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TrekToday http://www.trektoday.com/content Daily Star Trek news Sun, 02 Aug 2015 16:53:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 Retro Review: Learning Curve http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/retro-review-learning-curve/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/retro-review-learning-curve/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 21:16:02 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41256 Tuvok attempts to train four Maquis crewmembers who are having difficulty following Starfleet protocols.

Plot Summary: Lieutenant Dalby discovers a malfunctioning bio-neural gel pack and replaces it without getting authorization, which causes several systems ship-wide to stop working. Tuvok expresses concern to Janeway that Dalby and some other Maquis crewmembers are not trained or disciplined enough to work on a Starfleet vessel. Though Janeway is more worried about the possibility of multiple gel pack failures disabling Voyager’s systems, she recommends an on-the-job training course for the crewmembers having the greatest difficulties. Chakotay gives onetime Starfleet Academy instructor Tuvok a list of possible candidates, from which Tuvok selects four junior officers – impulsive Dalby, belligerent Henley, unfocused Chell, and bitter Gerron – who deeply resent being singled out for extra attention. The group complains when Tuvok insists that they remove all traces of their personal style from their professional demeanor and marches out after what they consider to be an unfair physical exercise. Neelix offers Tuvok some wisdom about plant stalks needing to be flexible, which Tuvok at first takes to mean that the young crewmembers are too rigid, then discovers that Neelix means to criticize himself and his teaching methods. He tries to get to know Dalby and realizes that some of the Maquis crewmembers suffered traumas that make it impossible for them to become contented, well-adjusted Starfleet officers overnight. Meanwhile, the Doctor discovers that Neelix’s attempt to make cheese has cultivated a bacteria that now infects the gel packs. The Doctor proposes raising the temperature to help the gel packs fight off the infection, but although the gel packs are saved, Tuvok and his unhappy team become trapped in a cargo bay where Gerron is injured. Dalby becomes irate when Tuvok orders him to get to safety with Henley and Chell, but when Tuvok himself violates procedure, risking his life to save Gerron, the Maquis officers are impressed and promise to work harder to obey the rules.

Analysis: I didn’t like “Learning Curve” when it first aired for its obnoxious attitude toward Maquis dissidents and indeed toward anyone who refused to assimilate entirely into Starfleet’s arbitrary regulations, which I thought at the time might just reflect my lack of understanding of how military protocols worked. But it rubs me the wrong way even more so now that we’ve seen some of the history of Vulcan intolerance in Enterprise, and now that we know the Maquis will be asked to give up their sense of belonging to their own cultures as well as their identities as members of an organization in conflict with Starfleet (the latter a demand that’s completely justified on a mission like Voyager’s, though I note that Worf was allowed to wear the accoutrements of a Klingon warrior on duty even when the Klingons were at war with the Federation). Of course it’s a problem that many of the Maquis have not had Starfleet training in teamwork, physical fitness, even self-protection, though I might note that Neelix and Kes haven’t either. It would seem both reasonable and fair for Tuvok to include them in a course to get underprepared crewmembers ready for life traveling through the Delta Quadrant, particularly since Kes had never left her village, let alone her homeworld, until just before Voyager arrived. The cheese incident that almost destroys the bio-neural gel packs is a far more heinous betrayal of safety protocols than the replacement of one of those gel packs, even if Dalby is rude when reprimanded while Neelix only stammers in embarrassment. And surely there are Starfleet crewmembers as well as Maquis who were unprepared to have a brief mission into the Badlands turn into a potentially lifelong journey? Couldn’t many of the junior officers use a refresher course in focus and teamwork? If Janeway and Chakotay’s goal is to get their two crews functioning as a single unit with the same ease with which Torres now works with Carey, they’d be well advised to include some Starfleet officers in the remedial class even just for show. Not so long ago, Tom Paris was a criminal and Torres was punching fellow officers, while now they’re fourth and fifth in the command chain; seems like a lot of people on that ship could use a bit of extra attention.

