Apparently, "Orange is the New Black" doesn't pay that much.
April 7, 2014 5:08 PM   Subscribe

Kate Mulgrew (aka Captain Janeway) is narrating a new documentary called "The Principle", which posits that the Sun really does revolve around the earth. The film is the product of Robert Sungenis, who maintains the website Galileo is Wrong (previously). Geeks are understandably confused.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI (214 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
BRING BACK PTOLEMAIC SPHERES
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:12 PM on April 7, 2014 [17 favorites]


In the next documentary, she will evolve into a giant salamander and refute Darwinism.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:12 PM on April 7, 2014 [79 favorites]


Give her a break. All that time in fluidic space would addle anyone.
posted by bswinburn at 5:14 PM on April 7, 2014 [7 favorites]


Not only does the sun revolve around the earth, it actually revolves around me.
posted by goethean at 5:14 PM on April 7, 2014 [11 favorites]


Goddamn Warp 10. Goddamn Tom Paris.
posted by Guy Smiley at 5:16 PM on April 7, 2014 [21 favorites]


In terms of Relativity, you can pick any frame of reference you wish and construct equations to describe the system. No frame is sacred.

Of course, in some frames the equations to describe what is going on are fairly straight-forward and in others they end up being fiendishly complicated. And if the frame is accelerating, all kinds of strange things happen.

When it comes to the Earth-Sun system, the preferred frame is the galactic background. That's the one in which the equations are the most straightforward. But you can use the Sun, or the Earth, if you don't mind the hassle.

(Of course, that isn't what Mssr Sungenis means...)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:16 PM on April 7, 2014 [18 favorites]


Kate Mulgrew is a lot more Catholic than her fans might expect, given her geek cred.
posted by pxe2000 at 5:16 PM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


No wonder they had such trouble with getting out of the Delta quadrant. They were using geocentric astronavigation maps.
posted by kmz at 5:18 PM on April 7, 2014 [52 favorites]


It sounds like she's a lot more Catholic than the Pope.
posted by rtha at 5:18 PM on April 7, 2014 [32 favorites]


Catholics no longer believe in a geocentric cosmos. What a bizarre connection to make.

The more likely connection to make is that Kate Mulgrew needs to get paid. Also maybe she is not super good at science.
posted by Sara C. at 5:18 PM on April 7, 2014 [50 favorites]


Get your epicycle on!
posted by Cash4Lead at 5:19 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, Kate Mulgrew is absolutely wonderful in "Orange is the New Black." She really is.
posted by Guy Smiley at 5:19 PM on April 7, 2014 [15 favorites]


Ugh.

I had to watch / listen to this in order to feel better.
posted by King Bee at 5:19 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Man I am less concerned with her being in a movie about a cranky pseudoscientific theory than her being in a movie by a dude who is so anti-Semitic that the Catholic church had to be all "dude, cut that shit out."
posted by griphus at 5:19 PM on April 7, 2014 [22 favorites]


While the church is mostly mired in the deep past, geocentrism is something they've rather publicly given up on.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 5:19 PM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


She's fun on NTSF:SD:SUV too.
posted by kmz at 5:20 PM on April 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


Sure, Benjamin Sisko wound up being a messiah figure for an obscure Alpha Quadrant religion, but he wouldn't have put up with any of this GOD DAMN nonsense about the SUN revolving around the EARTH!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:20 PM on April 7, 2014 [11 favorites]


Paging Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, white courtesy phone.
posted by wabbittwax at 5:20 PM on April 7, 2014 [27 favorites]


he wouldn't have put up with any of this GOD DAMN nonsense about the SUN revolving around the EARTH!

Yeah, but you know Major Kira would have, if the subject were Bajor.
posted by Sara C. at 5:22 PM on April 7, 2014 [9 favorites]


I'm a lonely insignificant speck on a has-been planet orbited by a cold and distant sun --Homer Simpson
posted by King Bee at 5:23 PM on April 7, 2014 [10 favorites]


Also if someone wants to see what the frontline of the fight for geocentrism looks like, this comments section is a delight.
posted by griphus at 5:24 PM on April 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


Wait, so Michio Kaku is involved in this as well?

I was headed down a "omg so is Kate Mulgrew, like, one of those Catholics?" rabbit hole, and then I clicked griphus' above link and realized the guy who made this apparently hoodwinked a bunch of legitimate people into participating.

Still, though, is Kate Mulgrew one of those Catholics?
posted by Sara C. at 5:28 PM on April 7, 2014


When your science movie ends up on a blog called "Not Even Wrong", that should set off alarm bells.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:28 PM on April 7, 2014


Actually: was the church's acknowledgement of heliocentrism ex cathedra? Like, is geocentrism now technically heresy?
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 5:28 PM on April 7, 2014


If I'm not the most important thing in the universe, why is it that every time I look in a mirror I see my own image instead of someone else's?

Checkmate, atheists.
posted by 0xFCAF at 5:28 PM on April 7, 2014 [51 favorites]


Paging Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Arguing facts with this is just a waste of time. It's not like the only reason they believe in geocentrism is just that nobody has told them about stellar parallax or whatever else. It's not about that, for them.
posted by aubilenon at 5:29 PM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm confused.
posted by heathkit at 5:31 PM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


Like, is geocentrism now technically heresy?

I don't think so; else, some members of Opus Dei would have been labeled heretics, for example.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:34 PM on April 7, 2014


I'm confused.

So is Kate Mulgrew, apparently.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:34 PM on April 7, 2014 [9 favorites]


People need money. Reminds me of when the actress Marlee Matlin hosted the Ramtha cult's documentary "What The Bleep Do We Know?"
posted by steinsaltz at 5:35 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Which principle does the title refer to? The weak anthropic principle? If so then, well, yeah.
posted by rlk at 5:39 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Star Trek fans are upset that a Trek Star doesn't know how a Star Treks?
posted by srboisvert at 5:39 PM on April 7, 2014 [97 favorites]


Teach the controversy! For every fact of science, there is a an equally valid fictional interpretation!
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:41 PM on April 7, 2014 [19 favorites]


SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN: EARTH IS NOT ROUND

QED, mofos
posted by goethean at 5:42 PM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


> If I'm not the most important thing in the universe, why is it that every time I look in a mirror I see my own image instead of someone else's?

Checkmate, atheists.
posted by 0xFCAF


That image you see in the mirror? That's not what you look like. You just don't know any better because that's the image you've always seen. That's actually an image of me, because I'm the most important thing in the universe.

Game, set, match: Strauss.
posted by benito.strauss at 5:45 PM on April 7, 2014 [39 favorites]


People need money. Reminds me of when the actress Marlee Matlin hosted the Ramtha cult's documentary "What The Bleep Do We Know?"

Is that what that was? I saw trailers for that movie, and had no idea what was going on, or why it existed.
posted by heathkit at 5:45 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Is that what that was? I saw trailers for that movie, and had no idea what was going on, or why it existed.

Yah, it was a big hit and a lot of people liked it because it introduced some pop quantum mechanics ideas. But it was mostly created as a delivery device for this woman in the Pacific Northwest who claimed to be the reincarnation of an ancient warrior called Ramtha and also a Japanese author who had a theory about "messages from water."
posted by steinsaltz at 5:50 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Man alive, how insecure do you have to be to buy into this stuff? It's not sufficient for God to (allegedly) create a universe for you to live in. He also has to create it in a way that is all about you?

People need money. Reminds me of when the actress Marlee Matlin hosted the Ramtha cult's documentary "What The Bleep Do We Know?"

I have some friends (and a roommate) who thought that that film was "interesting" and "food for thought". My head and my desk got to be good friends around the time it was released.
posted by brundlefly at 5:51 PM on April 7, 2014 [17 favorites]


With epicicles, you can describe anything. Even Homer Simpson.
posted by kandinski at 5:55 PM on April 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


Any expert want to weigh in on this? [SLYT : Animation of planets moving around sun as sun moves through space.]
posted by casual observer at 5:59 PM on April 7, 2014


People need money.

Reportedly, Kate Mulgrew got paid $60K per episode of Voyager. Over seven seasons, that's over $10 million.

She's also currently on a hit show, so I can't see her needing money that much.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:00 PM on April 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


Any expert want to weigh in on this?

Some smart people talking about it here.
posted by griphus at 6:01 PM on April 7, 2014


From what I could gather, the point of the documentary isn't that the sun revolves around the earth, but that the earth is somehow "special" in the universe.

