Archive for the ‘Movies & Television’ Category

Intel Inside Joke = Tick|Tock + Vote for My Video

Monday, September 20th, 2010

I produced my first YouTube video at the Intel Developer’s Forum last week. Its 2 minutes of asking Intel employees whether 2010 is a ‘Tick’ year or a ‘Tock’ year. You need to know that Intel updates chip clock speeds in Tick years, and chip micro-architectures in Tock years = your basic Intel Inside high-tech humor.

If you like the video, please click the “Like” button before 24-Sep-2010. There are nice prizes Intel is giving away for the most votes. So spread the word, and enjoy!

Ritxi = Psychopomp Via Calacas

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Viva!

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi & Stanislav Petrov = Men who saved the World from war

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

Born on this date in 1869 and assassinated 60 years ago, Mahatma Ghandi’s great TRUTH is the possibility of using non-violence to achieve freedom and justice.  He said,

If the mad race for armaments continues, it is bound to result in a slaughter such as has never occurred in history.

On September 26, 1983 it almost happened. As recounted in an upcoming documentary by independent director Slawomir Grünberg, a Soviet Lieutenant in charge of monitoring US missles correctly assessed 5 blips on his radar as system errors, and did not push the red button.  For his courage, Stanislav Petrov was retired early with a $200 per month pension. After the incident was declassified, Petrov won a $1000 award from the Association of World Citizens.

Director Grünberg has been filming in High Def using the Sony HDW-F900, a camera with an MSRP of $100,000 that can be picked up for a mere $40,000 on the street. Recently Canon announced the EOS 5D Mark II at a MSRP of under $2800.  Vincent LaForet demonstrates why this is a revolutionary camera.

NY X Colbert = Re – Viewing Claudette

Friday, September 21st, 2007

friedman hale hale dowd colbert 

Content published for the NYTimes TimeSelect program is now free! This not only includes Op-Ed columnists Thomas Friedman and Maureen Dowd, but the venerable paper’s archives. Last year, when Time magazine opened its archives we looked at the history of Star Trek through Time‘s articles.  This times(sic) I started to investigate the ever-popular Stephen Colbert.  But the best I could find was a Correction and a funny ellipsis.  I couldn’t even find that he doesn’t even read his own books, even though it is all over the blogoverse.

Correction     ellipsis

However, I did find reviews of Claudette Colbert’s movies – starting with her first film, the silent 1927 Frank Capra rowing film, For the Love of Mike, and culminating in the 1934 five Oscar winner, Capra’s It Happened One Night (trailer), the prototype for the Hollywood screwball comedy.

For Love of Mike is a presumed lost movie. The following complete review by Mordaunt Hall (great name) is most of what is known about it’s content.  Any rowers have a print? When this film was completed there was no money left to pay the director, Frank Capra (who considered it the worst film of his career), so he had to hitchhike back to Hollywood from New York City!

August 24, 1927 by Mordaunt Hall. “For the Love of Mike” makes no pretensions of being anything but a movie. It seemed to satisfy the audience at the Hippodrome yesterday afternoon, for there was laughter and, at the end, applause. It is not a dignified piece of work and neither is it ever convincing. Ben Lyon looks no more like a Yale athlete than Richard “Skeets” Gallagher looks like a coxswain of a racing shell. But during the boat race scenes, supposedly between Yale and Harvard, there is quite a good deal of interest, even though you have a hazy idea that Ben Lyon’s arms are not stroking the Yale crew. Here, Yale wins. It would be interesting to see this production in Cambridge, Mass., if the exhibitor had forgotten to change a few titles and still have Yale win. Mike, the hero of this extravaganza, is first perceived as an active and attractive baby, not quite a year old. He is left on the doorstep and brought up by Abraham Katz, Herman Schultz and Patrick O’Malley, who, as the child’s adopted fathers, show their ignorance of infants. It is a case of necessity being the mother of invention when it comes to dressing the baby and arranging it so that the child can drink its milk. Sometimes this baby looks at George Sidney, Ford Sterling and Hugh Cameron, who officiate in the rôles of the fathers, as if wondering why these grown-up, plump specimens of humanity were making so much fuss and being so inordinately ridiculous. What this infant prodigy might have muttered if he had been able to read the comic subtitles would perhaps have been even more interesting than his expression of contempt at some of the pantomime. Rudolph Cameron figures as the man with a past who is eager to collect a few sheckels wherever possible. He contributes some really thoughtful acting, which is more than Ben Lyon does. In fact, Mr. Lyon suffers by comparison in those scenes in which he appears with Rudolph Cameron (there are two Camerons in this film). Claudette Colbert, who was seen in Kenyon Nicholson’s play “The Barker,” lends her charm to this obstreperous piece of work. She seems quite at home before the camera.

September 7, 1929 by Mordaunt Hall. The closing scene of the talking picture, “The Lady Lies,” evoked a hearty round of applause from an audience that filled the Paramount Theatre yesterday afternoon. It is a good, popular entertainment, a film that sustains the interest and has the advantage of intelligent acting by the principals. … Miss Colbert is charming.

April 15, 1929 by Mordaunt Hall. “The Hole in the Wall,” an audible screen adaptation of a play by Fred Jackson, is a queer combination of senseless drama and some excellent pictorial direction. The plot of this mystic melodrama fails to be in the least disconcerting, but the idea of the imaginative swindlers having a mirror they use as a giant periscope to see who is at the door is interesting. … Another unfortunate feature of this production is that the able Claudette Colbert was called upon to act in it.

May 19, 1930 by Mordaunt Hall. Above the tumult, the shouting, the slang, the wisecracking and crudities of the audible pictorial version of the play “The Big Pond” looms the figure of Maurice Chevalier, whose whole-hearted acting compensates in no small degree for the farcical extravagances in this unimaginative narrative. … Claudette Colbert plays Barbara pleasingly, but through poor photography she does not look nearly as attractive as she is.

September 2, 1930 by Mordaunt Hall. It is, of course, rather amusing to perceive a Frenchman impersonating a nouvenu riche from Chicago and to observe the gestures of his wife. … But as good as Miss Colbert and the others are in their rôles, it is Mr. Menjou who shines in this production.

 I highly recommend The Smiling Liutenant,an early (1931) Lubitsch classic, along with A Merry Widow, Ninotchka, Heaven Can Wait … . 

May 23, 1931 by Mordaunt Hall. Wit and melody swing through Maurice Chevalier’s latest picture, “The Smiling Lieutenant,” which is now adorning the Criterion screen. That cinematic artist, Ernst Lubitsch, supplies the rapier-like comedy and none other than Oscar Straus is responsible for the charming musical compositions.
Besides M. Chevalier’s clever acting and singing, there are splendid performances by Claudette Colbert as Franzi, Miriam Hopkins as the Princess and George Barbier as Adolf.

February 28, 1931 by Mordaunt Hall. Granted that “Honor Among Lovers,” the current film attraction at the Times Square Paramount and the Brooklyn Paramount, strikes a popular note, its incidents are frequently far from credible, particularly when the law enters into the story. It has, however, the virtue of being exceptionally well cast, with Claudette Colbert and Fredric March officiating as the principal characters. … Miss Colbert is excellent.

December 5, 1931 by Mordaunt Hall. “His Woman,” which was known as “Sal of Singapore” during most of its journey through the studied mills in Astoria, blew feverishly across the Paramount’s screen yesterday. It opens in one of those cinematic hell-holes in the Caribbean, where the sailors order gin straight and the dancing girls draw red roses across their lips to show the devil in them. Into this maelstrom of dank passions stalks honest Sam Whalan, skipper of a tramp freighter. He pushes a Spaniard. The Spaniard pushes back. Sam is a little tight, so he picks up a chair and dashes madly about in all directions. Maybe it is the camera, but Sam seems to be giving an imitation of an old woman stirring pudding as he swings his chair. That is only the beginning of Sam’s adventures. There are many more laughs later on; some of them intentional. … Gary Cooper and Claudette Colbert give their usual competent performances in the leading rôles, but they are beaten down by the general burlesque qualities of the story.

March 12, 1932 by Mordaunt Hall. There is nothing in “The Wiser Sex,” the present picture at the Paramount, that recalls in the remotest way the clever writing of Clyde Fitch, and yet this film story is said to be an adaptation of his play, “Her Confessions.” The introductory scenes rather lead one to expect a narrative inspired by Samuel Seabury’s recent activities in connection with the Hofstadter legislative committee, but soon it developes into a somewhat clumsy melodrama, with dialogue that is beyond even the ken of the competent cast to make effective. … Miss Colbert is charming, but often she might have been photographed to better advantage.

October 1, 1932 by Mordaunt Hall. Notwithstanding the acrimony that burst forth intermittently between George M. Cohan and Paramount Studio officials during the filming of “The Phantom President,” this feature, in which Broadway’s little giant makes his talking-picture début, is a crackerjack show. It is an adaptation of a novel by George F. Worts and was directed by Norman Taurog, who has to his credit among other productions that splendid shadow venture, “Skippy.” This film is an excellent example of technical skill and many of the episodes are highly imaginative. It was not surprising that it kept the audience at its first exhibition yesterday in a constant state of glee. In an introductory interlude there are the paintings of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt, which come to life, sing and deliver opinions concerning the country’s need for a man. Then one is introduced to Theodore K. Blair, a Presidential prospect, who, however, in the opinion of several of his friends lacks political charm and other characteristics. It is granted, however, that if he were to become engaged to the charming Felicia Hammond, they might nominate him with a certain assurance. But Miss Hammond, impersonated by Claudette Colbert, does not fancy being Mrs. Blair. … Miss Colbert is more attractive than ever as the bright-eyed, winsome Felicia.

April 9, 1932 by Mordaunt Hall. A wild affair, brimming over with clever nonsense, is now occupying the Paramount screen. It bears the title of “The Misleading Lady” and is an adaptation of a play of the same name by Charles W. Goddard and Paul Dickey which was presented in this city as far back as 1913. Its humor affords rich opportunities for Claudette Colbert, Edmund Lowe and Stuart Erwin. … Miss Colbert gives a capital portrayal as Helen.

June 25, 1932 by Mordaunt Hall. There is much to admire in the acting and in the composition of the scenes in the Paramount’s film, “The Man From Yesterday,” a story of the war which hails from a play known as “Wound Stripes.” The dialogue, however, is frequently open to adverse criticism, for the lines are often unconsciously humorous. … Claudette Colbert is gracious and competent as Sylvia.

bath 

The un-reviewed 1932 movie, Sign of the Cross, is the pious DeMille spectacular where Colbert takes her famous milk bath.

January 21, 1933 by Mordaunt Hall. While George Arliss is to be seen at the Radio City Music Hall as a monarch who is only too glad to get rid of his throne, Claudette Colbert is appearing on the screen of the Paramount as a Queen who pleases her people by marrying a commoner—the man she has been in love with since she left her country a year before. It is interesting to note that Mr. March and Miss Colbert are also lending their talents to Cecil B. De Mille’s film of “The Sign of the Cross,” which is now at the Criterion … Miss Colbert, with all due respect for royalty, is almost too good looking for a queen.

May 18, 1933 by Mordaunt Hall. Culled from Max Miller’s book, “I Cover the Waterfront,” there has reached the Rivoli a stolid and often grim picture, the principal asset of which is the clever acting of the principals, particularly that of the late Ernest Torrence. Its drama is not nearly as successful as one might expect in a film directed by James Cruze. The sullen happenings are more shocking than suspenseful, and for moments of levity there are the mumblings and doings of a bibulous newspaper man and the Hollywood conception of the manner in which another reporter berates his city editor. … Miss Colbert does well as Julie, but she is scarcely convincing as a fisherman’s daughter, chiefly because she does not look the type.

October 7, 1933 by A.D.S. The unwed mother continues her losing fight with the cinema in “Torch Singer,” which, with appropriate wails and shrieks, was unfurled at the Paramount yesterday. This time it is the story of a handsome young woman (Claudette Colbert) who signs her baby away and becomes a grim and bitter dispenser of torch songs in midnight rendezvous. Her favorite is one called “Give me liberty or give me love.” The idea is that men made her suffer and she is going to make them pay. Her favorite epigram: “I’m like glass. Nothing will cut me but diamonds.” … Miss Colbert adds a fillip to her generally fine performance by singing her own songs in an attractive contralto.

February 23, 1934 by Mordaunt Hall. There are few serious moments in “It Happened One Night,” a screen feast which awaits visitors to the Radio City, and if there is a welter of improbable incidents these hectic doings serve to generate plenty of laughter. The pseudo suspense is kept on the wing until a few seconds before the picture ends, but it is a foregone conclusion that the producers would never dare to have the characters acted by Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert separated when the curtain falls. … Miss Colbert gives an engaging and lively performance.

This film feature is followed by a new Walt Disney “Silly Symphony” called “The China Shop,” which is as delightful as any of these prismatic cartoons. Like his other “Symphonies,” “The China Shop” constantly brings to mind aspects of “Alice in Wonderland.” A conception of Oscar Wilde’s “The Birthday of the Infanta” is the principal stage attraction.

radio city

Unknown couple outside Radio City 

Radio City used to be such a bargain.  Incidently, this movie also featured Alan Hale Sr., father of Alan Hale Jr., aka “the Skipper” on Gilligan’s Island.

The Secret Theorem of M. E. Midy = Casting In Nines

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

“Your small minds are musclebound with suspicion … because the only exercise you ever get is jumping to conclusions.”

That’s Danny Kaye as Walter Mitty in a 1947 movie to be remade casting Mike Myers. [Kaye, author James Thurber and many others were accused of being Communists in the propaganda pamphlet Red Stars #3 published in 1960 (!) by the Cinema Educational Guild.]

In the 1830s a Professor of Mathematics to the College of Nantes France published the following works:

  • The Calculation of simple and compound interest rates, simplified with a mental addition of two numbers,
  • Arithmetic, commercial, industrial and administrative, simplifed to addition by the Reformed system of calculation,
  • A Theorem of Mr. Sturm, and its numerical applications,
  • A novel Shorthand, improvement to what is written in the margins (re: Fermat’s Last Theorem?), and
  • a 21-page book, De Quelques Propriétés des Nombres et des Fractions Décimales Périodiques proving a theorem eventually named after him.

Midy’s Theorem is a very pretty result.  It was neglected by mathematicians until 2003 when Yale undergraduate Brian Ginsberg published an extension in a student paper.  Since then there have been numerous papers with generalizations. So what is this theorem?

Rational numbers, which are defined as fractions of two integers p and q, viz., p/q, when represented as a decimal expansion come in two forms: finite decimals, e.g., 1/5 = 0.2; and repeating decimals, e.g., 1/6 = 0.1666…, which is usually shown using the vinculum, viz., 1/6 = 0.16.  Since 1/6 is the product of a finite decimal 0.5 and a repeating decimal 0.3, as David Wells shows in his wonderful book, 1/6 has a nonperiodic part whose length is the same as that of 1/2, and a periodic part with period equal to the period of 1/3.  By multiplying by a power of 10 we can convert any p/q to  p’/q, where p’/q is a pure repeating decimal.

Near Calamity The nice thing is that the period only ever depends on q.  Anticipating by 120 years mathematicians’ keen interest in modular forms, these periods were first related to the multiplicative order of 10 (mod q), in other words, the smallest exponent, e, such that 10e (mod q) = 1, by J. W. L. Glaisher in 1878! [Papa Glaisher’s balloon exploits] Thus:

    • 10 mod 7 = 3
    • 100 mod 7 = 2
    • 1000 mod 7 = 6
    • 10000 mod 7 = 4
    • 100000 mod 7 = 5
    • 1000000 mod 7 = 1

So the multiplicative order of 10 (mod 7) is 6, and 1/7 as a repeated decimal has period 6.

Now consider rationals that have representations as pure repeating decimals where the period is even, such as:  

  • 1/7 = 0.142857
  • 1/77 = 0.012987
  • 1/121 = 0.0082644628099173553719
  • 1/803 = 0.00124533

Breaking these periodic strings in half and adding yields 999, 999, 99999999999, and 4545, respectively.  Those strings of 9‘s can’t be a coincidence, and Midy’s Theorem tells us exactly when to expect them, namely:

If p/q is a fraction written in lowest terms and a pure repeating decimal of period 2k, and q is not divisible by 10, then the ‘nines property’ holds iff:

  1. q is a prime or
  2. q is a prime  power; or
  3. the gcd(q, 10k – 1) = 1, where gcd is the greatest common denominator.

Thus, 7 is a prime, 121 is a prime power (112), and gcd(77, 999) = 1, whereas gcd(803, 9999) = 11.  In 2003 Ginsberg extended Midy’s result and things progressed quickly.

Ginsberg chopped in three repeating decimals where the period is of length 3k, and showed that the nines property holds if p is 1 and q is prime.  In 2005 Gupta and Sury (pdf) solve the problem of 1/q where q is prime in complete generality.  Also in 2005 Abdul-Baki (pdf) has some imaginative, true things to say about Midy.

