Inspirational Theories: How Ayn met your mother

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I just finished reading The Fountainhead, which is one of the fictional books in which Ayn Rand lays out her philosophy of Objectivism.

 

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This philosophy has since inspired many a writer. For example Ken Levine who founded a city under the sea to the glory of man.

However the thought struck me, that another famous work also is inspired by her. You think I’m messing with you? Let’s look at what we have.

 

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The Fountainhead follows a young blonde architect. Living in New York.

 

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Columns mean a big deal to him.

 

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His first boss quits due to substance abuse.

 

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Following his first job, he tries to set up an architectural firm on his own. He is considered for many commissions.

 

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But the board always picks someone else.

 

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He has a friend, Peter Keating, that advances in his career doing seemingly nothing.

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He meets a woman, Dominique Francon, who also is a fan of architecture.

 

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Who has to oppose him in everything to show how much she loves him.

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She is married to a rich man with a yacht.

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 He goes sailing with her husband.

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And finally, he blows up a building.

 

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And steals the rich mans wife.

 

Pretty much the same story in my eyes. Also New York is frequently lifted up as the greatest city on earth throughout both stories. This is Z4 and Inspirational Theories, pulling similarities out of context since forever.

Is this how Ayn met your mother?

– Ken

 

Doctor Who

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I’d put off this science fiction series for a while. It got a lot of buzz about two or three years ago on the internet and has had various criticisms, positive or negative since it came on to my radar. A couple of weeks ago I decided that I would watch one episode per day to be caught up with the modern series for its 50th anniversary, here’s how that went.

So Doctor Who for you that don’t know is a long-lasting British science-fiction adventure series about an alien who can travel in time and space. The series began in the 60’s and has since then gone on to produce 33 seasons and one made for TV movie. The series original run ended with its 26th season in 1989 but had a reboot in 2006 and has since risen in popularity outside of the United Kingdoms.

ecclestonRight now the modern rebooted series has just ended its seventh season and has been through some turmoil as the actor who portrayed the doctor has left the show. The relation between the Doctor and his actor can be likened to the British action-franchise James Bond. As the series has been on air for so long there was a need to have different actors play the Doctor, of which there’s been eleven so far.gaarsdids

This was not the first time I’d tried to get into the show, this wasn’t even the second time. This was my third attainment to watch the series and before I’d been put of by its low-budget production and childish logic but this time I was going to set aside all of this to see why it had gained such high notice. Earlier attainment hadn’t even gotten me through the first season, and this time I manage to get twenty episodes into the series before falling out of interest with it.

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The point at which I had to give up on the series was rather recent. I’d fallen out of interest with the show and had started to watch it less frequently. I could see it sitting there and thinking “nah, not right now I’m not in the mood”. Then I was listening to the Rum Doings podcast talking about the series. They were discussing an episode and criticizing its stupid logic and likened it to a children’s television series. And all I could think was “Yes, its stupid but didn’t we know that already. Weren’t we investing our time into that kind of show knowingly?”, and to have that thought in my mind really shed a light on why it was that I watched Doctor Who.

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My guess for why this series has gained such great reputation is because of its ridiculousness. Its illogical childish adventure and happy feel. Some would probably feel that this series has something greater to offer than what I can recognize, but then again there’s always someone out there willing to defend anything. And I’m not going to criticize it too much, most people who like the show probably like it because of its ridiculous illogical childish adventure.

