FNN Edition 21

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Star Fleet News

Conversations with Cestly

Rachel Christie

Stardate 21002.01

Hello all, Cestly Wrusher here again with FNN’s very own Rachel Christie! I finally had a chance to sit down with our very busy Editor-In-Chief, the glue that holds us all together at FNN. Not only is she talented, dedicated and just amazing, I mean of course she is amazing she hired me didn’t she?

CW: So tell me dear, how long have you been Editor-In-Chief of FNN?

RC: It'll be six years next month.

CW: Wow six years! That’s amazing, Time really flies doesn’t it. What is your favorite part and least favorite part of being Editor-In-Chief?

RC: My favorite part is mentoring journalists, helping them reach for their potential. Some news agencies allow their reporters to do only the status quo, but I want my team to feel like they've accomplished something in their career, rather than just having worked at a job.

My least favorite part is when I have to issue a story retraction. We work so hard to make certain all our facts are correct and accurate; it always feels terrible when something has slipped through the cracks.

CW: Oh yes, those story retractions are no fun, fortunately, yours truly has never had one. Facts, I say, just the facts; with a little flare of course. When did you get interested in journalism?

RC: Back when I was in high school. I had always been interested in writing, but then my English teacher nudged me towards the school newspaper and I never looked back.

CW: Ah, hear that fella’s she had beauty and brains. And might I add, still do. So tell me about yourself? Where does such a successful professional come from? And how did you get to where you are now.

RC: Well I was born on Vulcan, but moved back to Earth at an early age with my parents. I was always getting my nose into things as a kid, trying to figure out how things worked and why. That mixed in with a love of writing and a lot of sweat and hard work. I've always believed in working hard and trying your best, a trait that I picked up from my father who was an Admiral in the Fleet.

CW: Indeed, well, there are certainly far worse traits. Take Mr. Wrusher for instance, rest his soul, he would always…oh never mind about that. Tell me dear; what are some of your hobbies and what you like do for fun?

RC: I spend a lot of time with my daughter, and I have been puttering with a few pieces of fiction.

CW: I think it is admirable that you work as hard as you do and still have plenty of time to spend with your daughter. And oh, do we have a future best seller in making? Stay tuned.

Well folks that’s all the time we have for this Conversation. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. And if there are any Curious Georges out there who would like more information on the FNN Staff, click on the FNN Staff section on FNN news and you can see our biographies.

Until next time, I’m Cestly Wrusher hoping all your conversations are pleasant.

The Tribble

Stardate 21002.01

A 20 year old human pick-pocket was killed yesterday by a elder Klingon female. Authorities did not press charges due to the fact that the 20 year old was killed by someone 100 years older than him.

Tragedy struck the DDR chambers today as they had their first disagreement. Apparently the argument started when the Minister of Defense called the Minister of Engery "a human tree-loving hippy".

Travel the Galaxy

Cardassia Prime

Stardate 21002.01

Hello all, Cestly Wrusher here again with another installment of Travel the Galaxy. At the behest of the Cardassian Tourism Union, I visited Cardassia Prime, the homeworld of the Cardassian peoples.

The Cardassian Tourism Union is hoping to encourage tourism to help Cardassia Prime’s economy, so they took me to some very interesting places. The first place we visited was Lakarian City. The city unfortunately was virtually destroyed during the Jem'Hadar during the Battle for Cardassia during the Dominion War.

However, the city has been completely rebuilt along with a fabulous amusement center. This is a wonderful place for the whole family to visit. There is something for all ages.

Another interesting city was Culat, home to the famous University of Culat. For those who are interested in the culture and history or Cardassia, Culat is certainly the city for you. And for those with a flair for exotic foods, then you must try a boiled Taspar egg.

A visit to Cardassia would a nice, enjoyable surprise. And hopefully foster of a better understanding of different cultures.

Until next time, Au revoire.

FedSpace News


Happy 2nd Birthday, FedSpace Wiki!!

Stardate 21002.01

It's hard to believe that two years ago this month the wiki was founded! The Federation News Network would like to thank the wiki Content Manager Captain Alexis Tregelen and the wiki team for all their hard work on the wiki these past two years!

To celebrate the two-year anniversary, the Content Manager is looking for feedback. Is there anything you would like to see changed on our wiki? Anything you love or hate? What about articles you would like to see? While the wiki team works hard to create new content all the time, sometimes a topic that would make a great article slips by.

Feedback is one of the best ways to make something better, so let your voice be heard and weigh in on the discussion. No idea is too small!

Dear Abby

Questions for 21002.01

Guest Columnist
Each month I will be taking your questions regarding FedSpace procedure and protocols, and getting answers from various Academy personnel and FedSpace admins. No question is too small!

How is it decided where new midshipman are assigned?
I asked the Dean of Evaluations Commander James Esperenson, who usually handles cadet placement: "When a Cadet first writes their bio they list where they would prefer to be assigned. This is taken into account when deciding where cadets are assigned after graduation. Also taken into account are the current shortages of ships as well as specific requests from COs/GCs. If a cadet has been referred by a current player and has requested to post on the same ship as their referrer then that is also taken into consideration and more often than not will be assigned to the same ship unless it will dramatically overbalance the department."

Which is the oldest active ship in the Fleet?
In-game the honour goes to Space Station Sierra-18, out-of-game that would be the Dauntless. Here's a fancy list that I compiled for you for reference, running from oldest to newest:

    • 2320 / 6002.05* Space Station Sierra-18
    • 20102.01 USS Pulsar, BB-100
    • 20202.17 USS Dauntless, BC-1553
    • 20206.01 USS Titan, CL-2007
    • 20206.01 USS Gettysburg, BC-1863
    • 20306.01 USS Copernicus, GEC-9035
    • 20306.20 USS Sheridan, DD-4086
    • 20709.15 USS Ticonderoga, CA-1471
    • 20804.21 RIS Shadowhawk
    • 20902.06* IKV Dreamslayer
    • 21002.20 USS Nova, BB-106
    • 20202.17 USS Dauntless, BC-1553
    • 20206.01 USS Titan, CL-2007
    • 20206.01 USS Gettysburg, BC-1863
    • 20306.01 USS Copernicus, GEC-9035
    • 20306.20 USS Sheridan, DD-4086
    • 20709.30 Space Station Sierra-18
    • 20710.11 USS Ticonderoga, CA-1471
    • 20803.14 RIS Shadowhawk
    • 20902.06* IKV Dreamslayer
    • 20903.27 USS Pulsar, BB-100
    • 21001.31 USS Nova, BB-106

* Estimated date.

Q: What does the 'USS' stand for?
United Star Ship.

Who are the PC's behind the AIs?
A highly unstable group of…. Ahh… I mean, if I told you that I would have to kill you *smile*.

How do you get promoted above the rank cap?
I asked Commodore Jericho Roberts for his answer: "For Commander you have to become a First Officer. Captain you have to either be the First Officer on a capital ship such as a Battleship or Carrier, or hold the position of CO. Anything above Captain you have to be in a position of further responsibility than CO... from there you can progress up the ranks per your points." Another option, though rare, is to have special permission from the President.

Do you have a question for Abby? Please email her or the editor-in-chief.

20 Questions

RAdm Derrick Grant

Stardate 21002.01

This month I spoke with Perry who plays Rear Admiral Derrick Grant, Commanding Officer aboard the USS Nova, BB-106.

Age, Sex, Location?
Old, my wife wouldn’t like it if I did, and Earth. Oh? You mean… ok… 40, Male, near Boston, Massachusetts, USA

When did you first join FedSpace?
My registration date is July 21, 2003. However I began talks with the then academy admins and took my opt-out exam before that. Back then things were done a bit different, and I joined as Ensign avarQ on the USS Titan on the above date.

What brought you to FedSpace?
Our good friend, Mr. Google search. Once I found the site, I sent a registration request, and two of the academy admins contacted me in email and then on MSN. We talked and the more I read the site and the more I talked to them the more I realized… I’d found my home… virtual home that is… I don’t really live in the computer… I mean it.

Tell me a little about the process of developing your character.
Which one?

