Thursday, 31 December 2015

Nerdversity Discussion - Are fans being punished again?

Star Trek: Axanar and it's prequel, Prelude to Axanar weren't exactly big budget movies. They were fan made shorts that were on the internet. They were well made and had fantastic cast in them. However, they weren't that well known outside the Star Trek community. That changed yesterday when the project was shut down by CBS/Paramount. 

CBS/Paramount has always been great with Trek fans and allowed them to continue the proud Star Trek tradition through uncountable fan movies, fan series, cosplays and loads more besides. However, that changed when CBS lawyers presented them with a lawsuit and shut down the project. The lawyers, Loeb and Loeb stated: 

"The Axanar Works infringe Plaintiffs’ works by using innumerable copyrighted elements of Star Trek, including its settings, characters, species, and themes,"
It wasn't the fact that it received over a million dollars in crowd funding. It wasn't the fact that they credited Paramount for their work, no. It was the Paramount's legal department suddenly decided that rather than work with Trek fans and make these projects happen, they'd fight them and aggressively defend their copyright, as in this statement:

 "Star Trek is a treasured franchise in which CBS and Paramount continue to produce new original content for its large universe of fans. The producers of Axanar are making a Star Trek picture they describe themselves as a fully professional independent Star Trek film. Their activity clearly violates our Star Trek copyrights, which, of course, we will continue to vigorously protect."

You can read the full complaint here

So there you have it folks, Things like this are the reason why fans are scared to make fan movies, fan web series, music, games etc and show them off to the world. Does this mean that Dredd fan movies are next? more Trek? Star Wars? Doctor Who? 

Fan movies have been around for over 30 years now and have shown off great talent and writing. Adi Shankar recently brought back Thomas Jane in "The Punisher: Dirty Laundry" short and recently broke the internet with his gritty Power Rangers reboot short. They are no different than Axanar or Renegades in my opinion. Further to that, CBS should really drop this lawsuit before it goes further. Punishing fans for showing their love and respect for your work by making fan works won't win fans over or even bring in new fans, it turns them away to companies that love and cherish them. Remember when everyone stopped making Star Wars fan movies because Lucas kept shutting them down? well, CBS/Paramount are doing exactly the same here

If you're saying that fan movies are infringing on your copyright, then so are cosplays and fan fiction. Are Paramount going to go after them next? I would like to see Paramount shut down every single Trek cosplayer and fiction writer in the world. 

Nerdversity Reviews: Terrahawks Series 1, Episode 12 - A Christmas Miracle

A Christmas Miracle aired on December 24th 1983.

It's Christmas Eve and at Hawknest, Kate and Mary and finishing up decorating ready for Christmas. They finish putting up the tree and testing it. Tiger is hard at work on his battle plans that he's been working on all week. He falls asleep in his chair and wakes up 8 hours later.

Zelda and her forces are on Mars with Cy-Star and Yung-Star. They're interested in Christmas as a festival, however Zelda announces she'll be attacking Earth with her full forces.

The rest of the episode plays out much like World War 1, especially the Christmas Truce. Both sides meet on the moon with their full forces. The Zeroids, the Terrahawks' spherical droids dig into trenches and wait for the attack. The Cubes, Zelda's own droids form artillery pieces and then start shelling the Zeroids. Each one following their battle plans to the letter, The Zeroids using tanks to outflank the guns, then Zelda using spacecraft to attack the tanks. Neither side giving up and not really caring about the heavy heavy losses. Yung-Star even parades round in a Pickelhaube helmet and Zelda insists on being called Field Marshal

As the battle rages, Tiger realises there's nothing more he can do, so decides to take a nap. Yung-Star and Cy-Star are forced out into the battlefield where they hide from the firefight. On the Battlehawk, Mary realises all this senseless killing is going to get them ALL wiped out, so she calls for a ceasefire. Major Zero calls it a Christmas Miracle.

Zelda is infuriated that her troops and own family are fraternizing with the enemy, as the Terrahawks and Zelda's family have a Christmas party onboard the BattleHawk, complete with Kate Kestrel providing music. Mary dances with Yung-Star and Hawkeye dances with Cy-Star. Tiger wakes up from his nap and sees what's going on. He realises that everyone's against him, but then swerves into the "if you can't beat them...." mentality. 

He goes over to Zelda;'s ship and shares a drink with her. Zelda flirts with him and then attemps to kiss him, The screen fades and it's revealed that it was all a dream as he wakes up with a start from his nap on the table. He's been asleep for only 30 minutes and had that nightmare. It's past midnight on Christmas Day.  The Terrhawks wish everyone at home a very Merry Christmas

Nerdversity Reviews: Joe 90 Series 1, Episode 13 - The Unorthodox Shepherd

The Unorthodox Shepherd aired on December 22nd 1968.

It's Christmas once again. Joe as his family are practicing carols in the church of St, Davids. The vicar is deaf and lets the carol practice run on for far too long. A series of forged United States dollar bills have been traced to an unlikely counterfeiter – the Reverend Joseph Shepherd, vicar of the village church St David's. WIN's suspicions are raised, and Professor McClaine, Sam Loover  and Joe 90  are dispatched to investigate in the days building up to Christmas. Equipped with the brain impulses of a World Bank vice president, Joe confirms that the bills have been printed within the last two weeks, despite the facts that the last official printing in Washington, D.C. was 17 years ago and the plates were subsequently destroyed in a fire. The trio decide to confront the Reverend, who is apparently half-deaf, at his vicarage. There, the suspect amazes the WIN agents by identifying the make of Loover's concealed gun based on nothing more than the click of the safety catch.
The Reverend reveals that his deafness is an act, and that the plates were not destroyed – they have been smuggled into Britain by two criminals, Kline and Mason, who are using them to print $6 million in forged bills. The plates arrived in the coffin of Mason's uncle, Clem Mason (known on the West Coast of the United States as a cunning racketeer, Carlo Masoni) who wished to be buried in the village of his birth. Kline and Mason's hideout is the crypt underneath Clem's tomb. To divert attention from the counterfeiting operation, Mason has installed electronic devices inside the church, causing the bells to ring at unusual hours and the superstitious villagers to believe that the building is haunted. The verger, Thomas, has been kidnapped and will be killed if the Reverend betrays Kline and Mason; desperate for money to save St David's from dry rot, he had no option other than to comply.
Loover conceives a plan to thwart Kline and Mason's scheme by using Mason's fears against him. That night, with the $6 million target fast approaching and the church now empty of gadgets, the criminals are puzzled to hear the bells ring out across the grounds. Searching for trespassers, Mason is horrified when Loover, hiding in the darkness with a megaphone, declares himself the spirit of Carlo Masoni and warns that the Angel of Death will shortly arrive to avenge his "desecrated" memory. Holding Thomas at gunpoint, Kline and Mason emerge from the crypt to confront the "ghost"; under Mac's instruction, Joe, wearing a jet pack underneath white robes, takes flight and moves towards them. While Mason flees, Kline fires repeatedly at Joe until he is knocked over. At the Reverend's request, Police Constable Lewis has stationed himself nearby and is on hand to arrest the counterfeiters.
By a snowbound Christmas Day, the combination of two rewards for assisting in the recovery of the plates - £8,000 from WIN and £2,000 from Interpol – has given the Reverend the funds necessary to restore St David's. The episode closes with the sounds of the carol service congregation singing "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing", the hymn's final lines dubbed over shots of the snow-covered fields surrounding the village.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Nerdversity Reviews: Thunderbirds Series 2, Episode 6 - Give or Take a Million

Give Or Take A Million aired on December 25th 1966

This is the last official Thunderbirds episode that aired before the two movies. The episode opens with a young boy named Nicky who is on Tracy Island. He watches Thunderbird 3 launch, before Jeff recounts on how Nicky got onto the island for Christmas. The rest of the episode is played in flashback

Coralville Children's Hospital is working out how to secure funding for a new Solar Therapy wing. One of the Committee, Harman says he'll supply a rocket that will drop toys from his department store onto the hospital on Christmas Day. With $10,000, the toys and International Rescue involved as well, it's a guaranteed win, especially as one of the children will win a trip to Tracy Island for Christmas. 

Harman's rocket is tested the following day. It takes 10 minutes for it to arrive and the pod containing the presents lands in the grounds. A nurse opens the pod and checks the contents. A ceramic horse is still in one piece and the launch goes ahead for 9am Christmas Day, with Thunderbird 2 picking up the lucky winner at 9:15.

Meanwhile on Tracy Island, it's all systems go for Christmas. The boys are out in the main house, decorating for Christmas, while Grandma is cooking a traditional Christmas dinner the old fashioned way, instead of using the Nuclear powered oven. Brains has even gone missing as well, as he's busy with an experiment.

Back in New York, a pair of bank robbers by the name of Scobie and Straker have incapacitated a pair of department store Santas and are wearing their outfits. They lock the men in a closet. According to their plans, the bank vault containing $10 million in gold is right through the wall of the toy department. As this is going on, Tanner, the owner of the toy store is loading up the toys and putting the special note inside one of the presents. Back in the store itself, Straker is drilling out the wall, while Scobie dons a special harness to break into the vault.

As the floor is rigged to a pressure sensitive alarm system, they rig a pulley system with Scobie going in with a bag to fill up with gold bars. He fills up his bag with too many bars and the line starts slipping. He braces himself on a table to prevent himself falling and almost knocks a pencil to the ground. 

Meanwhile on Tracy Island, Virgil blasts off enroute to Coralville at midnight in the Pacific, so he'll be there on time to meet the winner.

Back in the vault, Scobie disposes of the harness, which lands on the table and knocks the pencil off, setting the alarms off. With the building on high alert and security after them, the men make their escape through the store and into an elevator. They're loaded into the Harman rocket and they blast off. With the two men trapped inside the pod, the rocket flies towards Coralville Children's Hospital.

Thunderbird 2 makes contact with the rocket. The pod lands and the hospital staff open the pod to reveal the robbers from earlier passed out. The police take the robbers into custody and the hospital is given the reward money. 

Harman celebrates. With the money they made from the stunt and the reward money from the Police, they'll be building the Solar Therapy wing. We jump back to the present time. Brains reveals his present to everyone. He made it snow on Christmas Day. All of the Tracys, Kyrano, Lady Penelope and Nicky enjoy the present and Jeff congratulates him on making a truly traditional Christmas

Nerdversity Reviews: Stingray Season 1, Episode 12 - A Christmas To Remember

Stingray - A Christmas To Remember aired on December 20th 1964.

The plot of this is your traditional Christmas Miracle story. It's Christmas Eve in Marineville. Barry Burns is an orphan, who's parents were WASP agents who were sadly killed. Troy and Atlanta go to the orphanage where Barry currently is to make his Christmas brighter. They're impressed by his knowledge of Marineville and WASP, so they go against base orders and bring him back to Marineville for Christmas.

Troy butters up the usually stony Commander Shore and Barry is allowed to stay in Marineville for Christmas, despite the base being on alert after picking up an enemy submarine. Marineville is decked out in a very winter wonderland setting, complete with snow, Christmas Trees and gifts. They decide to take Barry outside for some fun in the snow. Atlanta and Marina build a snowman with him and they take him ice skating. 

However, it's not all fun when Phones is captured by the owners of the submarine and is held at gunpoint. Phones is forced to bring Stingray to their location, so the aliens can capture it and use it to take over Marineville and then the world. Barry is thrust into a Christmas he'll never forget as he gets to pilot Stingray in a rescue mission to get Phones back. 

Phones is rescued, the aliens defeated at Christmas and everyone returns back to Marineville to celebrate. Barry is given a scale model of Stingray as a present. 

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Nerdversity discussion: Are Autographs Dying?

In 2014, Australian Cricket Legend Shane Warne and musician Taylor Swift both stated that the Autograph market is slowly dying off. 

Once upon a time, the Autograph was a marker of status, wealth and luck, however, in recent years, the demand for autographs has gone down, with this generation of fame hunters opting for a selfie with their prefered celebrity, as well as a retweet or like on Facebook. They believe that's more personal and worth more than an 8x10 with their signature on it. But that's only part of the reason why, lets look at some others:

Fakes - Yep, we couldn't escape the fact that for every genuine Mark Hamill autograph on the market, there are a million fakes, ranging from easily identified fakers to fakes that are practically identical to the real £100 deal. 

Vintage Autographs/Rare Autographs - some Celebrities have never signed in their life and that's why the rare few that are in existence fetch the premium money, pricing many collectors out the market. This also rings true for the newer collectors as the deceased celebrities still bring in top money and aren't signing anymore.

Most Markets are fluctuating  - see, while everyone is out to get their premium Sylvester Stallone autograph and paying the top money for it, the other lower and middle markets are suffering. Most people only choose to collect a certain franchise or sport, leaving other things in the dust. For example, if you are a sports buff and you only collect world cup players, then you'll be ignoring the markets for lesser known players and players who've never played, then they'll slip through the net and either not sell or sell for low ball offers. 

Celebrities are charging more - Yep, in order to make up the shortfall created by the market, most celebrities are now charging for selfies and putting the prices up on their autographs at conventions and other meet and greet sessions. The average convention price for an autograph now is about $20/£20 for a standard guest, more so if they're more famous than others. 

Of course, don't think that this is Nerdversity 101 trying to put you off your collecting and hunting, This is why we want to hear from you. Do you think the autograph is dying? do you believe the selfie with a celeb is more personal?

Nerdversity Reviews: Blackadder's Christmas Carol

Blackadder's Christmas Carol aired on BBC on December 23rd 1988.

Set between Blackadder the Third and Blackadder Goes Forth, Blackadder's Christmas Carol features Ebeneezer Blackadder, the kindest man in England. His moustache shop in Dumpling Lane never turns a profit because he gives away everything to charity. Baldrick, his faithful friend and servant sees him as the victim, as people are taking advantage of his kindness.

On Christmas Eve night, Ebeneezer is visited by the Spirit of Christmas who congratulates him for his work. However, the Spirit shows him what his ancestors were like, namely Lord Edmund Blackadder and Mr. E Blackadder Esq, who lie, cheat and steal their way to get what they want, namely Lord Blackadder using his cracker gift of a novelty death warrant on Lord Melchett. Also Mr. E Blackadder giving away the Prince Regent's presents to an old woman, then chasing hr through the dimly lit streets to get them back. 

Instead of being repulsed by the idea of how they acted, Ebeneezer is admired by their wit and evil natures. He sees his future if he became evil like his ancestors and he finds that he'd be ruler of the universe and married to Queen Asphyxia. If he chooses to remain good, then the future is much the same, but instead, his descendant is Baldrick's slave, who is completely incompetent and wipes out the Galactic Empire's fleet in a single battle.

