Cylons (Reimagined)

Ok so now that you’ve read the original Cylon concept let’s take a look at the reimagined universe of Battlestar Galactica and what the history of Cylons says over there. I’ll have to say this, there’s somethings about the reimagined universe that I don’t fully agree with or possible even understand and it took me some reading of online material and I’m currently rewatching the series (mid way through season 2 at this moment) to really grasp it.

So in the rebooted or reimagined BSG, humanity started life on a planet called Kobol, a planet where the “gods & man lived together”. Once mankind achieved technological advancements, they created robots known as Cylons to serve them. Later Humanoid Cylons came into existence; it is not clear as to whether the robots created these humanoids or if humans themselves helped in the creation. The humanoid cylons also developed resurrection technology, since they couldn’t reproduce each cylon would not die but his/her memories & psyche were store and integrated into a copy or a new body. After a long time, Kobol became a wasted planet after a great conflict and the humans left Kobol in a great exodus and settled on 12 planets; upon settling the colonies they discarded all their technology and started afresh.

However a 13th tribe, which were all humanoid Cylons, also left Kobol albeit in the opposite direction and eventually settled on a planet called Earth (the original one and not our Earth). This happens between 3,000 and 4,000 years prior to the events of the Miniseries. On Earth the humanoid cylons created their own robot cylons just like humans on Kobol did. Eventually, these Cylons developed the ability to sexually reproduce and resurrection technology fell into disuse and was lost. 2,000 years prior to the miniseries, the “Final Five” began work to redevelop resurrection, having been warned by mysterious “angels” that a disaster possibly similar to the one on Kobol was coming. When life on Earth was destroyed in a nuclear war between the thirteenth tribe of humanoid Cylons and their mechanical Cylon creations (caused by maltreatment of the mechanical Cylons at the hands of the humanoids), the Final Five managed to download into a vessel they had in orbit.

Some 4000 to 5000 years after the 12 colonies were settled and humanity, humans created the robots called Cylons to be used as soldiers and later to be servants etc and there was an uprising which caused the first Cylon war. At this point the Final Five arrives at the Colonies in order to warn the humans about to treat their Cylon workers well in order to prevent another catastrophe and alarmed at the war going on. The Final Five also learned that the Centurions were trying to develop organic bodies through experiments on humans, resulting in the first Hybrid. So the Final Five reveal themselves to the Cylons and in order to end the war against the humans, they agreed to assist the Centurions to produce humanoid cylons, model numbers One to Seven, and also provide them with resurrection technology.  Then the Cylons disappeared after an armistice was declared and for 40 years no one in the Colonies saw them. During these 40 years the cylons have improved their technology, perfected creating humanoid cylons and numerous copies of them and slowly intregrated some of them in the 12 colonies. Some humanoid cylons had their memories erased and had no clue that they were infact Cylons. The original 5 also had their memories erased and planted into the colonie – masterminded by the first model aka Brother Cavill. So 40 years later the Cylons attack and almost destroy the humans.

But in Caprica the first humanoid Cylon (of the Colonies) was created by Daniel Graystone, for his daughter Zoe, which we see at the end of Caprica! Right?

The Place Beyond The Pines

A 2013 crime & family drama, The Place Beyond The Pines is directed by Derek Cianfrance, written by Cianfrance, Ben Coccio, and Darius Marder. It stars Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, and Ray Liotta, with Ben Mendelsohn, Rose Byrne,  Mahershalalhashbaz Ali, Bruce Greenwood, Harris Yulin, and Dane DeHaan in supporting roles. The title is the English meaning of the city of Schenectady, New York, which is derived loosely from a Mohawk word for “place beyond the pine plains.”

Luke Glaton (Gosling) is a motorbike stunt ride who works for a traveling state fair and at Altamont, NY is visited by his ex-lover Romina (Mendes). He drops her home and decides to visit her the next day where he finds out that their brief tryst yielded a baby boy, who is turning a year old. Luke quits his job as a stuntman to stay in town and provide for the child, but Romina does not want him in the child’s life, as she has become involved in a relationship with her new man, Kofi (Ali). Luke gets a part time job at an auto repair shop with Robin, who later tells him that he used to rob banks. The duo decides to form a partnership with a helmeted Luke doing the robbery and riding off on his bike to a secluded place where Robin would be waiting with an unmarked truck. In this manner they steal some money and using his share to win back Romina’s trust and visits her and his son more often. Kofi objects to his presence and the two get into a fight at Kofi’s house, resulting in Luke’s arrest after he hits Kofi in the head with a pipe wrench.

