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Posts Tagged ‘Star Trek

“Maps codify the miracle of existence”*…

 

This 1922 map of the world was the first general reference map created by National Geographic magazine’s in-house cartography shop, which was founded in 1915.

Cartography has been close to National Geographic’s heart from the beginning. And over the magazine’s 130-year history, maps have been an integral part of its mission. Now, for the first time, National Geographic has compiled a digital archive of its entire editorial cartography collection — every map ever published in the magazine since the first issue in October 1888.

The collection is brimming with more than 6,000 maps (and counting) and you’ll have a chance to see some of the highlights as the magazine’s cartographers explore the trove and share one of their favorite maps each day.

Follow @NatGeoMaps on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook to see what they discover. (The separate map archive is not available to the public, but subscribers can see them in their respective issues in the digital magazine archive)...

More background– and more samples from the vault– at “Discover Fascinating Vintage Maps From National Geographic’s Archives.”

* Nicholas Crane, Mercator: The Man Who Mapped the Planet

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As we contemplate cartography, we might recall that it was on this date in 1931 that Swiss physicist, inventor, and explorer Auguste Piccard launched himself and an assistant in a 300-pound, 82-inch diameter aluminum gondola suspended from a hydrogen gas-filled balloon.  They rose to a record 51,775 feet, then landed safely.

Auguste Piccard was the model for Professor Cuthbert Calculus in The Adventures of Tintin by Belgian cartoonist Hergé, and Gene Roddenberry’s inspiration in naming Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek.

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Written by LW

May 27, 2018 at 1:01 am

“It’s morning in Baltimore, Lester. Wake up and smell the coffee”*…

 

WHERE’S WALLACE? THAT’S ALL I WANNA KNOW…
WHERE THE F*CK IS WALLACE?”

—D’ANGELO BARKSDALE

An interactive homage to what was arguably the best television series ever: “Where’s Wallace.”

* Cedric Daniels (Lance Reddick), to Lester Freamon (Clarke Peters) in “A New Day (episode 11 of season 4), The Wire.

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As we return to Baltimore, we might spare a thought for Jackson DeForest Kelley; he died on this date in 1999.  After a long career paying character parts, largely in Westerns, Kelley was offered the role of half-alien Spock in a proposed sci-fi series being developed by Gene Roddenberry– Star Trek– but declined.  He later reconsidered his involvement and accepted the role of Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy.

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Written by LW

June 11, 2017 at 1:01 am

The ultimate binge…

 

YouTube user Omni Verse has put together ten minute packages of your favorite cult TV shows in an intense “videoggedon,” where all the episodes are played at the same time!

From Star Trek and The Twilight Zone, to Kolchak—The Night StalkerPlanet of the Apes and Doctor Who. This is like a ten-minute sugar rush of cult TV heaven!

For example:

email readers click here

Find them all at the always-illuminating Dangerous Minds.

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As we lean back, we might recall that on this date in 1989 ABC broadcast the last episode of Ryan’s Hope.  Born in 1975, the show’s creators had taken the unusual step (for a soap opera) of setting the series in a real community, the Washington Heights neighborhood of Northern Manhattan.  That, and the their forthright treatment of then-edgy issues– extramarital and premarital affairs, the attendant children out of wedlock, careerist women, the assertion of abortion rights, and the clash of generational values in the Ryan clan– quickly won it a loyal following.  But as society caught up with Ryan’s Hope, the show’s edge dulled, ratings dropped, and it was brought to a close.

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Written by LW

January 13, 2014 at 1:01 am

How to boldly go where no man has gone before…

 

As American readers prepare to head for the multiplex for the premiere of Star Trek- Into the Darkness, they might want to take a brief detour down memory lane:  Harvard’s Houghton Library has released excerpts of a 31-page photocopied writers’ guide for the original Star Trek series, written in 1967, that was meant to help writers for the then year-old show—as well as prospective writers working on spec scripts—nail the tone and content of a typical “Trek” episode.

The pages list characters and their attributes (Captain Kirk is “a space-age Horatio Hornblower, constantly on trial with himself, a strong, complex personality”), outline dos and don’ts of costuming (no pockets; no space suits), and suggest places where writers working outside the studio can seek technical advice (ask nearby universities, “your local NASA office,” or anyone in the “aero-space research and development industry”).

Coming at the tail end of a decade and a half of science fiction television of variable quality, “Star Trek” was eager to establish itself as a new breed of more realistic space opera. The third page image below describes a scenario in which Captain Kirk comforts a female crewmember as an alien vessel attacks. The guide asks readers to identify the problem with this “teaser.” The answer: “Concept weak. This whole story opening reeks too much of ‘space pirate’ or similar bad science fiction.” Captain Kirk would never hug a fellow crewman as danger approached; he’d be too busy trying to solve the problem.

It’s clear that the guide’s anonymous author knew that those in charge were asking a lot of their writers. At the end of a list of Frequently Asked Questions appears this one:

Q: Are you people on LSD?

A: We tried, but we couldn’t keep it lit.

Read the full story– and read more Writer’s Guide pages– at Slate’s new history blog, The Vault.

More?  Check out the ten most under-rated episodes from the original series.

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As we set phasers to stun, we might spare a thought for Frederick Walton; he died on this date in 1928.  The scion of a British rubber processing family, Walton was a prolific inventor.  While he patented (among many other things),  flexible metal tubing,  artificial leather, and a process for waterproofing clothing, he is surely best remembered as the inventor of linoleum.

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Written by LW

May 16, 2013 at 1:01 am

As it happens, some of my best friends are crazy…

From BibliOdyssey:

Karl Hans Janke (1909-1988) graduated from high school and attended a technical college for a couple of years and studied dentistry although he didn’t complete the course. He was drafted into the German army in 1940 where he was hospitalised on a number of occasions because of behavioural problems and was eventually discharged from the service on medical grounds in 1943.

By the late 1940s Janke was found to be malnourished and exhibiting increasingly eccentric behaviour and, after a short prison sentence and hospital assessment, he was committed to a psychiatric institution in Wermsdorf, Saxony in 1950 with a diagnosis of chronic paranoid schizophrenia. He remained at this facility for the rest of his life.

The institutional staff either encouraged or tolerated the passion Janke showed for sketching technical designs: he had his own “office” in the hospital in which he produced four thousand drawings and constructed hundreds of models of his “inventions”. Apparently the boxes containing his works were stowed away at the hospital and forgotten after his death and weren’t rediscovered until 2000 when the imaginative artistry and sheer enormity of his output was finally recognised.

Janke was, in his own mind at least, a serious engineer, intent on helping mankind by devising all manner of rocket ship (especially), space vehicle, ferry, bike, propulsion mechanism and associated transport system. His drawings range from simple prototype sketches to incredibly detailed schematics reminiscent of technical manual designs. He was an energetic correspondent with the patent office and various technological and aerospace type agencies and departments, endeavouring – without much luck – to share his inventions with his scientific “peers”. Fearing theft of his intellectual property however, Janke was also assiduous in dating and signing his works with an accompanying statement declaring himself as the author and originator of each idea depicted.

Vacuum Freighter

See a selection of Janke’s remarkable drawings at BibliOdyssey; browse over 3,500 of his drawings at the archive at Deutsche Fotothek.

As we prepare to leave this world, we might celebrate the anniversary of the first full-length film based on a television series:  Rescue from Gilligan’s Island.  (Given how far the genre has come– witness Jackass 2, The Dukes of Hazzard, and on a loftier note, Star Trek— it’s hard to believe that this was only 31 years ago, in 1978.)

source: Clown-Ministry

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