The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #124: The Robocop Show (30th Anniversary Tribute with Jeremy and Brent Simon)

Episode #124: The Robocop Show (30th Anniversary Tribute with Jeremy and Brent Simon)

Last show of the year! Happy holidays! Brent Simon and my brother, Jeremy, came on the show this week to cap off 2017 to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1987 film, Robocop.  We also touch on the recent remake and a number of other things from the era, like some Saturday morning cartoons (there was a trend of making kids’ cartoons out of hyper violent 80s action films, like Conan, Chuck Norris flicksRambo, and, of course, Robocop – click on the highlighted links or the pics below for youtube clips of the show intros).

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The original Robocop was an interesting film in many ways since it was sort of aimed at kids … yet not (in that it was over the top violent and barely squeaked by an R rating)! However, robots were all the rage at the time.  Kids, adults, we all loved them.  Remember that this was the age of super robots cartoons (Transformers, Gobots, Robotech, Voltron, M.A.S.K., and a skew of others, mostly from Japan that didn’t get as much exposure here in the US) and ones in films like Star Wars, Short Circuit, and Terminator.

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We also covered a number of Robocop spin offs, like the games and some crossover comics.  Jeremy, who has encyclopedic knowledge of comic books and is behind the Classic Batman Panels Instagram page, contributed a lot of great info on the show about comic crossovers (many of whom were published by Dark Horse), including the Robocop / Terminator miniseries written by Frank Miller.

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Of course, one must check out the AVGN videos on the games spawned by the Robocop franchise.

The originals for the NES looked pretty shite.  In this epsiode the AVG Nerd also comments on the interesting 80s/90s phenomenon of making kids games’ out of R rated movies.

The Robocop v Terminator SNES game looks like it might have been ok to while away a few hours.

I originally intended to purchase a used gas blowback airsoft replica of Robocop’s auto 9 machine pistol on eBay for the show and include a video clip of it letting loose like in the movie but decided against it when I saw the price tag. 🙂   Ganking a clip off youtube was much cheaper!

(The auto 9, as a heavily modified Beretta 93R, doesn’t actually exist in real life, so a replica is the closest you can get if you want to legally own something like in the movie.  Even so, a gas blowback airsoft pistol will still set you back ~200 USD.  If you are in the States, a retailer like Airsoft Atlanta is a good option, and you won’t have to pay international shipping charges.  However, the latter may be worth it in some cases.  The HK retailer Redwolf Airsoft has a good selection and generally reasonable prices.)

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This pixelart animation of Lara Croft for the Tomb Raider game I intended to make once upon a time shows her shooting an auto 9.

Find more Brent Simon here (parts 1 , 2 , and 3 here) or on Jeff Finely‘s channel (below, Brent’s interview and Jeff’s – they were both multipart episodes, and Jeff compiled them into these videos):

A day in the life of Brent Simon, “The Brentumentary,” done by Jeff, and Brent current project, Aerial Focused.


Nirvana Pilot Yume is a recently release PC game now available on Steam created to answer the question: what happened if the 1993 space racing MS-DOS game, Skyroads, were a visual novel with 80s anime visuals and a synthwave soundtrack?

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The team who created it, Dev9k, came on the show last week (12/18/17) to talk about their influences and have graciously supplied a free copy of the game for a lucky entrant into this contest!  It will go on until next week. 

Happy holidays.  See you in the New Year!



Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

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Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!  Thanks for coming on the show, Brent!  It was a pleasure!


The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #96: Visualization for Healing

Episode #96: Zen Visualization for Healing and Learning + New Synth Track Preview

Today’s podcast about focusing the power of the mind to help heal injuries goes out to Ryan, a friend of mine who sustained an unexpected injury.  Hope it helps (at the very least, it can’t hurt!)  Get well soon!

We talked about zen in archery back in episode #62 and a year ago back in episode #44.   As before, we’ll be reading from a chapter in the book, Zen in the Martial Arts, by Joe Hyams:

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Click on the picture of the book above to find a copy of your own.

