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Photo by Prateek Gautam on Unsplash

Babylon 5 is ancient television history for many how, but for us older folk it was a revelation…and a change in how television was even done. The idea that a TV show could be one coherent story, across multiple episodes and seasons, was alien to an industry that had focused for so long on episodic storytelling with minimal continuity.

The idea that a TV show could have a planned ending was even more alien.

Babylon 5 was the brainchild of J. Michael Straczynski, and featured one of the most amazing ensemble casts ever.

And one of those actors was Mira Furlan. …

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

So, the other day I tracked down an episode (sadly not one of the better ones) of the old British sitcom ‘Allo ‘Allo! The show was a 30 minute sitcom that ran for 9 seasons from 1982 to 1992. It’s set in…occupied France during World War II.

A bit of Nazi mocking is quite relevant right now, but one aspect of the show led me into some thoughts.

And those thoughts are about language.

Bad English in ‘Allo ‘Allo!

So, please bear in mind when this show first ran. It is older. (So am I, sadly).

But they did one thing which I haven’t personally seen elsewhere. The show is, of course, set in France and produced in England. Which brings up the basic fact that the characters would all be speaking French, but the actors are, of course, speaking English. …

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Photo by Ferhat Deniz Fors on Unsplash

Or at least the Canadian Gods?

Don’t get me wrong here: I am a huge fan of Neil Gaiman. He is one of the leading fabulists of our time and also, from my limited interactions, a really nice guy.

But what many people consider his signature work, American Gods, profoundly disappointed me. Not only was I unfond of the approach to Norse mythology, but it left me with a massive open question:

What about the gods who were already here? The spirits and entities of indigenous America are ignored by what thus turns out to be a profoundly colonialist work. …

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Photo by ActionVance on Unsplash

Ruby Rose’s departure from Batwoman after just one season was a disappointment to many. It was also understandable; she was involved in an on-set accident that required surgery, and made playing such an intensely physical role challenging. She also explained that quarantine made her rethink some of her creative goals.

After initially considering recasting Kate Kane, the producers made the decision to replace her with a new character, Ryan Wilder, played by Javicia Leslie. The handover took place without Rose appearing on camera, and was both well done and…not. …

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Photo by Artem Labunsky on Unsplash

So, I’ll be honest…as I’ve said before, I don’t wear stockings or pantyhose very often. And I’ve never understood why some women like them; I find them awkward and uncomfortable.

But did you know there was actually a time when women literally fought over access to nylons, as they were then called.

World War II and Nylons

It started with World War II, or more precisely with wartime rationing. The problem was that the same machines and raw materials used to make nylon stockings were also used to make…parachutes.

So, during the war, women were asked to give up their stockings. This, by the way, is why so many women still shave their legs, and started the war over that. …

This is fiction, but I’m sure it’s fiction all writers can relate to.

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Photo by Alfons Morales on Unsplash

If there’s one thing I’ve always dreaded about trying to become a professional writer, it’s the very idea of signings. Or readings. Or being on panels. Or… Big guilty not-so-secret here: I get stage fright.

I get cold, trembling, sick to the stomach stage fright. Sometimes I get it walking to the post office to mail a submission. The absolute thought of the signing made my breath turn ragged and a chill go through my chest. I couldn’t even eat. I kept going over and over in my head whether I had everything. Did I have enough business cards? Enough of the bookmarks I’d had made up with my web site on? …

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Photo by Wesley Gibbs on Unsplash

If you’re looking for a companion animal that doesn’t eat meat, but is larger than a small mammal (bunny, guinea pig, etc), some people go for miniature equines. Horses, donkeys, and mules all come in very small sizes. Unfortunately, a lot of people try to keep these little guys without having a full understanding of their physical and psychological needs. So, let’s talk a bit about keeping a miniature equine.

How Much Space do They Need?

Mini horses need a minimum of a quarter of an acre of pasture space per animal. A third to a half is more ideal. …

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Photo by Kasturi Roy on Unsplash

Trickster crossed my radar on Tumblr where somebody was talking about it as “indigenous contemporary fantasy” with an actual Native star. The show is based on a trilogy, Son of Trickster, by Eden Robinson, a member of the Haisla and Heitsuk First Nations in British Columbia and the series is directed by Michelle Latimer (Algonquin/Métis).

Thus, I feel I can at least somewhat trust that the show is not, you know, white people trying to write about First Nations. As a white person myself, I’m probably not the best judge, though.

So, I’m mostly going to talk about episode one as television. …

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Photo by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash

COVID-19 is bad. There’s no way to sugar coat it. The virus has killed thousands, caused vast economic disruption, and left millions suffering from new or exacerbated mental illness.

But the battle against COVID-19 may have some silver linings; and one of them is how much we have learned about infectious disease in general, and about how to deal with and fight it. Here are a few things:

We Should All Own Masks

Don’t throw away those reusable cloth masks after the pandemic. Certainly don’t throw away the pattern if you’ve been making them.

Yes, there will come a day when you won’t have to wear one every time you leave the house, but masks, even cloth masks, reduce the spread of respiratory disease in general. …

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Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

I’m pretty light skinned. Not as much as my husband, who basically has no melanin in his makeup.

But I’m “fair.” And “nude” colors don’t work for me. If I buy “nude” pantyhose it looks like a bad spray tan. “Nude” lingerie is several shades too dark. Sigh.

If I want the correct color I have to pay a premium for it. But my problems are nothing compared to those experienced by women of color.

Women Aren’t One Shade…

The fact is that there really isn’t a “nude” color. Lingerie makers would often have us think there is. Thankfully, things are improving. Even Victoria’s Secret now offers something of a variety of tones. In fact, if I search for nude on their site I see a variety of skin colors wearing bras that while they aren’t perfect do at least appear to be making an effort. …


Jennifer R. Povey

Freelance writer, freelance editor, novelist and short story writer. Jack of many trades.

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