Sunday, 21 February 2016

Virgin Unity, Is it nothing but a way for 6 rich people to go to space?


So Virgin's new space craft Unity has been unveiled, its Sir Richard Branson's new version of his Virgin Galactic Spaceship. It will be used to carry six passengers and is designed to travel more than 60 miles (100km) above Earth. Yes I know that effectively this is just going to mean that 6 people get to go very limitedly into space, 6 people who are not NASA astronauts, and most likely they will just be extremely rich people paying for the bragging rights but this is a start.

This seems to be how things go though, first there will be a form of technology and it will be only for the military, then some private business well get hold of it and will market it at a premium price which only the richest of people can afford, but then eventually when all the cream has been scrapped off which can be got at this price point the price will become lower to attract new customers as new ways will be found of lowering costs. Maybe one of the Unity's successors will have 200 seats instead of 6 but have a more efficient propulsion system which will see the cost of its launch stay the same enabling the price of tickets to be vastly dropped to a more affordable level. 

I dont think 6 rich people getting to go to space is particularly exciting for most of us, but you have to stop and look at the bigger picture, this might be a news story in and of itself which is not that interesting to you personally but what cant be denied is that it is a step towards lots of other things which potentially could be very exciting. Are we about to go in to the world of Star Trek and map out the cosmos? No. Are we all about to go live on the Moon in Moon base one? No. Stop and think about it though, think about the things we could do if technology keeps expanding like this. Sure the money spent on this kind of stuff could probably feed half of the starving masses but then again it could also be paying for more nukes so on balance its not like its being used too badly. Call me crazy but I am already thinking about rising water levels and how they have said certain planets couldn't sustain life because there is no water, we are likely to be flooded in the future and cant go to other places because there is no water to sustain life. What if instead of transporting people we transported water? Litterally take it out of the ocean, remove the salt from it and take it in to space, take it to a body in space which is dry and drop it in the nearest hole or trench, create your own lake or river. This might sound like a complete and utter fantasy and maybe it is but lets take a step back a moment and remember that a lot of things we take for granted now once seemed like crazy science fiction based fantasy.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

A quick review of The Amazing Spider-Man Coming Home

OK so here is a graphic novel review, I am not sure if this is the first time I have reviewed something of a comic book nature maybe it is maybe it is not but bear with me. Spider-Man coming home has been called the story that saved Spider-Man by people from time to time. So I came in to this graphic novel expecting big things. Now its important to mention that this graphic novel is currently selling for £1.99 as the introductory book in a set of marvel graphical novels, so if you can get it for this price now then run out and grab it ASAP.

Now I will just quickly say that I really enjoyed Coming Home, but I need to say more about it than that, so I guess this is a slight spoiler warning, I am not going to say how it ends but I am going to talk about plot details about how it starts and things that happen within it. Basically it starts with a Peter Parker who has been left by his wife and is feeling the effects of it, he is kind of lost and he ends up looking at the high school he used to attend as a kid, he see's that it has got even rougher and that life is even harder for the students who go there than it was in his day. The whole of the book seems to be about a lost Parker trying to put his mind and his life back together,  if you have ever found yourself lost at a crossroad in life wondering who you are, what you want, and you need then you will be able to relate with this book. Reading it feels like slipping back in to your favourite pair of worn shoes, if like me you could understand and relate to the early Spider-man comics with the teenage Spider-man and you have now grown up and have experienced a life crisis which has made you stop dead in your tracks and re-evaluate your life  then you will love this. There is a character in it who plays a sort of mentor role who takes basic Spider-man knowledge ,things we and Parker have always assumed to be true and just throws everything up in the air.

