All posts by Shadow Squadron

About Shadow Squadron

Hey! I'm a Star Wars fan. I like rock music. I play electric guitar. I write a blog That's all.

Avengers: Infinity War Trailer Breakdown

The new trailer for Infinity war was out this week, and people liked it. And they should. In a single movie, Marvel brings together every hero in the cinematic universe and pits them against the most powerful Marvel villain so far and his army of aliens. Here’s the trailer, in case you haven’t seen it:

The truth is, there is so much to in this trailer that there is no way I can mention everything in one post. But I can try.

Screen Shot 2017-11-29 at 6.22.30 PM

Strange is back, and he’s bringing his friends. Dr. Strange has been a bit of an oddball so far. He is far more powerful than just about any Avenger, and even with his cameo in Thor: Ragnarok he was held back and mysterious. Maybe that will change now that he is fighting alongside the “mainstream” Avengers.

Screen Shot 2017-11-29 at 7.55.58 PM

It appears Vision has found a way to give himself synthetic skin. It will be interesting to see if it is a disguise, a human form, or a transfer of consciousness. Either way, an android becoming a human is pretty damn cool.

Screen Shot 2017-11-29 at 6.23.39 PM

Loki’s up to no good, as usual. He has his hands on the Tesseract, which he presumably took with him as Asgard was destroyed. We don’t know everything that it can do, but as we saw in The First Avenger, it is not too be messed around with. And it’s hard to imagine what else Loki might be doing with it, if not messing around.

Screen Shot 2017-11-29 at 6.24.50 PM

Looks like Spidey has an Iron Man suit. As you can see on the knee pads and eyes, it’s completely robotic, but it’s still flexible–does that make it the best Iron Man armor so far?

Screen Shot 2017-11-29 at 6.25.20 PM

Tony’s back to bust hulks, in what looks like a modern version of the Hulkbuster. There is a rumor that the guy inside is actually Banner, not Stark, because he doesn’t want to be Hulk again, but still wants to smash things.

 

Screen Shot 2017-11-29 at 6.26.35 PM

Is this the death of Vision? The Stone in his forehead gave him his power, so if it is ripped out, that might be the last we see of him. He is definitely worth keeping an eye on, with the new skin and all.

Screen Shot 2017-11-29 at 6.25.59 PM

Predator, is that you? Probably not. To be honest, this is a very dull and generic movie alien: green, big, misshapen head, marginally intimidating teeth…let’s just hope they’re gonna be better than all the other ones.

Screen Shot 2017-11-29 at 6.27.04 PM

Thanos looks like a force to be reckoned with. The only question is, if he brought an army to do the dirty work, how powerful is he really? Hopefully, he is a badass as well as a mastermind. We’ll see.

Screen Shot 2017-11-29 at 6.27.49 PM

The Black Panther movie isn’t out yet, so it’s hard to tell who the army is, but they look like they can beat up a handful of aliens.

Screen Shot 2017-11-29 at 6.28.02 PM

There’s a lot to see here. Bucky has his arm back, as expected. War Machine is flying again, which is unexpected given his injuries from Civil War. The Hulk is pissed off again, even though Banner said he never wanted to be Hulk again after Ragnarok–maybe the Hulkbuster suit failed him, it really was him inside. There is someone new between Panther and Cap, though she might not be new after Black Panther. But the most interesting thing is Cap’s pitch black suit. It looks like the black Superman suit, just with more tech. In reality, the reason for the color would be that there was no time to paint it, but in a movie it makes you think. Has the first Avenger lost his patriotism after all? In Civil War, he chose independence over the law, and you could tell it was hard on him. Maybe he became a darker hero after that.

Why the Clone Wars is NOT a Kids Show, In 15 Pictures

The Clone Wars is a one-time love-it-or-hate-it deal. Many people understandably have issues with it, and it’s been called a “kiddie show” even by fans of the movies. The combination of an animated format, cheesy music, and cartoonish antics have earned it enough hate to be dubbed as “not true Star Wars” and “just a bit of fun for kids.”

This is not true. The show might even be less kid-friendly than the movies. Sure, it has no blood, but it’s still a dark, violent show, and many scenes have more weight about them than a small child can comprehend. This is true especially for children who have not seen the movies because they are targeted to a slightly older audience, and because some are PG-13 (such as Revenge of the Sith, the end of which is essential to understanding and enjoying the depth of the Clone Wars). Here’s why toddlers should stay away from this show, for better or worse.

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 5.44.37 PM
Jedi training ordinary Separatist citizens to riot and rebel against their government and become notorious terrorists and extremists
Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 5.58.49 PM
A dozen people decapitated because they refused to join a terrorist cell
Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 5.40.09 PM
A terrorist group of so-called Mandalorians casually torching up a village of innocents to show their strength
Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 5.59.26 PM
A cyborg about to decapitate a psycho on screen for all those toddlers to see
Screen Shot 2017-09-11 at 4.47.39 PM.png
A lizard-person hunting enslaved kids for sport
geonosian
An alien zombie with a worm up its nose, straight from your nightmares
Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 5.30.28 PM
A worm that enters through your nose or ears and turns you into a zombie before eating your brain completely
Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 5.55.31 PM
Clones fighting their comrades on orders of a fallen Jedi
Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 5.50.17 PM.png
The same Jedi slaughtering his own men
Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 6.00.45 PM.png
Clones executing clones for questioning risky and ruthless orders from the same Jedi
Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 8.00.15 PM.png
A guy committing suicide after terrorists took over his planet
Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 6.00.21 PM.png
A twi’lek committing suicide
Screen Shot 2017-09-11 at 4.25.36 PM.png
Anakin, forced to either kill his master, kill his apprentice, or complete his turn to the Dark Side
Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 8.02.15 PM.png
A lecture on war budgets and corrupt governments that every six-year-old will understand and enjoy, as told by a homicidal terrorist mastermind
Screen Shot 2017-09-11 at 5.02.50 PM
And finally, foreshadowing of Anakin’s fall, the rise of Darth Vader, and the beginning of an era of evil for the galaxy

…and all that is only a small sample of the hidden darkness in this seemingly innocent cartoon. If your kid wasn’t messed up before…

The fact that it is for an older audience could be good or bad. It’s good because if you enjoyed it, you don’t have to be ashamed of actually liking a kid show. It’s bad because it shows what a dumb move it was to try to sell toys from it, and because it proves that Lucasfilm was just too lazy to produce it in live-action. It also brings up the question of just how much more enjoyable a TV-14 live-action show would have been instead of a TV-Y7 cartoon, for both the Clone Wars and Rebels.

Still not convinced? Watch the show again and see for yourself.

5 Best Fighting Bot Designs

maxresdefault

Remote control robot fighting is a strange but exciting hobby. Every robot is unique and loaded with weapons and features, and often takes years to build. The fights are short, intense, and satisfyingly violent, and many bots go down in a blaze of glory–sometimes literally–after only a few minutes in the ring.

When building one of these machines, many factors must be considered, such as ground clearance, stability, weight, speed, maneuverability, protection, and effective weapons. The rules to the competitions are mostly just common sense: no lasers, radioactivity, explosive projectiles, self-destruction, etc., so there are few limits to what can be done. Flamethrowers, chainsaws, and missiles are all part of the deal.

These are five of the best designs for fighting bots that I could find, considering results from real competitions, as well as the potential or theoretical effectiveness since these are design ideas, not specific bots.

 

beta_bot2016-1140x602
BETA

5: Hammerers

Characterized by one powerful hammer on top, these are formidable bots loaded with power. They have a sturdy base with no weak points and one powerful arm on top. It can be loaded with a hammer, ax or saw, but whatever it is all the power in the robot is behind it for one lethal blow that will smash anything in its path.

bronco_bot-1140x602.jpg
Bronco

4: Flippers

Flippers, aka launchers, don’t have any flashy weapons like hammers or blades, but what they do have is just as effective. An entire section of the hull thrusts upward, hurling anything on it into the air. It is also used to flip itself up if it is turned upside down. The hydraulic motor responsible for the thrust is powerful enough to toss around just about any bot in the weight limit.

roadrage_bot2016-1140x602-e1502414336283.jpg
Road Rash

3: Grapplers

These scorpion-shaped bots grasp their victims with steel claws that can pierce the armor, and lower their “tails” to destroy them. The tail can be anything from a hammer to a saw to a spear, or anything else that can do damage. The power of the weapon is less dependent on the weight because it can use the enemy as balance, but even so, they are typically less powerful than hammerers. Nonetheless, by trapping its opponent in its claws, it ensures that it gets off multiple hits from the same angle, causing maximum damage with minimal effort.

