On the off chance you are new to the Cool Beans Blog, just to bring you up to speed, my chum John is documenting his build of the LEGO Ultimate A-Wing Starfighter model from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, where he’s performing this build by implementing just 19 instructions a day.

It’s a boy! (Click image to see a larger version — Image source: John Alflat)

In my Day 12 build blog, I called John out for being sexist when he said, “The pilot now has a console with his instrumentation on” (I applied the bold). I went on to note that “The Alliance boasts fighter pilots of multiple genders and species.”

Well, today John responded with two images. The first was a photo of the relevant page of the instruction book accompanied by the following words of wisdom: “Regarding yesterday’s blog and my assertion that the pilot is a ‘he’ and your “let’s be ‘pc’ it could be a ‘she’” comment. If you take a look at the instruction book, you will see that the pilot in this case is indeed a ‘he’.” By Golly, he’s right (and by “he” I mean John, not the pilot). I stand corrected and I hang my head in shame. I shall chastise myself soundly later.

John continued to say, “Anyways, back to the build. More structural work at the back creating an even bigger void, although not big enough to accommodate the wife, alas. This work will enable one of the engines to be attached. Will have to see how far we get with that tomorrow. Slowly but surely, we are putting together something of substance.”

No room for the wife (Click image to see a larger version — Image source: John Alflat)

I’m assuming several things with regard to John’s “not big enough to accommodate the wife, alas” comment. For example, I don’t think he’s lamenting the fact that he can’t force his wife, Sue, into any form of void.

I also don’t think he’s saying that Sue has any problem with the model itself. Rather, that if he and she were both reduced in size to the same scale as the model, or — better yet — if the model were to be transmogrified into a full-size, real-world A-Wing Starfighter, then (a) it wouldn’t fit in their front room and (b) it wouldn’t be possible for Sue to squeeze into the void in question.

Personally, I think that if John were a gentleman, he would let Sue sit in the pilot’s seat and he would be the one trying to squeeze himself into the void (in which case the pilot would indeed have a console with her instrumentation on, Ha!), but how John and Sue deal with this sort of conundrum in their marriage is their own affair.

For myself, I’m still cogitating and ruminating over the problem of communicating with aliens. Things were made simple in the case of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy with the introduction of the Babel fish, which is a small leech-like creature that can be inserted into your ear where it acts as a universal translator. Once you are equipped with a Babble fish, you hear any language being spoken in your vicinity as being translated into your own native tongue.

In this regard, of course, the ideal mode of transportation would be Doctor Who’s TARDIS, which performs automatic bi-directional translation between yourself and anyone with whom you are communicating. Supposing we were to be transported back to Pompeii during the reign of Emperor Titus — let’s say 79 AD a few days before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. In my case, I would hear anyone talking in Latin or Greek or whatever as speaking in English. Contra wise, when I held forth in English, they would each comprehend me as conversing in their own patois. Even better, the TARDIS automatically applies a “perception filter,” which means the local inhabitants would perceive me as wearing appropriate clothing and suchlike, otherwise I would have to spend the rest of my visit fielding questions about the name of my hair stylist and the origin of my Levi Jeans and Hawaiian shirts.

We will continue this conversation tomorrow. In the meantime, do you have any thoughts you’d care to share on the topic of communicating with aliens?