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Moving to a full website

I’m now happy to announce that you will find this blog now on it’s own website at contemplatingthecosmos.com

This blog will stay up for a few months, just so that traffic continues. But overall, I hope you will enjoy the higher level of quality at this website.

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Posted by on 2011/08/27 in Uncategorized

 

Small notice on name

I just wanted to make a quick announcement, about the website name.  Currently, it says that CTC is “Exploring the connection between philosophy and Science fiction”.  while that is correct, I’m just going to change the name to something a little more realistic.  So, now CTC “Explores the inherent themes in science fiction”.  What do you think of this change?  Any thoughts?

 
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Posted by on 2011/08/20 in Uncategorized

 

Seeking the Alphas Update, and the start of Following Falling Skies

Sadly, I’ve been searching for a legal way to watch the newer episodes of Alphas.  These do not exist.  So, I am going to have to wait until October, when Syfy releases the content onto the web.  However, I am proud to announce a replacement series called “Following Falling Skies”, which will cover the TNT drama Falling Skies. I’ve found the show to have a great perspective on the human spirit, personal choice, and so much more.  I’ve already found the show’s first 7 episodes online at TNT.tv, so you can enjoy it when ready.  Also, I recommend looking for Dark Horse Comic’s prequel series of comic books, that will introduce you to the main characters, and how they met up.

 
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Posted by on 2011/07/29 in Uncategorized

 

Seeking the Alphas: What is an Alpha?

So far, I’ve found the show ALPHAS to be engaging and thoughtful. But before we can go on, we need to answer one very simple question; What is an Alpha? I’ve defined this before in passing, but I want to delve into it, and the concept. The reason is that it is completely different than the Marvel-style mutants, or the characters in Heroes.

So, What is an Alpha? The Character Lee Rosen defines it as a “neurological difference that confers some kind of exceptional advantage”. So, one character has the ability to mentally and visually see and trace all elements of electromagnetic spectrum, something most human brains cannot even touch. Another has the ability to create and expand his physical abilities beyond their normal using the adrenaline in his body. These attributes are simply versions of normal human traits that are enhanced beyond their normal capabilities.

This definition is important, for it defines how the powers developed. Unlike Mutants, this development isn’t a new stage in genetic development. Instead, it’s simply a development in the human race. You could consider it to be random, or ordained by a higher entity. The show leaves that to be ambiguous for the moment. What we do know is that these men and women are defined by this trait, and it’s implications. And that makes it all the more interesting.

 

 

 
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Posted by on 2011/07/26 in Uncategorized

 

Seeking the Alphas: “Pilot”

syfy, information, reviewThis first pilot is what has hooked me to the show.  The episode starts off by introducing us to a random grocery worker who is receives a call, has access to a gun, and shoots.  Suddenly, we are then introduced to the Alphas, and their leader Dr. Rosen. This group is working to take on challenges where the Alpha gene is in play.  The next hour is a chase of heroes, of villains, and of discovering this gift in a storyline similar to both the X-Men and CSI.

This episode worked to establish both the mythos of the world and the characters.  First off, we had to understand what an Alpha is. It is a genetic development that enhances a certain aspect of the human mind, so that he or she has unique abilities, as well as unique weaknesses.  These are not mutations or evolutions, but abilities based in neurochemistry.  It makes things interesting.  We see powers ranging from influence to tracking electronic signals, to even being able to perfectly control your body.

As for the team, we are meeting characters, learning their quirks, and finding how they relate, or fail to relate. This kind of connection is unique within a group, especially on the first pilot.  Because each of the powers are unique to the character, it’s hard to define certain moral or ethical aspects of the ability without delving into the character. So, I won’t be focusing on character development or the special abilities of the main characters until the end of the season.

What this episode emphasized in it’s story was the reality of Alphas, and their abilities.  We saw it’s neutral nature, and how any individual can abuse and use it.  As Spiderman’s uncle once said, “With great power, comes great responsibility”.

Overall, this episode establishes the human-ness of Alphas, both their evils, their goods, their flaws, their strengths, and most importantly, their uniqueness.  It has created a universe with a lot of potential, and especially a lot of character.

 
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Posted by on 2011/07/23 in Uncategorized

 

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Seeking the Series: Alphas

My first series of posts on a TV show will be covering the new science fiction drama Alphas, which covers the unique enhanced mechanisms that exist within the brain.  Think of it as a realistic X-men.  This show has promise in it’s exploration of psychology, genetics, neurochemistry, and the human condition.  So, expect my first post on the pilot by tomorrow, and following, the latest episode “Cause and Effect”.  I hope you enjoy this series, and find something well worth thinking about.

 
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Posted by on 2011/07/22 in Uncategorized

 

Burn-E and why the little things count

Burn-E is a fun short that came out on the WALL-E DVD that is one of my favorite Pixar shorts.  Shorts are usually meant to be entertaining, but I wanted to mention this item because of the minor theme.  BURN-E simply tells the story of a welding robot who is trying to complete his duties while WALL-E is running around on the AXIOM.  The whole thing starts because WALL-E puts his hand in a star cloud, which causes a clump, which also becomes a meteorite that destroys a part.  It’s BURN-E’s job to fix that part.  And the hilarity soon begins.  The film illustrates fairly well the idea that everything has an impact, even that ripple on the pond.  And it’s even better, because it’s really, really funny.  I personally recommend checking it out, because it will make you think, laugh, and enjoy quite a few sci-fi references (Think 2001: A Space Odyssey)

It should be on most DVDs, for you to enjoy.

 

 

 
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Posted by on 2011/07/22 in Uncategorized