Huzzah! I finally have a preliminary draft of the first part of the Stargate: Universe mid-season two-parter. However, it comes in at a robust 57 pages! I’ll spend the next few days trimming it down to a far more manageable 54, then put it out to the rest of the writing department – after which I will no doubt receive notes requesting that I put all the stuff I took out back in. Anyway, I’m quite happy with what I have. This episode promises excitement, angst, and surprises big AND small. Loving some of the show’s dark horse players: Wray, James, and, if mom will let me keep him, Boone.

Well, the cast is slowly starting to trickle in. Yesterday, I had the pleasure to meet self-styled t.v. junkie, Guitar Hero aficionado, and fellow gourmand David Blue who is thrilled to be part of the franchise and raring to go. I also met the equally affable Jamil Walker Smith who confided to me that the last time he’d been in Vancouver, he was a thirteen year old guesting on a little show called The X-Files.

On meeting the new cast, I informed everyone that if they had any production concerns or questions about the scripts, then Brad or Robert would be the guys to talk to. If, on the other hand, they were looking or a good restaurant, then I was the guy. Today, I put the finishing touches on my Vancouver Resto Recommendation List and sent it David’s way. Remind me prior to the next con and I’ll post it for all of you out-of-towners.

So this afternoon I was talking to a friend and the topic of conversation turned to childhood misconceptions – you know, those innocent assumptions you make as a kid that you eventually discover are far removed from reality. He told me that, when he was a kid, he assumed his parents grew up in black and white – as evidenced by the movies of that era.

Every time my mother made Pillsbury turnovers, I would insist she smack the package against the table (like in the commercial!) to make Poppin’ Fresh appear. She’d humor me by tapping it against the tabletop and, of course, I’d get all worked up because she wasn’t hitting it hard enough! Eventually, she stopped buying Pillsbury products.

Whenever I watched the old Match Game show, I was convinced regulars Brett Somers and Charles Nelson Reilly were secretly dating.

I thought Phantasm was the scariest movie. EVER!!!

I thought they were called flea markets because the merchandise was so old and filthy that the place attracted fleas.

After my very first visit to my aunt and uncle’s new high-rise apartment, I was convinced I’d actually seen stars BELOW the balcony.

Whenever I used to watch television, I simply assumed the actors made up their dialogue as they went along (note: Sadly, some fans still do.).

I believed sea monkeys actually looked like the pictures in the back of comic books. I sent away for one and was deeply disappointed when it arrived. It looked like a miniscule floating shrimp. I brought it to school and it sat in a fishbowl at the back of the class for the better part of a week, ignored by all. Until one afternoon when I happened to be walking by and bore witness to an amazing sight. “It’s having a baby!”I cried. As my classmates jostled around me, we all watched, wide-eyed, as something floated free of the sea monkey and dropped to the bottom of the bowl. In retrospect, I’m pretty sure it had taken a dump.

I lived in fear of sewer openings because my grandmother would tell me stories about entire families that had fallen inside and disappeared, never to be heard from again.

Those are the few I could remember off the top of my head. Anyone out there have any truly memorable ones?


Luis: “Your dogs are so Kool….they seem happy and content when you walk in the door do they all run right up to you and start yelping??”

Answer: They’re not picky. They’ll pretty much greet anyone who steps through the door – unless they just spent the day at daycare in which case they’ll throw you a “Hey, how ya doin;?“ look from where they’re lying before going right back to sleep.

Apk51 writes: “ I have The Dark Beyond the Stars, The Empire of Ice Cream, and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress all sitting on my nightstand waiting to be read. Any suggestions on which one I should dig into first?”

Answer: I’d go The Empire of Ice Cream, The Dark Beyond the Stars, and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

Caitlyanna writes: “It sounds like my boss will be losing his job because so many of the baristas are upset, but it makes me wonder if I should stick around to see if he gets fired but also at the same time, how much more can I handle before I break down.”

Answer: Well, at the end of the day, you have to do what’s best for you. If you’re very sanity is at stake, then, really, you’re much worse off sticking around. If, on the other hand, there is light at the end of the tunnel – and some positive elements in the mix (ie. your co-workers) – then maybe consider sticking it out. Whatever decision you make, it’ll be the right one.

Shiningwit writes: “Any chance of Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban being a BOTM selection?”

Answer: Hmmm. If I were ever to write an entry entitled “The Top 10 Titles Critics Loved That I Couldn’t Get Through”, this would be one of them. While I admire what the author accomplished, I had a very tough time with this book.

Shirt ‘n Tie writes: “I have often thought of you as a “speed reader”. Is this an accurate description? Do you skim or read every word? And, are you a book-elf?”

Answer: I tend to carry a book around with me wherever I go (ie. vacations, meetings, accompanying my wife shopping, etc.). I’m a fairly careful reader – if I’m enjoying the book. If, after the hundred page mark, I find the narrative dragging, I do tend to start skimming passages.

Carl writes: “What news from Carl Binder? How goes the SG1 movie script? Is there a title yet?”

Answer: No title yet. Carl has finished work on his first SGU script, Water, and is moving on to an outline for his second script. Once that is done, he’ll finish his pass on the SG-1 movie and then send it Brad’s way at which point Brad will do his pass.

Lcshepp writes: “What route should a senior in high school take who wants to write and direct?”

Answer: Film school might be the way to go. Although I got my big break by watching a lot of television, writing a spec script, and getting my foot in the door that way. Also, seriously consider the wonderful world of animation.

Banderas writes: “1. You have mentioned before that “a re-imagined SG1 Gate Room, bearing the new stylistic elements of Universe” will be in SGU.
Can you tell us some information about this re-imagined Gate Room?
2. Will the base personnel wear BDUs(like at the SGC), or unique uniforms(like on Atlantis)?
Will we can see some other military uniforms like, ACU(US Army) or MARPAT(USMC, e.g.: on Sergeant Greer)?
3. How many major races will be in a galaxy?”

Answers: 1. Nope. At the moment, my lips are sealed.

2. Which base personnel?

3. TBD

duneknight writes: “–in the upcoming atlantis movie, will Rodney take Keller on ride on a jumper and go to San Fransisco to get married?”

