Tuesday, October 31, 2006

More thoughts on Kerry

All I've seen of Kerry's speech was that little soundbyte of "getting stuck in Iraq." Kerry's explanation is that he was talking about Bush not doing his homework, which resulted in our being stuck in Iraq. And frankly, based on his phraseology, I'm prepared to believe that that's what he was trying to say.

Because, it's true, I think. Bush got us into Iraq with no idea how to get us out. With no idea how those psychos over there with their psychotic religion would act ... the whole Middle East has really been destabilized...I don't know what the solution is, but mebbe if some missionaries are prepared to take their heads in their hands (very poor joke, but apt) and go over there and try to convert them all to Christianity, or better still, atheism - there might be chance for peace there.

So, back to Kerry. He'd better fire his speech writer...unless he did make that clear either before or after the soundbyte that he was talking about Bush and not the troops...I'd really like to see the WHOLE thing before I make a decision, but at the moment I'm prepared to give the benefit of the doubt to Kerry.

Meantime, heard an ad on the radio today about some amendement to vote for next week 'Protecting Marrige.' One woman calls up another wanting to get the scoop, the other woman says, "It's about making marriage between one man and one woman." and "Saving marriage for our children." And I had to laugh at this. Statistics lie all the time, of course, but I think statistics do say that 50% of marriages end in divorce. Lots of people get married 3 or 4 times. Lots more people never get married but have dozens of kids and a dozen "baby daddies."

I say if gays want to make a committment to each other and get married, let 'em. They'll have the same success/failure rate as anybody else, because people are people. Simple as that.

John Kerry's comments, and abstinence

John Kerry's comments on UTube

is the recording of John Kerry saying that "If you don't do well in school you get stuck in Iraq."

How about, if you don't do well in school you get stuck in welfare lines waiting for money to feed your five illegitamate kids? If you don't do well in school you get stuck in New Orleans/ [These were comments from callers to the Neal Boortz show].

Yeah, Kerry just annoyed me. My father served in Korean and Vietnam, my brother was in the Navy, my sister and her husband are in the Air Force, both have pretty good lives despite the fact that they've each had to go, at separate times, over to Saudi Arabia during Desert Shield...

Lots of men and women go into the military - most of them do it to get a free education and serve their country. If they're betrayed by the politicians in power - Republican or Democrat - it is the fault of the politicians, not the people who serve.

I'm really getting tired of these dirty politics. Here in Virginia, Allen calls someone to whom he's talking a 'macaca.' Regardless of what he thought the word meant, he meant it in a derogatory way, otherwise why use it? So losing ground he has his people read James Webb's book and pull out paragraphs from *fictional activities* designed to elicit the horror of war, the horror of what goes on, and try to make out he wouldn't write this stuff unless he liked it. And Sean Hannity picks this up and runs with it. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

I think the whole US political system needs an overhaul. Ban political action committees. Allow line-by-line vetoes of bills. Don't allow polticians to vote themselves raises. Get rid of pork barrel spening.

Latest news today is that the Republicans are going to spend OUR TAX MONEY promoting commercials and such for adults 20-29 to try abstinence. I guess because they're tired of seeing all these illegitimate babies - a drain on the welfare system - as indeed I am. But abstinence isnt going to work. Teach 'em to use condoms. Or birth control. That's the only way. Better still, teach young women to have more respect for themselves and their goals so they don't have illegitimate babies in an attempt to prove they're attractive enough to 'get a man,' which I suspect leads a lot of young girls into sex, and having a baby to prove they've had sex.

And that's the rant for today.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Frivolous lawsuits

Haven't had much time to spend on The Thunder Child in the past few days, I've been working on the Clive Francis website and the Ghost Guns Virginia website.

Read in the Daily Press today, October 30, 2006, that Norfolk Souther and Amtrak have been found 'at fault' in an electrocution case, and awarded two men $24.2 million dollars.

IN 2002, two 17 year old boys *trespassed*, i.e. illegally entered an Amtrak yard in Lancastar PA, touched overhead power lines, and were burned over much of their bodies as a result.

And, gee whiz, Amtrak didn't post warning signs saying those power lines were dangerous, so they were negligent, so they should have to pay those two poor boys millions of dollars.

And I'm thinking to myself - those two boys were *trespassing* on private property. They were where they weren't supposed to be, where they had no right to be. Why should there have been warning signs telling illegal intruders not to touch overhead wires? And if they were stupid enough to touch them (although apparently all they did was get near them, and the electricity coursed over) - what happened was their own fault.

But of course, that's not the way it is in the United States. Doesn't matter if someone enters somewhere illegally - if they're hurt on that property through their own stupidity, the property owner is going to have to pay because he, or she, is the one with the money.

Stupid. Sad. So much for personal responsibility.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

well?

I post, it won't publish

A Test Post

Tried to make a post to my Ghost Guns blog and it wasn't accepted, so I shall make one here and see if it will go through.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Sean Hannity disappoints me

I've never had much respect for Rush Limbaugh, but I'd had a bit of respect for Sean Hannity until today. I had him on the radio for a while, and he has picked up on the George Allen campaign to assassinate James Webb's character by quoting salacious paragraphs from *fiction* books Webb has written. Moreover, books that take place in the Far East where homosexual activity, activity demeaning to women is common place.

I will be very surprised and disappointed if thousand of authors do not write to this idiot, not to mention Rush Limbaugh who also thinks he's scoring points, and point out that they write crime novels without killng anyone, they write sex novels without having performed the acts, etc. It's *fiction*.

And it's just stupid. Frankly, I'm tempted to vote for James Webb just on the strength of this ad, although I hadn't intended to prior to this.

This matters because I live in Virginia. Now, what about George Allen. Apparently he called someone a macaca, and instead of owning up that he knew it was a derogatory word, just said he made it up. Oh, please. Why not just own up and apologize? And regardless of whether he knew what it meant or made it up, it means he's stupid. There is *no* politican or on-air personality these days who can say anything even remotely 'demeaning' or, 'can be taken as demeaning' without the media getting all over it. So the fact that Allen called this guy 'macaca' instead of his name, for whatever reason, means he's stupid.

By the same token, of course, Limbaugh calls John Edwards 'the Breck girl' which could be taken as meaning that Limbaugh is calling him gay, or at the very least is referring to him in a way that is meant to be demeaning...has anyone called him on this, I wonder?

Dirty politics...getting stupid now.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ghost Guns Virginia

Well, I've just launched my new website, Ghost Guns Virginia, which is concerned with (mostly) military history of Virginia.

http://thethunderchild.com/GhostGunsVirginia/

is the URL for anyone who wants to check it out.

I'm kind of annoyed...I bought the domain GhostGunsVirginia.com a couple of days ago and thought I could host it on my Ipower server along with The Thunder Child, but although it's possible to do this feature with the package I bought ---now, apparently when I bought this hosting package this service wasn't available. *I think.* I've emailed two different times about this and each time I get an ungrammatical answer that doesn't really address the issue, so I'm assuming Ipower has outsourced their help desk overseas and the people there simply respond by rote.

So, I have a pointer from GhostGunsVirginia.com to a folder on my Thunder Child site. And I did this pointer a couple of days ago and GhostGunsVirginia (the domain) still isn't showing up, let alone directing it to the proper place. So I'm going to give it another day and then try to email them again.

Meanwhile, I took out a Google Adwords ad...and they're going to charge me 20 cents a click for my keywords which is absolutely ridiculous. I was hoping for 5 cents a click - that'd be reasonable.

So I'll see how it goes...I don't want to put it on search engines until I've got the domain name issue sorted out...so for now via Adwords is the only way people will find out about it.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Lies about Limbaugh

I'm not a fan of Rush Limbaugh. He says many things that annoy me, he acts in many ways that annoy me (the whispers for emphasis, the rattling the papers, the mispronouncing of people's names in order to ridicule them, referring to John Edwards as "The Breck Girl", etc) but he is being wrongly accused today.

A couple of days ago Limbaugh commented on a commercial by Michael J. Fox for a political candidate, in which that actor, who suffers from Parkinson disease, was clearly in the throes of that disease while he was being filmed.

Yes - Limbaugh did state that he'd never seen Fox act like that before and wondered if he were exaggerating for the camera.... *but* after a commercial break Limbaugh said, on air, that he'd received many emails or comments from people saying that yes, they had seen Fox act like that before.

So Limbaugh *apologized* for saying what he'd said, and merely made the comment that Fox must have been off his meds (which Fox has since admitted he was) when he made the commercial, and that stem cell research has nothing to do with the cure for Parkinson's disease.)

