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  • blogTO notes that the Toronto Reference Library will be holding a huge sale again next week.

  • Inside Toronto profiles Sephora Hussein, new collection head of the Merril Collection.

  • Michael Lyons writes about the importance of the newly-reopened Hanlan's beach on the Toronto Islands.

  • Jake Tobin Garrett argues at Torontoist for the importance of the proposed Rail Deck Park.

  • Emily Macrae argues at Torontoist there is much Toronto can learn from the green--literally--laneways of Montréal.

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Space Marine Primaris Intercessor #pei #princeedwardisland #charlottetown #warhammer40k #wh40k

The new generation of the Imperium's Space Marines, the Primaris Intercessor, has made it to Charlottetown's excellent store The Comic Hunter.
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  • CBC Montreal notes how Andrée Archambault has been leaving books on the Montréal Metro for commuters to find.

  • CBC's Jonathan Ore notes the (perhaps surprisingly) innovative Transformers comics put out by IDW.

  • At The Conversation, Una McCormack writes about how the 13th Doctor being played by Jodie Whittaker fulfills her childhood dreams.

  • At The Globe and Mail, Russell Smith examines why the alt-right hates cultural experimentation and innovation so much.

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Shakespeare, and Caitians #toronto #shakespeare #cats #catsofinstagram #caturday startrek #caitians #worldsofthefederation

Shakespeare, here, is photographed in front of my copy of the venerable 1989 Star Trek reference book Worlds of the Federation, in front of the entry describing the felinoid species of Caitians introduced in the 1970s animated series.

A guy can dream, after all: Why not cats?
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  • Centauri Dreams shares a proposal for the relatively rapid industrialization of space in a few short years using smart robots with 3d printign technology.

  • To what extent, as Crooked Timber speculates, the Arthurian myth complex science fictional?

  • Dangerous Minds shares a lovely middle-finger-raised candle.

  • The Dragon's Gaze looks at the interactions between atmospheres and rotation for super-Earths and Venus-like worlds.

  • Joe. My. God. notes Wikileaks' call for Trump's tax returns.

  • Language Hat shares some words peculiar to Irish English.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that the words of Trump are meaningless.

  • Marginal Revolution's Tyler Cown considers some scenarios where nuclear weapons may end up being used.

  • The Russian Demographics Blog looks at births and deaths in Russia between 2000 and 2015.

  • Savage Minds considers, inspired by the recent Michel Foucault read-in protest to Trump, the relationships between Foucault's thinking and racism.

  • Window on Eurasia calls for a post-imperial Russian national identity, argues that Trump's assault on globalization will badly hurt a Russia dependent on foreign trade and investment, and wonders what Putin's Russia can actually offer Trump's United States.

  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell offers a unique strategy for journalists interested at penetrating Trump's shell: trick them into over-answering.

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  • Beyond the Beyond links to a US military science fiction contest.

  • The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly notes that journalism is meant to offer criticisms of the president.

  • Crooked Timber has an open forum about the inauguration.

  • Dangerous Minds shares photos from seminal 1980-era London club Billy's.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper reporting on a superflare on brown dwarf EPIC 220186653.

  • A Fistful of Euros' features Doug Merrill's meditations on 2009 and 2017.

  • Language Log looks at the etymology of the Vietnamese name "Nguyen."

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at Donald Trump's desire for a military parade.

  • The LRB Blog looks at Donald Trump as a winner.

  • Marginal Revolution links to a book on the economics of skyscrapers and notes a skyscraper boom in China.

  • Steve Munro looks at buses and their distribution on TTC networks.

  • Transit Toronto looks at how Exhibition Place work will complicate multiple bus routes.

  • Window on Eurasia notes low levels of Russian productivity, shares a Russian argument as to why Russia and the United States can never be allies in the long term, looks at counterproductive Russian interference in Circassian diaspora institutions, and shares argument suggesting Trump's style of language explains why he wants to forego complicated multilateral negotiations for bilateral ones where he can dominate.

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Wired shares excerpts from a recent interview with Bruce Sterling on what science fiction can teach its readers about fascism, and about what science fiction has to learn about itself.

“There’s a kind of rhetorical trick that goes on in science fiction, and in fascism, that kind of says, ‘Don’t really worry about what this means for the guy next door,'” Sterling says. “That it’s so cool and amazing that you should just surrender yourself to the rapture of its fantastic-ness.”

