Ask Luke’s Mother-in-Law: Made Contact, Now Back to Earth


Martha Boyd is not just Luke’s mother-in-law – she’s also an ex-cop, a landlord, a self-described crazy cat lady, a major Star Trek geek and the widow of a green beret. So go ahead: ask her anything. And we mean anything.

Wow, amazing how fast Thursday comes back around when you are having fun. As you know I spent last weekend at Contact in the Desert. Thank you all for reading my report on the event and thank you LYT for printing it – I hope that I get to cover something again for TR. Anywa,y the event was pretty good and I would volunteer for it again if it is held in Joshua Tree next year. There were some rough edges at the event, but I am pretty sure the venue will have the taken care of before next year. They can’t do anything about the heat. The speakers were great. I loved getting to meet George Noory and the other speakers.

But this week it is back to Earth and reality. We have had heavy rain and flash flooding again, so I’ve been getting out to do my appraisals early in the morning before it gets too hot and humid. Got some stuff going on this weekend, and will let you all know next week. So now, let’s see what you have come up with for me this week.

Do you think that a bad movie that is unintentionally hilarious and unintentionally entertaining is better than a bad movie that is just bad? For example: I think Superman III and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace is better than Man of Steel because I can be entertained by them despite being bad movies.

Totally agree. If I have to watch a bad movie I would rather it be unintentionally hilarious and entertaining. At least I can get a good laugh for my money, rather than just hitting my head against the wall.

Your column is always a treat. My question is,
Are oompa loompas consider child labor, slave labor or just underpaid labor?

Well, they are not children so no child labor. I would go with either slave labor or underpaid. Not really sure if they even get paid. I think Mr. Wonka just takes care of them, so that may be closer to slave. I like to think that Mr. Wonka is kind to them, but I doubt they go home from the factory every night like most go home from work.

Pick your Apocalypse. The world is ending how would you like it to go out? Zombies? Meteor strike? Water World? Something no one else has thought of?

I think I would prefer the quick meteor strike. I would like to be right in the center so it would be over very quickly. I don’t think I would want to be one of the leftovers after the strike with no power, water, smoke etc – that could be slow and painful.

Dear Luke’s MIL,
In last week’s ish, you mentioned that both Star Wars and Star Trek have aliens interacting with humans. Not to be pedantic, but are there in fact any humans in the Star Wars stories? It’s not like Earth figures into it anywhere that I know of. Do you contend that non-Earth life forms could be human, or was that just a nod to their human-like appearance? Further, if the human-looking occupants of the Star Wars universe aren’t actually humans, do you have any speculation on what physical differences (obvious or non) they may have from humanity?

Love your column, love your outlook, value your opinion. Please keep writing!

Hi, glad you like the column. I believe that there are other Earth-like planets with beings that are also human. Why should we be so bold as to say we are the only ones. Why can’t Luke, Han, etc be human? For all we know, maybe we are alien. At the convention last weekend, most of the speakers were telling us that beings from other planets intermarried with the beings on Earth at the time they came to Earth. Their DNA was thus mixed with the inhabitants of Earth. Thus, how fully human are we, and how is human fully defined? If you go with the UFO speakers, we are part alien and this is just the form we are using at this time.

Hi Luke’s Mother-In-Law:
Do you think Starfleet is a civilian or military organization?

I think Starfleet is military. They follow governmental directives just like current military does, have uniforms and ranks, there is defined change of command.

Gallen_Dugall :
QUESTION! Unlike NASA, which can’t seem to find its astronauts with both hands, the ESA is currently at the climax of what is being hailed as “The Sexiest Mission In Space” – to land a probe on comet 67P in deep space (pictured below). Should NASA focus its energies on “sexier” space projects or should it try to distinguish itself from its more trendy ESA counterparts?

Wow you got 5 questions this week – busy, busy

Rosetta is a great project that the ESA is doing to intercept the comet. I’m not sure if it is any more sexy than things that are sent off by NASA. Right now, NASA just seems to be spinning its wheels since it stopped the shuttle program. Look at the private companies who have taken over launching satellites and trying to develop crafts to get people to the space station. Even the mission to Mars is a private endeavor. I think until the US government stops trying to cover up things our space program could be DOA for the time being. I also think that the government and NASA should be working on the protection of the electrical grid system to keep it safe.

QUESTION! Since we live in a world where some people repeatedly push the button for an elevator in an effort to summon it more quickly, do you think that they should rig some sort of pneumatics to the button so that the energy from pushing the button contributes to running the elevator? Or would it just encourage silly behavior?

But pushing the button is fun and burns the pusher’s nervous energy. Not sure it could be rigged to help power the elevator. Maybe we could get it rigged to put out a mild shock after the 2nd or 3rd push – that might be good for a laugh.

QUESTION! When detailing the atrocities of penguins I frequently cite the number of people they kill every year, which most people find so shocking they refuse to believe it. My question is whether I should disclose that I’m including fish in the category of people? I think PETA would support that definition, but those people are pants crapping crazy.

PETA seems to object everything. I have even seen them object to synthetic fur. I never knew synthetics were animals. Penguins, on the other had, need to eat and generally are not vegans. So I think we could be ok to declassify fish out of the people range. After all, bears and other animals eat penguins.

QUESTION! At what point do we give up correcting people’s misuse of words and accept linguistic drift? For example the word “decimated” which is an old Roman punishment that literally means “to destroy one out of ten” but is used these days to mean “completely, or at least mostly, destroyed”. On the other hand there have been figurative great strides in getting people to stop misusing words such as “literally”.

My son-in-law is an editor, as you know; however he has learned not to correct me too often. Methinks it is preservation on his part. LOL. I think words and meanings can evolve over time, and thus a word used in Roman times can have a slightly different meaning and use today as you cited in your example.

QUESTION! There is a tendency on the internets to cram everything into the categories of “best ever” and “worst ever” even if it means distorting, misrepresenting and/or omitting facts. Why do you think this is? Possibly just people trying to drive page views with controversy? Possibly an extension of our ever more polarized and intolerant society?

Well, best ever, worst ever are merely opinions and can be taken anyway you want to. You generally find these things in some list form and thus all of the details are not or can not be presented. It is up to you to find out the details and then form your own opinion.

Well, group, that puts an end to this week’s questions. My photo up top is of a beautiful sunrise, taken from the Contact in the Desert property. I was walking to my first event on Saturday morning and got to this spot behind Friendship Hall and the sun was just creeping up; so pretty, I hope you enjoy. Got the cats an igloo this week, but they don’t seen very interested in it – going to have to work on this. Anyway, take care and be good to each other this week. As always Huggs and next week I will let you know about my this-weekend’s adventure.

As always, keep those questions coming! Any questions submitted in comments below will be included in future columns.