Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Who is Delia Derbyshire?

Every Doctor Who fan should know her name, but most don't. Heck, I didn't even know it until yesterday, when I listened to a 45-minute radio play on BBC 7 called Blue Veils and Golden Sands, a fictional story of her life.

Delia Derbyshire was a composer, "a pioneer of electronic music who worked in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop for 10 years." Ron Grainger may have wrote the theme music to Doctor Who, but it was Delia Derbyshire who brought it to life.

Her story is rather a sad one, but inspiring in a way. Make sure you listen to the play at http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbc7/listenagain/monday/

And then check out her life:


Monday, July 30, 2007

The Ghost Galaxies by Piers Anthony

Starting Sunday, July 29:

Read by Stephen Hogan

The Ghost Galaxies
A sci-fi adventure by cult writer Piers Anthony. What happens to a galaxy when it dies? Episode 1 of 2.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf, and more

Part 2 of this comedy dialog at BBC 7 on Friday (so on for another 7 days):

Moths Ate My Dr Who Scarf
Toby Hadoke's journey as a Doctor Who obsessive continues. Will Doctor Who return to our screens and help Toby find happiness? Episode 2 of 2.

The official radio show of the popular American program Heroes starts on Saturday.
Heroes: The Official Radio Show
Analysis of the first episode of Heroes on BBC2, and a chance to give your thoughts and hear the insights of other fans. Episode 1 of 20.

I've been very remiss in the last few weeks in not updating Journey Into Space - or listening to it either, for that matter...

Journey into Space
The World in Peril: Jet and the crew race against time with threadbare resources to get their broadcast done. Episode 17 of 20.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


I haven't been able to do *anything* in the last two days - I've been in bed sicker than a dog. Feeling 100% better today, but still not a lot of energy to do anything, so today will be a wasted day also.

Hopefully will be full of energy tomorrow and can get caught up on stuff for The Thunder Child.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Now on BBC 7.... again. Married (an alternate universe story)


Robin Lightfoot is grumpy yet happily single. Then he wakes up to discover he's in a parallel universe, with a wife and kids. Episode 1 of 6.

Robin Lightfoot has awoken in a parallel universe. Not only does he now have a wife and kids; he also has two half-brothers, both called Ian! Episode 2 of 6.

Monday, July 23, 2007

4 Questions for Kim Baccellia, author of The Earrings of Ixtumea

The Thunder Child blog Daily Space is proud to host the virtual book tour of author Kim Baccellia, the author of The Earrings of Ixtumea, a fantasy novel for young adults published in July 2007, featuring a Latina heroine and an adventure into an alternate world where the culture of the Maya still flourishes. And check out her website at: http://www.kim-baccellia.com/

Check this out at Amazon

My questions are in bold.

1. Your book takes place in the parallel world of Ixtumea, which is modeled after the Maya civilization. Can you describe a bit about that civilization. (Where was it located, who were the rulers, how was it run, what roles did women have in the society, etc.) and how you modified it, if you did, to become Ixtumea. What did it feel like to be a "world builder."

I’ve always been fascinated with the ancient Mesoamerican civilization. When I did research I found out that my ancestors had a civilization that was more advanced than the conquistadores that invaded them. I cringe to think of all the history the invaders burned in order to civilize them.

I wanted to base my fantasy world in this country. The Mayans and even Incans are still shrouded in mystery. I found a book from a professor who based his thesis on the idea of the Incan khipu (knots) not being an abacus but instead a code to their history, culture, language. The Incans did this in order for their history to survive. Problem was once the Incans priests died out so did someone who could translate the code. I played around with this idea and use it as part of Lupe’s responsibility in Ixtumea.

I also liked the idea of a woman leader. I often wondered if our world be a lot better if we had a woman in power. Hence the idea of the Revered One and her maidens. I still have wise men but they have to report to the Revered One, who’s the one in power. Malvado is based on a male of our world who is sexist and didn’t like the idea of a woman being in charge.

Ixtumea would be located in lower Mexico/central America.

I did use some of Mexican myths and legends plus I wove throughout my story dichos-sayings that are similar to our proverbs. I modeled Concha after a modern date Malinche. I can’t believe Hollywood hasn’t done a movie on her life yet.

