One to Beam Up

Look, I'm a doctor, not an escalator!

~Leonard McCoy

I've been watching Star Trek TOS on Netflix a lot lately. That's The Original Series for you not-so-nerdy types. It's how I unwind after the long day of work and commuting and all the News. I hate the News. Unwinding may involve a few bourbons as well at times. I blame the News.

I've tried rewatching those other series like The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Lost in Space, and so on and so forth. With all due respect to Patrick Stewart and Kate Mulgrew, these reboots didn't hold up well over the years. As a rule, they are kind of boring and up their own asses. But TOS is sexy and dangerous, even by today's standards. We're supposed to find it campy in our more enlightened age, but mostly it's not. Mostly.

I've been watching TOS so frequently that I went temporarily insane and purchased the Blu-ray boxset with enhanced special effects. (You never know when Netflix is going to lose the license to something you love and the price will go up on the hard goods.) Purists can opt for the original versions, without the digitally enhanced special effects, and the rest of us can toggle them on and off during playback using the remote. The collection was kind of expensive, but I have no regrets, except maybe a few about spending the money. Both the enhanced and standard versions are great, and it wasn't all that much money, so I suppose it's worth it. Nah, it was totally worth it.

Suggested reading (and maybe a bit of listening)...

  • Ethan Zuckerman On Why the Internet is a Less Creative Place - On the podcast, Adam and Ethan discuss how people are the products of free services like Facebook and Google, not the consumers. They also go into Ethan's early days working at Tripod where he invented the pop-up ad, and why we need more weirdness like the hamster dance on the internet. (Adam Ruins Everything)
  • Blame Game - In the summer and fall of 2009, hundreds of Toyota owners came forward with an alarming allegation: Their cars were suddenly and uncontrollably accelerating. Toyota was forced to recall 10 million vehicles, pay a fine of more than $1 billion, and settle countless lawsuits. The consensus was that there was something badly wrong with the world’s most popular cars. Except that there wasn't. (Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell)
  • Researchers Study Effects Of Social Media On Young Minds - Teens showed an image that was deemed to have lots of "likes" tended to also like the image. Seeing popular pictures also produced greater activation in the reward centers of the brain. (NPR)
  • Patience Gone, Koch-Backed Groups Will Pressure G.O.P. on Health Repeal (Paywall) - Saying their patience is at an end, conservative activist groups backed by the billionaire Koch brothers and other powerful interests on the right are mobilizing to pressure Republicans to fulfill their promise to swiftly repeal the Affordable Care Act. (New York Times)

Death to Death - Stars (lyrics)