Why Star Trek Ships have Saucers

In the Star Trek universe, almost all of the Federation’s capital ships have one universal feature, the ‘Saucer Section’. This is often the main hull of the vessel, with some designs like the Miranda, NX, and Faraday class having no secondary-hull at all..


But why a saucer-shaped disk?

What if the disk shape wasn’t just aesthetic but had a practical purpose. What if the internal structure of the disk was spinning and producing artificial gravity through centripetal force?

Schematics and blueprints created of the USS Enterprise and other ship designs have detailed drawings of the internal decks of the saucer section and no, my theory is not-canon. Pitty.

If perhaps if they ever do a series set before the ‘Enterprise’ timeline, a pre-prequel, they could show a centrifuge-disk design in use on Starfleet vessels before they developed ‘gravity plating’ technology? Why would starship designers keep that aesthetic after it served any practical purpose? For the same reason parts of a ship are still called the ‘bridge’ and ‘forecastle’; Tradition.

A COVID-19 Status Update in 3 charts.

There’s been a lot of arguments about comparing US infection statistics versus other countries such as “You can’t compare the US because we have more people” or “We test more so we have more cases” all of which are true. But here are 3 charts normalized per million and per 1000’s of tests. So this is as close to apples to apples as you’re going to get.

This is where we are as of July 12, 2020.

This is where we’d like to be: less cases with the same number of tests

This is where every country wants to be: almost no cases.

Sunday Meme: 60s & 80s Flashback

The Celebrity Struggle Sessions.

“Confession means a lesser punishment, denial means guilt.” – a Chinese Communist Quote

‘Cancel Culture’ is nothing new. At the height of the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) teachers, civic leaders, artists, musicians, actors, and common farmers, were rounded up by the mob and forced to ‘confess’ their sins against Communism. These ‘Struggle Sessions‘ were held publically and the victims were often tortured, made to wear signs professing their guilt, and humiliated in front of their town and peers.


Soon the accused started giving up all kinds of information and examples of crimes that they MIGHT have committed, implicating anybody they knew, hoping that information would appease the mob. Before the Cultural Revolution ended (with the death of Mao), it’s estimated over 10-20 million were imprisoned in ‘reeducation camps’ and millions would die.

Today we see something eerily similar to the Chinese Struggle Sessions. These celebrities created the above online video to proactively signal their virtue to the cultural mob.

Or like the progressive Mayor of Minneapolis, who confessed to his ‘whiteness’. He most certainly is also guilty of ineffectual and indecisive leadership. But nobody cared. A mob will never forgive.

Today there is no need for Mao. Social Media is the Mao in all of us.


SOURCES

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_Revolution

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/11/the-cultural-revolution-50-years-on-all-you-need-to-know-about-chinas-political-convulsion

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Struggle_session

Debunked: Derek Chauvin Fake Police Vehicle Hoax

A number of Internet theories and memes have cropped up since the death of George Floyd attempting to question the legitimacy and identity of the cops who were involved, as by questioning visual details in the images of the arrest.

The meme below was shared by a friend who wanted to know if it could be true? I looked for images of Minneapolis Police vehicles and indeed the only images I could find were those also used in the meme. But I noticed that the lower door of the Police vehicles looked different than the vehicle in the George Floyd arrest. After searching for photos of the 2020 model Ford Explorer, we can see that Ford has changed the design of the rear hatch allowing for a broad area below the license plate to place a graphic text decals. In 2019 and older model Ford Explorers have the door handle directly below license plate which would make it impossible to apply a decal across the area without cutting it off in the middle.

I do not know the origin of this compiled-photo meme or whether it was created with malicious or innocent intent. But should you come across it, please share this article to debunk it.

Original HOAX meme

Why Hawaiian Shirts are the new Media Conspiracy Theory.

LARPers wearing festive team uniforms in a theme airsoft game.

Jonathan Evans and Samantha Sutton wrote that Hawaiian shirts have become a symbol of White Supremacy. This should be a laughable article in The Onion or Babylon Bee, but it’s not satire. These were articles written for ‘In-Style Magazine’ and ‘Esquire’ (granted hardly an exemplar of investigative journalism). Instead, they are examples of ironic-fashion and media fear-mongering.

Hawaiian or Aloha shirts are an icon of casual menswear for over a half-century. Created by in the 1920s by Japanese-Americans in Honolulu, HI these shirts were brought back to the mainland by returning tourists and military servicemen stationed there. In the 1950’s they gained widespread popularity in American culture swinging between mainstream and kitsch.

In the early 2000s, private military contractors and state-department security details adopted casual shirts in their attempts to draw less attention to themselves, while working overseas. First-person-shooter game designers incorporated this shirt into games like MaxPayne 3.


Flash forward to tumultuous spring of 2020, after two months of COVID-19 lockdown. Peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis turned into riots and looting in many cities throughout the country. A handful of armed individuals in tactical gear showed up to defend both small businesses from looters, and to protect peaceful protesters from violent rioters. The journalists provide no photos of any of them wearing Hawaiian shirts.