The idea of the Spider Goddess was also based on Mexican mythology plus I admit I added some of my own ideas to her. I also wanted the spiders to be the ‘good’ ones. I was sick of how spiders were always portrayed as being bad.

2. Most young adult books have a "message" or "theme." For Earrings of Ixtumea it's that people should have knowledge of and be proud of their heritage. In your experience teaching Latinos (and others) in the LA county school district, are the youngsters so intent on "fitting in" that they do ignore or are ashamed of their culture?

I based this on experiences related to me from family members of my grandfather who’s mother, my great-grandmother, was Mexican. My grandfather was ashamed of his Mexican roots—most of his family was—to the point they tried changing her name to make it more “Spanish sounding”. They even said she was adopted by a Mexican couple. I later learned from Professor Ortega at Ca State Fullerton about the racism and prejudice against Latinos in California during the 1900’s. I even found out about the court case Mendez vs. Westminster school board, where a Latino couple fought to have their children go to a nearby school and not to the segregated ‘colored’ school. It made me wonder if my own grandfather was segregated during the Second World War based on his color.

Also in my classroom I found it disturbing how my six-year-old girls would color themselves blonde, blue-eyed, and fair skinned. Their idols at the time were Britney Spears and Xuxa from Brazil, a blonde, blue eyed TV star. Also the telenovelas had a lot of the blonde models and actresses.

I’m hoping with JLo, America Ferrera( I love how this actress shows it’s okay to be yourself), and a few others that there will be more Latino role models for youth to look up to.

3. In your initial draft, did you have the book outlined where you knew from beginning to end what you wanted to happen, or did the characters "come to life" and dictate changes to the story?

I used a character chart and listed down my character’s quirks and traits. I also used a classical 3 act structure from Greek dramatic works.

All of my characters came to life to me. Some more than others. Concha’s struggle with betraying her daughter to the man she loved haunted me. The one scene where Lupe finds out why her mother is the way she is refused to leave me. I remember crying when I wrote that scene. I left it in as I felt it was important.

4. The artwork on your site is done by Liz Jones. I'm confused as to whether she did your cover artwork as well. Regardless, how did the cover art come about? Did you say what you wanted - the temple, etc., and have the artist draw it, or did the artist read the book and then choose a dramatic moment to illustrate?

The cover art was done by the talented Michael Leadingham. He based the cover from one of my scenes when Teancum first takes Lupe to Ixtumea. I wanted the cover to show this. Liz Jones did the self portrait with characters from both of my books. I had her put in my own bisabuela looking down on me from the spider web, guiding me in my own search of my heritage.

Thank you, Kim, for answering my questions. The next stop on Kim's virtual blog tour is at www.plugyourbook.blogspot.com/ on August 9, 2007.

Perelandra eps 1 - 18

Perelandra is the sequel by CS Lewis to Out of the Silent Planet. I've read Out of the Silent Planet, but not the next two volumes (concluding with That Hideous Strength) so I guess I'll give this a listen. Not a dramatisation but a reading.

On his way to Dr Ransom's, Lewis is beset by a sense of panic that is not dispelled by the sight greeting him on arrival. Episode 1 of 18.

Ransom explains that he is going on a mission to defend the planet Perelandra. He enlists Lewis to ensure his safe departure. Episode 2 of 18.

Ransom voyages to Perelandra, and lands in what appears to be a giant ocean dotted with floating islands where he takes shelter. Episode 3 of 18.

Ransom wakes on his island to see a human form, a woman, facing him from a neighbouring island. Episode 4 of 18.

Ransom swims to the other shore and discovers that the Green Lady is none other than Perelandra herself. Episode 5 of 18.

The Green Lady tells Ransom of Maleldil's decree: she cannot stay the night on the mountainous island known as the fixed land. Episode 6 of 18.

Vincent Price and Peter Cushing together again

BBC Radio 7 will be airing Aliens of the Mind for the next 6 days. Stars Vincent Price and Peter Cushing

Aliens in the Mind
Island Genesis: For John Cornelius, an old friend's death is more than it seems. With Peter Cushing and Vincent Price. Episode 1 of 6.

Hurried Exodus: Cornelius and Lark try to get Flora off the island of mutants. Starring Peter Cushing and Vincent Price. Episode 2 of 6.

Unexpected Visitations: Vincent Price and Peter Cushing star. Curtis and Lock get more than they bargained for back in London. Episode 3 of 6.

Official Intercessions: Vincent Price and Peter Cushing star. How far will certain parties go to conceal Flora's presence? Episode 4 of 6.

Genetic Revelation: A colony of mutants exists in the heart of London, but the only person with powers to help in the crisis is murdered. Episode 5 of 6.

Final Tribulations: An MP finds out that he is a mutant being manipulated by an unidentified Controller. Episode 6 of 6.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Transformers

I saw this movie today, in a theater that was at least half-full. Although I was familiar with the concept of The Transformers and had read a couple of reviews of the movie, as well as seeing the trailer, I'd never seen the cartoon or had any preconceived notions on how they should appear, etc.

So...it was enjoyable for the most part. Only one thing irritated me which I'll get to after I talk about the Fight Scenes

Fight Scenes
Some of the negative comments I heard about the movie was that the fight scenes were filmed from too close, so you couldn't see the action, and the action was happening too fast anyway. And while I was watching the movie I thought... this is actually the way it is in real life. For each individual person when they are in danger of their life time slows down for them, but for witnesses, everything happens so fast and frequently you can't tell the good guys from the bad guys...

So at the end while I had a hard time figuring out where all the Autobots had gone so that it was only Prime vs Megatron, I didn't really mind it.

What Really Irritates Me
Whenever I go see a movie, part of me is always examining it from a feminist point of view. So in the beginning we see the character of Mikeaela wearing the hip hugging "booty shorts" and the revealing shirt so that her belly button is exposed - the style of the day.

And the scene where she pops the hood of the car and is standing there leaning over and Shia's getting all hot and bothered...

And I'm thinking to myself... see young girls and teens...this is why you should bring this particular clothing style to a screeching halt. Because you are pandering to the young male who sees women not as women but merely as 'hos' who are there to turn him on and give him his sexual fantasies.

The scene where Sam kicks his male friend out of the car so that Mikeala can get in tells it all. "Bros before hos," the guy says, which tells us exactly where he puts women....and where a great many teens put women in real life. [Not that I think women should dress in a burkha and five layers of clothing and be ashamed of our bodies. I'm just saying flaunt 'em at home or on a date, not just for general consumption.)

Interestingly, I looked at the first 3 pages of the over 8 pages of messages about The Transformers at the Internet Movie Database, and only one thread was on how "hot" Megan Fox was... but after 3 pages of threads I just couldn't force myself to go any further back.

As for the ending where the two of them are making out on top of the sentient being that is Bumblebee... although perhaps as a robot he doesn't know making out from nothing...

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The new Bionic Woman

I was visiting TV.com, intending to add some info about The Robot Client, an episode of The Thin Man which featured Robby the Robot, when I saw a blurb for The Bionic Woman.

Now, if I remember correctly - and I do - the original Jaime Summers was an adventurous, single woman, and her accident took place during a parachute jump.

What does the 21st century Jaime Summers do?

"Jaime Sommers is a young woman working as bartender and raising her teenage sister, Becca. When she is hit by a car and seriously injured. Her only hope becomes an experimental and top secret procedure. But this salvation comes at a high price.

The series is produced by David Eick Productions in association with GEP Productions and NBC "

So we're sure to have the teenage angst of the teenage sister ...but as for the rest of Jaime's adventures...? And why does she have to be a bartender instead of the president of a corporation? How will she move through the rarified atmosphere of the business world/word of spies in disguise as a secret agent when her sole experience with people is as a bartender?

Not that bartenders can't be as well-educated as people with college diplomas working in high-paying jobs...anyone with a desire can self-educate themselves to that level - but it's just the fact that's she's a bartender instead of an athlete or something worthy of being a role model that annoys me.

Friday, July 20, 2007

12.01 AM, July 21, 2007 Final Harry Potter party

The Final Harry Potter party

I went to my local Books-a-million at 11.30 pm to find the store open and a line serpentined around the entire store of people, from adults to children, waiting for 12.01 am. Many were in costume - both adults and children.

