INTERCOM NCC 74657
The Official Communique of the USS Ronald E. McNair
Boston, Massachusetts

January 6, 1999 ---------- Vol. 6 No. 2 ---------- Star Date: 36166.3

CONTENTS

Editor's Note
Captain's Log
Chief Medical Officer's Log
Treasurer's Report
The USS McNair's Mission
McNair Ready Room
TV Schedule
Comm Channel News
Dear Mr. Mot
What's Next for DS9?
Age: The Unwanted Frontier
Code 47 via Subspace Radio
From Data's Humor Chip
Why Some Workers are Better than Others
PC Wearables
Fun On The Internet

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EDITOR'S NOTE

The curse has been broken.

That is, the curse of the odd numbered Star Trek motion pictures. By all accounts, the film "Star Trek: Insurrection" is a huge success.

The movie is entertaining, presents the familiar Commander Data we've come to love, has plenty of "inside" jokes, and leaves several questions unanswered: What exactly is this new capability that Picard learned to slow time? How will the Ba'ku planet survive as citizens throughout the Federation learn of its existence and healing capabilities? Will the surviving Sonar sell Ketrocell White to the Dominion? How bad off is the Federation after is wars with the Dominion and the Borg? And, what is this negotiation effort with the Dominion?

I also learned some new things. Not only did I learn that both Data and tri-corders are waterproof, but also that Starfleet has developed the personal cloaking device technology which we first saw on Jem'Hadar soldiers.

What should be done to improve Voyager?

Many fans would argue that the quality of Star Trek Voyager's episodes is uneven at best. Some would argue that the show is fine, and that the 5th season is the best yet. Still others would argue that the show is based upon a faulty "Lost in Space" premise; and is hopeless.

What do you think? Here's your chance to cast your vote about Voyager. Our club, the USS Ronald E. McNair is conducting an Internet-based poll. When asked, "Which option should the writers and producers implement to improve the quality of the Star Trek: Voyager television series?" fans recommended the following solutions:

Another way to view the survey results is: 75% of fans believe that changes are necessary to improve the quality of the Voyager television series, since only 25% believe that the show is okay as it is.

Cast your vote now, if you haven't. It's free and will only take a minute. The poll is completely interactive and results are counted immediately after your vote. To view the results click on the "Current Results" link below the questions.

On good authority I can tell you that several actors and Paramount executives have visited our Web site. Feel free to forward this message to any other fans you know.

I am pleased to present another issue for your reading enjoyment. If this is your first visit to the USS McNair's web site, then you are in for a treat! You'll get some news about the world of Trek, Babylon5, sci-fi and space exploration, plus some humor. We recommend that you read this newsletter while online, so that you can vote online and enjoy the links to related web sites and humor items. If you are reading a paper version of the newsletter, then you will still find it enjoyable and entertaining without the web links.

So, stay awhile. Browse this newsletter, and enjoy the prior issues.

George Jenkins
First Officer

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DEAR MR. MOT

Editor's Note: Mr. Mot, the Enterprise's Bolian barber, has an opinion on any question pertaining to all four television series and films. The author of this column wishes to remain anonymous. You don't know who Mr. Mot is? Then, watch the following TNG episodes: "Data's Day," "Unification, Part I," or "Ensign Ro." If you wish to ask Mr. Mot a question, send all email to the Intercom Editor, and I will forward it to the author.

Dear Mr. Mot:
My brother teases me because I watch Star Trek, specifically the Voyager series. He sends his unwanted comments regularly via email after each Voyager episode. How do I stop the teasing? He's 28 and I'm 23.

Signed,
Tormented in Taunton

Dear Tormented:
Every family has at least one extra asshole, and you have yours. Since brothers will be brothers, I doubt he'll stop teasing you anytime soon. Try changing your email account, or set the filter on your e-mail software to auto-delete any messages from him. If that doesn't work, try writing a script for Voyager. The series could use more fan input. Actually, I'm not surprised that your brother teases you about Voyager, since the series teases us fans regularly with scripts and stories of uneven quality. If all else fails, learn how to use a bat'lith.

Dear Mr. Mot:
A friend I've known since Elementary School is also a coworker and a big Trek fan. The problem is, at work she denies her love of Trek. Outside of work we regularly watch DS9 and Voyager episodes together. We also attend together in costume at least two cons each year. In the office, when asked she denies that she's a fan. This has put a strain on our friendship, since I am very open in the office about being a Trek fan. I even have an action figure of Colonel Kira on my desk at work. Should I out her?

Signed,
Concerned in Cambridge

Dear Concerned:
Your friend and coworker is a "closet trekker." She suffers from a fairly common condition I call Trekofficephobia. Closet trekkers feel ashamed. They are afraid that coworkers will ridicule them. They are afraid that coworkers won't take them seriously. You however, have a healthy attitude and higher self-esteem. Nobody was ever fired for being a fan. Dismissed from jury duty? Yes. Fired, no. Normally, I do not recommend outing a closet trekker. However, in this case I suggest that you boldly go forth and out her. I believe that your friendship will survive the period of hatred she'll feel towards you. She'll get over it in time, because you have a long-lasting friendship based upon a shared love of Trek. Her outing may also provide a signal that it is safe for other closet trekkers in your office to come out. You might consider starting a support group for closet trekkers in your office or town. Good luck.

Dear Mr. Mot:
A friend and I need your help to settle an argument. Of the four series captains, my friend says that Kirk is the sexiest because he bedded more lovers than Picard, Sisko, and Janeway combined. And Kirk did it in fewer episodes, too. I believe that Janeway is the sexiest. Help us resolve this dispute. Who do you think is the sexiest captain?

Signed,
Excited in Everett

Dear Excited:
First, I think that you and your friend have entirely too much time on your hands. A resolution to your dispute will not alter the future of the Federation, or humankind. Get a grip! Go volunteer at the nearest homeless shelter. Second, quantity does not define sexiness. Even thought Kirk bedded 80% of the Alpha Quadrant, that doesn't make him the sexiest. He would surely win the "most likely to" award, or "the most available" award. Third, how could Janeway be the sexiest? She hasn't gotten laid in four seasons in the Delta Quadrant! Janeway came close to scoring in the episode "Counterpoint." Losing the "bun-of-steel" has helped. So, I give the gal credit for trying. Fourth, Picard is clearly the sexiest. Period. He wins hands down. I worked on his ship for seven years, and I ought to know. I can assure you that several women on the Enterprise were jealous of the relationships Vash, Guinan, and Bevery had with Picard. How do I know this? Simple. My customers included both men and women.

Dear Mr. Mot:
Why don't we see on DS9 Trill aliens with African-American or Asian features? All of the Trill aliens on DS9 seem to be Caucasians with black spots. Another question: since Caucasian-looking Trills have black spots, would a Trill with African-American features have white spots?

Signed,
Curious in Framingham

Dear Curious:
You've asked two excellent questions. Of course, Trills have a wide variety of features, just like Bajorans, Vulcans, or any other aliens. DS9 has presented Bajorans with African-American features, even though most were positioned in background shots. Voyager has presented a Vulcan, Tuvok, with African-American features. Even though I am light blue, Bolians span the blue color spectrum including ultramarine, cerulean, navy blue, sky blue, cobalt, phthalocyanine, and prussian. Trill physiology, biology, and anthropology are subjects I don't know as well as I'd like to. For a more indepth answer about Trills, I suggest that you write one of DS9's writers or producers. My guess is that this hasn't even occurred to the show's executives. It might be an unfortunate oversight. 20th Century Hollywood wasn't always as progressive as they thought that they were. You can write to Ira Steven Behr, Ronald D. Moore, Rene Echevarria, or Rick Berman at:
Paramount Pictures
5555 Melrose Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90038-3197

Want to ask Mr. Mot a question? Send an e-mail message to the Intercom Editor, and it will be forwarded to the author. If Mr. Mot agrees to answer your question, we'll print it in the next newsletter issue.

