SciFi Diner Podcast Ep. 118 – Merry Christmas, Baby! With Larry Nemecek (Dr. Star Trek) And John Fraizer (ThinkGeek)
December 5th, 2011 by Scott
SciFi Diner Podcast Ep. 118
Merry Christmas, Baby!
The SciFi Diner Podcast
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- The Haitian Connection Network
- We announce the winners to our ThinkGeek contest.
- We share our top geek gifts this holiday season and hear from some of our listeners as well.
- Special interest: Sci Fi themed restaurants
- New Alcatraz trailer has us remembering what we loved about Lost
- Star Trek 13 Release Date
- TWIST: Life after Trek Pod Cast talks w/ Rod Roddenberry, Trek Nation News
New Alcatraz trailer has us remembering what we loved about Lost
It’s almost here! J.J. Abrams’ newest drama Alcatraz is heading to Fox. The show is part Lost, part X-Files and a slice of Fringe all rolled into one. The network has just released a new trailer for the series premiere, and it looks awesome.
Similar to Fringe and Alias, Alcatraz centers on a strong female character who works for the government. Her name is Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones), she’s a homicide detective, and she’s landed a strange murder case. The prime suspect in her investigation is former Alcatraz inmate Jack Sylvane (Jeffrey Pierce), who died decades ago! Can you smell the time travel in the air?
Madsen seeks help from Alcatraz specialist Diego Soto (Lost’s Jorge Garcia), who’s got the inside scoop on the famous prison. With him on her side, she should be able to solve this case in no time, right? Wrong! The show needs a foil, and we think that role could easily go to Mr. Sam Neill. The actor plays a high-powered government agent who tries to block Madsen’s investigation at every turn. He doesn’t appear to be an outward threat, but he knows a lot more than he’s letting on. He’s like the male version of Nina Sharp from Fringe.
Alcatraz is one of our most anticipated shows of the midseason. There’s murder, time travel, killer ghosts, conspiracies, and did we mention Damien/Dr. Grant/Sam Neill is on this show?
10 incredible real-world sci-fi restaurants you could eat at today
Truly immersing ourselves in a fictional world usually requires spending the day at a theme park or convention. But a lucky few live in areas where it’s possible to duck out for lunch at awesomely sci-fi themed eateries.
Just a short walk up from New York’s Times Square, this diner provides as immersive a space experience as any thrill-park ride. After being greeted by aliens outside, patrons are whisked into a flying saucer.
Once seated, everyone enjoys a five-minute “ride” that, as far as we can tell, mainly consists of the saucer rocking back and forth. After exiting the ship, guests travel through rocky catacombs to a restaurant set in a cavern.
Naturally, the entrees have space-themed names, even if their relation to the dish seems vague (like the Ziggy Stardust Spaghetti). For more information, check out their website.
The Encounter at LAX
Offering a complete panoramic view of Los Angeles’ biggest airport, this futuristic-looking restaurant’s interior gives off the feeling that the place could fly into space at any time.
The cool-looking building was completed in 1961 at a cost of $2.2 million. The restaurant first started serving patrons nearly 15 years ago.
The building once sported a breathtaking observation deck, but it’s now closed. Their website recommends reservations, though they are not needed.
Hungry Germans who like efficiency might want to pop into the ‘s Baggers Restaurant (yes, that’s actually how it’s spelled), located in Nuremberg. Staffed almost entirely by robots, customers choose their order via touchscreen.
A series of rails allows meals to swoosh down to customer’s tables. A robot does not make the food, however. We are pretty thankful for that, as robots are notorious for not washing their hands after they go to the bathroom.
Getting one’s order served is usually a matter of mere minutes. Furthering the automated experience, reservations can be made via their website.
Las Vegas used to have a spectacular Star Trek restaurant located near its similarly themed ride. But that closed in 2008, which began a rapid succession of Trek-themed restaurant closings.
A popular stop for TrekFest, Murphy’s Bar is the place where Kirk’s parents are supposed to meet.
With lunch trucks becoming so popular, truck owners coming up with innovative plans to stand out. One Fayetteville, Ark., truck owner decided to make his truck into the best Star Wars-themed place to eat since the cantina.
The truck serves food made by Hammontree Take Home Gourmet. Many of the entrees are variations on grilled cheese sandwiches.
Most of the items are puns based on movies or Star Wars characters, like sandwiches named “Cheebacca” and “Ham Solo.”
Ithaa Undersea restaurant
Located five meters under the Indian Ocean in Maldives, this spot provides diners with a 270-degree panoramic view.
Serving mainly European cuisine, Ithaa once allowed diners to sleep in the restaurant. Now they can stay at a nearby hotel.
Made primarily of acrylic, the restaurant has an estimated lifespan of about 20 years. Since it opened in 2004, better make plans soon before it becomes yet another relic that confuses future archaeologists.
Dalu Robot Restaurant
In the northern Chinese province of Jinan is a unique restaurant staffed mostly by robots. Robot entertainers, greeters and waiters provide customers with a one-of-a-kind dining experience.
With the front end of the eatery fully automated, patrons must simply reach out and grab the dishes they want. Opened in 2010, the restaurant has plans to expand the number of robots.
Serving Chinese food, this restaurant has an abundant prehistoric theme.
Dressed as cavemen and cavewomen, bubbly servers bring dishes to customers amid fossils, foliage and fake rocks.
The restaurant is located in City of Industry, in the southern part of California, which makes it a great place to eat after seeing the La Brea Tar Pits.
Space Aliens Grill and Bar
More than a lone restaurant, Space Aliens G&B is a chain of eateries featured in Minnesota and North Dakota. With six locations, residents of the American north can often find a nearby place to feel like the future.
The franchise opened its first store nearly 15 years ago. The alien theme is not the only thing about the restaurant that stands out: it features incredible barbecue ribs and fire-roasted pizza.
Everything is space-themed, with alien statues, a domed interior and paintings of outer space.
Ninja New York
At the core of the Big Apple lies a bar whose theme is from hundreds of years ago. Ninja New York’s interior is made to resemble a feudal ninja castle.
The creators went so far as to create a mazelike system of passageways, with fake traps hidden around many corners.
Their signature dish is currently a prime steak creation known as the Katana. Their website provides extensive information about dining, reservations and general ninja restaurant philosophy.
Star Trek XII Release Date Set For May 2013… And It Will Be In 3D
Since we’re getting closer to the filming of Star Trek XII, more news is starting roll out about the sequel in the J.J-verse. Yesterday we learned that Michael Giacchino will be returning as composer on XII and today Paramount has set the release date for May 17th, 2013. That’s right folks almost a full year off from the original June 29th, 2012 release date. Let’s hope the Mayans & George Lucas aren’t right, because I really want to see this.In the same news release on Nasdaq.com (yeah, I thought it was weird too) we also learn that J.J’s sequel will be shot in 3D. I have to say that I’m not really sold on the “gimmick”, because I’ve yet to see a new 3D movie that was remotely impressive. It always seems that a character randomly points to an object at the screen to sell the extra dimension. Honestly, it just takes me out of the film. 3D should be used like a good surround mix, meaning it should seem natural to the viewer. Anyway, here’s to hoping for a few epic space battle’s with Khan in the third dimension.Oh, and J.J. we have two small requests for the upcoming sequel… Bring back Captain Pike and make Mary Dehner!
Life After Trek Podcast Episode 16 Featuring Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry
We’re pleased to announce episode 16 of our “Life After Trek” podcast, this time featuring Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry. As you may know, Rod is the son Gene & Majel Roddenberry as well as the CEO of Roddenberry Productions. We got the chance to speak to Rod via phone interview to talk about his upcoming documentary Trek Nation (premiering Novmber 30th on Science 8PM ET/PT) plus his work with Roddenberry Productions, The Roddenberry Foundation, & The Roddenberry Dive Team. Oh, and of course Star Trek. We had a blast recording this interview and Rod was a very gracious guest. To learn more about all things Roddenberry head over to their official website Roddenberry.com.
As an added bonus, this episode of Life After Trek is exactly 47 minutes long. That wasn’t planned, no joke.
Trek Nation Debuts
Airing , November 30, on the Science Channel at 8 PM, Trek Nation, produced and narrated by Rod Roddenberry, is a documentary about Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek, and the people involved with Star Trek over the years.
In making Trek Nation, Rod Roddenberry interviewed those who worked with his father over the years, including industry professionals who knew Gene Roddenberry, family friends, and Star Trek fans.
Rod Roddenberry realized that his father was something out of the ordinary back in 1991 when he attended the 25th anniversary of Star Trek at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. When he helped his father to stand onstage, “the entire Shrine Auditorium got up to applaud him; chills went up and down my spine,” said Roddenberry. “That was almost the first smack in the face that there’s more to this guy who’s your father.”
In discovering who his father really was, Roddenberry heard some stories that were difficult for the son of a man who had been “put up on this pedestal throughout my life;” stories that revealed the complete man, not just the myth. “I found out a tremendous number of them that were extremely moving and powerful and painful,” Roddenberry said. “That allowed me, as a son, not just to connect with him, but actually love him.”
Trek Nation will reveal Gene Roddenberry’s legacy using interviews, archival footage and home movies. For those eager to hear more before tomorrow’s television airing, Trek Nation‘s YouTube page features seven “Director’s Logs,” including the one below which features Star Trek: The Next Generation Writer Michael Piller. Other “Director’s Log” entries include exclusive Star Trek clips, deleted scenes, interviews with Patrick Stewart, Nichelle Nichols, composer Brian Langsbard, and an interview with Trek fan Lydia Chilton.
The Director’s Logs can be seen here.
Our Think Geek Winners:
Third Place Winner: 100 Gift Card: Jason Taylor
Second Place Winner: 150 dollar Gift Card: Raduz
Grand Prize Winner: 200 dollar gift card: Emily
Star Wars Bluray/LOTR Bluray
MacBook Pro 15 inch Quad core 2.2hz 500 gig 8 gig ram
My Storm Trooper Outfit – my goal is to walk into my classroom and teach
Cube laser virtual Keyboard ($169.99)
The Joystick-it arcade stick ($8.99 for the iPad version, $12.99 for the iPhone version)
Ready Player One by Earnie Cline – $12.98 on Amazon BUT
the Audio Version read by Wil Wheaton for $26.40 or 1 credit on Audible
That Which Divides by Dayton Ward – $7.99 on Amazon
February 28, 2012
The Walking Dead Compendium – $49.99 at ThinkGeek
The first 48 issues of the comic.
Doctor Who Series Six on BluRay $55 on Amazon
Harry Potter All Eight Movies on BluRay – $79.99
Now’s a good time to join Amazon Prime – you can watch every single episode of Star Trek from The Original Series, to Enterprise. Every single episode. Also available on Netflix streaming, if that’s the way you want to go, but it’s actually cheaper going Amazon Prime, and you get all the other benefits of Prime like cheap and free shipping upgrades.
Top Cosplay Items
10th Doctor Trenchcoat made by Abbyshot, and available at ThinkGeek – $329.99
Deckard Trenchcoat by Abbyshot, not yet available, but preorders available at Abbyshot.com for $599
Space Battleship Yamato Leather Flight Jacket by ebayer hunny_lee – $69.99
Kindle Fire – $199 – Best way to read Comic Books you don’t have to bag and board and archive.
High Precision Gaming Dice Set – $29.99 at ThinkGeek. Not just the d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, and d20s, but you also get the d3, d5, d14, d16, and the d24.
USS Enterprise Refit Replica from Quantum Mechanix – $4995. In my opinion, the most beautiful starship ever designed – more beautiful, in my opinion, than the starships of the Next Generation era. And, for an extra $250, you can get the battle-damaged version from the end of Star Trek 2 and the whole Star Trek 3.
Godzilla 1/80th scale model – $2016 from JapanTrend.com. Over 3 feet tall, and almost 5 feel from nose to tail.
Miles’ wish list.5. The Crow on blu ray
4. Star Wars Han Solo Carbonite Chocolate Bar sold at Think Geek. ($11.99)
3. Bazinga T Shirt w/ Sheldon Cooper on it ($17.99 – $19.99)
2. Hydrokinetic Adjustable Wrench from Think Geek! ($24.99)
1. Star Trek Theater
And who in the heck knows what Larry wants….