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wolvesevolve

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Everything posted by wolvesevolve

  1. I feel for everyone in the plains/midwest/eastern US with the horrible temps and extreme storms this summer. :( Mexico entered rainy season towards the latter part of June. Generally rainy season starts down here anytime from the end of May to mid-June. Kinda started up late this year, we had to endure some pretty hot days in April, May and June. And rainy season entails that for a few months here, almost like clockwork, it'll rain anytime from mid-afternoon to early morning hours. Sometimes in dramatic fashion with lightning storms and torrential rains...but generally go through quick, or a leisurely rain lasting an hour or so. Mornings will generally greet you with clearing skies, bright sun to dry things out before it starts all over again in the afternoon/evening. It's a great balance, as it never gets too hot now...as the heat builds, so does the rain to help cool things off. Western Mexico tends to follow the pattern to the tee. Further inland, I think they see more rain/clouds, cooler temps due to higher altitudes. Rainy season also coincided with hurricane season, so occasionally the pattern gets messed up if a tropical system gets near land...so there might be a bit more rain. Oddly enough the tropics have been pretty calm on the pacific side. I think the same for the gulf this year, so far. So, Mexico kinda saw a late start to the rains. It's been a little strange, I think a bit more on the dry side...rain being a bit more spotty. Just locally here in Guadalajara, we've seen some storms come through that'll wreak some havoc with hail and high winds on one side of town, other side might not even see more than a couple drops. About 7 weeks ago a storm blew through...pretty generic from what I experienced as I sat at home, making guacamole to take to a my good friends' place for our weekly Wednesday get-togethers. So I headed out after the storm had ended....and started to realize traffic was a bit bad, some lights were out in tunnel underpasses....well in fact for about 2 km, starting at about 8 blocks from my house, the city was without power, including traffic lights! Tons of trees were down, a large one fell on the the block my friends live on...needless to say they had no power. A car dealership had their showroom window broken by falling metal pillars and a few vehicles also crushed by them. I'm kinda hoping for more rain...and spectacular lightning!
  2. I'm enjoying it quite a bit, two-part opener was fun and providing shock value questions to keep us going through the season, "The Curse of the Black Spot" was a bit ho-hum, but the two-parter for "The Rebel Flesh"/"The Almost People" has a classic Who feel and a good character and ethics exploration with such a nice couple of twists at the end leading into the mid-season break....which "A Good Man Goes to War" was a return to an unexplored future that had a space opera feel that we haven't got enough of in "New Who...too bad it probably was a bit much to cram into one episode but take us onwards to the chase for Melody Pond and the reveal of River Pond. Loved the Neil Gaiman episode, even if it did more teasing and misdirection leaving one maybe a little let down or feeling it was "fan wank" with the references to Classic Who...but I thought it was just short of complete brilliance and pure fun. I think Moffat and co. and Matt Smith have come into their own this season, it's all clicking very well. The addition of Rory is great, Darvill really adds a lot as a companion with humor and seriousness that's kinda lacking with just Amy Pond as the young pretty headstrong sidekick. Can't wait to see the how the storyline concludes with the second part of the series!
  3. nice! I think we were all expecting Doug Hutchison to be the one perhaps making an appearance on Fringe....this is even better news! :D
  4. Oh yeah I forgot about that Mark! I remember at first going "huh?" with the way new "Troniverse" was rendered, being somewhat a mirror image of the real world with lighting effects, the characters as well were not altered digitally to give them a "digitized" effect relying instead upon (some really nice) costume and set designs, not the low-tech futuristic computer graphic world of the original...though after 10 minutes, I got immersed and didn't really pay much heed...
