Is it true that NBC execs originally objected to Mr. Spock having pointy ears?
Yes and according to the late Gene Roddenberry, in 1966 before the second Star Trek pilot, Where No Man Has Gone Before had aired. Network executives were concerned about Spock having pointy ears because the shape made him appear to look "too diabolical and Satanic looking." And along with their other request that the Enterprise not have a woman as second in command. And at the time actress Majel Barrett was dating Mr. Roddenberry so he was able to work out a comprise much to everybody's satisfaction. He said, "so I married the woman and kept the alien because I could not have done it the other way around."
How were the Vulcan neck pinch and hand salute invented?
Both were made up on the set by Leonard Nimoy. In the script of "The Enemy Within" Spock disabled the duplicate Kirk by pistol whipping him. Nimoy felt that it would be too "savage" and unsuitable for such a logical individual as Spock. He asked the director if he could improvise his own idea. He said yes, and Nimoy choreographed the now-famous neck pinch with Shatner for the episode.
The Vulcan hand salute was improvised by Nimoy on the set of "Amok Time." As a child, his religious Jewish parents often took Nimoy to the local synagogue where he had seen people making this hand gesture while saying prayers--a handsign done with both hands by the descendants of Aaron (called cohen, plural cohanim) when the congregation of a Jewish synagogue is being blessed with the "May the Lord bless you and keep you." This inspired Nimoy to create the Vulcan hand salute.
What was William Shatner's next job after Star Trek's cancellation?
He worked in summer stock theater. In 1969 after learning of ST Trek: TOS's cancellation, Shatner was in somewhat of a dire financial situation due to his then wife's filing for divorce and being suddenly unemployed. He contacted his agent who got him work in summer stock theater for the next few months and he bought a used pickup truck with camper shell attached. The sudden reality of no income, bills, his impending divorce and being low on funds made him realize that he couldn't afford even economy style motels while working. He then set off driving to each and every location to work as a cast member in Some Like It Hot and the truck with camper shell actually paid off in the long run. He lived this way from memorial day weekend up through labor day weekend that year when his summer job ended. And from then on William Shatner was able to keep busy as an actor working steadily in various prime time television shows which paid well and he was able to stay afloat financially.