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JJ Abrams Enables One CMU Professor To Check Off An Item On His Own Personal Bucket List!

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. When this was first sent to me, I didn’t know who Randy Pausch was, so I went to do a little reading up on him. [edited to correct the name of the school where he teaches because I am, evidently, an idiot - "M"] I ended up spending a good chunk of the afternoon getting to know more about this remarkable teacher, a Carnegie-Mellon professor currently struggling with pancreatic cancer. In addition to writing about it with clarity and strength, he also delivered a “Last Lecture” to his students that has become a bit of a media sensation. Then I watched his Last Lecture, and I understood immediately why so many people have felt motivated to pass this on after viewing it themselves:
Looks like he caught the attention of JJ Abrams among others, and what happened then... well, read for yourself, right after you enjoy this also awesome video taken from an address JJ made to TED:

This is from Randy Pausch (the professor who gave his dying speech) talking about his working with JJ Abrams on Star Trek. Check out the blog for the photo of the check. -BulldogFan ”This is, by far, the coolest thing (okay, #2 behind the palliative chemo working). JJ Abrams (Hollywood producer/director who did the TV series "Lost," the movie "Mission Impossible III" and a bunch of other stuff) emailed me, out of the blue: Hi there -- I'm JJ Abrams, director of the new Star Trek movie. I read about you and your condition, and ALSO your affinity for things Trek. So, I just wanted to put the invitation out there -- that if you had any desire to be in the film (can't promise you role as CAPTAIN, but... we could do SOMETHING!), it would be my honor and pleasure. The last thing I want to do is intrude, so feel free not to reply -- but I wanted to make sure you knew that, if you are willing and able, the door is wide open. I hope that your treatments are going well and that we get to meet one day. Best, JJ Naturally, I presumed this was one of my friends, playing a prank. But after a little sleuthing, it was clear it was for real. Jai & I hopped a plane to LA, where I got a custom-made Star Trek uniform and my own station on the bridge, where I had lots of buttons and controls. I even got a LINE!!!! In addition to publicly thanking JJ Abrams, I just wanted to say what an incredibly egoless and cool guy he was. We chatted a little bit between takes, and he is so tech-savvy (and I'm not saying that *just* because he knew all about Alice!). Anyway, it was a truly magical experience. Speaking of Magic, I got to fulfill a long-standing wish of taking Jai to the Magic Castle on that trip, courtesy of Peter Farquar. MK Haley, who is herself quite magical, joined Peter and his wife and Jai & me for an incredible evening. The "Star Trek" movie will be in theaters December 2008. Don't blink or you'll miss me, but at some point a guy walked across the bridge and says "Captain, we have visual!" I'd *love* to show you my costume (which they let me keep), but I promised JJ Abrams "no photos". They're trying to keep things a secret; in fact, even on the Paramount lot, you have to walk around in a trenchcoat if you're in a Star Trek costume. It's kind of like being at a flasher's convention! Oh, and if you think I'm making this up, here's a copy of my check from Paramount (they had to pay me due to some union rules or some such... I'll obviously be donating this to charity).”
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