Marvel's Runaways - Refraction

I still feel like this show needs to pick up the pace a bit, but I guess some stuff did kind of happen in this episode. But then again, mainly just more stuff that sets things up for the future. Everything is always about to happen and nothing is ever happening. Big things that seem like they should derail the characters' lives just... don't.


Marvel's Runaways - Metamorphosis

Once again, things keep happening, but none of them are the actual main plot. I mean, that's kind of moving forward, but not in any meaningful way. The kids are still collecting evidence and the parents are still at the "do the kids suspect something? Nah, probably not" stage. This episode is ostensibly centred around a heist, but it's actually kind of the B plot rather than the focus.


Marvel's Runaways - Kingdom

Again the pacing is weird. It's not bad, it just feels like it should be faster. Like, we're getting these huge revelations but no one is acting on them. I mean, they are, but just in small ways. It's not on the scale I'm used to with super heroes, I guess. I feel like these kids should all be on the same page with regard to taking down their parents, for example, but they aren't. Which makes sense, but it's not what I expect of the genre.


Marvel's Runaways - Fifteen

The pace of this show is a bit weird. It doesn't feel slow to watch (like, for example, Daredevil) but looking back at the end of each episode it doesn't feel like much happened. There's a lot of little stuff but the overall plot doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Even the things that seem like they should lead to huge developments somehow don't.


Marvel's Runaways - Destiny

This third episode is a bit of a slow one, comparatively. The plot is moving forward, but it's slowed down now that the characters are all introduced. We get a bit more background info on some of them and the kids do a bit of sleuthing, but nothing particularly dramatic.


Marvel's Runaways - Rewind

This episode is neat. It's the first episode again but from the parents' perspective. We don't find out the full backstory or anything, just get more details about that day. I like it.


Marvel's Runaways - Reunion

So there's a new Marvel show. I'm not a big fan of the Marvel shows (aside from Agent Carter, which was fantastic) or the MCU in general, and Inhumans was just terrible, but I'll give it a go.


Star Trek: Discovery - Into the Forest I Go

This episode follows directly from the previous, with the Klingons about to show up and destroy the peaceful aliens. Discovery is ordered to run away, bu obviously the captain is a maverick who plays by his own rules (but dammit, he gets results), so they're not going to do that.


Star Trek: Discovery - Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

This episode seems to confirm my theory about last week's episode being filler that could be slotted in anywhere, as you could reverse the order of the two and it would make no difference. This one does advance the main plot though, as well as having a more stand-alone component. But not really stand-alone because even it has to tie into the ongoing story.


Marvel's Inhumans - ...And Finally: Black Bolt

What a colossal mess of an episode. What a mess of a series. Absolutely nothing was resolved in an even remotely satisfying way. I knew from episode one that the bad guys were going to win, because the writers inexplicably thought they were the good guys, but literally everything about this ending was terrible.


Star Trek: Discovery - Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

I said I wanted this show to be more like the old shows, and it actually delivered. Unfortunately it didn't do it very well. It's a time loop episode. Every sci-fi does one eventually, but usually not until they're running out of more original ideas. In this case it's especially bad because it just reminded me of the one Dark Matter did earlier this year, which was much better. I miss that show already.


Star Trek: Discovery - Lethe

The ongoing story of this series is really a huge weak point (just like it always is in Star Trek). Lethe would have been a pretty decent episode if it weren't tied into this bigger plot. It's almost there and it's so frustrating that they mess it up like this.


Marvel's Inhumans - Havoc in the Hidden Land

The plot actually moved forward a bit this week, and they seem to have saved everything for right near the end. I hate when shows do this. Spread your story out over the whole season, don't drag your feet and then suddenly sprint to the finish. That's a terrible idea.


Star Trek: Discovery - Choose Your Pain

Five episodes in and I'm still not sure I like this show. I don't dislike it, but if this was the last episode I saw I wouldn't care. I'm certainly not invested in the overall plot, and I don't particularly like any of the characters. It's kind of like Killjoys in that way. I'll keep watching it but I'd never recommend it to anyone. It's just bland.


Marvel's Inhumans - The Gentleman's Name is Gorgon

I just watched this episode and I can't remember what even happens in it. I think nothing? Everyone's still terrible, Maximus is still right, thyere was a big fight scene and Gorgon died. Oh right, that's something. The big dumb guy who I didn't care about died. He was barely a character, he accomplished nothing, and now he's gone.


Star Trek: Discovery - The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry

Jesus, who came up with that title? That aside, I actually thought this episode was decent. Not particularly memorable, not something I'll watch again, but better than what we've seen so far.


Stargate SG-1: Within the Serpent's Grasp

After last week's waste of time, the final episode (Within the Serpent's Grasp) is actually pretty cool. Aside from the fact that it's a cliffhanger. Don't you hate it when a season ends in the middle of what is essentially a double-length episode? I hate that. It's obviously not the same when you're watching it years later and can just keep going, but when it's first broadcast it means you come into the new season having to try to remember what the hell's going on.


Red Dwarf: Siliconia

If the first episode was mediocre, this one is just bad. And if your assessment of the first episode was less generous than mine, this one's probably enough to put you off watching any more ever again. But here we are, season 12, episode 2, Siliconia. It's not funny, but Chris Barrie gets to show off how good he is at imitating voices, so it's got that going for it.


Marvel's Inhumans - Something Inhuman This Way Comes...

They're really leaning hard into the "Maximus is a terrible person" angle, and I do agree with that, but I still think he's the good guy of the story. Whatever his motives, whatever his methods, he overthrew a tyrant and freed the slaves. Come on. You will not convince me he's the villain here.


Star Trek: Discovery - Context Is for Kings

It's taken two whole episodes to get here, but I think the story's actually starting now. If it had been me, I'd have started it here. Those first two episodes feel like they could have been covered in flashbacks and dialogue without wasting so much time.


Marvel's Inhumans - Make Way for... Medusa

In episode four, some of Maximus's personal motivations come out and he starts to seem like more of a dick - but I'm still on his side, because even if he's doing it for the wrong reasons or going about it the wrong way, he's still doing the right thing. You might not like him at the time, but looking back on it years later you'd have to say he was a hero.

Stargate SG-1: Politics

After such a good run of episodes it all comes grinding to a halt in episode 21 (Politics), which is a clip show. The biggest problem with this episode is that there's actually some plot development setting up the finale so you can't just skip it entirely, but you are going to want to watch it with the remote in hand so you can fast forward all the stuff you've already seen.


Star Trek: Discovery - Battle at the Binary Stars

Episode two is pretty much more of the same, to be honest. It feels like we're still in the prologue and I want them to hurry up and get on with it.


Red Dwarf: Cured

Who still thinks bringing Red Dwarf back is a good idea? Seriously, who? How does this keep happening? When's the last time this show was actually good? 1992? However it happens, it's happened again, and I honestly have no idea if this follows on from the previous season or if they've retconned it again. Who even cares? The crew this time consists of Rimmer, Lister, Kryten and the Cat, because apparently someone thinks there's still something of value to be mined from those four.


Marvel's Inhumans - Divide and Conquer

So this is episode three (or two if you can't the two-parter as a single episode) and it's done nothing to change my opinion of the two sides. The guys I'm obviously supposed to like are still wrong and the guy who's set up as the villain is still right.


Star Trek: Discovery - The Vulcan Hello

I don't really know what to make of this show so far. For a start, I was put off before it even began by the fact that it's set between Enterprise and TOS. I want them to go further into the future, the next next generation if you will. And what the fuck have they done to the Klingons? Why don't they look like Klingons? Why have they got four nostrils? But I'm going to try to have an open mind about it.


Stargate SG-1: There But for the Grace of God

Episode 20 (There But for the Grace of God) continues the run of good episodes. It's one of those concepts that every sci-fi show gets to eventually, but it's pretty much always fun and usually serves a worthwhile purpose - and this is no exception.


