30 May 2007

Ah, the Irony

While it is not the position of the government of South Africa or the ruling ANC party, I still find a great deal of irony in a South African trade union campaigning for a boycott of Israel. I'm not in support of the homeland's current tactics and certainly don't support her stance on the Palestinian problem; however, South Africa? Boycotting Israel? The same Israel that continued to trade with South Africa even after the Reagan-Thatcher axis finally agreed to sanctions and divestiture to help bring about an end to Apartheid? That Israel?

Note to SA: don't be hypocrites. If Israel was good enough to buy weapons from, helping you keep 80% of your population disenfranchised, she's good enough to sell diamonds to, helping them deny Palestinian statehood.

Quick poll: did I pump up the sarcasm enough? I'm having a rough week, so my gauges are a little off.

George-Michael Bluth: Prima Donna?

Michael Cera gets fired from Knocked Up
I guess it's Knocked Up Wednesday. George-Michael could-a been a star.

via Sepinwall

Who the fuck does Ang Lee think he is?

This is a ridiculously obscene and hilarious clip from Knocked Up that was left on the cutting room floor. It's just a couple of talking heads, but for goodness sake, wear headphones if you're going to watch this at work!
via GeekMonthly

Seth-roid Green?

I'm at the gym this morning (new gym, I got tired of the old people and their perfume baths) and I look up for a second. I think I see Seth Green, but buff. I look a second longer and realize he's just a short, snarky/nerdy looking redhead. But it got me thinking...Robot Chicken only takes so much time. Factor in the late night BS sessions with Hugh Sterbakov on ideas for Freshmen and he's got to have a lot of free time.

Couldn't Seth Green be the Joe Piscopo of our generation? Oh wait. Seth's still working. I guess he doesn't have time to spend all day in the gym. Maybe next year.

24 May 2007


Cletus Was down to the Wal*Mart t'other mornin' and I seen one o' them New York Lib'rals.
Jethro How could ya tell?
Cletus He washed his hands after pissin'. So I ask LuAnne what he's doin' here in Petersburg, and she tells me he was visitin' the Creation Museum.
Jethro The Creation Museum! But that ain't open yet!
Cletus That's what I tells LuAnne. She heard he's writin' a story 'bout it for the New York Times. (they both spit)
Jethro It'll be a buncha New York Lib'ral lies. Here. Help me skin this possum. I gotta hankerin' for some stew.

Sure enough, Edward Rothstein's piece in the Times is filled with lies and insults to true believers.

Two prehistoric children play near a burbling waterfall, thoroughly at home in the natural world. Dinosaurs cavort nearby, their animatronic mechanisms turning them into alluring companions, their gaping mouths seeming not threatening, but almost welcoming, as an Apatosaurus munches on leaves a few yards away.
Prehistoric? Ain't nothin' prehistoric about it. It's all in the good book, right from Day 1 of Creation.

I could write more realistic dialog, with better visual dialect cues, but why? Educated at Oxford, or in Oxford, Mississippi, a creationist is still no smarter than pocket lint. She might speak more eloquently or get elected to school boards, but is still a deluded, simple fool. Here's a link to their fellow travelers.

22 May 2007

Hitchens: How I Hate to Love Thee

It's a little muffled there at the end, but this line kills:
"If you gave Falwell an enema, he'd be buried in a matchbox."

17 May 2007

Down 3-2, but with extra carbs for energy

This would have made me smile a lot more if they could have held on in the fourth last night. It would probably make y'all smile more if I'd adjusted my celly's camera to get the colors truer. I mean they were seriously, shockingly purple and orange.

Pissing and Moaning Curmudgeon

Crap! I can't find the forest! I'm surrounded by trees and they're blocking my view.

I like Warren Ellis's work usually. And he's a fun little curmudgeon. Sort of like if Alan Moore blogged and didn't refuse to work for Marvel and DC. But he can also be quite the tool. In two blog entries today, published about a half hour apart, he posted:

So...sure Hoskins was genius in TLGF. It was an excellent film, and should certainly be seen and appreciated, but no one complains when someone puts on Pygmalion. Why are films so sacrosanct? I know, I know. Film is "eternal" and live theater is transient. So? No one complained about Branagh's Hamlet. Hell, few complained about Gibson's. What? Wasn't Olivier's good enough? Or were those films produced by "HOLLYWOOD SELLOUT PILES OF WALKING WOMBSHIT" as well?

