Monday, March 26, 2007

Birthday Pics

So another birthday has come and passed. Whoopee! I would like to thank everyone who came to Sushi Neko for Taylor and I's celebration this year and my sister who took me out to dinner. Thank you all, you are all beautiful. Well, I am still the youngest (actually I think Taylor is younger) and most beautiful out of all of you, even though if you based it on maturity I'd probably be the oldest. If you don't believe, the proof of everyone's jealousy is in the pics. Why do you think you guys are around? Just kidding, jeez. Here are some pics. Oh yeah, just because it looks like my friends think I am an alcoholic doesn't mean I am. I have not cracked open a single one of those bottles yet. Drinking in public doesn't count, right?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Gore vs Capitol Hill

So anyone who has seen the latest news coverage of politician turned environmentalist Gore facing off with Congress saw the horrible light that OK was once again thrust. Our very own Jim Inofe has once again set the bar against environmentalists with his comments and attacks against Gore and like minded folk. Actually most news coverage made it seem like those were the only two at the table. Oh, I love OK.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

New (GAY) Star Trek?!?

This should be interesting for you trekkie (David and Dann) fans.

(New York) When David Gerrold left Star Trek: The Next Generation back in 1988, it was with a bit of a broken heart. He had penned an episode called "Blood and Fire" which dealt with an epidemic caused by a blood-borne pathogen that was an allegory for AIDS. The episode was to have featured the first openly gay couple in Star Trek history, something that Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry was said to fully support.

Gerrold was with Roddenberry at a Star Trek convention when Roddenberry was asked whether there would be gay characters in Next Generation. Gerrold recalls him saying, "You're right, it's time we do that."

But Roddenberry was in fading health by that time, and he had less to do with the show's day-to-day operations than he had on the original Star Trek series that ran from 1966–69. So after reviewing Gerrold's completed script, the show's producers got cold feet.

"This script was written as a promise," says Gerrold, an associate producer on Next Generation who was largely credited with mapping out the new series. "There was a subtext that they were gay, but we treated them like they were really good friends. But someone does ask them: 'How long have you been together?' Well, a few people in the office went ballistic! A memo came down that said, 'We don't want to risk the franchise by having mommies calling the station because they saw gay people on Star Trek.'"

Frustrated by office politics and upset that the gay-themed episode had been shelved, Gerrold left the franchise that had meant to much to him. "I walked away disappointed at the stories that weren't going to be told," he says. "I wanted to recreate the spirit of the original series. The episode where you are up against some terrible threat [and] as long as you were fighting it and seeing [it] as an enemy, you were going the wrong way. The only way [to succeed] was to stop resisting and learn how to be friends."

Gerrold never forgot the episode that didn't get made, but he moved on to other things as the Star Trek franchise continued to thrive through the successful runs of Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager as well as feature films with the cast of the original series.

But with no Star Trek series on the air since the cancellation of Enterprise in 2005, several fan websites have helped to keep the Star Trek franchise alive by shooting their own episodes that are available for download. Among the most successful is Star Trek: New Voyages which has already shot three episodes; the most recent one features original cast member George Takei reprising his role of Capt. Sulu.

New Voyages is gearing up to begin filming its fourth episode in June, and it will be an updated version of Gerrold's "Blood and Fire." The gay characters in this version are Capt. Kirk's nephew, Peter Kirk, and his boyfriend, Lt. Alex Freeman.

"I knew about the script and the story, and I approached David [Gerrold] with an idea of using it in our series," says James Cawley, executive producer for New Voyages. "A few of the original elements were kept intact but changed to make it relevant to 2001 as opposed to 1987. I really feel this is something Gene Roddenberry wanted to do. He had promised there would be gay characters. That was the episode that was going to deliver. They never had the guts to tackle the issue, which is a shame. If we don't pick up his torch, it's never going to happen."

In addition to a revised script by Gerrold with Carlos Pedraza, also involved in the production will be D.C. Fontana, an associate producer from Next Generation, and Darren Dochterman, who was behind the visual special effects for Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

"Producers did not want to address homosexuality in Star Trek even though the original series talked about race and war and drugs and hippie culture; they addressed all that stuff," Cawley says. "All the subsequent shows have been adventures in space. We have dared to [do] something that the franchise holders would never do. We are including an openly gay couple in the Enterprise, showing the world that it is a totally acceptable thing … in the future. The prejudice and the bias will be gone."

Cawley describes New Voyages, which he and Jack Marshall created in 2003, as "this fan project that has grown to enormous proportions." The most recent episode has been downloaded more than 30 million times. It is designed as a continuation of the original series with Cawley stepping into William Shatner's shoes as Capt. Kirk and Jeff Quinn as Mr. Spock, the role originated by Leonard Nimoy.

"I grew up when the only Star Trek was Kirk, Spock and McCoy, and they were being neglected," Cawley says. "I thought the property was like James Bond or Batman and Superman. It's not so much the actors but the characters. I think Star Trek has that universal appeal to everybody. To me the hook was … that we have a future that is worth getting to."

Paramount Pictures owns the legal rights to the Star Trek franchise but has traditionally allowed the distribution of fan-created material as long as there is no attempt to profit from it. New Voyages, which recreated the show's original sets, falls under this area.

For the young actors portraying the gay couple, they have the advantage of not having to recreate an iconic role made famous by another actor. Bobby Rice, 23, was cast as Peter Kirk after Cawley saw his performance on another web-based Star Trek project: Star Trek: Hidden Frontier, which is set in The Next Generation era of Star Trek. (It should be noted that Hidden Frontier has also included gay characters and story lines.)

"How cool is that?" says Rice. "It's pretty wild. I never thought I'd be a Kirk. I feel like what we are doing is fantastic and groundbreaking. It takes place in the future, and homosexuality should be generally accepted in the future. Star Trek has always been about tackling these kinds of issues, so it's a great place to have this story. The gay fan base has had a really positive reaction."

Although the episode has yet to shoot, Rice has already met his on-screen love interest, Lt. Alex Freeman, who will be played by 22-year-old Evan Fowler, when the two got together for a photo shoot.

"When I first read about the audition, I didn't even notice it was a gay role; I just saw Star Trek and thought it sounded cool," says Fowler, who beat out hundreds of other actors for the role. "But it being a gay part made it more intriguing. As an actor, you are always looking for more complex characters and to do something groundbreaking."

Fowler admits that he was far from a Trekkie before landing the gig, but he is making up for that now. "The more I ask people about Star Trek, the more I hear about the social undertones regarding race and social issues," he says. "The original script was very realistic but a little docile. The new one is up a notch, and the issues it tackles are even more prevalent today than when we wrote the original."

Fowler, who graduated last year from Loyola Marymount University with a degree in history and European studies, says he is quickly learning just how powerful being involved in the Star Trek franchise can be for an actor.

"People are taking notice of it and for me — being so new and not having much experience — it's the best situation you can put yourself into," he says. "The fans are so loyal and so interested in what's happening. You don't get that much in Hollywood."

For Gerrold, New Voyages is providing him with an opportunity to give his original script more edge. "Can we go places we couldn't go in 1987?" he asks. "Yeah. At one point they are talking about getting married, and at one point they actually kiss on-screen. But we are not going any place that's thematically out of place in Star Trek. I'm enormously proud of how far we have come in such a short time and that I get to live long enough to see this episode be shot."

He adds: "New Voyages doesn't have time limits. If we were doing it for prime-time TV, we'd have to tell the story in 44 minutes. The script is probably twice as long as it should be so it's going to be a long episode, almost the equivalent of a short movie."...

© 2007

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Toles! You So Funny!

The Sacred Cow, Or Is It?