As an example he cites the ending of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, in which astronaut David Bowman is transformed into a superhuman entity called the Star Child. Sterling says the image is so striking and awe-inspiring that few viewers ever think to ponder the potential downsides of the Star Child.

“It’s not like anybody voted on the space baby,” he says. “It’s not like an ethics commission wrote on the space baby. It’s not like anybody says, ‘What if the space baby turns out to be cruel to certain ethnic minorities?'”

Sterling believes that it’s important to retain your ability to be moved and inspired, but equally important to be selective about the images and ideas that you choose to invest in.

“If you don’t have a sense of wonder it’s like you’re dead inside,” he says. “But your sense of wonder can be used to trick you. You can have a sense of wonder over a thing that’s basically a conjurer’s trick, or a con job, or a rip-off.”
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Charlie Stross has completed the grimdark vision of 2017 that he had begun last week. I linked to the first two parts on New Year's Eve.

Let's try to do better, eh?

October Theresa May resigns as Prime Minister of the UK after a delegation from the 1922 Committee pay her a visit with baseball bats. Boris Johnson, one-time leader-in-waiting, bribes his way onto one of the few still-flying airliners bound for the United States and tweets in mid-air about his intention to request political asylum and re-assert his US citizenship. The aircraft is intercepted over the Atlantic and shot down by F-15s acting at the request of President Pence (who really doesn't want to give BoJo a shot at making his run in 2024).

An elderly back-bencher is prevailed upon to do the honorable thing and accept the office of the Bailiff of the Chiltern Hundreds, thereby freeing up a seat for a by-election. On the basis of the theory that when you're up to your nose in shit the only way out is to take a deep breath and dive, Nigel Farage is fast-tracked as candidate for the by-election and, upon election, is promptly shoved through the door at Number Ten: at his first interview with the monarch he is told "you broke it, you fix it". (His subsequent plaintive requests for Jimmy Saville's phone number go unanswered.)

In the wake of the September melt-down, Germany's Bundestag elections produce huge voter swings to the AfD (from the CDU) and the Greens and Left (from the SPD), with the Pirate Party passing the critical 5% threshold for the first time. The AfD, taking heart from what they perceive as a swing to the right in global politics, go one step too far by openly calling for the rehabilitation of Adolf Hitler and are banned by the constitutional court; a Green/Left/Pirate coalition is formed and announces its intention of moving to leave the World Trade Organization to permit a sweeping regime of nationalization of banks and financial institutions and emergency measures to keep industry and agriculture going.

The new hard-left German government with it's Grumpy Cat logo is greeted with horror in the United States and is denounced in Moscow as Communism. However, when the new regime in Berlin announces its intention of forgiving all personal debt owed by Greek borrowers (denominated in the collapsed Euro, hence not worth very much at all) and to institute a universal basic income scheme throughout the EU and work to abolish wage slavery for all it buys them a lot of friends. The situation is very murky, and made murkier by the slow, unanounced withdrawal of Russian tanks from the Baltic region and their re-appearance further south.

(October gets much much worse, and as for the remainder of the year, well.)
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  • Anthropology.net looks at the genetics of how the Inuit have adapted to cold weather.

  • 'Nathan Smith's Apostrophen shares the author's plans for the coming year.

  • Beyond the Beyond's Bruce Sterling shares Margaret Atwood's commitment to fighting for freedom of expression.

  • Crooked Timber asks its readers for recommendations in Anglophone science fiction.

  • D-Brief notes the discovery of the human mesentery.

  • The Dragon's Gaze looks at the protoplanetary disk of LkCa 15 disk.

  • Far Outliers looks at some lobsters imported to Japan from (a) Christmas Island.

  • Joe. My. God. notes Janet Jackson has given birth.

  • Language Hat examines the contrast often made between indigenous and immigrant languages.

  • Language Log looks at the names of the stations of the Haifa subway.

  • Steve Munro notes Bathurst Station's goodbye to Honest Ed's.

  • The Planetary Society Blog examines the Dawn probe's discoveries at Ceres in the past year.

  • Window on Eurasia looks at how the permafrost of the Russian far north is melting and endangering entire cities, and contrasts the prosperity of the Estonian city of Narva relative to the decay of adjacent Ivangorod.

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Over his blog Antipope, Charlie Stross has a future timeline--so far, up to two parts--imagining what it would be like for 2017 to turn out worse than 2016. So far, the timeline's pretty grim, giving us an idea of what perhaps we should work to avoid.
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  • blogTO notes that after the Berlin attack, the Toronto Christmas Market has upped its security.

