All posts by ERTorre

E. R. Torre is a writer/artist whose first major work, the mystery graphic novel The Dark Fringe, was optioned for motion picture production by Platinum Studios (Men In Black, Cowboys vs. Aliens). At DC Comics, his work appeared in role-playing game books and the 9-11 Tribute book. This later piece was eventually displayed, along with others from the 9-11 tribute books, at The Library of Congress. More recently he released Shadows at Dawn (a collection of short stories), Haze (a murder mystery novel with supernatural elements), and Cold Hemispheres (a mystery novel set in the world of The Dark Fringe). He is currently hard at work on his latest science fiction/suspense series, Corrosive Knights, which features the novels Mechanic, The Last Flight of the Argus, and Chameleon.

The Beatles… Oddities

Just stumbled into these various videos, created by “You Can’t Unhear This” (who has a channel on YouTube) that examine some of the various oddities found in songs by The Beatles.

If you’re as big a fan of The Beatles as I am -and who doesn’t like The Beatles?!- then you may find this stuff fascinating as well…

First up, an examination of the song I’m Looking Through You, found on the album Rubber Soul, which features a bunch of odd notes and sounds and whom the author of this video deems The Beatles’ “messiest” song…

Next up, something I already knew about but still find quite funny. It’s the case of the hidden “F-Bomb” in the very famous song Hey Jude

Here we have the mysterious guitar solo in Let It Be

And here we examine the “craziest” edit in Beatles history, found on the song Strawberry Fields Forever. I was aware of the change in singing but I have to admit it never occurred to me this was a splicing of different “takes” on the song together. Ingenious stuff!

Finally, we have the “mystery” of who did the “aaaahhhhss” in what is to many, including myself, the very best song The Beatles ever made, A Day In The Life. I have to admit, of the videos presented, this one to me seemed the most obvious and I always assumed the person singing this part was the person they said it was (I’m trying not to give away the video). Anyway, here you go!

Life on Mars…?

It’s one of David Bowie’s all time best songs (and he made many great ones)…

…and its also something scientists, academics, novelists, musicans (yes), and the general public have grappled with for a very long time: The question of whether there is/was life on the planet Mars.

Over at, author Gilbert V. Levin offers this intriguing article, wherein he states…

I’m convinced we found evidence of life on Mars in the 1970’s

The article is presented on Scientific American, so don’t be terribly surprised by the dry analysis presented.

If you can work through it, you’ve got yourself a very fascinating article that posits the Viking craft that landed on Mars back in the 1970’s actually detected possible life, in the form of microbes, on the planet… but the results were considered tarnished for various reasons and not accepted.

Mr. Levin feels this is not the case, that the results are solid and prove we did discover “life on Mars” back then.

Give it a look. It’s fascinating stuff!

Lidar and Archaeology…

Absolutely fascinating article presented on and written by Zack Zorich concerning how…

Online map leads Archaeologist to Maya Discovery

One of the most interesting things about modern technology is that we’re able to discover things previously hidden thanks to satellite imagery and, as the article notes, lidar.

At the risk of giving away the entire article, it concerns how lidar images, some posted free online, allowed an archeologist to “see” buried structures. In this case, Mayan buried structures.

From the article:

These structures, which have been buried for hundreds of years, likely would never have been seen had it not been for the lidar photographs.

With photographs such as these, the buried structures, some under foliage or trees, are suddenly crystal clear and allow archeologists a clear guide to where to search for such structures.

Fascinating, fascinating stuff, and one wonders how many more buried ancient cities/towns/structures will be uncovered in the years to come all over the world!

Joker (2019) did well…

Not really much of a surprise posting here, for those who pay attention to such things, but the just released Joker film starring Joaquin Phoenix did exceptionally well over the weekend.

How well?

According to Pamela McClintock at The Hollywood Reporter…

Joker Has Last Laugh With Record $93.5 Million U.S. Bow, $234 Million Globally

Truly impressive numbers for an October film release. Usually, films released during this month aren’t expected to be big blockbusters but Joker can now be considered just such an animal.

Looking over at the film’s score, Joker is similarly pulling in good numbers, with an aggregate of 409 critics giving the film a quite good 70% positive while audiences give it an even higher 90% positive.

I still will most likely miss the film in its initial release… I simply don’t have the time to go to a film willy-nilly like I used to, and when I do, I like to go with the wife and see a film we will both (hopefully) enjoy. She isn’t digging the idea of the Joker film and I can’t blame her.

But to be very honest, I’m not as intrigued about seeing the film either. Mind you, I love the Batman character and his universe, but seeing a film focused on his arch-enemy’s “origin”, a film that doesn’t feature Batman himself… seems odd.

