70s Sci-Fi, Tolkien Works, and Soap Operas – Geekout 25

One of the Christmas gifts I received from my in-laws this year was a page-a-day desk calendar. On each page, the calendar has a challenge to list some geeky things given a set of three prompts. I’ve been writing about these each day. I’m slightly behind, but this page wants me to list Four Sci-Fi Television Series from the 70s, Two J.R.R. Tolkien Titles, and Two Daytime Soap Operas.

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In responding to these prompts, I try to say something about my answers, and some of my answers I know more about than others! Anyway, let’s get to the meat of this post!

Four Sci-Fi Television Series from the 70s

I thought this would be easier, but now that I’m thinking about it, most of the classic sci-fi shows I can think of are 60s, 80s, or 90s shows, not 70s. Also, I’m going to say that “from” here is going to mean that any of a shows episodes were airing during the 70s. And even with that exception, I’m still going to come up short.

Battlestar Galactica

The original version of this show started in the 70s and ended in the 80s. I’ve tried to watch this show, but I didn’t really get into it. I first watched the re-imagined version of the show that aired in the 2000s. The premise of the shows is that the Cylons (artificially intelligent robots) killed most of humanity and the Battlestar Galactica is a surviving starship.

Dr. Who

I believe the show started in the 60s and has been running at least intermittently ever since. This is one of those shows that’s high up on my to-watch list, but I’ve only seen a couple of episodes in the middle. I need to binge watch it at some point.

Two J.R.R. Tolkien Titles

This well-known author almost needs no introduction. Tolkien is an English author from whom much of modern fantasy storytelling finds inspiration. People who write fantasy stories have often read fantasy stories, and these days, those authors have all read Tolkien’s works.

Interestingly, he was a linguist, and I have books containing his translations on a bookshelf behind me. I find Old and Middle English very interesting, and he was very interested in the English language.

The Hobbit

As the name of this book suggests, this story follows the adventures of a Hobbit. The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, quests with a band of Dwarves in search of a great treasure guarded by a dragon. This is actually a children’s story, and remains very popular even today. In fact, it recently received an adaptation in the form of 3 films.

The Lord of the Rings

Tolkien’s most well-known work, The Lord of the Rings is an adventurous tale of the forces of Good trying to cast off the Evil in the world. It is the sequel to The Hobbit. I believe Tolkien originally wrote this story with the intent of it being all one volume. The story is rather large, so you can understand why it may have necessitated being split up.

Most people are familiar with The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. Those are the volumes that together comprise The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It’s interesting to call it a trilogy, because each of those volumes is actually split into two books. That makes it fun, because there are six books in this “trilogy”.

The Silmarillion

Added a bonus one here. This story is technically an incomplete work by Tolkien, however, it did end up getting “finished” and published. I’ve yet to read the book cover to cover, but I intend to at some point. If I were to describe this book in a very simple way, I’d say that the other books are about adventures within Middle Earth, Tolkien’s imagined fantasy world, but this book is about Middle Earth itself.

Two Daytime Soap Operas

Now here’s a strange topic. I’ve heard of these, but I know nothing about them. I know the jokes about crazy storylines and such. Are these shows really like this?

Days of Our Lives

I only know the name. Can’t think of anything else to say about this.

The Young and the Restless

Don’t know anything about this either. I just know the name.

Wrap Up

That was a bit rocky, but I’m looking forward to the next listings on Gaming, Comics, and Sci-Fi.

Insects, Kid Tabletop Games, and Comic Dogs – Geekout 24

I’m a bit late wrapping this one up; life gets in the way sometimes. Anyway, I hope you’re still here and looking forward to some geeky topics. This one will be a bit quick, and it’s about Six Types of Insects, Six Children’s Tabletop Games, and Four Named Pet Dogs in Comic Books.

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Make it so.

Six Types of Insects

Upon reading this, I was a bit confused. Is “type” a technical term for these that I didn’t know existed. I commented about this to my wife, and she wasn’t sure at first what they meant either. We established they must have meant something along the lines of a word or words that people use to describe a group of species that are insects regardless of the taxonomic level. For example, it might be possible for a genus or a family to be an answer. Not sure what I’ll have in here though!

If you’ve ever played the board game Dominant Species, you know that insects are everywhere, and they’ve got way too many different species!

