STTOS – Shore Leave

Shore Leave is the glaring exception that proves the rule that STTOS has exceptionally good pacing for a TV show. This one is a one-trick pony – a good central idea that, unfortunately, got stated too bluntly to drag out over an hour. The Enterprise encounters a planet that has no fauna at all –…

STTOS – Balance of Terror

Balance of Terror was always my single favorite hour of Star Trek – and rewatching it now I feel confident predicting that it will continue to be. This is the episode that introduced the Romulans. Lots of people seem surprised to find that the Romulans predate the Klingons, seeing how the Klingons are ultimately more…

STTOS – The Conscience of the King

The Conscience of the King is apparently Ronald D. Moore’s favorite episode of the Original Series, which I can well believe because it really, really fits. This is an episode without even a modicum of science fiction, with botched and unnecessary references to Shakespeare, and which features a lot of hand-wringing over supposedly difficult dilemmas…

Newsflash: Atheists Have Feelings Too

The Atlantic has an interesting article about Christians and atheists in which a Christian pastor(?) invites atheists to chat with him essentially to study them – to figure out what their motivations are. To gain some insight, we launched a nationwide campaign to interview college students who are members of Secular Student Alliances (SSA) or…

The Political Golden Rule

If you needed any more evidence that Rachel Maddow is a partisan hack, check out this lame attempt to split hairs over the Obama and Bush administrations’ respective violations of citizens’ due process rights. (The article is written by Steve Benan, but it appears on “The Maddow Blog,” so I’m taking that as an endorsement…

Outrage Isn’t the Issue

On the whole, I’ve been pretty disappointed by everyone’s reaction to the whole PRISM thing. It’s not that there isn’t outrage here and there , and it’s not that the scandal isn’t getting the media coverage it deserves – it’s more that too many people are just kind of shrugging it off becuase they already…

Free Speech is More than just Laws

A couple of days ago, I got a Pharyngula link about the meaning of free speech in my email. It quotes from a Amanda Marcotte’s (who?) blog, wherein she lays out a lot of truth about what “free speech” means. Short version: it means the government can’t censor or punish you for expressing your opinions,…

STTOS – The Corbomite Maneuver

The Corbomite Maneuver is one of Star Trek‘s best. As it opens, we see Spock in command as the Enterprise does some routine mapping of unexplored space. Spock tells a Lt. Bailey that “no one has made it this far.” Presently, they encounter a mysterious rotating cube. The cube is a bit of an asshole:…

STTOS – Dagger of the Mind

Dagger of the Mind is another great episode with a couple of huge flaws. The Enterprise exchanges some cargo with the penal colony Tantalus V, famous because the chief of the colony – one Dr. Tristan Adams – has revolutionized treatment of the criminally insane, making the process much more humane. However, the cargo they…

STTOS – Miri

Miri is one of those episodes that really shouldn’t work, but strangely does. It has so much working against it, and yet somehow they pull it off. It starts sucking right off the bat. The Enterprise receives an SOS. As in, a literal SOS, like the kind you’d get from Earth, only they’re thousands of…