This the last hour I will have a teenager in my house. (Tomorrow my youngest turns 20.)

I blogged in 2004: “The time is waning that my son will want nothing more than to play Battleship and The Magnificent Race with me all afternoon. Some day I’ll make a silly joke, and my daughter won’t giggle with glee, she will roll her eyes and say, ‘Dad, you’re embarrassing me.’”   https://jerz.setonhill.edu/blog/2004/07/09/2657/   This the last hour I will have a teenager in my house. (Tomorrow my youngest turns 20.)   Sunrise… sunset.

Please use the microphone at public events (I have an auditory processing disorder and can’t understand you — even if you shout really loudly from your seat)

Still recovering from this morning’s three-hour training session. Huge echoey room. Lots of masked people talking, some of whom were shouting their comments and questions from their seats instead of using the microphones.   When we were asked to share a time we felt excluded, I went up to the mic, mentioned my auditory processing disorder, and said I feel excluded right now by the people who weren’t using the microphones. “If you want me to hear you, you will have to use the microphones.”   Afterwards several people thanked me, saying I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t hear.…

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Firstborn (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season 7, Episode 21) Worf prepares his reluctant son for a rite of passage

Rewatching ST:TNG Worf awkwardly rehearses a speech to prepare Alexander for a rite of passage. Doused by a water balloon intended for Alexander, Worf bungles the speech. He’s even more rattled when Alexander admits he doesn’t want to become a warrior. Picard suggests Worf visit a nearby Klingon outpost for an upcoming festival. Wide-eyed Alexander is enchanted by a participatory street theater bat’leth opera, and runs off to see the sights with friends (mentioned only in dialog). When three bad guys surround Worf and Alexander, a stranger steps in to help fight them off. K’Mtar says he was sent by…

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Journey’s End (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season 7, Episode 20) Picard must relocate a North American Indian colony; Wesley faces another loyalty test

Rewatching ST:TNG An obviously troubled Cadet Crusher visits the Enterprise. Picard lays out muchies to prepare for an in-person visit from Admiral Necheyev, in an effort to make their relationship less confrontational. She notices and appreciates his efforts, but still gives him very difficult orders to relocate a colony founded by Native North Americans.  Necheyev (having herself already voiced all the objections Picard brings up) feels this is a reasonable sacrifice in the interests of interstellar peace with the Cardassians. When asked whether she should appoint someone else to command the Enterprise for this mission, Picard says he’ll do it.…

Experience: I let a baby bird nest in my hair for 84 days

He was abandoned by his flock, his nest blown from the mango tree. His eyes were tightly shut and he was shuddering, too young to survive alone. He was the size of my little finger, with feathers the colour of Rich Tea biscuits, inky eyes and a small bill like a pencil lead. I placed him in a cardboard box with tea towels, mimicking a nest, and stayed up all night, researching how to care for him. I spoke to an expert who said it would take 12 weeks to prepare him for the wild. The next day, he woke…

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Eye of the Beholder (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season 7, Episode 18) Troi probes a crewman’s suicide, finds a ghostly love triangle tragedy

Rewatching ST:TNG An agitated engineer is poised to leap inside a warp nacelle’s plasma stream. He tells Riker “they laughed at me,” and jumps. Picard wants to know what happened so he can break the news to Lt. Kwan’s parents. Data tells LaForge he had great difficulties after he initially became sentient, and considered resetting his neural network, essentially killing himself and starting over, but decided against it. (LaForge approves.) Troi and Worf visit Kwan’s quarters, which are orderly. They check his personal log, which reveals him as dedicated and optimistic. His girlfriend Ensign Calloway mentions some tension with his…

Hoarding disorders have increased during the pandemic. Here’s how to help a loved one who hoards.

Hoarding disorder — a mental health condition in which people have trouble getting rid of possessions because of a perceived need to save them — affects about 2.6 percent of people worldwide, according to the American Psychiatric Association. There are higher rates in those over 60 and people who have other psychiatric problems, such as anxiety or depression, but its frequency doesn’t seem to be affected by country or culture. Despite the cat lady stereotype, it affects men and women equally. Friends and family members of those who hoard can find it difficult to control their feelings of anger and helplessness.…

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Thine Own Self (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season 7, Episode 16) Data gets amnesia at a RenFest; Troi preps for promotion to commander

Rewatching ST:TNG In the captain’s chair on a night watch, Dr. Crusher tells Troi why she likes being in command. Troi then tells Riker she’d like to take the bridge command test, too. Data has been collecting radioactive metal from a remote site on an inhabited planet, but something has clearly gone wrong, because he walks, disheveled and confused, into a Renaissance-style town square, where Garvin and his daughter Gia just happen to be having an expositional conversation about his status as the village magistrate. Data has no memory of who he is, or where he came from. He can…

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Lower Decks (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season 7, Episode 15) Junior officers star in a coming of age drama

Rewatching ST:TNG As Riker and Troi discuss crew evaluation reports in Ten Forward, we spend time with four junior officers who would normally get a few lines each. We already know Nurse Ogawa and Ensign Sito (one of the cadets who obstructed an investigation in s5e13 “The First Duty“). Lavelle is a square-jawed Dudley Do-Right and Taurik is a Vulcan with a dry wit. With their friend Ben (a gossipy civilian waiter) they look on as the series regulars sometimes encourage, and sometimes check their ambitions.  After a drill session on the bridge, where RIker offers a tip to the…

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Parallels (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season 7, Episode 11) Worf gets technobabbled into a timeline where he married Troi

Rewatching ST:TNG After returning victorious from a bat’leth tournament, Worf is ambushed by a surprise birthday party, where a chocolate cake turns yellow, his big pointy first place trophy turns into a ninth place blob, and things continue diverging from the recent past he remembers. A great comic scene features a terrified Worf reacting when a very relaxed Troy undoes his ponytail and gives him a backrub. (As she sees it, she is just helping her husband of four years to relax.) The structure of the story is a little herky-jerky; sometimes, when Worf jumps to a new parallel universe,…

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Inheritance (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season 7, Episode 10) A scientist introduces herself as Data’s “mother”

Rewatching ST:TNG Within minutes of hearing about a problem with a planet’s molten core, LaForge comes up with a solution that Data and the visiting scientists from Atrea are convinced will work.  One of the visitors, Dr. Juliana Tainer, introduces herself to Data as a colleague of his creator Dr. Soong. In fact, because she was married to Soong, she considers herself Data’s “mother.” She explains she and Soong wiped Data’s memory and deactivated him as part of a process of trying to make him more human, but they had to leave him behind when the Crystalline Entity attacked. She…

The Protagonist’s Best Friend Would Like to Stop Having to Shoehorn So Much Exposition into Their Dialogue

Look, it’s just—now that you’re the protagonist of this movie, I’ve been feeling a lot of pressure to dispense clunky exposition in my conversations with you, and I don’t want to do that anymore. It’s not that I don’t love talking to you, dude. Of course I do—you’re my best friend! And you’ve been my best friend since we were kids. I still remember how we met in Mrs. Wilson’s class: You let me copy your social studies homework, exemplifying how you’re always willing to help people, even if it means breaking the rules a little. But who am I…

Jerry Lewis’s Costars Speak Out: “He Grabbed Me. He Began to Fondle Me. I Was Dumbstruck”

As a kid I watched Jerry Lewis movies when they turned up on the local independent TV channels, and typically when I was home from school on  Labor Day, I would watch at least part of his muscular dystrophy telethons. I’m saddened to read allegations about yet another established male professional using his position of power to manipulate a younger female artist by demanding sexual favors. Demanding? Requesting? Suggesting? Semantics. The huge power differential makes anything resembling “consent” very problematic. Leading lady Karen Sharpe reports that after she resisted a crude sexual overture from Lewis, she found herself punished with…

The beauty from some Olympic skaters was not worth seeing a child emotionally broken on live television.

