Movie Review: Deadpool 2 – The Second Coming; The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (Spoilers)

Rated: 7.1 out of 10

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You can get this poster with the purchase of movie tickets through Fandango … plus $7.95 to ship it. Really? $7.95 for ground, 2 week shipping? Nope. It’s a $7.95 poster … how cheap and poor quality of Fandango.

Once again, Marvel has unleashed its adult-content MCU back onto the big screen with a sequel to the highly popular, Deadpool, called Deadpool 2: The Second Coming. And, while the first movie was so highly popular due to its “out-of-the-box” gritty nature, knowing that the “shock” value was gone, instead of building the story, Marvel sought to up the ante – and it was both a complete success and a total failure. I saw this movie in a Regal Cinema, standard lowest end Cinema offered with no 3D and a horrible attempt at surround-sound (with really cr@ppy seating). While I consider myself an audio and video person (and typically demand bigger and better), the smaller screen actually helped to keep up with everything going on and the audio was so crisp and clear (having been filmed with the IMAX hack theater in mind), that it sounded amazing. So, other than a cruddy theater experience (to which I do not hold the movie accountable), the massive cost savings was WAY worth it (cheaper for 2 adults in a regular Regal Cinema than 1 adult in a Regal IMax “experience” / aka IMAX hack).

If you want to laugh … and you don’t take kids under 17 … and you want some quick, no-story, fast-action, stupid humor, no-thinking, down and dirty Deadpool beat-down fun, then go see this movie. It is a great, 1 night flick (that you will probably never watch again), and hits the spot. It’s like wanting a Carl’s Jr. Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger on the same night you just went out to buy pizza … mmmm … just that ‘little’ upgrade from joy to ecstasy, makes this a great movie at a cheap price. Don’t spend your money on IMAX “experiences” … SO not worth the cost.

The Good

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From Movieweb.com

David Lietch, who has a fairly impressive movie “involvement” career, took over for director Tim Miller from the first Deadpool movie. Setting aside the many negative things I will hit upon later in this review, I think David Lietch did an ‘okay’ job with the directing. He tackled the fight scenes in a non “cut-shot at every hit” way that truly reflected his stunt-person background. The shots were clean, the use of surroundings was mostly impressive, and the amount of directing-to-content (which is a term I “just” made up for this review as a way to say that the directing fit the script vs. the script fitting the directing, like in architecture, form follows function), was extremely well done. Deadpool definitely puts a heavy load on a director, trying to pull off  non-stop campy humor in the midst of huge amounts of action. Add to this some very impressive use of CGI (without too much or too little), and like I said, it was a pretty good job. There were definite “tells” that David Lietch is not a veteran director, so for a first time, without being “great”, and not being bad (like JJ Abrams), I would give the filmography a 7 out of 10.

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A pouting Colossus was one of the few, real highlights for the Director. Without words, we get that Colossus is torn between wanting to follow Deadpool’s darker and less appropriate path to save kids vs. the X-Men path of peaceful resolution. That is some good directing. Unfortunately, I think this fell short to a lot of audience members from what I heard outside the theater – because of the campy, non-stop barrage of sarcasm from Deadpool. So, sadly, a great directing moment … but less successful writing / directing timing.

The audio was exceptional in this movie. The music was ‘mostly’ well selected albeit not too impressive while the sound effects were spot on. It was so incredibly easy to be drawn into every scene and feel the full emotional effect and impact, from funny to sad, that it was non-stop “great”. Without needing to say much more on that, for the audio, I give an 8.5 out of 10, only cutting it short for what could have been a better selection of music.

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Non Stop @ss jokes … woohoo. That was done in the first movie … but hey … let’s do some more anyway since nothing else in life is funny … ???

The story line was … well … this is going to go mostly into the next sections of this review. As for the good, the humor was shockingly great for about 90% of the movie. I literally did not stop laughing from beginning to end – and once more at the very last minute with the “Oh Sh!@, Here Comes the Juggernaut” song. That was, awesome! The background story for this movie was weak – very weak. Since it was Deadpool, we did not need “too much”. Honestly, I was “REALLY” hoping that Marvel would have pulled their heads out of their rear ends and created a Deadpool / Lady Death relationship so that the second part of the Infinity Gauntlet could focus on just how much Deadpool could taunt Thanos and make him miserable … but alas … that did not make its appearance (and I’ll refrain from docking the movie for this HUGELY missed opportunity – although it would be worth a LOT of negative points!!). Instead, setting aside the “stupid”, the cross-genre references in this movie numbered in the dozens (or more), the opening credits assault on Hollywood was funnier than before, and throughout the movie, laughter roared through the audience. So, even though the anti-superhero shock value is gone, we are getting to see even more Deadpool funny with much of it new, building up to an easy 9 out of 10 on the comedy scale. I would have gone full 10, but I am not counting 12-year old butt humor and baby ball jokes as ‘funny’.

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from Bleedingcool.com

The characters … so … um … Deadpool 2 really isn’t about anyone else other than Deadpool. There were plenty of cameos, quick inclusions of other characters, and probably the largest supporting cast in history. Otherwise, it was pretty much Deadpool – and Ryan Reynolds has that role nailed! I would only give this movie a 6 out of 10 for characters for all the missed opportunities, the wasted time on characters, and not giving Reynolds a chance to build Deadpool into something “more”, for a third movie or inclusion in other MCU content (as it really is getting limited … going on a “too much Jack Sparrow” run if it keeps going like it is). And, I would have gone lower, except that they gave Domino (played by the lovely Zazie Beetz) just enough extra screen time to show off her stuff and make her character really lovable.

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A shame … Surge had a sexy outfit and would have looked great, here. This would have followed the new Marvel motto of matching comic outfits to characters. Not sure why they didn’t do it … but … whatever. Yukio was funny!

Some of the story, for which I will not dock points, was just badly written. For instance, we got it that the interns and director were zapping mutants – but nothing implied they were pedophiles. So, that just created an unnecessary nastiness. Besides, if they were, the fact that the X-Men did not save them and Colossus still punished Deadpool would have made that fact a whole, lot more difficult to accept. This was a juxtaposition that “dumbed” down the story line and was evidence of some lazy writing.

The Bad

The story line was horrid. It was a “neat” Deadpool-can’t-die concept and how sad it was for him to be a superhero, but … no. Reynolds and Morena Baccarin (as Vanessa) continued to make an amazing team, bringing the only real, ‘heartfelt’ emotions to the story. There was literally nothing to give the Cable (played by Josh Brolin) story ANY value. I think the idea was to ‘shock’ the audience with a delayed reveal on his family’s death, but was so obvious that we walked into the theater expecting it. Thus, it was a wasted reveal that could have been WAY better spent using Brolin’s excellent acting abilities and building the sadness between his life and Deadpool’s that would have been phenomenal (a “Martha” moment, as I believe it shall forever be known!!)! The waste of time in the story is a -0.5 points.

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Yep … condescending to crowds just to get a rise … funny once … stupid the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and nth time in a row …

The humor in Deadpool 2 was, as previously stated, side-splitting funny for “most” of the movie. Three, major, “obvious first time director”, flaws in the humor that hurt the movie. The first was the “amount” of humor trying to be thrown in which ended up “dragging” out and ruining many of the jokes. Wade’s “baby balls” shirt joke was funny for 2 seconds with Blind Al (played by Leslie Uggams), but after that – went flat and just drug on. Another example of this was the constant, non-stop idiocy of Deadpool. While in Professor Xavier’s school, Deadpool stole Xavier’s wheelchair, complaining about the mansion and then made a joke as to why the movie was being too cheap to bring in any of the X-Men only for us to see them standing right there, trying to hide from Wade (because none of them like Deadpool). It was funny and well-timed, but was ultimately, also a sad statement on the fact that the movie “was” being cheap (especially since it wasn’t even real cameos as those weren’t the real “movie” X-Men, but I don’t want to rate this movie down because of Hollywood / actor / overpriced B.S.). However, in contrast to this, when Deadpool wouldn’t stop grabbing Colosses’ butt (played by CGI), along with all the other sexual reference jokes, it just kept beating down the relationship between the two – way too far.

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See? I wasn’t joking. Butts … more butts … bare butts … baby butts … and blah blah blah. Funny once or twice … but not after 4 months of gay / butt advertising shots?

The second major mistake was the use of 12-year old “fart/butt-style jokes.” We didn’t need to see a close-up of baby-butt on Deadpool, or the Juggernaut’s butt. Albeit funny – it is not part of the quality humor that was otherwise spread throughout the movie. The “shank” pen in Russell’s butt – not funny. This same type of low-grade humor was constantly used with all the sexual reference jokes to being gay. It’s not a gender-bias thing, it’s just that it went on so much that it became unpleasant. The first movie’s inclusion of these types of jokes was well balanced with the rest of the movie. However, I would wager that less than 10% of Deadpool’s lines were anything other than sarcasm or humor. That destroys content.

Finally, the third major mistake was the screen-time filler, buffering the movie with useless content for a single joke. So, it turns out that the X-Force theme that dominated the previews was nothing more than a long joke that was thrown into the movie for a way to 1) Introduce Domino – which could have happened a thousand other ways, and 2) make the joke of killing everyone else on the X-Force team right away (except when Deadpool saved “only” Peter, played by Rob Delaney, with his time travel / post movie skit). The interviews with the superheroes were reminiscent of the 1999 Mystery Men, movie with an immediate kill that echoed the 1988 I’m Gonna Git You Sucka movie when one of the main heroes dies immediately after gearing up. And, the pen in Russell’s butt went on for so long that it lost value. So, for these mistakes, being too derivative and cliche, and not using the time well spent, this is a -1.5 points.

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No … not working. Sorry. Having to pad Reynolds so it’s not obvious that Julian is wider than him … just sad.

The use of Julian Dennison as a major character in this movie … the “kid to be saved” – was not interesting. I won’t dock the movie for this – but they could have done a LOT better.

The Ugly

While I won’t knock points off of the movie, the “15,000 people were employed to make this film” inclusion at the very end was super annoying. Do we care? Do we feel for Marvel and all the money they put out? I don’t. Considering what my tickets cost … and how Hollywood has been cheating the system, how Marvel cheated the Infinity War (and banked off of it), and how everyone in the IMax theater was paying more than twice as much for half as much content – I care because …? Listen, Hollywood, first off: you’re as bad as Uncle Sam when it comes to overpaying people, so figure it out. We don’t make 6 digit figures every 3 – 4 years for a movie. In fact, many of us won’t make 6 digits in more than 20 years of working. So … try to see it from our perspective. Second, you have been increasing the costs of movies so rapidly, and for terrible content, that it feels like it is literally stealing from people. Finally (and this is not the last of it – I have a VERY long list), you engage in inappropriate political behavior with the public, influence children in really bad ways, and literally abuse the audience. You helped create a generation of people that stopped caring about you – so you fix it. Sorry readers … I digress …

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From Indiewire.com. While it may be CGI – it was a LOT better than the “other” juggernaut … sheesh!

Electrocution by … bunghole? So, while I commented earlier about the over-abundance of gay-reference / butt humor, one of the scenes that takes it beyond just ‘funny’ (for example), is the scene when Colossus shoves an electrical cable in the Juggernaut’s rear end (played by … again … CGI / Reynolds … ? Justifies Deadpool signing a cereal box with his real life name I suppose …). Was it necessary? Did it give us anything more, funny? Knowing that the Juggernaut was trapped underwater and being electrocuted to unconsciousness was … already funny. It even gave the movie a way to include Yukio (played by Shioli Kutsuna) with mutant powers (although, sadly leaving out Brianna Hildebrand / Negasonic blah blah name too long). But, the butt-plug scene was just a little, too, over the top for this movie. It is a ‘superhero / anti-superhero’ movie and I do expect a lot of ill-humor – but not that. Again, it is only my opinion, but we don’t need to have anymore condescending Hollywood garbage. This was condescending and dul-drum, trying to appease … what audience (I don’t know)? For that, a -0.5.

The “Papa Can You Hear Me”, joke was actually pretty funny. But, it is pretty outdated, since audiences were bringing this up years ago. Still, it was a creative way to throw in that joke, so I won’t downgrade for outdated humor, but it was definitely not the “top” of what the movie could have been and was a sign of some “not-so-pleasant” lazy writing. That, and what makes it fit in the “Ugly” category – is that this scene was a painful reminder that this is a “Fox” branch of movie makers, who are actually now the Disney branch, which is now becoming a confusing / limitations on cross overs due to proprietary B.S. / “thing”, that audience members should not have to be dealing with.

Last, but not least – Hollywood: STOP WITH THE NEWBIE AND CRAP DIRECTORS – REALLY! Seriously, Infinite War was not directed by the guys that transformed Thor: Ragnorok into a hit … nooo. It’s like going from a really bad director, like JJ Abrams, and giving him a Star Wars movie that was MORE impossible to butcher than toast (although he butchered it worse than a slaughterhouse), to a no-name director for the sequel, giving someone who had no business handling such a big movie the job!?!? There are a LOT of good directors out there … and writers … so WHERE ARE THEY? Seriously … they give Michael Bay Transformers and he butchers it. To make things worse, they keep picking worse directors going down the list as they drag out terrible versions of the movie? Why? It’s not hard. In fact, NO director OR writer has a SINGLE excuse for a bad Marvel movie (bad X-Men outfits, Green Lantern, and Logan included). These movies are based on Comic Book characters. The costumes are made, the story boards are written, and all you gotta’ do is put it into film. This is NOT a “creative” issue requiring “interpretation” (I know – I’ve done it). It’s easy. If one more of these movies is directed by and written by a no-name or crappy director who can’t stop himself from butchering a good story or doesn’t know how to write / direct well … I will deduct points! For now … I will let Deadpool ride because it is a pretty open story line. But, it could have been … and should have been … better.

Conclusion

Setting aside all of the shameless plugs, annoying and not funny promos, and the fact that Marvel and other studios will not stop using stupid directors (JJ Abrams) and first timers / no ‘namers’, Deadpool turned out to be about as much fun as I expected for a sequel. Sequels are rarely ever as good as the original – but also rarely this funny. It reminds me of the National Lampoon’s Griswold movies and their sequels. They were never as good as the original, but I never stopped laughing! In fact, I think, except for some small effort to make this a ‘superhero’ movie, this was such a departure from Deadpool and the MCU that it became more like a National Lampoon’s / Wayne’s World ‘campy’ movie and the only way to enjoy it, is to expect just that … campy. Going in under the pretense of all the continuously improving MCU titles and expecting more is probably a reason that many audiences felt a little ’empty’ after Deadpool 2.

