Recap: Under the Dome Episode 6

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As usual: This post contains spoilers about episode 6 of Under the Dome (titled “The Endless Thirst”). Do not read this post if you haven’t yet seen the episode and plan to.
So. Last week: missile! This week: there’s still a dome!
Surprise, surprise, not even the MOAB (mother of all bombs) could crack the dome. It’s indestructible. Maybe it was made by aliens! (That’s my vote, anyway.) So we have the residents of Chester’s Mill trying to figure out how the hell the damn dome could survive getting bombed. Especially when the land around the dome now looks like it’s a war zone.
And then Sheriff Linda tells Big Jim about Reverend Lester (who, if you’ll remember from last week, Big Jim essentially killed). And Big Jim is all, “Oh no! Not Reverend Lester! This dome is KILLING EVERYONE WE KNOW AND LOVE!” blah blah blah.
And then the townspeople are all, “OMG WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN WHEN WE RUN OUT OF FOOD AND SHIT?!” And I’m like, “FINALLY someone’s asking the questions people should’ve been asking five weeks ago!” I was also like, “Oooh, does this mean we’ll finally get some riots?!” Because seriously, I expected the rioting and panicking during the second episode. Not gonna lie, the non-rioting has been a real disappointment.
Anyway. Back at Angie’s house, Junior’s trying to get Angie to trust her. In a non-TSTL moment, Angie’s looking at him like, “Fuck this shit, you’re totally insane,” and then smacks him in the head with some glass thing. And then she runs. Away. Which is a good way to go when you’re trying to get away from the psychotic tendencies of Junior Rennie. I’m just saying.
So anyway. Norrie’s mom Alice ran out of insulin and is now suffering from lack of insulin. This, obviously, is Not Good. She wanders into the street, disoriented, and the semi coming directly at her swerves to avoid hitting her. Unfortunately, it hits the water tower instead. And then water! Everywhere! Which is seriously crappy because this is the town’s water supply. (And honestly, after seeing that water tower, it doesn’t really seem all that big, so how has it not run out by now?)
And THEN the people start getting panicky and rioty. Finally, right? Barbie and Linda go to the town’s water source, which is a lake outside of town (and is conveniently inside the dome). But alas, the water’s been polluted with methane, so no drinking water for you!
Big Jim, being Big Jim, has a solution: go into the artesian wells underneath Chester’s Mill! But he has to negotiate with Ollie, the farmer who owns the land above the last remaining well. Ollie, of course, is all, “So what do I get for it?” and Big Jim is like, “How about the gratitude of your fellow residents?” Ollie’s reply is, “Screw that. Give me propane.”
But Big Jim, being Big Jim, HAS PROPANE! (Remember the Propane Plot we know nothing about?) So he delivers propane, and Ollie’s like, “This isn’t enough, you have to keep GIVING ME MORE PROPANE!” (Dude. Greedy much?)
And then the people start rioting. Like, for real rioting. There are fights, people stealing, people looting, blah blah blah. And Angie, who has run into the town’s diner (WITH NO SHOES) because it’s some sort of sanctuary, ends up getting knocked out by two looters (who turn out to be the Dundee brothers, whoever the hell they are). Rose, the diner’s owner, ends up being killed by one of them. And for what? Frozen meat. I guess some people just can’t live without their steaks. And bacon. (Okay, I can understand the bacon.)
Anyway. Not forgetting about Reporter Julia, she’s off trying to find the power source for the weird static noise thing coming out of the radio and the police walkie-talkies. DJ Dodee has come up with some sort of device that can track the signal, and they track it to… Joe and Norrie! Who happen to be breaking into people’s houses trying to steal insulin for Alice!
Because yes, that makes sense, doesn’t it?
Dodee and Julia figure out that Joe and Norrie are attached to the dome somehow, after the two of them touch the dome and then the car radio starts working. (Yeah, I don’t know.) So Joe tells Julia and Dodee about the seizures and shows them the video. Dodee wants to tell Big Jim (NOOO) and Julia’s like, “We can’t do that! Do you know what they’d do to them?!” (FINALLY! Something that makes sense!) And Dodee’s all, “Fine. I won’t tell anyone. FOR NOW.” (Dun dun dun…)
Meanwhile, the rioting is getting so bad Linda and her deputies (of whom Barbie is now one) use tear gas from just after 9/11. Barbie’s like, “Dude, seriously? This stuff’s over ten years old. It’s not going to work.” And then when it doesn’t work he’s like, “Told ya.” (Well, okay, maybe not, but I’m sure he was thinking it.)
But THEN. It starts raining! Just when the town needed water the most!
HOLY DEUS EX MACHINA, BATMAN. Seriously, how convenient was that? (Or maybe I’m just really disappointed the rioting was so damn short.)
Barbie asks Big Jim to take Angie to the clinic after he rescues her from the diner (oh, like THAT’S gonna end well).
Yep, as I thought, Big Jim didn’t take Angie to the clinic. Instead, he takes her to HIS HOUSE. Where he proposes a deal: he’ll make sure Junior never touches her again, AND he’ll make sure that she’s provided for (with propane, food, guns, blah blah blah), IF she forgets the whole thing ever happened. Angie makes Big Jim promise to protect Joe, too, which he does. But then she’s all, “I don’t know….” even though she told Rose (before the looters showed up) that no one’s going to believe her story because Big Jim’s a councilman and Junior’s a cop. So really, wouldn’t this be a good deal?
Anyway, Junior shows up before Angie can “think it over” and he’s all, “WTF? What are YOU doing here?!”
Oh, and, there’s this weird romance brewing between Barbie and Julia. Which is just icky to me because, oh yeah, Barbie killed Julia’s husband.
Come back next week, where I poke at the people in the biodome again!
Under the Dome airs Mondays on CBS.