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Orphan Black

Its been four days since I finished watching the incredible TV-series Orphan Black, that’s the same amount of time it took for me to go through the series itself. The TV landscape is filled with science fiction programs, everything from Under the Dome, Falling Skies, Defiance, and although I like science fiction I’m not all that in love with these shows. After Fringe left the air there haven’t really been anything all to exciting. But now that Orphan Black has come along I have something to replace the void Fringe left behind it.orphan_black_xlg

The series starts up with Sarah, a british living in America small-time con artist, trying to get enough money together so that she can start a new life with her daughter. She haven’t been able to see her daughter for close to a year and have her live with Sarah’s foster-mother Mrs S. When a woman who looks like Sarah commits suicide in front of her she steals her purse. She uses the woman’s death to her advantage having her brother Fee go and identify the unknown corpse as Sarah Manning. In the mean time Sarah tries her best to impersonate her american look-alike Elizabeth Childs for a con to empty her savings account. Everything gets out of control from her as “Beth” turns out to be a cop and one of Sarah’s many clone sisters, who are trying to work out who created them and at the same time there’s someone hunting and killing them as well.

From its great writing to the actors this show’s so brilliant. A story, be it for TV or feature film including a cast of clones might be a timthumbproblem but here it works really well and Tatiana Maslany goes a great work making them all seem like different characters. Of course this is made easier by having them all be such extremes, we have the alternative science major Sarah, suburban soccer mom Sarah and German Sarah. But they all seem like distinct characters and I didn’t doubt it for one second.

Even though it’s about cloning and other fringe science subjects it never feels as dumbed down as you might suspect a science-fiction TV-show to be. There are no stupid scenes where it’s explained to us what cloning is, well there is but it doesn’t feel stupid. There are no scenes like the terraforming explanations from Man of Steel. The world feels well-thought out and explained, and when something ridicules happens its well done and the tone the show has doesn’t hinder it from going to these places. It does a good job of melding mystery and science fiction with funny moments that releases you of all the tension which comes with them unknown serial murders.

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The show ended more than a month ago and I know I’m a bit late to the party but I really like this show and needed to get a post out about it. If you like science-fiction or just great tv in general I think you should give this a chance. There will also be a second season airing next year, which is a relief as I want cloning mysteries with Sarah Manning.

Under the Dome

Based on the Stephen King’s 2009 book Under the Dome is a TV-show about a small town getting trapped inside a large dome. If you haven’t read Stephen King’s book this was also the premise for Simpsons: The Movie. The series had its premiere June 24th and I’ve now seen the two first episodes.

The concept sounded good enough, not overly interesting but it surely is a cool thing to see people get trapped under a huge dome. It’s Under_the_Dome_title_screena curtain nostalgic 60’s science-fiction feel to it I think, an unknown round glass object trapping a small town. In a year where all I want is the Breaking Bad finale I don’t have such a good oversight over what new TV-series will be airing this year. Under the Dome is the only new series I knew of before hand, and that’s mostly because it’s based on a novel from the famous author.

It’s been developed by Brian K. Vaughan who’s comic book series Saga I’ve written about earlier, he’s also written the notable Y: The Last Man and was a writer and a producer during Lost’s later seasons. The series is also being produced by the famous movie director Steven Spielberg, what this essentially means and what his involvement  in the project is I don’t know. His name might just be on the screen as an endorsement of some sort.

under_the_dome_2_0This show is very uneven (Stephen and Steven made something uneven), and I think this is all due to the two main characters. One a bad-boy who starts this series of by burying a corpse and the other a good through and through journalist who’s husband’s missing (this can’t be good). They feel flat and really TV-esque, if that doesn’t make any sense let me elaborate, they seem to be two people who we are made because we have to have someone to cheer for. This is of course often the case in stories though these characters should never feel so construed. They are two very pretty people who have great leader skills and who everyone listens to without any hesitation.

If I may compare this with an other science-fiction show where people got trapped due to unknown circumstances, Lost. In Lost a plane crashes on a desert island and a doctor named Jack takes it on himself to lead the crash victims. At least here people didn’t know each other and Jack stood out as he, as a trained doctor had useful knowledge. In Under the Dome it’s a small town with its own history and established relationships. Why would they listen to some out-of-town punk? Then there’s the good through and through journalist who takes in this handsome stranger to stay in her house. Besides these two I quite like the show, it’s not a perfect show by any means.

