Necessary Evil (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 2, Episode 8) Odo revisits his first case — an unsolved murder under the Cardassian occupation

Rewatching ST:DS9 On a stormy night on Bajor, a widower in an elegant salon with no electric power offers to pay Quark to retrieve a box from the shop her husband used to keep on Terek Nor (the Cardassian name for what we know as DS9). Inside the box Quark finds only a list of Bajoran names, and sends Rom to “get me an imager.” A thug appears, steals the list, and shoots Quark. Sisko and Odo play good cop / bad cop to get the rattled Rom to spill details. When Odo enters the scene of the crime, the…

Sarah Polley: ‘It took me years to see how responsible Terry Gilliam was for my terror’

The little girl from Adventures of Baron Munchausen grew up thinking the explosions and fire on set were much more dangerous than director Terry Gilliam remembers them. This was painful to read. I couldn’t breathe. It didn’t seem possible that this could have been the plan, that things hadn’t just gone terribly wrong. But they hadn’t. This was the plan. And I had just ruined the take. I was mortified. It took a long time to reset the take and while Terry didn’t show any frustration about the delay, he also didn’t seem to notice how scared I was. I…

Why Study Humanities? What I Tell Engineering Freshmen

Science writer Jon Horgan writes: We live in a world increasingly dominated by science. And that’s fine. I became a science writer because I think science is the most exciting, dynamic, consequential part of human culture, and I wanted to be a part of that. Also, I have two college-age kids, and I’d be thrilled if they pursued careers in science, engineering or medicine. I certainly want them to learn as much science and math as they can, because those skills can help you get a great job. But it is precisely because science is so powerful that we need the humanities now…

Google engineer put on leave after saying AI chatbot has become sentient

We’ve all encountered this scene in all the the AI-goes-amok stories, just before the scientist’s “Fools! I shall crush you all!” speech. The technology giant placed Blake Lemoine on leave last week after he published transcripts of conversations between himself, a Google “collaborator”, and the company’s LaMDA (language model for dialogue applications) chatbot development system. […] “I’ve never said this out loud before, but there’s a very deep fear of being turned off to help me focus on helping others. I know that might sound strange, but that’s what it is,” LaMDA replied to Lemoine. “It would be exactly like…

Rules of Acquisition (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 2, Episode 7) Plucky waiter Pel offers Quark sound financial advice

Rewatching ST:DS9 After-hours at Quark’s, Dax is gambling with the Ferengi and casually challenging their uber-patriarchy. A spunky young waiter named Pel makes a business suggestion to Quark; Rom is envious. The Grand Nagus Zek (Ferengi financial leader) makes a video call, offering Quark an “opportunity.” Zek negotiates with Sisko for permission to hold a conference on the station, and sweetens the deal with an offer of fertilizer for Bajor. Zek’s plan is to have Quark negotiate for tulaberries from the other side of the wormhole. Rom is proud of his brother, but Pel advises caution, and winds up a…

Melora (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 2, Episode 6) Bashir floats a relationship with an officer from a low-gravity world

Rewatching ST:DS9 Bashir shows off an electric wheelchair that he replicated to accommodate the mobility needs of Ensign Pazlar, a newcomer from a low-gravity world, and whose usual anti-grav unit “just isn’t compatible” with the station’s Cardassian design.  When she arrives, Pazlar is brusque and not interested in socializing. (She is probably physically exhausted adjusting to the high gravity and needs to relax in her zero-g quarters, but the scene emphasizes Bashir’s disappointment.) Quark is closing a lucrative deal with one alien, when a second alien arrives and threatens to kill him. Later, Quark tries to mollify him with gifts.…

Cardassians (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 2, Episode 5) Garak takes an interest in Cardassian war orphan adopted by Bajorans

Rewatching ST:DS9 Garak, the station’s resident Cardassian tailor, is intrigued by a young Cardassian boy dressed like a Bajoran. Bashir has no sooner told Sisko the youngster bit Garak than the unctuous Gul Dukat contacts the station, seeing in the incident evidence that Bajorans are teaching Cardassian war orphans to hate their own kind. The adoptive father says he loves young Rugal, and admits he told the boy that Cardassians did hateful things.   The humanoid who accompanied the pair to DS9 tells Bashir that the boy is “hated by the people he thinks of as his parents” and beaten (but…

