Sunday, 15 May 2005

Redheads headed for extinction?

According to a British outfit called the Oxford Hair Foundation, the recessive gene that causes people to be natural redheads may disappear from the population by 2100, although other scientists dispute this timetable, but not the genetics behind it. (þ: Radley Balko)

Yay corruption

The City of Chicago managed to lose 16,800 tons of asphalt last summer, apparently due to theft by paving contractors or the companies contracted to haul the asphalt to job sites. The weird part is that asphalt really isn’t worth that much; according to the article, a ton can be had for around $10. (þ: Dean Jens)

Berman fatigue

I am in general agreement with Steven Taylor’s assessment of the final two episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise; indeed, I think “Terra Prime” probably would have functioned just as well if it had been the finale. Plus, I really liked the fact they actually found something useful to do with Travis Mayweather—I think he had more lines in the “Demons/Terra Prime” two-parter than he’d had in whole seasons; he certainly had more useful things to do. I still have to wonder what bizarre fashion trend made everyone on Earth abandon normal clothing in favor of jumpsuits between 216x and the TOS era, however.

As for the finale itself, I can’t agree more with this statement:

Unfortunately These are the Voyages underscores Berman’s lack of understanding of what should have been done with Enterprise–here is the chance to focus on the founding of the Federation and instead we get a side-story about Shran’s kidnapped daughter and the ramifications of that event, including the poorly written, poorly acted, gratuitous death of Trip. One tunes in assuming that the story would be about the decommissioning of Enterprise and the signing of the Federation Charter, and yet we don’t actually get to see any of it (save a few minutes in the final act).

The surrounding story on the Enterprise-D made little sense, didn’t fit in with the events it supposedly was a part of, and was really quite unsatisfactory—and I actually like Riker and Troi, unlike a goodly portion of the fan base. About the only good thing about the episode was its showcasing of Connor Trinneer—and the D/TP two-parter did a better job of that too.

In other sci-fi news, Friday also saw Andromeda finally put out of its (and my) misery. The scary thing is that the best sci-fi on Friday night was probably the damn rerun of Battlestar Galactica’s “Litmus,” and it was barely sci-fi at all. I also learned about the Monty Hall Dilemma on Numb3ers, which you’d think I’d have known as an applied stats guy but it somehow never came up.

Of course, I didn’t see any of this live since I was actually in Pearl at the time watching the Mississippi Braves at Trustmark Park, courtesy of friends-of-friends Michelle and David.

Bleg: RDU Edition

Triangle-area readers (or ex-Triangle folks): any advice on neighborhoods and areas to look at or avoid as I prepare for the Big Move would be appreciated. My vague preferences are for an apartment or townhouse that is a reasonably short commute to Duke’s West Campus, about 1000 square feet of living space, and an area where I won’t be the only semi-responsible adult in my building. I’ve seen a few promising possibilities on and the Duke Community Housing website, but additional thoughts would be helpful too.