Best. Lunar Eclipse. Ever. (July 2018)

This Friday night and Saturday morning is the best time to see the best lunar eclipse ever!!

Okay, slight exaggeration but this lunar eclipse is definitely the longest for 100 years! And it is visible almost everywhere in the world… except for Northern America. Considering they had the solar eclipse last year, I think they will survive.

What is a Lunar Eclipse?

As covered in a similar post earlier this year, a lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes behind the Earth and into its shadow. The Moon does not have its own light source; that big pizza pie in the sky is reflecting light from the Sun on to the Earth. So when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are all aligned, it means the Moon will pass into the shadow of the Earth. This also means a lunar eclipse only happens during a full moon. Waxing and Waning Moons occur due to the odd-angle the Moon sits relative to the Earth and the Sun.

The great news is you don’t need any special equipment; no funky glasses or special telescopes. Just pull up a seat and gaze at the moon. Bring snacks as well because lunar eclipses can last a while, and this one is the longest. Experts (like NASA and the Sydney Observatory) advise the moon will be eclipsed for one hour and 43 minutes!! During this time, we have the greatest opportunity to witness a “Blood Moon”.

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Wait… What is a Blood Moon?

Some cultures used to refer to a total lunar eclipse as a blood moon. When the direct sunlight is completely blocked, the only other light seen is refracted through Earth’s shadow. This light looks red because of the ‘Rayleigh scattering‘ – that’s the scattering of light by particles.

Light, as we see it, is a spectrum of colours. When it is refracted (or split) through the atmosphere, we can see different colours. This is most noticeable with the blue sky and the different colours in sunsets due to dust particles in the air. For a lunar eclipse, the Sun’s light refracts around the edge of the Earth and hits the Moon. Blue and violet wavelengths scatter more than red and orange wavelengths, so the red is more like to reach the moon. Thus, it looks like the Moon is bleeding.

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When and Where Can I See the Blood Moon?

The absolute best viewing points are from Western Asia, across the Middle East, and East Africa. If you are in Australia, Oceania, Europe, and the rest of Africa, you still have a good chance of a great site. North America and Greenland are out of luck this year.

Australia

Not the best timing for us but an early start shouldn’t kill me. If you are specifically after the Red, then make sure you are comfortable looking up around 4.30am AEST on Saturday morning. The total eclipse should occur between 5.30am and 6.30am, with the Moon setting around 6.55am. The Moon is going to be close to the horizon, so look to the West-South-West.

Asia

Those in Central Asia will probably have the best viewing of all. Look up from around 3.30pm and you might be able to catch the Mars Opposition at the same time. For those in India, you should aim for around 11:50pm local time on Friday night.

Middle East

The Middle East should be able to see the whole event in its entirety. That’s 103 minutes to make yourself comfortable. The eclipse should start around 10:24pm local time.

Europe

The days are pretty long in Europe right now. Follow your early dinner with an evening walk to the best vantage point by 8.45pm. With your warm Summer nights, you can probably stretch out on the grass and soak it all in. I’m a little jealous.

Africa

Eastern Africa will have the best viewing across the continent with other regions maybe missing the start. My contacts tell me the eclipse should be completely visible in Eastern Africa from 3.30pm to 5.15pm local time.

South America

Most of South America will only catch the tail-end of the eclipse, after sunset on Friday 27 July. However, don’t be too disappointed because your next big event is a total solar eclipse on 2 July 2019, with totality running through Chile and Argentina. Still, tonight’s event is a nice way to kick off the evening.
Yes, I will most likely be dragging my tired sorry butt out of bed early in the morning to check it out. Due to my sleep deprivation during the last three weeks, I am giving no guarantees for photos. You’ll just have to wait and see.

 

World Chocolate Day 2018: The Best Chocolate is More Than Just Food

Did you really think I would forget about World Chocolate Day?

It’s the most wonderful day of the year! A day to enjoy, explore, and excite your taste buds with a gift from the gods themselves: chocolate.

However, you cannot truly celebrate World Chocolate Day with ordinary chocolate purchased at the supermarket. No, no, no! Now is the time to break bad habits and educate yourself on the pleasure of chocolate. The good, the bad, and the deserving of your money.

Make yourself a hot chocolate and grab a choc-chip biscuit. It’s time for some chocolate worshipping.

Brief History of Chocolate

Most true chocolate-aficionados know chocolate originates from South America. The word “chocolate” is believed to come from the Aztec word “xocoatl”. However, chocolate back then was nothing like chocolate now. It was a bitter drink brewed from cacao beans and yet still considered the food of the gods.

