Goodbye Futurama… Again!

futuramaI’m sure many of us recall what it was like saying goodbye to Futurama for the first time back in 2003. The final episode opened with its usual title shot and upbeat music, and the caption down at the bottom read “See you on some other channel”. And after six years of reruns on Adult Swim and four direct-to-video movies, that prediction came true.

In 2009, Comedy Central picked up the show and began running new episodes, and all the fans started thumbing their noses at Fox. Once again, the big bad network lost as a show it had canned for unclear reasons (some believed it had to do with Groening being “too liberal” for Fox’s taste) was brought back from exile. And for the next four years, we the fans got treated to new episodes of a favorite series.

Futurama_BillionBacksAnd now, for the second time, we say goodbye to Futurama, which aired its last episode less than a week ago on Tuesday, Sept 4th, 2013. Naturally, I’ve been wanting to say something about it, but thought I would hold off until I finished watching the last episode. And now that that’s done, and my feelings are raw, I am free to spit some hot fire!

According to the industry buzz, the decision to discontinue the show was made exclusively by Comedy Central, which announced that it was finished with the series and would not be renewing for an eight season. Meanwhile, Matt Groening has said that he intends to continue with the series and get it picked up by another network, so fans can rest easy in the knowledge that the talent isn’t quitting, it’s was just some dumbass execs that decided to pull the plug!

bender_killallhumansAnd I for one have to wonder what the hell they are thinking. Who do they think they are, the Fox Network? Do they not recall the lashing those guys got from Groening after they axed his show? In any case, the cast and crew once again chose to go out with a cheeky bang. This time around, the caption words “Avenge Us” appeared at the bottom of the screen as the opening scene began to roll!

Oh, we will, Mr. Groening! We will! In addition, this final episode chose to once again focus on the love story between Fry and Leila. You might recall how last time, the show ended with “The Devils Hands are Idle Playthings”, where Fry composes for Leila a holophoner song and the episode ends with an image of them kissing, holding hands and walking into the distance. Well to up the ante, this episode ended with Fry and Leila spending a lifetime together, and then going around for another pass! (sniff, sniff)

Futurama_FryandLeela'sweddingAnd in the meantime, I want to do a tribute piece for this awesome series and I’d like people’s help to make it happen. Since we collectively make up the fan community , I’d like to know from all of you what you thought was great about this show. What were the best episodes? What were the funniest moments? What were the saddest moments? Who were the greatest characters? And who do you think will pick it up for its third run?

Drop me a line and let me know what you think. And I think I speak for us all when I “say goodbye for now” to Futurama for the second time! Perhaps it’s denial, or just confidence in the show itself, but I got a feeling we’ll be seeing it again soon! 🙂


The Future is Here: Jetpack Rentals!

jetlevIt’s official, commercial jetpacks are here! And while they might not use rockets, or be available for general purchase, they are still a pretty amazing joyride from the looks of it. Basically, the packs use pumped water from a backpack through a hose connected to a small, unmanned boat. Users are then hurled into the air, and with the adjustment of attitude controls, are able to fly around in circles.

So far, there are two models that are showing up in major vacation destinations like San Diego, Key West, Florida, Myrtle Beach, and Cancun, Mexico. There’s the Jetlev, which can lift a person 9 metres in the air, and the Flyboard, which looks like a small snowboard attached to a hose and can propel riders 14 metres in the air. To give you some perspective, that’s about the height of a three and four storey building, respectively.

jetlev2Promotional videos have been turning up by the hundreds on Youtube, Hulu, Dailymotion, and other video-sharing websites, and the hits are reaching into the millions. Clearly, these jetpacks are the newest thing when it comes to water sports and adventure reaction, but they are raising their fair share of environmental concerns as well.

In Hawaii for example, where the jetpacks are expected to make an appearance very soon, the concerns of fishermen and ocean enthusiasts prompted the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to call a public meeting about the devices last month. The department’s top enforcement officer, Randy Awo, expressed alarm about unsafe maneuvers, such as riders diving into the water next to moving boats.

????????In addition, fishermen are concerned that the noise will disrupt their livelihood. In this, they are joined by University of Hawaii coral scientist Bob Richmond, who told officials that the noise the devices make could cause fish to avoid areas that are too loud. He’s also worried that fish and coral larvae could get pumped through some of the equipment and die.

But of course, solutions and regulations are being proposed, such as setting aside areas for recreational use that are far removed from fishing waters and coral habitats. The same is likely to be the case in other parts of the world where conservation and fishing are major concerns, but tourist dollars are heavily sought after.

hawaii-coral-reef-600x404In the meantime though, adventure enthusiasts and futurists can draw some encouragement from this, since it demonstrates that we are clearly living in a time when devices that seem like they are right out of the annals of science fiction are becoming a reality!

And be sure to check out the video of Myrtle Beach jetpack adventures, showing a Jetlev R200 in action: