What a werewolf!

I’ve been picking up some old movies on DVD lately to improve my education in the classics: specifically, an old favorite, the Hammer horror films. Yesterday, to take a break from class prep, I watched one I hadn’t seen before, Curse of the Werewolf. It has an interesting plot, a bit more thoughtful and melancholy than your usual monster movie, but what really wakes up the show is the actor in the lead: Oliver Reed.


Whoa. I swear, I really am a boringly straight guy and wholeheartedly monogamous to boot, but Reed was one scarily, dangerously, manly fellow. He’s intense, tormented, and even when he’s with the woman he loves, he’s haunted. Lance Mannion also thinks highly of him:

To me, Reed always came across as the most dangerous man alive. This made him awfully difficult to cast well. He was too handsome and heroic looking to play your average movie villain, and too goddamn full of barely repressed violence and rage to play an appealing hero. His two best roles were, therefore, Sikes, the villain who could have been a hero, and Athos in The Three Musketeers and The Four Musketeers, a hero who’s as callous, bloody-minded, and deadly as any villain, and who in one way goes even farther than Sikes in awfulness—Sikes beats the woman who loves him to death and then is haunted by his conscience; Athos coolly orders the woman he loves executed and then watches without a twinge as she’s rowed out into the middle of a lake, beheaded, and dumped into the water.

Those are better films than Curse of the Werewolf, but I’d have to say that this is also one of his best roles. Lon Chaney Jr is the guy that everyone thinks of when werewolf movies are brought up, but Chaney always looked like the sad ol’ hounddog, beaten down by his condition; Reed is always fierce and brutal and on edge, much more wolf-like. And look at him—he’s both feral and gorgeous.

Me, again

Well, there I am again, mentioned in an article in Nature (Nature Reviews Genetics, actually), but I have to agree with RPM: it’s an awfully thin article that draws unwarranted and hasty conclusions from a tiny sample. It would have been better to actually talk to some of the people blogging about genes and genetics—we tend to be a voluble bunch, I think, and would have given her plenty of material to work with—rather than glancing at a few sites and trying to draw grand generalizations from them.

Skipper M (2006) Would Mendel have been a blogger? Nature Reviews Genetics 7:664.

You won’t see this on Cute Overload


How would you like to see that coming out of the dark at you?

Here’s a dramatic account of divers meeting a school of Humboldt squid—the beasts are as big as a man, and aggressive.

As I floated there transfixed, a large squid moved to within two feet and flashed again. Mesmerized by the strobe effect, I didn’t see that another squid was rushing in from my left. Bam! It hit me with a tentacular strike that felt like being hit with a baseball bat square in the ribs. Shocked by the power of the strike and unable to breathe because of a cramp in my chest, I turned to see what had hit me and saw four more squid headed toward me. The first came in so fast that I could barely track it with the camera, and then Bam! It struck the camera, which in turn struck me in the face. I was starting to feel like I was in a barroom brawl.

After five attacks of equal ferocity, the magnificent monsters decided I was inedible and had no further use for me. With a few blasts from their massive jet funnels, they disappeared into the depths within seconds. Dazed and excited, I realized the entire ordeal lasted less than one minute. After dangling in the water for 30 minutes looking for any signs of their return, I surfaced and climbed into the boat. I later discovered bruises on me the size of oranges, as well as several scratches in my anti-squid armor suit. The system was working, but each attack left its mark — and this was just the first dive of dozens yet to come.

Cool…an anti-squid armor suit. That could be handy, someday.

James Dobson, Santa Claus

Dang, but I seem to be too late. A Seattle newsweekly describes a generous program from Focus on the Family—you could get on to their website store, order up to $100 worth of their enlightening merchandise, and then they only asked for a donation! Pay $0, get it all for free!

Unfortunately, they seem to have caught on. Now you only get a message that the resource center is closed. Keep an eye on it in case it re-opens.

(via Riba Rambles)

It’s backup, and jeez…it worked. At least, we’ll see if it works if the books arrive in about two weeks. Look at it as a way to get your hands on Wells’ Icons of Evolution or some of Phillip Johnson’s books while paying what they’re worth.