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September 22, 2007

Comments

The difference between ObWings and Unfogged is that a post like this, after nearly 2 hours at Unfogged, would have bearly 100 comments, mainly about the sexual habits of the other posters.

oops "bearly" should be "nearly".

Your life is in your hands.

What, is it 2003 again? I can't relive all that. This story made a big splash in the blogs when it first came out, but it looks like it missed ObWi.

100 comments in 2 hours? I think you're underestimating the U-dariat, Dan. As for the point in the post, IIRC, Gore Vidal put this in the mouth of Martin Van Buren in 1973.

A similar study came out when i was in law school and i remember forwarding it to a friend. I think his response was something, "man, my prostate is going to live forever."

Shoot, better get to work. It's for my health, after all.

Open Thread: Housing Bubble

“The danger was that the sub-prime collapse…”
Mort Kontracke

It’s worse than these people know (or let on to). For every sub-prime loan, there are many highly leveraged investor-owned homes.

Average number of houses built in the 1990s: 100,000/mo.;
Number of foreclosures in July: 168,000;
Number of foreclosures in August: 244,000; plus
People still building new homes because of inertia and economic situation; and
Lending standards reactionary anal;

Supply spikes, demand drops, price drops faster, investors bail, cycle continues, lenders on the hook.

Hello Airstrip One banking issue. Check out the Federal Reserve site re: bailouts (press releases).

Print money, gold up, borrowing costs up, prices rising, no habla ingles- here’s the emergency room bill.

Miniplenty bellyfeel doubleplus ungood.

Dayorder blackwhite reserved for Big Brother.

Blackwhite by others doubleplus ungoodwise.

CAIR blackwhite doubleplus ungood.

Vaporize CAIR.

I like Bill's way of putting it, not that my getting it is equal to Bill's putting, but I aspire.

Regarding the "protective effect was greatest while men were in their twenties"
............. I realize now that my "success"in my twenties at the real thing (success being a highly relative term) may have had long-term negative consequences.

I should have stayed home, instead, and enjoyed the solitary life. Perhaps read more, with frequent pit stops.

Not long ago I read that eating a handful of walnuts daily prevented heart disease so I've been consuming several handfuls a day to make up for lost time.

Does that work here, too?

"It's quaint to recall that, as recently as the early 21st Century, 'wanker' was still considered an insult..."

oops "bearly" should be "nearly".

Depends on the sexual habits of the other posters.

Regarding the "protective effect was greatest while men were in their twenties"

I'm worried that some may read that as number of times a day...

Humans are there to lie prostrate before the Supreme being not sinning to save their mortal organs.

Btw are prostate and prostrate valid alternatives or is the latter just and incredibly common misspelling?

'an' not 'and'

Gee. I was going to make a joke but let's face it, all I've got is a headache.

i remember when this study first came out, my brother raised an important challenge to the methodology:

there's no way they could have found a control group of men in their 20's who masturbate *less* than 5x/wk.

so it really just shows that lying causes cancer.

All war all the time. Tick-tock tick-tock:

A British newspaper said on Sunday Israeli commandos seized North Korean nuclear material in Syria to help secure U.S. approval for an Israeli air strike that destroyed a suspect weapons plant on September 6.

We have to spy on you to protect you:

The U.S. government is collecting electronic records on the travel habits of millions of Americans who fly, drive or take cruises abroad, retaining data on the persons with whom they travel or plan to stay, the personal items they carry during their journeys, and even the books that travelers have carried, according to documents obtained by a group of civil liberties advocates and statements by government officials.

I was going to make a joke but let's face it, all I've got is a headache.

Masturbation fixes those too:

Sexual activity has been reported by a proportion of male and female migraine sufferers to relieve migraine pain significantly in some cases.[9]

"Greensickness" was an identified disease in the 18th century, that afflicted unmarried women. The cure was masturbastion.

(Masturbation, performed by the midwife, was also prescribed as a means of assisting in labor.)

(Masturbation, performed by the midwife, was also prescribed as a means of assisting in labor.)

I've heard that it sometimes helps with menstruation cramps as well.

Actually, Jes, I don't think that it's technically masturbation if it's performed by a midwife. Uh, unless the midwife is performing it on the midwife, that it.

actually, dpu, i'd say it *is* masturbation, and this just shows that masturbation is not the same thing as "self-abuse".