In early 2006 Gil and Weiner (pdf) extend Midy’s Theorem, for 1/q where q is prime, to other bases. Later in 2006 Lewittes (pdf) extends Midy in general to other bases, and extends Ginsberg’s extension, e.g., it holds for 1/21 = 0.047619, 04 + 76 + 19 = 99.  Also in 2006 Martin (Integers vol. 7) generalizes Midy’s result for chopping pure repeating decimals of the form 1/q into arbitrary fixed size commensurable pieces. 

Chopping into arbitrary fixed size commensurable pieces in arbitrary bases does not seem to obey any obvious pattern.  There is more work ahead on extending this no-longer-so-secret theorem.

If only one person knows the truth, it is still the truth. – Mahatma Gandhi

Thanks, Bassam!

60 Second Storyboard = The Big Sleep

Monday, January 15th, 2007

The Big Sleep

Marlow: The name is Reilly. Doghouse Reilly.  I’m a shamus.name is

Vivian: So you’re a private detective. I didn’t know they existed, except in books. Or else they were greasy little men snooping around hotel corridors. My, you’re a mess, aren’t you?

viv1     3 - short

Marlowe: I’m not very tall either. Next time, I’ll come on stilts, wear a white tie and carry a tennis racket.

Vivian: You know, I don’t see what there is to be cagey about, Mr. Marlowe. And I don’t like your manners.

4 - manners1     5 - manners2

Marlowe: I’m not crazy about yours. I didn’t ask to see you. I don’t mind if you don’t like my manners. I don’t like them myself. They’re pretty bad. I grieve over them long winter evenings.

Ben HurMarlowe: Would you happen to have a Ben-Hur 1860, Third Edition with a duplicated line on page one-sixteen? Or a Chevalier Audubon 1840?

Vivian: Tell me: What do you usually do when you’re not working?  Marlowe: Oh, play the horses, fool around. Vivian: No women?

7 - horses1 8 - horses2 9 - horses3

Marlowe: I’m generally working on something most of the time.  Vivian: Could that be stretched to include me? Marlowe: Well I like you. I’ve told you that before.  Vivian: I like hearing you say it.

10 - count Marlowe: What do you want me to do? Count three like they do in the movies? 

[ 7 murders later ]

11 - wont take longMarlowe: It won’t take ‘em long.  Vivian: What are you gonna…?

Marlowe: Wait a minute. Let me do the talking, angel. I don’t know yet what I’m gonna tell ‘em, but it will be pretty close to the truth.12 - talkin

Mr. Bogart (Marlowe) was played by Alan Kemeny.

Ms. Bacall (Vivian) was played by Lia Kemeny.

Pretzels were used in place of cigarettes in this production.

Netflix Prize >> Hutter Prize, in terms of money

Thursday, October 5th, 2006

Hutter Medal     oh yeah 

A couple of months ago Marcus Hutter offered up to 50,000 euros for losslessly compressing the 100MB English wikipedia corpus better than the then 18MB record.  Since then there has been a 6.8% improvement, and counting – each 1% is worth 500 euros.

Now Netflix is offering $1,000,000 for the first person or team to publish an algorithm that can predict how a customer will rate a movie based on prior ratings 10% more accurately than their current algorithm.  Be warned, the training files are big. There have already been 20 valid prediciton files submitted in the last 24 hours, and over 6000 teams from 92 countries registered.  So hurry!

The movie with the most ratings: Batman Begins.netflix batman

Update:  Within 1 week the Netflix algorithm (subject of 15 years of research) has been bested.

Update2:  Some have claimed that the problem gets exponentially harder as you drive toward 10%.  We are almost half way there in under 3 weeks!  If linear we should be done by Thansgiving – but even if exponential, we can forecast victory in about 3 months.

