Friday, January 30, 2009

Bill and Ted

I recently caught a showing of Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey on cable. This movie isn't nearly as good as the first Bill & Ted installment, but it was a lot of fun watching it again and laughing at the old, lame jokes. They are lame as ever, and still crack me up. (Does that make my sense of humor lame?)

One of the things I like about these movies is how they explore a very silly sort of sci-fi film. In the Bill & Ted movies, there is an appreciation of the genre that underlies the silliness, I think. It seems to me that someone who doesn't understand how sci-fi films work probably couldn't make or appreciate the humor of Bill & Ted, even for as much as sci-fi comes in for a bit of mockery in the movies.

One aspect that is easily missed in the films is how well-rounded their targets for mockery are. While there seems to be a base in rock music and pop culture, the films also take us back to important historical figures (or in the case of the second, mythological figures), and expect the audience to know something about each of them. Without a well-rounded knowledge, the films aren't funny, really.

It's funny, when I look back, how even these sorts of cheesy, pseudo-sci-fi movies can capture so much. It reminds me why I like the genre so much.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Science Fiction World

I am continuing in my read of Science Fiction World, the Chinese language science fiction magazine. So far, I am really enjoying the stories there. I am very pleased to find that I am able to follow the language. It is written in a way that is engaging enough that, even when I struggle a little, I don't switch off.

I've asked a friend to pick up the January issue for me, so that I will have it when I get back to Shanghai. I'll look forward to continuing to be a reader of this magazine.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

More on Chinese Science Fiction

I'm getting a little more settled into the routines of life again, and that means I'll be on a more regular reading schedule than I have been for the past 6 weeks or so.

I've been wrapping up some things that needed attention, and now am going to get onto something that has been sitting on my shelf for a few weeks — the Chinese magazine Science Fiction World. I am really excited about it, as I think it will be the best way for me to get a better view of science fiction in China.

I plan to start on the magazine tonight or tomorrow. Watch here for an update on how it goes as I progress.

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

This is the Kind of Thing You've Just Got to Love About Science

The new finding of really loud radio signals is an exciting discovery for NASA. No one knows yet what is causing the radio signals, what they mean or where they come from. But there they are, waiting to be understood, once we've investigated further.

The signals weren't something we were looking for — we didn't even know to look for them, in fact. What the whole experiment was about, the one that eventually discovered these radio signals, was actually measuring radio waves from really old stars. And how convenient... we found something instead that might lead us to some really interesting knowledge about the universe out there. (Of course, it is also somewhat inconvenient, in that we won't get what we were after in the first place, will we?)

This is what is so fun about science — when you approach your task doing the best you know how, you might stumble upon something unexpected, showing you that all your know-how doesn't really amount to much after all. And that is just so cool.

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

New Blog Just for Prayers

My blogging friend has started a new blog called Prayer Corner. You can go there and request prayers, "no strings attached."

Stop in if you are needed a prayer offered on your behalf.

Also... watch this spot, as I plan to begin posting more regularly soon! (Sorry for the long break!)

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Friday, January 02, 2009

The Anansi Boys

I received Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys for Christmas and finished reading it. (Not this past Christmas, though. HEE HEE. It's actually been a few years.) I posted a review and a bit of the book's background over at HubPages.

As with all of Gaiman's work, The Anansi Boys is a really fun read. I hope you enjoy the review, and the novel too.

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