11092015

What’s the date today? Write it down, remove all dashes and slashes, and write a post that mentions that number.

Inside the space shuttle he looked at the monitors and glanced at the digital clock & calendar that ticked off the seconds & minutes before blast off. His fellow astronauts were buckled in their seats and thinking of the risks that they were taking – an experimental spaceship that housed a revolutionary new engine that was faster than anything that had even been imagined. It promised to take the shuttle and it’s 3 member crew to their destination – the planetary system that was called Futura by NASA and in particular a large new-earth planet that the governments of earth and the population at large were hoping would be the new home for a species that had almost drained it’s home planet’s resources.

The countdown began and the shuttle takes off into the skies and then breaks orbit and even the crew and the NASA staff on the ground were surprised at the speed which beat their expectation. The people on the ground cheered and the millions watching it live on their tvs, computers and hand held devices all ran through the gamut of emotions – crying, laughing, cheering, yelling, hifiving, hugging and opening celebratory bottles to drink and then eat, as things seemed to be going according to plan. If everything worked out the way it was planned, the crew of the ship would reach the Futura system in 7 weeks and land on the planet and post a survey will return back with their findings. If the planet was a go to settle, the next plan was to send the first of several bio-ships to Futura for settling the planet and then in various stages send the earth’s population (people and some animals) in big ships for relocation.

Back on the ship as the crew hit the maximum setting on the speed, they relaxed a bit before they entered stasis that would enable them to sleep through the 7 weeks that it would take to reach Futura. The crew had an automated alarm that would wake them as soon as they reached the planet’s orbit. Sleep was dreamless and it seemed like it was a very short time before they woke up due to the alarm sounding. The three astronauts rubbed their eyes and dressed as the space shuttle shook as they were reaching the planet and as the lead astronaut took his seat his eyes bulged out as he glanced at the digital clock and calendar. He started hyperventilating and pointing to the display and the other two rush towards him – the year displayed was 11092015!!

How could that be? It was 2510 when they left and the trip was only for 7 weeks. But as the other two assisted their captain to the floor they looked at the planet below them as the surface became clearer. It was earth, still their earth but it was destroyed and in ruins and the oceans and seas and other bodies of water were almost dried up and where there was land and cities and towns it was charred and black and destroyed beyond any recognition. No lights were visible and it looked seemingly without life. This was the planet that they were heading to faster than anything mankind had created, seemingly the last remaining humans alive.

Prompt from The Dailypost at WordPress.com

Food Review #55

Chick King’s Tandoori Chicken Burger is a plain chicken patty with some tandoori sauce added to the batter. But for Chick King it’s ok. Their bun leaves a lot to be desired, it’s a local bakery plain ole bun that doesn’t taste that good. The fried chicken is better, fries were surprisingly good for Chick King.

Avengers : Age Of Ultron

The follow up to 2012’s The Avengers, Avengers : Age Of Ultron is a 2015 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team the Avengers, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The film was written and directed by Joss Whedon and features an ensemble cast that includes Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Anthony Mackie, Hayley Atwell, Idris Elba, Stellan Skarsgård, James Spader, and Samuel L. Jackson.

In this film, the Avengers (Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye & Black Widow) raid a Hydra outpost deep in the woods of fictional Eastern European nation Sokovia where Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, who has been experimenting on humans using the scepter previously wielded by Loki. They encounter two of Strucker’s experiments – twins Pietro, who has superhuman speed, and Wanda Maximoff, who can manipulate minds and project energy – and apprehend Strucker, while Stark retrieves Loki’s scepter. Stark and Banner discover an artificial intelligence within the scepter’s gem, and secretly use it to complete Stark’s “Ultron” global defense program. The unexpectedly sentient Ultron, believing he must eradicate humanity to save Earth, eliminates Stark’s A.I., J.A.R.V.I.S., and attacks the Avengers at their headquarters. Ultron gets away with the scepter and using the Hydra resources in the old base builds an army of robot drones and begins to upgrade his rudimentary body. He recruits the twins who believe that Stark is responsible for their parents’ deaths by his weapons.

