A Cat of Tindalos

A Cat of Tindalos

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Man in the High Castle: Really enjoying this show

The Man in the High Castle (EW Review by Jeff Jensen)
Genre: drama, Sci-fi, Thriller; Starring: Arnold Chun, Luke Kleintank, Bernhard Forcher; Broadcaster: Amazon; Status: In Season; Seasons: 1

Posted November 12 2015 — 9:00 AM EST

A woman glimpses a better world and embarks on a journey to understand its mystery. Her adventure is ours, too, but with an ironic twist: The Man in the High Castle seizes our attention with a terrible world—though a creative cut above the usual pop culture dystopia—and gradually wins our emotions with increasingly poignant characters. The series is a bold leap into big-saga TV for Amazon and expands the scope of high-concept existentialism typified by series like The Leftovers and The Returned. It’s serious-minded sci-fi that’s stylish and strange and soulful, and only grows more rewarding over time.

Adapted by Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files) from the novel by Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle gives us an alternate reality where the Axis, not the Allies, won World War II. The year is 1962. The Eastern United States, controlled by Germany, is a rigorously policed Aryan utopia. The West seems pluralistic, but it’s all Japanese hegemony and conformity. Bravura establishing shots capture the imagination. Times Square is glitzy with neon Nazi pop. Market Street in San Francisco is a bustle of imperial culture. It’s the deeply considered details that sell you. A Nazi version of Dragnet is a hit. “Heil Hitler!” has become a chillingly glib, perfunctory greeting. In a heartbreaker of a scene, Frank (Rupert Evans), alienated from his Jewish roots, weeps as prayers are said for his executed family. His sorrow isn’t just for his loss, but for an identity he doesn’t know, and couldn’t express if he did.

Our heroine is Juliana (Alexa Davalos), a Westerner who comes into possession of a stunning forbidden newsreel, produced by an elusive subversive known as the Man in the High Castle, showing a world where the Allies, not the Axis, won WWII. Inspirational fantasy? Cruel hoax? Does this universe exist? Can it be reached? Chasing answers sends her into a post-apocalyptic wasteland between East and West, where she meets Joe Blake (Luke Kleintank), a [description redacted due to spoilers]. The oppressor characters, complex and conflicted and very well played, nurture slow-simmering intrigues: Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Revenge) as a somber, peace-seeking trade minister catalyzes a subplot involving Cold War tensions between Japan and Germany and a power struggle that looms due to Hitler’s declining health. Rufus Sewell (A Knight’s Tale) as Obergruppenf├╝hrer John Smith initially comes off as one of those charismatically sinister Nazis, but the story and the actor make the most of every opportunity to humanize him while keeping him menacing and mercurial. He’s playing games. To what end?

The season’s first act suffers from drag and flawed strategies for holding our attention. An assassination plot feels forced. A mannered bounty hunter (Burn Gorman) chasing Juliana is a hoot that stretches the show’s tone, perhaps too far. But then TMITHC recharges with new intrigues and shuffled relationships. Juliana, Frank, and Joe—changed by tragedy, failure, and fate—acquire more complex motivations for their search for truth. “It has to be about something more,” Juliana says at a key point in her progressively Kafkaesque odyssey. She might be wrong. But she, like The Man in the High Castle, finds meaning in the journey.

Durin's Song

Mewlip Video

The Mewlips (Poem) by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Shadows where the Mewlips dwell
Are dark and wet as ink,
And slow and softly rings their bell,
As in the slime you sink.

You sink into the slime, who dare
To knock upon their door,
While down the grinning gargoyles stare
And noisome waters pour.

Beside the rotting river-strand
The drooping willows weep,
And gloomily the gorcrows stand
Croaking in their sleep.

Over the Merlock Mountains a long and weary way,
In a mouldy valley where the trees are grey,
By a dark pool's borders without wind or tide,
Moonless and sunless, the Mewlips hide.

The cellars where the Mewlips sit
Are deep and dank and cold
With single sickly candle lit;
And there they count their gold.

Their walls are wet, their ceilings drip;
Their feet upon the floor
Go softly with a squish-flap-flip,
As they sidle to the door.

They peep out slyly; through a crack
Their feeling fingers creep,
And when they've finished, in a sack
Your bones they take to keep.

Beyond the Merlock Mountains, a long and lonely road,
Through the spider-shadows and the marsh of Tode,
And through the wood of hanging trees and gallows-weed,
You go to find the Mewlips - and the Mewlips feed.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

T-Rex: As if they weren't scary enough

A tyrannosaur bone uncovered in Wyoming’s Lance Formation, broken at both ends, was covered in “very deep groves”, paleontologist Matthew McLain of Loma Linda University said in a release. In 2010, other tyrannosaur bones were found with marks that could only have been made by another large, carnivorous dinosaur, with the tyrannosaurs being the only species of that type in the area.

The scientists say, a newly uncovered T-rex bone fossils researchings shows to a 66-million-year-old tyrannosaurus dinosaur suggests that one of the most ferocious creatures to walk the earth were cannibalistic, .

Paleontologist Matthew McLain from Loma Linda University in California, United States said in a statement that they were out in Wyoming and were carrying out excavation in the Lance Formation.

“It’s exciting that we are able to learn so much from just a broken bone with a few scratches on it. A century ago, people would have found this and just chucked it”, he said. It was covered in grooves.

The grooves clearly suggest that a few animal pulled the flesh off the bone. Researchers also noticed that the groove was located at the larger end, also it had several smaller parallel grooves near the larger one which could only be caused by the diner’s head turning when serrated edges of teeth moved across the bone.

Those serrated teeth mean the animal eating the tyrannosaur was most likely another theropod dinosaur, “and the width of the larger grooves suggests the traces were made by a tyrannosaur”, researchers write.

The fact that the only large theropods found in the Lance Formation are two tyrannosaurs Tyrannosaurus rex or Nanotyrannus lancensis – eliminates all interpretations but cannibalism, McLain explained.

“This has to be a tyrannosaur”, McLain.

 Source: Science & Nature magazine

New evidence that will be presented at Geological Society of America in Baltimore on November 1 suggests the T-Rex was a cannibal.

While examining the grooves, researchers observed that the mark was obtained while pulling the flesh off the bone.

McLain said: “Exactly who did the eating that day, in the Late Cretaceous, could still be sorted out by the same grooves”.

This approach has been used on tyrannosaurs, and McLain thinks it will work in this case, too. “And since tyrannosauruses are the only large predators in these formations, it’s pretty straightforward”. “We can now say, ‘we know what animal this came from, we know what animal was doing the biting.’ It gives us hints as to what they were up to, what their diet was – we can understand their biology more”.

It isn’t the first time that researchers have pointed towards cannibal instinct in T-Rex. They would eat their own kind.

The hunting is going to be better if you eat the other hunters.

Source: Science and Nature Magazine