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Cleaning off the desktop
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Published Sunday, February 09, 2014 @ 5:53 PM EST
Feb 09 2014

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I can communicate through a series of short & long groans & sighs. It's called 'morose code'.
-Robb Allen, @ItsRobbAllen (h/t David Kifer, alt.quotations)

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Somewhat alarmed to discover some teens don't recognize "Uncle Sam," I checked with my daughter about my soon to be 11 year old granddaughter's status:

KGB: Does Lea know who Uncle Sam is?

Sara: Oh, I think she would.

KGB: Ask her when convenient.

Sara: She said yes, it's the guy pointing and saying "I want you."

KGB: Excellent. Our nation is in good hands.

Sara: She said "Yes. Yes, it is."

Can't argue with that...>

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"I give them a year."
-Ray Bloch, musical director for "The Ed Sullivan Show," on the Beatles, when they made their first live appearance on American television 50 years ago.

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"Ah, hell. Let's call Froot Loops what they really are: Gay Cheerios."
-Bill Maher

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Those who feel that humans are essentially good and altruistic have never read the comment sections on YouTube.

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I actually used to date a girl named Christie Benghazi, so it's funny for me now when I flip between those two channels.
-John Fugelsang

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The Star Trek Facepalm collection, although I don't think Spock actually qualifies.

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“If we came from monkeys then why are there still monkeys?”

Let me ask you this: If you came from parents, why are there still parents?

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"Fortunes have been lost underestimating Jay Leno."
-Lorne Michaels


Categories: Cartoons, Cleaning off the desktop, Harrison Ford, Jay Leno, KGB Family, KGB Opinion, Linked In, Michael Collins, Miscellany, NASA, Star Trek, YouTube


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Cleaning off the desktop, part 1: Santa
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Published Sunday, December 22, 2013 @ 8:44 PM EST
Dec 22 2013

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Categories: Christmas, Cleaning off the desktop, NSA, Star Trek, The New Yorker, TSA


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Cleaning off the desktop
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Published Sunday, December 08, 2013 @ 10:01 AM EST
Dec 08 2013

It's surprising what pops up on Google...

It's U.S. Patent #7,249,057 B2, issued July 24, 2007: "Product Information Supplying Method, Product Information Acquiring Method, Product Information Registering Method And Recording Medium," and the description is equally enlightening:

"There is provided a product information supply method for supplying a user who desires to purchase a product with proper information about a related product that could be bought in combination with the product, so that the user is assisted in purchasing products. Registration of combination information to be supplied to the user is made with a database managed by a service provider server by a person who has bought the above product by means of a registration page so that a lot of combination information is accumulated in the database. The registered information includes not only information specifying a combinable product but also information about the effects of the combination and the ways of using products in combination. The database is searched in response to inquiry information from the user who makes reference to a page of products. Thus, corresponding combination information is extracted from the database and is sent to the user."

I'm no expert in intellectual property law, but- this is something patentable? A database of related products, with the added twist of returning information on "effects of the combination and the ways of using products in combination." You mean like peanut butter and jelly? Gin and tonic? Water and Alka-Seltzer tablets?

Even more puzzling is the reference to one of my old DEC Professional DCL Dialogue columns. It deals with referrals and recommendations for computer hardware and software, but its relevance to this patent eludes me. You can read the column here.

Other stuff that passed across the desktop this week:

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Categories: Cleaning off the desktop, Computers, Holidays, Miscellany, Star Trek, Technology, WTF?


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Christmas Future (redux)
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Published Tuesday, December 03, 2013 @ 1:56 PM EST
Dec 03 2013


Categories: Leonard Bernstein, Star Trek, Technology, William Shatner


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Special effects, pre-"Gravity"
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Published Monday, October 14, 2013 @ 7:38 AM EDT
Oct 14 2013

It's all in the acting. Note the guest star, who hasn't quite mastered the technique. "Do you mean my right, or your right?"


Categories: Star Trek


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Final destination
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Published Thursday, August 01, 2013 @ 9:24 AM EDT
Aug 01 2013


(Photo By Cody Duty/Houston Chronicle)

The Galileo shuttlecraft, fully restored to its original luster when it was featured in the 1967 Star Trek episode "The Galileo Seven," is now on permanent display inside Space Center Houston’s Zero-G Diner. (Click for full story.)


Categories: Star Trek


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Going boldly... insane
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Published Wednesday, July 03, 2013 @ 7:22 AM EDT
Jul 03 2013

After John Larroquette played the Klingon crew member "Maltz" in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) and before Brent Spiner went on to play Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), the pair appeared together in a half-dozen episodes of NBC's Night Court. Larroquette won four Emmys as assistant district attorney Dan Fielding; Spiner played Bob Wheeler, a Yugoslavian immigrant with a West Virginian accent and incredibly bad luck.


Categories: John Larroquette, Night Court, Star Trek, TV, YouTube


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Star Trek: Into Insipidity
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Published Sunday, May 19, 2013 @ 12:14 PM EDT
May 19 2013

(A curmudgeon's review of "Star Trek: Into Darkness")

Star Trek: Into Darkness is aggressively, egregiously, purposefully, intentionally, maliciously stupid.

A certain suspension of disbelief is necessary in order to watch science fiction of any kind, and Star Trek is no exception. But Star Trek generally limited itself to extrapolations of existing technology and scientific theory, and the techno-babble whatsits still had to function within a known universe with well-defined laws of physics.

(Warning: there are spoilers ahead.)

One wonders if those responsible for this abomination took a copy of the script from Star Trek II, a script rejected from Lost in Space, shuffled them together, and filmed the result.

J.J. Abrams' original 2009 reboot also contained major errors, but that film was entertaining enough that the gaffes didn't come to mind until you were in your car, on your way home from the theater.

The plot holes is this stinker dragged me out of the movie in the very opening scene, and from that point on, things just got worse.

The movie starts on the planet Nibiru, which is also the name of the fictional planet that was supposed to kill us all during the Mayan Apocalypse.

"Hi, I'm J.J. Abrams, and we're starting off by naming this planet 'Nibiru' just to let you know we're deliberately thumbing our nose at science in general and Star Trek in particular, which we never liked. The whole movie is like this. This is one colossal in-joke. Don't forget to visit the concession stand."

They have to lower a guy on a rope into a volcano because some kind of magnetic interference from the volcano messes with the transporter. The rope breaks, and the guy and the doohickey that's going to turn off the volcano fall into the crater. The guy and the doohickey survive. Why not just drop the doohickey into the volcano in the first place and be done with it?

