09
May
09

A Star Trekker

Yesterday my youngest and I treated ourselves to the movie “Star Trek”- because I grew up watching the series and all its variations, I could not miss out seeing it on opening day. It was fun- even one of my colleagues joined us as we sat to watch a Sci-Fi movie- many in other parts of the world would find ridiculous and a waste of time and money- and haraam to a particular group.

Moreover, I wonder why. Why is it the futuristic things by some are seen as childish- when after a few years those “futuristic fantasies” become a reality? I remember as a child looking at this intrepid group of people who had computers that gave verbal responses to voice queries, a Bluetooth (which is what we now call it after 40 years) like earpiece for communicating, diskettes that contained thousand if not millions of pieces of information, wide screens that projected images coming from long distances, satellites that transmitted information or space stations where these ships docked, and I wondered when all this would come true.

Forty years later we walk with our Bluetooth as if they were part of our anatomy; we have our flip phones, 3 and 4g smart phones that connect to any part of the world and the Internet that keeps us in touch with people we will likely never get to meet, but with whom we have formed bonds of friendship or solidarity. Our cars now respond to our voice commands and GPS systems guide us in places where a road map of the paper sort is no longer needed (so there is no more fighting between two people when one says to the other to ask for directions- and the second one refuses just so not to seem lost). Our children learn to type on a computer as early as two years of age- something that in the 1960’s would be unimaginable. Some, like my youngest is taught in a school where every child has laptops in class and get additional information and explanation the teachers do not cover at the particular moment the child has a question- but then again her school allows for only max 15 children per class per subject- except gym. It is a school where your children’s teachers have, not only your mobile number, but your email as well, and use it to communicate with the parent when they feel it necessary or have questions or worries of performance.

Therefore, what now is so ridiculous in watching something that forty years later is almost all a part of our lives, where the ideas became a reality? The intrepidness of those who dreamed allows for us now to view our brains with an MRI or PET scan in real time. Where three-dimensional imagery allows doctors and researchers to map your brain and any part of your body- looking, understanding and finding sometimes what ails you even before you realize there is a problem down the road of your life.

Thinkers, shakers, and movers make this planet evolve- what is so ridiculous about that. Or is it that the capacity to think beyond our noses beyond what the eye can see (a limited scope truly if based just on natural eyesight) is not what humans should be doing- yes, some will say all we should be doing is existing for the hereafter…but that adds insult to injury to what Allah tells us about our universe- that it is so vast you could never count all the stars in the sky seen and unseen, nor count the drops of water that make the oceans and rivers…

I once asked an acquaintance to remember, please, not to rear her children as two dimensional beings- to give them a chance to view all dimensions of our world- to experience textures, colors, depth and allow for inquisitiveness; as that would be the only way for a human to be fully cognizant of their world…whether they live in the jungle, desert, or concrete jungle- it makes no difference…

And I can hear arguments saying what has that got to do with watching Star Trek- a movie a fantasy- well because believe it or not- there are humans out there on Planet Earth making these things a reality that you will buy and accept as normal in a couple of years…so don’t be hasty… things are coming that will show you worlds within our own world you would never have thought possible…just pick up a copy of magazines like “Discover”, “Scientific American”, “Archaeology”, “Scientific American Mind” , “National Geographic” to name a few and even in that your world will expand and find greater depth, just by reading what others are spending their lives accomplishing…

Because that is what Star Trek means to me forty years later- commitment to “boldly go” where no man has gone before and bring it back for others to see, learn from it, and use.

Is it “Fantasy”? Not really, it is mere speculation that can spark another to make it a reality. Remember that next time you answer your mobile or smart phone, cruise the Internet or do research from the comfort of your home instead of traveling half way across the world to read a book, see a movie, talk to a friend from your blue tooth as you walk thousands of miles away from them, or view the depths of the heavens and the oceans in a magazine or on the Internet, or just by reading these musings of mine.

All of this will have then become your reality.

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15 Responses to “A Star Trekker”


  1. May 9, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    I still wonder how someone thougth words kould be kept, recorded an sent. how soeone find out about a tire. Flying. Anything. It’s been a long evoultion. I guess an important percentage of today inventions are due to some sci-fi movies, moves that at the tome showes impossible things, and when someon that has not seen them before watch them, as already used to all they have, thinks are prehistorical movies.

    By the way, how did you learn spanish?

