789 votes

How would Facebook Sysadmins prevent the summoning of Cthulhu?

Last time this happened at my job, we were glad our servers were running Windows 10, which forced a shutdown for mandatory updates...
Joe's user avatar
  • 6,751
369 votes

How would Facebook Sysadmins prevent the summoning of Cthulhu?

The, perhaps boring and uncreative, answer might be to cut the external internet connection to the datacenter. Even if the datacenter is internally shielded, it needs its internet connections in order ...
nitro2k01's user avatar
  • 3,656
218 votes

How would Facebook Sysadmins prevent the summoning of Cthulhu?

We are talking about sysadmins and an event endangering uptime? Just call them and send them in. Nothing can stop a sysadmin when their uptime is endangered: https://xkcd.com/705/ Another option is ...
H. Idden's user avatar
  • 2,391
160 votes

How could an apocalypse kill off all adults -- leaving only those under the age of 18?

My line of thinking is this: If you want to kill everyone over 18, it should ideally be linked to something that only those older than 18 are able to do. Computers are getting smaller, and wearables ...
Callum Bradbury's user avatar
142 votes

How would Facebook Sysadmins prevent the summoning of Cthulhu?

Problem is, most mobile devices these days are quite competent computers. The moment the first frustrated millennial opens up his Facebook app to complain about the lack of a nearby Starbucks on a 50 ...
OnoSendai's user avatar
  • 5,300
131 votes

How to survive the heat death of the universe?

Get out I mean, literally. As in "get out of the universe". The heat death of our universe is by definition not a survivable event. That's the bad news. The good news is that it takes a very, ...
aroth's user avatar
  • 2,433
130 votes

The land grows evil and corrupted ... but why?

The volcanic gasses that fill the valleys near the Kikhpinych volcanos kill anything that stays in it for too long and poisons everything else that venture into it. Larger creatures like humans are ...
John's user avatar
  • 78.3k
105 votes

Why don't future civilizations develop their A.I. to integrate with biology so they can make a sustainable world?

I work in the AI field. The fictional shows are not realistic, the authors do that for the sake of creating a powerful enemy that seems unstoppable, so the puny humans can be heroic in the eyes of the ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 34.6k
100 votes

How to survive the heat death of the universe?

No. By definition the heat death is the state where you could no longer do anything. Any actions you do before it only makes it come sooner. Best strategy: Sit still, do absolutely nothing. (I kinda ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
99 votes

The land grows evil and corrupted ... but why?

An invasive species would meet all of your requirements, but for a true corruption I would go for an invasive zombie fungus. Meet Ophiocordyceps unilateralis a tropical fungus whose spores infect ...
Josh King's user avatar
  • 24.2k
91 votes

How to take down the internet?

The distributed nature of the internet makes it really impossible to destroy all of it, and all the information on it, without destroying every computer as well, which you seem to be excluding. To ...
dsollen's user avatar
  • 33.4k
86 votes

Would a trench filled with mercury stop zombies in their tracks?

You would need roughly 62500 cubic metres of mercury. One cubic metre of mercury is 13,534 kilograms. So you would need to mine 845,875 tons of mercury. In cinnabar there is 12% percent of mercury. So ...
SZCZERZO KŁY's user avatar
83 votes

Architecture of the perfect zombie apocalypse refuge

This is my solution, right here: Preferably in a rainy area of the country, like Seattle. But even somewhere like California, that actually receives enough rainwater to resupply itself but throws it ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 991
81 votes

How could an apocalypse kill off all adults -- leaving only those under the age of 18?

There's no clear dividing line between a person aged 17 and one aged 18. However, before puberty, the human body has significant differences in the release of hormones. The primary hormone which ...
Feyre's user avatar
  • 2,098
79 votes

How to survive the heat death of the universe?

Hard physics answer I think the question is fundamentally ill-posed. As long as there are humans alive somewhere, the universe is millions to the power of millions of years away from the "heat death" ...
semi-extrinsic's user avatar
76 votes

How would Facebook Sysadmins prevent the summoning of Cthulhu?

Facebook already solved this by accident. Surprisingly few people noticed anything when this happened last month already. Basically, Facebook algorithms do not send a post to everyone's friend of a ...
Gary Walker's user avatar
  • 21.9k
71 votes

How to take down the internet?

It is not possible, because the Internet is not a thing - it is a relationship. For example, imagine 20 people in a book club. The book club is not a thing that can be pointed at, it is the ...
Greenstone Walker's user avatar
70 votes

How to be hidden from world for a year

If you're a billionaire and already under the focus of the TLA Agencies, best how to disappear for a year is... not to disappear. If you'd suddenly disappear from today to tomorrow a dozen of alerts ...
Alexander von Wernherr's user avatar
69 votes

Why would the tribes choose herding instead of agriculture in the Great Plains?

Sedentary Lifestyles aren't Necessarily Easier The problem with being a sedentary farmer is that once you get your seeds in the ground you now have a long standing commitment to care for that plot of ...
TCAT117's user avatar
  • 21k
67 votes

The Earth is teleported into interstellar space for 5 minutes. What happens?

Absolutely nothing happens except that it's night for about 5 minutes everywhere on Earth. It would take several days for the tides to even out. It would take several months for the foodweb to ...
stix's user avatar
  • 5,764
66 votes

Why would the military use tanks in a zombie apocalypse?

It's the mounting platform for your flail. If you pull the tank battalion's mine flail (video) out of the back of the motor pool and put it onto the tank, you can shred your way through lots and lots (...
user535733's user avatar
  • 28.5k
65 votes

How would Facebook Sysadmins prevent the summoning of Cthulhu?

We'll just have to turn Cthulu's newfound strength into a weakness, using one of the oldest computer-enemy tropes known to man: the virus. Since we can't hack into the datacenter directly to deposit ...
Dan Henderson's user avatar
64 votes

Why would The Machines not hunt humanity?

Because their programming doesn't allow them. The most likely way for a realistic AI to become "hostile" to mankind is because it learned something in a way we didn't intent to. As an ...
Demigan's user avatar
  • 44.2k
61 votes

What would happen if magnets stopped working?

We all die. Slow painful deaths. if Magnetic fields quit working, the biggest problem is the one the Earth is producing to protect us from a bunch of solar radiation. Remember the borealis? That ...
bowlturner's user avatar
59 votes

Architecture of the perfect zombie apocalypse refuge

Well as I see it you have two potential options. Buy a Caribbean island and relax away the zombie apocalypse on the beach with rum and grass skirts. Build a massive fortress. While option 1 is far ...
James's user avatar
  • 32.8k
56 votes

How would we try to defuse Yellowstone?

Your best bet would be to manually set off a series of smaller, "controlled" eruptions to bleed off the energy and pressure of the caldera. You'd use underground mapping to identify weak points near ...
Dan Smolinske's user avatar
56 votes

How long could a nuclear warhead remain functioning underground?

No, on a variety of fronts So, first of all, there's no nuclear warhead ever developed that will last six hundred years, for a variety of reasons: High explosives (required as the triggering device ...
jdunlop's user avatar
  • 30k
53 votes

What kind of land transportation can be used for plowing through hordes of zombies?

Frankly, I would not bother with cars or trucks. Use a train! Any large diesel engine, or several combined, with a snow plow up front. As a bonus, you can add waggons for any goods you may want ...
Burki's user avatar
  • 12.8k
51 votes

What is the ideal location to hide the President in the case of a zombie apocalypse?

Why would you want to hide the President? That concept makes sense if there is an attack by an intelligent adversary who wants to target the chain of command. In this case, it sounds as if you want to ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 111k

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