News Roundup: Nimoy Doc Set to Debut; Stewart Supports Medical Marijuana; Trek Roller Coaster Nearly Ready & More


We’ve got a couple of things to catch you up on this week, as another Nimoy documentary nears public release, a new Trek science book has been announced for this fall, and a new Trek-themed attraction is almost ready to open its doors.

Julie Nimoy’s documentary about her father’s struggle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – Remembering Leonard Nimoy: His Life, Legacy, and Battle with COPD – will debut next month at the Newport Beach Film Festival in southern California.

The film’s debut plans were announced on its official Facebook page this week; the festival runs from April 20 through April 27.

Star Trek Beyond actor Chris Pine – the Kelvin Timeline’s version of James T. Kirk – will be hosting the May 6 edition of Saturday Night Live, the classic live comedy sketch show on NBC. Pine is starring in June’s Wonder Woman as World War I-era American soldier Steve Trevor, and will be spending the night at 30 Rockerfeller Plaza to promote the film.

This will be Pine’s first time hosting SNL, but he and Trek co-star Zachary Quinto – along with Leonard Nimoy – stopped by the studio in 2009 to defend their first film to long-time Trek fans.

In support of a new Oxford University study on medical marijuana usage, Captain Picard actor Patrick Stewart has revealed that he’s been using ointments, edibiles, and sprays made from the substance to combat debilitating arthritis pain.

In a statement released to media, Stewart commented on how the usage of these products has improved his condition.

Two years ago, in Los Angeles, I was examined by a doctor and given a note which gave me legal permission to purchase, from a registered outlet, cannabis-based products, which I was advised might help the ortho-arthritis in both my hands.

I purchased an ointment, spray and edibles… [which have] have significantly reduced the stiffness and pain in my hands. I have had no negative side effects from this treatment… [and] I believe this programme of research might result in benefits for people like myself as well as millions of others.

The actor’s admission comes as an effort to legalize the use of medical marijuana in the UK.

Coming in October, new non-fiction book Treknology: The Science of Star Trek from Tricorders to Warp Drive takes a look at twenty-five inventions from the Star Trek universe, and how today’s real-life scientific advances are bringing us closer to the world of the Federation.

From scientist Ethan Siegel, PhD, this hardcover book “is packed with 150 superb film and television stills, prop photography, and scientific diagrams,” and will give readers “a detailed look at the inner workings of Star Trek’s computing capabilities, communications equipment, medical devices, and awe-inspiring ships.”

You can preorder Treknology now from Amazon ahead of its October release.

First announced back in September, Movie Park Germany’s Operation Enterprise – a unique Star Trek-themed roller coaster – is nearing completion at that European theme park for opening later this year.

Starfleet’s enemy the Borg have the U.S.S. Enterprise-D locked in their tractor beam. The ship and its crew have been captured. The bridge of the Enterprise is deserted. The only hope of rescue is to send Starfleet cadets on a bold rescue mission – and this isn’t going to be easy.

The Borg ship’s deflector shields will have to be breached so that its main systems can be destroyed. It’s the only way to save the crew of the Enterprise.

In addition to a number of behind the scenes photos of the construction process and themed coaster seating, MPG has also released a number of video clips (see above) documenting the development of the Trek ride – and you can see them all over at the park’s official Operation Enterprise website.

  • M33

    Folks should read “Drug Crazy” by Mike Gray.
    Brilliant stuff.
    Legalize it all, tax it, regulate it, treat addiction as medical issue not a criminal one, and poof, whole international black market industry whithers away due to lack of profitability.

    My two cents to it is if anyone is caught selling drugs to minors or near a school or such, its either life in prison or death.

    Our whole society would change so fast.
    Just sayin…

    • The Science Fiction Oracle

      Legalizing ALL DRUG’s is really bad idea. Crystal Meth and Heroin have no business being legalized, EVER.

      • idahobeet

        Opioids by prescription are working out fine, with the new regulations and registries. That has about shut down the abusers. Doctors are learning slowly to do a better job of documenting the needs as with chronic pain patients. Proper rx pain medicine prolongs lives and make it possible to live and work.There is the odd “rogue” doctor making tons of cash by writing scripts and then selling the medicines for cash, or getting some back from patients and selling them for cash. These doctors are being caught in DEA spectacular busts. The cartels make really good Hydrocodones. The main opioid deaths are from the heroin users and cartel fentanyl, where the QA is poor. Also, cutting heroin with fentanyl is a sure way to end up dead. Unfortunately by making rx opioids the “bad” thing is people are undertreated or untreated for pain, and are suiciding, or turning to the illegal drugs. Heroin is a wonderful pain controller. It’s getting the amounts right that is the problem. NSAIDS kill as many people or more than Rx opioids and Heroin together, more than traffic deaths. and cause 250k hospitalizations due to bleeding out in the GI track. There are safe meds being worked on using calcium channels and other pathways that will have zero possibility of getting abusers “high.” They aren’t going to be terribly expensive either. However, big pharma likes meds to be unduly remunerative. The big anti-rx pain meds is being run by big pharma, as those meds are all generic now. However, they were in danger of NSAIDS being placed back under rx, because they are so dangerous. Pharma gets billions from over the counter NSAIDS. So the big campaign. Most cases from Rx opioids usually have other problems involved, like alcohol, young people stealing them to get high, etc. If someone is going to use NSAIDS they needs to take prilosec or misoprotol with it to prevent bleedouts. So says a victim of a massive GI bleed from one dose of ibuprofen.

        • The Science Fiction Oracle

          Most approved and legal medications, carefully prescribed by a physician who knows what he or she is doing, and taken the right way by the patient, is a GOOD thing,

          Opiod “pill pushing” in especially rural and small town environments is a huge epidemic in the U.S. right now. You’d have to have your head buried in the sand to claim that this is “working out fine.”

          For pain management, with legitimate doctors, and patients who aren’t abusers, sure, Opiods can be a major positive in improving peoples lives — I agree.

      • StuUK

        …might be far from ideal but I wouldn’t call it a bad one. Bad is the situation we have right now.

        The broad spectrum of recreational drugs have been available and obtainable to everybody throughout my lifetime. Pretty much all of these drugs are illegal and yet the creation, the purchase and the usage of them persists regardless of a persons age, social background or financial standing.
        I’m not a user (lets get that on the page now!), I have never played in that world and as far as I’m aware neither have my closest friends and associates, but I bet you that despite that lack of experience, I could find somebody… or somebody who knows somebody who’d be prepared to obtain and sell to me anything I set my sights on. So much for laws, huh?

        The systems of resistance that have been established and employed to fight the issue head on clearly don’t work, carrying a ton of expense and resources to manage; beyond that the application of approaches to deal with users, (ie. do we help them or punish them?) is somewhat fragmented.

        So maybe it is time to introduce an approach that isn’t so rooted in fighting force with force. Maybe it’s time to try something new. Maybe it’s finally time to explore the legalisation of this stuff.
        FIRM regulation would at least keep the drugs clean, so that’s saving lives from the outset, assuming of course that saving lives IS the point one way or another.
        And if that assumption is indeed the point…
        You mentioned an increase in the number of heart attacks? – It’s a possibility for sure but consider, a third of the population both in the UK and the US are quite possibly eating themselves to death; 1 in 20 are almost certainly committed to that being their ultimate fate. Do these people know what they’re doing? – I bet they do.
        What about alcohol? No it’s not the biggest killing recreational substance but it’s right up there, waaay ahead of cocaine, waaay ahead of ecstasy and way way way ahead of cannabis. Should we ban it? – It would save lives! The tax man would take a big hit but what about all those lives we’d be saving!!

        • The Science Fiction Oracle

          Ah, if only the masses who would be the one’s effected by your reasoning would be as thoughtful as you, this could work. If only!

          But “the masses” elected a lying meglomanic who is already driving my country down the shitter. So you’ll have to excuse me if I simply don’t trust the reasoning of a sizable portion of our society.

          The fallacy in your argument is that by inference, you think others in our society are responsible enough to be able to respond sensibly and generally moderately to new broad legal choices we would give them beyond the already damaging legal vices of alcohol, fast food, etc.

          Your discussion actually proves the opposite of what you are saying — you correctly show how destructive legal vices already are, which points out exactly why the expansion of legal vices to ones that are similarly or more destructive should not be allowed to happen.

          I am a realist. A lot of people in our society simply
          need the “adult supervision” that our laws and policing provide. Thoughtful people like us who can have a serious discussion about this – we are not the problem. But assuming the vast population would behave reasonably if we opened up all these vices as you suggest — well, IMHO you just have way too much faith in the average Joe to respond reasonably to what you are suggesting.

          • StuUK

            A wise Changeling once said: “It has been my observation that one of the prices of giving people freedom of choice, is that sometimes they make the wrong choice.”

            I absolutely appreciate that society does harbour this deep channel of irresponsible behaviour and poor choices, the invitation of broken lifestyles and the breakdown of the Human condition; I really do.

            In my view the proposal to explore the legalisation of drugs would not be to pursue the goal of reversing the behaviour of those that would choose to participate, but rather to acknowledge the reality that drug usage really is here to stay regardless of how legal or illegal the practice is; the authorities can either continue treading water in their attempts to eradicate the problem or they could commit their resources to improving the management of that slice of the population who are always going to find a way to get their fix whether it be legal or illegal.
            I don’t doubt that the risks of addiction, sicknesses, cognitive breakdowns and yes, deaths through the use of drugs will certainly remain very present under the administration of this alternative approach but at least the drugs will be clean and the users will be less likely to be preyed upon and exploited by peddlers and gangs who probably operate under an authority all of their own.

            I’ve always found it curious as to how tobacco products have successfully escaped being classified as an illegal drug. Nicotine is highly addictive, is a powerhouse of harmful chemicals, is getting more and more expensive all the time and according to the CDC tobacco is currently the leading cause of preventable death. Yet it’s readily accessible. Do you think cigarettes should be banned?

            …And didn’t your lying megalomaniac lose the so called popular vote (just!)? The majority of your population voted for his opponent; it’s your system and the rules that govern it that allowed him to win.

          • The Science Fiction Oracle

            Again, you bring up a legal vice, cigarettes, to show how destructive legal vices already are, which points out exactly why the expansion of legal vices to ones that are similarly or more destructive should not be allowed to happen.

            I just don’t find your argument compelling that because some legal vices exist today, we should open up massive drugs to be available to the public without prescriptions. That’s like saying that because small arms are generally legal to obtain, which we then can point out all the negatives effects that happen when the public gets access to small arms, we should then, by extension, let people buy Howitzers, tanks and nuclear weapons.

            Just because society is lax on some things, doesn’t mean we cop out and open up Pandora’s box of negative vices for the masses. Not buying that — that path leads back to the Middle Ages. I like civilization.

          • StuUK

            I keep bringing up legal vices to reinforce the point that there exists little difference between recreational drugs that are legal and those that are illegal. All of them compromise your health. All of them prey on your vulnerability to addictions. All of them can lead to an early death. ALL of them are accessible to everybody.
            The legal ones are regulated and exist under measures of control by the authorities; the illegal ones are not regulated and present the authorities with challenges in enforcement so enormous that after decades of effort they remain unable to eradicate its production, the selling or the use of it.
            It leaves me questioning why the authorities don’t go with what works and rethink that which doesn’t.

            Are you under the impression that everybody who participates in the production, the selling and the usage of drugs gives half a damn that what they’re are doing is illegal?
            Are you under the impression that the law is some sort of safety measure that prevents the average Joe from gaining access to and using drugs?
            Are you under the impression that if most or all recreational drugs were to become legal it would result in everybody taking the practice up because the law says it’s okay?
            Are you under the impression that the current methods employed by the authorities to attack drug supply lines, break up the drug cartels, confiscation of their products, punishment of those that use them and dissuasion of the rest from using them are actually successful?
            Are you under the impression that Pandora’s box has remained closed just because society’s rulebook lists these drugs as illegal? – Yes?? — Nah, I don’t buy that!

            Your small arms example whilst amusing is not at all the same thing. Bearing in mind that I live in the UK; the gun crime in this country is practically nil. I mentioned earlier that I probably could find somebody who knows somebody to obtain for me a quantity of recreational drugs; not so sure about handgun. And I’m inclined to think that taking a bullet from a gun is a lot more likely to result in death than an evening of getting high on some chemical. By extension, Howitzers, tanks and nuclear weapons would only guarantee a lot more death. No mate, it’s nowhere near the same thing.

            As I said before, legalisation of this stuff may not be the ideal solution, may in fact not be anywhere close, BUT what we have right now is not an effective solution. Maybe you have a better one?? Yes??? – Let’s hear it! Consider that until a better one comes along you and I may not live long enough to see anything remotely resembling civilisation.

          • The Science Fiction Oracle

            “I keep bringing up legal vices to reinforce the point that there exists little difference between recreational drugs that are legal and those that are illegal.”

            Exactly. So why would you want to increase the broad appeal of additional vices that are not yet ubiquitous to the average citizen who doesn’t access them? You are proving the opposite here again? You are saying because we have a few vices that are legal and destructive, why not take all the non-legal vices out there and make them legal as well? I don’t agree with this.

            You didn’t like my small arms example, so here is another one. Because some people with licences to drive cars still have major car accidents, we might as open up the roads to people who don’t have drivers licences, because we will have accidents in any case…it’s not fair to people without licences, and they should be given full access to our roads.

            This all comes down to basic common horse-sense: two wrongs don’t make a right.

