Month: March 2016

The More You Holmes

From: Elementary ep. 4.17

Event: (also character names, etc.) Charles Baskerville runs for his life (and dies) from something witnesses call a four-legged dog-like creature that glows.

Reference: Actually there are several Doyle references in this ep, as well as a few other nods to other Doyle stories and to the BBC series Sherlock. Here they are in list form:

  • Selden: the escaped convict wandering the moor, in this ep he’s an anti-GMO activist who online-rages at the Baskervilles and Stapleton’s company.
  • Stapleton: the naturalist and owner of the killer dog, in this ep he’s an engineer who works with the robotics that were stolen to create this story’s version of the Hound.
  • Charles, Henry, and Hugo Baskerville: like in the original, they’re all relatives in line for a large inheritance (large enough to kill for). There’s no mention of ancestor Hugo being a kidnapper and roysterer, however, beyond him being a railway baron. The Hall in which Henry takes over is also called Baskerville Hall, and there’s a terrifying scene where he sees a mysterious creature outside his vast home that echoes the security lights scene in BBC Sherlock‘s version of this story.
  • Barrymore isn’t a butler in this ep, but he does supply inside information, here about Stapleton. Apparently Stapleton has been seeing prostitutes at a fancy hotel named Undershaw (another reference: this one to the name of Conan Doyle’s house).
  • References to a genetically modified “superdog” and inserting jellyfish genes into an animal to make it glow are echoes again of BBC Sherlock‘s “The Hounds of Baskerville.”
  • Laura Lyons: a pivotal minor character in the original, here she’s the remote murderer, owner of the robotic “hound” and attempting to claim the inheritance much like Holmes imagined Stapleton would have in the original.
  • “The woman”: when Sherlock talks about Irene Adler to his morgue-Doctor friend, he refers to her not by name, but as “the woman,” just as Holmes does in the original.

  

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Fight Clip Club

I’m bringing to the Fight Clip Club the duel scene from stellar TV show Firefly, as it has a nice way of showing skill vs. raw ability but no skill. I’d categorize it as Realistic/Swashbuckling, with the one caveat that there is the dreaded Throwing a Sword trope here, which I despise. The closing dialogue is terrific, though: “Well, maybe I’m just a good man…”

Actually there’s another great fight scene in this same episode (“Shindig”), at the very beginning: a simple bar brawl that’s actually quite beautiful. Not sure I don’t like the bar brawl better than the duel, actually…

http://www.sciencechannel.com/embed?page=3258

firefly-trash

“So…you two have met.”       — No, this isn’t the duel scene. It’s yet another favorite fight scene from Firefly. It’s rare to find a fight scene between a male and female character wherein both are actually scrappy and both indeed want to hurt each other.

 

 

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Sail-link…take me away…

It’s another link list! Aren’t you thrilled? Today’s list is actually kind of an odd theme: I went through all the business cards I’ve accumulated from the past several months, and culled the no longer applicable, kept the current, and took one more look at the websites of several before I recycled them. Those are your links for today. Yer welcome.

  1. Makerfilm

I recently was a reader for this event, newly taking place in Boulder. I met these folks through an audience member of IMMMTV, and apparently they’re a burgeoning “filmmakers’ gym” which will be meeting regularly to workshop and discuss new screenplays.

Me at the Makerfilm reading.

     2. Lone Tree Fine Art

John Wilson is a colleague of mine from DU, who works as a psychotherapist as his day job, and is an artist as well. As you can see, his paintings are stunning.

