Monday, June 30, 2008

Full Circle and Beyond

Well, I've finally come full circle in my exposure to Dr. Who and gone a few episodes beyond. I had heard about Dr. Who, of course, and was vaguely familiar with the character from the first incarnation of show, but had never watched it, neither the original series or the new series. Then one day I watched this clip on a scifi blog:

I thought that David Tennant was pretty funny in the clip and decided that I would give the show a try. A colleague told me that the SciFi channel was going to be running a marathon of the first season of the new incarnation of Who and that I should start there so I gave it a try.

I actually quite liked Christopher Eccleston as The Doctor and thought that there was a good dynamic between him and Billy Piper as Rose. My favorite Eccleston episode is the two parter, "The Empty Child" and "The Doctor Dances".

When Tennant took over at the beginning of season 2 it was a little difficult getting accustomed to the new Doctor. If nothing else, Tennant is just a little harder to understand at times than Eccleston was. But also, I never really liked the dynamic between the 10th Doctor and Rose. It just didn't seem to play as well it had with Eccleston. And in fact, I like Martha better than Rose in general, I think. But I will say, that my favorite Tennant episode so far is "The Girl in the Fireplace", but that was because I thought he played exceptionally well with his then-girlfriend, Sophia Miles.

I hated that they had Martha leave at the end of season 3, but I'm glad that they wrote in her leaving in the way that they did. It preserved the strength that I felt they had given the character to that point, and it makes it possible for her to have guest appearances in the future without the creepiness that went along with Rose's reappearance at the end of "Partners in Crime".

So anyway, I've made it full circle. I started with "Timecrash" and have finally made it back around to "Timecrash" in sequence after the last episode of season 3. I've watched a little into season 4 (I've seen through "The Planet of the Ood") and I'm not sure yet how I'm going to feel about Donna. She's a little annoying, but I'm reserving judgment at this point.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

On lying

Recently I've been thinking a lot about lying and why people seem so inclined to do it. Now, of course, I've lied, everybody has, but I just seem to be surrounded lately by instances where people want to lie and or hide the truth from people close to them. In some cases I've understood the motive, and in other cases, not so much. Plus, I have been lied to so incredibly much in my life that I have learned to greatly despise the practice and have a very low tolerance for being knowingly lied to by the people I voluntarily associate with.

So this morning I decided to do a Google search on why people lie. I found an article that I thought was interesting and somewhat helpful called "Why We Lie" from Apparently one of the main reasons that people lie is because of self-esteem issues. That sounds pretty reasonable to me. I did find this statement in the article particularly interesting:
Men lie no more than women, but they tend to lie to make themselves look better, while women are more likely to lie to make the other person feel better.
And there was also this statement, which to some degree I already knew:
humans are wired to deceive both themselves and others, researchers say. People are so engaged in managing how others perceive them that they are often unable to separate truth from fiction in their own minds
Very interesting. But then again, as a social scientist, I've always been very interested in what people do and why they do it. I've always been a people watcher, that is what drew me to the social sciences in the first place. I'm not really good at interacting with people, but I love to watch and study them.

So anyway, my minimal amount of research has led me to the conclusion that I will probably never obtain the truth that I so desperately wish to know. The person in question is probably incapable of being honest enough with himself to give me an honest answer to my questions if I ever got the chance to ask them. I guess I am just left to form my own conclusion and go on with my life, but I hate having unanswered questions floating around in my mind. Anyone who truly knows me knows the truth in that statement.

Dealing with what we own

One of today's quotes on my iGoogle homepage really struck home with me this morning. It is particularly appropriate considering how I have been spending most of my summer vacation so far. The quote is from John Ruskin and it says:
Every increased possession loads us with new weariness.
For the past month and a half I've been trying to cull through all the accumulated junk in our shed and in the children's rooms to try to make room for my eldest son to return home after a year of dorm life. It is amazing to me how much stuff a family of 5 can accumulate and hold onto over time. As I look through the piles and piles of old toys (many never really played with beyond the opening at Christmas and some never even opened!) I begin to realize the opportunity cost associated with so much stuff. And I being to look at possession in something of a different light. Do you say to yourself "I might as well keep it," or "It's a good price, I might as well buy it" or should you say, "What am I ever going to do with this?" or "Where am I going to put this?" I find myself realizing that we do become wearied and weighed down by our possessions. Sometimes I think it is true that less is more.