Alora DeVeau

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Trained By The Best: Commander Alex Blair

Do you remember what it was like as a ‘cadet’ in the SB118 academy?  I know I do, and the positive experience I had in my training class really helped set me up for a positive experience in the fleet as a whole.  Often, members may not realise exactly how much power the training team really has. You see, first impressions matter, and a bad first impression will most likely result in a prospective member to abandon the attempt to join, where as a positive experience can help set up a new member for great success in our group.  That is why this particular team is so important.

The training team is made up of a number of individuals who all spend extra time and energy to help acclimate newcomers to SB118’s simming style, or sometimes simming in general!  One of those members is none other than Alex Blair.

DeVeau: Hello Alex, and thank you for joining us!

Blair: Hello Alora, thanks for having me!

How long have you been a part of SB118 and how did you find it?

I’ve been a member of SB118 for almost four years now, and have loved every minute of it! I found the group in a roundabout way. I was involved in several PBEMs in the past and never really stuck with them. After a month or two, I would get bored and leave. One day, I was looking for something to occupy some free time and did a Google Search for PBEM. I found SB118 and on a whim decided to join. Now I don’t think the fleet will ever get rid of me!


Time With Toni Turner

If you’ve been in Starbase 118 for any length of time, you’ve probably at the very least have seen the name Toni Turner. More than likely, you’ve interacted with her at some point, and for many of those in SB118, they’ve had the pleasure of seeing her in a role of leadership. Today, we get to know a little more about her in one of those roles.

DeVeau: Welcome and thank you for taking some time to allow us to get to know you and your character a little better.

Turner: That’s no problem at all. I’m glad to help in any way I can.

You’ve been a part of SB118 for quite some time now, haven’t you?

Yes, ten years last September. I suppose that’s a long time, yet it doesn’t seem so. As they say, (whoever *they* are), time flies when you’re having fun. ::smiles::


Under The Weather

Here on Earth, we are subject to the whims of weather as it walks across the planet. Such phenomena is not known only on Earth, but a variety of weather can be found on several planets in our very own solar system. What some people might not realise is that weather can also be found in space itself. Weather in space? Really?

Yes, really! While space doesn’t have air, it can still have certain forms of weather thanks to the Sun. From the sun, solar winds, solar flares, and plasma are tossed out into space which can actually affect spacecrafts that are sent to explore our solar system. Because of this, radiation can actually harm whatever scientist send beyond our atmosphere. A study of space weather can actually help scientists determine ways to protect spacecraft from damage. In space, a variety of ‘weather’ can affect the finely tuned instruments. Besides radiation, damage can occur when charged particles stop on the outside or even the inside of a spacecraft. This type of event is called “spacecraft charging”.

Certain types of space weather can also affect what happens here on earth. When magnetic surveys are conducted via aircraft, the rapid magnetic field variations during geomagnetic storms can have an impact on the interpretation of the data being collected.

Combine these with other types of weather such as coronal mass ejections (when huge amounts of plasma as well as magnetic fields are ejected from the sun), radiation belts and galactic cosmic rays, space weather is a lot more dynamic than one might think.

Want to learn more about space weather? Check out NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center and Space Weather @ NASA.

(Image source.)


Voyager: Boldly Going

Space. The final frontier. We’re familiar with the voyages of the Starship Enterprise and its mission – to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before. During the years of Star Trek: The Original Series and subsequent spin-offs, mankind has used its imagination in an attempt to answer just what might be out there. Through the course of various incarnations, new planets and new civilizations were indeed discovered, but revelations in real life haven’t been quite so dramatic. Or have they?

In comparison with television, one may not think that certain pieces of information gleaned by NASA would be significant, but perhaps if you take a closer look, you might discover exactly how marvelous what discoveries have been made truly are. Think about it, what do we know about this universe, or even our own solar system? In comparison with what we could know, it’s hardly anything. That hasn’t stopped man from attempting to find out.


In Command: Captain Quinn Reynolds

Quinn Reynolds is a name that has been around for some time. Although I have only been in the group for a couple of years, I have had the fortune to serve almost all of my ‘service’ time with her – that is, until recently. Today, we get to learn a bit more about her and her new post as Commanding Officer of the Sovereign class vessel, USS Gorkon.

DeVeau: Thank you for joining us today!

Reynolds: Thank you! I’m pleased to be here.

DeVeau: Please tell us a little bit about how you came to SB118.

