Saturday, September 30, 2006

9/30: 3. October issue will be online tonight!

Saturday night, Sept 30, 2006

No time for proper notes tonight. Had to watch USC vs Washington State (USC is my brother’s alma mater) and now I’ve got reviews from both my reviewers to get formatted so I can have the October issue go online.

Shark slaughter shock - Daily Scientist

Team has eye on Red Planet – Arizona Daily Star
High-tech analysis may rewrite space history – Houston Chronicle (Armstrong actually did say, “One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”
UP Aerospace Rocket Found in Desert After Crash –

9/30: 2. Clive Francis Rocks!

Clive Francis and Peter O'Toole in Masada

I have long been a fan of a British actor named Clive Francis, so much so that I actually did a small website tribute to him. Although I've added to it intermittently over the years it was always a hard task because I live in the States and he does his work in England.

Imagine my shock, delight, nay, exuberance even, in getting an email from Mr. Francis today saying he liked the site, and would I like him to "fill in the gaps" in the biography, and add some photos. I emailed him back and said yes, yes, yes. (Imagine the emphasis for yourselves.)

Now, of course, anybody on line can say they're anybody else, but this man's email was the "right" email (Francis is a noted caricaturist and this email reflected that.)

So right now I am so stunned and delighted that I'm going to have to go for a quick bike ride to work off all this energy! Then I need to prepare myself to spruce up Mr. Francis' site with the new material he'll be sending me, which I of course hope will be soon - I'm so excited!!!

When the site is updated and looking good, I'll share the URL here.

9/30: 1. Early in the morning

Well, I'm up and I feel much better. I always get a bad headache when I don't get enough sleep and for the last few days I've been staying up too late and getting up too early. (I don't mean to get up early but the ol' spoon chime in the cereal bowl at 8.30 am is a killer.) So the lack of sleep caught up to me and resulted in a wasted ..... well, half day...since I was able to get in some reading.

Today I'll be going to the Army Transport Museum at Fort Eustis. I've been there several times before and taken photographs of the same things I'm going to take photos of today - rocket pack, etc., but those photos didn't turn out very well so I'm going to try again today and make sure I get good ones. I have a digital camera and can see the photo after I take it, but it's on such a tiny screen it's still hard to tell if its any good.

Anyway, I'm planning on writing a travel article for the November issue on the sci fi related things here in Hampton Roads. Of course this is the home of NASA...there's an Air Power Park full of the Transport Museum is the jetpack they experimented with in the 50s (and which James Bond used in ....Thunderball, was it?)..other stuff too.

I'm also redesigning the front page of The Thunder Child. Since it's inception my readers have seen just a magazine "cover" which they have to click on to get to the Table of Contents. But I've been reading that this is a bad thing to do so now I'm going to change it. The front page will still be an introductory page, but it'll have lots of text with lots of key words, so this will assist, I hope, in bumping up my rankings in search engines. My stuff is in the engines, but rarely is found on the top page (although these days I think it's people who actually pay who get their sites put at the top of search results, regardless of what their site is about..).

I will be keeping the cover as a thumbnail which interested people can click on to see the life size version, but I do think that this is better. So many people come to the first page of a site and if they don't see something that catches their eye they leave without bothering to go to the rest of the site. Important to get them 'in the door' and wandering around in all the good stuff.

Friday, September 29, 2006

9/29: 3. The Lobster Chronicles, by Linda Greenlaw

Friday night, Sept 29, 2006

Not much in the blog today, which I’m going to post early because I’m going to have to go to bed soon. I’ve had a dehibilitating headache for several hours and I simply can’t concentrate. So much for getting any work done today.

I have been reading - it’s easy to read fiction or non-fiction that I’m not trying to study... so I’ll just say that The Lobster Chronicles: Life on a Very Small Island, by Linda Greenlaw, is pretty good. I’m only a third of the way through it but she writes well and the story is interesting. Lobster fishermen on an island off the Maine coast trying to protect their coasts from rival lobstermen who’ve already overfished their own coasts.

I’ll try to stay awake for another hour, though I’d dearly love to go to bed. Unfortunately I’m a very light sleeper and so if someone downstairs chimes a spoon in an icecream dish at 9 o’clock I’ll hear it, wake up, and be wide awake for the rest of the night, headache or not....

Anyway, to my shock there were 2 oceanography headlines today.

First female space tourist safely back on Earth – New Scientist
Fall Planet Guide: Saturn is Best Bet (Astronomy) -
Solar flares will disrupt GPS in 2011 – New Scientist
Space Weather Gear Readied For The Final Frontier - Science Daily
13th ISS crew arrives in Moscow Region for recuperation – RIA Novosti
British man to use frequent-flyer miles for trip to space – International Herald Tribune
Russia to start training two Malaysians for space mission – Monsters and
Space Elevator: Hoist to the Heavens –
Possible December Night Launch for Shuttle Discovery –
Starchaser Racing Virgin to Space –
New Mars Craft Sends Back First Detailed Images –
Main Camera on Aging Hubble Shuts Down –
Weather satellites and Moon ship spark budget concerns -- New Scientist
Space triumph prompts new line in underwear - IC Wales


Scientist's Persistence Sheds Light On Marine Science Riddle - Science Daily
Mercury Compound Found In Fish Damages Pancreatic Cells – Science Daily

Mega-mountains spurred explosive evolution – New Scientist

9/29: 2. Shopping carts and you

One of my pet peeves has long been people's treatment of shoppng carts. I've noticed it for 10 years, I'm sure it's been going on since shopping carts were invented...I'm sure it will continue to go on.

Basically it's this. Why do 90% of shoppers just leave their shopping cart beside their car, get in and drive off? Why can't they take one minute more and roll the cart over to the 'cart collection' row or whatever it's called.

Today was really annoying, in that two people had actually left their carts right beside the cart collection row. They just couldn't be bothered to take two extra steps and deposit the cart inside it.

I always take a cart in with me when I go into a grocery store, and depending on how much stuff I buy I never take a cart out.

Yeah, I know if you live in a place where the winters get really cold you don't wanna be outside your car any longer than necessary...or if its pouring with rain. But this happens every day - in beautiful weather - and it's simply because people are too lazy to do the polite thing.

I can remember a few years ago my dad and I had just got to our car after doing some shopping. On the opposite side a guy just finished unloading his cart, and started to get into his car, leaving the cart in the middle of the parking space beside him.

"You're just going to leave it there?" My dad called across to him, before getting into the car. The guy looked upset and yelled back, "You must be a Democrat."

I just thought that was hilarious, on a couple of levels. First, you try to point out to someone they should be polite and they politicize it...and second, accusing my dad of being a Democrat. He's a Republican all the way (although, like me, he does believe that all politicians are crooks. And they are, ya know.)

9/29: 1. Ansousheh Space Blog

Here's the URL

You can see video from the space station.

I hope something comes of this for the rights of Iranian women in general...but as long as fundamentalist Muslims are in control of the country, I doubt it. Secular government - that's the only government that's safe for people to fulfil their potential - so keep religion out of the US government too!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

9/28: 3. All the powers of hell!

Thursday night, Sept 28, 2006

Topics covered in my late night entry:
1) Website
2) General
3) Radio
4) Reviews
5) Issue Notes
6) Space/Ocean Headlines
7) Quiz

1) Website

I don’t think I’ve shared with you guys Jean-Noel Bassior’s Space Patrol book website. It has a new design so it loads a lot quicker, but it’s still a treat for the eye. Plus, you can listen to a Space Patrol radio episode, and see a whole episode - guest starring Lee Van Cleef!!!
Also, you can read sample pages from the book.

2) General
Just got back from seeing Disney’s Princesses Wishes On Ice tonight at the Hampton Coliseum. It was a family outing type of thing...not too bad, but I like a little more villains in my ice shows! Ursula from Little Mermaid was there...but they turned the beautiful but wicked witch Maleficent into the wicked and bright green/ugly witch in Sleeping Beauty...but the Dragon was cool. (In Sleeping Beauty, Maleficient is beautiful, and turns into a dragon at the end to kill the Prince but is killed instead.) Her line from the movie about "summoning all the powers of hell itself" was changed to "summoning all the powers of evil." I wonder if, in reissues of Sleeping Beauty the movie, that line is changed also.

I checked the Disney on Ice website and there’s a couple of other shows I’d prefer to have seen, but I guess it’s all regional and Monsters, Inc. and the Incredibles ain’t comin’ t this region anytime soon. I’ve love to see a for-adults version of Pirates of the Caribbean....I’d like to see that done on ice, or some other kind of adult fairy tale taking place on ice (by adult I mean for mature audiences, please mark you!)

3) Radio
None to report at this time.

4) Reviews
Finished the Kreating Karloff review. A lot of fun. See it in the October issue of The Thunder Child. Next up, the Driving Through Futures Past review, and then finally Echelon

5) Issue Notes
All I’m working on right now is reviews...and shaking my head over my ‘archives/index page’ situation. Really shot myself in the foot there re getting these things into search engines...but I’m all caught up now and will stay caught up in the future.