Then again, what do I know? Audiences clearly like the film enough to catapult it to the top and if this helps DC to get more intriguing properties to the screen, properties I might be more inclined to see, then I’m all for it!


Heard about Greta Thunberg? She’s the 16 year old environmental activist who has managed to push the issue of Global Warming and its negative effects to a, well, global audience.

Which has made her a target of many in power and especially those who operate in businesses which ultimately negatively affect the environment and which she vocally criticizes.

One of them would be Donald Trump. Now, Vladimir Putin has weighed in on her activities.

They like to put her down as young and uninformed or, barring that, an agent of her “wacky” parents.

Maybe I’m naive, but I see a girl who is more informed about the globe and the strange and very worrisome things happening within it and is, if nothing else, sounding an alarm we should all be listening to.

And at the very least, what’s so damn bad about wanting cleaner air and water and less destruction of natural habitats and animals?

Anyway, so Putin makes a snide comment about her and, in this article by Josephine Harvey, she took the comment and made it her own…

Greta Thunberg Just Sassed Putin With Her Classic Clapback Style

Oh Boy: Zack Snyder put together a new cut of Justice League…?

David James over at offers the following tantalizing bit of information/rumor…

Zack Snyder’s Put Together A New Cut Of Justice League For WB Execs

Ok, to begin and as many of you who frequent this area must know by now, I’m a fan of Zack Snyder’s Batman v. Superman, though I would quickly add the version I like the most is the Director’s Cut versus the chopped down Theatrical Cut. I suspect many people who despise that film are familiar with the Theatrical Cut, though certainly not all.

Believe it or not, I have yet to see Man of Steel, the first Zack Snyder DC foray featuring Henry Cavill’s Superman. Further to that, the only other Zack Snyder film I’ve seen in its entirety is Dawn of the Dead. I’m quite aware of his other films, from 300 to Sucker Punch to Watchmen, but I have yet to see any of those films. Given how little I liked Frank Miller’s 300 graphic novel, I suspect I’ll skip the movie version entirely.

I point the above out because I want to be clear about something: As much of a fan as I am of Batman v. Superman, I’m hardly a Zack Snyder uber-fan, though I suppose one can be forgiven by believing so given the number of times I’ve written about how much I love BvS.

Justice League, to my mind and as released in theaters, is hardly a full on Zack Snyder film. It’s also, I would venture to say, not a full on Joss Whedon film either. It’s a Frankenstein’s monster of a film as it’s been described by many, including in the above linked article.

You get parts which may feel a bit like Zack Snyder but other parts feel completely off. The story itself is also odd, moving in spurts and seemingly more unfocused than it should be.

Having said that, in my opinion the film isn’t terrible as it stands now. There are some bits here and there which I found interesting/fun but, overall, one could tell just as one could tell with the theatrical cut of BvS that there were a lot of things left on the cutting room floor.

In the case of Justice League, the tone of the film was far removed from that of BvS, the first big clue that Zack Snyder’s more “serious” take on the DC superheroes was erased by Joss Whedon. There was more snark, more humor, and less of a feeling of danger. The main villain appeared here and there and it just seemed like all major ties between that film and BvS were minimized.

The film didn’t do well at the box office which, given all the behind the scenes stories, wasn’t too big of a surprise. However, once the film finished its run, rumors of a Snyder Cut of Justice League emerged. There were many who felt such a cut simply didn’t exist and that people who hoped it did were deluding themselves.

Over time, that rumor evolved. Interestingly, Mr. Snyder, who frequents the internet and posts, didn’t say directly whether his cut of the film did indeed exist. Was he being coy, some wondered. I felt he was keeping quite because maybe he didn’t want to burn any bridges with Warner Brothers, in case further down the line he might either work for them again or perhaps be allowed to release Justice League as he intended.

Then, a few months back, the notion that a Zack Snyder Cut of Justice League was essentially verified and that Mr. Snyder had presented Warner Brothers executives a rough cut of the film shortly before he left to deal with his family tragedy. Further to that news was the rumor all that was left to complete on Mr. Snyder’s Cut of the film were some special effects (not an insignificant thing!) and perhaps the music (another not so insignificant thing!).

Meanwhile fans of Mr. Snyder petitioned Warner Brothers to release the Snyder Cut, and even some celebrities, among them Kevin Smith and Aquaman himself, Jason Momoa, publicly stated they wanted to see the Snyder Cut released. Later on Mr. Momoa posted that Mr. Snyder played his cut of the film to the actor.

