To The Final Frontier… and BEYOND!

Bookmark and Share

Star_Trek_300As a kid, when you visit older cousins you rarely see, you step tentatively. Going through the front door of their house, you step tentatively. Pacing through their immaculate living room, you step tentatively. Finally, when the adults take their leave and you’re left alone with your cousin and he invites you into his play room, you step tentatively.

First of all, he’s older than you. That makes him smarter, which means he can trick you in almost every dimension. Second, he’s Continue Reading “To The Final Frontier… and BEYOND!”

Conquering Kirk’s Rock

Bookmark and Share
“I was told there would be Gorns. We are the Gorns? Wait! What's this? Charcoal. Sulphur. And, are those diamonds? Now, if only I was in the South Pacific and could find a random bamboo shaft...” Life is good when you can turn your dreams into reality. Here’s yet another example of that in this week’s Carosa Commentary “Conquering Kirk’s Rock.”

“I was told there would be Gorns. We are the Gorns? Wait! What’s this? Charcoal. Sulphur. And, are those diamonds? Now, if only I was in the South Pacific and could find a random bamboo shaft…” Life is good when you can turn your dreams into reality. Here’s yet another example of that in this week’s Carosa Commentary “Conquering Kirk’s Rock.”

I used to think the TV contained little people and the scenes they acted in were real. I also used to think the music played by radio stations came from the bands performing live in their studios. For the longest time, I could never figure out how The Beatles traveled so fast from one radio station’s studio location to the next. And when it came to Hey Jude, well, forget it. That song has a never ending chorus that just keeps repeating. Somewhere, The Beatles are still repeating, “Naaaa, naa, naa, na, nan, naa, naaa, hey Jude!” and wondering how will they ever get off of this merry-go-round.

But back to the TV thing. We watch TV and wonder. We wonder how they can make a story come alive the way they do. We wonder how much of the scene is real and how much is a useless façade. And we wonder what those fabulous on location scenes look like in real life. If you’re like me, you Continue Reading “Conquering Kirk’s Rock”

The Daddy-Daughter Talk… About Gravity Waves

Bookmark and Share
Graphic Source:

Graphic Source:

On the morning of Thursday, February 11, 2016 at a press conference in Washington DC, an international team of scientists from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) announced the discovery of Gravity Waves. Long sought after, this phenomenon was first postulated by Albert Einstein more than a century ago in his seminal 1915 paper on the General Theory of Relativity. While the major media jumped on this “universe changing” story, the reports were not adequate to fully explain the concept of Gravity Waves and the implications of their discovery. Leave it, then, to the innocent questions of a young daughter to her wise father to explain The Facts of Life and Gravity Waves. What follows is the transcript of the actual conversation that occurred through Facebook messaging on Friday, February 12, 2016:

Daughter: [Friday 3:20pm] “Gravitational Waves Detected, Confirming Einstein’s Theory” (New York Times, February 12, 2016) “Scientists say they heard the faint chirp of two black holes colliding a billion light-years away, fulfilling Einstein’s general theory of relativity.” (, accessed February 12, 2016)… did you see this? A lot of my friends liked this story, but they don’t know what it means.
Daddy: That’s because it’s not something tangible. We can’t really “see” a physical “wave.” What we’re doing is detecting radio waves – i.e., sounds. This branch of astronomy, called “Radio Astronomy” has been around for a while (it took off in the 1960s when a couple of Bell Labs engineers accidentally discovered it wasn’t pigeon poop, but Continue Reading “The Daddy-Daughter Talk… About Gravity Waves”

Don’t Get Stuck in Today

Bookmark and Share

time-to-die-1564796I often tell people I was either born 50 years too late or 50 years too early. In the first case, there’s my interest in classic railroads, old-fashioned Americana, and classical liberal arts (OK, that last one might mean I was born 500 years too late). In the latter case, you have my enthusiasm for astronomy and space exploration/travel, (and the requisite zeal for Star Trek), my absolute passion for computers and technology, and my extreme pursuit of “the coming thing.” From the way that sounds, you would be tempted to assume I never think of today, too consumed by the dichotomy between yearning for a past I never experienced and dreaming of a future that may or may not be.

