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[OA] Overthinkers Anonymous notes on ST: Picard S01E02

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#1 Orpheus

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 04:30 AM

WARNING: OVERTHINKERS ANONYMOUS REWATCH NOTES AREN'T FOR EVERYONE.
This ReWatch note, after a long night on the town, probably isn't for ANYONE


[02:05] Note the drones flying in the hallways. I don't recall that in Trek before. Did I miss something? What is their role? The 2385AD equivalent of pneumatic tubes, delivering paperwork and small parts? Security? Transport for Micronian sub-hobbits?

Star Wars is full of small workbots. They mostly roll vs flying, though SW uses levitation in ways that imply levitation is cheap and easy. AFAIR, Trek used a-grav sleds only occasionally. Autonomous indoor flying bots on Utopia Planetia, which we're not likely to see again except in flashback, seems significant.

Is this to indicate advances in autonomous robots? Or just something a Tesla-driving director thought was obvious for the future?

[02:05] What's going on in Sector 3? Just before Pincus greets his plastic people, Sector 3 maintenance regulators are being called to a mandatory security briefing. Later: "All A500 maintenance issues should be reported to Synthetic Personnel supervisors prior to initiating manual shutdown procedures." Later: "Sector 3. Hazard protocol is in effect until further notice" [as the Tri-Hy team pulls its meals out of the replicators]

[02:38] "Every other Tri-Hy station in the yard gets off First Contact Day. What did we do wrong?"
Any idea what Tri-Hy might be? Probably not Tritium for fusion; this Tri-Hy station *seems* to be able to control satellites.

[03:51] "I wish they'd go back to Una amino matices" [in the replicators].
I know Una GLUCOSE matrices were used on Enterprise in ST:DISC. "Short Treks: Q&A" implied that ST:DISC's Number One created it as an improved hybrid of the two prevailing replicator matrices ["una" is the feminine of "one" in many Romance languages], but if this is some sort of running joke, I don't get it.

[08:15] I really admire how the writers or director interwove two distinct streams of events [Dahj's apt and Maison Picard] into one economical, easily digested narrative.

[08:41] In Dahj's apartment The 'orchid' tray is on the dining room table [w/o visible blossoms] but moved from the middle to the end. Laris turned her head and locked eyes on it immediately.

OTOH, there are long stemmed orchids there on the small table in front of the replicator, washed out/blurred by lights behind them, but unmistakable after [09:35]. On careful review, I see they were present (washed out by the same lights) on the night of the attack. Henceforth I'll consider these "the orchids", and assume Laris locked eyes on the digital stick tablet next to the tray, which will prove critical later.

[09:01]
Picard: "Romulan methods of molecular reconstruction are illegal in the Federation"
Laris: "Really? I'd no idea."
Picard: "They're also unreliable, and the results are dubious at best."
Laris: "Ah, yeah. That's exactly what we wanted you to think."


Reconstructing past sights/sounds from faint trances after *later* traces have been scrubbed seems gibberish. This tech would certainly have obviated the premise of many Trek episodes. It is "too powerful" to become a part of Trek, even if it is real here, which I question.

What if Laris is simply playing back what the "orchid" recorded? The Orchid seems to be the visual POV from which the projection was taken. It would have been retracted or externally jammed during the actual attack. Is Laris leading Picard on?

BTW: It's unreliable AND illegal? It would certainly be a nightmare for Powerful People in any time/place if investigators could scan an office or apartment to view incriminating events in the past. "Inadmissible in court" wouldn't hack it--they'd BAN that technology.

I know this is way too deep to read into a TV show. But I'm having fun.

[11:58] Picard homed in on the tablet stick quickly: it would  obviously hold potential data. Maybe it didn't matter WHAT he picked. Laris' patter opened a path for her to 'miraculously uncover subtle clues' in anything, limited only by her ability to make up a tale on the spot: a false clue in real evidence, the reverse of what she claimed.

[13:38] Heavens, Laris, let's not VIEW any calls/messages/fragments to see what's in them. Gentlemen don't snoop.