And Tomb Raider? I know this animated series isn't a remake, but did it even need to be made the first time? People are clamoring for a Lara Croft for our generation?

All this from the dude who said "Hell, I haven’t seen SPIDER-MAN 2 yet." Because somehow the original Spidey was worse than Tomb Raider???

Two great tastes that taste great together

One used to be the Greatest Living WriterTM and the other was a challenger to Mateen Cleaves's towel-waving crown. Here's a great, ongoing email exchange about the playoffs between Neal and Paul.

Flame Wars

There is a common peril in writing and commenting online. From time to time, one can find oneself locked in a brutal flame war with no way out. I found myself in one of these over the past couple of days and only now realize the errors of my ways. I've been pretty lucky and only gotten in a few in my long time online - news and a little irc before the web, so it's relatively long by web standards. A good chunk of the reason is that I generally don't tread into too many minefields. I also don't generally comment without knowing what I'm saying. Those aren't guarantees, of course.

So, for anyone else who's found themselves dragged under (and for Future-Coyote, so he doesn't forget these lessons), here are some simple rules to avoid or get out of a flame war.

  1. Really, stick with topics you know. Most of my off-site commentary is on television, so I'm pretty well covered there.
  2. Avoid obvious minefields. I very rarely comment on political sites because politics is just far too polarizing. I know that must be shocking, because my political leanings are clear and I myself am polarizing, but I don't have the energy to battle elsewhere.
  3. Know your audience. If your "debate" partner falls back on a few old tricks - ad hominem, straw men, dishonest framing, etc. - she isn't worth the effort. No amount of reason or logic is going to work, because she doesn't want to hear it. In a real debate, you could go Socratic and force her into the corners of her ill-constructed logic labyrinth, but online that's not an option.
  4. Know your audience, redux. In my most recent flame war (from which I just extricated myself) my opponent seemed moderately articulate, but prone to many spelling and grammatical errors. Now, y'all know I'm no prescriptivist, but even I have my limits. I was even being painfully nice about it. I never mentioned any errors, quoted my foe directly without indicating his errors (I'd have been sick with all that [sic]), and tried to ignore it. Then, he quoted me. And misspelled a word when he typed it. It wasn't a hard word. Really, was cut and paste so hard? My point here is, there's got to be a certain base level of intelligence, education, and language fluency in your opponent as signals that he is worthy of your time.
  5. Be clear. Use short sentences. Avoid lengthy appositives. Don't leave out subordinate clauses because you believe they should be obvious. Spell out your arguments.
  6. When it becomes clear that logic won't work...get OUT!!! Seriously, don't stay in the debate. Don't have the last word, don't correct another mistaken understanding, don't even tell him to run a spell-check on the words he's quoting from you. Let him "win". The only victory in a case like this is to stop burning time and energy on it.
I'm happy to say that (this post excluded), I was able to follow rule #6. I also followed #1 and #5. Unfortunately, I misjudged the level of virulence I'd encounter on the topic, and neglected to take into account this person's shoddy logic and crappy language skills. I should have avoided jumping into the fray as I did, but I foolishly thought one or two of the people he'd previously been mangling with his idiocy would come along for the ride. Hey, there are two new rules I can get out of this!
  1. Don't try to be a hero. It's good to jump into the fray to defend people with whom you agree (or who are just plain correct), but don't try to fight their battles solo. If they don't stay around, get out as well.
  2. Know your surroundings. This is really a corollary to #7. Don't try to fight alone, and don't try to fight if your comrades fail tests #3 and #4. Be sure of the battle, and be sure of your backup.
Now my little corner of the web is very quiet, so these rules aren't very important here. But elsewhere...keep them in mind and save your sanity.

16 May 2007

The sky seems bluer today, doesn't it?


15 May 2007

Pops' Goon Squad

Either Cheap Shot Bob is the smartest baller to ever roam the hardwoods, or Pops has got John Chaney on speed dial. At this stage in his career, Horry doesn't provide the same offensive fireworks as in his clutch past, but he might still be this series' MVP. It all depends on how PHX reacts.

Yep. Duncan and Bowen jumped on the floor in the 2nd quarter. Yep. Stu-Ball didn't suspend Tim-may. I'll say one thing about all this: I for one no longer believe the commish rigs anything that goes on in the Association. Dick Bavetta really calls 'em as he sees 'em, the Knicks really won the Ewing draft, and the league doesn't care if anyone watches the finals.