6) Space/Ocean Headlines

Back to Earth: Expedition 13 Astronauts, Ansari to Leave ISS Today –
Time for Europa –
Aboard ISS: Crew Swap Goes Well, Space Tourist Prepares for Return –
Virgin Galactic Unveils SpaceShipTwo Interior Concept –
'Disappearing' lakes may dot Titan – New Scientist
Jim Benson Exits SpaceDev to Start Space Tourism Company –
Ansari, Expedition 13 Crew Return to Earth –

Race Against Extinction: Are Marine Organisms Able To Adapt To Ocean Acidification? – Science Daily

Dinosaurs' Climate Shifted Too, Reports Show – Science Daily
As Ozone Hole Approaches Annual Peak, NASA Scientists Reveal Latest Information And Images – Science Daily

9/28: 2. Ethics in Journalism: Tokyo Rose

The American woman convicted of being Tokyo Rose, and serving 6 years in prison for treason, died two days ago at the agr of 90. Someone posted an article on her today - the New York Times obit of her, I believe, and it's the first time I ever read the truth of the matter - that several women broadcast to the Americans, who lumped them all together as 'Tokyo Rose,' that this woman, Iva Toguri, was trapped in Japan, forced to do the broadcasts (she was called Orphan Ann), and tried to minimize the news she was forced to tell.

After the war she was questioned and released...but then Paul Winchell and others decided a scape goat needed to be found, and she was it. Arrested on charges of treason, she was convicted on the flimsiest of evidence and sent to jail. After she got out she had to fight attempts made to deport her. She was finally pardoned by Gerald Ford on his last day in office.

The background this gives on the lies told by the journalist profession, not to mention the government, is rather chilling. I confess to have been very naive up until just a few years ago - I assumed all journalists down throughuot time told the truth and didn't 'slant' their stories.

But of course that was never the case, and still less so is it today.

Which is all the more reason why people in genre publications owe it to their readers to say nothing about people, places or things that is not verifiably true. If rumors are quoted, they must be identified as rumors, instead of stated as if they were fact. (That's a sore point about a certain genre magazine publisher and his message boards - I won't mention his name. It's not the sci fi genre here, but a different one...funnily enough a genre I don't much care for, but the soap opera between various personages provided me with amusement for 10 years..)

There's a lot of misinformation out there. For example I'm looking for news events that took place in Feb 1953 for my next issue of The Sand Rock Sentinel. I went to the IMDB to see what movies were released during Feb, and they had some fun ones including the Disney Peter Pan. Then I went to Wikipedia and checked for events there...and 'they' say that the first 3D movie, Bwana Devil, was released in Feb 1953. wasn't!

Yes, that's a minor thing, a question of dates...but it just underlines that misinformation exists. Millions of people use the Wikipedia as a research source, little recking that *anyone* can go in and alter any entry. It's only been very recently that footnotes and references have been given... but still...

Anyway...that's the rant for today.

9/28: 1. "We're not scientists, we're storytellers"

For a long time I've had the Disney Treasures: Tomorrowland 2-disc TV set and I like it a lot. Lots of fun to see Willy Ley, Werner Von Braun, not to mention Disney himself.

These are Tomorrowland shows from the mid 1950s.

I'll be writing a review of 'em for the November issue (for all that they're already OOP and they just came out in 2004) but thought I'd share the TOCs today.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

9:/27: Kreating Karloff

Wednesday night, Sept 27, 2006

Topics covered in my late night entry:
1) Website
2) General
3) Radio
4) Reviews
5) Issue Notes
6) Space/Ocean Headlines
7) Quiz

1) Website

Want to learn how to write science fiction? Let *the* Hugo Gernsback tell you how:

2) General
Terrell Owens denies trying to commit suicide. One hopes its true, but one doubts it. My feeling of this morning is still the same. Media - forget the feeding frenzies - leave the man alone. Leave everyone alone! They’re just men playing games for goodness sake. They make too much money, which most of ‘em don’t seem to know what to do with, and quite a few of ‘em needed to have some discipline in their lives as young kids...

And, go Twins! Go Vikings!

3) Radio
No sci fi til this weekend, but Sat and Sun eps at BBC 7 (Journey into Space, Doctor Who) still online.

4) Reviews
Watching Kreating Karloff. The “take charge” side of me is in such a quandary. I would have done things soooo differently. We’re starting out with the ‘making’ of the screentest. I don’t want to see that right now. Show me the Frankenstein and Mummy footage, let me see the actor do his thing, *then* show and tell me how it was done. I’m impatient to get to that, yet I have to sit through this. Which isn’t to say that the making of stuff isn’t good - it is, but I'm just annoyed that I haven’t seen the other stuff first...

5) Issue Notes
Four more days til the end of the month and I’m feeling relaxed, since all the hard stuff is done. Everything I do now is just gravy, and I’ll have at least two articles to add to a stockpile for the Nov issue. (The History of Fandom as told by Sam Moskowitz is going into the Nov issue.)

6) Space/Ocean Headlines

Project Orion: NASA's Next Spaceship Takes Shape –
UP Aerospace to Retrieve Rocket After Failed Launch –
Pluto-bound Probe Snaps Photo of Jupiter –
Hubble's key camera shuts down again – New Scientist
Massive Star Formation Relies on Cosmic Doughnuts –
NASA Mars Rover Arrives At Dramatic Vista On Red Planet – Science Daily
Aboard ISS: Crew Swap Goes Well, Space Tourist Prepares for Return –
Mars Rover Sends First Photo of Victoria Crater –

7. Quiz
In how many horror films did Boris Karloff star, out of how many films in his career?

9/27: 3. I love digital recorders

I picked up an Olympus digital recorder last year. Cost me about $130 or so, but it was worth it. (Well, actually it costs me more than that because it goes through Triple A batteries like nobody's business. The recorder is always on, so its always using juice. I put it on 'hold' but it still sucks the juice.)

Anyway, I still love it. Now instead of messing around with tape cassettes, I record everything on this digital recorder, and I can play it back and listen to it, forward, reverse, etc., all without messing up a tape.

I've been watching Kreating Karloff and recording various snippets of dialogue to use in my review. It's rather a fun film - an 'extended screen test' for an actor who wants to play Karloff in a biopic, should one ever come to fruition. A man with a goal and determination!

I've also started working on the Feb 1953 issue of The Sand Rock Sentinel, a mock newspaper from the 1950s in which I'll be chronicling all the sci fi movies of the day as if they'd really happened, interspersed with actual news of the time. I did an issue about a year ago, and am finally in the mood to do another one!

9/27: 2. Driving Through Futures Past

I love mail time! Especially now that I've stopped having books sent to my reviewer and am having them sent directly to me. Today received Driving Through Futures Past: Mid-20th Century Automotive Design. It's a slim volume, but it's contents are a hoot and a half. (And I mean that in a good way.) Lots of futuristic car designs that never made it off the drawing board.

I'll be reviewing it for the October issue.

I'm almost done with the Creature from the Black Lagoon review of the Legacy collection that I'm writing, then I'll spend the rest of the day reviewing Kreating Karloff and the book Echelon, and then my work on the October issue will be done.

My reviewer, I'll call him RB, has promised me 3 reviews, which I hope I'll get before Oct 1, and my children's book reviewer, Kathy Thomason, will hopefully be getting me some material also.

So tomorrow I should be able to start work on the November issue.

9:/27 1. Professional Sports Cancer

Last night it was reported that Terrell Owens was taken to the hospital because of an adverse reaction to his pain medication. Today it's being reported that he had tried to commit suicide. If Owens was a "normal" person, he could recover from this attempt and move on with his life. (Unless he were placed in jail since I believe it is illegal to try to commit suicide in this country. That's always made a lot of sense to me. You don't feel life is worth living, so you try to end it, and your punished for it by being put in a place where life definitely isn't worth living!)

But I won't talk here about the fact that people should have the right to commit suicide if they want to.

The thing is, Terrell Owens isn't a normal person, he's an athlete who makes a gazillion dollars a year, and so of course the news media isn't going to leave him alone. For the rest of his life people are going to ask him about his suicide attempt...keep the pressure much so that he may well try it again in the future. "Just leave him alone," I say - but of course I know they won't do that.

The whole culture of college and professional sports needs to change in this country. (I'm sure many of the same problems exist in other countries, but here and now is what I know.)

A young boy who exhibits athletic skills above and beyond those of his contemporaries can be set for life. As soon as he falls into the clutches of coaches and agents, he's fine. He can do practically anything he wants and get away with it. (Albeit, recently there's been a crackdown on this. Students have recently been dismissed for stealing from their 'employers' - ie. video stores, and you've got to wonder, how stupid are these kids. Once they get into the NFL or NBA they'll be millionaires, do they really need to steal a $2oo TV set?)

I suppose really, these days, it's only sexual peccadillos that won't keep you off the team. (Except at Rutgers, but it was only the lacrosse team after all. If it had been players from the money sports of football or basketball team...who knows what would not have happened?)

Anyway, I blame the media for much of this. They lionize players, such as Barry Bonds, who have nothing but contempt for them. I say leave the guys alone. Ignore them!

As for whether or not organized crime has an effect on the outcome of various games, I wonder. Players these days have so much money they don't know what to do with it so they gamble it away, get trophy wives, etc. etc., and then all of a sudden there's a knock on the door - do this or your trophy wife won't look like a trophy anymore...

Disturbing thoughts.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

9/26: 2. The amount of time I've wasted today...

Tuesday night, Sept 26, 2006

Topics covered in my late night entry:
1) Website
2) General
3) Radio
4) Reviews
5) Issue Notes
6) Space/Ocean Headlines
7) Quiz

1) Website

Are you a fan of British sci fi and fantasy TV? Then check out this site:

2) General
I was browsing the web today and saw lots of entries about that car dealership with the Jihad ad. About 99% of ‘em said that the ads had to be pulled because Muslims would be offended. So I just thought I’d reiterate my own opinion, which is that any normal person would be offended by this stuff. Lots of people all over the world have been killed, mutilated, or just life generally ruined by jihadists. There’s nothing funny about the subject.

I've just spent the last hour looking for a photo I downloaded of James Whitmore in Them! It's a scene where he's seated on a table, with 6 ft 7 James Arness in foreground, and Whitmore is wearing lifts on his shoes. I know I downloaded it, but I can't find it. The page that had it, no longer has it, for some reason.

SO, once again, I've got to do a better job filing my downloads, because this is getting ridiculous!

3) Radio
Looks like sci fi on BBC Radio 7 is going to be strictly on weekends for the next few months. There are some current audio people, I’ll have to track down their websites and listen to their offerings to see if they’re worth mentioning here.

4) Reviews
Later on tonight I’ll be watching Kreating Karloff.

5) Issue Notes
It’s 4 days to the end of the month and the issue is practically done! Just waiting for my reviewers to send me their material. This is nice, because for the last three months at least the issue has come out 5 days late...and put me 5 days behind on working towards the next issue. So now, I should be able to start getting ahead and stockpiling articles for the future.

6) Space/Ocean Headlines

Astronomers Find Supernova First Spotted 2,000 Years Ago –
Rocketplane Kistler Says It Has New Strategic Partner in the Wings –
Iranian women look up to find Ansari –
Sun's Activity Increased in Past Century, Study Confirms –
Even on the ground, space elevators may have uses – New Scientist
Mars rover nears rim of giant crater – New Scientist
UP Aerospace to Retrieve Rocket After Failed Launch –
Pluto-bound Probe Snaps Photo of Jupiter –
NASA Chief Agrees to Working Groups with China, But Full Cooperation Far Off –

7) Quiz
Do you like science fiction? Do you like to write? Then contact The Thunder Child and get free books to review!

9/26: 1. Did I say people should learn from their mistakes?

A couple of days ago I created a cover for the October issue of The Thunder Child. It featured an illustration from the original Princess of Mars book, written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I know I entitled it Octobercover...what else could I have titled it?? But now that I come to look for it to upload it to the site in preparation for the October issue, I can't find it!

I've done a search for Oct, and for October...and nothing. Frustrating.

And this isn't the first time this has happened. I'm frequently losing files..and as frequently vowing I'll be better prepared in future because I don't have ten minutes to waste looking for things that should be in the appropriate folder to begin with.

So...this time I'm definitely going to learn from my mistake, and in future make sure I put files in their appropriately ID'd folders to begin with. Although....I know I do this. I wonder if there's a gremlin lurking in my computer that likes to gaslight's succeeding.

On a side note, I'm watching Creature from the Black Lagoon in preparation of doing an article on the trilogy, here's a famous photo:

Creature pic

UPDATE: Finally looked in my Trash folder, and there was the file, Octobercover.JPG. Now, that has me puzzled. Normally if I do a search on something, I get a list back of files even if they're in the trash...but not this time.

And what was my October cover doing in the trash, anyway?? Oh well, it's found now, it's uploaded now.

Today I'm going to get as much of the issue's Table of Contents done as I can...I think the issue is pretty much done except for waiting for reviews from my two book reviewers. I do have still to write a review of Echelon...

Monday, September 25, 2006

9/25: 3. Website of the day: Citizen Scientist

Monday night, Sept 25, 2006

1) Website
2) General
3) Radio
4) Reviews
5) Issue Notes
6) Space/Ocean Headlines
7) Quiz

1) Website

The Citizen Scientist

2) General
New Orleans Saints playing once again I’ll be watching football

3) Radio
New Doctor Who: Sword of Orion, begins this Sunday at BBC Radio 7
The Adventures of Superman will be done on Radio Spirits after next week...

4) Reviews
Hanging fire

5) Issue Notes
Spent the day going through my Star Trek fanzines from 30 years ago...kind of fun, in a bittersweet kind of way.

I’ve got to start making to do lists - I’ve got a lot too accomplish and not a lot of time to do it in.

6) Space/Ocean Headlines
Fast-Spinning Star on Verge of Breaking Apart –
NASA Altering Its Contract Approach For Procuring Landsat Replacement –
Scientists Prepare World's Most Complete Catalogue Of Galactic Warps – Science Daily
Delta 2 Rocket to Launch GPS Satellite Today –
Future Mars astronauts have radiation on their minds – New Scientist
Asteroids And Meteorites Reveal Family Resemblance – Science Daily
Orbital To Pull Out of Rocketplane Kistler's COTS Team –
NASA to Limit Cooperation with China's Space Program –
Rocket Crashes After Launch From New Mexico Spaceport – Fox News
Future Mars astronauts have radiation on their minds - New Scientist

7) Quiz
Well, the weekend went by and I still didn’t work on any quizzes. Sundays spent watching football certainly cut into my working time.

9:/25 2. Today's library books

I visit the library about once a day, for a few reasons.

I have this 'thing' about bibliographies. I like to construct them, usually not sorted alphabetically by title or author but chronologically, by publication year. I'm doing it right now for children's oceanography books, and of course I'm working on it for science fiction novels.

So, the books I checked out today:

The Blue Planet: Seas of Life, by a variety of authors, to accompany the BBC/Discovery channel's documetnary. 2001.

Swimming with Sea Lions and other Adventures in the Galapogos Islands, by Ann McGovern. 1992.

Arctic and Antarctic, by Barbara Taylor. An Eyewitness Book. 1995.

The Voyage of the Beagle, by Charles Darwin. The 1845 edition, reprinted here in 2000. This is actually a book that is online in various editions, and which I'm having my TechnoOcean cadets read.

Good Boatkeeping: 2,700 ways to improve life afloat. I just thought this might be amusing to look through...wish I had the money to have a boat to live on. However, I can literally get seasick in a kid's paddleboat these days, so no ocean waves for me..

9/25: 1. The Penny has dropped!

Up until about a week and a half ago, readership of this blog was pretty steady, with lots of return readers.

I decided to improve the blog by always updating it at a specific time - between 11.30 pm - 12 am, and to cover 7 different topics each day.

Then, I sat back and thought I'd track the jump in readership. Such was not the case. Readership dropped...markedly.

And I have to admit I was surprised and pretty disappointed. I had *improved* the blog from the old haphazard days...and now practically no one was reading! Was everyone nuts?

Then it occurred to me to check the counter stats. It had tracking statistics that I'd never bothered to look at before, thinking they wouldn't tell me anything of interest, but they did.

Seems like 90% of my readers weren't coming from The Thunder Child website, but rather from Each time you log on, bloggers see a listing of the most recently updated blogs...and so bloggers who were about to make their entries or just finish them would see the name Daily Space running across their screens and decide to check it out. And since I was now not posting in the middle of the day but late at night, no one was around to see the name and be intrigued! plan.

In addition to my regularly scheduled 11.30 pm blog update covering the seven usual suspects, I'll also post a couple of times during the day, to lure the unsuspecting bloggers to my lair, where hopefully they'll again become hooked to my Daily Space data bytes...and from here check out The Thunder Child science fiction web magazine.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

9/24: Batman and Robin in The Adventures of Superman

Sunday night, Sept 24, 2006

1) Website
2) General
3) Radio
4) Reviews
5) Issue Notes
6) Space/Ocean Headlines
7) Quiz

1) Website

Mimosa is a pretty interesting fan magazine, with all its issues archived online. Check it out - you’ll enjoy it.

2) General

Bad/stupid/obscene ads:

“A car dealership in Ohio is making jokes about Muslim jihadists: COLUMBUS, Ohio - A car dealership's planned radio advertisement that declared "a jihad on the automotive market" has drawn sharp criticism for its content but will not be changed, the business said Saturday.

Several stations rejected the Dennis Mitsubishi spot, which says sales representatives wearing "burqas" — head-to-toe traditional dress for Islamic women — will sell vehicles that can "comfortably seat 12 jihadists in the back."

"Our prices are lower than the evildoers' every day. Just ask the pope!" the ad says. "Friday is fatwa Friday, with free rubber swords for the kiddies." A fatwa is a religious edict.

