Watching Star Trek: Discovery Offline

With Star Trek: Discovery now airing exclusively on CBS All Access I was trying to find  way to be able to download the episodes so I can view them while flying. Unlike Netflix & Amazon Video CBS All Access does not (yet) have a watch offline feature. However – in the meantime…

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It looks like will there is a will – there is a way, even if it will cost a few bucks.

Streaming your favorite shows on a spotty internet connection can be quite the nuisance – but it doesn’t have to be. There is a handy app that lets you save any show for offline watching and the best thing is that it works with practically any streaming service, including Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO and thank goodness CBS All Access.

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Available for Android and iOS, PlayOn Cloud makes it possible for users to record and download titles from a variety of leading streaming services, so they could still binge their favorite shows once they go offline – anytime and anywhere.

In addition to the previously mentioned content providers, the app also supports downloads from YouTube, Yahoo Views, CBS, PBS, CW, ABC, NBC and Fox.

The only downside is that you will have to pay for this privilege. PlayOn’s iOS and Android apps are free, but the company will charge $0.99 for each recording. The good thing is that PlayOn also offers various recording packs and bundles for as low as $0.20 a pop. You can look up pricing details here. I paid $4.99 for 20 episode downloads which should all me to watch Discovery’s Season 1 offline – no matter where I am, regardless of access to the internet!  You must, of course be a subscriber to CBS-All Access to access their content through PlayOn Cloud.

Considering that each recording is stored in the cloud – and therefore available to download locally on any device using the same PlayOn account – it’s not such a bad deal.

One thing to keep in mind is that Netflix already rolled out support for offline viewing for mobile last year. The disadvantage is that not every entry in its catalog is available to stream offline. Another upside to using PlayOn is that, unlike Netflix, downloaded recordings never expire – unless the user deletes them, of course.

Yes, recordings stored on the cloud will be deleted after 30 days, but they will still be available on your device locally.

For those wondering about the app’s legality: The PlayOn team claims their software is entirely “legal and protected by the same laws that allow consumers to use a DVR or VCR to record broadcast content.” They have explained this in more detail in a blog post on their website.

In all fairness, PlayOn Cloud has been around for a while now. But should you find yourself planning a faraway trip without any guarantees for a stable connection, now at least you know you have options to keep yourself entertained.

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Star Trek: Discovery Premiers Tonight

“Star Trek: Discovery” on CBS All Access is almost here. The newest series of the Star Trek franchise is a prequel that takes place about a decade before the five-year mission of the original 1960s “Star Trek.” “Star Trek: Discovery” is also set in the timeline of the original series, not that of the new films by J.J. Abrams. Here’s what you need to know to watch the new Star Trek show.

Star Trek: Discovery
Here are all the details on how to watch the premiere of “Star Trek: Discovery.” After Sunday, Sept. 24, all episodes will air exclusively on CBS All Access each Sunday.

Date: Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET/PT, 7:30 p.m. CT (time approximate following NFL football and “60 Minutes”)
On TV: Watch the premiere on CBS, check your local listings
Online: Watch the premiere and the second episode on CBS All Access

Star Trek: Discovery story
Star Trek: Discovery stars Sonequa Martin-Green of “The Walking Dead” as First Officer Michael Burnham. Michael is the first human to attend the Vulcan Science Academy, and the series starts with her serving as the first officer of the USS Shenzhou, helmed by Michelle Yeoh’s Captain Philippa Georgiou. She ends up serving on the USS Discovery under Captain Gabriel Lorca, played by Jason Isaacs, instead.

A special broadcast premiere of “Star Trek: Discovery” will tonight at 8:30 p.m on CBS. Immediately after the first episode airs on CBS, the second episode will be available exclusively on CBS All Access.

After premiere night, new episodes will only be available on CBS All Access each Sunday.

What is CBS All Access
CBS All Access is available on your mobile device, Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Fire TV, PS4, Xbox or Windows 10. If you don’t have CBS All Access already, you can watch “Star Trek: Discovery” with a free, one-week trial.

How to sign up for CBS All Access
Signing up is easy. You simply browse over to the CBS All Access landing page and pick the plan you want to purchase. The seven-day free trial available for new customers only.