The book deals with subjects like bullying and pain in a surprisingly intelligent way. I happen to have a soft spot for any form of media which can talk about how tough school is and bullying with a level head and with something to say on the subject. Maybe this is because of the fact that I know what it was like to be picked on as a youngster, but I have also spent a lot of time working for a charity helping bullied children. Peter Parker has always been there for those of us who felt like outsiders, those who were bullied and pushed to far, but he always came with a message, he had the power but he never used it for vengeance, I think Coming Home has its own message and it would be that no mater what changes and who or what a person looses there is always a way to move forward a way and a reason to carry on.

I would give Coming Home an 8 out of 10. I would recommend it at full price but at £1.99 all I can say is grab it, grab it now, in fact grab 2 one for you and one for a friend so you can immediately read it and then discuss it. I have to admit though that I probably wont be buying any more of the graphic novels in this series for the simple reason that once they go up to there regular price of £9.99 I would rather just pay what I have to pay and buy the graphic novels I personally want to read instead of what is the current book in this set.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

What has gone wrong with this blog

Now I know I haven't posted as much these past few months, if truth be told my life has had some ups and downs, I have also seemed to have a lot less time to game, a lot less time to watch horror movies and somehow a lot less time in general. When I have had time to spare I have spent most of it just relaxing doing very little, my writing output in general blog and none blog has been very low. Some of it is the fact that before you can talk about something you need to decide what you are going to talk about. So I guess really this is a discussion about how you decide what to write about when you own a blog. Or you could argue its a Post Mortem on why this blog seems to have died on its arse full of excuses why I haven't managed to do what I said I would do in my things I am going to do with my blog this year post.

Some people will have game blogs which are focused very tightly on one certain thing sometimes even a sub area of something so they will for example have a gaming blog which focuses purely on Sega games. I know there was a lot of content on here about the Super Nintendo but the more I wrote the more I found it to become a chore rather than a pleasure, reviewing 150 SNES games is fun when your talking about Super Mario World and Zelda but then when your talking about random football game number 4 its not so much fun. I have continuously promised to finish the 150 SNES review challenge I set myself and I cant even remember what number I am on now, I know I am just over 100. I know that I did say '' I am determined that by the time I sit down to write next years ''My Plans for my blog this year'' post I will have finished these reviews.'' I hope this is still true but I fully admit that given the fact that I haven't made any steps towards this so far this year its not looking very good so far. I did buy Super Empire Strikes Back so I have one thing I am actually enthusiastic to review. If I could go back and change my first few posts on this whole idea I would have said I will review 150 classic games or 16bit games, so I could vary things a little bit, this is advice I would give to anyone, if you are going to say that your going to do something think about how much your words will push you into a corner, stop and think about what your promising.

I had big plans for this year plans which so far have not gotten anywhere in fact most of them have already fallen through due to things out of my control, I had organised various people who were going to provide posts for this blog or enter into discussions but unfortunately this is not going to happen for all kinds of reasons.

I announced that I had finish a novella which needed to be taken from the draft form and polished and edited and I talked about all the work I would need to do on this in order to bring it up to a releasable standard, so have I been doing this? No I haven't even touched it. Most of my writing is done with particular people in mind, its tailored to them to try and either entertain them or to tell them something, this work was started for an X partner and so I haven't touched it as well it seems like a part of the past. I am sure if it was released it would entertain some people but I have no desire to dig through the past, I dont think I will ever release it as it is. Maybe I will leave it by the sidelines and either give it a huge overhaul sometime or even just cut selected pieces out of it for use in other projects. As I mentioned before I have been writing novels, novellas and short stories for about 3 years now and I am feeling kind of burned out, I have wrote a six thousand word short story since but I dont know either this story writing needs to be put to the side for awhile or I need something else to reinvigorate me, some idea or some flash of inspiration. This was never mentioned as I am not one to dwell on  the past or write long posts about problems and issues in my life after all this is a blog about entertainment media not a EastEnders blog, I think people come here for fun not for drama.

I also intended to review the rest of the episodes of Ash Versus Evil Dead, which I am not saying I wont do, but I certainly lost track of this, I have watched and enjoyed all of them but this was a case where I planned to review them on an episode by episode basis more or less as soon as they came out but have instead found myself reviewing them latter and latter, maybe I will just do one big post tackling all the remaining episodes I havent touched on yet.