  • D-Brief looks at how roads divide ecosystems.

  • The Dragon's Gaze notes that WD 1536+520 apparently has solar levels of rock-forming elements.

  • Language Log examines central European metaphors for indecipherable languages.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money is diffident on the question of whether Sanders could have won versus Trump.

  • Marginal Revolution looks at the recent depreciation of Canada's natural resources.

  • The Planetary Society Blog talks about a recent essay collection noting the strides made in planetary science over the past quarter-century.

  • Cheri Lucas Rowlands shares photos from her trip to Hawai'i.

  • Seriously Science notes Santa's risk of personal injury.

  • Torontoist looks at a University of Toronto professor's challenges to a law on gender identity.

  • Whatever's John Scalzi likes what Disney has done, and is doing, to Star Wars.
  • Window on Eurasia argues that Russians might want fascism but lack a leader and argues Western defeatism versus Russia is as ill-judged now as it was in 1979.

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I originally posted this essay at r/daystrominstitute, drawing it from a post I made on Tumblr.

Lots of fans of Star Trek have expressed disbelief, or concern, at the suggest that religion is mostly a dead letter among humans (and perhaps other species) in the 24th century. Isn't this just a presumption stemming ultimately from the doctrinaire atheism of Gene Roddenberry? Why, they ask fairly, would a type of belief system that has been enormously common throughout human history vanish in the space of a few centuries?

Roddenberry's prejudices on the subject of religion did bias him. I'm not unconvinced that the future of religion in Star Trek is inaccurately depicted, despite this depiction's origins. One influential recent study of religion in society, Norris and Inglehart’s 2004 sociology study Sacred and Secular, took a look at patterns of religious belief in developed Western societies. They made the compelling argument that religious belief is most popular in societies marked by insecurity, that the subjective psychological comforts of religion were most popular in insecure societies. They suggested that much of the gap in religiosity between the United States and western Europe, for instance, could be explained by the fact that the United States does not have a comprehensive welfare state. In a very real sense, religion focused as a coping tool for people faced with severe stresses, whether as a morale-booster or as some sort of institutional support via charity and the like. Nothing in the model suggests that this model would not work with other, non-Western societies.

We know that by the 22nd century, the Earth is stable, at peace and unified and verging on the utopian. What happens to religion when the entire world has a comprehensive welfare state, something more complete than what a given western European country has now? What about the future of this world? What role does religion play when no one has been terribly insecure for decades, generations, even centuries? Can religion attract anything but a niche audience in this sort of environment? I think there's a real argument to be made that no sizable number of 24th century people on Earth or any other stable human world would feel particularly compelled by religious perspectives, not with materialism that has been so consistently successful for centuries.

For humans, there's also the question of how religion ended up. Some of the most secularized societies nowadays are those which had the most thorough-going religious regimes beforehand, and which saw a counter-reaction against religious institutions. Sometimes, as in Québec in the 1960s, this was triggered by the simple incapacity of religious institutions to offer a way forward in an increasingly cosmopolitan world. Sometimes, this was triggered by the revelation of crimes committed by religious figures of note. Clerical sex abuse scandals come to mind as exactly the sorts of things which have led people to lose faith in established religions. Worse can happen than mere sexual assault, of course: genocide, say, or general dictatorship. What happens to a religion when the actions and values of its hierarchy conflict with what followers think is right? We know the answer: The best-case scenario from the perspective of the religion is that people stop paying attention to it, and the worst-case scenario is that people become actively hostile to it.

Is there any reason to think that, in the terrible 21st century of the Star Trek universe, religions would have acquitted themselves well, would have proven their value? Or is there reason to think, based on what we have seen in our own world, that religion might become another thing to be tossed out for the future's sake?

Would other species have undergone similar experiences? Maybe, if their histories were at all similar to humanity's, with religion as a belief system that served its purpose in its day before negative consequences became too unignorable. I wonder if Vulcan might have undergone this sort of secularization in the aftermath of the conflicts leading up to Surak, for instance. (Were the Romulans religious dissenters?)

It's worth looking at the experience of the Bajorans, who are generally depicted as being religious and being fine with that. How are they different? Most notably, they have a religion that does demonstrably describes reality, complete with god-like entities whose existences have been confirmed by multiple external observers. Before the confirmation of the Prophets' existence, Bajoran religion seems to have been helped by what may be a lack of religious oppression: Women seem to have just as many rights as men, for instance, as evidenced by the two female kais we see, Kira’s confusion in “Rejoined” over why Jadzia Dax cannot get back together with Lenara Kahn suggests to me that homophobia is not an issue on Bajor, and the ease with which the d'jarra caste system was dropped suggests it also was not an integral component of the religion. I suppose this is not a surprise: If anyone could design a workable religion for a culture that has been enormously stable and successful for tens of thousands of years, the Prophets who see beyond linear time could.

There almost certainly are minorities of humans who continue to cling to the old faiths, minorities in the main human worlds and perhaps relatively more substantial populations on different colony worlds. Other civilizations with their own histories may follow the path of humanity, or do otherwise. Perhaps if there's a sufficiently convincing religion, one that seems true and that seems to offer convincing gains, it might actually gain converts. (The Bajorans may soon be making lots of new followers outside their species.) By and large, though, I would argue that the highly secularized future of Star Trek is a perfectly plausible future. How many people need a god to offer them comfort in a near-utopia?
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Journalist Kate Heartfield's essay for Article Magazine, "Decolonizing the future", provides an exciting take on how indigenous writers of science fiction are rewriting the genre, on imagining futures for their peoples and their cultures.

Wshe was in eighth grade, Darcie Little Badger read in a book at school that the Lipan Apache people — her own people — were “extinct.”

“Like dinosaurs!” she would joke on Twitter years later.

Now she’s an oceanographer who specializes in phytoplankton genetics and a writer of speculative fiction. In one of her recent short stories, “Né łe”, a Lipan Apache veterinarian travels to Mars.

“It really is for me all about the survival aspect,” she explains. “As I was growing up and reading a lot of science fiction and fantasy, I wasn’t really seeing Native characters. That made me wonder why not. Are they all gone, or are they forgotten? This hit me really hard because my tribe really struggled for a long time to survive and is really still struggling… That act of existing, in a science fiction story, in a futuristic setting, is a triumph of endurance to me and it does go against the narrative of colonialism that we really don’t exist.”

The concept of “the future” only exists in the present. It can be shaped by the same colonial structures and narratives that shape the North American present, or it can affirm Indigenous land and sovereignty.

This global, multidirectional work of decolonization has always been a part of the science fiction (SF) canon it critiques — Afrofuturism, for example, has a long literary tradition. It’s long been part of the work of First Nations, Métis and Inuit writers. But Daniel Heath Justice, a speculative fiction writer himself and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Literature and Expressive Culture, says the Indigenous science fiction of North America is now coming into a “golden age.”

“One of the battles that Indigenous writers had for a long time was to have their work seen as real literature and I don’t think we have that same struggle now in the same way. It’s ongoing but I don’t think it’s as acute as it was. So I think now a lot of writers may feel a little bit more comfort in going into genres that may or may not have been seen as having a lot of literary merit for a while.”
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  • blogTO praises the food court of Village by the Grange.

  • The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly talks about the importance of self-care in times of stress.

  • The Dragon's Gaze notes that KIC 8462852 does seem to have faded throughout the Kepler mission.

  • The Dragon's Tales notes that Planet Nine may be especially faint in the infrared and looks at the challenges mapping polar regions on Titan.

  • Imageo notes how melting of the ice cap continues in the Arctic Ocean.

  • Language Hat reports on a new script for the Fulani language.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that people who blame identity politics for the victory of Trump were not exactly non-supporters of the main.

  • Marginal Revolution considers the consequences of bribing the American president.

  • The NYRB Daily shares Charles Simic's deep concerns for the future of the United States.

  • Jim Belshaw's Personal Reflections discusses Australia as a target for immigration and calls for honesty in discussions on migration.

  • Peter Rukavina reports on the visit of then-Princess Elizabeth and her husband 65 years ago.

  • Whatever's John Scalzi makes the fair point that he can hardly be expected to know what his Trump-era novels will be like.

  • Window on Eurasia compares Russia's happiness with Trump's election to its elation over Obama's in 2008, and looks at how Russia is facing decline on a lot of fronts.

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  • blgoTO notes how the Guild Inn was once a popular resort.

  • Centauri Dreams notes the import of real scientists in Arrival.

  • Crooked Timber notes that anti-Trump Republicans did not seem to matter in the election.

  • The Dragon's Gaze looks at cutting-edge options for studying exoplanets.

