Thursday, April 13, 2006

Sub Commander T'Pol and New Zealand's Figurehead

Coincidence? You be the judge.

Jolene Blalock is the actress known best for her role as Sub-Commander T'Pol, the Vulcan officer in Star Trek: Enterprise. In 2151, Subcommander T'Pol joined the crew of the Earth Starfleet vessel Enterprise NX-01. According to her own biography, Jolene's father would take her and her brothers surfing, in what became a regular family sport.

How did this American actress become the model for the ship's figurehead displayed at New Zealand's Wellington City and Sea Museum? Wellington is located on a bay surrounded by mountains. Naturally, it has had an intimate relation with the sea. The treacherous Cook Straight, where the Pacific and Tasman Sea meet between North and South Islands, was the site of the Wahine disaster during the worst storm in Wellington's history.

The indigenous language and ancestry of New Zealand is Maori. The word māori means "normal" or "ordinary" in the Māori language and denotes mortal beings as distinct from the gods. A Maori proverb says He tini nga whetu e ngaro I te kapua iti (Translation: Many stars cannot be concealed by a small cloud).

There is also an historic "Vulcan Hotel" in the NZ goldmining town of St Bathans.


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