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mai 2014

Fast shows

Never Knowingly Underwhelmed

Golden-syrup-2Working in TV can be like striding through treacle. Specifically, writing for TV. So why do we do it? Specifically, why do I do it?

At the end of February last year, I hosted what we in the hosting trade haughtily call a « corporate ». It was an in-house event for the Shine Group, Elisabeth Murdoch’s production company, which has acquired a number of other production companies in the UK, including Kudos, Dragonfly and Princess, and operates Shine satellites « out of » France, Spain, Germany, Australia and the States. (They approached me after seeing me host a screening and Q&A at the Edinburgh TV Festival for the thriller Hunted where a miscalculation meant that I didn’t get a chair and had to host it standing up. One job leads to another.)

The Shine gig proved an exhilarating day; smoothly run at their end, and with a good, attentive audience of media buyers…

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Lessons from a Fantasy Princess: The Little Mermaid

Flawed But Fixable

Little_Mermaid_The

*Series premise explained and Snow White examined in the first part: Lessons from a Fantasy Princess: Snow White*

 The Plot

lmericflute
A self-hating fish-woman craves the excitement, material splendor, and external genitalia of the surface world. Upon discovering a ship full of humans, she spies on them, becomes obsessed with a prince, and trades her voice to Ursula the Sea Witch for three days worth of legs. To make the change permanent she needs to obtain the true kiss of love or her deed of ownership will be transferred from Prince Eric back unto Ursula.

Ursula manages to leverage this initial bargain to guilt the king into giving up his magic trident, dignity, and status as a vertebrate. General mayhem ensues, and then Prince Eric drives his manly harpoon into the Seahag’s rear. Ariel’s voice is snatched back, more mayhem, and Prince Eric takes control of the situation by ramming the…

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Forget flying cars. I want a submarine car!

Sublime Curiosity

The metal container powered by the explosion of million-year-old liquefied algae which transports me over long distances (My car. Yes, I know I’m a smart-ass.) is a 2007 Toyota Yaris hatchback. It’s a decent enough car, I suppose. It looks about like this:

Image

(Many thanks to the nice person on the Wikimedia Commons who put the photo in the public domain, since I lost the only good photo of my car before it got all scruffy.) According to its specifications, its engine can produce 106 horsepower (79 kilowatts), it weighs 2,326 pounds (meaning it masses 1,055 kilograms), and has a drag coefficient of 0.29 and a projected area of 1.96 square meters (I love the Internet). Those are all the numbers I need to calculate my car’s maximum theoretical speed. I’ll be doing this by equating the drag power on the car (from the formula (1/2) * (density air) * (velocity)^3 *…

Voir l’article original 458 mots de plus

The Memorial Day America Will Never Celebrate

V e t P o l i t i c s

By Jay Kirell

Memorial Day 2014.

Another year, another start to the summer vacation season where America takes a day off to remember those who died in war.

Flags will be flown.  Words will be spoken.  The dead will be honored.

Being one of the many who served overseas that didn’t die in war, (but came reeeeally close) I have a unique view of death and how we, as a nation honor it.

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On Net Neutrality

Ed Tech Tattler

The fundamental idea behind net neutrality is that the information we receive online is given equal access to us, that is movies don’t get better access to us than an academic article or a small college’s website. The audiences that certain content can reach is on an even playing field and therefore for the end user, there is no tier of costs to gain access to certain information.

If I want to watch the newest Megashark vs. Mechashark movie on Netflix, or I want to read a blog post on a small community college website in southern Spain, the speed at which I receive this information is equal (of course is varies based on server speed, but ISPs don’t control this). My access to these 1’s and 0’s that make up the internet is the same access that everyone in the world has.

The recent FCC proposal to give a…

Voir l’article original 890 mots de plus

Turns Out It’s Bad Guys

Counting Chickens

Imabadguy

You guys, the inevitable slide into peer influence has begun. I always thought it would be words we don’t use* or some sort of violent swordplay, which we could handle. There have been hints that this was coming. For example she said, « hey hey hey lemme see lemme see » when she noticed I was reading something unfamiliar. She also tried out some version of nany nany boo boo and, when asked who said that, blamed it quickly on another little girl. I know we can’t keep the outside world at bay (and we don’t want to) but then bad guys showed up and with it my personal line in the sand.

I didn’t even know it was a line, you guys. But then there it was, it turns out the line is bad guys. Frankly, I might prefer fuck.**

I even know where the exposure came from…

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Poem: I Circle Around but the Sky Changes

Josh Stearns

For National Poetry Month in April, Orion Magazine hosted a poetry exchange inspired by a collaboration between poets Aimee Nezhukumatathil and Ross Gay. The theme was “This Growing Season.” Orion put out a call for anyone who was interested and then matched people up randomly.

I was paired with Anastasia Andersen, who teaches poetry at the University of New Mexico (her full bio is below). Here is how she described the challenge we set forth for our poetry exchange:

We chose a writing game based on those of the French Surrealists. We agreed upon number of stanzas (6) and lines per stanza (5).  We also alternated writing stanzas, but only forwarded the final line, which would inform the next stanza. The “missing” lines of the stanzas were revealed after all 6 stanzas had been written.  We also chose a line from a poem by Robert Desnos as a title “I Circle Around but…

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What I Was Doing in Guam

Wish I Were Here

GuamBlue04

When I tell people that I used to live in Guam, the usual reaction is, Guam? What were you doing in Guam? I tailor my replies based on the person asking the question. If there’s a risk of my husband or family being hurt or embarassed, I say, Oh, I worked in a bar. If the risk is only that the person may sneer or refuse to associate with me, I say, I was an exotic dancer. A stripper. Both statements are true. One is simply more precise than the other.

Guam. Oh, Guam. Haunted vortex of contradictions. I spent six months there in 1995. Six nights a week, I danced in seven inch platform heels. Vikings Tavern was on Tumon Bay, where most of the luxury hotels are located. At the time, it was considered the cleanest club on the island. If guys were looking to paw the…

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