Tuesday, November 29, 2005


The Torchwood Institute: Anime, Future of TV, and You-Know-Who

I wrote over at the The Torchwood Institute something relating not just to Doctor Who, but also covered general media and future of television stuff. (One of the downsides of having multiple blogs is the rare occasion that you'd like to have it go into more than one stream...)



Your Movie and Showtime Map

MashMap is one of the cooler movie sites that I've seen -- it overlays movie information on top of Google's Map. So if there are times that you're trying to make a decision between location, time, and movie, you've got an ideal interface.

Very cool.

Monday, November 28, 2005



I was reading Leonard Maltin's comments about DVD production after following a link from Mark Evanier's Blog. I certainly agree that there are both wonderful and tragic DVD choices being made by DVD producers. Obviously, there are a lot of economic factors involved, and I certainly want the DVDs that I can get to be as well-presented as possible, and idealy with worthwhile extras.

(One of the reasons why I'm quite happy with the rather slow rate that the Doctor Who DVDs are coming out is that they are generally exceptionally well presented; and while there are certainly compromises that are made to get it out there on a budget, there's usually an effort to make sure that it's a good authoritative version of the story & additional features. )

Oh, and while Leonard Maltin is encouraging that fans let people know what they want -- I wish Leonard Maltin's site had an rss feed -- I find that I'm relying on rss feeds more and more for anything that I want to look at regularly using tools like Bloglines more and more.


Sunday, November 27, 2005


The New Order of the UK Music Hall of Fame,

I'm watching the UK Music Hall of Fame right now (it was on VH1)

I think it's a huge, huge shame that VH1 apparently cut a section on a UK-specific group like New Order but included several American acts. It makes some sense that they include multinational acts in their Hall of Fame -- after all, the US Hall of Fame will have some of the same acts. But I think if there's any reason to have a UK Hall of Fame -- and if they're going to distribute it in the US, which I'm hugely in favor of -- it's to demonstrate some of the things that are different between US and UK musical and pop culture. (Especially for those of us that enjoy much of the UK pop culture over in the US...)

I'm sure they needed to do some editing to get into a two hour slot -- but I think there were better ways of doing it than by cutting out an act entirely..

[See the Wikipedia entry on the UK Music Hall of Fame.]



Tracking the backlinks..

I was going through some of my logs, and I see that Big Orange Michael links here, and there's some similar previous content... I'll have to dig through more of what he has...

Friday, November 25, 2005


Alias to finish

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it sounds like Alias is ending after this season.

I've enjoyed the series over the years -- and I suspect that it'll continue to have a good life on DVD. And I'm glad that it's going to get a proper finale rather than silently fade away...

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005


The Torchwood Institute

I've set up a new blog specifically for Doctor Who over at The Torchwood Institute. One of the frustrating things with the huge delay for getting Doctor Who properly distributed over here in America is that things are practically on hold as far as the new series goes. At this point it's not to difficult to get region 2 DVDs from the series, and it'll be even easier in 2006 when region 1 DVDs are released in Canada, but hey, that just makes the new Doctor Who our little secret.

I've had some Doctor Who pages on one website or another for over ten years now, and I've still got most of them on Question Mark, which hasn't been terribly well maintained as internet and blogging technology makes these things a lot easier to do. But having a place for my review of Goth Opera by Paul Cornell from the early 1990s is fun, and if you want to be really nostalgic, there is a nearly two-decade old issue of Question Mark, which captures true 1980s geeky embarassement.

But really, from now on, I'll be blogging and writing about Doctor Who and Torchwood primarly at the Torchwood Institute. I've been writing about Doctor Who for all of my adult life, and it seems unlikely that'll stop anytime soon...


Tuesday, November 15, 2005


She's Such a Geek

Following this post on Boing Boing I followed it to this Call for subs: She's Such a Geek. One of the things that has interested me is that our little corner of geekdom at CONvergence has managed to do a fairly decent job in having both male and female involvement.

But I've also seen (and to be honest, have been a part of) geek groups that haven't been particularly good at adapting to women being involved at all as well, and I'm not even sure it's a conscious decision on anyone's part either.

It'll be interesting to see some of the essays...especially as I'm always intrigued by the different cross-sections from both the IT career perspective as well as the hobby-and-cultural perspective.



BBC - Look Around You - DVD

My favorite part of this description of the Look Around You DVD page on the BBC website is the following: "The 'DVD' player is often limited by regional settings. The unit pictured above will work only in Lincolnshire."

Monday, November 14, 2005


Comic Storage

If you, like me, find that you've got tons of comic book boxes and haven't found a good shelving system for them, I've discovered that Ikea's PAX system of wardrobes also serve as very good storage for comic book boxes as well. The basic unit -- and 5 shelves -- can store about 24 different comic book boxes.

Sunday, November 13, 2005



According to this, there's going to be a new Aquaman tv series...

I'm a bit surprised by that, considering Aquaman is hardly one of the more successful characters from comics...

Friday, November 11, 2005


Interest in physics growing by quantum leaps and bounds

CONvergence 2005 Guest of Honor Dr. Jim Kakalios had an article written up about him in the Star Tribune about his book The Physics of Superheroes, which I definitely recommend


Thursday, November 10, 2005



The offical Doctor Who site has pictures of the 2006 model of The Cybermen. Like last year's redesign of the Daleks, it's actually a lot more of a traditional design than some people might have expected -- it's a bit more of a redesign, but then the Cybermen have always been a lot more varied over the years.

It looks a lot like you can see Bryan Hitch's influence here -- it looks similar to his Iron Man. I'm actually quite pleased that it's neither a Borg-style design, as the Borg are very similar conceptually to the Cybermen, and that they are men-in-suits as opposed to the CGI Cylons from the new Battlestar Galactica. They're recognizably Cybermen, with handlebars and eyedrops.

Always cool...


Monday, November 07, 2005


Nothing Is Free

I've been thinking a bit, about how we pay for things, and what can be translated into money -- which, of course, can be translated into other things. And as we move into a place where more and more things can be both advertising vehicles as well as directly purchased, we've got a number of different points.

Perhaps I should have taken an economics course in college -- it's one of my few educational regrets, actually.

I realized that in a typical going-out-to-the-movies experience, you'll possibily encounter multiple different sorts of transactions.

There's the obvious direct translation of cash into a product, service, a set of information, or a combination of all of the above. So in a movie, there's some that goes for the various services involved with keeping the theater clean, functioning, and providing the entertainment that you want. There's also the price to produce the information (ie, the movie) that you are watching.

And that leads to advertising. When something carries adverising, instead of you buying the product, another organization is paying the advertising vehicle's ability to deliver a set of eyeballs.

Also, the movie theater may have a loyality program. With this, you'll occasionally get free movie tickets, or discounts at the concessions stand. Really, what you're doing here is "selling" information, and also perhaps doing something similar to "buying in bulk". I've no doubt that the movie theater can make lots of interesting conclusions by tracking when, what, and where people see any particular film. We get this same thing at supermarkets or other retailers as well -- patterns of what people buy, when they buy them, and how many things they buy. Even if they don't use that for targetting advertising later -- which in many cases they do -- there's still a lot of things that they can do with that data. For example, there's usually some obvious logic when they package two apparently unrelated items together for a sale. You see it with something like Amazon.com all the time.

That's all obviously key to what a company like Google is doing. They're collecting data -- all sorts of information. Most of us don't write checks to Google -- but they can collect information, based on what we link to, what we search on (and then follow), and so on.

I suppose this is all obvious. But also all quite relevant, especially as it becomes easier to use more and more information. Maybe.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


Some great new Doctor Who pictures

From the Sky Website.

Looks good so far. Lots of fun.

You can also see David Tennant in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in a couple of weeks...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


The Doctor Who Shooting Scripts

I just got the shooting scripts for the 2005 series of Doctor Who. It's huge -- and quite well put together. If this is what we're getting "instead" of novelizations, I'm not going to be too saddened by their loss.

One of the glorious parts of the Doctor Who tradition is that it invites the fan and viewer to get involved with the production aspects. The curtain is raised, and we get to see some parts of what goes on behind-the-scenes. Doctor Who is one of the most documented television programs out there, for a wide variety of reasons. One of the worries that one might have had is that a ressurected, modern Doctor Who would overlook that part of the series legacy -- especially as they try to keep secrets and surprises before something airs in the UK.

The new series is, of course, the result of people that read books like The Making of Doctor Who in the 1970s, or old issues of Doctor Who magazine -- and this book carries on that tradition, quite probably encouraging the person who revives Doctor Who in 2040. It's happened before.

It is also one of those pieces where despite the American marketplace's resistance to the new series, we can still get a feel for it very quickly through items such as this, besides just importing DVDs.




It looks like the Musical Box concert I blogged about a couple of weeks ago has been cancelled. According to all indications, you should be able to get refunds, except for the various evil ticket surcharges.

Ah well, such is life...


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