Who is Anson Mount–The New Captain Pike


Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek: Discovery announced in April 2018 that Anson Mount would play Captain Pike as the series returned for its 2nd season and after the first season closed with a shot of The Enterprise hailing for assistance.

That Enterprise was captained by none other than Christopher Pike.
If you remember your Star Trek canon, Captain Christopher Pike appeared on “The Menagerie” Part 1 & 2 of Star Trek: The Original Series. He was also seen in the pilot episode called “The Cage.” This character was played by Jefferey Hunter who a few years later tragically died. He turned down the role of captain of the Enterprise and William Shatner accepted the chair as James T. Kirk. A training incident left Pike disfigured, mute and paralyzed. It was believed in Starfleet that a great mind was trapped in that body. Spock served under Captain Pike at the time of “The Cage” and he served with Captain Kirk during the time of the “Menagerie.”

These two characters have met before in the movie spin-offs 2009 Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness. Christopher Pike is played by Bruce Greenwood.
Now Star Trek: Discovery will reprise the role in its Season 2. The captain will be played by Anson Mount.
But what do we know about Anson Mount?


Name: Anson Adams Mount IV
Birthplace: Mount Prospect, IL
Birthdate: February 25, 1973

Hair: Black

Eyes: Blue

Height: 6’1″
Parents: Nancy Smith and Anson Adams Mount II
Alma Mater: The University of the South, Columbia University
Degree: Theater


Anson Mount was born to Nancy Smith and Anson Adams Mount II- a religion editor for Playboy magazine and a sports editor before that. If there is some confusion with his father’s name being the 2nd and Anson Adams Mount IV (the actor), it is because his father was married previously and birth a son by the name of Anson Adams Mount III. This is the actor’s older half brother.

Growing up in White Bluff, Tennessee with his siblings  Anson Adams Mount III and his sisters: Kristin and Elizabeth was not easy. Anson’s Father died when he was 13 years old. His mom professional golfer Nancy Smith raised Anson and his half siblings by herself. Anson rode horses a little when he was a child. So he had some experience before his stint on “Hell on Wheels.”  His first taste of acting was at high school playing a guard in “12 Angry Men.” As of now, he is married to Darah Trang. His wife is a photographer actually. He graduated from Columbia University with his major in theater. Mount taught at Columbia even after his success with “Hell on Wheels.” But he believes there is no vocabulary for acting. Even with this belief, Mount advises students to enroll in a good “liberal arts” college. Maybe his advice is right. He has been acting since 1999.

The movie “Crossroads” came to Anson Mount’s attention starring as Britney Spears love interest, but he turned it down at first. His friend Robert De Niro changed his mind.  And not only does Anson Mount act, he also, directs. “Nose,” a silent film was his first as a director.
“Hell On Wheels” is an AMC television show that was a huge hit for Mount. He believes it answers a lot of questions we as a society ask ourselves if we can survive in difficult times. He enjoyed his time on the series. The show takes place in America and centers around the laying of the First Transcontinental Railroad from Nebraska to San Francisco, California stretching nearly 2,000 miles. Two railroad companies built the train tracks. The Central Pacific Railroad Company of California and Union Pacific. Union Pacific supervised 1,085 miles of the railroad from Omaha, Nebraska to Utah Territory. So says the charter of 1862 named the Pacific Railroad Act passed by Congress. A six year project that on May 10th 1969.  Central Pacific was controlled by Charles Crocker, Leland Stanford (created Stanford University and was govenor of Utah when the construction of the railroad was finished) Collin Huntington and Mark Hopkins. Central Pacific hired mostly Chinese workers and laid down 10 miles of track in one day setting a new record. The bet was made by majority onterest holder of Union Pacific Dr. Thomas Durant. His workers were mainly Irish workers, former African American slaves and Civil War vetsvfrom  etsboth sides.

Central Pacific began laying tracks from the West coast and the Union Pacific started in the east around Omaha, Nebraska. The railroads followed the Oregon Trail. The reason for the railroad was to transport products and people from the east coast to the West coast and vice versa. A ticket on this iron horse from NY to San Francisco was $65 and it took 7 days to get to the destination.

The series stars Mount as Cullen Bohannon, a Confederate soldier on a quest for revenge. It also stars Colm Meaney as Thomas Durant. Meaney is from Star Trek fame as he played on The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine as Miles O’Brien. Its creators and producers are Joe and Tony Gayton.