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All Hail your Aztec Goddess, Evil Genius Mum / Thanks to the Aztec Exhibit at the National Museum, Sydney 2014

Both the Mayans and the Aztecs believed the cacao bean had magical or divine properties. It was used in almost every sacred ritual from birth through to death and beyond. It was the extra special secret ingredient to … well, everything.

Sweetened chocolate, as we know it today, wasn’t really a thing until the Europeans discovered the Americas, and its local cuisine. Apparently, they didn’t really like the taste of it until they figured out how to mix it with honey or cane sugar. And then it really hit off.

Over time, chocolate has moved from being a luxury of the privileged upper class in Europe to the modern chocolate bar we lust after today. Joseph Fry, Cadbury, and Nestle have all had their impact on the development of chocolate and its availability in the mass market–for better or worse. Not all chocolate is created equal, being dependent on the quality of ingredients and the local influence. Trust me when I say, the chocolate used in ration packs for Australian soldiers over the last 30-years leaves MUCH to be desired.

The Art of the Chocolate

However, recently there has been a revolution amongst the chocolate lovers. No longer do we want it to be a common everyday grocery item. No longer do we want it to be a mass production of simple satisfaction for the general folk. We expect more from the ingredients, the production, and the end product we hold in our pretty little hands.

If you are going to celebrate World Chocolate Day, you have to do it right. Start with a local artisan who knows what they are talking about. I went straight to one of my favourites: Coco Chocolate in Kirribilli, Sydney.

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When you walk into their Kirribilli store, you are instantly greeted with a cozy French-provincial feel of ‘welcome’. Everything in the store looks and feels and smells artisan. It is a pure delight just being in the store. I love it. I can’t rave enough about it. And it is EXACTLY the place I wanted to be for World Chocolate Day.

Rhianna knew what I meant. She was the staff of the shop today and happy to chat. When I pointed out how difficult it would be for me to work in a place like this, she exclaimed “Oh, I totally understand!! It is way too easy to simply enjoy everything but when it’s good chocolate… like, really good chocolate… you only need a little bit to enjoy it. I have to show restraint but I love the good stuff so much more than the everyday stuff.”

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And that’s why they are perfect for World Chocolate Day.

World Chocolate Day

World Chocolate Day is not only about the chocolate (though, chocolate does deserve a day of worship). It is also a day to appreciate the cost of providing the world with chocolate. As soon as something is considered popular and valuable, you can guarantee greed will come in and ruin it. Chocolate is no exception. So many companies are too willing to source cheap cacao from vulnerable communities without any care for the impact it has. Companies who are purchasing water reservoirs and then selling it back to the locals at hyped prices because their CEO’s don’t consider water to be an essential right. Companies who are poisoning cacao trees, forcing farmers to sell up for ridiculously low prices and face destitution. Companies who don’t care how young their bean pickers are, so long as they are picking beans. Yeah, I’m looking at you Nestle.

EG Inc does not purchase or accept any Nestle products, due to its unethical behaviour in relation to water and cacao in South America, and palm oil in Borneo.

We are far happier spending our money with more reputable businesses, like Coco Chocolate. In fact, they say it best on their site:

All cacao couverture sourced for tempering at Coco Chocolate is ethical and producers are members of SEDEX, ensuring ethical and responsible practices in labour standards (including employment conditions, profitable income for farmers, supporting community development projects and no child labour), health and safety, the environment and business ethics. As a result all can enjoy Coco Chocolate – creating value for all through the supply chain with transparency, traceability, productivity and quality. – Coco Chocolate website

Why is it so important for me to share this with you? Because you need to know how easy it is to find businesses who are doing the right thing and reward them! THAT is what World Chocolate Day is about. Raising awareness of the conflict with chocolate and bring good businesses into the light. If you are doing the right thing, you deserve a bit of love.

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So today, on World Chocolate Day, I am telling you to share some love with a local business. Find a store doing the right thing; be it work conditions, ethical sources, or employing the vulnerable. Be like the chocolate and give them some of your love. Share your divine purchasing power and show them your support. Let them know you see them.

If you have a local fave, share their details in the comments below. We all want to know the best places to spend our money. And by the way, if you want to try out Coco Chocolate yourself, they have an online store:

http://cocochocolate.com.au/shop/

My favourites are the Organic White Chocolate with Rose & Bergamot and the Organic Dark Chocolate with Rose & Black Pepper. *sigh*

Go! Chocolate! Be merry!

