WOSSNAME -- FEBRUARY 2009 -- PART 3 OF 5 (continued)
====Part 3 -- AND MORE...
13) BROKEN DRUMMERS MEET-UP FOR MARCH
14) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
15) CONVENTION NEWS
16) SCIENCE: SO WHAT, FOLLOW-UP
17) AN ODD REVIEW OF NATION
18) DESPERATELY SEEKING "MAGIC"
19) BU CAMPUS NEWSROUND
13) BROKEN DRUMMERS MEET-UP FOR MARCH
The Broken Drummers (UK) Discworld meeting group appears to have
relocated on the web. Updates on meetings and future events can be
The next London meeting is on 9th March. Come one, come all. I
imagine there will be even more than usual to discuss!
14) THE DISCWORLD PLAY'S THE THING...
14.1 WYRD SISTERS AT SOUTHPORT
The Sefton Theatre Company, Southport will perform Wyrd Sisters next
When: Wednesday 11th - Saturday 14th March 2009
Venue: Southport Arts Centre Studio
Tickets: £7 (£5.50 concessions). Box Office: 01704 540 011
14.2 THE TRUTH AT OXFORD
Parabox Productions return to the OFS, after their successful
Edinburgh Fringe run of 'Mort', with Terry Pratchett's 'The Truth'
to celebrate the Discworld's 25th Anniversary.
When: 3 March - 7 March 2009
Venue: OFS Studio, Oxford
14.3 CARPE JUGULUM AT COLSTERWORTH
Newton's Players present Terry Pratchett's Carpe Jugulum at
Colsterworth Village Hall on 6th - 7th March 2009. This follows
their very successful production of Wyrd Sisters in both Grantham
Tickets can be obtained from mark.wesson@...
calling 01476 862039.
14.4 WYRD SISTERS AT LEICESTER...
The Leicester University Theatre Society presents their production
of Wyrd Sisters on 11th-14th March 2009:
[Leicester University Theatre has a beautiful website, but it's so
flash-heavy that I got dizzy trying to get more info from it.
They're definitely performing Wyrd Sisters, though... -- Ed.]
14.5 ...AND IN BEDS
That's Bedfordshire, actually. A production of Wyrd Sisters at
When: March 24-28
Time: 7:45 p.m.
Tickets: 9 GBP to 11 GBP, available from Sharnbrook Post Office or
Bedford Central Box Office (01234 269519)
14.6 MASKERADE AT NORWICH
The Norwich Theatre Royal Youth Theatre Company presents their
production of Terry Pratchett's Maskerade next month.
When: March 26-28, 2009
Venue: Studio Theatre at The Garage
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: 7 GBP, available from Theatre Royal Box Office
(01603630000) or online
A big "Wotcha!" and thimble of virtual scumble in thanks to From Rim
to Hub for *their* thank-you to WOSSNAME for Discworld theatre
information. Good to know the fans have got each other's backs!
14.7 REVIEW: WYRD SISTERS AT BASILDON
The Thalian Theatre Group presented Wyrd Sisters at the Towgate
Theatre's Mirren Studio:
"A 20-strong cast rattles through the sprawling material and the
host of comic parts with zest and some memorable characterisations
...this is still a colourful and entertaining night out, with
Thalian in strong form, not just onstage, but also backstage in
areas such as costume and pyrotechnics."
15) CONVENTION NEWS
15.1 NADWCON PICKING UP A HEAD OF STEAM!
NADWCON, the first North American Discworld convention, now has
over 450 conventioneers pre-signed. Keep those subscriptions coming!
Remember, Sir Pterry himself is the primary Guest of Honour, so in
addition to all the other delights and wonders the convention has to
offer, this could be American conventiongoers' only chance to meet
the Author Himself.
To sign up, go to
and click on the Registration link on the left-hand side of the
page. Prices will be rising after 31st March, but even so the
attendance price is astonishingly inexpensive at US$80 for the
entire four-day weekend (Discworld convention organisers in certain
other parts of the world should take note).
15.2 AUSDWCON ON THE HOOF
As you read this, the second Australian Discworld convention is
taking place in Melbourne. We've been promised a full report for
next month's issue on the doings, to-ings, fro-ings and goings-on.
