Sunday, October 26, 2014

Believe it or not, I'm walking on air...

Does anyone remember the old tv show, "Greatest American Hero"? In it, the hero has newfound powers that he is determined to use for good. He can fly, has superhuman strength and numerous other powers, some of which seem to pop up as the series continued.

The problem was, since the powers were all quite new to him, he was terrible at using them. His flying was awkward, his landings were more like crashes. He ended up breaking things when he didn't mean to and generally bungled many of the things he tried to apply his new found skills too. But, his learning curve was steep, and, through practice, he brought multiple baddies to justice.

I think I too have discovered my "super skills", the stuff I pretty good at. But just like The Greatest American Hero, it takes a lot of practice to get those skills to be effective. And even with practice, things don't always go quite right.


I went and caught the movie "Fury" the other night with the oldest son.

So, here are some random quick thoughts on the movie:

- Those who have studied WWII a little bit know that the war was winding down by April of 1945. What we sometimes forget is that the youth and old men that defended the last vestiges of Nazi Germany were often fanatic fighters and several major battles happened during this period, that involved desperate house to house fighting and grim tank battles. These are well depicted in this movie.

- T his movie is definitely not for the faint of heart, as it showed numerous gory and brutal scenes.

-I appreciated the tactical/technical aspects it displayed. War movies often overlook that war is a game of hard work and tiring tactics. But, tried and effective tactics were used by WWII soldiers and tankers and they were effective.

- The movie worked hard to portray the 'heroes" as realistic, flawed and gritty real life people. But, I think that they went over the top with just how flawed they portrayed these men. I consider our soldiers from this era as honorable heroic men that, yes, sometimes did flawed things. This movie shows them as flawed, dirty barbarians that sometimes did heroic or honorable things.
But then, I suppose that is what art does, exaggerate things to make a point.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

“Those who tell the stories rule society.”


The Remedy, or, Dread Diseases are No Fun!
Where have I been?

Well, with all the hullabaloo about our pending plague, I have read up a little on one of our previous infectious nemesis. This dread disease, labeled with the title that conjures more romantic connotations, consumption, was an incurable scourge for centuries.

Here's a list of Famous Victms of Tuberculosis

This book had interest to me, as it traced the disease, the attempts to discover its causes and cures, and the parallel life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and how Sherlock Holmes helped lead to a more scientific approach to medicine in general and epidemiology in particular.

For a few more words about this book, head on over here.