SciFi Friday: Lost Spoilers; Star Trek and Boston Legal; Kristen Bell as Princess Leia Slave Girl; and Respecting Jessica Simpson


Lost returns on January 31 and will air Thursdays at 9 pm. The video above shows a trailer for the upcoming season and gives a (very slight) hint regarding the cliff hanger from last season. Charlie is also seen, but considering he is dead I suspect this is some sort of vision. More spoilers regarding the Oceanic 6 are available here for those who want further clues as to the direction the show might be going.

Boston Legal must have set the record for the most appearances by actors and actresses who have appeared in any of the versions of Star Trek. William Shatner isn’t going to be the only starship captain on the show as Scott Bakula (Enterprise) will be making a guest appearance. A comprehensive guide to the cross overs between Star Trek and Boston Legal is available here. Bakula also appeared as Murphy Brown’s love interest in 1993 and he will be appearing with Candice Bergen during this guest appearance. Boston Legal’s season ends December 14 due to the strike.

If Boston Legal likes everything Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica really likes Bajorans. After giving a prominent guest appearance to Michelle Forbes in the episodes involving the Pegasus, as well as in the made for television movie Razor, another former Star Trek actress who played a Bajoran will appear next season. Nana Visitor (Kira Nerys on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) will play Emily, a cancer patient who Laura Roslin gets to know in sickbay. More information on the upcoming season of Battlestar Galactica is available here.

The scenes of Princess Leia as a slave girl in Return of the Jedi has been a major fantasy for geeks for the last generation. (Photo of the original in this previous post.) Kristen Bell has recreated this image for her role in Fanboys, with two pictures above.

In researching this post (tough job, somebody’s got to do it) I also discovered that Olivia Munn of G4’s Attack Of The Show also did the Leia slave girl thing last spring (pictured above).

And, finally, Female First reports that Jessica Simpson is desperate to be respected as an actress and has found a role which she believes will grant her this:

Jessica is in the running for a role that, if she gets it, will put her right on the map in terms of acting. The only hitch is that the script requires a number of quite graphic scenes including a full-frontal nude scene. Jessica is so desperate to land the role and get the industry’s respect that she’s ready to go against her better judgement, and her family, by agreeing to bare all.

Yes, Jessica, do it. I promise to respect you if you do.

Paul’s Chances Diminished By Conduct Of Supporters

There have been many stories in the media regarding the behavior of Paul supporters in the blogosphere. There have also been stories regarding Paul supporters hassling other candidates. Dave Nalle, a libertarian who supports political action in the Republican Party, warns that the behavior of Ron Paul’s supporters at Republican gatherings is also counterproductive:

In party politics it doesn’t matter how right you are, it only matters how many people are convinced that you have a winning strategy. Paul’s supporters don’t understand this or don’t want to understand it. They’re thinking in terms of running an outsider, grassroots campaign. But Paul deliberately didn’t run as an independent. He showed the good sense to run as a Republican, knowing all of the advantages of access and opportunity he would have in the primaries and the base of support he’d be able to count on in the general election if he won the nomination.

Paul’s supporters don’t seem to respect his decision to run as a Republican, and in this area he had the right idea and they are dead wrong. Regardless of the fact that he’s drawn supporters from every quarter of the lunatic fringe and even from the far left, he’s not going to make it to the election if he doesn’t win the Republican primary, and he’s not going to win the primary if his followers alienate too many people within the GOP. Even if his followers don’t like it, Paul is running as a Republican and he has to play the party game…

You can’t show up in a hotel ballroom full of people who look like they graduated high school with Ronald Reagan carrying signs and shouting slogans and not expect them to go all Berkeley-in-69 on your ass and shut you down. They’ve got their uppers out and they’re sucking on rubber chicken and as far as they can tell you’re the next generation of the hippy apocalypse come back for vengeance.

Paul supporters begin with a difficult situation in the Republican Party as Paul’s views are so far out of line with Republican thought. Paul supporters like to claim that the polls don’t reflect his true support, or that more people would support him if he could get his message out. They were saying this when both Paul and Huckabee were in single digits in the polls and both were struggling to get attention. Both began to receive coverage following their debate performances. Huckabee’s views are supported by many Republicans and he has moved up in the polls, showing that the polls really do measure support if a candidate is able to attract it. There is support for a theocon in the GOP, but not for someone campaigning against the neocons. Paul remains in single digits.

Regardless of what Paul’s supporters did at Republican gatherings it is unlikely they could have won over many Republicans. However their behavior only reduces the possibility of winning support. Paul supporters seem to believe that they can improve their standing by insulting those they disagree with. Their conduct will only make party regulars more determined to stop Paul.

While the biggest story on the day of the Iowa caucuses will be about the winners, it will also be interesting to see how Paul does. On the one hand it is possible, considering the enthusiasm of his supporters, that Paul will out perform his current position in the polls. It is also possible that they have burned so many bridges with Republicans that they will find ways to shut down his supporters in the caucuses. They will complain of conspiracies working against them, but they will largely have themselves to blame.

Creationist Gets Away With Murder

Creationists attempt to get away with murder in the manner in which they butcher science and make bogus claims. They also tand a chance of literally getting away with murder if in Australia and found to be of good character. (Hat tip to Greg Laden):

English backpacker Alexander Christian York, 33, was today sentenced to a maximum of five years jail for the manslaughter of Scotsman Rudi Boa in January last year…

The Scottish couple and York, neighbours at the caravan park, were becoming friends and spent the night of January 27 drinking at the Star Hotel in Tumut.

However, towards the end of the night, an argument between York and the pair about creationism versus evolution escalated into a shouting match at the pub.

The couple, both biomedical scientists, had been arguing the case of evolution, while York had taken a more biblical view of history…

Although the altercation had been defused by the time the Scottish tourists left the hotel, it became inflamed again at the caravan park when all three were quite drunk.

According to Ms Brown, York was making dinner when he attacked the couple outside his tent, stabbing Mr Boa with a kitchen knife as the argument escalated.

York said he had lashed out in self-defence, after being attacked by Mr Boa.

In the NSW Supreme Court sitting in Wagga Wagga in July, York was found guilty of manslaughter but acquitted of murdering Mr Boa.

He was today sentenced to a maximum of five years in jail, with a non-parole period of three years.

He will be eligible for release on January 26, 2009.

Justice Adams said he had given York a sentence at the lower end of the scale, partly because of the accidental nature of the stabbing.

“I do not believe that he took aim but rather thrust out,” Justice Adams said.

“I think he knew that the knife was in his hand … but he did not actually turn his mind to the potentially serious consequences of doing this.

“The offender is a person of good character and the offence is a complete aberration.”

Peggy Noonan Finds Modern Republicans To Be Too Extreme For Ronald Reagan

In some ways I am really happy to see the rise of Huckabee in the Republican race as this is causing many conservatives to question the direction the party has moved. In the past Republicans such as Ronald Reagan have used the religious right to get votes but have typically only thrown them a few bones. Now that the religious right has become dominant in the party, many Republicans are questioning whether this is the direction they really want the party to move in. Peggy Noonan writes that the increased importance of religion in the Republican race is not progress. She writes:

Christian conservatives have been rising, most recently, for 30 years in national politics, since they helped elect Jimmy Carter. They care about the religious faith of their leaders, and their interest is legitimate. Faith is a shaping force. Lincoln got grilled on it. But there is a sense in Iowa now that faith has been heightened as a determining factor in how to vote, that such things as executive ability, professional history, temperament, character, political philosophy and professed stands are secondary, tertiary.

But they are not, and cannot be. They are central. Things seem to be getting out of kilter, with the emphasis shifting too far.

I’ve noted several times in the past that, while many conservatives see Barry Goldwater as the founder of their movement, Goldwater rejected the influence of the religious right. Noonan notes that the party has now gone too far even for the conservative hero Ronald Reagan:

I wonder if our old friend Ronald Reagan could rise in this party, this environment. Not a regular churchgoer, said he experienced God riding his horse at the ranch, divorced, relaxed about the faiths of his friends and aides, or about its absence. He was a believing Christian, but he spent his adulthood in relativist Hollywood, and had a father who belonged to what some saw, and even see, as the Catholic cult. I’m just not sure he’d be pure enough to make it in this party. I’m not sure he’d be considered good enough.

That’s what we now have. A Republican Party which as become so extreme that not only has it moved beyond Barry Goldwater, who called himself a liberal in his later years, but which has become even too extreme for Ronald Reagan to be welcome.

Peace Is At Hand: The War on Christmas Is Over


Bill O’Reilly has declared victory in the War on Christmas, as seen in the video above. This could be for the best as the only plausible ending for a fictitious war which largely began in Bill O’Reilly’s head was for O’Reilly to declare victory. From now on whenever a conservative brings up the War on Christmas, point then to this and show them that the war is over.

If only this means O’Reilly will now leave everyone else alone. It would be even better if his spiritual cousins on the opposite side of the coin, such as the Taliban and al Qaeda, will follow his example and also declare victory and end their wars.

Some day perhaps American conservatives will decide to observe the First Amendment again and understand that nobody has anything against Christmas. We just understand why the founding fathers felt it was so important to keep religion out of what O’Reilly refers to as the public square. If they ever doubted this, just seeing people like O’Reilly go on like this demonstrates the founding father’s wisdom in desiring to create a secular state.