The Flash: Nora (S5, Ep. 1)

The Flash is back! On one hand, there were a lot of cool things in this episode. On the other hand, there were a few annoying CW/Flash things in this episode.

(Spoilers, y’all.)

The Flash: Season 5

Cool Things

Drunk Cisco was funny. Hungover Cisco was a riot. We got the ring with the suit in it – finally! – and it was apparently made by a protege of our Atom, Ryan Choi. Ralph Dibney figured out time travel and the “many” -verse all on his own (“And all of you already knew this, didn’t you?”). Plus, we got a new set, the lounge (“You finally found my spot. I’ve been napping in here since Day One.”) Also, Cecile’s apparently keeping her telepathy?

Annoying Things

Of course Nora’s back to save her dad. And of course Barry didn’t tell anyone about it. Oh my gaaaaawd how many times do we have to do this “keeping a secret” plot?

Also, are you seriously trying to tell me Barry’s been staring at that damn newspaper for four seasons and is only just now thinking about the part where the Flash disappears in a crisis?

We’re going to have to deal with Iris being hurt and pushy about her relationship with Nora instead of having her immediately be like, “Something is weird, here… Barry’s about to die or something, right? Damn it.”

To Summarize

Over all it was a great episode – funny, set up a lot of fun plot-related things for the season, new costumes, new sets, all sorts of good stuff. I like Nora, I’m glad Ralph’s sticking around, I’m interested in the side plots that were introduced, I’m looking forward to whatever comes of Killer Frost’s “disappearance.” I just wish the show could get over a few of it’s trope-y plot hangups.

Line of the Night Award

It obviously has to be Ralph Dibney’s “I mean, if Eddie wanted to erase Thawne from existence, why didn’t he just have a vasectomy?”

Reviews

Up Next

  • Next episode: Oct. 16, 2018
  • Blocked – “Barry and Team Flash track down a meta that is stealing high-tech weapons, only to cross paths with a new foe named Cicada, who is hunting the very same meta, with nefarious intent.” (IMDB)
  • Trailer!

News Stories You Probably Missed

Last week was a busy week, news-wise, but the Kavanaugh debacle swallowed everything else up. Here’s a quick handful of important stories you might have missed or forgotten about.

💰 Donald Trump’s Businesses Are Basically a Criminal Endeavor

This is one of those stories where you’re like “Well, yeah, duh, obviously,” but seriously, pay more attention to this. The Trump Organization is pretty much a giant cesspool of crimes and frauds.

⛈️ Climate Change Is Worse Than We Thought and We’re on a Ten-Year Time Clock

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released a new report on climate change and the news is all bad. The report says that in order to avoid catastrophic changes to our climate, the kind of changes that will pretty much kill us all and make us miserable the whole time it’s doing it, we need to enact painfully drastic changes right now. Since the odds of that happening are slim to none… I mean, I guess we’re screwed.

  • Washington Post: The world has just over a decade to get climate change under control, U.N. scientists say – This is the Post’s article summarizing the IPCC’s report.
  • Washington Post: What climate change is actually expected to do – Does what it says on the tin. It’s tricky to predict what’ll happen exactly with climate change since our climate is a hugely complicated system, but here’s the experts’ best theories. Remember that in science terminology, “theory” doesn’t mean “guess,” it means “this is an idea that we have a lot of evidence for.”
  • Washington Post: Trump administration sees a 7-degree rise in global temperatures by 2100 – The Trump administration’s own report predicts a 7-degree rise on global temperatures in less than 100 years. Such an increase would be… is there a word for something worse than “catastrophic”? I mean, that basically turns us into Venus, right? The Trump admin’s report concludes that we’re screwed so there’s no point in trying to fix anything and we might as well go full steam ahead.

The thing is that it’s already too late to completely correct the effects of climate change. But if we act right now, we could avoid the worst effects of climate change. That’s the ten year time clock. We have ten years to make it so we can still exist in some level of comfort on our own planet.

⚖️ The Department of Justice is Going After Anti-Trump Protesters

💻 Bloomberg’s Big China Hacking Story

When it comes to computers I’m not a hardware girl, but I follow a lot of hardware people on Twitter, and they all think there’s something hinky about this story. The general gist of their opinion seems to be that Bloomberg got close to a story, but what they reported isn’t actually accurate.

Both Apple and Amazon strenuously deny Bloomberg’s reporting, and folks in tech security and the government are all, “We have no idea what Bloomberg’s going on about.”

Apparently there were rumors of this sort of thing going around months back, but no one could confirm it. Bloomberg went ahead and reported it, so they seem to think they have it confirmed, but no one with any expertise in the arena agrees with them.

The upshot being, something’s not right with this story. @SwiftOnSecurity, a Twitter account that seems at first glance like a joke but that is run by someone with plenty of knowhow and expertise, has a long Twitter thread full of expert thoughts and resources on the story: Twitter thread.

Featured Image: Newspapers, by JonS on Flickr. Source and licensing.

Doctor Who: The Woman Who Fell To Earth

I have no complaints about The Woman Who Fell To Earth. It was amazing and perfect and I love it. You should too, because I said so.

That’s it. That’s my review.

Here’s what’s in store for the new series of Doctor Who.

Okay, okay. A little more detail. Fine.

Here’s what I love about Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor, lucky number thirteen. She’s kind and empathetic. She brooks no nonsense. She’s decent, apologizes, and says thank you to her companions, whom she empowers to get the job done. (“Do what you have to, use your initiative!”)

She used some kind of double-headed super blowtorch and a bunch of tools to jury-rig spoons and leftover widgets into a new sonic screwdriver. She made no real comment whatsoever on suddenly being a woman. When she knew a new friend was hurting, she stopped by to check in on him.

She was awesome and clearly the Doctor. I love her and may have a tiny crush on her.

I have heard a few complaints. I saw one on Twitter that stuck out, some turd complaining that the Doctor’s new sonic screwdriver looked like “a cyberman’s dildo.”

Guys? All of the sonic screwdrivers looked like a dildo. This one just looks like it was made by a woman. You can tell, because it has a smooth surface, no edges, and a handy curve.

I love the new companions. They seem earthier and more real than recent companions.

I loved the tone of the episode. Small but very real stakes. Grounded.

During the Moffat years things had gotten too big and silly. The Doctor was a smug jerk. A magic alien who always had all the answers and really only needed a companion around so he had someone to brag to and rescue occasionally. The stakes of the adventure were always The End Of The World. The companions were always the special this, or the impossible that.

This felt like a return to the 9th Doctor years, when things were a little more low key, more real, and, for me, at least, that makes them more engaging.

I can’t wait for the rest of this season.

Line of the Night Award

“That’s right, I’m calling you Yaz, ‘cos we’re friends now.” – the Doctor.

Reviews

Coming Up

  • Next episode: Oct. 14, 8 p.m.
  • The Ghost Monument: “Still reeling from their first encounter, can the Doctor and her new friends stay alive long enough, in a hostile alien environment, to solve the mystery of Desolation? And just who are Angstrom and Epzo?” (IMDB)
  • Here’s the trailer.

Brett Kavanaugh passes cloture vote, heads on to confirmation vote.

Okay, folks. The Senate voted on the cloture motion this morning and it passed, which was expected so don’t panic or anything. This is not carved in stone.

Let me say that again: Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation is not carved in stone. It is not a sure thing. Republicans would like you to think it is, but there are still unconfirmed votes out there.

Call your senators, people. Especially, especially if your senator is Jeff Flake, Joe Manchin, Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski. If one of these guys belongs to you, you must bring an unbearable amount of pressure down on them.

UPDATE (1:50 p.m.)

Senators Manchin, Collins and Flake have all said they’re voting to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, which gives Republicans the votes they need. Barring some sort of miracle, Kavanaugh’s getting confirmed.

The next fight happens at the state level, folks. We’re going to need to pass state legislation to protect abortion rights, other women’s rights, and protections for non-white people and the LGBT+ community. It’s time to take a look at who represents you at the state level and work to turn your local and state governments blue.

(I mean, you should have already been doing that, but people get caught up in the federal level stuff.)

In case you feel like unleashing your rage upon the Republicans like a fountain of fiery bees from your mouth:

The Senate’s getting ready to vote on Kavanaugh this week.

Okay, kids, this is it. The Senate is getting ready to vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court this week.

Mitch McConnell filed a motion for cloture on the Kavanaugh nomination yesterday evening.

Cloture is a procedural thing. You file the motion, which needs the signatures of sixteen senators. Once the motion is filed, you wait two days to vote on it. If the motion passes a floor vote, then debate on Kavanaugh’s nomination is limited to 30 hours. After the 30 hours are up, Senators will vote to confirm Kavanaugh.

You can read about it in more detail here.

What all this means is that sometime this Saturday, the Senate will be voting on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.


Call Your Senators

  • The US Senate switchboard number is 202-224-3121. Call and ask to be transferred to your senators’ offices.
  • Call your senators at their Senate offices and at their home offices. You can use CallMyRep.co to find out who your senators are and get their in state and Senate office numbers.
  • Call only your senators. Do not call senators in other states. They’ll ignore you and you’re just tying up phone lines that constituents could be using.
  • When you call, identify yourself by name and location, state that you are a constituent of the senator, and ask how your senator plans to vote on the Kavanaugh nomination. If the answer is anything but a firm “no,” briefly and politely state your case for voting “no” on Kavanaugh.
  • If your senator is voting “no” on Kavanaugh, remember to thank them for doing so.
  • If you need scripts, you can find one below.

Calling Script

Hi, my name is [name], and I’m a constituent from [location]. I would like to know how Senator [senator’s name] is voting on the Brett Kavanaugh nomination.

If No: Thank you. I believe Brett Kavanaugh is unfit for a seat on the Supreme Court. Please tell Senator [senator’s name] thank you for voting against Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination.

If Yes: I ask that Senator [senator’s name] oppose Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Brett Kavanaugh has perjured himself in testimony to Congress, displayed an aggressive and partisan temperament that makes him unfit for a seat on the Supreme Court, dodged questions about his questionable finances, has advocated and ruled against the interests of women, people of color and the LGBT+ community, and is facing credible allegations of sexual assault. He is unfit in every way for a seat on the Supreme Court.

Thank you for your time and attention. [end call]

If leaving a voicemail: Remember to leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied, and if you want a response, leave contact information.

If Your Senators Are Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), or Susan Collins (R-ME)

These are crucial senators, so if they belong to you, get ready to work.

Jeff Flake is likely a firm yes on Kavanaugh, but when you call him, be ready to shame him for his stance.

Heidi Heitcamp and Joe Manchin are Democrats in red Senate districts and they’re wavering towards “yes.” Get on the phone. Get to their offices. Hold their feet to the fire.

Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins are Republicans who have voted against the party line in the past, have expressed doubts about Kavanaugh, and have been facing a lot of anti-Kavanaugh sentiments from their constituents. Get on the phone. Get to their offices. Hold their feet to the fire.

What Else Can You Do?


I’m going to be honest with you. It’s more likely than not that Kavanaugh will be confirmed to the Supreme Court. And once he’s there, it’s basically going to be impossible to get rid of him.

In theory, Congress can impeach a sitting SCotUS Justice. However, doing so would require an astronomical amount of political will and capital. It is extremely doubtful that the Democrats, even if they were able to take the Senate back in the midterm elections, would be able to manage it.

That doesn’t matter. This is one of those fights that you take all the way to the bloody, bitter, ugly end, even if you lose. Because there is no other moral option.