Dealership president Keith Dennis said the ad does not disrespect any religion or culture. He said it was "fair game" to poke "a little fun at radical extremists."

"It was our intention to craft something around some of the buzzwords of the day and give everyone a good chuckle and be a little bit of a tension reliever," he said.

The Columbus chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations decried the ad as disrespectful.”

I wouldn’t say it’s disrespectful to muslims, but it’s certainly disrespectful to all the people who have been killed or mutilated by Jihadists...and is in *incredibly* bad taste.

3) Radio
Episode 10 of Journey Into Space and last Jefferson 27 now online at BBC Radio 7.

4) Reviews

Everyone’s Hero is an animated film. “Yankee” Irvin is the son of the janitor at Yankee Stadium. He longs to be a baseball player, but he can’t bat for toffee. He visits his dad at the stadium, and sees a man dressed as a security guard. This man is actually a pitcher for the Chicago Cubs, who has to steal Babe Ruth’s bat Darlin’, so that his boss (Robin Williams in an uncredited role) will allow him to pitch against the Yankees. The Cubs and the Yankees are playing in the World Series (which actually never happened in real life, by the way.)

The movie’s....okay. It never got as many laughs as Barnyard did from the little kiddies, and did seem to go on and on... Baseball fans will probably like it - although I was kind of disappointed that although Gehrig’s name is seen on a locker, we never see him (the movie’s supposed to take place in 1926). The Yankee manager will probably look familiar - he resembles Joe Torre and Torre provides the voice as well.

The ending is ridiculous...”Yankee” gets to bat in the game, and gets an inside the park homerun, which spurs the rest of the team to recover and win the Series. If it hadn’t been for that...

5) Issue Notes
Too much football today...but I did finish Batman’s Great Mystery (radio script) and a page on superhero collectibles.

6) Space/Ocean Headlines

Japan launches Sun 'microscope' -- BBC News
NASA Chief in China to Discuss Space Cooperation -- New York Times
Why trust China in space? – Houston Chronicle
NASA chief in China, meets top officials - China Daily

Saturday, September 23, 2006

9/23: Lost of astronaut news, but what's happening in the oceans?

Saturday night, Sept 23, 2006

1) Website
2) General
3) Radio
4) Reviews
5) Issue Notes
6) Space/Ocean Headlines
7) Quiz

1) Website

Man into space

2) General
Saw a movie today, will review it tomorrow.
Watched a bit of college football and baseball...

3) Radio
New Journey Into Space and last ep of Jefferson 37 tomorrow
Go to for an Dimensin X episode called Kaleidoscope, written by Ray Bradbury. 3 astronauts are blown away from each other when their spaceship explodes...there is no hope of rescue.

4) Review
Everyone’s Hero tomorrow

5) Issue notes
Spending way too much time refining the script transcription for Batman’s Great Mystery
Putzed on other things

6) Headlines, Space and Ocean
Skywalking with Astronaut Veteran Tom Jones –
Space Travel Can Be a Dangerous Adventure – ABC News
Space tourist enjoying her stay, ISS astronaut says – Reuters
NASA Chief Begins China Travels -
Japan launches rocket carrying sun observation satellite - Malaysia Star

7) Quiz
Name every human being who has walked in space.

Name every human being who has walked in space.

Friday, September 22, 2006

9/22: Twins had their they're goin' down!

Friday night, Sept 22, 2006

1) Website
2) General
3) Space/Ocean Headlines
4) Quiz
5) Radio
6) Reviews
7) Issue Notes

1) Website

This was a newspaper sized magazine in the early 70s. There’s lots of sci fi coverage...and now the first 4 issues are available online, with the other issues due to follow.

Click on the Archives button, choose the issue you want, and click on it. Each page will come up in reduced size, but don’t despair. Upper right hand corner is a “download” icon which will download the page in appropriate size so that you can actually read it.

2) General
Yesterday I commented on how many space headlines my google home page got everyday, as opposed to oceanography. Well, part of that might be due to the fact that I get headlines from - devoted to space, ya know. So from now on I’ll put where I get each headline from. I’d like to subscribe to an oceanography newsfeed, but Google doesn’t provide one.

The Minnesota Twins have had the opportunity to take over the division league from the Detroit Tigers. They failed yesterday, when Detroit lost....and today Detroit has won and they have lost, badly, to the I don't think they're going to be able to pull it off...oh well.

3) Space/Ocean Headlines

Cydonia -- The Face On Mars? –from ?
X Prize Cup to Host NASA's Lunar Lander Challenge --from Space News
Shuttle's success eases NASA's burden --from Christian Science Monitor
Space tourist takes 'working holiday' in orbit - New Scientist
Atlantis' success spurs talk of visit to Hubble - Technology newsfeed/Kansas City Star
Atlantis Astronaut Collapses During Ceremony --from Space News
Space Station Chemical Leak Under Control — from Space News
Next for NASA: Big task of finishing space station - -Detroit Free Press
Space tourist says she's checking in at the office
NASA officials to make historic trip to China – New Scientist
With shuttle back on Earth, NASA looks ahead – Houston Chronicle
Japan sends probe to the Sun – BBC News

Not a one!

4) Quiz
None today

5) Radio

Jefferson 37 and Journey into Space episodes are about to drop off, so listen to ‘em tonight if you haven’t already.

6) Reviews

Still hanging fire.

7) Issue Notes

Finally got the TechnoOcean Academy material for October finished, so now I’ll be able to spend the rest of the week finishing up the October issue and starting work on November.

I’ve got several articles to write...but I’m committed to going to see a movie tomorrow...nothing sci fi, just another animated movie, about baseball, can’t remember the name of it now...Everyday Hero I think...

Lots of things are starting to coalesce, and I’ll talk about them more in future. Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

9/21: How do you lose 1,200 laptops in 5 years?

Thursday night, Sept 21, 2006

1) Website
2) General
3) Space/Ocean Headlines
4) Quiz
5) Radio
6) Reviews
7) Issue Notes

1) Website

This is a Star Wars movie made with vegetables. ‘Cuke’ Skywalker and Obi Wan ‘Canoli’ battle the Dark Side of the ‘Farm.’ The field will always be with you.

And in horror stories:

Commerce department has lost 1200 laptops since 2001. How incompetent is that?

2) General
Okay, I’ve moved general up to second place!

The headline from the New Scientist webfeed read: Rich nations put something rotten in Africa.

It’s all about toxic sludge that was dumped in Abidjan in the Ivory Coast a couple of weeks ago, which has killed a few people and stunk up the place...

In the first place, of course, the action was despicable. If the city didn’t have safe places for this toxic dump, it shouldn’t have been dumped. But it’s not “rich nations” that are doing this. It’s oil tanker companies...

But it’s like everything else, I guess. Wealthier nations won’t let toxic sludge be dumped in their countries, and have the lawyers to stop it, whereas the poorer nations need the money, but can’t construct the facilities to ensure the stuff is safely disposed of. Again - the oil tanker companies, the companies doing the dumping - should be the ones to build these facilities and held accountable if they’re defective.

A headline I saw just now (and the link is above) is that the Commerce Department has lost 1200 laptops since 2001. The amount of incompetence that is rife in the bureaucracy of America is simply frightening. We’re the richest country on Earth, with the best laws (if only they’d be properly enforced) with the most potential, but we’re blowing it...carelessness, stupidity, whatever ya wanna call it.

3) Space/Ocean Headlines

Note how many space headlines as opposed to ocean it cuz space is higher profile or is nothing going on in the oceans??

Atlantis fires engines for the journey home
Returning Home: Shuttle Atlantis Lands Safely After Successful Flight
Shuttle Lands at Kennedy Space Center
Iranian born Ansari makes Iranians and Americans proud
Mars Probes Continue to Unlock Planet's Mysteries
Atlantis’ success paves way for Europe, Japan missions
Mars Face Makeover: Controversial Formation Observed from New Angles
BLOG: Countdown Begins for First New Mexico Spaceport Launch
NASA Chief: After Atlantis, an 'Awesome' Task of ISS Assembly
Hubble Spots 500 Galaxies in Early Universe
Atlantis Astronauts Happy to be Home After Tough Mission
Space shuttle with Canadian astronaut on board returns to Earth
Conspiracy theorists must face the truth of Mars hill
Private Space Habitat Could Launch by 2010

Turbulent times means krill help climate

4) Quiz

Where do cruise ships dump their waste? Or for that matter, naval ships for any country you care to name?

5) Radio
Lots of good stuff on BBC Radio 7, but no sci fi. Doctor Who, Journey Into Space and Jefferson 37 episodes from the weekend still available.

6) Reviews
Still hanging fire

7) Issue Notes
Finished one Star Trek article. Finished cleaning up my archives. Got another Sam Moskowitz book from the library on the history of First Fandom...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

9/20: Americans don't know what quality means...

