Drowsy Musings on Doctor Who and Space

 

girl-gone-geek-doctor-who-galaxy-wallpaper-tardis

So I was laying in bed one night thinking about how much I love Doctor Who (stay with me now) and felt compelled to share my drowsy musings.

Answers… Sort of

Doctor Who, as well as most sci-fi, gives us answers to science questions. Albeit a fictional answer, but an answer nonetheless. But if Star Trek taught us anything it’s that science fiction doesn’t always stay fiction. With subjects like parallel universes and time travel, some Doctor Who episodes can be seen as scientific theories with a plot.

Sapphire Waterfalls

Doctor Who exercises our imagination by showing us our possible future. Pretty much anything you imagine can be made into a Doctor Who episode, which we have learned is sometimes for the worse. But it’s in those campy plots and shoddy graphics that my love somehow grows for this show. I just hope I’m around when we discover star whales and a planet with sapphire waterfalls.

We’re His Fave

Shattered gemstone waterfalls and wibbly wobbly time travel aren’t the most important things I takeaway from Doctor Who. The most significant thing for me is surprisingly human.

Traveling around time and space can easily make any human feel insignificant. But the Doctor, a genius who has arguably seen more of the universe than anyone else (except for maybe the Face of Boe), loves Earth and humans… Even when it’s hard for us to love ourselves. Out of all of the fascinating planets and beings, he always come back to Earth. And although one answer may be that it makes filming the show much easier, I like to think that it has to do with how important we are.

The Impossible Girl

I may not have a TARDIS to take me through time and space and make me question my importance in the universe, but I do have the stars. The furthest star is 13.8 billion light years away, a distance I can’t even fathom. But instead of that distance making me feel small and insignificant, it makes me feel like the most important being in the universe. Out of all of that, I exist.

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Dedicated to the Impossible Girl (And The Doctor Who World Tour)

doctorwhoworldtour

Although I met Alison only briefly at The Doctor Who World Tour, it’s a moment that I will remember forever… The thing is, I wasn’t even supposed to be at the #DWWorldTour in NYC. I was one of many who couldn’t get tickets. Then the day before the event, my friend Yissel asked if I wanted to go in her place. Her friend Christina had an extra ticket and Yissel couldn’t make it. I mean, why would I not want to go? Doctor Who is my favorite thing in all of time and space. I was lucky enough to meet Matt Smith and the crew not once but twice a few years ago. Now I get to see Peter Capaldi in the flesh! 

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetSo Thursday afternoon I put on a bunch of TARDISes and set off to see the Doctor and the companion and the Moff hosted by Chris Hardwick of the Nerdist. I met the golden ticket holder,Christina, in line at around 2pm and we instantly hit it off. The event wasn’t until 7PM but Whovains were in line since 1AM the night before. As usual with line cons (line con: (noun) the very long lines geeks wait in at geeky events and conventions) we made friends with the Whovians around us. (Shout out to Monica and Tatiana!) There were constant bursts of cheers going on during the line con, mostly because BBC America kept asking us to cheer for footage. They even interviewed me and my new Who friends, but only time will tell if I’ll make the final cut. We passed the time by talking about favorite Doctors and companions, crazy DW theories and other geeky things. Time seemed to fly by up until the last hour, or should I say the Eleventh hour, which seemed the longest. Legs were hurting and caffeine was needed. (Let’s see how many Doctor Who puns I can fit in this post.)

AnyWHO at about 7:30PM they finally let us in and me and my Who crew got pretty close to the front. They played the U.S. premier of season eight and it was awesome. I laughed a lot. I almost cried. Typical Doctor Who feels. I can’t tell you any more because of *River Song voice* spoilers.

Peter Capaldi was all I really cared about though. Here in my face was this new 12th Doctor face. But oh man, he was amazing in the first episode. He really really was. You’re gonna love him I’m sure of it. Then Q&A happened which was also very cool but I don’t remember a lot of it because I kept staring at Capaldi. And his eyebrows. Oh and Neil Gaiman was there! How could I forget?!… Oh yeah because I didn’t see him. He tweeted he was there which spread like wildfire on the line con but I didn’t see him. But I felt his presence (jk not really). 