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How to Watch Star Trek: Discovery

With Star Trek: Discovery set to premier in a few days countless people have asked me “how do I watch the new Star Trek”? This is a great question because CBS is hoping to move away from traditional TV with Trek paving the way.

This is not the first time Star Trek has introduced the audience to new ways of obtaining our entertainment. Lets take a look at what I am talking about.

  • The Original Series – When TOS hit syndication (1970’s) it quickly became the most watched series in Syndication (except for possibly “I Love Lucy”) history and led to the modern rebirth of the franchise.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation – TNG did not air on a network, but “first run syndication”. This was the first large scale TV series to do so and it’s success led to an onslaught of TV shows following suit, including “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”.
  • Star Trek: Voyager – Paramount launched their network, UPN in 1995 with the series premier of Voyager.

So there you go – Star Trek has often led the way with how we view TV and with Discovery CBS is hoping to do it again.


So you are still not sure how and where to watch Star Trek: Discovery? You’re not alone. I have broken down all the info into a guide to help you find out where and when to watch.

Discovery starts with a special 2-part (2 episode) premiere and will run for a total of 15 episodes for the first season. The season will be broken into two parts with a break starting November and scheduled to pick up again in January 2018.

Outside of the USA, Star Trek: Discovery will air on Netflix, except for Canada where it will be broadcast on CTV while in the states it runs exclusively on CBS All Access.

USA: Discovery premieres Sunday, Sept. 24 on CBS All Access

In the United States Star Trek: Discovery is an exclusive original show for the CBS All Access streaming service and premieres Sunday, September 24th.

  • The first episode (Part 1 of the two-hour premiere) will be available on CBS All Access at 8:30PM ET.
  • The second episode (Part 2) will be available exclusively on CBS All Access at 9:30PM.

Subsequent episodes will be available at 8:30PM ET / 5:30PM PT starting Sunday, October 1st.

This streaming service from CBS costs $5.99 per month to subscribe ($9.99 without commercials). CBS All Access includes access to more than 9,000 episodes on demand – spanning current primetime, daytime and late night CBS series, as well as past seasons of select series and classic TV shows, including every episode of every Star Trek TV series.

You can watch CBS All Access on your computer, mobile devices, gaming devices and streaming devices. For more see TrekMovie’s buyer’s guide to CBS All Access devices. To subscribe CLICK HERE(with free trial).

CBS broadcast of Part 1 of premiere: In order to promote Star Trek: Discovery the first episode of the show (Part 1 of the 2-hour premiere) will be broadcast on the CBS Television Network on the same night as it is released on CBS All Access. To watch, tune in Sunday, September 24 at 8:30-9:30 PM, ET/PT (time approximate following NFL Football and 60 Minutes). To see part 2 of the pilot or any other episodes, you will have to subscribe to CBS All Access.

Buyer’s Guide To Streaming ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ On A Budget

One of the biggest challenges about Star Trek: Discovery for people in the U.S. is that it is exclusively available on the  CBS All Access  streaming service. With only around 1.5 million subscribers, it is likely that most fans will be signing up for the service for the first time. So the question is, how can you watch the show?

Are you already Discovery-ready?

The CBS app is available on Android and iOS, so you can certainly watch it on your phone or tablet screen easily, as well as on your computer through the CBS website. But Star Trek: Discovery is a show that is being promoted as ‘big’ and ‘cinematic,’ so you’ll probably want to watch it on your TV. “How do I do that?” you might ask. We’re here to tell you.

Star Trek: Discovery should be watched on a big screen

You may already have a device that is ready for CBS All Access. If you’re a gamer, the CBS All Access app is available on the PlayStation 4, the Xbox One, and Xbox 360.  It’s also on any Android TV, including recent higher-end Sony smart TVs, which are CBSAA-ready. And many Vizio smart TVs from the last couple of years (E, M, or P series) have Google Chromecast built-in so they are also ready for you to use your smartphone or tablet to send the CBS All Access video stream to your TV.

If you have a dedicated streaming device such as a Google ChromecastRokuAmazon Fire TVApple TV, or Android TV, XBOX then you, are ready for CBS All Access.