What the technobabble? Laris should've said "The call came in by subspace. [There must've been too much lightspeed lag for a satellite conversation.] The other Dahj must be off-planet." She could even drop the bit in brackets. You know it's bad when *I* complain about the technobabble.

[14:55] Hmm. lots of autonomous(?) drones on the Borg Artfact. Maybe manually flown security drones, if they're Romulan tech.

[15:14] I wish I could say the Man o' Mystery bit didn't work when you're young. Been there. Done That. With exactly that Hair and a better trimmed beard.

I don't see any apparent orchids in Soji's room [Two indistinct tall pink Oncidium soji candidates past the head of her bed, but I think not.]

[17:15] Picard is arranging flowers when Dr. Benayoun arrives, As was Laris, when Picard returned from his vineyard walk in Ep 1. They sure like arranging flowers at Maison Picard.

Admiral with Balls.JPG
This should read "and STONES to spare"

[24:00] I hate to say it, but while Picard may be "right" by the highest Federation ideals, Admiral Clancy has a point. Considering that the Romulans were Federation enemies,, not members, I bet a LOT of members thought the rescue was nuts,not just those that threatened to leave.

Yet she clearly feels some trace of guilt about it, an acknowledgement of those highest ideals.

[25:38] 5843 days without an assimilation. If that were Earth days, it'd be almost exactly 16 Earth years. The Utopia attack was 15 years plus a day or two ago. (Picard made a shambles of its Quinceañera) Coincidence? Human First Contact was exactly 322 years before that.

(Remembering birthdays/anniversaries is a key survival trait for the heterosexual Earth human male. Failure to remember contributes greatly to their diminished life expectancy compared to the female.)

According to the Romulan addressing the scientists, They're beginning Op Cycle 9834. Though he begins "Good morning", I assume an Op Cycle is a shift, not a day--else they had an assimilation on OpCycle 3991. I'm just trying to work out exactly when the Artifact disconnected and when the Romulans took over. I didn't watch ST:VOY, so I don't know what happened to the Borg.

[26:05] It has always bugged me that the adjectives "malign" and "malignant" can mean the same thing, yet "benign" has no corresponding "benignant". I'm not being a Grammar Nazi: this Romulan is not speaking his native tongue, and I don't know what happens if a Nazi interacts with a Romulan. I can't imagine I'd like it (but I'd bet good money on the Romulan)

I wouldn't call it malignant, anyway. Poorly understood technology is nicht fur fingerpoken mit spitzensparken by dummkopf lookenpeepen.

And remember: There is no parking in the Gray Zone. The Gray Zone is for borging and unborging only.

[27:13] So the Borg just drop all connection like The Secretary disavowing a Mission Impossible team? Things sure have changed since Hugh told Picard that The Collective would never stop searching for him [I found that implausible anyway. Ant colonies don't worry about each ant].

Yes, I know disconnection would protect against anti-Borg viruses and such. Why did we decide in the 1990's (from before "I, Borg" to after "Independence Day") that not only would viruses save us from vastly superior opponents [okay that goes back to Wells' "War of the Worlds" (1897)], but that we would somehow be the Masters of Creating Viruses in the universe? Just because we invented Windows™ doesn't mean no one else has ever seen a virus. If evil aliens come, they'll break all our computers, SCADA systems, crypto-security, etc. with a single button labelled "Pre-heat".

[28:00] Of course, Picard doesn't "get" classic sci-fi. To him, it'd almost entirely discredited speculations or messages. Can you imagine Captain Stubing of "The Love Boat" listening to pirate shanties in his quarters at night, just because he sails the seas?

Would the Federation still do science fiction? To the Federation, works on imaginary species, tech, histories or philosophies could be "Cultural Fiction". Even much current fiction is just alternate-reality or veiled philosophy surrounding tech-macguffins, which publishers label according to their tastes. Tom Clancy, James Michener, Stephen King and Michael Crichton share much more than most people realize.

I was immediately suspicious when Jurati asked for Earl Grey. Yes it's popular, esp. among non-tea drinkers, but it's something like asking for fruit soda: common, but not ubiquitious, and simultaneously specific and nonspecific. Earl Greys from different sources are very different. I think Jurati knew Picard's preference in advance.

In Latin, jurati is a form of "having been sworn on oath", hence in Romanian "jury". In Marathi, it's "bold/brave". That's all I can think of. Ideas?

[28:56] "it'd make sense to model them after the painting that Data made."
Which one? The one in stasis in Star Fleet Archives, unseen, which showed her face? The faceless one at Maison Picard? Maddox saw neither. Data wouldn't mirror his own painting, any more than the Ashas mirror Data's earlier 'daughter', Lal [ST:TNG "The Offspring"] who chose her form from four gender/species models Data had suggested.

Jurati says she's not a forensics maven, but she's able to dig further past official records in one day than the [presumably secure] Daystom Institute did. She says Bruce Maddox "certainly had the ability" to forge such a background. Why? Because people in her field [like her] are so "secret planny"?

Jurati tell Picard not to worry about what Dahj was after (which would have been a clue), but to find the other one. Steering him much? Oddly, she IS specifically interested in what The Other One is after-- like someone in a game, knowing the rules, worried only about pieces still in play.

[31:35] "Nameless is a name." Spoken like a true anatomist!

Doctors of my generation had to learn the innominate ("nameless") artery and vein, innominate bones, and maybe an innominate canal (all quite important--and unrelated). My dad's generation also had to learn an innominate nerve, a second innominate canal, and more. What gives?

BTW, Dr. Not-good-with-names, that's a maxillary (and maybe more) implant, definitely not mandibular!

[33:11] I was immediately jarred by the name "Raffi", not just because I raised small kids in the 80s/90s, but because I was expecting him to say Ro Laren. Why her? It just came to mind. Maybe I heard that Michelle Hurd was in the show and thought Michelle FORBES by mistake. Hey, some women change their last name when they (re)marry.

On rewatching, after seeing ep 3, I can just see a sarcastic Raffi responding to Picard's "I need a ship" with "What does a god need with a starship?"

StealthBalls.JPG
Seriously, who does the decorating at StarFleet?

[35:26] "He's only safe here! He knows who THEY are. THEY have to eliminate him."
So let's keep him in the one civillian location where they expect him to be. Not running unpredictably around the galaxy. That could be inconvenient.

"My grapes are far more in need of protection than I am." Yes, we heard you have "spittlebugs" on your -er- "pinots".

[36:49] "You need someone who hates you and has nothing to lose" "I've already made the call"
At this point I was REALLY thinking Ro Laren. Can you see why?

[37:41] "she did not mention that last part, nor the talk about Zhat Vash"
First Watch: Commodore Oh is surveilling Admiral Clancy and presumably other key StarFleet personnel. Clancy scored points for reporting the meeting to Oh, but Oh knows Clancy held key details back. Dare we hope that some in Starfleet aren't completely oblivious?

Second Watching: HOLD ON! Picard DIDN'T mention the Zhat Vash, Dahj or any attack. His only mention of Romulans outside the context of a rescue was "The Romulans are involved [in Maddox try to clone Data]". Clancy knows more than she lets on, and seems to be testing Oh.

[41:12]"Commodore Oh is quite distressed. She has been a useful ally for a long time. I can't have her turning on us."
I've heard much talk about Oh being Romulan, but absent a Romulan schism, it seems she's at most a collaborator.

The Tal Shiar Chairman, Koval, was said to have been a Federation mole (DS9: "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges"), but was Koval a "mole"/"plant" (placed by the Federation to rise through the Tal Shiar ranks) or just a Romulan who had been providing info to the Federation "for over a year". Adm Ross said he didn't know how long Koval had been working with Section 31--and even Ross was only "a temporary ally" of Sect 31

I see parallels here that I'm not hearing from far more avid trekkies.

"When you arrive.., I'm on top of it" "So it would seem."
Rizzo glances snarkily at his rumpled bed, but absent a second offscreen assignation, Narek/Soji consorted in [her room?], not here.

"Have you found the nest? Has the machine given up the location of its fellow abominations"
As in Dahj's apt,  it's clear [some] Romulans don't see this as a tidy twosome. If they did, Dahj's death[?] would make this easy.

"Oh has reservations. Profound reservations."
Reservations at The Four Seasons? Have the Commodore pack something slinky; I'll pack something she'll never forget. Unlike you, my dossier says I consistently grasp 'the subtleties undercover'. I'll prove it.

"I will have no choice but to try my approach. As unfortunate as it may have been."
Girl! You were just threatened for destroying Dahj without getting any info. Oh gave you too much credit: it's not "undercover" you don't get; it's intel altogether. I suspected Dahj's destruction was meant to make Picard a pawn in a larger Romulan scheme, but you're just dumbly lethal. "So I won't take care of him impatiently. I'll make it last as long as you like." Hrrmph!

#2 Christopher

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 08:36 AM

View PostOrpheus, on 10 February 2020 - 04:30 AM, said:

[02:05] Note the drones flying in the hallways. I don't recall that in Trek before. Did I miss something? What is their role? The 2385AD equivalent of pneumatic tubes, delivering paperwork and small parts? Security? Transport for Micronian sub-hobbits?

Star Wars is full of small workbots. They mostly roll vs flying, though SW uses levitation in ways that imply levitation is cheap and easy. AFAIR, Trek used a-grav sleds only occasionally. Autonomous indoor flying bots on Utopia Planetia, which we're not likely to see again except in flashback, seems significant.

Is this to indicate advances in autonomous robots? Or just something a Tesla-driving director thought was obvious for the future?

Discovery has established that Starfleet was using maintenance robots as early as the late 2250s (Pike era). One scene showed them coming out at night to clean up the mess hall; another showed them being deployed to do hull repairs during the climactic battle. (One such DOT-7 drone is one of the title characters in the presumably apocryphal animated Short Treks installment "Ephraim and Dot.")

It was always somewhat implicit in Trek that the ships were self-cleaning and self-maintaining to an extent, since except for a very early TOS episode or two, we never saw anyone sweeping the floors. We can presume that such drones have always been there, but like the Shoemaker's elves, they do their work when no one is around to see them.




Quote

[03:51] "I wish they'd go back to Una amino matices" [in the replicators].
I know Una GLUCOSE matrices were used on Enterprise in ST:DISC. "Short Treks: Q&A" implied that ST:DISC's Number One created it as an improved hybrid of the two prevailing replicator matrices ["una" is the feminine of "one" in many Romance languages], but if this is some sort of running joke, I don't get it.

Una is Number One's real name. It was coined for the Legacies novel trilogy by David Mack, Greg Cox, and Dayton Ward, in honor of their fellow novelist Una McCormack as well as the "Number One" pun (actually I think it was used in at least one earlier tie-in work or fan text), and made canonical in Discovery and "Q&A." (In the former, Pike addresses her as Una, and in the latter, we see the name "Commander Una" on her PADD. The reference to the replicator matrix here is just a bit of a continuity nod to "Q&A."


Quote

[08:15] I really admire how the writers or director interwove two distinct streams of events [Dahj's apt and Maison Picard] into one economical, easily digested narrative.

I was confused as to which came first. I finally figured out the apartment scene was later, since Picard already knew about the Zhat Vash there and was told about it for the first time in the other scene.



Quote

What the technobabble? Laris should've said "The call came in by subspace. [There must've been too much lightspeed lag for a satellite conversation.] The other Dahj must be off-planet." She could even drop the bit in brackets. You know it's bad when *I* complain about the technobabble.

It's often been implied in Trek, going back to TOS, that EM radio is an obsolete technology and subspace communication is standard even at short range.



Quote

[24:00] I hate to say it, but while Picard may be "right" by the highest Federation ideals, Admiral Clancy has a point. Considering that the Romulans were Federation enemies,, not members, I bet a LOT of members thought the rescue was nuts,not just those that threatened to leave.

Were they still enemies, though? They became allies (grudgingly) in the Dominion War, and that still seemed to be the case at the end of the war in 2376. In Nemesis in 2379, the Romulan military backed Shinzon's coup because the Senate rejected their push for renewed war with the Federation, implying that the detente still held. And after the Enterprise and Donatra worked together to defeat Shinzon, relations seemed better than ever, and Riker's Titan was assigned to go to Romulus for peace talks. And in the 2387 scenes in Spock's mind meld in the 2009 movie, we were shown Spock and the Vulcans working to help the Romulans, with no indication of any kind of hostility. All the evidence shows that Federation-Romulan relations were as good in the early 2380s as they'd ever been.