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Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored or paid article. And while the staff at Coco Chocolate do provide delicious tasters, all opinions are my own. 

Ant-Man and The Wasp (Review)

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Let’s be honest: I’m still recovering from Avengers: Infinity War (A: IW). Given I only saw A: IW a couple of weeks ago, it is still fresh in my mind. I, like many others, am desperate for a feel-good movie. Something to lighten the emotional weight now resting on my Marvel heart. I’m not asking for much; just a small, light-hearted story with plenty of strength in its characters. Something to share with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) but still gives me breathing space. Something exactly like Ant-Man and The Wasp.

Where does Ant-Man and The Wasp Fit Into the MCU?

A: IW was massive. It was epic. It was all-encompassing, everything-at-stake type of stuff. It left me feeling like I had been in a marathon. From the beginning, you felt the anticipation as characters slowly started to meet and team-up. My heart was wrenched multiple times before we even reached the final scene. There is no way anything could possibly compare with it until next year.

AM/TW is the complete opposite. And it is so refreshing. The story is far more personal and brought back to a smaller scale. Yet this is exactly what Marvel needs for the last of its films in 2018. It can’t compete with the enormity of A: IW. Instead, AM/TW wins our ‘awwwwwww’ moments.

Ant-Man and The Wasp Stand Alone

You can find the synopsis almost everywhere on the interwebs right now, so let’s keep it simple.

Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and daughter Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) are working on a big beautiful machine (kind of reminds me of the Hadron Collider) to search for Hank’s wife and Hope’s mum, Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer). Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is on the last days of ‘house-arrest’, following his part in Captain America: Civil War (#TeamCap). Scott suddenly has a flash of something Janet-related, calls Hank and Hope, and ends up in a marvelous pile of trouble. Along the way they face off against some other characters who are never really “bad guys” but more conflicts to keep the pace. They keep hanging around the storyline like flies ruining your BBQ. It is a fun jaunt in the private lives of Ant-Man (both incarnations) and The Wasp. In fact, it’s simplicity is the heart of the movie.

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A Movie Filled With Characters

The strength of the movie lies in the characters. Each of the main characters is given a bit more depth from the first; none more so than Hope. I really enjoyed watching her on the screen. In the first movie, she was aloof and unsure of what her role meant, even to her. In AM/TW, we see more motivation and participation. She now looks like she is finding her own place. Hope works with her father; not for her father. When they bring Scott on board, it is made very clear The Wasp is not a side-kick. It is all about partnership and it working together. Yeah, it’s all kinds of sweet.

The whole movie feels like this. In fact, the whole movie feels like one of Luis’ crazy storytelling moments. With more distinguishing features between the characters. There are people meeting people in crazy situations, and you really have to go along for the ride. Even the special effects are smooth–far smoother than Banner’s head sticking out of the Hulkbuster in A:IW (which is still infinitely better than Superman and Moustache League). When partnered with the fight choreography, it is really enjoyable to watch.

My only concern is Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen). She felt a little … incomplete. Her story is connected with Hope’s family but her role in it felt a little convenient. The fight scenes are fantastic and for that, I really appreciate Ghost being in the movie. I just felt a little wanting. There is room for Marvel to bring some more Ghost to the table in future. Maybe not a stand-alone feature but I would love to see her pop-up elsewhere.

All is saved, however, by Cassie (Scott’s daughter, played by Abby Ryder Fortson). Yeah, I’m a sucker for a cute kid with sass. This kid is given the best lines. She completely rolls with the dry humour, takes on the adventure, and drives home the motivation Scott needs to do his damn job. And she has a killer wardrobe; I now want to dance around in pink skirts with camo-leggings and Doc-Marten-style boots. In fact, I think I just might do that. I can’t wait to see her costume in 10-years time.

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Is It A Family Movie?

This movie is all about family. From Hank and Hope searching for Janet to the open-family surrounding Cassie and all the characters in between. [Side-note: It is so beautiful to see a positive supportive extended family as portrayed by Scott, his ex-wife, her husband, and Cassie. Hooray for breaking down one wall of toxic Hollywood tropes]. Again, AM/TW brings everything back to what is most important: Family.

There are a few swear words in it, a couple of very subtle sexual-related jokes and nothing else to prevent me from taking the spawnlings to the movies (except for not being up to date on their Marvel movies because earlier films are not as child-friendly). The release in Australia is perfectly timed with school holidays, and equally well-suited for the Summer break in the Northern Hemisphere. If you’re looking for advice on toilet breaks, however, go before the movie. There is so much character development and funny moments, you want to be toilet-trained before you go.

And yes. Stay for the credits. It’s a Marvel movie. What else are you going to do?

… Can’t … say … more …

Just remember: Stay Away From ALL Spoilers. The collective gasp from the audience is enough to know your ignorance is worth it. At least this time.

4 out of 5 inches

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  • I was invited to a preview screening on Wednesday 4 July 2018. All opinions are my own. I cannot be bought with free tickets and free popcorn and free water. Throw a frozen Coke in and we might talk… 😉

World Environment Day 2018: Beat Plastic Pollution

I finally came up for a breather from my plans for world domination … and it’s World Environment Day (Tuesday, 5 June 2018).

As serendipity would have it, I was nudged with a reminder while watching Netflix’s The Crown (don’t judge me). I’m up to the episode about ‘The Smog of London’. Don’t be fooled by “TV Land”: The Great Smog was a very real and deathly event, every bit as confronting and devastating as portrayed in my new favourite series.

Environmental Reform: Where To Begin

Why is the “Great Smog of London” so important to me on World Environment Day? Because it was the beginning of the most important step in modern environmentalism: The First Step. The British Government (thanks to Winston Churchill) was so focused on portraying the image of industrial success, it did not want to stop and think about long-term consequences. The Great Smog was the direct culmination of unfortunate weather behaviour collecting airborne pollutants, predominantly from the use of coal. The event itself was pretty bad but the enduring consequences were the true measure of the environmental impact. Initial estimates claimed 4,000 deaths directly related to the Great smog; subsequent research has since increased this number by a further 6,000 in the following months.

Once officials realised exactly what was happening, changes took place to reduce the impact of future events. New regulations were introduced, restricting the use of dirty fuels and banning black smoke. Londoners were encouraged (with financial incentives), to find alternatives to coal fires. Legislation during the 1950s focused on ‘Clean Air’ and helped reduce air pollution. Changes were made, and mostly because the city was forced to realise the impact of THEIR actions on the environment around them. And while London continues to struggle with air quality, there is still a better relationship between government and public for taking action.

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London 1952, during the Great Smog – image from public domain

What Does The Great Smog Have to Do with World Environment Day?

London is a good example of governments taking action to bring about change. However, it is also a great example of how we can’t wait for governments to force us into action. We, as individuals, need to take action now and on our own merits. We can do it as individuals or we can come together on days like today. World Environment Day.

The point of an international day is to raise awareness and bring the community together in one solid message. This year the message is: Beat Plastic Pollution. If you can’t reuse it, refuse it. Instead of suffocating in smog, we are now drowning in plastic. It’s time to commit to change.

Tag! You’re It!

If you’re reading this, consider yourself ‘tagged’!

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This year, I am committing to beating plastic pollution by giving up single-use plastic straws and utensils. I have already been ‘tagged’ by supportive friends who have provided the spawnlings with sustainable alternatives: Bamboo travel kits. Easy to clean and easy on the environment.

But I can’t do this alone. So, I’m tagging GeekMom and all of my fellow writers at GeekMom to consider how they can help Beat Plastic Pollution. Give up single-use plastic and make a difference. Head over to GeekMom to read more about we can do to help (I wrote that article too).

I’m also tagging Hoyts Cinemas and Event Cinemas in Australia, and ask them to consider how they can swap out any single-use plastic in their ‘Snack Bars’ for environmentally friendly alternatives.

You can join in too. Share your commitment to social media and tag Evil Genius Mum, GeekMom, and the official hashtags: #BeatPlasticPollution and #WED2018. And if you know of someone, individual or organisation, who can help beat plastic pollution and commit to change – tag them too!

Let’s face it: It’s fun to celebrate international days, like World Environment Day. It’s fun to be part of a big community with some social media presence. But it is even more fun to live in a clean environment. We can’t take that for granted. We need to make a difference right now.

Because as pretty as The Crown may tell its story, I sure don’t want to make my today look anything like London in the 1950s.

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Twitter: @evilgeniusmum1

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Santa is Dead. Spread the Word.

myth of santa claus and St Nicholas

Every year, the spawnlings are asked, “Have you been good for Santa?”

Sometimes, they answer with a polite “We don’t believe in Santa but we like to exchange gifts with loved ones during the Summer Solstice.”

