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In 1967, Martin Luther King, Jr urged Nichelle Nichols to stay in her post as Lt. Uhura on Star Trek because she was an important and all-too-rare positive TV role model for black people. From CNN:
As the startlingly beautiful and fiercely intelligent Lt. Uhura on the hit 1960s TV series, Nichols was a revolutionary figure at a time when the only African-American women you saw on U.S. TV were usually playing servants.
Indeed, Star Trek was reportedly the only program Martin Luther King Jr would let his children stay up late to watch.
When Nichols was considering leaving the show to pursue a career on Broadway, King Jr personally implored her to stay, saying she was a powerful role model for black people across the country -- and the world. "That was the greatest thing," says Nichols. "That was greater than anything else, to be told that by Dr. Martin Lurther King, because he was my leader.
"So I stayed and I never regretted it."
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Thinkgeek's Bronze Spock Business Card Holder ($35) is a 1.3lb lump of high-grade, nerdy polystone desk-decor. The Starfleet uniform cuff is a nice touch! Also works for Klingons/Romulans who can explain that it's a grisly, amputated war-trophy.
I'm not very hopeful that humanity can act en masse to address what are now truly global problems that require a new way of thinking. As Einstein said when nuclear weapons were created: "Everything's changed save the way we think."
I think we need to change the way we think to address these global problems. Will it happen? Maybe kicking and screaming. My friend, the writer Cormac McCarthy, told me once: "I'm a pessimist, but that's no reason to be gloomy." In a sense, that's my attitude.
Councilman David Waddell of Indian Trail, North Carolina resigned from his position with a letter written in Klingon. According to Reuters, he wrote in Klingon "because the fierce-looking science fiction characters valued integrity, honor and duty." Waddell is now planning to run for US Congress. Indian Trail mayor Michael Alvarez responded perfectly, saying "Live long and prosper!" (Thanks, Bob Pescovitz!)
Thinkgeek's Star Trek Transporter Room Bath Mat & Shower Curtain Set turns your bathroom into my favorite set from Star Trek. The shower-curtain is cute, but combined with the bathmat, it nails it. $50.
Wil Wheaton has performed and recorded an audio edition of his wonderful memoir Just a Geek. Listen for free, or pay $12 for a DRM-free download. Wil's story is an interesting and inspiring one, and he's really a wonderful reader (I loved his reading of Ready Player One).
From TED Ed: "What do Game of Thrones’ Dothraki, Avatar’s Na’vi, Star Trek’s Klingon and LOTR’s Elvish have in common? They are all fantasy constructed languages, or conlangs. Conlangs have all the delicious complexities of real languages: a high volume of words, grammar rules, and room for messiness and evolution. John McWhorter explains why these invented languages captivate fans long past the rolling credits."
Of course YouTube has video of the replica Starship Enterprise bridge where General Keith Alexander took Congressmen to "play Picard" and endorse his "collect everything" school of mass surveillance. Behold, the INFORMATION DOMINANCE CENTER!
Starlight - ABC News (Thanks, Jack!)
Spocko sez, "Artist Juan Ortiz took each episode of the original Star Trek and created a movie poster for it in the style of top graphic designers of the '60s. Of course I'm partial to the posters that feature my namesake, like Mirror Mirror, or Spock's Brain, or Is There in Truth No Beauty? But the are all pretty cool."
The Trekkie Has the Phone Box has analyzed the way women are presented in the second of the Star Trek reboot movies; and compared it to Gene Rodenberry's original show, which went to great lengths to establish gender parity and racial diversity in its depicted future. The analysis goes into some convincing detail and makes me think that the reboot is a very retrograde move in the history of the Trek franchise and how it deals with women.
“I’m Tweedledee, he’s Tweedledum.
Two spacemen marching to a drum.
We slith among the mimsey toves.
And gyre among the borogoves.”
-- Star Trek, "Plato's Stepchildren" (1968)