What made Nichelle Nichols essential to ‘Star Trek’ as Uhura – Los Angeles Times

Kiss aside, there’s no question Nichols was underused in the series . . . Uhura rarely joins a landing party. But even when she’s not the focus of a scene, she is regularly onscreen, even if just visible at her post on the bridge, completing the picture, contributing to the emotional tenor. (And when she isn’t there, you notice it.) As the communications officer, everything runs through Uhura: She’s the voice of what’s happening elsewhere on the ship, and what’s happening outside the ship, whether announcing the presence of some other spacecraft or relating what’s up with Planet X. Even reciting lines like “I’m receiving Class Two signals from the Romulan vessel” or “Revised estimate on cloud visual contact 3.7 minutes,” she is the picture of the professional. She builds exposition, asks important questions; wordlessly reacting to some bit of business on the viewing screen, she brings an emotion and energy into the scene different from that of her sometimes blustery male colleagues.

Source: What made Nichelle Nichols essential to ‘Star Trek’ as Uhura – Los Angeles Times

Nichelle Nichols, Lt. Uhura on ‘Star Trek,’ has died at 89 | AP News

Nichelle Nichols, who broke barriers for Black women in Hollywood when she played communications officer Lt. Uhura on the original “Star Trek” television series, has died at the age of 89. Her son Kyle Johnson said Nichols died Saturday in Silver City, New Mexico.

Source: Nichelle Nichols, Lt. Uhura on ‘Star Trek,’ has died at 89 | AP News

This is truly sad news. Read the full story from AP to remember the true significance of Nichols’s life and career.

Related Post:

The Sad Story of Nichelle Nichols

MLB Lockout Ends and 162-Game Season Will Be Played – The New York Times


Theresa Malkiel, a Jewish socialist immigrant, inspired International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day began with a Russian-born Jewish woman in New York City, before traveling to the Soviet Union and back again.

Source: Theresa Malkiel, a Jewish socialist immigrant, inspired International Women’s Day – The Washington Post

Last Week’s Links

They Took a Chance on Collaborative Living. They Lost Everything.

“A group that sought to create Connecticut’s first experiment in collaborative living fell short. Some of the investors lost their life savings.”

Category: Housing

What’s the difference between ‘pandemic’ and ‘endemic’?

This important difference may be the “new normal” we’re heading for.

Category: Health

Dick Van Dyke Proves Age Is Just a Number As He Dances with Wife Arlene Silver for Valentine’s Day

96-year-old Dick Van Dyke and his 46-year-old wife Arlene Silver celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary.

Category: Aging

In Twilight of Life, Civil Rights Activists Feel ‘Urgency to Tell Our History’

“Young people who marched and organized during the civil rights movement are now in their 70s and 80s. With fewer and fewer remaining, historians rush to record their stories.”

Categories: Aging, History

The Trouble with Immortality

“Stories about immortality are present in many cultures throughout time. How cultures perceive immortality—as a blessing or a curse—can differ widely.”

Categories: Aging, Health

Gary Brooker, Singer for Procol Harum, Dies at 76

Gary Brooker, the singer and pianist of the early progressive rock group Procol Harum, who co-wrote songs including “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” the improbable but overpowering hit during the 1967 Summer of Love, died on Saturday at his home in Surrey, England. He was 76.

Category: History

I Admit it. I’m Retired and Have Started to Feel Irrelevant

“The challenging search to find a sense of purpose.”

“Now there is a vast emptiness where my relevance used to live,” writes Ann Brenoff about the end of her 40-year career as a journalist. 

She explains that most planning for retirement focuses on the dual topics of health and wealth, “and very little thought is given to the emotional adjustment required when we step off the playing field and move to the sidelines.”

Categories: Aging, Retirement, Work

© 2022 by Mary Daniels Brown

Last Week’s Links

The COVID Strategy America Hasn’t Really Tried

“The clearest way to reduce deaths is to push to vaccinate more of the elderly—yes, still!”

Sarah Zhang reports in The Atlantic: “even though America’s vaccination and booster rates look better in the older groups compared with the young, they are still too low. As a result, deaths in the United States are still too high.”

Category: Health

How to get better at making every type of decision

Allie Volpe describes certain human biases that can complicate the making of decisions, particularly decisions about complex or life-altering questions. She also offers concrete suggestions about how to deal with these biases and how to manage the decision-making process.

Category: Mental Health

The Dog Breeds That Are a Woman’s Best Friend

“Especially when one lives alone.”

Because men generally die at a slightly younger age than women, many women face a period of widowhood. Social scientists have long known that having a pet to care for can reduce feelings of loneliness or depression for widowed people, either male or female. 

When my husband and I were looking at various retirement communities in preparation for our retirement relocation, something I noticed was the number of older adults out walking their dogs. This article, though emphasizing women, provides some advice appropriate for either men or women looking to take on a pet.

