Organisers of the International Barcode of Life conference, in Adelaide this week, plan to use miniature DNA decoding devices to answer the question: “What species is that?”
Conference co-chair and director of the Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity at the University of Adelaide, Professor Andrew Lowe, says this is one of the most exciting developments in genomics.
“You point this thing at an alien species and it tells you all about it. That’s where we want to get to … maybe in five years, which is really neat.”
By 2015 scientists expect to have a reference library of five million standardised DNA sequences they can use to identify 500,000 species, which is more than a quarter of all known species on Earth.
They would take a sample and then compare it with the sequences in the database, looking for a match.
I just saw the news that David Yates, director of the last four Harry Potter films, is going to direct a big screen adaptation of Doctor Who that, and I quote “it would not follow on from the current TV series, but would take a completely fresh approach.” Truth be told, I do not feel comfortable with this idea, especially when the series is still ongoing and in no danger of cancellation with the 50th anniversary due in two years time. But there are so many things wrong than right with this decision.
It shouldn’t be done while the show is still airing.
This is the biggest point, aside from the obvious, for me. I shouldn’t be having a choice to see a film of a successful television show while it is still airing. Granted, we have seen successes from Pokémon and Rugrats, but outside of the children’s show factor, what was one of the last franchises that had a bad film air that really killed it off the franchise until a 2009 reboot? Star Trek. Now I know the films have been ongoing when TNG, DS9 and Voyager were airing, but when Enterprise was already causing a dissatisfaction amongst fans and new viewers that Nemesis was a last hope. And we know what happened next, Star Trek was dead in the water for almost a decade until it was rebooted again. Doctor Who has already had one canon film and two non-canon films released, and they’re not as well remembered aside from one being the only adventure for the Eighth Doctor. Learn from these mistakes.
It’s not sticking to the original source material.
As said only two sentences ago, The Daleks films were not that outstanding and well remembered amongst fans that it is excluded from canon, just that effectively it had a Doctor and Daleks, it was considered a Doctor Who film. It’s already proven to not be successful, so why do they need to try a failed formula once again? Especially when it’s effectively rebooting the franchise onto the big screen. David Tennant’s final outing was effectively a tele-film as it was a two parter that lasted two hours, that provides more than what this is promising to do. When Yates has already admitted that the source material won’t be touched, you’ve already lost a lot of fan interest. Doctor Who fans are not sold by the name alone, they take every aspect seriously and playing your cards up front will see empty seats in the cinema. The flipside is that there’s so many untold stories in the DW Universe like (stealing this from Liam Dryden) the Time War, if they made that into a film with Paul McGann getting another chance to go as The Doctor during the events of the Time War, you’ve sold this. Nothing else is going to work unless it’s got Matt Smith (or the Twelfth Doctor) behind the controls of the TARDIS.
Yates’ adaptations of Harry Potter
Yates directed Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows Parts One & Two. Now these films have met praise for visuals and action, but the heavy criticism lies in not sticking to the books and adding more of a presentation to the film to cover up the lack of keeping to the story. This is a criticism that has been set out after Christopher Columbus did so well with the adaptations of the first two books that shows the flaws and inconsistencies of the HP films. While it got some consistency later on, not taking the other films into account and making them when the books had not been finished shows errors in Yates’ ways. Doing this with Doctor Who will put Yates into the firing line, similar to Joel Schumacher when he directed Batman and Robin. If Yates fails (which he more than likely will), he has no recovery from this.
Why does that need to be a reboot when the current show is reboot?
It took sixteen years for Doctor Who to be rebooted since the original run was cancelled in 1989. Now think about this hard, the BBC has tried to make film adaptations of Doctor Who during that failed and the attempt at reintroducing the franchise in 1996 was the only breath of light that happened, and lead to nothing at the time. Sure, it sparked the wave of building up momentum that spread over nine years to get The Doctor back on the screen. But if the BBC has tried and failed to get The Doctor in the cinema and their only outing didn’t go over as well, what makes them think this will work this time around? Also, who at the BBC felt it was a good idea to make this happen again? Who gave Jane Tranter the right to push this forward and even overlook the writers of the current show to give this a go? I’m sorry but to anyone at the BBC, look at what has happened in your past attempts. I know the old saying of ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try again’ is being run here and I have no qualms with it. But with popular franchises, you don’t have an argument to counter the point that you have tried and failed before with waves of talent during the forty-eight years of Doctor Who. Isn’t that more than enough to prove the point? Unless you got writers who know the stuff inside out like Lauren Field (sorry to name drop you Lauren, I just know you would do this job better than anyone they will hire for this), then it’s doomed to fail.
There’s many numerous reasons why doing this is wrong and I really hope the BBC pulls the plug on this within the next 24 hours. Doctor Who is indeed their most popular franchise at the present moment, is having a big screen adaptation that important that going the extra mile to displease fans and potentially drive a huge nail into the current series is what you’re willing to do? I know it’s the money talking but let the logic take hold for one moment. Use your previous history and think about what is being put into motion, you have already placed a film that is doomed to fail by the announced intentions. Leave The Doctor alone unless you stick it to canon; use the actual writers and tell us a compelling story with the current Doctor or use the Time War; treat this as seriously as the fans do, and you got a big hit. So far, you’ve played your hand and the flop has only just been placed, you still have the turn and the river in wait, and the odds are not in your favour.
If you had to pick, would you be a werewolf, a vampire (stereotypical, not sparkly), or a cyborg?
Hmm, tough choices here. For with each has a curse to them, werewolf means you have no control for three nights of every month, vampire has no the sun policy and cyborgs mean you have no emotion and understanding of feelings. Out of the three, werewolf seems to be the better choice, three nights of no control can be maintained like with Oz in Buffy. Plus the Borg always creeped me out in the early TNG days and while vampires seem cool, just the limitations and quench for blood. Yeah, I’ll go with werewolf, because you’re still able to be human regardless of the animal for three nights factor.
how handy they had my entire actual wardrobe to choose from
This is a little too close for comfort.
The sweater page was pretty much just…my wardrobe.
I am seriously just not amused by this… AT ALL. And for the record my Chucks are green and I don’t have a scarf that is identical to that. #nothipster #indenile
This actually does kind of look like me when my hair is grown out, especially with the fringe, and I do have a similar scarf. Yes, I know this is hipster girls, but I managed to pull off making myself on it.
What’s interesting about this story is that Waterstone’s claims “tens of thousands” of preorders, which is of course a tiny fraction of what Deathly Hallows generated in 2007. The UK bookstore business has been so decimated by 1. Tesco, and 2. amazon/bookdepository that Waterstone’s is claiming their biggest success in four year off a book that presold only tens of thousands of copies.
I know presales represent a small (and shrinking) fraction of bookstore business, but even so: Let’s assume that somehow they presold 90,000 copies of the new Paolini book. (It’s much lower, but let’s be generous.) That means Waterstone’s took in somewhere in the neighborhood of 800,000 pounds on the book. Spread among Waterstone’s 300 locations leaves Waterstone’s with 266 pounds per store in presale receipts for their biggest book in a long time.
So preordering isn’t a big deal for bookstores (although I hope it will be again someday, and I’ll say again that I encourage my readers to preorder TFiOS from their local bookstores). But it is a big deal for contemporary readers: Half of the top 10 bestselling books on Amazon have not yet been released.
This is yet another way in which bookstores are finding it challenging to meet the expectations and buying habits of contemporary readers.
I love bookstores. As both an author and a reader, I think the world would be poorer without them. But the situation seems to grow more perilous every year.
I always buy my books through Waterstones unless they can’t get it in, that’s where I turn to Amazon. I admit, I did pre-order TFiOS on Amazon because I was excited by the announcement of the book that I pre-ordered it then and there. Waterstones has always been good to me, such fantastic service and brilliant enthusiastic readers amongst them. Had it not been for the local Waterstones having a huge love for John Green books, I wouldn’t have received a copy of An Abundance of Katherines that they actually imported because they loved that book so much. I have spent many days this year just going into a Waterstones to look at books, engaging covers, new stories. It sounds kind of cliche, but the feeling when I go in there is just like going into Wonderland or Narnia, I feel at home amongst the adventures within a hand’s reach. Amazon doesn’t provide that, only the ability to get those that Waterstones can’t provide for me, almost like some sort of cheap back door that provides an excitement of buying a book, but not the excitement of looking for a book.
So yes, I set a challenge of watching Classic Doctor Who every day in the month of October and I…managed to do it for 13 days non-consecutively. So what happened? Well, simply put, I didn’t have a TARDIS handy to spare time to dedicate to watching the good old Doctor’s classic adventures after the end of week two. I had been working hard, making videos, commuting to places I have never visited before, and visiting family and friends. I’m not making an excuse, I’m just explaining. While I love Doctor Who and the challenge of seeing more than I have done of late, I couldn’t dedicate time to watching TV on a regular basis when I had things to do in a limited time frame.
While I effectively failed the challenge of watching Classic Who during October, it hasn’t swayed me from watching Classic Who more regularly. In fact, it has encouraged me to do more as I really enjoyed what I watched that I will give myself time to watch Classic Who when I have time to spare. I definitely will be giving Doctober further attempts in the future, but I may try a revised format so I can dedicate my viewing time better. The problem was that while Who is a great show, watching TV is a past time that I don’t do as often because I have a lot to do in my spare time from work. But I hope that doesn’t discourage people from trying the Doctober challenge, but don’t force yourself to constantly watch television when you have bigger priorities ahead of you. In the end, Classic Who needs to be watched by the fans of Doctor Who, because while waiting for the new series, there’s so much available to you and the history is purely fantastic. You say that there your Doctors 9, 10, 11; they only form a quarter of the fantastic collection of actors who have played one brilliant and beloved character.
So while I failed to upkeep the task at hand, I consider Doctober a success. So definitely take it up, but more-so, watch Classic Who. I highly recommend it, the current show wouldn’t exist without it.