Please insert standard generic Sabanic character/copyright disclaimer here, no profit intended, etc. There may even be a little originality in this, which I'm happy to claim and copyright 1999. Probably the classic Trekkers came up with a far better explanation than this decades ago. Anyway, I'm counting on those one or two grad students/post doc academia types (neither of which I am or ever will be, but I've known a few) that we know are lurking out there reading AFPR (and other PR websites!) to perhaps even enjoy certain aspects of my little tale. My thanks to those of you who encouraged me after the first "Connections" was posted, especially to Kris for her critique. This one was actually mostly written before the second episode of PRLG aired, which seems to be set, in my PR universe and because of Kendrix's age, about 15 years after the second season of MMPR, when Billy mentioned his "little cousin".
From: firstname.lastname@example.org out
Hi! Did everything ever get straightened out about our e-mails getting crossed with those of k-morgan in R&D? It is a little embarrassing that we now know about her relationship to her famous cousin, but it is just another proof of the axiom, "never send anything through e-mail that you don't want the whole universe to know."
Concerning the resulting discussion you and I had in regard to that misfortunate interception of personal information, I thought you would find the following of interest --
While reviewing the scientific journals (most of which I don't understand and can't follow anyway) plus the general literature published about the C-B Effect during the last decade, I found the following excerpt from a popular article titled "The Creation of Terra Venture: The People Who Made It Happen", part of a series written by Adam Park, senior staff writer for Scientific Galactica. As you may already know, this series of articles that Park wrote on the development and construction of Terra Venture clinched for him last year's award of the Hublitzer Prize for Science and Technology Writing.
The following excerpt is from Park's award winning series and concerns the personalities behind the anecdotal controversy connected with the Johnson-Stewart Application of the Cranston-Bookala Effect to Large-Scale Non-Terrestial Habitat Structures, or what is popularly referred to as ANGST, for anti-null gravity structural theory. I've marked Park's material that I quoted with that quaint old symbol of >. My comments are in parentheses. Some 'zine editor's notes are in brackets. The excerpted article is copyrighted 20__, by Scientific Galactica --The On-Line 'Zine with the Up-Line on Science.
>As co-author, colleague and a friend of Johnson since they attended school together at Angel Grove High School, Stewart notes that any suggestion of hubris concerning Johnson's credentials is unwarranted and unfair. Stewart, whose ebullience and outspokenness is well-known both within and without the scientific community, speaks fervently and vehemently in support of his reticent friend.
>"For as long as I've known him, I've admired him and looked up to him," Stewart stated of his research partner Johnson. "He is definitely a leader. But long before our professional collaborations, even in high school, I'd known him to frequently step back to allow another teammate to shine in the spotlight. I think his natural reserve makes him downplay his own remarkable contributions to this project, which eventually required such incredible cooperation from so many sources."
(The Stewart herein quoted is, of course, the notable, some would say notorious, and extremely young Director of NASADA. Interestingly, while neither Johnson or Stewart graduated from AGHS, the official bios of both Park and Cranston note that they did graduate from AGHS in the years just prior to when Johnson and Stewart attended. Indeed, Johnson records no high school, GED or college degrees before his association with Cranston in a post doctoral research program.)
>"You will find in even the earliest articles [editor's note: the publications in scientific journals] on those practical experiments we did together as students of Cranston, that complete credit is given to those who provided the fundamental theorems from which we proceeded. It is one of the greatest tragedies of our time that so many of those accomplished scientists of KO-35 did not survive to see the fulfillment of their work," Stewart said.
>Stewart believes that Johnson is not given the full credit he deserves for his achievements partly because Johnson's personality is the type to stand back and be supportive of the advancement of another, but also that, "much of his reticence stems, I believe, from the unfortunate notoriety that resulted when he was forced to reveal his role as the Blue Power Ranger, the result of which has plagued him since he was a teenager. I sympathize completely with his preference not to publicly comment about or attempt to justify his actions during that period of his life."
>Stewart himself is no stranger to the perils of early celebrity, as the spotlight of unwarranted media attention focused intensely on him when he earned his fourth doctorate before the age of 19 -- each doctorate from a different highly prestigious university, and in a variety of disciplines.
>"Many of his friends have always been concerned for years that Johnson is just far too detrimentally modest in regards to the extent of his contributions," Stewart continued. "One of the few times in my entire life that I ever saw DeSantos yell at anyone -- and this was in Spanish, too, an even rarer occurrence for the Rock -- was fairly early on when we were in Cranston's lab. I walked in as Rocky was hollering at T.J.. Carlos [Velarte], who was present and translated most of the repeatable stuff for me, also told me he would have said the same things, but that basically Rocky was steamed that T.J. was not going to put his name on the paper as the main author." In his typical manner, Stewart will refer to his colleagues by their last names until he becomes emotional about whatever topic he is talking about, then slips into calling them by their given names or nicknames.
(Stewart is referring here to the initial scientific publication that confirmed the first actual implementation of ANGST. The corollary contributions by C. Velarte and the organizational responsibilities of R. DeSantos that aided the success of the entire project are chronicled in depth in another article in the series by Park.)
(Velarte, who suffered a similar repercussion as Johnson to his own sports aspirations because he had been revealed as the Black Ranger, also discusses in this other article that while he vented quite publicly and strongly his disappointment that he was banned from participating in professional soccer because he might still retain supposed 'special powers', he never heard the guy Velarte calls his 'best friend' ever express a single negative comment about not being allowed to try out for any baseball teams. The voluble Stewart is also again quoted extensively here. One particularly interesting comment by Stewart concerning Johnson's situation is Stewart's statement that, "While it was sports' greatest loss, when T.J. decided to follow the true blue path, it was science's greatest gain.")
>"I know for a fact that DeSantos can personally appreciate," Stewart continued, in a calmer fashion, "just what it feels like to relegate one's own self-interest to a subordinate position to ensure the team's success -- which is what Johnson believed he should do -- but I completely agreed with Rocky, too. T.J. deserved the major credit for the technological breakthrough of the application; it was only fair that his name go on the paper, and be the first listed. When Cranston decreed that it would be so, T.J. finally had to accept his rightfully earned accolade. I will always wish that I'd been a fly on the wall at THAT conversation -- but it was only the two of them. It's always a treat to see these two retiring unassuming personalities together battling it out to see who can be more diffident. Cranston was right, though -- of course, Cranston is always right; even I don't argue with him -- much -- and T.J. finally capitulated and allowed his name to be used."
>"I, of course, had no such compunctions about taking my share of the credit," Stewart grinned ruefully, running both hands through his trademark long thick shaggy bangs that fall to below his eyebrows.
>Stewart believes that the controversial anecdote in question possibly was construed from comments originally made in a joking context by Zhane, whose involvement with Johnson dates back to Dark Spectre's attempt to take over the universe. At that time, Zhane was also forced to reveal that he was a Ranger, the Silver One. However, he has never lived on Earth, and his identity had already been publicly known and accepted by the citizens of KO-35.
>"Zhane has never truly understood the intense backlash of public resentment against his friends in the years right after the Ranger revelation. Besides, he is just too good natured to understand envy in anyone." Stewart said. "That backlash certainly illustrated the wisdom of why the Rangers were originally told never to reveal their true identities, and only did so under duress, when the citizens of Earth were endangered. But Zhane's propensity for humor, as much as it is appreciated by his close friends, is greatly misunderstood and misinterpreted on Earth."
>Another irony is that Zhane's contributions have also been underrated, Stewart noted. "We would never have achieved the quick success [with ANGST] that we did, if Zhane had not scoured what remained of the archives on KO-35 for information for us and been our liaison with the developers of the AstroMegaship and the Megawinger."
>Stewart readily admits that much of the brain work involved in calculating the application was indeed done on a baseball diamond. "We spent a lot of time -- many an afternoon -- tossing the ball around the infield while trying to figure out the mechanics of the application. Most of the time Cranston would be sitting up in the bleachers -- I swear I don't think I've ever seen the guy without a laptop in his hands -- and if people think that T.J. is tacit, you should try getting Cranston to casually comment on anything! The guy daunts me, and you know that I am not easily cowed! Anyway, Scott and Sloan would do most of the pitching, duplicating Heath's curve ball pitch, while Johnson would cover first base and I'd be shortstop. Chan would usually catch. I'm sure that was the line-up on this particular day in question. A whole bunch of the others just happened to be there, too, which was really appropriate. I do remember our incredibly lovely civil engineering consultant sitting next to Cranston."
