Nuclear Energy is the Answer

The three videos I’m posting here are excellent summaries of the nature of nuclear power, pro and con. I’ve always been pro-nuclear power for the simple reason that it produces the most energy besides fossil fuels, for the least ecological impact. So-called clean energy like solar and wind have massive problems, aside from the wildlife they kill, the cost to make them far exceeds their energy production. In other words, they are largely boondoggles that take tax dollars that could be used for other things and largely wastes it. Better technology will be produced and would be produced sooner if that money had been spent on R and D.

Nuclear. however, has the best safety record in all of energy. The reactors last for a long time. And the most famous accidents mostly occurred in communist countries with poor safety standards and designs. The other big one being in Japan which is geologically unstable. The Fukushima reactor disaster was caused by the double whammy of an earthquake and tsunami. It’s difficult for anything to avoid acts of god.

This first video explains nuclear power in a nutshell.

Now for the con argument. The biggest ones are the few nuclear accidents that which were 30 years apart. And the fact that nuclear waste has to be buried deep in the ground. The second and can be answered with policy. The first with better safety and design. They also bring up the fact that necular power plants can be used to produce fuel used in weapons. What they don’t say is how hard it is to be created. And the fact that advances in design could eliminate that problem. This will be explained in the third part.

A lot of scare tactics are used to suppress nuclear power development. But any environmentalists are coming around to the notion that nuclear power really is a green energy. It ;s the least environmentally toxic when you consider that if properly dealt with, the waste can be safely contained. The French, who are the most nuclear friendly nation per capita (80% of their electricity comes from nuclear power plants) and a large exporter of energy to the rest of Europe, have developed an excellent container for waste disposal that works. The science of processing nuclear waste will continue to advance until there is no issue anymore. So here’s the pro-nuclear argument in a nutshell.

In the final analysis, it’s a better solution in these times to many other sources of energy. As technology advances, it will be eclipsed by things like nuclear fusion and others. But in the meantime, it’s something we know that works andf can take care of our needs. The only thing holding us up is politics and ignorance.

The Robots are Coming

So, if the election has you worried about the future, here’s a little video to cheer you up. It’s a very well-produced explanation of how robots will soon take everyone’s job. We’re looking at maybe fifteen to twenty years before it’s really serious, but this is likely to happen.

I grew up reading a lot of science fiction and it was a common theme in a lot of novels. In those books they imagined that robots would make the world easier and do all the hard work. And that is likely still going to be the case. Where the problem arises is how do people survive in this economy if there are no more jobs to speak of. Certainly a problem to consider. The good news is we may live in a post-scarcity society where things are so cheap to produce, there is plenty of abundance and new ways to make a living.

Certainly people who want some kind of socialist utopia might see this as a boon, but the truth is, there is a lot that has to be figured out. We have more people than we need already. Society has been hell bent on growth for so long, but demographic decline need not be a bad thing. We could have less people and a healthy society. The hard part is figuring out how we get through the transition period.

Agenda!

When I was in the hospital last year losing my right leg, I amused myself coming up with characters that would be fun to write. Once I had a bunch I started piecing together a comic to go with then and hence, Agenda! was born.

Agenda! is a superhero series without the conventions of the genre. It’s not about good guys fighting bad guys. It’s about people who have some kind of power and they decide to use it to further their goals. To make the world a better place as they see it. However, each of them finds the world is not a place that’s receptive to radical change. When someone wants to upset the apple cart, they will be resisted. In the case of Agenda! the characters are not all in agreement on what needs to be done. Conflict will arise. But I’ll leave it up to the audience to decide who they want to root for.

At the beginning, the characters don’t know each other but they will soon find themselves having to deal with each other in some fashion or another. I don’t intend to play it safe. This will be my idea of how superheroes might deal with the world, and there will be consequences. I’m very excited about working on it.

The art will be done by Matt Cossin who is a very talented young artist who also happens to be local to me, which is great. Matt has been working with me on the character designs. We’ve got a bunch to go, but I thought I’d reveal the first couple characters. The story will be told online at first and then collected.

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Frank McCarthy

The other artist I love from the sixties is Frank McCarthy who often tag teamed with Robert McGinnis on a lot of James Bond movie posters. he also did many amazing movie posters and book covers in his career and now does fantastic western paintings. Here’s a sample. Click to enlarge.

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Robert McGinnis

One of my all time favorite painters is Robert McGinnis who did a lot of movie posters when I was a kid. His most famous are the Sean Connery and Roger Moore James Bond posters, but he also did many more classics. His style has a fantastic use of color and his representation of action scenes is really top tier. Here are a few of his from the sixties that I love. Click to enlarge.

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Robert McGinnis Thunderball 4

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Comics Fest 2016

I’ll be at the San Diego Comics Fest in Mission Valley, at the Town and Country hotel Saturday and Sunday, I’ll be on a bunch of panel’s Sunday but will be wandering around the rest of the time. Feel free to say hi. I’ll be in my wheel chair as I haven’t mastered the leg yet. But I am getting there.

Remembering Steve Gerber

Today is the anniversary of the passing of my friend Steve Gerber. We worked together on the Ultraverse for Malibu. We shared lots of lunches together when we met for our writers group in Las Vegas. I met Steve in 1984, when he was living in Las Vegas and I went there with cat yronwode and Deal Mullaney for a distributor’s convention. We became friends over the years. He was a very smart and decent human being. (Art by Val Mayerik)

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Fun With Photoshop

I found a great picture of flying bats so I married it to a profile of the Ben Affleck Batman. Gotta love photoshop.

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Politics Suck!

I used to blog about politics. I have my own views about things and I am not ashamed to admit it. I do not follow the herd and never have. But I stopped doing it because politics is an ugly business. Both sides have companies that invest millions in social media to spread lies about a topic or a person. They try to shape the debate about an issue or a candidate with falsehoods. A lot of people buy into this stuff and the internet is full of it. The big media are some of the worst offenders, but some people think that it’s only THAT channel that does it. No, sorry.

I’ll freely admit that back in the 90s I got into a lot of wasteful arguments with people online that could have been spent making money and creating comics. So I decided years ago t not get into it or try to. I don’t always succeed because some people want to fight. They don’t want to listen. I sometimes feel compelled to try to reason with people. To point out that something they said, may not be the way they seem to believe it is. There is always two sides to every story. But some people do not want their views challenged. And when you try to suggest they might be wrong, well it’s your fault. You are a tool of the corporations or what have you. I once told an anti-smoker that I believe smokers have rights to not be treated like criminals and force to stand in tiny areas where they can smoke outside. And for that I was called a stooge of the tobacco industry even though I never smoked and don’t like being around it. But I believe in civil rights.

So, today I had to defriend someone on Facebook. I rarely do that, but in this case it was kind of mutual since they pretty much said I should. It was because they just could not stop getting into long winded arguments with me and other people whenever anything, no matter how mild, was said politically. And even when I said nothing that to trigger their reaction, they would make it up!

Like I said, I don’t like wasting time with pointless arguments that are never going to be resolved because one side just wants to argue. Argue and have the last word. Sorry, but I’m not into that. Much better things to do which is why 99% of the time I don’t discuss politics online anymore.

What really gets me is when people try to tell me what I think. If you dare disagree with them, well you must be the opposite. There is only a binary reality with some people. Black or white, off or on. Democrat or Republican. The world is not two dimensional but to them it is. I have always been non-partisan. I have never believed either of the two parties are really for their respective platforms. It’s proven every time one of them gets power but you can’t tell people that because most people are into team sports. They believe their “side” are “the good guys”. Even if the “good guys” are screwing up the country it’s the “bad guys” fault. They see life like a comic book.

But I maintain the parties don’t care about “the people” and haven’t in a long time. If there is any binary it’s the elites vs the rest of us. The elites want you to think they are for whatever BS they are selling this week and they want you to agree with them, which of course is so they can benefit. It never occurs to the believers that their priest is a molester. Not until they are burned very badly.

We’re at a time in history where a lot of believers have been burned but they are angry. The anger is often misdirected because as I said, the elites spend millions to get you to hate who they want and to agree with what they want.

I would rather not argue with people anyway. I try to get along and always have, But I do have my principals so if we disagree, so be it. It’s just leave it at that.

Bill Mumy Cast Out!

If the absurd brouhaha over the Oscars diversity guilt trip wasn’t enough, they changed their rules to appear to make things “more fair”. But in doing so took away the voting rights of a lot of actors who have been in the academy for decades. One of them is Bill Mumy, star of Lost in Space and a regular guest actor a ton of TV shows from the early sixties up through the nineties. Because he hasn’t been as active in recent years, largely because of another thing Hollywood is very guilty of, ageism, Bill has been kicked down to a level where he has no vote in the Oscars anymore.

In a open letter to the Academy he said:

I started working as an actor at the age of five in 1959. I made my debut in a major studio feature film when I was six. I worked prolifically in both features and television and was accepted into the prestigious voting ranks of the actors branch of the Academy in 1975.

Some of the producers, directors and fellow actors I’ve had the privilege of working for and with include: Walt Disney, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Jimmy Stewart, Shirley Jones, Gene Kelly, Rod Serling, Lucille Ball, Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman, Stanley Kramer, John Cassavetes, Judy Garland, Martha Coolidge, Jack Palance, Burt Lancaster, Jack Klugman, Ed Wynn, Brigitte Bardot, Cloris Leachman, Claude Reins, Franklin Shafner, Irwin Allen… The list goes on and on and on. My point is: I learned my trade from Masters and I strongly feel that I’m still qualified to view films and share my opinions on them via an Academy ballot.

Sadly, the Academy no longer feels that is true.

Considering how many great performances he did through the years, included three classic Twilight Zone episodes and a host of others, it just goes to show that punishing innocent people because the system was unfair to others is just another form of injustice. This is the problem with divisive nonsense like the #OscarsSoWhite campaign. A recent study by The Economist show blacks actually get represented pretty well based on their population percentage. Latinos and Asians on the other hand are all but ignored.

Academy Awards by Race

Life isn’t fair and awards can’t go to everyone. We live in an age where a lot of children are given awards for just showing up. And now these adult children think they are entitled when an award is largely a popularity contest or political and is rarely based on real merit. The academy is making themselves look worse, not better, when they knuckle under to the whiners.

But isn’t that a sign of the times?