In honor of today’s historic ruling in favor of marriage equality in Virginia, here is a new image of the Enterprise orbiting the Earth that I recently rendered. The background image of Mother Earth is a public domain image taken during U.S. space shuttle mission STS-71 of the Earth and the late, great Mir space station. You can view the original background image here.
Yesterday I did something that I have been thinking about doing for a long time: I permanently deleted my Facebook account.
I’ve had my Facebook account since January 2009, and in the 5-1/2 years I’ve been a member I’ve reconnected with old chums from my Longview days, kept in touch with family and friends in distant cities, and have been a mostly enthusiastic participant in the great social networking experiment that’s swept the world over the past decade.
One thing that I did not sign up for, though, was for Facebook to experiment on me. It seems that recently Facebook conducted an experiment—in secret and without notifying users beforehand—where it allowed internal (to Facebook) and external researchers to selectively hide good and bad news in users’ Facebook walls. Researchers would then examine subsequent posts by the unwitting test subjects to gauge whether this manipulation affected their emotional states.
Well congratulations, Facebook! Your manipulations certainly affected MY emotional state. You made me so angry and fed up with your shenanigans that I finally cut the cord.
This doesn’t mean that I will be withdrawing from social networking—far from it. I’m still here, and I’ll be posting here more often in the future. I’m still on Twitter (follow me at @TheScottGammans) and LinkedIn. And as soon as I find a good photo sharing site that is NOT owned by Facebook (sorry, Instagram!), I’ll be posting my non-Star Trek photos and videos there. But my Facebooking days are over.
The Enterprise visits the spectacular Orion Nebula in this new image I completed over the weekend for a friend of mine. The background image is from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.
Time to put the CMU in the hangar bay to see how it looks. Even though I know it’s basically a wearable spaceship and its interior is dominated by its single pilot seat, it’s easy to forget how *small* it is until you see it next to some much larger objects, not to mention things that have real-world analogues (e.g., the elevator doors, the control console, etc.)
That’s one thing this test scene made me realize. The other is that the “Jefferies” shuttle model is in dire need of a facelift… it looks positively flat compared to the CMU.
Well, it is supposed to be a TOS-era cargo management unit, and they painted everything whitish/greenish gray back then. Now that I’ve seen her in white, I’m actually kinda leaning in this direction. Only thing is, now that it’s not bumblebee yellow anymore, the stripes really stick out, and I’m not sure you can call it a “Workbee” anymore (I think the nickname’s appropriate only if the hull is yellow). Hmmm…
A short test video of the Workbee. Still a ways to go on this, but it’s getting closer.
Here’s a work-in-progress image of something I’ve been working on for the past couple of weeks for the hangar deck scene in “Doomsday Machine”: a TOS-era cargo management unit (better known as the “Work Bee”).
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Finally finished the lower level maintenance deck, but I’m holding back further pictures on that until it’s “showtime”. I’ve now started working on the main hangar deck level, which is going to take quite a while.
…but the underdeck area is nearing completion.
Both the hangar deck and shuttlecraft Jefferies models still need additional detailing and texturing, and the hangar model needs a better lighting setup. Still, it’s a start.