Friday, June 29, 2001 Arts & Entertainment | Artificial maturity - another good A.I. review.

I found an online version of Super-Toys Last All Summer Long, the short story that inspired A.I.. (But it's certainly fair to say that the movie is a lot different.)

Jim Ellis, Co-Creator of Usenet, Dies
I think for most of us who have been on the internet for a long time, those of us who have had various friendships and acquaintances because of being on newsgroups and the like, definitely owe a debt to the creators of usenet.

MISFITS - A.I. Review
Both Tim Wick and I reviewed the movie...

Good review of A.I. in the New York Times

Thursday, June 28, 2001

I just got back from seeing A.I.. It's not a short movie. It'll take a while to digest. But I thought it was brilliant. There are a couple nits I could pick (but won't here), but it's definitely one of the best movies I've seen this year. It's more Kubrick than Spielberg -- more 2001 than E.T. -- so make of that what you will.

But the more I think about it, the more I liked it.

My mother pointed me to Heart of the City, because the current plotline has them going to a Sci-Fi convention. The storyline began a couple of days ago.

Of course, if you want to go to a sci-fi convention, there is CONvergence next weekend. [July 6,7,8, 2001]

(of course, we are all not being politically correct by using the term sci-fi, but who really cares...)

Microsoft clips Windows XP Smart Tags
At least for now. And since the government breakup order has been vacated, I think Microsoft will be more likely to put it back in at some later version.

I'd be fine with smart tags if it was an "opt-in" technology for web page developers, as well as end users -- but I'm uncomfortable with it being an "opt-out" one, like it was being setup as, because I think that there's a great risk of them making every page you look at into a Microsoft advertisement.

New Harry Potter Trailer.
Looks promising, actually. I still need to read the ones after the first one....

Oh, my enhanced version of the CONvergence schedule now lets you select by panelist. Note again, if it acts up, try the simpler one.

Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Well, I recently found out that the one Flash Girls album I had was the rare out of print one, so when I was at Dreamhaven on my comics run today and saw the new one on the shelf, I followed my whim and completed the collection. I've listened to it a couple of times, and I'm enjoying it.

Info about the Flash Girls can be found at Fabulous Records (link via Windowseat.)

Today's comics were: Green Arrow #5, X-Force #117, and Ultimate X-Men #7. Today's magazine was Doctor Who Magazine #305, which is all about celebrating the tenth anniversary of The New Adventures.

I also saw Atlantis tonight. I enjoyed it -- at times, I thought I was watching a Japanese animated film though, it's not like any other Disney film I've seen. I pretty much agree with what Tim Wick said about it.

I don't know if I'll put this version out on the version accessible from the CONvergence site, but I've got a version of the CONvergence Panel listing that lets you change sort order, and saves more of your information between sessions, and might have additional features as well as I feel like adding to it. (like perhaps a way to mark all of the panels that have a particular panelist). I'm planning on keeping this around well after the con so it can be used for future conventions, so feel free to send me mail about it and comment.

This is very much a beta version, so there might be times where it doesn't work. this one probably won't be messed with further before the con

Find out what your first name means (my oh-so-rare name means "Who is like God?" -- that it is a question is an important part of that) Also of interest is that Angel's (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel) real name, Liam, means "Guardian".


I see that Google now has an image search. Out of curiousity, I wanted to see what happens if you search for MISFITS mascot
Maxwell Misfittle. It doesn't work as well for Connie or CONvergence though, or my own name.

I just got back from seeing Richard Thompson at the Minnesota Zoo. I've had a couple of his albums for years -- his Watching the Dark collection has been one of my favorites for years. I thought for a while that with a set like that (and a couple of his other albums through the years, like Shoot out the Lights, Rumor & Sigh, and Pour Down Like Silver) would be relatively sufficient, but I was wrong. Fantastic show -- and even the songs I didn't know were fantastic. Must get more albums, I think.

