Archive for January 5th, 2012

January 5, 2012

Streets of Davao

by endlessthinker

First seen on The Dark Globe!

As my New Year treat to all of the followers of The Dark Globe, I’ll be posting this first street photography I did here on this blog. I’ll post this later on my blog.

This is my first street photography. The photos were taken around the streets of Davao City, Philippines, last December 2011. Some images are not that sharp because I shoot some inside a vehicle.

Most of the photos in this slideshow were of children and beggars. There were a lot of them around the city due to the Christmas season and the invitation of the city government to the “Lumad” and other natives to visit the city to sing and earn from it for the Christmas season. They were accommodated at an assigned open court somewhere in Buhangin where they rest for the night. It actually does not sound right, in my opinion. It seems they were inviting them for a good reason but the children and their parents are making it as an excuse to beg on the streets.

Other photos features the Monteverde Avenue (specific descriptions are available in the flickr photostream). You can see that pedicabs were still a primary means of transportation even on this side of the city which is considered as one of the commercial centers where banks and wholesalers can be found, or as a highly urbanized city like Davao. The lack of discipline of motorists and laborers can also be seen in the photos. Vehicles parking along side the road and laborers transporting goods disturbs the flow of the traffic, causing congestion at the corners intersecting this avenue.

In the last portion of the slide were night and low light photos I took at long exposure time. You can see a float made by the Davao Fire Volunteer Brigade as an entry in a fluvial parade contest that was held a day before these photos were taken. It was an opportunity missed but I am not regretting it since I caught very nice landscapes and a nightscape at Samal Island on that day.

Enjoy the slideshow!

January 5, 2012

The Dark Globe – Star Trek… In Review

by 'Ard Pete

While I’ve been out of work I’ve started watching Star Trek: Enterprise, the series that takes place before the original series. Having watched a full season in about two days I am definitely on a Star Trek kick at the moment.

I am a trekkie but don’t get me wrong, you won’t see me walking down the street dressed as a Klingon. I have watched it since I can remember, my dad used to make me watch the original series as well as my favourite series out of the lot, The Next Generation. So it’s no surprise that my favourite Star Trek film of all time is Star Trek Generations, combining the efforts of both Kirk and Picard to defeat the evil Malcolm McDowell.

Over the years we’ve been given new Star Trek shows, Deep Space Nine which I didn’t really like back in the day but now I love it. Then Voyager came along, I had a major crush on Seven Of Nine. Jeri Ryan is HOT! Along side the series we’ve been treated to Star Trek motion films as well the last one being Star Trek Nemesis portraying Warrior’s Tom Hardy in an early role.

After Star Trek: Enterprise ended it left a lot of fans what was next for the franchise, had it ended? It seemed to until of course J.J. Abrams was asked to reboot the series, with the actors who portrayed both the original series and the next generation series now getting too old to continue playing their roles we wondered what he was going to do.

A lot of fans were skeptical when we were told it’d be the characters from the original series but played by new actors, I had faith in Abrams aswell as the production team from Lost and he didn’t let me or the fans down and seeing this film in an IMAX theatre on a 70 foot long, 50 foot high screen was a thing of beauty.

 

Story; The story takes place in “current” times, in the late 24th century, a back story was created beforehand via comic book. A star has gone super nova, Spock is tasked to stop the super nova from destroying Romulus the Romulan home world however he fails and Romulus is destroyed along with most of the Romulan population. Spock continues his mission regardless creating a black hole to stop the super nova from destroying anything else. A Romulan mining ship is dragged into the black hole as is Spock’s vessel and they travel back in time.

Nero the captain of the Romulan ship encounters a ship on the other side of the black hole, the USS Kelvin. He instantly begins attacking it, much of the crew manage to escape and the second in command of the ship slams the ship into the side of the Romulan ship. Why should you care? Because the Kelvin had James T. Kirk’s inspiration for joining Star Fleet on that ship; his father. His father had saved 800 people but killed himself in the process, effectively changing the entire timeline and this turns Kirk into a problem child growing up.