Expected time

Time Trek = Star Trek Through TIME

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

TIME cover 

A search for “star trek” in Time Magazine‘s archives from 1923 through the present (which used to be for subscribers only) produces over 200 mentions – like the recent interview with Leonard Nimoy celebrating 40 years since the first episode.  Of course there is a Time Timeline:

1964 Desilu Studios tries to sell Star Trek to CBS, which declines and decides to air Lost in Space instead.
Sept. 1966 NBC broadcasts first episode, The Man Trap: Kirk outwits a vampire-like alien who has eyes for McCoy.
March 1967 McCoy says, “Dammit, Jim, I’m not a bricklayer, I’m a doctor!” First variation of this phrase.
1967 Even at its ratings peak, Star Trek ranks No. 52, behind such shows as Mr. Terrific and Iron Horse.
Dec. 1967 Trouble with Tribbles, peak of Star Trek humor.
1968 NBC announces cancellation of series but receives 1 million letters of protest and renews it.
Nov. 1968 TV’s first interracial kiss, between Kirk and Uhura. Censors insist “no racial overtones,” no open mouths.
1969 After 79 episodes NBC cancels series.
Feb. 1972 First Star Trek convention is held in New York City. Sci-fi guru Isaac Asimov attends.
1976 After revceiving 400,000 letters from Trekkies, NASA names space-shuttle prototype Enterprise.
1976 Leonard Nimoy writes I Am Not Spock.
1979-1986 Movies I-IV, the movie, the wrath, the search, the voyage.
1986 In Saturday Night Life [sic] skit, Shatner tells convention of Vulcan-eared Trekkies to “get a life”.
1987 Star Trek: The Next Generation TV series debuts with Shakespearean actor Patrick Stewart on the bridge.
1991 Gene Roddenberry dies.

I think the timeline ends there.  Star Trek TIME began with the TV lineup for September 8, 1966 (remember these?):

WONDERFUL WORLD OF WHEELS CBS, 7:30-8:30 A car buff’s special revs up with a gallery of antiques, roars into futuristic creations and scenes from some history-making races
TARZAN NBC, 7:30-8:30 Ron Ely slips into the loincloth as Tarzan No. 15 in a new series.
STAR TREK NBC, 8:30-9:30 A cruiser-size rocket ship, called the U.S.S. Enterprise and captained by William Shatner, investigates new worlds and unimagined civilizations in deep space.
THE TAMMY GRIMES SHOW ABC, 8:30-9:00 A contemporary comedy series starring Tammy in beyond-the-fringe situations, with Dick Sargent and Hiram Sherman.
THAT GIRL! ABC, 9:30-10:00 As an aspiring young actress, Marlo Thomas finds herself hilariously misunderstood by her boy friend, poor chap, who simply doesn’t realize when an actress is living her part.
THE HERO NBC, 9:30-10:00 The foible-filled private life of a TV-western idol who’s absolutely terrified of horses and allergic to sagebrush, featuring Richard Mulligan.
HAWK ABC, 10:00-11:00 Burt Reynolds plays a detective for New York’s District Attorney; filmed in the city’s eerie back alleys

But there is more interesting and sometimes offbeat human history in the stories. 

1967 – Real People Take Notice
Physicist William Pickering, whose Jet Propulsion Laboratory has directed U.S. unmanned space probes from Explorer 1 to Surveyor 6, likes a preposterous piece of space fiction, Star Trek. Incidentally, Time also reported Barry Goldwater says he “doesn’t see much TV” but favors Walter Cronkite or the local news from Phoenix.

1975 – The Trekkie Fad [as in passing fad]
Jesco Von Puttkamer, a NASA scientist who gave two S.R.O. lectures at the convention, said that the show “reflects a positivistic attitude. It’s a mirror to our present world with some adventure thrown in.” Another academician who gives the show high marks is Astronomy Professor Leo Standeford, who has conducted a one-credit course in Star Trek at Minnesota’s Mankato State University. His esteem is shared by the Smithsonian Institution, which has acquired a model of the Enterprise.

1977 Feb. – Entering the Culture
NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base. There it will begin tests that will culminate in flights that could do for space colonization what the prairie schooner and the railroads did for the settling of America.  When moving day arrived, OV (for Orbiter Vehicle) 101, christened Enterprise to the delight of thousands of Star Trek fans, was jacked up and loaded onto its transporter.

1977 Aug. – Space Tec Aps
Having no power and weighing as much as 40 Chevrolet sedans, the shuttle was essentially an overweight glider. But despite the still-unexplained failure of one of the ship’s five computers, her brief flight went exactly according to plan…Between 1980 and 1992 NASA is planning for 560 flights at a rate that will eventually reach more than one a week…Astronomers are hoping to send a space telescope into orbit aboard the shuttle. Freed from the interference caused by earth’s atmosphere, man will be able to look unhindered into space—to find out, for example, how stars and planets evolve.

