Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sci fi on BBC 7


Remember each program is on the site for 7 days from the day of its posting, and you can listen any time you like.

Doctor Who
Doctor Who is running every Sunday in BBC 7 for the next few weeks - although you've missed 3 eps already. Instead of serials, each episode is 45 minutes long.

Doctor Who For extreme sport nuts, the fear is part of the rush. But the Doctor and Lucie are about to learn the true meaning of 'Phobos'.

Beyond the Vortex Nick would rather not do it but Barney loves it. How do you cast the right actors for radio? Episode 5 of 8. (Interviews with the people behind the McGann radio productions).

On Monday is a 1-off called Beast.

Is a creature pulled from the sea near a fishing village harmless or a threat? James Fleet stars in Nick Warburton's play. 45 minutes.

Sunday, January 28, 2007


Went to see Night at the Museum again with a friend - I've really got to write a review of this soon! and once again they showed a trailer for a movie called Mimsy. This movie is clearly based on a short story called Mimsy Were the Borogroves. The title of the short story is based on a line in a poem by Lewis Carroll, but the way the trailer was playing out, Mimsy is the name of a doll that "teaches" the girl character "everything."

I didn't really care for the short story, but will probably go see the movie.

Rise of the Silver Surfer trailer was the kind that really didn't give you any idea of what the story was about - if you don't know who The Silver Surfer is, you won't know who the Silver Surfer is, if ya get my drift. Ends with the Surfer up in the atmosphere, choking Johnny so he loses consciousness and falls backwards, presumably toward Earth and death (or mebbe its because he's flown up too high where there's no oxygen).

Anyway, I don't like one of the powers they've given the Surfer, which is that he can apparently fly through buildings without hurting them, just kind of 'exudes through' and I'm thinking why, why, why give him that power?

Spiderman 3 looks kind of grim. Spiderman was my favorite comic book character growing up, but I stopped buying it around issue 200, partly because of price and partly because of the fact that the stories were just getting too grim.And this movie looks pretty grim.

Friday, January 26, 2007

January 27, 1967

Gus Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee - three heroes in mankind's quest for the stars.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Annotated Terry Pratchett

I love Terry Pratchett's books. I don't like his novels featuring the wizard Rincewind, but all the others are "cherce."


It hasn't been updated for 2 years, which is rather worrying, but there's lots of good stuff there.

It's been a while since I looked at this website, and I did so today because I'd been reading an Asimov essay (written in 1960), and found a reference to a Greek story which reminded me of an incident in the book Small Gods.

So I went to this site to see if it had already been put in, and it wasn't mentioned, so I emailed them.

Most of Pratchett's books pay homage to all kinds of legends and earth history. Small Gods has quite a bit of references to the Greek philosophers.

There's one scene where Brutha - the lead character - is on a ship heading toward Omnia. The evil Vorbis causes the captain of the ship to kill a dolphin. In order to propitiate the sea god, someone on the ship has to be sacrificed, and the sailors decide it might as well be Brutha. Brutha requests that he be allowed one last prayer. The sailors grant his wish, and his god (for the great god Om has been turned into a tortoise and travels with Brutha) arranges for the storm to stop.

When I was reading Asimov's essay called "Now Hear This" (collected in VIew From a Height, he tells of the Greek's fondness for dolphins and of the story of Arion. Now, the Greek sailors were going to throw him overboard because they wanted to steal his baggage, but still, elements of the story are the same.

So...a bit of serendipity there!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The War of the Worlds musical

This is the ad, in England, which came out a while ago, in England, regarding the War of the Worlds musical CD.

A couple of days ago I emailed them and asked for a review copy, and they agreed to send me one. Silly me, I should have asked for a DVD of the play as well. Oh, well, too late now.

What I didn't realize is that the song Forever Autumn, which I thought came from The Time Machine remake a few years ago, is actually from this album.

Back to science fiction!

Some of my readers have been complaining that I've been spending too much time ranting about sports and not enough time on the purpose of this blog - science fiction. And ya know, they're right.

So I've moved my sports ranting over to my other blog, "MLB Survivor Strategies". I'd created it last year to chart my success [or lack of it] on th MLB Survivor Game (each day, you had to select a winning team. You could use the same team no more than 3 times in a single game.)

It's been on hiatus since there's no baseball right now, so I decided to revive it a few months early and do my sports commentary there.


is the URL.

And now, back to science fiction.

Tonight's your last chance to hear Horror of Glam Rock at BBC Radio 7. It's actually not that original of a story. A group of Earthlings are trapped in a cafe in 1974 by a snowstorm, and there's creaturs outside trying to get in and eat 'em up. But Stephen Gately sings a song...

Friday, January 19, 2007

Well, well well, part 2: The madness continues

Last night I had created a new screen name and signed on to the Summitt. It was perhaps an obvious screen name to anyone who had seen the Incredibles, and although all I did was a test post...the tone of that post, "Just want to see if I can post here," perhaps rather gave the game away.

Not that I was trying to be secretive.

Anyway, just tried to access the whole Summitt today and now it seems my entire ISP has been banned. Can't access *any* of the Summitt, even when I'm *not* logged in -- from this computer. And although I got an automated message to this new screen name that I had been banned...they didn't bother to tell me *why.* What did I do that was so terrible that I deserved to be banned? I never used foul language. Never told this one particular woman that she was an idiot - though she gave me ample opportunity to prove it. And the post that precipitated this nonsense...to tell people I was writing a book and would share "what goes on" on fan message boards... is what goes on there so terrible that it must not be shared?

Of course if they don't tell you why you've been banned, you can't come back and sue them, which is the reason why they do it. Also, you can't single out what person...although I'm thinking that the crazy lady has powers of banishment and did it herself...

I've got to admit its pretty funny.

So...I just created a new screen name on my laptop and went over to the boards and looked. The thread that last night was locked - is unlocked this morning. I didn't bother to check to see if the post that had precipitated my banishment is still there, but if it is...it does give one to wonder. But the upshot of it all is that people can still talk about thread, and make critical comments about me, and I am no longer able to defend myself. Rather a cowardly thing to do, in fact.

I won't post anything with my new screenname, of course. Any comments that someone's being a poor sport - even if they clearly are - will identify me *immediately*. Nice to be known for a signature style... I wonder if any new saps who go there and take offense to some of the things said, and says so, will also be banned immediately in mistake for me? After all, "it's their boards and we're just guests."

Which is true enough. But the inmates are running the asylum.

And of course, it's all grist for the book mill.

But for now, on to more urgent matters.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Well, well, well!

Looks like I just wore out my welcome on the Lady Vols message boards! I've just been banned!

Now that is just too funny!

All I said - in a thread today - was that I was writing a book about the Lady Vols, and hoped people would sign releases so that I could use stuff on the message boards. [I actually just said that as a dig, in response to some trash talking that had been happening earlier in this thread. I certainly wouldn't want to include the childishness that goes on there in a book about such a great program as the Vols...but I wanted them to give a thought to the fact...what if someone were writing a book and did come to that place to check out things being said - would they really want their conduct known to the world at large? As large as the Vols world-at-large would be, of course.]

A certain woman whom I will not name said no, no permission would be given, because Scout and Rocky Top News held copyright. So I said I'd deal with those head honchos when the time came. Or, do "fair use."

And that's all I said!

And now I've been banned!

Which accomplishes absolutely nothing at all because I just created a different screen name and I can get on and post again with no problem. So how stupid was that?

I'd really like to know who banned me, and why. I was given absolutely no warning. I don't see that I posted anything that was so terrible. Didn't call this particular woman a moron. Didn't call *anyone* a moron. My final post before I was banned merely said that someone *with* a book deal might check it out, and they might want to think on that before dissing one of Pat's friends on the boards - which they do periodically.

In the past, certainly, once in a while when someone would say something childish or unsportsmanlike I'd comment on it...is that a reason to ban me? Because I was spoiling the fun of other people who didn't like to be told they were poor sports? I haven't made any comment of that nature for over a week, and only sporadically prior to that, because I've got to admit that it was pretty damn obvious that there was no point trying to raise anyone's consciousness there, so I just gave up on it.

The thread today started because I posted a paragraph about what Nancy Lieberman had said about the Vols, NC and UConn. And the woman whose name I won't mention just bitched into me...and I responded to her politely...

Well...my book project has just moved to the head of the list of things I'm going to get done this year. Talk about incentive! I'm going to write a book about the Lady Vols [history of the rise of the WCBB as told through a history of the Vols], I'm going to get it published (easily done in this day and age) and I'm going to make a few stern remarks about the denizens of the Lady Vols message boards!

And I'll be laughed at by the denizens of all the other sports boards everywhere who behave in exactly the same way... but it will still make me feel better...

