The path to medical cures is not a linear one. A couple of years ago scientists appeared to be on the verge of regrowing human limbs. That research has stalled. They haven’t quit trying, they just haven’t had replicable success. A few years ago helping paralytics walk was limited to cumbersome, and expensive, exo-suits. Now clinical trials are ongoing using stem cells and physical therapy. I could go on, but you get the basic idea. What seems promising one day suddenly isn’t, and what seemed like science fiction is suddenly real. But that’s how science works. You learn from failure and repeat success. As one scientist I know likes to say “I’ve never failed at a single thing, but I’ve learned more than anybody should.” She’s part of a team attempting to cure diabetes. The external pancreas, which does allow a person to live without insulin or food issues, works, but it’s not a true cure. What they want is a shot, or series of medicines or treatments, that heal the body, not just work around a part of it. [Read more…] about Nursing Back to Health
Search Results for: christmas
The Holiday Movie Special
Back in 2012 I wrote a fun little blog about Holiday films everyone needed to see. Most people will point you to the classics like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, a fun story which reminds children that they’re all useless and will be shunned until they provide a service to their overlords, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, which seems like a pedophile’s wet dream today but was actually very sweet when it was first released (and is still a personal fave of mine since I’m not a pervert – well, not that kind of pervert), Frosty the Snowman, a fun story that reminds kids how much fun it can be to hop a freight train with a stranger, and, of course, A Christmas Story, the first holiday special to ever feature bad lingerie and guns. Certainly there are others, from It’s a Wonderful Life to Die Hard there are plenty of movies for the older viewers who need chronic depression and death with their holiday.[Read more…] about The Holiday Movie Special
Back on December 19, 2012, I took some time to talk about the Gospel according to Luke. I have updated the original article to correct a minor factual error; while there was a large enough portion of Jews who were literate the word “most” would not have applied. That quibble aside there are those who think that pointing out the historical inaccuracies in Luke render it obsolete or useless. I’m not among that number. The story of Luke, an educated man – actually a doctor, who followed Jesus even though he was not the intended audience (i.e., not a Jew), speaks volumes to the power of Jesus’ message. It resonated so deeply with Luke that he went to great lengths to share it with other non-Jews.
Stop With All Your Ish … tar
I know that people get so excited when something seems to agree with their narrow view that they neglect to check the facts. It’s why, and how, the Tea Party thrives. That being said, atheists and rationalists are allegedly the people who live on facts and facts alone. I used to count myself among their number until I realized that if I was the most evolved creature in the universe then the universe was fucked. Therefore, while I subscribe to no particular religion, I do believe in God. I also believe in facts. I understand that making fun of people who believe in God is fun to do and that American Evangelical Christians and the Taliban, two like minded groups, are easy targets. Still I do expect a little more out of my non-believing friends. If you are going to belittle me please do so based on reality. I can live with that. Anyway, about four Easters ago I wrote about the whole Ishtar meme that seems to captivate those people who hate believers and facts with equal verve. Since it’s popping up again I’m tossing this blog up again.
Last year I wrote about the history of Easter. Mostly how it came to get that name since there is no such word in the Bible. Long story short, the holiday got blended with the Pagan celebration of the goddess Ostara a/k/a Eastre. She was, still is I would guess, a fertility goddess so the whole rebirth / resurrection theme fit well with the pagans of the day. And, while odd at its face, the whole eggs, bunnies and resurrection theme has had it’s uses. As I also noted the tradition of handing out eggs replaced human sacrifice. So that was some good news for folks. And, since the traditions were already mangled, Eastern Europeans now celebrate Easter with some fun S&M. Because nothing says “Jesus died for your sins” like a day filled with a few rounds of spank and tickle with a smoking hot brunette. These are the same people who celebrate a child eating demi-god for Christmas, so it all makes sense to them.
Some folks wrote to me to let me know that I had missed the whole Ishtar connection. Since there isn’t one, no, I didn’t. I’ll let Megan Mcardle explain.
My unfavorite new Facebook meme is this bit of sillyness which has apparently been spotted everywhere from the feeds of my college friends to (allegedly) that of Richard Dawkins’ Foundation for Reason and Science:
I immediately knew that this was a bit of nonsense for the simple reason that Easter is an English word. The Greeks and Romans called it Pascha, which is why Easter is Pasqua in Italian, Pascua in Spanish, and Paques in French. How exactly did the name of a Canaanite fertility goddess skip all the way to England from the Middle East without stopping in Rome or Byzantium?
