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-   -   Persistent, Niggling Questions (http://www.fiveminute.net/forums/showthread.php?t=1410)

Nate the Great 05-31-2020 11:20 PM

PNQ: How could you turn metaphasic shields into a weapon?


Not a nit, just a chance for speculation. One possibility that immediately comes to mind is equipping a torpedo with them. Surely a ship near a star wouldn't be able to detect the torpedo coming at them through the "noise" of the star. A situational weapon to be sure, but definitely a dangerous one.


Another possibility is modifying the energy profile of the phasers to a sort of "anti-metaphasic" one. That is, while a ship's shields can easily handle ordinary stellar output, they really aren't designed to handle higher intensities or focused versions of it. It stands to reason that a ship with metaphasic shields would be in a position to examine stellar output more closely, enough to duplicate it.

Flying Gremlin 06-01-2020 06:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nate the Great (Post 81931)
PNQ: How could you turn metaphasic shields into a weapon?

If I remember my Treknobabble right, metaphasic shields are self-regenerating shields in the face of intense radiation from star-like bodies.

In theory, you could project a metaphasic shield around an enemy, possibly with a limpet-style mine, which would lock the ship and crew in itself. Then redirect the ship into the corona of a star using a thruster pack. They deactivate the mine, they die. They do nothing, they bleed off their power reserves until they die. And even if they are able to get out of it for whatever reason, you've still taken the ship out of the fight for enough time to do whatever you need to.

Nate the Great 06-05-2020 02:02 AM

Like I said years ago, it was time to change my avatar...


PNQ: Z, can you update my title to reflect the change?


I miss classic Yu-gi-oh...

Nate the Great 06-05-2020 04:12 AM

There are episodes that I choose not to revisit not because they're "bad", per se, but because they're just so depressing. "Course: Oblivion" is one of them, and I just made the mistake of watching it again after many many years. Toss in "Remember Me", every single DS9 Mirror Universe episode, "Before and After", and so forth.


PNQ: What are episodes like that for you?

Flying Gremlin 06-05-2020 08:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nate the Great (Post 81934)
PNQ: What are episodes like that for you?

Lately, "Far Beyond The Stars".

Nate the Great 06-05-2020 02:01 PM

Oh yeah, totally forgot about that one. Also "The Seige of AR-whatever."

Flying Gremlin 06-07-2020 04:18 PM

Because of how episodic and positive it all is you could make an argument that most series outside of DS9 don't have that problem, although I guess for some Spock's death in The Wrath of Khan might count, or when they blow up the Enterprise in The Search for Spock. And sometimes I have problems with watching the crewman begging for Picard to help him in First Contact.

Surprisingly, I can't think of a part of Discovery or Picard that I would include on this list either.

Nate the Great 06-23-2020 06:42 PM

I may have posted the Real Lawyer reacts to "Measure of a Man" video already, but another bit interested me that totally flies over the guy's head.


MADDOX: Let me put it another way. Would you permit the computer of the Enterprise to refuse a refit?
PHILLIPA: That's an interesting point. But the Enterprise computer is property.



The Enterprise computer wouldn't refuse a refit because it doesn't have the capacity to. And we're not just talking about refusing the refit, we're talking about making a choice that can't be based on solid evidence. It's not sentient. Data IS sentient, so he can refuse a refit.



If you asked the computer if it would object to a refit that might alter its personality, you wouldn't get a yes or no, you'd get the computer asking you to restate the question into one that it can answer based on the logic within it.

Nate the Great 07-06-2020 02:16 AM

Regarding Garak being sentenced to six months in a holding cell at the end of "Broken Link"...


PNQ: Given his claustrophobia, would this be considered cruel and inhuman punishment?
PNQ2: How long can someone really be kept in a holding cell (i.e. just a bed with a built-in bathroom and food on trays, no PADD for diversion) without it being considered cruel and inhumane? Tie this into Tom's punishment in "Thirty Days." Wouldn't relegating him to grunt work doing the equivalent of changing fuses be a greater punishment?

PNQ3: Would shipping him off to a penal colony on Bajor be cruel? Would he be mistreated there?
PNQ4: Suppose he was sent to a Federation penal colony, would Garak see this as a punishment? Is one reason he stays on DS9 the ability to stay near his people and hear the latest news?

Nate the Great 07-10-2020 01:43 AM

So I'm reading Around the World in 80 Days again, and I thought the French speakers in the audience could help with this one...


PNQ: If you're speaking with a French accent, how do you pronounce "Passepartout"?


I doubt it's just "passport out" as is implied in the novel. But is it "pass e par two" or "pah say par two" or what?

Nate the Great 07-14-2020 09:41 PM

PNQ: If you had to be reborn in the 24th century as a race other than human, what would you choose?

Nate the Great 07-29-2020 12:41 AM

MovieBob covers Big Bad Beetleborgs


PNQ: If you were a Power Rangers fan, what other tokusatsu/sentai shows did you enjoy or not enjoy?


I never really watched Beetleborgs. I was a devout Power Rangers fan and enjoyed Superhuman Samurai Syber Squad, VR Troopers, and Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog (although MKTNN isn't technically tokusatsu, but merely a copy in that style).


Masked Rider never connected with me, Ultraman was before my time, and I was past my Ninja Turtles phase when The Next Mutation came along. Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters from Beverly Hills I believe I was ignorant of until after it had aired.

Nate the Great 07-30-2020 07:39 PM

So Harry Potter would turn 40 tomorrow if he actually existed.


PNQ: What's your history with Harry Potter?


I chose to do a book report on Sorceror's Stone back in school. There were a number of options, and I admit that I chose one of the easier ones. I followed up with books 2-4, they were the only ones out at that time. After Goblet of Fire I never really had the desire to read anymore, the number of possible plot points and characters that may or may not have importance later just kept piling up until I lost interest. I think I watched the movies up to Order of the Phoenix, by then I could see that it was even worse than the books in terms of keeping a coherent narrative. Entire plotlines were ignored from movie to movie, but they still kept trying to stuff details in just in case they paid off in future movies.



When they eventually reboot the films, I hope having the entire series to start with yields a more coherent storyline. That is, irrelevant sideplots can be ignored and irrelevant details can be downplayed.

Nate the Great 07-30-2020 11:55 PM

Food Theory tackles a perennial question...


PNQ: Is a hot dog a sandwich?


To me, no.



I had to erase a rant again.



Precise definitions of "sandwich" vary, but can we at least agree that the mechanics of holding and eating a sandwich and a hotdog are different?

NAHTMMM 07-31-2020 01:17 PM

Technically, a cross-section of a hot dog is the cross-section of a sandwich, but a hot dog is not a "sandwich" any more than a burger is. Unless the Supreme Court rules otherwise.

Nate the Great 07-31-2020 04:43 PM

Why isn't a burger a sandwich? If you tried to limit "sandwich" to "stuff between two slices of bread" I'd think you'd get a lot of complaints.



A cross-section of a hot dog is not the cross-section of a sandwich. Rotate a hot dog 180 degrees and you get an empty bun and a sausage on the floor. Rotate a sandwich 180 degrees and you get a sandwich with a unusual filling arrangement.

NAHTMMM 08-04-2020 09:20 PM

Top to bottom, a hot dog has bread, filling, bread. The fact that the bread connects on one side is trivial to address by cutting through the hinge.

Psychologically a burger is not a sandwich. If I asked for a sandwich and someone brought me a burger, or vice versa, I would feel they did not fulfill my request properly.

Nate the Great 08-06-2020 08:21 PM

When holding a hot dog in the usual way how often is there bread above the sausage?


Today's pile of junk mail included a toy store ad. One item is a set of headphones, including a 3.5 mm-to-0.25 in converter.


PNQ: When's the last time you used such a thing?


I have a number of them kicking around just in case, remnants of my parents and older siblings coming from the pre-3.5 mm era. Of course 0.25 inch plugs still exist, but I thought they were reserved for serious audio/music users and creators. Even then, I thought they would be more likely to use 0.25 inch plugs with 0.25 inch inputs, not mix and match.



PNQ2: Would it be worthwhile to stick cheapo 3.5 mm headphones into a serious stereo system that only has 0.25 inch outputs anyway?

Nate the Great 08-14-2020 12:29 AM

Regarding "Way of the Warrior"...


PNQ: Would it have been possible to program the replicator autophaser from "Civil Defense" to only target Klingons?

Nate the Great 08-14-2020 12:52 AM

PNQ: Could the human body adjust to the 26-hour Bajoran clock? Would our heroes just need to sleep an extra hour each day?

NAHTMMM 08-16-2020 01:27 PM

Probably, yeah. We find a way to adjust to everything else.

Nate the Great 08-16-2020 07:06 PM

Certifiable Ingame covers the Mugato...


PNQ: Do you use "mu-ga-toe" or "mu-ga-two"?


C.I. uses the first, and it's probably more correct, but I prefer the second. It just rolls off my tongue easier.

Nate the Great 08-20-2020 02:41 AM

Courtesy of Stand-up Maths...


PNQ: What is your favorite meganumber?


He uses "meganumber" to mean a number larger than a million. Most of us have favorite numbers smaller than a hundred, after all.



Apparently many math YouTubers have made videos on this topic.


I can't say I have one. Like most people my favorite number is under a hundred.

Nate the Great 08-21-2020 02:49 PM

PNQ: How come the Trek screenwriters keep using impulse when thrusters would be more applicable?



In Wrath of Khan Kirk orders impulse in Spacedock and Saavik specifically mentions only thrusters in Spacedock. Kirk does it again in Search for Spock. I decided to Do The Math on how long it would take to cross Spacedock at one quarter impulse.


The diameter of Spacedock is 4,600 meters and the Enterprise is 305 meters. Quarter impulse is one sixteenth the speed of light or 18.7 million meters/s. It would take 0.00025 seconds to cross Spacedock. If we set the crossing time at a minute to follow the movies, Spacedock would have to be 18,000 km across! So the rule "only thrusters in spacedock" isn't just red tape created by people in cubicles, it's just common sense! Even if the Enterprise was aimed directly at open space doors, I wouldn't attempt impulse in there at all! Somehow I doubt a collision at those speeds wouldn't be scraped paint, it would overwhelm the structural integrity fields and rip ship and Spacedock to confetti!

Nate the Great 08-23-2020 10:14 PM

Janeway can't promote Harry because there's nowhere to transfer to and you need a certain mix of ranks on a starship. So...


PNQ: What rank do you think everyone was promoted to upon Voyager's return?


It stands to reason that everyone was moved at least one rank up (Chakotay to Captain, Tuvok to Commander, etc.), but are there some that would get more?


I don't think anyone would dispute Harry's right to Lieutenant Commander status. Icheb could probably jump to junior status at Starfleet Academy at minimum. But what about the others?

Flying Gremlin 08-28-2020 08:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nate the Great (Post 82037)
Icheb could probably jump to junior status at Starfleet Academy at minimum.

I can tell you that by 2386 he was a Lieutenant. I won't elaborate further than this.

Nate the Great 09-02-2020 10:02 PM

So I'm watching The Undiscovered Country again, and I'm thinking about the purple blood and McCoy's declaration that he doesn't know enough about their physiology...


PNQ: Opinions?


What if Gorkon wasn't a "regular" Klingon (which we have always seen have red blood), but was a subspecies a la the Remans? A subspecies that forms the nobility? What if Kor, etc. were also members of this subspecies? Just like the multiple species of Xindi or Rigelians, could "Klingon" be a collective name for a few related species? McCoy doesn't know anything about the purple-blooded variety of Klingons because they're a minority and he's never seen one in a medical setting before?


If only they were speaking Federation Standard which could allow for this ambiguity when translated into English, right?

Nate the Great 09-06-2020 08:06 PM

So I'm watching Ella Enchanted clips for some reason...


In one scene Char asks Ella to kiss him, but it could be taken as a command. Ella replies that she didn't take it as one. We know that this is true because we didn't hear the bell ringing sound effect that indicates that she has just received a command and now the curse will compel her to obey.


PNQ: How is this supposed to work with the curse?



We've seen before that the curse is remarkably strict about accepting any random incoming phrase that could possibly be taken as a command to Ella AS a command to Ella. The movie is actually more strict than the book in this regard, FYI. In the book the speaker clearly has to mean Ella in particular when saying the command. On the other hand, the movie is more lenient in accepting commands even if they defy the laws of physics (i.e. "freeze" will make her levitate in a frozen position).



