The smallest exoplanet has a radius that's a mere 1.5 times the size of Earth's, and orbits the star Gliese 581.
It's only 20.5 light-years away. Cosmically speaking, that's just 'round the corner.
It makes me think - as I often do - that all our little squabbles down here on our ball of dirt are just a little pathetic when such wonders await us.
Well, not to put too fine a point on it, more of the same. This is the third "-3" movie we've seen recently - Spider-Man 3, and Shrek 3 (which, for some reason, I didn't review) were the previous two - and I'll say the same thing. If you liked the first two, you'll like the third. If you didn't like the first two, why are you even going?
The plot is strange. Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) have to join forces with Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) to save Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and The Black Pearl from beyond the ends of the Earth and convene a meeting of the nine great pirate captains, whilst avoiding the attentions of the despicable Norrington (Jack Davenport) and the East India Trading Co, who, because they have the heart of Davy Jones (Bill Nighy), now control The Flying Dutchman. Turner is more interested in rescuing his father, and seems willing to sacrifice anything to do so.
Jack - the monkey - is still very funny.
Add in some pretty cool fight scenes, some interesting plot twists, some random humour, some great one-liners, and Keira Knightley looking hotter than a supernova, and you've got a pleasant afternoon's entertainment.
The movie is long - twelve minutes shy of three hours - but you barely notice it.
And stay for the credits, there's an extra scene afterwards. It's not much, but it's there.
Doombreed Rating: * * * * 1/2
Seven years after the British Army changed its policies towards openly gay soldiers, the MoD says that the problems have been pretty much nonexistent.
Since the British military began allowing homosexuals to serve in the armed forces in 2000, none of its fears — about harassment, discord, blackmail, bullying or an erosion of unit cohesion or military effectiveness — have come to pass, according to the Ministry of Defense, current and former members of the services and academics specializing in the military. The biggest news about the policy, they say, is that there is no news. It has for the most part become a nonissue.
Well who in all of the world would have thought it?
Oh, right. Almost everyone who doesn't have their head firmly up their own arse, that's who.
These two non-events have set a worrying precedent. Next these strange gay folk will want to do stuff like stand for political office, and be cops, and - gasp - teachers.
Y'know, be judged on their abilities rather than their sexual orientation.
What a novel thought.
Some, however, aren't convinced by silly, irrelevant stuff like facts and real-world experience. Being gay is immoral, gays in the military are a threat to everything and everyone, blah blah blah.
It's the 21st century, people. Aren't we supposed to be beyond this kind of medieval crap by now?
My mother always taught me that if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.
Front: Colonel Ironfist
2nd Row: Medic; Veteran; Master-vox operator; Standard Bearer
3rd Row; Missile launcher team; Nork Deddog; Missile launcher team
Rear: Missile launcher team.
Converted WHFB imperial knights on Dark Elf cold ones.
Not too sure about the Catachan Lt as a Veteran Sergeant, but he'll do until I find something else.
Looking lonely. I have to add the other two squads and maybe get some more.
Steel Legion models.
Plastic Cadian models.
The end is in sight. Just the heavy weapons platoon, two infantry squads, one sentinel and one chimera to finish.
See, Hilton was sentenced to 45 days in prison for drunk driving and, in the tradition of the rich and famous getting a better class of justice than the rest of us, has until the 5th of June to decide whether she's going to bother doing it before she'll get - gasp - a double sentence.
But the gemstone comes in the form of Hilton's own message endorsing the petition on her MySpace page:
"My friend Joshua started his petition, please help and sihn it. I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!"
Yes, by all means, do go and sihn that petition. Join the 17,000 people who are passionately fighting for special rights for the rich and shameless.
Don Larsen, chairman of legislative District 65 for the Utah County Republican Party, had submitted a resolution warning that Satan's minions want to eliminate national borders and do away with sovereignty.
In a speech at the convention, Larsen told those gathered that illegal immigrants "hate American people" and "are determined to destroy this country, and there is nothing they won't do."
Illegal aliens are in control of the media, and working in tandem with Democrats, are trying to "destroy Christian America" and replace it with "a godless new world order -- and that is not extremism, that is fact," Larsen said.
At the end of his speech, Larsen began to cry, saying illegal immigrants were trying to bring about the destruction of the U.S. "by self invasion."
Spider-Man has some problems. First that never-ending (and frankly it's getting a little old) drama with MJ gets out of hand because he shares "their" kiss with Random Ditzy Blond Whom He Saves And Who Turns Out To Be Daughter Of Someone Important In The City. She also gets fired, and Parker is too caught up in all his celebrity to notice.
Add to all that the fact that the webslinger has just been attacked by an alien symbiont which has become an entirely black black version of his normal costume, and which is causing the darker side of human nature to emerge, and the scene is set for the bad guys.
