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Fan Cast: Black Mask & Pale Rider


People do fan casts all the time.  And people with their own original characters (from herein called OCs) do it to.  I’m no different.  Here’s the fan cast (or my cast) for the characters of Tales of Six Gun and Sorcery (previously known as The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider).  These are the actresses and actors that I sometimes envision when I’m writing the adventures of the gunslinging elves.

It’s long, so it’s all under the cut.

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Deaf 40-year-old woman hears sound for first time – video | World news | theguardian.com


Deaf 40-year-old woman hears sound for first time – video | World news | theguardian.com.

This is pretty amazing, and if you’re a person like me, you’ll need a box of tissues nearby.

Amateur footage shows the moment Joanne Milne, who has been deaf since birth and is now 40 years old, hears for the first time.

Joanne has a rare medical condition called Usher syndrome, and as a result also began to lose her vision in her 20s. She was fitted with cochlear implants at a hospital in Birmingham in February, and is visibly overcome with emotion when hearing a nurse read the days of the week. Watch

EDIT UPDATE: Here’s a video from youtube which shows Joanne reacting to what’s being said to her as she hears them for the first time.

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2014 in Life, randomness

 

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The Heroic League Project: Villains


Every story with superheroes needs villains.  The Heroic League is no different.  While the group(s) will fight against political and economic corruption, they’ll also go toe to toe with some world class baddies.  In the beginning, the main focus will be on the FLQ, with some mentions of the IRA (mostly that Britannia disobeyed orders to go into Ireland, find the leaders of the IRA, and kill them).  But there will also be the world shaking megalomaniacs, the solitary psychopaths, the individuals bent on revenge, and those claiming that the current world is corrupt and needs to be destroyed so a new world can rise from the ashes.

Creative Commons License
The Heroic League by Tim Holtorf is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://taholtorf.wordpress.com/c-o-s/.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://taholtorf.wordpress.com/.

Angus McIntyre

Angus represents a sort of cross between the FLQ and the IRA, as he threw his support behind the IRA, then when he escaped capture and fled to Canada, he backed the FLQ.  In reality, his motives are not political at all.  He’s an arsonist, and he loves his work.  It’s not so much an art for him as the act of creating the needed materials to destroy a targeted area.  He’ll come up against Canadien a few times before he’s put behind bars.  Even behind bars, he’ll play an integral role for the heroes beyond the 1970s and well after the October Crisis.

Liota Mandrake

Liota Mandrake is the wizard behind the curtain, so to speak.  She has honourable ends to justify her actions.  Wanting to create a better world for the human race, one that will benefit everyone.  Sounds nice, right?  However, how she goes about this is another thing.  Purchasing large numbers of facilities through her company Mandrake Biogenetic, she puts human beings through rigourous testing, some are successful, others die, and some have life altering side effects.  Mandrake manages to stay one step ahead of the authorities, always covering her tracks.  She is a constant thorn in the side of the Mannekin for decades.

Oliver Featherstone

Featherstone is a former black ops member of the British military.  He volunteered during the British government’s secret testing project that resulted in creating Britannia (Melanie Cooper was also a volunteer of that project).  Oliver even volunteered to see how well Britannia’s fighting ability was.  To Her shock and the shock of her superiors, she nearly killed Oliver.  Because of this, she vowed never to use her powers at full strength, as she constantly pulls her punches whenever she is with the group dubbed the Heroic League.  Oliver wants revenge.  He believes he should have been chosen as the last candidate for the project, not someone like Cooper.  He believes that Britannia failed in her mission to kill every threat the IRA brought forward.

The Oligarchy

The name was loosely translated from computer files of the aliens species that gave Emerald, Hydro, Prairie Fire and Tiger Lily their amulets of power.  They at first appeared benevolent in their ideas, encouraging the four to help wherever they could.  But after two years their more malevolent nature came out, as the amulets began “rewriting” a program over top of the moral choices the four had been raised with.  This caused the entire group (Canadien, Free Spirit, Britannia, Mannekin, and Yellow Jacket) along with the newest member, Bowhunter, to face the Galactic Warriors in a heated battle.  As Britannia and Emerald fought an earth shaking battle, it was Free Spirit who was able to deactivate the program from the amulets.  This allowed Britannia and Emerald to take the fight to the Oligarchy’s mothership.

Trinity

Former Roman Catholic priest, Father Francois Carbaneau believed he had become the “wrath of God” and began a one man war against all that he deemed evil in the world.  No one was able to explain the incredible power he had, nor were they able to explain the flaming broadsword he carried, all they did know is that he was nearly unstoppable.  He became fixated with the second Mannekin, calling him brother and saying they were fighting the same battle.  Trinity nearly kills Yellow Jacket, denouncing him for being openly gay.  Yellow Jacket escapes from Trinity’s path which allows Britannia and Emerald to bring him down.  Neither one pulls their punches, and it takes all their power to stop Trinity and bring him to justice.

Stewart Maxwell

Stewart Maxwell is the son that Donelda and Gerald gave up for adoption when they decided that they wanted to try making a go of it on their own, without relying on their parents wealth.  Finding it was impossible to raise a child without a decent income, they finally decided that it would be best to give the child up for adoption to a family more capable of raising him.  Three years later, Derrik is born after Donelda and Gerald finally take employment through Gerald’s parent’s company, Stewart Enterprises.  When Maxwell learns of all of this, he becomes obsessed with revenge.  The SE fortune could have been his, and he targets both Mannekins (II & III) along with Donelda.  Never directly, but he taunts them, always saying they could have stopped all of this.  His acts are murder, and he takes delight in it, making a macabre canvas with his victims.  His victims have no connection, they are individuals of opportunity.  He never sees people as people, more like objects he can manipulate.  While Mannekin and especially Donelda, are his primary targets, he becomes obsessed with Free Spirit II and the Bowhuntress in Ravenport, Maine.

The Sisterhood

The Sisterhood is an age old organization dating back thousands of years.  Some say they originally were Amazons, others say they began in the far east.  While the written history of the Sisterhood is lost, this secret organization lives on.  Every member is female, all are trained and educated in a vast number of fields, and all are expert assassins.  Each member is given a code name, such as Sister White, Sister Eventide, Sister Valhalla, Sister Tuskaloosa, and so on.  Raw recruits are simply named “daughters” as are the very rare times when a child is born into the organization.  It was rumoured at one time males were killed while females were kept, and it’s believed now male fetuses are aborted before birth.  There is no evidence of this occurring, and some say that male infants are actually left with orphanages.  The organization is lead by one who calls herself the Matriarch.  She is often the oldest woman in the organization, and she alone can leave the group without any reprisal.  Some have, and one current ex-Matriarch actually gives the members of the Heroic League information.  She acts as a librarian at the Francis Morrison Library in Saskatoon.  Any members who do leave are often hunted down and killed.  To date, only three members have escaped this fate; Sister White who lives in Bishop Hills, Texas; Sister Eventide, who lives in Ravenport, Maine; and Sister Jadda, the daughter of Sister Jade, now living in Detroit, Michigan.  While the Sisterhood acts of it’s own accord, there are times when members are instructed to assist the Heroic League, as it is beneficial not only for the organization, but also for the greater good.

The Red Hand

Whereas the Sisterhood is an ancient group of female assassins, the Red Hand is much newer, and operates with a decidedly different objective.  The Red Hand is much more military in it’s influence, and often hires out their cells as mercenaries to whichever government needs to keep order.  The Red Hand, lead by a man known only as The Watcher, likes the current status quo, and will fight to keep it that way.  Like the Sisterhood, any members who leave are often hunted down and killed.  While the Red Hand will use the services of the Sisterhood, there is no love lost between the two organizations.  Currently there is one cell that has managed to leave the Red Hand; Bravo 10, lead by Operative Violet Rose, second in command Omega Six, reconn 6-2-6, explosives expert Crimson Luna, and intelligence officer Indigo Beta.  These people are more commonly known as Jonathon Tiberius Walker, Malcolm Montgomery Watt, Joseph Chen, Chelsea Morgan, and Isabella Giamatti.  Walker and Watt currently live in Bishop Hills, Texas along with Marianne Wollcott (a.k.a. Sister White), while Morgan is the Assistant District Attorney for the city of Ravenport, and lives with her sister Yolanda (the two are also known as Free Spirit and the Bowhuntress).  Chelsea and Yolanda are aided by Darla Drobsky, formerly known as Sister Eventide.

Those are the villains and villain groups so far.  There will most likely be others in the future.

Creative Commons License
The Heroic League by Tim Holtorf is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://taholtorf.wordpress.com/c-o-s/.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://taholtorf.wordpress.com/.

 

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The Heroic League Project: Timeline and Soundtracks


The Heroic League Project is a series of stories that begin in 1970 and run right up until today.  Along with the stories, they have their own soundtrack that equals the year of events.  This is broken down into it’s basic descriptions of each year and the event taking part in that year.  At present, this is just getting thoughts down in a quick format, and eventually these will be expanded to include small descriptions of locations, clothing styles, attitudes, and even political belief.

It’s long, and currently ends in 2004, though there is more to it than that.

Creative Commons License
The Heroic League by Tim Holtorf is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://taholtorf.wordpress.com/c-o-s/.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://taholtorf.wordpress.com/.

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Heroic League Project: Acadia Bio


AcadiaAcadia
Real Name:
Michelle Villeneuve
Born: March 13, 1986, Quebec City, Quebec
Affiliations: Blanc Noir (independent metal band)
Height: 5’7”
Weight: 130 lbs
Powers: extensive martial arts training, gymnastic abilities, and the ability to play the drums with equal measure to Neil Peart from Rush.
Current residence: Montreal, Quebec
History:
Ever since Michelle was a little girl, she was different.  She was very up front about the fact she liked girls, even when she was 8.  She also wrote poetry at an early age.  She was fixated on her look and gravitated heavily toward the goth scene in her early teens.  She was known as “the happy goth” and “the pretty goth”, and still holds to that to this day.
She became extremely happy when she met Dom, because not only did she find a friend, she also found someone she loved very deeply.  So much so, that she joined the band that Dom, Yves, and Jacqueline (two other high school friends) and became their drummer.  She studied intensely and began to imitate other well known drummers (the other three would comment that Michelle is trying to build as comprehensive a drum kit as Niel Peart from Rush).
It also was not a question that when Dom revealed she was Canadienne, that Michelle vowed to help her.  She trained with Dom, kept in touch via phone when Dom was patrolling, and eventually made her own uniform and began hitting the streets with Dom.
While it was met with some controversy with right wing media, Michelle and Dom don’t hide the fact that they are in fact lovers.  This has proven to be very positive for young LGBT Canadians.

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Art mirrors life… and predicts it


What’s strange is how very interesting it is how media like this, created by Alan Moore in the mid 1980s, made into a film in the late 90s, basically is predicting what is happening in the world.

There are those who follow the edict of using fear to control the masses. Just look at Fox News. Be afraid of Muslims, or African Americans (with strategic words such as “inner city men” used to foster that fear), or atheists, or lesbians, or homosexuals. It’s control at it’s core. Make those groups the targets and you suddenly control the masses and are able to continue ruling, so to speak.

In reality, it’s the right wing who are afraid. Afraid they’ll lose their control if they don’t have a target. They’ll lose their wealth, their standing and their power.

There’s been other films which showed the future in a relatively dark light; Running Man, The Dark Knight, Total Recall (the original with Schwarzenegger), and even RoboCop. What we laughed at is some of the things that have become real in our future. Just as the politics of corruption has become very real.

Sometimes, the fiction we consume isn’t that far off. And what we call escapism, is very dead on the money in mirroring what happens in the world. The biggest difference is, the public seems very much more aware of it.

EDIT:  Correction, the movie came out in 2006, not the late 90s.

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2014 in Life, randomness

 

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Something interesting


It’s a shame that people will try to force tradition onto something, when in fact their so called “tradition” is actually a relatively new concept.  This is much like the debate, or “controversy” over marriage equality.

There’s also large swaths of the religious right wing who will try to state that  for centuries people believed the Earth was flat.  This is 100% incorrect.  The Ancient Greeks knew there was a curvature of the Earth, they even had drawings which showed the Earth as round.  The concept of a “flat Earth” is actually a relatively new concept.  It wasn’t really devised until the 18th or 19th centuries.  And it basically came down to a pissing contest between a sect of Protestants and Catholics.  This sect of Protestants basically got mad at the Catholic Church and said “no, Earth is flat, lalalalala, not listening”.

The same is true of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.  If you listen to many in the religious right wing, they’d have you believe that no church on Earth believed Darwin’s theories were valid.  This is also inaccurate.  The Church of England actually thought that Darwin’s Theory of Evolution explained in a very intelligent and scientific manner how God created the Earth and the animals.  Evolution is a fact, it happens.  We see it on a microscopic scale today, because we as a species (just as other animals and plants) must adapt to new surroundings.

What the Church of England (and many other churches at the time) could not wrap their heads around was the concept that nature is inherently cruel.

Need some examples?  I’ve got some examples.

There is a wasp that when the female is ready to lay her eggs, will find a cockroach.  The roach is stung in the brain, essentially zombifying it.  The roach is still alive.  The wasp, along with some helpers, will drag the roach to an enclosure, the female will lay her eggs inside the roach, and then once she’s exited the enclosure, the wasps seal it up.  Keep in mind, the roach is still alive.  It has to be alive so that when the eggs hatch, the larva can feed on the roach meat.  If the roach is dead, the meat is no good and the larva cannot feed.

Another example; there is a tree and an ant that have an interesting life cycle.  More so for the tree than the ant.  The ant kind of gets the shaft here.  In this particular part of the world, the ants do not climb the trees, they just remain on the ground level.  The trees, however, will release spores, which float down to the ground.  Here’s where the ant got the short end of the stick.  If a spore lands on an ant, it will burrow into the ant’s brain and essentially rewrite it’s thought patterns.  The ant suddenly has not choice but to climb the tree.  At a certain height, the ant clamps it’s pincers into the tree and stays there, while the spore feeds on the ant and grows.  This becomes another seed pod, which will grow, explode and drop more spores.

These are just in the insect world, there’s other examples, like a wolf pack.  Wolves are pack hunters, and often will drive an animal away from it’s main herd.  If they are successful in doing so, they will nip and bite at the animal, ripping chunks of flesh off of it.  They aren’t just making the animal injured and tired, the wolves are literally eating on the run.  While the animal they are chasing is still alive.

These aren’t examples of nature being kind.  These are examples of what nature is.

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2014 in Life, randomness

 

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