And although Tuvok may have been an Academy instructor for more than a decade, he seems like the wrong person to be leading an exercise in new-to-Starfleet teamwork. These angry, demoralized Maquis crewmembers need a counselor, not a disciplinarian; the morale officer might do them more good, and indeed does them more good when he lectures Tuvok, than a stern Vulcan whom they consider a traitor to their cause. I think it’s a mistake that we see the senior officers’ point of view rather than that of the recruits, since we don’t get to learn the positive independent-minded aspects of what Chakotay dismisses as “the Maquis way.” A strong left hook may get someone hauled before a disciplinary committee in Starfleet, but we’ve had such behavior by the Klingons rammed down our throats for years now as something we should admire, so it just doesn’t look particularly outrageous when a Maquis crewmember does precisely what a Klingon would do in a similar situation of being singled out for his temper. Apart from Dalby, who joined the Maquis because Cardassians brutalized his girlfriend, we never get to know the Maquis crewmembers, and the more Tuvok talks, the more arrogant he seems, like the obnoxious Vulcans of “Take Me Out to the Holosuite” rather than thoughtful, nuanced individuals like Spock and Sarek. Now that the US military and other such organizations have relaxed their rules about whether and when soldiers can wear yarmulkes, hijabs, and other items directly related to the practice of religion, I feel even more justified in my fury against Tuvok when he orders Gerron to take off his Bajoran earring – an accessory quite different from the headband that Tuvok forbids Henley to wear. The Bajoran earring is a symbol of faith. It’s also a mark of one’s family and social caste, two things that the young Gerron has lost being stranded 70,000 light years from home. Whether he had lost those already in a traumatic incident that led him to join the Maquis, as Dalby seems to believe, or whether he joined the Maquis out of sympathy for the settlers’ desire to protect their homes, like Kasidy Yates, Gerron is clearly clinging to this one meaningful relic of his former life, which Tuvok orders him to put away without any care for its significance.

Clearly, Tuvok is obsessed with the letter of the law rather than its spirit – he’s closer to being Javert from Les Miserables than was Sisko when Eddington mocked him with that sobriquet – but given the pettiness of the Vulcans we saw in many TNG and DS9 episodes, I gather we’re supposed to assume that it’s because Tuvok’s a Vulcan, for whom logic demands holding even to the most trivial of regulations. But I can’t understand why Chakotay agrees to let someone whom he thought served his own cause, then turned out to have been working behind his back all along, serve as corrections officer for other Maquis crewmembers. Chakotay’s facial tattoo would not be permitted even in the current US military, and I’d love to hear his response if Tuvok ordered him to remove it or cover it up. He’s usually a champion of diversity and broadmindedness, yet he seems amused at the thought of having four shipmates for whom he was once responsible, who are as troubled as they are troubling, put under Tuvok’s yoke. Of course ship-wide discipline is important in a crisis, as we see when it takes much of the crew working together to solve the problem with the gel packs, but a rigid dress code for people who will be working together for many years can hardly be the element that makes them see themselves as a team. It will be acknowledging, understanding, accepting, and taking advantage of their differences which will accomplish that. If the Starfleet uniform serves to bond Voyager’s crew in early days, it later serves to homogenize them; no wonder Sisko preferred spending his off-duty hours in African dress and Kira never stopped wearing her Bajoran earring even when in Starfleet uniform. “Learning Curve” fails in its effort to be “Lower Decks” because it fears to let us get to know and admire the quirks of the individual Maquis, erasing their distinct histories and grievances even as Janeway’s off playing traditional British governess in a traditional British novel knockoff. She needs to spend more time thinking about exactly which aspects of the Federation she plans to keep thriving on her ship as it creeps toward home.

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Star Trek: The Exhibition In Washington State http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/star-trek-the-exhibition-in-washington-state/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/star-trek-the-exhibition-in-washington-state/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 19:00:37 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41252 Star Trek: The Exhibition will be arriving at the Washington State Fair in September.

The Washington State Fair will take place September 11-27 in Puyallup.

Star Trek: The Exhibition, under license by CBS Consumer Products, will run for seventeen days and gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy an interactive, museum-style experience of one of the largest collections of authentic Star Trek artifacts and information ever put on public display. This is a separate ticketed exhibit, and requires Fair admission. Exhibit tickets can be purchased in advance for $6.50 until Sept 10 here, or $8 at the State Fair. Children five years and under are free in the exhibit with a paid adult. Online orders are subject to standard processing fees.

The Exhibition brings visitors into the Star Trek universe and allows them to connect with iconic Star Trek moments. Throughout this experience, visitors, especially younger visitors and youth, will be inspired and motivated to seek out more education, and perhaps ignite a passion for lifelong learning and careers in science and technology.

Star Trek fans and novices alike will have a first-hand interactive experience to explore the worlds, wisdom, science, stories, cultures, characters, fashions and fantasies of the Star Trek universe. In the States, and around the world, Star Trek has become a sub-culture for many, supported by countless fan conventions and fan gatherings where many regularly gather and role-play in their favorite Star Trek characters.

“Among the main attractions of The Exhibition is the opportunity to sit in the legendary Captain’s chair where Captain Kirk and subsequently Captain Picard took command of the U.S.S. Enterprise; the opportunity to pose in front of a replica of the U.S.S. Enterprise; and one-of-a-kind displays, interactive kiosks and rare photo opportunities.”

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August-September 2015 Trek Conventions And Appearances http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/august-september-2015-trek-conventions-and-appearances/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/august-september-2015-trek-conventions-and-appearances/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:53:51 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41248 There will be nineteen conventions, shows or appearances in August and September that will feature actors of interest to Star Trek fans.

This listing of conventions and shows features actors from all of the televised series and several of the Star Trek movies.

August begins with The Official Star Trek Convention will be held Aug. 6-9 at the Rio Suites Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. In attendance at The Official Star Trek Convention will be Marc Alaimo, Vaughn Armstrong, Richard Arnold, Rene Auberjonois, Robert Beltran, Casey Biggs, John Billingsley, Brannon Braga, Bobby Clark, Joan Collins, Jeffrey Combs, Denise Crosby, Olivia d’Abo, Michael Dante, James Darren, Roxanne Dawson, Nicole de Boer, John de Lancie, Elizabeth Dennehy (Commander Shelby), Chris Doohan, Michael Dorn, Doug Drexler, Aron Eisenberg, Terry Farrell, Jonathan Frakes, Bryan Fuller, Joseph Gatt, Max Grodenchik, Richard Herd, J.G. Hertzler, Jennifer Hetrick (Vash), Manu Intiraymi, Sherry Jackson, Salome Jens, Dominic Keating, Walter Koenig, Alice Krige, Cirroc Lofton, Don Marshall, Chase Masterson, Robert Duncan McNeill, Anthony Montgomery, Ronald B. Moore, Kate Mulgrew, Larry Nemecek, Adam Nimoy, Denise Okuda, Mike Okuda, Robert O’Reilly, Linda Park, Ethan Phillips, Robert Picardo, Andrew Robinson, Rod Roddenberry, David L. Ross (Lt. Galloway and Lt. Johnson), Saul Rubinek, Tim Russ, Jeri Ryan, Judson Scott (Joachim from The Wrath of Khan), William Shatner, Mark Allen Shepherd (Morn), William Morgan Sheppard, Armin Shimerman, Alexander Siddig, Marina Sirtis, Rick Sternbach, Sir Patrick Stewart, Kitty Swink, George Takei, Connor Trinneer, Karl Urban, Nana Visitor, Garrett Wang, and Michael Westmore.

Next up is Shore Leave, to be held Aug. 7-9 at the Baltimore Hunt Valley Inn in Hunt Valley, Maryland. In attendance at Shore Leave will be Daniel Davis (Professor James Moriarty).

The Steel City Con will be held Aug. 7-9 at the Monroeville Convention Center in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. In attendance at Steel City Con will be Nichelle Nichols.

The Dublin Comic Con will be held Aug. 8-9 at the Convention Centre Dublin in Dublin, Ireland. In attendance at Dublin Comic Con will be Gates McFadden.

The Windsor ComiCon will be held Aug. 15-16 at the Caesars Windsor in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. In attendance at Windsor ComiCon will be Marina Sirtis.

Crypticon Kansas City will take place Aug. 21-23 at the Howard Johnson Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri. In attendance at Crypticon Kansas City will be Sid Haig, Chris Sarandon, and Tony Todd.

Walker Stalker Con will be held Aug. 22-23 at the Westin Waterfront in Boston, Massachusetts. In attendance at Walker Stalker Con will be Denise Crosby.

The Central Coast Comic Con will take place Aug. 28-30 at the Ventura County Fairgrounds in Ventura, California. In attendance at Central Coast Comic Con will be Sid Haig (Lawgiver in Return of the Archons) and Deep Roy.

Wrapping up August will be the Bournemouth Film & Comic Con, to be held Aug. 29-30 at the Bournemouth International Centre in Bournemouth, England. In attendance at the Bournemouth Film & Comic Con will be Max Grodenchik.

September begins with Fan Expo Canada, which will be held Sept. 3-6 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In attendance at Fan Expo Canada will be Jeffrey Combs, Malcolm McDowell, Jennifer Morrison, Kate Mulgrew, Ethan Phillips, Robert Picardo, and Jeri Ryan.

Dragon*Con will take place Sept. 4-7 at several hotels in Atlanta, Georgia. In attendance at Dragon*Con will be Terry Farrell, Jonathan Frakes, Gary Lockwood, and Paul McGillion.

Wizard World Comic Con San Jose will be held Sept. 4-6 at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, California. In attendance at Wizard World Comic Con San Jose will be Adrienne Barbeau.

The Alamo City Comic Con will be held Sept. 11-13 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. In attendance at Alamo City Comic Con will be Olivia d’Abo and Ron Perlman.

The Wizard World Comic Con Pittsburgh will be held Sept. 11-13 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Appearing at Wizard World Comic Con Pittsburgh will be Colm Meaney and William Shatner.

RocCon will be held Sept. 11-13 at the Kodak Event Center in Rochester, New York. In attendance at RocCon will be Nichelle Nichols and Marina Sirtis.

Wizard World Comic Con Columbus will be held Sept. 18-20 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. Appearing at Wizard World Comic Con Columbus will be Brent Spiner.

The Rose City Comic Con will be held Sept. 19-20 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon. In attendance at Rose City Comic Con will be Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, and Wil Wheaton.

The Salt Lake Comic Con will be held Sept. 24-26 at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah. Walter Koenig will be appearing at the Salt Lake Comic Con.

September wraps up with the London Comic Con, to be held Sept. 25-27 at the Western Fair District in London, Ontario, Canada. In attendance at the London Comic Con will be Nicole de Boer and Ron Perlman.

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Shatner To Pen Book On Nimoy http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/shatner-to-pen-book-on-nimoy/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/shatner-to-pen-book-on-nimoy/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:45:58 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41245 William Shatner is planning on writing a book about his friend Leonard Nimoy.

Shatner considered Nimoy to be a brother to him.

“I’m writing a book about Leonard,” said Shatner. “I had a brother, whose life arc was so much like mine that we understood each other completely. Our age, our birth, the same types of problems in our marriages – our careers arced in the same manner.

“We had a great deal in common, Leonard and I. And thusly we were able to understand each other. I’ve lost a dear friend.”

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Star Trek Beyond Building Continues http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/star-trek-beyond-building-continues/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/star-trek-beyond-building-continues/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:42:43 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41236 More photographs from the Star Trek Beyond set have emerged.

Five new photos show the progress made in building the set which began back in May.

STB-1

The first photo shows the bare bones of the set back in May.

STB-2

The second photo shows what appeared to be a building with some broken trees on it.

STB-3

In the third photo, it becomes clear that the second photo was not a building, but hills with broken trees. The plywood of the second photo has been covered with dirt.

STB-4

STB-5

In the last two photos, the “hills” set is being expanded.

Larger-sized photos are available at the referring site.

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Trinneer In Western Horror http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/trinneer-in-western-horror/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/trinneer-in-western-horror/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:14:05 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41232 Fans of Connor Trinneer will be able to see the actor in a western horror movie set to release on DVD and VOD beginning August 4.

The movie is called A Good Day To Die.

In A Good Day To Die, “Baron Emerson uses his vast wealth to travel the world and hunt. He does not hunt animals, he hunts warriors. The Baron arrives at the American frontier and is looking for his next prey. An outlaw gunslinger named Chamberlin who is in jail and set to be hanged. The Baron arranges for Chamberlin to be freed so that he can hunt him like an animal in a bloody game of life and death in the Wild West.”

Trinneer portrays the hunted Chamberlin, while Robert Koroluck is the hunter Baron Emerson. Others included in A Good Day To Die include Nadia Lanfranconi, Jay Kown, and Leia Perez.

A Good Day To Die was written and directed by Rene Perez.

The movie has already made its European debut, where it was released under the title Prey For Death.

