"To better understand Star Trek’s allure, I conducted a lengthy online survey of fans during the first three months of 2011, receiving 1,444 completed questionnaires… It wasn’t surprising, for instance, to find that fans often used words such as 'optimism,' 'hopeful' and 'positive' to describe why they like Star Trek, that they praised the franchise’s celebration of science and technology, or that they enjoyed the idea of a society without poverty or racial tension. Many invoked the famously inclusive vision of 'Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations' or cited story lines that engaged social issues or probed philosophical questions. One common refrain was less obvious. For many viewers, it turns out, [...]
The other morning I was walking my kid to school and we crossed Court Street in Brooklyn in front of a car that had an interestingly shaped air-freshener hanging from the rearview mirror. It was hanging at a slight angle behind the windshield, and so I looked at it for a good few seconds, in effort to confirm that it was what I thought it was. Sure enough: it was a cardboard air-freshener in the shape of fist with a raised middle finger. Like the giant foam hands they sell at sports games or Key West or wherever.
The guy driving the car had a Yankee cap pulled low [...]
God bless Popular Mechanics. Here's how they start their latest consumer report, '7 Small Drills Bore It Out: Tool Comparison Test':
"How much cordless drill do you need? Probably not as much as you think."
91% of all online movie tickets being purchased right now are for the new Star Trek movie, according to the Fandango press release Nikki Finke got. That is a lot of tickets, unless you consider the fact that geeks do pretty much everything online and Star Trek is like their religion or something. Choire, for instance, is camping out in front of a theater right now, just because. I myself am not a fan of the series, but I do dig the porn.
“You were in a coma for two weeks. I had to make a serum from his super-blood.” —Dr. “Bones” McCoy to Captain James T. Kirk, after reversing Kirk’s death by radiation poisoning with Khan’s super-blood.
Ridiculous, to think it all started over a tribble. A lifeless bundle of fur. I always kept a dead tribble in my Curio of Maladies in those days, for medical reasons, and was especially glad of it when they finally hauled Khan’s body aboard for study after the battle.
Kirk was particularly dead that day; I remember because everyone was crying and the science woman kept all of her clothes on. As is [...]
Tell me about your job.
I'm responsible for 25,000 objects that were made in the West, that is, European and American. The earliest objects we have are medieval ones from the 14th century and we go up until tomorrow, as I like to say; it's very much an ongoing collection. I'm responsible for interpreting the objects, doing research on them, and then to display the objects, working with a lot of different people in the museum: conservators, designers, all of the art handlers. You have to coordinate with a whole team of people in order to put objects on display. Even though we have so many, only about 15% [...]
"Autistic Spectrum Disorder is like the arrow in the FedEx logo: Once you know about it, you see it everywhere." And definitely in "Star Trek."
Unfortunately most of these reviews come over Twitter, from a surprise screening in Austin, Texas, so they are like the diaries of 12-year-old girls. But in the end? If you read all the excited burblings, they actually don't sound so thrilled! "Sure, it plays to the fan base a little bit… very few lulls… easily grasped by fans and newbies alike… my biggest complaint is that it feels like they just got started up when the film ended." Okay, no seriously: the nerds love it.
An obsession in five acts.
I. You're about nine, and you always watch tv with your dad. It's your thing—he's usually nursing a Coors Light, you're doing your best to hang upside down on the couch until your head starts pounding. Sometimes you watch golf and fall in love with Payne Stewart; sometimes you watch "MacGyver" and wish your dad had his hair. But then you start watching "Star Trek: The Next Generation" at 5 p.m. on a Saturday, because obviously that is when the best show on television should be scheduled, and your routine becomes: 1.) watch "TNG" together 2.) Mom and Dad go out to some dinner [...]
I always found it strange when polemicists denounced George W. Bush for saying, after 9/11, that Americans should go shopping. Andrew Bacevich, who's emerged as possibly the premiere root-and-branch critic of American militarism, wrote an impassioned op-ed explaining the reasoning behind that critique. "From the very outset, the president described the 'war on terror' as a vast undertaking of paramount importance," Bacevich hectored in 2008. "But he simultaneously urged Americans to carry on as if there were no war." What in the world were we supposed to do? Stand in line to fill out job applications at munitions factories? Devote a larger percentage of the day to re-spooling footage [...]
Did you miss Star Trek this weekend? No matter! NASA is live-streaming the launch of the space shuttle Atlantis on its mission to fix the Hubble telescope, which is apparently held together with paperclips and string. Astronaut Mike Massimino is even Twittering the whole thing! (Most recent dispatch: "I'm going to put my spacesuit on, next stop: Earth Orbit!!") So much better than watching Kirk and Spock roughhouse around the deck of the Enterprise. Or at least cheaper.