...and this just shows that masturbation is not the same thing as "self-abuse"

As what?

Undoubtedly it says something about the filth level of my mind that I found CharleyCarp's phrasing "Gore Vidal put this in the mouth of Martin Van Buren in 1973" particularly, er, amusing.

I have to say that this whole thread just rubs me the wrong way.

We aim to please, JakeB.

You aim too, please.

Ba-dum bum.

Masturbation is life.Life is masturbation.A mind is a terrible thing.To waste.

I haven't visited this blog in a week or so because we just had our third child. I was thinking about what sort profound insight I would find upon my return. The very first thing I see is a post advocating that I treat my body like an amusement park ride.

Am I dispointed? No.

I'm delighted, because I could never really be trusted to be alone for too long without resorting to a bit of self love. Self love is the first love, after all.

I've always felt that my tender moments with me had some ultimately good purpose. Science is at last beginning to catch up with my personal intuition.

Leave the gloves in the box, Doc. I've taken matters into my own hands.

But of course we fellows still must factor the risk of blindness and madness into the overall health equation, right?

Although I am normally right-handed, I use my left hand. Does that make me strange?

Congratulations on hairshirthebabyest! Best wishes to both parents and elder siblings (it's actually the earliest memory I can date: seeing this little, little baby in a hospital cot and being told: that's your baby sister). Champagne and cookies all round.

Hairshirthedonist: congratulations!

"Although I am normally right-handed, I use my left hand. Does that make me strange?"

No, no, not at all, but it does make you a bit sinister.

Sexual activity has been reported by a proportion of male and female migraine sufferers to relieve migraine pain significantly in some cases.[9]

Isn't that just a little bit ironic?

Congrats, hairshirt.

Jes,

"oops "bearly" should be "nearly".

Depends on the sexual habits of the other posters."

I am willing to venture that very few other posters are willing to get close enough to bears to engage in masturbation with them. If you have experience doing that, and lived to tell the tale, please enlighten us.

Dantheman: well, there are bears and there are bears...

(I'll let someone who knows more about this explain it. Alternately, Google is your friend.)

Dantheman: well, there are bears and there are bears...

Er, yes....

(chuckle, chuckle....)

Perhaps it is a matter of no interest, but I have heard that bears, together with primates (both animal and human, I imagine), are among the few animal species that masturbate as humans do (males, that is). They are in such bliss when they finish that they are bearly conscious.

Presumably,you have to be a handy species. Or pawed, at least. ;-)

(From what I recall of the interesting bits of my biology textbooks, all mammals masturbate, female as well as male... but obviously, not all mammals can do it, well, handily.)

I've seen a male walrus pleasuring himself. Amazing what can be done with just a set of hind flippers.

Did he flip out?

One of the male Beluga whales at the Vancouver Aquarium had an unnatural relationship with a water jet in his pool. It was quite entertaining to watch, particularly in underwater viewing when he would squeegee the windows with his enormous whale, uh, well, um....

These things happen when your dating life is on ice.

But I'm glad to know the fate of his prostate was sealed.

"I've seen a male walrus pleasuring himself."

What was the title of that movie?

"Free Willie II."

I blubbered all the way through that one.

"Debbie Does The Arctic" made me yearn for global warming.

"(I'll let someone who knows more about this explain it. Alternately, Google is your friend.)"

I can't say the subject of bear pr0n interests me much. Bare pr0n, however, is a subject for me and the missus.

I'm trying to provoke 2shoes / spartikus to comment over at TiO by suggesting that librarians have a relatively easy time being degenerates. Can anybody get him over there?

Dutch bears are a force in themselves, though I don't know their position on/in/at masturbation ;)

@obscure - I think that having an orgasm is key

I think that having an orgasm is key

I'm glad I'm not alone in thinking that.

Man, between this and all the medicine I used to take to prevent glaucoma, I'm in pretty good shape.

Man, between this and all the medicine I used to take to prevent glaucoma, I'm in pretty good shape.

I'm willing to settle for the new season of Heroes starting tonight.

See similarly Bridget Fonda in Cameron Crowe's Singles, on responding to sneezes.

And on the subject of relations with bears, or at least people who look like them.

It's a shame I did not meet the woman in question when I was single, as I have at least the fur coat part of it down.

I'll let someone who knows more about this explain it. Alternately, Google is your friend.

Or not. For example, see also (but don't blame me if you do) "goatse". "Bear" is a bit less ... intriguing ... but it's also often NSFW. ("goatse" is DEFINITELY NSFW, and not for the squeamish.)

BTW, the have been several times I let "Google be my friend" and wished quite fervantly that it wasn't QUITE so chummy.

I think that having an orgasm is key

I don't care what anyone says, in my book orgasms make women stronger and men weaker....

And it isn't fair.

God willing, we will prevail in peace and freedom from fear and in true health through the purity and essence of our natural fluids.

Quite possibly my favorite movie line of all time: "I do not avoid women, Mandrake. But I do deny them my essence." I couldn't say why, except that the combination of utter ludicrousness and perfect delivery make it a thing of beauty.

I came quite close to writing this alternative quasi-quote:

It's incredibly obvious, isn't it? A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual, and certainly without any choice. That's the way your hard-core terrorist works. I first became aware of it, during the physical act of love...Yes, a profound sense of fatigue, a feeling of emptiness followed. Luckily I was able to interpret these feelings correctly. Loss of essence. I can assure you it has not recurred. Women...women sense my power, and they seek the life essence. I do not avoid women...but I do deny them my essence.
But I decided this is one of the many cases where less is more, and that the version A was better, so I went with that, instead of this one.

I did have to think about it for at least half a minute, though.

Either way, it seemed like it fitted in just about there.

The whole screenplay, particularly thanks to Terry Southern, and the whole film, are both genius, though; the quotes here are all brilliant, but also only part of what makes the film what it is. Perhaps the most important part, though that's not an important question.

My list of Ten Best Films Ever constantly changes, but Dr. Strangelove is usually on it.

There are quite a few bits of amusing trivia, and anecdotes, here, by the way.

Always like this exchange as well:

President Merkin Muffley: General Turgidson, I find this very difficult to understand. I was under the impression that I was the only one in authority to order the use of nuclear weapons.

General "Buck" Turgidson: That's right, sir, you are the only person authorized to do so. And although I, uh, hate to judge before all the facts are in, it's beginning to look like, uh, General Ripper exceeded his authority.

This is about as far from therapeutic onanism as one can get, but since this is technically an open thread...

Good cause alert here (Reader's Digest condensed version here).

We @ Comments From Left Field would be honoured if the Hivemind and/or any other bloggers here could help out with promotion (and maybe throw in a few bucks).

While I'm at it, another good cause (not entirely unrelated).

mattt--
I donated a small amount. Thank you for bringing it up.

Thank you, JakeB :-)

I mean, you just can't expect a bunch of ignorant peons to understand a machine like some of our boys. And that's not meant as an insult...

Greatest movie of all time.

(I have to admit to some disappointment upon reading from an anthology of Terry Southern's writing last year. Rather a dissolute sort of fellow he was.)

"Rather a dissolute fellow he was.)"

Yup.

But without the total dissolution, he'd have been an oversexed, drunken accountant, maybe. Like Kerouac without a ride. Like Flaubert without his Emma. Like Fyodor thinking Raskolnikov was a little over the top, and he'd better shut up and burn the manuscript. Like Hunter Thompson settling for being the cracked receptionist at a target range.

If the dissolution, not to mention the desolation, had been merely partial, he'd have never written it down.

Cholera outbreak in Iraq spreading

(I contemplated linking this to the topic of the thread with some funny link like Love in the Time of Cholera, and decided that this would take the genius of John Thullen, and there's only one Thullen.)

Like Hunter Thompson settling for being the cracked receptionist at a target range.

That's an inspired image.

If the dissolution, not to mention the desolation, had been merely partial, he'd have never written it down.

Well... if you're saying that great art is exclusively the product of unconstrained excess then I guess I disagree. Not to mention the genius of the Strangelove screenplay relies little on the sort of excess that appears elsewhere in Southern's work.

Have any TC Boyle books been adapted for movies? I can't think of any. Back in the olden days, Cheech and Chong would have been great in an adaptation of "Budding Prospects", which unfortunately wasn't written yet.