Some of Anson Mount’s TV and movie credits are well-known especially with AMC. At one time he was a prospect to play Batman in one of the movie installments.



Urban Legends:Final Cut as Toby Belcher

Tully as Tully Loates Jr.

Crossroads as Ben Kimble

City by the Sea as Dave Simon

Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden as Cherry

Ally McBeal as Kevin Wah

Sex in the City as Gregory

Third Watch as Dr. Montville

Smallville as Paul Hayden

CSI: Miami as Tony Macken

Lost as Kevin

Inhumans as Black Bolt

By CellarDoor85 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37101332


Like everyone, ANSON Mount has a favorite TV show. His favorite show is “Breaking Bad.” His celebrity crush is Pink. So he can be enamored with superstars as well. However he is quite a crush himself to a lot of his female fans. Cowboy boots, blue jeans and a t shirt are his favorite attire. Although, he does not mind stepping out in fancier clothes, Cynthia Rowley and Robert Caballo are a few of his preferred designers.

Mount exercises a lot with workouts including cardio and weightlifting. Known for his piercing eyes, Mount is going to turn heads on screen when he plays on Discovery’s second season. His chisels jawline mirrors Jeffery Hunters almost exactly.

Anson Mount has played in a hit western show and now sets his eyes on the future as Star Trek: Discovery’s newest star. His views on guns and gun control are causing a stir. What do you think of Anson Mount?


The topic of spore drive on Star Trek: Discovery and its use of mycelium is quite popular as of late. So what is mycelium? Is it true that mycelium benefits our world?  What are its benefits? Can I grow mycelium and how? These are all good questions. Perhaps we can shed some light on the secrets of mycelium and have a better understanding when the topic is addressed again on the show.


Image from Wiki Commons

What is mycelium? A better question is : What is hyphae? Hyphae is a slender threadlike string part of a fungus that lives in soil. A fungus is a plant that does not require chlorophyll or the substance that changes sunlight into energy. Whatever fungi grows on, it absorbs the nutrients from there and so it is a great decomposer for an ecosystem. Its function is to decompose organic waste (made of carbon) and recycle carbon.

Supposedly, 1.3 billion years ago the first fungi made its way to land. According to microbiologists, humans and fungi are related more than one might think.

As hyphae grow underground they become longer and begin to branch off. A large mass of hyphae is called mycelium. The mycelium is perceived as a network just like our Internet full of nods and connection points. What do these networks do? They allow for evolution and rapid adaption and sharing of resources and the development of unorganized cell masses into organs and systems of organs called epigenisis.

In its literal sense, mycelium means “more than one.” It lives underground in the soil while the mushroom is the fruit of the body above ground. Mycelium is the main part of the fungus. Mostly, this web like network communicates with its counterparts and absorbs nutrients. It looks like brain cells when placed under a microscope and like brain cells, it can grow new connections and respond to stimuli in its environment.

Mycelium can sustain weight up to 30,000 times its mass. It inhales and exhales oxygen and carbon dioxide and absorbs water. They have external stomachs and lungs and can use radiation as a source of energy like plants use chlorophyll to convert light. Called “sentient membranes, mycelium underground respond to footsteps of humans as it searches for soil debris to feast on. That is, it is aware.

BENEFITS OF MYCELIUM                                                                     

Mycelium benefits us in many ways and is quite a help to environment. Again, these mycelial as they are called when pluralized decompose or break down organic waste, green waste like food and garden clippings that are of carbon very efficiently They are natural water purifiers for lakes, rivers and streams because they filter out water contaminants well. Without the toxic effects of other cleaning agents, mycelium can clean oil spills and absorb the radiation. It has been known to clean up and build up polluted soil by decomposing toxic chemicals. Hydrocarbons, chemicals classically identified in industrial pollutants are easily decomposed by mycelium. These hydrocarbons are emissions of gas from automobiles and are observed in crude oil and coal and natural gas as well as plant life. Mycelium, after disintergrating the hydrocarbons or pollutants in an oil spill becomes a sentry for biological communities to develop in an ecosafe environment.

They create strong antibiotics that can fight off flu viruses and small pox. They restore soil and crumble rocks to create new soil. Have a pest infestation like termites or carpenter ants? Certain mycelium can dispel and ban them  or they can be used as an insecticide to eradicate the colony in a few days. They are insect killing fungi or entomopatetic fungi. Other benefits of mycelium are quick reforestation and improvement of crop yield. Producing fungal sugars by converting cellulose- a main component in the cell walls of most plants and used to manufacture paper, textiles and explosives-mycelium can produce the fuel Econol.