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Quick Survival Tip: Stay Active

Staying active is the only way to practice the need to fight or flee at any moment. Down time sounds fantastic on paper but too much can be the death of you and your ability to survive any situation.

  • Could you easily climb to the 20th floor of a building in a hurry?
  • Could you walk 20 miles in a day? Run five miles with a pack on your back?
  • Could you wake up in the middle of the night and sprint through the woods or ruins of s city?

Personally, I can barely make it up 12 steps in my own home without a whinge and a rest. Not a good sign.
Sitting one the couch reading books will not prepare you for the post-apocalyptic survival. Knowing piles of things with out doing them will not prepare you.
It’s hard to stay active when it’s a choice but making it a challenge might make it easier.

Some challenges to help you stay active:

1. Zombies, Run! – This is an interactive story where you’re the main character, Runner 5. You’re coached and guided by the communications expert at a survival camp to run all over the English countryside. You’re the hero and more items you collect the more you can build up your camp.
Missions can be a half hour or an hour, between checkpoints you listen to a playlist you load into the app, your progress is tracked as a runner and the more you run, the swankier you base will get.
2. About.com’s 30-day Fitness Challenge – This one’s for people who need constant prodding. You’re signing up for a 30-day newsletter, each day brings a new challenge– all you have to do is read your email.
3. 100 push-up & 200 sit-ups – This is a great challenge for those who want to prove their dedication to themselves. Over a six-week period you build up the strength until you can do 100 push-ups or 200 sit-up non-stop.
If you do the initial test, you might be shocked to find how flimsy you actually are.

Staying active is a choice.

Choose not only to get that heart healthy 30 minutes of activity a day but also build yourself up and make staying active a part of who you are so when everything else is torn away you can be confident that you’ll still be standing strong, running fast, and generally not dying a heinous death at the hands of robot-alien-zombies.
 

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Recap: Under the Dome Episode 5

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As usual: This post contains spoilers about episode 5 of Under the Dome (titled “Blue on Blue”). Do not read this post if you haven’t yet seen the episode and plan to.
So when we left Chester’s Mill last week, Big Jim had just discovered Junior’s dungeon and Angie, who Junior may be hoping will someday develop a raging case of Stockholm Syndrome.
When we rejoin the Chester’s Millivites (Millerites? Millians?) this week, we see a flock of Monarch butterflies attached to the edge of the dome. Which is…a little random, really. (The butterflies are pretty though.) Joe and Norrie are contemplating the butterflies as only they can, and they come to the conclusion that the dome is trying to talk to them. Erm…okay.
Not through the butterflies, but through their seizures and the fact that they say pink stars are falling and all that while they’re seizing. (And maybe the seizures are them short circuiting or something (??) so they can’t touch each other because then there’ll be interference like when a microphone gets too close to the amplifier.)
This is weird and slightly random, but may actually make sense. Especially after we saw last week’s video of the seizure, when Joe sits up mid-seizure and says “Shhh.” So I guess it’s possible.
Anyway. Back to the dungeon.
So Big Jim has discovered Angie. When we return to the dungeon, the water has been drained, but Angie is…still chained to the bed. Big Jim is all, “Oh sure, I’ll let you out. Uh, what the hell are you doing in here, anyway?” And Angie’s all, “Your son is keeping me here because he is INSANE.” And Big Jim’s like, “Right. Okay, bye!” and then leaves.
Which isn’t all that surprising, really, since Big Jim seems like he’s a few fries short of a Happy Meal himself. (Mmm…fries…)
When Big Jim comes up from the bunker, he finds Reverend Lester waiting for him, in all of Lester’s born again glory. Lester is going on about how god has given him a message: Moab, not referring to the city in Utah but to the biblical location. Big Jim dismisses him as being a crazy old coot, but we find that Lester is actually getting the word “Moab” through his hearing aid.
So…does this mean that the dome is talking to Lester too? (Actually it’s not, but I’ll get to that later.)
Meanwhile, with the butterflies, Barbie touches the dome and all the butterflies leave, revealing the military on the other side. And…buses. Like the big charter buses, Greyhound style. The buses pull up to the dome and out come…family members.
The military has, apparently, allowed the relatives of the trapped townspeople to visit them at the edge of the dome. (Well, that’s a new development. Weren’t the military ignoring the dome earlier?)
Julia, our resident reporter turned DJ, announces on the radio that there are family visits, so of course there’s a mad rush to the edge of the dome so people can mouth conversations and mime hugs to each other. (Because, remember, nothing gets through the dome. Not even sound.)
Sheriff Linda tells Barbie to keep everyone away from the edge of the dome so that no one gets zapped. And then promptly runs up to the dome to dome-kiss her fiance, who has appeared on the other side. (This must be a case of “do as I say, not as I do.”)
So basically the entire town shows up at the edge of the dome (the butterflies are gone, obviously), waiting to see their relatives. Norrie isn’t expecting anyone but is shocked to discover someone holding up a sign with her name on it. It’s her dad, and he’s got photos of her as a baby — and a photo of him with her mom Alice (the blonde mom). Norrie of course is all, “What? You can’t be my dad, my moms said my dad was an anonymous donor!” And then Alice and Carolyn show up and pretty much confirm that the dude is, in fact, Norrie’s dad. So Norrie loses her shit and takes off. Because of course.
Reverend Lester shows up at the gathering, preaching about Moab (yeah, I don’t even know) and is stopped by Tough Guy Big Jim. Lester gives Jim an ultimatum: confess your sins or I’ll tell the town what you did! And there’s something about drugs mentioned. (I assume this has something to do with the mysterious Propane Plot, but since we don’t know ANYTHING about the plot, I don’t even know.)
Meanwhile, Julia’s looking for Peter, but instead finds someone named Mary, who shows Julia a letter that basically says Peter’s taken off. Julia is about as impressed as you’d think she’d be. (But Barbie still hasn’t confessed to killing him.)
As everyone’s leaving, Barbie stops Dodee, who apparently knows sign language, and asks her to read lips (because of course she can read lips, right?). Barbie brings Dodee to the edge of the dome and starts talking to a soldier.
We discover then that the military had gotten new orders the night before, telling them to bring the families and then withdraw — and never return. Barbie then puts two and two together — Moab doesn’t refer to the biblical city (and god has not been talking to Lester). Instead, Moab is an acronym that stands for mother of all bombs.
So I guess the military is going to bomb the dome. At 1:15pm.
Wow. That sucks.
But what about the residents? Will they die from the thermobaric missile that will be shot at them (what exactly IS a thermobaric missile, anyway?).
Hopefully not, because they’ll be evacuated to the tunnels under the old cement factory.
So Barbie, Julia, Linda, and Big Jim go off to evacuate the residents (they seem to be the only ones in town who do this kind of thing). But then Big Jim does something surprising — he goes back to the dungeon and frees Angie. (I know, right? I was shocked, too.) But I had to wonder — would he have let her go if the missile wasn’t headed for Chester’s Mill? Or would he have left her there?
Angie takes off and goes home because Big Jim never told her about the cement factory. Junior finds out that his dad let his captive go, so he also takes off for Angie’s house and is his usual psycho self. But when Angie learns about the missile, she kisses Junior and hugs him.
WHAT. No, seriously. WHAT. (Sometimes I don’t understand this girl.)
Norrie and Joe are still above ground, looking for Angie, but they don’t go back to Joe’s house because…I don’t know. Maybe because Angie wasn’t there when they left it? Barbie and Julia leave through the other set of tunnels to look for Norrie and Joe because…I don’t know, Julia wanted to be heroic or something. Linda leaves the cement factory because she wanted to look at some initials she and her fiance had carved into some tower somewhere.
And this is where you know that the missile won’t affect the dome because otherwise half the main cast would be wiped out. (I could do without Junior, though.)
Norrie and Joe kiss as the missile drops on the dome. BUT. They don’t have seizures! And they’re still alive!
Actually, everyone’s still alive. Because, as you may have already guessed, the missile did shit all to the dome. It’s still in place, as sturdy as can be, but the land around the dome looks like a war zone. Nothing outside survived, but everything inside is hunky-dory, like the missile never happened.
Big Jim goes to the surface and is examining the damage on the other side of the dome when Reverend Lester shows up. Lester’s all, “The Lord saved Chester’s Mill because I REPENTED!” and Big Jim and I are both, “WTF?”
And then Big Jim pushes Lester — hearing aid first — into the side of the dome. Lester’s hearing aid loses its electronic shit and kills Lester (because of course it does). Now that’s the Big Jim I’ve come to know.
Come back next week, when I revisit the fish bowl once again.
Under the Dome airs on Mondays on CBS.

