My latest Forbes piece is a change of pace from the usual health policy discussion. Instead, I decided to have a bit of fun and write about, “8 Star Trek Technologies Moving From Science Fiction To Science Fact“.

Some of the 8+ technologies (or story elements) of Star Trek that I discuss include:

1) Warp Drive

2) Universal Translator

3) Handheld Computers

4) Medical Tricorder

5) Energy Weapons

6) Androids

7) Teleportation

8) Intelligent Aliens

9) Other Technologies

Although some Star Trek technologies are still clearly in the realm of science fiction (e.g., the warp drive), others like the medical tricorder are coming close to reality.  And some design elements (like the flip-style communicators of Star Trek: TOS) have already come and gone as consumer products in the real world.

For more details, read the full text of “8 Star Trek Technologies Moving From Science Fiction To Science Fact“.

I had a lot of fun working on this latest Forbes piece.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

(And I’d like to thank Ari Armstrong for his blog post on Microsoft and Skype Translator that inspired this article.)

Which Star Trek Character Are You?

 Posted by on 24 October 2013 at 2:00 pm  Fun, Personality, Television
Oct 242013
 

Quick, take the quiz!

Here are my results:

You are Worf

You are trained in the art of combat
and are usually intimidating.

Worf
60%
James T. Kirk (Captain)
55%
Jean-Luc Picard
45%
Will Riker
45%
Chekov
40%
Deanna Troi
40%
Uhura
35%
Geordi LaForge
35%
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
25%
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
20%
Beverly Crusher
20%
Mr. Scott
20%
Spock
19%
Data
16%
Mr. Sulu
10%

Alas, that’s pretty accurate… High D in DiSC for the win!

Walking Dead, Season 4: Preview

 Posted by on 24 July 2013 at 2:00 pm  Television
Jul 242013
 

Paul and I love The Walking Dead, and this preview suggests that Season 4 will be downright phenomenal.

Old Spock Versus New Spock

 Posted by on 16 May 2013 at 2:00 pm  Cool, Television
May 162013
 

Zachary Quinto vs. Leonard Nimoy: “The Challenge”:

Kudos to Audi for making such an awesome commercial!

Naughty Giggling Captain Picard

 Posted by on 11 February 2013 at 2:00 pm  Funny, Television
Feb 112013
 

For all Star Trek fans:

You’re welcome.

The Bourne Legacy

 Posted by on 18 June 2012 at 2:00 pm  Film, Television
Jun 182012
 

I didn’t much like any of the Bourne movies, but I’ll see this one, because I’d pay to watch Jeremy Renner peel apples for two hours.

Renner was phenomenal in the gripping war drama The Hurt Locker. Paul and I enjoyed him in the tragically cancelled television show The Unusuals too.

Firefly from the 80′s

 Posted by on 20 June 2011 at 1:00 pm  Cool, Film, Funny, Sports, Television
Jun 202011
 

Priceless! A new introduction for Firefly as a 80′s show:

And here, Simon has his own 80′s show:

It’s all in the music and the graphics!

Oh, and here’s an awesome video of Summer Glau training for the fight sequences in Serenty:

Questions on Art Preferences

 Posted by on 20 August 2010 at 12:00 pm  FormSpring, Literature, Personal, Television
Aug 202010
 

Some FormSpring Questions and Answers on personal preferences in art:

What is your favourite classic novel, outside of Rand?

It’s hard to name one, so here’s a few, in some rough order:

  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
  • The Sea Wolf by Jack London
  • Shirley by Charlotte Bronte
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

I love classic fiction, and I read a great deal of it, but I’m not nearly as widely read as I’d like to be.

Which TV shows do you watch?

Some of these shows are no longer running, but we’re still watching them on DVD.

  • The Unit
  • Burn Notice
  • Psych
  • South Park
  • The Office
  • Inside the NFL

Of all of them, I like The Unit the best… perhaps even more than Firefly.

Do you like Rush? Why or why not?

No. It’s too hard rock for me. My tastes run more to pop. (Go Mika!) I can’t stand to listen to more than a few seconds of it.

Spider

 Posted by on 27 April 2010 at 11:00 am  Culture, Technology, Television
Apr 272010
 

One of my favorite television miniseries is the HBO production, “From The Earth To the Moon“. This series details the saga of the Apollo space program, with the goal (in President Kennedy’s words) of “landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth”.

Although I’m not a supporter of government-funded science for the same reasons Ayn Rand laid out in her essay “Apollo 11“, like Rand I still marvel at this tremendous achievement which was a triumph of man’s reason and courage.

Of the various episodes in the series my favorite is probably episode 5, “Spider“.

“Spider” depicted the development of the Lunar Module (LEM) by Grumman Aircraft, led by engineer Tom Kelly. Kelly and his team solved engineering challenge after challenge through a combination of reason, ingenuity, creativity, intellectual integrity, and above all an utmost respect for the facts of reality. The episode is upbeat and nicely captures the joy of engineering.

The whole episode is superb and worth watching. But I was especially glad to find this short excerpt of the final 5 minutes on YouTube:

Kelly’s musings about how each LEM has a “soul”, consisting of the souls of all the men who built her, designed her, and dreamed about her was very reminiscent of Dagny Taggart’s musings in Atlas Shrugged during the first run of the John Galt Line when she thought that the motors running her engines were alive — operated by remote control by the souls and minds of the thinking men who designed them.

This excerpt also contains one of my favorite short pieces of television music, the “Eagle” theme by composer Mason Daring.

Daring’s piece captures a uplifting combination of hope, yearning, solemnity, and pride in wanting to meet great challenges and overcome them.

The musical theme to the series (at the beginning and end of each episode) by Michael Kamen is also very nice:

(The video track just above is from a different television show, but the audio track is from the HBO series.)

I’ve always thought of these as wonderful musical concretizations of the optimistic American sense of life that was so widespread and normal just a few years ago.

So if you find yourself getting depressed over current events, just remember that many Americans still retain that marvelous implicit sense that life is good, happiness is desirable and attainable, and great achievements are possible to men. And as long as we still have that, this country still has a chance.

Dominique on The Simpsons

 Posted by on 8 May 2009 at 12:34 pm  Objectivism, Television
May 082009
 

I haven’t watched The Simpsons in years, but this Sunday’s episode promises to be of interest, according to the description in TV Guide:

Sunday, May 10: The Simpsons (8pm): Oscar winner Jodie Foster lends her voice as Maggie, who portrays the girl-power protagonist from Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.

(Via Randex.)

Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha