The Alien Observatory –“Advanced Life May Exist in a Form That’s Beyond Matter”

Astrophysicist Paul Davies at Arizona State University suggests that advanced technology might not even be made of matter. While we are aware that our culture is anthropomorphizing, Schneider imagines that her suggestion that aliens are supercomputers may strike us as far-fetched. The first is “the short window observation”: Once a society creates the technology that could put them in touch with the cosmos, they are only a few hundred years away from changing their own paradigm from biology to AI. This ?short window? makes it more likely that the aliens we encounter would be postbiological. Our first radio signals date back only about a hundred and twenty years, and space exploration is only about fifty years old, but we are already immersed in digital technology. Proponents of SETI have often concluded that alien civilizations would be much older than our own ??all lines of evidence converge on the conclusion that the maximum age of extraterrestrial intelligence would be billions of years, specifically [it] ranges from 1.7 billion to 8 billion years. If civilizations are millions or billions of years older than us, many would be vastly more intelligent than we are. But would they be forms of AI, as well as forms of superintelligence? Even if they were biological, merely having biological brain enhancements, their superintelligence would be reached by artificial means, and we could regard them as being ?artificial intelligence.? Uploading allows a creature near immortality, enables reboots, and allows it to survive under a variety of conditions that carbon-based life forms cannot. Neurons reach a peak speed of about 200 Hz, which is seven orders of magnitude slower than current microprocessors. Does not consist of discrete, separate things; but rather it is a system, or a subtle higher-level correlation of things. Are matter and information, Davies asks, all there is? Five hundred years ago, Davies writes, ” the very concept of a device manipulating information, or software, would have been incomprehensible. If so, this “third level” would never be manifest through observations made at the informational level, still less at the matter level. Susan Schneider of the University of Pennsylvania appears to agree. She is one of the few thinkers?outside the realm of science fiction? that have considered the notion that artificial intelligence is already out there, and has been for eons.

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Giant ancient frogs might have snacked on baby dinosaurs

Beelzebufo ampinga, so named for the ancient deity often called the “Lord of the Flies,” was a devilish frog indeed. The species, which lived on the island of Madagascar around 70 million years ago, was likely the biggest frog that ever hopped about the Earth (National Geographic describes it , delightfully, as “beach-ball-size”). That’s why the scientists behind the new study estimate that larger horn frogs (ones with heads about 10 cm across) likely have a bite force of almost 500 Newtons. It comes dangerously close to the force of the common snapping turtle, which has been measured at 657 Newtons and can slice your dang fingers right off. Of course, Jones and his colleagues note in the study, they don’t actually have a Beelzebufo hopping around to snap bird bones apart in the lab. They did directly measure the bite force of a small horn frog?the first such experiment on any frog, the researchers say?by having it bite a specially designed force transducer that “encourages high-effort biting and avoids damage to teeth and bones.” And they know that the jaws of little horn frogs and big horn frogs are mechanically similar, so they’re pretty confident, they say, in their ability to scale up bite force for the larger living amphibians. “Although Beelzebufo is strikingly similar to Ceratophrys in many ways,” they write in the paper, “available material suggests that its skull was relatively longer and shallower, which might also indicate differences in jaw muscle architecture. But, they add, it’s just as possible that the head width they used in their estimates isn’t actually the maximum size for the species. But a frog that chews on more formidable prey isn’t as wild as it might sound: Even today, a few species?like bullfrogs?are infamous for eating just about anything they can cram into their mouths (including, but not limited to, birds and rodents). “If it shared the aggressive temperament and ‘sit-and-wait’ ambush tactics of [present-day] horned toads, it would have been a formidable predator on small animals,” evolutionary biologist Susan Evans told the BBC in 2008 . “Its diet would most likely have consisted of insects and small vertebrates like lizards, but it’s not impossible that Beelzebufo might even have munched on hatchling or juvenile dinosaurs.” Now, almost a decade later, scientists have new proof of its hunting prowess: By calculating the jaw force of one of the frog’s modern relatives, they say, they’ve managed to estimate how much power Beelzebufo ampinga would have packed in a crunch.