For US fans, to pre-order A Good Day To Die, which sells for $8.46, head to the link located here.

 

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Beam Me Up Scotty Figurines http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/beam-me-up-scotty-figurines/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/beam-me-up-scotty-figurines/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:10:46 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41229 Two new original series figures feature Kirk and Spock in the process of “beaming up.”

The figures will be available from Funko beginning next month.

Each poseable figure is 3 3/4″ in height and features a beaming effect (the bottom part of each character shows this effect). “Captain James T. Kirk [and Spock have five] points of articulation and features unique accessories and the 1980s style card back design.”

The Beaming Kirk and Spock ReAction figures will ship next month. Each sells for $12.99 and can be pre-ordered here for Kirk, and here for Spock.

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UK Auction To Feature Spock Costume http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/uk-auction-to-feature-spock-costume/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/uk-auction-to-feature-spock-costume/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:08:35 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41226 TrekUKAuction073015

An auction to be held in the UK this autumn will feature a costume worn by Leonard Nimoy.

The Prop Store and Odeon Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction will take place September 23.

The catalog for the auction isn’t available yet, but at least two Star Trek items will be auctioned.

A costume worn by Nimoy during the second season (blue shirt and black trousers) will be up for auction, and is expected to fetch up to £70,000.

Also in the auction will be a model starship used in The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.

Other non-Trek items of interest include a Star Wars stormtrooper helmet, Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s jacket from Terminator 3, a Lord of the Rings Witch King’s dagger, and a set of claws worn by Hugh Jackman in X2:X-Men United.

In all, four-hundred-and-fifty items will be auctioned.

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Pine To Star In Wonder Woman http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/pine-to-star-in-wonder-woman/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/pine-to-star-in-wonder-woman/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 17:57:20 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41222 PineWonderWoman052815

Back in May, TrekToday reported that Chris Pine was in negotiations to star in Warner Bros. Wonder Woman; today comes word that Pine has signed on for the role.

Pine will be playing Steve Trevor, Diana Prince’s love interest.

In the Wonder Woman comics, Trevor “was an intelligence officer in the United States Army during World War II whose plane crashed on Paradise Island, the isolated homeland of the Amazons. He was nursed back to health by the Amazon princess Diana, who fell in love with him and followed him when he returned to the outside world. There she became Wonder Woman (and also his co-worker, Diana Prince).”

Pine’s deal reportedly includes sequel options.

Written by Jason Fuchs, Wonder Woman will be directed by Patty Jenkins. Pine will be starring with Gal Gadot, who will take on the role of Diana Prince.

Wonder Woman will be released June 23, 2017.

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Pegg Teases Elba Character http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/pegg-teases-elba-character/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/pegg-teases-elba-character/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 17:54:46 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41218 Elba072915

Simon Pegg spoke briefly about the character that Idris Elba will be playing in Star Trek Beyond.

The character that Elba will be playing will be unique, Pegg promised.

“It’s a really interesting, complex character,” said Pegg. “We shouldn’t expect to see anything like Benedict Cumberbatch‘s creepy genius Khan from Star Trek Into Darkness in Elba’s performance, however. His performance is all his own.”

There’s a good reason that Elba’s villain is different than Cumberbatch’s. “Only because it would be a retread,” said Pegg. “What we don’t want to do is have the same kind of villain with the same motivation.”

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Old January 24 2013, 10:52 AM   #16
RJDiogenes
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Re: wild dolphin seeks out human help

Rhubarbodendron wrote: View Post
I very much agree with RJD and Deranged Nasat: the problem is how to define intelligence, particularly if it is of a different kind than ours? (my old Zoology Prof used to say: humans build bombs. No mouse ever would be such an idiot to build a mousetrap)
Eh, he's just being cynical. Animals compete with and kill their own kind all the time. When Humans kill each other it's because they're listening to their animal instincts instead of their rational mind.

Has nobody ever thought of developing a sign language for communication with dolphins? It worked with Washoe, after all! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washoe_(chimpanzee)
Like some others, it's occurred to me to use computers to catalog all the sounds a dolphin makes and then create an artificial language based on those sounds. A computer program could then be written that translates back and forth. Young dolphins could be trained in that language by scientists while still being trained in regular dolphin communication by older dolphins. We would then have a group of dolphin ambassadors.
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Old January 24 2013, 12:55 PM   #17
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Re: wild dolphin seeks out human help

that's not a bad idea. I had been thinking only along the lines of a direct communication which, as YellowSubmarine pointed out, is difficult for anatomical reasons.

