Thursday, February 22, 2007


I've called the senior staff together in my conference room to discuss the latest directive that I've had from Starfleet.

"I'll read this out to you all." I tell them, "It says: All Starfleet Staff must use stardates when referring to times. It is not the policy of the Federation to use Earth-type dates."

"How can we do that, Captain?" protests Geordi, "It is far too complicated to learn."

"I agree." says Deanna, "I much prefer to say something like 'next Tuesday' rather than quote a lot a numbers that I struggle to understand."

"What about you, Data?" I ask.

"Naturally, I am programmed with a full understanding of how it works." he tells us, "But it may be confusing for people like yourself to understand it."

Was I just insulted then?

"How about you, Captain?" Riker says to me, "I would have thought as Captain, you might know that."

"Sadly, Number One" I reply, "I came bottom in the Stardates test at the Academy, and with little knowledge of it, I just managed to make it as Captain."

Everybody starts talking at once, and it seems that with the exception of Data, none of us are very good at interpreting stardates.

"What about Captain Kirk?" Beverly asks me, "He always used to know the stardates from what I've heard about his missions."

"That is not quite true, Doctor." Data tells her, "His estimantions were always wrong, and it appears he just picked a few numbers to say at random, and his crew assumed he knew all about stardates."

"Stardates are irrelevant!" snaps Seven, "When you are all assimilated, you will have no need to concern yourselves whether to think in Earth or stardate time. You will act as drones."

Trust Seven Of Nine to put a damper on everything. Worf looks ready to say something.

"Why should we go by these times." he tells us, "Klingons neither accept stardates nor earthtimes. We go by the times on the Klingon homeworld."

This meeting seems to be falling apart.

"Please remember everybody," I try to say to them, "We are here to see if we can learn stardates. We can always use earthtime on the ship, but use stardates when dignitaries are around."

Everybody seems happy at this, and I ask Data to explain it to us.


After a while, we each have a huge headache, as Data tries for the fifth time to explain:

On April 6, 2377, Stardate 54868.6 would be 0.8686 of the way to the end of Stardate year 54000. If Stardates represent thousandths of a year, and an average Earth year comprises about 365.2422 mean solar days, then April 6, 2377, is 317.249375 days into Stardate year 54000. (0.8686 x 365.2422 days = 317.249375 days)

Therefore, Stardate 55000.0 takes place 47.992825 days after April 6, 2377. (55000.0 - 54868.6 = 00131.4 Stardates = 0.1314 year = 47.992825 days)

So, with some simple arithmetic, one can see that Stardate 55000.0 falls on May 24, 2377, making May 24 or May 25 the Stardate New Year on Earth (depending on leap years on the Earth calendar).

"So, for example, today is Stardate 46751.19" Data continues to tell us.

Gradually, one by one, people shake their heads, and I ask Data to stop.

"It is really easy, Captain." he tells me, "If you just let...."

"No, Data." I tell him, then inform the staff, "I think we'll adopt the Captain Kirk method. Making up random numbers is a far simpler way."

Everybody agrees; earth time is much better!


Linda said...

I think. Perhaps. Captain Kirk. Had the. Right. Idea.

Ellee said...

There are still lots of numbers which always make me scared, hope Carol Vorderman is on board.

The Curmudgeon said...

Oh Linda. Very. Good.

(I think written Shatner impressions are great.)

The Mistress of the Dark said...

Stardates are way too confusing

Ciera said...

I agree --- making up random numbers is SO much easier than doing the math for Stardates [that's what the original authors did after all!}

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

I thought Kirk always read the Stardate off his terminal when he was making log entries.

Maybe you could get some sort of device that straps to your wrist or fits in your pocket that tells you stardates.

Maybe not for the pocket, you don't have those in the future, do you?

SQT said...

I agree with the Curmudgeon; Linda's reply made me laugh out loud.

Titania Starlight said...

Random chaos for Stardates is the best. I just hate numbers period. I prefer words. Yes, words are much better than numbers. :o)~

Meow said...

Just dropping by to say hi.
Great post ....
Have a wonderful weekend.
Take care, Meow

Minerva said...

Just wanted you to know that I am writing this in Stardate 9.6756.


Michael Manning said...

A Fun Post! I enjoyed it. Have a nice weekend!!

Lahdeedah said...

I have to know, did you actually do the math?

I sure as heck didn't...

and um, Linda is setting a dangerous precedent.

Soon. We will aahhll. Have to speak. Like. Kirk. Dramatic. Pause. It was. What. Made. Him. Dramatic. Pause.

Bernard said...

Capt, Stardate for today is -316,748.1... or shall we call it 316,748.1 before XX, (whatever XX stands for)

Has anyone addressed the Stardate zero bug yet?

p.s. Really entertaining blog, capt. I'm putting a comlink to here. Do I have the capt's permission :-)

WindWhisperer said...

Captain Kirk's log was the most engaging of diaries...don't you think Captian Picard? The similarities between you two go beyond mere numbers...

Gyrobo said...

Tell Data to recheck his math! The formula he used fails completely during Daylight Savings time!

UngaMan said...

I always wanted to know how to calculate those stardates and found many ways on the net...

At Starbase118 we use to 337 years to the current date:

2007 + 377 = 2384

To this we add the month and the day as follow:

Month: 02
Day: 22

Stardate: 238402.22

That help us to keep records of our SIMmings...

Hey! don't look at me! I already found that when I arrived to the base

:: shudders ::

Dave said...

Methinks you have too much time on your hands.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Linda, top marks on your Kirk impression!

Ellee, it might be a good idea; she could remind us of the time.

Minerva, is that a fact, or were you using the Kirk Method?

Bernard, you have my permission!

Ungaman, we can't go around calculating like that!

Ellee said...

I would like to wish you and your crew a wonderful weekend in the galaxy - wish I was joining you.

exskindiver said...

Man, how i wish i could jump in.
is the fact that english is my second language a good enough excuse to not be able to?
bad at klingon math (actually any math, who am i kidding?)
or that captain kirk has a restraining order against me?

(ooops, just gave away my age...)

Greetings and Salutations to Jean-Luc and his posse-

I've come in peace.

The exskindiver

mrsmogul said...

Is Stardates related to Stars in Your Eyes?

Paperback Writer said...

Uh....I have no idea what just happened...:)

Miss Cellania said...

Oh, thats priceless! Kirk just made up random numbers to impress everyone. Hooda Thunket.

Mr. Althouse said...

All I know is that it's my moms birthday, it's late and I'm tired. Tell Data to crunch those numbers.

Michele sent me,


deemacgee said...

Stardates aren't based on Terran years? I thought each whole number increment of a stardate was about eight hours...

Seems to fit, given each season of TNG, DS9 and VOY tend to increase the first two digits of the stardate by 1, and references to events from seasons past are usually described in terms of "years" ago...


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