Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Rick’s Best Things from 2013

Most of these are things I discovered in 2013.  They may have been created before.  I found them in 2013.  These are in no particular order.


This is a British TV show about a group of juvenile delinquents who get superpowers while serving out community service.  It is a very adult show.  There is a strong mature audience warning for this.  It is warped, twisted and wonderful all at the same time.  This was the last Series (what they call a Season in the U.K.).  They take the idea of superpowers and tweak it hard.  They try to be very realistic.  There is also a sense of mad joy with the show as well. 

Watson and Holmes

This is a Comic book Series with African-American version of Sherlock Holes and Doctor Watson.  It is set in Harlem, NYC. It is the best of Blaxploitation, True Crime and Mystery genre mashed together.  It is by writer Karl Bollers and artist Rick Leonardi.


This is the latest film by Neill Blomkamp.  It is his follow up to District 9.  Matt Damon puts in a great performance as the protagonist.  It is interesting look as a dystopian world.  The haves live in an orbital habitat and the have not are stuck on the Earth’s surface.  It is not perfect, but I loved it.

Steam Powered Giraffe

Here is where description gets tricky.  They are a musical act, I use that term on purpose.  They are part Band, part performance troupe.  They mix Theater, Mime, Improv with folk and Pop music.  Their back story is they are a group of performing robots built in the 1800’s.  The have a wonderfully unique sound.  Musically they are wonderful, but to get a true clue as to their talents one needs to see their video or live performances.  They have become a big hit in the Steampunk Community for obvious reasons. 


This is a series of short story anthologies.  The first collection was edited by John Scalzi, the others were edited by Jay Lake.  This takes the concept of the city and turns it on its head.  It is a shared world set first in the mid 21st Century then progressing to the 22nd Century.  It looks at what is both possible and probable.  This is not a Utopian or Dystopian future.  It just is with good and bad.  The first one is the only one available as a standard book.  The sequels, METAtropolis: Cascadia and METAtropolis: Green Space, are currently only available as Audio Books through Audible and Amazon.com.

Stainless Steel Cordless Electric Kettle

These are by no means new, but I received one at the end of this year.  I am not a Coffee drinker I prefer tea.  I am a philistine, in that I use mostly tea bags and Chai tea powdered mixes.  It works for me.  This little appliance makes things so much more convenient.   I have had a wonderful time learning how to use it and doing so. 

Geek Trivia at the Kennedy School in Portland, Oregon

I can say that 2013, was a great year for me and this institution.  My Team and I, this time only three of us, won a Grand Prize.  Actually my team won a time or two more in my absence. This is held at the McMenamins’ Kennedy School, which is a historic public school that has been converted into a Hotel with a series of restaurants, bars and a film theater.  The Masters of Ceremony are Cort Webber and Bobby Roberts.  The event’s main sponsor is Things from Another World, chain of comic book and pop culture stores.  It is a fun time every time.  It is held every other Tuesday.  If you are in town check it out.

Monster Kid Radio
This is a wonderful Podcast that covers the 30’s through 60’s of Monster movies.  It is hosted by Derek M. Koch with various guests.  The show covers the full gamut of Sci-Fi, Horror, and Fantasy film.  It is a great time.  Derek and his various guests know what they are talking about. 

Injustice: Gods Among Us.

I am a fan of fighting video games/ and I am a DC Comics fan.  For me, this was a perfect melding of the two.  The game was developed by the same studio that is working on the current Mortal Kombat games.  I loved this game and need to work on it some more.  There was also the obvious plus for me that Shazam and Black Adam are among the playable characters.

House of Cards (U.S. Version)

I was a fan of the Original British Production of this.  Kevin Spacey and Company did it serious justice.  It is not an exact copy, due to the differences in political system and time periods.  It also is one of the first big Netflix produced shows.  They made 13 episodes and released them in one day.  It is one of the best political thrillers out there. 

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