Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Carl, Stay Back

As an avid viewer and fan of The Walking Dead, I was bound to get onto the topic of Carl Grimes, and the fact that so many people just want Carl to stay in the house, stay back, get back, keep the door locked, etc.

There is plenty of criticism online from bloggers, article writers, people interviewed for news and entertainment bytes - all about The Walking Dead character, Carl Grimes and his penchant for getting into sticky, dangerous situations because he wanders off or won't stay in the house.

I've read blog posts where the writers call even the writers/creative team, producers and directors of TWD show awful names because the latter should never have written/presented Carl's character that way.

  • Carl's antics and wanderings caused another (crowd/viewer favourite) character's death
  • Carl running off/disappearing is always causing stress in other characters
  • Carl disappearing has caused other people to abandon current important projects/work in order to go look for Carl
  • Worrying about Carl, not trusting him to stay put and follow directions, constantly grates at other characters' attention spans when they need to focus on safety and more important matters

By contrast, I have loved what writers/creators of the show have done with the Carl Grimes character. As I watched and proceeded through all of the episodes, from season one to the last season, I kept thinking, "Yeah, a kid would do that - wander off, explore."  (Let us not forget that Carl showed up a time or two when and where he wasn't supposed to be and saved other characters).

At times, particularly early on in the series, Carl hasn't quite understood his strengths and weaknesses, primarily assuming that he can handle much more than he actually can. How natural is this in a kid? I think all kids go through stages of overestimating their skills, underestimating risk and danger.

I'm glad the people who create and produce TWD have allowed Carl to have so many flaws, make so many mistakes, tick off so many adults and even viewers. This has all made his character changes really stand out. Carl could have been pushed to the sidelines much more in this show, one of the most violent shows on television. Carl could have been another cardboard kid character, just present as a character accessory to Rick Grimes, to prove that Rick was once a family man before the Zombie Apocalypse hit. Instead, Carl has become an integral and really important member of the survivor group he's in, including resorting to violence when that is needed - even from someone who is still technically a KID.

Okay, so Carl isn't a GREAT KID, not a perfect kid - he wasn't in the beginning of the series, either. Not being perfect made him seem so real, quite normal, as far as children go. (Children make MISTAKES all the time in real life). As the series has progressed, Carl has re-formed with a few holes, gaps and breaks in his general make-up, but then, this has happened with everyone/character in the show.

My biggest question (to those upset with TWD for Carl's actions and character) is this:

Did you think this show was going to be Little House on the Walking Dead Prarie?

To sum up, I think we're seeing, in Season 4 and 5, a Carl who has learned some hard lessons, partly from previous mistakes of his own, and he's grown into a kickarse character that more viewers respect. By Seasons 4 and 5, Carl can take care of himself in about as many situations as the adults can.

It's New Years Eve day 2014 and the new TWD shows won't start up again for several weeks, so I'll be off now to watch TWD past episodes and take another look at Carl, who won't stay back, won't stay in the house, keep the door locked, and who now kicks zombie arse!

Leaving you with a vid I found, a parody... there are a few bad words, but I'm sure you can handle 'em:

Enjoy the show once it is back on in a few weeks...

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Review of The Grimm Brothers' Home Page

Earlier today I uploaded my own work on the Scribd site - an article on research tools for The Brothers Grimm tales at the University of Pittsburgh's "Grimm Brothers' Home Page."

In reviewing this page, I'd like to say that you shouldn't be turned off the site by its appearance:

It's not a pretty portion of the University of Pittsburgh website, but I think if you're interested in good content and scholarly work, you'll get a lot out of the Grimm Brothers' Home Page.

While there are some dead links among the many awesome resource links found on this page, the articles connected with these dead links might simply be in the process of being updated. I've known of and used this section of the U of Pitt's website for quite a long time (a few years) and in the past, I know I've accessed and read articles from pages/links that didn't work when I visited just today to compose searches and write a review article on this content.

I've decided to post this information to my blog because, although folklore, fairy tale and fable hunters and readers might already have heard that Grimm's material is on the U of Pittsburgh's website, the information isn't that easy to find when you just hit the main University site page! In fact, I was going to include a link navigation pathway tutorial in my article but I clicked around with ZERO success for several minutes, so I thought the tutorial might take longer to write than a review article! (haha).

I'll try to keep this post short. You can read the article via embedded Scribd (the article I just uploaded to the Scribd site):

And I'll try to just add a few more details NOT COVERED in the Scribd document...

Since this is basically a review of the Grimm Brothers' Home Page - not the "info-article" on resources for researching Grimm tales (which is more what the Scribd article is about), I'll say again in a slightly different way, don't be turned off or turn away from the looks of the Grimm Brothers' Home Page. It's a little index of gold on Grimm topics and information. It just happens to look, well... really junky, sorry to say. In fact, I really hate the appearance of the page, myself, but I return to that section of the U of Pittsburgh's site ALL THE TIME, approximately 10 times per month for the last few years!

A great many Google searches on "Grimm" scholarly topics will lead you to the same section I'm reviewing, which is how I have managed to navigate to find the gems of Grimm info, myself. I bookmarked the page long ago and suggest that you do the same. I'm sure this section of the U of Pitt's site looks this way because not much time has been put into making a flashy page - while most of the time has been dedicated to providing sound information, links, and content on this page. That's the main thing, in my opinion, as when I want to find out what tale type a certain Grimm tale is, I want to be able to find, in rather plain language, the information I'm looking for on the U of Pitt pages.

Use link below - check out Grimm tales and information on folklore, fairy tales, fables, tale types, etc:
 Grimm Brothers' Home Page (U of Pittsburgh)

If you want to make your visit more interesting, I don't know if you can in a visual sense, but you can try whistling the Close Encounters of the Third Kind theme while you browse if that helps.  That's what I do !


As far as attractiveness goes, the page is a low 3 or 4 out of 10, in my opinion, but for content, I'll rate this section of the university website a solid 9 out of 10 (some links don't work).

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Full Movie, The Last Man On Earth (1964)

In 1954, a little sci-fi novel was published, written by Richard Matheson. The novel was called, "I am Legend," for which a modern movie has also been made, starring Will Smith in the primary character/survivor role.

Well before the movie with Will Smith in it, "The Omega Man" was made (starring Charlton Heston, in 1971), based on the same written piece, but even before THAT movie, the novel was adapted for film as "The Last Man On Earth," about a decade after the book appeared in print.

The movie, The Last Man On Earth (1964): Enjoy!

Matheson helped write some of the screenplay for the movie but apparently was not truly pleased with how the piece was working out, so he requested to be listed under a pseudonym when the film was finished and released. Mind you, this tidbit comes to be from reading up on this film on Wikipedia and this "fact" isn't supported by any citation, so I'm putting it forward just as something to consider. (*Note: if anyone can find an interview where the write has actually stated that he didn't like the screenplay writings, please let me know and I'll post an update). Look for Matheson credited as "Logan Swanson" in the credits.

The Last Man On Earth (1964) Trailer

I know nowadays, we've got Rage Virus, T-Virus and World War Z Swarming Zombies to worry about. These are scary beyond belief and almost beyond our human and tech abilities to fight off, at least in our nightmares if not in real life - however...

I want to slow down the pace, focus on atmosphere and an old movie called, The Last Man On Earth from 1964, featuring Vincent Price as the last survivor left on Earth.

And I mean - THE OLD MOVIE, The Last Man On Earth because this story is so great, (originally an adaptation of Richard Matheson's Science Fiction book, "I am Legend") that many movies and other works have been spawned from this general unnerving apocalyptic tale.

The great things about this old tale on film are: Vincent Price (as Dr. Robert Morgan, scientist), camera panning, eerie old music, and the film makers managing to show a starkness of life and an atmosphere of emptiness for Price to wander around in.

Sorry special effects lovers and people who like to watch stuff BLOW UP and go "POW" and "Ga-BOOM," but this isn't going to happen when you're watching THIS old movie.

What should happen, if you're paying attention, however, is that you'll "get" the creepiness of solitude and start to worry about scientist, Robert Morgan's state of mind (Vincent Price). Maybe you'll start to imagine what YOU would do if you were in Dr. Morgan's situation - and in doing so - maybe you'll start to learn the limits of human existence and really understand how we are really fragile of mind, as humans, and absolutely require relationships and other human beings in order to exist with meaning and purpose in our lives.

Check out the trailer - it's a good, ten minute preview of what you'll get to see once I get the next post finished and am able to upload the whole movie (it's in the public domain).

