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Showing posts from 2023

Movie Review: The Marvels (2023) *No Spoilers*

I must admit I would've preferred more of a Captain Marvel solo movie over this team up event that is The Marvels . I'd still be fine with Ms Marvel and Monica Rambeau being in supporting roles but I kind of feel the character earned a sequel from the previous Captain Marvel box office alone. Unfortunately the audience for the MCU has shifted dramatically since the last movie, as has the quality of the films and streaming shows being made by Marvel Studios. The Marvels pays off the conclusions to two Disney+ shows, Wandavison and Ms Marvel , by bringing together Ms Marvel, aka Kamala Kahn, and Monica Rambeau with Captain Marvel, aka Carol Danvers. While the shows aren't essential viewing for The Marvels it is extremely beneficial having seen each character's backstory over just getting the speed notes version in this movie. In terms of being a sequel it's a direct sequel to Ms Marvel's streaming show, as well as picking up on storylines left open in the origin

Al Ru Farm Spring Picnic, Sampson Flat, South Australia

Al Ru Farm Lilly Garden. When my partner, Enigma, pitched going on a picnic where you paid for a food hamper to be provided, I thought we were just going to a very nice, well manicured park.  Al Ru Farm (named after the owners Alan and Ruth Irving) is an actual private farm but, at the center, is ten acres of well maintained gardens, a large barn converted into a function/reception room, and three bed and breakfast homes. Located between the Barossa Valley and the Adelaide hills, at Sampson Flat, it provides a relaxing rural/garden experience without having to travel too far from suburbia. Typically the gardens and function rooms have been used as an ideal setting for weddings but the farm holds other events throughout the year, such as their Spring Picnic (held in November - which you have to book in order to receive your food hamper). Overview of the main building and Garden Bar area on the day of the Spring Picnic. More of a picnic box than a hamper but still very nice and more tha

Perth, Western Australia: Swan River Parkland Walk from Ascot Quays, The Cray, Seafood Bar and Grill Restaurant - Day 2

Bilya Kard Boodja Lookout, Belmont, Western Australia. On the second day of our trip we had still to plan how the rest of the trip was going to go in terms of dividing our time between seeing the family and having holiday time to ourselves. Our apartment sits right next to the Swan River on the south bank, and south east from the city. Along the bank is a cycle/walking path, through parkland, that I don't doubt you could probably follow almost to Fremantle if you really wanted to.  After breakfast Enigma and I headed out to follow this path, toward the city, for what we thought was going to be a short walk but ended up being more of a five kilometre round trip. Things of Note on Our Walk The Dollhouse The Dollhouse. Not far along the walk is The Dollhouse . Initially it just looks like it might be a public toilet block when viewed at a distance from the path but the tall fence surrounding it suggests otherwise. It's actually a heritage listed mini house that used to be a displa

Going Back to Perth, Western Australia After Seven Years, and Our Accommodation at Ascot Quays Apartments - Day 1

Bell Tower, Perth Western Australia. The last time I was back in Perth, Western Australia was October 2016 to see my Dad before he passed, and then attend his funeral a few days later. It was never my intention to wait so long before going back. Obviously the COVID 19 pandemic of 2020 caused the initial delay to go even longer than intended.  Then my partner, Enigma, and I had a short, four day trip all booked for the beginning of December 2021 when a COVID 19 scare shut down the border between South Australia and Western Australia and we watched our plans disappear within hours. Given that was almost a year after the world had started to come good again from the pandemic  lockdowns and travel restrictions, I just got very reluctant to book anything. Particularly after getting all my vaccinations done (triple vaxxed!) just to meet the requirements of crossing into WA at the time.  Fortunately we were able to get a travel agent credit for our cancelled airfares with no expiry date (or a

Australia Votes 'No' to The Voice, Opposition, Predictably, Calls for PM to Resign, and Now We Know Where the Racists Live!

