Saturday, June 18, 2011
Captain's Log: Cosmos, Trek, Torchwood, Doctor Who & Harry Potter
A powerful beam of energy blasts out from the center of a massive black hole as it rips apart and devours a star (as artistically envisioned above), to the amazement of earth astronomers.
And while budget cutbacks threaten the search for exoplanets that might host life, the Pentagon is pumping bucks into research on interstellar travel. "The Defense Department first proposed Star Wars," begins the AP story. "Now it wants Star Trek."
As a NASA satellite is set to make first contact (via a robot arm) with an asteroid, new research suggests asteroids may be incubators of life. Meanwhile, out at the edge of the solar system, V'ger--sorry, a Voyager spacecraft--is making contact with a previously unknown phenomenon, and is described as "riding magnetic bubbles."
In Star Trek news, the filmmakers in charge of the new Kirk crew wallow towards a less than promising-sounding script for the next movie (and fans notice how complicated and unfocused the process is when the filmmakers are making lots of other films rather than concentrating on Trek), while several of the principals in the last old (or "real") Kirk movie, Star Trek Generations, reveal that the stars as well as the director pleaded to change the manner of Kirk's death up to and including the day of shooting, all to no avail. It was reshot later after a test audience hated it, and some fans still hate the result.
Captain Picard Day!
Over in the UK, things are not going well for the financially strapped BBC in the financially strapped country, and coincidentally or not, Doctor Who will not be back for a full season in 2012. The current series six has been split in two, with the shows from the first half to be made available on DVD this summer.
Meanwhile, the new Torchwood, the Doctor Who spinoff series that's become sort of American, will premiere on the U.S. Starz network on July 8, with Star Trek's Q, John De Lancie and Nana Visitor in the guest cast during the series. John Barrowman as Captain Jack and Eve Myles as Gwen Cooper are the last surviving original Brit cast members.
buzz over the imminent announcement of what Pottermore is all about. It's very probably not a new Harry book but some sort of Internet site. Don't be too surprised if Google is involved.
Another article notes the emergence of Hogwarts summer camps for kids. The best part of this article for me is about the second grader who raised his reading to sixth grade level by reading the Harry books .
And there's this pretty interesting piece on the origin of American Superheroes in the 1930s immigrant experience. As well as over on my Captain Future's Dreaming Up Daily site, my piece on the psychological function of the shadow, as demonstrated in the Star Trek episode, "The Enemy Within."