Samuel Langhorne Clemens, later known by his pen name Mark Twain, was
born 177 years ago today, on November 30, 1835. Twain is most famous for his novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I've always enjoyed his humor and satirical commentary.
I even played the role of Mark Twain once in a stage play.
In California, there is a non-profit group called "New Starship" that is working to fully restore the discarded "Star Trek: The Next Generation" USS Enterprise-D studio bridge set. Their plan is to make it into a fully interactive museum simulator available for display, fan films, charities and more. They already have the support of many of Star Trek's well-known actors, artist and producers. Here's a video explaining their project and its goals:
As mentioned in the video, they have a Kickstarter page set up to raise funds for this restoration project. Celebrities, companies and individuals have donated unique and expensive rewards to be given to those who pledge funds at various monetary levels. As I too wholeheartedly support this project, I've donated a little something to help them reach their goal.
As a reward to one person who donates $300 to their Kickstarter goal, I have offered the following:
A Portrait of YOU as a Klingon!
"A one-of-a-kind custom 14"x17" pencil/graphite portrait of you as a Klingon, by professional artist, Jon Baas. You provide the real-life photo (or photos) of yourself, and any other details you want included in your portrait, and then Jon will draw you as if you were a unique Klingon character in the Star Trek universe (head shot only). You may choose any era of Klingon (preferably with forehead ridges). The final portrait will be hand drawn and signed."
I was commissioned to create some of these portraits a few years ago; they were very popular. We'll see if this one helps "New Starship" achieve their funding goals so they can rebuild the Bridge of the USS Enterprise-D!
Science fiction is fun. It makes for great story-telling, great visuals, and great adventure. So many things are possible in the vast inky black blanket of space. Yet, most people don't realize just how much writers have to violate the established laws of physics in order to tell those great science fiction stories.
Robots in theme parks usually don't allow
for physical interaction and contact with guests. It's not a safe practice. Catching and
throwing back objects, however, is. It maintains a safe distance between the robot and participants, and minimizes the possibility of something going wrong. Disney Research has developed a test bed program for a throwing and catching human/robot interaction scenario.... and it's pretty cool if you ask geeky 'ole me. Watch this video and see if you don't agree.
Bridges can be beautiful works of art and engineering. I love art, and I'm fascinated by creative engineering. Therefore, this gallery of beautiful bridges built in over a dozen different countries -- throughout the course of Human history -- is well worth investigating. Enjoy!
"If you have been voting for politicians who promise to give you goodies at someone else's expense, then you have no right to complain when they take your money and give it to someone else, including themselves." - Thomas Sowell
Just something to keep in mind when you vote tomorrow.