In the 23rd century, humans apparently have developed the ability to jump and/or fall 50-100 foot distances without sustaining injuries. They are also all long-distance runners.

The Enterprise is a space ship. Roddenberry's explicit design requirements were "no fins or rockets."

This Enterprise has more flaming ports than a busload of tourists eating at a Taco Bell.

It's probably safe to assume Roddenberry didn't envision starships and shuttlecraft would be interchangeable with submarines, either.

In the future, military experts charged with the safety of the planet will meet, unarmed, in buildings with no security, in rooms with large picture windows.

The bad guy may be superhuman and have lots of guns, but he can't hit the side of a Nibiruian barn. Too bad he didn't have another one of those magic fizzy explosive class rings.

Despite other advances in technology, firefighting still relies on hoses, strategically placed so they can be hurled into the turbine intakes of 23rd century shuttles.

Question: if you can use a super-duper transwarp transporter to beam yourself from earth to a planet light years away, isn't it kind of dumb to waste all that money building a star fleet? And lucky for him there were no magnetic volcanoes in the way?

We need to wake up this guy who's been in suspended animation for 300 years so he can design advanced weapons for us. Just imagine if we could somehow bring Thomas Newcomen from 1712 to the present. He could show us how to build a steam engine!

I swear that was a red-skinned Admiral Ackbar sitting at the station in the brig. Another Abrams joke? ("It's a trap. Also, wait until you see what I do to Star Wars.")

I'm a doctor and a scientist, which is why I injected blood from a 300 year old mutated human into a dead tribble for absolutely no reason, a species from a totally different planet with totally dissimilar biology and by the way, did I mention it was already dead? And why did we bring the movie to a freaking stop to point this out to you? It's a little thing we learned in writing school called "foreshadowing." Aren't we clever?

When Scotty disabled the weapon systems on the bad guy's ship he could have also disabled their shields, so Kirk and whatshisname could have just beamed on over instead of doing that dangerous space-suited jump between the vessels. Well yeah, but then we couldn't put in our homage to the asteroid scene in The Empire Strikes Back. And also, Mr. Smart Guy, the bad starship was powered by a cold fusion magnetic volcano that would have blocked the transporter anyway. Pbpbpbpbt.

"To really piss off the science nerds, we're going to make a reference about being 238,000 kilometers from earth and then place the ships next to the moon, which is 238,000 *miles* from earth. Later we'll make some clever joke about even NASA getting the two confused. Oh, and screw you, science fans."

Those 72 super-duper torpedoes which blew up simultaneously inside the bad starship were neither super nor duper, because not only did they not destroy the bad guys, they allowed the ship to make it through earth's atmosphere without burning up, take out Alcatraz, and mess up all those nice Bay-view apartment buildings. Yeah, the same folks in charge of Starfleet security also run Earth's planetary defense system.

Even assuming the ships were caught by Earth's gravity, one expects it would take slightly more than ten minutes for them to cover the distance between the moon and the earth. That would make their velocity 1.5 million miles per hour or over 400 miles per second. Objects entering the atmosphere at that speed explode and/or incinerate.

This Enterprise is designed like an 80s Hyatt hotel, with a big atrium and, one presumes, a food court that didn't appear because Orange Julius wouldn't sign the contract.

23rd century starships have engineering sections which apparently also have the ability to brew large quantities of beer in massive tanks.

Speaking of tanks, when the guys are hanging from one of the ubiquitous engineering catwalks and a big one goes whizzing past, my wife noted they had not only lost warp drive, but also had no hot water.

In the first movie, they were able to beam two people falling at escape velocity from the surface of a planet being imploded by the massive, constantly-changing gravitational field of a red-matter generated black hole. This time around, they couldn't differentiate between Dr. McCoy and a torpedo (both are blunt and explosive?) or pull Spock and the bad guy from a flying vehicle. Wait- is there a magnetic volcano near here?

23rd century matter/anti-matter warp drive engine design is a lot like that of 70s Volkswagen Beetle engines, in that you can get both to function optimally by repeatedly kicking them.

Hey, remember that we discovered there was something in this guy's blood that can cure incurable illnesses and bring people back from the dead? Shouldn't we be working on this? Or do magnetic volcano-resistant transporters get higher priority?

Note I haven't said anything about the lifted dialogue or the stolen and abused plot lines from previous movies.

One can only hope that some persons who see this film will decide to take a look at Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and realize Star Trek was intended to be entertainment for thinking grown-ups, not the burlesque Abrams perpetrated in what is hopefully his last dubious contribution to a once dignified franchise.


Categories: Movies, Star Trek


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Khan, Bilbo Baggins, and a pair of Spocks
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Published Wednesday, May 08, 2013 @ 7:13 AM EDT
May 08 2013

Possibly the funniest Trek-related commercial ever made. Definitely the one with the most Spocks. Congratulations to Leonard Nimoy for achieving a Shatner-esque level of self-aware self-parody, and Quinto for being such a good sport. (Quinto, by the way, is from the Pittsburgh suburb of Green Tree and is a graduate of Central Catholic and CMU.)

(YouTube video: Zachary Quinto vs. Leonard Nimoy: "The Challenge")

Speaking of self-aware self-parody, Nimoy outdid himself with this oldie but goodie:

(YouTube video: Bruno Mars - The Lazy Song [official alternate version])


Categories: Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek, Video, YouTube, Zachary Quinto


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Star Peeps
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Published Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 12:53 AM EDT
Mar 31 2013

(Copyright © 2002, David Farley)


Categories: Cartoons, Holidays, Star Trek


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You will be assimilated. More or less.
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Published Wednesday, March 27, 2013 @ 12:13 AM EDT
Mar 27 2013

This will really make my Linked In profile stand out.


Categories: KGB, Linked In, Photo of the day, Star Trek, WTF?


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Cap'n, I'm givin' it all I have, but there's no' enough time!
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Published Saturday, March 23, 2013 @ 10:26 PM EDT
Mar 23 2013

Through the end of the month, Hulu is streaming without charge all the Star Trek television series- Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek: Enterprise.

That's 693 episodes; figuring in commercials, it's about 32,000 minutes, or 533 hours. If you watched eight episodes a day, it would take you about 67 days. Which means if you start first thing tomorrow morning, you'll be done on May 29.

March Madness marathons? Hah. Amateurs.


