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).