Tag Archives: star trek

Is Star Trek being used to predict that the world will end May 21?

“Khaaaaaan!”

— Jesus

If you have the power of vision, which I assume you do because you are reading this right now, then you may have noticed some interesting subway ads and billboards recently.

Thanks CBS News!

Thanks Salon!

Evangelistic advertisements are nothing new, especially for we Texans. Or while walking down 14th street and some cute girl comes up to you and tries to talk about how great Jesus is and rather than going with the “Why are you trying to make me no longer Jewish? Are you a Nazi?” argument I go with the Euthyphro but she doesn’t quite get it.

But these ads are oddly specific. May 21? I certainly hope the world doesn’t end then, that is my first day of post law school celebration.

How do they calculate that day, anyways? Luckily, Salon compiled the arguments. First, it is the anniversary of creation.

Another piece of evidence — explained by Family Radio affiliate eBibleFellowship — suggests that the world began in 11,013 B.C., and its 13,000th anniversary came and went in 1988.

Well, some of people who weren’t two then, or some of us who are way too into the Dukakis Campaign (Rock Us, Dukakis ’88!), may remember a somewhat popular book at the time: “88 Reasons the Rapture will be in 1988.” It was significantly more popular than the follow-up, “The Final Shout: Rapture Report 1989.”

This was a sign of the End of Days

However, apparently merely the “Church Age” ended in 1988, and we’ve been living through the “great tribulation period of 23 years.”

So, you know. The Church Age is over, and man no longer builds everything out of churches. Or maybe the Brothers’s War has thrown the world into a great climate change as we leave the Church Age and enter the Ice Age. (Magic: The Gathering reference does one damage on upkeep).

But besides being the anniversary of the creation plus 23 years, it is also the anniversary of Noah’s Flood.

A great deal of effort has been made by biblical literalists over the years to identify the exact chronology of the events dictated in the Old Testament. Some scholars, including Camping, adhere to the theory that the Biblical Flood took place on May 21 in the year 4,990 B.C. Then, in Genesis, God told Noah seven days before the Flood to warn people of the impending cataclysm. And Camping posits that this figure, seven days, holds greater significance than meets the eye. According to the biblical passage 2 Peter 3:8, “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” Therefore, argues Camping, Rapture should occur 7,000 years after the Flood. And the 7,000th anniversary of the biblical deluge, by his math, falls on May 21, 2011.

Woah, woah, woah. Let’s focus on that quote again:

God declared in 2 Peter 3:8:

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

Uh, excuse me. That’s not God. That’s Spock. I believe as it was said in Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan.

Spock: Admiral, if we go by the book, like Lieutenant Saavik, hours could seem like days.

Kirk: I read you captain. Let’s have it.

Spock: The situation is grave, Admiral. We won’t have main power for six days. Auxiliary power has temporarily failed. Restoration may be possible, in two days. By the book, Admiral.

So basically, to understand the logic needed to justify the world ending on May 21, we would have to assume that God adheres to Federation Starfleet Regulation 46a:

“If transmissions are being monitored during battle, no uncoded messages on an open channel.”

So God is adheres to Starfleet protocols. But what does God need with a starship? …

Wait a second… Star Trek V. That was filmed in 1988! When the world first ended!

Oh my stars! It all makes sense now. God is a Trekkie, and all the 613 Commandments are actually Starfleet Regulations. And God has been rather absent in the management of the world because, as Starfleet Regulation 619 states: the commanding officer must relieve themselves of command if their current mission leaves them emotionally compromised and unable to make rational decisions.

After the Encounters at Farpoint, it was clear that God has to relieve himself of duty. But now he is back in Command with his number one, Jesus, promising to beam aboard his USS Holy Spirit a crew of the most dedicated and talented graduates of Starfleet Academy that Sector 1 has to offer. So send your regards to Boothby and the rest of the damned souls destined to suffer here on earth. 300 million to beam aboard, May 21!

Our continuing mission? To explore strange new theological structures. To seek out new worshipers and religions. To boldly go where no God has gone before!

Ex Astra, Deus!

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March Madness and the Tournament of Everything

So I filled out my March Madness bracket. My method was based around favoring schools that friends support or attended. Also, my distaste for Duke. Usually I suppress Texas A&M, but they haven’t done anything too awful in a while, and I recently had some quality interactions with some A&M folks. Anyways here is my hastily filled bracket:

But of course, March Madness is also time for another wonderful tournament: the Tournament of Everything!

I did the first Tournament of Everything when I worked on the St. John’s Review. Honestly, Joe Mathlete had done it before and I just stole the idea from him. In high school, I actually created a big chart and had people vote for a winner every day until we completed the entire bracket. I think when Joe did it, Luby’s Macaroni and Cheese won. And this is before Pappas Restaurants bought Luby’s and grossed up their delicious Mac and Cheese.

The Tournament was continued to the Rice Thresher Backpage, where I just kinda made it myself. The general concept is a competition between the best things of everything. Of course, it is somewhat limited by the author’s own provincial knowledge, but I tried to include some great universal concepts. (pdf: ToE 2006ToE 2007)

That is a bit grainy, here is a closer view of the bracket.

And the 2007 version:

I’m not entirely sure which year was better. 2007 doesn’t have the quirky breakdown and analysis that was in the 2006 version. This difference is probably because I was busy with my expanded role in the Thresher after the March staff turnover.

However, one of the critiques about the 2006 version was that it was too much of a “Tournament of Evan” rather than something more universal or accessible. While I still think it was an inspired joke to have Males ages 18-35 be the winner in Adult Swim v. Guitar Solos, in what universe would Mountain Dew go that far? Answer: The Evan Universe! If you compare, I did try to fix it a bit in 2007, eliminating some inside jokes and expanding the number of Rice jokes. Though the Magic Flute from Mario 3 was my favorite carryover. Alas, I was slowly learning my lesson that the Backpage was supposed to be for everyone and not just a bunch of Evan jokes.

This blog thing, on the other hand, can be nothing but Evan jokes! Which is why I am planning the first annual Tournament of Evan. In it, I would lavish myself with naval gazing, self-obsession, and inside jokes as I compete the various aspects of my life and attention against one another, breaking down the safety barrier between character schtick and actual personal issues, blurring into a grey mush of neuroses and spelling errors.

The 4 Categories for the Tournament are, so far: Women, Popular Media, Funny Third Thing, and Politics/History. If you have any recommendations or submissions or critiques or personal insults, please feel free to contribute in the comments or just yell at me IRL.

Burn Down Top 10 Lists: Where the Intro is better than the whole thing

10 Movies/Tv show/books that are worth it just for the opening scene.

Some shows you just want to put on to watch that amazing opening sequence and then turn it off. Its not that the rest is terrible, its just that the opening scene is so good, its worthy to be watched on its own.

1. The Simpsons, “Much Apu About Nothing”

The main plot of this episode concerns Apu trying to stay in Springfield despite being an illegal immigrant in the wake of Prop 24, which would kick out all illegal immigrants. It has some nice scenes of Apu trying to get fake IDs and Homer trying to teach Apu so he can pass the citizenship test. But this episode stands apart for the opening sequence that is, as Homer puts it, like a country bear jamberoo.

With such great lines as: “Let the bears pay the bear tax, I pay the Homer tax,” “Arrest him on account of being a bear. And arrest him on account of being accessory to being a bear,” “Won’t somebody please think of the children!” and Lisa’s rock that keeps tigers away. The whole episode up to the actual plot is some of the best Simpsons work. Of course, the rest of the episode may be worth watching simply for the references in the newspaper to the Bear Patrol escalating bombing.


2. “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”

I think as Brett put it, “I don’t want to see Temple of Doom, I want to see the movie before it!” The whole “Anything Goes” musical number, and Indy dealing with the Chinese gangsters in Club Obi Wan provides some great urban noir that viewers rarely get with Dr. Jones. Plus, “The poison that you just drank!” has worked its way into cultural a priori knowledge so well, its hard to deny that this opening sequence is not better than the rest of the movie. Bonus points: Short Round.

Note: I can’t include Raiders on this list. While the opening scene is fantastic, the rest of the film is certainly worthy on its own. You can’t just turn on Raiders and not watch the rest. Its too good.


3. “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi”This may be a stretch in the definition of “opening scene,” but the fight on Jabba’s barge is the ultimate high point of this film. Nothing beats the musical buildup to Luke giving the high sign right as he walks the plank.

After it, what’s left? Ewoks? Another Death Star battle? Sure, “Its a trap!” is fun, as is the Emperor, but overall the rest of this film is very skippable.


4. Futurama, “Bender’s Big Score”With a drawn out plot and sub-par musical numbers, this return of Futurama was a mixed blessing to fans. Great to see Futurama return. But not up to its best work. However, the opening sequence mocking its cancellation and an extended Futurama theme intro are enough to make anyone vomit in joy from both their freshwater and saltwater stomachs.

Note: Family Guy, “North by North Quahog”: This episode was Family Guy’s return after cancellation. Like Futurama, it had an opening sequence that mocked its cancellation. In a traditional Family Guy pop-culture reference, Peter listed every show that Fox had brought on and subsequently cancelled between Family Guy’s death and resurrection. While a funny bit, the rest of the episode is surprisingly good, especially the clip from “Passion of the Christ II: Crucify This!” The difference in the good to bad ratio between the opening and the rest of the episode is not enough to merit it a place on this list.


5. & 6. Any episode Digimon or Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesYou probably have fond memories of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, and may be tempted to go back and watch some old episodes. Don’t. It is terrible. The new iterations of the show are pretty good, but the old one is so puerile and just plain dumb, its no wonder that it was such a big hit among 8-year-olds everywhere. But you just cannot deny that theme song. Yes, Splinter did teach them to be ninja teens. If only he taught the writers how to make a show for kids that was actually worthy of such a fantastic intro.

Digimon falls into the same category. Crazy coked-out, pseduo-techno intro theme. Crappy Pokemon ripoff of a show. So after they change into digital champions to save the digital world, change the digital channel.

Notes: Any episode of Cowboy Bebop may seem to fit here, too. However, the freakin’ amazing into credits don’t utterly transcend the rest of the show, like with Digimon or TMNT, but transition into it. Perhaps this would fit if there was one really bad Cowboy Bebop episode, but there isn’t. And that’s the real folk blues.


7. Muppets from Space

The most recent Muppet movie to be released in theaters, Muppets from Space was a slight letdown. It didn’t have the knowing comedy or fantastic musical numbers from previous muppet movies except the opening scene. This movie opens by following Kermit the Frog through the Muppets’ house, introducing every character in traditional wackiness before slowly transitioning into a song and dance rendition of Brick House.  But the rest of the movie is about as good as one of Fozzie’s jokes. Wakka wakka, this is not.


8. Star Trek: InsurrectionEasily the weakest of all Trek films, except maybe the crappy 5th one that Shatner directed, Insurrection has low quality action and is just the sort of boring Federation politicking that the reboot entirely jettisoned, to much aplomb. (I don’t think I used aplomb correctly there). However, the opening Data freakout and subsequence chase, complete with HMS Pinafore musical number, is entertaining enough to be watched on its own, without having to put up with the rest of the film.

Notes: Star Trek: The Final Frontier also opens with a small adventure and musical number, with Kirk, Bones, and Spock singing Row, Row, Row Your Boat. Alas, it is nowhere near as entertaining as Insurrection. Life is not a dream.


9. Lolita

Light of my life, fire of my loins, my sin, my soul, the end. Really, all you need is that opening ephebophiliatic adulation of a gross 12-year-old. Sure, maybe buddy road trip sex romps across the great USA were a new and impressive thing back in the 50s. But now, boooring! Its been done. Finish the intro and high-five Nabokov, you’ve basically read the greatest book of all time.


10. This listReally, you should have stopped after the first one. The rest kinda sucks. I really had to struggle to make it an even 10.