Tagged: science

The Biggest Deal Nobody’s Talking About

Aye maaaan!

Hold up, so Voyager 1 has left the damn solar system and it’s not on the front page anywhere?  Y’all do realize what an achievement this is, right?  Voyager has now traveled farther than any man-made object to date.

Just so we are clear, this is a photo of Earth from Voyager 1 in 1990.  See that little blue dot in the brown band?  Yep, that’s us and everyone who has ever lived on Earth.  It’s been 23 years since that was taken.

Photo credit: NASA via Wikipedia.

There’s been controversy about whether Voyager 1 actually left for a year or so now, but it appears researchers are certain that Voyager 1 is now traipsing through the Milky Way.  It has actually gone where no man has gone before!

Remember V’ger, anyone else a little nervous?  Could you imagine Voyager 1 being intercepted and upfitted by a race of aliens and returning to us?  I’ll be long dead by the time that happens, but it is kinda cool to consider.  On the other end of the spectrum, a probe entering a black hole and becoming self-aware was a very similar story to the movie Event Horizon– the scariest movie ever made.  Let’s hope that sh*t doesn’t happen.

The V’ger entity and resultant merger with Ilia and Lt. Decker is supposed to be the beginning of the Borg, so, yeah, let’s hope all of that doesn’t happen.  In fact, let’s hope that the galaxy is filled with gentle, kind My Little Ponies or something.

In fact, maybe there is good reason for this not to be front page news after all…

Happy Friday everyone!

In other Science-y News: The Sun’s Magnetic Field Is About to Flip

No, the sun is not about to go DMX on you and lose its mind (up in here, up in here).  However, the sun’s magnetic field is about to flip, likely in the next few months.  The polarity flip takes place about ever 11 years, so, don’t worry, we aren’t going to die a fiery death.  There may be some more sunspot activity and potentially some telecommunications disruptions due to increased solar storms.  But, have no doubt, this is a big deal that will affect our entire solar system!

Check out more about the flip here

And, while we’re at it, here’s the clearest picture of a sunspot ever taken.  Pretty nifty, huh:

Credit: Big Bear Solar Laboratory/New Jersey Institute of Technology

In other Science-y News: Soylent, Stem Cell Burgers, and Nootropics. Oh My!


You may have seen or heard coverage this week about Google-supported research to develop meat grown from stem cells.  One of two people who was able to eat a burger cooked from the stem cell meat said that it was good, but lacked fat.  Now, any talk of artificially-grown meat makes our collective alarm bells go off because we all remember Charlton Heston yelling “Soylent Green is People!” in the eponymous 1973 film.  I am pretty confident that every third person who read or heard the story probably thought, “Hmm, how long before someone grows people burgers?”  I don’t think that fear is warranted, but I was definitely the third person in that case.  Slippery slope.  Would you eat a stem cell burger?  Tell the truth.   Truth-I might because I recognize that the demand for meat has all sorts of undesirable environmental consequences.  Probably no time soon, gotta wait and see if it turns anyone into the minion monster.

Which leads me to my next topic.  Why on earth would someone create a potentially revolutionary food (not meal) replacement drink and name it “Soylent”?

Beats me, but it’s working.  There is a growing movement of people who are trying to figure out how they can stay alive without eating actual food.  I’ve been trying to keep up on its development.  Apparently, Soylent is a blandly sweet concoction of everything the body needs to survive.  It can be prepared in advance and taken with you.  Right now the cost is still high and the ingredients can be hard to find, so it won’t be coming to a store near you soon.  That said, it could totally revolutionize the weight loss industry.  Liquid diets work, but they are typically missing nutrients and people end up losing hair, dying, etc.  The question for me is whether people will end up with gall bladder problems long term because fat is needed to cause the organ to contract.  That used to be a big problem with liquid diets in the ’80s.  Right now, the creator isn’t trying to lose weight, so he eats at his caloric maintenance and tweaks the formula when he starts to feel weak.  He also doesn’t advocate only drinking Soylent, he has a few regular meals with food when he feels like it.  Definitely keep an eye out for it.

Nootropics, I still don’t fully understand this topic.  Basically, people are trying to figure out how to lifehack their brains to squeeze out every ounce of cognitive computing power through nutritional or pharmaceutical supplementation.  Essentially, they want to be like the lead character in the movie Limitless.  Some of the ingredients have to be procured through grey markets, meaning overseas pharmacies and others are simply nutritional supplements like melatonin.  Many of you have taken 5-hour Energy to give yourself extra pep and sharpness, we may see something similar on the market soon for mental clarity and memory.  I haven’t tried any of them though the topic is definitely interesting.

I worry less about Soylent being people;  I don’t want us to end up like Morlocks.

What about you; are you up to try these?

This is old, but it is so perfect that I had to share.

Gotye

All Trekkies who watched the Borg Queen’s torment/seduction of Data in First Contact will appreciate this.

To jog your memory (from IMDB):

[a Borg scratches Data’s flesh arm]
Lieutenant Commander Data: Ah!
Borg Queen: Is it becoming clear to you yet? Look at yourself, standing there, cradling the new flesh I’ve given you. If it means nothing to you, why protect it?
Lieutenant Commander Data: I… I am simply imitating the behavior of humans.
Borg Queen: You’re becoming more human all the time, Data; now you’re learning how to lie.
Lieutenant Commander Data: My programming was not designed to process these sensations.
Borg Queen: Then tear the skin from your limb as you would a defective circuit.
[Data hesitates]
Borg Queen: Go ahead, Data! We won’t stop you!
[Data forces himself to try to tear off the skin]
Borg Queen: Do it! Don’t be tempted by flesh!
[Data relents and leaves the skin alone]
Borg Queen: Are you familiar with physical forms of pleasure?
Lieutenant Commander Data: If you are referring to sexuality, I am… fully functional, programmed in… multiple techniques.
Borg Queen: How long since you’ve used them?
Lieutenant Commander Data: Eight years, seven months, sixteen days, four minutes, twenty-two…
Borg Queen: Far too long.
[they kiss passionately]

P.S. I still have no understanding of the Gotye video concept.  Why was he painted like that?

Patrick Stewart Being a Total Mensch

See, this is why he’s my favorite captain:

http://lemonsweetie.tumblr.com/post/51652237280/let-me-tell-you-a-thing-about-an-amazing-man

And, shouts to Lemonsweetie for rocking an awesome Trill costume.

Captain’s Log: The Meaning of the Phrase “Kirk Out”

Ah yeah, this might truly be the first truly esoteric black trekkie post ever.  I think you had to be black and born some time between 1975 and 1980 to appreciate the phrase “kirk out”.  So, let’s get into it.

Does anyone know how this became a black cultural idiom?  I have no idea.  The funny thing is when you say it, almost every black person knows exactly what it implies–you went temporarily (read: batsh*t) insane.  In most situations, you’ve tried your best to keep your cool, but someone or a situation kept trying your patience and…finally, IT, whatever IT might be, was on!  You were done negotiating, trying to be heard, waiting patiently, listening to reason, trying to be empathetic, whatever.  You, David Banner, turned into this raging Hulk of a person that not even your momma could calm down:

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Example convo:

John:  Yo, I was driving today and this mickey flickey cut me off.  I couldn’t believe it when he flipped me the bird after I honked at him.  Yo, seriously, I almost got out of the car and KIRKED the ****(optional) OUT on that cat!  He better be glad I had a meeting because, otherwise, y’all would have been seeing me on the news at 6, yo. 

Homie:  I’m glad you didn’t, man.  Not over something so silly. 

Now, we all remember that Captain Kirk said “Kirk, out” whenever he signed off communications.  We also know that Captain Kirk was forever going off-script and just flying into rages, but how did this enter the black vernacular?  Not sure, but I’m glad it did.  It is such a effective, concise way of conveying about 50 curse words at once.

Anyone else have ideas?

Black Trekkies, I’m Looking For You!

We just turned 1 year old!  Woot!  Hosting the blog has been a fun, creative outlet so far.  It turns out that “Black Trekkies” is the top search term that is leading people to find the Black Trekkie blog.  I knew we were out there!  And, it appears that we are searching for one another.  It’s been a fun year and we have bigger and better things planned for the future.

SO…if you happen onto this blog and find it funny and/or interesting, become a guest poster. If you just want to hang, leave a comment and subscribe.

I’d love to have more activity on the blog and offering alternative insights into the Trek would be great.  And, please post comments and follow Black Trekkie.  Every click gets us a little closer to the Delta Quadrant.  Just kidding, it just lessens the distance between us.

We can even have an awesome Gorn/Kirk-style play fight.  We’ll figure out what the fight was about later.  Keep checking in, I’m looking to hear from you!

 

Miguel’s Epic Leg Drop: Proof that He’s an Alien???

In the split second it took for me to realize that the girls who Miguel accidentally jumped on were okay, I dissolved into giggles.  It’s a reflex.  I feel so bad and I’m so glad they are okay.  But, honestly, I think this is proof-positive that Miguel’s an alien.  I think he miscalculated gravity on our planet for a moment.  Yeah, that’s it…he just forgot which planet he was on.

