The Last Ship battleship

So in The Last Ship an Iowa class battleship shows up fighting for the bad guys.
Now, given the fall of global civilization that came before this point, losing track of a battleship is actually plausible. Could have come loose from its moorings and drifted and been recovered perhaps?
That said, I’d expect the first thing the Navy would do would be to check on which Iowas were accounted for, and prepare a report on any quirks of that unit, such as any mission specific hardware that was installed her sister ships did not receive.
But there has been no mention of this. Just dialog that it’s a battleship, a display claiming ID as an Iowa class, that’s it.
Realistically, given the timeline involved, it’s probably the USS Iowa. The others were museum ships by the time of the show, so probably moored too tightly, and with too much necessary equipment pulled out to be reactivated by anyone save *possibly* the United States.  While Iowa would not be easy to reactivate, it might have been possible.  And Iowa would have been in San Diego when shit went down, accounting for the Columbian fleet having to traverse the Panama Canal.

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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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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The Minister of War

In Episode 4 of Doctor Who Series 9, “Before the Flood”, O’Donnell mentioned a Minister of War.

There’s been a lot of speculation as to who it could be.  My theory?  John Frobisher, the Permanent Secretary to the Home Office in Torchwood: Children of Earth.

We’ve had a callback to Caecilius already, but Peter Capaldi also played Frobisher.  I’ve been wondering if this will be drawn in, and this looks like a good way.

Now, Frobisher is believed to have commited murder/suicide by firearm.  But it’s worth noting that it’s harder than most people think to kill someone with a shot through the head, the standard aimpoint for firearms suicide.  For a rather dramatic example of taking a projectile through the brain and surviving, read about Phineas Gage.  Took a tamping iron through the skull, pieces of his brain falling out, and he survived for decades after, able to hold down jobs and such.  Granted, it wasn’t a 100% complete recovery, but he was functional.

So Frobisher putting a bullet through his brain isn’t guaranteed to be fatal or even guaranteed to cause serious permanent disability.  Especially given the stress he was likely under, what with the 456, arranging the logistics of handing over children to them, murdering his wife and kids, his aim may have been off.

So Frobisher survives.  It’s unlikely, but entirely possible.  Given the threat of the 456, the attempted turnover of all those children, while a crime against humanity under normal circumstances, might be excused as following orders in a situation with no good choices.  And then the murder of his family might qualify for some sort of diminished capacity or insanity defense after he broke down under the stress.

Eventually, perhaps Frobisher recovers, and becomes the Minister of War, and becomes involved in an event that draws The Doctor’s attention.  Perhaps, embittered by his experience with the 456, he goes on the offensive against aliens?

Marty McFly was captured and tortured by Libyan Terrorists

So, this came up in a Facebook thread a while ago, figured I should put my theory here.

So, we should all know that at the end of Back To The Future, the Libyan terrorists that Doc Brown got the plutonium from shot Doc Brown at point blank range with assault rifles, and Marty returns from his near incestous diversion to 1955 to find the terrorists crashing into a photo booth, and Doc Brown getting up barely even winded.

There are issues here.  Plutonium, from terrorists?  Uranium, maybe, you can mine that shit.  But plutonium needs to be produced in a nuclear reactor, and is typically monitored very closely by national and international watchdog agencies.  There’s a country short on plutonium that has likely deployed their entire intelligence service to find it.  Intelligence services of other nations probably got involved the instant the IAEA was notified.

And odds are, those Libyans aren’t the only people in their org that know about the plutonium.  Their next senior commander is going to want it found as well, as well as wanting to find out what happened to their men.  And, oh, the odds the crash was fatal appear to be low.  I’ve been in much more severe car crashes and walked away.  With that many people and at least one unbelted, there were likely injuries, but they would have survived.  One of them might have even got away before police arrived and immediately called in the CIA.  Seriously, there’s just no way Doc and Marty are getting away from the police.

Doc and Marty would have been immediately picked up.  Marty was probably released fairly quickly, maybe the feds cut him a break as a stupid kid, maybe Doc Brown secured Marty’s release as a condition of cooperating with DARPA on developing new technology.  Hell, Doc’s bulletproof vest alone would be worth billions.  Point blank fire from multiple assault rifles on full auto and all that happens is you are knocked on your ass?  With minimal movement restriction on an old man probably not in the greatest shape? This would be one of the most fundamental advances in infantry combat since the machine gun.  A trained soldier in good shape could probably have killed all of those terrorists with little trouble.  This vest is close to being as implausible as the time machine itself!