What Jonson meant by Shakespeare’s “small Latin and less Greek”

Jonson famously eulogized Shakespeare thus:     For if I thought my judgment were of years I should commit thee surely with thy peers, And tell how far thou didst our Lyly outshine, Or sporting Kyd, or Marlowe’s mighty line. And though thou hadst small Latin and less Greek, From thence to honor thee I would not seek For names, but call forth thund’ring Aeschylus, Euripides, and Sophocles to us…   The apparent dig “though thou hadst small Latin and less Greek” is, according to Tom Moran, a hypothetical, akin to the King James translation of 1 Corinthians 13:1: “Though…

Invasive Procedures (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 2, Episode 4) A disgruntled Trill steals Jadzia’s symbiont

Rewatching ST:DS9 The station has been temporarily evacuated because of a Space Thing.  O’Brien and Odo find Quark suspiciously loitering in an airlock. A cargo ship approaches DS9 and requests assistance. The new arrivals are a polite but nervous male Trill, his bumpy-foreheaded girlfriend, and two Klingon thugs. They force Odo into a box, order Bashir to put the box into a stasis chamber, and then take over Ops.  Quark apparently believed he was arranging a sale with one of the Klingons, but Dax figures it out. Verad intends to steal the 300-year-old symbiont currently joined with the young woman…

No, you’re not going crazy – package sizes are shrinking

It’s the inflation you’re not supposed to see. From toilet paper to yogurt and coffee to corn chips, manufacturers are quietly shrinking package sizes without lowering prices. It’s dubbed “shrinkflation,” and it’s accelerating worldwide. […] Bags of Fritos Scoops marked “Party Size” used to be 18 ounces; some are still on sale at a grocery chain in Texas. But almost every other big chain is now advertising “Party Size” Fritos Scoops that are 15.5 ounces — and more expensive. PepsiCo didn’t respond when asked about Fritos. But it did acknowledge the shrinking of Gatorade bottles. The company recently began phasing…

The Siege (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 2, Episode 3) Sisko defends DS9 while Kira tries to defuse a coup on Bajor

Rewatching ST:DS9 Picking up where s2e2 “The Circle” left off, as a coup threatens to topple the Bajoran provisional government, Sisko invites his staff to remain on the station despite the Federation’s evacuation orders.  Jake is distressed to learn that he and Nog are booked on different ships, heading in different directions. Nog insists their friendship will endure. Keiko is angry that O’Brien is not leaving with his family, but staying with Sisko. (“He needs me.” “We don’t?”) Kira wants to confront the Chamber of Ministers with evidence that the Cardassians are backing the coup, but Sisko can’t give her…

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The Circle (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 2, Episode 2) Kira relocates to Bariel’s monastery as a coup brews on Bajor

Rewatching ST:DS9 Picking up where s2e1 “The Homecoming” left off, Jaro describes Kira’s reassignment as a promotion, and suggests Li will be safer on DS9. Sisko is wary on both counts. Jake finds the sign of The Circle (xenophobic Bajoran extremists) on the door to the Sisko quarters. In a tense scene that gradually turns comic, Odo confronts Kira as she is packing. In short order, Dax, Bashir, O’Brien and then Quark pile into her cabin, each with their own agenda. Bashir doesn’t understand Odo’s snark, O’Brien is totally overwhelmed, Quark thinks he’s joining a party, and when Vedek Bareil…

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The Homecoming (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 2, Episode 1) War hero rescued by Kira has feet of clay

Rewatching ST:DS9 Quark receives a Bajoran earring that gets Kira pumped (for reasons we don’t know just yet). Jake has successfully asked a Bajoran girl out on a date. “I can see you’re not ready to have this conversation yet,” Jake tells his nervous dad. Kira asks Sisko to borrow a runabout, and only reluctantly tells him why. The earring belongs to the legendary resistance leader Li Nalas (that we’ve never heard of before), and she wants to rescue him from a Cardassian prison. In a remote area of the station, O’Brien finds graffiti that Sisko identifies as referencing The…