|Posted by goldenplum on July 28, 2015 at 5:25 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted by goldenplum on July 27, 2015 at 4:40 AM||comments (0)|
From BGN --
Over the last few months it’s been harder and harder for me to turn away from headlines splattered with police brutality, murders, terrorist attacks on churches and a blatant disrespect for the lives of people of color. The past two years seem to be a constant barrage of violence, death and frustration, with blatant racism and bias at the root of it all. Every day Black women and men are forced to live a reality in which their lives are less valued simply because of the color of their skin. I know I’m not alone in my fatigue and nearly physical anger at every headline; but like most of us on the other side of computer screens, it can seem that way sometimes.
Last week I went to a progressive organizing conference in Arizona, where I had the opportunity to speak to and to hear from Black women from around the country. It was amazing to be around like minded activists, advocates, organizers and general “doers.” Conversation after conversation centered around common frustrations, but also around strategy and action. We talked about how to change the narratives and how we can work together. When news about Sandra Bland broke on Monday, however, the sense of urgency and anger only grew.
Then at the end of one of the sessions I led last week, I had the most unique bonding experience of my life. A young trans woman of color and amazing activist came up to me after my session to talk about the importance of gender identity and expansion of the narrative and definition of the word ”woman.” I thanked her for taking the lead in the conversation – but I couldn’t help but notice that she was wearing a bright blue TARDIS around her neck.
If you read my very first post or listened to BGN’s first podcast on “Doctor Who,” you know that I am a Whovian and have been one since I was nine. So, if anyone is going to randomly notice a TARDIS it’s going to be me.
Mid-sentence I blurted out, “TARDIS!” She smiled at my recognition and – being the blerd I am – I rummaged through my bag to find my old beat-up TARDIS wallet that had been a gift from a friend when I first moved to New York.
Her smile widened as she said, “Wait… I have something for you.”
Reaching into her bag she pulled out a brand-new T.A.R.D.I.S necklace and gave it to me. I was more than speechless at her kindness and literally jumped around like a kid cradling the necklace. But it was what she said next that would blow my mind.
“I give my friends TARDIS’s because it connects people through time and space.
My jaw dropped. Perhaps it was a breaking point or the sudden realization that light existed in the dark conversations I’d been having up to that point, but the amazing juxtaposition of the prior conversation on issues that affect women and our systematic culture of violence with this incredibly hopeful statement based on the philosophy of a fictional character nearly brought me to tears.
We took an obligatory selfie then parted ways; but I faithfully wore that TARDIS throughout the rest of the conference, even during on-air interviews. Somehow wearing this necklace made me feel more hopeful about our ability to change the narrative of violence and racism that women of color wade through every day. More than that, wearing it made me feel connected to at least one other person who still saw good in the world beyond the wrongs we were all working to fight.
The most interesting thing is, as I wore the necklace it began to connect me to more and more women of color at the conference. Suddenly there were small conversations and side discussions around the necklace that unearthed unassuming Whovians. It appeared we all needed a reprieve, a chance to step away from the harsh reality of being a woman of color during a time when being a woman of color felt so unsafe. It is not that being a woman of color suddenly felt safer, but those brief moments gave us the chance to connect outside of the anger, frustration and the hopelessness of the headlines.
Fast forward to last night: I rewatched “The Rings of Akhaten” from season 702 of “Doctor Who.” As I watched, I remembered the feeling I had at the conference; of being hopeful and connected. Suddenly it dawned on me why so many of us, even amid the recent violence, allow themselves to be captured by sci-fi programs like DW or fantasy shows like GOT. I realized that our random escapades into someone else’s world – these trips to another time or dimension like the 11th Doctor’s fight against a parasitic, memory-consuming sun – aren’t just about the connection with others but can also be our way of coping with what is happening in the headlines; our way of finding hope so we can continue to push forward.
|Posted by goldenplum on July 24, 2015 at 7:00 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted by goldenplum on July 12, 2015 at 6:40 AM||comments (0)|
From Science Daily
Gamma-ray bursts are one of the outcomes associated with the biggest explosions to have taken place since the Big Bang. They are detected by orbiting telescopes that are sensitive to this type of high-energy radiation, which cannot penetrate the Earth's atmosphere, and then observed at longer wavelengths by other telescopes both in space and on the ground.