Of course any book publication is contingent on the Vols winning another Championship. If they don't win, no one will care about any book so there'd be no point anyway! So come on, Vols, you've got to win!

IN the year 6565

I am not the happiest of campers today. I'd been sicker than a dog 2 days with a severe cold. Stuck in bed most of the time. Last night, from about 3 pm to 10 pm, I felt great and assumed the cold was over. Not so. Went to bed at 10 pm, woke up with a sore throat - which had been what started my first cold to begin with. Now the sore throat is gone but the nose is running, eyes running, ya da ya da yada and I am *not* pleased. I've got too much to do but I simply can't concentrate on anything long enough to do it justice.

So, hopefully this will be just one more day wasted.

It's true I hadn't changed my bedclothes after I got over the cold the first time, but I honestly didn't think it was possible to re-catch a cold from germs you'd already had.... I have now washed all the bedclothes even though it's too late to do me any good.

So, unable to think, I've been putzing around. Listened to the Lady Vols beat Mississippi State, without Candace Parker. Messed around on the Vols message board discovering that the reading comprehension of various people sucks. (More on that anon, if I ever get well enough to write about it.)

Also visited Youtube and found a video of in-a-gadda-da-vida, which I confess I'd never heard about before. It is obviously a slurring of In the Garden of Eden. I do like the famous guitar 'riff' that it uses...

Also found the video of Zager and Evans doing In the Year 2525. They wait until the year 6565 to claim there'll be no need for wives or husbands, because children will be chosen by test tube...we're gonna get to that by 2525, the way the world is going...

And, aha! I haven't yet see Children of Men..and probably wont go see it - too grim, but I wonder if the scriptwriters forgot about test tube babies and cloning...

Anyway, here's the video. First written in 1964, apparently, but hit the charts in 1969.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

IPOwer powerless again

For the second straight day, I am unable to log into my website to do updates. I cut 'em some slack yesterday, because it was MLK day and I figured lots of people had an opportunity to be online at the same time and maybe they were clogging the system.

But today everyone should be back to work, and *I* should be able to get back to work also, but I can't, because I can't log in!

My mood is not helped by the fact that I've got a cold that is bringing me down...

I've been remiss in commenting on what's on at BBC Radio 7 - a 9-part reading of Richard Matheson's I Am Legend. I should be listening to it...but I'm not in the mood.

Doctor Who, Horror of Glam Rock is on Sunday (and will be available for 3 more days):

Doctor Who
Horror Of Glam Rock: The Tomorrow Twins are all set to conquer the pop world of 1974. But will their dreams survive an encounter with the Doctor? Episode 1 of 1. [Rptd Mon 12.00am].

The Doctor is played by Paul McGann.


Beyond the Vortex
Director Barnaby Edwards takes us behind the scenes of the Doctor's journey to The Decade That Taste Forgot (the 1970s). Episode 3 of 8. [Rptd Mon 12.50am].

Monday, January 15, 2007

IPower powerless

For the third time in the last 7 days, I am unable to log onto my server, IPower, in order to add updates to The Thunder Child.

This is really, really starting to annoy me. On the previous two occasions I didn't have anything time sensitive to put up, today I do. And I can't do it.

I'm going to have to give some thought to moving to a new provider, because this is getting ridiculous.

So, today, there's a new GAAK webcomic up. This is a new feature on The Thunder Child, I'm "tooncasting" from a remote site. Groovy Ass Alien Kreatures. It's not really my cup of tea, but I thought I'd put it up and see if anyone bit. So far, no one else is interested either. One problem might be that it's only updated once a week - that's way too long. I take a look at The Order of the Stick occasionally - and that's updated 3 times a week, plus its in color.

Oh, well, far be it for me to suggest to the GAAK people that they increase their speed and do some colorization. I'm sure they would if they could...

I'm also working on a chronological history of sci fi movies from 1950 onward, using Bill Warren's Keep Watching the Skies as a base, but of course it'll contain that inimitable Thunder Child touch.


Check us out!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Deep Rising

I was watching the Bears vs the Seahawks today (and am glad the Bears won), but during commercials I'd channel surf and came across Deep Rising on one of my movie channels. They've been showing this movie every day for the past month, it seems.

It's all about heavily armed hijackers who take over a liner intending to loot it. The hijackers apparently use a boat captained by Treat Williams and his comic sidekick. Once on the boat, they discover that some "deep sea creatures" have invaded the ship and are eating all the people, leaving behind only red gore.

