The Official Communique of the USS Ronald E. McNair
Boston, Massachusetts

June 4, 1997 ---------- Vol. 4 No. 4 ---------- Star Date: 35585.7


Editor's Note
44, 46, 49, 52, 57, 58
The USS McNair's Mission
Captain's Log
TV Schedule
Code 47 via Subspace Radio
Chief Medical Officer's Log
Treasurer's Report
General Davis Stamp
NASA & Space Related
McNair Ready Room
The Fatherhood Institute
Comm Channel News
From Data's Humor Chip
But Is It Art?

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"The only thing constant is change."

"Items guaranteed to change: hair lines, waist lines, and hem lines"

The first phrase touched my ears while working at a former Ohio based employer, who reorganized its staff every three months. Change was this company's motto. Since the last issue, there have been many changes in the McNair and in the world of TREK.

I apologize for the delay with this issue, which should have been published in March. In the future we will try to be more punctual with the quarterly publication schedule.

In the world of TREK, we've seen some "hair raising" changes. In Voyager, the "bun of steel" is gone, as is Kes' short cut. And, the Doctor has sported a toupee which looks as good on him as it did on Captain Quirk. In fact, it looks like that toupee was transported to the Delta Quadrant along with the ship.

The Jurassic Park episode on Voyager aired, as did a "leftover gift" from chief enemy and long lost Chakotay-lover, Seska. And lest we forget, Q is now Daddy Q. The only aliens without a change in hair have been the Borg.

At DS9, Sisko's hair moved from the top of his head to his chin; there's a new O'Brien heir since Kira had Miles' baby; Jake is even taller; Nog is doing well at Starfleet Academy; Dukat's daughter fell in love with Garak; Eddington met with a hairy end; we briefly met Eddington's wife (a future plot line for revenge against Sisko, if the DS9 writers are sharp as they seem); and Dukat has become the proverbial "hair up everyone's but" as the leader of the "new" Cardassian Empire, with his hairless enforcers, the Jem H'Dar.

In the world of Babylon 5: Garibaldi lost all of his hair and his job; Ivanava acquired the "bun of steel;" the war is now over, or it has just begun; depending upon whether you are referring to the actual war, the cold war, or the civil war; we fans are pulling out our hair waiting for a decision on the next season; and the series writing is as crisp as ever (hear this Voyager writers!).

Let's welcome Ken Dumas to the McNair! He recently joined.

From the McAuliffe, Bill Duffy has a heir, since he is now a Dad. Family photos are viewable at his web site. Please send me e-mail for the address.

So, until the next issue, or until the next McNair ship meeting: like a bald man, I'm outta hair.

- George Jenkins, First Officer

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44, 46, 49, 52, 57, 58
By Taigre Woulds

No, these are not last week's Lottery numbers. Nor are they next week's projected numbers.

Guess again.

No, these are not the television ratings for DS9. (Fat chance, Voyager!)

Actually, these were some of the respectable golf scores for several McNair and McAuliffe members, from last summer. To snuff out any rumors, here's who actually did what at "The Water Hazard" in Holliston, Mass.:

1.Keith:241943 (+2)
2.Robbi:242044 (+3)
Peter:232144 (+3)
George:222244 (+3)
5.Karin:222446 (+5)
6.Sean:262147 (+6)
7.Steve:252348 (+7)
Sue:291948 (+7)
9.Ken:272249 (+8)
10.Deb:252550 (+9)
11.Diana:272451 (+10)
12.Sabrina:272552 (+11)
13.Isabel:312253 (+12)
Kevin:252853 (+12)
15.John:243054 (+13)
16.Alison:292857 (+16)
Muriel:352257 (+16)
18.Klingon:322658 (+17)
19.Francis:312859 (+18)

Par: 21 - 20 - 41
Low Scores:
Front 9: 22 (+1): Karin & George
Back 9: 19 (-1) Keith & Sue

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INTERCOM is published quarterly. Copyright © 1997, USS Ronald E. McNair. All rights reserved. Questions, comments, permission requests, and submissions should be sent to the Editor, INTERCOM, USS Ronald E. McNair, P.O. Box 255159, Boston, Mass. 02125 - 5159.

INTERCOM is free for USS Ronald E. McNair crew members, and single courtesy copies to region ships offering a newsletter exchange. For others, an annual subscription (4 issues) is available. Enclose a check or money order for $5.00, payable to the USS Ronald E. McNair, and send it to: INTERCOM, USS Ronald E. McNair, P.O. Box 255159, Boston, Mass. 02125 -5159.

