Tuesday, April 25, 2017

More TV

I just watched the second episode of Class. And if I had somewhat mixed feelings about the first one, I enjoyed this one much more thoroughly, mainly for the characters and the sense of humor. Although I am more than a little surprised by its positively Torchwoodian levels of gore.

As for the most recent episode of Doctor Who, my opinion of it is much the same as it was of the last one: the plot's not much, but the character stuff is fantastic, and the new companion is an utter delight.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Well, Really, There Had To Be At Least One Post This Month Complaining About My Sleep/Work Schedule

Yeah, I got nothin' today. I'm switching from a weekend of night shifts back onto days (briefly), I've had less than five hours of sleep, my circadian rhythms are screwed up, and there is not enough coffee in the entire world. Man, the older I get the more I find myself thinking that there may be a limit to how long I can do this rotating shifts thing. At least on the crappy, short-handed schedule that's now our permanent status quo. Bah.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Yeah, Science!

Of course, April 22 was not just Earth Day, it was also the day of the March for Science. I gather there were some activities going on for this where I live, and I have to say, even that though I am chronic non-joiner and find it extremely difficult to get off my butt even for things I strongly believe in, marching for science is something I might have made an exception for if I weren't working today. (You know, doing science.) As it is, in a vague gesture of solidarity, I wore my shirt with the Neil DeGrasse Tyson quote: "The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it."

CNN has some pictures of amusing sciencey signs. I particularly like the one that says, "What do we want? Evidence based research! When do we want it? After peer review."

Saturday, April 22, 2017

It's Where I Keep All My Stuff

Happy Earth Day! Remember, it is extremely important to take proper care of the Earth, as the relocation costs are entirely prohibitive.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Operation Don't Get Killed By My Airbag Is A Go!

Today's fun activity: getting the airbag inflator on my car replaced. I went online and looked up some information on the recall, and it turns out to be huge, and has even been called "the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history," with more and more cars being added to the list over the last few years, and the company that makes the airbags possibly paying as much as $1 billion in penalties. Well, I guess that's what happens when your safety equipment occasionally impales people in the face...

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Why Are There So Many Crappy Planets?

Today's random link: Seedship, a simple but strangely addictive text-based game in which you play a starship AI tasked with finding a new colony world for the last cryogenically frozen remnants of humanity. I finally founded a colony that not only survived, but developed into an enlightened utopia on the eighth try, then decided to quit while I was ahead.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

What Betty's Watching, Part Whatever

Today has been a badly needed rest day. I slept in, spent some time reading on the couch, took a walk, ordered a pizza, and watched some television. Bliss!

But it leaves me without much to talk about today. Except television. So, some comments on things I've been watching lately:

Class: I did watch the first episode! It feels, well, maybe a little too obviously aimed at teenagers for my own middle-aged tastes. To be honest, I can probably count the number of TV shows set in high schools that I've ever really enjoyed on two fingers. But it was pleasant enough, and while the first episode feels like a lot of setting things up, what it's setting up is potentially interesting, so I'm tentatively looking forward to the rest of it, and to seeing how it all shakes out. I'm not sure, though, whether it's a good sign or a bad sign that my interest levels in the first ep skyrocketed the minute the Doctor showed up.

Better Call Saul: The spinoff that seems like it should never have worked continues to work wonderfully well, but maybe that really shouldn't be much of a surprise given the sheer amount of raw talent both in front of and behind the cameras. Although possibly even more entertaining to me than the show itself is a comment Vince Gilligan made on Chris Hardwick's show after the season premiere. When asked about filming in the hot New Mexico sun, he said that New Mexico is like that original Star Trek episode with the space hippies: it's really beautiful, but then you realize everything is trying to kill you. I must say, of all the Star Trek episodes to find myself living in, I had not expected "The Way to Eden!"

Samurai Jack: I had forgotten how amazing this show was until it suddenly and belatedly came back. The revived version definitely has a bit of a different feel to it, but it's kept the same stylistic brilliance.

Once Upon a Time: Still the show I am most embarrassed to love unequivocally (if not unreservedly). I've heard rumors of possible major cast shake-ups, though, and perhaps a revamping of the show to accommodate those, and the way things are currently going in the storyline seems like it might be entirely consistent with something like that. I... am dubious about whether such a thing would even remotely work, but I guess we'll see. Maybe.

The Expanse: I never read the books this was based on, and I'm thinking now that was an oversight, as I'm really liking the series. It started off slow, but it's definitely holding my interest now. Although I do think it's one of those shows that may be better binge-watched, as the plot is pretty intricate, and I do keep finding myself forgetting important details from week to week. And it's interesting... I can think of very few space TV shows that are strictly solar system-based like this, and it may well be the very first genuinely hard SF TV show ever. But this is a subgenre that seems to be having a surprising pop cultural moment. A friend of mine suggested, when I brought this subject up, that that may have a lot to do with the fact it's much more feasible to do special effects involving zero-g and such than it was in the past, and I imagine that does account for a lot of it. But probably not all of it. It certainly doesn't account for the startling mainstream success of The Martian before it was ever adapted to film, for instance.

I may be watching other things, too, but if I am, they're either on hiatus right now, or have slipped my mind entirely. That's probably more than enough, though. Too much actually interesting stuff on TV is cutting way into my ability to work my way through the Netflix queue.