Star Trek Rocks!

Although I am very aware that many of my friends in Guatemala are engaged with other concerns, I could not delay posting my thoughts on this latest installment of the Star Trek franchise, which I finally got to watch last night.

And it was AWESOME!

During the week I read Phil Plait's review of the movie and, after watching the movie, I do see Phil's points. Being a skeptic by nature it is sometimes difficult to suspend disbelief but this movie made it easy: it was so engaging it was difficult not to follow...

And (spoiler alert!) the "parallel timeline" premise in the movie was, I think, a stroke of genius by the writers! Not only it allowed the movie to break away from established canon in an unprecedented and fully trekkie-acceptable manner but it also left the door open for more non-canon trek movies where further exploits of Kirk, Spock and the gang can be explored in a whole new universe.

The full 126 minutos of this movie are trekkie-candy. I got to see (more spoilers ahead!) how Kirk beat the infamous Kobayashi Maru test, which as I told my wife during the movie, every trekkie knows he passed by cheating... And, yes! there is a bikini-clad green girl!

Go see the movie! And check this fun review!

New look for the Chapin Skeptic

Thanks to my good friends Adelou and Guillermo I have changed today the look of The Chapin Skeptic. The new layout allows for wider images and videos and (I think) looks cool as well. The picture above was sourced from the Wikipedia Commons and depicts, among other things, the Horse Head Nebula, which features prominently in one of good doctor Asimov's Foundation books.
Hope you like it.

Another one bites the dust!

Father Alberto Cutié from Hispanic on line
It was inevitable. Young, dashing, handsome father Alberto Cutié became a celebrity hosting his talk shows on Telemundo and EWTN, where he intelligently discussed everyday issues and gave catholic advice. He is perhaps the best known priest in Latin America and many tourists, myself included, have attended mass in Miami Beach at his charming little church. Newsweek dubbed him "father Oprah" which he preferred to "father Springer" and "father Cristino" (after Cristina Saralegui, another well known latin talk show hostess).

Just two days ago, pictures surfaced showing father Alberto kissing and getting his hand under the lower backside of his female companion's bathing suit. Bid scandal ensued. The paparazzi who took the pictures shopped them around, apparently asking as much as US$700,000, which apparently no one gave him. Finally he sold them to the mexican magazine TVNotas, which apparently is publishing them tomorrow, Thursday.

Unlike so many other priests involved in scandal, Father Alberto is too high profile not to punish. He has been removed from his parish and taken out of his church-sponsored media activities in radio and TV, as well as print.

His website is featuring a public apology to all his fans. All other content has been removed.

I always liked father Alberto even if I did not agree with his catholic views. It is hard not to sympathize now, as so many of his parishioners have indicated. After all, he is just a man.

The point is, who is the culprit? Dogmatic catholics will indicate the man is the culprit. I submit that, with so many examples and cases of priest-related scandals, what is at fault is the system.

Celibacy is too much to ask of a young, healthy, personable and good looking celebrity priest. As I discussed with a friend today, a man like that does not find it difficult to get female companionship. I guess being a priest doesn't make it much harder.