Saturday, December 03, 2005

Star Trek

Star Trek is a TV show. Later four movies were made: Star Trek I, entitled “Star Trek: The Motion Picture”, Star Trek II, entitled “The Wrath of Khan”, Star Trek III, entitled “The Search for Spock” and Star Trek IV, entitled “The Voyage Home”.

Star Trek takes place in the 23rd century. The U.S.S. Enterprise is one of twelve starships. It is the ship that the characters in. When Star Trek began, it is considered as one of the most modern vessels, but as Star Trek goes on, time catches up with it. Its five year mission is to find new life forms and new civilizations.

Captain Kirk is the captain of the Enterprise. He introduces himself as Captain James T. Kirk. The Enterprise is often out of communication with star ship bases for long periods of time, so Captain Kirk often makes his own decisions. Kirk breaks rules when necessary. Sometimes he lets worry and frustrations lead him to error. When Star Trek begins, Kirk is in his thirties. Kirk was born in Iowa. His ancestors were pioneers on the American frontier. He is interested in American history and one of heroes is Abraham Lincoln.

The T. in Kirk’s name stands for Tiberius which is a Roman name.

Kirk is attractive and his attractiveness helps him out a lot. Women aliens often spare his life because they fall in love with him. For example in the episode “Gamesters of Triskilion”, Shana falls in love with Kirk and spares his life later.

In Star Trek II, we find out that Kirk has a wife who’s called Dr. Carol Marcus and a son name David.

Kirk’s brother, who is a research biologist, is killed by an attack of insanity spread by flying parasites with his wife Aurelan. Their boy, Peter, who is about nine or ten, is the only survivor of the family.

In the movies, Kirk has been moved to Admiral.

Spock is the chief science officer on the Enterprise. He is properly known as Mr. Spock. Spock’s mother is Amanda Grayson and is human but lives on planet Vulcan with Vulcans and married a Vulcan, Sarek. Spock is their son. Spock is half human and apparently has human blood in him and once in a while he shows emotion. He is otherwise Vulcan. Vulcans have no emotions because they have had a warlike past. When they rejected their past they stopped having emotions because it led them to violence.

Lieutenant Commander Leonard McCoy is the senior ship surgeon and head of the medical department of the Enterprise. He is a man about forty five when Star Trek starts. He is often making unkind comments about other people. Inside he is very emotional and is often told by Spock that he is too emotional. McCoy was born in Georgia, and when he gets excited his accent can be heard.

Kirk calls him “Bones”, short for “Sawbones”, which means doctor. McCoy feels discomfort with modern machines.

McCoy is very emotional and illogical, while Spock on the other hand is very logical, because Vulcans are ruled by an almost machine like logic, and Spock is unemotional like all Vulcans. McCoy knows that people are ruled by their emotions; Spock does not. Even though episodes end a lot of time with them exchanging sharp remarks, it is clear they really respect each other.

McCoy was once married but is divorced. He has a daughter named Joanna. She is training to be a nurse.

Lieutenant Commander Montgomery Scott is the Chief engineer on the Enterprise.

Scotty pretends he doesn’t trust women but he is very fond of them.

Scotty has a Scottish accent.

Scotty is known for his appreciation of fine drink and he has a collection of alcoholic beverages from all known parts of the galaxy.

Lieutenant Sulu is the chief helmsman aboard the Enterprise. He uses his time wisely and always gets things done. The captain never has to give him an order more than once. He is interested in plants. He collects antique firearms and is an expert fencer.

Lieutenant Uhuru is the communications officer. She also uses her time wisely. Her name means “Freedom” in the Swahili language. She is very musical and is an excellent singer.

Ensign Pavel Andreievich Chekov joined the crew of the Enterprise following the death of lieutenant commander Gary Mitchell. He is Russian and has a Russian accent.

Nurse Christine Chapel first appears in the episode “What are Little Girls Made Of?”. The Enterprise is searching for her fiancé, Dr. Roger Korby. After Korby’s death, she stays on the Enterprise as McCoy’s aid and falls in love with Spock, and Spock tries to avoid her because of this.

Yeoman Janice Rand is in the beginning episodes. She and Kirk like each other, then she finds out Kirk loves his ship more than her, and she goes to another ship.