Three by Jay Posey


Three by Jay Posey is a high-tech post-apoc adventure story and to be quite honest if you don’t run out and buy it right now we are no longer friends.

 Three is a well put together story, with enough complexity to carry the narrative yet not so much it gets confusing. The characters are well-drawn and complex, the world is a fascinating, interesting one.

 And above all that, for me, is that Jay Posey is just a damn good writer. He knows when to be poetic and when to be straightforward. He is never unclear or confusing. He describes things in a way that is fresh and new without being tortured or confusing.

 I have been forcing this book on everyone I meet. I have reread it and reread it. My copy is falling part already.

 If I have a problem with it it’s that the basic story is a fairly common one, especially in westerns. Jay Posey seems to have taken a lot of inspiration from westerns for this book, not that it’s a failing. But we have our tough, no-nonsense bounty hunter with a secret protecting a woman and her child from bad people. It’s been done. But the thing is, it works. It works because Posery adds twists and turns it on its head. It works because of the fascinating new post-apocalyptic world.

 I’m very impressed.

4.5/5

 You have a chance to win one of TWO copies of Three by Jay Posey.

 
“Each stop on this Blog Tour of Three by Jay Posey has a unique question.  Be sure to enter your answers into the giveaway by dropping by My Shelf Confessions  and enter your answers in the rafflecopter widget! You can answer as many or as few as you like as each answered question gets you an extra entry!

Here’s the question for my stop: Question #2  When does Three release in the US?”

Later in the week, I’ll post an interview with Jay

 
 

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Radioactive by Imagine Dragons [video]

Radioactive by Imagine Dragons is one of those songs you hear and see. Everyone visualizes something similar but but a bit different.
The lyrics tell you as much as the music does. From the way the beat hesitates before it drops the the way overall lulls and crests until it’s all on-your-feet self-empowerment.
No matter what you see, the story to accompany Radioactive always has the same basic bones:

  • An underdog is unsure
  • Then conditions align and it’s time to step forward or stay down
  • The underdog finds their voice…
  • Then they find that bass in their voice.
  • In time that voice carries across the masses until it’s a battle cry
  • Finally, that battle cry becomes the victory chant of the once down-trodden masses

The quiet rise from unknown to greatness from unsure to leader in Radioactive is well-trodden but beloved. The song was used for The HostAssassin’s Creed III, and a slew of other soundtracks.
So what was Imagine Dragons picturing when they wrote and heard Radioactive? Check out the video and be surprised by their version of a standard trope.