Fun non-sequitur:  I was out for a post-faculty-meeting pint with him and friend Paul some time ago, and I described my personal and professional life in perfunctory detail. I didn’t really mean to get talking about it, but he had this therapist’s superpower of gently asking the right questions…anyway, after a little talk, he paused, looked at me with what I’d described as wry almost-amusement, and said, “So…one question: how are you even functioning right now? Seriously: how are you doing…anything?” I replied: “Well…I have to. Function.” He shook his head, smiling, and suggested I needed a break. Still haven’t given myself one, but hey…

3. Sock Dreams

These folks are the only merchandise booth at this last Denver Comic Con that I made a purchase from. And I can tell you I’m very happy with said purchase. Their stuff is unique and handmade and I recommend them without a sponsorship. So, if you want to send me some free thigh highs for the praise, I won’t say no. 🙂

4. Steam Crow

Another merch booth I always enjoy looking at when perusing the goods at DCC, Steam Crow has a really neato aesthetic. I really don’t know much about them but that, but they look like a creative bunch, don’t they?

5. Jacob Wilson custom knives

I came across these absolutely gorgeous knives at an art festival in Boulder recently. Beautiful stuff, obviously all handmade. If I had had the money at the time I would definitely have gotten one.

6. Little Green Pixie

I met Anna at last year’s Theatre of the Vampires, where I appeared as a show performer alumna. She was in their professional training program, and dressed like a unicorn. We had som ideas in common about the show and about Frequent Flyers and aerial dance in general, and so exchanged cards. She is elsewhere now, successfully teaching aerial dance.

5 Throwaway Scenes in Sherlock That May Yet Mean Something

My latest for Sherlock’s Home.

Sherlocks Home

WTF3

Written by Prof. Jenn

There is so little Sherlock to go around that us Sherlockians have taken to analysing each and every scene with a magnifying glass to ponder over any hidden meanings they might possess. As such, we’ve come to the conclusion that several seemingly throwaway scenes throughout the ten episodes we have had so far are actually more important than they appear. Here are a few of them:

5. DI Dimmock

Dimmock

A one-off character from fandom’s least favourite episode , Dimmock begins nearly verbatim as Forbes from Doyle story ‘The Naval Treaty,’ with a low opinion of Holmes’ techniques and the fact that he takes credit away from the police. Once admonished and corrected, however, he is contrite and asks to help. Dimmock is the same way in ‘The Blind Banker’, and is even given a huge compliment at the end of the episode, where Sherlock tells him he…

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I Miss My MTV already…

The backdrop as it looked in Fort Collins’ Bas Bleu Theatre, made by talented tattoo artist Sal Tino.

 

I Miss My MTV version 2.1 has come and gone, and it was a helluva ride. The reboot held many of the same core pieces as v.1.0 (the 2014 Boulder Fringe Fest), with some revisions and recastings all with a positive result, IMO. I’m glad in this reworking that I got to dance in an el-wire suit, and got to join the complex Cut Copy piece (the one with the suits and briefcases and plentiful bits of paper).

My favorite bits in this show overall were the Depeche Mode piece which took place at the bar at the end of the world, the opening dance medley filled with classics from ’80s vids (Pat Benatar shoulder action, anyone?), and, weirdly enough, the quietly sublime David Bowie Glitter Portrait bit. That last mainly from the consistently wonderful audience reaction to the reveal.

My favorite tweaks from v.2.0 (DCPA) to 2.1 (Bas Bleu Theatre) were the new band members, and the casting of James as The Norwegian in the A-Ha video sequel.

And if you missed it, you have no idea what I’m talking about, but no doubt really wish you did. Farewell, I Miss My MTV. “Don’t you / forget about me / I’ll be alone / dancing, you know it baby…”

Don’t You…

Mini-Essay Contest Winner #2: Chris

Here’s the second and last of the Mini-Essay contest winners from this semester, this one by Chris S. from the 2:30 pm ENG 121 class, on video games and violence. Please to enjoy, and good job all FRCC Comp writers!   ~Jenn

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by Christopher Snyder

On December 14th, 2012 a 20-year-old man shot 20 children and 6 adults at an elementary school before committing suicide himself.  It was a horrific and heart breaking event carried out by a deranged person, the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.  The original report pegged Ryan Lanza as the shooter.  Ryan had “liked” the video game Mass Effect on his Facebook page, and the laser space shooter was immediately blamed for warping the man’s mind.  The official webpage for Mass Effect was flooded with accusations calling the creators, “murderers” and “baby-killers”.  US Senator Joe Manchin talked to the media, stating that these violent games should be banned before they do anymore damage “see what it promotes, shouldn’t that be looked into and maybe be banned?” (Matulef).

