Monthly Archives: April 2017

Bill – the Doctor’s New Companion (and an episode review of ‘The Pilot’)

SPOILERS SWEETIE!

Pearl-Mackie-Bill-Potts-Doctor-Who

Pearl Mackie plays Bill Potts, the Doctor’s new Companion.

I like Bill. She is her own woman, and she will NEVER fall in love with the Doctor. She likes him for himself, even when she finds out he is an alien. Pearl Mackie seems to have hit the right note and is off and running as the new Companion. Did you little nod to Ace, in the sense that the Doctor is her Professor? She reminds me of Ace in that she is a fighter, and not a screamer or a whiner.

Throwing the book

There are a few reasons Bill reminds of Ace. When we first meet Ace, she is a waitress. The Seventh Doctor took a special interest in Ace’s education, and Twelve has shown a similar interest in Bill’s education. There was an ongoing rumour that Ace was a lesbian (her relationship with Karra), which an overt part of Bill’s characterization. Ace favoured jackets with patches, and so does Bill. Like Ace, Bill isn’t overawed by the Doctor, with my favourite quote  from this episode being,  “You run like a penguin with its arse on fire.”

Ace

Ace, the Last Companion in the original series.

Bill aside, I was very taken with the Doctor’s study, and the photos on his desk in particular.

Dear, darling River and his granddaughter, Susan, featured prominently on the desk. For me, seeing those photos was a high-point of the episode, as it showed who was still important to this Doctor’s hearts (two photos for two hearts, geddit?). Oh, what I wouldn’t give to have an day or three exploring the contents of that study. What are the books on those shelves? What are the knickknacks – and their significance? Why the stuffed owl? It is an owl or an alien?

 

Bill and Helen

Bill and Heather

I’m sorry if the plot of the episode seems incidental to meeting Bill and seeing the study. It was a basic ‘monster of the week’ story, with several huge plot-holes. What kind of civilised beings use a conscious fuel for their spaceships? And – for a man who knows the universe – how did the Doctor know so little about the fuel (or those aliens)?

Seriously … Daleks? I couldn’t really see any proper reason for the inclusion of the Daleks.

I did sorry for poor Heather. Incidentally, I have found out that William (Bill) Hartnell’s wife was Heather McIntyre. We all know there is never any coincidences in Doctor Who, so I am sure those names were deliberate choices.

A new Doctor Who episode …AT LAST! I hope Nardole gets the chance to do a little more snarking in the next episode. And I want a macaroon dispenser.

Twelve

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Celebrating 30 years of (official) Steampunk

Celebrating 30 years of (official) SteampunkCelebrating 30 years of (official) steampunk

K. W. Jeter coined the term ‘Steampunk’ in a letter to science fiction magazine Locus, with the letter printed in the magazine’s April 1987 issue. It was meant to be a playful, tongue-in-cheek term for the genre. It stuck!

Steampunk was around long before 1987, but its birthday is this month. Let’s celebrate!

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My April Fool’s Science Page Article for 2005

Ice, Ice, Baby…

Tiger Ice Sculpture

The new fashion in diets is the “Chill Diet”.  Its inventor, Elynn Neger[1], theorises that our primate ancestors didn’t know fire, and so didn’t cook their food.  So it is more natural – and healthy – for humans to eat raw foods, and drink nothing but water.  As well, it is a fact that the human body has to work harder to warm up cold foods, so that kilojoules are burnt as the body converts the cold or cool food to body temperature. If you plan to follow Dr Neger’s diet, then all food should be consumed at room temperature, or better yet, chilled.

Dr Neger also recommends cold baths, and in cold climates, short walks in the snow whilst naked or lightly dressed.  Her goal is have her converts burn their extra weight away by making their bodies work hard at temperature regulation.

As always, you should use your commonsense before commencing a new diet.  I know for a fact that Dr Neger is a fraud and a quack.

 

Biography

Dr Elynn Neger was born in the Sixties, and can remember a time when ‘Star Trek’ was Prime Time television.  She managed to survive both the “My Little Pony” and “Cabbage Patch Kid” fads by being too old.  She is not dead yet.

She is a profession troublemaker.

At university, she had a reputation for supporting causes simply to join in the heated debate.  Since obtaining her questionable doctorate in Science (in S.F.A.), she has developed several diets which I would pause to recommend.  Her most current diet is the “Chill Diet”, as mentioned above.

