Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Fandom School Class (1st period): Canon

Hello, dear readers! I noticed that my post "Fandom School" was quite popular, and one person commented "Do it!" Now, I can't actually set up a virtual fandom school (I don't know how), although there are lots of multifandom communities you can join on Google+ (I'm sure there are lots of multifandom Facebook and tumblr groups, too, but I wouldn't know). So, up first (i.e., our first period class) is Canon.

First of all, what is canon?
In general, canon refers to things that are understood to be true according to sources that are accepted. (It also refers to a musical round, but that's not relevant here.) To be a little more specific, there are two types of canon. 

The canon of the church
The church has a few written works that it accepts as canon. This includes the bible, catechisms, and other select works as defined by the denomination. For example, I belong to the Christian Reformed Church (a Protestant denomination of Christianity), which follows the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dordt. 

The canon of fandoms
This is the type of canon with which you, my readers, are probably most familiar with. This is determined by what happens in the TV show/movie/book and all related spin-offs (except for fanfiction, which may or may not be canon). It tells what happened and is true, and what didn't and should be ignored. Many people like to ignore the canon in favor of their own ships, fanfiction, etc. 

But more on that next class. I'll see you next week, with our 2nd period class: ships. (Please leave suggestions for classes you'd like to see at fandom school. Thanks!)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Book Review- Brenwyd Legacy: Finding Truth

So today, I'd like to take a little break from writing about my fandoms to writing something different: a book review.

I actually first read this book several months ago, but I keep forgetting to review it. Finally, here it is. What reminded me was a video I saw a little while ago from Hank Green at vlogbrothers suggesting a new trend: #reviewsdaytuesday. You simply take a picture of a book and review it. I'm trying to post a review on amazon, but I'm hitting technical difficulties, so I'll do that later, although I will link to the website right here. So without further ado, here is my review.

This book had me hooked from the first sentence. "Long ago in Dark Age England, a woman slipped out of her house late at night, about to play a crucial role in a drama that would not end for many centuries." Right from the get-go, Groux had me excited and interested, and she also showed me that her writing is great. This is a must-read for anyone who loves fantasy, especially Christians. At first glance, it might seem like your typical fantasy story, complete with lovable animals. But, as you read it, you learn that it's more than that. These aren't just tales of adventure and bravery, they're tales of soul-searching, courage, trust, faith (in God and in each other), treachery, forgiveness, and, as the title says, truth. It's amazing to see the way the characters are developed throughout the story, especially Cassie and Will. I like how Cassie isn't your typical protagonist: she is by no standards weak, she is exceedingly brave, quick to trust and quicker to forgive, unhesitating to love, and unafraid to have and share her faith. I would certainly love to be like her. She also isn't the typical female lead who just falls for the first guy who crosses her path. She knows that loving and trusting God comes above all else. Her dedication towards her parents and her friends is amazing. It's also great to read Will's perspective and see how he struggles to find himself and what he believes in. All in all, it's a fantastic book, and I would recommend it to anyone.

So there you go. By the way, if you do get this book, I highly recommend getting a hard copy; the cover is made out of this really cool paper. You'll just have to see for yourself. I might make this #reviewsdaytuesday a regular thing, I don't know. It will probably depend on your feedback. Thank you all for reading this and have a great day. See you tomorrow when we start Fandom School!

Monday, April 28, 2014

How To Make Deductions Like Sherlock

Image by Amanda Brandenburger for my fanfiction "A Detective Without His Deductions" on

Everybody wants to be Sherlock Holmes, the world's only consulting detective and a certifiable genius. If you don't believe me, ask him to deduce you. He can tell a whole person's life just by looking at them. In theory. Sadly, he doesn't exist in real life. But we can still emulate him. Here's how:

1. Observation
A key reason that Sherlock knows all he does is because he observes. He frequently tells people in a tone of frustration "you see, you just don't observe." Stop reading and take a minute to look around the room/vehicle you are currently in. What do you see?

Wait, why are you still reading? I said look around first.
Good. Now, what did you see?

Okay, not bad, but I bet you can notice more. Look around and take note of EVERYTHING. Even the little things. Sherlock says in A Case of Identity "It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important." If something is hidden, uncover it and take a look. Examine all the nooks and crannies as best you can. Don't be afraid to crawl around and get up close and personal with your belongings. There's a lot to see, isn't there? I suggest you write down your observations to keep track. In fact, if you really want to be a good detective, you ought to keep a record of all your observations. I'd do this for at least a day, but the longer you do it, the better. Good. Now on to the next step.

2. Don't forget the obvious
In The Bascombe Valley Mystery, Sherlock says "There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact." Don't ignore the evidence glaring you in the face. It's easy to forget or rule out. For example, in the Doctor Who episode "The Day of the Doctor", the three Doctors come up with an elaborate plot for getting out of the dungeon, only to find that the door is unlocked.

2. Don't jump to conclusions
Okay, so technically this isn't a step, but it's still important. Sherlock hates making a conclusion with insufficient data, and you should too. He said in A Scandal In Bohemia "It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." Bias clouds judgement and makes it hard for you to deduce properly.

3. Don't let your emotions get in the way
"Detection is, or ought to be, an exact science, and should be treated in the same cold and unemotional manner." So, don't get too emotionally attached to any given problem, including the people or objects involved.

4. Ignore the information that is insignificant, and focus on what's important
Sherlock tells us in The Reigate Puzzle "It is of the highest importance in the art of detection to be able to recognize, out of a number of facts, which are incidental and which vital. Otherwise your energy and attention must be dissipated instead of being concentrated." In many cases, time is of the essence, so even though you need to be able to notice everything, you also need to be able to discard anything that's irrelevant.

5. Deduction
Remember all your observations that are relevant (here's where having them written down helps), and think backwards. Instead of thinking of what will logically happen when given a series of events (reasoning analytically), you are thinking of what series of events could have logically led up to the current state of things (reasoning synthetically). This is called synthesizing information. Okay, got it all? Now you can begin to theorize. Use your new information, along with common sense, to come up with plausible theories. Keep in mind they should be plausible. Just guessing is a bad idea. For example, in solving a murder mystery, don't say the culprit is a ghost (unless, you're talking about Supernatural, Doctor Who, or other related fiction, of course). It's usually a good idea to come up with a few theories, so you can discard ones that are disproved. All of this together is called deduction.