I found a recent interview while doing a post-concert search...he doesn't have a website yet, but something to keep an eye out for.

and it was a chance to get back to the zoo, like I wanted to, and get a good view of a bunch of exhibits, which I haven't seen in years and years.

But now, I must sleep.

Monday, June 25, 2001

70s Live Action Kid Vid
Lots of 70s kids TV stuff. Some good images.

One of the things that I don't have right now on the site is a massive links page linking to lots of friends or sites I like -- I've had those pages before, and eventually it becomes a pain to maintain. One of the nice things about linking ot people in a web log format is while they're still there, they're dated, and so if I still have elements of this log in five or ten years -- not a silly thing at all, since there are elements of my Doctor Who section that are that old -- and it's not quite the rush to make sure that all of those links are properly maintained since they're dated.

So here are a couple of people that I haven't linked to before that I probably should. It's a bunch of people I know through (primarily) on line Doctor Who fandom, though I've met them at conventions and other things, of course.

Greg McElhatton does a daily comics review column that usually talks about lots of comics that I don't get and probably should. He also has a page celebrating Doctor Who companion Dodo Chaplet, which is morally quite questionable.

Steve Traylen is another UW-Madison grad school alumni, he encouraged me reading the Doctor Who novels, which really reignited my interest in the series. I'd say going back to Minneapolis to see Paul Cornell doing a signing at Uncle Hugos and a panel at Diversicon back in the summer of 1995 that relit my interest in fandom.

Trina Short is an Ohio science teacher, one of the biggest Sylvester McCoy fans I know, and has a whole bunch of stuff on him.

Occasionally, you might hear Jack Beven on NPR when there's a hurricane going on, but he's also a fan, and has a good set of links that includes me.

Shel Wolf lives in River Falls, Wisconsin. I'm in some of the pictures she's taken at various conventions we've been to

So that's a good batch for today...


Ah. I just looked at the TPT Program Schedule: What's On? and I see that Gormenghast will be on locally (Minneapolis/St. Paul) this Wedensday and Thursday (Jun 27, 28) on TPT-2 at 8:00 pm CST. I assume that's probably the same time nationally.

NPR's website has an audio interview about the BBC/PBS production of Gormenghast with the director, Andy Wilson. I've seen the first episode and it was really fascinating, and I got the books for Christmas last year, but I haven't read them yet. I'm not sure if I'll watch it on tv, or just go ahead and get it on DVD.

It's also nice because Andy Wilson also says really nice things about the actors on Doctor Who -- and that the ability of actors well to act in a fantasy setting. Though it is reminiscent of Neil Gaiman's comment about Neverwhere -- something along the lines that when it comes to fantasy, the BBC is like a sausage factory, it doesn't matter what you put in, out comes Doctor Who.

(It's also interesting because Andy Wilson said that he was interested in going to SF conventions...)

Creative Loafing Atlanta | NEWS | ROCKY, HORRID RIVALRY [from Alt-log]
Shock, horror! rivalry between different fan groups? I've never heard of such a terrible thing before!

One of the amusing things I saw when reading through some fifty-or-so year old postcards that SF fans used to send to each other back in the 40s or so is that things really haven't changed much since then -- you see references to people having fallings out or so on from time to time.

Sunday, June 24, 2001

Fan Converts Home Into 'Star Trek' Spaceship
Oh my. Oh my oh my.


Saturday, June 23, 2001

Outpost Gallifrey - Interviews has an interview with Lloyd Rose, upcoming author of The City of the Dead, the first Doctor Who novel entirely written by an American.

I'll be interested to see how it'll handle a southern setting, as it's one part of the US that Doctor Who has always handled poorly -- if you've listened to Minuet in Hell you'll know that, or if you've watched Silver Nemesis. It's a part of the country that's just so easy to get wrong, especially if you're from the UK. I know I'd get it wrong, as I'm about as Minnesotan (and Midwestern) as it gets. (Well, I could be a bit more -- I don't sound like I'm from the movie Fargo , but still :) )


A List Apart: Smart Tags
An interesting article about the whole IE 6 Smart Tags thing.

I'm generally pretty pragmatic when it comes to OS issues. I'm skeptical about what Microsoft does a lot of the time, but I'm pragmatic enough now that I know that they control the world as well, and there's not much I (or any mere mortal) can do about it. Most of my post-college career has been on Microsoft platforms, even when I've been doing Java projects.

I'm not sure smart tags are a good thing or a bad thing really. But I think they could definitely be problematic, and could be used with melicious intent -- not necessarily by Microsoft, but by the same sorts of people that sent out trojan horses written in VB Script that accessed Outlook's address book, or whatever else.

But Microsoft can't -- and shouldn't -- be trusted too much. They are so big that they are like a government, or perhaps even more so. They're massive, and there are very few computers out there that don't have the hand of Gates somewhere in them. I don't know what the solution is to it though either -- naively saying that everyone should become a penguin is tempting, but I'm still unconvinced. My thought is that Linux is great if you want to have the hood up on your car all the time, tinkering around with it -- but most people are using computers because they want to do other things, like send e-mail, balance checkbooks, read webpages, surf the internet, play video game -- whatever-- and not play around with the OS all the time. (Yes, Apple is good for making computers for "the rest of us" -- but the numbers say that people haven't gone that direction very often either....and Apple has been around a long, long time, and I don't see that changing.)

Doctor Who: The Year of Intelligent Tigers: a cover and description has been posted for the latest Doctor Who novel by Kate Orman

In non-Doctor Who reading, I finished Lyda Morehouse's Archangel Protocol, and I'll probably write something for the MISFITS site about it at some point. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Of course, this is the first weekend in a long time where I haven't had much to do, and so I spent most of the day sleeping away, when I really need to do a whole lot of cleaning around my place, as it's a disaster. It's just well over due for a lot of cleaning.


Friday, June 22, 2001

I finally had a chance to listen to the Death Comes To Time trailer. Obviously, it's somewhat a non-event to have yet another Doctor Who audio, what with Big Finish releasing one every month. But the Big Finish casts are fairly small, where it looks like Death Comes to Time has a bigger cast. (And Stephen Fry.) So this sounds bigger -- a bigger finish, perhaps :)

I just hope the story stays online for a while so I can hear it....


Shh. I've been playing around learning php, and I came up with a little web app based around the CONvergence Panels that lets you check the panels that you are interested in, and then it displays a report of only the panels you selected. I might enhance it further....


Thursday, June 21, 2001

BBC News | SCI/TECH | Sexiest geek declared
Ah, I'd never have a chance :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2001

I took my MISFITS Favorite Comedy List and put it on amazon as a Listmania Technology | Google à go-go.
I've thought Google was the best search engine for quite some time -- I especially like searching for those that link to a site and for those that are similar to a site. because you discover some interesting things that way. Technology | End of an affair?
I haven't gotten a TiVo yet -- I've managed to cut back my TV watching a great deal, and I imagine I'd spend my time eliminating shows I don't want to spend the time to watch...and this article makes me a little nervous as well. I don't mind much if TiVo knows what shows I watch -- in the end, I think it's a good thing, as that information means the shows I watch have more of a chance to stay on the air. Though a few people I know swear by them, and it does seem to be a way to make sure I catch shows that I'd watch on a whim, but wouldn't plan ahead and tape. (And I'm taping fewer and fewer shows; especially if they all come out on DVD. I'm counting on them releasing all of Buffy and Angel, for example...

Neil Gaiman says that he got Tori Amos's new album Strange Little Girls. I've been less enthusiastic about Tori after her first two albums, but she's still a favorite, so I'm excited that she has a new album out and will get it immediately. (I'm far enough behind in my reading that I probably won't get Neil's new book American Gods until it comes out in paperback though.)

I stained my deck today, as the weather was beautiful for it.

Today's Music: Crowded House, Anoraknophobia, Rumours

Today's Reading: Archangel Protocol

Some funny signs -- good for a laugh!

Tuesday, June 19, 2001

Today's thought: what percentage of e-mails have a subject line of "Hey"?

Home Page - Welcome to The Digital Bits!
looks like a good DVD site. I think I've looked at it before, but not recently....

Star Wars: Episode I | DVD: The Wait is Over
Yeah, I'll buy it again. Actually, I think it's better than a lot of people say it is -- it's better than Jedi, actually. It's no Empire or A New Hope, and Jar Jar is a bit much.

(They don't have the pricing on amazon yet, but they will, I'm sure..)


Monday, June 18, 2001

Neil Gaiman has his new website on line as American Gods will be out soon. I'm way behind in reading his books. It was so much easier when he was a comics writer!

Welcome to Software Methods and Tools
looks like an interesting software development site. (from, which also looks interesting)

sometime I should let loose my rant on the state of software, os preferences, and the like...

I was a bit bored, so I added my
Favorite SF Books and
Favorite Movies to the amazon listmania thing. They're pretty much the same links I did on the MISFITS site, but not identical...

News Askew - Your Daily Source For All Things Askew! said that Kevin Smith was in town last week filming some of the Prince celebrations for a documentary. Too bad I missed seeing him back in Mallrats land.... :)

(I've got a copy of the enhanced Dogma release on pre-order, can't wait for it...) People | The Python returns
Holy Grail re-release? Yes, I can go with that. Calculators: Your Rebate
I'm not sure if I'm happy about the politics of the whole rebate thing -- I think we might end up paying for being so enthusiastic with the cuts in the years to come -- but if you want to know how much you'll get back and when, you can find out...

Making Light has some good "history of science fiction/fandom" type links, or at least does right now, they might scroll back as time goes on,but it'll still be an interesting read, I'm sure... Books | Once upon a dimension
I was sent a copy of Flatterland for the MISFITS site to review a couple of weeks ago. I haven't had a chance to read it yet -- though since I read Flatland as a junior high school math geek, it's very much on my to-read pile. And Salon has an article about it as well, which is cool...

What Peter Gabriel is doing these days...
But will he actually get a new album out? :)

Though he does contribute to the new Afro Celt Sound System album, which comes out soon.

I was linked to on within the last day or so. It had a disturbing link to Timothy McVeigh's Death Certificate. And lots of other interesting links as well....

I saw The Band Wagon (1953) at a friend's house, it was a fun little movie musical.

Oh -- I read in some e-mails on a mailing list I'm on from Gary Russell, one of the producers of the Big Finish Doctor Who audios that Anthony Stewart Head wasn't up for the Master, but that they would certainly like to have him do something for them. And it was reported a while back that they considered him for the very Buffy like (and disappointing) Minuet in Hell, but now that ASH will apparently be in England more, I'd say the chance of him appearing in an audio is more likely...

Well past time for me to get to sleep.


Sunday, June 17, 2001

Steve Jackson Games: Chez Dork
I think I'm going to have to get this one....

Friday, June 15, 2001

ASH as Master in Big Finish Who?
Very interesting....

BBC Online - Cult - Doctor Who - Death Comes To Time
The official trailer, which I haven't listened to yet....


Political Satire from The Brains Trust - New Reality Gameshow - "Commuter" Set for Launch
heh heh...though what about the midwestern US version, where we're all in stuck in our cars... traffic has definitely got worse here in the Twin Cities over the last couple of years.

Wednesday, June 13, 2001

I feel like it's been the Doctor Who Blog this week. Ah well. So now it's through a couple of other things in my life...

I'm sick of rain. Really sick of rain. And life has been very stressful lately, and I think the weather is worsening my mood. It's sort of like when it's very cold in winter. But it's all icky and sticky and then rainy. I don't have great air conditioning where I live -- just a window AC which is enough that I get by, and I was happy with it last year. I'm really looking forward to CONvergence, as I need the vacation and time off, I think. Looking forward to Iron Giant at MISFITS Movie Night this weekend.

