Pure Genius? What a load of Bull – MacGyver would just need a paperclip!

There are three new US TV shows I’m watching at the moment. It’s still early days yet as to if I’ll stick with these shows. But I already have some thoughts.

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The cast of Pure Genius.

 

Pure Genius:

So I’ve been watching the first two episodes of this new US drama called Pure Genius, that feels to me as if it has a bit of a SF edge.

The premise is that a billionaire philanthropist has set up a state of the art medical treatment and research facility (Bunker Hill) that uses cutting edge technology not available to most medical professionals. This combined with seemingly unlimited financial resources and the best of the best of medical, technological and engineering geniuses – has the protagonists battling seemingly impossible to beat medical scenarios.

There’s quite a diverse looking cast, which is excellent. The patients the characters treat are from a variety of different socio-economic backgrounds

The technologies and treatments they use in this show have so far varied from the tantalisingly close to what is already possible to the seemingly sci-fi. Mind to Mind electronic communication, Augmented reality – combined with medical scanning and imaging techniques and other futuristic feeling approaches.

Pure Genius is straddling a fence between serious medical drama and sci-fi drama. It will be interesting to see how this show develops.

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Michael Weatherly plays Dr Bull.

 

Bull:

Bull is the new Michael Weatherly show. I have no idea if he left NCIS because he had this show all signed and sealed – or if he left the show and was THEN cast as the titular Bull. But it’s nice to see the guy breaking out from his DiNozzo role.

Bull is a straight up legal procedural show – but instead of focusing upon the investigation leading up to the court cases, or even the lawyers fighting those cases. Bull is set mostly behind the scenes. Dr Bull is a Jury/trial consultant who leads a team of experts to figure out how their client can win their case.

This show feels very polished and I’m already loving it. It’s got a witty and subtle sub-layer, whilst tackling tricky social/legal issues. The casting is great and this show is probably one that I’m going to stick with.

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The new MacGyver when compared to the old. At least the mullet remains.

 

MacGyver:

… and then we come to the new MacGyver. I’m still on the fence with this show. Ok, the women in this show all kick ass. There’s a paperclip in every episode – with the traditional voice over/hand close-up as the main character defuses a bomb with a swiss army knife and a battery. (A made up example – I think)

The casting seems ok, but for some reason something feels off. There’s George Eads as Jack Dalton, MacGyver’s right hand man. (Which in itself feels weird as I don’t remember Richard Dean Anderson needing a partner.) Although there is a fun(?) reference to a famous storyline his CSi character had back in the day. But otherwise, I think my main discomfort with MacGyver’s casting is that everyone on this show is just too damned good looking!

Despite the leather jacket, like I said – I’m still on the fence about this show.

Are there any other US TV shows I should be on the lookout for? Let me know.

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Gotta Catch ‘Em All! (Pokémon Go)

Today I’m going to talk about my current Pokémon obsession, Pokémon Go.

How badly have I become obsessed by this game? Well… I’ll just say that as of today I now have three active accounts.

That’s right. I have a problem. My problem Is that I have yet to catch them all!

The observant amongst you will notice that one of my accounts is not like the others. Yup, I have a Team Instinct account too! 😉 The two Valor accounts are my main accounts. (I have two phones OK!) HishamElfar is my original account – linked to my Pokémon Trainer account. That’s the account where I learned to play the game properly (and thus made all sorts of mistakes). The HishamWade account is one I started to try again – this time I hoarded all of my stardust and candies until I could really make them count. 😀

The YellowPeriPeri account is for Gym pruning. Quite often I see a friendly level 10 gym at maximum capacity, but get annoyed when I see a level 10 Weedle or similar occupying one or more of the slots. Until recently I had to wait for another player from a different team to attack a gym before I could work to put one of my own higher level monsters in its place. But today I created a third account for Gym pruning. I may have been hungry and had thoughts about Nando’s running through my mind when I created that account… 😉

I’m really loving this game. Yes, there’s a LOT that needs improving and adding (Pokémon Radar, Trading, More Pokémon, Missing Pokémon, PokeCentres etc). But it will all come together eventually. In the meantime Niantic and Nintendo have just had their first of what I hope will become the first of many, special events. A Halloween themed weekend. It was kinda cool.

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I’ve also been blessed by the fact that there is a spawn point for rare pokemon relatively nearby to where I live. Until recently I could catch at least one Electabuzz a day from this location – more If I kept an eye on it all day. Sadly when Niantic did one of their semi-regular spawn shuffles, my days of easy Electabuzz farming ended. But the good news the same spot now spawns Magmars. So, I’m still happy! 😀

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If anyone else has thought about giving the game a try, I would caution you to learn from my early mistakes.

When you catch pokemon in the early levels, Keep at least one of each species (Keep the highest CP) but don’t waste the stardust or candies on powering up or evolving them until you get to a much higher level. (The exception being Pidgies, Weedles, Rattata and other extremely common monsters – evolve them in large batches in conjunction with a lucky egg for fast track levelling up!) Don’t waste the limited use Incubators on 2km eggs. Save them for 5km or preferably 10km eggs. Trust me, future you will thank me – after cursing at me about the game addiction. Use the infinite incubator for 2km eggs.

Are you playing along? Why not tell me about your favourite catch or hatch so far? Go on, make me jealous. 😉

 

November Already?

Today is November 1st.

Which means that I’m probably not going to see much of some of my friends as they dive head first into the gaping maw that is NaNoWriMo. 😦 I won’t be doing it myself this year – I’m just not able to dedicate the time to it in 2016. Instead I’ll try to write a blog post a day. That way I might feel like less of a failure. (An unlikely result!) Some days the post will might only be a brief and short update on something – others might be a full on review of a book or TV show/movie… who knows. But to everyone taking part in NaNo this year, best of luck!

