Star Trek: Beyond Enterprise Destruction

Thinking back on it, destroying the Enterprise early in Star Trek: Beyond was a brilliant move that really helped sell the themes. All that stuff about standing by each other, and valuing your crew above all else- it really supported the “stronger together” theme brilliantly. I don’t think that would have worked nearly as well had Enterprise survived in salvageable condition. And they eventually beat the Swarm through low tech(even by our standards) radio broadcasts(and then Krall through low tech fists). It’s not the technology, it’s the people using it.
 
Seriously, if those trailers were meant to really give you an idea what the movie was like… the trailer guy needs to be fired. If they were meant to avoid spoilers at all costs… the trailer guy should probably get an award.
 
I’m hoping they find a way to bring the Borg in soon. They’d be a great followup to the strong themes of unity that Beyond had. Show that while unity is great, it can be taken too far.

The Last Ship Season 3

Ok, just finished “The Last Ship” Season 3.
 
The issue it had with seemingly randomly killing off women to motivate the men evened out a bit- men died to do this, and not just the crew. I’d still call overreliance on this trope a negative, but it did lessen somewhat. And that lessenening allowed for what the show does well to shine.
 
Some of my hopes with where Chandlers arc would go were realized, at least partially. He’s not a divine archetype of perfection- he didn’t just make a few tactical errors convenient to the plot this season. Seasons 4 and 5 are where we’ll have to see the payoff on this. A good direction is set up at least.
 
Don’t expect a particularly balanced view of the military- this is the military at its best(likely why they get so much help from the real US Navy). So much so that in the real military of any nation, you’d never see this. It is nice, though, as an ideal to aspire to even if in reality it would always be a bit out of reach. There is a place for highly realistic shades of grey(and a few do make it into this show), but there’s also a place for more pure heroism in our stories and it’s a pity that such stories have been pushed so far out of our cultural consciousness.
 
I do hope to see it explicitly noted that an Australian has been crucial to saving America. Several times now. And something on the immunes that have to exist in other countries- especially Japan.  If the 5% rate mentioned earlier holds, there should be somewhere north of 6 million Japanese Immunes.  And after this season, holy shit will they be PISSED(watch the season if you want to know why, or maybe I’ll write a more spoilery review behind a cut).
 
The cliffhanger was much less pronounced than earlier seasons.  Not a cliffhanger ending so much as leaving a few story threads they can pick up in later seasons.  Hell, this could have served as a series finale if they hadn’t gotten the S4 pickup.

Stirling Boat

Since watching a few videos about the Stirling Engine, I’ve had a thought to build one. But what to power with it?

A boat.  I could heat the top with sunlight.  Paint it black for maximum heating, materials chosen to hold as much heat as possible.

The cold end would be flush with the hull.  Possibly even a finned heat sink like you’d use on a computer, with the fins extending below the hull(probably with a shield open on the ends to let water through for cooling while protecting the fins from impacts). Especially once you get moving, this should provide fairly effective cooling of your cold end.

Not sure how practical it would be to build something to transport people and/or cargo, but a small model should be feasible.

This boat wouldn’t work too well at night, though if there’s a warm front coming through while the water is still cold you might get a bit of power, though if you’d take this thing far from shore you’d want backup oars or materials to build a fire on the top plate.

I’ll look into the feasibility of this over the weekend, and maybe put together a parts list soon if it looks buildable(and I can get access to a large enough body of water to test whatever I build, if it’s not small enough to test in a bathtub.

Japanese Emperor divine ancestry?

Had a random thought.

The Emperors of Japan stopped claiming divine ancestry under pressure of the US occupation force after World War II.  Had the United States not pushed the issue, and had the guns to force the issue if it came to that, it would not have happened.

While the fact that it happened in another country might make it technically legal for the US to have done that(by domestic law- I don’t know nearly enough about relevant international law to judge)… that’s a pretty serious violation of at least the spirit of the free exercise clause.  Forcing this on an entire country.

Now, Japan appears to be OK with it these days, still, even by our own law we shouldn’t have done it.

We’re living a sequel to “The Proteus Operation”

“The Proteus Operation” is a time travel/alternate history novel by James P Hogan.  The basic plot- History through World War I proceeds as normal.  In the aftermath, though, it really becomes the war to end all wars.  Peace and prosperity is established worldwide by 2020.

Spoilers for the overall plot of the book, though few highly specific details.
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George Kirk returning in Star Trek 4?

There are rumors that George Kirk will return in some form in Star Trek 4.
Flashbacks seem to be the expected way, but…
Narada was originally a mining ship, but she was refit by the Tal Shiar with Borg technology. Unclear if it was reverse engineered designs or actual salvaged equipment, if the latter… Well, there’s some potential.
So the Tal’shiar installs salvaged Borg equipment on Narada. Not fully understanding how everything works, they don’t realize they are installing assimilation equipment along with the weapons or shield generators, or do and can’t figure out how to disentangle it from what they want to install. But they figure it’s not going to assimilate anyone without a command to do so, so what does it matter if it’s sitting there?  Narada is a huge ship, they have the space.
Flash forward(backward?) to the battle with USS Kelvin. George Kirk crashes Kelvin into Narada. Now, this is assumed to kill him straight away, but perhaps he survives… albeit critically injured. The Borg equipment misinterprets the injured Kirk as a severely damaged drone, and emergency protocols activate to repair the drone.
George Kirk as the Kelvin timeline Locutus. Perhaps a few other drones from other critically wounded Kelvin crew and maybe a few Narada crew near the damaged sections.
It’s a path to bringing in the Borg to this timeline.
This could seem iffy right after another hive mind type of enemy- the Swarm from Beyond- but they could present that Swarm as a precursor to the Borg. I’ve had the thought that it could have been an early version of the Collective tech, and Altamid the homeworld of the original Borg. If they make this canon, and follow it up with a Borgified George Kirk, that could be pretty cool IMO and maybe even make Beyond the second best movie of the reboot.  The experience against the Swarm might also open up ways the relatively less advanced Kelvin timeline Federation might stand a chance against a Borg invasion.
They’d need a clever way to get these drones off Narada rather than using it to assimilate the galaxy, but that shouldn’t be too hard.  Perhaps the assimilation equipment isn’t complete, and their full array of defensive equipment isn’t available, so the Naradas crew would beat them silly?  So they steal a shuttlecraft and go somewhere to contact the main Collective and gear up for an invasion.

Star Trek III and War Crimes.

Kirks “surrender” in Star Trek III would be a war crime in a modern war.
Scuttling the ship is one thing. You don’t have to let the enemy take your stuff when you surrender. Scuttling with enemy boarders aboard is also OK to prevent capture of the ship.
But surrendering with the intent of luring enemy personnel aboard when you scuttle, so that you can more easily capture their ship for your own use, is a flagrant violation of the Geneva Conventions. Surrender is a way to end hostilities, not a battle tactic.
Kirk might be able to try to play a technicalities game in that there wasn’t a signed instrument of surrender, but even if he could establish having followed the letter of the law, he certainly didn’t follow the spirit.
The Klingons should have added war crimes charges to the charges of assassinating Gorkon in Star Trek VI.  It’s understandable that they might have considered it diplomatically infeasible to push extradition too hard in Star Trek IV, but they had him in custody in VI.  War crimes charges couldn’t be so easily dismissed, because he actually did do it even if he had some technicality to minimize liability.