STTNG – Clues (Review)

The reason why Data is a great character is that he’s the only convincing alien on Next Generation. The rubber-foreheaded types? They’re all just humans plus One Distinguishing Cultural Trait that usually gets exaggerated well past the point of plausibiilty. Clues does a much better job than Brothers of drawing our attention to that. In…

STTNG – Devil’s Due (Review)

Judging by the reviews, and by my own reaction to it, Devil’s Due is pretty good diagnostic for the elusive Next Generation gene. It seem that if you have it, this episode’s popularity (it’s apparently the highest-rated episode outside of Encounter at Farpoint) is baffling to you. If you don’t, it makes perfect sense. I,…

STTNG – The Wounded (Review)

The Wounded is hugely important to the latter-day Star Trek mythos. It introduces us to the Cardassians. It establishes O’Brien as a real character. And, most of all, it starts coloring outside the lines on the matter of the Federation being the unambigous good guys. Unfortunately, that last point is established here in the most…

STTNG – Data’s Day (Review)

My hair does not require trimming, you lunkhead. That’s Data, trying to give Geordi one of the good-natured insults he’s heard friends give each other on the Enterprise. And that’s more or less the whole episode: Data observing human behavior and trying to imitate it with mixed, often humorous, results. There’s also a more serious…

Atheism is not the Cult of NGO

Here’s a stupid meme that’s unfortunately gaining social cachet: It’s time for atheists to move past theoretical questions about the existence of God and onto more practical pursuits – like how to fight for justice. Yes, this – PZ Myers’ favorite dead horse. At least Myers has he decency (usually) to call it Atheism Plus.…

STTNG – The Loss (Review)

Well, they’ve done it again: our heroes have successfully completed another impossible-seeming mission with surprising ease. This one? To find an actor worse than Wil Wheaton to fill Wesley’s shoes. Turns out there was one, and as The Loss opens, she’s playing a client of Counsellor Troi’s – a nondescript ensign who’s lost her husband…

STTNG – Future Imperfect (Review)

Who are you? What do you want? These are the questions that the Vorlons and the Shadows – Babylon 5‘s two mysterious puppetmaster races – respectively ask on meeting people. Initially, we’re encouraged to see the more direct Vorlons and their more direct question more favorably. But of course the questions are the same. They…

Krugman Sure Does Have a Way with Numbers

Krugman is really worked up about the GOP budget proposal: Look, I know that it’s hard to keep up the outrage after so many years of fiscal fraudulence. But please try. We’re looking at an enormous, destructive con job, and you should be very, very angry. His basic complaint is that the budget is proposing…