Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Simon Pegg on Benedict Cumberbatch - "It's not Khan"

Not too long ago, it seems like the entire internet world was worked up over Benedict Cumberbatch playing Khan Noonien Singh. Now, in an interview over at the Telegraph, Simon Pegg is denying these rumors - telling us to... "F- off!"

"(Benedict's character is) not just another disgruntled alien. It’s a really interesting… sort of… thing." 
"Obviously I can’t talk about it.”  
“It’s not Khan, that’s a myth. Everyone’s saying it is, but it’s not.”

Now I'm not disappointed, really (although, like I said before - Khan is going to have to be discovered eventually) - as long as I still get my Cumberbatch fix in the coming Star Trek "sequel"!

But I must say - for a lot of us, speculations and rumors/spoilers are half the fun.  Apparently, however, he does not feel the same way:

"I think people just want to have a scoop. It annoys me – it’s beyond the point to just ferret around for spoilers all the time to try to be the first to break them. It masquerades as interest in the movie but really it’s just nosiness and impatience. You just want to say, ‘Oh f— off! Wait for the film!'"

I do understand, and I see his point. I feel that there are certain fans who are nosy and impatient, but others innocently stumble across a rumor and get excited - we want to share and get other fans excited as well.

Although I see myself as innocent in all of this, I can't help but feel guilt...

Edit: The again, what if he is saying this now so that we won't expect him to be Khan and then we will be surprised when he is Khan, if he is Khan? Who knows. Don't trust anything you read on the movie until it comes out - that's what I've learned so far.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Homeworld - DC TOS Star Trek Annual - Volume 2 Issue 3 1992

I picked up the "Homeworld" comic a little while ago, when I was on my way home after travelling around the entire city on bus. As always, there were too many comics there for me to afford, but I had to get this particular comic for one reason - Sarek is on the cover.

In fact, Sarek plays a large part in the Homeworld Story, which is 56 pages long. For those who have not read this comic, I must warn you that I will be going to go over the entire plot from this point forward. 

The story begins with Sarek, Lar'tok, and her aide Ku'bik meeting in a large building (possibly royal headquarters) in New Ketira. Lar'tok speaks to Sarek about how happy she is about his presense, and that he will be part of New Ketira's official admission into the Federation. She feels that they owe Sarek an "incalculable debt", as there would be no New Ketira if it were not for his intervention ten years before. He states that he was merely doing his diplomatic duty.

Lar'tok jokes frequently with Sarek, but is always very respectful. She beckons for him to follow her, so that he may meet her successor, Shiel'kia. Sarek was not aware of her stepping down, and tells her so. It is then that she informs him that she is dying. 

Sarek attempts to remain calm, so that his surprise and distress does not show.

Lar'tok makes a remark about Vulcans and their "emotional scenes", which I found very amusing.

She explains to him that her impending death is entirely natural, as she has lived a century and a half. Now that she is going to see New Ketira join the Federation and everything is in order (and she has seen her friend Sarek again) she feels that it is an appropriate time to "make an exit".

When Sarek questions whether or not this is suicide, she explains that her species, after a certain time, are able to select their time of death. The Katiran's decision will begin an irreversible chemical process, which triggers hormones that bring death.

Sarek is not relived, but he understands.

They approach Shiel'kia, who turns and bows to Sarek, honored to meet such a man. When Sarek mentions her being Lar'tok's successor, she turns to Lar'tok and reveals that she does not wish to "blend" with her and lose her individuality. This upsets Lar'tok very much, as without the blending she cannot lead. Blending would mean that all previous leaders would be a part of her, and so she renounces her position. Unfortunately, she had been groomed for five years to lead, and there is no time to find another successor before Lar'tok dies. Shiel'kia begins shouting, and is very adamant about remaining an individual.

Jumping to a later date - the Enterprise is escorting Sarek to the ceremonies admitting New Ketira into the Federation. It is during the briefing between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy that more information is brought foreward about Sarek's role in Ketira's history, and about  the "blending".

Spock explains Ketiran blending to be, in a way, like the Vulcan mind meld. Memories are transfered from one "sensitized Ketiran mind" to the other - by doing this, a new leader is "endowed  with the accumulated knowledge and experiences of her predecessors".

Spock also explains that Sarek's involvement with the Katirans began in a time before Sarek and Amanda's marriage. While Sarek was acting as mediator between Arvaga and Delta Veylos, he encountered a small community of Ketirans led by Lar'tok. The Ketirans had been dispersed from their original homeworld in a war a couple of millennia before. They were then doomed to wander the galaxy - facing persecution, their numbers dwindling. Sarek brought this matter to the attention of the Federation, and a suitable planet was found for their colonization. This planet become New Ketira. Other surviving groups of Ketirans were later found and settled on the planet afterwards.

Lar'tok chose not to join the federation at that time, because she wanted Ketiran society to develop and prove itself worthy of membership. The Ketirans eventually built an extremely successful society built on trade, and believe that their world should be a haven for other outcasts, as it had been for them.

Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down to meet with Sarek and Lar'tok.

Lar'tok tells of how she naively thought that the scattered survivors would all come together on the new planet and "melt together to recreate the Ketira of old". This did not happen, however, due to idealistic differences. Many of the survivors, depending on their experiences during the two thousand years of wandering, returned with very different ideas and lifestyles - many even looked entirely different. Ketirans have the ability to alter their appearance to a certain degree - size, body shape, type and color of hair and skin, and some facial characteristics. They can then pass these changes on to their offspring.

Shiel'kia walks in on the meeting, and announces those who look no different from Lar'tok have also changed. This upsets Lar'tok, as Shiel'kia was not invited to the meeting due to her renouncement. Shiel'kia gets very worked up, exclaiming that she has grown up in a world full of diversity, and that diversity is the way of the future. When Lar'tok tells her that one must understand the past in order to deal with the future (hence the blending), Shiel'kia exclaims that the blending only binds her to the past.

Lar'tok is overcome and falls to the ground, hand to her chest. The stress of arguing with Shiel'kia caused her body to react defensively by shutting down temporarily - thus conserving what strength she had left and holding off a potentially fatal overload. Shiel'kia is worried, but still will not cooperate and runs off.

Lar'tok, when conscious, realises that Shiel'kia is frightened, as she was frightened herself when she had only to lead a small community in the past.

Kirk is then notified by Scottie about a fleet of nine ships which appeared out of subspace, asking to speak to the captain of the Enterprise. They are Ketirans, and they call themselves the Sancti.

Part two coming soon.

Note: they keep forgetting to color Sarek's eyebrows. This distresses me.

Monday, 21 May 2012

T-Shirt: TardEx Express - When it absolutely, positively, has to be there before you ship it.

Looking through the T-Shirt section at Comic Con is always fun, for two reasons: firstly, I love nerdy T-shirts. And secondly, I love puns. A couple of years ago I found the most amazing Doctor Who shirt in the history of Doctor Who shirts:

I neglected to take a close-up photo of the shirt, so I borrowed an image taken by geospizafortis:

Oh, and if you feel like you really need this shirt (which you should), you can buy one HERE. Unfortunately, they will not be shipping using TardEx Express - you will have to wait for shipping.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Sucrose and it's effect on Vulcans.

It is generally accepted in the Star Trek fandom that Vulcans get "drunk" after ingesting chocolate. I have always felt, however, that to get drunk off of something as specific as chocolate was highly illogical - it would have to be one of the ingredients. I eventually ended up reading "Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home", which is a novelized adaptation of the movie, written by Vonda N. McIntyre. The great thing about this novel is that is informs the reader on exactly what it is that causes this "drunkenness".

Remember when Spock went swimming with the whales? It turns out he was not thinking clearly because of a wafer that was given to him by Kirk when they were attempting to get change for the bus:

"Admiral," Spock said, "my understanding is that the amounts of money we possess are not too small to permit us onto the bus, but too large." 
"Very astute, Mr. Spock." 
"In that case, we must purchase something that costs less than the difference between one piece of paper money and the amount of metallic money we must give to the bus."

Kirk ends up buying mint wafers, one of which he gives to Spock. Spock unwraps the foil, sniffs the package, puts one in his mouth to melt, and gets on the bus.

"Admiral," Spock said, "I believe this confection you have given me contains sucrose."

Of course, Kirk can't hear him because of the stupid punk with the boom-box. When they get to the Cetacean Institute, Spock begins thinking differently while watching the whales:

"Spock wondered if it was proper Vulcan behavior to be amazed by the two creatures playing. He decided he did not care, for the moment, about proper Vulcan behavior. He merely wanted to watch the whales." 
"Spock felt quite strange. He wondered if he were being affected by human emotions. T'Lar and the other Vulcan adepts had warned him against them. Yet his mother, also an adept, had urged him to experience them rather than shutting them out. Spock wondered if now might be the time to take her advice. 

He then begins worrying about the whales, and what they are thinking - and he can think of only one solution:

"The hot sunlight poured down on Spock. He gazed across the surface of the pool, dropped his robe, and dove."