Star Trek: Voyager is a Trademark of Paramount Pictures. Star Trek, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: The Next Generation are Registered Trademarks of Paramount Pictures. This publication in no way intends to infringe upon any copyrights, trademarks, or licenses held by Paramount Pictures.

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Stardate: 35558.5
Captain Kevin Johnson reporting

May 8, 1997

Since the last newsletter, members of our club have participated in a couple of activities. Members and friends have gone to all three openings of the Star War movies. Let's all thank Sue Herzberg of the USS Christa McAuliffe for the movie tickets. We have also been involved with a 'Babylon 5' marathon on Saturdays during the past several months. Thanks to our new member, Ken Dumas, we have seen every episode from the pilot to the present (4 seasons).

Our club continues to participate in the Overseas coupon project. During the past 7 months we have sent over $3,000 to Atsugi, Lakenhearth U.K., Naples and Gaeta Italy.

I would like to note that Major Robert H. Lawrence, Jr. has been recognized as an astronaut. This makes him eligible to be named on the space mirror that honors the men and women who have died in the pursuit of space exploration. Major Lawrence along with his predecessor, Captain Edward J. Dwight Jr., were selected in the early sixties to train for space flight.

During the last couple of months, several members of our club found a problem with one of our club procedures. This problem was brought to my attention as well as to the attention of the rest of the club. It was discussed at a meeting and a solution was found. I want to thank the crew for their initiative and openness and I hope that all problems can be resolved in this or similar ways.

Kevin D. Johnson
Commanding Officer
USS Ronald E. McNair

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Star Date: 35517.9 -- Here are three lists of what we have seen or will see this television season. For some of you, this list is what you've missed so far.

DS9 - 5th Season:

Sept. 7, 1996 - To the Death (R)
Sept. 14 - Body Parts (R)
Sept. 21 - Broken Link (R)
Sept. 28 - NG - Apocalypse Rising
Oct. 5 - 50049.3 - The Ship
Oct. 12 - NG - Looking for par'Mach in all the Wrong Places
Oct. 19 - NG - ... Nor the Battle to the Strong
Oct. 26 - NG - The Assignment
Nov. 2 - NG - Trials & Tribble-ations
Nov. 9 - NG - He Who is Without Sin...
Nov. 16 - NG - Things Past
Nov. 23 - NG - The Ascent
Nov. 30 - NG - Accession (R)
Dec. 7 - 49665.3 - Rules of Engagement (R)
Dec. 14 - NG - The Muse (R)
Dec. 21 - NG - Apocalypse Rising (R)
Dec. 28 - NG - Rapture
Jan. 4 - 50416.2 - The Darkness & the Light (R)
Jan. 11 - 50049.3 - The Ship (R)
Jan. 18 - NG - Looking for par'Mach in all the Wrong Places(R)
Jan 25 - NG - The Begotten
Feb. 1 - 50485.2 - For The Uniform
Feb. 8 - NG - In Purgatory's Shadow
Feb. 15 - 50564.2 - By Inferno's Light
Feb. 22 - NG - Doctor Bashir, I Presume
Mar. 1 - NG - ... Nor the Battle to the Strong (R)
Mar. 8 - NG - The Assignment (R)
Mar. 15 - NG - Let He Who is Without Sin... (R)
Mar. 22 - NG - Things Past (R)
Mar. 29 - A Simple Investigation
Apr. 5 - NG - Business as Usual
Apr. 12 - NG - Ties of Blood and Water
Apr. 19 - NG - Of Love and Profit
Apr. 26 - NG - Soldiers of the Empire
May 3 - NG - Children of Time
May 10 - NG - Blaze of Glory
May 17 - NG - Empok Nor

VOYAGER - 3rd Season:

Sept. 4, 1996 - 50032.7 - Basics, Part II
Sept. 11 - 50126.4 - Flashback
Sept. 18 - 50156.2 - The Chute
Sept. 25 - 50252.3 - The Swarm
Oct. 2 - 50074.3 - False Profits
Oct. 9 - 50203.1 - Remember
Oct. 16 - 49447.0 - Dreadnought (R)
Oct. 23 - 49301.2 - Death Wish (R)
Oct. 30 - 50063.2 - Sacred Ground
Nov. 6 - NG - Future's End, Part I
Nov. 13 - 50312.5 - Future's End, Part II
Nov. 20 - 50348.1 - Warlord
Nov. 27 - 50384.2 - The Q and the Grey
Dec. 4 - 49011.0 - Non Sequitur (R)
Dec. 11 - NG - Macrocosm
Dec. 18 - 50252.3 - The Swarm (R)
Dec. 25 - NG - Twisted (R)
Jan. 1, 1997 - 50126.4 - Flashback (R)
Jan. 8 - NG - Fair Trade
Jan. 15 - 50460.3 - Alter Ego
Jan. 22 - 50156.2 - The Chute (R)
Jan. 29 - 50518.6 - Coda
Feb. 5 - 50537.2 - Blood Fever
Feb. 12 - 50614.2 - Unity
Feb. 19 - 50693.2 - The Darkling
Feb. 26 - NG - Rise
Mar. 5 - NG - Future's End, Part I (R)
Mar. 12 - 50312.5 - Future's End, Part II (R)
Mar. 19 - 50732.4 - Favorite Son
Mar. 26 - 50348.1 - Warlord (R)
Apr. 2 - 50425.1 - Macrocosm (R)
Apr. 9 - NG - Before and After
Apr. 16 - 50384.2 - The Q & the Grey (R)
Apr. 23 - NG - Real Life
Apr. 30 - NG - Distant Origin
May 7 - NG - Displaced
May 14 - NG - Worst Case Scenario
May 21 - NG - Scorpion, Part I [seaon finale]

Babylon 5: 4th Season

Mar. 17 - The Long Night (R)
Mar. 24 - Into the Fire (R)
Mar. 31 - Epiphanies (R)
Apr. 7 - The Illusion of Truth (R)
Apr. 14 - Atonement (R)
Apr. 21 - Racing Mars
Apr. 28 - Lines of Communication
May 5 - Conflicts of Interests
May 12 - Rumors, Bargains and Lies
May 19 - Moments of Transition
May 26 - No Surrender, No Retreat
June 2 - The Exercise of Vital Powers
June 9 - The Face of the Enemy
June 16 - Intersections in Real Time

Notes: Obviously, (R) indicates a previously aired episode, and NG indicates a star date not supplied during the episode. The air date is the date of the first uplink to affiliates. Actual air time will differ.

Sources: Vidiot: DS9 | Vidiot: Voyager | The Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5
Credit: Thanks to Ken for The B5 data!

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By George Jenkins, XO
Star Date: 35584.1

This issue's column is brief and to the point. If you don't know what to do with this list, well... Enjoy!

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Stardate: 35560.4
CMO Sabrina Lewis reporting

In a recent Babylon 5 episode, Delenn described the human race as the Minbari's most formidable adversary because of our ability to create communities. Our strength is in our community and its diversity.

As I ponderered her statement, I reflected on the various recent activities both within our science fiction community and in the community(ies) in which we live and I found several examples of that power of community in action.

I reflected on our monthly meetings, the recent Babylon 5 marathons and Star Wars movie outings in which we had opportunity to spend time with each other and to share. I was reminded of the various times that the ship has come together to support members in times of happiness and in times of sorrow, in support of social causes such as the Walk for Hunger, the food pantry, and the overseas coupon program; and in support of personal goals. I am cognizant of the bond that has formed because of these experiences.

In that bond is the strength of community, of our community, a formidable force.

Your Chief Medical Officer,
Lt. Sabrina Johnson

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Show me the money! Well, we will. The Treasurer's report for the USS Ronald E. McNair is available to all members. Ask the Captain or the First Officer for a copy.

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The following arrived via Internet e-mail recently.

Date: Thu, 06 Mar 1997 17:08:22 (EST)
Subject: FW: Gen Davis' stamp (fwd)
To: DuBois Society {list suppressed}
From: Sean Stang-Osborne@ JS1R@ESC-JS, on 2/21/97 5:48 PM:

New stamp honors Gen. Benjamin O. Davis Sr.

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The U.S. Postal Service this month celebrates the feats of Gen. Benjamin O. Davis Sr., the nation's first African-American general, as part of African-American History Month observances.

One of America's military pioneers, Davis retired after 50 years of service in the Army in 1948, one year after the Air Force separated from the Army Air Corps.

