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The following passage comes from page 138 of Proofiness: How You're Being Fooled By the Numbers by Charles Seife. The source is an anonymous statistician, the context is a discussion of disputed elections, and the formatting is my own.

Humans counting things:
I don't care what the things are--
They're going to be off.
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In the process of looking for something completely unrelated, I happened upon [livejournal.com profile] woogledesigns' thoughts upon the nature (and, indeed existence [or rather non-]) of Doctor Who canon:

Here's what I think: The Doctor remembers every Doctor Who story ever told. Every episode, target book, comic strip and every game of companions and TARDISes you played as a kid. The universe he lives in has no record of it, because paradoxes and divergent dimensions and the time war have reset things. But the Doctor remembers and sometimes when he is sad it's because you've stopped being 8 years old and he can't run around the school playground with you anymore.

(And the comments proceed to kick around the Timey-Wimey Calvinball.)
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News of a pregnancy is automatically the cue for interminable gossip, speculation, and unsolicited advice; when you're the Duchess of Cambridge in the age of Twitter, the globe is your Old Wife Pool(1).

I'd like to take the opportunity to address one old saw that I keep hearing relentlessly repeated in the media coverage: no matter how hard you folks may be longing for a little princess to squee over, GUT-WRENCHING PROJECTILE MORNING SICKNESS IS NO GUARANTEE OF A FEMALE CHILD.

(Disclaimer: I am neither a certified Old Wife nor a mother--but I know one whom I'm pretty sure I can cite with absolute confidence.)

(1) Particularly when your father-in-law happens to be an alternative health-care buff who no doubt has the cream of Britain's Old Wives on call.
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Stormy sulphur skies--
like the cover of an old
SF paperback.

*"Ghost Riders on the Storm" by the California Guitar Trio.
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...And I'd long since decided how I was going to observe the occasion.

I picked up a sushi box lunch--they're now available with spring roll wrappers in lieu of rice--and bunkered down at home for a back-to-back showing of Tsui Hark's Zu Warriors movies, luxuriating in the spectacle of epic wuxia fantasy done right.

Following that, I settled in to reread Barry Hughart's Bridge of Birds, and immerse myself in the adventures of yet more people whom the Powers that Be at Paramount have decided are beneath their notice (as well as mine.)

(I intend--eventually--to catch The Lost Failbender, when the public library acquires it on DVD; I trust that I can count on the company of [livejournal.com profile] kosaginolegion, and perhaps Roaring Tiger and Squalling Dragon, for an evening of Nerfbending, MSTing, and playing "How many things can you see wrong with this picture?")
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YouTube is a merry media mosh pit for the worst and the best (and the most mediocre) of what happens when human imagination is presented with audiovisual technology, an arena, and no editor.  Unsurprisingly, it's a showcase for Sturgeon's Law, but also for bits of retrieved memory and works of brilliance that make sifting through the dorky karaoke and home movies more than worth the annoyance.

This animated AMV for Vaughn Monroe's rendition of "Ghost Riders in the Sky", the work of one Pukipu, is one that I've come to regard as the definitive video for the song in question; the stiff, minimal, and primitive flavor of the animation somehow seems perfectly of a piece with the period setting, and its repetitiveness serves the incantatory nature of the song. More than that, it struck me somehow as having an unassailable rightness; the imagery was somehow hauntingly reminiscent of a memory I was at a loss to place.


A discussion of favorite childhood TV commercials over on [livejournal.com profile] dungeonwriter 's blog helped supply the missing piece of the puzzle; this haunting PSA from the late 60's (the narrative Voice of Impending Doom is variously suspected of being either James Earl Jones or Thurl "Tony the Tiger" Ravenscroft) was the stuff of nightmares to a lot of people in the late Baby Boom/early Gen-X age bracket :


Pukipu (if their userinfo is accurate) is Brazilian, and too young to remember the ad, making it an unlikely influence; nonetheless, I find the resemblance striking.

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