Tag Archives | Star Trek
After more than five decades of tireless work, brave exploration, and technological innovation aimed at a single objective, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration announced Wednesday that it had finally completed its mission to find and kill God. "I am ecstatic to tell you all today that we have beheld the awesome visage of the supreme architect of the cosmos, and we have murdered Him," jubilant administrator Charles Bolden said after being drenched with champagne by other celebrating NASA employees. "There have been innumerable setbacks, missteps, and hardships over the past 50 years, but we always stayed true to our ultimate goal and we never gave up." "We finally got the son of a bitch!" Bolden continued. "He's dead! God is dead!"
The arc of "A Klingon Christmas Carol" follows the familiar Dickens script: An old miser is visited on a hallowed night by three ghosts who shepherd him through a voyage of self-discovery. The narrative has been rejiggered to match the Klingon world view. For starters, since there is neither a messiah nor a celebration of his birth on the Klingon planet of Kronos, the action is pegged to the Klingon Feast of the Long Night. Carols and trees are replaced with drinking, fighting and mating rituals. And because Klingons are more concerned with bravery than kindness, the main character's quest is for courage.
The wisdom of Spock has guided us all for years, but now it's enshrined in Texas law. Ruling on the limits of police power, the Texas Supreme Court quoted from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Ruling in Robinson vs. Crown Cork Seal Company (PDF), Justice Don Willett writes: Appropriately weighty principles guide our course. First, we recognize that police power draws from the credo that "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." Second, while this maxim rings utilitarian and Dickensian (not to mention Vulcan), it is cabined by something contrarian and Texan: distrust of intrusive government and a belief that police power is justified only by urgency, not expediency. And there's this footnote after the word Vulcan: See STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN (Paramount Pictures 1982). The film references several works of classic literature, none more prominently than A Tale of Two Cities. Spock gives Admiral Kirk an antique copy as a birthday present, and the film itself is bookended with the book's opening and closing passages. Most memorable, of course, is Spock's famous line from his moment of sacrifice: "Don't grieve, Admiral. It is logical. The needs of the many outweigh . . ." to which Kirk replies, "the needs of the few."
Australian scientists have built device that generates a tractor beam, commonly considered a figment of alien abduction scenarios and Star Trek. The researchers’ creation thus far is capable of transporting small objects distances of up to five feet, using only a beam of light, Popular Science reports:
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Using only light, Australian researchers say they are able to move small particles almost five feet through the air. It’s more than 100 times the distance achieved by existing optical “tweezers,” the researchers say.
Not quite a simple grabby tractor beam, the new system works by shining a hollow laser beam at an object and taking advantage of air-temperature differences to move it around.
It works by shining a hollow laser beam around small glass particles, as Inside Science explains. The air around the particle heats up, but the hollow center of the beam stays cool. The heated air molecules keep the object balanced in the dark center.
Better brush up on your Klingon if you want to see this new opera by the Klingon Terran Research Ensemble. The Guardian reports:
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Tired of the Ring Cycle? How about the Qeb bI’reS? A Dutch company has written, arranged and now premiered what it is calling the first ever Klingon opera, inspired by the fictional species from the Star Trek universe. Replacing Tristan and Isolde with Kahless the Unforgettable, the production features a Klingon story with Klingon lyrics and Klingon singers – or at least “Terrans” in forehead-ridged costumes.
The production is called u, which somehow translates to “universe” or “universal”. Conceived by the Klingon Terran Research Ensemble (KTRE), based in the Hague, the opera premiered at the city’s Zeebelt Theatre on Thursday and will be staged on 25 September in Farnsberg, Germany. These performances apparently coincide with the end of the Klingon summer solstice (in this year of Kahless 846).
Coming soon! Well maybe not that soon, but I’ll settle for just “coming”! Report from NPR:
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“Quantum entanglement” may sound like an awful sci-fi romance flick, but it’s actually a phenomenon that physicists say may someday lead to the ability to teleport an object all the way across the galaxy instantly.
It’s not exactly the Star Trek version of teleportation, where an object disappears then reappears somewhere else. Rather, it “entangles” two different atoms so that one atom inherits the properties of another.
“According to the quantum theory, everything vibrates,” theoretical physicist Michio Kaku tells NPR’s Guy Raz. Kaku is a frequent guest on the Science and Discovery channels. “When two electrons are placed close together, they vibrate in unison. When you separate them, that’s when all the fireworks start.”
This is where quantum entanglement — sometimes described as “teleportation” — begins.
The video you've been waiting for ... if what you've been waiting for is a low-budget version of Star Trek in which the Enterprise crew are evangelicals. From Everything Is Terrible:
Richard Gray writes in the Telegraph:
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The new type of armour will use pulses of electrical energy to repel rockets, shrapnel and other ammunition that might damage a vehicle.
Researchers at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), which is the research and development arm of the Ministry of Defence, claim it is possible to incorporate material known as supercapacitors into armour of a vehicle to turn it into a kind of giant battery.
When a threat from incoming fire is detected by the vehicle, the energy stored in the supercapacitor can be rapidly dumped onto the metal plating on the outside of the vehicle, producing a strong electromagnetic field.
Scientists behind the project claim this would produce a momentary “force field” capable of repelling the incoming rounds and projectiles.
Although it would last for only a fraction of a second, if timed correctly it could prevent rocket propelled grenades, which detonate on impact, from reaching their target.