Remembering the Great Bird of the Galaxy… (I miss you, Gene Roddenberry)

Hot Nerd Girl kissing Gene RoddenberryOctober is a bittersweet month for me.  On one hand, there’s Halloween and all of the fun festivities that the holiday entails.  But October is the month when several of my loved ones have passed away so there’s also a lot of sadness.  Even though I never met him personally, the one anniversary of someone unrelated to me that I have written in my calendar is Gene Roddenberry’s.  Every October 24th I honor the life of one of my heroes, the man who created and nurtured the glory that is Star Trek.  This year in particular is notable in that it’s the 20th anniversary of his passing.  It’s uber hard to believe that it’s been 20 years already.  Even though I was a kid I have very vivid memories of the day he died.

So in honor of Mr. Eugene Wesley Roddenberry, here are 16 Facts You Never Knew About Gene Roddenberry, for your nerdy enjoyment:

1. Most people know that Gene was a pilot during WWII but are unaware that he was a civilian pilot for Pan Am after the war and before becoming a Los Angeles police officer.

2. He was involved in at least two plane crashes.  The first while piloting a B-17 Flying Fortress during the war that crashed due to mechanical failure just after take off and killed two people on board.  The second was while a passenger on a commercial flight from Karachi to Istanbul that crashed in the middle of the Syrian desert in which he was one of only eight survivors.

3. He was the speechwriter for LAPD police chief William H. Parker and modeled the character of Spock after him.

4. He had affairs with Nichele Nichols and Majel Barrett in the 1960’s during his first marriage.  He and Majel Barrett had been lovers for years when he decided it was time to marry her and asked her to join him during a visit to Japan. Gene did not adhere to any particular religion and since they were in Japan they chose to have a Shinto-Buddhist wedding on 6 August 1969. They regarded this as their real wedding, but his divorce was not yet final and they made it legal with a civil ceremony on 29 December 1969

Roddenberry Japanese Wedding photo5. He tried to reboot Star Trek with the original cast in 1977.  The project was called Phase II.  The network abandoned the project just before filming was set to start.  The project was modified and turned into Star Trek: The Motion Picture thanks in large part to the success of Star Wars.

6. The Next Generation character Wesley Crusher got his first name from Gene’s middle name.  His first name became the middle name of Voyager character Thomas Eugene Paris.

7. In physics a “Roddenberry” marks the distance traveled at the speed of light during a “traveler year.”  Using the theory of relativity scientists have determined that a “traveler year” is 70.7 % of a normal earth year or .707 of a light year.

8. Asteroid “4659 Roddenberry” is named after him.

9. Random personal fun fact: I used to have to go to the Roddenberry building on the Paramount Lot for work all of the time.  The building is very boring and has nothing indicative of its namesake other than a nameplate.  I was very disappointed.

10. He almost died in a house fire with the rest of his family when he was a toddler but the milkman came and woke them up in time.

11. He is the first television writer to get star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  (Random personal fun fact: when I lived in Hollywood my apartment was just off of the section of the Walk of Fame that has most of the actors from the Original Series so I walked all over them every day)

roddenberry star on hollywood walk of fame

12. During WWII, Gene had a friend named Kim Noonien Singh; after the war Kim disappeared, and Gene used his name for some characters in the Star Trek series (Khan Noonien Singh from The Original Series and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and Noonien Soong from Star Trek: The Next Generation) hoping that Kim would contact him.

13. During WWII, Gene wrote a song lyric “I Wanna Go Home” which became popular among the other troops.

14. My favorite Gene Roddenberry quote: “Time is the fire in which we burn.”

15. In 1992, a portion of Rodenberry’s ashes flew and returned to earth on the Space Shuttle Columbia mission STS-52. On April 21, 1997, a Celestis spacecraft carrying a portion of the cremated remains of Roddenberry and 23 others were the first to be launched into Earth’s orbit aboard a Pegasus XL rocket from near the Canary Islands. On May 20, 2002, the spacecraft’s orbit deteriorated and it disintegrated in the atmosphere. Another flight to launch more of his ashes into deep space along with those of Majel Barret Roddenberry is planned for launch in 2012.

16. For Star Trek‘s 25th anniversary, two months before his death, Roddenberry gave TV Guide a list of his top ten favorite episodes:

Gene Roddenberry created the greatest science fiction franchise of all time.  He didn’t set out to create a phenomenon or to inspire generations of scientists but his “wagon train to the stars” literally changed the world.  As a man he was far from perfect, but as a visionary he is unparalelled.  Countless inventions and advancements are a reality because he inspired people to “make it so.

I heart you Gene Roddenberry.  I heart you so much.

hot nerd girl hugging generoddenberry

Now where’s my goddamn transporter??