By this point, there was no longer any doubt a Zack Snyder Cut of Justice League did indeed exist.

Which brings us to the above article.

Of course, it is a rumor, though the author notes the source did peg other DC movie news correctly.

If Mr. Snyder was afforded the opportunity to present a new cut of Justice League to Studio Executives, it can be for one reason only: To let them see the product for themselves and decide whether/how/if they want to release the film.

Perhaps now, with DC doing well with “stand alone” superhero films, they’ve come to realize they no longer have to present each new DC movie as being connected, a la Marvel films, to each other.

So DC Execs may feel a “Snyderverse” trilogy of films isn’t such a bad thing after all.

If the rumor is true, then perhaps Warner Brothers has come to the realization that it is pointless to let all that hard work and money invested sit and rot away, especially when there exists a vocal contingent of fans who appear very interested in seeing -and therefore spending money on- the Justice League film as it was originally conceived.

And if it is released, and people wind up -shock of shocks- really liking it, is it so inconceivable to think that maybe, just maybe, we might get another Snyder Justice League…?

Stranger things have certainly happened.

For now, let’s take it a step at a time and see if the Zack Snyder Cut of Justice League finally makes its way to the masses.

UPDATE: Yesterday the very same website,, offered the following article by Evan Lewis:

Zack Snyder Trying to get WB to Release Justice League Snyder Cut

While the author of this article was different from the one I first pointed out above, the gist of the story is the same: Zack Snyder has apparently shown a tweaked version of his Justice League to the powers that be at WB and is hoping to convince them to allow him to complete the film and formally release it.

The author of this second article is decidedly less enthusiastic about the whole thing and his article is more negative in tone, yet it would appear we now have at least two articles -whether they were created from the same source(s) I don’t know- who point out that there does seem to be an effort to interest WB in releasing the Snyder Cut of Justice League.

We’ll see!

Corrosive Knight… A Big Thank You, Part Deux

A while back (you can read it here) I thanked everyone who, to that point, had taken the time to not only read my Corrosive Knights novels, but also taken the time to either write reviews or give the novels a “star” rating which pops up on

Since that first posting, I’m beyond honored that my novels seem to continue being both read (almost all the Corrosive Knights novels are available to be read through Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program) and purchased and positive reviews of them keep coming in.

In the first posting, we had 77 ratings for a total score of 4.18 out of 5 stars. Since that point, we’ve moved to 93 ratings and our score remains remarkably consistent, now at 4.17 out of 5 stars.

Hopefully, I’ll soon get to see my books reach 100 ratings… and beyond!

This year has easily been the best I’ve had with regard to people reading and purchasing my novels. Since releasing the seventh book in the series, Legacy of the Argus, back in November of 2018 and redoing all the covers to the books, every day -save for maybe a handful since January- has movement on the books.

As a small time, independent writer, it pleases me to see so many people checking out my works and, of course, enjoying them enough to offer positive feedback. While I’m not so obnoxious to think that my books appeal to everyone, I’m pleased because the impression I’m getting is that those who have tried the books have plunged in deep, reading multiple novels and/or the full run.

To be clear: I can’t “see” who exactly reads the books or the amount of pages each individual reads, but I can, from day to day, see the number of pages of each novel that is read through Kindle Unlimited. And when I see one particular novel suddenly getting, say, 500+ pages read in a single day, I think its a safe assumption whomever is reading the particular novel is enjoying it enough to blow through it.

In my case, if I do so with a novel it means I’m really enjoying it and am eager to get to the end.

I hope the same applies to my works with other readers!

Regardless, once again a BIG thank you to everyone who’s given me their time and read my novels.

I hope to keep surprising and entertaining you guys with my future works!

Tesla batteries…

Over at there’s an interesting article by Bill Roberson concerning the life of their cars’ batteries:

The clock is ticking on electric car batteries – and how long they will last

The article is quite timely: Some of the first production Tesla vehicles were released in 2012, ie 7 years ago, and the company’s warranty period is for 8 years meaning that some of the oldest Teslas out there are about to go out of warranty.

At the risk of giving most of the article away, the author discovered the batteries in those older Teslas appear to still be in remarkably good condition, degrading in some cases only some 10% at most in terms of their distance/range.

A nice thing to realize!

One thing I would note regarding this article and electric cars in general: We’re still in the very early days of the electric car “revolution” (if you want to call it that) and, as noted, some of the older Tesla vehicles are only 7 or so years old.

The battery life has already improved. My Model 3 is a “long range” vehicle that, in theory and when charged to 100%, is supposed to have a range of 310 miles. Now, to be clear, the range depends on several factors, including how fast/slow you’re driving, using AC or the heater, etc. etc. The new Model S cars, however, have a range of 377 miles, an astonishing increase compared to previous models.

Again, we’re at the beginning of the electric car revolution and I strongly suspect in time we will see better and better batteries and better and better battery life.

Within the article there is talk of newer battery modules which may give these cars a range of 1000 miles and charging which will be as quick as getting gas in your car is now.

Frankly, it wouldn’t surprise me at all.

But it is encouraging to see that the Tesla vehicles are showing such durability regarding their batteries.

It can only get better with time!

Ancient Statues…

We go to museums and, often, get to see some beautiful statues which have survived hundreds, sometimes thousands of years.

But very often, the statues we see aren’t presented the way they were originally presented in ancient times.


Sometimes its because the statues are broken here and there (the famous Venus De Milo, which I wrote about a while back concerning what she was doing with her lost arms, is a perfect example).

Other statutes were originally painted, often with very vibrant colors, and over time these colors have been lost or fallen off.

Over on writer Jacopo Prisco offers a fascinating article concerning…

The true colors of ancient statues

I won’t give much away here, but its a fascinating look at how some are trying to figure out how some statues were originally presented when they were first created, and offers some intriguing examples of the same.

Good stuff!

Politics… Beware…!

What a week it’s been, no?

After so many months of the Mueller investigation which, once released, was kneecapped by Trump’s Attorney General Bill Barr -who issues a self-serving memorandum that while incredibly dishonest about what Mueller uncovered admittedly helped push the Trump narrative positively- this whole Ukraine phone call seems to have really hit its target.

I suppose that’s the way things go.

I mean, when you get a professional investigator of high repute in Mueller to investigate a matter as serious as the Russian interference in the 2016 election yet he proves too deferential to stonewalling witnesses -including the President, who refused to be interviewed and instead only provided written (lawyered up) answers to question- it seems in retrospect one can not be surprised the report fizzled to some degree in Joe Average Citizen’s mind.

Too complicated. Too much information. Not enough of a snappy, quick answer to the question.

Joe Average Citizen can be forgiven in thinking Trump’s gotten away with it, whatever “it” was, because the report was too damn long and who in their right mind is going to read -much less make sense of- all that stuff…?

And then, out of nowhere, clarity.

Thanks to someone within the Trump White House, a whistleblower’s concern, plus an oblivious White House releasing transcripts of what turns out to be a pretty damn incriminating phone call (in what world did these people think releasing that transcript would somehow prove Trump did nothing wrong?!), we suddenly have that clarity.

First, the whistleblower’s complaint was that Trump was holding up Congressional approved monies to be sent to Ukraine to help them defend against Russian provocations so that they would help him find “dirt” on Joe Biden and his son, whom they think did some underhanded stuff there.

The accusation was shocking but Trump’s team of Einsteins felt that they had the perfect proof he did no such thing and released their summation of the phone call between Trump and the Ukranian President Zelenskyy. The following part of the transcript and Trump’s statements to President Zelenskyy clearly shows us what the whistleblower feared Trump was up to:

I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they s_say Crowdstrike … I guess you have one of your weal thy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it. There- are a lot. of things that went on, the whole situation ..

Understand, THIS IS WHAT THE WHITE HOUSE ITSELF RELEASED TO PROVE TRUMP DID NOTHING WRONG…! (You can read the full transcripts here, if you’re so inclined).

We’re not talking about some Democratic operative’s leak or some underhanded theft of private property skewed to make “President” Trump look bad, we’re talking the actual material they themselves chose to release.

“I would like you to do us a favor” Trump states, while he is holding back aid to Ukraine. The favor involves getting help from the Ukraine which Trump can use against Joe Biden in next year’s Presidential Elections.

Suddenly, the wrongdoing is incredibly obvious and -better yet for Joe Average Citizen- easy to see.

So easy to see, and so easy to show, that over the weekend those who tried to defend Trump found themselves having a very hard time doing so. I won’t go over all of them, but suffice to say this White House, which has been (I hate to admit it) pretty good at hitting back against outrageous actions they’ve been involved in, were suddenly having a great deal of trouble putting this particular fire out.

Now we have a full blown Impeachment inquiry in the House. I suspect things will go fairly quickly. Hell, they don’t have to do much but show the White House’s own transcripts as exhibit “A” of why Trump needs to be impeached.

How will the Senate subsequently react? The Senate has a Republican majority and a Majority Leader who is loathe to do anything against this administration.

But when faced with what is clearly -to anyone with a set of eyes- a deeply illegal action, how will the other Republicans vote?

I suppose like so many other things, time will tell.