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In 2013, a fan asked 'Star Trek' to make Sulu gay. Here's his response to the news.

John Cho's recent announcement that Sulu will be gay in "Star Trek: Beyond" predictably set the Internet on fire.

Photo from "Star Trek: Beyond"/Paramount Pictures.


According to Cho, the decision was made, in part, as a tribute to George Takei, the openly gay actor and LGBT rights activist who played the character in the original series.

The actor revealed that Sulu's relationship with his partner — with whom he has a daughter — would be treated as any other relationship in the film and essentially be "no big deal."

Lots of fans were thrilled.



But the announcement about Sulu's sexual orientation had a surprise critic: Takei himself.

Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images.

"I’m delighted that there’s a gay character," Takei told The Hollywood Reporter. "Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Gene [Roddenberry’s] creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate."

Takei explained that he believed that while "Star Trek" is ready for a gay main cast member, the decision to depict Sulu's same-sex relationship in a prequel recasts the Enterprise helmsman as closeted in the original series.

Simon Pegg, who co-wrote the screenplay, responded in The Guardian to "respectfully disagree" with Takei.

Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images.

"Justin Lin, Doug Jung and I loved the idea of it being someone we already knew because the audience have a pre-existing opinion of that character as a human being, unaffected by any prejudice," Pegg said in a statement.

"Their sexual orientation is just one of many personal aspects, not the defining characteristic."

One fan who was particularly excited by the news was Dan Wohl, a California graduate student who asked for exactly this move in a 2013 essay published on The Mary Sue.

"J.J. Abrams, if you’re listening, I think you should make Sulu gay," Wohl wrote.

Giving Sulu a same-sex partner, Wohl argued — and treating their relationship as simply something that is — would not only be a moving tribute to Takei's life and work, but help begin to correct "complicated but ultimately disappointing history" of mostly ignoring LGBT themes and characters on "Star Trek."

Wohl told Upworthy that he was delighted by the news.

Photo from "Star Trek: Beyond"/Paramount Pictures.

"I think it's awesome, and I'm really glad they're doing it," he said.

While he expected that the franchise would eventually introduce LGBT characters, he explained that he didn't believe the writers of the film would actually choose a character with such a long history to be the series' first.

"It's very rare to have something that you want so much to happen in your fandom come true."

"The normalization of things is really powerful," Wohl explained, praising the creators of "Beyond" for choosing not to make a grand statement about Sulu's sexuality within the film.

Making Sulu's sexual orientation just one more facet of a character with decades of rich backstory rather than a major plot point, he said, is just as powerful as using the character to make a big, sweeping statement.

"Almost just as important is to show that the things that were fought for should be viewed as just parts of life."

While he criticized the franchise for being behind the curve on LGBT issues to date, Wohl hopes that with a new series about to launch on CBS, "Star Trek" will further affirm its inclusive values.

"What I really think 'Star Trek' could and should become a pioneer in is when it comes to trans characters," he said.

Similarly, he said, if the franchise does introduce a trans character or characters, it could break new ground by refusing to make their gender identity the focus of their arc.

"The only time that you basically see a trans character is when the story is about them being trans."

But first, the franchise is — thankfully, finally — boldly going ... where many have gone before.

Photo by James Teterenko/Wikimedia Commons.

The show "was an attempt to say that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day that it begins not just to tolerate, but take a special delight in differences in ideas and differences in life forms," creator Roddenberry wrote in an essay on the "Star Trek" philosophy.

While creators, actors, and fans may disagree about the particulars, with "Star Trek," what else is new?

via Tod Perry

An artist's recreation of Jackie's napkin note.

A woman named Jackie pulled a move straight out of a romantic comedy recently, and it has the internet rallying around her potential love interest. Jackie met a guy at a bar and liked him so much that she gave him her phone number. Well, 80% of her number, that is.

