FANDANGO’S PROVOCATIVE QUESTION #26 – Marilyn Armstrong

Fandango’s Provocative Question #26

Like many people, I’ve seen stuff in the sky. Sometimes, I’m sure it’s just some new piece of equipment the military is testing … but not always. So this is a really good question:


“Do you believe that there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for these sightings, like unannounced or unauthorized drone flights or space junk falling back into the atmosphere, or do you think that the objects these pilots saw were actual UFOs?”


So there I was standing on my back deck looking vaguely upwards and something really HUGE stopped right overhead. Stopped. And didn’t appear to move. It was big, with a lot of lights and I watched it for at least ten minutes before it moved on. It probably was moving, but so was the earth so it appeared to be still in the sky.

I went back inside and called NASA’s  number on which you can ask: “What is that big thing in the sky?”

It was 2009, so it was probably this version of the space lab.

They asked me where I lived. I told them. They said, “It’s the space lab, and it’s directly over Uxbridge. Right over your head.”

“It’s so big!” I commented. I hadn’t realized the lab was so close to the earth. I suppose I had images of it circling nearer the moon. It looked like it might decide to land at Logan Airport.

As seen over Arizona or …
It could have been this one

Then there was a wedge-shaped plane we saw in the sky in Arizona. I was sure it was some kind of military test aircraft. Recently, they unveiled it. By which time everyone in Arizona had a really good look at it.

On the other hand, there were those flying lights in the sky that were not meteors,  helicopters, or airplanes. I saw them. Garry saw them. Several of my friends saw them. No one has given me an explanation that makes sense. Maybe there is an explanation, but I haven’t heard it. (No, they were NOT weather balloons!)

Did they drop out of the sky and kidnap us? Nope. Just a lot of dashing “sky flyers” lit with various colors. Pretty. Odd. What was that? Something military? Entertainment from the heavens?

Do I think there’s intelligent life elsewhere? Probably.

Where? No idea. But we exist, so why should we be the only ones in this gigantic universe? Will we ever meet the “others”? Maybe yes, maybe no. If they aren’t even in this galaxy and are on some planet millions of light-years away, the odds do not favor a close encounter. Not to mention someone (Star Trek?) would have to be out there looking for them … or they would have to be looking for us.

So I’m not expecting to meet any space aliens in this life, but assuming humans continue to survive the garbage pit they are making out of this earth, maybe they will.

Or maybe not.

A TALE OF TWO TREKS: TO BRAVELY GO – BY TOM CURLEY


“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.”


Well, that’s not really true. More like: “It was the best of times. It was not so bad, at times.”

Also, I hear they are bringing back Patrick Stewart — at 78 — to reprise Jean-Luc Picard. I have no idea how the show will go, but you have to hand it to Stewart! At 78, a weekly show? So there will be yet one more Star Trek. Not sure when they are planning to start this one, but that’s the word.

Talk about a concept that has survived through many long years!

Does this mean I’m finally going to have to pay CBS because they put all their good shows on the “pay to view” network?

Once more, we are bravely going where no Star Trek series has gone before. This is not our universe, of course.  Real life would be more like “It was the worst of times. It was the ‘what the fuck is going on? This can’t possibly be real! Would somebody please wake me up’?” … of times.

This is the current run of the Star Trek universe.

Our world has been without a Star Trek series for a few years. I think we are always supposed to have at least one original on the air. I’m pretty sure it’s a law, but, for some reason, we have been forced into reruns. But times, they are a’changin’ …

Now, we have two and both are bravely going wherever they are sent.


STAR TREK DISCOVERY: CBS All Access, Streaming


Star Trek Discovery takes place 10 years before Kirk, Spock and the gang started their five-year mission to boldly go wherever the hell they were told to boldly go.

In this variation, the main character is not the captain, but the first officer. She’s a human raised on Vulcan by Spock’s parents. Its main storyline is about the First Federation vs. Klingon war. It was shot using a huge budget. The actors are all pretty good. The show is … okay.  I mean, it’s not bad. It’s good-ish.

But it has a few problems.

First, the Klingons only sort of look like Klingons. As a start, they are bald.

Klingons are usually pretty hairy.

They’re also incredibly racist. They believe in racial purity. Everyone else in the universe is inferior. And they are all victims of every other species in the galaxy.

You know, like Trump supporters. 

ALL the Klingon’s dialog is in Klingon. Actual Klingon. With subtitles in English!

Really?

Now, I’m as big a Star Trek nerd as anybody out there. I know there are Klingon camps you can go to learn the Klingon language. The bible has been translated into Klingon. People have Klingon weddings.

Yeah. That’s real.

But even for me, this is one nerd-step over the line.

