Monthly Archives: July 2012

There Will be THREE, yes Three Hobbit Films…

The Hobbit 3 Officially Announced

Peter Jacksons reveals that two will become three when he shoots the further adventures of Bilbo Baggins.

by Chris Tilly
JULY 30, 2012
So it looks like the rumours and speculation were true, and there will be a third Hobbit movie. Check out Peter Jackson’s official statement, which just hit facebook.

It is only at the end of a shoot that you finally get the chance to sit down and have a look at the film you have made. Recently Fran, Phil and I did just this when we watched for the first time an early cut of the first movie – and a large chunk of the second. We were really pleased with the way the story was coming together, in particular, the strength of the characters and the cast who have brought them to life.  All of which gave rise to a simple question: do we take this chance to tell more of the tale? And the answer from our perspective as the filmmakers, and as fans, was an unreserved ‘yes.’  

We know how much of the story of Bilbo Baggins, the Wizard Gandalf, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur will remain untold if we do not take this chance.  The richness of the story of The Hobbit, as well as some of the related material in the appendices of The Lord of the Rings, allows us to tell the full story of the adventures of Bilbo Baggins and the part he played in the sometimes dangerous, but at all times exciting, history of Middle-earth.

So, without further ado and on behalf of New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Wingnut Films, and the entire cast and crew of “The Hobbit” films, I’d like to announce that two films will become three.  

It has been an unexpected journey indeed, and in the words of Professor Tolkien himself, “a tale that grew in the telling.”


Peter J

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits screenins worldwide on December 14, 2012, while The Hobbit: There and Back Again arrives December 13, 2013. And while there’s no news as to when Jackson will shoot part three, we’re guessing it’ll hit December 2014


reposted from Chris Tilly.

Leave a comment

Filed under Humor and Observations

Fair or Not? Olympian Banned for Racial Tweet

You work all your life and you have that one window that comes but once where you are the right age and at the top of your game to participate in the Olympics.  Let us not forget that most Olympic athletes are young, some children.  Kids as young as 14 I think in gymnastics.  Most are in their early twenties.  Do you remember how many dumb things you did in your early twenties?  In fact, they say the dorms where the athletes stay are one big party, with sex, alcohol and rock and roll.  Just imagine college dorm rooms where everyone is in perfect shape…

Voula Papachristou – Age 23, banned for racist tweet

If you miss your window, in most sports you will never be able to make it again.  So, I ask you, is this fair or not?

Greek Olympian Voula Papachristou was booted from her country’s Olympic team this week after posting a racial joke to Twitter — and now says the punishment has left her “very bitter and upset.”

The triple jumper posted a tweet earlier this week that roughly translated to: “With so many Africans in Greece…at least the West Nile mosquitoes will eat homemade food!!!”

She later apologized for the tweet, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Greek Olympic Committee from expelling her from the Games.


Don’t get me wrong, the tweet was racist and in poor taste.  However, out of all the thousands of athletes from around the world, how many others do you think have said worse this week, but did not put it in a public tweet?  With all the problems in Greece with financial bankruptcy and rioting, they choose this time to ban their own athlete, instead of letting her countrymen cheer her on.

I think a harsh reprimand, a public apology, and doing an interview to apologize would have been enough.  She is 23, younger than both my son and daughter.  At 23 I said a lot of stupid things I regret.  But banned from competition in the Olympics?  I think it is too harsh.


Filed under Humor and Observations

Dogs with Captions

It’s Monday and that means cute dog pictures:


Leave a comment

Filed under Animals

The World Clock – Data on Stuff by Year, Day, Etc. Interesting Stuff

Very Interesting site that allows you to see all sorts of world data by year, month, day, etc.  Kind of cool.!8UO:TfN7UUcD/

Leave a comment

Filed under Humor and Observations

ConNotations Newszine Volume 23, Issue 2 Is Out!

I have five things in there.  The staff and the Editor Patti Hulstrand were kind enough to first add me as a staff writer, now as a columnist.  I have a non-fiction piece on theories of astro-physicists on the beginning of the universe, two book reviews, a movie to book comparison, and a mention of my upcoming book signing at The Book Rack on September 8, 2012 from 11 am to 2 pm.  The Book Rack is located on Signal Butte Road off I-60 in East Mesa, Arizona.

You can check out this edition by going here:

Then you can scroll to the bottom, and click enlarge to open the document in Adobe Reader.

It is a great publication that not only has interesting stories, but the advertisements tell you about all sorts of cool conventions coming up and places that sell unique products that us science fiction fans love.  Thanks to Patti Hulstrand and the Central Arizona Speculative Fiction Society for such a great publication and letting me be a part of it for each of the last dozen or so issues.



Filed under Uncategorized, Writing

Highlander – The Beginning

There can be only one!

1 Comment

Filed under Humor and Observations

Kind of a Mind Blowing Site

This site allows you to scroll to the left to get smaller and smaller, so you can see subparticles.   To the right you get bigger and bigger and see planets, then constellations, then galaxies, etc.  It is like an extreme in and out zoom.