After Robin bails him out Luke wants to continue doing more bank jobs but Robin is no longer interested and tells him to cool down for a while, which causes a falling out between the two of them with Robin dismantling the motorbike and Luke taking back the bail money he owed Robin at gunpoint. . Luke had hidden $14k in his son’s crib and decides to rob a bank on his own but is chased by the cops. Falling from his bike, Luke runs into a house pursued by police officer Avery Cross (Cooper). Luke calls Romina from one of the upstairs bedrooms just before Avery confronts him and shoots him first. Luke falls to his death but not before getting a shot on Avery’s leg. Avery is hailed a hero and while at the hospital recovering, he speaks to the DA Bill Killcullen (Greenwood) lies on the official report, saying that Luke shot first. However Avery does feel remorse for Luke’s death especially when he learns that the thief has a 1 year old son, just like Avery does. Avery’s fellow cops comes and collects him from his home and take him to Romina & Kofi’s house where they do a search and find the money. They give the bigger share to Avery and he later attempts to return the money to Romina, but she rejects his offer. Avery then tells his commanding officer about the money but his waived off and one of the cop, Deluca (Liotta), threatens him. Upset that he is stuck in desk job at the evidence locker Avery records one of  the fellow officers asking him to remove cocaine from the evidence locker Avery supervises for use in a separate case. Cross uses the recording to get a position as an assistant district attorney.

15 years later Avery, now separated from his wife, is running for public office. At the funeral for his father, his wife Jennifer (Byrne) asks him to take in their troubled 17 year old son AJ to live with him in Schenectady. There AJ befriends a boy named Jason; neither AJ nor Jason know that Jason is Luke’s son. The two are arrested for felony drug possession, and when Avery is called in to pick up his son, he recognizes Jason’s name. He uses his influence to get Jason’s charge dropped to a misdemeanor and orders AJ to stay away from Jason, but the boys continue to talk. Jason learns from Kofi that his real father’s name was Luke Glaton and researched him on the internet and goes to meet Robin. Robin tells Jason more about Luke, including his superior motorbiking skills. At school, AJ invites him to a party at his house (when Avery is away) and guilt-trips Jason into stealing Oxycontin for the party. Jason does so but at the party sees an old photo of Avery, who he recognizes as the cop who killed his father Luke. After a fight with AJ, which leaves Jason hospitalized, Jason breaks into Avery’s house and beats AJ at gunpoint. When Avery arrives, Jason holds him hostage and orders him to drive into the woods. Although Jason had intended to kill Avery, he reconsiders after Cross tearfully apologizes for killing Jason’s father. Jason takes Avery’s wallet and suit coat. In the wallet Jason finds a photo of himself as a baby with his parents, which Avery had stolen from the evidence locker. Jason then leaves in Avery’s car.

The last scenes we see Avery winning the election and becoming the Attorney General of NY while Jason, who has left home, sends his mother the photo he found in Avery’s wallet. He buys an old Honda from a man, with the intention of heading west. Really gripping film with a story line that will entertain and grab your attention, even though the film is lower budget, less mainstream movie. I thought everyone did a good job in the movie. 8.5 outta 10!

Sherlock : The Empty Hearse

It’s finally back. Sherlock returned on January 1st, 2014 for it’s 3rd season of 90 minute episodes with The Empty Hearse. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman return in their respective roles as Holmes & Watson with Mark Gatiss as Mycroft Holmes. Gatiss also wrote the episode, inspired by “The Adventure of the Empty House” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the episode follows Sherlock Holmes’ return to London and reunion with John Watson, along with an underground terrorist network. Amanda Abbington guest stars as Mary Morstan, John’s fiance and assistant at his practice.

It is now two years after Holmes faked his death in the incidents of The Reichenbach Fall, in order to protect the people he loves. The opening scene shows a version of how Sherlock might have faked his death: by jumping from the roof with a bungee cable, bouncing back and entering the building through a window, where Molly stood waiting for him. While Sherlock absconded, members of his homeless network put a mask on Moriarty’s face so that he would look like Sherlock, and then dragged the body onto the street to the spot where Sherlock would have landed and sprayed him with fake blood. All while this happened, John was lying on the ground, his vision obscured, having just been hit by a cyclist, who was in on the plan.  Derren Brown then appears and hypnotises John to give the others extra time to plant the body; this however is shown to be a conspiracy theory of Anderson. Holmes is caught by soldiers in an eastern European country and is sneaked out by his brother Mycroft, who is one of a handful of people (including their parents & Molly) who know that Sherlock is still alive. Mycroft tells his brother that he is to return to London in lieu of a threat of terrorist attack.

