Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Join Starfleet Academy @ NYC’s Star Trek Exhibit

Flights Of Fantasy

Space Shuttle Enterprise, the prototype NASA orbiter that paved the way for the space shuttle program. Peter Bright writes for Ars Technica: “On the flight deck of the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier that gives the museum its name is, much to the chagrin of my Houston friends, the space shuttle Enterprise. The Enterprise has an important link to Star Trek, since its name was chosen after a write-in campaign by fans of the show. Temporarily parked alongside the Enterprise is the Star Trek shuttle craft Galileo, which was lovingly restored a few years ago after being abandoned and left exposed to the weather for decades.”
Image Credit & SourceIntrepid Museum 

Some museums can be more fun and interactive than others, and help us both learn and feed our escapist fantasies and fuel our imagination. For example, an article, by Peter Bright, in Ars Technica showcases the Starfleet Academy at New York’s Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, located in the Hell’s Kitchen area of Manhattan. The museum is on the flight deck of the USS  Intrepid aircraft carrier.

In “Join Starfleet Academy at New York’s Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum” (July 23, 2016), Bright writes:
As a cadet at the academy, a wide range of interactive exhibits allow you to diagnose injured Klingons in sick bay, set phasers to stun in security, investigate the unknown at the science station, and more. After completing and signing in to each interactive portion with your RFID wristband, all Starfleet cadets must take the Kobayashi Maru test from the bridge of the Enterprise. At the conclusion of your training, the system says which part of Starfleet you'd be best at: are you captain material, or would you be better off as the next Mr. Spock? I learned that I'm not really cut out for security, because phasers are actually hard to aim. Gun-shaped guns turn out to be much easier!
Because it's kid-oriented, the academy portion isn't too complicated or involved. For parents, the exhibit's various historical artifacts will probably be the most interesting. Props and costumes from the show are a window into how technology evolved from (ugh) Enterprise to the unfairly maligned Voyager. I know it had some ropey episodes, but c’mon, as a starship, the Intrepid-class Voyager was easily the coolest of the main ships: it had sports car styling, and the ability to land on planets in a starship beats the pants out of beaming down or riding a shuttle.
The exhibit coincides with the 50th anniversary of the original series (1966) and the release on July 22nd of Star Trek Beyond, the 13th film of the Star Trek franchise. There is good reason why the film will do well, particularly among a certain segment of the population who find the humanistic values put forth by “Star Trek” to be enviable. Humans (and non-humans) get to act “human.” Contained within its narrative is hope, the possibility that humans can always and eventually get their act together.

At a time when such values are not overly evident, they become for those who admire them more desirable—at least by those who care about such things as collaboration, compassion and opportunity.  And of course, Peace. At a time and place when war might be arise, peace is still the goal and it is a place where its is also achieved in time. If there is war, peace ought to follow, as surely as day follows night.

Something enviable, to be sure, because this idea seems far from our grasp today. Humanity today can’t seem to find the way to peace. Is it for lack of trying or something else altogether? This much I can say, and although it sounds very much like a cliché, this does not make it less true. Without the very real possibility of peace, there is no hope. The Starfleet Academy experience runs through October 31st at the museum.

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For more, go to [ArsTechnica]