Directing / Filmography: A 7 out of 10 for good effort and some really successful shots / timing with the script, but too many ‘newbie’ mistakes to be great.

Audio: An 8.5 out of 10 for “smashingly” awesome sound effects, but the 1.5 off for not giving us “great” music choices.

The Story Line: A VERY generous 9 out of 10 for the ‘almost’ non-stop laughs, the attack on DC, the attack on the Green Lantern, and the excellent “I’m Batman” reference. Not perfect since the holes and lack of effort in the story line were too glaring.

The Characters: A 6 out of 10 as the make-up, special effects, Deadpool, Cable, and Domino were all excellent. Unfortunately, that was all that was excellent. Cable needed more ‘story’, Russell (played by Julian Dennison) was not enjoyable, and the use of an almost “all supporting cast” with just Deadpool as the sole focus in a movie that was “not” Deadpool as the sole focus, fell a little short.

-0.5 for wasting time in the story line.

-1.5 for failing to fully utilize the humor well and mix that in with a story so that this sequel could have been AWESOME! (Think of Guardians of the Galaxy 2 vs. No. 1!!!).

-0.5 for condescending jokes like shoving a cable in the Juggernaut’s butt, Deadpool with baby balls, the X-Force cameo for being derivative, and so on.

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While there are amazing, young, sexy dudes like this one, posing across from Deadpool … does Regal Cinemas not get the point of these displays … whereby putting them in bad locations makes for bad shots? Sheesh! At least this promo was saved by a REAL fan! Now … if Reynolds could only see this … and give this kid an autograph and take a real photo with him … I “might” add a couple more points to the review … (hey … shameless plug, really? Did you see the Deadpool / Bob Ross ad? I’m within my rights, here … not to mention bringing “you”, the reader … original content! At least it’s not me up there … whew!)

That brings us down from an average of 7.6 to 5.1 out of 10. However, for as many of the bad things that I left out of this review, there were still a lot of good aspects of the movie, too. It was, after all, Deadpool and a break from the “drama-driven” MCU. It did have potential and they didn’t screw around with trying to appease “too many” people … although they were obviously trying to be “PC” with a trans-gender crowd (and kudos to them for effort … although it’s still just “using” and playing to people’s differences for money). And, from mocking the poorly done movie Logan, to mocking the director for being a stunt man, to the time travel repair of Deadpool’s stupid twisted appearance in the 2009 movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, (and many more mocks, like Martha, executing pedophiles, applying gay lip balm, and more, can be found on IMDB, here), it’s hard to let this movie ride in the middle. So, I’m going to forgive the other screw-ups and bump it up 2 points to a 7.1 out of 10 for all those other, awesome additions that really made the movie hilarious and a fast-thrills, fun ride! (Although, warning you must be this tall (points to ceiling), to “safely” ride this roller coaster!)

I would have given it 1 extra bump point if the story had been better, there had been a Lady Death / Infinity War inclusion, or even 2 more points if Marvel had made this into more of the MCU universe than a campy off-shoot, but alas, those things, did not happen.

Thanks for Reading, hope you got something out of this! Not my most in-depth, deepest, or best review, but I am being brief on this one since there are already so many other reviews on line. Please feel free to comment, rebuke, rebut, flame, agree with, offer to pay me cash, or make any other comment you would like!


Cable: “I got two charges, one to get me here, one to get me home.

Deadpool: “Well that’s just lazy writing.

(Hey – they SAID it in the movie … so I’m not making this stuff up!)

 

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The Limitations of Reality: Why the Multiverse Cannot be Infinite

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A phys.org multiverse.

If we could open doors to other dimensions or cross over into alternate universes, would they look like ours? If they did, would there be infinite possibilities of existence?

In one Universe, could I actually be a giraffe … and in another be … well … me?

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(Yeah … I still look the same in both …)

According to the eternal chaotic inflation theory, that answer would be, yes. Which would mean that in another universe, I am an animal with a lower function of consciousness and completely unrecognizable and yet, somehow, still … me??!! Or, perhaps I am a speck of dust that has developed the self realization that I am a god! Unfortunately (and more realistically), that idea is probably more a result of an infinite imagination rather than an infinite number of multiverse possibilities. While there is some potential of a possibility of infinite realities outside of some concept of “reality” (as we know it) – I would argue that the possibility is far, too infinitely small to exist (based on liquid space theory). Sadly, while the ability to have an imagination with almost infinite possibilities is an excellent tool in human evolution (and especially for Hollywood, during the few, rare times they use it), I am of the mindset that it is this same tool that can be as equally misleading. Sure, if you have a loved one who died in this Universe and you miss them terribly … knowing they might be alive somewhere else brings hope – and hope is powerful. Conversely, if we focus on the mirror aspect of “alternate realities”, we must also accept the possibility that in each iteration of existence, that person dies over and over again – and it’s no longer such a comforting thought.

First, the idea of the multiverse is essentially the fantasy of preserving perfect information. One of the hard things to deal with in life is the fact that you destroy potential information whenever you make a decision. You could even say that’s essentially what regret is: a profound problem of incomplete information. If you select one thing on a diner’s menu, you can’t know what it would have been like to taste other things on it, right then, right there. When you marry one person, you give up the possibility of knowing what it would have been like to have married any number of others. But if the multiverse exists, you can at least imagine there’s another version of you who’s eating that other thing you thought about ordering, or who’s married to that other man you only went on two dates with. Even if you’ll never see all the information for yourself, at least you’ll be able to tell yourself that it’s there.” – Dexter Palmer

But, aside from the imagination – “infinite” is not so easy to come by. Frankly, if there were an infinite number of possibilities, one of those possibilities would be that there is no universe. *poof* … all of creation just vanished. (Thanks to my son for that insight …)

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In my articles on liquid space theory (here and here), I brought up the limitations of time and space based on the fundamental principals of energy. First, a brief step back into liquid space: the Universe is not empty. It is completely filled with particles whose separation is so small that it is practically impossible to measure with any known means. These particles (specks), fundamentally determine the shape, behavior, and patterns of energy in all things. The formation of all matter and chains of energy are limited by the fundamental particles that define “energy”, and determine the relationship between all particles of matter.

So, what does this mean for infinite possibilities in a multiverse? Could I be the Emperor of America in an alternate timeline? Frankly, probably not. Could I have magical powers? Absolutely, not. Why?

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From earthempaths.net

First off, in order for me to have magical powers, it would require an alteration to the genetic makeup and fundamental electromagnetic interaction between my body and matter around me (giving “magic” a scientific basis). While there “may” be something to telekinesis and Biblical magic (to which I have not been privileged to see and therefore must remain skeptical), the manner in which the energy in my body has been formed and brought into existence is consistent with the evolution of the whole of the remainder of humanity, which includes a fundamental lack of “magical” control over matter (aka, I can’t wave my wand around and make a sandwich appear … and I know … because I’ve tried!). So, what is it that keeps me from getting to attend Hogwarts?

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Figure 1

In figure 1, let’s pretend that the person in the middle is “me”. I am not “me” just “because”. I am me because of an overwhelming number of factors, such as environment (clouds), genetic chains / evolution (DNA), my parents / nurture (male and female), nature (kitten), time / technology (clock), and SO much more. Take away a single element and I would no longer be, “me”. That is the conundrum of evolution and existence. We are, on the physical level, a culmination of all that has come before, during, and after us. All matter has a specific energy, X, that can be assigned to it at a specific point in time, i and n, based on a multitude of specific events, E, and for this example, we will assume that “X” is the final state (aka “me”) vs. the state of a part of the matter (X1, X2, X3, etc.), that makes up “me”. Thus, X would look something like this:

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Figure 2

 

We can see in figure 2 that X is a culmination of an interacting series of events (E), each of which is based on a complex set of values such that a change to any one, single component of this equation changes the value, X. In liquid space, we recognize that every event affects all particles of energy around it in a three-dimensional ripple through space and time and that it has repeatedly collided back on itself and caused alternate formations of energies and patterns that have each contributed to the manipulations of life itself. Using the “uniform energy distribution principal of associated energy patterns” from the Liquid Space theory whereby patterns of distributed energy affect everything else around it to the point of equilibrium (aka how a laser beam works), it is possible to understand how matter forms into grouped patterns (such that everything in the universe has unique groupings of shape, size, and composition). For instance, carbon can form into metals and rocks, OR it can form into biological life forms, and the similarities remain consistent between the different groups. In other words, we don’t have human beings with reptile skin or lizards with rocks for heads. In every variation of “human”, the similarities remain consistent. While there may be a massive variation within a single species, the similarities within each are constant. It would only take 1 minor deviation from “E”, in figure 2, to stray so far from the result that X could no longer be a variant of itself.

Each event, E, can be countless variables, n, that contribute to the whole, like the ripples in a pool of water after dropping in a pebble. Changing the pattern of energy distributed from that single pebble (a single event) would have overwhelming consequences on the entirety of the Earth and everything in our Universe.

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(As a side note, an interesting article on Investopedia about cryptocurrency)

The ripples / waves of water (space), travel in specific energy patterns (and you can see the liquid space theory for the reasons why energy moves in waves), each wave affecting the next, and the next (and so on), and then cascading back on each other over and over, and so on. If you change even one wave or event, interjecting even the slightest alteration, you could completely change the outcomes in such a way that the results are unrecognizable.

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Figure 3

In the matrix in figure 3, the bottom tables show the variation between 3 and 3.2. The final answer, 45, is only modified by that 0.2, and if we consider DNA and the millions of combinations, whereby each 1/100th of a decimal change alters the molecular bonds, this could still be a significant change having altered more than 200 variables (but “may”, still fit within the confines of “human” variations). In the top two tables, if we change a “3” to a “6”, suddenly the answer is 48 and this small shift in values resulted in thousands of changes, each having a cascading effect on other variables such that the results would be nothing short of an entirely different species – or even an entirely different state of matter. This is, of course, the simplified explanation.

From all those rippling waves and variables extending out to three or more decimal places, one might conjecture that this is how we can “assume” infinite realities. But, if we were to accept infinite realities, we would have to accept infinite times, methods, matters, and causalities that first started the waves … or the lack thereof. To even fathom this, we would have to completely abandon the way in which all matter works.

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An article on Alternate Reality, by Rhett Davenport, hosted by the Parthenons.com

Let’s start by taking the basic principals of magnetic / electrical relationships. In liquid space, magnetic / electrical relationships are a causality of states of energy based on a single phase electrical charge (s.p.e.c.k) particle. Opposite magnetic and electromagnetic poles, attract. Like poles, repel. In as simple of an explanation as possible, this is the relationship that governs how all matter acts. Even in an alternate reality / universe where the laws of physics may be different (as per many of the theories conjectured alongside of the multiverse), fundamental particles may be multi-phasic, reversed, or have greater and lesser energy states … but the same principles of “matter-to-matter” relationships would continue to exist.

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If we abandon the entire principle of these matter relationships (along with energy and how matter interacts), then the “alternate” possibility would look nothing like this Universe. The “alternates” would be so vastly different that it would not even resemble a universe and therefore – would not be able to exist as part of the multiverse (like a 2-dimensional plane of existence!). In order for matter to form beyond its tiniest, fundamental state, there has to be a guiding force that unites it. This is the same force that would “fuel” the creation of a multiverse in the first place, and it is that origin that provides the consistency that would not be eradicated.

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The “Orville“, an excellent science fiction show and brain child of Seth MacFarlane (of which Season 2 will be out in December), explored the idea of 2-dimensional space and that 3-dimensional physics could not exist within that space. Brilliant!

Thus, there could still be some pretty vast differences in each universe – but they would be limited to the same matrix of variables (figure 3).

Consider this: when steamed oxygen is injected into a sealed container of H2O and carbon, the result is Hydrogen and Carbon Dioxide. Why the shift? The nature of energy itself assigned to each element and how it moves within liquid space, defines what elements bond, and what elements do not bond. And, there can be variations within this. For example, carbon, in a lower energy state (less vibration / lower frequency) may readily bond with other particles of a similar, more rigid energy state (i.e. carbon steel). But, at a higher frequency state cannot bond with other metals and instead, bonds with particles such as oxygen, becoming the building blocks for life. Remember, a finite number of variables in our matrix (figure 3), may result in vastly different outcomes, but cannot exceed the finite parameters of that matrix. Therefore, no human exists that is “part metal”. It may be a neat idea – but almost no variation on the lower and higher energy spectrum of carbon’s pairing with other particles and energy patterns would ever cross over, because if they did, the consequences would be fatal.

jessesullivan
The blending of man and machine is not impossible (from mnn.com), but the two forms of matter, biological and metallic, do not “fuse” or phase into each other.

If we were to graft titanium onto your skin right now, it would not “blend”. The energy states do not work that way because there is a fundamental particle (speck), that dictates those energy states and to violate the nature of how matter forms in the universe would literally unravel existence. In some cases, there can be small windows of cross-over energy states (of which we have real-time evidence of this with pure carbon). Working at the atomic level of carbon (with graphene), one of the problems is that the atomic-sized particles of carbon are at just the right / sensitive state of energy (between a metal and biological energy state) that they can still graft into human tissue (with horrific outcomes). While this cross-over exists, the fatal outcomes strictly limit a long-term alteration in physical structure because there would be no genetic offspring to carry forward any future generations that adapt to that lower state and no metals would continue to form (given the breakdown effect of death on surrounding tissue), into biological tissues. In other words, while it may be possible, the potential for a universe where “metal people”, exist, is so vastly limited that its occurrence would be less likely to happen, than not.

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The T2 Model, from Vulture.com

If there was such a universe, given the devastating effect of the same carbon particles on life and the environment, life (as it has formed in this universe), would cease to exist (or never have existed at all), and we would not have, “humans”. Still, with only a few decimal variations (figure 3), although there would be no “metal” people, we might see something as different as long, pointy ears and blue blood (as long as there was also an equally evolutionary / reasonable basis for this),  because that does not defy the nature of energy and matter.

