amethyst73: (tazz)
With much thanks to scifigrl47 over at archiveofourown (read all her stuff here), I'm now reading the official blogs of Dr. John Watson and Sherlock Holmes, as presented by the BBC.

There's blog entries.  (The early ones on John's site are adorably clueless.)  There's forum entries.  (Holmes and Watson chat on Holmes' forums quite a bit, and it's as entertaining as their on-screen interaction.)

Go. Read them now.

Watson's blog
Holmes' site
amethyst73: (tazz)
So we just finished watching Reichenbach Fall (conclusion to Episode 3 of Season 2.  You know.  That one).

<deep breath>
Spoilers for end of season 2 if you care about that. )

Oh.  I am still alive.  Worky work.  Cats.  Some sewing stuff.  Singing going well.  The usual.  It's even raining!
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So I'm down to the last couple of episodes of Princess Tutu.  As has been the case in I think pretty much every anime series I've ever watched (which is, admitedly, not that many), the end of the series is being pretty in-effin-credible.  Revelations and transformations of the characters, and even the world itself, that just take your breath away.  I wish I didn't have to go to bed - I clearly need to set aside an hour and a half and watch the last three episodes (the one I just watched, plus the last two) all in one sitting.  Major cliff-hanger at the end of the episode I just watched.

Yes, there's a lot of silliness.  The random animals are just weird.  There's a lot of slightly saccharine stuff along the way as various emotions are explored and accepted.  But the halfway episode (which sure as heck feels like the last one when you're watching it) plus the last few, have been just amazing. 
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So!  Lots of stuff to talk about.

• As intimated in a couple of earlier posts, I now have job security!  Starting on 2/22, I'll be joining a sequencing group at my current university.  Life has apparently changed quite a bit in the sequencing world; instead of running a single reaction in a single lane (or capillary), I'll be doing Illumina-style library sequencing - hundreds and hundreds of little reactions, all in a single - very expensive - lane.  (My current professor is a little sad at the cost of materials for the project I'm doing now - about $30K for the large amounts of the two most expensive components.  It will take us about a month and a half to two months to go through those materials and complete the study.  At my new job, when I've run two of these Illumina cartridges, with about eight "lanes" for each of them, I will have gone through a roughly equal cost in materials, and I bet I'll do that on my very first day.) 
  I'm excited, naturally; among other things, I'll be working with one of the people from my *last* position, at the Genome Center.  But at the moment, the sequencing group is a little understaffed; I'll be employee #3 in the group.  I'm also nervous, of course: with the cost of materials involved, I'm terrified of making mistakes.  But it'll be neat to pick up a new set of skills.  I know that I do pretty well with process work, so I think I'll be reasonably content.  Wish me luck!

• I have a working hypothesis for the itchy spreading red area around my cat bite.  I took off the bandage that the hospital had put over the bite to show my doctor Monday evening.  He didn't have any of these fancy bandages, so gave me a different sort, which I took off later to shower.  As the bite had pretty well closed up, I didn't bother putting a new bandage on.  The redness mostly went away.  A day or two later after I showered, I noticed that the remaining red area (inflamed a bit by the hot shower, and so more noticeable than previously) had an unusual shape to it that exactly followed the outline of the bandage.  I'd forgotten that my mother, my brother, and I all have sensitive skin, but I would bet that I have a contact allergy to some component of Coverlet Adhesive Dressing, probably the adhesive.  Oh, and doxycyclene is kinder to my system than clindamycin and sulfameth were.  I'll still be glad to be done with antibiotics, but, well...

• Check out the videos at Nova's Making Stuff miniseries site.  David Pogue has been hosting a series of programs on materials science, and the third program aired this past week.  Full episodes about making stuff stronger, smaller, and cleaner are available online, and making stuff smarter is next week.  This week's episode on 'cleaner' had no fewer than three jaw-dropping moments for me (one each in new methods of car component production, plastic bag reuse, and fuel cell development), and is well worth your time.
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My nose and head are somewhat clearer.  I'm pretty definitely less miserable than I was yesterday at this time.  But I seem to be moving on to The Cough That Does Not Die, if Huz's experience is anything to go by.