 

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Recap: Under the Dome Episode 4

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When we last left our friends of Under the Dome, a lot of crazy shit had happened. When we rejoin our friends this week, more crazy shit happens.
So let’s get to it, shall we? (Be warned: this recap may — or may not — have more of my snarky personal commentary included. I’m sorry, I just can’t keep it bottled up inside anymore.)
Remember: This post contains spoilers about episode 4 of Under the Dome (titled “Outbreak”). Do not read this post if you haven’t yet seen the episode and plan to.
Note: this is a LONG post.
So. At the end of episode 3, Julia (our resident snoopy reporter) had gone through Barbie’s things and discovered a map. At the beginning of this episode, Julia has taken said map and has put it in her purse by way of a newspaper. It’s all sneaky and spy-like. Or it would be, if it wasn’t also a raging case of “OMG you’re going to do this now?” But pay attention to Snooping Julia and her map, which luckily doesn’t sing (this is important later) (the map, not the singing).
Outside, at the edge of the dome, we have ourselves a mini-riot. The mob (but not The Mob) is going totally batshit because the military is leaving their posts on the outside of the dome. So our civilian mobsters are painting graffiti on the dome and are basically just screaming random shit about how they’re stuck in there and woe is me and all that. Reverend Lester, our resident clueless, bumbling criminal sidekick steps in and starts preaching about God and what God wants (yeah, I don’t even know) and newly-minted Sheriff Linda is trying to get the rabble to calm down. Of course it doesn’t work, so she pulls out her gun because, I don’t know, waving it while on the edge of the dome is supposed to make people stop being all mobby. (Remember what happened the last time someone pulled out a gun at the edge of the dome? Exactly. Not the brightest thing to do, Sheriff Linda.)
Anyway, Big Jim comes to the rescue (because of course he does). After he finishes berating Linda for her gun-pulling stunt, Linda collapses against the dome. (No, she doesn’t collapse out of shame.) Barbie and Big Jim load her up into her car and take her to the clinic.
Honestly, that Barbie guy is freaking EVERYWHERE. There is nowhere in this damn town he isn’t.
We’ll get back to Linda later, but the collapsing thing is important. Remember that part.
Meanwhile, let’s visit Chester’s Mill’s resident psychopath, Junior! He’s still got Angie locked up in his dungeon underground bunker. When we first see him, he’s bringing her a change of clothes, so she’s “more comfortable.” Of course, before he hands it over, he sniffs it.
I am not even kidding, you guys, he SNIFFS it. It’s so creepy, I can’t even begin to tell you.
Angie, in yet another attempt at getting out of her awesome little dungeon, acts all flirtatious and pretends she doesn’t want to stab Junior in the eye with a dull pencil (because you know she does). She tells him to turn around (I dunno, maybe because she’s pretending she wants to sleep with him?). When he does, she pulls out a pair of scissors from under her pillow, then lunges at him. With the scissors. Only she misses and stabs him in the hand instead. Of course, Junior is seriously pissed off and locks her with the leg chain to the bed again. He says she can leave when she’s ready, but not before. (What the hell does that even mean?)
Also, holy too stupid to live moment, Angie. What the flying fuck?
And THEN, she tries to get someone’s attention by screaming into a vent and holding on to a pipe. (You know this isn’t going to end well.) So unsurprisingly, the pipe — which turns out to be a water pipe — bursts, throwing Angie back against the concrete floor, knocking her unconscious. The dungeon then fills with water.
At this point, I am too busy facepalming to pay much attention to what else is going on. OMG Angie. You  had such potential.
All right. So. Remember how Julia is now all snoopy and looking through other people’s stuff like the world’s most annoying roommate? She’s on the way somewhere — I assume to confront Barbie or something — when she sees her husband’s car at DJ Phil’s house (well, trailer). She stops and confronts Phil about it. Phil tells her that Peter, her husband, sold it to him. And then he collapses. Just like Linda (I warned you that the collapsing thing was important).
So we all go over to the clinic (“hospital” isn’t quite the right term, since it’s not that big), where we see Alice and Carolyn (the token lesbian couple from LA) taking their daughter Norrie and her buddy Joe for some tests. (Remember, last week Norrie and Joe had a simultaneous seizure where they talked about pink stars falling from the sky in lines.) Alice, while a psychiatrist, did a medical internship and not a psychiatric one. This turns out to be Very Important, because the clinic has no doctors, so the nurses recruit Alice to be the acting doctor. Or something. But at this point, she’s still ordering tests to try determine what the hell is going on with her kid.
Julia, having taken Phil to the clinic, confronts Barbie about the map and what he’s really doing there. OMG WHAT THE HELL JULIA. (Seriously, you’re going to do this now?) At that point she gets rather faint and slumps against the wall (that collapsing thing again). Alice orders someone to take her to a treatment room. And yay, Barbie’s off the hook for now.
After examining the people coming in (and there are a lot of them), Alice concludes that it’s a meningitis outbreak.
A MENINGITIS OUTBREAK, you guys. In a town that’s COVERED BY A DOME. Where the hell did the meningitis come from? Wouldn’t it have been evident SOONER THAN THIS if Patient Zero was wandering around Chester’s Mill? Wouldn’t more people (like the rest of the town) be in trouble since apparently only Junior, Barbie, Norrie, Alice, and Carolyn had been vaccinated? Or maybe I’m overthinking it, I don’t know.
Anyway. Alice tells Big Jim she needs antibiotics to treat everyone, but the hospital is running low. So Big Jim gets a list from Alice and goes off somewhere to get the drugs (we learn later he goes to the town’s pharmacy). Then he leaves Junior to guard the clinic’s entrance. With a shotgun.