The same principal holds true for “magic”. While there is a place and time in our hearts to be Harry Potter, attending our first year at Hogwarts, the ability to control matter in that fashion is very unrealistic (without some massive, physical evolutionary change of a person’s subatomic structure that gave additional, extended, electromagnetic / manipulative abilities). There is even a possibility that these beings could exist side by side with humans. Still, we are talking about a variation such that wizards would be difficult to recognize as, “human”, not to mention that the possibility of their existence would also be so infinitely small that it is not realistic.

But, could I be Iron Man?

220px-Iron_Man_bleeding_edge
From Wikipedia.com

Possibly. Although I would not be Tony Stark, if the events of my birth and life were dramatically different and I were given alternate opportunities, there is a “possibility” that I could build a suit similar to Iron Man’s and fly around, saving the day. Unfortunately, there would be no “Hulk”, no “Thor” and no “meta humans” with which to build a team, but I could still look pretty cool. Would this happen in an alternate reality? No – I do not think so. As it just so happens, I have a life where I have had the rare opportunity to be a hero to a very special young man (the one for whom this site and these memories are dedicated / being recorded), and I have learned that my heart, mind, and that invisible part of me that is my soul, has an agenda to be a father. It does not matter what Universe I would be in as the parts that are “me” (figure 1), would still all blend to satisfy a longing that would otherwise keep me from even existing.

To better understand this, it is important to also understand that the fundamental principal of energy and matter extends beyond the molecular level and also governs higher levels of evolution, such as behavior. Human behavior is very much controlled by energy and matter (at the atomic level). From fears due to pain, to a hierarchy of needs (that I have re-written), our actions are very much a component of how matter and energy work together. For example, being born without wings not only limits my ability to fly, but even when given an opportunity to ride in an airplane – NOBODY likes the idea of falling, whether it is a phobia or just a small, common sense fear (but nobody fears walking!). The fear of falling to one’s death is not necessarily a function of experience, either. The built-in mechanisms of the brain provide for chemical manipulations of particles in the psyche to ‘simulate’ the effects of the fall. The course of evolution has prohibited me from jumping off of a cliff and flapping my arms in the hopes of nesting and have a family of baby bird-people (weird, right? Thank goodness for limitations of evolution … although I contradict current theories as I am not a monkey!).

Let me give you another example: the Ice Wolf. The Ice Wolf lives in a forbidding environment, surrounded by danger at all times, terrible weather, and limited food supply. So, why doesn’t the Ice Wolf just pick up and leave? Well, first of all, its mates are there and unless it wanted a life of solitude, that doesn’t work too well. But, more importantly, the same energy frequencies that govern the Ice Wolf’s ability to survive in climates where, say, a forest wolf, cannot, prevent it from leaving the Ice Tundra. The frequencies of the wolf’s molecular structure are so rigid that they defend against the frozen weather (and thus would cause a rapid heat transfer outside of the ice tundra resulting in pain and then death), process limited amounts of food in very unique ways (which would overwhelm the wolf in a forest filled with food), and lead to a myriad of other problems. Likewise, if a forest wolf, whose molecular energies are designed for higher temperatures, faster processing of food, and so forth, were to try and cross over into the ice tundra, the forest wolf would not be able to survive, either (as he would quickly freeze to death, his energy structures and subsequent evolutionary differences having limited his range of habitats). Both wolves look similar. They sound similar, and, in many ways, they behave, similar. This is an example of just how vast the variations could be from one multiverse to the next, while also demonstrating its limitations. We would never see an ice tundra wolf living in the rain forest, in any variant of the multiverse.

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Brave Frontier Image

Following the same course, we can also see how evolution is limited by the very same principles. The T-Rex didn’t become a bird because, over the thousands of years it would take for that transformation to occur, the complications with trying to fly would be so vast that it would naturally make more sense just to stay on the ground. This fact is demonstrated by the vast differences between reptilian and avian species. For example, birds have different bone structures than mammals, and mammals have different cellular structures than fish, and so on. “Infinite”, in evolution, is not possible. No matter what universe you went to, fish would not be flying around the Antarctic because the limitations of how energy governs their matter does not allow for it. Subsequently, there is nothing, behavior-wise, that would cause the fish to spend time flying around the icy south pole because it would lead to pain, discomfort, and starvation.

The summary of all this is that the variations between groups of combined matter would be very limited. Perhaps language forms with some small changes, a couple has 3 children instead of 1, and so on. There would still be dictators, tyrants, good people, and bad people. But, those people would have a variant of flesh for skin, not rocks.

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Figure 4: Different elements group together based on the energy-matter relationship, and within each group there are minor variations, but manbearpig, bringing together animal and human, would not be possible.

Of course, all of these variables requires that we limit the ‘multi-verse’ within the confines of ‘alternate’ realities and an egotistical perception of a “mirror” universe. In order for another “you”, to exist, the energies between the “you” in this universe would have to be shared with the energies with “you” in another universe – although this is a completely different theory (from which I digress, for now). Otherwise, each multiverse would come with its own evolutionary development. The development of a similar being to humans would most likely happen given the nature of matter. And, the evolution of that species would also, likely, follow a similar path to ours based on the similarities of composition. But, there is nothing that would link the two.

Why should it? That’s human ignorance at its greatest, again, putting the Earth at the center of the Universe. Yes, people want to be important – but that’s a downfall of being human, I suppose. In a multiverse, if even one portion of the rippled waves traveling through time were altered … and the states of energy were adjusted in even the slightest, life, may not even occur. While speck particles would still behave the same, throwing off the pattern of particles in a confined space that would otherwise join, pushing some out, radioactivity deteriorating others, and so on, could remove even one, subatomic particle that was needed to kick start existence. These variations would still not be infinite. Once having interrupted the energy states of formation in the Universe, like stopping the Big Bang, the Universe does not form, end of story.

Forgetting “mirror” image / alternate reality universes for the moment, could this allow for an infinite number of possibilities? For example, could there be a universe smaller or bigger than our own? Not really. The amount of energy needed to bring a “universe” into existence is, inherently, the same across the board, (although the “expansion” rates may be different given the start date of each universe). Furthermore, the amount of energy required to kick start a universe into existence is beyond fathomable and it brings into question a “balance” of existence and limitations on expending such concentrated bursts of energy.

While I cannot speak to , or conjecture about an ethereal plane where energy might be at such an abundance, another limitation would be based on the pretense that matter is neither created nor destroyed so that the birth of a new universe would require a massive resource / amount of sacrificed matter to create it. So, even in a reality where a multiverse could exist, it would not be an infinite number of universes building off of one another for the simple fact that each Universe would just continue to drain the previous and the repetition of Entropy and creation, over and over again, could be potentially too volatile to continue. The amount of time it takes to condense the energies enough to create a “big bang” for a new universe would most likely be as substantially long as it took for entropy in another such that even infinity is not long enough to create infinite universes.

And, speaking more to the energy it takes to create a universe, the proximity of one universe to another would be terribly problematic. As previously discussed, the stream of energy throughout time (thinking of all of time as happening in a single moment), is very sensitive and easily disrupted. If one major event happened in one universe, it would cross over into another and the effects would cascade in the form of increasing ripples of energy at such a level that it would be catastrophic to all existence. Thus, a multiverse would have to be vastly spread out by distances beyond human comprehension, in a place of complete stillness, and this inherently comes with a limitation that does not support “infinity”.

Do I believe in a mega verse? Of course, I do …

Celestialsapiens
Who was it that said a universe has to be round … or a “thing” versus a living being

Funny way to picture a universe, right? Well … in the beginning, the Universe was dark, and empty. Into it were given cells (planets), light (energy), and the vast amount of life that makes up the whole of the universe …

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What differentiates the formation of the whole of the universe, with life existing inside of it, from human beings? (picture from homeplanetearth.org).

To a subatomic particle, the inside of a human body is no different than the universe is to us. The way electrons move around a nucleus, at an atomic scale is not all that different than the way planets move around a sun, at a vastly larger scale – but both are similar in their form based on the constant state of matter and energy. I bring this up to illustrate that the potential for discovery in a multiverse, and within our own universe, is so vast that within a single, or even multiple, human lifetime(s), it is, by itself, infinite. It’s only when you step back and look at all of creation and existence throughout the multiverse, from a single perspective, that you see the limitations. There are a million, different and exciting discoveries within a single forest, and to an insect, that may “appear” infinite – but it is still, only a forest.

Anyway, if you made it this far, good for you (hopefully …). Although it has never been suggested that I shall ever win an award for my brevity, trying to fully examine the limitations of reality and why the multiverse cannot be infinite is a very complex task. Fortunately, regardless of what I, or anyone else says, while we are trapped in this mortal existence, our imaginations allow us to explore the infinite. Whether it’s a very realistic possibility of a unicorn (after all, Triceratops existed), or an unrealistic talking beverage, infinity does exist – and it is within each and every one of us. As was so eloquently said by Q in the final episode of Star Trek, The Next Generation:

… For that one fraction of a second, you were open to options you had never considered. *That* is the exploration that awaits you. Not mapping stars and studying nebulae, but charting the unknown possibilities of existence.

So – I challenge you not to accept this article as a scientific look into the limitations of existence, but a stepping stone upon which to stand, to see higher, understand more, and find those infinite possibilities …

Thanks for reading.


Finally, from what we now know about the cosmos, to think that all this was created for just one species among the tens of millions of species who live on one planet circling one of a couple of hundred billion stars that are located in one galaxy among hundreds of billions of galaxies, all of which are in one universe among perhaps an infinite number of universes all nestled within a grand cosmic multiverse, is provincially insular and anthropocentrically blinkered. Which is more likely? That the universe was designed just for us, or that we see the universe as having been designed just for us?” – Michael Shermer

Expanding Liquid Space – Is the Universe Completely Filled with Light?

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From the Dailymail.com

Light is an amazing phenomenon. We associate light with heat, vision, travel, depth perception, safety, and almost every facet of our existence. Light is used as a gauge for what Einstein perceived to be the maximum, achievable speed for humanity and further went on to associate light and time. There are many theories in the world of physics and quantum physics about light. There are equally as many contradictions. For the most part, from what I can tell, is that the mathematics for light is based on observable phenomena and has been formulated to justify many of the theories of light (catering the solution to fit the problem, per se).

(for the background articles on liquid space, if you are interested, please read (here) and (here) and a background article on vision)

But, here’s an interesting question: if the way we “see” things is based on reflected light reaching our retina, then how do different people, focused on the same object, at the same time, but from vastly different angles, observe that object?

scatter
Figure 1

In Figure 1, we see that light scatters incoherently (which is explained well by Leo Stein, Ph.D., on Quora), and provides a 100%, complete coverage in all non-obstructed directions. And, even though the photons being emitted travel in a completely straight line, the cross-over density at the source is strong enough that even at long distances (like seeing stars in space), the dispersion factor is apparently not that big of an issue (perhaps more dependent upon the strength of the source object). The mathematics for this is based on Schrodinger’s equation (yes … Edwin Schrodinger, the same guy that killed kittens to understand quantum mechanics … weird). The same guy who thought it was an amazing phenomenon to see that exposing a cat to deadly toxins killed it (hmm….), also determined that light goes in 100% every direction and that principle applies to this day.

But – this brings up some questions for me about whether or not this 100% coverage of light also means that the Universe is filled with light? Let’s first evaluate how we “see” objects:

FOV
Figure 2

In figure 2, we see that our ‘perception’ creates our reality. Two perspectives of the same object can result in different interpretations of size, color, composition, and more. Yet, regardless of our field of view, according to science, we do not “see” objects, we “receive light”.

headlight
Figure 3

In figure 3, in the top half of the image, a person observes the headlights of a car about 1,000 feet away, right? Well, technically, no. The person at the top right does not observe the light until it reaches his (or her) eyeball (bottom right), passes through to the light receptors, transforms the light into electrical signals, and then processes it. How can this individual perceive the distance between himself (or herself) and the vehicle? Well, in figure 2 we demonstrate that there is an inherent, biological function that gives people the ability to discern distance based on a wide variety of cues. If you ever want to practice this for yourself, drive during a mid-afternoon, almost complete white-out snow storm, and without shadows and other cues, with completely white snow, you will know the amazing and terribly frightening experience of not being able to discern shapes, distances, and other factors without a myriad of contributing factors. Then, try it with ski goggles on – and it is a completely, new experience (I actually drive with ski goggles in the car now for this very reason).

Here is where it gets a bit complex (and hey, if anyone out there is a quantum physicist or expert in the field of light and wants to submit an answer, follow-up, explanation, or other “everyone in the world can understand” solution or justification – please do – that helps to share knowledge and expand our world, promoting evolution for all!). So, the first problem I have is with light being “everywhere” …

flashlight
Figure 4

In figure 4, several things are going on: On the left, there is a flashlight, and because of mirrored reflections within the head of the flashlight, as light moves away from the source, it becomes more and more dispersed (weaker – see below). Just below the flashlight, we can see that the dispersed photons, reflecting off a surface (incoherent refractive scattering), would also be even more dispersed and provide a weaker reflection based on the distance to the source of the light. At the top, an individual looking “across” the light would not see anything because the photons are traveling in a straight line and are not pointed at his eyes, preventing them from “picking up” the light (based on the principal that we don’t “see” objects, we “see” reflections). And, at the right, we have three individuals looking at the flashlight itself (the source). An example of the diffusion of beam patterns is illustrated as follows:

flashlight-beam-patterns
From Streamlight Flashlights

The center individual will see a greater amount of light because the reflected photons are most strongly concentrated at that individual. The two, outside people, even if at equal angles and distance (and equal in distance to the individual in front of the flashlight), will see a slightly dimmer light, but it will “appear” more intense at its source based on “perception” (figure 2). But, unlike the person standing directly in front of the light, the outside individuals do not “perceive” the light to be as strong because fewer light receptors in their cornea are picking up the light. Presumably, this is because of angle of incidence and looks like this:

Figure 26_02_03
Part of an excellent base-learner tutorial on light physics from lumenlearning.com

Wait a second … according to the picture from lumenlearning.com – refraction due to rough surfaces allows the reflected light to be seen at every angle equally? But, based on our previous understanding (figure 1) that light has complete and total area coverage and the picture from lumenlearning, wouldn’t the incidence of light look more like this:

flashlightangles.jpg
Figure 5

If light is distributed evenly and completely, as shown on the left in figure 5, then all three people should see the same amount of light (where the blue spheres represent the constant stream of photons). But, on the right hand side, not only do we see a different “concentration” of light based on the angle of incidence, but we can see that when viewing a flashlight at an angle, there is a “concentration” and a “lesser concentration” just in the beam of light as it reflects off of the dust particles (such as streamlight’s image previously). So, why is it that the light is significantly and equally dispersed to the point that we can all look at a sheet of paper from a 360 degree horizontal by 180 degree vertical perspective and see that sheet of paper if angle of incidence contradicts this?

viewingangles
Figure 6

So, how does the viewing of the flashlight at different angles in figure 5 compare with lumenlearning’s presentation of complete and full angle of incidence coverage (as shown with the yellow bubble in figure 6)? And, if photons are very direction specific – then why can everyone, within the range of the photons, see the paper within the ever expanding bubble? This question was asked on Reddit (here) and answered with a pretty straight forward solution that there are just so many photons, that their coverage is absolute. But, are there really so many photons that they can fill a bubble, like the one from figure 6, so that a mountain in the distance can be seen from everywhere (when the light is otherwise unobstructed):

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Figure 7: Even though less “clear” due to the loss in detail as the “source” of light has been scattered or become non-existent at this distance, does light still travel indefinitely – or not?

Conversely, consider the following:

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Figure 8

The photons traveling through space are supposedly able to make it because of a “vacuum”, and so we can see light from 100 million light years away (and that works, if you pretend that it is a “vacuum” simply because of a lack of air pressure even though it is filled with gravitational fields, endless particles, and so on and so on). But, that same light still has to pass through the atmosphere and the same amount of particles in the air that reduced the details and clarity of the mountains in figure 7, not to mention the 100 million light years of distance, particles in space, gravitational disruptions, and the radiation shielding around the Earth. Yet, the atmosphere and particles contained within Earth’s atmosphere (no longer within the vacuum), are still not enough to block the light of the stars. It is probably very naive of me, but analytically, that raises a lot of questions about the very nature of light. In the vacuum of space, not considering obstructions, at an equal distance from the star, according to current theories of light physics and observation, in a complete sphere around the star, its light is visible. That light is based on photons traveling through space in enough quantity that there is a zero percent distance between the photons, meaning that the sphere around the star would be completely filled with photons (light), in every direction, reaching out to its destination.

starlight
Figure 9

So … depending on where you stood in the Universe, regardless of distance (and again, forgetting obstructions), you would see the star. Then … the universe is FULL of light. What makes this even more especially interesting is the fact that science believes that gravity moves at the speed of light based on a variety of factors. Of course, this also raises so many other, unbelievable questions about light interference, whether or not we ever see the light reflected from a single surface without interruption, and so on …

lightinterference.jpg
Figure 10

Sorry to get off track. Let’s get back to the question at hand, is light everywhere?

An electron, which is supposedly larger than a photon, is 2.82 x 10^-15 m. Cutting it in half to get the area of the circle, that is 6.25E-30. to fill a 100 square meter space would then require 1.60E+31 electrons, or 16 trillion trillion electrons to fill a wall space no more than 10 meters x 10 meters (or just under 1000 square feet). Without spending time on comparisons … that is a LOT of electrons. Therefore, it would take a lot more (or just as many) photons to fill that space. Yet, looking at a movie projector screen, with similar dimensions, that means that every few fractions of a second (to ensure that the image is uninterrupted), at least 1,000 times the number of photons (trillion, trillion, trillion) are hitting the screen and bouncing off with enough, sufficient coverage to spread the light throughout the theater. Unfortunately, we also have to allow for error rates, chaos, and other factors, raising the question about whether or not the math support this?

If you are using a green laser pointer, given the different parameters, one equation (here) shows 10^19 photons per second being released from the tip of the LED. If the typical beam width is 1.5 mm, you would have to have 44 million laser pointers to cover the entire wall. And, at this rate, we would be 36,000 photons short of 100% coverage. This closeness in the numbers tells us that we’re pretty spot on with the math (so far as I can tell). And, while you do not see a stream of light from the projector to the screen, imagine standing in front of a wall and staring at a single point on that wall … then walk closer, and then walk away from it – and at all points, the wall remains visible. Therefore, at any given distance, the photons must be projected in the same, continuous direction as your line of sight without shifting. Otherwise, the wall would look like it was moving. How does that work with refraction when the trillions and trillions of photons move in a straight line? I would argue that the calculation for the amount of photons (and the amount of energy created every second to maintain that state) – is wrong and that our fundamental understanding of photons is equally, wrong.

refractiongap
Figure 11

In figure 11, we see a photon at two points, A and B, hitting a material surface with two different angles of refraction creating a “gap”. Sunlight, for example, is not static. As the Earth rotates, so too do the angles at which the light comes in (points A and B). Therefore, even if only for a second, there is a gap in that constant stream of photons (because the move from point A to B, no matter how small, if you are sitting still, would not correspond to another stream of photons perfectly aligning with photon A’s position and filling that “gap”, as this would be too “perfect” to fit within our universe). First off, this would mean that our understanding of vision is lacking. As I originally wrote about in my article on static vs. dynamic vision, I theorize that our vision is more of a neurological function. In other words, if a star is burning and no one is around to see it, does it emit, light? No. Light is only an interpretation by a species that has the capacity to interpret the wavelengths of incoming energy into colors. Otherwise, colors do not exist, only states of frequency / energy. So, to fill the “gap”, that occurs, it may be that the reason our “focus” is so limited and so much of our brain is consumed with vision is because our brain has also adapted to fill in those, “gaps.”

This is, as per my original article on vision, why your “keys can suddenly disappear.” By creating a static map with only dynamic elements, the brain can prevent over processing. This is why you can run into a door and be told how stupid you are because the door did not just “jump out” and get you, when actually, yes it did (from your perspective). If the brain creates these static maps to overcome the small gaps so that the world doesn’t seem to disappear “here and there”, and you “expect” certain conditions, such as a closed door – then for a moment – you literally did not see the door. This is best illustrated by illusionists who can make things suddenly “appear”, and seemingly “fool” the eyes, because when the curtain is pulled back, you expect to see the illusionist. It is not that they moved faster than the speed of light or magically rearranged particles – it is because your preconceived expectations were “shocked” by seeing someone else.

So, maybe space is “not” filled with light?

To answer this, we now move into liquid space theory and how I theorized the formation and structure of light.

Science would have us believe that radio “waves” and light waves are not the same thing because a audio wave is only imparted energy to nearby matter, creating the “wave” function that we interpret as sound. However, this is based on the premise that scientists believe that photons are their own “particle“.

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From Liz Elliot, audio engineer, from Quora, this is the “traditional” or current science whereby photons (top), travel on their own and audio waves (bottom) only propagate the motion of other matter (and see liquid space explains why the “wave” function exists).

But, I reject that reality and now substitute my own:

LiquidOcean_excitedelectrons
Figure 12

Figure 12 represents my original theory on how light is formed and what it is. To update this theory, light is nothing more than a collection of speck particles in such large quantities that the energy signature qualifies as “light” in our minds. In fact, the reason photons appear hollow is because, in liquid space theory, photons do not exist. As the energy from the coalesced “photon” is transferred, stretching the speck particles to their maximum, like a frequency “wave”, it just passes the energy into another ball (a photon), and instead of a photon traveling forever through space, it is energy being transferred (and is why it seems that light can travel forever). Not only would the photon appear to be empty (given that we do not have the equipment to measure speck particles), the elastic nature of speck particles means that when hitting a molecule, part of the photon’s energy is absorbed (because the speck’s take advantage of the electromagnetic forces within the molecule to begin realigning), and the part with the highest energy escapes (the “bounce” that has more outward force than the molecule’s electromagnetic field).

And, as stated in liquid space theory, the frequency”wave” is created as thus:

frequency
Figure 13

Figure 13 shows us that photons are nothing more than the motion of specks, but bundled and moving fast enough that when they reach our cornea, we see visible “light”.

And, the composition of photons is what makes it possible for them to seemingly “disappear”, or move into lower “states” of energy / speed of wavelengths, because the photons are not individual particles, but a mass of speck particles. And, this supports the idea that light is not infinite. If it was, when looking up into space, all we would see is a mass of swirling lights. The fact that we don’t, tells us that light waves are as subject to decay, or in the liquid space theory, the speck particles slowly realign and put “friction” (albeit infinitely small), on the bundled particles (photons), and eventually slow it down.

And, now — this is where it gets complicated:

Space (and everything else around us) IS filled with light because light is made up of spec particles (which ARE the substance of photons) AND because light is essentially traveling around for hundreds of millions of light years from every star in every direction, but, we will not see from one end of the universe to the other for the simple fact that speck particles that are bundled as photons have a finite life. Fortunately, someone like Schrodinger would love this dual state of nature, since he liked to conjecture that cats could be alive and dead all at the same time (yeah … again … HUGE freak-a-saurus). But, how do we still see a complete sphere of light (figure 6), other than our eyes correcting some of those “gaps” (figure 11)? Liquid space theory recognizes the three-dimensional nature of energy transference:

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Figure 14

In figure 14 (the left hand-side only), the energy of a particle (the large, black sphere at top with the black electromagnetic field around it), transfers its energy in all directions around it as it passes through the speck field. As light spreads out, the grouped specks affect the surrounding particles. Although they don’t cause the surrounding particles to “bunch up” into their own, moving fields of energy (thus, the appearance that photons move in a straight line), they short periods of time that the condense the fields in front of them, at the same speeds as the energy in the grouped field (photon), is what our eyes would interpret as “light”. Just like the nuclear explosion explanation of liquid space, the individual photons (16 trillion trillion) as per our previous example, generated every few microseconds, would take too much energy (ie the power of the sun).

Now, even though light slows down as the speck field breaks down, it will most likely not reach the stage of creating “audio” because specks themselves don’t actually have the electromagnetic strength to move other particles (although they are responsible for the elastic nature of particles that create sonic booms).

This theory of light and how it fills the universe opens up all new potentials in how we handle light, energy, gravity, and understand the motion of the universe.

Hope you enjoy.

Thanks for reading.


You must be a photon, ’cause you just took me to my excited state.” – Howard Wolowitz, the Big Bang Theory

Movie Review – Avengers: Infinity War (Part 1): the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly! (spoilers … lots of ’em)

A 7.5 Out of 10

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Hello folks! It’s time once again for another movie review, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly for the just newly released: Avengers: Infinity War. Now, I don’t do these for every movie I see because frankly, I’m not sure if anyone ever reads them and this entire site is actually just the memories I’m leaving behind for one, very special person. But, occasionally, a movie comes along so good, or so bad, or somewhere in between, that it gives me pause … and I feel compelled to rate it! And, for anyone who has ever read a past review, I love grinding Hollywood into the ground – I mean like, REALLY far into the ground (since frankly, Hollywood puts out a LOT of cr@p and charges us a LOT of money for it … thank you JJ Abrams). However, I must step back for a brief moment, take off my haters cap, and give this movie a fresh new look because … WOW! It was fun! (until I got out of the movie and had to think about it … but I digress …).

WARNING – PLEASE ...

For the love of all that is good in movie watching … if you’re gonna see it soon – DO NOT read this review. It is literally impossible to read almost anything about this movie (no matter how small) and not have the end spoiled. Conversely, if you’re aware that it’s a two-part-er movie about a guy trying to destroy the Universe … well … I think you see where I’m going / where the cliff-hanger might be.

So, if you’ve chosen to continue, here we go …

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Let me start by saying that this is a GREAT movie for a FUN night out. If you’re not a geekdom fan and will not be put out by some of the obvious oopses, then go see it. Is it good for the “whole” family? 99%. They do a few things that 10 and under might be questionable, but any 12 year old will get – because that is the humor level of anything that has to do with sex/fart-style jokes in this movie. I highly recommend this to people who have watched the Avengers, Guardians, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor movies, Iron Man movies and Dr. Strange. Everyone else needs to play a little catch up to enjoy this one.

The GOOD

Okay – first off, I would like to take my hat off (and I rarely do that in public), to the directors, writers, producers, and for the first time EVER, the production studio, as this is one of FEW, if NOT THE ONLY multi-part series aside from 1 or 2 of the Harry Potter movies, where I was happy with where they chose to end the first part. Let me give you an example:

In Star Wars, the Force Awakens, I wrote (this review), whereby I noted that had the movie ended with the camera panning down, following our dearly beloved Han Solo to his death, and the tragically epic music of choir’ed sith lords singing their haunting chant as we heard the screams of Chewbacca … then HOLY COW – that would have been an ending to go down in the history books. But, no. JJ Abrams cannot “do” movies … apparently … it’s just not his “thing” (you see that I have no love loss for him). Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was “close” insomuch as Cedric Diggory’s death was traumatic to the audience, but in what was a mildly acceptable extension, carried us through to the end of the “school year”, still taking away from that emotional apex. In absolute contradiction to this, the directors, Anthony Russo and Joe Russo did what most audience members would not have (including myself), fully expected:

They went all D.C. Universe on the audience and ended with the bad guy winning! Oh yeah – they did that!

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The strength shown by Captain America and Spider-Man was very cool. They touched on some important concepts with this.

And, it was brilliant! One after another the heroes fell, and one after another the audience members broke out in tears shouting, “Oh my God, NO!” And, I don’t mean “tears”, I mean absolute bawling! In all my years of movie attendance I have never seen an audience more repeatedly jabbed through the heart, drug across the ground, and then thrown to the wind with a “surprise!” ending like this one! It was beyond brilliant. And, I am going to just put it out there and say that given the Russo brothers’ directing careers – this was unexpected. So, a special shout out to Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely for their writing work that helped these directors along because that, too, is a surprise. With McFeely’s list of movies including the very unpopular, Thor: Dark World, to this movie, the jump in quality, skill, and work is phenomenal (and I mean that only in regard to: 1) carrying forward the continuing improvement of characters, keeping Marvel characters MCUish, and the way this two-part-er is handled … because there were a LOT of “bads” that are evidence of the directors’ and writers’ lack of skill, which I will cover in a bit). Of course, check in on IMDB for a more complete list of writers who provided the original work like Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and others who pushed the new designs for Captain America, Rocket Racoon, and so many others (not to mention all the wonderful actors – although my favorite, Mr. Samuel Jackson / Nick Fury, made his cameo without being listed in the credits … and that’s a sign of an actor who knows when he is good! Oh yeah … you go, Sam!).