I also said I would look at more years of the WWE hall of fame and yes I still intend to do this, I also in particular want to look at people who are not in the hall of fame who I really really feel need to be in there in order for the hall to not loose credibility, already I could name people in there who should not have gotten in so quickly compared to people who have not been given the honour yet who deserve to have been put in a long time ago.

Sometimes I just sit there and cant work out what I want to write, I will have 4 or 5 ideas and they will run through my mind with me trying to pick which one to follow, now I could write them all down with a number next to them and then roll a dice and do whatever the dice dictates which you would think would work but yeah not always.Either once it lands on something you decide that the answer is in fact the one you wanted to do the least, or you sit there and the ideas just wont flow I currently have like 4 posts in draft status all because I half wrote them and then ran in to some kind of wall unsure what else to put or how to finish them, they may become actual posts in the future or they might end up just being deleted.

So going forward for a start I need to set aside one night a week when I without fail make a blog post, and not a post like this where I moan about not having provided any real content for this place but an actual review or comment on some game or film as at the moment opinion pieces seem to be all I am providing, I think this is a post were a lot of what I am saying will seem like just waffle but it will make a lot more sense to people who are themselves blog writers. Its times like this I wish the website I had been employed to write for had actually gotten off the ground as I would have had a boss who would tell me when something needed to be in for and what I would have to write. Still I am waffling here so I will stop.....

Friday, 12 February 2016

The problem with the new law on none physical Domestic abuse in the UK.

The news has broken that according to research done by Women's aid almost a third of women aged between 16 and 24 say they've been in a controlling relationship. The study also seems to suggest that many women don't realise they're in a coercive relationship until they break up.

On its own I would say that this little nugget of information is interesting even if certain aspects of the research, who did it why it was done etcetera could perhaps be called in to question when you partner it with the fact that a new law was introduced to the books in the UK in December a law which basically states that none physical domestic abuse is now a crime, that for example partners who control victims via social media or spy on them online could face up to five years in prison this is when you have something which really needs talking about.

First of all I think it important to admit a harsh truth here, I am a male survivor of domestic abuse. The government says coercive behaviour can take any number of forms, including: the following (and more). Isolating a person from their friends and family, monitoring their time, monitoring a person via online communication tools or using spyware, taking control over aspects of their everyday life, such as where they can go, and who they can see, repeatedly putting them down such as telling them they are worthless, financial abuse including control of finances, criminal damage (such as destroying household goods). I have chosen these particular ones as they are all things I have personally experienced. Something else I experienced though was the wrath of the abuser after I had escaped them.

People always say ''I dont know why (s)he stays in a relationship like that'' and it is easy to judge from the outside and it might seem like you can just get up and leave but the truth is things dont just end like that once you have gotten out you have to survive the aftermath. In my case my x partner spread lies about me, outed personal information, things I had shared in confidence and she actually managed to get people who had once befriended me and who said they would do anything for me to turn there backs on me, to ignore me and in some cases even actually spit in my face. Part of it was that she tried to claim that I had been emotionally abusive. In the end she assaulted me and the police charged her for it but beyond that the situation ended in a sort of stalemate situation with her outright lying and claiming to have had done to her all of the things she had done to me and more.

This law which can see people get done for none physical domestic abuse is a good thing in theory but in practice it is going to be a very hard law to uphold, after all conviction will require evidence and very few people enter in to a relationship with a open jotter ready to consider how they are treated at every turn and to write down instances where they have been wronged, it all runs the risk of becoming a situation where the one who can best play the role of injured party is the ultimate winner. I guess I will have to keep an eye on the news and see how this law and the cases it effects play out

I feel that I need to end this post on a positive and the positive is that not all relationships are horrible ones filled with dread and fear. It can be hard to get out of an abusive relationship but it can be done and once it is done you can get your life back on track.

