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Eoghann Irving
Works at Northrop Grumman
Attended University of Edinburgh
Lives in Charles Town, WV
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Eoghann Irving

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While I'm a bit dubious about the return of the X-Files (lightning in a bottle etc.) I'm interested enough that I'm thinking of doing some re-watching. I did love the early seasons of the series before it disappeared up its own asshole.

But I'm not up to watching 9 seasons when there are so many really crappy episodes along the way. This list by Chris Carter seems like a good starting point, but I'm thinking he missed out some strong ones from seasons 1 & 2 at least.
When the X-Files returns as a six-episode event series next year, the good news is it will appeal to both old fans and newbies to the show. In...
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I've been rewatching Season 1, and just finished last week. I can't remember where the first movie came in though, between seasons.
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I am so not a "maker". I look at this list and just ask, why would I bother?
The Raspberry Pi is a great little machine—it's very affordable, highly portable, and user-friendly. But when you first get one, it can be a challenge to figure out which projects you should take on first. These 10 Raspberry Pi projects for beginners are great for getting an introduction to the hardware and software capabilities of…
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The things on this list might not apply to me, but then I'm not exactly a beginner. I don't think the point is whether or not you've done something for - maker culture is about a mindset, one not everyone has to have, that you in some measure increase your own level of self-reliance by doing things for yourself that yes, you could just as well pay someone else to do. You do it for the joy of the thing, because making things with your own hands is satisfying. It's about the journey, not just the destination.

But I also make my own furniture, so it's possible I'm just drunk on my own power.
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Kingdom Clash Forge of Empires Rush Saga!

The name of games in the Google Play story is a little on the predictable side isn't it?
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+Richard Kendrick For Google Play developers success means having your app found towards the top of search results for common terms and the go-to technique is to rely on keywords
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Star Wars Is Not Its Own Genre

Sorry but Lawrence Kasdan is wrong on this one. While Star Wars is certainly a definition point in popular culture it is far from the first science fantasy story and thus not its own genre.

I do, however, agree with his larger point that genres are just containers for stories.
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What is the Point of this Shit?

So I was sort of aware there was a thing on YouTube where people posted videos tearing down movies, but I wasn't aware of the scale of it until recently. My son just listened to one where some guy is doing a scene by scene commentary on Pokemon...

Everyone makes mocking comments about things they are watching, but there is a difference I think between saying something to your friends while you watch and recording a scene by scene video. There's no insight being provided here, it's a succession of cheap shots

Basically it just seems to pander to the poster's ego and feed the dubious notion that "I could do this so much better" (and yet you haven't and won't).
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It's a well known psychological trait. David Mamet describes it rather colorful:
The anti-­Stratfordians hold that Shakespeare didn’t write Shakespeare’s plays— it was another fellow of the same name, or of a different name. In this they invert the megalomaniacal equation and make themselves not the elect, but the superior of the elect. Barred from composing Shakespeare’s plays by a regrettable temporal accident, they, in the fantasy of most every editor, accept the mantle of primum mobile, consign the (falsely named) creator to oblivion, and turn to the adulation of the crowd for their deed of discovery and insight— so much more thoughtful and intellectual than the necessarily sloppy work of the writer.
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The Shannara Chronicles Title Sequence

Admittedly by modern standards the Shannara books are quite derivative, but I have a soft spot for them so I'm looking forward to MTVs adaptation. And if you've seen the trailer you'll know that MTV seem to be putting real effort into it.

While the early Shannara stories are in a classic high fantasy sorta medieval setting, it's established early on that this is a world many years after some sort of apocalypse.

Which probably explains the, quite beautiful, title sequence that MTV have chosen.
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it's been many years since I've read the Shannara stories. perhaps it's time to revisit them? What a great video.
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The Expanse S01E01 - Dulcinea -

Those of you lamenting the lack of space based science fiction on tv should be very pleased about SyFy's latest series The Expanse which is adapted from a series of books by James S. A. Corey (actually a pen name for Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) because we're firmly in Space Opera territory here. While the story is set within our solar system we're looking at a (partially) terraformed Mars and assorted space stations.

The reason you don't see shows like this on TV very much is that even with modern CGI, doing them convincingly is expensive. People have become so used to movie style special effects that they are not at all forgiving of less convincing ones. Which is probably why SyFy is only giving us ten episodes in this first season.

It's also why, if you don't watch it, they won't do a second season. They've clearly put more budget behind it than most of their shows and the fact that they've done this early online release of the first episode (ahead of the actual December 14th premiere) shows that they've making an effort with this one.

So What's It All About?

Having read all the books in the series so far (five and counting) it's about a lot, but let's stick to the basics. It's set 200 years in the future and follows two primary plot threads: Detective Miller (Thomas Jayne) on Ceres Station as he tries to track down missing heiress Julie Mau and newly appointed XO Jim Holden (Steven Strait) on board the ice hauler Canterbury as they intercept a distress signal from another ship. Suffice to say things end up much more complicated than either one expects. Based on just this first episode it seems their going to stay fairly close to the plot of the first book.

This is space opera with a gritty coating. No phasers or teleporters. People have to do things the slow, difficult way. Even accelerating the ships requires the crew to be injected with a cocktail of drugs so they can survive. Belters, those who are born and work on the space stations in the asteroid belt have a different physiology as a result of spending all their time in zero-g and there are tensions between Earth, Mars and the belt.

It's Like Now, Only in the Future!

One of the things that science fiction can do is take current situations and examine them through the lens of the future. The tensions between the planets and the belters falls into that category. There's even a militant terrorist organization in the form of the OPA (Outer Planets Alliance). On the surface this may sound similar to series like Dark Matter or Killjoys but it wont (just) be about greedy corporations and there's a lot more depth to the politics and realpolitik of The Expanse.

I've seen some comments that the belters don't look very different to earthers in the pilot. Well, to be fair, they can only cast from earth born humans so that is a limitation. But in the first episode it was noticeable that they were picking tall and skinny actors as much as possible to try and emphasize the physical differences. They also didn't back away from belter slang which can make it challenging to follow some of the dialogue, at least until you start to recognize words and accents.

As you might expect from a space station the cast are about as diverse as you'll see anywhere on tv both in skin tones and accents. I find that quite refreshing and as far as I can tell it's mostly consistent with the books. I must admit I never bother picturing characters when I read about them so I don't have a "visual" to contradict except perhaps that I thought Miller was older.

Special and Not So Special Effects

This is a tv series not a $200 million movie. So if you're looking for effects on par with Interstellar or Star Wars: The Force Awakens you will be disappointed. They do, however, range from passable to good. There's a few iffy zero gravity scenes (particularly the sex scene) but for the most part they don't intrude on your enjoyment of the episode and in places they do evoke that all important sensawunda.

The sets are good, being suitably dirty and claustrophobic or impressively large depending on where the characters are. They feel real, even when they are not. If you remember Babylon 5 fondly, I think you will be impressed by how far TV space stations have come.

The other thing worth noting is the camera which floats and spins around, perfectly emphasizing the zero-g nature of the environments or zooms in uncomfortably close to the characters faces, forcing you to feel their claustrophobia. It adds a lot to the atmosphere of the show.

It's a Matter of Character

Right now, going only from what has aired I think the characters are the weakest part of The Expanse. With the advantage of knowing what is to come, I fully expect that to change.

The actors seem at least solid in their roles but most of them haven't really had much screen time yet. Basically if you're not Holden or Miller you've only got to say a few lines if anything. And even those two feel pretty cliched. Yup, it's a cynical and world weary detective, whose ever seen one of those before!

All I can really say is give it time. Those characters will get deeper as the story unravels. There's a certain pulp feel to the source material but they are far more than the one note they've had a chance to play so far.

Should I Watch This?

If you like space based scifi then yes you absolutely should watch this. The show is not without flaws, but it has enormous potential and I enjoyed it.
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I guess that depends on whether it was shot on film or video. Star Trek looks better in HD. 
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Eoghann Irving

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The Doors of Durin by PumpkinZukinnee -

Apparently these are done in fluorescent paint so they glow in the dark. Let us hope that the watcher in the water still sleeps.
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Leonardo DaVinci Ornithopter Wood Model -

Da Vinci was very interested in flight and came up with several potential designs. The ornithopter is one of them and has been lovingly recreated in this wooden model that you can buy and assemble.
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LEGO Doctor Who - Tomb of the Cybermen -

How about this for cool? Jared has recreated the tombs on Telos from the classic Patrick Troughton episode The Tomb of the Cybermen. If you follow the link there's are other photos showing more of the detail in the build, but I picked this one for the atmospheric lighting.
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wat is dit ????????????????????
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Just watched the first episode of The Expanse. Pretty good, probably deserves a full review.
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I particularly liked the books and was impressed with the pilot episode. I just don't like waiting 4 weeks for the next one!
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Have him in circles
152,164 people
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Subcontract Administrator
  • Northrop Grumman
    Subcontract Administrator, 2012 - present
  • Aero International Inc
    Director of Operations, 2010 - 2012
  • Aero International Inc
    Business Unit Manager, 2004 - 2010
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Charles Town, WV
Gifford, Scotland - Glasgow, Scotland - Edinburgh, Scotland
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How do I...
It's a Gaelic spelling of Ewan. Phonetically you would say you-an.

Born in Scotland, living in the United States. Two sons. One wife. Two sisters. I have opinions on everything and a store of largely useless knowledge that I like to share with as many people as possible.

If there's a social network site, I've probably signed up and used it. If it's a software, I've installed it. Jack of many trades. Master of few.

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Mostly you're going to see links to news items for Science Fiction and Fantasy movies, tv etc. Some reviews from my blog. Photos I've taken (always looking for feedback). Plus some general tech news.

Amongst those there may be some quick status posts of what I'm up to, or maybe some thoughts on G+ and social networking in general.

I do occasionally post "political" links, but I have no interest in left/right  democrat/republican/libertarian political discussions. Similarly I only discuss religious matters with close friends. I consider that a personal matter.

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I don't intend this to be a work driven account particularly, but just to make my profile comprehensive. I have worked in a number of different fields:
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As a result I have a wide range of skills that can be applied to many different situations.

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Good kind of weirdo and freak - Krystal Heather 9/29/11, Three versions of awesome - Marc Jansen 10/12/11, You are officially awesome - Antimony L. 11/12/11, Is generally a bad influence on me - Steven Spence 2/07/12, A hemi-demi-semi-God! - Ted Ewen 2/17/12
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Having twins makes for challenging birthdays. So this year we decided to take advantage of one of the birthday packages that Pump It Up offers and the experience was great. For those who aren't familiar they're an indoor kids activity playground (bouncy slides, bouncy obstacle courses, bouncy bouncers!). We got a 90 minute package for 15 kids and pretty much the only thing we had to do was bring the cake (or cupcakes in our case). The friendly staff helped us bring the cupcakes in from the car and helped keep the boys occupied since we arrived a good 20 minutes early. When our timeslot came, not all of the guests had arrived, but we were able to go in and spend the time with the boys while the staff again handled the later arrivals, right down to making sure the presents were taken care of. We chose a Superhero theme package so the boys got to pick their superhero names and engage in some other games. Of course all the equipment was popular. One of my sons has aspergers and when the excitement got to much and he had a melt down, the staff handled it wonderfully. They stayed calm, checked with us to see if we needed any help and made sure that we felt no pressure. Basically he was able to expend his tantrum in the safety of one of the pieces of equipment and once he was back in control, out he came to join the rest of the group. The last half hour of the party was in one of their party rooms where two blow-up "thrones" had been set up for the birthday boys to sit in (wearing capes, masks and blow up crowns no less). This was popular of course. And once again we didn't have to do anything. The staff set out the food, made sure the kids had what they need and tidied up afterwards. All in all a great party for the boys and their friends and no stress for us.
• • •
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Food: ExcellentDecor: Very GoodService: Very Good
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
No frills service and food. Good value and large portions.
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
28 reviews
I've always liked this park for its size and variety. But since the county took it over there's been a significant improvement in the play areas for children with all new equipment installed.
Appeal: Very GoodFacilities: GoodService: Good
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Great theater. Comfortable seats, lots of leg room, easy to see over the other customers. Food is decent. Ticket prices are surprisingly low.
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago