Category Archives: Musings

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Temporary Throwback Thursday 4: My Thoughts on Syfy’s Defiance

Temporary Throwback Thursday is a short series of most read posts reposted from my old blog http://changethefates.wordpress.com/.

Syfy’s newest baby, Defiance, brings a new life to post-apocalyptic media plots. Defiance takes place 30 years after the terraforming of Earth by an alien planet. They, an entire planet’s races from across the galaxy, inhabited Earth. Furthermore, the story follows a man with his alien daughter’s dealings with the town of Defiance. It is interesting to see the interactions and relationships between the two of them as well as other characters form.

Defiance, to me, has become a quick favorite among my many. Terraforming, for example, has been something that science has explored before and has considered the possibility of humans terraforming another planet in the event that the Earth becomes too dangerous. The situation is reversed in the case of this show. This adds an interesting fictionalized look on the what if’s of terraforming a planet and how it would affect humans if it was done to our planet. The alien races are another aspect of this show that l find particularly interesting. They all seem to have their own systems of belief and systems of rule, however, this makes them more human than they seem to realize.

Yet, this show isn’t only an interesting show but also an apparently beautiful and exciting video game. I personally lack the system to play it right now, but from what I have seen I am definitely keeping it on my list.

All in all, Defiance has earned a spot as one of my favorite television shows. I think it is worth watching.

Fun fact: Defiance was given a B+ in a TV Review next to Doctor Who and Orphan Black.

Edit (6/5/14): Defiance will be back this summer! So looking forward to it and playing the game again!

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Heroes of Cosplay: Motivator or Deterrent?

Cosplay has become mainstream after many years of being in the background. We see it – in a not joking light – on the streets, over the internet, and now on television. “Heroes of Cosplay” is Syfy’s reality television show about the prep and competition between popular cosplayers including the famed Yaya Han. However, is this show a motivator for new cosplayers? Or is it a deterrent?

The Motivator

Cosplay is a hobby that many people enjoy not only for the art but for the sense of achievement and community that comes with it. As a frequent con-goer and/or cosplayer, it would be hard not to see that there is a great love and respect between many cosplayers. Groups often form either out of friendships or out of mentor relationships with other cosplayers, which creates a very creative and interesting environment. Many, if not all cosplayers, are also motivated by the love they have for their character or the series they are cosplaying from. They show that love and end up connecting with those who have similar interests, obviously forming friendships along their journey in cosplay.

The Deterrent

With the show, you get to see what a lot of cosplayers really go through in the time before and during the convention. You see the days if not months of preparation of the costume during the segment and with that you see the days of fatigue and stress before the convention. Many cosplayers that I personally know also go through this right before a convention. Some can handle it, others cannot.

Then when the contest finally rolls around, you see the cosplayers show their stuff and the judges make their final decisions on who wins and often times it is not those that you have followed during the segment. This leads me to the arguments that I have made and have heard on the deterrent’s side. Because after watching all the work and all the stress that these people went through to create their cosplays, they still were up against other cosplayers with equally amazing talents. It is hard to not be intimidated by that simple fact.

The Conclusion? What should it be?

In my opinion, cosplay is a hobby and an art. Just like any art, it is hard to stop doing it once you have really gotten it into your blood. Cosplay is a great form of expression, and even though it involves a lot of competition and stress, in the end you still have something you created. That is something to be very proud of!

Furthermore, “Heroes of Cosplay” really does well to expose the real world of cosplay for what it is and what it can be. What you are seeing is not all acting. It is real and it is raw. To see what the world of cosplay is really like, I definitely recommend this show.

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Temporary Throwback Thursday 2: Censorship in the Art World

Temporary Throwback Thursday is a short series of most read posts reposted from my old blog http://changethefates.wordpress.com/.

Today I am taking a little break from the world of literature adventures to talk about a personal soap box topic that I hold dear.

In today’s society, censorship is not only a norm; it is rabid. Parents especially are censoring the things their children see and interact with. Which, even if the child doesn’t know it yet, carries on into adulthood and breeds more generations of the sheltered.

Why is this a problem? Well, it isn’t always a problem with some aspects of life however art is not one of the aspects that should be sheltered. So many people now a days see free expression as a sin or a horror to so many and the portrayal of any nude art is automatically seen as slutty. However, art doesn’t agree. Art should always push the boundaries of the imagination, not force you to only see rainbows and butterflies.

If any middle ground between freedom and censors could be reached in the online forum, I do believe that it would be in the case of filters and age limits. Like DeviantART.com’s filter system. It isn’t perfect, but it keeps the gritty world out of the eyes of those not ready. As far as censoring the artists who do the gritty, the nude, and the grotesque art; That is an absolute no. I, myself, have found inspiration from some of these artists. Imagining the art world without said artists, quite frankly, is frightening. The creation of art that has an extreme understanding of anatomy is a hard skill to master and one that should be admired. Not shut out or shamed as “inappropriate.”

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Temporary Throwback Thursday 1: Activism

Temporary Throwback Thursday is a short series of most read posts reposted from my old blog http://changethefates.wordpress.com/.

WARNING: Below I will be addressing environmental conservation and the wrongs of an organization in my eyes. I do not ask you to believe in what I speak, but I do ask for respect that this is a post on my personal blog and not intended for anything but speaking my mind and views. I am not a part of any organization, nor do I participate in organized activism. Thank you.