At some point Doc Brown manages to access the confiscated DeLorean(perhaps his minders let their guard down while he was consulting on its analysis?) and escapes to 2015, setting up the second movie.  But Marty?  After the feds let him go, the Libyans catch him.  Perhaps one of the terrorists got away, perhaps other cells managed to track him down while looking for the uranium.  He’s put through hell to get him to talk.  Given that he was living openly in 2015, I suspect that at some point prior to his release he managed to convince the terrorists that he didn’t know anything, and they got that information transmitted up their chain of command.  Then the cell he was held by was probably wiped out by SEALs or something, so they weren’t worried that Marty could give the CIA useful information on them.

1985 Marty was a reasonably well put together teenager.  Not hugely special perfect teenager, but nothing extraordinarily horrible.  2015 Marty?  He was a bit of a wreck.  Nervous, even more afraid of being called a coward than he ever was in 1985.  Why?  Psychological trauma resulting from torture at the hands of Libyan terrorists, and possibly even some from the CIA.

What if Pi is rational?

Things I wonder about- Pi is an irrational number. However, there is, in principle, a small but nonzero chance that everyone who has proven Pis irrationality was wrong, and that Pi is, in fact, rational.

If this were to be the case, I wonder what the implications would be? Not much on a day to day basis right now, we use it to great practical effect under the assumption it is irrational and get the right answer(or at least something usefully close). But I wonder what would be impacted in more pure mathematics and number theory, and if there might be something humans might get into some day where this would have significant practical implications?

I suppose the implications would depend at least on part on where in the proofs people have gone wrong. This could potentially have implications beyond pi and its uses.

Now I’m not as crazy as this might make me seem- I’m pretty well satisfied that Pi is irrational.  While I have no idea what the proof is and might not understand the math involved anyways, it’s been treated as irrational for so long that if it wasn’t, *someone* would have noticed by now. I just wonder about weird things sometimes.

The Golden Throne imprisons, not sustains, the Emperor of Man

According to the official story, the Emperor of Man in Warhammer 40k was mortally wounded when facing off against Warmaster Horus, and was placed in the Golden Throne to keep him, and the human race, alive. I think there is reason to doubt that story.

What really happened?

Now, a curious fact is that the Ultramarines were largely spared the devastation that faced the other loyalist Legions. They were deployed too far away to marshall much of a response to Horus’ rebellion. Why? Officially, they were just kicking that much ass and moving that fast on the crusade. But, perhaps, someone knew they’d be a problem and ensured their orders took them far, far away. The remaining legions were able to beat back the Chaos armies. Barely, but still, they won. If the Ultramarines were able to join the fight in significant numbers, the Chaos rebellion would likely have never even gotten close to Earth.

Who could have gotten them sent that far away? It had to be one of the Primarchs. Others sending them to the ass end of nowhere would have been immediately suspect and subject to a quick veto. Only the Emperor or the Primarchs could have had the authority to issue such orders.

Suspects? Rogal Dorn is suspect number 1.

My charge is that Rogal Dorn fell to chaos, and was not content to be a servant of Horus- he wanted to rule it all. He knew he could not take Horus on his own, and even if he did, the Emperor would be quick to put him down. So he arranged to send the Ultramarines away and draw Horus to Terra, forcing the Emperor to face him. He likely didn’t know or care who would win the fight, only that the winner would be severely weakened by the effort. Weak enough that Dorn could have finished them off, and with both factions demoralized with the loss of their leader, they’d be ripe for a takeover. And then, secure in his power, he’d be ready with a united force to take on the returning Ultramarines.

Who found the Emperor? Isn’t it convenient that Dorn got there just after the fight ended?

Unfortunately for Rogal Dorn, more Marines came pouring in before he could deliver the death blow. Quickly coming up with a backup plan, he arranged for the Golden Throne to prevent the Emperor from recovering, giving him time to regroup and make another play for power in due time.

Oh… which Primarch was most resistant to the breakup of his legion, and the resultant reduction in his personal power? Rogal Dorn. And when he was forced to, isn’t it perhaps curious that he sent the most fanatically loyal faction of the Imperial Fists off on a crusade as the new Black Templars, keeping the rest of his forces close at hand?

The Golden Throne is said to be malfunctioning. Perhaps that’s because the Emperor is in fact slowly recovering, and the Throne is simply not able to keep up anymore? What will he do when he can once again step off the Throne and lead his people?