star trek strange new worlds

Paul Wesley in 2015.

It’s age-old Hollywood wisdom: If you want to play a hero, you have to play a vampire first. It worked for Robert Pattinson and it worked for Paul Wesley.

Deadline announced that the former star of CW’s “Vampire Diaries” will be the next actor to take on the iconic role of 23rd century Starfleet Commanding Officer James T. Kirk.

Don’t worry, Chris Pine fans. He’ll still be around for the movies, sources say. Wesley will be playing Kirk in "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds" on Paramount+. Deadline reports that the series will tell the story of Captain Pike (Anson Mount), Number One (Rebecca Romijn) and Spock (Ethan Peck) exploring the cosmos before Kirk steps aboard the famous Enterprise.

Wesley getting cast is just half the story. The next part feels like a moment pulled straight from a "Star Trek" script itself, as two Kirks (one from the past, one from the future) come face-to-face on a plane.


​Wesley shared on Twitter that the role felt like a dream come true as a lifelong Trekkie.

The actor tweeted, “I am deeply humbled and still a little startled to have been given the honor of playing the inimitable James T Kirk. Ever since I was a kid, I have been awed by the imaginative world Gene Roddenberry created.”

In an amazing twist of fate, Wesley revealed that on a flight back to L.A., he sat right next to the original Captain Kirk, “the one and only William Shatner.”

No, this was not a holodeck program. New Captain Kirk sat right next to William Shatner.

For real. But if "Star Trek" has taught us anything, it’s that the universe is full of strange and fascinating surprises.

Shatner had just finished his real life space voyage on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. After a short romp through the cosmos, he probably didn’t expect to find his doppelgänger. As for Wesley, he was speechless.

“I could barely put two words together,” he wrote. But after mustering up the courage, the starstruck Wesley eventually “managed to say hello” and both Kirks shared a chat.

“I’m not one who usually believes in fate but this was more than a coincidence,” Wesley reflected.

He ended his tweet with a warm thank-you to Shatner for the “good company,” and it got an even sweeter response from Shatner himself.


“Keep my ship and my crew safe, Captain! Congratulations!” wrote one Kirk to another.

"Star Trek" is a franchise with a notoriously loyal, passionate—and openly opinionated—fanbase. Wesley has some big shoes to fill, but now he’s equipped with an official seal of approval from Shatner on the internet for all eyes to see.

As Shatner’s Kirk once said, “sometimes a feeling is all we humans have to go on.” I think many of us have had moments like this, where it seems like the universe itself is sending an undeniable confirmation that says, “Yes, I’m exactly where I need to be.”

Though maybe not every version is as epic as this interaction. Still, it’s times like these that can help us feel like we really do have a destiny. Or at the very least, it’s great science fiction fodder!

For more than 50 years, "Star Trek" has captured the hearts and minds of millions, encouraging the thrill of discovery and the hope for a better tomorrow. Shatner might have been the first to boldly go, but the mission isn’t over. Space stories continue to be amazing explorations of our own humanity here on Earth.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Joy

50-years ago they trade a grilled cheese for a painting. Now it's worth a small fortune.

Irene and Tony Demas regularly traded food at their restaurant in exchange for crafts. It paid off big time.

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Painting traded for grilled cheese worth thousands.

The grilled cheese at Irene and Tony Demas’ restaurant was truly something special. The combination of freshly baked artisan bread and 5-year-old cheddar was enough to make anyone’s mouth water, but no one was nearly as devoted to the item as the restaurant’s regular, John Kinnear.

Kinnear loved the London, Ontario restaurant's grilled cheese so much that he ordered it every single day, though he wouldn’t always pay for it in cash. The Demases were well known for bartering their food in exchange for odds and ends from local craftspeople and merchants.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” Irene told the Guardian, saying that the couple would often trade free soup and a sandwich for fresh flowers. Two different kinds of nourishment, you might say.

And so, in the 1970s the Demases made a deal with Kinnear that he could pay them for his grilled cheese sandwiches with artwork. Being a painter himself and part of an art community, Kinnear would never run out of that currency.

Little did Kinnear—or anyone—know, eventually he would give the Demases a painting worth an entire lifetime's supply of grilled cheeses. And then some.

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