Marvel's Inhumans - Behold... The Inhumans & Those Who Would Destroy Us

This is a weird show. In just this first double-episode I'm already on the side of "bad guys". The "good guys" are portrayed as personally nice and the definite underdogs, but Maximus is just right about everything. But the message the show seems to be sending is "know your place and respect your betters".


Stargate SG-1: Tin Man

Well, look at that, it's another good episode! Tin Man (episode 19) is a neat little mystery the first time you watch it and still holds up on repeat viewings as well. It's another case of them establishing some cool aliens that they never really do anything with - they do come back again once, but it really seems like everyone on Earth should be a lot more excited about all this.


Stargate SG-1: Solitudes

Finally! At long last - and it took longer than I remembered - this show actually gets good. Really good actually. Solitudes (episode 18) is one of my favourite episodes of the entire series and even holds up compared with the best of a lot of other shows. Certainly it's enough to remind me why I loved this show.


Stargate SG-1: Enigma

Enigma (episode 17) mostly pretty dull. I can basically tell you the entire plot in one sentence: SG-1 find some technologically advanced humans who won't share their knowledge. That's pretty much all that happens.


Stargate SG-1: Cor-ai

Cor-ai (episode 16) is a Teal'c episode and it's... not bad? There are some annoying things about it, but as far as season one goes it's pretty average.


Stargate SG-1: Singularity

Episode 15 (Singularity) is a bit of a mixed bag. Rather like the last episode, there are some really good ideas in there, but the execution is lacking. We do get a bit of character development and setup for later episodes though.


Stargate SG-1: Hathor

Episode 14 (Hathor) is real dumb, but also pretty essential. There are some great ideas here, but the execution is just, well, dumb.


Stargate SG-1: Fire and Water

Episode 13 (Fire and Water) is not good. Even Bloodlines was better. It's slow, not much happens, and if you skipped it you'd miss nothing. Skip it is my advice.


Stargate SG-1: Bloodlines

Episode 12 (Bloodlines) is a Teal'c episode. You won't know this if you're watching for the first time, of course, but that invariably means it's going to be shit. I don't dislike Teal'c himself mind you, as a character he's fine. It's just that episodes focused on him tend to be bad. He's definitely more of a supporting character. This episode does introduce an important character who'll be showing up a lot more later though.


Stargate SG-1: The Torment of Tantalus

The Torment of Tantalus (episode 11) does push the plot forward a little bit, but it's also kind of a slow, anticlimactic episode, so it's a bit of a mixed bag. Mainly it just feels too long. There's a good story there, but it just doesn't feel like enough for a full episode.


The Rock

I can't tell you how, but I just got access to the secret document that details the names Dwayne Johnson has used and is planning on using for the rest of his career. 1995 to the present is already public knowledge of course, but I've left it in for the sake of completeness.

1995Flex Kavana
1996Rocky Maivia
1997Rocky "The Rock" Maivia
1998The Rock
1999Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
2000 - 2005The Rock
2006 - 2007Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
2008 - 2017Dwayne Johnson
2018Rock "The Dwayne" Johnson
2019Rocky "The Rock" Dwayne Rock
2020 - 2021Dwayney "Dwayne" Johnson
2022 Dwayne "Rocky" The Rock
2023Rocky "Rocky" Rocky
2024 - 2027Rocky "Dwayne" The Rock
2027 - Flex Kavana


Stargate SG-1: Thor's Hammer

I've been pretty critical of the last few episodes, but I actually have some positive stuff to say about Thor's Hammer (episode ten). The main plot doesn't exactly move forward but some interesting pieces are put in place and it's a neat episode.


Stargate SG-1: Brief Candle

Brief Candle (episode nine) is the second in a row that feels like it should have been a Star Trek episode. There's a little bit to tie it to the ongoing plot, but only in a tangential way, and as we approach the halfway point of season one it feels like we haven't really made any progress since the show began.


Scrabble's a fun game

I haven't played Scrabble on Facebook in ages but I thought I'd give it a shot today. And I made someone ragequit. I love when that happens.