Pilot

The characters in this series which stand out to me are Natalie Martinez who plays a cop (is seen trying to communicate with her boyfriend in the picture above) whose partner played by Jeff Fahey dies after touching the dome. And as his dying he tries to tell her a secret though fails to do so. Dean Norris who’s most known as Hank in Breaking Bad here plays James “Big Jim” Rennie, a politician and second-hand car dealership owner. He’s a two-faced character who to the public puts on a friendly face but then seems to secretly be dealing in some shady business.

Lastly I would just like to point-out how many people there was standing, having picnic or doing choirs just were the dome fell down. That people walk straight into it I can get but all the people whose limbs got chopped seems like a weird coincident. No one needs to see a cow get sliced in half like if it was a picture from some science textbook.

So to close this little review I’m probably going to continue watching, the good out-weights the bad here I think. I’ll be groaning a lot for sure but I don’t think anyone died of that yet. And I can always tweet a snarky comment if groaning doesn’t help.

Maron S01

Maron is a show which just ended its first season with a double episodes yesterday. It’s a show about an aging comedian who hasn’t come as far as he would have liked in his career and starts doing an interview podcast in his garage. It’s based on stand-up comedians MM_Seth_Olenick_5own life to some extent, bringing up the same themes as he does in his stand-up routine. Themes of relationships, un-achieved dreams, being an ex-drug addict, twitter and some general complaints about our modern society.

The first season has been pretty hit or miss throughout with episodes ranging from bad to genius. I hoped along the way that it would have a steady climb, maybe as the writing got a little better and the TV-show could grow and find its comfort zone. It did get better over time but still there were some bumps along the way. And great performances from Nora Zehetner playing his stalker/girlfriend and Judd Hirsch in the role of Marc’s father. There were also some episode-long appearances from actors like Danny Trejo and Gina Gershon, which both were pretty great, and their episodes were two of the highlights of this season. As well as some cameos by stand-ups and/or celebrities featured during the shows podcasting sequences.

I’m a fan of Marc Maron’s actual real life podcast, WTF with Marc Maron and during a summer when we wouldn’t get any new episodes from everybody’s favorite comedian Louie CK’s comedy series Louie, I thought that Maron would neatly be taking its place. Although the expectation of Maron living up to the brilliant show (and probably my personal favorite airing TV-series) that is Louie wasn’t all too fair, it did a good enough job in its place.

I especially want to recommend the penultimate episode as I thought it’s up there being on of the greatest TV-episodes of all time. If you’ve read so far and haven’t found this shows topics all that interesting so far I think you should at least check this episode out as I think it would work great just on its own.

The episode is named ‘Projections’ and is essentially about Maron having dinner with an old friend who’s gotten more success in life than himself. Meanwhile he’s projecting himself on to other people in the resturant dreaming about how his life could have been had he chosen to live another life. Of course this being Marc Maron the experience doesn’t end up being all to positive for him.

His podcast WTF with Marc Maron, http://www.wtfpod.com/, just reached its 400th episode. In it Marc interviews (shirt-less) punk-rock legend Iggy Pop about his life and career. If you listen to podcasts you probably already knew how great WTF is but for everyone else it’s certainly a recommendation.

Bobo’s x3 13/02/08

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Well hellloooo! La, la,la! (start it off with an Seinfeld-reference, they’ll get it)

So here we go with three new entertainment-thingies. We’ve got everything you need, your romance story, your claustrophobia, your monsters. Come up come up, don’t be shy and read through this weeks post of ‘Bobo’s x3’!

Paperman is an Academy-awards nominated silent black-and-white animated short-film from Disney. It was shown in theaters in front of Disney’s Wreck-It-Ralph, but can now be found on the internet. The animation is based on a new technique called Meander. It combines hand-drawn animation with CG-animation. How? I don’t know, sorry. But what I do know is that I like it, a-whole-lot.paperman-post

The story centers around a young man who one day has an encounter with a cute woman. They share a moment while waiting for the train. But with an blick of the eye she jumps on her train and our hero is left alone on the platform. He then later sees her from his office window and tries to get incontact with her again.
It’s a film about not giving up to easily while trying to get romance.

