Letter From the Editor [by Wyvern]
Happy New Year Everyone!
What would be the perfect thing to ring in a new year, I wonder? How about a nice new issue of the Blue Report four days in? Well, whether you agree or not, it's here anyways. I'm not going to lie, but introducing the new issue is pretty much the hardest part as an editor. Mostly because I always seem to do it at the very last minute. Then I just want to get it over with and have everyone able to read the issue. This is no exception.
This issue has more Star Trek Discovery Shorts information, more on Michiel's As of Yet Unnamed, an unexpected contributor, ways to laugh and more!
Enjoy the issue and of course, feel free to let us know what kind of things you would like to see in the Blue Report!
Have a great month everyone!
Appreciate Yo Team [by Wyvern]
When I took over as co-editor for the Blue Report, there were doubts if I could actually do it. Honestly, 10 issues later and the jury is still out. As I sit here and openly procrastinate with every HTML tag, I am fully aware that the Blue Report isn't what it is today because of me. I do some coding, I miss a load when proof-reading, throw articles in a haphazard order in the hopes it makes sense (it doesn't, I know), and hope that people read it. It's alright if you don't, we'll still work on it.
In truth, the Blue Report is what it is today because of the people contributing articles and anyone who reads it. Mostly though, it's because of Carol and Shane.
Carol, first of all, forced me to apply as the editor since I was extremely hesitant. Thanks for the extra thing to procrastinate with. I don't have enough stuff to do tomorrow as it is. She has been there through each and every article and took over completely for a month and a half when I was unable to do anything online. Her graphics are beyond amazing and she always takes the time to do something for each issue. Carol has gotten others to contribute and she's been a bridge between the Blue Report and the actual Bridge crew. She's done so much for the Blue Report that the list is infinite.
Shane, since he started with the Blue Report 9 issues ago (with Carol's encouragement as well), he has been a constant in each and every issue. He's worked tirelessly on a new layout that takes us out of the era of DOS (no offense intended) and into the present, which his work will be up for all to see in an issue or so. He always has something to offer every issue and is willing to help out anywhere he can.
They have made themselves a part of the Blue Report in ways I didn't think possible and it's because of those two Canadians that there's content each month.
Now I know that I'm no one important, but I wanted to make sure that both Carol and Shane knew that their hard work is appreciated and that they're all around awesome.
Appreciation Proof Leslie Knope Style:
Reflecting On 2018 [by Carol]
It's the new year; we're officially in 2019. That's exciting right? A new year with so much to look forward to. Things such as birthdays, summer holidays, anniversaries, Halloween, pumpkin spice season, turkey day, Christmas, and new issues of The Blue Report. Speaking of The Blue Report; I hope you don't mind if I take a moment and look back on The Blue Report this past year since Leslie and I took over. (If you do mind? Skip on down to the next article!)
When Leslie became lead editor and I hopped on as her secondary, I was thrilled. I've always wanted to be instrumental in producing a monthly magazine or newspaper. The Blue Report gave me that opportunity and I can say it's certainly been a learning experience. Since signing up as co-editor I've learned a lot about encouraging others to contribute to The Blue Report; you can't just say "Hey! Write for us." Some people need ideas, guidance, and help finding their niche or, rather, what they enjoy writing about. And The Blue Report, much like other magazines, is more than just writing articles. It's coding the articles, proofreading the articles, and adding the right images to compliment the articles. Being not only co-editor but a writer for The Blue Report has certainly encouraged me to dust off old skills and learn new ones; it's been wonderful.
Which, by the way, if anyone is interested in contributing to The Blue Report may I suggest checking out this article here. The article has a selection of suggestions on what you could possibly write for The Blue Report. Or if you have an idea for an article and you aren't sure about it? Just email Leslie and Carol.
Since Leslie and I took the lead on The Blue Report we've welcomed Mashed Potatoes, Jadzia Jaxx, and Missy to the team. Each one of our team members offer something different to The Blue Report. Mashed Potatoes since joining the team has worked hard on redesigning the site (keep your eyes open for that) and countless articles covering many topics from potatoes to Star Trek. Jadzia Jaxx is our newest team member that writes reviews and recipes primarily but she's starting to dabble outside of her "article comfort zone"; we can't wait to see what you'll write about next. And Missy, with the assistance of Leslie, tirelessly works to find us interesting links for our "Fandom News From The Web" article.
