tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (hobbits in woods)
Y'all, this interview of Elijah Wood being interviewed by Stephen Colbert is the cutest thing, especially the latter part where they discuss the Hobbit. They compare swords (wink wink, nudge nudge). Stephen totally geeks out.  *draws sparkly hearts around both of them* 

Did you catch the part where Elijah briefly channeled Ned Stark?  ("Winter is coming...")

On the subject of things that are amazing, here is a gorgeous extended-exposure photo of a moonbow beside a gorgeous waterfall with the Northern lights overhead.  How so awesome, Iceland?

Meanwhile, the lyrics meme is still open if anyone else cares to hazard a guess at the remaining songs.  I'll probably post answers tomorrow.
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (prepare for awesomeness)
This post exists to link to some things that have been linked a ton of other places, but they are so worth seeing that I want to do my part to ensure that the entire internet sees them. 

First, the latest post on Hyperbole and a Half, Adventures in Depression, is insightful and sad in addition to having the usual Hyperbole and a Half humor.  Large parts rang so true it felt like the blog had been posted from inside my head. 

Next, on a happier note, the two greatest things on YouTube, at least if you are a Doctor Who fan. If you haven't seen them yet, prepare to squee:


I love how David Tennant just looks so excited to be doing the goofy marching dance in every single shot of the 500 Miles video.
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (tongue & science ten)
Hey, LJ!  I've been a bit quiet lately, but I'm still alive.  I'll try to make a more substantial post later, but for now have a bit of a link and vid spam. (A few of you have seen some of these already on Facebook.)


Whale-poo-sniffing dogs:  ladies and gentlemen, science in action.

Airdropping dead mice stuffed with acetaminophen over Guam to kill invasive snake:  if a cartoon evil overlord took up a second career as a conservation biologist, this sounds like the sort of plan s/he would come up with.  However, the brown tree snake situation in Guam is bad enough that all sorts of crazy stuff is worth trying.

Making bioluminescent plants:  You know the saying about sufficiently advanced technology being indistinguishable from magic? I think glowing trees would qualify.

Victorian Star Trek (via [livejournal.com profile] dameruth ):  photoshop win!

YouTube Stuff

three youtube embeds under the cut to spare your f'list )
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (nice not being me)
Someday, I will make a post that is not largely about Sherlock.  Today is not that day.  New fandom has wrapped its tentacles around my brain in a major way.  Today, I have some recs for you.  Some of them are even about things other than Sherlock!

First, a piece of crack!fic that sent me into absolute fits of laughter:  Aptronyms by [livejournal.com profile] elapsedspiral .  This is a slight AU where, as the summary says, Mr Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson are characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; Mr Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson are the unfortunate sods named after them.   When you get to the end, I hope you'll agree with me that we have a new catchphrase!  You'll know the one I mean.

Second, a delightful vid by [livejournal.com profile] humansrsuperior starring Sherlock's Coat of Great Sexiness.  I can't figure out how to embed this player, so here's a link to the relevant LJ entry.  All coat, all the time.  The vid is free of major spoilers, so if there is anyone reading this who is (a) still on the fence about whether to watch Sherlock, and (b) attracted to men and/or long, dramatic coats, this might convince you.  Watch it swirl!

Now, a Merlin rec!  I wanted to make sure all the Merlin folks on this list have seen [livejournal.com profile] rosa_acicularis 's  amazing Merlin fic, Goose Girl.  It's got richly layered emotions, plenty of Rosa's trademark wit, and a wonderful character who is sort of an OC and sort of someone you know.  There's also a fierce goose.  It's set post-S1.

Here's a fascinating NY Times article about a practice in Afghanistan of disguising girls as boys.  Some of them wear boys' clothes in order to work to help their families out with income, but others are presented as boys largely because of the social stigma on families without sons. Even when the child's original gender is an open secret among friends, there are still social benefits to simply appearing to have a son.  Most of these young people are supposed to revert back to femininity at puberty or when their parents arrange a marriage, with varying degrees of success and happiness. 