“It is sad when you look at environmental conservation organizations and see that at least 80-90% of them are eco-terrorists. Yes, I oppose whaling, shark finning, and a whole other assortment of animal rights standpoints. However, I am not going to call an entire country (and ones that I love dearly aside from my own at that) monsters or support an organization that endangers their lives.”

I said this recently because once summer hits I have more time to focus on what I like to do and also focus on – as this quote suggests – activism. Environmental Conservation, Animal Rights, and Human Rights (including Expression through art) are very dear “soap box” discussions that I often play a part in.

Now, here is where the quote above – taken from my facebook – comes into play. While in college, I met many Japanese students obviously. They were very kind to me and spent a lot of time teaching me how to speak Japanese. One of these students was even able to talk to me about the Sea Shepherd Conservation Organization. Now, Sea Shepherd is painted as heroes of whales and the rest of the oceanic environmental conservation, however, I learned from this friend of mine that their tactics are actually hurting the people of Japan that are on these whaling vessels. Do not get me wrong here in saying this, because I am very against whaling of any sort, but I do not believe that harming humans is the way to get things done. That, my friend, is why it is called eco-terrorism. For example, I was given information that the bottles that Sea Shepherd uses to throw Butyric Acid are in fact made of glass. Are we missing the obvious threat to human life that broken glass can cause on a slippery ocean vessel? One cut from broken glass can cause infection on a vessel that is exposed to the elements. Nothing is going to get done about these issues if you do not respect the people on the other end of the issue to some degree. These sailors are only trying to make money for their families back home in any way they can. They are not monsters.

Another target of aggression is the Faeroe Islands for their mass murder of pilot whales. I personally can see, just like Inuit countries, why they whale. I may not agree with it and I do want it stopped, however, it has been in their culture since the time of the Vikings. They do respect the whales even if they kill them, because without the whales a big part of their culture would die off. They too need to be respected and understood, not treated like baby eating monsters.

Is it really too much to ask to peacefully try and end the dangers to our oceans together at least with a tiny bit of respect towards one another?

EDIT: On the bright side, Japan’s whaling in the Antarctic has been stopped temporarily and hopefully permanently! Good win for the whales, I would say.

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Benefit of Google GLASS Technology

With Google GLASS trickling out into the market, I find myself and many others are discussing the benefits that this technology could bring. Nine months ago, I went to Bar Camp in Rochester, NY where a web service company showed off their Google GLASS work and a simple view of the code behind Google GLASS. The code was hilarious but also powerful! That moment was really what set me on researching the device as well as trying my hand at playing with code for it.

The benefits that I see of GLASS from my research are plenty. It opens up doors to new ideas and interactivity between life and technology. Now Google has stated that these glasses are not meant to be worn constantly, but more as another device that we can use in our daily lives. “Augmented Reality” is what they are calling it.

I, personally as a person entering the world of technology as a career, find Google GLASS to be more inspirational as an idea rather than the actual device itself – because surely Google will spam users with ads. But the idea of smart glasses creating a new way to share and receive information in our ever information driven world would be a great benefit to us. It could even be used as a form of multilingual communication where we would normally have to learn multiple languages “by hand”. The possibilities are endless.

To read more, smart-glasses.org has a great deal of information and links in their article on the benefits of smart glasses. Their article helped me a lot in my research and pointed me in the right path to dig deeper.

But what I want to know is what you think the benefits will be, if any, to this tech?

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Comparison of “A Song of Ice and Fire” to “The Lord of the Rings” – Is it fair?

Hello Internet! Today, I am going to talk about something I recently found when I started reading A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin that sparked me to really look at the comparison between his books and Tolkien’s famed The Lord of the Rings. I posted on my facebook wall;

Started reading A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin today and in the first pages, there were quotes about how great the book is (as usual). One of them said that the reading “reflects our current world better than The Lord of the Rings.” …. Is it just me or did anyone else who has read that book have a “well no sh*t” moment?

It’s not like The Lord of the Rings came out at the same time, guys… The Lord of the Rings was first published in 1954 versus Game of Thrones which was first published in 1996.

Of course Tolkien’s work does not reflect our current world like Martin’s work. That statement is similar to stating that the sky is blue. The Lord of the Rings was written during a time where our social norms of today would be looked down upon. For example, the concept of platonic love between two men was known, but rarely (to my knowledge and research) shown in media of any sort. Also, the 50s were still quite conservative compared to what you would see now. (Note: there is absolutely no sex shown in the six books, and kissing was barely described) Whereas Martin’s work is not. Yet, that makes Martin’s work more enjoyable for the “modern” fantasy fan. George R.R. Martin’s work is also awe inspiring because of his pushing of the boundaries of written work. He created a world that shocked many because of the sheer depth of the history and lore. We as readers may never know the full histories of Westeros (unless Mr. Martin decides to write us a textbook on his realm) because the characters themselves don’t even know the truth from fantasy! That in itself is so amazing and oddly easy to relate to because we don’t even know our full histories yet as inhabitants of Earth.

But I digress before I go all fan-girly here…

Truly, the comparison of Tolkien vs [insert fantasy writer here] has become a topic that has beaten the dead horse bloody. Tolkien was one of the first epic fantasy writers that gained popularity and inspired many of the writers we know and love today to start writing in this genre. Which brings me to the conclusion of why I think the comparison is unfair…

Just think, if Tolkien had never written his books, we wouldn’t have many of these writers now. These books we adore so much, would not be here if Tolkien hadn’t lit the flame of fantasy. He is, after all, known as the “father of modern fantasy” for a reason.