Just As I Thought

Birthdays are relative

As I watch these new Deep Space Nine DVDs, questions pop into my head that didn’t appear almost a decade ago when I first watched this show. Most of them are nitpicky continuity questions and plot holes caused by the inevitable reliance on technological solutions – incidentally, a problem that the writers of DS9 avoided far more deftly than on other Star Trek series.
But I began to wonder last night about one of those intractable temporal things. Years. “Vash has been in the Gamma quadrant for 2 years.” Earth years? Bajoran years? Vulcan years? We know that Bajor has a day of 26 hours. But how many days per year?
I guess we can assume that an hour has a fixed length and can be used anywhere in the galaxy, even though other cultures may have different methods for slicing up the time of day. If Bajor has a year of, say, 400 days, and a day is 26 hours, that means a year is 10,400 hours. An Earth year is 8,760 hours. So, if Kira Nerys is celebrating her 30th birthday, she’s 312,000 hours old. But Julian Bashir at 30 years is only 262,800 hours old. In Earth years, she’s actually more than 5 years older than him! That is, assuming my math is right.
Birthdays on DS9 must be a bitch.

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