GESTURES OF APPRECIATION
Because we're all fans at heart
Can anyone recommend me a good multi-client IM/chat program? I've been using Pidgin
, but it's becoming less and less cooperative.
Topic spurred into being by this photo of Crossbones
Now featuring Cap
. More images from Just Jared
, whatever that is.
Josh Boone to write and direct new X-Men spinoff, The New Mutantsby Sara Vilkomerson • @Vilkomerson
Posted May 13 2015 — 4:56 PM EDTThe Fault in Our Stars
director Josh Boone will co-write and direct The New Mutants
, an expansion of the X-Men
universe for Fox. Boone, a longtime comic-book fan, pitched the film along with a new comic-book for the series, and sources familiar with the project say the film will be based on the 1980s run of the Marvel comic, and that tonally it will be—”John Hughes meets Stephen King”—leaning towards horror and the supernatural.
Knate Gwaltney will co-write the script. Producer Simon Kinberg told Deadline
, which broke the story
, “We’re so excited to explore this part of the X-Men
universe, and so excited to do it with Josh, who is uniquely suited to tell this story about young characters.”
I'm very excited about this, several of my very favorite X-Men characters originated in the New Mutants roster. It would also be extremely interesting if Magneto ends up being the team's leader/mentor/guardian, the way he originally was in the comics.
For me, making lists and charts of things always help me to keep them organized in my mind. So I thought I would start throwing one together to illustrate the chronological flow (not to mention the suggested viewing order)
of all the Marvel movies, and the characters they encompass. Mmm-kuh?
Oh yeah, I should probably mention that I'm relying heavily on the MCU Wiki
So anyway, I'll start with the actual movies and plan to update this as we go along.Phase One:
Iron ManPhase Two:
The Incredible Hulk
Iron Man 2
Captain America: The First Avenger
Iron Man 3Phase Three:
Thor: The Dark World
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Guardians of the Galaxy
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Captain America: Civil War
Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Avengers: Infinity War Part I
Avengers: Infinity War Part II
I'll also endeavor to keep a sort of "cast tracker" in a subsequent post, though that will obviously be much more spoiler-intensive, so I figured I'd just start with this.
Not that this scene is going to be in the final game exactly as is -- it's meant for demo purposes -- but still, holy shit. Just thinking of what the games of the future will be like is fuckin' mind-blowing.
I've covered ANZAC Day before on Sincronos, so if you want a nice little speech, go here
. In advance, I apologise for this being a bit Kiwi-centric, but hey. Aussies seem to think ANZAC Day is all about themselves all the time, why not us?
Four years back, I honestly believed those words I typed in the above link. But after a while, I've become a little bitter with it, especially in the context of New Zealand in the First World War, when the Gallipoli Landings took place. I can't help but feel, despite the growing attention it has received in the years leading up to 2015, despite the growing crowds attending the Dawn Service, that we are remembering ANZAC Day for the wrong reasons.
In particular, I've an issue with how the day is used as a nationalistic prop, and not how it is used to commemorate our fallen soldiers. You especially see it in Australia, New Zealand, and also Turkey, where it is used as a "coming of age" story. For Australia/New Zealand, it has come to symbolise our growing maturity and independence from Britain. Aussies and Kiwis seem to have the idea that this campaign was all about them for some reason, even though there were plenty of British, French, Canadian and other Commonwealth forces present
. In reality, ANZAC forces made up only a small force in the overall Allied assault. For Turkey, it is used as a defining moment in the death of the Ottoman Empire and the birth of modern Turkey. Atatürk himself was one of the commanders fighting the Allies at Gallipoli, and it was here that he started gaining serious street cred in his success at helping to repel the invasion.
I mean, sure, I can understand why Turkey might think that this campaign might have some real significance to their modern identity. But after some thought, I honestly can't say the same for New Zealand in particular. Because the thing is, for most of the 20th Century, we were Britain's most loyal, most fanatical devotees. Visiting Britain for us was a religious experience. When we spoke of "home," we didn't mean New Zealand, we meant Britain. Our manners and customs weren't anything unique (except from the Maori), but copied tit-for-tat from British culture. Our pathetic attempts at imperialism, to grab territory in the Pacific - gaining the tiny Cook Islands, Tokelau and Niue for our trouble - was our sad, pathetic attempt to emulate a legitimately great thalassocracy. In the same idea the French had that "Algeria was France," so we thought that "New Zealand was Britain."
