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Showing posts from April, 2020

Free Write Friday #19: Consequence/Taste

This post has been sitting here for awhile, because life is busy and things are crazy and I haven't actually been at work on Friday for a couple of weeks now. So to acknowledge my delay, I'm throwing in two more bonus pieces of writing: Sympathy and the latest installment of my Reddit Serial, 'The Adventures of Preston and Lark.'

Consequence

Accidental Serial: So, I accidentally made a loose serial out of a bunch of these Theme Thursdays so here's the suggested reading order. Clarity, Survival, Luck, Vulnerability, (Consequence, see below), Contained and Trust.

Ricky Salewitz was drinking champagne. The wooden crate containing the Golden Owl of France was on the seat next to him and he was in first class, alone, flying on the red-eye back to the United States. Another treasure found. he'd keep it for a few months, of course, Put it on display, let people gawk at it whenever he had those dreadful parties Sean always held for the investors- then, he'd get bore…

Netflix & Chill #77: I Still Believe

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Watched On: Amazon Prime (Theater Release On Demand)
Released: March 7th, 2020
Directed By: Erwin Brothers
Starring: KJ Apa, Britt Robertson, Melissa Roxburgh, Nathan Parsons, Shania Twain, Gary Sinise
Rotten Tomatoes: 49% Tomatometer, 98% Audience Score
Pick: The Missus'

The Missus has been a fan of Jeremy Camp since before we met-- I remember in the very early days of our relationship listening to some of his stuff and her explaining what had happened to his wife and thinking that it sounded tragic and kind of amazing that he had found inspiration out of tragedy. So, when we first saw the previews for this movie, she had her heart set on a date night to go see it in theaters- but alas, pandemic intervened so we had to settle for an early digital on-demand release on Amazon Prime.

I Still Believe begins with Jeremy Camp (K.J. Apa) packing up and taking his a brand new guitar that's a gift from his parents Tom (Gary Sinise) and Terry (Shania Twain) and heading out to college in Cali…

10 More Things About This Mess

1. Good gravy, the national media gaslighting over hydroxychloroquine is fucking unbearable at this point. I honestly think some of these people would sooner eat a turd sandwich than admit that maybe, perhaps that President Trump had a hunch about this stuff that might, maybe prove to be correct. (I say 'might, maybe' because it goes up and down: anecdotal evidence keeps building that it does something- but another study that leaked out seemed to indicate it was a load of hockum- but dig a little bit on that study and you find out some things that make you wonder: the sample size was small- 11 patients and apparently they were all carrying co-morbities and were pretty severely ill by the time they started on the protocol.)

Do I think hydroxychloroquine + Z-Pak is a thing? I don't know. We need actually randomized clinical trials and a lot more data to even begin to say for sure-- but I think data is going to start to come in over the next month or so that will solidify the…

'Star Trek Picard' --A Review

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Like most of the rest of Trek Fandom, I was massively hyped and excited at the news that Patrick Stewart was returning to his iconic role of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and was counting the days until it dropped and now that it's all over, let's talk about it. I'll be honest- this isn't going to be a conventional review, because if you want one of those you can look all over the internet to find them. I am a Star Trek fan and, well, kind of a nerd, so this is going to be strictly from that point of view- and yes, I'll try and keep spoilers to a minimum, but no guarantees- so if you haven't watched it yet, go do that and then come back and read the rest of this post.

So, what did Star Trek: Picard do well?

First, it brought us back to the 'Prime Universe' to see what happened after the Romulan Supernova. Trek fandom had been clamoring for this for awhile- Discovery's vault to the far future not withstanding, many people were over yet another prequel ser…

Netflix & Chill #76: Cold Case Hammarskjold

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Watched On: Hulu
Released: 2019
Directed By: Mads Brugger
Starring: Mads Brugger, Goran Bjorkdahl, Dag Hammarskjold
Rotten Tomatoes: 83% Tomatometer, 79% Audience Score
Pick: Mine

I fell down one of those Buzzfeed listicle rabbit hole about 'cool new movies' you can watch on [Insert Streaming Platform Here] and came across this fascinating documentary about a Cold War incident that I knew about in passing, but not much more. Cold Case Hammarskjold is somewhat unusual for documentaries that I've seen because it puts the director, Mads Brugger in front of the camera

Brugger spends most of his time in two hotel rooms, dressed all in white and dictating the "story" of the documentary to two African 'secretaries' typing on old school typewriters. He tells the basics of the story: then UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold was working to resolve a crisis in the Congo, involving a breakway state called Katanga- which was headed at the time by a man called Moise Tshom…

This Week In Vexillology #302

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I've been struggling somewhat with these posts, because I've been lacking in inspiration- but this week, I got handed some, courtesy of The Quiet Man and it lead me down the delightful wiki-rabbit hole to the world of international maritime flags- this is actually the perfect tangent to a random episode of 99% Invisible about The Shipping Forecast which was fascinating to learn about and even more fascinating to actually sit down and listen to.

Initially, I was just going to focus on the Yellow Flag- but before we get there, it's worth touching on the the history and system of the International Code of Signals. Prior to 1857, there were a variety of signal systems, including Marryat's Code, which was one of the most widely used. The British Board of Trade created and published a unified set of signals in 1857 and pubished it as 'The Commercial Code.' A unified system has more or less existed ever since- though it's been revised and, as shipping went more gl…

Free Write Friday #18: Giants/Luck

Free Write Friday is back with two more entries from Theme Thursdays over on the Writing Prompts subreddit. First up is Giants, a sort of stealth sequel to an earlier Image Prompt I did awhile back, The Quest for the Elder Tree. Then, there's Luck, which is my first time meeting a character I've sort of got drawn up in my head, Ricky Salewitz. Hope you like them!


Giants
The palace was deserted and she paced the hallways, feeling the weight of history bearing down on her. Portraits of Kings and Queens of centuries past stared down at her, judging her, their eyes seeming to question her fitness for the throne she was about to ascend to.

"How am I going to be able to do this?"

"You'll be fine."

Shaleena whirled around and relaxed at the sight of Deanna, who had been her mother's Vizier until her death the week before. Deanna didn't want her job back. The office was now vacat and would be until Shaleena's coronation had been made official- which …

Bookshot #129: 1971 A Global History of The Creation of Bangladesh

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I listened to an interview with Srinath Raghavan a few months back on the podcast The Seen and The Unseen and when they talked about this book and it seemed like a must-read to me, so when I got some birthday cash to spend a couple of months back, I ran down a copy on Amazon and snagged a copy to see if it lived up to the hype of the interview and you know what? It absolutely did.

(Mild Tangent Time: Why the sudden interest in the geopolitics and history of South Asia? Well, to be honest, it's about a potential future. I don't know if I'll ever go back to get the PHD, but since my Master's Thesis focused so much on the politics of South Asia, it makes sense- at least to me, to keep expanding my knowledge base in the area, just in case.)

So, let's talk about 1971.

What I know about 1971 mainly comes the biography of Indira Gandhi (by Katherine Frank) I've got kicking around on the bookshelf. There, 1971 is portrayed as Indira Gandhi at the height of her powers- …