Some Links while the Hamster jiggles the handle on the site....

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In the interest of full disclosure, I feel compelled to mention that my favorite TV show at present is not a Science Fiction series at all, but rather “Top Gear” on BBC America. While this is not Science Fiction at all, it is Republican. Well, Republican-ish, anyway. Tory, I guess. Bear with me, it’ll pay off in the end:

Here’s a quote from the show that, I think, explains its abiding appeal for me, personally. Host Jeremy Clarkson is doing an extended piece discussing whether people should buy SUVs or Station Wagons:

“To demonstrate the storage space in the back of the Range Rover, I’ve filled it up with fifty cubic feet of cheese. Now, in the case of this Mercedes [wagon], it’s lower to the ground so you’re obviously not going to get as much space as you would with the larger vehicle, but it’s not as much less as you might imagine: I’ve filled this one up with forty seven cubic feet of cheese. And if we convert cheese to dogs, that equals out to three-point-two Great Danes.”

Later on, ending the segment, one of his cohosts asked him which of the two Station Wagons he’d demonstrated would be the one he’d purchase if he had to:

“Neither. I’d buy a Range Rover, because when you drive one you get this moist, happy feeling inside that comes only from knowing you’re making an environmentalist really angry.”

This concludes min my non-SF digression. On to the links!

Links:

- The folks over at Dark Roasted Blend have a nice little pictoral on the shining urban wonderlands of the future, 1930s style http://www.darkroastedblend.com/2007/12/retro-future-glorious-urbanism.html

- The excellent “Starship Modeler” site has a lot of cool new entries in their Galactica Model Building contest. Check these out

· Here’s a great diorama of a crashed viper (Oldschool) http://starshipmodeler.com/contest/dio_06.htm

· Here’s a kitbuilt model of a colonial shuttle (These have been featured in both the old and new Galactica) http://starshipmodeler.com/contest/kit_11.htm

· Here’s a tarted-up “Assault Viper http://starshipmodeler.com/contest/dio_04.htm

· Here’s a pretty fascinating scratch-built version of the Galactica that’s not based on either the ’78 or current versions of the ship, but is rather based directly on the Ralph McQuarie pre-production art. http://starshipmodeler.com/contest/scratch_05.htm

· Here’s an interestingly goofy “Colonial Destroyer” that suffers from what I like to call the “Franz Joseph Technical Manual Ship Design Syndrome.” http://starshipmodeler.com/contest/scratch_11.htm

· Here’s a scratchbuilt model of a battlestar design we’ve never seen before http://starshipmodeler.com/contest/scratch_07.htm If you’ve never checked out the Starship Modeler site, it’s pretty amazing. You really should give it a look-see. Ok, on to other links…

- Speaking of models, here’s one (From a different site) of one of the very early Matt Jeffries designs for the Enterprise. I presume the huge disks are warp coils? http://www.fantastic-plastic.com/Declaration-ClassEnterpriseCataloguePag...

- Sweeeeeet! When I was a kid, I tried to do exactly this sort of thing, scratchbuilding models of things that only existed in my head, not in movies or what have you. Of course, I always failed miserably as I was a remarkably untalented lad, but still: sweeeeeeeeet! http://www.starshipmodeler.com/other/bt_ranger.htm

- If you were ever a fan of Babylon 5, there’s really no way you can avoid drooling over this http://www.starshipmodeler.com/b5/td_omega.htm

- and here’s one of the more plausible-ever spaceship designs, from the new Galactica http://www.fantastic-plastic.com/SpaceParkCatalogPage.htm

- “P.P.S. I can kill you with my brain!” http://xkcd.com/406/

- Who can forget Space: 1889? No, that’s not a typo, I said “18” http://www.paleotechnic.com/1889/

- So here’s an FMV I found on youtube. I like the creepy semi-goth music and the broody anime. But, no, I have no idea what’s going on. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4Pm8maRtFk

- Here’s an interesting little story about a German company that’s experimenting with sails to reduce the fuel costs of their cargo ships. It’s not a sailboat, mind you, but with a big computer-controlled sail added, it reduces its fuel usage by perhaps 20%. Not bad. http://www.skysails.info/index.php?id=64&L=1&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=104&tx_t...

- Did you ever wonder what the new Battlestar Galactica would look like if all the female characters were replaced by Jane Fonda wannabees? Me neither, though of course I’m referring to the surprisingly hot mid-60s Fonda, and not her slightly later “Hanoi Jane” politics. My point being that I’ve always been in love w/ Grace “Boomer” Park, and g’damn, but she’s smoking hot w/ the big hair! http://stylemens.typepad.com/./photos/uncategorized/2008/02/28/galactica...

- Assuming this isn’t a belated April Fools gag, it appears that we now have the first self-replicating machine! http://computerworld.co.nz/news.nsf/tech/2F5C3C5D68A380EDCC257423006E71CD Thanks to Republibot 2.0 for the link.

- Yes! I’m glad enough time has passed now that people can all start to admit that “Clerks” really was a pretty crappy movie all along. http://www.avclub.com/content/feature/the_new_cult_canon_clerks not at all safe for work.

- I know I’ve mentioned this before, but the Prelinger Archive is the coolest thing in the history of all things that are cool – you can watch those weird old industrial shorts on there, crappy B-movies, filmstrips from worlds fair attractions, all the whacky post-WW2 detritus, it’s great. Here’s Peter Graves staring in “Killers from Space” in its entirety! http://www.archive.org/details/Killers_from_space

- The first Terrestrial planet outside our own solar system has been found. We’ve found a hundred or so extrasolar planets orbiting other stars, but they’ve all been super-jovian worlds, gas giants vastly larger than Jupiter. This is the first solid planet we’ve found, only marginally larger than earth though a hell of a lot denser. Definitely not a garden spot, but it’s a start: http://www.scienceblog.com/cms/new-rocky-planet-found-constellation-leo-...

- Man, the old “Lurker’s Guide to Babylon 5” site is really a mess these days! http://www.ntua.gr/lurk/

- Yet another Spiderman cartoon has come and gone without notice, and I can’t fully explain why (Aside from “The Marvel Curse” of course), but every iteration of Spiderman as a cartoon goes out of its way to avoid the obvious failings of the previous cartoon, and then falls headlong into the same exact mistakes. It’s like Greek Tragedy in that regard. Alas, that’s the only thing about Spiderman on TV to be even remotely interesting, and it’s all behind the scenes: the actual shows themselves are boring as hell. I did finally nail down at least one inexplicably repeated error from each cartoon, however: Voice acting is pretty important in a cartoon, right? A bad line reading can kill a character, a really good signature voice can redeem an otherwise lame character. So why is it that every single cartoon version of Spiderman since the mid-1960s has sounded like Nicholas Hammond? http://imdb.com/name/nm0358749/ I mean, that’s like saying, “You know, Wolverine is a total badass, violent and angry, I think his character can best be represented in cartoon form by Stephen Lack, who always manages to sound like Hal 9000’s less-emotional brother” http://imdb.com/name/nm0480099/