Kaylee the Spaceship Engineer
Friday, December 2, 2011

The original art by Jeremy Neilsen is at



Friday, December 2, 2011 6:48 AM


On advice from Inara, Kaylee decided not to use this portrait for her blog "FireflyGirlMechanic." Instead, she used another with herself wearing horn-rimmed eyeglasses because she wanted rocket scientists and engineers to take intellectual interest in her engine designs for starships, which have had no major innovations since the last ships left the Solar System. Kaylee spent years on Serenity studying the equations of compressible fluids flowing at relativistic velocities and she wanted her starship engine ideas to be given serious consideration by professional spaceship engineers.

Inara explained to Kaylee that ever since Descartes, it’s been suggested that people are natural dualists, dividing the world into an immaterial realm full of souls and a physical world full of objects. This simple framework, however, appears to be a bit too simple. Instead, Companion-trained psychologists propose that humans (especially men) are actually Platonic dualists, following Plato’s belief that there are two distinct types of mind: a mind for thinking and reasoning and a mind for emotions and passions.

“What’s surprising is how easily we switch between these different mental capacities,” said Inara. “All it takes for a man is a peek of skin before a woman thinker morphs into a feeler.” It follows that for Kaylee's engine designs to be taken seriously by men, she has to expose no skin but her face and hands. “Well, that only applies to your engineering blogging,” Inara told Kaylee.

Friday, December 2, 2011 7:03 AM


Hmm, I've seen you post this before. But I do like your anecdote, and it is a good picture.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 1:21 PM

Jeremy Neilsen wrote about progress on his art on 2012, April, 11: “Not finished... pretty much only Kaylee's face is finished. More shadows and textures to come. Just get impatient sitting on an almost done drawing then notice one more thing to add.. next thing it's 3 days later. Ah Kaylee... I wish I was an engine.”


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