Have any TC Boyle books been adapted for movies?

Off the top of my head, The Road to Wellville.

Also, re: yesterday's bleg, in less than 24 hrs, $325 has been raised for Fisher House in honour of Yance Gray and Omar Mora, with several more sites adding their suppport.

Oh, and my desk should come equipped with a pillow. Running a high sleep deficit is impeding my cognitive solvency.

Obscure short film, Chicxulub. It was shown at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2006; shorts tend to be extremely obscure.

This technically isn't an answer to "Have any TC Boyle books been adapted for movies?," since it's adapted from a short story.

Which is, incidentally, generally the only size story truly able to get most of the story into a feature film; novels' stories are almost invariably far too long and detailed, even just plotwise, to fit in a feature, and have to leave a lot of story on the floor, when a film version is done.

To really get most of the plot (and still leave out most of the characters' thinking, and authorial observations, and, obviously, the prose style) of a novel into a movie, it would need to be a mini-series, such as was done with Wouk's Winds of War and its sequel, or with Dickens and PBS, or some other PBS adaptions, although even at 14 hour lengths, these tend to still leave half the book out.

Which is, incidentally, generally the only size story truly able to get most of the story into a feature film; novels' stories are almost invariably far too long and detailed, even just plotwise, to fit in a feature, and have to leave a lot of story on the floor, when a film version is done.

Depends, of course, on the novel. Hunt for Red October worked equally well as a book as a movie, and Gorky Park did as well. The Bond movies may have more information (if differing more and more wildly as the series progressed) than the books.

At least a few of the various incarnations of Austen novels have managed to have most of the story, as well as most of the wit. The success at which they've succeeded depends more on the genius of the creators than the length of the movies.

A deeply introspective or philosophical book is not going to translate well to the screen, nor is a dense book with lots of characters. A book of action translates much better.

"Depends, of course, on the novel."

Of course. Thus my use of the word "generally."

Some novels are -- and this isn't a criticism -- light on plot. (Some have no plot, more or less.)

"A deeply introspective or philosophical book is not going to translate well to the screen, nor is a dense book with lots of characters. A book of action translates much better."

Generally speaking, quite true. There are always exceptions, and, of course, a work in another form is another work, however derivative or inspired or directly adapted.

But generally speaking, if one wants to see all the details of a plot from a novel in a movie, one is apt to be disappointed. Fortunately, plots aren't remotely all that fiction are about.

You can also have a lot of plot, and still have it be largely besides the point; see pretty much every version of The Big Sleep for just one of a zillion examples.

The concept of plot being besides the point goes back at least as far as the Greeks. Aristophenes' plays are about the commentary rather than the plot (or the characters, for that matter). (I'm sure there's some Egyptian heiroglyphics that are snarking on the doings in Karnak, and perhaps there's a cuneiform all about the rediculous manner of the local ruler.)

That terrible voter fraud, and Hans von Spakovsky.

Sure is quiet around here.

(No, I don't actually correct random misspellings or typos without cause.)

So, any comments on Bionic Woman, Reaper, Boston Legal, new Heroes, or the other tv premieres on broadcast American tv?

Good new movies?

I lik teh Cubs, this is the year!

The short story is online, incidentally. I happened across it yesterday after googling for "Chicxulub" when I ran across the name somewhere.

Heroes was a good start. Didn't see Bionic Woman (but have it Tivoed), but Journeyman was really, unexpectedly good.

I've realized that I have something close to almost no tv reception, save for one PBS channel, and a lot of vague shadowy impressions of NBC, CBS, ABC, and that's it, although often a good picture of the CW, alas. And that's it, so it's all DVDs for me, for the moment.

But my impression of the shadow version of Bionic Woman was good. I might have made more of Journeyman with access to stuff like faces, rather than static. The shadow version was unclear.

It's good they put all this stuff out on DVD now, although it's damn frustrating to want to, and fail to find, people to discuss the exciting new shows only after DVD release, I've found. Damnit.

Even though with deleted scenes, it's often the best way to fully be clueful about a show.