A few crew members who are on the Enterprise from time to time are Kevin Riley, who is memorable for his off key rendition of the Irish song, “I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen” and Dr. M’Benga, an African doctor who is good with Vulcan medicine because he was trained in a Vulcan hospital.

Vulcans are ruled by a machine like logic. There is also the Vulcan nerve pinch, which Vulcans use. It’s a pinch on the neck or shoulder and makes the victim of this pinch become unconscious. The Vulcans are able to do this because of their strength and knowledge of the body. Once Spock tried to teach it to Kirk, but Kirk couldn’t do it.

The death grip is gripping the face or forehead, but the death grip is pretend. Spock uses it to fool the Romulans. The Romulans will be in this report later. Vulcans have copper based blood and have the heart where the liver should be. Vulcan is a class M planet.

A Vulcan’s blood is green. Spock’s blood is T-negative. The Vulcan salute is a greeting. It is shown on the poster board. The Vulcan ritual embrace is where hands are crossed at the wrist with palms touching palms. It is used for family members. Vulcans have evolved an extra eye-lid to protect their eyes from the Vulcan sun. Vulcans have scientific knowledge. Spock likes Terrain art. He can also sight read music and play the Vulcan lyre, a Vulcan instrument. When Spock chose to join Star Fleet instead of the Vulcan Academy of Science, his father didn’t speak to him for eighteen years. Spock respects his father but is stubborn about making up.

Pon farr is the Vulcan mating urge. It happens to Vulcans every ten years of their life. When it happens to Spock, he becomes almost mad. He went back to Vulcan to claim T’pring whom he had been betrothed to in childhood.

Vulcans can become aware of each other over large distances. In an episode, Spock receives a shock when four hundred Vulcans die. Vulcans can read the minds of anything, even non-living things.

The Vulcan body can survive better than humans. For instance, in the episode, “The Immunity Syndrome”, Spock goes through some things that humans would not survive.

Vulcans can restore and remove memory. In Star Trek II, Spock transfers his personality to Dr. McCoy, and it is returned to him in Star Trek III by Vulcans.

Khan Noonian Singh ruled one quarter of earth from 1992 to 1996. He ruled South Asia to the Middle East. Khan is one of a group of people whose parents were picked out so that he would be strong. When regular people revolted in what was called the Eugenic Wars, Khan was the last to be driven from power. He escaped in a sleeper ship with eighty of his people. A sleeper ship is a ship in which the crew is in suspended animation. The one Khan was in was called Botany Bay. In “Space Seed”, Khan tried to take over the Enterprise, but is sent to exile on Ceti Alpha V.

Klingons are usually the enemies of the Federation. They look like humans in a sense on the TV show, but on the movies they look very ugly. The Klingons speak in a very mean sounding language. They have ugly dogs which they like. Their greeting is “survive and succeed”. The Klingons are a warrior race that comes from a poor planetary system. They must group together and conquer in order to survive. They hate all other races, especially humans. They are often fighting among themselves.

The Organians are beings of pure energy. The Organians planet was threatened by the conflict, so they force the Federation and the Kligons to sign a peace treaty. The result is an uneasy peace.

The Romulans are most often the enemies of the Federation, next to the Klingons. They fought a war with the Federation before the voyage of the Enterprise. A peace treaty was signed and the two have kept an uneasy peace. The Romulans are a race closely related to the Vulcans. They have lost contact with one another before the Vulcans changed from emotions to logic. The Romulans are very violent, and when attacking a ship they take no prisoners. Romulans and Klingons exchange ship designs. Romulans would rather die than be dishonored. Death is the penalty for disobedience and failure in battle, and death by torture is the penalty for spying on the Romulans. Saavik is half Romulan and half Vulcan. She is in the movies II, III, and briefly in IV.

The phaser is the main weapon. At lowest power it can quiet someone. At higher power it can knock someone out. At higher power it can explode something or dematerialize someone. It can also be used as a bomb. It can also be used a cutting torch, or it can be used for heating rocks to produce warmth. The higher the power, the more visible the phaser beam becomes. The phaser comes in two sizes. One size fits into hands, the other size is one that is on the ship. The phasers on the ship are usually fired by Sulu under Kirk’s orders. The little phasers are carried in a belt the Enterprise crew uses.

