Saturday, March 28, 2009

Battlestar Series Final

Okay, it’s been a week since this amazing show ended and I haven’t deposited my 2 cents so here they are. Basically, I liked the ending despite it committing a lot of the 7 Deadly Sins of Religion in Sci-fi, but I didn’t love it and that’s a shame.

I forgave the lame ploy of having the dead pilot release the nukes and destroy the Cylon Colony, or that Starbuck was a “material” angel all along, or that virtual Baltar and Six were not virtual at all, but fraking angels as well. I forgave all the useless flash backs to pre-nuked Caprica that added nothing to the characters when this time could have been used to resolve some current character issue like Six and Tigh dealing with the death of their child and splitting up. I for gave all that, but I just couldn’t forget it so I couldn’t bring myself to love the finale.

I did enjoy the rescue of Hera a lot and I loved that they landed on ancient Earth and mingled with the Cro-Magnons, which started modern humanity. I just love shit like that. I also like that Hera is the Mitochondrial Eve, which means all humans alive today are a little bit Cylon.

But the highlight of the episode has to be the scene of Adama giving Roslin his wedding ring. That is what made this episode at all satisfying to me. It wasn’t much, but it was powerful.

Here’s hoping the shoe-horned spin-off, prequel Caprica lives up to the standard left behind by this messy, imperfect, awesome show.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mayorga and Haplogroup R1b1b2

Marge’s dad just got back the Y-DNA results from the National Geographic's Genographic Project and it turns out he is Haplogroup R1b1b2 (formerly R1B1c), which is pretty common throughout Europe, but very common in the Iberian Peninsula. Here are some stats from Wikipedia:

Welsh 89%, Basque 88%, Irish 81%, Northern Portuguese 81%, Catalan 79%, Scottish 77%, English 75%, other Spanish 70%, Dutch 70%, Belgians 63%, Southern Portuguese 60%, Ossetians 43%, Italian 40%, German 39%

While doing some research on the Mayorga surname, which comes from a town in Spain and is a common surname in Nicaragua, I found this possible ancestor:

"Don Alonso Diaz de Mayorga y Arregui was born in Seville during the first half of the sixteenth century. His father was from Old Castile and his mother was Basque. He arrived in Nicaragua around 1608 and actively participated in the design of the new city Santiago de los Caballeros de León as the previous city had been destroyed by the eruption of the volcano, Momotombo, which forced the residents and authorities to seek a new site for relocating the city. It was relocated as the new town, consolidated on the site is now known as Santiago de los Caballeros de León. Don Alonso was one of those who collaborated on the layout of the streets of the new city, the location of the new church and buildings that would house the offices of the new authorities."

It seems most Nicaraguen Mayorgas are decended from Don Alonso Díaz de Mayorga y Arregui. The "Díaz de Mayorga" surname survived for like 9 generations before getting shortened to just Mayorga.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Spanish Inquisition # 1 is up!

After having a conversation with the wife about the awesomeness of Blankets and Scott Pilgrim, she challenged me to write a comic that DID NOT involve superheroes or aliens or gods... so I took the challenge and Spanish Inquisition was born. Also I'd never written a comic strip (4 panels, self-contained stories) so I took that challenge too. I hope I can keep it up. It's a little like writing a haiku, but it's also very fun.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Watching the Watchmen (Then reading the book.)

I’ve had time to digest the new Watchmen movie and I can’t shake how much I enjoyed it. I was one of those people who thought Alan Moore’s comic was unfilmable, but you know what? I was wrong. I think this film is a great compliment to the comic. Does it lose some of the depth and nuance and detail of the comic, of course it does, but that’s not unique to this title. Most book-to-film adaptations loose something. It’s just the nature of the transition. But I think Zack Snyder did an excellent job and this movie will live on as a gateway drug for the comic.

And that’s something to consider. I was introduced to the comic when I was in (or around) high school and the film had to live up to that. It was an uphill climb, but I’ve noticed a lot of people (and not just high schoolers) who have seen the movie first, after all Hollywood movies have a vastly larger audience than comic books, and were blown away. Then they picked up the trade (sorry, I can’t bring myself to call it a graphic novel) and delved deeper into the world of Watchmen. The film acts as an appetizer to the comic’s main course and that's a good and satisfying direction to go.