Monthly Archives: August 2017

Worlds Beyond Time! Worlds Beyond Ken!: Star Trek 2, by James Blish

James Blish’s second book of episode adaptations was published in February 1968, just past the half-way point in the production of the show’s second season, even as all the scripts in this book are, as in the first book, from … Continue reading

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Notes on Trek music, Season One

The essence of Star Trek’s music was that it was composed of many themes that recurred across many episodes throughout the series, sometimes in variation, sometimes not, in ways that made the series’ music a sort of extended symphony-cycle of … Continue reading

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Many Such Journeys: TOS #28, “The City on the Edge of Forever”

The Enterprise visits a planet where a time portal enables a drugged McCoy to inadvertently change Earth’s history, forcing Kirk and Spock to travel to 1930s Earth, where Kirk falls in love. This justly celebrated episode is not without its … Continue reading

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Pure Energy: TOS #27: “Errand of Mercy”

The Enterprise attempts to claim the peaceful yet strategic planet Organia from the rival Klingon Empire, only to find a curious indifference by the natives to any kind of threat.   This is the episode that introduced the Klingons, a … Continue reading

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The Instinct Can Be Fought: TOS #24: “A Taste of Armageddon”

The Enterprise attempts to initiate diplomatic relations with a planet conducting a computer war with its neighbor, a war in which theoretical causalities voluntarily go to die in disintegration chambers. This is one of Trek’s best ethical conundrums, a contact … Continue reading

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Conservative Story-Telling

One of my themes here is about the nature of story-telling, how the human bias to understand things in terms of narrative is more widespread than we recognize, and how that tendency can blind us to an understanding of the … Continue reading

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Forcing Us to Build Ships for Them: TOS #29: “Operation—Annihilate!”

The Enterprise comes to the aid of a colony planet – where Kirk’s brother lives with his family – that has been invaded by alien neural parasites that cause mass insanity. The last episode of the 1st season, both in … Continue reading

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The Chamber of the Ages: TOS #26: “The Devil in the Dark”

The Enterprise comes to the aid of an underground mining colony where miners are being killed, and machinery destroyed, by an unseen monster that moves through solid rock. This is a justly famous episode that challenges our assumptions and overturns … Continue reading

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Dan Savage on “Sex Dread” Education

Vox: “Sex dread” education could be on the rise under Trump. Dan Savage is ready to fight it.. Subtitle: Dan Savage on why abstinence-focused education doesn’t work. Of course. Because conservatives just *know* things to be so, despite evidence. Excerpt: … Continue reading

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Right-wing Fake News

From a few days ago… Case study of how right-wind media misrepresent or simply lie about an essay (by Jerry Coyne) on the philosophical implications of euthanasia… (As always my thought about conservative panic and alarm is that, if they … Continue reading

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