Categories: Hulu, Star Trek


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Chaka Khan is 60 today
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Published Saturday, March 23, 2013 @ 8:39 AM EDT
Mar 23 2013

(YouTube video: The Wrath of Chaka Khan)


Categories: Chaka Khan, Music, Star Trek, William Shatner, YouTube


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Presidential rim-shots
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Published Sunday, March 10, 2013 @ 4:23 PM EDT
Mar 10 2013

President Obama's one-liners from the 2013 Gridiron dinner:

Now I know that some folks think we responded to Woodward too aggressively. But hey, when has- can anybody tell me when an administration has ever regretted picking a fight with Bob Woodward? What's the worst that could happen?

Of course, maintaining credibility in this cynical atmosphere is harder than ever- incredibly challenging. My administration recently put out a photo of me skeet shooting and even that wasn't enough for some people. Next week, we're releasing a photo of me clinging to religion.

And in the words of one of my favorite Star Trek characters- Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise- "May the force be with you."


Categories: Barack Obama, Politics, Star Trek, Star Wars


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Hey...
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Published Sunday, March 03, 2013 @ 8:29 AM EST
Mar 03 2013

It's Scotty's birthday, which is a major holiday around these parts.

We'll be givin' it all we've got. Check out the Doohan links.

See you tomorrow.


Categories: Star Trek


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Well played, sir...
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Published Saturday, March 02, 2013 @ 9:09 AM EST
Mar 02 2013


Categories: Barack Obama, Politics, Star Trek, Star Wars


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Ramblings
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Published Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 1:27 PM EST
Feb 26 2013

I imagine our Shelties all would have Scottish accents if they could speak, and Lucy, the oldest, would sound just like Deborah Kerr in the original Casino Royale.

They should just create a "Best Quentin Tarantino Film" category and be done with it.

How can you not like an Oscars show with two Captain Kirks?

I wish Spielberg had won best director. How great would it have been for him to talk too long and to have the Jaws music start..

The Pope's tweets come from an Apple device, which is kind of funny when you think about it...

Since I'm not a fan, I was a bit apprehensive about Seth McFarland hosting the Oscars. His performance reminded me of Calvin Trillin's suggested state motto for New Jersey: "Not as bad as you might have expected."

"Why Seth MacFarlane's Oscars were mean spirited and misogynistic, coming up next after our review of the worst dressed women."
-@Crutnacker

Totally unrelated: It turns out Person of Interest is more of a documentary...


Categories: Apple, Calvin Trillin, Dogs, Jaws, Nova (PBS), Observations, Oscars, Person of Interest, Quentin Tarantino, Religion, Seth McFarlane, Star Trek, Steven Spielberg, Video, YouTube


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Super Bowl power outage, take 2...
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Published Tuesday, February 05, 2013 @ 2:53 AM EST
Feb 05 2013


Categories: James (Jimmy) Doohan, Jimmy Doohan, Meme of the day, Montgomery Scott, Star Trek, Super Bowl


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Just saying...
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Published Monday, January 14, 2013 @ 12:06 AM EST
Jan 14 2013


Categories: Drugs, Lindsay Lohan, Patrick Stewart, Star Trek


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Unintended consequences
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Published Monday, December 17, 2012 @ 4:28 AM EST
Dec 17 2012

So, the car has a USB port and user access to its multi-function display? What could go wrong?

The post-ignition status display was slightly different. Fortunately, Cindy has a sense of humor in addition to being a Star Trek fan.


Categories: KGB Family, Star Trek


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Going in style
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Published Saturday, December 15, 2012 @ 7:58 AM EST
Dec 15 2012

I say we all wear red shirts on December 21, 2012. So at least if we die, we die as Mr. Gene Roddenberry intended.
-from Twitter (via The Sanity Inspector)


Categories: Gene Roddenberry, Mayans, Star Trek


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Engage
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Published Wednesday, December 05, 2012 @ 5:45 AM EST
Dec 05 2012

This might be what finally motivates me to get a Blu-Ray player. The third season of Star Trek: The Next Generation was when the show finally jelled. Most of my favorite episodes come from that year: "Who Watches the Watchers?"; "Déjà Q"; "Yesterday's Enterprise"; "The Offspring"; "The Most Toys"; and the terrific cliffhanger, "The Best of Both Worlds".

(YouTube video: Star Trek: Next Generation - Season Three Blu-Ray trailer from CBS Home Entertainment. Turn off the lights, be sure you're in hi-def, go to full screen and crank up the sound.)


Categories: Patrick Stewart, Photo of the day, Star Trek, TV, Video, YouTube


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Everybody does Shatner, #11
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Published Monday, December 03, 2012 @ 2:10 AM EST
Dec 03 2012


Categories: Star Trek, William Shatner


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'Tis the season...
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Published Friday, November 30, 2012 @ 3:01 PM EST
Nov 30 2012


"The Wreath of Khan"


Categories: Christmas, Star Trek


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You skipped over the good part
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Published Friday, November 16, 2012 @ 2:09 AM EST
Nov 16 2012

There are really only two small sections of the Unites States Constitution that I've memorized. There's the last part of Article VI:

"...no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public trust under the United States."

The emphasis is mine, and identifies the only place in the entire document where the word "ever" appears. This is handy when dealing with those who refuse to acknowledge the founders' intent to keep religion and government separate. I mean, what part of "ever" don't you understand?

And I also know the Preamble.

Boy, do I know the Preamble.

I recited it for a Veterans Day program in Homestead's Frick Park in 1962. I remember it was cold, and I was wearing my Cub Scout uniform. And I didn't make any mistakes, because I had been studying it, living with it, for an entire month.

I learned the Preamble from Margaret McGeever, the principal of my elementary school. And when Margaret McGeever taught you something, you not only memorized it, mastered it, and could recite it on command, you assimilated it into your very DNA structure. It left a virtual, indelible mark on your psyche, not unlike the actual physical hand print of hers that I still have on my left shoulder, a result of The Bell Telephone Movie Incident In The Auditorium.

Miss McGeever not only principaled, she taught drama. She emphasized that the Preamble was not a jumble of words to be hurriedly recited in a dull monotone. It had to be read correctly, with a combination of zeal, reverence and perfect enunciation. "This is the very foundation of who we are," she rumbled in her high-pitched yet gravelly voice. "Just fifty-two words that define who we are."

And I learned them. Really learned them. I spent a half hour every day finding the words in the huge dictionary in her office and transferring their definitions to sheets of blue-ruled white bond paper, the good stuff we used when taking our penmanship tests.

It took me more than a week. She looked through the sheets. She stacked them, placed her folded hands on the neat pile, then gazed at me over the top of her glasses.

I froze. It was not the look of satisfaction I had expected.

Her brow was furrowed. Actually, it was always furrowed; the woman had the forehead of a Shar Pei. But the creases were even deeper, and her voice was sharp.