© 1999. USS Ronald E. McNair. All rights reserved. This article may be linked to provided it is presented in its entirety with this copyright message appended.

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McNAIR'S MISSION

INTERCOM is published quarterly. Copyright © 1999, USS Ronald E. McNair. All rights reserved. Questions, comments, permission requests, and submissions should be sent to the INTERCOM Editor, 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 the above address.

If you decide to link to this web site, to an INTERCOM newsletter issue, or to an article within an issue, please register with the USS McNair Guest-book. Otherwise, the INTERCOM Editor will not be able to notify you when links or pages change.

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 or by Viacom.

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CAPTAIN'S LOG

Stardate: 36166.7
Captain Kevin Johnson reporting

January 6, 1999

Since my last log several things have happened. The club completed an away mission to see the film "Star Trek: Insurrection." I believe that we all agree that the film has broken the curse of the odd numbered movies.

Construction has begun on the international space station in outer space. Just think, when it is done seven people will be able to live in it.

After five years, the Babylon 5 television series is now over. All that is left are some B5 movies, and the hope that the next series will be something worthwhile to watch.

At our last meeting we discussed hurricane Mitch relief efforts, other community projects, and possible away missions by The USS McNair. My thoughts on any community projects is to use the following saying as a guide: "teach them to fish" whenever possible. Regarding away missions, I hope that we start small and build.

Captain Kevin D. Johnson
Commanding Officer
USS Ronald E. McNair

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TV SCHEDULE

Here's the latest, based upon reliable web sites.

STAR TREK: Deep Space Nine - 7th Season (Unofficial)
#Date#TitleStar Date
15006/13/98550 Tears of the Prophets (Season Finale)NG
15109/26/98551 Image in the SandNG
15210/03/98552 Shadows and Symbols52152.2
15310/10/98553 Afterimage NG
15410/17/98554 Take Me Out To The HolosuiteNG
15510/24/98555 ChrysalisNG
15610/31/98556 Treachery, Faith And The Great RiverNG
15711/07/98557 Once More unto the BreachNG
15811/14/98558 The Siege of AR-558NG
15911/21/98559 CovenantNG
16012/26/98560 It's Only A Paper MoonNG
1611/02/99561 Prodigal DaughterNG
162?/??/99562 The Emperor's New CloakNG
163?/??/99563 Field of FireNG
164?/??/99564 ChimeraNG

STAR TREK: VOYAGER - 5th Season (Unofficial)
#DateEpisode #Prod#TitleStar Date
9305/20/98STV426[194] Hope And Fear51978.2
9410/14/98STV501[195] Night 52081.2
9510/21/98STV502[196] Drone NG
9610/28/98STV503[197] Extreme RiskNG
9711/11/98STV505[199] In the Flesh52136.4
9811/04/98STV504[198] Once Upon a TimeNG
9911/18/98STV506[200] Timeless52143.6
10011/25/98STV507[201] Infinite RegressNG
10112/02/98STV508[202] Nothing HumanNG
10212/09/98STV509[203] Thirty Days52179.4
10312/16/98STV510[204] Counterpoint (aka "Refugee")NG
104??/??/99STV511[205] GravityNG
105??/??/99STV512[206] Latent Image
106??/??/99STV513[207] Bride of ChaoticaNG
107??/??/99STV514[208] BlissNG
108??/??/99STV515[209] Dark Frontier, Part 1NG
109??/??/99STV516[210] Dark Frontier, Part 2NG

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

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CODE 47 VIA SUBSPACE RADIO

By George Jenkins, XO
Star Date: 36157.4

As we enter the last year before the millennium, it seems to be a perfect time to assess the state of Trek. Those of you who have read my prior columns know that I consider the DS9 plots and episodes of consistently high quality.

Not only does DS9 provide the action we've come to expect, but it also explores human interactions much more thoroughly than any other Trek series; plus controversial and difficult topics. Sisko's duplicity (i.e., "In the Pale Moonlight") and manipulation of the Romulans with Garak's help, is one excellent example. We saw an unexpected side of Sisko, where the ends supposedly justified the means. It'll be interesting to see what happens when the Romulans discover Sisko's trickery.

Kira's travel back in time to confront her mother the collaborator is another excellent example. Along with Kira we learned that it's not easy to distinguish collaborators from survivors. DS9 explored the cruel and brutal realities of war in an excellent episode, "The Siege of AR-558."

Like many fans, I will be very sad when DS9 ends this spring. In my opinion and compared with Voyager, DS9 is clearly the better television series. You could argue that DS9 does more to present a wider variety of complex human interactions and conflicts than any other Trek series. DS9 hasn't been limited by its locale on a space-station. In fact, it has used its location and the Defiant to explore a wider variety of interactions: government politics, corruption, covert operations, religious fanatics, war-time collaborators, vigilante groups, genetic manipulation, gambling, treachery, and deception.

Congratulations to the DS9 writers, producers, and actors.

What about Voyager? If you've read my prior columns, then you know that I consider the quality of Voyager episodes to be inconsistent and lower. However, Voayger's fifth season is significantly of better quality than prior seasons. There have been some really good episodes, including "Living Witness," "Drone," and "Extreme Risk." The season opening episode "Night" was a total dud.

Do Voyager's writer's think we fans are brain dead? I sometimes get that impression. Considering this episode, I wondered how stupid the writers think us fans are. The episode was awful, and poor science fiction. An area of space without stars? Give me a break!

I understand that a certain amount of "suspension of belief" is required, but this episode was ridiculous, especially since the show uses the talents of a science consultant. With today's space telescopes and technology, can see outside our galaxy. It seems silly that Voyager's sensors couldn't see past the space anomaly. The explanation of radiation was a poor pseudo technical excuse.

Voyager's inconsistent quality begs the question about what the show's writers and executives should do. Should the show's writers keep Voyager in the Delta quadrant, or return it to the Alpha quadrant? Are cast changes necessary? What does the Neelix character add to the show? Are the writers exploring the Seven of Nine character adequately?

There are several reasons to return Voyager to the Alpha quadrant after the DS9 series ends:

  1. In the Delta quadrant, plots are limited and predictable. Each week's story is one of five basic plots: i) something goes wrong on the ship; ii) somebody goes wrong on the ship; iii) planet of the week; iv) alien encounter of the week; and v) the crew almost gets home but doesn't, based upon some time distortion or other plot device
  2. In the Alpha quadrant, Voyager can take advantage of and explore more intricate and on- going plots containing government politics and intrigue which DS9 and TNG present so well
  3. Voyager's "Lost in Space" premise limits the plots and story lines available. Voyager does stay long enough in an area of space to develop significant relationships
  4. With a limited arsenal and inability to replenish photon torpedoes, Voyager must always pursue negotiations first during first contact situations
  5. While in the Delta quadrant, opportunities are limited to explore the main character's families, spouses, ancestry, and history
  6. Once back in the Alpha quadrant, several very controversial plots are available. Should Janeway be court-martial for breaking the Prime Directive and Should she be court-martialed for negotiating with the Borg, a race the Federation is at war with? Will Seven of Nine be prosecuted for war crimes while a Borg drone? Will all of the Maquis, including Chakotay and Belanna, be prosecuted for crimes against the Federation?
  7. Once back in the Alpha Quadrant, Voyage can continue to develop the Dominion war story line
  8. The new technologies developed by Voyager and Seven of Nine can be used by the Federation to battle both the Borg and the Dominion
  9. Federation scientists can study Voyager and the emotional aspects of long isolated space flights. The Voyager officers can train other officers and cadets about this situation
  10. Can explore the experience of the first Delta Quadrant aliens, Neelix and Seven of Nine, to immigrate to the Alpha Quadrant and into the Federation. What issues and difficulties will they endure? What prejudice will they encounter?
The upside or benefits of returning the Voyager starship to the Alpha Quadrant are considerable. What's the downside?
  1. We loose the opportunity to continue to discover the Delta Quadrant
  2. If the writers aren't careful Voyager episodes could become too similar to TNG and the Enterprise D's role in Starfleet
  3. We loose the opportunity for episodes with Kes
I find it hard to believe that the show's executives will pass up the above benefits and continue with Voyager in the Delta Quadrant.