I did grow up on broadcast tv, though, and although I love many aspects of DVDs, such as repeatability, subtitles, zoomability, slow motion, subtitles, and so many other aspects of clarity, I do have to say I miss having that old-fashioned thing, free, broadcast, tv.

I'd really like to watch tv without having to wait a year, and see it as part of a monthly charge, squeezed in along with movies and documentaries, etc, at a rate of a handful a month.

I miss those days.

(Six years ago, when I first moved here, one could watch broadcast tv; but year by year, the towers have been taken down, or switched over to digital, so where one could at least watch, a few years ago, the basic CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, and couple of half-channels, and three or four PBS stations, all those towers have since been taken down, or switched, and now it's like above, with nothing. A preview of the total switchover to digital: at this point, there's little otherwise left around here.)

I made several mildly obsessed comments on Heroes here, trying to find return comments. Silly of me, but there we go. Thanks muchly for the comment, Slart.

Oh, and since it's open thread, anyone tried the pc game Medieval II: Total War? Or any of the games in that genre?

TO answer your questions over there at High Clearing, my impression was that Takei was killed by a guy who was either a teleport or something similar: in other words, Takei died, but his assassin didn't.

The Guatemalan (?) woman had powers To Be Revealed Later, although they were obviously fatal to bystanders. I'm guessing she's one of those good guys who just can't control what they're doing. At least she, unlike Sylar, feels remorse.

Yeah, Claire is being careless. I'm thinking, though, what are the odds that she wound up in a high school with another Hero-ish dude, or that said dude would be doing a peeping-tom thing on her?

I'm guessing, here, that Parkman, Suresh and Mr. Bennet are more or less in constant contact, and that Sylar is going to try and access all of the superhumans in the world by watching them home in on the Company.

And of course I'm grateful to Nissan for buying other people's commercials, and substituting their own instead. At least there were fewer, although they were all annoyingly Rogue commercials, and even managed to get a Rogue plug in the show script.

Journeyman was probably hard to understand, just watching the shadow version. It's hard to tell when he's jumped, because sometimes he doesn't know it himself until he's already done it. My wife told me she'd heard it had bad reviews, but it wouldn't be the first time I liked something the reviewers hated.

And of course it's early in the season yet. By the time any creative weakness in Journeyman peter out, maybe Lost will make a comeback.

So, do you have a sucky antenna, or do you think that broadcasting companies just don't bother to do local broadcasts over the airwaves these days, unless it's HD? Or some third or fourth failure?

Or could it be that I only read part of your comment, completely ignoring the bit about digital broadcast?

Maybe I'm on to something, here.

"...in other words, Takei died, but his assassin didn't."

That was my extremely blurry visual impression, but as I've said, my view is impaired until the DVD. Thanks for the testimony.

"The Guatemalan (?) woman had powers To Be Revealed Later, although they were obviously fatal to bystanders. I'm guessing she's one of those good guys who just can't control what they're doing."

Some have suggested some sort of "wonder twins" aspect; I have no idea whether there's any validity to that.

"I'm guessing, here, that Parkman, Suresh and Mr. Bennet are more or less in constant contact,"

Although we've only seen one leg, that seems too clear, and as I noted, jeez, guys, if you're talking to each other on cels, you're incompetent.

That really pissed me off, because, as I wrote, it made HRG seem like a twit.

I just hope the plot redeems him on this later, as is easily done through many twists I can imagine. (:-))

"Yeah, Claire is being careless."

I should mention that few things would be apt to make one more careless, I should think, beyond being, one knows, invulnerable.

(Aside from a pointy stick in a certain brain part, temporarily, so far as we know.)

Beyond, of course, being able to freeze, and travel, through time.

Oh, well, at least Impossible Man, and Molecule Man haven't shown up yet.

(I'm a traditional case of comics collecting of the early Sixties; if my dad hadn't tossed out what I'd had by 1969 or so, by today it would have been worth thousands of dollars, sigh. I had a couple of dozen of Marvel and DC comics from ~1962-66, as well as a smattering of earlier books, at the time. Usual story. But who else remembers stuff like Green Lantern's Tattoed Man?)

Huh. Having now taken the inevitable moment to do the google thing, I have to note how amused I am to state that, in fact, this comic book terrified me when I was four years old.

But, y'know, I was four years old. Or maybe even six or seven. So I'm not embarrassed.