Throughout his military career, the general pushed for racial integration. The year Davis retired, President Harry S. Truman issued an order banning discrimination in the armed services.

His son, Lt. Gen. Benjamin O. Davis Jr., was the Air Force's first African-American general and commander of the Tuskegee Airmen.

About 100 million Benjamin O. Davis Sr. stamps have been produced and will remain in circulation for a year, the normal commemorative stamp life. He becomes the 20th American honored in the postal service's Black Heritage Stamp series.

The stamp was dedicated Jan. 28 at the National Guard Armory here. More than 70 African-Americans have been honored on stamps.

Sean D. Stang-Osborne
Captain, USAF Acquisition Civil Engineer

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Note: Robert Lawrence was the second African-American to be trained as an astronaut and the first to die.

Tthe following information was from a recent issue of "SpaceViews" (tm), published by the Boston Chapter, National Space Society (NSS), distributed in electronic form. It is also sent as a 8 to 12 page double column newsletter via US Mail.

Momentum is building for including Robert Lawrence on the Astronaut Memorial at the Kennedy Space Center. Lawrence, an Air Force major, had been selected for the Air Force's Manned Orbiting Laboratory project but did not fly in space before dying in a fighter crash in 1967. He was thus not classified as an astronaut and not included on the memorial with 16 other astronauts who died on missions or in training. However, a December 20 letter from Air Force Secretary Sheila Widnall to the Astronaut Memorial Foundation (AMF) "highly recommended" that Lawrence's name be added. Jim DeSantis, president of the AMF, was not persuaded, telling Florida Today that the letter was a "continuing copout" by the Air Force and asking for further clarification.

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Star Date: 35580.6 -- Meeting agendas are available via Internet e-mail or fax. To learn more, see us at the next ship meeting. New members are welcome! Meetings are the second Sunday of the month at 3 PM. Future meeting locations:
April '97: Robbi
May '97: Sabrina's
June '97: George's
July '97: TBA
August '97: RebelCon
September '97: Kevin

Call or write us for directions. Contact Starship McNair at P.O. Box 255159, Boston, Mass. 02125-5159.

The meeting minutes from prior McNair meetings:

Date: May 11, 1997
Place: Kevin and Sabrina's
Present: Ken, Muriel, Roxanne, George, Jocelyn, Taka, Joan, Kevin and Sabrina

Meeting called to order at 4:02 pm

1. Minutes of Previous meeting - George

2. Cons: We will be going to REBELCON in August. Suggested that we go to the Star Trek exhibit in Hartford. It sounds like the same exhibit that was the Museum of Science a couple of years ago. The dates are 5/23-9/1, 1997. A weekend in July, probably July 12. We will try to get a hotel, check on discount tickets, etc. The phone tree will begin to check on these.

3. We will try to have the August meeting at REBELCON. Apparently, everyone is going. The June meeting will be at George's. Barbecue.

4. The Babylon 5 party is May 17. It will be at George's and will be preceded by pancake breakfast.

5. Movies we want to attend together - BATMAN, MEN IN BLACK. We will try for the first Friday after each opens. Probably 6/27 for BATMAN and 7/18 for MEN IN BLACK.

6. Cons - United Fan Con, Springfield (Last weekend in October) and Visions in August (first weekend). also NecronomiCon is the third weekend. Ken mentioned a book Visual Explanations by Edward R.Tufte, in which the author discusses, in the second chapter, how had information regarding the O rings in the Challenger shuttle there is a good chance the explosion never would have occurred. His argument is that the accident occurred because of failure of the visuals. An interesting disucssion followed. Kevin went to the Creation con at which Shatner and Nimoy appeared. While they were okay,. Kevin swore he would never go to another Creation con.

Meeting adjourned at 4:55 pm.

Date: April 13, 1997
Place: Robbi's
Present: George, Kevin, Ken, Robbi, Sabrina, Val

From the XO's notes:

1. The group voted to form the Gorsky Fund. It is a gift fund, a benevolence fund, a method to finance the gifts, cakes and special expenditures related to birthdays, family illnesses and death, marriage, relocations, or other special events decided by the McNair members. Contributions to the Gorsky Fund are anonymouse and voluntary. There is no minimum or maximum contribution level. All checks or contributions should be made to the USS Ronald E. McNair, and presented directly to the Captain. While Gorsky Fund contributions are deposited into the general fund, a separate running total is kept so that the fund level is adequately monitored.

2. The members voted to establish a phone tree, to facilitate the speedy communication and distribution of important or critical news to all members. Any member with news to distribute should contact the Captain or First Officer by telephone. The Captain or XO will in turn contact the entire command staff; and then each command staff member will inform their departments.

3. Questions for Avery Brooks. This was briefly discussed, but no progress was made towards a final list. The projects appears to have been abandoned.

4. Promotions: Jocelyn to Lt.; Ken to Vorlon Ambassador to the UFP; Muriel to Lt. jg; Roxane to Lt. jg.

5. Dues collected for fiscal yar 1997 - 98.

6. Department assignments: Ken & Roxanne: Engineering

7. Pot-luck meals and entertainment through December, 1996.

8. Humor:
Adidas: all day I dream about sex.
Ford: fix or repair daily.
Delta: deliver all luggage to Atlanta
Fiat: fix it asap, Tony.
MBTA: Money being thrown away

Meeting adjourned.

Date: March 9, 1997
Present: Alison, George, Joan, Jocelyn, Ken, Kevin, Roxanne

1. Dues are due in April.

2. Avery Brooks. Val's English teacher knows him. What questions do we want to ask him?

3. Division & duties: Roxanne: book of directions; Ken: map; George: willing to donate space for web site

4. Postcard to Saturn on Casini launch.

5. Requested by XO for newsletter input by April 2, 1997

6. Peter Jenkins discussed his school's calss visit to the Challenger Center in Framingham.

7. Upcoming events: Astronomy Day, April 12th; next Star Wars movie, March 14th; next B5 video-a-thon at Robbi's, March 15th at 2 PM.

Meeting adjourned.

Submissions to INTERCOM are welcomed and encouraged from both crew and non-crew. Articles must relate to TREK, space science, the TREK characters, adventure, actors, literature, fandom, IDIC, collectibles, or events. Articles should not exceed 1,200 words. For full writer's guidelines, send a SASE to The First Officer, INTERCOM, at the above address. Send materials or manuscripts addressed to the First Officer, INTERCOM, at the above address, or at . Unsolicited manuscripts will not be returned. Materials received after the deadline date will appear in the next issue, space permitting. The deadlines for manuscript submissions:

Deadline (Issue Date)
Mar. 1, 1997 (March 15th)
June 1, 1997 (June 15th)
Sept. 1, 1997 (Sept. 15th)
Dec. 1, 1997 (Dec. 15th)

Note: Submission are welcome for Babylon Five, the X-Files, or other related sci-fi subjects. If you'd like to see INTERCOM cover these series, please let us know. Or better still, submit an article.

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The following arrived via e-mail recently. This does not represent the opinions or position of the USS Ronald E. McNair, or any of its members. This is provided for informational purposes only.

Sender: Critical Issues in African American Life and Culture: AFROAM-L@HARVARDA .HARVARD.EDU
To: Multiple recipients of list AFROAM-L,
Date: Tue, 26 Nov 1996 22:59:06
Subject: Message From the Fatherhood Institute


Excerpts from The Fatherhood Institute Newsletter


by Bruce J. Carr

I am a father, and I write this article from a Delaware prison cell. After fourteen years of imprisonment, I found it impossible to raise my daughter from a prison cell. I've spoken with many inmates here overe the years who are fathers as well. I am one of the few that remains in touch with his children, but nothing can replace being there.

I fear that her not experiencing a father's role in her life can affect her thinking in later years. Seventy percent of the men here are black fathers. Some are even serving time with their children. From listening to them speak in self-help groups, I can tell that they're lost.

To the brothers out there, if you fail to be a responsible father, your child might end up doing what I'm doing, which is wondering: If I had never come to prison, what kind of father would I have been?

My brothers, our children need us. Give them the time.

*Please reach out to your children*
*Please reach out to a captive in prison*

The Fatherhood Institute provides intensive parenting education and literacy promotion workshops. The Fatherhood Institute received many contributions of learning materials that was donated by the Afrikan People's Action School which is located in Trenton, New Jersey. APAS has also offered to provide teachers to participate in the FHI tutorial program.

