Thursday, 26 January 2012

Stylish Hipster Vulcan School Portrait

While cleaning my room today, I found a canvas that had been sketched on but was never used. I dedicated the next few hours to creating something that I could put on my wall. That something turned out to be a stylish "hipster" Vulcan's school portrait. I have never been much for any kind of realism or painting, but I am satisfied with how it came out. The anatomy looks all wrong to me - the head is disproportionate, the face... but this was only meant to be a quick project, and now it is past midnight.

I need more painting practice.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Sometimes, when I cut my hair, I make wigs for Daleks.

Sometimes when I cut my hair, I save bits and pieces to make "groovy" wigs for my Daleks. For example, I gave a Flock of Seagulls hairdo to the Dalek on the left, and a combover to the Dalek on the right.

Why did I do this?

Because I could.

Vorik and Taurik are Two of the Sexiest Vulcans of all Time.

Vorik and Taurik are largely speculated to be twins, a speculation backed up by the similarity of their names, the fact that the same actor - Alexander Enberg - played both characters, as well as the suggestion of this fact made by the producer - Enberg's mother, Jeri Taylor. As one may read here, twins on Vulcan are very rare due to an evolution in harsh environmental conditions with a lack of resources.

Whether or not Vorik and Taurik are, indeed, twins - there is certainly something very special about these under-appreciated characters.

Let's start off with Taurik - seen only in the TNG episode "Lower Decks".

Ensign Taurik of Vulcan served in the engineering section of the USS Enterprise-D. We don't know too much about him, as he only appeared in one episode. During this episode, however, he was often found playing poker with his human and bajoran crew-mates - each of them eager for a promotion.

Ensign Taurik definitely deserved to be promoted above the rest of the ensigns at the table (in my opinion), as he had already improved the ship's warp field stability by seven percent after reviewing preliminary findings by Dr. Nils Diaz and wished to make additional modifications. He was incredibly perceptive (much to La Forge's dismay) and definitely had the potential to make vast technological improvements which would be extremely valuable to the federation.

I only wish we found out what happened to him in later years. Perhaps I will have to hunt down the novels which include such information on him.

His wit was very Vulcan, but more playful than that delivered by Vulcans such as Tuvok. Listening to him interact with Ensign Lavelle reminded me greatly of the banter between Spock and McCoy.

And his voice. But I will get to that in a moment.

Moving on to Ensign Vorik:

Sadly and disrespectfully known by Voyager Fans on the web as "Pon Farr boy" due to his situation and actions during his first Pon Farr in the episode "Blood Fever", I feel that there is a lot of mockery were this character is concerned. (Losing his virginity to a hologram, etc.)

Other than in "Blood Fever", Vorik was a very minor character, often assisting B'Elanna in Engineering and making brief appearances among the telepaths of the ship in the episode "Counterpoint". In the episode "Alter Ego", one may clearly see Vorik's attraction to Lt. Torres as he wisks he away from Tom to a table he had reserved for the two of them a table with a view of the lakeside. These feelings are finally made clear in "Blood Fever" as he declares "koon-ut-so'lik", his desire to become her mate.

It is always very interesting to watch a Vulcan attempt to ignore and then work through the Pon Farr (especially their first), as we see a vulnerability - one that has always been there, but was carefully controlled.

Both Vorik and Taurik actually attempt to socialize with others by partaking in "illogical pastimes" such as luaus and card games. For example, in "Alter Ego" one finds Vorik at the luau, dressed for the occasion in a patterned shirt and accepting a lei where Tuvok flatly refused to have anything to do with the event. I somehow doubt that Spock would have put in much more effort than Tuvok, as Spock tended to over-compensate for his human half. Then again, both Vorik and Taurik were part of a younger generation, something that may have had an impact on their social behavior (although somehow I doubt it).

Now on to the first thing that really got me to focus on these two Vulcans - their voices. Or shall I say, Enberg's voice. I have heard it described as a "bedroom voice", but I really don't know how to describe it other than comparing it to warm molasses running over one's face every time he speaks. That is how it feels to listen to his voice (for me, anyways - I get light headed every time I hear it).

Did I mention how incredibly good-looking they are? They deserve more (positive) attention, for sure. In fact, why not go take a gander at some amazing Vorik/Taurik (and general) fanart by itachiXOXOkisame and PrinceHamlette?

I would love to hear your opinions on Vorik and Taurik (as they seem to differ so greatly from one person to the next), so don't hesitate to leave a comment.

Monday, 16 January 2012

T'El'es heh T'Sochya k'T'Vet heh T'Mol-kom

You may recall that in June of 2011 I got a couple of mice that I named T'Vet (Of Doubt) and T'Mol-kom (Of Serenity). T'Mol-kom is getting rather old these days, and has a couple of health problems. I ended up getting two more mice the other day because a) they were going to be fed to snakes otherwise, and b) T'Vet would be absolutely lost without T'Mol-kom if anything were to happen to her as she had no other mice at the time.

It goes without saying (but I will say it anyway) that I gave them Vulcan names. Introducing...

T'Sochya (above), who happens to be about one week pregnant as the males and females were not separated when I rescued her. Her name literally means "of Peace" and should be due in about two weeks as the gestation period for fancy mice is about 21 days. I can't say for sure how far along she is, due to the circumstances.

The other mouse I brought home is quite a bit younger, and may actually be T'Sochya's daughter. T'Mol-kom (behind) has become quite protective of her, after a day or two of fighting. Her name is T'El'es, meaning "of Freedom". I have had to watch her closely, because she could easily slip through the bars of the cage. T'Sochya slapped her down a couple of times for trying to sneak out, and she hasn't tried again.

You can see how much older T'Mol-kom looks when you compare her to the picture here.

Last but not least, I will re-introduce T'Vet because I really enjoy this picture (she looks so shocked!). You can also see T'Sochya in the background, peaking out through the bars. T'Vet has definitely aged more gracefully, and has all the energy she first came home with.

This had nothing to do with Star Trek other than the fact that they have Vulcan names.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Star Trek The Manga Volume Three - Uchu

My sister and I decided to take a couple of buses to the library the other day. We both sat in the bus, looking like weirdos with motor difficulties who just crawled out from a hermit's lair. For once, because I got bored, I actually looked up to see who else was on the bus - people quickly looked away. I think they were watching us, but that's okay because we rock. (Get it? Rock?)

After making our way downtown and browsing the non-fiction floor for books on Latin and Arthur Rimbaud, we went downstairs to look at the graphic novel section. I was really only looking for Daniel Clowes' "Like a Velvet Glove Cast In Iron", but instead I found a Star Trek manga:

I have never really been into manga or anime, but I felt I had to get this one because - well, because it is Star Trek, and Star Trek usually makes everything amazing. Upon further investigation on the way home, I realized that the first story  (Art of War) was written by Wil Wheaton, and the second story (Bandi) was written by David Gerrold (writer of the episode "The Trouble With Tribbles").

The story written by David Gerrold was by far the strangest in the book. It wouldn't be too strange as a story on it's own, but the artwork (done by Don Hudson) makes it bizarre. The guest character freaks me out.

It all begins with Chekov complaining about a teddy bear (he would say it was Russian) who stole his sandwich.

He really cared about that sandwich guys, it was his lunch.

Thanks to Chekov, we will never forget the important fact that this "Russian teddy bear" stole his sandwich. That sandwich was his lunch. And it stole his sandwich, which was his lunch.

It turns out that Lieutenant Altman brought the creature on board because he was their mascot, and he didn't want to leave it behind. After an examination of the stowaway, they find that it has a highly developed empathic ability, and is able to radiate a field of intense emotions as a defense among predators.

The crew begins to express intense mood swings, without knowing the reason. Eventually, even Spock is effected emotionally. Suddenly, on the next page, this happens:

This panel is probably the coolest panel in the entire book - Kirk is being attacked by a Gorn, Mugato, and Klingons. We find out later that this is a nightmare being projected upon Kirk by the creature. He wakes up, sees the creature at his feet, and makes his best "Khaaan" face:

The creature seems to be absolutely terrified of Kirk. When Kirk comes near, he projects feelings of anger (and who knows what else) onto the crew members guarding him. They turn their weapons towards Kirk. They begin to fire, forcing Kirk, Spock, and McCoy to flee and climb through the ceiling.

Because the "Bandi-Bear" can also feel emotions felt by others, the only way to get close to it is for Kirk to think about it pleasantly, projecting feelings of contentment and safety. He finds that the only way he can feel like he cares is to think of his "family" aboard the Enterprise. The only people I recognize in his thoughts are McCoy, Spock and Uhura.

He begins to feel nostalgic, and even admits that it was funny when the tribbles wouldn't stop falling on him in the episode. He realizes that as the Captain of the Enterprise, it is his job to create happiness. (Click images to enlarge)

And then this happens:

Kirk and the creature become "madly in love" and Kirk - overcome with sentimentality, begins to tell Spock how much he cares about him. Spock puts a stop Kirk's gushing by administering a nerve pinch to the Bandi.

The story ends with the Bandi being held in the transporter beam, where it would remain until the bio-station was ready to receive him. Spock remains embarrassed by what Kirk has said, and will not repeat it when Kirk does not remember.

End story.

Although this is supposed to be a manga, it should be read left to right.

That Bandi-Bear still creeps me out.

Benedict Cumberbatch for Star Trek Sequel = Best Thing Ever

I found out this morning that one of my favorite actors is going to play the villain in the upcoming Star Trek "sequel". Benedict Cumberbatch, the man we all fell in love with when he played Sherlock, is that very actor.

It has been suggested that the new villain might be Khan, or a Klingon. Personally, I would love to see him play a more traditional Romulan (as opposed to Nero):

Unfortunately, this is not likely to happen seeing as they used the Romulans as the villain for the last movie. I can't even imagine him playing a Klingon (although I am sure he would make it work, somehow) or a Ferengi (what if they were the bad guys this time?). Or another one of my favorite species, Andorians? What if there were a faction of Andorians rebelling against Starfleet?

It would actually be interesting if they chose a species that was not as well developed, or brought in an entirely new species. They've messed around with the Star Trek universe this much, why not go all out?

I never thought I would be excited to see a new Star Trek movie, but with good ol' Mr. Cumberbatch I suppose anything is possible.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

January First 2012 AKA 18721 Days Until First Contact

It's a new year, and I have made some new year's resolutions. I realize I have been neglecting this blog lately, which may have to do with the fact that my laptop was dying. Luckily, I am now the proud owner of a new netbook that works just fine.

New netbook = answering hundreds of emails and finally getting around to finishing posts.

It also means that I can now edit party hats on to photos:

But I digress. I have quite a few new year's resolutions this year, the most relevent being a) Posting to all three of my blogs weekly and b) Becoming perfectly fluent in Vulcan.

(Another resolution was to meet Leonard Nimoy and go out to tea at a poetry reading, but I decided that I should make that a goal for the future instead.)

Already today I have quite a few posts (almost) ready to go, and have added a countdown to First Contact in the side bar. So far, so good.