Alternatively, we could develop a language based on symbols on a touchscreen or a set of cards you'd have to touch (that's something both species could do)


I don't think you can compare the killing of animals and humans with each other. Animals kill for food or territorial reasons (wich usually are about food, in the end). Humans often kill for fury, for greed and in order to completely extinct the others, not just their immediate opponents. That's something any other organism on this planet would consider totally unthinkable.
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Old January 24 2013, 01:19 PM   #18
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Re: wild dolphin seeks out human help

Humans kill and train to kill as a reflex, which is very reasonable. It is not just killing to eat nor killing to express rage, but cold, calculating killing for almost any reason imaginable.

In my opinion, you couldn't make it a crime of murder to kill something or someone who inherently does not understand the rules, and makes themselves a killing threat in turn. Law is a mutual set of agreements subject to interpretations. While we can make it a crime to poach animals, for instance, we can't make it a crime for animals to kill a human being, that would be silly. We can't even put humans not of sound mind on the stand. Let alone expect animals to abide by law or human concepts like object persistance (that something exists when it's out of sight), let alone property or rights.

Anyway, if it's a choice between dolphins and humans I choose humans. I think Earth has a better chance of fighting off asteroids with humans.

(Of course you can't watch that video and not go awwwww)....
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Old January 24 2013, 04:05 PM   #19
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Re: wild dolphin seeks out human help

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
Like some others, it's occurred to me to use computers to catalog all the sounds a dolphin makes and then create an artificial language based on those sounds. A computer program could then be written that translates back and forth. Young dolphins could be trained in that language by scientists while still being trained in regular dolphin communication by older dolphins. We would then have a group of dolphin ambassadors.
One problem is that the language you develop will probably only be appropriate to that dolphin. Humans have hundreds of languages. There is no reason to believe all dolphins use the same one. If they do share complex information through vocal communication, it's likely that dolphin communities around the world have their own language families, dialects, and even some language isolates.

Dolphin communication probably also consists of body language, so translating only their sounds wouldn't necessarily give you any useful information.

In other words, this is a much, much more difficult problem than people may assume.
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Old January 24 2013, 04:37 PM   #20
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Re: wild dolphin seeks out human help

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
In other words, this is a much, much more difficult problem than people may assume.
The thing is that even if all dolphins used the same language throughout the world and even if it was largely based on vocalization, we could still be facing an even bigger problem. They have amazing hearing that could recognize subtleties in sound that we are probably not even looking at. If these are part of a any form of communication, we can be very far from understanding it. We might as far as looking at a waveform of human speech is close to hearing it.

Hey, to some people like Bill O'Reilly even human languages from the other side of the planet sound like gibberish, you can't possibly expect us to figure out dolphin any time soon now, do you?. Nah, hopefully, we're more clever than that.
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Old January 24 2013, 04:54 PM   #21
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Re: wild dolphin seeks out human help

YellowSubmarine wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
In other words, this is a much, much more difficult problem than people may assume.
The thing is that even if all dolphins used the same language throughout the world and even if it was largely based on vocalization, we could still be facing an even bigger problem. They have amazing hearing that could recognize subtleties in sound that we are probably not even looking at. If these are part of a any form of communication, we can be very far from understanding it. We might as far as looking at a waveform of human speech is close to hearing it.

Hey, to some people like Bill O'Reilly even human languages from the other side of the planet sound like gibberish, you can't possibly expect us to figure out dolphin any time soon now, do you?. Nah, hopefully, we're more clever than that.
If they can vocalize beyond human range, that's not a big deal, because we have sensors for that. It's not as if humans would be actively listening to and trying to interpret the sounds. Sensors fed into a computer would capture the sounds, including subsonic and ultrasonic ones. The hard part would be determining what they mean.
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Old January 24 2013, 05:18 PM   #22
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Re: wild dolphin seeks out human help

I was thinking about the encoding, and not the range. There is more than one way to embed a meaningful thing in a sound. Some of the known ways to do so are impossible to interpret or detect without a common reference, but thankfully those are always artificial and not something you'd see evolving naturally. It could still be something pretty elusive, though.
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Old January 24 2013, 07:50 PM   #23
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Re: wild dolphin seeks out human help

Rhubarbodendron wrote: View Post
In my opinion the dolphin
1) was aware that the line was human-made
2) knew he (or she, rather, I think. The video is a bit dark) couldn't get it off alone
3) realized that removing a man-made thing might require fingers (and the human attached to them)
It would probably associate fishing boats with humans but could also have had friendly encounters with humans before.

What do you think? Are dolphins a sentinent species? Should they been given protection? Should they be treated different to other protected species, possibly even given the same status as humans? How about the other whales?
Yes, yes, they should be left alone and studied intensively and non-intrusively... Well, maybe except for that speaking with them-thing*, no, possibly.

*Why not just teach them English by shouting at them until they understand?

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
Animals[*] compete with and kill their own kind all the time.
*Including primates and dolphins.

Gotham Central wrote: View Post
Is this really news? I was under the impression that Dolphins in the wild have been known to seek out humans when they need help. And the reverse has been known to be true. Dolphins will come to the aid of humans if they are aware of danger or see one in need.
Dolphins in the wild have indeed been known to come to the aid of humans but afaik not coming to humans for help. Until recently that is: Dolphins are being exposed to humans like never before; they have become tourist attractions! People swim with them and take Dolphin tours; feeding of wild Dolphins in order to attract them is not legal though: it makes them associate boats with food. Many Dolphins are injured by boats because of this.


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- Afaik it's probably because they recognize an (un-threatening) air-breather in distress (they do have that magic ultra-sound vision) and know they need to get to the surface to breathe.
It doesn't necessarily follow that they seek out humans, only that they have highly developed social skills.



Oh, And this thread needs the video, no matter how tacky

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Old January 24 2013, 10:01 PM   #24
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Re: wild dolphin seeks out human help

Oh there's no doubt in my mind that the dolphin was aware that he needed help and deliberately sought it out among humans. Not only did he approach a nearby diver and present himself with the hook plainly visible, he made adjustments during the assistance to help maintain position... AND... after leaving to surface and get some air, he returned BACK to the SAME HUMAN, patiently allowing the process to continue until freed. Once the dolphin felt the hook was gone, he happily swam away!

This clearly shows sentience. A typical wild animal would be caught up in the discomfort and not know what to do, perhaps even going berserk in the process. This dolphin was also thoughtful... he could have easily swam to another nearby human after having surfaced for air, because there were several divers nearby. But it returned to the same diver.

Unfortunately the article was sparse on information. I wonder if the dolphin made any kind of "thank you" gesture to the human who helped him.
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Old January 24 2013, 10:13 PM   #25
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Re: wild dolphin seeks out human help

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
Animals compete with and kill their own kind all the time. When Humans kill each other it's because they're listening to their animal instincts instead of their rational mind.
That's a major sweeping generalization. SOME animals kill their own kind all the time. There are plenty who do not.

Human Beings are the ONLY creatures who have committed genocide and wage war. Now, one could say that it has to do with sentience... that lower forms of life can't think of the organization required to do such acts. But gorillas have been known to team up to defend themselves against predators. If they wanted to wipe out an entire tribe of other gorillas, they would conduct their own kind of warfare. They do not.

Elephants will attack other creatures and even out of malice. There have been ones kept in captivity that aren't happy with their predicament and over time, building up enough anger about their situation until they eventually "pop" and go on a rampage, killing any human in sight (even those who had nothing to do with their captivity). But that's because the elephant was under duress. Elephants do have territories, but they don't seek to expand them with the waging of war against other elephants to achieve that kind of objective.


Humans conducting genocide aren't following primitive instincts. They are following a rationalization passed down to them from those in control of their group. And those who go on mass murder sprees are often mentally deranged. Nothing instinctual about it--they're simply deranged or have a warped sense of morality.
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Old January 24 2013, 10:15 PM   #26
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Re: wild dolphin seeks out human help

Gary7 wrote: View Post
Human Beings are the ONLY creatures who have committed genocide and wage war.
Male lions for instance commit genocide as well when they take over a pride, just on a smaller basis. Every animal has fought in wars as well, but when they do, we call it territorial dispute or courtship behavior or whatever. Animals regularly kill each other over territory, food and sex.