Commander avarQ was my first character. He was a hard-core Klingon, but had some… shall we say instabilities. He was nuts. And in the end it became unsustainable. I played him until mid-late 2006, when I transitioned to another Klingon…

Captain Torgh was a by-the-book Klingon. I designed him as an exchange officer who’d decided to join Star Fleet after the Kalok coup on Qo’noS. He was a good character, but after playing him for only a year I realized that I’d done the Klingon thing too much and needed something a bit less crazy. So I converted an old NPC I’d been running…

Rear Admiral Derrick Grant started out as an NPC. Chief of Security on Star Base Alpha. He had intel background, and was a bit Jack Bauer-ish in his methods. But he always got the job done. He is an idealist, striving to bring the Federation’s values and ideals back to where they were when the original charter was drawn up. He’s since learned that he’s not immortal (amazing discovery, btw) and that he needs to behave more like a flag officer and less like a one-man commando unit. It’s not an easy adaptation, but his girlfriend Imina Sevala (the Federation version) is sure to kick his backside if he doesn’t start behaving. Derrick has more of me in him than any of my other characters, but at the same time is different enough where when I channel him I still enjoy writing it—he’s not boring.

Do you think it is easier or more difficult to play someone based on yourself?
Both? In some ways playing someone based on myself would be easy—I already know what they are thinking and how they would react. But harder because (and this will come as a shock to many) I’m not really a Star Fleet Admiral with Intel background who is about to take command of a Pulsar-classed battleship. In fact I’m not even living in the 25th century. I’ll give everyone a minute to accept that I really don’t believe that… or call the white coats to come get me.

How has your character developed differently than what you had planned?
Derrick has gone pretty much how I envisioned. Mostly… at least once he became my PC.

So far, what is your favorite part about being a member of FedSpace?
Community. I have people here that are my closest friends (I’ve met 36 current and ex players in person), and of course I met my wife through FedSpace. This community has become my extended family in some ways, and I consider almost everyone I talk to online or in game a friend at some level. That doesn’t mean that we’re always a happy family… but we work through our issues and I hope that we come out better for it.

If you were president for a day, what would you change?
I’d destroy every telepath in the universe. Okay, maybe not that. I think I’d leave things pretty much as they are. I might make a few tweaks here and there, but for the most part things work… and there’s no point rocking the boat. I think maybe I’d hold senior members of the site (CO and above) more accountable for their actions out of game, but I won’t go into details so as to avoid hostility. As I said, it works… so let’s not break it.

If you could name your own ship, what would you name it and why?
When I was looking before taking the Nova, I had 2 choices that were in the running: USS Paul Revere; USS Samuel Adams. Despite what you may think because of the last name I don’t like beer and it has nothing to do with beer. I am a huge colonial/revolutionary history person, and Sam Adams is one of my biggest heroes. But alas, the time came to step up to the bar, and the Nova was what I chose.

What do you spend your time outside of FedSpace doing?
There’s life outside of FedSpace? You haven’t told the membership that, have you? It could ruin us. I play a few video games on the PC (I hate console gaming). I work… a lot. I chat with my friends on MSN and read books (various types).

What is your favorite Star Trek series?
Deep Space Nine. I loved the depth of the characters and the multi-layered plot lines.

Do you have a favourite line or phrase from either a show or movie?
Dozens. But I’ll keep it simple and give you the two that jumped to mind:

“There are four lights!” – Picard

“I protest, I am not a merry man!” – Worf

If you watched the movies, which one was your favorite?
Unfair question. I liked all of them for different reasons. If I had to be forced to watch one over and over for the weekend though… hmmm… Tie between The Undiscovered Country and First Contact.

Do you have a favourite character from the shows and why?
Garak. He was always funny, and had a great amount of depth and backstory written for him. Plus he was a simple clothier, and who doesn’t like staying in fashion?

What piece of Star Trek Technology would you most like to see today?
Borg implants, minus the whole collective thing. Glad you asked?

What was it about Star Trek that made you fall in love with the show?
Tough one. I’d say the fact that it almost always had a lesson—a hidden lesson. And (usually) the attention to detail was very good on the backstories, etc. The genre has a rich history and that attracted me.

What FedSpace person would you most like to meet in real life?
Other than my wife? You trying to get me in trouble? I can’t pick a single person. How about we just bring the whole membership together for a single super-meet and then we can get rid of this silly question? I have after all, already met 36 current or ex members.

What FedSpace character would you most like to meet in real life?
Lt Tess Natilique. If you need to ask why—just look at her bio picture… and if you are male (or perhaps even female) and you disagree… then I feel sorry for you. (And I’m safe saying this because my wife plays the character.)

If you could list one pet-peeve about your fellow players, what would it be?
Stop posting while I’m at work. The notifications distract me and I feel obligated to answer the posts. On a more serious note (I hate being serious) I get annoyed when people over-do certain technologies or abilities. I can’t stand metagaming/powergaming of any type; and enough with the portable holo-emitters already! They are 29th century technology that we shouldn’t have on everyone who wants a pet holo-hamster!

Do you feel there is any disconnect between you and other players based on geographical location?
Not in general, no. Sometimes I want to discuss something and have to worry about the other party being asleep/at work/etc. but we work around it.

What is in your FedSpace future for your character?
Life, love, death… who knows? He’s about to take command of the USS Nova, the fleet’s newest battleship. That’s pretty exciting. As much as both Derrick and I prefer small ships, the battleship makes sense. And I plan to bring a distinctly non-battleship feel to it in some ways… keep your eyes peeled.

If there was one thing you would want everyone to know about you, what would that be?
I bite. I am mean, rotten, nasty. As the Creative Director and the nastiest GM on the site, you should fear me. Tremble when you hear my name. Small children and small animals run in fear at the sight or sound of me.

And yet I want everyone to come to me with mission ideas, etc. If you have what you think is a good plot idea, pitch it to me in email (please not on MSN). I’ll give it fair consideration, and if I use it you’ll get a small bonus (points, not latinum).

Thank you to Perry for answering my questions! Would you like to be featured in 20 Questions? Please email our editor-in-chief!

Movers & Shakers

Academy Graduates

Rank Name Ship
Med-mid.jpg Levine Meels USS Gettysburg, BC-1863
Tac-mid.jpg Alejandro Fernandez USS Ticonderoga, CA-1471
Sci-mid.jpg Ryan Tuckers Space Station Sierra 18, SS-18
Tac-mid.jpg Ciron Ouse USS Pulsar, BB-100
Med-mid.jpg Zaelisabrin th'Gaoli USS Ticonderoga, CA-1471
Eng-mid.jpg Yasmin Boehm USS Titan, CL-2007
Eng-mid.jpg Conrad Abendroth USS Titan, CL-2007
Sci-mid.jpg Daanilk Reis USS Titan, CL-2007
K-01-Warrior1.jpg Amaya Stormgate IKV Dreamslayer

Trek News

Holonovel Review

Planet 51

Guest Columnist
Stardate 21002.01

Directed by: Jorge Blanco, Javier Abad, Marcos Martínez
Written by: Joe Stillman
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Justin Long, Jessica Biel, Gary Oldman, Seann William Scott, John Cleese

Alright my fair reader, I want you to close your eyes and imagine that we’ve found another inhabitable planet. The rover we have sent is showing us nothing but blue skies, green grass, and white clouds so you take off from earth and then land on this planet, being the first human to step foot on this newly discovered world. Now imagine coming upon a town that as an eerie feeling of 1950’s America, with bubble-gum pop music playing on the radio and the smell of backyard cooking in the air. You slowly start to realize that this wasn’t an uninhabited planet like it was first thought… that there are green people everywhere staring at you as you are the alien on this world. This next part is the most important because as you stand there concerned… you suddenly get bombarded with every possible Sci-fi film one-liners and reference that has or ever will exist to the point you fall to your knees begging for a way out. You can open your eyes now. Welcome to Planet 51.

