Netflix Stream Team – the SciFi edition

Netflix Stream Team – the SciFi edition

I’ll admit I’m not a big fan of Tom Cruise (to put it mildly) so I resisted for a while when Oblivion came up on my Netflix profile; eventually curiosity got the better of me though and, once I got over the Tom Cruise bit (which took about 20 minutes), I actually quite enjoyed the movie.


One of the few remaining drone repairmen assigned to Earth, its surface devastated after decades of war with the alien Scavs, discovers a crashed spacecraft with contents that bring into question everything he believed about the war, and may even put the fate of mankind in his hands.

I find that SciFis are often just a repeat of a similar theme, but this one had an original story and that’s what I liked about it. Worth watching, and, if you actually like Mr. Top Gun then you’d have a BIG bonus!

Then there is The 4400 and Heroes… they definitely have what it takes to lure you in until you are hooked and tempted to watch them back to back. Both with a common theme, people with special powers, how we love them and fear them all at the same time. I love the concept of real life superheroes and the humanness of how they are ultimately seen as a threat. I would recommend them, but be warned… the 4800 series was never finished… I discovered this at series three (of five) and pulled out cold turkey style. I couldn’t take the possibility of being left hanging in mid-air, in the middle of some crisis, with the lives or well being of characters I had grown to love and loath sitting in the balance. No doubt I missed some excellent episodes by pulling out when I did. I have been reliable informed that Heroes has an actual ending!

The 4400
The 4400

And of course I have spotted that Netflix has Alphas, another great series along the same theme and another one likely to draw you in. I saw some of these episodes before we had Netflix so I’m delighted to see that I can jump right back in there, and with the control of pause, rewind and back to back episodes. Netflix… I love you!

Netflix, you know me well. I have just spotted a new SciFi type series appearing on my time line. It will be released on 5th June but your ruse worked, I watched the trailer, it’s one big juicy carrot! When I saw that Sense8 is created by the people behind The Matrix there was no more convincing needed… the date is in my diary.

Here is the trailer in case you are as easily tempted as I am…

Disclosure: As a member of the Netflix Stream Team I have received a years subscription to Netflix, free of charge, and an Apple TV, for streaming purposes. As part of Netflix Stream Team I will be posting monthly updates on what we are watching and what is on offer.  All opinions expressed will be my own.

And then I see their faces…

And then I see their faces…

Some days … I struggle with the realisation that we are going to be late.

My pleas, requests and cajoles to get dressed, find shoes, brush teeth, comb hair go unanswered; I say it once, I say it twice… by the time I get to the sixth request I am feeling my blood pressure rise.

Ultimately we do get into the car, in some form of readiness but inevitably behind schedule. As I slam the car door and start the ignition the tirade begins. The words tumble out, one on top of the other, heating the air and creating a car full of friction. The more I rant the more obvious their silence… I am cross, I am frustrated and I am on a roll. I look in the rear view mirror and then I see their faces and I realise that dressed and on time are irrelevant when there is a game to play.

Some days… I remember that there is a talent to getting lost in play.


Some days… I’m cleaning the house with a steady grumble. They are old enough to clean up after themselves. ‘The floor is not a wardrobe’ I hear myself mutter, ‘I didn’t sleep in this bed so I shouldn’t have to make it’. The words just slip out of my mouth with a life all of their own. Eventually it is the sticks and stones that break the camel’s back, literally!  What could two small boys possibly need with so many of them (sticks not camels… obviously)… and why inside the house? That’s it, I’m throwing them all out… and then I see their faces and I understand that these sticks and stones are magical elements in the mind of a child.

Some days… I remember that unmade beds make amazing forts and clothes on the floor make great stepping stones across treacherous croc filled waters. And a house full of sticks and stones could be just the talisman needed to keep our home a sanctuary.