GRBs usually only last a few seconds, but in very rare cases the gamma rays continue for hours. One such ultra-long duration GRB was picked up by the [Swift satellite] - on 9 December 2011 and named GRB 111209A. It was both one of the longest and brightest GRBs ever observed.
As the afterglow from this burst faded it was studied using both the GROND instrument on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at La Silla and also with the X-shooter instrument on the [Very Large Telescope] - (VLT) at Paranal. The clear signature of a supernova, later named SN 2011kl, was found. This is the first time that a supernova has been found to be associated with an ultra-long GRB.
|Posted by goldenplum on July 9, 2015 at 5:40 AM||comments (0)|
From Doctor Who TV
The question of whether Gallifrey will return was a very undiscussed topic in the fandom for the first few series, as fans of the show were blindsided by RTD’s writing, his episodes merely explaining more and more about the events of the Time War, however no clues or hints towards a return. Then suddenly after four series of the Doctor parading around with the ‘Last of the Time Lords’ motto, we finally started to see the paving work for a Gallifrey return.
rassilon-doctor-who-end-of-timeWith the return of Gallifrey as a shocking plot twist for the cliffhanger of Tennant’s penultimate episode, the show started to bring more light to the events of the Time War, with a fleet of Time Lords led by Rassilon (Timothy Dalton), claiming victory for Gallifrey with the end of time itself being the consequence.
However the return was cut short after the Doctor destroyed the White-Point Star which held a link between modern day Earth and a time-locked Gallifrey in the midst of a war. The Doctor knew a return would destroy all of time and so he broke his oath of no violence to send Rassilon and the surviving Time Lords back into the time lock.
gallifrey-planet-dayThen it just went silent again. With the odd mention here and there in Matt Smith’s first few series as the Doctor. Then along came the unofficially counted three-parter, with ‘The Name of the Doctor,’ ‘The Day of the Doctor’ and ‘The Time of the Doctor’, where once again we grab mention of the Time Lord’s return. We learn the true sacrifices the Doctor made, why and how the Doctor survived and in a shocking plot twist, we see the Doctor in his darkest hour, change his mind and save Gallifrey in a pocket universe, preserved, like a painting.
We know the Time Lords survived the Doctor’s preservation trick, as the crack in time that appeared in various episodes was soon revealed as the gateway to the pocket universe in which Gallifrey survived within. The whole story arc of Matt Smith’s era comes down to the return of Gallifrey, with Madame Kovarian and her army of Silence identified as a religious order, trying to stop the Doctor from reaching Trenzalore, from saying his name and allowing the Time Lords entry back through the crack in time.
matt-smith-time-regen-towerThe Doctor guarded the entry, in his assumed final incarnation, stopping every creature that was now aware of the Time Lord’s presence beyond the crack, as they all took turns to dispose of it’s existence. If he left, another Time War would initiate, something the Doctor could not stand to be responsible for. As the Doctor grew old, the Time Lords performed one more act of kindness for their guardian, supplying him with another cycle of regenerations after Clara begs for such help in his final moments. The Time Lords did said act before sealing off the crack in which they could return through, remaining lost for the newly regenerated Doctor to search for.
The closest the Twelfth Doctor has gotten to finding Gallifrey so far is the false coordinates supplied to him by Missy, coordinates which got the Doctor’s hopes up, only to tear him apart when he discovers the apparent illegitimacy of them. To this day, the Time Lords are still lost, waiting to be found.
One day the Doctor will return to Gallifrey. Although he is yet to even locate the lost planet, let alone pop in for a visit, he is well on his way home and when he gets there, it’s inevitable that more adventures and stories will come of it. However, the Doctor is not one to stand still, he’s a man who enjoys his freedom, and potentially a return to Gallifrey will make the Doctor realise one again, just why he ran away the first time.