Meat-loving calf eats chickens

KOLKATA, India (Reuters) - When dozens of chickens went missing from a remote West Bengal village, everyone blamed the neighborhood dogs.

But Ajit Ghosh, the owner of the missing chickens, eventually solved the puzzle when he caught his cow -- a sacred animal for the Hindu family -- gobbling up several of them at night.

"We were shocked to see our calf eating chickens alive," Ghosh told Reuters by phone from Chandpur village.

The family decided to stand guard at night on Monday at the cow shed which also served as a hen coop, after 48 chickens went missing in a month.

"Instead of the dogs, we watched in horror as the calf, whom we had fondly named Lal, sneak to the coop and grab the little ones with the precision of a jungle cat," Gour Ghosh, his brother, said.

Local television pictures showed the cow grabbing and eating a chicken in seconds and a vet confirmed the case.

"We think lack of vital minerals in the body is causing this behavior. We have taken a look and have asked doctors to look into the case immediately," Mihir Satpathy, a district veterinary officer, said by phone.

"This strange behavior is possible in some exceptional cases," Satpathy said.

Hundreds of villagers flocked to Chandpur on Wednesday to catch a glimpse of Lal, enjoying his bundle of green grass for a change.

"The local vets said the cow was probably suffering from a disease but others said Lal was a tiger in his previous birth," Ajit added.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Congrats To Lucas

So, a party was had to celebrate the fact that Lucas (the one with the Crazy hair) has taken the Bar exam. It was supposed to be a surprise, but he ruined that. We are sure he has passed cause he is smart like that. Dann hosted the party and it was a blast! Congrats Lucas and btw, we need to talk about your friends. ;)

Friday, March 02, 2007

Nasty! Brush Your Teeth Fools!

From the Men's Health blog!! Ahhh! Going to brush, floss and listerine!

There's Something Between Your Teeth...

... and it may be killing you.

If you wanted to study periodontal disease (bad gums) where would you go?

Bloody hell—England, of course! A new study out of London seems to have nailed down the long-known connection between gum health and heart health, something Men's Health has been writing about for ages.

What happens is the bacteria in gums causes inflammation, and this inflammation spreads through your blood vessels, to your coronary arteries, where it can do serious damage. How serious? Serious as a heart attack, that's how serious.

The good news from the bad-teeth Brits: This is reversible. The study showed that those who were treated for gum disease showed significant improvement in "endothelial function" (the wideness nad elasticity of arteries) after 6 months.

Your treatment: floss.

Friends, Family and The Dragon Dance

So Feb 18th was the Lunar New Year. My family, a bunch of friends (most my mom's) and the rest of the crowd at Grand House restaurant enjoyed the Dragon Dance to celebrate the New Year and wish everyone good luck. Good times and good food were had and hopefully some good luck moved my way. Anyway here is some pics from the event. Sorry Dann it took so long. Dann was saying we were the whitest table at the event. I think he might be right. Till next year! Have a good pig year.
If you have never been to Grand House for their Asian style brunch on Sat or Sun you should definitely check it out. This is probably the most authentic Chinese food I've ever had in Oklahoma short of my mother's cooking. The only drawback is going without someone who has ever been there for "dim-sum", but the staff is helpful and they will let you know what you are getting. Think of it the as the latest rage of Spanish "tapas" (small plates), but Asian style and done for thousands of years. Here is a explanation of "Dim-sum" from the Grand House site.

How and when “Dim-Sum” started in China is not known for sure, but it can be traced to a rustic beginning prior to the time of the Tang Dynasty (618 A.D. to 907 A.D.). Since then, this epicurean mode of eating by sampling has been improved and expanded, and in time has reached the degree of sophistication you experience at Grand House.

In Chinese culture, it is a way of life for family members and friends to gather in their favorite restaurant to partake of a great variety of foodstuffs from the parade of trolleys. The bond of family closeness is cemented with the fun and enjoyment that come from savoring the many tidbits.