"Mister Barkes," she intoned. "Your work is not acceptable. You have forgotten one very important word: Preamble. You've managed to omit the title of the work."

I looked at the copy of the Constitution I held in my pudgy, shaking hands. I didn't see the word "preamble" anywhere.

"You won't see the word 'preamble' anywhere," Miss McGeever said, which was simultaneously comforting and terrifying. "I don't see your name written anywhere on your body, but I know who are, and if I were to write about you, I would certainly put your name at the beginning."

"Preamble," she said. "An introduction. From the Latin 'pre', meaning 'before', and 'ambulare', to walk. Literally, to walk before, or to lead. 'Ambulare' is interesting. So many English words are derived from Latin. What English words come from 'ambulare'?"

"Ambulance?" I asked. She nodded. "Amble?" She nodded again.

I was blank. "Do you know what they call baby strollers in England?,"

"Prams?" I replied. "Right. Pram is English slang for perambulator. 'Per' from the Latin through or for, and 'ambulator' from..."

"Ambulare!" This was fun.

Miss McGeever spent the next half hour listing Latin antecedents ("ante-", before; "cedere", to go) for English words. I was sorry when the end of day bell sounded.

"I'll tell Miss Sullivan she has a prospective Latin student," she said, smiling. Miss Sullivan taught first year Latin in ninth grade at the junior high school.

Then the smile disappeared. The stack of Preamble words reappeared. "Review them. We'll have a verbal quiz on Monday."

Wait. Where was I?

Wow. I hate when I have one of those Billy Pilgrim unstuck in time moments.

Right. The Constitution.

There are a lot of people who say the Constitution has but one purpose: to restrict the federal government and limit its power. Anything not explicitly covered within its original 4,543 words and subsequent amendments should not even be considered.

I think they're missing the big picture. Miss McGeever explained it quite well. I remember her florid cursive writing on the blackboard:

Who are "We"? The people of the United States of America.

What do we want? We want to:

1. Form a more perfect Union. (The Articles of Confederation just weren't working.)

2. Establish justice.

3. Insure domestic tranquility.

4. Provide for the common defense.

6. Promote the general Welfare.

7. Secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity. (We're serious about this.)

How are we going to do this?

We do ordain (from the Latin ordinare, to arrange or order) and establish (from the Latin stabilire, to make stable) this Constitution (from the Latin constituo, to confirm, arrange, decide) of the United (L. unus, one, a union) States (L. status, fixed, set) of America.(Mod.L. Americanus, after Amerigo Vespucci).

Pretty straightforward.

Sometimes I think this guy must have been one of Miss McGeever's students. And after this past election, I know how he feels:


Categories: History, KGB Opinion, Observations, Politics, Star Trek, U.S. Constitution, Video, William Shatner, YouTube


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October 21, 1977
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Published Sunday, October 21, 2012 @ 1:04 PM EDT
Oct 21 2012

Thirty-five years ago today my daughter was born, and I was offered a job that profoundly changed my destiny. It started my career in typesetting, consulting, technical writing, and computer software.

I was hired as a typesetter at a legal/financial printing company because of my future boss' somewhat unconventional interviewing technique. He recited from memory a random lyric from the libretto of Jesus Christ Superstar; I was to respond with the next line. We did this for about ten minutes.

I nailed it.

I don't recall there actually being any typesetting-related questions during the interview. I don't think he even asked if I could type.

The point of all this is to remember Heinlein's admonition: specialization is for insects. While you should be an expert in at least one field, you should learn as much as you can about as many things as you can. Arcane knowledge can be useful, even though its acquisition can seem pointless. That funny-looking key you picked up a few years ago might eventually unlock a door leading to a totally unexpected opportunity.

PS: If I hadn't been familiar with Superstar, the next category would have been Star Trek.

Even a pragmatic humanist cannot deny destiny.

PPS: I really owe Tim Rice a nice thank you card.


Categories: Jesus Christ Superstar, KGB, KGB Family, Robert A. Heinlein, Star Trek, Tim Rice


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Klingon Style
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Published Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 4:17 PM EDT
Sep 29 2012

(YouTube video: Star Trek parody of "Gangnam Style")

You're welcome.


Categories: Music, Star Trek, WTF?, YouTube


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Silver Trek
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Published Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 12:05 AM EDT
Sep 28 2012

Star Trek: The Next Generation (ST:TNG) premiered 25 years ago today, the week of September 28, 1987, to an eager audience of 27 million viewers. With seven seasons and 178 episodes, ST:TNG surpassed the original series' 79 episodes and three year (1966-1969) run on NBC. ST:TNG's two-hour finale, "All Good Things...", aired the week of May 23, 1994. Both series were created by Gene Roddenberry. ST:TNG is set in the 24th century, 80 years after than the original series.

TNG was broadcast in first-run syndication. Like the original series, it remains popular in syndicated reruns. Three additional Star Trek spin-offs followed The Next Generation: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993–1999), Star Trek: Voyager (1995–2001), and Star Trek: Enterprise (2001–2005). There are also 22 half-hour episodes of Star Trek: The Animated Series which originally aired on Saturday mornings on NBC in 1973-74.

In its seventh season, Star Trek: The Next Generation became the first syndicated television show to be nominated for the Emmy Award for Best Dramatic Series. The show received numerous recognitions, including Emmy Awards, Hugo Awards, and a Peabody Award. Click for the full Wikipedia article.

"Relics," TNG's 130th episode (the fourth episode of the sixth season), features James Doohan as Montgomery Scott, the legendary chief engineer of the original series. Technobabbled into the 24th century, this is no mere cameo appearance. Scotty appears to be an antique out of time but -of course- he ends up saving another starship named Enterprise. And kudos to LeVar Burton (Geordi LaForge) for holding his own in the presence of an iconic scenery chewer.


Categories: Gene Roddenberry, James (Jimmy) Doohan, Jimmy Doohan, LeVar Burton, Montgomery Scott, Star Trek, TV, Video, YouTube


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Happy birthday, Star Trek!
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Published Saturday, September 08, 2012 @ 7:39 AM EDT
Sep 08 2012


President Barack Obama and Nichelle Nichols (Uhura)

The good news? Star Trek aired for the first time 46 years ago today.

The bad news? I remember watching its premier as a seventh grader, 46 years ago.

Live long and prosper, indeed.


Categories: Barack Obama, History, Nichelle Nichols, Photo of the day, Star Trek, TV


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Fascinating.
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Published Monday, September 03, 2012 @ 4:28 PM EDT
Sep 03 2012


Categories: Star Trek, Weather


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Emmy-Winning Actor William Windom Dead at 88
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Published Monday, August 20, 2012 @ 6:53 AM EDT
Aug 20 2012

(from ETOnline)

Emmy Award winning actor William Windom passed away at his home in Woodacre, California last Thursday, his wife Patricia confirms. The 88-year-old actor died of congestive heart failure.

In addition to numerous appearances in film and TV, the actor is best known for playing Star Trek's Commodore Matt Decker, Murder She Wrote's Dr. Seth Hazlitt, and multiple memorable roles on the Rod Sterling series, The Twilight Zone and Night Gallery.

(YouTube video: William Windom in "The Doomsday Machine")

Windom won an Emmy in 1970 for best actor in a comedy series for his performance in My World and Welcome to It, based on author James Thurber's essays and cartoons. The actor is survived by his four children and wife of 37 years.

---

William Windom's Commodore Decker has been an integral part of KGB Report for more than a decade. If you try to access a non-existent page, you'll see this:


Categories: James Thurber, Star Trek, Video, William Windom, YouTube


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The man who summoned the future...
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Published Sunday, August 19, 2012 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Aug 19 2012

Gene Roddenberry: August 19, 1921 – October 24, 1991

Gene Roddenberry attends the 25th Anniversary Gala for Star Trek
at Paramount Studios in Hollywood on June 6, 1991.
(Source: www.film.com)

Since his death on October 24, 1991, a half-dozen authorized and unauthorized biographies and tell-all books indicate that Gene Roddenberry was a serial adulterer, somewhat two-faced, and not above claiming credit for all things Star Trek, ignoring the considerable contributions of others who created many of the most iconic elements of the franchise.

Indeed, the majority of the more than 700 hours of television episodes and motion pictures with Star Trek in the title were either produced after Roddenberry's death or with little input from him. Paramount "promoted" him to executive consultant of the Trek films after the disaster that was Star Trek: The Motion Picture and handed the actual production responsibility to Harve Bennett, Ralph Winter, Leonard Nimoy, Rick Berman, and others.

Consider the Trek-based gizmos that are now commonplace. The communicator (cell phone), the tricorder (smartphone), the prehistoric "bluetooth" earpieces worn by Spock and Uhura- while Roddenberry had final approval, these were all the creations of designer Matt Jeffries, who's virtually unknown outside the Trek universe.

To which I say... so what?

The fact remains that whenever and wherever Star Trek appears, you'll see the credit "Created by Gene Roddenberry" somewhere. And his creation is one of remarkable cultural influence, far beyond "Beam me up, Scotty" and that great Vulcan pon farr battle music that should, by federal law, accompany all fights at hockey games. Much of the technology we use today was inspired by that kitschy 1960s show with the plywood and styrofoam sets.

Think I'm kidding? Watch:

(YouTube video of Steve Jobs explaining the driving force behind his design philosophy.)

That's why Roddenberry- and Star Trek- will never fade from our collective consciousness.


Categories: Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek


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Disengage...
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Published Monday, July 30, 2012 @ 6:29 AM EDT
Jul 30 2012

Yep. It's Monday.


Categories: Patrick Stewart, Photo of the day, Star Trek


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James (Jimmy) Doohan: March 3, 1920 - July 20, 2005
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Published Friday, July 20, 2012 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Jul 20 2012

A Public Farewell

"From one old engineer to another: thanks, mate."

Neil Armstrong congratulates James Doohan during the actor's final appearance at a Star Trek convention in August, 2004. Armstrong, the keynote speaker at a banquet in Doohan's honor, was an engineer prior to his NASA career. Doohan died on July 20, 2005, the 36th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing and Armstrong's first walk on the moon.
(Photo from Soul of Star Trek)

(from 8/30/2004):

With Jimmy Doohan's final public appearance as Montogomery Scott, I thought I'd rerun some stuff from a May 1999 KGB Report...

Beaming In Scotty: NBC, the television network responsible for the popularization of color television in the 60s and 70s and stereo television in the 80s, introduced the first regularly-scheduled high definition television program last month, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Commercial viability of the digital format notwithstanding, the network and Leno deserve credit for launching the new service with an appearance by actor Jimmy Doohan, portraying his Star Trek character Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott. In an inspired bit during the opening monologue, Doohan's Scotty struggled with "overloaded high definition generators" in the bowels of NBC engineering, and solved the problem by "diverting power from one of the many NBC Datelines." We suspect there may be a closet Trekkie on Mr. Leno's staff- aside from the comedy angle, it's somehow appropriate and a little bit touching that Scotty would play a role in the first NBC HDTV broadcast. NBC, of course, originally aired Star Trek from 1966 to 1968. Doohan and the late Greg Morris, who played technical wizard Barney Collier on CBS' Mission: Impossible, are responsible for launching thousands of geekish techno-nerds into careers in computing. Imagine how much better we'd get along with technology today if Scotty and Barney ran Microsoft and Intel. Sigh.

My Scotty Story: I heard Doohan tell this at a convention. In gratitude to NASA for its assistance on the Trek movies, Paramount sends series stars to various space agency sites for publicity junkets. One problem with being Scotty, Doohan noted, is that real technicians think of him as the ultimate expert. During a tour of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, an engineer was showing the actor a radio receiver that processed data transmitted from a deep space probe. "We've noticed a frequency drift that seems to be induced by thermal variations on the antenna emitter circuit, and we haven't been able to devise a compensation schema. Do you think a dynamic beat frequency oscillator would be effective?" Aware that scores of technicians were breathlessly awaiting his diagnosis, and not wanting to embarrass the engineer who posed the question, Doohan smiled, cocked his head, and said in his lilting Scottish brogue, "Ah, laddie... sorry, but I dinna ken a thing aboot antiques."

Requiem for a Fictional Scotsman
(originally published 7/24/2005)

Other kids worshipped baseball players. My hero was a fictional Scottish engineer from the 23rd century.

Before the terms geek and nerd entered the vernacular, we were called brains, or, more cruelly, weirdos. We built Heathkits, disassembled televisions and tape recorders, and bribed the librarian to give us first crack at the new issues of Popular Science and Popular Electronics, usually by changing the ribbon or switching the golf balls on her newfangled IBM Selectric.

The normal people left us alone until they needed their eight tracks fixed, or someone to set up the projector for health class, or install a new ink pad on the mimeograph machine. Task completed, we would be summarily dismissed with a curt thank you. We'd return to the backstage of the auditorium/gym, the traditional sanctuary of the oddballs on the audio/visual team.

