When I lived in Los Angeles, the usual mode was that Friday nights were for hitting the bar with work friends to shake off the work week. Saturday nights were for parties and/or date nights.
Here in the Midwest, it seems a lot of parties are held on Friday nights (although Saturday nights are still date nights). The thing about that is: (a) I miss those after work outings, and (2) Friday night parties are often kind of low-key because everyone’s tired after a work week. Saturday night you’ve had a chance to charge your batteries, and you’re ready for what comes before Part B.
So tonight I just got home from a good and proper after work outing. And (bonus) it was held partially in my honor, so I didn’t pay for most of my drinks or hors d’oeuvres (sah-weet). It was held in honor of three of us who are changing jobs, so it was a celebration. Plenty of laughter, good snacks, good beer, more laughter, and I seem to now have a bet riding on the Gophers–Hawkeyes game tomorrow.
Long story; I’ll tell you later. Right now it’s time for another celebration! Twenty-five years ago today, Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered on CBS.
Star Trek fans, go to Google right now (Go Ogle)!
They’re celebrating the 46th anniversary of Star Trek, and the Google artwork is delightful and provides some fun.
Mouse over the image and click anything that lights up with a line around it!
See if you can find the tribbles!
See if you can beam down to the planet and defeat the monster!
See if you can see the Enterprise fly.
Happy 46th Anniversary Star Trek!!
[Pass it on to your Trekker friends.]
Welcome to TV Tuesday here at Logos CC. Today begins a series of posts concerning that daily invader to most of our lives: television. For good or ill, television has become a fact in the fabric of our families. And certainly there is both much good and ill to be found on the video airwaves. That is an ongoing topic on this blog, but this series is about the shows I love (and some that I don’t).
I suppose TV Thursday might have been a more logical choice, though it doesn’t have quite the same ring. I say that because Thursday nights was the NBC Must See TV night that brought us such classics as The Cosby Show, Family Ties, Cheers, Friends, Night Court, Mad About You, Seinfeld and Wings. (How many old friends did you find in that list?)
I was brought up pretty well, I think, in terms of having (and keeping) principles and honor and honesty. But my parents failed terribly in one regard: I have horrible eating habits. The stuff I love is, generally speaking, the wrong sort of stuff to be eating, and those wholesome and wonderful foods leave me cold. Some of them, cooked squash or most egg preparations for example, actually induce a gag reflex.
Given a choice between eating a fried (or boiled) egg or being water-boarded, I would have to give the matter some serious thought. It’s like the old Jack Benny joke about the time he was mugged. “Your money or your life!” says the mugger. [long pause] “Well?” says the mugger. “I’m thinking, I’m thinking,” replies Benny.
Before the age of blogs (or even web pages), those of us on the internet had other places to hang out and exchange thoughts. In fact, in many regards, the “Bulletin Board Systems” (BBS) and “internet news groups” (USENET) were more conversational than blog or Facebook comments. They were more like chat rooms where conversations took place over days and weeks (and months).
Like chat rooms, they involved a group of people having a conversation. I miss those days… blog comments are too brief and passing to be a conversation. At best, brief remarks are exchanged for a half-dozen rounds or so, and then the river flows on.
Okay, any Star Trek fan knows that Gene Roddenberry invented the transporters so he wouldn’t have to deal with the special effects necessary to show a landing every time the crew visited a planet. It also cut out any time needed to show the launch, travel time or landing, and that moves the story along. Both of those are smart and good, so let me start by saying, “Gene, that was awesome! And so is the horse you rode in on!”
There’s also the simple fact that, in science fiction, you have to grant a few “gimmes” in order to tell the story you want.
The canonical example here is warp drive. Do you want to explore strange new worlds, and seek out new life and new civilizations? Well, you’re gonna have to find a way around Mr. Einstein, who laid down the Universal Speed Limit, a little thing we like to call c.
This has been a stick in my craw since the earliest days of the original Star Trek series. This one way predates my notorious Holodeck Hatred. And there is no hyperbole when I say “earliest days,” because we’re talking about the third Star Trek episode ever aired, Where No Man Has Gone Before. (While this was the third episode aired, it’s actually the second pilot, which is the one that got the show on the air. Did you know we can thank the great Lucille Ball for that? Read the linked Wiki article!)
The stuck stick is none other than the [space doom voices engaged] Barrier At The Edge Of The Galaxy (the BATEOTG, or maybe you prefer BatEotG).
If you’re a Star Trek fan (be it Trekker or Trekkie), you know the barrier I mean. The episode in question first aired on September 22, 1966, shortly after I’d turned eleven. I was already a science fiction fan by then (like, since I could read, if not earlier). I was also a science geek by then (oh, you little Poindexter, you; the funny thing is, they called you “Poindexter” and “Einstein” as if those were some sort of insult).
If you knew immediately what the title of this article means, you are almost certainly a Star Trek fan. You also know that a full list should contain DS9 and VOY. (And that, actually, there should be a ST: in front of each of them.)
If this all seems alphabet soup, here’s the deal. They’re all three-letter acronyms (TLAs) for the six different Star Trek TV series. This first article today begins “Star Trek Saturday” (a one-time event) here at Logos con carne. There are two or three ships still in dry dock… (big voice: …In Space) getting finishing touches for a launch later today.
To tantalize your taste buds, I’ll just mention that they concern galactic energy barriers, transporters and replicators. Those are ships of war; photon torpedoes loaded and primed. There is a third ship with a different mission that may also launch today. (Tantalized? Terrific!)
As I watch my Minnesota Twins do their best to lose three games in a row to Tampa Bay, I find myself pondering the difference between “winning,” “losing,” “not winning” and “not losing.” Somehow, in some way I haven’t quite yet worked out, I think they’re four distinct things.
Filed for future reference.
You may have heard about the recent meme battle between Princess Leia (played by the very interesting Carrie Fisher) and Captain Kirk (played by the equally interesting William Shatner). The battle prize: which is “better,” Star Wars or Star Trek?
It began with a photon torpedo fired from the Enterprise. The warhead contained an anti-Wars payload of roughly one-quarter Mega-grin: