July 31, 2007

'Masters of Science Fiction'


The creators of anthology series "Masters of Science Fiction" revealed the program was always meant to be a gamble of sorts, which they and ABC will soon see will either pay off or go bust when it premieres Aug. 4.

The hour-long show, narrated by famous Cambridge University physicist Dr. Stephen Hawking, tells classic sci-fi tales by famed writers such as Robert Heinlein and Harlan Ellison, and features notable actors such as Anne Heche, Malcolm McDowell ("Star Trek: Generations"), John Hurt, Brian Dennehy ("Cocoon"), Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings trilogy), Terry O'Quinn ("Lost") and Sam Waterston. Directors include two Academy Award nominees, Mark Rydell and Michael Petroni, as well as Jonathan Frakes, best known to genre audiences as Cmdr. William T. Riker in "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

The entire article here.

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Then you may find answers here. Transcript of a webchat with J.K. Rowling

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July 30, 2007


I was tidying the kitchen and decided to eat some more of the awesome roasted tomatillio salsa I made this weekend. Then I drank some of the pinot noir I had by the computer, and the salsa made it taste like cinnamon! Funky!

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July 27, 2007

Bit of Fry & Laurie

Good news! A Bit of Fry & Laurie is now out on DVD!

A Bit of Fry & Laurie: The Complete Collection ... Every Bit, a four-disc set with all four seasons of the dry British comedy-sketch show with Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, tacks on a welcome bonus: The Cambridge University Footlights Revue. This is the hour-long 1982 BBC film of The Cellar Tapes, the 1980-81 show created when Laurie was president and Emma Thompson vice-president of the university's Footlights troupe. (Other alumni: John Cleese, Eric Idle.) The show was the hit of the 1981 Edinburgh Festival and launched the careers of Laurie, Fry and Thompson, who in one skit sends up the period dramas for which she would later win acclaim.

Oh yes, this is so going on my Wish List! I've never seen all of the episodes, just scattered smatterings that I've caught on PBS. But what I have seen, I've loved. Hey, it's Hugh and Stephen -- what's not to love? [g]

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July 26, 2007

Allen Confirmed In Indy 4

Steven Spielberg, who is directing the upcoming fourth Indiana Jones movie, revealed that Karen Allen will reprise the role of Marion Ravenwood in the movie via a live video remote appearance at Comic-Con International in San Diego on July 26.

"It's great to be on the set of this next Indiana Jones," a beaming Allen said via video conference from Hawaii, where the movie is shooting. "Comic-Con is getting the first peek at us all together as a ... family."

Joining Spielberg and Allen were Harrison Ford in costume as Indy, Shia LaBeouf as Indy's sidekick and co-star Ray Winstone.

Spielberg said that the film has already completed 25 days of shooting. "This picture, I promise I'm making for you guys and girls," Spielberg said.

Ford added: "It's a great pleasure to be back with Steven in ... the sweaty, dirty clothes that Indy always wears ... and to be making a dynamite movie."

Ravenwood's character was first introduced in the original Indy film Raiders of the Lost Ark. The fourth Indiana Jones movie opens Memorial Day 2008.

Via SciFi Wire

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Revisiting Harry Potter

But don't read this till you've read the book! (unless you like being spoiled)

Author gives details on events after the book's final epilogue

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July 25, 2007


In totally other non news, I can't figure out why I'm watching Jericho. It's my big fear. Since I was six, I've been certain that a post nuclear future was what awaited, and reading 'Alas, Babylon' in seventh grade just helped reinforce that. It was the reason I didn't watch it when it started in the Fall. But here I am, watching the repeats, freaking myself out [sigh] I'm nuts!

(a good friend loves the show, and when the fan campaign saved it from cancellation, she convinced me to give it a try)

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July 23, 2007

Food Bits

Last night, I made an awesome dinner, if I do say so myself: pasta done in nothing but olive oil, garlic, a few herbs, and goat cheese. It's something Nin's been wanting, so I gave it a whirl.

Why had no one ever told me about a Hot Brown?!?!?! Gads, I'm now consumed with the desire to make one! I was catching up on the DVR, and watching a Bobby Flay Throwdown, and the contest was a Kentucky Hot Brown. I can not wait to try my hand at making one!

And on also on the DVR, The F Word. I do love this show. I always feel inspired after watching. And Gordon has the most adorable children!

And this cheese? I think I've died and gone to heaven. It was worth ever single penny. I'm slowly finishing off the edges and leftover bits and savouring ever last bite.

I really need a bigger kitchen.

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July 22, 2007

'Look Who's Holding Hostages Again'

Mark Steyn on the current crop of U.S. hostages in Iran:

How do you feel about the American hostages in Iran?

No, not the guys back in the Seventies, the ones being held right now.

What? You haven't heard about them?

Read the rest here.

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The Deathly Hallows

I hadn't planed on reading Harry Potter this weekend, but I suspected Nin would really want me to, since she finished it Sat. morning. And I was right, she really, really wanted me to read so she could talk about it, so I read a bit, did chores, read some more, made dinner, read some more, did laundry. You get the idea [g]

So what did I think? See the extended entry...

What I really wanted out of this book, I got. Snape was vindicated. Fewer people died than I thought were going to, though I always said one of the twins was going to be killed before the end, and I was right [sniff] Overall, I thought it was a good ending, and I'm very glad she did an epilogue -- Albus Severus! [another sniff]

And that about covers it. I'll leave the blow by blow reaction posts to other people!

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July 21, 2007

The Genocide Generals

A stark reminder from the past, especially meaningful these days, when the term 'Nazi' is tossed around frequently by the left.

The Genocide Generals: secret recordings explode the myth they knew nothing about the Holocaust

During the latter half of World War II, the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) undertook a massive clandestine operation of which the full, extraordinary details are only now coming to light.

Between 1942 and 1945, a section of SIS - known as MI19 - secretly recorded no fewer than 64,427 conversations between captured German generals and other senior officers, all without their knowledge or even suspicion. The 167 most significant of these are about to be published for the first time.

Together, they provide us with a goldmine of information about what the German High Command privately thought of the war, Adolf Hitler, the Nazis and each other.

Do go read the entire article. There's also a rare colour photo of Hitler with his generals, which is very odd because I've only ever seen B&W before.

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July 20, 2007

Uncle Sam Needs You... To Keep Your Mouth Shut

Awesome idea here. The DNC "Kill the John Doe Bill" Poster Campaign.

I don't have a poster though, just the slogan. Maybe when I get home tonight!

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Have most of you already decided who you are supporting in the primaries? I'm wondering just how out of step I am in that I haven't yet. For me, it's too early to tell, though I have leanings.

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July 19, 2007

Viking Voyage

This is so cool!

Follow the reconstructed Viking ship, 'Sea Stallion', on one of the most perilous archaeology experiments ever attempted.

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Own the Stone

This will be of interest to me fellow Tartan Roll bloggers.

As a restoration fundraiser, you can buy a walkway stone at Culloden Battlefield. They're also accepting donations for those of us that can't afford a stone.

I've been to Culloden twice, and it's one of the saddest places I've ever visited. I would love to be able to afford to get a stone for my family. If my Uncle Herb actually owned a computer, I'd pass this on to him.

About Culloden

Iconic … evocative … historic. These words only hint at the profound significance that the Battle of Culloden holds for Scots and their descendants. Many Scots-Americans and Scots-Canadians trace their ancestry to the battle’s aftermath. In a brief, but fateful hour-long clash on April 16, 1746, Bonnie Prince Charlie’s exhausted cadre of 5,000 Jacobite partisans was defeated by a Hanoverian governmental force numbering 9,000. This catastrophic rout shattered any prospect of restoring the exiled Stuart dynasty to the British throne. It altered forever the lives of Scottish Highlanders: their traditional way of life was destroyed. Highland villages were laid waste, livestock was confiscated and sold. Bagpipes were designated ‘weapons’ and along with all other arms had to be surrendered. The wearing of tartans or kilts and the speaking of Gaelic was forbidden. These appalling measures resulted in a major migration of Highlanders across the Atlantic in order to find new lives free of oppression.

Today, the bleak Drumossie Moor on which the battle was fought evokes a visceral response from its 250,000 annual visitors. It is a place of somber reflection. A war grave for over 1,000 fallen warriors. The NTS is a thoughtful conservator: They recognize that in order to preserve this hallowed ground for future generations and guarantee that The Battle of Culloden will never be forgotten; that its meaning is never trivialized, immediate action is necessary.

"Cuimhnich air na daoine on tàinig thu."
* Gaelic for "Remember those from whom you are descended."

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July 18, 2007

Who Is Snape?

Excellent essay by Orson Scott Card.

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July 17, 2007


The G-File is back!!

And there was much rejoicing!

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Only In Santa Cruz

Job seekers, here is your opportunity.

The City of Santa Cruz (the southernmost point of the Bermuda Triangle for Common Sense, as former local radio host DAG used to call it) is hiring a global warming czar.

The gig will pay $80,000 a year.

That does it. I am in the wrong business.

Recruitment for the position will begin in the next two weeks. The article does not say where to show up to apply, but I suspect City Hall would be a good place to start.

Cross-posted at Cranky's place

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July 13, 2007

A Question, Let Me Ask You It

So let me ask my question of the day: am I the only American who doesn't give a toss about David Beckham and his wife? Because judging by the news coverage they're getting on their arrival here, I feel like I must be.

I have an awareness of who they are, but geez! I can't understand why I need to see them plastered all over my TV. Not to mention the idea that somehow this guy is going to singlehandedly create hordes of American soccer fans just seems very far fetched. I certainly have no sudden burst of desire to suddenly start watching soccer games. But again, maybe it's just me. It very frequently is [g]

(bet you never thought you'd ever read a post about soccer on my blog!) (chalk it up to Friday the 13th)

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July 12, 2007

Can I Just Say...

Barbara Boxer is a freaking moron? I'm thinking worse words in my head.

And I say this as a constituent. As embarrassing as that is.

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If you aren't watching 'Burn Notice' on USA, you should be!

That is all.

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Tea 'healthier' drink than water

I've always gotten grief from people bugging me to drink more water, despite the fact tea is water -- just with flavouring. I don't use sugar, and I drink about six cups a day. So now I have my very own study [g]

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July 11, 2007

Fic: 'Amongst the Stars'

Keeping good on my threat to post some of my fic here!

Rated PG, Highlander, Gen, 400 words, Methos, Duncan, and a bottle of whisky.

Amongst the Stars

Okay, I give up. Will give you a link instead. Can't get rid of the “There’s crud! Even tried saving it as plain text first too.

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They Needed A Study To Figure This Out?

Study: Women Are in Charge at Home.

Speaking as a woman who works with a half dozen married men... Duh!!

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July 9, 2007

What Passes For a Weekend

We went to see Transformers yesterday, though I only went because Nin really wanted to go. I think I ended up liking it more than she did! [g] It was a good, mindless, chock full of special effects sorta summer movie.

After the movie, we went to Whole Paycheck Foods and got some wonderful, delightful, and pleasure inducing cheeses, along with some La Brea baguettes, and had that for dinner. I stuffed myself!

Tried to catch up with 4400, and watched Army Wives. Then Nin went to play her video game, and then I watched Enterprise episodes and websurfed.

I need to remember I shouldn't post fic on weekends. No one sees it. But when I get something finished, I just want to get it posted! And before I forget, I should set up this week's S4 Highlander discussion post.

Very odd now I realize the Andorian Shran is Kevin on 4400! I kept thinking, I've seen this guy recently! Then realized it was Shran!

Also made enfrijolada sauce tonight's dinner. Nin just needs to op it all in the oven.

So quickly the weekend is over [sigh]

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July 7, 2007

You're Kidding!

Canadian Climatologist Says Sun Causing Global Warming

Well colour me surprised! /sarcasm

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July 6, 2007

What Passes For Women's Rights in Iran

Iranian woman to get lashes and prison

An Iranian court has sentenced a women's rights activist to almost three years in prison and 10 lashes for attending a banned rally, her lawyer said Tuesday.

Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh said Delaram Ali, 24, was her fourth client to be convicted over the protest in favor of rights for women in the conservative Islamic state. Scores of people were detained at the June 2006 demonstration.

"The women's movement is expanding and it worries the government," Sotoudeh said.

She said that the sentence handed down Monday by a court in the capital would be appealed, and that Ali was free on bail of about $21,000.

Ali was given 34 months on charges of participating in an illegal gathering, propaganda activities against the system, and disruption of public order and peace.

