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In the Space Justice System, the Space people are represented by two separate, yet equally important Space groups: the Space officers who commit the Space Crimes, and the Space attorneys who Space prosecute the Space offenders.

These are their stories.


That’s right, it’s Law and Order, ST: TOS!

In this episode, Kirk is in trouuuuble. During a recent crisis, he ejected a mumblemumbleplot pod to save the ship. Sounds fine, right? Except the pod contained a guy with whom he had some seriously rocky history (and who’s been holding one hell of a grudge against Kirk), raising concerns that James T. Kirk, of all people, might have chosen to deliberately eject said pod in order to get the angry jerk out of his face. And worse: the computer records say that Kirk is lying about what happened. Cue a court martial, aka: Space Court Room Drama, which comprises about 75% of this story.

Now, I want to be up front here about the fact that this episode contains what we will call a multitude of holes. There are, for instance, better ways to get revenge on someone than elaborately framing them for your murder (because SPOILER: angry jerk isn’t dead! the whole thing was a set-up!). There are also tidier ways of framing people for murder. Agatha Christie, this man is not. Some of the arguments made in the court martial are, let us say: facile. We could also call them: stupid. Also, the crucial central evidence that was supposedly falsely created by the computer due to some kind of *handwave* tinkering? I lost count of how many times I yelled “COMPUTERS DON’T WORK LIKE THAT.”

All that aside, though, 2/3 of your hosts really like this one. Everyone is working really hard. There are some excellent guest stars in the form of Kirk’s defense advocate and the prosecutor, who is an old flame of Kirk’s but is not a) played by a 19-year-old girl or b) swayed by him in any way, shape or form, despite being visibly very fond of him. There’s even some (fundamentally stupid and wrong but whatever) narratively clever detective work by Kirk’s crew, who are basically NOPE about this whole “the captain murdered somebody for petty revenge” thing. It’s also set on a Starbase, which is always a joy: show us more futuristic pseudo-cities!

It turns out all right, with the angry jerk being caught, Kirk being exonerated, and the Enterprise warping off on her merry way. If you like Law and Order or half-baked but very enthusiastic murder mysteries, this episode’s for you.

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[From The Not So Much The Neutral Zone Podcast]

Somebody working on this episode really, really liked Agatha Christie.

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So my workplace is doing a big National Sweater Day event to test the waters for turning down the average workspace temperature on campus to 20 degrees celsius. “Wear more sweaters!” say all the cheerful employee newsletters. They’re doing this in an attempt to save money because the economy is garbage, basically.

And I mean, okay, sure, turning down the heat is a good method. At home I am mostly inclined to bundle up and keep the thermostat down, because heating is expensive and the downstairs neighbours, who have as much control over the whole house’s thermostat as we do, have it cranked up to 30 10 months out of the year and cost us a fortune and I am a creature of spite. 

But the thing is, the temperature in our office, and most places on campus, is supposed to be like, 21, 22 degrees right now. It never is in our office, and even in spaces where it is, I am usually cold. I am usually cold, period. Dear workplace, I am already sitting at my desk in two layers + knitted wool wrap for better than half the year. At home I would be wearing wooly socks and pyjama pants and my Ugly Sweater and bundled up in two blankets and be perfectly happy, but that’s not really appropriate work attire. If you turn down the temperature any more I might actually freeze.

Maybe instead of turning down our heat any further, you could work on fixing the extremely broken system we already have? You know, the one that completely fails to work consistently in any but the newest single building that was built to green standards? And maybe patching the huge leaks in the two oldest class/office buildings? I bet that would improve heating efficiency a fucking lot.

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Feb. 2nd, 2016

So apparently I can no longer go back more than 100 entries on my Friends page. Not sure if this is a baffling new setting or just a general "fuck you, LJ" thing. I don't continue paying for this damn website despite hardly ever remembering to come and check it for nothing, you know, LJ. :((((((
So on Thursday, it came to light that due to an update that went through on December 23, two really important tools in the college’s course management software (e.g. what we use to deliver all online courses) were Very Broken. Nobody had noticed until mid-week last week because, well, no one logs in during the holidays. We put in a couple of tickets all “we literally cannot run courses with the software in this state.” Got back a nonchalant response Friday afternoon e.g. yeah known bug but it’s cool it’s fixed in the next update! 

(Which we’re not getting until January 29th. Cue my boss closing her office door and yelling at our account rep for 20 mins.)

Monday morning: everything still super-broken. No response from vendor support. And we’re now in week two, when everyone actually starts doing stuff in courses rather than just walking kids through syllabi…

…this is gonna be a fun day.

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well I bought a goddamn Fitbit

well I bought a goddamn Fitbit

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/1ZdgWip (click to see full post including images)

So, if you ever wanted a textbook example of How Not To Behave in a Space Crisis, this is that episode. Our fair ship is on a mission of mercy, delivering medical supplies to a beleaguered colony, but “standing orders” to study all pulsar phenomena (???) mean they must delay said mission of mercy so that shuttle Galileo can investigate an unexpected pulsar. For reasons, basically.

This episode does contain Trek’s first shuttle departure (which excited us a whole lot), the first time the rank of Ensign is spoken aloud (heralding, eventually, the much-deserved death of the Yeoman/Space-Secretary rank for lady guest stars), some of the silliest Styrofoam rock-throwing in classic Trek, and some alien facial prosthetics that we never see because they were deemed too scary for 1960s television.

It’s also one of the more contrived setups we’ve seen, as Kim says, “a plan to get them on a planet… with danger.” All so that the shuttle can crash on a (completely ridiculous) terrible monster-ridden planet and snipe at each other and behave in various out-of-character ways.