We’re shown how differently he and Spock grow up and how they both eventually join Star Fleet. The 20 something years Nero has spent repairing his ship has made him angry, his plan is to destroy the Vulcan home world and Earth in retaliation for them failing to save his planet. He succeeds in destroying Vulcan, Kirk and Spock have a falling out and Spock sends him off the ship on to a near by frozen planet, is it there Kirk meets the older Spock from the future, who tells him that he must take control of the Enterprise and stop the Romulan ship. Kirk returns to the Enterprise and takes over the ship, they then go after the Romulan ship just as the Romulan ship begins attacking Earth. Spock and Kirk draw the ship away and eventually manage to defeat the Romulans by setting off a black hole in the middle of the ship sending them into oblivion.

Future Spock convinces younger Spock to stay in Star Fleet and help Kirk in his mission to explore new worlds and strange civilisations.

 

Character’s;

James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) – I recognized Pine’s name from the film Smokin’ Aces and has since gone on to star in films like Unstoppable. His portrayal of Kirk is refreshing and plays on the fact how he’s a renegade at heart and still a womanizer. His chemistry with Bones and Spock in this film is reminiscent of the original series and he does a great job.

Spock (Zachary Quinto) – You will know Quinto from the TV show Heroes as the always evil Sylar and Adam Kaufman from 24. I was excited to see him play the role of Spock because I knew how good he could be at it and he didn’t let me down. He somewhat resembles Spock as he looked back in the 60s and was the obvious choice in playing this role.

Leonard McCoy (Karl Urban) – Karl stars as Bones, the ships medical officer and Kirk’s best friend. He continued the role of Bones being generally bad-tempered and not afraid to voice his opinion and ran with it well, you would remember Urban from the film “Doom” and Éomer from Lord of the Rings. He did a fine job portraying this character.

Nyota Uhura (Zoe Saldana) – Wondering where you might have seen her before? She was the sexy blue thing from Avatar, beyond that she hasn’t had many notable roles but her stock is quickly rising after her performance in this film. She is signed on for the sequel and the sequels of Avatar so you can expect to see a lot more of her in the future. A big difference in this film is the fact that her and Spock are an item, something that wasn’t depicted in the series, although, this is an alternate universe now so anything is possible!

Montgomery Scott (Simon Pegg) – The Pegg/Abrams partnership continues as Pegg is signed on as Scotty who continues to do his job at providing comical relief at any point during the film. I don’t think there’s a film Pegg’s been in where he hasn’t made me laugh. He did a great job portraying Scotty and it’s interesting to note that in his own television series Spaced, his character said every odd numbered Star Trek had been shit. Pegg then said, “Fate put me in this role to show me I was talking out of my ass.”

Spock Prime (Leonard Nimoy) – Before this film was made I made a point not to look at any news for the film, I didn’t want my friends telling me any news about the film. Of course I heard the rumours that the original Spock was going to be in the film and so was William Shatner, the original Kirk. However how they were going to achieve this I didn’t know considering William Shatner was killed off in Star Trek Generations. I watched the film and I was as shock as anyone when I saw the original Spock. I mark out whenever I see Nimoy and you could sense the emotion he was feeling after coming face to face with the young Kirk once again. It was reported that Abrams was nervous directing Nimoy, the man had been doing this role for four decades, who was he to tell him what to do. Even after four decades Nimoy still does a great job and it’s a nice moment when he meets his younger self. I don’t know how they’d have portrayed Shatner but how they portrayed Nimoy was not only great but it made sense to the story.

Captain Nero (Eric Bana) – As I said in my last review for M:I 4 every film needs a great villain otherwise it’s going to be lopsided. Eric Bana did a fantastic job in his role as the baddie and even though I wasn’t impressed by how the Romulans looked (They look pretty much like Vulcans only more aggressive) he was still intense. You will of course know Bana from the film Troy playing Orlando Bloom’s brother Hector and as the Hulk from the failed 2003 film of the same name. You don’t really see him in any big time films so this was a refreshing change and hopefully it’s had a great impact on his career.

This film is packed with stars along with the main cast is John Cho from the Harold and Kumar films, Flashforward, the American Pie films who stars in this film as Sulu, Bruce Greenwood who plays Christopher Pike the original captain of the Enterprise who will be known from films such as I, Robot, Deja Vu and goes on to star in Abrams’ new film Super 8. Winona Ryder plays Spocks mother, Jennifer Morrison from House, Once Upon A Time and Warrior plays Kirk’s mother, Chris Hemsworth the guy who plays Thor plays Kirk’s father, Clifton Collins Jr from the TV show The Event and films like The Last Castle plays Ayel the second in command of the Romulans and Gregg Ellis who I recognized as the Lieutenant Groves from Pirates of the Caribbean plays a Red Shirt who gets swept under the drilling platform and gets vapourized and of course not forgetting the token Russian in the film Anton Yelchin plays the easily forgettable Chekov.

