Then ‘launch’ or ‘play’ this gaming experiment (you will need a desktop and smartphone simultaneously to play):

Lightsaber Escape

Lightsaber Escape

Great! Now ‘calibrate’ your phone to become your Jedi weapon of mastery – the lightsaber! Now that you have your weapon ready for use, its time to get immersed into waves of assault from the First Order…

Calibrate phone AKA lightsaber

Calibrate phone AKA lightsaber

Its totally defensive (well you basically block stormtrooper blaster fire with your lightsaber, and hope that some rounds rebound and kill the troopers):

Corridor and Hangar Defense

Corridor and Hangar Defense

It can get a bit difficult to block the blaster fire when you’re being attacked simultaneously from two flanks. I died (as i’m sure you can see the red pulsating blood in the screen-grab). But I must be honest, i really don’t think my lightsaber was calibrated 100% – not that i’m making excuses, i just know my Jedi reflexes in real life are a lot quicker:

I Was Captured

I Was Captured

Not to worry though, you get revived at the last checkpoint if you die. So I made it to the stormtrooper boss fight. I died again 🙂 he bludgeoned me…

Boss Fight

Boss Fight

That’s as far as I got. Does anyone know if there are more levels/scenes? And, what do you think of the game? Play Lightsaber Escape here.

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Merchandise Monday #46

Happy Monday my Nerd-Knights! How about getting some fire in your life! Check out my Charizard figurine! As you may or may not know, Charizard is my favorite Pokemon. This figurine comes from the Super Smash Bros. collection:

Charizard amiibo figure

Charizard amiibo figure

There are so many of these cool Nintendo amiibo figures available for the Wii U! Here are some of the other ones i’d like to get:

Nintendo amiibo figures

Nintendo amiibo figures

Do you have any of these amiibo characters, and do you use them when playing? Please share!

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