So this article will be a few quick thoughts/questions I've had about Star Trek.
The Red Shirt Joke
I've heard people make jokes about “red shirts” on Star Trek. The basic idea of the joke is, a character wearing a red shirt, is likely going to be the 'expendable crewman'. The joke doesn't make sense to me. After the original series, every series, except Star Trek: Enterprise, had most of the bridge crew and high-ranking officers wearing red shirts. Seeing as characters like Captain Picard and Riker, among others, survived 7 seasons, and some feature films, the idea of the “red shirts” being the first to go, doesn't seem to pan out.
It seems the joke originated with the original Star Trek series. According to Wikipedia, 73% of expendable characters in the original series, wore red shirts. If that's the case though, Scotty also stands against the odds on the subject. Whatever the case, subsequent series have shown a different statistic. Although I'm not sure what the numbers are, it seems the galaxy is now a lot safer for crew members wearing red shirts.
‘Metric is the future’
Star Trek's United Federation of Planets, exists in a 'Utopian' scenario where the nations of Earth have put aside their differences, as a thing of the past, and come together. Not only this, but they've included other planets into their Federation at different steps along the way, such as planet Vulcan.
In this futurist Federation, there are many indications that the U.S.A. is perhaps the strongest force within the Federation. The home base is in San Francisco, most characters speak in an 'American' accent, and ships are denoted with names including “USS”. Given the seeming implication that the US has essentially, albeit in a somewhat friendly and co-operative way, taken over our galaxy, it seems odd to me that Star Trek frequently uses the metric system for measurements. For example, computers sound off information such as a character's height, being in meters, rather than feet.
Whatever the future holds, at least we know, that if Star Trek is right, we should be sure to practice the metric system, and avoid wearing any red shirts.