January 2020

Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) in Maps and Legends (Image courtesy CBS All Access / Amazon Prime Video)

“Maps and Legends” is the second episode of the TV show “Star Trek: Picard” and follows “Remembrance”. It’s available in the USA on the CBS All Access streaming platform and in many other countries on Amazon Prime Video.

Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) is trying to find out wha’is at the origin of the events that upset his retirement life. Laris (Orla Brady) tells him about the rumors about the Zhat Vash, a secret Romulan organization that spread hatred of synthetic organisms and artificial intelligence.

The Final Programme by Michael Moorcock

The novel “The Final Programme” by Michael Moorcock was published for the first time in 1968 fixing-up short stories written in previous years. It’s the first novel in the Jerry Cornelius series.

Jerry Cornelius leads a team whose goal is to penetrate his family mansion, inhabited by his brother Frank, to get their hands on important information and save his sister Catherine. It’s a complex mission due to the sophisticated defense systems and doesn’t exactly end in a great success.

In Jerry Cornelius’ team there was also Miss Brunner, a computer expert who has her own very extreme project, in which she wants to involve Jerry as well. Taken from his fratricidal fight, Jerry tries to juggle relationships that become more complex and dangerous than ever with his brother Frank and Miss Brunner.

Kobe Bryant in 2015

Yesterday, January 26, 2020, former NBA champion Kobe Bryant passed away in the crash of his helicopter in Calabasas, California. The accident killed all the people on board, including Kobe’s 13-year old daughter Gianna.

The news of Kobe Bryant’s death, made even more tragic because his daughter Gianna was with him, spread like a hurricane far beyond the world of sports. A flash mob led a large number of fans outside the Staples Center, the Los Angeles Lakers’ home. There are really a lot of people mourning a champion who, in just 41 years of life, has left a mark as very few could.

A rare photo of a live giant squid (Photo courtesy Tsunemi Kubodera)

An article published in the magazine “GigaScience” reports a DNA sequencing of Architeuthis dux, commonly known as giant squid. A team of researchers led by Rute da Fonseca of the Danish University of Copenhagen employed a number of genetic techniques to obtain the complete genome of this cephalopod, one of the largest in the history of this group of invertebrates. Its DNA is very large with its 2.7 billion base pairs of DNA, approximately 90% of the size of the human genome. Among the interesting results there’s the discovery of over 100 genes that encode proteins of the protocadherin family, important in the correct connectivity of a complex brain.

Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) in Remembrance (Image courtesy CBS All Access / Amazon Prime Video)

“Remembrance” is the pilot episode of the TV show “Star Trek: Picard”. It’s available in the USA on the CBS All Access streaming platform and in many other countries on Amazon Prime Video.

Dahj (Isa Briones) is enjoying what’s supposed to be a pleasant evening with her boyfriend when a group of men with their faces covered appear, kill him and attack her. Suddenly, something in Dahj’s mind clicks and she knocks them all out then runs away. In her mind she sees a face and when she sees an interview with retired admiral Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) she recognizes him and looks for him in the hope of discovering the truth about what’s happening to her.