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Nate the Great 04-05-2021 12:31 AM

So I just watched The Giver movie for the first time. Like everyone else I had to read the book in school. I've even read the sequels (FYI: don't bother, the connections to the first book are weak at best and introduce even more plot holes). However, I'm not as passionate as some about "they changed X, Y, and Z from the book, this is a disaster!" with this book. (If the remake of The Phantom Tollbooth is ever made, expect me to be passionate about THAT!)

PNQ: Was it even worth trying? Are there some books that just can't be translated to the screen without serious damage to the message that was intended?

A key problem that I found was the amount of exposition that was blatantly left out because we didn't have a Jonas inner monologue. I know that this dates me even more, but upon reflection I think that the book falls into the Flowers for Algernon trap (yikes, I haven't thought about Flowers for Algernon in like twenty years). Some books are supposed to be about the inner workings of a person, and those kind of stories just can't be told well in movie format.

PNQ2: What books can you think of that are also focused on the inner workings of the main character?

One that comes to mind immediately is Dear Mr. Henshaw. (PNQ: Are kids still made to read Dear Mr. Henshaw these days?)

Think about it, the reason why a lot of books work is because there's the audience POV character that responds to the main character. That can be translated to the screen a lot easier. But in The Giver a key plot point is that nobody can relate to Jonas except the Giver himself.

Nate the Great 04-08-2021 01:29 PM

So yet another article on the changes made to the Trill between TNG and DS9 is making the rounds on Facebook...

PNQ: Why did they bother calling the DS9 race the Trill?

I mean, "The Host" wasn't a particularly good episode to begin with. Looking back they never really did a good job with love interests for Beverly besides Picard. I don't revisit that episode, and I doubt many viewers cared to see more of the Trill. If they had renamed the race to go with the new makeup and backstory I doubt anyone would have cared.

Nate the Great 04-22-2021 05:51 PM

So Washington, D.C. wants to be a state...

PNQ: Opinions?

The latest news is that the supporters want to name the new state "Washington, Douglass Commonwealth", which I think is a horrible name.

Personally I'm in favor of retrocession, i.e. returning everything except the formal government buildings to Maryland. And even if I wanted it to be a state, I'd just call it Columbia.

Nate the Great 04-24-2021 02:15 AM

Courtesy of Facebook...

PNQ: Could a lightsaber cut Captain America's shield?

Personally, I doubt it. The shield specifically spreads out energy applied to it.

Times the shield has been damaged.

Usually it's magic. Don't ask me how Ultron destroyed it. Molecule Man is an essay by itself.

Mark Hamill votes in favor of lightsaber.

Kyle Hill (he makes videos tackling pop culture science) also votes for lightsaber.

Personally I think Cap would be smart enough to not allow continual contact in order to protect the shield.

DrWho42 04-27-2021 05:04 AM

what's after vapourwave?

Nate the Great 04-28-2021 10:57 PM

PNQ: How often do you refer to the 2009 film as Star Trek XI?

If Not Always Right is to be believed, not very many people call it that.

Nate the Great 05-10-2021 07:11 PM

So I'm watching the Garak tribute again, and I got to wondering...

PNQ: What Trek character would've made the greatest changes to history if they had never existed?

Think about it. Garak changed the course of the Dominion War many, many times. So many times that I can't even list them all without going episode by episode.

Then again, no Worf means Duras would've become Chancellor, broken the Federation Alliance, and the Klingons would've become pawns of the Romulans.

Without Kirk the Klingons would've gotten a much larger foothold in Federation territory in the TOS days PLUS the Chang conspiracy would've taken control of the Empire.

No Picard means the first Borg invasion would've gone quite differently. And frankly Q's interactions with the Enterprise would've been much different. For that matter, would Riker have figured out the Devron anomaly paradox?

No Spock means no Khitomer Conference. Another ambassador wouldn't have gotten things done so fast. Chang would've had a much easier time taking over the Empire.

No Once again the first Borg invasion would've gone very differently. Not to mention the Klingon Civil War.

Scotty has a good shot at the title as well. Not for any one thing, but for lots of little examples of miracle repairs.

No Sisko...yikes. That's a thread by itself.

Nate the Great 05-13-2021 03:24 AM

In "Meridian" Quark pulls a con on Kira, claiming that she's his one millionth customer...