Spidey goes up against not one, not two, but three super-villains this time. There's the Sandman, who can become - er - sand. There's Venom, created when an annoying git picks up the symbiont suit Spidey finally gets rid of. And there's Green Goblin Jr, still pissed at the wallcrawler for killing his father.
Spidey must battle everyone as well as himself. Again.
Just as with most sequels, this is more of the same. If you liked the first two, you'll like this one. If you didn't like the first two, why bother going?
If there is a problem with this film it's that a storyline that ran almost forever in the comics has to be condensed down into two hours and twenty minutes. In the comics, the progression from performance-enhancing symbiont to life-threatening parasite took months. Here, we have to accept that it takes minutes.
Doombreed Rating: * * * *
Officiant: "We are gathered here today to celebrate the marriage of Warhammer 40,00 and Stargate: SG-1. For them, this marriage is both a pledge of enduring love, and an expression of their commitment to each other grounded in law. For the rest of us, this marriage is an occasion where we are reminded of the bonds to our own families and friendships and how important and wonderful these bonds are to us.
"Marriage is dedication. You give yourself, your life, and love into the hands of the one you love. You do so trustingly and generously. By the same token, each of you receives a gift--the life and love of the other. You receive this gift not only from the one you love, but also from the parents who brought you into the world and reared you and from the personal world of friends and family who are joined in friendship and faith in your marriage.
"Mark Twain once said that "a marriage makes two fractional lives a whole. It gives to two purposeless lives a work, and doubles the strength of each to perform it. It gives to two questioning natures a reason for living. It brings a new gladness to the sunshine, and a new fragrance to the flowers, and new beauty to the earth, a new mystery to life."
"It is appropriate that you, the family, are here to participate in this wedding. The ideals, the understanding, and the mutual respect, which these two bring to their marriage have roots in the love, friendship, and guidance with which you have provided them.Officiant - "You may now exchange your vows."
Warhammer 40,000: "I, Warhammer 40,000, take you Stargate: SG-1, to be my TV show, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. With my earnest and complete devotion, I give you my love."
Stargate: SG-1: "I, Stargate: SG-1, take you Warhammer 40,000, to be my table-top war game, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. With my earnest and complete devotion, I give you my love."
Officiant: "Do you, Warhammer 40,000, take Stargate: SG-1 who you have promised to love and cherish to be your lawfully wedded TV show?"
Warhammer 40,000: "I do."
Officiant: "Do you, Stargate: SG-1, take Warhammer 40,000 who you have promised to love and cherish to be your lawfully wedded table-top war game?"
Stargate: SG-1: "I do."
Officiant: "Traditionally, the marking of the passage to the status of table-top war game and TV show is marked by the exchange of rings. These rings are a symbol of the unbroken circle of love. Love freely given has no beginning and no end. Love freely given has no giver and no receiver, for each is the giver and each is the receiver. May these rings remind you always of the vows you have taken here today."
Warhammer 40,000: "This ring, a gift for you, symbolizes my desire that you be my TV show from this day forward."
Stargate: SG-1: "This ring, a gift for you, symbolizes my wish that you be my table-top war game from this day forward."
Officiant: "And now, may the confidence, trust, and affection you have for each other on this day sustain you as you go forth upon your journey of life together with its joy, its laughter, its sorrow, and its pain. May you fulfill your personal goals with each other's help and guidance. May you dwell together in peace, love, and joy."
"Warhammer 40,000 and Stargate: SG-1, having witnessed your vows for marriage with all who are assembled here with you, I announce with great joy that you are from this time on, table-top war game and TV show."
"Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. and Mrs. Warhammer 40,000-Stargate: SG-1."*sniff* ... damn ... I swore I wouldn't cry ...
Yes, that's right. 28mm Stargate: SG-1 figures. The Jaffa are excellent if you have a Chaos army and want something a little different as troops, but the SG-1 team are perfect for Imperial Guard and would make a cool-looking Command HQ.
Now, if only there were someone who liked both Warhammer 40,00 and Stargate: SG-1, and who collected Imperial Guard, and who had a birthday coming up soon, and whose wife reads his blog.
Phoenix Icons homepage.
HEALTH AND SAFETY IN THE BLOGPLACE WARNING:
Please mind the hint that was carelessly dropped and negligently left laying on the floor.
With sincerest apologies to Muriel at AP, from whom I blatantly ripped off the incredible Atheist wedding ceremony.
Paint Day saw my Hardened Veterans (top) get finished and, until I can find a more suitable model, I'm using my Catachan Lieutenant as their Veteran Sergeant.
Also finished were my Ratlings (bottom).
Worked on (not pictured) was my heavy weapon platoon.
More as this story develops.