Thursday, December 20, 2012

Captain's Log: Of Rainbows and New Earths

Just a couple of quick notes before the world ends.  An addendum to my post of the Reading Rainbow Remix with LeVar Burton--the San Francisco Chronicle published an article about the rebirth of Reading Rainbow as the most popular education ap on iTunes.  The Chron interviewed LB at a recent Star Trek convention in San Francisco, and also posted a q & a from that interview.  This post also includes Jimmy Fallon performing the Reading Rainbow song as if it were done by Jim Morrison and the Doors.  Maybe you have to be of a certain age to appreciate this one, but it's great.  So is the article, and so is what LB is doing.

Another day, another new candidate for a habitable "Earth-like" planet in another solar system.  This one is one of several planets orbitting Tau Ceti, a planetary system that figured in several Star Trek episodes (TOS, TNG and VGR.) [The inevitable artist's conception is left.]  Though Tau Ceti is 12 light years away, it qualifies as comparatively close.  But Trek fans can tremble at quotes like these at the end of the Guardian article on this find:

Professor Steve Vogt, another team member, from the University of California at Santa Cruz, said: "This discovery is in keeping with our emerging view that virtually every star has planets, and that the galaxy must have many such potentially habitable Earth-sized planets. They are everywhere, even right next door."

Professor Chris Tinney, an Australian member from the University of New South Wales, said: "As we stare at the night sky, it is worth contemplating that there may well be more planets out there than there are stars, some fraction of which may well be habitable."

Back to television: we've been watching the first 3 seasons of The Mentalist on DVD (they've also been running on cable, bunched in several ep packages.)  Simon Baker plays a kind of trickster Sherlock Holmes--Sherlock crossed with Harpo, sort of. Maybe it's a coincidence that Peter Lauritson, a producer on TNG, DS9 and VGER  is an associate producer of this show, but I've spotted a number of Trek alumni in various episodes, mostly from Enterprise: Connor Trinneer, John Billingsley (playing a fake psychic who sounded a good deal like Dr. Phlox) and Linda Park (she was especially fine in a major guest role,) but also Armin Shimerman from DS9.  Maybe others?  Anyway, always nice to see alums in a new light.  Update: Saw an ep directed by Voyager's Roxanne Dawson (she's done 3), and appearance by DS9's Robert Picardo on the very next ep.

1 comment:

Maurice Mitchell said...

I love Reading Rainbow. Lots of good information Captain. BTW you should join our blog hop! Sign up here