Stargate SG-1: The Nox

The Nox (episode eight) is a weird one, but it only becomes apparent how weird it is later on. On its own, this episode doesn't seem particularly significant. There are a couple of reasons to pay attention, but mostly it seems unconnected and meaningless. But later on we'll learn that it actually had much greater significance. Sort of.


Internet trouble

My internet started slowing down and dropping out the other day. I knew what the problem was - the cable from the junction box to my flat is a completely shoddy bit of work and just lying unprotected on the ground. It's been an issue before and even been completely broken (or perhaps cut) at one time. It should have been a simple matter of having a TPG guy come out, test the cable, and fix it. But tech support never makes it that easy.


Stargate SG-1: Cold Lazarus

Episode seven, Cold Lazarus, seems to exist for one simple reason: to fill anyone who didn't see the movie in on Jack's backstory. There's a little bit more to it to keep it interesting for those who already know, but it doesn't tie in to the Goa'uld or have any real repercussions going forward.


Stargate SG-1: The First Commandment

I could pretty much summarise The First Commandment (episode six) in six words: Apocalypse Now on a TV budget. Why does this exist? Were Robert C. Cooper and Dennis Berry just really big fans of the movie? If so, you'd think they'd be less keen to do a shitty rip-off of it. It's a mystery.


Stargate SG-1: The Broca Divide

Before I get into the plot of episode 5 (The Broca Divide) I just want to address a little point they make at the start of the episode about the gate addresses. The last symbol represents the point of origin. How does the destination take six symbols and the origin only one? Maybe there's some mathsy answer to this but it makes no sense to me. Anyway...


Stargate SG-1: The Enemy Within

Episode three (counting the first, double-length episode as two) is The Enemy Within. A few important things get established this episode, the first being the "iris", the metal shield they put over the Stargate to prevent the Goa'uld from just walking into their base any time they feel like it. There's some technobabble explanation, but that's not really important, it's just a door.


Stargate SG-1: Children of the Gods

Stargate was a pretty good movie that came out in 1994. Three years later they decided to make a TV show out of it for some reason. I liked it at the time (or rather, four or five years later when I actually started watching it), so I've decided to go back and give it another look to see how holds up. So far, not well.


Amazon reviews are bullshit

OK, not really. But their system for moderating them certainly is, and that does raise a few issues relating to their accuracy and usefulness. But to get into this properly I'll need to go back to an email I got a few months ago. As happens from time to time, someone asked me to review a shitty book.


Types of Pasta

  • Spaghetti
  • Flat spaghetti
  • Hollow spaghetti
  • Really big, hollow spaghetti chopped up into little sections.
  • Really big, hollow spaghetti chopped up into little sections with a bend in the middle
  • Spirally spaghetti
  • Seashell spaghetti
  • Spaghetti shaped like a bow tie
  • Dinosaur spaghetti
  • Canned spaghetti
  • Big flat sheets of spaghetti
  • Gnocchi


Cardinal and ordinal numbers

11 - oneteen
12 - toovle
13 - threlve
14 - ten-four
15 - filthteen
16 - sextant
17 - seventeen
18 - eaten
19 - nighmpten
20 - tooty
21 - tooty-one
30 - dooty
40 - forty
50 - fighty
60 - sixty
70 - seventy
80 - eaty
90 - ninety
100 - one hundo
358 - three hundo and fighty-eight

1th (wunth)
2ld (tooled)
3st (threest)
4rd (ford)
5el (fivel)
6ed (sixed)
7ch (sevench)
8kt (ached)
9mp (nighmp)
10xt (tenxt)
11th (oneteenth)
12ed (toovled)
13st (threlvest)
14ed (ten-foured)
15el (filthteenel)
16ed (sextanted)
17ch (seventeench)
18ed (eatened)
19nt (nighmptennt)
20xt (tootext)
21th (tooty-wunth)
30xt (dootext)
100st (one hundost)
358kt (three hundo and fighty-ached)


