Category Archives: Personal

DAVID TENNANT: “I’LL BE PROUD OF DOCTOR WHO FOREVER”

As found on BigIssue by LAURA KELLY:

In our first bumper Christmas issue everyone’s favourite Doctor Who, David Tennant, says nothing compares to being a Time Lord

“Nothing will ever match up to being the Doctor,” David Tennant has told The Big Issue.

Speaking to the magazine ahead of the release of his Christmas movie Nativity II: Danger in the Manger, the Scottish star said that when he left Doctor Who he was well aware that the experience was irreplaceable.

“You might have real success doing something else, you’ll work on other things, but whatever happens, this is unique. There’s nothing else like Doctor Who. In the world,” he said.

Tennant plays a pair of twins in his new film, which is the sequel to the surprise hit Nativity, which was released in 2009 and starred Martin Freeman. Nativity II is released today.

Camille and Kennerly. Harp Twins.

Yes, as you may have guessed, this post is about music. For me music is an important part of life. Without music (and my writing) life would not be life as I now know it, and much less valuable.

This post is about 2 ladies I discovered through the marvel called Internet. They are twins and they both play harp, and their names are Camille and Kennerly. Many people will perhaps stop reading here, but they won’t know what they miss.

Harp twins

Harp? Yes, harp. It’s a beautiful instrument. I never played it, but I have lots of harp music ranging from Händel’s harp concertos via Lisa Lynne Franco to – indeed – Camille and Kennerly, and how these two ladies make their harps sing is amazing. For example this song, Asleep, by the Smiths (tip: listen with proper headphones to get the most out of the music!):

Before you think that harp music is only for the slow, the sullen and the sleepy, have a taste of this: Don’t fear the reaper, from Blue Öyster Cult. (Sorry about the off-site link, for some strange reason this video won’t show here.)

This too can be done with harps. Disappointed that there are no screaming double-speed electric guitars? If so, remember that they play harp, not double-speed electric guitars.

harp twins

So, what is so special about these twins? First off, they’re twins who both share a passion for the same instrument. Not so common, I think. Next is that they are independent artists, not signed up with any big label, not sponsored by large amounts of money. They do everything themselves, which strikes a chord with me being an indie writer. Indies do everything themselves. Everything:

harp twins - harp transport
Harp transport. Hello dolly!

They even move their own harps into the most impossible places, and they arrange their own videos. And, as they told me on their Facebook page, they once shot a video in a field where they were almost consumed by mosquitoes. One cannot other than appreciate such dedication. As indie artists they are also very approachable via for instance Facebook, they like very much to interact with their fans. And they have plenty of those (but there’s always room for more).

For Game of Thrones fans (count me in), they did a wonderful rendition of the title tune!

If you want to learn more about the Harp Twins, you can visit their website at Harptwins.com, or their Youtube channel. Their music is available through itunes and CDBaby.

All photos used with permission of the Harp Twins. Thank you for that, ladies!

Mother Found Guilty After Protesting TSA Pat-down of Daughter

Found on Slashdot:

In 2011, en route to Baltimore, Tennessee mother Andrea Abbott was arrested after squabbling with the TSA over their pat-down and “naked” body-scan process. Initially Abbott had protested a pat-down of her 14 year-old daughter, though eventually backed off. When her own turn came, she refused both a pat-down and body-scan. This week, despite having no criminal record, Abbott was found guilty of disorderly conduct and sentenced to one year of probation. A surveillance video of the affair shows what appears an agitated Abbott surrounded by various TSA agents, but seemingly contradicts the premise by which she was convicted. In the case against Abbott it was claimed that her behavior impeded the flow security-lines and lawful activity. Beyond Abbott’s confession of issuing some verbal abuse, the video does not appear to display a significant blockage of traffic nor anything noticeably criminal.”

It is probably a criminal offence to defy the mighty TSA. If everyone were to do that, where would that lead the world?

The power of freedom

Freedom. What is it? For me, in a large part, it is the freedom from people. You read it right, from people, not of people. People have to do that themselves (where possible of course).

How can you be free from people? By not letting them influence you when you don’t want to. Do not let them own you by accepting their emotional power they claim over you.

So what’s emotional power? That is the way people often get to each other. “If you don’t <fill in something> then I will (not/never) <fill in something else>”. Or in more subtle way: you stay away from a nice place because someone you don’t like is going there. That is emotional power too. If you don’t go to the nice place, you miss out on that. You hand that power to the one you don’t like.

Step over that. Ignore that person. Take the power this person has over you (and perhaps doesn’t even know) and toss it away. Be you. Be free from people.

 

Romney style

Dear Mr. Romney.

You are probably devastated that you did not become president of the United States. I know there are many people who mourn this with you, so you won’t be alone. Do cheer up. If all else fails, maybe a few rides in your car-elevator can lift your spirits.