Answer: No.

Belouchi writes: “1. I was wondering if ZPMs will play a part in the Stargate Universe Story plot?
2. Also, I was wondering how much time will transpire in the Stargate timeline between Atlantis season Finale and the movie?”

Answers: 1. Nope.

2. Not all that long.


78 thoughts on “February 3, 2009: A Preliminary Draft, Childhood Misconceptions, and The Mailbag

  1. I can’t even begin to figure out how I was under the impression, when I was a child, that when a person died, they had to cut their buttocks off to fit them in the coffin… 🙁

  2. Hey Joe,

    Any news on when we will hear the rest of the SGU cast announcements?

  3. when i was a kid, i used to think busboys had to eat all the food off the plates, not just clean up the table. no idea why i thought that. 😛

    and thanks for the heads up on how the 3rd sg1 movie is coming along! 😀

  4. Hey Joe.

    Last semester, I was in English 10-1 PreAP (Advanced Placement) and I got my test results back today….I scored a 90% on the AP essay!!! I was half relieved and half shocked….maybe I should be a writer when I graduate…..maybe….

    When I was a little kid, I always believed that carrots would make you see in the dark for some reason……never worked though.

  5. Ah, childhood missconceptions. The stupid stuff we believed when we were kids. When I was little I remember whenever my Dad would start whining about his age, jokingly or not, my Grandad would always tell him how old he was to have been born several years B.C. I thought it meant Before Calculators….

  6. I’ve recently become enthralled by the show Supernatural. The show is more character driven and is really quite captivating with each episode leading to the next. I’ve been pondering what was first mentioned about SGU and how it will be written differently than SGA and SG1. Will it have a similar style to Supernatural? I imagine it’ll be pretty awesome if it does. Or am I way off base?

  7. When my grandpa died my mom told me he would always watch over me so I assumed he became the man on the moon, so when my grandma died I panicked when a second face never appeared. I checked every night for weeks.

    A funnier childhood misconception was something I did to my sister. After listening to The Hobbit on the record player I convinced her that the smog alert on the news meant that Smaug the dragon was in town. She refused to go outside for a week. She thinks I did it as a joke but I really thought that Smaug and Smog were the same.

  8. Today started off good, and ended up bad…I once again feel crappy, and not sure if it’s my meds, or what…so bear with me.

    Great entry tonight – I must take more time with it tomorrow. I, too, had a friend who – because of black and white movies – thought there was no color back when her parents grew up. I also used to watch Match Game, but unlike you, I never shipped anyone. 😆

    Though I feel like poo, I just have to share this one childhood misconception – it’s the one that stands out the most in my mind…

    Growing up, dad always had the news on at dinner time, but the tv was in the other room, so we listened to it, didn’t watch it. Well, this was during Vietnam, and then later, when violence started increasing in the late 70s in Central America, so much of the news was about war and sneak attacks by guerrillas.

    Only, I thought they were attacks by…uh…ya know…gorillas. 😛 For the life of me, I could never figure out why great apes had joined the battle. 🙄

    The really sad thing is, I didn’t realize that guerrillas referred to men, and not apes, until I was like…20. 😛


  9. Childhood misconceptions AWESOME!!! Some of mine where…

    That if you melted gummy bears and mix with strawberry Kool-Aid you could make Gummy berry juice and bounce here and there and every where.

    That when I got wet I would turn into a mermaid.

    The reason our car didn’t talk was because it didn’t have flashing read lights. (I took bike reflectors and glued them to the front bumper but they would never flash)

    That if you used deodorant ALL OVER your body you would never get sweaty.

    That once you turn a light off you had 3 seconds to get off the floor or something bad will happen to you. (I still count to 3 when I turn a light off.)

    Have I ever mentioned that I was a handful as a kid?

  10. I always thought Brett Somers and Charles Nelson Reilly were married! You mean they were not?

    I’m sort of a realist. Even as a little girl I was kinda “old”. Not much fooled me. One thing I remember is I love stock car racing. (the Daytona 500 is running this month!) I remember back in the Richard Petty days there would be a huge wreck and the cars would be completely demolished. But the next week, here is their car back to race again. I always thought ‘how did they ever rebuild that car?’ It took about 15 years for me to realize they had more cars back at the shop and they just brought a new one to the next race. Duh!

    To Caitlyanna – a lady I know retired from a major U.S. defense contractor after 47 years! She was an administrative assistant type. I asked her how (the hell) did she do it. How did she stay that long with one company. She said you’ve got to take the highs with the lows. Sometimes wait out bad bosses to leave. People come and go. If there is hope on the horizon that your current boss is on his way out and you like working there and it is a good company, stick it out and see what happens. But if you decide to leave, find a new job first, then quit. Do not quit without another job lined up. And Joe is right. Whatever you decide – it will all work out for you. You will be fine. That is my advice to you . . . and I’m old!

  11. Jamil!! Well, that’s exciting. That’s one of my favorite first season X-Files episodes, even. I am getting really excited for this cast. Although, it seems none of the female roles have been cast yet–is that true? Or are their identities just still hidden? Would you consider bringing any of the Whispers team in as SGU lead roles? I really enjoyed all those actresses.

    As for misconceptions…I am fairly certain I believed in leprechauns until I was in about third grade. I even stopped believing in Santa before that! Hmmm…here’s one. I used to think sink/mud holes would pop up any time it rained and could just suck a person down (actually, I suspect this came from watching that beginning scene of Pete’s Dragon at too young an age).

    I’m afraid I’m not too full of such crazy (and humorous) ideas as you were. I have to agree with Ponytail–people called me an “old soul” when I was, like, five. I think I was jaded by age

  12. My most memorable misconception…
    I used to think that if you drank a whole thing of Capri Sun really fast you would turn into that gel-like substance from their old commercials. And, even though I wasn’t the biggest Capri Sun fan, I would try to drink ’em as fast as possible.

    If I may, following up on the question regarding the time span between “Enemy at the Gate” and the Atlantis movie, I was wondering where the third SG-1 movie and Stargate Universe would fit into the timeline.

    Also, Stargate Universe–colon or no colon?

