April 11, 2012

Sometimes, it’s little tough being out of touch.

I suppose this entry might seem a trite to write about, but I do miss T.V.  I know, I know…  I should have said something like, miss my family, miss my friends, miss the blue skies…  but I do miss T.V. from home.

We all have our own idea of good television.  As the saying goes, “One man’s food is another man’s poison.”  What I may find entertaining on T.V., someone else may find ridiculous.  Then again, another may enjoy it just as much as I – or more so!  This is why there is such a wide variety of television programs and stations.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve always been a fan of, hmm, dare I say, “Star Trek”.  Since the very beginning of the “Star Trek” franchise, there are now what, three other series as well as seven or eight movies.  This is probably one of the most notorious of all the television programs of all time.  You are either a ‘trekkie’ or not.  I suppose I would have to say that I am a ‘closet trekkie’!

I have never been to a “Star Trek” convention.  I have never dressed up as a Klingon.  I have however, watched each episode of all the various series, as well as seen all the movies.  Whether you like, enjoy, hate, care less about, or have never been interested in “Star Trek”, it has been an innovative program.

When the original series began, there was no such thing as a cell phone – well, at least not available to the general public.  The crew of the Enterprise, while on away missions, would use communicators to talk to each other and the ship.  The idea of being able to talk to someone from a distance, whether it be on another planet or from the planet back to the ship in orbit, without the use of wiring, was fiction.  Sure, as kids we had ‘walkie talkies’, but they were only compatible with the two units.  One could argue that ‘walkie talkies’ were the forerunner of todays cell phones.  Fair enough.

Computers and computer screens.  If you look back at the original series, computer screens in crew quarters were surprisingly similar to the [now] old-style computer screens most of had when we used or purchased our first computers.  You know the monitors.  There are still some out there being used.  However, a few of the monitors on the Enterprise could be considered ‘flat screens’.  As the series went on, the viewscreens got smaller and more ‘futuristic’.  How many of our homes now have flat screen t.v.’s?

Then something a little less noticeable… touch sensitive controls.  All over the various ships and space stations, controls were eventually redesigned to be touch screens.  For the most part, a lot of our electronics nowadays incorporate touch sensitive controls.

I’m still waiting for transporters myself!

For me and my life, growing up in Canada watching “Star Trek”, I think that subconsciously, the series also instilled in me, the acceptance and realization that caucasians are not the only people occupying this planet.  This might be a touchy subject, so I’ll try to relate this without offending anyone.

For me, growing up, I never really knew any ‘non-caucasian’ kids.  Watching “Star Trek”, was interesting.  The Enterprise would travel through the universe, and encounter and meet other beings occupying the universe with us.  The first hurdle to overcome of course, was accepting that in this universe, Earth was not the only inhabited planet.  As humans traveled to the moon and Voyager sent out into space, it became more acceptable and apparent, that there are a lot more planets out there than we could ever imagine.

As Carl Sagan would have said, there are billions and billions of planets in the universe.  I say that, to think that this ONE and ONLY planet is the only one in the vast universe able to support life, is narrow-minded and egotistical.  When I look into the night night sky, and disregard the moon and the few planets we can see, there are other ‘stars’ out there.  I grew up learning that our Sun is a star.  Okay.  The difference between a star and a planet is obvious – a planet is a solid light, and a star ‘twinkles’.  In our solar system, the ‘Third Rock From the Sun” (heheh) is Earth.  For what we know at present, this ‘rock’ – Earth, is the only planet that support life as we understand life.  Since we have not visited the surface of the other planets, we assume that there is no life.  Either that planet is too hot because it is too near the Sun, or too cold because it is too far.  Perhaps once we have the technology to actual land on Jupiter or Neptune, we may find that there is some form of living being that can survive those conditions.

A bit off topic.  As the Enterprise traveled through the universe, they discovered and presented the idea that there were other life forms out there.  We were not alone.  I truly feel that anyone who watched the “Star Trek” series, grew up to accept others as equals.  Thus, laws were changed, immigration to other countries, and just the accepting of others became a way of life.

I don’t want you to think that I believe that the “Star Trek” series is or should be considered a benchmark program, but you can’t deny that some of the ideas and innovations introduced in this franchise has had an impact on our world.  Of course, there are some ideas and innovations that have not been introduced or accepted yet, but, if the past 30 or 40 years have shown us anything, is that anything is possible.

Even today, half-way around the world from where I grew up, using the Internet, I am still able to watch my all time favourite program/series from my youth.  Through a couple of websites, I can either watch the programs in order, or download to watch later.  Yes, I have probably seen each and every episode of all the series many times over.

That’s it, that’s all… for now!


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