Next, I want to give an extra special note to this movie’s brilliance in just how willing they were to let the bad guy win with no sign of retribution. I heard audience members literally falling apart, crying out “how can they fix this?” Well … if you have read the comics, no matter how far this deviates … you know that this, and any other problem in the Universe is fixable … but we’ll get to that in a bit.

For this brilliant handling of a two-part movie, I start with a solid 10 out of 10 points!

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Next, the audio was great. Let me start by saying that I had the rare privilege of attending the early, 6:00 pm geek-fandom showing with free promo items (the first EXCELLENT promotional items I have ever seen from Regal Cinemas … although AMC did it, too … and I am not a fan of Regal Cinemas). Unfortunately, to get the goodies and see it sooner than the rest, I had to attend the Real-D 3D version (and I’ve written in the past why this technology sucks), with an audio stream that was not well optimized to the theater’s capabilities. That said, the audio was fantastic. The sound was clear, I could hear everyone speak (ahem … Dark Knight vocal failure …), and the highs and lows were so well timed with the emotional roller coaster that was this movie that it demonstrated a brilliant use of sound timing and filming! So, except for the fact that it was not well adapted to a real “surround” sound system, I give this movie a 7 out of 10 for audio.

The visuals were fantastic. The colors were great. The epic scale shots were as well played as the tight, close-ups. We did not miss a scene. The action was not so “cut-scene” as it is with some movies (pirates … anyone), that it made the action very … VERY cool. For example, the combination of Dr. Strange’s teleportation powers and spider man popping in and out to beat on Thanos … “Teleportation kick!” “Another teleportation kick” and so on … was absolutely hilarious! The cgi was not bad for the small things (like light swords and arc reactor fire), but in the epic Wakanda scene with the space dogs was a little choppy (like World of Warcraft mass CGI character onslaught scene) and could have used a little more revamping. However, the use of the new Spider-man suit and Banner in the ultimate Iron Man armor was very cool. So, for a mostly well thought out combination of actors, directing, and use of the screen, I give this movie an 8 out of 10.

As for the characters, Marvel has done an amazing job of revamping the Hulk, Thor, and Spiderman. Let’s face it, Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark was brilliant because all they had to say was … “Be You!” And, voila! Instant egotistical millionaire (the same for Chris Pratt … well … not ego-maniac, but his character and real life persona are a perfect match!)! However, In Thor: Ragnarok, Chris Hemsworth got a make-over that really used his real-life character well and brought Thor to life. Mark Ruffalo has done an incredible job (in my humble opinion) of giving the Hulk a much needed new face that was also revamped and improved in Thor: Ragnarok. However, of special interest to me is Tom Holland’s portrayal of the new-age Spider-Man as Spider-Man: The Homecoming, gave all new momentum to the character in a reboot that was a long-time coming. The same humor and life from these three characters was carried into this movie seamlessly. Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange) was given better use of his character (and he did it very well). So, from the previous movies and how they carried into this one, either maintaining excellent characters or bringing them up a notch – another 7 out of 10 (not perfect because the CGI characters were … well … we’ll discuss those in the next section).

Now to what I consider to be at the very heart of a good or bad movie: the story line! In the comics, Thanos was trying to kill half the universe to impress Lady Death. However, it seems that for (what I think is) no particularly good reason, Thanos is merely trying to help balance the Universe. This “good-guy” treatment (Marvel super sensitive / Disney treatment) of Thanos was very poor. Not wanting to stray away from the Good, what I will say is that from the very minute the movie opened (picking up almost where Thor: Ragnarok ended), to the very end, it was non-stop action. The story-line was not confusing. And, as I will get into later on, although there were many elements that would give me reason to grade this movie downward, what really saved it was the constant use of humor to recognize their faults in a pseudo “we couldn’t think of anything better … so … go with it!” By this, I mean that several times there was a lot of “Well … why didn’t he just do this … or … why didn’t he do that sooner / in the first place … or … you can’t beat him yet … so why wouldn’t you go there … or … you’re just going there because that’s where the invincible bad guy isn’t” … and so on. Yeah, anyone could see those mistakes and most writers and directors try to “gloss” them over, hoping they have a stupid audience. The treatment of story gaps in this movie was tremendously better than anything Hollywood has dished out in … 10+ years (maybe)? So, I give this movie a 5 out of 10 for the story.

But, with so much humor, action, adventure, intrigue, and motivational emotional attachments to characters that flung us around like rag dolls … was there anything … not so “good”? Oh yeah …

The BAD

Well, there is not really too much to say in this category, but …

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1- The biggest problem is the gap in characters to movies. As a stand-alone movie, trying to understand the relationships, backgrounds, and role of each character, with no time to develop them during this movie, this is not really a “first part-er”. This movie is more like the tenth part in an ongoing series because if you do not watch Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Thor: Ragnarok, Spiderman: Homecoming, Dr. Strange, and a few others, first – then the gap is a little too big to step through without just saying, “okay – I’ll accept everything you say Mr. movie!” Well, getting “into” a movie and suspending disbelief so you can let yourself connect with the characters only works when you “know” the character. For example, I did not watch Black Panther and nor do I intend to. I get from Avengers: Civil War, that T’Challa (played by Chadwick Boseman) has a deeper background that I could relate to, but I did read some of the cross-over comics and watch the true-to-cannon cartoons, so I “get it”. But, comparatively to understanding Tony Stark’s pain and his connection with Thanos, having watched all the Avengers and Iron Man movies is a complete juxtaposition. So, I’m not happy with this gap on one hand – but on the other – how else can you jump into a movie, headfirst, and hit the ground running without having had to break it up into the other movies. I honestly am not sure there was a better way to do that and avoid a lot of exposition. So, I’m not really down-ranking the movie for this, but it is something to consider as an audience member and reviewer.

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No, the CGI and costuming was not terrible – but it did leave something to be desired …

2- The CGI was a little less than the quality I expected. Iron Man looked fantastic and the subtlety of the nano-technology (rather than making us “focus” on it and detracting from the movie) was excessively well-done. The few Hulk “No” spurts … not so much. This was especially noticeable in the “Children of Thanos“. Their characters looked all evil and cool, and the directing was really well done – but they just felt very disconnected from the world they were in. An all blueish character is not so “blue” under the white, burning hot plasma from Iron Man’s attack, and I felt it left a little something to be desired. Yes, I could ignore this fact except they used a few close-ups of Proxima (played by Monique Ganderton), that did not do her “real” life appearance in a cgi makeover (at least it looked that way) any justice. So, whether it was make-up or CGI … not so good. Of course, I will say that the action is so fast and the movie moves along so well without slowing down, that unless you are really “looking”, it does nothing to detract from the fun of this movie.

3- There were a few story inconveniences that were uncomfortable. The first one being right at the very beginning. We don’t come in at the same time as the Asgardians meet with Thanos … we come in “after” they’ve been slaughtered (to which, another problem is that they kept saying he slaughtered “half” of the people when 100% of the entire ship was blown up). Then, out of nowhere, the Hulk makes his appearance and in a fast and utterly crushing defeat, is whopped and beaten by Thanos. Why? Where was he when the Asgardians were being slaughtered? How did Thor suddenly become more powerful with a new hammer while being weak without one against Thanos when, in Ragnarok, we clarify that his strength is not from the hammer? Okay … I guess I can “excuse” those … but the constant “NO” being shouted by a Hulk who refuses to make a screen appearance, while intriguing, was a little too mundane by the third time that I actually started caring “why”, a whole lot less. (And, as a side note, while seeing Red Skull on … whatever planet … was “neat”, it was not an effective way to include his character and just throw more into the fray … when … oh … I don’t know … WOLVERINE would have stunned the audience and totally skyrocketed this movie into history! YEAH BABY!). This gap in story telling (not needing exposition but taking away from the momentum of the movie), I think costs the story line 2 points.

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There are two ways to react to more garbage in social media and television regarding politics and new scandals …  and these are it.

4- Then there was the “obviousness” of the story. Set aside knowing anything in advance, ’cause you don’t need to for this. Thanos needed to sacrifice “a” soul to get the soul stone, and he was standing on the edge of the cliff with Gamora, and we had already “repeatedly” established that he was not only a megalomaniac, but a screwball psychotic with attachment issues – the idea that he would toss her off the cliff came to me the very second I saw the cliff. No surprise … no build-up … bleh. Next, we hear Dr. Strange say that they win in only 1 in 14 million possibilities when he looks into the future. So, we sort of get the point of him telling Tony Stark, “This is the only way.” While the characters in the movie would not get it because they were in the heat of the moment, as an audience member, you understand that Dr. Strange knew that the only way to beat Thanos was to give him the stone. Yay … skip to the victory fight … roll credits! I was not anticipating Thanos’ fight with the Collector to be staged … but the reveal was lacking and sort of left us with a question as to why Thanos has to fight anyone … ever … and doesn’t just skip to the end. Three hour movie becomes a 1.5 hour movie … and my butt hurts on those terrible theater seats a little less. The Guardians’ losing Gamora – no shock there. The Guardians not being able to defeat Thanos the first time, well, in the words of an ancient Norse God (Thor, in this movie), “Good luck, Morons.” A lot of this over and over again. It is not that the story has to have twists, deviate from the original, or be unique … but going out of the way to set up movie ex-machina, cliches, and being SO blatantly obvious took some of the steam out for me and I think cost another couple of points.

5 – So, another point, which I do not believe needs down-scoring the movie, is the title and inclusion into the Marvel Universe, and that is Infinity War vs. Infinity Gauntlet. What allows us to have all of our favorite Marvel characters together in this universe is the fact that the Thanos – Avengers story line takes place as part of the Infinity Gauntlet story, not the Infinity War story. On the face value this may seem like a trivial / geek matter (and therefore I will not down score it for this), but it does change things in some needlessly confusing ways. Without getting into details (you can delve into this if you wish) – comic movies seem to have a real “problem” simply telling the story – and sometimes, like … oh … I dunno … Transformers … that ruins it … even if just a little.

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Alright, Logan! The X-Men are in this after all … wha? What’s that? That’s Chris Evans as Steve Rogers as Thor look-a-like as Wolverine? No … just Captain America? Huh? Everyone else is recognizable … At least the women all have their boobs framed or hips thrust out … comic book style … sexist … I mean … sexy!

6 – Too much in too tight a space. As I have already covered it, this is not a point-take away, but it is another important consideration: cramming. The MCU folks making this a part 10 in a 20 part series of ongoing Marvel movies have not only milked their audience’s pockets, but have made this movie into more of a cash cow than an effort to do a really great job at another Marvel Movie and build their follower base for another 5 generations. Greed and immediate gratification are very clear in the mistakes and failures of this movie, and that is just disappointing. But, this does not detract from the ability to watch it and enjoy. It is a good movie – really – and I DO recommend it – IF you are already well invested into the MCU.

7- Again, not another point taker-away-er, but Earth’s leaders being more deviant and anti-hero in their behavior than every, considering how many times they saved the Earth … keeping this tension going is pointless and irritating.

The UGLY

1- The first really unpleasant inclusion in this movie is that the Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff played by Elizabeth Olsen), is almost god-like in powers. I’m not saying that she shouldn’t be, but the on-again / off-again utilization of her character was so ex-machina that it really began to hurt after a while. As I previously said, the writers did a great job in some situations making sure they mocked these little nuances. For instance, when the Scarlet Witch finally joined the battle in Wakanda, one of the heads of T’Challa’s armed forces said, “Why wasn’t she down here in the first place?” Well … okay … a funny way to not totally gloss that fact over … but … why WASN’T she down there in the first place? I want to take a point away for this, but I am sort of torn – so I will leave it for now.

2- Bruce Banner as a member of the iron-man force was fun, but not great. He just played the “Hulk” again, but in another version. Could we have used him in another way? Could he be the brilliant scientist helping to remove Vision’s infinity gem and let someone like … oh … I dunno … WOLVERINE, or ANY of the X-Men jump in on this (except for the ex-machina Scarlet Witch not present at the battle?):

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That’s right … Captain … Cyclops … Wolverine … and others who WERE involved with this story line! But … ignore the fact that the glove is on the opposite hand … that’s nitpicking … hahahahaha!

So, I read somewhere on-line or heard on Youtube that this may have something to do with the fact that Fox had control over the X-Men’s characters while Disney had control over the rest of the Marvel Universe … blah blah blah … corporate b.s. …. no good explanation where rich, greedy people would not get richer, etc. etc. Whatever the reason – there is room to grow, but the lack of expanding the Marvel Universe in this first half I personally think was a mistake. We did not need a background movie for Scott or Logan to include them. I get why some others are not in there (which I’ll touch on shortly), but this was either really lazy or just an absolute waste of opportunity. This took away the final point from the story line.

3- While I  will not subtract directly from the story line, another 1 point subtraction to this movie’s overall score came from trying to position Hitler … I mean “Thanos” as somewhat of a good guy. He wanted to destroy half the universe because he was a selfish @$$h@le who wanted to impress a woman. That’s it. It supports his mistreatment of Gamora, explains why he is able to abuse his own daughters in horrible ways, and is a monster. But, no. He mistreats Nebula while favoring Gamora enough to throw her off a cliff for his own glory and feel sad. Do we feel for him? I didn’t. However, his cause in this movie was to bring “balance”. The problem is that the Marvel Universe has characters (who we are supposed to see step in and help get this mess straightened out, like Adam Warlock), who are, or will be, the “balancers” and equalizers of the Universe. That sort of screws with the story line in unnecessary ways. I am not opposed to giving new life to a character, but I don’t think that a good story needs breaking, tearing, grafting, tweaking, jumbling, and then re-building. That is a VERY J.J. Abrams thing to do and gives this movie another -2 points. The one thing I will say to that stupid look Thanos had on his face at the very end: “You’re smiling like someone who doesn’t know what smiles are for.” However, what I “should” take another point away for (but I will refrain until I see part 2), is the potential that this was a “Disney” treatment. That bothers me because Marvel has just recently started taking the right path with Deadpool, the darkness in Logan (albeit it was a terrible movie), Thor Ragnarok, and the Iron Man movies. The humor was adult-ish (except for Deadpool … ALL adult), the content was more to the point of giving us real-world, non-comic book folks a way to connect into the comic book world, and with Thanos winning the day as a dark ending, should have continued into this movie. Why we lose that horrific ruler effect (when he outright snapped Loki’s neck and threw his dead body down in front of his helpless brother), is a little frustrating and hard to watch. It’s like, “either go bad … or don’t go bad … but don’t ride back and forth in the middle of the road … dang!”

