June 20th, 2009



  • 00:12 @sapsorrow Are you sure it wasn't off-site training for Disneyland interns? #
  • 11:33 Why can't I add "True Stories" to my Amazon wishlist? #
  • 13:55 Escape from Lamaism bit.ly/Q8UuB #
  • 17:02 @eehouls When I see "Juicy Couture," I can't help mentally singing it to the tune of "Sketchy Galore." #
  • 17:03 I still like the Decemberists, but it seems like they've started taking themselves too seriously. #
  • 17:10 Oh, Martin Luther! You foul-mouthed anti-semite! bit.ly/5RnKW #
  • 17:13 "Hurry up, I wanna make this fairy!" -@NowIsStrange #
  • 18:46 Would it be fair to say that Glenn Beck is sort of like Jack Van Impe without the Bible passages? #
  • 21:03 bit.ly/jqDcO
    Sci-Fi movie conventions that need to die #
  • 21:05 I have to say I agree whole-heartedly with the part about monolithic alien cultures. #
  • 22:26 Isn't "let go and let God" contradictory to "God helps those who help themselves"? Which trite proverb should I listen to? #
  • 22:52 I would be more likely to trust tin cans tied together with a string than "Magic Jack." #
  • 23:12 Garfield's bed never looked very comfortable. Why does he want to spend so much time in a box with a sheet inside? #
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For He's a Jolly Goodfellow

Well, summer is, as they say, icumen in. I believe the actual solstice is tomorrow, but I'm not sure it really matters in the modern United States, where businesses usually use Memorial Day as the beginning of the season. But for the English of the Middle Ages, the beginning of summer was May Day, and Midsummer's Eve was celebrated on the night of 23 June. This was the time that the fairies would meet, and of course fairies were an integral part of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. One of the most prominent fairies, whom I address in this post, is Puck, also known as Robin Goodfellow.

The term "puck" or "pooka" had been used for some time prior to the Bard's time to refer to mischievous fairies or devils, but Shakespeare's use of "Puck" to refer specifically to the name of this one particular fairy pretty much solidified the use of Puck as a proper name in popular culture. Within the play, he's the jester at Oberon's court. "Robin Goodfellow" is sort of a nickname, which most likely came from the tradition of not referring to fairies by their proper names, so as not to attract their attention. The euphemistic names usually included some reference to the fay as "good" or "fair," even though they were really often quite nasty, presumably so as not to get their dander up. Puck himself was held responsible for many acts of mischief, including changing his own form to deceive travellers, and making milk sour. He was also occasionally said to do helpful tasks, however, like sewing and housecleaning, and people would sometimes leave out milk for him. In such a role, he's basically a variation on all the stories of hobgoblins, kobolds, and other house-spirits who perform household tasks.

The legendary bandit Robin Hood (appropriate for a mention today, I suppose, seeing as how it's Errol Flynn's birthday) is sometimes viewed as a humanized version of Robin Goodfellow. Robin Hood doesn't have any magical powers, but he DOES live in the forest, dress in green, and have a sense of mischief. Wikipedia says that this is unlikely to have been the source of the outlaw's origins, but it's still an interesting thought.

Conquest of the Wallpaper Planet

From poisonyoulove:

01. Anyone who looks at this entry has to post this meme and their current wallpaper at their LJ.
02. Explain in five sentences why you're using that wallpaper!
03. Don't change your wallpaper before doing this! The point is to see what you had on!

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And now, to change the subject abruptly, I came across a link to this list of sci-fi movie conventions that need to die from SamuraiFrog's blog, and I thought it was worth commenting on. So here are my thoughts on each item:

6. I think this one is just a throwback to the cheap special effects of early Star Trek.

5. I don't mind this one so much, but it did always seem to me that Star Trek characters spent an awful lot of time talking about what, to them, would have been ancient history.

4. I think the part about logical holes is what particularly gets to me. And it's not just sci-fi that does this. I mean, look at how often magical devices in fantasy aren't used when it would make sense. (Magic Belt, anyone?) I guess I like consistency in what things can do. For the same reason, magic that grants wishes can be an irritating trope in many situations.

3. I have to agree whole-heartedly with this. I can recall even noticing as a kid how weird it was that entire planets would have one culture and a single ruler (if not a single ruler for an entire galaxy), when such obviously wasn't the case on our own planet. Mind you, I still used the trope in some of my own stories. I was in elementary school at the time, after all. But really, why bother using planets and aliens when their entire civilizations are less diverse than the local country club? And I know I've seen several people point out how Star Wars is full of desert planets, ice planets, swamp planets, and the like. They're all fit for human habitation, yet consist of only one environment. Does every part of each planet somehow receive the exact same amount of sunlight? Or ARE there other environments on these planets that we just never see?

2. This just makes me think of the part in the Futurama episode "The Birdbot of Ice-catraz" where Bender just flies the ship out from the middle of Old Man Waterfall's peace ring.

1. A society with advanced military technology relying on infantry? Well, that's basically what we had in Vietnam, wasn't it?

And finally, another quiz result:

Your Brain is 60% Female, 40% Male

Your brain is a healthy mix of male and female

You are both sensitive and savvy

Rational and reasonable, you tend to keep level headed

But you also tend to wear your heart on your sleeve