After the Gallipoli fiasco, Canada and Australia were rightfully wary of any more British military campaigns. They seemed to have learned to think a bit more for themselves. But not New Zealand. I swear that this next part is 100% true. Remember how the Ottomans fell apart after the war? How they had the Greeks invading, and civil unrest, and of course, the Armenian Genocide. Britain had drawn up plans in the early 1920s to invade Turkey as apart of a hypothetical intervention (which thankfully never happened), and contacted the Commonwealth to see if they'd be interested in helping out. Canada said "no." Australia said "HELL no." New Zealand, despite having gone through significant casualties, and despite records from Gallipoli veterans speaking of the hellish conditions they had fought in that same goddamn country, said "AWESOME! Where do I sign up! Anything for you, mother dearest!" THAT is how devoted we were.
We didn't learn to be more independent. If anything, we grew MORE dependent on Britain than ever. When Britain passed the Statute of Westminster in the 1930s, which gave British dominions permission from London to become independent states, New Zealand refused to sign... until 1947. It's really after the Second World War, over 30 years later, that NZ started to lose the faith it once had, though even so it took a long time for us to become more confident being our own unique selves.
The truth is, New Zealand's path to independence was slow, gradual, almost unnoticeable, and can't be pinned down to any one date. It's like a ship that's getting constantly refitted with new materials and gadgets, a thing that's called Theseus' Paradox
, where it's hard to tell if the ship you've renovated remains the same ship. It's real complicated. But most of us here don't see that. We see a "baptism of fire," where an innocent young nation was first born. Yeah. Totally disregarding the fact that this wasn't
the first imperial war we'd fought in. That would have been the Boer War of 1899-1902, which has been completely forgotten. We also seem to have forgotten the many land wars we fought against Maori tribes throughout the 19th Century, and that New Zealand was one of the world's conflict hotspots in that century, analogous to Afghanistan. Okay, maybe not quite Afghanistan, but you get the general picture. We weren't a nation of innocents, we actively sought war right up until Vietnam. We were so militant, we were nicknamed "Prussians of the South Pacific" back in the day. Incredible to think that we were once more militant than Australia, when today the opposite is true.
Man, sorry for venting all this on you guys.
This post was a bit selfish of me. But today, you can say you learned something.
Still, ANZAC Day is, and should be first and foremost a day to remember that wars have consequences, and that we should take more care in picking which fights to get involved in, and which ones to stay out of. War is something that should only ever be a last resort, if you are in clear and present danger. Back in 1915, we weren't in any real danger from the Central Powers, yet our involvement proved costly and wasteful.
by Loki Kola
April 25, 2015
We now have our first image of Jared Leto in make-up as Joker, so I figured I'd go ahead and start this topic before any of y'all do.
So, one of the many Mass Effect Facebook groups posted a link to this story
yesterday. I'll quote some of the relevant text here for discussion and analysis, but with a very strong disclaimer that all of this is 100% unsubstantiated, and a purely anecdotal allegation.
C.J. Havens @ NerdCore, Inc. wrote:
The Next Mass Effect Context:
The next Mass Effect game takes place in the Helius Cluster (a cluster of 100s of solar systems in the Andromeda Galaxy), far removed by time and space from Commander Shepard’s heroic acts and the final events of the Mass Effect trilogy. You are a pathfinder, a combat trained but un-tested explorer leading an expedition into the Helius cluster to establish a new home for humanity. As you explore this sprawling series of solar systems (over 4x the size of Mass Effect 3), collecting resources and building colonies, you will encounter the savagery of untamed lands in the form of cut-throat outlaws and warring alien races. To survive and colonize the wild reaches of space, you will need to grow your arsenal, your ship, your crew and make strategic (and often uneasy) alliances to fight against increasingly menacing foes. Along the way, you will encounter the remains of a once powerful and mysterious alien race, the Remnant, whose forgotten technology holds the key to gaining power in this region of the galaxy. As you uncover who the Remnant were, and the mysteries their ruins contain, you are drawn into a violent race to find the source of their forgotten technology that will determine the fate of humanity.
Collect Resources to Fuel your Growth:
Scour solar systems and planets within the Helius Cluster to find valuable resources and blueprints of long forgotten alien technology that will allow you to craft better equipment and weapons, such as improving your leg armor to allow you to jetpack jump, or upgrading your cryo-beam (laser cannon) to target enemies or do area damage around you to clear out close threats. As you build your arsenal and resource infrastructure, you will be able to explore deeper into the increasingly dangerous and resource-rich solar systems of the Helius Cluster.