cobalt_bot2016-1140x602-e1502432263236.jpg
Cobalt

2: Blade spinners

While many are small, these are powerful bots. Their rotating blades or bars can reach speeds high enough to launch opponents into the air. Because they are flat, most can be driven upside down. Their strong armoring protects them from heavy weapons like hammers and axes, and their blades can rip up bots twice their size with a single hit.

minotaur_bot2016-1140x602
Minotaur

1: Tub spinners

These are one of the simplest types of fighting bots, but they do very good in battles. The key to their success is the speed of the cylinder and the durability. High-speed cylinders cause severe damage even on well-built robots and occasionally they even light others on fire with the sparks created by the friction of the cylinder against the opponent. Their flat, aerodynamic hulls optimize airflow and downforce so they are fast and stable. The weight of their armor is no disadvantage with a powerful motor, and it helps them stay on the ground and avoid getting tossed around by bigger bots. Most can take direct hits from heavy weaponry such as hammers. Many have no assigned top or bottom, so they are at no disadvantage when flipped upside down. Combined with a virtually indestructible body, these are dangerous bots with a good record.

What do you think? Which bot would you bet on? Do you have better ideas?

8 Reasons why Jedi are EVIL

When The Phantom Menace came out in 1999, we were meant to think that the Jedi are the good guys, and after seeing Yoda and Obi-Wan, it made sense. But during the course of the prequel trilogy, the Jedi do some unethical things that make you question how it all really went down, and when you watch the movies thinking the Jedi the bad guys, it transforms the films completely. It’s supposed to be a story of how the Jedi, the noble protectors of a perfect society, found their Chosen One and trained him, but a Sith mastermind made his way into the heart of the Republic, organized a war, destroyed the Jedi, and turned the Republic into an Empire with himself at its head. But if you watch it knowing that Jedi are evil, it becomes a story of how a genius planted himself at the head of an evil organization to destroy it from the inside, and killed the galaxy’s oppressors with his own army. It may sound far-fetched, but there is evidence.

databank_jeditempleguard_01_169_3416bea1

Jedi break their own code. “There is no emotion, there is peace,” but they invade Geonosis and start a war instead of negotiating. “There is no ignorance, there is no knowledge,” but they are still secretive and hide most of their affairs even from other lower-ranking Jedi. “There is no chaos, there is harmony,” except when one of their own accidentally commissions a clone army and starts a war…you get the point.

maxresdefault

They are an army disguised as peacekeepers. They call themselves “keepers of the peace,” but they still prefer the frontline over protecting civilians. They were in every battle in the Clone Wars, from Geonosis to Triple Zero. They were spread so thin over all the many fronts of the war that they failed to notice the corruption in the Republic, and even in their own ranks.

Screen Shot 2017-10-28 at 2.41.26 PM

They are terrorists. Onderon, a Separatist planet, was safely behind the frontline until the Jedi came to liberate the “poor oppressed civilians” from the “evil” Separatists. The people seemed fine, though slightly unhappy with their government, but what the Jedi saw was the opportunity to recruit more people to their cause. They successfully turned entire villages against their government, teaching them how to disable battle droids and tanks. When droids discovered their location, the Jedi encouraged the civilians to riot, who, using their terrorist-training, eliminated the droids and stormed the capitol. Saw Gerrera became a rebel, terrorist, and extremist due to the Jedi and the war that they brought to a planet that was safely uninvolved.

duel_on_coruscant

They ignore democracy (“My allegiance is to the Republic, to democracy!” — Obi-Wan) Mace Windu and his friends take it upon themselves to assassinate the Chancellor of the Galactic Republic and are surprised when Order 66 is issued and they are proclaimed traitors. They tried to kill the Chancellor without consulting the Senate or giving him a fair trial. He was a Sith, but it was still an illegal terrorist assassination, and in making the attempt so open, they lost all hope of a peaceful relationship with the Republic in the future.

star-wars-youngling

They abduct toddlers. Force-sensitive infants and young children are taken — kidnapped by force, if necessary — from their parents and raised with a cold detachment so they never remember their parents. When they are old enough to walk, they join a small group and learn to fight with lightsabers. Then they are selected by and apprenticed to Jedi Masters. If they are not selected, they have no choice but to become “servants of the Republic.”