Second, the ship has developed some kind of biologic warp drive that takes you instantly anywhere. Basically, it’s folding space. But what happened to it later?

In all the other Star Trek shows? Where did it go?

Voyager sure as hell could have used something like that. They were stuck in the other half of the galaxy for seven years — not including syndication.

Maybe someone will explain it in later episodes. Also, the ship can do weird things. Like the outer ring of the ship can spin around for no discernible reason.

The captain is sensitive to light, so instead of red alerts, they have black alerts!

Black Alerts?

WTF? The show’s creators say “they are taking liberties with the show.”

Liberties? Did any of them actually watch the other shows? The final, really big problem is that it only airs online through CBS All Access. You have pay for it. Like Netflix or Hulu.

The show is very dark, but still … it’s okay. Maybe the problem is that none of, or at least, very few of the people involved in all the other Star Trek series are working on the show.

That’s because they are working the other show.


THE ORVILLE – FOX Network


The Orville takes place in a very Star “Trek-ish” universe. It’s not exactly Star Trek, but really, it is.

Seth McFarland is Captain of the Planetary Union science ship, The Orville. He wasn’t the first choice for command, but the Planetary Union has over 3000 ships to man, so he got the job anyway. The show is funny. Very funny.

It’s also serious. Actually, it’s brilliant. Oh, and the Captain’s first officer is his ex-wife. Only a little minor stress there. 

The helm officer’s main concern is whether or not he can drink soda when he’s on duty.

Here’s a line of dialogue from one of the shows. They find a giant ship where the people on board don’t know they are on a giant ship. When they try to contact one of them, he shoots at them and they shoot him.

Well, they actually just stun him. They then run into his son.

CAPTAIN: We mean you no harm.

DOCTOR: Well, you did just shoot his Dad.

CAPTAIN: Other than shooting your Dad, we mean you no harm.

The plots are really, really good. Great science fiction. They do what the original Star Trek did. Take current events and put a spin on them. In this case usually a funny spin. This is the Star Trek that needed to be made. The one about the ship with a crew of screw-ups, who smoke pot, drink a lot, love to gossip, and yet, always get the job done.

I like this show so much I usually watch each episode twice. I never do that. Maybe because it reminds me of a series I did years ago (that Marilyn created) called Sterling Bronson, Space Engineer! 

Why that name?

Mostly because we knew if we called it any variation of Star Trek, we’d get sued. And it was an inside joke.

So, if you’re a tried and true Trekkie …

Excuse me, Trekker. Trekkers hate being called Trekkies. NOTE: You know how you can tell if someone is a Trekkie? They insist on being called Trekkers. But I digress.

If you’re a serious fan check out Discovery, but if you really want to see a great Star Trek series, it’s “The Orville.”

Boldly going wherever they’re told to boldly go!

BEAM ME SOMEWHERE! – Marilyn Armstrong

As airlines make traveling by air increasingly miserable, unfriendly, and physically uncomfortable, those of us who yearn to travel but abhor airports and airplanes have been waiting for teleportation.

You know. “Scotty, beam me up” and off you go to another place. It might be earth. It might be an outer planet in another galaxy. It might be … well … the bar in Star Wars of that cool one in Second Generation! Who the hell knows? And who really cares?

Although I foresee a limit on luggage, I’m sure I could work with that. They are making gigantic strides in travel clothing every day!

Warning, though. This is one of the many things we won’t be able to do unless we vote very Blue this November and remove the Orange Menace from the White House. Anyone who feels we need a wall at the Mexican border isn’t going to allow teleportation for just anyone from anywhere to anywhere else.

Certainly, I can’t imagine his nibs allowing ALIENS beaming into the land of the free and the home of the cringing, whining, terrified white people who voted for Orange Peel. If you think brown, red, yellow, or beige people whose native language isn’t English are out to get you, what will you do with a creature with tentacles who loves drinking grout cleaner?

What a bunch of dumbasses. We could own the universe, but instead, we prefer being locked up behind our own walls lest we feel potentially threatened by people who are different than us. And mind you, there is really not a bit of difference between us and the other colors and styles of people. We are all exactly the same, genetically.

Obviously, there are individual differences. Smarter, dumber, more creative, more athletic, totally clumsy — but nothing that you won’t see in any group of people who all have the same coloring or background. Skin and its variations have no effect on intelligence or ability to understand the meaning of the universe.

You know that, right? Nor does not speaking English. Mr. Nobel was Swedish. He didn’t speak American. Einstein was an immigrant. Sam Adams made beer and fomented revolution … and I’m not sure where he was from. Ireland? Scotland? England? Germany? The whole world? And anyway, we are all from Africa because that’s where humanity began. Check it out.

