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Week of November 5, 2001

Would you like to supersize your Slayer? Just a fair warning for those setting their VCRs: this week's Buffy The Vampire Slayer Episode will run 10 minutes longer than usual - and, according to show creator Joss Whedon, this'll be the only time you'll get to see it in this form until the eventual DVD release; subsequent re-runs will be edited down to the usual hour-long time slot. Whedon also confirms that there is a soundtrack CD from the musical episode, titled Once More With Feeling, in the works, but that it could be delayed for a long time due to copyright and licensing snags. Also remember that Babylon 5's Mira Furlan and Xena's Alexandra Tydings guest star on this week's episode of Sheena - check your local listings. Source: Sci-Fi Wire

From Earth to the asteroids for just $3,000,000. Professor Derek Sears, a University of Arkansas chemistry instructor (hey, that's right in our back yard!), has proposed a multi-asteroid probe project to NASA. What's so extraordinary about this mission is that it would send a probe to three different near-Earth asteroids to collect samples and return them to Earth - and all for a total price tag of only three million bucks. The mission's goals will be to search for any organic particles, study the effects of solar wind, and to help scientists figure out how to deflect any oncoming "killer" asteroids. The Hera Probe was jointly developed by Sears, colleagues at Oklahoma State University, and the Arkansas-Oklahoma Center For Space And Planetary Sciences (who knew there was one?).

The Hera Mission

SNK closing up shop. Japanese video game stalwart SNK (who originated such intensely fun arcade titles as Fantasy and Vanguard, the first games ever to feature the "insert another quarter within ten seconds to pick up where you left off" feature) has announced that it's giving up the ghost after 23 years. According to a statement issued by the company, their final arcade game, King Of Fighters 2001, will be distributed by Sun Amusement in Japan; there's no word on American distribution as yet. Source: submitted by Mark Holtz

Closing of the Gateways. This month, Pocket Books concludes a series of interconnected novels spanning the entire Star Trek TV and literary universe. The Gateways saga focuses upon the Iconian gateways first introduced in the Next Generation episode Contagion (and followed up on in the Deep Space Nine episode To The Death). All of the Iconian gateways have opened up, and all hell is breaking loose in the galaxy. This month's book - the only hardback of the bunch - ties up the loose ends of the other six novels together in a multi-crew (and multi-author) extravaganza.

Star Trek: Gateways - What Lay Beyond

You are the weakest link - you will be assimilated. Another VCR alert for you: the November 26th episode of NBC's The Weakest Link will be a Treks-travaganza with guests Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn, Jonathan Frakes, Robert Picardo, Denise Crosby and Wil Wheaton. The episode in question will be a part of a week-long string of celebrity charity episodes. Source: TrekWeb

I am the walrus, kid. Now here's a weird combination - Jason Falkner (late of Jellyfish) has released a new album of instrumental Beatles covers intended for babies. Bedtime With The Beatles sees Falkner piling on layer after layer of solo instruments until he's created relaxing versions of such hits as Across The Universe, Here, There And Everywhere, I'm Only Sleeping, and many others. (Falkner is also featured on Not Lame Records' upcoming Jeff Lynne/ELO tribute album, Lynne Me Your Ears, later this month.) Bedtime With The Beatles is now available in two different color schemes suitable for the new parents on your shopping list. (Both versions have exactly the same track lists.)

Bedtime With The Beatles
(The Blue Album)
Bedtime With The Beatles
(The Pink Album)

Poor Jeff Lynne. The guy can't get any respect, y'know? First ELO is buried in disco-era obscurity, then he produces a couple of new songs for the Beatles and gets blasted for the horrible crime of not being Sir George Martin. Then he resurrects ELO to the barely-conscious reaction of an indifferent press, and the tour gets cancelled. But not before three shows were played as warm-up dates. The first of those shows was for VH-1's Storytellers, and the second two were L.A. dates taped for a PBS special. But of course, that PBS special has not been seen in many markets (natch). Those who have seen it can attest that it's a testament to what a damned great tour it would've been (though it's just as likely that subsequent events on the world stage would've chased ELO off the concert stages in any case). ELO Zoom Tour Live is, for all intents and purposes, that PBS special on steroids. More songs have been added than were featured on the PBS "In The Spotlight" special, as well as video shot during the almost-solo recording sessions for Zoom and interviews with Lynne himself. But y'know what? Given how much respect ELO gets, we're damned lucky to even have this on DVD. Get it before something else happens.

Electric Light Orchestra - Zoom Tour Live

Getting the Blues again. Apparently's webmaster isn't the only one who liked Blue Man Group's debut CD, Audio. The three blue guys, famous for their appearances in everything from the Grammys to Pentium TV spots, are working on a second album, POV (Point Of View), for June 2002. Expect more of what the group members themselves refer to as their "tribadelic" sounds, but also be on the lookout for other innovations, including Blue Man Group's first ever vocals (they've never even sung in their stage shows). Source:

Message received - hailing frequencies closed! October was quite the experimental month here at For several years now, the site has offered diverse content every week, but October saw our first attempt at offering content focused on a specific topic for an extended period of time. October's content was, for the most part, planned out months ahead of time. But hit counters don't lie, and after about three weeks of Star Trek-focused content in all areas of the site (which, by the way, was never intended as a blueprint of the site's future direction), the site started getting fewer and fewer hits overall.

Ouch. You'd think for a site that built its reputation on being the home of some nifty Star Trek episode guides, our month-long tribute to Trek old and new would've done better for us than that. I also anticipated a flood of new visitors who'd be looking for the Enterprise LogBook, and hoped to lure them into becoming regular visitors by offering a Trek-flavored taste of the site's other offerings.

So much for compelling content - it looks like five weeks of Trek-centric features did more harm than good. So, having conducted this experiment, I can safely say this: there will be no more long-term "themes" on this site. I may do a theme week now and again (indeed, one such week is planned for later this month), and may indeed do some longform theme planning in specific areas of the site (as opposed to all areas of the site). But the tribe, and the hit counter, has spoken - no more theme months here. (And truth be told, I was getting a bit bored with it too. Guess that should have told me something, eh?)

On the other hand, this experiment has also proven something else - the site has an audience that would seem to be more comfortable with our usual diverse palette of content. And y'know what? That's what we intend to keep bringing you, week after week.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

Earl Green webmaster / editor-in-chief

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