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Star Trek Discovery’ premiere review: Smart, serious sci-fi on a slow burn

This beautiful sequence ? plus the fact that the entire episode opens by zooming out of an eye ? reminded me a lot (in a good way) of the 1997 movie of the Carl Sagan novel, Contact. Indeed, a lot of this episode revealed the show to be superior even to the J.J. Frain, one of my favorite actors, isn’t given much to work with yet: I grimaced when he was forced to say “your human tongue is not the problem. If anything, the dialogue in the premiere is almost a little too subtle and serious. For the first time in the history of Star Trek, we’re not getting an introduction to the main location of a show in its first episode. This opener is all about the gravitas of a Klingon-Starfleet encounter, which we’re constantly reminded hasn’t happened in a hundred years (not since the Enterprise TV series of a decade ago, in fact). In any case, most of the action is on the interpersonal level, not the interplanetary. Thanks to Sarek, Burnham discovers that the Vulcans know best how to handle the Klingons. Previous incarnations of Trek, needing to hit the reset button in order to start a new adventure next week, might have done that. The equivalent of the Enterprise, or the Voyager, or the space station known as DS9, doesn’t show up yet. Once you see episode 3, you realize that this was a risky narrative move ? that’s much more of a traditional getting-to-know-you episode. So here we are with the Klingons going all Game of Thrones on us ? watch enough of these subtitled scenes of Klingon conflict and you’d swear you’re in a high-tech Dothraki khalasar. Nearby on the Federation side of space, First Officer Michael Burnham is chomping at the bit for a full command under Captain Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) on the Federation starship Shenzou. Even here, on a Federation ship in the 23rd century, males of the species interrupting women is a thing. Some of these early scenes of Burnham, Georgiou and Saru are a little choppily edited, as if a CBS executive was eager to get to the action.

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These frogs might change color to avoid confusion during orgies

Some frog species have a special strategy for breeding . They gather in a huge group of hundreds or even thousands of frogs. Instead, they drew upon previous observations, hit up the library and gathered old field notes. ?We have articles going back hundreds of years that you can?t find on the internet,? says Bell. ?The study extended beyond any of our individual expertise.? The literature investigation revealed that frogs known to temporarily change color during mating season are likely to also join in the crowded bacchanals. So it seems likely that the color changes evolved to make this method of breeding more successful. In this situation, the males probably aren?t trying to attract females with flashy tones as much as warn other males of their sex, to keep everyone from wasting a precious chance to spread their genes . Of course, this explanation is still in the ?probable hypothesis? category, since scientists don?t actually know how this amphibian’s vision system works. ?We have way more questions than answers at this point,? says Bell. ?We don?t know if they can even see these differences.? A lot of the frogs that have sex en masse also turn yellow during the mating season. Scientists don?t know exactly why frogs turn yellow, but it might be the easiest transition for the frog skin to make or the best signaling color for other frogs, or both. Even if yellow skin is more of a deterrent for other males than an aphrodisiac for females, these croaking casanovas have other methods to indicate they?re ready to get it on. ?The natural variation of frog breeding seen in nature is bizarre,? says Adam Leache , a biologist at the University of Washington. Frogs that live in noisier areas, such as near a waterfall, sometimes wave or lift up one of their back legs . This wealth of interesting mating rituals have left researchers with a lot to study. ?I think that?s fascinating for us to have a better understand of how color works,? says Bell. ?It?s showing us that frogs probably have more complicated communication channels.? Bell says she next hopes to look into the frog visual system, so she can make sure these amphibians can see one another?s sexy yellow hue. ?Compared to other types of vertebrates, we don?t know that much about what frogs can see,? she says. Since they live in both water and land over the course of their lifetime, frogs might even give us clues about how our own vision developed. ?I think it?s inspiring to think about how nature has evolved all these crazy strategies,? says Bell. Rayna Bell, a research zoologist at the Smithsonian Institute, teamed up with Australian researchers to see if these traits actually tend to come in pairs?and if so, which behavior came first. Bell compares the slimy jumble to a dark nightclub?no one can see what?s going on. ?It gets a little chaotic,? says Bell. In 2012, Bell started researching how the genetics of African reed frogs varied across different areas . She wasn’t studying why some species of this frog have males and females that are different colors, but people kept asking her about this sex difference during her research presentations.

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Five ways science can improve your focus

Concentration requires a network of brain regions including the frontal cortex, which is responsible for resisting distractions and controlling our natural impulse to do something more fun. Giving yourself permission to think about anything but work not only takes the guilt out of mind wandering, it also helps tick a few things off the mental to-do list that caused the mind wandering in the first place. Funny cat videos are often seen as the ultimate distraction for procrastinators, but some psychologists think that they might actually help put us in the right mental state to get on with work. According to a recent study, a good way to boost your reserves of willpower is to have a good laugh. In experiments, people who had watched a funny video tried longer and harder to complete an impossible puzzle than a control group of people who watched a video that was relaxing but not funny. ?Creating a culture of fun in your team ? where you deliberately find something funny to laugh at, like a funny email or YouTube video would be one way of helping you to boost your work productivity,? says David Cheng, a leadership researcher at the Australia National University in Canberra, who led the research. ?Of course this isn?t a blank cheque to watch cat videos all day, but taking the occasional break to joke around is useful, especially when you are feeling really tired.? The problem with putting this into practice, however, is finding the right kind of distraction and keeping it on the right side of being overwhelming. The key is to give your mind just enough to do, so that your brain doesn’t have the chance to look elsewhere for stimulation. For most people it might be a case of trial and error to find what works for them, but since screening out distractions can be tiring, perhaps this is one to use sparingly, when all else has failed. But there is a huge amount of evidence to suggest it can actually help you get more done.� The challenge is working out when to take a break, for how long, and what to do with that downtime. Some studies dating from the 1990s suggest that due to natural variations in our cycle of alertness, we can concentrate for no longer than 90 minutes before needing a 15-minute break. Other studies have found that even a micro-break of a few seconds will work, provided it is a total distraction ? in the studies, people did a few seconds of mental arithmetic, so you may have to do something more �intense than staring out of the window. Exercise is a good thing to do in with your break, as it seems to rev up the brain , putting it into a better state to knuckle back down, particularly, according to this study , if you follow it with a caffeinated drink. If that all sounds a bit time-consuming, the good news is that, with or without exercise, a quick dose of caffeine improves memory, reaction time and attention in the short term. So however you choose to take your break, always stop to put the kettle on as you make your way back to your desk. When you need to focus for long periods, less is more, according to studies by Joe DeGutis and Mike Esterman at the Boston Attention and Learning Lab in Massachusetts. Many of the things we think we should be doing to help us concentrate actually work against the way that our brain naturally operates. In brain imaging experiments, they found that the most successful strategy for staying on course was to focus for a while, and then to take a short break before going back to concentrating. Similarly, research by Christian Olivers of Vrije University in Amsterdam found that people?s attention resources stretched a little bit further when they were simply told to back off and think about something else instead of concentrating fully. The more we know about the brain, the clearer it is that stress is the enemy of concentration . So take the time to do whatever it takes to feel calmer and more in control, and, with luck, the work will take care of itself. It might seem counter-intuitive, but allowing your mind to wander may be one of the best approaches if you are struggling to focus. This has led some psychologists to suggest that mind wandering is not so much a glitch, but rather a key part of the system itself that can help our brains function.

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The Marine Corps wants to 3D print cheaper drones

It?s tossed like a javelin into the air, and if the toss works, it can then fly at speeds of up to 50 mph, at ranges of up to 6 miles, and feed video back to the operator the entire time. (If the toss doesn’t work, and the Raven gets hurtled to the ground, it can sometimes break in an expensive way). The amount of space we have in the truck for all of our suit, water, more fuel, our actual packs, those things take up a lot of space, and then you have ammo. ?When it breaks it?s really expensive to fix, and when I say it?s expensive to fix, a section of the wing is like $8,000,? says McNeal, ?so a lot of times your battalion doesn?t like using them because they?re so expensive and because they have to write up statements and it?s a lot of paperwork to get that piece.? McNeal was one of the people who submitted a proposal to last year?s Marine Corps Logistics Innovation Challenge , a program designed to crowdsource ideas about 3D printing and wearable technologies. For McNeal, the idea was a drone that did most of what the Raven did, but cost a fraction of the cost, and smaller form-factor that fit into flexible packs for transport. Garcia?s Nomad, published under a Creative Commons license, is designed to carry a GoPro camera, a motor, and it?s built from modular parts. With a modified version of Garcia?s design, McNeal was selected as one of the about 20 winners of the logistics challenge. In February, the Marine Corps partnered with Autodesk?s Pier 9 residency program, and by the time the residency ended in June, McNeal had a new, 3D printed drone prototype, nicknamed ?Scout. The flight is short, maybe 20 minutes at the most, but the information gained is valuable, a real-time video of just who or what, exactly, is behind that building a mile down the road. And compared to a drone like the Raven, it?s a more limited device: the range at present is less than two miles, and while it can fly at speeds of up to 50 mph, it can only do so for between 12 and 20 minutes. It lacks a laser to mark targets, and at present the camera it uses can?t see in infrared. Based on the modular “Nomad” design, the “Scout” is made of small printed parts designed to be easy to assemble in minutes. In early August, the Army banned the use of DJI drones , citing a fear of vulnerabilities and cybersecurity risks in the popular, Chinese-made quadcopters. ?We don?t have a perfect answer, won?t for a while,? says Captain Christopher Wood, the Director of Innovation at NexLog. ?The technology within the drone world is moving so rapidly that it?s hard to predict anything. With its short range and basic controls, the risks in the Scout might be minimal enough to advance the design from a 3D printed prototype to a simple manufactured machine, but one that can still fly with rapidly printed spare parts. With the area surveilled, the aptly-named Scout drone flies back, and suffers a rough landing, snapping a wing. ?Trying something new, such as this crowd-sourcing approach, 3D printing, embracing small drone technologies, it?s not that those technologies scare us,? says Wood, ?it?s that it requires us to rethink how we?ve been doing business for a long time, and that becomes a little bit uncomfortable.? Beyond just McNeal?s Scout, the Marine Corps set up three permanent maker labs, one each at 29 Palms and Camp Pendleton in California, and one at Quantico in Virginia. In addition, there?s a mobile maker lab that Wood?s office sends around the country, training eight Marines at a time in everything from welding to 3D printing to electronics building to Raspberry Pi and Arduino. While the Corps doesn?t yet know if it wants a 3D printer at battalion or the squad level, it?s building a foundation to incorporate the tools more generally in the future. ?I can?t dictate those solutions while sitting in the Pentagon, I won?t understand the full spectrum of solutions,? says Wood, ?but the Marines on the ground will, especially when you aggregate them across the Marine Corps.? The squad can print another back at company HQ after the mission, and have it ready to go in a couple hours. That?s the vision, at least, behind a new drone program, from NexLog, the Marine Corps next generation logistics team. Last February the team sent corporal Rhet McNeal to a collaborative workspace on a pier in San Francisco to see if modern design tools could build the unmanned scout drone the Corps needs.

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Shock Tactics: The science behind the revolutionary Taser

