Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Tuesday's Thoughts: Sep 17th, 2013

The wife and I saw Star Trek: Into Darkness this past weekend.

Given how many plot holes and lens flares were in the reboot Star Trek, my hopes were not terribly high. Still, I'm a little bit of a Trekkie, so I had to give it a shot.

Verdict: A solid, shiny looking movie that is fun to watch, but not very memorable.

One thing that did bother me was the character of Khan (Noonien Singh).

Khan is one of my all-time favourite fictional characters, and Ricardo Montalban (RIP) absolutely owned the role. Montalban's Khan just oozed everything you'd expect out of a 'super-human': Power, Charisma, Confidence, Intelligence, Strength...

Benedict Cumberbatch, owner of the most Englishy name ever, is a tremendous actor. His portrayal of Sherlock (BBC Series) is sublime. That said, I take great issue with his casting in this role.


First off, notice anything different between the two? Yeah, somehow Khan became a white (Anglo-Saxon) guy *facepalm*.

Apart from that, Cumberbatch's Khan just comes off as a very generic bad guy. Khan owned the screen, and you could see why people who either follow him or fear him. Cumberbatch's Khan? Just your ordinary bad guy with powers. Cumberbatch did well with what he was given, though, and turned a generically written role into a good performance.

Into Darkness should have just had Cumberbatch as one of the other super-humans that were encapsulated, rather than Khan. I know they've taken the canon of Star Trek and totally refried it, but this was nerd-rage levels of travesty. Ugh.

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On another nerdy note, it seems Magic: the Gathering has its first explicit portrayal of an openly-gay couple.


Read the flavour text, and then look at the statues.

It's an incredibly subtle, but bold statement from Wizards of the Coast. I like that they just slipped it in (That's what she said!), rather than making it a big "OMG, WE GOT GAYZ!!" fuss. It's just a normal relationship, after all.

Besides, knowing how the Greeks (especially SPARTA!!!!!) loved their buggery, it fits the mythos of the set perfectly!

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It seems Magic Deck Vortex was hacked by Turkish nitwits, and the owner is MIA. I know the site was pretty dormant, these days, but it was nice to have a place to do reviews and writing about casual MTG. Most MTG sites cater to competitive players. Those with a casual place either already have a (better) writer, or focus on EDH/Commander.

I'll still blog about MTG topics, but I likely won't do any reviews of Theros cards like I was for Ravnica.

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I'm one of the 'lucky' folks that was chosen to be a Compass Beta Tester for Translink. I got a compass card loaded with $100 of fake money, and I simply swipe in and out when I take the SkyTrain (or bus).

So far, I've had no issues with the card, itself. Obviously, the gates are always opened, so we haven't seen how quickly that transaction will take.

My biggest worry, all along, has been the number of gates at each station. Brentwood has only 3 gates for the entire station!

There is going to be a huge bottleneck of people during rush hour, so people will need to adjust their commutes and add a little extra time. Still, this card system was well overdue. The fact that they installed SkyTrain without fare gates is just baffling.