As a reporter, I sometimes need to be out where it's slightly dangerous. A neat safety vest is something I ought to get sometime. I just would want to put my company's logo on it.
The Cliff Mass Weather Blog reports on strange cloud lines. SCIENCE!
I wanna make some notebooks.
The BBC has posted some totally wonderful pictures of a 13-year-old girl using a golden eagle to hunt in Mongolia.
How the Muppets created Generation X. I still firmly believe that a person who has never worked with the Muppets is not a real star. Any so-called TV, movie or music stars that came along since the Muppet Show first aired but haven't worked with the Muppets? Not stars. They are all wannabes. Please note: working with the Muppets does not automatically make you a real star, but you cannot be a real star unless you have worked with the Muppets.
And now an unpleasant topic... women are being harassed for being comic book fans with opinions again. This is, sadly, nothing new. Fanboys of all types of things: comics, sports, science... whatever it is... often feel threatened when women start to intrude on the boys' clubs with a different perspective and new attitudes. While I tend to believe that the boys who are actually actively hostile are a vast minority, they tend to be vocal and nasty. A bigger problem is that many men have utterly no clue that the abuse is happening, even when they witness it. The result is that the stupid boys feel justified, or at least comfortable, in continuing to be aggressively horrible. Andy Khouri talks about the latest demonstration of idiocy, as does Brett White.
Look, I don't know the solution, if there is one, but I sure hope that the men out there will pay enough attention to recognize when the boys are acting up and call them on it.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
As a reporter, I sometimes need to be out where it's slightly dangerous. A neat safety vest is something I ought to get sometime. I just would want to put my company's logo on it.
Monday, March 17, 2014
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
The fate of Amy Unbounded. In the notes, Rachel resolves the cliff-hanger that the series ended on.
How the big one will happen, predicted a couple of years ago, but still completely valid.
I'm still amused by this climate study, done by a climate change denier, that basically proved all the other studies right. In short, the climate IS changing faster than its has before. The only question that remains is whether or not we can do anything to stop it.
This plan to save the economy could still work, if we had any politicians with the spine and the intelligence to get it passed.
Awesome Doctor Who/Muppets mash-up artwork.
The secret origin of ABADAZAD, including how the first tale originally was resolved.
22 fictional characters whose names you don't know.
Why print must never die.
11 sounds your kids have probably never heard. I once described using a rotary phone to a high school student, who giggled throughout like I was making a joke.
The Oatmeal illustrates some quotations. I like the Jim Henson one.
I like these. I want to put some up, but nobody in this town would appreciate it.
My basement cat approves.
How to fold a shirt.
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Some interesting images in the 25 most upvoted photos in Reddit history. I personally love cat facts and the "this is not my cat" photo.
XKCD's epic comic "Time" is done. See the whole thing here in an easy to view format at your own pace.
The Muppets welcome the royal baby.
I like this list of 11 things it took me 42 years to learn.
But then, I also like these 20 great insults from Science Fiction and Fantasy books.
This handy explanation of How to Live with Introverts is a must-read.
Congrats to Digger for winning the 2013 Mythopoeic Award for adult literature!
SAVE THE TARDIS!
Even video games have creepy urban legends.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Using VLC to capture streaming video.
Awkward science stock photography by people who clearly have no clue what science is.
Johnny Carson and the toilet paper shortage of 1973.
A business leader who actually understands real capitalism, and cares about the people who work for him and the town he's based in.
Farewell, Jane Henson. More here.
Sunday, December 30, 2012
TV this week:
- Doctor Who: "The Snowmen" - Overall, a pretty incredible story. Very well done, but I felt it exposed the main weakness I have with the Matt Smith Doctor. Even when he's depressed and trying to be out of it, I just don't buy that he's really all that distressed. He goes through the motions well enough, but I never see him as being shattered by Amy and Rory's fate. Which is kind of key to him hanging out in Victorian London trying to do nothing for who knows how long. Clara now... Clara is really interesting, and just the thing to bring any of the Doctors out of a funk. They/He never could resist a mystery, and she's really freaking mysterious. I fully expected her to survive and join the Doctor at the end of the story and therefore end up as the dalek girl someday in the future. The actual result was really a surprise. And then there was the villain! There are a ton of ways to explain it and fit it in, and if old school fans can't quite figure it out, there's always the Time War. But early in the story I turned to Eric and said, "Intelligence? As in 'Great' Intelligence?" and waited to see if I was right. I guess these snowmen weren't abominable enough for it. Heh. So, I'm looking forward to the future, and happy to have seen this one on Christmas. When's the next episode?
This week's movie was The Muppets. Ok, I actually saw it some time ago, but haven't written about it yet. And I just watched it again last night. Short review: I loved it. I adored it. I wanted more. Longer review: I thought it was definitely the story of Walter, not the story of the Muppets. That turned out to be a good choice, because without the drama of Walter and Gary, the movie would have been a rehash of the original movie and may not have worked as well. The song, "Am I a Man or a Muppet" was an incredible moment in the movie, but I loved the earlier Kermit song "Pictures in My Head" even more. Walter's human version was a kick. The absolute best moment of the film for me was when I realized what song the chickens were performing to, a rather risque Cee-lo song with the sanitized title of "Forget You". The more they performed, the harder I laughed. There was also the barbershop quartet doing Nirvana, which was just bizarre. And Jack Black had some very good moments. I also particularly liked Rowlf's bit when the group is getting back together. I wouldn't call this the best Muppet movie ever, but it is certainly a great little movie and a lot of fun.
DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
- Oct 17th
- Justice League #13 - I'm pretty confused by this league. At least Aquaman looks pretty.
- Green Lantern: New Guardians #13 - Unleash the rage? Ug.
- Young Justice #21 - I want Aqualad back.
- Saucer Country #8 - That was quite a cliffhanger page. I'm still a bit confused by a couple of the major players. Not a book for a casual reader, really.
- Peanuts V2 #3 - Frieda vs Charlie Brown? Ok. Not really sure about that one.
- Oct 24th
- Fables #122 - There's an interesting little twist in the Wolf's life. I'm looking forward to seeing how that works out.
- Star Trek TNG/Doctor Who: Assimilation #6 - Borg are brutal and seeing them work that way is frightening. Seeing when the Doctor travels to is even more frightening.
- Oct 31st
- Tick #101: Tick Meets Madman - That was confusing.
- Aquaman #13 - I really like this version of Mera. She's got her head on straight.
- Batman Beyond Unlimited #9 - Three stories, each independent. If I don't keep reminding myself, I start to get confused. Like the Justice League cliffhanger, though. Gone, gone the form of man...
- Superman Family Adventures #6 - Best moment in the whole book was when Ma Kent slapped Grundy on the hand, dragged him by the ear and made him clean up the barn. Aw yeah, Ma Kent!
- Doctor Who V3 #2 - So what was the hypothetical man and will we see it/him again? That final image suggests we might. And did the Doctor just send those two to Torchwood?
- The Legend of Oz: The Wicked West Ongoing #1 - Huh. Nice recap of the mini. It's easy enough to figure out what has happened since the end of the mini, except maybe why Dorothy isn't back already. Interesting.
- Steed and Mrs Peel Ongoing #2 - I still think it's some kind of delusion. Especially considering the way the brainwashing is going.
- Nov 7th
- Love and Capes: What to Expect #2 - Love the cover. This book has a lot of great little jokes and such. It's like watching a particularly good sitcom.
- Love and Capes: What to Expect #3 - Now I want Oreo Cheesecake. Ahem, great start to this one with the Doctor Who reference. I'm seeing more and more Doctor Who references now. Again, great book.
- Earth 2 #6 - Well, that's the first arc done. Now what?
- World's Finest #6 - I think it would help if I knew who this Robin is. Still, amusing overall.
- Green Lantern #14 - I'm actually beginning to like Simon despite the overwhelming cliches surrounding him.
- Smallville Season 11 #7 - Wow I don't like this Batman. And there were just a few too many characters running around during that chase sequence.
- Road to Oz #3 - It has been so long since I read this book that I really don't remember much of this at all. I'm actually really interested to see what happens next.
- Oz/Wonderland Chronicles: Prelude to Evil #2 - So totally confused... someday, when this series of series is all done, I'm going to sit down and figure out what it was about.
- Nov 14th
- Green Lantern Corps #14 - Now that the Guardians are definitely the worst villians in the entire DCU, who is going to take 'em down?
- Green Lantern: The Animated Series #8 - It took me entirely too long to notice the references. Fun to see Hal running around with wings on.
- Saucer Country #9 - An assassination attempt? Or was it something else. I don't know what to think of this book sometimes.
- Star Trek TNG/Doctor Who: Assimilation #7 - Very annoying that time can't be changed, right?
- Hoax Hunters #5 - That was an interesting digression from the other storyline. Or was it really a digression? I enjoyed it. I think I'm enjoying this book.
- Spongebob Comics #14 - Eh, it was ok.
- Nov 21st
- Castle Waiting #18 - NOOOOO! I WANT MORE!!!!!! I am so going to miss this book. I hope to see some other work by Medley in the future, hopefully that Oz project.
- Justice League #14 - I really like that splash page of Aquaman holding Cheetah underwater surrounded by piranha. That says a lot about this version of Aquaman. Heh.
- Green Lantern: New Guardians #14 - I sure hope there's a point to this storyline.
- Young Justice #22 - Needs more Aqualad.
- Fables #123 - That finished out about how I expected it to, except for the little revelation at the end. Good stuff.
- The Legend of Oz: The Wicked West Ongoing #2 - Still no Dorothy, but then the second book in the Oz series didn't have Dorothy either, so I suspect we'll get her back in due course.
- Steed and Mrs Peel Ongoing #3 - Ah yes, about what I'd hoped to see. Just remember, while fantastic things happen, this isn't a fantasy book.
My library book this week was Fangboy by Jeff Strand. I have my doubts that this book will find its audience. It is at times very simplistic in a "Series of Unfortunate Events" style, but other times it's clearly poking nasty and sarcastic fun at the conventions of children's literature. The book is a fun little romp, though, if you don't mind a bit of turning itself inside-out.
Fortean Times #279 (October 2011). I'm not really keen on the cover, which shows someone photographing a Madonna statue. I'm not sure why I don't like it, I think the statue just bothers me for some reason. The cover story, while interesting, is very limited and doesn't seem to bring a lot to the argument of why people see visions of Mary.
Strangedays has the usual round up, some interesting bits but nothing jumped out. More Fortean Follow-ups this month, always good to see. Science however, that was intriguing! Is there an "average person"? Good stuff. Archaeology was ok, Classical Corner is about Lucian and has its moments. Ghostwatch is about dowsing rods, which I consider to be ridiculous. Alien Zoo has a couple of animals, including a dire wolf. UFO files had a freaky story of Bermuda Triangle woes. Blasts from the Past is about a slasher in Philadephia in 1905.
