The other day my wife posted a link on her Facebook page of this entitled “Procrastination”. It was a rather entertaining video, and led me to the official Youtube website of the young author, a British lad named Charlie McDonnell. Charlie is twenty years old at present and I think he started making his video blog about four years ago. My son Arthur (age 8 1/2) came in and we started watching more of Charlie’s videos. And soon realized it was hard to stop. They are very funny! This young guy is a natural entertainer. He’s fantastically inventive, witty, insightful, and has a delightfully endearing personality.
We soon discovered that Charlie (being British) is a huge fan of the ‘Doctor Who’ TV series. And he’s also a musician who is in a band called ‘Chameleon Circuit‘ who perform their own original songs about ‘Doctor Who’! And the songs I’ve heard are really fun! The band is working on their second CD right now. Here are some samples for all you fans of The Doctor out there:
I think this guy has a great future ahead of him in entertainment of many kinds. And Arthur and my daughter Fiona have been having a riot watching Charlie’s work on-line! So have I. Isn’t this Youtube thing pretty groovy? Anybody can post videos, but Charlie really has talent. Check him out.
I just learned this morning that British Actress Elisabeth Sladen died yesterday from cancer.
Elisabeth is most famous for portraying Sarah Jane Smith on the ‘Doctor Who’ television series over many years. She also starred in ‘The Sarah Jane Adventures‘ for the past four years on the BBC, a successful and delightful spin-off from ‘Doctor Who’. She is probably the most popular of The Doctor’s Companions since she first joined the Third Doctor in the early 1970s. Famous for her blood-curdling screams when menaced by aliens and monsters, the character of Sarah Jane was also stubborn, inquisitive, quick-witted and equally famous for putting The Doctor(s) in their place when needed. As one article below stated, previous traveling companions on ‘Doctor Who’ were referred to as ‘Assistants’, but the Sarah Jane character was the first to be truly called a ‘Companion’ (well, maybe besides the First Doctor’s niece Susan when the show first aired in the sixties) and she shared adventures with four different incarnations of the centuries-old Time Lord.
Even though I never met Elisabeth Sladen, I still feel like I knew her in a way from her wonderful portrayal of Sarah Jane Smith. And from what I’ve read, she was as warm and wise and inspiring as the television character she immortalized. I’m so glad we got to see more of her over the last few years on ‘The Sarah Jane Adventures’. Our kids loved her show, too, and we’re all very saddened to hear of her untimely passing. She was one of those people who just got better with age. She was a truly beautiful person.
My heart is heavy for her family and loved ones. Elisabeth will be missed by millions on this sad little planet that Sarah Jane Smith helped save more times than I can count.
More snow in Western New York. Thank the gods it’s sunny!
For your amusement and delight today I present a few cool links I’ve collected over the past week. So without further adieu, let’s begin with a groovy little two-part Doctor Who adventure from the Comic Relief TV benefit in the UK. This will have to tide us Who fans over until the Easter special premiers next month:
Doctor Who: Comic Relief: ‘Space’ and ‘Time’. And here’s one more link about our favorite doctor: 10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Doctor Who.
Since it is Spring, according to the calendar, here is a Youtube video of a beautiful song by Martin Donnelly called The Green Man.
Moving on now to a few Linux-related links; Another nice review of Bodhi Linux: Bodhi Linux and the Enlightenment Desktop
Then there’s: Linux in Real Life – Uses Around the World
And a review of another Linux distro that is especially designed for curious Windows converts: Desktop Linux Reviews: Zorin OS 4
And for those who love music in many forms (especially digital): Why You Should Buy (and Sell) Music in FLAC
Going back to entertainment, here is the first official trailer for the new Captain America movie. Then check out this creepy but cool sci-fi web video called Blinky. It’s about an adorable robot. ‘nough said.
Speaking of ‘Creepy but Cool’, I for one haven’t been hearing enough the past week about everyone’s favorite celebrity wacko, Charlie Sheen (poor Charlie).
Hope you enjoyed this little diversion. Next time I’ll be talked about adopting a dog, which it looks like we may do doing very soon. We meet the prospective pup on Saturday.
See ya later!
So the first two weeks of May have flown by. To recap: I had a wonderful birthday, have been enjoying the outdoors and our deliciously drawn-out unfolding of Spring. Then lots of cold and rain. Now back to beautiful sunshine again! And wow! Everything’s growing like crazy.
Right now I just want to share a couple of links to articles about “Doctor Who” and “Fringe” from the website io9.com. The last Doctor Who, “Vampires of Venice” had me a little cheesed. The Doctor seems to be getting awfully pissy and arrogant. But the following article says it all. (Majors spoilers, though, for those who haven’t seen it yet). And I just love Fringe more every week! I’m going to miss these characters terribly until the next season begins.
So here you go:
Don’t even get me going about “Lost” right now. I’m still a little dizzy from the Jacob and Brother in Black story “Across The Sea” from last week. Some of it was kinda cool, and much of it left me feeling like “What the heck?!” When did this take place? Were those original Others Minoan? Was the brother’s “foster mom” some kind of major sorceress? The cup of immortality? Cave of Light? What were they going to do with that Donkey Wheel? And where the hell was the statue?!
Here’s an article from today’s NY Times: The Men Who Made ABC’s “Lost” Last
If this story makes any sense by the two and a half hour finale on May 23rd, I will be quite amazed! Can’t wait to see how this wild ride ends!
As flowers and leaves and life blossom around us, I’ve been too preoccupied outdoors lately to write about any one particular subject, though many things have caught my interest. I do take a few moments each day to check out those magical internets for tidbits of the entertaining and informative or bizarre or downright horrific stories of our modern world. (Thanks, digg.com). So today I’ve rounded up a plethora of links for your inspection. (For some reason I thought I just saw Rod Serling out of the corner of my eye)!
