Monday, July 17, 2006

If You're Wondering How He Eats and Breathes...

...And other science facts,
Just repeat to yourself "It's just a show,
I should really just relax
For Mystery Science Theater 3000."
Was watching the latter half of an episode of Star Trek: TNG: "When the Bough Breaks" It was one of the early episodes, so I suppose some things can be forgiven, but I noticed a gaping plot hole that undermines the whole premise of the episode: It features a planet called Aldea populated by artsy people who set up their society so that machines would take care of the mundane, non-artsy details in life. They've got the super-technology more fitting for the helpless-except-for-guile Federation from the days of yore, when every alien race out there was hundreds of millions of years old and ultra-powerful, except for possibly the Big Mistake they made so that Kirk would have something to throw red shirts at and make logs about.

Where was I? Oh, yeah: Aldea has a cloaking device. A monster one that hides the whole planet. Kept it in the realm of legend alongside Atlantis and all that until they revealed themselves to the Enterprise.

PROBLEM: Yeah, you can make the planet invisible in terms of electromagnetism... But what about gravity? If I recall correctly, Neptune was discovered in part thanks to its gravity influencing the orbit of Uranus. (Stop sniggering!) Wouldn't a Star Trek-quality ship with advanced sensors and computers be able to notice the invisible planet, cloaked or not?

Oh well. It's just a show, I really should just relax.


Anonymous said...

Obviously the Aldaens have anti-graviton emitters.

TheBrummell said...

They didn't see it because a sneaky Sith erased it from the Temple Archives. Obviously.

Did they find the planet with the help of a small child in a silly helmet?

Lifewish said...

Well, they'd need to be taking observations over a fairly decent period of time for the small deflection caused by a planet to register. Thus, it's vaguely plausible that they'd miss it.

Bronze Dog said...

Maybe I'm overestimating Federation soopur sensors and processing ability, or something.

Ranson said...

Underestimating? Hasn't the computer on Enterprise accidentally created intelligent life sixteen times or so?

Ranson said...

Change that "Under-" to an "Over-".

The coffee hasn't taken effect yet today.