Ambiguous language in journalism: Monkey Pox and Camel Privates

Amazing lead: A veterinarian prescribed antibiotics Monday for a camel that lives behind an Iberville Parish truck stop after a Florida woman told law officers she bit the 600-pound animal’s genitalia after it sat on her when she and her husband entered its enclosure to retrieve their deaf dog. —Yousssef Rddad, The Advocate Note that this lead emphasizes the news — the most recent detail is the fact that the biting victim has received treatment for an incident that occurred earlier. Because journalism emphasizes recent events, this lead properly emphasizes the treatment that followed the incident, but in this long…

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Duet (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 1, Episode 18) Kira is convinced an ailing Cardassian is a notorious war criminal

Rewatching ST:DS9 Kira is convinced she’s captured a Cardassian war criminal, but Sisko insists on giving him due legal process.  Marritza is not on any list of wanted criminals, but he is being treated for a disease that can only have been caused by a mining accident in a notorious labor camp. He is arrogant, yet insists he is not a murderer. Kira, the Bajoran government, and even a rando In the drunk tank are all eager for the chance to punish a brutal Cardassian war criminal. From his cell, Marritza praises his brutal commander and the racist policies of…

The Forsaken (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 1, Episode 17) Lwaxana Troi and the station computer harass Odo and O’Brien, respectively

Rewatching ST:DS9 Bashir is hosting three high-maintenance ambassadors, while Odo’s professional competence attracts the attention of Lwaxana Troi.  O’Brien brings Sisko his concerns about the station computer (his “arch enemy”), Odo brings Sisko his concerns about Lwaxana, and Bashir brings his concerns about the needy ambassadors. The commander seems to enjoy telling each of them to just work it out. A probe comes through the wormhole. It’s got a lot of computer power but doesn’t seem to serve any purpose. Of course it makes sense to download whatever’s in the alien probe’s memory to the station’s main computer. No point…

Masked, vaxxed, and settling in to watch live theater

Barebones is a little black box theater, but it fits a fantastic set and some effective practical effects. (It’s based on a Stephen King novel, so bear that in mind.) The battle of wits between complex characters who don’t make the kind of dumb mistakes that people make in horror movies was just thrilling. Great acting and direction. And the soundtrack of 80s hits and story-appropriate oldies was just perfect. The lightning punctuating the events was perfectly timed, the costumes, the props, everything intimate and credible, down to the animal doorstop and the crucifix on the wall.

Police Say A Lot Of Things

It’s not all cops who lie. Just the bad apples. Not the good apple cops who regularly, actively, loudly denounce the bad apple cops, turning them in and testifying against them, and stopping them from doing bad apple things out there in the field. No, it’s not those *good* cops that I’m complaining about. Just the other kind. Police lie. They, along with prosecutors, lied that seventh-grader Adam Toledo was holding a gun when he was shot dead by a Chicago police officer last month, until the body camera footage released yesterday showed that Toledo’s hands were empty and he was complying with…

Advice for alternate pathways in journalism: re-entering the workforce after taking a break; transitioning to college teaching

A colleague put me in touch with an award-winning TV journalist who took some time off for eldercare, and is now having a rough time re-entering the profession. Here’s the advice I collected, which includes the wisdom of a former student who’s now a TV producer in Houston, and also draws on other sources I use when I teach career readiness classes for English majors.

If Wishes Were Horses (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 1, Episode 16) Hallucinations become real as a Plot Contrivance Field threatens the station.

Rewatching ST:DS9 Quark tries to interest Odo in a holosuite fantasy, but Odo prefers realism. Jake passes through the casino, on his way to play his father’s baseball program. Dax is amused but unmoved by Bashir’s romantic overtures, and kindly suggests a “high-pitched sonic shower.” She’s on her way to Ops to look at a plot contrivance particle field Kira and Sisko are puzzling over. O’Brien, who a few episodes ago was stiff and awkward when drafted into his role as “storyteller” to a Bajoran village, sounds like a professional actor as he reads “Rumpelstiltskin” to his little daughter at…

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Birthright, Part 2 (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season 6, Episode 17) Worf sows disorder in a settlement where Klingons and Romulans live in peace

Rewatching ST:TNG L’Kor tells Worf the Klingons have chosen to remain in what was initially Romulan POW camp, because if were known they were captured alive, that would bring dishonor on their family. The Romulan Tokath gave up his military career to spare their lives and lead their new settlement. The Klingon survivors, their descendants, and at least a handful of Romulans now live together in peace.   Worf bristles when he sees the Klingon youth Toq using a Klingon weapon as a hoe, and dismayed when Ba’el (the young woman who caught his eye in Part 1) seems so happy…