Friday, May 18, 2012

Textbook issues

Something I've talked about with a few people is the absurd cost of text books and required reading in college. Everyone whose gone to college has recieved the ole supply list including what books you will need and that you're expected to have on day one of the class, and then on day one you're told that you will in fact be using a whole different set of books. Or your book is last years model, you need the newest version. They changed one diagram so the page numbers will be off during lectures.

With the rise of eReaders and tablets such as the Kindle, Nook, iPad etc... there really is no reason schools haven't got on that band wagon. Here's my proposal. As part of your tutition, the school gives you a (Insert product of choice) at orientation/day one of shcool. Then, again through the school, as part of your labs fees or whatever they wish to call it you are given the "redemtion"codes to download said required reading for your class right there. No question on what you need, what edition of it or did you bring the right ones to class today.

I feel like this would be a much more effective and uniform way of handling the text books. By going through the school, every student is getting exactly what they need and the school is still getting their cut. I have to imagine it is a lot cheaper on the publishing companies to just release a PDF file of a book than printing hundreds of copies of a 800 page, full color hard bound book. And its enviromentally friendly.

If you work for a school administration or know someone who does, please, pass the idea along.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sol Part 2

Taking his seat in the captain's chair, Bailey took half a heart beat to focus himself.

"Helmsman, engines to full, bring us into the planets upper atmosphere, we'll use their larger mass against them. D-7? How long until we can spool up the FTL drive?"

The little android waved his three fingered hand over the dark console, lighting up with an orange glow as he maneuvered the holo interface.

"Sir, at current rate approximately three hours. If you override the safety protocols and jump with open vents the ship will be ready in approximately twenty-"

The ship violently shudders from the shock of hit against their shields. Bailey cursed himself for biting his own lip, spitting the blood out on the floor.

"Re-calculating, approximately 40 minutes sir. Though any jump longer than a six second burst under those conditions will result in a catostrophic engine failure."

Bailey leaned foreward, rubbing the rough stubble on his chin, staring at the holo interface. With a sigh he straighted up, "D-7, give the order for engineering to evactuate and depressurize. The second we're able to jump, do it. Do not wait for my order, understood?"

"Aye-aye sir." D-7 said with a slight tip of his chrome head.

Baily gripped his chair as another round shook the ship around him.

"Sir? The enemy ship is deploying fighters."

"Lieutinet, bring all guns and point lasers to bear. Focus fire on the fighters. I'm ordering you to ignore the battle cruiser. None of our guns are strong enough to break through its shields."

"Aye - Aye sir."

From the corner of his eye Bailey saw the blinking green light on the arm of his chair, demanding his attention. Pressing down on the button he heard the speakers crackle on in the headrest of his chair.

"What is it?"

"Sir, this is Major Quinn Terric requesting permission to launch Falcon 1."

"Permission denied. We are in full evasion and retreat, we are not engaging the enemy aty this time."

"Sir, with all due respect, they've sent out fighters. They mean to take the ship not destroy it and the engines still need time before we can jump. This is the best option."

Bailey placed his left hand on his temple, " Son. We will not be able to pick you up before jump. This is a one way trip you're requesting."

"Most are sir."

Bailey glanced over at the little android staring at him. Locking his eyes with the metal ones, looking for unspoken comfirmation that came with an almost impercievable nob. With a sigh, Bailey nodded as well.

"Permission granted Major. Good luck son, may the stars guide you home."

"Thank you sir." With a soft click the speakers died.

"Status people, Lieutinet?"

"Sir the fighters are not engaging but matching speed outside of firing range."

"D-7, how long until jump?"

"Thirty two minutes sir. Also, the battle cruiser has brought its main cannons to bear."

"Ignore it. They'll lock on and then offer us the option to surrender or be destroyed. It's a bluff. Their plan is to board us. Bring up the holo. show me our location to the planet and theirs."

D-7 waved his hands over the cosole again, the orange glow washing over him.

"Sir, we are just above the planets upper atmosphere, But the Empress is still holding within the satillite's orbit. According to the ships data log we are well outside of the main cannons effective range."

Bailey leaned forward in his chair, hands on his knees as he squinted at the little holograph of the ship. "What? If they can't hit us why haven't they persu-"

The ship shuddered violently, threatening to tear itself apart for a moment as Bailey was thrown to th ground. He struggled to get himself back up. Blood, blinding his left eye. Falling back into his chair he whiped the blood off his face, feeling the warm flow from the gash on his forehead. Bailey shook his head trying to clear the fog seeping in and only making himself dizzy.

"What the hell was that?"

D-7 pulled up the holo display of the ship again, this time, most areas flashing red.

"Sir, it appears as though they've modified the Emperess's Main cannon. They fired a round straight through us. The engines are gone. We're dead in space."

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sol. Part 1

Bailey felt his stomach lurch, bile rising in his throat. He could feel the vibrations dissapate through his chair. The creaks and sighs of air as the old frigate came to a stop. After spending a lifetime on ships, first on his fathers old cargo hauler and then the last forty odd years as a Commonwealth Naval Officer, he was long used to the effects of FTL sickness and yet everytime still felt like the first time. From his right a tinny vioce spoke up.

"Sir, all systems report green across the board. Scanners indicate we are within five K of jump target and engines have begun venting proceedures. Crew is awaiting stand down orders."