© 1999 USS Ronald E. McNair. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. This article may be linked to provided it is presented in its entirety with this copyright message appended.


You may have heard the news that Kate Mulgrew is engaged to be married to Cuyahoga County Commissioner Tim Hagen.. According to KMAS, Inc., the Kate Mulgrew Appreciation Society and Now Voyager, the newsletter of Kate's fan club:

"From: tigger@cais.com
To: tigger@cais.com
Subject: Kate Alert: Holiday Gifts
Date: Sat, 5 Dec 1998 17:59:41 -0500

People have been asking about sending Kate Christmas presents and engagement gifts, so I asked her what she wanted. She has requested that anyone wishing to congratulate her and Tim on their engagement do so in the form of donations to the Robert and Ada Hagan Scholarship Fund, which Tim established in honor of his parents to support Cleveland State University students interested in public service. Since this is a relatively new scholarship, even very small donations will be greatly appreciated. Please make checks payable to the Cleveland Foundation and write "Robert and Ada Hagan Scholarship Fund" in the memo line, and mail to:

The Cleveland Foundation
Robert and Ada Hagan Scholarship Fund
1422 Euclid Avenue. Suite 1400
Cleveland, OH 44115

Otherwise, donations to ICC are always appreciated--if you are sending them directly to the organization in New York rather than through the fan club P.O. Box, you are welcome to send holiday gifts for the children instead of cash. Kate continues to be involved with the Starlight Foundation and Sojourn as well and supports charity efforts on their behalf.

Michelle"

KMAS, Inc., the Kate Mulgrew Appreciation Society
P.O. Box 88341
Carol Stream, IL 60188-8341


Some happenings at Sev Trek:

Later this month, a Sci-fi Cartoon Competition starts. John Cook, the Sev Trek artist and author, will be drawing comic strips parodying Star Wars, Babylon 5, The X-files, and many other sci-fi shows and movies. The competition starts January 22nd with a SEV WARS comic strip. You can make your own requests for comic strips. See the web site for more information.

To celebrate the 100th Sev Trek comic strip, there is a Sevilian Competition from January 14th to 21st, to determine who is the most "sev" Sevilian. To prepare for the competition, visit the Sevilian Page.

What is Sev Trek? Visit and find out about Two Blocks, Captain Gainweight, Chocolatay, and others on the USS Forager.


I felt as if I was riding on the USS Enterprise, NCC 1701-D. There were people from many different places. England, Australia, Honduras, Colombia, and about 45 other countries.

Clearly this wasn't the famous starship. First it was too big. There were about 2,000 passengers and 900 staff on board. With 2,900 passengers, the ship was almost three times the size of the Enterprise-D's 1,000 person complement.

Second, our ship had about 14 decks. The USS Enterprise has about 45 decks. Third, our top speed was 21 knots, compared to the Enterprise D's lofty Warp 9.95.

Fourth, we didn't achieve a speed anywhere near Warp one, or even one-half impulse. We cruised along at a comfortable 16 knots most of the time. Last month I had the good fortune to take a four-day cruise from Miami to Key West and Cozumel, Mexico on board the Carnival cruise ship Ecstasy. It was very enjoyable.

Although we didn't have a holodeck on board, there was plenty to do: gambling, dancing, aerobics, shuffle-board, sun-bathing, swimming, shopping, sight-seeing, and of course, eating. You could eat 24/7 if you wanted to; at any of six or so restaurants. No, there weren't any replicators either. Cooks constantly refilled the buffet tables. The pizza parlor was open 24 hours daily to cook a pizza to your specifications.

Me? I had a haircut on board at the barbershop. My barber was from Australia. Another day, I enjoyed a full body massage. My masseuse was from England. Alison enjoyed a seaweed body wrap. The ship had three pools, three hot tubs, saunas, 200 slot machines, and 16 blackjack tables.

In Key West, we took a bicycle tour of the town. Key West is flat and an easy place to bicycle around. Our tour guide lived in the area for about 20 years. So, we learned a lot about the town's past and current politics.

In Cozumel, most people went shopping, took local ground tours, or local sea tours. A few went snorkeling and canoeing. A typical daily activity list from the ship's newsletter, "Carnival Capers;"

Time Activity Location
6:00 AM Gym Opens Spa, Sports Deck
6:30 AM Continental Breakfast Panorama Bar & Grill
7:00 AM Buffet Breakfast
Main Seating Breakfast
Panorama Bar & Grill
Respective Dining Rooms
7:30 AM Shore Tours Desk Opens
Walk a Mile
Snorkel gear rental
Empress Deck
Sun Deck
Video Diary, Empress Deck
8:00 AM Approximate arrival at local port
8:15 AM Late Seating Breakfast Respective Dining Rooms
8:30 AM Beauty Salon & Reception Desk opens
Step Class (aerobics)
Spa, Sports Deck
Aerobics Studio
9:30 AM Library opens Atlantic Deck
11:30 AM Tour of the Bridge starts Lido Deck Forward, Port side
Noon Express Luncheon
Main Seating Lunch
Calypso Music
Panorama Bar & Grill
Respective Dining Rooms
Lido Deck
1:00 PM Tuxedo rental shop opens City Diner, Promenade, Deck 9
1:30 PM Must be back onboard!
Late Seating Lunch
--
Respective Dining Rooms
1:45 PM Gift Shop Fashion Game Lido Deck, Stage
2:00 PM Ship set sail for next port
Sail Away Party
Reserve snorkel gear for next port
--
Lido Deck, Poolside
Empress Deck
2:30 PM Galleria Gift shop opens
Fun 21 Blackjack until 6 PM
Slot Tournament
Art Preview
Atlantic Deck
Verandah Deck, Forward
Casino
Starlight Lounge
2:45 PM Water Balloon Toss Lido Deck, Poolside
3:00 PM Volleyball Tournament
Art Auction
"Body Clinic"
Sun Deck, Forward
Starlight Lounge
Spa, Sports Deck
3:30 PM Ice Cream & sweets Panorama Bar & Grill
4:00 PM Aerobics Aerobics Studio
4:30 PM Slot Tournament Finals Casino
5:00 PM Captain's Cocktail Party (Main Sitting)
Coke-tail Party for Jr. Cruisers
Formal portraits until 6 PM
Blue Sapphire Lounge
Stripes Disco
Grand Atrium
6:00 PM Formal Dinner (Main Sitting)
Alternate Lite Dining
Respective Dining Rooms
Panorama Bar & Grill
7:00 PM Formal portraits until 8:30 PM Grand Atrium
7:15 PM Captain's Cocktail Party (Late Sitting) Blue Sapphire Lounge
7:30 PM Pre-dinner cocktail music Metro Bar, Promenade
Neon Bar
8:15 PM Formal dinner (Late Sitting)
Preshow Bingo
Respective Dining Rooms
Blue Sapphire Lounge
8:30 PM Country Music Starlight Lounge
8:45 PM Oba Oba Show (Main Sitting) Blue Sapphire Lounge
9:30 PM Golden Oldies
Sing-a-long Party
Formal portraits until 10:30 PM
Great Evening Piano Music
Chinatown Lounge
Neon Bar
Grand Atrium
Metro Bar
10:00 PM Couples & Lovers Party
Hot Dance Music
Preshow Bingo
Chinatown
Stripes Disco
Blue Sapphire Lounge
10:30 PM Oba Oba Show (Late Sitting) Blue Sapphire Lounge
11:30 PM Dining room opens for pictures Wind Star Dining Room
11:45 PM Grand Gala Midnight Buffet Wind Song Dining Room
12:00 AM Late Night "R" rated Comedy Special Starlight Lounge
12:30 AM Dining opens for late night buffet Wind Star Dning Room
1:00 AM Dance contest Stripes Disco
24 hours Pizzeria Lido Deck, Aft

The trip was the annual cruise organized by Interrace Magazine. A group of about 70 families, friends, and magazine subscribers attended. The group attends a cruise every year. There is a lot of power and fun in networking with other interracial couples, families, and friends.

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CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER'S LOG

The CMO position is currently vacant. We are currently accepting inquiries and nominations. Please send any correspondence to the Captain or the First Officer.

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TREASURER'S REPORT

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

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PC WEARABLES

Is that a computer on your finger, or did you just get engaged?

Star Trek characters have been sporting wearable computers for years. One example is the Starfleet chest communicator pin, which are actually mini-computers. Wearable computers are no long science fiction. The technology is real and available. A wearable is any device that performs a computational function which can be worn and used while mobile. So, a laptop is not a wearable. You must sit it down and operate it like a desktop computer.

Is that a computer in your pocket, or are you glad to see me?

In fact, the second International Symposium on Wearable Computers occurred in October, 1998 in Pittsburgh. The convention's theme focused upon how "wearables" have already been used and tested on the job.

Handheld scanner vendor Symbol Technologies charted the intensive research and design of what it calls the first commercially successful wearable computer. Now in use by UPS-with more customers on tap including FedEx, Office Depot, and Wal-Mart-the product transmits barcode data to the company's network via wireless transmission.

About 30,000 UPS shipping clerks wear a computing device with a small keyboard and display, that straps to the worker's forearm, and is linked to a barcode "ring scanner" that slides onto a user's finger. Some sites about wearable computers:

Interested in reading more about links between real technology and Trek? Visit STasis: Your Guide To The Scholarly Literature of Trek.

George Jenkins
First Officer
USS Ronald E. McNair

© 1999 USS Ronald E. McNair. All rights reserved. This article may be linked to provided it is presented in its entirety with this copyright message appended.

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WHAT'S NEXT FOR DS9?

As you probably know, the DS9 television series will end this spring. It appears unlikely that the DS9 cast will make movies. Movies are the sacred ground currently reserved for the TNG cast. So, don't expect to see the DS9 cast on the big screen, except for Commander Worf.

It would seem that DS9 is going into oblivion.

Don't give up hope, yet. There is an option other than oblivion for DS9. I'm surprised that Paramount executives haven't seized on this opportunity. There is an option to satisfy all three groups: fans, actors, and executives.

Paramount can continue making money with the DS9 product. We fans can continue to enjoy the DS9 series, with its complex social interactions. And, the actors can make more money, and have the freedom to pursue other acting projects. What is this latinum laced option?

Dammit, Jim. It's called a mini-series.

A DS9 mini-series? Yes! There are several good reasons why the DS9 television series is a perfect fit for the mini-series format:

1) Paramount has successfully explored the mini-series format before

This isn't new. Paramount has dabbled with three-part episodes and story arcs before. One example is the first season episode triumvirate: "The Homecoming," "The Circle," and "the Siege." Another more recent example is the triumvirate: "Tears of the Prophets," "Image In the Sand," and "Shadows and Symbols."

Other sci-fi programs have successfully used the mini-series format. One example is the original made-for-television series "V" from the 1970's. Earlier this year, Babylon 5 successfully presented several made-for-television movies. So, the mini-series course is well chartered territory for sci-fi on television, and well accepted by fans.

So, the DS9 series has explored this concept, perhaps in a mild format. A more tradition mini- series format might be four to five hours over three successive nights. It's a little longer than three episodes, but entirely doable.

2) DS9's story lines, plots, and characters lend themselves to mini-series format

The nature of the story lines, social interactions, and conflicts make DS9 a perfect fit for the mini- series format. The mini-series format can accomodate detailed storytelling, since DS9 contains plenty of action and conflicts affecting many characters, planets, and governments.

Consider what has happened since Sisko accepted command of DS9. The Klingons were first allies, then enemies, and then allies again. The Romulans were first enemies and are now allies. Even Kai Wynn, a former enemy who attempted an overthrow of the Bajoran government, is now an ally of the Emissary. Bajor originally applied for memebership in the Federation, and then postponed it during the war. Major characters including Worf and Ezri Dax have joined the cast and others have left.

Previous made-for-television mini-series, such as "North, South" and "Roots" have successfully presented both complex social interactions and war. All of these series plus DS9 have many similarities: shifting alliances, covert operations, and familial situations with complex interactions that can be best told in a mini-series format.

3) The actors can "have their cake and eat it, too"

It's isn't a secret that the actors want the freedom to pursue other acting projects. Some of the actors want more money; some want to pursue different projects; others want to return to live theatre; and a few are afraid of being type-cast.

Regardless, after seven years of episodic television, many of the actors want a change. This is understandable and expected. The long shooting schedules and 16 hour days, after seven years, would make anyone look towards other work. And, an eight month shooting schedule doesn't leave much time for other acting projects, family, and vacations.

To shoot a mini-series, Paramount could hire the actors for 60 -70 days, or about two months. This gives the actors more time and flexibility to pursue other acting projects, including films, and to spend time on vacation or with family. The actors have almost 10 months each year for family activities raising children, vacations, other acting projects, teaching, community service, and films.

4) Escalating salary demands by the actors

It isn't a secret that the actors wanted more money. In his book "A Vision of the Future: Star Trek Voyager," author Stephen Poe explained in detail the financial realities and increasing salary demands by actors that usually accompanies episodic television.

One method to meet the actor's demands, is to pay them a higher wage for the shorter period required by a mini-series, compared to 26 week minimum required of hour long episodic television. The actors would still have the opportunity to make more money with other acting projects.

Paramount wouldn't have to hired a second team of writers and production staff. They could "borrow" the existing talent from the Voyager department, just as the motion pictures currently do. Obviously, the mini-series would be produced duing the alternating years when the movie is not in production.

5) Minimize the risk to Paramount

In the fall of 1999, Paramount's Star Trek franchise will rest upon a single television series: Voyager. In this newsletter, and at several other web sites, fans have expressed concerns about the limitations of the "Lost in Space" format used by Voyager. The point is, the show's executives needs to address the limitations and the resulting uneven episode quality.

A mini-series format with DS9 would provide Paramount's executives with a means to continue to present high quality Trek while they retool Voyager. If the reworking isn't done, or if the reworking is unsuccessful, then a DS9 mini-series would be even more critical.