Ants

Ants are a remarkable type of insect, both for what they create and accomplish together and for their societal structure. Ants are everywhere on this plant, and that’s due to some really great achievements in their species. They build elaborate tunnels, work together, and have different classes with different roles.

I was a big fan of the game Sim Ant when I was younger. In the game, you controlled one ant at a time competing for resources against rival ant colonies, and you could make new queens to colonize other parts of the yard.

Mosquitos

One of the most hated of insects are mosquitos. Yes, there are many different mosquitos, which is why you hear about certain types being in certain areas. This is very relevant due to certain species being able to spread certain viruses and parasites that can harm humans.

Flies

One of the most annoying on this list, these little buzzing creatures get our attention quite easily. I don’t know that much about them, however, I do know that there are some species of these little buggers. It shows the significance of these fellas that we use a “fly swatter” to kill insects that aren’t even flies. We dislike these so much, we have a weapon with their name on it…

Bees

The insect on my list with the worst public relations team has to be bees. This is due to their close relationship to wasps, not their close relationship to ants. How do you know they’re closely related to ants? Remember that I talked about complex social structures and accomplishments of ants? These little guys are similar to ants; they have different roles, communication, and build things together. We love these insects for their role in pollinating plants as well as making honey!

The reason they have such a bad image is that many people think that yellow-colored wasps are bees. You can look up the difference, but one of the best ways to tell is how fuzzy it is. It’s not very scientific, but bees tend to be fuzzier and wasps are usually smoother. I’d guess this is because the fuzz helps to pollinate.

Butterflies

Humans love looking at butterflies. These insects make such beautiful patterns and colors and their wings, which really grab our attention. And when they’re flying around, they’re not buzzing and making annoying sounds. They’ll even sometimes gently move those wings while sitting otherwise still.

We also tend to find their larval form kind of cute. They’re caterpillars! It might be gross to some, but these little guys walk around on stuff until they eventually cocoon up and become butterflies!

Beetles

Not to be confused with the musicians, these little creatures are a strange group. I don’t know enough about them, but I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of beetles in your life.

Six Children’s Tabletop Games

I wasn’t sure why children’s was the topic here. Am I supposed to be remembering these from my youth or remarking on new ones? I don’t really know, so I’m going to name a couple each of children’s versions of modern games,  children’s versions of classic games, and classic children’s games.

Catan Junior

If you’ve heard of Settlers of Catan, you’ve gotten at least a glimpse into the modern world of board gaming. Catan is from the mid 1990s, so it’s not exactly new either. Catan Junior is the children’s version of the game. It’s simpler to play than the regular version, but the basic idea of the game remains.

Ticket to Ride First Journey

Like with Catan Junior, this is a children’s version of a modern game. In this case, as you likely guessed, it’s based on Ticket to Ride. With its basis being one of the easier train-themed board games, the children’s version should be approachable for kids.

Clue Junior

I think everyone reading this knows Clue, and to no one’s surprise, they make children’s versions of this. I’ve not played it, but I’d guess it just reduces the number of options to make the game easier and shorter.

Monopoly Junior

Another of the classics, most people will know monopoly. The kids version if going to be the same basic game, but with a smaller board and bigger pieces. I’ve seen this in store, and remember seeing the player pieces showing through plastic windows. The pieces are huge, which makes sense if you expect kids less-precise hands to use them.

Candy Land

And into the classics! This game has an awesome movement mechanic. You draw a card and move to the next space with the card’s symbol. Plus, it’s candy themed!

Chutes and Ladders

Probably known as Snakes and Ladders to some of you, this game has spaces where you can climb up ladders or slide down chutes. Chutes are bad, and ladders are good. I’m not sure how great “chutes” is for little children anyway, since I don’t think they know what those are. One probably has to explain to children that they’re like slides or something.

Four Named Pet Dogs in Comic Books

Don’t know the comic book dogs. Sorry. I tried to think of them. I think my wife will be disappointed, since she seemed excited by this prompt. She knows comics much better than I do!

Wrap Up

OK. I’m back in catch up mode, so I’ll try to get the next one out soon. The next one will cover Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and General Geekiness.

Hellboy, Sci-Fi Captains, and Flying Creatures – Geekout 23

Are you as excited for this list as I am? Probably not, since I’ve seen the prompts. Let’s jump right into this one! Today I’m tasked with naming Two characters from Hellboy, Four Fictional Sci-Fi Captains, and Four Fantasy Creatures that Fly.