aotcar2

They commissioned a clone army. That may not sound very evil to you, but it is. Human fetuses with modified and messed with genes are generated and grown in blindingly bright, transparent cylinders. When they are developed enough, they are hatched and taken off life support. They begin training after only one year and are ready for simulations with live rounds after two. They are grown to maturity in ten years among distant, emotionless Kaminoans who only see blinding shades of white and believe artificial genetic selection is the only way for a species to survive.

tc8h3

They hold slaves. Commanded by Jedi generals (the same ones that call themselves keepers of the peace), these kids, who are mentally only ten despite accelerated physical aging, go out to a real battlefield and fight and die in a war they didn’t start for a society that will simply dispose of them when the conflict is resolved. They have no rights and no vote; they live on dry ration cubes; they are not allowed to interact with anyone outside the Grand Army; they are always under surveillance; they are not allowed to have any belongings unless they are elite ARCs or Republic Commandos. If they try to escape or desert, their own “brothers” are sent to kill them.

anakin-skywalker-jedi-council

They have no guilt. After all they did, not once did they question if what they were doing was right or wrong. Not once did they feel guilty about the lives of 100,000 clone soldiers lost on Geonosis and millions more in the rest of the war, abusing them from young ages, making them fight and die like expendable pawns against their will. Or for starting a war that destroyed hundreds of planets, costing so many civilian lives. Not only do they they do these things, but unlike the Sith, who are aware that they are evil and selfish, they can look themselves in the eye and say it was the right thing, and if given the chance they would do it again and know they are the good guys.

What do you think? Are they good or bad? Comment your opinion.

10 Best Cars for the Apocalypse

It doesn’t matter how it happens — zombies, heat wave, fallout, biotech — it’s coming. No civilization lasts forever, and no species rules the Earth for too long. When society falls, survival of what little of the human race is left will be the most important thing, and one thing every survivor will need is a trusty car.For the purpose of this list, tanks, boats, and air vehicles will be excluded.

For the purpose of this list, tanks, boats, and air vehicles will be excluded.

2012-ford-f-150-svt-raptor-supercrew-front-view-landing

Ford F-150 Raptor SVT

The Raptor is a fast, agile, rugged truck that performs on and off the paved road. While it guzzles gas like a Lambo, it has just about everything one might need at the end of the world. It has plenty of storage space for gear and food, but it doesn’t cut back on space in the cabin either as it is available in a full four-door crew cab.

ford-police-interceptor-utility-front-three-quarter

Ford Explorer Police Interceptor

When zombies have overrun the world, it is safe to assume that law enforcement will not be in effect. Therefore, one of the most easily available specialized vehicles will be police cars. The Ford Explorer interceptor has a reinforced durable body, “pursuit mode” for aggressive driving, upgraded brakes, and a setting that automatically rolls up windows and locks doors if someone approaches from the rear.

autowp-ru_jeep_wrangler_unlimited_sport_au-spec_2

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Wranglers are known for being loud, uncomfortable, inefficient, and incredibly effective. These cars have a reputation for tackling any trail with the right driver. They have changed little since the original 1941 Willys Jeep, and that’s mostly because of how well designed they were for what they do in the first place. No car on four wheels will ever rival the Wrangler in off-road capabilities.

mercedes-g63-amg-6x6-sdfks-1

Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon 6×6

I said no car on four wheels can rival the Wrangler, but what about six? This upgrade from the G-class SUV is designed for dunes that most vehicles would get stuck in. It has three independent axles, more storage space than the 4×4 due to the extended body, and heavy roll cage reinforcements like a rally car–what more do you need?

local-motors-rally-fighter

Local Motors Rally Fighter

It has less space than others on this list, but the Local Motors Rally Fighter is still a powerful road-legal off-road monster that will leave the average rally car in the dust. It is designed for speed and power, and it has plenty to spare. Add some spikes, machine guns, and a good paint job and it will look like something straight out of Mad Max, but you can still (legally!) drive one on the road before the apocalypse in all 50 states–if you can afford it.

it-features-armored-plating-and-bulletproof-glass

Conquest Knight XV

This vehicle, despite looks, is not made for the military. It’s actually a personal armored SUV available for sale. The spacious interior is big enough to live in and loaded with luxury features like a fridge and sink. The backseat could with little effort be remodeled into a bed in minutes, and the other one could be removed for gear storage. After minimal modifications, this bulletproof celebrity-transport will be ready take on the hordes.

ripsaw_ev2_wallpaper_1_copy

Ripsaw EV-2

This vehicle is known as a “luxury supertank,” two words that really don’t go together. The point is that it’s fast. Really fast. It is an odd mix of multiple worlds, but somehow it actually works out fine. While it’s hard to come by, the few lucky billionaires who can actually afford one (or whoever can take it from them) will have an easy advantage over other survivors.

inkas_sentry-apc-13

INKAS Sentry APC

This truck was designed for SWAT and military use, but it looks like it was made for smashing through a horde of zombies. It has BR7 armoring that can resist high-power rifle rounds and hand grenades at point-blank. The cabin has temperature control for extreme climates, and the configurable interior allows for a variety of passenger and cargo configurations. This is the truck you should want to be driving when humanity isn’t around.

marauder-content

Paramount Group Marauder

The looks say it all. No zombie will get into this vehicle without a key. The Marauder is built for a world with no rules and no constraints. The 10-ton beast measures 22′ long and occupies a full two lanes. Its armor can withstand any bullet, as well as grenades, light missiles, and TNT, and the underside is designed to take and survive a full blow from a landmine. It is safe to say that it will not be damaged by any ordinary horde.

4-20oldal

Ghe-O Rescue

When a deadly pandemic that turns people into zombies breaks out, saving the world is the last thing that comes to mind. The logical course of action is, despite what Hollywood makes it look like, to run for the hills in hopes of waiting it out safely in the wild. The only problem is that while most cars won’t make it past the first rugged dirt road, running is not a very effective form of transportation when you are carrying everything you need to survive on your back. As strange as it may seem, this vehicle is the solution. It was designed for rescue missions on terrain where any other vehicle would get stuck or never even fit. It has snow chains, can be submerged in five feet of water, and even has floating tire attachments that make it float and move forward in water. It has space for up to eleven people or a stretcher-sled/boat, which means just about all your gear will pack in with room to spare. Heavy weapons beyond a hunting rifle will not be necessary away from civilization, so there is no need for space to mount any. Still have doubts? See for yourself.

mad-max-fury-road

Regarding the Jedi and Sith Codes

The Jedi and Sith Codes have remained unchanged since the rise of the Old Republic, and it says a lot about the cultures.

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 4.59.35 PM

The Jedi Code begins with the line “There is no emotion, there is peace.” Those seven words can stand for the entire code, and summarize everything the Jedi are. Their ultimate goal is to keep the peace, and to do so they detach themselves from everything in the galaxy, including themselves, and focus on doing what is “right.” Another thing to note is that their code is always objective and indirect, just like they are.

“There is no ignorance, there is knowledge” is a reasonable line, but the Jedi don’t live up to it. They never truly understand the Force because they cannot see past the Light and into the Dark. When they assume that the prophecy will be fulfilled when the Chosen One destroys the Sith, when they themselves said that it will restore the balance. Ironic, since they are the ones who say “only a Sith deals in absolutes.”

The next line, “There is no passion, there is serenity,” basically repeats the first one. The idea is that in order to operate in the usual trance-like calm, they must first detach themselves from everything so nothing can throw them off because passion is a potential weakness.

“There is no chaos, there is harmony” is a good principle. The idea is that harmony will help them stay in control and maintain the smooth operation of the Order. However, it is difficult to ignore the fact that the Jedi are surrounded by chaos and darkness and don’t even notice until it’s too late.

“There is no death, there is only the Force” is the last line and it appears to mean that when Jedi die, they become “one with the Force.” How this works is unknown, but it appears that Jedi never die, but instead they remain Force ghosts forever.

swtor-betrayed

As with the Jedi Code, the first line of the Sith Code, “Peace is a lie, there is only passion,” could stand for the entire code. The Sith do not believe that peace is a good thing because they grow more powerful when they fight. Passion fuels their hate, which they channel into power. Unlike Jedi, who prefer to be the secret “illuminati” behind the Republic’s government, Sith want all the power for themselves and achieve it through war.

The rest of the code is in first person (I, me). That backs up the idea that they want power for themselves as an individual, not as a society. The second line, “Through passion, I gain strength,” shows that they consider their passion a motivation, not a weakness.

“Through strength, I gain power” is fairly straightforward. They use their strength, not for the greater good, but for themselves.