6. Eliminate the impossible
Good work so far! Now you can start ruling out answers. "How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?" Sherlock says repeatedly, including in The Sign of Four. Get rid of anything that has been proved to be untrue or that is just flat out impossible.

7. Conclusion
And finally, you get to draw conclusions. Tie up all the loose ends (well, all that you can) and think about what it all means. It may be helpful to use your imagination for this part. You may also want to talk to other people who can give you another angle on things or offer more information. When you've got it all, wrap it up. Speak your conclusion in a confident, rapid-fire manner, and people will think you're a genius regardless of what you say. If you followed all the steps correctly, you are something of a genius. Good for you!

Sherlock Holmes quotes collected courtesy of The quotes themselves belong to the wonderful Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who started the whole thing.

(In response to a comment on this post, yes, I did write this. That being said, a lot of credit goes to the website I mentioned above for collecting quotes about deduction. I basically figured out what those quotes meant, elaborated, organized them, and put them into a blog post. If you want to see how close I am to that website, just click the link I gave.)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Girl Power in Fiction

As a girl, I'm all for women's rights.
Yes we can!
In fiction, we meet lots of brave, daring, female characters who are every bit as amazing as the men. Here are a few of my favorites:

Potterheads, rejoice! Another Harry Potter reference comes your way. Anyone who's read the books or seen the movies knows Hermione Granger, the girl with Ravenclaw wits and Gryffindor bravery. She's always got her nose in a book, and her vast pool of knowledge often proves helpful to Harry and his friends. She's up for any sort of intellectual challenge, and is an eternal know-it-all. But over the course of the series, she stops being obnoxious about it, and her friendliness and helpfulness increases.
Now I know a lot of you Whovians are like "I didn't even like Martha that much. She was just like a lame version of Rose." But hear me out a minute. Whatever Martha was, she was a strong-willed, independent woman. She wasn't going to hang around for a man she knew wouldn't love her back. She had the independence and foresight to voluntarily leave the Doctor, and was one of the few to do so. She wasn't just going to be a stay at home wife and mom, either, though. She finished her studies and became a doctor, showing she was a capable woman. She stayed behind for her family because she knew the value of caring for and sticking up for family.
3. Elsa
Anyone who's seen Frozen will agree; Elsa is the epitome of the independent woman. After a childhood of self-imposed isolation, she refuses to allow her sister to marry a stranger, then accidentally uses her powers to set off an eternal winter, and flees to a mountain where she makes an elaborate ice palace and lives in isolation again. This is because she cares enough and is responsible enough that she wants to go where she (thinks) she can't hurt anyone. Unlike most Disney princesses (or in this case, queens), she doesn't fall for just anyone that comes her way. In fact, she doesn't fall for anyone at all. The only love she displays (besides the love of a queen for her country and people) is towards her sister. She's an amazing woman, I think we can all agree.
4. Merida
Basically, the whole movie is about girl power. Merida is an awesome Scottish princess who runs away because she doesn't want to marry any of the suitors her parents are suggesting. She wants to rule her own life, and if that doesn't say feminism, nothing does.
This girl just plain kicks butt! She is tough, even tougher than a lot of male protagonists. She works to help other people, but she's not some sort of servant. In the grand scheme of things, she does what she wants, and isn't afraid to use almost any means necessary to obtain salvation for others and herself, and to make things go her way. She's loyal, even in a game where the goal is to kill each other. That takes a lot of guts, and that's just what she's got lots of.
Okay, so she may not be quite as good as some of the others on this list, but she's still pretty awesome. I mean, mere minutes after her rescue, she pulls out a gun and saves herself and her rescuers. She's pretty good with a lightsaber, too.
7. Éowyn
Sure, the witch-king had it coming when he said "no man can kill me", but that doesn't make Éowyn any less great. She rode into battle disguised as a man, taking two hobbits who she sympathized with along on her horse, and then defeated one of the biggest bad guys in the entire series (aside from Sauron himself, of course)!
If you haven't seen the movie or read the book yet, you really should. This little girl, Matilda, overcomes adversity by reading books. Her parents don't think much of her, but we know she's a genius. She even teaches herself telekinesis and uses it to punish the mean people in her life in exceedingly humorous ways.
She is the first to discover the wardrobe, after all. She goes where the boys fear to tread, and has no problem with discovering a magical land inside a wardrobe. She's also very brave.
Okay, you've probably guessed by now that I'm partial to Doctor Who. I can't help it, I'm a Whovian through and through. Donna is brave, rude, and not afraid to slap the Doctor (multiple times) and tell him when he's wrong. She berates him for not helping enough people, for being cruel, and for generally being a jerk. She's a strong-willed woman who isn't afraid to speak her mind. Go Donna! This is especially true in the case of the Doctor-Donna, who sadly didn't last.

And that's the list. Comment and let me know who your favorite strong female in fiction is.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Announcement: Enroll In Fandom School!

Hello, dear readers! I hope you liked my post about Fandom School (if you haven't read it, you can find it here). I decided to post Fandom School posts weekly on Wednesday. These will contain lessons for the classes at Fandom School. The subjects so far are:

First period: Canon
Second period: Ships
Third period: I Can't Even [how to deal with feels]
Fourth period: Fanfiction

I will add more subjects as interest is displayed. Review this post and submit your application, please. You can also subscribe to my blog to make sure you never miss another post. Thanks!

Why Lightsabers Are Cool

Hello, Star Wars fandom! (By the way, is there a name for Star Wars fans?) Here's my first post about Star Wars, just because why not?

Everyone knows lightsabers are awesome. If you didn't before, now you know. But why are they called lightsabers anyway? It's a compound word; "light" (we all know what that means, I hope) and "saber" (basically a sword) combine to make lightsaber, a glowing sword. At first glance, it just looks like a giant glow stick (which, I must say, is already pretty awesome). But then two characters pull out their lightsabers and you learn that it's really a giant glow stick of death! Perfect for dueling. It slices cleanly, and if you could touch it without cutting your fingers off, I'd expect it would feel hot to the touch. After all, it is pure light. Well, pure light inside a scabbard of sorts. And, well, it's awesome.

Lightsabers make duels epic. Think of your favorite duel scene (besides ones in Star Wars). It's best if you think of a sword fight, but other duels will work too. (I'm imagining the sword fight near the beginning of the Princess Bride.) Now imagine the people fighting have lightsabers. That battle just got epic, don't you think? Lightsabers make boring scenes exciting and good scenes even better.

Go lightsabers and may the force be with you!

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Image Of An Angel Becomes An Angel

Hello again, Whovians! I'm sure you've guessed by now that I'm going to talk about weeping angels. This is the part where most people would insert a picture of a weeping angel, but I'm not going to. Here's why: we learned in "Time of the Angels" that "the image of an angel becomes an angel". So that means every picture of a weeping angel or statue (remember that any statue could be a weeping angel) becomes an angel. Every time you post a weeping angel meme, you're spawning a new one. Stop this madness!

Here are a few tips about the weeping angels:
(From Blink)

  1. They are quantum locked, meaning that as long as you look at them, they are stone and therefore can't move.
  2. Defeat them by getting them to look at each other.
  3. Don't blink. Don't even blink. Blink and you're dead.
  4. They are fast. Faster than you can believe.
  5. Don't turn your back on them, don't look away, and don't blink.
  6. Good luck.

(From Flesh and Stone and The Time of Angels)

  1. The image of an angel becomes an angel
  2. Don't look an angel straight in the eyes or you could become one.
  3. If this happens, don't open your eyes.
  4. If you think you are a weeping angel, just have a friend bite you. You'll be back to normal in no time (except for the bruise).
  5. Even statues that don't resemble weeping angels at all could be weeping angels. Don't wake them up.

(From other episodes)

  1. They have no problem making alliances to defeat the Doctor.
  2. If they send someone to one time, they will likely send you back to that time, too.
  3. Like the Daleks, they are hard to get rid of.

So be on the lookout, be prepared to defeat them, and above all, DO NOT SHARE THE IMAGE OF AN ANGEL!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Why Do We Love Villains?

Aren't we all?
Quick! Name your favorite villain/psychopath! 
Having trouble naming just one? You aren't alone. Many of us fall in love with fictional villains. 
But why? That's what this post seeks to answer.

First of all, let's be clear about who we're talking about. According to the (World English) dictionary, a psychopath is "a person afflicted with a personality disorder characterized by a tendency to commit antisocial and sometimes violent acts"*. And a villain is "a wicked or malevolent person" or "(in a novel, play, film, etc.) the main evil character and antagonist to the hero". So these people are not nice. And they don't care. In some cases, they even enjoy being evil.

So why do we like them? Some people might say we just like the actors, but not all villains look attractive, and the whole "it's just the actors" theory doesn't account for characters in books, comics, etc.

Therefore, we must be attracted to the characters themselves. What makes these characters attractive? Well, let's take a look at a few example villains.

Moriarty (Sherlock)
Who's the archenemy of the world's only consulting detective? Jim Moriarty, the world's only consulting criminal. Obviously. He's totally crazy, but has enough sense to pull off huge crimes and not get caught. He's very good with technology and has all sorts of good uses for it. He even pulls off fake identities, such as Jim from IT and (I won't spoil it for the rest of you, but people who've seen season 3 know what I mean). He pulls off a huge crime in broad daylight and gets off scott-free! (Or is it Andrew-free? Pun intended.) And we even discover he did something pretty amazing (again, I'm trying to keep this spoiler-free, and some of you will know what the amazing thing is). He's powerful, smart, malicious, and crazy in a sexy sort of way that few can pull off. All in all, he's an awesome villain, and it's no wonder people are obsessing over him and shipping him.

The Master (Doctor Who)
For those of you who've seen both Classic Who and New Who (if you don't know what Classic Who is, you probably haven't seen it), you know that the Master is a recurring villain, and he's regenerated a few times. For the rest of you, you've probably seen the Master at least once. Like the Doctor, he's a Time Lord who survived the great Time War. The two used to be friends, but then the Master became crazy and evil. He hears the constant sound of drums in his head, which apparently call him to rule the universe. He's every bit as clever as the Doctor, but unlike the Doctor, he has no kindness or forgiveness, and he thinks killing people is fun. Depending on which regeneration of the Master you look at, you might find the actor attractive, but even more would argue that the character himself is evil in a seductive way. He certainly managed to deceive poor Lucy.

The Daleks (Doctor Who)
I know there should probably be only one Doctor Who villain, but I just couldn't leave out the Daleks. And besides, "good men don't need rules" and "the Doctor lies". Daleks are the quintessential villain: machines of pure, unadulterated hatred. Hate is the only emotion they can feel, and they feel it quite strongly. Their goal is to exterminate every living thing that is not a Dalek, especially the Doctor.

Mr. Hyde (The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde)
I've only read the book, so that's what I'm talking about here. Hyde is Jekyll's own invention, and is essentially Jekyll's evil nature. All he has to do is drink a potion and he is transformed to a huge, grotesque villain. Mr. Hyde is not very bright (unlike Dr. Jekyll), but he is very evil. All he knows is how to be pure evil. Jekyll learns throughout the book that the more he uses Hyde, the more evil he becomes. I don't think anyone could argue Hyde is attractive, but he is extraordinarily evil and certainly a villain.

Voldemort (Harry Potter)
Whether you're talking about the movies or the books, there's no doubt that Voldemort is a villain. I mean, for most of the series, the characters won't even say his name! He's either "the Dark Lord" (for the people on his side) or "He Who Must Not Be Named". Full of selfish greed, he kills witches, wizards, and muggles left and right, then has no qualms about murdering both parents of the boy who will supposedly kill him. Only he can't kill the boy. Voldemort may be an evil guy, but in the scope of the story, his success rate is pretty low. As with Mr. Hyde, I have a hard time considering Voldemort attractive, but hey, you never know.

Cruella de vil (101 Dalmatians)
Arguably one of the best movie villains of all time (she has a bit more competition in literature), this woman has a great sense of fashion and a horrible sense of animal rights. This dog-killer is bad to the bone (pun intended).

Khan (Star Trek)
Like the Master, Khan has appeared many times and has been played by multiple actors. Most recently, Benedict Cumberbatch (Moriarty's enemy, Sherlock in BBC's Sherlock) has played this nemesis. Whatever the specific plot is, Khan's goal is always the same: mess things up Captain Kirk and his crew. There's nothing quite like a dangerous, focused villain.

No list of villains would be complete without this guy. He's a stranger all in black, breathing loudly in a way that somehow freaks everyone out, a man with powers (that he won't hesitate to use) to choke someone to death. A guy who can whip out a glowing red weapon and kill a super-important good guy in less than a minute, a guy who looks the protagonist in the eye and says with his haunting voice, "Luke, I am your father." And then we find out that this guy used to be a jedi, just like Luke. He's scary, make no doubt about it!

So, what did we find out? Most, but not all evil characters are attractive. They're all scary, though. Are we just attracted to scary characters? Maybe, but that answer doesn't satisfy me. Here's a few more theories:

1. A good villain is much less scary than the real enemy- ourselves.
Some psychologists would argue that we are our own enemies. I mean, after all, think about all the times you've wanted to do something evil. It's much easier to blame all the evil stuff on a villain than acknowledge that we are in fact responsible for evil.
2. Liking a villain is safer than acting out our own evil desires.
A corollary to #2, we like to do evil things. But most of us know that doing so is a bad idea. So, we just think about all the stuff villains do and admire them, all the while secretly envying them. Sometimes we even think about what we would do if we were villains.
3. Villains get what they want.
Let's face it, we all want lots of things. Villains get whatever they want. Sometimes we are jealous and therefore like the evil people who do whatever they feel like.
4. Villains can give revenge.
Ever gotten so angry about something someone did that you plotted revenge? Most of us have. But have you gotten so angry that you imagined getting a villain to do your revenge work for you? Some of us have done that, and then of course we like the villains for doing what we ask them to (at least in our minds).
5. Villains are powerful.
You can't deny it, power is attractive. Yes, it may not be all it seems, yes, it corrupts, but it's still attractive. We like people who have power, and that includes villains.

And that's about it! Comment and let me know who your favorite villain is?

*Technically, "sociopath" is just another word for "psychopath", so Sherlock Holmes is not a sociopath as he claims. Apparently he didn't do his research. See here and here.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Fandom School

This is inspired by a post I saw on Google plus imagining a fandom school exists. I decided to flesh out the idea a little more and make a blog post about it. 

Fandom High
A safe learning haven for all fangirls and fanboys

Classes Include:
Canon: what it is, how to understand it, and when to ignore it in favor of your own idea. 
Shipping: how to pair two characters realistically
Fanfiction writing: the art of writing stuff that never happened to characters who don't exist
Invention: create a time machine, a machine to make fictional characters real, etc. Anything goes. 
Abbreviations: learn "otp", "gpoy", "feels", "I can't even", and much more!

Lunch includes themed meals, with a new fandom each week!

Each fandom has a hallway dedicated to it. Immerse yourself in the wonder of the Doctor Who hallway, but watch out when you walk through the Hunger Games hallway. 

If you work really hard, you may be awarded "Fan of the Year". This lucky student gets to meet his/her favorite actor. 

Actors/writers/producers of the various fandoms will make random appearances and/or occasionally give speeches. Don't skip school, or you might miss them!

An application form for the school might look something like this:

Home planet:
Fandoms (check all that apply)*:
Main fandom (check only one)*:
Favorite actor:
Favorite book:
Favorite movie:
Favorite TV show:
If you could visit any place in the fictional universe, where would it be?
Finally, tell us why you are an eternal diehard fangirl/fanboy and deserve to go to this school. 

I would love to go to this school! If only it existed. 

* I'm not going to post all the fandoms here because that would be too long of a list and I'd inevitably leave some out. 

Monday, April 21, 2014


Music is awesome. Period. Murray Gold is also awesome, as anyone who's listened to the music in Doctor Who knows. I've had fun making various parodies and arrangements of music related to Doctor Who and other fandoms. Here's the list:

A parody of Frozen's "Let It Go" about the Tenth Doctor regenerating.

This one is just about Doctor Who in general. The Doctor longs for the normal life he knows he can never have.

Little Amelia dreams of the TARDIS she saw that one night.

Rose dreams of the time spent with the Doctor.

I added Doctor Who quotes in to make lyrics for this awesome song.

A medley of music from all my favorite fandoms.

I'll update this list as I make more songs.

The Whovian Dictionary

Just for fun, here's a list of all the words we Whovians love:

Allons-y! - Let's go

Amy Pond - the Eleventh Doctor's first companion. Come along, pond!

Apples - the Doctor hates apples; apples are rubbish

Bad Wolf - the end of the universe. Also, Rose Tyler.

Banana - that delicious yellow fruit we all love

Barcelona - a city and a planet. Both are awesome.

Bow tie - a piece of clothing that is absolutely cool

Brilliant - great

Bunk bed - a bed with a bunk. Also cool.

Captain Jack Harkness - biggest flirt ever. Also, he can't die.

Celery - it is perfectly acceptable to wear this food item as an accessory

Clara Oswin Oswald - companion to the Eleventh Doctor, the impossible girl

Cyberman - a human that has been "upgraded" into a killing machine

Dalek - a machine of pure evil

Donna Noble - companion to the Tenth Doctor, her mind was wiped and now she can't remember him or she'll die

Elizabeth I - queen of England, secretly married to the Tenth Doctor

Fantastic - awesome

Fez - the coolest hat ever

Fish fingers and custard - a delicious food combo

Fob watch - if you see someone with this, they may be a Time Lord in disguise

Gallifrey - the Doctor's home planet

Genetic transfer - a kiss

Geronimo! - here goes

Ginger - everyone knows the Doctor will never be ginger

Jackie Tyler - Rose's mum, makes a good cup of tea

Jelly babies - delicious candy

Jenny - the Doctor's daughter (and clone)

Judoon - intergalactic thugs that look like rhinos

K-9 - the Doctor's faithful robot companion. Given to Sarah Jane Smith as a gift.