4- I know that if you have seen the movie, you probably will not agree – but I have to take away another point for the lack of emotional depth in characters being lost at the end. Yes, I saw the audience going nuts and crying about it – but that “obvious” factor in the story telling just made it more of a “well, this is going to make the fight harder until they reverse time”, not “we’ll never see these guys again.” The only Avenger I really felt bad for was Vision, because his end felt really final. Had they done something as simple as show Thanos reversing time to save the infinity gem in Thanos’ head, but not be able to bring Vision back and give us a “Huh, that’s a shame,” sort of line, then the loss of the others would have had some depth to it.

5 – Transforming the Game of Thrones Midget into a giant who is actually a dwarf / midget in the giant world, but without giants was uncomfortable, at best. That is not only dwarf-cist, but massive evidence of “cramming” in stars just to get people in the theater and that this was a cash cow and the lack of effort we see spread throughout the movie suddenly drags that really good feeling I walked away with, down into the mud. Was I just the unknowing recipient of a condescending theft by a jerk who just took advantage of me? D*mn it! I cam to be a superhero for a couple hours, enjoy a great movie, and walk away feeling good. That sucks. Remember … “If you build it, they’ll come,” but if you kick ’em in the nuts … they won’t come back.

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I would just like to point out that when you see or hear that this movie had “record-breaking” numbers (as I’m sure you will), remember … you are not a sheep. You can think for yourself. Star Wars and E.T. had record breaking numbers that were a fraction of the income of this movie – but those tickets sold for $5 – $7 a piece … not $25 and up! So, increasing the price by 5 times – is fake inflation and it falsely “hypes” the movie in your head to make you want to see it (like the Oscars … whether you realize it or not – it does affect you unconsciously). Furthermore, the population is bigger now and there are more people to attend. Tada! Truth!

The Conclusion

So, let’s rate this bad boy, shall we?

1- For filming videography: 8 out of 10. It was too faced paced to be too distracted by the blurring Real-D and some of the bad CGI, it included a ton of great effects and epic locations (from around the Galaxy), but it also felt a bit short in the CGI world.

2- For audio: 7 out of 10. Excellent – but it did not use its resources well enough.

3- For story line: Sadly, only a 5. And, that 5 is there out of respect for the actors, the long-time effort put into this entire franchise, the comedy, and teenage groot! However, for a brilliant way to end the first of a two-part movie, deserving a perfect 10, I will bring this score back up to 7.5.

4- For Characters: The characters deserve a 7 out of 10. Had it not been for the low-treatment of the Children of Thanos or brought us a newbie like an X-Man … well … this would have then been a perfect score.

5- Tech: Fortunately for the writers and directors, the Marvel Universe is all about technology. There wasn’t much to say in this category previously, but the combination of magic and tech deserves at least a 9 out of 10! (1 point away for Gamora’s sword apparently being able to kill Thanos, even if it was the wrong one, and Peter Quill continuing to use his useless laser gun after we saw him physically pick up the same sword Gamora used).

6- Special Effects / Wardrobe: Well, I am not going to tear this movie apart for what were some AMAZING special effects and wardrobes. A lot of effort was put into these visuals and was near perfect. So, a 8 out of 10 – and only an 8 because of an inconsistency I constantly clamored about during the previews when everyone thought I was nuts – but here it is:

Thanos is NOT supposed to be pink … or purple … or … lavender, maybe? He’s supposed to be blue. BLUE, people! Sheesh! Well, not just that, but in continuing the effort to make Thanos a more “relate-able” / gotta like this guy type of character (or so I assume … since there was no legitimate reason for this otherwise that I have seen), they took away the intimidating and daunting armor, removed some of the scars, made his skin more human flesh-tone and this takes us back to what I was saying before – they have tried to make his character more humble and human … and that is NOT who Thanos is (especially as he sacrificed and tortured his own, adopted children, for purely selfish goals).

7- Minus 1 for Thanos the good guy / guy who is suffering?

8- Minus 1 for a missed opportunity for more of an emotional cliff-hanger first part movie.

Sure, there is a lot more to say about the movie (and I am surprised, for once, at how many of the Rotten Tomato professional reviews are spot on), but for now, I digress. There is a gap to be filled, still. Marvel has an incredible opportunity to fill in some of its gaps, go back and show us the attack on the Asgardians, bring in Adam Warlock, the Fantastic 4, Dr. Doom, and some others that will not only blow up this Universe a lot more – and WOW – that would be fun and thrilling. Sadly, though – if you do not know these characters, the same gaps between character stories and the audience could be crippling. So, rather than down score it any more – since I want you to go see it (if you already have not), I will stop at 7.5 out of 10. That is not too bad on my typical harsh-o-meter. It will all come down to what they do with the next movie!!! (play suspenseful build up music!)

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I do expect to see Captain Marvel make her debut – since her movie will be out in 2019 before the continuation of the Infinity Way … but I expect others, too (Ant-Man, Wasp, Silver Surfer, Fantastic 4 and Jessica Biel …. ). And, if they are going to do Captain Marvel … NOW is a PERFECT time to use the X-Men, too … so we can see how Rogue’s character came to be … muwahahahahaha! We shall see!

Thanks for reading!


We kick names and take ass!” – Mantis (yes we do, girl … yes … we … do!)

[By the way – I will be at Rose City Comicon … and although I can’t afford the cost to go visit with the Guardians, anyone who wants to tell Bautista just how well I rated this, please encourage a free visit!]

When Bad Customer Rewards Backfire – The “Regal Cinema” Plan …

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For anyone who has been a “Regal Cinema Crown Club” member, you might be familiar with the fact that anytime you buy a ticket for a movie or concessions at one of their movie theaters (and scan your card / enter your club number), you are rewarded with “credits”. These credits are redeemable for goodies like up-sizing concessions, free movie tickets (you know, the ones you cannot use at movie openings and only two weeks after the movie has been running), and a bunch of [typically cr@ppy] schwag (promotional merchandise). For anyone who has ever logged into the Regal Cinema Crown Club credit redemption center, they have had the opportunity to see posters … concessions … contests to enter … more posters … a few nick-knacks of low quality, and some more posters as the redeemable schwag.

Now, for a long time, I have actively participated in forums for Fandango, Regal Cinemas, and a few others where they ask the question about what kind of promotional merchandise makes people happy. And, I have very gladly taken the extra time to heavily berate them on the low-quality, profoundly stupid cr@p they offer as “promotional merchandise”, and then explain what “really” attracts people (such as replicas, limited quantity merchandise, signed items, etc.), including offering items that don’t require a shipping and handling fee more expensive than going out, finding the item online, and just purchasing it outright. Of course, none of these places has listened to me because I come from the “old-school” of advertising, where you attract customers under the pretense that people have emotions and intelligence and you have to cater to it psychologically; while these large chains come from the modernized advertising campaign of being “cheap” (that has been 18 years in evolution), where people are just sheep to be steamrolled. For this reason, I usually do not participate in all of the rigged contests, giveaways, club memberships, and other fantasy / fake systems that are designed to give people false hope, like a fish on a hook (with roughly the same consequences).

However, I joined the Regal Crown Club many, many years ago. As an avid movie goer (as I used to be … more than 10 years ago before Hollywood changed out almost its entire writing and directing staff for a group of incompetent morons (again, because they too, are cheap). And, since then, on and off I used my Regal Crown Club card at almost every transaction and earned points. I did not know how it worked or what it was; and, nor did I care. Occasionally, the ticket machine would spit out a free ticket for popcorn or soda, and even less occasionally, I earned a free movie ticket. That, by itself, was enough for me. It was only in the last five years that I even learned my “credits” had another purpose, when a young lady behind the concessions counter was shocked to see that I had over 40,000 credits! By her surprise, I have to wonder if maybe I am the only one, who knows?

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Even though I’ve blacked some out here for personal reasons … needless to say, SEVENTY-TWO THOUSAND+ credits … seems like a lot. So, in the bigger “scheme” of things, given that each $1 spent earns 100 credit, and this accounts for about 1/3 of all the movies I have been to, and does not count the fact that my credits were supposedly wiped out and restarted a couple of times – I have not been a “slouch”.

 

Since then, I have checked in, on rare occasions, to see what the Crown Club redemption site offers; always to be equally disappointed with each visit. Recently, I had an opportunity to purchase tickets to see the Avengers: Infinity War through Regal Cinemas vs. Fandango, and it actually saved a couple of dollars, so I went with it. Whilst on Regal’s website, I thought I would “check out” the credit redemption center.

Guess what I found?

(i) Until January 1, 2019, all of your credits will expire if you do not earn credits for the purchase of an admission ticket or concessions (a “Qualifying Purchase”) for more than a year from the date that you last earned credits.

(ii) Beginning January 1, 2019, credits (including all credits earned prior to January 1, 2019) will expire one year from the date they are earned (regardless of subsequent Qualifying Purchases).

THUS, AS OF JANUARY 1, 2019, ALL CREDITS EARNED ON OR PRIOR TO JANUARY 1, 2018 WILL EXPIRE.

(with original emphasis – none added)

Yep … all 72,000+ credits … will be wiped out. Thanks for playing, but too bad, so sad, don’t come back.

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But, hey … don’t feel bad. Just everything you’ve earned up until 2018 will be gone on Jan 1, 2019 … but all the credits you’ve earned since then, the movies watched during 2019, etc. – won’t disappear “right away”.

So, what’s going on? I took this opportunity to contact Regal Cinemas and ask the following questions, and get the following answers:

First Question: If I keep active watching movies will the credits I’ve earned to date remain on my account or expire?

“The policy regarding Regal Crown Club credit expiry has changed. A decision like this is not made lightly, however given changing external factors and frequent examination of the program it sometimes becomes necessary to make alterations. We understand that changes like these can be surprising, thus we began notifying members of this change early in the year. This will give you and others plenty of time to redeem your credits however you wish.”

Hmmm… gee … a whole year’s notice for 10 years worth of credits. I suppose, that’s fair (for them). Of course, why wouldn’t I have exchanged my credits earlier, you [the reader], might ask? Well, this:

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This is an actual screenshot from the regal cinemas website. They offer promotional items like a “mystery box” for 112,000 credits! If I wanted that – I’d have a ways to go. Of course, I could take the “Acrimony” umbrella for 20,000 credits! I don’t even know what movie that was – let alone would have not gone to see it (or want a branded umbrella), or a movie like “I Feel Pretty”, so I could spend THIRTY EIGHT THOUSAND credits to get a cooking apron? Yes – when I said previously that they offer some of the dumbest (cheap) “promotional” cr@p that you will ever find – I was not joking.

Worse, they offer some really stupid items at extremely “hefty” credit costs. So, finding a way to burn off these credits has not been easy. However, that said, back when the last Wolverine movie was released (no … not “Logan”, the midnight of Marvel’s idiotic treatment of the X-Men in movies), they did offer movie-replica Wolverine claws. Now, that was cool and this was the first promotional item they had that did not suck. To buy the same thing from the official movie vendor would cost several hundred dollars. The cost in credits: well over a hundred thousand. Seriously … the Mystery Box or Wolverine Claws … hmmm … a chance to get an Amy Schumer apron, or movie-replica certified Wolverine claws … which one? Well, of course, I wanted the claws, but at the time, only had 60,0000 credits. So … I would just have to wait for the next opportunity and keep saving … why?

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See the words: “Enjoy unlimited credits“, where “unlimited credits” is emboldened? Well, as for rewarding customers who attend movies, just not 50 movies per year, and letting them build credits, means that even a lowly person such as myself could one day earn enough credits for some really cool promotional item, like Wolverine’s claws.

Well … that “was” the situation.

Unfortunately, that “situation” has changed. Now – your credits that you may have been earning, or that their members were (if not you), are all going away. We can, as per Regal’s guidance, redeem our credits “however you wish“. No, sorry, no really cool schwag like Wolverine claws … or even the “Mystery Box”, because that’s still too many credits and there’s not enough time to buy enough tickets to earn enough credits to get those expensive items.

Instead, I can just sport that Amy Schumer apron, all naked and sexy like her … and … oh … hold on … getting woozy … feeling a little vomit-y … dizzy … sick … [censored]

Whew. Sorry about that. I’m back. This little unpleasant “surprise” from Regal Cinemas is not only “anti-customer”, it piggy-backs off of a so-called “promotional” system already so cheap that it becomes abusively insulting. Why? Because of this:

Don’t offer anything at all.

It is that simple. If you are too cheap to do anything but offer rigged contests, lie to people, build them up, and then be even cheaper and laugh in their faces – just leave it alone. It is worse to spit in people’s face, than to just stand there laughing at them and kicking them while they’re down!

But, I digress as this leads into the second question I asked Regal:

Second Question: Why is there even a Regal Crown Club membership anymore when the only benefit is earning points that if not redeemed right away, disappear? And … worse, there will never be a way to earn enough points to redeem much on the site?

“This will not affect your lifetime credit earned balance.”

What in the SAM BLAZES? Not only are you going to “expire” my credits so I can’t redeem them for anything, you’re going to go out of your way to show me just how useless my enrollment is with a “here’s how many credits you earned in your lifetime but can’t use anymore,” policy? WOW!

I mean … like zoinks, Scoob, that’s mind “blowningly”, WOW!

(*kaboooommmmmm*).

Seriously, I have seen some large, retail chains do some pretty crummy stuff, but this has to be up there with the most pinnacle of asinine. What absolutely, self-indulgent, psychotic human being would not only laugh at their customers, but spit at them, and then advertise to them just how worthless their value is to the company?