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Let’s put it all together!

Two characters from Hellboy

Nope. I wasn’t excited about this one. The extent of my Hellboy knowledge is that I’ve seen parts of the movie a couple of times, many years ago. I also can’t come close to naming two characters.

Hellboy

Yep. I’m cheating here probably. This is all I’ve got. I know there’s the blue fish-looking guy and some others, but this is the only name I can come up with.

Four Fictional Sci-Fi Captains

This is one of the ones I was excited about, since there are some great choices.

Malcolm Reynolds – Firefly/Serenity

Malcolm is the Captain of the Serenity, a Firefly-class transport vessel. I’m not going to sit here and try to sell you on the show, I’m sure I (and others) have done that before.

Jean-Luc Picard – Star Trek

An honorable member of Starfleet, Jean-Luc Picard captains the Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation, but I’m betting most of you knew that already. He and Kirk are Star Trek’s best known, which makes sense having each captained Enterprises on television and movies. And if you want to bother him, just barge in and call him John Luck Pickerd.

James Holden – The Expanse

I originally watched this series, but started reading the books before finishing watching the first season of the show. Now I’m nearly done reading the sixth (the most recent) book in the series. Season two will be out soon. It should cover the events of the second half of the first book. I’m looking forward to it. James Holden is a good captain of the Rocinante.

Han Solo – Star Wars

Didn’t think I’d skip this one, did you? Go Han Solo! This scruffy-looking Captain of the Millennium Falcon joins up with the rebellion after agreeing to ferry Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Have you really not seen Star Wars? If not, let me know. I’ve got recommendations for where to start!

Commander Shepard – Mass Effect

“I’m Commander Shepard and this is my favorite blog on the Internet.” – Commander Shepard

The protagonist of the Mass Effect series he/she captains the Normandy. I don’t want to get too into the details, since they’re pretty significant to the stories of the games. When playing the game, you decide whether Commander Shepard is male or female, so it’s hard to pronoun in this post.

Four Fantasy Creatures that Fly

One of the most useful abilities for a creature is flight. This level of mobility makes creatures useful in stories as hunters, mounts, and sometimes both!

Dragons

I’m not really sure what I need to say about Dragons as you should know of these already. There are plenty of types of dragons, and many of them are capable of flying. D&D players enjoy telling you the alignment of dragons based on the color of the dragon. It’s a thing.

Flying Bison – Avatar: The Last Airbender/Legend of Kora

In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang is often accompanied by his lifelong companion and friend, Appa. As a flying bison, Appa is able to carry Aang and his friends in their travels. Flying bison are very large creatures without wings, so how they manage to fly is quite mysterious. We know they’re using airbending (air magic from the show) somehow, but how they can keep such a heavy creature up is beyond me!

Griffin

Common in fantasy settings, griffins are mythical creatures composed of features of a lion and an eagle. They’ve got wings and talons from the eagle and have hind legs, bodies and tails of a lion. I think there’s some disagreement on the features of griffin heads, but I usually think of a lion head with a beak. Either way, they fly using those wings, so count for this list.

Interestingly, my character in the Solar Exalted game I’ve mentioned previously just finished taming a Griffin as a makeshift mount. Should be quite useful as I need to fly quite high very soon.

Thestral – Harry Potter Series

These creatures are visible only to those who’ve seen death, which means they’re invisible to many. They’re almost skeletal horses with bat-like wings and are how the carriages are pulled to Hogwarts Castle in the Harry Potter series.

Wrap Up

That’s all I’ve got for you today. Tune in next time for a post covering General Geekiness, Gaming, and Comics.

Buffy Villains, Periodic Table, and Dice Games – Geekout 22

I’ll get to set myself some fun restrictions today! Let’s talk about geeky stuff!

On today’s docket is Four Villains in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV series), Six Elements from the Periodic Table, and Two Games that Require More Than Three Dice.

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Time for geekiness! Let’s go!

Four Villains in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV series)

Interestingly, I didn’t watch this full show until recently. I always knew of its existence, but didn’t ever watch it. Now I can say that it’s a great show.

Mayor Wilkins

One of the more fun villains, the mayor is a little crazy. He’s powerful and becoming more powerful. He’s not a vampire, but does team up with them, making things hard for Buffy. Being the mayor lets him do some terrible things as well. Power comes in many forms.