  13. You know those large black stripes that mark the lanes of Olympic swimming pools? When I was really little, my babysitter’s son (he was about 5 years older than me and I was probably four or five at the time) told me sharks lived in those stripes and if you swam over them, they’d come out and eat you. To this day I avoid the stripes and doggie paddle like hell when I have cross over them.

    I used to think cauliflower was actually “cloudy flowers”. I used to believe broccoli was baby trees, and it wasn’t until my dad tried to convince me that brussel sprouts were actually baby lettuce that I realized it was all a lie.

  14. Hi Mr. Mallozzi,
    What ever happen to your special Weird Food Purchase of the Day: Liquored Up edition in which you sample a shot from each bottle in your Liquor cabinet? As you said in the Dec 15th Blog… “The running commentary on that one should be priceless if not inevitably incoherent”.


  15. Thank you (to Joe and Ponytail) for the advice. I feel better tonight, exausted, but not quite as stressed. I did find out what happened to my tips and they were given away to my co-workers on accident and I will get two weeks worth of tips next week. It was just human error and it happens. I didn’t mean to dump all that on you last night, I just needed to vent.

    As for the childhood misconceptions, I can still remember a few.

    Like suziesbluefeather – I firmly believed that once you turn a light off you had 3 seconds to get off the floor or something bad will happen to you. I also still hurry to get off the floor out of habit that I can’t seem to break myself of. Thank you for letting me know I’m not alone in that.

    I will admit that yeas even at almost 27 years old I still believe in leprechans. Not the little, green Irish men that strike your toes, ransack your house, stealing your gold in the process like society plays them out to be. What can I say? I’m half Irish. (I believe in faeries too, in case you were wondering.)

    I believed in Santa until I was (sadly) twelve. I refused to believe my brother who’s two years older than me. However I still believe there is a Christmas Spirit, whether it’s a person or not, I’m not sure.

    Thanks to my brother, I believed that I really did think and do things wrong because I’m left-handed. Poor Genaphur (my cousin) and I are the only lefties in a large family. Maybe that’s the reason she and I are so close. The lefties have got to stick together.

    I believed (thanks again to my brother) that if you swallowed watermellon seeds, a watermellon would grow in your stomach or if you swallowed gum it would always sit there. I still can’t swallow gum. It makes me nauseated to even think about it.

    I too have always been told that I have an “old soul” and is probably the reason why I matured a lot faster than the rest of the kids my age. People mistake me for being in my early to mid thirties and argue with me about my age until I show them my driver’s license.

  16. Hmm… the only thing I can think of offhand is that when I was a kid I thought that the planes that flew through the sky made the clouds, because of those cloud-looking trails that followed behind them.

    Incidentally, I never believed in Santa Claus, a fact which has not harmed my imagination in the slightest.

  17. When I was little I thought the animals really were talking in the movie ‘Milo and Oatus’ LOL I really did believe it.

  18. I used to feel bad when I would rewind a video tape to watch it again, because I thought the people in the movie were inside the tape, performing it like a play, and would get made at me for not giving them a break.

    I also thought the VCR was like a tape recorder and would shout for everyone to be quiet while my dad was taping Star Trek.

    I would hide from the mailman. Once he came to the sliding glass door with a delivery and saw my sister and I dive behind the couch to hide. Since no one else was home, I had to walk out and accept the package from him. He looked like a traumatized Mr. Rogers and it took a few tugs for him to let go of the package.

    Come to think of it, that last one wasn’t when I was a kid. That was this summer.

  19. I have a bit of a favor to ask. Could you post your Vancouver Resto Recommendation List now? Or email it to those who might request it? I moved to Vancouver about 8 months ago and have been trying to figure out which restaurants to try. Also, people at work are always looking for new places to go for lunch. if you have any less than an hour long lunch suggestions you can make that would be great. I work in Willingdon Park near Bridge Studios.

  20. Childhood misconceptions huh? Let’s see if I can remember that far back…..hows this one, when I was little (d’uh) I though that reversing a car meant you unused the petrol and wondered why everyone didn’t drive backwards to save money.
    Whats all this nonsense about believing in fairies and leprechauns? Some of my best friends belong to those ethnic groups!

    I fully understand the reasoning behind your difficulties with Riddley Walker, as I stated it helps if you are familiar with the Kentish dialect as the written word is phonetic and vernacular which if you are not British would present some problems, I read it some time ago and admit I struggled with the first few pages but once I got my mental”ear” in the narrative flowed more easily. I’d defy ANYONE at all to read and understand a book written in phonetic Cornish dialect, I’ve lived in Cornwall for 25 years and STILL have trouble with understanding some of the older Cornish folk.

  21. Oh yeah, I also have a recollection of being in infant school and getting upset and hiding under a table when the Nuns turned the lights on because I thought the school was shut and I wasn’t going home.

  22. @Caitlyanna Are you from the south? Because watermellons will sprout thru your belly button, bubble gum takes 7 years to diguest, and I don’t know about Leprechans but the old oak gets faerie rings in the spring at it’s base. Saying that the house I live in now has a giant (and natural) ring around it that is indented into the ground. I just don’t feel safe until I cross that line sometimes. But hey I’m not to be trusted because I am both right and left handed.

  23. Hi again!

    My sisters and I used to jump off the end of escalators because we had been told that you could get sucked into the little gap at the end where it goes under.

  24. Hi, Joe.

    I remember watching a ‘Rawhide’ episode in the 50’s, and one cowboy warning the other cowboys of ‘ant tracks.’ That they were deadly.

    I stayed clear of ants for a long time.

    Until I saw a ‘Big Valley’ episode, in which a rancher friend of the Barkley’s cattle herd was infected with (wait for it) … anthrax.

    Oh, anthrax NOT ant tracks.

  25. As a Catholic, prayers didn’t count unless you opened and closed with the sign of the cross. Don’t even bother closing with two if you forgot the first, God might smite you just to teach you a lesson.

    Speaking of childhood psychology and rationalizations, I was just reading about one of the pioneers in the field, a Swiss chap named Jean Piaget. Pretty interesting fellow.

    Joe this is totally off the wall, but how did they ever come up with the “kill a rabbit and you’re preggers” test?
    I mean what is seriously up with that one?

  26. I’ve pronounced things wrong in the past and assumed they were right; for years I said “blesh you” instead of “bless you” when people sneezed, and my Mum never corrected me because she thought it was cute.

  27. hey joe,
    when i was younger i used to think that there were extra months to the year.
    So december would end then a period of kinda nothing for a while…no time….but it was time…then january started…
    It was because on a calender i would see december at the bottom and january at the top.
    And wondered how did we journey from the bottom to top.
    What occurred during this time?
    Yea i was bit weird…

  28. I thought there were dolphins in Lake Michigan. Not that I’d ever seen one….it was just big enough. Yeah, I didn’t get that whole “salt water” concept.

    And I thought Orion was put in the sky to watch over me.

    And I cried when I had to go to kindergarten because I thought Captain Kangaroo would miss me.

    Then I turned 6.

  29. Bonjour Joseph!

    Vous allez bien? Moi oui une belle journée de soleil avec des températures agréables…que demander de plus? Je sens que quand je vais aller sur Paris sa va me faire un choc thermique lol. J’esper ne pas tomber malade comme la derniére fois.

    Merci pour ces questions / Réponse voici les miennes:

    1)Savez vous bien skier?
    2)Dans le premier épisode de SGU allons nous voir des personnages de stargate SG1?

    Voila joseph =) Bisou, a bientot.

  30. @for the love of Carson: thanks for the idea and the link. I do occasionally utilize audiobooks, and my local bookstore is now renting them. But I’ve still got a whole lot of old fashioned sit down and read books to get through. I will be using your idea more in the future though.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane Mr. M. I enjoyed both yours and those of some of the other readers. Thinking back on my own youth, I think I’ll keep my own misconceptions to myself for now. Maybe in another decade or so I can “declassify” them. Also, glad to hear the script writing and casting are moving along. I’m hoping that we will start seeing some pictures officially start leaking out.

  31. Ooh childhood misconceptions…..when I was little I figured that if unicorns weren’t real then whales were mythical creatures too. I used to think everyone in the world was Catholic. I would obsessively step over the cracks in the footpath until I stepped on one and then I would have to step on all of the cracks.

    Just a few off the top of my head.

    Cheers, Chev

  32. One of my earliest memories was not wanting to play with my friends because I wanted to watch the cartoons in my eyes when I went to sleep for my nap. I thought the TV put them there.

    I thought sandwiches were those pointy brown sugar cones you get in Mexican markets, because they were sandy and looked like witch hats. Bread with peanut butter, that was sammiches. I think I was six when I decided that.

    My brother told me any cut would heal if I stayed out in the sun, and explained rainbows, prisms and light wavelengths to me… I was four or five, and he didn’t want me to run inside crying because he’d cut my ankle pushing me too fast on the tricycle. I believed in the healing powers of the sun for ages, maybe I still do.

    I thought horses could talk, but were too smart to talk to people.

    I thought it was against the law for children to drink coffee.

    My brothers told me Fizzies would make my tummy explode if I tried to eat one. I wonder why they don’t sell those anymore?

    Then there’s the “light bulb” childhood moments… we moved a lot in the Navy, and on one of the east to west coast moves, I discovered that pancakes, flapjacks, and griddle cakes were all the SAME THING! I think I was around eight years old, and began listening for the way people talked. My second “discovery” was soda, pop and coke were all fizzy drinks. Explains my fascination with dialects and language now.

  33. I went to see “The Banana Splits” appear at a local park when I was 5 or 6. I was CRUSHED when I noticed the zippers and ill-fitting costume heads and the actors hair escaping out the back. It really pissed me off.

    I was pleased to learn later in life that watermelon seeds if swallowed, will not bear fruit. Ditto that my face sadly, will not stay that way. Nor will my parents send my uneaten food to starving children in Africa.

  34. Almost forgot Joe: Any opinion on the now infamous Christian Bale feet-stomping episode from the set of Terminator? If for whatever reason you haven’t heard it, it’s on Or any Google search will offer it.

  35. My mother was a big fan of musicals. So, I spent most of my early years waiting for people to break into song and dance everywhere we went. I was convinced we had arrived just after it had happened.


    Then there were the Deer Crossing signs. I believed that deer came from all over the woods to cross the road in that one place. I never did catch them all waiting in a line, though.

  36. When I was a kid I always thought that if you chewed gum and smoked a cigarette you would automatically get cancer.

    …on that note, I also thought that smoking a cigarette involved exhaling into the thing rather than inhaling.

    I had the same misconception about Gorillas as well.

  37. I’m old enough to remember when the “classic” urban legends were the ones that every kid thought was true: you could die if you ate Pop Rocks and drank Coke at the same time, there were spider eggs in Hubba Bubba (or was it Bubbilicious?) bubble gum, etc. etc.

    Something that I think is unique to my family is that whenever my sister or brother or I would get hurt, my mom would come over and say she was “sending” the pain to grandma. I always thought it was an incredibly cruel thing for my mom to do, to send pain to a little old lady who was halfway across the planet and wouldn’t know where the headache, papercut, or toothache was coming from.

    But now I find myself “sending the pain to grandma” whenever my son falls down or hits his head. I told my mom this and she laughed and said she could handle it.

  38. As a kid, my dad had my little sister convinced that the other cars controlled the traffic light. My lil sis would hold her breath until the light changed because she feared we would be stuck at the red light forever.

    As for myself personally, I thought the purpose of the belly button was to give birth (I was always a practically minded person, I figured the belly button had to have some function). Imagine my shock when I was pregnant with my son and they told me where the baby really came out 😉

  39. Hey Joe! Here are MY childhood misconceptions…

    –I really thought there were grizzly bears living in the small forest near my house. After all, my big brother would never lie to me about something like that, right?

    –Based on a recurring nightmare, I thought there was a tiny, old lady living in the furnace in our basement. She had pins for fingernails and use to click her fingers against the furnace if you got anywere near it.

    –God listened to every one of your thoughts and would punish you for any bad ones.

    –The Flintstones lived in the stone age where everyone spoke French. (We had an antenna and could only get French TV stations.)

    –There really was a monster living in Lake Champlain and every time we crossed it on the ferry I would wave at ANYTHING that even remotely looked unusual.

    –There was a big fish that lived in the lake at Mountain view. It ate my father’s black lab when he was a little boy. It only lived in the deeper part. As long as you didn’t go past the end of the boat house, the fish couldn’t get you.

    –My mother knew everything I did and everywhere I went. She had eyes in the back of her head (even though I could never find them when I was brushing her hair) and the only person who knew more than my mother was God.

    –Black paten leather shoes reflected your underwear.

    –Orange M&M’s would make you pregnant.

    –The school bus driver was as infallible as the Pope. His/her word could NEVER be questioned.

    –If you watched TV in the dark, you’d go blind.

    –If you dug a tunnel into the HUGE snowbank across the road from the driveway and played in the tunnel, the snowplow would bury you as it came by (even though the entrance was on the opposite side of the bank) and no one would ever find your body until spring.

    –If you sailed sticks down the ditches in the spring (when everything melted), eventually the sticks would make their way to the ocean. If you attached a message to the stick, it would find its way to China.

    –The corner brownies were the best of all the brownies. It was imperitive to distract your little brother long enough to steal the corner brownies from a fresh batch.

    –When you did not eat all of the food on your plate, a starving child in Africa died.

    –If you picked your nose hard enough, a piece of your brain would fall out.

    –Someone playing with matches was the cause for every terrible fire reported in the news.

    –A man lived in the radio and announced everything. The first time he stood up at church to do a reading, I screamed in terror and hid under the pew at the sound of his voice.

    –Light has sound.

    –Sound has light.

    –Don’t throw rocks because it hurts the rock’s feelings.

    –Mom will never be able to tell that you used her parafin wax (for canning jelly) on the metal runners of your sled. She also would never be able to tell that you rode that sled on the road.

    –Parents who loved their children let them roll around in the back of the station wagon, especially on long trips.

    –Something more horrible than you could ever imagine would happen if Dad had to stop the car and pull over.

    –“Ghost in the Graveyard” was a really fun game, especially when it is played in an actual graveyard… in the middle of the night… when your parents think you are at a friend’s house… and you had to hike three miles through the “wilderness” and cross a river to get there… and then fell into an open grave that had been dug for a funeral the next day…

    –Only the land surrounding a house belonged to someone. Any unfenced piece of property was created by God for children to explore.

    –There is no place cooler on the face of the earth than Montreal, Quebec.

    –No place on the face of the earth made better hotdogs than Pevane’s in Huntington, Quebec.

  40. I will admit that the Flea Market thing was big for me too. I just couldn’t understand why anyone would want someone else’s garbage. Since I never really explained that to anyone and never went to one for fear of what you could catch there, I was a lot older before the light shined. Truth be told, I still have never been to one, almost, but not quite.

    Then there was this poor kid in grammar/elementary school, he was very tall and had a lurch type of face and all the kids would say if you touched him you would get David germs and stick to him. I know, it is sad, but I was impressionable and didn’t want to stick to him, so I didn’t touch him. I would talk to him, but the kids (they would laugh which I didn’t understand why til I got older) had me convinced I would literally stick to him. Thinking back, kids can be so cruel.

    Also, there was this elderly man who lived alone in the neighborhood and we were told (from a long line of kids before me) that if you pass by his house and he gets you, you will never be returned. I used to prepare before getting to his house so that I ran faster than I normally am. Again, thinking back on it and picturing how I must of looked running like an idiot just past this guy’s house.

    Lastly, it is sad it is not the SGA cast coming back.

  41. When I was 6, my mother took me to the pediatrician because I had a sore throat and was hoarse. The doctor told me I had a frog in my throat. I freaked out, begged him to get it out. To this day, I can’t stand the little shits. In Florida, especially in the summer, they are everywhere. The stick to the windows and sliding glass doors and leave slime marks everywhere. I’ve had a couple jump in my hair (much screaming ensues). Of course, it’s always a great joy for my husband and kids to present me with a frog any chance they get.

    Growing up in Guatemala, I also though guerillas were gorillas, and always wondered why I never saw any. 🙂

    Good day, everyone!

  42. Hi Joe!
    loved reading those childhood misconceptions, check out this site!

    anyway, talking of your BOTM, i was wondering if i will ever see, or have ever missed, any of my 3 favourite authors featured? (being Peter F Hamilton, Alastair Reynolds, and Dan Simmons)

    – A3

  43. I used to be really afraid of bacteria as a kid. That was because every time I’d pick my nose with a finger, my mom would say: “Don’t do that! Use a nosewipe! You’re getting dead bacteria on your fingers and you’re spreading them around!”
    So, I used to think that these huge chunks of creepy-shaped snot were the actual bacteria. I was VERY afraid of the living bacteria still IN me. I was also afraid that one day, all of them would come creeping out of me all at once.

    I figured out by myself that Father Frost (russian santa) didn’t exist, because it dawned at me at a very young age that there’s no way to visit EVERY child in Russia at 12 o clock at night, like legend had it that he did. In a weird twist, I continued to make my mom believe that I believed in him until I was like 11 or so, because I was afraid I wouldn’t get any presents otherwise…

    Other childhood misconceptions… Well I thought my (female) genitals were for urinating…

    Also, in Russia you have these birds with red bellies that fly in from the north in winter, and leave in the spring. I thought that they were actually there all year around (I thought they were the same birds as the sparrow), but that they changed colour in winter to red – much like the brown hare changes to white in winter. And that they were rounder in winter because it was colder and they had to have more feathers than in summer…

    Also I used to think that if you laid down, trying to sleep, with your wrist to your ear, the heartbeat you were hearing was actually the footsteps of a man who’d come to check whether I was sleeping and if I wouldn’t be (pretending to sleep) when he entered the room, something bad would happen.

    I also thought the clouds were a solid thing in the sky, like candycotton or something, and that the rain was the result of them melting. Imagine my surprise the first time I was on an airplane, going right through the clouds!

    Also, I thought animals were supposed to to go heaven as well. I insisted that we take my dead hamster into a church for a memorial service when I was 6 or so (and we did).

