An Old Commercial @StarTrek #StarTrek

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Sundays now are lazy days for me. I either post something silly or other people’s work. Usually both. Today, it’s a commercial advertising Star Trek Enterprise. I never saw it.

This commercial is from 2000 or 2001. Why does it look like it’s from the 80s?

I’m old.

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“What’s Old Is New” Watch: Strange New Worlds Series Premiere! @ansonmount @StarTrek @paramountplus @StarTrekOnPPlus #StarTrek #StrangeNewWorlds #Picard #Borg #GoodWatch

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I got up at 5:30 am this morning to see the second season finale of Picard and the series premiere of Strange New Worlds. As to the latter, I haven’t been this excited for a Star Trek series since Next Generation was announced. First, it’s purported to be a return to the episodic format that I prefer (though I hear there will be an larger, overlayed story, which is fine). Second — I never thought I’d say this — Anson Mount’s Captain Pike has overtaken William Shatner’s Captain Kirk as my favorite Captain.

No cheese zone.

This still looks like a large, ensemble cast, so it won’t likely take over as my favorite series, but you never know. It certainly started off great. TOS is back, but without all the cheesy, 60s-era TV technology that the young-uns can’t seem to get past. Also, season2 of Picard ended today, and I was pretty happy with that as well. Here’s a spoiler for the last episode.

Called it!

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A Star Trek Christmas! @StarTrek #Christmas #StarTrek

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I was raised Catholic, but I’m, let’s just say, unaffiliated at the moment. Still, if there were any reason for me to engage in holiday traditions, it would be Christmas. In fact, people like me have influenced United States Supreme Court precedent on the Establishment Clause, but that’s a story for another day.

Patrick Stewart likes to talk about Star Trek as the modern human’s mythology, and I guess that applies to me. So, here’s my means to celebrate Christmas. Sort of. It’s all the memes that hit my stream this year, some of which are new to me. This is my mythology.

From one of the best episodes of TNG.

Fortunately, I never have to worry about this sort of thing.

Kirk is such a hound dog.

I would buy this outfit.

Ouch.

Some more decorations.

Humans apparently still celebrate Christmas in 2364, as evidenced by their viewing of Christmas movies.

Worf never got it. He never got anything.

But seriously . . .

Worf I get, but Gowron? I had no idea that Klingons celebrated Christmas.

Happy Star Trek Day … I mean, holidays!

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The Starfleet Insignia Explained @KesselJunkie @StarTrek #StarTrek

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Yesterday I recorded my second-ever podcast. Again, it was with my cousin, Kessel Junkie, and again it was Star Trek related. In light of that, I bring up a related, recurring social phenomenon. Every now and then, a misconception enjoys new life on the internet despite having been thoroughly debunked just a few years prior. This one came up again recently. Many people still think that the Star Trek “arrowhead” logo denotes a specific ship, the Enterprise.

Well, no, it doesn’t. As this article on StarTrek.com explains, the arrowhead insignia is the insignia for Starfleet. All Starfleet crew are supposed to use it. The misconception arose from an error in production for the episode, Charlie X, in which a ship’s crew was given a different insignia. That ship, however, was not part of Starfleet. The crew “were the equivalent of merchant marine or freighter personnel,” and thus didn’t use the arrowhead insignia.

I’m not sure how this misconception stays alive after all these bouts with social media. The communication badges for every single person I can think of in Next Generation are based on the arrowhead insignia. That alone should have put this puppy to rest long ago.

Yeah, I know. It’s not the end of the world, but have you ever met a Star Trek fan? Despite unavoidable inconsistencies, but producers and fans alike want consistency from episode to episode and series to series. Considering how extensive the Star Trek intellectual property is, it’s amazing that we’ve enjoyed that.

I’m probably going to have to re-blog this after another five years.

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You Can’t Just Hit the Control Panel and Expect Results @StarTrek @starwars #StarTrek #StarWars

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I’m feeling lazy, and my topics have been too serious lately, so that means it’s time to renew the rivalry.

Quit kidding yourselves, nerds. Dei ex Machina are cheap**. You need an actual engineer.

**They can be funny, though.

Star Trek >> Star Wars

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The Best Breakfast Cereals @StarTrek @jonathansfrakes @wilw @RobertPicardo @ScottBakula #StarTrek

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Going forward, Sundays are lazy days for me. I either post something silly or other people’s work. Usually both. Today, I use a meme to highlight the fact that last week was the first time in decades that I’ve eaten breakfast cereal.

I couldn’t find any of these, so Froot Loops had to do.

Seriously, why aren’t these a real thing?

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Star Trek Starship Orientation @davekellett @StarTrek #StarTrek

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I recently came across this comic panel on Facebook, which I found on Twitter.

