Sunday, December 22, 2013

Leonard Nimoy on ARTST TLK

Leonard Nimoy was recently interviewed by Pharrell Williams on ARTST TLK.

The full 25 minute video is online.  People who are quite familiar with Nimoy will have heard answers to the first few questions before but Williams does manage to dig a bit deeper and cover Nimoy's photography, time in the US military and what it means to be an artist.

Until now, I was only familiar with Pharrell from his work with Daft Punk but, chances are, you've heard his work without knowing his name.  He has collaborated with dozens of chart-topping artists as a producer through his music label, Star Trak Entertainment.

A quick Google search showed me that Pharrell is often seen promoting his label and Star Trek fandom by throwing up the Vulcan salute.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Tim Russ as Tuvok

Most Trekkies will know that Tim Russ has been busy directing and starring in a new Star Trek project.  The team hopes to sell Star Trek: Renegades to CBS as a pilot for a new Trek series.

Here are some publicity shots of Tim Russ breathing life into Tuvok once again.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Galaxy Pop Spock

As I posted yesterday, has been adding lots of new exclusive merchandise to their shop this summer.  One of the new categories is called "Galaxy Pop."  It features artwork inspired by the Gold Key Star Trek comics of yesteryear.  Products include mugs, T-Shirts, hoodies, iPad covers and more!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Tokyo Invasion Supokku!

This summer, has quietly been adding a lot of exclusive merchandise to their shop.  They've added a slew of products under the "Tokyo Invasion" heading.  These include pop Japanese inspired designs for the original Star Trek crew on products that range from iPad and iPhone cases to T-shirts, hoodies and mugs.  There are two designs of interest to Vulcanologists: Spock and Nerve Pinch. Here's a small selection of the products to give you an idea:

Who knew Spock translated to Supokku in Japanese?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

New Pon Farr Perfume

Back in 2010, Genki Wear introduced a line of Star Trek fragrances including one called Pon Farr.  A new licensee called Palm Beach Beauté is now creating Trek fragrances with the same names as the originals.

The new description for Pon Farr:

Pon Farr Eau de Parfum for women is a refreshing fragrance that is both invigorating and dramatic. Pon Farr is perfect for those bright sunny days and warm summer nights spent together at the beach, around the fire or simply watching your favorite affaire d’honneur. 

Light, clean top notes of Juicy Nectarine, White Violet, Tropical Orchid, with mid and base notes of Mirabelle Plum, Egyptian Jasmine, Vanilla, Sandalwood and Musk. A fragrance that is sharp and aggressive, simple yet exotic. 
In keeping with the futuristic aesthetic that is the signature of STAR TREK™, the PON FARR fragrance is contained in its own distinctive purple gradient glass bottle with a sharply defined clear cap. The outer packaging is luminous Mylar foil in metallic shades of purple and silver.
3.0 FL. OZ., 90 ml

The original Genki bottle featured a more Vulcan-looking design including an IDIC.  This bottle is clearly designed to capture a broader Star Trek audience. It can be purchased in the Star Shop.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Vulcans in Plastic: Fighter Pods

The toy license for JJ Abrams' Trek films was picked up by Hasbro.  Frankly, the offerings are not that exciting or impressive.  The first Star Trek toys released by Hasbro are part of their Fighter Pods series. They have already released similar Star Wars and Marvel products.

These are not being marketed heavily.  In fact, they don't even appear on Hasbro's Canadian website.  As far as I can tell there are 36 figures and three launching pods.  You can place the figures into small transparent plastic balls and launch them from the pods at each other.  It doesn't fit well with the Star Trek universe which may be why they aren't being marketed more.

Of the 36 figures, three are Spock.  There are also two Romulan figures which may be of interest to Vulcanologists.  The figures can be purchased individually in "mystery" packages or in small sets as pictured below.

Since I wasn't interested in the pods themselves I sought out just the Vulcan and Romulan figures on eBay.  I found it difficult to take good photos of them because they're so tiny (no more than an inch in height).

From left to right: Spock in his volcano suit from Star Trek Into Darkness, Spock in Starfleet uniform, Spock in wetsuit from Star Trek Into Darkness, Ayel and Nero from Star Trek XI.  The painting and detail are as good as can be expected for something so small.  You'll notice that all of these figures have the characters holding weapons.  I'm bothered by this.  Even the figure that features Spock giving the Vulcan salute also has a phaser.

Overall, these are nothing to write to New Vulcan about.  I suppose the exaggerated features are sort of cute but the emphasis is clearly on action and battle which will appeal more to fans of Star Wars than to Trekkies.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Vulcan Video: Message From John Harrison

"Mr. Spock, the mind of the Enterprise.  The fearless genius who ensures a calm force of intelligence guides their every mission.  But look deeper and you will see an outsider who does not belong.  A man of two worlds.  This tears him apart; a constant battle between what he thinks and what he feels.  What does he do?  Does he follow his head, embracing logic and the path of reason or does he follow his heart, knowing the emotions he cannot control may destroy him?  I will help him decide."

Friday, April 26, 2013

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Into Darkness Publicity

I haven't written much about Star Trek Into Darkness because I'm not really looking forward to it.  Before we had any news about the film I was hopeful that it might be better than Star Trek (2009) but all the rumours I confirmed here last April have been proven accurate.  Of course I'll still go to see it but I don't have high hopes.

The first two posters released for the film were awful.  First of all, they're unoriginal; ripping off everything from Batman to Transformers.  Second, they're so dark!  Obviously that's what the filmmakers are going for (just see the title) but that's not Star Trek to me.

When Paramount began releasing posters for each of the characters I had high hopes that the Spock one might be nice.  The first Spock poster features Spock inside the Nibiru volcano.  I don't love this one but it's at least not awful.  The second one features an armed Spock.  In fact, most of the character posters feature armed heroes.  Guns are also not something I associate greatly with Star Trek.  Also, given all the gun controversy in the United States in past six months it just seems like poor taste.

There haven't been any great publicity photos released.  There are lots of stills from the film but the only other posed image I've seen is the fold-out cover from Empire Magazine.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Secret Pain

The past few days have seen me fall into a place of deep despair.  Those who know me well will know that I suffer from severe depression.  Every day this week saw new reports of incredible tragedy and human suffering.  I internalized all of these events.  I felt them all as personally as my own pain. Cowardly bombings in Baghdad and Boston that left many dead and others permanently scarred in body and mind, devastating earthquakes that killed hundreds, an explosion in Texas that rocked a small community, the rape of a five year-old girl in India and subsequent violent protests, a good friend who is losing a parent.  More than these events themselves, I was appalled at how they were reported in our news and social media.

I read so many horrible posts and comments so filled with ignorance and hate. News reporters latched on to the fact that the suspects in the Boston bombings were born in Chechnya.  Ignorant of geography and too lazy to bother to check their facts, some of these reporters then began to blame the political situation in the Czech Republic for creating potential killers.  Of course, the Czech Republic is not Chechnya.  Moreover, these two boys (for that is what they were) were more American than Chechen. I started to see horrible, mind-boggling discussions about "evil Muslims" and then people referring to Islam as a race.

Paranoid gun rights lobbyists started using the situation to create a platform saying that Obama's proposed expansion of background checks to purchase firearms were to blame for the tragedy.  Apparently if everyone was armed the bombings wouldn't have taken place.

Facebook and Twitter were full of comments from people supporting alleged rapists in Nova Scotia and California after two teen girls committed suicide after having allegedly been raped by groups of teen boys.  These people ignored the tragedy that two young people had been so desperate they felt the need to end their lives.  The victims' families were left to battle this ignorance.

I don't want to re-hash any of this.  Suffice to say that I found it all profoundly troubling.  I didn't sleep well for a few nights and it got to a point overnight on Friday where I made myself physically ill by dwelling on these events and the conversations they sparked.  I felt incredible shame.  I was ashamed to be Human; to be part of a species that could commit such crimes against itself. There was so much hate, anger and pain that it seemed to engulf my world in a dark black cloud that obscured any goodness.  I could do nothing much yesterday except sleep fitfully all through the day, exhausted and hurting.

During the week I spent my evenings re-watching the original 6 Star Trek films.  I wanted desperately to escape into a place of comfort.  I wanted to find people I could relate to and people I wasn't ashamed to be similar to. Consequently, I ended up isolating myself and ignoring those closest to me. This morning, I found my mind dwelling on Star Trek V: The Final Frontier which is perhaps my least favourite of the original films.  I couldn't get Sybok out of my head.  I kept repeating his call "Share your pain with me and gain strength from the sharing."

It seemed to me that there was something valuable in those words even though the film seems to say the opposite.  Kirk tells Sybok that he won't give up his pain that he "needs his pain."  Yet we see others for whom the release of pain is transformative.  McCoy, for example (in one of DeForeset Kelley's greatest moments) is freed from torment when he shares the pain over the loss of his father.

It occurs to me now that it is not the release of pain that is helpful.  It is the act of sharing it with someone else.  Donne said that "No man is an island" and I must admit that he was correct.  Humans have need of a collective experience.  As much as some of us may wish to live completely independently it is not realistic.  If our ancestors had thought that way we would not be here now to debate the idea.  It is important, and possibly essential to our happiness that we share our pain (and joy) with others who can understand it. It will never go away but like the weight of water spread across the bricks in a dam, the pressure can be lessened.

There is a reason that there is no single star of the original Star Trek.  The trio of Kirk, Spock and McCoy is important because it is only together that they find peace and satisfaction.  It is almost as if they are not a whole person unless they're together.  Maybe these musings will seem naive.  I am somewhat emotionally stunted and it takes time for me to figure these things out.  I have an amazing set of friends and a wonderful family and too often I try to shut them out and deal with things on my own.  That might be the Vulcan way but, as much as I am loathe to admit it, I do not have the mental discipline to make that work.  I am Human and part of being Human is that the adventure must be made together.

Social media has made it possible for us to be connected to more people in a month than some of our ancestors may have known in their entire lifetimes. Some people collect friends on Facebook like I collect Star Trek items!  It's not the quantity that's important.  It's the quality of our relationships that matters and that quality is entirely dependent upon us.  Our relationships become what we build them into.  Sometimes, a shared experience with one other person is of such quality that great evils perpetrated by many others can fade into memory.

As I struggle personally with being part of an imperfect species I have to remind myself that everyone else is doing the same thing.  As my sister reminded me last night in a blog post of her own, tomorrow is a new day. Though the cynic in me immediately responds that it will never be a new day for the victims of last week's tragedies, it will be a new day for us.  We can make it brighter by being together, remembering those we've lost and trying to understand how we could have helped those who brought so much pain to so many people.  It's when the pain remains secret that it hurts us more.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Kolinahr Museum

The Kolinahr Museum website has gone live!  Curated by my friend Jordino who has the largest collection of Vulcan props and costumes in the world, the museum is now open for public viewing.

“ The Mission of The Kolinahr Museum is to collect, preserve, study, exhibit, and stimulate the appreciation for and advance the knowledge of Vulcan art and artifice, that collectively represent the broadest spectrum of Vulcan achievement and culture.”

The museum features three main galleries: the Valdore Gallery for Romulan costumes and props, the Kolinahr Collection for Vulcan items and an Exocultural Studies section for costumes and props from other Star Trek cultures.  Please check out the site and "Like" it on Facebook!