Thursday, February 27, 2014

Aliens attack Earth, hit moon!

September 11th will always hold special meaning for Captain "Watchman" Talbot, Team Leader at SPEARHEAD Observation Station Matador in Rota, Spain. Like many young Americans, Talbot enlisted in the military following the 9/11 attacks in 2001. He first worked as a Command & Control systems technician in the USAF before making the jump to officer. His first officer promotion to 1st lieutenant in 2009 also came on September 11th, and four years later as a newly minted captain he was assigned to what was then UNETIDA. But September 11th, 2013 will be the day Capt. Talbot will never forget as he was a real-time first-hand witness of an alien attack against Earth that could have wiped out several buildings - somewhere, were it not for the fortuitous position of the moon.

Brigadier General "Whopper" Creedon, SPEARHEAD Assistant Commander for Intelligence and Information briefed the UNSC on Monday on what took place at 20:07 GMT, 11 September 2013. He detailed the impact of small but fast apparently low-yield projectile which struck the moon causing a bright flash of light for almost 10 seconds. The projectile, according to the General “was approximately one meter wide and propelled at a tracked rate of over 60,000km/h as it impacted on the lunar surface.” General Creedon did not, or could not reveal the source of the alien projectile and was not forthcoming in speculation, but was adamant that it was "a belligerent alien projectile and not an benign errand meteorite.”

General Creedon also briefed the council on the public information being released concerning the thwarted attack. "SPEARHEAD is ceding primary credit for the observation of the attack to Spanish astronomers operating the Moon Impacts Detection and Analysis System (Midas) of telescopes in southern Spain. This of course is to protect PROJECT: MOONSHIELD which vitally must remain completely classified. We obviously also needed to reclassify the attack, to the more acceptable natural phenomenon of a meteorite hitting the moon's surface." informed the General.

SPEARHEAD’s redacted and replaced information [complete with expertly doctored video evidence] was reported in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, appeared in the science and technology section of BBC News and was posted on popular space phenomenon an pop-culture website IO9.

Sources: IO9 / Mr. V.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Space rock lost, but MEEOWS scores hit

Described as an astronomical event not to be missed and would have been live streamed all over the world; 2000 EM26, a 900-foot asteroid, was supposed to streak by the planet Tuesday night, close enough for us to see it as it zoomed by. Somewhat alarmingly however, it never showed up, sending astronomers into a blind panic as they came to the realisation that it had vanished and they have no idea where the asteroid has gone.

There are many theories as to how the thing just disappeared. It’s most likely that it’s orbit was originally miscalculated - but surely not by everyone who did so? Did no one double check? It’s not the kind of calculation you’d want to get wrong, especially if an asteroid was coming close enough to Earth for to us to see. The Slooh observatory is trying to track down the asteroid using robotic telescopes, and has also asked amateur astronomers to help out with the search.

In an announcement that appears unrelated, Major General “Spiker” Lurd, SPEARHEAD Deputy Commander for Planetary Defences, announced that there was a successful test firing of the Microwave Energy Earth Orbital Weapons System [MEEOWS] developed by DARPA, the The Russian Federal Space Agency and Google. “We had as successful test firing on an unidentified space object about the size of 3 football fields” announced General Lurd excitedly. “The object superheated and we believe it silently fragmented into granule sized debris,” he said grinning from ear to ear. “We can’t wait to try it out on the alien mothership when it…” but apparently before he was finished the General’s microphone was cut and his assistant thanked reporters for attending before dismissing them.

Source: IO9 / Slooh / Mr. V.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Movie review catch up 19-02-14

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Anchorman is without a doubt one of the best, some say 'the best' single comedy movie of all time. No sequel could hope to match it and there was even a dark fear that a sequel would detract from the original. Well I can verify that it’s true that it couldn’t match it for laughs and quotability for likely the next 50 years, Anchorman 2 is an ‘acceptable’ sequel to the magnificent original. I would have to describe it as a dear old uncle whom you have not seen in years but you’re now just a bit too old for him to give you money anymore. All the laughs and the charm is there and you enjoy the company – but there’s no payoff.

The movie pretty much follows the theme and tone of the original as perhaps they were afraid of deviating too much from the formula with which they struck gold before but everything now is a lot more rehearsed, dare I say ‘forced’ and certainly more visually expensive on screen. Ferrell, Rudd, Kocher, Carell and Appelgate all return and are joined by Kirsten Wiig and James Marsden. Cameos from the likes of Harrison Ford, Liam Neeson, Will Smith and Vince Vaughan certainly didn’t keep the budget down but did keep the laughs up as the “finale battle” degenerated into am epic farce of apocalyptic proportions. Certainly worth a look if you’re a fan of Anchorman or Ferrell but missed if you don’t tolerate either.

Whopper's Rating: ***1/2

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Ben Stiller directs himself, taking the daydreaming character for another silver screen spin after Danny Kaye did for Norman McLeod in 1947. This time out, there is the advantage of digital effects to make Walter’s daydreams more [un]believable. While there is no shortage of laughs I wouldn’t put this into the same basket as Stiller’s other comedies like Dodgeball or even Meet The Parents, instead it seems to veer into Oscar-chasing territory in it’s themes, scope and vision which is a bad thing as most Oscar-chasers are shit. It would have been far more in Stiller's favour veer away from reality and deliver more crazy antics of Mitty’s daydreams.

Regardless, excellent performances from Stiller, with Kirsten Wiig [she gets around], Adam Scott bringing his best asshole performance since Stepbrothers and even perpetually muppet-faced Sean Penn was tolerable in his cameo. This might be one for TV to be honest.

Whopper's Rating: **1/2

Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit

Shakespeare-lover turned more worthwhile movie director Sir Kenneth [Thor] Brannagh turned his directorial attention more recently to the late Tom Clancy's most famous character - Jack Ryan. The result was a perfectly judged, excellently shot, masterfully directed but overall mediocre spy-thriller. Writer David Mission: Impossible Koepp plotted a new origin tale for the Jason Bourne wannabe that could have been something better in the hands of someone more capable like Tony Gilroy if they wanted to go down that route.

Chris Star Trek Pine plays the titular character 'adequatly', swapping his Captain Kirk cockiness for a young man who realises he's woefully out of his depth but manages to make the best of his situation. While he'll never surpass the likes of Alec Baldwin or Harrison Ford's Jack Ryans, he was certainly better than Ben Affleck although that's not hard now is it?

Pine is supported by Kiera Pirates of the Caribbean Knightly who is destined to become Ryan's long suffering wife Cathy and Kevin Costner returned from the dead last year for Man of Steel and it looks like he's decided to stay alive to portray William Harper for a couple of Tom Clancy franchise movies.

Whopper's Rating: ****

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

John Key not Alien Lizard!

Not a reptile
New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key responded to an Official Information Act (OIA) request asking for "any evidence to disprove the theory that [he] is in fact a... ...shapeshifting reptilian alien ushering humanity towards enslavement".

"To the best of my knowledge, no. Having been asked that question directly, I've taken the unusual step of not only seeing a doctor but a vet, and both have confirmed I'm not a reptile," said Key yesterday. "So I'm certainly not a reptile. I've never been in a spaceship, never been in outer space, and my tongue's not overly long either."

Shane Warbrooke of Aukland put in an OIA request to the PM's office possibly after reading the nonsense created by David Icke, a British author who believes many world leaders are actually part of a plot to enslave the human race, driven by reptilian shapeshifting aliens.

When asked was it true that Captain “Caduceus” Fox M.D., Assistant SPEARHEAD Surgeon General was recently called to Wellington, New Zealand to perform verification, the SPEARHEAD spokesman Master Warrant Officer “Chatterbox” Hendrickx said there was no comment. He did however deny a report that Shane Warbrooke took an unscheduled leave of absence from work because he was sent to a SPEARHEAD 'reeducation' facility in Australia.

Source: / IO9 / Mr. V.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Issues continue at Malmstrom

SPEARHEAD has declared it has grave concerns regarding new revelations last week that the number of US airmen embroiled in a nuclear cheating scandal has now practically tripled to almost a hundred.

During investigations into alleged drug use by personnel at other bases, 34 US Air Force officers in charge of launching nuclear missiles were suspended in January due to accusations of cheating in monthly proficiency tests. It was not immediately clear whether the additional 58 or so airmen implicated were alleged to have participated in the cheating or were involved in an indirect way.

The Air Force said that the entire team at Malmstrom AFB in Montana in charge of overseeing missile launches would be re-tested after the Air Force OSI discovered that one missile officer had shared test questions with 16 other officers. It said another 17 admitted to knowing about this cheating but did not report it. The tests in question are designed to ensure proficiency by launch officers in processing classified “emergency war orders,” received through their chain of command to launch a missile.

The scandal has led to security clearance suspension and temporary removal from duty of a substantial near 20% of the 500 strong Air Force cadre of nuclear missile launch control officers. Malmstrom is home to the 341st Missile Wing, responcible for 150 nuclear Minuteman 3 ICBMs, a third of the entire ICBM force. The Air Force has not clarified how that affects the mission, beyond requiring the remaining nuclear crew to bear a bigger share of the work. This has naturally lead to fear that the U.S. nuclear response capability is at least been temporarily diminished.

Recently appointed Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said she was “profoundly disappointed” at the alleged cheating and drug possession. The Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh, said there is “absolutely no excuse” for cheating. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered a review of the problems inside the ICBM force saying he was "deeply concerned" about morale and discipline among nuclear officers - but insisted that US nuclear arms were safe. Hagel met with senior officers involved in the nuclear force last Wednesday at the Pentagon to discuss how to attack the problems.

Questions were also raised by the UNSC about the United States ability to support SPEARHEAD’s Skyshield initiative, by where ICBMs from the U.S., Russia and China are interlinked to use their combined launches to destroy belligerent extra-terrestrial craft. SPEARHEAD’s Missile Defence Commander Brigadier General "Rockets" Thompson said should SPEARHEAD conclude that the U.S. is no longer capable of sustaining it’s third of Skyshield; they could retask and station Russian and Chineese nuclear submarines inside U.S. territorial waters to make up for the deficiency – even if there’s no imminent threat. “Something I doubt the Pentagon would be overly happy about.” he added.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman 1967-2014

Hollywood was shocked yesterday as the tragic news of the death of Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman [46] broke. The actor apparently died of a drug overdose, police said, and envelopes containing what was believed to be heroin were found with him.

Hoffman had a heavy-set build and often looked dishevelled. He was equally at home with either comedy or drama and he won the Academy Award for Best Actor for the 2005 biographical film Capote oft mentioned in the classic podcast 2IGTV. Hoffman was nominated for three other movies, The Master [2012], Doubt [2008] and Charlie Wilson's War [2007] and received three Tony nominations for his work on Broadway, including the role of Willy Loman in Death Of A Salesman [2012].

Despite such accolades, the aforementioned movies and the majority of the movies Hoffman appeared in are in all honesty – boring drivel. If you’re not a beard-stroking pretentious twat however, you will better regard Hoffman for his supporting role in Twister [1996] while horror/thriller aficionados will be more familiar with his role as Freddy Lounds in Red Dragon [2002]. Nevertheless it’s almost certain he will be most regarded for his portrayal of the villainous Owen Davian in J.J. AbramsMission: Impossible III [2006], easily the greatest villain Tom Cruise has ever sent to his death throughout his career. Hoffman brought an air of true villainy to the Mission: Impossible franchise that I have very little doubt will ever be matched and he even got to fight himself thanks to the series' signature mask-play. The hatred the audience eventually felt for Davian was so palpable that his on-screen death brought a cheer for all who observed.
While he may have portrayed many intelligent characters throughout his career, Hoffman himself wasn’t so mentally gifted as evident from the foolishness of his drug use. He revealed in a 2006 interview that he had suffered from substance abuse after graduating from college, and went to rehab. He relapsed over 20 years later, and checked into a program in May 2013 because of problems with prescription pills and heroin, the substance that apparently ultimately killed him.
Hoffman's body was discovered in a bathroom at his Greenwich Village apartment by his assistant and a friend who made the emergency services call. He is survived by his partner of 15 years, Mimi O'Donnell, and their three children.