Quote

I'm just trying to work out exactly when the Artifact disconnected and when the Romulans took over. I didn't watch ST:VOY, so I don't know what happened to the Borg.

That will be clarified in episode 3, and it's unconnected to Voyager. In VGR, a major Borg transwarp hub and a major control complex were destroyed in the finale, and some viewers took that to mean the entire Collective was destroyed, but there was never any reason to think that -- just that it suffered a major setback and lost its direct transwarp route to the Federation. (In the novels, this provoked a cataclysmic retaliatory Borg invasion of the Alpha Quadrant in early 2381, in the Destiny trilogy. 2381 is the point where the novel continuity and the Picard continuity become incompatible. In IDW comics' Hive miniseries co-written by VGR showrunner Brannon Braga, in a different continuity from the novels, the Borg are still intact and active in 2382.)




Quote

[27:13] So the Borg just drop all connection like The Secretary disavowing a Mission Impossible team? Things sure have changed since Hugh told Picard that The Collective would never stop searching for him [I found that implausible anyway. Ant colonies don't worry about each ant].

Well, that stands to reason, doesn't it? When Hugh was reassimilated, it led to his entire cube being infected by individuality, as seen in "Descent." It follows that the Borg learned from that and adopted a "sever the limb" policy for similarly compromised cubes. I believe that's what happened to the Borg children's cube in VGR: "Collective."



Quote

Would the Federation still do science fiction? To the Federation, works on imaginary species, tech, histories or philosophies could be "Cultural Fiction". Even much current fiction is just alternate-reality or veiled philosophy surrounding tech-macguffins, which publishers label according to their tastes. Tom Clancy, James Michener, Stephen King and Michael Crichton share much more than most people realize.

I've posited in a couple of my Trek novels that SF about time travel and alternate realities is still common in the 23rd/24th centuries, because the reality of such things is probably still kept largely secret from the general public.


Quote

[28:56] "it'd make sense to model them after the painting that Data made."
Which one? The one in stasis in Star Fleet Archives, unseen, which showed her face? The faceless one at Maison Picard? Maddox saw neither.

How do we know? "Data's Day" established that Data and Maddox corresponded regularly. Jurati said here that they were friends, after a fashion. Data could've sent Maddox an image of the painting.



Quote

[33:11] I was immediately jarred by the name "Raffi", not just because I raised small kids in the 80s/90s, but because I was expecting him to say Ro Laren. Why her? It just came to mind. Maybe I heard that Michelle Hurd was in the show and thought Michelle FORBES by mistake. Hey, some women change their last name when they (re)marry.

I guess you've missed Michelle Hurd in her previous roles over the years, including the DA in Marvel's Daredevil and Jessica Jones.

What gets me about the name "Raffi Musiker" is that it's "Riker" with extra stuff in the middle.



Quote

[35:26] "He's only safe here! He knows who THEY are. THEY have to eliminate him."
So let's keep him in the one civillian location where they expect him to be. Not running unpredictably around the galaxy. That could be inconvenient.

If you've seen episode 3, then you know they're better-defended there than it appears. Laris and Zhaban are ex-Tal Shiar, after all.
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#3 RJDiogenes

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 07:54 PM

View PostOrpheus, on 10 February 2020 - 04:30 AM, said:

Is this to indicate advances in autonomous robots? Or just something a Tesla-driving director thought was obvious for the future?  
At least this is the forward edge of the timeline, so changes in tech fashion are no big deal. But they've had similar things before, in small doses.  I'm thinking of the little circular pad that the engineer is standing on in TMP.

Quote

Any idea what Tri-Hy might be? Probably not Tritium for fusion; this Tri-Hy station *seems* to be able to control satellites.  
Tri-hydrogen?