Friday, 5 February 2016

This Months retro Video Game purchases: January 2016 (yep its a bit late)

OK so it is that time of the month again, the time when one month is pretty much over and a new one is about to begin, so its is once again time look at the retro purchases I have made in the past 30 odd days. Yes I am aware that I am late and that my posting has seriously slowed down as of the last month or so, this is hopefully a temporary thing as I actually really enjoy doing my blog posts.

I started on the first of January by buying Contact for the DS complete for £3, It might not be the hardest game to find but every time in the past that I had found it they either wanted a crazy amount for it or it was seriously beaten up, this was the first time I had seen it in good condition for a good price so I happily dived on it. On the 2nd I added to my DS collection again by buying Style Boutique complete for £3. I actually really intended to play this because I had heard that it was far better than anyone would expect but I still havent stopped and made time for it.

I managed to pick up a small bundle of bits from a local charity shop over the next two days. On the 4th I grabbed, Midnight club 3 dub edition for psp complete for £1, Crash Bandicoot: Wrath of Cortex for PS2 complete for £1, Ghost Squad for Wii complete for £1, Red steel for Wii complete for 50 pence and Tony Hawks Shred game no board for 50pence. Not fully sure why I grabbed the last one but it seemed like a good idea at the time. The following day I got an Official dual analogue PlayStation original pad for £1.50, a 3rd party PlayStation original memory card £1, and Pro Pinball Big Race Usa for ps1 complete for £1. I also received Mytran Wars for the PSP complete for £4 including postage that morning.
On the 6th of January I managed to buy a bunch of GameCube games from one place, some PSP games from another and then recieved a SNES cart I had orderd. I got Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon for the GameCube complete for £2, Monopoly Party for the GameCube complete for £2, Xmen2 Wolverines Revenge for the GameCube complete for £2, Legends of Wrestling for the GameCube disc and case for £1, Star Wars Lethal Alliance for the psp complete for £2.50, DarkStalkers Chronicle the Chaos Tower for psp complete for £2.50 and Super Empire Strikes Back for the SNES NTSC american cart only for £13. Empire Strikes back is probably my favourite purchase of the whole month mostly because I already own Super Star Wars and Super Return of the Jedi and this rounded the trilogy out (I also have the Indiana Jones Trilogy made by the same people). Getting it felt like taking care of a serious piece of unfinished business specially seeing as its a very important time for Star Wars right now with the first film in the new trilogy currently setting all kinds of box office records, I wish someone would pony up the money for a Super Force Awakens Super Star Wars style game but I guess that is another topic altogether.

On the 7th I got Me and My Katamari for PSP complete for £3 from a local indy shop, after this I seriously slowed down and didnt buy anything else till the 15th. On the 15th I receieved Gadget Racers GBA cart only for £3 including postage in the post and then got the following from a charity shop Chicken Little GameCube complete for £2, Lemony Snickets A series of Unfortunate Events GameCube complete for £2,Metal Arms Glitch in the system complete for Xbox for £1 and From Russia With Love complete for the psp for£1.

On the 20th I visted another charity shop and picked up both Terminator: Dawn Of Fate complete for PS2 for 50Pence and Crazy Taxi complete for PS2 for 50Pence. The following day on the way home from work I grabbed Harvest moon magical melody for the Wii complete for £4 from Granger games and the following morning a copy of MVP Baseball 2004 complete for gamecube which I had paid £2 for including postage arrived. My purchases for the month ended with me grabbing a few PSP games from a pawn store. I got Sega Megadrive collection complete for 99pence, Juiced 2 hot import nights complete for 99pence and Medal of Honor Heroes complete for 99pence.

Super Empire Strikes back is my favoyrate purchase of the month, in what I would call a decent month. I am sure the next month will be a quiet one as I know at least it is starting with less of an intention of buying myself things, Still who knows I could always stumble on to some crazy mother-load I cant resist.