We've also had a wonderful variety of guest writers. Katrina, Tyler, Goose, Hobbie, AJ, Robert, and CTHuskyMan have all contributed to The Blue Report. It's been fantastic to have so many guest writers. You've all contributed some interesting and awesome articles; I hope you'll all consider contributing over 2019. I also hope that more chatters will consider contributing articles over 2019!
Now a little shout out to our editor! Leslie; I may be biased usually when it comes to you since you're my sister but in this case I'm not, you work hard as our editor! I appreciate every typo and every grammatical error you fix. If it wasn't for you I'm sure that the quality of The Blue Report wouldn't be what it is now. I also know that if you didn't code half the articles that you do? The Blue Report wouldn't be able to consistently come out on the 4th as often as it has.
Basically what I am saying is this:
Blue Report team? I am proud of you and all of the work you have done since March 2018. I look forward to working with all of you in 2019 and seeing how we can take The Blue Report even further. Pat yourselves on the back guys!
And to our readers? THANK YOU! Please keep reading and please do leave us comments. We don't bite. Not all of us. Just me. I definitely bite.
Trek Short Review - The Brightest Star [by Mashed Potatoes]
Another Short Trek has aired. This one shining light on Commander Saru and his past on his homeworld of Kaminar. This is our first look into his home, and his people. At least, it is for people in Canada and the United States. For the rest of the world.. The wait continues..
My Review: Contains Spoilers
I did enjoy this episode. It was a little slow at times, but overall, I did rather enjoy it. It was nice to learn more about the new species. It was also a decent length as well, so it didn't feel rushed, or half finished. It had a decent beginning, middle and end, which are important for any length of story.
This episode is a prequel, to before Saru joins Starfleet, and how he manages to do so. It has a strong sense of religion in the episode, which is nothing new to DS9 fans. Though the thing that's different here is that Kaminar is a pre-warp civilization. We learn that they are not a developed world. They have very little technology. They simply believe in the balance of things. That aliens come and take away a group of their people. This allows the others to continue to live in peace, until the next group of victims are selected.
Saru is one of the few who looks up, and wants to explore. To know more about the universe. When a piece of alien technology falls into his hands, he is quick to learn to manipulate it so that he can turn it into a transmitter. Rather remarkable for someone with no knowledge of technology.
At the end of the episode he meets Lieutenant Philippa Georgiou. Which is interesting since she is the same person who got Michael Burnham to join Starfleet. This also gives some more insight into Sarus reaction when Philippa is killed, as a result of Michael.
It's also interesting since Starfleet is allowing someone from a pre-warp civilization to join Starfleet. Though they do state that he will never be allowed to return home. But, will he? By the looks of it, we do get to see more of Kaminar in Season 2 of Discovery.
"TREKCORE: The Saru short coming in December, "The Brightest Star", looks to be more backstory for the character - would you say that and the episode you discussed at the panel focused on Saru's Kelpien history are connected?
DOUG JONES: They are very much connected, and you\ll see breadcrumbs about both in each that relate to each other. All the shorts are very different from each other, by the way. They take place in different time periods, and with different characters, and [are filmed in] different styles, even. Mine is a direct tie-in with an episode of Season Two."
Maybe we will learn about how some people feel about the Ba'ul using the Kelpien as prey, and how this ritual of theirs began.
What are your thoughts on the Trek Short? Did you enjoy learning more about Saru's past and his people? How do you feel about the Ba'ul? Let us know!
A Word From the Keith [by Keith is Brilliant]
Dear OTF Readers
Shane smells like butt. Carol goes to clubs. Tyler has a respectfully hot wife. Keith is handsome.
Astronomy And Space Exploration in 2019 [by Mashed Potatoes]
A new year is starting. And with that, comes a whole year of science to look forward to. So, I went looking for some astronomy and space exploration news. Some are limited to certain parts of the world, such as the eclipses, but others are able to be enjoyed by all, for instance the meteor showers. And some are exciting in terms of space exploration, such as all the manned spacecrafts that are being tested this year.
To view the rather long list, click me
- January 1: New Horizons probe to fly by Ultima Thule. New Horizon will fly past the farthest object humanity has ever tried to visit, about 4 billion miles from Earth.