The News Stalker now ready

I've actually got about 10 movie press releases to put on the page, but the basic outline is ready, so check out:


which is the index page. Currently there is 1 news release for the Assimilation convention in September in Florida, and 4 CD releases.

Harry Potter fans will want to get their soundtrack CD of The Order of the Phoenix. Follow the link below to the press release which explains there is a new composer for the series, and there are links to Amazon.com from there.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Soundtrack, June 17, 2007

Simon Bovey and Cold Blood, Martin Arlt and Mad Scientist

I've been getting a few hits on this blog for people searching for Cold Blood, which is an SF radio play written by Simon Bovey.

The Thunder Child interviewed Simon a few months ago, and the interview is here:

Simon Bovey

Don't forget to check out his website, and tell him you read about him at The Thunder Child!

New today is an interview with Martin Arlt, a real-life scientist who publishes the Mad Scientist fanzine. A fun read.

Martin Arlt

And again, visit his website to get the latest issue of Mad Scientist, and tell him you read about him at The Thunder Child!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Harry Potter spoilers

First off, let me say that I haven't read anything but the first chapter of the first Harry Potter novel. (I've seen all the movies except Prisoner of Azkeban).

I'm 40, not 15, so I could care less who dies in the final book, whether it be Harry or anyone else. But, I can remember what it felt like to be 15, and how outraged I was when the second Star Wars movie ended in a cliffhanger and we had to wait a couople of years to see how Han Solo was rescued. (But then, I always preferred Han to Luke. I think everybody did.)

But, the publishers and JK Rowling have been fighting so hard to keep the details of the final book secret... and I just find myself wondering... why tell everyone that someone is going to "die" in this book, thus touching off a firestorm of curiosity and setting the spies in motion? Surely the series is so popular that it doesn't need this extra impetus?

And how profitable is this book going to be, considering that, from what I've read, every bookstore is being forced to sell it at a major discount to compete with online stores such as Amazon.

Again, not being a kid - and not even knowing any kids (goodness I love where I live!) - how hard can it be to not hear any spoilers until you've actually read the book. Are gangs of girls going around shouting out who dies at the top of their lungs? Or sending out text messages to all and sundry? (I really, really regret the invention of text messaging for high school kids - bad idea, and I hate to think of the parents' phone bills.)

Anyway, I predict a lot of lawsuits from the publishers over all the people who are posting "spoilers" and pirated copies of the book... indeed the intrigue behind all this is worthy of a book in itself.... I wonder if that's the idea?

A vent about unprofessionalism...

A few weeks ago, I learned that some fanzine work by a Golden Age writer was going to be published in book form for the first time by a small press (one too small to even have its offerings on Amazon). I decided to ask for a review copy. I usually don't have any luck with review copies from these very small places, but I figured I'd just ask.

And as I expected, they said no. The book had been too expensive to produce to send out review copies. But, they told me, they'd sell it to me for 20 percent off.

Well, that was a start, but I decided to ask for 30 percent off, because after all, they would be getting free publicity out of it, and since it was an expensive book, it'd cost me more to buy it than I'd get back in advertising revenue from the page. But apart from wanting to review it, I also wanted to read it.

So, when they said no, sorry, 20 percent is as low as we can go, I said, okay, fine. I decided to let them do the math, and asked them what the total was that I should send them. THe email I got back said $29.

Well, I went to their website to try to figure out how to pay them - and it is one of the most amateurish publisher's sites I've ever seen. I hadn't been too impressed with the grammar and spelling abilities of the person I'd been dealing with (the wife of the owner, I believe) and the website reflected more of the same. And I was unable to find a Paypal address to send my discounted money to, as opposed to their shopping cart.

So, somewhat turned off by this, I let things slide for a week. Then I got an email from them saying they'd never received my payment, did I still want the book? I thought to myself... yes I want this book.... so I responded asking for their paypal email address.

And then I sent them the $29 which they had told me it would cost.

I got a rather brusque email back from them, giving the calculation and saying that I owed them $4 more.

