Archive for January 8th, 2009


Lost: Juliet Burke

January 8, 2009

(Indulge me. As we near the Season 5 premiere of Lost, I’m going to run through the current crop of main characters. There are spoilers.)

And here we have Dr. Juliet Burke, who joined the series in Season 3 as one of the Others, then threw in her lot with Jack and the castaways, or maybe she’s a spy for Ben, or maybe she’s Dharma, or maybe … it’s all very confusing. And so is she. Which is why she fits right in on this esoteric brainwarp of a series.

When we last saw Juliet, she was drinking Dharma booze on the beach, watching smoke on the horizon in the wake of the freighter blast. Oh, and shirtless Sawyer sauntered out of the water, but she didn’t sneak a pec-peek. A lot of fans seem to think those two will hop aboard the island love express this season, but I just don’t see it.

We’re not supposed to like Juliet, and Elizabeth Mitchell is such a good actress that it’s easy to hate her. Not sure why; her backstory makes it clear that she’s not actually a bad person, just very strongwilled and willing to do whatever it takes to get what she wants. But she is very clearly not a “good guy;” it will be interesting to see how things play out now that she’s away from Jack’s protection.


  • The death by bus of her creepy little ex-husband. I always like seeing that actor (Zeljko Ivanek) smucked.
  • Telling Jin about Sun’s affair just to win an argument. That was cold.
  • Slave-driving Kate and Sawyer in the rock-picking field.
  • Taking out Jack’s appendix on the beach, with stone knives and bearskins, almost.
  • And, of course, mud wrestling with Kate. I hated that scene, really.


  • She is taken to the island by submarine and doesn’t think that’s odd. In fact, nothing ever fazes her. There’s cool, and then there’s cooooool.
  • I never understood why she kept spying for Ben after moving to the beach. Or was she? It wasn’t clear what she was really up to. If you’re pretending to spy, why provide actual facts?
  • This is another example of how Lost characters switch sides too easily. Take Sawyer, for instance; he went from villain/asshole in Season 1 to good guy in the space of a couple of episodes. Same with Juliet. It just wasn’t realistic that Jack would sign her up so soon after she imprisoned him. And Ben? He’s the king of the switcharoo, but that’s part of his appeal, I guess.
  • She has a stupid walk. Seriously, go back and watch again as she lumbers around.

Star Trek Props Displayed

January 8, 2009 has a report today on props from the new Star Trek film. Go ahead, check it out. Then come back.

The props in question are a communicator, what’s called a tricorder but clearly is not, and, uh, that little dildo widget that goes in Uhura’s ear.

I have a problem with this.

Take a look at the trailer again:

Notice how much J.J. Abrams changed? He has Pike knowing Kirk, he has the Enterprise being built on Earth, he has Kirk and McCoy going to the academy together, he has Chekov on the bridge … geez, he has the bridge tricked out like the cosmetics counter at a department store. Everything’s different, and we now know there’s a reason for that, but that doesn’t change the fact that radical changes were made to the TOS infrastructure.

So why did he keep the ear thing?

I’ve mentioned this before. And I stand by that. The ear thing looked stupid. It will still look stupid. In the 60s, it may have been a cutting-edge idea about the future. But in the 21st century, hey, we have smaller ones now.

Maybe it’s just a nod to tradition. I can accept that. But why this tradition? Why put a buttplug in a woman’s ear? If you’re going to have a James T. Kirk who can drive a stick shift, why not dump the stupid ear-gizmo altogether?

This has me so angry; I may only see this film 24 times, not 25.

For more on Star Trek, type it into the search box to your right.


If A Tree Falls In The Forest …

January 8, 2009

It’s an old and fine question: If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody is around, does it make a sound?

After careful consideration, I am going to conclude: No.

Sound is the result of energy colliding with a receptor, right? Our eardrums pick up sound. So do microphones. But if the receptor isn’t there, the sonic energy just dissipates. Did you hear that tree fall in the forest 50 miles away just now? No? Why not? Oh, because you weren’t close enough to hear it. Can you hear your neighbours argue about dinner? No? Why not? Because their house is too far away. Wait, you can? Get a better apartment.

If nobody’s there to hear it, there is no sound. I rest my case.

This is helping me choose my new career path. Right now, it’s a tossup between theoretical physicist and actor, playing Arab bad guy No. 5 on 24.