The company reconfigured the X3 and put it back to the test. But researchers were only able to get heart rhythm readings on 27 subjects, a sample size too small, they noted, to detect a rare event. The date stamp on the digital readout of No. 8�??s racing heart is July 13, 2009. At the end of September 2009, the company issued a bulletin , advising police against aiming at the chest �?? the target inscribed into cops�?? muscle memory through firearms instruction and, until then, Taser training. Taser�??s bulletin also introduced the �??extremely unlikely�?? possibility that the weapons could affect the heart. Back in 2004, Smith had given stock analysts a public preview of favorable unpublished study results in response to critical media reports about Taser safety. �??Until that is published in the peer-reviewed literature, it’s considered in review or confidential,�?? he said in a February 2010 deposition. �??It’s not for public release until the study’s released.�?? Another log extolled the prowess of Blaine, a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer able to bench press 405 pounds. In Maryland, this police training session shows the impact of a Taser X2 stun gun on a dummy target. Smith revealed in that same 2010 deposition that there had been more to the company�??s original dog study a decade earlier �?? the one he had cited in his first sales letter to police and again to counter safety concerns in 2004. The occasion was the case of a Watsonville, California, man catastrophically injured in a 2006 Taser encounter. Treating physicians attributed his heart episode to the Taser shock, medical records show. Taser told the court the episode could have been caused by other factors, including a history of drug and alcohol abuse and an electrolyte imbalance, according to a report by Westlaw, the legal research service of Thomson Reuters. The February 25, 2010 deposition was the third showdown in two years between Smith and the Pasadena lawyer representing Butler. But it was delivered via a catheter into the heart �?? too extreme to be relevant to police work, he said. When the shock hit, Blaine dropped but managed to crawl with one hand outstretched to the knife. In March 2010, eight months after No. 8�??s heart was captured, Taser�??s research team submitted to a peer-reviewed journal an article about the field test in which it occurred. In January 2011 �?? 18 months after the No. 8 episode �?? Forensic Science International published the piece, �??Human cardiovascular effects of a new generation conducted electrical weapon.�?? The researchers said the episode raised the possibility Tasers could contribute to fibrillation by capturing the heart. Co-author Ho, who serves as Taser�??s medical director, said in an email that his research team is �??the world’s leading group�?? studying the Taser�??s effects on people. �??We consider all of our findings to be scientifically significant,�?? he said. Asked about No. 8, Tuttle said Taser was forthcoming about the episode. “A full case report was published,” he said, citing the journal article. Taser�??s view, he said, is that the risk is limited to people with physiques similar to No. 8�??s and impaled in precisely the same way. Three months after publication, the U.K. government advisory committee on less-than-lethal weapons alerted British police organizations about the episode. The committee warned that  �?? even though the case involved an unreleased prototype �?? all Taser models, including the widely used X26, should be considered as potent. A few months later, in late 1999 in Edmonton, the prize was a case of beer for any officer who could advance five feet. Because Taser�??s police weapons are virtually unregulated in the United States, there was no such official warning in the company�??s biggest market. In Taser-sponsored risk management presentations, the episode was introduced to some police departments with a slide that noted there had been �??one capture case�?? among humans. An immediate bulletin to cops explaining, in plain English, what happened to No. 8 would have had more impact than the scientific journal article, said Michael Leonesio, a retired Oakland police officer who ran the department�??s Taser program. �??Most cops aren�??t going to take the time to go out and read these studies and talk to the researchers,�?? COPS: Former Taser master instructor Michael Leonesio questions whether officers take the time to read the lengthy safety protocols issued by the stun-gun maker. Even under �??extreme circumstances,�?? with needles carrying the Taser�??s pulses directly to the dogs�?? hearts, researchers �??were unable to cause a dangerous cardiac fibrillation,�?? SCOTTSDALE, Arizona �?? When Rick Smith launched his supercharged stun gun in 1999, his startup had produced two failed products, several years of losses and a load of debt. Smith wrote. �??I think it becomes apparent that the chances of a random situation occurring in the real world where the ADVANCED TASER would pose a risk to the heart is miniscule.�?? Training materials repeated the account: The Taser �??does not interrupt the heartbeat.