Enter: Anthony Bloom.

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If you want to know just what this ex- South African business mogul owns, check out Technoserve.

This is the face of disparity. This is the guy who owns Cineworld, in Britain, who bought Regal Cinemas and from what I can tell, hates people. But, if you can’t see just how bad this guy is, are too swayed by political commentary (his supposed “ties” to anti-apartheid movements that are all centered around his business and economic well-being), or you just can’t see the insulting portion of Regal’s actions yet, then you’re missing the bigger picture:

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The marketing scheme that has, without shame, announced that it will drop its loyal customers in a bucket of slime, wants “you” to enroll in their program, get social (with a little heart icon, there), to earn 100,000 credits! But, don’t worry – if you don’t have enough for the mystery box, and you don’t want 2 or 3 Amy Schumer aprons or 10 Gnome T-shirts (that you can buy on Amazon for about $10 … cheaper than the movie), those credits will just go away – and the only thing you won was …

nothing.

Yes, you advertised for Regal Cinemas, brought in your friends, encouraged people to spend money on their concessions and see their movies and … HAHAHAHAHAHA – dummy! Because, that is all you are to them. This is not just a random complaint – this is a real problem! See, if the credits go away – I’m not hurt in any way because I didn’t use them to begin with. Conversely, there was no need for Regal to go out of their way to insult the members who had the credits and didn’t care if they were going away.

After all, Regal Cinemas, after telling their customers: you suck and go away, – at least ends with:

“Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact us. We apologize for any inconvenience. We value your patronage and look forward to your next visit. “

We “value” your patronage? How is getting peoples’ hopes up and then laughing in their faces as you tear away that hope, “value”? Did the definition of that word, change? Am I missing the part about “inconvenience” NOT being the same as “lying” to you and telling you that you will earn “unlimited credits”?

Maybe I’m just out of touch with this modern world. Maybe people are so accustomed to being treated like trash that it’s expected, now. Personally, I just cannot comprehend that idea. Maybe there’s some logic to the “Regal Cinema” plan, but frankly – bad customer rewards are not really a way to attract customers … you know … ’cause that’s actually a stupid concept.

I’m just sayin’.

Guess once those rewards go away … there’s no reason to care or try. It is finally back to the good ol’ days of not letting Regal track my movements, link together behaviors, and develop strategies to further hurt the customer … I mean … promote sales? As far as I am concerned, this level of intentional bullying with bad customer rewards should backfire on Regal Cinemas. I certainly will not grace their theaters with my presence, again – even if I do love movies. It’s about 2 hours out of my way … but I heard that there is one of those Japanese owned AMC theaters in the vicinity. The offer the same promotions as Regal (but do it better), explain their policies better, and don’t waste my time with a bogus “rewards” program that’s only meant to be an abusive bullying tactic for the wealthy (unless someone out there has a better way to explain it???).

After all, a “no rewards” program takes out all the hassle of scanning the card, going through the motions, and the major inconvenience it has caused customers over the years. The lack of a “rewards” program is beneficial like those restaurants that have started paying their wait staff better and removing the stress and burden of tipping – it just makes for a better experience!

Anyway – hope that gives you [the reader] some insight, of what’s going on, how it may or may not involve you, and making future decisions on whether or not to be a part of the modern “abusive” system where they will go out of their way to assault you, for no reason, or have a night out, to watch a movie, and just enjoy it!

Avengers … Infinity War! Early Showing! WOOHOO … totally excited! (<– yeah I am!)

Thanks for Reading.


Spend a lot of time talking to customers face to face. You’d be amazed how many companies don’t listen to their customers” – Ross Perot (and here’s a link to some other, really great quotes featured on Forbes.com)

Revisiting Ghost Mine – What Could Have Actually Happened

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In 2016, the famous Crescent Mine, featured in Syfy’s 2013 – 2014 two-season series, “Ghost Mine“, went up for sale. While the show had some very mysterious happenings (real or not – I have no idea, but it was always very thrilling), the season ended when the mine collapsed.

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Oregon’s famous for its ghost towns: Travel Channel, Ghost Adventures

Apparently, whilst striking it rich in gold veins, the miners encountered a bulkhead. The bulkhead was comprised of a very thick concrete wall that sealed an area of the cave and had a masonic symbol and Eye of Ra carved into it. Was this legitimate? Again – no idea as I was not there (however some people, like Robert Macbeath, have offered some amalgam of evidence to show it was fake, while others, like Dana Matthews, still believe in the show and its “artifacts”). However, after some retrospect consideration and my time working in the environmental sciences, the final mystery, if it was real, does not seem so mysterious and can, in fact, teach a valuable lesson.

At the end of the season, the mine collapsed when the miners drilled through the mysterious bulkhead:

While the series of events leading up to this had suggested a supernatural force, those events may have actually distracted from the reality of a real-life mining situation. Everything here is speculation (as much as the show, I suppose), but I will do my best to justify my explanation:

Once the miners had drilled through the concrete bulkhead there was a low rumbling or growling noise. While this would not be mysterious in regard to the sounds reverberating through rock (aka the mysterious voices and sounds miners have heard in caverns since the beginning of mining), given the mysterious events that had happened until then, it was, at least, a little suspicious (giving some minor provision to the potential of supernatural forces). Following their putting a hole in the sealed bulkhead, very quickly, the mine began to shake and as everyone ran out, the support beams gave way, one after another, in sequential order, collapsing the mine. It was somewhat harrowing (as per the video above). Yet, even in the face of spooky and unexplained mysteries (and I’m not really all that much of a skeptic), there is a better explanation.

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Even the local authors interviewed found the show, Ghost Mine, at least, “interesting” (Greg Nokes Interview)

Mines suffer from a problem known as “reclamation“. As the word implies, lands that have been mined have to be “reclaimed” because of the environmental fallout. Mining uses a lot of chemicals and the extraction of minerals leaves behind some very dangerous chemical compositions. Mining gold is one of the most environmentally devastating practices in the industry of mining (which is only rivaled by Uranium). 20 tons of toxic waste is produced for every 0.333 ounces of gold. Can you just seal a mine? Sure – but it doesn’t work. The wonderful nature of a very popular substance known as “water”, causes massive devastation afterward. Mines with toxic combinations of chemical residues in the thousands of tons may contain the toxic waste in a rock-sealed system, but not for long. Whether it’s the acids eating through the rock, shifts in tectonic plates that create openings in the rock, or water that seeps through seemingly impenetrable nooks and crannies during storms (which rises and then carries the waste out into nearby bodies of water), mining has its consequences (not to say that we don’t need to mine – but “cheap” mining practices without reclamation are a serious problem for the environment). And, hey – I work in clean energy … I don’t hug trees. But, ecological devastation like the North Pacific Gyre Garbage Patch and mining fallout – once you see it first hand – will break anyone’s heart.

But, what happens in a mine that was extremely damp / wet, suffered from water infiltration, was exposed to toxic chemicals, and other conditions, when you do install an airtight seal?

The same thing that would happen in a landfill, biogas system, or other container where natural elements (such as algae, mold, etc.), and unnatural elements introduced by humans (such as cyanide, sulfuric acid, etc.): chemicals begin to breakdown; gas is released with nowhere to go but continuously compress; and …

*boom*.

 

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Like anaerobic digestion, which is the formation of gases from oxygen free matter decomposition, the build-up of gases can be explosive if not handled correctly.

That is one of the reasons that just “sealing” off a mine – doesn’t work. If it did, there would be no “mining reclamation” needs in the world. The mining companies would dig an open vein with nothing to extract, dump their chemicals, and then seal it. But, unfortunately, this is reality and the resultant explosions would be catastrophic. While the Crescent mine may not have been fully mined out (and maybe the previous owners were keeping it as some sort of a “reserve” … be it for gold or something else …), it had been thoroughly infiltrated with water and other chemicals from previous mining. Worse, when algae and other biological elements break down, of all the chemicals they release, the two of most concern is hydrogen sulfide and methane.

The truth is, depending on how long that bulkhead was in place (and again, we’re going off of the assumption that everything was real and this happened – although I was not there, so just play along!), the miners were potentially very lucky that they did not cause a “spark” when pushing through that concrete bulkhead, setting off a compressed gas methane explosion from which (most likely) none of them would have made it out. This just goes to show, that while I do not wish to insult the miners, they were hired as a last-resort crew (because of the “haunting”, no one else wanted to work there, and that is a real-life fact), and were probably not as knowledgeable in the chemical engineering knowledge that was needed for busting through an old bulkhead in a mine (the disasters that hurt miners are very real, very dangerous, and not too uncommon).

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I was not the only person in love with this show. This series set a new precedence in actual paranormal investigations (making it more legitimate and sincere), was informative, and was full of a bunch of malarkey like some other paranormal witnessing shows … The series positioned itself as entertaining, fun, and seriously – no answers were expected, but the mysteries were shown and the audience could decide for themselves (and it was fun!). There were even large-scale petitions to keep the show alive … which is one of the biggest mysteries of all … why did Syfy dump it?

So, here’s what I speculate happened (again, “speculation” – not an “answer”, operating from the premise that all was as it appeared to be when aired on Syfy):

Over time, hydrogen sulfide (which has one of the worst odors to human beings, and supports what the miners reported: “The most God-awful smell you ever smelled.”), oxygen, methane, and nitrogen were all building up (among other gases), along with gases from the sulfuric acid and cyanide (which may have actually suppressed an explosion). The bulkhead had inadvertently become a compressed gas container (and, as per the show, the small hole they knocked in to the wall had been slowly releasing the air – but just fast enough – that instead of a massive “collapse”, it was a “slow” loss in pressure). If there were any wood beam supports in there, the hydrogen sulfide and acids would have continuously been degrading them (along with the other gases). In trade-off, although there were no wooden beams to support the cavern – there was compressed gas. Surprisingly – compressed gases are a lot stronger than people may realize. They can blow up steel containers if over-compressed. They hold up our vehicles. They can even support entire land-mass regions (which is evidenced by the earthquakes in Texas that were caused from drilling natural gas reserves).

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Timbering: The art of supporting mine roofs

The low rumbling and voice sounds were a combination of some of these gases being released from behind the bulkhead and the immediate shifting of the rocks overhead (it’s actually not uncommon to interpret sounds in the same auditory spectrum as human speech, as voices, based on fluctuations, ticks, and other factors – whether or not it is actually someone speaking). Ghostly, yes – but ghosts, probably not. And, just as has happened elsewhere in the world, taking away the “gas” support structure that was holding up the walls caused the roof to collapse. The weight of the rocks pulling down subsequently bypassed the bulkhead and pulled down on the rocks where the miners and television crew were standing (most likely following the gold vein that the miners had followed to the bulkhead). As they ran out, the cascading effect of collapse is what followed. And, as previously mentioned – that was the “least” worse case scenario considering that the amount of methane that “could” have been building up (because the moisture trapped in that portion of the cavern could have been supporting the growth of algae and bacteria which then broke down over time releasing volatile gas), could have exploded – and with nowhere else to go – would have shoved that energy out of the entrance to the cavern, blasting the miners out front and collapsing everything.

Maybe … it “was” a haunted mine – and it was the ghosts that saved the miners from a worse fate?

Anyway – not to bust a “ghost” story, because Ghost Mine is the first “supernatural” reality show that I actually liked. It was not only very believable, but considering that Sumpter, the Oregon Vortex, and some other places in Oregon are infamous for some very mysterious happenings, I had a hard time “not” believing it. Ghost Mine was a great show that suffered an early end due to very dangerous circumstances. Its paranormal hosts, Patrick Doyle (who is very cool, by the way), and Kristen Luman (very beautiful), were phenomenal. Even the miners themselves were pretty animated characters and fun to listen to and watch. If you have never watched this show, even though it was short lived, I highly recommend this to everyone. You can even visit Sumpter and see for yourself what strange things go on there (if you’re so inclined … or skeptical).

Hopefully, I haven’t “hurt” the ghost myth surrounding the mine, but pointed out a very real danger: mining is not safe – experienced or not. Modern mine practices not only kill the environment, but a lack of proper education (due to the commissioned labor, low wages, and rough lifestyle), for the miners, is also a real “human” danger. Whether my speculations are correct, or not, (or whether or not the series was even real), the truth is that what I proposed could really happen – so it’s something that any miner, or explorer, should take very seriously (no … really … you can get seriously injured – ThermoFisher Scientific). My brother and his friend once decided to go down a small, mysterious shaft they found (“The Devil’s Bunghole”, as they so appropriately named it). Without knowing what they were doing. One of them descended into a small cave with (unbeknownst to them) no air flow – and worse – no air. As the walls tightened around him and the air grew thin, he called to be pulled up. Even though the rope got tangled, they were fortunate enough to be able to get him up – barely. Not understanding geology and chemistry is fine … until you go exploring! Just bear that in mind the next time you encounter a giant bulkhead sealing off a haunted mine and bearing ominous symbols … I mean … sheesh!? What does it take to keep someone away … a skull and crossbones?

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Thanks for reading!


Snakes …. why’d it have to be snakes?” -Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade)

The Magicians Season 3: Review (with spoilers!) … and Predictions!

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So – here we are again at the end of another season of The Magicians, on the Syfy network. Sadly, it was only 13 episodes long, but man – were they an emotional roller coaster! Back in Season 1, you would think that I would never watch this series again with how infantile and poorly written and directed the series was, but, here I am, not only a tremendous fan of what has evolved into an incredible show (following Season 2), but looking forward to Season 4! So, for those who are interested:

It’s not a show for families. Adults / oldest teens only. It’s language is raunchy, the themes are pretty crude, and it still has a lot of sex (gay and straight) lead-ins (although now, it’s well balanced), and has plenty of drugs and alcohol. With that said – finally, in Season 3 – there’s a reason!

Yes, the writers this season, Sera Gamble, Jay Gard, Lev Grossman, Noga Landau, Elle Lipson, John McNamara, Mike Moore, Henry Myers, Alex Raiman, David Reed, and Christina Strain, have taken what could have been a one season flop and transformed it into an incredible story filled with emotion, lessons to be learned, intrigue, and adventure that parallels movie rivals like Harry Potter. They did the one thing to fix the story that I did NOT anticipate: they took away magic because it was being misused.

