Sunday, December 20, 2009

On the Bridge of the Enterprise

I just returned from a visit to the Tech Museum of Innovation in downtown San Jose, where I saw  StarTrek:  the Exhibition.  The StarTrek franchise, through four TV series and 9 movies, has become an iconic part of our culture, adding new terms to our language, and shaping our vision of the future.

The exhibition included costumes, props, video clips, and ship models that were actually used in filming the shows.  In addition, there was a replica of the bridge from the  original series, and a replica of the transporter room from the Next Generation.

Whether or not you consider yourself a "trekkie," it's hard to resist the appeal of seeing a phaser close up, peaking into Captain Picard's quarters, or sitting in Captain Kirk's seat on the bridge of the Enterprise.

Beam me up!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

No Longer a Newspaper Subscriber

After decades of reading the San Jose Mercury News, I allowed my subscription to lapse this year.  A few weeks after it expired, a got a phone call from the Mercury News, "reminding" me that I hadn't renewed.

I said that I didn't intend to renew, and the caller politely asked me why.

I said, "The paper is thinner now than it's ever been, but the price keeps going up.  And I really don't read it much anymore.  I get most of my news online."

I expected the usual sales pitch...  perhaps an offer of a lower price, or some persuasive argument about the unique value of local papers.

Instead, the caller said sadly, "Oh OK.  Have a nice evening."

Perhaps he was just having a bad day.  Perhaps he would normally go into full "sales" mode, and fight for every last subscriber.  But I can't help thinking that, even for the people who still work for newspapers, the handwriting is on the wall.