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books - by Toni Roman
Turning the Uranium West series into videos has been talked about but I have not had a producer make a suitable offer yet.
Likewise, I want to do more with apparel than T-shirts. I am willing to license the Toni Roman brand and work with a fashion house.
I don't do lectures nor bookshop signings due to heavy schedule. However, I am available to bloggers for interviews.
The link below is not to my Author Central site.
- Amazon.com: Toni Roman: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle
Visit Amazon.com's Toni Roman Page and shop for all Toni Roman books and other Toni Roman related products (DVD, CDs, Apparel). Check out pictures, bibliography, biography and community discussions about Toni Roman
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Everything below is odds and ends. It is not a yard sale but make an offer . . .
Guide to Space Sports
- Guide to Space Sports
I once did movie reviews one summer over at HubPages and, even though it was several summers ago, for some reason that hub still gets traffic. So I am throwing in movie reviews here of some oldies, some current and some yet to be released. Whatever I feel like doing. I cannot be a professional movie critic like the beloved Siskel & Ebert because neither time nor interest nor budget allows me to see every flick that the movie industry releases. Anyway, here goes.
oldies - Firefly & Serenity
Okay so Firefly was a TV series (and less than one season) and not a movie but it was brought back as a movie. I was the last person on Earth to discover this series years after cancellation. Captain Malcolm 'Mal' Reynolds, ZoÃ« Washburne, Hoban 'Wash' Washburne, Inara Serra, Jayne Cobb (I always thought Jayne was his last name until I looked it up), Kaylee Frye, Dr. Simon Tam, River Tam, and Shepherd Book are nine reasons to watch this. I watched in marathon style from beginning to end straight through with only bathroom breaks and snacking when I took the first vacation of my life at my brother's house in the mountains. He left me alone to sleep or hole up in my room whatever I wanted to do because he knew I was burnt out. I watched the episodes in the order that they were intended -- which was different from the way that they were broadcast (I am told) in mangled order. It was great and then I saw the movie Serenity.
I have to say that at least it did not leave me suicidally depressed like I was when I saw Solaris (Andrei Tarkovsky version), Doctor Zhivago and Annie Hall all in one week. In case you do not know, these are three films with downer endings. Despite the downer endings, these films are all deservedly considered classics. Serenity is not a classic but I enjoyed it and I will not spoil it by dropping any spoilers for anyone who has not seen it. I will say this: Do not watch Serenity first and then watch Firefly episodes out of order. View the Firefly episodes in order and then watch Serenity if I have not scared you off of seeing it. I really have no respect for people who think that they have a valid opinion about any novel or TV series when they read the chapters out of order or watch the episodes of a mini-series or a canceled regular series out of order. I can see watching whatever re-run episode in syndication of something like Gunsmoke, which ran 20 years. or E.R., which ran 15 years, that happens to be on when you turn on the television or is in your friends video player but something as brief (like fireflies themselves) before being extinguished like Firefly, you have no excuse. Never mind what I think, you are only hurting yourself by ruining what could have been a peak experience by using a little sense in how you view.
And while I am on the subject of proper way to view something, some stories demand by their content to be seen on the big screen and just fall flat on the small screen. An easy example is 2001: a space odyssey. Only a fool would watch a movie like that on a television screen at home (even a wall-sized screen). And the IQ plummets further if they are watching on a laptop or the little screen on a cellphone. I mean, people like that are beyond help or hope. 2001: a space odyssey was intended for the Cinerama process not a postage-stamp sized screen at the local shopping center multiplex. Adaptation to IMAX might work but I doubt it. They had a word for it -- experience. Watching at home or outside in broad daylight is simply not the same and defeats the point of watching such a movie.
