Good News Fridays: Seth MacFarlane Helping Reading Rainbow Is Awesome


Geek Alabama Good News Fridays

The Reading Rainbow Kickstarter project is now only six days away from wrapping up.  And as of this writing, it has raised over $4.2 million dollars.  But they want to get past the $5 million goal, and now someone very famous has stepped up to the plate to make sure this project raises over $5 million!  Seth MacFarlane, who is famous for Family Guy, TED, and other shows, has pledged to match every pledge from now until the end of the campaign on Wednesday July 2nd.  And the awesome part, MacFarlane will pledge up to $1 million dollars!  Here is LeVar Burton talking about this great news!

From now to the end of the campaign, each dollar pledged over $4,000,000, Seth will MATCH IT, dollar for dollar, up to $1 million dollars!  And this is what it means, because this is important:

  • If they can reach our $5M stretch goal in the next five days, they’ll meet their goals of bringing Reading Rainbow to more platforms and 7,500 classrooms.
  • And that means that Seth will provide a full $1,000,000 in matching funds, taking them a total of $6,000,000, and letting them reach 5,000 more classrooms!
  • That means that if they raise the remaining million, they won’t just get 7,500 classrooms… they’ll get more than 12,500 classrooms!

With Seth’s help, they really CAN go twice as high!  LeVar Burton said on their Kickstarter page: “This all means one thing: there has never been a better time to bring new people into this campaign. Every new dollar you add to your pledge, or spend on an add-on reward, or convince your friends and relatives to add, will get us two dollars to help schools. This is unbelievable, y’all. It’s like we’ve always said: we can go anywhere, and if we pull together, we will.

But before you start calling your friends and spreading the word, please help me thank my friend, Seth, for his amazing generosity. You can send him some love on Twitter as @SethMacFarlane, or post in the comments below, but however you do it, please give him some love. With his help, we can make an even bigger difference for an entire generation of kids. That’s just huge. But you don’t have to take my word for it.

Five days left, y’all. Let’s keep this thing going.”

Thank you Seth MacFarlane for doing this!  If it means more kids benefit from Reading Rainbow, everyone wins!  To see the great rewards still being offered, pledge to the Reading Rainbow Kickstarter at: http://www.helpreadingrainbow.com

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Power Rangers And Flintstones Reboots, Two Franchises That Need To Be Left Alone


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Over the last week, two classic franchises that carries a geeky/nerdy theme are making a comeback!  But in my opinion, I think these comebacks are not going to be very popular, I mean, we have already seen movies from these franchises, and they did so-so at best.  So, let’s talk about the comeback of Power Rangers and The Flintstones.

First off, you should know about the Power Rangers.  They were created way back more than 20 years ago, I remember first watching them on FOX Kids before that disappeared forever!  So, Saban Brands, who owns the Power Rangers, is partnering with Lionsgate to produce a new Power Rangers movie.  The film will be in live action and will be the third movie in the franchise.  The first two movies took place in 1995 and 1997.  And somehow, Saban thinks the new movie will be a major hit.  Haim Saban even said “We’re confident that we will capture the world of the Power Rangers and translate it into a unique and memorable motion picture phenomenon with a legacy all its own.”

So Lionsgate, the same studio behind Hunger Games, Twilight, Divergent, and other classic movies, is thinking people will come back to the Power Rangers?  Currently, the latest Power Rangers franchise airs on Nickelodeon, and it does some so-so ratings.  The new movie is going to feature high school students getting special powers and they become the latest versions of the Power Rangers, so it’s basically going to be a reboot!  The first version of the Power Rangers, when the cast was high school students, was cool to watch.  I enjoyed the writing, the giant robots, the fighting, and the two guys who were clumsy with their unique music, I remember that!

So I guess we will see how the latest Power Rangers movie will do when it’s released.  I am sure we will see plenty of clips, pictures, and trailers before the movie comes out.  And yes, I am sure Geek Alabama will review the movie.  Hey, if Hasbro can bring back My Little Pony to how popular it’s today, then maybe Saban can bring the Power Rangers back to major popularity!  At least the Black Nerd is excited about this news!

And now, even more weirder news.  Do you remember The Flintstones?  The classic modern stone age family from Bedrock!  The cartoon was a major hit and aired even in primetime on ABC in the 1960’s.  Today, you can still even see reruns on Boomerang.  My favorite part of The Flintstones franchise is the live action movie that premiered in 1994.  That was a very special movie and did very well in the box office.  Well, 20 years has passed since that film was released, and someone thought it was time for The Flintstones to make another comeback.  And no, Seth MacFarlane is not behind this.

Warner Bros. has announced that a featured film focusing on The Flintstones is in very early development.  So it’s not a guarantee we will see a film coming down the road.  But with another reboot possibly coming down the road, I wonder if the movie would be successful?  I mean, you can not keep rebooting a classic franchise over and over again.  Maybe the new Flintstones movie will do well, but if FOX axed the potential Flintstones reboot, one has to wonder if a new Flintstones movie would do well?  I guess we will see! And yes, the Black Nerd is not happy about this, and I want to see a Dinosaurs movie, get on it Disney!

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TV Review: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey


Geek Alabama TV Reviews

Last Sunday, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey premiered on FOX and many other networks.  And after watching it on my DVR, I have to say, I enjoyed an hour of science on primetime TV!  The ratings were not too good for the first episode of Cosmos, the first episode only got 8.5 million viewers across the 10 simulcasting networks.  Among Adults 18-49, the simulcast earned a 2.9 rating.  I thought Cosmos could have done better, if it was not airing at the same time as The Walking Dead, I talked about that last week, and I was right!

The first episode called “Standing Up In The Milky Way”, was a great tribute to the original host Carl Sagan.  I loved how Neil deGrasse Tyson talked about how Carl Sagan signed his journal and met Tyson when he was a kid.  This meeting inspired Tyson to become what he is today, and I am glad he talked about that!  Sometimes, meeting your idol or someone who mentors you can lead you to great things in your life.  The episode began with a tour of our solar system, we got to see each planet up close with that special computer graphics.  Tyson was in a computer animated space ship and went out to personally see all of the planets in our solar system.

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I loved seeing the Voyager 1 satellite, although it was computer animated, and had music on a record.  We also got to see where our solar system is at in the Milky Way Galaxy.  I enjoyed seeing our planets in action, I wish Tyson would have also explored the sun in more detail, that might be for a future episode.  I think anyone including geeks/nerds would love to ride in that Ship of the Imagination Tyson was riding in!  You can see why Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of the most popular scientists in our world today, and someone most geeks/nerds and technology savvy people look up too.  I did think the premiere tried a little bit too hard, especially in the part when they were talking about 16th Century Italian astronomer Glordano Bruno.  I thought they could have taken that out and only talked about space and our solar system in episode one.

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The episode had plenty of educational moments and the show is safe for the entire family!  I wish we saw more real video footage of our solar system instead of mostly everything being computer animated.  Then we get to the part, where Tyson is in Italy and they talk about Glordano Bruno, this is where some of the controversies begin.  Yes, they did talk about how Bruno was going around the Church about his beliefs about the solar system, that was later proven to be real.  Bruno was ex-communicated, thrown into prison, and later burned at the stake because of his beliefs.  This was a time when some believers of the Bible, God, and Jesus Christ had their moment on Twitter.

I enjoyed the animation in that piece, and it was probably the same animation from the team Seth McFarlane uses to animate Family Guy and his other shows.  Then we get to the part where Tyson talked about how our Earth was made.  In a Cosmic Calendar, it started with the big bang, and we see how our Earth becomes all what it is today, in a course of one year.  Of course, you knew the Earth is thousands of years old, and they were using a 365-day calendar to explain how our Earth formed to what it is today.  Even though Jesus and Moses was talked about in this part, evolution was also talked about, and this caused some people to get unhappy.

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So after watching the first episode, I thought Neil deGrasse Tyson did a great job as host.  He was very engaging and easy to understand while watching.  The animation and computer graphics was stunning and beautiful to watch.  And I will watch the other 12 episodes of this mini-series!  The mission of Cosmos is to reignite “that flame of curiosity in us all.”  And I hope teachers, students, and other people will use Cosmos as a moment to learn about science, and consider going into a science themed field.  As you know, more Americans are needed in STEM careers.  And sadly, some people who are strongly religious wants to make everyone else the same kind of religious way they are, and break down the door of the science classroom to put their religious philosophies in there.

Cosmos should also be used for people to learn what science is really all about.  Yes, I am a Christian and I believe in God and Jesus Christ, but our Earth is much older that what God and the Bible says it is.  And humans evolved into what we are today.  That is science, if you don’t agree, that’s too bad.  Watch new episodes of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey on Sunday nights on FOX and Monday nights on the National Geographic Channel.  To learn more go to: http://www.cosmosontv.com/

All images and videos copyright from FOX.

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Why Is Cosmos Airing At The Same Time As The Walking Dead


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Tonight, all of us geeks and nerds are going to have a very tough time deciding what to watch at 8 pm Central.  In one corner, the ever popular The Walking Dead on AMC that is smashing ratings records and is very, very popular in the geek/nerd culture.  In the other corner, is the 1980’s reboot Cosmos hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson.  The 13 part mini-series premieres at 8 pm Central tonight on FOX, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Wild, FX, FXX, FXM, Fox Sports 1 & 2, and other channels.  At least the people living on the west coast could watch Cosmos at 5 pm Pacific on Fox Sports 1 & 2 and FXM, since there is only one feed.  But for the ones living on the east coast, they are out of luck.

Tonight on the first episode of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, President Obama will provide an introduction.  Then Tyson will introduce the viewers in Northern California, then get things quickly started when he starts his expedition on Earth and moves outward to establish our cosmic address.  The episode will also focus on the Big Bang, explore the Cosmic Calendar, and take a peek at the modernized special effects in HD.  The episode will mostly focus on 16th Century Italian astronomer Glordano Bruno.   And if you are a fan of space and our solar system, you will like the first episode tonight.  Yes, I will record Cosmos and watch it later tonight on my DVR.  But why would FOX get us geeks and nerds upset by airing this mini-series at the same time as The Walking Dead?

Face it, many geeks and nerds love zombies and the show focusing on survivors in the zombie apocalypse.  It’s going to be an epic battle between zombies and the solar system tonight!  The new Cosmos is executive produced by Seth McFarlane, the same guy who makes Family Guy.  Seth convinced Fox executives to make the Cosmos reboot.  And Seth is now even funding efforts to get Sagan’s papers and notes donated to the Library of Congress.  I am glad FOX is going to repeat Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey on their National Geographic Channels and on FOX at times.  Because for the ones who don’t have a DVR, they are going to make a very tough decision, science or zombies?

As for me tonight, I am watching The Walking Dead and Talking Dead live tonight on AMC.  I will watch Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey at 10 pm Central, and I will review the first episode of Cosmos on Geek Alabama on Tuesday!  I hope this reboot of Cosmos will be just as good as the 1980’s version hosted by Carl Sagan.  Neil deGrasse Tyson does a great job on TV, and I have confidence that Cosmos will be worth watching!  Too bad FOX made a poor decision to air this against The Walking Dead.  And when TWD ends in a few weeks, Cosmos will have to compete with Game of Thrones.  If I was at FOX, I would have aired this at a different time!  And one has to wonder, if some people here in Alabama would get upset if Cosmos has different views that what is taught in the Bible, but that is for another post!

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Animation Monday: Rick and Morty On Adult Swim


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Before I talk about Rick and Morty on Adult Swim, I need to talk about the latest Family Guy episode where Brian Griffin was brought back.  When Brian died, I did this post talking about my thoughts about the episode.  And I said this:

“I think Seth MacFarlane has done something which he knew what he was doing.  He is getting the exact reaction input that he wanted. That episode was to bring up fan discussions of why and why not Brian should be written off.  The writers of Family Guy, I hope, have come up with a way to bring back Brian Griffin, most likely with the help of a time machine.”

See, I was right!  Seth MacFarlane on Twitter confirmed that killing off Brian Griffin was a stunt.  I thought this stunt was a way to increase ratings and the ratings did increase!  Many people were also talking about it on social media.  Seth said this on Twitter.

And he is right, Christmas time is a time to be grateful for family.  You never know when your loved ones can be gone for good.  Seth said the show would be crazy if they killed off Brian for good, and I am happy to see Brian back!  I hope we will see Vinny return to a future Family Guy episode!  Speaking of dogs, the second episode of Rick and Morty where the dogs take over the human world then leave was brilliant!

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Now to talk about this new show on Adult Swim called Rick and Morty.  Rick and Morty is an American animated television series created by Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland.  Roiland voices the eponymous main characters Rick, a scientist and alcoholic, and Morty, Rick’s grandson, as Rick proves himself to be a negative influence on Morty and his family.  I wonder why only 11 episodes were made, because judging by this show, they are going to need to make more episodes!

The cartoon is not for kids!  Rick is a genius scientist whose alcoholic tendencies are the source of concern for his daughter’s family over the safety of their son, Morty.  The parents are not happy seeing Rick drinking.  The grandson of Rick, Morty, is usually dragged into Rick’s adventures.  And the adventures involves things like going into outer space and shooting guns.  Then dropping back into school through a portal.  It was funny seeing Morty going into dumb mode after losing most of his brain function.  Why was Rick not helping him?

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The series is created by Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland, and is based on Justin Roiland’s Channel 101 shorts, “The Real Animated Adventures of Doc and Mharti”, which were inspired by Back to the Future’s Emmett Brown and Marty McFly.  I see the connection between this show and Back to the Future!  Other inspiration from this show comes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Doctor Who.  This show has your average comedy mixed in with super cool sci-fi stuff!  Yes, geeks and nerds will like this show!

The animation is pretty good for Adult Swim.  The animation has a simple feel too it, with basic lines and colors unless you see those cool sci-fi scenes!  The storylines also has a great mix of comedy and supernatural stuff!  The characters are mostly offbeat and sometimes crazy, but it works!  If you like seeing wacky characters and wacky inventions like a dog talking advice, you will like Rick and Morty.  I have enjoyed watching this show so far!  This show is a mix of Sanjay and Craig, Bob’s Burgers, and Regular Show.

The first season will have multiple guest appearances including Tom Kenny, Maurice LaMarche, John Oliver, David Cross, Claudia Black, Virginia Hey, Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell, Phil Hendrie, Dana Carvey, Aislinn Paul, and Cassie Steele.  New episodes of Rick and Morty airs on Monday nights on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.  Learn more about Rick and Morty at: http://video.adultswim.com/rick-and-morty/  Watch the first two episodes before they are taken off of YouTube!

All images and videos copyright from Adult Swim