Powerful imagery it was, then.

(Er, well, the concept of ripping stuff off of one's body, that is, out of pure imagination, to attack someone, that is; not the literal sailor thing on the cover; I never found Popeye frightening, at any age. I strongly suspect there are some interior images in the book I could point to as memorable.)

I'll restrain my other primordial comic book memories for elsewhere. (Mordru!)

"At least she, unlike Sylar, feels remorse."

For whatever it's worth, since I'm going through the first season DVDs, in the actual ep that Sylar first shows up, #3, where Mohinder finds his apartment and goes through it, etc., there's a closet filled with nothing more than "forgive me," repeated over and over again.

So Sylar appears to have felt remorse, as was clearly confirmed by the later episode with his crazy mother.

Gary,

Do you have high speed interweb, or just dial-up?

Only dial-up, still, for now.

More is damn expensive, from my perspective.

I should mention that few things would be apt to make one more careless, I should think, beyond being, one knows, invulnerable.

But she's not invulnerable; she could, for instance, be vaporized by a nuclear explosion, which probably would kill the part of the brain that controls self-healing, or whatever. Not that any of that is well-explained in any way. It's obvious that the Haitian fellow can kill her or otherwise nullify her, and it's also obvious that she's terrified of Sylar. In any event, being invulnerable to the extent that she is doesn't immediately lead one into taking staggering risks of having people find out your abilities, on the first day of school. It's not that there's nothing to that idea, just that there were things that she did that were inconsistent with her previous behavior.

So I'm thinking she's tired of the subterfuge, even if subconsciously.

So Sylar appears to have felt remorse, as was clearly confirmed by the later episode with his crazy mother.

Remorse for killing his mother? Sure. Remorse for killing everyone else? I don't see much evidence of that. It's not at all clear what he's asking forgiveness for, or whether that remorse has any sway over his actions when he's, pardon the expression, out of the closet. He's certainly quite deliberate and unremorseful while he's killing people.

I agree with you, Slartibartfast. I thought Journeyman was quite good. Even if you could see it coming, I really liked that touch at the end especially. And when he finds himself in the apartment with Livia--his confusion, desire, and despair somehow conveyed themselves very well (although that may just be good will on my part). No Journey music yet, though, even if it's in SF.

While we're talking about teevee:

I just saw a print ad for Chuck and I finally snapped *ping*. I have *had* it with TV/movies pairing "regular guys" with superhot gals. (and yes, "Knocked Up", I'm looking at you. And "Beauty and the Geek".)

So I wonder -- is it possible to even imagine "regular gal" or even "smart but not good-looking or socially adept gal" with superhot guy, without the guy being a total douche? Is there any example of this besides Ugly Betty? Does it prove the rule?

Showrunners take note: "Ugly Betty" is both popular and critically acclaimed. Almost as though people *want* this sort of thing, even if you basically never give it to them.

Is this all part of the relentless quest for The Lost Demographic of Young Males? Or is it something in the zeitgeist? What do you male-type people think?

and while we're still at it (or I am): though I haven't actually *seen* anything, my livejournal list is insanely huge. My friends (mostly female) report:

new shows:

Chuck: they think is funny & pretty good and they'll watch again.

Journeyman: people are planning to come back next time, but there are serious doubts about whether the characterization will hold up.

Bionic Woman: much more problematic than expected, with too many ill-considered rape metaphors.

renewed shows:

Heroes: much happiness.

House: you loved it or you hated it.

tonight is Smallville, and there's a lot of preemptive drinking going on. However, it's not going to be able to beat the reaction to the SciFi Movie "Highlander: The Source", which stimulated alcoholism worldwide.

Doctor S.--
I'm afraid I don't know, personally. I have a couple of mostly-related thoughts, though. Stories in which handsome man eventually settles on physically plain woman frequently have a sort of bildungsroman aspect to them, I think; that is, once the man grows up enough to see the beyond the veil of Maya, he sees the inner beauty of the woman. I suppose _Jane Eyre_ is one of the earliest versions of this. Another case is Edgar Pangborn's great historical novel _The Wilderness of Spring_. Hell and breakfast, I had another in mind but can't remember it now.

In any case, a confounding factor is the general goodlookingization of young women on TV. I was reminded of this when I happened to see a bit of an Inspector Lynley episode on BBC. The actress who play Havers is quite cute, I'd say, and even though I stopped reading Elizabeth George 10 years ago, I still remember Havers being described in the books as looking something like a bulldog.

"But she's not invulnerable; she could, for instance, be vaporized by a nuclear explosion, which probably would kill the part of the brain that controls self-healing, or whatever. Not that any of that is well-explained in any way."

No, it isn't, and despite the silly web diaries, and the alleged intro from Chandra Suresh's book, etc., which only make matters worse. I've been thinking that classic Marvel/DC comics, in the 40s/50s/60s, despite the small bow to realism of Stan Lee's introduction of heros with flaws, families, anxieties, and normal lives, nonetheless lived in a relatively overt fantasy universe. Despite Reed Richard's use of pseudo-science babble, the fact was that the physics was on the level of Thor hurling his hammer and being pulled along by it, and that was that. It was clearly not our universe, as was then endlessly demonstrated by endlessly more introductions of impossibilities.

But Heroes distinctly tries to suggest it's in our world, with this one particular magic change.

Except that it's not one magic change. To accomplish the demonstrated powers, it would seem to be necessary to change all sorts of physical laws, it seems to me, and the babble about DNA doesn't cut it.

So Heroes seems to be trying to exist in a universe just next door to ours, while actually being a place where, it appears, and I'm afraid, that almost anything can happen, due to no true underlying logic.

Which is a real dramatic taker-of-the-oxygen-out-of-the -room, as a rule. When anything can happen, suspense has exited.

I know they're trying to maintain some internal logic, but I'm not really satisfied by what I've seen.

Maybe I've just not studied it hard enough.

Anyway, yeah, Claire isn't totally invulnerable.

"...and it's also obvious that she's terrified of Sylar."

Sure, but her feelings and her actual vulnerability are different. Though presumably if Sylar knew her vulnerability, he could stab her in the back of the head via telekinesis with any convenient pointy object.

"So I wonder -- is it possible to even imagine 'regular gal' or even 'smart but not good-looking or socially adept gal' with superhot guy, without the guy being a total douche?"

But almost everyone on dramatic network tv is ultra-pretty, including, of course, the plain or "ugly" ones.

I share your frustration, needless to say.

"tonight is Smallville"

Huzzah. Martian Manhunter needs his own show. :-)

Although speaking of shows filled with pretty people....

Sure, but her feelings and her actual vulnerability are different.

Didn't we see Sylar killing her in the flashforward episode?

Alas, I've been watching other stuff (Dancing with the Stars being a big chunk -- 4 hours over 3 days), so haven't yet seen Chuck or Reaper (taped) or Heroes (waiting for the Sat. repeat). I saw a bit of Bionic Woman and wasn't impressed enough to watch more, although if I'm there when my girlfriend watches, I'll see more).

Enjoying K-Ville for what it is, instead of trying to make it into something it's not.

"Didn't we see Sylar killing her in the flashforward episode?"

Which episode? (If it was in the first episode of the second season, as I said, I pretty much wouldn't know, thanks to my next-to-nonexistent tv reception, a concept -- not having cable tv -- I realize is kinda old.)

But "the flashforward episode," given that we've had 23 episodes, isn't exactly specific, since they've all had flashforwards and flashbacks. Sheesh.

But "the flashforward episode," given that we've had 23 episodes, isn't exactly specific

My apologies. I was referring to episode 20 of season 1, "Five Years Gone", which takes place (for the most part) five years in the future.

Have there really been that many flashforwards? I don't recall any others offhand.

"Have there really been that many flashforwards? I don't recall any others offhand."

I over-stated, but I was thinking of Hiro's travels.

And Isaac's visions. Both pretty much in every episode.

Update on the TeeVee buzz:

"Big Shots": several people watched it because they are fans of one or more of the actors. No-one made it to the end of the episode. Not just a horrible, offensive misogynist premise, it's badly-done, too.

"Reaper": everyone likes so far.

"Dirty Sexy Money": I can't tell much except that Peter Krause makes my friends happy.

"Gossip Girls": moderately appalling, a guilty pleasure even for those who are liking it.

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