“Through power, I gain victory” simply means that their overall goal was to gain power, and the last lines, “Through victory, my chains will be broken, the Force shall set me free,” means that when they do become the most powerful being in the galaxy, they will have no more rules to follow, and they will bow to no one.

66582c20b0ad4498316dcf62deeda1e2

The Grey Jedi are another Force-using organization. They are incredibly secretive and are rarely known to not be undercover. They use the use the Light and Dark Sides for what they consider to be the greater good. Their code is a blend of the Jedi and Sith Codes.

The first line, as usual, is the most important: “There is no Dark Side, nor a Light Side, there is only the Force.” To outsiders, it appears that they use the Light and the Dark, but because they use both so fluently, they see no distinction, only the one living Force. They use the Force in its purest form, a state where light and dark are relative. In the same way, they are not good or evil, but a blend of both. They do what they believe is the right thing to do, but sometimes in ways that some would consider morally wrong.

“I will do what I must to keep the balance” states the goal of the Grey Jedi: to maintain both the light and the dark, and keep them balanced. The reason is in the next line: “There is no good without evil, but evil must not be allowed to flourish.” After a few centuries without Sith, the Jedi started becoming stuck up and unethical, to the point where they were so unprepared that the Republic fell at the hands of the first Sith who tried to take it. But when there were no Jedi, the Empire’s reign got so out of hand that only the person who helped create it could end it. These are the two situations the Grey Jedi try to avoid, by maintaining both good and evil.

The next two lines, “There is passion, yet peace” and “There is serenity, yet emotion” show that being a human is not a weakness. It is possible to not be a machine and stay in control at the same time.

The last line of the shortened code (there is a longer one) is possibly the most unexpected: “There is chaos, yet order.” The idea is that a constant struggle between good and evil can be chaotic, but on a bigger scale it can be controlled, and an “organized chaos”-like state is not necessarily bad for the galaxy. War leads to huge advancements in technology that would never happen otherwise, and it prevents societies from becoming bored and overconfident, like what happened to the Jedi after millennia without Sith. When Grey Jedi keep a balance between Jedi and Sith they are creating conflict, but by keeping it even they make sure that the delicate balance that keeps a society whole is maintained.

The Truth Behind MK-ULTRA

The CIA has been known to do some unethical and sometimes illegal things in the past and present. Some things are justified when the intention is for the greater good, while some things are going too far, and the CIA and similar organizations can and do cross the line once in a while. Perhaps this would not be a problem if it were never revealed, but many declassified documents have shown the public things that it should never have seen. In one sentence, MK-ULTRA is a CIA program that tested chemical and biological weapons on ordinary citizens during the Cold War, often without their knowledge or consent.

It was launched in 1953 with multiple goals in mind. The program attempted to develop substances that strengthen or induce hypnosis and produce shock and confusion, and a “truth serum”-like drug for interrogation. On the other hand, they also tried to develop ones that prevent hypnosis and improve resistance to interrogation. Another objective was a drug that can limit and control the behavior of citizens, so mind alteration/control were also heavily experimented with. Needless to say, not all experiments were approved by Congress, and a public confession was eventually forced.

It is unknown if the CIA succeeded in developing these and other biological weapons, though it is unlikely that it was all fruitless. The explanation provided for the motive behind the project was that the US was forced to do this because rival countries had already developed similar weapons and would use them in the near future.

Many experiments using the drug LSD were dangerous to patients, and multiple subjects were hospitalized. Disturbingly, some tests caused symptoms of paranoia and schizophrenia, while others were lethal, and yet the project continued without second thought. In November 1953, a group of ten CIA scientists were drugged with modified LSD via cocktails and only informed afterwards. One of them mysteriously fell to his death from a 10th floor hotel room he shared with a CIA officer that night, and no, you are not the only one who thinks he was assassinated. A second autopsy revealed wounds from before impact, and most people agree that they were not self-inflicted.

Institutions such as hospitals, universities, and even prisons were involved in MK-ULTRA. The CIA bribed many of them to get their consent to perform experiments. Note that they bribed the institutions, not the patients. The subjects didn’t know that they were being experimented on until afterwards.

Only two lawsuits made it to the Supreme Court, both of which apparently favored the project over human rights, so both were discarded. The CIA claims nearly all records of the program were “lost” so no one would have to deal with them again. The project was shut down due to the spiking death toll and to avoid further controversy in 1973, but some say the project continues under other names.

