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Jona ch'Ranni

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Jona ch'Ranni last won the day on March 9 2019

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About Jona ch'Ranni

  • Birthday 10/04/1981

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    USS Gorkon
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    Chief of Operations

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    Kansas, United States
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    Computer Programming, Astronomy, Sci-Fi

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  1. Few would argue that Star Trek is just a TV show or movie franchise. The far-reaching effects of our favorite science fiction universe have been felt within the very fabric of society. It has touched the minds of young and old and inspired pioneers in all fields of human endeavor. October 10th - 16th marks Earth Science Week, an international event organized by the American Geosciences Institute which helps the public gain an appreciation for Earth sciences and encourages responsible stewardship of the planet. It builds understand of fields such as climate change, impact from agriculture and industry, and highlights our responsibility in maintaining the delicate balances of Earth's natural systems. To coincide with this event, let's examine the impact of science fiction on science and technology fact. The most direct influence Star Trek has had would likely be upon the field of astronomy and space exploration. In the 1970s this was felt when NASA received thousands of write-in requests by Star Trek fans to have the prototype space shuttle be christened Enterprise. The campaign eventually succeeded and many of the main cast of The Original Series were even on hand for the unveiling. Many astronauts have credited Star Trek with kindling a desire within them to explore the stars. This week William Shatner, Captain James T. Kirk himself, flew aboard Blue Origen's rocket and became the eldest man to travel to space. Computers, robotics, and artificial intelligence have also benefited from the universe of Trek. From the interactive computer aboard Starfleet vessels to Lieutenant Commander Data - a cybernetic lifeform, we have witnessed advanced intelligences that blur the lines of what life is and how it's defined. Questions about artificial sentience are already being asked in the real world now as well. No one can deny the similarities between the Enterprise computer and the likes of Siri, Alexa, and Cortana. Many individual episodes feature plotlines that deal with real-world environmental issues. It might be something as varied as planet-wide weather control equipment on Risa going on the fritz or a meteor set to impact a planet and the need to disrupt its path. Even Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home was a commentary on the effects of mismanagement of Earth's species and resources. Science fiction has provided a medium to explore some of these "what ifs" even before they've happened to shed light on our response as a species.
  2. Thanks, @Alieth! Glad you enjoyed the sim. Note: The Gralaa wolf's name in the Andorian kid's cartoon that he remembers from his childhood is named Clev R'gathu Wolf. Clev R. Wolf, for short. Thought you'd want to know.
  3. September is a month where the world remembers those lost to violence: the beginning of World War II in 1939, and the tragic events of September 11th in 2001. In reality, conflict makes up a large part of modern society. Many love to escape into science fiction to forget such realities. But part of what makes Star Trek so visceral is its portrayal of dangerous conflict. Star Trek has not been shy about developing storylines that examine conflict — between individuals, peoples, planets, and empires — and the fallout of such conflict. The Maquis, freedom fighters introduced near the end of the TNG series, played a larger role in DS9 and VOY. Made up of former Starfleet officers and Federation civilians rising against the oppression of the dismissive Cardassians and rule-oriented Federation made many viewers take a hard look at real-life events happening around them. Perhaps it made some uncomfortable because in the right circumstances, they could almost agree with the Maquis and their methods. In the Enterprise series, a Xindi probe carried a devastating attack on Earth out. This precipitated a season-long story arc where Archer and crew had to respond to the attack. In the end, they found the Xindi to be responding (sort of) defensively. As someone misinformed them that the Federation would destroy their planet. Khan Noonien Singh is many times highlighted as one of the top baddies of all of Star Trek. In Star Trek Into Darkness, he causes mayhem and destruction in London and Starfleet Headquarters. However, was he just protecting his brethren from the hands of the manipulative Admiral Marcus? Was he justified in his actions? There are dozens more examples of conflict, some large and others small, that have pierced the hearts of the fans, and we want to know which ones jabbed at your soul the most? One of the above? Was it the duo-chromatic aliens in "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" (TOS)? Perhaps it was the attack on Yorktown Station in Star Trek Beyond? Or shadows of the Dominion War in DS9?
  4. Women's Equality Day is celebrated in the United States on August 26th. That is the anniversary of the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which gave women the right to vote in elections. That initial step in 1920 has since led to a flurry of civil rights measures that have worked to provide fair and equal access and representation to all. As our eyes fall on the universe of Star Trek as depicted in the television shows and movies, we see a galaxy that increasingly has been represented as a galaxy of equals. It is a place where anyone can attain power and authority based solely on merit. Many women have featured prominently in positions of authority and power - (unfortunately) forward-thinking for our time, but treated as commonplace in the universe of Star Trek. Kathryn Janeway, depicted on-screen by Kate Mulgrew, is a sterling example of a women entrusted with power. She served capably as the commanding officer of the USS Voyager and later was promoted to the admiralty. Janeway was a force to be reckoned with that could stand toe-to-toe with the Borg and managed to return her crew safely from being stranded at the other end of the galaxy. She is a fan favorite which is perhaps why the character is set to return in the upcoming series Star Trek: Prodigy. Doctors Beverly Crusher and Katherine Pulaski, performed by Gates McFadden and Diana Muldaur respectively, provided role models for many youths. You never got the impression that either would fail to speak their mind or act in an assertive manner when needed. Crusher was even tasked with leading Starfleet Medical for a year, a testament to her skill and ability. The long list of other powerful women in Star Trek is extensive. From Admirals Nechayev and Cornwallis to scientist Carol Marcus and the villainous Romulan Sela, we see women filling every role available in the universe - true equals, as they should be. The question posed to you is who's you're favorite?