I have no idea if anyone has ever discussed this before, but my uncle and I had this conversation during the Next Generation run (I’m guessing around 1991). His idea was that the shape of these ships was influenced by their need to maximize combat efficiency. As a result, the best chances a starship had of winning an encounter is to be oriented face first towards the opponents. The problem is that the opponents had the same design characteristic, and it was difficult to get either ship into a bad position when facing off before combat started. That seemed reasonable to me.

However, it was really about things not looking stupid, or more generally making sure the viewers understood what they saw. For example, there was an episode of Next Generation called Power Play in which the Enterprise approached the “southern polar region” of a moon. In space, the “south pole” is really meaningless, but okay, fine. They approached the south pole. Why did they orient themselves like this?

Look, I couldn’t find a screenshot, and all I have is MS Paint. (Dave, please let me know if you have a problem with me using this modification of your work.)

The ship was shown underneath the planet, still right side up, but up and down make no sense in space. Why isn’t the ship upside down? In the alternative, why isn’t the ship right side up but above the planet (thus reversing the y axis of the shot)? The answer, of course, is to communicate to the viewer that the ship is at the south pole without disorientating them. It’s just a TV show after all.

So yeah, it’s probably about things not looking stupid.

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In case the tweet is ever deleted, here’s a copy of it. However, to avoid infringing his copyright, I don’t reproduce the image at issue here.

Star Trek Intakes #StarTrek #NCC1701 #TV

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Sundays are now lazy days for me. Going forward, I’m just going to re-post other people’s work or just do something silly. In light of this post appearing between my viewing notes for the Star Trek: The Next Generation movies, today is a series of Next Generation bloopers that were put back into the shows.

If you don’t like this post, please note that the original subject of the post was deleted from the internet. I was in a rush. 🙂

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The #Matrix: A Fan Theory That Changes Everything #science #computer #intelligence #emotion #startrek

I’ve have the Matrix movies playing in the background while I work on some trademark matters. I know that many people hated the second and third movies, Reloaded and Revolutions, and I wasn’t a big fan of them either. I find it annoying that no one in the movie can speak in a normal tone of voice, using either yelling or a whisper. No, that doesn’t make you sound cool. It makes you sound like a pretentious idiot who thinks he’s cool. However, I had to watch them again because I wanted to do so within the context of an interesting fan theory I learned by spending too much time reading Cracked.com.

The theory goes like this: What you know as the Matrix is a computer simulation. That’s simple enough; no surprises there. What you know as the movie’s real world is also a computer simulation. The Matrix is a simulation within that outer simulation. What this means is that Zion is a computer simulation, and Neo, Morpheus, Trinity, and all the other pretentious serial whisperers are computer programs. The reason for the existence of the layers is that the computer programs (i.e., Neo, Morpheus, etc.) are being trained to think like humans. They’re being taught to express love, to place the needs of others over themselves, and generally to govern their behavior by more than mere statistics. (Think of Will Smith’s monologue in the also-maligned I, Robot. He points out that a human being would have known to save the girl rather than him despite Will Smith being the statistically-correct choice.) The fan theory also explains Neo’s superman powers outside the Matrix. If the “real world” is just another computer simulation, then it’s explainable that a blinded Neo can see the machines, that Neo can affect them with his powers, and that Agent Smith was capable of “possessing” a “real world” character, Bane. Finally, this also explains that the trilogy didn’t really have an ending. Neo just won, not for some logical reason, but because … he just did. All the Agent Smiths just exploded because Neo … I don’t know … infected them? Well, who cares? No explanation for how that happened is necessary. It’s just important that he did. I guess the programs learned their lesson, so it was no longer necessary for there to be a war.

The theory has one downside I see: An anticlimactic ending. If what I’ve described is what was going on the whole time, then as the credits roll, you’ve got to be thinking, “So no one was ever in any danger? This whole thing was essentially an elaborate movie … to the characters _in_ the movie? Awwwwwww, shucks! I was apparently watching some nerd writing lines of programming code for six or seven hours.” On the other hand, that’s what you’re doing in real life anyway when you go to a movie, especially one like Megamind that’s nothing but computer animation.

While I didn’t need to watch several hours of the movie to appreciate the fan theory — I probably could have not watched it as all — it made the movies completely different films at least worthy of the rewatch. Neo, et al. the programs are learning hope, love, forgiveness, and many other things that machines currently can’t learn, but above all else going beyond one’s programming and exercising free will. Perhaps it’s only through “living” these experiences that the lessons can ever sink into artificial intelligence.

Or not. I’m no expert in artificial intelligence. It’s a neat theory, though, and one that makes for decent drama. Just ask Commander Data.

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