It's a stupid move. I just checked the IMDB and it has a 5.8 rating. I don't care about IMDB ratings all that much, some movies I like have bad ratings, but it is interesting to see that most people dislike this movie.

For one thing, of course, the man-eating deep sea monsters were justs stupid. 99% of the time it was CGI, and bad CGI. Impossible to tell what they were...but I wonder if Peter Jackson saw this movie because one scene is of Wes Studi (Cherokee actor, star of the Joe Leaphorn series on PBS) being sucked while still alive into the belly of the beast...not much different than Andy Serkis in King Kong being devoured head first by an eyeless tentacle.

Anyway, I watched bits and pieces of it - I have no desire to see it from start to finish - merely because I was fascinated by how bad it was. How by-the-numbers cliched and bad it was. Everything was predictable, from the action of two heartless killers pointing there guns at each other in a "stand-off" which you only ever see in the movies. In real life the first guy to point his gun is gonna shoot, guaranteed.

I've only seen Treat Williams in a couple of movies - saw him in the first half of The Phantom starring Billy Zane, which I have to admit I walked out on...and he does nothing for me. The sole female character starts out in a slinky cocktail dress (she's a passenger on the boat) and then, thankfully changes into jeans and a t-shirt so she can move around, but of course the t-shirt is nice and clingy...but at least it never got strategically ripped so the adolescent boys could get off on seeing her belly button for most of the movie - as they did with Princess Amaldala in the 2nd Star Wars sequel, and Mary Jane in the first Spiderman, and heaven knows how many other movies made since that style began.

Well, enough of a rant for today. There's another football game going on that I'd like to watch, but I've got too much stuff to do so I'm upstairs trying to get in the mood to do some work.

Meanwhile the Lady Vols beat the Georgia Bulldogs in a very low-scoring game. Yay!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Plot Zone at The Thunder Child

The Plot Zone: Plot and critical analysis of short stories.

Waaay back a couple of years ago, when I first started The Thunder Child, I was making good progress with my Plot Zone - critical analysis of sci fi short stories. Then, for reasons which still rankle to this day, I lost all that work. I managed to recover the data on about 10 stories...

And I've finally gotten around to putting that data back up at The Thunder Child. My hope is to institute a more disciplined way of working so that I can add about 2 stories a week to the database. Of course that'll only be about 100 stories a year, which is not nearly enough, but hey, it's better than nothing.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday fixin's

Not much going on today. I have got to go through my entire website and doublecheck lnks for book reviews and various articles, as I have been very neglectful in putting new review/article links on the appropriate sitemap and index pages. Shooting myself in the foot. I really need to get a content management system, but I'm not making enough money yet to justify that expense.... and I do like the freedom to modify various pages when I need to.

But the amount of time I waste trying to fix these lost links...it's annoying.

Started to read a book called Shanghaied to the Moon, by Michael Daley. It took me a few pages to get used to the narrative, first person present tense, but now I'm really enjoying it and will be writing a review for The Thunder Child.

Any Asimov fans? I've started a new Asimov quotebook - better than anything else you'll find because it contains the title of the essays from which the quotes come, which is something the other sites don't do.

If you've never heard old time radio drama, you should give it a try, and start with the classic program, Suspense. Hear Jack Benny as a Martian, William Holden as a hysterical astronaut, as well as Richard Widmark, William Powell, Orson Welles and Agnes Moorehead. I list all the sci fi Suspense episodes in a new article.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Should Jason Kidd be afraid of his wife?

A day after Jason Kidd claimed in divorce papers to be a victim of spousal abuse, his wife's attorney said the New Jersey Nets point guard had no reason to fear the diminutive woman.

"He says he's threatened by her? He's a star athlete. She's 5-foot-2, I think, and 105 pounds," said celebrity New York divorce lawyer Raoul Felder, one of the attorneys representing Joumana Kidd.

The perception by this lawyer is that a big man has nothing to fear from a tiny woman. And it's certainly true that if a man slaps a woman, he could break her jaw, whereas if a 5 ft 2 woman slaps a man, it might well feel like a pinprick.

But it's still physical abuse, and unfortunately women do slap "their man" and when he hits back - as more and more guys these days do - it's they who are up for assault.

I don't know the ins and outs of this case. I do know that I have always hated to watch Jason Kidd shoot free throws because of that stupid "blowing a kiss to his wife" schtick before hand.