1979 Jan. – The Movie
Roddenberry guesses that there are 10 million “hardcore” fans, along with kids and kooks, such well-known names as Senator Barry Goldwater and Science-Fiction Author Robert Heinlein.

1980 Jun. – The TV Movie
DIED. Teddy DeVita, 17, whose struggle to conquer a rare bone marrow disease in an 8-ft. by 9-ft., germ-free isolation room at the National Cancer Institute won him wide attention as the courageous “boy in the glass cage”; of complications from repeated blood transfusions; in Bethesda, Md. Teddy was nine when he developed aplastic anemia, which destroys the body’s ability to fight off any infection. His life in his sterile sanctuary, portrayed by John Travolta in a 1976 TV film, was poignant: he sometimes threatened to walk out to virtually certain death, but mostly he tried to live normally: he liked Shakespeare, played the electric guitar and became a sci-fi buff; at a Star Trek convention, which he attended clad in an astronaut-type pressure suit, he was delighted to be mistaken for just another imaginatively attired Trekkie.

1992 Aug. – The Next Generation
Someone who grows up with his own gas pump and dog cemetery, and is heir to the greatest newspaper dynasty in the country, has to work hard at being a regular guy. For Arthur Sulzberger Jr., who succeeded his father as publisher of the New York Times this year, this means taking public transportation, not owning a country house or a car, and touring Europe by secondhand BSA 175 motorcycle. His signature sport is not golf or squash but rock climbing. The new Star Trek is his favorite program.

1993 – buy’ nqpop
Not only is Klingon a real language, sort of, it is the fastest growing language in the universe (if you consider that it started with a base line of zero speakers in the mid-1980s). It was invented by a linguist named Marc Okrand.

1993 – Hawking appears on STNG

1993 – Technobabble
TIME consulted Michael Okuda, one of the Star Trek technical experts.

We need to remodulate the main deflector dish.

Deflectors are devices that protect starships by setting up an energy field. Dishes, which operate at specific frequencies, control the deflectors. Remodulating the frequency boosts the strength of the deflectors against incoming attacks.

We can do it if we reconfigure the lateral sensor array.

Sensors are used to detect objects, life forms or anomalies in space. Reconfiguring them simply adjusts them, like focusing a lens. Watch for terms like “reconfigure” and “remodulate”; they’re the workhorses of the Trek vocabulary.

It should be possible if we decompile the pattern buffer.

Transporters can send people instantly from one location to another by converting their molecules into energy, then reassembling them. Every living being has a distinct pattern of molecules; the pattern buffer fixes the configuration by adjusting for the Doppler effect — the apparent change in the frequency of the energy waves caused by motion.

I’ll verify the Heisenberg compensators.

The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle states that you cannot know a subatomic particle’s exact position and its exact direction and velocity at the same time. To transport people you have to know all those things, so the Heisenberg compensator was devised to overcome that problem. It’s an attempt by the Trek writers to signal that they are at least aware of the issue. And how does the Heisenberg compensator work? “It works very well, thank you,” says Okuda.

USPO stamp

Post-Star-Trek aka Modern TIMEs:

Apr. 21, 1997 MADRID: There was no coffin or graveside eulogy, just a simple Pegasus rocket traveling at 6,200 mph and 22 lipstick-sized metal vials containing the ashes of Timothy Leary and “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry, among others, for the first commercial burial in space. Celestis also is launching Mercury astronaut “Gordo” Cooper and actor James “Scotty” Doohan died Jul. 24, 2005.  Beam him up.

July 8, 1998, 8:45 a.m.: Descision by the USPO to issue ST stamp.

Esperanto flag 

And we go from the ridiculous Feb. 2000 Shatner interview:

Q. Have you made more on priceline stock or on 30 years of milking suckers for everything they’re worth at Star Trek conventions?
A. When priceline asked me how much it would cost them to do their commercials, I named my own price.
Q. Do you even know what a good price for Cheerios is?
A. $1.25 is a good price for a very large box of cereal.
Q. Not even close. You starred in the only movie ever made in Esperanto. Can you say bad career move in Esperanto?
A. Malo carrero.

To the sublime Aug. 200051 article:

Coincidences in the TIMEline:  In Aug. 2000, astronomer WILLIAM COCHRAN discovered a Jupiter-size planet in the same orbit as Vulcan…and the Earthling who first made contact with the Vulcans was ZEPHRAIM COCHRANE–just an extra e away from Texas astronomer Cochran.