The world heard about it on January 17 when Twitter user Henpecked Hal and shared a picture of the napkin with her partial phone number written on it. "My 22-year-old cousin met his dream girl at a bar and it's going pretty well,” Hal wrote in the tweet.

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Science

Engineering students created a life-size 'Operation' game—with a fun twist on the fail buzzer

The game trades in tweezers for tongs and the anxiety-producing buzzer for an audio meme.

Students at Washington State University created a life-size Operation game.

Anyone who has ever played the game Operation likely feels a teensy bit of anxiety just thinking about it. The experience of painstakingly trying to extract the Charlie Horse with those tiny, wired tweezers with a steady hand, only to accidentally touch the metal side and get the lightning-like jolt of the buzzer is hard to shake. That's the stuff of core memories right there.

But what if you had a humongous game board the size of a real human, with life-size bones and organs to extract? What if instead of tweezers, you had large tongs as tools to perform your operation? What if instead of Pavlovian-style fail buzzers, the game produced a much less traumatic womp womp womp sound when you mess up?

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Courtesy of Molly Simonson Lee

Flight attendant sits on floor to comfort passenger

Not everyone enjoys flying. The level of non-enjoyment can range from mild discomfort to full blown Aerophobia, which is defined as an extreme fear of flying. While flying is the quickest way to get to far away destinations, for some people being that far off the ground is terrifying and they'd rather take their chances on the ground.

A passenger flying from Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in North Carolina to JFK International Airport in New York confronted that fear while flying with Delta. The woman, who is currently still unidentified expressed that she was nervous to fly according to Molly Simonson Lee, a passenger seated behind the woman who witnessed the encounter. Tight spaces don't make for much privacy, but in this case, the world is better for knowing this took place.

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There are still good people in the world, and a farmer in Alabama left a legacy of kindness in his small town. Hody Childress lived in Geraldine, Alabama, which is about 40 miles outside of Huntsville and for the last 10 years of his life he made anonymous donations to the local pharmacy. No, the pharmacy isn't a charity, so donations aren't something they're accustomed to receiving.

But Childress was on a mission to help his struggling townspeople with access to medications that may be essential. Pharmacies likely run into many people during the week or month that can't afford the pricey cost of some of their prescriptions. I've personally seen pharmacists look up prices from other pharmacies to find the cheapest cost for the customer, or use a GoodRx card to help offset the cost.

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The reaction of these twins when one of them gets into Harvard is so wholesome

"I get so excited every time I get to talk about it because obviously Matthew worked so hard for this."

Reaction of these twins when one gets into Harvard is wholesome

You know how you are scrolling through your favorite social media app and you come across a video that just makes you do that big cheesy grin at your phone? Come on, you know that dorky grin I'm talking about. The one that makes your cheeks hurt and eyes swell up for a bit before you realize you're pushing your cart through the grocery store and people are looking at you weird. Yeah, that one - this video will do that to you.

You've been warned so you can't say you were unaware of the delight it would bring. Two teens, Matthew and Magdalena Myslenski, who just happen to be twins were doing the stressful ritual of opening up "the mail" to see if Matthew got accepted into his dream school. The mail is in quotes because teens don't receive paper acceptance letters anymore, they receive emails. Bonus points for no paper cuts.

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Education

Watch these teachers tell their students why they're an inspiration.

They're the reason these teachers come to work every day.

Photo from Pixabay

Teachers earn their own A's through this act of encouragement.

This article originally appeared on 10.06.16


Thinking back, I'm sure we can all recall having a tough day at school.

Maybe you got a bad grade on a test or weren't picked for a team you desperately wanted to be on. Or maybe there was a day (or days) where you just didn't feel like your presence at school mattered.

While you may no longer be in school, feeling unimportant can absolutely trickle back from time to time. I happened to be experiencing some of those feelings myself when I stumbled upon an amazing video by Jamie McSparin, a teacher at Oak Park High School in Kansas City, Missouri.
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