delphipsmith: (Sir Patrick Captain)
...when I subject all my friends to Picard and the rest of the gang ("SHUT UP, WESLEY!") doing their holiday song. This still makes me giggle like crazy every single time I watch it XD

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delphipsmith: (Sir Patrick Captain)
...when I subject all my friends to Picard and the rest of the gang ("SHUT UP, WESLEY!") doing their holiday song. This still makes me giggle like crazy every single time I watch it XD

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delphipsmith: (busy busy busy)
I'm supposed to be packing today, because the movers are coming on Thursday and the house is sooooo not ready for them. We have loads of random crap everywhere that has to be dealt with: plastic bags of candle stubs, odd gloves, cracked pots, old shoes, clothes we no longer wear, ancient jars of herbs in the back of the cabinet, mysterious keys that unlock who-knows-what, dessicated magic markers, old cans of paint, and oh, the swarming hordes of dust bunnies...

Le sigh.

I'm also supposed to be writing an article for the next issue of Carpe Nocturne, which is due on Friday, but I can't seem to come up with the hook to make it all fall into place.

Instead of doing ANY of that, I went and signed up for this, because the mods put out a plea for a few more folks to ease their matching, and because [ profile] nursedarry taunted me into it:

[ profile] happy_trekmas is open for signups until October 4th!
delphipsmith: (stgroup)
Trek Class, the Fun and Free Course on the Science and Fiction of Star Trek! I'm so excited :)

"As Captain Picard once said, “We have no fear of what the true facts about us will reveal,” and it is this spirit that inspires our mission to think critically about not only the 23rd and 24th centuries of Star Trek, but also the realities and issues of our own time.

For some students, this course will be an introduction to strange new worlds, alien civilizations and unusual concepts. Others may be acquainted with some or all of the Star Trek universe but discover new ways of interpreting and discussing the many forms of Star Trek media. Whether you're a seasoned fan or just making first contact with the franchise, #TrekClass has been carefully planned to tell the story of Starfleet in a way that is approachable for the first-time viewer and delightful for the lifelong Trekker. In #TrekClass, you will explore the human experience through the lens of the Final Frontier. Along the way, discover Star Trek's incredible impact on popular culture, space exploration, scientific discovery and technology innovation..."
delphipsmith: (Sir Patrick Captain)

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delphipsmith: (k/s)
"Spock, I have breasts."
" do I."

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delphipsmith: (books-n-brandy)
Catching up on book reviews, yay!! Also, I will shortly be doing another bookshelf purge and free giveaway, so watch this space ;)

Tooth and Claw"Jane Austen with dragons" sounds like a recipe for disaster, yes? And it could have been, easily. Luckily, however, Walton does a masterful job with this weird mashup and gives us a clever, well-written and engaging tale. All the classic Austen components are there: the maiden sisters worried about their lack of dowry, the centrality of reputation and honor, the rigid ideas of class, an intra-family lawsuit (shades of Bleak House!), a missing heir, even a (slightly) dirty vicar. Then there are the dragon elements: they breathe fire, sleep on gold, eat raw meat, live for hundreds of years, and kill the runts of the litter. Instead of these things just being tacked on like window dressing, however, Walton makes them an integral part of the characters and the story, weaving them into an entertaining and diverting story.

It isn't epic fantasy by any means, but it's great fun and I enjoyed it thoroughly; if she writes more novels set in this world I would read them with relish.

Eye in the SkyPhilip K. Dick's Eye in the Sky, another book that I wanted to like more than I did. One of the difficulties with reading older classic sci-fi is that sometimes you forget how impressive it was when it was first published -- you're jaded by all the amazing stuff that's been written since. I have a feeling this was a remarkable book when it was first published, but it fell a little flat for me.

Which is annoying, because the premise is exactly my kind of thing: a physics accident propels a group of people into another world, where they have to figure out not only the rules of their strange new world but how to escape it. And then they have to do it all over again. And again. The various worlds they fall into and out of are all very different, but each one is so short-lived that I barely had time to suss out what was going on before I was jolted into the next one; there's an abruptness to it that I found frustrating. I wanted more, and more detailed, explorations of the various neurotic obsessions that were externalized as these separate worlds.

The book also suffers a bit from being so very firmly grounded in 1957. Many little clues betray this, the most obvious being that the main villain of the piece is Communism, or rather prejudice against/fear of Communism. It's hard to grasp how enormous and looming a threat Communism was perceived to be in the 1950s; because it was a very specific enemy with a very specific lifespan, this "dates" the story a bit.

Worth a read, mostly as a psychological variant of the "many worlds" hypothesis. Plus I'm amused by the fact that the original cover shows a bunch of expendable redshirts, nine years before Star Trek made them a cultural icon :)
delphipsmith: (Sir Patrick Captain)
For all of you who wondered, "If the Enterprise fought the Death Star, who would win?" I have no idea how they did such awesome special effects, but this is BRILLIANT. Of course I totally disagree with the outome -- I mean, any Captain of the Enterprise would have been able to come up with something clever, we all know they don't believe in no-win scenarios ;)

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delphipsmith: (Sir Patrick Captain)
Those of you with a mathy turn of mind will be interested to know that it's actually command gold that loses the highest percentage of its wearers, not the stereotypical expendable red shirts. But sciences and engineering are still the safest. Go Spock!

And since we're in a Star Trek moment, please enjoy the ten most awesome things that happened during ST:TNG's 25th reunion. (TWENTY FIVE. Wow do I feel old. So imagine how Jonathan Frakes feels!!)

Also, Patrick Stewart has made the NRA's enemy list (and is apparently quite proud of it). He's also been attacked by some sort of squid/fruit hybrid, but I'm sure there's no connection.

Oh, and Mississippi finally banned slavery.

That is all.
delphipsmith: (Sir Patrick Captain)
All kinds of fun things that fall under the general rubric of "nerdy" today :)

1) Soon-to-be world's first African-American female chess master is only seventeen. You rock, Rochelle Ballantyne! Here's hoping that budget cuts don't kill your chess program.

2) I'm a big WWII buff, particularly the code-making and code-breaking, so this is pretty damn cool: A Bletchingley man renovating his chimney finds the tiny bones of a pigeon, with a little capsule strapped to its leg. Turns out it was a WWII carrier pigeon, with a coded message for...whom??

3) All five Star Trek captains on stage together. Best quotes came from Sir Patrick: "On Star Trek we are wearing costume, and just like Elizabethan costume, no pockets. Sometimes actors would stand awkwardly because they didn’t know what to do with their hands, but if you’ve spent half your career acting in tights..." and "All those years sitting on thrones of England were nothing but preparation for sitting in the captain’s chair." Yessssss...

4) How many of you remember Omni magazine? I had a subscription starting when I was about 12 and I loved every issue -- big and glossy, with its strange and gorgeous cover art. It gave me a passion for science fiction and sci-fi art which has never left me, with authors like George R. R. Martin, Stephen King, Harlan Ellison and William Gibson; artists like H.R. Giger and Rallé. Well, guess what? The entire run of Omni is now available online for free! ::does happy dance::

5) This last one is for the truly nerdy among you: Watch nine big-name sci-fi authors -- including one woman! -- rediscover their inner high-school geek as they play an old-style game of Dungeons and Dragons. Not only did they voyage to The Keep on the Borderlands (D&D Module #2), they recorded it, edited it, added some clever Terry Gilliam-style opening animations, and put it online for your edification and jollification :)
delphipsmith: (k/s)
A recent post on alerted me to the fact that Hilobrow has posted a series of 25 short essays by 25 different authors on the many faces of Star Trek's James T. Kirk. It's called, fittingly enough, Kirk Your Enthusiasm :) Some are meditative, some funny, some thought-provoking, some just plain Kirk-boosterism, but they're all well-crafted and all written from a place of respect and genuine affection for the series.

Each essay focuses on a single memorable Kirk-centric scene. Most of the writers chose a scene from the original series but there are also a few from the movies. They include Kirk's first self-destruct bluff (Let That Be Your Last Battlefield); Kirk recites the U.S. Constitution (The Omega Glory) which includes some perceptive comments on Shatner's acting style; "the canonical TOS episode of great slashiness" (Amok Time); Kirk's letting Edith Keeler die (Return to Tomorrow) which draws parallels between Kirk and John F. Kennedy; and lots more. The final essay is particularly interesting: it examines the scene in ST the Reboot where Kirk taunts Spock into losing control so that Kirk can take command of the Enterprise, and argues that Spock is the real hero of the scene since by stepping down he recognizes that being captain requires calmness and rationality, neither of which the rebooted Kirk exhibits.

The essays are a great chance to wallow in an excess of Trekkiness (yay!!) in the company of a bunch of writers who love it too. The index to the essays is here. Go. Read. Wallow :)
delphipsmith: (stgroup)
If you've read Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind (excellent books) and also the Narnia books, you'll enjoy this short tribute fic / fan-fic / mashup, by Rothfuss himself. Though does it count as fanfic if you wrote the original book? But then, it's got someone else's character in it too. So yeah, I think it counts.

But I digress. Here it is: Kvothe vs Aslan

In other entertaining news, President Obama admits he's a Trekkie. Based on the photo I think he's got the girl geek demographic sewn up ;)

It's supposed to be in the 20s tonight. Freakin' spring in the northeast. Grrrrrr...
delphipsmith: (bookgasm)
OK, on the plus side, I discover that Goodreads has added a "stats" feature. Click on this and it shows you a nice bar chart of how many books you've read in a given year. Click on "details" and you get a pie chart breakdown by category (your own categories). Click on "pages" and it changes to give the number of pages you've read.

It's kick ass. I've updated my info for last three years based on the paper lists I was keeping, so it's pretty impressive ;)

Plus, they answered my question about how to be able to include different language versions on your list, rather than having them collapsed into a single title. So I now have both Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone and Harry Potter a l'ecole des sorciers, along with both Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter et la chambre des secrets. w00t!!

Finished a new bio of Anne Boleyn yesterday. Being accustomed to Genevieve Bujold in Anne of the Thousand Days, Mr Bernard's Anne was something of a startlement since he assumes she might actually have been guilty of the charges of adultery brought against her, but as historical analyses of primary sources go, he's on pretty solid ground. Given that the earliest biographers (not detractors, but biographers) of Anne were writing during the reign of her daughter Elizabeth, it's not surprising they would have inflated the power, piety and Protestantism of the mother of their beloved queen. Bernard does some scrupulous deconstruction of contemporary sources to demonstrate that in fact Anne might simply have been a beautiful sexy woman who engaged in a few indiscretions and then had the appallingly bad luck to be found out. He still makes some large-ish assumptions, but his logic and his deductions hold up pretty well.

I always thought Genevieve was so beautiful. Until I googled her tonight, however, I had no idea she was the original choice for Capt. Janeway in Star Trek: Voyager!!

And people say the internet isn't useful for education...
delphipsmith: (PIcard face-palm)
...and I feel that somehow I should have known this all along. Warning: Do not view this while in an altered state of consciousness. It might actually make sense.

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delphipsmith: (stgroup)
Hilarious review on "The Onion" -- "But where's the bad acting??" ROTFL!!!
delphipsmith: (PIcard face-palm)
Hahahahaaaaaaa! Thanks to [ profile] noeon for pointing me to this :D


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