The Craft Awakens

We have the technology. We have the capability to make products that are better than they were before. Better … stronger … faster. But do we want to? In the modern world, technology infiltrates every part of our lives, and with it come techniques for mass production that render the craftsmanship of the past a quaint memory in the minds of elders. It may seem convenient—and in fact it may be. But part of what makes Japanese culture special is being lost in the process. Soon, it will be gone forever.

Fighting Time

When we consider time within the context of Star Trek, we most often think of time travel. These stories are great fun, but they’re often more about the adventure than the nature of our existence. Yet it is time that shapes everything we do. When looking at how the messages we take away from Star Trek change as we go through life, there’s another aspect of time that takes center stage: perception.

Soul Food House

If you love food, there’s perhaps no place better than Tokyo. Restaurants abound at every turn, and the international flavor of the metropolis means that, wherever you’re from, chances are you’ll find a taste of home nearby. Unless, like me, you’re from Alabama—authentic Southern food is one cuisine not easily obtained. Thankfully, we have Mississippi and Georgia natives LaTonya and David Whitaker to make sure those of us who hail from the Deep South can still get our fix.

An Enterprising Approach to TNG

When The Next Generation premiered in 1987, episodic storytelling was the norm. Get in, tell your story, and get out. Next week, move on to the next (unrelated) mission. It works, but perspectives on this have changed significantly over the years. When Enterprise warped into its final season, it brought with it a form of storytelling rarely seen in Star Trek: the three-episode mini-arc. What if this approach had been used on TNG?

Pigskin Rising

In recent decades, football has supplanted all sports as America’s most popular sport. But is it played beyond the borders of the United States? Most Americans would say no—only this isn’t true. Japan is actually home to a growing football culture. Both the college and pro games are played here, and to learn more about it, I hooked up with former University of Hawaii star Kevin Jackson.

Into Darkness Capsule Review

Finally we're just one week away from the opening of Star Trek Into Darkness here in Japan. For reasons unknown, Paramount chose to make Japan the very last market to get the latest J.J. Abrams Star Trek film despite having what I recall as the world's first Into Darkness press event, held in Tokyo.  now the time has come to promote Star Trek Into Darkness in Japan, and to that end I wrote a capsule review for EL Magazine, an English-language entertainment publication in Tokyo. I'm not allowed—at the request of Paramount—to reveal the identity of Benedict Cumberbatch at this point, but, for your enjoyment, here is the review.

Fly Me to the Moon

Without a doubt one of the greatest and most influential literary forms of the twentieth century has been science fiction. What we recognize as SF has been around for just over 100 years, with the works of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne being some of the earliest. But when we look back farther, what do we find?

The Crystal Spheres

Are we alone? It’s a question that has been pondered by mankind since antiquity. It may seem like a fairly modern idea, but as far back as 600 BC the possibility of many worlds inhabited by intelligent life has been debated. The scientific search has been in full swing since the 1960s, yet we’ve still detected no signs of ET after more than half a century. Here's one possible solution to The Great Silence.

Zen and the Art of Being Jedi

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there were great men—guardians of freedom and justice—who were in touch with nature. These men were known as Jedi, and they had a deep understanding of how the world really works. A Jedi is not a Buddha; but many of the practices and concepts that are part of their art can be found in the Buddha’s teachings. In developing Star Wars, George Lucas drew upon many religions, myths, and cultural practices from all parts of our world. As we will soon see, the roots of the Jedi can be found in Asia.