Oh, okay, let’s give the psycho a GUN and tell him it’s okay to use it. THAT SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT IDEA. (Have I mentioned he’s got someone locked in a dungeon?)
Over in another part of the clinic, Julia has left her room and is trying to get answers about her husband from DJ Phil, who apparently knows Barbie. Phil is completely out of it, thanks to the meningitis, and thinks Julia actually is Peter, and says, “I can’t make it to the cabin tonight.” And of course Julia’s all, “What cabin?” because she has no clue what the hell he’s talking about. She tries to get Junior to let her out, but Junior’s on his power trip and says no. But he does mention that he found Barbie in a cabin, which makes Julia all snoopy reporter curious. But Junior won’t let her out, so Julia goes to her husband’s office and takes his key card, which is still miraculously in his office, and leaves out the back door. To go find this cabin. Even though she’s got meningitis symptoms.
OMG the TSTLness abounds.
So. By this point, the clinic is running out of antibiotics and Big Jim isn’t back yet. Because, as we discover, the pharmacy has been broken into and ALL the medicine is gone. So Big Jim and Barbie (swear to god this guy’s everywhere) are all, “WTF?” and Big Jim has an idea of who took the drugs and where they are. So they go to Rev. Lester’s house, who is apparently a born again Christian and is about to burn all the medicine. Because it’s God’s will that these people die. Or something.
Really? A born again reverend? By this I mean a reverend who is born again WHILE being a reverend? WTF?
Big Jim and Barbie take all the medicine back to the clinic, but by then Sheriff Linda’s third grade teacher has died because she sacrificed herself so that Linda could get the last dose of antibiotic. Linda, of course, recovers.
All the people in the clinic’s waiting room are getting antsy and move to rush the doors. Junior fires a warning shot into the ceiling with his shotgun but then Linda appears before Junior can actually shoot people (I’m sure Junior’s disappointed at being thwarted like that). Instead, he starts telling random stories about various residents and says he’s one of them and they all have to fight this together. Then he puts down the shotgun and leaves. And the people calm down.
And Linda tells Big Jim about what a hero Junior is, and Big Jim asks if he’d reconsider a career in law enforcement. Cue ominous music (no, for real, the scene actually did cue the ominous music).
Meanwhile, I’m going WHAT. THE. HELL.
Barbie, who’s now back from the antibiotic run, corners Phil (which really isn’t that hard, since the guy’s in a wheelchair with an IV) and asks where Julia is. Phil says he doesn’t know, but Barbie gets all tough guy on him. Because apparently the sick dude with the IV is going to lie? I don’t know. Anyway. Phil explains that Peter had been asking about hit men before selling Phil his car. Phil apparently told Peter to take the cash and run and start over someplace else. So I guess Barbie isn’t going to get the money. (I don’t actually know if he did get the money from Peter…) Phil isn’t sure how much of this he told Julia, so Barbie asks Junior where Julia is. Junior tells him about mentioning the cabin, which makes Barbie get all panicky in that Barbie way of his, and demands the keys to Junior’s truck.
He discovers Julia passed out at the cabin. Because Julia did find the cabin, and because she’s gone all snoopy reporter on us, she found some documents that were apparently so shocking they made her pass out. (Kidding. The documents may have been shocking, but I’m pretty sure the meningitis made her pass out.)
Julia comes to, confronts Barbie about Peter, blah blah blah. Turns out he’s an enforcer for a bookie and he’d come to Chester’s Mill to collect from Peter (and possibly from Phil, I never got that part). Julia’s all “But my husband would NEVER gamble!” even though apparently Peter drained their bank accounts and their house is in foreclosure. Barbie’s all, “Wanna bet?” and produces a voicemail of Peter. And then he lies and tells Julia that Peter must’ve taken off somewhere to start over because he got in too deep. And then Julia’s all “I let you stay in my house! Your sorry means nothing to me! Get out of my house!” (And I’m going, “Ugh, seriously? SERIOUSLY?”)
Meanwhile, while all this is happening, Norrie and Joe have decided to find out if the two of them touching sets off their simultaneous seizures. So they set up an experiment. Someone set up a phone to record on video, and they touch. For a moment nothing happens, and then they fall to the floor. In a seizure. Afterward, when they look at the video playback, we see Joe sit up MID-SEIZURE and say “Shhh” to the camera. What the hell?!
So yay, everyone’s saved (well, except for Linda’s old teacher) and the meningitis outbreak is over! After only a couple of hours! Yay super doctor Alice! Joe and Norrie lie about having another seizure (because I don’t know), and Joe offers his house to Alice, Carolyn, and Norrie. Because both his parents are outside the dome, and his sister Angie is trapped in Junior’s house of underground horrors.
In a serious lapse in judgement, Linda deputizes Junior, which cues the ominous music again (OMG you’re all GOING TO DIE).
Big Jim goes home and finds the reverend on his porch. The reverend, now that’s he’s born again and all, returns the Propane Plot money to Big Jim and tells Jim to keep the propane. (Honestly what the HELL is up with that propane?) Big Jim goes inside to get a glass of water from the sink and hears Angie screaming. From his tap. At the kitchen sink.
Yeah, I’d be a little weirded out, too.
Big Jim follows the screaming to the bunker (even though you can’t hear it outside, so I don’t know). He goes inside the bunker and finds it filling with water. He also discovers Angie chained to the bed. Inside the bunker.
Dun dun dun…
Come back next week, when I make fun of the people under the dome again.
Under the Dome airs on CBS on Monday nights.

