The Quest for a Unifying Theory of Time Travel in Star Trek

We’ve had the Star Trek universe for 50 years now, which includes 726 episodes of six television series plus 12 movies (soon to be 13). The concept of time travel has figured prominently in many of those stories, but it doesn’t always work the same way. In some tales, the theory is of a “consistent universe,” in which you can’t change the past. What has happened has always happened, and if you think you’re changing it, you’ll find that you’re just part of history. In other stories, the timeline of the universe is changeable. In fact, if you change the past and don’t like the results, you can go back and change it again. Then there are some episodes where both theories are present, or you might say, a hybrid of those theories.  

The animated series (TAS) was one of the first to build on the ideas presented in “The City on the Edge of Forever.” The episode “Yesteryear” has the Enterprise return to the Guardian of Forever to monitor the past eras flashing across its surface. This causes a change to the timeline—without even going back to the past. Luckily the Enterprise still exists, but Spock has been replaced as First Officer by an Andorian. The change happened because Spock didn’t go back in time as he was supposed to. To repair the timeline, he must go back and visit his childhood self on Vulcan.

Consider: If Spock hadn’t failed to travel into Vulcan’s past, the timeline wouldn’t have been changed. If the timeline hadn’t been changed, he never would have had a reason to go into his past in the first place. (Janeway’s headache coming on yet?)

In a sense, this is an integration of both the consistent universe and the changing timeline models. And some of the episodes mentioned under the header of “consistent timeline” also show signs of belonging to both categories. DS9’s “Past Tense” has the Defiant crew experience their timeline changing around them even though the same time travel incident includes evidence of a “consistent universe” event. In many of these episodes, even if the crew’s actions do end up as part of the way things were “supposed” to happen, the crew still worries about damaging the timeline. They act as if their actions potentially could alter history.

If that wasn’t complicated enough, the crew of the Enterprise occasionally gets stuck in a time loop, Groundhog Day-style, until they can figure out how to stop it. Even more confusing, sometimes time travel splits the timeline in two parallel timelines, two alternate universes that exist without awareness of the other. Can all these theories ever be reconciled? Possibly; after all, Star Trek is fiction. Read about the different rules of time travel in the Star Trek universe, with examples and explanations, at Ars Technica.  -via Digg


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Poison's "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" Played By An Actual Rose Bush

When rockers are in a melancholy mood they turn to songs like Poison's "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" for comfort, but sometimes even Bret Michael's sweet voice can't make us feel again.

We need something that literally stings to show us what it's like to love and lose, and since we're talking about roses then a thorny branch will definitely do the trick.

(Vimeo Link)

Michael Ridge wanted to unleash the true pain and heartache hidden deep inside the grooves of that classic Poison single, so he attached a contact mic to a branch from a rose bush and let the thorns draw out the tears.

-Via Dangerous Minds


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Beware The McDonald's On Dorset

It seems some people don't like McDonald's very much, and whether the hate is directed at their food, their corporate practices or their head clown Ronald it's a hate that burns hotter than the inside of a cherry pie.

But nobody hates on Mickey Dee's like those who had to walk inside to order because the drive thru was full. (Video NSFW due to language)

(YouTube Link)

This video was posted to YouTube by TheWhiteTrashNetwork with this disclaimer:

"The people and events depicted in this video are fictitious. Please don't go looking for Charlene. She doesn't exist."

Then who did I see yelling at the cashier while I was stuck in the drive-thru?

-Via FAIL Blog


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Deadpool Delivers A Heartfelt PSA About Testicular Cancer

Deadpool wouldn't make a very good spokesman for gun control, mental health or anger management, but when it comes to matters of the heart or groin Deadpool's got ya covered.

He's that rare combination of lover and fighter, and he's got cajones of steel ,so who better to speak to men about the dangers of testicular cancer?

It's no laughing matter, this is a PSA containing medical facts including ways for men to check themselves for testicular cancer.

(YouTube Link)

Okay, so it's funny and fantastically punny, it's Deadpool so whaddya expect.