All Access supported devices

 

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Star Trek’s Voyager Shines on Netflix

OK friends, we only have about 2 weeks until Star Trek: Discovery premiers on CBS All Access, and I am just a little excited about it. With that in mind, Netflix recently reported on the most streamed Star Trek re-watched episodes and the results surprised many of us.

There are nearly 700 episodes of Star Trek spread across five television series and you’d assume the best episodes would translate to the most re-watched, right? After all, usually the cream rises to the top. Or does it?

Netflix has just released their list of the ten most re-watched Star Trek episodes of all time, and frankly, many trekkers were left a little bit shocked by the results. Especially when you realize the finale episode of Voyager is the most re-watched Star Trek episode of all time on the streaming service, and not other, far more well regarded classics.

As a matter of fact, none of the original series episodes are among the most re-watched  and only four The Next Generation episodes are in the top ten! You can check out Netflix’s list of the top ten most re-watched Star Trek episodes in the graphic down below.

My personal favorite Trek series (after the original series, of course) is Star Trek: Voyager and it can lay claim to having the most revisited episode of all, its series finale. As it turns out, the first episodes of any Trek series are usually the most-watched, so in an effort to seek data beyond default behavior, the first two episodes from any first seasons were omitted from the data. Also, it should be noted that the Borg show up in seven out of ten episodes. People must really want to be assimilated.

Usually, after the introductory episodes of any of the first seasons, it’s episodes introducing well-known parts of Star Trek lore that tend to be rewatched the most. The Next Generation and The Original Series can claim the largest audiences on Netflix, but Voyager and Deep Space Nine fans are better repeat customers, more likely to return for their favorite episodes.

Why Star Trek Voyager has so many Re-watches?

Both the original show and TNG have excellent, upgraded (remastered) high definition Blu-rays, while neither Voyager or Deep Space Nine do not. If you’re a hardcore Trekker, you will probably watch the Original Series and Next Generation on Blu-ray before watching a more compressed streaming version.

As for Deep Space Nine & Voyager streaming is the best – most convenient way to re-visit those crews. As for Voyager being so well represented here as compared to Deep Space Nine lets remember that Voyager is much episodic while Deep Space Nine has huge story arches – meaning its much easier to grab a Voyager episode here & there while Deep Space Nine’s longer story arches makes that a little more problematic.

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Disney & CBS Look to Challange Netflix

Two major networks are looking to compete with Netflix and steal, at least part of their audience. First CBS announced it’s own streaming service with the launch of the new “Star Trek” TV series.

First You Have CBS

CBS is moving fast in the streaming channel arena, with plans to expand CBS All Access to Canada and other international markets by next year.

CBS is also working on the launch of a streaming sports channel patterned after its CBSN digital news service. The movement in the over the top (OTT) market comes as the CBS All Access and Showtime stand alone services are expected to exceed 4 million subscribers in total by the end of this year.

The sports channel is in the early stages of development and doesn’t yet have a name.

The decision by CBS to relaunch the “Star Trek” franchise on CBS All Access rather than on the CBS network or Showtime, or even to sell it to Netflix in the U.S., was a calculated decision to grow the streaming service. “Star Trek: Discovery” – the first new TV series in the “Trek” canon in 11 years, is set to premier on September 24. In an obvious effort to attract users to their new platform – through Star Trek – CBS will premier the first episode on their regular CBS network with the second episode (part 2 of a cliffhanger) airing immediately afterward – exclusively on CBS All Access. In other words if you want to keep watching the new Star Trek – sign up with CBS All Access.

As you can see by watching the quality of the “Star Trek: Discovery” trailer the mission of these networks to launch their own streaming service, with new & exciting content is no joke – and could, potentially be a boon for all of us.

Then You Have Disney

Disney has now officially announced that it’s making its own Netflix competitor, a streaming service that will air original Disney movies and TV shows. In addition Disney announced that it also plans to launch a second Netflix-like offering that will deliver sporting events.

It’s not surprising that Disney wants to directly compete with Netflix and other streaming services, given that more people opt to ditch traditional cable in favor of online entertainment.

The Disney TV streaming service will only launch in 2019, while the ESPN-based service would be available as soon as next year.

Disney also reported that it will terminate the licensing agreement for new titles beginning with the 2019 calendar year.

This means that post 2019 if you want to watch Disney movies and show you will need to subscribe to their exclusive channel.

What All of this Means

How we watch television is rapidly changing. Networks like ABC, CBS and NBC are trying to find ways to remain relevant in this ever changing landscape. Where commercial advertisements were once king now networks are looking to the audience to “subscribe” in order to watch the content they enjoy. At the same time, because of the success of pay-cable TV shows like “The Sopranos” and “Game of Thrones” audiences now expect much more from their television dramas. Commercial interruptions are a disaster to good TV – and the networks know this. We are well on the way to the extinction of relevant – free – over the air TV.

In fact so much has changed in the television landscape that Netflix is now almost seen as “old school” by networks like CBS and Disney. Ask yourself this question. Why should networks, with immense libraries of (old & loved) TV content and the resources to create new content sell to a “middle man” when they can create their own streaming services and reap 100% profits as opposed to sharing their earning with Netflix or Hulu.

The only question is can they do it – and be successful?

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10 Reasons Why I Love Star Trek: Voyager

On the eve of the newest Trek series to launch (Star Trek: Discovery) I take a look back at my favorite Trek and I try to explain why the most maligned in the franchise may actually be it’s very best.

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The Voyager crew from Seasons 4 through 7.

Airing from the Winter of 1995 to the Spring of 2001, Star Trek: Voyager was the final Star Trek television series to follow in the footsteps of Paramount Studios new line of Star Trek television productions that began with Star Trek: The Next Generation. Produced by primarily the same individuals responsible for ST:TNG and also ST:DS9, Voyager took another huge step forward in the Trek-verse, breaking new ground not only by placing a female Starfleet captain at the helm, but also by dropping the show’s flagship namesake into an unexplored region of the Star Trek universe.

Here’s a look at 10 reasons why Star Trek: Voyager may have come closer to Gene Roddenberry’s vision than any of the others…so far.

10. The Delta Quadrant

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By whisking Voyager into an unexplored region of the Star Trek universe with the pilot episode, the creators of the show immediately raised the stakes for the show. With a female captain at the helm, Voyager found itself in literally uncharted territory, populated in large part by Federation nemesis, The Borg. By Voyager’s projections, it would take nearly 75 Earth years to return home, thus placing Voyager in a place where literally “no man had gone before.”

9. The Emergency Medical Holographic Program

Voyager Doctor

In a new twist on an old Star Trek staple, the show’s creators implanted a holographic program to run the ship’s sick-bay, as opposed to the usual, living and breathing, chief medical officer. Gone were the days of the in-the-flesh doctors, “Bones” McCoy and Dr. Beverly Crusher, and instead we got Robert Picardo’s fantastic holographic character, “The Doctor.” Forced to run on a full-time basis due to Voyager’s sudden relocation to the Delta Quadrant, sans a medical officer, The Doctor would become this series first person in search of the meaning of humanity, following in the footsteps of the great Data from the TNG series, and further advocating for full sentient status with help from Captain Janeway.

8. Chakotay And The Maquis

Chakotay

True to Star Trek series tie-in form, the pilot episode of Voyager finds the ship leaving DS9 in pursuit of another vessel. This vessel would turn out to be a rebel ship, piloted by the Maquis, a race of people who are at war with the Cardassians. What is so significant about the Maquis in this particular episode is that they, too, are whisked over 70,000 light years from their last known location along with Voyager. Both crews are forced to unite their survivors in order to survive and ultimately find their way home to the Alpha Quadrant, and the Maquis crew thus becomes part of Voyager’s personnel. Included are Chakotay, who would become Voyager’s second in command; Tom Paris, who becomes Voyager’s helmsman; B’Elanna Torres, a half-human, half-Klingon Maquis who becomes Voyager’s chief engineer, and the Vulcan Tuvok: initially Voyager’s second in command who had infiltrated the Maquis ship in an undercover role.

7. Big Time Guest Stars

Voyager The Rock

Star Trek: Voyager was ripe with guest star appearances, including some of the earliest work of today’s more famous actors. Included in this list are screen legends such as Jason Alexander from TV’s Seinfeld, John Rhys-Davies from the Indiana Jones films and Lord of the Rings trilogy, and even WWE’s The Rock, Dwayne Johnson, who was featured in an episode of the show’s 6th season.

6. Recurring Star Trek Series Characters

Votager Q

Star Trek: Voyager probably contained the greatest number of former Star Trek character appearances of any of the post-original series. Throughout it’s 7 seasons on-air, the Voyager television show gave us a nostalgic look back at some our favorite characters from Star Trek’s past. Included would be the great omnipotent Q, portrayed fantastically as always by John DeLancie, who hilariously attempts to court Captain Janeway on several occasions. Also making appearances were Trek legends such as Dwight Schultz’s Reggie Barclay, Marina Sirtis’ Deanna Troi, and even Jonathan Frakes’ Will Riker. But perhaps the most important and notable appearances are those of the Borg Queen character: her/their story plays a vital role in the overall tale of the Voyager spacecraft and it’s ongoing trek home.

5. Kes

Voyager Kes

A native of the Delta Quadrant which became home for our Voyager spacecraft, Jennifer Lien’s character of Kes was instrumental in the ship’s quest to return to the Alpha Quadrant. She was the life partner of the ships cook, Neelix, and a student of The Doctor, where she worked in the ships sick-bay and also attempted to help The Doctor with his inter-personal skills as it related to the crew. Kes was an Ocampan, and thus she possessed the race’s psionic abilities. Her abilities would eventually evolve and with the help of Vulcan Tuvok, Kes would learn to harness her powers and eventually use them at the time of her death to send Voyager beyond the Borg-infested area of space, and 9,500 light years closer to home.

4. Tuvok: The Return of a Vulcan to a Starfleet Bridge

tuvok

The Tuvok character was instrumental from day one of the Voyager series for two reasons: the character itself was an homage to the classic and original Trek series by once again having a Vulcan as part of the ship’s senior staff for the first time since Captain Kirk’s reign; but more importantly the Tuvok character was also largely responsible for landing Voyager in the Delta Quadrant as the ship pursued the rebel Maquis vessel on which Tuvok was an undercover agent in the series pilot episode. These two reasons alone are enough to warrant the Tuvok character a place in the top 5 awesome reasons in this column; not to mention that Tim Russ did an awesome job carrying the Vulcan torch for the full 7 seasons while constantly taking a “#2” backseat to the lackluster Chakotay character and his “#1” position on the crew.

3. Species 8472 Changes the Game

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From fluidic space, a dimension outside the known Star Trek universe, emerged Species 8472. Discovered by The Borg, Species 8472 was unknown to Star Trek space until The Borg invaded their fluidic space in an attempt to assimilate their technological and biological distinctiveness into their own. How’d that work out, you ask? Yea, not so good: Species 8472’s complex triple helix DNA structure allowed them to forego and avoid assimilation, and practically destroy The Borg at will. As a result, Captain Janeway forms an alliance with The Borg: allow Voyager safe passage through Borg space, and Voyager will help with a nanotechnology answer to the Species 8472 threat. The result gives us the first and only Borg/Federation alliance, and the retreat of Species 8472 back to fluidic space.

2. Seven of Nine

Seven Of Nine

Arguably the defining character / subject of the Star Trek: Voyager series, Jeri Ryan’s orphaned Borg drone was the designated representative in the Federation/Borg alliance against Species 8472. After neutralizing the Species 8472 threat, Seven of Nine attempted to assimilate Voyager’s crew and was then separated from her collective. In the seasons that followed, Seven of Nine would be slowly integrated into the Voyager crew, with the majority of the crew resisting trusting her. She would also join The Doctor as another member of a Star Trek crew seeking to understand humanity, as she searched to reclaim her assimilated innocence.

1. Captain Kathryn Janeway/Kate Mulgrew

Captain Janeway

Without question, the character of Captain Kathryn Janeway broke through the final typecasting barrier that had stood for so long in the Trek universe: having a female series lead and also in the captains chair. Kate Mulgrew was cast as Voyager’s fearless captain, and so began Trek’s final television journey without an Enterprise leading the way, and with a female captain in control. What followed was seven fantastic seasons with the Star Trek universe being experienced through the eyes of a female captain, placing a new spin on familiar story arcs, and a new approach to unfamiliar territory. The Janeway character would later appear as a Starfleet Admiral, again portrayed in a cameo by Mulgrew, in the feature film Star Trek: Nemesis as a superior officer to the Enterprise’s Captain Jean-Luc Picard, and even later in a novelization that had her assimilated into the new Borg Queen as Seven of Nine sought to rescue her. Overall, a fitting lead for the final non-Enterprise related Trek series, and a legendary character to be sure, fitting of the Captain’s chair.