  5. The holidays kinda messed up my plan to try and get a big group of friends to see Tron: Legacy, but oh well. Instead it was just a couple buds and we did a Tron marathon evening. One of us hadn't ever seen it since she wasn't born until well after the 1982 release, my other friend is older than me but hadn't seen it since he was a kid, it's been a while since I've seen it too...and we were all very impressed at how good Tron was, how groundbreaking and almost prophetic it was for its time when computers were just starting to make its way in the home, without any hint of what was going to come with the internet and OSs. Really a classic film, great for the whole family. We caught the late night showing of Tron: Legacy on the IMAX. I was a little shocked at how it really wasn't anywhere near kid friendly like the original was. SFX were pretty amazing, especially on a digital screen, the music worked perfectly, I loved the little homages made to the original Tron (good thing we watched both back to back!). These few strengths were able to overcome overall faults: the plot really at the end of the day wasn't too imaginative, there are some religious overtones but unfortunately nothing really serious done with it, the actor playing Sam Flynn was nothing special (in fact I found the character himself a bit annoying, not a good pairing).... BUT, my biggest disappointment: Dispite my big gripe, I did enjoy Tron: Legacy...which could've been much worse (say if Michael Bay had directed it or something) and really is high up there on the list of well-done (and not pointless) sequels. I'm hoping there might be a Tron 3 where we actually find the movie revolve around Tron! Seems like there was a kind of that as a possible direction if Disney wasn't to continue the franchise...
  6. I absolutely enjoyed this (past) year's x-mas special...topped the rest of them IMHO, a brilliant retelling of A Christmas Carol, though the shark shtick and sleigh ride were a bit silly...but all in good fun for the kiddies for the holidays. The ghost of Christmas future twist...kudos to Moffat for that one! Gambon was phenomenal, Jenkins did a fine job, especially for an acting debut. And the preview of the upcoming season looks quite nice... Though Mark, you better stock up on pillows ...I have a feeling that Moffat's timey-whimey schemes are probably going be a major part of the upcoming season reveal of who/what the silence is... (which honestly I'm preferring the Moff's scripts and direction over most of what RTD was doing: both get a little over-the-top in different ways, but I got more annoyed or let down with silly and sloppy writing in RTD's run over the "look how clever" time-whimey stuff and non-traditional baddies that usually have some logic problems.)
  7. might need some tea, hold the milk...I need to be less infrequent in my visits here

  8. At the suggestion of my favorite comic shop owner, I picked up The Walking Dead Vol.1 TPB while up in the US (though probably should've gotten the larger omnibus collection however my suitcases were a little overloaded), read it last weekend while bussing around Mexico for el dia de los muertos, fully prepared to see it air here on Nov 1st. Solid pilot/premiere. Decent rewriting to better make it work on screen vs. the comic. Though at the same time I wasn't necessarily blown away by the tv adaptation either. Good but not great, though I suspect we'll see much more meaty stuff in episodes to come... :D
  9. hm! I know El Mirador is not a new site to archaeologists, though I was unaware that is was so unexplored and was so large (though I'm not really that knowledgeable on Mayan sites and prehistory), I'll need to read more! Thanks for posting the CNN story, it's so rare to see something like that on the usual news outlets! Really exciting to see such an old depiction of the Popul Vuh, I wonder how complete it is...
  10. hasn't been around here nor updated his status or profile in quite a while :p

    1. ethsnafu

      ethsnafu

      Welcome home, the kettle is on? Milk and sugar?

  11. slight correction (at least for info provided om IMDB which isn't always very accurate), the film is in post-production, so I would imagine filming is completed. (early?) 2011 release date is expected.
  12. You're quite right Mark with all your points! And I think a lot of what we're seeing, as you've alluded to already, is perhaps the rough edges of a whole new production team and talent that are still getting used to new roles and still need some time to click together? I'll be out of town next weekend so I'll have to wait a while before seeing the conclusion of the two-parter... I can maybe add a little bit more criticism to Moffat's beginning of his DW run (which you may have already pointed out): besides the film references, he's reusing a lot of his own ideas in series so far. Kinda hoping to see fresher stuff put out before the series finale.........
