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All I Really Need to Know About Engineering, I Learned From Star Trek

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Elizabeth M
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Re: Star Trek as inspiration
Elizabeth M   11/7/2013 4:41:36 AM
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Yes, NadineJ, I often found that about Star Trek as well. I was never a hard-core Trekkie but the episodes and movies I did see always struck me as not just scifi but also socially conscious. There is a reason there are so many devoted fans.

GTOlover
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Re: Star Trek as inspiration
GTOlover   11/7/2013 7:58:57 AM
Charles, so Vulcan was destroyed because of a video:-)

RogueMoon
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future holds the promise of better materials
RogueMoon   11/7/2013 9:06:04 AM
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Dave,

A running gag in one of my old assignments was to deplore the lack of "transparent aluminum" whenever we had a materials problem.  This fantastic 23rd century material was referenced in the movie, Star Trek IV and at least brought a grin to the face of our metallurgists whenever it was brought up (even by our chief engineer, one time :O).  

Sadly, in our timeline, the guy at the plant in the Bay Area must have been out of the office when Scotty and Bones popped by?  We've been waiting for this product to show up since the late 20th century when it was (sort of) invented.  Scotty even got an old Mac to do the work for him (once he quit talking into the mouse).  

We can't always expect a time-travelling starship chief engineer to show up with a game-changing new material, but I think we can all agree the future holds the promise of better materials.  As engineers and designers, we're wise to keep our eyes open to new materials.  I learned this from Star Trek.

dfortune
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Under-promise and over-deliver
dfortune   11/7/2013 9:08:27 AM
I recall that it wasn't that Scotty said something was impossible and then did it, rather than he told Kirk it would take much longer than what Kirk then told him he had time do to it - and then did it.

This was exemplified in the movie "Generations" where Scotty told Jordy (maybe not the exact verbiage) "My God man, you didn't tell him what time it would really take, did you?"

BrainiacV
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Re: English
BrainiacV   11/7/2013 9:46:07 AM
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The dodge they used was that they had universal translators, operating under the assumption that there are universal concepts.  A technical version of the Babel fish.

JimiEngr
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Inspired
JimiEngr   11/7/2013 9:51:52 AM
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I remember watching reruns of Star Trek in the Engineering Lounge while in college and hearing the naysayers ridicule the technology depicted as they walked by. They were descendants of the Flat Earth Society; If God Meant us to Fly, He'd have given us wings religion; and the Can't Travel Faster than the Speed of Sound club. I know Star Trek inspired me and many, many other engineers. As for the engineer naysayers they moved on to management positions with the bean counters where they can do the most harm.

When I got my flip-phone, I thought the person that designed it was definitely a Trekie.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: Here's 2 more categories
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   11/7/2013 11:31:38 AM
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Battar – agreed – you'll notice I did not specifically mention the 'Transporter' – ( altho' I DO concede that I did say "all" the technologies).  So, your correction is accepted. 

My point, however, covers literally dozens of lesser-noticed things, like the Bluetooth headset sticking out of Lt. Uhuru's ear on every episode. Or, the automatic presence-sensing sliding doors.  Or, the hand-held scanner units.  Oh, and here's a good one; Scotty taking a small rectangular handheld prism, and inserting it into the main computer console, from which spews gigabytes of reference data --  the pre-cursor to today's USB thumb-drive.  All of these things were mere fantasy visions in 1966, and are commonplace in 2013.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: future holds the promise of better materials
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   11/7/2013 11:42:10 AM
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We all had a good laugh when Scotty 'spoke' into the mouse ---  but then also laughed when he simply typed the algorithm for transparent aluminum into the keyboard of a Macintosh and yielded a dynamically rotating molecular 3D image after about 15 seconds of input.  Loved it! 

"Episode IV, The Voyage Home" still ranks as one of favorite all-time movies.  "Well, Double-dumb-ass on you !! "

GTOlover
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Re: Here's 2 more categories
GTOlover   11/7/2013 1:18:52 PM
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And yet Jim, no seat belts! I understand that the inertial dampeners were supposed to keep the crew from feeling the jolts, but why in the heck did these seem to always fail.

Spock, sit down and put the seat belt on! Wait, no one on the bridge had one. Even Kirk could not keep his hindend in his chair.

At least the JJ reboot had the insight to add these cool seat belts that automatically rolled over them and secured the person to the chair.

GTOlover
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Platinum
Re: English
GTOlover   11/7/2013 1:21:31 PM
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And yet Brainiac, Uhura was a linguistics expert. Why?

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