Wednesday, December 16, 2009


RIP Roy E. Disney. The former head of Disney Animation died of cancer today at 79. Sources: CNN, BBC

Health News:
* An iPhone app is turning out to be a great digital stethescope for sending doctors diagnostic information. Source: The Independent
* Scientists have unlocked the genetic code for skin and lung cancers. Source: BBC
* Levels of leptin, a hormone that controls appetite, have been linked to Alzheimer's. Source: BBC
* Drinking coffee & tea (even decaf) appears to help prevent Diabetes. Source: BBC
* An extract from the spice turmeric (curcumin) has been shown to kill cancer cells. Source: BBC
* Scientists have found a way to stop proteins that cause leukemia. Source: BBC
* Scientists have found an antibody that can reduce internal bleeding after an injury. Source: BBC
* Researchers have found a gene marker that may allow early testing for lung cancer. Source: Yahoo

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Joe Haldeman has been named a Grand Master of Science Fiction. While my favorite books of his (Mindbridge & Marsbound) are not the most famous ones, it is well deserved. Sources: Whatever, Locus, SF Signal

TV/Movie News:
* Golden Globe nominations were announced this morning. Zap2It has an easy-to-read list and an article on the snubs and surprises. Futon Critic has a list with totals by show/movie/network/distributor.
* Entertainment Weekly has a schedule of mid-season (re)start dates for TV shows.
* The recent Marvel/Disney deal inspired an amusing mashup poster that combines Marvel, Disney & Pixar characters.

Astronomy (aka Pretty Pictures):
* The first photos from the VISTA telescope show the Flame Galaxy. Sources:, io9, Wired
* io9 has a great picture of the Earth's atmosphere taken from ISS.
* Ultra Deep Field images from Hubble show the oldest galaxies we've seen. Sources:, CNet, io9
* has Hubble images they call "blobs, smudges & space jellyfish" from the Orion Nebula.
* The 2 moons of Mars have been captured in the same photo for the first time.
* io9 has pictures of the Heart Nebula from an amateur astrophotographer.
* Wired has Hubble pictures of the Jewel Box Cluster.
* has a crescent image of Earth taken by the Rosetta spacecraft which was swinging by Earth while chasing a comet.
* has a picture of the Centaurus A galaxy absorbing another older galaxy.
* NASA celebrated the 400th anniversary of Galileo's first telescope view with mashup images from 3 telescopes. Sources: io9 and

Monday, December 14, 2009


Audible has the unabridged audiobook of Ringworld by Larry Niven for FREE for a limited time. Source: SFFAudio via SF Signal.

TV news:
* Stargate: Universe and Sanctuary were both renewed. Sources: Futon Critic, SciFi Wire, Zap2It, Hollywood Reporter (via Whatever)
* Writers Guild award nominations were announced. Very little of what I watch was nominated, and I am baffled by the idea that they consider Glee a comedy.
* NBC has announced their mid-season premiere dates and how they fit in the schedule.
* Zap2It teases us about 3rd season Chuck. SciFi Wire has a 6-minute preview.
* Idina Menzel (Wicked) will guest star in the remaining 9 episodes of Glee. Source: Zap2It

DVR timers for the week:
Mon 6pm The Closer
Mon 8pm How I Met Your Mother
Mon 930 Big Bang Theory
Tue 9pm Scrubs
Wed 10pm CSI:NY
Thu 9pm CSI
Fri 7pm Sanctuary (repeats at 9pm) & 20 Pixar Short Films (ABCFAM)
Fri 8pm Dollhouse
Sat 6pm Doctor Who: Waters of Mars (BBCA)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Weekly TV update

FlashForward and V are now off the air until March. ABC announced the dates as March 4th for FlashForward and March 30th for V (which also moves to a new day & time after Lost). This will mess up the airing vs in-show dates for FlashForward, but means it will air without preemptions once it returns. Sources:
* Zap2It and FutonCritic with the announcement
* Robert J Sawyer comments at SciFi Wire
* Showrunner David Goyer comments at Zap2It

As you can see below, I think I'm going to give the pilot to Men of a Certain Age a try because I like the cast. See this review at for more info.

DVR timers for the week:
Mon 6pm Alice (SYFY - repeats later) & The Closer (TNT)
Mon 8pm How I Met Your Mother
Mon 930 Big Bang Theory
Mon 10pm Castle & Men of a Certain Age (TNT)
Tue 9pm Scrubs
Wed 9pm Glee
Wed 930 Cougar Town
Wed 10pm CSI:NY
Thu 8pm Bones
Thu 9pm CSI & Fringe
Fri 7pm Sanctuary
Fri 8pm Dollhouse
Sun BBC America marathon of UK edits for Doctor Who episodes (extra footage!)

Thursday, December 3, 2009


SyFy's Alice miniseries starts this Sunday. Generally non-spoiler reviews/articles are available at i09, Zap2It, and SciFi Wire if you are debating watching or not.

Jeremiah season 2 is finally coming to DVD, although it will be part of the new Manufacture-on-demand product line from Amazon.

The final David Tennant Doctor Who episode will air on BBC America on January 2nd (which makes 3 Saturdays in a row for new Doctor Who in the US). Sources: Zap2It, FutonCritic

There is a list out (from Reuters care of Zap2It) of the 10 most watched shows of the decade (since we are now less than a month from the end). Of these, I saw #1, I think I might have seen #6, and I wasn't even interested in the rest. For the most part, the shows people watch baffle me.

