plant lover, cookie monster, shoe fiend
2704 stories
·
13 followers

The reason Harry Potter is not a radical story in the fashion of, for example, T...

1 Share

The reason Harry Potter is not a radical story in the fashion of, for example, The Hunger Games series is its level of ease with institutional power.

Read the whole story
sarcozona
2 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete

Sudden Ginkgo leaf fall

1 Share

A number of people noticed this year that the leaves of ginkgo trees turned bright yellow, as usual, and then suddenly dropped all their leaves literally overnight leaving a golden carpet of leaves around the trees. This is actually pretty normal too, but usually it happens along with a lot of other trees dropping leaves, so fewer people notice.  2016 has been a long warmish fall with no good hard frosts before there was a very cold overnight freeze.  What happens is this. The shorter, cooler days stops the production of chlorophyll that ordinarily masks the yellow pigments (carotenoids, xanthophylls) and the leaves turn yellow. This is pretty common for lots of trees. At the base of the leaf stalk deciduous trees form a week place called an abscission zone, and in most trees a bit of back and forth bending in the wind causes the leaf to fall.  Gingko makes such a zone, but some of the vascular tissue remains connected and it takes a freeze, forming some ice crystals, to break the residual vascular connection, so after such a freeze, the leaves all fall at once. One day ginkgo trees have yellow leaves, the next day the trees are bare and the ground carpeted with ginkgo leaves. 
Read the whole story
sarcozona
2 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete

An Open Letter to the President of UBC

1 Share

Dear Professor Ono,

Like many others, I am concerned about UBC’s handling of the Steven Galloway investigation. Concern for Galloway has recently been expressed by a number influential Canadian writers. Therefore to complement what has already been made manifest—that Galloway’s rights and welfare are of concern—I would like to express concerns that centre on the rights and welfare of the complainants in the case.

I do so from a complicated intersection of positions. First, as a writer and philosopher in Canada, I belong to various overlapping literary and intellectual communities. This means that my actions or silences contribute to—indeed, are partly constitutive of—the actions or silences of those communities. Second, as a Professor in the UBC Philosophy department, I occupy a position of institutional and professional responsibility. I was one of the organizers of this workshop on sexual assault, and this open letter from concerned faculty. Third, as a current student in the Creative Writing program at UBC, I am institutionally and professionally vulnerable.

Issues of concern to me include (but are not limited to):

  1. whether and how complainants have been protected from backlash and retaliation during and after the investigation,
  2. whether complainants’ confidential information was released without their consent, and
  3. the potential for damage to complainants’ careers and reputations.

These are concerns about UBC’s handling of the situation, separate from concerns about the contents of the allegations themselves.

In writing about these issues I do not deny the existence of others, but I bring attention to these. (Similarly, while the letter from Boyden, Atwood, et al. did not deny the existence of the concerns above, it directed attention elsewhere.) 

I would like to hear how you plan to address these concerns in your leadership role.

Yours,
Carrie Jenkins

Read the whole story
sarcozona
2 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete

Castro’s Legacy

1 Share

Castro has died at age 90.

Despite squeals the bottom line for Castro is that he made the vast majority of Cubans better off, and even after Soviet aid was cut off, Cuba under Castro was able to recover.  Cuba, like all nations, suppresses some political dissent, but it has a far smaller percentage of people imprisoned than the US, and those prisoners are treated far better than American prisoners.  Human welfare statistics are high, including lifespan, infant mortality, education and so on.

One can qualify Cuba’s success, but it is, overall, a success, especially compared to most Latin and South American countries.

As for Castro himself, he outlived pretty much all his enemies and many of their children, and died in bed.  Can’t ask for much more than that as a revolutionary leader.


If you enjoyed this article, and want me to write more, please DONATE or SUBSCRIBE.

Read the whole story
sarcozona
2 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete

Go to Bed

4 Shares

A few weeks ago, I was rummaging through the Internet Archive’s computer magazine collection and stumbled on these cover illustrations from the Midnite Software Gazette, a Commodore user newsletter that ran from 1980 to 1987.

Now, I think about them every time I’m up too late, like tonight, working on my computer well into the night.bed1bed2

Read the whole story
sarcozona
9 days ago
reply
pfctdayelise
10 days ago
reply
Melbourne, Australia
Share this story
Delete

EDITORIAL: 10 Things About Star Trek I Am Thankful For

2 Shares

It’s Thanksgiving here in America, and the idea of the holiday, without its specific history, is something we can all get behind: being grateful for the good things in our lives. It’s simple, it’s universal, and it usually comes with a giant delicious meal. So in honor of that, this fan is going to list the top ten things that make her thankful for Star Trek, even though there are definitely more than a hundred.

Here goes, in reverse order:

10. “I, Mudd”

I, Mudd - Scott, McCoy, Chekov

I grew up on the original Star Trek, and this episode used to make us just howl when we were kids. As soon as they decided that the way to foil Harry Mudd’s androids was to act like a bunch of wackos, the episode got ridiculously fun. Kirk standing with his food on a “dead” Scotty, the dancing, Spock tormenting Norman with his logic descriptions, and all the silliness that came out of it made it an event every time it came on TV, and that was back in the day before streaming, on demand, or even (gasp) VCRs.