- January 3: China to land probe on the Moon. China plans to become the first nation to land on the far side of the moon with Chang'e-4.
- January 3, 4: Quadrantids Meteor Shower. An above average shower, with up to 40 meteors per hour at its peak. It is thought to be produced by dust grains left behind by an extinct comet known as 2003 EH1, which was discovered in 2003. The moon will be a thin crescent and should not interfere with what could be a good show this year. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Bootes, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
- January 6: Partial Solar Eclipse. A partial solar eclipse occurs when the Moon covers only a part of the Sun, sometimes resembling a bite taken out of a cookie. The partial eclipse will be visible in parts of eastern Asia and the northern Pacific Ocean. It will be best seen from northeastern Russia with 62% coverage. (Be careful looking at the Sun! Use proper protection!)
- January 17: SpaceX plans to launch Dragon 2. SpaceX will launch its Crew Dragon spaceship for the first time. There will be no one on board, but it will dock, and undock with the ISS. If it's a success, a manned mission is planned for later in the year.
- January 21: Total Lunar Eclipse. A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes completely through the Earth's dark shadow. The eclipse will be visible throughout most of North America, South America, the eastern Pacific Ocean, western Atlantic Ocean, extreme western Europe, and extreme western Africa.
- January 30: India plans to launch Chandrayaan-2. India will launch the nation's second rocket to the moon. The mission will have an orbiter, lander, and a six-wheeled rover to explore the lunar surface.
- February 13: SpaceIL to launch Sparrow to Moon. SpaceIL plans to be the first private company to launch toward the moon. If successful, Israel will be the 4th country to land on the Moon.
- February 28: Launch of Expedition 59. Astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Hammock Koch and Roscosmos Alexey Ovchininare are scheduled to launch aboard a Soyuz spacecraft from Kazakhstan to the ISS.
- March (TBD): Boeing plans to launch its CST-100. Like SpaceX, Boeing has it's own spacecraft that it's working on. Unmanned, it will fly to ISS and back. The flight has been postponed already due to leaky valves, but they are hopeful for a March test.
- Early 2019 (TBD): SpaceX is expected to launch two Falcon Heavy rockets. Called Space Test Program-2, the first launch will send military satellites into orbit, along with an atomic clock. The second launch will send a satellite called Arabsat 6A into orbit.
- April 4 and September 1: Parker Solar Probe to zoom past the sun. The Parker probe is currently the fastest spacecraft, and it's going to get faster with each trip around the Sun. At the moment, it's traveling fast enough to go from New York to Tokyo in less than a minute.
- April 22, 23: Lyrids Meteor Shower. The Lyrids is an average shower, usually producing about 20 meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by dust particles left behind by comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher, which was discovered in 1861. These meteors can sometimes produce bright dust trails that last for several seconds. The waning gibbous moon will block out many of the fainter meteors this year, but if you are patient you should still be able to catch a few of the brightest ones. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Lyra, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
- May 6, 7: Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower. The Eta Aquarids is an above average shower, capable of producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak. Most of the activity is seen in the Southern Hemisphere. In the Northern Hemisphere, the rate can reach about 30 meteors per hour. It is produced by dust particles left behind by comet Halley. The thin crescent moon will set early in the evening leaving dark skies for what should be a good show. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Aquarius, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
- June (TBD): China plans to test launch New Generation Manned Spacecraft. China will be testing its new spacecraft which is designed to launch four to six taikonauts into orbit. The test will be unmanned.
- June 17: SpaceX to launch a Crewed Dragon spaceship. This will be SpaceX's first crewed flight, with two NASA astronauts. This is assuming that the January 17th launch of Dragon 2 is a success.
- July 2: Total Solar Eclipse. A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon completely blocks the Sun, revealing the Sun's beautiful outer atmosphere known as the corona. The path of totality will only be visible in parts of the southern pacific Ocean, central Chile, and central Argentina. A partial eclipse will be visible in most parts of the southern Pacific Ocean and western South America. (Be careful looking at the Sun! Use proper protection!)
- July 16: Partial Lunar Eclipse. A partial lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes through the Earth's partial shadow, and only a portion of it passes through the darkest shadow. The eclipse will be visible throughout most of Europe, Africa, central Asia, and the Indian Ocean.