Realising that the bad guys get all the fun, he wakes up on Christmas morning a changed man. His first act is to punch Baldrick in the face repeatedly, then push an urchin off his window ledge. After getting dressed, he opens the door on some fat orphans singing. He steals their pudding and goes back inside. After getting rid of Mrs. Scratchit and her annoying goddaughter Millicent, he settles down. However, Victoria and Albert knock on the door and give Baldrick their royal seal and tell him that Blackadder is to receive £50,000 and the title of Baron for his good work to charity. However, before Baldrick can tell him, Blackadder insults them and drives them off. As Blackadder settles down to eat his Christmas dinner, Baldrick tells him they were the REAL Queen and Prince and shows him the royal seal as evidence as Blackadder looks shocked. 

Nerdversity Reviews: Bottom Series 2, Episode 5 - Holy

"Holy" aired 29th October 1992 on BBC 2 and starred:
  • Rik Mayall as Richie
  • Ade Edmondson as Eddie
  • Chris Ryan as Hedgehog
  • Steven O'Donnell as Spudgun
  • Roger Sloman as Mr. Harrison
  • Charlie Biddle as Johnny Bates
  • Tina Foley as Valerie Bates
The episode opens with Eddie asleep in bed. It's 3:30am on Christmas Morning. Richie, disguised as Santa comes in and plays Deck the Halls over a stereo. This is Richie's ritual, so this year, Eddie has a trap set up, tying him up in a noose and only letting him down when he agrees to pay £10. Santa falls to the floor and limps off. Richie comes back in wearing his striped pyjamas and ignores Eddie's protests to go back to bed. The annual gift giving commences with Richie starting work on his filled pair of tights, which actually turns out to be the contents of Christmas dinner, all individually wrapped.  Eddie doesn't have much in his child's sock. After that, they move onto their big presents. Eddie gives Richie an empty bottle of Malibu and a play telescope that features Sue Carpenter in a bikini. Richie gives Eddie a large portrait of himself, which Eddie smashes over Richie's head.

Richie bans the use of the TV until the Queen's Speech at 3pm. He then delegates the tasks in the house. He makes the dinner, while Eddie makes the flat look Christmassy. Eddie drank all the brandy, so Eddie produces his subsitute, Vodka Margerine. Richie bemoans they don't have a Christmas Tree, so Eddie unveils his Christmas Twig, which cost £16. Richie goes back to cooking and then accidentally cuts off his index finger with a cleaver. Unable to ring an ambulance, Eddie applies a tourniquet, which involves him choking Richie until he starts to lose consciousness. Eddie finds Richie's finger on the floor and then after some fun with it, they agree to have him staple it back into place. 

Eddie unveils his Christmas Twig, which has some light bulbs attached to it. He turns it on and it catches on fire. Eddie throws it outside and then shuts the window on Richie's finger. A brief fight ensues, only to be stopped by the arrival of Dave Hedgehog and Spudgun for Christmas dinner. The have a pre dinner drink of Gravy Sherry before Richie leaves to finish up the dinner. However, the potatoes have become like rocks which smash plates and the turkey has become a lump of charcoal. Richie brings out the Christmas pudding which is really good at keeping a flame, necessitating Eddie to bring in a fire extinguisher to put the flames out. Since dinner was a disaster, they retire to the drawing room. Richie starts a game of Charades, but Eddie puts a stop to it by giving them all Goldfinger and stopping the game,

Richie is called away when he hears the doorbell. Believing them to be charity collectors, he attempts to shoo them off, however, he sees a baby on the doorstep. He brings the baby inside, despite Eddie's protests and starts playing with the child. Richie realises the baby will have no family or presents on Christmas day, so they each donate a present. Spudgun donates his Terry's All Gold chocolate. Eddie donates his Frankenstein Mask and Hedgehog gives the child his new aftershave "Grrr". Richie realises this mirrors the story from the bible. "Gold, Frankenstein and Grrr." and that he's wearing a blue towel on his head, much like the Virgin Mary. Spudgun changes the baby's nappy while Hedgehog rings The Pope, who surprisingly lives in Twickenham. Eddie decides the baby won't ruin his Christmas, to which Richie berates him for.

The episode ends with Mr. Harrison, their landlord coming in to get the baby, Johnny off them. Harrison reveals that he left Johnny with them because his daughter's mother has had a heart attack and he needed to drive her to the hospital. Valerie comes into the flat and says she's going to breast feed the young Master Bates in the kitchen. Richie and Eddie look at each other and shout "MERRY BLOODY CHRISTMAS!" 