Spike

Probably the most well-known and everyone’s favorite villain, Spike is a vampire. He’s a complex vampire, so he’s far more interesting than he could otherwise be. Through this complexity, he’ll sometimes team up with Buffy. It would be super boring if he was just classic evil for no reason at all.

The Master

The first of Buffy’s supervillains, this first season antagonist tries to open a portal to hell in the town. Sunnydale being at the hellmouth means this centuries-old vampire can really try to usher in quite a bit of destruction.

Drusilla

Another vampire, she was introduced along with Spike; the two were in a relationship at the time. She’s a complicated one, and has a great deal of connection with Spike and Angel. I believe Angel (when he was evil) sired her in some horrible way. I forget the details. Either way, her connection to him creates for some dangers for the Buffy and the gang.

Six Elements from the Periodic Table

I want to do something interesting for this one, since there are way too many elements to be stuck with only six choices. My wife suggested I choose the first six elements or possibly doing a column. I was thinking maybe restricting to only those discovered in America or possible ones named after a person. I’ve thought of restricting to ones discovered in the 20th century only. Some other ideas I’ve had I’m not confident there are even six of, so I’ll be boring and do a column. I’ll go with the Noble Gases.

Helium

This is the first element that stars make! Stars are constantly crushing hydrogens together into helium, producing plenty of heat and light in the process. Thanks, Sol! I’m sure that we use this stuff for plenty of purposes, but everyone’s favorite is inflating balloons that will be lighter than the air around them.

Neon

Another of our gases, this one you may have seen in lighting. Neon lights sometimes actually have neon in them. If I’m not mistaken, most don’t anymore, since other gases are used instead. We still call them “neon lights” though.

Argon

If you’ve ever heard that Earth’s atmosphere is mostly Nitrogen and Oxygen, you’re well-informed about what makes up our air. The next element on that list is Argon. I forget what percentage it is, but it’s tiny; our air is mostly Oxygen and Nitrogen.

Krypton

Best known for being Superman’s weakness…. Just kidding! That’s Kyrptonite. Totally different element. I’d love to tell you something cool about Krypton, but, to be honest, I don’t remember much about it. All you get is my stupid joke, and I’m now onto the next one!

Xenon

Still not up-to-date enough on this stuff to give you more than a name here. I know it’s one of the noble gases, but I can’t think of where we use it. These are probably all used in lighting in some manner, but I can’t remember specifically.

Radon

This is a nice radioactive element that will mess you up if the levels of it are high. If you’ve bought a home recently, you likely had the house tested for levels of Radon. Even if you’re a non-smoker, this is a way that you can get lung cancer, if too much radon builds up in your home.

Two Games that Require More Than Three Dice

I’m going to say that games “require” dice that are intended to be rolled at the same time. I understand that you can re-use dice for plenty of games, and if you think I shouldn’t have that count, just pretend I named the games containing d20s from yesterday’s post.

Exalted

My current favorite roleplaying game is Exalted, and I wrote about my Exalted Campaigns in a previous post. The game is a dice-pooling game, which means that you roll large amounts of dice and are looking for threshold numbers of successes. For this reason, you “require” a lot of dice. I use 30 d10s when I play, but usually need somewhere between 10 and 20 of them at a time.

Can’t Stop

This is a press-your-luck dice game where you’ll roll four 6-sided dice on your turn, grouping them into pairs to and adding up the pips. In other words, if you rolled 2,3,4,5 on the dice, you could get one of the following sets: [5,9], [6,8], [7,7]. This is a press your luck game, so if any of those sets are unusable, you end your turn without making progress. You keep rolling until you either decide to stop, or get no valid results.

Wrap Up

Also, you’re welcome. It took me an embarrassing amount of time to remember the noble gases, which is why I didn’t feel bad when I wrote little about them. I slept through chemistry class, so give me a break, please.

Anyway, now that I’m done with that, let’s talk about the next post. In that post, I’ll be working with Comics, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy as my categories.

D20s, Manga Writers, and Post-Apocalyptic Worlds – Geekout 21

As we’re into the fourth week of the year, what better way to celebrate than by nearly completing one of these geekout challenges. Today I’m tasked with naming Two Games that contain a d20 as a Component, Two Manga Writers, and Four Television Shows or Films [Set] in a Post-Apocalyptic World.