Leave a comment

Filed under Humor and Observations, Uncategorized

Interesting Historical Phrases

I do not know if all of these are true or not, but they are certainly interesting little tidbits I found while stumbling about on


Reposted from off Stumbleupon

Interesting facts..

Historical tidbits you didn’t know you needed to know!

In George Washington’s days, there were no cameras.
One’s image was either sculpted or painted.  Some paintings of
George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with
one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and
both arms.  Prices charged by painters were not based on how
many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were
to be painted.  Arms and legs are “limbs,”
therefore painting them would cost the buyer more.  Hence the
_expression, “Okay, but it’ll cost you an arm and a leg.”

As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only
twice a year (May and October)!  Women kept their hair
covered, while men shaved their heads (because of lice and
bugs) and wore wigs.  Wealthy men could afford good wigs mad
e from wool.  They couldn’t wash the wigs, so to clean them
they would carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell,
and bake it for 30 minutes The heat would make the wig big
and fluffy, hence the term “big wig.”
Today we often use the term “here comes the Big Wig”
because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy.

In the late 1700s, many houses consisted of a large room with
only one chair.  Commonly, a long wide board folded down from
the wall, and was used for dining.  The “head of the household”
always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the
floor Occasionally a guest, who was usually a man, would be
invited to sit in this chair during a meal.  To sit i n the chair
meant you were important and in charge.  They called the one
sitting in the chair the “chair man.” Today in business, we use
the expression or title “Chairman” or “Chairman of the Board.”

Personal hygiene left much room for improvement.  As a result,
many women and men had developed acne scars by
adulthood.  The women would spread bee’s wax over their
facial skin to smooth out their complexions.  When they were
speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another
woman’s face she was told, “mind your own bee’s wax.” Should
the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the term “crack a
smile” In addition, when they sat too close to the fire, the wax
would melt .  .  .  therefore, the expression “losing face.”

Ladies wore corsets, which would lace up in the front.
A proper and dignified woman, as in “straight laced”.  .  .  wore
a tightly tied lace.

Common entertainment included playing cards.  However, there
was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards but only
applicable to the “Ace of Spades.” To avoid paying the tax,
people would purchase 51 cards instead.
Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were
thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren’t “playing
with a full deck.”

Early politicians required feedback f rom the public to
determine what the people considered important.  Since there
were no telephones, TV’s or radios, the politicians sent their
assistants to local taverns, pubs, and bars.  They were told to
“go sip some ale”
and listen to people’s conversations and political concerns.
Many assistants were dispatched at different times.  “You go
sip here” and “You go sip there.” The two words “go sip” were
eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and,
thus we have the term “gossip.”

At local taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank from pint and
quart-sized containers.  A bar maid’s job was to keep an eye on
the customers and keep the drinks coming.  She had to pay
close attention and remember who was drinking in “pints” and
who was drinking in “quarts,” hence the term “minding your “P’s
and Q’s ”

One more: bet you didn’t know this!
In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters
carried iron cannons.  Those cannons fired round iron cannon
balls.  It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon.
However, how to prevent them from rolling about the deck?
The best storage method devised was a square-based pyramid
with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which
rested on sixteen.  Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be
stacked in a small area right next to the cannon.  There was
only one problem…how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding
or rolling from under the othe rs.  The solution was a metal
plate called a “Monkey” with 16 round indentations.
However, if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would
quickly rust to it.  The solution to the rusting problem was to
make “Brass Monkeys.” Few landlubbers realize that brass
contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled.
Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the
brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron
cannonballs would come right off the monkey.  Thus, it was
quite literally, “Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass
monkey.” (All this time, you thought that was an improper
expression, didn’t you.)


Leave a comment

Filed under Humor and Observations

Ten Superweapons from Science Fiction

Reposted from I09 by  CHARLIE JANE ANDERS MAR 8, 2011

10 Most Awesome Ultimate Weapons

War is hell. But an ultimate weapon is hella cool.

Seriously, there’s nothing more awesome than a weapon that can devastate anyone who gets in its way. After all, everybody loves destruction porn and apocalyptic movies like 2012. And there’s nothing cooler than all-out warfare in space — the most popular science fiction movie series is not called Star Peace, after all. What do you get when you put space battles and destruction porn together? The ultimate weapon.

Here are the 10 greatest ultimate weapons in any galaxy.

Top image: Reign of Fire by Inga Nielsen.

Note: These are weapons, but the list doesn’t really include super-beings that were apparently not designed as weapons in the first place. So no Unicron and no Galactus. Sorry!

10 Most Awesome Ultimate Weapons10) Nova-Bombs (Andromeda, Halo, tons of other things)
The idea of a “Nova Bomb,” that turns a sun supernova, is ridiculously common in science fiction, and it pretty much never gets old. Even the Hand of Omega, the ballyhooed weapon in Doctor Who, seems to be a form of Nova Bomb. In Andromeda, a Glorious Heritage class Systems Commonwealth ship carries 40 Nova Bombs, which use anti-gravity to make a sun explode. In Halo, the Nova Bomb is nine fusion warheads encased in lithium triteride armor. There are alsoNova Bombs in several novels, including Heinlein’s Starship Troopers and Haldeman’sThe Forever War.