*sigh*  I wonder if I'll go to work tomorrow?


In other news, I am up to Volume 9 of Girl Genius, and have watched 10 of the 26 episodes of Princess Tutu.  The story is surprisingly emotionally engaging, though it took its sweet time about getting going.  It's good to have something dramatic and pretty in 26-minute segments to hang out and watch.

And for something a little different, I have to thank [ profile] digitalemur  for the following Top Gear video, in which they try very hard to destroy a particular Toyota truck: here, and my brother, who gave me this other Top Gear video link in return.

I guess Top Gear is like Mythbusters, but with a focus on cars?
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Real Men Watch Princess Tutu:

"Holy hell this is the manliest show ever. Its got people getting their hearts ripped out, evil ravens, knights, fables, romantic subplots, dancing, ballerina princesses. YEA YOU HEARD ME. Characters. Loads of characters more characters than you know what to do with. Too many characters? TOO BAD. You want music? Tutu's got it. You want hot blooded rock music? Get that weak sauce out of here. This show has Tchaikovsky. Does your show have Tchaikovsky? Hell no, you probably can't even pronounce Tchaikovsky. This is manlier than a lumberjack flossing with barbed wire and anybody who says otherwise just can't handle it. WATCH PRINCESS TUTU."

What?  No being on a horse, there at the end?

Curious TV

Jan. 11th, 2011 03:43 pm
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While [ profile] hoshikage  was visiting us a few weeks back, she showed me a music video made of stuff from Princess Tutu.  Remembering that, I just watched the first episode on Hulu.  It's... curious.  A not-very-with-it youngish ballet student is actually a duck made human, and also the aforementioned Princess Tutu, who can dance like anything and (apparently) cast spells with her dance moves.  Oh, and one of their dance teachers is a cat.  It would probably be hallucinogenic even if I weren't feverish.

Anyway.  Back to your regularly scheduled babble.
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Last night was Not Fun.  TMI )

I wonder if the show title "Save Me! Lollipop" would sound half as bizarre if I weren't running a moderate fever?

Anyone have ideas for non-HuluPlus shows that would be particularly amusing?
amethyst73: (Default)
First, you've gone and removed the full-length episodes of Samurai Champloo, which makes me sad.  I didn't even have that many left to watch.

Second, why have you made full-length content of certain things (like *all* of Buffy) HuluPlus only???  I find that annoying and obnoxious.  Fie on you.


Jul. 4th, 2010 09:19 pm
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Just watched the pilot episode of the live-action version of The Tick.  My brain hurts now.  It walks an extremely fine line between funny and just plain stupid, and I honestly can't decide whether I like it or not.  I wanted a break from Samurai Champloo, though, of which I've watched a somewhat astonishing seven episodes in the last couple of days.  It's good - it's very good, particularly Lullabies of the Lost (verses 1 and 2), which made me cry.  But I decided to watch something different; watching the pilot of Magic Knights Rayearth just didn't quite cut it for me, despite having rather enjoyed episodes of it courtesy of [ profile] hoshikage  back in grad school.

(The things you do while waiting for your system to recover from stomach bug.  Which it basically has now.  Hmmm, more soup?)
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I gave in to temptation and watched an episode each of He-Man and She-Ra.  (It makes a pleasant distraction from looking at websites for retirement homes in the Boston area, 'k?)

He-Man: Seems to exist on a world with a startling number of supers on it.  Skeletor has powerful allies, but so does He-Man.  In the relatively early episode that I watched, each side had - again - one token powerful female (Teela, the captain of the palace guard who bears such a strong resemblance to She-Ra that I expect the makers simply reused the character template, on the good side and Evil-Lyn on the bad).  The dialog seemed somewhat less bad than Voltron, perhaps because it was a native English series, and He-Man gets a lot of mildly amusing lines.  He-Man also had the requisite 'lesson' at the end of each show, which I'd totally forgotten about.  ("In today's episode, Skeletor was trying to use a shortcut to gain the power and riches he craved.  You should never take shortcuts, or listen to the people who offer them."  So... if Skeletor had taken a more arduous path in his takeover attempt, that would have been okay?)

She-Ra: Again, chose an early episode, and am glad I did.  There's a great deal more back story to She-Ra.. kind of along the lines of Cecil in Final Fantasy 4, starting out by serving the bad guys but then seeing that they're not the right side.  And there's the whole brother-sister thing.  I suspect the series later devolves into the standard "Rebels attack/are attacked by the Horde, and She-Ra saves them" storyline.  Funny... She-Ra had better dialog, better voice acting, and (I think) an entirely different voice actor in her normal personality, Force Captain Adora.  From the opening sequence to the show, it looks like there are actually a fair number of female supers as part of the Rebellion, though all the rebel prisoners held by the Horde in the episode were clearly peasant-level guys.  Makes sense, as the show was targeted more to girls than guys.  (More evidence that the show is girl-targeted: OMG flying unicorns with rainbow wingz!!!)
amethyst73: (Default)
Home sick again today.  Better than yesterday, but I figured that staying home and continuing to rest was the better part of valor, and indeed I am going back to bed soon.  However, I wanted tea first, and having discovered yesterday that one of the cartoon series that I enjoyed watching as a kid, Voltron, was up on Hulu, I picked an episode at random and watched it as I drank my tea.

Wow.  Talk about gender stereotyping and massive inefficiency, not to mention bad science.

In the episode that I picked, "The Lion Has New Claws," all five of the lions are piloted by guys.  (Admittedly, one of them is some random kid, but still.)  The Galactic Council is all white males.  The good guys and bad guys appear to have one token interesting female each - the princess on the good-guy side (who will, in fairness, end up piloting one of the lions) and the witch on the bad-guy side.  (And the princess has an Older White Male to advise her, of course.)  There are other women on the good-guy side, but they're all effectively peasants and mothers, no figures of power.  Because the bad guys are aliens (and this particular episode showed very few of them) it's hard to tell whether there are any non-powerful women at all.

Inefficiency: Why do the pilots (1) have a drop-tube down to their individual transit vehicles, which (2) then take them to the lions?  Wouldn't it be more convenient to park the lions on the palace grounds?  (3) Why do they go through announcing the procedure of forming Voltron every time?  Why not just do it?  Everyone knows which part they're supposed to be.  Oh... It's so the writers have to come up with that many fewer seconds of actual plot!

Bad science: Yeah, it's sci-fi/adventure, I know.  But nonetheless, you have to laugh in disbelief when the witch tells her monster-of-the-day "It's only ten million light years to Planet Ares.  We'll be there in a matter of moments."

I think my brain just lost a few IQ points.  Now, will I risk further damage by picking up what will no doubt end up being further horrendously stereotyped episodes of those gotta-buy-them-all cartoons, He-Man and She-Ra, also currently up on Hulu?
amethyst73: (Default)
Oh, what an excellent episode.

In the spirit of attempting to keep things spoiler-free, I will merely say: I'm sorry that the character who ended up dead is dead, because they were really kind of cool.  On the other hand, the person who killed that character is extremely interesting and vastly entertaining, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of them.
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I stayed home today with the vague cold-like sensation of having no energy at all.  (This, after coming home early from work yesterday, after having spent the morning making sure that whatever I worked on could be easily fixed/recovered if I did something appallingly stupid - which meant I mostly did sequence analysis and figure-building.)  I went back to bed for about an hour after dropping Huz off at the train station, and spent the remainder of the day largely hanging out at the computer.  I designed a few different itineraries to NZ and Australia to see what dates and order did to prices.  I watched Season Two Episode One of Dollhouse over on hulu, which was overall not bad TV but I made sure to visit Wikipedia afterwards to find out more of who exactly these people were.  And I played a fair amount of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 2, which, some 70+ battles in, continues to be extremely engaging.  Didn't play any Scribblenauts today, though I did last night.  I continue to find the lexicon impressive, though aspects of control are less intuitive than might be desired.  Also, there's a HUGE difference in difficulty between the Puzzle levels (e.g. Reunite the girl with her kitten on the roof) and the Action levels (Starite is shown, need to overcome various difficult and/or dangerous obstacles to acquire it) within the same relative set. 

