Halloween various

Thursday various

  • There’s water on the moon. What are we waiting for? [via]
  • I have to admit, when people talk about Doctor Who continuity, I just laugh and laugh and laugh. Case in point, the tempest in a teapot over how many regenerations the Doctor gets. Russell T. Davies, who recently changed it to 507, says:

    There’s a fascinating academic study to be made out of how some facts stick and some don’t—how Jon Pertwee’s Doctor could say he was thousands of years old, and no-one listens to that, and yet someone once says he’s only got thirteen lives, and it becomes lore. It’s really interesting, I think. That’s why I’m quite serious that that 507 thing won’t stick, because the 13 is too deeply ingrained in the public consciousness. But how? How did that get there? It’s fascinating, it’s really weird. Anyway, that’ll be my book in my retirement!

    Frankly, I sort of feel about it the same way I do when I read arguments like this, that Stephen Moffat’s characters are all Mary Sues. That’s an interesting and amusing idea, but it sort of ignores the fact that he — and in the case of the 507, Davies — is creating the show. It’s not fan fiction, it’s canon.

    And it was a canon that was ridiculously, horribly, gloriously, convoluted when they were both just fanboys watching it from behind the couch.

  • Kate Beaton on Dracula:

    Here we have Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a book written to tell ladies that if you’re not a submissive waif, society goes to hell and ungodly monsters are going to turn you into child killing horrors and someone is going to drive a bowie knife through your heart/cut off your head/etc. As you deserve! Thanks Bram! I wrote it down so as to remember it.

    There’s a little more going on it the book, but yeah, she’s not wrong.

  • Money Talks Louder Than Ever in Midterms. Looking at how campaign finance works now, thanks to decisions like Citizens United. It isn’t exactly pretty. [via]
  • And finally, Terry Gilliam’s next movie? No, not that Don Quixote adaptation he refuses to let go of? A filmette for NASCAR.

    With this and the recent Arcade Fire concert webcast — as well the opera he’s reportedly going to stage — Gilliam does seem to be picking some very weird, much smaller projects. Maybe he’s just trying to keep busy until some new kind of funding comes along?

Friday various

  • Mark Evanier on skepticism:

    I just like skepticism and wish we had more of it in the media. In fact, I wish we had more skepticism of the skeptics since despite what some skeptics seem to think, going against the Conventional Wisdom doesn’t automatically mean your wisdom is correct.

    I was very briefly a member of the (I think now defunct) Penn State Skeptics Society. I attended a meeting or two, and later went to hear James Randi speak when they brought him to campus. But the fervor with which some people embrace skepticism — or maybe more accurately angry cynicism — has never sat well with me. I think agnosticism and atheism are defensible positions, but some people approach them like True Believers and dismiss all other arguments out of hand. Which, it seems to me, is usually what they accuse the other side of doing.

  • Tomorrow morning, beginning at at 9 AM EST (and for the next 24 hours), Netflix will be streaming The Wizard of Oz for free to anyone (with or without a subscription), in honor of the film’s 70th anniversary. I’m not sure why 70 years is a particularly significant milestone, but the film holds up remarkably well, I think. [via]
  • Barack Obama has one amazingly consistent smile.
  • What do you buy for the Elder God who has everything? Why not Cthulhu Cologne, “Scents inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos”? [via]
  • A finally, thinking about printing the internet? Um, don’t. [via]

Wednesday various