So, fellow trekkies, do you agree or disagree? Do you miss the show now that you’ve relived some of its finest elements, or do you disagree with me. I have been watching Star Trek almost my entire life (I am 53) and this one touches all the bases of Gene Roddenberry’s vision, and just like in our lives there are missteps along the way.

However in the end – it is the journey that matters the most.

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Doom in 2029?

Asteroids are one of the most serious threats to life on earth that we know of. This is not something we think about very often. It was almost certainly an asteroid that took out the dinosaurs. This is a very real threat that humanity faces. The good news is that scientists are getting better at watching out for these large rocks which whiz by our planet more often then you might think. The bad news is that, today there is very little we can do about one of these striking us. See my rant at the end of this article for more about what we can do.

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This week it was reported that a massive asteroid, called 99942 Apophis, is going to make a very close pass of Earth in 2029, and that flyby could determine the fate of our planet.

“We can rule out a collision at the next closest approach with the Earth,” Astronomer Alberto Cellino told Astrowatch. “But then the orbit will change in a way that is not fully predictable just now, so we cannot predict the behavior on a longer timescale.”

The flyby in 2029 will be very-very close, with the asteroid expected to pass within 20,000 miles of Earth’s surface. That’s a ridiculously close by space standards, and it’s such a tight squeeze that the gravity of Earth is expected to alter the path of Apophis in such a way that its future passes will become much more unpredictable until further forecasting can be accomplished.

This video from the Discovery Channel depicts that tragic events of a large asteroid striking our planet.

The threat from Apophis is particularly scary because of its size. The asteroid has a diameter of over 1,200 feet, and a collision with our planet would be a catastrophic event. Scientists have forecasted the potential impact, estimating that the rock would strike with an amazing 750 megatons of energy. By comparison, the Tunguska event — which flattened a huge forested area in Russia’s Siberia — is thought to have only been about 10 megatons of force.

My Asteroid Influenced Rant

All of this talk of potential global doom from space kind of makes you think that we should be working together as opposed to engaging in endless political arguments. Our combined energy should be used to better ourselves and collectively protect each other. The type of healthcare we have, or what political ideology we each have will help us ZERO if we can’t prevent a rock like 99942 Apophis from striking our little blue marble. Instead of engaging in endless arguments we should collectively science it up and work on preventing disasters like the one that is possible in 2029.

OK – now I need to go watch an episode of Star Trek.

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Parallel Universes Might Exist

The idea that we might be living in just one of an infinite number of universes is not a new scientific concept and scientific debate surrounding this possibility has been going on for decades. The idea that we may be living in just one of countless universes has also been a popular narrative in science fiction as well.

The crew of Star Trek’s Enterprise has encountered multiple universes in several occasions – always leading to complex & exciting adventures.

Up until recently provable evidence to support this theory has been hard to come by. Now, researchers have discovered something in space that they can’t quite account for, and one of the possible explanations is that our universe actually bumped into a neighboring, parallel one. That’s right our universe may have had a car crash with another universe.

What the Heck Happened?

When gazing into the heavens, scientists spotted what they refer to as a “cold” area of space. It was observed some time ago, and explaining it proved difficult. Originally a 2015 study suggested it was merely an area of the universe in which the number of galaxies is dramatically lower than the rest. However subsequent investigations couldn’t support that finding, and a new study by Durham University suggests the slim possibility that it’s actually evidence of parallel universes.

The multiverse theory hinges on the idea that all possible outcomes of any given scenario are all playing out at the same time in a layered reality of which we are only experiencing one of those layers. It’s a wild idea that has a foundation in quantum mechanics, but it’s also entirely unproven. But could it be true?

As the study suggests, the researchers believe the mysterious cold spot, while still totally unexplained, could actually be “the remnant of a collision between our universe and another ‘bubble’ universe during an early inflationary phase.” In short, if the idea is correct, our early universe collided with another young universe early on, causing something of a “bruise” which we are able to observe today.

