Bleeding orange and green...or what?

Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by Nerys Ghemor, Aug 13, 2009.

  1. Myasishchev

    Myasishchev Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think you're right--that we'd have to ignore it--since Vulcans and Andorians (more precisely, the actors who portray Vulcans and Andorians) appear with pink gums and caruncles as well, even though in the Vulcan case they are explicitly said to have copper-based blood (regardless of the visual, bright-green evidence that suggests they actually don't :rolleyes: ) and Andorians are explicitly shown to have a respiratory pigment that can virtually only be hemocyanin or an equivalent copper (II) oxidation compound. It even oxidizes, becoming dark blue, in air, just like hemocyanin in earthly animals does.

    On the other hand, "City on the Edge of Forever," "Patterns of Force," "Piece of the Action," Star Trek IV, and "Carbon Creek" all seem to think that a being that by all rights should have green capillaries or at least should not have red capillaries can walk around like it's human, or one of humanity's unaccountably many cosmic copies, and no one would notice. And this is just baffling.

    Anyway, I'm pretty sure I've seen Cardassians bleed red--I can't recall an instance where their blood hasn't appeared red.

    As others have noted, the Bajoran ability to carry both Cardassian added to the fact that they can also carry human fetuses completely rules out biochemistries that we would find exotic. Regardless of The Final Frontier's presumably symbolic flashback to Spock's live birth, Amanda Grayson could not supply Fetal Spock with oxygen with hemoglobin. Neither could Kira Nerys have supplied oxygen to Fetal Toshiro O'Brien without hemoglobin, and since presumably Tora Naprem has the same respiratory pigment as her distant relative Kira Nerys, Fetal Tora Ziyal must have been nourished with hemoglobin.

    Furthermore, if Bajoran blood--which is definitely red--and Cardassian blood have obviously different colors, the Obsidian Order's deception in "Ties of Blood and Water" would be exposed in a (literal) heartbeat, since all Kira "Iliana" Nerys would have to do to prove that she was by no means Cardassian would be to bleed. Genetic testing and such could be influenced because no one directly involved was competent to perform it, but surely Tekeny Ghemor, despite being a little bit naive:devil:, can still tell the difference between red and orange or green.:lol:

    Even ignoring the evidence, all things being equal, I'd say that Cardassians should have hemoglobin or a similar iron oxidation pigment, since hemoglobin is superior at bonding oxygen to hemocyanin on a molecular level. On the other hand, hemocyanin need not be contained in blood cells, potentially creating a greater carrying capacity in bulk. The trade-off here is stamina, as the viscosity of blue blood with the same carrying capacity as red blood would be very high, placing great strain on circulatory systems of similar design, and at least requiring much more energy to transport. I find it very difficult to believe that Enterprise got this right on purpose, but they did get it right.

    I think Cardassian blood would be visible through the skin. They may not blush to show embarassment--as I think you may want to show, Nerys--because they're aliens and it's a wonder enough that they smile to show happiness (a trait that we would consider vanishly rare on Earth, if weren't we that had it ;) ). However, I strongly suspect that Cardassians would use their blood as a radiator just as many earthly animals do. That we don't see flush Cardassian faces can be readily explained because we rarely if ever see them in environments they find uncomfortably warm. Dukat claims the Breen slave planet,whatever it was called, has great weather, possibly just to be a jerk, but we cannot rule out the possibility he honestly thinks a roiling desert is a nice place for a stroll. Probably a good 90% of the time, the only Cardassian we see is Garak, and he's usually bundled up and by his own admission always uncomfortably cold.

    In conclusion, Cardassian blood is 100%, without a doubt red.
     
  2. Myasishchev

    Myasishchev Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oops, didn't past Kate's post. I guess deducing that it's red was a bit of a waste of time then.:lol:

    But since I'm in rant mode, I want to say that the apparently universal love of red lipstick is downright weird. Crimson lipstick on a Vulcan is the equivalent of emerald lipstick on a human--whether it's attractive or not is debatable, but there's a reason why green lipstick would not just be striking, but jarring. Lipstick is a sexual ornament. I figure that's why, classically, the colors up here and down there tend to complement.
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    That was sort of my point. However, we could argue that since Natima Lang was something of a rebel, she might choose to wear jarring makeup as a matter of principle...

    Did we ever see any other Cardassian lady wear forehead makeup?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  4. BlueWolf

    BlueWolf Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    But human bruises come in a variety of colours!
     
  5. Myasishchev

    Myasishchev Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I know, but I wanted to make it more explicit for anyone not paying attention.:p
     
  6. PSGarak

    PSGarak Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Did we actually see a Cardassian female applying makeup to the spoon or neck? I don't recall seeing that, but it has been a while since I've seen anything past season 1. I assumed they were naturally tinted.
     
  7. JustKate

    JustKate Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Memory Alpha says that it is unclear whether the spoon thingy on female Cardassians is blue naturally or because of cosmetics. I don't know myself - I can't remember it ever being addressed, but then again, I very easily might not.
     