Mad man with a box - the Doctor

Martha Jones - companion to the Tenth Doctor, left because she loved him and he didn't love her back

The Master - an insane Time Lord, the Doctor's archenemy

Mickey Smith - Rose Tyler's previous boyfriend, somewhat useless

Psychic paper - shows whatever people want to see

Rassilon - leader of the Time Lords. Plans to end the universe.

Regeneration - a Time Lord's way of cheating death by getting a new body

River Song - the Doctor's wife. She also killed him. And she's the daughter of his best friends, Amy and Rory. Awkward!

Rose Tyler - the Doctor's girlfriend. Currently trapped in a parallel world.

Rory Williams - Amy's wife, the last centurion, the guy who kept dying and coming back

Sarah Jane Smith - companion to the Doctor, runs her own alien-defeating business

Scarf - the Fourth Doctor wears a long, multicolored one

The Silence - wait, who?

Silurian - reptilian aliens. The Doctor is friends with one of them.

Skaro - home planet of the Daleks

The Snowmen - watch out, they're deadly

Sonic screwdriver - the best tool ever!

Sontaran - a war-loving alien that looks like a potato

Soufflé - what women trapped inside Daleks make

Spoilers - a phrase used to plug any plot hole or confusing detail. River Song's favorite word.

Sweetie - River Song's name for the Doctor. As in "Hello, sweetie."

TARDIS - the Time Lords use these to travel through time and space. The Doctor owns one.

Time Lord - an alien race that travels through time and space

Torchwood - a secret institution that uses alien technology against aliens. The Doctor used to be their enemy until they were restarted after being destroyed at Canary Wharf.

Weeping Angels - Don't blink. Blink and you're dead. They are fast, faster than you can believe. Don't turn your back, don't look away, and don't blink. Good luck.

Wilfred Mott - Donna's grandpa, a very kind man. The reason the Tenth Doctor regenerated.

Wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey - used to describe anything confusing/complicated

Zygon - big red alien covered in suckers, surprisingly good kisser

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Fake Death vs. Real Resurrection

Hello, dear readers! For all you Christians out there, happy Easter! Today we celebrate Christ's resurrection after being nailed to the cross. I wanted to do a post that was somehow Easter related, so I thought about how Easter is the day Christ came back from the dead. I thought I'd talk about a few fictional faked deaths where the characters "miraculously" came back from the dead. Except unlike Jesus, they never actually died.

*spoiler alert: this post is full of spoilers, so if you aren't up to date on all the shows/movies/books I'm covering, you might want to stop reading now*

Doctor Who
Depending on how you count it, every time the Doctor regenerates, he fakes his death. Although you could argue this, most people (including myself) would say it doesn't count, because we know he'll regenerate. However, there is one time the Doctor actually faked his death. At Lake Silencio, River shot him, then shot him again before he could regenerate. He should have died, but he faked it. He got the tesselector to do him a favor; he was miniaturized and put inside a robot that can withstand almost anything. This apparently includes being shot twice and being drenched in gasoline and set on fire. It was a pretty impressive faked death, and we're all glad the Doctor survived, since that means the show goes on. 

Sherlock Holmes, the world's only consulting detective, was revealed to be a fake by "Richard Brooke" (aka Jim Moriarty). Except we know that this isn't true; we believe in Sherlock Holmes. All the same, Sherlock had to do something. So, he faked his suicide. He jumped off a building. There's a lot of controversy as to how he did it, especially since the writers haven't really cleared it up. But however he did it, the great Sherlock Holmes is off solving mysteries. 

Harry Potter
Now I'm sure some of you reading this will be confused. When did Harry fake his death? I'm not sure it actually shows up in the movies, so those of you who haven't read the books will be very confused. Read on, and I'll remind you of what happened. In book 7, Voldemort tries to kill Harry. (Actually, that happens throughout the series, but this is the only time when Harry fakes his death.) Except that, like all the other times, it doesn't work. It ends up killing the horcrux Voldemort accidentally put in Harry as a baby. Harry pretends to be dead for a short time so he has a better chance to get back at Voldemort. (Yes, I know it's "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named", but he's dead now, so it really doesn't matter.) This isn't a full-fledged fake death, but it's still notable. 

And those are all the faked deaths I can think of. Let me know in the comments if you think of one I forgot. Now let's move on to the death that wasn't faked, and the resurrection that was just as real. 

Jesus Christ
Even if you aren't a Christian, you've probably heard the story of Jesus Christ. Here's the short version. God created us, but we are sinful and we all deserve to go to hell. But God didn't want us to go to hell, so needed someone to take the punishment. So, he sent his son Jesus Christ. He was born on earth, and as he grew up, he began to teach God's word. His life and teachings can be found in the Bible (specifically in the Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). The government (i.e., the Romans) thought he was a threat and accused him of blasphemy for claiming to be the son of God. They crucified him with two real criminals next to him, one on his right and one on his left. He died and was buried. Then, 3 days later, when his friends came to visit him, the tomb was empty. His friends freaked out and thought someone had stolen the body until they learned the truth: God had raised him from the dead. Jesus stayed a little longer on Earth, then he ascended into heaven. Now I don't know about you, but I think that's a pretty amazing story. And unlike the other stories, this one is true. Jesus really did exist. He really did die, and he really was resurrected. I serve a risen savior, and he's awesome!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

What Fiction Teaches Us About Life

We all love fiction. Whether it's TV shows, books, movies, or all of the above, most of us belong to at least one fandom. Some people just watch (or read) for fun, while others are diehard fans. But whatever you are, if you pay attention, you can learn all sorts of things from fictional characters.

1. Be friendly
Especially, make friends with people who seem alone. Often, those people who seem to be outcasts are actually the main character, and even if they don't seem to have much to offer, friendship is amazing. It's always good to know someone will have your back. 

2. Fight for what you believe in
How does the protagonist of a story become the protagonist? By standing up for something they believe in. Even if the story starts off with a simple adventure or accident, the hero inevitably has to prove his/her worth. 

3. Don't give up
Have you ever noticed how it's right at the darkest hour, when everything seems to be going wrong, that things finally start going right? If you never persevere, you'll be defeated at the climax, instead of getting to the happy ending. 