Now, a bit of yammering about my subconscious (you can skip if you like).  A few nights ago I actually dreamed I was in Afghanistan.  I don't remember any details, but I think it was in the context of visiting there rather than being Afghan.  I am somewhat concerned that my subconscious may be attempting to emulate John Watson in hopes that this will cause Benedict Cumberbatch to become my flatmate.  Sadly, it doesn't work that way.  At least strange dreams are preferable to a psychosomatic limp. 

Last night I had even stranger dreams.  Perhaps inspired by the lovely Sherlock/His Dark Materials fusion fic, "Theory and Practice," I dreamt about the Firefly crew in a universe where everyone has daemons*.  In a rare instance of awareness that I was dreaming, I kept realizing that my sleeping mind was assigning Mal a daemon that didn't quite suit him (golden eagle, then tiger) and insisting that the dream give him a  different one.  I wish I could tell you what brilliant ideas my brain eventually cooked up for who would have what species of daemon, but that got lost in the transition to the next dream.  (What would their daemons actually be? Mal, I think, would have a coyote.  River would be either a cat or some sort of bird, perhaps an owl.  Kaylee strikes me as an otter.  Anyone else have opinions?)

After half-waking, I transitioned to a school stress dream.  I haven't had one of those in a while, though I have teaching stress dreams not infrequently.  When I do dream about being in school, most often it's at the college level with some sort of test I didn't study for/paper I didn't write/classroom I can't find as the plot.  Last night, however, I dreamed about being in high school. I went to one of the classes assigned to me on the first day and was really upset when it was WAY too easy and beneath my level.  Everyone else in the class seemed ludicrously dumb. I was worried I was going to be stuck in that class all semester, bored out of my skull, and I had no idea where the office was or how to change my schedule.  My brain seems to think I need to do more with my life.

How about one more bit of Sherlock silliness for anyone still with me?  Sherlock demonstrates how to dance the robot.  It made me giggle like a crazy person.

*In Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, daemons are external manifestations of a person's soul, taking the form of animals.
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (bored sherlock)
I've been doing too much mindless internet and too little in the way of productive activities lately.  However, I do have a few things to share with you, o flist.  Well, four things.  Well....four things and a manta ray.  Some of the things are vids, and some are my thoughts on various matters.

(1) Dance can express many things:  emotion, identity, sheer physical talent...and science.  Yes, science!  , Behold, the winner of chemistry category of the Dance Your PhD Competition, "selection of a DNA aptamer for homocysteine using SELEX."  Both the idea of the competition and this specific video are AWESOME.

video and other the things under cut to spare your flist )
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (death sandman)
Last night I discovered American Science & Surplus, which sells everything from laboratory beakers to brass sextants to military surplus "oxygen warning switches" to a package of 101 assorted springs.  There's not really anything there that I need, but there are zillions of things that appeal to the part of me that loves new laboratory gear, school supplies, and random weird stuff.  It's all so cheap, you find yourself thinking, "it only costs $3 for 20 five ml glass ampules!  I'm sure there's some use for them!" Plus, the descriptions are often quite entertaining (ex: Like a narcissistic fashion model, but much more useful. You get 10 feet of 3/8" wide, light-green hook-and-loop ribbon. Wouldn't our life be easier if we could say the word that rhymes with Welcro? Yes, it would.)   I'm putting together a steampunk outfit for DragonCon, and there's a bunch of stuff that looks like costume materials. 

I have a vid rec!  "You'll Be Bright" by [livejournal.com profile] diarmi is marvelous celebration of the female companions of New Who.  It's energetic and full of the wonder of exploration. Rose, Martha, Donna, and Amy all get plenty of love.  Here's the LJ entry for feedback or download, and here's the youtube version:

I think I'll finally finish off the blasted TV meme now.

Saddest character death. Cut for sadness. )

Urgh, that was depressing.  What we need now are some pictures of weird-looking animals.  There are plenty to be found on the Ugly Endangered Things blog, which highlights the plight and the coolness of endangered species that lack the charisma of giant pandas.  Some of the most recent entries are kind of stretching the definition of ugly, but the archives feature some real doozies, like the Ohio lamprey.
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (r.o.u.s. gwen/lancelot)
Behold,  snakes in the MRI machine.