Of course, we know what happens after that. Later, he is confronted about this incident by Kirk, and this is when we learn about sucrose and it's effect on Vulcans:

"I didn't know you could swim, Spock," Jim said with some asperity.
"I find it quite refreshing, though I wonder if it is proper Vulcan behavior," Spock said, oblivious to Jim's irritation. "It is not an ability that is common, or even useful, on my home world. Admiral, I do not understand why Dr. Taylor believed I wanted the hell to swim with damned pikes."
"What possessed you to swim with damned whales?" Jim exclaimed. 
Spock considered. "It seemed like the logical thing to do at the time." 
"In front of fifty people? Where's your judgement, Spock?"  
Spock hesitated. "It is perhaps not at it's peak at the moment, admiral. Sucrose has been known the hell to have this effect on Vulcans. I do not usually indulge." 
"Indulge? Spock, do you mean to tell me you're drunk?" 
"In a matter of speaking, admiral." He sounded embarrassed. 
"Where did you get it? Why did you eat it?" 
"You gave it to me. I did not realize that the wafer's main constituent was sucrose until I had damned already ingested it."

It is there that Kirk abandons the topic and suggests that he refrain from attempting to use "colorful idioms".

So there you have it. It is not specifically chocolate that causes "drunkenness" in Vulcans, but the sucrose. Mystery solved.

I would also like to highly recommend this book, and all of the other novel adaptations of the original cast movies - they are fascinating.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Doctor Who Shirt - David Tennant and the Tardis

As many of you already know, I live in Canada. Right now it is about 18 degrees (64.4 degrees Fahrenheit) and I feel like I am going to die of heat stroke. Despite this, I decided to wrap myself up in clothing (why?) and go out to take pictures. Doctor Who related pictures in the wind and the heat.

I am wearing a shirt that belongs to my sister, featuring David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor. She bought this shirt at Comic Con a year or two back, after I had already left for the day. I am also holding a miniature TARDIS because it happened to be in the bag with my camera.

It is actually a wind-up TARDIS that I picked up while I was buying a copy of Metropolis.

But back to the shirt. I really love this shirt (it looks better on her, in my opinion) because of how intense the Doctor looks - I'll bet when my sister is talking to people while wearing this shirt, they are intimidated into utter silence.

This shirt also goes well with my blue hair.

I was also, while I was outside with my camera, making a small video in which I was lost in place with movement but without sound. I kept calling for the Doctor, but he never came. I found a security device I thought I recognized, but when I ran up to it and started mouthing words (screaming, almost, but there was no sound) I was soon chased away by... something. It was actually really depressing, as you can see by the shot below:

Unfortunately, I was using the video recorder on my DSLR camera, and the focus is terrible. One of these days I will have to record it again, but with another recording device.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Vita Xenos - Ornithoid Lifeform as seen on Pyris VII - Catspaw

Vita Xenos
The classification of "Vita Xenos" (Life Stranger) includes all intelligent life outside of the Milky Way galaxy. Very few species from outside of our galaxy have been discovered. Very little information is available when it comes to these beings. The brief information gathered on these aliens suggests that the developement of life outside of the galaxy differs very little from within our own.

Ornithoid Lifeform
The ornithoid (bird-like) life form seen on Pyris VII (Korob and Silvia - TOS episode "Catspaw") is one such outside species. From what we know from brief tricorder readings and the dissection of deceased specimens, these orthinoid lifeforms originated on a cold, dry planet with low atmospheric pressure and a very low gravity - about one sixth of the gravity of earth.

It is theorised that their primary source of nutrition is provided by liquids, due to their simple digestive tract and straw-like mouths. Their eyes have concave reflectors which capture and focus images. This species is known to be an advanced tool maker which is capable of space travel - because their claw-like limbs are not likely to provide sufficient manual dexterity, it is also theorised that their proboscis are used when handling and manipulating items.

Due to their transmuter technologies, they were able to amplify their mental abilities and survive on Pyris VII. When this technology (appearing as a wand) was destroyed, they were unable to survive on the planet due to their frail physiology and tiny stature.

It is also know that these beings answer to "the Old Ones", but it is unknown who or what the Old Ones are.

Note: The top image of the ornithoid lifeform was drawn by myself with a tablet. I scanned and edited the second image from the Star Fleet Medical Reference Manual.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Sarek as a Teenager

I started sketching a Vulcan on a piece of thick paper that was going to go in the garbage, and then I turned it into a teenage Sarek. And then I figured I may as well paint it. So I did. And now it looks like this:

I even added tiny chest hairs.

Click to enlarge. Gouache, acrylic, and india ink