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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.

via FIRST

FIRST students compete in a robotics challenge.

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Societies all over the world face an ever-growing list of complex issues that require informed solutions. Whether it’s addressing infectious diseases, the effects of climate change, supply chain issues or resource scarcity, the world has an immediate need for problem-solvers with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.

Here in the United States, we’re experiencing a shortage of much-needed STEM workers, and forward-thinking organizations are stepping up to tap into America’s youth to fill the void. As the leading youth-serving nonprofit advancing STEM education, FIRST is an important player in this arena, and its mission is to inspire young people aged 4 to 18 to become technology leaders and innovators capable of addressing the world’s pressing needs.

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Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Marlon Brando on "The Dick Cavett Show" in 1973.

Marlon Brando made one of the biggest Hollywood comebacks in 1972 after playing the iconic role of Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather.” The venerable actor's career had been on a decline for years after a series of flops and increasingly unruly behavior on set.

Brando was a shoo-in for Best Actor at the 1973 Academy Awards, so the actor decided to use the opportunity to make an important point about Native American representation in Hollywood.

Instead of attending the ceremony, he sent Sacheen Littlefeather, a Yaqui and Apache actress and activist, dressed in traditional clothing, to talk about the injustices faced by Native Americans.

She explained that Brando "very regretfully cannot accept this generous award, the reasons for this being … the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry and on television in movie reruns, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee."

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Co-sleeping isn't for everyone.

The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

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