6) Continue the Dominion war and sub-plots

One little discussed subject is what happens to the Dominion war when DS9 ends this spring. Will the war have ended by then? If Voyager remains in the Delta Quadrant, then Star Trek doesn't have a television vehicle to continue the Dominion war story lines. The TNG motion pictures, with one movie every two years or so, are too infrequent to continue the war story arc. Plus, the film "Insurrection" barely mentioned the war. And when it did, it hinted at a possible negotiated truce. How boring!

The Dominion war is an appealing part of Trek. To end the war when the DS9 series ends its television run, would be a mistake I hope that Paramount avoids. The timing would be artificial. Given the capabilities of the Dominion, the continued losses by the Federation, and the alliance between the Federation, Klingon Empire, and Romulan Empire, it would seem that the war will continue well past DS9's end. Simply, the Alpha Quadrant forces are having a very difficult time fighting the Dominion and Jem'Hadar.

Assuming Voyager doesn't return to the Alpha Quadrant, a DS9 in mini-series format could continue the Dominion war story arc with high quality and detailed storytelling.

7) Help to rescue UPN

Another benefit for Paramount is the opportunity to broadcast a DS9 mini-series on the fledgling United Paramount Network. After several season, none of the new shows on UPN have gained a solid, repeat performance.

Here in Boston, DS9 airs on the Warner Brothers, WB network. Every season, UPN offers a new crop of shows wedged around Star Trek Voyager. Do we fans watch the new shows? Did you watch Nowhere Man? The Sentinel? I didn't, and neither did you, probably.

Smartly so, the local Boston affiliate frequently airs Boston Bruins hockey games on UPN. That's a good indication of how attractive the crop of UPN shows usually are. A DS9 mini-series could bring more, badly needed viewers to UPN on a different night. UPN would no longer be a one show network. And it would increase the chances of UPN as viable network.

If you agree with the idea of a mini-series format for DS9, please write to the show's executives, Rick Berman, Ira Steven Behr, Ronald D. Moore, or Rene Echevarria at:
Paramount Pictures
5555 Melrose Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90038-3197

There is some hope for DS9. Let's hope that the show's executives explore every option.

What do you think?

George Jenkins
First Officer
USS Ronald E. McNair

© 1999 USS Ronald E. McNair. All rights reserved. This article may be linked to provided it is presented in its entirety with this copyright message appended.

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McNAIR READY ROOM

Star Date: 35868.8 -- 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. Call or write us for directions. Contact the USS McNair at P.O. Box 255159, Boston, Mass. 02125-5159.

The meeting minutes from prior McNair meetings:

Due to technical difficulties that included damage to the isolinear chips where these files were stored, the meeting minutes are currently unavailable.


Submissions to INTERCOM are welcomed and encouraged from both crew and non-crew. Articles must relate to TREK events, planets, characters, adventure, actors, literature, fandom, IDIC, collectibles, conventions, events, space science and exploration, or NASA. Articles should not exceed 1,200 words. For writer's guidelines, send a SASE to the INTERCOM Editor. Send submissions to: INTERCOM Editor, USS Ronald E. McNair, P. O. Box 255159, Boston, Mass. 02125 - 5159. Unsolicited manuscripts will not be returned. Submissions and coments are also welcome for Babylon Five, the X-Files, or other sci-fi subjects. Submissions received after the deadline will appear in the next issue, space permitting. The Editor reserves the right to edit and/or reject any submissions. Submission deadlines:
Deadline (Issue Date)
March 1, 1999 (March 15th)
June 1, 1999 (June 15th)
Sept. 1, 1999 (Sept. 15th)
Dec. 1, 1999 (Dec. 15th)
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AGE: THE UNWANTED FRONTIER

Understand that I love Star Trek. During the past 30 years, the television series has pioneered many "firsts" and controversial subjects. While other network television shows were risk averse, Trek frequently explored new ground.

In the original series, there was the first interracial kiss on television, between Captain Kirk and Lt. Uhura (i.e., the episode "Plato's Stepchildren). There were episodes that presented the futility of racism (i.e., "Let That Be Their Last Battlefield"), sexism, and planet-killer technologies. Subsequent television series further explored new ground.

The TNG series presented a more thoughtful and experienced starship captain, who didn't rely solely upon force to settle disputes. TNG and DS9 presented women in positions of authority (i.e., Doctor Crusher and Colonel Kira), command and technical leadership; while other sci-fi series were foundering. This trend continued with Captain Janeway and chief engineer Torres in the Voyager series.

Trek has explored gender roles. The TNG and DS9 series presented major cast members with families and spouses, something usually foreign to action adventure stories. Some of those families were interracial unions (e.g., Miles and Keiko O'Brien) and interspecies (e.g., Jadzia Dax and Worf; Rom and Leeta). There was the first same-sex kiss on DS9 between Jadzia Dax and a former spouse. We even saw Riker romance an androgenous alien.

Trek has explored parenting roles and responsibilities not only with Worf, but also with Captain Sisko, Rom, and the O'Briens. We've seen firsthand how families and children suffered through war (e.g., the DS9 episodes "Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night" and "...Nor the Battle to the Strong").

In his 1992 article, Clyde Wilcox compared the cultural changes reflected in Trek, and the changes from TOS to TNG series: "...cultural change has altered the mission of the Enterprise and the interactions of its characters. Although science fiction often seeks to extrapolate current trends far into the future, the assumptions of a culture are usually projected as well." Wilcox documented the cultural changes, including the change roles of women, improved conditions of racial equality, the futility of war, the growing acceptance of the limitations of American power, and the change in attitude towards computers from something to be feared to a common, friendly, and useful tool.

Trek has explored some very tricky subjects. One of my favorites is the distinction between a survivor and a collaborator with the enemy during war. A couple DS9 episodes explored this theme: "Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night" and "The Collaborator." Trek presented another tricky subject that American society will wrestle with in the coming years: human genetic manipulation. See the DS9 episodes "Doctor Bashir, I Presume" and "Statistical Probabilities."

Trek's pioneering trend explored many other areas, including the first African-American starship captain (i.e., DS9's Captain Sisko), the role of African-Americans in space and sci-fi (i.e., DS9's "Far Beyond the Stars"), the impact of forced relocations on minority groups (e.g., TNG's "Journey's End" and the Maquis story arc), and prejudice, paranoia, and intolerance toward other species (i.e., Voyager's "Distant Origin" and "In the Flesh").

Yet, with all the pioneering and exploring, Star Trek has not explored one important frontier: age. Nowhere in the series do we see old humans presented in a positive light. Nowhere do we see old humans contributing within the Federation or within Starfleet.

I could have easily titled this essay "Age: The Overlooked Frontier," or used any number of other adjectives including unappreciated, undervalued, unimportant, undesirable, unexplored, unnoticed, unpleasant, unspoken, and untold. Regardless, none of the main characters from the four television series show any gray hairs, except for Captain Picard. The focus is upon a youthful appearance. You can be old, but you'd better not look old.

In Voyager, Tuvok is clearly well over 100 years of age, since this is his second Starfleet career (e.g., the episode "Flashback"). In looking at Tuvok, you don't see a single gray hair. Again, the message is: you can be old, but you'd better not look old.

With a few exceptions, we virtually never see positive presentations of old humans.

As the American baby-boomer population ages, the opportunity exists for the Trek franchise to explore plots and story lines with old humans. By "old humans" I mean humans who are clearly older, graying, and of advanced age. In every series, the main characters are all young. None are graying, except for Captain Picard, who's gray isn't readily visible due to his baldness.

We've seen old, graying aliens presented in a variety of situations. We've seen old Klingons in several TNG and DS9 episodes; old Vulcans including Sarek and Spock; and old Ferengi notably Zek, the Grand Nagus. We've seen these old aliens laugh, cry, fight, command starships, romance their peers, and live active lives outside the military. Nowhere do we see positive images of old humans functioning and contributing to society. Nowhere do we see old humans presented positively. None; especially outside Starfleet and rarely within.

Nowhere do we see positive images of old humans functioning and contributing to society.

Who are the few exceptions? In DS9, we've seen Captain Sisko's father operate and manage a restaurant in New Orleans. In DS9 we also saw an aged Jake Sisko valiantly struggle to rescue his Dad (i.e., the episode "The Visitor) from a warp drive accident.

And when we do see an old, graying person, often it is an admiral in Starfleet who makes questionable decisions at best, or sides naively with an enemy. The implication often is that one of our starship hero captains can out-think and outmaneuver an older and graying admiral, by combining his or her youth plus a wisdom equal to that of the older officer (who again makes bad decisions or naively sides with the bad guys). A good example of this is Admiral Dougherty in the recent film "Star Trek: Insurrection."

Positive presentations of older humans are brief and fleeting. In the TNG episode "The First Duty" we met Boothby, a gardener at Starfleet Academy and a quasi-mentor to Picard and several Starfleet Academy graduates. When Boothby appeared again, it was much later in a Voyager episode"In the Flesh," and even then it was an alien impersonator.

More frequently, the older humans are parents with some overriding faulty or bad habit. Riker's father is too career-focused (i.e., the TNG episode "The Icarus Factor"), and so insecure that he continues to compete with his son.

Nowhere do we see positive images of old humans functioning and contributing to society.

How has Star Trek presented old humans or aging? Advanced age was presented as an unwanted disease (i.e., the TOS episode "The Deadly Years"). This theme continued into TNG, where the episode "Too Short A Season" presented an aging Admiral Jameson who pursues youth with a drug overdose in order to effectively battle an opponent. When the admiral's plan ultimately backfires, we are left with the subtle but effective message: old folks accept your situation, step aside, and let the younger officers run things.

Every now and then, there's an exception where the episode presents a story highlighting the inexperience and naivety of youth. A good example is the DS9 episode "Valiant." However, we more frequently see one of the starship captains outwit a clearly older and supposedly more experienced and older head of a society, planet, or alien race.

Often, an older person is used to demonstrate the superior judgement of a young Enterprise captain. The TNG episode "The Drumhead" is one of many episodes that illustrate this point. Admiral Norah Satie, an old, retired investigator returned to service to prosecute Captain Picard. The implied message is again: old folks accept your situation, step aside, and let the younger officers run things.

In an aptly named TNG episode "Relics," an old Engineer Montgomery Scott is useless and unable to help Engineer Geordi La Forge maintain the Enterprise-D. What a difference 70 years supposedly makes between the Enterprise and Enterprise-D. Again, the episode presents the frequent message: old folks accept your situation, step aside, and let the younger officers run things.

The episode completely ignores and discounts the ability for older humans to work productively and to learn. The episode doesn't even hint at either fact. While Engineer Scott may not know 24th century technology, there are still technologies and areas of expertise where he can contribute. The episode fails miserably at addressing this, and Scotty ultimately continues in a shuttle toward his retirement.

Old humans with a positive presentation are quickly killed off, usually as a plot device to get an Enterprise Captain do to something risky or extraordinary. A good example of this is the archeologist Professor Galen character in the TNG episode "The Gambit, Part I."

As good as it is, the movie "Insurrection" fails to really explore the ethical issues around aging. Should any technology to extend human life be pursued? What are the limits? What societal roles will be affected? What attitudes exist? Are these attitudes productive? What changes might be needed?

The film adequately explores the issues around the forced relocation of a society against their will. The parallels in the film to the treatment and forced relocation of Native Americans by the Dutch, English, and Americans in North America are hard to miss. However, should the Federation use the metaphasic energies to extend human lifetimes? Admiral Dougherty uses the argument as a reason to move the Ba'ku. His reasoning is that the Ba'ku weren't native to their homeworld, and hence their longer lives are somehow abnormal.

Yet the Admiral believes that it is okay and normal to kill all life on the Ba'ku planet so that human and Federation member lives could be extended. It is hard to miss the arrogance and double- standard of this attitude.

Another theme is that old humans don't know when to quit, or to retire. Admiral Satie surely didn't recognize when her skills entered a decline. Nor did several admirals in the TNG television series and films.

As I said earlier, the Star Trek franchise has an opportunity to explore plots and story lines with old humans. There's the opportunity to see active, engaging, and romantic humans who clearly contribute to society and to the Federation.

If we can see active, fighting, powerful, and old Klingons (i.e., the DS9 episode "The Sword of Kahless"), then why not the same type of humans?

I believe that society is ready to view television shows with strong, old leading characters. Several shows come to mind, including "Murder She Wrote," "Diagnosis Murder," and the Perry Mason movies.

Thirty years ago, television executives doubted that a series could survive with an African- American leading character. Today, we've seen several shows including The Cosby Show, DS9, and Oprah's talk show.

Ten years ago, television executives doubted that an action series could survive with a female lead. Today, the television series "Xena, Warrior Princess" is very successful. The "Alien" films with Sigourney Weaver come to mind, too.

As the graying of America continues, audiences will demand leading characters that look like they do. Trek fans have always been a vocal and active group. On the subject of aging, I expect this activism to continue. I hope that the Trek television series continue to lead the way.

References:

Wilcox, Clyde."To Boldly Return Where Others Have Gone Before: Cultural Change and the Old and New Star Treks" in Extrapolation. Kent State University. Vol. 33 No. 1, 1992. Page 88.

What do you think?

George Jenkins
First Officer
USS Ronald E. McNair

© 1999 USS Ronald E. McNair. All rights reserved. This article may be linked to provided it is presented in its entirety with this copyright message appended.

Interested in reading more about societal roles including aging, sexism, racism, and attitudes toward aliens in Trek? Visit STasis: Your Guide To The Scholarly Literature of Trek.

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COMM CHANNEL NEWS

February 6 - 7, 1999 FAB 4 of Star Trek in Cromwell, CT. Confirmed guests: Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, Walter Koenig and James Doohan; plus Stephen Furst (B5 - Vir). Radisson Hotel and Convention Center, 100 Berlin Road, Cromwell, CT 06416. Phone for Directions ONLY: (860) 635 - 6970. To order tickets, call (913) 327 - TREK (8735). Or, mail a check or money order to: Slanted Fedora Entertainment, 11916 W. 109th Street, Suite #125, Overland Park, Kansas 66210.

April 9, 10, 11, 1999 5 Con, The Five-College Area Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention, at Seelye Hall at Smith College in Northampton, MA. Guests: Margaret Weis, the author of numerous titles, including the "Death's Gate Series" and many novels from the Dragonlance series; Elizabeth Moon from Texas and author of many novels and short stories, including "Once a Hero" and "Remnant Population."

April 24-25, 1999 Novacon 9 at the West Park Hotel, 8700 West Park Dr, Tysons Corner, Virginia. Guests: Rene Auberjonois (Odo), Ethan Phillips (Neelix), Dave McDonnell (Starlof Magazine), and Richard Arnold. Contact: One Trek Mind Inc. at (703) 858-1716, or Fax: (703) 858-1718.

July 9-11, 1999 Readercon 11 in Waltham, Mass. at the Westin Hotel. Guests: Harlan Ellison and Ellen Datlow.

July 9, 10, 11, 1999 Shore Leave 21 at Marriott's Hunt Valley Inn in Hunts Valley, Maryland. Reservation Cut-Off Date: June 17, 1999.

October 1 - 3, 1999 Viable Paradise III on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts. Guest of Honor: Joe Haldeman. Artist Guest of Honor: Rick Berry. Other guests and a writers' workshop September 27 - October 1st.

October 8 - 10, 1999 Rising Star 8 at Glenvar High School on Malus Road in Salem, Virginia. Guests: Richard Biggs (B5 - Dr. Franklin), Gerard Christopher, Frank Gorshin, Erin Gray, Linda Harrison, Herbert Jefferson, Jr., Deanna Lund, Michele Matheson, Joyce Meadows, and Heather Young. For more information call: (540)389-9400.

November 5 - 7, 1999 United Fancon in Springfield, Mass. The committee is currently accepting guest suggestions. Enter your suggestions at the web site.

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: Noreascon 2001 or Boston for Orlando in 2001.

For a comlete list of conventions in the Northeast for 1999, visit the Northeast Science Fiction Conventions Web site, Creation Entertainment, or Cruise Trek. If you visit this Web site you'll quickly notice that most Creation conventions now feature guests from a broad range of sci-fi shows: Xena, Hercules, X-Files, and Babylon 5.

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FROM DATA'S HUMOR CHIP

The following messages arrived recently via e-mail:

Subject: Things I've learned from my children

  1. If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound boy wearing pound puppy underwear and a superman cape.
  2. It is strong enough, however, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20 by 20 foot room
  3. When you hear the toilet flush and the words "Uh-oh," it's already too late
  4. Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it
  5. A six year old can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36 year old man says they can only do it in the movies
  6. If you use a waterbed as home plate while wearing baseball shoes it does not leak - it explodes
  7. A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000 square foot house 4 inches deep
  8. Legos will pass through the digestive tract of a four year old
  9. Super glue is forever
  10. McGyver can teach us many things we don't want to know
  11. No matter how much Jello you put in a swimming pool you still can't walk on water
  12. Pool filters do not like Jello
  13. VCR's do not eject PB&J sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do
  14. Always look in the oven before you turn it on
  15. The fire department in San Jose has at least a 5 minute response time
  16. The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earth worms dizzy
  17. It will however make cats dizzy
  18. Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy


TOP TEN REASONS WHY THE STAR WARS CHARACTERS WOULD KICK BUTT IN THE STAR TREK UNIVERSE

10) In the Star Wars universe weapons are rarely, if ever, set on "stun."
9) The Enterprise needs a huge engine room with an anti-matter unit and a crew of 20 just to go into warp --- The Millennium Falcon does the same thing with R2-D2 and a Wookie.
8) After resisting the Imperial torture droid and Darth Vader, Princess Leia still looked fresh and desirable --- After pithy Cardassian starvation torture, Picard looked like hell.
7) One word: Lightsabers.
6) Darth Vader could choke the entire Borg empire with one glance.
5) The Death Star doesn't care if a world is class "M" or not.
4) Luke Skywalker is not obsessed with sleeping with every alien he encounters.
3) Jabba the Hutt would eat Harry Mudd for trying to cut in on his action.
2) The Federation would have to attempt to liberate any ship named "Slave I."
1) Picard pilots the Enterprise through asteroid belts at one-quarter impulse power --- Han Solo floors it.


Subject: WORDS OF WISDOM

  1. If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
  2. A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.
  3. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
  4. For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.
  5. He who hesitates is probably right.
  6. Never do card tricks for the group you play poker with.
  7. No one is listening until you make a mistake.
  8. Success always occurs in private, and failure in full view.
  9. The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread.
  10. The severity of the itch is proportional to the reach.
  11. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.
  12. To succeed in politics, it is often necessary to rise above your principles.
  13. Two wrongs are only the beginning.
  14. You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.
  15. The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.
  16. Monday is an awful way to spend 1/7th of your life.
  17. The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.
  18. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
  19. If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.
  20. Change is inevitable....except from vending machines.
  21. Don't sweat petty things....or pet sweaty things.
  22. A fool and his money are soon partying.
  23. Money can't buy love. But it CAN rent a very close imitation.
  24. Plan to be spontaneous tomorrow.
  25. Always try to be modest. And be damn proud of it!
  26. If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple of payments.
  27. How many of you believe in telekinesis? Raise my hands....
  28. Attempt to get a new car for your spouse-it'll be a great trade!
  29. I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.
  30. Everybody repeat after me....."We are all individuals."
  31. Chastity is curable, if detected early.
  32. Love may be blind, but marriage is a real eye-opener.
  33. Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of cheques.
  34. Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now.
  35. Borrow money from pessimists-they don't expect it back.
  36. Beware of geeks bearing gifs.
  37. Half the people you know are below average.
  38. 99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
  39. 42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.
  40. A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.
  41. If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
  42. The early bird catches the worm-but it's the second mouse that gets the cheese

Subject: Borg Barbie

The Mattel Toy company, in conjunction with Paramount Studios, announces the newest release in the "Barbie" line, "Borg Barbie." Created as an offshoot of the Classic Trek Barbie and Ken line, Borg Barbie features the fun of Barbie and the excitement of the fabulously successful Star Trek (tm) films and television programs.

Borg Barbie comes with a complete Borg suit and SHE TALKS!!! Watch your children marvel as Borg Barbie says phrases like, "Assimilation is Hard," "Let's accessorize our implants," "Your shopping mall WILL service the Borg," and "Let's absorb some cultures!"

Recognizing a long-time deficiency in the Ken product, Mattel is releasing its new, "Assimilated Ken," with a complete line of attachments and accessories. Assimilated Ken comes "fully functional and versed in multiple techniques," to give your kids hours of enjoyment.

The Borg Barbie line includes the new Shuttlecraft that converts into a Borg Cube. The Borg Cube configuration features slots to insert Barbie, Ken, and the new "Modified Midge" and "Cyber Skipper" dolls. Join all four to create an invincible Barbie Collective that says, "We are Barbie of Borg. Resistance is Futile. You WILL buy accessories for US."


102 Uses for a Dead Wesley

1. Crash test dummy for shuttlecraft.
7. Target practice for bridge crew.
9. At last! Something even the Ferengi couldn't sell.
11. Body double for Riker's nude scenes.
12. Even a dead Wesley would have a better chance of getting Voyager home than Janeway does.
13. With Wesley dead, Paramount will think it's safe to make a new series of The Next Generation.
14. Uniform would make excellent trombone cleaning rag for Riker.
15. Replicator recycling could turn Wesley into the following useful items for the crew:
625 chocolate sundaes,
1,125 really weird hats,
1,750 painstiks,
1,815 copies of "How to PIck Up Girls",
7,300 emotion chips,
12,250 scalp polishers, or
65,000 beard trimmers.
18. A toothpick for Mr Homn.
19. Pin cushion.
20. Bat'leth cushion.
25. Excellent scratch post for Spot.
32. Force feed him to the Crystalline Entity. Maybe the entity might "gag" to death while trying to scoop him up into energy.
42. Stunt double for Kenny on South Park. "Oh my god, they killed Wesley! Yippee!"
45. Chew-toy for Spot.
48. Someone for Seven of Nine to assimilate if she get homesick.
65. Tribble chow
67. Maytag phaser repairman (you don't see him, and usually never need him).
83. Doormat for Picard's ready room.
84. What's a use for a Dead Wesley - well, what's the use in a live one?