Wednesday night, Sept 20, 2006

1) Website
2) Space/Ocean Headlines
3) Quiz
4) Radio
5) Reviews
6) Issue Notes
7) General

1) Website

First - apologies. I don't know why these links aren't "hot". They used to be...but since I compose off line and then paste the text here they lose their effectiveness. Let's see what happens if I retype the link below...nope...still not hot. Oh well, cut and paste, cut and paste, please! Both sites are worth it.

If you’re a fan of Jules Verne or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, or model building, you’ll love this site which is devoted to modeling the Nautilus. Highly recommended.

Copy that ENTIRE URL into your browser. It's an article on how the Japanese are fretting because quality is down - 1 or 2 recalls a year for stuff...whereas in the good ol' USA there are recalls practically every month. Every American worker is in a sense self-employed and needs to do his or her best...

And institutions like NASA and the military need to have Quality as job one...

2) Space/Ocean Headlines

Fourth Space Tourist, Expedition 14 Crew Docks at ISS
Mystery Objects Prompts Third Heat Shield Inspection for Atlantis Crew
Space tourist enjoys warm reception in orbit
Global Space Youth Plan Future Lunar Exploration
Fourth Space Tourist, Expedition 14 Crew Docks at ISS
Shuttle looks OK, Soyuz docks at space station
Additional Inspections Show No Damage to Atlantis Orbiter, NASA Says
A 'Genetic Study' Of The Galaxy
Strange Supernova Defies Theory
Saturn Shows New Ring
Mission Atlantis: NASA Clears Space Shuttle to Come Home

Not a one!

3) Quiz
No quiz til Monday - I’ll get some written this weekend so I’ll be able to stay ahead of the game.

4) Radio
Nothing new here.

5) Reviews
Aztecs and Kreating Karloff, still hanging fire.

6) Issue Notes
Worked a bit more on getting my archives up to date. Did a bit of oceanography work.

I’m working on a couple of Star Trek articles also. September 8 was the 40th anniversary of the first broadcast of the first Star Trek episode...lots of events were held, none of which I was able to attend, of course...but hopefully one day...

7) General
On Sept 13 read an article that morons in Australia had killed 10 stingrays in the wake of ‘the Crocodile Hunter’s death. This despite the fact that all coverage has pointed out that stingrays are gentle creatures, are not dangerous, and that this was a freak accident. What a way to celebrate the man’s life work - of environmentalism - by killing innocent creatures...

I see California is suing automobile manufacturers for contributing to global warming. Hey, California! Ever thought it was because you’ve created cities where people *have* to drive everywhere they go? That you’ve created a culture where people will get in there cars to drive ten feet to go visit a neighbor. (Pace Steve Martin’s LA Story.) It’s the drivers who can’t get out of their cars for ten minutes who are the problem, not the automobile makers.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

9/19: Information is of no use if you can't find it

Tuesday night, Sept 19, 2006

1) Website
2) Space/Ocean Headlines
3) Quiz
4) Radio
5) Reviews
6) Issue Notes
7) General

1) Website

Every science fiction fan knows about Locus, right?

2) Headlines

Space - chronological order as they appeared on the newsfeeds:
ESA to Sponsor Space Tourism Work
Distorted Solar System Discovered
Space Station Clears Docking Port for Arriving Spaceflyers
Scientists Snap First Images Of Brown Dwarf In Planetary System
Weather May Delay Atlantis Shuttle's Landing
First Female Space Tourist Says Hello to ISS Crew
Shuttle Atlantis crew prepares for homecoming
Shuttle, station, Soyuz crews enjoy orbital chat
Atlantis Landing Delayed After Mystery Object Spotted
Mysterious debris delays shuttle landing
First Real Emergency for Space Station
Soyuz docking with ISS not cancelled after shuttle landing delay
Mars probe obtains first radar images

Giant turtle is not a safe menu item

3) Quiz
Nothing today.

4) Radio
Nothing knew today on BBC7 or RadioSpirits...but episodes of Doctor Who and Jefferson 37 from yesterday will be available for another week. Not interested in audio drama? Try it anyway! It’s free - and you might be surprised how much you enjoy it.

5) Reviews

I picked up Doctor Who: The Aztecs, yesterday, and will be reviewing it for the October issue. Still have to review Kreating Karloff.

6) Issue Notes

Jean-Noel Bassior, author of Space Patrol, Missions of Daring in the Name of Early Television, emailed me and asked where the tribute to Ed Kemmer was archived. This nudged me to look at my archives section (which consists of the site map and each topic’s index page) and find that they were woefully incomplete. So everything’s on hold for a few hours while I get everything there up to snuff.

7) General
Canada bans smoking in hotels. Sean Penn lit up. He gets off scott free. The hotel is fined. Why is the hotel fined?, that is what I want to know. It was Sean Penn who lit up the cigarette, not the hotel. Was the hotel supposed to strip-search its guests to ensure that they didn’t bring cigarettes in with them? Was it supposed to douse him with water as soon as he lit up? What did the hotel do that warranted a fine, as opposed to Sean Penn?

These are the kinds of things that puzzle me...

Monday, September 18, 2006

9/18: Monday Steelers Goin' Down!

Monday night, Sept 18, 2006

1) Website
2) Space/Ocean Headlines
3) Quiz
4) Radio
5) Reviews
6) Issue Notes
7) General

1) Website

Did you guys know there's a science fiction museum in Seattle, Washington? Visit their website to check it out!

2) Headlines

If this blog lasts for years and years, which I hope it will, it might be interesting for some people to see what was in the news as far as space and ocean exploration was concerned. All these headlines come from my Google homepage newsfeeds: Science Daily, and New Scientist.

* Space Headlines
Milky Way's Formation Theory Questioned
Toxic spill on the International Space Station
First female space tourist blasts into space
Atlantis Shuttle's Heat Shield Looks Good After Second Look
Spacecraft to investigate cause of Sun's outbursts
OPINION: Space 'Adventurers' Paving The Way For the Rest of Us

* Ocean Headlines
NOAA Drops GOES-R Sensors
'Walking Shark' Among 50 New Marine Species Found Off Indonesia's Papua Province

3) Quiz
So all right, I never got around to putting together any quizzes this weekend - too busy getting my oceanography curriculum into shape. Nevertheless I’ll leave this spacer here, and next week it’ll be full of quizzes.

4) Radio

It’s Monday, and Sunday’s radio offerings are now available at BBC Radio 7. Final installment of Storm Warning - the Paul McGann Doctor Who, and the third installment of Jefferson 37.

5) Reviews
Sunday’ll be the day for a new movie review, on all other days, if I’ve had time to do anything, I’ll review an old movie, a book, etc. etc. Once I get the oceanography stuff out of the way, and I intend to finish the October section of it today, I’ll be able to start doing daily reviews.

6) Issue notes
Still working on Oceanography, hope to get it done today. Still working on the First Fandom annotated index...that’s going to be a long project but I hope to have it done by the October issue.

Sent off the interview to Marshall Thomas, author of The Soldier of the Legion, a sort of update of Heinlein’s Starship Troopers. But whereas Heinlein’s book left you in suspense as to the fate of the humans, Thomas’ is a six book series which will bring everything to closure (and the bugs in his book aren’t *the* villains).

7) General Notes
Much as I admire US entrepreneur Anousheh Ansari for fulfilling her dream to blast into space as a tourist, I wish she would have spent the money on something more educating the Iranian people (she’s of Iranian descent) about the human rights of women...but I suppose getting into space is actually possible...

----Then I found this webpage:

Very interesting, very good, I hope no one declares a fatwah against her...
Whenever I read about Muslim countries run by the religious types instead of a secular government, I just shudder, because women have no rights and are treated less than dirt. Of course, most people are. People in Somali, regardless of whether they’re Muslim or not, can no longer watch soccer games. Can no longer play music on their radio stations, etc.

And then politicians here in the US try to say there’s no reason why politics and religion should be separated....frankly there’s every reason. (But then, I’m someone who believes that if all the religions in the world would disappear, there’d be a lot less hatred in the world.)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

9/17: Sunday: You'll believe a cow can surf

Sunday night, Sept 17, 2006

Sunday is a day on which I don’t get much done. It’s football day. It’s not totally wasted, I spend the time while I’m watching the games going through my newspaper clippings, of which I’ve got tons (I clip news on space exploration, oceanography, dinosaurs, art and art theft, government stupidity at the local, state and national level, etc. etc.)

So all I’ve done for the blog today is my website suggestion and my review of The Barnyard.

1) Website

The website for today is:

This is a commercial site - everything of science fiction interest - from books to movies to tv shows to premiums to toys to games to pages of art, seems to be on sale here. I’ve never bought anything from them, but I’ve never heard of any problems with people not getting what they order. (And make sure you click on the radio in the nav bar to the left of the page to listen to an episode of Space Patrol.

2) Reviews: Barnyard

The only thing I knew about Barnyard going in was that all the male cows - or bulls as they correctly should be called - had udders. Well, it didn’t take too long before the plot of the movie became apparent - it was a less pretentious version of The Lion King. In that movie, Simba the lion is king of the jungle, in Barnyard Otis the male cow (he’s a male, he’s got udders, so he must be a male cow) is ‘king’ of the barnyard.

Yes, there were a few amusing bits. The opening bit where Otis and his friends surf on a makeshift surfboard over the valleys was funny. Three snotty kids "tip" a cow, and then walk off thinking they're "all that", so Otis and his friends break into the kid's bedroom while he's sleeping and "tip" him...

But overall I found it more unpleasant than anything else.

All of the animals at the Barnyard - cows, chickens, mules, dogs - can speak English, walk on their hind legs, drive cars and ride motorcycles. They act like normal animals when the farmer is around, but as soon as he goes away, they start to play. All except Ben (played by Sam Elliot) a cow who is the self-appointed guardian of the Barnyard, and who takes his responsibilities seriously. His son (adopted) Otis, is on the other hand a party animal, who has no intention of stepping into his father’s hooves.

That night, after the farmer’s gone to bed, the animals have a party in the barn. Ben is out on a hilltop watching over his domain. Otis is supposed to relieve him, but persuades Ben to take his shift so that he can go dancing at the party. While Otis is living it up and trying to impress a new female cow (pregnant) who has arrived at the Barnyard, a pack of coyotes attack the chicken house. Ben drives them off, but is killed in the process.

All the animals look to Otis to be their leader now, but he does not feel himself worthy. Nor does he want to be the leader. Then the coyotes return, and the decision is taken out of his hooves.

While lots of kids in the audience certainly seemed to like the movie - there was lots and lots of laughter every time Otis (or Ben) hit one of the coyotes with a tree branch, I found it rather unpleasant most of the time. There were a couple of laughs for adults in the movie, I don’t deny it, but most of it was just painful to watch. (The animation was good - although the udders looked stupid, even on the cows. The female ones, that is.)

First there was the time element. Ben dies, and is buried. (The farmer is a vegan, and apparently maintains his farm as a refuge for animals of all kinds.) All of the animals pay a visit to the grave to mourn him, but that night they’re in the barn once more, partying hearty as if nothing had happened. Short grieving time.

Prior to this, in the daytime, the animals hold a meeting to decide who will be their new leader - which apparently consists of sitting out on the hilltop all the time looking out for the coyotes while every other single animal in the Barnyard enjoys him or herself. (And one wonders why the farmer didn’t take steps to protect the farm, as he must have known from Ben’s mauled body that he was killed by the coyotes.)

Anyway, the dog volunteers, but is turned down. Everyone wants Otis, because of his wild ways. They look forward to his idea of discipline, which they think will be a lot more lenient than Ben’s. Otis enters the barn and is cajoled into dancing even though it’s broad daylight. Then...the farmer walks by and sees them. The mule kicks him in the head and knocks him unconscious.

Should the farmer be killed or shouldn’t he? That seems to actually be the ethical question discussed by the animals. Each time the farmer regains consciousness the mule kicks him again - the kids got a good laugh out of this. But Otis persuades his friends that the farmer has been good to them - so they drag him out under a tree, break a branch and lay it over him, and put the book Charlotte’s Web on his lap, so that he can believe he got hit on the head accidently and had a dream. Of course there’s another mule kick and a gratuitous hit by an apple, which did amuse the kids...

The coyotes, who are drawn as skeletal creatures with rat-like, pointed noises, go after a rabbit later that night. Otis is standing guard on the hilltop while the party goes on in the barn (again, this is like, one day after Ben’s death) and chases after them. But when he reaches the coyotes they turn on him and he freezes, too frightened to move. Dag, the head coyote, spells it out for Otis. The coyotes will visit the farm every night and take a few animals, and Otis will look the other way. Dag delivers a few more words of contempt for the frightened cow, and then the coyotes leave.

Otis decides to run away. He doesn’t believe he can protect the barnyard. But, he doesn’t tell his friends why he’s leaving. So this is where I have another problem with the film. Of course Otis has to run away, so that he can have an epiphany later on - as you know he will. But Daisy comes to him and asks why he’s leaving. He won’t tell her. “I still believe in you,” she says, and that’s what frosted me. All she knows about this cow (male) is that he likes to party, and that he’s running away from the barnyard without explaining why, and yet she “believes” in him. What's to “believes” in???

However, unlike The Lion King, Otis doesn’t actually have the time to run away. The coyotes have played a trick on him - they have raided the farm during the day and made off with a few chickens and Maddie (a cute little baby chick). Otis has always had a fond spot for Maddie, so he straightens his shoulders and decides he’s going to go save them. Alone. Despite the fact that his father died when he fought the coyotes on his own, Otis is going to go rescue them single-handed.

He arrives at the coyote’s camp, a used car lot, where they’re gathered around an iron pot suspended over a raging fire. The chickens are tied up...preparatory to being cooked before being eaten. Otis arrives, there’s a fight, Otis is defeated. Dag the coyote plucks up cute little Maddie and is about to eat her (alive!) when the calvary arrives - Otis’ 3 joy-riding cow buddies, a mule with a kick like a, well, like a mule, the pig, the mouse, and an indeterminate carnivorous animal (who has sworn off flesh because the animals are his friends.). These save the day.

But the movie doesn’t end there. The calvary reveals that when they left the barnyard Daisy had gone into labor. So the cows and other animals steal a bunch of motorcycles and ride like the wind to the barnyard. Daisy is lying in a stall with a blanket over her. She gives birth to a son (with udders, of course) whom she will call Ben. Otis promises his friends that he’ll never leave the barnyard.

So there’s a couple of messages. One is - live up to your responsibilities. Secondly, just because you feel like you’re “all that,” don’t go off alone to fight a pack of coyotes with sharp teeth. Let your friends come along to help you. (And of course, all the animals who came to help were male - albeit the cows were males with udders...)

There was a third message - and I wonder if it was intentional or just accidental. As I mentioned earlier, all the animals in the barnyard seem to spend every night partying, while one animal sits on a hilltop, protecting them. It’d be a lot easier to protect them if a couple of other animals took it upon themselves to participate in their defense. But perhaps it's echoing the spirit of the times, when most people want to live their own lives without thinking too much about what goes on around them, how they're kept safe, etc. etc.

After seeing the movie, I did a google search on “cows with udders” and found lots of blog and newsgroups comments about the stupidity of having bulls with female mammary glands. Several of them were amusing. One writer pointed out that she didn’t think the creator of the film, Steve Oedekerk, had a very high opinion of women. He’s the guy who did Bruce Almighty, in which Jim Carrey used his powers to increase women’s breast sizes, etc. I had gotten this idea as well.

There’s a couple of “comedy relief” characters in the film, two humans who live in the next house over. One is a woman who snoops on her neighbor the farmer, the other is her husband who sits apparently watching TV all the time, drinking bear, and talking monosyllabically. So okay, it’s a takeoff on nosy neighbors, not a problem, but there’s a scene where the woman, who is wearing a very tight dress, fills up the entire screen, first from her breasts and then as she turns her buttocks fill the screen.

Oedekerk, when asked why the bulls have udders, said that he thinks udders are funny. Apparently he thinks women’ buttocks are funny, also. But, he’s wrong.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

9/16: Saturday Space

Saturday night, Sept 16, 2006

1) Website
2) Quiz
3) Radio
4) Reviews - Every Sunday
5) Issue Notes
6) General (including sci fi radio, etc. )

1) Website

The website for today is:

This is the BBC’s official site on Doctor Who, and it has lots of great stuff on all the Doctors, from William Hartnell onward. Sound clips, film clips and more. So I’d invite any Doctor Who fans to check this out.

2) Quiz

Only one question in today’s quiz. How can you tell a male cow from a female cow?


X Minus One aired Thursday on You can listen to it in the archives for three more days: Thursday 9-14 X-Minus One
Originally broadcast: 10/3/1957 - "A Wind is Rising"

At BBC Radio 7, part 3 of Doctor Who, "Storm Warning" is now playing.

3) Reviews - Every Sunday
Well, wouldn’t this just frost ya? I was all set to see Monster House today...and it’s no longer at my local theater. Two days ago it was - but today, it’s gone. There wasn’t much else at the AMC 24 that I wanted to see. The animated baseball movie Everyone’s Hero looks interesting, but I’d better go see Barnyard because that’s been out longer and will probably disappear soon..

4) Issue Notes
I’ve been making good progress on my article on the history of science fiction fandom. I work for about 10 minutes at a time, then take a break by reading. Current books are Robert Heinlein by Leo Stover, Nazi Science by Mark Walker, and various children’s oceanography books. Will be sending an interview to Marshall Thomas tomorrow which I hope will make it into the issue.

5) General

Doctor Who still thrives in radio drama. According to the BBC Paul McGann (the 8th Doctor) will be starring in 6 dramatizations. Horror of Glam Rock sounds interesting. (Glam Rock is like Kiss, I think...grown men wearing 12 inch heels and oversize glasses with windshield wipers on them)

"Blood Of The Daleks" by Steve Lyons
"Horror Of Glam Rock" by Paul Magrs
"Immortal Beloved" by Jonathan Clements
"Phobos" by Eddie Robson
"No More Lies" by Paul Sutton
"Human Resources" by Eddie Robson

By the way, part 3 of the 4 part "Storm Warning" will be going off air tonight, so if you haven’t listened to it yet, hurry over to BBC7's Listen Again page. Saturday’s shows will be online for five days as of tomorrow (Sunday) and include Jefferson 37 and Journey Into Space.

