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Everything posted by Peterkin

  1. I didn't like the Tyson version of Cosmos, either when I first saw it. My bugaboo was the cartoons, rather than his tone. Also, his ship of the imagination looks like it was made by Samsung and everything was too flashy. But then, I decided to cut him some slack - it can't be any picnic to follow Sagan. And the representation of scientists was a more fair and inclusive. All the same, the first Cosmos series was a landmark of my youth - along with many others of my generation. But it contained the Big Lie that bedazzled my generation: we believed Science could accomplish anything, solve any problem, overcome all obstacles, keep on improving and improving the world and unite humanity. Which reminds me, one my SO's favourite SF movies is Contact, which I didn't think was at all realistic and had what I considered a major miss on the God question. I liked Close Encounters, even though it was equally implausible. Adult programming in any genre is hard to come by. When they label something as 'adult', they mean violent and dirty - but what we're craving is intelligent and advanced. The last little while we had satellite tv service, we subscribed to a science channel. Hugely disappointing! Most of the programming is juvenile and sensationalistic (Who murdered King Tut? War of the dinosaurs!) Their best stuff was the nature shows we get free on public television. However, You Tube has the Feynman lectures - I don't know whether you have to pay for them, but it's more worth subscribing to than Prime (unless you want to save on mail order shipping). We really enjoyed this one, Fun to Imagine.
  2. They'd only leave again, like they did Europe.
  3. We have them, too. I've been admonished for mentioning this threat in a global context, so I won't, but as local threats go, it's quite bad enough. https://www.nationalobserver.com/2021/09/19/analysis/shocking-anti-vaccine-protests-plagued-canadas-election-spawned-resurgent-far Meanwhile, the most conservative and permissive administration in the country, the premier who has been loudly "open for business" as the Delta variant rampaged through his province, finally backed down - just a couple of months too late. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/kenney-military-alberta-health-care-1.6181646 And the idjit is trying to cut nurses' salaries! What he actually wants is to privatize the provincial health care system - which was built up with public funds. They're everywhere! PS It's difficult for anyone with even the most tenuous hold on reality to reconcile the picture on that big flag with this picture.
  4. That's also true. I didn't say it was a majority of corporations that see the need for change. But some are beginning to. (I've been reading a book.) Capitalism on the 20th century predatory and profligate model is obviously unsustainable, just like the world it feeds on. Some top executives and shareholders are smart enough to see that and take steps toward 21st century self-preservation. The author , who seems to know whereof he writes, doesn't give them terrific odds of succeeding: about 12% probability, as compared to 60+% of catastrophic collapse or decline and fall.
  5. Hey! I thought we were against vegetables in aspic!
  6. Any and all. Really: every attempt to alleviate poverty improves the community where it's implemented. However, most of the the pilot projects have been small scale, temporary and insecure as to continuous funding. In order to make the kind of difference that matters, UBI needs to be a right, not a handout, and it needs to raise the whole population to the same minimum standard, rather than given to a lucky few selected on some irrational basis. That way, there is no jealousy and resentment; no unfair treatment of groups or individuals. And of course, a universal basic income is way far cheaper and simpler and less error- and fraud-prone to administer than a hodge-podge of social assistance programs. Don't worry about the civil servants who would be made redundant: there are plenty of understaffed social services to bulk up. Not necessarily. Some corporate boards are waking up to the fact that social responsibility is also sound business practice. As well as the lavish philanthropy in which some of the ultra-rich indulge, there is a movement toward co-operation and fair dealing with their employees and neighbours.
  7. Ah well. Nothing is foolproof. (....So, these two super-yachts collide in mid-ocean, bikini girls and exotic pets treading water all around them, and the owners send their confidential secretaries out in two dinghies to exchange gold-edged business cards from their respective high profile law firms....) What's ironic? Crime has always paid handsomely, as long as it was done on a large scale.
  8. I used to have that in the hospital cafeteria. We never made anything but clear red and orange - never green! - jello at home, though we occasionally had the canned fruit cocktail. I don't remember it tasting of any particular fruit, except the cloudy pear juice and the one half maraschino cherry we fought over. I think they cooked the hell out of it, denaturing the enzymes.
  9. 🤣Now, that's a good way to present shredded vegetables! Meat, OTOH, not so much. I've made head cheese and pork aspic, a long time ago when my parents had a farm. Didn't like it - not the making nor the eating. BTW - don't use pineapple in your jelly; it won't set.
  10. The fact that something is impossible to achieve in the near future doesn't necessarily mean that a generation can't be inspired by it. Jules Verne wrote fanciful, impossible, often ridiculous science fiction that enthralled boys the world over from 1865 onward to speculate on space, the scope and possibilities of science, and maybe even what they themselves might accomplish someday if they studied science. They didn't get to the moon, but they did submerge deep under the ocean and explore the poles; they and their immediate descendants did discover and invent a whole lot of both wonderful and terrifying things along the way. Eventually, some humans did get to space, and the moon, and Mars is almost within reach. How many of the clever people working on those projects have been inspired in their formative years by unrealistic science fiction?
  11. I've never added gelatin to a fruit jelly - the kind you put in a jar and spread on bread. Extra pectin is a must, though: what occurs naturally in fruits is enough for marmalade and some jams, but not jelly. Lots of pectin (recipes are available for exact proportion to different fruits on line), lots of sugar and long, tedious cooking. It's jelly in American, too. Jello is the brand-turned-generic name for dessert jelly, the kind that stands up by itself. That requires gelatin (from animal integuments) or agar-agar, the vegetarian version (from algae).
  12. Yes, but you'd be lumbered with all those doomed, unnamed extras we know will be be killed as soon as the ship is taken over (which happens with tedious regularity) by malevolent aliens. I used to find Picard's and Cisco's Shekespearean monologues annoying, but grew accustomed to them on third of fourth annoyed viewing. AI was problematic - just a step or two past the maudlin line - but I loved the robots. Hated Ex Machina but liked Simone; Westworld was a bit over the top, but great fun; really like Bicentennial Man (Williams' best performance, if only because of the restraint that must have cost him dearly) I can forgive an entertaining film or series a lot of flaws. The only things I can't abide are blue-grey sets and smartass kids in the captain's chair.
  13. Colossus? 2010 was pretty good; in fact, one of the best depictions of AI and its potential problems. My SO's constant, rankling beef about Star Trek is the "synchronous orbit" where you see the planet rotate by underneath, and yet they never lose contact with the away team. That, and the "full stop" - in space. Mine is: You've developed warp drive and teleportation, but lost the concept of seatbelts and lanyards. Oddly, these niggles never stopped us watching the shows.
  14. I hear villas are a good investment - so long as they're not located on a muddy cliff in California, or on a Caribbean island, or in near a coast of Florida, or.... On sober thoughts, the yacht is probably a safer bet. Bring lots of animals!
  15. Not only recall that series from a 12" B&W screen, but also the same problem. While each series encountered some truly alien life-forms, the humanoid aliens with whom the main cast ever got to interact were much of a sameness: same size, same shape, same life requirements, same hair in different arrangements, most the females even wear skirts. Skirts!!! They got a bit more creative with costume and makeup in Babylon 5, but thy were still all okay with Earth gravity and most of them still breathe oxygen. I'm sort of reconciled to that - I sympathize with the logistical problems and the plight of the actors, even having all those funny noses and head-bumps glued on, let alone full Pak'ma'ra makeup. At least they tried for variety!
  16. Voyageur was okay. DS9 was better - more complex, more varied, better character development. That's what we're watching - again! - now. Two things that annoy me about all ST series: aliens all come in Earth races and all habitable planets have the same air, gravity and vegetation; rs' nostalgia, interests and tastes are exclusively for 20th century earth art, technology and fashion.
  17. The loud music, because we're old and do not hear as well as we'd like; if the background is noisy, we can't understand the dialogue. We've learned to turn down the volume and use the closed caption feature, which is more or less obtrusive. The only up-side is that I've learned to appreciate foreign programs. The awestruck voice normally goes with dumbed-down content. For pure fantasy, we really enjoyed two series (Eccleston and Tenant) of Doctor Who - so we bought all of Torchwood and hated it. It's going to the next library sale, along with Fringe and The X Files, if library sales ever come back. I rather foolishly bought all of Stargate Atlantis, because there is a lot of it and our internet goes down in bad weather. So many missed opportunities! They keep having shootout adventures instead of letting me explore that alien city. *sigh!*
  18. I have complete sympathy for that. Way too much music behind everything these days, and the narrator makes a huge effort to sound like an eight-year-old, talking to others of his age. I make some allowance: if this plays well in elementary school, it's doing some good - but i don't enjoy watching it. There are some good ones, though. I prefer BBC productions as a rule. A favourite around here was Rough Science. I also quite like The Bone Detectives - I guess because of my past occupation, and what I like about that is pretty much what was wrong with the much sexier Bones. The Martian; Apollo 13; Galaxy Quest
  19. Here is a book that casts some light on the means of creating different realities in different minds.
  20. Besides the space shows, there have been some good fictional ones on other aspects of science - medical, archeological and forensic - all of which have good and poor examples. Futuristic series are more fantasy and wishful thinking than hard science, but they're fun - and I don't see them as harmful. People who can't separate the mad/evil genius trope from the white magic of epidemiologists are unlikely to be influenced by tv. All the same, I'd happily sit through another series like Babylon 5 or Deep Space 9 (I'm tied of replaying the originals)
  21. Science fiction fills a largish segction of world literature and cinema. I suppose any genre of any medium can be bad for society. Depends on the intent, content, execution, distribution and audience reception.
  22. There is a difference between income paid out in dividends, collected as rent above maintenance costs, profit above cost of items sold and the assessed value of permanent assets, fixtures, structures, etc. That difference is reflected in the taxation of different revenue sources - and often misrepresented for tax purposes by a bewildering array of financial devices and manoeuvres. However, control of valuable assets, including those negative ones in the form of debt, carries considerable economic clout. If the political system is corrupt, as is the case in some nations, that clout translates into political power, which in turn, dictates the tax structure and allocation of tax revenues. (I just know I'll hate myself in the morning....) Why are we all - including ICU doctors, roofing contracts and single mothers with two part-time fast food gigs - the lazy mouse?
  23. I'm not smart enough to work that one out.
  24. Who is represented by the lazy mouse? Schools? Fire departments? Space stations? Symphony orchestras? Refugee centers? Addiction rehab centers? All of those entities benefit from, and many depend on, charitable donations and volunteers. Charity takes up the slack left by government funding and staffing of enterprises that benefit society at all income levels. That's why donations are tax deductible. (Whether political donations should be included is a moot point here.) While the rich and some of the middle class can buy security and other services from the private sector, the working poor, the unemployed poor, the rejected, marginalized, the old, disabled and disenfranchised cannot. They depend on government (tax revenues) and charity. Of those, government is the more accountable and permanent: it can plan several years ahead and allocate known quantities of revenue according to some rationale of need and urgency. Meanwhile, charity is erratic in intake and whimsical in allocation. The only advantage of charitable organizations is that they don't change leadership and direction every four years. There is certainly a cultural element in which people prefer as their social welfare facility: charity is individualistic, dramatic, often ostentatious; civil service is anonymous, reliable, mundane. (PS, when both were snatched up by a pair of owls to feed to their nestlings, the lazy mouse just had time to get off a jocular wink at his industrious brother...)
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