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Star Trek Deflector Device Could Protect From Radiation During A Trip To Mars

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DeflectorDespite the financial hurdles likely to prevent humans from going to Mars anytime soon, scientists still constantly brainstorm the challenges of getting to the Red Planet safely. In addition to studying the need for long-term healthy food options for such a journey, scientists also analyze data from NASA’s Curiosity rover to try and anticipate other potential complexities of such a mission.

The latest one? Radiation.

About a year ago, as the Curiosity rover made its way to Mars, readings from its Radiation Assessment Detector indicated that astronauts would be exposed to 554-770 millisieverts of radiation on the journey. What does that mean, exactly? Well, most people are exposed to roughly 6.2 millisieverts of radiation a year. Taking a trip to Mars would be akin to getting a CT scan “once every five days,” according to the Cary Zeitlin, lead scientist for the Martian Radiation Environment Experiment. What that means in terms of tangible effects is still unknown. On the bright side, Martians probably wouldn’t find radiation-caused mutations all that strange, but I think it’s safe to say that we don’t want to find out.

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Plan Fictional Vacations Accordingly With Sci-Fi Currency Converter

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creditsIt’s summertime, people. The sun is out — or suns, depending on what planet you call home — and the lack of snow and winter rains makes it the perfect time for traveling. Everybody needs a vacation, but something no one needs is arriving at the desired destination, light years away (or in a different futuristic dimension), and not having the right kind of money or any idea of how much money you’re supposed to have for proper conversion. The almighty dollar is only an illusion.

Luckily, Money in Advance has made things a little easier for everyone by creating the Intergalactic Exchange Bureau, which assists uninformed travelers in figuring out how currencies of different nations add up when converted to those of science fiction’s most notable properties.

The dollar, the British pound, and the Euro are up for conversion, and you’ll be able to tell how they match up with Galactic Credits from Star Wars, Federation Credits from Star Trek, Dollarpounds from Red Dwarf, regular old Creds from Judge Dredd, and a bunch of other sci-fi and fantasy properties. The different monies of A Song of Ice and Fire and Harry Potter, the Ankh-Morpork Dollar from Discworld, and even the Fallout‘s bottle caps, Simoleons from The Sims 3, and Septims from Skyrim are also featured. Do your own conversions below, and don’t forget to tip your Cantina bartenders.

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Star Trek Fan Builds Custom Flying Radio-Controlled Enterprise

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RC Enterprise DWith the release and box office success of Star Trek Into Darkness, director J.J. Abrams has definitely put Star Trek back into mainstream popularity. Whether or not Abrams will return to direct Star Trek 3 is still up for debate, considering his obligations to Disney, Lucasfilm, and Star Wars: Episode VII. In the meantime, let’s take a look at the influence of Star Trek in geek and pop culture.

Slovakian Star Trek fan and YouTube user TheMiro59 created a radio-controlled U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC-1701-D, from Star Trek: The Next Generation. It’s an impressive piece of work that actually flies, but it’s doubtful it will get fast enough to hit warp speed.

TheMiro59 documented how he created the RC Enterprise on his website, and it looks like it was quite the undertaking. First, he created a miniature-scale model of the Enterprise with cardboard and masking tape to see if it could actually fly. He later put togethr a bigger working model from plywood and Styrofoam. He then finished off the RC Enterprise with working, super-bright LEDs and optic fibers to make it glow and shine.

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Khan Finally Gets His Due In Latest Batch Of Retro Star Trek Posters

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You can tell how busy I’ve been lately by the fact that I nearly let the entire month slip by without sharing the latest batch of gorgeous retro Star Trek episodic posters from artist Juan Ortiz. Given all the hubbub surrounding the character of Khan in recent months, it’s only appropriate that Ortiz’s tenth installment of his ongoing quest to create a retro poster for every episode of Star Trek: The Original Series highlights the episode that first introduced us to the character. In addition to Khan’s origins in “Space Seed,” Ortiz is serving up his renderings of “The Menagerie, Part 2” (Pike and the buttheaded Talosians!), “The Empath,” and “All Our Yesterdays.”

As usual, we’re including Ortiz’s commentary from StarTrek.com with each poster, and you can find out how to order prints the artist’s posters at the bottom. Of this group I think the “Space Seed” is the most impressive, although I do really love how the poster for “The Empath” almost reminds me of a cover from the classic pulp science fiction books I spent my adolescence raiding out of my dad’s closet..

Menage2

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WGA’s List Of Best-Written Shows Of All Time Includes Six Science Fiction Classics

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Science fiction hasn’t always gotten its due. In the past it’s been dismissed as “kid stuff” or somehow less worthy and noble than mainstream fiction. Thankfully we know better than that. At its best, science fiction can examine who we are by exploring who we were, or who we will become. Thankfully, SF has long since proven that it has the potential to tell stories just as exciting and insightful as those of any other genre, but franchises such as Star Trek has proven it can be big business as well. For the purposes of this story, however, we’re not concerned with crass commercialism, but rather the writing quality of some of the genre’s best TV outings.

The Writers Guild of America recently shared their picks for the “101 Best Written TV Series” of all time, and wouldn’t you know it, several iconic science fiction shows were included on the list. Granted, they only occupy six slots out of 101, so I’m thinking there are some serious oversights, but that’s a topic for another day. For now, let’s examine the SF shows the WGA folks did deem worthy or recognition.

X-Files

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Wil Wheaton Loved Star Trek Into Darkness

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wil & levarA few days ago Star Trek: The Next Generation actor LeVar Burton voiced his disappointment about J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness, saying that he was “missing Gene Roddenberry in J.J.’s interpretation.” One of Burton’s TNG castmates is on the other end of the spectrum when it comes to Into Darkness. Geek icon Wil Wheaton, who played Wesley Crusher, has posted a lengthy review of the movie, and he had a lot of positive things to say about the Trek sequel.

On his personal website, Wheaton says that he loved the film, so much that it may be his favorite Star Trek movie ever. (I don’t even want to think about how many angry comments that will generate.) He talks about Into Darkness as a metaphor the post-9/11 world, and “the dangers inherent in letting vengeance eclipse justice, and reflexively choosing the military option at all times.” And while Cumberbatch’s role as Khan is easily the most controversial element of Into Darkness, Wheaton raves about it, in particular praising Cumberbatch’s performance:

Benedict Cumberbatch is one of my very favorite — excuse me, favourite — actors today, and he brought his brilliant mixture of confidence and strength to Khan in a way that, with all due respect, Montalban never did. Never once does Cumberbatch make the obvious choice, his performance is always subtle, always controlled, and when he finally goes full-Khan, scary as hell.