TACHYON WAVES, WARP DRIVES, AND A TOASTER OVEN

Garry and I binge watched the entire “Star Trek: Next Generation.” On Netflix. We had missed the show’s initial run. 1987 through 1994 were busy years full of work, moving houses, digging into careers. Getting married. Moving again. Watching TV wasn’t a priority back then.

BBC America showed the series last year, but not in order. When Netflix gave us the opportunity to catch up, we did, viewing two, three, four episodes each night.

star trek next gen cast

There’s a lot of tech talk on the Enterprise. No problem. Pass the warp drive. I’ll have a side of tachyon particles. I understand their science as well as I understand anything. Which is to say, not at all. I understand the engines on the Enterprise as well as I understand my toaster oven.

Tachyon energy is crucial to all kinds of weaponry and fuel. They are part of what powers the warp engines on the Enterprise. The warp engines are what lets the Enterprise be the Enterprise, travel at speeds faster than light … fast enough to explore the universe. Slither through wormholes. Travel through time.

For your information, a tachyon particle moves faster than light. The complementary particle types are luxon (particles which move at the speed of light) and bradyon (particles which move slower than light). If you live in the Star Trek universe, tachyon particles are as common as dirt. Or electricity.

enterprise next gen

Effectively, life and everything in it is a giant mystery to me, yet I feel as if I understand it. When they talk about it, I nod because I get it. I’ve been listening to this mumbo jumbo for so many years, it has achieved a pseudo-reality. Because when I look closely, there’s nothing there. I understand the technology of the 24th century exactly as well (and as much) as I understand the technology of the 21st.

How many of you know how the stuff you use works? Some of you do, but most of us know how to use our devices and gadgets, but have no idea why or how it works. I know how software is designed, how code is written and compiled. I used to know a little coding. In the end, though, I have no idea why code does anything. Why, when you compile a program, does it work? It’s just text. Why does it do what it does?

Why does anything work? Tachyon particles, warp drives, internal combustion engines, electricity, cell phones, WiFi. It’s all the same.

Magic.

And now, back to the Enterprise, already in progress.

30 thoughts on “TACHYON WAVES, WARP DRIVES, AND A TOASTER OVEN

        • Might’ve been a poke at my not being a ST:TNG fan. Or maybe they find people with slightly more hair than Patrick Stewart attractive? It was certainly interesting to revisit this old comment again, as the notification initially confused me…

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        • I was responding to what evilsquirrel13 was saying: “The only thing I know about this series is that I share a birthday with Patrick Stewart. And I have slightly more hair than he does…” I always wonder where people live that don’t know about Star Trek (especially if you were in that 18-49 age range when TNG aired).

          Not what “universe” exactly but yeah. Star Trek is such a big part of American culture, and you could say that TNG was more popular than the Original in its time (because it got a 2x longer run) that it fascinates me when I find someone who doesn’t know anything about it. 🙂

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  1. I think “Next Gen” has probably aged better than original Star Trek. if I watch episodes of the old series now I find some parts are a little cringeworthy but without it we would not have had all the rest and nobody will ever do a Vulcan as well as Leonard Nimoy. I didn’t warm to STNG until about season three but as time has passed it’s grown on me more and more. I don’t understand the science, but it doesn’t matter because the characters make you believe it and it is for the characters that I watch it.

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    • I don’t think they hit their stride until around season three, but from there on, it was a pretty good show most of the time. And yes, Nimoy was THE Vulcan. I always feel like I understand the tech talk, even though I don’t. I’ve heard it so often, it feels real 🙂

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      • Yes I agree, the characters did not seem comfortable in their roles for the first couple of seasons but then something clicked. Patrick Stewart does have such a wonderful speaking voice. Don’t know if he’s ever narrated audio books but he ought to.:-)

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        • It’s funny how some actors make great narrators … Will Patton, Dustin Hoffman are both really terrific. Merryl Street is terrible. She doesn’t “get” narrating. She triea to “act” the book and it doesn’t work. So you never know. The ability to narrate is a different skill, I think. Stewart does have an amazing voice.

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  2. I also agree that NG was better than the original series. But Star Trek pushed back a load of boundaries when you think of what happened in the 60’s and how Star Trek broke the mould. For instance in an era of segregation they had a female communications office who was black and a Russian navigator while the Cold War was at its height. Having a Vulcan on board made sense because there’s no way we’re alone there have to be other planets with life on them.

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      • It was really the first to do that for tv and film, there have been other influencers since although I think Gene Roddenberry was an amazing, talented humanitarian for pushing the boundaries back in the first place. Now if we could just accept one another as human beings rather than black, white, yellow or red, male or female the world would be a much brighter place.

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  3. I finished watching the original and I’m several years into the next generation. I’ve always thought I like the original better but the next generation, upon watching it again, seems better than I remember.

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  4. Pingback: I was nominated for a “Unique Blogger Award” | Blue Towel Productions

  5. There used to be a show a long time ago called ALF. It was about an alien played by a muppet like puppet who crash landed on earth and ended up living with a sitcom family. The best line was when the father asked ALF. “Why can’t you just fix your ship and go home?” Alf replies “What do I know about fixing a space ship? I just get in, turn the key on and drive.”
    Same thing

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    • I remember the show. I only watched a couple of times, but I remember that. That’s the real answer to everything. No one really know how it works. We just believe it will, so it does. if Heinlein was right, if we stop believing, everything will stop working and magic will be loose in the world.

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  6. This was the crown jewel of all Star Trek TV, fills me with fond memories of my childhood. I really wish they continued the show longer, they were in too much of a rush to make movies. Heck, they should bring it back! If they’re going to bring back Full House, they might as well revisit this masterpiece. If you really want to geek out on Star Trek tech, check out this book:

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