Obi Wan better watch his back

By Phil Plait | May 24, 2012 12:45 pm

It’s a tough time to be a science fiction hero. Just look at the headlines for proof!

First, there’s this:

Honestly, that’s not surprising. He does seem to get into trouble wherever he goes. So misunderstood. But it would’ve been interesting to know where the TARDIS materialized in that situation.

This next one though is clearly her own fault:

Not that I blame her. I’ve spent many an hour alone in an observatory, and I imagine the Astrometrics Lab on Voyager wasn’t that much more entertaining. Hey Janeway, maybe this wouldn’t have happened if you had let her use the Holodeck more!

Tip o’ the sonic screwdriver to my sister Marci, and to Jeri Ryan on G+ who linked to Kevin Hanning’s post. And yes, those are real headlines.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Geekery, Humor, SciFi, TV/Movies

Comments (31)

  1. A friend of mine pointed out the parsing problem with the Bin Laden headline, and I directed him to

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_path_sentence

    only to find that it was already on Wikipedia as an example!

  2. allium

    (ahem)

    Boooo! BOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

    That is all.

  3. Dan

    I stopped reading after the first 7 words of both headlines.

  4. Dennis

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been confused by the headlines in my RSS reader.
    It doesn’t help that they usually capitalize every word and use no punctuation.

  5. @allium #1

    I hope thoses boos were said using the voices of the best booers ever: Statler and Waldorf! At least that’s how I heard them… along with some snarky asides about the whole perfomance ;-)

  6. Jim Johnson

    Hahaha! Thanks, Phil, for a bit of cheer for the day!

  7. Steve

    Groan! but I still chuckled… dammit!

  8. I blame Quark. He’s always behind criminal doings.

  9. Thespis

    What’s the noise you make when you’re trying not to laugh out loud because you’re not supposed to be reading the ‘net at work. Insert that noise *here*.

    And a sad sigh, too- as my local newspaper, the New Orleans Times-Picayune, a paper that survived Katrina! has announced MASSIVE layoffs and is downsizing to a Sunday/Wednesday/Friday paper instead of the Daily it has been for over One Hundred Years.

  10. Confused

    Why are these headlines funny?

  11. Confused

    Ok – just got the first one: Dr WHO

    (In my defence I’ve never seen the show or know anything about the show other than passing references, like this one.)

    Still not sure about the second one.

  12. 69Matt

    Scurrilous lies! No way would our good Doctor work with the CIA (clearly servants of The Master)! This must be more work of R. Murdoch, or another of his ilk!!

  13. Chris

    @11 Confused

    Seven of Nine Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix Zero-One (although her friends called her Seven) was a rehabilitated Borg drone on Star Trek: Voyager played by Jeri Ryan.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_of_Nine

    You need to watch more TV :-)

  14. Sarah

    Which reminds me – Ewan McGregor ( Obi Wan Kenobi the younger ) has a brother, Colin. Colin is, or was, a RAF fighter pilot. Colin’s nickname: “Obi two”.

  15. alfaniner

    Where I saw the first headline, each word was capitalized, making it that much easier to geekily parse.

  16. VinceRN

    It’s easy to believe Seven having a drug problem. Imagine the stress. Probably using the future version of “Mother’s Little Helper”.

  17. JohnW

    Dammit, Sarah….

  18. carbonUnit

    Actually, this could be a double Voyager reference since Voyager had its holographic Emergency Medical Technician character who also went by The Doctor.

  19. Jose Furtado

    I get your sense of humor, but the Pakistani doctor that is now being tortured because he trusted the Obama administration goons is not at all funny.

  20. Ranger Jim Kirk

    Oh, that’s a very good one, Sarah! Thanks…

  21. Grand Lunar

    Classic, Phil! Very classic.

    I’m sure the Doctor would’ve escaped, though.

    As for Seven….I think she needs rehab. :)

    @19 Jose Furtado

    Lighten up and take a break from the real world for a while.

  22. Chris

    @19 Jose
    Read the headline, it just says he was sentenced to prison, not that he was being tortured.

  23. DG

    Now I wish I’d taken a pic of Sky News last night – I’d spotted the news ticker just as it read ‘…doctor who helped track bin laden’. No prizes for what the Christmas Special is about then!

  24. Larry

    Can’t he use his sonic screwdriver thingy to open the cell doors or, are they made of wood?

  25. JA

    From the Huffington Post – with minor modification ;-)
    http://i.imgur.com/mWEog.jpg

  26. SeanMcD

    @19 Jose Furtado
    Not only is the Dr. in the Pakistani prison system now suffering what ever horrible fate people suffer there. This is a giant “I told you so” for all of the Islamic anti-vax nutters that were and I’m sure will be even louder in regards to doctors (foreign and local) that are there to do real good in these sorts of places.

  27. Ed

    I agree with Jose. Not funny. A doctor, i.e. a scientist, is imprisoned wrongfully and no doubt with great cruelty. And as for the snarky “Read the headline”, I guess imprisoning doctors and scientists is OK as long as they aren’t tortured?

  28. David

    I too fail to see the humor in this.
    Let’s hope that the same Special Forces that he aided in the finding, and the ultimate capture, of Bin Laden, go in and spring him from jail. We owe him no less.
    If we don’t help, it’ll be very difficult to recruit anyone to help us in our fight against terrorism.

  29. Nigel Depledge

    Ed (27) said:

    A doctor, i.e. a scientist,

    Probably not, and certainly not necessarily. Quite a lot of doctors know little of science and the scientific method.

    is imprisoned wrongfully

    Wait, how do you know this?

    and no doubt with great cruelty.

    This is an assumption.

    Unless, of course, you have some evidence to back it up . . . ?

    And as for the snarky “Read the headline”, I guess imprisoning doctors and scientists is OK as long as they aren’t tortured?

    It depends on what crimes they have committed.

  30. Nigel Depledge

    Evan Berkowitz (1) said:

    A friend of mine pointed out the parsing problem with the Bin Laden headline, and I directed him to

    [URL omitted]

    only to find that it was already on Wikipedia as an example!

    Interestingly, one of the examples in that Wikipedia page is actually ungrammatical*. I wonder if they have a comments stream so I can go and nitpick.

    * “The cotton clothing is made of grows in Mississippi” should be “The cotton of which clothing is made grows in Mississippi”. Lo! No more ambiguity.

  31. Dys

    It’s been cursorily alluded to in previous comments, but it really is worth pointing out that as a direct result of that doctor’s actions, polio vaccination rates have already suffered.
    He was in charge of administering a fake vaccination campaign to Pakistani children. Not only is that illegal, it’s also highly immoral. This is not surprising coming from the CIA, but I’m really not sure it’s appropriate subject matter for nerd humour.

    Perhaps I’m just being oversensitive, but knowing what little I do about the story, the only thing the headline makes me feel is disgust.

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