  13. Sorry, been away for a while (not that I'm really a regular on TIWWA anyways :-p), but have a quick chance now to add my two pence (I'm being cheap with my thought right now :-p) on the series thus far: I've enjoyed both The Beast Below and Victory of the Daleks, not mind-blowing by any means nor detrimentally flawed, but throughly enjoyable IMHO. Since you've been a bit more critical of VotDaleks, eth, I'll talk a bit more about this ep. I think just about everyone agrees that the ending was a bit silly with the "bomb defusing " and the fighter planes going into space. Churchill was ok...decent enough for television, certainly the written characterization got the point across and the actor did not detract from it at all. I though Amy and The Doctor also were written just fine....Gatiss I think really is going on the bulk of material already written for both Tennant and Eccleston. Rewatch Dalek and the S2 two-part finale...it's established that The Doctor gets overly caught up in stopping the Daleks for good (and they kept get written back into the show) in any of his incarnations, with his dark side coming to the forefront and makes mistakes by allowing himself to get emotionally involved in the Daleks destruction. And speaking of them: the new "skittle" Daleks are ok...I see what Moffat is doing. Just as with the redesign of the TARDIS (exterior and interior), he's going for a more classic style design for the show under his watch. Weren't the original Daleks also multi-colored? Not that we can see that in B/W, but the props used in the Peter Cushing US Doctor Who movies were using British props, no? With an array of colorful Daleks? I also prefer the RTD era redesign of the Daleks over the new ones, but will give Moffat a chance with how he's taking the creatures in a new direction. All in all, I wasn't TOO bothered with the pitfalls of the new series so far. And of course right now some of us have just seen Time of the Angels...quite well done! :D I'm going to wait until the second part to really add much more :D
  14. Eth, always the observant one! :D I totally missed that fact of the eye color difference... And I forgot to comment on the new opening title sequence and music...that was the bad part! I like the new logo design, though the title sequence (and fonts used) as a whole seems way "cartoony" or overly kitsch or something that really just doesn't work well with how we've digested Who in the past. The theme too pretty much took me aback...though I got to hear it again from the BBC website with a better mix. It's ok. Not super thrilled with it, though it's an improvement over the "dancey" theme used in S4 and the specials. Perhaps it's more appealing to kids though, and that seems to be Moffat's target audience now, more than how RTD was handling the show...
  15. Even though I really really really wanted to watch Matt Smith's premiere as the Doctor on Saturday, I had to wait until Sunday morning due to party hopping :-P I thought The Eleventh Hour was a decently good episode, not overly enjoyable, nor can I really fault it much either. However in terms of new regeneration/series premiere eps go, this might be one of the best...certainly better than Rose or The Christmas Invasion. And really, I think all the credit needs to go to Moffat in a pretty tightly paced script, then Matt Smith and Karen Gillian's on-screen chemistry and portrayal of their characters for making it work so well! Also great casting of Karen's own cousin to portray the young Amy/Amelia Pond, excellent job by the child actor! The end maybe did drag a bit...but worked as we needed to wrap up everything with the TARDIS recovering, and getting Amy to join the Doctor as his new companion. I also have a feeling that Moffat is going to use minute/unseen details of the premiere's story to build/reveal later in the series. Very promising start of Nu Who, and can't wait until next Saturday!
  16. Thanks Mark! Really an amazing little 2 and 1/2 week trip I took down to Southern Mexico...unfortunately didn't do any more reading on La Santa Muerte while in Chiapas, as it was so amazing what I saw in the short few days in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chamula, and Palenque (and also got focused more on finishing up "How Mumbo Jumbo Conquered the World" by Francis Wheen...which oddly enough made a mention of MillenniuM in a chapter called "The Catasrophists", though sadly Wheen only makes a passing mention within the same sentence of bring up The X-Files, which he focuses exclusively on UFOs and govt conspiracy fictional works as being considered fact by the public at large during the 90's. Shame, as there probably could've been something said about MM in the context of this chapter). Gorgeous state in Mexico, that I'll need to return to most definitely! And honestly I haven't had much of a chance to catch my breath yet w/ further trips in Mexico...last Sunday to the Monarch butterfly sanctuary in Eastern Michoacan, friend from Mexico City staying with me, and my travel partner in crime returning from further travels, passing though here during her last days to pick up some stuff left at my place and take care of last minute things...tomorrow I'm headed off to a snow-covered extinct volcano that sits next to a very active one!!! Just so ya know, the book I picked up is "La Santa Muerte: Protectora de los Hombres" by J. Katia Perdigón Castañeda, published by INAH, the national institute of history and anthropology. Good short academic work. So far, she's a bit critical of making the link of La Santa Muerte to anything prehispanic...rather she starts making more links to ideas of Judeo-Christian/Western conceptions of Death personified...both iconographical and biblical references. I think she's really trying to avoid dealing with specifically answering the question of how La Santa Muerte originated with the context of the criminal underground of Mexico, though I really haven't read far enough in depth to see how she builds her arguements and study....