John Karhn, the director of Paperman, says in a video that the inspiration for this short-film came from when he took the train to work every morning. And that there sometimes would appear a woman with whom he got some sort of connection with. But who then would get lost in the chaos of the morning subway traffic.

You can see Paperman for yourself over at Youtube.

Prison Architect is an upcoming prison-management game from Introversion software, who has previously made such low-budget indie games as Uplink, Darwinia and DEFCON. It’s in alpha right now, but was made available to the public back in September. You will have to pay to get access to it though, 30$ will get you into the alpha and you’ll also get the full version later when it gets released and “if we’re lucky enough to get on Steam we’ll also give you a steam key”. So it was not the final version of the product that I played, and changes will probably be made to it as time goes on.

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I’ve had some experience with these kind of games before. It reminded me of Simcity but mainly of a game I used to play a bunch as a child, Theme Park. In a, some-what amusing, video that the developers has released they jokingly call it the world’s first “lock-em up” and that it was inspired by Theme Hospital, Dungeon Crawler and Dwarf Fortress.

You are in charge of a prison. It’s up to you to construct all of the buildings and rooms, hire all the staff and keep all the prisoners locked-up. You can also hire a psychologist to get inside the minds of you’re inmates and see what kind of needs they all have, and choose whether you’d like to fulfill those needs or not.

This game has quite a steep learning-curve, or rather a lack of guidance. It opens up with a tutorial where you learn a lot of the basics like constructing buildings and installing electricity. And about what defines a specific room. But then when you are suppose to start you’re own prison it (at least it did for me) can feel a bit stressful to go from the tutorials pre-built prison to you’re own blank slate.

I had to figure most of the game out on my own by clicking through all of the menus and just by doing. My brother also played the game the same time as I did and having someone to exchange experiences with really helped.
Just the fact that you can have some money-support in the beginning if you choose to meet certain standards, is a huge leg up. And it’s never presented to you in any effective way.

In my experience while playing this game prisoners fight A LOT. Almost all the time. And when you haven’t even built an infirmary or hired any nurses yet all of the staff and the prisoners will all just go around injoured or just stand there uncountious. This game, just like Theme Park, is fun just to watch. It’s like you an ant-farm but with violence. And the very basic art-style adds a lot of charm too.

So if you’ve got an itch only a lock-em up prison management game like prison architect can scratch then maybe get it early and have that itch scratched right now. Or just wait until the game gets an official release. It will probably take a while but then you’ll at least know what it is that you’re getting.

Fringe is an science-fiction police drama. It follows a small unknown branch of the Homeland Security that specializes in cases having to do with fringe-science. These can be cases involving a human mutated into some weird transhuman being, attacks from a parallel universe or a character with the ability to foresee peoples deaths.full-image_10

This x-files resembling show started its first season in 2008. Being produced and created by J. J. Abrams who at the time was the genius behind the hit TV-show Lost and who you might know is the director for the next Star Wars movie.

I started watching the series the summer before the premier of it’s third season. The first two seasons were a fun procedural-series that would often times cause me to eject an audible gasp. It has always had a huge on-going story-arc with some smaller arcs to keep you entertained during the long trip. But after the second season the series changed into more of an serialized-format and picked up some great momentum story-wise and offered it’s two greatest seasons thereafter.

The series aired it’s final episode just a couple of weeks ago and during it’s five seasons this series has given it’s fair share of great character developments, oh-shit moments, playful stand-alone episodes, different title-screen variations and fun twists on scientific theories. The greatness of the show lies in the contrast between monster of the week and characters with great depth and interesting backgrounds. And it was with teary eyes that I watched the finally, and I will always remember Fringe as one of the greatest.

Please, if you like science-fiction then give it a chance!

Yeah so that’s that then chaps!

Ha en bra dag!
/Bobo