Together, they go to the base of arms dealer Ulysses Klaue in an African shipyard to obtain Wakandan vibranium. The Avengers pursue them, but Wanda subdues the Avengers with haunting visions, causing the Hulk to rampage until Stark stops him with his anti-Hulk armor. The team goes into hiding as the world media paints them as terrors and they seek refuge in Hawkeye’s home, far away from the cities. Thor departs to consult with Dr. Erik Selvig on the meaning of the apocalyptic future he saw in his hallucination, while Romanoff and Banner plan to flee together after realizing a mutual attraction. However, Nick Fury arrives and encourages the team to form a plan to stop Ultron. In Seoul, Ultron forces the team’s friend Dr. Helen Cho to use her synthetic-tissue technology, together with vibranium and the scepter’s gem, to perfect a new body for him. As Ultron uploads himself into the body, Wanda is able to read his mind; discovering his plan for human extinction, the Maximoffs turn on Ultron. Rogers, Romanoff, and Barton find Ultron and retrieve the synthetic body, but Ultron captures Romanoff.

The rest of the Avengers argue but Stark uploads J.A.R.V.I.S. – who is still operational after hiding from Ultron inside the Internet – into the synthetic body. Thor returns to help activate the body, explaining that the gem on its brow – one of the six Infinity Stones, the most powerful objects in existence – was part of his vision. This “Vision” and the Maximoffs accompany the Avengers to Sokovia, where Ultron has used the remaining vibranium to build a machine to lift a large part of the capital city skyward, intending to crash it into the ground to cause global extinction. After rescuing Romanov the Avengers battles the drones while Fury arrives in a Helicarrier with Maria Hill, James Rhodes and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to evacuate civilians. Pietro dies when he shields Barton from gunfire, and a vengeful Wanda abandons her post to destroy Ultron’s primary body, which allows one of his drones to activate the machine. The city plummets, but Stark and Thor overload the machine and shatter the landmass. The Hulk leaves in a cloaked quinjet, not wanting to put Natasha in harm’s way by being with her while the Vision confronts and destroys Ultron’s last remaining body.

As the movie ends the Avengers having established a new base run by Fury, Hill, Cho, and Selvig, Thor returns to Asgard to learn more about the forces he suspects have manipulated recent events. As Stark and Barton also leave, Rogers and Romanoff prepare to train new Avengers: Rhodes, the Vision, Sam Wilson, and Wanda. In a mid-credits scene, Thanos, dissatisfied by the failures of his pawns, dons a gauntlet3 and vows to personally retrieve the Infinity Stones. Which probably means we will see more of the new characters in the next two films that are already planned. It’s a romp fest of action fueled by tons of special effects and choreographed fights but little in the terms of story telling. I like it but yearn for more story lines.

An 8.5 outta 10!

Vision At 16

When you were 16, what did you think your life would look like? Does it look like that? Is that a good thing?

I really did not think that I would where I am today – a lonely 39 year old who feels like he has failed at what he wanted to be. It’s a tough road for a lonely bachelor who does not want to be a lonely bachelor and who yet feels that he might not be good enough for anyone since he has fallen so far down from where he thought he would be in life at this point.

At 16 I really thought I would have it all by my 30s. As in, a good well paying job and living in a nice house of my own with a green backyard. I would share the house with my loving wife who would my partner in everything. We would have a couple of dogs and a couple of cats and from time to time I would add a couple of kids as well. That always varies, I have never been that big on being a father and hence I wasn’t keen on procreating. But the rest is a dream that I am yet to realize and at 39 I have come to understand that it will never happen. Time has passed me by and the ride went on but I was left by the wayside.

I expected my life to be living in a nice city of my choice, say Canada or the UK or somewhere in NZ or the US. I never expected to be a sad and lonely failure still waiting to have his own place and still having to make compromises over his own life and decisions. Things couldn’t be much different from what I had envisioned it to be. But that’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

Sunny & Cool Day Becomes A Rainy & Thundering Evening

Today a Saturday was one of the coolest yet sunniest days in a long while. It was bright and sunny yet there was a cool wind blowing throughout and hence it was prefect for a day out. I took a book and went out to spend some time reading in cafes while sipping on coffees.

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Nice day for some cold coffee. I also had a really good tandoori chicken sandwich from Cafe Coffee Day, the first stop for today. A couple of hours spent in the cool confines of my favourite coffeeshop franchise while reading a book is great for relaxing on the weekend.

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Marine Drive was my next destination. Another hour or so spent reading while sitting on a bench overlooking the Arabian sea is awesome. I had to go back in for more cold coffee but this is a quick pic I snapped while inside the Bay Pride Mall.

