Alas Babylon

Alas-Babylonby Jestin Kimmet

Author: Pat Frank
Date of Publication: 1959
Genre: Apocalyptic

What is it:  This is not only one of the first apocalyptic novels of the nuclear age, but also one of its most accurate portrayals.  The story follows a lawyer who failed at being a politician who is now living off his family’s inheritance in central Florida.  His brother, a high ranking officer in the Air Force sends him a telegraph asking him to meet his wife and kids with a postscript stating “Alas, Babylon”.  This is a secret code between the two that things were going south quickly.  When Randy arrives at the air base he talks with an old friend about why there are no planes around.  The friend informs him that most of the planes are on standby due to the fact the Soviet Union are trying to take over the Mediterranean, and believe they have the nuclear advantage.  Things take a major turn for the worse when an American pilot attempts to shoot down a Soviet jet, misses, and instead strikes a Syrian harbor that was housing munitions.  Feeling as if they were hit first the nuclear war has begun.

About this book:  The thing you have to remember while reading this book is when it was written.  The portrayal of the aftermath of a nuclear attack, the steps needed to be taken, and the things to avoid were so well written that the Government asked the author to create pamphlets on what to, and not to do.  First we have the individual who was warned of an imminent attack.   His first course of action is to stock up on food and water, his misstep was not withdrawing the money from his bank account.  When the mushroom clouds start appearing his niece is blinded because she watches them.  This novel not only shows how a community could survive after this kind of event, but thrives.

5 of 5 stars if you are a fan of post-apocalyptic books this is an absolute must read.  It is slow, but it builds its characters well, and its information is top notch.  There is a warning however, this book is dated.  There are racial issues that may set some people back a bit.

five star

Serenity Leaves on the Wind TPB

If you’re waiting for more Firefly or a second Serenity, pick up these comics and get a happy dose of your favorite space western crew.

by Philip Durham

Script: Zack Whedon
Artists: Georges Jeanty, Karl Story, Laura Martin
Issues: 1-6
Publisher: Dark Horse Books
Date of Publication: January to June of 2014
Age Rating: PG13 Continue reading

Fossil Fighters Frontier

By Jestin Kimmet

Developer: Red Entertainment, Spike Chunsoft
Release Date: 3/20/2015
Rated: E 10+
Genre: RPG
System: Nintendo 3DS
Price: $29.99


What it is:  In the game you play a young individual undergoing a test to see if you can become a Warden.  It’s the Wardens job to police the worlds fossil parks, and that job is necessary due to cloning.  Not only will you be fighting other ‘trainers’, but rogue Vivosaurs that people have released onto the land.  In this world people go to fossil parks to dig up… fossils, and clone what they call Vivosaurs.  All fossils are broken into four groups, and each unearthed fossil adds a new skill to the Vivosaur you cloned that it fits. The game breaks into a collection of mini games as follows. Continue reading

Oh No Ross and Carrie

by John Quiett

Host: Ross Blotcher and Carrie Poppy
Category: Skeptic examination of  Fringe Scientific and Paranormal stories
Runtime: About an hour, but it varies.

Have you ever wondered what touring a haunted ship would be like? Or What it means to be a practitioner of the Christian Science religion? How about that age old question of “Does a voice polygraph work?” And what role does goat seamen play in any of this? Continue reading to find out!

So, that last bit about goat seamen, that was what we, in the Internet age,call ‘link baiting’. A practice of putting compelling links and tags in the opening of an article to get you to click the link and keep reading. It drives up our numbers and makes the site owners look better, but often times has nothing to do with the what you hoped the link would show you. In this instance that is pretty much true. But (and there is always a ‘but’) this time it has a little bit to do with the reason you clicked the link I hope.

Goat semen is a reference made by the hosts of Oh No, Ross and Carrie in nearly every episode they put out. It is used as part of the extreme end of one of the scales they use to illustrate the plausibility of some sort of claim made by fringe science, religious or paranormal “authorities”. Making sense? No, well let me start at the beginning…

Ross Blotcher and Carry Poppy are two journalists who live in Las Angeles and they have made it their mission to investigate pseudo scientific claims and paranormal occurrences and beliefs so that we, the average Internet Age podcast listener don’t have to. Their approach is always one of the skeptical observer but they always attempt to go into an investigation with an open mind. They also employ the scientific method whenever possible. I would compare their antics as a ranging between X-Files characters Scully and Mulder, that is ‘scientifically skeptic’ to ‘wanting to believe’ but with the added bonus of being able to laugh and have a good time as they investigate.

The audio and quality of production are top notch. The only issues I’ve noticed come up when they attempt to do secret recordings or talk with someone outside the studio. Then occasionally they run into technology issues they just can’t get around. But it never amounts to anything more than audio interference on a phone line or a quiet speaker in a large room. The actual important discussion elements have thus far been top notch.

The biggest criticisms I can level on this show are the infrequency of shows. Now I understand it is the nature of this style of investigation. It takes time to find a topic worthy of talking about. Getting to the heart of the matter and seeing it from the insider’s perspective is important. But I sometimes forget about this show in the slew of other shows I listen to and the new ones get skipped while I listen to my more regular. The other thing I should mention about this show is that it the hosts can come across as mocking of some of the religious beliefs and practices they investigate. Not always, but sometimes. I feel like if you were a believer in whatever topic Ross and Carry are looking into, you may come away feeling a little bit insulted, but the hosts never mean to.

All in all it is a very good show that I would recommend everyone check out. There has to be some topic they have covered that you find interesting.

4.5 out of 5


Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc

by Jestin Kimmet

Release Date: October 10/2013
Writer: Spike Chunsoft
Genre:  Visual Novel
Platform: PlayStation Vita

What is it:  Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is a visual novel currently only release on the PS Vita.  With a release on the iOS in Japan we may soon be able to enjoy this novel on a more accessible platform. Continue reading


by Philip Durham

Genre and Type: Action Movie
Stars: Chris Evans, Ed Harris, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton
Director: Bong Joon Ho
Writer: Bong Joon Ho
Runtime: 126 Minutes
Release Date: July 11th, 2014

Snowpiercer is set in a world where in humanity’s attempt to counteract global warming, a chemical is released into the atmosphere.  This has the unintended result of causing the entire earth to freeze.  The story presented leads you to believe that one man (Wilford, played by Ed Harris) had the foresight to see this outcome and also manages to build a train that somehow creates perpetual motion with sufficient remaining energy to keep its occupants alive.

After setting aside any scientific disbelief, it is made clear that there are three classes of occupants.  First class passengers who live in luxury, economy passengers who are afford reasonable living conditions, and freeloaders who live in packed together in filthy conditions with no rights or freedoms.  The focus is on the character of Curtis (played by Chris Evans).  He leads a revolt of his fellow freeloaders on a trek to the engine room of the train to confront Wilford.

The film alternates, with good pacing, between action sequences where the freeloaders fight their way forward, and more expository scenes that first set the stage and then examine what sacrifices might be necessary to keep a closed system like this train rolling along on.

Overall the movie seems to be heavy handed in some spots in the point is trying to make, but other times the message isn’t clear it all.  I think perhaps they tried a bit too hard to  make it both a fun action movie, but also one that challenges the viewer to think about situations or issues in a larger sense than the artificially crafted ones in the film.  Though it was still entertaining.

3 out of 5 stars