Define "a Life"...

... still searching for a clear definition of that thing people keep telling me I need to get...

Location: Springfield, PA

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Mud, Sweat & Beers

There may be mud (we hope not too much);
there's already been sweat, and there's certainly more to come;
beer is pretty much a given.

I'm off to the Philly Folk Fest.

I'll probably surface again around this time next week.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Too Darn...

It's half-past midnight. The temperature, according to my AccuWeather widget, is 83°F. With a humidity of 76% (low, as these past few days have gone), that's what the AccuWeather folks call a RealFeel® of 87°F. This RealFeel® thing seems to be their attempt at a warm-weather version of wind-chill factors. Thing is, wind-chill only really effects you if you're in the wind. Humidity, however, effects you wherever you are. RealFeel®, indeed.

Hate. Hate. Hate.*

Monday, August 06, 2007

Life & Death, etc.

The calendar is a funny thing. Dates overlap. Anniversaries, shared birthdays, that sort of thing.

6 August is the birthday of Sir Alexander Fleming (1881-1955), the British bacteriologist who discovered the germ-killing power of penicillium notatum in 1928, when he noticed that a bit of the green mold accidentally growing in a culture plate in his laboratory had destroyed bacteria around it. From this, of course, came penicillin, the use of which helped greatly reduce deaths from wound infections during World War II.

The Enola Gay dropped the first atomic bomb to be used in warfare on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945, the same year Fleming would receive the Nobel Prize in Medicine. That day, thanks to another advance in science, between 70,000 and 100,000 people never came home.

In his speech at the Nobel Banquet that December, Fleming spoke of the part "chance, fortune, fate or destiny -- call it what you will" had played in the discovery and development of penicillin. Part of his point was that if events had not converged as they did, "in the midst of a great war when ordinary economics are in abeyance," the resources would not have been available for the drug's final development to proceed as it did; likewise, the development of the drug was then at a point when, given sufficient resources, manufacturing difficulties could be overcome in an incredibly short time and it could be produced on a large scale precisely when it was most needed.

My feelings get both drawn and nudged in two directions when I think about that confluence of circumstances and events. There does seem to be some sort of order underlying it all, yet such a ponderous and ironic one. Given the coincidences of the calendar, I can't help seeing his words in a sort of dark mirror. We can no more predict where a scientific discovery will go than we can foretell whence it may come.

"It may be that while we think we are masters of the situation we are merely pawns being moved about on the board of life by some superior power."

Sunday, August 05, 2007

"Why does this keep happening to me...?"

They've done it again.
Sci Fi has opted to drop another unique, inventive, fun and thoroughly entertaining show. They're about to launch another re-tread of '80s sci-fi camp, they're still grinding out their so-called "Sci Fi Reality" shows, importing stuff like Mind Control with Derren Brown, and what -- what -- is ECW doing in their schedule?

But they're not giving The Dresden Files a second season.


Just when I was about to enthuse about the great second season of Eureka that they're currently airing, I get news that they're pulling this shit again.

Now, I'm not faulting Sci Fi for pulling the plug on Stargate SG-1 after ten years (although not all of them actually on Sci Fi). True, it would have been nice if the show'd had time to really wrap things up, but there was no hiding the fact that its time had come. And they did get to do a real finale.

I'm talking about the channel's snuffing shows at the top of their game. We'll never really know what was up with axing Farscape without warning. And now they've dropped what I think was one of their best original shows. (Painkiller Jane? Puh-leeze...) Dresden Files had hit the ground running, and looked to keep getting better. It was, certainly, a far more fully realized (and much more entertaining) show than that wretched remake, update or whatever the hell it was that ABC was calling Night Stalker. And I would rather spend an hour with Harry Dresden and the characters in his world than with those mopey whiner guys in Supernatural (no matter how cute the one is).

But Sci Fi dropped the show. After only twelve episodes. Apparently it didn't perform up to their expectations, which, it seems, were initially high. They'd ordered the dozen episodes without ever having aired the pilot; actually before, if I understand correctly, the pilot was even finished. But they say the show wasn't pulling in the ratings, or that its audience base wasn't increasing enough, to justify spending more on new episodes, once they ran the numbers. I don't know whether this means that Dresden Files actually wasn't paying for itself or just not performing up to expectations.

Okay, I can't argue that networks should continue making shows that lose money. It just upsets me that so many good shows fall so quickly to that excuse, while so much crap (which is, I know, I far cheaper to produce) continues to stink year after year.

It kinda makes me want to ditch cable and broadcast TV in general, and just get myself a Netflicks subscription.

Ah, Harry. We hardly knew ya'.