Doctor Who: The Crawling Terror by Mike Tucker

(Wow, I’ve been posting a lot of Doctor Who related things lately, haven’t I?)

Synopsis:

“Well, I doubt you’ll ever see a bigger insect.”

Gabby Nichols is putting her son to bed when she hears her daughter cry out. ‘Mummy there’s a daddy longlegs in my room!’ Then the screaming starts… Alan Travers is heading home from the pub when something rushes his face – a  spider’s web. Then something huge and deadly lumbers from the shadows… Kevin Alperton is on his way to school when he is attacked by a mosquito. A big one. Then things get dangerous.

But it isn’t the dead man cocooned inside a huge mass of web that worries the Doctor. It isn’t the swarming, mutated insects that make him nervous. It isn’t an old man’s garbled memories of past dangers that intrigue him.

With the village cut off from the outside world, and the insects becoming more and more dangerous, the Doctor knows that no one is safe. Not unless he can decode the strange symbols engraved on an ancient stone circle, and unravel a mystery dating back to the Second World War.

The Crawling Terror is the best book I’ve read so far of these three Twelfth Doctor books. I really enjoyed it, though at first I thought the plot line was silly: Giant insects. It ended up not being awful as I predicted, and far from it! It portrayed Clara and the Doctor’s relationship very well, making a wonderful story. Including that, there were moments where you could see everything from the Doctor’s point of view, and then Clara’s; and then from the people surrounding the two friends.

So, giant insects? Yeah. The story is crazy, but kept me on my toes. I could not predict what would happen from the beginning of the book, unlike Silhouette. There seemed to be death at every corner (could the author have Steven Moffat as an inspiration?).

The Doctor seems a bit nicer in this book than what Doctor Who series 8 depicted him. Honestly, I quite like him as Mike Tucker wrote him. The Doctor has to have some kind of soft side to him, hm?

 

 

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

 

Doctor Who: Silhouette by Justin Richards

Marlowe Hapworth is found dead in his locked study, killed by an unknown assailant. This is a case for the Great Detective, Madame Vastra.

Rick Bellamy, bare-knuckle boxer, has the life drawn out of him by a figure dressed as an undertaker. This angers Strax the Sontaran.

The Carnival of Curiosities, a collection of bizarre and fascinating sideshows and performers. This is where Jenny Flint looks for answers.

How are these things connected? And what does Orestes Milton, rich industrialist, have to do with it all? This is where the Doctor and Clara come in. The Doctor and his friends find themselves thrust into a world where nothing and no one are what they seem. Can they unravel the truth before the most dangerous weapon ever developed is unleashed on London? (Random House)

The synopsis basically lays out the whole plot. Spoilers! I didn’t exactly pay attention to the above, so the book was unpredictable until the very end—it was not very surprising, or unique. But I have to say, it is probably quite difficult to have an innovative idea for any entertainment involving science-fiction. Silhouette is alright; the characteristics are stale, the plot is sort of boring, and it’s almost completely obvious as to what the resolution will be.

I was intrigued by the murder at the beginning of the book, but disappointed at how all the time spent investigating was in one place, which was repeatedly observed by the Doctor, Clara, Vastra, Jenny, and Strax. The Doctor doesn’t even seem as himself, but more serious and bland.

So how was the story? Please, no, I must say that Doctor Who is definitely falling into pieces of shit. Well, at least the science-y part of it. [spoilers] Seriously, a gas cloud… made of angry emotions? I understand chemicals, but you cannot overpower a human brain with just a bunch of chemicals that would make a person so angry they could not possibly control it. The angry emotions are sucked from people and put into a big glass bubble-thing. They shrivel as their emotions were taken from them. Then, these “souls” were turned into one major weapon. But, really? I mean.. it’s not that great of an idea, honestly.

When I say Silhouette is alright, I mean I would give it 2.5 stars out of 5.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Why does gravity act like.. gravity?

I was trying to think of something interesting to write about yesterday evening after I came home from band practice. Suddenly, I just happened to think of tapping something and a sound coming from it in the form of a wave, and that gave away to an absolutely wild idea with many, many possibilities. So I wrote down some rough notes and developed my theory, but I’m still not exactly sure how to put it into words. I tried to see if anything was related to it so I would have a foundation for it, but ultimately it stands alone: Gravity is an absolute mystery.

Nobody knows just what exactly dark energy or matter is. While imagining the sound wave after tapping something, I thought: “Gravity. Planets ‘tapping’ each other. Streams of particles that act like waves: light. Matter.” Then I gasped and got really excited. Those are just fragments, really, and you probably have no idea what I’m trying to say, but I will try my hardest to explain my theory.

First of all, all you need to know is what gravity is: I’ll tell about the rest. So I thought, when planets are attracted to each other, is there some kind of light or particle that emits from the connection, but also keeps it connected? I’ve often wondered if there’s another type of wave that we’re just completely missing; and if that wave is in fact some form of dark energy. Perhaps, just for this blog post, I will call this theoretical wave “dark light”. A wonderful name, isn’t it? So when masses (planets, for instance) move through space, do they ripple the area with waves? Do they let off some kind of energy or signal? If there is any energy left behind, you assume there is potential energy. But can energy wait forever? What will it do?

Maybe, this “dark light” is a fundamental particle, a project of something quantum; it could hold all the answers to gravity, which might further lead us into knowledge of why the Universe is even here at all.

Doctor Who: The Blood Cell by James Goss

I really quite enjoyed this read. It was a quiet read with not much noise in it, which was a great atmosphere after my stressful days at school. There was this great thing about the weaknesses (sorry if i can’t write well today—my brain is tired from thinking too much) in social stuff about humans, which we often see today: the spread of misinformation.

The setting is in what is called “The Prison”. This prison is on an asteroid in deep space. The Doctor gets caught up in a huge mess and is locked in this prison. It seems a quiet setting, as I mentioned in the above paragraph — no action (until later in the book where the climax begins), nothing too busy, and with light humor from the Doctor (of course!). Everything that happens leads up to finding out just exactly what is the big mystery about the Prison. As always in Doctor Who, it’s a bit gruesome with lots of dying included :p.

Sorry for such a short review, it’s just I’m really tired even though it’s only morning and I went to sleep at 9pm. But I rather enjoyed the book, though it’s merely 252 pages. Took a while to read since I’m so busy.

Disclaimer:

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

What can evolutionary biology learn from creationists?

Great article. I found it interesting because I had not ever thought so deeply of why the rejection of evolution is caused; but this article clears things over. Over the past few months, I became aware of the fact that nothing is THAT complex that it baffles every human mind, to the point where it is impossible to understand. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did and see it as an eye-opener. :3

Scientia Salon

Irreducible-complexity-E-coli_472_308_80by Joanna Masel

You might expect a professional evolutionary biologist like myself to claim that my discipline has nothing to learn from creationists. And I certainly do find all flavors of evolution-denialism sadly misguided. But I also find it reasonable to assume that any serious and dedicated critic should uncover something interesting about the object of their obsession. I’m not talking about passing trolls here. I’m talking about earnest and sometimes talented people whose sincerely held anti-evolution convictions do not preclude engagement, and who invest a lot of time thinking about evolution from an unconventional perspective.

I draw three main lessons from such critics. First, there is plenty to learn about human psychology from the rejection of evolution. Why do so many people not accept scientific conclusions that seem to an expert like me to be irrefutably supported by the evidence? Dismissing the cause of their rejection as religious ideology…

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Kidding Ourselves

Why do we like to feel in control? Why do we continue to rely on supernatural things, like deities, instead of ditching those beliefs for reality? This book, Kidding Ourselves, by Joseph T. Hallinan, discusses these subjects about deceiving ourselves. Can it be helpful, or will it just make one look silly?

