Sagan love continues…

(Hat tip to onegoodmove) The Sagan Appreciation Society has a collection of videos about Carl Sagan, check them out! I never realized that Agent Smith was channeling Sagan. Watch this one and see what I mean:

The Curse has been Broken

This evening, Ariela and I saw the new Star Trek film, for the second time. Phil Plait and PZ Myers have both already reviewed it, but I think left out a few really interesting (and disappointing) things about the film, so I would like to add my own review to the pile.

To summarize, it was awesome. Despite a few plot holes, scientific inaccuracies, and awkward interations between characters, it was an excellent Trek movie, worthy enough on this description alone to have broken the “Curse of the Odd-Numbered Trek.”

Warning: Spoiler Alert – You have been warned. Continue reading The Curse has been Broken

Things I learned from Star Trek

The Onion, while lauded for its weekly satirization of pop culture and news headlines, has a less well-known component, its AV Club. While I do not often read much from this section, even though they are just down the street.

But now in anticipation of the new Trek movie coming out this weekend, The Onion’s AV Club put together an intelligent and funny review of the sociological commentary that Star Trek has provided over the years, whether written well or not. Read Space-Racism is Bad.

A few of my favorites are in there, such as a comment on the stupidity of the Borg Queen concept while talking about keeping perspective in First Contact, and some subtle lessons about both immigration and abortion rights in Up The Long Ladder. But the best part of the article was Continue reading Things I learned from Star Trek

The Haro von Mogel Maneuver

In Star Trek, Jean Luc Picard made a risky maneuver in battle. Rather than relying on sub-light-speed impulse engines and thrusters in a hopeless battle on board a ship known as the Stargazer, he decided to use the ship’s warp engines to move faster than light to strike. The idea, which would be very interesting if possible, is that your ship is now right in front of your enemy, opening fire, while they still think that you are a distance away. While the light from the ship’s original position is still arriving at the observer, they will see two ships. Who are you shooting at? I’m over here!

In the Star Trek realm, advanced ships also had faster-than-light sensors, which would foil anyone attempting to repeat it. Nevertheless, it was a successful strategy for the young Picard, catapulting him to Captain-hood.

Circumstances have dictated that I, too , must execute my own warp speed maneuver. I can’t give any details as of yet, but suffice to say I’m going to be in the lab late tonight and very very early tomorrow, attempting the fastest turnaround for a particular procedure than I have ever attempted. It may become a frequent feature of my life for the next two weeks, but if I can achieve faster-than-daylight pipetting, it will be worth it.

And if successful, I’ll have to call it the Haro von Mogel Maneuver. What are you amplifying over there? I’m right here!

3 Cubed

Yes, today I am three to the third power years old. 27 times have I orbited our sun, since having taken my first breath.

Amongst my birthday loot I got a very unique shirt from my spouse. Fans of Red Dwarf will understand the significance of this: It is a beige shirt that says in bright orange: “Give Quiche a Chance”. She got it made at a local shop. I laughed and laughed when I saw it. Perfect!

Special Request for Comments on the Mindcast

Okay, it is time to get things going again with the Mindcast. A new show will be uploaded this week, but before that happens I’m announcing a few changes and a few potential changes. You could read the brief summaries below, or you could listen to my audio explanation and hear more details below. Continue reading Special Request for Comments on the Mindcast