But the guy wearing the mask Ryan Reynolds made sure the video also contained a serious message that men would take seriously after hearing it delivered in a not-so-serious manner. I laughed, I cried, I learned, what about you?

-Via Laughing Squid


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What Is the Species Distribution in the Star Wars Universe?

(Image: EPFL)

In the Star Wars expanded universe, there are (or were, until Disney eliminated it) over 20,000 characters on 294 planets. What is the species distribution? Researchers at the prestigious research institution École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) decided to find out. They determined that there are 7,563 characters of consequence. 80% of them are human. Professor Vandergheynst elaborates:

“Fans will be surprised to learn, for example, that we came up with over 20,000 characters,” said Kirell Benzi, a PhD student and the project lead. Among them, 7,500 play an important role. There are also 1,367 Jedi and 724 Sith. All the characters are spread among 640 different communities on 294 planets. And an analysis of the 10 largest communities reveals an aberration: nearly 80% of the galaxy’s population is human.

In addition to counting the number of characters and identifying their tribe of origin, the program also situates them in the timeline of the story. A very long timeline, since the saga covers 36,000 years, broken down into six main periods: before the Republic, the Old Republic, the Empire, the Rebellion, the New Republic, and the Jedi Order.

You can see many more charts of their analysis here.

-via Geek Tyrant


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How to Make a Light-Up Lightsaber Cake

Lorenzo Wood made this amazing cake inspired by Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. The very lucky Alexander got a cake that actually lights up! Wood placed strings of Arduino-controlled LEDs on the cake before he iced it. The cake is mounted on a foam board and the wiring is fed through it to the controller on bottom. You can see more photos here.

-via That's Nerdalicious!


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Video Game Inspired Phrases For Everyday Life

Video games are seen as an important and integral part of pop culture nowadays, and even folks who don't care about gaming may find themselves using phrases rooted in gaming culture once in a while.

Slowly but surely terms like pwned, MMO, sandbox world, cut-scene, PVP and saved game have crept into the mainstream vernacular, and now thanks to Julia Lepetit and Andrew Bridgman of Dorkly you can add some new phrases to your geeky collection.

Because isn't it better to use pop culture inspired phrases that are timeless and relatable, rather than trying to stay on fleek with your bae?

See New Video Game Phrases And Idioms For Everyday Life here (contains NSFW language)


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Hand Drawn Video Game Cover Art Found At GameStop

Some game companies are downright lazy about creating cover art for their games, and they'll often simply pose a few character models, run off a render and call that a cover.

But those of us who fondly remember the days when companies hired artists to create slick cover art for our favorite games are longing to see a hand drawn game cover again, official or otherwise.

Unfortunately, the only hand drawn video game cover art pieces to be found are those created by employees at retail stores like GameStop, and no matter how funny or fantastic the piece who wants to pay those high GameStop prices!

See 21 Hilarious Hand Drawn Game Covers Found At GameStop here


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Hilariously Awful Harry Potter Valentine's Day

There are a lot of women out there who would love to ride Harry Potter's broom and play with Sirius' wand, if your love interest feels this way, you'll absolutely want to check out these funny but all-too-naughty Harry Potter Valentine's Day cards.

There are way more great ones on the Facebook where they were first spotted, including a terrible Rickroll-inspired one.

Via Geek Girls


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The Sound Effects Genius Behind The Looney Tunes And Merrie Melodies

Back in the good old days of showbiz, sound effects were created by foley artists who made a racket and recorded their sounds right on the spot, without any digital help or enhancement.

And when it came to cartoon sound effects there was one man who made that madcap racket we all know and love from the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons- Tregoweth Edmond "Treg" Brown.

Treg Brown started his career as a sound editor for the Warner Brothers in 1936, and under his guidance the iconic Looney Tunes cartoon sound took shape.

From the subtle inclusion of sound effects in orchestral scores to the hiring of iconic voice actors like Mel Blanc, Treg is the guy responsible for it all.

