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Mt. Holz Science Fiction Society
12/31/10 -- Vol. 29, No. 27, Whole Number 1630
Table of Contents
Muscle Man Films (comments by Mark R. Leeper):
I see scheduled on TV the Italian film GOLIATH AND THE DRAGON. There are a bunch of similar films that have Goliath bashing monsters and upending tyrants. The character was featured in films like GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS, GOLIATH AND THE VAMPIRES, and GOLIATH AND THE SINS OF BABYLON. I guess the idea is that Goliath did so many wonderful things and was invincible until one little Jewish guy killed him with a rock. [-mrl]
My Picks for Turner Classic Movies for January (comments by Mark R. Leeper):
This month's choices for films running on the Turner Classic Movies channel are good, but they are not necessarily obviously genre (i.e. science fiction, horror, or fantasy). I think, however, they will have special appeal for the genre fan. And the one most obvious genre film should appeal to non-fans. There are just not enough films that are genre that I would assume people do not already know. I mean, I can recommend FORBIDDEN PLANET and THEM! If you have not seen them, you *really* should. But the chances are if you are reading this you know them already. I will start with one obviously genre film and there are still some people whom I talk to who have not seen it. But after that I will be listing films of interest to genre fans that might not be squarely genre.
THE UNINVITED (1944)
There was a time I would have ranked this as one of the film any fan of fantasy film would have seen. However, it seems not as many fans have seen them these days. If you like ghost stories and have not seen THE UNINVITED, you simply must. This film ranks up there with THE HAUNTING (1963) and THE INNOCENTS (1961) as the top three best ghost stories on film. THE UNINVITED has Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey as brother and sister who buy a seaside mansion only to find out that it is haunted by two ghosts. One is very unhappy and cries at night. And one has obviously evil intent among the living. The new owners must unravel the history of the house before the angry ghost kills. The film works as a mystery and it works as a ghost story. This is really one of the canon of horror films. (Saturday, January 22, 10:15 pm - 12:00 am)
On to the more fringy pieces.
NO HIGHWAY IN THE SKY (1951)
This film, just barely science fiction, is based on the novel NO HIGHWAY by Nevil Shute--an author best know for his post-nuclear- war story ON THE BEACH. In this film Jimmy Stewart plays Theodore Honey, a brilliant but eccentric scientist working for a British Aircraft Company. He thinks he has discovered a new form of metal fatigue. And it will attack his own company's line of Reindeer aircraft. He is sure that the tails are going to start falling off these airplanes in midflight. But everybody knows he is a little crackers. They certainly are not going to ground the Reindeer planes already in the air. When a Reindeer crashes in Newfoundland the company sends Honey to investigate and he finds himself on one of the planes that he calculates is going to crash. So now what is he going to do? Also featured in the film are Glynis Johns and Marlene Dietrich. (Sunday, January 2, 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm)
THE WRONG BOX (1966)
This is a very, very funny send-up of Victorian melodramas. Two Brothers--the last two members of a tontine--are very old and one decides to commit murder to win. (A tontine is a giant gamble where several people each wager that he will be the last to die. The one who wins the bet gets the entire pot.) Meanwhile the son of one still-living brother (Michael Caine) falls in love with the daughter of the other. And other family members get involved in the plots. Also featured are Ralph Richardson, Peter Sellers, John Mills, Peter Cook, and Dudley Moore. Murder attempts, hearse chases, train wrecks, funny dialog, and obscene eggs keep this comedy going at a fever pitch. (Friday, January 7, 5:30 am - 7:30 am)
Before Rod Serling started writing fantasy he was one of the great writers of television drama. This is the theatrical version of a play he wrote about the management dynamics and struggle for power in a large corporation. It still carries a wallop. This is just a straight drama, but you can surely feel Serling's style of writing. (Monday, January 10, 11:00 pm - 12:30 am)
THE BAD SEED (1956)
Everybody loves cute, sweet adolescent Rhoda Penmark. Her mother dotes on Rhoda, but slowly starts to realize that dear, sweet little Rhoda is actually a psychopathic killer. The film is most interesting for how the subject had to be handled in the 1950s. THE BAD SEED is great up to the end, but then the movie industry code requirements really mangled the ending. The film is based on a play by highly respected playwright Maxwell Anderson. (Saturday, January 22, 3:45 am - 6:00 am)
SO LONG AT THE FAIR (1950)
A teenage girl and her brother visit the 1896 Paris Exhibition, staying in separate rooms at a nice hotel. When the girl wakes in the morning she not only finds that her brother has disappeared in the night, he seems to have taken his hotel room with him. There is just wall where his door was the night before. And nobody remembers the brother every existed. Instead, they seem to remember that the girl was traveling by herself. This is a film based on an actual urban legend. The same story was done for the "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" television program. Directing was something of a newcomer to film, a fellow named Terence Fisher who would become the most respected director at Hammer Films. (Monday, January 31, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm)
My pick of the month? Certainly THE UNINVITED. But THE WRONG BOX and NO HIGHWAY IN THE SKY are strong contenders.
