Intercultural Communication Through Time – By Moriah Baca

This weekend my husband and I watched the film Arrival, it was right up our alley as Star Trek fans.

Communication was the focus of this film, the difficulties that we would face meeting aliens without being able to even talk to each other. Deanna Troi brings up this difficulty in The Next Generation:

Deanna: Actually, the fact that any alien race communicates with another is quite remarkable…We are stranded on a planet, we have no language in common, but I want to teach you mine. The disparity, what did I just say?

Picard: Cup…glass

Deanna: Are you sure? I may have meant liquid, clear, brown, hot. We conceptualise the universe in quite the same way.

Picard: Point taken

Deanna: In your talks, you must be extremely accurate

This idea of how we conceptualise the universe is one of the most significant aspects of how Dr Louis Banks is able to communicate with the aliens in Arrival. The reason Dr Banks has such a hard time communicating with the aliens is that they perceive time differently. Sisko in Deep Space 9 tries to explain time to an alien in the first episode of the series:

Sisko: It can be argued that a human is ultimately the sum of his experiences.

Alien: Experiences? What is this?

Sisko: Memories. Events from my past, like this one.

Alien: The Past?

Sisko: Things that happened before now…You have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about.

Alien: What comes before now is no different than what is now, or what is to come. It is one’s existence.

Sisko: Then, for you, there is no linear time.

Alien: Linear time. What is this?

Sisko: My species lives at one point in time. And once we move beyond that point, it becomes the past. The future, all that is still to come, does not exist yet for us.

Alien: Does not exist yet?

Sisko: That is the nature of linear existence. And if you examine it more closely, you will see that you do not need to fear me. In a linear existence, we can’t go back to the past to get something we left behind, so it’s lost.

Alien: It is inconceivable that any species could exist in such a manner. You are deceiving us.

Sisko: No, this is the truth. This day, this park, it was almost fifteen years ago. Far in the past, It was a day that was very important to me, a day that shaped every day that followed. That is the essence of a linear existence. Each day affects the next.



Star Trek dealt with this issue of linear time differently than Arrival. In Star Trek, the alien is taught to understand linear time in order to deal with humans. In Arrival, the heptapods teach Dr Banks non-linear time in order for humans to be able to deal with them.

Both ways the idea of non-linear time is so foreign to us and difficult to represent therefore it makes sense that Star Trek had to opt out for a more simple depiction, however, Arrival takes advantage of their budget to depict non-linear time in an amazing way. Both these stories are hiding their point in plain sight. The issue of language between cultures even between humans there can be a difference in the conceptualization of the universe caused by culture making communication very difficult. Again, we see the way Star Trek brings cultural issues to our attention in a roundabout way.


Blog Author: Moriah Baca

Pictures:

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Making Deluxe KLINGON Gauntlets from Foam – By Shawn Hussell

Tools/Supplies:

  • -Utility Knife
  • -Pins
  • -Heat gun
  • -marker
  • -contact cement
  • -foam ¼ thick (use whatever thickness you want this is just what I used)
  • -blueprints from KAG.org, print them out 
  • A step by step guide in pictures is in the gallery below


Directions: the printer-Print

-Print out blueprints and cut them out them out

-Ok, we are just going to stop here for a bit. I got extremely lucky and on my first print, they were a perfect size. Not everyone is going to be this lucky, I suggest one of two things:

A) Print out a size you feel might be close, follow the instructions but just for one gauntlet instead of two and then use this to resize (if need) the next set of blueprints.

B) Short on foam and don’t want to make one you likely won’t use? Well just print two side pieces and make the first gauntlet out of paper, foam is stretchy so you want the wrist hole small enough your fist barely fits. Because my gauntlets have a little stretch, I can get my hand in.  

if the material had no give in it then my gauntlets would be too small!

-That last point covers “how these things should fit,” they’re big, to begin with so why make them bigger than needed.

-Got your blueprints, they’ve been cut out.

Lay them down on the foam and pin them down, to keep them from shifting. Use your marker and trace the blueprints out twice, then flip the side piece and trace it two more times. I strongly recommend labelling them, the top of the side-panel blueprint is the right side. In my photos, I labelled right as 2, left as 1 and centre as

C. -Cut out the foam pieces on the inside of the line. Now heat form them, use my finished photo for referenced of pre-shaping, this will help (a lot) when glueing them to be close to their final shape.

-Consult your contact cement instructions, and follow the printer and two different images, the fit probably isn’t going to be perfect I and two different images, the fit probably isn’t going to be perfect I believe this was the cause of a lot of my problems. If you’ve never worked with contact cement, you might want practice glueing a couple of the left-over scraps together to get a feel for it.

Press the seams together carefully and start from the bottom working your way up. When you get to the wrist part you may have difficulties, try moving to the top and working back down, I found that helped me. You might have to hold the seams together briefly ensure a proper hold. If your lines aren’t perfect, well practice makes perfect!  If you look closely at mine they aren’t either, I’m opting to make new ones in the future rather than fix these. You can fill any gap with plaster or wood fill, I haven’t found something I like using yet, so I don’t have any recommendations. Qapla’!!

You now have gauntlets, go forth my fellow warrior and never again fear for your wrists or forearms; for they will forever be wrapped in foam!

Notes: I would recommend you look up videos on making foam costumes just to get a feel for this, I like Evil Ted, his first few videos are very insightful. I never made it to the tubing part knowing I’ll be replacing these. I plan on finding a very flexy tube or glue thinner foam around a small rope to make the tubing. That’ll come down to what you find.


  • Blog Author: Shawn Hussell
  • Layout: James Hams

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Why I Started Trekfanproductions.com

I want to tackle a rumour that I have heard and one that I feel is worthy of my attention.

Today during a conversation with some others involved in the fan film community it was brought to my attention that “some” see Trekfanproductions as a site that is in direct competition to “Fan Film Factor” or to push a “hidden” agenda, this could not be further from the truth. Well, unless you think that dragging the spotlight back to where it should be is wrong or an agenda of negative intent.

Now, some would take this as a personal attack and reply in kind. I though am not one of them, I see this as feedback and one that I felt I need to address to clarify my position as the owner of this site but I also wanted to make and the position of Trekfanproductions.com very clear.

The main reason, although not the only one for me started this site is that I saw a need to help bring the focus back to the many Star Trek Fan Films that for some reason seem to have been pushed aside in favour of a “certain production”, but I also strongly felt that the same attention needed to be brought to ALL Fan Productions as like it or not, not all roads lead back to Axanar! fan productions of all genres for example Podcasts, Audio Dramas, and Fan Fiction deserve just the same attention. I felt it was the time we also get to know more about the lesser-known ones like Fan Artists and the many Star Trek related websites out there. All these have become part of what makes Trek so great our diverse look of things and how we all celebrate it.

Therefore, I hope this has put this rumour to bed as it were and now we can get back to enjoying and celebrating fan productions in all their eclectic varieties.

Thank you for your time in reading this.

As always, all Feedback good and bad is welcome and helps me divert my attention to where is needs to be.

James Hams

Owner and Creator of Trekfanproductions.com

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