Penguins Are Smarter Than Starfleet

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is a Star Trek series that neither Garian nor I had watched so we started going through it last year. We’d usually watch an episode before bed so that whatever episode of Supernatural we’d just seen wouldn’t give me nightmares. There is evidently something to be said for in utero experiences because now little “Mara Jade” (geek points if you know the reference for my baby’s alias) can be wide awake and fighting bedtime for all she’s worth, but all we have to do is turn on Deep Space Nine and she’s asleep in 20 minutes. I hope and pray that it continues to work at least into her teens — I have visions of just putting the theme music on an ipod and sliding it under her door to induce instant unconsciousness…


Anyway, in watching this series, I can’t help but be extremely aggravated with whatever Starfleet protocol that calls for everyone on the runabout craft to beam down into unknown or obviously hostile situations. We’re midway through Season 2 at this point and on at least several occasions, just leaving one person on the shuttle while everyone else does reconnaissance could have averted disaster. But instead it’s “oh no, we’re all trapped down here and can’t beam out or call for backup or even tell someone where we are!” Of course, there is always some clever way out of it, but you’d think that as smart as they are, they’d institute a Someone Stays On The Shuttle ‘Til It’s All Clear Rule. Or that Chief O’Brien could rig up a ring or something they could wear with a panic button that would beam them back out without having to touch the comm badge and say, “computer, one to beam up.” It’s not even an original idea — one of the Dominion agents they captured had something on her wrist that she just touched and floop! — she was gone right out of the station. Take a hint, people. (on a side note, when they say for instance, “three to beam up” and there are five people standing there, how does the computer know which three?! Can it pick up thought waves? Then why do they have to say anything? Things that keep me up at night…)

So, penguins. They kind of look like Star Trek characters in their high contrast uniforms don’t they? But beyond that, they’ve figured out how not to die when voyaging into the unknown. When they get ready to go fishing, they wait until one of their number goes in the hole first (or is pushed in) to make sure that there aren’t any seals lying in wait just under the ice. When that one doesn’t die, the rest jump on in.

ImagePenguins have figured this out. Why do advanced space station officers make the same tactical mistake over and over again? Because it makes good storylines… FOR ME TO POOP ON!

Seriously, I am enjoying the series, but if very many more episodes hinge on “we could’ve avoided this whole situation if someone had stayed on the runabout” I’m going to start tossing around phrases like “lazy writing.” Also, I really want a scientific explanation for how Odo can change his size so drastically without changing his mass. Any physics people want to take a stab at that? Mmmm, stabbing… K, bye!


One Response to “Penguins Are Smarter Than Starfleet”

  1. Another great musing from Evil Bekka!!! I totally agree and wonder about the same things too! (though I don’t watch Deep Space Nine, the same line of thinking and questioning could be applied to many other programs) Agree with the “lazy writing”. The writers are so accustomed to everyone just accepting their “magic fire”, I think they don’t bother to coordinate all of the magic fire “rules”. Quite annoying…. But….Still gives us something to laugh about, especially after you get through with them!

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