180

The results are quite boring I'm afraid. The surface would freeze and turn a colour similar to many of the icy moons we see on our solar system. That is normally a sort of off-white or dirty grey. That depth of water is effectively opaque so you wouldn't see any lensing effects. (Think how dark it is at the bottom of our oceans for example, passing through ...


180

Sorry, no spectacular death ray occurs for a number of reasons: The focal point is in the wrong spot Water absorbs nearly all the energy The angular diameter is insufficient 1. The focal point is in the wrong spot The mass of the moon is about 7.3 × 1022 kilograms. The density of water is 997 kg/m3. Now assuming the entire moon is liquid water (which is ...


170

Easy answer: Santa himself is spreading disinformation. Consider this: If you knew there was someone who handed out free gifts to people, wouldn't you want to go kowtow and make nice and otherwise try to curry favor in the hopes of getting exactly what you want, free of charge? Additionally, it would be a nightmare for parents to have to deal with children ...


143

Central Heating Manufacturers Wait, what? Santa comes down the chimney, everyone knows that. Back in the days of coal fires and chimneys that wasn't a problem, but now we're all on central heating and don't have chimneys, Santa can't get in. To be able to sell central heating and ultimately leave us without chimneys, the central heating manufacturers had to ...


142

I've got a slightly different take on this; awesomeness isn't really awesomeness unless someone who's observing is... well, in awe of what they're seeing. Dave is a catalyst; pure and simple. Without dave in the troop, their acts are awesome, but to each other they're just... Normal. Almost like dave. They can all do as much 'awesome' as each other, so ...


120

dave is Family Maybe something boring like a step-nephew. dave is family for several of the awesome magicians, maybe most of the party. dave really wants to be here. And, dissing family is NOT Awesome. So... dave has Always Been There Everyone has their awkward childhood. Before the magicians were awesome, dave was with them. As kids, they played together ...


106

Let's translate this into a certain other scenario. Let's pretend that John is transported to this amazing planet called Earth. This world is very technology dependent (he doesn't know this yet of course). This includes but is not limited to farming, cooking, logistics, war and construction, anything major you can think of in this world is technology ...


101

Former Marine, I carried and was routinely trained with bayonets for years. Here's my input: Crossbow bayonets are not very effective. The bayonet was adapted due to the preceding pike and gun tactic. Half your guys had pikes, half had guns. The problem was that not only does this mean half your guys can't carry guns, but if the pikemen should falter or ...


84

You can't, you're too soft. You're talking about making money through arts and luxury food. If you go that far down the line to pizza not existing, you'll probably find food is a luxury. The trouble is that you're going the wrong way, you've had a relatively easy life compared to these places. You may think you're a bit of a bastard, but that's relative to a ...


74

The Coca-Cola Company The Coca-Cola company already acknowledges responsibility for its marketing department having created the modern-day image of Santa Claus, entirely as a tool to sell more Coke. It is not much of a stretch to assume that if he no longer serves their needs they would launch another campaign aimed at destroying him. Two equally-likely ...


69

If John is the only person who can't do magic, he could leverage that to act as a curiosity/show. Come one, come all, only 5 coppers to see a man cook without magic! Unbelievable I know. For a silver you can even taste his completely mundane cooking. Revel in how he manages to capture the essence of flavor without the aide of any magical capability....


68

As salam alaykum! I think it's wonderful that there would be a portrayal of Islam in sci-fi. I'm not a shiek by any means, but given the tenor of the answers I think I'm the only Muslim to actually reply. As others have pointed out, Muslims in prayer face towards the Kabah, which is kept in the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca. (As a side note, it's also polite/...


63

There are a few ways to go about this... She's not the first Simply put she isn't the first English speaking person to be there, maybe of the few that came before her who spoke English one came into a position of power and the people just took up the language. It happens. Coincidence Simple enough, although in all honesty, it's a 1 in a who-knows-how-big ...


63

The simplest solution would be to apply the existing fatwa of 2007, which was a response to Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor's flight on the ISS. The practical problem is that although the direction of the Kaaba relative to the ISS is (obviously) accurately known, the direction many be changing too fast to obey the traditional directions for prayer. Several Muslims ...


58

Unquestionably Yes. Without a doubt Homo Sapiens is the most adaptable species on Mother Nature. Evolution Through the last 5 million years Homo Sapiens (latin: wise man) has toughed it out through (geologically) swift climate change, near extinction, and unbridled warfare. Unlike our cousins in the Homo Genus, we've adapted at every single turn or died off. ...