Source: Planet Riker


An 80 year old man was having his annual checkup and the doctor asked him how he was feeling. "I've never been better!" he boasted. "I've got an eighteen year old bride who's pregnant and having my child! What do you think about that?"

The doctor considered this for a moment, then said, "Let me tell you a story. I knew a guy who was an avid hunter. He never missed a season. But one day went out in a bit of a hurry and he accidentally grabbed his umbrella instead of his gun." The doctor continued, "So he was in the woods and suddenly a grizzly bear appeared in front of him! He raised up his umbrella, pointed it at the bear and squeezed the handle. And do you know what happened?" the doctor queried.

Dumbfounded, the old man replied "No."

The doctor continued, "The bear dropped dead in front of him!"

"That's impossible!" exclaimed the old man. "Someone else must have shot that bear."

"That's kind of what I'm getting at..." replied the doctor.

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FUN ON THE INTERNET

No matter which side of the Clinton/Starr debacle you support, there's an interesting item available online called Monicagate. Some new Web sites and information you may find interesting or useful:

If you hadn't heard, PBS is broadcasting a very interesting, touching, and powerful FRONTLINE documentary about biracial children:

Secret Daughter
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/ frontline/shows/secret/

I watched it earlier this week. It was very good. The story is much more than the experience of June Cross, an adult biracial child, who ultimately confronts her mother about being abandoned as a child. The documentary is also about interracial dating in the 1940's and 1950's, the difficulties June's parents faced, the secrets and lies kept, and the career of June's father, James Cross a famous comedian in the duo "Stump and Stumpie."

[James Cross at The documentary has some many interesting twists and turns. After leaving James Cross, June's mother, Nora Booth, married Larry Storch, also a comic. Storch is probably best known for the television show "F Troop." There are also several interesting interviews, including Jerry Lewis; and how much Lewis learned (and stole) from James Cross.

As good as the documentary is, the web site is even better. You can add your comments or experiences to the online discussion area under any of several topics:

There is wealth of information in the site including: how to research your family tree, portraits of biracial Americans born in the 1960's, June Cross' family tree, audio stories and downloadable clips, book and online sources for further reading, and an area titled "Blurred Racial Lines" which presents the research of "some of history's more interesting examples of mixed racial heritage."

The families of some well people and celebrities have a mixed racial heritage. One example: "On his father' side [Peter] Ustinov is a member of the old Russian nobility. But on his mother's side, he is a member of the Ethiopian Royal Family. The origin of this interracial line was the marriage of his great grandfather, a Swiss military engineer, with the daughter of the Emperor Theodore II. Forbidden to leave Ethiopia, as were the most valued of the Europeans who joined the Imperial service, the engineer had been wedded to the princess, apparently not only in compensation, but to insure his loyalty to the Emperor."

[Heather Locklear] Another example: "Another family whose name is a giveaway for their African heritage is that of Locklear - yes, the same one that Heather, the blond bombshell of the TV series, "Melrose Place," claims as her own. Although as Anglo Saxon sounding as you can make it, the name is, in fact, an Indian one and in the language of the Tuscarora tribes means "hold fast." Indeed, it would appear that Ms. Locklear's family, at least on her father's side, once belonged to a segment of the population which in academic terminology is referred to as a tri-racial isolate - a community of individuals whose ancestry is a mixture of European, Indian and Black and who intermarried only with each other."

A documentary like this raises so many interesting and good issues which are usually avoided and not discussed. Check your local television listing, or the web site for broadcast times. Tapes and transcripts of the documentary are available.

Are you color-challenged? Many men I know are color-challenged when it comes to matching clothes outfits. Do brown shoes go with black pants? Does a green shirt match brown pants? And the clothes a man thinks match well are often rejected by his spouse or girlfriend.

Well, not to worry. There's help at GAP Instant Style. The site contains a virtual dressing room to help color- challenged individuals match shoes, shirts, and pants. GAP provides a similar area for kids called the "Clothes Scrambler." Eddie Bauer, another online retailer or e-tailer, provides a more powerful virtual dressing room, but your computer must meet specific technical minimums (e.g., Java, Win95 or higher operating system, and a large 17" or 21" monitor).

Do you need to mix and match makeup with contact lenses, eyeglasses, hair color, and clothes? Cosmopolitan offers a virtual makeover functionality on CD-ROM which you can order at their web site. There's also an online demonstration.

Are you ready for the millenium? Is your computer Year 2000 compliant, or will it crash from the Y2K bug?

Yours truly posed this fall for the camera. For your viewing enjoyment, you can see me at: Bonneville For Me, or Pontiac - Contact Us.

Combating Racism and Intolerance
http://www.ecri.coe.fr/
Provided by the Council of Europe, this site offers a number of resources for individuals and organizations fighting racism and promoting tolerance. For instance, because "international law has become such a powerful means of combatting discrimination," the Legal Framework section provides the text of international legal instruments and a report on [European] national legal measures. The Council of Europe section introduces the organization and its key resolutions, recommendations, and speeches. In the Educational Resources section, users will find a list of relevant publications, a cartoon book (also downloadable in .pdf format), video clips, and other material geared toward younger audiences. Additional resources include an overview of "good practices" in policy initiatives by Council of Europe member states and an online Forum (currently under construction). The site is also available in English and French.

College is Possible
http://www.CollegeIsPossible.org/
Created by the Coalition of America's Colleges, this site is offered as a guide for parents and students to information and advice on higher education, especially with regard to financial matters. The site is composed of three primary sections: Preparing for College, Choosing the Right College, and Paying for College. The first offers a ten-step guide (beginning with pre-school), recommended Secondary School courses, and an electronic and print Resource Library. The second section features a helpful College Admissions and Financial Aid Calendar, which guides parents and students through the steps they should take beginning with the freshman year in High School. Another Resource Library in this section points to more information. The final and probably most important section offers a number of resources concerning financial aid programs and paying for college, including an overview of financial aid programs and some FAQs.

© 1999 USS Ronald E. McNair. All rights reserved. This article may be linked to provided it is presented in its entirety with this copyright message appended.

The following site has highly interesting articles, photo essays, and videos. Only the New York Times could pull together a comprehensive site with articles from the last 40 years, plus photos and videos: NASA at 40. I really liked the photo essay of Christa McAuliffe training for the Shuttle flight.

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WHY SOME WORKERS ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS

The following arrived via e-mail recently:

From: "Jeremy L. Hart"
To: ekistics@juno.com
Date: Thu, 08 Oct 1998 13:38:01 -0400
Subject: Why are some workers better than others?

Some workers out-perform their colleagues by a ratio of 10:1. Robert Kelley calls them "star" workers, and has spent a lifetime trying to unlock their secrets. His book, "How to Be a Star at Work," reveals that -- after years of intensive productivity research at Bell Labs and 3M -- he and his team could find *no common traits* among star workers. They aren't smarter; they don't work longer or harder; they have no special social skills or drive.

So begins the excerpt from "How to Be a Star at Work" that Times Books has given me permission to distribute online. The excerpt is called "Stars are Made, Not Born," and it explains how the author and a team of researchers worked for years searching for common characteristics of highly productive people, only to come up empty handed.

You can imagine the frustration of personnel managers who had hoped to zero-in on certain traits when hiring people. The good news in Kelley's findings is that *anyone* has the ability to achieve super-productivity, and he has identified nine common strategies used by star workers to circumvent barriers that stop most employees.

To get the excerpt from "How to Be a Star at Work," send Jeremy Hart with the subject line "Send Stars" and I will reply with a text file.

Hope you folks find this useful - take care,

Jeremy Hart jhart@tenagra.com

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