Chris Hardwick, Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and Steven Moffat

Chris Hardwick, Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and Steven Moffat

So now on to the best and most important part of the whole entire day. As I was being ushered out of the theater a lady whovian named Alison came up to me, (bet you were wondering when I’d bring her up again) and said something like, “Hi Jamila, I am a fan of your blog.” And I’m like omgwut? First off, I don’t usually meet people in person who are fans of my blog. So when I do meet GGG readers I usually think they are mistaking me with someone else. Some other blog with “girl”and “geek” in the title, which is probably quite a few. So then Alison continued to tell me all of these kind things about my blog and myself and what a great job she thinks I am doing and I was hit with wave after wave of emotions. Shock. Happiness. Confusion. ME? All of this is about me? What?! Then of course in true Jamila fashion, those tears that almost came out during the Doctor Who episode came back.

The thing is, I was having a pretty shitty week personally. Then that shittiness was multiplied by Ferguson and Robin Williams. I had cried a few times earlier that week about sad stuff, so to cry about something happy when I needed it the most is something I’ll never forget. I just blog into the void not knowing who is reading my blog, let alone cares about it. So to meet someone like Alison is something I still can’t even comprehend. I still get emotional thinking about it. I’m forever grateful for that. 

Let’s end on a quote from the Doctor,

“What’s the point of being happy now if they’re going to be sad later? The answer is of course- because they are going to be sad later.”

Etsy Crush of the Week & Giveaway: WetheSciencey

we the sciencey logo

jamila girl gone geek blog wethesciencey Meteorite Fragment  necklace

“You had me at meteorite necklace”, is how I felt when I landed on WeTheSciencey’s Etsy shop. So I can own a necklace that has a metorite fragment in it? SOLD! Who wouldn’t want to flaunt a bit of space around their neck?! And that’s not it! We the Sciencey’s shop is bursting will all sorts of science and sci-fi items that will have you manically clicking “Add to Cart”. What makes it even better is every month WeTheSciencey chooses a new Kickstarter project to back with a percentage of every sale. It’s a win/win!

The handmade (and space-made) meteorite necklace is just as beautiful as I daydreamed! It arrived in a cute little drawstring bag which includes an informational card about the meteorite fragment history and meteorites in general. The necklace itself includes an 18in silver-color chain with genuine meteorite fragment(s) incased in a glass bottle pendant. My meteorite fragment is a chondrite from fall NWA 869 and was found in 2000 in Northwest Africa. It’s pretty freaking cool.

Oh, and there’s a giveaway! Details below.

Interview with Noah of WeTheSciencey:

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

WeTheSciencey-Mad Scientist Chemistry Cookie Cutter KitI’m Noah, a 23-year old human girl who likes to think of herself as a creator and who is always on the lookout for grand adventures and tea with Jammie Dodgers. That aside, I am a sailor-in-training and I also want to be an astronaut.

Can you tell us the origin story of your shop, We the Sciencey?

One day, as I was sitting in chemistry class and sketching reaction mechanisms, the thought occurred, “wouldn’t it be brilliant to be able to buy things that are …chemistry-y! but beautiful, because there’s something quite lovely about science.” Just look at the stars on a clear night, in place far away from civilisation…it’s science, but it’s beauty. I wanted to make a place where the two could be celebrated together. Science & art. And then, maybe a semester later, I discovered ‘Doctor Who’. It was perfectly inspiring and added the fictional and imaginative side; I loved that I found an outlet for so many things I loved since childhood, and knew others loved as well. I wanted to share it and have been doing so since!

Which have been some of your favorite pieces to make? WeTheSciencey- Doctor Who Whovian Timey-Wimey Greeting Card Set

The Meteorite Necklace is, by far, my favourite piece in the shop. Somehow I always end up day-dreaming and imagining the life of the meteorite and its incredibly epic journey hurtling through time and space. It’s kind of mysterious and awe-inspiring! I also just like the idea of people carrying bits of outer-space around with them. :D

Do you have any (other) geeky obsessions? If so what?

I LIKE CHEMISTRY. And SPACE. Art & design. Anddd…well, lots of things. In terms of science-fiction, I’m definitely a Trekkie-Whovian-type hybrid. I find science fiction to be full of wonder and fantasticalness. If I feel a bit stuck, creative-wise, just watching an episode of Star Trek (original
series mostly) or Doctor Who always jostles my imagination awake again.

