Thomas Galvin
Purveyor of Fine Pulp Fiction

It's the very best kind of wrong ...

This Week on the Web is chock full of vampire goodness, plus Google Wallet, a series of increasingly insane letters from the Netflix CEO, Cat Voltron, sixteen things you need to know about atheists, and more!

Pay Attention to Me!

Vampire Diaries – S03E01 – The Birthday: My Vampire Diaries recap.

TVD Season 3 Questionnaire Extraordinaire: I was recently part of a roundtable discussion on our hopes for the upcoming season of That Show About Vampires That’s Still Good.

The Secret Circle – S01E01 – Pilot: My Secret Circle recap.

The entryway nobody uses as an entryway: The Fiancee’s expose on our… antechamber? Boot room? I have no idea what this area should be called.

Vampire Diaries Roundup

Guest Post: A TVD Season 3 Pre-Cap: Brian in Shortsville gives us his script-style wish-list for Season Three.

Price Peterson interviews Julie Plec: Now that TVD is back on, Price and I can resume our torrid man-love-affair. Oh, and Julie talks about vampires or something.

Price Peterson’s recap – Follow @pricepeterson on Twitter’s recap – Follow @tvdnews on Twitter

Carina Adly MacKenzie’s recap – Follow @cadlymack on Twitter

Cindy McLennan’s recap – Follow @CindyMcLennan on Twitter

Off Color TV’s recap – Follow @offcolortv on Twitter

Entertainment OCD’s recap for The Voice of TV – Follow @entertainocd and @thevoiceoftv on Twitter

Lee MacOdrum’s recap for The Televixen – Follow @leemacodrum and @thetelevixen on Twitter

The Salvatore Boarding House’s recap – Follow @theSBH on Twitter

First Novel’s Club recap – Follow @frankiediane on Twitter

Vampire legal issues redux: Okay, just how the hell did Klaus make it into Alaric’s apartment again? (via Jenny Morgan)

So… that’s a lot of recaps! But is there anyone else I’m missing? If you know of a recap I should be linking to each week, feel free to leave a comment, or drop me a note.

Secret Circle Roundup

Secret Circle Coven’s recap – Follow @TSC_Coven on Twitter

It’s Lexi’s recap – Follow @itsslexi on Twitter

If you guys are interested in more TSC recaps, let me know, and if there’s one I should be linking to, leave a comment or send a note.

Pop Culture

Why this was the worst season of True Blood ever: And how the show can be saved.

First look at Johnny Depp on the Dark Shadows set: WTF indeed.

Twilight: Breaking Dawn trailer: I have to say, hearing Edward Cullen complain that Bella has given him “no choice” is goddamn hilarious.

CW may reboot Beauty and the Beast: The original starred Sons of Anarchy‘s Ron Pearlman. Not gonna lie, I’d probably watch this one.

The Absolute Insane Trailer for The Raid: Another entry in the “parkour-juitsu” genre, it seems.

Ghostbusters coming back to theaters: It’ll be playing in October.

Computers & Technology

Google launches Google Wallet: This tech will allow you to store credit- and loyalty- card information on your phone, and then touch the phone to a reader in order to pay. When this is actually common enough to use, it will be amazing.

Windows 8 in-depth: The Metro UI: I have to say, this sounds horrible.

Netflix: Sorry we shit in your cornflakes. Also, we’re spinning off our DVD business. Funny how losing a million subscribers and watching their stock price plummet has convinced them to open up about things. Also: Qwikster? Officially the worst name they could have picked. Well, I guess they could have called it Cancerflix or NetAIDS, but come on.

A series of progressively more insane follow-up emails from the CEO of Netflix: This is solid gold.

Health & Fitness

FDA to Dr. Oz: STFU: You know that whole “OMG there’s arsenic in your apple juice” thing? Funny story, that…


Cat Voltron: The greatest thing in the history of ever. (via Michael Favata)

Dinosaur feathers found in amber: It still makes me sad that raptors were nothing like the ones in Jurassic Park.

Politics & Religion

Rom Paul’s campaign manager died of pneumonia, left $400,000 in medical bills: Well, at least you can’t accuse Ron Paul of hypocrisy; when that man says you should leave the uninsured to die, he damn well means it. Also: anyone that thinks this is okay is a horrible person.

That was my brother’s death you were cheering, you a$$holes: “To all of those tea-jadist assholes at last night’s GOP debate: I don’t generally like to use profanity, but I fear that English is above your comprehension level, so in terms you might better understand, may God damn your worthless souls to hell for all eternity.” (via Michelle Juett)

I am an atheist: sixteen things you need to know: All true, all important, all pithy. (via PZ Myers)

0 responses to “This Week on the Web – 21 September 2011”

  1. Melissa says:

    I adore the atheist list. It’s so well put and has some damn good advice for the way people should respond about a lot of things actually, even if the list focused on atheism.
    Now if someone can just write a clear list like that that defines the differences between monotheism, atheism, agnostics and polytheism in easily understood terms that I can just hand out to people, I will be eternally happy. (Well, maybe. I guess that’s still up for debate ;D) Because if I have to hear one more person say ‘oh you believe in some sort of higher power, so you’re an atheist’ I’m going to scream. Don’t get me started on the way people wrongly define pagan.

    On a happier note, so glad you included Lexi’s recap! Definitely an early TSC recap favorite for me.

  2. Brian in Shortsville says:

    Today, Dr. Oz, maybe tomorrow Kevin Trudeau?

    Sorry people, there’s no magic bullet. Stay out of the drive-thru and move your ass some. And even then, you aren’t going to live forever (YMMV according to how careful you were when you picked your parents).

    There is also no bogeyman, and no “they” that doesn’t want you to know that eating milky-white sand will cause you to live to be 700 years-old.

    Now I have to consider which right I hold dearer. Oz’ right to publicly proclaim “I’m an idiot!” or the right of the public to not get into a hissy panic over nothing… Hmmm… Greater good, off with his head.

  3. The atheist list is brilliant. It gets tiring, having to explain and defend my atheism!

    – Ellie.

  4. Thomas says:

    Hey Melissa πŸ™‚

    Yeah, that list is very, very good. That’s one of those “I wish I wrote that” things.

    The difference between atheist and agnostic can get a little blurry. Even Dawkins will readily admit that he’s a technical agnostic who believes the best evidence points toward atheism.

    I also contend that most flavors of Christianity really are polytheistic, what with the whole trinity thing. And even the oneness Pentecostal type religions are still monolatric: they recognize other gods, but don’t worship them.

  5. Thomas says:

    Hey Brian,

    I think the answer is a *bit* more complex that “put down the twinky and run, fatass.” Though that really is a good start. So much about the way America eats is just… wrong.

    I’m also torn on the competing rights. I mean, the government clearly isn’t qualified to judge what is true and what isn’t (for example, their abortion of a food pyramid), but asshats like Dr. Oz, or the “vaccinations make your babies retarded” crew, and actually endangering lives with their bullshit.

  6. Thomas says:

    Hey Ellie πŸ™‚

    It really is well-written. Though I don’t particularly get tired of defending atheism… but I like a good argument. πŸ˜‰

  7. Alicia says:

    Thomas – very excited about all the TVD links and recaps from all over the place and your thoughts at the roundtable. Excited to see how this all plays out in season V3 πŸ™‚
    Now, as excited as I am for TVD, just saw this news and almost vomited at my desk and my 1st thougght was “OMG, Thomas is gonna go batshit crazy” LOL =

    Seriously, 24 episodes of Teen Wolf next year – that’s just wayyyy more torture than any of us can handle, holy shit, yikes! πŸ™

  8. Thomas says:

    Two things:

    One: whoever wrote that article needs to be sterilized before they have the chance to pass on their obviously sub-standard DNA. Vampires are so jelly? Fuck you.


  9. Brian in Shortsville says:

    Warning: Obligatory old guy waxing rhapsodic about a time that’s gone and not coming back… a time when our entertainment had a certain aspirational quality to it (I wanna learn to DO that… I wanna be LIKE that)… a time when the letter ‘M’ stood for something:

    Double the Teen Wolf is exactly what the world needs Right Now.

  10. Brian in Shortsville says:

    Or, if you like… if art imitates life, and Snooki is what we see in the matter, we need to call a timeout and figure some shit out.

  11. The language in that article has made my eye twitch. And seriously, Thomas, how will your blood pressure withstand a full no-really-this-is-a-serious-tv-programme-see-it-has-more-than-20-episodes season?

    Although… more episodes… more shirtless Derek, more Stiles, more chance of Sterek happening…

    Okay, I’ve found the upside, and have resigned myself to the crazy that awaits us.

    – Ellie.

  12. Mary says:

    The best way to stomach Teen Wolf is to look at it as a cheesy comedy.

  13. Neil says:

    Hi Thomas,

    Great atheist list. The “no atheist in a foxhole” comment has always annoyed the hell out of me. Been in a foxhole and my only thought at the time was “I bloody well hope that mortar round doesn’t land on me” (and “mummy”). Why would someone of faith think I’d bother – what would be the point of wasting my last thoughts praying to a God who doesn’t exist. Anyway even if he did exist I wouldn’t be expecting divine intervention to deflect mortar rounds in mid flight for my benefit. I’d almost rather he didn’t because at least that God would be a consistent one in his non-interventionism – if he did save me I’d have to ask the petty minded bastard why he didn’t lift his hand to save far more deserving souls than mine. At this point Christians usually mutter something about “part of his plan” or something. And I say something about free will or predestination.

    Thanks for the link to the Michelle Juet piece. Not the first tragic story I’ve read about someone being screwed over by the American health industry, but they never fail to get me both sad for the individual and furious that it’s allowed to happen.

