Wednesday, December 18, 2013

In The Spirit Of Space Exploration

Last Saturday at 8:11 a.m. EST on (Dec. 14, 2013), the Chinese landed a craft on the moon (pictured below courtesty of the Associated Press on their youtube presence). This craft with a remotely controlled rover is the first such craft to grace the moon's surface since 1976 when Russia had landed similarly.


Actual Raw Footage Of China's Moon Landing
Courtesy of the Associated Press.


Channel 4 News story of China's moon landing 
from the Channel 4 News youtube presence



There has been a lot of nay say in regard to their moon landing but I'd like to take a few moments to appreciate the gravity of their effort (pun intended) .

First of all it is an incredible feat for a nation to accomplish and there have only been two others that I am aware of that have accomplished it similarly.

Secondly this isn't really a victory for just one part of the world but really the whole world itself in the spirit of exploration. We are seeing the beginning of a new era where both national powers and business will be breaching the outer atmosphere of our planet and starting to populate the other reaches of our solar system. The Chinese landing is a wondrous thing as they help carry the torch of space travel with the likes of NASA, the ESA, the CSA and big business like Virgin Group and crowdsourcing start ups like Mars One for all of human kind.

I think that this is the start of "something wonderful" to borrow a quote from Stanley Kubrick's 2010: The Odyssey Continues and that instead of a sense of dread we should instead be happy to share a part of something bigger than ourselves and the beginnings of our Trek out to the stars.

The difference between this day and age and the space race of the late 1960s is one of social and media focus. In the days of the space race, there were generally fewer "eyes" for the public and most of the focus was centered around television stations such as CBS (Walter Cronkite seen below thanks to Jason Kottke on his youtube presence). This gave the nations taking part in this race, and perhaps the world a centralized view of what was going on.

Walter Cronkite coverage of the first moon landing 
courtesy of EnsingInRed on their youtube presence
Original footage courtesy of CBS and NASA


Walter Cronkite coverage of the first moon landing 
courtesy of Jason Kottke on his youtube presence
Original footage courtesy of CBS and NASA

In this day and age there are so many sources for information and so many different advances being made all over the place that it's difficult to get a sense of all of this contributing to some bigger picture. The international space station has at become the symbol for nations working together both technically and socially but our future needs to be inclusive of other nations that can make the investment for space research, commerce and travel.

That means remembering that the successes of other nations are a part of our whole and the story of humankind. When they need our help that we're there as much as when we need theirs.

My Inspiring Women's List Has Grown Substantially

My apologies to Annie Lennox (who has a nice seasons greeting up), Bjork and Heidi Klum, Katherine Heigl, Melissa DiMarcoShania TwainKaty Perry, Gwyneth Paltrow (Shakespeare In Love is one of my top movies and no, I haven't an identity crisis within that movie's title role), Rachel McAdams (The Time Traveler's Wife and Sherlock Holmes amongst many other roles) and of course Celine DionKate WinsletAnn Druyan whom I unintentionally left out. When I started the list, I started it based upon film roles and it quickly expanded to other areas as I realized the influence of women from many different areas beyond the television and film.

My list of women inpirations for some of my stories such as A Ladies Perogative 1 & 2, Testament Of Time and Heroes Of Our Own has grown to include (in approximate chronological order) Amelia EarheartIngrid BergmanMae WestJudy GarlandJessica TandyShelly WintersRachael WelchJane FondaDiane KeatonCarol BurnettVampiraMary Tyler MooreAkiko WakabayashiNichelle Nichols, Queen Elizabeth IISally FieldMeryl StreepBette MidlerDolly PartonPersis KhambattaLily Tomlin, Gilda RadnerCarrie FisherSigourney WeaverTracy UlmanLinda HamiltonAnnie LennoxAnnette BeningSharon StoneIsabella RoselliniSusan SarandonMichele PfeifferCher, Celine DionKathy Bates, Diana, Princess Of WalesDrew BarrymoreMeg TilleyJulia RobertsSophia CoppolaMeg RyanMarisa TomeiOprah WinfreyAlyssa MilanoJulianne MooreSarah PolleyLucy LiuNicole KidmanMilla Jovovich, Bjork, Kate WinsletAngelina JolieCharlize TheronMichelle YeohCarrie-Anne MossHalle BerryEllen DeGeneresHeidi KlumFamke JannsenKelly HuKeira KnightlyRoberta BondarJennifer LopezSandra BullockJennifer GarnerRachel WeiszMichelle RodriguezAngela BassettPam GrierPamela Sue AndersonSarah Michelle GellarAnne HathawayMeagan FoxDita Von TeeseNoomi RapaceJennifer LawrenceAnna PaquinEmily WatsonKaty PerryYaya Han and iJustine, the women in my family and that I grew up with and many more that I've not mentioned.

