Crime and Punishment
the gig economy
Who hasn’t, probably while peeing into a cup or being poked for a blood sample, wished that the medical industry would go ahead and invent the tricorder from Star Trek already?
Don’t get carried so away with your wishful thinking that you write a check, though. The New York Post reports that federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have bagged one Howard Leventhal, who allegedly claimed he’d invented a similarly all-knowing diagnostic device that he dubbed the “McCoy.”
Sometimes we can’t help but ask ourselves whether the “gig economy” is a giant social science experiment in how much aspiring actors can take from their part-time jobs before they crack. High-maintenance coffee orders? Being a “kickass laundry ninja“? What about wearing a Star Trek costume while running errands for TaskRabbit?
That last one is real, by the way, and it’s for a GE promotion that starts tomorrow. Those who post a shopping and delivery errand on TaskRabbit for less than $35 between October 9 and 13 in either NYC or San Francisco may very well get it for free. In which case it would be accomplished by someone wearing a Star Trek costume.
Starting this fall, you’ll be able to watch as seven “uber-fans” travel to L.A. to intern together at Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo. No, this is not a Christopher Guest mock-umentary—it’s not a sequel to “Best in Show” wherein Eugene Levy and Katharine O’Hara will star as a married Star Trek geek couple. This is a reality show—and that means it’s real, you guys—about actual fanboys and fangirls, premiering on Syfy September 24. It’s called Fangasm.
Space the Final Frontier
Over the years, nerds worldwide have devoted a great deal of time and brainpower to fleshing out the invented languages of fantasy worlds. But apparently they’re not the only ones who care!
According to a completely bonkers report from the British Radio Times, Netflix has decided that it’s not good enough to stream a version of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock with English dubbing and/or super-simple subtitles over Klingon and Vulcan conversations. No, fully capturing the complexities of these wholly fictional languages requires better translations, and Netflix is going to do it themselves:
A couple of weeks ago, the SETI Institute asked the Internet to help name two tiny moons of Pluto. Well, the voting has now closed, and while no one hijacked the polls in favor of “Alderaan,” it was a name near and dear to science fiction nerds that took the top spot: Vulcan (a write-in) pulled 174,062 votes out of 450,324 total.
William Shatner, the Priceline spokesperson best known for his timeless role as the sexy/fearless/fearlessly sexy Captain Kirk in the original Star Trek, recently joined Reddit. And, as happens with many Reddit newbies, he has been immediately sucked in, perhaps to the point of obsession. In fact, dear Mr. Shatner appears to be spending a not insignificant amount of his precious time arguing with people on Reddit. Stars: they’re just like us!
There are some Star Trek fans who really take their love for the series to dangerous extremes. This reporter may or may not have gotten her boyfriend a Star Trek bathrobe last Valentine’s Day, but stocking up on dangerous Klingon weapons seems like taking your fandom one step too far.
The Future Will See You Now
Good news if you forgot a few holiday gifts! CNET has stumbled onto a treasure trove, in the form of sequin-encrusted, geek-themed pasties currently being sold on–where else?–Etsy. Your options include Apple logos, Grumpy Cat faces, Star Trek ensignia (also available in pink), Nyan Cats.
Sizing seems fairly standard, though you must chose between “average,” “extra pointy,” and “butt pasties.”
The Final Frontier
If your futuristic dreams are populated by visions of the Star Trek Holodeck, then you might want to take a trip to good ol’ Stony Brook University. Gizmodo reports that researchers there have spent $2 million to construct a 360-degree, 1.5 gigapixel resolution display called the Reality Deck, and it’s everything Commander Riker ever wanted.
Advanced 3D printing technology is getting close to resembling replicators from Star Trek and iPads look a whole lot like the gadgets Geordi was always carrying around. Now, physicists have taken another step towards making Starfleet technology a reality by inventing a working tractor beam, which is essentially a laser that can move things. Sure, currently it can only move itty bitty molecules, but the fact that it works at all opens up all sorts of exciting possibilities.
NYU professors David Ruffner and David Grier have developed a way to harness Bessel beams in order to pull particles towards a laser source. The result is the beginnings of a very tiny tractor beam capable of moving silica spheres suspended in water.