More energetic tonight than last night.  I cleaned the bathroom, at least partly, and swept the floor while getting an education on flavors of Linux.  Me, I like chocolate.  Does anyone make a chocolate-flavored Unix?

amethyst73: (Default)
Just watched.  *sigh*  Very amazing.  Crime against humanity that that was the LAST ONE.

Anyone around here own the graphic novels, and can we borrow them?
amethyst73: (Default)
• It's kind of wrong for a torture scene to be screamingly funny.  Brilliant, brilliant writing.

• Jeez, what kind of insane high Constitution does Malcolm have??!?  Between this and "Out of Gas," Huz and I figure it's around 30 or so.

• Book can shoot!  Somewhat more surprisingly, so can River!

• Angst yet again that there were so few episodes of this fine, fine show.
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Certain of my friends (most notably [ profile] hoshikage) have been posting pictures of the snow they've received this year for Christmas. I thought I'd post a few pictures of my own in return. The pictures were all taken today - yes, all of them! )
amethyst73: (Default)
Just watched the pilot episode of Firefly over on hulu.

Wow. Total awesomeness. Much more our style than Buffy.  Can't wait to watch more!

amethyst73: (Default)
Reposted from kayray

I haven't actually tried anything on the site, but it seems that watchsitcoms has full episodes (and seasons?  somebody check me on this) of several TV shows - including Lost!  Whee, I can has polar bear now.  :)  And movies and stuff too.  Looking forward to checking it out.

(Yes, it's likely easier and nicer watching DVDs, but hey.  Free is free, especially if you don't feel like going to the library.)
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Last night was both productive and pleasant!  It started with my submitting my first job application of the current hunt season.  It's a posting at Stanford that's been up since December, so it may well have been filled already (some professors are very poor at notifying the HR office when they should take down postings).  Anyway, we'll see.

I  cooked another winner of a recipe from the 30-Minute Meals cookbook.  It's a super-easy kung pao style shrimp with ramen noodles.  It took only about 45 minutes, including me noodling around trying to decide when to start the actual cooking part (as with many of the recipes in the book, once you start cooking, there's not really a stopping point, and I knew that the huz would be some late getting home) and being a little tentative cooking raw shrimp for the first time ever.  Any recipe where most of the prep time involves rinsing shrimp, cutting up a bell pepper, and peeling some garlic and ginger which is then thrown in the mini-food processor is probably going to be a winner timewise.  And it was tasty too!  Definitely will do again.

We watched the first episode ("Hans My Hedgehog") of Jim Henson's The Storyteller, a program that lasted all of one season.  John Hurt in a set of gnomish prosthetics is The Storyteller, providing narration of classic fairy tales which are acted out onscreen (with dialogue) by human and puppet actors.  The narration is usually wonderfully poetic: there was a lovely description of a melancholy bagpipe air "that began with what sounded like hello, and ended with what sounded like goodbye."  The visual style is strongly reminiscent of Labyrinth - one neat bit saw a king having dinner with the hedgehog in a castle in front of what looks like a tremendous fireplace... except there's a waterfall rather than flames.  Like a good so-called children's book, this was TV for adults that kids could also enjoy. 

Finally, we played a stage of Zack & Wiki that (1) didn't have the threat of death every 10-30 seconds like the last two stages had, and (2) was an interesting - though hardly impossible - puzzle.  We could have made it unsolvable early on, but didn't.  Lots of fun.

Have a good Leap Day and weekend, everyone!


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