1 to the 4th Power Amplification in Star Trek Episode
Take a break from the
drudgery with some of these jokes, song parodies, anecdotes and assorted humor that has been collected from friends & from websites across
the Internet. This humor is light-hearted and sometimes slightly offensive to the easily-offended, so you are forewarned. I have taken care
to censor "humor" with reproductive function innuendo and hateful tirades, so it is all workplace-safe. I have also tried to warn
of any links that will result in audio clips so you can take appropriate precautions. Please send any potential candidates for this humor page
to the e-mail link above.
Hello Kirt: Yes, I heard that [1^4] gaff, too, and just as computer programmers
from the 1960's to about the 1990's couildn't speel vary wel, Sci-Fi (TV?) writers
have never been known as mathematicians; apparently the writing usually passes well
even if it only, and just, sounds fantastically dramatic. That's unless Mr. Shatner
mis-spoke by changing the script’s "ten"[one, zero] to a spoken, "one." The clarification
depends upon the availability of the original script (a writer's gag reel for instance).
I responded to him thusly:
Greetings Sam: Hmmm, I hadn't considered the possibility that maybe the script
was read and/or spoken incorrectly. There are many instances in the shows where
numbers are spoken as individual digits. Regardless, most Hollyweird actors wouldn't
know anything about numerical bases and exponents. Although I'm nowhere near as much of a
Star Trek fanatic as a true "Trekkie," I do appreciate the pioneering concept in
film of judging people/beings by their actions and not their appearances, and the
way Captain Kirk's moral compass is always firmly pointed in the right direction.
Thanks for writing. - Kirt B.
While Melanie and I were watching the
Star Trek original television series episode titled "Court Martial," I
picked up on a funny technical faux pas. Kirk is accused of the negligent death
of a crew member with whom he has had a longtime difficult relationship. Believing
that the man is faking his own death to incriminate him, Capt. Kirk has the ship's
auditory sensors boosted "on the order of 1 to the 4th power" (14) in
order to pick up heart beats. After evacuating the ship of all but the courtroom
members and then electronically eliminating their heart beats, there is still one
remaining - the accuser's.
The problem/humor here is that 1^4=1, and for that matter 1 raised to any power
- even a million - still equals 1; ergo, there is no amplification at all! This
is one instance of many notable gaffs in TV and movie technical presentations.
"Gentlemen, this computer has an auditory sensor. It can in effect hear sounds.
By installing a booster we can increase that capability on the order of one to the
fourth power. The computer should be able to bring us every sound occurring on the
ship." - Captain James T. Kirk, Commander of the Star Ship Enterprise.
Note: This video clip complies with Fair Use doctrine guidelines
and is also used as promotional material for the Star Trek television series
produced by CBS.
RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling
2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas
and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer.
The Internet was still largely an unknown entity at the time and not much was available
in the form of WYSIWYG
All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text
used on the RF Cafe website are hereby acknowledged.