Sorry, I couldn’t help but post this. And it makes me wonder why there are so few animal sci-fi heroes. There are the Cat People in Dr. Who, and of course the Wookies. Who else.


Lesson #17: How to tell if you’re becoming a werewolf.

I was asked to write this one, and it’s taken a little research. The first question you should ask yourself, and yes,  this may be the biggest question, is, “Have you been scratched or bitten by a large creature recently?” If not, there’s almost no chance you’re becoming a frightening puppy.

If you answered “yes” to the first question, inquire as to your habits around the full moon. Ask others, since you may have blacked out during that time.  If your brother saw you turn into a gangly wolf and eat someone, then yes, you are a werewolf.  If not, ask if you have a pattern of disappearing around the full moon  or getting uncharacteristically irate.

This leads to the third issue. In both Twilight and Being Human, is feeling a little “wolfie.” Is it harder to control your temper? Are you more inclined to follow your baser instincts? You could just be going through puberty or need anger management classes, but don’t forget to add “becoming a werewolf” to the possibilities.


This is Josh from the U.S. Being Human. He’s feeling a little wolfie.

 If you follow Twilight, one key seems to be body temperature. Do people keep telling you that you have a fever? Has anyone been burned by your touch recently? Both should signal concern.

The fifth alarm bell in werewolfery is appetite.  Have you been a vegetarian for years, but suddenly need a bloody steak?  Maybe you’re just low on iron, maybe not.

If you do find you’re a werewolf, get help, seriously.

This is my assessment, dear readers. Come on, let me know what I’ve missed. I am humble in my limited knowledge.

Lesson # 16: If your task requires the use of multiple levers/buttons, the last one will jam.

I know I’ve found a lesson when I know exactly what will happen in a show before it actually happens. Years of sci-fi watching has programmed me to figure such things out.  While watching this week’s episode of Eureka (“In Too Deep”), that’s what happened. Lesson 16  applies especially when life or death is at stake. But hey, it’s sci-fi. When isn’t life or death at stake?

Cast photo from Eureka Season 3

In Eureka, Carter and Allison were about to drown in a submarine. It was filling with water. He needed to pull four levers in order to release their compartment from the rest of the sub and save their lives. I could tell how this was going to go.  In one breath, he swam down to the bottom and pulled two levers. That seemed easy. In another breath, he opened the third. However, the fourth lever was stuck. Allison swam down to help him (I have no idea why she wasn’t doing that already. They could have had all the levers down in half the time. Perhaps I need another lesson, “Even strong women are eventually feeble.”). They pulled the lever, illustrating that of course they work better as a team. I’m not trying to say that Eureka is predictable, as I’m so sad it’s leaving.  Ultimately, wouldn’t you have been disappointed if it went any other way and violated this lesson?

Lesson #15: People with facial hair are probably evil.

This lesson is long overdue. I must credit this one to the original Star Trek series and to Spock specifically, unless any of you have a precursor to the “Mirror, Mirror “ episode from 1967.  In general, facial hair denotes evil.  Just look at the devil, or Hitler. Moreover, well-groomed facial hair is somehow more sinister and calculating than its bushy counterpart.

Of course, there  have been many takes on this theme since the Star Trek crew was accidentally transported to an evil mirror universe during an ion storm.  In Fringe, Fauxlivia (the seemingly evil, but then maybe just misunderstood version of Olivia from an alternate universe) has red hair, compared to Olivia’s blonde hair. In South Park, the bearded Cartman from an alternate universe turns out to be the good Cartman, while the character we know is non-bearded and evil (’Spookyfish,”  1998).  In Futurama, Flexo is a questionably evil version of Bender, who looks and sounds just like Bender except for the addition of a goatee. It’s unclear which one is truly more evil. I’m sure that there are dozens of evil facial-haired villains out there I’m not remembering right now. Can you help?

Gimme your lessons!

Please tell me any lessons you’ve learned, or ones you’d like me to write about. I have a big list of ones to come, but more heads are always better than one (hmm, sounds like another lesson).

Lesson 14: He’s your brother.

Opps. Luke and Leia are a little too close here.

Are things going really well? Are you getting really into someone as lover or friend? Is there someone around you who you really hate? Were you tempted to shove him down the stairs? Be careful, because no matter what, he’s your brother. It may be a woman, but he’s still your brother.  Come on, you sensed that Luke was Leia’s brother.  Let Star Wars be the eternal cautionary tale about incest. Even The Killing stresses that you shouldn’t have sex with your boyfriend if you think he may be your brother.  Everyone wanted to kill the crazy, rapey, inmate who was loose in the space prison in Lockout. But, sure enough, he was kept alive since he was secretly the leader inmate’s brother.  Be suspicious that everyone out there may be your brother, and take necessary precautions.

So what did I miss? I’m sure there are a million more secret brother or sister stories out there. Comment people, comment!

Lesson 13: Love can save the universe.

Peter and Olivia from Fringe

Love usually does save the universe, as seen in two season finales this week: Fringe and Once Upon a Time. Love was unaccounted for by the Observers, and thus they didn’t see that Peter Bishop would be drawn back into existence when he was erased from time and space. Love had the power to change all of Olivia’s memories (and a little cortexiphan didn’t hurt).  The two of them specifically had to be together, due to Peter’s ability to see the other universe and Olivia’s ability to move between universes,  in order to save two universes. I don’t know how many universes total they’ve saved at this point, but it keeps expanding. The message, of course, is one from fairy tales. Love conquers all.

The cast of Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time made this message as explicit as it has ever been. However, it seems these fairy tale characters are not too bright. They were told again and again that love breaks any curse. Explicitly. In those words.  And in other words,  true love’s kiss breaks any curse. Yet, when the little boy was cursed and could potentially die, neither of his mothers thought to kiss him. Nor did his teacher and grandmother, Snow White. No, they needed to go fight a dragon to get a bottle of true love. Why? I’m not sure. Did they not think they loved their kid? In the end, his biological mother, Emma, kissed him. Not only the curse on Henry was lifted, but also the curse on the entire land. True love really is that powerful.