Human behavior is just an extension, made possible by skill and numbers. It's no different in principle.

If they could, they would.


Seriously, we are no different, we are just animals. The fact that we have computers and fly to the Moon doesn't change that. We are simply just a little bit more sophisticated behause we have opposable thumbs and shit.
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Old January 24 2013, 10:42 PM   #27
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Re: wild dolphin seeks out human help

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
Rhubarbodendron wrote: View Post
I very much agree with RJD and Deranged Nasat: the problem is how to define intelligence, particularly if it is of a different kind than ours? (my old Zoology Prof used to say: humans build bombs. No mouse ever would be such an idiot to build a mousetrap)
Eh, he's just being cynical. Animals compete with and kill their own kind all the time. When Humans kill each other it's because they're listening to their animal instincts instead of their rational mind.

Has nobody ever thought of developing a sign language for communication with dolphins? It worked with Washoe, after all! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washoe_(chimpanzee)
Like some others, it's occurred to me to use computers to catalog all the sounds a dolphin makes and then create an artificial language based on those sounds. A computer program could then be written that translates back and forth. Young dolphins could be trained in that language by scientists while still being trained in regular dolphin communication by older dolphins. We would then have a group of dolphin ambassadors.

All through your post all I could think of was that your effort would simply result in the creation of an army of dolphins that can only say.....DARWIN PLAY!
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Old January 24 2013, 10:48 PM   #28
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Re: wild dolphin seeks out human help

Triskelion wrote: View Post
Anyway, if it's a choice between dolphins and humans I choose humans. I think Earth has a better chance of fighting off asteroids with humans.
Asteroid is about fifth on the calamity list. The four above it are man-made. I choose dolphins.
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Old January 24 2013, 11:41 PM   #29
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Re: wild dolphin seeks out human help

Rhubarbodendron wrote: View Post
I don't think you can compare the killing of animals and humans with each other. Animals kill for food or territorial reasons (wich usually are about food, in the end). Humans often kill for fury, for greed and in order to completely extinct the others, not just their immediate opponents. That's something any other organism on this planet would consider totally unthinkable.
Humans kill for the same reasons. Resources, territories, mates. Many animals will attack another of their own kind on sight, even with nothing immediately at stake, simply because it represents competition. Humans tend to rationalize these instincts, which complicates things, but it's pretty much the same idea.

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
One problem is that the language you develop will probably only be appropriate to that dolphin. Humans have hundreds of languages. There is no reason to believe all dolphins use the same one. If they do share complex information through vocal communication, it's likely that dolphin communities around the world have their own language families, dialects, and even some language isolates.
Sure, that's very likely, but the experiment would only be dealing with the local community (using a mixed population at an aquarium or something would probably be unsuccessful). If the system turned out to be useful, the experiment could be duplicated in other parts of the world.

Dolphin communication probably also consists of body language, so translating only their sounds wouldn't necessarily give you any useful information.
That's another advantage of using an artificial language-- it would bypass that problem.

In other words, this is a much, much more difficult problem than people may assume.
It's a very difficult problem indeed, but we'd gain some amazing information and insights if we were to solve it.

trekkiedane wrote: View Post
*Including primates and dolphins.
Yes, that's very true.

Gary7 wrote: View Post
That's a major sweeping generalization. SOME animals kill their own kind all the time. There are plenty who do not.
There may be some who do not, but the vast majority will. Competition is fundamental. All species compete with each other and with other species in some way.

Human Beings are the ONLY creatures who have committed genocide and wage war.
No, that's far from true. Many species exhibit those exact same behaviors, including primates. I'm not sure if gorillas do-- they're actually pretty gentle creatures-- but certainly chimps and other primates have.

Gotham Central wrote: View Post
All through your post all I could think of was that your effort would simply result in the creation of an army of dolphins that can only say.....DARWIN PLAY!
Well, at least we'd have the answer to our question.
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Old January 24 2013, 11:50 PM   #30
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Re: wild dolphin seeks out human help

Genocide is "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group". Animals do not commit genocide. PERIOD. A lion might kill another male to take over its pride, but it won't partner up with other lions to deliberately wipe out another group.

Skirmishes between animals are very localized and focused on "survival of the moment." There is no long term deliberation possible, which is what is required when enacting genocide.
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