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Published: Friday, 5/8/2009

The science of 'Star Trek'

"...as human beings we are capable of making sense of situations based on the thinnest slice of experience."

Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink and The Tipping Point.



THE SCIENCE OF STAR TREK: Only in Popular Mechanics do you get headlines like "Inertia, and Skidding in a Corvette." And they're probably the only folks who would break down the science of the new Star Trek movie. For lessons on inertia, the upper atmosphere, and black holes as they relate to Cap'n Kirk, give it a look. (RL)

PICK OF THE WEEK: Fawlty Towers is a doctorate course in how to make the perfect sitcom. From casting and writing, to comedy pacing and plotting, the short-lived British show, which originally aired on the BBC in 1975, is flawless -- perhaps because there were only 12 episodes to screw up. John Cleese, who cowrote the sitcom with then-wife Connie Booth, stars as Basil Fawlty, the arrogant, acid-tounged, quick-tempered, scheming, and snobbish co-owner of the Fawlty Towers hotel. Unlike many of the great American sitcoms, there are no dramatic episodes in Fawlty Towers, nor is there any social commentary. It's all played for laughs, of which there are many as Basil battles with irritated hotel guests, Manuel (Andrew Sachs), the Spanish waiter who speaks little English; Polly (Booth), the hard-working maid, and his no-nonsense wife Sybil (Prunella Scales), who often puts her husband in his place with her short, shrill "Basil!" (KB)


DOWN TO FOUR: Pardon the gratuitous Elvis Costello reference in the headline (if you don't get it, oh well), but we couldn't resist. Allison Iraheta, the 17-year-old Los Angeles high school student on American Idol is gone. The judges were tepid on her performance Tuesday of Janis Joplin's "Cry Baby" so she's outta here. Now the competition has been reduced to just four contestants. (RL)

SPACE TREKKIN': The new Star Trek movie is out and critics are raving and the new blood is flowing and everyone involved is getting ready to start counting their money. The Blade's Kirk Baird liked it, so it must be good. (RL)

COME ON, KIEFER: The star of 24,Kiefer Sutherland is in trouble -- again -- this time for head-butting a fashion designer at a party who may have bumped into Brooke Shields. Really, Kiefer, a fashion designer? If it's true, we think Sutherland might be taking the whole method acting thing a bit too far because that sounds a lot like something Jack Bauer would do. (RL)


THE SAGA CONTINUES: First it was her views on same-sex marriage, now Miss California Carrie Prejean might lose her title because of semi-nude photos of her that have surfaced. (RL)

IDOLS ROCK: Good ol' Slash turned up on American IdolTuesday night, signaling that the show was actually going to rock. Adam Lambert got his Led Zeppelin rocks off and there was some Aerosmith, Beatles and even Foghat. Interesting to see who survives that one. (RL)


UNDER FIRE: First Miss California Carrie Prejean gets lambasted for expressing her views on same-sex marriage. Now she's being criticized -- and her Christian values are being questioned -- for some racy pictures that have turned up. She's not backing down and we kind of like her spunk even though we don't agree with her on the same-sex marriage issue. (RL)

WHAT BRITNEY WANTS: Chick-lit novels? Check. Flowers? Check. A bunch of magazines? Check. Marilyn Monroe movies? Oh, yeah. Those are just a few of Britney Spears' requests for her London hotel room where she'll be holing up for her tour next month. (RL)

SPECIAL DELIVERY: It sounds hard to believe, but the U.S. Postal Service has used some pretty unusual contraptions over the years to deliver mail. Maybe stamps wouldn't cost so much if the idea of Missile Mail had taken off. (RS)

CELEBRATING A LEGEND: All kinds of big-time folkies and rockers turned out Sunday night to celebrate the 90th birthday of the great Pete Seeger

, who performed and shared the stage with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Dave Matthews, Ani DiFranco, Emmylou Harris, and John Mellencamp. Here are some photos from the event.

(RL)

Rod Lockwood


PAST THIN SLICES

Week 1 Slices, Week 2 Slices, Week 3 Slices, Week 4 Slices, Week 5 Slices, Week 6 Slices, Week 7 Slices, Week 8 Slices, Week 9 Slices, Week 10 Slices, Week 11 Slices, Week 12, Week 13, Week 14, Week 15, Week 16, Week 17, Week 18, Week 19, Week 20, Week 21, Week 22, Week 23,Week 24,Week 25, Week 26, Week 27, Week 28, Week 29, Week 30, Week 31,Week 32,Week 33,Week 34,Week 35,Week 36,

Week 37



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