More SF TV to Consider (reviews by Dale L. Skran, Jr.):
When I recently penned "SF TV To Consider" I skipped over several programs worthy of mention since they were not currently then running. However, they are still being produced, and are worthy of further consideration. Also, there are two series of recent vintage well worth your time, and both are available on DVD although they have been canceled.
All three of the still running shows are from the SyFy channel. I'm not sure what night they'll be on with they start again, and at least one of them, EUREKA, often runs mainly in the summer. So let's start with the best of them--EUREKA. The setup concerns a sheriff [Jack Carter, played by Colin Ferguson] taking a guest [who happens to be his daughter] cross country, and who runs into a rather odd small town called Eureka. It turns out that the US government built one more "Science City" in addition to Livermore, Los Alamos, etc. and populated it with the *really* smart scientists. It is run by a contractor called Global Dynamics, much as, for example, JPL, is run by Cal Tech.
Thus begins tons of fun as the sheriff solves a difficult problem for the town, during an adventure in which the current lead lawman loses his legs into an inter-dimensional wormhole. Soon enough, Jack Carter ends up staying on with his daughter, and living in an AI controlled fallout bunker. Every week some new menace gets ginned up by the local eggheads that Jack has to get under control. So far this sounds like it might be fun, and it is, but the science is for the most part strictly bogus, although the treatment of the scientists is for the most part respectful.
What makes the show good is that it has some of the most interesting SF story arcs in recent memory, and some of the most realistic villains I've seen in TV SF. Not to give too much away, but the current season is an in-depth exploration of the main characters adjusting to an alternative version of their own universe in a tale told with smart scripting and great sensitivity. Imagine you show up and find that in this universe, are married to someone you barely know in your base universe, etc. It's the little stuff that gets you in the end. The main long-running villain, the daughter of one of the founders of Eureka, has a big role in the current season, and one of the best and most realistic motivations you'll see in SF TV.
My hat goes off, however, to another long running villain, who is one of the major good guys as well. To pursue his lost love, he goes way beyond anything reasonable, and comes in conflict with Jack Carter, and in the end pretty much gets away with everything, although like Faust, he doesn't quite get what he wants. These episodes pit a brilliant and resourceful scientist with a deeply human motivation against Jack Carter, with the fate of the universe at stake.
In any case, EUREKA is a marvelous and well-written slightly retro SF show. Generally kid safe, EUREKA appeals on different levels to different audiences. Kids will like the "weird science of the week" adventures and adults will enjoy the interaction of a great cast, and the some pretty darn good SF. Children are often major characters.
EUREKA exists in the same universe as another SyFy show, WAREHOUSE 13. This seems like an odd couple as WAREHOUSE 13 appears to be a show about the supernatural, although it is never actually claimed as such. Two FBI agents (Peter Lattimer, played by Eddie McClintock, and Myka Bering, played by Joanne Kelly) are recruited by a mysterious government agency, the Warehouse, and assigned to a massive but rather odd building in the middle of the South Dakota plains. Here they work for Dr. Arthur Nielson [Artie], played by Saul Rubinek. Their job is to retrieve mysterious "artifacts" that have apparently supernatural effects. At first they view their jobs as a punishment, but soon come to realize that they are on the front line defending Earth against the apocalypse.
As things develop, a weird item of the week plot gradually gives away to much more wide ranging and imaginative adventures. Did you know that H. G. Wells was once a WAREHOUSE agent, and she really did invent a time machine, and Cavorite? Read that sentence again slowly. Now in the 3rd season, the stores have surprising depth and resonance. I especially liked an episode where Myka and Eddie are stuck in each other's bodies.