And he continued on to lambast Fox for trying to exploit his disease by doing the commercial while off his meds...and a caller chimed in that if a drug company had shown the before and afters of a victim of Parkinson's disease on a commercial, they'd have been accused of exploitation also, ya da ya da.

Anyway, the point is that all the fuss is apparently being made because Limbaugh said Fox was *exaggerating* his symptoms, when he'd already admitted he'd been wrong on that subject and apologized for making the assumption, and admitted that Parkinson's is a horrible disease and he wasn't downplaying that, and so on.

So Limbaugh's detractors are taking *one sentence* out of Limbaugh's comments about Fox, taking it out of context, and making a big deal out if it, when the larger issue for me is - does stem cell research promise a cure for Parkinsons, eventually, and if not why does Fox even care about it?

I personally have no problem with stem cell research. If God can create all kinds of races to be subject to others (as Christian fundamentalists like to believe He has done), why can't man create babies to take stem cells out of? [And I'm being ironic here...it may have a benign purpose but you know anything to do with big business is gonna be corrupted some way... there was a BBC radio program called Jefferson 37, about "harvesting" clones for their organs, that called that into relief.]

Remember when you were happy

I'm in a rather bittersweet mood today. Clive Francis has just sent me lots more pics - focusing on his television career. A few days ago it was his theater. All these performances that I never saw, of course - and will never get a chance to see. That's because the BBC has a tendency to "wipe" programs so it can reuse the tapes, and I'm sure the studios in the USA followed the same practice. Oh...there are a few shows out there you can get, but the vast majority of an actors ouvre before..the 80s will probably never be seen again.

And then of course there's the theater. Live performance. An actor on stage can give the best performance of his life - unrivaled in the part, and at most a few hundred people will see it and they'll have forgot everything about it (except the emotion generated) in a year or two.

Many years ago I was able to travel to England once a year (sister stationed over there, Air Force) and we'd go see plays in the West End and at Stratford, and I loved 'em, and we'd see 'em twice because I liked 'em so much and I hoped that by seeing them twice I'd be able to remember every second of them later on...and now its 20 years and I can maybe remember a line here, a line there...

I used to live in Minneapolis and attended the Guthrie Theater there regularly - saw Richard III with Byron Jennings and loved it, saw the entire cycle of the History Plays and was there on closing night when they got standing ovations between Henry IV and Henry V and after Henry V ended...it was so special... but ask me to recount every scene that at that point was so vividly impressed on my mind and I couldn't do it.

Copyright laws prohibit the filming of stage plays, I'm sure, or the Actors Guild, or something, but it's a damn shame because every actors performance, in every play, should be saved for posterity. For *me!*

Anyway, Clive Francis guest-starred in one of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, The Man With The Twisted Lip. I present for your edification a photo of Clive and Jeremy Brett larking about on the set.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Busy Busy Busy

I haven't had time to post here in a few days. I'm starting a new website called Ghost Guns Virginia and I've been working to get that ready, I'm still working on the Moskowitz article for The Thunder Child, and Clive Francis sent me a boatload of photos that I've been uploading to his website.

Meanwhile Kenny Rogers seems to have been caught cheating in the World Series. According to one article I read today, during the Yankees series he was also seen with brown stuff on his pitching hand...which is a wee bit suspicious. I find it hard to believe that the Yankees didn't notice it at the time, though...mebbe the color wasn't as conspicuous as it was yesterday.

Anyway, I guess time will tell...if the series goes back to Detroit and he gets a chance to pitch again - will he have clean hands and will he be able to pitch well? Because the fact remains that after he washed his hands off in the 2nd inning, he still managed to pitch very, very well...

But it's a pity that this had to rear its ugly head...now no matter how much success he has in the future, if any, it'll be tainted. Muyd sticks...

Meanwhile the Giants won tonight and those stupid 'free throw' celebrations are really getting on my nerves...although I suppose they're better than players shimmying around or stomping their feet or doing other stupid "look at me" things....

Bledsoe gets taken out for Romo, who didn't do a very good job either, and apparently Bledsoe wasn't supportive of him, which is too bad...show some class, man. On the other hand, it wasn't Bledsoe's fault he was sacked a gazillion times, when guys kept on running unblocked to him and throwing him to the ground...

Gettin' cold here in VA...winter's coming. Not my favorite time of year but at least there'll be very little snow, if any, here.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Happy Birthday to me

My birthday's tomorrow, I'll be celebrating it by going to Yorktown and checking out the Tall Ships in the harbor and walking around the city...or village, or town, whatever the technical term for it is.

I've started a new website, Ghost Guns Virginia, to focus on my other interest - military history - in this case the military history of Virginia. I've bought the domain name, I have to wait a couple of days before its active but I'm building the pages now.

Not much else to say right now, will try to get back to my full reports tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Gorgeous necks

I listened to a few minutes of Rush Limbaugh yesterday. He was talking about Hilary Clinton. He doesn't like her. That's fine, I don't like her either. But the things he continually maunders on about are just tireseome. Basically, Hilary Clinton has always told folks, apparently, that she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary who climbed Mount Everest. This is a lie, Rush Limbaugh delights in saying, over and over again. Hillary didn't climb Everest until a few years after Hilary Clinton was born.

Yesterday, he revealed that Hilary Clinton now admits that this isn't true, but that her Mom always tod her so, to inspire her to do great things. And Limbaugh scoffs. "That's right, blame it all on Mom." And I'm thinking to myself, why shouldn't this be true. If its true - her mother must have told her about it to begin with. So if its not true, it still makes sense that her mother would have made it up. (Although, if I'd been told I'd been named after someone, I'd have looked up this person's life and found out everything about them that I could, just on general principal, so I'd have found out right away if the dates didn't match.)

But that's a moot point. The point is...big deal. She used to think she was named after Edmund Hillary, or she wanted to think she was named after him, turns out it wasn't true. And on *this* point Limbaugh thinks he should spend presumably valuable air time castigating her? Over and over again. Why doesn't he raise other points - political points - where she's clearly been untruthful, that would be a wee bit more important, rather than his repeating his same old story about her name.

Also, according to Limbaugh, Hilary Clinton has only very recently taken to wearing a cross around her neck. This is a ploy, says Limbaugh, to cater to the Conservative Christian vote. But since she's only recently started wearing a cross you know it's a ploy.

Well, fair enough. I have no opinion on *that* particular subject. Except of course to say that Hilary Clinton isn't the only politician, Democrat or Republican, to alter her appearance or habits to appeal to different segments of the population at different times. Why else did President Bush appear in jeans and workshirt at some photography event when he was trying to mend fences in New Orleans?

No, what annoyed me was that Limbaugh said that Hilary Clinton was wearing this cross "around her ...gorgeous neck."

I put those three periods in there deliberately, because Limbaugh definately paused before he said the word "gorgeous".

And that's the thing. Male politicians don't have to worry about their appearance. I suppose if they're incredibly fat or or wear some kind of stupid facial hair like a soul patch they'll get some kind of remark, but overall if a male politician wears his suit and appears in Congress, any criticism of him (by Limbaugh at least) is of his words, not of his appearance. (Although Limbaugh does seem to think he does a good Clinton impression and likes to maunder on and on and on in that voice on occasion.)

But women politicians are fair game. I don't remember which one Limbaugh was talking about, some Democrat, but Limbaugh referred to her as "chattering" on, when she was giving some sort of talk in the house. That's a dismissive way of referring to a woman...the stereotype that women chatter on and on saying nothing important and won't shut up. Well, that may be true but when Limbaugh goes off on his Clinton impersonations or his long talks about the TV show 24 or other things of no importance, I too think he's just full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. I call it maundering, he calls it chattering, same difference.

Where was I? Oh, yes, Hilary Clinton's neck. I believe that a lot of people don't regard Hilary Clinton as very pretty, and Limbaugh is one of them. And for Limbaugh, to put down a politician who is a female, he never misses the chance to dismiss her as a female, rather than as just a politician with whom he disagrees. Thus he refers to Hilary Clinton's ...gorgeous neck, when what he thinks is obvious to his listeners, and what is obvious, is that he's really thinking "ugly neck under an ugly head."

There was another case, several months ago, when Martha Burks, of NOW, was trying to force the Augusta National Golf Club to open its membership to women. Women can play there, but they can't be members. And on one point I agreed with Limbaugh - there are soo many problems facing women in the United States and more urgently around the world, so that for time and effort to be spent on getting a rich man's club to open up to a bunch of rich women was just stupid.

But, according to Limbaugh, she was doing it because she had a face like a.... he stopped himself in time, but that's what he started to say. She couldn't get a man because she wasn't attractive, and she was taking her revenge on men by doing this. Poor Margaret Burks, she's not attractive (to Limbaugh, anyway) so of course she has no right to speak. Back to the kitchen with you, Margaret Burks!