    • 2 INAL
      May 9, 2009 at 2:25 pm

      Puca hi, I have always wondered how they can do some of the things done to day- and because they are not part of my daily field of work, I use them and read the instructions! LOL But you are right what today seems impossible in thirty-forty years it will be prehistoric- like for my daughters record players and CD players are prehistoric….let’s not mention 8 track tape…

      Spanish? De mi Madre, que desde peque me fue dando clases- she was a school teacher in another life…then I spent 6 years in Dominican Republic studying…My Mother’s Mother (granmamma or “Joven” as we would jokingly call her) was one of the first children of a Spaniard/Moroccan couple to be born in Dominican Republic (they already had 15 children when she came into this world), they had been part of the Europeans and Arabs that migrated to South America during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s- fleeing in the case of my Grandfather (my mother’s dad) the fall of the Ottoman Empire- his was a Lebanese family. My own father was also born in Dominican Republic to Jordanians who also had arrived in that country in the early 1900’s… there is a part of Dominican Republic where they are all of Arab ancestry; but have been born and marry into other Arab families in Dominican Republic and many no longer speak Arabic only Spanish…hence my reference to being a mixed heritage mutt! and a long winded way of telling you that Spanish is as natural to me as English or Arabic…though the last gets abused and misused for lack of time and no formal training, at say Uni level. My Husband’s Yemeni dialect is of worse help…but we try as much as our time permits to keep it up…

      • May 9, 2009 at 3:43 pm

        :o)

        Very interesting heritage, I did not know all that about the Dominican Republic!

        Amazing you’re trilingual, and in not that easy languages, you do use slang too, hahaha…great!

        I started taking classes of Arab back in october. It’s difficult but doing pretty good. We are already able to read, spell, write and have small conversations. I can already go to an airport, hotel, restaurant and a bank, as the main character of my arab book, Yussuf, has already been in all those places!!!

        :o)

      • 4 INAL
        May 9, 2009 at 5:14 pm

        Good luck, Puca way to go!!! Actually I picked up as an aside Hindi because I have Indian friends and co-workers- it actually helped me more to retain my Arabic than I thought possible. Plus I have Hindi channels on the dish- Recently there is one Tech in the hospital a nice Hindu man whose daughter volunteers in my department during summer vacation who sits with me and a few doctors to loosen our tongues, so to speak, to actually talk more since we understand him. I also have one friend in particular who owns a store and where on some Saturday’s a month I go and sit at her store to embroider cholies and saris…the one’s I do are mine of course; but I learn a lot about their culture and language- and even when the conversations are peppered with English- I know enough Hindi plus the Arabic to keep me in the loop of the conversation going on with the ladies. My thing is getting me to talk more…oy!

        When I travel to Yemen- their all I do is Arabic because of my in laws- and what I had lost comes tumbling out again as if I had never stopped speaking it on a daily basis- my boss’ daughter went to a total immersion course in Beirut two years ago…and it really worked for her too. Maybe you should try that- there are great programs in Beirut, Jordan and Yemen..the first two are better for non-Muslims because the culture is more “foreigner” savvy than Yemen…but I met one Australian in Dubai who was doing her immersion course in Yemen! So who knows…

        Yes Dominican Republic has an interesting history of immigration- even from those who are of Chinese and Japanese origin; with lately a huge population of Punjabi Indians! They even have their own University I have been told. I haven’t been back in about 8 years so I can imagine a lot has changed since. People are everywhere you least expect to find them…truly global.

      • 5 INAL
        May 9, 2009 at 5:32 pm

        BTW I like languages and it serves me well at work. It is good that the harder ones I learned when I was younger and had less on my mind to preoccupy me. My son is the same he picks up languages like books to a bookshelf… But it does take dedication though…All the best with your courses!

      • May 10, 2009 at 6:19 am

        Uauuu Hindi,

        sounds pretty difficult too. You’re reight, when young we are like sponges, when growing is harder to learn, because you have a lot of things going on and almost no time, but persevere is the clue.

        I think I’ll make an inmersion course after the second course, I think its too soon now, but next year shall be probably right, enough knowledge to try…

        Interesting migrations. I did know that. I knew japanese arrived to Peru, and I could not believe it…

        Yea, its such a global world!