The very web like structure of mycelial can be found in patterns of hurricanes, the internet, dark matter (which is used partially an explanation of why the universe’s expansion is speeding up not slowing down) and string theory (which attempts to link the four forces of nature-gravity, electromagnetism, strong nuclear forces and weak nuclear forces-to one single theory or law.



You can create your own mycelium at home. Watch it grow and decide when to stop the process once it reaches a certain level.


A mushroom, pairing knife, box cutter knife, a six-quart Pyrex container, corrugated cardboard

First Prepare Your Environment

Cut cardboard into pieces that fit well into the six-quart container using a box cutter knife. Stack these pieces into the container and fill the container with hot water for 20-30 minutes. Keep cardboard submerged by weighing it down with a something. Drain the container of water. Separate the corrugated layers from the flat layers of the cardboard. Put the flat pieces at the bottom of the container.

Mushroom Cut Into Pieces

Only using the base, cut the mushroom into tiny pieces with your paring knife. Place the mushrooms on the cardboard in the container.

Layer The Container

Layer the flat cardboard alternately with the corrugated cardboard over the top of the mushrooms. Add more mushrooms and then add more layers if you want.  Repeat the cycle.

Store The Container

Put a lid on the container and store it in a dark place at room temperature of 70 degrees F. Open the box each day to release the carbon dioxide that builds up inside the container.

That’s it. You are finished. After a few days you will see mycelium growth through the cardboard. When the mycelium has reached the level you want it to grow, heat the container to stop the growth.

Remember, cut the mushroom base into tiny pieces, too large and the mushroom will grow instead of mycelium. Open the lid to the container because carbon dioxide builds up in the container as mycelium breathes. If not, it will stunt the growth or kill the mycelium altogether.


The vote seems clear that Paul Stamets, yes, Lt. Paul Stamets of Star Trek: Discovery is named after this present day researcher, is the most knowledgeable scientist on mycelium. Technically, his scientific study of fungi is called mycology making him a scientist who studies it-a mycologist. Paul Stamets is forty years into the study and has discovered several new mushroom species.

He was born in Columbiana, OH and was presented with the 1998 Bioneers Award and many others. Born July 17, 1955, Paul Stamets loves hiking and he graduated from The Evergreen State College. Paul Stamets believes mushrooms can save the planet that he believes in its 6th extinction and humans are one of its victims—but mushrooms will survive! He has written six books including “Mycelium Running” and wants to preserve and protect mushrooms in the Pacific Northwest that face obliteration by us. Highly valuable, the mushrooms in this area may serve for great medicinal uses. Through his website Paul Stamets sponsors most of his own research. You can even sign up for a free catalog at http://www.fungi.com if you are interested in his research.



So, the string-like structure, mycelium, has many uses and benefits to the Earth and is often believed the ecosystem cannot build maturely without it. By using a container and following a few steps you can cultivate your own mycelium and observe its growth. Paul Stamets is a prominent researcher in mycology. His website http://www.fungi.com informs us more and more on the benefits of mycelium and he has written a book “Mycelium Running” that is very informative on the matter going into great detail. As he says in his book, “Mycelium can save the planet…” Maybe it can.

What do you think about mycelium and its benefits?


The question is: What is a tardigrade? After watching the Star Trek Season 1 Episode 4: The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not For The Lamb’s Cry, you may have a few questions. The Season 1 thriller mentioned the species outright. The alien related to the Earth dweller has similar characteristics and to enlighten some points discussed in episode 5, a post was created.



Discovered by Johan August Ephraim Goeze, a German pastor in 1773, tardigrade means “slow stepper” and are also known as water bears or moss piglets. Supposedly related to insects, these creatures have eight legs with claws resembling bears. With a tubular mouth the tardigrade uses razor sharp teeth to pierce other living organisms for food, but most like algae or bacteria. Enormous heads set on top of the tardigrades with a four segmented body. These microorganisms can live in marine, freshwater or semi aquatic environments.
Tardigrades are about 1 millimeter long and can live almost anywhere on planet Earth. They have been located in the freezing temperatures of Antarctica of 80 degrees below to the equator to the Himalayas to the depths of the ocean. They can survive close to absolute zero degrees, most global mass extinction events thus far and therefore outlived the dinosaurs. They can survive environments that are toxic and the vacuum of space for about 10 days, this even when exposed to gamma rays. After that, tardigrades revive from cryptobiosis in space and continue their existence. Loving moist environments, tardigrades need a little of water around them to keep from drying up or desiccation and to exchange gas. Known to survive 1200-6,000 times the atmospheric pressure, they,also, can exist in moss or lichens found in backyards all across American. Tardigrades can be seen with the use of a microscope.