50

You need a real historian to make sure these are really feasible, but let me put some ideas out there. Most of these suggestions are variations on a theme, which is: Let the Soviet Union take over Western Europe Doing so adds a huge population, a huge industrial base and a huge educated population to the SU, and would give them a significant leg up in the ...


48

dave's a good cloaking device The problem with being so super awesome is that you emit very distinctive waves of awesomeness, which makes it easy for the Government and other dullards to find you and ruin everything. The easiest way to cover up your signal is to bring along someone who emits the oppositely phased wave of dullness, thus canceling out your ...


48

The Black Death - bubonic plague - has a mortality rate of 50-70%, so even with no other measures there's a pretty good chance of any two people surviving at random (about 25% if you take the lower end). However, population-wide statistics are misleading. The mortality rate will be very much lower for fit, healthy people who are well-fed and have no ...


47

Awesome people have the ability to perform awesome magic due to channeling their inner awesomeness to their target, this may be both offensive (a monster might be hit with such a pure wave of awesomeness it becomes a fez, why a fez? because fezzes are cool) and defensively (wouldn't you consider it awesome where the dragon flame that's about to burn you ...


47

Go for the simplest solution: millennium bug. You would think that humanity would have learned after Y2K. Nope. In another post I described how GPS has a millennium bug every 19 years or so. This is due to a design flaw, and the fix is people having to buy new GPS devices every 19 years. We are now in the first generation of devices which may survive this ...


47

No They would all die upon discovering fire. To quote: "Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day, but set fire to him, and he's warm for the rest of his life." - Sir Terry Pratchett, Jingo Thus, the only reasonable thing to do is to light all of themselves in fire so that they would indeed be warm for the remainder of their lives.


46

Since the library can manipulate memory by making people forget itself, I would just use that. Make people forget any plans the library (or whoever set the protection spell) does not approve of before they can get in. Works best with a second defense that makes it difficult to find the library without the memory magic being activated. A magical gate that ...


45

dave is practical He's really useful to have around in his own right. Left to themselves, awesome people tend to eat meals like fish fingers with custard, Dave can cook. He can put together a three course meal from things found in the woods. Dave can fix the wagon, mend a backpack, he finds washing up relaxing. It's like having your mum along on your ...


44

Transport networks act as the lifeblood of modern societies, and just like the human circulation system, it's a lot harder to stop and restart these networks than you might think. To explain why, let's start with planes. At any given time around the world, there's around 9,000 or more planes carrying over a million people in the air. Grounding them all was ...


43

Unless all the land mass on the tidally locked moon is on the side facing away from the gas giant, the humans will discover they're orbiting a gas giant during the stone age: If the land mass is indeed concentrated on the far side of the moon only, they will discover it a bit later, maybe as early as prehistory but certainly no later than the invention of ...


43

A smear campaign. If we can get people to believe that vaccines are bad for you, and Global Warming is a hoax, then it should be easy to convince people that using portals causes 'X'. Now 'X' can be anything. The only prerequisite is that it causes fear, and that there is a propaganda machine or echo chamber people use to back it up. Here are some ideas of ...


43

Case dropped for two reasons. There is no law enforcing Santa to give anyone anything therefore anything of value is a gift that is given to anyone nice. Second reason for dropping the case is that it's not Santa's obligation to describe the value of the gift to the recipient. For some, a broken guitar is worth nothing. For others it's worth 52 thousand ...


42

Assuming these dungeons have appeared in countries with modern military industrial complexes 48 hours to fully contain 72 hours for the first submission for planning to automatically turn anything coming out of the dungeon into food/fuel/other usable resource. See our previous questions on dealing with zombies where half the answers either put them through ...


42

Potentially, it would be very similar to life made out of matter. Antimatter is expected to have the same chemistry as normal matter, so any lifeforms would work the same way with the exception that if they even touched our world they would instantly annihilate. However! There is a lot about physics we don't know. Under the assumption that antimatter is ...


40

Prevent the Sino-Soviet Split China was a great ally for the USSR, with its large amount of people, place on the UN Security Council, and communist regime. If you prevent the ideological drift between Mao and Stalin, the two red giants stay together and support one another. No split means no Sino-American Rapprochement, no trade with America. Instead, China ...


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