Photon torpedoes were invented by the Romulans and the Federation copied it. Photon torpedoes are on a ship. They can track down a target at a speed of many wap factors. It has a limited life span, so a ship can outrun one but it’s not easy.

The communicator is of course how the crew can communicate with the Enterprise when they are not on it, which is about half the time because they are exploring other planets. It is also used for people of the Enterprise to communicate with each other. It is kept in the same belt the phaser is in. It can be used when the antenna is flipped open. It has a 16,000 mile range.

The transporter is what the people in Star Trek use to get around. They stand in a certain spot in the ship and lights cover them. They reappear wherever they want to. It is worked by Scotty.

The tricorder can be used for many different things and it is a hand held device. It can study and identify. It can keep records on almost anything the Enterprise comes in contact with. It is about the size of a book. It has a shoulder strap and is carried mostly by either Spock or McCoy. It can tell them when an alien is near. Dr. McCoy has a special tricorder he uses to find out what’s wrong with people or aliens.

Dr. McCoy has two devices called the physiostimulator and the cardiostimulator. They are used for restarting stopped hearts. There is no difference between the two.

Most of the planets the Enterprise visits are not dangerous to humans, but in outer space a type of space suit called an environmental suit is used.

Time travel is possible in Star Trek. There are force fields being used all over the galaxy being used to keep something in or something out.

The Romulans have an invisible screen called a cloaking device. It makes their ship invisible. It has drawbacks. The major drawback is that people can’t see out and so the ship must become visible for battle. The Klingons use it also because the Romulans and Kingons exchange ship design.

The Enterprise has a crew of 430, mostly human. The “Saucer Section” has eleven decks. The cylinder like engineering section is located beneath the “Saucer Section”. Two additional cylinder sections called nacelles are attached to the engineering section. All the parts are connected by a system of turbolifts.

At the middle of the bridge is the captain’s chair, which of course Captain Kirk sits in. In front of the captain sits the navigator, who is Chekov, and the helmsman, who is Sulu, all facing a large view screen. In the outer circle of the bridge sit the communications officer, Uhura, the science officer, Spock, and unnamed people. The computer is deep within the ship, but is still able to communicate with the bridge by voice. It automatically maintains life support systems, including atmosphere and gravity.


This was a report I wrote in 4th Grade. The assignment was to write a report on any topic of our choosing.

I had, in those days, developed a reputation for my love of Wolves, and all my classmates expected I would write my report on Wolves. I thought I would as well, but then at the last minute I decided I was more interested in this TV show “Star Trek”, which I was just beginning to discover.

All of the information in this report was based off of "Strange and Amazing Facts about Star Trek" by Daniel Cohen. In 4th grade, the standards weren’t very high and no one minded that the entire report was drawn directly from one source.
My mother typed the whole report up for me on her old typewriter (this being before every household had a personal computer) and it was placed inside of a red binder, which is no doubt why this is one of the few things that survived from Elementary school. Although I can’t remember now if it was a requirement that the report be typed, or my mother just volunteered for it. (It must have been a requirement. I can’t imagine my mother just volunteering to type 8 pages on Star Trek for no reason.)

As you can see, I went a bit overboard in writing this thing, and it was several pages long compared to that of my classmates. It was so long that when we read our reports out in front of the whole class, I was the only one who wasn’t allowed to finish. (Although when I asked the teacher later, she reluctantly agreed to give me class time to finish reading my report).

When the school year was over, I couldn’t bear to part with the book, which had been part of my teacher’s personal library. I made an embarrassingly thinly veiled request for it, in which I walked up to her desk and told her how much I had enjoyed reading it this year. She gave it to me.

I’ve included this paper on my blog not because it is a specimen of brilliant scholarship, but because this marked the beginning of my obsession with Star Trek, something that marked my life from 4th grade onward all the way through most of high school.

In retrospect, I can’t help but wonder if a lot of that time couldn’t have been better spent...

On the other hand, wasting time is every child’s prerogative, and much of what defines childhood. And as a 4th grade student, I could have probably done a lot worse than the original Star Trek series. It was, after all, a TV show not without its charms. By the time I was in high school, it was beginning to get a little bit pathetic, but that was me.

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