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Here we go!

Two Games that contain a d20 as a Component

For clarity, if you don’t know, “d20” means a 20-sided die rolled to get an indeterminable number as a result. These are nearly always a icosahedron. For this prompt, I could obviously just name some pen and paper roleplaying games here, but I don’t want to do that; I’m going to draw a line here for myself. This says “contains a d20 as a Component”, which I am going to interpret that the d20 must come with the game, not be a separately required purchase.

D&D Starter Set

This is a boxed set of Dungeons and Dragons. It doesn’t contain the full rulebooks, but it’s got simplified versions of the required rules in order to play. Also contained in the box are some premade characters and an designed adventure. Most importantly to what I’m writing here is that it came with a set of dice in the box., which means it counts! For people who wanted an easier way to get started with D&D, a box set lowers that barrier to entry greatly.

Formula D

Formula D is a racing board game where you’re driving your racecar around a track. You roll dice to determine how far you move, and the die is chosen based on the gear you’re in. What’s interesting here is that the movement dice are not normal and have some duplicate values on the faces. If you want to say that the d20 with non-standard printing doesn’t count, then I’ll cite the game’s damage die; the black d20 is a normal d20 with the usual sides and is used as the damage die in the game.

Two Manga Writers

Coming up with people’s names. Even when I have ever learned someone’s name, it’s so hard to remember. Here goes!

Akira Toriyama

He’s the artist/writer behind the Dragon Ball manga, so he qualifies for this. I’m more familiar with the anime based on the manga, which I did watch long ago. I’m also a Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross fan, and he did the character design for the former. If you know Dragon Ball, you’ll notice his style in the Chrono Trigger characters, and you’ll see it even more in Blue Dragon, another set of characters he designed.

CLAMP

And here’s why I said at the beginning of the post that I’d be nearly completing this challenge. I’m kind of cheating here, since I feel like I should be naming a person. I don’t know the names of the members of CLAMP. I know it’s a group of female manga artists who rotate responsibilities. In other words, if I could come up with one of their names, I’d probably be correct. Sadly, I’ll not be able to here.

Four Television Shows or Films Set in a Post-Apocalyptic World

I changed “that take place in” to “set in”, because that prompt was quite wordy. Anyway, I’m planning to be generous in the concept of post-apocalyptic, because devastating wars that cripple infrastructure, etc. certainly should count. If many are dead with society and infrastructure taking a giant leap backward, I’d say it counts.

The Matrix

Here’s a good one. After a war between humans and machines there’s not much left of the world. We know the sky was scorched, and the surface is uninhabitable now. Machines are using humans as batteries, and the remaining humans are hiding underground. Quite the bad scenario.

The Hunger Games

This world already had some issues, and a great war caused some more. I’d say (despite there being a functioning government) that this is a post apocalyptic world. It’s certainly a society that’s in shambles (in most places) after a war. And it’s kept in shambles intentionally. Much of the place is uninhabited, so I’d say it counts.

Zombieland

One of the best zombie movies I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen quite a few. This movie is comedy gold.Cardio. Double Tap. Always check the back seat. Such a funny movie. Can’t get enough of it. Obviously, being a zombie movie, it’s an post apocalyptic world of zombies.

WALL-E

One of the greatest of Pixar’s films, it takes place after the Earth has been abandoned by humanity. It was destroyed beyond use, so people took the space in generation ships designed to survive as long as needed. This movie has some interesting points we should consider with our society. Will we let the Earth get beyond our own saving? Who knows?

Wrap Up

Well, you can call this a win or a loss, but I did get some of it written. Tomorrow’s post will be Fantasy, General Geekiness, and Gaming.

Flying Cars, Grimm Tales, and Bond Villains – Geekout 20

Writing a blog post nearly every day means that I can write about all kinds of geeky topics. It’s been interesting writing these this year. So for a backstory, I received a page-a-day desk calendar for Christmas. On the calendar, it challenges you to list some geeky things based on three prompts it provides each day. I take that, and I write a little bit about each of my responses.

For example, today I am supposed to list Four Films in which Flying Cars appear, Four Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales, and Four James Bond Enemies. If I’m restricting my answers in some way, I’ll usually explain how.

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Let’s see how this day goes!

