The Lingo of Battlestar Galactica

An appreciation of the returning sci-fi hit's most distinctive language Battlestar Galactica returns tonight, and I for one am giddy as a schoolgirl on crack. As the second half of the fourth and final season begins, there are many questions to be answered. How will the colonists and Cylons deal with..

An appreciation of the returning sci-fi hit's most distinctive language

Battlestar Galactica returns tonight, and I for one am giddy as a schoolgirl on crack.As the second half of the fourth and final season begins, there are many questions to be answered. How will the colonists and Cylons deal with the long-searched-for earth turning out to be a desolate, Planet-of-the-Apes-type hellscape? What is the deal with Starbuck/Baltar/various prophesies/the Cylon plan/etc.? And for the love of pancakes, who is the final Cylon?Since this is a language column and not a sci-fi geekfest, I'd better take off my Cylon Halloween helmet and put on my word-nerd beret. For just a moment, let's forget the show's many virtues, including the uber-grit of Edward James Olmos, the mind-blowing special effects, the gams of Number Six, and the overall intensity of the drama. For old fans or new, here's an appreciation/introduction to some of the show's most distinctive language, especially two terms that are sure to outlast BSG by a stretch: Cylon and frak.Some BSG words are technical, like dradis, a space radar system, usually used to detect Cylon basestars and raiders, as opposed to the battlestars, vipers, and raptors of the (mostly) good guys in the colonial fleet. Sitrep-a word often barked by Admiral Adama-is real world military jargon for "situation report." Expressions like "Oh my gods" and "Godsdamn it" are a nod toward the polytheistic religion of the colonists (only the Cylons and squirrely Gaius Baltar worship one deity).Speaking of those wascally wobots, Cylon is the first of two terms that has a life outside the show, unlike fans such as myself. If you haven't been watching, Cylons are (mostly) evil robots who wiped out 99% of the human race, setting the original and re-imagined series in motion, in 1978 and 2003 respectively. I looked at Cylon closely for the Oxford University Press blog, and based on all the uses and variations I found, it's safe to say the Cylons have taken their place at the table of well-known fictional races, along with hobbits, Wookies, orcs, Klingons, Vulcans, and undecideds.Since (some of) the Cylons in the new BSG are covert, human-looking folks, a lot of the BSG drama has revolved around who-the-blazes-is-a-Cylon tension. Such convos are continued and amplified by fans, and it's likely that humorous variations of the "You're a Cylon!" accusation will live on in slang, much like people wonder if a corporate drone is a member of the Borg or a beautiful-yet-scary woman is a fembot.If you do run into a gaggle of Cylons and feel like insulting them, you could call the human-looking ones skinjobs (a term used on the show and borrowed from Blade Runner) or humlons (as coined by fans). Or you could call any Cylon a toaster, a nod to the original series' chromy Cylons, who were mega-toaster-like in appearance.By far, frak is the most-used word on the show, and it's spread well beyond the world of toasters, joining the club of successful euphemisms that includes f-bomb, freak, frig, frick, and fug. Coined on the original BSG-where it was spelled frack-the word has blossomed with the show's reinvention. On-show variations have included motherfraker, frak-all, guaran-frakkin'-tee, and frak you, while fans have come up with clusterfrak, metric frakload, absofrakinglutely, fan-fraking-tastic, raza-frakkin, and mind-forever-frakked-upedness, among others. It's also turned up on episodes of Scrubs, 30 Rock, and Veronica Mars.Jesse Sheidlower-North American Editor-at-Large of the Oxford English Dictionary-is well-versed in such matters as editor of The F-word: the ultimate collection of meanings, uses, and variations of the most multi-dimensional word in the language.On the success of frak-which will be included in the forthcoming third edition of The F-word-Sheidlower says the word just "sounds right. It has the /f/, it has the vowel, it has the /k/; the/r/ isn't too intrusive, and frak happens not to be an existing word." This gives "the right feel to it, without reminding us of anything different. So it's not some obvious fake euphemism." The same can't be said for the original BSG's felgercarb, an unwieldy euphemism for shit or bullshit that remains stranded in the 1970s.It's been weeks since I downloaded to my resurrection ship-to use two other Cylontific terms-so I'm sure there's plenty of BSG words I've neglected. Since we have to do something while waiting for tonight's ep, let me know what I've omitted or fraked up in comments.
Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

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The Planet

Millions of people in over 150 countries across the globe marched for lawmakers and corporations to take action to help stop climate change on Friday, September 20.

The Climate Strikes were organized by children around the world as an extension of the of the "Fridays for Future" campaign. Students have been walking out of classrooms on Fridays to speak out about political inaction surrounding the climate crisis.

"We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart," organizers say.

There's no doubt the visual images from the marches send a powerful message to those on the ground but especially those watching from around the world. GOOD's own Gabriel Reilich was on the scene for the largest of the Climate Strikes. Here are 18 of the best signs from the Climate Strike march in New York City.

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September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

Millions of people are expected to take part in an estimated 4,000 events across 130 countries.

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The Planet
via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

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via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

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