"Intellectual distinction is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for election to a Rhodes Scholarship. Selection committees are charged to seek excellence in qualities of mind and in qualities of person which, in combination, offer the promise of effective service to the world in the decades ahead. The Rhodes Scholarships, in short, are investments in individuals rather than in project proposals..."

Monday, June 28, 2010

Yes, in truth, there is beauty.

In season three of the original Star Trek series, there is an episode  called Is There in Truth no Beauty?  My husband thinks otherwise. 

To say my husband has no hand in educating my children would be lying.  He brings a tremendous amount of resources to the table.  He's more educated and better read than I am.  Here is an example.  He uses Star Trek to educate our children and introduce them to important pieces of Classic Literature and important periods in history.  Or perhaps he just wanted to have an excuse to watch Star Tek with the kids.  You decide.

Ed. Note:  He started this project in 2009 and it is still a work in progress.  


Season One, 1966-67

The Cage (pilot)
After being tricked by an illusionary distress signal, captain Pike escapes from his captors who wanted to use him and his crew to rebuild their world."
Note that some components of this, such as referring to the second in command as “Number One” were used later in The Next Generation
The actress who played Number One was recast as Nurse Chapel, and also as Gene Roddenberry’s real-life wife!
Where No Man Has Gone Before'
"When the Enterprise nears the galactic barrier, two crewmembers develop telepathic powers which threaten the ship."
Explores a common theme within Star Trek and other science fiction:  what if our abilities advance faster than our ability to control them?
The Corbomite Maneuver'
An alien ship threatens the Enterprise with destruction, causing Kirk to use a ruse to trick the opponent.
Essentially a lesson in the merits of playing poker rather than chess. 
This is a common theme across all Star Trek iterations.
It establishes for the first time that, all things being equal, intuition is more valuable than logic or intellect.
Mudd's Women
Kirk rescues Harry Mudd, a pirate, and the three beautiful women who are his cargo, en route to a lithium mining colony.
Parental Warning:  ultimately scores points for advocating “the beauty within”, but not before showcasing the objectification of women.
The Enemy Within
A transporter malfunction splits the captain into a good Kirk, who can't command very well, and an evil Kirk, who makes passes at Janice Rand and manipulates the crew
Pure Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide, Robert Louis Stevenson
The Man Trap
A shape-shifting "salt vampire" which seduces its victims by appearing as someone attractive to them comes on board.
Parental Warning:  the creature is pretty scary for younger ones.
The Naked Time
The crew contracts a disease which brings their repressed emotions to surface, causing a young lieutenant to shut down the engines and leading Kirk to fear he can't command the ship.
This story line is revisited in “The Naked Now” episode in ST: TNG
Shows what happens when one loses their moral compass; their inhibitions
Charlie X
When the Enterprise transports Charlie, an adolescent human with powerful telekinetic abilities, back to the Federation, he makes crewmembers vanish and takes frightening steps to make Yeoman Rand fall in love with him.
Parental Warning:  one brief image really frightens younger ones, when one crew woman’s face is completely blanked out and she can’t speak or breathe
Good lesson on proper etiquette for treating women
Balance of Terror
The Romulans destroy an outpost and Kirk pursues their commander, whose cloaking device enables his ship to vanish from sensors.
Retelling of the classic WWII movie “Run Silent, Run Deep”.
What are Little Girls Made of?
Kirk pursues the missing fiance of Nurse Chapel, who has survived underground with the help of androids from a vanished civilization.

Dagger of the Mind
While delivering supplies to a facility for the criminally insane, Kirk is taken hostage by a power-hungry doctor who uses a neural neutralizer to control the minds of his patients.
Title is a reference to MacBeth, William Shakespeare
See “Animal Farm”, George Orwell
See the Zimbardo Prison Study:  http://www.prisonexp.org/

On a planet of decades-old children, one of whom develops a crush on Captain Kirk, the away team becomes infected with a genetically engineered disease that prolongs youth but kills adolescents.
Lord of the Flies
Parental Warning:  creepy make-up effects showing lesions
The Conscience of the King'
When the leader of a traveling theatrical troupe is suspected of being a genocidal governor, the suspicious deaths of people who could identify him concerns Kirk - especially since he's one of the survivors.
The title is a reference to Hamlet.
There is more in this episode as the main plot concerns a traveling troupe of Shakespearean actors
The Galileo Seven
An away mission led by Spock falls victim to a disastrous crash on a hostile planet, where Spock and McCoy fight over the ineffectuality of his strictly logical approach to the situation.
Rather lame, actually
Court Martial
Kirk is put on trial for negligence when the computer records contradict his logs about the death of a crewmember during a shipboard crisis.
The Menagerie, Part One
Spock takes over the Enterprise and faces the death penalty to take his former Captain, who has been horribly disfigured in an accident, to a planet where an alien race has learned to turn thoughts into reality.
Contains footage from the pilot episode, called “The Cage”, featuring a bellowing Spock.
The Menagerie, Part Two
During Spock's court martial, Kirk learns of his predecessor Captain Pike's encounter with the illusions created by a race desperate for breeding stock to help them rebuild their planet.

