Transfigurations (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season Three, Episode 25) Injured Humanoid Charms Beverly, Glows

Rewatching ST:TNG after a 20-year break. A low-key story that revisits the “corporeal species evolving into a higher form” trope, this time from the perspective of Dr. Crusher, who observes the physical process, as an injured humanoid with lumpy face bumps gradually starts to glow. Not a great episode, but new to me, so a treat to watch. A nicely framed shot of a row of mountains at first looked…

Journalists who are doing their job by reporting fairly on a controversial topic often get attacked from both sides. 

Americans can fairly and legitimately differ on important values. Freedom or security? Peace or justice? Which short-term sacrifices are worth making, for which long-term benefits?

Most readers will nod along with whatever parts of a story affirm their values. A significant number will reject any story — even one that’s carefully sourced and fact-checked — if it challenges their world view. (“So biased!” “Fake news!”)

Whenever even the fairest-minded journalists tackle a high-stakes story involving groups with different levels of access to wealth, education, healthcare and personal security, any honest story they publish is going to make someone upset.


Ménage à Troi (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season Three, Episode 24) Lwaxana, Ferengi, Chess, and Poetry

Rewatching ST:TNG after a 20-year break. The teaser features Picard fibbing awkwardly to evade Troi’s mother Lwaxana, nicely setting up a later scene involving Picard wooing her with snatches of Shakespeare and Tennyson — first awkwardly, then enthusiastically, as part of a ruse designed to… oh, nevermind why. Seeing Picard save the day with love poetry is well worth the cringeworthy setup. (And the scene also provides the visual for the…

Capitalists Tell Facebook They’ve Had Enough

It started as a murmur of dissent, but over the weekend the campaign to persuade brands to boycott Facebook ads for the month of July turned into a major crisis for the social media giant. It began badly on Friday when Unilever, one of the world’s biggest advertisers, announced it was joining the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, which had already been backed by Verizon, Patagonia, and Ben and Jerry’s.

After a pretty crappy day, I found shreds of joy in this clip of socially distanced salsa.

In my discipline, teaching small seminars typically depends on students sharing their weaknesses and vulnerabilities in pairs and small groups, gradually building trust while the teacher moves through the room, listening and joining in and backing away as appropriate. Masked students who are 6 feet away from each other will have to shout their failures from behind their masks, which is a totally different dynamic than having students put their…