PNQ: How plausible is this?

We don't know when Quark's opened beyond "before 2363." Meridian is 2371, so let's say it's been open ten years. The bar runs on a 26-hour cycle like Bajor, so that's 337 Bajoran days per year, or 3370 total. A million customers is 300 per day. We've seen that Cardassians enjoy their gambling and drinking as much as anyone else, so let's call this reasonable.

An episode in the first season claims 300 people on board, which I find dubious. Upper limits on a steady population for the station are usually around 7,000, which I also find dubious.

The writer's guide for the first season apparently claims 200 Bajorans and 50 Starfleet on board. I'd say Quark had about 20 Ferengi and assorted alien Dabo Girls working for him before the FCA ban.

Memory Beta claims almost 700 permanent residential quarters in the Habitat Ring and another 350 in the Central Core.

Okay, so it's not plausible for Quark to take ten years to get to a million customers, let's say that he means AFTER the Occupation. Two years or 700 days means over 1400 people per day. Over 50 people per hour. That's a lot of visitors, but I'm not sure about that either. He'd have to wait until Season Five and the Klingon peace for that kind of business.

Nate the Great 05-16-2021 09:43 PM

So in "Disaster" Picard gives away one of his pips, easily attaching it to civilian clothes...

PNQ: How do the pips and commbadges attach to their uniforms?

If they only attached to uniforms, we could assume that there is a corresponding magnet or other device built into them to allow for easy attachment. But this happens to civilian clothes all the time, whatever mechanism is in play must be confined to the devices only.

Could there be some sort of spring-loaded hook mechanism built into them? Press the thing into cloth and hundreds of tiny hooks extend to grab the cloth. Press again and they retract.

Could all clothes come equipped with a mesh that has a function other than attaching pips and commbadges? I'd suggest temperature control or stain resistance, but we've seen plenty of sweat and dirt on clothes. Another possibility is identification, instructions for people who find survivors, etc., but once again people seem to act like the commbadge itself is all the ID needed. Low-level armor also seems unlikely, we've seen phasers leave very clean wounds that don't seem dispersed in the slightest.

Nate the Great 05-17-2021 03:26 AM

So I'm watching the "Inspirational Speeches of Trek" video again...

PNQ: How is ANY Starfleet career "playing it safe"? If Picard wanted to "play it safe" wouldn't he have left Starfleet to work the family vineyard or become Professor Galen's assistant?

Okay, you could argue that there are "safe" Starfleet careers like working at Utopia Planitia or one of the embassies on the core worlds, but those are few and far between, and I'm not sure a timid Picard would like working there, either.

Nate the Great 05-18-2021 03:46 AM

PNQ: Suppose Seven never replaced Kes. No Borg stories, no Species 8472, none of that. What could you see as replacement stories?

Undoubtedly a key one would've been Kes having a baby. The way they wrote themselves into a corner with that one means they never could've gotten away with her chosing not to get pregnant again. And given her lifespan it's not like she could've frozen an embryo for later or something like that.

Perhaps there would've been a progression of her mental abilities, even to the point of letting her extend her lifespan.

There would've been a need for another major villain besides the Hirogen.

It saddens me to think of how much better certain episodes could've been without resorting to the "Seven learns something about humanity" trope. I get that it was done well with Spock and Data, but the law of diminishing returns was inevitable.

I wish that Voyager's reputation could've improved gradually, even to the point of a coalition like in Enterprise's later seasons (Voyager would've been better if it was more like Enterprise? Is it Opposite Day or something?).

A proper romance for Chakotay (NOT Janeway) would've been nice. Perhaps adding another member to the crew as a guide and doing it better than Neelix this time.

Nate the Great 05-26-2021 02:52 AM

In The Undiscovered Country Spock makes reference to "almost seventy years of unremitting hostility" between the Federation and the Klingon Empire....

PNQ: Really?

It seems to be a given that the Organian Peace Treaty didn't last very long, but it DID exist and would seem to qualify as a "remittence" of hostilities.

STVI is set in 2293, so what happened in 2223 or so to start things off?

What's weird is that "In A Mirror Darkly" makes reference to this 2223 event without specifying what it is.

Oh, and Sybok and Kirk's brother Sam were also born in this year. Odd coincidence.

