The Doctor is in and more random geekery

• “Lots of planets have a North”: Scottish actor Peter Capaldi will be the next Doctor Who. He starred as Malcolm Tucker in In the Loop — a hilariously profane satire of the marketing campaign for a war of choice in Iraq. And he was apparently once in a punk band with Craig Ferguson called The Bastards From Hell.

• “While it’s certainly not unusual for small children with active imaginations to tell fanciful stories, Clark was rather more insistent that his funny story was actually true than seems appropriate for his age.”

• Emma Caulfield takes online quiz: “Which Buffy the Vampire Slayer Character Are You?” Finds out she’s Willow Rosenberg.

He is noble, abundant, and fills the universe. (And He is in trouble if Congress doesn’t do its job.)

• “2^7 Nerd Disses.” From Phil Plait and Zach Weinersmith. A sample: “You’re so unlettered … You mistake the word malapropism for other similar sounding words.”

• Variations on a theme: Ramin Djawadi’s Game of Thrones theme by cello quartet Break of RealityThis guy does a cool metal version, which is what I imagine it would sound like if GoT were on Starz instead of HBO. Here’s what the show’s opening credits might look like on NBC. See also: “The Rains of Castamere” from The National.

• David Gibson’s Religion News Service piece, “Can a Christian watch Game of Thrones?” revisits the question of the show’s moral vision. (I’ll cut RNS some slack for the pseudo-pietistic tribalism of that headline because Gibson and his editors still seem to be in shock after the Red Wedding.) It’s a good, thoughtful piece that highlights Scott Paeth’s Niebuhrian take on the show, while also giving Paeth the final word on the final word about this topic: “How he ends his story will tell us much about the moral world in which he dwells.” As with everything, it’s hard to say what it means unless we know how it ends. Gibson also mentions Jim McDermott’s “Bastards and Broken Things,” which has a nice Ragamuffin-ish take on GoT.

• Richard Madden, who played Robb Stark, lends a bit of support for the Niebuhrian reading: “I feel it’s a really apt ending because he has been outsmarted and it all comes from his good heart.” (If Reinhold Niebuhr is too hoity-toity for you, Scott Paeth also shares this: D&D alignments of Game of Thrones characters.)

• These articles could have trolled for clicks with headlines modeled after that RNS one above — “Can a feminist watch Game of Thrones?” The answer, in all three cases, is yes.) “How the Patriarchy Screwed the Starks.” “Gratuitous Female Nudity and Complex Female Characters in Game of Thrones.” “Yes, Women Really Do Like Game of Thrones (We Have Proof).”


Via PNH: “Twitter API returning results that do not respect arrow of time.” Very cool merging of form and fiction: “After a thorough review, I can point to the spot in my code where a bad calculation expanded the scope of the search to days after today’s date, but I cannot tell you how it’s possible that the thing returns results.” Read the whole thing.

Mark Evanier remembers the great Ray Harryhausen.

• Iron Man, Iron Throne — the Starks of Winterfell.

• I don’t have any problem saying that Batman is from New Jersey, but Gotham shouldn’t be in South Jersey.

• “Some details of advanced technological designs, architectural blueprints, family recipes, occult summoning rituals, state secrets, and alien anatomy have been changed in order to avoid providing readers with world-endingly dangerous knowledge.” (via)

• Desperate Acts of Magic: “Congratulations, I hereby appoint you as the newest member to the third most-mocked profession, right behind ventriloquists and mimes.”

• OK, two more Game of Thrones items: Kathleen Geier on historical inspirations for the books; Max Read on how accents support and undermine the show’s geography.

Adam Parker’s post on theologian Jonathan Edwards contains a big-time spoiler for the movie Oblivion — so be warned about clicking that link. I can’t say I follow the whole argument, but Parker is certainly right that “the following quote shows that Edwards had a science fiction writer within him.”

It is possible without doubt in the nature of things for God to annihilate me, and after my annihilation to create another being that shall have the same ideas in his mind that I have, and with the like apprehension that he had had them before in like manner as a person has by memory; and yet I be in no way concerned in it, having no reason to fear what that being shall suffer, or to hope for what he shall enjoy.

Can anyone deny that it is possible, after my annihilation, to create two beings in the universe, both of them having my ideas communicated to them with such a notion of their having had them before, after the manner of memory, and yet be ignorant one of another? And in such case, will anyone say that both these are one and the same person, as they must be if they are both the same person with me? It is possible there may be two such beings, each having all the ideas that are now in my mind in the same manner that I should have by memory if my own being were continued, and yet these two beings not only be ignorant one of another, but also be in a very different state, one in a state of enjoyment and pleasure and the other in a state of great suffering and torment (Scientific and Philosophical Writings [Yale Works, Vol. 6] p.386-387).

• “10 Characters Who Got More Interesting After They Died.” Good list, but it’s too short. So here are 10 More Characters Who Got More Interesting After They Died.

  1. Gladys Crabtree
  2. Jacob Marley
  3. Officer Alex J. Murphy
  4. Kenny
  5. Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington
  6. Lestat
  7. Beric Dondarrion
  8. Dr. Malcolm Crowe
  9. Large Marge
  10. Buffy Anne Summers


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