March 22: Captain Kirk’s Birthday

Captain-KirkAccording to Star Trek, James Tiberius Kirk, the future captain of the USS Enterprise, will be born in Riverside, Iowa on this day in 2233. Coincidentally, William Shatner, the actor most associated with playing Kirk onscreen was born on March 22, 1931.

Kirk first came to minor galactic fame when he became the only Starfleet Academy student to beat the Kobayashi Maru test. The Kobayashi Maru test was designed as a no-win scenario that was used to measure a Starfleet cadet’s character. On a simulated mission, cadets come across a ship called Kobayashi Maru that has become stranded in the “Neutral Zone” between the planets of the United Federation of Planets and the territories of the Klingon Empire. Cadets are presented with two options, either they go into the Neutral Zone to save the ship and potentially provoke the Klingons into battle, or abandon the ship stranded leaving all aboard to die. Of course, the program is designed so that engaging with the Klingons will always lead to death.

How did Kirk beat it? It was fairly simple; Kirk hacked the program prior to his test and altered the program so the Klingons could be defeated. Shockingly, Starfleet awarded Kirk a special commendation for “original thinking”. Kirk then advanced through the Starfleet rankings until he received a promotion to captain, the youngest person to ever achieve that rank in Starfleet. Kirk was given command of the USS Enterprise for a five-year mission of exploration of “strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

From 1998 to 2008, the Las Vegas Hilton housed an attraction called Star Trek: The Experience. The attraction featured two simulator rides, a museum of Star Trek props and costumes and a promenade styled after that of the space station Deep Space Nine. On the promenade there were several shops and a restaurant based on DS9’s Quark’s Bar. So, at Quark’s at The Experience, one could order food and drinks inspired by the Star Trek franchise including a James Tea Kirk. This potent concoction is pretty much a blue Long Island Iced Tea.

James Tea Kirk

  • 3/4 ounce White Rum
  • 3/4 ounce Gin
  • 3/4 ounce Vodka
  • 3/4 ounce Blue Curaco
  • 1 ounce lemon lime soda
  • 1 ounce sweet and sour mix

Pour all ingredients over ice in a highball glass.

Tomorrow: One of history’s greatest directors made more than just samurai films.

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