Friday, July 28, 2006

Star Trek Devotion

EARLING - Around since the 1960s, Star Trek has been a favorite television show for generations. With its foundation in science fiction and its use of catch phrases like, "Beam me up, Scottie," it has captured the interest of people around the world, along with the imagination of two men from Earling.
John Schulte, Minneapolis, MN, and Tom Schulte, Earling, are brothers devoted to Star Trek, having been interested in the show since they were kids.

After reading the books as a child, Tom says that he was hooked.
"I've been a Star Trek nut since the original series came out," he said, with John stating that he has watched the show since the early 1970s.
Although the brothers have been fans since then, they did not actively participate in any groups until becoming adults. After surfing the internet, Tom found Star Fleet International.
A fan-based organization of over 4,000 people, Star Fleet International is a national Star Trek fan club existing since the 1970s. The group is comprised of small groups throughout the United States, each with their own crew members.
Because of Earling's location, Tom joined the USS Saint George, a correspondence crew that meets online. While other groups in larger cities can get together to have meetings, Tom's group chats online.
"There are around two dozen people in Iowa that belong to Star Fleet International," said Tom. "but in the immediate area, I'm the only one."
Tom became the science and charity officer of the USS Saint George,a fictional ship reseambling the one on the voyager series. He then held the office of the executive officer Vice President and now is a Commander.
It is the task of the officers to inform the group of new advances in their field in real life, such as medical breakthroughs, much like an officer would on a ship.
With his group meeting online, Tom says that although it is his main hobby it does not consume much of his time, as he usually only spends a couple of hours a day going online to their chat room.
"Its as much of a time commitment as I want it to be," he said.
Although his main interaction with the other members is through the internet, both brothers also go to two conventions every year in Minneapolis, MN and Fargo, ND.
"We have a lot of fun when we physically get together," said Tom. "We have a lot of costumes and everyone really gets into their characters."
Although the group members join to have fun and companionship, they also serve a larger purpose in charity work.
Groups like Tom's cut out coupons to send to those in the military while others will do work with groups like Toys for Tots.
The group members are then given their rankings based on the amount of charity work they have done.
Although Tom has been a member of Star Fleet International since 2000, John did not become involved until Tom took him to a summit consisting of a meeting, a golf event and a charity raffle.
Since then, he has started his own group in Riverside, the fictional future birthplace of Captain Kirk, called the USS Riverside. He is the commander of the "ship." His son Trent is also involved.
"The main interest for me is the community service," said John. "but it's also the friendships that you form when you have a common bond with people."
Although the club is a main hobby for Tom, he also works as a nurse and is the commander of Post 16 in Earling, which is another main interest of his.
Tom states that while its use of technology is a big reason why the show has been so popular, people are also drawn to it because of its optimistic view of the human condition.
"Star Trek had the first public kiss between a white male and a black female and the commander is a woman that is just as respected as everyone else," said Tom.
He explains that this is one of the main reasons that he is so interested in the show, as along with featuring scientific advancements, it also has a theme of understanding and cooperation.
"The reason it lasts longer than the other science fiction shows is that it's really a message of what we could happily be in the future. Everyone is equal."
With this vision of equality and happiness, John and Tom continue to become more and more involved in their hobby. With charity events, conventions, and a little imagination, their Star Trek voyage looks to be a great one.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Could You Pass 8th Grade History?

You Passed 8th Grade US History

Congratulations, you got 7/8 correct!