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Direr Hippos

I stayed up to watch the first race of the Formula 1 season, the Australian GP, and I'm glad I did. The rule changes make a real difference to the racing, at least while the drivers are still getting used to them! No traction control, standard electronic control units on all the cars, no pitting while the safety car is out, and new rules about replacing engines and gearboxes all mean that the competition is much more about the driver's skill and much less about the car. And the season looks interesting - Lewis Hamilton won this one, leading pole to flag, but none of the people who were assumed to be his competitors even managed to finish the race. Mind you, only seven cars did manage to finish.

I'm having random Diana Wynne Jones connections. I was just looking for John Donne icons, and thinking that I'm pretty sure I love Donne so much partly because I first read Song ("Go and catch a falling star/ Get with child a mandrake root/ Tell me where all the past years are/ Or who cleft the devil's foot") at a very young age, as an integral part of Howl's Moving Castle. In the background I've got GMTV, and a woman talking (at great length) about the stained glass windows in some cathedral or other connected to Henry VIII. The only thing that caught my attention is that she said the name Cadwallader, and I discovered I've been pronouncing it wrong in my head forever. My only association with it is as the name of the headmistress in DWJ's Witch Week. Apparently the stress is on the second syllable, rather than the first and third.

I'd left GMTV on because it was interviewing Richard Holloway, who I adore. I've just ordered three of his books because of the interview, and noted down a few quotes (probably slightly wrongly) that I really liked.
"Confidently declaring your belief in a particular god is more dangerous than not having a god."

"Atheism has had a purging effect on bad believing" - in reference to forcing the Church (etc) to change its mind about slavery, women, hopefully homosexuality.

"Most atheists I know are atheists out of a sense of moral passion."


He talked about appreciating life as it is and appreciating the gifts it brings, and read a beautiful passage from his latest book about a sunrise near Edinburgh. Some moments are a gift, and whether there is a giver or not is immaterial. And he talked about how the most important thing in life is that there is always hope, and that's why the resurrection story resonates so much.

I finally got around to watching the last couple of weeks' Torchwood eps and kinda loved them both, even though one of them was a conflation of two cliched storylines that I usually detest, and the other had no real plot and yet somehow an excess of exposition. Oh, I've also read two of the new Torchwood books - Something In The Water is pretty good, and Twilight Streets is fabulous. And sees the return of both Bilis Manger - YAY - and also the sexy assistant to the Slitheen Mayor of Cardiff in Doctor Who. Although I didn't actually make that connection till I read the wikipedia entry, there - I don't think I recall him being called Idris Hopper. That's a ridiculous name. (Wonder if it's an anagram? ..Oh, it's lots of anagrams, most of them vaguely dodgy, to my mind. ("Pro Ride Ship"? And far too much prodding and rising...) ) Also, I googled "Idris Hopper" and discovered this interview with Gareth David-Lloyd where he says Ianto's original name was Idris Hopper. Wonder if he was originally supposed to BE the mayor's assistant? That would have been interesting...he'd have met the Doctor, for a start. But maybe it was just RTD reusing names again. Anyway, hurray for Torchwood and the continual atrophying of my critical faculties.

DEFINITELY going to bed now, yes. Although only till lunchtime or so.

Comments

( 9 comments — Comment )
laserboy
Mar. 16th, 2008 12:26 pm (UTC)
Hee!
I love shared universes and I've also been geekily excited by the connections in Torchwood/Who. Have they made anything of Gwen's ancestor being the psychic girl in The Unquiet Dead?
pickwick
Mar. 16th, 2008 08:55 pm (UTC)
Re: Hee!
They've never mentioned it at all, to the best of my knowledge. Can't be a direct ancestor because Gwyneth in the Unquiet Dead died without kids, but it's a bit of a fandom assumption that there's a connection there somewhere, either through brothers and sisters' kids, or time travel.
laserboy
Mar. 16th, 2008 11:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Hee!
I can't remember if the character mentioned siblings but I think she was an orphan certainly. I would just imagine that an aunt or uncle might have taken her in. It's fun to speculate, certainly.

I've a feeling it might be something that will come up in one of the books if it hasn't already.

Time travel would be interesting actually. Maybe down the line that Manger guy really does a number on her. Heh heh.
pickwick
Mar. 17th, 2008 03:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Hee!
I hope it does come up in a book - it would be a shame not to do something with it, anyway!
zotz
Mar. 16th, 2008 12:51 pm (UTC)
I'm going to see Holloway talking to Dawkins in a couple of weeks. I'm really looking forward to it.
pickwick
Mar. 16th, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC)
Gah! I didn't know about this and there are no tickets left. It looks great.
gwinniegirl
Mar. 17th, 2008 12:51 am (UTC)
You will *love* Holloway's stuff, it is truly a joy to read. He's one of the most accepting "religious" authors I know, and I go back to him again and again. Wish I'd known he was on TV. :(

Edited at 2008-03-17 12:52 am (UTC)
pickwick
Mar. 17th, 2008 03:14 pm (UTC)
I've read some of his stuff, and I've always liked him when I've read interviews and so on. Gutted I didn't notice he was doing a talk with Dawkins in Edinburgh, we could have gone to that!!
gwinniegirl
Mar. 17th, 2008 11:35 pm (UTC)
I KNOW!! *makes mental note to check out what Holloway is up to more often in future*
( 9 comments — Comment )

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