By Roy Mathur, on 2020-10-18, at 23:04:06--23:58:12 BST, for Captain Roy's Rocket Radio Show, Listen
Sorry if I have sounded croaky and irritated lately. I try (though not very hard) not to let things influence the show, but it is unavoidable. Other than the obvious pandemic related stuff, I have been very stressed lately. As well as the mental strain, this stress is physically manifesting itself by making my Tourette syndrome symptoms far more severe.
And no, I haven't seen Bill and Ted Face the Music yet! I do want to see it, but it's not a priority the moment.
Unbelievably, given my legendary ADHD, I actually sat down, watched quite a few panels of the virtual convention, and found them to be quite pleasant.
Included amongst the panels I watched, was the first with Raised by Wolves Abubakar Salim, who plays Father. He seemed too young to have played someone so mature, but that's good acting.
I also watched Adam Savage's presentation about his cosplay Alien spacesuit. He said the Alien spacesuit gloves were ice hockey gloves, not apparently cricket gloves as I originally thought. The suit was designed by Metal Hurlant's Jean Giraud (Moebius).
Andrea Riseborough is an assassin who, through brain implant technology, possesses the body of a patsy in order to kill on behalf of her murder-for-hire company. The tension comes from Riseborough's character starting to breakdown from the strain of being two people at the same time.
It is very violent, very bloody, and not for the squeamish, but not nearly as good as the films of his father clearly referenced, like the divine Scanners (1981).
This is a very, very David Cronenbergesque 2020 film from the son, Brandon. So much so, that it seems an homage to his father, rather than something made with his own distinctive voice, such as Antiviral (2012). This begs the obvious, and admittedly trollish, question. Has the elder Cronenberg possessed the younger?
So, overall, it's very Cronenberg this, Cronenberg that, but the shock ending is very Ben Wheatley's Kill List. I'm not saying it's plagiaristic or derivative, but it doesn't feel like a very original film to me. There were just too many reminders of better movies.
And on to the positives. It is so Cronenbergian, that it even stars Existenz's Jennifer Jason Leigh. I'm not complaining though, as I love her geeky weirdness. Andrea Riseborugh is fantastic, but then she always is. Credit should also be given to the possessed Christopher Abbott, who has the difficult acting task of being two people at the same time.
I bet Riseborough kept the mask.
The 2020 film by Brannon Braga (Star Trek: TNG/Voyager).
Much better production value than the cheap and nasty 2009 film and closer in content to the original run of short stories. (Or so I've heard... it's been a long time since I owned the books). But the one thing the more visceral 2009 film does better is it more faithfully echoes Clive Barker's tone.
There are other postponements, but these are the new release dates for the cream of the big geek films.
Black Widow (May 7, 2021), Eternals (November 5, 2021). Source: Variety.
A Quiet Place Part II (April 23 2021), The Batman (March 4 2022), Black Adam (no date), Candyman (2021), Cruella (May 28 2021), Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (March 25 2022), Dungeons and Dragons (May 27 2022), Dune (October 1 2021), The Flash (November 4 2022), The Forever Purge (June 9 2021), Ghostbusters: Afterlife (March 5 2021), Godzilla vs. Kong (March 5 2021), Halloween Ends (October 15 2021), Halloween Kills (October 14 2022), Jungle Cruise (July 30 2021), Jurassic World: Dominion (June 10 2022), The Matrix 4 (December 22 2021), Minecraft (no date), Minions: Rise of Gru (June 2 2021), Mission: Impossible 7 (November 19 2021), Mission: Impossible 8 (November 4 2022), Morbius (March 19 2021), No Time to Die (April 2 2021), Shang Chi and the Legend of the ten Rings (July 9 2021), Shazam! 2 (June 2 2023), Soul (December 25 Disney+), Star Wars (December 22 2023), Thor: Love and Thunder (February 11 2022), Tom and Jerry (March 5 2021), Top Gun: Maverick (July 2 2021), Uncharted (June 16 2021), Spider-Man: Inter the Spider-Verse sequel (October 7 2022), Venom: Let There Be Carnage (June 25 2021), The Witches (on demand, no date), Wonder Woman 1984 (December 25 2020). Source: Vulture.
This is my over-ambitious Halloween video playlist: Michael Jackson's Thriller, Scream 1, Scream 2, Scream 3, Scream 4, and Alien.
