Sunday, March 30, 2008

Trek Remastered -- "Elaan of Troyius"

The Enterprise transports Elaan, Dohlman of Elas, to an arranged marriage on Troyius in this week's episode, "Elaan of Troyius". It's a good story with some interesting conflicts that are unusual for the Original Series.

There's a short battle sequence with a Klingon warship -- the model's first appearance in the series -- which might be the highlight of any new digital effects.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Lights out for energy efficiency -- Earth Hour tonight

On Saturday, March 29, 2008, Earth Hour invites people around the world to turn off their lights for one hour – from 8:00pm to 9:00pm in their local time zone. On this day, cities around the world, including Copenhagen, Chicago, Melbourne, Dubai, and Tel Aviv, will hold events to acknowledge their commitment to energy conservation.

See the offical Earth Hour page and Google's Earth Hour page.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Trek Remastered -- "Is There in Truth No Beauty?"

This week's episode is "Is There in Truth No Beauty", a story involving an alien ambassdor from a species so physically different from humans, the sight of him causes insanity. It's one of the best Third Season shows and (although I didn't get it as a kid) a premise straight out of Lovecraft.

I'm not sure what to expect from the new CG effects. Certainly new galactic barrier shots, maybe a hint at what the Medusan ambassador really looks like?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Trek Remastered -- "That Which Survives"

"I am for Kirk!"

The episode of the week is "That Which Survives", where a beautiful computer projection defends a dead planet.

I'm not sure if there will be any surprises from CBS Digital in this one. Maybe a new planetscape establishing shot, or updated effects in the matter/antimatter access tunnel when Scotty crawls in there.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Trek Remastered -- "By Any Other Name"

This week's episode is the one where aliens from the Andromeda Galaxy take human form, hijack the Enterprise, and reduce most of the crew into dehydrated Styrofoam-like crystals. Lots of good character bits, especially Scotty drinking one of the aliens under the table.

The highlight has to be the new planet digital matte shown above. That's going to look amazing in HD!

Preview images and original shots here.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Gary Gygax, RIP

I found out this morning that Gary Gygax passed away.

Dungeons and Dragons tends to polarize gamers, particularly over the 3.x rules. Either way, it -- and its co-creator -- have had a tremendous influence on the RPG hobby we love. It's difficult to imagine what the hobby would be like without it. Sure, wargaming and miniatures would still exist, but what of this strange "role-playing" story-telling business? And the man started Gen Con -- in his basement.

Steve Jackson makes a good case for Gygax and Arneson's influence on popular culture.

It might not be as apparent as that, but think about all the people who chose careers in creative fields -- writing, illustration, acting, teaching -- because either D&D or another RPG that followed sparked the flames of their imagination. That's quite a legacy for anyone to leave.

I'm lucky that I have great memories of growing up, and many of those involve some aspect of gaming. For that, I've very grateful.

Someone said that we should memorialize people before they're gone so they have a chance to enjoy it. I agree. But for now, get some friends together and roll some dice.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Trek Remastered -- "The Apple"

This week's episode is "The Apple", where the crew finds a paradise planet controlled by a computer worshiped as a god.

Not a good episode to be a Red Shirt: all four security officers who beam down die in horrible ways.