Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder (February 7, 1867 – February 10, 1957) was
an American author who wrote the Little House series of books based on her
childhood in a pioneer family. Laura's daughter, Rose, inspired Laura to write
Laura Elizabeth Ingalls was born February 7, 1867, seven miles
north of the village of Pepin, in the "Big Woods" of Wisconsin, to Charles
Phillip Ingalls and Caroline Lake (Quiner) Ingalls. She was the second of five
children; her siblings were Mary Amelia, who went blind, Caroline Celestia,
Charles Frederick, who died in infancy, and Grace Pearl.
In Laura's early
childhood, her father settled on land not yet open for homesteading in what was
then Indian Territory near what is now Independence, Kansas—an experience that
formed the basis of Ingalls' novel Little House on the Prairie. In the years
subsequent to this move, her father's restless spirit led them on various moves
to a preemption claim in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, living with relatives near
South Troy, Minnesota, and helping to run a hotel in Burr Oak, Iowa. After a
move from Burr Oak back to Walnut Grove, where he served as the town butcher and
Justice of the Peace, Charles Ingalls accepted a railroad job in the spring of
1879 which led him to eastern Dakota Territory, where he was joined by the
family in the fall of 1879. Charles filed for a homestead over the winter of
1879–1880; De Smet, South Dakota was home for the rest of his, Caroline, and
In "The Lord Of The Rings", J.R.R. Tolkien delineated how the other
sentient races "diminished" and so gave way to the rise of Man. The Elves
abandoned Middle-Earth and sailed into the West back to Valinor; the dwarves
retreated into the depths of the earth and inside the mountains; and having
never found the Entwives, the Ents finally slumbered and reverted to
As for the hobbits, here is a key point mentioned in Wikipedia:
According to the author in the prologue to The Lord of the Rings, Hobbits
are "relatives" of the race of Men. Elsewhere Tolkien describes Hobbits as a
"variety" or separate "branch" of humans. Within the story, Hobbits and other
races seem aware of the similarities (hence the colloquial terms "Big People"
and "Little People" used in Bree). However, within the story, Hobbits considered
themselves a separate people. At the time of the events in The Lord of the
Rings, Hobbits lived in the Shire and in Bree in the north west of Middle-earth,
though by the end, some had moved out to the Tower Hills and to Gondor and
It is the size difference that distinguishes man from hobbit, and I think
over generations that distinction disappeared.
While in the company of Treebeard, Meriadoc Brandybuck and Pippin Took
availed themselves of the "Entwash". Drinking that Nature-infused water made
both of them grow in stature. Eventually they both married (Merry to Estella
Bolger and Pippin to Diamond of Long Cleve) and their descendants inherited this
new growth potential.
Eventually, after more generations, the change to their DNA would affect
all future hobbits until they truly were indistinguishable from the "big folk".
And then cross-breeding between man and hobbit would have occurred until the
hobbit race was fully absorbed into that of Mankind.
But their heritage would endure, and that would be reflected at least in
their family names.
A family with many connections to the Bagginses and Tooks. Apparently found
in the Yale, Overhill, and other areas surrounding Hobbiton. The name is an
Anglicization of the old hobbit term 'Bophîn', of unknown meaning.
And so we see that the family name of "Boffin" survived into the Victorian
era with Nicodemus and Henrietty Boffin, whose lives were chronicled by Charles
Dickens in "Our Mutual Friend".
That's all well and good for BookWorld, but can we apply the same theory of
relateeveety to Toobworld?
So far, "The Lord Of The Rings" exists only in two dimensions of the TV
Universe - the Tooniverse and Skitlandia. "Our Mutual Friend" was adapted three
times for television, with the 1958-59 series taking preeminence in Earth
If we have to relegate the other adaptations to alternate TV dimensions,
then I would like to suggest that the 1978 televersion should be placed in the
Borderlands, where TV and movies intersect. There, the characters of Peter
Jackson's film epic can co-exist with the recastaways from Dickens' last fully
completed novel's adaptation. As such, we could claim that Nicodemus Boffin's
ancestors were hobbits.
Take a look at this comparison between Mr. Boffin and Everard
The late Bob Steele of WTIC in Hartford, who probably holds the world's
record for longevity on the radio at a single station, used to offer up
"Tiddlywinks" at the end of his program.
"Tiddlywinks from the Teletype, little stories of little importance..."
For the Toobworld Dynamic, Tiddlywinkydinks are trivial facts from the real
world and how they are adapted for television......
"Our Mutual Friend" (written in the years 1864–65) is the last novel completed by Charles Dickens and is one of his most sophisticated works, combining psychological insight with social analysis. It centres on, in the words of critic J. Hillis Miller, "money, money, money, and what money can make of life" but is also about human values. In the opening chapters a body is found in the Thames and identified as John Harmon, a young man recently returned to London to receive his inheritance. Were he alive, his father's will would require him to marry Bella Wilfer, a beautiful, mercenary girl whom he had never met. Instead, the money passes to the working-class Boffins, and the effects spread into various corners of London society.
The book was not finished until 1865 and yet Mrs. Elizabeth Haverford, in an episode of 'Copper', is reading it in 1864.
Again from Wikipedia:
Our Mutual Friend, like most Dickens novels, was published in 19 monthly installments, each costing one shilling (with the exception of the nineteenth, which was double-length and cost two). Each issue featured 32 pages of text and two illustrations by Marcus Stone.
These are the installments published in 1864:
BOOK THE FIRST: THE CUP AND THE LIP I – May 1864 (chapters 1–4);
II – June 1864 (chapters 5–7);
III – July 1864 (chapters 8–10);
IV – August 1864 (chapters 11–13);
V – September 1864 (chapters 14–17). BOOK THE SECOND: BIRDS OF A FEATHER
VI – October 1864 (chapters 1–3);
VII – November 1864 (chapters 4–6);
VIII – December 1864 (chapters 7–10). So the Widow Haverford was reading the novel by installment. And because there was probably a delay in shipping from England, more than likely she was no farther along than to the third installment of Book the First at best.
As far as Toobworld is concerned, the novel was Dickens' chronicle of the real-life events. It was adapted for television three times, with the 1958 version being the official televersion (starring David McCallum, Wilfred Brambell, and Rachel Roberts.) BCnU!
Nicodemus (Noddy) Boffin, aka "the Golden Dustman" becomes a member of the
nouveaux-riches when Old Mr. Harmon’s heir is considered dead; illiterate but
wants very much to fit the image their money gives him, and so hires Silas Wegg
to read to him in hopes of gaining more intelligence and worldliness; nearly
blackmailed by Wegg. Assumes the role of a miser in order to show Bella the
dangers of wealth but eventually admits this behaviour was an act and leaves his
money to Bella and John. Boffin’s innocence, naive curiosity, and desire to
learn contrast with his “elaborate performances as Boffin the miser”.
speculate that Dickens’s decision to have Boffin play a part may not have been
planned, as it was very convincing for a man who has shown his simplistic
ignorance on several occasions. Boffin’s wealth by Harmon’s money is
appropriate because he attained it by combing the dust heaps, thus suggesting a
mobility of class; represents a wholesome contrast to such wealthy characters as
the Veneerings and Podsnaps; probably based on Henry Dodd, a ploughboy who made
his fortune removing London's rubbish.
Eddie Murphy and Shawn Ryan are teaming up to bring the "Beverly Hills Cop"
movie franchise to Toobworld.
At least they hope so - CBS has commissioned a pilot, so we might not get
to see even that. If not, even if it was made, it wouldn't get into Toobworld
without being broadcast.
But if it does become part of the Toobworld Dynamic, it could bring the
three movies out of the Cineverse and into Earth Prime-Time with it, since
Murphy will be playing Axel Foley on a recurring basis. (The star of the show
would be Axel's son Aaron.)
However, if the show recasts the roles from the movie played by John Ashton and
Judge Reinhold, then the movies stay in the Cineverse. (At best they could show
up in the Borderlands, but I'd rather keep the series separate and part of Earth
Prime-Time rather than banish it.)
Napoleon is the principal pig in "Animal Farm". Named after the French
emperor, Napoleon shares his namesake's dictatorial nature. Initially, Napoleon
and the other pigs aid in the animal revolution, and he claims to uphold the
tenets which Old Major had passed on. Privately, however, he soon schemes on his
own, first by ousting the charismatic Snowball, and through intense propaganda
campaigns conducted by his toady Squealer.
He steals Jessie's pups and
trains them in secret as his personal army, continually violates the code of the
animals, and engages in trade with Mr. Pilkington. He betrays Boxer, selling him
to the glue factory, and betrays all who once believed in the animal revolution.
By the tale's end, he has taken to wearing clothes and walking upright. In
contrast to the book, Napoleon's empire eventually crumbles under its own
corruption, aided by the passage of time.
September is the month in which we traditionally salute the Trueniverse
people behind the scenes who help to expand the TV Universe - the writers, the
producers, sometimes the actors.
This month, we have three!
We'll first start off with the one I expected to salute.....
We lost Stephen J. Cannell two years ago this month. He had already walked
away from television for the most part to focus on writing novels about his
protagonist Shane Scully, but he left a body of work of such power that it's
hard to think that it will ever be equalled - 'The Rockford Files', 'Wiseguy',
'The A-Team', '21 Jump Street', 'The Greatest American Hero', 'Black Sheep
Squadron'.... Plus he acted, including three memorable appearances on
'Diagnosis Murder' as Jackson Burley, a parody of himself, in episodes that
helped expand the category of Toobworld TV.
And as a final coup de grace, he played himself as one of the poker player
buddies of novelist Richard 'Castle'. (But for now, that's in an alternate TV
dimension and so can't be connected to his League of Themselves appearance in 'V.I.P.'.)
For a look at his career in television, check out this tribute by my
blogmate Mercurie at "A Shroud Of Thoughts".
And here's another, also written by a fellow blogmate, which I hosted at
There was no great over-riding crossover plan in Cannell's work, as there
could be found in that of fellow inductees Wm. T. Orr and Susan Harris. But
there were spin-offs and sequel movies that more than equated the Rule of Three
'The Rockford Files' led to the spin-off 'Richie Brockleman, Private Eye'
and to several "reunion" movies.
The main character of 'Tenspeed And Brownshoe' ended up being the sidekick
in 'J.J. Starbuck'.
'Hunter' had several "Return Of" TV movies.
Cannell was the executive producer of the true sequel to 'Hawaii Five-O', a
TV movie pilot that starred Gary Busey.
'21 Jump Street' had 'Booker' as its spin-off, plus the theatrically
released movie. (This can be absorbed into the TV Universe due to the
participation of Johnny Depp.)
Benjamin is a donkey in "Animal Farm". A cynical animal, Benjamin is best
friends with Boxer, but does not hold out much hope for Old Major's utopia to
come to fruition. He watches as his worst fears are realized, and along with
Jessie and Muriel, escapes the farm to wait for Napoleon's reign to crumble.
'Downton Abbey' will be returning soon for Season Three (Okay, okay - January) and the big
excitement is the arrival of Shirley MacLaine as Countess Grantham's American
mother. She'll be coming over from America within the show, and it looks like
someone from the Crawley family moved to the United States.
In an episode of 'Longmire', a man named Ed Crawley was mauled to death by
a bear, a premeditated attack engineered by one of Crawley's enemies.
It could be that Crawley was descended from Patrick Crawley, who once was
the heir to the Grantham title. But he was presumed to have died on board the
Titanic. A man claiming to be Patrick Crawley showed up among the horribly
disfigured patients when Downton Abbey was used as a recuperating hospital
during World War One. He claimed to have survived the Titanic and ended up in
Canada with amnesia. (It was never conclusively determined if this patient was
really Patrick Crawley or not.)
Maybe he fathered a son before he shipped off to war. Maybe that son
journeyed west once he fond out his "real" last name and settled in
Pincher is a rottweiler and one of the farm dogs in "Animal Farm". The mate
of Jessie, Pincher is taken aside by Napoleon, shortly after the revolution.
Napoleon persuades him to take an oath of loyalty, on the memory of Old Major,
and names him chief of the "Animal Guard."
Pincher takes Jessie's newborn
puppies and delivers them to Napoleon for training as his personal army.