There is a lot more in this show- the retro technology the agents use, the mysterious boss of the WAREHOUSE, the intriguing chain of WAREHOUSEs stretching back to #1 in ancient Egypt, the delightful Claudia Donovan, played by Allison Scagliotti, the WAREHOUSE tech expert who many be something more than that, and Artie's mostly unexplained assistant, Leena, who can see auras.
This is a kid friendly show that is fun to watch - and just keeps getting more interesting. To figure out how the EUREKA/WAREHOUSE crossover works, you have to see the show!
The weakest of the three SyFy shows is HAVEN, supposedly based on a Stephen King short story called "The Colorado Kid." Again, a female FBI agent, Audrey Rose, played by Emily Rose) visits a small New England town, which turns out to very odd, and ends up staying. HAVEN is a nice supernatural police procedural, with good acting and interesting characters. The weakness of HAVEN lies in the very slow and unsatisfying rollout out of the overall story arc. At the end of the first season, all we really know is that Audrey's boss is well aware of the odd goings on in the town, and has maneuvered Audrey into staying at the town.
HAVEN has been renewed for a second thirteen-episode season to air in 2011, so we can only hope things go somewhere! HAVEN is on at 10pm, and is not so kid friendly. It's probably fine for teenagers and up, but smaller folk would find it disturbing, although it is not nearly as violent as SUPERNATURAL.
Note let's turn to two shows you'll probably need to watch on DVD. The best is TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES which sadly only lasted two seasons before being canceled by FOX. I just re- watched season 1, and it is as good as I remember. The main thrust of this show is that future John Conner sends back another terminator, Cameron, played by Summer Glau, to protect himself. This sets in motion an endless spiral of battle as Skynet keeps sending more terminators to kill John Connor, and future John Conner sends more human agents back in time for various purposes. While trying to evade their enemies Sarah, John, and Cameron travel the US seeking to find and destroy the technology that will become Skynet. Lena Headey does great work portraying Sarah Connor.
At first this seems like it would just be excessive, but it is well handled. It works well as a John Connor origin story. Each attack hones John more and more into the ultimate leader and robot fighter he knows he will become. Summar Glau is tons of fun as a robot that is trying to learn to be human, and who most probably has a hidden agenda. Skipping over the plot details, and especially since we'll never know exactly what the show's creators intended, I've come to the conclusion that future John Connor has decided that humans by themselves will never beat Skynet. But future John is doing more that just reprogramming terminators, he is reprogramming the human race. Each step of the plot moves you [and John] closer to the realization that Cameron is both his future, and the future of humanity. Only as cyborgs, and/or in partnership with symbiotic machines, can humans survive the future we will inevitably create. This is explicitly a Singularity story--John Conner lectures the audience at one point on the Singularity. The human race as we know it is doomed - but that doesn't mean Skynet wins.
It is really shameful that the mainline TV networks can't keep a show on for even a few seasons or allow their creators to bring their stories to a close, as T:TSCC showed enormous promise. T:TSCC is for older teens and adults. It is quite violent, and has some "symbolic sex" in which various intimate activities, usually involving repairing Cameron, are sure to be disturbing to some. It should be noted that T:TSCC has very strong female characters. To quote young John [sic], "I live with one woman who is made of cast iron, and another who is a cyborg." Keeping in mind the above, I highly recommend T:TSCC.
Now we come to yet another failed Joss Whedon show, DOLLHOUSE, starring Eliza Dushka (Faith in BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER) as Echo, a doll. Dolls are "blank slates" - human bodies that can be programmed for any task using the technology of a world-wide network of "dollhouses." Her tasks range from mere exotic prostitution to high level intelligence and police work. Given the general adult content of DOLLHOUSE I am still amazed 27 episodes ever made it to TV on FOX. I think this can only be attributed to Joss Whedon's success with BUFFY and his personal talent. Sadly, FOX clearly forced things to be closed down in a rush, leading to a less than realistic ending, although still an interesting story.