I didn’t watch any of the video, and I have no desire to. This article was painful to read. “I hate it! … I don’t want to do anything in figure skating ever in my life! … Everyone has a gold medal, and I don’t!” One can forgive a teenage girl for having an emotional response to disappointment in a high-stakes situation, but Trusova’s reaction was an ugly display of poor sportsmanship, happening mere feet from a devastated Valieva. Trusova would later have to be coaxed into even coming back onto the ice to accept her second place finish. As Valieva…

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Interface (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season 7, Episode 3) LaForge, using experimental augmented reality gear, encounters a vision of his mother

Rewatching ST:TNG The cold open features LaForge crawling through a Jeffries Tube without his visor, reaching through flames with his bare hands.  He’s actually in a lab, hooked into a VR interface, controlling a drone that’s inside the Reman, a science vessel that got stuck in the dense atmosphere of a gas giant planet.  Riker asks a few questions that give Crusher the excuse to explain the concept of a haptic VR interface, for the benefit of the 1993 audience. Picard has to pass along to LaForge the bad news that another Federation ship, the Hera, has disappeared. The captain…

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Liaisons (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season 7, Episode 2) Picard is Marooned with a lovelorn woman; Worf is grumpy; Troi eats desserts

Rewatching ST:TNG Worf grumbles about his dress uniform, saying it looks like a dress. He’s preparing to receive two ambassadors on the Enterprise-D, along with a pilot to shuttle Picard to their homeworld. While Troi cheerfully introduces Loquel to the concept of “dessert,” Worf gripes that Byleth is “demanding, temperamental, and rude.” Data helpfully observes, “You share all those qualities in abundance, perhaps you should try to build on your similarities.” As we’ve learned to expect whenever a main character boards a shuttlecraft, something goes wrong and soon Picard is waking up in front of a fire in a low-tech…

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Descent, Part 1 (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season 6, Episode 26) Data experiences disturbing emotions while killing a Borg drone

Rewatching ST:TNG Data plays poker with holodeck simulations of a crabby Isaac Newton, a genial Albert Einstein, and a grinning Stephen Hawking (playing himself). The Enterprise-D follows a distress call to an outpost, where they find a Borg task force. But everything seems off… not only did these Borg seem to be hiding, the drones refer to each other by names, and one swears to avenge another’s death. When choking a Borg, Data gets really, really mad. Picard realizes these Borg (whose ship disappears into a Space Thing) may have a new agenda. A video call with Admiral Nechayev is…

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Rightful Heir (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season 6, Episode 23) Worf’s quest for the return of a fabled Klingon threatens the Klingon Empire’s status quo

Rewatching ST:TNG Worf is uncharacteristically late for a shift because he was distracted by a ritual to invoke the fabled warrior Kahless. He tells Picard that since meeting the young Klingons who grew up with no knowledge of their heritage (s6e16&17 “Birthright“), he has felt “empty,” and feels the need to test his faith. Picard is simultaneously strict and empathetic, calling Worf’s actions “Inexcusable… and understandable.” He grants him a leave and tells him not to come back until he’s ready to perform his duties properly. In a shrine on the holy planet Boreth, Worf joins a group of Klingons…

Finland’s Museum of Contemporary Emotions

A history of the beginning of the pandemic, oragnized around emotions. More recently, the Museum of Contemporary Emotions—a project of the Finnish government’s Finland Forward pandemic communications initiative—picked up Ekman’s work as its scaffolding. The Museum, really an interactive website, is a kind of digital archive of experience during the Covid-19 pandemic, styled with the sans-serif aesthetics of a direct-to-consumer startup and the haunting, echoing soundtrack of a post-apocalyptic Catholic Mass. The events of the pandemic are positioned on a timeline—the discovery of the virus, the toilet paper panic, the ban on events, and so on—and a click on any one…