He’s a monster, all right

I’m about to watch the season finale of Penny Dreadful.  I’ve enjoyed this season, for the most part.  For the most part being more than half of it, at the least.

I’ve even come to enjoy Dorian Gray, who I disdained during the first season.  He was less fop and more fiend this season.  I do so love a good fiend.

I still can’t stand John Clare, the creation of Dr. Frankenstein.  Or as the blind gal calls him, Mistah Clayahhhh.  She isn’t the only one tired of Mr. Clare’s crappy poetics.

Oh, how we get it Mr. Clare.  You poor monster.  Forever waffling between being a new god among men and being just another emo twat without anybody to love him.  Perhaps it isn’t your ugly mug, Mr. Clare.  Just perhaps it’s because you are truly dreadful company.  Not even worth the penny, I would say.

I didn’t think his bride would be worse.  She is.  Brona Croft.  A fittingly shitty name for a shitty, undead hooker.  Mr. Clare can have her.  I hope they elope.  Soon.

Of course, that won’t happen.  The gloomy Mr. Clare couldn’t accept such happiness.  I don’t think he was built for it.  Even the undead hooker seems sketchy on him.  Can’t blame her, though they were made for each other.  Two pissants in a pot, if you ask me.

The fast on the draw American wolf.  The gloriously wicked Madame Kali and her naked, bald witches.  Dr. Frankenstein, as long as he’s high as shit.  Miss Ives and Sir Malcolm, stiff upper lift – stiffer jab.  Especially Sembene, the enigmatic, former slave-trading African.  Even Ferdinand Lyle, the great, gay, hilariously lispy oopma loompa of the story.  These are the characters for me.

I’m sure it will all work out.  Won’t it, mum?

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It’s a space station

There is something magickal about a mid-day moon hung in a clear, blue sky.

It feels like being in a sci-fi movie.  Not a Syfy movie, where an ill-mannered mad scientist unleashes a dragonfly-shark hybrid in the park and everyone gets mauled.  A sci-fi movie on some other planet that looks quite a bit like ours, but where moons are always in the sky.  Usually more than one.  A movie where an ill-mannered mad scientist is planning to blow up one of those moons because its ethereal beauty offends her.  And because she can.  She just built the coolest anti-moon weapon and has been dying to try it out anyway.

Maybe that should be my July Camp Nanowrimo plot.  I can’t decide on anything else.

We should probably stop her before all hell breaks loose.  Or we could just sit in the grass and admire the nice day before it rains again.  Because the actual movie I’m in involves flooding and tornadoes and wicked lightning that don’t need no man.

Ain’t she purdy?

Maybe it’s just a hologram!

Montage!

Hang onto your cell phones, things are going to get bumpy.

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Seven years for Seveneves

I have enjoyed some Neal Stephenson novels in my time.  Cryptonomicon and Quicksilver, if we’re going to name names.

His new novel Seveneves is ready for ingestion.

However, the book’s informational blurb came with the line “a grand story of annihilation and survival spanning five thousand years.”  I wasn’t sure I was ready for such an undertaking.  That’s a lot of annihilation and survival.

Some of the positive reviews mention the length is not a detriment to reader enjoyment.  I bet that’s true, assuming you are enjoying what Stephenson is putting down.

Neal Stephenson doing a book signing at the Na...

Neal Stephenson doing a book signing at the National Book Festival (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Maybe I’ve been ruined by reading so many shitty books lately.  My literary diet has atrophied my brain and made me an unhappy reader who mutters to himself about bad sentence structure and poorly drawn characters.  Perhaps something like Seveneves could save me.  A shock to my system with enough force and weight behind it to remind me what the good stuff can be like.  Do I have a spare seven years with which to spend reading this monstrosity?  Probably.

On the other hand, maybe I don’t need to while the summer away on 5,000 years of apocalyptic future.  I am burned out on the apocalypse and have been refusing to partake in apocalyptic anything lately.  Of course, Stephenson’s version isn’t likely to be like all the rest of the apocalyptic pablum.  It will be well-thought-out and immersive.  But that doesn’t mean it will be fun.

I’m undecided.  I need someone I trust to dash through it and let me know what it’s really like.  Is it well-paced or will it put me to sleep?

I could probably use more sleep.  Having someone hit me with the Seveneves hardcover might accomplish that in short order.

I wonder how long the audio book is…

 

 

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Things go up, things come down

No, I’m not talking about dropping acid or that empty post-rave ennui you’ve got going on.

There will be a LightSail test launch today over in Florida.  Live coverage starts at 9:45AM Central.