Four Films in which Flying Cars appear

For this, I think I’ll distinguish that flying cars and near-ground hovering cars are not the same thing. I’d also like to think that the name “car” is not required for these vehicles, but they should be car-like.

Star Wars: Attack of the Clones

In atmosphere, it’s common to have “speeders” in Star Wars. There are landspeeders, snowspeeders, airspeeders, etc. in their world. I’d say that the airspeeders seen in the second of the prequels are most certainly an example of flying cars in a film.

Back to the Future Part II

Where this movie’s going, we don’t need roads. In this film we seen flying cars landing on streets and continuing to drive. These cars use a hovering technology to lift them up into the sky as flying cars. We get to see this quite early, since Doc Brown has converted the DeLorean time machine into a flying car before the events of the movie take place – or in the future past… OK, let’s not go there.

Star Trek Into Darkness

They may not be common in Star Trek films and TV, however, flying cars do exist in the world. In fact, if you saw Star Trek Into Darkness, you watched current Spock’s fighting prowess on display while he was standing atop a flying car.

The Fifth Element

In The Fifth Element, our main protagonist is a cab driver named Korben Dallas. His cab? A flying cab, because the film is full of flying cars. I don’t have to get into the details of the film too much here, which is good; I wouldn’t want to spoil the movie for anyone who wants to watch it. I enjoy the film, and think Gary Oldman and Chris Tucker play some amazingly fun characters in the film!

Four Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales

And in this category, we’ll see how these both Grimm and grim tales have been adapted into modern version we still tell today!

Rapunzel

I’ll focus on what most people won’t know here, and I’ll assume that most people have seen Tangled. In the Grimm’s story, Rapunzel’s soon-to-be father is caught stealing food from the witch’s garden. The food was a craving from his pregnant wife. He is allowed the food in exchange for the soon-be-born child.

You know the locked in the tower and climb the hair bit of the story, but the prince part has some changes as well. He gets Rapunzel pregnant and plans an escape with her during his visits. Before they can complete the plan, Rapunzel foolishly gives away his visits, and when he next climbs up, the witch is the only one there. She pushes him onto thorns, blinding him. A bit more violent eh?

This is surprisingly a happy story, since he eventually finds her from her singing. His sight is restored by her tears and they raise their children happily ever after. This version takes a dark turn, but ends up in the light.

Hansel and Gretel

Again, the story starts as we all know it. The children are taken into the woods, because the family will not be able to feed them during the famine. They children leave stones as they walk, so they may follow them home. The next time they’re unable to get the stones, so they use bread crumbs. Could have worked if animals (likely mostly birds) hadn’t eaten the crumbs.

The children are now lost in the woods for days and, unlike the candy-houses of modern day, find a sugary bread and cake house. Obviously the starving children eat some of the house before being lured inside by the witch who discovers them eating her house!

The witch enslaves Gretel and is fattening Hansel for a meal, force-feeding him. Lucky for the children, the witch has poor eyesight, so when she checks to see how plump Hansel is getting, he shows her a bone instead of a finger. This fools the witch, but she eventually decides to eat both children immediately.

Before the witch can throw Gretel into the oven, she tricks the witch into leaning in first, and Gretel pushes her in, killing the witch.

And as we saw with the last tale, the story ends happily here. After the grim, cannibalistic encounter ending in the children murdering an old woman, they escape home with the witch’s treasure. Their evil stepmother, the one who wanted them gone in the first place has died, and the treasure now makes the family rich and happy.

Rumpelstiltskin

Like with Hansel and Gretel, this one has it’s darker element maintained well in modern versions. I forget exactly how the girl gets locked up by the king, but I believe her father had claimed that she could spin gold from straw. Anyway, once locked up, she’s told to spin the gold or be killed.

Luckily (or perhaps unluckily?) a magical being shows up to help. He offers his services in exchange for her jewelry, and spins the gold. I forget how many times this exchange happens, but eventually she’s out of items to trade for his services. The king has also declared he will marry her if she can spin gold again. Without anything to offer, he demands her first-born child as payment and does the deed.

Avoiding death again, she’s set free and marries the king. When their first child is born, she refuses to give him up, offering instead riches. In an uncharacteristic bit of generosity, he offers to rescind his claim if she can guess his name within some time period. No one knows his name, so she’s doomed (likely why he was willing to offer the opportunity).

