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One more reason why George Takei is still awesome after all these years…

…is simple. Not only was he the original Hikaru Sulu on Star Trek (which if full of WIN to any long time Star Trek geek like myself), but he taped this PSA for the 2010 census:

This is so much better than that commercial for Sharp Electronics Quattron quad pixel technology that’s been on TV lately.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

38 replies on “One more reason why George Takei is still awesome after all these years…”

Agreed, much better than the “HDTV, now with YELLOW!” commercial. But it is good to see him getting some Cameo work, I heartily agree.

George Takei is full of winning pleasant good KARMA.

His MARRIED partner Brad seems to have a great sense of humor.

anton seems perhaps to be grumpy and need a sugar boost or a nap perhaps.

A SOLID WIN, all around. Thats a WIN-WIN for those who speak Corporate Slang-Jive.

A good announcement.
It makes some good points, and clearly shows what to do.

Much more watchable than the silly TV commercial.

What a wonderful advertisement! Those are two people I would *love* to meet.

Maybe this means that we truly are, finally, evolving as a culture? I can only hope so.

Bravo!

I think there’s a lesson in there regarding how we need to go about countering the antivaxers: use humor and attention-getting techniques, even silly ones, while delivering the message. That spot was a great example of framing done properly (ignoring Lakoff’s work just because you don’t like Nisbett & Mooney’s interpretation of it is cutting off your nose to spite your face).

All too often progressives and rationalists try to persuade people by what amounts to giving them homework assignments. That only works on a geek-to-geek basis, and most people simply aren’t geeks.

Obviously countering anti-vax memes requires dealing with a lot more anxiety than convincing people that their closet doors are really gone, but that’s just a matter of tailoring the approach.

“Please don’t use retarded internet memes such as ‘full of WIN’.”

You best be trolling.

Please don’t use retarded internet memes such as ‘full of WIN’.

I’ll use whatever memes or catchphrases I desire.

And what’s with the “retarded” bit. You really ought to know better than to use such terminology on this blog, and, if you don’t, my readers will make sure you learn.

I love the ad and think the two of them are perfect to make the point. I’m happy that they are so happy.

Minor grumble: Takei is wearing my least favorite trek uniform but I’m guessing he might not fit into the ones he wore in the original series though.

Somewhere, Michele Bachman is screaming.

Oh and MikeMa? Least favorite? Surely that uniform is not as bad as the ones from the first motion picture?

That’s the most winningful win of the internets I’ve seen in quite awhile!! Well done George & Brad, and thanks to Orac for bringing the PSA to my attention!

I can hear the heads exploding across the country.

Regarding uniforms: Huh. That was always my favorite. I wonder…do we have enough B5 fans here to start a fight over B5 uniforms? 🙂

900d PSA!
@antonsingov, help us stamp out the r-word, it’s teh suxxorz. Together we can stamp out discrimination and bigotry! 7h4n|{$.

Please don’t use retarded internet memes such as ‘full of WIN’. Together we can stamp out stupid catchphrases. thx

Actually, I’d rather stamp out “thx”.

I love that he has a great sense of humor. Years ago he did some parody spots for local radio station. It looks like he married someone with a complementary personality.

Personally, I think it goes against the federal government’s interest to not formally recognize gay marriage. The more couples of consenting adults who are married, means there are more who pay the marriage tax penalty. The 2010 Census is a step in the right direction.

Great work George.

I do get tired of googling ‘FTW’ and ‘full of win’ etc. It doesn’t help my comprehension. Perhaps I am just old. Perhaps I need language classes.

I’m not sure the census form actually makes any specific accomodation for same-sex marriage…I’d check but I’m stuck on iPhone (no census website Flash for me!)

I think it just asks who Person 2 is, without any inherent restrictions in choices. Which makes me wonder:

–How many married or practically married gay couples will fill out the census form as George suggests without having seen his video?
–in that vein, is there reason to think a large fraction won’t (why else make the video?) Why? Have we done so much damage as to make them ashamed? 🙁
–How will the Census Bureau record and report these couples?
–How would they have handled it under a socially conservative administration? (my guess: they’d have constructed the form to restrict choices.)

Hey, if the Census Bureau now counts marital status by how people consider themselves, not by their legal condition, does that mean all the nuns (“Brides o’ Christ”) will report themselves as married women? How many will declare that their husband is in residence?

And the polyamorists are going to have a poly-field day!

Takei is a regular on the Howard Stern show as their “announcer”. Like Stern or not it’s worth catching a week where Takei is there as he is one hilarious dude.

Totally open in talking about anything and has some pretty fantastic stories. From the internment camps during WWII to being gay in San Fran during the 60’s and 70’s to his ongoing “battles” with William Shatner.

Only tangentially related, but does anyone understand the advantage of the quad pixel thing? My understanding was that human eyes have three types of cone cells with different frequency responses, centering around red, green, and blue frequencies, so a three color display should be able to produce any color those cells would respond to. How does adding a fourth color add any new colors? Or is this just a marketing ploy?

qbsmd:

Only tangentially related, but does anyone understand the advantage of the quad pixel thing? My understanding was that human eyes have three types of cone cells with different frequency responses, centering around red, green, and blue frequencies, so a three color display should be able to produce any color those cells would respond to.

Ooo, I know this one! In fact, your cones *aren’t* keyed to red, green, and blue. For the average Jane, it’s more like amber, yellow-green, and blue. This means that our TV/monitors/etc. have a tough time producing the same range of yellows that our eyes can typically detect.

The bigger question is if that yellow dot will be used. If the incoming signal is RGB (as most HDTV signals are, according to a little Googling), there’s no information in the signal for that wavelength. If instead your DVD player has Component plugs, that YUV signal could (in theory) provide some useful information for that yellow pixel. In practice it probably wouldn’t, since that would require a camera sensor with a yellow element, which I’ve never heard of, AND the entire processing chain from there to your TV would have to be pure YUV, with no conversion to RGB.

In short: good idea, but not especially useful right now.

HJ Hornbeck

@HJ Hornbeck

My friend and I were actually talking about this the other day, after that Sharp commercial came on (I love that commercial, by the way, Takei is just full of win, silly commercial or important PSA.)

The obvious issue is that no camera records a yellow channel, that I know of. I certainly don’t know of any camera that records in four color channels. That said, we already “guess” at the color information of an image recorded with an RGB system when we display it later, so it’s likely that the system actually converts the RGB signal into a four channel RGBY signal by reconstructing the yellow information from the RGB signal and then damping/altering the other colors appropriately (if they remained the same strength, I would expect we’d have an excess of yellow). At least that was our thinking as to what Sharp is doing.

Of course, that strikes me as a rather computationally intensive operation to be running on a continuous signal, so I could be way off base.

qbsmd:

Is it just a matter of the format not including enough resolution in the yellow area?

Pretty much. Simply boosting the colour depth can make up for the under-represented yellows, but switching to an A-YG-B system would net the same results more efficiently, and likely look better for colour-blind or colour-impaired people.

JE Crooks:

That said, we already “guess” at the color information of an image recorded with an RGB system when we display it later, so it’s likely that the system actually converts the RGB signal into a four channel RGBY signal by reconstructing the yellow information from the RGB signal and then damping/altering the other colors appropriately (if they remained the same strength, I would expect we’d have an excess of yellow).

You’ve just about nailed it. There isn’t much guesswork, every step from the camera to your TV uses a standard colour representation with well defined primary colours. Transforming from one representation to another is relatively easy for a specialized chip, consisting of a non-linear to linear transform, a matrix multiply, and a return trip from linear to non-linear.

If you’re curious about the nitty gritty, the best summary I’ve seen is the Color FAQ. Be warned, the details quickly get ugly…

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