Tag: Star Trek

Live Long and Prosper

This is an Open Thread

Popular Culture (TeeVee) 20100924: Enterprise and Others (With Poll!)

I apologize for being away last week; Translator was a bit under the weather.  Not really ill, but feeling poorly enough that I could not have monitored comments for the hours that I always promise after publication.  I would rather post nothing at all than not be available to respond to comments, because I respect my readers and know that the comments are usually the most interesting part of the post.

Tonight we shall discuss the final spinoff of Star Trek that appeared on TeeVee. Enterprise (after the first couple of seasons renamed Star Trek:  Enterprise) is, in my opinion, held in much lower esteem than it should be.  I always liked it, but since SyFy has been running it, I have come to appreciate it even more.  It sort of lost its way halfway into the run, but the final season more than made up for it.

Pique the Geek 20100905: Star Trek Gadgets

Most of you who read my posts know that I am a big fan of the Gene Roddenberry Star Trek universe of science fiction.  Those of you who do not read my posts as often also know that I am a dedicated fan of Doctor Who.

What you might not know is that both of those TeeVee Series have contributed more that you might not have thought towards our technology as it stands at present.  Well, we do not have a TARDIS just yet, but we have many of the things that Star Trek pioneered.  Tonight we will study just a few of them that are common.

Please stay with us on this trek.  By the way, the term “Star Trek” was NEVER used in the original series, but finally was uttered in the very last installment of Star Trek, The Next Generation, by “Q”.  

Pique the Geek 20100627: Near Light Speed Space Travel

I apologize for not including a post last week, but I suffered from a large amount of lack of motivation.  You see, this was the first wedding anniversary in 33 years on which the former Mrs. Translator and I were not wedded.  I poured out my heart the previous Friday night here, and was drained.

Saturday I went to the mailbox and found a parcel from her.  She had sent me one of the most authoritative and scholarly works about the American Civil War (I still have problems with the name of the war, because it was not, by definition, a civil war, but I am coming to understand that my previous preferred title, The War between the States, is quite inaccurate as well).  In addition to the wonderful book she sent a card that touched me, in a good way, so much that I guess that I was dumbstruck.  I will never mention anything about the contents of that card except to say that it was likely the most touching thing that I have known in many years, and the telephone conversation that followed made it even more so.

Popular Culture 20100428: One of the Good Guys, George Takei

You have to love George Takei.  Not only is he an excellent actor, he has what one might call “personality”.  He also has an Arkansas link to me, and this sort of exposes the foul underbelly of racial prejudice.

He was born in 1937 of American and Japanese ancestry, putting him well into the Social Security crowd now.  I really like the new adverts that he does for the TeeVee manufacturer.  He is looking more youthful now than he has for several years.

Star Trek Fantasy Essay. Mestral is Still with Us. 20100203

The Carbon Creek episode (the first episode filmed for the second season of the very underrated Enterprise) is close my heart because that is the year of my birth.  Please bear with me for an update to it.

For those of you who are not very familiar with the Star Trek fictional universe, you should make it so.  Gene Roddenberry was literally a visionary and has shaped our reality now.  The “flip” cellular telephone is a direct result of the original communicator from Star Trek (we aficionados call the first iteration TOS, shorthand for The Original Series).  Additionally, many of our most prominent scientists were influenced by the program.  Even Professor Stephen Hawking appeared, playing himself, in an episode of TNG (The Next Generation, in shorthand).

So, without further ado, let us see what Mestral has been up to since 1957, below the fold.

Fantasy Fiction, Star Trek 20100114

“Captain, tomorrow you will get your ship.  She is the best in the fleet.  Cruising at Warp 7, you will have the best of the best that we have.”  Admiral Archer told Smith.

“Sir, thank you for the confidence.  I will try to make us proud.”

“Don’t be late for the ceremony.  Have you chosen your crew yet?”

The Night before Christmas on the NCC 1701 20091225

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the crew,

Nobody was moving except for bridge crew.

Kirk was resting with Rand in his bed,

whist Spock had Chapel deep in his head.

Scott was drinking a long aged Scots whisky in hand,

whilst Riley was getting Irish to stand.

Sulu was manning the helm in this this dread,

but visions of Checkov returned to his head.

The ship was rocked by a horrible jolt,

according to Spock a Gigavolt.

Kirk arose and leapt to the lift,

forgetting that Rand had given her gift.

He got to the bridge with very fast dashing,

Just as the Klingons then were attacking.

The Romulans joined in with the attacking,

then an alien crew was just laughing.

He transported into the ships just like a lark,

and shut down main power so it was dark.

The Phasers were shut down and the cannons were null,

and the alien just laughed with harm not at all.

“We are Organians and study you all, so resistance to us does nothing at all.

“Remember that we were  once just like you,

but these flimsy bodies we finally outgrew.

“We are logic and peace and just nothing more,

so we show you what is wrong with your sad, sad lore.”

Then all sorts of folks came into the space,

and Kirk said “Good Wishes” to every race.

“A good evening to all of you folks”,

and Kirk went away in transporter smoke.

Kirk went back to bed with his yeoman of fun,

the Organians went back with a bit more of stun.

I hope that this is amusing for everyone.

Happy Christmas and Channakh, and other celebration to everyone now.  I know that the spelling is sort of rough, but this is my new take.  What do you think?

Warmest regards,


Copyright Paramount Pictures for the the characters and Dr. David W. Smith for the concept and dialogue 20091225.

Warmest regards,


Warmest regards,


The Night before Christmas on the NCC 1701 20091225



This “essay” has few words.  It was not meant to.  In order to keep my sanity during the move last month, I created a series of graphics, based on the Star Trek episode, Darmok, concerning the first encounter between the crew of the Enterprise and the Children of Tama.

The Tamarians, it turned out, spoke by citing metaphors, metaphors unknown to the Federation.  On this basis did the story hinge.

I took a shot at interpreting the metaphors graphically.  Of course, what I see in the graphics and what you see will no doubt vary.

Be forewarned:  there are 27 graphics.  

If you wish to see a larger version of any of the pieces, simply click on it.  They were created in 800 pixels by 800 pixels.

Temba, his arms wide.

Framing — the Final Frontier

also posted on on dkos


Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before.


a frame refers to the way media and media gatekeepers organize and present the events and issues they cover, and the way audiences interpret what they are provided. Frames are abstract notions that serve to organize or structure social meanings. Frames […] not only tells what to think about, but also how to think about it.


What Are Your Fav TV Show Themes/Songs (w/Poll)

Ever since Mad About You and Seinfeld ended their runs almost a decade ago, I must confess I’ve watched very little, if any, prime time network television.  I suspect that’s not unusual as many of us changed our viewing habits and became political junkies once cable news channels became widely available by the mid-1990’s.  

The Virginia and Maryland suburbs had cable television available at least a decade before we here in Washington, DC were introduced to it in the early 1990’s.  I’m not really sure what the reasons were for the delay.  Difficulty in digging ditches in the city to lay cable and the resulting traffic jams, I’m sure, was a major reason. Bureaucracy — which we specialize in and is found in abundance in the DC city government — undoubtedly was an impediment too.  And you thought the old Soviet Union had a monopoly on centralized bureaucracy?  Nope.  We even have a Safeway food store here in the DuPont Circle area, one of the few in the immediate neighborhood and one affectionately referred to as the “Soviet Safeway.”  Residents buy whatever the store offers for sale.  Choices are few.    

The introduction of cable television in DC did re-acquaint me with some of my favorite shows from years gone by.

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