1.  Miguel, you ain’t Prince.  Prince is somewhere laughing his size 0 behind off.  He’s said again and again that performers today need to stop trying to be like him.  See what happens– your nads land on someone’s head.  We all know Prince is an alien.  Prince might be like Michael Jordan in Miguel’s galaxy?

2.  Did he really have on 4-inch boots?  Those will be exhibit A in the civil trial that is sure to follow.  Those ain’t anti-gravity boots, homie.  Those are Rick James boots, best for crushing dirt into a couch.  Dude is like 5’2; what did he expect to happen?  Seriously, them joints looked like the heel was reinforced steel.

3.  There are some bright sides in all this:  Miguel definitely wasn’t lip-syncing, the girl who took the brunt was okay and she seemed really happy to meet Miguel.  Well, she probably didn’t want to meet his crotch first…but yeah.  That’s probably a mating ritual where Miguel’s from…

4.  From now on, when Miguel starts to do the crazy shimmy dance, people will know to duck like they are at a Gallagher show.  Was that little dance his species’ way of gathering energy from the universe to power such a jump?

5.  I got a little weak inside at the old chick who bent down to help the girl until Miguel grabbed her.  She tossed her away like a dead fish!  I immediately heard TLC’s “What About Your Friends” playing.  I guess the girl code ain’t what it used to be.  Why was she in the mosh pit anyway?  Hm, maybe this is a broader conspiracy?

All jokes aside, Miguel is an excellent performer and I hope he doesn’t end up having to work a second job at Burger King to pay for that girl’s long term care bills.

Miguel, Nanoo-Nanoo and sh*t, if you see this.  Try a little harder to blend in next time.

Supporting Black-Oriented Science Fiction

I just wanted to share the trailer for a black-oriented science fiction story called “The Abandon”.  It’s a trailer, so the plot isn’t fully fleshed out, but it is packed with so much interesting dialogue that I’m already engaged with the characters.  I want to see more!

What I loved most about it was that Keith Josef Adkins, the writer/director, thanked the Adkins Family Reunion in the credits.  Now, that’s how we’re supposed to support one another.  If his family is anything like my family, someone probably said, “Here comes Keith with another one of his crazy ideas,”  but they supported him anyway.  That’s what I’m talking ’bout.  Take a gander:

Reasons Why You Need to Go See Star Trek Into Darkness, Even if You’re Not a Trekkie

So, the numbers are in on “Star Trek Into Darkness” and they aren’t as good as the opening for Iron Man 3.  Come on, y’all.  Was I the only one who saw the dreck that was Iron Man 3?  It was like cold pizza; in fact, it was like cold, 10 for $10 pizza.  And, Iron Man didn’t even do half of the upfront trailers and promotion that Star Trek did!  Iron Man couldn’t have been more accessible to the masses than this Star Trek.  Maybe, it was because people love Robert Downey, Jr?  But, let’s face it; for all my critique of “Star Trek Into Darkness,” it was still a muuuuuuuch better movie.

Did Paramount get it wrong by doing all these sneak previews and opening internationally first?  I think so.  The international opening is less of an issue than the sneak previews.  It seemed like people were seeing the movie a week before it opened and I think that made people forget what weekend it actually opened.  After seeing all these reviews pop up, I had to check to see whether I had missed the opening.  Yes, ME, Captain Jackson.  So, you know if I almost missed it, people who didn’t care definitely missed it.  I think the studio also screwed up on basic playground psychology– people like to be first and, if they can’t be first, they lose interest.  After seeing all these reviews and feeling like they weren’t in the in-crowd, a lot of people who were looking forward to the movie probably said, “Eh, I’ll get around to it.”

We can’t discount the fact that, despite having the same rating, Iron Man seems like a much more family friendly movie.  Do you want to have to explain death to your children after seeing Star Trek or do you want to explain all of Tony Stark’s sexual innuendos to the kiddos?  Toss up.  I hadn’t thought about it, but does anyone actually die in Iron Man?  The reboot of Star Trek didn’t have to be like this, but I guess that was a calculated decision by the studio.  I wonder if they regret it a bit now.  Here’s why you have to see Star Trek anyway:

Nerds lose.  And, we have to win.  Arguably, Tony Stark is one of the smartest people alive, but his persona is much about self-interest, bling, and glitz.  He doesn’t really know how to work in a team.  Even though he has renounced his ‘lord of war’ ways, he still has all the treasure that came from that life.  Star Trek is about teamwork.  The team is ordinary, not of any extraordinary superpower or superintellect; they work harder.  That’s the secret sauce in the Star Trek Universe and real life.

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