    Also, I thought that if you spread out your jacket wide enough when the wind was blowing very very hard, you could actually fly like birds do. I tried many times, but failed. A few years later I finally succeeded to get blown off my feet during a hurricane-strength wind gust, which only reinforced my belief that humans could fly and that I could fly if I’d only remember to flap my arms next time.

    Oh yeah and there was a time when I thought paint was made by scraping it off old, unused paintings. Technically that’s not entirely a misconception – some forgers use that technique.

    After seeing the movie “Jaws” at age 8 I firmly believed that sharks lived everywhere – including rivers, ponds and swimming pools (that I nearly drowned, and my in-the-water collision with a beaver once didn’t help dissipate my fears, either). Then I heard somewhere an alligator had been found in a swimming pool and that snakes could swim, and my paranoia was complete. To be honest, I’m still afraid of swimming.

  44. Oh dear!
    My childhood image of the world… there’s a lot! I hope I can remember it all….

    I thought, that people living at the south pole would be hanging upside down and asked my mum why they wouldn’t fall off

    When I saw the advertisement of PUMA shoes where the athlete runs away from a puma I was sure I’d be faster than a Puma with my fancy new PUMA Shoes! I didn’t believe my friend when she said that it wasn’t true. They said so in the ad, right?

    I thought Sherry was simply cherry-juice… didn’t feel like it in the morning ;o)

    I believed in god :o. I thought he’d slip through my fingers whenever I clapped my hands (my mother still loves that one)

    Here’s a really weird one:
    I though we all live on the head of a human and that humans live with thousands of others like him on another human’s head and so on…

    Well that was rather my brother than me but I believed him: He was scared of the cows on the meadow we crossed (on one of our weird adventures in the early morning hours) He thought they might attack him for carring a red hat lol

    When I painted a pic, humans and animals alike had legs all over the body. Why, no-ones knows. Even I can’t explain it now :o)

    I was sure, that the further away we are from the sun, the hotter it gets… It gets colder on mountains too the higher you get, doesn’t it? Must’ve driven my teacher crazy when he tried to convince me otherwise.
    When I had an idea how things are, I stuck to that idea.

    When there were news about a war I was afraid of having a war at our place imagining knights with swords fighting in front of our kitchen window.

    When my grandma told me on our way to the dairy farm to fetch some milk that we could as well hold our jug right under the cow on the meadow, I believed her….
    The cow had just been pissing then…
    I didn’t think there was a difference

    I believed in the sausage-tree

    Ohhh and there’s another great story from my brother: He was about 3 or 4 years old and the mustard was missing. When he was asked whether he’d seen it he answered: “Mustard on street smeared, car slip-slip” (well or something like that. It’s hard to translate childs speach)
    anyway… the mustard was never to be found neither in the house nor on the street

    Well there are also some puns which can’t be translated into english…

  45. Oh and I remember more! Many more!

    When I was about 8, I used to think that in movies, where somebody falls out of a window or off a cliff or something, it was the actual actor doing the stunt (no surprise there) and that there were four people holding a bedsheet stretched out by the four corners down on the ground to catch the person’s fall.

    Also I thought that when a news bulletin was re-run on television, it was actually the newsreader reading the news all over again.

    Also, when I was about 5 or 6 it was a very unrestly time in Russia and my mother bought a gas mask, which she taught me to use. I next thought that elephants couldn’t breathe our air and that they were wearing giant gas masks because of it.

    I also believed in aliens. I thought they lived on the backside of the moon, the side you can’t see. I thought every time you saw a shooting star, that was a spaceship of either “our guys” or the aliens coming in for a landing…

    I thought big fireworks were fired from actual cannons.

    I thought wool was combed off a sheep, not shaved off. I thought milk came from cows, chocolate milk came from black cows, and pasteurised milk came from pasteurised cows. I thought white eggs came from chickens that had eaten white grains, and brown eggs came from chickens that had eaten brown and yellow grains.
    I thought brussel sprouts were tiny cabbages. I thought sweet potatoes (“earth pear” in Russian) grew on trees. I thought starch was made from chalk, and soap from dead animals (because my great-grandmother used to tell how during the war they’d made soap from dead cats and such). I thought “flying fish” had wings. And I thought the Titanic had sunk in the 11 kilometres deep abyss off the coast of Japan somewhere.
    I thought that if you baked in the sun long enough, you’d not go brown, but actually become black like the people in Africa – I thought they were so black because they were in the sun a lot. This was at age 7 or so, cuz that’s the first time I saw a black person (two, actually). I also thought that kiwi’s were large gooseberries and that if you didn’t dig out potatoes, they would grow on and on forever, but that you had to dig them out because winter was coming. I thought that’s why they could produce more food in warmer countries with a tropical climate, than in cold countries with a short summer.
    I thought ink was made from inkfish. I used to think that when you turned bottles in to be recycled, they’d be washed out and re-used. And if some of them were broken, they’d glue them together and then re-use them – it never occurred to me glass can be molten.
    I used to think thunder happened from the lightning colliding with roofs and the ground. I thought the tide in the sea happened because of the wind…

    I can go on and on if I think about it… My goodness. I was one confused kid! I learned to read at age 4,5 or so, and read a lot of books, so that explains all the confusion.

  46. Oh and I also thought grafite for pencils was dug out of the earth by miners shaped like spaghetti, so all they had to do was put the wood around it. And I thought erasing rubbers grew on trees and were just taken from the trees and cut in square pieces.

  47. i thought animals could talk a secret language that i didnt understand yet my parents did and they translated it for me…boy i was a fool.

    i also thought there was a God…just kidding i still believe that.

    another thing, when taking the subway or train i thought the world was the one moving.

    what else. i thought ants were plotting against me at one point. and that earthquakes happen because of plate tectonic movements…oh i was right!

  48. @ Joe – I, too, would like to hear your opinion on the Christian Bale thing. NOT your opinion on Bale himself – I certainly don’t expect you to point fingers and say who was, or was not, at fault here – but, since you are in the industry, perhaps you can put this sort of thing in perspective for us.