I recommend DOLLHOUSE with reservations. Not every episode is all that well written or put together--T:TSCC is better directed. Also, most people are going to find some or most of the plots revolting or disturbing, since DOLLHOUSE looks unblinkingly at what this kind of technology can--and would--be used for. Having warned you I merely observe that there are some excellent SF stories in DOLLHOUSE. A couple of sample plots - a man dates his dead wife once a year, and someone uses the technology to solve their own murder.
Towards the end DOLLHOUSE becomes another Singularity story as the technology finally escapes the control of its creators and gets into widespread, and hugely destructive use. Some of the dolls, including Echo and Alpha, find that they can hold multiple personalities at the same time, allowing them to acquire a wide range of high-level skills, making them effectively superhuman, and also non-human in their emotional responses.
DOLLHOUSE is not the perfect TV show--it is rushed and rough. The ending is not all that satisfying. The disturbing nature of many of the plots will limit the audience. Many will say that DOLLHOUSE is just an excuse to watch Eliza Dushku dress up [or down] in sexy clothes. However, if you can get through the above, there is some very interesting SF TV here. I sadly fear that DOLLHOUSE and T:TSCC are much more relevant to our real future than any of the other shows I have reviewed. I fear even more that this relevance and the willingness of both shows to go into uncharted waters led to their cancellations.
DOLLHOUSE is recommended only for adults in my opinion, and not most adults at that. But for a select group of SF fans it will be a great ride.
In conclusion, I would like to thank those that pointed out that Amanda Tapping is Canadian, and not American. However, I stand by the statement that her British accent leaves a lot to be desired.
In final summary:
Highly Recommended: TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES, EUREKA
Interesting to some: DOLLHOUSE
Guilty Pleasure: WAREHOUSE 13
Needs to improve: HAVEN
Best for kids: EUREKA, WAREHOUSE 13
Keep the TV screens burning, pilgrims! [-dls]
Malzberg, Heinlein, and the Department of Homeland Security (letter of comment by Keith F. Lynch):
In response to Evelyn's comments on CHORALE and THE PUPPET MASTERS in the 12/17/10 issue of the MT VOID, Keith F. Lynch writes:
A particularly poignant instance of [time travelers trying to stabilize the past] is Donald J. Bingle's 2007 short story "Standing Still," in which a time cop sent back to ensure that nothing changes finds himself temperamentally unable to complete his mission, which is to undo a change caused by "bad guys" making a few well-placed phone calls to the authorities. Only at the end do we learn that his mission was to make sure the 9/11 attacks take place as they did.
Another recent example is Charles Stross's Hugo-winning novella, "Palimpsest," which is basically a rewrite of Asimov's END OF ETERNITY on a much larger stage. Or at least on a much longer- lasting stage. Instead of patrolling a few million years of future history, the time cops patrol several *trillion* years. (The Sun is modified to last much longer.) As with Asimov, space travel is not allowed. My favorite part is the library at the end of time, where nearly all the carbon on Earth has been repurposed as memory diamond (one bit per atom) to store all of history--including numerous variant versions (hence the title)--in extreme detail. If, in the year two trillion, a researcher wants to know what you had for lunch today, that information is in there.
(Admit it--you've often wondered how long your fanzine will last. Will it be available to researchers in 2100? 3100? The year one million? The year one quadrillion?) [-kfl]
[Actually no. But now that you mention it, I do wonder. -mrl]
[Malzberg writes (in 1978): "The Department, in short, proved its success only by the *failure* of catastrophe; it justified its existence by making nothing happen at all, and even in the most mindless of bureaucracies this is not a position which can be held indefinitely."]
I hope he's right. Security theater gets ramped up every year. If this trend continues, within a decade or two it will be up to "Stainless Steel Rat" levels. The lack of a terrorist attack will be taken as evidence that it's working and should be continued. A terrorist attack will be taken as evidence that it needs to be expanded. Nothing can ever be evidence that it's excessive and should be shrunk or even discontinued. It's analogous to clinical paranoia, in which absence of evidence of a conspiracy is taken as proof that the conspiracy is large and powerful enough to suppress all such evidence. [-kfl]
Superheroes and the Law, Christmas Songs, Harry Potter, and TRUE GRIT (letter of comment by John Purcell):
In response to the 12/24/10 issue of the MT VOID, John Purcell writes:
Thank you very much for another weekly MT VOID, Mark and Evelyn. Again, I have enjoyed it, and there are a couple items worth commenting upon.