Quote

Reconstructing past sights/sounds from faint trances after *later* traces have been scrubbed seems gibberish. This tech would certainly have obviated the premise of many Trek episodes. It is "too powerful" to become a part of Trek, even if it is real here, which I question.  
And reminiscent of Asimov's "The Dead Past."  Lots of technology introduced for plot convenience is too powerful to be a part of Trek, assuming its full implications were explored in genuine SF fashion-- including transporters.

Quote

What if Laris is simply playing back what the "orchid" recorded? The Orchid seems to be the visual POV from which the projection was taken. It would have been retracted or externally jammed during the actual attack. Is Laris leading Picard on?  
You really like those orchids, don't you?  :lol:  Unfortunately, I am a bit suspicious of both of Picard's Romulan sidekicks, so this would not surprise me.

Quote

This should read "and STONES to spare"  
I'm sure she gathers no moss.

Quote

I hate to say it, but while Picard may be "right" by the highest Federation ideals, Admiral Clancy has a point. Considering that the Romulans were Federation enemies,, not members, I bet a LOT of members thought the rescue was nuts,not just those that threatened to leave.  
Trek has done its share of "dangerous visions," such as in "City On the Edge of Forever."  That dangerous vision demonstrated that doing the right thing can lead to worse consequences.  Another is that doing the right thing may simply not be workable.  But I do like that there are two sides to the issue.  It makes this uneasy situation more tolerable.

Quote

It has always bugged me that the adjectives "malign" and "malignant" can mean the same thing, yet "benign" has no corresponding "benignant".  
We should all make a pact to use it until it catches on and is officially added to the dictionary.  If they can add awesomesauce, they can add benignant.

Quote

Can you imagine Captain Stubing of "The Love Boat" listening to pirate shanties in his quarters at night, just because he sails the seas?  
I'm sure he did, while fantasizing about kidnapping a scantily clad Julie from a castle on the coast.  But I digress.

Quote

Would the Federation still do science fiction?  
Good question.  William Gibson gave it up.  I'd like to think that the Federation has many genres of SF, all ending in -punk.  Steampunk, Transistorpunk, Cyberpunk, Trekpunk.

Quote

In Latin, jurati is a form of "having been sworn on oath", hence in Romanian "jury". In Marathi, it's "bold/brave". That's all I can think of. Ideas?  
Perhaps she swore an oath related to Maddox. To find him, to carry on his work, to wreak revenge for skipping out on her.

Quote

Which one? The one in stasis in Star Fleet Archives, unseen, which showed her face? The faceless one at Maison Picard? Maddox saw neither.  
Maddox and Data were actually pals, so it's very possible that he did see them, or even owned a similar work.

Quote

Hey, some women change their last name when they (re)marry.  
The majority of them still, astonishingly.

Quote

I've heard much talk about Oh being Romulan, but absent a Romulan schism, it seems she's at most a collaborator.  
I think everybody's paranoid and is trying to entrap everybody else.

Quote

"Have you found the nest? Has the machine given up the location of its fellow abominations"
As in Dahj's apt,  it's clear [some] Romulans don't see this as a tidy twosome. If they did, Dahj's death[?] would make this easy.  
Cliffhanger:  Picard beams down and sees hundreds of thousands of Datas, as far as the eye can see.
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#4 Christopher

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 08:03 PM

View PostRJDiogenes, on 10 February 2020 - 07:54 PM, said:

Cliffhanger:  Picard beams down and sees hundreds of thousands of Datas, as far as the eye can see.

His Android plan comes with unlimited Data.
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#5 Orpheus

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 09:05 PM

Quote of the Month! [not sayin' which month, exactly]

#6 Christopher

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 09:29 PM

View PostOrpheus, on 10 February 2020 - 09:05 PM, said:

Quote of the Month! [not sayin' which month, exactly]

I can't take credit -- it's from an Internet meme, but I don't remember if we're allowed to post photos we don't host on our personal sites.
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#7 Sci-Fi Girl

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 09:51 PM

Here's another funny one:

image.jpg

SFG :lol:
"A song is like a picture of a bird in flight; the bird was moving before the picture was taken, and no doubt continued after."   - Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger's life was a picture of an idea in flight, and the idea will continue long after.  As long as there are people with goodness and courage in their hearts, the idea will continue forever.

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