Venus Express: Taking on the Second Planet from the Sun!

It’s Space Sunday once again, and today we’re returning to another mission headed by the ESA (European Space Agency). One thing that is great about this is that it’s been looking and studying Venus for far longer than any other craft. But the coolest thing I want to talk about is the fact that this ship pulled off a series of aerobraking maneuvers through the intense atmosphere!

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Space Engineers Review

Ever since Minecraft exploded off of digital shelves, there have been very few games that can really compare to its sandbox supremacy. The one thing that Minecraft lacked was moveable blocks. Once a block was placed, it was stuck there and would never move unless it was destroyed, even if it wasn’t attached to another block. Barring any mods, this meant that your intricately detailed model of the Battlestar Galactica would never be more than a sculpture.

Enter Space Engineers . . .

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Watching the Dream: PAX Prime and NALCS Regionals

Featured image: the line for NALCS Regionals

Penny Arcade eXpo (PAX) Prime (a.k.a. “Second-Only-to SDCC”) begins today, and runs until the end of Labor Day Weekend, on Monday, September 1.

There’s already a lot of news emanating forth from PAX, specifically from Nintendo, who earlier today announced the “New Nintendo 3DS” which is just a beautiful piece of hardware. Nintendo is also showing its due diligence for Super Smash Bros., which (for the 3DS) comes out in just over a month in North America and Europe.

The lucky ducks in Seattle, WA right now are rubbing shoulders with game-developer greats and professional e-sports players. And if you somehow don’t care about that, there’s plenty of other things to do, including watch concerts, play on consoles, computers, and even tabletop games.

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Do the Monster Mash: My Top 10 Monster Movers

Some mornings I wake up, and resolve myself to treat (or trick) the day as if it were the greatest day of all: Halloween. And I don’t know whether it’s because of today’s dreary, overcast sky above Wichita, or Film Editor Christine’s recent article, “Putting Faces to our Nightmares,” but today is one of those days. Thus have I been inspired to compile a list of my top ten favorite monster movies. Let’s set the mood, shall we?

Here’s that all-time classic tune we all know and love, by Bobby “Boris” Pickett:

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Laputa: Castle in the Sky, Crystals, and Robots #SquareEnix

“No matter how many weapons you have, no matter how great your technology might be, the world cannot live without love.”
-Sheeta, Laputa: Castle in the Sky

Greetings! It’s been a while I know; school’s started again and the weight of a thousand souls that have yet to pass on are keeping me busy. That, and I’m just the laziest boy on the face of the earth. But here I am again, and I thought I’d take some time to talk about a film that’s quite close to my heart and those of many others. If the title of the article didn’t give it away, it’s called, Laputa: Castle in the Sky.

"Yes, get me the Colonel. I need to kill Tyler Bauer for his attempts at humor."
“Yes, get me the General. I need Tyler Bauer killed for his sorry attempts at humor.”

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Putting Faces to Our Nightmares

You may not know their names by heart but you know their performances. They give life to those fantastical characters essential to their genres. They both haunt you and charm you, for you cannot but watch them work, even if their visage makes you quail (or squeal because they’re adorable! I mean, right??).

Here are a handful of my favorite creature actors, and the roles they’ve embodied. Cheers to them all and their dedicated hours in makeup, prosthetics, and CGI execution.  Continue reading Putting Faces to Our Nightmares

Villainography: At All Times, In All Things

“The fact is that we have no way of knowing if the person who we think we are is at the core of our being. Are you a decent girl with the potential to someday become an evil monster, or are you an evil monster that thinks it’s a decent girl?”

“Wouldn’t I know which one I was?”

“Good God, no. The lies we tell other people are nothing to the lies we tell ourselves.”
-Derek Landy, Death Bringer

Villainography is back! And this week I’m having a chat with ASV Staff Writer and BeepBoxer Tyler M Bauer (M for Mystery).


As I did with all the other interviewees, I gave them a couple days head start to get them really thinking about their answers. I asked them all the same preliminary question: “Who is your favorite villain?”

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BEEP: A History of Game Sound

There’s a Kickstarter campaign currently underway for a project called “BEEP: A History of Game Sound,” which is exactly what it sounds like–a film and book documentary chronicling the progression of music in video games. Sound like a movie you’d want to help see the light of IMdB? Check out the official site here, or, alternatively, head straight to the Kickstarter page.

(Martin O’Donnell Martin O’Donnell Martin O’Donnell)

Tycho: “Awake”

This Monday is a special one, because it’s the first day of the Fall Semester. I’m so stoked! /sarcasm. Still, I’m only taking 14 hours this year, so I shouldn’t be too busy; although I still have to do 32 hours of stinky volunteering. Aaarrrgh. Oh well; I shouldn’t complain. But if I do, at any time, get frustrated, it’s a good thing there’s Tycho to mellow me out.

Tycho is the moniker of American ambient musician Scott Hansen, who happens to be a graphic artist/photographer/producer as well. I first learned about Tycho from his 2011 album Dive, which is crazy crazy good. His 2014 follow-up album is called Awake, which came out in March, and I’m only just now giving it a listen. The 8-track Awake is a soothing journey of muted guitars and heart-thumping drums. It’s like falling through warm water, over and over again. For me, the 36-minute Awake is the perfect album to wake up to.

Fun fact: Tycho wrote some music for Toonami way back when. w00t. Anyway, what tunes are you guys lending an ear to this week? Drop me a sample in the comments section below, and have a great next seven days.