- July 28, 29: Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower. The Delta Aquarids is an average shower that can produce up to 20 meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by debris left behind by comets Marsden and Kracht. The waning crescent moon will not be too much of a problem this year. The skies should be dark enough for what could be a good show. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Aquarius, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
- August (TBD): Boeing Crew Flight Test. This test will be a manned flight, with NASA astronauts Eric Boe and Nicole Aunapu Mann and Boeing astronaut Chris Ferguson.
- August 12, 13: Perseids Meteor Shower. The Perseids is one of the best meteor showers to observe, producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by comet Swift-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1862. The Perseids are famous for producing a large number of bright meteors. The nearly full moon will block out most of the fainter meteors this year, but the Perseids are so bright and numerous that it could still be a good show. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Perseus, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
- October 8: Draconids Meteor Shower. The Draconids is a minor meteor shower producing only about 10 meteors per hour. It is produced by dust grains left behind by comet 21P Giacobini-Zinner, which was first discovered in 1900. The Draconids is an unusual shower in that the best viewing is in the early evening instead of early morning like most other showers. The first quarter moon will set shortly after midnight leaving fairly dark skies for observing. Best viewing will be in the early evening from a dark location far away from city lights. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Draco, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
- October 21, 22: Orionids Meteor Shower. The Orionids is an average shower producing up to 20 meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by dust grains left behind by comet Halley, which has been known and observed since ancient times. The second quarter moon will block some of the fainter meteors this year, but the Orionids tend to be fairly bright so it could still be a good show. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Orion, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
- Late 2019 (TBD): China intends to launch Chang'e-5 to bring back samples from the Moon. China is planning a mission to the moon that would return 5 pounds of their first samples of the Moon.
- November 5, 6: Taurids Meteor Shower. The Taurids is a long-running minor meteor shower producing only about 5-10 meteors per hour. It is unusual in that it consists of two separate streams. The first is produced by dust grains left behind by Asteroid 2004 TG10. The second stream is produced by debris left behind by Comet 2P Encke. The first quarter moon will set shortly after midnight leaving dark skies for viewing. Best viewing will be just after midnight from a dark location far away from city lights. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Taurus, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
- November 11: Rare Transit of Mercury Across the Sun. The planet Mercury will move directly between the Earth and the Sun. Viewers with telescopes and approved solar filters will be able to observe the dark disk of the planet Mercury moving across the face of the Sun. This is a rare event that occurs only once every few years. The next transit of Mercury will not take place until 2039. This transit will be visible throughout all of South America and Central America, and parts of North America, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The best place to view this event in its entirety will be the eastern United States, Central America, and South America.
- November 17, 18: Leonids Meteor Shower. The Leonids is an average shower, producing up to 15 meteors per hour at its peak. This shower is unique in that it has a cyclonic peak about every 33 years where hundreds of meteors per hour can be seen. That last of these occurred in 2001. The Leonids is produced by dust grains left behind by comet Tempel-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1865. The second quarter moon will block many of the fainter meteors this year, but if you are patient you should be able to catch quite a few of the brightest ones. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Leo, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
- December 13, 14: Geminids Meteor Shower. The Geminids is the king of the meteor showers. It is considered by many to be the best shower in the heavens, producing up to 120 multicolored meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by debris left behind by an asteroid known as 3200 Phaethon, which was discovered in 1982. Unfortunately the nearly full moon will block out many of the meteors this year, but the Geminids are so bright and numerous that it could still be a good show. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Gemini, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
- December 21, 22: Ursids Meteor Shower. The Ursids is a minor meteor shower producing about 5-10 meteors per hour. It is produced by dust grains left behind by comet Tuttle, which was first discovered in 1790. The waning crescent moon should not interfere too much this year. Skies should still be dark enough for what could be a good show. Best viewing will be just after midnight from a dark location far away from city lights. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Ursa Minor, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
- December 26: Annular Solar Eclipse. An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon is too far away from the Earth to completely cover the Sun. This results in a ring of light around the darkened Moon. The Sun's corona is not visible during an annular eclipse. The path of of the eclipse will begin in Saudi Arabia and move east through southern India, northern Sri Lanka, parts of the Indian Ocean, and Indonesia before ending in the Pacific Ocean. A partial eclipse will be visible throughout most of Asia and northern Australia.