Enjoy and have a great day.

Brian Joseph Johns

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Heroes Of Our Own...

I've posted Heroes Of Our Own in its very first draft, a story idea I'd been mulling around for a while that I couldn't keep to myself any longer. Now my plate is definitely full. I hope to get one more chapter in with A Lady's Perogative: Wounded Aerth and Testament Of Time.

Stories From The End received one more chapter tonight as well which introduces a new character late in the story. Trent and Rysalin once again find themselves in the center of the action in the Eyes Of A Sniper. I expect that the next few chapters will see the story reach its finale. Once Stanton gets back that is...

In addition, I'd like to say that stories like A Ladies Perogative 1 & 2 and Heroes Of Our Own would not exist without women in our movie and television media like (in approximate chronological order) Amelia Earheart, Ingrid Bergman, Mae WestJudy GarlandJessica TandyShelly Winters, Rachael Welch, Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Carol BurnettVampira, Mary Tyler Moore, Akiko WakabayashiNichelle Nichols, Sally Field, Meryl Streep, Bette Midler, Dolly Parton, Persis Khambatta, Lily Tomlin, Gilda Radner, Carrie FisherSigourney Weaver, Tracy UlmanLinda Hamilton, Annette BeningSharon Stone, Isabella Rosellini, Susan Sarandon, Michele Pfeiffer, Cher, Kathy Bates, Drew BarrymoreMeg TilleyJulia Roberts, Sophia CoppolaMeg RyanMarisa Tomei, Oprah WinfreyAlyssa Milano, Julianne Moore, Sarah Polley, Lucy LiuNicole KidmanMilla Jovovich, Angelina JolieCharlize Theron, Michelle Yeoh, Carrie-Anne Moss, Halle Berry, Ellen DeGeneresFamke JannsenKelly Hu, Keira KnightlyJennifer Lopez, Sandra BullockJennifer Garner, Rachel WeiszMichelle Rodriguez, Angela BassettPam Grier, Pamela Sue Anderson, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Anne HathawayMeagan Fox, Dita Von TeeseNoomi Rapace, Jennifer Lawrence, Anna Paquin, Emily WatsonYaya Han and iJustine, the women that I grew up with and many more that I've not mentioned. Can you think of any more? What have they done? Designers? Painters? Inventors? Innovators? Highlight them somewhere in a post on Google+, Twitter or Facebook so that others can appreciate them.

Thanks again and as always have a good night.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Plan For Holiday Updates...

Another Legend Lost

First of all, I'd like to say that it is sad to hear that a legend like Peter O'Toole has passed away. His film and theatre career spans many generations and it is sad to see him gone. Most people will remember him from Lawrence Of Arabia and a long string of films throughout his career. There's Troy, with Diane Kruger and one that I remember him from and highly recommend was a light hearted comedy called My Favourite Year with Jessica Harper and of course the tales of Don Quixote in Man Of La Mancha with Sophia Loren. Rest in peace Peter O'Toole.