But wait! Orange Gecko won’t be in charge forever! He’s too old! Unless we’ve also invented the no-aging device, he’s going to bite the big one just like the rest of us.

Get those transporter beams revved up. I’m ready!

Let’s open up the world while I’m can still enjoy it. We will take our elderly tricycles and electric wheelchairs with us. Surely they have sidewalks on Betelgeuse.

Let’s transform our cellular material and go with the flow. You ready? I’m definitely ready!

For today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt of Teleport.

WHY IS NASA SENDING A SPACECRAFT TO THE SUN? (REBLOG) – Marilyn Armstrong

Why Is NASA Sending A Spacecraft To The Sun?
Earlier this month on August 11th,  NASA launched its newest spacecraft, called the Parker Solar Probe. The probe’s mission is to study the outer corona of the Sun to better protect our tech-driven lifestyle against destructive solar storms that could take us back to the stone ages.

 

Video via – Tech Insider
Further Readings And References @ NASASparkonitTechCrunch

TO FINITY AND BEYOND! – Tom Curley

I wrote this post while back. I’m re-posting it because it’s back in the news again.  Our Twittler-in-chief announced that he wanted to create a new branch of the military, the Space Force (pronounced SPAAACE FOOORCE!!! With reverb). It was just the latest gift for late night talk shows.

But recently Vice President and whitest human being on Earth, Mike Pence had a press conference with the Secretary of Defense announcing the creation of SPAACCE FOOORCE!!!

We must be prepared to fend off illegal aliens, or  gay aliens, or something like that.

Here’s the original post. It’s supposed to be old news, but as usual, it isn’t. Look in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s SPAACCE FOORRCE!

Every week since our Fucking-Idiot-In-Chief got into the Oval Office, every news report starts with a version of “This is the worst week yet for the President.” And there’s a reason they say that. It’s true. What’s amazing is how he manages to make this week worse than the last.

There’s no floor. You can’t say, “he can’t get any worse than this” because he will just say, “Oh yeah? Hold my near-beer.” (El Presidente doesn’t drink so I had to modify the meme).

Near-beer!

For a while, he was at least funny. He says stuff so stupid you just have to laugh. He writes all the late-night show’s monologues by himself (with a big assist by Fox News). But last month, he stooped to depths of depravity so low, so disgusting all the humor got pushed aside.  Ripping children from their parents and putting them in baby/toddler jails.

In the midst of this unspeakable evil, he was still trying to give us some comic relief. We were just too appalled, disgusted and enraged to notice it.


Our Chuckle-Head-In-Chief announced that he was ordering the Pentagon to create SPACE FORCE!

A “separate but equal branch” of the military. Separate but equal? What the hell does that mean? The Air Force and the Space Force have separate drinking fountains?

Then he actually said, “There’s no place like space, there’s no place like space.”

That night, all the late show comedy writers went “Well, we can take an early lunch.”

Just one thing. There already is a Space Force! Really! It’s been around since 1958. It was a syndicated comic strip called “Sky Masters of the Space Force!” created by Wally Wood and the great comic book artist Jack Kirby.

Can they sue? Probably not because I’m pretty sure they’re both dead.

He said we need the Space Force because we not only need to be in space but we need to DOMINATE SPACE!

Now the question becomes, who do we draft into the Space Force? We can’t use all of our current astronauts. They’re all scientists and engineers who work at an international space station where people from different countries all get along and work together. We can’t dominate space with these wimps!

We need real Americans.

Americans who want to make the galaxy great again!

The only problem is, Trump only picks people for his administration who are on television. But don’t despair! We have those heroes. Heroes like the Sky Masters of Space Force!

Oh wait, that was just a comic strip, not TV. OK, what about Tom Corbett, Space Cadet! He’s an American hero! He was on TV.

 

But, wait, he’s dead.

OK, what about Colonel Ed McCauley, head of the American Space Program in the 1959 TV show “Men into Space!” He was only on the air for a year, but he was still the head of the American Space Program!

The only problem is, he’s also dead.

OK, how about Ed Norton from the Honeymooners? He was an official ranger of Captain Video and his Video Rangers.

And what about Captain Video himself?

Shit, both dead.

Captain Kirk and Captain Jean Luc Picard are both still alive, but they don’t strike me as Trump’s kind of guys.

And hell, Kirk kissed a black girl.

Wait! Darth Vader! He’s totally a Trump kind of guy.

Crap, he’s dead too.

This could be a problem. Because let’s face it, we know that aliens have already visited Earth. And what do they do? One word. Anal probes.

They’re sending rapists! We need to stop the infestation of real, actual illegal aliens! What can we do?

Build a wall. A wall in space! We’ll make the aliens pay for it!

OK, we’ll make Mars pay for it!