I could be wrong, however.
posted by spacediver at 6:04 PM on April 7, 2014


A paycheck's a paycheck. I'd be surprised if Kate Mulgrew actually ascribed to a word of this mess, but I'm not gonna fault her for taking work.
posted by kafziel at 6:07 PM on April 7, 2014


spacediver, I think it's both. Apparently we are special because God made us special and put us in the center of the universe.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:08 PM on April 7, 2014


People need money. Reminds me of when the actress Marlee Matlin hosted the Ramtha cult's documentary "What The Bleep Do We Know?"


That piece of shit movie went from just bad to almost criminally irresponsible when the Matlin character threw her meds away.
posted by Cookiebastard at 6:09 PM on April 7, 2014 [9 favorites]


I once spent some time in conversation with a man who did his PhD in physics and who claimed the following: 1) the rules of general relativity imply that a geocentric universe is possible (IIRC, the idea being that under relativity, our perception of the earth as stationary and fixed is no more wrong than the perspective of the notional photon traveling through space at c, which would likewise perceive the world traveling past its stationary self, or something like that); and 2) that he had once seen somebody's thesis trying to square geocentrism in just this way and that the math involved was very very involved indeed.

It is, of course, entirely possible that he was pulling my leg.
posted by gauche at 6:09 PM on April 7, 2014


Maybe she overextended her investments, got into gambling or another vice, or gave the money to her friends like M.C. Hammer did. On the other hand she could just be a really hardcore believer in the music of the rotating spheres of the universe that I remember from 1600s entries in the Norton Anthology of English Literature.
posted by steinsaltz at 6:10 PM on April 7, 2014


The fatal flaw with this movie is that the writers are still clearly beholden to the round earth myth.
posted by ocschwar at 6:14 PM on April 7, 2014 [8 favorites]


"A paycheck's a paycheck. I'd be surprised if Kate Mulgrew actually ascribed to a word of this mess, but I'm not gonna fault her for taking work."

I would have to respectfully disagree. There is plenty of legal work I could engage in (finance, military industrial complex, etc) that I would have ethical issues with, and so I wouldn't take the work (even though the money is great).

I think when actors lend their voices to documentary's, there is an implicate endorsement that isn't present for fictional work.

I would say the most charitable interpretation of her involvement is that she found it hilarious. I would totally forgive her (or even up my opinion of her) if that was her reason.
posted by el io at 6:17 PM on April 7, 2014 [14 favorites]


I never really took a narration gig as an endorsement.
posted by Hoopo at 6:21 PM on April 7, 2014


picard_facepalm.jpg
posted by hangashore at 6:21 PM on April 7, 2014 [9 favorites]


One of the people who appears in the trailer is Michio Kaku, who as far as I know is a respected physicist. Not sure why he would be involved with this.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 6:32 PM on April 7, 2014


ultraviolet catastrophe: One of the people who appears in the trailer is Michio Kaku, who as far as I know is a respected physicist. Not sure why he would be involved with this.

Well, one science blogger summed it as "he’s prone to saying stuff that’s just flat wrong, if not batshit crazy", so he's not completely respected.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:37 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Michio Kaku writes a lot of popular science books and appears on a lot of TV shows about astronomy. I suspect it was a combination of money and being deceived about the general conceit of the film.
posted by griphus at 6:38 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


(Even with the controversy around Kaku, I still can't imagine someone pitched this to him as a film defending geocentrism in either the literal or metaphorical interpretation of the idea.)
posted by griphus at 6:40 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Y'know, she was in Remo Williams. Maybe there's something to this geocentrism...
posted by codswallop at 6:40 PM on April 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


I never really took a narration gig as an endorsement.

Great. Now I question whether Gilbert Gottfried ever even believed in the amazing wonder that is Shoedini.
posted by chambers at 6:41 PM on April 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


Imma just leave this here.
posted by mwhybark at 6:48 PM on April 7, 2014 [11 favorites]


At least Ford Nation has a group of people they can honestly feel intellectually superior to.
posted by orange swan at 6:48 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also this.
posted by mwhybark at 6:48 PM on April 7, 2014


Lawrence Krauss is also featured in the movie so I do suspect a certain amount of hoodwinking and/or quoting out of context.
posted by plastic_animals at 6:51 PM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah - Lawrence Krauss and Max Tegmark would also not be starring in this.

Kaku is a bit iffy, but his pop-sci explanations are generally correct (I don't know what he's done since the 80s, frankly, besides writing pop-sci quantum mechanics books (which AFAIK were decent) and starring in pseudo-science documentaries (which as far as I know were utter trash and misinterpreting actual science) and getting it all wrong about Cassini alarmism).

As for the claim "these disturbances in the CMB are ALL POINTING AT THE EARTH" shows how utterly stupid the producers are in that they don't understand the very concept of relativity. Yes it "points at earth" (whatever the FUCK that means) but it "points at EVERY SINGLE OTHER POINT IN SPACE". The facts of the matter are absolutely the opposite of what they're trying to claim, there is absolutely no unique or privileged point in the cosmos anywhere.

Wherever you go, there the fuck you are.

(Also, thanks to this vid, I remember who I was trying to think of the other day. I was thinking it was Krauss who talked about a pure Mathematical universe (what I call the "Prescriptivist" model of science), but looking Krauss up didn't see anything on it, and was confused as hell... But when I saw Tegmark's name I realized it was him, and googled and saw it was him, sooooooo... This video isn't a complete waste of time (in my reference point) at least).
posted by symbioid at 6:53 PM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Paging Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, white courtesy phone.

He already did, with the use of a (simplified) story of the expansive universe, complete with heliocentricism, as envisioned by Giordano Bruno.

Anyway, everyone knows you call on Bill Nye to debate science versus religion.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:55 PM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


It is, of course, entirely possible that he was pulling my leg.

Or maybe your leg was pushing on his hand!
posted by srboisvert at 6:59 PM on April 7, 2014 [36 favorites]


brundlefly: "Man alive, how insecure do you have to be to buy into this stuff? It's not sufficient for God to (allegedly) create a universe for you to live in. He also has to create it in a way that is all about you?"

I think basically some people feel that a truly loving God should be easier than high school math. If God is confusing and hard and (Himself forbid) uses CALCULUS or PHYSICS or some shit like that, how would that be fair?

In a way it's the perverse flip side of the Scholastics' love affair with reason and their insistence that many things about God could be understood through reason. If you are a bright, well-educated person, that makes God very large and marvelously complex. If you're not so bright, or not very well-educated, God is commensurately smaller ... even so small as to fit into a fairy story of a 6,000-year-old earth, because numbers bigger than that are confusing. Evolution is confusing. Heliocentrism is confusing.

God wouldn't be that mean, they think. God wouldn't make things too hard for me to understand.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:01 PM on April 7, 2014 [42 favorites]


Lentrohamsanin: "Actually: was the church's acknowledgement of heliocentrism ex cathedra? Like, is geocentrism now technically heresy?"

The Church's position evolved over time, with no one declaration of heliocentrism. That said, the jig was pretty clearly up by the 19th century at latest.

Ex cathedra statements are exceedingly rare, and nothing of the sort was made here.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:03 PM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


watching that trailer made me feel like i have gotten my "i think this, therefore that has to be the truth" cable news, science bobble head stupidity for an entire year.

ok...back to reality...the amish mafia is on right now.

i want to believe.
posted by lampshade at 7:04 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I recall from looking into "What The Bleep Do We Know" that some on-screen experts claimed to have been misled into appearing. This reminds me a lot of it. They probably just got her and the physicists to show up and say things about how amazing astronomy is, without ever letting on that it was about the Earth being at the center of the universe. #areyousignificant
posted by johngoren at 7:07 PM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


If only she'd caught the chicken, so she could eat it and absorb its power.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 7:12 PM on April 7, 2014 [11 favorites]


OK, so, Tegmark was probably in to discuss what appears to be an anomaly in the CMB. He's done work in filtering noise from the CMB, apparently...

There's something to do with the ecliptic plane and the CMB having a clear differentiation above and below the ecliptic plane in readings. There's a blog post here for a primer... I've never read much about CMB, but clearly this is different than the regular anisotropy, which is what I thought they were referring to.

Looks like some interesting thing to look into.
posted by symbioid at 7:13 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


She might not have known about this Sungenis guy's hateful attitude, and thus thought it was a harmless bit of complete nonsense with a salutary paycheck. I hope.
posted by clockzero at 7:21 PM on April 7, 2014


I recall from looking into "What The Bleep Do We Know" that some on-screen experts claimed to have been misled into appearing.

Ben Stein pulled the same thing when he did his creationism movie. Safe to assume any scientist who participates in these things and isn't clearly onscreen to cheer for the cause was similarly handled.

As for Mulgrew, actors gotta eat. And acting as a business is particularly hard for women, especially women who are not young and thin. I doubt very seriously she researched anybody's background. I think she saw a chance to get paid doing voiceover work. I suppose she could be a nutbar, but I'd rather giver her the benefit of the doubt without proof.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:28 PM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


About two months ago, I was at my local Whole Foods when the guy in front of me in the checkout line turned my way, gave me the once-over and said "I don't know this gentleman behind me, he might make a good test subject" into his phone. Ohhh-kay then. He then asked me "Does the Sun move around the Earth, or does the Earth move around the Sun?"

I blinked a few times, waiting for the trick question part of his statement, and finally answered "I'd... say the Earth moves around the Sun." He grinned -- trap SPRUNG! -- and confidently told me that while many people thought that, it was in fact WRONG. He then rattled off a bunch of stuff about Einstein's theory of relativity, then about Joshua collapsing the walls of Jericho, then about what Scripture I should be reading while I stood there dumbfounded. It's not that I didn't welcome some scientific/theological debate but I wasn't prepared for it while waiting to pay for my cavatappi in a Whole Foods checkout line.

Next time I'll be prepared, and he'll have to explain to me how Abian's Mass-Time Equivalence Formula affects his calculations.
posted by delfin at 7:28 PM on April 7, 2014 [13 favorites]


Since motion is relative, could you not technically rewrite all of the physics equations -- nevermind how unwieldy and complex they'd become -- to show a reality where the Sun does revolve around the earth? /non-physicist
posted by shivohum at 7:29 PM on April 7, 2014


In terms of Relativity, you can pick any frame of reference you wish and construct equations to describe the system. No frame is sacred.

I'd be fascinated just to hear a reasonable explanation of the angular momentum problem when everything revolves around the Earth.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:30 PM on April 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


being in a movie by a dude who is so anti-Semitic that the Catholic church had to be all "dude, cut that shit out."

Yeeargh, the comments. Hint: if you think you should be nice to Jewish people so they can see the error of their ways and convert to whatever the heck it is you're preaching, you're still a jerk.
posted by 1adam12 at 7:32 PM on April 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


She's a bright woman - a well respected and beloved actor who's still getting meaningful work. She presumably went to elementary school, if she did this "just for the paycheck" she knows how the universe operates.

So, why is she deliberately defrauding the public with nonsense and lies? Money? Orange Is the New Black kind of money? Doubtful. Doesn't she have an agent who also knows how the universe operates, and has since the first grade, who also knows what kind of smell this will leave on her?

Or does she buy into the message?

Nimoy needed the fucking money when he did "In search of...?" - hell, Kirk and Bones were greco-roman wrestling with The Worst Monster Effects In Hollywood at the time, and would have leapt at the chance at any kind of gig after Trek, like T.J. Hooker onto the hood of a moving car. Then the movie franchise happened, and the fandom exploded as the '60s became cool in the '80s and appearance fees started rolling in...

Janeway was dropped into the middle of that, where a star could expect to be paid for a major role in a Trek series, and keep raking it in afterward with stage roles and personal appearance fees.

Mulgrew doesn't need the money.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:34 PM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


... the guy in front of me in the checkout line turned my way, gave me the once-over and said "I don't know this gentleman behind me, he might make a good test subject" into his phone.

I assume Kenny Loggins Jesus was on the other end of that call.
posted by griphus at 7:35 PM on April 7, 2014


[One comment deleted. Seriously, boob jokes?]
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:38 PM on April 7, 2014


Not a ding against catholicism in general - but it's a very old and very large religion, with a lot of interesting nooks and oddments collected within. Some of them, Georges Lemaitre for instance, are charming and inspirational. Others... significantly less so. (And geocentrism isn't even the oldest battle being continually re-fought.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:44 PM on April 7, 2014


I last saw Kate Mulgrew in a production of Chuck Mee's "Iphegenia 2.0." Greeks were understandably confused.
posted by ilana at 7:45 PM on April 7, 2014






OK, everyone, I am going to propose a theory that will absolutely blow your minds. It's considered heresy by many if not most, but it will change everything you know, or think you know, about the universe. Can you handle it?

Are you sure?

Brace yourselves, because here it comes...

CELEBRITIES DON'T THOROUGHLY VET EVERY SINGLE LITTLE GIG THAT THEY GET.

Crazy, but true! Someone comes along and says, hey, I'm doing a docco on speculative cosmology, and you're famous for playing a starship captain, and you go, hey, I haven't done one of those doccos this year, at least this calendar year, and you say you're Catholic, I'm Catholic, sounds legit. It's pretty much the same process by which celebrities end up going to parties (in exchange for seven-figure appearance fees) thrown by the tyrannical dictators of countries that they didn't even knew existed, let alone could find on a map; they figured that if the guy were really that bad, someone would have gone all KONY 2012 on his ass.

And, while we're at it, unless I missed a sentence or two, her participation up until now consists of "Everything we think we know about our universe is wrong," which could just as easily be a Voyager outtake. Sheesh, people.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:58 PM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


CELEBRITIES DON'T THOROUGHLY VET EVERY SINGLE LITTLE GIG THAT THEY GET.

No, their agents and publicists do.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:00 PM on April 7, 2014 [9 favorites]


One of the people who appears in the trailer is Michio Kaku, who as far as I know is a respected physicist. Not sure why he would be involved with this.

Lawrence Krauss is also featured in the movie so I do suspect a certain amount of hoodwinking and/or quoting out of context.

Yeah, it's probably best to actually judge the veracity of the film based on the film rather than the film's trailer. I can't make sense of the trailer.

1 in 4 Americans Don't Know Earth Orbits the Sun. Yes, Really.

Sadly not surprised.

About two months ago, I was at my local Whole Foods when the guy in front of me in the checkout line turned my way, gave me the once-over and said "I don't know this gentleman behind me, he might make a good test subject" into his phone. Ohhh-kay then. He then asked me "Does the Sun move around the Earth, or does the Earth move around the Sun?"

If that guy was Morrissey he would have asked, "Does the body rule the mind or does the mind rule the body?"

So that guy wasn't Morrissey.

Science!
posted by juiceCake at 8:07 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Phil Plait: Geocentrism? Seriously?
posted by homunculus at 8:08 PM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]



I had to watch this to feel better.
posted by sneebler at 8:09 PM on April 7, 2014


Mulgrew doesn't need the money.

I'll assume you based this statement on a thorough and factual knowledge of her finances.
posted by middleclasstool at 8:11 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh, BTW, here's another video project of his.

Also, Slap*Happy, that's the ideal situation. Then again, who knows? Neal Adams thinks that the earth is constantly adding mass to itself from nowhere.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:11 PM on April 7, 2014


Since motion is relative, could you not technically rewrite all of the physics equations -- nevermind how unwieldy and complex they'd become -- to show a reality where the Sun does revolve around the earth? /non-physicist

Yup, in fact physics got a long way down that route before they figured out it made a lot more sense the other way.

But I could describe the movement of the entire universe relative to my pinky if I so chose.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:19 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


"Imagine that! It never occurred to me to think of SPACE as the thing that was moving!" -- Scotty
posted by ceribus peribus at 8:24 PM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Mulgrew doesn't need the money.
I'll assume you based this statement on a thorough and factual knowledge of her finances.
No, based on the fact that the Federation is post-scarcity.
posted by Flunkie at 8:28 PM on April 7, 2014 [14 favorites]


I'll assume you based this statement on a thorough and factual knowledge of her finances.

It would make for a fascinating accompany trailer to another documentary on Mulgrew's finances featuring people who may not actually know much about them nonetheless appearing in the film and talking about how Mulgrew doesn't need the money.

"Imagine that! It never occurred to me to think of SPACE as the thing that was moving!" -- Scotty

"I think it moved." -- George
posted by juiceCake at 8:30 PM on April 7, 2014


Heliocentrism is confusing.