If I were D'Antoni, I'd be playing Jalen Rose a lot on Wednesday. Whenever Tim-may's out and Parker's on the floor, I'd send Jalen in to "guard" Parker. Clearly, the NBA approves of NHL-style enforcers in principle; though they will suspend the enforcer, they will reward the team. Let's see if Tim-may can keep his ass glued to the bench.

14 May 2007

NBC announces fall schedule

NBC can't find a way to put any new sitcoms on its fall schedule (they've got The IT Crowd on the books as the inevitable mid-season replacement) but they sure can fill the hours with a lot of dreck. First up, here's Chuck, a comedy-thriller that I enjoyed a lot when it was called Jake 2.0. Of course, that was actually a good show. This? I won't even watch for Jane, aka My Bodyguard.

Then, the great mystery of our time is answered: who is the creative genius behind BSG? Ron Moore or David Eick? Clearly, Ron Moore. This crap makes me long for Oscar Goldman. Again, it really doesn't matter that the pilot features Katee Sackhoff in all her sexy glory. I'll just watch a BSG ep on dvd instead of wasting an hour with not-Lindsay Wagner and this bad, bad show.

A little Chin music

11 May 2007

Watch out for that croco-duck!

Interesting. I knew Kirk Cameron was a crazy person, but I thought he was at least a passable child actor back in the day. I mean, Mike Seaver was painfully stupid; it takes a lot of effort to play down that far. Just look at the quality of actor it's taken to play Lennie in the two theatrical releases of Of Mice and Men: Lon Chaney, Jr. might best be remembered for the old Universal horror-fests, but he was quite an accomplished thespian; and I think John Malkovich's oeuvre speaks for itself.

Now, I realize he was just being himself.

My goodness, he's a moron. But hey, don't take my word for it. See for yourself.

Slate's Troy Patterson hoped for some revelations, but felt quite let down.

In Cameron's introductory remarks at the debate - which can be seen at something like its full and numbing length at abcnews.go.com - he coolly claimed that "the existence of God can be proven 100 percent, absolutely without the use of faith." First, I grew excited at this promise, then began to wonder why no theologian, philosopher, or sitcom star in recorded history had done it before - Thomas Aquinas, Immanuel Kant, Tina Yothers, whoever - and realized I was in for a letdown.

Big Brother has a stye in his eye

The "city" of Mesa is losing $100K a month on their photo radar program. Boo. Fucking. Hoo. I hope those fuckers go bankrupt. Followed by every other greedy town that wants to milk people to fill their coffers (not to mention the sweetheart deals you know the goodly in-civil servants cook up to line their own pockets.)

You want to give out tickets that badly? Public safety is such a big concern? Raise taxes and hire more police to enforce the laws. And keep your unaccountable, unelected, un-American private firms out of the business of public safety.

10 May 2007

Wanna throw a piston?

In this article debunking myths about gasoline-saving techniques, Rik Paul from Consumer Reports says with a fuel-injected engine, engine restarts don't use extra fuel.

Granted it's probably not sensible shutting down the engine every time you get stuck in traffic, but if it looks like you might be at the drive-thru for more than 30 seconds to a minute, it's worth turning off your car, says Paul.
Sounds great. I'll turn my engine off just long enough to let the oil pressure drop and a good portion of it return to the reservoir. Then, I'll kick that baby back over. And I'll just repeat this over, and over again. Sure, a modern engine probably isn't going to rip itself to shreds just because it's got a little extra friction, but for a 30-second stop? Really? Does Rik Paul rebuild engines on the side?

07 May 2007

How Language Works

Finished reading David Crystal's latest this weekend passed. It's a great linguistics primer, but not so basic that I wasn't able to learn a few things. This book, or one like it, should be required reading in high school.

Running the gamut from the anatomical bases of speech and hearing, through an overview of the study of grammar, all the way to the preservation of nearly-extinct languages, Crystal gives a pretty complete overview of the entire scope of linguistics. While the coverage is necessarily light in order to provide such breadth, it rarely feels shallow. There is enough detail throughout to whet the (hard? soft?) palate and provide entree to the topics under discussion. Further reading is, of course, encouraged.

While I'm not particularly interested in foreign language teaching techniques or children's acquisition of language, Crystal's breezy style made those relatively interesting. Of course, that means his coverage of my interests - language and grammar evolution, migration patterns of languages, the formation of pidgins and creoles - was really appealing to me. I'd have to think anyone else with interest in any of these topics would likewise be well-served.

I'd first read Crystal's The Stories of English which was a great read for me. That book pretty much hit my sweet spot. While How Language Works is broader, I still gleaned interesting information in reading it.

One caveat: Crystal is a descriptivist grammarian. For the hard-core, immovably prescriptivist out there, this might be a deal killer.

03 May 2007

You've gotta watch out for those raccoons...they bite

He'd kick Nite-Owl's ass

The obvious review for this week should be Buffy: Season 8. The third issue was out yesterday, the penultimate of this initial story arc, and Joss is firing on all cylinders. Or I could talk about his second, awfully cool issue of Runaways, also out yesterday. Instead, I'm going to sing the praises of Jaime Reyes.

I'm coming to the scarab's party late and feel like a chump for it. I'm a fan of John Rogers and read his blog religiously - dude wrote the Global Frequency pilot, come on - but I just paid no attention to the new Beetle. Rogers was co-writing with Keith Giffen through issue 6, taking over solo scripting chores with issue 7. Because I've picked it up late, I bought the first bound volume and will get the second when it comes out in a couple of months, but from here on out BB's on my pull list.

So what's so great about the Beetle?

Jaime's 17, his best friends and family know his secret, and he's both stoked and freaked by being a cape. Plus, in issue one he goes toe-to-toe with Guy freakin' Gardner. However, as tough as Honor Guard Gardner is, Jaime's mom is an order of magnitude tougher. When Jaime returns from his lost year (all part of the OYL silliness) his moms has some problems adjusting, particularly to the alien battle suit with a mind of its own.

There's a sense of (forgive the irony of this comment) realism to Rogers' and Giffen's portrayal of the Reyes family and friends that's missing from most funny books. If a real teenager found an ancient blue scarab that latched onto his spine giving him super powers, he might behave a lot like Jaime. At least I hope he would. Especially if that scarab keeps giving the kid very bloody and destructive suggestions during battle. I wonder what that's about? :)

One more great thing about BB: the artwork. I've seen prettier comic art and I've seen more exciting comic art, but the sense of proportion and movement are quite natural here. Rogers sums it up best: "You will notice the distinct lack of massive, levitating breasts, a choice further marginalizing us in the mainstream comics community."

Ill-trained thieves roam these lands

Apologizing in advance for providing TMI...
I just got back from lunch at my usual restaurant. Before I left there, I needed to make use of their facilities, so I went into the restroom and put my book and glasses - in their case - on the vanity and made haste to make waste.

A moment or two later, I stepped out of the stall and went to wash my hands - cleanliness is next to godliness, after all - and found my glasses-case open and empty on top of my book. Barring the possibility of a prank by a waiter (I really go to this place a lot), some nimrod absconded with my glasses, but left the case. So...

  1. Someone wanted my butt-ugly Versaces with prescription lenses
  2. He (it was the men's room, so I'm pretty confident my pronoun choice is good) didn't want the case
  3. He took the time to open the case and examine the glasses instead of just the safer grab 'n' go
  4. He had no interest in my book*
Mind you, I am irritated by this, but more in principal than anything else. While I do use my glasses in order to minimize eye strain and headaches, since zap-zap a few years ago I have perfect vision. Also, I have hated these frames since the day I wore them longer than five minutes. My great hope is that my very particular and discriminating thief keeps the frames and wears them. That might be the greatest punishment of all!

* I mention this for completeness, but let's be real: a tool who steals a pair of prescription glasses probably doesn't need them; he's more likely functionally illiterate.

These grapes are a bit tart...no, wait, sour. Yes, they're sour.

A few months back, McSweeney's had a contest to take one of these story ideas F. Scott Fitzgerald had come up with, but never made flesh, and bring it to life.

I knocked out a story (not my best work, but I didn't feel any of the premises) based on the premise: "A criminal confesses his crime methods to a reformer, who uses them that same night." I'd been rejected by McSweeney's before (and when you consider some of the tripe they publish online, that's a bit insulting), so my expectations were low. Still, I figured I'd give it a shot.

Over the last month, month and a half, they've posted three runners-up and today, the winner. Now, I know I'm biased, but I'm pretty sure my crap effort is better than at least one, probably two of the runners-up. The winner? It beats my piece, hands down. The final runner-up - "High Branch"? It kicks my ass and the winner's ass down the street like over-inflated soccer balls. But I'm still damned if I get the sensibilities of McSweeney's online editor.