9. The Reboots

Star Trek reboot cast

See that look in Kirk’s eyes? That’s the look readers have right now, as they’re thinking, “The reboots? What is WRONG with you?” But you know what? They make a lot of mis-steps, but the one thing they nailed perfectly is the casting, because it pays tribute to what was truly great about the original series. All those actors? They get it, they’ve embraced those characters, honoring the originals and bringing something new to the table at the same time. And more than that, without those reboots, Star Trek would have been a dead franchise by now, just entertainment history, and my fierce fandom might have stayed in the closet. My nerd flag is flying high these days, and I can write about Star Trek, talk about it, and proudly display my iPhone case with the insignia on it (and gold command color, always). Those reboots got Star Trek back into the modern conversation, and for that I am grateful.

8. Worf’s Parents

Worf and his parents

Don’t laugh!

There’s so much talk about the diversity on all the different Star Trek series, and I used to joke for years, “Where are the Jews? Where are my people?” And then Worf’s parents came along, and they seemed very, very Jewish to me. Okay, maybe they’re not, but maybe they are, because they FELT Jewish.  Grateful.

7. Captain Jellico

Captain Jellico (Ronny Cox)

He wasn’t a barrel of laughs, and he didn’t like Captain Picard’s fish, but he got Deanna Troi in a Starfleet uniform, and she had earned it long before. Thank you, Captain Jellico.

6. Seven of Nine

Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan)

I already really liked Voyager, and I was pissed when I read that they were adding a sexy woman in a catsuit to the show. I thought they were giving in to fanboys and creeps and it was a sexist, terrible idea.

Well maybe it was done for sexist reasons, but Seven of Nine was a brilliant add to an already great show, outfit notwithstanding. She was a unique character, brilliant and strong, and like any self-respecting weirdo, very confused about things that everybody else found completely normal, as she readjusted to being human. She offered a completely different perspective on everything, and extolled the virtues of cheesecake. My kind of gal.

5. Captain Picard

Captain Picard

Oh boy was I skeptical of a new Star Trek show, back in 1987. And then what was going on with that skinny bald dude as the captain? I was sure they were going to screw it up.

They didn’t. The show revitalized the franchise and Captain Jean-Luc Picard became one of the greatest heroes in all of fiction. I want him to be President, of the country or of the galaxy. My husband and I wanted him to officiate at our wedding. I want him to resolve all disputes, be everyone’s boss, and help us all figure out what to do in times of trouble.

I once started a new job with a big title and big salary, more responsibility than I’d ever had before, and my boss’ boss’ boss called me into his big corner office on the first day and gave me a speech about the type of leader he wanted me to be. When he finished, he looked at me expectantly. I took a deep breath, and said what I was sure would not go over well: “You know who you just described? Captain Picard.”

His body language changed completely. He smiled, finally. “I LOVE Captain Picard!” he told me. And well he should.

4. Voyager

Star Trek Voyager

It’s not that there was something wrong with the original Star Trek, TNG, or Deep Space Nine. Honestly. But Voyager was the first Trek show that really put women front and center. There were strong female characters already, but they weren’t the stars, they weren’t driving the stories and leading the crew. Suddenly we had Captain Janeway, who was a great captain–let the arguments begin!–and still had compassion and a personal relationship with each member of her crew. We had B’Elanna Torres, the first real female Chief Engineer since those early episodes of TNG and the brief engine room reign of Lt. Commander Sarah MacDougal. (Yes, I’m still glad Geordi took over.)

Voyager put the women front and center, and as a female fan, it was long-awaited, and magnificent.

3. Trials and Tribble-ations

Trials And Tribble-ations

Deep Space Nine was a good series, with compelling characters, but when it took a leap back in time to visit the Enterprise under James T. Kirk’s command and revisit those tribbles, it made magic. They restored and rebuilt old sets, recreated old school uniforms, and gave the characters the same awe that the viewers had as they tried to get close to Kirk and Spock and save the day without revealing themselves. The integration was seamless and beautiful. I could watch it a hundred times.

2. Gene Roddenberry’s Idea That We Might Evolve Into Being Nice People

William Shatner, Gene Roddenberry, and Patrick Stewart

Isn’t this the premise of the whole thing? Star Trek gave us sci-fi that wasn’t about space battles, although it had them, or technology, although it was cool. It was about the idea that maybe humans will actually figure things out, stop being jerks, and evolve into what we can be. Maybe we can be bigger than we are, one day, and still be fun and have adventures, and make mistakes, and learn from them. That vision, no matter which series hooked you, is a revelation, and is rarely seen in other shows and movies about the future. Grateful that somebody understood how important that is, and that no matter what went on in terms of the entertainment business and politics and commercialism, that vision persisted, and thrived.

1. Spock

Spock

I was a kid when I started watching Star Trek, a pre-adolescent girl brimming with over-the-top emotions and thoughts that flew through my head a mile a minute, and there was Spock. What I connected to wasn’t that he didn’t have emotions, but that he DID have them, and he had to control them, along with everyone else’s perception of who he was. He was the alienated teen, and I was right there with him. He was the alien I thought I was, and it didn’t matter that he was male or grown-up to me; he was what I felt like, down to the secret feeling of one’s own superiority that teenagers have. I’d never seen anyone like him. Happy Thanksgiving, Spock, and everybody.

A final note: I could not be more thankful for the TrekMovie team. Everyone here is a fan, and we all donate our time and efforts to this site because we want to be a part of it. They’re all amazing, dedicated, smart people and I am lucky to be one of them.

LLAP.

Read the whole story
sarcozona
9 days ago
reply
satadru
11 days ago
reply
New York, NY
Share this story
Delete
Next Page of Stories