Sherlock must now go and meet John, who is at a restaurant planning to propose to his girlfriend Mary, when Holmes disguises himself as a waiter with a thick French accent and visits John’s table a couple of times before he notices who he is. Sherlock reveals his fraudulent death who fuelled by anger, hits him more than a few times while the former tries to explain (in one of the funniest scenes ever). As Watson will not join him, Sherlock enlists Molly to assist him in the case of an underground skeleton behind a desk containing a manuscript: “How I did it” by Jack the Ripper, revealed to be a fake planted by Anderson (now a conspiracy theorist, driven by guilt over his role in Sherlock’s defamation) to lure Sherlock out of hiding. At the end of his work day, John decides to go and see Sherlock but is drugged and kidnapped by unknown assailants. Mary receives a text telling her covertly that John has been kidnapped by unknown assailants and will die if he isn’t rescued in time, along with a location. Sherlock and Mary come to his rescue on a motorcycle, and manage to drag him out of a pyre on which a Guy was about to be burned. Sherlock & John then join forces, after Watson has recovered and briefly met Sherlock’s parents, to investigate the terrorist plot. They discover that a key figure in the plot is a politician named Moran, who with his organisation plots to blow up the Houses of Parliament during an all night sitting on the Fifth of November (Bonfire Night), to vote on an anti-terrorism bill.

Near a never-used Underground station, they manage to find an Underground carriage that was earlier seen disappearing with Moran on it, and find that it is rigged with explosives. Sherlock manages to defuse the bomb by turning the off-switch, but not before making John believe the bomb can’t be defused, causing him to panic and reveal to Sherlock how much he has missed him, to his later embarrassment :) In between Sherlock is seen visiting Anderson and revealing to him how he faked his death as part of a plan to round up Moriarty’s network. Sherlock tells Anderson that he and Mycroft had anticipated thirteen possible scenarios that could happen on the roof. Each possibility had a code name and a plan of action attached to it. Sherlock however, had not anticipated that Moriarty would kill himself. Sherlock then uses the code name “Lazarus” to let his brother know that his death would have to be faked. His homeless network shuts down the entire street and gets to work. John, who had no idea about this is in the cab headed towards the hospital. When John came, Sherlock made sure he stood at the right spot so that his view of the lower half of the building was blocked. The homeless network and Mycroft’s people set a large inflated cushion which allowed Sherlock to fall on safely. The people rushed to pull the cushion away and Sherlock ran to hide. Then, Molly who was near a window threw a body double on the ground.

John, who had rushed to the scene, only saw a glimpse of the body before he was intentionally knocked down by a cyclist which stalled him and allowed Sherlock to take the place of the body double and put a squash ball under his armpit to momentarily stop his pulse. The people that surrounded him then poured blood around and on him to further make the illusion, thus allowing Sherlock to fake his suicide. Anderson is unimpressed by the tale and becomes increasingly agitated when Sherlock leaves when he looks away for a few seconds, suggesting that Sherlock wanted to drive Anderson further into guilt and self-doubt by making him think the conversation never took place. Anderson questions whether that is actually how Sherlock could have done it. John asks Sherlock who abducted him and why, questions to which Sherlock has no answers yet. In the ending scene, a silhouetted figure with blue eyes wearing glasses is observed watching footage of Sherlock and Mary rescuing John from the fire.

Music Tapes & Walkmans

Remember the simple old days? One of the things that easily sets off a nostalgic blast in my mind is the sigh of a set of audio cassette tapes. I used to have a large collection of audio tapes, mostly by rock music artists. I think at one point my collection was over a 1000. I had a large cupboard that I had converted from a kitchen cupboard to my cassette storage & display shelf. When back in 1991 or so, my parents redid the kitchen, they were having built-in cupboards done so I took this large cupboard and got the carpenters to make some extra shelves, each just a little taller than you average cassette and hence had enough space to display about 500 plus tapes. And I did it in alphabetic order. Everyone loved my display.