My own opinion is...there's alot more important things you should be worrying about, Ms Burks. Head into the Muslim enclaves here in the States and start teaching women to take off those stupid veils, start insisting men treat them with respect, and etc. etc.

Oh well, enough of a feminist rant for one day.

Monday, October 16, 2006

10/17: 4. Space headlines

Not in the mood to write anything else.

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/061016_mm_binary_
asteroid.html
Dancing Asteroid Mapped in Motion

http://www.space.com/spacenews/businessmonday_
061016.html
NASA weighs power source option for Mars rover

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061016084147.htm
NASA says built it and infrared surprises will come

http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/061016_mro_
scienceupdate.html
Another New Mars: NASA orbiter ready for new Mars science

http://www.newscientistspace.com/article.ns?id=dn10311&feedId=
online-news_rss20
Space elevators hurl themselves skyward

http://www.newscientistspace.com/article.ns?id=dn10313&feedId=
online-news_rss20
Active volcano may explainchanges in Titan’s bright spot.

Nancy Lynn, RIP

I've gone from great happiness to great sadness today. Earlier today got another commission from this freelancers website I found a couple of weeks ago.

Then just half an hour ago read in the paper that Nancy Lynn had died in a plane crash at the Culpepper Air Show. I saw her last year at the Langley Air Show and thought she was great, both in the air and on the ground talking to her fans.

She died doing what she loved to do. RIP Nancy Lynn.


10/16: 2. Women are still obsessed with their weight

I listened to a few seconds of Rush Limbaugh today. He was coming back from a commercial break, and made this big production of having the music playing, then he breaks in to announce "Breaking news: College study shows women worry more about their weight than men do." Then he has the music start up again, then he breaks in again and says the same thing. It didn't quite come off because the music was supposed to start up again and it didn't (wonder if Limbaugh will have the sound guy fired over the miscue?) but nevertheless, although I thought Limbaugh's antic was Over the top, he was right about one thing. Women obsessing about their weight, while most men could care less about theirs, is not news. WHy even do a study about it?

If Limbaugh said who had conducted the study I never heard, but apparently it happened on college campuses across the US and the upshot was that women worried about their weight, men didn't. I would have been interested to know if these women were asked *why* they worried about their weight.

Women today, even the best and brightest, are obsessed with their appearance. Why? Because men are obsessed by their appearance, and women are taught from day one that they *must* look good for men. It starts probably before kindergarten, when the mommies take their little girls in to get their ears peirced. Then they have to learn how to put on makeup so they look nice. I admit I haven't paid much attention to the appearance of the young girls in my neighborhood...there's a handful who I think are 8 or 9...but it wouldn't surprise me at all if they weren't already spending an hour in the morning putting on makeup so they could look pretty at school...where of course they wear the shortest of shorts and shirts that reveal their belly buttons (even if they're tubby...which is not a pretty picture, believe me.)

And I admit it just rankles. Mothers buy into this schtick and get their girls addicted to to "Appealing to boys is the most important thing" at a young age, and all the female role models in later life who achieve great things won't matter a hill of beans. A girl can be a straight A student, intelligent, bright, funny, but if she doesn't have a boyfriend she'll feel herself worthless. He can have a beerbelly out to here, and that's okay, but she's got to be little miss skeletal.

Case in point. I read the news today on the www.imdb.com website about this actress who had undergone plastic surgery to have her breast enlarged and to give herself a 'six-pack' stomach. This actress, Tara Reid of American Pie, tells her story to US weekly and I take the liberty of reposting it here:

She tells American publication Us Weekly, "I got my breasts done for the first time because my breasts were uneven. I was a 34B, but the right one was always bigger than the left. I weigh 110 pounds now, but I always used to fluctuate by 10 pounds, so my skin was kind of saggy. I figured, 'I'm in Hollywood, I'm getting older, I'm going to fix them.'" The 30-year-old says the operation went wrong from the very beginning saying, "First of all, I asked for big Bs, and he (the doctor) did not give me big Bs. He gave me Cs, and I didn't want them. At all. Right after the surgery, I had some bumps along the edges of my nipples, but the doctor said, 'Don't worry, it's going to be better.' But after six months it started to get worse and worse." The actress says her breast implants made her self-conscious - especially when it came to being intimate. She says, "Guys I was dating would be like, 'What's wrong with them? They look really bad. You know, you should really get them fixed.' So embarrassing. I mean, you definitely need to turn the lights off, that's for sure." Reid also underwent liposuction on her thin frame at the same time to make her muscles appear more sculpted. She says, "I got lipo because even though I was skinny, I wanted - I'm not going to lie - a six-pack. I had body contouring, but it all went wrong. My stomach became the most ripply, bulgy thing." Reid underwent reconstructive surgery last month and has endured a painful recovery, but insists her life is back on track. She adds, "I'll never be perfect again, but I've got my self confidence back."


This woman is 110 pounds. 110 pounds. A woman that slender doesn't need liposuction, period, let alone liposuction that she'll have the appearance of strong stomach muscles. Why not just do some situps, a little bit of jogging, and get it the old-fashioned way, by earning it?

Well, she'll never be perfect again (was she perfect before she had the surgery then? If so, why have it?) but at least she has her self-confidence back. Yeah. Right.

10/16: 1. Fire these folks

A few days ago, Steve Lyons was fired from the broadcast team of the Tigers vs the As because he joked about not wanting to sit close to Lou Pinella, the implication being Lou might want to steal his wallet. He also said tht Pinella was good at "habla-ing" Spanish. (Pinella is of Mexican or Spanish descent.) And he was fired for this. What's the big deal?

Meanwhile, this spinach outbreak of E-coli has killed a few kids and sickened more. Yet in a report given to the newspapers the spokesperson said (and unfortunately I didn't write down his name) "We haven't found the smoking cow yet." (Cow manure coming into contact with spinach is what caused the e coli outbreak.)

And to me, that statement reeks of bad taste. It's a play on words of the "smoking gun" in criminal trials, but to say "smoking cow" when there are children dead because of this just rubbed me the wrong way.

Then, in the October 16, 2006 issue of my local newspaper Daily Press, and I'm sure in papers around the US, the family Circus cartoon is Billy praying: "and thank you for not letting Popeye get sick." This is supposed to be funny? Children die, lots more are sick, and the author of Family Circus thinks its funny for Billy to thank God for not letting Popeye get sick?

Well, that's all of a piece, of course, for religious people who see thousands of people die in a natural disaster. One person survives, because of "the grace of God." Thanks alot, god.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

10/15: 1. Darn power failures

I live in Virgina, not Hawaii, which today I'm happy about. Hope everyone in Hawaii pulls through okay. (For those who don't know, a 6.8 earthquake hit the Big Island this morning. No tsunami, apparently, but buildings on the island were damaged, power out, etc.

Anyway, in my case, for the last week or so it seems like the power goes out at least one a day, for just a few seconds, if that long. Of course everything that's on gets turned off, including my computer, which I always leave on during the day regardless if I'm in front of it or not.

And today, for some reason, the power outage seems to have wiped out my settings for my google home page, so all my space and science newsfeeds have disappeared. And I can't find any way to get them back...which is very annoying and speaks of bad design by somebody...these newsfeed choices should be somewhere where they're easy to see, and they must have been like that at one point otherwise how would I have found them in the first place?

Been spending the day watching football. Cowboys won, which was good, but Owens had a good day, too. Boo, hiss. Vikings had a bye. Redskins lost to the Titans...looks like Vince Young is the real deal. Tonight I'll be switching between the Mets vs St. Louis (unless it gets out of hand early) and the Raiders. I'd really like to see if they ever throw the ball to Randy Moss. That guy has been a real bust for the Raiders, that's for sure.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

10/14 2. Brave New World and 2001: A Space Odyssey

10/14/06 - Saturday

Computers are pretty strange. I have a PC, my dad has a Mac. He did a search earlier today on Old Time Radio, and came across a site called...something, that offered hundreds of MP3s on CD for just a few dollars, and yet when I did the search on my computer, I can’t find it (On my dad's computer, it came up int he listing of 'sponsoring links' for a search of Old Time Radio. On my computer it didn't). There were only 4 science fiction CDs for sale, but they had X Minus One, Space Patrol, Dimension X, and Flash Gordon.

So now I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to get the URL from my dad so I can send off for those shows.