Which of these events are you looking forward to? Do you know of any that I missed? Let us know below!
Creativerse: A Revival [by Tyler 'Brent' Shadow]
As you may have heard, Off-Post Gaming started a Creativerse world! It's been a little slow of late, but I figured it was high time to give everyone an update on how it's going and a little show of what people have built in the game! This world is still active, so if this interests you, please contact Brent for more information!
Note, Creativerse is free to play on Steam!
And now, on to the feature presentation! (hint: click the pictures to see them full-size)
First, here are a few pictures of the area where you start when you zone in for the first time:
Click here to check out more images from the OTF Creativerse!Now, in alphabetical order, our members!
First, we'll start with AJ!
Next, we have Brandi!
Followed by Keith!
And now Mercy!
We also invited a few of our non-OTF friends, so we'll feature them here:
We also had Moon playing!
And last, but not least (?), myself.
Thanks for checking it out!
As I said before, if you're interested in getting in on some of this, please let me know!
Brent, signing off!
The Joy of Simple Pleasures [by Jadzia Jax]
In the fast-paced world that we live in, we all need to experience the joys of simple pleasures. It can be a great stress-reliever to take a few moments to enjoy the sensory pleasure of the beauty around us.
Here are a few simple pleasures that you should experience at least once in your lifetime, but as often as possible.
* Smell freshly cut grass. This activity is a pleasure to the senses. It causes the feeling that summer has arrived, and brings you back to nature.
* Walk in the rain. Do this once and you will begin to make plans to do it again every time you see the forecast calling for rain. It is a beautiful feeling to have the rain against your face and soak you to the core as you get outside for a stroll. Jump in a few puddles while you’re at it.
* Have a candlelit bubble bath. This enhances your feelings of sensuality. It brings you back to the basic pleasures of treating yourself gently and with care. Everyone deserves to feel this way.
* Watch the sun rise. Whether you stay up all night to watch this happen or simply wake up early enough to see it, make this an occasional part of your schedule. It is amazing to view.
* Swim in the ocean. Pools are fun, but swimming in the ocean feels like the way it is truly supposed to be. Even if you are doing more playing than swimming, it is a special feeling to splash around in the beauty of the ocean.
* Blast and sing your favorite song alone in the car. Don't try this with other people, though, because it will be difficult to feel free enough and you risk annoying everyone. When you are driving alone, turn up your favorite song and sing like you are Whitney Houston.
* Have a dance party with disco lights. Whether you are doing this with your family or alone, there is no feeling like putting on a disco ball and having a dance party at home. This is where you can be free to explore all your cheesy or funky dance moves to a variety of music.
* Wake up without an alarm clock. Many of us are constantly waking up early to get ready for jobs and extracurricular activities. Make sure you get at least a few mornings per month to sleep in and wake up when your body tells you to.
* Choose the extra large size. We are constantly telling ourselves to make healthy decisions. If you are someone who chooses the small milkshake and refrains from the big ones, give yourself one opportunity to make the switch. This is not something you should make a habit of, but it certainly feels satisfying to do at least once.
* Have a wrapping paper fight. Whether you are celebrating a birthday or Christmas, scrunch up all the wrapping paper and have a fight. This is a crazy little game that is fun enough to end up becoming a yearly tradition.
* Make a snow angel. This is not just for kids. If you live in a climate that is suitable for this activity, put on your snow pants and get to it. You will love how it feels to look at your completed snow angel and know that you created it.
Life is full of stress. It is time to have some fun, and take joy in the simple things in life. Use these ideas to give you a head start in the direction of simple, joyful living.
Trek Short Preview - The Escape Artist [by Mashed Potatoes]
January 3rd will be the fourth, and final Trek Short before Season Two of Discovery starts on January 19th. Once again, this is only available to those in Canada and the United States. (Sorry rest of the world..)
This short will feature Harry Mudd (Rainn Wilson), as he tries to escape from bounty hunters. So far this season, Harry Mudd has been a fairly interesting character. He's not like the original, who was more comic relief. This Harry Mudd is more dangerous. But still interesting. Rainn Wilson has done a good job with the character so far. Far better than I originally expected. So I am excited about this episode.