We need real Americans to step up. How about the real American’s at Fox News? Hannity, Coulter, Ingram, Carlson and those three stooges who do Fox and Friends.

Draft them.

Send them into space to defend America! Defend Earth! Whatever. Just send them into space and make sure they stay there.

We can make them honorary Junior Birdmen.

To Infinity and beyond!

LOST IN SPACE COMES TO THE PENTAGON – THE SHINBONE STAR

I want a uniform too! I deserve one. It is, as they say, the least they can do for me.

THE SHINBONE STAR

With an announcement that sent asteroids off predicted trajectories, space cadet and great interstellar explorer Donald “Captain Bone Spurs” Trump added another dimension to the largest and most powerful military force on the planet. As of today the United States of America has a nascent sixth branch of the military – the U.S. Space Force.

Several sources confirmed to the Shinbone Star that Trump conceived his stellar idea while reading the back of a box of Lucky Stars cereal. He told them he had reached his brilliant decision after seeing clear evidence that the Russkies and pesky Chinese want to monopolize outer space in his cereal bowl. To prove it he laid out two soggy bits of cereal that looked like dreaded Communist red stars. He reportedly changed his story after hearing chief of staff John Kelly snickering in the next room.

Secret Tralfamadorian outer space envoy and special counselor…

View original post 802 more words

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE SPACE – BY TOM CURLEY

Every week since our Fucking-Idiot-In-Chief got into the Oval Office, every news report starts with a version of “This is the worst week yet for the President.” And there’s a reason they say that. It’s true. What’s amazing is how he manages to make this week worse than the last.

There’s no floor. You can’t say, “he can’t get any worst than this” because he will just say, “Oh yeah? Hold my near-beer.” (El Presidente doesn’t drink so I had to modify the meme).

Near-beer!

But for a while, he was at least funny. He says stuff so stupid you just have to laugh. He writes all the late-night show’s monologues by himself (with a big assist by Fox News). But last week he stooped to depths of depravity so low, so disgusting that all the humor got pushed aside.  Ripping children from their parents and putting them in baby/toddler jails.

In the midst of this unspeakable evil, he was still trying to give us some comic relief. We were just too appalled, disgusted and enraged to notice it.


Our Chuckle-Head-In-Chief announced that he was ordering the Pentagon to create SPACE FORCE!


A “separate but equal branch” of the military. Separate but equal? What the hell does that mean? The Air Force and the Space Force have separate drinking fountains? And then he actually said, “There’s no place like space, there’s no place like space.”

That night, all the late show comedy writers went “well, we can take an early lunch.”

But here’s the thing. There already is a Space Force! Really! It’s been around since 1958. It was a syndicated comic strip called “Sky Masters of the Space Force!” created by Wally Wood and the great comic book artist Jack Kirby.

Can they sue? Well probably not, I’m pretty sure they’re both dead.

He said we need the Space Force because we not only need to be in space but we need to DOMINATE SPACE!

Now the question becomes, who do we draft into the Space Force? We can’t use all of our current astronauts. They’re all scientists and engineers who work at an international space station where people from different countries all get along and work together. We can’t dominate space with these wimps!

We need real Americans. Americans who want to make the galaxy great again! The only problem is, Trump only picks people for his administration who are on TV. But don’t despair! We have those heroes. Heroes like the Sky Masters of Space Force!

Oh wait, that was just a comic strip, not TV. OK, what about Tom Corbett, Space Cadet! He’s an American hero! He was on TV.

But, wait, he’s dead.

OK, what about Colonel Ed McCauley, head of the American Space Program in the 1959 TV show “Men into Space!” He was only on the air for a year, but he was still the head of the American Space Program!

The only problem is, he’s also dead.

OK, how about Ed Norton from the Honeymooners? He was an official ranger of Captain Video and his Video Rangers.

And what about Captain Video himself?

Shit, both dead.

Captain Kirk and Captain Jean Luc Picard are both still alive, but they don’t strike me as Trump’s kind of guys.

And hell, Kirk kissed a black girl.

Wait! Darth Vader! He’s totally a Trump kind of guy.

And, crap, he’s dead too.

This could be a problem. Because let’s face it, we know that aliens have already visited Earth. And what do they do? One word. Anal probes.

They’re sending rapists! We need to stop the infestation of real, actual illegal aliens! What can we do? Build a wall. A wall in space! And we’ll make the aliens pay for it!

OK, we’ll make Mars pay for it!

We need real Americans to step up. How about the real American’s at Fox News? Hannity, Coulter, Ingram, Carlson and those three stooges who do Fox and Friends.

Draft them.

Send them into space to defend America! Defend Earth! Whatever. Just send them into space. And make sure they stay there.

We can make them honorary Junior Birdmen.

To Infinity and beyond!