 

Overall Rating; This film is a masterpiece of casting and Abrams did a great job getting all of these people together. The only way to continue the series was either by going further into the future but stomping the same ground as before or going back in time, throwing away the timeline and starting again. Abrams did a fantastic job with this film and it’s not only my favourite Star Trek film of all time but it’s also the highest grossing Star Trek film ever made. If you want to get into Star Trek this is the film to help you accomplish that. I can’t wait for the new film to come out sometime in 2013, I never expected I’d have to wait four years but lucky for me three of those years have already passed by. The only nitpick I have about this film is the fact that they had Nimoy say the “Seek out new life and new civiliations” line at the end of the film; this should have been given to the new Kirk, not enough to effect my rating of the film though. I do love how it’s dedicated to both Gene Roddenberry and Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, the creator of the entire series who died in 1991 and his wife who starred in the original series and then went on to voice the computer for the films, The Next Generation, DS9 and Voyager who eventually died in 2008. A nice touch to the film and of course, without them, none of this would have been possible. What’s next for Star Trek?! Only the bossman himself knows! 10/10.

January 5, 2012

West Coast Yankee Fan – The End of an Era

by darkjade68

Confessions of a West Coast Yankee Fan – Volume Three

The End of an Era

by DarkJade

 

I recently heard a Yankee Fan say something about how It’s the End of an Era for the Yankees…

Hate to tell you, but the End of that Era began back in 2007, when Joe Torre turned down a One Year Contract Deal from the Yanks. And even before that, with the Departure of Bernie Williams.

In Truth, I was very sad to see him go… But with George Steinbrenner still at the Helm, or at least, Alive… The whole thing was pretty much Par for Course.

Granted, I didn’t really get back into Following Baseball until about 2004, or 2005, somewhere around the time that Robbie (Robinson) Cano came into the Picture.

And I only mention this, as Robinson Cano quickly became my Favorite All Time Player (I’ve got an Autographed Bat Next to my bed to Prove it, lol).

Joining the Ranks of Nolan Ryan, Rod Carew, Fredd Lynn.

All of Which were my Childhood Favorites

In reality, Nolan Ryan held the Number One Spot, probably partly because my First Childhood Dream was to be a Major League Pitcher… And Rod Carew for me was a Local Favorite, as I actually used to go see him Play, as The Angels were my Favorite Team Growing up.

Fred Lynn I can hardly remember, but I remember liking him.

But back to my point, lol

The End of the Era began back in 2006-2007, and has continued to shift into a New Era with the Departure of Mike Mussina who was with the Yank’s 2001-2008, Andy Pettite, and finally George Steinbrenner himself who passed away in 2010.

But Which Era are we talking about? Not the 90’s Era, that was really gone, well, after the 90’s were gone… And the Joe Torre Era, yes this was the End of his Era, and well after the loss of Bernie Williams, Joe Torre, Mike Mussina, Andy Pettite… And even Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui

The last two, by the way, were two of my Favorite All Time Yanks…

I do believe we are well on our way into a Whole New Era

Not to be lead by The Great and Truest Yankee of All Time, Derek GeterNo, as he is one of those left from the 90’s Yanks…

Which are Truly a Dieing Breed…

And not by Alex Rodriquez, who still has many years left, and good years at that.

But rather by Robinson Cano, Ironically, as he is my Favorite Player…

Whose Quietly slid into the Leader Spot of the Yanks…

Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy… Or a Greater Player… But Shh, don’t tell him he’s the Leader, I suspect he’s a bit shy, lol

But these are only the Opinion’s of a Mear West Coast Yankee Fan… Whose First Dream was to Play Baseball, but never really took, or got a Shot…

Someone who loves Baseball, but does not “Keep Score”, as is such a Great Tradition.

Someone whose Won, or Finished Strongly with his Fantasy Baseball Teams, for several years in a row, lol… Often with the help of Yankee Players…

But I do love Baseball… And I do love the Yanks.

So take it for what it’s Worth, lol

Thanks For Listening/Reading

DarkJade-

P.S. Recent Yankee News – Hiroyuki Nakajima, Yankees Unable to Make a Deal