There are many reasons to admire George Takei: his much-loved role as Mr Sulu in Star Trek, his dedicated work as a gay rights activist and his efforts to improve Japanese-American relations. But now we have another reason: Takei’s Take on YouTube.
Produced in part by the AARP, George separates fact from fiction and explains some of the latest trends, buzz-words and technologies in short, easily consumable videos. It’s the perfect excuse for the ex-Star Trek actor to explore science, technology and the Internet’s effect on our lives on YouTube.
Last week’s Stuff to Watch was all about 2014’s Webby winners – and George was one of them, for this very show.
Exploring Google Glass With Lamarr Wilson
Winner of the People’s Voice award for Technology at the Webby Awards 2014, George is joined by Mashable reporter Lamarr Wilson to try out Google Glass for the first time. If (for some weird reason) you enjoy watching people put on Google’s next big thing, George’s reaction is entertaining to watch to say the least. The two consider possible uses, as well as Google’s competition in the wearable market.
Online Dating With David So
The Internet has touched pretty much every insignificant part of our lives, so it makes sense that it would eventually have a large impact on some of the more important aspects too. For many, dating no longer involves plucking up the courage to ask someone for their number in person, but using a website like OK Cupid or smartphone app like Tinder to do the work for you instead. In this video, George discusses the growing trend of finding love online with YouTube comedian David So.
Talking Social Media With Dom Mazzetti
Social media is inescapable, and websites like ours aren’t exactly doing anything to stop it. This episode of Takei’s take examines the rise of social media, from Twitter’s inception in 2006 to recent developments like the looping video service Vine. If anything, this video made me realise just how old social media has become – which immediately made me worry about what I was Tweeting five years ago.
Trolling With Britanni Louise Taylor
Is trolling one of the Internet’s most enjoyable pastimes? Your answer to that question will depend on a lot of things: your past online and offline experiences with bullying, the success of your own online projects, your (lack of) razor-sharp wit and ability to laugh at yourself are just a few of them. This video sees fellow YouTuber Britanni Louise Taylor sit down with George and discuss the motivation and repercussions of the Internet’s fascination with being a dick, just because you can.
The Quantified Self With iJustine
The term quantified self was coined in a 2007 issue of Wired to refer to the growing number of people wearing sensors and other devices that collect data about physical movement, location and just about anything you could hope to measure. The movement is known as lifelogging, and in the last few years devices from Fitbit and Jawbone have made it more accessible than ever before. George and iJustine sit down to discuss what this means for us now and in the future.
The Future Of Journalism With Ann Friedman
In the future, will the news articles you read be written by computers, pieced together by algorithms and ranked by perceived value according to the social web? Maybe the news will be entirely crowd-sourced, provided by citizen journalists – of which we all are – armed to the teeth with cameras and always-on connections. There’s only so much you can discuss in five minutes, but this episode takes a look at the decline of print, the rise of crowdsourcing and the future of “real” journalism with journalist Ann Friedman.
Electric Cars With Chris Woodyard
Considering the rate at which technology seems to advance, one would expect cars to be positively space-aged by now. Aside from style, safety and efficiency improvements, the car still burns fossil fuels and needs to be driven manually by a person. However, both of these things are changing, and the electric and driverless car are no longer science fiction. It’s also important to remember that if the power used to charge these cars isn’t clean and renewable, the environmental benefits are negligible.
To Be Takei
If you’re a big fan of George Takei and would like to know more about his career and activism, you could read his Wikipedia entry. Better still, you could watch the 2014 documentary To Be Takei, which is currently screening around the US. The production has nothing to do with George’s YouTube show, but will surely see some sort of digital release in the future – stick your email in the box to find out when that will be!
Don’t forget to check out the rest of Takei’s Take, and to subscribe on YouTube to keep up to date with the Webby-winning show. Don’t forget to add your thoughts about George, Mr Sulu or any of the topics touched on here in the comments below.