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Okay, its not really science fiction.

Hm, wait, I’m fucking awesome – I can spin this…

The above is from an alternate history where the Man-Kzin Wars never took place. Rather, early Kzinti space colonists reached our Solar System in the late 1800s. Unluckily for them, a piece of debris in the Oort cloud had struck their lighthugger, rendering communications inoperable and helm controls hampered. Via a heroic feat of mathematical calculation (for cats), they were able to crash-land their vessel on Earth, touching down in the steppes of Inner Mongolia.

From there, the several hundred survivng Kzin quickly changed the course of our history. Their savage and fierce warrior stature impressed the frightened villagers, and they were regarded as visitors from the Celestial Court, come to earth to shape it as their whims allowed. The subjugation of the peasants was an all-too simple task. Within months, the cunning and savage Kzinti had established an empire for themselves, eliminating and replacing local warlords through unparalleled bouts of violence.

After a few litters, the numbers of the invaders were sufficient enough that their sphere of influence extended to Beijing. Young Kzin could now speak rudimentary Chinese, enabling them to govern as well as rule. The alien invaders – not Wong Fei Hung – drove the white devils from China.

When the revolution came, it was spearheaded not by Mao, but Meow.

team9 vs Stereogum – Young Cats (Peter, Bjorn & John vs The Cure) | download

Above: the best video of 2007. Although I believe if you’re outside Australia it was the best video of 2006.

The video is riddled with science fiction references. First and foremost is the overt homage to Westworld, perhaps the first science fiction western (and great grand-father of Firefly?). There is a definite Warsaw Pact chic to the video, as testified by the wonderfully terrible fonts and special effects. Okay, wait, it’s also got this awesome 70s kung fu flick vibe, too. Shaolin bear strike!

Keep your eyes peeled for nods to The Matrix, Planet of the Apes and Battlestar Galactica to name a few. The villain of the video sports a mean landspeeder, if by mean landspeeder you’ll allow me to describe a dodgy eastern European ’80s sedan with some cylinders moulded to the side panels. In keeping with the dodgy eastern European theme, the sets and props are all wonderfully Borat-esque.

Also, it is a kickass song for Guitar Hero 3.

It seems everything might be somewhat older than first thought. Four billion years older, in fact.

Recent cosmological research at the University of Cambridge suggests that dark matter and voids in space were causing us to miscalculate the whole thing. Mass slows down time, so it stands to reason that if you measure the age of the universe from somewhere where there’s mass – like, say on a planet in a solar system in a galaxy (which is fairly crowded by the universe’s standards, even if the next nearest star to us, Proxima Centauri, is 4 light-years away) – you’re going to get a different result than if you measured it from the middle of a void in deep space. The research concludes that an observer measuring time from the middle of a void between the clumps of mass in the galaxy would see the universe over 18 billion years old, compared with our earth-bound measurements of 14.7 billion years.

Man, science is f’n awesome.

Speaking of time, if you werent’ tripped out enough by the vagueries of the laws of relativity, how about a reggae cover of Pink Floyd’s Time?

Easy Star All-Stars – Time | download

Or how about a physics refresher from The Pixies?

The Pixies – Distance Equals Rate Times Time | download

Hoi, chummers!

I’ve diverted some resources towards the task of continuing to harass our robotic oppressors, this time over at Last.fm. About Last.fm (from Wikipedia):

Using a music recommendation system known as “Audioscrobbler”, Last.fm builds a detailed profile of each user’s musical taste by recording details of all the songs the user listens to, either on the streamed radio stations or on the user’s computer or portable music device. This information is transferred to Last.fm’s database (“scrobbled”) via a plugin installed into the user’s music player. The profile data is displayed on a personal web page. The site offers numerous social networking features and can recommend and play artists similar to the user’s favourites.

You can find Viper Pilot’s artist page at http://www.last.fm/music/Viper+Pilot (or by searching for Viper Pilot). This is a bit of an experiment on copyright laws. Technically, since Last.fm has the rights to play the songs I’m mashing, they hold the rights to play them at the same time. That’s how radio stations and clubs are allowed to play mashups, so I’m going to see how long the account lasts. Give me a listen and fight for copyright reform! Okay, maybe not, but it’s nice to think you are.

You can find my user page at http://www.last.fm/user/ViperPilot – this is where you go to see what ‘m listening to and you can add me s a friend so as to share playlists and recommendations. Please hunt me down if you’re already at Last.fm, or look me up once you join.

Signing off,

-Viper Pilot

Fallout 3 has officially overtaken Will Wright’s Spore as the game I most eagerly await, based almost solely on the following image of a ruined metropolis. The shattered remnants of civilization, hunkered around the rusting hulk of a drydocked aircraft carrier – what’s not to like?

Fallout 3 - Carrier

More goodness at http://fallout.bethsoft.com/eng/art/fallout3-conceptart1.html

How could I now not drop a track that begins with the following prayer?

Let everyone go to his private shelter. Empty the streets, there to find the city of the dead. Let the blessing of the Bomb Almighty and the fellowship of the Holy Fallout descend on us all, this day and forever more.

Orbital – Desert Storm | download

I plan on doing more of these, but I could use a better (way better) title for this feature. Email or comment with your suggestions. I’m not offering any prizes, though. Unless maybe you wanted to submit a science/sci-fi image for me to dig up a tune to go with it. Yeah, I could totally do that.

…for the music, but it so goes with the video.

However, one should never have to apologize for penguins, no matter the soundtrack.

A brief recap, for those of you who are late to the party.

Viper Pilot is many things. One of the many things Viper Pilot is is a DJ / mashup producer /remixer. Some of you may be new to the wild and crazy future-world of audio battles against robot armies that Viper Pilot lives in. Have no fear, however! I have prepared a survival kit containing an LP of Viper Pilot’s first eight audio bombs for you to cradle lovingly at night, and use them to arm yourself against mechanical oppression.

sketches.jpg

Download: Viper Pilot – Sketches of Things to Come

Tracklist:

  1. Do the Busta Stop (Busta Rhymes vs Daft Punk vs Fatback Band)
  2. Big John Pass Me By (Jimmy Dean vs Pepe Deluxé)
  3. Ballad of the Colonial Roughnecks (Freestylers vs Giorgio Moroder vs Stu Phillips)
  4. The Prodigal Slide (The Prodigy vs Maestro Fresh-Wes)
  5. U-Moog on Maars (Pixies vs Dick Hyman vs MAARS)
  6. Black Shadow Demon (DJ Shadow vs Uriah Heep vs Black Sabbath)
  7. Mash Up at Run’s House (Run DMC vs Groove Armada)
  8. She’s Gone to Chase the Sunshine (Al Green vs Planet Funk)

Atomique and I have returned to the local cluster following some R&R in Sydney. We rendezvoused with allied space forces in the sector for birthdays to celebrate, music to share and, of course, comparisons of the effectiveness of various fleet maneuvers.

I was particularly pleased to catch up with one of the finest advance scouts in service today: Agrom6. His reconnaissance photography continues to amaze time and time again. You can view some of his handywork here:

spaceport.jpg

Back to the usual command-approved digests of space, science and killer beats in the days to come.

iced-convoy.jpg

Above: The graven image of Convoy (known to most of you as Optimus Prime).

Below: Convoy, transforming excruciatingly slowly. Notice that it is still kickass, because stuff turning into robots is the best idea the Japanese have ever had.

Just because we’re geeks, it doesn’t mean we can’t dig on sports. Science fiction has brought us some of the finest sports to have never been played, barring one curious exception detailed below.

Pyramid

Luckily for the future history of humanity’s ball sports, the Caprica Buccaneers were doing high-altitude pre-season training in the mountains outside of Delphi when the Cylons launched their surprise attack. A search and rescue operation launched by the Battlestar Galactica rescued most of the team some months into the war, so the tactics, history and rules of pyramid will be retained for future future generations.

Showing the value of team sports in building our ability to work together, the Caprica Buccaneers waged a successful guerilla war against the Cylons despite having no formal military training. So stuff that up your cornhole, all you hippies who think there’s no point to football.

Stu Phillips – Battlestar Galactica (Main Title) | download

The Game

Most likely the least well-known of the future sports on this list is from the surprisingly awesome 1989 film The Blood of Heroes* (starring not just the world’s most underrated actor, Rutger Hauer, but also the always-kickass Vincent d’Onofrio). Played in a post-apocalyptic world, the sport features a dog skull instead of a ball and teams of five wielding various weapons. Other than that, the rules are pretty slim. And, given that the players have chains and pointed sticks and shit, you should probably leave it that way.

Little did I know when I set out to document these physical contests from the future that a sport based on The Game is being played as we speak. Called Jugger, after one of the positions on the team, there are leagues in Denmark, Germany, Ireland and Australia. I’d like to imagine that they’re playing in Europe because they’re such a forward-thinking sort, but the inclusion of Australia on that list makes me think it’s just because some people really like to hit other people with sticks. Oh, it also appears to be an offshoot of the Society for Creative Anachronism, which surely settles the hitting people with sticks bit.

*The film is known as Salute of the Jugger in some releases.

Zero-Gee Football

Dave Lister, technician third class on the mining vessel Red Dwarf, was such a huge fan of the London Jets‘ star Jim-Bexley Speed, that he named both his children after him – Jim Lister and Bexley Lister.

Our ability to chronicle this passtime have been hindered significantly by the passing of the entirety of the human race during the first ten minutes of season one, while Dave was in stasis. That’s quite a shame, really, because football in three dimensions would be pretty kickass.

Rollerball

The original Rollerball is a classic science-fiction tale; a movie which cleverly tells a story of media manipulation of the populace in the not-too-distant future. Oh, yes, it also has Rollerball – a sport with a metal ball, motorcycles and rollerskates – a sure-fire formula for fatalities. Yeah, the movie has aged a bit, but you can’t fault it for having an excellent story about humanity to tell us. Also, it has some killer retro 70s fonts and sets – everyone who loves how the future looked 30 years ago should not go past Rollerball (and Logan’s Run).

Don’t bother with the remake. Even the presence of Paul Heyman (of ECW fame) and LL Cool J couldn’t save this train wreck. The underlying themes of ‘bread and circuses’ and social engineering on a massive scale are replaced with the usual Hollywood tripe that sends hordes of mullet-clad dirtbags into frenzied fits of “USA! USA! USA!” glossolalia.

Please don’t think less of me for presuming LL Cool J could make a film better.

Blernsball

BlernsballIt’s been said that the writers of Futurama changed the rules of Blernsball between appearances on the show to keep it as confusing as possible. Leela Taronga, captain of the Planet Express Ship, holds the distinctions of being both the first female blernsball player and the worst blernsball player of all time.

Some of the known rules of Blernsball:

  • If three balls go into a small hole in the center of the field, a pinball-style multiball is initiated; dozens of balls are shot at high speeds into the field, causing frenetic action. If all the balls are hit by the batter, they get a blern.
  • Relief pitchers are conveyed from the bullpen to the pitcher’s mound by means of a giant tarantula wearing the team’s cap (a notable exception being Leela’s stint as relief pitcher, where she typically remained in the dugout).
  • A player may circle the bases on a lightcycle. However, this might only be allowed when a blern is hit.
  • Bases occasionally explode. Again, this might only happen when a blern is triggered.
  • There is a position of Fifth Blernsmen, despite the infield still resembling a baseball diamond.
  • Traditions of the game include aluminum bats, the 7th inning grope, and taking home blernsball players as souvenirs.

Futurama Theme Song – Remix | download

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Looking for music by Viper Pilot? This blog is the current home of Viper Pilot's Munition Works, where he stores all of his mashes and mixes.

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