I have one consideration to add that this article doesn’t mention. Most retirement communities I’m familiar with allow “small pets.” If you anticipate moving into such a community, I’d advise you choose one of the smaller breeds described here. A boxer, golden retriever, or mastiff probably won’t be welcome in a much down-sized living situation.

Or maybe you’d rather consider a cat?

Category: Assisted Living, Retirement

There Will Be No Post-Covid

Charles M. Blow, an opinion columnist for the New York Times, expresses something I’ve thought for quite a while now: As much as we’d all like to get back to normal, normal won’t ever be the same again, and we are going to have to learn to live with that reality.

Or, as Blow puts it: :the America we knew ended in 2019. This is a new one, scarred, struggling to its feet, dogged by moral and philosophical questions that on one hand have revealed its cruelty and on the other have forced it into metamorphosis.”

Category: Health, Personal

Activist Learning: How Anti-Vietnam War Academics Reinvented the Strike

The escalation of the Vietnam War in 1965 brought about the creation of a new form of protest—the teach-in. It was so effective a vehicle for dissent that the academic community quickly became the main source of opposition to the war. Though it was later eclipsed—notably in the media and, thus, the popular mind—by younger noisier protests, for about a year and a half the nation’s faculties, with the assistance of graduate students and some undergraduates, provided the leadership and the intellectual framework for the growing challenge to the escalating conflict. An initially small group of professors literally taught the rest of the country why the war was wrong.

This excerpt from The Lost Promise: American Universities in the 1960s by Ellen Schrecker brought back memories for me. I was a student at Boston University, a very politically active campus, from 1966 to 1970. 

Categories: History, Personal

Her dad died. So her favorite NFL star took her to the father-daughter dance.

“Philadelphia Eagles player Anthony Harris flew across the country to escort his 11-year-old fan to the event”

Amid all the incivility and protest, I hope we take a moment to appreciate and publicize stories such as this.

Category: Personal

© 2022 by Mary Daniels Brown

Welcome, 2022!

(Feature Photo by Moritz Knöringer on Unsplash )

After the debacle of 2021, I’ve been awaiting the arrival of 2022 with high ambivalence. When I woke up this morning and remembered that today is the first day of 2022, the phrase guarded optimism immediately came to mind. 

So, in the spirit of guarded optimism, I wish you all Happy New Year. I’ll be striving toward optimism—but without letting my guard down, of course.

colorful fireworks against a night sky. Overlay text: Happy New Year!

Because I love lists, here are some links for your reading pleasure on a lazy New Year’s Day.

Meteor showers, eclipses, full moons: All of the reasons to look up in 2022

“The new year is sure to be a sky-gazer’s delight with plenty of celestial events on the calendar,” declares CNN. Learn when to expect total lunar eclipses, meteor showers, and supermoons.

New Books Explore the Many Ways Covid Has Altered Our Lives

By Eve Fairbanks for The New York Times.

Omicron’s New Years cocktail: Sorrow, fear but hope for 2022

Sorrow for the dead and dying, fear of more infections to come and hopes for an end to the coronavirus pandemic were — again — the bittersweet cocktail with which the world said good riddance to 2021 and ushered in 2022.

This Associated Press articles follows the new year as it arrives around the world.

Readers recommend 2021’s best books and explain how their reading habits changed

  • Readers were more likely to abandon books
  • Readers wanted lighter fare as a counterpoint to real-world devastation
  • For some, reading was nearly impossible at the start of the pandemic. In 2021, it got easier.
  • Audiobooks were a popular choice
  • Some people shared ingenious reading ideas you might want to steal

The article ends with a list of the “top books of 2021, according to our readers.”

© 2022 by Mary Daniels Brown

World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day occurs every year on December 1st. This year marks 40 years since the first reported cases of what later became known as AIDS were officially reported: “more than 36 million people, including 700,000 in the United States, . . . have died from AIDS-related illness globally since the start of the epidemic.”

The U.S. Government’s theme for World AIDS Day 2021—Ending the HIV Epidemic: Equitable Access, Everyone’s Voice—highlights the Biden-Harris Administration’s strong commitment to ending the HIV epidemic globally by addressing health inequities and ensuring the voices of people with HIV are central in all our work. As we prioritize leading the COVID-19 response, including becoming an arsenal of vaccines for the world, and helping every country and community build back better, we must at the same time forge ahead, innovate, and invest in communities to end the HIV epidemic everywhere.

Source: U.S. Government Website

President Biden Declares November National Native American Heritage Month | Currents

President Joe Biden has issued a proclamation naming November 2021 as National Native American Heritage Month, a time to “celebrate the countless contributions of Native peoples past and present, honor the influence they have had on the advancement of our Nation, and recommit ourselves to upholding trust and treaty responsibilities, strengthening tribal sovereignty, and advancing Tribal self-determination.” He also touted the American Rescue Plan as the most significant funding legislation in U.S.history, and named Friday, November 26, 2021–popularly known as the consumer-driven Black Friday–as Native American Heritage Day.

Source: President Biden Declares November National Native American Heritage Month | Currents

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