Jessie is the farm's sheepdog in "Animal Farm". She serves as narrator of
the film, recounting the animal revolution and its subsequent failure. Jessie is
one of the first to suspect that the pigs are not working for the good of the
other animals, and her suspicions are strengthened when her own pups are stolen.
Finally fed up after the death of Boxer, and her own guilt for failing to save
him, Jessie leads Benjamin, Muriel, and others in escaping from the farm. She
survives to return when Napoleon's reign has ended, and the farm attracts
benevolent new human owners.
I'm back at Toobworld Central, but still on vacation.
Let's kick things off with a Cineverse/Toobworld combo
There must be thousands of alternate realities in the
Cineverse, and that's probably a low ballpark figure. Remakes alone - "Lady For
A Day" to "Pocketful Of Miracles", the two "True Grits", "Let The Right One In"
and "Let Me In", "Anna And The King Of Siam"/"The King And I"/"Anna And The
King" etc. etc. etc...... - would be sent to alternate worlds within the movie
But there would also be all those movies which feature devastating
effects to the planet - natural, man-made, or alien-induced - which must be kept
in separate dimensions.
The Cineverse is not my bailiwick, so I don't have to worry about such things. The Toobworld Dynamic is enough to keep me busy! I only bring it up because of the
main character in "The Thomas Crown Affair". The cat burglar is in two
different film dimensions, the first played by Steve McQueen and then by Pierce
"THOMAS CROWN" (Pierce Brosnan & Steve McQueen)
And I wonder - could Thomas Crown exist in the TV Universe?
I say he does.
In three 'Psych' episodes, Cary Elwes played international thief Pierre
Desperaux. And Shawn Spencer became disillusioned with him.
"I thought you were so cool. I'm thinking, 'this guy is Thomas Crown.'
You're barely Remington Steele."
Now for us in the audience viewing at home in the Trueniverse, that line
dealt more with the gamut of suave characters played by Pierce Brosnan in both
the movies and television. But within the context of the Toobworld "reality",
Shawn didn't make any reference to either venue.
So he must have been talking
about a televersion of Thomas Crown.
(Whether Thomas Crown looked like McQueen or Brosnan or some other actor is
unknown. I can't lay my hands on my copy of Lee Goldberg's excellent resource
material about unsold TV pilots, so I don't know if there was an attempt made to
make a TV series about the character. I could see it as a possible follow-up to
'The Wild, Wild West' for Robert Conrad.....)
Both movies exist in the TV Universe as they are cited by characters in
several TV series. Usually it's just a riff on the title ("The Thomas Clown
Affair"), but both are mentioned in an episode of 'Veronica Mars' while an
episode of 'House' specifies that a certain ploy was from the Steve McQueen
version. So apparently (O'Bviously), the truth about Thomas Crown was
eventually revealed, perhaps with his arrest and conviction, and a movie made
about him - followed decades later by a remake.
And as a bonus, Shawn Spencer was talking about the "real" Steele, who must
have become famous enough (perhaps his false identity was finally revealed?)
after the series ended.
Too bad Shawn didn't have a high opinion of old Remy.........
Squealer is a pig in Animal Farm and the right-hand, or hoof, of Napoleon.
Squealer becomes the prime liaison between the ruling class of pigs and the
other animals. At first he does so purely through his persuasive tongue, but as
the pigs gain power, Squealer adapts different methods. He borrows some
filmmaking equipment left by Jones and begins screenings of propaganda films,
narrated by himself. Squealer also adopts a natty monocle.
In the original
novel, the primary model for Squealer is believed by many scholars to be the
Russian newspaper Pravda, though similarities to German propaganda minister
Josef Goebbels have also been noted.
Moses is a tame raven in Animal Farm. Moses is the particular pet of Jones,
and is shocked when Boxer fells the master, breaking the code of animals.
After the revolution, Moses returns, becoming an ally of Napoleon and the
pigs, who ply him with liquor. The raven continually speaks to the other animals
of Sugar Candy Mountain, a place where rewards will await them in the next life,
which the pigs use as a means of distracting them from the miseries of their
present condition. In the original George Orwell novel, Moses was intended as a
critique of the church, which the author perceived as a tool of dictators to
give the working class false hope.