Daily Documentaries – “The Lord is Not On Trial Here” and “The Challenger”

I have an affliction (i’m sure it’s a syndrome of some sort) which means I struggle to concentrate on one thing unless there are other things going on. I love reading in coffee shops, writing on trains and playing computer games with Time Team on in the background.

With that in mind I am constantly looking out for documentaries to listen to while working. I am lucky that I am the entirety of the drawing office here, so I have plenty of freedom to indulge this quirk.

So, the first of today’s pair:

Peabody award winning documentary “The Lord is Not On Trial Here” tells the story of the 1948 US Supreme court decision which set the precedent of the wall of separation of church and state, and the brave woman who brought the lawsuit, Vashti McCollum. She died in 2006 aged 93. This is well filmed, and beautifully narrated – like all good documentaries, you learn without realising it!

Number 2:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/i/p00zstkn/

The second is a dramatised documentary about the enquiry into the Challenger disaster, and Richard Feynmann’s contribution to this investigation. I am a huge fan of Feynmann, and his ability to communicate scientific concepts, and his portrayal here seems to have been done with great affection.

The insight into the workings of NASA and the US government of the era is intriguing. Also highly recommended.

Bear in mind that this is only available in the UK at present, and will likely expire after several weeks. Catch it while you can!

Advertisements

Fantastic Geekery – Steve’s Imperial Crusade Project

Fantastic Geekery - Steve's Imperial Crusade Project

My housemate’s new blog. If you like wargames (warhammer 40k specifically) then take a look at his big project!

Click the photo above to take you there.


Music: My Top 5 Live Performances of 2012

Music: My Top 5 Live Performances of 2012.

Not being much of a music buff, I shall pass you over to my friend for her favourite live performances of the year!


Melvin the Machine

Another video for you.

Conveniently built in two old suitcases, Melvin the Mini Machine is a Rube Goldberg machine specifically designed to travel the world. Each time Melvin fully completes a run, he ‘signs’ a postcard and sticks a stamp to it – making it ready to be sent.


Parrot – Short Film

Awesome film, and truly sad. Watch it, you won’t be sorry.

 

If you liked the film we’d love you to donate at: parrotshortfilm.com
This will allow us to make more films in the future.

And find out about the next short film we’re developing at: indiegogo.com/trunk


Suspending Disbelief

While brainstorming an idea for a (currently) short story involving ghosts, spirits, demons and other such things, my friend posed an interesting question, somewhat out of the blue.

“Are you ok with writing about this stuff? It’s taking as read that things you don’t believe in actually exist.”

I had to stop and think about it – it’s something that hadn’t hitherto occurred to me.

Exploring interesting ideas by pretending they are true is really what fiction is about. I write about magic, time travel, parallel universes, alien visitations, and gods. All are as ridiculous as each other, but can make for damn good stories. Not necessarily mine, but their are many capable writers out there. I can suspend my disbelief, and even imagine belief in the absurd in order to write a story. It’s part of being creative.

We suspend our disbelief all the time as readers too. I love Lord of the Rings; the non-existence of elves presents no difficulty to me, I’m not about to throw the book down declaring it’s lack of realism.

The only thing that I may worry about is that something I write might be seen as an expression of belief in something ridiculous. And this is the reason I had to stop and ponder the question.

If i write about magic and wizards, no-one is going to assume I believe in the existence of immortal humanoids with supernatural abilities. (Insert jibe about the Catholic Church). Likewise, if i write a snippet on alien communication, no-one is going to ask me when i was abducted, and what the alien’s name was.

Why is it different with ghosts and gods?

Shows like Most Haunted are good entertainment, and well scripted shows. Why are they presented as if ghosts actually exist?

Why do psychics like Sally Morgan insist on lying to people, saying that they actually communicate with the dead, rather than be honest and say that they are performing a show where the skill is in reading people and educated guesswork.

By writing something in which the existence of ghosts is assumed, why do I wonder if I’m telling the reader “I believe in ghosts, wooOOoooo!” *waggly fingers* when it is obvious that they don’t and can’t exist?

ESP, telepathy, fate, luck, god(s), ghosts, demons, daemons, angels, djinn, spirits, homeopathy, afterlife, horoscopes, etc etc….. Some make good story tropes, some don’t (my first Homeopathy Avenger novel out soon, pre-order now, beat the rush), but I would be mortified if someone thought I believed in any of them.

I love my friends, I sometimes wonder if I’d think about anything interesting without them.

Oooh, kitten picture!


I am weak…

I pre-purchased Guild Wars 2 Collectors Edition.

I know, I know.

I invested spent sank so much time into the first game (plus it’s expansions) that I couldn’t not watch the development of the second game with interest. Indeed, it’s the only game for which I own collectors editions – for Factions and Nightfall.

I’ve played World of Warcraft, but it’s not a very satisfying game all in all. GW2 seems to have that blend of action, epic scale, amazing visuals and playability which should keep me highly entertained.

After watching most of the gameplay videos that youtube had to offer I succumbed and invested sank £130 into the collectors edition.

Now I just need a good guild to play with!


The Hobby Project

A Hobby Blog for everything miniatures, including the Imperial Crusade Project.

stuffandthings152

Just stuff... and things...