Other times, I can see they really are too tired to explain it so they settle for “We don’t believe in Santa”. That usually passes the accusatory glare to me, and I’m okay with that.

This year, we have a new winner for best response:

“No. Santa’s dead.”

Courtesy of the four-year-old fascinated with old people and how they die.

We don’t do Santa in our family

Yep, I’m a cold-heartless bitch who is depriving our spawnlings of the most sacred magic of childhood… Believing in a man who visits your bedroom, while you’re sleeping, after stalking you all year long. To top it off, he is the Master of Extortion by holding your gifts ransom dependent on subjective levels of behavioural management.

Or at least that’s how the 11-year-old tells it.

In our home, we don’t celebrate Christmas. We don’t do Santa. We don’t decorate a tree. And for the love of all things cool, calm, and collected—we do not do the big roast dinner. Why? I’m Pagan. EG Dad is an Atheist. And the weather outside our Lair is a balmy 36 degrees Celsius with 90% humidity and a storm threatening to dump all of three raindrops on my freshly-washed laundry.

Instead, we celebrate the Summer Solstice.

Summer Solstice

Solstice (Summer or Winter) is an astronomical phenomenon. It is science. It is set in the stars. There is no messing around with whether it really happened because it simply does. Every year. It can’t be manipulated, delayed, or even cancelled—no matter how frustrating my kids may be after only one week of school holidays. Five more to go…

The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year. It derives from the words sol (being our Sun), and stasis (being stationary). In astronomy, the Solstice is calculated for the moment the Sun appears stationary, or ‘rests’ a little longer in one position in the sky. In December 2017, we celebrated it last Friday 22 December.

We are not the only people in the world who celebrate the Solstice but we are still in the minority. So much so, when we are asked if the spawnlings believe in Santa, I always pause to consider if it would be easier to just say no and not spend the time explaining why.

Do You Believe in Santa Claus?

Truth is: We have told the spawnlings about Santa. We have told them the full story (as accurate as you can be based on a legend from hundreds of years ago).

Santa is based on jolly ol’ Saint Nicholas, a Greek monk who was very generous with gifts to help out less-fortunate people. Originally, the tradition was to give gifts to the bones of St Nick, kept in a Basilica in Bari, Italy. It was Martin Luther who suggested changing the focus to children; a rather successful albeit slightly political attempt at enticing children and families to Christianity rather than making it about Saint-worshipping.

When we tell this story to our spawnlings, we point out how old the legend is.  We point out how strong the legend is. Most importantly, we point out how wonderful the legend is, whether or not it is true. The ‘spirit’ of St Nicholas is about sharing our fortune with others. We give gifts, we share with others, and we think more about what we can give rather than what we receive.

The Lessons of St Nicholas

There are two benefits from this honest lesson: First, the spawnlings learn the real magic of Santa Claus. The spirit of Santa is so strong, it can be shared amongst many people all around the world. Every Santa you see in a shopping center is another person reminding us about giving and sharing with others. Santa may be dead but he made enough of an impact to inspire copycats everywhere. After all, imitation is the greatest form of flattery.

The second benefit is even more important: it has taught our spawnlings gratitude for every single gift they receive. They do not wake up in the morning and expect Santa to have left a present for them. Instead, they understand the love behind every gift they receive. They know the true person giving the gift and thus are able to understand the thought behind the gift. In return, the spawnlings place far more consideration in their own gifts. They ensure every gift means something and is not simply “stuff”.

Santa is Personal

Everyone has their own interpretation of what Santa Claus means to them. We ‘get’ that. And we respect that. The only rule we have is “DO NOT RUIN IT FOR OTHERS!!” Rest your panties, minions. We have made it very clear to our spawnlings they do NOT tell this to other kids. We are not responsible for other kids and their parenting but I will also not be responsible for revealing the betrayal between another parent and child.

Not everyone believes in Santa. I have met some who are utterly repulsed by the idea, and to them, I say “Okay. You do YOU.” The thing is, you never know where someone stands on the issue, and no-one should be reprimanded for asking.

Thus how we ended up in our situation today. Our spawnlings are absolutely fine with their understanding of Santa. They are not afraid of your questions. You simply need to prepare yourself for the answer.

Santa is dead. Spread the word.

Happy Holidays for all your festivities at this time of year.

Edit: Just found this pic which suits Zaltu perfectly

Wonder Woman is spirit of Santa

Star Trek Discovery: Born Afraid

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Last night, Evil Genius Dad and I caught up on Star Trek: Discovery with episode 8, “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum”. Now, I don’t understand the hate some people have for ST:DSC. I am really enjoying it. Both EG Dad and I feel it has the same spirit as previous Star Trek series, from the view of capturing the curiousity of exploration AND its ability to elicit discussion. Sure, it’s a little darker and honest—much in the same vein as Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, a VERY underrated Star Trek series.

Last night was another one of those conversation starters. The thing is, it’s never just one conversation. We end up talking a lot; sometimes afterwards, sometimes during. EG Dad and I really are the worst people to watch anything with. Good thing we have each other.

Episode 8 is split over a few stories, one of them focused on three characters visiting the planet Pahvo. Burnham, Tyler, and Saru find a sentient life-force of some shape, manner, or form, who seems to communicate with Saru. If you want a full re-cap, my colleague Jules over at GeekDad has a pretty good run down. I’m not summarising it here, nor am I giving spoilers. Instead, I have an example of how ST:DSC is keeping the magic of relevance that is so inherent in the Star Trek franchise.

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My focus is on Saru, a character of the species Kelpians. His species have been hunted for generations, becoming a product of their evolutionary growth as prey. As a species, they are constantly in a state of hypervigilance.

“We are born afraid, we Kelpians. It’s how we survive.” – Saru, ST:DSC (ep8)

At first, there is a really easy way to compare Saru’s situation to our real world. There are thousands… no, millions of refugees in the same situation. There are children born in war-torn countries who have never known what it is like to NOT be in a war zone. There are third-generations now living in refugee camps, with children developing the same evolutionary patterns of hypervigilance as displayed with Saru (not with a heightened sense, but definitely with the same awareness and stress levels). What Saru is experiencing is not unknown in our world. But it is slowly being ignored. Partly because it is too easy for our Western ‘all-consuming’ society to see it once on the TV, sigh with an “oh, that’s awful” and then move on to the next media highlight.

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Taken from Magnus Wennman’s photo essay, “Where the children sleep”. This is Ahmad, 7yo. He is one of the too many children, sleeping on the streets at Hungary’s closed border. They were forced to flee their home, and now know even sleep is not a free zone. Follow the link to see more of the essay and learn how you can help. – http://darbarnensover.aftonbladet.se/chapter/english-version/

I get it. Sometimes the global problems can be a bit much for us to deal with it. We can feel overwhelmed with this horrible news and be uncomfortable with the feelings of inadequacy from not knowing what to do. I GET it. I feel the same way. Not everything is geeky in our Lair. We still want to take over the world because it seems like the only way to learn how to FIX this.

But Saru is not just about the refugee crisis. ST:DSC is not just about war zones and military conditioning. In fact, when Saru explained how he was born afraid, I didn’t even compare it with war.

It made me think of a situation I had seen earlier the same day, in my very own street.

I was walking with Zaltu to pick up Sinister and Nefarious from school. In a short distance up the hill, I could see a couple walking towards us, holding hands. The only thought to cross my mind was, “I need to move over so we can all fit on the footpath.”

About a minute later, as we were about to cross paths, I noticed one of the couple abruptly let go and throw down the other’s hand. And this action filled me with sadness.

The couple were two men.

The look on one man’s face was a little fearful like he was nervous or afraid of what *I* might say or do because he was holding hands with a man.

There was nothing I could say or do, without making everyone feel even more uncomfortable. What I wanted to do was tap them on the shoulder and say, “If you want to hold hands, do it. I have no issue. It shouldn’t matter if I did. Love is love.”

It hit me when I was watching Saru, how this must feel in a relationship.

Imagine having your relationship, every relationship, born in fear. Imagine the beautiful, ‘new love’ high you feel with a fresh relationship…but it is tempered with the born-fear of not being able to share your love with the world. Imagine feeling that EVERY TIME you start a new relationship.

Imagine that hypervigilance with an everyday activity like starting a relationship.

This is why I love Star Trek.

Because the characters, the stories, the whole damn franchise, is presented in a way where anything is relatable. Everything is a conversation starter. There is always something that triggers my thinking on issues in my every day.

I want to see more. I want to see more social commentary. I want to see more discussion about the dark side of wartimes, even in Utopian settings like Star Trek. I want to see more of Saru, overcoming his genetic preconditions (or at least learning how to use them better).

I especially want to see more ST:DSC to encourage me to look at my immediate world in a new way. I have a lot of respect for a show able to provoke my thoughts on how to make it a better place.

That’s my Star Trek.

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