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Alas days like these are few and far between. My second cup of coffee was this new and improved and simply titled cold coffee from the Bay Pride Mall’s food court. The same coffee just better tasting and with a generous shot or two of chocolate syrup – man it was really good. Well good for a place that doesn’t specialize in coffee.

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Before leaving the mall I stepped into a store that sells computer/laptops, mobiles and accessories and bought a new Dell USB wireless mouse to go with my new Dell laptop. Pretty cute with a nice glossy matte finish that is so smooth to the touch.

Travel Your Choice

You’re going on a cross-country trip. Airplane, train, bus, or car? (Or something else entirely — bike? Hot air balloon?)

Considering I live in India and I am not filthy fucking rich, I would say a train or a car is preferable. I mean, I hate trains but going cross country in a bus will not be worth it. Shorter trips, like even a day, is fine but longer ones just won’t cut it on a bus, no matter how comfortable they are. It’s not like we have comfortable trailers or tour buses that come with showers, kitchens, toilets and bed in it. No sir, not in India.

That’s we have trains is what Indians will say. Well only seats and you can go to sleep lying down on the seats/berths and they do have toilets. Mostly! I hate traveling in trains but what can you do. If you only have a few places to go to might as well take a plane ride but going cross country will not be the same. So a car is better, if you can stop each night and find a small hotel with rooms so you can sleep in at night. That would be great plus you can make you own decisions as to when to go, when to stop and rest.

I wish we had them big tour buses that rock bands travel in. Or the richer rock bands travel in. That would be so cool.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

Bayern Munich 5 Arsenal 1

The Gunners suffered a torrid first half as Robert Lewandowski’s header, Thomas Muller’s snapshot and David Alaba’s strike put the hosts 3-0 up. Arjen Robben’s first-time finish and a Muller breakaway strike came either side of Olivier Giroud’s volley. A record equalling European defeat leaves Arsenal six points behind Bayern and Olympiakos with two games left. The Greek side’s 2-1 win over Dinamo Zagreb, achieved via a 90th-minute winner, means that qualification is out of Arsenal’s hands and they are in danger of failing to reach the knockout stages for the first time in 13 seasons.

Mesut Ozil had a goal ruled out for handball when the score was 1-0 and Arsene Wenger’s team improved after the break. But Bayern’s relentless pressing and ability to pounce on defensive errors exposed the visitors, who lost for a third time in four Champions League group games. Arsenal centre-back Laurent Koscielny was ruled out with a hip injury hours before kick-off and his replacement, Gabriel, was partly at fault for two of Bayern’s three first-half goals. With a groin injury to right-back Hector Bellerin, the Gunners now have 10 players on the injury list. After defeats by Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiakos, the Gunners are attempting to become the first team since Galatasaray in 2012 to reach the knockout stages after losing their first two group games. Beating Bayern at home a fortnight ago gave the Gunners optimism but they must now make up a six-point gap to second-placed Olympiakos, who they face in their final group game on 9 December after hosting Zagreb on 24 November.

Arsenal need to beat Zagreb and hope Olympiakos to lose their next game, at Bayern, who are yet to qualify for the knockout stages. That would set up an intriguing final match in Greece where the Gunners would have to beat Olympiakos by two clear goals after conceding a sloppy winner in their 3-2 defeat at the Emirates on 29 September. Injuries and not signing the players needed have cost us.

New Star Trek TV Series Update

Update : The Hollywood trades have a little more news about the new STAR TREK show that’s slated for CBS All Access in January 2017, all of which comes from CBS president Les Moonves’s presentation to reporters about the network’s third quarter earnings. Like STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, which pioneered first-run syndication, the new show is designed to make the most of a new business model. The idea is that the show will be available online first as part of CBS All Access and, in America at least, people will have to sign up and pay $5.99 a month to see it.

CBS clearly hope that STAR TREK will bring audiences to their streaming service in large numbers, meaning the success of an entire business is riding on them producing a successful show. All the existing STAR TREK shows are already available on the platform and pull in significant audiences. “We’re looking to do original content on All Access,” Moonves said, “and build up that platform… knowing the loyalty of STAR TREK fans, this will boost it.” Moonves described STAR TREK as CBS’s “family jewels” and said that the new series would be a “world-class effort that will make all STAR TREK fans proud”, acknowledging that they are the most passionate fans in the world. STAR TREK’s international popularity is also an important part of the equation for CBS, who said that “Right away, we’re more than halfway home on the cost of the show from international alone.”