I forwarded back to them the email I'd been sent saying that it would cost me $29.

Now, at this point, if they'd responded saying, "Yes, you were sent that, but it was an error by our clerical staff, and the total really is $32, sorry for the inconvenience" - I more than likely would have just sent the extra $4.

But that's not what they did. Instead I got a one sentence reply. "No problem, we'll refund your money."

And at that point they lost me. They obviously didn't want my business, let alone my review. So I sent back a one sentence email: "Please do."

And they did refund the money promptly, I'll say that for them.

But I find myself wondering why anyone who goes to their website and looks around, would even order anything from them...and if anyone has to deal with them...ditto.

Lesson in all this, if you want to be a publishing firm and you're not very good at English, make sure you surround yourself with people who are.

And don't annoy publishers of media - albeit ezines - that can help promote your books!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The News Stalker added to The Thunder Child

I get a lot of press releases, from CD companies promoting their new releases, to authors their new books, to conventions their latest gathering times.

And up until now I've been a bit remiss in sharing this vital info with my readers.

But all that's going to change.

I'm adding a new feature to The Thunder Child called The News Stalker (named in honor of Darren McGavin and his iconic reporter creation, Karl Kolchak) which will be an index page leading to all the press releases I receive.

So , in a sense, a bit lazy on my part, but actually it makes sense. I simply don't have the time to write an article about each press release I receive, so I will simply let the press releases themselves do the job - after all, that's what they're for!

I'll give the URL here when the section is ready.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Cold Blood returns to BBC Radio 7

BBC Radio 7 is an "oldies but goodies" digital radio station, and if you miss a program you only have to wait about 3 months before they run it again. Case in point, Simon Bovey's Cold Blood, starting Monday:

Cold Blood
Freezerville: It is 2015 and an Antarctic research station is settling down for another winter - but this will be a winter like no other. Episode 1 of 5.

As far as Radio Spirits, the American website that plays American OTR, the Superman serial Red Widow will be playing each Wednesday for 3 more weeks. In August there are two X Minus One episodes scheduled:

Friday 8-3-07
Dimension X
Report on the Barnhouse Effect
Original Air Date - 4/22/1950

Tuesday 8-7-07
X Minus One
Lulu starring Jan Miner
Original Air Date - 10/31/1957

And a new Siperman serial, Superman vs Atom Man - on which the Kirk Alyn movie serial was based.

Wednesday, 8-8-07
Adventures of Superman
Chapter 1: Superman vs Atom Man
Original Air Date - 10/11/1945

Wednesday, 8-15-07
Adventures of Superman
Chapter 2: Superman versus Atom Man
Original Air Date - 10/12/1945

Monday, July 16, 2007

Marketing this blog

I've just joined a site called MyLot, which will present a feed of this blog to people there (if all works as I expect it to) and in order to do so I need to post the following:

myLot User Profile

And I have done so!

We'll see how this works...

Heinlein Centenary Continues at BBC Radio 7

Heinlein Centenary
Ordeal in Space: To mark the centenary of Robert A Heinlein's birth, a thrilling tale that delves into the psyche of a traumatised spaceman.

This starts today and will be online for the next 7 days.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I've never read a Harry Potter book, but I've seen all the movies except Prisoner of Askaban (never saw it in a theater, saw a few snippets of it on TV once, enough to know the general plot, but not all the finer details, character interactions, etc.).

So, today I went to see the latest Potter movie, Order of the Phoenix.

The Potter series, more than any other series of movies, I think, requires that you see them in order, because otherwise you simply will not know what's going on. The cast of characters is so huge and only a few scenes are devoted to each one, and there's several references to prior events. (For example, the death of Digory - mentioned quite a bit in this movie but if you haven't seen Goblet of Fire, you won't know who they're talking about).

One thing also you'll see in these movies is that they are peopled with British stars who are not given a lot to do. They are in essence, cameos. [I soooo wanted to see much more of Jason Isaacs and Alan Rickman!) This is somethign you will never see in American movies.