But don't take my word for it...here's a link to the selections and below is my sub-par effort. Please feel free not only to comment, but to be brutal. Rip and shred, rank the pieces, criticize me at will. If you normally just come and read quietly, shaking your head, take this opportunity to bash. Invite others. Really. I particularly look forward to comments from the Donut shop. :)

Sunday in the Park with Miriam

"Thank you, ma'am, I surely do appreciate the hot meal. Last one I had was down to the jail, and the bulls ain't as nice as you."

"Jail? Have you spent much time there Mr. Galway?"

"Enough Miss Addams. Enough so's I hope never to go back."

Jane placed her frail, mottled hand atop Joseph's smooth and delicate one and locked her eyes on his. Smiling slightly, the corners of her eyes crinkling, she bade him tell about his troubles with the law. Tentatively, he spoke of his life. He spoke of the predations he suffered in the rundown orphanage back in Gary and the desperate midnight dash he took to escape. He told Jane of riding a coal car to Chicago and rooting in the trash for scraps of food to survive the first cold nights.

Cocooned in the warm embrace of her gaze, Joseph lowered his defenses and told Jane about the other Irish boys he met on the South Side. Only a child, he was recruited to serve as lookout while the others robbed the swells leaving theaters and speakeasies. Quickly caught up in the gang life, he soon graduated to robbing homes and stores and rose within the gang's ranks.

"One evening, pawning our haul, Johnny the Fence told us he could get us a lot more money. There was a traveling exhibit at the Art Institute, and Johnny knew a man who'd pay a fortune for one of the paintings on display. If we did the job for Johnny, we'd get half the take.

"I don't know how we got out without gettin' pinched, but we did. Johnny gave us fifty bucks for that painting and we figured he was crazy. That, or some old fellow was crazy wanting to pay so much for a picture. It wasn't 'til later we found out how much it was worth. From then on, we were Johnny's regular crew for museum jobs."

"How were you able to elude capture, Mr. Galway? I'd imagine museums have considerable security to protect their valuable contents."

"They do. Next job we went on, I got nabbed. But bein' as I was just a boy and nothing was missin' - seein' as I'd got caught before we got the painting - the judge let me off after a couple days in jail. That's when we figured out our angle. If we could always make it look like nothin' was missin', we'd be a whole lot better off. It took us a while, but we found a fellow could make copies for us before we went in. Every picture we took, we put a fake in its place."

With a glint in her eye, Jane asked "wouldn't it have been safer to simply provide the fraudulent paintings to the clients?"

"We tried that once. But the fakes didn't fool the rich men...or Johnny. I got pistol whipped for trying."

"But the forgeries weren't detected by the museums?"

"No, ma'am. I guess they just never think to check."

"And what's brought you to Hull House, Mr. Galway? I'd think a successful art thief would have no use for our services."

"I been running since I was seven. I just wanna rest. I'm through with that life."

* * *
"Hullions! Assemble!" Jane's steely voice echoed in the lamp-lit cavern deep beneath the sleeping city.

* * *
More than forty years ago, workmen laying the foundations of Hull House discovered a small subterranean cave. Sealing over the entrance, it was quickly forgotten. One cold morning late in the winter of 1926, Jane went to the basement to get the last of October's canned beets. Noticing a crack that had appeared in the hastily cemented opening, she found a hammer and began to chip at the wall. In a few moments, she'd opened it wide enough to squeeze into the long-forgotten cave. Pushing into the darkness with her small lantern, her own breath warmed the small space, barely wide enough to pass. Just as Jane was about to conclude her first adventure in spelunking, the dust she'd kicked up tickled her throat and she coughed. The echoes seemed to last for eternity.

As she crouched down, a gentle breeze caressed Jane's face. Crawling forward as though she were still a little girl in Cedarville at play with her sisters, her head breached a large cavern. The small lantern's glow barely reached the far wall.

It took Jane and her closest confidants a month to fully map out the cave system and another six months to match that up to the streets above. In four-hour shifts, teams of women would measure and explore the tunnels and chambers while others brought down equipment and tools. Two women died falling into open chasms, which were quickly fenced off. Wiring the caverns took most of '26, but when it was complete, Jane and her coterie had a private retreat from the chaos above.

When the maps were complete, Jane and the women were able to move about the city undetected. Sewer lines, gas lines, and tunnels for telephone, telegraph, and electrical cable were accessible at various points through the cave system. An amusing game in the '20s, this became a necessity in the '30s.

* * *
A few weeks after the crash Jane first had the notion to get into crime. During the boom years, there had been plenty of work for the residents and enough donations from the gilded class to keep Hull House running smoothly. All of that had vanished by mid-November, and Jane grew anxious. Their great experiment couldn't run on dreams and empty promises; it needed money. She resisted the temptations until spring.

At Christmas time, she had reluctantly recruited a few of the younger girls for panhandling; by March it was clear that no one could - or would - give money willingly, so they progressed to pickpocketing and purse snatching. Seeing positive cash flow for the first time in months, Jane decided to branch out into prostitution and robbery. The Hullions were born.

* * *
Joseph Galway came to Hull House in November of 1934, looking to find peace and salvation. By February, Jane had learned all she could about the layout, security protocols, and weak spots of the Art Institute. Meanwhile, she'd found a forger from within the ranks of her Hullions: Miriam Sikorski had studied art in her youth in Krakow; in her twilight years she found use for those skills. Working diligently for ten hours each day, Miriam touched brush to canvas tens of thousands of times, finally completing the forgery in early May of '35.

Jane, still spry at 75, led three of her cohorts - Miriam, Lucille McGrady, and little Noelle Brown - through the caves to the eastern-most exit. While only two miles from the Art Institute, they'd need to be above ground for half the trek while carrying the seven foot by 10 foot painting. Even rolled up it was awkward; however, it was the return trip that most concerned them. Getting into the museum was easy. What they didn't count on was how hard it would be to swap out the huge canvas with their copy. The four women struggled for five full minutes replacing the 50-year-old masterpiece with its doppelganger. Failing to replace the painting would be as bad as being caught in the act. At the last moment, it was finally in place and the women ran to the exit and into the night.

With the original rolled up and resting over the shoulders of two of the Hullions, the women continued to run back to the nearest entrance to the caves, arriving out of breath but exhilarated. Composing themselves, they sealed off the entrance and walked back to the main cavern, their laughter echoing around them.

Jane Addams passed away two weeks later. Despite the loss of her steely hand at the helm, Hull House continued for many years; however, the Hullions went adrift. No instructions were left regarding the painting, so it was left unsold and untouched in the cave which Lucille and Noelle sealed off shortly after the funeral. With the Hullions dispersed, the cave, the crime spree, and the painting became memory.

* * *
To this day, Miriam Sikorski's Sunday Afternoon on La Grande Jatte hangs at the Art Institute of Chicago while Georges Seurat's original molders in the almost-forgotten cave beneath the Hull House Museum. The sole surviving Hullion - Mrs. Leonard Bloom of Oak Grove, Illinois - delights in taking her grandchildren to the Art Institute at least once a year. The children look forward to the trip to the city and have never asked their Nana Noelle why she laughs so hard when they stop to admire the pointillist masterpiece.

02 May 2007

Philosmithical Musing

Rudely stolen from: The Illustrated Smiths

I, um, don't know what to say. Granted, Morrissey is our greatest living singer-songwriter, but who knew he had so much to say about the philosophy of language.

A little bit of Astronaut

Yesterday on CNN's front page, the top story in the Science & Space section was on a NASA document (draft, I assume) on crew health for long-distance voyages. Since this is 2007, and nobody cares about the ISS and its feeble experiments, there aren't a lot of "science and space" stories. The story is still the lead item for that section today.

Big questions need to be addressed when planning months-long missions millions of miles from home, but it looks like the answers are going to take a while to work out.

  • "How do you get rid of the body of a dead astronaut on a three-year mission to Mars and back?"
  • "When should the plug be pulled on a critically ill astronaut who is using up precious oxygen and endangering the rest of the crew?"
  • What about space booty?!?
NASA is addressing the first two, and similar topics, in this document but the doctors and bioethicists are going to punt sex chat to somebody else. Seems like that's the easiest of these three sample questions - just don't get pregnant - but they're calling it a "behavioral issue".

Anyway, I know I'm a cold-hearted bastard, but the first two seem painfully simple to answer: airlock it; and immediately. Actually, my gut reaction on the first topic was to go all Donner party on the corpse (cause of death taken into consideration), but that's unnecessary. The rations for N crew-members are now to be split for N-1, so it's not that important to save the body. Then again, eating all those pre-packaged rations will get tiring and a little Lt. Cmdr. Tommy Tartare might be a welcome break. And just think of the songs!