Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Photo dump: In which I have found the greatest pictures of Robert Downey, Jr. of all time

Back in 1995 Robert Downey, Jr. did a movie called Restoration, based on a book of the same name by Rose Tremain. In it, Downey plays a doctor named Robert Merivel in 17th century Restoration-era England. He joins the court of Charles II as a doctor to his dogs, is married to the king's favorite mistress (so that he can still fool around with her without his other mistresses knowing), gets booted from court, and helps save lives during the Great Plague of London and the Great Fire.

But that's not important here. What is important are all of the pictures I found of RDJ from this movie.

I think the only reason I like these pictures is because it's just funny to see Iron Man in a wig and 17th century outfits. I mean, look at that wig and those hats! Fabulous! Amazing! We need more movies like this.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Nerd Trash's Book Recommendation of the Month: The Hammer of God by Arthur C. Clarke

So this is a thing I'm going to try and do where I recommend a book every month. I'll try for different genres, but since obviously I'm only going to pick books I've read and I have a limited field of interest, expect a lot of SF, fantasy, and mysteries/crime.

Anyways, The Hammer of God is a really good book. I just posted a review of it over on my SF blog, so head on over there if you want to. The gist of it is an asteroid dubbed "Kali" is discovered on a collision course with Earth in the year 2110. The book follows the attempts of the crew of the spaceship Goliath and its captain, Robert Singh, to prevent this by attaching a mass driver to Kali that would change the space rock's trajectory by slowly pushing it away. Intermingled in all of this is chapters dedicated to depicting human civilization in the 22nd century. It's all pretty interesting: the Moon and Mars are both colonized, the world is governed by a World Council, and generally everything is going peachy.

This book isn't high on action or conflict. It's more in-line with another of Clarke's novels, Rendezvous with Rama. It's a lot more of exciting adventure than what you would expect, but that's what I've come to expect of Arthur C. Clarke and why I'm quickly growing to be a fan of his.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

February's Person of the Month: Sir Arthur C. Clarke

(via Wikipedia)
I've decided to revive my short-lived "Icon of the Month" feature and having just finished The Hammer of God, I can't think of no one better to honor than Sir Arthur C. Clarke.

Clarke, of course, is a titan of the SF genre. From his pen and mind came astounding works of science fiction such as Rendezvous With Rama, Childhood's End, The Fountains of Paradise, and more. His most famous work, without a doubt, would be 2001: A Space Odyssey, written in conjunction with the groundbreaking Stanley Kubrick film. 2001 would spawn three sequels as part of the Space Odyssey series.

Rendezvous With Rama was the first novel of his that I had ever read and I loved it. It was one of those books that I wish I had read long ago and regretted not having done so.

He had an impact outside of the SF as well. In 1945, he first wrote a paper describing the potential use of telecommunications satellites in geostationary orbit. While it's not clear if his paper led to the development of such satellites, he predicted them almost a decade before anybody else. Today, geostationary orbit is called Clarke Orbit.

He also played TV host in the 1980s and '90s to a trio of shows: Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World, Arthur C. Clarke's World of Strange Powers, Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious Universe.

Arthur C. Clarke was the last of the "Big Three" of Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and himself to die. Even though I had never read any of his books at the time, his death in 2008 was a gut punch because it was crystal clear that SF and the world at large had lost a bit of greatness.