Monthly Archives: October 2009

American Release for Dr. Who

They just keep releasing news in little snippets!

BBC America will be airing “The Waters of Mars” on Saturday, December 19th.

 

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Release Date for New Doctor Who

November 15th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Of course, that’s in the UK; the Americans will have to wait until “around Christmas” for the episode to air on BBC America.  Some Americans, that is: I will of course be watching it online on the 15th.  And again around Christmas, and again when it’s released on DVD.  Because I’m just obsessed that way!  🙂

Here’s a link to a fab little interview and video with David Tennant on those last few episodes….

 

Halloween

Happy Halloween!

This is seriously one of my favorite holidays.  I love the candy, the spooky elegance of skulls, jack o’ lanterns, and cobwebby mansions.  And, of course, I adore any chance to wear a costume, especially at places that don’t usually allow them, like work.

witch

I wish I knew who the artist of the above fairie witch is, but aren’t her boots just fabulous?  And her hat!  She’s vaguely steampunk, I think.

Dr Who

Still no word on when the actual air date of the new Dr. Who special “The Waters of Mars” is, but there is an excellent (and crazy-spooky) new trailer. Go watch it here.  The last few seconds gave me chills….

s0_07

And in annoying movie news, the release date for Sherlock Holmes has been pushed back until Christmas Day.  Why do they always have to tamper with the release dates?

I Don’t Know How This Escaped Me…

….but Robin Hobb is releasing a new book on Jan 26th – two days after my birthday! (How’s that for a birthday gift?)  She’s one of the foremost writers of fantasy, and after I read her Liveship trilogy, I’ve been desperate for more about the Rain Wild.  My wishes are granted, because this new book is ALL ABOUT the Rain Wild.  It’s called Dragon Keeper.  Here’s a youtube video with Robin Hobb talking about the new book and writing in general:

Also truly exciting in book news is the just-barely-released copy of The Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson.  I’d be even MORE excited by this, except that by now I feel Brandon Sanderson is wasting his talents on The Wheel of Time.  He’s so much better than Robert Jordan ever was.  Still, I’m grateful for an ending in sight (finally!) to The Wheel of Time saga, and whatever Brandon Sanderson says in the prologue, the story will be better with the reins in his hands.  I’m only a few chapters in, and already I can tell.

And in more personal writing news, I entered a short story in the big Writer’s Digest writing contest, and out of nearly twenty thousand entries, I won an honorable mention.  And not even at the bottom of the honorable mentions; out of 100 winners,  I came in at number 49.  That’s not too bad.  Okay, okay, that last was a failed attempt to be humble.  I suppose you can tell I’m pretty thrilled???  🙂

Totally confirming what I already knew…

I adore reading non-fiction about how the brain works, and a couple of days ago I was browsing through a hugely oversized book called “The Human Brain” by Rita Carver.  The pictures were pretty to look at, but I wasn’t truly interested by the book until I came to page 168: “Creativity and Madness”.  Here’s a quote:

Creativity and certain types of insanity share certain features, such as intense imagination, a tendency to link things that may seem unconnected to others, and openess to ideas that others may swiftly discount.  The difference between highly creative people and those who tip into madness is that creative people maintain insight.  They recognize that their imaginings are not real and remain able to control any bizarre symptoms and channel them into their work.

I always knew I don’t think the way ‘normal’ people do – now I know what sort of people I do think like.  I guess I’m not kidding when I say I have an insane brain!

Local Data

Rita Carter continues that: Very creative people score highly on tests for mental disorders but rarely fill the diagnostic criteria for these conditions, so their mental states can be seen as somewhere between normal and insane.

Yup. That is me all over.  Then she includes a cool little graph that shows the results of those test scores.  Insane people, are, as you might imagine right there at the top, in the 90%.  Normal people are at about 30-40%.  Writers (and yes, she did chose writers as her ‘highly creative’) score in at about 65-70%.

All this made me interested enough to do a quick google search.  I came up with this article, called “Creative Genius or Psychotic?”  Here’s a quote from the article:

Those who are gifted with a high level of creativity, are also predisposed to certain forms of psychoses. Indeed, even some of the traits long since considered to be associated with certain forms of mental illness are shared by those who are inherently creative. What follows will be a breakdown of creativity, intelligence and psychoses, and how they all are interrelated.

Is is psychotic of me to think this is deeply cool?

The Endless War

When are we going to stop listening to people in our government who have zero understanding of what’s really going on (and because of that, zero understanding of how to fix it)?  When are we going to stop dividing ourselves up into corrupt, power-mad political parties and start listening to some common sense?

Here’s a reprint of a speech recently given by Congressman Ron Paul:

Saving Face in Afghanistan

This past week there has been a lot of discussion and debate on the continuing war in Afghanistan.  Lasting twice as long as World War II and with no end in sight, the war in Afghanistan has been one of the longest conflicts in which our country has ever been involved.  The situation has only gotten worse with recent escalations.

The current debate is focused entirely on the question of troop levels.  How many more troops should be sent over in order to pursue the war?  The administration has already approved an additional 21,000 American service men and women to be deployed by November, which will increase our troop levels to 68,000.  Will another 40,000 do the job?  Or should we eventually build up the levels to 100,000 in addition to that?  Why not 500,000 – just to be “safe”?  And how will public support be brought back around to supporting this war again when 58 percent are now against it?

I get quite annoyed at this very narrow line of questioning.  I have other questions.  We overthrew the Taliban government in 2001 with less than 10,000 American troops.  Why does it now seem that the more troops we send, the worse things get?  If the Soviets bankrupted themselves in Afghanistan with troop levels of 100,000 and were eventually forced to leave in humiliating defeat, why are we determined to follow their example?  Most importantly, what is there to be gained from all this?  We’ve invested billions of dollars and thousands of precious lives – for what?

The truth is it is no coincidence that the more troops we send the worse things get.  Things are getting worse precisely because we are sending more troops and escalating the violence.  We are hoping that good leadership wins out in Afghanistan, but the pool of potential honest leaders from which to draw have been fleeing the violence, leaving a tremendous power vacuum behind.  War does not quell bad leaders.  It creates them.  And the more war we visit on this country, the more bad leaders we will inadvertently create.

Another thing that war does is create anger with its indiscriminate violence and injustice.  How many innocent civilians have been harmed from clumsy bombings and mistakes that end up costing lives?  People die from simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time in a war zone, but the killers never face consequences.  Imagine the resentment and anger survivors must feel when a family member is killed and nothing is done about it.  When there are no other jobs available because all the businesses have fled, what else is there to do, but join ranks with the resistance where there is a paycheck and also an opportunity for revenge?  This is no justification for our enemies over there, but we have to accept that when we push people, they will push back.

The real question is why are we there at all?  What do our efforts now have to do with the original authorization of the use of force?  We are no longer dealing with anything or anyone involved in the attacks of 9/11.  At this point we are only strengthening the resolve and the ranks of our enemies.  We have nothing left to win.  We are only there to save face, and in the end we will not even be able to do that.