Mind blowing isn’t it? Its looking more and more like we are not alone.

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Star Trek: Discovery Trailer Premiers

It’s been 12 years since we have had any new Star Trek grace our television screens. Thankfully this dark age of no Trek is about to end.

Today we got our first glimpse into what CBS’ streaming-exclusive Star Trek: Discovery series will look like. The trailer promises a “fall” release window, and the accompanying press release reveals its run has been extended from 13 episodes to 15, and that it will include a “Talking Trek” aftershow.

The trailer begins on the same desert planet included in the tweet the Star Trek: Discovery team tweeted earlier today, but expands on just what’s happening to the newest captain and first officer in the Star Trek universe. It’s made absolutely clear that they’re lost, on a planet they have never visited before, and are stuck trying to find a way out.

There are sequences and characters — like Spock’s father — that will resonate with fans, but it’s clear this isn’t the same Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry launched in 1966. The visual effects are spectacular and, as many have already pointed out, the opening scene in question seems to borrow heavily from the planet of Jakku; Rey’s “home” planet in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The trailer does a pretty good job of introducing the newest crew members viewers will be exploring the vast universe with. Discovery takes place 10 years before the events of the original series and focuses on an important moment in the franchise’s history.

New alien races and technology can be glimpsed in the trailer, but there’s just enough references to the original series for those looking to fill the nostalgic hole in their heart.

Discovery still doesn’t have a release date, but it will premiere on CBS this fall. Following the pilot, the only way to watch the show will be through a subscription to CBS’ stand-alone streaming service, CBS All Access.

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Life Lessons from Star Trek

I recently started a re-watch of “Star Trek” Voyager” and this of all the Star Trek franchises always has me thinking of my childhood, and the original Trek, and the life lessons I learned growing up.

Watching Star Trek when I was a little kid was one of my most formative influences in terms of my entertainment choices, and I’ve always felt that it taught me a lot about life in the process of just being plain fun. And so, listed here for your reading pleasure, are a few of what I think are the strongest points the series makes as a whole.

#1: Never judge a book by its cover

StarTrekHorta

The idea that things aren’t always what they appear and that people shouldn’t rush to judgment has so many precedents in Star Trek that I could hardly list them all, but my favorite one is the Horta of Janus VI. Human miners and Kirk’s crew hunted down this grotesque and rocky slug-like creature so that they could destroy it after it killed several people. But in the end, it turns out that the Horta is an extraordinarily intelligent and sensitive creature that was only driven to murder because of the miners’ unwitting slaughter of thousands of her young. With some timely mind melding by Mr. Spock, Kirk and the Horta manage to reach an understanding and agreement that benefits everyone in the end. It just goes to show that no matter what the situation, appearance isn’t everything.

#2: Don’t take life too seriously

StarTrekTribble

The characters of Star Trek are frequently put into dangerous and life-threatening situations, but one thing that never fails is Captain Kirk’s ability to laugh at himself and his mistakes once it’s all over. Hardly an episode ends without Kirk cracking a joke at somebody (usually Spock) to lighten the mood. Kirk’s unfailing ability to find the enjoyment in every situation he faced was something I always admired about him, and the few times when he does get too stuck in the mud for his own good, he always gets set straight once he recognizes the ludicrous nature of the situation (see “The Trouble with Tribbles”). It’s our job to take whatever life throws our way and make the best out of it that we can.

#3: Perfection isn’t what it’s cracked up to be

In the episode “This Side of Paradise”, Kirk and the crew discover a planet where colonists live a seemingly idyllic existence thanks to alien spores that allow them to let go of their cares and concerns and just enjoy life.

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While this sounds great in theory, the flip side of it is that the colonists haven’t made any progress toward their mission since coming to the planet, which was originally intended to help all of humanity. As Kirk wisely notes at the end of the episode, perhaps paradise isn’t where humanity thrives: maybe we’re meant to struggle and better ourselves by overcoming the challenges and problems we face in everyday life. If we lived in a perfect world and didn’t have anything to strive toward, we wouldn’t really be human at all.