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Chinese Whispers Game

You may not immediately recognize this game by it's title, The Chinese Whisper Game, however, most people have played a version of this game.

It starts with having several people in a circle or line and a sentence or idea composed of a few words is whispered (just once!) by the first person in the circle or line. Each person after repeats, in a whisper, the content heard by the person who whispered to them. The last person, having no-one to whisper the message to, announces, for all what he/she heard, what the statement is at the end of the circle/line. The last person's statement is compared to the first person's whisper and almost always, the sentence/idea is different between the first and last person. Often, when comparing the sentences/ideas, the difference is so great that the result is very funny and players of the game get a big chuckle out of participating in the game.

The video below shows an example of how The Chinese Whisper Game works:

I've mentioned this game on the Urban Legends, Folklore, Myths and Fairy Tales blog because the process and results of this game are very similar to how urban legends work, get passed around, get altered in the telling of tales. As well, Folklore, Myths and Fairy Tales can be changed in a sort of Chinese Whispers Game process.

For those who hear urban legends, particularly macabre and weird tales, and who wonder, "how can this story survive when it seems so unbelievable and ridiculous, so macabre and weird?": well the tales survive because people will pass on details, anyway, if they fit a sort of format. Tales are longer than phrases usually used in any Chinese Whisper Game, but people will pass tales, anyway in the urban legends, folklore, myths, and fairy tales formats because they heard the tale from someone else... weirdness, inconsistencies, obvious blunders can be re-told with the common story-telling statement "this is how I heard the tale."

Sometimes by leaving something spectacular, unbelievable, etc., in a tale, those passing the tale along do so with the intention of leaving a tale intact as it was heard by the tale-teller before... Humans have a need to try and preserve "what came before," and are interested in historical details, nostalgia, remembering, ancestors, etc. We like to be linked to the past as it makes us feel like we belong in the present - but "links to the past" is a whole study and article in itself, so I won't go into this concept further here... It's just helpful to know that stories change with the story tellers and cultures where the tales are being told.

Try this game with some friends and see what happens, how an original statement or phrase changes by being shared with 5-10 people!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Ivan Sanderson's Research - Undervalued, Often Omitted

Something I've learned in a decade or so of delving into Fortean matters is that many Forteans are shunned by mainstream science. In fact, their theories are often pushed right under the rug.

Mainstream science has pretty much validated, in the past few decades, that strange things happen in the Bermuda Triangle - missing aircraft, boats and submarines or the pilots and steersmen of these vessels returning with time lag discrepancies and extraordinary tales of strange experiences. While yet unexplained (sort of - there are "theories" around...), most people - many scientists included - cannot fail to account for the fact that there are so many unexplained events in the Bermuda Triangle region of our globe.

Enter - the theories of Ivan T. Sanderson - which have been floating around but batted away by popular and mainstream science. Sanderson's theories have been around for decades and decades. Sanderson died in 1973, so we can safely assume we're almost FORTY YEARS BEHIND in following up on things he said, studied, wrote, etc.

Now, Sanderson wasn't just some guy who got into unexplained topics and learned "in the field" about things (some Forteans and paranormal researchers ARE filled with knowledge based on just self-study and experience in the field). He held a BA and two MA's from Cambridge University - in the fields of Zoology (BA), Geology and Botany (MA's). This was a guy with feet planted firmly into Science - yet his name isn't very well known unless a person happens to be delving into less popular topics and things the institution of Science calls "pseudo-science."

Very late in his work and life, not long before he passed away, Sanderson put out some of what many Forteans consider absolutely important and pivotal articles (in 1972) based on his research of "vortices" (plural of vortex-es). Sanderson had spent a great deal of time and effort to go into Naval records and Aircraft accident/disappearance records and plotted the events on a map. Almost everything he could get his hands on regarding ship, submarine and plane disasters, disappearances, strange sightings in the air or over water occurred in twelve regions across the globe.

If the map with Sanderson's plotted points is stretched out end to end, the regions (vortices) are in perfect geographical alignment. TWO of the vortices are smack dab at what is called the Devil's Triangle and an even better known area, The Bermuda Triangle. Also, without manipulating any maps of the globe, spreading them out or anything, the vortex points plotted around the globe make a perfect geometrical shape called a icosehedron. This is a 20 sided polyhedron. Gamers would know this as a 20-sided dice shape and may have used such a piece for Dungeons and Dragons and similar games.