Bailey looked at the little android speaking to him. D-7 had always reminded him of an old stooped turtle on treds. With a chrome and blue plasteel shell-like body and an elogated head with large round and often strangely expressive eyes D-7 had served as his First Officer since Bailey's promotion to Admiral almost twenty years prior.

"Thank you D-7, inform the crew to stand down."

D-7 gave a small nod of acknowlegement "Right away sir. Chief Engineer Chambers reporrts that the coolant filters still need to be changed."\

Baily cracked his neck as he rose from his chair. Ignoring the stiffness in his back, the dull throb of his bad knee, he clasped his hands behind his back. Taking a few steps forward he squinted at the blue world with patches of green and swirls of white rotating outside. It reminded Bailey of the images he saw as a child of his own home world. Though, it had become a world of greys, blacks and industry centuries before his own birth.

Giving a slight nod at the little world he asked "D-7, is that it?"

Bailey listened to the faint clicking of D-7's treds on the metal surface as he wheeled closer. The near silent whirl of the apature of his camera eyes adjusting. Not for the first time, Bailey thought about how much more familar he was with the little android than he ever was with his late wife.

"Yes sir. Designated Seed World: AS-7731. An F class planet with one satellite, third of nine planets orbiting a C-class yellow star. Home of the fabled 'Lost Colony' by your people.

Bailey's late wife Sarah had been a history professor at the Commonwealth Univerisity on the capitol world Tau. A favorite lecture topic of hers and her students was The Lost Colony. Nearly 100,000 years ago now, an ambitious colonization company saught to colonized and secure land and mineral rights far beyond the established bounderies of civilized space. After a decade of fundraising and an astronomical amout of credits, the initial group of colonists set out. Taking nearly twenty years to get there the colonists sent word that they had landed. After six months of regular updates the colony went dark. The company wen bankrupt shortly afterward and dispite a handful of unsuccessful attempts to raise the credits to send a crew out there to discover what had happened the colony was ultimately abandoned and over time became referred to as 'The Lost Colony'. Baily gave a sad little smile to the world. Sarah would have been over joyed to know he'd made it all the way out here and seen the world with his own eyes. And Furious that he wasn't landing to to take a look.

Turning away from the screen Bailey started walking to the door. "Tell Chambers to change the filters during this stop. Page me in my cabin when we're ready to be on our way."


The lights all around the bridge switched to red as the klaxxons blarred. Bailey snapped back around, rushing to the center of the bridge.

"Status report!"

From the port console the furry blue face of Lieutent Vonlavon looked over at Bailey, four black beady eyes locking onto the two hazel ones.

"Sir, a Saurian Battle Cruiser just jumped right on top of us. IFF indicates its the Jade Emeress. Sir."

Bailey clentched his fists, willing his rage down.

"Damn it, they followed us. D-7, open all internal coms. All hands on deck. Battlestations, this is not a drill. Repeat: this is not a drill."

Monday, May 7, 2012

Captain Planet Reboot.

One of the ideas I had was an updated Captain Planet comic/show/etc..
Something not as cheesy and the message isn't a specific "Pollution is bad" but the general message of the story is about balance. The balance between humanity/development and nature or betweeen people or etc. Where the goal of the 'Planeteers' is to repair, restore and rebuild a better world. And there in lies the conflict between them and whomever their against and each other.

Instead of being handed the rings by the spirit of the Earth, Gaia, herself the powers of the elements were placed within gemstones that were then placed in rings, braclets and amulets and scattered across the globe and have now resurfaced. Instead of the using only the 5 Earth, Wind, Water, Fire and Heart(Spirit), I thought about how in other parts of the globe Wood(Nature), Metal, Ice, Darkness and Light are also considered elements and I decided to go with 15 (I'll explain why so many in a moment). Having a particular Element not only gives you power over that element, it also grants the wielder an atribute. Example being, the Fire user not only creates and controls fire, he/she is also immune to fire, Air user can fly and excetra and so forth. The Elements are: Earth, Wind, Water, Fire, Nature, Metal, Ice, Thunder(Lightning), Stone, Poison, Lava, Space, Light, Darkness, and Spirit. Some of these are stronger/weaker than others, over lap a bit or seem just plain odd. I know.

The three 'weakest' ones of Light, Darkness and Spirit play a bigger role. They represent the three states of energy, Positive, Negative and Nuetral. Each one has the soul (Captain Plants) of a warrior, Samurai, Legionaire and Native American/Aztec, also within their gem. Combining with any other four elements gives him a body That looks pretty much the same but altered depending on which elements he/she is currently comprised of. Which, obviously, affects what elements that 'Captain' can use. Hence, having fifteen elements allows all three to be present at the same time if narrative requires it and why shouldn't it?

So, thats the seed of an idea. I might eventually take this idea and run with it as 'Inspired by Captain Planet' and say (Insert Early Chinese Warlord or Emporer Here) forced wise men or mystics to harness the elements for him and sfter he abused them for a bit they were taken away and scattered around the globe. And in 2012 they surfaced again. Or whatever.

Feel free to comment.

Hey everyone. Obviously nothings up yet but I don't have an 'Under Construction' image so this will have to do. Thanks for checking this out and I'll have new content up soon.