Friday, June 20, 2008

The Zen of Doctor Who

"Are you --? Don't tell me you're archaeologists!"

"And what if we are?"

"I'm a time traveler. I point and laugh at archaeologists!"

Today's episode is Silence in the Library, by Steven Moffat. I understand that his episodes tend to be the highlight of any season.

Any more would be spoilers :)

Oh, Boy

That's the lineup for the last three episodes of this season of Doctor Who. Left to Right, that's Sarah Jane Smith (whee!!), Mickey, Rose's Mum, Rose, Doctor #10, Martha Jones, Captain Jack Sparrow Harkness, and a very grafted-in Donna Noble*.

They've all got stuff to bring to the table. Sarah Jane still has K-9 kicking around, although he didn't appear to my knowledge in the Sara Jane Chronicles, Mickey, Rose's Mum, and Rose can cross dimensions, the Doctor, of course, has a magic wand that makes Harry Potter look like a piker, Martha Jones seems to have UNIT at her beck and call, Jack Harkness is in charge of the spinoff Torchwood, and Donna Noble is the viewpoint character.

They're all going to be involved in this season's three-part finale, which is going to be made of one of two things: 1) win; or 2) fail. I can hardly wait.

Via Shakesville (again).

*Seriously. Donna's taller than that, there's an obvious value dissonance in her darks and the darks of the background, and she's just standing there while everyone else seems like they're trying to sit in each other's laps. Total Photoshop job.

A Cape

Your results:
You are Superman

Green Lantern
Wonder Woman
The Flash
Iron Man
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

This personality test certainly doesn't know me very well. If I get a tie between Supes and Spidey, I'm sorry, it's got to be ol' webhead, and not the Intergalactic Boy Scout.

Some questions on the quiz didn't apply to me -- "Do you ever wear a push-up bra?" among the foremost -- and you have to watch out for social appearance pressure -- "Have you ever stolen anything?" is, I'm sure, one of the most-fibbed questions on there -- but overall, not a bad little time waster.

Via Shakesville.

Strangest Places.

Paul Krugman knows Who.

There follows a discussion in the comments about whether the TARDIS is a phone booth or a police call box. One person claims it was a phone booth in the Classic series (1963-1989) and is now a police call box (2005-present).

Needless to say, this sort of thing needs discouragement. I've already taken care of it, so no need to bother.

Bush the Tyrant

George W. Bush has arrogated to himself the power to violate the Constitution. Among other things, like suspending due process and free speech, he has claimed the ability to open and read your physical mail, and to intercept and read your e-mail. In short, he is violating the Fourth Amendment, which has been in effect since 1791.

And our Glorious Representatives in Congress, led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, are going to let him get away with it, and soon, because they're recessing after the 4th of July.

It seems that making Congress show up to work 5 days a week instead of 3 is the extent of the Democrats' reforms after their election in 2006. There is no political price to pay for standing up for the Constitution, but somehow the Democrats in Congress have become afraid of actually getting dirty. The Republicans might call them liberals! Soft on terror! Traitors! That's bad for our image!

Well, Nan, Hal, it's bad for your image to rush through President Bush's wish list because you want your fucking vacation. You are enabling the biggest tyrant in American history since we threw off the yoke of George III. This domestic spying program is illegal and unnecessary, and the only reason Bush (or someone pulling his strings) is pushing for it is because he cannot bear the idea of fettered power. That's right. He doesn't like the program that's already in place to allow him to spy on you, because that makes him get a warrant after the fact. He doesn't want that much hassle, man, writing a letter to a court that'll rubberstamp it and have it back on his desk within 24 hours. Don't you know he's got three rounds of golf to abstain from in support of the troops?

President Bush wants to know what you're saying in that Christmas card to dear old Aunt Letitia. He wants to know what you're saying in that email to your brother about your weekend at that couples resort in Jamaica. Does he deserve to know those things? Can any third party ever deserve to know these things without probable cause?


That's why Lambert at Corrente has declared today National Fourth Amendment Defense Day.

Maybe we can't change Nan's mind, or Hal's, because that vacay is just so fucking important to them, and Bush won't let them go to Florida until they cave in, but we can perhaps influence our freshman senator from Illinois. He has recently said that the War on Terror will be his number-one concern in office. Perhaps we can wake him up to the fact that losing our liberty in defense of our liberty is defeating the purpose.

Obama's voicemail: (202) 224-2854
Obama's fax: (202) 228-4260

Thursday, June 19, 2008

We Get Mail

Today, we got a big old package in the mail. I'm talking 9 by 12 bubble-wrap-interior white envelope, gotta weigh a good fraction of a pound. So I'm thinking this thing is important to one of our cases, I just can't think which one. The return address lists no recipient, just a street address in Sevierville, Tennessee.

Maybe it's a surprise mailing from Cormack McCarthy, an advance copy of his latest book, Look Ma! I Wrote A Blood-Drenched Thriller About the Unbearable Burden of Being a Manly Man! But why would he send one to me? And surely that would weigh as much as any of the guns the anti-heroes inside it use!

So, full of curiosity enough to kill all three cats I'm supposed to be feeding this evening, assuming they bother to show up, I get my trusty letter razor out and open this sucker.