4. It's never too late
As any fictional work will show you, it's never too late. Better late than never you tell someone you love them, stand up for what you believe in, save somebody, change the world, anything. The sooner the better, but just because it's been a long time doesn't mean you can't try it. 

5. Believe in yourself
You've seen it a billion times. The ordinary guy thinks he's nothing, and then he discovers he's a wizard, or the dwarves' new thief, or an owner of a dragon (the good kind), or... the list goes on. A wise person once said "Some people are born great, some become great, and some have greatness thrust upon them." So even if your life seems totally mundane now, remember, you just might be a hero in the making.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Science of Time Travel

Time travel is awesome. Science is awesome. The two actually coincide, and not just in science fiction shows like Doctor Who. Scientists have accounted for the possibility of time travel, even if it's only in theory so far. But first, let's discuss what different works of science fiction have to say about time travel.

Time Travel According to Doctor Who
This is an awesome show about an alien (who conveniently looks like a human and can change his body) who travels through time and space in his TARDIS. The TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space) can take him anywhere and anywhen in the universe. Except that he can't go to parallel universes (unless some weird stuff happens), and he has to stay away from some things (e.g., the 1980's). He told us himself that time is not a linear progression of events. It is in fact "a great big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey... stuff". That means that all the events are sort of mushed together and occurring at once. We just happen to travel forwards through a certain set of events at a certain rate. We also know that there are fixed points and "Crossing into established events is strictly forbidden. Except for cheap tricks." But there are also temporal tipping points where anything can happen. So go explore and have fun through all of time and space!

Time Travel According to Connie Willis
If you haven't read Connie Willis' time travel books, I highly recommend them. In these books (set in the future), Oxford University has gained the power to travel through time. Historians go back in time to see how accurate the history books really are. They have to blend in and try not to change any major events. Technicians send the historians back and then get a "fix" on the historians' coordinates, both location and time. They then open up the "net" at the specified time at the "fix" to retrieve the historians. There are two kinds of "drops". In a "real-time drop", time passes for both sides equally. If the historian is gone for a week, he/she comes back to the future a week after he/she left. In a "flash-time drop", the historian comes back to the exact time he/she left, regardless of how long he/she has been gone. Either way, it's pretty awesome. 

Time Travel According to Back To The Future
This movie features a DeLorian (an old, expensive car) that can travel through time. You simply set the flux capacitor to the date you want, and you drive into the past (or the future). You have to watch out and be careful not to change important events. No killing your grandfather (or stopping your parents from meeting). If you do mess things up, you'll have to find some way to fix them. So hop in the DeLorian for a wild ride!

Time Travel According to Science
Yes, science does account for time travel. Check out to learn more. The only part of it that really makes sense to me is this:
If you travel faster than the speed of light, you travel faster than the rest of the universe, so you go forward. Though, technically speaking, we all travel forward in time. Anyway, good luck time traveling!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sonic Screwdriver!

Continuing the theme from the last post of the Doctor's tools, I give you the most awesome tool ever: the sonic screwdriver. For those of you non-Whovians (and given the way I've been posting, I'm surprised you're still here), the sonic screwdriver is the Doctor's totally awesome, solve any problem, fix any plot hole, screwdriver. He uses it for way too many things to count. (Although of course, it has been counted: ) And the gist of it is: this thing rocks. It is so cool everyone wants one.

The good news: you can get one! There are lots of stores (Thinkgeek, Amazon, and Hot Topic, to name a few) that sell them.
The bad news: they don't do all the cool stuff they do for the Doctor. Depending on which one you buy, they might light up, make noise, write in invisible ink, or be a real screwdriver. All great things, but not quite as cool as reversing the polarity, going through a sound system to kill evil robot Santas (cause you know, we do that all the time), or saving someone's consciousness to a huge computer. 

So the question is, if you had a sonic that actually worked, what would you do with it? This was a fun question for me to ponder. Sadly, we know that it doesn't do turkey or wood. That being said, here is my list:
1. Skip commercials (even when watching stuff live)
2. Function as a universal remote (this actually exists; you can buy it at some stores for way more money than I have)
3. Speed up the microwave (that's technical, right?)
4. Lock or unlock doors (ones that aren't wood, anyway)
5. Lock or unlock a car (no, I don't own one, but I can hope)
6. Create super awesome wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey music (maybe if you hit the button in just the right way...)
7. Hack into the school's PA system to say something really funny (on April Fool's Day, of course)
8. Charge my phone
9. Fix any piece of broken technology
10. Make a cup of tea (I don't know quite how that would work, but I so want to do it)

So that's all I've got at the moment. What about you? What would you do if you had a sonic screwdriver?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Psychic Paper

As any good Whovian (Doctor Who fan, for the uninitiated) will know, the Doctor loves carrying his psychic paper around. First called his "slightly psychic" paper, it shows whatever the person looking at it wants to see. For example, the Doctor uses it to pretend he has a ticket when he becomes a stowaway on the spaceship the Titanic. He can use it to show that he has access to even the most top-secret information. It can do almost anything.

Although it does have its limitations. It shorts out when he tries to say he is "universally recognized as a mature adult" (see "A Christmas Carol"). It can also be seen through by geniuses, such as Shakespeare (see) or people trained to recognize psychic paper, such as people at Torchwood (see). Even so, the psychic paper is amazing and I think it is greatly underused.

Imagine for a moment a world in which we all owned something similar to psychic paper. Now obviously we wouldn't want actual psychic paper, or people would be getting into trouble left and right. But if we simply had one piece of paper that contained all our identification, that would be pretty amazing. Imagine this: you're going on a school trip to England (if you already live in England, you can imagine you're on a school trip to America). First to get on the bus, you have to show your school ID. You pull out your psychic paper and you're good to go. You get to the airport and you need to show your passport. You show your psychic paper and move on. While waiting for your plane, you want to buy some food. You hold your psychic paper (now showing your credit card details) to the scanner and buy it. Wouldn't that be so convenient?

Maybe one day, psychic paper will become a reality. For now, though, it will remain in the realm of science fiction.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Science of Deduction

Since I've already posted about fandoms in general, magic, and time travel, I figured it was time to get to the Sherlock side of things. So here is a post for you about deduction.

Simply put, deduction is the process of making observations and then drawing conclusions from those observations. Sherlock Holmes was a master at this, and he was known for reading a person's entire identity with a single glance. (For examples of Sherlock's deductions, read the books or watch the TV show. I have also written a few fanfics that feature notable use of deductions, for example "An Interesting Case" (Sherlock deduces the Doctor) and "The Search For Father" (Sherlock pretends to be a teacher, and teaches a class called "The Science Of Deduction).

But you don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to do deductions. That's what this post is all about. There are a few things you can do to be more like Sherlcok Holmes in this respect.

Observe Everything
Observation is the key to deduction. To draw conclusions, you must first have information to create hypotheses from. Practice by playing observation games (online, board games, etc.) and by observation in real life. Make a practice to, uppon visiting a new location, observe everything you can about it. Don't take anything for granted. Work at seeing the little details others miss. If you work at becoming observant, it will serve you well.

Challenge Your Brain
Many people are frustrated with their apparent inability to remember details, think quickly, learn, make connections, etc. Part of the problem here is that we are simply not challenging our brains. Starting in the teenage years, the human brain begins pruning unnecessary connections to make room for the more important ones. Your brain is very much "use it or lose it". Thus, it is essential to challenge your brain. You can do this by try new things, such as learning a language (already have a second language? Add a third). You can also do brain teasers and riddles regularly to make yourself think harder. (If you are on Google plus, I highly recommend the community "Sherlock's Methods" for this purpose.) The more you challenge yourself to commit to higher learning, the easier it becomes.

Play Deductions!
And finally, if you want to be good at deductions, do them. Practice makes perfect. Keep trying to look for new things, places, and people to deduce. Try to make deductions in your daily life. Ask people if you are right. Look at pictures or read things and try to make deductions from those (again, the community I mentioned earlier is great for this). And don't give up. Remember, we are all learning. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

What Is Magic?

So, a random thought popped into my head and I figured I might as well write a blog post about it: what is magic?

I was going to insert the dictionary definition of magic here, but it turns out the entry's actually pretty long, which proves one thing about magic right away: lots of different things can be magic.

Image courtesy of taoty /
There's what we typically think of as magic, the sort of thing you'd read in  Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. Many people think of magic simply as the power to cast spells that do things we can't normally do, or do them more efficiently. I mean, how many of you wished you could use "accio" to summon something just out of your reach? Or unlock a door with "alohamora" when you forget your house keys? Or used magic to protect yourself or someone else in a fight? Or heal someone? There's no doubt that this kind of magic is great.

There's also luck. Sometimes when people get lucky, they like to call it magic. "I was flat broke, and then all of the sudden, I won the lottery! It was like magic!" Or when a miracle occurs. Sometimes credit that really belongs to God goes to luck or magic. I think it's really sad when people discredit God's power by attributing the amazing things he does to luck, magic, or simply randomness. But that's another story entirely.

For some people, magic is "sorcery" or "witchcraft". There are, sadly, people who think that any magic is evil and Satanic. They think that all magic must be black magic or voodo.

But that's not all magic is. When you think about it, magic is simply something special. It's something amazing that happens in your life, or the life of someone else. Even the simplest things can be magic. New life being brought into the world, an adorable baby? That's magic. Laughing with friends over an inside joke because you know each other so well? That's magic. Singing, putting all your heart and soul into a beautiful song? That's magic. Falling in love- and then finding out that that person loves you too? That's magic. Helping another person? That's magic. Doing something, however small, to change the world? That's magic.

So you see, magic is all around us. You don't have to be a fictional character to experience it. You don't even have to be a witch or wizard. All you have to do is live your life. So, have a great day and remember: magic is all around you. You just have to look.


So, here's an obvious question, but still one worth asking: if you had a TARDIS (a machine that can take you anywhere in time and space, for you non-Whovians), when and where would you go?

The Past
When and where in the past would I go? This one is tough. There are so many amazing historical events, scientific phenomenons, etc. that I would love to visit. I can also list a plethora of historical figures I would want to meet. But after thinking about this for a while, there is one thing I'd really want to go to the past and do. (I'd have to time this well, to avoid changing history significantly or creating a paradox.) I would go to Martin Luther King Junior and show him a video of Barack Obama's inauguration. Say what you will of his political ability, he was the first African American president. That's a real accomplishment, both for him, breaking the status quo, and for our nation, having advanced the civil rights movement enough that an African American running for office was even conceivable. Martin Luther King Junior would be so proud to see how far we've come and know that his efforts were not in vain.

The Future
For this one, I would probably just ask the Doctor to show me something exciting. (Assuming he was with me in the TARDIS.) But for the sake of this blog post, I have to think about when and where I'd want to go in the future. It's hard to imagine where to go for this one. I mean, sure I can see how the world has advanced in 100 years or so, but what fun is that? I think I'd try to go to a kind of event, rather than a specific time or place. For example, I'd ask the Doctor to take me to the time and place where the cure for cancer will be discovered. Or show me when and where humans and aliens are living together in peace. Something amazing like that. 

So those are my opinions. What about you? When and where would you go with a TARDIS? Wherever you would go, you can be sure it would be a great adventure. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Note On "Ships"

As anyone who reads or writes fanfiction will know, different people "ship" different people; i.e., they have different (fictional) pairings of fictional characters. So just for reference, this is a list of everything I ship.

