Monday, September 05, 2005

GeekTalk: Space Signals

Why does the starship Enterprise have running lights? I know the answer is "Because that way other ships can see it. It's dark out there." That makes sense on airplanes, but are spaceships really navigating by looking out the window?

They have all those fancy sensors, scanners, holograms, and starmaps. They always go "I'm picking up a Klingon warship on our sensors." I've never seen Data pointing out the window and going, "Does that look like a spaceship to you?" I've never seen them come out of warp and suddenly Captain Picard yells, "Look out, lights! Hard right!"

Why don't they just put turn signals on the Enterprise while they're at it? And when the ship backs up, make it go "beep, beep, beep?" Seems like a waste of power to me. If you can't tell a spaceship is heading towards you at a thousand miles an hour, little lights on its nose aren't gonna help.


Free iPods said...
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Deirdre Cooley said...

Too funny. The answer, of course, is that the Enterprise looks cooler with running lights... and you know, what we see is more important than the functionality. Perhaps the lights are useful when they pull the ship into those cavernous bays in a space station. Who knows? But your comment was very funny and very astute.

Mauricem said...

HAHAHA! That's the funniest think I never thought of. You're right! They wouldn't even notice the ship in space unless they had a camera pointed at it!