Planet 51 follows the story of a teenager named Lem (Long) as he goes through his day… getting a job at the town’s planetarium, hanging out with his comic book/movie/sci-fi obsessed friend Skiff (Scott), and fumbling his way through a conversation with his neighbor and long time crush Neera (Biel). Though things aren’t perfect for him, his life and the town gets a punch to the arm when a vessel suddenly appears out of the sky and lands. What emerges is Astronaut Charles 'Chuck' Baker (Johnson) who realizes that the planet does have people on it so he runs screaming from the area. Of course everyone thinks they are being invaded and that the alien has the ability to turn anyone into a zombie, panic and paranoia ensue throughout the town… so in steps Army General Grawl (Oldman) and Scientific Consultant Professor Kripple (Cleese) to capture and contain this possible threat. Lem ends up finding Baker who turns out not to be the evil alien everyone thinks he is so Lem decides to help Baker get back to his Lander within 74 hours or else his command module orbiting the planet will leave for Earth without him.

This is the first American feature film from Spanish directors Blanco, Abad, and Martínez but other than this film, I haven’t been able to find any other film they have worked on. With that said, this isn’t the best of starts for these film makers as this is a film that comes off trying too hard to be a Saturday morning cartoon which takes a lot away from a movie that truly looks visually appealing. It’s kind of the same problem I had with AVATAR in a way as they had good looking visuals but bland stories. This can’t compare though as AVATAR was a leap forward in CGI techniques while Planet 51 is just a poor attempt at cashing in on the CGI film craze that has been going on for the last few years.

As much as I want to harp on the directors, I feel blame for how bad this film was has to fall more on the writer this time. Joe Stillman’s writing credits include Shrek 1&2, King of the Hill, and Beavis and Butt-Head Do America so there really is no excuse for how poorly written the script was. If you couldn’t tell by seeing green people on the screen, Stillman had to remind you that you were watching a sci-fi kid’s movie set in the 1950s era by jamming in as much sci-fi and 50’s pop-culture references as he could into the script. Off the top of my head I can pick out film references to Star Wars, Wall-E, Aliens, Terminator, 2001: A Space Odyssey, E.T., and one reference to 1983 film ‘The Right Stuff’ which felt shoehorned in. As for the nods to the 1950s, other than the music and over all look to everything, anyone old enough to have gone through an American history class in high school could see that it was a story centered on McCarthyism. You don’t even have to look that hard while watching the movie to see the similarities. Fear of neighbors being turned into zombies = Fear of neighbors being communists.

My comments on the cast will be short as anyone could hear it in their voices; they did this movie just for a paycheck. The little rover running around throughout the movie had more feeling and life to it that what the actors had given. I really had high hopes for Dwayne Johnson’s career when he first started appearing in films… I still love him in ‘The Rundown’… but this is yet another poor acting choice on his part. I’m conflicted with the cast though as it feels like they didn’t put much effort into their parts but yet, I can’t really blame them because there was no part of the story that explained who these characters really were as no backgrounds were given to any of them.

In closing, when it comes to Planet 51, it’s a good film for kids but if you are an adult and you are in the mood to see a CGI film, do yourself a favor… rent ‘Up’ and avoid Planet 51 like it was carrying the Rudellian plague.

I give Planet 51… 4 Tribbles out of 10

Best and Worst of 2009

Guest Columnist
Stardate 21002.01

With 2009 completely behind us now, I want to share with you all my top ten favorite and hated films for the year 2009. Please keep in mind that these lists are only comprised of films that I saw so they are not perfect lists. There were some films that came out that I wanted to see but couldn’t find a place that was showing them (EX: The Boondock Saints 2, of which I have no doubt would have made it into my top 10 if I had been able to catch it.)

Favorites of ’09:
10: Saw VIM
9: World’s Greatest Dad
8: Inglorious Basterds
7: Zombieland
6: The Hangover
5: UP
3: Hurt Locker
2: Star Trek
1: District 9

Hated of ’09:
10: The Goods
9: Drag Me to Hell
8: Year One
7: Observe and Report
6: Wolverine
5: Planet 51
4: Jennifer's Body
3: Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen
2: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li
1: Miss March


Star Trek Online Verses Federation Space

Opinions / Editorial
Stardate 21002.01

Like many Star Trek fans, and other members of Federation Space, I recently purchased Star Trek Online. Many, many months ago when the concept for the game came out I was very excited, could not wait, definitely going to buy it. As the months dragged on and the future of the game looked bleak, and then got brighter, my interest and excitement had already begun to wane. However, with its recent release, and the involvement of President Beckett posting threads on Federation Space, I decided to go ahead and take the plunge and bought it.

