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The Host (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season 4, Episode 23) Dr. Beverly Crushes on a Symbiont

Rewatching ST:TNG Trek explores some cultural boundaries by having Crusher fall in love with an ambassador who is not what he seems. But before we get to that plot twist, we get comedy from Data not realizing he has interrupted a turbolift make-out session, some decent setup concerning a conflict between two moons of Peliar Zel, a girl-talk scene between Crusher and Troi, and some shuttlecraft pew-pew action. As the…

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Half a Life (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season 4, Episode 22) Lwaxana Meets Cogsworth

Rewatching ST:TNG The teaser sets up another comic episode with Lwaxana Troi, and the first few acts deliver accordingly. This time, Lwaxana (Majel Barett) sets her sights on Doctor Timicin (David Ogden Stiers), a reserved scientist focused on saving his world’s dying star. This episode has many long scenes of Space Science, some of which exist simply to be interrupted by Lwaxana’s antics, but one is an overlong bridge scene…

Breaking up with your favorite racist childhood classic books

A good article analyzes the strong cultural reactions to voluntary changes made by the companies that manage the “Potato Head” toy line and the books of Dr. Seuss. Cries of “censorship” and “cancel culture” rallied passionate citizens who defended their nostalgic memories of childhood and sought targets for their rage. I just read an article on new allegations against Peter Yarrow. I knew that he was convicted of sexually assaulting…

Karate, Wonton, Chow Fun: The end of ‘chop suey’ fonts

Close your eyes and imagine the font you’d use to depict the word “Chinese.” There’s a good chance you pictured letters made from the swingy, wedge-shaped strokes you’ve seen on restaurant signs, menus, take-away boxes and kung-fu movie posters. | Variations on the font are commercially distributed as Wonton, Peking, Buddha, Ginko, Jing Jing, Kanban, Shanghai, China Doll, Fantan, Martial Arts, Rice Bowl, Sunamy, Karate, Chow Fun, Chu Ching San JNL,…

How to Reduce Racial Bias in Grading (Use Objective Rubrics)

To gauge the potential impact of a standardized rubric on grading bias, I conducted an experiment comparing how teachers graded two identical second-grade writing samples: one presented as the work of a Black student, and one as the work of a white student.

My experiment found that teachers gave the white student better marks across the board—with one exception. When teachers used a grading rubric with specific criteria, racial bias all but disappeared. When teachers evaluated student writing using a general grade-level scale, they were 4.7 percentage points more likely to consider the white child’s writing at or above grade level compared to the identical writing from a Black child. However, when teachers used a grading rubric with specific criteria, the grades were essentially the same.

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No, Kirk and Uhura didn’t share the first interracial kiss on television

Great post from Fake History Hunter: It is often said that the first interracial kiss on TV was the (involuntary) kiss between Captain James Tiberius Kirk (William Shatner) and translator and communications officer Nyota Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) in the Star Trek episode “Plato’s Stepchildren” that was broadcast on the 22nd of November 1968. This is not the case. There had of course been interracial kisses before in Star Trek but…

Opinion | Defiant, Now Infected: Trump Is a Morality Tale

From Frank Bruni, NYT It’s a measure of the cynicism that has infected American politics — and, yes, me — that among my initial reactions to the news that President Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus was: Are we sure? Can we trust that? A man who so frequently and flamboyantly plays the victim, and who has been prophylactically compiling ways to explain away or dispute a projected election…

Scientists should be goggled and in the lab, where they belong. Shut up and make me a vaccine, beaker-nerd!

Am I doing the tribal rage thing right? Laura Helmuth of Scientific American says the decision to break tradition was both unanimous and quick: “We took this decision very seriously. You don’t give up 175 years of tradition for nothing.” —‘Scientific American’ Breaks 175 Years Of Tradition, Endorses A Presidential Nominee –NPR

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No, Dr. Anthony Fauci did not write the “How dare you you risk the lives of others so cavalierly?” essay

A copy-paste meme I’ve encountered recently compares chickenpox, herpes and HIV with COVID-19, and builds up to a powerful rebuke to those who dismiss the seriousness of the current pandemic. I was particularly moved by these words: For those in our society who suggest that people being cautious are cowards, for people who refuse to take even the simplest of precautions to protect themselves and those around them, I want…

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What the police really believe: Inside the distinctive, largely unknown ideology of American policing — and how it justifies racist violence.

“That whole thing about the bad apple? I hate when people say that,” Rizer tells me. “The bad apple rots the barrel. And until we do something about the rotten barrel, it doesn’t matter how many good fucking apples you put in.” Fascinating story, that starts by focusing on Arthur Rizer, a former military police officer who directs the criminal justice program at “a center-right think tank in DC.”  Also…

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Theatre Crowd Mustn’t Be Bitter

The en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try seems up­set that pubs are to be opened be­fore any theatres or mu­sic venues. But you can un­der­stand why the pubs have pri­or­ity – it’s a mat­ter of safety. Theatres are wild places where you can’t con­trol the public. So of­ten, dur­ing a show by a comic, the au­di­ence spreads viruses by for­get­ting they have a ticket for seat 19b and mov­ing across to seat 23f and…

Post-Pandemic News: 7 Lessons We Can’t Afford to Forget

Journalists are often criticized for emphasizing bad news. On a day when there are no commercial airliner crashes, there’s no need for a story on the fact that everyone who flew today landed safely. I prefer to get my news from the web, so I don’t follow TV news in any form. However, I was interested in this item on how local TV news has changed due to the pandemic.…

Post-publication review as an efficient alternative to pre-publication peer review

Andrew Gelman of “Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science” writes: Peer review is fine for what it is—it tells you that a paper is up to standard in its subfield. Peer reviewers can catch missing references in the literature review. That can be helpful! But if peer review catches anything that the original authors didn’t understand . . . well, that’s just lucky. You certainly can’t expect it. I…

Confessions of a Former Bastard Cop

Medium is not a peer-reviewed source, and the author is anonymous, which affects how credible this article is. The clickbaity headline obscures the fact that this essay offers a good argument that much of the good done by cops doesn’t involve having a “monopoly on state violence.” It’s also a reminder that being “blue” as in “blue lives matter” does not equate to “black lives matter,” because blueness is something…