  5. Each award winner listed is fully deserved of they honors presented them. Three cheers for our amazing group of command-level officers and staff members. Thanks for keeping this place running!
  6. Congrats, everyone! I'm sure it was a tough selection for all of these because of the number of great writers in the fleet.
  7. With confirmation that Q, portrayed on-screen by the talented actor John de Lancie, will return in season 2 of Star Trek: Picard, our thoughts turn to the sly jokester. The near omnipotent Q of the Q Continuum has been a thorn in the side of Starfleet for many years. Since his run-in with Picard and crew in the first episode of TNG, Q’s acerbic humor and trickster nature have caused many headaches for our heroes. But it does make for great storytelling! After all, how do you face off against an almost unbeatable (and unbearable) enemy? One of the moral questions that meeting the Q has postulated is, “What if I was given their powers?” This question was explored in the episode “Hide and Q” when the powerful being gave Commander William Riker a taste of the Q’s power. It is said that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Is this always true? Could a lowly human (or Andorian, Tril, Denobulan, etc.) be trusted with the Q’s power? Or would they go mad with power and devolve into the selfish and conceited use of their unthinkable might? Riker struggled with being able to control his use of his newfound powers but, ultimately, he eventually decided to reject Q’s power. In another TNG episode, “True Q”, we meet Amanda Rogers. Initially, we are led to believe that she is a normal human but soon find out that - unbeknownst to her - she is a Q. As she begins to explore her powers with Q’s help, she finds it increasingly difficult to avoid using her abilities. She makes the decision to return with him to the Q Continuum to receive further training in the use of her abilities. So, when faced with the same decision, what would you choose?
  8. The Star Trek franchise is a living thing. Shows have come and gone over the years and each incarnation has added to the rich flavor of our favorite sandbox universe. When a show completes its original run, there are always mixed feelings - a sense of completeness, sadness, nostalgia. Once we've worked our way through the stages of grief and hit acceptance, we move on with our lives. We have little choice to do otherwise. But what if ... The trend has been up-ticking in recent years where studio executives will bring back popular shows for additional episodes - with some successes and some spectacular failures. True, there has been some distance from some of our favorite shows and the present day. Actors have moved on, aged, and we have lost some along the way. Some storylines have not aged well and may not work in the current social environment. So let's change the rules! Imagine a timeline where a Star Trek show from the past got one extra season. Which series is the lucky one to get another chance to wow us? Would you tune in to see Kirk and Spock seek out new life and civilizations during their five-year mission? What about seeing more of the continuing mission with Picard in the center chair of the Enterprise-D? Do you want to see what Kira and the gang are up to on DS9 as they recover from the Dominion War? Should there have been an extra season nestled in among the others that provides more details on Voyager's return home? Did Enterprise end before its time? Maybe you feel that all the series ended just where they should! Take our poll and extra credit to anyone who provides details in the comments on which storylines they want to see from the bonus season!
  9. The reality of command is that sometimes the tough choices must be made. There are more lives at stake than the hijacked crew and ship. Ask the Cardassian Gul to continue with his escort mission and assure him that you will do the same. Invite him to return to the sector at a prescribed time to carry out a joint mission to recover the missing crew and deal with the pirate problem. After leading the rest of the convoy to the nearest Starbase, return and feign a ship-wide systems outage to lure the pirates in. The distress call can be the Galor warship's cue to lay in wait and spring the trap on the attackers. Jam their communications so they cannot inform their compatriots of the deception and injure the hostages. The goal should be to disable the pirate ships so that they can be questioned on the whereabouts of the missing merchants and recover them if possible. Secondary goal should be to arrest and rehabilitate the pirates to send a clear message that piracy will not be tolerated by either government.
  10. Thanks, Lox! Your castle has been delivered by the way. Some contents may have shifted during shipping and handling. It was like that when I found it. No I don't have a tracking number in the system and no you did not purchase the additional insurance.