It's very easy for a 5 ft 2 woman to verbally abuse a 6 ft 4 man. I have a friend, admittedly only 5' 8, who puts up with a verbally abusive wife every day. He's an old school guy which means he'd never hit her, and never leave her, but I think he'd be a lot happier if he left and his life would be extended for a few years.

There seems to be a perception - indeed, one I had myself at one time - that it is only men who physically abuse women, and only men who verbally abuse women, and that simply isn't true.

Women can hit men all they want, because men aren't allowed to hit back. And women nag and nag and nag until they drive the husband up the wall. Alternatively, they put the hubby down by demeaning his job, etc. etc.

This is why I have always hated such shows as Everybody Loves Raymond, with the roles played by Doris Roberts and Peter Boyle of the bickering, verbally abusive couple.

As far as I'm concerned, when you date a guy, or a gal, and they do something you don't like, dump them right then and there. Because they/you will never change. If a guy persists in throwing his clothes on the floor despite your constant requests for him not to do so, dump him. If you like to dump your clothes on the floor, have no intention of stopping, and wish the woman would just shut up about it, dump her. Don't make sacrifices that will eat away at you and eat away at you such that 10 years later you just snap, and look back on 10 years of hell.

THere's so many people out in the world that you'll be able to find someone who likes what you like, etc. and that's who you should try to find. It's the only way anyone is going to have a happy life.

New look of The Thunder Child

I'm constantly tinkering with the front page of The Thunder Child. Right now I've decided to have two new weekly features - highlight photos of the Max Fleischer Superman cartoons, starring with 3 a week of The Mad Scientist (the very first adventure), and 2 a week of Buck Rogers, the Buster Crabbe 1939 serial.

I've had the Buck Rogers DVD for a year now, and am finally going to watch it, just for this!

Also changed around the actual links to Latest Articles and Latest Reviews.

Now, if only my reviewers would send me stuff. The guy who'd irritated me so much is still with me and has sent some good stuff. Of the other 3 guys, haven't heard from 1 at all and so will not contact him again. He and the other 2 didn't do what I'd asked 'em to do, which was send me a list of books they'd wanted to review so I could get them sent to them. Annoying. But we'll see what can be done.

Meanwhile I have to read Shanghaied to the Moon by Michael Daley, it's been on my desk for 2 weeks or more...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Back To Science Fiction

Nothing science fiction on BBC Radio 7 today - but that doesn't mean there isn't sci fi stuff to listen to there. They have 7 days of radio shows to listen to there. There still isn't any sci fi there, except the last 3 episodes of Out of the Silent Planet, and the last few episodes of Silver Chair.

I railed a few days ago about Radio Spirits having changed their website and gotten rid of their Archives and Schedule to Come, but they appear to have fixed that little problem.

So, lots of good radio to listen to, but only 1 hour a day, of course. And not much sci fi until:

Saturday 1-13
X Minus One
A Wind is Rising
Original Air Date - 10/3/1957
X Minus One
Prime Difference
Original Air Date - 1/2/1958

and Superman is coming:

Wednesday 1-31
Adventures of Superman
Dr. Bly's Confidence Gang, Chapter 1
Original Air Date - 9/4/1945

Saturday 2-3
Dimension X
Report on the Barnhouse Effect
Original Air Date - 4/22/1950

Wednesday 2-7
Adventures of Superman
Dr. Bly's Confidence Gang, Chapter 2
Original Air Date - 9/5/1945

and if anyone here is a fan of Vincent Price, there's going to be an interview with him, along with an airing of one of my favorite radio programs, Three Skeleton Key (in which Price starred several times):

Tuesday 2-6
Three Skeleton Key with Vincent Price
Original Air Date - 3/17/1950
Speaking of Radio
Vincent Price and Chuck Schaden (Interview)
Original Air Date - 9/8/1971

Monday, January 08, 2007

Incompetence in America

Yes, I know I promised to get back to reporting science fiction here, but a couple of things have happened that really tick me off and I feel like venting.

My parents are in Germany. Today is the day that they are flying back to the States. Germany is 6 hours ahead of us here in the Eastern time zone. I got a call about 10 am from a mechanical voice telling me that 'my flight had changed.' My parents flight was supposed to leave Frankfurt Germany at 11.10 am, now it's leaving at noon, and the subsequent flight from Atlanta has also been changed.