I bloody love science.

Meanwhile, apparently the whales are tired of being the damsels in distress of the ocean, always in need of saving.  One decided to strike out against humans, starting with yacht owners.  We're going to need a bigger boat.  I bet whoever took that photo is SO PLEASED with her/himself.

Finally, this is slightly old news, but I want to be sure everybody heard about the crash of a car full of people dressed as zombies.  Now, the official story is pretty entertaining, but I have to say that this is the most obvious example of a government cover-up EVER.  Clearly the government is using the "zombie costumes" excuse to conceal the beginnings of an undead outbreak that let people who sustained fatal injuries walk away from the car crash.  Yeah, like we're going to fall for that!  Hopefully the zombies have been transported to a containment facility...but failure of containment is inevitable.  Prepare yourselves accordingly. 

Maybe we can convince the whales to go after the zombies.
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (toshiko b&w)
I bring you some interesting things from around the internet.

-News that sounds like the start of a movie:  Neuroscientist who studies the brains of psychopaths discovers that he has multiple murderers in his family tree.  He tests himself and finds that both his brain activity and some genes match traits of psychopaths.  In movies, this discovery would fairly quickly lead to a murder spree.  In real life, it led to an NPR article and some thankfulness for a happy childhood, which makes the nasty inherited traits much less likely to be expressed.

-Doctor Who Series 5 Can-Can.  This is a really fun, fast-paced video putting the entirety of Series 5 to the familiar can-can tune.  Why?  Why not!

It was made by [livejournal.com profile] elderberryink , and the LJ post where you can comment or find the downloadable version is here.

-The amount I relate to this blog post is scary and sad.

-This macro makes great use of photoshop to show the most popular hangout in the Whoniverse.(SPOILERS though The Big Bang)

-Science says to drink more coffee!   There is some evidence that it might lower the risk of Alzheimer's, though the jury is still out. 
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (martha fierce)
Time for a gloomy news roundup!  It's time for some crude talk about oil spills.

scary yet visually striking photo (no animals in distress) )

The estimate of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico is now up to 60,000 barrels a day.  That's 2,500,000 (2.5 million) gallons. Every. Single. Day.  For those of you who prefer metric units, that's about 9.5 million liters/day. Pretty devastating, right? 

In Nigeria there are around 11 million gallons of oil spilling a year (over 30,000/day), which is slightly more than spilled from the Exxon Valdez...and this has been going on for the past 50 years.  (Figures based on this NY Times article. This Guardian article describes the situation with even more frightening detail with slightly different figures. Since it's few weeks old the Guardian's Gulf estimates are out of date; enormous uncertainty surrounds the Nigerian estimates.) I'd known that Nigeria's oil drilling resulted in really nasty environmental impacts, but I hadn't realized it was quite this horrendous.  Of course, since all this is going on a long way from where Americans vacation or buy lots of seafood, very little is done in the way of environmental cleanup or compensation for those whose health and livelihoods are damaged.  On top of all that, armed conflict and governmental corruption gush up like crude around the Nigerian oil industry. 

Well, shit.  For anyone who's boycotting BP, you might consider that Shell is the biggest culprit in Nigeria.  ExxonMobil also does some nasty business there, not to mention being perhaps the worst of the bad lot in terms of fighting against climate change regulation.  Chevron is responsible for some horrendous oil pollution in the rainforest in Ecuador.  If boycotting BP makes you feel better, go for it, but don't be under any illusions that you're supporting a more ethical way of doing business unless you are buying less total gas.  Letting our money do the talking is a fine idea, but when it comes to purchasing gas and oil there is not really any company that will let those dollars say anything other than "screw you, Earth!" 

