Dave Gilson

Dave Gilson

Senior editor

Senior editor at Mother Jones. Obsessive generalist, word wrangler, data cruncher, pun maker.

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Watch: The IRS's "Star Trek" Training Video

| Wed Mar. 27, 2013 3:16 PM EDT

Last week, CBS News got its hands on a copy of a Star Trek-themed training video the IRS made for its employees in 2010. The video and a Gilligan's Island-themed one also shot in the tax agency's in-house studio reportedly cost $60,000 to make. William Shatner is not amused:

Predictably, congressional belt-tighteners have set their phasers to outrage. "There is nothing more infuriating to a taxpayer than to find out the government is using their hard-earned dollars in a way that is frivolous," fumed Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.). (Meanwhile Congress is acting highly illogically by spending $380 million on photon torpedoes that don't work and no one wants.) Cowed by its critics, the IRS has apologized for "the space parody video."

At least none of your tax money was spent on acting lessons:

And so far, no one is freaking out about these Star Trek-themed spots produced by the Social Security Administration. Probably because they feature George "Sulu" Takei, who is awesome.

And let's not forget the time NASA decided to name a spaceship after the USS Enterprise.

Star Trek crew with space shuttle
NASA

Pope Francis Vs. Black Francis

| Thu Mar. 14, 2013 5:04 PM EDT

Yesterday's selection of Pope Francis got me wondering: How does the new Holy Father compare against indie rock godfather and former Pixies frontman Black Francis?

  Pope Francis Black Francis
Namesake St. Francis of Assisi Name his dad wanted to give his next son
Means of elevation to current status College of cardinals College radio
Mass attendance Excellent Dropped out of UMass
Animal lover cred Named after patron saint of animals Named Doolittle after man who talked to animals
Spanish skills Fluent Amusing
Controversy involving B/breeders Says only straight people should be able to get married or adopt kids More critical acclaim for Kim Deal's post-Pixies work
Believes God is number… One Seven
Followers 1.2 billion Catholics Backing band called The Catholics
Mon Aug. 25, 2014 6:00 AM EDT
Tue Feb. 25, 2014 7:00 AM EST
Thu Jul. 18, 2013 3:05 AM EDT
Wed Apr. 17, 2013 6:30 AM EDT
Wed Mar. 27, 2013 3:16 PM EDT
Thu Mar. 14, 2013 5:04 PM EDT
Thu Feb. 21, 2013 7:01 AM EST
Sat Dec. 22, 2012 7:11 AM EST
Mon Dec. 3, 2012 7:03 AM EST
Tue Nov. 20, 2012 7:03 AM EST
Wed Nov. 7, 2012 2:31 PM EST
Thu Oct. 25, 2012 6:13 AM EDT
Tue Sep. 18, 2012 7:01 AM EDT
Mon Aug. 13, 2012 4:41 PM EDT
Mon Jul. 9, 2012 6:00 AM EDT
Wed May. 16, 2012 8:16 PM EDT
Wed May. 2, 2012 6:00 AM EDT
Tue May. 1, 2012 6:00 AM EDT
Fri Apr. 20, 2012 6:01 AM EDT
Thu Feb. 16, 2012 7:00 AM EST
Wed Feb. 8, 2012 7:00 AM EST
Fri Feb. 3, 2012 4:44 PM EST
Mon Jan. 23, 2012 8:48 PM EST
Mon Jan. 23, 2012 7:00 AM EST
Wed Jan. 11, 2012 1:59 PM EST
Tue Jan. 10, 2012 7:30 AM EST
Tue Dec. 27, 2011 7:00 AM EST