First up on our stream of consciousness perusal of internet offerings is a fun website I was introduced to by some friends last night. It’s called Sporcle, and it’s a site that features thousands of mentally stimulating quizzes and games, some professionally made and many contributed by members of the site. These quizzes cover many subjects like geography, education, science, sports, movies, literature, religion, music, etc. I’ve just superficially checked this website out so far, but it looks like a fabulous way to test your knowledge and have fun on the internet. My friends said it’s quite addicting, and loads of fun. Check it out: http://www.sporcle.com/
Next up under the category of Entertainment is one my favorite mentally stimulating, existential, pseudo Sci-Fi TV series, LOST. We’re coming up to the final few episodes, and the anticipation of seeing how the writers can wrap up this multidimensional melange of Good vs. Evil (or is that really what’s going on?) is driving me crazy, but in a good sort of way. If you have a ridiculous amount of time to kill, Hulu has available the first 5 seasons of Lost on it’s website for viewing. And you can also see the latest few episodes leading up to the cosmic conclusion, all right here at: http://www.hulu.com/lost
For more Entertainment, I found this really nice article that gives a brilliant overview of my favorite British Sci-Fi series, Doctor Who. It’s called Everything You Need To know About Doctor Who. Enough said!
Moving on to Music; There is a local entertainer named Miche (pronounced Mee-shay) Fambro from Geneseo who has been around the Rochester music scene since the eighties. I heard an interview with Miche on Scott Regan’s show on WRUR a few months back. He’s an interesting guy with a marvelous voice and a diverse, unclassifiable style. Here’s a link to an interview from City Newspaper. He’s even been doing his own variety show at the little Theater Cafe that is a riot! Here’s a link to some Youtube videos of the show: Miche Fambro/Youtube.
Going back to my previous post of favorite Linux distributions; I completely forgot to mention maybe one of the best all-around Linux based operating systems for beginners and more experienced computer users alike. And that would be PCLinuxOS. This distro was based on Mandriva Linux, but has really gone off on it’s own combining different elements of other distros to create something really attractive, diverse, full-featured and easy to use. And it comes in many different flavors! Here is the home website: PCLinuxOS.com. And this is a link to a great review of the newest release: PCLinuxOS Review. If you want to try out a totally FREE, beautiful operating system that ‘just works’, check it out.
My friend Ky recently mentioned to me how downright cheerful all my last several blog posts have been! So here is a story that is quite depressing, but sums up a lot of why America has lost so many jobs to China. It ain’t pretty, but I think it’s something we should all be aware of. Inside The Chinese Factory That Makes Microsoft Products.
And here’s an article from Time Magazine on the cost of Factory Farming that is about the environment as well as the living conditions of a big part of our diets. Another thing that I think we should at least be conscious of: The Problem with Factory Farms.
One more to add that I discovered on a friend’s Facebook page. It’s pretty self-explanatory. Imagine If The Tea Party Was Black.
Now to end on a lighter note, I found this amazing website that features some of the most exquisite photography I’ve ever seen from around the world! Just take a look: Pixdaus
And… who can resist 10 Simple Google Search Tips!
That’s it for now. Not quite a plethora, I suppose, but enough to keep one busy on a rainy day.
OK, I was going to write about Linux today, but that will have to wait till next time. Right now there is something more pressing on my mind.
Last Saturday the fifth series of the new Doctor Who television show premiered in Great Britain, and I am fortunate enough to have just finished watching that episode, along with my son. For those of you not familiar with ‘The Doctor’, please check here.
The new season features a new actor, Matt Smith, in the role of ‘The Doctor’ in his eleventh regeneration. And after having just finished the episode, all I have to say is “THE DOCTOR IS BACK!”
For the past four seasons David Tennant did an excellent job portraying the iconic Time Lord, and his Doctor has become wildly popular. When I saw that Matt Smith was to replace him, I was a bit skeptical. He’s incredibly young at 26, and my first impression was that he wasn’t my idea of what the last of the Time Lords should look like. A bit too daft and geeky, perhaps? And the bow tie? But after watching this first installment (actually, after the first 60 seconds) I knew this young whipper-snapper has what it takes! The new ‘Doctor Who’ is utterly fantastic!
Matt Smith incorporates much of the old “timey-wimey” wackiness, the intense ferocity, the brilliance and humor and adventurous zest that was the previous Doctor, and he does it with such charisma – mixing that child-like exuberance with the dark edge of ‘The Mad God’ we’ve come to love in Tennant’s Doctor. As usual the episode unfolds at breakneck pace, introducing us to the newly regenerated Doctor (and TARDIS) and to the girl who will become his new traveling Companion in time and space, Amy Pond. I can’t give anything away about how the story unfolds, but as usual The Doctor must save the world from imminent destruction (I wish that didn’t happen so often, but for the big kickoff I suppose it was appropriate). This new Doctor, after overcoming the disorienting effects of his regeneration, is a dynamo of energy and intellect. And Amy Pond looks like she will be a fitting companion, nearly as bold and fearless and self-confident as The Doctor himself. I absolutely loved this show from beginning to end! It was thrilling, witty and funny as hell! And the previews for future episodes look incredible. I must say, I actually had tears in my eyes at the end!
I think Steven Moffat (who has taken over the reins of the show from Russell T. Davies) did a good job writing this episode, combining elements we loved about past shows with a fresh cast and a fresh look at future possibilities. This installment embodied everything that ‘Doctor Who’ has come to represent over the 47 years since it began.
I can’t wait to enjoy the new ride!