July in late April

Odd, unseasonably warm weather of the last couple of days, before we head into May. Bizarre.

Clips of the Star Trek movie are now on the late night shows, as the cast makes their visits to promote the movie, as we get closer to the premiere. Eric Bana on The Tonight Show presented a clip that gave away more than I wanted to know; time traveling in Star Trek always makes me a little wary – and J.J. Abrams and Friends have their own time thing going. I never quite fully accepted the whole Abrams’ time shifting on “Alias,” where Sydney lost a year of her life (I did enjoy that episode where Terry O’Quinn‘s character FBI Director Kendall, basically recapped Sydney’s lost year as if it were a complete lost season – and he somehow became her only friend during the lost season; there was way more exposition than I had wanted; and, hmm, O’Quinn has a Star Trek connection, forget how he later became John Locke of “Lost”!). And “Lost” – well, I think we’re all still figuring out the whole time thing there.

So, Abrams better be careful about pulling a fast one on us on the Star Trek movie! Abrams is even going as far as admitting that he is now a Trekkie, as this NY Times article by Dave Itzkoff reports (wow, has the ST fandom converted him? Can we Trekkies claim credit for doing that?… welcome to the club, Abrams!).

I’m behind the Colson Whitehead phenomenon, as the reviews and the articles are out about Whitehead’s latest book (umm, I’m pretty much behind reading any of the contemporary Brooklyn literary set – like Whitehead, Jonathan Lethem, Jonathan Safran Foer, Nicole Krauss, etc., whose names I keep seeing, but I never quite get around to reading); still, maybe I should read his stuff already. Thought this article in the NY Times was pretty fascinating about him.

Swine flu – interesting stuff as a matter of science and how we handle disease control and management – a concern right now, but not an alarm; so DON’T PANIC, as they say in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” – the humorous series that involved the end of the world, the universe and everything else. (Yeah, and it’s a comedy).

At least Hong Kong seems prepared, since SARS and avian flu kind of made things more than serious for them. The rest of us – well, just wait and see and… DON’T PANIC. (my reaction of the media coverage is more along the lines of frustration; the experts are being sensible, but not the NYC area tabloids’ headlines).

All kinds of coverage – Slate’s many articles, and the reaction – or, the way I see it – a little lesson for the young that spending spring break in Mexico can be a little difficult with the crime and disease. Well, it happens. Let’s just have some perspective!

However, science and politics are in play: see in Slate’s Explainer column about what’s with those countries’ banning pork imports (no, silly, you can’t get swine flu from eating pork; it’s human-to-human transmission – like, sneezing and unclean hands and stuff like that; the poor pig is being defamed!).

Meanwhile, Craig Ferguson has this hilarious pig puppet to bring a little levity to the otherwise serious situation (I will have to link or embed a video once I find it; but do enjoy Craig’s opening monologue, which was funny and serious all at once). The puppet pig defends himself as a pig! A Scottish pig. Who’s getting revenge on humans with his flu… And, well, as it’s probably obvious in previous posts, I am fond of puppets. (well, the cute ones; scary ventriloquist dummies, for instance, are not puppets that I like).

To really distract us from swine flu (although I much prefer Craig Ferguson’s pig puppet for doing that), let’s thank US Senator Arlen Specter, with the news of his switching parties (for the second or so time in his life). The whole thing could be entertaining if it weren’t politically messy; just my two cents on that, not that I’m being very specific about my opinion anyway…

I enjoyed the Charlie Rose show of the night of 4/28/09, where Charlie Rose interviewed the Bill Gateses (Senior and Younger).

The passing of Bea Arthur. Interesting little commentary by Time’s James Poniewozik about how Arthur reminds us that the tv world is not the young alone. Thank you for being our friend, Bea Arthur! (now that the “Golden Girls” theme song is stuck in my head).

Some Fun!

Scientists discover a new exo-planet that could be Earth-like. Why are they always so determined to look for an Earth-like, inhabitable planet, when we wouldn’t even get there for by space travel for generations. Unless… we want to be a lost colony escaping Cylons or something. … why do I even mention that when I’m not a Battlestar Galactica viewer… well…

The latest “Fringe” – hmm. Why do I think that the multiverses will collide and cause problems? Will Walter’s creepiness, humor, and guilt cause problems? Will Olivia figure anything out about her odd past – or that her sister and her niece are just drags? Will Peter realize how mysterious he is (besides being a fake MIT graduate)? Will Charlie realize that Olivia’s deep in weird shit? How much does Broyles know/not know?… Too many questions as usual; but, pretty entertaining, particularly with this Television Without Pity feature where the Fringe characters a matched with their other J.J. Abrams’ analogies.

I managed to watch some “Heroes” this week; why does the show keep sucking me in, when it’s not even that well done? Sylar’s unstoppable. How are the writers going to write themselves out of this madness? And… Uh… well… Guess Nathan’s in danger, again. Is he the obligatory whipping boy for each season? The writers of “Heroes” should consider some character consistency and trying more than recycling X-Men storylines (or, if you do, do it well, please).

I managed to catch the last 15 minutes of “Chuck” on Monday – that was fun! Actor Scott Bakula (ex-Sam of “Quantum Leap,” and ex-Capt. Archer of “Star Trek: Enterprise”) was redeemed (as an actor with a good role; and as Chuck’s long-lost dad; he saves Chuck and comes home for Chuck and his sister). Even Chevy Chase was redeemed (well, as an actor with a good role; not his character, who appears to be pretty villainous). NBC – please renew “Chuck”!

Kind of enjoying “The Unusuals” on ABC. ABC, please consider giving this show more time to grow; there’s a lot of potential and some amount of heart – which I like to see on tv. It’s not like you’ve that many stuff that’s not “Dancing with the Stars” or whatnot.

And, I’ve been pretty into Craig Ferguson – he’s a good laugh, I must say – and one word: puppets!!!

Sunday and Stuff (Some of it Serious)

Because we of Triscribe are Asians and lawyers, we touch on issues on Asians and lawyers. Consider the following (yes, still part of the whole I’m-catching-up-on-blogging, since I fell behind; where are the other triscribers…?)

I’m not a Yankee fan, but even I was amazed by the how-low-can-you-go of yesterday’s game by Chien-Ming Wang – with the historic 14-2 by the end of the second inning and total loss of 22-4, and it’s not clear what’s the matter with the guy. The fans aren’t too happy in the Bronx at the new Yankee Stadium.

Dahlia Lithwick on the right wing attack on the selection of Yale Law’s Dean Harold Koh to be legal adviser of the US State Dept: she makes good points; but I do wonder what’s the strategy to deal with the right wing extremists. Marginalizing them only makes them nastier; responding to/fighting them doesn’t make them see the light either.

Lithwick on the subject of a gender balanced US Supreme Court. I do think that true diversity – whether by educational background, social class origins, career background (the justices can’t all be ex-law profs/appellate judges) racial/ethnic/gender/religious/etc. – would make for more than just the usual right-of-center thinking on the court… Just my opinion; I could be wrong.

While Dean Koh is dealing with the process of being confirmed, we get other things that impugn the standing of Asian Americans: one of those kinds of “are you serious” stories… Texas legislator’s suggestion that Asian names should make the government’s life easier. Guess the legislator doesn’t understand that confusion regarding the transliteration of names into English are not necessarily the fault of the people with those names… Meanwhile, NYC Councilman John Liu demands an apology from said TX state legislator…

Mussolini made it difficult to be a Jew in Italy, apparently; but that didn’t stop Rita Levi Montalcini from becoming a Nobel Prize winner and now living at 100 years young. Interesting story about her.

Another Nobel Prize winner – Stephen Chu, US Sec’y of Energy – does a Q&A with the NY Times. Apparently, his Nobel Prize didn’t quite impress his mom, because she expected him to come visit more often. Hmm.

A poignant piece – maybe art is the only thing that can save us from doom. … Okay, I exaggerate. But, still, kind of funny to think that the some Wall Street people are just repressed artists.

And, another member of the Cabinet: US Sec’y of Commerce, Gary Locke – some good stuff about him as a descendant of a “paper son” and how he won’t have an easy job with the census, not to mention the rest of trade and other issues.

The state of the world: Skadden lawyer survives the Miracle on the Hudson plane landing; but loses job and his father passes away. Life can be strange. Have hope; it’s all we got when Pandora opened the damn box.

Slate’s Fred Kaplan raises interesting points on maybe a coalition of nations should gather and discuss ways on addressing the pirate problem; but historically, not an easy issue. So… we have G20 to address the economy and we’ll need more international cooperation for security and legal issues? Hmm… We live in interesting times.

Slate’s John Dickerson says sometimes a dog is just a dog; I say: nothing is easy when you’re president and there’s a whole lot of stuff to deal with. Your only best friend’s going to be your dog anyway…

So, they’re changing the way they do news at NYPD; will any new way be any better? If the White House fixed up the press space, why should the NYPD evict the press? Ridiculous (but, that’s just my two cents on that; not like I want the mayor coming after me because I disagree with him).

Plus — the new phrase of the week is: “glimmers of hope.” Hmm. Can I have “Audacity of Hope” back, please? One speaker out there compared “glimmers of hope” to like the green sprouts of spring; well, the hard part is keeping those sprouts growing…

More things we’ll have to wait and see: Adam Cohen in the NY Times’ Editorial Observation on the Legal Profession and how it’s probably time for a change. I’m eagerly awaiting for that cultural shift in the legal profession; a “course correction”? An end to crazy high salaries for Big Firm associates? An end to billable hours? For real? It gets even scarier when we’re in an era where the well-educated are getting unemployed.