But back to Serenity. Like most movies, you can see it on a small screen but if watching at home, I recommend a big screen TV. 2001 it ain't but I enjoyed it. There are Firefly fans who detest Serenity. Again, without dropping any spoilers, I can understand why. The movie was touted as wrapping up loose ends by some at the studio and by some fans who justifiably felt that a series canceled mid-first season left a lot up in the air. Firefly fans (called Browncoats) could reasonably see a wrap-up movie as saying: "Forget about ever reviving this series. We just book-ended it and wrapped it up. The end." More than a few Firefly fans want it back.
image credit: Richard Kahan
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oldies - Tornado! and Twister
I used to see all the big disaster movies. Earthquake was the best earthquake move. Deep Impact was way better than Tidal Wave as far as surfing movies go. Excuse me, as far as big Kahuna water goes. Excuse me, as far as tsunami movies go. (There I finally got it right) I have not seen the tidal wave movie from last year yet. When I do, I will review. I doubt if there will ever be a big drought movie or a big famine movie. Drought is slow and does not lend itself to action. Famine is way too real. The Towering Inferno was the best fire in a skyscraper movie. Reality outdid it when the World Trade Center came down on live TV. The real world can out-do and out-depress anything Hollywood can dish out. And this brings us to the potentially fastest disaster movies -- movies about tornadoes. Storm Cell starring Mimi Rogers is pretty much the only effort by cable to try to compete with the other two movies.
Tornado! was made back in the days when broadcast networks existed and made original movies of the week and before cable and HD and digital conversion forced by the FCC forced people to buy televisions and subscribe to "bundles of joy" because they could no longer receive broadcast stations. Viewers who used to get television for free now had to pay ridiculous sums for cable programming with far more advertising and commercials than broadcast and ridiculous sums for satellite dishes. Tornado! was the highest rated made-for-TV movie of all time (might still be). Another record Tornado! set was that it mentioned global warming as a reality that was being covered up by the politicians in Washington. Tornado! was made for FOX. Yes, you read right. FOX the official climate change denial network had a hit TV movie about climate change. This was back in 1996 before the denial psychos and the Koch Brothers' campaign to destroy the Earth had gotten into full swing. If you buy an Amazon copy of Tornado! you may see art on the package that is entirely misleading. Tornado! was released just before Twister (probably to scoop it) was released and so the art was probably altered to even resemble the artwork on the Twister video with a couple fleeing a vortex.
While Twister has one or two seconds of standard symphonic soundtrack music, most of it is rock and if Twister is a guilty pleasure, then grab your popcorn and enjoy it. Despite the reviews of the time (both movies were released in 1996), Twister had intellectual content. I know because I used to study meteorology once upon a time. Although a dozen musicians contributed songs to the score, the best moments are dominated by Van Halen. And rightly so in my opinion because if a twister is going to rock your world, then you might as well be swept away unlike Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz to some hard rock. Tornado! uses country music. Twister features a cast with big names like Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton and Philip Seymour Hoffman (before he got even more famous) and Jami Gertz (who is really more of a TV actress). With the exception of Ernie Hudson (who was in Ghostbusters), Tornado! featured mostly B-movie actors like the great Bruce Campbell. Twister is fast-paced (from the director of Speed) while Tornado! is deliberately slow-paced (despite the subject matter). The pace does not hurt either work although I found myself wishing Twister was either a half-hour longer or slowed down in some places. Twister has state-of-the-art special effects while Tornado! has almost no FX in a genre where you would expect wall-to-wall effects. Again, the effects help Twister while the restraint and modest use of them helps Tornado!
Twister has the black & white TV sets going blank but it could have done the green sky and mammatus clouds better. I have seen some really wicked-looking real cloud photographs but perhaps these were not available back in 1996. Tornado! talks about tornado alley, takes the time to explain why it is where it is, and, to its credit, shows cold weather coming from Canada and hot weather coming from the Gulf of Mexico -- with predictable results. Both movies make an effort to show the effect of these storms on ordinary people. Twister has a literally black-hatted villain whose ignore-the-needs-of-others style dooms him. Tornado! dares to have a villain who comes through to save the day when it counts. The real bad guys in Tornado! are the unseen climate change deniers. In Twister, corporations that really hate science are villains. Koch Industries, no doubt. Family in Twister is one scientist's aunt. Family in Tornado! is a college drop-out's grandfather. Family in Storm Cell is brother and sister. The sister, now an adult and a scientist, has a daughter who seems determined to get sucked up by a vortex because she refuses to acknowledge that her mother knows more about storm cells than she (a high school student) knows.
The premise in Twister is storm chasers with four meteorology packs that must be left in the path of a twister. The packs are cumbersome to deploy. The premise in Tornado! is one pack with legs that grip the ground. The premise in Storm Cell is that climate is changing so much that tornado alley moves from the Great Plains to rainy Seattle. The villain is a boy who wants to get the girl (the daughter) drunk so that he can force himself on her.
In Twister, antagonist Dr. Jonas Miller and his crew track tornadoes by using sophisticated corporate equipment, by weather satellite data, and by following the team of the protagonists. Dr. Jo Harding uses her team (who have less expensive scientific equipment and an old Doppler radar) and her estranged ex-husband Bill Harding to track tornadoes. Bill uses his senses (including a sixth sense) to sniff out tornadoes.
In Tornado!, Dr. Joe Branson uses computers and storm chaser Jake Thorne to find tornadoes but Jake's rival from childhood, Richie Cochran, is now a local weatherman on his way up to a big network job and doesn't care that the people in Tornado Alley are just road kill to Mother Nature. Richie depends upon the US Weather Bureau's Severe Storms Center to do his weather forecasting. Unlike the teams in Twister who stay on the road during tornado season, the much smaller team of Doctor Branson stays put camped out on the Thorne Ranch and leaves only when they have detected a nearby tornado. Jake Thorne uses a network of weather spotters that he calls on the phone and uses Zen to detect tornadoes. The flow of information is more from Jake to the Severe Storms Center than the other way around. Meanwhile, Jake's grandfather Ephram Thorne takes a dim view of Branson's Dottie instrument pack (to be put in a tornado's path naturally) and dresses the scientist down in his ornery way. The scientist, a guest on the ranch, lets it go good naturedly and does not argue -- a real contrast to the arguing people in Twister. Ephram Thorne hates tornadoes because one killed his wife (if I heard the dialogue correctly) and has a similar opinion of the dismal science of meteorology and says that all he needs to predict tornadoes is a barometer and the game of checkers. Nevertheless, Ephram decides that he hates tornadoes more than he hates the science of meteorology. I hope climate change deniers learn something from Grandpa Ephram other than his recipes.
In the movie Storm Cell, scientist April (played by Mimi Rogers) apparently uses a different tool than everything above to figure out that Tornado Alley itself is relocating. She uses climatology to predict climate change and global warming. Naturally everyone including her own daughter ignore her until the tornadoes start showing up in a place that usually does not have them. After that, the local TV station is only too happy to let April give public service announcements to educate their viewers.
There are a few more ways of storm tracking other than the ones listed above. There is quite a lot of tornado trivia and phenomena that all the movies ignore. I could make a whole movie out of all the stuff they missed but I will not tell you what those omissions are in case I want to write and produce said movie.
There was once talk of Twister 2 but with Michael Crichton dead, it seems unlikely to happen. I have not seen the 2011 documentary entitled Tornado Alley.
Some scenes were shot at a FOX station in Austin. The whole TV movie was shot in Texas..
Source Universal Studios Florida 042
Author Jeremy Thompson from United States of America
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Twister (1996) - Original Trailer
Movie filmed mainly in Oklahoma.
since the above article . . . - . . . tornado movies have not stopped
In fact the latest is the hilarious Sharknado which is part Jaws and part Twister. You don't need to be brain dead or living in an institution for the severely mentally challenged to enjoy this train wreck -- but it helps. Fun for the whole family. If I hear of one more twisted tornado movie (other than Metal Tornado), I swear that I will do a whole lens on wacky tobacky and twisters.
In the photo, you are struck by lightning, hit by 200 mph hail stones and sucked up by a tornado but begosh and begorrah, there is a rainbow as you die.
I will put new reviews here as soon as I see some new movies worth reviewing.
