Month: April 2021

A Life Less Analog, Science

The Planetary Society: Take part in space exploration

Technology column header

While watching “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage” as a kid, I never dreamed that one day I would become a member of the organization that the late Carl Sagan co-founded, The Planetary Society.

“The cosmos is within us. We are made of star stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.” These words of wisdom from Sagan during the very first episode of “Cosmos” have inspired me all my life. That show was one of the reasons I fell in love with science, and developed a lifelong belief in technology for good. And I know that kid would be thrilled to know that while he didn’t end up becoming a scientist, he is still playing a role in space exploration as a member of The Planetary Society, the world’s largest and most effective space advocacy movement.

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Geek Culture

Ctrl-Alt-Destroy Season 1 Episode 1 review

In Ctrl-Alt-Destroy, a video game designer discovers that someone has stolen her game -- and used it to build a virtual world that might prevent the real one from being destroyed. Image credit: Realm
Image credit: Realm

Ctrl-Alt-Destroy
Season 1 Episode 1: “National Security Incident”
Written by Andrea Phillips, Maurice Broaddus, Jacqueline Koyanagi, and E.C. Myers
Art by Chris Koehler
Narrated by Summer Glau

In Ctrl-Alt-Destroy, a video game designer discovers that someone has stolen her game — and used it to build a virtual world that might prevent the real one from being destroyed.

Ctrl-Alt-Destroy is an original audio series from Realm, the awesomeness formerly known as Serial Box. I was never a fan of audiobooks until I discovered Serial Box and was blown away by their exclusive series, Marvel’s Jessica Jones: Playing with Fire. Realm has seamlessly combined the pleasure of reading the written word with the enjoyment of hearing a dramatization of the work, giving you the option to consume the content as an ebook or an audiobook slash podcast. Add to the excellent production values the talented Summer Glau of “Firefly” fame as narrator, and Ctrl-Alt-Destroy had me hooked from the start. It makes me glad I subscribed to Realm Unlimited. Spoilers ahead.

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Geek Culture

Realm: Serial Box rebrands, unveils free podcast strategy

Image credit: Screenshot of Realm iOS app
Image credit: Screenshot of Realm iOS app

If you’re a fan of the premium digital audio and reading platform Serial Box like me, the good news is that it has rebranded itself as Realm. Along with the sleek new look as part of the complete makeover, Realm is expanding its business model to offer original shows as free podcasts.

Realm now describes itself as “part podcast studio, part magical refuge”. With this shift, it has announced that some of its most popular titles will now be available for free as ad-supported podcasts on different platforms, such as Apple and Spotify. This includes “Orphan Black: The Next Chapte‪r‬”, the official continuation of the hit TV series, which is narrated by its Emmy award-winning star Tatiana Maslany herself.

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Entertainment, Geek Culture

‘Godzilla vs. Kong’: Awesome monsters, awful humans

Billed as the long-awaited face-off between two icons, "Godzilla vs. Kong" is an epic clash of titans that you will enjoy. Just ignore the dumb humans and even stupider dialogue. Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures

Billed as the long-awaited face-off between two icons, “Godzilla vs. Kong” is an epic clash of titans that you will enjoy. Just ignore the dumb humans and even stupider dialogue.

Sure, I know some critics hate “Godzilla vs. Kong”, but what I’ve learned in life is that you should watch a movie and decide for yourself. Different people have different tastes, and some critics seem to insist on looking for depth even in movies that don’t need it. It’s Godzilla. It’s Kong. Two titans trying to beat the crap out of each other. Does it really matter what their motivation is? And as par for the course for the US reboot of Godzilla and the MonsterVerse as a whole, the humans are the weakest links. We just have to accept that this shared universe is populated by dumb, annoying people saying and doing cringe-worthy things, and just focus on the real stars of the show: Godzilla and Kong. God help you if you concentrate on Bernie and Jia.

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Gaming

Undawn survival shooter to unleash zombies across SEA

Unveiled at Garena World 2021, the largest gaming and esports event in Southeast Asia, Undawn is a survival shooter that will thrust players into a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies. Image credit: Garena
Image credit: Garena

Unveiled at Garena World 2021, the largest gaming and esports event in Southeast Asia, Undawn is a survival shooter that will thrust players into a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies. Built using Unreal Engine 4, Undawn will offer a huge open world that pushes the boundaries for both graphics and multiplayer gameplay.

“Gamers in the region have a deep appreciation for shooter games and exploring open worlds. Coupled with their highly resourceful and inquisitive natures, we’re excited to bring them Undawn — a game that is tailor-made to their tastes,” said Garena Senior Director for Business Development Hai Wang in a press statement.

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Entertainment

‘Gone’ MV: Beautiful song, beautiful BLACKPINK Rosé

The "Gone" MV is out, and it's a stunning showcase of the beautiful vocals and visuals of BLACKPINK main vocalist Rosé. Image credit: Screenshot of 'Gone" MV on YouTube
Image credit: Screenshot of ‘Gone” MV on YouTube

The “Gone” music video (MV) is out, and it’s a stunning showcase of the beautiful vocals and visuals of BLACKPINK main vocalist Rosé.

“Gone”, the second track from Rosé’s solo debut album “R” after “On The Ground“, had won over fans when YG Entertainment posted a “Coming Soon” teaser of the track on YouTube on Jan. 26 without revealing its title. Rosé then performed a sneak preview of “Gone” on Jan. 31 at BLACKPINK’s first livestream concert, BLACKPINK: THE SHOW. At her solo stage, YG Entertainment first showed video footage of what was apparently a “Gone” MV, before switching to Rosé performing an acoustic version of the song on stage and revealing the title of the track.

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