If you had to live in a fictional sci-fi universe for a month, which would it be and why?

Definitely the Doctor’s universe. I mean, just. Yes. Just think…the adventures, the cultures, the mysteries, the questions and answers and discoveries and beautiful vastness andandand! *sigh* CAN I JUST GO NOW?!?! >.<

WeTheSciencey- Star Trek Spock Hand StampWhich science fiction tech can you not wait to become science reality?

A replicator! The closest thing I have is the MakerBot Replicator 2 which is a 3D printer. And though, it is pretty freaking amazing, it is limited to creating objects out of 2 varying types of materials and requires a lot of time/learning (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing ;) ). The Star Trek replicator could solve a lot of problems, especially food and medicine shortages. It could also cause a lot of issues if misused. So, while I think it would be a lovely piece of equipment to have in theory….perhaps it might be better that it doesn’t exist. SO. The TARDIS, then. =]

If you were on a deserted island what video game, comic/book, movie, TV show would you bring?

I’d bring: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, A brilliant chemistry textbook so I can invent things to retrofit the island, Space Odyssey 2001, and the Doctor Who series’.

Where do you live on the internet?

You can find the WeTheSciencey shop at etsy.com/shop/wethesciencey and the blog at www.wethesciencey.com. On Twitter: twitter.com/wethesciencey and Facebook: Facebook.com/wethesci. When I’m not blogging on wethesciencey.com, I’m at galaxychild.tumblr.com (caution: it’s mostly poetry with the occasional meandering into things rather spacey and timey).

WeTheSciencey Giveaway!

wethesciencey

Three winners will get one of the items above!

Enter the giveaway:

  • Follow WeTheSciencey on (if applicable):
  •      – Facebook: facebook.com/wethesci
  •      – Twitter: twitter.com/wethesciencey
  •      – Tumblr: wethesciencey.com
  • Answer the following question in the comments section:
  •      Q: Which science fiction tech can you not wait to become science reality?
  • Giveaway ends Monday, August 26th

Giveaway over. Congrats, Kathryn, Jessica, Ada!

 

More from WeTheSciencey!

 

Etsy Crush of the Week: Designer Lollipop

Designer Lollipop

Interview with Pricilla of Designer Lollipops

Designer Lollipop- Eye Of SauronCan you tell us a bit about yourself?

HI! My name is Priscilla and I was born and raised in Utah. I love the mountains, cooking and art. I absolutely love to learn, I have worked in the fields of Massage Therapy, Digital Artistry, Photography, Photoshop Artist, and finally Candy Curator.

How did your designer lollipop Etsy shop come to be?

Designer Lollipop opened in November of 2012. I have always loved edible images and one day I put them inside a lollipop! IT took us a while to work out the kinks in our recipe but finally we have that brilliant, clear front which show cases our Art. I have to say that I think the Planet Lollipops and Creature Eyes have to be my absolute favorite!

How long on average does it take you to make a lollipop?

We make our lollipops in large batches. We make close to 160 at a time and it takes 3 hours give or take. I personally make them all by hand. It starts with designing the image, creating both sides of the candy. Secretly ;) getting that image inside and then each one is polished by hand and sealed tight in plastic.

Do you have any funny crafting stories?

Funny story, I had made probably close to 12 batches of candy and had forgotten to stick the sticks in. Can I just say too, candy making can be very hard. I have burned so many batches that I can’t even count them on my hands!

I know you do custom pieces for customers, have you had any favorite or unusual requests? Designer Lollipop- Death Star Lollipops

I have to say that my most unusual request was from a guy in Canada. He was a visual art major and had his final project coming up. He really wanted to do something unusual to showcase Violence in the world.

So he sent me some violent images, quite frankly they were pretty sad and wanted me to put them inside lollipops. He wanted to see if people could eat the lollipops. I will let you know how the study went, next time I talk to him!

Favorite custom lollipops I have done: I love doing Weddings! I have had many customers call and send me personal images to put inside the lollipops. They get it! They want one of a kind and we are totally excited about one of a kind lollipops!

If you were on a deserted island what video game, comic/book, movie, TV show would you bring? 