Do you now really leave US politics as you said you would? Or will you change your mind about that? People won’t be surprised when you come back of course, you changed your mind on abortion, rape, taxes, job creation and a number of other issues too.

If you do not return into politics, do not despair. There is a brave new world waiting for you out there. I would suggest learning Mandarin, as most Chinese speak that.

Sincerely…

Samhain is today.

In half an hour or so I’ll head out. For Samhain. To meet the ancestors.

Laugh if you want, nod if you understand, shrug if you don’t care.

Last year’s memory of leaving the house still makes me laugh. As I went out (dressed for the occasion) a few trick or treaters (it’s taking some foothold over here as well), also dressed for the occasion, were walking up to the door and then I heard one of them say: “Damn, watch out, that’s a real one!”

I’ll be ‘a real one’ again tonight.

Blessed Samhain and blessed be.

Summer/winter/daylight savings-time. Sucks.

Woke up at the normal time. 5 in the morning. Which of course turned out to be 4 in the morning. Tried to sleep some more, which did not particularly work out well. Quite cold too with -4C/24F.

Now it’s officially 11:10 in the morning but I’m getting a taste for lunch already and I don’t feel anything near well rested.

Let it be known that I am not a fan, and unfortunately therefore not Time Lord material.

Things.

First good thing:


Since long I participate on www.care2.org and yesterday I had accumulated enough butterflies (points) to do some good things. And a few minutes after that, this appeared!

-=-=-

Next good: Nanowrimo is coming. Only a few more days and the madness takes off again.
Since a few weeks it feels as if there is a brake on my writing other stories. In a way as if I am holding back the writing power for when the Nano-storm hits. And I have heard this from other people. Interesting, as I don’t recall that happening in previous years.

-=-=-

More good: Dad is doing pretty much well. He sometimes is confused, and yes he is deteriorating, but not very fast.
This afternoon I am going out with 3 friends to a wine tasting and then dinner, tomorrow I’m going to see Dad again.

-=-=-

Good stuff: winter is coming.

Okay, that means cold and frost and window scraping again, but I might as well consider it a good thing. Being grumpy gets me wrinkles and I don’t like those. I also like the changing of the seasons

-=-=-

Samhain is around the corner. Something tells me this will be a difficult one. It’s been running around my brain for weeks already, and that’s odd as I am not a fanatic pagan fest-performing ritual-junkie. We’ll see how things turn out.

-=-=-

Abney Park is coming to the Netherlands next year February and I have a ticket! 😀

-=-=-

I was out last Monday afternoon, having an ‘accidental’ afternoon off, and the picturesque results are available on my SmugMug. It was the warmest 22nd of October ever recorded here, so I was very lucky.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Chip in a pill

Proteus Biomedical has developed chip-in-a-pill technology that transmits patient data directly to a smartphone.

Some people will say that this is awesome, amazing, magnificent. Of course, as a technological breakthrough this is something very clever. This invention gives doctors the closest and most direct way to go inside you and find out what’s the matter. A nice detail here is that “It’s biodegradable, made from things in your diet, that is activated by acids in your stomach to send out a very super-low-power, digital signal that’s picked up by a patch that’s worn on your arm, that might look like a nicotine patch. … And from that device, it sends a signal to an app for your iPhone. From there, you’ve got the Internet. You can send the information to your doctor, to caregivers at home.” (Reference: NPR.org.)

But there is a backdraw. Not perhaps in this application as it is now, but think what could happen: you get this nice little pill with a chip, to find out what is ailing you. The doctor measures and extracts your signal. And then, instead of dissolving, the chip stays inside you, happily sending out signals. Such a nice way for the world to know where you are when you don’t have your mobile phone with you (or switched it off). And you would not know it.

And let’s take the paranoia a bit further. The worst scenario that can come from this would be control. Suppose there is this little chip inside you, or perhaps a few of them after subsequent pills, that can be used to control you. Subdue you when you are making trouble (whatever is seen as trouble), or turn you into someone you are not (going wild here, but nothing is outside the realm of possibilities with this). Someone flicks a switch and you turn into a killer? Not a nice thought.

This all may sound far-fetched but… remember the panic and the state of mind after the horror of 9 / 11 in New York happened? I have seen footage where people claim they would gladly get a chip in their body so they could be identified/located in a case of emergency. With pills like this, that future might not be far away.

Dear Mr Romney

Dear Mr Romney,

Only know I see the fabulous reasoning behind your plan, and how you managed to lower the American income tax. Yes, and I must say it is an amazing plan which should be admired.

You exported many jobs to the Chinese mainland where people are doing the work for a lot less money than Americans would do. This of course is not the cunning part, it is only a spin-off. You made certain that lots of American people do not have a job, which means they do not have to pay income tax, thus effectively lowering the income of the state on the count of income tax!

I must say, dear Mr. Romney, that this is fantastic. It almost makes me sorry I am not part of the United States. Or as we say in the Netherlands: je naait het steeds. (You screw it constantly.)