Watching Senator James Inhofe (R-Assville) do mental acrobatics is astonishing and makes me wonder why the U.S. Senate is so sclerotic if its members are capable of such creative thinking.
Just like millions around the world, I carry an iPhone in my pocket. The company’s engineers and designers have a well-earned reputation for creativity.
Senator Carl Levin (D-Michigan) speaking before the Senate Finance Committee and Apple CEO Tim Cook’s first testimony before the Senate.
…What Senator Levin didn’t mention is he doesn’t know how to use the camera. I know this because, during the election, we were both in the Oakland County Democratic Party headquarters, and three ladies wanted a picture with the Senator. He motioned to me.
“You look like you’re young,” he said, “and probably know what you’re doing. Take a picture for me.”
So just so you know, that iPhone in Carl Levin’s pocket and I have a personal history.
I once harbored an ambition to write a comedic novel about the Angel of Death, who was this incurably boring individual who enjoyed sorting his socks more than actually doing his job at Underworld, Inc. He was frequently derided by other employees — his boss was a grumpy man named Aloysius Tweed who had a well-groomed mustache and a secretary named Teena.
The way Teena spelled her name irritated Death to no end, as did the fact that she took her shoes off at the office.
Anyway, the book was going to be called, Death: A Life (Or, How Death Got His Job Back), and he would be fired by his boss for one thing or another and be expelled to the mortal world where he would take various jobs and be horrible at them (the two I thought of specifically were life insurance salesman — for the irony — and Kindergarten teacher), but all the while his replacement proved inept at doing the job of the Angel of Death, and so there was a crisis where people weren’t dying. And Death would have to come in and save the day.
I don’t know if that’s a good concept and I’m just not clever enough to write it, or if it’s a bad idea and I’m smart to stay away from it. A lot of things are like that.
(If you mean death as in the cessation of life, I think that death is something that comes for all of us, some of us sooner rather than later, and there’s little to be done worrying about its inevitability. Also, I’m a firm believer that we are greater than the sum of our parts, and death isn’t the end of all things. But I could be wrong.)
The secret of the Doctor’s name is supposedly at the heart of this story, but that isn’t really the case. After all, whatever name he was born with is unimportant, because we’ve known his name for 50 years now; the Doctor’s name is the Doctor, and surely that’s the end of it. The Doctor more or less affirms this view at the end of the episode, although this just sets up the next great mystery, the one this November’s 50th Anniversary special should resolve. The Doctor says the name he chose for himself is a promise he made, and the eleven Doctors we have met all kept that promise. But one didn’t, and he just so happens to be played by acting mega-legend John Hurt. When Matt Smith angrily delivers his final line, in which he says the terrible act Hurt’s Doctor committed was “not in the name of the Doctor,” the real significance of the title finally becomes clear.
That, really, is at the heart of Steven Moffat’s approach to Doctor Who’s overarching narrative. He delights in setting up impossible mysteries—the identity of River Song, the Doctor’s death in Utah, Clara’s multiple deaths, the Doctor’s name—that seemingly require hopelessly convoluted explanations, and then he offers relatively straightforward solutions that are meant to reveal something about the show’s characters (some of these were more successful in that regard than others, admittedly). The Doctor’s name isn’t a bunch of Gallifreyan letters, but rather a symbol of all he represents, and so that opens up the possibility that one incarnation of the Doctor could have proven unworthy of that name. That’s an intriguing solution, and it means far more than finding out the Doctor’s name is Old High Gallifreyan for Bill or Pat or whatever else.
—From the A.V. Club’s review of “The Name of the Doctor”
It’s like some clawed talon clutches at my chest. For years I’ve heard people who suffer from panic disorders talk about trouble breathing, but I’ve never considered just what that means.
It’s like my whole chest is wrapped up tightly and it’s squeezing at my heart. I can feel the blood draining from my head and I start to hyperventilate because I swear I can’t get enough air, my lungs must have filled with something — rocks or bone or I don’t know — and I try and take deep breaths but they can’t be deep enough, and I only have control of one third of my lungs.
And I objectively know that there’s nothing physically wrong with me. They gave me a chest x-ray, I saw through my bones and looked at the two mushy sacs that are my lungs and I could see my heart. They taped diodes to my skin and measured my heart rate, and it was normal — healthy, even, considering my appalling lack of exercise. The doctor said, “You’re fine, take an inhaler,” and in an unceremonious fashion sent me on my way.