The point here is... there isn't altogether as much "mystery" to the Bermuda Triangle as we might think - or at least we no longer have to question steps or stage 1 of "I wonder if something weird is going on in this whole area." (YES already!). Sanderson has mapped out some very important information so these regions of the globe can be studied in greater detail.

There are strange properties in all these vortices (I wonder if they're all, in part, gigantic "fear cage" regions where the magnetic and topographic effects of the region cause the human brain to work differently - as well as magnetic and electronic based equipment on ships and aircraft - just my thoughts). Sanderson's starting point for plotting events on the map was "strange events, accidents, crashes." Basically he started with mapping "weird shyt." However, many scientists are STILL RUNNING AROUND, asking, "is something weird going on?" and still trying to count events and find the same areas geographically that Sanderson plotted almost a full forty years ago!

This research (Sanderson's) has been largely ignored and certainly hasn't been given out to the general public in a "matter of fact" way. THIS SHOULD BE COMMON KNOWLEDGE (and OH, How this, as common knowledge would cut down the crap in beginner's threads of paranormal, science, paranormal and unexplained forums - Hallee-loo-yah!). A lot of mystery and unknowns still surround the Bermuda Triangle but I am weary of hearing - on mainstream science shows on television and what-not, "I wonder if something in the Bermuda Triangle is like a portal or something."

A-hem... Hello!   :)

YES... at the Bermuda Triangle and 11 other known locations of the globe, there are vortices and STRANGE THINGS HAPPEN in those locations that we need to focus on and study. We no longer have to wonder if something strange is a-foot and need to stop trying to take a tally of things in the Bermuda Triangle, move to the next stage of discovery, research, observation and, unfortunately, spending some money to send willing researchers and scientists there.

Just my li'l Fortean rant for today.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Where Did The Visitor From Lanulos Go?

Back in the mid to late 60's a widespread UFO flap happened in the U.S.A. (well, waves of them happened, actually). During the midst of a flap in late 1966, near a town called Parkersburg in West Virginia, a strange being came down out of the sky and out of a weirdly shaped craft - to speak at the side of a roadway (I-77) to one, Mr. Woodrow Derenberger.

The entity gave his name as Indrid Cold. He told Derenberger he was from Lanulos, a planet in the Ganymede galaxy. He told Derenberger that Lanulos was similar to Earth - in that they both have flora, fauna, and different seasons. He also conveyed that there is no poverty, misery, or hunger on Lanulos and that life expectancy is 125-175 years on his planet, as measured in Earth years.

More strangely, when Derenberger came forth with his story, he said the information and conversation didn't happen by way of regular speech. It was a telepathic communication between himself and Mr. Cold!

Source: The Mothman Prophecies (Chapter 5) by John A. Keel

This story didn't end here, however, it became largely unpopular and went out of the attention of mainstream sources. Derenberger was heavily ridiculed after he disclosed details of his experiences. He moved his family a few times to try and get away from nosy and opinionated people, experienced a series of harsh phone calls and other discomforting things that only a non-empathetic public and insensitive groups of people can do to fellow humans. Ultimately the negative attention caused a split in the family and Derenberger lost his wife and kids - only one of whom (his daughter but not his two sons) has come forward in recent years to update or make any statements on this story.

An article with more details on Derenberger and his claims: Indrid Cold

Derenberger died in 1990 and his daugher, Taunia Bowman , has since revised his book, Visitors From Lanulos (originally published, and publishing paid for by Derenberger, in 1971), added some statements and changed some names at the request of other family members.


About Derenberger's claims, Taunia has said (in News and Sentinel article June 11, 2011), that she accepted her father's story and had an open mind. She felt that he talked to her about the Indrid Cold/Lanulos topics because he felt he COULD talk to her about it (while he couldn't speak to very many other people, especially the rest of his family about these things).

My final thoughts are that it's a shame that Derenberger was ostracized, ridiculed, to the point of a family split. I am glad that Taunia Bowman, at least, reconciled and spent time with her father so that he didn't miss out on all his family relationships.

Mr Derenberger seems to be the only one who had experiences with Indrid Cold, so now that Derenberger is gone, it looks like there is little hope of understanding the whole Indrid Cold phenomenon better (unless Taunia Bowman still has points to disclose).

It seems the visitor from Lanulos simply is no more.