Thoughts on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as a Commentary on Present Day Issues

I’m just over 80 episodes into Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and there’s a couple of episodes that I think people should watch because they offer a really great commentary on what I see in America today.

To me:

  • Duet is about a persons right to have a fair trial, no matter where they came from or what they did. It echoes some of my feelings about Guantanamo Bay detention camp. I also recommend listening to NPR’s This American Life: Habeas Schmabeas 2007.
  • In the Hands of the Prophets is about Christians demanding that religion be taught in schools and/or decrying the teaching of evolution.
  • Homefront and Paradise Lost are about power, fear, and control. They are about what happens when something you love so much (freedom and America) are taken away from you because a few people threaten you. It’s not a perfect analogy, yet there are definitely a lot of parallels to what has happened over the last six and half years. I think the best quote comes at the end: “If the Changelings want to destroy what we’ve built here, they’re going to have to do it themselves. We will not do it for them.” – Benjamin Sisko. Now, replace Changelings with terrorists.

What I think is interesting is that these episodes are about 12 years old. I don’t think the writers intended this as a commentary on the current events of the time. Yet, somehow, twelve years after their air dates, these shows provide such a great reflection of the current times!

Other thoughts I’m going to throw in:

  • There are a surprisingly large number of sci-fi TV shows with episodes named “Paradise Lost”.
  • I am now 51.59% the way through all the Star Trek episodes/movies made.
  • I have seen 372 episodes/movies with 364 (actually, 365 if you count the upcoming Star Trek movie) left.
  • I have watched about 286 hours of Star Trek thus far in this project.

Lost Sweater

Lost Sweater (by Mr Ferguson)

Nikon D70 || Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D || 1/60 || f/1.8 || ISO200 || Handheld

Someone had left their sweater at the desk I sat down at. She later came and picked it up as the library was closing.

Postcrossing to France

My second postcard sent via Postcrossing has been received in France today.

Masha wrote back:

hello andrew!!! how are you??

thanks a lot for your beautiful card!! it’s so pretty!!! and you’re take this pic! very talented!!))

Time send out a couple more cards!

Postcrossing-US-168594

Postcrossing to Finland

Photojojo had a post on cool website called Postcrossing:
From photojojo.com:

Pretend you’re eight years old for a second. Now pretend you just got a photo in the mail from your new buddy in Finland.

Fantastic, right? Best mail ever!

Now here’s the secret: it’s still that much fun to get photos from around the world. And it’s super easy thanks to Postcrossing: send a postcard to somebody, and somebody sends you a postcard back.

So I signed up, had some custom made postcards printed by Moo and away I went.

Here’s my first card that I sent last Thursday:
... (by Mr Ferguson)

Milla received the post card today:

Hello Andrew,
thank you for the card. I hope that you have a lot of fun with postcrossing!

Sweet deal. I have 18 more postcards left before I have to order another batch, so expect more updates.

Lead Climb Certified

With some help from Michael and Paul, I finally passed the lead climb test for the wall at Mines.

I think my next goal is going to be lead certified at ROCK’n & JAM’n. It’s going to be quite a bit more difficult since there’s an extensive overhang:

It starts in the middle of the image and goes to the upper right.

Murder by PowerPoint

In my Constitutional Law and Civil Rights class, we’re doing student presentations on Supreme Court Justices. There are 32 people in the class and in about 3 hours, we managed to get through 10 of them. That means that I’m going to be forced to sit with my eyelids glued open critiquing about nine hours of PowerPoints!

Holy crap.

Fortunately they haven’t been terribly atrocious, yet. My biggest pet peeves when it comes to PowerPoint presentations are:

  • Horrible theme/background – is it really that hard to use something nice?
  • Long, run on sentences and paragraphs that go on and on and on for no reason other then to just fill up the space of the slide and really provide no other reason and then tend to irritate the reader because the presenter is talking and I’m trying to read the slide but I can’t because it’s so freakin’ long. Six Words Per A Slide, Maximum!1
  • Small font that no one can see. There’s a reason that Microsoft provides you with 24 pt font. Use it.
  • Reading off the slide…word for word. Just don’t do it, okay? I’m not a preschooler; I assure you that I can read.
  • Thus, under no circumstances should anyone ever have a slide that looks like this:

    This is a real life example from today that I recreated for your viewing pleasure.

1 I actually usually have more then six words per a slide in my presentations. I’m trying to cut back, I promise. But the patch isn’t working like they said it would. And the professors limit the amount of slides you can have. So I’d end up having 6 x 20 = 120 words. Total. Not going to cut it.

Sarah Plants

Ben recently told me that a casual acquaintance of ours, Sarah Plants, had recently passed away due to cancer. I didn’t know her very well, but saw her quite a bit since she played Ultimate Frisbee on the UW team. Doug, her husband, also lived at Your Mom’s House last year with Ben and Quinn, so she was over quite a bit. I last saw her at Thanksgiving and she seemed very happy.

From thedaily.washington.edu:

Plants, 22, died Feb. 7 of a brain tumor linked to Li-Fraumeni Syndrome, the same rare hereditary disorder that claimed the lives of her father and brother. She was diagnosed with the disorder in October.

Plants had survived cancer as a toddler. She suffered from adrenal cortical carcinoma, or cancer of the adrenal gland above the kidney, and went through chemotherapy at 16 months old.

Plants was 29 credits short of earning a degree in Public Health. When she died, the University gave her an honorary degree. She had planned to go to graduate school to study nursing.

She was captain of the UW Element women’s Ultimate Frisbee team and the coach of an Ultimate team at Whitman Middle School.

Death is a bitch, cancer even more so.

Happy Easter

I though Easter was a bit early this year, but I didn’t realize it was this early. From Rob Bushway’s blog:

From www.robbushway.com:

Easter is very early this year, and here is a little explanation as to why.

Easter is always the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox (which is March 20).

Based on the above, Easter can actually be one day earlier (March 22) than it will be this year, but that is rare.

This year is the earliest Easter any of us will see for the rest of our lives. And only the most elderly (95 years and above) have ever seen it this early.

There’s a couple more tidbits on Rob’s blog about Easter that you might find interesting. Check ’em out.

Easter also reminds me of this little bit from Robin Williams’ Live on Broadway (which is hilarious, by the way, and has brought me much joy and laughter over the years):
From www.script-o-rama.com:

For me, the one big question is: how do you get Crucifixion, Resurrection and then chocolate bunnies, colored eggs? How do you do that one? Even kids are going: “Rabbits don’t lay eggs. What is this?” And you don’t want a kid biting the head off a chocolate Jesus. You don’t want a cream filled cross going… You don’t wanna put raspberry jam in the grass going: “We’re looking for Jesus, kids, come on!”