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Obama & Nichelle NicholsPolitics and the Vulcan Salute

Fans do count... (more/close)


Obama gives ‘Vulcan salute’ in photo with Nichelle Nichols of ‘Star Trek’

Obama & Nichelle NicholsActress Nichelle Nichols, who played Lt. Uhura on “Star Trek” in the 1960s, on Tuesday tweeted a photo she took in February with the one-time “Trekkie” who now occupies the Oval Office.

“Months ago Pres Obama was quoted as saying that he’d had a crush on me when he was younger. I asked about that & he proudly confirmed it!” Nichols tweeted on Feb. 29.

Source: The Washington Post

Courting Nerd Vote, Obama Flashes Star-Trek Salute With Nichelle Nichols

In a December interview with ABC’s Barbara Walters, Obama proved his trekker-ness by dropping a reference to the emotion-less Mr. Spok. When Walters asked the president what he thought the “biggest misconception” about him was, Obama responded, “Me being detached, or Spock-like, or very analytical.”

Source: ABC News

Live long, prosper and get re-elected: Obama displays his Vulcan salute

While campaigning to become the Democratic party nominee in 2008, candidate Barack Obama revealed his Trekkie roots: “I grew up on Star Trek. I believe in the final frontier.”

Well, here is a picture to prove that President Barack Obama, known to Star Trek fans as the first Trekkie president, remains an enthusiast. He can be seen showcasing a Vulcan salute for the camera during Nichelle Nichols’s – who plays Star Trek’s Lieutenant Uhura – February visit to the White House.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Danielle Smith: Trekkie?

Danielle Smith: Trekkie?Every voting group is critical in an election battle like the one in Alberta – sci-fi geeks, too.

Rest assured, Trekkies, you may have found your candidate. Wildrose leader Danielle Smith made a stop in the town of Vulcan Friday, visiting the town’s giant replica of the Starship Enterprise.

She struggled at first to pull off the live-long-and-prosper sign – leading to an unflattering photo by the Calgary Herald – but eventually got it right in a pose with the local candidate.

“Ha! Not my best pic to be sure. At least I now know I would be a leftie on planet Vulcan,” Ms. Smith wrote on Twitter.

Source: The Globe and Mail


To Boldly Age (2011)

This article about William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy turning 80 had me going Awwww and falling off my chair laughing at the same time. A spot on analysis. Have a look at the photo that goes with the article, too. It prooves the point.


To Boldly Age

Talk about long voyages, this past week both William Shatner (born March 22, 1931) and Leonard Nimoy (born March 26, 1931) turned 80. That's right, Kirk and Spock are flying the Enterprise with the left turn signal on, complaining that the grandkids don't beam aboard often enough and yelling at Klingons to get off their lawns.

Jokes aside, the birthdays came up a lot in conversation this week, and every time it did there was much surprise the Shatner was 80 because, A, he's busier than most people a third of his age, and B, he doesn't look it all. This would inevitably lead to talk of plastic surgery, hairpieces, girdles, makeup and other things that apparently he does to appear younger. Sometimes he even looks like a giant baby, in my opinion. A few years ago, the subway in Toronto was plastered with advertising for Boston Legal, the lawyer drama that Shatner was on from 2004 to 2008, and anyone waiting on the platform was surrounded by gigantic images of his cherubic face. Between the apparent Botox, layers of makeup and extensive airbrushing on the image, he really did look like a massive toddler. Forget being watched by Big Brother, it was really unnerving to have dozens of Baby Bills staring at you.

Nimoy, on the other hand, has aged naturally, as far as I can tell. He doesn't look as young as Shatner but he doesn't look 80 either. While Shatner is reddish and puffy, seemingly crammed in his clothes, Nimoy has the hip old dude thing going on with his black blazer and turtlenecks. Shatner, much like Burt Reynolds, has decided to pull out all the stops to fight ageing, while the Nimoy, much like Sean Connery, has embraced his age. What makes the comparison interesting is how these opposite approaches have affected the two actors' careers.

For starters, as the Star Trek films went on, it was obviously tougher for Shatner to play Kirk as the action hero he needs to be in the Trek world. In 1994's Star Trek: Generations, where the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation sought out Kirk – thanks to the magic of a time portal, of course – Shatner was in his 60s but trying not to show it. Watch the trailer – he looks like an in-denial actor playing a character, rather than the legendary, starship-flying, fist-fighting, green martian chick-romancing Captain Kirk. In short, a parody.

Nimoy didn't appear in Generations, but did show up from time to time on the latter-day TV series (usually during ratings week) and reworked the character as a wizened sage. I watched the newest, J.J. Abrams, Star Trek last night, in which Nimoy reprises the Spock character, and was struck by how perfect he is in that role. This Spock is steeped in a long lifetime of Vulcany smarts tempered with human emotion. There's so much weight in both the way he delivers his lines in that raspy voice, and in the way he carries himself: weathered and wise. The entire rebirth of the series actually hinges on Nimoy being believable because Spock must be able to sell the crucial time travel plot point. If we don't believe in Spock's exposition, the who thing could've been a big joke. I can't possibly imagine a scenario in which bringing back Kirk would've worked in the film. It would've been goofy.

All that said, Shatner is absolutely brilliant for using that lack of graceful ageing to his full advantage to become perhaps the most successful self-parody ever. From appearances on Saturday Night Live, to his hilarious Priceline commercials, to playing a caricature of himself as a buffoon obsessed with staging a one man musical version of King Lear in the film Free Enterprise, he's in on the joke. And we all love it. Who hasn't attempted their own, Will-iam. Shat-ner. Im...per...son...at...tion?

At 80, both Shatner and Nimoy are more popular than they've ever been, but for different reasons. Respect to both of them for making it work. Happy birthday, gentlemen. Live long and prosper.

Source: msn


"Soup for Spock" (2010)

Julie Van Rosendaal who got to cook for the actors at the Calgary Comic Book Expo spills the beans. (more/close)


Soup for Spock

What does a Vulcan eat when he's in town?

By Julie Van Rosendaal, For The Calgary Herald April 28, 2010

Soup, as it turns out. And sandwiches. And Leonard Nimoy wasn't the only one. Try Malcolm McDowell, Sid Haig, Brent Spiner and Erin Gray, to boot.


It was so much fun that when I left on Saturday, I told the guys to give me a challenge -- if I was going to cook for them, it may as well be something beyond soup and sandwiches.

"Don't say that," said Sid Haig (you may recognize him from Rob Zombie movies), "or I'll ask you to cook Greek food."

And so I made slow cooked leg of lamb overnight Saturday night for their Sunday lunch. With a double batch of naan and tzatziki. They were thrilled.

But Leonard still wanted soup, so I made an old standby -- Spolumbo's Italian sausage with lentils and barley. This time, he made so many mmmmmm sounds, it made my 12-year-old niece, with me this time to help (and perhaps meet the guys from Twilight, methinks) giggle.

I was amazed when they told me how surprised and grateful they were to be fed food made from scratch, right there in the green room, according to their mood and dietary needs (several, including Brent Spiner, were vegetarians): they're more used to a platter of muffins and sandwiches or to fend for themselves at conventions and media events. Truly, it thrilled me that these simple dishes -- that you can easily make at home -- made a difference in their day.

More here.


The Needs of the Many... (2010)

Spock's famous last words make history in law in a Texas Supreme Court ruling. (more/close)


In a ruling on Robinson v. Crown Cork and Seal, an asbestos lawsuit, the Texas Supreme Court struck down a lower court decision and declared a provision of recent legislation to be unconstitutional. As explained by the South East Texas Record, the court found that the legislature should not enact a law which in effect protected a single company.

Where things get interesting is in the written opinion where, in the section on "how the Texas Constitution allocates governing power" , Justice Don R. Willett cites a certain science officer:

"Appropriately weighty principles guide our course. First, we recognize that police power draws from the credo that “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” Second, while this maxim rings utilitarian and Dickensian (not to mention Vulcan (21)), it is cabined by something contrarian and Texan: distrust of intrusive government and a belief that police power is justified only by urgency, not expediency."

And it gets better, footnote 21 reads:

See STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN (Paramount Pictures 1982). The film references several works of classic literature, none more prominently than A Tale of Two Cities. Spock gives Admiral Kirk an antique copy as a birthday present, and the film itself is bookended with the book’s opening and closing passages. Most memorable, of course, is Spock’s famous line from his moment of sacrifice: “Don’t grieve, Admiral. It is logical. The needs of the many outweigh . . .” to which Kirk replies, “the needs of the few.”

So apparently Justice Willett is a Trekkie. Could this kind of thing catch on? There have been a number of Star Trek related classes at colleges and universities, perhaps it is time for Star Trek to be taught at law school.

Source: Trek Movie


Is President Obama another Mr. Spock? (2009)

That's what the media ask, and they know just the right persons to call to have their questions answered... (more/close)



WASHINGTON -- He shows a fascination with science, an all-too deliberate decision-making demeanor, an adherence to logic and some pretty, ahem, prominent ears.

They all add up to a quite logical conclusion, at least for Star Trek fans: Barack Obama is Washington's Mr. Spock, the chief science officer for the ship of state.

"I guess it's somewhat unusual for a politician to be so precise, logical, in his thought process," actor Leonard Nimoy, who has portrayed Spock for more than 40 years, told The Associated Press in an e-mail interview. "The comparison to Spock is, in my opinion, a compliment to him and to the character."


"We knew he was a Trekkie," Orci said in a telephone interview. He said he watches the White House regularly for insight on the Spock character.

Orci said Star Trek's captain, James T. Kirk, was "based on a young new president in Kennedy" and that the Obama administration is part of a 1960s-type revival. Except this time, Kirk isn't in charge. Spock is.

More at the Telegraph Herald - Dubuque, or Mail Tribune "For science-lovers, the conclusion is logical — the president is Spock."


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