While I’m not one to rest on any laurels, I do take the time to stop and smell the roses (in my own eccentric way). If there’s any way to accurately describe my state of being, the best universally understood example I can give is Kurt Vonnegut’s Billy Pilgrim, the protagonist of Slaughterhouse-Five who becomes “unstuck in time.” For Pilgrim, there is no Continue Reading “Don’t Get Stuck in Today”

Star Trek Into Darkness Review: Man Enough to Admit the Truth

Bookmark and Share

Here’s the good news: My daughter and her college girlfriends went to the New York red carpet premiere for one purpose: to leave with a picture of themselves with Star Trek Premire Red CarpetChris Pine. They succeeded. As for the movie, with the exception of my daughter, none of them had ever seen any of the many versions of Star Trek available in this universe and, in fact, openly declared their dislike for science fiction in general. After seeing Star Trek Into Darkness, they emerged as fans. They couldn’t believe how great the movie was. They were bubbling with excitement, eager for the next sequel.

That’s what they call “expanding the constituency.” It’s a marketers dream come true, and no doubt one of the reasons Paramount partnered with J. J. Abrams for the Star Trek reboot.

But I’m part of the original constituency – the one dating back to Star Trek: The Original Series (a.k.a. “TOS”). For my part, I fulfilled my dream merely by Continue Reading “Star Trek Into Darkness Review: Man Enough to Admit the Truth”

Star Trek Fans: Call 232-3700 NOW!

Bookmark and Share

[This Commentary originally appeared in the November 16, 1989 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259The long day generally leaves a tired wasted body which desires only a warm meal, a soft sofa, and the remote control device. Don’t get me wrong. I really don’t consider myself a couch potato (though I wish I could afford that luxury). In fact, I peruse but two TV shows on a regular basis – the news and Star Trek (either the original or the newer series).

I find it very convenient that I often arrive home when either of these shows are on. Such timing grants me the opportunity to cook while watching the news and dine during Star Trek. (Don’t tell my mother, she still doesn’t like me to watch TV when eating dinner.)

Pleasant consistency, however, cannot exist in the dynamic media. Demographics and Arbitron Ratings eventually invade even the most staid of stations (witness the former Continue Reading “Star Trek Fans: Call 232-3700 NOW!”

Mr. Spock’s IDIC

Bookmark and Share

[This Commentary originally appeared in the April 13, 1989 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259IDIC, to paraphrase the Star Trek Concordance (Bjo Trimble, 1976), represents the fundamental Vulcan philosophy of nurturing diversity to produce synergistic good. IDIC – short for Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations – sets Vulcans apart from other species by elevating their demeanor. Essentially, these green blooded people, by the very way they live their lives, demonstrate a courage unique to their race – they not only tolerate diversity, they recognize its advantages and readily seek it out. Spock, in the episode “In Truth There is No Beauty,” explains “diverse things come together to create truth and beauty” and “the glory of creation lies in its infinite diversity and meanings.”

Fine, so what does this mean to the average person, i.e., one who can’t tell the Science Officer of the USS Enterprise from a baby doctor?

Continue Reading “Mr. Spock’s IDIC”

Day 3 – November 16, 2009 (Mon): Read Around

Bookmark and Share

Start of Day Twitter Stats: Follow: 0 Followers: 0 Listed: 0

Missed yesterday? Go here to read what happened on Day 2 – November 15, 2009 (Sun): Create Your Background Image

twitter_power_joel_comm_150I discovered I didn’t like reading tweets about people’s eating or sleeping habits. The more informative conversations piqued my curiosity. Anybody offering what appeared as front-line commentary stood out.

But I got bored reading around, so I connected with all the Twitter accounts that are related to my business (1) and my wife’s business (apparently 5). The other two were (1) @erichnwise, who helped me set up my first Twitter account and (2) @ levarburton because Twitter said I should when I set up the account (I ditched the other celebs, but – hey – I’m a Star Trek Fan).

I ended without a clue as to what I should Tweet.

How many followers do you think I’ll have after 30 days? Click here to enter your guess on my Survey Monkey survey “Chris Carosa’s 30-Day Plan to Dominate Twitter Experiment.” There’s no prize, but the fan who guesses the closest correct number the earliest will “win” and I’ll mention you if you want me to.

Find out today’s results on Day – 4 November 17, 2009 (Tue): Writing your First Tweets