We’re splicing!

A chill breeze from the mountaintops
can freeze the purest streams.
As ice expands within the rock,
It splits upon its seams.

The removal of schistostic stone
erects a talus in the vale,
exposing igneous plutons that
in time shall also fail.

The forces of wind and water
and the quakes from underneath,
will rend the very monuments
that my love for you will leave.

But they who only seek to carve
A canyon between us each,
will never know the heat that boils
where shivers never reach.

For far beneath the crust upwells
a heat that none can quench.
It turns their water into steam
when leaks attempt to drench.

The spires my magma builds for you
will fault and fall someday,
but this burning love will build anew
a stone that won’t give way.

Together we will touch the stars
where clouds will never go,
and let our love build mountaintops
that winds will never know.

Alexander Courage dies

Composer Alexander Courage died on May 15, 2008. He worked on several television series, but is best known for composing the theme music for the original Star Trek. He stopped working for Gene Roddenberry after Roddenberry took 50% of the royalties from the theme song for himself. Would the quality of music have been better had Courage stayed on during the series?

Each Star Trek incarnation develops its own musical pattern, but pays homage to the original theme created by Courage. Either in the opening moments of the main theme, used as a baseline to come back to in the closing theme, or mixed somewhere into the score. Deep Space Nine and Voyager didn’t seem to obviously use the original theme, but still borrow some of the style and mood. Enterprise totally abandoned the style and went with Where my Heart Will Take Me, which, if you ask me, was half the reason why Enterprise failed. (The other half was the lack of relevance)

Later this year, as Star Trek XI comes out in theaters, Alexander Courage’s memorable musical phrasing is sure to be a part of the score. It will continue in the ST franchise, and continue to influence science fiction music. And he didn’t even like science fiction!


ALERT! Karl on the radio Monday

I’m currently preparing to go on the radio tomorrow morning for a little spot on a classical music show. The radio station is WORT 89.9 fm, and the show is called Other Voices. It’s a show that focuses on women in classical music. Then why the heck am I going to be on it?

Well, my extensive science fiction soundtrack collection has shown me consistent patterns and themes running throughout the SciFi film/TV genre. Not only have my ears picked these things out, but my lady-love Ariela has been sprinkling musicology terms in my midst and it’s hard not to think about them. Consequently, I have come to notice and understand the pervasive influence of Gustav Holst’s The Planets in science fiction music.

So Monday the 28th of April, I’ll be talking about Holst and SciFi music and the composers that wrote that music. All men. On a show about women. Actually, the feminine focus of this portion of this week’s show will be Continue reading ALERT! Karl on the radio Monday

A Kitzmas Karol

It has now been two years since the pseudoscience Intelligent Design got its rectum handed to it by Judge John E. Jones III in the Kitzmiller v Dover case. Each year, it has become a science blogging tradition to highlight the effect that this monumental test case has had on the public image and political strategies of ID. The scientific status of ID has remained unchanged since its inception, namely, empty. What the court case did was turn the tables on the politics of the Discovery Institute and its “Design Proponents,” revealing in a structured evidence-based format just how far from science they really were. Continue reading A Kitzmas Karol

A fun-filled Wednesday

On the recently passed Wednesday the 14th, I had a pretty busy, fun-filled day. I was so busy coming up to it that I forgot to blog about it being one year since I visited Madison before I had applied.

As you may know, besides my research on the Sugary Enhancer gene in maize, I’m working on some video projects. At first, the idea was to create a series of videos on pollination methods, mostly for college courses on plant breeding. Then, videos interviewing plant breeders were added in, and when I arrived in Madison in June we got ready to start filming for these two projects. And while we were out in the field, we thought, why don’t we film some grad students about the PBPG program and make a promo?

One, then two, then three projects – and they’re reproducing fast! I told my adviser Shawn that this is how it starts, and that it will never end. “Oh it’ll end for me,” he said. Uh oh. Continue reading A fun-filled Wednesday