There's a good article, "Looking over Jordan", that examines some passages of the Bible with way more context than we usually get including pictures of some of the places mentioned. I love this sort of thing. There's also an article about the secret gospel of Mark, which is the epitome of Fortean strangeness. Nicely thought out conclusion to that one as well.
I added a couple of books to my wish list from the reviews, and the letters were neat as usual. Now, if I could only catch up on my reviewing of this magazine. I'm more than a year behind, although I've read up to the current issue.
Sunday, December 16, 2012
- Sep 26th
- Aquaman #0 - Yet another version of Aquaman's origin. Yet another version of Orm's origin. Still, at least we know where we stand on them.
- Superman Family Adventures #5 - That's a different take on Parasite. And I like how they get rid of Lex.
- Star Trek TNG/Doctor Who: Assimilation #5 - Some nice work with Amy there at the end. I really like some of the artwork in this, but I wish it was better at telling the story instead of just being pretty.
- Bart Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror #18 - Is it just me or were two of the stories even more incomprehensible than usual for this anthology? Eh.
- Spongebob Comics #12 - There's a sweet tribute to Ernest Borgnine, voice of Mermaid Man, inside the back cover. I was touched.
- Steed and Mrs Peel Ongoing #1 - I'm kind of certain this must be a dream of some sort, but I'm not sure how or why.
- Oct 3rd
- Doctor Who V3 #1 - Nicely done, double-cliffhanger although one less cliff-hanging than the other. Looking forward to the next one.
- Earth 2 #5 - This world seems to be pulling together now in my mind. I was a little surprised at the consultant.
- World's Finest #5 - This issue has a double-flashback to show what the gals are doing in their "spare time" when they aren't hanging out together. Fun.
- Green Lantern #13 - I really like Aquaman in that final splash. Yum. The story, eh, about what I expected once I read the last issue. I want something more.
- Smallville Season 11 #6 - Not really fond of the Smallville universe's Batman. Oh well, I'm not the target audience anyway, I don't think.
- Batman/Scooby Doo Halloween Fest #1 - Two fun little tales. I enjoyed it. And the price was right.
- Muppets #4 - Winter. Winter is fine. I like that Piggy accepted the gift.
- Road to Oz #2 - Now THAT'S a cool design for Polychrome. Wow.
- Oct 10th
- Green Lantern Corps #13 - Oans as bad guys is really annoying.
- Green Lantern: The Animated Series #7 - This is a better Green Lantern universe, but it's still not really my cuppa.
- MacGyver: Fugitive Gaunlet #1 - The character is right enough, but the artwork is a little pathetic in storytelling and MacGyver doesn't really look like MacGyver. Still, I'll give it time. Hopefully the storytelling will improve.
- Hoax Hunters #4 - Still confusing, still jumping around a little. I want some answers from the book. Not getting any yet. But it's keeping me reading, so I guess it's working.
- Spongebob Comics #13 - There's a kind of cool Mermaid Man story in there, with typical Spongebobiness. Still, neat to see Bissette's Mermaid Man.
My Kindle book this week was The Spirit Ring by Lois McMaster Bujold. I've been wanting to read this for awhile, it was the only in print work by Bujold I hadn't read. Once I started, I didn't want to finish it because I wanted it to last longer. But I couldn't stop myself from finishing it in one night. If you like Bujold's work, you will like this. I'll put it in my reread list because I've found that virtually every work by Bujold can be read repeatedly and still enjoyed.
Sunday, December 02, 2012
John Carter - Finally got to see this, and it really wasn't bad. In fact, I thought it was a pretty good adaptation of the Barsoom series. Nicely updated and nicely envisioned. Definitely a popcorn movie... but then, the book is light reading. I loved the twist at the end. I wasn't sure about the lead actor, his voice sometimes distracted from the character for me for some reason. But overall, very nice. A good movie for a nice evening in with the hubby.
DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
- Sep 5th
- Earth Two #0 - So, who is the other one? And what happened to Catwoman? So many unanswered questions.
- Worlds' Finest #0 - Ah, well, now I know what happened to Catwoman. Never mind. Yikes.
- Green Lantern #0 - New character, based on the events of 9/11. I'm going to try to reserve judgement, but it's going to be difficult with all the cliches flying around.
- Smallville Season 11 #5 - Enter Batman. Not the version I expected, but hey, it's ok.
- Muppets #3 - Interesting. I miss the music, though.
- Road to Oz #1 - How do I like it? Hrm, "don't know." Heh. Good stuff, as usual.
- Sep 12th
- Dorothy of Oz Prequel #4 - Still not feeling it. Too cutesy and deviant from the real Oz for me.
- Green Lantern Corps #0 - Origin of Guy Gardner? Not really all that impressive.
- Resurrection Man #0 - I want a lot more of this book. Unfortunately, this is it for now.
- Green Lantern: The Animated Series #6 - Surprisingly sad and touching, except it ends rather abruptly.
- Saucer Country #7 - That one threw me off. I think the story is a step ahead of me. Hope I can catch up.
- Hoax Hunters #3 - Wow. I still don't know what's going on, but I think I'm enjoying it despite that!
- No Place Like Home #5 - What the heck? I mean, seriously, what? At least somebody finally gets to Oz.
- Sep 19th
- Justice League #0 - I don't see any Justice League here. I don't mind getting some Captain Marvel/Shazam, but it's a little strange for the title.
- Green Lantern: New Guardians #0 - I'm not really sure where this new Green Lantern thing is going, but I'm not enjoying it all that much.
- Batman Beyond Unlimited #8 - I'm beginning to get mixed up in the various storylines in my head. It's almost a shame to read this as an anthology book with so many crossover characters between the stories.
- Young Justice #20 - No more Aqualad? That makes this book much less appealing to me. I don't like Lagoon Boy, so that's a no go. Bleah.
- Fables #121 - This was chilling and yet wonderful. I'm sort of sick about Dare, but it's an amazing story nonetheless. Wow.
- Peanuts V2 #2 - I quite enjoyed this one, particularly the blanket story. Lucy is a typical big sister in that.
- Doctor Who Special 2012 - Four stories, none of them bad. None of them rose to the level of excellence, in my opinion. Worth a look, but only for fans.
My Kindle book this week was Scourge: A Grim Doyle Adventure by David H. Burton. The set up was extremely promising, but once the kids got to the orphanage it seemed to go a bit derivative. I think I would pick up a second book, but I'd hope it used the unique elements of the world a little more obviously and deeply.
Sunday, September 02, 2012
TV this week:
- Doctor Who: "Asylum of the Daleks" - I worked really hard to not hear any spoilers about this season ahead of time, so Eric and I sat down and watched the prequel "Pond Life" together right before we watched this. It's harder than you might think to avoid spoilers, but I think I did a good job. Possibly a better job than I ought to have, since I didn't know until after the show was over who was playing Oswin or why it might be significant. Anyway, I enjoyed it. Not the best ever dalek story, but certainly a strong one. The whole idea behind a dalek asylum is completely ridiculous, as the Doctor points out, but hey, it worked for the story. I still think bow ties suck and ought to be banished.
DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
- Jul 4th
- Dorothy of Oz Prequel #3 - Not permitted to eat the candy? That's kind of Oz, I guess.
- Castle Waiting #17 - I almost can't resist going to read the old issues... but I think there's one more issue before this book finishes up, so I'll wait.
- Justice League International #11 - Occupy folks are sort of the bad guys, or rather the pawns being manipulated. I don't know how I feel about that.
- Earth Two #3 - Not the origin I remember, but not a bad start. We'll have to see about that villain on the final splash page.
- Worlds' Finest #3 - I didn't think I'd like this book, but the mystery of what came with them combined with the fun of them setting up in a new world just makes it work.
- Smallville Season 11 #3 - Poor Hank Henshaw.
- Muppets #1 - It tries. It really tries. And it's better than no Muppets. But I'm just not hearing the music.
- Jul 11th
- Resurrection Man #11 - Aw... I kind of liked the shadow powers.
- Green Lantern: The Animated Series #4 - Nice little tale of the tattooed man.
- Saucer Country #5 - An NDA isn't worth the paper it's written on if one party doesn't really agree to it. I'm not sure the governor got anything positive out of that attempt.
- Hoax Hunters #1 - I love the idea of a group debunking myths and monsters that are actually really busy covering up for such things. This is starting out promising.
- Spongebob Comics #10 - As long as Mermaid Man shows up, I'm happy with this comic. Though I prefer classic Mermaid Man, the old folks version is funny as well.
- Jul 18th
- Doctor Who Classics Series IV #6 - Seems to me that the robots are just poised to pop out of the water and destroy civilization again. I hope they hold onto that sheet music.
- Concrete: Three Uneasy Pieces - Three short stories, good stuff. The second one didn't really seem to end, but that doesn't seem so strange with Concrete for some reason. I'd like to see more. These originally appeared in Dark Horse Presents.
- Justice League #11 - Ah, finally getting some answers, or at least some more intriguing bits. Don't like seeing heroes fight, but it was good the others quickly realized what was happening and got it shut down.
- Green Lantern Corps #11 - One big civil war. Bleah.
- Batman Beyond Unlimited #6 - I want to like this more, but not enough Aquagirl for me in the Justice League part, and the whole storyline is moving a bit slow for all three tales.
- Young Justice #18 - I thought Batman came down a little hard on poor Captain Marvel. He just wanted to hang out with the kids! At least Aqualad is talking to someone about his feelings. Oh, and I'm not fond of monkeys either.
- Fables #119 - Wow, this book is really brutal.
- Star Trek TNG/Doctor Who: Assimilation #3 - The flashback was nicely done. And I preferred the art in the flashback as well. Fun book.
My library books this week were A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. I had read the first three books some time ago, thought they were pretty good, then set the series aside because I didn't know when it would end. So recently I got my hands of copies of all five books and did a re-read from the start, skimming bits I remembered in the first three books. It's a solid series with a lot to recommend it, but there are caveats. If you don't like novels with a dozen different viewpoint characters and a cast of thousands, this might not be the series for you. If you really get invested in characters... well, certain parts of certain books will hit you really hard. I'll read the rest when it comes out, but I probably won't watch the TV series.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Bad news if you believe in facts. People tend to continue to believe lies even after they've been disproven and those people accepted they were lies.
Why Pursuing Cheaters Doesn't Pay. One teacher's view on his attempts to stop cheating in his class. (Update: link fixed)
Update to the Update: The original post was removed due to legal issues. Here's the gist: a professor actively pursued cheaters, only to be damaged financially by it when students turned in negative performance evaluations for him because he put so much effort into catching cheaters instead of making class a learning environment. He decided instead to create tests and assignments that students couldn't cheat on, as they involved current events and active in-class participation. He explained it in a comment on an article about his post.
Wanna read a creepy good short story? Try The Powerful Bad Luck of DD Dupree by Frank Tuttle.
I wonder if the in-laws are into Steampug? Thanks to David Oakes.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
TV this week:
- Battlestar Galactica: "Deadlock" - Wow. Ellen's back, in a big way. I was very much into this episode, particularly the decisions the Cylons were trying to make and Ellen turning back into her old self the instant she's near Saul again. Baltar's cult getting guns doesn't seem like such a good idea to me. We're getting very near the end now, and I have no idea what's going to happen.
- Battlestar Galactica: "Someone to Watch Over Me" - I have to feel sorry for the Chief, who's been through so much already that getting tricked again has to be the worst feeling for him. As for Kara, that was an impressive bit of storytelling there, with the piano player. I was a bit surprised how Hera's drawing fit in, but hey, that's how this show seems to work. Almost done with the series...
- Battlestar Galactica: "Islanded in a Stream of Stars" - No way. Giving up the ship? Wow. I know the series is about to end, but I really didn't expect that. And while we, the viewers, kind of knew that Kara was dead, having it confirmed by Baltar in that incredibly rude way was an impressive little bit of theatrics. Well, into the final act. As soon as Netflix brings that final disc.
- Sherlock: "A Study in Pink" - A completely modern reimagining of Sherlock Holmes. I was sure I wouldn't like it, as I'm not much of a fan of Holmes. However, I was engaged fairly quickly by Watson's situation. Holmes is still an egotistical jerk, but Benedict Cumberbatch does a good job with the role. By the end of the story I'm terrified for both Watson and Holmes, as they are either the best thing to happen to each other or the most dangerous combination in the modern world. I liked that Holmes appears to be addicted to text messages, and his first "appearance" by sending them out to reporters was hilarious. I also enjoyed the misdirection involved with Sherlock's "Arch-enemy". Good stuff.
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold: "Cry Freedom Fighters!" - This makes up for the last episode. First, a teaser without Batman, yay! Then a great story with the Freedom Fighters including Uncle Sam. But the hero of the day is Plastic Man, whose rendition of "Yankee Doodle" complete with sing-along lyrics, was truly classic. I liked this one, despite no Aquaman.
- Sarah Jane Adventures: "Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith" - It was fairly obvious what was happening the entire time, which took away some of the fun of the episode. But seeing K9 again was fun, as well as angry Luke. I'm sad this season is over, glad that there will be more.
- Ghost Hunters: "Grammar School Ghosts" - Aired Oct 6th. Set at Milton School in Alton, IL, an abandoned school that's 85,000 square feet. That's huge. The place was reportedly the site of the murder of a student and the suicide of the murderer. The stories tell about all kinds of ghosts in the building, which was later used as a glass blowing factory. It's a very noisy building, with lots of sound and events during the investigation. It was a shame they weren't able to confirm or deny the historical lore, but the stuff they found was fun enough.
- Ghost Hunters: "Time To Get Touched" - Aired Oct 13th with two investigations, one at the Thurber House in Columbus, OH, and the second at the Canfield Casino in Saratoga Springs, NY. The first story about the house comes from one of Thurber's stories, and the rest also were typical ghost tales. The crew started by debunking the Thurber tale, and trying to debunk stories about a clock resulting in a startled cameraman when the clock's cover pops open when nobody is touching it. Up in New York, they visit a former Casino now museum with standard ghost reports. I was amused by Steve thinking that Tango was tapping his shoulder. A fairly normal episode.
- Ghost Hunters: "The Chopping Block" - Aired Oct 20th and set at the Bissman Building in Mansfield, OH. This was a bit of a rescue mission, as the people who work at the building are actually getting scared to enter it. A building manager describes an attack in great detail at the spot it happened to him, then points out that a guy was decapitated by an elevator at nearly the same spot. Yikes. Decent debunking of the shadows in the basement, but they couldn't figure out what happened to the guy who was attacked. Lots of fun sounds caught by the team, but nothing else. An ok episode.
- Ghost Hunters: "The Oldest House in Georgia" - Aired Oct 27th. TAPS visits the Old Ulster County Jail in Kingston, NY and the Antebellum Plantation in Stone Mountain, GA. The jail has a lot of stories, and most of the witnesses mentioned were corrections officers. Looked like a fun place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live (or die) there. The plantation is a little surprising. It seems to be a hodge-podge of buildings brought from elsewhere and used as a museum for historical education. Included is the oldest restored house in Georgia, with lots of stories in it. The whole place looks like a fascinating location that would be cool to visit, and not just for the ghosts. Lots of sounds at both sites, but not much else. Typical episode.
- Ghost Hunters: "Home Is Where the Heart Is" - Aired Nov 3rd, visiting Beardslee Castle in Little Falls, NY and the Olsen House in Savannah, GA. The Castle is one of those awesome homes that everybody wishes they could afford, and it has some nice stories associated with it, too. The weather was perfect for ghost stories, but not so good for ghost hunting until the storm moved on. The second case is a family trying to deal with a haunting and who want to be reassured, which is something TAPS does a lot. The family's stories were pretty good, including a little girl who plays beside a bed. The folks living there just needed someone to verify that there was something odd going on at the house, and TAPS did that for them. Another standard episode, but the family's stories made this one neat to watch.
- Ghost Hunters: "Empire State Haunt" - Aired Nov 10th and covered a visit to Fort William Henry in Lake George, NY along with the recap of the 2010 Ghost Hunters Live Halloween Special at Buffalo Central Terminal in Buffalo, NY. The episode starts with an obviously set up good-bye for two members of the team headed off to GHI. Then the crew goes off to the Fort, which has some gross stories associated with it. It looks like a nice place to visit, except for the scary manniquins. Adam found a nice porcupine, and that was cool. The recap of the Buffalo Central Terminal was fun, with a little bit of stuff that wasn't seen during the live show, and a bit that was. I love the thermal camera, even though it's terribly easy to misinterpret. Not convinced by that particular bit, though. Fun episode, with special guest porcupine!
- Ghost Hunters: "Sloss Furnace" - Aired Nov 17th, location was the Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, AL. This episode also had the return of guest investigator Meat Loaf. I gotta admit I like Meat Loaf, and his enthusiasm is fun to watch. The location is freaky and difficult, as it's sort of outside and has a rather morbid history with lots of deaths. I don't really put much faith in the K2 meter reactions, but it's fun to watch Meat Loaf asking "Paul" questions. The evidence they caught isn't too convincing, but at least there is more than sound this time. If you have to go into a haunted house, bring a camera, because ghosts seem to avoid them.
- Ghost Lab: "Dead Will Rise Again" - I'm still not sure about this show, and I certainly don't like the team as much as I like the TAPS guys, but it has great stories. So I watch it. This first episode of the season was at Gettysburg, or rather a couple of buildings near there. They did a recreation of a sniper attack, which was fun to watch. My biggest problem with the episode was that they used a "shadow person" example that I thought TAPS had pretty clearly disproved.
- Ghost Lab: "The Betrayal" - Another couple of great locations. I liked having a French interpreter at the second location. I wonder if the "ghost" was trying to attack the interpreter with the flashlight because he was translating for someone speaking English. This team is way more into inciting ghosts to react than TAPS, which I find annoying, but it makes for a more entertaining show in some ways.
- Ghost Lab: "Lizzie Borden" - Ah, the Lizzie Borden house. Getting an attorney to "prosecute" Lizzie in the house was a fun idea. Definitely gimmicky, but fun to watch. The second place, Stone's Public House, was another familiar location I've seen on another show. Stealing the girl's dress was kind of mean, but they seemed to get a reaction.
This week's movie was How to Train Your Dragon. There was no way this movie could ever live up to the hype and the great reviews I've seen, so I settled down expecting to be mildly disappointed. I wasn't. It isn't the best movie ever made, but it's a really darn good movie, complete with a nasty uber-villain, lots of fun and funny characters to enjoy, and incredible voice work by everyone involved. I enjoyed the art and the animation, and for once realized I would have actually liked to see this movie in 3D. All-in-all, a great family movie for a popcorn evening. Definitely worth checking out.
This week's comic book related review is Fraggle Rock Vol 1. This is as close as a comic book can get to the original show, which is both saying a lot and dissing it unfairly. The problem with translating Fraggle Rock into a comic book is the music. The Fraggles are all about song and movement and joy, and most of the time comic art is not going to be able to sing to the reader like a show can. I enjoyed it, a lot, but I will always prefer the original show to the comics. Like the muppets, some things translate well, others do not. But this is worth a read if you love the show.
My library book this week was Kusiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey. A masochist child is trained as a spy and a religious prostitute, and eventually has dealings with the most powerful people in her world. This is an alternate universe, and most readers will be able to figure out the parallels very quickly. I was turned off by the ... um... look, the main character is a prostitute, ok? And a masochist. Just lets leave it at "I was turned off" and not go into details. It wasn't a bad book, in fact toward the end I had trouble putting it down, but it definitely had stuff that made me very uncomfortable to read. This is the first book in what's become a popular series. And I wish the folks who like it well. I'm just not going to read any more.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Seriously, everything IS better with muppets. Just look at my last Sunday Review. We've been watching the Season 3 DVD, and have already watched the first two seasons on DVD. I hope the last two seasons will come out soon, although... like I said... having Helen Reddy and Harry Belafonte on the Muppet Show is enough.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
This week's comic book related review is Hikaru No Go Volume 20. Only a few more volumes to go. Hikaru is in the running for a multi-country tournament, and a new character is introduced to challenge him on the style side of things. As usual, the end of the book is a cliffhanger where you aren't entirely sure who has won a game. All you know for sure is that either one deserves to go on to the tournament. As usual, I want the next volume now!
This week's movie was Batman: Under the Red Hood, another direct to DVD animated Batman movie. And, like every other one I've seen, very well done and worthy of checking out. Yay for Netflix! This story is about the biggest failure of Batman's career, Jason Todd. I don't know how closely it aligns to the comic book adventures on the same subject, but it certainly hung together as an excellent movie story. The reveal of the reason for Jason's torment was particularly strong. I wasn't fond of the voice for the Joker in this one, although it was an adequate performance for the role. And I loved Nightwing's commentary as the story moved along. One particularly lovely moment was when Ra's experienced Batman's disappearing act. I enjoyed it, and we also enjoyed the other extras, mostly on upcoming projects, on the disc. Definitely worth a Netflix if you like the superhero genre.
My library book this week was Going Bovine by Libba Bray. Cameron has Creutzfeldt-Jacob, "mad cow" disease. He's going to die. But first, he has a couple of things to do. Not sure why I picked this up, it must have been recommended on a website I read. But it turned out to be a very strange and pretty interesting read. It has somewhat adult themes, with NSFW language and typical teenage misbehavior that the innocent will find offensive and everyone else will shrug at. Most readers will figure out fairly quickly what must be happening, but it's worth continuing on, even if you know the conclusion, because you really don't. I won't say it's the best book I've read, but it certainly was worth the time it took to read it. Again, not for the innocent, but thought-provoking nonetheless.
TV this week:
- Ghost Hunters International: "Demons of Nicaragua" - Another double-shot, starting in Masaya, Nicaragua and the Coyotepe Fortress. The episode started off with a visit to the family of one of the hunters, and a beautiful party thrown for the group. Brief but it was a sweet moment. The Coyotepe Fortress wasn't nearly as pleasant. The tales were of torture when the fortress was in use, and satanic rituals after it was abandoned. The boy scouts currently using the place had come up with some stories, and GHI thought they found something there. Moving on to a torture chamber in Leon, Nicaragua, Carcel XXI, which was a prison and is now a museum since 2000. The crew even talked with a man who was a prisoner in the place, was tortured there, and went back to be a museum guard and heard the voices of friends who had died there. I'm not too excited by what they found, particularly the orb, but it was an interesting place anyway.
- Ghost Hunters International: "Pirates of the Caribbean" - And now they are off to Omoa, Honduras and the Fortaleza de San Fernando. A zipline tour of the jungle to start the adventure, and I totally agree with Barry and his fear of heights. It was a massively cool ride but I'm not sure I would survive it. The location is a fortress on the edge of the Caribbean that has a long history including pirates and prisoners. The courtyard is beautiful, and the whole fort looks like one of those gorgeous old places that would be swarming with tourists. The stories of the place were incredible and I love how the people giving their personal tales end with something like "I decided to walk away as fast as I could." I'm not sure the evidence presented would have done anything to convince me there were ghosts, but it was a series of interesting sounds. Not the most exciting finish to a series, but then these are ghosts, the reason they aren't scientific is because they don't perform on demand.
- Ghost Hunters: "Haunted Hotel" - The team is going to Cooperstown! They are off to the Otesaga Hotel in New York. It's a big place, a resort, and they get to stay overnight. Oooh. Seriously, though, it's a really nice looking location. I'd like to visit, haunted or not. The experiences were strange and interesting, but still not compelling. I wonder if anything they ever produce would be compelling enough for me to believe it? And while they thought that voice was saying "Amy", I thought it was saying "Mommy". I did like that the hotel gave the Ghost Hunters the run of the entire place without any other guests. Too many of these investigations involve too much outside sounds. In any case, they didn't find anything that would scare me away from staying there if I ever get out there with enough cash to do it.
- Ghost Hunters: "America's First Zoo" - The team is visiting the Philadelphia Zoo, which just seemed insanely difficult to me. Animals make sounds, and the team relies on sounds. But the zoo appears to be a little bit more than your average zoo, and it's mostly the administration buildings that have the ghosties. The location was spread out enough that they didn't have enough cable to reach everywhere they wanted to cover. They immediately started to have interesting experiences, but so many of them were mundane. Knocks, bumps, footsteps, doors closing... I can't help but think most of those can be explained away entirely too easily to be considered paranormal. So, fun place, a dearth of animal sightings (no ghost animals?), and nothing special.
- Ghost Hunters: "Uninvited Guests" - Another two location episode, starting at the 1875 Inn in Tilton, NH. It has a story of major fires and a little girl named Laura who perished. Nothing spectacular in this one, but potential for debunking. The place looks like a funky little location, not a bad place to visit. But a dining room haunted by a gargoyle? All they found were voices, and I just don't take EVPs as enough evidence. Next they go to Oxford, NJ and the Shippen Manor. Another old building, now a museum, with cool claims. I like the look of this place better, a nice stone building in the woods. Stories include ghosts, slamming doors, rushes of wind that attack people. Mostly claims that would be hard to debunk. During the start of their investigation, I noticed that Jay and Grant believe that objects can contain residual energy ("be haunted") which makes a museum a place where all kinds of things could happen. The people I really respect in these investigations are the camera and sound crew. Having to follow these folks around tiny hallways and steep stairwells... fun. Again, nothing groundbreaking found here, but it looks like a fun museum to visit.
- Destination Truth: "Spirits of Angkor Wat/Canadian Lake Monster" - Oh man, Angkor Wat! That was cool. They should NOT have had the folks do that ceremony to ward off evil spirits, though. Doing a search for ghosts in an area with unfamiliar wildlife seems pretty difficult. They came up with some fun EVPs, and the thermal image was strange, but without experiencing the place myself I'm not really convinced. Loved their offering, though. Moving back to Canada, the group goes to hunt down Ogopogo in Okanagan Lake in British Columbia, not very far from my neck of the woods. In fact, pretty darn close. I don't recall having visited Kelowna but I may have sometime in the past. I've spent a decent amount of time in Canada. Anyway, diving in a frigid lake in the winter isn't something I would be inclined to do but hey, it's Destination Truth, so they do it! As usual, they came up with nothing definite, and only offered the sturgeon answer as a possible candidate, rightly pointing out that no sturgeon has ever been caught in Okanagan Lake. And so, the mystery continues.
- Being Human: "Series 2, Episode 6" - I loved the broken psychic. He was honest even when it seemed almost wrong to be honest. I can tell that George is wrong for Sam, and Sam is wrong for George, but the daughter is cute. Mitchell's decision and hopes are heartbreaking. And that was quite a finale to the thing.
- Being Human: "Series 2, Episode 7" - Complications as Nina returns to the house! And we learn who survived the explosion in the last episode, but unfortunately they learn who was behind it. George not figuring out daylight saving time seemed unlikely, but made for a very dramatic moment. And that last bit, when Mitchell learned Lucy's last name... ouch.
- The Muppet Show: "Season 3 DVD Set" - We're more than halfway through, but there are two guest stars I want to mention simply because their appearances were, in my opinion, the two absolute best episodes ever. One was Helen Reddy, who is one of my favorite singers and whose final number with the camel never fails to give me a smile and happiness. The other is Harry Belafonte whose "Banana Boat Song" skit with Fozzie taught me what the song meant as a kid. And the line from Beauregard, "I always thought these was peachies!" has kept me giggling for over 30 years. But the highlight is "Turn The World Around" with those incredible African mask muppets. I remember as a child being stunned that even the final note from Zoot was done by an African mask instead of Zoot. I have not regretted a moment of having these DVDs, and really want Season 4 & 5 (and yeah, Muppets Tonight) to come out on DVD as well. But frankly, having Helen and Harry is enough if I never get the rest.
- Battlestar Galactica: "The Road Less Traveled" - Kara is looking utterly nutcase in this one. I'm not surprised at the result her insanity brings. And Baltar comes off as something other than slimy for once. I can't help but feel for Tyrol, although this apparent alliance with Baltar sends chills up my spine.
- Battlestar Galactica: "Faith" - Ok, I really really wasn't expecting the mutiny to resolve that way. Really. That was just about the last thing I was expecting, to be honest. And the cancer bit with Roslin was breathtaking. I used to swim with a woman who had cancer, and I remember the awesome hats and scarves she would bring in, and how that was made into a way to deal with everything. So, what exactly is going to happen when the team sent with Kara to find Earth shows up with a freaking Battlestar in tow?
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold: "The Siege of Starro! Part One" - Not enough Aquaman. No, really. I liked seeing Aqualad and Aquaman in the crowd, but I'm not a big fan of B'wana Beast, Firestorm, Captain Marvel, or Booster Gold, so the appeal of that particular team-up was limited. Still, nice to see how B'wana Beast was affected by Vixen being controlled. And clever of Firestorm to figure out how Captain Marvel could stop the main menace.
Fortean Times #265 (September 2010). The cover shows off the capitol in DC with UFOs over it and the headline, "Weapons of Mass Deception, Washing, 1952: How the CIA Created the Flying Saucer Craze" Big talk, and another implication of a conspiracy in the CIA. In the editorial, Paul Cornell is announced as a guest at UnConvention 2010, which for the first time I wish I could get to. The usual suspects make up StrangeDays, including a 70-year-old radio that seems to play period music, crop circle pictures, bodies in hotel mattresses, insane collections, and falls of fish. Ghostwatch talks about ghost photography. The Necrolog is a long article on the great Martin Gardner, whose interests parallel those of both myself and my husband, and who will be missed.
Blasts from the Past talks about a volcano that isn't, and why it came to be reported as one. The Fortean Bureau of Investigation covers the Dark Star theory of Planet X, which is intriguing but doesn't seem to have much by way of evidence to support it. There's a fascinating article on the quest 200 years ago to prove that meteors came from outer space. Articles in the Forum cover holy feathers, telepathy between dogs and their owners, and monsters. The Reviews are rich with books, movies, and games and are as strong as usual. Nothing got really poor reviews this month. And the letter column was great as usual as well. And as usual I've left out tons of stuff that this magazine it bursting with in order to keep this down to only a couple of paragraphs. Still the best magazine around.
Monday, August 02, 2010
The things you find on Wikipedia: Over or Under?
Moffat's son interviews him about the Doctor Who finale, and here's Ten Thoughts about Doctor Who: The Big Bang. And All of Matt Smith's Doctor Who in two minutes (YouTube).
What kind of bird is Big Bird? An audio with 20 slides that play for 20 seconds each. "Please, this is science!" In other muppet news:
Collectable Star Wars Cereal Boxes.
Too many LEGO YouTube clips.
William Shatner stole Leonard Nimoy's bicycle (YouTube).
A memorial to a dog.
A lost piece of history is confirmed.
The copyright wars on Slashdot.
Three Hundred Years Hence, a tale of the future written in 1836.
New wallpaper for ya.
Pug for the in-laws.
Friday, July 02, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
The Onion is channeling my report from the other day, you know, my wake up call. And no, I've learned nothing new. There was a major DEA operation that morning, "Project Deliverance", that may or may not be related. But my wake up call was not unusual that particular morning, it happened all over the country.
Bill shares a Doctor Who sketch with us. Speaking of, here's Doctor Hoo.
Rachel shares a science video that demonstrates chain reactions.
The characters on Glee are serial copyright pirates and would owe TONS of money, if they were doing this in real life. Under current copyright punishments, the characters would be deep in debt before getting out of High School.
Slate talks about over reliance on GPS.
The NBC Pipes, decorated by bored Muppet performers, and now preserved.
Who killed the Iceman?
More Verizon math, this time at AT&T. People who don't understand the difference between .05 cents and .05 dollars should not be allowed to handle money. Ever.
Survivors of the Deepwater Horizon rig speak out about BP's sloppiness.
A girl whose father is a climate change denier got a cool award for a science project that supposedly disproved Global Warming. As it turns out, the father was behind the hoax. He used the names of the National Science Foundation and Al Gore to convince his child and her school and the local newspaper. Then he makes himself out to be the victim.