16) SCIENCE: SO WHAT, UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
In The Times Online:
"The Science: So What? initiative seeks to explain its relevance to
ordinary life by extolling its achievements... It is this openness
to new evidence, and the value placed on criticism and putting
things to the test, that makes science so powerful. There may be
disappointment in being refuted, but there is no shame. As a result,
it is self-correcting: egregious errors are never left to stand for
long. This is why the Science: So What? campaign has so many good
news stories to tell about technology..."
17) AN ODD REVIEW OF NATION
A good review, but one gets the feeling that they rather missed the
whole point of the book:
18) DESPERATELY SEEKING "MAGIC"
WOSSNAME reader Charlie Tarbox seeks help to locate the USA DVD of
The Colour of Magic. He writes:
"Amazon.com UK seems to have withdrawn it recently. I sent a long
inquiry to customer service and got a somewhat non responsive reply.
Is it possible to find out what possibilities are for obtaining
DVD's in US format of the film? My friends in the UK can only make
copies of the UK format and that is of no universal use here unless
you have a multi format machine to play them."
If anyone can be of assistance, please write to the Editor:
19) AROUND THE BU CAMPUS
19.1 A MAJOR EMBUGGERANCE
Just watched Pterry on Beeb 2. An embuggerance indeed. It wasn't
always easy or pleasant to watch a man with such a great mind unable
to tie a tie, or even to read from a book that he wrote himself, but
it's definitely worth watching, if only to learn more about
Alzheimer's and thus understand it better.
I'm surprised that nobody mentioned Detritus in connection with the
Loony Helmet. I would recommend this programme to anybody.
Blimey, yes! I didn't think of it at the time, but it was very much
like the thinking helmet. I think Detritus' helmet had more of a
positive effect than the Loony Helmet, but as Pterry said, not
getting any worse is almost as good as getting better when it comes
Blimey, you're right! I was so taken by the thought that Pterry had
joined the Borg collective that I never thought of Detritus :-)
...and it rated better than Neighbours :)
I watched both :-D
Yes, it was painful to watch, but I applaud Pterry's decision to
let the camera crews into his life and it was good to see that his
wry, sometimes prickly sense of humour is undiminished.
A friend of mine overseas rang me this afternoon to see if we were
safely out of the fire zone (blimey, it's made the news in Chicago!)
and I was telling him about the documentary and about Pterry's work
on behalf of Alzheimer's research and awareness. My friend's father
is 82 and an Alzheimer's sufferer, but unlike Pterry he has the
more classical variety; his short-term memory is completely gone.
It was my friend's birthday a few days ago, and his father, who
still remembers things like that clearly, rang him a couple of days
early to wish him happy birthday...and then, on the day itself,
rang again. They had the same conversation all over again, but for
my friend's father, the second time was the first and only time.
Surreal and scary.
I can say the second part is well worth watching - much more
uplifting and positive than the first part was.
19.2 A MODEST PROPOSAL
I have a proposal for anyone who is looking for something they can
do for the people who lost their homes and possessions in the fires.
Over the next few months, the major charities will be focused on the
survivor's bodily needs (food, shelter, etc) as much as possible.
This is important, but I think that we should not forget their minds
and souls, and I don't necessarily mean in the religious sense.
I think Pratchett fans should donate books, particularly children's
books, (not necessarily Pratchett books themselves) to give to the
survivors. All books will be welcome, I'm sure, but in particular
"Nation" may be especially valuable. (I'd like every survivor under
80 to read that book, or failing that, at least every one under
Excellent idea. My only thought is to hold off for a few weeks --
these people don't want stuff that needs to be kept in houses,
because they don't have houses. Multiple people in this situation
have asked via the media that such things not be offered yet. At
the moment it's about food and basic necessities like soap, mobile
phone chargers, stuff like that. They haven't got anywhere to put
books, or fridges, or furniture.
OTOH they *will* have homes again. And I can imagine a Fourecksian
great-granny 75 years from now, fondly reminiscing about surviving
the Great Bushfire, "...and we lived in a tent for three weeks, and
all I had to call my own was this magical book..." and proudly
holding out her ancient, dog-eared copy of Nation for the
grandbabbies to see...
 And undoubtedly badgered, beared, wolved and possibly somewhat
hedgehogged by then
"Great-Grandma, what's a book?"