25 Take Aways: A Battlestar Galactica Wrap Up

BSG Wrap Up

A while back I admitted to being a late bloomer to the greatness that is Battlestar Galactica…cause seriously, I’m waaaaaay too busy to watch every single TV show that comes out, nerdy or not.  Aside from developing an unhealthy addiction to speed in order to eek a few more hours out of my day, my solution was to wait until the entire series came out on DVD and then watch it all in an epic month long marathon.

Personally, I think I made the right decision on this one.  I don’t know how people waited from week to week to find out what happened next.  Sounds like torture to me.

I finished my marathon a few weeks ago so I thought it might be fun to do a little wrap up of all things BSG.  Some totally random parting thoughts…

1. Anyone else think it’s funny that when Lee and Dee got married, their names rhymed?  Even funnier for me was the fact that her name became Dualla Adama.  I don’t know why, but that cracks me up.  Oh wait, Dualla is her last name?  What’s her first name?  Anastasia?  Where the frak did that come from?

2. Oh Boomer.  Boomer, Boomer, Boomer.  There were times when I really had hope for you and then you would go and frak it all up.  I mean, really, you HAD to beat the shit out of Athena, then bang her husband right in front of her?  Beee-yatch!  I guess you sort of redeemed yourself at the end but I would have shot you in the face too.

3. Why was Six the only Cylon who got to try out different hair do’s?  I’m sure Eight would have liked to have rocked something other than stringy bangs for once.

4. I love how Kat went from flashing her naughty bits in D’Anna’s documentary to suddenly having to hide her past from everyone.  Damn girl, you need to get your shit straight.

5. I’m not sure what this says about me, but I liked Saul way more AFTER he found out he was a Cylon.  Tory?  Never really liked her.

6. Helo, you went from being a throwaway character to being one of the most important characters on the whole show.  Not really sure how you did that, but I’m very glad you did.  And dude, you’re huge.  What are you, like half giant or something?

7. I miss Billy, he was such a sweet kid.

8. So what the frak was Starbuck anyways?  An Angel?  I was obsessed with suns, moons and stars as a kid and used to paint them on EVERYTHING…does that mean I’ll end up like her?

9. Dude, I don’t care if he’s a Cylon, a vegetable, a hybrid, whatever, when it comes to Anders I would totally hit that.  He was one sexy bitch.  And he waits for you on the other side, isn’t that adorable?

10. Laura Roslin is my kinda woman, it’s too bad she spent so much time being cancer girl.  I watched someone near and dear to me waste away from that last year, it was hard to watch that again.

11. The look Tyrol gave Tory when he saw that she had killed Cally was crazy.  When he snapped his head around like that, it was like watching a Borg or a Terminator.  It really brought home the fact that he was a machine.

12. I love that Badger ends up being the President of the Colonies.

13. Cally smelled like cabbage?  WTF is in that algae shit anyways?

14. Hot Dog, I know you’re EJO’s kid and all, but this video is probably the best thing I could find of you from BSG.

[youtube:http://youtu.be/u2RuHAqvp6s]

Oh, and you got knocked out by a girl.  An awesome girl.  But a girl nonetheless.

15. Soooooo….are we all Human-Cylon hybrids descended from Hera?  Cause that was the past right?  Or is it the future?  Does this mean that we can blame the Japanese and their creepy humanoid robots for the near destruction of humanity?

16. I, too, would like some resurrection technology.  Thanks Helen….uhhh…Mom.

17. Holy frakking shit Dee.  I never saw that one coming.

18. Really Helen, you modeled One after your dad and then you did the “swirl” with him?  That is disturbing on so many levels.

19. TNG Number One = hot.  BSG Number One = not.

20. Gaeta, you went from being one of my very favorite characters to my least favorite.  The way your storyline ended made me sad.  See? –> 🙁

21. Tahmoh Penikett – what the hell kind of name is that?  You’re Canadian and your sisters are named Sarah and Stephanie.  I don’t get it.

22. Baltar – you crazy.

23. I kind of had a thing for you Lee Adama.  Then Anders came along and you were sort of old news.  Then you ditched the uniform, and while I’ll admit you look pretty spiffy in a suit, it doesn’t compare to the uniform.  Then I found out you tried to have sex with Starbuck while she was engaged to your brother.  Now I kind of think you’re a douche.  A cute douche.

24. Admiral Adama, I would follow you to the end of the galaxy too.  I’ve learned this about myself.  But you kind of spit when you’re mad.  Or sad.  Or drunk.  It’s a little gross.  But I still heart you.

25. Humans will never, ever change.  We see native peoples and just assume that they’ll want to procreate with us. Excuse me, Mr. Tribesman? Would you mind whipping it out for us?  We really need to breed.  kthx.

Looking forward to 17th Precinct!!!

17th precinct