Job application

Client Support Associate (High Impact Role in a Super Fast Growing Media Company)
Looking for an opportunity to get exposure to all parts of a fast growing media company? Want to make an impact, and quickly? Have ideas you`re keen to share? Looking for a mission you can buy into long-term? Willing to work hard and solve problems to make a real difference to education? Answered yes to all or most, then read on!
This is perfect for an applicant with a few years of experience who wants to be excited about going to work. The primary responsibility of the role is client service and support within a varied and fun team. We`re looking for people with customer service, Microsoft Excel, and administration experience. Being a startup, there are plenty of opportunities to hit the ground running and make an impact on our procedures and processes now. Additionally, there is excellent growth potential for the right candidate. 
Our mission is simple: to improve education. But, improving education is hard, so we must continue to build-out a world-class team to pursue the huge opportunities in front of us. 
We`re an Australian, venture-backed edtech startup with global ambitions. We are currently gaining a lot of traction, with hundreds of Australian schools as paying customers. 
We are looking for someone who will be a long-term rockstar within this company; someone who will become integral to our team; someone who is ready to grow and help grow our business. 
An excellent customer service manner is required, as is the ability to think creatively and get things done. We look for problem solvers who are switched on and like a challenge. You will need to be able to integrate seamlessly with our existing diverse and fun team. 
As our client base and office team expand, we have a need for a gun support person to help us `scale up` our processes and client support. You will have the opportunity to work alongside passionate and dynamic people who are changing the way education is delivered in Australia and abroad. 
To be successful in this role, you must have excellent customer service manner - it doesn`t matter how you can demonstrate this. 
The Offer
Excellent career progression within the company for high achievers
Funky office with roughly 50 other great people, in a convenient Fitzroy location
No complex hierarchy or politics
Wear what you want policy
Regular team events, dinners, and drinks

Having been a rockstar for a few years now, and seeking a funky office from which to gain exposure to all parts of a super fast growing media company - yes, all parts - I feel that I could be excited to hit the ground running in terms of customer service and spreadsheets! Like you, I have global ambitions, vague goals and huge growth potential, and so I will be able to integrate seamlessly with any team (provided that they are diverse and fun). I have very little experience with guns, but given the right training I'm sure I could provide support in whatever your plans for "scaling up" may be (press gang?) and until then I look forward to demonstrating my excellent customer service manner through the medium of interpretive dance - I assume that this will not be a problem? I am particularly keen on your "wear what you want" policy as my last employer was quite unreasonable in this regard, insisting that staff wear pants at all times, a policy that I cannot abide.

Yours in anticipation, Mathew Walls.


Fairy Tale: Rapunzel

In being rewritten and retold over the years, fairy tales are adapted and altered “to be more compatible with the ideological views of the audience” (Smith 2015, p. 424) or, because fairy tales are stories for children, the ideological views that the teller wishes to encourage in the audience. Embedding these values in stories makes them memorable and links them to seemingly concrete examples of reward and punishment. It also allows them to slip beneath the notice of otherwise vigilant parents on the basis that these stories are hallowed artefacts of our shared culture.

Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle

Gotham is a 2014 television series developed by Bruno Heller for Primrose Hill Productions, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television. The series takes place in the fictional Gotham city, setting of the Batman comics, movies, etc. (but before the first appearance of Batman himself) and focuses mainly on a young Detective Jim Gordon and on Oswald Cobblepot (better known as the Penguin).

Other characters include the young Bruce Wayne (not yet Batman) and Selina Kyle (not yet Catwoman), and it is these two that this essay will focus on. Bruce has lived a life of comfort and privilege up until the death of his parents, whereas Selina, an orphan, has grown up on the streets, turning to petty crime to survive. Each of them, in their own way, challenges the normal power dynamic between adults and children. Bruce, as the employer of his legal guardian, and Selina because she has no guardian and is in frequent conflict with police and other authorities.


The Best Lasagne

I love lasagne, and I've been making it for years, but I think I've finally figured out the best way to make it. It's not an exact recipe since I tend to just throw things in haphazardly, but it should be a pretty good guide for anyone who wants to make good lasagne.


Best of 2016

As with last year, this is a list of the best media I saw/read/played/heard in 2016, not necessarily stuff that came out in 2016. And I went for five in every category except for TV, because it's my list I can include whatever number I like.