On Star Trek: TNG, those aren't Captain Picard's hands holding his flute

Sir Patrick Stewart doesn't play the Reskian flute, or any flute for that matter. The trick worked on me at least, because I hadn't noticed even after seeing this episode several times over the last 26 (!) years. From Wikipedia:

...As neither Stewart nor Hughes could play their instruments, it required a number of camera techniques to be used in order to disguise the musicians playing just off screen. Husband and wife duo Natalie and Bryce Martin played the piano and tin whistle respectively to portray Daren and Picard's abilities. Bryce had played his instrument to represent Picard's Ressikan flute since it first appeared in "The Inner Light". However, while Stewart did the majority of his flute fingering, he was doubled in several scenes by Noel Webb and John Mayham. Webb also doubled for Brent Spiner early in the episode when Data was playing Frédéric Chopin's trio in G minor.

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Why you definitely want to be on Star Trek: The Cruise IV

I've just returned home from Star Trek: The Cruise, a truly extraordinary fan event for lovers of Science, Science Fiction, and the future.

You really want to be on the next one.

Longtime Boing Boing friend Wil Wheaton headlined the third annual cruise, which this year featured stars from every series of Star Trek from The Next Generation onwards. They, along with thousands of die-hard Star Trek fans took over an entire cruise ship for a week (flying the flag of the United Federated of Planets no less), Taking part in everything from photo and autograph sessions, Science Lectures from experts in the fields of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Game Shows, Q&A sessions, and even a narrated performance of the Scopes Monkey Trial transcript.

But the real reason you should go isn't one of those events.

There's a unique culture behind Star Trek. Gene Roddenberry's optimistic vision of a utopian future attracts a certain type of fan, and there's something special about putting thousands of like-minded people and the actors who portrayed their most beloved Star Trek characters on a ship for a week. Wil Wheaton put it best in his initial address during our sendoff:

"I have been a fan of Star Trek my entire life. [...] I learned everything that was important to me from the values that Star Trek taught me: I learned to be honest, I learned to be honourable, I learned to be kind. My whole life I've wanted to live in that world that we imagined when we worked on Next Generation, and that I loved to watch when I was a little boy.
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NASA makes cool space mission posters that reference pop culture

So, get this. For many years now, NASA has been putting out some really fun posters to bring awareness to their space missions. They reference everything from Star Trek to Star Wars and lots in-between.

Bored Panda writes:

Since the very first International Space Station mission in 2000, NASA has been creating expedition posters usually featuring a group photo of the crew. These posters were used to advertise expeditions and were also hung in NASA facilities and other government organizations. However, when astronauts got bored of the standard group photos they decided to spice things up a bit.

They call them "cringy" but I love them. I think they're fun and creative.

Here's a few of them (more here):

images via NASA, lead image cropped to fit Read the rest

Heavy denim "Starfleet" jackets

I love the clothes from Volante Design ("Superhuman Streetwear"); their latest is the "Starfleet 2364" line of men's and women's jackets inspired by Star Trek: The Next Generation uniforms. Read the rest

CBS smashes fans' virtual, noncommercial recreation of the USS Enterprise

For two years, a group of die-hard Star Trek fans labored to create Stage 9, a totally noncommercial virtual replica of the USS Enterprise built with Unreal Engine; they assumed that when CBS Vice President for Product Development John Van Citters was serious in 2016, when he publicly acknowledged the debt that Star Trek owes to its fans and assured people creating fan media that "They’re not going to hear from us. They’re not going to get a phone call, they’re not going to get an email. They’re not going to get anything that’s going to ruin their day one way or another and make them feel bad, like they’ve done something wrong." Read the rest

Listen to William Shatner and Henry Rollins's duet of "Jingle Bells"

William Shatner is unleashing a Christmas album next month. Titled "Shatner Claus," it features guest performances by Henry Rollins (Black Flag), Iggy Pop, Rick Wakeman (Yes), Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), and many more. Released by Cleopatra Records, "Shatner Claus" is just the latest in ol' Bill's lengthy recording career that includes "Ponder the Mystery" (2013), "Seeking Major Tom" (2011), "Has Been" (2004), "William Shatner Live" (1977), and, of course, "The Transformed Man" (1968).

Below, Shatner and Rollins "sing" Jingle Bells:

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Marina Sirtis shares a dinner photo with pals from Star Trek: The Next Generation

Dinner with pals! Read the rest

Patrick Stewart is back as Picard in new Star Trek series

Captain Jean-Luc Picard is back. This afternoon in Las Vegas, Patrick Stewart announced he was returning to the iconic role in a new Star Trek series for CBS All Access.

"I will always be very proud to have been a part of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but when we wrapped that final movie in the spring of 2002, I truly felt my time with Star Trek had run its natural course," said Stewart, who will also exec produce the new series. "It is, therefore, an unexpected but delightful surprise to find myself excited and invigorated to be returning to Jean-Luc Picard and to explore new dimensions within him.

The yet untitled series will be a new entry into the Star Trek universe and is not an extension of The Next Generation. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon is one of the writers and executive producers alongside Akiva Goldsman, Alex Kurtzman, James Duff, Kirsten Beyer, and Rod Roddenberry.

Patrick Stewart to Reprise 'Star Trek' Role in New CBS All Access Series [Variety/Leslie Goldberg] [Photo: Wikimedia Commons] Read the rest

The wording on these t-shirts are slightly wrong, and that's the hilarious point

Is it me or is there something off about these t-shirts?

Haha, just kidding. That's the point of the slightlywrong tees, that they aren't quite right. For example, in their brilliant misquoted t-shirt world, Spock's motto "Live long and prosper" becomes "Live long and proper."

Their tagline? "T-shirts with slightly wrong quotes on them to annoy the pedants in your life."

And their pro-tip: "Insist the quote is 100% accurate."

Shut up and take my money.

(i09) Read the rest

The guy who slated classic Star Trek takes was unfazed by the whole thing

Bill McGovern worked as a second assistant camera on a lot of shows, which is why he seems pretty unfazed to have handled the clapper and slating duties on some iconic Star Trek episodes. Read the rest

To boldly drink and regret the night before: there's Star Trek vodka to be had

Booze, the final frontier. This is the marketing death of a childhood memory you prize.

Yeah, there's Star Trek-themed vodka to be had. According to io9, CBS and the Silver Screen Bottling Company, have plopped out a Star Trek: The Next Generation-themed line of hooch to help you drink away the fact that the future, despite what Star Trek might have had to say about it, is twelve kinds of terrible.

From io9:

Aside from featuring an LCARS-influenced bottle design (that’s the Enterprise’s computer operating system from TNG onwards), the vodka’s Star Trek-iness is enhanced by the fact that... it’s been to space? No, really: the company is planning to send a batch of the spirit into space, which will be blended with the larger stock to guarantee that at least every bottle contains a tiny bit of space-bound booze. I’m sure the discerning Star Trek fan will absolutely be able to notice this cosmic addition while they down shot after shot during their next Trek marathon.

Ten Forward Vodka. It's clever, I'll admit. But I dunno. I love Star Trek and I applaud healthy fandom. But outside of the novelty of drinking space hooch, or perhaps buying this for a Trekkie pal's birthday, I don't see how this product could be any more niche. What do you guys think?

Now, if someone were to figure out Chief O'Brien's scotch-flavored chewing gum from Deep Space Nine? I'd be all over that.

Image via Silver Screen Bottling Company Read the rest

Delightful Trek-themed Pride tee

Andy W writes, "An artist/illustrator friend of mine just put an illustration of hers up on RedBubble — two iconic science-fiction television characters sharing a tender moment on the couch." Read the rest

Captain Kirk, Spock, and Uhura want you to stay off hard drugs

In 1973, the National Association Of Progressive Radio Announcers released "Get Off," a 1973 vinyl record featuring dozens of musicians delivering anti-hard drug warnings. Along with personal warnings from Grateful Dead, Alice Cooper, the Doobie Bros., BB King, Ravi Shankar, the Staple Singers, and Frank Zappa, the crew of the starship Enterprise visits a planet ravaged by hard drugs. Just say know.

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Trailer for Quentin Tarantino's Star Trek

Let's hope if Tarantino actually gets a piece of the action, his Star Trek film is this fun.

(Nerdist)

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The Orville is better than Star Trek: Discovery

Critics hate The Orville, Seth McFarlane's uncanny love letter to Star Trek and The Next Generation, but they love the gloomy, ultra-2017 Star Trek: Discovery. Viewers love The Orville, though, while remaining divided on and indifferent to the new official series.

The critics are mistaken; the viewers are right. I was surprised at how intimately Seth McFarlane -- Seth McFarlane! -- is tuned into Gene Roddenberry's sense of humanity's future potential and why it's OK to have a shipful of lovers. It's TNG with dick jokes! And, let's face it, the time is right for some happy technocommie utopian SF. Read the rest

Your next pajamas could be Star Trek: TNG onesie with removable feet

I am serious about sleepwear, and will not pass on a chance to change into jammies (I travel with them, wear them on long-haul flights, etc), and there's a universe of difference between slopping around in sweats and a tee and wearing actual jim-jams. Read the rest

Star Trek keycaps for your mechanical keyboard

The Roddenberry Shop sells the Galaxy Class keyset, designed to look just like the user interfaces from Star Trek: The Next Generation and its spinoffs. If anything, it's a radical improvement on the shifting, zero-travel Okudagrams from the show, as its for mechanical keyboards only. Make it click, number one! Read the rest

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