A Capable Crew:
Throughout the story, you will recruit seven distinct crew members to fight by your side. Each crew member has a unique personality and specific abilities that open up strategic options as you choose which two of them to bring into each mission. For example, Cora has the ability to deploy a biotic shield that protects everyone in the bubble while still allowing you and your squad to fire out of it. Your crew will grow alongside you as you explore the Helius Cluster, and you can choose how you upgrade your crew’s weapons, gear and abilities to increase their individual combat effectiveness. Create the perfect squad to react to any situation and to support your preferred gameplay style.
Your Crew, Your Story:
Your crew members aren’t merely hired guns – they are part of the living universe in the Helius Cluster that develops in response to your actions and choices. Increase each crew member’s loyalty by pursuing missions that are important to that specific character. For example, when a Krogan colony ship has been stolen by one of the outlaw factions leaving the colonists stranded without resources to survive, your Krogan squad mate, Drack, is determined to strike out against them. If you take the mission and help him track down the outlaws’ hideout to return the ship to its rightful owners, Drack’s loyalty toward you and your squad will increase and Drack will unlock a brand new skill tree.
Explore each individual’s backstory and develop your relationship with them through conversations and unique missions. True to Mass Effect, what you choose to say will directly affect your crew’s loyalty and relationship with you, and will open up different conversations and narrative opportunities at the end of the game depending upon how you approach each encounter.
Deployed Strike Team Missions:
The Helius Cluster is 1000s of light years across, and you can’t be everywhere at once. As you develop more colonies, resource bases and settlements, you have to be able to keep them safe. Spend resources to recruit mercenaries and develop an AI controlled Strike Team that you can deploy to take on randomly generated, time-sensitive missions. Strike Team missions take many forms, including settlement defense and Remnant artifact recovery, which will take real-time to complete. Send your Strike Team out on a mission while you continue playing the main game and they will return, 20 – 30 minutes later, having gained rewards such as XP, currency and equipment based on the success of their mission. Spend money and resources to train your Strike Team and acquire better gear for them, which will increase their success rate and allow them to take on more difficult missions for greater rewards.
Active Strike Team Missions:
When you encounter a Strike Team mission in the Single-Player mode, you can leave your Strike Team at their base and decide to tackle the mission yourself with your Multiplayer roster of characters. You also have the option of tackling the mission by yourself, or recruiting up to three friends to play with you. The more friends you bring, the greater the challenge and the greater the reward. These missions will play out using the Next Mass Effect’s multiplayer Horde mode (more details on this later). These missions will include a variety of thematically appropriate objectives, like defending a Settlement against Khet attacks, or recovering a Remnant artifact off of a planet before an outlaw gang gets there first. By taking an active role in strike team missions, you can earn special Single-player rewards in addition to the usual multiplayer specific characters, weapons, weapon mods, and pieces of equipment which can be customized between missions. Additionally, players who join another person’s Strike Team mission will receive bonus in-game currency and multiplayer XP for helping others with their missions.
Multiplayer “Horde” Mode:
The next Mass Effect’s “Horde” multiplayer pits you and up to three of your friends against waves of enemy troops on various battlefields throughout the galaxy. Players fight together to survive increasingly difficult enemy attacks and accomplish objectives, like disabling a bomb near a colony base or assassinating a target. Progress through multiplayer missions to gain XP and earn new multiplayer specific weapons, characters, weapon mods, and pieces of equipment, which can be customized between matches. Multiplayer play will also earn you APEX funds (in-game currency), which can be used to purchase items and gear in the Single Player game.
Search solar systems for rare habitable planets to establish a settlement that could serve as a base for humankind’s new home in the Helius Cluster. As you build permanent settlements, you will make strategic choices on where to focus your new base’s resources. For example: Recon Settlements will clear fog of war from the space map and give the player more strike team missions to choose from, while Mining Settlements will periodically supplement the player’s supply of crafting materials.
Building upon the rich history of strategic dialogue that has defined the Mass Effect series, you can make meaningful choices in every conversation you have with characters that impact the way your game evolves. The next Mass Effect adds deeper control over your conversations through a greater ability to interrupt and change the course of the conversation as it is happening. During certain conversations, you will be able to take action based choices, such as the option to pull out your gun and force someone to open a door instead of convincing them to do it through conversational guile. Action based choices give you more options for how you approach dialogue with characters in the game and can lead to more extreme outcomes on the story as it evolves around the decisions you make when interacting with a huge cast of NPC characters.