First of all, I’m going to say that nobody likes reality the way it is presented to us — a hard, cold world with little comfort unless you happen to have the “smarts”. That’s honestly why I read books and look for other entertainment like TV shows. For a while, you’ll be happy. (Um, I don’t know about you but I do get depressed a lot, though I don’t ever realize it; most of the time I just shut off any feelings whenever I’m in deep thought or working. It just kind of happens.) But then it’s over, and any stress you have comes back immediately and hits you hard, including your health. So what can you do to stop that? Make ourselves feel like we’re in control. I’m not sure how, but I’m pretty sure why: it’s our perception of things, like some believe God comforts them and you should cast all your cares upon him, which will actually relieve you of a lot of stress. I know this for sure since I used to be a Christian, and in fact did this.

Concerning health, feeling in control of your life also has to do with knowledge.

“…The more control we feel we have, the better off we are—not just psychologically, but physiologically. Showing patients a ten-minute video before they undergo a painful medical procedure such as a colonoscopy, for instance, can reduce anxiety and even lead to short recovery time… Knowledge is power. Knowing what to expect affords us some degree of control over the situation we face; we can brace for it. And as long as we believe we have some control over the situation, it becomes more tolerable, and in the process we become more powerful. We become, in a sense, masters of our own little universe. And that sense of mastery pays very real dividends.” (p. 119)

As I read, though, I realized that there are only so many examples you can give about things before it’s more like a guess, not a solid answer. Hallinan begins to compare powerful people who feel in control more, like bosses, but also tend to ignore “powerless” employees in this case. I really don’t feel like there’s no in-between between the powerful and the powerless, but he seems to make sure that he expresses that there is according to research like this:

“Behavioral research has shown that in meetings, parties, and other group settings, powerful people tend not only to talk more often than other people do, they are also more likely to speak their minds. Whereas relatively powerless people tend to feign agreement, powerful people are inclining to express their true attitudes and opinions—regardless of the consequences. They act, in short, like their true selves.” (p. 153)

I may not be particularly powerless, but I’m not powerful either. I don’t talk that much around a lot of people I’m not comfortable with, so that’s probably right. I do not suddenly agree with another because I’m too scared to speak up. If I disagree with you and I believe it to be a major concern, I will speak up and make sure you understand why you are wrong. But most of the time, they end up rattling on after you’ve made your point and they ignore you. (Then you walk away and they want to start a fight. Happens in my life a lot.) Regardless of the consequences, I will somehow show my opinion and make sure you’ve noted it. I did not used to be this way, though, because I was brainwashed into believing that somehow women were inferior to men; and if a man said something then I agreed or stayed silent, unless it had to do with my religion.

Kidding Ourselves was okay. I wouldn’t say it’s great, but I love the idea the book was made from.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Doctor Who takes a ‘Deep Breath’ (spoilers!)

So on Saturday, August 23rd, Doctor Who premiered on BBC One and BBC America. Unfortunately, some of us don’t have BBC America in our area (like me and all my friends), so we streamed it. That’s the link to stream it if you need somewhere to watch it, by the way.

So I only began watching Doctor Who during Christmas break, but I loved it from the first episode! Was a bit cheesy, but it was made in 2005, so I just embraced the cheesiness. Yeah. I’ve been anticipating the new series ever since I finished what has been filmed so far, and the new Doctor!

Oh, and the new Doctor is amazing, if you couldn’t tell by his eyebrows.

YEAH I LOVE THE NEW DOCTOR HIS EYEBROW GAME IS sTRONNGG WHO ELSE AGREES COMPLETELY

Anyway. It was wonderful how they casually dismissed that the dinosaur was just strolling around in London, like it was no big deal. And who do you think “Missy” is? The lady at the end. I have this feeling, that by the way she was talking, (SPOILERS) she might be another regeneration of Riversong. :DD

If you comment and talk about this wonderful episode I will respond and then we will be best friends probably.