This week has been a bit of a roller coaster again. Our dog Tessa’s health is fading once more, and this time things aren’t looking too good. She has slowly been eating less and less, and now only turkey deli meat or maybe some hamburger, if we’re lucky. She has lost much weight, and is getting weaker by the day. It’s hard for her to walk much, her breathing is more difficult and she’s had some nasty accidents on the floor. It looks like she’s bleeding internally. So I guess that’s enough of the details. I took her to see the vet on Thursday. He gave her another shot of steroids to make her more comfortable and an IV of fluids, but we soon have to make a decision about putting her to sleep (I almost did it on Thursday, but I just couldn’t yet). It’s going to be tough on the kids, especially Arthur. Having pets has so many benefits, but is also so difficult at times! More reminders of mortality, I guess. ‘Tis the season.
On a brighter note, I’ve been finding some wonderful shows to watch on the telly to while away these cold, rainy nights of November, as well as good reading material from the library. Also, this past Monday Stephanie spent the day, with our friend Tracy, at the TED Rochester conference and got to hear a lot of local people talk about lots of cool stuff. If you haven’t heard of TED (Technology, Education, Design) check it out: TED.
This got me thinking of one of my favorite (among many) TED presenters, Ken Robinson, who has given some wonderful talks about education and illustrates another reason why we home school our kids. Here’s the link: Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution! And here’s another very inspiring video on Youtube along similar lines: Changing Education Paradigms.
Moving on to what appears to be my favorite topic on this blog, Entertainment, I have some TV shows to recommend that you might like too! I just saw the first episode of a new series from AMC about a zombie apocalypse called ‘The Walking Dead‘. Wow! This was intense, very realistic, gruesome, disturbing and really, really cool! Now, I’m not a big fan of the whole zombie genre. I liked George Romero’s original ‘Night of the Living Dead’ in all it’s black-and-white cheesy low-budget glory, but I was never that interested in seeing his later zombie flicks. However I did really enjoy ’28 Days Later'; that was different and incredibly intense. And I got a kick out of ‘Zombieland’ with Woody Harrelson. Who would have thought zombies could be horrifying and hilarious? But I thought ‘The Walking Dead’ premiere episode (broadcast Halloween night) was very well done. Having an ongoing television series with interesting characters trying to survive a world overrun by zombies and deal with their own human shortcomings has all kinds of potential! It’s not for the squeamish, though. But it’s cool.
Any fans of ‘Doctor Who’ who loved David Tennant in his stint as The Doctor will like his new show from Across the Pond. It’s called ‘Single Father’ and I believe it’s only a four-part drama, according to the BBC. We saw the first part and loved it. Here’s a link to David’s website: David Tennant.com.
And speaking of television on This Side of The Pond, (well, actually it takes place in a whole other Pond), I’m really digging the new version of ‘Hawaii Five-O‘ from CBS. Man, this show is cool, action-packed, surprisingly humorous and has great characters! Including the guy who played Mick the vampire on ‘Moonlight’ as Steve McGarret, Grace Park from ‘Battlestar Galactica’ and Daniel Dae Kim from ‘Lost’. This remake is awesome! Book ‘em, Danno! (yes, McGarret says that in amusing ways at the end of every show!)
And speaking of ‘Battlestar Galactica’, the creators of that monumental remake are whipping up a new prequel series about young Bill Adama and the first Cylon War. Check this out: SyFy To Make New ‘Battlestar Galactica’ Series Pilot Called ‘Blood & Chrome’. And I just heard that the series ‘Caprica’ is not going to get a second season to finish their ponderous but quite creative and fascinating series about the creation of the Cylons. And I, for one, am very disappointed! I enjoyed this show. It was unlike anything else on television; combining great acting, soap opera drama, cyberspace shenanigans, religious beliefs and everyone’s favorite robots! It was really thought-provoking. But…what the frak! We can’t have too much of that! Maybe ‘Blood and Chrome’ will be more the SyFy channel’s cup of tea. At least it should have lots of action!
This week I’ve been reading ‘Oryx and Crake’ by Margaret Atwood (author of ‘A Handmaid’s Tale’ and other classics of speculative fiction). I’ve heard of this book for a long time, and found it at our library last week. I’m only halfway through, but it’s very good. An excellent and disturbing tale of where our civilization may be heading.
Another great anime series we have been watching through Netflix is the original ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender‘. I think this is my all time favorite animated TV series. I’m also digging ‘Cowboy Bebop‘ right now. It’s great! And I can see it was a big influence on Joss Whedon’s ‘Firefly’. I highly recommend both shows, but Avatar is just a great series for viewers of all ages. The kids love it and Stephanie and I love it. This show has better character development than 80% of all the live action shows out there, and a wonderful, enlightening, funny, complex story. In fact I need to go watch it right now with the family.
This week has gone by fast, and summer is quickly fading into autumn. I’ve found a bunch of interesting things online this week I’d like to share. Foremost being some links to upcoming movies and TV shows which are pretty self-explanatory from their titles:
The movie called Monsters looks especially interesting. Then there’s this thoughtful treatise: Seeking the truth of the world via science fiction.
And one of my favorite TV shows, a spinoff from Doctor Who which is definitely geared toward an older audience, Torchwood, will be coming back for a new series/incarnation next year. Read all about it: Torchwood: The New World.
Then I discovered this fan-created video project based on the Star Wars franchise that looks really good! Light in the Darkness: Part 1. I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of this!
Moving on, here are a couple of links to TED videos that I really love (but actually, I could watch TED videos all day!):
And I’ll finish off for today with a potpourri of diverse items that caught my fancy. Bye!