To boldly go on and on

Trent Ernst, Editor

Well, we seem to have survived that alright.

In the broad sense, summer has once more slipped through our collective fingers like sand; the tighter we try and hold onto it, It seems, the faster it leaks out through the cracks, leaving us with dirty palms.

Summer stars with such potential, and, despite the fact that so much happened, there is even more stuff in the honey-do jar than there was at the start. So many places that I never made it to, so many photographs that I wanted to shoot, but just never was able to scare up the time or the models.

The end of August brings with it another transition for the newspaper, which we discussed at length last week, which is our move to a virtual office.

The idea of working virtually is fraught with peril, but we seem to have navigated it with a minimal number of issues, although we did have an ad go missing last issue. C’est la guerre. Expect to see a number of other changes as we figure out the fine details.

But “that” could just as easily be referring to 50 years of Star Trek. And yes, I am unabashedly one of those Trek-types.

While ‘The Cage’, the original pilot, was filmed in 1964, it wasn’t actually aired. The show was deemed too cerebral, so it was recast and reworked and finally made its prime time debut September 8, 1966.

The only crew member who survived the reworking was Mr Spock. Jeffery Hunter’s Captain Christopher Pike was replaced by Bill Shatner’s iconic and sometimes ironic Captain James Tiberius Kirk.

Since then, the Trek universe has expanded. It’s five year mission has extended ten-fold, with no signs of slacking.

We’ve seen Star Trek: the Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and even the short lived Enterprise. There’s been a dozen movies, an animated series, more novels and comic books than you could shake a phaser at, and there’s even a new TV series coming next year.

Phrases like “Warp Speed, Scotty,” “Dammit Jim, I’m a doctor, not a …” and “to boldly go where no man has gone before” have entered not just our lexicon, but our collective shared consciousness.

Even if you’re not a fan of science fiction, even if you loathe that green blooded Spock more than Bones did, it’s impossible to imagine a world where Star Trek doesn’t exist. There are tribes in remotest Borneo who know the Vulcan greeting of live long and prosper.

Our world has recast itself around the ideas presented in Star Trek. In the documentary “How William Shatner Changed the World,” the titular actor looks at how many of the ideas, many of the devices presented in Star Trek are becoming reality, from the handheld technological devices we all carry with us to scientists with big, pulsating brains exploring the concept of the warp drive as a viable method of interplanetary space travel.

“Star Trek transformed the lives of us all with all of its incredible new scientific and engineering concepts,” says Shatner. “Where did us Star Trek guys get this technological inspiration from? Did we study for years at the feet of Einstein? Did we have some kind of special foresight into the future? Were we all technological geniuses? The truth is really quite simple. We made it all up.”

Which goes to show you how an idea can change the world. Because of the idea of Star Trek, kids became fascinated by space, by science, by technology and move to make that idea a reality. Dream big enough, and the world will shift around you to make room for that dream. To bring that dream into reality. It might not be easy—in fact I can almost guarantee you it will be more difficult than you’d ever imagine—but if it is the right idea, it can change the world.

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