I find it hard to believe that something you can illustrate with a flashlight, an orange, and a grape (and a pea, if you want to include the moon) could be too confusing for anyone capable of figuring out how to work a zipper.

Kate Mulgrew, I am disappoint.
posted by emjaybee at 8:35 PM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


All the discussion of special relativity here has neglected the fact that there is a special frame of reference out there (this isn't quite contrary to Einstein's postulates, though it certainly violates the spirit of them).

The Solar system is moving at about 400 km/sec, and consequently the Local Group of galaxies (including the Milky Way) is moving at approximately 600 km/sec, relative to the photons we observe from the Cosmic Microwave Background (abbreviated CMB below); that is, we have a substantial velocity (over a million miles an hour) relative to the distant universe. As a result, the CMB looks ~0.1% hotter/bluer in our direction of motion, and ~0.1% colder/redder in the opposite direction.

This motion is caused by the gravitational pull of nearby galaxies on us; galaxies more than ~500 million light years from us appear to on average have zero motion compared to the CMB (indicating that the Local Group motion is induced by objects closer to us than that).

If there is a preferred reference frame in the Universe, it's clear it's not ours.
posted by janewman at 8:38 PM on April 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


So this is basically going to be the promo video that Earth sends out so we can get on Survivor: Universe?

I predict we will be voted off at the end of the first episode, because we failed the "Work in teams to construct Matrioshka brains around the three 36 Ophiuchi stars, using only the argon and sodium cyanide molecules you are able to self-synthesize...and also these coconuts" challenge.

Earth would be like: "Man, any of y'all bring a screwdriver? Bitch, don't talk down to me!" At the end of the episode, crying. "We just wanted to prove something to ourselves." Fucking useless.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:43 PM on April 7, 2014 [8 favorites]


I have the most awful feeling that this is going to be the next thing the truther/Ron Paul/anti-vaccine people are going to latch onto.
posted by MrBadExample at 8:46 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


ok...back to reality...the amish mafia is on right now.

i want to believe.


/puts up poster with giant Amish hat floating in the sky.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:55 PM on April 7, 2014 [7 favorites]


Reading the Geocentricity page brought me back to the Dungeons and Dragons space physics of Spelljammer.
posted by johngoren at 8:58 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I have the most awful feeling that this is going to be the next thing the truther/Ron Paul/anti-vaccine people are going to latch onto.

If it means they drop something else, I am 100% okay with that.

I think basically some people feel that a truly loving God should be easier than high school math. If God is confusing and hard and (Himself forbid) uses CALCULUS or PHYSICS or some shit like that, how would that be fair?

In a way it's the perverse flip side of the Scholastics' love affair with reason and their insistence that many things about God could be understood through reason. If you are a bright, well-educated person, that makes God very large and marvelously complex. If you're not so bright, or not very well-educated, God is commensurately smaller ... even so small as to fit into a fairy story of a 6,000-year-old earth, because numbers bigger than that are confusing. Evolution is confusing. Heliocentrism is confusing.


Heliocentrism isn't confusing at all. Little things orbit big things. The sun is bigger than the earth. That's the whole deal.

And knowing what we do about the relative movement of celestial objects (pretty indisputable knowledge acquired by looking at them) the heliocentric model of the solar system, being a bunch of concentric ellipses, is far, far, far simpler than a geocentric one, which looks like a Spirograph from hell.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:03 PM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


This could go a long way to towards explaining modern urban traffic problems. We're all special.
posted by islander at 9:16 PM on April 7, 2014


She was on Cheers once. Nothing can take that away.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:18 PM on April 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


I still have a pamphlet that someone threw in my mailbox in new haven arguing in support of a geocentric universe

It's pretty good chuckles
posted by Ferreous at 9:35 PM on April 7, 2014


Why do people expect so much from their entertainers?
posted by rocket88 at 9:50 PM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Firstly, Michio Kaku is the James Lipton of science these days: perhaps formerly actually in the field, but now more 'personalities' in their respective fields. Personalities that will apparently do *any* gig of any kind. If there were still a Battle of the Network Stars I would expect Kaku and Lipton to both weasel their way onto the show. But not get picked first.

Secondly, if the narrator is taken to be condoning the subject of the documentary they're narrating, I have some very strong words for David Attenborough about the kind of behavior he has condoned --nay, encouraged-- from lions and alligators in years past. Bloodthirsty old Brit.
posted by umberto at 10:01 PM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


We have become such a stupid fucking country. I mean really.
posted by Danf at 10:01 PM on April 7, 2014


rocket88: Why do people expect so much from their entertainers?

Holy crap -- assuming that they know the Earth orbits the sun? That is expecting the bare minimum from our entertainers.
posted by tzikeh at 10:03 PM on April 7, 2014 [9 favorites]


Man, y'all are no fun – if I were in the position to I'd totally narrate a documentary about geocentricism being real just for laughs. Though there are other subjects that might take precedence:

1) Spontaneous combustion
2) Lamarckian evolution
3) Geocentricism
4) Phlogiston (the mere chance to say "phlogiston" in four consecutive sentences would probably be enough for me)
5) Phrenology
6) Spontaneous generation

Well, ok, not everything would rate:

1002) Perpetual motion machines
1003) Perpetual motion machines having been invented in ancient Egypt
1004) Fuckin' ghosts
posted by furiousthought at 10:15 PM on April 7, 2014 [15 favorites]


Well, you're all invited to the premiere of my new homeopathic documentary. It consists of one very tiny lie, consisting of a single pixel of falsehood in two hours of otherwise completely blank video. As a result it is more powerfully true than the most powerful truth ever filmed.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:29 PM on April 7, 2014 [32 favorites]


Why do people expect so much from their entertainers?

I like that a lot of people seem particularly offended because she was in a science fiction show, because apparently one needs a STEM background to emote shitty technobabble in front of a green screen.

Guess what, she wasn't really married to Columbo either, you fucking nerds.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:30 PM on April 7, 2014 [11 favorites]


It's always disappointing when people we want to like turn out to be batshitinsane.

The science knowledge of the actors in geek television shows has never been very high and I don't think anyone has cared much. It's possible that Mayim Bialik is the first person to ever fully understand the jargon coming out of a scientist character's mouth.

Anyway here's this person you saw on TV and they performed a role that meant a lot to you and then it turns out that they're 9/11 conspiracy fanatic. And it kinda sucks.

A slow trickle of my female friends have decided to read a little more about Kevin Sorbo over the years. (I head them off when I can.). It's the same sort of thing. If nothing else it ruins the reruns for you as you're never able to see the actor the same way again.

So yeah, I think all most fans really want is relative sanity.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:03 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Flat Earth theories are way more amusing.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:08 PM on April 7, 2014


Genevieve Bujold would never have let you down like this.
posted by johngoren at 11:50 PM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Heliocentrism isn't confusing at all. Little things orbit big things. The sun is bigger than the earth. That's the whole deal.


More like "Things with less mass orbit things with more mass"

You could have a gas giant orbiting a tiny neutron star... which would be pretty cool.
posted by ambivalentic at 12:00 AM on April 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


The Solar system is moving at about 400 km/sec, and consequently the Local Group of galaxies (including the Milky Way) is moving at approximately 600 km/sec, relative to the photons we observe from the Cosmic Microwave Background (abbreviated CMB below); that is, we have a substantial velocity (over a million miles an hour) relative to the distant universe. As a result, the CMB looks ~0.1% hotter/bluer in our direction of motion, and ~0.1% colder/redder in the opposite direction.

That's pretty cool. Down with heliocentrism! Up with CosmicMicrowaveBackgroundcentrism!

I remember a disturbing story from a while back that the fine-structure constant might vary throughout the universe. What happened with that? What does that mean if true? One of the primary assumptions in physics is that it works the same wherever you go, and it's a little unnerving to think that might not be the case.
posted by heathkit at 12:01 AM on April 8, 2014


Heliocentrism isn't confusing at all. Little things orbit big things. The sun is bigger than the earth. That's the whole deal.

More like "Things with less mass orbit things with more mass"


More like two bodies will orbit their barycenter.
posted by heathkit at 12:04 AM on April 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


I like that a lot of people seem particularly offended because she was in a science fiction show, because apparently one needs a STEM background to emote shitty technobabble in front of a green screen.

No, one needs a publicist who understands you're signing onto a propaganda piece for revanchist Catholic dominionism funded by a censured antisemitic sect - and I have a very hard time believing she didn't have such a publicist. Google works, guys. I mean, if you think she's really Brick Tamland dumb, go right ahead... that may not be an improvement on the situation.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:08 AM on April 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


No, one needs a publicist who understands you're signing onto a propaganda piece for revanchist Catholic dominionism funded by a censured antisemitic sect - and I have a very hard time believing she didn't have such a publicist.

This page reveals that her publicist no longer works with her. Perhaps she fired him for incompetence.
posted by painquale at 12:09 AM on April 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


The dude isn't even wrong exactly, geocentric models for understanding the solar system have a pretty weird and interesting place in scientific philosophy. Scientific theories in a proper sense are not really formulated to be wrong or right, though they can also be that, and are focused on being something fundamentally different - useful.

For a theory to be a useful one, it must be validated by solid data from diverse sources and approaches, explain natural phenomena, and be useful for making verifiable predictions of what those phenomena will do. For example, the theory of evolution by natural selection is all of these things while the theory of Intelligent Design is only able to explain phenomena based on unrepeatable and subjective reasoning. That does not mean that creationism as a representation of who we are through a metaphorical description of where we come from is stupid, bad, or even unreasonable. However it does mean that as an explanation of natural phenomena it is unverifiable, and more importantly, fundamentally not useful for understanding the natural world. This is the biggest reason why Intelligent Design has no place being taught next to or as a viable replacement for the extraordinarily useful theory of evolution in a science classroom. To do so would be to fail to teach science, which is more than just the collection of facts our teachers tried to cram into us once upon a time, but the practice of trying to describe the natural world in a way that is useful to understanding it.

Plato's geocentric model was very wrong, and can only be made to fit when you've got really terrible data, but its wrongness is trivial next to its uselessness for explaining why the celestial bodies move the way they do. Even then, it is at least in updated bare bones still useful to this day for things like pointing telescopes as the reasons why things move are only so relevant to tracking their movements and pointing at them. Tycho Brahe's geocentric model, is an even weirder example, where Brahe, motivated by his own understanding of the Bible, worked desperately to incorporate his data into a model that would keep the Earth at the center. He used his data and Kepler's mathematics to construct something that was many orders more complex and that ended up being more or less just the same thing - just spinning around on an Earth centered axis for no empirically discernible reason. It wasn't any more 'wrong' than the available data were in a meaningful sense as it could still be used to predict the motions of the celestial bodies in more or less the same way, at least once the couple of mathematical errors were fixed. The difference Occam's razor makes between the two systems does something ontologically weird but powerful, where his basic model would have been both correct and useful for making predictions, but the inherent distortion would have made, for example, the Law of Universal Gravitation impossible to discern from Brahe's confused equivalents to Kepler's laws.

The biggest problem with Brahe's model, at least in the light of relativity, is that it was too unnecessarily complex to serve as a foundation for future science.
posted by Blasdelb at 12:17 AM on April 8, 2014 [6 favorites]


"Why do people expect so much from their entertainers?"

Because science, and an appreciation for science, are so incredibly fucking important - especially when it can be so difficult to learn about and so easy to be fooled for someone else's profit.
posted by Blasdelb at 12:20 AM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


I have the most awful feeling that this is going to be the next thing the truther/Ron Paul/anti-vaccine people are going to latch onto.

This seems a lot less harmful than Ron Paul or antivax stuff. Because there's only a small percent of jobs where this stuff matters at all. And the people doing those jobs are not these people.
posted by aubilenon at 12:23 AM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


And so the technological arms race goes on: Armor gets better, crossbows get better, repeat. Safecrackers get better, safes get better, repeat. With recent advancements in the disemination of knowledge, is it any wonder that the dissemination of stupid has been forced to take it up a notch?
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:41 AM on April 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


Neal Adams thinks that the earth is constantly adding mass to itself from nowhere.
To be fair, their run-in would send anyone insane.
posted by fullerine at 1:22 AM on April 8, 2014


The second I see Michio Kaku in anything, I'm out. He's the Dr. Joyce Brothers of physics.
posted by sonascope at 2:35 AM on April 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


Stealing johngoren's idea: can we crowdsource, or kickstart, a docco based on Spelljammer? Avery Brooks would probably be up for it, and I am sure we could bust some myths with some of MeFi's finest.

Crystal spheres are real, man.
FEAR THE GRIFF.
posted by Mezentian at 3:29 AM on April 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


"Things with less mass orbit things with more mass"

I was once at a party where I got sucked into one of those interminable faux-deep conversations that always seem to be started by people who don't grasp the subject. The guy who was doing most of the talking told me the mind-blowing "fact" that black holes have no mass.

Fortunately, I hadn't had enough to drink to get into it with him, and I managed to extricate myself before I started off with "Black holes are known for their gravity, and you don't get gravity without mass, lab partner" and only gotten more scathing from there.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:25 AM on April 8, 2014


Cocaine is a hell of a drug.
posted by hal_c_on at 4:48 AM on April 8, 2014


"Why do people expect so much from their entertainers?"

Because science, and an appreciation for science, are so incredibly fucking important - especially when it can be so difficult to learn about and so easy to be fooled for someone else's profit.


This post is specifically about Kate Mulgrew. For some reason it's much more important that she is narrating this than the scores of other nobodies who are otherwise involved.

Besides, I'd wager there's at least as much bad science in ST Voyager.
posted by rocket88 at 4:55 AM on April 8, 2014


sonascope: "The second I see Michio Kaku in anything, I'm out. He's the Dr. Joyce Brothers of physics."

Wait, was Kaku in The Naked Gun?
posted by Chrysostom at 5:14 AM on April 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


Kate Mulgrew has to take whatever work she can find. It's not easy to get a job when you've just been released from prison.
posted by dr_dank at 5:23 AM on April 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


1 in 4 Americans still believe that the Sun rotates around the Earth

That's no surprise, considering how many of us can't locate our own country on a world map.

However the assertion that "Orange is the New Black" is truly disturbing for me, as I just watched a rerun of a QaF episode in which Justin says his art school said "Orange is the New Blue".

So: What truth can we hold onto in these whirlwind times?? Where in fact are Cretins from?


posted by Twang at 5:31 AM on April 8, 2014


We wouldn't be in this situation if she had gone with the Holodeck Galileo program instead of Holodeck Leonardo.
posted by Flunkie at 5:43 AM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's turtles, sheeple! Turtles all the way down!
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 5:45 AM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


"Why do people expect so much from their entertainers?"

"Not promoting geocentrism" isn't exactly a high bar.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:48 AM on April 8, 2014 [10 favorites]


It's possible that Mayim Bialik is the first person to ever fully understand the jargon coming out of a scientist character's mouth.

Unless it concerns vaccinations.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 5:50 AM on April 8, 2014 [14 favorites]


In all seriousness, I don't really see why we shouldn't give her the benefit of the doubt here. Say what you will about Kaku, but he and the other physicists in that clip are obviously not on board the geocentrism bandwagon. They were certainly tricked into doing it without knowing what the movie was really about (or perhaps the trailer was designed to trick the audience into thinking the movie's pro- rather than anti-geocentrism, but that doesn't seem likely to me). Given that, I don't see why we shouldn't just assume Mulgrew was tricked into participating, too.

I mean, if it was something like What the Bleep Do We Know where they could have gone up to her and said "Hey, Kate, science has proven that quantum mechanics is behind consciousness! Want to narrate a documentary about it?", then sure, maybe it's believable that they tricked the physicists but were on the level* with her. But "Hey, Kate, science has proven that the sun orbits the earth, not the other way around! Want to do a documentary about it?"... come on.

*: "On the level" with respect to what the movie is about, not "on the level" with respect to the veracity of what the movie is about
posted by Flunkie at 6:03 AM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


She was on Cheers once. Nothing can take that away.

Indeed!

Sam: Councillor Eldridge, do you like Chinese food, and if so, have you ever eaten it in a bathtub?

Councillor Janet Eldridge: Yes. And no comment.
posted by orange swan at 6:15 AM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Why do people expect so much from their entertainers?

Anyone, entertaining or not, who takes a gig like this is deserving of a little mockery. So why do people expect their entertainers to be exempt from this?
posted by octobersurprise at 6:19 AM on April 8, 2014


heathkit: The fine structure constant work is in much the same position it's been since first announced - interesting well-made measurements but most people are skeptical of it actualling panning out rather than turning out to be some currently poorly understood systematic error. I think this is the most recent stuff out from quasar spectra.

It would of course show the existence of 'new physics' if it turns out to be true, but at the same time one could think of that not as the laws of physics changing, but there being a deeper underlying principle, or that there is some otherwise not understood field in the universe that happens to vary across space and time. You'd certainly still be cautious of throwing out the deep fundamental symmetries of time and space translation - that the laws of physics don't change across space and time.
posted by edd at 6:24 AM on April 8, 2014


You guys are aware that Kate Mulgrew wasn't really a starship captain and also probably isn't a "geek" just because she was on a geek tv show, right?

Or are you too busy wondering how she managed to get this gig while in prison?
posted by Legomancer at 6:36 AM on April 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


Keep adding epicycles, with enough epicycles it all makes sense.
posted by koebelin at 6:39 AM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Still, though, is Kate Mulgrew one of those Catholics?

This 2000-2001 article, which was taken from the Feminists for Life journal, The American Feminist, indicates that Mulgrew is adamantly opposed to both abortion and the death penalty, although Mulgrew referred to herself at that time as a "liberal Democrat." I would probably infer from that that she is an extremely devout Catholic. Mulgrew said in the article, "Life is sacred to me on all levels. Abortion does not compute with my philosophy." Based on my previous experience studying the anti-abortion movement, I can vouch that there are definitely liberal Democratic Catholics who oppose abortion and see no contradiction in their philosophy whatsoever, but they do have a tendency to drift rightward over time, simply because their opposition to abortion leads them to develop more network ties to really socially conservative people. I suspect that something similar might have gone on with Kate Mulgrew.
posted by jonp72 at 6:53 AM on April 8, 2014


I'm shocked, SHOCKED to discover that an actress - who works in HOLLYWOOD no less, home of some kind of quasi-religion that revolves around thetans and aliens and volcanoes - has agreed to lend her name to some crackpot scientific theories.

Will the wonders never cease?
posted by modernnomad at 7:28 AM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


>It's possible that Mayim Bialik is the first person to ever fully understand the jargon coming out of a scientist character's mouth.

Unless it concerns vaccinations.


And see? Now I'm disappointed.

However, given her background I would guess that she fully understands the (bad) choice that she's making.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:39 AM on April 8, 2014


Surely this is an April Fool's joke. And can't she make an OK living making con appearances? It's gotta be better than my gig.
posted by Brocktoon at 7:56 AM on April 8, 2014


I mean, it's possible that Kate Mulgrew did in fact knowingly sign up to narrate a documentary supporting geocentrism, and I'm of the mind that this doesn't necessarily equate to endorsing it (although a performer really should be aware that most people won't see it that way), though even if it did, I don't know her personally and I don't believe performers have a duty to serve as examples to anyone.

That said: Scientists involved in this doc have said they were misled or their interviews were taken out of context. Thus far, I've only seen the trailer, and the trailer only has one line from Mulgrew, and it's an incredibly generic line that could have been part of the VO for pretty much any doc at all. I'm not defending Mulgrew's honor here or anything, because again, I don't know her, but I guess I'm thinking it'd be a good idea to avoid pillorying her until we know what her voiceover consists of, what the script she was given looked like, or overall whether or not she was aware of the content of the documentary when she signed up for it and recorded her lines.

For all I know, she was totally on board with it, but her rep has declined to comment and said someone would reach out soon, which suggests either that she did know and they're trying to figure out how to spin it, or that she didn't know and they're trying to come up with the best way to put it.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:56 AM on April 8, 2014


Or she didn't know until she was eyeballs deep in a contract that forbids her from saying anything that could possibly be taken as criticism of the folks producing this nonsense. (See act one of the slow motion Game Jam train wreck from last week.)
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:06 AM on April 8, 2014


Eyebrows McGee: God wouldn't be that mean, they think. God wouldn't make things too hard for me to understand.

Interesting take. I thought religion provided the easy out for the world of things too complex to understand. I don't say this as snark, but as one real reason for believing in an all-powerful, all-knowing god. The world is too big for me to understand, but someone has to understand it, and that someone is god. It's the opposite of scientific curiosity, but it's a comfort in an uncertain and harsh world.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:43 AM on April 8, 2014


And can't she make an OK living making con appearances?

When I was a teenager, I went to a couple of Star Trek conventions. Voyager was on the air then and I remember asking my mom why Kate Mulgrew didn't come to the cons. I think she told me she'd read that Kate Mulgrew didn't like doing public appearances like that. Of course this is all anecdotal but maybe she chooses not to make money that way.
posted by IndigoRain at 9:03 AM on April 8, 2014


He's an anti-semitic, anti-evolution geocentrist.

She's an actress whose best-known lead role involved PERSONALLY EXPERIENCING DEVOLUTION INTO LIZARD FORM.

They don't fight crime. But, dammit, they certainly should.
posted by delfin at 9:10 AM on April 8, 2014 [5 favorites]


Her Wikipedia page has

About her years on
Voyager, Mulgrew said:
I'm proud of it. It was difficult; it was hard work. I'm proud of the work because I think I made some little difference in women in science.
So, do we still think of her as just an entertainer working for a paycheck?
posted by fredludd at 9:24 AM on April 8, 2014


She's an actress whose best-known lead role involved PERSONALLY EXPERIENCING DEVOLUTION INTO LIZARD FORM.


I thought that was supposed to be an evolution into lizard form, or did I miss another episode (it was generally the worst of the Star Treks so I wouldn't be surprised) where she devolved into Lizard form?
posted by juiceCake at 9:24 AM on April 8, 2014


So, do we still think of her as just an entertainer working for a paycheck?

I do, though I don't know about the just part. I'm just a guy working for a paycheck in the web development sphere for example.
posted by juiceCake at 9:25 AM on April 8, 2014


Well, Zaphod's just this guy, y'know?
posted by Chrysostom at 9:41 AM on April 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


Orange Is the New Black kind of money?

People keep bringing this up, so I just want to speak to it a little bit.

I'm not sure any of the actors on OITNB are really raking it in.

In Hollywood, all the various guilds and unions assign pay scales to projects based on what kind of project they are. If you're in a mega-budget movie produced through one of the big studios, they have to pay you $$$$$$. If you're in a low-budget indie, they have to pay you $$$$$. If you're in a network series, they have to pay you $$$$$$, but if you're in a cable show they only have to pay you $$$$.

Now, in addition to that, there are a few ways producers can game the system to pay people a lot less money. The first way is to dub their TV series a "movie of the week", which is more like $$$ as compared to $$$$$. You can get away with this if you're in the first two seasons of the show, and episode orders are ten episodes or less. (This is why you see all that Season 1A and Season 1B stuff on some of the chintzier cable networks -- breaking it down that way enables them to pay people less.)

And even better, if you're digital (as OITNB is), the sky is really the limit in terms of nickel and diming people's pay. The low-budget web series I make does not require me to pay the cast at all. I feel like Orange Is The New Black probably wouldn't be able to game the system to quite that extent, and they probably are paying the cast something. But there are shockingly few restrictions on this. While the production probably has to pay Mulgrew and other "names" some money to keep them showing up for work, it's probably a lot less than you'd think.

The idea that Kate Mulgrew is getting fat off her sweet Orange Is The New Black payments is laughable. She's probably getting a quarter of her Voyager salary (which would amount to something like $150K/season) and glad to have it. And I mean, OK, I make less than that, and work a lot harder/more hours. $150,000 for a few weeks of work sounds like a lot. But she might not book anything else for five years.

So I can see her making hay while the sun shines, even on questionable projects like this. A lot of actors don't have a ton saved for things like their kids' educations, retirement, etc. And it gets incomparably harder to book work as a woman over 50.
posted by Sara C. at 9:46 AM on April 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


This 2000-2001 article, which was taken from the Feminists for Life journal, The American Feminist, indicates that Mulgrew is adamantly opposed to both abortion and the death penalty, although Mulgrew referred to herself at that time as a "liberal Democrat."

Yeah, but that's just regular Catholic.

When I say "one of those Catholics", I'm referring to things like Opus Dei, Mel Gibson's jam, the anti-semitism, the pre-Vatican II holdouts, etc.

I grew up in a staunchly conservative predominantly Catholic part of the US, so a Catholic person being anti-choice (and yet also liberal on some issues) doesn't surprise me at all. I would be more inclined to lose respect for her if she was one of those chodes who believes in blood libel.
posted by Sara C. at 9:53 AM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


"Why do people expect so much from their entertainers?"

Because sometimes they're creamy and delicious.
posted by mazola at 10:09 AM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Whether the Earth goes around the sun or the other way around is just a matter of frame of reference. Being on Earth, it is quite legitimate to take the Earth as the still frame.

The big controversial new discovery that got Galileo in trouble was that the other planets go around the sun, and not the Earth.

And that there are bodies orbiting those other planets as well (the moons of Jupiter).
posted by yoz420 at 10:22 AM on April 8, 2014


I've thought about this a bit, as I liked Star Trek: Voyager and I liked Mulgrew's portrayal of Janeway. But in the end, she's just an actress and her job is to read the lines and fill the role. To expect more of our entertainers is simply misguided.

Look, it's not like Mulgrew is appearing in a revival of Birth of a Nation. She's just reading some lines for a paycheck. Let's save our scorn for someone like Jenny McCarthy and her anti-vaccination campaign.

(And it's doubtful that any Star Trek fans will suddenly become geocentrism fanatics just because they hear Mulgrew's voiceover work on the documentary, any more than they became Bermuda Triangle believers because of Leonard Nimoy's work on In Search Of....)

Finally, I'm reminded of that great quote by Michael Caine in response to criticism about his appearance in the bomb Jaws: The Revenge: "I have never seen the film, but by all accounts it was terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific."
posted by math at 10:22 AM on April 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


He's an anti-semitic, anti-evolution geocentrist.

She's an actress whose best-known lead role involved PERSONALLY EXPERIENCING DEVOLUTION INTO LIZARD FORM.

They don't fight crime. But, dammit, they certainly should.


There's no such thing as devolution

You cannot devolve into cavepersons or dinosaurs

Evolution isn't linear progress
posted by clockzero at 10:22 AM on April 8, 2014


You cannot devolve into cavepersons or dinosaurs

Oh sure, that's what they want you to think.
posted by math at 10:24 AM on April 8, 2014




clockzero: "There's no such thing as devolution"

Nobody tell these guys.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:48 AM on April 8, 2014


>>It's possible that Mayim Bialik is the first person to ever fully understand the jargon coming out of a scientist character's mouth.

>Unless it concerns vaccinations.


And see? Now I'm disappointed.

However, given her background I would guess that she fully understands the (bad) choice that she's making.


She's also way, way into homeopathy. At this point, it calls into question whether she actually earned that degree.
posted by kafziel at 11:13 AM on April 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


There's no such thing as devolution

You cannot devolve into cavepersons or dinosaurs

Evolution isn't linear progress


If it's not linear, perhaps it's circular, going round and round...

... almost like a...

Revolution.
posted by ambivalentic at 11:24 AM on April 8, 2014


Seriously, why are some people fighting so hard to drag us all back to the dark ages?
posted by Space Kitty at 11:32 AM on April 8, 2014


Seriously, why are some people fighting so hard to drag us all back to the dark ages?

Because they want to lose the crusades all over again.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:40 AM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh, hey, guess what. [Facebook] (She basically refers people to Krauss' Slate post, which she agrees with.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:58 PM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


If you aren't on FB, Mulgrew says:
I understand there has been some controversy about my participation in a documentary called THE PRINCIPLE. Let me assure everyone that I completely agree with the eminent physicist Lawrence Krauss, who was himself misrepresented in the film, and who has written a succinct rebuttal in SLATE. I am not a geocentrist, nor am I in any way a proponent of geocentrism. More importantly, I do not subscribe to anything Robert Sungenis has written regarding science and history and, had I known of his involvement, would most certainly have avoided this documentary. I was a voice for hire, and a misinformed one, at that. I apologize for any confusion that my voice on this trailer may have caused. Kate Mulgrew
posted by Chrysostom at 1:03 PM on April 8, 2014 [8 favorites]


Kate Mulgrew's response:
I understand there has been some controversy about my participation in a documentary called THE PRINCIPLE. Let me assure everyone that I completely agree with the eminent physicist Lawrence Krauss, who was himself misrepresented in the film, and who has written a succinct rebuttal in SLATE. I am not a geocentrist, nor am I in any way a proponent of geocentrism. More importantly, I do not subscribe to anything Robert Sungenis has written regarding science and history and, had I known of his involvement, would most certainly have avoided this documentary. I was a voice for hire, and a misinformed one, at that. I apologize for any confusion that my voice on this trailer may have caused. Kate Mulgrew
edit: ...should have previewed.
posted by Vibrissa at 1:06 PM on April 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


And just in case you didn't understand that:
tu'lu' 'op benvam umqu' ghot documentary PRINCIPLE pong participation jIyaj. Hoch wabmeyvetlh jIQochbe' eminent physicist lawrence krauss, 'Iv ghaH mIllogh qonwI' qoSta' qaStaHvIS misrepresented, 'ej succinct rebuttal ghItlh 'Iv qaStaHvIS SLATE 'e' assure vIleghjaj. jIHbe' geocentrist 'ej qaStaHvIS vay' proponent geocentrism mIw. choghIjtaHghach importantly wej subscribe jIH vay' ghItlh quv, vIchID QeD qun 'ej je, robert sungenis documentary 'ach bej webqu'meH nov involvement known. hire 'ej misinform wa', qaStaHvIS 'e' ghogh. tlhIj jIH chaq luH trailer ghogh mIS qar vay'. kate mulgrew
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:10 PM on April 8, 2014 [16 favorites]


After using Google translate to put Ms. Mulgrew's statement into Finnish, Icelandic, Javanese, and then back into English, it reads:

I know that there has been some controversy about the password involvement in the so-called principle document. I can assure everyone that I agree fully with the greatest physicist Lawrence Krauss, who himself had been misrepresented film, and a brief written statement of opposition slate. I do not geocentrist, and I do not in any way supported geocentrism. More importantly, I did not do anything, Changi Robert has written about science and history, and if I had known that involvement in, would have been avoided in the document. I hire and misinformation, one of the. I apologize for the confusion that voice, the trailer may have caused. Kate Mulgrew
posted by Area Man at 1:19 PM on April 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: Does not geocentrist.
posted by sparklemotion at 1:32 PM on April 8, 2014


Can anyone translate that into Tamarian, please?
posted by Chrysostom at 1:34 PM on April 8, 2014


Sungenis, his asshat wide!
posted by Blasdelb at 1:40 PM on April 8, 2014 [8 favorites]


Ptolemy, when the Earth fell (in orbit)
posted by Blasdelb at 1:42 PM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Krauss and Mulgrew in confusion.
posted by Flunkie at 1:43 PM on April 8, 2014


Kraussda, his face black, his eyes red
posted by Blasdelb at 1:43 PM on April 8, 2014


Sungenis, his eyes closed ... at court, the court of silence
posted by Blasdelb at 1:45 PM on April 8, 2014


*waits patiently for everyone in the thread who made sweeping assumptions about what Mulgrew's involvement said about her character to apologise*
posted by crossoverman at 1:47 PM on April 8, 2014 [7 favorites]


Apologize to whom?
posted by octobersurprise at 1:49 PM on April 8, 2014


The void.
posted by crossoverman at 1:50 PM on April 8, 2014


The Void or the Void?
posted by Flunkie at 2:01 PM on April 8, 2014


The second one. From the episode "The Void".
posted by crossoverman at 2:03 PM on April 8, 2014


Well, it's a relief that Kate is not a geocentrist. But what an embarrassing thing to be involved with.

Now I'm not surprised her publicist was fired...
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 2:19 PM on April 8, 2014


Did anyone make the "Kate Mulgrew in 'Earth is the new Sun'" joke yet?
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:25 PM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


That publicist/agent should not just have been fired, s/he should have been the literal recipient of "You'll never work in this town again."

Their whole job is to vet potential appearances and performances. What a twit.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:29 PM on April 8, 2014


It is not your agent's job to vet whether a particular gig would be good for your reputation. It's in your agent's interest for you to work. They don't get paid unless you work. Most agents in real life will try to convince you to do anything. Especially when you consider that there are a million shady acting jobs out there. Do this WalMart commercial. Do this sitcom where a guy treats his wife like shit. Do this TV guest spot where you play a racist stereotype. Do this dumbass bible thumper movie. Whatever. Kate Mulgrew's agent has dozens of clients, and each of them has their own personal metric for what kinds of projects they'll consider. There are as many actors who'd be angry that you didn't offer them the WalMart commercial as actors who'd be insulted to get sent out on that.

The publicist, eh. It was hard to tell from that article whether they were trying to get in touch with Mulgrew's actual publicist, who was in the process of being fired over this very thing, or whether whoever wrote the piece had outdated info (it's unlikely that Kate Mulgrew even has a full-time personal publicist at this point in her career). Re whether they should "never work in this town again", assuming they exist and were in any way involved in this, that highly depends on the exact arrangement that Kate Mulgrew has with her publicist. Some publicists really just coordinate media enquiries and make sure you walk down the appropriate number of red carpets. Other publicists are full on personal brand managers, who really are working with the person to craft a specific image. If Mulgrew's publicist is that sort of publicist, yeah, they fucked up big time. But it seems vaguely unlikely to me that Kate Mulgrew has, like, a Miley Cyrus level publicist. If she has one at all, it's more likely someone who is a glorified assistant who handles media stuff as it comes up.
posted by Sara C. at 2:57 PM on April 8, 2014 [2 favorites]




Mulgrew's agent is with Innovative Artists in NYC. Her manager is with Viking Entertainment, also in NYC. She does not have a full-time publicist.
posted by zarq at 3:59 PM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


*reads the AV Club article, reads the reviews for "Galileo Was Wrong":
“If Evolution is the Trunk and Limbs of the TREE of LIES about Origins, then Heliocentrism was and is the rotten ROOT and foundation of that Satanically inspired ‘science, falsely so-called.’”

I sure to hell hope The Principle contains such florid prose.

Sungenis—who has a Ph.D. in religious studies from “a private distance-learning institution in Republic of Vanuatu”

Well, he has a PhD. Who are we to argue?
And there's Obvious Scriptural Proof! (Ps 19:4-6)

How can I argue with god? He doesn't even need a space ship!
posted by Mezentian at 4:13 PM on April 8, 2014


A Facebook friend posted that "1 in 4 people" article and I made some mild comment about it. Her cousin replied that a geocentric model was just as correct as any other. Not wanting to start a flame war on my friend's page, I politely gave the argument that a heliocentric model was more useful, astronomically speaking, since we could actually observe other planets orbiting other stars. We argued civilly for a while, then it finally transpired that he wasn't crazy, he was an engineer.
posted by acrasis at 4:27 PM on April 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


a geocentric model was just as correct as any other.

I get how the distinction between "Earth goes around Sun" and "Sun goes around Earth" isn't vital, but if someone thinks that Mars orbits the Earth they've got a hell of a trajectory to explain.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:34 PM on April 8, 2014


Explain to me why Mars moves in the sky then!
You can't!
Explain to me why, if the Earth is spinning, we don't all fly off into space!
You can't!
We can't feel the earth move under our feet, ergo: everything revolves around the Earth.

Facts!
posted by Mezentian at 4:44 PM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


We can't feel the earth move under our feet

We can't all be Carole King, okay?
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:47 PM on April 8, 2014 [11 favorites]


No, but we can all be Martika.
posted by Mezentian at 4:51 PM on April 8, 2014


New Idea For A Documentary:

Scene opens on an empty desk in a pale room.
There is a bad, jumping cut from poorly spliced film.
Avery Brooks is now sitting at the desk.
"THERE ARE LITTLE DUDES IN YOUR BLOOD CALL HUMORS. THEY MAKE YOU A JERK. DITCH'EM."
He then produces a large knife and slices off his hand.
Rich blue blood pours out.
"Tell'em Avery sent you," he winks at the camera before collapsing.

Movie ends.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:59 PM on April 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


In the meantime, it remains irrefutable scientific fact that the best Star Trek captain is Jean-Luc Picard.

Wait, they misplet Captain Benjamin Sisko.
posted by crossoverman at 5:05 PM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


We can't feel the earth move under our feet

Well maybe you chumps can't, but we feel it at least once a week, lately, in Los Angeles.
posted by Sara C. at 5:30 PM on April 8, 2014


Mezentian: "How can I argue with god? He doesn't even need a space ship!"

Did not come for Star Trek V reference, pleased nonetheless.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:07 PM on April 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


We can't feel the earth move under our feet

However, I'm pretty sure I can feel the sky come tumbling down.
posted by sonascope at 7:29 PM on April 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


1 in 4 Americans Don't Know Earth Orbits the Sun. Yes, Really.

I'd encourage everyone to take a close look at the full NSF study the headline comes from. There is a lot of really interesting data in the the public perceptions of science section about societal perceptions of different aspects of science over time and across different countries, much of it positive. Based on the numbers in the study, American perceptions of science and scientists appear surprisingly even-keeled. Even the "1 in 4 Americans Don't Know Earth Orbits the Sun" pull quote doesn't really capture the whole story on that particular question. The EU actually fared the worst, with 1 in 3 EU citizens saying the Earth orbits the Sun.

The media section in the study is particularly relevant. I think part of what leads to stuff like The Principle is the continued distilling down of complex topics into quick attention grabbing sound bites. When everything the average person hears of science comes in the form of shallow sound bites, it's easy to assert any long-ago disproved ideas as "science."
posted by chrisulonic at 8:31 PM on April 8, 2014


Sungenis—who has a Ph.D. in religious studies from “a private distance-learning institution in Republic of Vanuatu”

This is actually pretty hilarious. Almost Simpsons-esque.
posted by clockzero at 9:34 PM on April 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


Hi, I'm Dr. Sungenis, and you may remember me from such pseudoscience classics as Lie Your Way To Health! and The Coming Invasion from the Hollow Earth!
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:17 PM on April 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


That's a bit elitist. We can't all get the grades needed to get into the more prestigious institutions, like Hollywood Upstairs Astrogodology College.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:17 AM on April 9, 2014 [3 favorites]




Kate Mulgrew was similarly misled, so score one for Team Benefit of the Doubt.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:10 AM on April 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


You know, I feel really just sad about this. I get the sense that had a male "captain" been similarly duped, everyone would have taken a wait and see approach or jumped to his defense. Maybe I'm seeing something here that isn't, but it certainly feels like she was expected to be held to a higher standard, given how people were readily defending the physicists in the film. Many who knew they physicists spoke out as being duped still held Mulgrew to a higher standard. And you know, here on metafilter, there were a lot of voices suggesting to hold off judgement. Other outlets weren't so kind.

Not sure about that? Reread the thread now that you know she was also an unwitting participant.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 11:36 AM on April 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


[insert clever name here]: "...it certainly feels like she was expected to be held to a higher standard, given how people were readily defending the physicists in the film."

People weren't exactly defending Kaku:

umberto: "Firstly, Michio Kaku is the James Lipton of science these days: perhaps formerly actually in the field, but now more 'personalities' in their respective fields. Personalities that will apparently do *any* gig of any kind. If there were still a Battle of the Network Stars I would expect Kaku and Lipton to both weasel their way onto the show. But not get picked first."

sonascope: "The second I see Michio Kaku in anything, I'm out. He's the Dr. Joyce Brothers of physics."
posted by zarq at 11:51 AM on April 9, 2014


Insert Clever Name, I'm not sure I agree.

I've seen a lot of FPPs here where Stephen Fry has done voiceover work or hosted a documentary or read something written by the QI Elves, and people get inordinately upset with him over something he really has very little responsibility for (aside from some larger ideal of Standing Up For Truth And Justice, or whatever).

And those were situations that were much less of a big deal than geocentrism.
posted by Sara C. at 11:58 AM on April 9, 2014


It's harder for me to see how a narrator could be duped in the way the physicists were, it seems like at some point they would give you lines to read that make it clear what the movie is about. But the filmakers are obviously trying to hide what they are up to, and I take Mulgrew at her word that she was tricked too.

I also feel like I would have been just as pissed if any of the male captains had been involved with this movie, but I can't know that for sure.
posted by InfidelZombie at 12:04 PM on April 9, 2014


Sungenis better watch out. You don't fuck with Flemeth.
posted by MsVader at 12:39 PM on April 9, 2014


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