I must be honest and say that I am not disappointed. The first day I bought it, I stayed up all night playing it. For me, it is like a combination of my favorite Star Trek PC game, Star Trek Armada III combined with the Sims PC games. I have not gotten very far in the game yet, but I am having fun with it nonetheless.

For those who have not played Star Trek Online yet, it is very entertaining. You command your own starship and crew, fight space battles with other people online, go on Away Missions, all while trying to earn points and prestige to get a higher rank and acquire all sorts of need stuff to enhance your ship, crew, and main character. The idea is great, and I think Cryptic Studios pulled it off successfully.

However, after about ten hours of continuous play, I must admit that Star Trek Online does not provide the same type of entertainment or enjoyment that Federation Space does. While Star Trek Online is expansive and has many plots, twists and several decrees of uncertainties, it does not inspire creativity, or provide the endless possibilities that writing can accomplish. Federation Space does. Federation Space allows me, as well as others to use something very powerful, our imagination. We are not limited to the constraints of a computer game. On Federation Space we are all allowed to weave a unique and lasting story. The characters are more alive, more real, more interesting, and that makes the stories and the history endure. Federation Space allows me to go farther and be bolder than any computer game could and I think that is why it is coming up on its ten-year anniversary. I think when the newness wears off, in a few month perhaps maybe years, Star Trek Online will be played less and less and Federation Space will still be going strong.

Kudos should go out to President Beckett, the Admins, the Creative Direction Team and everyone who helps keep Federation Space refreshing and interesting. There is a reason why it has been around ten years and why it will be around another ten or more. It is because there is no substitution for imagination.

I know many of us are playing, but I would caution against letting Star Trek Online cut into posting responsibilities. Our first duty is to our friends, our fellow players here on Federation Space. Fortunately, we do not have to choose, but if I had to, Federation Space wins hands down everytime.

Trek Trivia

Stardate 21002.01

Each month on the FNN we ask 10 Trek Trivia questions! Some may be easy, some may be difficult. Think you know some or all of the answers? Submit them to the Editor-In-Chief. Each month we'll post the Top 10 Scoreboard and Top 10 All Around Champs, along with the previous month's answers and new trivia questions.

Last month we didn't get any questions due to technical difficulties, so this month we have 20 questions to make up for it. Good luck!

This Month's Questions

Q.20: Name this species.

1. In "Where No Man Has Gone Before," what member of the USS Enterprise crew is mentioned to have attended Starfleet Academy with James T Kirk?
2. On what planet did William Riker and Deanna Troi first meet and fall in love?
3. Where was Odo discovered?
4. What is Tom Paris' middle name?
5. How many Federation assassins boarded Gorkon's ship in The Undiscovered Country?
6. Prinadora was who's mother?
7. What did the shape shifting creature in "The Man Trap" require to survive?
8. Who is Kirk's son?
9. Which series is the episode "Accession" from?
10. Who is attributed with developing the linguacode translation matrix?
11. In "Return of the Archons," which of the following characters was not absorbed by Landru?

  • a) Kirk
  • b)McCoy
  • c)Sulu
  • d) Lieutenant O'Neil

12. True or False: Q once appeared to Jean Luc Picard in a stream of cigar smoke.
13. What Dominion species supervises the Jem'Hadar?
14. Which continuing character from Deep Space Nine made a brief appearance in the episode "Caretaker"?
. 15. Besides Leonard McCoy, which reoccurring The Original Series character was an MD in The Motion Picture?
16. What is the are dividing the Romulan Empire from the Federation?
17. What is Starfleet Directive 101?
18. What did Spock throw at Nurse Chapel in "Amok Time"?
19. What other Federation starship did the USS Voyager encounter after several years in the Delta Quadrant?
20. Name the species pictured to the right.

Last Month's Answers

A 10. This species is Zibalian.

