The Royale (ST:TNG Rewatch, Season 2, Episode 12)

Rewatching Star Trek: The Next Generation after a 20-year break. In “The Royale,” an away team is trapped in a simulated casino, where Data cheats at roulette. That’s about it. A solid teaser and surreal first act ramp up the mystery nicely; however, on my rewatch, the episode didn’t hold together very well for me. We’re told that aliens who accidentally killed most of the crew of a 21stC NASA mission…

Logo (large, bold capital "J")

In October, 1999 I was blogging about college application essays, Willie Crowther, and Elizabethan English for RenFest workers

Jessica found herself wishing that somebody — anybody — in her family had died: ”Because then I could write about it.” — College application essays. >As a young man I needed someone to look up to, someone to emulate. I was something of a nerd: I needed someone who’d integrated highly technical talents with the basic social graces. —Tribute to Willie Crowther, by Martin Heller Proper Elizabethan is more akin…

The grandmaster diet: How to lose weight while barely moving

Fascinating article about how the extreme stress of chess tournaments affects the bodies of grandmasters. At 5-foot-6, Caruana has a lean frame, his legs angular and toned. He also has a packed schedule for the day: a 5-mile run, an hour of tennis, half an hour of basketball and at least an hour of swimming. As he’s jogging, it’s easy to mistake him for a soccer player. But he is…