Live long and prosper
STAR TREK fans may be seen as quirky fringe dwellers by many, but their forward-thinking minds have had a huge impact on science, technology, and philosophy.
And 2012 is the 25th anniversary of the debut season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the longest-running series that embodied creator Gene Roddenberry's vision of a utopian future.
Local 'trekkie' Andy Gough from Billen Cliffs first caught the bug watching re-runs of the original William Shatner version in the 1970s, but only became a bona-fide fan about three seasons into the 1990s show.
"One of my old school buddies was really into it and he asked me to come round for a Star Trek night," said Mr Gough.
"He had a fantastic home cinema set-up with surround sound and a big screen TV, and it was just like being on the bridge of the Enterprise."
Not long after, he bought his gold Star Trek tech officer's suit during a Star Trek movie marathon from a lady who was making them to order for a bargain price of $50.
Although he doesn't take his 'trekkie' identity as seriously as some, he said the influence of the show went a lot further than a pop culture phenomenon.
"The original series had a huge impact on a whole generation - there's a bunch of people working for NASA who have pushed the space program further along because of that series," he said.
A 'communicator' from the original series also inspired the fliptop mobile phone. Fans believe creator Gene Roddenberry made Star Trek unique for its time by imprinting the show with his vision of a utopian, multi
racial future where there was no conflict between crew members.
"This vision of a future where poverty and war is eradicated, and all their resources get put into exploration and science - that's a kind of future that I would like to think is possible," said Mr Gough.
STAR TREK TRIVIA
The original series pilot had a woman play the ship's First Officer. The network didn't think it was believable for a woman to have a command role, so the series was recast for a man.
It also featured the first interracial kiss on American TV, between Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Uhura in 1968, the same year Martin Luther King was murdered.
The famous Vulcan salute was invented by Leonard Nimoy, based on the priestly blessing performed by Jewish Kohanim.
A US College offered an online course in Klingon, Vulcan, Romulan, and Tribble.
Trekkies are the only fans listed by name in the Oxford Dictionary.
In 2006 William Shatner sold his kidney stone to an oddities collector for $25,000.
The US Census received thousands of forms where people claim to be of the Star Trek race.
Hello - nuqneH
What's happening? -qaStaH nuq?
Good! (expression of satisfaction) -maj
Where is the bathroom? -nuqDaq 'oH puchpa"e'
Go away - naDevvo' yIghoS
Don't be silly - yIDoghQo'
What time is it? - 'arlogh Qoylu'pu'?