You can mess with time. You can mess with space. But you can’t mess with both.

Oh, NBC. Your new series Blindspot had such potential for people intrigued by puzzles. And then you had to go and spoil it all by not understanding how time and distance work.

For those unfamiliar, Blindspot‘s premise is this: a woman covered in fresh tattoos is found naked in Times Square. She has no memory of who she is or how she got into the duffel bag she was found in, or why one of her tattoos is the name of an FBI Special Agent.

Following the structure of most big-4 TV network shows, each episode includes a episodic plot and an serial plot. In this instance, the serial plot – that Jane Doe’s tattoos will eventually reveal not only her identity but also why she was covered in them and delivered to the FBI – is fed by the episodic plot – that each tattoo is the clue to some urgent, criminal or national security situation.

The urgent, action driven nature of the episodic plots:

  • a disgruntled ex-pat Chinese chemist makes a bomb that could kill thousands of people in New York City;
  • a paranoid, ex-drone jockey seeks to expose a secret, domestic drone program based in New York City by hijacking a drone and bombing the building that houses not only the drone program but also the FBI field office in Manhattan;
  • an international heist crew made up of ex-SEALs take over a New York City hospital in an attempt to rescue one of their own who was shot during a jewelry store robbery;

is supposed to support the more cerebral, nerdy lets learn about steganography while objectifying this beautiful woman serial plot. The episodic plots, however, strain credulity, something I was willing to overlook because 1) beautiful woman, 2) intriguing puzzle. I was willing, that is, until that strain snapped the fabric of the space/time continuum.


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The stroller isn’t the problem (an open letter)

Dear men in urban environments and in grocery stores,

Standing behind it and pushing the stroller or the grocery cart doesn’t make you look less manly.  You look less manly by standing beside the stroller or grocery cart and pushing it with one hand. It is your very standing beside it that tells the rest of us you care about how manly you look which in and of itself makes you look less manly.

Please think about this before you block the entire sidewalk or grocery store aisle.


Every urban pedestrian and grocery shopper ever.

Less Science in our Science Science doesn't always require a lab coat There's a huge push in the U.S. these days for STEM - Science Technology Engineering Math - education, as if the only thing you need to be a successful human being is … [Continue reading]

It is official: Americans are idiots

If Donald Trump's ascendancy as a viable presidential candidate didn't already prove that we have surrendered our capacity for critical thinking then you need look no further than the USDA's food recall email list to seal that judgement. Stop … [Continue reading]

Not so standard time

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In places that follow it, the U.S. switched from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time this morning. Practically this means 1) we get an "extra" hour today (yay for manipulating time through philosophy of knowledge principles) and 2) it means it will … [Continue reading]

Love wins. We’ve still got work to do.

There were sparkly unicorns too.

So...this was pretty much my day Friday United States vs. Windsor, the case that partially defeated DOMA, pushed the ball down the hill. Obergefell v. Hodges, already being called the lesbian and gay community's Loving vs. Virginia, kicked it … [Continue reading]

Dark is Coming


In other words...happy midsummer     … [Continue reading]

It’s About The Privilege

It is not necessary to react to everything you notice.

My high school friend T. posts a lot of inspirational memes to her Facebook wall. I usually glide right by because many of them hook into the "let go and let God" or "God never gives us more than we can handle" schools of thought. I'm not a big fan … [Continue reading]

Special Relativity


Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity in part states that a moving clock ticks slower than a stationary clock. The theory goes that as a clock’s velocity increases it continues to measure time at a slower and slower rate until it reaches the speed … [Continue reading]

Four things I know for certain about Ferguson, MO

Being a police officer is a dangerous, underpaid, underappreciated job. Police forces in this country do not do a good job of screening out the racist, homophobic, power-drunk assholes who think that having a badge and a gun gives them the right to … [Continue reading]