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All posts for the month September, 2016

Wink of an Eye

We try to talk about the bad science in this episode so we can focus on the dumb culture and stupid ways of the roofie rave planet Scalos.

The sexual/power dynamics of this episode are front and center. They’re the most substantive part of this conflict. “Wink of an Eye” wasn’t made to discuss that, but nothing it was made to discuss is worth discussing. 

Is sex usually a medium to exert power? Are its commensurate emotional bonds the edge of a blade that most balance upon? Will Kirk ever have sex with a woman and become the womanizer he’s portrayed as in popular fiction?

17 to 01 is available on iTunes. It updates Thursday mornings at 2:00 AM ET / 1:00 CT. We’re also on Stitcher.

The Tholian Web

This is one of the crazier behind-the-scenes bits. The network and the studio are putting the screws to Star Trek and things are starting to come apart. We’re also getting a bit more fish-eye lens craziness.

Nick at Nite is actually still a thing, but it’s “nick@nite” now which tracks. Lost in Space ran from 1965 to 1968, a three-year run comparable to that of Star Trek. Strange, right?

The Russian space dog I was thinking about was Laika. They sent her into space prior to sending humans. Nick Abadzis wrote a comic about her in 2007 called Laika and it’s pretty good and by “good” I mean it’s about a dog that has no idea she’s going to be sent into space and…then return to your uncle’s farm upstate and live happily forever.

17 to 01 is available on iTunes. It updates Thursday mornings at 2:00 AM ET / 1:00 CT. We’re also on Stitcher.

 

Day of the Dove

We go from Star Trek to Peter Pan and then to the 2016 presidential election in the space of a few seconds, which I’m personally rather proud of.

I’m not a blood and guts guy, but this episode needed some real bite to back up its theme. Maybe that’s why it didn’t have it. I do like the ending. But then, I don’t have an allergy to having fun. Was Derek right? Was it too light?

Also, the last name I was trying to think of was “Klingon Louie C.K.” I promise I’ll do better in the future.

17 to 01 is available on iTunes. It updates Thursday mornings at 2:00 AM ET / 1:00 CT. We’re also amazingly on Stitcher.

So last week I griped about a video game called Stellaris (link here). Today I’m finishing up on all the ways that a great game that’s lost its luster could become great again.

Or Simplify Diplomacy. Last week I lobbied pretty hard to have the complicated diplomacy system improved. The thing is, I don’t actually want verisimilitude when I do diplomacy in a 4X game. I only need to know a few things about them: power/weakness, farness/nearness, do they like me, what do they have, what do they want, are we at peace, and how can I change those last four? I don’t know if I need a bunch of buttons telling me what I can’t do.

What I’d like are political packages which read “Make the Imarians Hate Me Less,” “The Rurthar Want Terraforming Gases and We Aren’t Using Ours,” “Special Project: Do Science with The Beldross,” or “The Yamacera are Dicks; Let’s Spend 400 Influence and 1,000 Energy to Steal a World of Theirs.” I need, “These Guys Hate Your Fucking Guts And Will Never Join Your Alliance” to “Here’s The Ludicrous Price Tag That Will Make These Guys Wanna Put Their Fungal Dicks in Your Small Intestines While Barry White Plays In The Background.”  

I only need to know how they feel about me on a scale of one to five. If I’m going to do something that will move allies into the negative on me, those better be big things. I mean big. It should be rare enough that you feel comfortable with throwing a pop-up on the screen asking if I’m sure every time I’m about to do one of those things. I should be able to choose and move toward changing those numbers by doing big things.

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There’s so much happening in this episode. Commercialism. Diana Muldaur. Stolen reels. Friendzoning. Broken aesops. Jackie Chan.

Good episode? Bad episode? Good lesson? Bad lesson? “Is There in Truth No Beauty?” is a series of contradictions, much like Dr. Miranda Jones.

Action Comics #27, which introduced Batman, premiered in 1939. I was also wrong about Marvel’s Golden Age. Technically, that era ended with the publication of Fantastic Four #1, which revolutionized Marvel Comics and possibly the superhero comics medium in 1961.

17 to 01 is available on iTunes. It updates Thursday mornings at 2:00 AM ET / 1:00 CT. We’re also amazingly on Stitcher.

If you’ve never heard of Stellaris, it’s Civilization meets Spaceward Ho!, which I will assume is a comprehensive description suitable for everyone. It’s everything me and the guys ever dreamed of in a space game. You get to colonize planets, do some diplomacy, and build big fleets that have beautiful battles in space. You even get to make some moral decisions and do some research…y’know, Star Trek stuff. It’s great and we loved it.

But the luster has worn off quickly. The lifetime of a video game is pretty short and despite being excellent, Stellaris only had an average run with us. This isn’t an open letter to the devs or anything because I don’t know anything about game development. It’s not a list of bitches about the game because nothing is less productive than that. It’s nothing more than a vague plan offered for free with an offer for a red hat as a $25.00 upsell that simply reads “Make Stellaris Great Again.”

Quit animating every ship. It’s beautiful when I’ve got a fleet of 15 guys who shoot lasers and missiles in an asynchronous display of attempted murder by hard vacuum. I see the shots glance off of shields. But eventually I’ll have to destroy every other civilization in the galaxy and I’re going to need a pretty big fleet for that. Probably bigger than everyone else’s.

There’s a fleet cap of 1000 points worth of ships, but it’s only a guideline. After 1k points, I simply pay higher upkeep on ships above that limit. That means even more massive massive fleets, which I’ll get to later. The system can’t handle those numbers and significant fleet actions begin causing the game to slow down, space out, or just plain freeze up.

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In “For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky,” I finally give away my love of My Chemical Romance with my stated preference for overly long names. The best thing about this episode is how much it supports the McCoy as a secret agent angle. Thank the gods for that or else it’d be pretty boring.

Also, it’s only fair to list the Space Ex-Wives Club in detail: T’Pring (Spock), Elaan of Troyus (Kirk), Miramanee (Kirok), Natira (McCoy), Joycelyn Darnell (McCoy, beta canon), Tonia Barrows (the yeoman from “Shore Leave.” The marriage is incredibly beta canon).

Palliative is actually healing, but in a way that doesn’t address the underlying problem. I was accidentally using it correctly. #FabriniObama

17 to 01 is available on iTunes. It updates Thursday mornings at 2:00 AM ET / 1:00 CT. We’re also amazingly on Stitcher.