Feeds

back to article Canadian astronaut warns William Shatner of life on Earth

William Shatner – aka Captain James Tiberius Kirk (also the porky lawyer from Boston Legal, depending on your age) – has been communicating with a Canadian astronaut stationed on the International Space Station. Chris Hadfield, currently on board the ISS as a flight engineer and due to take over as mission commander after the …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Anonymous Coward

Words never uttered during that show's run

Spock: "Within range of our sensors, there is no life, other than the accountable human residents of this colony beneath the surface. At least, no life as we know it.", The Devil in the Dark

3
0
Silver badge
Meh

Shatners ashes will probably go into space.....

0
1
Silver badge
Coat

Have the got a rocket big enough?

Oh of course, they can buoy it up with his ego.

(Don't get me wrong, I like Bill, it's just he's such an enormously easy target...)

0
0
Devil

We come in peace ! (Shoot to kill, shoot to kill)

6
1
Silver badge

It's worse than that! It's physics, Jim!

4
0
Silver badge

There's klingons on the starboard bow, scrape ;em off Jim!

2
0
Anonymous Coward

>We come in peace ! (Shoot to kill, shoot to kill)

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/WeComeInPeaceShootToKill

Examples include:

Harry S Truman greeting Dr Zoidberg with "If you come in peace, surrender or be destroyed. If you're here to make war, we surrender."

0
0
Bod

I bought the 12"

Sad I know, but at 14 I thought it was cool.

0
0

So that's what he was on about!

I knew I should have paid more attention when I saw a an astronaut tweeting (or was he being tweeted at?) about not wearing a red shirt in space.

0
0
Silver badge
Happy

Red Shirt

Actually, Hadfield bears more than a passing resemblance to one of the few Red Shirts to survive the original series: Scotty.

6
0
LDS
Silver badge

Re: Red Shirt

Yes, and being flight engineer, what else could he wear? (ok, ok, it could wear a yellow one if it wasn't a TOS reference...)

1
0
Happy

Re: Red Shirt

And they are both from the same city, Sarnia, Ontario CANADA ;-)

--Pete

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Red Shirt

What was fatal was to be a bit player in a one time appearance. Usually that meant wearing a red shirt, but not always. I'm not sorry to say why I know this. I recently watched all the episodes of TOS several times – they're great for putting me back to sleep when I'm having a bit of insomnia. I usually saw at least the first ten minutes or so of each episode before nodding off; long enough to see the unlucky red shirt, or not red shirt as the case may be, bite the dust.

FWIW I find TAS, TNG, DS9, and Voyager equally good at putting me back to sleep. Haven't gotten to Enterprise yet, but I'd guess it's just as good for insomnia as the rest of them.

0
0
Bronze badge
Pint

"...damped by gravity..." ???

Damping implies some sort of friction or loss. The radiated acoustical energy from the string into the air is almost certainly the primary damping agent. Air pressure on the ISS is held to a normal, Earth-like value - no difference.

If gravity causes damping, it must be a strange tertiary effect. The physical mechanism from gravity to damping is not obvious.

Anyone know?

2
1

Re: "...damped by gravity..." ???

I would think that on the ISS air pressure would be equal in all directions, rather than applying a downward force, and gravity would also be providing a downward force so the "up" swing of the string in it's oscillation would have two forces acting against it, neither of which would be present on the ISS so I can imagine the strings would give a slightly more perfect pitch as they oscillate more evenly and vibrate for longer for the same reasons. But whether that would be perceivable by the human ear is another thing entirely as these are tiny forces we're talking about, it may just sound better acoustically in the ISS and he's attributing it to other effects. That's all guesswork, I'm sure someone with a better knowledge of physics will correct me lol.

0
0

Re: "...damped by gravity..." ???

I wondered about that too. Strings vibrate initially in a plane, but then the plane rotates. Maybe the speed of the rotation is affected by gravity. This would affect the sound produced, say by reducing the rotation.

0
0
Bronze badge
Boffin

Re: "...damped by gravity..." ???

I don't know...

but it occurs to me that a string in gravity will always have a slight distortion downwards, so the forces on different parts of the string will be different. The ends will be under higher tension than the middle, because they are supporting the weight of the middle, changing how the string propagates the wave.

Take a skipping rope - held slack, it is difficult to get a (low frequency) wave from one end to the other. Pull it taught, and it can be plucked. Now, imagine a slack skipping rope extended until the tension at the ends from the weight is the same as the original taught skipping rope (yes, this is a very long rope). You can pluck one end, and the wave will propagate until it approaches the middle, where the tension is insufficient. The guitar string is a much less pronounced example of this effect.

To put it another way, the difference in tension is an impedance difference to the wave, and causes attenuation in the string affected by gravity.

Uh - does that sound right? Can I have this icon with a question-mark, meaning technical, and quite possibly bovine excrement?

3
0
Bronze badge

Re: "...damped by gravity..." ???

If gravity can damp the strings, a guitar would sound different when held vertically.

It's rather more likely that it's down to the acoustics. Hard flat surfaces with no curtains makes a sort of an echo chamber. Some people play guitar in the bathroom for this reason.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: "...damped by gravity..." ???

>Strings vibrate initially in a plane, but then the plane rotates.