Doctor Who
9th Doctor/Rose
This one is pretty clear and self-explanatory. Nine doesn't like Rose that much  at first, but then she grows on him, first as a friend, and then as a girlfriend.
Captain Jack Harkness/Anyone
As the biggest flirt in the universe, Jack could be in a relationship with anybody. That being said, since he flirts so much, it might be hard for him to settle down with one partner.
10th Doctor/Rose
Yep, even after regenerating, the Doctor still loves Rose. I think Ten loves her even more than Nine, if that's possible.
Remember that scene in "The End of Time" where the Tenth Doctor is saying goodbye to his former companions before regenerating? Well, he sees Martha and Mickey together, and I totally agree with it. They were the Doctor's most dependable, trustworthy companions (to date, even!). They're both caring, considerate, practical, supporting, and helpful.
"Together or not at all." That's their motto. The Girl Who Waited and the Last Centurion. The girl who remembers and the boy who can't seem to die (seriously, what's up with that, Moffat?). They are amazing together. You see that over the course of the show. I mean, at first it's like "Amy! Oh, who's that guy? Rory? Oh. He seems kind of lame.", but by the time they leave, it's like "Rory's amazing! He's so brave, patient, and kind... He's perfect for Amy!"
11th Doctor/River
They're married, they practically have to be a couple. And they're so great together. Both of them have the brains, River's got the cunning and daring, and the Doctor's got the sensibility to keep the pair of them from getting into too much trouble (though, from what we see on TV, he's not very good at that). And you've got to love the way they flirt. "Hello, Sweetie!"
11th Doctor/Clara... Maybe
I have a hard time with this one, since the Doctor is already married. But we know Clara likes him. Maybe in an alternate universe where River doesn't exist.

John/Sherlock (Johnlock)... Maybe
Like Eleven/Clara, I'm kind of undecided on this one. I can't quite picture the two of them in a full-fledged gay relationship, having sex and all that... but at the same time, I find it hard to picture that their just friends, nothing more. I'd say their relationship is either a really close friendship (they really care about and would die for each other, but the love they have for each other is platonic/brotherly, not sexual), bromance (basically the same as the one before, just a different term, or a close friendship where they both like each other a tiny bit, but wouldn't dare admit it.
Sherlock/Molly (Sherlolly)... Maybe
If Sherlock ever decides to stop being asexual, he would be a pretty good fit for Molly. And it's obvious she loves him. So I don't mind reading stories with this pairing and could conceive of writing a story with Sherlolly. That being said, you can't really argue that it's in the show, as you could with Johnlock (if you pay attention, there are a few hints here and there that you could take either way).

Friendships (Who would be friends in a Wholock universe?)
The Doctor/Sherlock
Obviously. Although I would think any meeting would involve a serious bragging fest.
Jackie/Mrs. Hudson
Best buddies. They can have a tea party together. And for once Mrs. Hudson wouldn't have to make the tea.
I can totally see them sympathizing together after the Reinbach fall. John lost Sherlock, and Rose lost the Doctor; they could easily form a friendship from commiseration.
They have a lot in common. They are the ones considered basically useless, the ones who try to help and get pushed away or forgotten. They are considered total idiots, even though they both have some measure of intelligence and usefulness.
They can sympathize about working with a genius they love who barely even knows they exist. Also, a doctor and a mortician would be able to work together quite well. Martha's bravery and tendency to be outspoken would complement Molly's shyness and willingness to stay by the sidelines.
The Master/Moriarty
Watch out! I could totally see these two ruling the universe together. That would be pretty scary. Although I'm sure it would make for a good story.
Bold, clever, and not afraid to speak out. That describes both of these characters. I think they would work together quite well. Amy could easily help Sherlock on the alien side of things.
They both know what it's like to wait a long time for someone. As Rory is a nurse and John is a doctor, I could easily see them as coworkers who get to know each other better, find out they have a lot in common, and become friends.
I don't have a good explanation for this one. I just feel like they should be friends.
So I haven't seen much Classic Who, but I have seen Brigadier. I've seen enough to know he would work very well with Lestrade. They could share advice on how to catch criminals (even though Brigadier usually catches aliens, not humans), swap stories about working with eccentric people (i.e., the Doctor and Sherlock), and generally have fun.

So that's about all. Let me know what you think. Do you agree? Disagree? Did I miss any? Feel free to comment and tell me. 

Fanfiction Galore!

I already told you all that I am a fangirl. As such, one of the things I love to do is write fanfiction. I recently got an account on, so here are my stories so far.

This is my first Wholock story. In this one, Sherlock is asked to interrogate a mysterious witness who proves to be just as interesting as the case itself, and they go on an adventure together. 

This is a story for all of you who were frustrated when we saw that Jenny (from "The Doctor's Daughter") was alive, only to never see her again. I mean seriously. She never even gets a spin-off show! So, I wrote a story in which she goes off looking for her dad and enlists the help of Sherlock Holmes.

For this story, I can't describe it any better than I did in the summary:
"When the police are out of their depth, they consult me," Sherlock had said. But what about when Sherlock was out of his depth? What then? That's when it's time to ask an even greater genius for help. Sherlock must call in the expert.

In this story, Sherlock is reckless as usual, but this time, he suffers a great loss: his brain. Yes, he's still alive, he can still function as usual, but his exceptional intelligence is gone. He is only average. Worse yet, he can still remember what he was and agonize that he is like that no longer. This story is about how Sherlock deals with being average. (Update: it is now complete!)

This is a collection of Dalek themed poems. Please review it and send me suggestions.

The Master and Moriarty. A deadly duo. With the help of the Archangel network, they control all of England. So when the few people who know the truth try to stop them, it is treason. Will they succeed? Or will Prime Minister Harold Saxon and King Moriarty continue their reign of terror? (Note: this is a work in progress)

The Doctor has gone missing. Sherlock Holmes, too, is nowhere to be found. It's up to two girls, their daughters, to find them.


Hello, everyone! Welcome to my blog. This is where I will post random thoughts that come my way.

Let's start with a little introduction to me. My name is Catherine. I'm a high-schooler with free time (thank God). Yes, I am also a Christian. I'm a bit of a nerd/geek (I'm not even going to try to differentiate between the two; it's too complicated.) I love music (I've played the French Horn for 5 years and can sort of play the piano), books, TV shows, and movies. I especially like science fiction and fantasy books/TV shows/movies. As I am a fangirl, most of my posts will be about the various fandoms I am a part of. 

As many of you will have deduced from the title of this blog, I am obsessed with Doctor Who and Sherlock. Most of my posts will be about these. However, I also like Harry Potter, Frozen, the Princess Bride, Star Wars, Star Trek, and many other things, so you might see occasional posts about these too. I might post stuff about daily life, but probably only if it relates to a fandom somehow. So, welcome again to my blog. Enjoy!

Questions? Comments? Suggestions?
Leave a review, chat me up on Hangouts (my blog is linked to my Google plus account), or (especially if you have an idea for a fanfiction you want me to write) send me a message on (my username is