The blog of a Sci-Fi Geek

Fri 20 July , 07

Open Source Collaborative Film-making

Filed under: Film, Internet — SFG @ 18:41

A new open source film project aims to create a full community of users who collaborate in the creation and execution of a short science-fiction film titled Jathia’s Wager, from writing and editing the script to choosing the cast.

Initially launched by Solomon Rothman Films, the project is currently in stage 1 of a 7 stage process. The initial script has been uploaded and released online and they’re calling for creative individuals to share in and shape every step in the journey to bring this film to life.

Jathia’s Wager is an open source collaborative filmmaking project where the community works together to write, produce and distribute a movie for free via the Internet.

For a full rundown of the project and how to get involved click here.


Tue 17 July , 07

10 Favourite Weapons from Science Fiction

Filed under: Uncategorized — SFG @ 21:46

Inspired by this post, I decided to compile a list of my top ten science fiction weapons.
If you have any other suggestions for inclusion in any future revision of my list please feel free to comment (actually, just comment anyway *smile*).

10 : Phasers
Phasers are common directed-energy weapons first seen in the original Star Trek and later seen or referenced in almost all subsequent films and TV spin-offs except for the phase cannons of Enterprise. Phaser is a backronym for PHASed Energy Rectification.

09 : The Lawgiver
It’s every big kid’s dream gun, a veritable Swiss army knife of projectile weapons and in the capable hands of Judge Dredd, an instrument of execution of his final sentence. The Lawgiver has a standard execution setting (normal bullets), as well as armour-piercing and incendiary rounds. It can also fire high explosive and ricochet shots at the mere flick of a switch. The best things about it of all, though, is that the Lawgiver has the owner’s palm print encoded into its computer memory, and any unauthorised attempt to use the weapon will result in it exploding in their hand.

08 : Minbari Fighting Pike
In its closed state, it is quite compact and easy to carry, but can open up to be a formidable weapon. The weapon is not dependent on an energy source.

07 : Zat nik’tel
One shot from a zat gun temporarily paralyses the victim, or disables electrical equipment. Two shots kills the victim. Three shots disintegrates the victim, or any inanimate object. Zat guns, like staff weapons, have to be opened up by pressing them before they can be fired, by squeezing the handle.

06 : Deckard’s Blaster
‘Nough said. (8+)

05 : Death Star
A satellite, moon-sized warship is a jolly big target that requires some serious back-up, and a big laser always does the job nicely. A super laser backed up by 10,000 turbo laser batteries, 700 tractor beam projectors and allegedly enough ships to occupy the galaxy. The skeleton crew alone was nearly 500,000, and did I mention that the Death Star could destroy entire planets, regardless of shielding, in a single shot?

04 : Tron Disc
The discs were thrown like Frisbees (in fact the cast were trained by a professional Frisbee team) and traveled in a way that implied they were remotely controlled by their user, the initial throwing doing little more than providing momentum and general direction. The discs would curve, turn, and gain altitude in a way that was clearly unnatural for a regular Frisbee. In fact, in Tron’s final confrontation with Sark, the discs could make multiple passes and strikes per throw.

03 : PPG
Fires a small charge of superheated gas. This gas retains both its shape and small volume via a residual magnetic field. Upon impact with an object, the magnetic field is dissipated and the heat discharged. PPG bolts cause significant visible distortion as they travel through air.

02 : Lightsaber
In an era that outdates the last practical use of a bladed weapon by several millennia, you’d’ve thought that even a melee weapon formed out of a loop of folded plasma energy would be obsolete on a futuristic battlefield. But just as the Katana is every bit as effective in the hands of a skilled Samurai today, the Lightsaber is lethal when wielded by a Jedi or Dark Knight. Projectiles are deflected effortlessly when combined with Jedi reflexes and the searing edge of the beam can slice through solid metal and armour plating.

01 : The Force
“It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together.”
Some think of the Force as a sentient entity that may be capable of intelligent activities, pervading and infusing the material universe as a sort of panentheistic god, while others consider it merely a resource that can be manipulated and used. A common compromise is that it is an “energy tool” but one which forms a fundamental part of the universe. Fundamental to its nature are certain practical aspects such as its ability to cause change within the physical realm. An analogy is a sword with no handle—it can only be used by gripping the blade and therefore any attempt to strike someone would result in similar harm to the hand of the striker—the sword itself has no sentience or morality, but nevertheless exacts a price on those who use it unethically.

Thu 12 July , 07

Tyre Pyre

Filed under: Personal — SFG @ 08:09

So the night of the 11th has passed, and all seems to have been fairly well behaved.
The main news story doing the rounds regarding the night of the fires seems to be concerning a 50ft tall bonfire located in the Ballycraigy area of Antrim (images posted below).
Most of the concerns seem to be centering around the environmental impact fires such as these have.

Now when I was a child growing up in England obviously we celebrated Bonfire Night, and it was always a bit of a competition between the local areas over who could make the biggest and best fire. I don’t think we ever included car tyres though.
It’s estimated that in this one fire alone there were 10,000 tyres.

As far as I’m concerned these types of organised bonfires are less about tradition and more about breaking the law. It’s not big and it’s not clever (okay, so maybe it is big).
Just think of all the toxic fumes the burning of those tyres produced … (8+(

50ftFireScaling the pyre

Above images are clickable

Fire! Fire!

Fri 6 July , 07

3 Years ago today …

Filed under: Personal — SFG @ 22:45

I got married. (8+)
Today I’m in work, so we’ll be doing the celebrating (going out for food and a film) tomorrow.

My anniversary present from Geekette was a 4-port USB hub, in the shape of the TARDIS! (8+D

Click here for a 2.4 meg video demonstration of what happens when you plug something in (the sound can be turned off by a switch on the back of the unit).

EDIT – I did try to embed the .mov file but WordPress was having none of it. (8+(

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