2001 Site Updates
December 31, 2001
Gothmog has given up. He won't admit that I've been beating him like a rented mule, but he's bowing out. His flimsy excuse is that I swore at him when I caught him breaking our agreement (oh, boo hoo; as if the person caught lying has any right to complain about the manners of the one who caught him!). Anyway, you can see our E-mail exchange regarding his breach of our agreement here, and his cowardly retreat here. See the main debate page here.
It's probably going to be a mad-house when I get back to work, and I haven't even seen LOTR yet, so I'm going to take a bit of time off. But in a couple of weeks, I need to pick another victim. Gothmog barely qualified as an appetizer.
December 30, 2001
Well, Gothmog managed to sneak in his second post late last night, only a few hours into grace time. It was long-winded but pretty laughable (I can tell this guy's not going to be anywhere near the challenge some people told me he would be), so I've already written up my rebuttal. Enjoy!
I love to cause havoc. A big thanks to Big Steve over at Spacebattles.com, not to mention Kier, LordChaos, and all of the other guys, some of whom I don't know at all, who went along with the little prank Steve dreamed up (they made me a spacebattles.com moderator just to see how people would react!). Personally, I think it was a good experience, because it verified certain expectations. Some people were leery but civil, others welcomed me wholeheartedly and hoped I would become an active participant, and still others got really pissed off (even though I hadn't done anything yet, which gives you an idea of their mentality). It helped me get the "lay of the land", so to speak.
December 27, 2001
I just posted my rebuttal to Gothmog's first post.
December 26, 2001
The debate has finally begun! Gothmog sent the first post today, so I have roughly two days to reply. His first post is here, and the soap opera of the original challenge was moved onto a separate page here. I also updated the Hate Mail main index page to account for all of this.
December 23, 2001
Another update to the Gothmog debate preamble page (no, the debate hasn't started yet, but he got back to me about some definitions he wanted to set).
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go cut two eye-holes out of a paper bag so that I can don the official 2001 Buffalo Bills fan uniform. Two and twelve ... the horror! The horror!
December 22, 2001
Still nothing happening with Gothmog, so I started tinkering with the site again, and I added a Trekkie Mail Template page as a link from my E-mail submission form. It contains a list of common categories of Trekkie mail. You may find it funny, or you may find it insulting if you were about to compose a message that fits one of the templates. If you fall into the latter category, I would strongly suggest a CAT scan; maybe they'll be able to figure out what's wrong.
Updated the Site Index, which was a little out of date.
December 21, 2001
Still no debate. If anyone out there still cares, I've put our last few bits of correspondence on the preamble page.
Happy winter solstice to all your northern hemisphere dwellers! (and happy summer solstice to everybody else!). As some of you may know, this time of year has been celebrated for thousands of years in various cultures all over the world, particularly by pagan Sun god cults, many of whom believed that a celebration of life would entice the drooping Sun god to rise higher in the sky. Of course, since the Sun always rises higher in the sky after the winter solstice, they were right :) By the way, did you know that British pagans used to worship the yew tree at the winter solstice, hence the modern tradition of the Christmas tree? And did you know that the Romans celebrated something called the "Saturnalia" at this time of year with mirth, merriment, mandatory holidays, and gift-giving, hence the modern tradition of the drunken office Christmas party, statutory holidays, and presents? And did you know that nativity scenes involving a virgin mother and her infant child were performed by the ancient cult of the Mithrans, who believed in the virgin birth of Mithras, their Sun god? That which we call "Christmas" today is a holiday with a rich pagan history. So eat, drink, and be merry. If you're a Christian, go ahead and celebrate the day set aside for Jesus' birthday. If you're not, then celebrate the winter solstice the way pagans have been doing it for thousands of years: give gifts, drink booze, take it easy, have a good time, and try to get laid! Have a great vacation, everybody!
December 19, 2001
Nope, no debate yet. Gothmog says he's been swamped at work and he's had computer problems, so he's postponing the opening round until sometime around the end of the week. Just keeping everybody updated.
I got bored waiting for this thing to start, so I made a downloadable PDF version of my fanfic (thank Gnu for ps2pdf!). I also fixed a couple of typos, but of course, there's no guarantee that I didn't miss some. Anyway, if anybody has trouble reading the PDF, feel free to let me know (thanks to Alex Robinson for finding one mistake already).
December 17, 2001
Gothmog is scheduled to send his opening salvo in our upcoming debate tomorrow. The preamble leading up to that debate is here.
December 9, 2001
I moved all of the preamble to my upcoming debate with Gothmog (the initial challenge along with all of the other stuff) to a dedicated page. If you hate that sort of thing, just ignore it. If you're interested, check it out because I will attempt to keep it updated.
This is completely off-topic, but I was just watching "In the Beginning" (very stirring sci-fi, to be sure), and I couldn't help but ask myself: if Sheridan could take out a Minbari war cruiser with a couple of hand-held nukes, and Earth-force fighters could get within a few hundred metres of Minbari war cruisers in the Battle of the Line (even ramming through a fin in one case), why couldn't they just stick those little hand-held nukes on missiles or inside fighters and then detonate them in proximity to the Minbari ships? They were certainly desperate, weren't they? Note that arguments about the precise yield of the nukes have no effect on this little conundrum.
December 2, 2001
November 25, 2001
Minor revisions to the Federation's Strategic Evaluation of the Extra-Galactic Empire pages. I added a key observation about the need for external sources of logistical support in guerilla warfare on page 3, (thanks to XPViking), and a few extra observations about the Borg on page 2.
I rewrote the first section of the General Science Myths page (the part dealing with the annoying and ubiquitous Trekkie "frequency myths"). Over the long term, I would like to rewrite that entire page someday as well as the other Myths pages, because they were written a very long time ago and some of that material is pretty damned rough.
I added a random meandering mental burp which I call "Star Trek Writing Standards". Have a look.
October 14, 2001
As I speak, CF-18 fighter-interceptors are patrolling the skies over Toronto. Welcome to the 21st century; there are fighter planes circling my fair city, watching for terrorist activity. I don't think I like the new era all that much ...
Added a Strategic Evaluation of the Extra-Galactic Empire, in the Tactics section. This page is a bit of a departure for me: it is an evaluation of the Empire from the Federation's point of view. Maybe you'll like it, and maybe you won't. Either way, I'm sure you'll let me know :)
October 2, 2001
Well, I just installed Mandrake 8.1 on my personal system at home. I decided to wipe the filesystems because I wanted to try using XFS instead of ReiserFS (for you fellow propeller-heads, those are two different journalling filesystems. ReiserFS is supported right in the kernel, but SGI's XFS has been deployed in large production systems for years, and it has extended attributes so it can be used with ACLs). Anyway, like a complete idiot, I forgot to update my backups before reformatting the hard drive <banging own head against table>. In other words, if you sent me mail between September 21 and today, it disappeared into the void. Sorry.
September 26, 2001
Well, I just saw ten minutes of the pilot for "Enterprise", and that was more than enough for me. Like many other sci-fi fans, I held out a glimmer of hope that when they said the show was going in a "bold, new direction", they actually meant it. After all, they were going back to before Kirk's era, right? Time to drop the baggage of Voyager, right? It should be a whole new show, right? They can't drag the tired conventions of DS9 and Voyager into a show set so far in the past, can they? Well, after watching for ten minutes longer than I should have, I concluded that it was neither bold or new. The special effects look the same. The sets and interiors have the same look and feel. From the outside, the ship looks like a retooled Enterprise-E. The music sounds the same. The style of dialogue is the same (someone smack the writers and remind them that no one ever said the words "annular confinement" in the original Star Trek). And for the final, crowning insult, they're still using the oafish Klingons of DS9, complete with skull ridges and uniformly dark skin! What the hell happened to Christopher Plummer's cunning, sophisticated General Chang, or John Colicos' sly, cloying Kor? What happened to Klingon racial diversity? It's bad enough that TNG depicted them changing into a society of tribal morons who decide their leadership with knife fights, but now the writers have gone back into the past in order to piss all over the show's continuity! I know, you can call this a hasty generalization if you want; after all, I only watched for ten minutes. But when I heard someone say the words "annular confinement", I threw my hands up in disgust and turned off the TV. I don't know about you, but I've got better things to do with my time.
