Archive for May, 2005
I got a few people asking me what a Godwit was in response to the latest cycling report. Here's a site about them, in Dutch: Grutto.nl. It's got some information about the decline of their population, and a diary from a farmer trying to do the right thing and adapting his mowing schedule and the placement of his animals to the nesting birds.
Not only are they about to patent the cure for Alzheimer's Disease before Old America will, thanks in no small part to the efforts of the Party of James Dobson, but they'll also get the Ninth Doctor Who on the telly before the Americans. Pagishikinda!
And then there'll be a wave of South Korean teenage girls bleaching their hair and having their teeth enlarged. (Via)
A large part of the archives at ROCR.net is missing including the featured storyline. The admins are looking into it.
Ah well. The more reason to hurry up with my plans for moving to a new location. If the upload system at the Webcomicsnation site I'm beta-testing wasn't too cumbersome to upload 100 comics to easily, I'd put the featured stuff there.
... I was in stitches before the credits had even started! And yes, those would have been terrible last words. There are a lot of funny lines in this one, although I thought the writer was overdoing it a bit towards the end of "The Doctor Dances". Nice build-ups of suspense with the army of gas mask people.
I enjoyed John Barrowman as Jack more than I did last week. Fan leya pointed out to me that he was least convincing when undercover as Captain Jack, which sort of makes sense. He's more fun as the dashing rogue type, and the actor has a better handle on that side of him. Leya got pretty close with her earlier speculation on what the matter was with the child and Nancy. Not quite accurate but pretty good.
I liked the under-use of the morphing effect. Couldn't care much for how this writer handles Rose although the rhythm of the dialogue makes her and the Doctor work overall. She does save the Doctor's skin (and her own and Jack's) again, by the way, which is good.
In all, fun with a nice balance of humorous and thrilling moments. I wouldn't say it's the best, but I had a good 45 minutes.
Actually, now that I think about the ending a little more... the Doctor gets pretty excited in the final 10 minutes, and in the process lays bare a rather deep mental scar. Interesting... I should watch it again and see how the whole two-parter holds up to repeated viewing.
For you Bad Wolf spotters out there, I missed it, but, uhm, it must be there. Because this series is the bomb, and it wouldn't be the bomb if the makers forgot to put a reference in.
... and then resign in shame.
Creationism: God's gift to the ignorant
Admissions of ignorance and mystification are vital to good science. It is therefore galling, to say the least, when enemies of science turn those constructive admissions around and abuse them for political advantage. Worse, it threatens the enterprise of science itself. This is exactly the effect that creationism or "intelligent design theory" (ID) is having, especially because its propagandists are slick, superficially plausible and, above all, well financed. ID, by the way, is not a new form of creationism. It simply is creationism disguised, for political reasons, under a new name.
The creationists' fondness for "gaps" in the fossil record is a metaphor for their love of gaps in knowledge generally. Gaps, by default, are filled by God. You don't know how the nerve impulse works? Good! You don't understand how memories are laid down in the brain? Excellent! Is photosynthesis a bafflingly complex process? Wonderful! Please don't go to work on the problem, just give up, and appeal to God. Dear scientist, don't work on your mysteries. Bring us your mysteries for we can use them. Don't squander precious ignorance by researching it away. Ignorance is God's gift to Kansas.
Maria van der Hoeven, you've been had. At least your stupidity has had the positive result that all the mainstream political factions in parliament except your own party, the Christian Bloody Stupid Democrats, are now looking to remove creationism from the curricula of schools that still teach it to their unlucky, indoctrinated students. Now for the love of God, hand in your notice and let someone who actually wants to promote education take over.
(Via Pete Ashton)
Last year's Sunday Cycling reports focused on the places we went to and the strange, winding trajectories we took to get to them. I think we've exhausted that angle by now; indeed most places look very familiar to us now. This year, I will focus instead on the things we saw along the way.
We spot a lot more now. Instead of looking through the landscape for landmarks to tell us where we are, we now look into it for things that are different from last time, for birds, animals, unusual scenes. At least, that's how it seems to me; I can't speak for Sidsel.