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Pacific Rim Review

Pacific Rim is not a hollow, soulless film about big stompy robots. Pacific Rim doesn’t treat the audience like idiots. Yet, none of you are going to see it. This is a crying shame.
Pacific Rim is an impeccable summer action film. It is beautifully shot and well-told. There is nothing groundbreaking about it but if you wanted groundbreaking you wouldn’t be watching films about big mechs battling battling monstrous aliens.

I Like Big Mechs and I Cannot Lie.

Idris Elba at a 2007 American Music Awards aft...
Idris Elba at a 2007 American Music Awards after-party (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t know what else you want from a film. I don’t know what more you could want from a summer blockbuster. You have perfectly choreographed fight scenes, excellent CG and tons of explosions. You have a genuinely well-written plot with some rather good acting. You have monsters that are beautiful in their terrifying ugliness. You have Idris Elba, managing to make a Dad Moustache look sexy. Idris Elba should be in everything. You have back story that isn’t narmy. And you even have a couple of interchangable white men with sandy hair, for those of you who can’t bear to see a film without one of them present.
Your basic plot is that these huge, ugly monsters are coming through a crack between universes, lodged deep in the pacific. After they kill millions of people, all the worlds governments come together, share their resources, and build the Jaegers to combat them. However, stronger ones come through, and after a while the Yaegers can no longer do the job. The last few Yaegers and the director come up with a plan to stop the Kaiju once and for all.
I’m missing out a lot of context. As always, I can’t remember anyone’s names, which doesn’t help. Suffice it to say there’s a nice subplot playing with mind-melding – the Yaegers require mind-melded pilots working in sync – and some stuff about recovery, love of all kinds, bravery and self-sacrifice.
You have gigantic robots run by two people, beating up Kaiju. You have fight scenes between giant robots and terrifying monsters, through the glittering streets of Hong Kong. You have a fully-realised, beautifully shot world waiting on the brink of Apocalypse. Pacific Rim has everything you want, everything you wanted from all the films that disappointed you. If Transformers broke your heart, if World War Z makes you want to cringe, then you should see Pacific Rim.
If there’s a flaw it’s that I wish there’d been more time spent on some of the teams piloting the Jaegers. We didn’t really get to know them, and that was a shame.
Quite simply, if you claim to love big robots, and you don’t see Pacific Rim, you are a liar. If this fails, and Uwe Boll’s next butchery of a film succeeds, it’ll be your fault.
It’s directed by Del Toro, for gods sake. DelToro, borrowing heavily from Anime influences.  Pacific Rim is Evangelion without the incomprehensible philosophy and teen angst. Pacific Rim is Transformers, crossed with Godzilla, directed by someone competent.
Pacific Rim is what would happen if someone looked directly into your nerdy heart, plucked out all the things that bring you joy, and slapped them on the screen. I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun watching a film. I really can’t. I can’t remember the last action film I watched that didn’t leave me feeling hollow, or manipulated, or like the director thought I was a moron.
Until I saw Pacific Rim.
I can’t think of a better way to spend two hours in a dark room this summer. Well, I can, but that also involves Idris Elba.
4.5/5
 

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Interview: The Vegan Zombie

I was excited to find out about The Vegan Zombie, a post-apocalyptic themed cooking show. Not jsut a cooking show, either – there’s a story to this baby.
While I’m not a vegetarian of vegan myself, I was for a while and I understand just how hard it is to find delicious, practical meals to make – and how much harder would that be post-zombie. It’s not just for vegetarians or vegans – all our followers who enjoy eating might find this useful. After all, ready-killed, skinned, cut and pre-packaged meat is going to be a bit thin on the ground.
For your delectation, an interview with Chris from The Vegan Zombie.

vegan zombies 2First off, tell us a little bit about The Vegan Zombie.

Well, I’m Chris, the creator and producer of The Vegan Zombie. Jon is the charismatic host of the show and Indy is the German Shepherd sidekick. Basically we do a vegan cooking show that is set in the zombie apocalypse. We prepare delicious zombie-free recipes that simple and easy to make.

What gave you the idea?

I got the idea one day while driving the back roads of upstate NY for work. I began thinking of a way I could mash up my love of the horror genre with my longtime vegan lifestyle in a cool way. That gave me the idea of The Vegan Zombie. I went home and began writing a movie script. I have always loved making videos and movies with my friends and family, especially horror. The script is a full-on zombie apocalypse story in which the infection originated through the meat and dairy that people were consuming. There is a twist at the end which will explain why we chose the name TVZ. To make a long story short, I put making the movie on the back burner and decided to start a youtube cooking series with the same concept. Jon is the lone survivor and is a little crazy. He’s always talking about zombies and making food. In some of our episodes he is fighting zombies and gets into some pretty tight situations.

How easy are the recipes to make? Could I make them while huddled around a fire in desperate fear for my life?

Yes, for the most part our recipes are really easy to make. There are some that are more labor intensive but we have something for everyone. We aim to make mostly vegan comfort foods to replicate that kind of foods that non vegans say they can’t live without. For example, we have a vegan version of cheesesteak called the No Killy Philly and we have pizza rolls and cheese sticks all vegan. We also have healthier raw foods for the health conscious folks. Yes, I said folks. Anyway, our show is for everyone. We have an non judgmental atmosphere and a lot of people make our dishes once or twice a week who aren’t even vegan.

Now for the questions we ask everyone:

What is the most likely apocalyptic scenario?

I’d say the most likely apocalypse would be of a viral origin. Kind of like 28 days later or WWZ. Something scientific that affected our brains and caused primal instinct to take over with no rational thought would be the most plausible out of the apocalyptic scenarios.

Any survival tips for our readers?