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Happy Holidays from Nerdversity 101

Nerdversity Reviews: Cabin Pressure at Christmas (Moloka'i)

Cabin Pressure at Christmas (Moloka'i) aired on BBC Radio 4 on December 25th 2010 and starred:
  • Benedict Cumberbatch as Martin
  • Roger Allam as Douglas
  • Stephanie Cole as Carolyn
  • John Finnemore as Arthur
  • Ben Willbond as Mr. Alyakhin
The episode has a pre-credits scene and it's of Martin and Douglas doing a Christmas themed pre-flight check.

DOUGLAS Air con?
DOUGLAS: Anti-collision light?
DOUGLAS: Fuel pump switches?
DOUGLAS: Dasher?
DOUGLAS: Dancer?
DOUGLAS: Prancer and Vixen?
MARTIN: On. Comet?
MARTIN: Cupid!
MARTIN: Donner and Blitzen?
DOUGLAS: To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall.
MARTIN Dash away …
DOUGLAS and MARTIN: … dash away, dash away, all!

The episode begins with GERTI taking off from Hong Kong on their way back to Tokyo. Arthur's on board and clearly excited because it's Christmas Day. He starts mangling "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen", referring to it as "Get Dressed Ye Merry Gentlemen" and repeatedly singing "it is Christmas Day" in the bits he doesn't know. Martin and Douglas correct him on the Carol. Arthur asks them what they plan to do. Douglas intends to sleep, ring his daughter and then ingest a heroic amount of sushi. Martin however plans on lounging and reading. Arthur and Carolyn are going to have a very traditional Christmas dinner at a place called The Auspicious Pig and Whistle Old England Style Happy Pub. 

Carolyn rings the Sat com and tells them that they need to fly to Tokyo, pick up her and Mr. Alyakhin, a Russian Yacht broker and fly them to Hawaii. Martin and Douglas complain about it. Arthur is the most upset as he won't get to have a Christmas, Martin feels bad that Arthur isn't having one, so feels they should have one in the flight deck. Douglas begrudgingly agrees to it and then starts work on not only the Secret Santa and decorating the flight deck and making Christmas Dinner.

Meanwhile, Carolyn is dealing with Mr. Aliyakhin in the flight deck and is put off by his attitude towards her and her company. He refers to Carolyn as a "babushka" and GERTI as a "minibus with wings". She tries to convince him to use MJN for their future trips. Douglas meets Carolyn in the galley and talks to her about their plan and he gets his eye on the expensive wine Mr. Alyakhin gave her. He trades her names with the Secret Santa and walks off with the Wine, taking the chicken sandwich out the fridge to place in the vents.

Martin is busy at work on Arthur's stocking when Carolyn brings Mr. Alyakhin into the flight deck. Carolyn tells them of the other staff, which Douglas adds to, with the stewardesses, Holly, Ivy and Mary. Mr. Alyakhin takes Carolyn into the cabin to discuss their terms, Arthur, who had been stuffed into the flight deck locker to avoid Mr. Alyakhin, has stood on Martin;s green umbrella and had broken it. They turn it into their Christmas tree.

Mr. Aliyakhin is convinced Martin is a rulebreaker. They go back to the flight deck and see him with chocolate on his fingers. He accidentally lets slip that they've flown from Hong Kong to Tokyo and then onto Moloka'i. Mr. Alyakhin is now angry and notes that this is the kind of rule breaking that he was talking about. Douglas has a plan and pulls Arthur out of the locker and explains that he's Noel, their Christmas pilot, who's been hiding in the locker because it's his birthday and it's his surprise party. He was the one that flew them to Tokyo where Martin and Douglas picked up.

The episode ends with GERTI in Moloka'i and the crew enjoying a 4 minute Christmas celebration. Mr. Alyakhin has agreed to use MJN in the future. Martin gives Arthur his stocking, which contains an orange tic tac, a sugar sachet with a mouse drawn on it and some 5 pence pieces with chocolate on them. Douglas reveals his present to Arthur. He thinks that his christmas was only 4 minutes, but Douglas reminds him of the international date line, so it's now 12:01, on christmas day. Arthur reveals his present. He took the Petrus 05 that Douglas had his eye on, put in the orange tic tacs, some fruit juice and blitzed it in the microwave, mulling it. Douglas is enraged.

Nerdversity Reviews: LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar (Day 24)

Here we are, we're at the final day in our calendar. We hope you've enjoyed out journey over the last 24 days. Here's a recap of all 23 days:
  1. Jabba's Sail Barge
  2. Sarlaac pit
  3. LIN Demolition Droid
  4. Jawa mini figure
  5. Sandcrawler
  6. Ewok Weapons Rack
  7. Ewok campfire
  8. Ewok Warrior mini figure
  9. Ewok Catapult
  10. Stormtrooper Mini figure
  11. Star Destroyer
  12. Imperial Weapons Rack
  13. Death Star Assassin Droid
  14. Millennium Falcon
  15. Turbolaser Battery
  16. A-Wing
  17. Hoth Rebel Trooper
  18. AT-AT
  19. Rebel Ion Cannon
  20. Imperial Probe Droid
  21. Rebel Gun Platform
  22. Reindeer R2-D2
  23. Sledge
So without further ado, lets get right into today's feature:

Our final figure is C-3PO in a Santa outfit with a beard and sack. I wish he had a hat, but interesting choice nonetheless

Here's the parts in their baggie. You get one spare part, the beard piece. You get the head, legs, torso, beard and sack pieces.