Later on as I ran out of space, I took over my sister’s old room (after she got married and moved out) and took up two of the 3 built in cupboards and stored the rest of my cassette tape collection in there. I also had blank tapes on which I’d get a lot of music recorded as well (TDK, Sony, Thompson released the blank tapes). In 2006 I sold all of it just before we moved from my old house to this apartment.

Oh and remember the Walkman? I’ve had so many walkmans in my life, I used to break or lose them and have to go and get new ones. I never went on any long trips without a walkman with me, it was so essential. And during my 19th year when I lived in Bangalore in a hostel, my walkman was my best friend and companion and I listened to it for hours on end. So many late night bus rides and train journeys that went by much faster because of the music I could listen to on my walkman. Man I loved those handy devices. Nowadays I can store my entire collection on an mp3 player less than a quarter of the size of the walkman but I remember the old days with some fondness. Kids these days and the further generations will never know these things that gave us so much joy in our younger days.

Arsenal 2 Cardiff City 0

The New Year started sluggish for the Gunners who seemed to miss their attacking trio of Mezut Ozil, Olivier Giroud & Aaron Ramsey pretty badly. The trio who are all out injured have contributed to most of the attacking force this season and their absence was felt both on & off the pitch. Cardiff were playing their last match with interim / caretaker manager David Kerslake as the expectation is that former Manchester United striker & Norwegian international Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is set to take over as manager. The 40 year old, sitting alongside Bluebirds’ owner Vincent Tan in the Emirates Stadium directors’ box after holding talks to take over as manager, would be pleased with the consistency, organization and solid performance by the Cardiff players as they thwarted all of Arsenal’s efforts for 88 minutes of the match.

For a long time it looked as though Arsene Wenger’s men, who started the day top before briefly being displaced when Manchester City won the early kick-off game, would be left frustrated as they enjoyed plenty of the ball without being able to break Cardiff down. The hosts were restricted to half chances for the majority of the first half, with Theo Walcott side-footing the best chance over the bar. Arsenal have not been prolific at home so far this season, going into the match with only 16 league goals from nine matches. And the Gunners’ lack of striking options will inevitably lead to more questions being directed at Wenger about potential targets this transfer window, with the first half display doing little to convince they have a suitable replacement for Giroud, out with an ankle injury.

Per Mertesacker then headed wide twice when unmarked before the deadlock was broken as Nicklas Bendtner was quickest to react when David Marshall saved Bacary Sagna’s header, the Dane firing home with just two minutes remaining before immediately going off injured. The victory was sealed as Walcott calmly chipped over Marshall after latching on to Wilshere’s flicked through ball. Arsenal went back on top of the league with 45 points from 20 games. It remains to be seen if Wenger will make a move for a top class striker, which we need, during the transfer window this month.

Parental Guidance

I haven’t seen a Bette Midler movie in ages. Same goes for Billy Crystal. Put them both together with Marisa Tomei (who I absolutely love) and I just gotta see it. Parental Guidance was released on December 25th, 2012. Directed by Andy Fickman, the movie stars Crystal & Midler with Tomei as their daughter  and Tom Everett Scott as her husband.

Artie Decker is a long time baseball announcer who gets fired from his job with the Fresno Grizzlies baseball team because he is not up on new technology and doesn’t know how to use it. Artie is disappointed because he loved the job as he loves the sport and despite the fact that his dream was to one day announce for the Giants. He tells his loving & devoted wife Diane about it. This is when their high strung daughter Alice Simmons and her successful husband, Phil, want to go on a business-related vacation for a few days but can’t find anyone to take care of their kids – 12 year-old Harper, 9 year-old Turner, and 5 year-old Barker. Alice is convinced by Phil and reluctantly asks her father Artie and mother Diane for their help. Not having spent much time with the kids, Diane forces Artie to pack their bags and go stay in Atlanta for a few days and bond with their grandkids. The house & cars are fully automated with the a new interactie AI system that Phil, who is up for an award, has created himself.