10 Most Awesome Ultimate Weapons9) The Lexx (Lexx)
As the Lexx explains in an introductory speech, “I am the most powerful weapon of destruction in the two universes. I was grown on The Cluster which is ruled by His Shadow. The food was good there. My captain is Stanley Tweedle. I blow up planets for him.” So yeah, the Lexx is sentient, but is still basically a weapon — and it sort of eats planets. The Lexx was originally developed as the ultimate deterrent for His Divine Shadow to keep the “Heretic” worlds in line.

10 Most Awesome Ultimate Weapons8) The Dakara Superweapon (Stargate SG-1)
Built by the Ancients, this weapon has the ability to destroy all life on hundreds of worlds at one time, and can penetrate almost any ship’s shields. It reduces all matter to its basic structure, and the wave can propagate through an active stargate to reach everything on the other side. And that’s before Ba’al modified the device so it could pass through every stargate in the galaxy simultaneously, potentially wiping out every inhabited world in the Milky Way at once. (There’s also the wormhole weapon which John Crichton builds in Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars, which has a similar sort of reach.)

10 Most Awesome Ultimate Weapons7) The Little Doctor, aka Molecular Disruption Device (Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card)
The M.D. Device, nicknamed “Little Doctor,”makes it impossible for any two atoms to coexist in a molecule. The weapon creates a spherical field within which this is the physical property, causing total destruction of the target. This device can penetrate the aliens’ shields, making it the perfect weapon in our war against the aliens — and indeed, Ender manages to use it to destroy the aliens’ homeworld. Image by Ziwu on DeviantArt

10 Most Awesome Ultimate Weapons6) Obliterators (Heretics of Dune, Chapterhouse: Dune by Frank Herbert)
Also known as The Weapon. The Honored Matres wield these powerful missiles, launched from a starship — they combust the atmosphere of a planet and then scorch the surface. When the Matres use the weapon against Arrakis, it fuses the planet’s sand into glass, and kills all life on the surface, humans and sandworms alike. Some speculate that the planet killers of the Shadows from Babylon 5 work similarly to the Obliterators.

10 Most Awesome Ultimate Weapons5) Warworld (DC Comics)
Pretty much does what it says on the label — it’s a whole planet-sized planet-killer, piloted by the maniacal Mongul. In original continuity, it was created by the Warzoons, a race so warlike they had “war” in their name. And it’s powerful enough to make whoever controls it the ruler of an empire — unless they tangle with Superman, in which case it’s not all that powerful. Brainac and the Cyborg Superman also got into the Warworld-piloting game, and at one point Brainy turned Pluto into a new Warworld.

10 Most Awesome Ultimate Weapons4) Wave Motion Gun (Space Battleship Yamato, aka Star Blazers)
It’s the weapon so devastating, it can only be represented using breakdancing. The space battleship Yamato has the ability to channel all the power of its wave motion engine into a single super-powerful blast, strong enough to wipe out a whole enemy fleet. It’s so powerful, it leaves the ship powerless and adrift for a while after firing.

10 Most Awesome Ultimate Weapons3) The Sphere-O-Boom (Futurama)
Say what you like about Hubert Farnsworth, he does love his super doomsday weapons. He’s got a whole slew of them, but the Sphere-O-Boom (also spelled spheroboom in some places) is his favorite. It causes a spectacular blast, destroying the ship of the Scammers, who had tried to steal it. It warps space and time, and destroys anyone not wearing a “doom-proof platinum vest.”

10 Most Awesome Ultimate Weapons2) The Doomsday Machine (Star Trek)
I don’t think we ever learned who built this machine or what powers it, exactly — the mystery is part of what makes it so menacing and awful. It’s just a giant inexplicable space carrot that goes around pulverizing planets and using them as fuel. The Enterprise crew entertains the theory that it was built for some long-ago interstellar war and then got away, but we’ll never know for sure. One thing we do know: It takes a whole starship, exploding inside the thing, to knock it out of operation.

10 Most Awesome Ultimate Weapons1) The Death Star (Star Wars)
You kind of knew we had to include this. The fully operational battle station that takes out the defenseless world of Alderaan in a heartbeat. According to estimates, the upper range of the Death Star’s power is 10^38 joules, or as much energy as our own sun generates in 8,000 years. Plus it just looks fucking scary, it’s like a perfectly round cyclops skull in space. And it’s no moon!

Sources: Mostly I just made this up on my own. But Wikipedia was somewhat helpful, and so was TVTropes. Also, after I’d already finished the article and was looking for pictures, I stumbled on these somewhat overlapping lists at DVice. and Wired.

1 Comment

Filed under Humor and Observations