Archive for May, 2010

2

How To Make A Tribble

In lieu of a Re-Watch post today, I present you with a guide for how to make your own non-copyright-infringing version of a tribble.

The Basics:

The tribble is essentially a furry softball. It is made using two figure-8-shaped pieces of cloth, sewn together perpendicularly. It is the simplest way to sew a ball—unlike the much more complicated hacky-sack method, it only requires two pieces of cloth.

This does not require a sewing machine or really much sewing skill at all. Anyone can try it!

You can click on any image to see a big version. I also digitally enhanced the tracing lines for maximum visibility.

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8

Star Trek Re-Watch: “Return to Tomorrow”

“Return to Tomorrow”
Written by John Kingsbridge
Directed by Ralph Senensky

Season 2, Episode 19
Production episode: 2×22
Original air date: February 9, 1968
Star date: 4768.3

Mission summary

Enterprise is drawn to an unexplored star system by a strange distress signal…or is it? The signal doesn’t seem to exist, yet it’s affecting Uhura’s channels—but there’s definitely something, maybe, trying to get their attention and… Oh look! There’s a planet up ahead. It’s a formerly-Class M planet now with a dead atmosphere, and completely lifeless. Or is it? A voice speaks to the crew using only the power of his mind; he identifies himself as Sargon, and directs them to kindly park their ship in orbit. Kirk’s understandably hesitant since the planet’s dead and all, but Sargon’s invitation is ominous, if not compelling: “And I am as dead as my planet. Does that frighten you, James Kirk? For if it does, if you let what is left of me perish, then all of you, my children, all of mankind must perish, too.”

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5

Star Trek Re-Watch: “A Private Little War”

“A Private Little War”
Teleplay by Gene Roddenberry
Story by Jud Crucis
Directed by Marc Daniels

Season 2, Episode 19
Production episode: 2×16
Original air date: February 2, 1968
Star date: 4211.4

Mission Summary

Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are conducting a scientific survey on the planet Neural, home to peaceful, pre-industrial natives. Kirk lived with them thirteen years ago on his first planetary survey, and describes the planet and its people as a veritable Garden of Eden (aside from the “ape-like carnivores” that are mentioned off-hand). As McCoy and the others collect interesting plant life, they see a group of dark-haired natives approaching on a nearby outcrop—but these men have flintlock rifles, not bows and arrows. That’s not right! They’re setting up an ambush for a group of white-haired natives (with bows and arrows), one of whom Kirk recognizes as his friend Tyree. Kirk draws his phaser but Spock reminds him that the Prime Directive forbids them from displaying such technology, so he throws a rock at the aggressors, successfully revealing his own position. Whoopsie.

They chase the three men, and Spock is shot by one of them, bleeding green blood. McCoy is able to signal to the Enterprise and Kirk orders Scotty to beam them out of there. Just as they arrive, Uhura tells the captain that a Klingon vessel has entered orbit around the planet. They can remain out of sight, but it might mean eventually breaking orbit around Neural. Spock is led away to Sickbay, and McCoy doesn’t know if he’ll make it.

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3

Torie’s (thoroughly spoiled!) Review of Star Trek (2009)

Star Trek
Directed by J.J. Abrams
Written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman

There’s a lot to love in the new Star Trek film. For me, it wasn’t enough.

Star Trek is a rollicking space opera: you’ve got spaceships, lots of things blowing up, and a plot that moves so quickly it often leaves even itself behind. This is the future imagined by Mac fanboys everywhere: sleek glass displays, touchscreen interfaces, and a flood of information. It’s stunning and beautiful that way. The special effects are spectacular, and the action sequences are truly top-notch. The rapport among the characters was strong and funny, and there’s an excitement and energy that’s hard to describe. It’s a thrilling action-adventure.

I loved it as an action film.

Alas, it’s little more than that. The new film is, in a word, stupid. The plot is absolutely ridiculous; the story’s so full of holes it unravels at the merest hint of scrutiny. Worse, many of the characters are shallow representations of themselves, reduced to the kinds of cheesy space opera types that don’t do justice to the folks they’re supposed to be.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a phenomenal action film: fast-paced, fun, and without a doubt great entertainment. I loved it for that, and I’ll see it again for that alone. But it’s terrible Star Trek.

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0

Eugene’s (unspoiled!) Review of Star Trek (2009)

Star Trek
Directed by J.J. Abrams
Written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman

I have a long history with Star Trek. Not as long as some people can claim, and certainly not as long as the franchise’s own history, but I’ve spent roughly half of my relatively brief life on Earth as a con-going, trivia-quoting fan. I’ve seen the good and the bad, and while the series at its best can be mind-blowingly amazing, one can argue that after five television series and ten movies, there are more bad hours of Trek than good.

J.J. Abrams’ new movie definitively tips the balance back to the good side.

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2

Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Immunity Syndrome”

“The Immunity Syndrome”
Written by Robert Sabaroff
Directed by Joseph Pevney

Season 2, Episode 18
Production episode: 2×19
Original air date: January 19, 1968
Star date: 4307.1
Mission summary

The Enterprise crew is looking forward to some overdue R&R at Starbase Sex Six, but there’s no rest for the weary: they receive garbled orders from the starbase concerning another Starfleet vessel, Intrepid. They aren’t sure what’s up, but Spock suddenly looks stricken with pain. When he recovers, he informs them that Intrepid was destroyed and its all-Vulcan crew of over 400 is dead. Dr. McCoy ushers him off to Sickbay, but it turns out the Vulcan science officer might be on to something; Starbase Six confirms that they’ve lost contact with system Gamma 7A and Intrepid, which was sent to investigate. Starfleet orders Enterprise in to mount a rescue. Kirk protests because he was supposed to be on vacation, but they change course for Gamma 7A. Chekov tells them that long-range sensors indicate that the entire system is dead, along with billions of inhabitants.

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