Scotty was our hero because he was one of us. Instead of the backstage, he was buried in the bowels of the Enterprise's engineering section, which wasn't even in the main part of the ship. There he ruled, serenely, totally in control, obtaining supreme satisfaction in the knowledge that while the idiots on the bridge were supposedly in charge, he was the one who made possible their continued existence.

And then there was the Spock business. We Scotty aficionados resented the Vulcan science officer. In the first place, the whole "I'm totally in control and have no emotions" thing was patently dishonest. He was like the guy on the AV squad who discovered girls over the summer and was suddenly Mr. Cool. Yeah, right. When his girlfriend dumped him for the football team towel manager (quasi-athlete is still better than certified nerd), he nearly fried the pre-amp in the PA system by replacing the 1 megohm resistor in the main power supply with a 1K unit while in his emotionally distraught state.

Spock was our high school principal, a pointy eared deus ex machina who appeared and broke the rules of the game. I recall spending days overhauling the motor and drive assembly of an old Wollensak reel-to-reel mono tape recorder, finally getting its wow and flutter back within specs. Rather than praise my efforts, the principal said "Oh, we'll just buy a new one." Buy a new one? The possibility had never even been presented to me! This is the parsimonious wretch who only two weeks ago made me use rubber bands to replace the capstan drive belt to save 50 cents! No wonder Scotty drank himself into oblivion when he was off duty!

The Star Trek writers used Spock and abused Scotty in the same manner. They placed the Enterprise in some ludicrous situation which had no resolution, then sent Spock down into engineering to order Scotty to perform some action totally in violation of Trek's already delusional laws of physics.

Until the arrival of Bill Gates, Scotty was the first expression of the belief that the nerds could probably run things better, but were disinclined to deal with such mundane challenges. Notice that when he was forced to take the con of the Enterprise- usually because Kirk was being held captive by the father of the native princess he'd just boinked into delirium, and the hyper- intelligent Spock had been rendered unconscious by a judiciously applied blunt object wielded by an alien with the appearance and IQ of a turnip- Scotty was by far the best strategic commander of the lot.

When you saw him in the captain's chair, you knew Kirk and Spock had screwed up yet again- but you also knew things would turn out fine because the Scotsman would handily defeat the enemy du jour and would beam his sorry superiors' behinds back up to ship before the last commercial break. And then what would happen? The episode would end with Kirk and Spock congratulating themselves on their ingenuity while Scotty had already disappeared back into the depths of engineering to deal with the real responsibility of keeping the ship running.

Those of you who have saved customer presentations, demos and initial installations from ten-thumbed marketing types know what I'm talking about. The suits go out for a night on the town to celebrate their technical savvy and sales skills, while you're stuck in the cheap hotel room with a poorly stocked mini-bar that you're not permitted to access anyway because of the cost, on the phone resolving a customer crisis while simultaneously answering inane support questions via e-mail. And frankly, you're happy about it. Who wants to listen to salesmen talk about sports?

But I digress.

Finally, Scotty embodied the benefits of technology and the "can do" attitude that pervaded the 60s. Oh, he might complain mightily about some absurd demand being placed upon him: what geek isn't conservative when it comes to maintaining stable environments for critical systems? But he believed, as did his real-world counterpart Gene Krantz, that "Failure is not an option." It's the unspoken challenge that motivates those of us for whom Scotty is the ultimate role model.

Montgomery Scott, the fictional character, will continue to perform engineering miracles indefinitely on film, video, DVD, and media yet to be devised. For that, we are grateful. But I sincerely mourn the passing of James Montgomery Doohan- ironically, on the 36th anniversary of the first manned moon landing- who made Scotty the cultural icon he became.

The word is given, Mr. Scott. Warp speed.


Categories: James (Jimmy) Doohan, Jimmy Doohan, Montgomery Scott, Neil Armstrong, Star Trek


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Remembering De
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Published Monday, June 11, 2012 @ 7:12 AM EDT
Jun 11 2012

DeForest Kelley, who played the curmudgeonly Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy in the original Star Trek series, died on June 11, 1999, at the age of 79. He was the first member of the original Star Trek cast to pass away.

Initially approached for the role of the Vulcan science officer Mr. Spock, Kelley was instead cast as the ship's chief medical officer, described by series creator Gene Roddenberry as "a future-day H.L. Mencken". An unabashed cynic of technology, the McCoy character was a self-described old fashioned country doctor who put more faith in humanity than high technology.

In a 1982 interview with author Allan Asherman, Kelley said McCoy represented "the perspective of the audience, that if you were along on the voyage you'd think, 'These people are crazy! How in the hell do they expect to do that?'" Indeed, the McCoy character was often used to interject a dose of reality, interpret the techno-babble, and explain the frequently convoluted plotting of the more arcane Trek adventures to those in the audience struggling to follow the science fiction storylines.

His summary of the plot of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, delivered in exasperated disbelief to the gung-ho Captain Kirk, still stands as one of the best examples of exposition in screen history:

"You're proposing that we go backwards in time, find humpbacked whales, then bring them forward in time, drop 'em off, and hope to hell they tell this probe what to go do with itself?!" The entire plot in fewer than 35 words. That's Bones for you.

The son of a Baptist minister, Jackson DeForest Kelley wanted to be a doctor like an uncle he greatly admired, but his family couldn't afford to send him to medical school. He instead became a character actor who worked steadily in film and television from the late 1940s through the 1960s. Star Trek's popularity in syndication essentially ended his acting career, but he considered himself fortunate to be associated with a role that made him a permanent icon in popular culture, and he made a comfortable living by reprising his character for the motion picture series and appearing on the convention circuit.

Asherman's interview ended with a quote that could serve as an accurate and fitting epitaph:

"I'd wanted to be a physician and couldn't- and yet became the most well-known doctor in the galaxy."

(YouTube video: A Tribute to DeForest Kelley)


Categories: DeForest Kelley, Star Trek, Video, YouTube


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Remembering Bob
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Published Monday, May 28, 2012 @ 12:12 AM EDT
May 28 2012

A major contributor to the Star Trek legacy, Robert H. Justman, died May 28, 2008 from complications of Parkinson's disease. He was 81.

Justman made his mark as a sought-after assistant producer/director on many landmark television shows in the 1950s and 60s, including The Adventures of Superman, Lassie, One Step Beyond, and the original Outer Limits,. He worked on both pilots of the original Star Trek series as well as the pilot for Mission: Impossible..

While Roddenberry and his producing staff struggled with scripts and casting, Justman's job was to handle virtually everything else. He made certain the show ran on time and (mostly) on budget.