Movies playing at the AMC 24 on this date:
Accepted - Bad student creates his own university
Barnyard: The Original Party Animals
Crank - by the plot description, I’d say this is a ripoff of DOA and also Speed. (In Speed, the bus couldn’t slow down past a certain point or a bomb would go off. In Crank, the guy’s *heart rate* can’t slow past a certain point.)
Crossover - African Americans trying to make it out of the ‘hood
Everyone's Hero - animated, about finding Babe Ruth’s baseball bat. I’d like to see this.
Gridiron Gang - football. College student angst. I’ll skip.
Hollywoodland - mysterious death of George Reeves
Idlewild - Musical set in Prohibition era south
Invincible - Another football tale
Little Miss Sunshine - Disfunctional family trying to get daughter to beauty pagant
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest - not as good as the first movie, pretty much a remake of the first movie...but if you like Captain Jack Sparrow...
Pulse - horror movie. I don’t even wanna know what it’s about.
Snakes on a Plane - No interest in it.
Step Up - “chick flick” I guess, about dancing
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby - I can’t believe this movie is still playing and they dropped Monster House
The Black Dahlia - way too grim for me.
The Covenant - another horror story. Don’t wanna know.
The Guardian - the US Coast Guard academy. Stars Kevin Costner
The Illusionist - magician in turn of the century Vienna marries above his station
The Last Kiss - another “chick flick.” Not interested!
The Protector - a Kung Fu movie. I like to see these once in a while...but not in the mood today.
The Wicker Man - horror movie. Remake of what some people consider a classic. Not interested.
Trust the Man - “chick flick.”
World Trade Center - way too depressing to watch.

Friday, September 15, 2006

9/15 (Friday): Blog now structured for maximum info!

Friday night, Sept 15, 2006

From now on this blog will be updated every night between 11.30 pm - 12 am., Eastern time! (Which is apparently about 8.30 pm Pacific time, where the clock for this blog program is actually located...

It will contain the following features:

1) Website of the day
2) Quiz
3) Reviews - Every Sunday
4) Issue Notes
5) Space and Ocean Headlines
6) General (including sci fi radio, etc. )

1) Website
The website for today is:

It features "Roadside Rockets" - and is hosted by Rocket Team Vatsaas.
Basically what they provide are photos of rockets models that can be found along the roads in various states - as well as other countries. There’s actually a couple of sites like this on the web, featuring photos of science fiction type stuff/dinosaurs etc.

I’d like to start a section similar to this on The Thunder Child, by the way, so if you have any photos you’d like to share, please send them along! They must be your original photos, please, not something downloaded from someone else’s site. It can depict the same item - but it’s got to come from your own camera!

2) Quiz
There’s no quiz for today. I’m going to set aside some time each weekend to come up with 7 quizzes, so that after a week or so I’ll be able to post a quiz here and still have some left in reserve, so that I don’t have to bustle around every day trying to think of a quiz.

3) Reviews - Every Sunday for a movie seen on Saturday.
I’ll be seeing Monster House this Saturday in the theater. Stay tuned. Yes, I know it’s been out for a while but I want to see it. I’ll be passing on Hollywoodland...I’m a fan of George Reeves and I don’t think he’s depicted properly in this film.

4) Issue Notes
In addition to my article on the history of science fiction fandom, I wanted to have an index of all the people involved, so that other people could use it as source material. Since compiling information is a lot easier, and quicker, than writing, the index is now done - in the sense that names in 4 books, from Isaac Asimov on Science Fiction to Sam Moskowitz’s Immortal Storm have been added. It’s a dynamic document, names will be continually added as I go through more reference books.
I want to increase my book review coverage. I advertised for reviewers on a sci fi message board, haven’t gotten any responses yet. Disappointing, but we shall persevere.

5) Space and Oceanography Headlines
I'll start this tomorrow.

6) General
I hope you enjoy the new look of this blog, and find it useful. I hope you’ll return, and I hope you’ll also pay a visit to The Thunder Child!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

9/15: (Friday) Blog Update Schedule

I've decided to put this blog on a more regular schedule, so that my return readers will know when to return to read all this good stuff.

So, from now on, a new entry to this blog will be uploaded between 11:30 pm and 12:00 am, eastern time. (That's because I'm located in Virginia.)

New features for this blog starting with the next entry:
1) A website of interest to the science/ science fiction fan
2) A quiz (I've been searching the web for stuff to add fun games to my sites)
3) A book, movie or record review - either of a new offering or a 'retro' review of an old offering

For this entry, I'll just talk about what irks me about the Sports newsgroups.

I spend way too much time bopping around the various usenet message boards (I use to find them - they've sold out to Google but the URL still works) . Spending 20 years in Minnesota as I did, I grew attached to the Minnesota Vikings, Timberwolves and Twins. (Those are the only 3 sports, just so ya know - although I like sumo and cricket...)

Anyway, in addition to my home grown teams there are also certain players I like to keep track of. For example I always kept track of Doug Flutie's career when he came over from Canada to the States...I dislike Randy Moss and so am looking at his career with the Raiders with interest, etc...

Anyway, being over 40 years old, I guess I'm more mature than most people who post on these sports groups, although even as a kid and young woman I never would have posted some of the crap that gets posted there.

I mean, in those years when my favorite teams haven't done so well I've referred to them regretfully in a diminuitive fashion - The Twinkies, the Viqueens, I've never called the Timberwolves the T-pups but I'm sure that's their nickname amongst those who like to put teams down...

Anyway, those are my teams and I refer to them that way with a certain fondness...but I would never refer to other teams - or players - in such a derogatory way. And yet a lot of what passes for 'wit' on these boards is people referring to teams or players in a derogatory way. They will never use the correct name, only an insulting one...and I can only assume they do it because they think they look smart in so doing.

And to me, they just look like idiots.

And of course from the armchair sportsplayers to the professionals...there's some athletes who could use some maturation/class as well...I get so sick and tired of watching a player do some kind of victory dance after sacking a quarterback, for example...this when his team is down by 2 touchdowns. Doesn't matter, he did something good. It just makes them look stupid and childish, and its a pity that their coaches can't say, "Hey, act like somebody."

So, that's my sports rant for today.

9/14 (Thursday) Time goes by fast

Not much to report today.

I'm busy inputting data into various databases: members of First Fandom (and First Writers, come to that), science fiction comic books, chronological science fiction and fantasy books, chronology of Star Trek fandom, and of course my Oceanography project.

I want to get a good start on these databases bythe end of this week so I can start working on some articles...

Still no word from Joe Moe which is very disappointing...or Steve Barnes, come to that...

Well..there's other fish out there in the sea...but it is annoying. Both of those guys initially said "yes." If they changed their minds, that's fine, just have the courtesy to tell me so.

Well, onward and upward.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

9/13: I love libraries

I'm doing an article on the history of Golden Age science fiction writers. Lots of source material in the books of Sam Moskowitz...but I didn't really want to spend tons of money to buy his books from

So I ordered them through Interlibrary Loan, not really expecting that any library here on the East Coast of the USA would have them...but lo and behold one did! So I'll be going to my local library at 3 pm today to pick them up. (3 pm being the time when the courier van arrives, apparently).

I've read Asimov's writings on 'First Fandom', and I've got the book The Futurians by Damon Knight, but these will be the first by Moskowitz I've seen.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

9/12: Reference works

Spent most of Monday - that'd be yesterday - compiling reference works for the next issue of The Thunder Child...which is going to concentrate mostly on reference works - sci fi and fantasy books in chronological published order, sci fi terms first used, etc.

I'm beginning to wonder if I'm ever going to see the interview from Forry Ackerman. I've emailed Joe Moe a couple of times in the last two weeks and he hasn't bothered to respond at all. As I've said before, I don't care if I get a yes or no, but have the courtesy to respond in some fashion to an email sent to you!

On a lighter note, my Minnesota Vikings won on Monday night football, so that made me happy. Then the Oakland Raiders lost. I didn't mind that so much but they looked soooo bad doing it. And then there was the case of a Mr. Merriman, a player on the Chargers, a veritable sack master. Seems he's got a schtick of, whenever he sacks a QB, wiping his feet on the ground as if he's getting rid of mud on his shoes. Never mind that his teammates are waiting to congratulate him...he's got to do this little schtick. Or signature act. Or whatever you want to call it. Looks ridiculous and bush league, and I can't believe he wasn't called for taunting for doing it.

But then, a lot of the other defensive players do it too. The game's just started, they make a stop and act like they've just won the game on their individual shoulders. Course with these players, their team could be losing by 20 points, but if *they* make a stop, they'll celebrate like it was the best thing in the world...