I’m keeping a list of “out of copyright” or “public domain” books available at Gutenberg. There’s quite a few there and I’ve got to start reading them - Jules Verne and Edgar Rice Burroughs of course I’ve read, but H. Rider Haggard, and a few others I have not. I wish I’d named the file PublicDomain.html instead what I did name it - OutofCopyright.html....sounds so stilted.

Mets suck! I hope Tom Glavine can win his game, but pitching on 3 days rest...don’t know... Of course the Mets will have an excuse, Pedro Martinez isn’t available. That’s okay, I’ve never liked Martinez.

Still not in the mood to rewrite my Open Season review, but I’ll do that tomorrow. I’m going to make an effort to put lots of reviews on this blog - mainly of the radio drama I listen to on Radio 7. For example they’re doing 2001 A Space Odyssey now. In 15 minute installments. And they’re doing Brave New World. Interesting that Brave New World - with its horror tale about cloning and people being all alike, is coming true...much more so than George Orwell’s 1984, frankly.


Space headlines
Jupiter's Little Red Spot Growing Stronger – Science Daily

10/14: 1. Review Open Season


Earlier today I had written a review of this movie, which I saw today. It was a long review...it was really going good..I hit the Publish Post button and the website timed out on me so I lost the whole thing. Annoyed me no end.

I'm not in the mood to rewrite it tonight, so I'll just post this pic of Ashton Kucher and Martin Lawrence. The movie's...okay...nothing very original...indeed, not original at all, with lots of bathroom humor (literally)...

Friday, October 13, 2006

10/13: 2. Late night notes

Friday night, Oct 13, 2006

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

1) Website

This site on Robots and Automation hasn’t been updated since 2004, but it’s still got some interesting stuff:

http://trueforce.com/

2) General
I’ve been watching too much baseball recently - but it’s been fun. I want Detroit to win, and so far they are...and had to watch Glavine pitch yesterday - I’ve always liked Glavine. Today watched all of the first game and most of the second (Mets vs As again.)

When I started re-designing my Clive Francis website, I really got the bug. I have a website for another favorite actor, Conrad Veidt, which I also created many years ago and which is looking like it is...something created by an amateur. So I’m redesigning it also - basically just using the new Francis design...but the CV site has so many more pages it’ll take a while.

3) Radio
I listened to Maurice and His Educated Rodents today at BBC Radio 7 - it’ll be at their website for two more days. It’s really fun. Starts off slow, but picks up speed. It’s written by Terry Pratchett, so it’s clever and thoughtful with characters you care about, even if they are rats.

4) Reviews
I’ve got sooo many books to review. I will be sending off some to my new reviewers. I’m going to start Lives of the Monster Dogs tonight, I think.

5) Issue Notes
Got an article about Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (movie and TV series) yesterday from one of my new guys, and he’s now working on an article about Planet of the Apes. So I’m pleased with him. My other new reveiwer can only review two books a month...well, that’s better than nothing.

6) Space/Ocean Headlines:


Oceanography
Rising Ocean Temperatures, Pollution Have Oysters In Hot Water – Science Daily

Space
Saturn's Rings Show Evidence Of A Modern-Day Collision – Science Daily
Wirefly X Prize Cup: Rocketry Takes Center Stage – Space.com
The Orionid Meteor Shower: See the Legacy of Halley's Comet – Space.com
Antimatter and matter combine in chemical reaction – New Scientist
A Boost For Solar Cells With Photon Fusion – DailyScience
Flies In A Spider's Web: Galaxy Caught In The Making – DailyScience
Ariane 5 Rocket to Launch Satellite Trio Today – Space.com
Mock lunar landers to go head to head in X Prize Cup – Science Daily’
Ariane 5 Rocket Orbits Two Satellites, Antenna Prototype – Space.com
Shuttle Discovery's Next Astronaut Crew Examines Spacecraft – Space.com
Ariane rocket delivers satellites – BBC News World UK
Shuttle Discovery's Next Astronaut Crew Examines Spacecraft – Space.com

Science
New Mammal Species Discovered In Europe – Science Daily
Does Missing Gene Point To Nocturnal Existence For Early Mammals? – DailyScience

10/13: Space headlines for 10/12

Didn't have time to post these last night:

Big-headed 'prehistoric' mouse is alive in Europe — New Scientist
Trouble in Darwin's paradise — New Scientist
Combing the Cosmos at High Speed: The Allen Telescope Array – Space.com
Jupiter's Small Spot Changes Hues – Space.com
Kamikaze comet ripples Saturn's ring – New Scientist
Cassini Image Shows Saturn Draped In A String Of Pearls – Science Daily
Ad Astra: Taking Spaceflight Into Our Own Hands – Space.com
Apollo-Era Mission Control Room Revived For Space Station – Space.com
Distant Planet is Half Fire, Half Ice – Space.com
Large Galaxy Caught in the Making – Space.com
Space Station Gyroscope Powered Down After Glitch – Space.com
Astronomers First To Measure Night And Day On Extrasolar Planet – Science Daily

Thursday, October 12, 2006

10:12/ 1. Incoming Books

Revieved the following books to review from Warner Books:

Warrior and Witch, by Marie Brennan. "When a witch is born, a doppelganger is created. For the witch to master her powers, the twin must be killed. Until now..."

DC Universe: Helltown, by Dennis O'Neill. Prose fiction. The Question, Batman, Lady Shiva.

DC Universe: The Trail of Time, by Jeff Mariotte. Prose fiction. Superman, the Phantom Stranger, The Demon. Jonah Hex.

Fledgling, by Octavia Butler. "An unflinching parable about race, identity, and science...a layered family sagaa that embraces the bloodthirsty basics of a vampire thriller."

I'm kind of bummed about this last one...I wanted to get some Octavia Butler to review but I don't like vampire thrillers. Neverthless, I'll give it a fair go, or send it to one of my new reviewers who likes this kind of thing. It's easy, if not enjoyable, to review books in a genre one dislikes, you just read the book on its merits and report on 'em.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

10/11: 2 Space headlines

I'm not in the mood to write my regular blog entry tonight, but I will share the Space headlines. No oceanography headlines today. Anybody surprised?

NASA Jet Bears Nose that Grows for Sonic Boom Tests – Space.com
Comet missions reveal striking differences – New Scientist
Difficult atmosphere for finding aliens – New Scientist
Earth's wobble killed off mammal species – New Scientist
Scientists Nudge Closer To The Edge Of A Black Hole – Science Daily
Titan's Surface: Dusty Dunes? – Space.com
Saturn's Shadow Sheds Light on Rings – Space.com
UP Aerospace Delays Second Suborbital Rocket Launch – Space.com
Bizarre "string of pearls" adorns Saturn – Space.com

10/11: Predictions on the aftermath of death of Cory Lidle

It turns out Yankee pitcher Cory Lidle was on board the plane that crashed into the New York highrise. My dad, who is a pilot, thinks there must have been mechanical failure, since single engine planes don't normally fly that low...and he mentioned what happened to that golfer..Payne Stewart...who died when his plane lost pressure and the passengers lost consciousness and the plane just kept flying on autopilot until it crashed.

Anyway, terrible for his family, of course, as well as for the family of the instructor and the two other people on the ground who also apparently died.

And now if I may become cynical:

Predictions (which I hope will not come true)
1. Cory Lidle's family will sue the family of the instructor (who obviously didn't teach Lidle well enough) , and the airplane manufacturer, and the facility where the craft was supposed to be maintenanced.

2. The families of the flight instructor, and the two other people who died, will sue Cory Lidle's family, and the plane manufacturer, and the airport they took off from, etc.

3. The owners of the high-rise building will also sue the people listed above.

4. Passers-by on the street will also sue the people listed above, since they were traumatized when they saw it happen.

10/11: 1. Planes and Terrorism

Well, it seems a plane crashed into a building in Manhattan today. "Only" 2 dead, but still...

Scary.

I'm not really paying any attention to it - Tom Hannity has been talking about it. (I don't listen to talk programs as a rule, but my dad does. He's a big fan of Rush Limbaugh, Neal Boortz, and Hannity. And when I'm visiting when those guys are on, I perforce have to listen to them too)

As far as Rush Limbaugh...I don't like the guy. He says some good things, has some good ideas...(ditto Boortz and Hannity) but overall I just think he's a jerk. I don't like people who mispronounce other people's names in order to put them down. They think it's the height of wit, apparently, I think it just makes them look stupid. I don't like his 'faux' commmercials, or whatever the technical term for them is - the 'Club Gitmo' ware he sells. I don't like the fact that he calls feminists Feminazis, or refers to the 'feminization of America.' I dont like how he's always doing an imitation of Bill Clinton (Hannity does this too.) I'm like...stop making fun of the guy and just say what you're gonna say.

I don't like Bill Clinton - or his wife who should have divorced him a long time ag, but it just irks me to hear people imitate him. If he didn't have a southern accent they couldn't do it.

I could go on and on...but this is just a brief rant and I have to get back to work now.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

10/10: 3. Tigers beat A's in first in series!

and I didn't get to watch it!

Tuesday night, Oct 10, 2006

Topics covered in my late night entry:

I’ve been working on my writing project for my client - and got it done, but don’t have time to do my normal notes.

1) Issue Notes
Completed my list of Contributors, and formatted a couple of book reviews from my new new reviewers.

2) Space/Ocean Headlines
Space
Rare Event: Mercury to Cross the Sun Nov. 8 – Space.com
Yahoo 'Time Capsule' to Launch from Mexican Pyramid – CIO
Expedition 14 Crew Takes Short Soyuz Trip Outside ISS – Space.com
NASA resuscitates Hubble's main camera – New Scientist

Ocean/Marine
Awesome skills of spitting archerfish revealed - NewScientist

10/10: 2. Legislating start times

Last year, there was some fuss in Connecticut. Lawmakers - politicians - were trying to put through a bill to make it a law that movie theaters would have to start their movies on the time advertised on the marquee, and not have trailers or ads before hand.

And I thought to myself at the time...with all the problems this country has to deal with, with all the problems the state of Connecticut has to deal with, why in the world are politicians getting involved in something as petty as when a movie is supposed to start?

I thought of this again tonight, when I turned on my TV at 8 pm expecting to see Tigers vs As, and of course there's 30 minutes of pre-game stuff that I have no interest in.

All right, I'll be honest. I wasn't expecting to see the game start promptly at 8. I haven't just fallen off the turnip truck, ya know. Most games - in any league, always start 15 minutes after the advertised time, so they can get in some advertisements and such.

And I don't like it. But I sure don't want Congress to get involved in it. They're incompetent in what they're doing already, so keep them out of Major League Sports! Let the viewers complain and agitate if they want to...or like me, just know not to turn on the TV til 30 minutes after the game is scheduled to start.

(And having said that, since anyone who goes to a theater regularly knows that there's 15 minutes of ads before the movie starts - there is *no* excuse for being late! And it's not like a play - which will always start on time! But unpunctuality really, really irks me...)

10/10: 1. Truth in the news

The two photos below have been making the rounds of various anti-Republican blogs. They're the ones that show that Fox News labeled Foley as a Democrat, rather than a Republican, which is what he is. And apparently this informatition was aired during The O'Reilly Factor. I don't watch O'Reilly, but I've always trusted him, and one wonders if he ever addressed this issue, or if Rush Limbaugh addressed it, etc.

I myself am a Republican, and I'm not going to abandon the party just because they let this idiot keep his position even though they knew, apparently for several years, that he was sending emails to pages. That would be the same as abandoning the American political system because 95% of the politicians are crooks.

Um...

Well, flawed as we've allowed our system of government to get by allowing these crooks into power, it's still better than anything else out there.

(Everytime I look at the lawlessness in Russia just after the Communists went under and Capitalism came to the fore, or the corrupt Mexican and various African governments, and people condemn this on somewhat racist grounds - I always think of our own Tweed Ring...and all the other corrupt political machines we've had. I guess the difference is the country was so stable that we could last through it...but politicians are the same everywhere.



Monday, October 09, 2006

10:9/ 3. Busy Busy Busy

Monday night, Oct 9, 2006

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

Website

daily.greencine.com

A great place to read about film. Highly recommended.

2) General

I’ve been so busy today that I spared only 15 minutes (well, actually probably nearer 30) watching the first quarter of Monday Night Football before I decided I simply did not have time to watch it.

In addition to writing and publishing The Thunder Child, I also do freelance writing. I signed up a couple of days ago at a new website job service, bid on a couple of jobs, and was awarded one today - writing website content for a certain website. The whole thing is turning out to be a swizz, but it’s my fault for not setting down my terms more properly than anything else. I won’t go into details but I woefully underbid the job because I assumed from what they’d written that all I’d need to do was re-write what already existed. Instead, I’m having to do the research and write, not rewrite, and there’s other things I won’t go into.

Oh, well, educational experience. Good to have the bad one out of the way, in which you learn all the lessons at once. I’ll be smarter in future.

3) Radio
Lots of good stuff at BBC Radio 7 beginning on Monday (which is available on line now until next Saturday.)

2001 - A Space Odyssey
Millions of years ago on Earth, a strange transparent slab appears. Episode 1 of 10.

Brave New World
Anton Lesser reads Aldous Huxley's nightmare vision of the future. Meet the man who battery farms humans. Episode 1 of 10.

4) Reviews
Haven’t had time to do anything along these lines. However, got two new reviewers who will be giving me book reviews, so that takes some of the burden off!

5) Issue Notes
I’ve been working on putting together a page for each of my contributors, with hot links to each of their articles, so they can use the page as a resume of their work. Finally got all the pages ready to go.

Haven’t had a chance to work on anything else...but it’s okay because with some new contributors the November issue should be chock full of stuff.


6) Space/Ocean Headlines
Space
Through Saturn's Atmosphere – Science Daily (Oct 9)
Oct 10
Rotten egg' gas puts mice in suspended animation - New Scientist
Astronomers See Early Stages of Star Explosions' – Space.com
Star Trek' Starship Fetches Over $500,000 in Auction – Space.com
Cosmic rays could power icy moon's plumes - Daily Scientist
Hubble Zeroes In On Nearest Known Exoplanet, Confirms That Planets Form From Disks Around Stars – ScienceDaily
Nearest Planet Beyond Solar System Might Be Photogenic – Dailyspace.com

Oceanography
Fisheries Linked To Decline In Galapagos Waved Albatross Population – Science Daily

Undone - BBC radio complete episode list

#1 Undone
Writer-performer Ben Moor stars with Sarah Solemani in a new sci-fi series, exposing a very different side to London. Episode 1 of 5.

#2 Undone
Unappreciated: Ben Moors new sci-fi series. Edna Turner meets a man, makes a friend and learns more about Undone. Episode 2 of 5.

#3 Undone
Unrivalled: Edna's friendship with Kate, and her loyalty to Tankerton, are both tested by her crush on the lovely Grant. Episode 3 of 5.

#4 Undone
Unfamiliar: Genuinely faceless bureaucrats threaten to take over London as Edna's mum comes to visit. Episode 4 of 5.

#5 Undone
Unravelled: London gets stranger and stranger as Edna, Tankerton, and both the Carlos arrive at the series finale. Episode 5 of 5.

10:9/ 2. This week's library books

It's been a couple of weeks since I've been to the library. Simply too much to do.

One project I'm working on is a complete chronological list of science fiction and fantasy books published in the US and England, and even Canada, if I can figure out how to get that info.

So I take my laptop to the library, and input in about 10 books a day into a database. (That's about all my attention span has time for.) Of course getting these titles is just the tip of the iceberg, as for every book of an author the library has, there's probably 5, 10 or more that the library doesn't have. So I'll be researching each individual author for their own works later on this process.

The time-consuming thing is of course that I want it in chronological order. I think it'll be interesting to see the trends of what was published in which decade, etc.

And I came away with 3 books which look pretty interesting and which based on the jacket flap I invite all sci fi fans to read also:

1) Gaudeamus by Jon Barnes
2) Lives of the Monster Dogs, by Kirsten Bakis
3) England, England, by Julian Barnes (not sure if this is going to be a fantasy or what. All of Britain's tourist attractions are rebuilt on a certain spot so tourists can go visit the England that was...supposed to be a comic novel.)

10/9: 1. More football thoughts

Yesterday I watched the Redskins get beat by the Giants, the Cowboys lose to the Eagles, and the Chargers beat the Steelers.

I was really annoyed with the Giants game in one sense. A few of the defensive players had apparently derived a new schtick for the game...whenever they made a 'good' play, they'd act like a basketball player and shoot a basket. And I'm thinking to myself, just play the game, you idiots.

But then, I think the majority of football players these days spend a lot of time devising their celebratory moves for every occassion...moves I won't even describe but look so silly...especially when the game's just started and there's nothing to celebrate, or near the end when they're down by a ton and still celebrating because they themselves have made a good stop, or something.

It's just pathetic. I want my entertainment to be watching the guys play football, not acting out little "look at me, ma, no class" skits afterwards.

Then there was Terrell Owens and the Cowboys. During the first half of the game, Bledsoe rarely looked Owens way. There were shots on the sidelines of Owens yelling at people, and even more amusing shots of him just sitting on the bench, looking lost. (Of course, I'm sure lots of receivers do this during a game, and it isn't shown, but TO demands the camera and the camera watches him all the time.)