  17. update: currently in Oaxaca, reading up a little on Santa Muerte. Spent a longer time in Mexico City than planned though still did't see all important things for my Canadian traveling lady friend. She really wanted to check out the "original" Santa Muerte shrine, though didn´t make it due to time constraints and recommendations of not even trying to go for fear of getting mugged or something. Oh well. But went I get back home in a week or so, definitely up for sharing some of what I'm reading at the moment! :)
  18. My sister got married in Hawaii in 2005...and I was already a Lost fan (from the beginning) though I don't think it was quite as big as it is now. So our last day or two there I picked up a paper to find out I'd JUST missed one of the gala premieres of that season (S2?), had no idea they did that sort of thing! Talk about a missed opportunity! I'm having a hard time deciding on voting for S1, S4 or S5...
  19. The rise of La Santa Muerte is so recent that I don't think MM of TXF touched at all on this phenomena. Sigil, nice post! Sounds like you had a pretty cool anthro class! I never got to learn much about modern Mayan take on religion and mythological syncretism/adaptation...but I'll be headed to Chiapas by next week! !!!
  20. Wow, you weren't kidding that you're really interested upon the subject of macabre cultural phenomena of Latin America!!! Really enjoyed reading your post, particularly the mention of San Pascualito, which I know nothing about but there's a Nick Cave-esque Mexican band called San Pascualito Rey which uses macabre imagery on their albums, no doubt in reference to the story behind the saint. Definitely need to read up more this and the other stuff you've mentioned! You've really hit the nail on the head Mark, along with something I do agree about the news piece, is that there is definitely a need among the middle class and poor of Mexico that have turned to crime, for something more to believe in than what generally is offered my society at large (i.e. the Catholic church). La Santa Muerte seems to fill that role (rather than anything explicitly evil like images of Satan that have been used by underground youth movements as the Norwegian black metal scene in the 90's, or activism/anti-political rhetoric of some punk movements and the civil rights movement) of being a source of hope and support within the dark underworld of black market enterprises. Though I wonder how La Santa Muerte plays a role in the higher-ups of drug cartels? Or outside the boundaries of Mexico to other locations in Latin America involved in the drug trade? And as I've already mentioned, the Virgin of Guadalupe seems to be a nearly identical history as La Santa Muerte, though perhaps having a much more historical socio-political role. It was a "saint" that was frowned upon by the church, but at least appeared to unite the suffering and sometimes insurgent indigenous populations of Mexico to be part of the New Spain colony (having overtones of Mexica/Aztec "pagan beliefs"). The mystical story and unexplained details of the image of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe has persevered (and played an important role in some of the Mexican revolutions), to where she remains the undisputed champion of Mexico as a nation and to her brothers and sisters that struggle in the face of economic adversity and personal hardships where ever it may take them (at least among modern "practicing" Catholics). Though upon looking at her history through critical eyes, its almost TOO convenient that the Virgin of Guadalupe would be an apparition to an indigenous man, that it would probably facilitate the Christian conversion of the Nahuatl-speakers, descendants of the old Mexica/Aztec empire minions, despite its controversial nature as viewed by the papal authorities. Maybe we need a Millennial Goddess as our saint in our support of the return of Frank Black like you've implied ;) I'll need to be keeping an eye out for more stuff about La Santa Muerte so we can keep our discussion going! And great to hear you might be taking some Spanish classes Mark! Don't hesitate to ask me if you need some help understanding something written in Spanish...
  21. Nice post Mark! I've been living in Mexico for the past couple years now, and really don't understand the whole La Santa Muerte thing though certainly like to read up on a more informed view on it (wonder if any cultural anthropologists have/are working on it?). As you all know the narco-trafficking problem here is pretty big (I'm convinced the drug trade keeps Mexico going as a nation, that even though it's a "war" and the violence id horribly bad, especially at the border and the Mexican states where these drug cartels are based, all the money gets filtered and laundered in a major way into the economy), and so it seems with the growth of "narco culture" we've seen La Santa Muerte enter into Mexican pop culture. And this is a very recent phenomena, like the recent exponential growth of the drug business. I'm not sure what came first here...La Santa Muerte or the narcos. I can see where it might have been invented in the prison system...though I'm skeptical about how this cult of La Santa Muerte has much to do with a pre-Hispanic heritage, seems like some armchair anthropology to me, trying to make connections (that MIGHT loosely be present) that aren't really there. And as you see from the piece, the Catholic church is none too happy with the surge of the Santisma Muerte cult...but it's funny how the pilgrimage behavior and gestures given to La Santa Muerte images are identical to how Mexicans treat Catholic saints. And I wouldn't be surprised if many, like the woman that put the image in her window, are profiting from this cult as well. Of course death has been and continues to be a part of Mexican popular culture, which does have pre-Hispanic origins. Not so much to the Aztecs, but rather to the Zapotec culture of the state of Oaxaca, famous for its Guelaguetza summer festival and the Day of the Dead celebrations, deeply rooted in their multi-ethnic indigenous peoples in that state and their pre-Hispanic heritages, maintaining a continuity of cultural traditions. El dia de los muertos is also important in other areas that have high indigenous populations, like in the Lake Patzcuaro area in Michoacan (Purepecha/Tarascan homeland)and other areas of central Mexico. During the 20th century, many of these festivals became incorporated into Mexican society as a whole (which is dominated by mestizos (mixed indigenous and European ethnicities) and criollos (of European heritage, born in the Americas) when forming a national identity in a modern world (to include the indigenous peoples even though they continue to be marginalized) and so we have a Day of the Dead that coincides as the eve of All Saints Day, being perhaps the most important religious holiday in Mexico after Semana Santa w/ Easter week and Christmas/The Epiphany. Images of "La Catrina" (the image of a female skeleton, sometimes just her head, sometimes in full form dressed in fancy clothing) became part of Mexican pop culture by the turn of the century and certainly into 50's and 60's when Mexico saw a surge in indigenismo and a romanticized vision of the pre-Hispanic cultures. Sorry to be a bit long-winded here, but given this background on how death has been a part of Mexican culture and how it's found a popular place in modern society, I find it a little hard to swallow that there's any direct relationship between the Santa Muerte cult and pre-Hispanic roots. Even a movie (or two?) came out last year or the year before calle La Santa Muerte. A bunch of books just with the last couple years have come out featuring La Santisima Muerte (which I need to give a better look at to see if there's any substance to them or just out there for fun and to cash in on the current cultural climate)....this is a fascinating subject, controversial, dangerous given the connection to narcotraficantes. Another interesting and likely related subject are the many local Virgin Mary incarnations that also exist throughout Mexico and Latin America w/ "cults" around them...stemming from the original apparition and image of the Virgin of Guadalupe from 1531, who is THE patron saint of this nation, not sanctioned by the Catholic church until the 18th century and only recently has been made an official miracle.
  22. IMDb is wrong (I saw the other day that it's not quite sure how to catalog the specials over the past year) Actually, there was no season 5. After S4 were a series of specials, the first of which was "The Next Doctor", and the last couple were "The End of Time" parts 1 and 2. So really, there shouldn't be anything keeping ya from seeing your DVD. :)
  23. Sorry to jump in, but you're absolutely correct. Jarmusch's films are pretty slow...generally speaking. Though I think Dead Man might constitute as being one of his "lively" movies (along w/ maybe Night on Earth and aforementioned Ghost Dog) though I'd say Dead Man is a more poetic movie, with references to William Blake, the bleak landscape of the frontier American West confronting Western industrialism/progress, a beautiful portrayal of Native Americans...well researched but a minimalistic approach, the story itself is kinda like a mythic tale of a journey of life to death, from East to West. Then you have the dark humour of bounty hunter characters (which Lance plays one of them) laid on top... Am I selling the movie well enough? :-P
  24. I must hand it to RTD that part 2 was very good, did a good job of making everything come together without much silliness or inexplicable things that were minor issues in part 1. The moments between The Doctor, The Master, and Wilf were bloody brilliant. Maybe some of the scenes were drawn out a bit too long towards the end, but at least there was some wonderful acting to justify the exposition. Though I don't know about everyone else, but I thought Doomsday and other episodes had more high emotions running through them than The End of Time... Pardon me for my ignorance, but that moment when: I don't know how devoted Whovians will react to the last scene, but: Ah yes, the end sequence: and how about "The Woman"/Claire Bloom? Can't wait to see what Matt Smith and Stephen Moffat have in store for us later in the year! Any thoughts on the preview up on the BBC's website?
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