Here's the finished figure in all his glory and the pieces next to him. He looks great and is well detailed.

Santa 3PO is ready to deliver gifts across the Star Wars universe. It looks great and the final three pieces are festive and work with the overall theme of Christmas and Star Wars. 

So that's it, that's the entire calendar done for this year. I hope you've enjoyed the ride 

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Nerdversity Reviews: LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar (Day 23)

Here we are, only one more day left. We're on Day 23. So without further ado, lets get right into and see what we get:

We get a lightsaber powered jet sled to go with the R2-D2 we got yesterday. Seems to be an easy build.

Here's the pieces in their baggie. No spare parts this time round. Everything you need is in the baggie. Take care though, the lightsaber pieces could get lost easy

Here's the finished speeder in all it's glory. Very easy build and went together smoothly, no issues with any parts or any bits that popped off during construction.

So, as we reach the end of our journey, we're adding to the Christmas themed collection. R2 and his sled work great together. It's festive and fits in with the Star Wars universe. 

So, what will be our final stop in the Star Wars universe? Join us tomorrow and find out

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Nerdversity Reviews: Cabin Pressure Series 2, Episode 6 - Limerick

Limerick aired on BBC Radio 4 on August 21st 2009 and starred:
  • Benedict Cumberbatch as Martin
  • Roger Allam as Douglas
  • Stephanie Cole as Carolyn
  • John Finnemore as Arthur 
The pre-intro scene is GERTI flying over Russia. Douglas laments on how big the country is and even jokes about how they've been in the air for over a week now. He laments that he's bored and asks if anyone knows any card tricks or even ghost stories, to come to the flight deck. Martin takes over the cabin address and apologises for Douglas' outburst, but they both lament at how boring it is on the flight deck and how bored they both are,

The episode opens with Martin wondering why Tipperary is where it's always a long way from, as in the song "It's a Long Way From Tipperary". Douglas doesn't know and the conversation moves towards the games they're playing, which is Limericks, based on where they're going. Douglas makes the limerick

We hope you’re enjoying the flight.
On your left we’re just coming in sight
Of Swindon or Stroud
All covered in cloud,
And it’s much the same thing on the right.

Martin chimes in with "Davina McCall" as part of their other game, which is people that have evil sounding names. So far, they have Russell Crowe and Davina McCall. Arthur thinks they're really over Swindon, until he's corrected that they're still over Russia, in a place called Vyshny Volochyok. Arthur then tries to come up with a limerick based upon where they are. Arthur asks the time, as his watch is broken, He broke it trying to work out the difference between Splash Proof and Water Proof. 

Carolyn comes into the flight deck and joins in the games to pass the time, She comes up with the limerick

The captain has turned on the signs,
So stow away bags of all kinds.
Then make sure your tray
Is folded away
And your seat back no longer reclines.

The reason she's joined in is the fact there;s no entertainment in the cabin, There's a broken DVD player, no passengers and her resolve is weakening to the point where she'll let Arthur play Charades for the next 5 hours. Arthur comes in with coffees instead of dinner. Martin tests him on his knowledge of the Phonetic Alphabet, which he fails. He starts playing 20 questions to find out what's in the box they're carrying. Arthur leaves to go make the pies.

Conversation restarts with Martin and Douglas. It goes from Martin not being paid by Carolyn to relationships. Douglas reveals that Helena, his wife has been cheating on him with her Tai Chi instructor. Arthur comes back with the pies and his winning limerick 

Sean Connery, in Vyshny Volochyok,
In the rain, on a drizzly solo trek
Said … (attempting a Sean Connery impersonation) “Forgetting my shweater
Has made me much wetter.
I shertainly do miss my polo neck.”

The episode ends with Arthur realising that they're carrying horse sperm to Limerick from Hong Kong and feeling ill. He fails the next test in the phonetic alphabet. After Carolyn enters with Callista Flockheart, Martin's turn at bat. He uses the name on his watch, Patek Phillipe, Omega, Rolex and Tag Heur to win the game, just as his Patek Phillipe beeps 7pm with The Simpsons theme. With 5 hours left, Arthur tries Charades and everyone guesses his movie, Airplane!

Nerdversity Reviews: LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar (Day 22)

We're on the home straight. We're on day 22, with only 2 days left. It's been an exciting journey from start to finish, loads of interesting items so far, so without further ado lets get into it:

We have a reindeer themed R2-D2. As we're approaching christmas, it makes sense to have some Santa themed mini figures. 

Here's the parts in their little baggie. It's the same as the regular R2 figure, just without the middle foot. The spare parts are another set of antlers.

