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January 23, 2018

‘Gotham’ Winter Premiere Review: Fun, Failure, and ‘Bed’ Barbara

gotham season 1 gordon thomkins Gotham Winter Premiere Review: Fun, Failure, and Bed Barbara

[This is a review of Gotham S1, E11. It will contain SPOILERS.]

Gotham returns after a brief hiatus, ready to kick off the next chapter in Jim Gordon’s illustrious career: Arkham Asylum. New sets, new faces; same troubled show. Just don’t deny that it’s fun.

In “Rogues Gallery”, written by series story editor Sue Chung, Guard Gordon (Ben Mckenzie) investigates a recent attack on an inmate, which leads to a shocking discovery of experiments being performed. Gordon’s investigation continues as a friend is made in fellow co-worker Dr. Leslie Thompkins (Morena Baccarin), and Gordon taps GCPD’s own Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) – as well as his new boss, Director Dr. Gerry Lang (Isiah Whitlock, Jr.) – to help deal with the case.

Elsewhere, Selina (Camren Bicondova) rescues Ivy (Clare Foley) from the cold, while Maroni (David Zayas) rescues Cobblepot (Robin Taylor) from himself (Robin Lord Taylor). And meanwhile, Barbara Kean (Erin Richards)… lays in bed.

Little Batman (David Mazouz) stole the show with his rooftop-leaping, villain lair-visiting adventure in last year’s finale . As such, this week’s return episode is shackled with the responsibility to prove that this series deserves, yet again, to exist on its own merits. That question is still left unanswered, even after this week’s airing; however, there does seem to be an irrefutable allure to whatever amalgamation of forced television mechanics creator Bruno Hellar is tacking on to the word “Gotham”.

This week’s episode is less a story, more a virtual tour of the impressive sets that Gotham now has – except, it’s always had wonderful set design. An electrical attack is, if anything, an extremely underwhelming premise to use in an obviously archaic mental facility. More importantly: no one is really all that interested. Guard Gordon, as angelic as he may be, is basically forced in to caring about this crime after the few co- workers he has are comfortable simply dismissing it, and it absolutely feels as empty as that. At no point is Gordon’s journey through this story anything more than a few grunts and intense stares, all in an attempt to get home to… nobody. (Apparently his apartment smells, as well.)

gotham season 1 episode 11 gordon Gotham Winter Premiere Review: Fun, Failure, and Bed Barbara

Bringing in Morena Baccarin (Homeland, V) as Arkham’s Dr. Leslie Thompkins is a solid decision, as she’s proven to be able to easily take control as a strong lead, or replace a strong lead who never existed, as is the case here. Barbara, who has the most screen time of all her episode appearances here, is still in bed, while Thompkins is delivering sage wisdom to Guard Gordon. Who is talking to Barbara? Poison Ivy, of course. Somehow they need to make Barbara more than she is, and right now it’s clear they still haven’t figured out that piece of the puzzle yet, to which Baccarin is likely greatful.

Fortunately, we are allotted a very brief moment in “Rogues Gallery” to enjoy the impressive guest stars of this week’s episode – Christopher Heyerdahl as “Electrocutioner” Jack Gruber, and Allyce Beasley as Nurse Dorothy Duncan – before they’re essentially thrown to the side as collateral damage to some great ideal. Hopefully the ideal will be revealed soon (and not be “Batman”), but there’s no point in relying on that. Like in many previous episodes of Gotham – especially in all the successful executions – these seemingly superficial stories can be brought to life by the character actor that’s given the role. You can absolutely see that both Heyerdahl and Beasley are ready to do more than what’s given to them – only nothing more is needed of them. They’re not Gotham; they’re not Gordon; they’re not… Batman. So: where’s the substance?

gotham season 1 episode 11 electrocutioner Gotham Winter Premiere Review: Fun, Failure, and Bed Barbara

Whatever creative direction there is behind this series, there’s clearly a lack of appreciation of the source material, and it’s beginning to make a mess of the overall intention of the series. Gordon doesn’t need to be Batman (in voice); Catwoman doesn’t need to be friends with Poison Ivy (in spirit); Arkham Asylum can exist, and we can visit, without the rent-a-guard treatment. Gordon is simply one piece of a much bigger, more interesting world, and at no point has any of the producers taken the time to establish that, yes, Jim Gordon is actually interesting. (Perhaps he simply isn’t.)

Comic books are 24 pages of beautiful drawings with typically few words. Still, superficial and pompous is something the art form is not – and something Gotham very much is. Comic books simply can’t afford such things. Month after month, year after year, comic book writers have to earn their continued audience, or else the comic dies, or they get fired. They’re told which characters they can and can’t use, and then they’re expected to write an interesting story… simply to exist, and not because of name alone. Why is this show different? Why is Gotham allowed to stand on the shoulders of giants while disregarding the hard work of those who have invested their time in establishing this property?

Bruno Heller can certainly make a show that does well on CBS – as can many people. When it comes to Gotham, however, it feels as if we’re stuck with a bunch of television tropes which viewers must then use their own affinity of the franchise on, in order to make this series enjoyable – which it absolutely can be. Throw out namechecks all your want; burn through all the earned good will; Fox does not care. At some point, though, someone at Warner Bros. Entertainment, parent company of DC Comics as well as Warner Bros.Televisions, who produces this show – including many outstanding ones – is going to have some very good questions that need to be answered.

Gotham continues with “What the Little Bird Told Him” on January 19th, 2015. Watch a preview for the episode, below:

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Originally from: 

‘Gotham’ Winter Premiere Review: Fun, Failure, and ‘Bed’ Barbara

Archaeology, historic preservation company CHRS Inc. exhumes pieces of the past


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A motorist slows down when he notices the archaeologists from Cultural Heritage Resource Services Inc. in Lansdale have returned to their Delaware County dig site.

Recently snow and extreme cold have delayed this third and final phase of the stratified layer excavation. But today temperatures will reach the 30s, and warm sunlight is shining just right in the area of the Marcus Hook SEPTA train station.

“Find any gold yet?” the passing motorist asks.

Archaeologist Rachael Fowler explains that there is a historical society in town, and its headquarters, The Plank House, was frequented by the infamous pirate Blackbeard because his mistress lived there.

When he was in these parts centuries ago, Blackbeard’s agenda was not likely to involve hiding pirate plunder, Fowler opined.

The approximately one-acre area of the dig, marked off with orange mesh plastic fencing, puts them right on top of people’s back yards.

“We try to be as unobtrusive as possible,” she said of the high-traffic residential area.

The circa 1927 bridge that crosses over the train station is due for replacement. CHRS Director of Archaeology Tom Lewis said that per state law, just as an engineering or environmental survey is required before construction begins, projects of this nature require an excavation for artifacts of historical or cultural significance. Although this seemingly guarantees work for archaeological firms like CHRS, Lewis pointed out that state budget cuts can take that work away.

According to Fowler, most people think the crew of seven CHRS archaeologists are looking for dinosaur bones or buried treasure. In this case, the buried treasure they’re unearthing is artifacts such as antique glass bottles, children’s toys and dish fragments that came from three late 19th century to early 20th century homes that exist only on historical maps and deed records. What they find will be taken back to the CHRS offices on Cannon Avenue, carefully washed off, labeled and cataloged. CHRS has promised a detailed report, likely to be written by Fowler, to both PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Lewis, who has worked for CHRS 29 years, noted that Marcus Hook had one of the first successful African-American communities in the USA, and wondered if these homes might have some link to that history. Continued…

So far, the best proof that there were houses here are the brick-lined privy shafts that have been uncovered. Since the homes that once stood here were built before organized trash removal, “they had to fill it out with refuse after taking the nasty stuff out,” Fowler said, referring to the shafts’ original use as outhouse pits.

“We’ll be able to tell what they threw away. We’ll find bones with butcher marks,” she said.

“The Philadelphia area was pretty into shellfish at the turn of the century,” Lewis said when asked about clam shells that may have been buried for 100 years.

Cultural heritage preservation is something that Mike Rowe has likely tried on the TV show “Dirty Jobs.”

“You’re going to get pretty gross,” Fowler says, noticing that this writer has worn work boots and cold weather outerwear, but not ski pants or insulated pants.

“I’ve been out in days with -18 wind chill. There will be ticks (in warmer conditions). There will be poison ivy. Still, it’s better than my best day at a desk job,” Fowler said.

Despite the cold, and the sloppy, muddy ground, the dig site is abuzz with activity. Discolorations in the soil have been found, suggesting more filled-in holes. Clumps of dirt are being set aside to be shaken through a screen; some will have to wait until they thaw. Archaeologist Adam Richardson has pulled some glass medicine bottles from the ground. That the bottles are unbroken is a lucky find. Lewis is examining the site from multiple angles through the lens of a surveyor’s camera. Per procedure, the entire dig site has to be mapped and graphed, showing grid-by-grid what was found where, and how far down.

Specific areas of the site are referred to as test units, which represent a cubic meter and roughly a ton of dirt. Two people are assigned to each test unit.

The sample of the archaeologist’s tools of the trade include shovels; root clippers; screens; trowels; split spoon samplers, which take a 20-cm. core sample that shows if there are changes in the soil; and an array of measuring tools, including a submeter GPS.