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July 5, 2007

Inner Woman

This from Michael Ledeen on the penchant for terrorists to dress like women to escape.

You may have noticed that some of the hardliners in Iran are demanding death for former president Khatami, because he shook hands with a woman-not-his-wife. But I rather wonder if these same tough guys will wrap themselves in burqas and chadors when their moment comes. It's a delicious practice, isn't it? These vile misanthropes who delight in having women stoned or hanged or flogged, sneaking around in drag rather than facing their Maker. Or the Marines, for that matter, who are firmly committed to arranging the meeting.
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July 4, 2007

Happy Independence Day!

This is one of my favourite holidays, and this year is no different. In fact, the older I get, the more I appreciate the meaning of this day. One of the reasons I'm really looking forward to the trip to Philly is to see the sights of American history I've never seen. It will be wonderful!

Stay safe, watch out for stray fireworks, and don't eat too much! I'm staying home, but I'll watch the Fourth of July concert on PBS and pretend I'm there. and I guarantee I'll cry more than once. And I'll probably sing 'Proud To Be an American' at least once out loud before the day ends, though probably after Nin's gone to work so my singing will only scare the cat! (We were testing sound equipment for the parade today at work yesterday, and I was humming the National Anthem till I fell asleep last night!) And maybe I'll walk over to the street and see if I can see the fireworks above the dunes tonight.

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July 3, 2007

The Targets Were Women

Don't Mince Words: The London car-bomb plot was designed to kill women. By Christopher Hitchens

A few excerpts:

.... Only at the tail end of the coverage was it admitted that a car bomb might have been parked outside a club in Piccadilly because it was "ladies night" and that this explosion might have been designed to lure people into to the street, the better to be burned and shredded by the succeeding explosion from the second car-borne cargo of gasoline and nails. Since we have known since 2004 that a near-identical attack on a club called the Ministry of Sound was proposed in just these terms, on the grounds that dead "slags" or "sluts" would be regretted by nobody, a certain amount of trouble might have been saved by assuming the obvious. The murderers did not just want body parts in general but female body parts in particular.


.... The most noticeable thing about all theocracies is their sexual repression and their directly related determination to exert absolute control over women. In Britain, in the 21st century, there are now honor killings, forced marriages, clerically mandated wife-beatings, incest in all but name, and the adoption of apparel for females that one cannot be sure is chosen by them but which is claimed as an issue of (of all things) free expression. This would be bad enough on its own and if it were confined to the Muslim "community" alone. But, of course, such a toxin cannot be confined, and the votaries of theocracy now claim the God-given right to slaughter females at random for nothing more than their perceived immodesty. The least we can do, confronted by such radical evil, is to look it in the eye (something it strives to avoid) and call it by its right name. For a start, it is the female victims of this tyranny who are "disenfranchised," while something rather worse than "disenfranchisement" awaits those who dare to disagree.
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July 2, 2007

'I Was a Fanatic'

I was a fanatic...I know their thinking, says former radical Islamist

An excerpt:

When I was still a member of what is probably best termed the British Jihadi Network - a series of British Muslim terrorist groups linked by a single ideology - I remember how we used to laugh in celebration whenever people on TV proclaimed that the sole cause for Islamic acts of terror like 9/11, the Madrid bombings and 7/7 was Western foreign policy.

By blaming the Government for our actions, those who pushed this "Blair's bombs" line did our propaganda work for us.

More important, they also helped to draw away any critical examination from the real engine of our violence: Islamic theology.

The attempts to cause mass destruction in London and Glasgow are so reminiscent of other recent British Islamic extremist plots that they are likely to have been carried out by my former peers.

And as with previous terror attacks, people are again saying that violence carried out by Muslims is all to do with foreign policy.

For example, on Saturday on Radio 4's Today programme, the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said: "What all our intelligence shows about the opinions of disaffected young Muslims is the main driving force is not Afghanistan, it is mainly Iraq."

I left the British Jihadi Network in February 2006 because I realised that its members had simply become mindless killers. But if I were still fighting for their cause, I'd be laughing once again.

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This was part of a longer piece by Jim Geraghty on McCain's campaign:

Also note that the Brits seem to be arresting one suspect an hour in this car bombing plot, and this cell sounds like the jihadist equivalent of Grey's Anatomy.
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