Monthly Archives: January 2014

  • Star Trek technology is here today

    “Tea, earl grey, hot.” How many times have we heard Captain Picard place his order with the Enterprise’s food synthesizer, or for that matter Captain Kirk? But like many of fictional devices portrayed in Star Trek, the food synthesizer is poised to become reality. Enter the 3-D printer, now capable of printing you a meal. Taking the lead in this new technology is Natural Machines, based in Barcelona, Spain. The 3D printing kitchen appliance can be used for printing different types of ingredients, such as chocolate and pasta.

    Speaking of the Enterprise and Space, NASA in cooperation with a Texas based company, is working on the design of a 3D food printer for deep space missions. NASA's Advanced Food Technology program is interested in developing methods that will provide food to meet safety, acceptability, variety, and nutritional stability requirements for long exploration missions, while using the least amount of spacecraft resources and crew time. Closer to LEO (Low Earth Orbit) NASA is also funding research to place a 3D pizza printer for the International Space Station. Continue reading

  • Haters Gotta Hate...but on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Really?

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    What is up with that? From the beginning, something about S.H.I.E.L.D. has rubbed pop critics the wrong way. Even before I had the series DVR'd, I heard the murmurs:

    "UK scientists Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) barely even qualify as characters." Source: The HitFix

    "Are there any compelling characters? This is the big one, and may ultimately be irreparable without ditching the bulk of the cast and starting over." Source: The HitFix

    "The series was constructed with the relatively low ambition of Not Being Terrible... And the SHIELD pilot overachieved like crazy." Source: PopWatch/Entertainment Weekly

    "SHIELD is…well, mulch. It’s a show about characters who go everywhere and seem to have limitless resources, but their actual purpose isn’t particularly defined." Source: PopWatch/Entertainment Weekly

    I'll be the first to agree with the naysayers that SHIELD is not in the same league with, say, "The Walking Dead" or "Game of Thrones". Be that as it may, I find it stylish and adventuresome. It's fun and nicely flavored with a clearly intended touch of camp and good-natured self-awareness. SHIELD brings to the small(er) screens in our living rooms the same wink-and-nudge action as the theatre blockbusters.

    The overall team chemistry between the characters, from Phil Coulson to Fitz and Simmons, works great. And, unlike some critics, I like a series that takes its time developing characters. Series developers that have no faith in viewers' attention spans fall into a particular Pet Peeve category of mine, anyway.

    I also disagree with critics about the special effects. They're among the best you'll find on the made-for-tv shows. Right on par, in my opinion, with the likes of "Game of Thrones" and far above what is offered to us by "Once Upon a Time" or "Grimm". And, hey, I like those shows, too!

    In acting, effects and plotting quality, it's equal to Next Generation (which I thoroughly enjoyed). Oh My Dog, how I hear you gasping out there! Yes. I said it and I'm sticking to it.

    SHIELD is obviously intended to be fun and flighty, an adventuresome romp. So relax, haters! Give that hyper-vigilance a rest. Grab a favorite beverage, kick back and enjoy the easy ride. You just might find yourself watching with a small, Agent Coulson-esque smile on your lips.

  • Syfy's "Helix" Is Contagious

    Ronald D. Moore, well known for his work as a writer and producer on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Executive Producer of Battlestar Galactica has created a new series which premiered on the Syfy channel on  Friday, January 10th entitled Helix.  The series stars Billy Campbell, (The Rocketeer, The 4400), who plays Dr. Alan Farragut, a scientist from the CDC who is asked to travel to Arctic Biosystems to investigate, what is first believed to be a retro viral outbreak at their private research facility.  Continue reading

  • Book Review: Devil's Bargain by Tony Daniel

    Over the holidays, in between shopping and spending time with family, I took the opportunity to read "Star Trek:  Devil's Bargain" by award winning author Tony Daniel.  The novel was released in 2013 and is based on the continuing voyages of the original series.  The story is a follow-up to  "The Devil in the Dark", which was the 26th episode of Season One.  In the episode, Kirk and Spock travel to the mining colony on Janus VI to investigate the mysterious deaths of  fifty miners by a mysterious creature.   Continue reading

  • A Shatner-Mental Journey

    A very long time ago, a little girl sat on a blanket in front of a television in her one bedroom house and was transported to worlds of wonder and discovery every afternoon.  A valiant crew dressed in gold, red and blue traveled in an amazing space craft called the U.S.S. Enterprise, which was led by a very handsome and decisive leader named James T. Kirk.  Little did she realize at the time, but that man, played by actor William Shatner, would be a part of of the rest of her life. Continue reading

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