Star Trek Is My Best Love

After you’ve spent enough time in the company of geeks and nerds,someone will eventually ask the inevitable question: Star Wars or Star Trek? And I always give the same answer: Star Wars was my first love, but Star Trek is my best love.

Everyone has a fandom origin story, the way they explain why they carry a love of a certain thing through their whole life, the thing that connected to them in a way that nothing else had before. This is mine.

I was eight when I first saw the Star Wars special edition in theaters. I oweStar Wars a lot, including feeding a voracious reading appetite with many,many books of questionable quality. I owe Star Wars for providing an escape during an extremely difficult time in my life, and I love it a lot, but there is one point I need to make: at the end of the day, the three main characters of the original trilogy are three white people.

 I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I became enamored with Star Trekduring the period when one captain was black and the other was a woman. It meant everything in the world to me that Star Trek wasn’t only diverse, but that its main characters were. And that no one made those jokes about them. It meant everything in the world to me that Star Trekpresented a future where a woman who had the same first name as me could be in charge. It meant everything to me to see female characters with stories that weren’t romances. It meant everything to me to see all of this depicted in our future. Star Trek still means the world to me.

There’s a narrative about nerds and the things they love. It usually goes something like this: I was an outcast, but this thing gave me a place. It’s the myth that gives so many people strength, but also leads to people asking for your “geek card” to prove you’re a “real” fan. It’s always offensive, but I find it even more offensive when it’s applied to Star Trek. Because Star Trek has its outsider characters, but the message I got from it wasn’t “there’s somewhere for you to go,” it was “there’s nowhere you can’t go.” Or, to eliminate the double negative, “anyone can go anywhere.”
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ITT Tech Is Officially Closing

ITT Technical Institute is officially closing all of its campuses following federal sanctions imposed against the company. The for-profit college announced the changes in a statement:

“It is with profound regret that we must report that ITT Educational Services, Inc. will discontinue academic operations at all of its ITT Technical Institutes permanently after approximately 50 years of continuous service. With what we believe is a complete disregard by the U.S. Department of Education for due process to the company, hundreds of thousands of current students and alumni and more than 8,000 employees will be negatively affected.”

The announcement comes just one week after ITT Tech stopped enrolling students following a federal crackdown. ITT Tech and other for-profit colleges have been widely criticized for accepting billions of dollars in government grants and loans while failing to provide adequate job training for its students. Last year, ITT Tech received an estimated $580 million in federal money (aka taxpayer dollars), according to the Department of Education.

See full story here: ITT Tech Is Officially Closing

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Your Next Pickup Truck Will Be A Car

At the dawn of the new millennium Chevrolet had an epiphany: “People love pickups but don’t really use them.” So it lopped off the back of an SUV and created the Avalanche; a vehicle with trucky pretenses but Suburban practicality. Slow sales killed it in 2013 and now the concept is back. Backwards.

Read entire article: Your Next Pickup Truck Will Be A Car

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The Power Egg is unlike any drone you’ve ever flown before

Normally, when you think “quadcopter”, you think of the standard block-shaped mass of propellers, struts and landing gear. But nothing says they have to look that way. In fact, one drone company from China is taking a radically different approach with a UAV that looks like something from the labs of Capsule Corp.

The Power Egg is the latest autonomous flyer from Beijing-based Power Vision and marks the company’s first foray into consumer UAVs. The Egg weighs 4.6 pounds and is roughly the size of a rugby ball. Its body is comprised of high density plastic. Despite its namesake, this device appears surprisingly sturdy.

Both its landing gear and propeller struts retract back into the housing for easy transportation but flick out for flight. Well, technically the landing gear automatically extends — you’ll have to manually lock the propeller struts in place. The bottom tip of the Egg pops off to reveal a 4K UHD camera mounted on a stabilized 360 degree gimbal. Conversely, the top tip houses the drone’s 6,400mAh battery.

The Power Egg is capable of flying both indoors and out. When outside, the UAV’s onboard GPS keeps track of where it is relative to the operator. When flying inside, the Power Egg switches over to sonar and ground pattern recognition to understand its orientation.

Read more here: The Power Egg is unlike any drone you’ve ever flown before

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World’s longest aircraft takes its first flight

That aircraft you see above may look more than a little odd, but it just made history… and it might be the future of flight. Hybrid Air Vehicles has successfully flown the Airlander 10, a long-endurance airplane/airship hybrid billed as the longest aircraft ever at 302ft end to end. It was just a short, minutes-long trip around the countryside in UK’s Bedfordshire, but it showed that the massive (if more than a little posterior-like) design is airworthy.

It’s going to take a while before you see production models of the vehicle, which was originally designed for US surveillance before it was scrapped. HAV only expects to make 10 per year by 2021. If it meets its goals, though, it could prove to be crucial to the aviation world. Ideally, Airlander 10 will stay aloft for about 5 days at a time — that’s ideal for communications, manned military recon and even long-distance passenger flights. They’re much quieter and produce less pollution than typical aircraft, so they could fly in areas and at altitudes where other flying machines would create too much of a disturbance.

Source: World’s longest aircraft takes its first flight

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Smart Tactile Paving – Traffic lights for smartphone addicts

Using smartphones while walking on crowded city streets is not a good idea. All of us know it, but still risk using our phones while crossing streets. Games like Pokemon Go have increased the risk quotient even more in the recent months. To counter this risk-taking instinct of smartphone addicted people, an Australian firm has come-up with the idea of Smart Tactile Paving concept. The idea is to provide red lights in peripheral vision of people using smartphone for texting, gaming, social-networking or any other activity.

Büro North, a design firm has envisioned in-ground pedestrian traffic lights which alert the user of traffic light situation without even looking at the conventional traffic light. The idea is pretty simple and needs to be incorporated keeping in mind the rapid behavioral changes is us humans. This is drastically going to reduce the number of smartphone-related accidents.

According to Büro North: “Rather than attempting to modify behavior by legislation or punitive laws that will ultimately prove futile. We want to make cities safer by design”

Implementing this idea is also going to be simple, as the only thing needed is installation of tactile slabs into the pavements. These slabs will have LED lights which alert the user of current traffic situation. The lights will be in their peripheral vision even if they are looking at the smartphone screen, and this solves the problem in an intuitive manner.

Source: Smart Tactile Paving – Traffic lights for smartphone addicts

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9 Philosophical Thought Experiments That Will Keep You Up at Night

Sometimes, the best way to illustrate a complicated philosophical concept is by framing it as a story or situation. Here are nine such thought experiments with downright disturbing implications.

See them all by following the link here: 9 Philosophical Thought Experiments That Will Keep You Up at Night

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