Although they have once again made changes to the aliens. A Tellarite is one of the bounty hunters out to catch Harry. You might not notice it right away, seeing how this Tellarite has a smaller beard than most, which isn't the issue. He also has tusks. Something never seen on a Tellarite before (Besides briefly in Discovery Season One). They look more piggish than anything.
Another interesting piece is that the episode is directed by Rainn Wilson, who is playing Harry Mudd. And is written by Michael McMahan, who is working on the animated Star Trek series Lower Decks. Harry Judge is also coming back as a Tellarite. He played Grotch in two episodes of Discovery Season One.
Harry Mudd, back to his old tricks of stealing and double-dealing, finds himself in a precarious position aboard a hostile ship - just in time to try out his latest con.
How do you like this version of Harry Mudd? Do you like the new Tellarites? Looking forward to this Short? Let us know below!
As Of Yet Unnamed - A Postmortem [by Carol]
As some of you may recall I mentioned in last month's issue of The Blue Report here that CL7 Michiel participates in something called Ludum Dare. Ludum Dare, if you need a reminder, is a video game challenge. A challenge that takes place over 72 hours giving participants 3 days to design, program, and complete a game.
For this newest round of Ludum Dare Michiel and his team came up with the game As Of Yet Unnamed. The game, As Of Yet Unnamed, is a clever secret service agent game. I've played it several times and I can certainly tell you that it's a blast to play.
In last month's issue of The Blue Report I linked all of Michiel's blog posts about the experience of crafting the game over the three days. In this article I'm pointing you towards his "postmortem" blog posts for designing the graphics and his narrated pixelart timelapse video! I highly recommend watching the video for a couple of reasons. One you get to hear Michiel talk about his process and the design work. And two it's like watching magic happen! To check out the timelapse video? click here! If you're not interested in watching the timelapse video you can read his blog posts about it here, here, and here. Honestly I would both watch the video and read the blog posts. It's really cool to get a behind the scenes look for As of Yet Unnamed.
If you're wondering how As Of Yet Unnamed did in the Ludum Dare I have the results here for you! As Of Yet Unnamed ranked in...
Overall: 23rd (4.231 average from 56 ratings)
Fun: 14th (4.259 average from 56 ratings)
Innovation: 53rd (3.963 average from 56 ratings)
Theme: 9th (4.555 average from 57 ratings)
Graphics: 16th (4.607 average from 58 ratings)
Audio: 59th (4 average from 57 ratings)
Humor: 14th (4.327 average from 57 ratings)
Mood: 70th (4.036 average from 57 ratings)
What does all of that mean? Essentially it means that As Of Yet Unnamed ranked in the top 100 of all the categories! That's really impressive!
Well done Michiel! We're all really proud of you. And, yes, you are a creative mastermind!
Did you play As Of Yet Unnamed? Did you watch the timelapse video? Read the blog posts? Let us know and Michiel know!
Netflix Original Movie 'Bird Box' Review [by Mashed Potatoes]
Movie: Bird Box
Director: Susanne Bier
Rating: R (Violence, bloody images, language, brief sexuality)
Genre: Drama, Psychological Thriller
Stars: Sandra Bullock, John Malkovich
The film follows a woman (Sandra Bullock) who, along with a pair of children, (dubbed Boy and Girl), must make it through a forest and river blindfolded to avoid supernatural entities that take the appearance of their victims' worst fears, regrets, and losses that cause them to die by suicide. Trevante Rhodes, Jacki Weaver, Rosa Salazar, Danielle Macdonald, Lil Rel Howery, Tom Hollander, BD Wong, Sarah Paulson, Colson Baker and John Malkovich also star.
My review contains spoilers!
The small preview that Netflix gives for the movie looked alright. And it has Sandra Bullock in it, so I figured why not? I'll give it a shot. She's been in some good movies.
Basically, the movie is about these aliens, or creatures, or something, that upon viewing them, people want to kill themselves. You can't look at them, or you're dead. A split second is all that it takes. And the ways that people kill themselves is quite creative at times too. So, to avoid looking at them, you have to walk around blindfolded. Need to go to the store for food? Need to get out of town? Need to take your children down a river? Have to do it all blindfolded. Driving to the store? Better paint the windows black. As dangerous as that sounds, it's still safer than staring at.. whatever it is that makes you kill yourself.
Overall, I really enjoyed this movie. I found it interesting, with good acting, good special effects, with an interesting story. It was some of Sandra Bullocks best acting too. The movie had a few good twists that I enjoyed. And, the movie did make me tear up a little as well. I was shocked actually. I wasn't sure how much I was going to like it. I went in with low expectations really. And when I was finished, I was glad that I had decided to watch it.
The ending was great in some ways, but in other ways, it also left so much unanswered as well. I had so many questions after the movie was done, that I was hoping would be answered. Like what the creatures were, where they came from, do they ever leave? And of course, there were a few times during the movie, where you shout at the characters for them to do something, and they simply don't listen..
I would recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys a good thriller. Do be warned though, the movie is a thriller. So if you get scared easily, or have a bit of a weak stomach, either watch it with someone you can hold onto, so perhaps skip the movie. Or watch it with someone to hold onto anyways. Always a good excuse!
Have you seen it? What are your thoughts?
Six Ways to Add Laughter to Your Life [by Jadzia Jax]
Winter is here, and the holiday season is now over. Many people begin to experience the winter blues at this point, here are six ways to add laughter to your life. Laughter is one of the best ways to keep you from being blue. The chatroom is often full of funny antics so when it's too cold outside and you're feeling blue don't forget to pop into the chat room to see what is going on!
There are many things in life that we must be serious about. Although it is good to stay focused on the important things, we should also make time to simply have a good laugh. Laughing burns calories, bonds you to your loved ones, and relieves stress. What more could you want in an activity that is so fun and refreshing?
Here are six ideas on ways to add laughter to your everyday life.
1. Go to Karaoke Night
Whether or not you can sing, attend a karaoke night at a local pub. If you can sing, it will be fun and you will surely get a few moments of laughter. If you are a terrible singer, even better. Openly mock yourself. Quietly find humor in the others whose voices are not their strong point either. There are always a few.
2. Watch a Funny Movie
Sometimes all it takes to de-stress is to watch someone else being funny. Put on a good comedy. Choose one with your favorite silly actors, and enjoy. You can also find funny short movies on YouTube.
3. Make a Prank Call
This is only applicable to a close friend, of course, but if you want to have a really good laugh… make a prank call. If you have been blessed with the ability to disguise your voice, call your friend up and act as though you are an obnoxious salesman. As immature as this sounds, you and your friend will both probably get a laugh out of the ordeal that you will never forget.
4. Play a Practical Joke
Another one to use on a good friend who shares your sense of humor... playing a practical joke tops the list of easy laughs. Whether you choose to set several hidden alarm clocks in their room, or switch the salt and sugar temporarily, give them a reason to remember you. Other ideas include dropping a fake spider over their shoulder, changing their cell phone setting to a foreign language, or placing bubble wrap in between their toilet bowl and the toilet seat when you visit their home.
5. Ask Your Children to Make Some Jokes
If you have little ones, or friends with little ones, ask them to be the comedian for the evening. Sometimes children say the funniest things. Even when their jokes fall flat, there is something humorous about a little one trying to get a laugh out of the adults.
6. Find Humor When There Seems to Be None
One of the most important things to do is to search for the humorous moments. When you lock yourself out of your car, remember what a funny story it will be in the future, and start to point out the funny details to yourself and your family. When things seem to be going wrong, think of an interesting and hilarious way to tell your story to someone at a later time. This can change a stressful moment into a great one in an instant.
There are many ways to add laughter to your life. Use these ideas as a springboard to your own list of raucous laugh-inducers. You will feel your stress melt away as the laughs increase on a daily basis.
Resolutions of the New Year [by Wyvern]
2018 saw it's last day just a couple days ago and we've now entered into a new year. Which of course means a couple of things. For one, depending on how adaptive you are, you've entered the time period of writing the date wrong from anywhere of a month to six months. I for one fall in the later. Secondly, you can't have a new year without being surrounded by people making resolutions, typically to better themselves. In a month or two, you're bound to be surrounded by people who have let themselves down.
What is it with New Year's Resolutions anyways?
If you've ever wondered what started the ritual of New Year's resolutions, you're not alone. I'm definitely on the, "why are you doing that?" boat. After researching it while drinking some rum, drink more is my resolution by the way, I can honestly say that I still don't know why people do that. I did however come across a little history of new years resolutions.
Our first record of anyone celebrating the new year with anything similar to resolutions was 4,000 years ago with the Ancient Babylonians. They held a 12 day Festival called the Akitu in mid-March when it was time to plant their crops. During this festival they would either crown a new King or they would reaffirm their loyalty to a King that was already reigning. In what appeared to be the start of resolutions, they would make promises to their pagan gods to pay their debts and return any objects they borrowed. If they were true to their word they would win favor from their gods. If they failed to follow through, they would lose favor of the gods, which no one wanted at that time.
Other Ancient civilizations had similar traditions to herald in what they considered the New Year, most notably however were the Romans. At first the Romans celebrated their new year in mid-March as well, but Gaius Julius Caesar reformed the calendar in 46 BC to the Julian calendar. The first month in the calendar was named for Janus, the Roman God of duality, beginnings and endings, transitions and doorways. Romans believed that he could look back into the past year and could also look forward to the coming year. As such, the Romans would make sacrifices and promises of good conduct to appease Janus.
The commonality of sacrificing to the gods has gone down quite a lot since those times, but we still make promises every year. There are a lot of statistics based around resolutions and the success rate of them. More accurately the failure rate. One such statistic says that 80% of people to make a new year's resolution will fail by the second week of February. Go team! There are a lot of statistics out there that rally to the same point, people have no follow through. It isn't as though a majority of people literally have the fear of god to accomplish their goals. Then again, this day and age our goals are a bit more piled on than 4,000 years ago.
There are a lot of reasons why people fail in their resolutions. A major part in the failure is the need for instant rewards. Most people want to see the results of their actions straight away. They go at their goals as though they were a sprint and not a marathon, expecting to win the race by the end of the first month. Even when they know that some of their goals could take years.
Another reason is that people aren't specific enough about what their goals are. "I want to lose weight" is such a wide and generic goal that taking your wallet out of your pocket could technically accomplish it for them. Unfortunately that's not what they're aiming for, but when your goal is so vague there isn't really a target.
It's also a lot harder to follow through on a resolution when you've decided to have many goals for the year or years to come. There is a limit of what anyone can do in a year.
For whatever reason, it definitely seems harder to meet a promise to yourself today than it was to meet a promise to a god 4,000 years ago.
Source Source Source Source Source
What about you? Have you made any resolutions you're hoping to stick to this year or know someone that has?
Fandom News From The Web [by Carol]
This month's fandom news is brought to you by me... Via many different sites but by me nonetheless because I did the Googling. You should feel special! Do you? Well, regardless of the fandom news being brought by me to you; you're all very special!
Shall we get on with it?
As Per Usual? THERE BE SPOILERS UNDER HERE!! WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD.
Disney unveils character posters for live-action Dumbo
'Westworld' Season 3 Air Date, Spoilers, News & Update
Carrie Fisher's posthumous Star Wars: Episode IX performance looks 'like it was shot yesterday'
'Star Wars: Episode IX' May Feature an Even Greater Threat Than the Sith
Star Wars Casting Spoilers and Rumors
Star Trek Discovery's Spock
Star Trek Shorts Wrap Up the Fun
Picard Series: P-Stew's Role Explained
Amazing Photos That Inspired J.R.R. Tolkien
Fans Worldwide Toast J.R.R. Tolkien on His Birthday
Game Of Thrones:
How The Big Reveal May Affect Jon's Relationship
Kit Harrington and Emilia Clarke hint at extremely awkward scene
Cersei's Fate Sealed
How Captain Marvel's Brie Larson has prevented spoiling Avengers: Endgame
Filming 'Avengers: Endgame' ahead of 'Captain Marvel' was tricky for Brie Larson
There's More to the Doom and Gloom Around Doctor Who's New Year's Day Ratings
Doctor Who's revamped Dalek has one major change
Stranger Things Season 3 Release Date Revealed With Teaser And Poster
Did you guys enjoy any of those links? Are you looking for news on any specific fandoms? Let us know in the comments!
Help Wanted [by Wyvern]
Do you love hanging out in the chat, but feel like you could be contributing to the community more? Then you've come to the right place for we have job openings that just might be the perfect fit for you!
The Blue Report
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