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RIP Majel Barrett 1932-2008

The CBC reports on the death of the most ubiquitous character in the Star Trek series:

Majel Barrett Roddenberry, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s widow and a fixture of nearly every incarnation of the space travel franchise, died on Thursday. She was 76.

Roddenberry, who suffered from leukemia, died at home in Bel Air, Calif., according to a spokesperson.

She was Nurse Chapel in the original series, Lwaxana Troi in the Next Generation, and voice of the computer in all of the programs.

December 18, 2008   11 Comments

Credit Card Reality?

Over at CBS they noticed that the credit card rules are changing.

The new rules, approved by the Federal Reserve, the Treasury Department’s Office of Thrift Supervision and the National Credit Union Administration, will allow credit card companies to raise interest rates only on new credit cards and future purchases or advances, rather than on current balances.

The new rules prohibit:

  • Placing unfair time constraints on payments. A payment could not be deemed late unless the borrower is given a reasonable period of time, such as 21 days, to pay.
  • Placing too-high fees for exceeding the credit limit solely because of a hold placed on the account.
  • Unfairly computing balances in a computing tactic known as double-cycle billing.
  • Unfairly adding security deposits and fees for issuing credit or making it available.
  • Making deceptive offers of credit.

[Read more →]

December 18, 2008   10 Comments

The Title Is Царь

The first letter in the title “Ц”, is pronounced exactly like the “ts” at the end of “bits” and the transliteration is also “ts”, as in TSAR.

The feminine form is “Царица” which is transliterated as “Tsaritsa”.

It is a shortened form of the Russian transliteration of “Caesar”, “Цесарь”, the full form only existing in references to Roman emperors and in the title of the Russian heir, the “Цесаревич”. “Tsesarevich”, literally “son of Caesar”.

Tsars answer only to G-d. You can’t appoint a “Tsar”, and have that person report to another human, even the President of the United States.

If you insist on using a Russian title, what you are really appointing is a “Ревизор”, “Revizor”, an individual who reports directly to the Tsar about other government officials and organizations. It is similar to, but with more power than the American title, Inspector General, because of the Revizor’s direct access to the Tsar.

December 18, 2008   Comments Off on The Title Is Царь