Speaking of angry messages, on Tuesday the ship that's collecting a portion of the Gulf spewage was struck by lightning.  Also, as you may have heard, a six-story "touchdown Jesus" statue in Ohio was also recently struck by lightning and burnt to the ground (one of many articles).  Meanwhile, the more bloodthirsty nerds can apparently buy a lightsaber replica with a real laser powerful enough to blind instantly or set skin on fire.  Ponder that the next time you go to a con.

So, all this is really bad, but it's not like the universe is coming to an end, right?  Think again:  actual space pictures show what appears to be The Crack in the universe!!!  In the name of crispy touchdown Jesus, we're gonna die! 

*deep breath*  In other news, kittens are adorable!  Really, ridiculously adorable!  Like this:

I have watched that video about ten times today and laughed every single time.

And now, time for today's installment of the 30 days of tv meme )
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (romana II)
I read a fascinating blog post by nightsky ([livejournal.com profile] ellipticcurve  on LJ) about the costuming trend for femme!Doctors and what it might mean.  I was a big fan of the femme!Doctor costumes I saw at the last few cons I went to, especially this latest Gallifrey, but couldn't really articulate why I loved them aside from the beauty of many of the costumes, the playfulness, and perhaps the chance for women to play the Doctor without having to disguise themselves as men.  Nightsky explores how the femme costumes play with concepts, looks at some history, and concludes with some great points about how femme costumes can be a way for women to assert our belonging in geekdom without sacrificing femininity to act like one of the boys.  Plus, there are nifty costume pictures!

Prior to me seeing this blog post but strangely related, my father and I got into a discussion of women we think would be good in the role of the Doctor.  After mentioning Emma Thompson, his initial top choice was Holly Hunter (with the point that if the Doctor was switching genders, a Georgia accent was not that big a stretch).  I really haven't seen Hunter in enough stuff to comment on that casting choice.  My list of fantasy casting for a female Doctor, without regard for the likelihood that said actresses would actually be willing to take the role, is as follows:

4. Kate Winslet:  Because she is just generally awesome and should be in everything.  She's got great presence and acting range. I bet she could do a great Oncoming Storm mode.

3.  Sigourney Weaver:  This is a bit off the wall, since she is (a) American, and (b) mostly known for blow-'em-up action movies, but I think it would actually be amazing. She can do the serious acting in addition to the blowing up of aliens.  Galaxy Quest shows that she can also do comedy.  Also, I think it would be great stereotype-busting to have the first female Doctor be tough as nails.  She's older than any of the previous actors were when they took the role (yes, even Hartnell), but she's fit and gorgeous for her age. (Realistically, I'd want a British actress as the Doctor, but I still kinda like this idea.)

2.  Catherine Tate:  This was a rumor prior to the casting of Matt Smith, though probably a rumor based utterly on fannish wishful thinking.  Sure, it would need some crazy sci-fi explanations for why the Doctor regenerated to look like Donna, but it would be brilliant enough to be worth it.   DoctorDonna FTW!   Raise your hand if you can come up with a reason why the Doctor could end up looking like Donna (or Donna could end up AS the Doctor) that makes as much sense as some of the stuff the show gives us.  I bet everyone has her/his hand up now.  Also, ginger!

And my number 1 choice for a woman Doctor is...

Helena Bonham Carter.  She has a wonderful, very Doctor-ish quirky energy.  She's hilarious but also capable of the serious acting when need be.  A little bit of madness is definitely an asset in the role.  She's old enough for gravitas but still gorgeous and charismatic.  Her idiosyncratic goth/bohemian style could translate into a really cool Doctor costume.  After hearing this list, my dad shifted Helena Bonham Carter to the top of his. 

What about you, flist?  What women would you cast as the Doctor? Assume no budget constraints.

Also on the subject of Teh Wimmins, flickr user caseface123 posted a neat photography project where she asked people of various ages and genders to make a sign about what feminism means to them and then shot their photographs with the signs.  Some are positive, some are negative, all are fascinating for what they say about people.  My favorite is below the cut:
photo under here )
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (princess bride dread pirate roberts)
A local movie theater does monthly showings of old favorite movies, and tonight was The Princess Bride.  I own that movie, but nevertheless I shelled out the money for the privilege of seeing it on a big screen with a bunch of other enthusiastic people.  There wasn't as much quoting along with lines as I might have expected (probably for the best), but there were big laughs all the time and also massive applause when Inigo finally finished off Count Rugen, the six-fingered man.  I adore that movie so much!  Westley's snark is a thing of beauty.

Meanwhile, on the subject of humor that has some relation to books, I recently learned of the blog Good Show Sir, which makes fun of really bad sf/fantasy book covers.  Some of the book covers are in hilariously poor taste, and the captions are often very funny (though occasionally poorly punctuated, alas). 

Also, while I suspect that almost everybody has seen it by now, if you haven't yet watched [livejournal.com profile] di_br's vid "Tenth Doctor:  the Musical," YOU MUST REMEDY THAT IMMEDIATELY.  It's embedded below for your convenience, or visit the vidder's LJ post here to comment in LJ or for download links.  It really does sum up Ten's era in a hilarious manner.

You're welcome.
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (ms hippie freak to you)
Politics ahead again.  If that's not your thing, feel free to depart. 

Most days, bears shit in the woods, Glenn Beck says horrible shit on TV, and it's all rather gross but not worth getting worked up about it.  It's going to happen whatever you do.  Today, though, [livejournal.com profile] orange_crushed  posted about a recent quote from Glenn Beck that is just too appalling to ignore.  According to Beck,  people should leave any churches that talk about social justice, because that's just code for Nazism and Communism.  Here's an article

Rather than trying to balance my urge to CURSE IN CAPSLOCK*  with the urge to write a long-winded post about how concern for social justice is integral to my faith, I will just direct you to people who say it better than I could given my current sleepy state:

[livejournal.com profile] orange_crushed 's clear, succinct, but forceful post on the subject

A Catholic priest points out the wrongheadedness of Beck's idea in an article entitled "Glenn Beck to Jesus:  Drop Dead"

Or how about this:  And the king will answer them, Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” –Matthew 25: 40. 

Social justice:  it's for long-haired Jews who hang out with prostitutes and tax collectors, talk about forgiving enemies (supporting the terrorists, clearly), and don't even own a car. 

tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (change is good)
I don't know what the folks at Huffington Post are on, but I suggest that they keep at it.  They posted an article on which US politicians ought to be cast as the Doctor.  If you're not going WTF?, you're not paying attention.  The article is moderately amusing for their explanations of why certain politicians are like the Doctor, though mostly I can't possibly conceive of these people in the role (even aside from the fact that they are American politicians).  Hillary Clinton might have regenerated her public persona, but, meaning no disrespect, none of those personas have been very Doctor-ish. 

However, the article did propose one Doctor and companion pairing that won the Internet forever:

Doctor:  Barack Obama
Companion:  Lady Gaga

WORLDS OF YES!  I WOULD PAY IN CASH AND POSSIBLY BODY PARTS TO SEE THIS.  Obama has Nine's ears, Ten's geekiness, and the general Doctorish commitment to hope and idealism with a steely underlayer.  A depressingly large number of Americans are already convinced that he wasn't born in the US anyway...why not Gallifrey? 

The true genius of this, though, is the companion casting.  Obama!Doctor's intellectual calm with side of dorkiness would be well (and hilariously) balanced out by Lady Gaga's total out-there in your face personality.  Anybody who goes out on stage wearing those insane heels she sometimes sports is brave enough to be a companion (though let's hope she takes it down to only two- or three-inch heels when she has to run).  If they wanted to have a companion who wasn't from 21st century earth, viewers could easily believe that she's from the future and/or alien.  (Heck, I like the idea of Michelle Obama as the relatable human companion and Lady Gaga as a second, alien companion, or possibly a personification of the TARDIS or something.)   Cosplayers would be overjoyed at her distinctive outfits.  Every episode could have a musical number. 

Heck, even without Barack Obama, I would be endlessly amused to have Lady Gaga on Doctor Who.  Kylie Minogue was a singer who appeared as a co-star, so there's precedent.  Amy Pond is already pioneering the territory of how to be a companion without trousers.  Lady Gaga could take over the Daleks so instead of shouting "Exterminate!  Exterminate!" they shouted "Puh-puh-puh-poker face!  Puh-puh poker face!"  Who's with me?
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (I can kill you with my brain)
My mother likes sending me links to silly things online.  Imagine my surprise when one day she sent me a link leading to An Archive of Our Own (AO3)!  Had she discovered my fanfiction habit?  Was she coming out of the closet about a fanfic habit of her own?  No on both counts, thank heavens.  The link was for Wait Wait Don't Eat Me, a fic about NPR's news quiz show, Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me*, reporting on the zombie apocalypse.  Let me say that again:  National Public Radio fanfic, with zombies.  It's utterly hilarious!  The voices for all of the hosts and panelists are exactly right, and I cracked up at the news about what various politicians and other famous people were doing in response to the zombie hordes.  A zombie calls in to be a listener contestant.  The consequences of giving too little on the pledge drive are revealed. 

Still curious about where on Earth my mother located this, I checked the Wait Wait website and found that they had linked to the fic on their twitter feed.  I know that my mother uses Twitter to follow some people (our phone conversations frequently include discussing the latest news from Neil Gaiman as if he were a family friend), so I am choosing to assume that she found the story through that tweet. 

God, I love the Internet!  (Other awesome and COMPLETELY unrelated internet stuff:  DW writer Paul Cornell's blog post the other day denouncing the perception encouraged by the media that to be Christian is to be homophobic.  Well said, Paul!  It bothers me that the most hateful strand of the Christian faith is so often the loudest, and it bothers me that the media discourse just amplifies these strident voices who do NOT speak for the Jesus I see in the Bible, nor do they speak for me.  Like Paul, I'm a person of faith, and I am in favor of GLBT rights.  Passionately so.  I know many other Christians of various sorts who feel the same.  As a more or less Quaker person, I might worship quietly, but I refuse to be silent in standing up for the rights of others.  I don't feel the need to talk about my faith a whole lot in the secular world, but I do get tired of hearing atheists and agnostics who are allies on the political and social issues I care about assuming that intelligence, logic, compassion, open-mindedness, and progressivism are antithetical to belief in a higher power.  Stop with the pigeonholing, people.)

*For those of you who aren't in the US or aren't public radio listeners, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me is a weekly news quiz comedy show with a combination of listeners phoning in, regular panelists, and celebrity guests.  It's well worth checking out the podcast if you aren't in an area where you can hear it broadcast.  Even without zombie apocalpyse, it makes me laugh out loud every week.  It helps that Peter Sagal, the host, is apparently a huge geek.
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (reading the paper Nine)
Linkspam time!

Some utterly brilliant person has created End of Time-spoilery Facebook pages for the Doctor and the Master.  I LOLed for about ten minutes solid.

Io9 ponders how various sci-fi heroes would fare in other franchises. The description of what Captain Kirk would be like in Dollhouse is hilarious, including bits like, "Captain Kirk is more than qualified to be Doll. For crying out loud, the man has already spent most of his adult life wearing pajamas!"

The NY Times put out an interesting web map of Netflix rental patterns for various popular movies in several major American cities broken down by neighborhood. Cool ways of displaying data make me happy.
tardis_stowaway: (buffy with stake)
Best use of video editing software ever: Buffy reacts appropriately to Edward Cullen's clumsy, stalkerish attempts to pick her up.  This clip is really well put together to tell a story that made me laugh and cheer.
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (reading outside)
-I found a cool discussion thread over at Feministe for recommendations of feminist sf/fantasy/speculative fiction books. There are a lot of authors and stories I love recced over there, and a bunch more I now want to check out. This is going in my bookmarks!

-We actually had frost last night! On the central California coast!

-Go away, sore throat. :(
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (christmas TARDIS)
According to the BBC, the adorably named English town of Westbury-sub-Mendip has turned a disused phone booth into an honor-system library. It's a lovely idea, provided you have the sort of community that will take good care of it. However, it would be SO much more awesome if the box in question was actually a TARDIS. A TARDIS-lookalike police call box would be cool enough, and a real TARDIS would be far better. You know you want a library that's bigger on the inside!

