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March 28 - April 3, 1999

Contact info for NBC in case you wanna pester them to bring Homicide: Life on the Street and/or Newsradio back next year.

If you've never watched Homicide: Life on the Street and wonder what all my fuss is about, do give the show a try this Friday. Watch the rerun of "The Documentary" (airs at 8pm and again at 11pm CST, Court TV). It's a wonderful introduction to the show (and in case a show called Homicide or shows about cops put you off, the show isn't violent (well rarely and then there are warnings) and it's best moments are about the wonderful characters).

And there's also a new episode in which beloved bisexual buddhist Bayliss experiences some sort of major crisis (9pm CST, NBC). Well, that's what the commercials and previews would have me believe. The Bayliss bits last week were heartwrenching, while the rest of the episode was merely okay (by Homicide standards, that is). So I've high hopes for what looks like a Bayliss-centric episode.

As always, visit Homicide: Links on the Sites for all things Homicide related (episode guides, FAQs, news, and lots of other stuff).

I miss seeing Troy McClure (as voiced by Phil Hartman) on The Simpsons, but his legacy lives on. Thankfully someone has catalogued his acting career [via memepool]. I suppose creating an IMDB entry wouldn't work (it'd be so fun, though, wouldn't it?).

James Lileks on the dreaded Melissa virus:

No one sent me the "Melissa" virus. Since it stole e-mail addresses from people's computers and mailed itself to the first 50 names on the list, this means I'm not in anyone's address book. I feel like the last kid picked for the kickball team. I'm sure I would have gotten the virus eventually, but only after the popular kids got it.

And then there is:

You can tell it was America that went to the moon: We left shoes, a car that doesn't work and food wrappers. Took a perfectly pristine planet and made it look like the front yard from the "Hee Haw" demographic.

Wonder how long before someone emails him to say that the moon's not a planet . . . but hey. :-)

Paula Graves' thoughtful analysis of the recent X-Files episode "Alpha" includes this gem:

The message here is subtle but disturbing---we, as humans, like to think that technology has moved us beyond the Darwinian notion of primacy based on physical superiority, but has it?

Greg Knauss feels the Star Trek franchise has been nothing but junk for the last 9 years or so:

If there was any justice in the world -- and that Kate Mulgrew wears a collar with four pips is evidence that there isn't -- the last line in the Star Trek canon would have been "Fire!" That single moment -- Riker's order to destroy Locutus and the rest of the Borg in Season Three's cliffhanging "Best of Both Worlds" -- was a pinnacle that the nine grueling years since have done nothing to improve on, or match, or even approach.

That surely was a high point in Trek history, but I'm very fond of Deep Space Nine and think that at it's best, it may be better than the best of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Lord knows it struggled for a bit, though.

Reaction to Kevin Mitnick's plea bargain.

A piece about how the last episode of Deep Space Nine is being filmed this week (and how the script may not even be complete yet) [from Ain't It Cool News]. I'm gonna miss DS9, it's arguably (IMHO, of course) the best of the Star Trek series. I quite liked this bit at the end of the tale:

And, for those who haven't heard, the Star Trek Hallmark Christmas ornament vehicle this year is the Runabout Rio Grande (featuring the voice of Worf). One would think that...given the impending conclusion of Deep Space Nine...Hallmark might have issued an ornament of DS9 itself. I mean, the thing already looks like an ornament.

Perhaps that's how the series will end: the station's string will will go crashing down to Bajor...the resulting explosion creates a detonation strong enough to push Bajor out of its orbit (a la Space: 1999)....Bajor spins out of orbit an plugs up the wormhole.

Jon Carroll on how folks are treating him differently since he wrote about having diabetes. And what it's like living with a chronic disease. And other good stuff (really):

But there's another thing, a more interesting thing. When you get a chronic disease, you cross over a line you had not previously been aware existed at all. In order to cope with the problem, you have to develop a kind of narcissism that is both useful and dangerous. You have to pay attention to your body in a whole different way.

And a thought anyone who's had a illness for any length of time shares:

What of art, music, politics? What of gossip? Surely there is an entire world out there that does not depend on the state of my bloodstream. I really want to talk about that world. I am not my disease.

Longer than usual piece from Al Roker, about going to see Soupy Sales (live!) when he was a kid:

The irony is, that same night, over at Shea Stadium, who was playing against Soupy but those four mop tops from Liverpool, THE BEATLES!!!