I'm sure I will conk out before getting through it.
NYCC's YouTube channel featured a panel about the final in Time Lord Victorious multiplatform story. It is a weekly five episode free animation on the Doctor Who channel on YouTube starting in November.
The Time Lord Victorious also consists of books and audio available from doctorwho.tv
I watched the first ten minutes of Marvel's Helstrom on Hulu also via NYCC's YouTube channel.
The show about the Satanic sibling antiheroes looks promising and, oh my gods... Ana/Santana Helstrom. I do like the bad girls. This is Thor's Hela all over again.
I caught up with the finale of season 10, the penultimate (thank the gods), season of the show.
There were no huge surprises. Eugeneís quest, however, begs the question of is the show biting off more than it can chew, with the introduction of new story elements so near the end. Season 11 starts in 2023.
Invincible is another show, this one animated, from TWD's Robert Kirkman based on the titular comic book.
I'm intrigued, as I have read some of the franchise, and wonder how it will fare against The Boys. That is already too much of a spoiler.
Invincible comes to Amazon Prime Video in 2021.
The season one finale was a mix of horrific, biblical, and slightly predictable, and didn't come to any kind of satisfying conclusion.
The acting from the main cast, particularly Mother and Father, was great, but I'm not sure that is enough to make me want to invest in this long-term.
Stalemate and a twist. That was how season two ended.
I still think Karl Urban's accent stinks, but it's a more likeable show than the comic, and the Nazi kicking was enjoyable.
The university has some really interesting lightweight podcasts for genre fans.
I'm currently subscribed to the one simply entitled Fantasy Literature. So far, I have listened to a gentle introduction to H.P. Lovecraft.
The PS5 will be released in November. It features 4k, but no backward compatibility, and games available at launch include: Marvelís Spider-Man: Miles Morales (Insomniac Games), Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition (Capcom), Assassinís Creed Valhalla (Ubisoft), Fortnite (Epic Games), Dirt 5 (Codemasters), Fifa 21 (Electronic Arts), Marvelís Avengers (Square Enix). Source: The Guardian.
Launched on November 10, X and S XBox One backward compatibility, X XBox 360 and some original XBox compatibility too, with games including: Gears 5 (Series X upgrade), Assassinís Creed Valhalla (Ubisoft), Destiny 2: Beyond Light (Bungie), Marvelís Avengers (Square Enix), Watch Dogs Legion (Ubisoft), Devil May Cry 5: Special edition (Capcom), Dirt 5 (Codemasters), Fifa 21 (Electronic Arts), Fortnite (Epic Games). Source: The Guardian.
In 337, I said I'd given up trying to improve audio. Ironically, while editing both it and 336, I discovered a few new ways to obtain better sound quality.
In Audacity, I now apply noise reduction, on the mice and preamp noise floor only. I also use the Limiter Plug-in's Soft Limiter to reduce peaks to -6 Db. Then I use Amplify to boost the volume to 0 Db. This is better than using compression if you work in a noisy, untreated environment, and also maintains dynamic range. The annoying thing about this technique is that I used a dumbed down version of this years ago by using overly aggressive noise reduction in Audacity and then running the resultant audio through The Levellator, a combined compressor and normaliser. While my results were louder, they did not sound even slightly clean and I loss dynamic range.
I still manually remove clicks, and remove or reduce some breathing and gaps, but not all, as humans who don't breath or pause sound weird. I might try to automate some of this, but there's always a danger I end up again over-processing the signal, which can lead to distortion.
It was all a bit of a learning curve, but it was worth it and the podcast should definitely sound better because of the extra work I've been doing. Turns out you can teach an old sea/star dog new tricks.
By the way, any foray into audio or video tech you hear in this pod should be taken as listening to someone who is an amateur in the field. Before starting podcasting, I knew very little apart from having some basic Audacity skills. Please do not base your decisions on what I say without doing your own research. I'd even go further and say, if you use Audacity, stick with the default settings unless you are very sure of what you are doing.
On the other hand, I do know about stills photography, particularly old school film photography, so if that is something that you would like to hear more of on the show, then please let me know.
I picked PIA to try, despite their hiring of allegedly crooked ex-CEO of bitcoin exchange Mt. Gov, Mark Karpeles as their CTO because of the price, overall favourable reviews, and their proven history of not keeping logs.