The shooter turned out to be Ryan’s younger brother, an avid fan of StarCraft and Dance Dance Revolution.  Evidence of Dance Dance Revolution’s violent gameplay is shown here.DanceDanceScreen1

Blaming video games for violent acts isn’t new, in 2013 Obama funded a 10 million-dollar witch-hunt to attempt to find a connection between video games and American violent crimes (Matulef).  The research findings are promising.  Not only do video games not increase violent tendencies, the rise in video game sales coincides with a more peaceful America and has even been proven to have viable cognitive benefits to young gamers.  So why are video games okay?

The myth has been successfully debunked, a study by psychologist Christopher Ferguson has proven that there is absolutely zero link between “violent media and behavior and also questioned the methodology of previous studies suggesting the two were related” (Independent).  A long-term study from 1996-2011 showed that the amount of violence in video games has increased dramatically, while at the same time the rates of violence among younger people have gone down.  “Youth violence dropped precipitously despite maintaining very high levels of media violence in society with the introduction of videogames” (Ferguson).  Initial studies and statements linking video games to violence have been questioned due to incorrect testing measures.  Aggression in initial testing was measured based on how many non-painful noise-bursts a player would want to inflict on another, more noise-bursts was marked as a higher amount of aggression.  These studies are controversial due to the fact that they have very little relation to how aggression or increased violence would carry over into the real world.

As it turns out, increases in video game sales actually coincide closely with large declines in youth violence.  From 1995 to 2010 video game sales have risen dramatically.  During the same time period, violent youth crimes dropped to nearly a quarter of their incidence rate over the same time period.

If violence and increased aggression are really a problem created by video games, why are there more games and less violence?  Studies have shown that the opposite can be true and that video games can actually do a lot of good for people.

Researchers are currently conducting studies to determine the theoretical positives of gaming.  Psychologists argue that games “are beneficial to social and cognitive development and psychological well-being” (Wikipedia).  Experiments with different types of games show the benefits that they can deliver.  We’ve all seen the Wii remote.  Bringing full range of motion into video games has shown that it can help children develop full range of motion.  Action games create greater hand-eye coordination.  Violent video games have been proven to reduce stress by providing an outlet for anger.  One study showed that almost 50% of young male children actively use violent games to lower their stress levels.  Other benefits noted by psychologists include education in the form of reading and learning facts, increases in entrepreneurial and problem solving skills, some games can actually be used for physical rehabilitation.  By creating a consequence-free environment in which a person can explore while fully engaging their brain and body, we can help kids with special needs to become more active members of society.

The witch hunt on video games is a huge waste of money.  The blame game and finger pointing is a knee-jerk reaction, and has cost this country valuable time and resources that could’ve been spent on solutions to poverty or increasing energy demands.  It’s been proven time and again that there isn’t a negative link between video games and violent crimes.  It’s painfully obvious that video games can actually help our youth to grow and develop.  If we keep throwing money and the right people at it, I’m sure we can find many things to vilify in modern gaming, but why not spend those resources on tracking and developing the positives that video games bring to the table?

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References:

Ferguson, Christopher J. Journal of Communication. 1st ed. Vol. 65. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcom.12129/full

“Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting.” Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://www.citationmachine.net/bibliographies/67460940?new=true

Vincent, James. “Long-term US Study Finds No Links between Violent Video Games and Youth Violence.” Independent. Retrieved from http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/gaming/long-term-us-study-finds-no-links-between-violent-video-games-and-youth-violence-9851613.html

Jeffrey, Matulef. “Obama spends $10 million to research link between video games and violence.” Eurogamer.net. Retrieved from http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-01-16-obama-spends-USD10-million-to-research-link-between-video-games-and-violence

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