Hi kids! As John is busy flying back to the states today, it’s time for another installment of random open thread goodness, brought to you by the letters N, B, and C and…. Star Trek!
Happy Birthday: Star Trek! 47 years ago on September 8, 1966, a brand new kind of science fiction television show entered America’s living rooms…and American culture. I’m betting Gene Roddenberry had no idea this one show would go so far — especially since it had such trouble just staying on the air for a mere three seasons. (In fact, the show is so ridiculously popular — and profitable — the photo in this post is one of the very few public domain photos available.)
German scientists work on an asteroid defense system. Hmm… wasn’t that a Star Trek episode? Nah, I have ‘em all memorized, so obviously not. Or maybe something I read in a comic book? Well, as long as these scientists aren’t wearing iconic uniforms, I’m guessing we’re safe. Hopefully.
Sleep deprivation makes you stupid. Or, more precisely, getting enough sleep is important to good brain health, because it encourages the repair and growth of replacement brain cells.
The recently discovered Tamu Massif is the largest volcano on Earth, and at 120,000 sq/miles is roughly the size of the state of New Mexico. It’s located under the Pacific ocean about 1000 miles east of Japan and is rumored to be the home of Gamera. (Okay, I made up that last part.)
From the “This is just cool” files: One of the reasons video conferencing (among all the other reasons) hasn’t caught on all that well is a detail most users know all too well: The camera isn’t in line with what people are looking at. A viewer is directing his/her gaze at the screen showing the other person, and not the camera. Well, apparently a group with a paper appearing in Proceedings of ACM SIGGRAPH Asia has been developing software that will automatically extrapolate and correct a person’s image, so they appear to be looking at the camera. They’re working on a Skype plug-in, also.
A singularity of crazy-stupid: Michelle Bachmann (R-MN), Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Steve King (R-IA) went to Egypt, where in a press conference that amazingly did not destroy the planet, they expressed gratitude for the Egyptian army overthrowing the government — and basically said, contrary to reality and facts, that it was the Islamic Brotherhood who were responsible for the 9/11/2001 terrorists attacks in the U.S. Really. I’m beginning to think “dumb as a bag of hammers” doesn’t go far enough anymore.
People are most nostalgic not for the music they grew up with, but with music from their parents’ era. Although most adults have emotional attachments to music from their own 20s, it’s music from their parents’ time (and their parents’ 20′s) that tends to evoke the most vivid memories. (Of course, an alternative interpretation is the music of the 1960s is simply light-years better than any of the crap kids play today. Yeah, that must be it.)
And with that, I will leave you with an invitation to this Open Thread — and exactly the kind of song they’re talking about — one that never fails to evoke powerful nostalgia for me. It’s a silly little thing, but every time I hear it, I just stop in my tracks and listen, with a stupid, sappy smile on my face. (Please feel free to post any interesting links and stories of your own in the comments!)