          • StuUK

            Because I am an average citizen! – I’ve had access to tobacco all my life… I know people who use it, who have used it; I know people who are paying the price for having used too much of it and yet I’ve never even been curious to even try the stuff. It being legal, rubber stamped and okayed by my government has not made it at all attractive to me. Education was all I needed to dissuade me from even trying that shit out. Same with drugs; never touch the stuff myself. In fact it would appear that education is largely successful because the number of smokers in the UK has been on the decrease for years (less than 20% of the population now).
            But I’ve been through college and Uni and been around the people who do, although I’ve never actually witnessed people taking. – So it would appear to these people that making those chemicals illegal and has not made that unattractive them!
            There appears to be zero relationship between the legality of the chemical and it’s attraction to those that would use it. If the whole menu of recreational drugs (regulated and less dangerous than the products you’d get off the street) were readily available to me, I’m pretty sure that I would treat that all exactly the same.

            I fail to see why the appeal of drugs increases just because some legal paperwork can reclassify them as legal. You appear to be under the impression that the whole nation is hungry… really hungry for these drugs and that all we’re waiting for is the government to say that there’ll be no more action taken against us if we’re caught in possession of this stuff. – Seriously?
            As I keep saying, everybody can obtain these products if they really want to; the legal status of these drugs is not dissuading those that want to make use of it.
            The illegal classification of drugs has not kept Pandora’s box closed; it has been open for a long long time.

          • The Science Fiction Oracle

            I have a feeling that if met for a couple pints in a bar in the UK (give me some of that homegrown regional ale), by the end of the evening, we would not be all that far apart.

            It’s been an interesting discussion — thanks!

          • StuUK

            It’s a date! (haha!) – Cheers! 🙂

          • M33

            Also, I never said without prescriptions. In the old days, all the harder substances were ONLY available that way. Check out the history. It is pretty fascinating stuff.

          • The Science Fiction Oracle

            Good point!

      • M33

        I suggest you read the book. I used to feel the exact same way.
        But prohibition in this case is prohibition.
        It never works. It never will.
        Case in point: the War on Drugs.
        in over 30+years and trillions of dollars later, we have more drug users, more drug violence, and more drug cartels than ever before.
        I don’t use drugs. I used to. And I can tell you that no amount of laws or penalties ever stopped me or anyone I knew from using. Instead, we all spend whatever we had to to get high.
        An addictive personality cannot be criminalized out of the behavior any more than a gay person can be criminalized enough to be straight.

        Drug Crazy is a short read, maybe 200 pages. Check it out one evening. I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts, as I have enjoyed our conversations before on other matters.

        • The Science Fiction Oracle

          And addictive personality in our society can absolutely be steered by both laws and societal pressures to stick to the less evil drugs of alcohol, marijuana, and even light use of cocaine, and steered away from horrible life wrecking shit like Meth, Heroin and Crack Cocaine.

          Legalizing that really bad ultra hard stuff would be a tremendously bad idea. SOCIETY ABSOLUTELY NEEDS TO HAVE A STIGMA ATTACHED TO PEOPLE WHO USE THESE DRUGS.

  • The Science Fiction Oracle

    I think the European amusement park would have been better off choosing the Beyond Enterprise or even TOS Enterprise. Very few kids and teens today — who amusement parks are targeted at — are familiar with TNG. For an amusement park, you want to go with what’s iconic to all ages.

    • SpaceCadet

      That’s a sad thought to think that kids/teens today aren’t familiar with TNG as I grew up with it and was my first (and favorite) introduction to Trek. At least Patrick Stewart is relevant to the younger masses because of the X-Men franchise and maybe they’ll check out his Trek work because of it.

      On a tangential note to the European Trek roller coaster, I’m bummed I missed out on the Trek Experience that lasted in Vegas for awhile but ended before I ever got a chance to check it out. Would love for it or something like it to come back.

      • The Science Fiction Oracle

        Yes, I am bummed that I never got to see the Vegas experience either!

        • Fctiger

          I got to experience the first year it opened! Yeah it was cool! The area they put it in was so far off the main strip though I see why it didn’t last longer and it was pretty pricey but worth doing at least once as a fan.

          Beaming on the Enterprise and being on the bridge as Riker talk to you is any dream of a Trek geek lol.

      • Fctiger

        Actually TNG is still pretty big in a lot of places, especially Germany. I was there a year ago, you find TNG reruns on daily like you do in America. I was at a mall in Munich and there was TNG and DS9 merchandise in the mall. Trek is very popular in Germany, hence why this is up. And I think they would kind of know how popular a product is before they devote millions to making it. Trust me, TNG like Trek in general still has a good size following.

  • Fctiger

    Looks like tons of fun! I can’t wait to see how they spruce up the queue. Love its a Borg theme. Wish they made the coaster look a bit like Enterprise D but oh well.