Seamlessly Travel Through the Next Mass Effect Universe:
As you pilot your space ship, Tempest, across the 100s of solar systems that are seamlessly connected in the next Mass Effect, you will encounter new planets filled with valuable resources, intelligent life, conflict, and alien technology that all give you opportunities to increase the power of your character, your ship and your team so that you can build them into a force that perfectly suits your gameplay style. Transitions between activities, like flying your Tempest (space ship) across a solar system to land on a mineral rich planet, then jumping into your Mako (land vehicle) to explore the surface of planet, all happen smoothly without loading screens.
Customize and Share Your Experience:
Discover new things in Andromeda Galaxy, like alien artifacts and natural wonders, that serve as trophies and decorations that you can use to modify the look of your character, Tempest (Space Ship) and Mako (land vehicle). Customize the way your squad and your character look with clothes and aesthetic modifications that you unlock throughout the game. Photos you take from the far reaches of the galaxy can be used to decorate your starship or sold to certain characters.
Remnant Vault Raids: Find and activate Remnant Monoliths to unlock Remnant vaults. Explore abandoned Remnant ruins to find and locate a powerful artifact, but once you remove it you will trigger the vault defenses that will arm traps, activate defense robots and even change the architecture of the vault itself to stop you from escaping. Fight your way out of the vault and you will be rewarded with valuable loot, including powerful gear, crafting resources and Star Keys that can be used to unlock massive orbital facilities in space that grant permanent stat bonuses.
Optional Elite Remnant Vault Raids are scattered around the Helius Cluster located in special orbital facilities that are unlocked by Star Keys. Similar to the standard Remnant Vaults, you enter them to retrieve a special artifact which will trigger the vault defenses that arm traps, activate defense robots and change the architecture of the vault itself to stop you from escaping. However, Elite vaults ratchet up the difficulty of the encounter with increasingly powerful defense robots and traps, as well as roaming outlaws and deadly Khet patrols that are also in search of the elite artifacts. Elite Remnant vaults will test the limits of your combat and puzzle solving acumen, but with greater difficulty comes greater rewards. Gain rare loot, narrative acclaim and huge rewards for completing these daunting challenges.
As you explore planets throughout the Helius Cluster, you will encounter Khet Outposts. These outposts are optional combat experiences where you enter the outpost and fight off waves of enemies. Destroy Khet outposts to earn XP, rewards and thwart their growing power in the region. Your allies will reward you with praise and increased narrative options as you fight to remove the Khet presence from the region.
Drive and upgrade your Mako (land vehicle):
Explore the surfaces of 100s of planets in the Helius Cluster in your versatile land vehicle, the Mako. Whether you are looking for a place to set up a colony, searching for a Remnant vault or attacking a Khet Outpost, you will enjoy getting there in your Mako. Equip and upgrade your Mako in dozens of ways, like adding turbo boosters, upgrading your shield generator or adding a Hostile Detector to your radar to create the ultimate planetary exploration vehicle. Finally, get your Mako looking the way you want with a custom paintjob.
As I pointed out at the beginning, there is currently no way of knowing how much of this is accurate, if any of it is at all. And it's also worth remembering that even some of BioWare's own official pre-release statements about ME2 and ME3 turned out to be...less than accurate. But for my money, if any of this is
true, it sounds pretty damn sweet.
Oh man oh man oh man oh man oh man oh man oh man oh man oh man oh man. object
Now I understand Volrath's reaction to the first Advent Children
trailer, way back when.
I guess it's not too early to put up a thread for it, is it? No, it's not.Just announced today, by director Bryan Singer:
Jubilee's going to be in it. And hopefully as a main character, and not the lame-ass cameos she got in the first two movies. This makes me ecstatic. Maybe even X-static.
The confirmed cast
at present:Charles Xavier / Professor X:
James McAvoyErik Lehnsherr / Magneto:
Michael FassbenderRaven Darkholme / Mystique:
Jennifer Lawrence (who apparently is bowing out after Apocalypse )Moira MacTaggert:
Rose ByrneHenry "Hank" McCoy / Beast:
Nicholas HoultPietro "Peter" Maximoff / Quicksilver:
Evan PetersEn Sabah Nur / Apocalypse:
Oscar IsaacScott Summers / Cyclops:
Tye SheridanJean Grey:
Sophie TurnerOroro Munroe / Storm:
Alexandra ShippKurt Wagner / Nightcrawler:
Kodi Smit-McPheeJubilation Lee / Jubilee:
Lana CondorWarren Worthington, III / Angel (Archangel?):
Ben HardyElisabeth "Betsy" Braddock / Psylocke:
Olivia MunnAlex Summers / Havok:
It's also being rumored that Hugh Jackman will make yet another appearance as Wolverine, and that Channing Tatum will appear as Gambit, but that hasn't been confirmed (yet).
