Blogworthy: Good News, Toilet Paper Economics, Star Trek Swearing, Wither Betelgeuse?, Tales from the Loop, Good-bye Dirk Pitt

Some Good News with John Krasinski: The star of The Office and Jack Ryan started his own Youtube show dedicated to bringing good news to a world that desperately needs it. Thanks John, this is awesome!

What Everyone’s Getting Wrong About the Toilet Paper Shortage: Sure, some people are buying more toilet paper than they need but the economics of the situation – and the constraints of the consumer vs. commercial supply chains – are the real culprit. Short version? We’re all staying at home … and we’re using a lot more toilet paper at home instead of at the office.

That time the US Secret Service mistook a cyberpunk RPG for a hacker’s handbook – Another recounting of the Secret Service’s raid against Steve Jackson Games over their GURPS Cyberpunk sourcebook.

Star Trek: Picard Showrunner Explains Why the Franchise Swears Now – The short answer? Because they can. Four letter curse words are a no-no when your show needs to survive on syndication and meet FCC broadcast requirements. With streaming, the rules are different. That said … I’m of two minds on this. Sure, you could say there’s been cursing all along in the Federation, but we never saw it. Cursing is a huge part of day-to-day life, and it doesn’t make sense that it would simply go away. And let’s be honest, watching Admiral Kirsten Clancy curse out the legendary Jean Luc Picard is frakking great.

A the same time, the Federation is a utopia of sorts. In a future with warp drive and casual teleportation, where much of society is dedicated to achieving their personal and societal best, is it really so unbelievable that our descendants wouldn’t curse? The lack of cursing helped reinforce Star Trek’s positivity as much as its utopian ideals did.

Don’t Go, Betelgeuse – The red giant star Betelgeuse is one of the brightest stars in the sky and a prominent part of the constellation Orion (comprising his left shoulder). Over the last year, the star’s dimmed noticeably, giving rise to speculation that it might explode into a supernova. While that would be a spectacular event, it would alter our night sky forever … and not everyone’s ready for that. Admittedly, the dimming of Betelgeuse has taken a backseat to the much more terrestrial crisis of COVID-19, but I’ll be sad if the star is missing when Orion returns to our evening skies next winter.

Tales from the Loop Official Trailer – The beautiful and atmospheric Tales from the Loop art and fiction book is now a beautiful and atmospheric live-action series by Amazon. Set in a 1980s that never was, the series captures Simon Stålenhag artistic style as well as the book’s subtle sense wonder and mystery.

Clive Cussler is dead – Cussler passed away in February 2020 and while this saddened me, it also made me remember the great times I had reading his classic maritime action novels featuring Dirk Pitt and company: Raise the Titanic, Cyclops, Night Probe and many more. I spent much of my childhood binging his books and the expanded universe that he imagined. One of these days I might need to go back and re-read one of them, just for the sheer nostalgia value.

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Admiral Kirsten Clancy and Jean Luc Picard have a pleasant conversation, punctuated by the occasional expletive. Credit: CBS

 

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