Nate the Great 06-02-2021 03:53 AM

Inspired by a Deepfake video....

PNQ: If they remade Back to the Future, only with a current kid being sent back to the '80s, would it work?

I mean, there are plenty of culture shock possibilities there. No Internet, no cellphones, etc. There are plenty of jokes to be built around the evolution of slang.

Of course you couldn't have the same George/Lorraine plot and a lot of the other interactions would change (it would be harder for older Biff to make George do his "homework" at work these days, for instance), but it would be possible.

Getting plutonium from terrorists probably wouldn't fly today, but that wasn't an important plot-point anyway. In fact, it would be better for the Marty equivalent to know about today's circuitboards and have to teach the Doc equivalent how to recreate them with '80s tech.

Nate the Great 06-16-2021 06:55 PM

So I watched a clips video from the Friends episode "The One Where They All Turn Thirty"...

PNQ: What was your big "I'm getting old" birthday?

When I turned 30 I was too preoccupied by other problems to really worry about it. It wasn't until 31 that I had to leave a young person's group that I really loved. I turn 40 next year, and it doesn't seem like such a big deal.

Nate the Great 06-28-2021 03:14 AM

Inspired by a YouTube video...

PNQ: In what order should you read Jane Austen's novels?

I've only read Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, so I don't really qualify as an informed judge. Personally I would suggest S&S first, as the plot is much simpler with less of the subtext found in P&P. P&P requires a lot more intimate knowledge of the dos and don'ts of Regency life.

What Austen novels have you guys read? What would you recommend for the order of the rest of the six?

I've watched bits of a couple different versions of Emma and have read an abridgement, but I don't like it. People who think they're perfect and always make the right decisions until they figure out how wrong they are is not the kind of plot that I enjoy. Well-intentioned meddling leading to disaster is not fun for me as a novel-length plot, that sort of thing should be limited to a chapter at a time.

NAHTMMM 07-04-2021 05:44 AM

I only just read P&P recently and enjoyed it. I found a paper online talking about the choice of card games in the book, and what they all would convey to a contemporary audience, but it seems to be buried in all the other Austen card game results in my search results now.

Nate the Great 07-06-2021 02:51 PM

So I've seen a few YouTube videos trying to explain inconsistencies in stardates. This question even came up in the TOS days, so Gene said...

This time system adjusts for shifts in relative time which occur due to the vessel's speed and space warp capability. It has little relationship to Earth's time as we know it. One hour aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise at different times may equal as little as three Earth hours. The star dates specified in the log entry must be computed against the speed of the vessel, the space warp, and its position within our galaxy, in order to give a meaningful reading." Therefore star date would be one thing at one point in the galaxy and something else again at another point in the galaxy."

PNQ: Why is the ship's location and speed a factor? Doesn't this imply that every single ship, starbase, planet, etc. has an independent stardate system that must continually be corrected against each other?

PNQ2: Furthermore, isn't the entire point of subspace to correct for relativistic effects? I can understand full impulse (0.25c) messing things up, but not warp speeds?
PNQ3: Shouldn't the current date and time at Starfleet headquarters be the "official time" against which all logs are marked? I mean, I can understand each ship, etc. having a local clock for shifts and missions, but everything should be correlated back to the official clock for the ship's logs, right?

Nate the Great 08-16-2021 12:28 PM

Courtesy of Facebook:

PNQ: What's the first major world event you remember as a child?

I was a little too young for the Challenger disaster, I don't recall the fall of the Berlin Wall, etc.

Truth be told, the first major world event that I witnessed knowing that it was a BIG DEAL was 9/11, and I was 19 at the time.

Nate the Great 08-20-2021 01:04 AM

PNQ: Do you think they'll eventually do a Kelvin-style reboot of TNG?

Nate the Great 08-29-2021 07:17 PM

Ed Asner died today.

Yet another in a long line of "I thought they were already dead" entries.

PNQ: Favorite Asner role?

The Mary Tyler Moore Show and similar are way before my time. I had completely forgotten that he voiced Hudson in Gargoyles, so I guess that would have to be my pick in retrospect. Second would be J. Jonah Jameson, and third is his various appearances as Granny Goodness.

As for Mike Cosgrove on Freakazoid, I never really watched that show. The whole Animaniacs-style of overly topical jokes doesn't appeal to me.

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