Using Pythonbrew

We pythonistas have a lot of Ruby envy these days, and for good reason. Ruby is a more consistent language that is, I would argue, slightly more powerful as well, and certainly more concise. So, arguably a better language, by traditional metrics. (I’ll leave my defense of Python for another post, but suffice it to…

Does Religion Cause Violence?

Big in the news these days: that islamic fundamentalists are really worked up about a certain crass video which makes a point out of insulting Mohammed in every imaginable way. I haven’t seen the video and have no plans to see it, so I’ll just take them at their word both that the video is…

Heroic Deaths

At the heart of the reason why I don’t like Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Yesterday’s Enterprise episode is the fact that it seems motivated by the desire to give Tasha Yar a proper sending-off. As any fan knows, she died a meaningless death early in the first season’s Skin of Evil at the hands…

STTNG – Yesterday’s Enterprise

Have you ever said something kinda harsh to someone, regretted it, found them and apologized for it, only to later feel like kind of a coward for apologizing for saying something that needed to be said? That’s kind of how I feel about Yesterday’s Enterprise. I can see why they thought they needed to do…

STTNG – The Defector

While patrolling the Romunal Neutral Zone (why?), the Enterprise is surprised to find a Romulan spacecraft headed toward Federation space at high speed with a warbird in hot pursuit. The ship makes it across the border just in time, and the Enterprise is able to extend its shields to protect it. The warbird cloaks and…

STTNG – A Matter of Perspective

The first time I saw Rashomon it was a generation ago and I was an undergrad student of English Lit. We watched it for class, and in the ensuing discussion the professor said something that made it obvious that he believed, and expected we all believed as well, that the bride’s testimony was the most…

STTNG – Deja Q

I never know what to think of Q. On the one hand, John de Lancie is a brilliant actor who plays this part perfectly. Plus, the character itself – a kindof science fictional Loki – is just FUN. On the other hand, I can’t help thinking that a species this powerful has better things to…

STTNG – The High Ground

The High Ground feels like it belongs with The Hunted with just one complication: it’s not nearly as good. This one is about terrorism. Man it is ever about terrorism. The problem is that it doesn’t really have much to say about it. The Enterprise crew is on a planet that has a terrorism problem.…

STTNG – The Hunted

It’s about Vietnam vets. Man is it ever about Vietnam vets. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is Star Trek does Rambo. And you know what? It’s not half bad. The Enterprise is on some planet reviewing its application for Federation membership. They’re about to be on their way when a prisoner escapes and the government…