Three great books in a row – what are the odds?


Because I have a Kindle and subscribe to BookBub, many of my book purchases are based primarily on cost. If it costs less than five bucks, there’s a good chance I will read it. Closer to ten? Well, then it has to be an author I already like or something that comes highly recommended from a variety of sources. Because of this a lot of stuff I read is self published and I have read a lot of crap. However, last month, against all the odds, I read Continue reading

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Honestly, networks, it’s like you want people to torrent stuff.


Elementary is moving to Sunday nights. CSI Cyber is moving from Sunday nights to … somewhere. Shows start at one or two minutes past the hour and go into the following hour. The last two episodes of Mr Robot were, without notice, an hour and 15 minutes, meaning I missed the Continue reading

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Elementary honours the Baskervilles


The most recent episode of Elementary, Hounded, was probably one of the best yet. When they teased the Hound of the Baskervilles connection I was looking forward to it, and they really did a good job of it. All of the little call outs to the book, Continue reading

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Don’t make me make eye contact!


Why do they design bus seats like this? People don’t want to face each other at that proximity and risk making eye contact, much less accidentally touch knees. The woman in the pink shoes isn’t putting her feet there because she’s rude. She’s doing it because there’s barely any place else to put her feet. Can you imagine four people (in bulky winter clothes – this is Canada) crammed into that space? Surely, bus design people, you can’t be saving so much space with this configuration that it justifies this. Taking public transportation is a social nightmare to begin with. There’s no need to make it worse by forcing people to invade each others’ personal spaces.

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WWJD (What Would Jack Bauer Do)?


We had an interesting discussion last week while watching Flash. They had to get Killer Frost to betray someone in order to save their friends. They talked and talked and talked and finally got the info they needed, but time was of the essence. I expressed the opinion that they should have shot her in the arm and then kept smacking it until she gave them the info. My husband said ‘You’ve been watching too much 24. That’s what Jack Bauer would do.’

Which brings me to the point of this post: Rules of War. Should there be any? If you are civilised enough to worry about rules of war then you’re civilised enough to sit down and sort out your differences without resorting to violence. Like no bombing civilians. Why not? Because they didn’t sign up for it? How are they less deserving of violence than a conscripted army who also didn’t sign up for it, or an army made of people who only did sign up because there were no other jobs available to them? It was put very well in the DS9 episode, In the Pale Moonlight. Sisko wants the Romulans in the Dominion war, on the Federation’s side, and reluctantly approaches Cardassian ex-spy Garak for help. Garak arranges a Romulan ship to blow up and for the Dominion to be implicated. Naturally the Romulans sign up immediately, but Sisko is horrified at the price.

“That’s why you came to me, isn’t it captain? Because you knew I could do those things that you weren’t capable of doing. Well, it worked. And you’ll get what you wanted: a war between the Romulans and the Dominion. And if your conscience is bothering you, you should soothe it with the knowledge that you may have just saved the entire Alpha Quadrant, and all it cost was the life of one Romulan senator, one criminal… and the self-respect of one Starfleet officer. I don’t know about you, but I’d call that a bargain.” – Garak

Garak knows that as long as it is war, there should be no boundaries.

War, historically, has been down to honour culture which (at least among males) has been dominant. Honour equals physical domination so there was no incentive not to go to war. In medieval Europe war was baked right into the culture. The entire noble class, that was what they did. If you didn’t make war on each other, you went on crusade and made war on some foreigners. But we’re better than that now. We understand that honour does not derive from the ability to beat the tar out of the other guy. So why do we still go to war? I suppose it must be that we like it. Or at least certain people like it. The military industrial complex likes it, but I’m sure the civilians who get bombed have differing opinions, as do mothers who send their sons off by the planeload.


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Pretty Little Wizards

little wizards

It’s probably not a good thing that before I caught the first episode of The Magicians last week, I was already predisposed to the fact that I wouldn’t like it. I’d read about half the book before I bailed. None of the characters were likeable and I didn’t see the point carrying on when I didn’t care what happened to any of them. However my husband thought it looked cool from the commercials and I thought it might be better in a different medium, so we recorded the first two episodes. It is better, but only just.

Now, to be fair, is it is visually beautiful. The costumes, the set dressing, and the locations are all very well done. But the characters are just as obnoxious as they were in the book. If you are not familiar with The Magicians, imagine if JK Rowling’s books were all set in the US, Hogwarts was a university instead of a high school and Harry and his friends were all colossal douchebags and you pretty much have it. While nothing exists in a vacuum, it is highly derivative of Harry Potter. And Narnia. And Star Wars. I’m sure all of these criticisms were bandied about when the books (I believe there’s more than one) first came out.

The idea of Brakebills (the magic school) being a university is actually quite an interesting one. I often wondered why, in the Harry Potter Universe, magical education stopped when you left high school and then continued on some sort of ad hoc apprenticeship basis. Wouldn’t Hermoine or Snape (or even the Weasley twins), with their innovative, theoretical minds, have benefited from four more years of actual education? (Wouldn’t magic have benefited from it? The magic in HP seems written for maximum quirkiness and a wilful blindness to modern society.

But the flaw in The Magicians are the characters, who seem to be the people you tried to avoid in high school, ultra cool stuck-up types who tend to look at you as if you were something unpleasant they stepped in. Even the MC, who is ostensibly supposed to be sympathetic, is unlikable. I guess, looking at it realistically, being able to do actual magic is going to give you a bit of an attitude, so it might not be that surprising. Still, I plan on watching in hopes it will grow on me.

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Bromance of the Week


Just when I thought Gotham couldn’t get any better, Edward met Oswald. These two are each fantastic on their own, but together they’re really something special. I loved the interaction between them on the most recent episode and I look forward to more of it. A lot more of it.
The show itself has just gone from strength to strength. The design decisions and the cinematography are spectacular. The characters are great. The non Penguin/Riddler actors are fantastic, especially Sean Pertwee (Alfred) & Camren Bicondova (Selina Kyle – where did they find her!?!). I am not a DC person, I’m not really a comic book person, but for a show I intended to just casually glance at for a few weeks, I really can’t say enough about this show.


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