So, yes. I’m finally back. But what have I been up to for the last… however many months?

Well when I last made any meaningful posts worth mentioning, I was looking forward to my first EdgeLit in Derby, Fantasy Con in Scarborough, Various book signing events I wanted to attend in various locales around the UK. I wanted to keep up with my reading challenge. (I set myself a goal on Goodreads to read 104 books this year) and I was taking part in a few Read Alongs  with the SF/F Read Along group on Goodreads.

But health is a fickle beast. I suffered a crippling bout of Migraines in the run up to EdgeLit. and in the end couldn’t go as I was suffering too much. Those health problems continued for quite a while, preventing me from blogging, traveling, working or even reading. Thankfully my health improved enough that I managed to attend Fantasy Con in Scarborough… although through a combination of food poisoning and head-pain I wasn’t able to enjoy it as much as I wanted to.

But the worst of everything was my lack of ability for the longest time to enjoy reading anything or blog/write anything. For about a month I had a special app installed on my phone that could change the colour balance on my phone screen AND dim the brightness down even further than the default brightness range allowed. My head hurt so bad and I suffered severe light sensitivity – making it worse still.

I’m also now being treated for a back problem I’ve been suffering from for a while now through anti-inflamatories and physiotherapy – So yay, hopefully I’ll become more mobile again soon.

Several months later  after the migraines I’m still effected in little ways. I’m still avoiding drinking caffeinated drinks (as much out of habit as anything now) because too much caffeine was one of my migraine triggers – Which has made some of the early shifts I work INCREDIBLY FUN! I’m also still not reading as much as I would like – something I’m trying to improve upon. Goodreads seems to take great delight in taunting me with the fact that I am now 9 books behind on my target!

Otherwise there are little things that keep me sane (A minor miracle considering I’m not drinking Tea at the moment) and have captured my attention. I have become addicted to Pokémon Go – which thanks to the new phone I got in September (Oh hey, did I mention my new phone?) means I can enjoy the crazy madness of wandering the streets, oblivious to danger and peril as I attempt to “Catch ‘Em All!”.

Oh and hey, even though I would have missed it when it was at the Cinema, I still managed to see Ghostbusters on a big screen because one of the local cinemas had a one off late showing well after everywhere else! So yay – It was AWESOME!

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More recently I went with friends to the now annual Hallowscream at York Maze. It was a lot of fun. 😀

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Other visual media treats I have enjoyed include Luke Cage (Seriously awesome!), The Girl With All The Gifts (So Good!), Gilmore Girls (Don’t judge me, it’s really good – Rory’s choices in boys not withstanding!), The Good Place is off to a really promising start and I’ve just started watching The Walking Dead. I’m also enjoying Bull, but have conflicted feelings about the new MacGyver series.

Books I’m reading right now: Vicious by V. E. Schwab and Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn. Books next up after those: After Atlas by Emma Newman, Conspiracy Of Ravens by Lila Bowen, The Forever Endeavor by Chuck Wendig and a major re-read of the Merchant Princes series by Charles Stross.

So, what else have I missed that you would recommend? Tell me about the TV, Movies, Books and whatever that have stirred up your feelings in a good way.

Update: Normal Service Will Resume Shortly.

Hello. Remember me?

It’s been a while since I last posted anything of note. Unfortunately I suffered a bad spell of health problems that made it all but impossible to blog in anyway. I’m pretty much over most of that though, I’ve been back at work for nearly a month and my energy levels are returning to normal – so normal service will be resuming shortly.

Soon I’ll be posting more book reviews. Event summaries and thoughts. Plus whatever else comes to mind when I put fingers to keyboard.

I’m even thinking of rejigging the look of the blog. That may be a disaster – as I pretty much have no idea what I’m doing. But we shall see.

In the mean time, I need to get back to watching the awesome Luke Cage on Netflix.

 

See you soon.

General Update

This is just a small post to let anyone interested know why the posting activity on my blog has been… uneven over the last month or so.

Almost every post I write gets scheduled for publication on a specific date/time. I do this for a number of reasons. To even out my posts over multiple days so that no one day gets too busy (I don’t want to  seemingly be spamming people). Maybe I want a review for a new book/event to be posted on the day of launch? Maybe I want to postba series of posts on consecutive days for continuity? There are many reasons.

Over the last month. I haven’t been able to write ANY posts due to some health problems I’ve been experiencing. Every post that HAS been published over that time was one that was aleady written and pre-scheduled to post in advance – or one that was mostly already written and just required some editing or such.

I hope to be able to resume normal blogging again in the (hopefully) near future, symptoms and medication side-effects not withstanding.
Hisham

Review: No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished by Rachel Aaron. (Heartstrikers #3)

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Finally, It’s here! Book #3 of the Heartstrikers series – No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished by Rachel Aaron! I have been looking forward to this for so long, but now it’s out! (Here in the UK anyway 😉 ) August 5th as an ebook and (hopefully) print format! (An Audio book version will follow in September).

I got to read it early *smug overload* and I loved it! Want to know more? Then read on for my quasi-review.

Mild Spoilers beyond this point!

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SF/F Read Alongs: All Is Fair By Emma Newman. (Week 3)

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This read along of All Is Fair was organized by the SF/F Read Along group on Goodreads, and has been broken down into four, one week chunks, each week participants are asked some questions on what they think so far.

There WILL be spoilers beyond this point – and probably (If books 1 & 2 are anything to go by) swearing, lots and lots of SWEARING! Prepare for profanity!

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