In Which The Geekiness of My Kids Surpasses My Own

A former student of mine who often wore a Star Trek VI T-shirt was trying to make an annoying person go away, so when he spoke to her, she said “Servant, attention!” in Goa’uld. When I paraphrased this story to my son, he immediately said, “Jaffa, kree!” Then he said something in Goa’uld that he translated as “You have come here to destroy me” (from the movie, he said). My…

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Mars Curiosity rover sings ‘Happy Birthday,’ dares Earth to collect royalties

  One year ago today, NASA’s Curiosity rover touched down on the surface of Mars and began studying the planet. The rover may be lonely out there on its first birthday, but it won’t go entirely without celebration: NASA has repurposed Curiosity’s soil analysis system to play the tune of “Happy Birthday to You” out loud for all of Mars to hear. Though the analysis system doesn’t include a loudspeaker, it does…


I’m enjoying “William Shakespeare’s Star Wars” more than I expected

I didn’t expect a pseudo-Elizabethan rendering of Star Wars to be great literature, but the R2 soliloquies add an unexpectedly amusing new narrative layer. So far, I can say the “Chorus” character is overused, too frequently walking onstage and delivering lines of exposition that ought instead be woven into the expanded dialogue between the characters. An Elizabethan drama was a medium for the spoken word, and having a narrator walk…