Showing posts from May, 2023

Squawk Box: The Diplomat/Citadel

During the back half of our week in the UK we rented a cottage down in Somerset and used it as a base to go visit various relatives and enjoy the countryside-- but we also wanted to enjoy our cottage a little bit as well, so we checked out the Netflix one evening, found The Diplomat and decided to give it a go. We ended up wrapping up the first season when we got back to the States because it was one of those shows that you just couldn't stop watching. I had no idea what to expect going in-- the previews made it seem like a sexy thriller type of a situation which I guess it kind of is, but it falls closer to the spiky/dramedy/political thriller end of the spectrum with a nice scoop of 'my, every main character is an attractive, sexy person'  than a straight up spiky/sexy thriller. The show begins with tensions high between the US and Iran and a British aircraft carrier is attacked in the Persian Gulf, resulting in the death of 41 sailors. Expecting to be assigned to Afghani

Star Trek Picard (Season 3) --A Review

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a Star Trek fan. I don't own a uniform and have yet to attend any conventions, but of the big science fiction franchises that have stood the test of time, Trek is probably the nearest and dearest to my heart. I've written about it before and I'll write about it again: I do believe that the current moment of Trek is probably the best the franchise has seen in decades. There is an embarrassment of riches for Trek fans these days and it's awesome, I'm soaking it all up and loving every single minute of it.  I have no time for fan gatekeeping or toxic fan culture, my criteria is simple: is it entertaining? For the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek starting in 2016 and lasting well into 2017, I watched every episode of Star Trek ever made. (I modeled my post titles after Wagner's The Ring Cycle, because well, it felt that epic- so here , here , here , and here you go if you want my full thoughts on the franchise.)  Although many peop

The Future of the U

So, I'm a bit late to this particular party- since the Reddit Post in question is about a month old now, but I read it again and I decided that it was worth reacting to, because, despite the deep doomerism that infuses the entire post, there is a kernel of truth to be considered there: what is the future of the University? First of all, go read the Reddit post and come back. I'll give you a minute or two to do that. Got that done? Okay, let's talk. We've got to pull back our view and focus on higher education in general. In the nearly fifteen years I've been perched in my little corner of higher education, I've been hearing about the great coming educational apocalypse and it has yet to materialize. This doesn't mean that there aren't very legitimate reasons for concern in the years ahead. I think it's important right out of the gate that we harsh the narrative about higher education a bit- college costs have, in fact, been dropping for the past dec

Bookshot #165: The Obelisk Gate

I was going to read something else and then circle back around to this series at a later date, but I was at the library randomly and decided I just couldn't stomach the size of Sanderson's Oathbringer in person (I've read the other two volumes on Kindle, so I just... didn't know- though really, I should have) so I went with The Obelisk Gate instead and I'm glad I did. A worthy sequel to the first volume of N.K. Jemisin's The Broken Earth Trilogy, The Obelisk Gate picks up where the events of the first book left off-- but with Schaffa, Essun's former Guardian who awakens underwater in the immediate aftermath of Essun's devastating attack during the end of the first book. He's about to die when the mysterious entity that gives him and the other Guardians their powers are allowed to take over his body for a brief period. He survives, though suffers brain damage and profound memory loss, leaving him unable to remember his past as a Guardian. He's r