Boldly Gone to Lie Long Amid Peace – Leonard Nimoy

US actor Leonard Nimoy, who played Mr Spock in the sci-fi series Star Trek, has died at the age of 83 in Los Angeles, of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on Friday morning.  A caution to smokers: Nimoy last year revealed he was suffering chronic lung disease COPD, despite stopping smoking 30 years ago.  Nimoy was taken to hospital on 19 February after suffering from chest pains.

As a kid, Sunday mornings were special to watch the reruns of the original Star Trek when it appeared on Doordarshan.  I remember the taunts - the most often repated was, 'what poppycock is this, with a small cigarette pack like box, he can talk to anywhere in the world and to his spaceship too?'

A measure of his popularity and of the Star Trek and how it inspired many was on display with a message from NASA crediting Nimoy and Star Trek as an inspiration.

Leonard Simon Nimoy
March 26, 1931 – February 27, 2015

1931 Born in Boston, Massachusetts, to Jewish immigrants Dora (Spinner) and Max Nimoy
1951 Bit-part Hollywood debut in Queen for a Day
1954 Marries Sandra Zober. Two children, Julie and and Adam, follow.
1966 Cast as Spock in Star Trek, which turns Nimoy into a star
1969 Joins cast of Mission: Impossible and plays The Great Paris for two years
1979 Reprises role as Spock in the first big-screen version of Star Trek
1987 Directs the hugely successful comedy Three Men and a Baby
1989 Stars in Star Trek V and then Star Trek VI in 1991
2009 Comes out of retirement to play Spock in new Star Trek films directed by JJ Abrams
2014 Reveals diagnosis with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a progressive lung condition
2015 Passes away in Los Angeles


(Space Shuttle image courtesy NASA; inset image courtesy unknown)

FCC votes for Strong Net Neutrality

Yesterday night, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to for stronger Net Neutrality rules and for more choice in broadband providers - for Americans.  You may ask why we, in India, or elsewhere have to be worried about what is happening in America,

It does matter.  If third world countries are often (sometimes misguidedly) termed as human guinea pigs in clinical trials for vaccines, the US is the laboratory where critical technical issues are decided which can affect the way people in other nations live and interact, with Americans and even within them.

If Net Neutrality is overturned in America and internet 'fast lanes' had been approved, how long would it have taken the ISPs in India to adopt such practices?  Days I would guess.  Even without any precedence, we have the recent example of a major ISP and Mobile Service Provider trying to add on VOIP charges (in addition to the subscribed Data Plan) on consumers using Whatsapp and similar clients to make voice calls.

It is also not one of those decisions by the 'WASP' Americans alone.  Indian-American Ajit Varadaraj Pai, an FCC Commissioner voted 'against' the Net Neutrality proposals.  The vote was carried 3-2 in the five member FCC.  It was that close.

Just think about it.  In the words of Fight For The Future []
The FCC just… voted... to pass… strong... net neutrality rules. The rules Comcast tried *everything* to stop. Reflect on this, for a moment:
President Obama had dragged his feet for years. We still won.
He appointed a former cable lobbyist to run the FCC. We still won.
We went up against the most powerful lobby in America. We still won.
They bought broad support from both parties in Congress. We still won.
The list continues below, for posterity, but you get the idea: We had to clear every hurdle. All the cable lobby had to do was stop us once. And yet… we still won. 
Google has also been talking about its support for Net Neutrality on their Take Action With Google pages [].  They have released a graphic as a show of support for FCC vote endorsing Net Neutrality.

Here is the graphic from their page -  with the top section showing the the FCC commissioners and how they voted (from the [] website).

#internetcountdown worked. FCC voted to keep #netneutrality

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NASA rover Curiosity clicks stunning selfie on Mars

NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has clicked a selfie which shows the 1 ton robot at the "Mojave" site on the Red Planet where its drill collected the mission's second scoop of Mount Sharp.
NASA's Curiosity rover has been working for five months at the "Pahrump Hills" outcrop on Mars.
The selfie scene is assembled from dozens of images taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on the rover's robotic arm, NASA said.
Pahrump Hills is an outcrop of the bedrock that forms the basal layer of Mount Sharp, at the centre of Mars' Gale Crater.
#curiosityrover stunning #selfie

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West Indies' Chris Gayle scores first double century at Cricket World Cup

West Indies batsman Chris Gayle has scored the first double hundred in Cricket World Cup history.

The big hitter reached his double century off just 138 balls in a Pool B match as the West Indies defeated Zimbabwe by 77 runs in Canberra, Australia.

Gayle's knock of 215 off 147 balls beats the previous best by South Africa's Gary Kirsten, who scored 188 not out against the United Arab Emirates at the 1996 World Cup.

BTW, the image is from the BBC report / Getty Images, retouched by yours truly in Paint.Net.  Nice, is it not?  To compare, go the link given below, download the full image and see.

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About As Much… | claytoonz

ISIS is just KKK in black? This is why we need #cartoonists

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