Some days… are long days. Bed time has come and gone, and gone some more. There is a path worn from sitting room to their respective beds. This is ridiculous! Can’t a parent get any down time? They have had all day to go to the toilet/ drink water/ finish that story, so why, oh why, do they save it all up for those bewitching hours? Limits are reached, more noises are heard, steps are stomping down darkened corridors one time too many. But actually they are all asleep… and then I see their faces and I forget all bedtime mischief.

Some days… I remember that we need to be well fed and watered before embarking on a night full of dream filled adventures.


And then there are some days when I am that child… and that is when they see my face… and they smile in solidarity!

The kids

The A to Z of me

The A to Z of me

I was tagged by the lovely Lucy over at Learner Mama for this post. The idea is that you share some facts about yourself, so here you go, 26 alphabetically biased facts all about me, me, ME …


A is for Aikido… it  kept me fit (once upon a time), supple and hopefully a little street wise; best of all it bagged me a husband. Now we both teach it at various levels (I just teach kids) and all our kids do it too… so we definitely keep this one in the family.

What do you mean you don’t know what it is? GOOGLE IT! tsk!

B is for biochemistry… it is what I got my degree in and it’s a pretty cool subject (honestly)… like biology on speed.

C is for children… I have three. They rock my world, sometimes literally… leaving me quite shaken but that’s all part of the fun of being a parent (right???).

D is for Diarmuid… that’s the aforementioned hubby, apart from being a fourth dan in aikido, an author and a therapist …. he is a fun, family guy and so far we are doing OK as we walk this parenting path together, often bleary eyed and baffled but never far from the next good old belly laugh!

E is for elephants… I love them; Once people realised this I got a LOT of elephant themed gifts. My house is now full of them so thanks everyone but, eh, I like other things too. (This does not apply to my sister who happens to buy the best presents ever and resurrected the elephant theme for my last birthday with some cool candles, a most gorgeous mug and my now number one favourite scarf!).

F is for France… I escaped there once I finally finished college (can’t emphasise FINALLY enough there, just ask my parents!). I spent a year and a half in a beautiful village outside of Paris, making the most amazing friends and eating the most amazing food (this tiny village had two patisseries… heaven!). Oh, and I worked too, obviously, ahem!

G is for genetics… the subject of my PhD and something I still find fascinating… that the code to all life’s amazing works and diversity can be written with just five small “letters” … I’m always in awe!

H is for horse riding, the sport that consumed my childhood. It was only when I had kids of my own I realised how much of my parents’ weekend time was dedicated to driving meto all the competitions. It obviously didn’t occur to me that they’d have anything else to do. Thanks Mum and Dad! H is also for Hyper Emesis Gravidarum, three time, enough said!

I is for imagination… it helps the world to keep turning and when I see it shining through people it amazes me. Einstein said it is more important than knowledge and I’d tend to agree.

J is for Jackie, my little sis (even though she is bigger than me now), the one who buys the wonderful presents and does a great job of taking life in her stride; and she had co-produced three wonderful, adorable kids so she is all round cool in my book!

K is for Kenya, I got to visit once; I saw elephants… did I mention how I like them?

L is for left handed… which I am, and so is my sister, and my son. I’ve never found it a problem or needed to buy special left handed utensils and just for the record… I think that all you right handed people have the knife and fork thing backwards… you should swap hands, just saying!

M is for Mid Summers Day… the day I got married (I picked the date to make it easier for my hubby to remember!!) and despite the fact that it was a “typical” Irish summer (read non stop rain), the clouds parted and the Sun came out and we had a cracker of a day; which was particularly helpful as it all took place in a garden, my parents’ one… with less than six months notice they turned a building site into a haven… thanks Mum and Dad… AGAIN!

N is for narcissistic … which this post seems to be!

O is for optomistic… I have my moments but I think I’m a “glass half full” kind of person, most of the time!

P is for PhD… the reason I spent all those years in college (the great social life had nothing to do with it whatsoever); P is also for parents… I got the best!

Q is for quiet, which I am, overall, I think (some people may disagree… so I will just have to make sure they don’t read any of this!).

R is for Rob, my big brother. A bit of a genius at many things and a generous soul. He is a fun uncle and co-producer of more great kids… my two lovely nephews!

S is for stubborn, I am. A bit. Sometimes. But mostly I see it as a good thing. When I get my teeth stuck into something I won’t let go; which brings me nicely on to…

T, which is for teeth… I’ve got strong ones apparently (and bones, come to think of it). It’s one thing I hope I have passed on to my kids… well not the only thing hopefully.

U is for University… I went to a great one in Galway (did I mention how long I stayed!) and met some wonderful people and learned some great life lessons. I also managed to get some qualifications while I was at it… what a bonus!

V is for visual, I love when information is shared in an interesting and eye-pleasing type of way. I think even complex ideas can be explained in simple terms with the right visuals. Some writing projects, and this blog, have allowed me play with this idea from time to time, which I love! I look forward to learning and experimenting in this area a lot more in the future.

W is for writing, which I love to do, although usually my writing has a more scientific theme.

X is for … an eXtremely frustration letter to try to define yourself by!

Y is for years, I have many of them under my belt now, I’d love to tell you that they have come with wisdom but they seem to just bring grey hairs!

Z is for Zebra, but are they white with black or black with white? (They are black with white stripes if you really, really need to know!).

And now to pass the baton, I tag “stuff and nothing” blog 🙂

Science Snippets -A top five round up of recent science news

Science Snippets -A top five round up of recent science news

I get to read some really interesting reports and stories each week, as I try to keep up to date with what is going on in the world of science. I thought it might be nice to share some of the stories that really stood out for me; and what better time to start than on a bank holiday weekend. So, grab a coffee and find a comfy chair and dip in to the amazing and amusing world of science this week.



Ancient viruses may be the Mary Poppins of the womb:

Some ancient viral DNA lurking in our genome actually gets activated during early embryonic development… new research suggests that they may make the original retrovirus that then acts as a soldier, guarding against other invading viruses and keeping the embryo safe at a very vulnerable stage.

NASA’s Mercury Messenger Satellite adds to the landmarks it has been photographing:

Last Thursday NASA’s messenger satellite ended four years of orbiting, photographing and mapping the surface of Mercury. Ironically, once the satellite ran out of fuel, it impacted with the planet’s surface, at a speed of 3.9km per second, leaving it’s own impression on the landscape it has been monitoring.

Just before the satellite fell out of orbit, it was announced that one of Mercury’s craters that it photographed has been named after the Irish musician and composer,  Turlough O’Carolan.

Image Credit: NASA/JHU APL/Carnegie Institution of Washington
Image Credit: NASA/JHU APL/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Lawnmowers and telescopes go head to head:

Astronomers are concerned for the safe operation of their radio telescopes after iRobot file for use of the same band of radio frequency, to assist operation of their new lawnmower-bots. The worry is that use of the same radio spectrum (transmitted from stakes marking lawn boundaries) anywhere within 88 km of the telescopes may sabotage their operation. Both sides are standing firm as the argument heats up.

China is all about the birds this week, from new species to very old ones:

A new species of bird, the Locustella chengi or Sichaun Bush Warbler is very elusive and was only tracked down by its song. Meanwhile, a small Chinese dinosaur has caused quite a flutter; the pigeon sized animal not only has a very short name for a dinosaur, Yi qi, it was also unusual in that is had a feathered body and bat like wings!

And then there was the zombie bacteria….

Silver has long been know as a great antibacterial agent, it plays havoc with every system of a bugs mechanics, even shutting down their genetic replication. What was unknown until recently, was that bacteria killed with silver products can still kill other bacteria … a zombie effect. It would appear that the bacteria soak up excess silver which leaches out, killing other bugs in their environment.

If you came across any other science stories of interest this week please pop them in the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by, have a great week!