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!

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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!