    @ Deni B. – Glad I’m not the only one who confused guerrilla/gorilla. 😛

    A few more childhood misconceptions…(I had very few, considering):

    I thought Speed Racer was a real boy.

    Pictures of people in magazines, etc could actually see me (I would always cover their faces when I had to get undressed).

    Probably my most embarrassing: mom told me the facts of life when I was only 9, and for a while after that I thought that the male reproductive organ was completely covered with hair…like a fuzzy caterpillar. 😛


  49. @dasNdanger, a better question would be if this ever happens on a stargate set…something i dont want to know frankly.

    but seriously i support Christian Bale on this one because he was just feeling vulnerable and the work he does takes a toil on him, especially him, as Bale is known for being a dedicated actor…the guy is a very serious actor, just see The Machinist. and we all have our being pushed over the edge moments.

  50. I thought all the movies I watched were really a G-rating…until I discovered that my father, with his 2 VCRs, edited everything seamlessly before we watched it, to protect us from seeing too much sex when we were little kids.

    I thought all babies were born by c-section, not that my sibs & I were, but just bc my parents had to get the guts to tell us how it all REALLY works 😉

    I thought most kids’ families received food stamps to buy groceries, until I got made fun of in school for being poor.

    I thought most kids’ parents told them to work hard, always do their homework, & “keep their noses clean” to succeed in life – & then I looked around me & saw how the tides have changed…

  51. @ duneknight – Well, I wouldn’t want Joe to compromise set secrets 😉 – I’m sure things happen that are unpleasant at times. And I really don’t care much about whether Bale, or the DP, was right, or wrong.

    What I’m more interested in is whether or not this sort of thing (the tirade) is commonplace – part of the business – and if the media is just blowing it out of proportion. When these sorts of stories surface, we rarely have an opportunity to get an insider’s perspective – but here, with Joe – we can, if he so wishes to share.


  52. When I was a child I thought that cars moved because the earth was spinning and I also believed that the breath I could see coming from my mouth in the winter was the same thing as the exhaust coming from cars. Whenever I tell friends that I get very odd looks.

  53. All of my misconceptions had to do with cartoons and movies.

    My favorite cartoon was Voltron. Whenver we watched the news and a disaster, war or whatever was happening, I always expected for Voltron to show up, and was disappointed when he didn’t.

    I collected unicorns and one of my fav movies was The Last Unicorn. So I was insistant that they existed. Whenever I saw a white horse I would swear it was a unicorn. And when the others with me said they couldn’t see a horn I would so professor like and tell them why.

    I LOVED Indiana Jones. Those movies were the reason I got into history at a young age, and was the first inspiration for me to be an anthropology major. I went to alot of musems as a kid, and always waited in anticipation to see Dr. Jones. And thought archaeology was actually like that. I wanted to be a gun toting superhero like every boy. And I was much older when I found out it wasn’t.

    And I know one thing…if I ever get to Vancouver, Fuel is always a good place, especially since my dad is on this huge cooking phase. 50 years old and he wants to be a chef…and he actually is a damn good cook. I just want to know why he didn’t discover that 30 years earlier….

  54. How many script pages should a series like SGU come in at? What’s the count at the act breaks?

  55. Thank you for answering.

    “2. Which base personnel?”

    Well I read some spoilers on a website(maybe it was false?)

    Well then:
    What kind of uniforms the Destiny’s crew will have?

  56. Hi Joe,

    I remember one childhood misconception, I thought the tide went out because someone pulled a plug out 🙂

    I guess I’m having to contend with childhood theories through the eyes of my children at the moment.

    This is my son’s current assessment of the delivery of Easter eggs. He’s three, and a month ago we were discussing the Easter bunny and he told me not to be so silly!
    ‘Why?’ I asked,
    ‘The Easter bunny doesn’t bring eggs, Mummy. Bunnies don’t have eggs. It’s the Easter Chicken of course!’

    Of course, how could I be so silly, the Easter Chicken.

    And then of course my daughter at a similar age decided that if honey came from bees then jam came from wasps.

    Well they make me laugh 🙂

  57. “Q: I was wondering if ZPMs will play a part in the Stargate Universe Story plot?

    A: Nope.”

    Is that because you don’t want to pay royalties to whoever invented the ZPM originally? 🙂

    Perhaps this funky ancient ship is run on a whole new kind of souped up improbability drive? 😉

    Btw: Do you plan to do an episode of Universe in 3D? I hear that is all the rage now *g*

  58. I have to add some more to my list 🙂

    I thought, that white wool came from the white sheep and black from the black sheep…. I never figured out, where the other colours came from. Or maybe I was wondering why I didn’t see the other colours on sheep. Maybe those were held in other countries 😉

    When I learned to read I was absolutely overwhemled by the mass of words in the world. On thing I remember clearly is that on German Products was written “Made in Germany” in English of course but I didn’t understand English then. So.. “Made” has a meaning in Germany: “maggot” So I was readin “maggot in Germany” I never figured out what the f… Germanie was and what the maggot had to do with it all until I learned the English word for “Deutschland”

    Here’s a difficulty for a child. in German the words castle and lock are the same word. So when I heard in a musical that poor Papageno was silenced by a “lock” at his mouth I only thought how incredibly heavy that must’ve been

    When I was 5 or 6 years old My father took us to a play on an outside stage. The play was “Winnetou part III”. Well it is the Part where winnetou dies. It was played because it was to be the last time the man himself Pierre Briece would be playing Winnetou (still proud of having been there :D). But when poor Winnetou was shot and rolled down that slope, I really believed he had died. It was not an actor it was Winnetou that had just died and I was crying my eyes out for the rest of the play. Horrified of having witnessed that death.
    I really would have loved a pic of my face when for the end credits Winnetou came back on stage riding his horse all well and living. It must’ve been very funny!

    I had a pretty vivid fantasy as a child. When I was on the loo I suddenly heard this knocking noise inside the pipes and immediately an image of a redeyed evil woodpecker came up in my mind. I sprang up and ran for my live right out of the loo, pants still down!
    I didn’t go to that loo for years. Fortunately we had three in the house *rofl*

    That last one still gives me tears of laughter. 😀

  59. @PoorOldEdgarDerby said:

    Joe this is totally off the wall, but how did they ever come up with the “kill a rabbit and you’re preggers” test?
    I mean what is seriously up with that one?