Updates: Here's The Plan

Yes it has been a while for updates and suffice it to say that I've been figuring out a plan for the most recent updates on A Lady's Perogative: Wounded Aerth. There will be no updates to the story until after the holidays as the story is slated to go into some pretty dark places for some of the characters and I'd rather not take the characters on that kind of a journey until after the holidays. That means that it will be updated very shortly after New Year's day or there abouts depending upon my circumstances.

Testament Of Time will get a lot of attention before the new year as will Stories From The End, which I hope to advance into its second complete draft within two months. The truth is that I've been secretly adding bits and pieces to some of the stories without announcing any updates, so you if you are interested and want to invest the time to read, you might want to check them. A Lady's Perogative: Wounded AerthTestament Of Time and Stories From The End have all received updates in the last two weeks.

As well there have been many additions to the Blogs And Media and Artists' pages that some might be interested in. 

Thank you as always, keep well and enjoy!

Monday, December 9, 2013

For Nelson Mandela And Those Who Gave His Cause A Voice...

My first awareness of Nelson Mandela came at the hands of some pretty amazing musicians and artists who'd taken up the cause of speaking up for him and others like Dr. Stephen Biko.

Bands and musicians like The Specials (Free Nelson Mandela), U2, Simple Minds, Bob Geldof (The Boomtown Rats), Midge Ure (Ultravox), Paul McCartney, Elton John and many others (forgive me for not having the space here to mention everyone) had taken up the voices of these individuals who were political prisoners without voice to the rest of the world.

He united people in the cause of freedom for political prisoners and the many lost voices of the Apartheid era and united a movement that gave voice to political prisoners everywhere.

December 10 is Amnesty International's Write For Rights day. You can participate by clicking the link and signing up where you will take up the same cause that helped get people like Nelson Mandela their freedom from political imprisonment.

You don't have to be a perfect angel to take part (I'm far from that but thankfully a bit farther from being a devil). The point is that your voice counts.

This cause has helped to obtain freedom for many people recently including Hamid Ghassemi-Shall, Dr. Tarek Loubani and filmmaker John Greyson.

Thank you Nelson Mandela for the legacy you have left us with and may you rest in peace.

Brian Joseph Johns

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Just a thought...

For someone in performance arts such as theatre, movies and television etc. One of the most difficult things there must be is that there are probably a lot of people that want to get to know you because they think that you're the character and not a real person separate from that character that used their talents to present their interpretation of the character for a performance.

There's probably a lot of people who would want to sleep with you for the same reasons (they're sleeping with the character and not you) and there's also many who might hate you for a movie character role and there's likely many that don't really want to know you

That might be a safety barrier though.

That's not to say that performance arts aren't rewarding considering the emotional investment one must make in a character (or musical performance) for a performance to really shine. 

However that is to say that there are likely many who just look upon that life and the end result of someone's  life in the public eye and assume that its all just an easy buck, who don't see these other aspects not to mention the fact that your privacy must be all of non-existent. Maybe one of the most public lives might be one of the most lonely lives. 

Ironic that loneliness can arise from the over abundance of people in one's life preventing them from really getting to know one person, just as it can from the absence of people in one's life affecting their chance of really getting to know one person.

Not to mention the effects of just one astigmatic cliche or mistake in same person's life or that of a character they perform might have a long term impact for them that is nearly impossible for them to escape.

Just a thought...

Brian Joseph Johns

A Few New Updates...

There have been updates to the following stories:

A Lady's Perogative: Wounded Aerth - Some minor additions and changes to the Prologue.

Testament Of Time - A few new chapters covering the various time spans of the stories.

Stories From The End - A long awaited update adding three new chapters and bringing a lot of story elements together.


For Paul Walker And His Family

I'd also like to send out my condolences in regard to the recent tragic death of Paul Walker. Most remember him for his work on the Fast And The Furious which is a great fast paced action franchise. He's been in many film roles over the years including Timeline with Anna Friel and Gerard Butler (a great concept and picture that deserves a remake) and one of my favourites Pleasantville as Skip, who receives his enlightenment with the help of a liberated Reese Witherspoon.

May your memory live on through the vast array of performances that you've left us with. Rest easy.