Sorry, I'm being pedantic again. Nothing to see here....

Nate the Great 09-17-2020 10:44 AM

So I'm watching a DS9 music video, and I see the scene where Sisko takes a glass of champagne away from Jake after one sip...


PNQ: Would the legal drinking age be different for synthehol as opposed to normal alcohol in the 24th century?


I'm not touching the different ages of maturity or different biologies between species, that's a whole other can of worms, let's stick to near-humans here. One has to imagine that you need to practice "dismissing" the synthetic inebriation of synthehol. You can't just hand a five-year old a glass of synthehol and trust them to know how to stop being drunk, can you?



But it does make you wonder. Furthermore, would there be a standard minimum drinking age in the 24th century at all? I mean, if we're trusting Wesley to pilot a starship we can trust him to enjoy a drink after work, right?



There's another tangent to be had here speculating who in Trek would be pro- or anti-synthehol, but that would get really boring really fast.

Nate the Great 09-20-2020 01:29 PM

Regarding Kira's initial ambivalence about the holodeck...


PNQ: Isn't it a little short-sighted to claim that "anything worth doing in the holosuite can be done better in the real world?"


How many holodeck programs replicate things that could reasonably be done in the real world?



I should note that I'm just talking about recreational programs here, not training programs.


Off the top of my head I can only think of one: Yar creating a sparring partner in "Code of Honor." There must be other martial arts practitioners on board she could spar with.



Everything else requires an environment that's sufficiently alien to ship's conditions, dangers too great to be allowed onboard ship, etc.


The episode in question is "Second Skin", where Dax and Kira were supposed to go antigrav sailing. This sounds like something they could do on Bajor, but would it really be worth a six-hour runabout ride both ways?



Which leads to another question: would Kira's belief count as a reasonable accommodation? i.e. she's entitled to take a runabout to Bajor once a week to experience fresh air and do whatever recreation she doesn't want to do on the holosuite?

Nate the Great 09-20-2020 10:34 PM

I found myself pondering Q's remark about the Klingons and Romulans being "nothing" compared to what lies ahead.



PNQ: He meant the Borg, but what other major threats could he equally be referring to?

Nate the Great 09-21-2020 02:56 PM

I found myself wondering about the appropriateness of using the name "Maquis" for the DMZ rebels...


PNQ1: Despite what Picard would tell you, French is an obscure language in the 24th century. Why use it instead of, you know, a BAJORAN word? How many native French speakers are even members?

PNQ2: The name "Maquis" isn't even appropriate, is it? The original Maquis were resistance fighters DURING war against and OCCUPYING force. The DMZ residents never officially declared war against the Cardassians, nor are the Cardassians "occupying" their colonies. The Cardassians are their landlords, as agreed to by the colonists in the first place when they refused to leave.
PNQ3: If anything, the more clear parallel to the Maquis in the context of Trek would be the resistance fighters during the Occupation, not after it, right?
PNQ4: Actually the word "maquis" in French referred to the shrubland and thickets that the resistance fighters would hide in. While a parallel could be drawn between that and the DMZ, it was never explained in that context. And again, you run into PNQ1 again, it's an obscure word in an obscure language!
PNQ5: Presuming that the word is unmodified for the French dub, how many French viewers would make the connection?

Nate the Great 09-25-2020 03:12 AM

In "Time's Orphan" Dax says that Alexander was four when he came to live with Worf.



PNQ: How well does this jibe with the established chronology?


If she means when K'Ehleyr died, Alexander was barely two, IF that. Memory Alpha puts his birth at Stardate 43205, K'Ehleyr's death at Stardate 44246, and Alexander's return from the Roshenko's at Stardate 45376. There's nowhere to get "four years old" from these dates unless there's some SEVERE warping of spacetime going on here.



Okay, what if Alexander was conceived during her first brief relationship with Worf (which seems unlikely, but let's run the numbers)? That was in 2359, "The Emissary" is 2365, and "Reunion" is 2367. That means eight, not four. Oops.


I guess we have to conclude that as an exploratory ship the Enterprise was really warping space and time around themselves and less time was passing for them. To be more exact, two days passed outside the ship for each day that passed onboard ship. Stephen Hawking would be spinning in his grave.


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