Assuming, of course, that the enormous TARDIS-sized library could be prevented from infestations of pests like the Vashta Nerada. (One could also add River Song to the list of library infestations to be avoided, though opinions differ on this matter.)


Nov. 12th, 2009 12:17 am
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (big ears)
I went to see Amelia despite some mediocre reviews.  After all, it features:  (1) Amelia Earhart, a fascinating and courageous woman who I admire; (2) the seriously attractive Ewan McGregor; and (3) Christopher Eccleston. You all know how I feel about him.  ;)  It was an enjoyable enough way to spend some time in a movie theater, and it did deliver the three things I went to see.  Still, I wish it had been a little better.  The review that follows isn't especially spoilery (it's a history; we know how it ends), but the extremely spoiler-phobic might want to turn away now.

The film put a lot of emphasis on the relationship between Earhart and her husband/publicist, played by Richard Gere, but it never really convinced me to root for their relationship.  Part of it was that I'm not a huge fan of Richard Gere (nothing against him, I just don't find him at all attractive and his acting isn't extraordinary enough to make me care about him anyway).  Part of it was that his character was occasionally a bit sleazy.  I'd have preferred to see less of that relationship, with more focus on Amelia's early life, her relationship with Ewan McGregor's character, and a bit of background for Christopher Eccleston's character that would let us know why he decided to go along on the extremely dangerous round the world flying attempt.  More Eccleston is always good, despite the fact that he was freaking me out by doing an American accent.  (Also, the film totally wasted an opportunity to have Eccleston make out with Hillary Swank, which would have been hot.  Hell, if I'd been writing it I'd have found some excuse to get Chris and Ewan kissing.  I blame the internet for the corruption of my brain.)   Also, I just wish the film had been a little braver, speculating  a little more, especially in giving us some additional window into what Earhart and Eccleston were feeling in the final moments. 

After that complaining, here's some additional things I liked about it:  lots of lovely shots of vintage planes over beautiful landscapes.  Ewan MacGregor looking very debonair.  Hillary Swank's performance.  The young son of Ewan McGregor's character telling Amelia that he wished she could be married to [Richard Gere's character] and his dad.  Aww, the poor kid would fit right in on the internet.  Learning a little bit more about Amelia Earhart, a woman ahead of her time in more than just her daring flights.  I would recommend that others see this movie, but wait for when when it's released on DVD rather than spending money for the theater.

Meanwhile, I was amused by this Onion article about an alternate universe's Sci-Fi channel show asking what would have happened if Germany lost WWII

tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (I can kill you with my brain)
-A federal judge found that a hospital was within its rights to allow a woman to die without her family at her side because the family in question was the woman's female partner and their adopted children.   The surviving woman wasn't even kept properly updated on her partner's condition.  How do people working at a hospital have so little sense of compassion?  This is why marriage equality matters; legal documents like power of attorney lack the simplicity and force of a marriage license. 

-Thirty senators apparently don't give a damn about rape victims.  They voted against a bill to prohibit the Pentagon from doing business with contractors that forbid their employees to sue over cases of rape.  This new law was aimed at Halliburton and its subsidiaries, and it was necessitated by numerous serious complaints.   The bill passed, thank goodness, but it utterly appalls me that nearly a third of the Senate, including John McCain apparently feel that gang rape (and suppression of the evidence thereof) is just a minor problem that can be solved in arbitration without any possible recourse to courts.  In this Guardian article about the bill, it says that reasons from the senators who voted against the bill include "claims that the government had no business interfering in a private contract between a company and its workers." NO.  These are government contractors; the government has every right to say that they won't do business with these companies if they don't keep to appropriate ethical standards, such as doing everything possible to prevent rape, prosecuting rapists, and not boiling kittens alive.  The government would certainly care if they were doing something like employing undocumented immigrants.

EPIC  FAIL, America.  


tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (Default)

July 2013

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