If you’re at all interested in martial arts or philosophy (or both), I’d highly recommend reading it.  I first read it when I was introduced to martial arts at age 13.  There was a lot I didn’t understand or only understood partially at the time but have found that with each re-reading, I take away a new lesson.

The chapter I’m reading from today is about using positive visualization to make changes in your life: i.e. not letting negative thinking get the better of you, maintaining a positive outlook while injured, or learning something new.  It’s important to remember that before our bodies can do something, our brains must plan it out first.  It may happen unconsciously, but the body does do what the brain sees first!  Sounds simple (and it is – though that does not necessarily mean easy), but that’s zen for you.

In case you don’t have access to the book, here are a few snippets from the chapter:

The version of the book I have has black and white photographs accompanying the chapters.  For this chapter, there’s a flame, probably to accompany Bruce Lee’s idea of imagining negative thoughts burning up in his mind.

And since today was all about fire and focus, we’ll end with the first half of a new song I’ll be releasing in the next few weeks called “Ember.”  I wrote it years ago and have been trying to rework it into a synthesizer track for the sequel to Long Ago Not So Far Away (which, coincidentally, you can now find for streaming off Spotify).  It’s been a slow going process (as these things often are), but so far, I’m pretty happy with the way it’s been going.  It’s about growing up, which involves a certain amount of questioning who you are and what you believe.  But it’s also about believing in yourself and not losing the fire that drives your passion.  In the words of Mr. Miyagi (Karate Kid 3), “Daniel-san, focus!  … Best karate still inside!”

Join the mailing list for an upcoming EP with “Ember” and number of new tracks!

As always, thanks for listening!

Glowing ember photo courtesy of Anastasia Zhenina.



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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #44: Zen

Episode #44: Zen Practice, Martial Arts, and Everyday Life

Today’s podcast is all about Zen.

Zen, a philosophy that carries much ado and marketing buzz, really can be summed up in one simple idea – being present right where you are now.  It’s obviously easier said than done, but certain activities naturally lend themselves to discovering this state of no-mind easier than others, martial arts being one such avenue.

George Lucas incorporated these ideas into the character of Yoda (essentially a Zen master in a galaxy far, far away) in his teachings of the Force and the way of the Jedi to a young Luke Skywalker, so that’s an easy way to think some of the ideas behind Zen if you’re familiar with the films but not Zen.

This synth Yoda-Zen montage clip is from a fellow bandcamper, melodysheep.  You can listen to the full song here and check out the rest of his work at

But you don’t have to travel far to find Zen and its applications in daily life.  This episode focuses on a few segments from the book Zen in the Martial Arts by Joe Hyams:

There’s an excerpt on being present in the moment, accepting your limitations and using them to your advantage, and deep breathing, a gateway to meditative practices.

For years, I’ve found aspects of tai chi practice helpful as a kind of moving mediation.  I like this particular video since it’s so easy to follow along with, as the movements are reversed for the viewer so you don’t have to mentally adjust left and right in your mind to match what the instructor is saying (a common issue with learn by video):

Scott Cole: Discover Tai Chi AM/PM Workouts

Click for an excerpt

Aspects of Zen were behind this particular passage in The Thirteenth Hour, where Logan eventually does the counterintuitive and, after centering himself, relaxes instead of struggling to get out a magic spell that makes him immobile.

No, I won’t give up …

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I summoned all my energy and with a shout that rang in my ears long after it had faded, I slowly scooped myself off the stone floor. I fell back immediately. I tried again and managed a short stumble to the wall. I clung to it for support. Tears and bad words. You didn’t give up. Good. Now relax. Relax your muscles. They screamed in protest, as did I, with them. Boy, I must have been a sorry sight – sputtering and crying, unshaven and haggard, malodorous and malnourished – but in my own dystonic way, I managed to lurch along, bit by stumbling bit …

… My arms and legs still seemed incredibly heavy, like lead. I could have made better ground running in quicksand. But by concentrating on relaxing my cramping muscles, I had broken the spell, and with every step I took, the life that I had almost given up flowed back into my veins.

Now that you have a sense of what Zen is, how have you encountered it in your life?  Leave your comments below, and we can  discuss in a future episode.

As always, thanks for listening!


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