And it would have been amusing if the Cowboys had managed to win without using TO, but unfortunately, Drew Bledsoe imploded on the last march down the field. Took a 22-yard long sack that any college player would have known not to take, let alone a 10-year veteran...and then threw an interception into the endzone. That's just unacceptable.

So frankly TO has a lot to beef about. And I won't be surprised if the rookie quarterback Romo starts for the Cowboys next week.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

10/8: 2. Vikings Win

My MN Vikings won....just barely, against a rotten team, the Detroit Lions. So unfortunately I don't think they're going to do very well this year.

Anyway, I've been bopping around reading a few other people's blogs, and I've noticed that they report the same trend that I see - on the weekends readership drops off precipitously.

So...I think from now on I'll save info for my late night posts from Monday through Friday, and just post here on the weekends to maunder on about sports and stuff.

Although it does look as if I've got at least one more book reviewer lined up for The Thunder Child, which pleases me. I'm going to have to be very upfront with him that I will not tolerate him getting a book and refusing to review it, or getting a book and taking three months to review it. That way lies never getting another book to review again!

Right now The Thunder Child only averages about 5 book reviews an issue, and three of those are children's books, which doesn't really cut it. I want The Thunder Child to become a source for people who want to find out what books they should be reading...if I can get enough reviewers to do 50 reviews a month (of current and retro offerings, I'll be well pleased.)

Now, downstairs to watch the Phillies hopefully beat up on the Cowboys...

10/8:1. Football Sunday

Well, its Sunday and as my regular readers know, Sundays during football season are days spent practically in their entirety in front of the TV. Games don't start til 1 pm eastern time, so I've got a few hours to do things in.

Also, of course, the time isn't entirely wasted. I have my newspaper clippings to go through. Yes I talk about my newspaper clippings every Sunday...but I've got a lot of newspaper clippings. A lot is an understatement, frankly.

I usually save up the papers for Sunday and go through them all in a bunch. And if there is anything more depressing than reading horrible news on a daily basis, it's reading horrible news one after the other after the other in a single day. It never changes. Trusted people turn out to be pedophiles, girlfriends leave their baby with a boyfriend who kills it because it won't stop crying, incompetent construction work causes collapses that kill innocent motorists, gangs of young kids like to go around beating up on homeless people, etc. etc. Irag is heading toward Civil War, Iran defies the UN, North Korea defies Japan, nuclear weapons are proliferating...didn't any of these countries learn anything from what the US and Russia went through? Problem is, if you get the right sort of religious fanatic, they're going to let off a bomb even if it does destroy them along with the rest of the world for the rest of time. Yeah, you psychos, that's just what your god would have wanted. Nobody left to believe in him, whether he's the right god or not.

Well, that sounds a bit dark, doesn't it.

So cheer up by visiting The Thunder Child where the only thing you have to worry about is giant ants.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

10/7: Website design is fun!

Friday night, Oct 7, 2006

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

1) Website

Here’s an oceanography website:

www.seaweb.org/home.php


2) General

Clive Francis emailed me today with a list of his theater work, so I’ve spent the day redesigning his website (I had created it a few years ago, when I was justs learning how to design webpages, and it needed some serious work. I'm not sure if I like what I've got now, but its 100% better thant the way it was. Much work still to be done). Now inputting his theater stuff.

Fun, fun, fun. He starred in his first play in 1966! You might think...what good does it do a fan to look at a list of his theater credits? It’s because, for any actor, if you know how he acts, you can picture him in your mind's eye in a particular role and just kind of see it. Of course half the plays he was in I’ve never seen with any actor, but that’s a mere bagatelle. If I ever have free time I can stop in a library, pick up a playscript (usually university libraries have these) and read it that way...

I’m looking forward to seeing the other stuff he’s going to be sending me. Very exciting!

3) Radio
Nothing’s changed since yesterday! Be sure to check out www.radiospirits.com for their Halloween lineup, and the ‘alternate universe’ comedy Undone is now available in totality at BBC7, but the Monday episode will drop off soon so make sure you listen to it.

4) Reviews
Haven’t had time to do anything in this regard.

5) Issue Notes
Worked on Moskowitz earlier today before I got Clive Francis’ email....and have spent the rest of the day doing Francis work and watching the Yanks get crushed by the Tigers! Yeah, baby! It’s not that I dislike the players on the Yanks per se, it’s just that Steinbrunner pays them too much money!

6) Space/Ocean Headlines
Space

New Bush Space Policy Unveiled, Stresses US Freedom of Action – Space.com

Ocean
Invading algae's sweet touch spells death for coral – New Scientist
NASA Data Captures El NiƱo's Return In The Pacific – Science Daily

Friday, October 06, 2006

10/6: 2. If a full moon shines in a sky obscured by clouds and rain...

is it really anything to brag about??

Friday night, Oct 6, 2006

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

1) Website
Ever heard of a British movie called Things To Come? Based on the book by HG Wells. This site is dedicated to it.

http://www.625.org.uk/ttc/index.htm

2) General

My Minnesota Twins baseball team certainly stank up the place today - as in the previous two games as well. Oh, well, there’s always next year.

Got an email from someone who told me The Thunder Child review of the Kreating Karloff doc was featured on a website called The Scoop:

scoop.diamondgalleries.com/
Log onto the site and then scroll down to the section labeled "Mondo Media." Seriously, this site is major, and seen by fans, dealers and producers all over the globe.

So that’s pretty cool. It’s a pity that the copyright info for the pics I used from the doc wasn’t carried over to the page they use, but you can’t have everything...

Funny about tonight’s Full Moon being 12 % bigger than normal. Here in York County, VA it’s been raining all day and there’s no moon to be seen!

3) Radio
Tuesday October 17 at Radio Spirits
Tuesday 10-17
Lights Out!
Cat Wife starring Boris Karloff
Original Air Date - 4/6/1938
Speaking of Radio
Arch Oboler and Chuck Schaden
Original Air Date - 8/5/1976

Both of these are must listen to! Lights Out is a horror program, produced by Arch Oboler - he’s the guy who did Chicken Heart.
The Thing on the Fourble Board will be aired on October 30. Another science fiction/horror story. This is from Quiet Please, which is a pretty good show.

October 31 will be Ghost Hunt on Suspense. This is purely a horror story, but it’s interesting because the actor is the guy most famous for his This Is Your Life program.

4) Reviews
I placed an ad for reviewers at a Writing Website and have gotten a few replies. This is good because I’m getting inundated with books to review, and I want to be able to review books I receive in the month I receive them. So we’ll see how these guys pan out.

5) Issue Notes
Been working on the Moskowitz article and index.

6) Space/Ocean Headlines

Space
Debris strike left hole in shuttle Atlantis – New Scientist
Moon to Hide Star Cluster Oct. 9-10 – Space.com
Showtime for Spaceship Builders – Space.com
Tonight's Full Moon 12 Percent Bigger – Space.com
Black Hole Belts Out Discordant Musical – Space.com
Scientists look to place a pro-science president – New Scientist
Nanotube network could spot wing weakening – New Scientist (might have applications for space flight)
Mars probes snap stunning images of giant crater – New Scientist
Red Planet Double Team: NASA Orbiter Spies Mars Rover at Victoria Crater – Space.com

Oceans
Manganese Can Keep Toxic Hydrogen Sulfide Zones In Check In Aquatic Systems – Science Daily

10/6: 1. Dropping Pennies

A couple of days ago I came across a man's blog. He writes about making money on the web, by writing content for websites, etc.

The blog itself has been very helpful, as he's provided links to a couple of excellent sites.

But, I haven't been impressed by the man's writing. In his introductory post he said he had a degree in creative writing, which shocked me because his prose was sooo bad.

Even if he's just writing a blog, I thought to myself, he should still take as much care with his prose as if he were writing someone's web content...because based on his blog prose I certainly wouldn't hire him to write for me.

And then it struck me. I do the same thing with my blog. It's just a blog, so I don't spend a great deal of time re-reading and polishing. I just do, in the main, stream-of-consciousness writing. And on the occasions when I have re-read my entries a couple of days later, I have noticed a few ungrammatical instances, or an unclear sentence, etc.

And this is, of course, bad. The whole purpose of this blog is to drive fascinated readers over to my webzine, The Thunder Child, and they're hardly likely to do that if they read a few paragraphs, think, "My goodness she doesn't write well for someone who wublishes a magazine." (Wublish, that's a word of my own coining. W- for web, and ublish, for publishing. Wublish - publishing on the web.)

And so I now vow to take a bit more care with my entries. Not another ungrammatical turn of phrase or murky piece of writing shall be found here!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

10/5: 2. Space Headlines

Thursday night, Oct 5, 2006

No real notes today. Developed a headache a couple of hours ago and am going to bed early.

Check The Thunder Child to see great articles on science fiction!


Shadows and Silhouettes: Looking for Transits - Space.com
Origin of Strange 'Blue Straggler' Stars Pinned Down – Space.com
Distant planets orbit their stars every 10 hours – Reuters
Giant gas loops found rising above the Milky Way – New Scientist
NASA Completes Survey of Nearby Supermassive Black Holes – Space.com
New Planets Astound Astronomers in Speed and Distance – New York Times
Saturn glows like a Chinese lantern in new image – New Scientist
Black Holes Power the Brightest Cosmic Objects, Study Confirms – Space.com
Hubble managers to attempt camera fix – New Scientist
NASA: Atlantis Shuttle's Radiator Struck by Object in September Flight – Space.com

10/5: 1. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe


I've been a fan of fencing since I was kid, and even dabbled in it for a while.

I've been collecting fencing scenes since I first got a VCR - the marvelous duels between Basil Rathbone and Errol Flynn, the duel between Rathbone and Power in Mark of Zorro, the duel in rhyme between Jose Ferrer's Cyrano and his victim...from television the fight in The Avengers episode The Correct Way to Kill, the duel between the Man in Black and Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride, etc. etc.

There's a lot of bad fight scenes out there, too, of course. The duel in the first Pirates of the Caribbean between Sparrow and Will Turner (Depp and Bloom) was great, the three-opponent duel in Dead Man's Treasure, in particular on top of the rolling water wheel, was just stupid.

Anyway, that brings me to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005). It was worth seeing once, I suppose, but the only part I really liked was the battle scenes at the end with Tilda Swinton's White Witch coming after first Edmund andt then Peter.

I liked those scenes, and wish I could capture 'em for posterity, but my DVD screen grabber can't quite do it.

Anyway, one problem with fencing scenes is like the problem with dance scenes - the fighter's whole body should be shown, not just close ups of whirling swords, etc.

I will say that I did find Tilda's fight scene frustrating in one way more. At the very end, she sees Aslan coming, knows she's running out of time, and yet she still has to do the damn flourishes with her sword. She's got Peter on the ground at her mercy. First she pins one arm. Fine - kill him. But no, then she has to pin the other arm. Fine. Now kill him! But no, then she has to lift up her sword, do a couple of flourishes before bringing it down - and in that time Aslan jumps on her and saves the day!





Wednesday, October 04, 2006

10/4: 2. Sand Rock Sentinel Feb 1953 done!

Wednesday night, Oct 4, 2006

Wasn’t in the mood to do my normal stuff, for reasons which I commented on earlier.

I spent the evening working on the Feb 1953 issue of The Sand Rock Sentinel, my ‘web newspaper’ which tells of the history of each month, and also contains articles from 1950s sci fi movies as if they really happened. I’m ‘building up’ to things right now. Kay Lawrence has just moved to Brazil (in 1954 she’ll be meeting the Creature from the Black Lagoon), and John Putnam has just moved to Sand Rock. He’ll be seeing a meteor crash in just a few months.

Sand Rock Sentinel: Know the past. Be sure of the future.

Hopefully I’ll be in a better mood tomorrow.

Other than that, here are today's real news headlines:

Space
Details Of Solar Particles Penetrating The Earth's Environment Revealed – Science Daily
FTC Approves Creation of United Launch Alliance – Space.com
On Zippy New Planets, a Year is Just Hours Long – Space.com
'Cosmic ripples' echo across science – ABC Online
'Bulge' yields new planet class - BBC News
Spooky steps to a quantum network – New Scientist


Marine/Ocean
Sniffing Out Relatives, Bluegill Sunfish Use Self-referencing To Recognize Kin – Science Daily
Arctic Sea Ice Shrinks As Temperatures Rise – Science Daily

10/4: 1. Blah day today

It's 7 pm my time and I haven't accomplished much today. Spent the morning painting water-proof stuff on the fence of my parent's townhouse, then watched the Twins lose to Oakland. I hope they can at least salvage a game out of this series, but it was just sad. (For those not in to sports, Tori Hunter let a ball get by him for an inside the park homerun, just an inning after the Twins had managed to tie it up.)

My mom had a doctor's appointment today. She's got congestive heart failure already, and now apparently her bloodpressure is at 200 so she'll be going into the hospital for a day of observation sometime soon. So that was depressing news.

I've dipped a bit into Moskowitz, but frankly I just haven't been in the mood.

A blah day all along...

Oh, well, you've read this depressing entry, cheer yourself (and me) up by visiting:
The Thunder Child web magazine and reading every single page!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

10/3: 2 The Sand Rock Sentinel will have a second issue!

Tuesday night, Oct 3, 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

Perry Rhodan page

www.perry-rhodan-usa.com/posbiintro

2) General
I had emailed Joe Moe, Forry Ackerman’s assistant, a couple of days ago, and he finally got back to me. He’d been dealing with the flu, Forry had kidney stones, but they’re doing better now so hopefully something will happen with the interview.

My Twins lost. I spent two hours watching the game. They had a chance, but couldn’t execute with one man on 2nd and nobody out..and then the reliever Crain gave up a homerun to Frank Thomas five seconds after the announcers had said he hadn’t given up a run in 23 innings of pitching.

And on a personal note, this pitcher, Crain, had a stupid beard. No moustache. Beard running down the sides of his chin, and then a patch of about three inches sticking out like a truncated Assyrian beard. I noticed a couple of football players last Sunday had the same kind of thing going. It looks so stupid. But guys are just like girls...they go with the style trends.

Mark Foley is now saying he was “abused by a clergyman” when he was a teen. Apparently this is what turned him gay. But he “accepts full responsibility” for his salacious emails to a teen. This is such a crock. The man’s gay. This is *not* a problem. The problem is that the man is stupid. What is he doing sending salacious emails to a 16 year old kid? Especially after he’d been told not to do it anymore? Don’t these politicians realize that their free ride from the press is over? It used to be the press would hush up politician’s affairs, not anymore. Also by soliciting from a minor he’s opening himself up to blackmail if the kid is of a certain type. (Not a gay type, but a see a chance to blackmail an idiot and grab it type).

And I would assume it also gives the lie to “gaydar.” If gaydar worked, Foley would have known he was soliciting a kid who wasn’t gay and would have just left him alone.

3) Radio
www.bbc.co.uk/bbc7/listenagain/monday/
Monday’s offering
Undone
Writer-performer Ben Moor stars with Sarah Solemani in a new sci-fi series, exposing a very different side to London. Episode 1 of 5.

4) Reviews
Need to work on Doctor Who, The Aztecs and the Flash Gordon episodes.

5) Issue Notes
Bean reading Seekers of Tomorrow by Moskowitz all day. He’s written 3 non-fiction books about the history of sci fi fandom and sci fi writers, I’ll be writing an article about his writing.

I’ve also been working on the Feb 1953 issue of The Sand Rock Sentinel. That’s my ‘spoof ezine’ which “rips the headlines from 1950s sci fi movies.” It’s basically a way to try to teach history at the same time as providing 1950s sci fi entertainment.

6) Space/Ocean Headlines

Ocean Headlines
Salmon Farms Kill Wild Fish, Study Shows - Science Daily

Space Headlines
Big bang theorists scoop Nobel prize for physics – Daily Scientist
Mysterious Radio Hiss Blamed on Space Weather – Space.com
Huge 'launch ring' to fling satellites into orbit – New Scientist
Big Bang Researchers Snag Nobel Prize – Space.com
Space Tourism Survey Shows Cost, Access Key Selling Points – Space.com
New ISS Astronauts Settle in for Long Haul – Space.com
'Ancient light' takes Nobel Prize – BBC News (Big Bang Theory, see 1st headline)
Largest 3D map of nearby galaxies released – Daily Scientist

Thanks for reading this blog. For lots more great reading, be sure to visit

The Thunder Child Science Fiction web magazine and sourcebooks

10/3: 1. Steve Holland as Flash Gordon

Many months ago I picked up a $1.00 DVD at Walmart, Flash Gordon, the 1950s tv series filmed in post World War II Berlin, Germany, starring Steve Holland as Flash Gordon, Irene Champlin as Dale Arden and Joseph Nash as Dr. Zarkov.

I haven't actually watched them yet...but I intend to do so this month. There's 3 episodes on this DVD, 1. Deadline at Noon, 2. Flash Gordon and the Planet of Death, and 3. Flash Gordon and the Brain Machine.