The other thing that few people have commented on from yesterday’s press release is the name Heather Kadin, who is another executive producer and writer, who has been named alongside Alex Kurtzman. It’s not been confirmed, but it seems likely that she will be the actual day-to-day showrunner. Her credits include Sleepy Hollow, Scorpion and Limitless.

Unboxing The Xindi Insectoid Warship

I missed sharing this one somehow. Here is the Xindi Insectoid Warship from Eaglemoss’s The Official Star Trek Starship Collection. This really is an awesome and outstanding alien starship design from the Star Trek universe.

IMG_20150715_102504The Xindi (pronounced ZIN-dee) were an alliance of species who evolved on the same planet in the Delphic Expanse, known as Xindus, whose infamous attack on Earth and attempts to terminate Humans in the early 2150s changed the course of history and initiated the series of events that helped establish United Earth as a major interstellar power. In at least one future timeline, from where Daniels originated, the Xindi state had, by the 26th century, become a member of the United Federation of Planets. IMG_20150715_102527

Xindi-Insectoids were members of the multi-species Xindi race. The Insectoids, like all Xindi species, had distinctive ridges on their cheeks. They were, as their name suggests, insect-like in appearance. Their average life expectancy was estimated to be twelve years.

IMG_20150715_102612The Xindi-Insectoid ship was a type of warship used by the aggressive Xindi-Insectoids in the 2150s. It consisted of a small central core containing the drive system and three extended wing-like sections extending forward, mounted at 120 degree angles along the fore-aft axis. The ships were heavily armed with pulse-firing particle cannons and torpedoes. They were also highly decentralized in layout, possessing no central control room, reflecting the non-hierarchical nature of Insectoid culture. There was at least one room that had a viewscreen for communications. IMG_20150715_102634

So added to my collection is this awesome ship. Please watch the unboxing video of this awesome looking model.

Million Dollar Question

Why do you blog?

This is a million dollar question? Oh well, give me $1,000,000 and I will tell ya!

Well, ok since you asked nicely I will forgo the million bucks and let you know that I blog for myself mostly. It is a release both creatively and emotionally. I do not blog for anyone else but for those few of you who do come by often or once in a while, thank you. Thank you for reading and if you like it please do let me know.

I blog because I like blogging and sharing news, sports results, my views and likes and dislikes. I like sharing my opinions and sharing photos and videos and basically it’s a window to my life as I grow older. This blog in particular has been an almost daily entry since 2007. It lets you know what you were upto a few years ago, how your ideas and feelings have changed and even is a diary of things happening to you or just what you did. I think everyone should keep a diary and a blog is just a much better version of a diary.

So that’s why I blog and will continue to blog for as long as I can. All hail in the interwebs and blogging.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

Rock Guitar Goddess

So I am a rock & metal music fan and I love guitar driven music. And I love hot women. Combine all those together and you get this hawt package called Nita Strauss. Best known for her work with Iron Maiden all-female tribute band The Iron Maidens, her career has meant involvement with several rock ensembles such as the band Femme Fatale and the LA Kiss musical backing group. In June 2014, she replaced Orianthi in the band of American hard rock legend Alice Cooper, giving her an even larger platform. She was also ranked #1 on the list of ’10 Female Guitar Players You Should Know’ published by Guitar World. At 29 she has the world at her fingertips.

New Star Trek Series In 2017!!

CBS Television Studios announced today it will launch a totally new Star Trek television series in January 2017. The new series will blast off with a special preview broadcast on the CBS Television Network. The premiere episode and all subsequent first-run episodes will then be available exclusively in the United States on CBS All Access, the Network’s digital subscription video on demand and live streaming service. The next chapter of the Star Trek franchise will also be distributed concurrently for television and multiple platforms around the world by CBS Studios International.

The new program will be the first original series developed specifically for U.S. audiences for CBS All Access, a cross-platform streaming service that brings viewers thousands of episodes from CBS’s current and past seasons on demand, plus the ability to stream their local CBS Television station live for $5.99 per month. CBS All Access already offers every episode of all previous Star Trek television series. The brand-new Star Trek will introduce new characters seeking imaginative new worlds and new civilizations, while exploring the dramatic contemporary themes that have been a signature of the franchise since its inception in 1966.

Alex Kurtzman will serve as executive producer for the new Star Trek TV series. Kurtzman co-wrote and produced the blockbuster films Star Trek (2009) with Roberto Orci, and Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) with Orci and Damon Lindelof. Both films were produced and directed by J.J. Abrams. The new series will be produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout. Kurtzman and Heather Kadin will serve as executive producers. Kurtzman is also an executive producer for the hit CBS television series Scorpion and Limitless, along with Kadin and Orci, and for Hawaii Five-0 with Orci. Star Trek, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2016, is one of the most successful entertainment franchises of all time. The original Star Trek spawned a dozen feature films and five successful television series. Almost half a century later, the Star Trek television series are licensed on a variety of different platforms in more than 190 countries, and the franchise still generates more than a billion social media impressions every month.

Fear The Fundies

You’re locked in a room with your greatest fear. Describe what’s in the room.

Religious fanatics! That’s right, fundies who will want to slit your throat if you do not believe in the same god as they, follow the same religion as they do and they way that they do and also do not do all the stuff that they do. Or they want to kill you just because you do not believe in any sort of imaginary beings unlike them. Those kind of fundies who are the scum of the earth and the worst beings on this planet.

Those kind of people who won’t listen to reason, won’t try and see anything but their narrow view of the world and will not even contemplate that they could be wrong. And that they are wrong. And that the religion that they claim to be following and which is supposed to be peaceful and loving, isn’t really stopping them from doing bad & downright evil things. And that they should really stop only wanting to follow a religion when they should be more considerate and caring about their fellow humans.

Those people scare me the most. They aren’t really human in the proper term. You can reason with humans. These folks, you can’t.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

Swansea 0 Arsenal 3

Arsenal kept up the pressure on Premier League leaders Manchester City with a ruthless second-half dismantling of Swansea City. Swansea’s Bafetimbi Gomis squandered the best chance of an entertaining but goalless first half. Olivier Giroud headed Arsenal in front soon after the restart, before Laurent Koscielny seized on an error by former Gunners goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski to double their lead. Joel Campbell struck on his first Premier League start to seal victory and keep Arsenal, missing several key players because of injury, level on points with Manchester City, who have a superior goal difference. For Swansea, the result is a setback after ending a six-game winless run against Aston Villa in their previous outing.

Having had to withstand concerted Swansea pressure in the first half, Arsenal were transformed after the interval as they strolled to a convincing victory. They had failed to win any of their previous three meetings with the Swans, but Arsene Wenger’s side produced a clinical second 45 minutes which suggested they could sustain a serious title challenge. France international Giroud made the breakthrough with his fifth goal in six games for club and country, nodding in unmarked from Mesut Ozil’s corner to score the 2,000th goal of Wenger’s Arsenal tenure. Having had to withstand concerted Swansea pressure in the first half, Arsenal were transformed after the interval as they strolled to a convincing victory. They had failed to win any of their previous three meetings with the Swans, but Arsene Wenger’s side produced a clinical second 45 minutes which suggested they could sustain a serious title challenge.

France international Giroud made the breakthrough with his fifth goal in six games for club and country, nodding in unmarked from Mesut Ozil’s corner to score the 2,000th goal of Wenger’s Arsenal tenure. Arsenal’s second-half stroll was particularly impressive considering Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott were added to their growing injury list during Tuesday’s abject 3-0 League Cup defeat by Championship side Sheffield Wednesday. The shock of that loss was particularly jolting, coming as it did after victories over Everton and Bayern Munich. But the pain of defeat was perhaps less severe than the headache caused by those injuries, with Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta, David Ospina, Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Tomas Rosicky already out. Their absence paved the way for Campbell’s first Premier League start, and the Costa Rican took his opportunity as he fired in firmly from Ozil’s cross to add a final gloss to Arsenal’s victory.

Arsenal have 25 points after 11 games played and are in 2nd place behind Manchester City due to goal difference. The Gunners will not have much time to celebrate this result ahead of a huge week for them. They travel to Germany for Tuesday’s crucial Champions League game at Bayern Munich, then host Tottenham Hotspur in the north London derby at Emirates Stadium on 8 November.