      • 7 INAL
        May 10, 2009 at 8:28 am

        Hi Puca, when you do decide on Immersion, try the American University of Beirut or the Yarmuk University in Irbid, Jordan… My father’s family is from there and I went to the University to see it- there are many international students there in the Linguistics Department- and I mean from all over! I spoke to women who came as far away as Indonesia! Its so nice to see how we move about this beautiful planet in search of knowledge.

        I hope to have enough Hindi under my belt for a trip to India- it’s on our “Bucket List” of things we want to do… hopefully in the next few years we can accomplish this.

        I think, but I may be wrong, that the Japanese that arrived in Peru were of the same “group migration” that arrived in Dominican Republic.- my mother has a sister in law whose father was Japanese! And she was thrilled when my son went to live there- mainly in Osaka, Japan-he also served part of his duties as US Navy personnel there but not in Osaka and boy can he speak Japanese!…I guess being a Star Trekker; and being and Earth Trekker runs and stays in the family!

        Hasta luego
        Inal

      • May 12, 2009 at 2:40 pm

        jajajjaja si, ya veo!!!

  2. May 9, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Sorry I sent it before I reviewed errors

  3. May 11, 2009 at 8:00 am

    My brothers and I all grew up watching Star Trek too – but I didn’t even realize there was a new movie coming out! The brother who was most into it grew up to be an airline pilot and always has his head in the clouds. I saw on TV the other day that a cosmetic surgery procedure that is gaining in popularity is getting the Spock ears! Pretty interesting.
    I thought learning more Arabic would be easier once I arrived here in KSA, but I’m finding at my age it’s so much more difficult. I’m trying to learn at least one new word a day, and I’m not enrolled in any classes which would probably help. I too speak a little Spanish since I grew up on the Mexican border in Arizona, but my Spanish has gotten really rusty. Muy malo!

    • 11 INAL
      May 11, 2009 at 10:21 am

      Hey Susie, want a cup of good all American Coffee?! Make yourself comfortable!

      Yes Star Trek came out on Friday, and hit has been a great hit- this morning it had already made 72 million dollars! But it is interesting, born in the previous Millenium and Century- to see what has been accomplished so far…I put it in those terms when I want to gauge even my own progress…because I truly am a child of the previous Millenium.

      Watching TV- with lots of dialogue helps- though I don’t know what is available in KSA… And as for the spanish just listen to the slow boleros that are on sites like Imeem…that should keep your ear tuned- you’ll be crooning along with them in no time (actually same goes for the Arabic…my favorite female singer is Fairuz; her accent is the one I grew up hearing since she is from what is called the Levant region of which Jordan is a part of…when I hear her singing I feel immersed.)

  4. 12 Chiara
    May 12, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Una mezcla interesante de espanoles y de arabes! Quien lo pensara de la Republica Dominicana?

    On the other hand, Star Trek not so much. I am/was more of a historian than a futurist!

    • 13 INAL
      May 12, 2009 at 3:51 pm

      As they say in Dom. Rep.- “Soy Blanco, Indio, y prieto detras de las orejas!” LOL When you are mixed as that Island country is- you have no choice but to say them (ancestary) all in one shot- now you know why I say mixed heritage mutt!?

      Chiara, Actually I am both- Historian and Futurist a “You don’t know where you are going, if you don’t know where you have been” kind of thing- besides we repeat historically our mistakes because we have a tendency to think in the now… as much as we like to dig up dirt when it suits us…

      In my house we are split -My son and husband are historian-strategists (one because of his choice of careers and the last (hubby) because he can “slam dunk” you in Chess before you move your third pawn, oy!); my youngest is a futurist-environmentalist; the middle one is her own person- she rocks to the tune of the present like there ain’t gonna be a tomorrow! Oy vey! LOL

  5. 14 Chiara
    May 16, 2009 at 10:41 am

    My futurism is limited to “old futurism” like “Farhenheit 451” and “1984” and “Animal Farm”. A student introduced me to Ursula leGuin, and her “uterine replicators” but I only learned enough to mark his paper. LOL 🙂

    • 15 INAL
      May 18, 2009 at 10:14 am

      About those Uterine Replicators- hmm… well they are talking about Fedreal Regulations here on Invitro-Fertilization…somethings up… I wonder…

      I am still wondering when they’ll start burning books in certain locations, but then why burn if you can control the population by not having them be literate in the first place… It was in the news a year back, I think, where street vendors in Yemen were using the pages of new textbooks as produce and food wrappers! No burning, but you get the idea…


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