What I'd *really* like to see is when these glory-hogging players do their little "look at me" dance after some little stop, the rest of their teammates just walk away from them, leaving him to shine in solitude - where he'll look like the idiot he is.

Well, forgive the rant.

Anyway, the Vikings are the important team. I just hope they can continue to improve so that when they meet teams that are actually good, they can still win!

Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11: Time keeps on slipping into the future

I didn't accomplish much yesterday except a journey into nostalgia...I watched Roger Federer beat Andy Roddick at the US Open. Tiger Woods was in the stands...and I could remember watching him win his very first Open...or Masters, or whatever it was (I am not in to golf, but my dad is and I was watching with him...)...

Then I watched Peyton Manning vs brother Eli during the night football game...and I could remember watching Peyton's first year...and that was 9 years ago. How highly touted he is...and yet his team hasn't come close to winning a Superbowl...and last year of course with the death of Tony Dungy's son and the loss of their no-loss season...very sad.

And 9 years later here I am...not much difference than I was then...working on my latest project, The Thunder Child...

At BBC7 you can now listen to the latest installments of Journey Into Space (they've finally reached Mars) and the Storm Warning serial of Doctor Who starring Paul McGann continues.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

9/10: Nice to have you back

I track the readership here at Daily Space. Nothing sophisticated, just how many people are return visitors, and its nice to see that so many of you are *return* visitors. Readership in general here is also gradually picking up, which is nice to see.

Weekends, however, do you seem to suck as far as readership is concerned...there's a significant dropoff both here and at The Thunder Child...which I've always thought odd because weekends should be *the* time for getting online.

But perhaps people spend their weekends watching sports (I know I'll be watching football from 1 pm onward) and spend their workdays surfing the web. I'm sure all my readers do it on their lunchtime, though!

Saturday's online at BBC7's Listen Again, with another installment of Journey Into Space, and the clone series Jefferson 37. I can see where the clone series is going right now - the clones are obviously thinking human beings regardless of what their 'creator' says, only question is will they all be destroyed or will they manage to escape. A sad tale, regardless, cuz you know cloning is going to be part of the future. I have no problem with stem cell research (or abortion or anything else) but it's only human nature for the bad to be taken to extremes - such as stealing other people's organs, etc., which I believe even now takes place in certain countries.

Brrr... Depressing.

On a lighter note, the shuttle Atlantis took off successfully yesterday. Here's to the International Space Station and to international cooperation in space.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

9/9: Pirates of the Caribbean II: Dead Man's Chest

Saturday is my movie- going day, and so today I finally got to see Pirates of the Caribbean II. was okay. Not as light-hearted as the original...and of course if you hadn't seen the first you wouldn't really know what was going on with the second...

I disliked the cannibals scene which took up the first third of the movie..Davy Jones was extremely well done but why why why did he have to have such a thick Scottish accent? I thought of Sean Connery every time he spoke.

I did like the homage to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea's Captain Nemo - Davy Jones plays an organ...I loved the music again and will have to pick up the soundtrack for this...

Johnny Depp of course makes the film. Character-wise I was a bit disappointed that he actually was willing to sacrifice Will Turner to Davy Jones to save himself...the scene between Depp and Knightly at the end was pretty good... oooh, sexy!

And, of course, how can Captain Barbossa be alive now - when he was killed at the end of Pirates I? Certainly Barbossa was an integral part of the success of the first movie, but it just makes no sense to bring him back.

9/9: Books on Saturday

I'll be going to see Pirates of the Caribbean II later on today...

Right now I'm reading Echelon, which I need to review for the next issue.

Also got a bio book of Heinlein I shall read and dissect today.

Friday, September 08, 2006

9/8: Friday already?

This week has certainly gone by fast.

Haven't accomplished as much as I would like, but I expect to have the first week's curriculum of the TechnoOcean Academy finished today. For the first several months the TechnoOcean Academy consisted of a sci fi future blog which was supposed to be updated every day, but I never had time to work on it so now it's just going to be two things - a course in oceanography *and* a monthly serial...depicting a water-scarce world just 20 years away (originally I'd set it in 2016 but now I'm going to make it a bit grimmer and set it in 2020.)

I'm going to write a series of articles on Disney science fiction movies - I'd started out with The Absent Minded Professor and then got sidetracked. Now that's back on track.

I've got a copy of Kreating Karloff to review, a book called Echelon, and intend to review at least 3 more.

Will spend the weekend sending out emails to conventions requesting to be put on media lists.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

9/7: Thursday already

Opening football game a football fan I'm looking forward to this.

While I watch football, however, I also make constructive use of my time - I've gone through my 90 days of newspapers (saved for me while I was in Germany) and torn out the pages which contain interesting articles - space, oceans, certain crime events, etc., and now I have to cut them out of the pages and tape them up into notebooks, appropriately labeled. I hope to be finished with this backlog in a couple of weeks...then I've got to work on the backlog I had before I went to Germany...

No new sci fi at BBC7, just part 3 of the Daphne DuMaurier time travel tale. I'm still not in the mood to listen to it - although it is just a narration of the book, not a dramatization of it.

Also busy setting up the course for TechnoOcean Academy.

This weekend I'll be going to see a few movies...but Pirates of the Caribbean before that I'm back in the States I'll be seeing new releases on a regular basis and be able to review them here in real time.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

9/6: And the work goes on

Finished my review of Soldier of the Legion for the October issue. Will soon start reading Echelon. My goal is to review5 books a month.

Starting work on the TechnoOcean Academy curriculum for October:

1. Intro to Oceanography
2. Coastal Geography
3. Intro to Marine Engineering
4. Tropical Fish

Reading The Futurians with thoughts on an article about the Golden Agesci fi writers

Trying to gear up to listen to the Daphne DuMaurier time travel novel, The House on the Strand, being read in 20 parts at BBC7, but not really in the mood for it. Might just record it and listen to it later.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

9/5: September issue is GO!

The September issue is offically live now. I haven't announced it anywhere yet...Steve Vertlieb sent out a press release and I'm tracking the spike in readership right now...

Tomorrow I'll send out press releases to the usual places and track those spikes..

I wish I could take off a couple of days to decompress but I can't. I'll take a couple of hours! Then get to work on the October issue. I'll see if working non-stop for the next month I can get Octobober and November issues done, and then take it easy in October getting December and January issues done.

One project for this month is to try to get on the media list of all the Sci Fi conventions out there...

Another is to get more review books - sent to me...

And of course I've got to line up more interviews.

But right now, I'm going to take a 2 hour break and watch the rain outside the windows...

Monday, September 04, 2006

9/4: Issue almost ready to go

I'm waiting for a few more photos from Jean-Noel Bassior, then the issue will be ready to go:

1. Interview with Steve Vertlieb - Journalist
2. Interview with Bruce Crawford - Film Event organizer
3. Film review - The Thief of Bagdad (1940)
4. Book review - Zulu Heart
5. In Memorium - Joseph Stefano
6. 4 children's book reviews by Kathy Thomason
7. Sci fi TV 1955-1989
8. Exclusive photos behind the scenes of Space Patrol
9. Sci Fi Conventions
10. Books in public domain on the web

Sunday, September 03, 2006

9/3: Computers are go!

We had a storm here in southeast VA a few days flooding where I live but power did go down for a day, and phone lines down for another. Using my laptop I was able to get online during the evenings...not sure whose modem I was hooking up with or why it only worked during nighttime, but...

Anyway, so I haven't gotten a great deal done. The September issue is indeed going to be sparse. But...the October issue will be fantastic - lots of new features.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

9/2: Countdown

Well, the September issue is coming together.

Interviews with Steve Vertlieb and Bruce Crawford are done. (Film historians).
Analysis of The Thief of Bagdad starring Conrad Veidt
Photobooks of City Beneath the Sea and The Man from the 25th Century
One book review - Zulu Heart
4 kids books reviewed
Memories of Joseph Stefano (script writer of Hitchcock's Psycho)

and that's it this issue, unfortunately. I'll be adding some sources - Sci Fi Criticism Bibliography, for one. And features: Science Fiction conventions and Out of Copyright books are still there...

I am tired of having to rush around at the last minute getting these issues done. I'm going to bear down and get a couple of issues ahead.

Friday, September 01, 2006

9/1 Ernesto

Electricity was down for most of the I was unable to get much done. Kind of fun to be sitting safe and sound inside my house watching the rain and the nearby Norfolk (VA) the streets were flooded..lots of damage, but here I guess we're on higher ground.

Been reading Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers, and a collection called Requiem...interesting stuff. Of all the sci fi writers who contributed to writing essays honoring Heinlein, Isaac Asimov is conspicuous by his absence...but then, I guess he did get irritated with some of Heinlein's views...and I myself can't stand much of his later work...

My reviewer finally sent me some I don't think I'll lower the hammer on him. I was going to have him send me all the books he got two months ago - but now I guess I'll let him keep them...but I won't be getting him anymore.

I'll leave the door open for him to write articles for me...he is quite knowledgeable and writes well...but the lack of communication is just too annoying.