Shore Leave
The crew takes shore leave on an idyllic planet, but when people's fantasies begin to come true - deadly as well as benign - Kirk must evade his own demons to solve the mystery.
Alice in Wonderland
Don Juan
This one is really fun
The Squire of Gothos
A powerful alien named Trelane abducts crewmembers for his amusement, but when Kirk refuses to play his games, Trelane puts him on trial and prepares to execute him.
Lesson in Einstein’s theory of relativity
When the Enterprise encroaches on alien space in pursuit of a ship that apparently helped to destroy a Federation outpost, Kirk finds himself and the leader of the alien vessel, the Gorn, stranded on a planet where they are forced to fight for supremacy.
Contains an overt chemistry lesson
Many ancient wars were averted in this same manner; Prince Caspian is the latest example.
The Alternative Factor
The crew meets two nearly-identical men named Lazarus, one from their universe and one from an antimatter universe with the potential to destroy both universes should they come together. Kirk must work with the Lazarus not of his own universe to trap the other, a madman, in a void between the universes with his twin, thus keeping everyone else safe.
The name Lazarus was not an accident, as one can arguably refer to the Gospel account of Lazarus for a deeper understanding of this episode.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Discussion of parallel universes
Tomorrow is Yesterday
When a black hole sends the Enterprise back in time to the 20th century, an air force pilot who spots the "U.F.O." is beamed aboard when the Enterprise must destroy his ship and its weapons. Kirk must return the pilot to his own century, yet find a way not to disrupt the timeline, before he can try to return to his own era.
Time travel paradox
The Return of the Archons
The Enterprise pursues a missing starship's crew on a planet ruled by a being named Landru, which takes over their minds to make them part of a passive, complacent society
Frankly, a dig at organized religion
A Taste of Armageddon
An arrogant ambassador places the Enterprise in the midst of a civil war between two planets fought entirely by computer, which reports the casualties so that people can voluntarily report to disintegration chambers without their societies risking physical destruction.
Another heavy-handed anti-war message
Space Seed
Kirk and his crew find a "sleeper ship" of genetically bred superhumans, led by the ruthless 20th century dictator Khan Noonian Singh, who tries to take over the ship with the help of a 23rd century archaeologist who falls in love with him.
Refers to despots in the past and future history of civilization, including Napoleon and Hitler
Milton’s “Paradise Lost” is referenced at the end.
This Side of Paradise
Humans are kept safe on a planet bombarded with deadly radiation by a spore which has the side effect of making people blissfully content. Spock is reunited with an old friend who uses the spores to make him fall in love with her, but when Kirk realizes that the price for paradise is an end to exploration, he determines to recover his crew from the spores.
A smiling, laughing Spock; weird
Moral:  seeking only contentment squelches innovation and progress
The Devil in the Dark
A creature that can eat its way through solid rock is killing miners on a distant outpost.
“No Kill I”
Important biology lesson, distinguishing between carbon-based versus silicon-based life forms
Errand of Mercy
Sent to establish an alliance with the peaceful, unsophisticated planet Organia which is located strategically between the Federation and the Klingon Empire, Kirk is disgusted to find the inhabitants apathetic to the presence of Klingons on their world.
Lesson in the tyranny of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) concept
The City on the Edge of Forever
An accidental drug overdose sends Dr. McCoy on a disastrous trip through a time portal, where he changes the course of Earth's history. Kirk and Spock pursue him into the past, where Kirk falls in love with a social worker whose life plays a pivotal role in the events McCoy will affect."
The one with Joan Collins
Time travel
One of the best
Operation: Annihilate!'
Kirk's brother's family is devastated by an interplanetary crisis of mass insanity and Spock is attacked by one of the creatures which caused the crisis. McCoy must find a way to kill the aliens without destroying their hosts before the creatures can take over the galaxy
We think of this as the flying pizza’s episode
Biology / neurology lesson

No comments: