Time Travel in Dragon Ball Z and Super, Now with Cladograms

Cladograms are a versatile diagramming tool for tracking changing events with heritable consequences. They were developed for biology and are used primarily to track evolution and speciation, showing how different organisms, genes, or populations are related to each other and which events caused them to become distinct. Although cladograms are best known for their increasing prevalence in biological literature, their logic is flexible enough to be used in numerous other fields as well. In particular, linguistics, archaeology, and computer engineering all have roles for cladograms, because all these fields have something in common with biology: an interest in tracking shared past events through future divergence.

This connection to the ideas of past and future gives cladograms another, surprising purpose: they can be used to map the mess of time-travel-related parallel universes in the Dragon Ball franchise.

Spoilers ahoy for the second two-thirds of Dragon Ball Z and the first half of Dragon Ball Super as presented in their anime adaptations.

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Time Travel in Dragon Ball Z and Super, Now with Cladograms
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Which Star Trek Should I Watch?

Star Trek is a rightful icon of televised science fiction. It was not the first televised serial science fiction property, but it was the one that catapulted the concept into the popular imagination, spawning decades of successors that keep it active to this day. The sheer amount of Star Trek that exists in the present moment can seem forbidding, and it certainly did for me. Even with the franchise’s long hiatuses and constant threat of permanent cancellation, there are no fewer than eleven entire series within the Star Trek umbrella at present, each with dozens of episodes and some with feature-length motion pictures mixed in. Watching them all in order might provide the greatest opportunity for recognizing references and keeping the continuity straight, but it also means that current Star Trek content fades into the distance, inaccessible until one catches up on decades of prior television. More than that, though, each Star Trek series has its own characteristic identity, marked by different writing style, storytelling focus, cast, and desired emotional impression. Landing on just the right Trek show to lure someone into the rest of the franchise is one of the better ways to manufacture new Trekkies, so, here is a rundown of the eleven Star Trek series, what makes them distinctive, and which episodes I liked, detested, or came to recognize as exemplifying what makes each series what it is.

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Which Star Trek Should I Watch?

As Your Eldritch President

Tweet from Solomon Georgio: “Bush was so bad, we got to elect our 1st black president. After Trump, our president will be a 50 ft tall militant feminist Latina lesbian.”

It is with quivering delight that I accept your nomination for president of the United States of America. As my heaving mass pulsates in the sky above you, know that it is exactly 50 of your Earth feet tall, and know that I am prepared to alter the amount of my dimensional overreach that I divert into this timeline in order to be much, much larger, with or without the service of additional, smaller lesbians and a trench coat.

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As Your Eldritch President