There are photos of a handful of men (3 in the articles) wearing Hawaiian shirts at the earlier ReOpen ‘protests’ in New Hampshire and Texas. Which given the more relaxed context of these events and a wide range of attire, the shirt choice seems more festive juxtaposition than a political statement. Yet some journalists insist on portraying the shirt as a symbol of some nefarious agenda. 

Jonathan Evans admits, “I am no scholar of the alt-right or the anti-government fringe” yet feels justified in making definitive assertions about their chosen uniform. He and Samantha made labored connections between Hawaiian shirts, lockdown protesters, 2A supporters, preppers/survivalists, and white nationalists. In the minute overlap of those different circles, they have created a new bugbear: the racist Hawaiian Shirt.

There is much to be afraid of today with a wave of riots and looting that we haven’t seen since the 1990s L.A. riots. The news media has a vested interest in making people alarmed, like the hoax of the ‘ok’ hand symbol. Fear drives clicks and clicks drive ad payments.

Hawaiian shirts are and should always mean only one thing: aloha. If the media chooses to portray symbols of love and welcome as racist, then it’s not improbable to see this rumor next…


SOURCES

https://www.instyle.com/fashion/hawaiian-shirts-alt-right-white-supremacy-protestors

https://www.esquire.com/style/mens-fashion/a32754893/why-rightwing-protestors-wear-hawaiian-shirts/?source=nl&utm_source=nl_esq&utm_medium=email&date=060320&utm_campaign=nl20376868&fbclid=IwAR37r1A9aUrmZg6nR9VYAM7zeZcVhgaR0HbEJDDDbqt4rukz_VKqa3ahSQs

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/history-hawaiian-shirt-180974598

https://www.adl.org/education/references/hate-symbols/okay-hand-gesture

https://www.gtainside.com/downloads/picr/2019-05/1557365047_Logo.jpg

COVID-19 Day 87: Life is back to normal. Be careful what you wish for.

Today marks the 87th day since President Trump announced the National Emergency back on March 13th. Since then I’ve marked every day in hopes of recording the process of recovering from the most pervasive pandemic to affect the entire planet in over a century. Today I will stop marking the days since there is no longer any point. The pandemic that united a country for over 2 months in shared fear, has seemingly been miraculously vanished by our shared outrage and division.

The nation’s businesses were shut down and over 3 million American’s were out of work. Through the course of April, COVID-19 cases and deaths rose alarmingly with record-breaking levels a daily occurrence, especially in New York which became the epicenter of the pandemic and a cautionary tale of ‘what NOT to do’. A weekly series of gaffs at the White House and a dramatic about-face from the CDC on mask-wearing. 

By May, new cases and deaths had peaked nationally and states which had not experienced alarming outbreaks (and some that had), began planning to reopen their economies to more Swedish-like health policies. In states that continued to restrict their population, protests began with cries to reopen businesses from desperate workers and small business owners. People began to notice a hypocrisy in ‘public safety measures’ and non-sensical restrictions on outdoor recreation as the weather turned mild. 

During May, two shocking deaths of black men became video videos. Ahmaud Arbery was shot in February while threatened by two white men who suspected him a burglar. At the end of May, George Floyd was killed during a police arrest, after the arresting cop pressed a knee on his neck for 8 minutes. Both deaths provoked outrage but protests for Ahmaud were suppressed by the COVID lockdown but by the end of May, protesters felt safe enough to take to the streets. 

Protest demonstrations in Minneapolis turned destructive, instigated by white ANTIFA-like agitators. Images of violence from both rioters and riot police were quickly shared on social media and tacitly encouraged by politicians. These in turn inspired duplicate riots nationwide. And then world-wide.

Now, news reports and social media coverage about COVID-19 are gone, replaced by protest and political news. Despite the universal rejection of police brutality and senseless looting and arson, we have both to thank for a sea change in the country. COVID-19 laws banning large social gatherings have been hypocritically ignored or blatantly modified to include exceptions for political protests. So any further government-mandated closures of business, school, or activities no longer have any legitimacy in the eyes of the public.

Rational safety measures like physical distancing, hand-washing, disinfecting, and mask-wearing should continue to be exercised until better solutions are developed. But all these coronavirus health measures are now, fully in the hands of our personal responsibility and social acceptance, and not proscribed by our political ‘authorities’.

Whether organic protest or influenced by state-sponsored psy-ops media bots intent on national destabilization, at this point is moot. The damage is done, the gates are open and there’s no going back. 2020 which started with a focus on political impeachment, then about a world-wide health crisis, is now focused on racial injustice and long-standing grievances. 

When COVID-19 began, many politicians said we could never go back to life-as-usual until a cure or vaccine was found. They were wrong. We’re back as life-as-usual because it’s politics-as-usual, and we’ve forgotten how much that sucks.