back to article Nichelle Nichols' ashes set for trek to the stars

Late actress Nichelle Nichols, who for 25 years portrayed the USS Enterprise's communications officer Uhura, is set to be memorialized among the stars later this year. A portion of Nichols' ashes will lift off – along with those of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, his wife and multi-role Star Trek actress Majel Barrett …

  1. Jonathan Richards 1 Silver badge
    WTF?

    Chemistry, now?

    What is this alum of which you speak? A graduate/former student of a college is said to be an alumnus (masc.) or alumna (fem.), or in the plural alumni, but I've never seen it shortened so that it can be confused with double salts, see https://www.britannica.com/science/alum, nor yet applied to someone's previous career.

    1. Marty McFly Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Chemistry, now?

      Whoot whoot! I finally get to use this icon!

    2. Irony Deficient Silver badge

      What is this alum of which you speak?

      I’ve never seen it shortened so that it can be confused with double salts […] nor yet applied to someone’s previous career.

      If I were a betting sophont, I’d guess that you haven’t yet seen alum sold under the “Star Trek” brand, and that you’ve never read a film industry publication like Variety, which has used all kinds of cliquey, headline-cramming abbrevations for decades (e.g. “alum” for “alumnus/alumna”, “nabe” for “neighbourhood cinema”, “zitcom” for “a television comedy aimed at teenagers”, &c.).

      1. Martin-73 Silver badge

        Re: What is this alum of which you speak?

        Ewww, no. just NO...

      2. Jonathan Richards 1 Silver badge

        Re: What is this alum of which you speak?

        > If I were a betting sophont, ...

        You should have placed that bet, you'd have won the double. But... El Reg is hiring Variety hacks instead of keeping Ali Dabbs on the books? That seems strategically mistaken.

        1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

          But… El Reg is hiring Variety hacks instead of keeping Ali Dabbs on the books?

          Not necessarily — they might be just recycling Variety ledes into El Reg subheads for articles on actors/actresses of interest to the average local commentard.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: But… El Reg is hiring Variety hacks instead of keeping Ali Dabbs on the books?

            I like the news here but the style is no longer to my taste.

            Grammar seems to have been defenestrated and American culture taken as worldwide knowledge.

            It's a shame, I can see me no longer visiting if these trends continue.

            After over 20 years I'll miss the old place, just not the new one.

            Maybe my last post, I'm sure nobody will miss me but I wish you all the best.

            1. Allonymous Coward
              Gimp

              Re: But… El Reg is hiring Variety hacks instead of keeping Ali Dabbs on the books?

              Place has never been the same since the moderatrix left.

              1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

                moderatrix

                If you're referring to Sarah, she left more than 10 years ago, during which the Register has had three overall editors (Joe, Lewis, me) and a roster of writers come and go.

                So yeah, it hasn't been the same: it's constantly evolving.

                C.

                1. Down not across Silver badge

                  Re: moderatrix

                  There can be only one. Seems unfathomable that the reference would be to any other than Ms Bee.

                  ...over 10 years ago...as if I didn't feel old enough already.

    3. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Chemistry, now?

      We are the alums who say NI!

    4. MJB7

      Re: Chemistry, now?

      It's common in America, and becoming common in the UK as a gender neutral term for a single alumnus or alumna. (And the plural is "alums".) In this case we don't _need_ a gender neutral term as Ms Nichols was (very definitely, my teenage self confirms) female - but I wonder how many people would recognize "alumna".

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Chemistry, now?

      Transparent Alum obviously

  2. Hurn

    New record

    " James Doohan, who portrayed Enterprise chief engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott – sometime later this year. "

    Yet, it seems (at least some of) his ashes were already put into space, back in 2008?

    https://treknews.net/2020/12/30/star-trek-james-doohan-ashes-iss-space-station

    What's the record number of times for a person's ashes to be blasted into space?

    1. First Light Silver badge

      Re: New Record

      If I ever get into space (which is unlikely as I don't even taking off in planes), I'm not sure I want to be running into people's bodies and ashes all over the gaff.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: New Record

        You are much more likely to encounter people's ashes here on Earth. What do you think comes out of the smokestack at a crematorium? What happens to the ashes of loved ones that are "scattered to the wind"? It is probably not unlikely you have already inhaled someone.

        It is just matter, the fact that matter used to be in someone's body doesn't make it all that much different from dust (a lot of which are dead skin cells) or dirt. Especially when you would be inside a spacecraft, or in a spacesuit, in the EXTREMELY unlikely event you encounter a single molecule from the ashes of that handful of people "buried" within the BILLIONS of cubic miles that comprise low earth orbit!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: New Record

          Whoosh!

      2. spold Silver badge

        Re: New Record

        ...particularly if the closing speed is around 26,000 mph (about 7M furlongs/fortnight) - based on previous examples. That earpiece thing could go well up your wotsit at that speed.

  3. Grunchy Bronze badge

    New cremation technique!

    Yeah it’s called “chemical cremation” and your liquidated remains get flushed away to water treatment, you know, like faeces. Definitely with all the other faeces. They say it’s more environmental than getting scorched into ash via natural gas.

    (Shakespeare called regular burial service tantamount to becoming “worm’s food,” so he takes top points for grossest description.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: New cremation technique!

      The marketing dept is yet to get onto the job of prettifying being pressure cooked in lye and flushed down the khazi. They may have their job cut out on that one.

      Of course it does have the potential to return a bar of very exclusive soap to your heirs. Or a crate of coarse laundry soap in my case.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: New cremation technique!

        "The marketing dept is yet to get onto the job of prettifying being pressure cooked in lye and flushed down the khazi. They may have their job cut out on that one."

        Don't really see the issue with this !!!

        Better than polluting the air when you are burnt !!!

        You are dead and the disposal of the body will not bother 'you', so whatever is as 'low environmental impact' as possible, suits me !!!

        Really need to get away from all the superstitions regarding bodies etc !!! :)

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: New cremation technique!

          So, surely burial is the best option then, not burning nor chemical decomposition. "Worm food" surely has to be the best, almost energy-free, no pollutants of any kind (body implants excepted)

          1. zuckzuckgo Bronze badge

            Re: New cremation technique!

            >no pollutants of any kind

            Is CO2 a pollutant? Decomposition releases CO2 so if we want to sequester that then we should either be sealed in a long (very long) lasting airtight wrapping or placed down a very deep abandoned mine shaft and back filled.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: New cremation technique!

              That's not a net release. Any CO2 from a decomposing body is CO2 the person sequestered themselves already :-)

          2. Binraider Silver badge

            Re: New cremation technique!

            Nominally, yes. But the land take for eg traditional individual burials is not insignificant. Especially if all 6bn of us want a 6 by 2 plot times multiple generations.

    2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: New cremation technique!

      Surely Soylent Green would be the best solution?

    3. Paul Cooper

      Re: New cremation technique!

      You should try the lyrics to the Yorkshire folk song, "On Ilkla Moor B'aht 'at"! (https://www.otleybrassband.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Ilkley-Moor-Lyrics.pdf)

  4. Khaptain Silver badge

    Why the status

    Why is so much God Status being given to actors and people on those Tele reality shows.

    They are simply doing their job for which they have been handsomely paid.

    I know several people who work hard and give their time freely to help others and yet they get zero acknowledgement and yet continue to do their good deeds.

    Isn't it about time that we starting coming back down to earth and actually stopped all the smoke and mirrors.

    1. Dave559 Silver badge

      Re: Why the status

      Star Trek provided great entertainment to many, showed us that a better world is possible with friendship and equality between all peoples and races (particularly groundbreaking for the time), and, perhaps not least, also greatly inspired many people to take up careers in science and technology.

      Yes, some tv shows are just mindless entertainment (some, very mindless) but I don't think that it's unreasonable to credit Star Trek with being rather more than that. Respecting that in no way implies disrespect for those in other fields who do good work but are unknown (although many cities and countries have various sorts of civic awards and honours to acknowledgement some of just those very people).

      1. Binraider Silver badge

        Re: Why the status

        Never underestimate the influence Star Trek had on the civil rights movement, and the many activists that followed.

        That said, through the judgmental eyes of today, some early Trek dialogue is highly questionable. The most memorable faux pas is a discussion on how Women cannot become ship captains! That one is that bad, and inconsistent with the evolution of Trek/Federation ideology that I don't think many people would object to it being edited out.

        No doubt some complainer will complain about the suggestion of an edit "being woke"; to which I'd have to retort with the question of just who is woke.

        Though I absolutely draw the line with the dog's name in the Dambusters - that should not be edited out. And some of the dialogue in Dirty Harry & related films - desperately offensive by todays standards, but in the context of the film and era, are reflective of how bad things were. Arguably still are in some places.

        C'est la vie. There is no institute of English with the authority to say what words mean or the context they are used.

    2. zuckzuckgo Bronze badge

      Re: Why the status

      > Why is so much God Status being given to actors ...

      That is because it is not about the actors but rather the space program (private or public) and interest in it. Sending up anyone with a widely recognized name gets press coverage and fuels public interest. It may not be fair but it can be effective.

      I think there are a few political "influencers" I wouldn't mind being sent off like this, but unfortunately "the rules" require us to wait for them to pass away first.

    3. BigSLitleP

      Re: Why the status

      Let's see:

      Nichelle Nichols - did an amazing job for race relations, including the first on screen interracial kiss as well as for equality, as she played a female officer on a warship.

      Star Trek itself did a huge amount for equality, racial and sexual, as well as showing the world a view of what we could accomplish if we all worked together. It also did political commentary on things such as the Vietnam War, which no other show at the time could get away with.

      So why the status? Because it had arguably the largest impact in real life than any TV show before or since, and that's not hyperbole.

      Take your tin foil hat off and reel your neck in.

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: Why the status

        @BigSLitleP

        I am amazed that this is what your learned form Star Trek...

        I was an avid fan when I was a kid and never once did I learn any lessons about racism, equality or sexuality... Those are very adult subjects, children don't generally see the world that way, they are still far too innocent....

        "Because it had arguably the largest impact in real life than any TV show before or since, and that's not hyperbole."

        That's only your point of view , I would argue that Coronation Street or Beny Hill had a far, far larger impact....

  5. bofh1961

    Uhura?

    It's Lieutenant Uhura to you, Ensign!

    1. dboyes

      Re: Uhura?

      That's Captain Uhura, misters.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To boldly go - where?

    Are these ashes sent into "deep space" like Voyager 1 & 2 (sounds expensive), or just do a few loops around the earth before being cremated a second time?

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