Deserted Island, I wouldn’t play video games or read comic books. I would be running in the ocean, forget electronics!

Where can we find you on the web?

You can find me online:
www.designerlolli.com
www.etsy.com/shop/designerlollipop
www.facebook.com/designerlollipop
www.theplanetlollipop.com (coming soon!)

 

Dining With The Doctor: The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook

Doctor Who Cookbook

Whether it’s fish fingers and custard, a Jammie Dodger, bananas or celery, food always seems to be involved when it comes to that madman in a box. So it should come to no surprise that a new Doctor Who-inspired cookbook, Dining With The Doctor: The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook, was created by Chris-Rachael Oseland.

Dalek Ironside Toast Sandwich

Dalek Ironside Toast Sandwich

Chris-Rachael’s a freelance writer by day, and by night she’s creating culinary dishes inspired by different fandoms. She recently self-published Dining With The Doctor: The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook, her fifth book, through Amazon’s independent publishing platforms, CreateSpace (print) and Kindle Direct Publishing or KDP (e-book). Her first self-published book was a steampunk-themed cocktail book, SteamDrunks. Even though agents felt the book was well written and funny, they didn’t want to take it on because it appealed to a niche audience. Rather than letting it collect dust, Chris-Rachel decided to give self-publishing a go – and readers have been “drinking it up” ever since!

Dining With The Doctor comes out just in time for the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who later this year! This is actually the first Doctor Who cookbook since 1986. A lot has happened in the last 27 years; most importantly, the return of Doctor Who. Chris-Rachael grew up watching Doctor Who and when the show came back her love was reignited. She said, “I knew I wanted to do something big for Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary. As a food writer, I naturally started thinking about dinner parties. One recipe turned into 10, and before I knew it I decided to come up with a recipe for every single episode of the new series.”

The chef watched more than 100 hours of Doctor Who for inspiration and created a recipe for every episode! She has recipes – from “Tardis Wellington” to “Slitheen Eggs” and they are accessible for cooks of all stages and ages, and work especially well for Doctor Who viewing parties!

If you’re still hungry for more you can visit Chris-Rachael’s food blog, Kitchen Overlord, for weekly illustrated geek recipes and sneak peeks at upcoming “geektastic” projects. Chris-Rachael has two other self-publishing cookbooks in the works: Wood for Sheep: The Unauthorized Settler’s Cookbook (due out in May) and The Noshing Dead: The Unauthorized Walking Dead Cookbook (slated for September, with an ebook mini-cookbook version available.)

Dining With The Doctor: The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook is available now at Amazon.com.

Interview with Chris-Rachael Oseland

How long have you been a chef?
Doctor Who Cookbook- Slitheen Eggs

Slitheen Eggs

To me, a chef is someone who works in a restaurant while a cook is someone who prepares food in any other setting. I can’t get up at 4 a.m. to work 16 hour days 6 days a week, so I’m happy to call myself a cook. On a professional level, I’ve also been a food and beverage writer for about 7 years.

What made you want to merge cooking and geek culture together?

Being a lifelong geek sort of forced me to start thinking about food from alternative perspectives early on. For some reason, geek culture seems to attract people with food issues. Maybe geek culture is more open about biological weirdness beyond your control, or maybe people with one weird part of their life are drawn to a culture that celebrates weirdness. Either way, you can’t go to a geek gathering without meeting someone with a lethal nut allergy, another person with Celiac disease, another who is lactose intolerant, etc. To make it even more fun, geeks who don’t have a biological issue are often attracted to extreme diets, like veganism or paleo.

If you want to get all those people to sit down to a single meal together, you’ve got to be creative and ambitious in the kitchen. Once you used to thinking about how you’re going to feed a Celiac, Vegan and Paleo dieter the same dinner, nothing seems weird anymore. So why not write a Doctor Who cookbook? It’s not as strange as an average Sunday night.

Plus, I love having people over for watch parties. Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, or The Walking Dead are all excuses to hang out with good friends and good food. I think a lot of geeks enjoy using geek culture as an excuse to get together. I’m just making it easier.