(YouTube Link)

This wonderful documentary celebrates the life of, and contributions made by, show sound legend Treg Brown, one of the unsung heroes in the Looney Tunes cartoon legacy.

(YouTube Link)

-Via Dangerous Minds


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Thirteen Fun Facts About Newhart

When Bob Newhart finished up a six season run of The Bob Newhart Show he realized he was done playing doctor and wanted to make a fresh start on a strange and wonderful new show.

And thus Newhart was born, where Bob got to play Dick Loudon for eight seasons opposite the beautiful and talented Larry, Darryl and Darryl...and Mary Frann was pretty great as Joanna Loudon too. 

Newhart was a show about the kooky characters found in small town America, and Bob found inspiration for the show while dining and people watching in the hotel restaurant at the Seattle Hilton.

(YouTube Link)

Speaking of small town kooks- Larry, Darryl and Darryl were so popular after their appearance on the second episode they were made part of the regular cast from season 2 on.

And although both Darryl and Darryl were classically trained actors with loads of experience they were cast in non-speaking parts, and their contracts forbid them from speaking to the press or appearing in public as the Darryls.

Read 13 Fun Facts About 'Newhart' at mental_floss.


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Star Kart: Star Wars and Mario Kart Mashup is a Thing of Beauty


YouTube Link

This wonderful combination of Mario Kart and Star Wars created by Dark Pixel Digital took them much longer to make than they anticipated -- a year in fact. The result is sheer bliss to watch and should please any fan of Mario Kart as well as the Star Wars franchise. I don't know about you, but if this was a game for sale, I'd buy it in a hearbeat. Via Mashable


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Comedian Delivers TED Talk About His Adventures In Spammer Trolling

Replying to spam email is something that internet users have been warned against since the 90s, which is probably why comedian James Veitch thought it might be fun.

But there's no way he could have known that by replying to a spam email from a guy named Solomon Odonkoh he'd be embarking on a grand adventure of the bizarro kind.

Here is James delivering a very entertaining TED Talk about his adventures in spammer trolling.

(YouTube Link)

I first wrote about James and his delightful correspondence with Solomon in this Neatorama article, but seeing him deliver a TED Talk about his days of spammer trolling makes the whole surreal experience seem like a lot of fun.

If only all spammers were as persistent and gullible as Solomon Odonkoh...

-Via Meme Base


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The Five Best Episodes in the History of The X-Files

The X-Files resonated with viewers so well that it lasted ten seasons, and then spawned two movies and came back as a mini-series.

Even the simple premise of having one partner who believes in the supernatural, and one who believes in science, it gave us a nice balance of views between the two. The show also had some gnarly monsters, some cool ideas, and some downright creepy moments.

Therefore, it was hard to select the best episodes from all ten seasons, but the attempt was made to rank the top five episodes of The X-Files at TVOM. See if your favorite is in there. There are video clips for each.


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"Boys Night Out" Is An Animated Short For Adults Created By Artists From Pixar

The animators at Pixar are all grown folks, adults, over the legal age for everything and absolutely normal in every adult way, including a healthy libido.

That can be easy to forget when you consider most of the movies they make really cater to kids, keeping that PG vibe that made them such good friends with Disney in the first place.

But adults sometimes draw and animate stuff for other adults to enjoy, and back in 2003 animators Bert Klein and Teddy Newton from Pixar created this risque short called Boys Night Out. (Video is NSFW-ish)

(YouTube Link)

Even though the storyline in Boys Night Out is all sorts of wrong, since it involves a stepfather and his underage stepson bonding at a strip club, this retro styled short is still quite charming, and the punchline will knock your socks off!

-Via Aggressive Comix


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How The Force Awakens Should Have Ended

The folks at How It Should Have Ended have turned their eyes upon Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And it’s about time. They’ve had a month and a half to second guess screenwriters JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan. Need I say it? This contains massive spoilers.

(YouTube link)

But this is more than just how it should have ended. They go through various scenes throughout the movie and improve the logic and dialogue as they go. As far as the ending goes, this makes more sense, but would have prevented us from enjoying endless sequels. Oh yeah, when you think this video is over, there’s more. Several times. -via Gamma Squad


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Matt the Radar Technician Tattoo

First there was the skit, then the t-shirt, then the action figure. Now tattoo artist Bill DeNovio unveils his artwork of Adam Driver’s SNL character Matt the Radar Technician. This character is giving Kylo Ren a run for his money! You have to think that Driver will be invited back to Saturday Night Live to reprise the character soon. -via Geeks Are Sexy


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Awesome Alternate History Artwork By Jakub Rozalski

Alternate history stories are compelling to read or watch, and they also make for really fun video games, but creating alternate history art seems hard for an artist to do well.

For one thing the viewer would have to know which historical period or event the artist is referencing, and then the whole thing would have to be rendered realistically enough to visually tell the tale for you.

Jakub Rozalski's paintings have all of the elements of a perfect alt history art piece in place,  visually transporting us to another time that never truly existed, at least not in our dimension.

For instance- what would Poland's January Uprising of 1863 against Russian rule have looked like if the Polish insurgents used mechs to help them fight for freedom?

See more of Jakub's alternate history artworks here


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Some Of The Wackiest Urinal Designs From Around The World

When an establishment decides to go with an overall theme they like to make sure the theme runs through the entire place, including the bathrooms.

Making the bathroom fit the theme might entail hanging some fun pictures on the walls, or adding dispensers and other machines to give the place that arcade feel.

Or you can just install a urinal shaped like that guy who lurks around and creeps everybody out, like this monstrosity spotted at Universal City Walk in Osaka, Japan.

Maybe your bar is full of musicians and band geeks rather than circus folk?

Install a urinal they'll remember, like these brassy basins found in the Bell Inn in Sussex, England, and patrons will be tooting their horns to everyone they know about your awesome urinals.

And you can still convey a strong theme without going too crazy with your urinal budget, like this guillotine setup found in Rheinfels Castle, Germany that makes you appreciate all that you still have in this world.

Take A Pee(k) At The World's Weirdest Urinals here


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A Cringeworthy Collection Of Questions Asked On Yahoo! Answers

(Yahoo! Answers Link)

Information sites like Yahoo! Answers are meant to serve as community driven forums where people can ask any question and receive an insightful answer, and by any question I mean absolutely anything, no matter how obvious or ridiculous.

Want to know if you can uncover your husband's infidelity based on the smell of his flatulence? Ask the fine folks who contribute to Yahoo! Answers.

(Yahoo! Answers Link)

Some questions read like pure trolling, while others make you pity the person who posed the question because they clearly didn't pay much attention in school. Or maybe in this case we should pity their child...

(Yahoo! Answers link)

And people wouldn't see Yahoo! Answers as an eternal source of educational entertainment if it didn't contain answers to some of the most important questions ever asked.

(Yahoo! Answers Link)

See 21 Yahoo Questions That Are Too Horrifying To Stop Reading here (some content borderline NSFW)


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Jedi Elvis

(Photo: Fat Man Photography)

This is Eric Cajiuat, the King of Rock 'n' Roll, as well as master of the Force. You can almost hear the midi-chlorians in his music. Like any Jedi, he's built his own microphone and he knows how to use it. He can kill with it, but like the original King, he's here to conquer the Empire with love and music.


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The Adorable Kylo and Darth

#calvinandhobbes #starwars #mashup #kyloren #darthvader

A photo posted by briankesinger (@briankesinger) on Feb 6, 2016 at 9:13am PST

About a month ago, we steered you to Disney artist Brian Kesinger and his delightful Star Wars/Calvin and Hobbes mashups. The new ones he’s done since then are so funny, we have to share them with you!

Too soon lil kylo...too soon. #calvinandhobbes #starwars #mashup #hansolo #kyloren

A photo posted by briankesinger (@briankesinger) on Jan 24, 2016 at 7:41am PST

See his artworks that span many fandoms at his Instagram page, and continue reading to see the latest from “Kylo and Darth.”

Continue reading

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Star Wars Hangover

It’s been six weeks since we first saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And that was after a year-long buildup of hype. Some of us went way overboard, overdosing on Star Wars to celebrate a decade without a movie. For some, this may call for an intervention.

(YouTube link)

Some down time between Star Wars frenzies is in order, but we'd better get that downtime started. After all, Star Wars: Rogue One will be here in December, and Star War Episode VIII is scheduled for December of 2017. What happens when the Force won’t stop awakening? It’s time to let it go. Did I say let it go? This is going to be worse than Frozen. -via Geeks Are Sexy


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A Coke Bottle Gatling Gun That Fires Arrows

When you drink a lot of soda you end up with a bunch of bottles lying around, and since we're not post-apocalyptic scavengers, we chuck them in the recycling bin without a second thought.

But the crafty keep a few of those bottles around in their workshop, because they're great for holding little stuff like nuts and bolts but won't shatter under the weight like glass jars.

And when weapon maker extraordinaire Joerg Sprave from The Slingshot Channel saw those bottles laying around, he chose to get to crafting, Fallout style, repurposing them into barrels for an arrow shooting minigun.

(YouTube Link)

-Via Memebase


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Elegant Starship Enterprise Is Masterpiece of Woodworking

The result of 2 years of labor by a master craftsman is this majestic model of the Enterprise from the original Star Trek series. Kretschmer Kreativ shaped this extraordinary duplicate of the 11-foot model that prop masters built for the series and now housed at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. You more images and detailed descriptions of the build process here.

It must be absolutely awe-inspiring in person.

-via Instructables


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The TARDIS Awakens

It’s a testament to the quality of the first trailer for The Force Awakens that so many video mixmasters use its style to promote other things. We’ve seen the original Star Wars movie done this way, and Masters of the Universe, too. Even the US Navy put themselves into it. Now let’s see how well it works with Doctor Who.  

(YouTube link)

YouTube member VG934 looks back to 2005, when Doctor Who was rebooted for a modern audience. He used the trailer for The Force Awakens to make a trailer for Doctor Who Series 1, when Rose Tyler met the Doctor. Makes you want to watch it right now, huh? -via Laughing Squid


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Subtitled R2-D2 is Bitterly Sarcastic


(Video Link)

As it's been said before: droids are slaves. C-3PO is too cheerful about the experience, but R2-D2 isn't. He lets the biological characters know what he thinks about them all the time. They just can't understand him, which is probably a good thing. R2 takes all the risks, does all the work, and gets little of the credit. It's no wonder that he eventually snaps.

-via The Mary Sue


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Jedi Belle and Lumière the Lightsaber

(Photo: Fat Man Photography)

Cosplayer Elizabeth Rage, whom we last saw putting a Slave Leia take on Belle from Beauty and the Beast, now takes that character into a different role in the Star Wars universe. Rage made and wore this Jedi knight outfit at the CosLosseum convention in San Diego.

Normally Jedi make their own lightsabers. But in this case, prop masters Dude Jay Cosplay and Jamison Bond built this light-up sword that looks like Lumière from the classic Disney film.

-via Fashionably Geek


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Marvel Superheroes Meet Up With Their DC Comics Equivalents

It's not surprising that Marvel and DC Comics, the two biggest comic book companies in the world, have characters that are very similar to each other, on purpose or otherwise.

But whoever creates the original character the imitator is based on gets bragging rights because their character came first, even if the imitation ends up outshining the original by a mile.

Darren Rawlings makes their equivalents meet up in his series "Little Friends", and even if you can't decide which character is cooler in each image you'll most certainly agree that Darren's drawings are quite charming!

-Via Geeks Are Sexy


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Knitted BB-8

Katie Freeman knitted this adora-ball BB-8 droid! When word gets around, she’ll have to make more and more of them, or else go through it again to write down the pattern. Everyone is going to want one! -Thanks, Katie!


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