Justman later served as a producer of the pilot episode and a portion of the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and is credited with convincing Roddenberry to hire a bald, obscure English Shakespearean actor- Patrick Stewart- to assume the role of Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

"Bob Justman is one of the most amazing production men in the business," Stephen Whitfield wrote in his 1968 book, The Making of Star Trek. "He can flip through a script and in fifteen minutes tell you how long it will take to shoot it, and almost to the penny how much it will cost. He has a complete grasp of every facet of production, right down to how many cups of coffee the man should make every morning on the stage."

He also had a unique method of getting Gene Roddenberry to finish rewrites for the next day's shooting schedule:

"In desperation, [Justman] walked into Gene Roddenberry's office, climbed up on top of his desk, and stood there loudly declaring he would not move one inch until Gene finished the rewrite on the scene. And he stood there until Gene finished. He then accepted the new scene with thanks, jumped off the desk and walked out of the office. For quite a while after that it was common site to see Bob Justman standing on top of Gene Roddenberry's desk waiting for him to finish rewriting a scene so he could hurry down to the set and give it to the director."

Justman's sense of humor was legendary. In response to a rather pompous Roddenberry memo directing the staff to refer to props by their real names rather than calling them "Feinbergers" (after prop man Irving Feinberg), Justman told Roddenberry in a memo:

"Therefore, I feel that we should no longer use the term "Feinberg" as a substitute name for gadget... I, for one, intend to dispense with all the jokes at and levity I have undertaken this past season. I feel that in this way I can set an example for the rest of our fellow workers.
 
Very truly yours,
Robert H. Feinberg
Associate Producer"

Justman and Desilu production chief Herb Solow wrote a superb account of Trek's production history in their 1996 book, Inside Star Trek: The Real Story. Free of the hero- and Roddenberry-worship of other works, it's an objective and frequently hysterical retelling of the series' twisted history.

Even better, listen to Justman himself:


Categories: Star Trek, Video, YouTube


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Red Alert!
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Published Tuesday, May 08, 2012 @ 8:23 PM EDT
May 08 2012

You're never really prepared for those nude Kathy Bates S&M photos...


Categories: George Takei, Photo of the day, Star Trek, William Shatner, WTF?


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Sheltie/Shatner Theatre
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Published Sunday, May 06, 2012 @ 11:51 PM EDT
May 06 2012

(Featuring Lucy.)


Categories: Dogs, KGB Family, Star Trek, William Shatner


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Photo/Delusion of the day
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Published Monday, April 09, 2012 @ 12:01 PM EDT
Apr 09 2012

When I saw the above scroll by on the Facebook feed to my smartphone while lying in my hospital bed yesterday, I thought it was a mycoplasmal-induced hallucination. Nope. Just George Takei. I'm not a sports fan, but it's just too good to pass up.


Categories: George Takei, Photo of the day, Star Trek


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Yeah, this pretty much nails it...
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Published Friday, March 09, 2012 @ 6:00 AM EST
Mar 09 2012

Although, to be fair, I view myself more as Scotty. Geordi is just too young.


Categories: Photo of the day, Star Trek


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A birthday fanfare for Sandy
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Published Saturday, December 10, 2011 @ 12:02 AM EST
Dec 10 2011

Alexander (Sandy) Courage, who wrote the enduring, eight-note Fanfare for the Starship Enterprise and the theme to the television series Star Trek, was born on December 10, 1919 in Philadelphia. He died May 15, 2008 in Pacific Palisades, California. He was 88.

Fanfare, written in 1965 for the first of two Star Trek pilots, was heard throughout the three original seasons of the show, has been reprised in all of the Trek feature films and several of the TV series, and may be the single best-known fanfare in the world. When told by writer Jon Burlingame that more people knew his Trek flourish than Aaron Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man, "Courage- in his typically self-deprecating fashion- said that must surely be an exaggeration," Burlingame reported.

Courage was not the first choice to write the Star Trek theme. Trek creator Gene Roddenberry initially approached Jerry Goldsmith with the assignment. Goldsmith declined because of other commitments, and recommended Courage. Much later, Courage did the orchestrations for Goldsmith's scores for Star Trek- First Contact and Star Trek- Insurrection.

In addition to the fanfare, the series theme and the scores for the two pilot episodes ("The Cage" and "Where No Man Has Gone Before"), Courage composed the music for four episodes: "The Man Trap" and "The Naked Time" in the series' first season, and "The Enterprise Incident" and "Plato's Stepchildren" in the third. However, themes from first season score were frequently "tracked" in other episodes.

Jeff Bond of TrekMovie.com ended his comprehensive article on Courage with a quote by Michael Giacchino, who scored J.J. Abrams' Star Trek reboot:

"... Alexander Courage is responsible for the musical heart to the world of Star Trek. I feel that if you were to strip away everything, bit by bit, in order of importance, the last thing you would be holding in your hands would be the sheet music for the opening fanfare to the Star Trek main theme. To me, that small piece of music is and always shall be Star Trek."


Categories: Music, Star Trek, Video, YouTube


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Damage control
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Published Monday, October 31, 2011 @ 11:46 PM EDT
Oct 31 2011

Back in the halcyon, pre-Internet days of KGB Consulting, my office had a half dozen computer systems, over a dozen telephone lines, the usual collection of office equipment, and a couple hundred feet of various phone and low-voltage control cabling stuffed above the suspended ceiling.

Since the business folded back in 2000, I only need two "work" systems. I disconnected the Verizon phone service five years ago, when I called to report a service outage at 10 am and was told all their representatives were busy and to call back later. So much for the superior reliability of landlines. I switched to Vonage, cut my phone bill in half, and now just have to deal with Comcast for all my telecommunications services. (I complain about Comcast but, truth be told, aside from their crappy DVRs, their performance has been exemplary, at least from a signal standpoint. In the past 16 months I can't remember a single outage.)

But I digress.

Because of the literally hundreds of feet of legacy cabling stuffed in the ceiling above my head, I was never able to reconfigure my office the way I really wanted. So I decided to quit procrastinating, pull everything down, and rewire the entire enchilada.

As the picture above shows, my office now looks like the bridge of the U.S.S. Reliant following the Enterprise's sneak attack in Star Trek II.

I'm about 20% through. Misty, my unofficial liaison to the lower mammals in the household, has stayed with me through the ordeal. The other pups and the cats come down only when nature calls. They nervously glance upward at the ceiling, then hurry through to the safety of the back door or litter box. I keep telling them the sagging lines are low-voltage signal cables and not ac power runs, but I don't think they believe me.

The goal is to get this done by the end of the week, which is probably doable with a couple late nights after work.