Don't forget audio books for those whose burns and grafts will
prevent their being able to turn pages for maybe a year or more.
19.3 THE FIRE DOWN BELOW
Snow Queen, in California, asked:
When events in Australia make our evening news, it is definitely a
big thing. Are all the BUers down there OK?
A selection of responses followed...
OK here, but two of my close colleagues at work have relatives
missing, and we don't yet know about some of our patients. I'm about
an hour's drive from some of the worst areas (Kinglake/Whittlesea).
[A couple of days later, Mogg was suddenly only five minutes' drive
from fire danger, but all worked out well -- Ed.]
Me & mine are fine -- but Dad has lost a few workmates.
We're OK here, the nearest fires to us were away to the west. We've
lost a volunteer at Births Deaths & Marriages. I spent Saturday
keeping water up to the wild birds, they were so exhausted and hot
they didn't move when I refilled their water dishes. I'm making
flannelette bunny rugs for the wildlife rescue people as they also
need lots of help.
I'm very thankful to be in one of the states with no fires -- it is
60% under water. I'm in the part that isn't -- we had half the
normal rainfall in January and had to start irrigating the cane
yesterday. If we were on a Discworld one of the elephants could
wriggle or the turtle could do a banking turn and even it all out.
I hope everyone stays safe.
All at the Fortress are fine -- in fact, our suburb isn't getting
the winds from *any* of the fire areas, so we've not even smelt a
whiff of smoke all this time -- but yes, several of my friends
have had deaths among family and friends. It's expected that the
total death count may run as high as 250 by the time all is over.
Given that there are barely five million people in all of Victoria,
that's a significant number :-(
 Which is bizarre, because normally the bushfire season means
smoky stinging eyes and coughing in our area no matter where the
fires are. Even more bizarrely, this time the smoke can be seen
(and smelt?) in the Land of Fog, and yet nothing here.
So, that's life, of a sort, returning to Kinglake:
And it's still burning. A friend of mine was up visiting her parents
last night. Their property overlooks the Kinglake area, and she took
some phone photos as the sun set and the night was lit by flames. We
have weak, orange sunlight today in the northern suburbs, and the
air stinks of smoke and makes eyes and noses sting. I don't envy
anyone here with asthma or other respiratory diseases in the next
few days/weeks :-(
I actually had to drive down the Hume Highway on the day after the
fires started. We stopped for dinner an hour and a half before the
Kilmore exit (we timed it, cause we wanted to see how long till the
next food, which happened to be just after Kilmore) and could barely
breath. We had the a/c in the car on recirculate the whole drive
down from Sydney (yes, not the best move, but better than the
smoke), and the smell in the car the next day was still enough to
I lived in Upwey when the fires burnt through Ferny Creek, and my
house was at risk. Driving down the Hume Hwy at night, and seeing
burnt out areas with a few gums that were still alive and burning
was just as distressing. They were obviously leaving these tiny
fires (basically just a fork in the tree on fire) to burn themselves
out, because they couldn't do any more damage and the fire fighters
would not have had the resources for it.
19.4 PRATCHETT FANS: THE NEXT GENERATION
Lady G, commenting on the Red Cross blood drive for injured bushfire
O'course I canna give blood right now, since am in the process of
building yet another Discworld fan. I mean hey, somebody's gotta do
Woot! Building Discworld fans is a good idea. Anyone else want to
match it for Pratchett?
"Muuuuuuum! Mummmyyyy! Wannawannawanna 'lephant! An' a other
'lephant! An' more 'lephants! An' an' an' a turtle! An' a Blind Io
an' mountains an' an' an'..."
19.5 AIRBORNE TURTLES...? WE KNOW ABOUT THOSE!
"One can imagine circumstances in which turtles could become
airborne, although not of the turtle's volition. It would, however,
seem quite hard to hit a plane with a tossed turtle. Yet 80 turtles
suffered this fate, including 23 in New York State. The turtles
weren't alone. Armadillos are, if anything, even less aerodynamic
than turtles, yet planes struck 14 of them in Florida, two in
Louisiana and one in Oklahoma, although Texas armadillos
successfully avoided aircraft..."
from New Scientist
End of Part 3, continued on part 4 of 5.
If you did not get all five parts, write: interact@...
Copyright (c) 2009 by Klatchian Foreign Legion