Star Wars / The Muppet Christmas Carol / Prometheus / Villains

Star Wars (1977)

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It’s probably a bit heretical of me to give this anything less than five stars, but let me try to explain.

As with many nerds of my generation, Star Wars was one of the films — if not the film — that made me want to be a storyteller myself. I clearly remember an early encounter with it in the basement of a friend’s house when I was probably six or seven. The original trilogy as well as the first two prequels would go on to leave a major formative stamp on my imagination.

And I still love Star Wars


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There’s a strong impulse among conservative Christians in America (or in the “western” world generally, insofar as such a designation even means anything anymore) to bitch about how persecuted they are. Such bitching isn’t entirely baseless, of course — but it’s bitching nonetheless. And I’m a little perplexed by how prevalent it is, because it really strikes me as contrary to the fundamentals of the Gospel.

The more things change, the more they stay the same

By “bitching,” I mean complaining that is 1) shared among members of an aggrieved group, 2) seldom if ever actually addressed to the parties responsible for said grievance (and on the rare occasions that…


continued from Part 1

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“Are you just gonna vacuum it all up?” Cheyenne demanded. Daryl — according to the embroidered patch on his blue collared shirt — just blinked at her for a moment before responding.

“Uh, I mean yeah, that’s basically the procedure,” he faltered.

“Ok, but see, that’s what we did yesterday,” she pressed.

“Uh, I…” He turned and looked down at the pool as if to make sure it was still there. “What do you mean?”

“I mean it was full yesterday, we sucked out all the water with a shop-vac, and now it’s full again.”

“You…


Not necessarily going for spooky in this one — but weird and maybe a bit otherworldly? For sure.

CW — language, oblique sexual references

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I stepped outside this morning to discover what appears to be a tide pool in our front yard. It definitely wasn’t there the last time I walked out to my car — i.e., yesterday morning — and as far as I can tell, it had no business being there at all. …


The Hobbit (the old one) / Iron Man 2 / Baskin

THE HOBBIT (1977)

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I watched this movie many times as a kid, which I think explains a lot. It’s very pretty, very strange, very ’70s. Per their usual MO, Rankin and Bass bring their weird little vision to life with painterly animation, wonderful voice performances and unsettling character design pretty much across the board.

Thanks to the demands of broadcast schedules and kids’ attention spans, it blasts through Tolkien’s story at a bonkers pace. Don’t look to it for a religious translation of the book; instead this is more of a… funky aesthetic reprocessing of it. Sometimes to great effect.

For example, Andy…


Cronenberg, Lynch and Theology of the Body (Horror)

I expend a lot of mental energy trying to reconcile my love of horror with my Catholic faith. If you are Catholic yourself, or Christian of any stripe, you can probably appreciate the problem. If not, let me spell it out real quick: Christianity (broadly speaking) advocates faith, hope and love, and extols us to foster such virtues within ourselves, at least in part, by focusing our attention on them and their objects. And horror, at least superficially, is pretty antithetical to such wholesome food for thought.

Perhaps my attempt at reconciling the two is a fool’s errand. But I…


– Continued from Part 1

CONTENT WARNING — language, mental illness, drug abuse

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As I said before, the company I work for makes medical equipment, so that means a lot of mechanical and computing parts coming in and going out. Drugs and medication aren’t really part of the equation. And since we’re a small-ish company, receiving and fulfillment both go through the same warehouse. …


Heathers / Monsters University / Sweetheart

HEATHERS (1988)

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“Whether to kill yourself or not is one of the most important decisions a teenager can make.”

This absurd line, given by an absurd character, was the point where Heathers suddenly clicked into place for me. If you can see the humor in it, then you can see the humor in the movie as a whole. If not, then… ooof.

It gives a gleeful middle finger to the other teen dramedies of its era, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it still pretty much does the same thing to the same sorts of movies today. It’s witty, caustic…


For those of you familiar with the NoSleep subreddit, this is the first part of a short story that I put up there a while back. For those of you not familiar with it, just know that this is a more horror-leaning story.

CONTENT WARNING — language, mental illness

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Do you ever wonder why you’re feeling a certain way? Like, you feel way more sad or freaked out or pissed about something than you should? I dunno, maybe that’s me right now. Maybe I’m more freaked out than I should be. I don’t know that anything technically illegal or even…


The following is the transcript, edited for syntax and brevity, of a lecture originally titled “How Cells Socialize: What Our Biology Can Teach Us About Politics,” given by Dr. Marty Windisch on March 12, 2019 at TEDxSpokane.

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About six months ago, I received a small package at my office in the biology department of Eastern Washington University, where I am an associate professor. It wasn’t postmarked, suggesting that someone had dropped it off there in person. Inside were a typed letter and two tiny glass vials, one containing a deep red liquid and the other a clear, somewhat viscous one.

James Powers

“Concepts create idols; only wonder grasps anything.”

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