  11. A common trope in Star Trek is time travel. Securely in the realm of science fiction, this process is achieved several times through the series and movies. Whether it is an anti-time anomaly, the interference of powerful aliens, or an unexpected accident, time travel features prominently in the storylines we’ve come to love. Why is time travel such a popular subject? Each of us wishes we could jump to a new time, "putting things right that once went wrong and hoping each time that the next leap will be …" (wait, wrong show). The truth is that the past (and the future) fascinate us. So often we are taught that the past is immutable, and the future is untouchable except abstractly by our present actions. But what if we could directly effect the past or future? What if our decisions could ripple out to change the present instead of the other way around? One of the most popular episodes of TOS was “City on Edge of Forever” which found Kirk and Spock chasing McCoy through an alien time vortex to 1930s Earth. The captain is forced to choose between preserving the timeline and letting a woman he has fallen in love with die. It is these kinds of heavyweight moral decisions that make for great storytelling and time travel is one way to increase the stakes. But time travel adds another layer of complexity because it is a way that we could make the familiar – like Earth – more alien. Imagine being able to visit the Middle Ages, the time of Caesar, or the 60s. Time travel could also allow us to see events that are only mentioned in passing within the Star Trek universe but that could be explored and expanded upon to make the “history” more real. The possibilities are endless.
  12. Lieutenant Reginald Barclay aka “Reg” is a fan favorite in Star Trek. Brought to life by the talented actor Dwight Schultz, this character diverged from many others in the cast. He was a character with obvious flaws. He was nervous and unsure of his own abilities. He exhibited phobias and concerns about social situations. We learn a lot about the man when Reg tells LaForge, “I mean I am the guy who writes down things to remember to say when there is a party. And then when he finally gets there, he winds up alone, in the corner, trying to look … comfortable examining a potted plant.” Introduced in the season 3 episode of The Next Generation entitled “Hollow Pursuits”, we find Barclay to be a series of contrasts. His has a fine service record and a recommendation from his previous commanding officer but his actions on the Enterprise-D don’t seem to fit the man. Initially, the crew seems to view him as an outsider and even apply the nickname “Broccoli” to the man. But, over time, he becomes a recurring and beloved secondary character. He even makes the jump to several episodes of Voyager. Whether his is sword fighting holograms of LaForge and the captain on the holodeck, connecting his expanded brain directly to the Enterprise computer, or stammering through a conversation with Counselor Troi, we can be assured that if Reg is around it will be a great episode. What is it that makes Barclay so endearing? Is it that he is flawed? We spend a lot of time throughout the different series focusing on the purely good and righteous qualities of the main cast. We know they will always do the moral and correct thing. Perhaps this makes Reg more believable as a real person. He is just like us with good and bad qualities and habits. Whatever the reason, Barclay’s popularity is assured as he returns for almost a dozen episodes and the movie First Contact.
  13. Words have power. As a community of writers, we can agree on that. Behind the special effects or fancy visuals, Star Trek is about people and how they communicate. The franchise has brought us many memorable phrases over the past fifty years. Some are so memorable that they have lodged themselves into the collective culture and will forever be linked with Star Trek. The command "Make it so!" from Captain Jean-Luc Picard was a call to action for his crew. This signature line was said with such finality that it made you want to jump to fulfil the order. You knew that if you suggested a plan and the good captain uttered those three words, then it was up to you to carry it out. Spock and his Vulcan brethren had the calm farewell/blessing "Live long and prosper." Its simple statement - a wish for health and prosperity - did not in itself imply nor evoke strong emotions in the speaker or hearer. Yet the wish for peace has touched many fans' hearts. Leonard McCoy, with his rascally wit and sharp tongue, was fond of griping "I'm a doctor, not a (brick-layer, moon-shuttle conductor, physicist)!" Always with the emotional comeback, McCoy was the voice of exasperation that we all wish we could be but rarely have the opportunity to fill. The chilling statement by the Borg that "resistance is futile" wasn't exactly a threat so much as their pure statement of fact. You knew when you saw the cube-shaped ship on the screen that the next thing you'd hear on the comm channel were those three words.
  14. While Kirk and company started off the "wagon train to the stars", it was the prequel series of Enterprise that gave us a glimpse at the birth of the Federation that we have come to know and love. The intrepid crew of the NX-01 would need the explorer's spirit and nerves of steel to venture into the unknown. Who would be counted worthy of participating in this trek? Captain Jonathan Archer was a kind man and epitomized what it meant to be human. He was ready to reach out a helping hand - sometimes to a fault. His father before him worked on the warp engine design that would carry the Enterprise on her mission of discovery, so he was no stranger to what it would take for mankind to take its place among the stars. T'Pol was the Vulcan observer and represented the ever-watchful stare of the Vulcans. Because of her different views and manner, she sometimes found herself at odds with the rest of the crew. Eventually they seemed to settle into an understanding which brought us many storylines that helped us see the Vulcans as brothers and not just as rivals holding humans back. Commander Charles "Trip" Tucker III. The engineer with all the know-how and a southern drawl too. He was likable, quick-witted, and made a great mother. Doctor Phlox introduced us to a new species in the Star Trek universe - the Denobulans. Phlox was also somewhat of an outsider. He did not always understand or agree with the decisions the captain and crew made but his gregarious personality stood in stark contrast to that of T'Pol. He was always viewed as a valuable member of the crew and seemed to have a never-ending supply of wise words. Then we have crew members such as Hoshi Sato, Malcom Reed, and Travis Mayweather. And who can forget other regulars like the Andorian Captain Shran or Vulcan Ambassador Soval. Who's your favorite?
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