DVR timers for the rest of the week:
Thu 8pm Bones & FlashForward
Thu 9pm Fringe (& Private Practice?)
Fri 6+8pm Stargate: Universe
Fri 6+9pm Monk
Fri 7+9pm Sanctuary
Fri 7+10p White Collar
Fri 8pm Ghost Whisperer
Fri 9pm Medium
Fri 10pm Numb3rs
Sun 6pm Alice pt1 (SYFY, repeats at 8+10pm)
Sun 9pm Robin Williams HBO special

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Tech News:
* has an interesting top 10 list (until the end where it becomes just a joke) about the things mobile phones have made or will make obsolete.

TV News:
* Doctor Who "The End of Time, part 1" will air on BBC America on Dec. 26th (only 1 day after the UK gets to see it). Zap2It and SciFi Wire have sneak peeks. io9 also adds a "What is Doctor Who" video.
* Chuck will return on January 10th. Sources: Ausiello Files, Futon Critic, Zap2It, and What's Alan Watching (which includes interview with the show runner).
* Stunt casting might actually get me to watch an episode of The Simpsons. Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) will be playing Edward Cullen (Twilight) in their Halloween episode next year.
* A full cut of the previously lost Star Trek pilot has been found.

DVR timers for the week:
Mon 8pm Heroes & House & How I Met Your Mother
Mon 930 Big Bang Theory
Mon 10p Castle
Tue 8pm V
Wed 9pm Glee
Wed 930 Cougar Town
Wed 10p CSI:NY
Fri 6/9pm Monk
Fri 7/10pm White Collar

Monday, November 2, 2009


TV/Movie News:
* The Terminator franchise is for sale, and Joss Whedon has made an (extremely amusing) offer to buy it. Sources: i09, SciFi Wire
* December 19th has been announced as the US airdate for the next Doctor Who special, The Waters of Mars. The final 2 David Tennant specials will air "over the holidays" with dates to be announced in December. Source: SciFi Wire, Futon Critic
* John Rhys Davies will not be appearing in The Hobbit. He doesn't want to put back on the dwarf makeup he is allergic to. Source: SciFi Wire
* Defying Gravity will come out on dvd on January 19th, so we'll finally be able to see the rest of the episodes.
* Cougar Town will have a couple familiar guest stars soon: Lisa Kudrow and Scott Foley. Sources: Zap2It & Ausiello Files
* Castle was picked up for a full 2nd season. Source: Zap2It

DVR settings for the week:
Mon 6pm Greek
Mon 8pm Heroes & How I Met Your Mother
Mon 930 Big Bang Theory
Mon 10p Castle
Tue 8pm V (ABC - premiere)
Tue 9pm Universe: Science Fiction, Science Fact (HIST)
Wed 930 Cougar Town
Wed 10p CSI:NY
Thu 8pm Bones & FlashForward
Thu 9pm CSI, Fringe & Supernatural
Fri 6/9pm Stargate: Universe & Monk
Fri 7/10p Sanctuary & White Collar
Fri 8pm Ghost Whisperer
Fri 9pm Medium
Fri 10p Numb3rs
Sat & Sun = nothing

Thursday, October 22, 2009


TV News:
* Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls) will be replacing Maura Tierney on Parenthood. Sources: Zap2It, Ausiello Files (includes interview)
* Doctor Who is not just replacing the showrunner and The Doctor, they are also changing the logo and the design of the Tardis. Sources: SciFi Wire and Zap2It (logo), io9 (Tardis)
* FlashForward no longer has 2 show runners. Marc Guggenheim, who joined the show at ABC's insistance, is leaving. Co-creator David Goyer will now be the sole show runner. Sources: SciFi Wire, Zap2It
* Katee Sackhoff will be guest starring in Big Bang Theory in November. Sources: Zap2It, SciFi Wire
* Glee will be coming to DVD in December (with 13 episodes, the other 9 presumably coming later). Sources: Zap2It, Futon Critic
* Madonna is apparently a fan of Glee. She has given the show rights to her catalog. Source: Zap2It
* Nathan Fillion is going to appear as in his Browncoat outfit again (as a Halloween costume on Castle). Sources: io9, SciFi Wire

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Continuing to catch up on stories from the past month.

* Barnes & Noble has released an ebook reader called Nook. It has some distinct advantages over some of the previous ones (at least to me). Features: AT&T 3G and WiFi support, any ebook is free while you are in B&N, you can lend a book to a friend for 14 days, it supports PDF and the open ePub formats (which includes Fictionwise multi-format books), you can sync with an iPhone or PC with eReader software, and it can hold 2GB with a card reader to add more. Sources: CNet Crave, CNet News, Wired Epicenter, Wired Gadget Lab, Slashdot, SF Signal, SF Gate
* Google is launching Google Editions, which will sell ebooks that can be read by anything with a web browser. Books will come from the Google Books project, as approved by copyright holders. Sources: Wired, Google, Locus, CNet
* CNet has an article on the Internet Archive's BookServer project.
* HP and Amazon are teaming to produce Print on Demand paperbacks of ebooks.
* Wireless charging of devices may be coming as soon as next year.

* The GigaGalaxy Zoom Project has produced a 360 degree zoomable image of the night sky. Source: Slashdot (with links to more)
* Hubble image of a galactic merger in the constellation of Cancer. Source:
* The European Southern Observatory in Chile captured a great image of Barnard's galaxy. Sources:, io9
* NASA's Swift satellite has some amazing images of the Andromeda galaxy. Source: SciFi Wire
* 32 new exoplanets have been discovered.
* A reusable rocket flew a test flight out of New Mexico's Spaceport America. Source: Spaceflight, Technology

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Still more catch up from the month when I didn't post. This will probably continue all week while I migrate to a new newsreader.