They are not extremophiles living in harsh conditions, but surviving them by going into a state of cryptobiosis or “tun” as referenced in Star Trek: Discovery’s “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not For The Lamb’s Cry.” In that state, tardigrades can survive without food or water for 30 years. They can,also, survive gamma rays. While small amounts of gamma rays can kill humans, tardigrades can withstand 1000 times as much gamma rays exposure and repair their DNA after injury caused by radiation.
Tardigrades live for about one year, that is, if you factor out the amount of time they spend in cryptobiosis or “tun.”


Most tardigrade populous have make up is male and female. A few have no males at all and tardigrades are asexual. Otherwise, female tardigrades lay eggs up to 30 at one time. Males fertilize those eggs. Once the eggs hatch, the new born tardigrades have a fixed amount of adult cells that simply enlarge as they grow.


Michael Burnham spoke of the tardigrade having a horizontal transfer. Horizontal gene transfer is a way of moving genes from one specimen to another without parent to offspring relations. It is important in the evolution of many lifeforms. Bacteria utilize this method in immuning themselves to antibiotics acquire to treat humans against them. The tardigrade gathered gene sequences from the spores
Genetic engineering is the umbrella under which artificial horizontal engineering falls. Used to advance organisms including humans by transferring genes from one animal to another animal, the focus is to change the genetic makeup of the cells in the animal. So that animal is now genetically modified or GM. In history bacteria, mice, and food have all been genetically altered and sold commercially.
The DNA is transferred by copying the sequence from the original lifeforms by cloning or synthesizing the material. Then, it is inserted into the host lifeforms recombining the DNA to create a new sequence. These genes then become inheritable to the offspring of the host lifeforms.
Genetic engineering applications include medicine, research, agriculture, and industry. Food has been genetically altered to resist herbicides or certain pests to increases the production of certain crops.

Biotechnology such as fields of bio engineering and biomedical engineering are applied during genetic engineering. Bioinformatics which includes several fields of study like computer science, mathematics and engineering is used in horizontal gene transfer. These technologies are necessary for artificial horizontal genetic transfer to take place.


Tardigrades survive hostile environments by entering a state called cryptobiosis or “tun.” This is a death-like state where all metabolic processes are reversibly suspend. For humans this state means death. During cryptobiosis or “tun”, the tardigrades limbs contract and its body folds. They release lots of water just like in the Star Trek: Discovery episode “Choose Your Pain” where the creature was released into space and then revives from “tun.”. We can not suspend our metabolic processes. These processes lessen to 0.001% of its norm. Cryptobiosis or “tun” has five types of state depending on the environment:

  1. Anhydrobiosis-for an environment without water. The word derives from the Greek meaning “life without water.” In this state of cryptobiosis, some tardigrades in a “tun” form trehalose-a sugar used in food and cosmetics. The application of anhydrobiosis is the world has made “dry vaccines’ possible. These vaccines mobilize when they come in contact with water, supposedly injected into the body. Thereby, there is no need to refrigerate vaccines and could replace booster shots when the vaccine can be slowly released in the body.
  2. Cryobiosis-for the environment’s extremely low temperatures. The tardigrade freezes the water in its cells. Quick cycles of freezing and thawing is survived by tardigrades in extremely cold environments.
  3. Osmobiosis-is for an environment with a decrease in water and an increase in the solid like salt or any solute mixed in a liquid in which the tardigrade lives.
  4. Chemobiosis- for toxic environments.
  5. Anoxybiosis-for an environment lacking water to produce a “tun.”


Tardigrades may hold the secret to cryptobiosis for humans allowing us to survive harsh environments. We could travel through space for lengthy periods of time. Scientist might be able to suspend the human metabolism for this flight. Cryptobiosis could preserve sperm or food.


Hopefully, this article on”What Is A Tardigrade?” will shed some light on the terminology found in Star Trek: Discovery’s The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not For The Lamb’s Cry?” It,also, may deepen your understanding on the episode. The alien in the episode looked very similar to its Earth counterpart. It also may suggest its evolutionary state many years from now if it continues with its prolific benefit from horizontal gene transfer.