Author Brendan Brown from Edmonton, Canada
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
Comet Hartley 2
impact with Tempel 1
Sarah Connor Chronicles: The Music
There are a few things to point out about the music and its Sarah Connor Chronicles (SCC) lens and the other SCC Related Lenses.
The Music --
Bear McCreary wanted the tone of the music he composed to be consistent with Brad Fiedel's scores for Terminator one and two. Also there was at least one occasion on the show when the character was listening to music that had not yet been released in the real world. They really were time traveling. Either that or they got a demo copy (which might be the case with The Smiths). One would think that an episode taped up to a year in advance of its first airing would, if anything, be a golden oldie by the time the show featured music that should have been released long before but we all know of musicians long dead who are still releasing music. Or rather their estate is releasing material that the musician may never have wanted released in order to squeeze money out of their corpse for the greedy family they left behind. An appropriate comment for a show like SCC with a high body count.
There were themes written for Sarah, John, James Ellison, Derek, and evil terminators but none written for Cameron. Ingrates. Even musically Cameron was screwed. She got no thanks at all. But perhaps the last laugh.
The record label for the score is La La Land. La La Land is a slang term for Los Angeles. It might as well be this city of the angels because the show sends a lot of characters to the next life and (except for the Pilot in Albuquerque and a trip to Baja) the show seldom leaves Los Angeles County.
The Lens --
Sarah Connor Chronicles: The Music is probably my quietest SCC lens. This is ironic in view of the fact that it is about the sound of the show. Or to be more accurate the music of the show, which come to think of it, is mostly quiet music and seldom loud music like in the movies. Other than mentioning the Sound Department for the show, my Guide to The Sarah Connor Chronicles has not found much on sound effects for the show. Perhaps a future update.
I also express a frustration with the fans who will mix, remix and re-remix video clips from the show and combine the re-re-remix with whatever music happens to be playing in their earbuds at the time and never music really relevant to the show. I even offered to feature SCC fan music videos but no takers.
The Related Lenses --
I have attempted to plug Sarah Connor Chronicles: The Music at my more active SCC lenses using the Related Lenses tab but something in the Squidoo software simply will not save this choice. As a result I think, this lens gets little notice.
So I thought I would use part of my Easter Sunday encouraging traffic, visits, comments, likes, and email for Sarah Connor Chronicles: The Music. Please visit, like and comment. Thanks !!!
in the photo is Shirley Manson, a singer and musician of the band Garbage who played a terminatrix in the series.
Photo credit : Kristin Dos Santos
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
Guide to Motivations for Intergalactic Travel
This lens is beginning to rival the big IGT guide in size. It however, is about why anyone would want to get not just off the planet but out of the Milky Way. The original concerns how.
These are some of my non-Squidoo sites.
- Pollution: Legal Strategy & Tactics
Pollution is murder one. The punishment should fit the crime.
- The Case for a Science Party
Let';s use science to solve problems. Let's run scientists for public office.
- Analog Film: The Coming Golden Age of Cinema
Analog film is better than digital video and that is why we need to preserve the technology. The best way to preserve it is to make sure the technology stays ahead of digital and that means higher resolution through better chemistry, and and better f
Better visual quality than some earlier copies before Blu-Ray.
Real life storm chasers. They start with baby steps but by the second season, they are driving an armored car into a tornado. No joke.
"In the land of milk and honey, human breast milk is contaminated and honey bees are dying." -- Toni Roman
At present, I have lenses on several holidays. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, but am killing off Saint Patrick's Day.
I started the Christmas lens because of prompts from Squidoo itself and, at the time, I had few ideas for lenses. So I gave it a shot. Like all seasonal or holiday lenses, I suspect that they are mostly popular in the days leading up to holiday and then interest drops the day after the holiday.
The two exceptions to this are my Halloween lenses which still get visitors. The cynical Christian in me could conclude that people are attracted to evil but then I have to admit that I always enjoyed Halloween and that it is holiday that has its roots in a church holy day All Hallows Eve. That is the literal derivation of the word which was corrupted into Hallow 'evening and then e'en and then Halloween.