All reviews I've read of 'em aren't very complementary, which is why I'm not in much of a hurry to watch them, but I've set my goal to watch them this month.

One thing I like to do when looking at a DVD is to check out the DVD's set up - their 'main page', and the design of all the other pages. The Flash Gordon dvd was put out by a company called DVD Video, or mebbe it's called DigiView Productions.

For a dollar DVD, it's got some nice menus.







Monday, October 02, 2006

10/2: 4. Moskowitz on Sci Fi Fandom

Monday night, Oct 2, 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

The Dinosaur Interplanetary Gazette:

www.dinosaur.org/frontpage.html

2) General

Depressing news today about the copycat killer going into a school...

Haven’t accomplished much today...listened to The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern on cassette, kind of fun to listen to the narrator do all the different voices...the very first audio book I ever listened to was The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, narrated by Robin Bailey. I hadn’t started out to listen to him..but I had become a fan of Robin Bailey through the tv miniseries Charters and Caldicott, did a library search on him to see if they had any videos of him (this was 20 years ago), and saw that he’d done these audio books.

I thought he did a great job with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, and checked out The Religious Body, by Catherine Aird, next. Also liked that one - because of Bailey’s masterful reading.

3) Radio

Saturday, Journey Into Space, Sunday, episode 2 of Doctor Who, The Sword of Orion.

4) Reviews

Although I have seen Creature from the Black Lagoon many times, I have never watched Revenge of the Creature or The Creature Walks Among Us. (I am so bummed, they are showing 3D versions of this at the Castro Theater in LA on October 14...damn, damn, damn!) Anyway, I've got the Legacy collection and will finally watch those two films and will have the Source Book ready for next issue.

5) Issue Notes
Back to reading The Immortal Storm, by Sam Moskowitz

6) Space/Ocean Headlines

Galactic Birth Control: Unknown Factor Prevents Star Formation – Space.com
Committee Warns NASA To Keep CEV on Track – Space.com
Stellar Birth Control In The Early Universe – Science Daily
Hubble's main camera hobbles back to life -- New Scientist
Mars Rover Opportunity's Victory at Victoria - Space.com

10/3: 3 Copycat Killers

The news today is that a 32 year old milkman walked into an Amish school, and killed 3 girls and then himself, and that he called his wife and told her that he was getting revenge for an incident that had happened 20 years ago.

20 years ago. Before his victims had even been born.

I have no problem with people killing themselves. If life is so unbearable that death is the only way out, so be it. But why, why, why take innocent people with you? Why not go after your local neighborhood drug dealer? Ram your car through some prison gates and take out a few rapists and murderers... then there might be a chance you could be hailed as a misguided hero instead of a despicable loon.

10/2: 2. How to Make a Website work for you

Okay, I admit that in the past I haven't always followed my own rules...I'll create a webpage design for an article that is too busy, or not clear...opaque, even...but when I go back and look at it a week or a month later, I can always see then that there is a problem, and I fix it.

Some people can't seem to do this.

Take for example Conor Timmis. He's got a blog on My Space for his doc, Kreating Karloff. But no where on there is a great big screaming button saying "Screening Info" Click here to see in which festivals you can see this doc.

Oh, it's there, but it's an entry in the blog itself, so it gets lost amidst the other headlines (for example the link to my review, the link to MJ Simpson's review, the links to Fangoria and Red Hot Planet, etc.) but it doesn't stand out!

Now, maybe this is just me. I am not the most noticing person to begin with...but when I went to his blog to check out the screening schedule I expected to see it right there, unmissable..and it didn't even occur to me to look at the entry titles for it...it was only on my second return to the blog (which I doubt if most people would do) that I took extra special care in looking around and saw the "Screening" headline.

Well, I won't email Conor and make the suggestion that he beef up the location of that link, though I'd like to! I am as I've said in the past a 'take charge' kinda girl, always knowing best, and if other people think what they're doing is just find they do get kinda annoyed if someone else comes along out of the blue and says, "No, you should do this, this and this instead."

I probably would, myself!

On the other hand...I *do* ask for feedback from people...as for example the people reading this blog....c'mon, people. I know you're coming here and reading, but I feel like I'm posting in a vacauum nevertheless because I'm getting no feedback.

C'mon - have a good sci fi website you want to suggest? Read a good book lately? Tell me, and my other readers, about it.

10/2: Photo Page: Creatures and Dwarfs

I'll start the morning with a couple of fun pics: publicity for the 1954 release of The Creature from the Black Lagoon, and a photo of the Seven Dwarfs from the Princesses on Ice show from a couple of days ago. I was taking photos - most of which were too blurry - until about a third of the way in, then an usher came and told me photography wasn't allowed. I knew videotaping wasn't allowed, but no one had said anything about no photography.

I was really bummed...there were quite a few cool scenes later on I would have loved to have - the Dragon coming out to fight the Prince, the fish and other creatures during the Under the Sea scene with bubbles floating down from the ceiling, etc.



Sunday, October 01, 2006

10/1: 4. Late night meanderings

Sunday night, Oct 1, 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
If you’re a model maker, and like space ships, this is the site for you:

http://starshipmodeler.com/index.htm

2) General
My Vikings lost. According to news reports, their offense isn’t very good...which means Brad Johnson isn’t very good. Although, supposedly, his receivers dropped some passes that were right in their hands...

Nothing much else to talk about tonight - all football stuff...hopefully this one player, Haynesworth of the Tennessee Titans who stomped a helmetless guy in the head with his cleat, opening up a 30-stitches-needed gash, will be fired....we’ll see.

3) Radio
New episode of Journey Into Space and a new American sci fi drama, Understand:
Treatment for a horrific accident has unexpected benefits in a sci-fi thriller by award-winning U.S. writer, Ted Chiang. Episode 1 of 4.
Has started on Saturday. I’m not interested in American drama - I listen to BBC radio for British stuff, for goodness sake! And, I suspect the guy doing the reading is a Brit putting on an American accent...even worse...

4) Reviews
I’ve already spoken about The Sci Fi Boys today..it’s a must have doc.

5) Issue Notes
October issue now online. I’ve got lots of stuff I want to do for the November issue. I need to put together a to do list so I can get it all done!

6) Space/Ocean Headlines
Ocean

Changing storms increase coastal erosion – New Scientist

Space
Software Revises Neil Armstrong's Moon Quote – Space.com
NASA's Vision Takes to the Road - Space.com (NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration trailer, crossing the country)

10/1: 3. The Sci-Fi Boys

I'm taking a break from football and chilling out by watching The Sci Fi Boys, a wonderful documentary by Paul Davids.

My reviewer RB reviewed it a few months ago, and you can check out the review at:
Sci Fi Boys Review

Although any media my reviewer gets to review is his to keep, I asked him to loan this to me because I wanted to see it for myself...and it is a walk down nostalgia lane. Most of the people who are 'names' in the genre today participated in this, and there are movie clips of them as they were 30 years ago and as they are today...


Harryhausen and Ackerman



Peter Jackson, right on the heels of filming King Kong (as you can tell by the cover), Ray Harryhausen, Ray Bradbury, Forry Ackerman, Roger Corman, Bob Burns...and so many others are in this thing. It's just a lot of fun.

If you're any kind of a sci fi fan, you'll want to get this doc!

(Although there is one weird, thing, I must admit. In the bonuses there's a photo gallery, accompanied with no music, and no explanation of who the people are or where the photos were taken. Bummer!)

10/1: 2. Whither art thou, Vikings?

It looks like the Vikings are losing, but I can't be sure because the CBS Sportsline 'real-time' coverage of the game sucks. (The Cowboys game is over, I'm spending some time online waiting for the Redskins game to start.)

Ah, yes. Looks like 3 minutes to go, they're down by 4. If they can stop the Bills and mount a run...but they've got to score a touchdown...don't think it's going to happen.

It hasn't been a totally wasted say so far, I've made progress through quite a few newsclippings. Once I get totally caught up I'll be able to start sharing them here.

10/1: 1. Are you ready for some football?

Today is Sunday, and most of today is going to be a day of rest. I'll be watching football, as per usual. (American football, that is.)

I'll be working on my Sam Moskowitz articles, and reading Robert Ellis' The Empty Ocean.

Although the issue has now gone live, I think I will add two more book reviews from RB. I got them from him last night, and contemplated saving them until next month so I'd have a stockpile, but since he's had these books to review for several months, I've changed my mind.

On Monday I need to send the "tearsheets" (in this case,just the URLS) to the publicity people at the publishers who were kind enough to send me the books to review. So I can't wait another 30 days before I do that!

By the way, everyone needs feedback. If you like what you read here, please leave a comment!