Monday, May 10, 2010

Destinies Radio Show going strong after 27 years!

I discovered the I-CON Science Fact and Fiction convention in 1990, I suppose that was I-CON 9! In the back of the program book was an ad for a radio program: "Destinies The Voice of Science Fiction: heard every Friday night at 11:30PM on WUSB Stony Brook 90.1 FM, the first station of the 90s!" Thanx to Destinies, I made it through the 90s in one piece. There wasn't much genre related programming on TV in the late 80s and early 90s except for ST: NextGen! There's only so much ST:TOS and original Twilight Zones you can watch. So, sue me, I'm a massive fan of all things Star Trek, Twilight Zone as well as Stargate! I must have watched all the TV episodes of each during their first run. What's that, nearly 800 hours for Trek and over 300 hours for Gate? What got me through the years of endless reruns were Destinies and the Star Wars and Star Trek movies. Of course there's been a flourish of genre related TV since then (new Outer Limits, Babylon 5, BattleStar to name a few).

The rest, as they say, is history. I've been a fan of Destinies ever since! Howard Margolin, the host, just celibrated the show's 27th anniversary with this installment:

and all I can say is: WOW!!! I expected a retrospective of all 27 years. What I got was even better: a very detailed overview of the best of Destinies for this past year. What a great show! The production values and sound quality are top notch. The variety Destinies offers is quite eclectic. You have Flikers singing, Authors reading, Artists interviewing, Musicians composing and even Scientists doing Science! You have tributes like the one for the Space Shuttle Challenger. You have live shows and panel discussions. You have the annual I-CON Trilogy and Movie Reviews. You have Destinies Radio Theater, the AudioBook Sampler and Graphic Detail (about the comic book industry). You even have deFlipSide!

Recently, there was an installment reviewing the best and worst films of the past year. A debate ensued as to the best genre movie trilogy of the decade (2001-2010) and I must agree with the consensus: Lord of the Rings. OMG, they finally got it right! They've been trying to get this story to the big screen ever since the novels came out over 50 years ago. As such, maybe we should call LOTR the best movie trilogy of the past century! Then I got to wondering, what's the best genre movie trilogy of each decade? I loved Star Trek II-IV so that one gets my vote for 1981-1990. Don't forget, however, Back to the Future and Indiana Jones from the same time period. Where would you put the original Star Wars 4-6, 1971-1980? I suppose Planet of the Apes falls into 1961-1969. What of the 50s and 90s? I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader as us math types like to do....

BTW, thanx so much to Phil Merkel, aka Capt Phil, for archiving so many of the Destinies shows. I especially like the convenience of being able to download the latest installment of Destinies a day or two later and burn it to CD to listen to during the week for my massive commute! In the early days, I actually stayed up until 11:30PM on a Friday night just to hit record on my combination boom box, radio and cassette recorder just to be able to listen to Destinies on the road! This is no small feat as I teach Calculus and Computer Science every weekday sometimes from 7AM to 7PM!

Congrats to Howard for a great 27th anniversary show! Kudos to Christopher DeFilippis for his 100th! Take a look at and

for more info. You know, I actually feel like a kindred spirit now that I have my own youtube channel with nearly 100 screen-casts of my math classes:

I recently made a financial pledge to WUSB Radio in Destinies' name as Howard asked me to and they were having a pledge week. Of course, Howard sweetened the pot by enticing me with a premium! I was so happy when I received it earlier this week. It was the sound track for season 4 of BattleStar Gallactica. This music was composed by Bear McCreary and it is clear that he has a deep love of not only his craft but of the genre in general and BattleStar in particular! His music is hard to describe. It has classical western and oriental themes as well as celtic and new age influences not the least of which is a massive percussion section with Japanese taiko drums! Look, I'm a huge audiophile. I have a large collection of classical instrumental music and all kinds of guitar music (Baroque, Spanish, Flamenco, Celtic, Acoustic and New Age). So, when I say that Bear McCreary's instrumental music is being added to my collection as one of the premiere pieces, that's saying a lot! I didn't get a chance to watch all the BattleStar, or Caprica, episodes as religiously as I would have liked, but listening to these pieces brings me right back to specific scenes in the show. I never realized how integral the music was to each scene of BattleStar. It was so percussive, that sometimes it seemed like special effects for the show. The music is so visceral you don't hear it as much as feel it. I suppose my old TV set's speakers didn't really do this music justice. Do yourself a favor and get this CD!

Well, I don't think Howard will mind my quoting him when I wish you all "the best of all possible Destinies!"

Generally speaking,

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