Do you have any other geek culture cook books planned for the future?
Queen Victoria's Tipple

Queen Victoria’s Tipple

I do indeed! I’ve had such a good experience working with CreateSpace that I’m releasing Wood for Sheep: The Unauthorized Settlers Cookbook with them at the end of May, just in time for the summer gaming convention season. I’m still working on photographing all the recipes. You can see some previews at Kitchen Overlord. I love the fact that CreateSpace lets me keep working and tweaking right up to the point where I’m published, so there aren’t any “I wish I could’ve added…” moments. Working on the Settler’s cookbook has been a heck of a lot of fun. I’m also releasing The Noshing Dead: The Unauthorized Walking Dead Cookbook via CreateSpace in September. Thanks to my mildly scandalous love affair with my new Kitchenaid, I’m also working on a crazy book of geek breads full of things like Starfleet Insignia pain d’epi and cinnamon Wookie pull apart bread. It should be out in time for Christmas.

If you could describe the doctor as a dish, what would it be and why?

I’d say the Doctor is a bittersweet chocolate truffle full of salted caramel. Chocolate, because you’re always happy to see him. Salt for the tears he inevitably induces, cries or both. Caramel because he’s often both sweet and sappy. And a single truffle because, much like the best cholesterol filled desserts, anything more than a taste of life with the doctor will break your heart

Who is your favorite doctor and companion and why?

Rory Williams is, hands down, my favorite companion. I love the Rory as the new Chuck Norris memes. He’s developed so much from being the Doctor’s oft mocked whipping boy to being the platonic ideal of what every woman wants in a husband. (I’m sorry gentlemen. I know it’s an unrealistically high standard.) He’s also the one person willing to really acknowledge that simply meeting the Doctor is dangerous for us mere mortals. I cheered at my screen when Rory told Amy, “Any time the Doctor gets chummy with someone I want to notify their next of kin.”

That said, “favorite” Doctor is a hard one. I really like the direction Moffatt is taking things with Eleven, but since I’d like to live past next Tuesday, if a blue box materialized in my living room, I hope Nine would walk out. Well, Nine or Four. Tom Baker was my first Doctor, so he’ll always have a warm place in my heart, but I also love Eccleston for his ongoing hopeful attitude. He’s the only one who could honestly and sincerely say, “Today Rose, everybody lives!”

If you could invite 5 characters from Doctor Who to a dinner party, who would they be?

Only one dinner party? Gosh, narrowing it down to just five is hard. I’d have to say River Song, Winston Churchill, Captain Jack Harkness, Madame Vastra and sexy Shakespeare.

Oh, and Cassandra – just to make her watch us all eat.

Where are all of the women of color in science fiction?

The Underrepresentation of Black Women & Latinas in Science Fiction

Fun facts before I get started: According to “Richard Whettestone of firsttvdrama.com, as of 2005 only 15 science-fiction TV series have featured black women in lead roles. Less than 9% of Science-Fiction TV series have featured black women as main characters… Including recurring characters who were usually tossed in the background.” [Source]

There aren’t that many Black women and Latinas in science fiction and that is a problem, and not a new problem by any means. The fact that we can probably easily name all of the Black women and Latinas in sci-fi that we’re or are lead characters and creators means there isn’t enough. We shouldn’t be able to name them all, there should be so many that we forget. Being a Black and Latina woman and sci-fi fan, I can tell you how important it is to see people who look like me in a genre I love so much.

It does not go unnoticed when people of color are continuously underrepresented in a genre. As self-proclaimed geeks, we read and watch these stories not only because they are fascinating, but because we connect and relate to these characters and their struggles. However, personally, I always seem to hit a wall. I’ll fall in love with strong female characters, but when I try to relate their experiences to my own, I eventually come to a point where I’m not being addressed anymore because I’m a woman of color. My connection to the character I’m watching or reading is over. Their experience can no longer be my experience. This doesn’t happen always, but fairly often. I’m fully aware of women being misrepresented in misogynistic ways in the genres, but unfortunately it’s still a different fight for me. Most of those women being negatively portrayed are white, Blacks and Latinas are barely even in the story. If I fight for women’s rights, or in this case, women being accurately depicted in a genre, I’m fighting for white women because they are what are represented. I have to fight a separate battle for women of color.

Our exclusion from the story is both conscious and subconscious. There are those who say, “Well you have that one black guy or that one Asian, you should be happy.” But in reality there are only a handful of us included and often times, when we are it’s solely for the purpose of adding some color. We’re tokens. You’ll rarely find more than one person of color that’s a lead character, and when they are lead characters, they are often stereotypes.

But then again, we are being represented, but not in the way we’d like. We are “the other” in science fiction. We’re the aliens, literally. Whether we’re being depicted as the Na’vi from Avatar, the wild and violent aliens from Predator or Jar Jar Binks from Star Wars. The fact that undocumented immigrants living in the United States are called illegal aliens has to ring some kind if alarm in your head.

A way to directly change this is for women of color creators to write and direct stories that feature women that look like them. Simple right? Not really. Other than the mountains they’d have to climb to get their story heard, there’s a cyclical problem that even limits them from the genre itself. Women of color are barely represented in sci-fi, so many women who could have become sci-fi creators by first becoming fans avoid the genre because they see it as a “white boys clubs” where they don’t belong and aren’t welcomed. In turn, there is no progress in the amount of women of color being represented in the genre, and the cycle continues.

Science fiction is a haven for us folks of color, the future is one of the ideal fictional narratives we can fit since our past is filled with oppression, colonization and slavery. A lot of us who read, watch and create science fiction see the genre as our possible future. These are worlds that are meant to signify what may come. The fact that women of color, and to be completely honest, people of color entirely, are not included in these futures is scary.

What can we do to change this? If you’re a creator, create fictions that include all people. If you’re a reader and watcher like me, let your voice be heard. A little blog post, email to an author or tweet may not seem like a big deal, but with the the internet you never know who or how many people can come across your words. No matter what anyone says, it is extremely important for everyone to be represented. If we don’t say anything, or do anything, we can’t expect anything to change.

Tattoo Tuesday Featurette- Sue-Ann’s Serenity, Stargate SG-1 & Discworld Ink

Sue-Ann’s Serenity tattoo & Stargate tattoo

It’s been a while since I’ve had time to write up a Tattoo Tuesday post, so I’m glad I’m back with some awesome sci-fi ink from a reader! Sue-Ann, nickname ysabelkid, is a huge science fiction fan (if her tattoos didn’t already give that away). She shared with me the beginning stages of her sci-fi back piece which includes Serenity and Stargate SG-1 pieces. Sue-Ann and her boyfriend are even planning a Stargate-themed wedding on Pi Day in 2015!

Ysabelkid’s Discworld Grim Squeaker tattoo

She went into depth on her blog about why she chose to have the sci-fi ship and portal, but the short version is, “Each of the ships I will have represent the concept of creating one’s own family, and exploring new places with them. The family idea is most prevalent in Firefly, Star Wars, Star Trek and Farscape, and of course, what better way to immortalise travelling to new worlds than Stargate, Star Trek and Robotech? I’ll also be including a quote from Galaxy Quest – ‘Never give up, never surrender!’.”

Her artist, Ryan ‘Busta’ Bolton from The Golden Tiki specialises in cartoons. She was completely amazed by his attention to detail and intricate shading on these pieces, which she noticed was very different from his normal style. The full back tattoo will most likely take another year before it’s finished. But she’s not done yet! She plans to dedicate a tattoo sleeve of women she adores which will include Wonder Woman, Ripley and Sam Carter to name but a few.
Sue-Ann’s very first tattoo was a Hanie Mohd fan drawing of the Grim Squeaker from Discworld. She plans to match it with the Librarian on the opposite ankle. The Squeaker tattoo was inked by Abigail at Electric Eye Tattoos in Durban. But it’s incomplete since the tattoo artist has since left and she’s still tracking her down.
Sue-Ann tells us why she decided to get the Squeaker tattoo, “Terry Pratchett’s writing means a great deal to me, and with his Alzheimer’s, the world is losing one of the greatest minds that ever lived. So it makes sense to me to immortalise him with some of the characters who mean the most to me.” I can’t wait to see Sue-Ann’s complete sci-fi back tattoo and her strong sci-fi female characters sleeve!
If you’re interested in being featured in a Tattoo Tuesday or Tattoo Tuesday Featurette please email me at jamila@girlgonegeekblog(dot)com.