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“These turtles are from an alien race and they are going to be tough, edgy, funny, and completely lovable”

(Michael) Bay recently announced that his upcoming live-action (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) reboot will feature far more realistic, relatable ninja turtles, beginning by getting rid of the ridiculous “mutant” part and turning them into regular, everyday aliens.

Another day, another chance for Hollywood to demonstrate how plentiful are its reserves of creativity and originality.

From Totter’s Lane to…?

Wired UK has an infographic of the TARDIS’s journeys through time over 50 years of the Doctor’s televised history.

“We hole up in a hotel and plot their next books, one at a time”

Fascinating post on different approaches an editing team takes with three different authors to plot and plan a new project.

Megan Amram’s Shakespearean spam

Much ado about LADYES ! Ladyes ladyes LADYES !

Megan Amram’s Shakespearean spam.

“Gatiss has made a career out of indulging his boyhood obsessions”

League of Gentleman and Sherlock co-creator and regular Doctor Who contributor Mark Gatiss is helping to unleash some ‘pent-up camp’ in the current series of BBC Three’s flatshare telefantasy Being Human.

“We can’t be so excited over something new and shiny that we knowingly leave people on the other side”

(It’s) difficult for us, on this side of the digital divide, to remember that there are people standing on the other side of what can seem like an impassable gorge, wondering if they’re going to be left behind. Right now, more than 20% of Americans do not have access to the internet. In case that seems like a low number, consider this: That’s one person in five. One person in five doesn’t have access to the internet. Of those who do have access, many have it via shared computers, or via public places like libraries, which allow public use of their machines. […]

Now. How many of these people do you think have access to an ebook reader?

Author Seanan McGuire asks those who would declare the death of print to bear in mind the division between technological haves and have-nots. Recommended. (Via @pinknantucket)

“I am sad to say that I look around today and see virtually no trace of the culture that made me love being sewn to two other people”

To put the problem in the simplest terms, the nutritional interests of the Centipede’s members continue to be sidelined in the interest of sustaining the maniacal Dr. Josef Heiter’s erection.

Why ‘Lindsay’ is leaving the human centipede.

My micro life: 9:41am, 15 March 2012

To this day military history enthusiasts are annoyed that Pat Benatar wasn’t more specific about which battlefield love is.

“If I’m writing something set on Mars, or in a Victorian submarine under the sea, or about fake spirit mediums in World War Two, some part of me really feels like I’m doing the work I’m meant to be doing”

Why aren’t I letting myself have the same freedom as a writer that I grant myself as a reader? Why don’t I let myself write what I love, regardless of whatever the apparent genre of it might be?

I’m fascinated by authors who can plant themselves in all kinds of terrain. Russell Hoban is one example. Michael Chabon is another. Here he is talking about the experience of — and reasoning behind — his involvement in the movie adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Barsoom adventures. (Coincidentally I’m posting this while watching a video from Neil Gaimain’s Wheeler Centre appearance in which he talks about his concern at being pigeonholed.)

“The sober ants seemed much puzzled at finding their friends in this helpless and discreditable condition”

page from book

In which gentleman scholar and committed insect-botherer Sir John Lubbock observes what happens when ants are forcibly plied with alcohol. Sober ants who encountered inebriated counterparts from the same nest were more likely to move their hive-mate to safety to sleep off the effects of their imposed bender. Ants from other nests were more likely to be moved ‘to water’. (Or in other, less euphemistic words: drowned.)

In an 1877 Popular Science article describing the experiment, Lubbock complained about the difficulty of getting his myrmecological specimens suitably liquored up. It was not easy in all cases to hit off the requisite degree of this compulsory intoxication, he wrote. (Lubbock would spend the following year experimenting with the effects of slipping roofies to woodlice.)

My micro life: 7:53pm, 9 March 2012

My school is having a twenty year reunion. Or in other words, an ‘In 40 years you’ll probably be dead’ pre-wake.

Answered (partly): the most puzzling mystery in Doctor Who since… well, since every creative decision made by producer John Nathan-Turner from 1984 onwards

Doctor Who scribe Gareth Roberts has, via Twitter, supplied the answer to a question that has puzzled Who fans and casual observers since the broadcast of his 2010 episode ‘The Lodger’: “What in the name of the Terrible Zodin is the deal with that creepy painting?!?’


Turns out it’s a portrait of Victorian music hall entertainer Dan Leno. But questions remain. Why is it there? Is it significant? Is that what Nick Cave would look like if he shaved off his new moustache?

(Thanks to @matchtrick for the tip-off)

Razzledazzle vs. Kramer Vs. Kramer

Those emotional hygienists are back with a new episode — their first in over a year. I think the more relaxed schedule suits them.

“And per se and”

The editorial team at Hardie Grant Egmont’s ‘Ampersand’ project have started compiling some handy links and resources concerning ye olde craft of storytellinge. As you will no doubt discover, they take this sort of thing seriously (and would probably never use a phrase like ‘ye olde craft of storytelling’).

Anna Ryan-Punch’s ‘poems in the wild’

Great idea from Melbourne poet Anna Ryan-Punch: write a poem on the back of a playing card, leave it somewhere, and tweet the location (and suit) of the card. A poem a week for 52 weeks (because 52 playing cards, you dig?)

The first poem is being released tomorrow. Follow @poemsinthewild for updates.

My micro life: 12:10pm, 1 March 2012

Eggs and tuna go together like mixed-up words and the Reverend Spooner.

Things I’ve been reading (1 January to 29 February 2012)

Pink by Lili Wilkinson

Booklife by Jeff VanderMeer

The Interrogative Mood: A Novel? by Padgett Powell

Ant Farm, And Other Desperate Situations by Simon Rich

What The Family Needed by Steven Amsterdam

And Here’s The Kicker: Conversations With 21 Top Humor Writers On Their Craft And The Industry by Mike Sacks

The Restraint of Beasts by Magnus Mills

“I declare this wang-tank… open!”

Bugle spoiler alert: the latest episode has both producer Chris and producer Tom in it! It’s pretty much The Three Doctors of Bugle episodes! (Except with wall-to-wall plum-jokes.)

F___ you Chris!

“Occupation: Suburban Vigilante. Previous Occupation: Newspaper Kiosk Vendor”

Payback doesn’t come harder-boiled.

Matthew Holness (of Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace fame) looks to be creating a timely new character: The Reprisalizer, a “hard-boiled hero for the Seventies”. The period detail on the site is amazing; reminds me of the trashy crime novels my grandfather used to read. Can’t wait for the film. (Via Hauling Like A Brooligan.)

“More than 64 million Americans alive today have never known a world without Maggie, Lisa, Bart, Marge, and Homer in it”

Be it Hitchcock movies, infomercials, the superficial and sensationalistic local news, or Thomas Pynchon novels, (The Simpsons) is a crash course in popular culture, nearly compulsively cataloging and critiquing other media forms.

The Atlantic reports on the 500th Simpsons episode (with a brief glimpse into the typical writing process — “about a year” from “conception to air”!). As ambivalent as I feel toward it now (though I’ve enjoyed some recent episodes) — and as disappointing as it is to see the producers feeding into the Julian Assange celebrity-machine by casting him in the 500th episode — it’s hard to overstate the impact of this series, and the civilising power of satire to which it is testament.