The movie is very dark - there is very little comedy relief. Harry Potter continues to be treated poorly by his family, and because of rumors put about by Cornelius Fudge of the Ministry of Magic, most of the students of Hogwarts also look on him with distrust. Harry is angry... all the time... and initially spurns the help of friends Ron and Hermione, before realizing that everyone has to wokr together to defeat Voldemort.

One of the things I've always disliked in the Potter movies is that it is always the kids who save the day. The teachers - whether Maggie Smith or whoever - rarely contribute anything helpful to the problem, and usually dismiss it, so that the kids have had to band together in each movie to accomplish things *despite* the adults.

And that is the "indoctrination" that I think is bad, not the complaints of religious types that they're urging children to get involved in magic.

Frankly, I found the movie boring. But then, I'm not a young girl with a crush on Radcliffe, or a young boy wiht a crush on Hermione.

There's some interesting scenes for an Alan Rickman fan...although not nearly enough, and Jason Isaacs is sooo devastatingly ice-cold handsome...but again, not enough scenes!

And, I can't give away the end, but it's good. I bet the actors we're laughing as they were filming it as it looks silly without the special effects, but with the special effects.... looks good.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Discovery Stores closing

I'm about 2 months late with this news, but the Discovery Channel is closing is 103 stores and firing the 1,000 people who worked there.

Stores Closing

According to the article, the Discovery Channel is going to go public, so they have to "position themselves" to make a profit.

I think it's a revolting development, and shame on their CEO for the movie.

Friday, July 13, 2007

"Hatshepsut was a fatty"

That's the scientific opinion of Egyptologist and paleopathologist Bob Brier, "one of the world's foremost experts on mummies."

The article doesn't show a photo of him, but I wonder if he's a Greek god himself, or if he sports a paunch?

The appearance of women - and men - of antiquity can't be judged by modern day standards. Japanese men had a bald fetish, for example (ever see paintings of samurai?) and Japanese women deliberately blacked their teeth. Then there's sumo wrestlers!

Being overweight in Egypt during the time of the pharoahs may well have been a sign of riches and opulence, for all that their monuments show them as slender.

Hathshepsut's Mummy reveals obesity

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Ladybird Johnson and NASA

Marshall Space Flight Center Director Dr. Wernher von Braun presents Lady Bird Johnson with an inscribed hard hat during the First Lady's March 24, 1964, visit. While at the Marshall Center, Mrs. Johnson addressed the center' employees, toured facilities and witnessed test firings of a Saturn I first stage and an F-1 engine. Dr. von Braun is wearing a cowboy hat presented to him months earlier by Lyndon Johnson during a visit to the Johnson ranch in Texas.

(This photo is from NASA, and as a goverment organization is copyright free)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sharks keep seagrass tidy!

I subscribe to several news headline fees for my google desktop, and one of them comes from Discover.

Today a headline read:

"Sharks keep seagrass tidy"

So I read it... and, no, sharks do NOT keep sea grass tidy. They pray on the dugong - which eat the seagrass. Because the dugong move around a great deal to avoid predation, they end up "mowing the lawn," keeping the seagrass tidy.

Sharks "indirectly" keep the seagrass tidy, but that's not the same thing.

The reason why I'm making such a big deal about this is that I really, really dislike misleading headlines. Misleading headlines are misinforming headlines. Someone reads the headline and doesn't have the time to read the article will still think to themselves, "sharks keep sea grass tidy. Who knew?"

So as regards sharks t hat's not a "bad" piece of information, but it's part of a trend of news distortion that could have far reaching implications.

Just as headlines that say, "90% of Americans think the President's an idiot." Then when you get to the fine print you see that they're talking about the views of 1000 Americans from a Democratic stronghold...

(And don't get me wrong. I'm not Republican or Democrat...I'm in despair over both parties. All politicians are crooks, and because *we* keep electing politicians who are crooks, and don't do anything to take them out of power, the USA is in big trouble...)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Mars Underground


This could be an interesting website, if it wasn't designed so weirdly - the navbar is at the bottom of the page.

Anyway, it's a DVD of a documentary chronicling Dr. Robert Zubrin (a maverick aerospace-engineer and author known as the "Christopher Columbus of Mars".) attempts to get a manned expedition to Mars under way.

Space News headlines at The Thunder Child

New feature, headlines about space news:

Space Chronology

Monday, July 09, 2007

New at The Thunder Child: Oceanography Headlines

Oceanography Headlines

Here I'll be collecting links to oceanography news as of July 9, 2007 and beyond, consisting of oceans, global warming stories, aquaculture, hurricane and weather forecasting, etc.

Tomorrow I hope to have the same thing started for space news.

Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein

Well, once again I can't enter a title for this blog entry. Weird. [I just went to the Blogger email group and everyone is having this problem. The fix is to put the mouse above the box...and it works. But totally weird...]

Anyway, for the next 6 days, Metheuselah's Children is being read at BBC 7.

They are also repeating Routemasters.

Paul Birchard reads Robert A Heinlein's sci-fi novel about a group of families who can live for several hundred years. Episode 1 of 6.

The Government begins a programme of mass arrests. Episode 2 of 6.

Lazarus Long leads the families into space. Episode 3 of 6.

The 100,000 members of the families settle into life on the New Frontiers. Episode 4 of 6.

A colonist enters the alien temple and returns a broken man. Episode 5 of 6.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Heinlein Centenary - The Green Hills of Earth

Well, the old blogger software seems to be acting weird...it won't let me give a title to this post...

We'll see what happens after I try to save it.


Now playing for the next 7 days:

Heinlein Centenary
The Green Hills of Earth: To mark the centenary of Robert A Heinlein's birth, a fantastic tale about Rhysling, the blind singer of the spaceways.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Blob Fest next weekend

I live only about 6 hours away from the theater where this is going to take place. There's a re-enactment of the scene where all the movie patrons run out of the theater, as well as other events going on.

But, I can't really justify being away for two days...

Nevertheless, in honor of the Blobfest, Steve Vertlieb wrote an article about The Blob for The Thunder Child.


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Volcano Seven

I've started a new website, Volcano Seven, dedicated to fictional organizations for world wide domination, such as SWORD from The Fiction Makers, THRUSH from Man from Uncle, SPECTRE from James Bond.


I've got Google ads on the page, and I was horrified this morning to see all the ads were for "Blocking Child Porn" and "Preventing Sexual Abuse" and "Find a Date Here".

And I thought to myself, this site is about Volcanos, and secret agents, and battles to the death, why in the world am I getting such ads???

Then I went to my pages and looked at the header for eah page, which said: "dedicated to fictional organizations for world wide domination"

And it suddenly struck me that that word, "domination" might be triggering these kinky ads. (Not kinky in the sense that there was anything wrong with them, just in the fact that they didn't belong on my site!!)

So I've reworded the header for each page.

Now I have to wait four hours before the change goes into effect, to see if those ads disappear. I hope so, because they are NOT the kind of ads I want on what is to be a cheerful, nostalgia driven site!

Another problem that the name of one of the characters in the episode The Fiction Makers is called "Darling" and that might be triggering these ads to, I suppose. If I don't see a change in 4 hours I'll go in and substitute Amos Klein for Darling, but I hate having to censor my writing in this way...

(And I've also got to worry about the fact that since I've used those words in this blog entry, Google might pick them up and put these ads in my banner...which I don't want either! Ah, the perils of non-specific advertising...)

Monday, July 02, 2007


I went to see this movie yesterday, and it was .... okay.

A rat named Remy who has a gift for tasting flavors of food, gets separated from his father, brother and the clan and is lost in Paris, until he finds the restaurant called Gusteau. There, he meets a hapless nebbish named Linguini, who can't cook - except with the help of Remy who hides under his hat and pulls his hair in order to control him like a puppet.

Various complications ensue from a jealous chef, and a malignant food critic, and family who expect to be fed for free.

The animation is marvelous, it's funny... but since my taste runs to more adventurous fare, I confess I was bored most of the time. I don't know what age group of children would like this... I would think it would be boring for kids under six or so...

But the animation is so good that it should be seen at least once - preferably at a matinee so you don't have to spend too much money on it.

Monday, Jul 3 on BBC7 - FATHERLAND (alternate history)


A chilling adaptation of Robert Harris' novel set in an imaginary Hitler-led post-war Germany. Episode 1 of 5.