�?? After launching the M26, Taser began R&D on a successor �?? much of it conducted in a garage. It belonged to Magne Nerheim, the moonlighting laptop designer who, by that time, had been hired as a staff engineer. Taser introduced the model developed in Nerheim�??s garage �?? the X26 �?? in 2003. About a year later, the company was embroiled in controversy. News articles in the company�??s hometown Arizona Republic and The New York Times  raised questions about Taser�??s safety assertions and about the value of the early research. On an earnings call on July 20, 2004 , he asserted Taser �??never observed adverse arrhythmias that would be dangerous, much less cardiac fibrillation�?? in the dogs. On the call, Smith also previewed the results of a soon-to-be published study. In it, he said, researchers were able to induce ventricular fibrillation in pigs with the X26, but only by turning up the charge to 20 times its standard output. Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating whether �??we had lied about the safety of our devices,�?? He feared a bad outcome could bring the corporate �??death sentence�?? �?? a ban on government contracting, an important source of Taser�??s revenue. But the probe included a look at the 2003 death of a man shocked three times with a Taser in an Indiana jail, according to redacted records of the investigation released to Reuters under the Freedom of Information Act. Smith said he disregarded his lawyers�?? advice, walked into the SEC�??s offices and gave them �??everything they were asking for �?? a transparency judo kick ,�?? he wrote, without recounting what he said. �??The investigation ended, and our business got back on track.�?? Between 2006 and 2008, a series of pig studies �?? including one sponsored by Taser �?? appeared in medical journals demonstrating that Tasers could disrupt the heart. The company-sponsored study appeared in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. It showed that shocks to the chest triggered extra heartbeats, a phenomenon known as capture, as well as the more dangerous ventricular fibrillation, but only when more than a standard jolt was applied. Still, the authors advised avoiding the heart. He needed something strong enough to stop suspects in their tracks and the science to convince police it wouldn�??t kill. In a second study in the same journal, independent scientists, led by a doctor with the Canadian Institute of Health Research, subjected six pigs to 150 discharges. But when shot in the chest, the stun captured their hearts 79 percent of the time, suggesting the weapon �??may have cardiac risks that require further investigation in humans.�?? But a heart captured by a rapidly moving outside source of electricity can lead to potentially lethal fibrillation. To mimic the stress of a police encounter, a response that makes the heart more vulnerable to capture, the Canadians gave the pigs synthetic adrenalin. Taser later said the technique skewed the results. TELLTALE HEART: Ultrasound images show the heartbeat of a police officer, identified only as the eighth subject,  before (top), during (middle) and after (bottom) he was shocked during a test of a Taser in development in 2009. In Smith�??s view, the science came together just in time to save his company. Taser reduced the charge before releasing the model. The images accompanied a 2011 article by a team of researchers, including Taser advisors Jeffrey Ho and Donald Dawes, in Forensic Science International Journal. Then, doctors in Chicago tested Tasers in a series of studies that included assessments of the longer shocks sometimes used by police on combative suspects. Company officials had been briefed on the results of the Taser-sponsored study months before it was published in August 2006. It would be three years before the company warned police of the risk of capture and advised them to avoid chest shots. In wrongful death suits, the company argued that it had no duty to warn police that Tasers could affect the heart �?? or advise them to avoid chest shocks �?? because animal experiments provide theoretical evidence, not proof, of human hazard. In 2007, the nature of the science changed. �??Stored event data revealed two high ventricular rate episodes corresponding to the exact time of the Taser application,�?? the doctors reported in the Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology. They noted that the pacemaker may have helped conduct the electric jolt to the man�??s heart. The case showed the risk of capture, they said, was real �?? at least for the prisoner with the pacemaker. In May 2009, another group of heart specialists writing in a medical journal implicated a Taser in a death �?? the first such finding in the scientific literature. The investigators, including a cardiologist on Taser�??s scientific advisory board, identified the signature peaks and valleys of ventricular fibrillation on a cardiac activity readout taken just before the young man died. It came during pre-market field tests of a new model, the X3. The tests were conducted for the company by Jeffrey Ho and Donald Dawes, emergency room physicians who are paid medical consultants to Taser. �??I can state unequivocally that the ADVANCED TASER is a safe, effective means to bring potentially violent confrontations under control quickly and with minimal risk to police officers and suspects,�?? One dart embedded in his right hip, the second in his sternum less than an inch from his heart. But, near the end of the 10-second test, he closed his eyes briefly.