The Australian people voted 'No' to The Voice , a reform to the Australian Constitution that would have recognized our first nation people and would have set up an aboriginal advisory committee that couldn't be disbanded by successive governments without a referendum. The committee would've advised the government of the day on issues affecting first nation people but the government would be under no obligation to act on that advice. Which could, maybe, lead to problematic differences of opinion if a government continually ignored advice, but that eventuality could happen. Our country's government opposition, being the weak minded dead weight that all oppositions seem to be these days (yes, I'm including the current government when they were in opposition in that statement), predictably called for the Prime Minister to resign. As if keeping an election promise was something to be shamed for just because the outcome wasn't favorable. Just once, for at least on

TV Series Review: Ahsoka (2023) Disney+ *Minor Spoilers*

After spending a considerable amount of time catching myself up on the 'Filoni-verse' by watching all of Dave Filoni's, Disney+ animated Star Wars series I was definitely ready for Season Five of Star Wars Rebels ... A.K.A. Ahsoka . First impressions, the animation looks so real... I think they might have actually shot this as a live action show? I'm kidding of course. While I think you could probably jump into Ahsoka just based on the character's previous live action appearances in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett (where she, and a few other supporting characters, name drop Thrawn) you really will get a lot more from the series if you've at least seen all seasons of Star Wars Rebels. I was going to say at least season four of Rebels but I think you will get the most from Ahsoka if you've followed the characters arcs of the main supporting cast from the beginning. You'll get even more out of Ahsoka if you've watched the main character'

Movie Review: Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons (2022) *No Spoilers*

After previously being disappointed by Batman: The Darkness That Came to Gotham I was really in two minds about watching Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons . Not least because I was expecting to be disappointed yet again by another DC animated movie but also because this one features Damian Wayne (arguably the most unlikable Robin of all the Robins) and Jonathon Kent, two of the brattiest, most entitled, kid characters in all of DC. In yet another world ending plot, the Justice League is compromised by an alien invader, forcing Damien and Jonathon, to set aside their differences in order to save the planet. I will say this movie is one of the most watchable DC animated movies I've seen in quite some time. Initially both Damien and Jonathon are every bit as unlikable as they're usually depicted, with Damien being even more  unlikable than the last animated movie I bought with him in (which was 2015's Batman Vs Robin ).  But I was at least pleasantly surprised tha

Movie Review: Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham (2023) *Spoilers*

I don't know why I go into every WB Animation/DC Comics animated movie hopeful that it's going to be good. It almost never is.  You'd think my expectations would be so low by this point that it wouldn't take much to be pleasantly surprised but apparently not.  I can only guess that WB Animation's latest DC offering, Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham is intended to be some kind of special release for Halloween with the amount of monsters and supernatural elements that lie within.  The trouble is, I don't know who this is for? Given the body count, it's not for kids and, with all the magic and supernatural elements front and center it's not really a detective story? Set in 1920's Gotham, an ancient evil is awakened, and only Batman can save the city (I guess? I mean a good proportion of the city gets burned to the ground so... did he save it?). Given the time period I was hopeful this could be something of an interesting take on Batman along the li

The Princess' Butterflies - Using an AI Art Generator to Color and Enhance a 23 Year Old Rough Pen Sketch

The Princess' Butterflies - By TET and Prome AI Over 23 years ago I drew a very rough pen sketch to illustrate a scene from a story my partner and I were taking turns at writing, at the very beginnings of, what started out as a very long distance relationship. My original hand drawn pen sketch drawn over 23 years ago. The original image has been sitting in a frame placed on display in the various houses we've lived in over the years. As I've gotten more into animation I've thought about progressing it to a finished artwork and then animating it. It's one of those things I've just never gotten around to even though I have experimented with how I'd go about it from time to time. Today I came across a text to image AI art generator, Prome AI that has this incredible feature called Sketch Rendering  which you can try out yourself completely for free. They also have a number of other AI art tools like inpainting and out painting and more which you can explore. T

Deformed AI Art Cats is Beyond 'Louis Wain Like' Nightmare Fuel

A TET Cat generated by You may be familiar with the English Artist, Louis Wain (5 August 1860 – 4 July 1939), who is known for his illustrations of anthropomorphic cats that became more patterned and psychedelic in his later years as his mental health declined (at least according to speculation by psychiatrist, Walter Maclay in 1939). Six examples of Louis Wain's cat art supposedly suggesting the decline of the artist's mental health but the date of each work is unspecified. Previously I've written about my attempts to train an AI art generator to mimic my own cat art style without much success. While I was able to generate a 'cat art' that was definitely influenced by my own style I could not say, without a doubt, the art looked like something I would have painted. TET's Cats AI generated art trained on my own art style. Recently I switched form Open AI's text to image model to who allow you to train one model on anything comple

Aptera Solar Powered Electric Vehicle Solves One of the Biggest Issues in EV's Today

