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Am I twisted for thinking that a properly executed <i>Castle/Gargoyles</i> fic would be a thing of beauty.  Maza and Beckett, Castle & Xanatos.  Something about the Clan vs. Castle's aura of utter amusement sounds really fun.

To my limited experience, most crossovers are of contemporaries (barring classics and period pieces).  I wonder what creative masterworks lie hidden in crossovers between canons separated by a decade or more.
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I guess it's been a while since I last re-read "The Serpent's Shadow" by Mercedes Lackey, because it was with great surprise that I greeted Lord Peter Whimsey as a secondary character, lock, stock and personality quirk, under a pretty flimsy alias.  Lackey even threw in an epistolary epigraph among the man's relatives!  I'd caught Laurie King's homage when she did it, but apparently, hadn't read Sayers yet last time this tome graced my eyes.  How many other places does the man pop up?

I was heartily amused & am tempted to go back and visit Sayers again (still hard to believe I'd never read any of her works until about 3-4 years ago).
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This is what computers were designed for!

An automated "6 degrees of Kevin Bacon" calculator.  It harnesses all the data of the Internet Movie Database to see how closely any actor is connected to Kevin Bacon.  So far, I haven't been able to find someone which a degree of connectedness higher than 3 (which probably says more about my film knowledge than anything).

The _really_ cool thing is that they can do these calculations for more people than Bacon.  Apparently his average degree of separation is 2.9-something.  Dennis Hopper is only we should play 6-degrees of Dennis Hopper.

Amusingly, #5 on the list of "best average connection" is Udo Kier, a man who's name I hadn't recognized, but whose face instantly makes you go "oh yeah."  Think bug-eyed germanic villian guy.  Lots of interesting bits and pieces of data like that on the site.

Number crunching at its finest! :-D


In other news, my grandfather is continuing to recover.  His recovery got a boost today when they discovered that his lower denture plate, which had been missing since Thurday when he flatlined, showed up, broken in half, down his throatAnd to think we figured the inflamation was just a reaction to the ventilator tube.  For those keeping score, the man had the two halves of a broken denture plate lodged in his esophagus for almost four days until he managed to cough them up (surprising everyone).  The hospital is conducting a review; as this, apparently, isn't supposed to happen.  Personally, I'm more gobsmacked with the absurdity of it rather than pissed off...mostly because it's hard to be pissed off at the people who did, after all, save his life.  I may have more on Grampa's own reaction once he can talk again. :-P

It's a bit sad when the same anecdote serves to illustrate human idiocy and human resiliency at the same time.
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My grandfather's heart stopped tonight.  They have it restarted, but the illusion of continuity has been breached and I don't know how many beats he has left.

...that's pretty much the only thought I can muster right now.


Dec. 20th, 2009 06:59 pm
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...ok, got that out of my system. Couple of points:

1) This is 3-D come of age. Other than a few interior shots and one chase scene toward the beginning of the movie (where the effect may have been deliberate) my eyes did not feel like the focal lengths were shooting back and forth like a yo-yo. Images didn't protrude from the screen, instead, you got to look _into _ the screen Big difference.

2) The Na'vi were also AWESOME and I wish there were more. It's deeply amusing to me that one of my first thoughts after they came on screen was "Hey, we know have the technology to bring Atevi to life!" I'm really not sure Cherryh's 'Foreigner' series would _make_ could cinema, but at least the Atevi would look realistic (and be derided as tweaked Na'vi rip-offs by those not in the know).

3) Pandora (the planet)was also AWESOME. Vaguely reminiscent of some of Duane Barlowe's work...but that could just be convergence. The ecology was the only thing that kept nagging at me though: all life on Pandora is very deliberately shown as hexapodal...except the Na'vi, who are pretty definite tetrapods...and yet there's that [SPOILER] which definitely indicates a shared heritage. *shrug* I was probably the only person in the theater bothered by bauplan dissonance, though.

4) And finally, I have to agree with lots of other people on the web: the story is prosaic...and possibly a little hackneyed, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's a plain story, plainly told, which leaves the brain lots of room for "ooh, shiny" rather than puzzling out that last plot twist. And I think Howard Taylor (of Schlock Mercenary) said it best when he titled his review the following:Read more... )
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It says something noble about the SF community that 90+% of the authors on my friends list have, in the space of an hour, posted the news that Canadian Peter Watts, author of Blindsight and the Rifters trilogy, has been accosted by US Border Guards as he crossed _back_ into Canada, beaten, pepper-sprayed and charged with assault on a federal officer. Well, the news posting itself isn't neccessarily noble, but the defence, sympathy and calls to aid that each made are.

Having recently enjoyed reading all of his books for free online at his own website (, I only wish I could contribute assistance as well. The least I can do is pass the news along to any interested parties that haven't already come across it.

More information can be found at:


Oct. 20th, 2009 07:50 am
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In the annals of truly great feats of meta please record the following: Richard Castle (played by Nathan Fillion) from the show "Castle" dressing up for Halloween as Malcolm Reynolds (played by Nathan Fillion) from the show Firefly.

No one should legally be allowed to have enough panache to pull that off.

[I confess, I may be mistaken.  It was a quick image from the "next week on Castle" clip....but it looked a hell of a lot like a Brown Coat.]
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Just spent the last 24 hours or so ODing on the 1st half of the first season of 'Criminal Minds'  Excellent show, very well written.  I now have a much better idea of where the online series "Shadow Unit" draws its inspiration (along with some fairly blatant parallel character traits).  Now I just have to watch 3.5 more seasons before the show starts back up in September and I'll be set (though it will be sad to see Mandy Patakin go).

The online eps I watch are dubbed in Norweigan.  You stop noticing after a while.  It's even educational.  I can now say "good" "thanks" "moment" and "psychopath"...all very handy phrases should I ever travel to Scandinavia.
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A band of professionals who flout the law, defending the powerless from the powerful through guile and trickery.

This is the premise of my current favorite show. However, if you amend it to say: "through guile, trickery, and C-4. then you end up describing my second favorite show.

These shows are, of course, Leverage and Burn Notice and I am shocked, shocked that I haven't run across any cross-over fic between these two yet.  They fill very similar'd be perfect!

Fi and Elliot would have history (not romantic, but probably pyrotechnic).  She and Parker might even bond.

Hardison would have heard about Michael while surfing the CIA email server and would not be impressed with the quality of the smear-job they burned Weston with; while Sam would recognize several of the Leverage gang by reputation...and try to hit on Sophie.

Nate and Weston would just eye each other, generating a silent recursive loop of "I know that you know that I know that you know that I know..."

They'd meet while trying to do the same job (or maybe two victims, same target, so the jobs intersect).  Once all the cards were on the table, the Leverage gang, eager for a challenge, would con the CIA into getting Weston re-instated in his own job.  The End.

...and if I had any idea what sort of caper would be required against the US Government I'd write the damn thing myself. :-P
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I'm reading the latest novel in Charles Stross' Merchant Princes series, the only series I know of endorsed by a Nobel prize-winning economist (Paul Krugman).  At the most basic level, it involves a group of people who can jump between two  parallel universes, and how they try use this skill to their advantange (it's a really, _really_ basic level).

One of the two universes is our own...except that it's not.  This fact becomes more apparent as the series progresses, but never really calls too much attention to itself.  However, the fact that one character just referenced 'Chief Justice Bork' sort of drags your brain around to the fact that we're no longer in Kansas, Toto.
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I don't often pass along things gleaned from the intar-webz, but this was simply too good, too funny and too well-written to pass by.

The Parable of the Shower by Leah Bobet ([ profile] cristalia)

The first paragraph:

The angel of the LORD cometh upon you in the shower at the worst possible moment: one hand placed upon thy right buttock and the other bearing soap, radio blaring, humming a heathen song of sin.

And it just keeps on getting better & funnier & wiser from there.

Many thanks to [ profile] truepenny for the link.

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The one substantive contribution I have about this episode is that Rossum Corporation comes from an old Czech play called "R.U.R. Rossum's Universal Robots" which is where we actually _get_ the word "robot".

Interestingly, from the wikipedia article: "The play begins in a factory that makes 'artificial people' — they are called Robots, but are closer to the modern idea of androids or even clones, creatures who can be mistaken for humans. They can plainly think for themselves. Although they seem happy to work for humans, that changes and leads to the end of the human race due to a hostile robot rebellion"

That is all.

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This piece cannot be recommended highly enough.  Through a quirk of time, Shakespeare attends a performance of "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" by Tom Stoppard.  This is a must read for any Stoppard or Shakespeare fan.  Brilliant!

We Havent Gotten There Yet by Harry Turtledove
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So I've discovered a new passing obsession.  NCIS.  It's typically smart, non-gimmicky and usually _really_ funny.

And the other night, while drifting to sleep, I happened to wonder: what would happen if they met the City Guard of Anhk Morpork?

Gibbs and Vimes are practically soul-mates.

Dinozzo & McGee would take one look at Carrot and engage in a mockery competition; trying to one-up each other  while the oblivious (but really blivious) boyscout-king looked on.

Ziva and Angua would commiserate...and/or possibly try to attack each other.

Abby and Cheery would have fun with chemistry.

Ducky and Igor would have fun with anatomy.

Abby and McGee would also have fun with Ponder Stibbons...but the fun they got up to would probably bring on the techno-magical singularity.  I'm not sure the Discworld is ready for the internet...especially when IP stands for "Imp Protocol."

I'm not sure about Colon or Nobbs...they might take Dinozzo bar-hopping, but I'm not sure he'd take to them.
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Valentine's Day in Seattle.  Spent the afternoon communing with Lucy at the Pacific Science Center.  Discovered that, while the beloved one is enchanted with butterfly gardens, my personal radar is too finely tuned and they get a bit nerve-wracking.  The hind-brain refuses to believe that these large flappy-thingies that occasionally land on me are harmless.

Dinner at the Rainforest Cafe.  Apparently, if you reserve in advance, you get a table next to one of the tropical fish tanks.


I have now proposed.  The response was emphatically affirmative.  By this time September (the 9th, actually),  I will be a husband.

...(and with luck, forevermore shall be)
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In recognition of the abysmal state of my self-chronicle, I hereby resolve to (at least partially) correct it. Especially since, on this occasion, I'd already written up some material and never posted it here.

August 2007, my company sent me to Pune, India to train up a group of new employees, who were to constitute a new branch of the department I belonged to. I work at a technical support call-center, doing the front-line dispatch and was, at that time, doing most of the training for our local new hires. The following were some notes I emailed home about the experience. They are somewhat truncated because I was too busy and/or tired to write much after the initial impression of the first couple of days.

The Flight Over )

German Airport )

Mumbai Airport )

Driving from Mumbai to Pune (approx. 60 miles) )

Pune Hotels )

India Itself )

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Bad news: My computer's power supply crapped out, taking the motherboard with it.

Good news: Girlfriend was able to stick the HD into an external casing and it doesn't appear that I've lost any data...this time.

Great news: As part of Librarything's Early Reviewer Program, I got a copy of Neal Stephenson's new book 'Anathem' several months before it's official published.

Unsettling news: It's 900+ pages long and re-invents most of human history with new vocabulary (it's not AU, just a really old colony).  Imagine Greek philosophy being integrated into a monastic/college campus setting, then slow-boiled in isolation for several thousand years.  Once you join one of these secular cloisters to study the 'Mathic Arts', you don't leave.  Everything old is new again, and renamed: computers are syntactic devices and the Web-equivalent is called the Reticulum.  I'm guessing I'll need to consult the glossary (which I've already poured over) frequently.  

I enjoy jumping into a book and just racing through it full-speed; but you just can't do that with Stephenson...otherwise you realize that it's 3am in the morning and you've still got 400 pages to go. :-P

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Someone on my friendslist mentioned this series and I'm 95% done with the first one and totally hooked.  I looked to try and figure out who it was, to thank them personally, but without success.  So to whoever you are: many thanks for reading and mentioning...this guy definitely goes my list of acquisitional authors (barring complete disasters in books 2 & 3).

*goes off to get book two from the library*

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