Reynolds: I honestly can’t remember! I think I may have been looking for a place to roleplay in the Star Trek universe, and I vaguely recall googling “Star Trek RPG” or something similar. SB118 popped up at the top of the list, and I jumped in and applied.

DeVeau: Was Quinn your first character, or did others come before?


In The Spotlight: Kali Nicholotti

UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek PBEM RPG offers opportunities for writers and their characters to climb their way up through the ranks while embarking on amazing adventures we, the writers, can only dream about. Of course, with adventure comes risk, and no one knows about more than the character of Kali Nicholotti. Today, I had the opportunity to learn a little bit more about this protagonist and her trek.

DeVeau: Welcome, welcome!

Nicholotti: Thank you, it’s good to be here.

DeVeau: You’ve been around SB118 for a while? Will you share some of your history with us?

Nicholotti: I’ve been here for just over 5 years. I originally joined after seeing the new Trek movie. When I was a teenager, I once played a PBeM Star Trek RPG where I rose to captain a ship. I remember loving it, so on a whim, I went to Google and looked for a similar game. The one I used to play was nothing more than a dead website, but Starbase 118 wasn’t. I had my application in that day and started training a couple days later. From then, I’ve had one epic journey after another.


In Command: Leo Handley-Page

Starbase 118 is made up of many promising writers and rising stars. Recently, one of those has been given his first command. You may have seen Leo-Handley Page in various places at SB118, and now you’ll see him in command of Starbase 118 itself. I fortunately had the honour of getting to know him a little better.

DeVeau: First off, would you mind telling us a little bit about your character.

Handley-Page: Leo Handley-Page started out as PNPC on my first ship, the USS Independence-A. He was initially intended to be a bit of comic relief to my more serious primary character of Eyas Wulfantine. However, over the following months and then years, he changed and became my favourite character to write for. His name and avatar underwent several re-modellings over the next three years until I finally settled on his current likeness. As for his in character backstory, he is the product of a brief extramarital affair between a Terran lady and a Byzallian politician at a conference. Leo grew up with his mother and adoptive father on Earth before being kidnapped by his biological father and taken to be indoctrinated on Byzatium. Leo escaped aged 18 and return to Earth. He joined Starfleet to give himself a career and escape the revenge of his father on Byzatium. Ever since then, Leo has had a roller-coaster career including two “In Character” court martials and several departmental roles on numerous ships. His is jovial and avuncular and tries to calm his crewmates with a joke and a tale of adventures past.


Duty Calls: The Magistrate

StarBase 118 is unique in many ways, but most unique in its form of government. Today, we have the pleasure of reading about the specific position of Magistrate, currently held by Emma, player of Quinn Reynolds on the USS Garuda.

Amanda: Hello Emma, thank you for taking the time to speak with me today.

Emma: You’re welcome!

Amanda: Now, before we get started, I always prefer to get to know a little bit about the person I’m interviewing – so let’s start at the beginning: When did you first hear about and join SB118?


In Command: Shel Faranster

A large majority of our characters are members of Starfleet. As such, our characters are often driving toward the rank of captain. Today we’ll talk to a player whose is closing on that penultimate rank: Commander Shel Faranster, CO of the USS Constitution-B.

DeVeau: Hello Commander Faranster! Thank you for joining me!

Faranster: You’re welcome, I must say I was intrigued when I got the invitation.

DeVeau: Now I always like to start these sort of interviews by getting to know a little about your background. Would you mind telling us how you got started with SB118?

Faranster: Well, I found SB118 by chance when I was looking for an old game I had once played. The site drew me in, the years of experience, the community, I just had to decide what character I wanted to play, sign up and here I am.

DeVeau: How many characters have you played?

Faranster: Oh… Well, I have Sundassa Faranster, Shelther Faranster, and a bunch of PNPCs, played an MSNPC in every mission thus far and when times call for an NPC, I throw an email out for them. The number of character, minus NPCs, comes to about 16, which includes 9 MSNPCs.

DeVeau: Who was your favourite and why?


Strangers in the night sky

Everyone knows that while the night sky is black between the stars and planets, it is anything but empty. Throughout our universe, space is filled with all sorts of objects – comets, meteoroids, asteroids and a variety of debris. Ever since man has made its first exploration into space, scientists have been studying the debris found there. Scientists have also made a habit of naming items they’ve found, comets, stars, and even some of those asteroids. Studies have shown a variety of interesting fact that have helped us learn something about our own planet and our solar system.


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