#4: There’s more than one way of looking at things

One of the constant highlights of Star Trek is the constant debate between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy about emotion versus logic. Kirk and McCoy often malign Spock’s seemingly unfeeling and cold deductions, but more than once Spock’s ability to act without the clouds of doubt, anger, guilt, or any other human emotions saved them and the rest of the crew where an ordinary man would have been paralyzed by indecision.

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But on the other hand, Spock’s human friends are able to offer innovative solutions to problems the Vulcan was unable to think of by himself. The moral of the story is that there’s no one point of view that will get things done or that is completely and always correct.

#5: Embrace everything about who you are

In “The Enemy Within”, a transporter accident splits Kirk into two copies of himself: one ostensibly good, and the other evil. While it’s clear the “evil” Kirk is full of unrestrained aggression, desire, and many negative emotions, it also becomes apparent that without these feelings, the “good” version of Kirk is weak, indecisive, and unable to function as a commander.

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In the end, only by reuniting themselves can the two halves make a full human being again. The lesson here is that while there may be many things we don’t like about ourselves, it’s never possible to tell when one of these traits could help us, or how it’s shaped who we are. We wouldn’t be ourselves without all of them.

#6: Good friends are the most valuable things there is

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While they may bicker and argue much of the time over their differing points of view when tensions get high, it’s clear that Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, along with the rest of the crew of the Enterprise, are close enough to be called a family in many respects. In many situations where one of them has been in danger, such as Scotty being accused of murder, Kirk court-martialled for offing a personal enemy, or Spock disobeying orders to help a former commander, the other crewmembers never fail to leap to their defense in any way they can. It’s clear that these people would do anything for each other, and that they’ve always got each other’s back, and that’s more important than anything in this or any other universe.

#7: Violence is never the answer

More than once, when the crew of the Enterprise is faced with a crisis, the tendency of some of the human characters, Kirk included, is to immediately attempt a military solution, and often this is shown to have catastrophic results. Overall, the characters of Star Trek manage to talk their way out of a lot more situations than they do by fighting their way out.

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Compromise and understanding is always the goal, and senseless violence is always condemned, even when it’s only simulated by a computer (see “A Taste of Armageddon”). It’s made clear in this show that violence only leads to more violence. Compassion and mercy for one’s enemies, as well as anyone else, is key to accomplishing any mission.

#8: With great power comes great responsibility

As the commander of a starship crewed by over 300 other people, it’s often made clear just how much pressure Kirk is under as a captain day in and day out.

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It’s his responsibility to ensure the safety of all these other lives, and take the well being of every single person under his supervision into account when making any decision. He’s also stated more than once that a captain is by proxy responsible for the actions of everyone under their command. While this seems like a bit of an unfair burden for a person to place on themselves, the fact that Kirk commands the strength and firepower of this many people and a ship like the Enterprise means he has to make responsible choices about how and when to use them. It’s the same for anyone in life who has some measure of power, and it’s up to them to utilize it for the benefit of others.

#9: The good of the many outweighs the good of the one

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This is a tried and true Spock-ism that can sound a bit odd at first. Doesn’t that just advocate for tyranny of the majority and denying a voice to the individual? But that’s not what the real meaning is here. What this saying really is about is the demonstrated willingness of Kirk, Spock, or just about anyone else on the Enterprise to sacrifice themselves, or put themselves in harm’s way, in order to save each other and the ship at large. The selflessness of the characters on Star Trek is something we could all take a lesson from: always consider the consequences of your actions, and make sure that you’re not just doing things for yourself, but for the benefit of others. Its utilitarianism at it’s finest, something I think we could do with a little more of in real life.

#10: Boldly go where no one has gone before

This is the most famous tag line in Star Trek for a reason, you know. The entire show is basically a giant metaphor for how humanity in general approaches the unknown. We can approach it with fear and trepidation, or we can embrace it and enjoy the wonder of discovery. Blaze new trails. Don’t get stuck in conventional thinking. Don’t be afraid to take some risks. And most importantly, always believe in a positive outcome. If there’s one thing I learned from James T. Kirk, it’s to never, ever give up, and that there’s no such thing as a no-win scenario. All you have to have is the tenacity, patience, and courage to look in the right place.

If you are a young parent you could do a lot worse then introducing Star Trek to your child.

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