If you are not a Christian then getting freaked out by watching movies like The Omen or re-living a strict religious upbringing or whatever emotional and spiritual baggage; then none of this means anything to you. You may not have a soul. Or not care what happens to your soul or not care what happens when you die. Or going into oblivion from a meaningless existence may not bother you. You could be stupid. But, as I say in some of my lenses, the atheist point of view is a valid point of view. You want proof that cannot be had. You'd have to die and return from death to get that proof. The only difference between the atheist and me is that I have a different response to the same set of facts.
The agnostic point of view is also a valid one. You don't know for sure and neither do I. The only difference the agnostic and me is that I don't call myself an agnostic. All Christians have occasional doubts. The ones who say they don't are liars. The only difference between an Apostle John who never doubted and an Apostle Thomas is behavior since we don't know the thoughts of another person.
The word hallow means holy as in The Lord's Prayer "Hallowed be Thy Name" or as in hallowed ground.
Halloween is also a favorite of Wiccans as in Harry Potter and the Deathy Hallows. And I don't begrudge them party time. Where I have pause is acknowledgement that from white magic through grey magic to black magic is a spectrum and at the other end are the Satanists or devil worshippers. Some of them act worse than bad Christians complete with the lurid serial killer and psychopathic murder stuff that cable television and horror movies love. When little children and other people get killed by a mass murderer, I blame the writers of carnography and the devil worshippers for supplying the motivation and negativity. I somewhat explore this in my Abomination lens. But my lens "The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh" is just for fun. There are no religious overtone despite the presence of a vicar of Christ. However, there are political overtones in The Scarecrow's dislike of King George.
In general, the real villains in my lenses are the monsters who insist on starting wars, polluting the Earth and blocking even the smallest attempts by good people to clean up the Earth and to clean up politics.
My Thanksgiving lens, now in its second year, has gained a little holiday traffic. I intend to broaden it and that's all I will say for now. I am also engaged in a multi-year long-term process to improve my Christmas lens. I sometimes do things slowly.
It is probably too late for me to get a Martin Luther King Day lens up in time for a 2013 observance but I may have one up for 2014. It is not Kwanza nor is it a holiday just for black people. The Reverend Doctor King was about more than civil rights for Southern blacks. Little known to many is that he supported women, poor people and spoke out against the Vietnam War. And, no doubt, he had some accomplishments that I have yet to discover. So our newest national holiday deserves more than commercialism and greeting cards and MLK Day sales.
I once did a lens on dating services that got almost no traffic and so I have no interest in doing a Valentine's Day lens. My Saint Patrick's Day lens is gone for good due to lack of interest.
Don't play a game of chicken with death
Death will win. You will lose.
Unless . . . .
. . . and remember
If you are sucked into a tornado full of great white sharks, be sure to have a cranked-up chainsaw in your hands so that you can jump into a shark's mouth. After all, you never know when you might encounter Jonah or a friend also in the belly of the same shark and that running chainsaw will come in handy to cut your way out.
And then you fall a mile to the ground and die. After all, a tornado (shark or no shark) takes you way up in the air. You'd be better off hitting the ground cushioned by the shark liver oil and THEN cutting your way out.
Of course if this is a coastal city like Los Angeles, vindictive Mother Nature will probably drop you (still inside the shark) into the ocean. When you cut your way out of Jaws, you will be immediately eaten by sharks in a shark feeding frenzy. The perfect end to a perfect day.
Albert Einstein - and others
This was back in the days when scientists were respected for their hard work in lifting up humanity.
Cthulhu - (notice that he is stomping on African civilization)
Granted that Cthulhu is fantasy and the photo is of a toy action figure but today we have deniers who denigrate scientists and who want the world destroyed and who want all people dead.
I wish that I was making this stuff up but there really are sociopaths who want the world destroyed and everyone dead. They figure that the quickest way to accomplish this is to bad mouth the scientists who are trying to stop the destruction.