We were not huge fans of this one, obviously. It all seemed like a wrong-ordered process, where they decided they wanted to create a situation where the show could sloppily shove interpersonal conflict in the audience’s face, and they didn’t care about how they got there – up to and including forgetting established character traits and basic facts, like the fact that Spock is the fucking first officer and therefore this obviously cannot be his first command, and handily showcasing early Starfleet’s general failure at instilling inter-cultural and inter-species sensitivity in its recruits.

Another one to add to the list of suggestions on your Starfleet Evaluation Card.

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[From The Not So Much The Neutral Zone Podcast]

This episode is also a helpful itemized list of Crew To Definitely Not Take On Further Away Missions, also Crew Better Reassigned to the Onboard Puppy Clinic.

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/1RaFs4p (click to see full post including images)
Probably the hardest part of suddenly discovering myself to be Star Wars trash after 32 years of Liking Star Wars A Lot, Sure, But Not Being Emotionally Beholden To Star Wars (apart from wanting to punch J.J. Abrams twice as hard for fucking up Star Trek so hard and then turning around and making this movie that made me care about Star Wars you FUCKER) is greedily gathering in all the Poe/Rey/Finn fic I can find, all of it, all the while wondering, with bleak despair, how much of it is not archived, is posted only on wretched Tumblr, that I will never see because I genuinely, physically cannot force myself to scan through fucking Tumblr tags for things because I am both a) too fond of safe/sane data management and b) a fandom crone and am on both counts not built for that shit, and that will disappear forever as the stream of information continues past me forever and ever, into the dark–

…and now, the weather.

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/1O7aHr3 (click to see full post including images)
okay so I DID a) look at the comments on a news article and b) log in to CBC to respond to/bitchslap a dumb commenter but I DID NOT linger more than 5 seconds after hitting submit and do not plan to revisit the page to see how that goes down so I still get points, right?

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/1lXFhMP (click to see full post including images)

So I guess you could say this is a landmark of sorts: Star Trek’s first clips episode. Two landmarks! It’s also the first two-parter. In The Menagerie, the Enterprise is called to a starbase (via a message no one can verify and may have been faked) where we’re re-united with Captain Christopher Pike of unaired original series pilot, The Cage. Due to a terrible accident Pike is now disfigured, confined to a hoverchair, and unable to communicate except for a blinky-light that only allows him to say “yes” or “no.” But don’t worry, Captain Pike. Spock has a plan. He’s going to steal the Enterprise and kidnap you on a mutinous six-day interstellar road trip!

Mostly this episode is a contrivance to allow the writers to fill space and catch up a production gap, and this two-parter is principally composed of an onboard court-martial where Spock explains exactly why he’s stolen the flagship and how the whole thing was really the only logical course of action by screening records of that long-ago mission that resulted in the ship’s destination, Talos IV, being marked as forbidden to Starfleet vessels.

The setup is, of course, a little contrived, but it does a surprisingly good job of feeling like a solid, genuine episode despite being an obvious clips vehicle. Also: Spock is the best at mutinous starship theft. This plan is amazing. Spock thought of everything, up to and including the fact that Jim Kirk is definitely stupid enough to hop into a shuttle and follow them despite the laundry-list of obvious reasons why this is a terrible idea more likely to end in his terrible suffocating demise, adrift in space, than actually catching up to the Enterprise.

It also allowed us to fast-forward through a good 75% of the episode, which we all agreed is the best way to watch The Cage.

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[From The Not So Much The Neutral Zone Podcast]

I wish I could contingency-plan like Commander Spock. But I’d probably just end up stranding everyone in deep space, whoops.

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/1Z1uYW0 (click to see full post including images)

Corbomite. Corbomite. Corbomite. Hard to say aloud, especially if you’re Corene and keep wanting to say carbonite (Corene is very excited about Star Wars). This is a solid, smart, professional episode for the Enterprise crew in which there is a mystery to be solved and a problem to be strategized away, which is one of Trek’s greatest strengths.

Well. Except for that asshole, Bailey, who spends 50 minutes losing his shit in progressively more unprofessional and disruptive ways, to such an extent that we wondered five minutes in why this man was in Starfleet to begin with and yelling career advice at the screen, e.g. You Are A Terrible Starfleet Officer.

This episode was meant to be the first episode after the real pilot, but its unprecedented amount of special effects delayed its release. Most of this story is about the Enterprise v.s. varying sizes and shapes of space-light, so you can imagine why that might flummox 1960s effects departments.

You could even call this an episode-in-a-bottle, because the crew spends 99% of the story staring out into space at the won’t-leave-them-alone mysterious space cube and outmaneuvering its big brother, Space-Disco-Ball. Our crew is cast as the reasonable victims of an outrageously unreasonable, unseen alien threat that decides they must be destroyed, no questions-asked, for trespassing into unmarked sovereign space. But our alien aggressors are apparently unaware of what we the viewers already knew, which is that you should never try to out-bluff James Tiberius Kirk. Mostly this episode is a ton of tense hurry-up-and-wait, all in all a great example of a smart, sensible starship crew trying their intelligent best against intractable space-jerks.

Well. Except for Bailey, who ends up adopted out to the aliens in the interests of diplomacy. Probably the best thing for everyone.

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[From The Not So Much The Neutral Zone Podcast]

Here’s another life-lesson for you: when a bunch of aliens have spent an entire episode shooting at you and trying to kidnap you, maybe don’t accept their booze without testing it first, Bones.

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Chandri MacLeod

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February 2016



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