 

Concept of the Month

The April Fool

All Fool’s Day developed as a celebration of the first day of Spring.  Once upon a time, the New Year started on the first day of the European spring.  When the Gregorian Calendar was introduced, changing the date to the first of January. Poor communications meant that that some places were still celebrating the unofficial date for many years, and were considered ‘fools’ the general public.  This evolved into the tradition festival of playing pranks or practical jokes.

 

[1] Please consider this name carefully, taking into account the time of year.

Update from 2005: Weight management is a huge industry worldwide, there are going to be scammers and snake oil salesmen trying to make a quick buck as well. Many years ago, I wrote this ‘quack’ diet up as an April Fool’s joke for my Science Page. About 18 months later, I found it on a ‘serious’ diet page, listed as a proper diet! I contacted the page administrators immediately, and they did take it down. However, it did give me an insight into how easily some people can be fooled by pseudo-scientific language.

However, since I wrote this article, the Ice Diet has become an actual thing!

The Science of the Ice Diet

http://www.shape.com/blogs/weight-loss-coach/why-ice-diet-will-likely-leave-you-burned

 

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Gap Year In Ghost Town Cover Preview

Gap Year In Ghost Town

This book is due out in August. I can’t wait!

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Lynne’s Five Accessories to Achieve Steampunk Aesthetic.

Cogpunk Steamscribe

1/ Goggles

Nothing adds instant Steampunk goodness to an outfit than goggles. They can be as simple or complicated as you like. My first pair of goggles were cheap goggles from a hardware store, painted with a metallic copper paint. Aviator goggles, diving goggles, welding goggles, all of these can be adapted to a Steampunk outfit.

Doctor Who Series 8 (episode 9) Peter Capaldi as The Doctor

2/ A Snazzy Hat

Hat with buckles AND bows - image from eBay

The Steampunk Aesthetic can work with any sort of top hat or bowler. It can be worn plain, or as decorated as you like. Pith helmets are also good and aviation helmets. The Victorians wore all sorts of hats, so it is easy to  find a style that suits.

wunderkammer553

Professor Elemental Professor Elemental

3/ Gloves and Gauntlets

steampunk_gauntlets_by_skinz_n_hydez-d4zbysx

A pair of gloves or Steampunk gauntlets improve the style of any Steampunk outfit. Again, they can be as plain or ornate as you want. Driving gloves go well with airship…

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Pattens, Wellington Boots and Overshoes: the Steampunk Shoe Fetish (Part Three)

Cogpunk Steamscribe

Boots were designed for protection. Boots were designed for protection.

“Why do you wear pattens, Marty? The turnpike is clean enough, although the lanes are muddy.”

“They save my boots.”

“But twelve miles in pattens–’twill twist your feet off. Come, get up and ride with me.”

-from Thomas Hardy’s The Woodlanders

Early 19th century pattens

The ground was mucky in both the city and the county in the Victorian era. Modern plumbing and sewer systems weren’t being built until late in the 1800s, and the roads only started to improve with the introduction of cars and bicycles. This meant you really didn’t want to be tramping in the outdoors in your good shoes. This in when you relied on your patterns, overshoes, or boots.

A Wellington Boot cartoon

Pattens were a type of clog or overshoe that raised your shoes above the muck on the street. Pattens had a wooden or  wood & metal soles. Wellington boots…

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Boots before Corsets: the Steampunk Shoe Fetish (Part Two)

Cogpunk Steamscribe

Detail of beaded silk slippers from the 1880s. Detail of beaded silk slippers from the 1880s

In the Victorian period, women didn’t show off their shoes, and they were generally hidden under their long skirts. There were two main types of day-wear shoes worn by women for the appropriate occasion: the boot, and the slipper.

Velvet button boots

antique shoes, antique boots, shoes 1900, antique dress, victorian shoes, 1900, antique gown, button boots 1900, antieke schoenen, chaussures ancien, Обувь 1900,Сапоги 1900, antique spats, original spats Two-toned laced boots circa 1900

Boots were the workhorse of the Victorian-era women’s shoes. The boot could be made from hard leather and was worn by working women (of all classes) during the day, or could be made from more luxurious materials to create a riding boot or festival boot for the aristocrats and middle class women. The boots could be laced or buttoned.

Leather button boots

Canvas button boots

Even my cat Felix has buttons on his boots. Even my cat Felix has buttons on his boots.

 Slippers were for everyday wear indoors – if you were wealthy – or festivals and celebrations, like weddings and balls. They could be made of…

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