Listening to this today, I finally put my finger on what it sounds like to me. An ethereal time machine… spinning thru the centuries, hovering over different eras. Funny thing about this time machine is that it’s sorta got a personality. So that’s why I tagged it “mad computer” and “man machine” at SoundCloud.
Originally posted on Shamagaia:
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Born in 1962, I was almost too young to really appreciate Star Trek by the time it had run its course from 1966-69. Seven years old, and Star Trek had been cancelled.
My first memories of watching Star Trek are in the basement on Saturdays. It might have been a black and white or maybe a fairly primitive color TV. I can’t remember. What I do remember, though, is that the picture was pretty snowy. So it could have been a Buffalo NY channel. Or possibly a Hamilton ON channel. A snowy picture wasn’t uncommon back in the 60s and early 70s—if a household didn’t have cable, that is.
Even though the picture was fuzzy, I was captivated by Trek‘s faraway ambiance. It was low tech, for sure. But very high on the imagination. And that’s what really counts in storytelling, sci-fi or otherwise.
A few years later, the show came back as daily reruns. My friends and I would watch Trek, almost like an after school congregation. Sometimes we’d watch two episodes a day. The reruns were that popular.
One of my favorite childhood episodes took place on a planet similar to Nazi Germany. Another great episode saw Kirk being accused of witchcraft on a planet similar to Earth’s European Middle Ages. And then there was Trelane, that Renaissance spoilsport who played the harpsichord, mostly concerned with his own pleasure.
There are several other outstanding episodes. Some explore the notion of parallel universes. Others, the merging of fantasy and reality. And others, the pitfalls of gangland violence or hippie idealism. But my all-time favorite, “City on the Edge of Forever,” won a Hugo award.
In this episode, Kirk, Spock and Dr. McCoy (Bones) travel back in time through a doughnut shaped portal to America’s Dirty Thirties. Kirk falls in love with the beautiful and insightful Edith Keeler. Unfortunately, she dies at the end of the episode. So Kirk must return to the Enterprise, to his own time, and suppress his feelings in order to command the starship.
It was a brilliant episode about time travel. One of the first to blend metaphysics and human emotion.
As for Leonard Nimoy, he was forever clever, funny and played the role of Spock perfectly. Jolene Blalock, who expertly portrayed the Vulcan T’Pol in Enterprise, once said that Nimoy was a hard act to follow.
Spock was groundbreaking because he was, perhaps, the first ET on TV with a full personality. As a self-proclaimed Vulcan, he was also half-human, a being who’d been taught as a boy to bury his emotions. That’s what Vulcans did. But the inner conflict was always lurking, just waiting to rise to the surface.
Despite his apparent rationalism, Spock would fall in love. He’d be reckless. He’d exhibit great valor. And when teased by Bones and Kirk, Spock would coolly rationalize his underlying emotionalism, in true Vulcan style.
Nimoy certainly was the man for the job. He played the innovative, complex character of Spock to a T. So Mr. Nimoy, thanks for the memories. And to you in the next life:
LIVE LONG AND PROSPER! :)
About the Author
Mike Clark earned his Ph.D in Religious Studies from the University of Ottawa. He’s an ardent supporter of dialogue and free-thinking. Not one to uncritically accept the latest politically correct, scientific, religious or trendy opinions, Mike wants to get at truth. But as a limited human being, he realizes he’ll probably always have to settle for (hopefully better and better) theories about truth.
Originally posted on Stuff Jeff Reads:
This comic is graphic, scary, and now I can add intellectually engaging. I have nothing but praise for this.
This issue begins with a flashback to when Archie is young and his parents took him to adopt a puppy. Archie’s mom, Mary, is struck with sadness as she remembers having a dog as a child, and when the dog died, having to face the realization that death is an inevitable part of life, something her own young son must one day learn.
Mary: …I’m just remembering the dog I had, when I was a girl. Spotty. How overjoyed I was when I got him, and how utterly devastated I was when… when…
Fred: Spotty was a good dog.
Mary: He was, and it was the most awful feeling, Fred, and I can’t bear the thought of Archie going through it.
Fred: Yes, but that’s years from now, Mary. And sad…
View original 230 more words
Time travel is arguably the most fascinating topic in all of science fiction. If you are a fan of science fiction consider for a moment your favourite movies, books and episodes of television shows.
Which were the best episodes of Star Trek for example in all of its incarnations? Which episode would you consider to be the absolute best out of all the series? Think about your favourite movies and decide which is best out of straight adventure and exploration, fighting off monsters or the mind bending stories involving time travel.
There are two directions of possible travel, namely into the future or into the past. The truth is that travel into the future is not a problem and can be accomplished in a number of ways some of which are practical and others which are theoretically possible given future advances in technology.
Time dilation as proposed by Einstein as velocity approaches the speed of light. This has been verified even here on Earth by clocks travelling in high speed flight or in orbit and also by observing cosmic rays.
Suspended animation by freezing or even hibernation which the bears regularly do.
The normal aging process which takes our consciousness into the future at the steady rate of one second per second.
Now factor in things like black holes, wormholes, folded space, string theory etc and we have many possibilities to consider.
Now time travel into the past looks on the surface to be impossible because of the many paradoxes that it implies. However the laws of Physics are symmetrical and there is actually nothing in the laws that prohibits backward travel in time.
It is the exploring of the paradoxes that breathes life into the whole concept of time travel. The best known one is of course any variation on the so called ‘grandfather paradox’. This is where the time traveller goes back in time and murders his own grandfather before he gets around to fathering his father which means that the time traveller was never born which means that he never went back in time which means that he never killed his grandfather which means…well you get the picture.