I paraphrase. Somewhat.
Breitbart News wrote:
Obama Floats Mandatory Voting: ‘It Would Completely Change the Political Map’
by Breitbart News | 18 Mar 2015
WASHINGTON (AP) — They say the only two things that are certain in life are death and taxes. President Barack Obama wants to add one more: voting.
Obama floated the idea of mandatory voting in the U.S. while speaking to a civic group in Cleveland on Wednesday. Asked about the corrosive influence of money in U.S. elections, Obama digressed into the related topic of voting rights and said the U.S. should be making it easier — not harder— for people to vote.
Just ask Australia, where citizens have no choice but to vote, the president said.
“If everybody voted, then it would completely change the political map in this country,” Obama said, calling it potentially transformative. Not only that, Obama said, but universal voting would “counteract money more than anything.”
Disproportionately, Americans who skip the polls on Election Day are younger, lower-income and more likely to be immigrants or minorities, Obama said. “There’s a reason why some folks try to keep them away from the polls,” he said in a veiled reference to efforts in a number of Republican-led states to make it harder for people to vote.
Statistically speaking, Obama is correct. Less than 37 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in the 2014 midterms, according to the United States Election Project. And a Pew Research Center study found that those avoiding the polls in 2014 tended to be younger, poorer, less educated and more racially diverse.
At least two dozen countries have some form of compulsory voting, including Belgium, Brazil and Argentina. In many systems, absconders must provide a valid excuse or face a fine, although a few countries have laws on the books that allow for potential imprisonment.
At issue, Obama said, is the outsize influence that those with money can have on U.S. elections, where low overall turnout often gives an advantage to the party best able to turn out its base. Obama has opposed Citizens United and other court rulings that cleared the way for super PACs and unlimited campaign spending, but embraced such groups in his 2012 re-election campaign out of fear he’d be outspent.
Obama said he thought it would be “fun” for the U.S. to consider amending the Constitution to change the role that money plays in the electoral system. But don’t hold your breath.
“Realistically, given the requirements of that process, that would be a long-term proposition,” he said.
So let me see if I've got this straight. We should make voting mandatory, under penalty of law. But we absolutely cannot allow any sort of voter I.D. laws, because that's racist for some reason, and the Justice Department under Eric Holder has actually taken action legal against states attempting to implement such laws, at Obama's direction. So this would be enforced...how, exactly?
Answer: It wouldn't be. And that's the point.
If he's going to be this open and obvious about enabling, supporting and advocating massive election fraud on a scale previously unheard of in this nation's history, why doesn't he just whip out his pen and his phone and simply declare that Democrats win every election from now on, the end. It would save us all the hassle of having to show up for what would clearly be a contrived farce.
This man's mindset is totalitarian, and he's no longer even making the slightest effort to pretend otherwise. The same can be said for his party, all of his supporters, and the American Left in general.
March 12, 2015
I must confess that I haven't been watching Gotham
. I should probably go back and remedy that.
Because as surprise character introduction scenes go...? Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn
I could have mentioned this guy on What the F&%$, but really, this living, breathing wrecking ball of a person deserves his own thread.
He's the current Prime Minister of Australia, although how he got to that position is a subject that still leaves me in a disbelieving stupor. You think Obama's bad? Try having someone like this as leader of your country, representing your nation on the world stage. object The World cries tears of laughter. Australia quietly cries tears in a corner.
This is a guy who has gained power by destroying his opponents in Parliament. But that is his only talent. He is, as I said above, a living, breathing wrecking ball, who is hard at work demolishing Australia's standing in the world and obliterating foreign goodwill. Just ask Indonesia
, where protesters are returning the $1 billion in aid that Australia gave when the country was hit by the Boxing Day Tsunami because he butted in on the Bali Nine controversy, in the most assholish way possible. Or what about Russia, where his attempt to "shirtfront" Putin (an total prick, but an infinitely more savvy and powerful man) backfired when Putin just sent a fleet of warships off the coast of Brisbane during the G20. Hell, just ask Britain and Australians themselves what they thought when he knighted the Duke of Edinburgh
... ON AUSTRALIA DAY.
I could not make this shit up if I tried.
I could go on for weeks about him, because his list of astonishingly bad gaffes is a mile long... my god, he's going to kill ANZAC Day next. The 100th anniversary of Gallipoli is coming next month, and I just KNOW he'll fuck something up spectacular! He'll start a fucking war at this rate!
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