First off, I saw that Superheroes and the Law website on Facebook-- yes, I lurk there, too--and it's fun. Considering how much property damage is done in saving cities like Metropolis, Gotham City, New York, Tokyo, etc., who does foot the bill for rebuilding once the baddies have been destroyed and/or run out of town/off the planet/banished to where-ever? I mean, think of it: is Spiderman liable for the damages after defeating Green Goblin or any of his adversaries? And on a newspaper photographer's pay? Get real.... And how about Batman? I know Bruce Wayne is wealthier than sin, but if he paid the reconstruction costs, wouldn't that give away his secret identity? And then there's Godzilla; how many times has Tokyo been leveled by G-Z and his adversaries? Who pays that, eh? Look, America rebuilt Japan after WWII, but don't expect us to do that every year after Godzilla makes another pilgrimage to Mount Fuji via Downtown Tokyo. Sheesh... rebuild a nation once and they expect us to do it time and again...
Anyway. Yeah, Christmas songs are not exactly reflections of Real Life. Some of them start off all right, like "Oh, the weather outside is frightful", but quickly go south in favor of extolling the virtues of snogging by the fire. While I don't mind the latter one bit--except that we don't have a fireplace here, so doing this would pose a problem--most Christmas songs are bald-faced lies and propaganda. I don't believe any of them, anyway. For example, for anybody who has never been shopping at the mall on Christmas Eve knows that it is not a "Silent Night"; if anything, it's a madhouse. For lack of space--and a faulty memory right now--I shall stop there because I am sure you get the idea.
I haven't read any of the Harry Potter books, but I do enjoy the movies; you are right in that they are visual treats, but as they have gone along, the movies have become more special effects oriented (and darker in tone) and less plot/character driven. I'll still watch "Deathly Hallows, Part One" someday, most likely when it's on DVD. I rarely go to movie theaters anymore because I can't stand the audience behavior: too many rude and obnoxious people.
And speaking of current movies, I still can't understand why the Coen Brothers re-made TRUE GRIT, one of my all-time favorite John Wayne movies, right after ROOSTER COGBURN. Judging by your review, I may have to see it--when it comes out on DVD, of course.
Thanks for sending this out, folks. As usual, enjoyed it greatly. Happy Holidays! [-jp]
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS--PART I, LET ME IN, and TRUE GRIT (letter of comment by Taras Wolansky):
In response to Mark's comments on the HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS--PART I in the 12/24/10 issue of the MT VOID, Taras Wolansky writes, "I enjoyed the new "Harry Potter" movie--for one thing, with five hours to play with, the filmmakers don't have to rush through the story--but I wondered what viewers unfamiliar with the series would make of it. Mark's cogent answer is: not much. Like many SF fans, I picked up the series when the third volume was nominated for a Hugo (and the fourth volume won)." [-tw]
Mark responds, "I think that the Harry Potter books have become long enough that even at five hours the filmmakers will have to rush through the story." [-mrl]
In response to Mark's comments on the LET ME IN in the same issue, Taras writes, "I find I can barely remember seeing LET ME IN. It's as if the Swedish original occupied parts of my brain, and the similar-but-inferior remake simply bounced off. I think the original title, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, is also superior, with its ominous implication that it would be really bad to "let the _wrong_ one in". By contrast, LET ME IN could be the title of a Lifetime Network movie about a husband who won't share his feelings with his mate." [-tw]
Mark responds, "Nobody says the title has to uniquely identify the contained material. I would like the Swedish title better if it actually referred to some event in the film. Actually the most accurate title might be INVITE ME IN." [-mrl]
Taras continues, "The remake's change in locale was also a mistake. It makes sense for a vampire to move as far north as possible in the winter--part of Sweden is actually north of the Arctic Circle-- but Los Alamos, NM is only 250 miles north of the Mexican border." [-tw]
Mark responds, "I suspect that vampire horror works better in cold climates, but New Mexico probably can be cold in mid-winter and the film does have a sense of the cold. It was an unusual choice of locale, but I think it really worked." [-mrl]
Taras continues, "Why Los Alamos and why 1983? Did, perhaps, an earlier draft of the film make some heavy-handed point about nuclear weapons and "after all, she kills only one person at a time"? Perhaps, in previews, the filmmakers discovered that the Cold War is as distant from most moviegoers as the Guelphs and Ghibellines, and Los Alamos, if they've heard of it at all, is where Dennis Quaid and Billy Bob Thornton died heroically." [-tw]
Mark responds, "One of the podcasts that discussed the film talked about the choice of year. The original film and the novel were apparently period pieces, but I was not perceptive enough about Swedish recent history to pick up that it was not taking place in the present." [-mrl]
In response to Mark's review on the TRUE GRIT in the same issue, Taras writes, "Speaking of remakes, I'm saving your review of TRUE GRIT to read after I see the movie. One big question mark in my mind: supposedly this is to be truer to the book than the Henry Hathaway/John Wayne version from 1969. Yet in the book, if memory serves, Rooster Cogburn is a man in his early to mid-forties. Well, we shall see." [-tw]
Mark responds, "I don't remember the detail of Rooster's age from the book. Bridges looks like a man aged in the saddle. But he could well have been aged by his lifestyle rather than the calendar. You can tell Wayne's age more easily than you can tell how old Bridges is. You can judge for yourself. I think that the trailer tells you nothing about the plot you don't already know, but it can give you a sample of Bridges in the role. http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi1984862489/ [-mrl]
TYPEWRITER IN THE SKY (letter of comment by Kip Williams):
In response to Evelyn's comments on TYPEWRITER IN THE SKY in the 12/24/10 issue of the MT VOID, Kip Williams writes:
So, you're saying that L.R.H. was the original Dick?
(I have read FEAR, and found it interesting. I'll have to see about this one some time. Not right away, though. Cathy and Sarah gave me the first volume of Twain's autobiography for Christmas.) [-kw]
Evelyn responds, "Mark gave that to me for my birthday. It *will* take a while!" [-ecl]
This Week's Reading (book comments by Evelyn C. Leeper):
Our science book discussion group chose GENOME by Matt Ridley (ISBN 978-0-060-89408-5) for last month. In it, Ridley looks at each of the human body's chromosomes, chooses one gene from it, and talks about it as a way of talking about bigger topics such as species, immortality, etc. While the various topics are well-chosen, and the approach original, the writing is awkward. For example, Ridley describes something as "rather like one of those irritating magazine articles interrupted by forty-eight advertisements" when he really means "rather like one of those magazine articles interrupted by forty-eight irritating advertisements".
Ridley claims that intelligence is going up three points per decade; is that true or are the tests just getting easier (like the New York school tests)?
Ridley also writes, "It would be absurd to argue that only Germans can understand the concept of taking pleasure at another's misfortune; and that the rest of us, not having a word for Schadenfreude, find the concept entirely foreign." There are two problems with this sentence. One, since we can perfectly clearly define Schadenfreude, we cannot say we "have no word for it"; that would be like saying that since we have no single word for "ripe banana", we "have no word for it." Obviously there are a lot of concepts that require adjectives attached to nouns, or other combinations, and no linguist would claim those concepts were therefore alien because there was no one word. But, two, we do have a word for it: Schadenfreude.
(And regarding proof-reading, why is she "Harris, Judith Rich" in the index, but referred to as "Rich Harris" in the text?)
Coincidentally, I happened to read THE ISLAND OF THE COLORBLIND by Oliver Sacks (ISBN 978-0-375-70073-6) at the same time. This is really two long essays: "The Island of the Colorblind" and "Cycad Island". The latter never caught my imagination, but "The Island of the Colorblind" fit in perfectly with GENOME. The "island" is really two islands, Pingelap and Pohnpei, and then for good measure Sacks visits two more (Guam and Rota) to study a family of neurodegenerative diseases. And of these two sections, again it was the first that was the most engaging. I think a large part of that is that colorblindness is fairly easy to understand, both its cause (a single gene) and its effect (everything looks various shades of gray). While these are not entirely accurate statements, they are not grossly inaccurate either. But lytico-bodig, which produced wildly varying symptoms and which no one cause had been agreed on, is just too elusive. [-ecl]
Mark Leeper firstname.lastname@example.org Quote of the Week: Any fool can tell the truth, but it requires a man of some sense to know how to lie well. -- Samuel Butler
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