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The plumbers are still an unknown. Whatever koopa-ridden, god-controlled world they come from – we … what? Not Mario? “Other” plumbers? Well … I’m lost …

One of the wonderful elements of the Magician’s is that it does not use “Hollywood” -expected magic like Harry Potter, but rather, it draws from mythology and legend, bringing the audience the dark, real-world of magic (keeping true to the books). Instead of whizbops and whooshes, there is singing magic, time magic, eating the bodies of magic users to get their power shaman magic, and so on. This is a bold and innovative strategy that really sets this show apart. While the writers and directors (Chris Fisher, James Conway, Joshua Butler, John Scott, Carol Banker, and Rebecca Johnson), have not yet done a clean enough job bridging the acting out different types of magic with some minor explanations, for those who understand what they’re doing – it is fantastic! Thus, the Gods of old, who are still the “Gods”, took away magic at the end of Season 2 – and the world went to pot … fast!

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With the series finally starting to stretch into the world of magic and its creatures, will we see any of this in Face Off?

Normal people – still normal. Magic users – devastated. We saw home owners who now had to answer for land, mortgage, and taxes that they used magic to evade … brilliant! We saw people who were at the “top” of magic turn into cannibalistic monsters. The brilliance of this is especially demonstrated in the final episode when the main characters had to have the memories wiped to return to the “normal” world without magic, because it was the memory of magic that we learned (in Season 1), that screwed Julia and Hedge witches! And, of course, we have our main characters: Penny (Arjun Gupta), Kady (Jade Tailor), Quentin (Jason Ralph), Josh (Trevor Einhorn … don’t worry – it was laces out), Eliot (Hale Appleman), Margo (Summer Bishil), and Julia (Stella Maeve). All of them have grown in all new ways. Alice (Olivia Dudley) … not so much – but I’ll cover that in a bit. You can think of the main characters of this show as a cross between The Breakfast Club, the Sandlot, IT, Harry Potter, and American Pie … all with magic.

Either way – if you haven’t watched this series – start now (it’s on Netflix)! You’ll have to endure the crap of Season 1 to understand what’s happening – and as much as I won’t watch certain episodes from Season 1 ever again (season finale), if you know about it … you can just skip the really bad part – and get what happened. If you have been watching – well then, you know – this season was mind-blowing! The point is – for ages 18 – 50, there is something for everyone in this series (if you like magic, science fiction – or just a damn good story).

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The best parts of this season (for me), included:

1. All That Josh: Seeing the characters use song magic to come together, each one faced with some peril or overwhelming odds, having to give up their own selfishness to sing David Bowie’s “Pressure”, to save their friend, Josh – was a tear-jerker. And, best of all, Josh handled it well. He didn’t get self-righteous or show indignation. No. Instead, he stood up, dusted himself off, and found the one thing he needed to start his journey: accepting friendship.

2. A Life in the Day: This was truly a heart-wrenching episode, watching Quentin and Eliot faced with a literally impossible task, sent back in time to solve a puzzle with over a million possibilities (was it a million? I don’t recall) – that would take a lifetime. And, it did. The secret, at the end, was in the willingness to sacrifice, to stay strong, and to be “more”. This was huge for both Eliot and Quentin. Eliot – who was adamantly opposed to family and fatherhood based on his own, troubled childhood, had to accept his fate – and accept Quentin’s son as his own (raising him together with Quentin and Quentin’s wife). Quentin, who is wholly dysfunctional – had to find something other than fantasy to solve a problem. Without magic to solve solutions and with nowhere to hide, he faced not just a small problem – but a problem that took him an entire lifetime. This was an astonishing use of writing and time magic that paralleled Star Trek, The Next Generation’s 125th episode, “The Inner Light”, when Picard had to live an entire lifetime as someone else, watching people he loved grow up and leave, and experiencing new challenges he had avoided. This parallel is so touching that if you give it a chance – will warm your heart. (and best of all – we later see Quentin’s recognition of sacrifice in the final episode – as he’s ready to give it all … again).

(of course … all of this helps if you’ve been watching the show and can relate to and care about the characters while suspending disbelief … )

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The Magicians sports a very cool website: Welcome to Fillory; now, if they could just have some “magic” like the picture above … IN the show!

Overall, on the surface, this season appeared to be about restoring magic, when in reality, it was about learning why magic was taken away (while growing as people so they could be “better” users of magic – which is emphasized in the end when Julia restores the keys, being able to see the “bigger” picture). And, time and time again, each of the characters discovered a part of themselves that had been lost because of magic. This was the genius of the writers (both in getting out of a special effects high budget and a brilliant story). Eliot learned he could solve problems, not use magic to hide from them. Margo actually stopped trying to screw everything and show some real gumption. Quentin stopped dreaming about magic and realized just how real it was. Josh quit using magic to make bongs to party and began to understand that he was separating himself from others. Penny quit seeing magic as a curse, and adopted it as a resolution. Kady – well – she has not yet “grown” as much, but she’s no longer the wanna-be “hedgewitch” Kady, and now has an opportunity to be more. Julia – she was an amazing surprise! The chance to be a Goddess – although she’s not yet, quite ready. Will she still be one? We don’t know. If the series wants to do this right … yes … one day, she will. For now, she needs to learn magic in smaller steps. Meanwhile, she’s stopped being a victim and finally started being the person she always wanted to be. It’s like the writers took the “point” of the books, and instead of the books just being darkness, they are making the point a little more obvious – and dealing with it: magic is not dark … humanity is – but the opposite can be true, too.

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Not without humor amidst trying to portray the dark side of magic, whether it’s a dragon sarcastically saying “yummy” to a helpless Quentin (tied to a pole), or having to explain to a nearby cop, “Sorry Officer, our friends cat was sick. And exploded. You know like they do.”, this show is a huge mix of funny to drama to weird to dark, back to funny, sexy, then drama, and so on!

This brings us to Alice. Alice started off strong and quickly dwindled as a character. From having a mysterious background and shy to being an outright, pretentious blonde who thinks herself high and mighty because of sex, was a failure in character growth. Season 3 offered no resolution. Alice was still so preoccupied that we weren’t sure if she was trying to find herself, find magic, avoid Quentin, be angry, or just screw vampires? Worse, after joining the library, in the final episode, Alice pulls a Julia and screws everyone (different “screw”, this time … which … was not only an unpleasant twist that wasn’t about the darkness of magic, but a failure to grow that felt lazy and uninspired). Her unparalleled selfishness hit all new heights from which I’m not sure how the series will recover her. So far – she’s a lost cause; not to mention that her acting was a little flat … when, in fact, sometimes … it was really awful. Don’t misunderstand – she’s beautiful and all and I know she’s putting forth some good effort – but all the gals on this show are amazingly beautiful and they are all doing well. I don’t know if it’s the fact that Alice’s character is being written so wishy-washy bad, or if it’s the actress herself, but, if the writers continue to do the amazing job in Season 4 that they did in Season 3 – and start tying together the alternate world Alice with the library Alice and straighten up our Alice, there’s still hope of recovering her! (Let’s just hope it’s a 26 episode season … not 13!). Otherwise, Alice fell flat on her face betraying both the library and her friends after having endured the same trials they did and obviously obtaining … nothing? As I said, it felt like lazy writing, but again – maybe we’ll be surprised?

Another downfall of this season was trying to do so much with such little time (13 episodes? Really? What in the sam blazes is Hollywood doing? Even the cartoons like Star Butterfly and Steven Universe are only 5 – 10 episodes per season, now????). The writers and directors deserved more time to accomplish these tasks. It’s almost as if they should not have completed the quest this season with only 13 episodes, but I understand that viewer backlash from Season 1 still needed some retribution. The 7 keys were actually cool – but they were not well handled as “objects” of interest. Frankly, when we watch movies or television series, when there is a primary trinket or object, the viewer needs time to bond with that object – to know it – and to want it! “Wands” in Harry Potter – took center stage, same as the Quidditch. Neither had much screen time – but their centralized focus was important. The 7 keys “could” have been that, but they’ve buzzed right past them. The final episode – did not go as well as the others in show-time, and sadly, the sequence of events from this build-up on the monster to Alice’s betrayal was so whiplash neck-breaking that it was impossible to fully grasp what happened until they were playing the final song with Eliot as the monster (which was … very cool)!

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Still, there were so many good things about this season that it was easy to ignore any pitfalls. Setting aside obvious inclusions like the awesome, flying boat, one of the most interesting elements of this season was how extremes were contrasted. Reynard as the ultimate evil god to Julia as the ultimate good (sharing the same power). Bunnies had teleportation while Dragons were just waiting in the dark waters to eat up victims of the keys. Faeries were self-righteous asses in one world, and in the other, they were slaves being chopped up for their magic. The massive contrasts in this series really highlight the differences between our world and one with “magic” in all the right ways.

So, where do we go from here? Well, now that the stage is set, we know the characters, and we have the premise … it’s time for this show to do something – great!

  • Fen as High Queen needs a little Margo interaction – and it will be … fun. But, Fillory has to stop being a medieval ignoramus …  they all know magic exists – so it needs to become more centralized, especially with magical creatures.
  • Eliot has grown – and with the monster inside of him – can spend most of next season being a real bad-ass. And, he can come back from it, too – finding himself, finally, and doing more.
  • The abuse of magical creatures was exposed in this Season – and it was bad … like “really” bad. This opens up new story lines, episodes, and opportunities to interact with them.
  • Balancing trying to portray a “dark side” of magic – with a good. All darkness falls flat. Just sayin’ …
  • Quentin has finally grown. Thank goodness. He was so whiny and weak it was beyond pathetic. If they do the insanity thing with him – it will be a failure. Kady already did that and we don’t need it twice. Quentin can continue to grow, watch his father die, accept the losses he’s suffered, meet his son, maybe fall in love with Julia (but stop spooning over Alice), and realize the added potential for Fillory and Earth.
  • Josh has grown – and can start using his skills … better. Fillory needs crops … right?
  • Julia (now “Our Lady of the Trees”) may have sacrificed a lot with those keys – but it doesn’t have to mean her power is gone. As a goddess, essentially – she shouldn’t lose power – so … now she can take baby steps. Obviously … the other gods like her. But, she’s still stuck in “mortal” mode. There’s a huge opportunity here for growing from one phase of life into the next (especially since the gods abandoned protecting Fillory – and seemingly were not protecting Earth, just judging it while making “other” worlds – meaning Julia is either going to be their new Prometheus – or be heralded for her work)!
  • Dean Fogg and Breakbills – okay, there’s SO much more to this place. We need a better breakbills “breakdown” – and as this is a television series – there’s plenty of time to do it – so let’s explore! Meanwhile – the Dean screwed up – and he needs to be pushed in a new direction.
  • The library is pathetic (they are really a bunch of control freaks who are literally out of control!). However, in keeping with the books and how dark magic can be – the move made by the librarians was genius on the part of the writers. As much as I hated it – now we need to see a new element of control (I’ll get there in a sec).
  • Penny …. oh poor Penny. Worse, poor alternate timeline Penny … because if he “dies”, our Penny can take his body … ooooo … see where that’s going? And, Penny is such an awesome character, I want to see him grow.
  • Kady – she’s sort where Julia first was. So – obvious growth for her is to stop being a hedge witch and be a magician!
  • Faeries – more antagonists in Fillory, and now, maybe Earth, too.
  • Reynard and the gods – SO many opportunities …
  • We can move away from just hand symbols, to more natural magic, to start including trinkets and items that we would WANT to see more of. I’m not sayin’ a wand, ’cause that’s Harry Potter … but … you know … a wand. Um … I mean … trinket!
  • Some fallout from Quentin’s son he had in Fillory… learning who his mom is … finding out about Rey and her relation to the faeries / being parent-less – and more!
  • AND – MAGIC! Magicians who are deviant and dark with magic, abusing it – would be using it for so much more, too. Everyday tasks and life would be nothing but nonstop magic – and this portrayal would make the point of magic’s “abuse” a little more apparent. Plus – that’s why we watch, right? More magical creatures – MORE magic!
  • And, with more magic – more variations. Less on the handsigns and more on … well … sky’s the limit!

So, what to do with a world of magic being funneled and rationed through the library?

The answer, is unfortunately, more control … but in a new way. The gods just took away magic from mortals, but then left them to the whim of magical creatures and gods on Earth. That’s not about humanity’s darkness with magic – it’s about the failure of the world of magic (and the balance of power should dictate that not happen … especially when we’ve seen in an alternate timeline with the Quentin beast slaughtering everyone … the gods would have definitely “re-intervened”, there). With the failure of Breakbills, the failure of humanity as magicians, the failure of the gods to police their own, and the failure of balance, it’s time to do something good, so here’s a prediction / thought:

There needs to be a ministry, of sorts, to start overseeing magic (that would be a typical human politico thing to do, anyway). And, recruiting our heroes back from the non-magical world, by some magical creatures and gods that want to get magic back (that are going to make up the new ministry / committee), but in a good way this time, is the next, big adventure – and could take 3 – 4 years worth of episodes! This means more magic, more details on the magics they are using, more worlds, and more fun! The gods captured the “monster” once – so obviously, it can be done again (and will probably be a trinket vs. an enchantment). So, there’s some opportunity for adventure, there.  And, as I said before – Dean Fogg must be pushed out. Replace him with Professor Sunderland and let him spend a few seasons “re-finding” himself.

The Magicians - Season 3

Anyway – those are just some thoughts on what “could” happen. The great thing is, with such great writers – now – anything could happen. The final key in Season 4, that will really bring this episode into the light, will be bringing in magic. Plenty of other movies like Willow, Harry Potter, and even television series like Dr. Who and Star Trek were centered around magic and/or technology – but they did not have to overuse it. Good storytelling allowed them to use magic and technology as tools. Those tools became famous – and the rest is history. The Magicians can do the same thing – if they try (without losing the darkness of the realm of magic on Earth in accordance with the books).

Only Season 4 will tell …

What was your favorite part?

Thanks for reading!


The wand chooses the wizard, remember … I think we must expect great things from you, Mr. Potter. After all, He Who Must Not Be Named did great things … terrible, yes, but great.” – Garrick Olivander