I was under the impression that silicon gyroscopes (tiny vibrating rods) work on the principle that the plane of vibration doesn't change just because its mounting point does... as shown by Foucault (of pendulum fame) by placing a metal bar in the jaws of a lathe, twatting the rod with a hammer, and then rotating that lathe by hand- he observed that the plane of the rod's vibration stays the same relative to the floor, not the jaw of the lathe... at least for short durations over which effects of the Earth's rotation were too small to observe.

This might help, though it more concerned with oscillations and harmonic systems than it is about instrument-specific causes of damping:

The Physics of Musical Instruments (1991) By Neville Horner Fletcher, Thomas Dean Rossing

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=9CRSRYQlRLkC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

0
0
Silver badge

Re: "...damped by gravity..." ???

If gravity can damp the strings, a guitar would sound different when held vertically.

It does. But given the high tension and the notoriously weak effect of gravity here, you'd need more than "perfect" pitch to be able to hear the difference.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: "...damped by gravity..." ???

The air pressure on earth is equal in all directions and does not apply a downward force.

1
0
Silver badge

Some people play guitar in the bathroom for this reason.

I was once in a public washroom when some one decided it would be interesting to find out what bagpipes sound like in a tile covered room...

Never ever allow anyone to bring bagpipes to the ISS!

2
0

Re: "...damped by gravity..." ???

You all thought the process through much more than I did. I just read the gravity damping statement and wondered if it was followed up with the recommendation of a Monster HDMI cable or some oxygen free silver interconnects for my HiFi.

0
0
Silver badge
Devil

Re: Some people play guitar in the bathroom for this reason.

Send *all* bagpipes to the ISS!!! None left here then.

0
0

But are there...

Klingons on the starboard bow.

Sorry. But somebody had to say it.

0
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Scrape 'em off Jim!

0
0
FAIL

Free-fall

"On his trip out of the gravity well..."

They are very much _in_ the gravity well. The ISS's altitude is around 370km which means it experiences around 90% of the gravity at the Earth's surface. However it's in free-fall, which means that the ISS, its contents and its crew are all falling at exactly the same rate, so they experience the illusion of zero gravity.

4
0
Silver badge

Re: Free-fall

To paraphrase.. Achieving orbit is learning how to throw yourself at the floor and miss.

Just remember: Don't Panic.

3
0
Bod

Re: Free-fall

"To paraphrase.. Achieving orbit is learning how to throw yourself at the floor and miss."

That's how it was explained to me by my science teacher. Thereabouts anyway. Throwing yourself at the floor 'over there' and miss and to get over there you need to go forward parallel to the ground very quick otherwise you won't miss. Not too fast though.

0
0
Silver badge
Happy

> also the porky lawyer from Boston Legal, depending on your age

And if you never got psychological treatment you might also remember him as TJ Hooker. :-/

Mind you if your parents paid for a good psychiatrist they will have left your memories of Heather Locklear alone :)

5
0
Silver badge

and TekWar is tragicall ignored,

once again.

0
0
Thumb Up

As a Sci--fi fan, all I can say is fucking awesome!

2
0
Silver badge
Windows

The "firm",

the act that created startrekkin couldn't get a record company to sign up. So they went alone and got every penny!!!!

1
0
Bronze badge

Gravity dampimg strings

I'm not convinced on that idea, but I guess zero-g WILL have some effect on playing: perhaps he hits the strings harder 'cos there's no 'weight' in his strumming arm? Anyway would be an interesting thing to try.

Pleased to see Flight Engineer Hadfield is proudly sporting a VERY Canadian looking 'tash btw :-)

0
0

Not sure where "The Firm" picked up that song

But a guy called Laurie Pay had been singing it for years in the science fiction fan circuit, though the tune boure more resemblance to the "Music Man" and it started "I am the Star Trek man, I come from down the way, and I can play!"

The audience would respond "hat can you play" and then he'd say something like "I can play McCoy" and the verses were exactly the same as those used in "The Firm"'s offering.

I'll give them the "Star Trekkin across the Universe", that was theirs

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Every time I see the inside the ISS, I say "what a kludge".

0
0
JDX
Gold badge

When you live at the forefront of science, everything is a kludge, although prototype might be a kinder term.

1
0

But this is Space Station 2.0, a MIR + SpaceLab mash up.

0
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

> Every time I see the inside the ISS, I say "what a kludge".

Next step, Pell Station.

Then perhaps an Orbital.

Finally a Dyson Sphere.

We have to start somewhere :)

0
0
Bronze badge

I hope he warned Hadfield about the Borg infestation and not to mess with the time line

0
0
Bronze badge

Lets not forget The Big Giant Head - Tiberius Shatner at his hilarious best.

2
0
Joke

"And we're detecting signs of life on the surface"

Did tweety tawt he taw a putty tat?

1
1

Strings? Guitar body?

I'm not sure that the strings will be affected much, but in freefall there won't be much requirement to counteract the weight of a guitar with a strap or on your knee, so perhaps the reduced forces to keep the guitar still result in a different tone?

0
0
SR1

Wouldn't 'Canadian warns Canadian' been a simpler, better headline?

After all, Hadfield and Shatner are both Canadians.

Shatner was born and raised in Montreal.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.