29 August 2008

Star Trek: The Exhibition

I went the other day to the Star Trek Exhibition in San Diego. I had mixed feelings about the show. On the one hand, I enjoyed seeing the uniforms from the different series of Star Trek and the bridge from the Original Series. There were also a lot of props and Captain Picard's room. At the same time, I felt a little disappointed because I know so much about the series that the information that was given seemed too simplistic. I mean, they did not plan for the die hard Trek fans who know a lot about the shows and characters and add some interesting info that might not be known to the general public. The info they did provide was right in the middle: you had to know something of the shows but not too little and not too much. Now the reason I complain is that mostly people who know Star Trek are going to go, so why not gear everything to that level? I left feeling disappointed. The Exhibition was scaled down from the Tour due to financial reasons and I guess they really scaled it down. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

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27 August 2008

Earth in the Star Trek Universe

I still have the theme of the 2008 Summer Games in my head: "One World, One Dream" and I have been watching my Star Trek Deep Space 9 series again from the beginning. I got to thinking about earth in the Star Trek universe and how it is unified. There is a central government, poverty has been erased, everyone has shelter, there is no need for money. Humans simply work and produce to better themselves. The other worlds in this same universe, such as Bajor, Vulcan, Cardassia, also have a central government, one language, and a common philosophy of life. Of course there are still conflicts, but they are seen as challenges to overcome, wrongs to be made right.
I love this vision in Star Trek, that one day humans can evolve to the point of cooperation and live together in peace. That hope and positive message is what keeps me returning to the series and watching and reading.
This brings me back to the recent Olympics and how for a few weeks in a concentrated area in China, people from all over the world came together in friendly athletic competition. Almost everyone got along and enjoyed meeting each other ( I assume).
My question is: Can we overcome the human condition and work together as one? Our cultures are so different and the first barrier would be language. How can we communicate with each other to understand better one another? Can people become selfless and trust a central government that would exist simply to keep Earth and its inhabitants fed and sheltered? So far, our history is filled from past to present day with battles about boundaries, discrimination, and struggles for power. Will it ever be possible to move in the direction of the peace and acceptance we find in the Star Trek Universe? I sincerely hope so.

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25 August 2008

Athletes, Superheroes, and Doping

I had a glorious 16 days watching the Olympics. To me, the athletes seemed like superheroes. Usain Bolt ran faster than anyone and looked like a Greek god. Michael Phelps swam an amazing variety of swim strokes and was the master of each of his events. I did not hear too much talk of doping like I usually do for the Tour de France. I mean, those guys ride their bikes for 3 weeks, over 150kms daily, and with only two days rest! That takes super human ability. It is exciting to watch.
We like to see people break records, Barry Bonds was a champion home run hitter, but he was caught doping, Marion Jones was an amazing sprinter, again, doping, Floyd Landis, winner of the Tour, caught doping.
However, we like superheroes, at least I do! I like to see people do amazing things.
I popped in one of my X-Men movies and this got me thinking about the evolution of the human body. Of course, in X-Men, the abilities are extreme and the evolution of these abilities came quickly.
I began to ask myself, if we like seeing action heroes winning or defeating the "bad guy", then would not sports enhancement be a form of human evolution albeit induced?
If the athletes were allowed access to enhancements that would not harm the body but make it faster or stronger, would that not be a good thing?
I really don't know the answer to this question except that I think human enhancements for positive purposes would be a good thing.

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23 August 2008

Bionic Woman vs. Painkiller Jane

Painkiller JaneImage via Wikipedia All I can say is "What Happened?" Both shows had such potential and both were canceled after one season.
The Bionic Woman should not have been a total remake of the original series. Instead, they should of let Michelle Ryan speak in her lovely English accent and highlighted her amazing cybernetic abilities. I mean how great would that be to have bionic vision or hearing. (With my neighbors, maybe not bionic hearing!) The plot even included an evil bionic woman as her nemesis. Instead of Jamie Sommers she could have been a different person and taken on a more super hero role.
As for Pain Killer Jane, how could you go wrong with such an interesting comic character and story line written for Events Comics. Kristanna Loken played Jane Vasco who is an indestructible heroine.
Both tv series were very similar in plot and story line and both very dark. Comics bring loads of color and in this case the darkness of the clothes and greenish hue to the scenes just didn't work.
Maybe we should bring both back in a new tv show that has the Bionic Woman face off with Pain Killer Jane, that would be a series that may never end!

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22 August 2008

Science Fiction and Physics Combine

Imagine a space ship that can travel faster than light. On many tv shows and movies we have heard of warp drive and jumps into hyperspace. Now physicists at Baylor University are working on such a concept. It has been reported that scientists are working on a ship that can basically fly in a bubble so that space travel will not take so long. A lot of critics say this is just fantasy, but I believe that Sci Fi and fantasy can be an inspiration because a lot of these very same shows consult physicists. If they have the creativity and insight into such revolutionary ideas, why not?
I hope one day we can spend more money on funding space travel rather than on war and destruction. I hope one day we can explore the universe and find out what really exists out there.

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Star Trek the Movie 2009 will it live up to the Hype?

I love Star Trek, don't get me wrong. Prequels make me nervous because they can totally work or totally flop . Star Trek Enterprise the series was good and tied up some loose ends but ultimately had no where to go for very long. They didn't even use the same characters from this series to make the prequel movie.
Based on the trailer for Star Trek 2009, I hope the movie is better. Again, there is not very far to go with this kind of movie. The trailer looks very cryptic and I will just have to wait and see (of course I will go because I am a die hard Trek fan) but I hope I am not disappointed.

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