USS Franklin Timeline Justified

Star Trek: Beyond introduced the first Warp 4 capable ship operated by Earth, the USS Franklin.  This ship and it’s known canon timeline appear to pose some challenges.  Why is its registry number so high compared to later NX ships?  Where was she during the Xindi crisis?  Why, for a ship that predated the last holdouts joining United Earth, does she bear a United Federation of Planets dedication plaque?

I think those issues can be fairly easily resolved.  Not relying on word of god statements, just on filmed evidence and knowledge of relevant real world science and engineering and history.

Her launch was some time prior to the construction of NX-01 Enterprise.  This is where I think I can solve the registry number issue. Perhaps Franklin was commissioned under a different prefix?  Maybe that XCV that shows up in a couple places in canon.  She’s built, doing her thing, and with construction of Enterprise ready to start… Starfleet wants to test the Warp 5 engine in a real ship prior to the NX class proper, just to be sure.  So Franklin is transferred to the NX program, being reregistered from XCV-326 to NX-326.  There is precedent in the US Navy, sometimes ships are reclassified and the hull number prefix changes.  The WWII era USS Essex was CV-9, CVA-9, and CVS-9 after various refits and role changes.  This is trivial.

Now, why was she not as fast as Enterprise in this scenario?  Well, it’s more than the engine.  For a real world example, the Pontiac Aztek and the fifth generation Grand Am GT share an engine.  The Aztek tops out at 108mph, the Grand Am can hit 130.  Now, granted, this is where the governor kicks in and doesn’t let you go faster, but the governors are set up that way because that’s what the cars can safely handle.  With the same engine.  Franklin could easily be slower than Enterprise.  Or it could have been a slightly earlier version of the engine and then there’s not even the appearance of an issue.

And now we come to where the hell was she during the Xindi crisis?  Well, Enterprise is in the Delphic expanse.  Columbia is expected to be deployed there immediately if she’s completed in time(If you recall, there was brief speculation that the time displaced Enterprise was Columbia).  *Someone* has to be checking in on various Earth colonies and outposts, and barring Enterprise and possibly other conversions, Franklin was probably the fastest ship in the fleet.  She’d be all over the goddamned place dealing with all the random crap that happens in episodes of most Trek series.  Not a problem at all here.

And then- Why was she serving past the retirement of NX-01 Enterprise, a supposedly more advanced ship, which was mission capable at time of retirement?  Well, the B-52 is still the backbone of the United States Air Force bomber forces, with much reduced roles for the B-1 and B-2, and other “more modern” bombers such as the B-58 have been retired entirely.  Franklin may have been more reliable/cheaper to operate while providing “good enough” capability, relative to the NX class.

Lastly, the transfer from the United Earth Starfleet to the United Federation of Planets Starfleet is likely the event which warranted a new dedication plaque. Perhaps it was just done.  Perhaps UESF remained(the UESPA certainly did over a century later) in existence, so a Federation Starfleet ship retaining a UESF plaque would be inappropriate.

Now, a lot of this is speculation, but I think it’s reasonably grounded in known canon and real world precedents of the sort Star Trek is already known to follow since 1966.

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Domain change

While the old will remain active for the next several months, the current domain, which will actually be renewed, is in line with IDs and such I use elsewhere on the net.  Update bookmarks accordingly.

Ancient Aliens on Reptilians.

They talk about various traits that sometimes show up in humans that appear to be reptilitan in origin.  Not one scientist mentions potential terrestrial origins of the features.
The first thing- Well, genetics sometimes goes wrong.  Our DNA replication infrastructure is quite good, but it isn’t perfect and it can be damaged after replication.

The second, well, we descend from a common ancestor with reptiles.  Even if these traits are throwbacks to our evolutionary history, have we really ruled out the possibility that they are actually basal Reptiliomorpha traits?  If they are, there might be a slim chance enough of the DNA has stuck around for an occasional atavistic trait to appear.

This is not obscure science that a sincere research might reasonably have missed.  In principle, if the alien hypothesis of these traits origins is true, these issues might be overcome.  But they have to be acknowledged, and the explanation of why these issues are not in play must be presented if you really want your argument to be taken seriously.

Of course, this isn’t their real argument, their real argument is that entertainment and annoying 15th rate bloggers will make History Channel money.

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Pidge to a trans woman

This is Pidge, from the Netflix reboot of Voltron.  Pidge is special to me, and here’s why.  Putting the body behind a cut because it’s not a first minute reveal, though it is S1.


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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.
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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.

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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.

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