Tag Archive for star trek

Laser Day

maimanToday they’re on everything from our pens to the heads of villainous frickin’ sharks, but before 1960, lasers were just a dream. In that year, Theodore Harold Maiman invented the laser using a pink ruby, proving that diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but they won’t remove that regrettable tattoo. Maiman was born today in 1927, and to say his work at Hughes Research Laboratories changed the world is an understatement. Lasers have revolutionized medicine, electronics, communications and, of course, pop culture. Without lasers, could you have the idea of a lightsaber? Or a phaser?

Maiman created his own company around his invention in 1962, and continued to be a major part of the high technology world until his death in 2007. Celebrate his creation today by digging out the laser pointer and entertaining the cat.

First Contact Day

firstcontact“I don’t even like to fly. I take trains.” – Zefram Cochrane

Today in 2063 in the Star Trek universe, Zefram Cochrane pilots the first warp-drive craft into space and attracts the attention of the Vulcans, resulting in Earth’s official first contact with an alien species. The future is all conveniently documented for us in the 1996 movie “Star Trek: First Contact” so we have something to look forward to after the zombies attack.

There’s a certain poetry to Cochrane hosting the uptight Vulcans at a bar while Roy Orbison blasts away, don’t you think? We can only hope if aliens do find us interesting enough to talk to without probing, the human race will do it with similar style. Reality suggests, however, that first contact will be tweeted by someone before the aliens set foot (or tentacle) on our soil.

Celebrate today by defeating the Borg wherever you find them and cranking the song “Magic Carpet Ride” until the windows shake. The video clip below is one of our faves for two reasons. You can’t go into space without loud music, and some of the switches inside the Phoenix were Trekkie in-jokes: two of them were marked TOS 3 and TOS 8 for the original Star Trek series, referencing the first time Cochrane appeared in the series’ 38th episode.

Leonard Nimoy Day

Happy Birthday, Mr. Nimoy! Since yesterday was Tolkien Reading Day, it feels right to celebrate the two days together with one clip. You know the one. Leonard Nimoy singing “Bilbo Baggins!” Because William Shatner shouldn’t have all the fun, right?

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National Cereal Day

cerealstartrekWhether you’re in favor of Boo Berries or bran, cereal has been an essential part of our complete breakfast for more than 100 years. For a certain number of us, Saturday mornings with the Road Runner weren’t the same without a big bowl of cereal so sweet, it made your eyeballs vibrate. Cereal has gone through a lot of phases since those first boxes of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes hit stores as a health food in 1895, but they all break down to variations of oats, rice, wheat or corn.

Not that exciting? Think back to your days as a kid, bouncing down the cereal aisle looking for Tony the Tiger, Ribbit the Frog, or Lucky the Leprechaun. If you were fortunate, you scored a box of Cap’n Crunch. If not, Mom slipped a box of Life in the cart. (‘But Mikey likes it!’ fooled no kid ever.)

Thanks to savvy marketing, the cereal aisle has also seen its share of movie and TV tie-ins, with various bowls of breakfast named after Xena, Batman, Star Trek, Star Wars, E.T., Gremlins, the Hulk, Indiana Jones, Pokemon, Mr. T and even Urkel.

Celebrate today with a bowl of your favorite crunchies in some milk and check out Mr. Breakfast, an amazing site featuring cereal history. All your favorites are there, so save the heart-smart box for another day and rip into those Froot Loops for old times’ sake.

 

Flickr/Robert Couse-Baker

Armin Shimerman Day

Geek world, meet your ersatz demi-god. It’s Armin Shimerman’s birthday, and he’s been in almost everything you’ve played or seen.

Warehouse 13? Yep. Batman: The Brave and the Bold? You know it. The Real Housewives of Ferengi? It’s only a matter of time.

Best known as DS9’s Quark, he’s also been a Nox in Stargate: SG-1, the school principal in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and has voiced characters in tons of games like BioShock, Mass Effect, Mass Effect 3, God of War 2, X-Men Legends 2, Diablo III and many more.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Shimerman. For the love of Odo, take a day off and enjoy a little cake.


Happy Original Star Trek Day!

Today in 1966, the first episode of “Star Trek” aired on network television. “The Man Trap” wasn’t the first episode produced, or even the pilot, but network execs thought a salt-sucking monster would grab good ratings. Today it would just earn the crew of the Enterprise an unwanted nutrition lesson from a heart-healthy cook at the Food Network and be replaced with a totally waxed and buff monster who craves Mrs. Dash.

“Star Trek” went on for a few seasons, then was cancelled and people forgot about it. In another universe. In this one, the fans are totally responsible for yelling “Clear!” and zorching the Enterprise until Captain Kirk breathed again. Considering that they were a generation without Twitter and the Internet, that was quite a feat. The franchise continues boldly going after a host of movies and shows, but the next step in the Trekverse will truly be a bold if sad first step: the upcoming J.J. Abrams ‘Star Trek” sequel will be the first canon Trek movie/show ever to not feature Majel Barrett Roddenberry. She has been on screen as a character or off-screen as the computer voice for every single incarnation of “Star Trek.” She passed away in 2008 after finishing voice work on the 2009 reboot.

Celebrate today by exploring the hilariously fun Google Doodle or by watching your favorite episodes. Live long and prosper!

Captain Video Day

Love Star Trek, Firefly, Fringe, Twilight Zone, Battlestar Galactica, The Outer Limits or Quantum Leap? Doff your metaphorical chapeau to the program that started it all: Captain Video. Today in 1949 marked the premiere of American television’s first foray into science-fiction, and it became a phenomenal hit. It was the first televised science fiction program to be turned into a movie, and the writers’ list of the TV show is a who’s who of science fiction literature, including Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Sheckley, Isaac Asimov, James Blish and many more.

Captain Video and his Video Rangers protected all that was right and good on the DuMont Network daily for six years. Watching early episodes now can make even the creators of Lost do their best RCA dog impersonations, because padding each episode was footage from old cowboy movies in between the live segments. The Old West clips gave the crew time to quickly set up or move sets, and the cowboys were supposedly “undercover agents” for Captain Video.

The switch between interstellar adventure and a posse on the trail didn’t faze kids of the 1950s, though; it became daily Must-see TV for kids and adults alike. Celebrate by watching an episode below complete with 1950s-era commercials, or head to the Internet Archive and download a few to watch later. It’s trippy, historic fun.

Malcolm McDowell Day

Happy birthday to Malcolm McDowell, born today in 1943. He’s best known for playing a host of villains, from his original very bad boy, Alex, in “A Clockwork Orange” to a very trippy role as a water hoarding psychopath in “Tank Girl.” His claim to geek fame is that he killed Captain Kirk in 1994′s “Generations,” but we don’t hold that against him. Kirk has his own forum of the Nexus, and he pops right back, time after time.

Celebrate today by watching your favorite McDowell movie, or just indulge in a bit of juicy Malcolm-ness with the scene above.

Spock Day

If Jedi can be considered a religion, why not Trek? Today celebrates everyone’s favorite resurrected Vulcan science officer, and the holiday comes to us from the sly, funny Church of Spock website. Now all we need is a YouTube video of Trekkies in uniform and pointy ears spreading the good word. Get on that, fandom!

Kate Mulgrew’s birthday

Happy Birthday, Captain Janeway! To celebrate, here’s a clip praising the most valuable weapon in the good captain’s arsenal, and the reason Mulgrew still kicks ass.