Here's the finished mini figure. He looks great and the Reindeer antlers on his head really make him stand out as something different and more christmas themed than the other pieces in the set, which are straight up from Star Wars itself.

I like this figure and is a great little Christmas decoration. He'd go great with any Christmas themed diorama or on a desk as a talking point. 

Monday, 21 December 2015

Nerdversity Reviews: Cabin Pressure Series 2, Episode 5 - Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur aired on BBC Radio 4 on 14th August 2009 and starred
  • Benedict Cumberbatch as Martin
  • Roger Allam as Douglas
  • Stephanie Cole as Carolyn
  • John Finnemore as Arthur
  • Paul Putner as Dave
  • Roger Morlidge as George

The episode begins with a pre-credits sequence of GERTI landing back in Fitton. Karl welcomes them back. Martin notes he spotted a hawk or kestrel on the approach. Karl asks what's it doing. Douglas replied "watching how it's supposed to be done"

The episode opens with Arthur and Carolyn inside GERTI after it's been shut down and is now on standby for the rest of the week. Arthur wants to borrow Carolyn's car, as his is really old, it's the wrong colour and smells of duffel coats. Carolyn makes him a bet. If he can use this week to get his skills up on stewarding from very bad, to merely bad, she'll let him do so. Carolyn will be her mystery passenger. Martin comes in and wants to use part of the portacabin for a pilot's lounge. Carolyn rebuffs him and tells him that if he can find space in the airfield, he can use it as a lounge.

Martin goes out looking for a potential spot to make his pilot's lounge. Unfortunately, the planes he finds are locked. Arthur reminds him of a scrap DC-10 fuselage out the back of the Hangar. They agree it's a good idea and go to check on it. As they get closer, Martin hears voices coming from inside. Martin is shocked to find there's an illegal bar operating on the airfield and has been there for 3 years. 

Martin threatens to have the pub shut down, Douglas remarks how he would have had it shut down anyway, even if he had known about it. Douglas tells Arthur the reason he hasn't been told is that he's the worst liar ever. Douglas proves it easily and reminds him of a secret to lying. "telling a different truth". Arthur is called to GERTI and then Martin threatens to come back that night and have the pub shut down,

Back onboard GERTI, Arthur goes through his first day of training. He can't lie to his mother, Carolyn and then wants to go to Kuala Lumpur, but it shot down by Carolyn saying she doesn't want to hear about Koalas or Oompa Loompas. Arthur is quiet and then trains on how to deal with passengers wanting to smoke, which goes OK, but he needs to write down what can be smoked on board, which is nothing.

Martin goes into the bar and realises that it's not what he expected. He realises that they respect him and that spurning them would cause problems. He does however find that the house rules and the talk is not what he expected. He can't talk about flying, so he is forced to talk about other things, including sport. which he's unaccustomed to. This descends into a point where he considers quitting and the fact that he buys rounds allows him to talk about aviation, which makes everyone leave.

Meanwhile, Arthur goes through several trying days of working through orders, food menus, special diets and multiple things at once. On the final day, when Carolyn throws the book at him, he invents his own way through it  by inventing his own mystery passengers to fix the problems Carolyn throws at him. Carolyn is impressed by his ingenuity and gives him the keys to her car. 

Martin finds out that Douglas and the others abandoned him in the fuselage and made their new pub in the Mechanic's loading bay. Martin goes to pay them a visit and rings Carolyn to inform her of the pub. Douglas orders the boys out the pub before Carolyn gets there. Douglas pretends to be her mystery mischief maker. She gets mad and throws Martin out of the bar, Douglas and Carolyn share and drink and Douglas tells her that the new pub will be in the Fireman's Lounge, 

Nerdversity Reviews: LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar (Day 21)

Can't believe we're on Day 21 already. It won't be long before Christmas is here. I hope you've been enjoying the Daily updates and taking the Journey with me across the Star Wars Universe. So, without further ado, here's today's update; 

We're staying on Hoth for a little longer and with the Rebel Alliance too. We have another firing weapon, this time with a Hoth Rebel Blaster turret.

Here's the parts in their baggie. The spare parts are a spare launcher piece and some red laser bolts. These pieces will be commonly lost or broken

Here's the cannon from the front and back. It went together very easily and only has a handful of parts. The instructions were very clear and didn't seem at all confusing

Here's a short video of the cannon firing. It operates in much the same way that the turbo laser battery did. Push down on the clip and let the blaster part fire off. It does have some force and goes a fair distance. So do be careful with these. 

In conclusion, not a bad little build and does look great next to the ion cannon. I can't wait to really put these against the Hoth Imperials. The Rebel forces are growing. This little set is really enhanced by the inclusion of the Rebel trooper as well. It'd look great next to any Hoth Diorama 

What will we get tomorrow? Join us tomorrow and find out 

Nerdversity 101 Update (Part 2)

I really really hate having to do these. I'm sorry guys, but after this, we'll get back to doing this as we should be.