Now, that's all well and good except at the time they called me, it was already about 4 pm in Germany. My parents had already left for the airport, already been waiting an extra long time for their plane (although they would have anyway since you're supposed to get their 2 hours eary for an international fligh), etc.

So, me, being in the States, I'm getting old news. There's no way I can call and tell my parents about the the time changes because they're probably already on the plane. This phone call should have been made the night before.

Then, I popped out to a store and was listening to the radio. Had it on a different station than I usually listen to, so I don't know who was talking, and on the two times he came back from a commercial break he never announced his name. He said he was the third most listened to radio show in America, whatever that means.

Anyway, he was talking about the work week and the work year of politicians. And apparently this was reported in the Washington posts.

Politicians - Members of the House of Reps, work a 3-day work week. They fly in from their homes and families on Monday, work from Tuesday to Thursday, and then fly home to spend Fri-Monday with their families again.

And for this, how much are they paid? By OUR tax dollars! $300,000 a year? More?

But it's worse than that, of course. Way back when there was no air-conditioning, Congress didn't meet in August in Washington DC because it was the height of summer and it was too hot. There's no excuse for that today, but they continue to have the WHOLE month of August off.

There's also a 6 day holiday during Memorial, instead of the 3 day weekend that most Americans get.

And apparently they get a 2-week break in April.

ANd according to this guy, they've taken today off, because TONIGHT, the Ohio State college football game is taking place. So the whole House of Representatives is not working today because there is a college football game TONIGHT.

And what is the average American going to do about it? If this story propagates from the Washington Post to every newspaper in the country, so that every literate person in the USA reads it, what are they going to do about it?

I'd say a country-wide refusal to pay our taxes until the government starts working for what we pay them. They are supposed to be working for us, after all. We are supposed to be their employers. Since when do employees get to decide that they'll give themselves a raise, and make it retroactive? Politicians do that all the time.


Anyway, science fiction today. What's on at BBC7's Listen Again? If you haven't been tuning in daily you've been missing Out of the Silent Planet by C. S. Lewis, being read by Alex Jennings. An interesting book. A Christian allegory. And I'll just mention one scene. An 'eldil' or angel appears at a boat in which is the human Ransom, and two hrossa, intelligent beings who worship Oyarsa, their chief Angel. (He's not God.) The eldil tells the hrossa to take Ransom to Oyarsa, and then leaves. At this very moment, a gigantic fish-like creature that they'd been searching for breaks out of the water, and they go after it. And they catch it. And everyone is happy. And then a gunshot rings out and one of the hrossa, Ransom's friend, is killed. "It's my bent people who have done this," says Ransom sorrowfully.

No, says the hrossa. "He was killed as a punishment. The eldil told us to take you to Oyarsa and instead of leaving immediately, we continued with this hunt. So Oyarsa punished him by killing him." [I paraphrase.] Nice Oyarsa. Somebody gets caught up in the moment, delays coming to you by a couple of hours, and to punish him you kill him. Well, he'll certainly never do *that* again, will he.

Typical of the psychoticness displayed by the God of the Old Testament. It never fails to astonish me how people today can read that book and not shake their heads and say, "If this is God, I refuse to worship him because he is clearly a psycho!"

Okay, enough prosletyzing about the joys of rational thought.

There's also Silver Chair, by CS LEwis, more of the Chronicles of Narnia. HAven't been listening to it.

The Museum of Everything started on Wednesday, that's a bit of a fantasy show but amusing.

Museum of Everything
Wander around our many galleries and experience the history of everything, including the real identity of Jack The Ripper. Episode 1 of 6.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Peter is young, eager to please and impatient. When he is left alone with a book of spells, it all goes a bit wrong.

ON Saturday is the 2nd and final part of Man and His Time by Brian Aldiss, and the 4th and final part of Celebrity Mummies (which I suspect was the inspiration for Night at the Musuem:

Celebrity Mummies
The comedy horror set in the British Museum continues. How to get 8,000 angry body parts back in their cases before opening time? Episode 4 of 4. [Rptd Sun 12.00am].

Man in His Time
To mark sci-fi master Brian Aldiss' 80th birthday, his award-winning story about space travel and its impact on life back home. Episode 2 of 2. [Rptd Sun 12.30am].

Sunday is the last episode of Blood of the Daleks, a 2-parter. For some reason I missed the first part. Annoying,

Doctor Who
Blood of the Daleks: Lucie realises the true intentions of their 'saviours'. But could the Doctor really want the same thing as the Daleks? Episode 2 of 2.

Beyond the Vortex
Nick Briggs offers lessons in how to sound like a Dalek, without gargling with coal.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Message Boards and More

As I've said before, I've been surprised and disappointed - perhaps naively - that the fans who inhabit the Lady Vols message boards are just as low class, silly, childish, hypocritical, poor sports, etc., as anyone on any other message board, whether it be the college message board sytem called Scout, or on usenet. (Where I am sad to see that women's basketball, college or otherwise, has no presence.)

Of course I'm talking about 5 or 6 out of the 20 that post there regularly...or mebbe 10 out of 30.. obviously not every fan is a jerk...but those that aren't jerks will very rarely call out someone who *is* being a jerk. I've done so on occasion and been informed that I should leave the moderating of the boards to others, or that I'm too "self-righteous."

And that's annoying. Let's just validate their behavior on the boards, why don't we! Let's not teach these guys manners, they're just having fun!

But there's a wider problem with the behavior exhibited on message boards, and that is that these people probably bring these attitudes into 'real' life, into their work and their relationships at home and work.

And it's not just the poor sportsmanship, it's the ability to comprehend what they read, the eagerness to go ballistic over a perceived slight, the inability to see that when they complain about something on someone else's message board, and then do the exact same thing on their own...I would think they'd see how hypocritical and stupid that is but apparently they don't.

Still, the thing is not to let the actions of fans disenchant one against the team. UConn may have great people and great fans - but I'll always root against them just because of Auriemma. Similarly, even though I'm not too impressed with Tennessee's fans, I will root for the team because I like Pat Summitt...

and I think I'll stop going to the Vols message boards because they're really starting to irritate rather than amuse me now....

More Fun After The Game

Sooner or later I'm going to get back to reporting science fiction news here on this blog, but for today...just a few more comments about fans of sports teams

Just checked out The Summitt and of course there's always the posters with class who say "Good game," and the gus from the other boards who visit and comment: "Opponent played good game," etc. etc., but now the other types are coming out, who have to get in their slams against Geno and the players and what the UConn fans are saying *on their own board*, about how the dunk is no big deal, how UConn beat themselves, etc.

I wish there was an alternate universe where UConn won so I could see how all the posts would be different, and yet the same - just coming from different people.

But, I'm glad Tennessee won. Simply because I don't really like Auriemma.

It was not a very balanced game, on either side. Candace Parker scored 30 points, next closest person was Sidney Spencer with 14. No one else in double figures. Well...whatever it takes to win. And its not like Alexis Hornbuckle didn't *try* to score 20 points, but her shots just didn't go in.

And as far as Dallas Cowboys football...Tony Romo bobbled the snap on a potential winning field goal. You've got to feel sorry for the guy. No matter what his team says to prop him up, you know he knows that they'd like to kick him, instead.

Lots of football today. I absolutely can't watch it. I have stuff to do!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Lady Vols defeat Uconn Huskies - barely

I watched the first half of the Vols game and enjoyed it - they took a 12 point lead into the locker rooms. Loved the first few minutes of the 2nd half - Candace Parker dunked. And that fired up the Huskies and they started cutting into the 18 point lead. When they got it down to 5 points, I turned off the TV. I just couldn't stand it.

But, they won by 6.

Of course, the Vols boards is saying that Candace was being singled out by the refs for *bad* calls. Meantime, the Huskies boards is saying that the refs gave her special consideration! You've just to laugh.

Unfortunately, I can't give any opinions one way or the other, since I wasn't watching the games when the fouls against her started being called! A friend will be sending me a DVD of the game, I hope, so I'll be able to watch it at that time and make my decisions.

In other sports news, Colts beat the Chiefs. I'd like to see Peyton Manning win a superbowl this year. Well - really it's Tony Dungy whom I'd like to see win it - but it's Peyton Manning - and more obviously their defense - that has to get them there.

I'm going to spend some time watching the Cowboys. I don't really have time to watch them - I've pretty much wasted the whole day today when I have so much other stuff to be getting done - but, heck, I'm gonna do it anyway.

A tale of three games

Jan 6, 2007. Today, in a few interminably long hours, the Tennessee Lady Vols are going to match up against the Uconn Huskies.

The game is going to be on TV, so I'll be able to watch it and see for myself how each of the players play, and how the referees call the game. Since it's on a major station, I'm hoping that we'll be able to see all kinds of replays of fouls called, which is usually not the case when WCBB plays on other stations.

In addition to watching the game, I'll be keeping track of it on the Lady Vols and UConn message boards. These message boards are the two most active in WCBB, it seems, each with a game thread for every game thread so viewers can comment (and share info with those unlucky enough not to be able to watch.)

In the past, when I have read these gamethreads after having actually seen the game, I usually feel like they were watching a different game from the one I watched. They complain about fouls that *were* fouls, they complain about fouls that *weren't* fouls, etc, while for the most part I saw it completely differently.

Each of the boards seems to think that the referees are biased against the other team. [Of course, that's so in lots of college sports, I think, and women's refs generally do have that reputation. I don't understand why it's never been addressed by the NCAA.]

Anyway, as a Pat Summitt fan, I'd like the Lady Vols to win the game. I was moved for a while to wish they'd lose. Childish of me, you'll think it, but a couple of idividuals on the Lady Vols boards were 'talking smack' about certain things, which annoyed me as exhibiting poor sportsmanship, and I wanted them to be shut up. Of course, they 'talk smack' on the UConn boards as well - but Pat Summitt is a classy coach and it always surprises me when people who profess to admire her don't follow her example of classiness.

But, I read an article in the Courant earlier tonight: The article in which Geno Auriemma had some things to say that I can only describe as.... ugh. Just ugh. Plus, he made a jeer at UT being the leader in the world in foul calls - I guess he's preparing for tomorrow and if the Vols win it'll be because the refs are biased in their favor.

I can't remember Summitt ever excusing a loss by saying that the refs caused it. She yells at them alot during games - as do all coaches - but afterwards? To the media? IF anyone *has* ever seen such a quote in a newspaper, please tell me!

The funny thing about the refs is that both fan bases hate one named Sally Bell. The Vols fans says she hates the Vols and always makes calls against them. The Huskies say that she's a Vol lover! Now how can that be, I wonder?

Anyway, from all that I've learned about Geno Auriemma over the past two years, and especially what I read tonight, I have to say that, despite the fact that his players are gonna play hard, and they have loyal fans, I think the man is an extreme jerk and I seriously hope the Huskies lose by 40 points!

And I hope the Terrapins lose as well. They are *finally* playing a ranked team, although the Spartans are only ranked 19th...however, I am happy they are on TV as I will be able to watch Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood, who has a history with the Vols. I'd like to be able to compare her style of play with that of the Vols...just to see what's so different.

Mind you, I don't like the Vols style of play! I like to see a motion offense with every player on the move all the time, running through screens and making cuts. That's fun to watch.

Well, we'll see how it goes.

If the refs let the ladies play, and if the ladies on both sides handle the pressure of this national stage...it should be a good game. And sorry to the Huskies, but I will visualize you losing by 40 for the next several hours! The thought is the will is the deed.

Go Lady Vols.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Timelash!

I've got so much to do, and so little time.

Saw Night at the Museum yesterday, liked it, have to write a review for it. I want to write an article on Nikola Tesla from The Prestige - a movie that I didn't really care for at all, but I liked Bowie's Tesla...

I've got 3 gigs from Elance that I have to work on so I can get paid some money, so I can pay my new clippings person, and a new person to do some typing for me...

I've got a book to read and review ....

Too much, too much, dahling.

Well, I've added a 'tooncast' to The Thunder Child. A webcomic called Groovy Ass Alien Kreatures. It's only updated once a week, which is too bad. Three times a week would guarantee more readers, *I* think, but then they probably don't have time to do more than one a week, either!

Let's give a loud shout out to Wesley Autrey, the 50-year old black construction worker in New York City who saw a guy fall on a subway train track, and WHILE A TRAIN WAS COMING, jumped down onto the tracks, and held the guy down in the little depression between the train rails, saving his life while the train ran past them.
Talk about a real life super hero.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

NIght at the Museum

Still haven't seen it, so I'm going to go today!

I don't have time. I've got 2 gigs for Elance that I've got to do, I've got my stuff for The Thunder Child and various other projects...but I don't care. I'm going to go see it!

New at The Thunder Child:

An interview with Adrian Sherlock, creator of Damon Dark, a character in the mold of Commander Straker of UFO or The X-Files. He's made several shoestring mini movies about the character which are all available at Youtube.

Also several articles on the 1967 Casino Royale. They were intended to be published to coincide with the release of the Daniel Craig movie, so they are a wee bit late... but better late than never.

Also an article on the soundtrack for The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao.