Vulcan’s Peak


March 29, 2008 9:57 pm

Donna Noble! Brainy specs! Ancient Rome! Giant bees! Robotic claw! The Ood! Martha in green slime! SO excited!

Season 4 of Doctor Who comes to the SciFi Channel on April 18 at 8:30 p.m. EST. They’re starting (as usual) with the hour and a half Christmas special from this year, and in subsequent weeks it’ll be one hour at 9:00 p.m.

“A More Perfect Union” …and other links

March 21, 2008 7:44 pm

I’ve finally gotten a chance to take a good look at Obama’s speech about race that has been in the news since Tuesday. I’m very impressed.

Watch it here: the Tube of You.
Or read it here: the NY Times.

Or hear the puppets from Avenue Q deliver the same message (well, roughly, with added cheese!). I did get to go see Avenue Q on Tuesday — the house was packed, and it was huge fun. Knowing the soundtrack meant that I knew about 75% of the show, but it’s still funny and watching the puppets is a lot of fun. See? (YouTube again.)

Moving back to the campaign for a moment, I’ve been amused by these for the last few weeks: The original Obama version and the parody, a McCain version.

As long as we’re wandering around, let’s add the 10 Most Historically Inaccurate Movies. Ending with…2001??? Heh. Am also amused that Mel Gibson makes up almost a third of the list. Though of course some of these are really good movies (but I’ll never understand the appeal of 2001. Sorry, Sir Arthur. Be at peace).

To end on a totally random note, here are two photos that aren’t mine:
Everyone is Irish. No, really. Everyone. (I was not at this parade, but this is hilarious.)
And I just love the angle on this one. You can picture me here…all the time.

Back By Popular Demand!

March 15, 2008 8:00 am

What? You say that’s not actually what “popular” means? Aw, come on, it’s tradition here at the Peak.

Remember March, the Ides of March remember:
Did not great Julius bleed for justice’ sake?
What villain touch’d his body, that did stab,
And not for justice? What! shall one of us,
That struck the foremost man of all this world
But for supporting robbers,–shall we now
Contaminate our fingers with base bribes
And sell the mighty space of our large honours
For so much trash as may be grasped thus?
I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon,
Than such a Roman.

– Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, IV iii

It’s a homework-filled weekend for me, but sometime in the next week I want to make time to go see Avenue Q while it’s in town…

Pi Day nerd fest

March 14, 2008 4:56 pm

In honor of Pi Day, let’s be unabashedly nerdy.

First, an editorial I particularly enjoyed about NASA, Star Trek, and the presidential campaign: The Next Space Frontier. While exploring the final frontier is hardly a high priority for our next president, it’s nice to see that the three front-runners all express support for the space program. (There are links to specifics within the editorial.)

And a few items that make you feel good about the Star Trek movie due out in summer 2009:

  • In an interview with the Australian Herald-Sun, Simon Pegg (cast as Scotty) said with regard to whether the film will be “serious science-fiction”:

    Very much so. It’s not at all ironic. It’s not a jokey take on the original series. It’s a faithful and loving installment in the ongoing mythology of the show.

  • Leonard Nimoy (who will be in it) seems to be very pleased about it. So does Nichelle Nichols (who is not).
  • And if you haven’t seen it yet, check out the trailer (fyi, video begins when the page loads). It makes me happy.

And hey, look what happens when I ignore the Harry Potter news sites…the seventh movie is actually going to be the seventh and eighth movies: they’re splitting Deathly Hallows into two films. This means that Half-Blood Prince will be released next Christmas, Deathly Hallows, part I a year later, and Deathly Hallows, part II the following summer.

Now go eat some pie! I plan to!


March 7, 2008 9:28 pm

Young rider gives MBTA board an earful.

The young man described here was also featured in an article in the Metro this morning (one of the free newspapers distributed around the city, designed to be easily read on your commute into work). The copy I saw was in the hands of a couple of teenage boys — oversized hoodies, spikey hair — maybe fifteen years old. “That guy goes to our school,” one boy told the other, clearly proud. The second boy seemed to be a foreign exchange student and the first boy proceeded to try to explain other news items to him. “Right now, there are these things called primaries going on,” he’d stumble. “And we have these two parties called the Republicans and the Democrats. And we pretty much know who the Republican guy is going to be, but for the Democrats it’s still between two people, but I don’t really care because I’m a Libertarian, which is something else. And then there’s the Nader guy, but he’s crazy, there’s people who say so…” (My paraphrasing may do him some disservice.)

Presently, the train pulled into Park Street (where apparently those wooden struts are holding up the walls that are rotting away, yikes) and I changed for the Green Line. The train was moving before I realized that my young friends had done the same.

“See, there are these people called superdelegates,” the first boy says. He’s trying to be thorough, but he’s rapidly running out of steam.

Props to him for trying. I doubt I could have done better at fifteen.

In memoriam

8:46 pm

Three parts Dungeons & Dragons, one part The Seventh Seal (clip). Brilliant.

xkcd honors Gary Gygax.

Yes, yes I will.

March 4, 2008 12:29 am

Partly, it’s hilarious; partly, it’s perceptive; partly, I’m impressed. Some of us know how hard it is to spoof this song. They’ve got a couple of clunky lines, but they’ve also got a lot of good ones — and to top it off, they do it a capella.

Romeo, Juliet, and Benvatio

March 1, 2008 7:39 pm

The Boston Ballet has been doing Romeo & Juliet since Valentine’s Day (Yes. Gag.), and despite my sometime aversion to the play, I really wanted to see it, so my roommate and I went this afternoon. Though we had some nitpicks (because of costuming choices, it took us a while to distinguish between Romeo, Benvolio, and Mercutio; also, at the end, Romeo stabbed himself rather than taking poison), on the whole, we really enjoyed it! I love the music.

As we walked to the subway afterwards, C. admitted to sometimes confusing Benvolio and Horatio (from Hamlet). In the end, we decided that they might be the same person. Out of grief, Benvolio left Verona, changed his name, and enrolled in the university at Wittenberg, where he met Hamlet. After all, isn’t Horatio a very Italian-sounding name for the northern-Europe world of Hamlet?

I think he might have become King Lear’s Fool in later life.

Welcome…to the World of Tomorrow!

February 27, 2008 11:52 pm

Bionic Contact Lenses

I literally saw something like this on a science fiction show two weeks ago and though, “Hmm, pretty clever! That seems feasible in the near future.” I mean, not special goggles or bionic eyes or anything, just contact lenses.

Apparently that’s true for all values of “near future.”

Either that or someone at Torchwood is leaking alien technology into mainstream research firms again.

Recommended viewing

February 23, 2008 1:51 am

One of my courses this semester is on rights in publishing (copyright, subsidiary rights, permissions, contracts, etc.). Sounds dry, but it’s been really interesting so far. And not only because of things like what I’m going to show you, though that helps, too.

Last week, we had Larry Lessig in as a guest speaker by virtue of this video. The whole thing is about 20 minutes and it’s very good — it’s a presentation he gave on creative freedom.

If you’re just looking for some funny, however, skip the video ahead to about 8:40, where Lessig presents three examples of what he calls “remix culture.” The first will particularly amuse fans of the Muppets. The second (at 9:30) becomes a bit of an eyesore, but just wait for it… And it only lasts a minute, because at 10:30 there’s a beautiful political romance.

In other news, a notice on the school website announces that the main dining hall “will be going trayless February 25th to 29th.” (I love the way they phrase it.) We’ve got about six inches of snow on the ground tonight — I guess the cafeteria-tray-as-makeshift-sled phenomena is universal.