So we're jammed into the Number 7 subway, my mom looks around at the crowd and says to me, "I had no idea this Soupy Sales was SO popular!"

And about how he (Al Roker, that is) was inducted into the Friar's Club last Thursday. And Soupy Sales was his sponsor.

They call it a review, but it's more of a brief recommendation for the annotated Babylon 5 script for "Day of the Dead" (written by Neil Gaiman) which was published by Dreamhaven Books. From TNT's Babylon 5 website.

Sidewalk looks at the Jesse action figures.

Never been to Ax-Man? You're missing out. I'll be making a pre-Minicon run to look for odd/funstuff . . .

A year has passed since tornados devastated parts of St. Peter, Minnesota and almost destroyed Comfrey, Minnesota. The Star Tribune has some good stories, like this one which really got to me:

COMFREY, MINN. -- One resident planned to tape his rose to his father's tombstone. Another intended to place hers next to a guardian angel magnet.

A year after a tornado ravaged their town of 400, residents of Comfrey are finding solace in placing red roses in spots signifying their losses and recovery.

In memory of all that his family lost during last year's tornado, Marvin Wall placed a rose at the bottom of the steps to his family's new home.

For some, it's the basement where they found shelter. For others, it's a new home or business or even a hog barn. The roses represent their gratitude for having survived and for the blossoming of life again

I still get sad when I drive through St. Peter. It was once a nice town with lotsa nifty historic houses and buildings and *tons* of huge trees lining the streets and in the park near Gustavus Adolphus college. When I last was there, most of the big trees were gone and plenty of buildings and homes were being worked on. It's the absence of tress that's so shocking. They've planted lotsa new ones, of course. Sigh.

Yay! Lovely startribune piece about the first annual Nordic Roots Music Festival. Also links to realaudio samples of all the bands. They're very, very good. And if I weren't tied up with Minicon commitments all weekend, I'd be at a lot of these shows. Amazing, interesting music coming from nordic lands, I agree with many who say they're doing more progressive music than celtic bands are these days.

/.'s story re pizza vending machines reminded me of Raphael's spiff list of things that have been sold in vending machines.

Oh. My. God. It's the Mr. T Quote of the Week [via memepool]. I pity the fool that . . . oh nevermind.

Babylon 5 will be released on DVD eventually, really. Yay! From an interview by The Big Picture with some folks from Warner Home Video [via ain't it cool]:

TBP: Any plans to release BABYLON 5 on DVD?

Mike Finnegan: Yes!

TBP: Widescreen?

Mike Finnegan: To be decided.

TBP: Well, count this as a vote for Widescreen on behalf of our readers because I know that they're very interested in that...

In case anyone out there doesn't know, Babylon 5 was filmed so it'd look good on our plain old TV sets, but also so it'd work with the new HDTV format when it debuts. Can't wait to see Bab5 widescreen . . .

Yes, you can now download the trailer for Muppets from Space from this website. I bet you didn't know you wanted it, but now you're curious, right? :-)

Fabulous long article about John Williams putting music to The Phantom Menace. And lots of George Lucas stuff, too. With appearances by Steven Spielberg, Ewan MacGregor, Anthony Daniels, and others. Heck, they even mention Wedge! :-) Geek nirvana:

"The Phantom Menace" contains many of the familiar "Star Wars" themes - it was a thrill to hear the most famous of them all appear in the trumpets again - but there are also new themes for new characters. The old themes and the new ones combine as they range across the spectrum of cinematic experience. There is scary music, exciting music, tenderhearted music, comic music, noble funeral music, and music of heroic resolve.

The 8-year-old Anakin has a theme that Williams says "is the sweetest and most innocent thing you've ever heard." That's how it sounds, though alert ears will be uneasy when they realize it is built on a chromatically unstable 12-tone row. But wait a minute - isn't there something familiar about this? The principal horn player voices the question: "Isn't this Darth Vader's music?"


At the close of the day, Lucas, Spielberg, and Williams line up against the wall in front of a "Star Wars" poster for a television interview.

"They call you Johnny," the interviewer remarks.

"You should have seen how young I was when they met me," Williams responds.

Mitnick plea accepted:
Free Kevin coverage
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