Nobody is going to be sailing on sunlight today, but it’s a first step and that’s encouraging.

Read about The Planetary Society and go watch live.

English: Artist rendering of SpaceX Dragon spa...

English: Artist rendering of SpaceX Dragon spacecraft delivering cargo to the International Space Station. Credit NASA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tomorrow, the SpaceX Dragon cargo ship is leaving the ISS.  You should get up early, have some uppers and watch that too.  The ship launched April 14 and is the only space station resupply ship able to return to Earth intact.  Reuse, Recycle, Return to Earth!

Watch it on NASA TV.  Coverage starts at 5:45AM Central tomorrow, but it will take a while.

This is cool shit, you jaded twits!  You probably didn’t think last night’s three overtime Blackhawks game was exciting either.  Shame shame shame.

In other news about things coming down to Earth, we have the Australian ballooning spiders I discussed in my last post.  A guy named Keith Basterfield wants samples of the webbing, sometimes referred to as Angel Hair.  He’s apparently been at this since 2001.  Probably not to use with a good pesto sauce.  Although, given Basterfield’s writings about UFOs, who knows.  I suggest you keep your Angel Hair to yourself and let Keith collect his own.

I know spiders are mysterious, have a world domination agenda, and their webbing is amazing stuff, but it is not “a mysterious substance created by the interaction of a UFO or its electromagnetic field with Earth’s atmosphere.”

Everyone seems to agree that this time it’s the Spider Legions.  Probably because it was a big enough event to draw the attention of experts.

Look to the skies, people.  But remember to keep your mouth closed!

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Spiders, spiders everywhere. Spiders, spiders in your hair!

I have a long-running war with spiders.  There have been a number of incidents.  Led by my nemeses, the yellow sac spiders.

It is obvious that they have it in for me.  I reciprocate, with the exception of one brief pause in hostilities.

When I first moved into my house, I discovered a spider under the bottom step of the basement stairs.  It was a typical Broad-faced Sac Spider.  Black or dark brown, with a phat ass and no markings that indicated any death-dealing gang affiliations.

Like any amateur naturalist, I let it live.  I even set up a camera to see what it was up to while I wasn’t around.  I named her George.  I did not hug and squeeze her.  We hadn’t gotten that close yet.

We never would.

You see, one day I discovered that George had made four egg sacs.  Not just one, four.  George did not understand what being a good houseguest meant.  George and George’s progeny were dealt with harshly.  With fire and harsh language.

I am no longer so easy-going with the eight-legged freaks.  Other than the funnel web spiders.  They stay encamped in the basement windows and don’t bother me.  Plus, I find the whole funnel web thing nifty.  I respect their moxie.  Just twang the outside of that funnel and see what happens.

I don’t see an end to this war of ours.  Unless they call in paratrooper support.

As they did in Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia.

Spiders net in forrest

Spiders net in forrest (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know about webs in the beard.  Nothing screws up a morning run like plowing face first into a five foot diameter web built between trees.

Shake, shake, shake it off.  And shudder.  And whirl around like a dervish.  Then lay down and cry because you will never convince yourself that bad girl isn’t on you still.  Waiting to strike.

Or lay eggs in your beard.

Ballooning baby spiders sounded so much cooler in Charlotte’s Web.

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Up, up and away

There is a species of catfish in Ecuador that climbs cave walls.  It reminds me of how Chicagoans feel trying to claw our way up out of winter to see some sunlight.

It’s unknown why these fish, who are not adapted for life in the caves (the are not blind, for instance, and they eat algae, which requires sunlight) are even there.

I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest they are extreme sporting fish who love spelunking.

It’s either that or they are searching out new habitat before the Amazon rivers are all wrecked.

Or maybe they’re government agents seeking out the lizard people’s underground lair.

The Descent might have been a much stranger film with climbing catfish involved.

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Flying Saucer live on Ustream!

Sorry (not sorry), it’s not a UFO.  The strange people responsible are not part of the Galactic Federation of Lights and do not come to us from the Andromeda Galaxy.  I can’t confirm that none of them are lizard folk.  Those creeps are sneaky sneaky.

NASA is doing a live stream of its Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator at 9am PDT (11am CDT).

According to Earthsky, the LDSD will undergo a spin-table test:

During the broadcast, the 15-foot-wide, 7,000-pound vehicle is expected to be undergoing a spin-table test.

JPL’s Gay Hill will host the program while LDSD team members will answer questions submitted to the Ustream chat box or via Twitter using the #AskNASA hashtag.

The vehicle is meant to enable large payloads to land on the surface of Mars.

NASA obviously chose the saucer shape so the Martians wouldn’t be frightened by an unfamiliar looking craft.

Tune in to Ustream for the live broadcast.

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In Russia, carrots crater you!

Russian meteorites are endless fun.

The Chelyabinsk meteorite from way back in February 2013 is still a chart topper.

It was well-documented and much speculated upon by people who know nothing about meteorites but an awful lot about lizard folks from Zeta Riticuli.

If you’re the Lizard King, you can do anything.  Even disguise your space cruiser as a meteorite menacing Russia.

The newest fun stuff is about carrots.  Researchers at the 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference reported on funnel-shaped “carrots” left in the snow by meteorite fragments.  It’s a pretty nifty effect resulting from the physics of impacts on porous material.

I guess I can see where they got “carrot,” but I would have gone with “meteorite flavoured ice bugles“.  I think it sells better to the youth market.  You can’t tempt them to science with carrots, man.

This has nothing to do with anything, but I couldn’t resist the image of people freezing their carrots in an ice hole in Chelyabinsk City.

 

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Are you feeling lucky, punk?

So, it is one of those days.  A Friday, the thirteenth day of a month.

Tom Savini applies make-up to Ari Lehman, crea...

Tom Savini applies make-up to Ari Lehman, creating his vision of Jason Voorhees. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This means you probably have the opportunity to catch at least one movie with Jason Voorhees (or his mother…or some faker!) killing nubile, young folks near a pond.

Not that you care, because you can stream it whenever you want.  Everything is so easy for you now, isn’t it?  If only you could detach yourself from your giant cell phone long enough to be free.  Take the red pill before it’s too late!

Turns out, this year Friday the 13th is pretty lucky.  Today is the second of three such Fridays this year.  We already had one in February and we will have one in November if the end of days doesn’t happen first.  Check out the technical details in this EarthSky article.

This triple threat only happens eleven times in the 21st century.

The 13th goes to 11!

I DON’T KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON ANYMORE!

Enjoy the weekend kids.  It will be nice in Chicago for once.

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Penny fore you’re naught

“Do you believe the past can return?”

I’m not sure, Ms. Ives.  I’m just not sure.

I know I’m not alone thinking I spend more time waiting around for television shows than I do watching.

I’m also willing to concede that quality can’t be rushed.

The problem for me is that I will just move on.

The emotional entanglement created by a good bit of televised drama is not a permanent spell.  It dissipates.

And so I stumble upon a first look at Penny Dreadful Season 2.

Season 1 ended in June of last year.  Season 2 is slated for late April.

I’m not sure how to feel.  I recall getting into that show.  The memory of those long ago nights is fuzzy.

Our heroine had come to grips with herself.  Sort of.  The tall, hairy American hadn’t.  Not really.  Though we no longer had to wait for his less obvious fangs to come out.  The esteemed gentlemen revealed his weaknesses, but hardened himself and did what must be done.  The vampire satan thing ran away into the night without a bride.  The doctor was fretting over a bride of his own creation.  The creepy painting remained creepy.  The whore with consumption was finally consumed.

A lot of stuff happened, but it felt comfortable.  Even the uncomfortable bits.

Now, I liked the gritty atmosphere of the show’s London.  Eva Green is fun to watch.  Timothy Dalton is smooth to listen to.  Josh Hartnett is the squinting, confused drunk hiding his dark secrets that I am early Saturday morning waiting for a cab home.  We both have the same sketchy looking facial hair and a tendency to growl when irritated.

However, I fear one of two things in April.

The first being that the show will recognize that we forgot about it and shacked up with another while it was doing a year abroad.  To this end, the season will start slowly.  Trying to draw us back in.  Enticing us with sweets, but refusing to deliver.  Wearing on our patience.

The second is a cannonball into the frozen pond.  An attempt to shock our love back into being.

I’m not sure which is worse.  I could rewatch the first season to get in the swing of things. I won’t.  Probably.  The marathon showings that precede a new season are like quicksand.  Beware, lest you lose an entire day to the infinite void.  I’ve heard that some people never find the way back.

Maybe it will just be fun and I’ll fall back into the show like I never left.  I doubt it.  I’m not that person.

But the call is strong.  After all, nothing is on.  Nothing is ever on.  The Netflix menu is the best thing on lately.

Any port in a storm.

Hell, I’ll likely forget about all of this wordsmithing by April 2nd and be pleasantly surprised to find Penny Dreadful is about to start a new season.  Surely I can find something else to rant about between now and then.

The trailer certainly tried to pull me into its embrace.  I should go take a warm Bathory.

 

 

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