Welcome to the realm of Meta-Earth–homepage of Mark William Chase–writer, programmer, and creator of the World of Mythania.
On Friday, December 22nd, 2017, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenburg Air Force base, near Los Angeles, at around about 5:30 PST (around sunset). This was nothing unusual, but what was usual was the atmospheric conditions, and the fact that the rocket’s contrail caught the sunlight at a high altitude in the ionosphere, resulting in this spectacular display!
Seen by tens of thousands of people, it is not surprising that many imagined everything from a UFO flyby, to an alien invasion, to the beginning of World War III. LA’s 911 system was flooded with calls, media announcements went out to allay concerns, and LA’s mayor even had to make a statement. There was also at least one traffic accident involving 3 cars caused by distracted drivers witnessing the event on the LA freeway.
This is my quick review of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”. A quick review because I don’t have time to do a longer one, and more importantly, to keep things spoiler free.
In short, despite all the mixed reviews out there, my opinion is that “The Last Jedi” ranks right up there at the top of Star Wars films, on par with “A New Hope,” “The Empire Strikes Back,” and “Rogue One.” It’s far better than all the prequels (I don’t consider “Rogue One” a prequel) and it’s also better than “The Force Awakes.” It might even be better than “Return of the Jedi.” I think I’ll need to watch it a few dozen times to decide on that one.
Ignore whatever the naysayers are saying. Naysayers are going to say nay.
Turn your volume up as far as you can stand and get ready to place this absolutely awesome music video tribute to the MCU. It’s made all the more awesome by Queen’s “We Will Rock You!” If you’re not already excited about the upcoming “Infinity War” movie, I think this will certainly do the trick.
The Avengers: Infinity War trailer has just come out! Everything in the Marvel Universe line up has been building to this, from the Iron Man movies, to Thor, Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and the other Avenger movies, comes the final battle against the arch-villain of the universe, Thanos.
My steampunk fantasy short story, The Clockwork Horseman, is published and available now on both Amazon and Lulu and it can be found in the anthology Devil’s Armory III. Alas, there does not appear to be an e-book version! Oh well. The story will one day be available in e-book form whenever I compile and release my collected short stories.
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” trailer is out! And wow… It’s a doozy.
There as also a good trailer breakdown and analysis on ScreenRant.com, and SyFy.com has one as well.
Launched in 1997 and arriving at Saturn in 2004, the Cassini-Huygens mission was a phenomenal success, lasting some 10 years beyond its initial 3 year mission. The spacecraft gave us thousands of pictures of Saturn, gigabytes of scientific data, and launched the Huygens probe into Titan, giving never-before-seen footage of the mysterious methane-shrouded moon. And Cassini also discovered the geysers of the moon Enceladus, which may mean it has a liquid water ocean beneath it’s icy crust.
But today, September 15th, 2017, we say farewell to Cassini. Her last few orbits brought her closer and closer to Saturn, until finally she hit the atmosphere at nearly 70,000 miles per hour and was, well, destroyed. This was done to prevent the dead spacecraft from hitting either Titan or Enceladus and introducing possible biological contamination (however unlikely) to the moons that could (also however unlikely) harbor life.
To read more about Cassini’s Grand Finale check out the article at Space.com, and for all the information you could possibly want about the Cassini mission, check out the Cassini JPL page. And don’t miss Cassini’s Hall of Fame picture gallery!
DragonCon 2017 was the biggest DragonCon ever, with some 82,000 to 85,000 people attending! My wife went to some of the bigger media panels, but I stayed away, sticking mostly to the Science and Space tracks with some excursions to the Sci-Fi Literature track, Star Wars track, and the Writing track. But I did get to see Larry Niven, so that was cool! I didn’t get to see Stan Lee, mainly because I didn’t want to stand in a 3 to 4-hour line…
While I do have a lot of pictures, I don’t have time to go through them all, so I’ll just leave one picture here showing the crowd at the Hilton (it was nothing compared to the crowd at the Hyatt or the Marriott, but I couldn’t get a good crowd-shot picture there).
Monday, August 21st, 2017, will mark the first total eclipse to span the entire United States since 1918! That’s a pretty big deal, and if both traffic and the weather cooperate, my family and I will hopeful be in the direct path of totality to see it.
SpaceX has just launched its 12th resupply mission to the International Space Station, and has succeeded in its second landing of its stage 1 one Falcon 9 rocket on solid ground (instead of a barge at sea)! This is great news, as the better they get at landing their rockets (and assuming they can be refurbished and reused) the lower the cost of launching into space will be.
See below for the full launch and landing webcast, or checkout this article on Space.com for more details!