Aptera Launch Edition Solar Powered Electric Vehicle.  Electric Vehicles (EVs) are going to be, and in fact are, already a thing. It's already been proven that they can out perform their fuel powered counterparts with the  Rimac Nevera , the fastest production car ever made. While you might have distance anxiety about electric vehicles, it's not really any different from the anxiety you feel when the fuel gauge is on empty and you're not sure if the car will even make it to a fuel station. The difference for EVs is that literally anywhere with a power point can be a charging station. Not a great charging station but a charging station none the less. Thus giving rise to the anti EV snob who would have no problem letting you charge any of your mobile devices at their home but dammit, you're not plugging your car into their power grid. Not even if you throw them a few bucks for the extra power. It's the principle of the thing. Apparently, their fuel driven car is sudde


Today's guest post is by returning Artist, Writer, and Mental Health Advocate, Jo B Creative who writes for her blog, Creating My Oddessey . Jo's previous 2019 post,  MY SOOPER DOOPER NEW CONSERVATORY/ART STUDIO! for a long time was one of this blog's most read pages. Jo returns under a new alias, author Kit Mackenzie , and with word of her new novel, ALIAS JEANNIE DELANEY - BOOK 1 - GO WEST, GIRL! which is now available on Amazon. T he first book of this epic western trilogy, Alias Jeannie Delaney - Book 1 - Go West, Girl!  is the life story of a devastating and charismatic pants-wearing cowgirl who's the fastest gun in the west and bisexual. A crack shot story that blazes across the wild west! Jeannie Morgan, a devastatingly tomboy-beautiful, pants-wearing maverick who flicks a finger of contempt at society in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Her speed with a gun is faster than the strike of a rattler, outshooting every man she meets. Love, hate and jealo

Real Flying Car Prototypes That Look Like What the Movies Promised - Ace VTOL GT Slipstream, Alef Model A, and the Bellwether Flying Cars

Ace eVTOL GT Slipstream Flying Car. I've been a little obsessed with flying cars of late and I thought I was done with the subject for now but then Google News put  flying car company, Ace Vtol , based out of Perth, Western Australia in front of me. How could I not take a look?  The GT Slipstream's next-generation Arc Reaction Engines. Images: Ace Vtol website. Especially when their flying car, the  Ace eVTOL GT Slipstream , kind of looks like a regular car (in terms of size and shape) and has engines that look like they're straight out of a sci-fi movie. Even more surprising is you can actually pre-order one of these vehicles . Ace Vtol has done a USD$250 million deal with Palm Beach, FL based Aeroauto , the leading retailer of eVTOL vehicles in the United States to sell the craft to future owners. The GT Slipstream is described on Ace Vtol's website as follows: The aircraft, named the GT Slipstream, is a two-seater flying “muscle” car that will reach speeds of up to 2

The Blacksmith's Inn - Our Unofficial Quest to Try All the Burgers Not Made By Fast Food Chains Continues

Blackie's Steak Burger (no tomato version). Picture by Enigma. It's been quite some time since my partner, Enigma, and I have spent a day out together. She's been recovering from knee replacement surgery that happened back in May, plus it's been Winter for the past few months here in Australia. While we didn't go too far today, we bundled ourselves into the car, along with our dog Oscar and made the trip a few towns over for lunch at The Blacksmith's Inn , One Tree Hill, South Australia. I'm not sure if there was a lot of choice in terms of places to eat in One Tree Hill. We didn't really do a lot of exploring but The Blacksmith's is dog friendly and has a very nice outdoor eating area that they also use to provide live music entertainment on Sunday afternoons from 2pm. Today act was JK Chillin . I don't think either Enigma or I particularly planned to continue our unofficial quest to try all the burgers not made by Fast Food Chains, but we both

Are Ion Thrusters the Future of Flying Cars? Spoiler - Probably Not But... Hover Boards... Maybe?

Undefined Technologies Ion Propulsion Drone prototype 3D concept image. You may have heard of Ion engines or, more likely, Ion thrusters. NASA uses them on their spacecraft to help maintain a craft's position or to propel them through space.  Upon hearing that you might think they're big, powerful engines, but actually they are not. They work well in the vacuum of space but, once any kind of atmosphere and gravity is involved they'd be hard pressed to launch you off the ground if you strapped four of them to your lawn chair and yelled "up, up, and away!" I am no expert on Ion thrusters - they're basically magic that science has an explanation for. If you want to know the details, The Space Techie website has a layman's explanation .  Build Your Own Ion Thruster Earth based Ion Thrusters work a bit different to their  space based cousins by Ionizing the same air that we breathe to create thrust (an effect known as Ionic-wind ).  While they sound highly soph

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