The Five-Minute Forums

The Five-Minute Forums (
-   Miscellaneous (
-   -   Persistent, Niggling Questions (

NAHTMMM 01-05-2020 04:13 AM

A transparent dome is just begging for trouble. Even if the material filters out harmful radiation outside human vision, bright lights from close stars or explosions or weapon bolts will cause distracting shadows at best and blind bridge crew at worst.

Nate the Great 02-17-2020 12:05 AM

I just watched the start of "One Little Ship" again...

PNQ: Did the runabout follow the Defiant out here? The shuttlebay is only big enough for two shuttlepods, right? Did the Defiant tow the runabout?

Nate the Great 03-13-2020 02:32 PM

I'm watching Trek tribute videos again...

PNQ: In "Relics" Scotty says "show me the bridge of the Enterprise." Aren't there dozens of ships that fit the description of "a ship called Enterprise that has a bridge"?

A quick look at Wikipedia shows that there have been dozens of Enterprises with bridges. Aircraft carriers, schooners, civilian craft, etc.

I found myself wondering if "starship Enterprise" would've been adequate description to make the computer limit itself to the NCC 1701 series. What about the XCV-330 (the "ring ship")?

That led me to the definition of "starship" as opposed to "spaceship". In TOS we see many usages of "spaceship" to indicate a something smaller (except for cargo vessels, of course) and slower than a "starship." What's the boundary line? Could it be that there's a threshold of warp power between the two? That is, lower speed ships have simpler warp drives and engineering systems that need a much smaller crew than the behemoth of a starship?

Of course, Scotty should've been more specific to begin with, but you can forgive a bit of this due to his current state of inebriation.

Nate the Great 03-19-2020 05:34 PM

A YouTube video asks men of various ages how many times they've been in love...

PNQ: How often do you think REAL romantic love can happen to someone in a lifetime?

I'm not a fogey who believes in once-in-a-lifetime soulmates, but people who give numbers in the dozens make me incredulous. It annoys me when people equate "sexual partner" or "long-term casual relationship" to "love", it leads me to believe that they haven't put much thought into the questions of what love is or what they want from a loving relationship.

(Meaningless aside, the autocorrect on this forum doesn't accept "fogey" as a word. A quick Googling lists several online dictionaries who have entries for it. Weird.)

Nate the Great 03-28-2020 09:14 PM

Watching SF Debris' review of "Skin of Evil" again, and I get annoyed by this bit...

In describing how he didn't have enough material to make a Tasha Yar tribute: "If it's not her being violent, making a report, or trying to get laid, it's just nothin'."

PNQ: Is that really all she had to do?

They gave Tasha plenty to do and talk about...

1. She is ready to indulge Wesley's questions because she didn't have a childhood of her own and wants Wesley to have every advantage.
2. She was envious of Troi's beauty because she never had a chance to channel her feminine side.
3. She was rescued by the Federation and so was its most vocal supporter to anyone who would mock it.

You see what I'm getting at, right?

Flying Gremlin 04-19-2020 08:49 PM

Finally sitting down and rewatching Deep Space Nine from episode one.

PNQ: Why didn't anyone point out the major plot hole of having a family on the very small, Miranda class Saratoga?

Which probably leads to...

PNQ: Am I turning into Nate, and becoming too nitpicky?

Nate the Great 04-20-2020 12:40 AM

What a terrifying thought.

Nate the Great 04-24-2020 02:23 AM

Watching SF Debris' review of "Firstborn" again...

PNQ: How come the Universal Translator never translates Klingon?

All I can think is that a condition of the Federation/Klingon alliance is that Federation translators don't translate Klingon by default, at least for commbadges and other unofficial communications. It would stand to reason that Klingons would learn the major languages of their enemies (Romulans seem to learn Klingon in this era, so there's precedent) and have demanded that the translators operate like this so they can keep certain secrets to themselves.

And it would stand to reason that not all Starfleet officers learn Klingon, relying on their translators when interacting with them. Picard, Riker, and Data seem to be the only ones on the E-D who have learned Klingon besides Worf himself.

Note that in TOS the Klingons seem to be speaking English and specifically point out that the Starfleet officers don't know "Klingonese".

Nate the Great 04-24-2020 10:22 PM

Re: SF Debris review of "Timescape"...

PNQ: In universe, why did Troi collapse a bit when the subspace forcefield was turned on?

I figured it out years ago: Troi is used to having the emotions of the people around her as a sort of white noise, a backdrop that always there. The subspace force field cut her off from all those emotions and it caught her by surprise.

(I know, I know, in "Night Terrors" they said blocking telepathy is impossible. But in that episode they were talking traditional blocking, not using a time differential as in here. These armbands aren't putting a shield over the target, they're pulling the target out of the arrow's line of sight altogether)

Without that explanation Troi just looks weak. Furthermore it looks like a Chekhov's gun that is never fired later.

Nate the Great 04-30-2020 02:04 PM

On the Straight Dope forum they are debating whether Kirk should be court-martialed for all of the redshirt deaths under his command.

PNQ: How many of the redshirt deaths can be attributed to him?

I'll go by the Ex Astris Scientia list of crewmen deaths in TOS.

Ground rules:

1. Only deaths caused by a deliberate act against the crewman count. The Galactic Barrier, generic deaths during battle, etc. don't count.
2. I'll be covering all deaths on the page, not just redshirts. If Kirk can be court-martialed for the needless deaths of redshirts, he can be tried for deaths of blueshirts and yellowshirts as well.

Season One:

Where No Man Has Gone Before: None. All due to galactic barrier.

The Man Trap: Four salt vampire deaths. Not Kirk's fault. In general, deaths by shapeshifter can't be directly attributed to Kirk.

The Naked Time: Tormolen, complications from polywater intoxication on a hostile planet. Not Kirk's fault, there was nothing he could've done.
Balance of Terror: Tomlinson, this is an indirect result of battle.
What Are Little Girls Made of: Matthews and Rayburn, killed by Ruk. Not Kirk's fault, just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The Galileo Seven: Three crewmen killed by natives after a shuttle crash. Not Kirk's fault.
Arena: None. All are in battle.
The Devil in the Dark: Crewman killed by Horta. Not Kirk's fault, unpreventable given current information.

Season Two:
Catspaw: Jackson, killed by Sylia. Not Kirk's fault, he couldn't have prevented it given his knowledge at the time.
Friday's Child: Grant, killed by Capellans. Not Kirk's fault, the guy was just a hothead. Kirk also tried to get him to stand down.
Wolf in the Fold: Tracy, killed by Redjac. Not Kirk's fault, he had no way of anticipating or preventing it.
The Changeling: Three killed by Nomad. This one is debatable, given that Kirk knows that Nomad has onboard weapons and is immune to hand phasers. However, circumstances forced Kirk to let Nomad on board knowing his destructive capability. I'll chalk these down as unpreventable.
The Apple: Two killed by natural hazards. Not Kirk's fault. One struck by Vaal's lightning, not Kirk's fault (what could Kirk have done?).

The Deadly Years: Galway, died of hyperaging. Not Kirk's fault, in general uncurable diseases don't count unless they were easy to avoid and he didn't.
Obsession: Five killed by dikironium cloud. The first three are from the initial attack, unpreventable by Kirk. The other two are as a direct result of his continued attack when he could've left. It could be argued that these aren't Kirk's fault because had he not hunted and killed this thing it would've killed countless others, especially were it to spawn.

By Any Other Name: Thompson, killed by Rojan. Unpreventable, not Kirk's fault.
The Ultimate Computer: Harper, killed by M-5. Technically preventable, there was no reason to get that close to M-5 to cut power to that panel.
The Omega Glory: Galloway, killed by Tracey. Not Kirk's fault, it's not like phasers can be dodged.

Season Three:
Elaan of Troyius: Watson, killed by Kryton. Kirk didn't know until after the fact.
And the Children Shall Lead: Two killed by being mistakenly beamed into space. Kirk had no way of stopping Gorgan at this point, not his fault.
Wink of an Eye: Compton, killed by cellular decay while hyperaccelerated. Not Kirk's fault.
That Which Survives: Three killed by Losira. Not Kirk's fault.
Requiem for Methuselah: Three died of Rigellian fever during crisis. I'm calling this extenuating circumstances.

So being especially cruel, of the 56 confirmed "redshirt deaths" on the page, maybe half a dozen could've been prevented by Kirk depending on your definition. The only two episodes that I feel Kirk could be brought to charges on are "Obsession" and "The Changeling".

Nate the Great 05-06-2020 05:00 AM

So I'm on an Ex Astris Scientia binge at the moment, and I stumble upon the page discussing the multiple chief engineers in TNG Season One...

PNQ: Opinions?

I'm still sort of surprised that a Chief Engineer wasn't part of the main cast from the beginning. Scotty proved that such a position was required for any Trek series.

Ex Astris Scientia posits that there could be multiple Chief Engineers for the first year because of the newness of the tech. I dispute this, since as I've discussed elsewhere the bugs would've been worked out in the U.S.S. Galaxy, and this second-model warp engine would've needed less supervision.

An option that occurs to me is that a Chief Engineer is something that a starship would need on-staff 24/7. While the "night crew" up on the Bridge could be less experienced, you need experienced engineers watching the warp core 24/7. Perhaps some of these characters weren't really THE Chief Engineer, but instead just the "Chief Engineer on Duty", in charge for the current shift.

Of the four S1 Chief Engineers, MacDougal, Argyle, and Lynch were Lieutenant Commanders and Logan was a Lieutenant. I'd put MacDougal as the "main" Chief Engineer with the others as shift assistants. Logan was lower on the totem pole, but perhaps he had more command experience than the other three, putting him into conflict with Geordi in "The Arsenal of Freedom."

In "Where No One Has Gone Before" Argyle is specifically called "one of our Chief Engineers."

Mention must also be made of Shimoda and Singh, the "Assistant Chief Engineers." What's interesting is that Shimoda wasn't wearing a Starfleet uniform, his outfit looked more like a a noncommissioned crewman. Of course in a situation like this it's time for Nate to bring up his all-purpose plot hole fixer: UESPA! What if Shimoda wasn't Starfleet, but UESPA? Given the "new age" of exploration that the E-D had just started, it stands to reason that UESPA would want to send along one of their own officers for the mission. Maybe he's still heading up the night shift or something for all we know.

Flying Gremlin 05-12-2020 11:34 PM

The simplest explanation: the chief engineers got fired every time Wesley showed them up. If you can't outsmart a sixteen year old, then get off my ship.

Nate the Great 05-20-2020 11:56 PM

The Cinemassacre crew travels to Oregon to visit the last Blockbuster Video.

PNQ: What bankrupted/defunct franchise stores do you miss the most?

If you need a starting point, there is this Wikipedia page.

One that comes immediately to mind is B. Dalton's bookstores. Barnes and Noble bought them out in 2009.

I also miss Hollywood Video, Circuit City, Builder's Square, Knox Lumber, FuncoLand, on and on...

Flying Gremlin 05-21-2020 05:17 AM

Canadian, so a slightly different list.

Arby's went belly up locally here, so that counts - you have to cross an international border for some sweet, sweet beef and cheddar action.

Future Shop was definitely one that is sorely missed. I could spend several hours in there as a kid; Best Buy just isn't the same, too flashy and a little pushier even though their sales rep don't get commissions.

NAHTMMM 05-23-2020 10:40 PM

B. Dalton and Waldenbooks in the same mall? Mm-mm good.

Still mad at Toys 'R' Us for driving out Children's Castle,which was a bigger building than "the biggest toy store there is" and was shaped like a castle in front.

Oh, and where's my Quizno's?! Or Blimpie's? :mad:

Oh, and JCPenney has declared bankruptcy, I believe.

