Monday, March 31, 2014

Jeopardy! Turns 50

Yesterday came and went without much fanfare, but Jeopardy! reached a milestone. Fifty years have passed since the airing of the first episode.

Now, if you've been watching the current version with Alex Trebek recently, you might think I've made a bit of a typo. The Trebek version has been celebrating the show's thirtieth anniversary this year. But that's just the amount of time that's passed for the current version. Before Trebek took the reigns of America's preeminent quiz show, the show had a previous life — several lives, actually — starring Art Fleming.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Looking (Out) for the Helpers

'via Tumblr' photo (c) 2013, pds209 - license:
When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." To this day, especially in times of "disaster," I remember my mother's words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.

— From The World According to Mister Rogers, p. 187.

I've been thinking about this quote a lot lately. It's not that there's been any recent "disaster" in the conventional sense. At least, I haven't heard of any significant earthquake, or crime, or other such tragedy, although I'm sure that there are things happening all over the world to people that I won't ever know about. Indeed, the irony is that the "disaster" I have in mind is not only of a more figurative kind, but it's one that has specifically targeted "helpers" who... well, if you're reading this at about the same time as I'm posting it, you probably already know what's been going on. And if you don't, it's perhaps just as well. In another month or two, this event will fade into the recesses of memory, and I can only hope that things will return to normal enough that it won't matter that I ever had a specific incident in mind. The words will hopefully stand on their own.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Reflections on Gallifrey One 2015's Pre-registration. What Might BotCon Be Able to Learn?

'IMG_0005' photo (c) 2012, The Nerdy Girls - license:, apparently, this past Friday was the day to be online if you wanted to go to the 2015 edition of Gallifrey One, a major Doctor Who convention that takes place here in the Los Angeles area every year.

I will not be going to Gallifrey One in 2015. Or ever, very probably.

Before I get into the "why," I should mention that, being a fan of Doctor Who, I've had a passing awareness of Gallifrey One for many years now. But whenever I've looked into the page (only once in a blue moon) to see whether it might be worth my putting the money into attending, I invariably soon learn that the reservations for the upcoming convention are already sold out.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Requiem for a Misguided Effort - Transformers: ReGeneration One

I've made no secret of the fact that, among the many versions of the Transformers franchise to come and go over the past 30 years, the 1980s Marvel Comic holds the most value for me, personally. To me, it remains the definitive version. The standard that other re-tellings of the struggle between the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons continue to be measured against. This is, no doubt, why I was so excited when I learned that IDW Publishing was continuing that continuity with the book that eventually become known as ReGeneration One, which ended its run with issue #100 earlier this week.

Monday, March 03, 2014

The Transformers Thunderous Thirty #30 - Megatron

If you were to ask pretty much anyone who the leader of the "bad guy" Transformers is, they'd probably be able to tell you: Megatron. However, if they're not able to tell you very much else about the Decepticon leader, they can probably be forgiven. It can be hard for those of us who are known for being Transformers fans, too!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Transformers Thunderous Thirty #29 - Swerve

For whatever reason, Transformers characters represented by toys that came out later than the first couple of years of the franchise tend to be ignored. This is in part due to the sheer size of the ever-growing cast of characters. It would be impossible to give such attention to every one of them that every one of them would be well-known and popular. Still, there are those that rise to the surface. Spurred on by a distinctive characterization in some form of media or another (but, in my experience, usually a comic book), characters connected to otherwise-forgotten toys suddenly become incredibly popular. So it is with Swerve, the second (and final) "honorable mention" of the Thunderous Thirty.

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Transformers Thunderous Thirty #28 - Grimlock

While there's still one more Decepticon to cover from the original 1984 cast of Transformers characters (and those who've been following this series can't have any mystery about who that is), my sense of balance dictates that we need to cover a couple more Autobot characters before we get to that Decepticon. Since there were only 28 characters in the 1984 group, that means picking out a couple of special "honorable mentions" to round out the "Thunderous Thirty." This is a purely arbitrary distinction based on nothing more scientific than who I, personally, think should go here. With that said, the first "honorable mention" goes to Grimlock.


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