Stay away from populous areas. Aim for the head. Keep calm, you’re smarter than a zombie. Think about this, everyone associates zombies with brains. But unless someone’s head is cracked open they are most likely not gonna eat your brain. It’s too hard to get to. Your flesh and guts are what they will eat. Wear clothes that are not easy to bite through.

Are you OK with living under the benevolent dictatorship of myself or the other two ICoS ladies?

Well that all depends, I think we’d have to meet you all first before we answered that one. 🙂

Trust me, we’re great. Now tell us anything you want about anything you want.

We are currently doing a kickstarter for our cookbook, Cook & Survive, which will be out later this fall. It is full of our all vegan recipes and it will have a graphic novel that illustrates the adventures of TVZ. You can check that out here http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/theveganzombie/the-vegan-zombie-cookbook

You can follow us on youtube, FB, twitter, IG and other social media sites.
PHEED: TheVeganZombie

 

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Worth Watching: Pontypool

I take full advantage of streaming Netflix. Often the movie selection is heavy with shitty, straight to DVD films that no one wanted to watch from jump street. However, every so often I find a gem! This weekend I found Pontypool.
Pontypool is an easy title to overlook. The name means nothing to you if you’re from most of the world. But that’s kind of the point when you realize what’s happening as you follow the story.
Slow to start, Pontypool is one of those movies where neither you nor the protagonists know what’s happening or why. Something is happening and everyone is scared and confused. The film focuses on a radio jockey who can’t hold his tongue and his tragically devoted producer and production assistant.
Unlike most zombie/infected movies, the conflict centers not around the biting and attacking but around the other symptoms.
In a small town in the French Canadian province of Ontario, people start acting strangely. They do the typical zombie things like attack in groups, hunt the uninfected, and chanting random phrases.
Oh, most zombies don’t chant random phrases? Yeah, I thought that was weird too.
In Pontypool the infected show symptoms via their impaired speech and then obsession with specific words… There’s a scene in the film where the radio jockey has to fill air time and realized it’s time for obituaries. He highlights each death in their small town in a way that’s both poetic and disturbing, matter of fact and high level enough to still feel respectful.
You should definitely check out Pontypool for a different perspective on a common trope.

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Recap: Under the Dome Episode 3

