Kara Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

5 Articles from March 2008

  1. Frakkin' pumped for season 4

    One week from now, we will be witness to a great thing. The premiere of the fourth and final season of Battlestar Galactica. This is the sort of thing you'll tell your children about. Even if you don't watch it now, you'll want to retcon your memories so you can claim you were always a fan.

    Why is BSG great? Because it's the only science fiction show that isn't a science fiction show. Unlike Star Trek, Stargate SG-1, etc., BSG isn't a science fiction show set in space.

    "What?!" you say. "Of course it is. They have space ships. And robots. And ... and ..." No, it doesn't. BSG is a drama that happens to be set in space. The issues it deals with are the same issues we face today--in fact, the show is a thinly-veiled critique on controversial contemporary issues, particularly the war in Iraq. The conflicts the characters deal with, especially the morally ambiguous questions that arise as a result of a prolonged war, are relevant to us in every way. All they do is remove it one step from us, putting it in space. The technology isn't even that much different. You've got…

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  2. The tenuous nature of freedom

    Many of us are lucky to live in a country that allows us to claim "freedom"--freedom of expression, freedom from persecution, freedom to assemble, protest, etc. Sometimes we take that freedom for granted. Sometimes, we forget that most of the world doesn't share this precious resource--or if they do, it comes with strings attached.

    I've been watching the situation in Tibet unfold over the past several days. And I can't help but think: that could be me. If my situation were just a little different, if I had been born elsewhere or if our government changed ... that could easily be me.

    Could it? Am I talking crazy? Maybe, but then something like this happens and reminds me how fragile the Internet is. The Internet is the information age's symbol for freedom and democracy. It is the "great equalizer" that allows everyone to have his or her say. Sites like YouTube and Digg put the power in the hands of the users, letting them get their content out to the world. But as conceptually liberal as the Internet is, it is still at the mercy of corporations and governments who control the network infrastructure and software that keeps it going.…

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  3. It's that time again

    Yesterday marked the 3 week countdown to the end of the term. After that I have 4 exams, and then I am officially done my first year of university! :arr: It's a strange feeling. I'm hard at work on my end-of-term assignments: an English essay, a book review for sociology, a small Rhetoric essay, and my regular math assignments. Those are going pretty well. I'm almost finished the rough draft of my English essay; I just need to make sure I start my sociology review in time to get it done comfortably and not leave it until, say, four days before the end of the term (like ... last time...).

    Arthur C. Clarke died yesterday. :( It's kind of weird. He was 90, of course, but he was around for so long that you just sort of got comfortable with him being around, eh? Like Isaac Asimov, he was one of the science fiction giants who pioneered the field, steering it to its heights of greatness. His stories inspired me--particularly "The Nine Billion Names of God" and "The Star", even though I'm not a religious person. But he led a long, distinguished life, and now he gets a rest.

  4. Contact

    You're scanning a room full of people. Suddenly, there it is. Your eyes have caught those of another person, maybe someone far across the room. For a moment, you stare at each other. You wonder: is he staring at me? Am I staring at her? Which one of us started this? Then, just as quickly, you lose focus. You resume your scanning. The moment you shared collapses in on itself, and the night goes on.

    In other news, Harper is suing the Liberal Party for libel. Only in Canada, eh! :D

  5. Such a franchise junkie

    Stargate: The Ark of Truth came out on DVD today, so I went right to Future Shop after class to buy it. Yes, MGM tells me to buy something, and I buy it. I am such a franchise junkie.

    Obligatory spoiler warning here. Read more and feel the wrath of the Ori--oh wait....

    I'm so satisfied. It took ten years to get here, but every step of the way was totally worth it. I was initially upset, but quickly resigned, to Stargate SG-1's cancellation. They were kind of running out of apocalypses after all--and the recent terrible writing on Stargate Atlantis seems to reinforce that fact. That doesn't mean I was going to ignore the direct-to-DVD sequels MGM wanted to produce, especially because the writers deliberately left the Ori saga half-concluded. More SG-1? Yes please.

    Overall, I loved it. The dialogue among the SG-1 characters is just so satisfying; they are so comfortable with each other. Since the series has such a rich universe and backstory, it allows the writers to tie together elements that may once have been disparate, and even expands their creativity by giving them a better canvas. Yes, they brought back the replicators, but…

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