Last week, I announced that I'd left Nerdversity 101 and taken a number of things with as my legal 50%. However, it seems that wasn't enough. My former partner has been going even further into the deep end is accusing me of all kinds of stuff, even fabricating a number of legal documents. He's passing round a fake email from a solicitor in the UK stating that I'm going to get arrested. 

Clearly resorting to fabricated threats and even getting my own family to side with his will. I found it most upsetting and frankly absurd that he'd go to these great lengths to really try and dirty and sully my reputation, all for simply leaving with my dignity intact and my legal 50%.

So, I was refiling my copyright today, as it had expired and I was trying to protect my legal 50% from any outside interference and potential theft and I get this message:

I'm confused at this whole thing of what I supposedly did to him, other than deny him 100% and stick to my 50%. I'm still getting threats saying that he'll go public with that fake email to get me black listed and probably put in jail. 

Why can't a guy just work in peace?


Sunday, 20 December 2015

Nerdversity Reviews: Cabin Pressure Series 2, Episode 4: Johannesburg

Johannesburg aired on BBC Radio 4 on 7th August 2009 and starred:
  • Benedict Cumberbatch as Martin
  • Roger Allam as Douglas
  • John Finnemore as Arthur
  • Stephanie Cole and Carolyn
  • Michael Fenton Stevens as Senor Quintilla
  • Javier Mazan as Diego
The pre credits sequence has Arthur narrating the landing as follows:

ARTHUR (into cabin address): Ladies and gentlemen, as you can see, our onboard transit process today has now reached its ultimate termination.
CAROLYN: He means we’ve landed.
ARTHUR: Yes. So, as yourselves prepare for disemboarding, if I could kindly ask you to kindly ensure you retain all your personal items about your person throughout the duration of the disembarkation.
CAROLYN: He means take your stuff with you.
ARTHUR: In concluding, it’s been a privilege for ourselves to conduct yourselves through the in-flight experience today, and I do hope you’ll re-favour ourselves with the esteem of your forth-looking custom going forward.
CAROLYN: … No idea.

The episode begins with Martin and Douglas flying over Barrow-in-Furness, Martin is a little unsure, but Douglas is fine with the plan. They open the air brakes and then Douglas laments on how he over-estimated on how fine it would be. Back at Fitton, it's revealed that Douglas and Martin should have taken GERTI to take a printer to Paris, instead, the flew it to Barrow-in-Furness to Douglas' daughter's birthday party. He'd put boiled sweets in the air brake and planned to open them and let the sweets flutter gently onto the children below. Unfortunately, in the heat, they'd melted a little and then solidified in the cool air, turning it into a sugar brick, which, when dropped from GERTI, had landed on a koi carp, killing it. Carolyn laments that they're paying out too much money for flights, so they need to rein in the costs. Carolyn bets them that they can't do the flight to Johannesburg for less than £12,000. If they can, they can split the difference between them. If it's over, they both owe Carolyn £1000 each.

Douglas begins his money saving plan by stripping out the galley and cancelling the catering for a 12 hour flight. Instead, he brings in his own food. Martin and Douglas compare cost cutting measures as well, Martin's suggestion is to get a really long runway in Johannesburg to prolong the life of the wheel brakes. Douglas' plan to save money is to turn off the air con, take half the liquid oxygen, keep the air re circulation fans on and only use one engine to taxi with. Martin quips that many of these things are illegal. Douglas reveals his meal for the flight is the carp he killed and plans to sleep on the plane in Johannesburg.

During the flight, the starboard wing anti icing warning flashes, to which Douglas describes it as "the rabbit of negative euphoria". They plan on flying close to the sun and avoiding clouds, however Martin believes this to be too dangerous and then decides to land. They land in Spain after only 3 hours. Upon arrival, they find there is no engineer to look at GERTI, his car is broken down and he lives in Albecete. Martin realised that he can't fly the length of Africa without coffee, so Douglas teaches Arthur a trick on how to make boiling water. Fill a wine bottle with water, place it on the engine and presto, boiling water.

Martin and Arthur take a baggage truck to Albecete to find Diego, the engineer. On the way, they sing "one man and his dog" and get stuck under a low bridge. They manage to free themselves and finally make their way to Albecete airport. They find Diego and rouse him from his siesta, bringing him back to the airport to fix GERTI.

Meanwhile, Douglas is working out the costs and they're £14 over budget, meaning he has to knock at least 20 euros of the bill. He's forced to wash Senor Quintilla's BMW to get the money off, much to the delight of Carolyn, who even has a drink and deck chair as she watches him wash the car. 

Martin arrives with 20 minutes to spare. He does a walk around in less than a minute and then Diego comes in and explains that the warning light was a faulty console and a false alarm, which he fixes with a smack to the console. As they fire up GERTI to take off with only 5 minutes left, they hear a massive bang and glass shattering. Upon shutting down the engines, it turns out that Arthur had left the bottle in the engine, which had fired out the engine and into Senor Quintilla's BMW. The episode ends with Martin whining in anguish.