The personal intersecting with the science (AKA Work/life balance): I’ve been sick this past week, which isn’t great timing when I literally cannot miss a day of lab without risking over a month of work. So that’s been fun. For those interested, I’m knocking out a gene of interest in cell lines, isolating single cells, and growing populations from those single cells. When enough cells grow, I can store some as back ups–but I’m not at that stage yet. If any of them die out now, they’re gone forever.
Every Heart a Doorway is nominated for a Hugo: I posted last month about this novella, how much I loved it, and how it hit me on a personal level. So it’s worth mentioning that Every Heart a Doorway is on the ballot for the Hugo. It’s pretty awesome to see something that feels so outside the mainstream being acknowledged.
Another convention has a harassment-related scandal: For those who haven’t heard, there was an uproar last week about a sci-fi convention that had a known harasser (who’s been at it for over a decade) on staff, after a guest of honor pulled out of the convention over his presence. Jim C. Hines has a write-up explaining the situation, and K Tempest Bradford’s post has some other information. The convention initially stood by the harasser, before finally removing him from their staff.
It was handled impressively badly. When their guest of honor contacted them, explaining that she’d personally had uncomfortable experiences with him and didn’t feel safe, one of them replied back saying that the rumors about this guy are overblown and she’s not being fair to herself in avoiding him. Then someone from the convention publicly posted the private emails she’d sent to them without her permission (they’ve since been deleted). Among other insensitive things. So that happened.
1) The Bard’s Departure; A Psychologist’s Reaction to Episode 85 of Critical Role – I like to point out posts professionals make talking about media, and this links to a more personal piece from the perspective of someone who’s experienced the psychology in question–also an important thing to pay attention to.
2) My updated thoughts on Critical Role – With the show doing a year time-skip, this is a great time to check in.
The journey to hell arch – I loved this. The group walked into an all new setting where everyone was trying to corrupt them and get them to sell their souls. There was a bunch of information gathering, subterfuge, and deal making–not all of it to the party’s favor. The rush through the prison itself, searching for their target while not trying to get caught by the guards, was thrilling. I do love seeing those high level spells used creatively, and the cast really had fun with this one. There were several close, tense moments where everything depended on the roll of the dice. I was on the edge of my seat, probably more so than for any other action-based episode in the series.
The wind-down/conclusion before the time-skip – This was hilarious. The show is always good, but this was one of the funniest episodes I can remember. It’s highly dependent on the personalities of every character, and yet accessible to newcomers. If I’m ever in the position of finding an entry point into Critical Role for a friend, I’ll start them at the moment in this episode where Pike shows up–it provides a bit of exposition for her character, who was absent, but not too much. And the humor for the bar scene here doesn’t depend so heavily on all the moments that came before it.