Health & Science news:
* Researchers have found a genetic link to patients who can recover from Hepatitis C without treatment. Along similar lines, a genetic link was also found for patients who respond better to Diabetes treatment. Hopefully this will help them develop treatments that works for the rest.
* Researchers are working on an injectable stem cell paste for bone repairs.
* Nanomedicine: A microchip has been developed that can detect and identify early-stage cancer. Another article on the same lines from Stanford researchers, and a Computerworld article on the Stanford research.
* Fat cells harvested by liposuction are apparently easier to change into stem cells than other cells (such as skin).

* A huge collection of Anglo-Saxon treasure has been found, giving some insights to the Dark Ages. Sources: BBC Photogallery, BBC Article
* A 5,000 year old underwater town off the coast of Greece is being explored by an international team. Source: BBC
* A primate fossil has been found that pre-dates Lucy. Sources: Slashdot(with links to others), Wired
* A mini Roman Coliseum has been found by archeologists. Source: CNN
* For something a little more recent, Life Magazine has put their complete archive online for free viewing in the original layout.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I'm sorry I've let it go so long between blog entries. I'll try to do some catching up here.

TV news:
* Joss Whedon will be directing an episode of Glee later this season. Is it too much to hope that he'll include one of his songs? Also reported at Zap2It.
* Jorja Fox is extending her return to CSI indefinitely. Also reported by Zap2It.
* Full season pick ups have been announced for FlashForward, Glee and Cougar Town. Sources: Ausiello Files, Zap2It (FlashForward), Zap2It (Glee), Futon Critic
* There are indications & rumors that Chuck may return early, but there have been some recent denials, and I haven't seen an official confirmation yet. Sources: Ausiello Files, What's Alan Watching, Zap2It
* Wil Wheaton guest stars as (the evil version of) himself on tonight's Big Bang Theory. Sources: SciFi Wire, Wil Wheaton's blog
* JJ Abram's next TV show (about husband and wife spies) will be for NBC.
* Kyle XY will have a wrap up on the DVD. Source: TVshowsondvd

Those we lost:
* RIP Patrick Swayze. The actor died of cancer at 57. Sources: Zap2It, MSNBC, CNN, NY Times, Mercury News
* RIP Mary Travers. The singer who was the Mary of Peter, Paul & Mary died of leukemia at 72. Sources: SF Gate, NY Times, BBC

DVR settings for the week:
IFC is airing a six-part documentary on Monty Python (part 1 was last night). It will continue at 6 and 9pm each night this week. There is a review at
Mon 6pm Greek
Mon 8pm Heroes, House, How I Met Your Mother
Mon 930 Big Bang Theory
Mon 10p Castle (people keep telling me to give this a chance)
Wed 9pm Glee
Wed 930 Cougar Town
Wed 10p CSI:NY
Thu 8pm FlashForward
Thu 10p Private Practice (need to decide if I still want to watch)
Fri 6pm Stargate Universe & Monk
Fri 7pm Sanctuary
Fri 8pm Ghost Whisperer
Fri 9pm Dollhouse & Medium
Fri 10p Numb3rs & White Collar (premiere)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Catch up post

RIP Larry Gelbart. The comedy writer who brought us M*A*S*H, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and Tootsie (among many other things) died last week at 81. Sources: LA Times c/o What's Alan Watching

The new fall season of TV has begun. There are several shows that have potential, but I don't know which will be worth DVR space. To decide for yourself, check out the following links:
* Futon Critic grid for what shows are playing when.
* Futon Critic review index.
* EW schedule for when each show starts.
* Zap2It Must See new show list.
* mini reviews.

There have been a bunch of casting and renewal notices recently:
* Campbell Scott will be a regular on Damages next season (no word what this will mean for his Royal Pains character). Source: Ausiello Files
* TNT has renewed Leverage for a 15-episode 3rd season. Sources: Ausiello Files, Futon Critic
* Dollhouse casting: Summer Glau, Alexis Denisof, Keith Carradine, Jamie Bamber & Michael Hogan. Sources: Zap2It, Futon Critic, Ausiello Files
* Steven Spielberg will produce (and possibly direct) Michael Chricton's posthumous novel, Pirate Latitudes. Source: Zap2It
* Brandon Routh will have a recurring role on Chuck next season. Sources: Zap2It, Ausiello Files
* Garret Dillahunt will guest star on Burn Notice when it returns later this season.

There are some robotics experts who want to revise Asimov's 3 laws. Sources:, Wired

Sony officially unveiled their new ebook readers and are adopting the open EPUB format. Sources: Macworld, CNet Crave, Wired, Slashdot

Disney bought Marvel and all the characters they've created for $4 billion. Sources: SF Gate, NY Times, SciFi Wire (which has response from Stan Lee)

SF Signal pointed me to the Venn Diagram of Mythical Creatures. Very clever (although it includes a few I've never heard of and leaves off a couple).

Health & Science news:
* The blue dye in M&Ms & gatorade might help people recover from spine injuries. Rats were able to walk with a limp after 6 weeks if treated with dye. The only side effect: it turns the skin and eyes blue for a while. Unfortunately, the solution is so cheap they're having trouble getting drug companies to sponsor further testing. Sources: Wired, CNN, i09
* Shrinky Dinks find new use for microfluid diagnostic testing.
* Stem cell treatment is being used instead of hip replacements.

9-23 will be the 70th anniversary of the Wizard of Oz, and it will be playing one day only around the country. If you want to see it, look here to see where it is playing.

September also marks the 107th anniversary of the first sci-fi film: A Trip to the Moon. Wired commemorated the event with an article and a photo gallery of their favorite sci-fi films (which were a very weird group).

Picture messaging will be enabled on iPhones 9/25. Apparently the last software update made it possible on 3G and 3GS phones, but AT&T didn't enable it right away.

