Saturday, May 18, 2013

Doctor Who? I Want My Doctor Back!

After seeing the finale of season 7 of "Doctor Who," I remain convinced that I want my Doctor Who back!  And I don't mean just David Tennant as the 10th Doctor, who was my "first" and thus my favorite.  I liked Christopher Eccleston, and Matt Smith grows on you.  But I mean, I wish Russell T. Davies was back at the controls of the T.A.R.D.I.S.  (And while I'm making wishes, I want him to please revive "Torchwood" in some format.  Perhaps a Steampunk Torchwood, where we see Captain Jack joining the Torchwood team during the Victorian period as seen in the season 2 episode "Fragments.")

I haven't exactly pin-pointed my disconnect with "Doctor Who" since Steven Moffat took over as head writer. After all, he wrote some of the best episodes when he was a guest writer, such as "Blink" and "Girl in the Fireplace." And he does a brilliant job with "Sherlock."  He could just write more "Sherlock" episodes, and I'd be fine with that.  Perhaps what my friend Melissa said about him not able to write female characters.  I saw some interesting comments on Twitter -- and an on an excellent blog--tonight from some people who also felt that his depiction of women characters lacked dimension and humanity.

I like the Doctor's new companion, Clara Oswald, but mostly because she's not Amy Pond.  In "Asylum of the Daleks," there was potential for Clara to be a feisty, strong character. Except for the Neil Gaiman episode (which was more in the spirit of Davies' writing), the character of Clara seemed to  be plot device for Moffat to set up more "wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey" "Who" story lines that completely ignore his predecessor's stories and characters.

Just how much better I think Davies was for "Doctor Who" can be inferred from my essay "Why the Doctor and Rose Tyler Kant Be Together," which is a chapter in "Doctor Who & Philosophy" (Open Court Press, 2010).

At least the Doctor (my Doctor!) and Rose will be together again during the 50th Anniversary special airing this November.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hungering for "Hunger Games"

I finally finished the "Hunger Games" trilogy. It ended as I hoped, but reading about  the denizens of  of Panem was quite nerve-wracking.

Namaste, Katniss Everdeen.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

"..But is Wil Wheaton Evil?

What more can a fan of "The Big Bang Theory" ask for after five seasons of delightful storytelling, side-splitting humor, and geek-worthy references to pop culture?  A chance to write about one of her favorite television shows.  This month, "The Big Bang Theory & Philosophy," part of the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series, was released, and I had the pleasure of writing chapter five: "...But is Wil Wheaton Evil."  Wil Wheaton--geek god, author, blogger, and actor--plays himself in a recurring role on the show. Sheldon Cooper, having been "devasted" in his childhood because Wheaton didn't appear at a Star Trek convention.  When he later meets Wheaton, who played Ensign Wesley Crusher on "Star Trek: The Next Generation," Sheldon dubs him "Evil Wil." But is he truly evil?  And what exactly makes a person evil?  Read on, my fellow geeks


Monday, October 24, 2011

Words Softly Spoken

Nighttime beckons,
Words softly spoken.

Nightingale, an ode
By poet Keats.
Like a rose awaiting morn,
His kiss a drop of dew.

Eyes flutter, sleep awaits.
His voice
Embraces me, pillowed with dreams.

DMS, 10/24/11

Sweet dreams as you listen to Benedict Cumberbatch's divine reading of "Ode to a Nightingale" by John Keats, the inspiration for this poem. (YouTube upload courtesy of xXWeGotCharacterXx.)


Friday, July 8, 2011

Summer Reading Program -Not Just for Kids!

Me! The girl in the pig tails receiving her cherished award, 1975.

Many of us remember eagerly joining the summer reading program at our local library when we were kids. Each summer vacation during elementary school, my cousin and I would sign up at the North Babylon Public Library, New York and get a bookmark and a themed page – a jungle or a castle, for example – with a reading log on the back. Each time we’d read a book, the librarian would give us a lion or giraffe sticker, or a princess, knight, or dragon to decorate our page.

Of course, the more books you read, the closer you came to finishing the colorful picture.

At the end of the program, the library hosted a ceremony for the kids and parents, and we’d go up on stage, shake hands with the librarian, and receive a ribbon and a certificate of completion. A photographer took our photos, as if we were Hollywood stars. And, you know? We were stars! We read all those wonderful stories and learned about different people, places, and things! What a great achievement it was to read all those books!

My cousin Neil, front row, center.

The joy of immersing myself in a good book didn’t fade when I reached adulthood – and not just because I’m a librarian. Many of us read for pleasure or edification on a regular basis, as we can see by the many patrons who come to our libraries each day to check out books or to attend our book discussions. It is because of our patrons, who asked for more book-related events during the summertime, that we started a summer reading program for adults.

Since summer is a busy time, instead of offering a formal book discussion series – which requires a lot of time and commitment – we decided to provide a summer reading program modeled after the children’s perennial favorite at my library, the Palm Beach County Library System. We learned that other libraries around the country were having success in engaging adults in this self-paced reading activity. By using the same theme as the state’s Florida Library Youth Program, we teamed up with our Youth Services Department to produce programs that appealed to all ages of the community. Now adults, as well as children and teens, can participate in a fun reading program like the one my library sponsors. Please visit your local library for more information or see the full story at


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Turn Left

Amazing the turns our journeys take. I came across this love story between Alan Lundgard and Emilie Gossiaux thanks to a tweet by The Nation's Chris L. Hayes. The story comes from Radiolab.


We all need to live. We all need to love. We all need to believe.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Headline: Death on the Nile

When we think of Egypt, we think of the Pyramids, the Sphinx, the Nile. Right now in this point of time, the nation's people are in peril. If the people of Egypt don't survive this government's terror, will their rich cultural heritage die, too? To read more about Ancient Egyptian history, see the excellent overview at The British Museum's web site.

To the people of Egypt:

Em hotep nefer weret. Assalaamu alaikum. Peace.