STTNG – The Vengeance Factor

The Vengeance Factor is one of those episodes that makes me want to write a book about Next Generation called “Punching Below their Weight,” or maybe “Getting Away with it.” Because the central fascination of this show for me is how they manage to take what is essentially recycled garbage and make it seem highbrow.…

STTNG – The Price

Next Generation is an American TV show, so it’s required by law to have an episode where someone’s mysterious and estranged-or-recently-acquired lover turns out to be at the center of whatever trouble is going on. The Price is that episode. And it’s Troi who has the lover in question. So you could be forgiven for…

STTNG – The Enemy

It’s almost like something’s going on. The Enemy is the second episode in a row now that prominently features Geordi and steps briefly but decisively outside of Star Trek‘s comfort zone in the midst of what is an otherwise cliched and forgetable retread of a tired old contrived plot. In this case, an away team…

The Freedom Excuse and why it doesn’t Work

A lot of religious believers like to charge that atheists are atheist mostly out of convenience: if there’s no God, then there’s no higher power to which one needs to be responsible, and one can therefore do “whatever he likes.” I don’t deny that this attracts a certain number of teenagers to atheism – but…

STTNG – Booby Trap

Given the hollow attempt at characterization in the last episode, and given that this one starts off with a lame beach date on the holodeck, everything looks set for another ride on the After-school Special Express. So imagine my surprise when this episode actually delivers on the kind of characterization that Star Trek could have…

STTNG – The Bonding

The Bonding is the perfect illustration of everything that I think is wrong with Next Generation – and since it’s actually a good episode, I feel this is the first time I can air my grievances without feeling like I’m picking on the short bus kids. Lt. Astor (who?) is killed when an undetected landmine…

STTNG – Who Watches the Watchers

One of Next Generation‘s more famous episodes – this is “the one about those people who have no gods.” The Enterprise receives a distress signal from an anthropological observation post on a planet whose cover is about to be blown by yet another one of those technical snafus that even a modicum of careful planning…

STTNG – The Survivors

It’s been a while since the last Next Genreation review, and I’m also going to skip the first couple of episodes of Season 3, if that’s alright. I did watch them, but I didn’t have much to say about them, and then I kinda let time get away from me. The Survivors, number 3 in…

When Ignorance isn’t Ignorant

By reading this article you agree to acknowledge that Joshua W. Herring does not in any way support the candidacy of Todd Akin and indeed finds it difficult to imagine circumstances under which he would vote for him. You further acknowledge that this kind of disclaimer should not be necessary to have a rational discussion…

Twig Templates in Zend

This will be one of my last chances to make the regisration application that I’ve written for the Maurer School of Law nice and clean. So, I’m gutting a lot of the internals in the latest cycle and replacing them. One thing I’ve always been itching to do is replace Zend’s default ViewRenderer with Twig…