1. In the TOS episode “The Doomsday Machine,” who was the Commanding Officer of the USS Constellation?

  • Matt Decker

2. The Enterprise-D was what class of starship?

  • Galaxy-class

3. Before Deep Space 9 was relocated to the mouth of the wormhole, where had it been located?

  • In orbit of Bajor

4. What spatial phenomenon trapped the USS Voyager within its event horizon in the episode “Parallax”?

  • A quantum singularity

5. In Star Trek: The Motion Picture, who among these original crew was the only one not to have been promoted from his rank in The Original Series?

  • b) Spock

6. At what institution did Sarek want Spock to study at instead of Starfleet?

  • The Vulcan Science Academy

7. Where is Starfleet Academy located?

  • San Francisco

8. What was the first episode featuring Jean Luc Picard’s favourite holonovel character Dixon Hill?

  • The Big Goodbye

9. What series is the episode “Arena” from?

  • The Original Series

10. Name the species pictured to the right.

Last Month's Winners

1. Kyle DeWitt
2. Jericho Roberts

All Around Champs

Rank Player Score
1. Kyle DeWitt 10
2. Jericho Roberts 6
Hall of Fame
Player Points Year
Laura Macleod 91 2009

Joke of the Month

Top 10 least known Ferengi Rules of Acquisition

10. If a sign says 'buy one, get one free' only get the free one.

9. Always give the pizza guy bad directions to your house so you can get it for free if he is late.

8. Unless something is damaged, it's in "mint" condition.

7. If it is damaged, then it's "near mint".

6. If there is a limit per customer, bring a friend and come back every 10 minutes to buy more.

5. It's cheaper to bribe a stock boy than the manager.

4. Consequences schmonsequences, as long as I'm rich.

3. No matter what you steal from the Federation, the Romulans will always pay top dollar for it.

2. Only sell to civilizations dumber than you are.

1. All those rules apply to other people--not you.

Science News



Shepherd Moon Prometheus from Cassini.
Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA

Technology News

Blogs going Out-of-Style as Quickly as they came "In"

Stardate 21002.01

Not enough time, or lack of interest? A recent study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project has found the popularity of blogging on the decline.

Currently, approximately 1 in 10 million adults over the age of 18 blog in the United States. Thirthy million bloggers on the internet is no small potatoes, but researchers found that this number has stayed about the same since 2005, when blogging was at its peak.

Since them, the popularity of the longform blog has changed – dropping in popularity and changing its target demographic. Teenagers have been the group that has lost the most interest in blogging: Currently about 14 per cent of people aged 14-17 blog, whereas in 2007 the number of teens blogging was 28 per cent.

While the adult interest in blogging has changed as well, it seems that the bloggers have mostly just aged. Adults aged 18-29 have lost interest, with only 15% now blogging, compared to 2007 where 28% were participating. The number of adults aged 30 or older have actually gotten more interested in blogs, as the numbers for this demographic are on the rise. In 2007, only 7 per cent of adults actively blogged; now approximately 11 per cent are taking part in the blogosphere.

So what's with the changing trend?

Researchers are pointing to the popularity of social media such as Facebook and Twitter, where users can quickly update their statuses. More and more people have the ability to access the internet using their cell phones, which researchers state means people want things to be brief. "It's a matter of typing quickly. People these days don't find reading that fun," stated an 18-year old participant in the study.

Read more.

This Month in Astronomy History

Luna 9 Spacecraft

Stardate 21002.01

This month in astronomy history... On February 3, 1966 the Luna 9 spacecraft was the first spacecraft to achieve a lunar soft landing and to transmit photographic data to Earth. It was launched January 31st 1966 and took 4 days to reach the moon.

Seven radio sessions, totalling 8 hours and 5 minutes, were transmitted as were three series of TV pictures. When assembled, the photographs provided and panoramic view of the nearby lunar surface. The pictures included views of nearby rocks and of the horizon 1.4 km away from the spacecraft.

With this mission, the Soviets accomplished another spectacular first in the space race, the first survivable landing of a manmade object on another celestial body. Luna 9 was the twelfth attempt at a soft-landing by the Soviets.

Perhaps the most important discovery of the mission was determining that a foreign object would not simply sink into the lunar dust, that is, that the ground could support a heavy lander. Last contact with the spacecraft was at 22:55 UT on February 6, 1966.