Saturday, November 13, 2010

Father-Daughter Bonding, Star Trek Style!

My father is quite an...odd man. Oh, I mean odd in a good way, the interesting kind of odd.

Today he realised that I had two science experiment planning papers to go next week, so he asked me and my sister in the car, "How would you get rid of birds in an area so that they won't poop on the cars parked under the trees? And don't kill them."

Well it was after dinner and my brain wasn't functioning, so I was practically just going "Uhmmmm..."

And this, my friends, is the problem.

Then my dad went into this impassioned speech about how this was just like an experiment.

"Point 1, you observe. When do the birds come? Do they nest? What do they do? What is the volume of excreta they pump out? What effect does this have on the urban people?"

"Point 2, you analyse. Look up some literature. Do the birds like only one type of tree? What do they eat? What drives them away?"

"Point 3, you do what you have to do. See, crows don't like ultrasonic sounds, so just build an ultrasonic device and play it during the evenings when they come. Easy, dude, easy."

I didn't know what to say, so I just nodded enthusiastically and said, "Yeah!" My dad picked a very strange point to illustrate a concept...

Then after that he went into another speech of why science is so important, and how it's based on Logic! and how Logic! underpins the mechanics of science and how you must always think Logically!

"Science is the mecahnics of this world, and art is its colour!" Ah, he was really on a roll now.

Well since he was in full Logic! mode I couldn't resist saying, "Quite Vulcan of you, eh, dad."

And he said, "Yes! I'm going all Mr. Spock on you now. You see, why did they put a Vulcan on the Enterprise? Human beings have all the science and technology and yet there are still problems. The Vulcan on the ship was laughing at them, damnit."

I remembered Spock and Bones used to insult each other all the time and I was like "OMG YES."

"And who created the Vulcan?"

"The producer of the show, Gene Rodenderry?"

"Yes, that's why Star Trek's interesting! It's like a human looking at human behaviour from a different perspective."


And because I was pretty much hyped from then on, I mentioned casually, "Oh, and doesn't Bones hate the transporter?"

"Yeah, he doesn't want to disintegrate and then reintegrate into something else."

That really brought out the geek/nerd in me. I remembered reading something about teleporting stuff. You had to take the properties of all the atoms, and then transfer it to an intermediate series of particles before transferring it to atoms at your desired location again. Something like that. Apparently scientists at Vienna have successfully transferred photons in this way under a river from one side to the other, pretty cool stuff.  <<--Here's the link to the Vienna article.

So the only thing I could do was think, "OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M DISCUSSING STAR TREK PHYSICS WITH DAD."

And then my dad recommended this horror sci-fi movie called "The Fly" about a guy who tries to teleport himself this way, but a fly got into the machine and their DNA mixed so the guy became a fly-mutant thing. I'm going to watch it, just for the sake of old sci-fi.

My father concluded with this sentence, "And that's why you should always remember Mr. Spock. It's Logic! It helps you get by." I swear my dad is a secret Spock fan, he just makes it look like I'm the only one in the family who likes that pointy-eared hobgoblin.

...But now that's not a secret any more. O_o

I think if my dad and I were in Star Trek he'd be some wiseass Romulan (they're like Vulcans, but only more emotional) and I'd be some weird little Vulcan kid who tags along and asks him stuff all the time.

Tonight was a major geeky-nerdy moment. Seriously. So to balance things out, I'm going to say "Grey's Anatomy was good! Aww Christina and Owen got married!"

You see, I'm making a reference to a popular TV show here, so I am maintaining what little street cred I have. =D

Have a pleasant journey in your part of the space-time continuum! (aka, your Life.)

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