*Support the efforts of community workers struggling to upraise our people*


We are still in the process of rehabilitating our new headquarters where we will conduct our workshops, as well as after school programs for children and a neighborhood reading room, library and tutorial program Any donations of books and teaching material will be gladly accepted, you can contact us at the phone number below to arrange a pickup. This is a SELF-HELP project. We need your help in raising money for the repair work that needs to be completed. Please support our upcoming fundraising activities, and phone (215) 226-4835 for further information, of 1-800-374-4434 - Pin #26023. Thanks for your help.


We can use all the help that we can get, and we want to include everybody that wants to become involved.

**Please support Bro. James Dickerson and The Fatherhood Institute, 2407 North 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19132**

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May 2-5, 1997 Sea Con 1, Carnival Cruise Lines aboard the SS Ectasy, sailing from Miami to Nassau. Guests: Robert O'Reilly and others TBA. For information call 1-800-392-7177

May 23 - 26, 1997 Costume Con 15, at the Lord Baltimore Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. The Greater Columbia Fantasy Costumers' Guild, founded in 1985 to run CC3, late became the first chapter of the International Costumers Guild. So, GCFCG is proud to present and to invite you to CCXV. From the brochure, "CCXV will offer all the events you've come to expect from a Costume Con: science fiction/fantasy masquerade, discount masquerade, future fashion folio & show, doll contest, workshops, panels, demo, costume exhibits, and a dealer's room. CCXV membership is $25.00 and rates go up soon. For more information contact CCXV, c/o Rule, 5400 White Mane, Columbia, Maryland 21045. Or, contact Norman Rule at Compuserve: 76264,363. Contact Betsy Marks at (301) 474-8616, or at

June 7, 1997 A picnic and a baseball outing to Dodd Stadium in Norwich, CT, organized by the USS Christa McAuliffe. The baseball games is between the Trenton Thunder (Class AA affiliate of the Boston Red Sox) and the Norwich Navigators (Class AA affiliate of the New York Yankees). Time: 12 Noon. The picnic lunch will be supplied by the Navigators at their Gator Garden Picnic Area. The menu includes 1 and 1/2 hours of all-you-can-eat hot dogs, hamburgers, BBQ chicken, red potato salad, pasta salad, baked beans, corn on the cob, pretzels, watermelon and soda! We'll then go to our reserved seats in the grandstand and enjoy the game. For any post game festivities, the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun Casinos are a short drive from Norwich. Cost: For the game ticket and all-you-can-eat picnic, the cost is $19 prior to April 1, and $20 until May 15. No reservations will be taken after May 15. Sponsored by the USS Christa McAuliffe and the Federation's Omega Sector. To make your reservation, please send a check or money order payable to USS Christa McAuliffe to:
USS Christa McAuliffe
P.O. Box 990056
Boston, MA 02199-0056
If you have any questions, please contact Howard Cronson via email at

June, 15-22, 1997 The 7th voyage: Seatrek '97 aboard Carnival's SS Jubilee from Los Angeles to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan & Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Guests: Majel Barrett, William Campbell, Roxann Biggs-Dawson, Ethan Phillips, Robert Duncan McNeil, George Takei, Tim Russ, John DeLancie, Marina Sirtis, plus others. For a *FREE* brochure and more information, send a SASE business envelope to: Seatrek 97, 8306 Mills Drive, Box 198, Miami, Florida 33183. Or, call 1-800-326-8735 or 305-388-2890. E-Mail Ruthanne Devlin at Prices start at $949 PP/DO (cruise only) or $1369 PP/DO (with airfare) excluding port charges $119.

July 11-13, 1997 Shore Leave 19 at the Marriott's Hunt Valley Inn, Maryland. For information call 410-821-5563. 'nuff said.

August 2 - 3, 1997 Visions 1997 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. Guests: William Shatner, Jerry Hardin, John de Lancie, Claudia Christian, Mark Goddard. Information hotline: 508 - 896 - 7448. Tickets at TicketMaster. Daily: $16 in advance, $18 at the door. Weekend: $31 in advance; $33 at the door.

August 22-24, 1997 STARFLEET International Conference at The Hilton at Cherry Hill, Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Annual Membership Conference and Board Meeting of STARFLEET: The International STAR TREK Fan Association. Sponsored by Region 7.

Oct. 31 - Nov. 2, 1997 United FanCon VII at the Springfield Marriott in Springfield, Mass. Guests: Roxanne Dawson, B5 guest TBA, Caroline John, Sonia Hillios. Reservations: 413 - 781 - 1111. Reserved tickets: weekend, $45; one day, $20; Friday only, $8.