When I tried to install the 32 bit Windows version of the desktop software on my Windows 7 machine, I found out PIA no longer support any Windows OS below version 8.
For the time being, my quest for a VPN continues.
bug.n is a tiling window manager for MS Windows in the tradition of non-mouse interfaces like Rat Poison or awesome on Linux. Unfortunately, AutoHotKey, a Windows macro language, is a prerequisite. I donít like such a platform specific language, so I didn't bother going any further with it.
WindowGrid is a similar program. It installed flawlessly, then didn't do a damn this, so I gave up. I realise what a terrible non-review this is and I apologise, but I'm not getting any younger and my time is at a premium. If you are more persistent than I am and have anything to say about these programs, please get in touch.
When/if I finally move to Linux, I will off course try awesome, which is mostly written in Lua, and maybe even try GoboLinux, which uses awesome as it's main interface.
We know that wearing a mask not only protects other people and sets a good example for others to follow.
However, an article by Nina Bai of University of California San Francisco states that wearing a mask may actually protect you by limiting the severity of Covid-19, should you succumb.
Citing a paper by Monica Gandhi in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the idea is that if the initial viral load of infection is low, your body will have time to develop a steady response, rather than sending itself into overdrive leading to a severe reaction.
I haven't got on with my favourite podcast manager, AntennaPod, for quite some time. First, the little UI inconsistencies (why is it important to charge sort order wording from "Ascending to Descending" to "Old to New"? You had it right the first time! Then there's the recent big bloated makeover of version 2.0.1.
I've downgraded back to 1.6.5 and couldn't be happier.
There are four new phones in the iPhone range: The 12 Mini, 12, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max, have great screens, but aesthetics bedamned, here we are again with the awkward, sticky out camera that seemingly just won't die.
Sorry, I can't do this. It's just not that interesting. They're undeniably good devices, but there are other good non-Apple phones too. Pay me to do an Apple pod and I'll consider covering a company that is as boring as it's competitors.
Microsoft's Excel spreadsheet row limit led to approximately 50,000 people, who were in close contact with someone with coronavirus, not being informed that they should have been in quarantine. Source: The Guardian
As well as doing a few other things, the core of the app:
...includes a notification feature which will alert you if youíve been near another app user who tests positive for coronavirus, if your local area (postcode district) has a changed risk status, or if you have visited a venue, which later reports an outbreak whilst you were there. If you test positive, the app will ask you to allow those youíve been in contact with to be alerted. It uses technology developed by Apple and Google called 'exposure notification' and 'exposure logging' to do this. The people notified will not know who you are." Source: Gov.UK
I am returning to YouTube! The vod will be different from the pod, i.e. shorter, but I'll be able to show you stuff. Stuff like me fixing (or breaking things).
I have a soldering kit ready and some devices I want to fix. I've even bought ingredients for making a vegan flux (long story), but I haven't tested the cheap soldering iron I bought from... Amazon. Exactly.
As well as soldering, I'll be able to demo other tech stuff you might be interested. All these video projects are on hiatus at the moment. I am saving them for when home life is more stable and I have my YouTube gear set up.
Do you want a newsletter consisting of the notes for the geek pod only? (I.e. not the revisit pod, which would only be of interested to a limited audience). If so, please contact me with your email details. I'll create a mailing list if enough people are interested.
Though, given the lack of enthusiasm for chat, I can guess the answer, but on the off chance...
I found out that a cousin died some months ago. Cousin Raj was a good friend.
While in Mauritius, on my twenty-first birthday, Raj, another cousin, Kumar, and me got stupidly drunk on Phoenix Beer and Power's No. 1 Rum. Continuing to booze, we climbed on the roof of my aunty's house, whereupon Raj, a jeweller, at my request, pieced my ears. To this day one of the holes is crooked as the needle took two attempts by a very drunk jeweller to find it's target.
He and his wife were generous friends (my condolences to her), and Raj was damn good kickboxer in his day.
Cousin Raj, I salute you.
This is the last call to some old friends I've been trying to find for years.
If either Rashid Mohammed, who I knew at the University of Westminster in the 90s, or Dean Drake from primary school in Bellingham in the 70s hears this, please get in touch.