    You know, every time I read your name I feel sorry for you. But that’s not what I wanted to say. All of you sensitive animal rights people will want to stop reading now.

    About the “rabbit test”: back in ancient times, well, back in the 1940’s and ’50s anyway, pregnancy tests were done by injecting a woman’s urine into a female rabbit. The HCG in a pregnant woman’s urine would cause specific changes in the rabbits ovaries. After several days (can’t find the exact timing in my medical books as the test is seriously outdated) the rabbit’s ovaries were examined, which required sacrificing (killing) the rabbit. So the old saying “the rabbit died” used to imply that a woman was pregnant isn’t exactly true, since the rabbit always died whenever the test was done whether the woman was pregnant or not. Some labs used frogs in much the same way. New tests eventually were developed to detect HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin – a substance produced by the placenta) in the blood and urine which did not require animal intermediaries and were a lot more accurate. Thus ends our laboratory science lecture for today.

    Silly childhood beliefs: I always believed that if you crossed your eyes for too long they would stick that way. My mom told me they would.

  60. As a very young child, I had the vaguest awareness of “Watergate” and assumed it was a controversy about dams.

    I still remember my disappointment on seeing it in Washington and realizing it was just a hotel.

  61. @das: In Guatemala (this was back in the 60s), we constantly were put under Martial Law, and because my parents were Brits, it was referred to as such instead of “toque de queda” in Spanish. At first I thought it was about Martians and was really looking forward to that. My parents explained that would not be the case. When the armed soldiers went house to house looking for whatever they thought they were looking for (POS), my parents told me they’d be coming into the house and going room to room. Somehow I decided the gorillas were coming and was ready with an armful of bananas to appease them.

  62. I’m sure that I have plenty of misconceptions as a child. I can only think of one right now though…

    I believed that when you saw rays of sunlight piercing thick clouds off in the distance that it meant that someone was being beamed up into heaven.

  63. A childhood misconception, but it’s not my fault:

    As I grew up in the 50s and early 60s, I was convinced by TV and the movies that only poor moms and dads (like mine) had to sleep in the same bed, and that in the nicer families, moms and dads had their own, stylish twin beds.

  64. It’s not quite a misconception like the ones you described, but when I was a child, I had that really creepy suspicion that all the world as I saw it was just a fake, a show to fool me while others watched and laughed at me all the time.
    When “The Truman Show” came out, I was already well over 30, but it still felt as if the screenwriters had gotten into my head at some time. It was so very familiar.

  65. @ Deni B. – 😆 Too funny! Scary…but funny!

    So…did the ‘naners work? 😉


  66. The only misconceptions that I can remember was that I really though there was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, I started to run after one and my brothers got mad at me.

    A few summers ago a friend told me that she believed that if you had a cut, if a cat licked it, it would heal properly, as cats had antiseptic tongues. I laughed quite hard.

  67. Thanks for the updates on SGU and the Stargate movie. Funny childhood beliefs.

    I really believed the moon was made of cheese and when I first saw pictures of the real moon landing I didn’t believe it was real. Where was the cheese?

    If you got a mosquito bite it would itch less if you put a cross on it using your fingernails.

    If you get caught in an undertoe you will be swept out to sea. I think my parents told me this to keep me closer to shore in reality the undertoe will just send you down the beach quite a ways.

    My dad is an astronaut. this belief had some basis in reality my dad’s company was a contractor for NASA and he helped design the Apollo space suits just not like I was thinking and I would constantly ask him so when are you going to go into space? I mean he did have the suit lol.

  68. Just your friendly neighborhood reminder to post your Vancouver Resto Recommendation List.


  69. What a great question to pose (childhood misconceptions). I remember two that stand out in my mind. I was a strange child, bear that in mind. I remember putting my ear down to the coffee table and I would hear a popping noise. I asked my sister what was in there that was making this noise? She told me, “They are atoms.” I was like, “Wow, atoms.” Second one was about when I was 8. I saw an advertisement in a local paper that said something about pool sharks and it had a cartoon picture of a man in a pool swimming quickly from the shark. I was absolutely terrified to go in our pool, especially the deep end, because I was afraid the pool shark would get me.

  70. SGA made the home page of Daily Kos today! DK is one of the more influential lefty political blogs in the US. The founder, Markos, had a short entry about what TV he’s been watching lately and said “… I wish Stargate Atlantis hadn’t been axed…”

    Too bad I never saw him mention the show before it got cancelled; his site gets a LOT of traffic.

  71. Although I got my big break by watching a lot of television, writing a spec script, and getting my foot in the door that way.

    YESSSS! I’m on the right path.

    Also, seriously consider the wonderful world of animation.

    I imagine the freedom in writing for animation would be…boundless. Ooh, what fun. Oh!

    Ooh, and that too.

    Eeee, hee hee!


  72. Hi Joe,
    Guess you didnt get my last few questions so here there are.

    1. Could you at least give Major davis a small role or at least a cameo in project twilight?

    2. What is your favorite episode you wrote?

    3. Do you eat out fancy every day?

    4. Did the Military have a positive or negative response to the scripts you sent them?

    Thanks again. Glad to hear you finished your script. Hope it didn’t cause you too much trouble.

  73. I used to think the lines on grilled steaks were ‘practice’ lines for children learning to use a knife and fork. I made this leap in logic because my parents always got the prime rib, which has no lines while I always got the sirloin.

    I also used to think that ‘main characters’ were a special breed of humans that were immortal. This was because every time I was worried about the hero of a movie being in bad straits, my mother would tell me, “He’s not going to die. He’s the main character.”

  74. Perhaps this has been asked before, and maybe even answered, but I’ve been wondering why Paul Davis hasn’t been promoted beyond Major in all the years he’s been with the Stargate program. It seems nearly every other recurring character except him has been promoted at least once (and in the case of some people 2 or 3 times), but poor Davis hasn’t been. Did he do something bad? It seems to me he deserves a promotion by now.

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