Under_the_Dome_title_screen

Note: This is a recap of episode 3 of Under the Dome (titled “Manhunt”). If you have not seen this episode, do not read this post as it contains episode spoilers. You’ve been warned.
When we last left our friends in Chester’s Mill, I had a lot less ragey feelings toward all of them. (Apparently, hatred toward the characters is an unintended side effect of watching this show. Who knew?)
Anyway. Last week, we saw Big Jim’s henchman, Rev. Lester, set fire to Police Chief Duke Perkins’s house by accident (or accidentally on purpose?) with Lester STILL INSIDE IT, Officer Linda rushing in to rescue him (I still question the intelligence of that particular decision), and Officer Paul going totally batshit and shooting the dome, which ends up killing Officer Freddy. Meanwhile, Junior is still a psychopath, Barbie is still mysterious and handy to have around, and the residents are still freaking out (unless you’re a teenager; in which case, party!). If you missed it, last week’s recap is here.
This week, sadly, Officer Freddy is still dead and Officer Paul is still batshit. Julia (our resident reporter) and Barbie go to the police station to question Linda because that’s what reporters do, I guess. Meanwhile, a mob has gathered outside the station, calling for Paul to die and all sorts of fun stuff like that. Paul, of course, blames the dome. (Listen up, kids. Guns don’t kill people. THE DOME kills people. With guns. That people are holding.) Big Jim then gives a speech telling people that he’s taking charge because he’s the last remaining councilman (or maybe it’s because he’s power hungry and possibly evil; I don’t know). He also warns people against taking any frontier justice. Because, you know, that’s a Bad Thing.
Inside the station, Linda puts Paul in a cell. Which backfires, because Paul, in all his deviousness, pretends to choke, bringing Linda inside the cell. He then knocks her down, steals her gun, then jumps out into the hallway and locks her in the cell. Then he steals a rifle and takes off into parts unknown. (Presumably to make war on the dome.)
In another part of Chester’s Mill, the teens are still partying, because…I don’t know. I guess the apocalypse is the best time EVAH to throw parties and shit. (I may have a different perspective on this if I were still seventeen, but I’m not, so I just look at them like they’re slightly TSTL. Now, get off my lawn, dammit.) Their biggest gripe at this point is that none of their electronics work. The world is ending, but OMG they can’t text or upload videos of Officer Paul going batshit to YouTube so therefore the world is a horrible, horrible place. Yanno.
Next, we see Big Jim at home with Junior, being all familial and loving and shit. Actually wait, no we don’t. (I’m not convinced Big Jim has a loving bone in his body, to be honest.) Big Jim asks Junior where he was during the fire, because it looks badly on Big Jim when Junior goes AWOL during town crises like this. (I guess hanging out in your dungeon underground bunker with your captive wanna-be girlfriend counts as going AWOL.) Big Jim, noticing Junior’s black eye, asks where it came from. Junior responds with, “This guy, Barbie. He’s totally insane.” (At which point I went, “HA! Takes one to know one, doesn’t it?” Even though of the three of them, Barbie looks to be the most sane.)
Big Jim, in all his fatherliness, tells Junior he’s still “hiding behind his mother’s skirts,” even though said mother died nine years ago.
And then I went, “Oh wow, no wonder this dude’s insane.”
Anyway. So after getting verbally picked on by his father, Junior goes to visit our captive, Angie. Not surprisingly, she still wants to get out of her cell. Junior blames her anger on the dome. The dome, he says, is making her angry. Angie’s all, “Uh, no, it’s because you locked me in here.” And I was all, “Wow, someone sane in Chester’s Mill!” And Junior replies with, “Everything will all get back to normal once this dome is gone and you won’t be all ragey toward me anymore.” To which I replied, “Wanna bet?” (Not direct quotes. Well, except for mine.) (Seriously, what is it with these residents? Are they all insane? Or did the dome just bring out their special brand of crazy?)
You can tell Angie’s getting a little desperate to get out, because she keeps trying things to manipulate Junior into letting her out of the dome. (Not that I blame her.) This time, she tries to get Junior to take her to the underground tunnels at the cement factory, because they used to go there (before she found out how psycho Junior really was). Junior doesn’t take her with him, but does go off to the tunnels by himself.
Meanwhile, Big Jim goes to the hospital to confront Rev. Lester to find out why the hell Lester set fire to Duke’s house. After all, that wasn’t the plan. The plan was to get rid of any evidence of the Propane Plot, not set fire to the dead guy’s house. The Reverend’s reply? “I did what you asked. There’s no evidence left.”
Me: Facepalm.
Aside: Big Jim really needs to get smarter criminal sidekicks.
Meanwhile, at the diner… There are some homophobic comments made when one of Nori’s moms goes looking for her. (Nori has gone to Joe’s house, where Ben has invited a bunch of people over for a party and to charge their electronics using Joe’s family generator.) For her part, Nori doesn’t tell Joe that she’s got two moms and instead says she was on her way to visit her dad when the dome dropped over Chester’s Mill. Um. Alrighty then.
Big Jim shows up at the diner, asking for volunteers in the search for Insane Officer Paul, who has taken off to parts unknown (but not that unknown, since he’s under the dome somewhere). At this point, we learn that Paul is ex-military. But that’s okay, because Barbie’s ex-military too, and we all know that Barbie’s basically a murdering bounty hunter Marty Stu. So it’s all good. While the manhunt for Paul is taking place, all residents are advised to stay inside. Because, you know, Officer Paul has a rifle and knows how to use it. Oh, and he’s batshit crazy.
The manhunters go into the woods, where they know Paul has gone (I’m not sure how, exactly). Big Jim and the others start to go off down a trail, but Barbie finds the real trail — the trail the others are following is a dummy trail. (See, Marty Stu. That guy can do everything.) Big Jim then figures out that Barbie’s also ex-military, because who else would know about dummy trails? (He’s got a point; I certainly wouldn’t have known.)
Before the manhunt starts, Julia notices Junior walking — with a PURPOSE — somewhere. She, because she’s all reportery and nosy and shit, questions Junior to find out where he’s going. He refuses to answer and acts all pissy and suspicious, so OF COURSE Julia follows him. The rest of us know he’s going to the cement factory to try to find a way out (and if he does, maybe Angie won’t hate him because the dome will be gone!).
Julia gives herself away at the cement factory, when she tells Junior not to pick up the flashlight he dropped at the edge of the dome, which, not surprisingly, does not end at the tunnels. (She stops him just in time, because the flashlight explodes.) Junior gets all psycho-creepy-looking and asks what Julia’s doing there and why she’s following him blah blah blah. (It’s his basic tough guy act.) Junior starts punching the dome (all that dome rage); when he’s done, Julia tries to lead them back to the surface with matches by following the air flow. Or something. While they’re getting back out, Junior’s all woe is me and shit because of his daddy issues while blaming Psycho Barbie for his black eye. (The sad thing is, Julia looks like she might believe him about Barbie. Granted, Barbie may in fact be psycho. Hard to tell at this point.)
Okay. So. Back at the manhunt, Paul has started shooting at his mantrackers and actually hits someone. (Aside: Paul’s rifle looks like it has a silencer, but it’s still hella loud. What.) Since apparently only four people went on this manhunt, the third tracker takes the injured one back, leaving Big Jim and Barbie to FINISH IT, Mortal Kombat style. Barbie wants to stop for the night and continue in the morning, and he raises a valid point when he says that Paul isn’t going anywhere. I mean, there IS that damn dome. Big Jim insists on “finishing this tonight” for reasons I can’t quite understand. Barbie sums it up as “wanting to look like the big guy in town.” To which Big Jim replies with a random high school football story about how he tackled and beat some guy who was making fun of him. An eye for an eye, or something like that.
You can see where this is going, right? Paul appears behind Big Jim, waving his rifle and threatening to shoot. Barbie tries to get him to put the rifle down, but Paul just keeps waving the thing around. Linda then appears (out of nowhere, swear to god) and shoots Paul dead. (Aside, Big Jim had let her out of Paul’s cell before the manhunt began, so she didn’t do any ninja shit to get out of jail and into the woods. Sadly.)
And now, all but one of Chester’s Mill’s cops are dead. I’m not sure I want to be a police officer in Chester’s Mill; there’s a really high mortality rate for this job.
At the end of the episode, Julia notices that Barbie’s knuckles are bruised and questions his story of “just passing through” when the dome dropped. When he gets into the shower, she goes through his bag. (OMG seriously? WHY? Ugh, that’s such a cliche.) She pulls out a map. Of what, I don’t know, but I assume it’s the woods around Chester’s Mill — or possibly Chester’s Mill itself. Since, as we all know, Barbie was in town on a mission when the dome dropped.
Overall, I…I don’t even. The longer this show goes on, the more I dislike all the characters. (With the possible exception of Angie, who happens to be locked in a dungeon by her psychotic maybe-boyfriend.)
Join me next week, when I revisit the dome and poke at all the people in the test tube.
Under the Dome airs on Monday nights on CBS.

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