Sad news that Leonard Nimoy, better known as First Officer and Science Officer Spock from the Star Trek TV and film series, died. Of the 'Big Four' - Captain James T. Kirk, Spock, Dr. Leonard 'Bones' McCoy (DeForest Kelley) and Chief Engineer Montgomery 'Scotty' Scott (James Doohan) - only William Shatner (Kirk) survives.
The photo shows Nimoy, Shatner, and Kelley.
Mr. Spock was the most intriguing of the four. He was half-human, half-Vulcan. His logical Vulcan half frequently wrestled with his emotional and illogical (at times) humanity. And there were those pointy ears, eyebrows, nerve pinch, and Vulcan sign, often coupled with 'Live long and prosper.'
Upon hearing of Leonard Nimoy's death, astronaut Terry Virts took this picture in a window of the International Space Station:
From the article:
Leonard Nimoy didn't just leave a lasting impression on the science-fiction world, he also left his mark on science itself.
Seth Shostak, who researches the possibility of real-world extraterrestrial life as the senior astronomer at SETI Research, recalled that Nimoy was regularly willing to lend the organization a helping hand. When he was asked to narrate a planetarium introduction or appear as a guest at an event, Nimoy did so graciously and never charged.
"That struck me then, and it strikes me now," said Shostak. "If you play a famous alien, you might have little interest in how science is searching for real aliens, but Nimoy was actually interested in the science — and he was always willing to help us out."
The article has more accolades, such as this:
"Leonard Nimoy was an inspiration to multiple generations of engineers, scientists, astronauts and other space explorers," said NASA administrator Charles Bolden. "As Mr. Spock, he made science and technology important to the story, while never failing to show, by example, that it is the people around us who matter most."
Mary Frances and I spent some time reminiscing about Star Trek. The TV series debuted on NBC in September 1966 and lasted for 79 episodes till June 1969. What most people don't realize is that the network show was not a commercial success; it was canceled. But in syndication it took off, and the Star Trek franchise was born.
We both watched the original series and loved it. The story lines often addressed moral and social issues that were not widespread on TV in those days - equality, inclusivity, non-interference with indigenous cultures (the Prime Directive), war, diplomacy, collaboration, etc. Never mind that most of the women in the series were often comely and clothed in miniskirts or other revealing outfits, and that Kirk would often become romantically involved with some gorgeous creature. After all, this was 1966-69 and we were not where we are today. But the crew would at times encounter powerful women.
The show also provided hope that Earth would have a future as a united, peaceful place. Recall that climate change was not the issue in those days - it was the specter of nuclear war with the Soviet Union. Yes, World War III devastated the planet in the 21st century, but since Star Trek took place in the 23rd century, Earth was back in the game.
Here are some of Spock's memorable quotes.
We will not forget you, Mr. Spock. Nor you, Mr. Nimoy.
"Live long and prosper." - Mr. Spock