In my Time Travel Novels I have explored many variations on this paradox and others. One explanation is that there are an infinite number of universes so every possibility is allowed for. Another is the theory that an event becomes its own cause so that whatever the time traveller does in the past it was meant to happen in the first place in order to set his existence in motion.
Think about any time travel story that you have ever seen or read and you will realise that they all involve a giant circle which appears to close on itself. The trick is in trying to pick where the break is in the circle.
About the Author
I had a good childhood as childhoods go. I didn’t like school very much and yet I went on to become a high school Maths teacher. After five years of that I returned to university to finish my own full-time study in Applied Mathematics IV. Around this time I began a part-time career as a lecturer in Engineering Studies at the University of Western Sydney.
The groundwork for the person that I am today was always there though because I have always had a love for anything to do with science fiction. After Life Novels
Originally posted on Stuff Jeff Reads:
I love The Doors and I am a huge fan of Jim Morrison’s writing, but I have to admit that some of what was posthumously published as “poetry” is really nothing more than the scribbled thoughts of someone who was way too stoned for his own good. Much of what is in Wilderness Volume 1: The Lost Writings of Jim Morrison falls into this category. The following poem, though, is one of the better pieces in the collection.
I can make the earth stop in
its tracks. I made the
blue cars go away.
I can make myself invisible or small.
I can become gigantic & reach the
farthest things. I can change
the course of nature.
I can place myself anywhere in
space or time.
I can summon the dead.
I can perceive events on other worlds,
in my deepest inner mind,
& in the minds of others.
View original 210 more words
Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi film Minority Report (2002) is soon to be re-imagined as a TV series by Fox.
In the original Minority Report three clairvoyants called Precogs (precognitives) spend their days in deep meditation, afloat in water. Their job is to predict murders that could take place in the future. Tom Cruise, a good and honest cop, relies on the Precogs to arrest would-be criminals just before they commit a homicide.
Minority Report puts an interesting twist on the idea of precognition because, in real life, individuals claiming to possess this ability are often treated with suspicion, even derision. But the Precogs’ abilities are highly valued and they are given a kind of eerie reverence.
True and False
As the administrator of Earthpages.org, I’ve met many complex and fascinating seekers, on and offline. Some claim that spirit beings appear or speak to them. Others believe they have seen objects, places or souls during their astral travels. Several allegedly read minds; and some say they’ve had a vision of Christ or the Holy Trinity. And like the PreCogs, others claim to foresee the future.
Dealing with alleged psychics and mind-readers is both rewarding and challenging. If psychic abilities are real, it seems there’s no guarantee they’ll be applied ethically. For instance, those who haven’t dealt with personal pain could take a compensatory turn toward self-aggrandizement.¹
Clearly, some folks do take a wrong turn in the spiritual life, and a few might be repeatedly deceived and paranoid. Interior perception is an exacting process and not everyone does it well.
Leading writers on mysticism like Evelyn Underhill say that sincere mystics strive to be humble and analytical in order to avoid deception by the imagination or by negative spiritual influences (traditionally viewed as “demons,” “tramp souls” and “ghosts”).
But this is the ideal. In reality, many alleged psychics and prophets seem pretty out to lunch. They speak in such roundabout terms that their predictions could mean a thousand different things. And when flat wrong, some of them just fudge it. False prophecies are quickly swept under the rug or recast as “symbolic” predictions.
Philosophers call this the ad hoc hypothesis or possibly ex post facto reasoning. Rather than openly admitting mistakes (as an honest researcher would) sham mystics do their best to cover them up.
Christian theologians say that genuine prophecy is revealed or infused from a supernatural source. They also tend to believe that God is omnipotent. This means God could use weak and sinful personalities for genuine prophecy, even for a short while. According to this view, one doesn’t have to be a holy guru to be a prophet. For Christians, no one is perfect. And to claim otherwise is misguided.
In Catholicism, personal revelations are called private revelations. Private revelations occurring after the time of Christ are said to add nothing to the faith as defined by the Church. But private revelations declared authentic may have inspirational or cultural value.
Throughout the ages, there have been so-called “private” revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ’s definitive revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church. Christian faith cannot accept “revelations” that claim to surpass or correct the revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment, as is the case in certain non-Christian religions and also in certain recent sects which base themselves on such “revelations”²
Of course, many modern people question the authority of a traditional religious body that, in he past, has proved to be just as susceptible to temptation and error as anyone else. Historically, the Catholic Church has made gruesome mistakes, only to apologize hundreds of years later.
It’s also entirely possible that even the best of prophets distort their revelations through their unique personalities. That is, they interpret according to who they are at a given moment in history. According to the view, much of the Bible is laced with cultural bias and political infighting. That hardly sounds like the “Word” of God.
So where does this leave us? And by what standard do sincere seekers judge interior perceptions?
I think the answer might be found in a cross fertilization of psychology and spirituality. Einstein once said “science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”³ Perhaps we could adapt that to something like, “psychology without spirituality is superficial, spirituality without psychology is questionable.”
Only then can we move forward to a spirituality suitable for the 21st century and beyond.
¹ Many saints say that vanity and jealousy figure prominently in the spiritual life. The more we open to spiritual realities, the more vulnerable we are to temptation and deception.
² Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 67. Catholic theology looks at prophecy in its own unique way. St. Thomas Aquinas is often cited in Catholic discussions about prophecy. But we’d do well to remember that after having a direct encounter with God, toward the end of his life, Aquinas apparently said his writings were like a “house of straw.”
Copyright © Michael W. Clark 2014