1911gd0iopabxpng

Neanderthals and the Legend of Sasquatch

Homo neanderthalis is supposed to be stupid. But 40,000 years ago they had big and advanced brains like Homo sapiens. So why did humans win? Did they? What if the neanderthals were so much more advanced that they outsmarted humans, and we still haven’t caught on? This is kind of far fetched, but I will nonetheless try to support the idea that neanderthals are the ancestors of the modern Bigfoot.

Obviously, Bigfoots are smart. It takes skill to stay hidden for so long, and they pulled it off, with only a handful of remotely believable sightings ever recorded. With a bit of imagination, you can even say that the famous video of one looking back at the camera he didn’t know existed is a sign of intelligence, not ignorant costuming; it was smart enough to know that the camera was there, knew it had been found, and made the tape look like a prank. Maybe they are arranging “sightings” purposefully to leave clues to test how smart humans really are. If they have their own hidden society somewhere were no one ever bothers them, then they have much fewer problems than humans do, meaning they can focus on other things, such as taking the world back from humans.

Many of the physical characteristics match up too. Neanderthals were taller and bigger than humans, and had more hair. It would make sense that when neanderthals disappeared, they did not go extinct, just fled to the forests and mountains where humans couldn’t follow. Because of this, they lived in colder climates, they needed their hair, and didn’t evolve into hairless freaks like humans. They were meant for sprinting rather than long distance like humans, which explains why Bigfoots can hit 30 mph but rarely chase humans far. Neanderthals also had longer arms compared to their bodies, like Bigfoots.

Unfortunately this cannot be proven without capturing and DNA testing a Bigfoot/neanderthal. According to a somewhat extremely unreliable source, a Bigfoot was captured in Brazil in 1897, but all the researchers did was feed it bananas, which it appeared to take as an insult. It broke out promptly after, leaving no trace. No one has ever come any closer since then.

The Evolution of the TIE Fighter

Sienar Fleet Systems is one of the most successful starfighter engineering companies, rivaling Kuat Drive Yards (Slave 1, Jedi Starfighter, most star destroyers) and the Correllian Engineering Corps (Millennium Falcon, other freighters and civilian ships). But despite the company’s success, it was never well-known, largely thanks to Palps and his Empire. The company was Imperialized and ordered to build only one line of fighters: the TIEs. The result is a long line of models and variants used by the Empire and later the First Order. This is list every one of those in the official canon universe.

star-wars-tie-fighter

Imperial TIE Fighter: The ship that started it all, the TIE/ln space superiority starfighter. It has powerful, agile twin ion engines, and it’s the standard fighter in the Imperial fleet. It has no one speciality, and it’s used for just about anything from recon and routine patrol to dogfights and skirmishes to all-out fleet battles.

imperial_tie_shuttles_by_daroz-d7gv6gg

TIE Bomber: The TIE/sa bomber is a modified version of the galactic standard TIE fighter, specialized for areal bombardment and general destruction. It’s heavy armor and bulkiness cost speed and maneuverability, so it usually requires an escort squadron, but its firepower and bombing capabilities rival that of a republic Y-wing.

image_3aaf40b1

TIE Advanced Prototype: The Grand Inquisitor’s personal fighter has speed and firepower beyond that of ordinary TIEs. It also has life support and air circulation for flying without a suit, and basic shields to replace heavy armoring. It was the first prototype in a line of improved TIEs that were not mass produced, and reserved exclusively for the Imperial elite.

0fe23418-986a-4027-8f1a-9926eb788586

TIE Advanced X1: Other than the prototype, this is the first non-mass produced TIE fighter. A combination of heavy firepower, strong shields, powerful sublights, and a capable hyperdrive make it an ideal choice for high ranking Imperials–or even Sith lords. Darth Vader made it his chosen ride and jumped in to hunt some rebels during the Battle of Yavin.

1de2ad717558704b18b7b14d68548ec85e1aacf2_hq

TIE Interceptor: The TIE/IN is a real force to be reckoned with. It is reserved for Imperial pilots who have survived twenty or more combat missions. While the fighter has no hyperdrive or shields, its outstanding speed and maneuverability compensate the disadvantages. This variant has one simple purpose: to engage and destroy rebel starfighters. It has four laser canons on its wingtips like that allow it to match an X-wing and two more on the sides, speed to rival an A-wing, and firepower capable of taking out a Y-wing with shields up.

60e39e8822b68eb0321e06d8d7b92d84

TIE Defender: This was the first mass-produced fighter in the TIE line that was engineered for quality. Its development was ordered by Grand Admiral Thrawn, who saw the error in the standard TIEs. The Defenders are equipped with shield generators, and have three wings instead of two to provide space for six laser canons and missile launchers. Had they replaced standard TIEs, the rebellion would have been stomped out before it could be created.

Screen Shot 2017-08-26 at 12.10.29 PM.png

TIE Striker: This new Imperial variant, the TIE/sk x1 experimental superiority fighter, is a sleek, fast ship designed for in-atmosphere missions. Needless to say it has no hyperdrive, though it is capable of operation in vacuum. Its large central pod is also useful for cargo transport, and its missile launchers are designed for bombardment.

Screen Shot 2017-08-26 at 12.31.11 PM.png

TIE Reaper: An upgrade to the Striker, the Reaper is a large in-atmosphere troop transport. Director Orson Krennic used one of these to take him and his death troopers to the surface of Scarif during the rebel invasion. This is one of the only known appearances of the ship.

first-order-tie-fighter_a795ceaf

First Order TIE Fighter: After the Empire’s fall and the rise of the New Republic, Thrawn’s ideas began to resurface. The First Order manufactured a new line of TIEs, equipped with shields and improved laser canons. They are flown by two troopers: a pilot and a gunner. Being more expensive, stronger, and faster than previous fighters, this is the first truly formidable ship in the TIE line.

7b7df18340441bba621549fb0365a59e-star-wars-ships-star-wars-art

First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter: The standard TIE/fo was the first step to making pilots into valuable assets instead of disposable resources, something not even the Republic considered. This is a level up even from that. The Special Forces version is outfitted with a strong hyperdrive, improved lasers and shields, and a warhead launcher. Like the Imperial TIE Interceptor, only the most experienced and successful pilots can fly one of these ships.

 

tie-silencer-main-a_9d127916

TIE Silencer: This is Kylo Ren’s personal starfighter. While there is only one official picture of the ship, one picture says a lot. It looks like a cross between an upgraded Interceptor and an Advanced. It looks big enough for a hyperdrive and shields, and maybe missile launchers. It has four laser canons on its wings, which gives it the versatility to rival an X-wing. The tinted cockpit has no apparent function, but it looks cool. The question remains: will it live up to its looks? Is this the best personal starfighter in nine movies and nine seasons?

5 Common Myths About Zombies

zombie-apocalypse-4

The generic stereotypical zombie is a slow, rotting, drooling, mindless shell of a human with a desire for the consumption of brains to make up for their own lack thereof, with the “off button” being the destruction or detachment of their head. But there are many other kinds, and when — not if — the apocalypse happens, the odds of dealing with the standardized Hollywood walker are unlikely. These are five of the most common myths about “real” zombies and why they are wrong.

They eat brains. This one is somewhat obvious. When a person’s brain degrades so far that they become cannibalistic animal-like beasts, they attack to kill, and they don’t care what body part they are chewing on. If they are simply reprogrammed or repurposed by a substance or disease, eating brains is the last thing they would do.

They’re rotting. While it makes sense that a senseless creature would not have the sense to keep up a sensible appearance, it’s unlikely that a human could walk around with their guts hanging out of their stomach. To some degree they are probably filthy, but not rotting.

They make noise. “Brraaaiinnsss!” Hollywood walkers tend to make a distinct moaning sound almost constantly. While this may be a side effect of the brain damage/changes, it’s fairly unlikely, and would serve no purpose.

They’re slow. Wrong wrong wrong wrong. The only reason for a zombie to be slow is for the hero to get away, and that only happens on TV. There is no purpose for a slow zombie and nothing to hold it back from a full sprint.

A headshot kills them. This is not wrong in every situation, but it is not a reliable fact. For starters, the headless chicken effect probably applies for instinctive, impulsive, mindless creatures, and headless zombies are still dangerous. From another perspective, because some types of zombies have their brain activity reduced to the most primitive parts, even a clean shot through the head can miss the area that needs to be shut down. Many of these parts are located near the center of the head, which is a tough target from long range.

hollywood