2001 Noreascon *2001. The fan con of the next millenium. Memberships start at US $8.00. For more information, write to Noreascon*2001, PO Box 1010, Framingham, MA 01701-0205. E-mail: d.geisler@

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The following arrived recently via the Internet:

Top 20 Television Shows on the 24 Hour Star Trek Channel

  1. Dr. Crusher, Medicine Woman
  2. Deep Space 90210
  3. Mad About Q
  4. Dianna Troi's Psychic Friends Network
  5. Datas of Our Lives
  6. Larry Klingon Live
  7. Sickbaywatch
  8. The Price Is Logical, with your host, Mr. Spock
  9. Mr. Romulan's Neighborhood
  10. Little House in the Wormhole
  11. Late Night With Klingon O'Brien
  12. Captain Kirkaroo
  13. Tribble in Paradise
  14. This old Holodeck
  15. Leave it to Wesley
  16. Quark and Mindy
  17. I Dream of Sulu
  18. Alpha Quadrant's Most Wanted
  19. As The Worf Turns
  20. Guinan's Island

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But is it Art?

I was so excited. After 20 years, Star Wars was back on the big screen. My inner child was jumping up and down trying to contain his enthusiasm. I can still remember that June day back in 1977 when my family and I went to see Star Wars for the first time. It was at the General Cinema in Framingham (remember the old cinema when it only had 4 screens?) This movie was a milestone in my life. I had always loved science fiction, but other than the Classic Trek, there was little of it in TV and movies. I had also wanted to be a filmmaker since I was 8 years old. Well at that night 20 years ago, my two favorite worlds came together. As I starred at the screen, jaw wide open watching that giant Star Destroyer zoom overhead, I was mesmerized. Science fiction and film had come together in a way I had never seen before.

So you can imagine my excitement at the return of my childhood love. Star wars was the film that made me want to be filmmaker no matter what it took. I wanted to be the next George Lucas (so did every other 12 year old back then). Though I did not become a filmmaker, my love for film and science fiction continues. Star Wars has returned. But wait. Something is wrong. It is different. This wasn't the version I saw as a child. It has been changed, enhanced, tweaked, improved. Improved! How do you improve a classic. I applaud the effort to restore the film and pump up the sound. But they changed my childhood. My inner child felt betrayed. All of a sudden the Star Wars universe was populated with Dewbacks that walked like lopsided dinosaurs. Mos Eisley looked like a model. The X-wing fleet approaching the Death Star resembled a computer generated shot from Babylon 5. These were 90's creations in a 70's movie. How could they do such a thing? But am I the only one who feels this way?

The re-release of Star Wars has been a phenomenal success. The movie has now gone on too be the highest grossing film of all time. But where is the outrage? Everyone seems to have embraced the new changes without challenge. If someone wanted to change the ending of Casablanca, putting in a realistic model airplane instead of that fake looking one, there would be riots in the streets. I still have the ringing in my ears from the shouting over Ted Turner's attempt to colorize Citizen Kane a few years back. So why no demonstrations over Star Wars?

The answer I fear is that science fiction cinema is not taken as seriously as other forms of film. In short sci-fi is not art, it is commerce. Seven of the top ten grossing films are sci-fi. Even this re-release of the Star Wars trilogy is about making money. The sad part is that sci-fi seems disposable. You can change a sci-fi movie and no one cares. Updating the effects to make the film look more modern sets a dangerous precedent. What happens in another 20 years. Will they update the film again? When will it stop? Do we change every film that hasn't aged well. I like it when a film shows its age. Its a reflection of the time it was made, what the creator/director's view of his or herself was and the film often comments on the society of it's time. If we accept these changes in film then we lose our time capsule. We lose our window to the past. Next thing you know there is no history, only the present. I hope that never happens.

However, my greatest regret is the loss of innocence. I was very innocent when I saw Star Wars for the first time. I was hoping to relive my innocence. Star Wars seems mature and experienced some how. Tainted with the look and feel of adult hindsight looking back trying to repair all those mistakes of youth. I say let star Wars stay young, awkward and immature. It is what make the film so much fun. Ignorance can be bliss. Hopefully a new generation of 12 years old seeing it for the first time will experience what I did and if the they do not update it again in 20 years, Star Wars will be able, at last, to keep its innocence for someone.

by Ken Dumas, Vorlon Ambassador to the McNair.

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