Brett Kavanaugh is a liar who wantonly perjured himself in testimony. His finances are shadier than the dark side of the moon. He’s aggressively partisan. He’s facing credible allegations of sexual assault, and there’s a better than average chance that he’s a rapist.

He believes women, non-white, and LGBT+ people don’t deserve the same basic rights as everyone else. He will work to take rights away from those groups.

In every way, Brett Kavanaugh is unfit for the Supreme Court of the United States. The only reason he’s gotten this far is because a morally bankrupt and wildly corrupt political party has used their power to ram him through to a seat on the court to further their own ends.

So you fight. You take it all the way to the mat. And if we do lose? Then you get up, dust off, and get ready to start lobbying for reform of the Supreme Court. Because this system is clearly broken beyond repair.


UPDATES

  • Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) is a “No” on Kavanaugh, according to CNN’s Jim Sciutto. Call her offices and thank her for voting no, folks. (10/4, 11:18 a.m.)
  • There’s a massive protest happening in D.C. now. Video: 1, 2. (10/4, 11:30 a.m.)
  • Sen. Flake is apparently “still having issues” with Kavanaugh, according to the Atlantic’s Elaina Plott. If he’s your senator, now is your time to call. (10/4, 12:30 p.m.)
  • Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) has filed a motion to expedite the consideration of his request for a temporary restraining order against the vote to confirm Kavanaugh, according to BuzzFeed’s Zoe Tillman. No idea if that’s gonna go anywhere. (10/4, 2:50 p.m.)

Trump: Tax Fraud & Mockery

I actually only have two things I want you to read today, but one of them is hella long.

💰 New York Times: Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father

This is a 13,000+ word article detailing the fact that the entire Trump family has been committing criminal tax fraud for decades. I mean, we already knew that, but now the Times has receipts. If you haven’t the time for a massive novella of an article, I highly suggest making it, but in the meantime, you can read these 11 takeaways.

🤬 Vox: Trump openly mocked Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault testimony at a rally

Trump is a vaguely man-shaped walking open sore with an oozing infection that smells like rotten meat.

One other thing: Shortly after 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST) you’ll be getting a test text from FEMA’s new “Wireless Emergency Alert” system. It’s been called the “Presidential Alert” system, and I’ve seen a lot of people complaining about it. Please stop that. This is the cellphone version of those TV and radio emergency alerts we used to get as kids, and it’s been in the works for years.

2018-2019 TV Preview

It’s October, which means one thing: My TV shows are coming back.

I mean, it also means a lot of other things, like the midterm elections are 35 days away, and Halloween is coming up, and it’s almost winter, and you really should have started your Christmas shopping already, and all sorts of stuff like that.

But really, the important bit is the TV shows.

📺 TV Series

Of all the shows I have listed up there, I have to say the one I’m looking forward to the least is Arrow. The back half of that last season was just so frickin’ tedious. We still haven’t finished it. I guess Oliver went to prison or some junk? Do I need to know anything more than that?

💻 Netflix

There’s no word yet on when season 4 of Lucifer will hit – sometime in early 2019 is anyone’s best guess. However, word has it that Tom Ellis will have nude scenes in the Netflix season, which I point out because the actor seems to have panicked over that a bit and hit literally all the gyms. Dude looks like Captain America now.

Iron Fist‘s second season dropped a couple weeks ago and we’ve only watched the first episode of that. I heard it was better, but I haven’t been able to work up the interest yet. I just hate everyone on that show so much. The only character I really have any interest in is Colleen. I don’t suppose Danny dies and she ends up being the Iron Fist, does she? Because then I’d be interested.

📽️ Movies

Upcoming movies that I have any interest in are thin on the ground. Aquaman comes out early next year I think, but I’m not giving movie theater money to a DC movie until they prove they’re worth it. I think Venom is actually out in a couple of days, but I can’t summon any interest at all in that. We might catch it some night on Netflix if we’re bored.