(The "Scott" referred to is the redoubtable Senator Jason Lee Scott, the youngest person ever elected to head the United Earth Senate, and the acknowledged architect of the remarkable funding scheme created co- operatively from governmental, private and interplanetary sources that truly and finally made Terra Venture a reality. Park covers the equally fascinating history of the funding of the space colony in another article in the series.)
("Sloan" is Tanya Sloan, an outstanding personality in the fields of both athletics and entertainment, who also happens to be Park's wife, a well-known fact that Park manages to never mention in the entire series. Nor does Park note that she has made substantial scientific contributions of her own in the field of archeology. Sloan has used her highly visible media status to be the point person in two public relations campaigns - the first one which revealed the illegal proscriptions that Velarte and Johnson were experiencing from the sports community; the second was the spectacularly successful one, while working with Senator Scott, of influencing and generating the wide-spread support for the speedy implementation of Terra Venture. Obviously, she must be a prime source for much of the behind the scenes info that her husband reveals in the series.)
(Stellarly famous chanteuse/composer Cassie Chan is, as we all well know, another member of the Notorious Six, having revealed herself to be the Pink Ranger. However, her "in your face" attitude about that situation certainly has to be credited as a prime drive to engender the current positive response of respect to those who served as Rangers. Her former relationship with Johnson and Velarte would certainly explain what the heck she was doing playing catcher for such a team of heavy-weight scientific types!)
(I had to really dig through the bios for any info on her -- she keeps an even lower public profile than Cranston himself -- but the 'civil engineering consultant' mentioned here is apparently a Trini Kwan, who has earned as many doctorates and in as many disparate fields as Stewart himself!)
(The only other reference to "Heath" in Park's entire series places him, as well as Scott, Kwan, Sloan, Chan, Velarte, and DeSantos, as students at AGHS during approximately the same years as all the other personalities mentioned in this excerpt. It would behoove educators to find out just what they taught at this school to produce such a clique of students of this high caliber of intelligence. But back to Park's excerpt, in which he continues to quote Stewart.)
>"So there was Cranston in the stands -- probably doing the vector analyses in his head -- I wouldn't have put it past him -- and T.J. and I tossing the calculations verbally back and forth between us, depending upon who had the ball. I don't know what the others were doing exactly -- all I remember is Cassie pulling off the catcher's mask and grinning at me when Cranston announced in that quietly non-committal way of his, 'It would appear that T.J.'s and Justin's suggestion is fundamentally the correct application.'"
>"Someone let out a whoop, I'm not sure who but I'd bet on it being Rocky. He may not be much on science, but his enthusiasm and interpersonal skills sure helped keep people on track when we had, umm, disagreements. Then someone else -- Jase maybe? -- hollered, 'Let's do it'. We all trooped back to the lab, and sure enough, the blasted thing worked."
(Somewhat of an understatement by Stewart. A multi-functional prototype was still several months away at this point in time.)
>"But I think if you check with every member of the team, anyone who had anything to do with the project, each of them will tell you the same thing. No one, certainly never T.J., and not me, even with my well-known ego," Stewart grinned widely, "ever made that apocryphal statement, 'What the apple did to Newton, we undid with a baseball.'"
(So there you have it, from the mouth of Dr. Stewart himself, quoted by a reputable source. There are veiled references throughout Park's whole series that make you wonder about some of these "others" that Stewart mentioned above, many of whom were present at this infamous baseball game. It would make an inquisitive person question about just what contributions could have come from two famous dancers -- one of whom is the premiere classical ballerina of Great Britain, the other the most innovative choreographer in his field today -- as well as the top gymnastic coach of North America, a professional race car driver, and a veterinarian who specializes in rare African animal diseases -- that could have impacted on the practical application of ANGST, and subsequently on the construction of Terra Venture.
The only common thread that appears among all these remarkable
personalities -- with the exception of Dr. Campbell the African vet,
Zhane and his wife, and Zhane's brother-in-law, the latter three being
KO-35 citizens -- is that they ALL attended AGHS at some time during
the last decade of the last century. This illustrious high school
alumni also includes as a member the wife of Zhane's brother-in-law;
and she is the Earth citizen who had been the Yellow Ranger. I don't
know about you, Murphy, but I have a feeling that as extensively as
Park wrote about Terra Venture, somewhere there is another whole saga
that he could tell. Well, food for thought.)