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Day: May 28, 2010

A Month of TV Commentary: A Meme in 30 Parts: Day 8

From , via , the 30-Day TV Meme.

Day 08 – A show everyone should watch

Well, obviously, any of the shows I watch i think others should, because I think they’re awesome. But to pick one is hard.

I’m going to go with Mythbusters, which is hardly in dire need of a ratings boost, but has many qualities that I really like. It’s a lot of fun, and it shows practical science (and the scientific method) as something that’s enormously cool. Even when they go in with expectations of results, they let the data speak for itself. And when their methods are flawed and the fans call them on it, they revisit their work in many cases.

Most science documentaries operate under the assumption that if you’re watching it, you already think science is cool. Mythbusters is populist science taken the extreme, and it’s something I think everyone can get something out of,

Update on Jenna

Well, she came through the surgery with flying colours, and was awake and eating late this afternoon. They’re keeping her overnight, but we should be able to bring her home tomorrow.

The surgeon said there was no mass as was suggested on the ultrasound, though the colon was thickened and abnormal, and there are signs of lymphoma. We’ll know more when they get the biopsy back. At any rate, there are hopeful signs at this stage.

Thank you all for your kind wishes and support. It means a lot to all of us.

Good thoughts requested

A while back, our cat Jenna had begun getting very finicky about food, and was losing weight at an alarming rate. We took her to the Cat Clinic of Roswell, and they kept her overnight, ran a bunch of tests, and eventually came up with a diagnosis of thyroid problems, put her on medication, and that seemed to be the end of the problem. But recently, we noticed that she was having more bouts of diarrhoea than previously, and had more distressingly picked a couple of spots in the apartment away from the litterbox to deposit this. And she was still thinner than we’d like.

We took her back to the vet, for more tests and, after pancreatic deficiency was ruled out, brought her in for an ultrasound, because the vet was increasingly worried about bowel cancer. The ultrasound found a mass in her abdomen, so today, she’s having surgery to have it removed and confirm what it is. There’s still a chance that it’s not cancer, though I’m trying hard not to get too attached to that idea. Even if it is, we’re hoping that it can be excised and that we got to it early enough that even if it later recurs, she’ll have several more happy years with us.

Aside from the gastric distress, you’d have no idea she was sick. She’s still as active as you’d expect a 13 year old cat to be, and very affectionate and content. It’s much too early to contemplate her leaving us. So if you have some good thoughts to spare today, please send them our way.

A Month of TV Commentary: A Meme in 30 Parts: Day 7

From , via , the 30-Day TV Meme.

Day 07 – Least favorite episode of your favorite t.v show

While coming up with a favourite Doctor Who, episode was hard, this one is easy. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of bad Doctor Who episodes. Even forgiving the budgetary restraints that they had to work with, and being as kind and generous as possible, there’s still a lot of stories that weren’t very good, went on too long, contained glaring continuity holes, and all the other nonsense that separates the good from the poor. (While watching the DW: Confidential for a recent episode, kitanzi saw a clip from 1970’s “The Silurians”, laughed out loud at the rubber-suit alien and said “C’mon, they weren’t even trying!”)

For all that, however, in this particular case, one episode does stand out to me as the nadir that Doctor Who was capable of on a given day. An episode so notable for its awfulness that even to this day, thirty years after it first aired, hejira2006 and I will say “Well, that was bad. But it wasn’t nearly as bad as ‘The Horns of Nimon’.

I wish I could find a clip of Graham Crowden mincing through the halls of the spaceship, calling out “Lord Nimon! Lord Niiiiiiimon!” to give you an illustration of just how absurd this one was. (No offense to Crowden, who has done good work elsewhere, most notably in Waiting for God, which I rather enjoyed.) It may not be the very worst of Doctor Who, but it’s an exemplar to stand in for the worst the show has to offer.

(I did find this one clip, from a fellow who seems to be arguing tongue-in-cheek for the opposite viewpoint. I Include it here in the interest of fairness, and to let you see both the Crowden scene mentioned above, and just how awful the minotaur costume was, even by the standards of 1979 BBC production budgets.)

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