Provided I can teach Misty how to wire the mini-PBX.


Categories: Animals, Cats, Dogs, KGB, Star Trek


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Happy birthday, Whit Bissell
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Published Tuesday, October 25, 2011 @ 12:04 AM EDT
Oct 25 2011


Michael Landon and Whit Bissell in I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957), and Bissell as Mr. Lurry, manager of tribble-infested Deep Space Station K-7 in the original Star Trek episode The Trouble With Tribbles (1967).

(YouTube video: Trailers from Whit's teenage monster classics.)

As old-time O'Brien and Garry listeners know, today is an auspicious date: Whit Bissell's birthday.

Whit (October 25, 1909-March 6, 1996) was an alumnus of the Carolina Playmakers, the prestigious amateur theatrical arm of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

He entered films with 1943's Holy Matrimony, instantly establishing his standard screen characterization of fussy officiousness. Twice as busy on TV as he was in theatrical films, Bissell had a minor role in the 1960 George Pal classic The Time Machine, starred as Woodrow Wilson on a 1965 episode of the Profiles in Courage anthology, and co-starred in Irwin Allen's futuristic adventure series The Time Tunnel.

Lovers of low-budget 1950s horror films have a special place in their hearts for Whit Bissell's brace of "mad scientist" portrayals in I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957) and I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1957); it was in the latter film that the admirably straight-faced Bissell uttered the immortal line:

"Answer me! I know you have a civil tongue in your mouth-I sewed it there myself!"

For his contributions to science fiction films, Bissell received a life career award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films in 1994. He served on the Screen Actors Guild board of directors for nearly two decades.
-Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide


Categories: Star Trek, Video, YouTube


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It was 20 years ago today...
(permalink)

Published Sunday, October 23, 2011 @ 10:41 PM EDT
Oct 23 2011


Gene Roddenberry attends the 25th Anniversary Gala for Star Trek
at Paramount Studios in Hollywood on June 6, 1991.
(Source: www.film.com)

Since his death on October 24, 1991, a half-dozen authorized and unauthorized biographies and tell-all books indicate that Gene Roddenberry was a serial adulterer, somewhat two-faced, and not above claiming credit for all things Star Trek, ignoring the considerable contributions of others who created many of the most iconic elements of the franchise.

Indeed, the majority of the more than 700 hours of television episodes and motion pictures with Star Trek in the title were either produced after Roddenberry's death or with little input from him. Paramount "promoted" him to executive consultant of the Trek films after the disaster that was Star Trek: The Motion Picture and handed the actual production responsibility to Harve Bennett, Ralph Winter, Leonard Nimoy, Rick Berman, and others.

Consider the Trek-based gizmos that are now commonplace. The communicator (cell phone), the tricorder (smartphone), the prehistoric "bluetooth" earpieces worn by Spock and Uhura- while Roddenberry had final approval, these were all the creations of designer Matt Jeffries, who's virtually unknown outside the Trek universe.

To which I say... so what?

The fact remains that whenever and wherever Star Trek appears, you'll see the credit "Created by Gene Roddenberry" somewhere. And his creation is one of remarkable cultural influence, far beyond "Beam me up, Scotty" and that great Vulcan pon farr battle music that should, by federal law, accompany all fights at hockey games. Much of the technology we use today was inspired by that kitschy 1960s show with the plywood and styrofoam sets.

Think I'm kidding? Watch:

(YouTube video of Steve Jobs explaining the driving force behind his design philosophy.)

That's why Roddenberry- and Star Trek- will never fade from our collective consciousness.

-----

(I vividly recall Roddenberry's death, mainly because it was the first time I used e-mail to tell a friend breaking news. I dialed into DEC Professional magazine's VAX system and sent a VMS mail message to my editor, Lou Pilla. It would be two years later- 1993- before I connected to the Internet. Egads. I'm ancient.)


Categories: Star Trek, Video, YouTube


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Happy anniversary!
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Published Thursday, September 08, 2011 @ 12:01 AM EDT
Sep 08 2011

Star Trek is 45 today. William Shatner's toupee is 48.


Categories: Star Trek, William Shatner


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Spock is not impressed
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Published Thursday, August 04, 2011 @ 2:15 PM EDT
Aug 04 2011

No, I mean, really, Spock Is Not Impressed.


Categories: Snrk, Star Trek, WTF?


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If Star Trek's Scotty had a dog...
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Published Sunday, June 12, 2011 @ 9:15 AM EDT
Jun 12 2011

...this would be it.


"Give her all she's got! Woof!!"


Categories: Animals, Dogs, Photo of the day, Star Trek


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Almost forgot...
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Published Tuesday, March 22, 2011 @ 7:34 AM EDT
Mar 22 2011

William Shatner is 80 today. His toupée is 47.


Categories: Star Trek, William Shatner


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Happy birthday, Scotty!
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Published Thursday, March 03, 2011 @ 12:51 AM EST
Mar 03 2011

Although he died on July 20, 2005- the 36th anniversary of the first manned moon landing- Jimmy Doohan is and will remain immortal, thanks to his portrayal of Montgomery Scott, Star Trek's iconic chief engineer.

His fans are legion and include the first human to walk on the moon, engineer and astronaut Neil Armstrong. Notorious for avoiding the public eye, the reclusive astronaut nonetheless attended a 2004 Star Trek convention marking Doohan's last public appearance. Shaking the actor's hand, Armstrong said, "From one old engineer to another- thanks, mate."

Here's a eulogy to Scotty, and a great story I heard Doohan recount at a Trek Convention in Pittsburgh in the late 80s.

When I think of Scotty, I don't recall a wheelchair-bound Alzheimer victim being honored by fans at a sad farewell event. Here's how I remember him:

Instead of using aft thrusters, the U.S.S. Enterprise muscles out of spacedock at one-quarter impulse power. Mr. Scott is amused. The ensign, not so much. (from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, ©1991 Paramount Pictures Corp.)


Categories: James (Jimmy) Doohan, Jimmy Doohan, Montgomery Scott, Star Trek


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Quote of the day
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Published Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 12:14 PM EST
Feb 17 2011

When anyone mentions 2001 to them (or Terminator, or Matrix, or Tron, or...) IBM prefers to bring up the helpful question-answering computer on Star Trek. C'mon IBM! You just invented SkyNet! Own it!
-Ken Jennings, Jeopardy champion, on IBM's "Watson," the Jeopardy-playing supercomputer

Bram Stoker
(I for one welcome our new computer overlords)
-Ken Jennings' Final Jeopardy answer in the match he and Brad Rutter lost to IBM's Watson.


Categories: Star Trek


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