This week's comics were Uncanny X-Men #395, Amazing Spiderman #32 (written by B5's JMS), and the fourth volume of Essential X-Men. The Essentials are a real bargain to get a lot of comics real cheap. Lots of what is being published in the Essential X-Men I read through when I was a teen, and it's a big part of what I read growing up, so it's a real nostalgic buzz. (I reviewed The X-Men movie last year, which really fanned the flames of a lot of my Marvel nostalgia, and I'm very pleased that the X-Men books are good again, if the first month of Uncanny X-Men and New X-Men are of any indication. And X-Force is interesting...

And today's magazine is Dr Dobbs Journal.

I got my order of a bunch of CDs from today -- the Transatlantic live CD, Ian Mosley & Ben Castle's album, the outtakes from Afraid of Sunlight and got the updated version of Real to Reel as well.

Today's at music at work was Richard Thompson's Watching the Dark, which I hadn't listened to in a couple of months and thought of when I heard that he's coming to town -- I might go, it's depending on how my schedule is and the like. But I love that collection, and think it's fantastic, fantastic stuff.


Doctor Who Video FAQ has some info about Doctor Who on Video in the US as well....


The cover for City of the Dead, by Lloyd Rose, is pretty cool. (From Gallifrey One, of course). It's also the first Doctor Who novel solely written by an American, so it's something to look forward to. Of course, I'm way behind in my Doctor Who reading (and reading in general) -- next up is Endgame. Though I've also got non Who to read -- The Doomsday Book, Flatterland, and Archangel Protocol, just to start with....

And then there are all of the DVDs I need to watch as well....


The Doctor Who News Page at Outpost Gallifrey has the new Doctor Who DVD covers, which are quite a bit different from the UK covers. And not that bad, really...better than the UK ones, certainly!


Tuesday, June 12, 2001

This is where the Political Compass gives a bit of my political orientation. I'm not really that terribly surprised really. Though I always have some of my doubts with these sorts of tests; as even mapping poltics in a 2-d space is simplistic -- I think most people aren't actually that consistent, or they take things issue by issue even more. And I think sometimes the questions phrased are a bit questionable... But I still find them interesting.

For those of you coming from Laurel's Windowseat Weblog, hello! My main page gives all the basics about me.

The Electra Woman and Dyna Girl Gallery - includes info about the new version that didn't make it on WB's fall schedules. (I'm helping with a room party at CONvergence that has a Krofft theme.)

How to Obscure Any URL (from memepool)

Monday, June 11, 2001 is listing the first batch of Doctor Who (The Five Doctors, Robots of Death, and Spearhead From Space) DVDs, to come out in September.

Details about what they did for the restoration work done for these releases can be found at the Doctor Who Restoration Team site.


Slashdot | Dr. Who To Come Back To The BBC
Another place it was mentioned, and they got it wrong here a bit as well. (It's coming back to the BBC web site AS a series of audio clips. which were recorded for radio but rejected by the station's management.)

More on Death Comes to Time, the Doctor Who audio drama to be broadcast on the web (a couple historical errors in the article, of course)

and it's a busy weekend for Who fans, because the SciFi channel will be showing the 1996 TV Movie on July 15th.


Sunday, June 10, 2001 apparently shut down for now, but Bill Amend's Web Page apparently is a low key version. Lots of places to still get Foxtrot online on the web though.

BBC Online to air Doctor Who: Death Comes to Time
Frustrating though, if they only air it once --- I imagine I won't get around to listening to it then....


I saw Evolution tonight. Not great, not horrible. Good if you're in a group, but don't expect much.

Friday, June 08, 2001

I was told that Allen Robinson, creator of Who's Doctor Who? - A Biography of The Doctor and regular rec.arts.drwho contributor, passed away due to a heart attack yesterday at 49.