  • False Steps notes a proposed American spacecraft that would have landed on water.

  • Far Outliers notes the pointless internment of foreign domestics in Second World War Britain.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at the potential impact of a Michael Bloomberg presidential run.

  • Marginal Revolution looks at the development of apps which aim to find out the preferred songs of birds.

  • Steve Munro and Transit Toronto look at ongoing controversy over the 514 Cherry streetcar line's noise, including upcoming public meetings.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer suggests the election of Trump could lead to the election of a similar populist to the presidency of Mexico.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy deals with the odd and seemingly meaningless distinction made by Americans between "republic" and "democracy".

  • Window on Eurasia wonders if Trump's negotiating style might lead to worse Russian-American relations and looks at his business history in Russia.
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  • Apostrophen's 'Nathan Smith talks about his upcoming session at the Naked Heart literary festival here in Toronto.

  • blogTO notes that Metrolinx is set to kill Bombardier's LRT contract.

  • Centauri Dreams talks about the discovery of planets in the system of HD 87646, one not unlike Alpha Centauri.

  • Dangerous Minds talks about a documentary on skinheads.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to two papers about the discovery of planetary debris in orbit of white dwarfs.
  • The Dragon's Tales links to a paper speculating if the primordial atmosphere of Titan was ammonia.

  • The Everyday Sociology Blog talks about the vote and immigrants.

  • The LRB Blog notes the worrying state of Brexit rhetoric.

  • The Map Room Blog links to a digital atlas of Mi'kmaq names in Nova Scotia.

  • Marginal Revolution looks at the economic meltdown in Zimbabwe.

  • The Planetary Society Blog looks at China's powerful new Long March 5 rocket.

  • Towleroad notes Kim Davis' large legal bill.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy's Orin Kerr supports Hillary, another noting how Utah can save the US from Trump.

  • Window on Eurasia argues Putin's Russia is more dangerous than the Soviet Union and suggests that the official definition of the Russian nation is brittle.

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  • blogTO recommends some Toronto-related Vine clips.

  • Centauri Dreams notes a SETI study of Boyajian's Star.

  • Crooked Timber criticizes one author's take in the politics of science fiction.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper examining the auroras of hot Jupiters.

  • The Dragon's Tales links to a paper finding that atmospheric methane did not warm the early Earth.

  • Joe. My. God. reports on how a Scottish hotel owner's homophobic statements led to his inn's delisting.

  • Language Log links to a linguist trying to preserve dying languages.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money takes issue with Nate Silver's polling and prediction methods.

  • The LRB Blog notes the background behind Wallonia's near-veto of Canada-EU free trade.

  • Marginal Revolution looks at how economic issues do not correlate with support for Trump.

  • The Planetary Society Weblog shares photos of the Schiaparelli crash site.

  • pollotenchegg notes the degree to which economic activity in Ukraine is centralized in Kyiv.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes a poll suggesting conservative views are unwelcome at Yale.

  • Both Window on Eurasia and the Russian Demographics Blog note a projection that Chinese will soon become the second-largest nationality in Russia.

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  • Bad Astronomy notes that a NASA probe has photographed the site on Mars where the ESA's Schiaparelli lander crashed.

  • The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly writes about being an immigrant, of sorts, in the United States.

  • C.J. Cherry announces that work on her history of the Alliance-Union universe is continuing.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper looking at the ionization of protoplanetary disks by cosmic radiations.

  • The Dragon's Tales finds evidence for Planet Nine in the orbits of Kuiper Belt objects and the inner Oort cloud.

  • Far Outliers looks at the culture of addiction in Appalachia.

  • Joe. My. God. notes how a Russian embassy has mocked the European Union for defending GLBT rights.

  • Language Log looks at the sounds made by speakers of English, native and Chinese-language mother tongue both.

  • The Map Room Blog links to a map of the river basins of the United States.

  • Torontoist looks at the history of clowns in Toronto.

  • Window on Eurasia looks at how Central Asia is non-Muslim, reports a call for a historical reorientation of Azerbaijan, reports on a Tatar dramatist's fear that Russia is trying to assimilate non-Russians, and looks at how a court in Sakha has defended the constitutional rights of the republic and its titular people.

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Eighty-odd actors, writers and other luminaries in Star Trek recently issued a statement against Donald Trump's candidacy. It is strongly against the man and what he represents.