  8. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Hm...Timo--on your theory, I always thought that was pigment, not a blush response, more like how animals of some types have one gender that has markings that are intended to indicate sexual desirability to potential mates. And the women, I'm thinking, probably still accentuate this area with makeup.

    Oh, and with lipstick--I think I've seen Cardassian women use colors other than red. I've seen some (Makbar comes to mind as one example) go for a more Goth color scheme, and apparently this does not have the social suggestion of "weirdness" that it does on our world.

    Myasishchev--A good point about Kira and Tekeny! I didn't even think of that, but that's a WONDERFUL point of evidence about Cardassian blood being red.

    With the blush response...my personal theory is that they do--that they would FEEL themselves blush, but no one else would ever see it due to the opacity and/or thickness of their skin. (In my own works, if they're standing close to someone, they might feel a change in the other person's bioelectric field, that is their equivalent of seeing someone blush.)

    About the Cardassian metabolism...as therapsids, I'm not entirely sure to what degree their bodies are able to produce heat on their own, and to what degree they must rely on the environment. One interesting fact I picked up in "Emissary" was that the temperature in Ops apparently got stuck on 32 C (89.6 F). That may well be a Cardassian's optimum temperature. If that's the case, then what humans consider optimum would be sheer hell to endure!

    And believe me, I know personally just how miserable Garak must be, because my own optimum temperature is quite high compared to most people. I am perfectly comfortable in temperatures ranging from 28-30 C (82-86 F), and I don't like being in places with "normal" air conditioning during the summer...that's why I hate wearing short sleeves, because as soon as I go indoors, I'll be cold. (Conversely, after being in a place like that, coming out into the summer heat--and better yet, the hot car--feels GREAT.) And believe me, if I were on DS9, I would almost surely be showing up at Garak's shop asking if there was some kind of lining I could get on my uniform so I wouldn't be so damn cold all the time!

    (And undoubtedly the response would be one with quite the sparkle in the eye, followed by, "I know JUST the thing--but are you sure you don't have some Cardassian blood in you?" ;) )
     
  9. Marie1

    Marie1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    [/QUOTE]

    Yep. Common in people of Asian decent. How many people here have purple scar tissue instead of pink?
     
  10. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What's common? Bruises/scars appearing purple? Or am I misreading you? :cardie:
     
  11. Marie1

    Marie1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Bruises/scars being purple. A lot of umm... parts, of non-white people are purple, when on a white person, they'd be pink. That includes scars and bruises, in my case... I could post a non-gross picture?

    So they could have red blood and purple bruises etc.

    To complicate things, in TrekLit- Jem'Hadar have amber blood, in the show, it was that same dark colour as Garaks...
     
  12. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    As long as it's non-gross...I'm not good at looking at blood!

    (Even watching the show ER was tough for me!)
     
  13. Marie1

    Marie1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    LOL, no blood... I do have pictures of the wound when it was new, but that wouldn't really prove my point... unless you're wondering what colour my blood is. ;)

    See- my scar is purple... ruining my nice calf! Boooo!! Haha!!
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    LOL, no thanks on the "bleeding" pics. ;)
     
  15. Marie1

    Marie1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    LOL! No prob! But I'm purple!! =D
     
  16. Myasishchev

    Myasishchev Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My experience has been that it's more of a dark brown:devil:, but that could just be a different in terminology. Which makes sense, as my understanding was it's just a melanin concentration issue--with the skin simply not being transparent enough to visual wavelengths for the blood to reflect light to our eyes.

    My girlfriend of Korean-American (German-Jewish-muttish) descent has pinkish scars that veer toward the purple, I suppose, but I've never given it that much thought. My scars tend to be white--probably showing that the melanin concentration in the incorrectly reconstructed skin tissue is lower. Her scars also tend to be hypertrophic, with raised deposits of collagen, while mine tend to heal flat.

    Amber? Geez. Do they bother to name a chemical? Pink (Klingon?) blood is hemerythin, also iron-based... I think vanabins are orange... what would make golden yellow?
     
  17. Crimea River

    Crimea River Commander Red Shirt

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    Memory-Alpha says that Cardassian blood is brown, but it can't always be relied on, despite the fact that it's the best source. And a bit off-topic, but in response to what someone had said prior: I agree, about the smiling, etc; it doesn't seem real for them to be like humans in that way, unless they could explain it as cultural things like that, kissing, etc, being a humanoid thing caused by the Progenitors - though that really doesn't make sense. Some ancient Earth civilisations didn't have smiling as an expression of joy, I believe. This all sounds like a jumble, I bet. >_<

    And that looks like it hurt, Marie1. D: Hopefully it doesn't hurt anymore.

    (Finally something I can post in; still in the middle of Season 3, lol).
     
  18. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I would not be surprised if the Progenitors' original intent was for all the humanoid races to get to know each other, if they DID deliberately program the instinctive expressions to be the same. Paul Ekman's studies of humanity revealed that certain expressions are universal to humanity: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Ekman

    It would make sense with the Progenitors' stated goals if they did program humans, Cardassians, Klingons, and all other species sharing their genetic inheritance to smile, laugh, and express their most basic emotions in ways that would be recognizable even with the cultural and physiological differences that they did have.
     
  19. Myasishchev

    Myasishchev Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    As for human emotional signals in aliens--I always thought it was a very nice touch by Leonard Nimoy, or whoever was responsible, in "Enterprise Incident," to establish that Vulcans and Rommies don't kiss with their mouths. (Not to suggest that it is a problem in ST11 that they do; he's getting it with a human, who wouldn't get much of a kick out of holding hands).

    Still, TV production realities force human emotional signals in aliens, and that's okay. There is no economical way around it to do the kinds of stories Trek wants to tell.

    Worse is the Trek misunderstanding of how biological systems evolve.

    In "The Chase," I wish so much that they hadn't gone for the bleachers with their binding of the various humanoid species. What's wrong with leaving the Progenitors as the force who had enforced a galactic standard of DNA over other replicators, creating an oh-so distant, but still palpable, kinship link between all (except the Horta, and the Tholians, and the Sheliak, I guess :p )? This isn't implausible--it leaves open the question of their motives, but the actual act is not so unlikely and difficult to perform that it raises questions of practicality.

    I find it difficult to fathom how they were supposed to "program" bipedality, large brain size, and a mouth that allows food to stupidly pass over the airway (choked on my dinner out earlier tonight, thanks a lot Salome Jens and our terrestrial vertebrate common ancestor! <_< ) into the chemistry, when that chemistry is simply not there at that point in time. I mean, if you programmed that which makes us humanoid into DNA, the DNA would express itself (in the appropriate environment) as... well, a humanoid. Not a proto-humanoid. Not an ancient protist that will one day lead to humanoids. A humanoid. Lacking an appropriate environment, of course, the Progenitors presumably just left a bunch of dead fetilized eggs all over the galaxy.

    Further, while an ecology based on a DNA/RNA regime definitely can lead to bipedality, etc., under some circumstances--obviously, here we are--it would not, necessarily, under every circumstance. If the wisdom of the Progenitors is such that they could reliably predict the outcome of such a chaotic system as hundreds or thousands of biospheres operating over billions of years, so that they could influence the initial conditions to make humanoids, then it raises the question: why didn't they just make humanoids?

    There are also critical ethical questions about permitting the savagery of all natural and social history to take place when it wasn't really necessary.

    Trek is really into the idea that evolutionary potential is already inside us, like a hidden item in a video game, "locked away" until we go down the proper pipe. It's the free radicals, radiation, randomness, time and above all the context of our environments that shape us. From the entertainingly egregious scientific illiteracy of "Genesis," to the fun fable, marred by the traditional Trek tactic of fixing an implausibility problem with an even more implausible solution, of "The Chase," to the truly sickening ideological implications of "Dear Doctor," Trek seems to believe wholeheartedly in this entirely ridiculous, conceivably dangerous position.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
  20. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    He also mouth-kissed Leila Kalomi and Zarabeth in TOS. Leila was definitely human, and Zarabeth at elast looked 100% human, although from another planet. So it's nothing new to see Spock engage in mouth-kissing with human women. The only time we saw him with a Vulcan or Romulan ("The Enterprise Incident", TSFS), they were engaginn in finger-touching instead.

    However, Trek hasn't been particularly consistent in providing different alien races with different emotional signals. Klingons have their own specific ways of courting and making out, but many of the alien races in Trek seem to engage in the same kind of mouth-kissing that humans so.... Bajorans, Cardassian, Trills...

    As for the blood color, I wonder where the idea about Cardies having brown blood comes from. I don't remember it ever mentioned. Garak's blood looked red, and we've seen both Dukat and Damar with bloodshot eyes (not that it would be worth changing this is post-production, anyway :lol:).

    I have been very tempted to comment that you are all overthinking this... I am prefectly OK with the realities of making a TV show that dictate using human actors, for starters :p and letting them still look sufficiently human-like even in makeup - I admit that I never liked the more puppet-looking aliens as some of those in "Farscape", which aren't any more realistic, for that matter. If we ever got to meet actual aliens in RL, I'm sure that the differences between them and humans would be far greater than the color of blood. There is no reason why they would look like any species from Earth. Maybe they'd be pieces of goo or something. :) Trek has had several worthy attempts to portray trully alien aliens, but in these cases, they either had to appear for a short time, and to possess a humanoid body to even be able to communicate with the humanoids (Medusans, Prophets), or, in the case of Changelings - Trek's most alien major alien race - they had to keep a human form 99% of the screentime so they could be played by actors, communicate etc., which results in viewers too often practically seeing them as humans and forgetting just how different they are supposed to be.