Star Trek: The Experience is coming to the Tech Museum in San Jose.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

8-11 to 8-23-09 catch up

USAA, and soon other banks, will allow you to deposit checks using an iPhone camera. Sources: SF Gate, CNet, & NY Times (needs reg)

Researchers have made artificial bones out of wood. Sounds strange, but apparently it allows for faster healing since it more closely resembles the physical structure of the bone.

RIP Les Paul. The guitar legend died at 94. Sources: BBC, CNN, NY Times, Zap2It, Google

James Marsters will be a villain on at least 3 episodes of Caprica. Sources: Zap2It, SciFi Wire

Leverage will have 2 extra episodes this season.

Warehouse 13 has been renewed for a 2nd season. Sources: Zap2It, SciFi Wire

Lots of movies are being remade that make no sense to me. Examples: Yellow Submarine and Harvey.

DVRs for the week:
Mon - The Closer (season finale - I am so far behind)
Tue - Warehouse 13
Wed - Leverage
Thu - Royal Pains
Fri - Eureka, Monk, Psych
Sat - Being Human
Sun - True Blood, Defying Gravity

Monday, August 10, 2009

8-10-09 catch up post

Sorry to go so long without posting. A lot of stuff has happened, I've just been too busy to comment. I'll try to catch some highlights here.

Tonight will be the densest part of the Perseids Meteor shower. Look to the northeast. More info at NASA,, or at SF Gate. For the stargazers who have telescopes, this is also the first equinox for Saturn since 1994, so it is a good time to see details from the rings. Expect to see great Cassini pictures in the next few days. CNet already has a few in this photogallery. More at BBC , Slashdot, or

RIP John Hughes. The director of the teen angst films that defined my generation died of a heart attack last Thursday at 59. Sources: Mercury News, BBC, Variety

True Blood has been renewed for a 3rd season. Sources: Ausiello Files,, Futon Critic

MSNBC has an article about how cats train us to take care of them. We already knew that though.

The Sony e-book reader is coming out with a new version and dropping in price. Sources: NY Times, SF Gate, HotHardware (via Slashdot). SF Gate also has an article on the state of the market now.

Victoria will be played by a different actress (Bryce Dallas Howard) in Eclipse (the 3rd Twilight movie).

For those of us not in New York, I hope the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame anniversary concerts get televised. What an amazing lineup.

Spike TV will rebroadcast the miniseries "Meteor" and "The Storm" from NBC at the end of August. Since I was a bit curious about Meteor, but completely forgot to watch it, I'm getting another chance to try.

Suvudu has an amusing pie chart view of the difference between classic and modern SF.

Jim Baen's Universe is closing. Sources: SF Signal, Locus,

Worldcon is now over. Unfortunately, I was not able to attend. Some reports:
* Hugo Awards were announced. Graveyard Book won Best Novel. Sources: SF Signal, Locus,
* Chelsea Awards were announced.
* It is official. The 2011 Worldcon will be in Reno, which is a much more affordable trip for me.
* San Antonio is bidding for 2013.
* Updates were made throughout the convention to Explore the site for blogs, pictures, tweets, and other random reporting methods.

Comic Con is now over. Some of the announcements:
* Charlaine Harris will write 3 more Sookie Stackhouse books.
* io9 teases about the possibility of a future for Torchwood.

The Television Critics Press Tour highlights:
* Gabrielle Union and Dominic Monaghan are joining the cast of FlashForward. Press Tour commentary here.
* James Earl Jones will guest star in House next year.
* Fox news (they promise no more network notes for Dollhouse) at
* The V remake will premiere November 3rd. They do plan to pay homage to the original.
* SyFy greenlit a new superhero show called Alphas.
* Eastwick will film in the same town as Gilmore Girls (but I still don't want to watch it).
* Virginia Madsen will guest star in 3 episodes of Monk this season.

Health & Science news:
* New HIV test approach doesn't require refrigeration, so should be more accessible for use in developing countries.
* The NIH is encouraging their scientists to make Wiki health information more accurate.
* One more reason to avoid processed food: studies show MSG causes weight gain.
* National Post has an article on the advantages of using cord blood for stem cells.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


RIP Harve Presnell. The actor/singer died of cancer at 75. I remember his great singing voice in the 2 movies he made as a young man (he was mostly on the stage) and being glad when he made a comeback as a character actor in 1996.

The Middleman will be released on dvd next week, and has video clips from it. If you never saw this show, check out what you were missing.

They've started to rebuild Hobbiton (follow link for pics) in preparation for filming The Hobbit, even though they haven't finalized the script yet. There were extensive rumors (prompted by comments from Guillermo del Toro) that the casting of Bilbo was down to 4 finalists (speculated as including David Tennant, Daniel Radcliffe, and James McAvoy) with a choice to be announced at Comic Con this weekend, but Peter Jackson has denied the timing of the announcement.

SyFy has announced premiere dates for Stargate: Universe (October 2nd) and Sanctuary (October 9th).

It appears that something hit Jupiter and left a scar. Sources:, SF Gate, and (care of Slashdot) Bad Astronomy blog and the blog of an Australian astronomer (this one has the best pictures).

Amazon is acquiring Zappos.

Yesterday there was a full solar eclipse in Asia. The AP has some good pictures. has new pictures of the Eagle Nebula. Also, the comments thread led me to this high resolution expanded version of the main picture.

Israel News (care of Slashdot) is reporting that scientists have found a cure for radiation sickness. Now if only this was a more reputable source...

Monday, July 20, 2009


RIP Walter Cronkite. The "most trusted man" in television journalism died on Friday at 92. It seems sad that he died during the anniversary of a news event that left him "speechless". Sources: CBS News,, CNet

Today is the 40th anniversary of the first moonwalk. Lots of articles & retrospectives can be found today.
* Ars Technica article: Many Small Steps Led to Apollo 11's Giant Leap
* Wired: Your Apollo Anniversary Experience, NASA Maps out the Future, This Day in Tech
* CNet: Apollo 11 Photo Gallery, Other Apollo Moon Landings Photo Gallery
* BBC Slideshow
* Yahoo: New photos of the moon show Apollo leftovers is celebrating the joint one year anniversary of their site and the 40th anniversary of the lunar landing with lots of giveaways and retrospective posts from an amazing number of writers. Included (not even close to a full list): Kage Baker, Gregory Benford, David Brin, Geoffrey A. Landis, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Larry Niven, Frederik Pohl, Robert J. Sawyer, Robert Silverberg, Charles Stross, Michael Swanwick, Jo Walton, David Weber

Also in honor of the anniversary, Google has added a complete map of the moon to Google Earth. Sources: PC World, CNet

Jorja Fox is returning to CSI for multiple (how many is that?) episodes. Sources: Futon Critic & Ausiello Files

DVRs for the week:
Mon Torchwood pt 1 & special (BBCA), Closer (TNT) & moon documentaries (History & Discovery)
Tue Torchwood pt 2 (BBCA) & Warehouse 13 (SyFy)
Wed Torchwood pt 3 (BBCA) & Leverage (TNT)
Thu Torchwood pt 4 (BBCA), Burn Notice (USA) & Royal Pains (USA)
Fri Torchwood pt 5 (BBCA) & Eureka
Sat Primeval finale (BBCA) & Being Human pilot (BBCA)
Sun Doctor Who (BBCA), Merlin (NBC) & True Blood (HBO)

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Today is the 40th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11. Lots of good articles and retrospectives are online. Some I found:
* CNN article: From Doughnuts to Liftoff...
* NYT photojournalism blog featuring photos from the day of liftoff.
* BBC article: The Magic of Apollo
* BBC article: Weaving the Way to the Moon
* NewScientist feature: Why the Moon Still Matters
* NASA has released newly restored video footage of the moon walk. Additional info on the restoration process (since NASA erased the original tapes) at Yahoo, Reuters, CNet, and BBC.
* National Geographic interview with Buzz Aldrin.
* CNet has a listing of resources to help you commemorate the anniversary.

The Emmy Award nominations were announced this morning. There were an amazing number of nominations for shows I wouldn't watch if you paid me to, but there were some good bits too. Highlights to me: How I Met Your Mother up for Best Comedy, Jim Parsons (Sheldon on Big Bang Theory) up for Lead Actor in a Comedy, Neil Patrick Harris for Supporting Actor in a Comedy, and Kristin Chenoweth for Supporting Actress in a Comedy. (Other than Lost and House, they pretty much ignored every drama I watch.)
* Complete list of all nominees
* NYT Arts Beat listing of the top categories

Wired lists the Top 10 Endearing Habits of a Geeky Spouse. Is it wrong that I would rather have the geeky spouse than be one? (Yes, I know several of those habits fit me, but I still deny #2.)

Lou Anders is asking for book suggestions on fantasy books every library should have (specifically the non-obvious ones). I'm not sure if I'll add to the list or just let the idea of which I would pick percolate in my brain, but it is interesting to look at the comment thread to see what other people have suggested. Some I've enjoyed, some have been in my TBR pile for ages, and some I may need to look for. See more at Lou Anders' blog or the SF Signal post that led me to it.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


4 of the 5 surviving Monty Python members are going to reunite on stage for a musical adaptation of The Life of Brian to celebrate the 40th anniversary.

Joss Whedon wrote a 4-page online comic of Buffy having a nightmare that has me laughing. Sources: Slice of Scifi, CBR article about why this is at Dark Horse, the actual comic.

Tim Minear was interviewed about Alien Nation.

There have been a bunch of interesting articles on ebook readers recently:
* Bookstores developing their own readers to compete with Amazon.
* Why most ebook readers are only available in black and white.
* Article on design complaints for current ebooks.
* Review of a new Steampunk magazine released for the iPhone that answers the design complaint.
* Amazon patent hints at the possibility of getting free (ad-supported) ebooks when you buy a print book.

Monday, July 13, 2009


RIP Charles N. Brown. The co-founder and editor of Locus died in his sleep yesterday at 72. The science fiction field is a sadder place today. Sources: Locus, SF Site,, io9

NBC will be pushing Parenthood to midseason while Maura Tierney gets medical treatment. No word yet on the replacement show. Sources: Futon Critic & Ausiello Files.

ABC will air a 13-part Canadian space thriller called Defying Gravity starting August 2nd. Ron Livingston (Office Space, Band of Brothers, Standoff) leads the international cast. Sources: Futon Critic, article, io9 article, io9 trailer (which I haven't seen yet).

Wired has pictures of yachts designed by an architect. I see these as the next location spot for a science fiction film. Very cool design.

Never piss off a bard is true, but it seems United is learning from their mistake. Sources: Zap2It, Techdirt.

There have been lots of rumors lately about the next device (tablet/netbook) coming from Apple. It's starting to look very interesting. Sources: Idealog, CNet Crave, CNet News from 6/16, CNet News from 6/1

Moisture traps from Dune may soon be a reality on Earth.

DVRs for the week:
Mon 6pm The Closer
Tue 6pm Warehouse 13
Wed 6pm Leverage (season premiere)
Thu 6pm Burn Notice & 7pm Royal Pains
Fri 6pm Eureka
Sat 6pm Primeval
Sun 6pm True Blood & 8pm Merlin

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Two recent articles provide hope for Alzheimer's treatment:
* Wired article on the Nun Study showing early language skills protect against symptoms.
* Bayer test is proving effective at early detection.

Wired lists 100 Essential Skills for Geeks, which I think proves that I'm not actually a geek. (I haven't counted through the whole list, but I think only about 15-20 apply.)

CNet has peeks at future technology: your phone as a video projector, an augmented reality app, and uses for multitouch screens. The 2nd reminds me of the scene in Ventus where tourists are walking down the street wearing VR goggles and reading information about the places they see.

Rumors are that iPods will be getting cameras soon (not just the iPhone/iTouch), and Wired has an article about what that might mean for small cameras.

Great images at Wired:
* A gallery of flower photographs taken with a really interesting electric effect.
* An amazing shot of the Swan Nebula from the New Technology Telescope in Chile.
* A gallery of Low-Tech Computing devices from Prehistory to "Today" (except they only get up to 1947).

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Amazon has launched a trade-in area for DVDs. Send them movies & TV shows on DVD for store credit. It looks easier than trying to sell them myself.

Tim Minear will be working on a new version of Alien Nation for SyFy. Good news: it isn't Fox (where every show he's worked on has been killed early). Bad news: it's a reboot of a story I didn't think needed a reboot when I'd rather see what original stuff he could do.

Pandora has managed to make an agreement as to royalty payments for streaming music. The result: it will no longer be free for 10% of users (those who listen to >40 hours per month). More comments on the issue at Techdirt.

David Tennant will appear in 2 episodes of The Sarah Jane Adventures next season.

Fox is pushing back the premiere of Dollhouse season 2 one week to make room for an encore of a Glee episode. Not an auspicious beginning. Also Dollhouse related, tvshowsondvd has a video of Joss Whedon inviting people to his Comic Con panel on Dollhouse and showing a clip of the unaired episode he'll show there.

The Paperback Writer blog lists lots of places for finding free ebooks.

Health news:
* New stem cell research guidelines will finally allow new lines from discarded IVF embryos.
* Nano cells targeting cancer cells for chemotherapy and leaving other cells alone.

Scientists now how turtles evolved to develop their shells. has:
* a video with Apollo astronauts reflecting on the meaning of Apollo and what might be next for the moon.
* first photos from the Herschel telescope.
* news on a contest from Guiness that will give someone a trip to space.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

7-5-09 Catch up post

RIP Karl Malden. The actor died at 97. Sources: CNN, Zap2It, BBC, Yahoo

The Locus Poll Award winners were announced. Neil Gaiman's response to best YA novel.

Facebook is eliminating "Private by default", so this is the time to check your settings. More on this at SF Gate or CNet.

There may be a winner for the $1 million Netflix prize (for improving their recommending engine by >10%). Sources: Wired, Slashdot

Goodbye Kodachrome. Kodak is no longer making the film that inspired one of my favorite Simon & Garfunkle songs. Sources: CNet article, CNet photo gallery, Wired

Another rule change for the Oscars. Best Song nominees will now get a score from 6 to 10, and no award will be given if they all don't get at least 8.25. So, unless all the nominees are considered to be "worthy", nobody wins.

Firefox 3.5 has been released, and everyone is commenting. Check out PC World, Wired, Slate, and several articles at CNet: New CSS rule for fonts, slideshow of 3.5 images, add-ons which work and don't work in 3.5, visual history of Firefox, and other improvements under development.

Also Firefox related, Technology Review has an article about their approach to preventing scripting attacks.

Pandora has changed its submission process and now accepts only music from bands that have a physical CD listed on Amazon.

CNet Crave has an article on making the iPhone into an even better gaming device.

SciFi Wire has an interview with Colin Morgan about his role in Merlin, which I'm actually enjoying.

SF Gate has an article about a new device that may help patients stabilize and survive long enough to receive a liver transplant.

Apple has joined other manufacturers in agreeing to the micro-USB charger standard for cell phones.

Caffeine may help reverse Alzheimer's memory loss.

Futon Critic has more info on the new Noah Wyle & Steven Spielberg project for TNT.

DVRs for the week:
Sun 8pm Merlin
Mon 6pm The Closer
Tue 6pm Warehouse 13 (2-hr series premiere)
Thu 6pm Burn Notice
Thu 7pm Royal Pains
Fri 6pm Eureka (3rd season premiere)
Sat 6pm Primeval
Sun 6pm True Blood
Sun 8pm Merlin

Thursday, June 25, 2009


RIP Farrah Fawcett. The actress died Thursday morning of cancer. Sources: CNN, NYT, SF Gate, BBC,

RIP Michael Jackson. The singer died Thursday afternoon following a heart attack. Sources: Yahoo,, Mercury news

Happy 35th birthday to the barcode. It seems like so much of my work revolves around barcodes that they should be older.

BBC has a slideshow of new Cassini Saturn images with audio. They also have an article on a new fossil discovery that shows some of the evolution of dinosaur hands into bird wings.

SF Gate has an interview with Steve Kloves (Harry Potter screenwriter) about Half-Blood Prince.

What's Alan Watching has an interview with Russell Davies about Torchwood and Doctor Who.

CBS announced fall premiere dates, ranging from 9/17 to 10/4.

SF Gate has an interview with Lewis Black, since he will be performing in SF this weekend for a benefit.

A Newbie's Guide to Publishing has an interesting post about e-book pricing.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


RIP Ed McMahon. The actor died Tuesday at 86 after a long illness. Sources: Zap2It, SF Gate, and many more.

RIP Dr. Jerri Nielsen FitzGerald. The doctor who diagnosed and treated her own cancer at the south pole 10 years ago died this week at 57.

The Best Picture Oscar will now have 10 nominees (like it did ~60 years ago). I'm sure they will still nominate stuff I don't like and leave off movies I think are great even if they get more slots. Sources: NY Times, SF Gate, etc.

Bryan Fuller is leaving Heroes (again), at least as a writer, to focus on his new projects for NBC.

Scrubs will change format a bit to cover for staff availability issues in the 9th season.