Star Trek has always offered a positive vision of the future, a vision of hope and optimism, and most importantly, a vision of inclusion, where people of all races are accorded equal respect and dignity, where individual beliefs and lifestyles are respected so long as they pose no threat to others. We cannot turn our backs on what is happening in the upcoming election. Never has there been a presidential candidate who stands in such complete opposition to the ideals of the Star Trek universe as Donald Trump. His election would take this country backward, perhaps disastrously. We need to elect a president who will move this country forward into the kind of future we all dream of: where personal differences are understood and accepted, where science overrules superstition, where people work together instead of against each other.

The resolution of conflicts on Star Trek was never easy. Don’t remain aloof –vote! We have heard people say they will vote Green or Libertarian or not at all because the two major candidates are equally flawed. That is both illogical and inaccurate. Either Secretary Clinton or Mr. Trump will occupy the White House. One is an amateur with a contemptuous ignorance of national laws and international realities, while the other has devoted her life to public service, and has deep and valuable experience with the proven ability to work with Congress to pass desperately needed legislation. If, as some say, the government is broken, a protest vote will not fix it.

Have you just turned 18? Have you moved? Have you never voted before? Some states have early registration (early October) and/or absentee ballots. You can’t vote if you are not registered. So make it so. Go to https://www.rockthevote.com , a non-profit, non-partisan organization, and fulfill your civic duty. Because, damn it, you are a citizen of the USA, with an obligation to take part in our democracy! Do this not merely for yourself but for all the generations that follow. Vote for a future of enlightenment and inclusion, a future that will someday lead us to the stars.

Star Trek is all about hope and optimism, about the desire we can learn about our universe and each other, about the belief that we can recover from the traumas of the past and move on into a better future together. The only thing about this that surprises me about this statement, honestly, is that it did not appear before now.

(Yes, I am sure there are some people who are fans who do not get this. I am reminded of the man who wrote DC Comics to complain about a moment of near-romantic tenderness between Scotty and Uhura. As the comic's editor noted, this man clearly did not understand what kind of show he was watching.)

Armin Shimerman's defense of this statement is worth noting.

Shimerman tracked the origins of the statement to the Star Trek Mission: New York convention (where Shimerman joined other members of the DS9 cast on-stage to offer advice to Star Trek: Discovery actors and defend the Ferengi against accusations of antisemitism). “I was thinking about it for a while. In fact, there was a lot of political talk amongst us while we were in the Javits Center,” Shimerman said. “I thought it would be a very good idea to speak to millennials and to fans of the show about our feelings… it’s not about one person, it’s really about everybody working together as a community.”

Shimerman describes the statement as aligned with Star Trek values. “The show has always aspired to the common good, of all people. And we aspire to universal inclusion. And when someone like Trump represents the opposite of that, I think all of us say ‘it’s time to speak up,’” Shimerman said.

For the signatories (and presumably anyone who understands Star Trek at all), Donald Trump’s candidacy is antithetical to the humanist values espoused by Gene Roddenberry (though his politics and ethics were far from perfect) and the shows that followed his example.

“He said things about immigrants that are impossible to accept. He said things about minority groups that are impossible to accept. We look at his background and we see he’s less than qualified to be the President of the United States. He’s not qualified,” Shimerman said. “To me, he’s primarily an amateur.”

Shimerman was particularly revolted by Trump’s numerous statements demonizing Muslims and Muslim-Americans. “My family was decimated by the Holocaust. I am a first-generation American. My father was born in Europe. He lost all of his family… yes, that puts a particular fear in me.”

All I'll add is that Louise Fletcher is one of the eighty-odd. If the person who plays Kai Winn thinks this is a bad idea ...

Thanks, guys, for reaffirming my fandom.
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  • At Apostrophen, 'Nathan Smith describes his experience at the CAN•CON conference in Ottawa.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper speculating about the consequences of observing a large extraterrestrial civilization.

  • Far Outliers notes how Chinese soldiers in 1937 Shanghai did not want to take prisoners.

  • The Frailest Thing's Michael Sacasas considers the idea of distraction in relationship to high technology.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money considers the overlooked food workers who were victims of 9/11.

  • Savage Minds links to a variety of anthropologically-themed links.

  • Seriously Science notes that houses in rich neighbourhoods contain more diverse insect populations than houses in poor neighbourhoods.

  • Strange Maps looks at Proxima Centauri b and considers the idea of an "eyeball Earth".

  • Transit Toronto notes plans for construction at Queen and Dufferin.


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August 2017

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