A few tweaks to the Trekkie combat page.
September 22, 2001
Well, I'm back! I apologize for the long layoff, but I don't get paid to maintain this site, and I'd rather not let it take over my life. A lot has happened in the meantime, particularly since September 11. In these days of awful news, with terrorist hijackings and talk of war, it's easy to see how unimportant sci-fi debates truly are. However, these debates are still fun, and I believe that in bad times, we need all the fun we can get. Donate blood, donate money, stay informed, and then by all means, live the life that others want to take away from you. Live free. Read controversial books (I hear Salman Rushdie's a good writer). Watch pornography or read dirty magazines if you want to. Listen to "ungodly" rock and roll music. Encourage women to wear short skirts. Defend religious plurality, along with all of your other civil liberties. And maybe, if you have some spare time, waste some of it checking out silly websites like mine.
I'm experimenting with fixed font sizes. Relative font sizes are nice because you can easily scale all the fonts up and down in your web browser, but the default font sizes on Internet Explorer and Netscape are different. Worse yet, default browser font sizes between Windows, Mac, and Linux are also different, and the result is that default font sizes look almost comically big on IE but almost illegibly small on Konqueror in Linux. So I switched to fixed font sizes to make the problem go away ... I hope it doesn't cause any problems, but I'm sure people will let me know if it does.
Updated the Marxism page (the one that criticizes Marx's communist manifesto, not the one that compares Star Trek to Marxism)
Small update to the Site FAQ
Lots of updates to my personal home page.
I know that this probably comes as a rather underwhelming update, particularly after nearly half a year of silence. However, I've been otherwise occupied, it was summer, and, well, I do need to have a life.
April 26, 2001
Fixed the Media page! The files that were kept on Tripod have been repatriated, since Tripod apparently wasn't interested in letting me use them as a file storage depot (oh well). While I was at it, I also re-encoded them from the original samples using the LAME encoder and variable bitrates, which gave better results than the Blade encoder that I originally used.
Small nitpick updates to the Federation industry page.
I know this seems like a pathetically small update, but I've really been very busy lately, and I just haven't had time to do more.
March 30, 2001
There comes a time in the life of a website when you sit back, look at your handiwork, and say to yourself: "why do I have so many friggin' files in the damned root directory?" That time has come for me, and I decided to bite the bullet and do some housekeeping. This change should be transparent for the most part, but you should know that if you still have my old pages cached in your browser or a proxy server, you will have to hit the "Refresh" button in order to load the new versions.
(Sniff sniff) the Creationism page is all grown up! It was much too large to be relegated to a back corner of my website the way it was, so it moved out and got its own directory. It now resides at www.stardestroyer.net/Creationism. I made some minor revisions here and there, I revised the style so that it looks a bit more conventional (as opposed to the spartan white on black "sci-fi website style" that is used for the rest of this site), and I added links to printable versions of the pages.
I deleted the TPM review. The movie has been out for so long now that a review seems silly to keep on the site.
March 18, 2001
I am very pleased to announce the return of Brian Young's Turbolaser Commentaries, now hosted right here at www.stardestroyer.net/tlc.
In keeping with that update, I made some improvements to the Turbolaser page.
I added some pictures to the Religious Bigotry page, including the standard-issue Nazi military belt buckle (check out the inscription), for those of you who have E-mailed me angrily insisting that I was wrong about the Nazis being Christian.
March 3, 2001
Update to the Links page regarding Spacebattles.com, which was the site of a rather disturbing incident.
More updates to Stilgar Episode VI: Return of the Sore Loser (more to come later; I don't have time to put them all in now).
Several updates and improvements to the Religious Bigotry page.
February 18, 2001
OK, ladies and gentlemen ... it's ... (drum roll) ... a 3rd Stilgar page! I've collected enough of his exchanges with other people to produce Stilgar Episode VI: Return of the Sore Loser. Enjoy!
Updated the Site Index page, for those who prefer to navigate the site that way.
February 5-6,11-12, 2001
Links page update (on the 12th): I added some new links, got rid of all the dead ones, and rearranged the categories. I also added server OS information beside each link, just in case anyone's curious about that sort of thing.
Four rapid-fire updates were added to the 2nd Stilgar page (on the 5th, the 6th, the 11th, and the 12th). He sent me some final pseudoscience and threats, Curtis Saxton sent some interesting information about the adjustment of planetary orbits (in the Robert Lipka-Velikovsky section), and I saw some bizarre messages about me that he sent to Ted Collins, Denis Waddell, and Francois Tremblay.
February 4, 2001
Well, we're here. 2001. No space odyssey, no HAL, and no Jetsons-style flying cars or robotic housemaids. Oh well. Worse yet, I spent much of the Christmas holiday sick with bronchitis, my youngest son broke my television set by knocking it off its stand and onto the floor (the pain was mixed with a father's pride; he's pretty strong for a 2½ year old!), and my Buffalo Bills didn't even make the playoffs. But all was not lost; I can take some small solace in the fact that Wade Phillips got fired, and it was a beautiful Christmas up here in Toronto. Big, white fluffy snow fell every day of the entire week, giving the landscape that Christmas postcard look which lasted through most of the month of January. For all of you who live in tropical climates and have never seen snow, buy a ticket to a ski resort next Christmas. Christmas without snow just plain sucks.
Anyway, back to science fiction. I've put in a very long overdue update to the old Ground Combat technology page. I'm dropping the "let's pretend I'm an Imperial officer" gag for this page, because I found that fanboy misconceptions about combat tactics and technologies are so rampant, so widespread and so offensively, incredibly bad that it's virtually impossible to even discuss ground combat with fanboys unless I give them information on real life ground combat first. It's hard to compare and contrast real life, Star Wars, and Star Trek within the framework of the "suspension of disbelief" game, so I'm rewriting the ground combat page in the somewhat more impartial style of the Naval Tactics page.
Hate Mail page changes:
Added a second Stilgar page. Guess what ... just like that Nicholas Fittro character, he E-mailed me and demanded that I take the page off the air, with a lot of hot air about his imaginary expertise in matter of copyright law. Gee ... I had no idea that fair use and freedom of speech had been revoked while I was sleeping!
Added a page for Robert Walper. There's nothing remarkable about this guy ... he's just another Trekkie simpleton. The only unusual thing about him is his dogged persistence. Persistence is an admirable trait in most people, but not in somebody who's dense enough to push on a door marked "pull".
Reorganized the page: moved Stilgar into the "Cowards" category, and moved the "Spacebattles.Com Babies" into the main flame area.
Added a couple of quotes from Robert Ingersoll to the Creationism page.
Updated my personal home page.
A note on stuff which wasn't updated: I would like to apologize to all those who sent suggestions and corrections to the Canon Database page, because I was busy with other matters and I couldn't address those suggestions right away. I have every one of those E-mails saved and I'll try to get to them eventually, but my real-life workload will be very high over the next couple of months, so I will be even more inattentive than I have been in months past. Once again, I would like to remind people not to take it the wrong way when I don't answer an E-mail. I just get so much website-related E-mail that I can't answer it all, so don't take it as a slight if you send something and you don't hear from me (and for the rest of you, don't take it as a triumph if I don't respond to your pro-Creationist or extremist Trekkie fanboy mail).