Friday, February 12, 2010

Phasers and PADDs, IRL!

*U* Hm, well - many may say that 2009 was the year that brought Star Trek out of it's descent into historic oblivion with the incredibly successful 11th film, Star Trek. But I hereby declare 2010 the year that Star Trek started coming to life! In the past month, the US has made two dramatic waves in the technological world: the iPad and this morning the U.S. Missile Defense Agency successfully fired a laser weapon that's in the testing stage. Star Trek had these things 40+ years ago!

Since the iPad was a couple weeks ago, lets take a minute to look at that first -- a "PADD", or the acronym "Personal Access Display Device" - is a small handheld computer on Star Trek usually used to pass on reports to your superior, a futuristic clipboard basically. They consisted pretty entirely of a large touch screen, or in some cases a touch screen with a few buttons beneath it.

A PADD on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. (IRL time: c. 1997, ST time: c. 2374)

This PADD is from Star Trek: Voyager, shows mainly text. eBook anyone?

Having come full circle, you can now WATCH Star Trek on your OWN iPad!!! That's hilariously awesome. I want one.

But as for today's technological advancement?
"WASHINGTON, Feb 12 (Reuters) - A U.S. high-powered airborne laser weapon shot down a ballistic missile in the first successful test of a futuristic directed energy weapon, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency said on Friday."
Um, AWESOME! We've got Phasers now!? Technically, in Star Trek, phasers and lasers are different -- lasers are depicted as significantly less powerful than phasers, though Phasers appear to move slower since we can see the beam move. Lasers move at the speed of light, and therefore should not be visible under normal circumstances. But I digress.

The Enterprise-D fires phasers and photon torpedoes, c. 2364.

The Enterprise-E fires phasers. (c. 2371)

To be specific, this site goes into more detail about how the laser works - but less than two minutes after launch a missile can be destroyed. How very Ronald Reagan's Star Wars. Once the missile is detected, the laser fires at it and the missile's structure is compromised in only seconds. Fascinating!

In conclusion, I miss Star Trek. Sometime in the near future I need to watch a few episodes.

Quote of the Day: Yesterday I was helping Van der Kamp with his TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) practice, and was recording my voice reading some questions and answers. The practice answers they are given are VERY badly worded, lol, me and Patsy had a heck of a time making fun of them. Sample question:
"Some students learn better alone, while others learn better studying in groups. Which do you prefer and why?" "(blah blah blah) To be specific, if I study at home I will be more tired because there is my bed right next to my desk."

Haha, also, all the sample answers were modeled in the exact same way. "To be specific," "More over," "Also," and things. And they used awkward phrasing that no one really uses - when was the last time you described something as spectacular in normal conversation?


Patsy said...

To be specific, this post is spectacular.

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