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“Intervention” Stargate Universe 2.01

SGU Season 2, Episode 1: “Intervention”. While the new episode was quite good and did resolve a lot of issues, it did so through brute force. How can Commander Kiva die? She’s Rhona Mitra. Did you hear me? RHONA MITRA!!! Could you not afford her paycheck or something? She would have kicked copious amounts of ass if somehow integrated into the show.

Most of the crew of Destiny has been put off ship on a hard and desolate world. But a few remain hidden aboard and formulate a plan to re-take the ship utilizing the radiation from the nearby pulsar to force the Lucian Alliance forced to lay down their arms and return control of the ship.

TJ isn’t pregnant anymore and no, there will not be a baby aboard the Destiny. During Her gunshot wound induced coma, the powers that be took TJ back to a habitable planet where some of the civilians chose to remain. Her baby was allowed to remain there in relative safety but she was taken back to the Destiny. That is incredibly ass, even for alien powers that be. It’s incredibly ass as a plot resolution to separate a mother from her baby and say “she made her choice to leave the planet”.

Anyway, ever since BSG ended SGU has become one of the better science fiction series on television. Keep watching it looks like this season will be good.

“The Box” Fringe 3.02

Fringe Season 3, Episode 2 is titled “The Box”. Three men hold a family hostage while excavating their basement in search of mysterious a box. The box emits ultra high frequency sound waves which cause immediate damage tot he inner ear and ultimately lead brain damage and death. Only a deaf criminal is immune to the effects of the box. The deaf criminal attempts to return the box to alternate Agent Dunham. Unfortunately She kills him to cover the insurgent universe conspiracy.

Peter unexpectedly arrives at Olivia’s apartment after Walter apologizes to him for his childhood abduction from the alternate universe. Alternate Olivia uses sex to distract peter from the pool of blood seeping from the room where she has hidden the dead body of the deaf man.

The box is activated in a subway, killing many innocent travelers. Alternate Olivia deafens Peter with her handgun, firing once to each side of his head, to make him temporarily immune to the effects of the box. Peter recovers the box from the subway but is nearly crushed by a subway train. Alternate Olivia rescues him, pulling him from the path of the train at the last second.

Walter confides to Astrid that William Bell bequeathed to him all of Massive Dynamic.

What do you mean you haven’t been keeping up with Fringe? What is wrong with you? Ok now don’t miss the next Episode. I may not feel like doing a recap.

Its Enrico Fermi’s birthday

Enrico Fermi was a brilliant Italian America physicist. Fermi’s  fission reactor work was included in the Manhattan project, on which he served as a consultant.

He was awarded the Nobel prize for physics in 1938 for his “demonstrations of the existence of new radioactive elements produced by neutron irradiation”, and for his related discovery of nuclear reactions brought about by slow neutrons.

Fermi Worked at Columbia University, served for a short time on the General Advisory Committee of the Atomic Energy Commission, and In his later years, Fermi did important work in particle physics.

You might ask why Professor Fermi is relevant to this blog. The short answer is particle shock acceleration or diffused shock acceleration are terms which often refer to Fermi Acceleration, which describes “the acceleration that charged particles undergo when reflected by a magnetic mirror”. This is thought to be the primary mechanism by which particles gain energy beyond the thermal energy in astrophysical shock waves.

So, is in its own way, a nod to professor Fermi.

Reviewing Monsters

I’ve just had a chance to screen the scifi movie “monsters’ which I mentioned in an earlier post and it was pretty good.

When scientists discovered the possibility of life here in our own solar system, they sent a space prove to collect samples. Six years ago that  probe crash landed in Central America while re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere. Shortly after the crash, new and dangerous forms of life began to appear. The US and Mexican governments co-operate in attempt to contain the creatures; establishing a quarantine around an infected zone between Mexico and the United States. Take that Arizona. We NEED Mexico to contain the real aliens.

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Fringe returns to FOX

At the end of season Two Olivia traveled to the other Universe to rescue Peter Bishop who was taken by ‘Walternate’ the Walter Bishop from that world (who is really Peter’s father). Peter and Olivia returned to our universe except it wasn’t the Olivia Dunham from this universe who made the trans-dimensional trip. Rather, it was the Agent Dunham from the other world who came in her place to infiltrate our world.

In the season three opener, The ‘real’ Agent Dunham is being treated for a psychotic break by doctors in the alternate universe. Under the direction of Secretary Walter bishop they attempt to convince her she is the Olivia Dunham from their universe. Olivia escapes from the facility on Liberty island and leads the alternate universe Fringe division on a violent chase.

Stargate Universe new episodes

SGU returns to SyFy on a new night Tuesday September, 28 2010. I’ve never been a huge fan of the Stargate TV series. But SGU is actually somewhat better than I expected. In the absence of Battlestar Galactica, I suppose you have to take what you can get.

At the end of the previous season, commander Kiva (Rhona Mitra) of the Lucian alliance had taken control of the Destiny after a tense stalemate. Who will survive and what will be left of them?

As stated earlier, Battlestar Galactica this is not.  But … all things considered it isn’t a bad series. What ultimately ruined ‘Stargate SG1′ somehow manages to make  ‘Stargate Universe’ more interesting. That would be the combination of starships and stargates. Two technologies which would seem to be contradictory premises to base  a science fiction series on. If you have the ability go travel anywhere in the universe using the stargates why bother with an arduous journey by spacecraft?

SGU utilizes the Stargate much in the same way Starship crews from Star Trek use transporters. This ability to explore “strange new worlds” helps the cast of SGU to maintain  a sense of exploratory adventure.

Nikitia – How did CW manage to mess up hot girls with guns?

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Somehow the CW has managed to fail with a new series … again. This time with Nikita. If you’re not familiar with the title, it is a re-vamped version of the French Film La Femme Nikita which was already re-made as the film Point Of No Return starring Bridgett Fonda and the TV series La Femme Nikita featuring Peta Wilson.

I didn’t think you could make a bad TV series in which Maggie Q walks around in lingerie and fires automatic weapons. That should have been a fool proof recipe for success. You really should watch the pilot episode just to see the scenes I was describing. Then you should change the channel and deny having ever watched the CW. Read More

“The Grand Design” by Stephen Hawking

World renowned physicist Stephen Hawking’s new book The Grand Design has stirred up some controversy by stating that “it is not necessary to invoke god…” to explain the creation of the universe. Given gravity the universe may create itself dynamically.

Religious figures have countered saying that Hawking has missed the point when it comes to faith and religion. Some have said that hawking has “a skewed vision of god”. Personally, I would say that  religion has a skewed view of both God and science.

A new York Times reviewer found that Hawking’s tone in this book as “condescending” and “impenetrable”. Considering the reaction he must surely have expected, this comes as no surprise. Religious figures have an unfortunate inclination toward condescension and ineffability.  Sometimes you have to speak to people in terms they can understand.

I haven’t had a change to read the new book yet. I’ve got quite a long reading list and it will likely be several months before I get around to reading The Grand Design myself. I will however post an update when I do have the opportunity to read the book. As always your comments on the topic are welcome.