Artie tells the kids to call him Artie and never “Grandpa”. He is quickly nicknamed Fartie by Barker, who is defiant and cheeky.  Artie is initially uncomfortable as the kids are treated differently by his daughter & her husband and Artie & Diane are old fashioned. The rest of the movie is the two of them having to adjust to being a hands-on grandparents for the first time. Harper, is very tense due to her preparation for an upcoming violin audition. She is invited to a party by a boy she likes and all her friends are going but she has to practice, as the winner of the audition gets a scholarship. Turner, due to his constant stuttering, is having trouble in school with a bully. So his grandfather encourages him to stand up for himself. Turner thinks he means getting into a fight, which results in Turner getting a black eye. Artie meanwhile does not like the speech therapist’s style and mocks her methods. He also is being distracted by the possibility of finding a new job with ESPN, the network that employs his daughter, and manages to get himself an on the job interview at the latest X-Games. Artie makes a spectacle of himself at a skateboard competition as he took Barker along (instead of dropping the kid at a daycare) and during the games, the little boy decides to pee on the ramp causing a skater to crash. Someone tapes the video of the incident which goes on Youtube.

However the good natured couple manages to bond with the kids slowly; when Diane takes Parker for shopping for an outfit for the party and Artie shares his favourite baseball moment with a recorded announcer’s long session. The 5 of them also play in the rain and are laughing and giggling. However Alice & Phil see the video of Artie & Barker at the skating ramp and rush back home and Alice forbids her daughter from going to the party, which upsets Parker. Father & daughter talk a bit and things get better when at the audition Alice tells Parker that she doesn’t have to play if she doesn’t want to, knowing that her daughter is being pressured to do so and they mend their differences. As the family is about to leave the hall, Turner gets on stage and does a passionate, word for word recital of Artie’s favourite baseball moment – without a single stutter. Yes there are some really cheesy family moments which will bring tears to ….nobody by the cheese loving few! Artie gets a job with a pee wee baseball league, which he had earlier caused a scene at for not keeping score and not having winning / losing teams. Alice gets close to her parents again and the kids have a wonderful bond with their grandparents.

Funniest thing about the movie is 5 year old Barker’s imaginary friend Carl the Kangaroo and the death of the kangaroo when a friendly Chinese restaurant owner “hits” the imaginary friend with his car. The family have a funeral for Carl as well, where the only one crying is the Chinese restaurant owner, who “loved” Carl! Funny with some really hilarious stuff here and there and yeah cheesy as hell but how can you not like Billy Crystal & Bette Midler together. I like this movie, fuck the negative reviews from the critics. 7.5 outta 10 from me!

ROSHAN’S ELEVEN: First 11 Songs Listened To In 2014

  • Odds Are – Barenaked Ladies
  • Have A Nice day – Bon Jovi
  • Sleepy House – Blind Melon
  • Who Do You Think You Are – Dala
  • In The Days Of The Caveman – Crash Test Dummies
  • See You When You’re 40 – Dido
  • Gallows Pole – Led Zeppelin
  • Nine Million Bicycles – Katie Melua
  • Paradise – Tesla
  • The Truck Got Stuck – Corb Lund
  • Alone In The Universe – David Usher

Happy 7th Blogaversary To Me

Happy 7th birthday to my blog Awake & Dreaming & a happy 7th Blogaversary to me!

It’s been exactly 7 years to the exact date since I started this blog, all the way back in 2007. I had setup this blog in a day with the help of my cousin (over the phone), who guided me through the process and by night I had the thing setup. Then I installed WordPress and started blogging.

This isn’t my first blog; I first started blogging in 2002, through blogger.com,  when I lived in Calicut and continued with it when I moved back to Cochin. I was an inconsistent blogger, nothing having an internet connection at home & from 2003 till 2006, not having a computer at home. By 2005 I started getting more & more into blogging and I created a new one in blogger.com and called it Awake & Dreaming. I started spending more time in internet cafes and hence could blog a lot more consistently. But I always wanted my very own website & domain and I wanted to install wordpress.

Since then this blog has become more than just a website & blog to me. It’s the place where my feelings, thoughts, cares, hurts, wonders, loves, likes, sadness, anger & joy are recorded. Ofcourse there are still things I keep to myself as they are very personal but for the most part, this blog is an extension of who I am. You get to know me through my posts on various things. I hope I can keep on blogging for many more years but I am not sure if I will be continuing with this for long. We shall see.

Thank you for visiting Awake & Dreaming and for reading through these 7 years!

Seven deadly sins, Seven ways to win, Seven holy paths to hell, And your trip begins

Seven downward slopes, Seven bloodied hopes, Seven are your burning fires, Seven your desires…