She searches for him in the woods at night, and she somehow manages to find him talking excitedly to himself about his great success. In his excitement, he refers to himself by name, and she’s able to return home and give his name at the final opportunity to guess. He leaves without the child, and we get another happily ever after.

Cinderella

The story of the wicked stepmother and stepsisters is consistent here. She’s good and kind as her mother instructed her just before dying, which doesn’t help Cinderella much. Of note, Cinderella is not the German name of her, it’s the English. I just searched, and it seems that it’s “Aschenputtel”, and the Internet tells me that literally means Ash Fool.

I recall there being something done in their version that triggers the magical elements with the birds. I don’t recall what it is, but she does get help from birds in this version (it wasn’t just Disney’s version!) They help with chores and such, so she can be done in time for the ball. You know, the ball where the prince is looking for his bride. She’s left behind anyway, and the birds give her the outfit. I don’t remember how, but I recall it being the birds still.

There’s no midnight thing, but after the ball she makes an escape from the prince. To be honest, I’m not sure why she does that! Unlike in some modern versions, there are more nights of balls. Cinderella returns again, and the prince looses her again when she escapes while he’s walking her home. Failing again to find her, he plans a “trap” for the third night. While the ball is in progress, he has the stairs coated in a sticky substance to keep her from running away. When she tries, one of her golden, yes golden, slippers gets stuck. Now the prince has a way to find his bride-to-be during the day!

Ready for the less-than-pleasant part? In order to fit into the slipper, at the suggestion of their mother, one stepsister cuts off some toes and the other her own heel. Each in turn is thus able to fit the slipper, nearly fooling the prince. The noticed bleeding feet eventually giving away their disturbing treachery. Obviously, when Cinderella tries on the slipper, not only does it fit, but the prince recognizes it’s her.

And just in case it wasn’t disturbing enough already, those evil stepsisters get their eyes either poked or plucked out (I can’t remember which) by the birds from earlier. A bit gruesome there. At least Cinderella and her prince get a happy ending!

Four James Bond Enemies

This says “enemies”, so I’m going to allow myself the main villain or their henchmen. I’ll try to avoid hitting the same film multiple times, since that’s no fun. Although a couple I could pull their whole set of enemies and be happy with the result!

Goldfinger – Goldfinger

The titular character of a Bond film, this antagonist is obviously gold-obsessed, even killing someone and painting her with gold. To be honest, I don’t know if the paint killed her, or if she was dead first. Been forever, since I’ve seen the movie. Either way, he’s plotting some evil that you can watch the movie to learn about!

Janus – GoldenEye

Spoiler Alert! I like this character too much to exclude him from this list, but I attached that spoiler alert just in case. This is the assumed name of Alec Trevelyan, known also as 006. Bond was fooled into thinking he was killed by General Ourumov in the beginning of the film. Since Ourumov is the traitor working with him, that obviously was faked. Anyway, he’s a brilliant villain played by Sean Bean, so how can you dislike the character?

Jaws – Multiple Films

This giant brute is a recurring character in the Bond franchise, and attempts to kill 007 more than a couple of times. I most know him from Moonraker, because he was included in the bonus level of that title in the GoldenEye video game for the Nintendo 64. Jaws is depicted with metal teeth, which, in addition to being scary and iconic, can bite through quite a lot.

Oddjob – Goldfinger

I couldn’t do it! I like Goldfinger and wanted to include him, but I’m adding his henchman, Oddjob here as well! This henchman is strong, and also has a blade in the brim of his hat (likely a chakram). As a result, he is able to throw the hat as a weapon to decapitate his target.

Also, you’re practically cheating if you choose him as a character in the GoldenEye N64 game… The character model (and thus hit box) is shorter than the other characters! Don’t remember him being that short in the film, so perhaps the game developers just wanted a short character and chose him.

Wrap Up

Wrote a lot more than I intended today! Anyway, make sure to follow my blog to catch the next post, which will cover a Gaming, a Comics, and a Sci-Fi topic!

Pi, Tabletop Currency, and Female Supervillains – Geekout 19

Today I’ve got an interesting prompt. One of them doesn’t allow me to answer as I normally would. At least I’ll be back on track today! On this page, I’ll be writing about Four Digits of Pi, Four Tabletop Games that have Currency, and Four Female Supervillains.

2017-01-22 Geekout

Easy day! Here goes!

Four Digits of Pi

Here’s what I know: 3.14159265358979. Much fewer than some people, but far more than enough for most calculations regular people ever need to do. I’ve known these since I was in school. I believe that my calculator did 3.1415926535898. It was rounding, and I looked up the next digit, deciding it was a reasonably smart place to round with a 9 coming next.

Four Tabletop Games that have Currency

I’m going to assume this means board/card games. I’m also going to assume that the game itself should have a physical representation of said currency.

Solarquest

Most people will not have heard of this one, but it was a childhood favorite of mine. This game is similar to Monopoly, because it’s a dice-rolling, property-buying game. As a property-buying game, you probably figured out that it also has money to facilitate the purchasing of those properties, paying port fees, and buying fuel. Instead of moving around the outside of the board, you move over most of the board as you travel around the solar system, orbiting planets.

I like the game better than it’s earth-based counterpart due to the additional strategic elements and control. Your ship requires fuel and you can manipulate fuel levels against other players as well as using it to attempt to stay around friendlier planets for longer periods of time. It’s also a great way to learn the names of moons of the various planets in our solar system!

Die Macher

My favorite board game, Die Macher will take you 4-6 hours to play. It varies based on the group, and I enjoy playing with 4 or 5 players. In the game, each player takes on the role of a German political party trying to win seats in regional elections. To achieve this, you will need to spend quite a bit of money. You can get some money from your membership through the game, but you’ll likely need to accept a “donation” or two (clearly not a bribe…) Instead of paper money, the game uses cards as money. The cards are small, so it’s easy to conceal your full wealth. Being cards, however, it’s easy to deal with than paper in most cases.

7 Wonders

Coins are the currency in this game, and they’re mostly used for buying access to resources from your neighbors. This makes for a great economic element to the game, because you can generate an economy by trading with your neighbor, or try to starve them out of money and resources. And maybe you behave one of those two ways with each neighbor! I like this game for its ability to play quickly with up to seven players; most games increase time greatly for each added player.

Firefly the Game

This game is a bit thematic, so it’s certainly not for everyone. I enjoy the theme though! Some of you may have guessed this. When playing this game, you choose which scenario you want to play. One is simply amassing stockpiles of money, and other scenarios are more complicated. Regardless, all of them will require you to get money in order to hire crew and buy the supplies needed to achieve your goals. The money in this game is paper, and the designs on the money are quite detailed.

Four Female Supervillains

Not sure exactly how to define a “supervillain”, but I’ll go with the villains against the supers regardless of whether the villain herself has super powers. Time to list some dangerous women!

Harley Quinn

As far as I know, she doesn’t have any super powers of her own, but Harley is able to give Batman and others some trouble. She’s a fun, well-liked character, so she’ll make the list. I prefer the harlequin-style she had originally to the modern interpretation of her character. Then again, I prefer strong female characters to eye-candied female characters. And I don’t pretend that she wasn’t used that way previously, but I think the modern interpretation jumped over the line that was previously tiptoed around.

Catwoman

An interesting character when done well. She was a bit strange in Batman Returns, and I loved that we got to see the “making of” her costume. While she’s not always the villain, she’s certainly not completely on the Good side. I like that this character can team up with either side depending on her interests at the time. There’s no doubt that she belongs on this list though!

Mystique

Her power may not seem all that crazy, but Mystique really is one of the most powerful of the mutants. When she’s not on your side, it’s dangerous. Being able to look like anyone else can get her a lot of power when militaries like ours exist. Imagine her getting access to nuclear missiles or ordering airstrikes. Most mutants cannot detect her illusions either, so she’s able to easily fool them. It’s be to be aligned with her when you can be!

Emma Frost

As a strong telepath, Emma Frost is one dangerous opponent. On screen, we’ve seen her cause quite a bit of trouble for Professor X. Anyone who can mess with people’s minds is dangerous, but she’s more than just a telepath. She can take on a diamond form, which must be quite difficult for most mutants to deal with.

Wrap Up

Some of you may be wondering why I type “Good” instead of “good”. That comes from playing enough games where I might say “capital ‘g’ good” to make sure I’m emphasizing an alignment rather than just an action. I felt like doing it here. I’m weird sometimes. Anyway, tune in next time for Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and General Geekiness.