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Star Trek: Discovery’ is beyond disappointing

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Long time fans of the monumental science-fiction series “Star Trek” and its many spinoffs have waited�a long time to see another series that faithfully translates�Gene Roddenberry’s hopeful vision for the future onto the television screen. As a result, her lines sounds like they were written by an overly-enthusiastic fanboy who has seen every episode of the original “Star Trek” series and knows how to use a thesaurus, but has no idea how to write compelling dialogue. The supporting characters also get in on the act, content to spout Treknobabble rather than partake in believable discourse.�Their awkward diction makes “Discovery” feel at times like a big-budget work of fan-fiction. In a particularly jarring sequence in the first episode, the first officer betrays her Captain�and later makes clear the she put little�thought into her decision. Burnham is sentenced to life in prison for her mutinous actions at the end of the second episode, but previews for upcoming episodes suggest that a Starfleet Captain arranges�her release thanks to her unique skills. Storylines like that one speak to one of the show’s greatest weaknesses: When the central characters act in ways�that defy simple logic, it makes them difficult to sympathize with, or to root for. The first two episodes focus on the start of a war between the Federation — the good guys — and the chaotic empire of the warlike Klingons. In the first episode the Klingons spend several minutes discussing prophecies and tradition while a hostile ship floats directly off their bow. And the way to get promoted on a Klingon warship is apparently to stick your hand in a fire for a few seconds. Depicted as a fearsome, yet complex society in past Trek shows, the Klingons in “Discovery,” at times act like they were written by someone with only a cursory knowledge of “Star Trek” mythology. The hull of a Klingon warship, for example, is coated in the coffins of dead warriors. On top of lame dialogue, the first two chapters in this new Trek series are bogged down by an excess of exposition. I understand the need to explain the show’s background, but it doesn’t need to be done in ways that strain credulity. For example: In the first episode, Burnham contacts her Vulcan mentor to ask how his people established diplomatic relations with the Klingons. The show’s worst offense, however, is betraying the big ideas that made “Star Trek” great in the first place. The notion that rational, level-headed leaders can bring two sides together to peacefully work through�their differences defined the original series and its first live-action�spinoff, “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” It was an inspiring message that gave viewers something to strive for, but in the first two episodes of “Discovery,”�it is quickly�forgotten in favor of special-effects-laden space battles. But the show sometimes uses the story as an excuse to put its impressive visual effects on display, to the detriment of the narrative. That isn’t to say the series can’t improve. “Next Generation,” took nearly a full season to hit its stride. Shenzhou, and her actions help precipitate the conflict (We will apparently be introduced to the show’s namesake ship, U.S.S.

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Star Trek: Discovery — how to watch tonight on CBS All Access

“Star Trek: Discovery” �on� CBS All Access �is almost here. The newest series of the franchise is a prequel that takes place about a decade before the five-year mission of the original 1960s ” Star Trek .” “Discovery” is also set in the timeline of the original series, not that of the new films by J.J. Immediately after the first episode airs on CBS, the second episode will be available on CBS All Access only. After premiere night, new episodes will be available on� CBS All Access �each Sunday. CBS All Access is available on your mobile device, Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Fire TV, PS4, Xbox or Windows 10. If you don’t have CBS All Access already, you can watch “Star Trek: Discovery” with a free, one-week trial. You simply browse over to the� CBS All Access landing page �and pick the plan you want to purchase. Here’s what you need to know to watch the new Star Trek show. Star Trek: Discovery stars Sonequa Martin-Green of ” The Walking Dead ” as� First Officer Michael Burnham . Michael is the first human to attend the Vulcan Science Academy, and the series starts with her serving as the first officer of the USS Shenzhou, helmed by Michelle Yeoh ‘s Captain Philippa Georgiou. “I appreciate how courageous this story is and I appreciate how they’ve woven me into that family because Spock is an institution,” Martin-Green told “CBS This Morning.”

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Colleges Move to Close Gender Gap in Science

Women�make up more than half of students on U.S. college campuses, but receive only about two of every 10 degrees in high-paying and in-demand fields such as computer science and engineering, according to federal data. Administrators say there is no easy fix to the mismatch,�which could be key in maintaining the nation?s long-term economic strength. But recent efforts to recruit�women�to the hard sciences and more technical fields,… Save Article Sign In to Save Subscribe to WSJ Link copied?

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