Never change, Whovian fandom. Keep shining on after 50 years.
Pronounced "ska-lya." Champion navel-gazer, veteran pseudo-fictioneer. Expect dinosaurs (and other paleobeasties), aquatic life (the weirder the better), Doctor Who (all sorts), Spider-Man (original flavor) and whatever else takes my fancy. 95% reblogs, 5% pointless text posts.
I try to tag for common triggers, but don't hesitate to ask if you need something added.
Officially working the English translation into my vernacular.
yes I am
Eastern European languages are fantastic.
Ok, so in Czech the idiom for “it’s all Greek to me” is “it’s a Spanish village to me”
And you know how it’s in Polish? “It’s a Czech film to me”
What’s the original Czech? My dad said he’s never heard that one but he might recognize it if he reads the original.
I actually never knew this!
I didn’t know this but my knowledge of the history of science pretty much consists of Galileo, Newton, and Einstein.
I hate men in science
To be fair, this isn’t really how it happened, and it’s not fair to characterize as brilliant and accomplished a person as Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin as some sort of helpless victim of patriarchy. In fact, I think that kind of narrative actually fits into patriarchal assumptions. This is a woman who earned the first PhD in astronomy ever from Radcliffe, the first person to earn a PhD for work done at the Harvard Observatory, and was the first female full professor at Harvard. Her thesis (which is the dissertation mentioned above) was highly lauded and much-discussed, not dismissed out of hand. She actually had a good working relationship with Henry Russell, and he called her results impossible because of prior data and in the context of academic review, not popular media. When Russell published his subsequent paper agreeing with Payne, he openly acknowledged and cited her work, exactly as you are supposed to do in science. In 1977, she received the prize that bears his name.
Is it definitely sexist and stupid that since then, much of the credit has been given to Russell. She also faced a number of serious impediments to her career due to her gender- that’s why she came to the USA in the first place. Women in the sciences are still systemically discriminated against. Sexism and patriarchy are definitely two important parts of her story. But I am pretty sure Payne herself would strongly disagree with portraying Russell as a villain. More importantly, it does a discredit to the work she did and the things she achieved to boil her career down to a parable on sexism. Her life should be told as a story of incredible achievement in the face of patriarchy, not ultimate capitulation to it.
Wizard Of Oz,
a 100 year winter, a Giant Frozen Tin Man, a lion made of Fire, a Scarecrow that transforms into a Crow, and Dorothy with Her Trusty ToTo sword.
This is my vision of a classic tale.
An Ursula Ditkovich appreciation post
I enjoy talking about the non-superpowered ladies of superhero films, a lot. Maybe you’ve noticed.
Anyway, Ursula- she’s actually kinda my favourite thing about Spider-Man 2. (It doesn’t hurt that Mageina Tovah is cute as a button.) I think she’s sort of the audience surrogate throughout the film, picking Peter up when he’s down. I read so many reviews of that film saying the ‘cake scene’ was pointless, but I think it was probably one of the most important scenes in the whole film: people like Ursula are what Peter’s fighting for. There are other scenes, of course, where we get to see why Peter puts his life on the line to save these people- like the train scene- but with Ursula, we get to put a name to a face.
And I think, as well as being a sort of symbol, Ursula’s a good character in her own right too- in a way, she’s almost a female version of who Peter was before he got superpowers. She’s got a crush on the person next door but is too afraid to show it, she’s clumsy and she’s shy. Mageina Tovah described her as “just a very sweet person who wants to take care of people and fix people”. (And that’s the sort of character I always like, so I suppose that’s the reason she’s stuck in my mind all these years.)
But, interestingly, those aforementioned characteristics aren’t her only characteristics- you ever noticed, she’s not in the least bit jealous of MJ, even though MJ’s the actual girlfriend of the man she likes? She tells Peter to call her and is delighted when he does. (I wish Ursula and MJ had had a scene together.) And- her adoration of Peter doesn’t extend to when he starts yelling at her father. She’s the one who says how uncool that is, a tiny little character thing I always appreciated. I never really liked that the last we ever see of Ursula, Peter’s taking advantage of her good nature, being all flirty with her and making her bring him stuff. I always wonder what happened after that, to the other girl next door…but I guess we’ll never know. I like to think she had a nice life fixing people.
And, of course, she’s named after Steve Ditko. He really couldn’t have asked for a better tribute.
In the early years of space flight, both Russians and Americans used pencils in space. Unfortunately, pencil lead is made of graphite, a highly conductive material. Snapped graphite leads and particles in zero gravity are hugely problematic, as they will get sucked into the air ventilation or electronic equipment, easily causing shorts or fires in the pure oxygen environment of a capsule.
After the fire in Apollo 1 which killed all the astronauts on board, NASA required a writing instrument that wasn’t a fire hazard. Fisher spent over a million dollars (of his own money) creating a pressurized ball point pen, which NASA bought at $2.95 each. The Russian space program also switched over from pencils shortly after.
40 years later snide morons on the internet still snigger about it, because snide morons on the internet never know what they are talking about.