Ronald D. Moore's pilot that Fox didn't pick up, Virtuality, will be airing this Friday night.

SciFi Wire has an interview with Michael Bay about how they handled Shia LaBeouf's hand injury while filming Transformers 2.

The Chelsea Award nominees have been announced. Follow the links for some great artwork. Source: SF Signal.

Concept art for Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland is now available.

Stanford researchers have found a new compound that might replace silicon for smaller, faster computing as we reach the limits of Moore's Law.

The iPhone 3G S and 3.0 software were released.
* Improvements in software update.
* Review of the new phone from SF Gate.

Recent articles of interest:
* Evidence suggests that Saturn's moon, Enceladus, has an ocean under its crust.
* "Definitive" evidence of a shoreline of an ancient lake has been found on Mars.

Health news:
* Studies show the most common pediatric cancer (lymphoblastic leukemia) can be successfully treated without radiation.
* Apparently stem cells from placentas are just as useful as from cord blood, but in larger quantities (enough to treat an adult, not just an infant).

Friday, June 19, 2009


I updated the DVR listings I made earlier this week to include the new Poirot movie playing on Masterpiece Theater on Sunday. PBS has an interview with David Suchet, who appears close to playing every Poirot story that Agatha Christie wrote. I've probably only seen about half of the 61 he's filmed, but I usually like them.

CW has released their fall premiere dates. Supernatural on 9/10 is the only one I care about. has an article today I would expect to see at The Onion. The switch to digital TV is depriving aliens of their access to TV shows. I love that approach to the story.

Today was the groundbreaking for Spaceport America.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Researchers find that lasers can make incandescent light bulbs twice as efficient. Sources: CNet, University of Rochester via Slashdot

Fox has announced start dates for fall shows. Bones is the first I care about on September 17th. Sources: Ausiello Files, They followed up this announcement with the interruptions that baseball will bring to the new shows.

Steven Spielberg and Noah Wyle are working on an alien invasion series pilot for TNT. I'm picturing this as a cross between V and Librarian - could be fun.

Primeval has been officially canceled. (Apparently leaving a cliffhanger too. If they do end up making a movie, I hope they resolve that.)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

6-14-09 catch up post

DVD news:
* Torchwood season 2 & 3 will both be released on DVD on July 28th for Comic Con.
* There is a new boxed set of Jack Lemmon films. How is that I like Jack Lemmon but have somehow not seen any of these movies?

RIP David Eddings. The fantasy author died June 2nd at 77. Source: Locus, Tor.

Sun of Suns by Karl Schroeder is available as a free audiobook from Audible for a limited time. This was a fun book. Check it out. Sources: Tor, SF Signal.

The Suvudu Free Library has 3 new ebooks (including Terry Brooks and Alan Dean Foster).

Apple unvieled the new iPhone 3G S:
* The older 3G phone dropped in price to $99. Source: Zap2It.
* Overview of features for 3G S hardware and 3.0 software (available for existing iPhones June 17th). Sources: SF Gate,
* Specs have been leaked online that imply it might really be twice as fast as the current iPhone.
* CNet look at the new camera.
* In-app microtransactions. Source: Pocket Gamer, CNet

List of the 10 Best TV shows for nerds. I like 6 of these, dislike a couple, and have never seen the rest. YMMV.

We just passed the 25th anniversary of Tetris, a game that has absorbed many hours of my life. SF Gate has a retrospective article. CNet Digital Home article. Guardian article.

USA announced the start date for Psych and Monk: August 7th. ABC also announced fall start dates for all their shows, ranging from September 5th to October 16th.

My Name is Earl
isn't going to change channels after all, so it is now officially dead.

3 interesting recent articles on teenagers:
* Meteorite hits a 14-year old boy. Source:
* An 18-year old girl diagnosed her own long term illness in AP science class. Source: CNN
* A 14-year old student identifies the weakest supernova yet identified. Source: Space Fellowship

DVR timers for the week:
Sun 6pm? True Blood (season premiere)
Mon 5pm Greek (season finale)
Mon 6pm The Closer
Tue 10pm Cupid (if no NBA game)
Thu 6pm Burn Notice
Thu 7pm Royal Pains
Sat 6pm Primeval
Sun 6pm True Blood
Sun 8pm Merlin (2hr pilot - NBC)
Sun 9pm Masterpiece Theater: Poirot: Cat Among the Pigeons (PBS - encores several times over 24 hours)

Monday, June 1, 2009


July 20th will be a big day for BBC America: it will have the season finale of Primeval, the premiere of Torchwood and Being Human, and the latest Doctor Who special. The Doctor Who Christmas Special will air on BBCA on June 26th, which is only 6 months later than it should have played (better than SciFi usually manages).

The new companion for Doctor Who has been announced, and i09 has a picture. I've seen her in one episode each of Doctor Who and Rebus, but can't remember her offhand.

Continuing the Doctor Who news, io9 lists some of the ways we can still see David Tennant as the Doctor after the specials end.

SciFi Wire has a little information on Paul, the next movie from Simon Pegg & Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead & Hot Fuzz).

Warehouse 13 is going to have some great guest stars from Battlestar Galactica, Eureka, Stargate: Atlantis, and others you'll recognize.

Hollywood is planning a new Buffy movie without Joss Whedon. More info at SciFi Wire. What can they be thinking? On another note from Joss Whedon, he is already looking for the right role for Summer Glau on Dollhouse.

SciFi Wire has a nice chart of all the network TV changes for genre shows next season (cancellations, renewals, time changes, and additions). has an article on the recent improvements to the Hubble telescope. They also have a picture of a galaxy cluster I think is great. has a list of what they consider the Top 10 Industry Changing Applications for computers. I might argue with a few, but it is interesting.

2 recent articles on stem cell advancements: cells developed to kill cancer cells and a company using a protein mixture to turn a patient's skin cells into stem cells for treatment.

SF Gate has a review of Spamalot, playing locally through July 5th. I want to see this.

DVR timers for the week:
Mon 5pm Greek
Mon 10pm Medium (season finale)
Thur 6pm Burn Notice (season premiere)
Sat 6pm Primeval
Sat 10pm Pushing Daisies

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fall TV schedules

NBC has announced their fall and midseason schedules (not just the shows but the timeslots). Pending more info on the new shows, it looks like I will be watching 1 hour per week - Monday at 8pm will be Heroes in the fall and Chuck at midseason. Contrary to an earlier report, NBC has dropped Medium. CBS picked it up though. Sources: Futon Critic schedule, Ausiello report on Medium & My Name is Earl

More info on the Chuck renewal and Subway's part in it at: Futon Critic announcement, EW Interview with producer, What's Alan Watching interview with producer

ABC announced their fall schedule and midseason shows too. They have the most new shows of any network, so the midseason schedule (where most of the shows I watch will be) is going to be determined by what works and what fails. Some of their new shows look promising though. Sources: Futon Critic schedule, analysis, Futon Critic trailers for new shows

CBS announced their fall schedule (they don't have a separate midseason schedule). Major changes: Big Bang Theory moving to 9:30 on Monday and Medium will now be on CBS Fridays at 9pm (between Ghost Whisperer and Numbers). They don't have many new shows, but they have good casts. I'm sure more info will be available soon to help determine if they are watchable. Sources: Futon Critic,, Futon Critic trailers for new shows

And, continuing on a theme, Fox announced their fall and midseason schedules. Considering their obsession with clustering shows in timeslots that were already busy, I may watch most of their programming on Hulu. Sources: Futon Critic schedule, Futon Critic trailers for new shows, analysis

5/21 Update:
CW fall schedule has now been announced. Reaper is gone (although apparently it might continue in syndication). The only new show even remotely tempting is Vampire Diaries, but I think it is going to be too soapy for me (it is trying way too hard to get the Twilight audience). Supernatural (the only show on their schedule I actually care about) is staying in the same horrid timeslot. Sources: Futon Critic schedule,, pictures for new shows,

Monday, May 18, 2009


Chuck has been renewed! Unfortunately, it is for only 13 episodes with a reduced budget (so we'll probably see the recurring cast rotate in and out instead of in every episode), but I'm glad to see it will be coming back anyway. Sources: EW Ausiello Files, Futon Critic

Fox has released their Fall schedule. Renewals: Bones (for 2 years), House, Fringe & Dollhouse (with reduced budget). Canceled: Sarah Connor Chronicles. New shows picked up are also described. Sources: Futon Critic schedule, Futon critic renewals, EW Ausiello Files Sarah Connor, EW Ausiello Files Bones, EW Ausiello Files Dollhouse

Scrubs has been renewed
for a 9th season (although Zach Braff will only be in 6 episodes).

Warner Brothers just got the movie rights for Primeval. I'm trying to decide if this is good or bad news.

Check out the NASA Flickr photostream for pictures of the shuttle Atlantis repairing the Hubble telescope in front of the sun.

DVR timers for the week:
Mon 5pm Greek
Mon 8:30 How I Met Your Mother
Mon 9pm 2.5 Men
Mon 10pm Medium
Tues 8pm Reaper & Nova (PBS "Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives" episode)
Sat SYN Legend of the Seeker (season finale)
Sat 6pm Primeval

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


A&E is planning a bunch of new scripted series (included in this article is a series from Jerry Bruckheimer which for some strange reason sounds to me like a modernization of Magnum PI).

NBC is dropping the new David E. Kelley show (and paying a huge penalty to do so). This will make more room for other shows (Chuck's chances just improved).

SF Gate lists the massive set of pilots contending for places on the ABC schedule, which will be announced next week. has a new image from Hubble that looks like a giant eye.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

5-7-9 has some great pictures today:
* New Saturn images from Cassini - Link to article or link to gallery
* Favorite Hubble images of the crew going to repair it.

The Onion has a mocking video about Star Trek (which I haven't seen yet, since I can't watch videos on this computer, but have heard is funny).

i09 has the Top 10 Rules of Space Opera, which seem a bit confused but humorous.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


The Onion is ceasing publication in SF and LA. It will still be available in print in some other cities, and online. I've only read the online version for several years, but this makes me sad and nostalgic.

Amazon revealed the new Kindle DX today with a larger gray-scale screen, pdf support, rotating screen, and more storage. It is designed for textbooks (publishers representing 60% of the market have deals with them) and newspapers. I know if this had been an option when I was buying incredibly heavy and expensive textbooks I would have jumped at it. Sources: New York Times Gadgetwise, Apple Insider, Engadget, CNet Digital Media, Wired Gadget Lab

However, as the new Kindle was announced, rumors are circling that Apple is going to be releasing an iPad (larger media tablet) soon. Sources: Wired, PC Magazine

Other recent e-book related stories I haven't linked yet:
* Wired roundup of all the readers (from when Samsung announced Papyrus)
* Sony-Google partnership making all out-of-copyright scanned books available for Sony Reader (reported by Wired & CNet)
* Publishers making free books available on Scribd

It looks like the FDA is pushing to have stem cell treatments labeled as a pharmaceutical preparation, not a medical process. Huge ramifications, delays, and barriers to research if this goes through.

Singularity hub has a bunch of videos of robots climbing stairs.

CNN has an article on geeks in popular culture - which includes an interview with the creator of The Big Bang Theory.

An electronic nose developed to test air quality on the space shuttle is proving effective in detecting brain cancer.