The dig, which began in September, will — he hopes — be wrapped up by April, Lewis said. Continued…

To learn more about CHRS, visit

www.chrsinc.com

.

A motorist slows down when he notices the archaeologists from Cultural Heritage Resource Services Inc. in Lansdale have returned to their Delaware County dig site.

Recently snow and extreme cold have delayed this third and final phase of the stratified layer excavation. But today temperatures will reach the 30s, and warm sunlight is shining just right in the area of the Marcus Hook SEPTA train station.

“Find any gold yet?” the passing motorist asks.

Archaeologist Rachael Fowler explains that there is a historical society in town, and its headquarters, The Plank House, was frequented by the infamous pirate Blackbeard because his mistress lived there.

When he was in these parts centuries ago, Blackbeard’s agenda was not likely to involve hiding pirate plunder, Fowler opined.

The approximately one-acre area of the dig, marked off with orange mesh plastic fencing, puts them right on top of people’s back yards.

“We try to be as unobtrusive as possible,” she said of the high-traffic residential area.

The circa 1927 bridge that crosses over the train station is due for replacement. CHRS Director of Archaeology Tom Lewis said that per state law, just as an engineering or environmental survey is required before construction begins, projects of this nature require an excavation for artifacts of historical or cultural significance. Although this seemingly guarantees work for archaeological firms like CHRS, Lewis pointed out that state budget cuts can take that work away.

According to Fowler, most people think the crew of seven CHRS archaeologists are looking for dinosaur bones or buried treasure. In this case, the buried treasure they’re unearthing is artifacts such as antique glass bottles, children’s toys and dish fragments that came from three late 19th century to early 20th century homes that exist only on historical maps and deed records. What they find will be taken back to the CHRS offices on Cannon Avenue, carefully washed off, labeled and cataloged. CHRS has promised a detailed report, likely to be written by Fowler, to both PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Lewis, who has worked for CHRS 29 years, noted that Marcus Hook had one of the first successful African-American communities in the USA, and wondered if these homes might have some link to that history.

So far, the best proof that there were houses here are the brick-lined privy shafts that have been uncovered. Since the homes that once stood here were built before organized trash removal, “they had to fill it out with refuse after taking the nasty stuff out,” Fowler said, referring to the shafts’ original use as outhouse pits.

“We’ll be able to tell what they threw away. We’ll find bones with butcher marks,” she said.

“The Philadelphia area was pretty into shellfish at the turn of the century,” Lewis said when asked about clam shells that may have been buried for 100 years.

Cultural heritage preservation is something that Mike Rowe has likely tried on the TV show “Dirty Jobs.”

“You’re going to get pretty gross,” Fowler says, noticing that this writer has worn work boots and cold weather outerwear, but not ski pants or insulated pants.

“I’ve been out in days with -18 wind chill. There will be ticks (in warmer conditions). There will be poison ivy. Still, it’s better than my best day at a desk job,” Fowler said.

Despite the cold, and the sloppy, muddy ground, the dig site is abuzz with activity. Discolorations in the soil have been found, suggesting more filled-in holes. Clumps of dirt are being set aside to be shaken through a screen; some will have to wait until they thaw. Archaeologist Adam Richardson has pulled some glass medicine bottles from the ground. That the bottles are unbroken is a lucky find. Lewis is examining the site from multiple angles through the lens of a surveyor’s camera. Per procedure, the entire dig site has to be mapped and graphed, showing grid-by-grid what was found where, and how far down.

Specific areas of the site are referred to as test units, which represent a cubic meter and roughly a ton of dirt. Two people are assigned to each test unit.

The sample of the archaeologist’s tools of the trade include shovels; root clippers; screens; trowels; split spoon samplers, which take a 20-cm. core sample that shows if there are changes in the soil; and an array of measuring tools, including a submeter GPS.

The dig, which began in September, will — he hopes — be wrapped up by April, Lewis said.

To learn more about CHRS, visit www.chrsinc.com.

Source: 

Archaeology, historic preservation company CHRS Inc. exhumes pieces of the past

The Doctor Is In: Poison Ivy

(KPLR) – The recent beautiful weather has encouraged many of us to spend a day in the woods or doing yard work. Some of us developed a streaky, red, bumpy rash that turns into weeping blisters. Poison ivy and related plants are a common problem that can be easily treated and even prevented by learning to identify them. Dr. Sonny Saggar spoke with Christine Buck about this common problem.

You can connect with Dr. Saggar, the Medical Director at St. Louis Urgent Cares, and ask him any questions you like.

.
What are poison ivy, oak, and sumac?
Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac are plants that can cause a nasty skin rash called ‘allergic contact dermatitis.

When they touch your skin. The red, uncomfortable, and itchy rash often shows up in lines or streaks, often with fluid-filled bumps (blisters) or large raised areas (hives). It is the most common skin problem caused by contact with plants (plant dermatitis).

What causes a poison ivy, oak, or sumac rash?
The rash is caused by contact with an oil (urushiol) found in poison ivy, oak, or sumac. The oil is present in all parts of the plants, including the leaves, stems, flowers, berries, and roots. Urushiol is an allergen, meaning the rash is actually an allergic reaction to the oil in these plants. Indirect contact with urushiol can also provoke a reaction like this.

For example, when you touch clothing, pet fur, sporting gear, gardening tools, or other objects that have come in contact with one of these plants. Urushiol does not cause a rash on everyone who gets it on his or her skin. Some people never get a reaction and some people get poison ivy reactions some years but not other years.

What are the symptoms of the rash?
The usual symptoms of the rash are:
●    Itchy skin where the plant touched your skin.
●    Red streaks or general redness where the plant brushed against the skin.
●    Small bumps or larger raised areas (hives).
●    Blisters filled with fluid that may leak out.

The rash usually appears 8 to 48 hours after your contact with the urushiol. But it can occur from 5 hours to 15 days after contact with the plant. The reaction usually takes more than a week to show up the first time you get urushiol on your skin, but the rash develops much more quickly (within 1 to 2 days) after later contacts.

The rash will continue to develop in new areas over several days but only on the parts of your skin that had contact with the urushiol or those parts where the urushiol was spread by touching.

The rash is not contagious. You usually cannot catch or spread a rash after it appears, even if you touch it or the blister fluid, because the urushiol will already be absorbed or washed off the skin. The rash may seem to be spreading. But either it is still developing from earlier contact or you have touched something that still has urushiol on it.

The more urushiol you come in contact with, the more severe your skin reaction. Severe reactions to smaller amounts of urushiol also may occur in people who are highly sensitive to urushiol. Serious symptoms may include:
●    Trouble breathing – although this is not common with Poison Ivy
●    Swelling of the face, mouth, neck, genitals, or eyelids (which may prevent the eyes from opening).
●    Widespread, large blisters that ooze large amounts of fluid.

Without treatment, the rash usually lasts about 10 days to 3 weeks, but for some people, the rash may take up to 6 weeks to heal.

How is the rash diagnosed?
The rash usually is diagnosed during a physical exam. Your doctor or Nurse Practitioner will examine the rash and ask questions to find out when you were exposed to the plant and how long it took the rash to develop. If you are not sure whether you were exposed to a plant, he or she will ask about your outdoor activities, work, and hobbies.

How is the rash treated?
First strip off your clothes and place them in a plastic garbage bag to prevent them scattering the Urushiol oil elsewhere, if possible. Get into the shower as quickly as you can and wash your skin with cool water and a soap that does not contain oils. Washing the resins from poison plants off of your skin within 30 minutes of exposure can prevent most allergic reactions.

You can apply rubbing alcohol to your skin to dissolve the poison ivy or poison oak oils. If you’re outdoors in the woods when you’re exposed to poison ivy or poison oak, then you can rinse your body off in a running stream.

Make sure to scrub under your fingernails with a toothbrush in case any oil from the plants is deposited beneath them. Remember to throw the toothbrush away after you’re done. It’s no good for anything.

Most poison ivy, oak, or sumac rashes can be treated successfully at home. Initial treatment consists of washing the area with water immediately after contact with the  plants. To relieve symptoms, use wet compresses and take cool baths. Nonprescription antihistamines  and calamine lotion  also may help relieve symptoms. Moderate or severe cases of the rash may require treatment by a doctor or Nurse Practitioner, who may prescribe corticosteroid pills, creams, ointments, or shots (injections) .

How can I prevent the rash from poison ivy, oak, and sumac?
●    The best way to prevent the rash is to learn to identify and avoid the plants. When you cannot avoid contact with the plants, heavy clothing (long pants, long-sleeved shirt, and vinyl gloves) and barrier creams or lotions may help protect you.  
●    Poison ivy has 3 shiny green leaves and a red stem. It grows as a vine, typically along riverbanks.
●    Poison oak grows as a shrub and has 3 leaves like poison ivy. Poison oak is typically found on the West Coast of the U.S. although there is an East Coast variety.
●    Poison sumac is a woody shrub with 7 to 13 leaves arranged in pairs. It grows in abundance along the Mississippi River.

Excerpt from:  

The Doctor Is In: Poison Ivy

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