There was (is?) a goddess named Ishatr and she seems to, loosely, be the basis for the goddess Ostara mentioned above but that’s about it. You’re covering about 2,500 years to get from point A to point B just in the names. As to the whole litany of other things allegedly associated with her, they are just wrong. She was noted for killing her lovers, making the animals she had sex with impotent and pissing off Gilgamesh.
That’s not exactly how the story of Jesus’ rebirth goes. Trust me, I’ve read it.
Just because words are homonyms doesn’t mean they mean the same thing. Otherwise anti, ante and auntie would make for interesting families.
“Hi, this is my uncle and antimatter.”
Your great antediluvian.
One thing that amazes me is the fact that people seem surprised that Christian holidays have pagan associations. Christianity, for all its many faults, is the most inclusive religion in the world. Initially that inclusion was simply practical. They couldn’t just conquer everyone so they needed to meet them half way if they were going to increase the size of the flock.
And, yes, it is true that Christianity has been the source of some horrid atrocities as well. Just ask a Gnostic if you can find one. People will angrily point that fact out every Christian holiday too.
Face it, Christianity is a roiling dichotomy. It has been since Saul who became Paul donned his sandals on the road to Damascus. That isn’t going to change any time soon.
In the end I look at it this way; there are enough true things associated with religions that I don’t need to make any up. And if you think eggs and bunnies are weird, you just haven’t been to a good penis festival yet.
“Legend Of The Golden Egg Warrior” from CRUSH on Vimeo.
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Reboot in Your Butt
I have a friend who’s been battling some mental health issues. A while back her husband took her to ao doctor and, after careful tests and questioning, it was decided she should take a light regimen of narcotics to see if they could even out her moods. And that was a core issue. Her kids were becoming afraid of her and conversations like this would occur daily.
“Honey, do you want milk with your cereal?”
“MIIIIILLLLLLLK! What the actual fuck is wrong with you? Why do I have to make all the decisions? Why am I the only one here with a brain?”
As you might guess, that tends to wear on a family.
Anyway, good news, she’s feeling and doing much better. Bad news? The regimen seems to be having unexpected effects on her cognitive abilities and short term memory. For example, she recently took her dog’s heartworm meds instead of her own. She’ll be fine, if worm free for a while, and did eventually take the correct meds.
I bring all this up due to a conversation she and I recently had. With all of the remakes and reboots coming out she’s pretty sure they’ll all be brand new to her. She recognizes the names but little else. She finds that she’s kind of excited by this. At her age, old enough to have teenagers – thanks for asking, finding new things every day is kind of a gift.
For the record she is meeting with her doctor this week to explore alternatives. As she notes, other than the side effects, the meds are doing what they were supposed to and she feels great. And worm free.
First, and you know you need to know this, there is not really a remake of Mary Poppins featuring Yondu from Guardians of the Galaxy II. But if there was it would look like this. Please, click that link and become a happier human.
Speaking of Mary Poppins, Disney is releasing a sequel to the beloved classic. Naturally, because we live in the world we live in, it reverts to the source material originally written by P.L. Travers. For the record the delightful, and now late and lamented, Ms. Travers, a known lesbian and woman who adopted one twin boy but not the other – a whole new book could be written about her life, hated the Disney version.
So the new one picks up twenty-five years after the old one ended.
Dick Van Dyke also appears in the new version in a different role, as the son of the penny-pinching banker Mr. Dawes.
Meryl Streep, reuniting with Blunt from The Devil Wears Prada and with the director Rob Marshall from Into the Woods, plays Poppins’s cousin, Topsy; another acting legend, Angela Lansbury, plays the Balloon Lady, but neither appears in the teaser.
Mary Poppins Returns, not to be confused with Batman Returns which had a slightly different plot with less adorable penguins, reveals a grown-up Jane and Michael Banks (Emily Mortimer and Ben Whishaw), who reunite with their magical caregiver in Depression Era London, 25 years after the first film took place.
“It’s wonderful to see you,” Michael tells Mary, to which she agrees: “It is, isn’t it?”
So, that looks like fun. What better way to spend Christmas day, it’s release date, than watching a film about the Great Depression featuring troubled kids? It’s Disney so I doubt they’ll get sent to workhouses or anything, but it still seems odd.
Next up in the reboot-a-rama we’re facing is Tomb Raider. It’ll be out March 16th. Just in time for St. Patrick’s day. God knows if that’s intentional or not.
The Alicia Vikander-led movie will follow after the 2013 video game reboot that reintroduced Lara Croft. Vikander’s Lara will head off on her first expedition after receiving a video message from her long-deceased father. Heading to the same island where Lord Richard Croft disappeared, Lara must rely on her skills and few resources to stop Walton Goggins’ Mathias Vogel and the mysterious organization known as Trinity from using the Mother of Death tomb to endanger the world. Few video game movies have been critically and commercially successful, but perhaps 15 years of distance from the last Tomb Raider movie, and relying on a more modern story, will improve the Tomb Raider reboot’s chances of success.
What I’ve seen this far looks neither bad nor good so I’m still in wait-and-see mode on this one.
Next up, because the world was clamoring for it, is a darker and edgier take on Winnie the Pooh. No, I’m not kidding. Christopher Robin, coming august 3rd, takes a look at Dear Old Christopher in middle age. And maybe suffering a breakdown.
While not directly remaking or rebooting an existing movie, Christopher Robin is the latest Disney movie that’s taking a classic animated property and adapting it for a live action setting. This time, we’re turning to the Winnie the Pooh franchise, but rather than once again watch the young Christopher Robin visit the 100 Acre Wood to hang out with his animal friends, the Christopher Robin movie will follow the eponymous protagonist as an adult, where he’s busy with work and not paying enough attention to his family. Enter Winnie the Pooh, Piglet and the rest of the gang, who re-enter Christopher’s life to help him re-capture his sense of imagination. It’s certainly not the Winnie the Pooh story we’re used to seeing, but it sounds like it will stay true to spirit of the earlier animated movies.
Since Disney is on a roll, or meth – it’s hard to tell, they’re also rebooting Jungle Book. Why? Who cares? Mowgli (orig: Jungle Book: Origins), coming October 19th, follows the eponymous young protagonist as he discovers his human origins after living his whole life among animals, who are being created through performance capture. The supporting cast includes Andy Serkis (who also directed Mowgli) as Baloo, Christian bale as Bagheera, Benedict Cumberbatch as Shere Khan and Cate Blanchett as Kaa.
Jumping in on the “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME” bandwagon, we have The Grinch headed your way on November 9th.
61 years after Dr. Seuss published How The Grinch Stole Christmas, 52 years after the animated television special of the same name aired and 18 years after the story was theatrically adapted in live action, we’re getting yet another version of The Grinch. This time, the green-furred grump will be presented in computer animation from the folks at Illumination Entertainment. Benedict Cumberbatch will voice The Grinch, and just like all the other times, he’ll be scheming to ruin Christmas for the citizens of Whoville. However, just like the 2000 Jim Carrey Grinch movie, the new Grinch movie will need to add new plot material if it wants to fill 90-100 minutes, if not longer.
Maybe this time the Grinch can discover hot yoga and the joy of yard sales.
Or not. I really don’t care.
Lastly, and I would be horribly remiss if I missed this bad boy, Netflix is rebooting Lost in Space.
Now, for the record, I was one of three people who actually liked the 1998 remake with Gary Oldman and those other people time forgot. But the new series seems to adhere close to the original concept, Swiss Family Robinson in space, with the bonus of making the aliens actually alien.
Showrunner, Zack Estrin (Prison Break), recently noted, “This is a true family adventure in the vein of the original Jurassic Park. I don’t think there’s ever been another show like this on TV that has this size and scope, but also this emotion. There aren’t a lot of family shows that everybody can watch for themselves. There are very few things that are not reality shows that adults and kids can enjoy together. I’ve shown this to my father, who’s 70, and my daughters, who are 11 and 14, and they all fell in love with it for different reasons.”
He went on to add “Fans of the original show should know we maintain the core of what was special about that experience of watching that as a child — that here’s this incredible family that’s off on this amazing adventure. For new fans of the show, there’s a certain baggage associated with the title — ‘Oh, that’s that campy show from the ’60s,’ or, ‘That’s that movie from the ’90s that was … what it was.’ We are taking that core of an idea — the Robinson family is striving to hold together and survive in this incredible circumstance — and as much as this show is Lost in Space, it could be a shipwreck on an island. It just happens to be in space and we think it’s going to have a broad appeal beyond genre fans.”
Just for the geeks among us, they’re bringing back the original score written by that wacky kid Johnny Williams. You may know him as the adult, John Williams, who wrote the theme music for this little film series called Star Wars.
It was kind of popular.
By the way, just to keep us all pissed off, Scarface (maybe), Robin Hood, and A Star is Born are also headed our way.
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