Flying Gremlin 05-23-2020 11:26 PM


Originally Posted by NAHTMMM (Post 81916)
Oh, and JCPenney has declared bankruptcy, I believe.

See, I was more surprised that they still existed.

Nate the Great 05-27-2020 07:07 PM

In his review of the Good Times version of Snow White, Bobsheaux refers to Snow White as "the most passive of princesses."

PNQ: Opinions?

In terms of "existing as a plot point and not a real character", I would put Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel above Snow White.

I am of course referring to the original fairy tales, not any particular adaptation.

Nate the Great 05-30-2020 04:08 AM

PNQ: So how does the Defiant dock?

After all, the entire "nose" of the ship is covered by the deflector array, right?

A reddit thread speculates that the station's docking ports are adaptable.

I dispute that. The station was designed to accommodate Cardassian ships (hence the pylons can arc inward because the front of Galor-class ships are narrow and three could branch out like a fidget spinner).

Some think that the orange panels can slide back to reveal a docking port.

I don't like this idea. The Defiant is only four decks (for some bizarre reason). A docking apparatus this big would be a waste of space.

There is a little circle below the deflector dish, but it's usually a torpedo launcher. Besides, it's too small to be a docking ring for a four-deck ship (why was the ship so small again?).

The LCARS puts the airlock on the upper side of the nose, above the torpedo launcher.

This would correlate with the orange panel theory, but the problem is that the station's docking port links with the deflector dish, not the orange panels.

LCARS floorplan

One corridor splits into two for the airlocks to correlate with the orange panels, but it still doesn't make sense. Even if the panels slide aside and docking corridors extend forward towards DS9, where would they dock to on the station?

A closeup of the Defiant docked at DS9 clearly shows that the docking ring touches the front edge of the ship, between the orange panels and the deflector dish. The docking port can't touch anything except the front edge of the ship.

A theory that the torpedo launcher below the deflector dish is actually a turbolift pass-through. After all, a turbolift car has its own gravity plating and could go horizontal if needed and nobody would notice. They also point out that ships having turbolift hookups is nothing new (and of course they're right, just look at the Enterprise D)

Nate the Great 05-30-2020 01:30 PM

A followup to yesterday's post...

PNQ: How do Klingon Birds of Prey dock at DS9?

Here's a ship at the docking ring.

Here's the front of a Bird of Prey.

The circle in front has always been depicted as a torpedo launcher.

In fact, I'm not seeing anything remotely like a docking hatch on the "head" of a Bird of Prey, not even the emergency hatch that was used in The Voyage Home.

On this view there might be something like a turbolift connection on the top of the "head", but once again, DS9 doesn't have anything to connect to it!

And for that matter, how would Federation or Klingon turbolifts be compatible with Cardassian ones?

Nate the Great 05-30-2020 03:32 PM

In "A Time to Stand" our heroes use integer warp factors despite being on a Jem'Hadar ship...

PNQ: They say over and over again that Dominion ship and engine design is wildly different from that of the Alpha Quadrant. Would they use the same warp scale on the other side of the galaxy?

The tech manuals make it clear that the integer warp factors exist where they are because they represent natural lulls in the speed/energy requirement curve. That is, going at Warp 2 takes much less energy than Warp 1.9. But that's based on the engineering of conventional matter/antimatter reactors and the physics of warp plasma based on such.

It stands to reason that Federation and Klingon warp engine design is based on similar principles. Of course the Romulans use a completely different principle (meaningless aside, how does an artificial singularity generate warp plasma?), but I expect that their system doesn't have the natural lulls, so they convert to our warp scale as a matter of efficiency.

So did our heroes hardwire the warp controls to conform to Starfleet standards? That would look weird to other Dominion ships that they encounter, right? "Why is that ship going at Technobabble Speed 5.78?"

I know, I know, Nate's being pedantic again. But I really do think about this stuff, and at least I'm putting some thought into my discussion and not going "rawr rawr, the writers don't care about continuity, they stink" like most of my Kelvinverse and Enterprise ranting.

All times are GMT. The time now is 04:08 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.