    As someone who lives in a country where health care is free at the point of delivery I really find it alien that people are dying due to lack of basic access in the richest country the planet has ever known. I wouldn’t necessarily suggest a National Health Service like the UK has, but the Swiss or French do an excellent job. More expensive than the UK but a hell of a lot cheaper than America. 17% of GDP – just from a disintrested, apolitical point of view that’s way too much period, but it really is for what people are getting back.

  14. Thomas says:

    Hey Ellie:

    The hope of Sterek is the only thing that’s going to keep me going. Well, that and a case of gin.

  15. Thomas says:

    Hey Mary πŸ™‚

    Yeah… the problem is, it’s trying to take itself so seriously. Shows like Vampire Diaries are in on the joke, and that makes them much more palatable.

  16. Thomas says:

    Hey Neil πŸ™‚

    Yeah, that’s something I like to point out to people that rejoice when a hundred people die in some tragedy, but “god” “saves” three of them. I guess the other 97 were just assholes, then?

    This country is so backwards. We are pretty damn close to the point where no one has to go without, if we aren’t there already, but we revel in policies that take from the poor to give to the rich. It’s like it’s coded into our DNA or something.

    The Cost-to-Benefit ratio in American health care is abysmal. Pretty much every European country trounces us. Canada, too.

  17. Neil says:

    It can only work if God takes no hand in anything, but what’s the point in praying to that guy.

    Anyway, have you seen the story that CERN measured neutrinos exceeding the speed of light? Amazing stuff if it can be replicated – I’m not ruling out a technical error somewhere.

  18. Thomas says:

    Yeah, it’s like a reverse Pascal’s Wager: either the god you’re telling me about is irrelevant, or he’s an asshole. Which is it?

    And yes, I’ll be posting about the CERN stuff on the next TWOTW. They’re talking about billionths of a second differences, so the chance of error is pretty high, but… they’ve been making these measurements for three years, and they can’t explain this away. Time for the Scientific Method to do it’s thing.

  19. Neil says:

    Margin for error was +/-10 billionth of a second and it was 60 billionth of a second faster than light…but yes could be an error somewhere and the guys doing it seem very, very cautious and who can blame them. It’s on of the big ones that this is calling into question. That neutrinos do have mass is worth mentioning.

  20. Thomas says:

    Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof. It’s entirely appropriate to be cautious at this stage in the game.

    The takeaway for me, particularly in light of the atheist list, is that this shows the difference between a scientific mindset and a religious one. These guys are “threatening” to toss out the most important concept in modern physics, but no one is rushing to stone them. The reaction is skepticism mixed with “let’s see what happens.” And they didn’t announce this as a great revelation, but asked people to poke holes in it, because they couldn’t.

    Science knows it’s probably wrong, and seeks to correct that. Faith knows it’s right, and kills to prove it.

    Also: how freaking cool is it that human beings are able to create things accurate to within ten billionths of a second?

  21. Brian in Shortsville says:

    I give a lot of credit to the CERN group after the article I red on it.

    It appears they’re saying “we got a result that’s physically impossible, everyone else take a look and see if we missed something after double checking ourselves 15,000 times.”

    Like you said, extraordinary discovery requires extraordinary proof and verification. But the intellectual honesty they’re displaying in being willing to be proven wrong, or have their methodology shown to be faulty is refreshing. Whether it’s a true discovery or not, I hope someone buys that bunch a beer.

  22. Thomas says:

    It really is an amazing display of humility. Of course, the science community reinforces that: if they had just come out and announced that Special Relativity was done with, and been proven wrong, they would have been eaten alive.

    Still, there are a lot of groups that don’t conduct themselves like this, and the CERN team should be proud of themselves.

  23. Zoe says:

    My god, that Dr Oz is just the most awful character. And I can’t believe schools are listening to him over the FDA….actually, I can, and that’s what worries me.

    Thanks for the atheism link, too. Someone once approached me on the street declaring how she didn’t believe in God till she realised that’s where our spirits come from, and expected me to suddenly believe in it, too.
    I liked no. 14. It is so true. have also been questioned about my morality, too. It appears that because I am a good person, deep down, I must believe in a higher power. Yeah, don’t get the logic in that one.

    Didn’t see the GOP debate, but am still horrified at the way the American healthcare system is run, and people are punished for simply not being rich. Not that the UK NHS isn’t deeply flawed, but still…..

  24. Thomas says:

    Hey Zoe πŸ™‚

    Yeah, he’s terrible. But it emblematic of a much bigger problem: the media exists to get eyeballs, not inform. And hysteria gets a lot more eyeballs than facts.

    I hear a lot of dumb attempts at evangelism and apologetics. I think the very worst is: “God is perfect. Existing is part of being perfect. Therefore, god exists.” There isn’t enough facepalm in the world.

    All of the health care systems I’ve read about have issues, but they all share one common feature: they’re better than ours. It’s okay… I expect my country to come into the twenty-first century some time in the next fifty years or so.