BBC Online - Cult - Doctor Who - Photonovels
Cool way to capture parts of Doctor Who that are no longer available on video anywhere, posted on the net....


The Anti-Christs - Radiohead defies rock's own, personal Jesus myth. by Alex Abramovich
I need to buy Amnesiac. Like soon.

Though I've been listening to Boiled In Lead's Alloy a bunch this week, as I finally got a copy of it in.

Thursday, June 07, 2001

But now that the world-historical context has simmered down and a somewhat tamer generation has filled out the hobbit-loving ranks, everyone can see they're just geeks.

- The Village Voice: Features: Lord of the Geeks by Julian Dibbell (via Slashdot)

Wednesday, June 06, 2001

I just got back from seeing Moulin Rouge (see Tim Wick's Review on the MISFITS site) --- one of the stranger movies I've ever seen. I can't rate it yet, don't know what to think about it really.

Actor Duchovny Still Hangs with Aliens

I'm just waiting for Duchovny's autobiography to come out: "I am not Mulder".

(I might see Evolution though -- an alien Ghostbusters has already been done once with Men in Black, but hey, it'll depend on how the schedule is....

Dot-Commers To Receive Unemployment Benefits In Form Of Stock Options
Ah, nothing like the Onion to make me feel a little better in these scary times...

WHUMP dot COM: More Like This Web Log
I'd looked at this briefly once before, but this is really the way these things should really be done. Though I'm not really likely to spend that much time doing anything sophisticated on it either.

I also should look at Tracerlock one of these days, which I saw pointed to on WHUMP as well.

Monday, June 04, 2001

SF Minnesota has updated their site some since I looked at it last.

(I should register for Diversicon, shouldn't I....)

A Stethoscope for Your TV - Is there a methodical way to tell when a TV show's kaput? by Robert Knafo is recommending jump the shark as a site that says when a TV show has passed the point of no return....

Yes, it lists Doctor Who, Babylon 5, Buffy and The X-Files -- though I still haven't looked at the entries in detail, I'll do that later when I have more time...

Labels: Books | The book of the century
Who needs fan articles about Tolkien when you've got something like Salon doing all the work? :)

Still, very interesting. Though at the same time, I bet it won't be long before we're all very very sick of Lord of the Rings stuff, as the movies come along and the marketing machines take more and more control. I mean, I'm anxiously awaiting the movies as much as any good geek, but people have been waiting for (what is hopefully) a quality live-action adaptation of the Lord of the Rings for so long it makes the wait for Star Wars: Episode 1 seem like nothing in comparison...

Sunday, June 03, 2001

The information about June's MN British Television Viewing Society is up. It's an all day pot-lock grill type event, so is worth checking out if you haven't been to one before.

I went ahead and created a listmania list on of some essential albums. Though there are actually some I think I need to get now... :)

I went to the IMAX at the Minnesota Zoo to see Cyberworld 3D, which was great fun to see some computer animation in 3D on a huge screen. It was a lot of fun. I'll have to head back there to see the Meerkats exhibit sometime -- I haven't gone to the zoo in years, and should get around to a return visit.

I then went to Twin-Cities Mechwars it was a fun afternoon of seeing machines beat each other up -- and quite frequently destroy most of the glass surrounding the arena as well. I hope they had enough of an attendence to keep going in future years; but they're going to do something at the state fair this year as well, apparently.

Then it was off to the MISFITS picnic, and while the weather didn't always co-operate, it was good fun, and some good food.

And today has just been a lazy day around the house after the long day of yesterday, as I slept in late and then haven't managed to do much else. Though I finished The Turing Test so now I have to figure out what next to read.... probably time to choose a book that isn't Doctor Who as I've got a bunch of those to read as well...


Friday, June 01, 2001 Technology | FBI declines to pursue "Kaycee" Internet hoax

TV21 The Daleks

Cool 1960s Dalek Cartoons. With an origin of the Daleks that differs from the TV story Genesis of the Daleks, of course...

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