A packet of M&Ms falls out. Plain. Or rather, "Milk Chocolate," because "Plain" tested poorly. There's at least two dozen pages inside, some of them legal-sized. Turns out to be a come-on letter from a real estate business in Sevierville. I bet they sent something to David because one of our clients deeded him some property in Sevier County in lieu of that other thing. They included the M&Ms in the package because they thought we'd just throw it away if they didn't have something that would capture our attention.

Like some people head up their blog posts with SEX!! just to grab your attention, I guess they wanted to do the next best thing, and seeing as it is a truth universally acknowledged that people will misconstrue the content of your letter if your cover sheet prominently features A Certain Word, they went with another bribe: Chocolate, as is also universally acknowledged, is supposed to stimulate the same parts of your brain as any orgasm will tickle. The writers of the letter hope thereby to entice us to read what they have to say, rather than consigning it to the trash bin of history with an apathetic shrug.

It is very easy, in this day and age, to just trash something with little more than a cursory glance. Take, for instance, a letter we got yesterday. The envelope was not so ostentatious, in fact it was rather unassuming, but it concealed contents sure to start any conversation. Thomson West, which is a legal publisher, was pushing its latest publication, Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges, by Antonin Scalia and Bryan A. Garner. The only thing that forestalled its appointment with the circular file was my anticipation of David's reaction when I told him Thomson West wanted him to supplement Tony Scalia's income. I had to wait until the next time I called him, which wasn't long. David chuckled and questioned Thomson West's collective sanity. So, that little interaction complete, the stay on the letter's fate was lifted, and into the pit it went. Perhaps I should have staged it better, with a dramatic one-liner as I held it over the bin and let go, but all I could manage was a rather flat "meh."

What was that? What did the other letter say? The one from the realtor? I don't know, I don't like plain M&Ms.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cats Cats Cats

more cat pictures

more cat pictures

Because lately I'm not saying much of anything important. For your amusement, here's some cats! Yay filler!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I Think We Should Take a W-A-L-K

Watch at YouTube.

Ah, but can it play chess?

My favorite part of the video is near the end, when it leaps over a marked panel. That means it has eyes.

Via Reclusive Leftist.

Monday, June 16, 2008

To Make A Better Movie

The Incredible Hulk was okay, it was a fun couple of hours.

But it would have been better if it had had a scene like this:

Via The Invincible Super-Blog.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day Movies

The History Channel just got done showing Tombstone, with Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Michael Biehne, and Billy Bob Thornton.

Now it's showing The Outlaw Josey Wales, a Clint Eastwood picture with Clint and John "Whoop-de-god-damn-de-doo" Vernon.

While Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday are after vengeance and call it keeping the peace, Josey Wales is after vengeance on the Kansas Irregulars who slaughtered his wife and child and burned his home down.

Wikipedia says that Josey Wales was a revisionist western, in that the hero is a Confederate veteran, now on the run, and the villains are the Kansas "Redlegs" who first burnt his homestead and then joined the Union and shot Josey's companions after they surrendered.

The conflict in Tombstone builds for a while, before an accidental spark sets it off: One of the Clanton gang gets high on opium and shoots the local marshal while handing over his guns. Wyatt and Doc and the other heroes get pressured into taking down the gang, and it turns personal when the Clantons shoot Morgan Earp.

For Josey Wales, it's personal from the beginning. Both movies are of the Reluctant Badass genre, in which the heroes are simple, peaceful folk until Someone Touches Their Stuff. Then the kid gloves go off.

I don't think the History Channel was thinking much about the implications of these two movies, especially set back to back. I think they just thought, "Wow, it's Father's Day, let's fill up our schedule with westerns!" But they ended up with two movies whose protagonists are basically the same people, just on different sides of "the law," which in both cases is merely an excuse for a lot of gunplay.

There's one other parallel between the two movies: The antagonists wear red in both films. The Clanton gang wears red around their waists, and the Redlegs sport the infamous leggings. A lot of red blood gets spilled. It's pretty dull in Josey Wales, which seemed to have been filmed under an overcast autumn sky, while in Tombstone it's nice and bright, just like the rest of the film, which is nominally set in Arizona.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The TV Always Lies

Over at Slacktivist, they're having a discussion about advertising, specifically how the USA network made In Plain Sight look less like a police show and more like Touched By An Angel.

I suggest you go read the post, if not the comments also. For my own contribution, I had noticed that no one got to this before I did:

Stop me if you've seen this one. Brrrr.

Y'Know, I'll Soon Be 29 and 1/3rd...

Hoo boy.

Mighty Muggs has a new Indiana Jones toy line out. They also have Star Wars toys, too.

I can't decide between the toy Mula Rahm (above) or the Indiana Jones. I think they got Harrison Ford's little smile down well, except it doesn't have any teeth in it, but Mula Rahm comes with a heart fresh plucked!

**Eeurgh. I just did a Google Image search for "indiana jones close up," hoping to find a picture of Harrison's grin for comparison, and one of the images on the second page was from Jonestown. Watch your search terms, peeps!**

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Happy Caturday!!

so be it  JEDI
see more crazy cat pics

Feel the love! Lovey lovey lovely love! And puppies!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008