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37

Lighthouses don't necessarily mean "stay away". They can also mean "you are here". Your setup is fine if: theres lots of ship traffic within a few kilometers. or theres a hazard within a few kilometers. This could be a reef or sand bar out to sea, or dangerous rocks several kilometers up the beach. There are no other night landmarks ...


32

It's a fairly short answer, but historically solid. No Or they'd have bridged the Bosphorus that's 2450ft wide at its narrowest point. In practice the Bosphorus wasn't bridged until 1973, which tells you quite how hard a job it is.


28

Here is a nautical chart of a random bit of Scottish coast: You see all of those coloured arcs and circles? Every single one of those is a lighthouse or similar (there's also a bunch of smaller buoys with lights on marked - I make it 45 in total between the two categories). You'll also notice that none of those lighthouses have any wrecks at all marked near ...


24

Yes, technically The thing here is that a bridge isn't required to have supports all 375 feet deep if it doesn't need supports. Or, that is to say, so long as it can just float on the surface, then the bridge could work. And now I introduce pontoon bridges. Pontoon bridges can, given the right equipment, be built very quickly and over wide stretches of ...


24

Los Angeles? Salt Lake City? Or maybe even someone local by 1931. The first neon sign in Las Vegas went up in 1928. http://captainhistory.com/wordpress1/2018/02/25/the-first-neon-signs-in-las-vegas-nevada/ If you want there to be some adventure and finagling involved your characters could go on a road trip to Los Angeles, which would be a good contrast ...


20

Massive Difference (but not how you would expect it) Forget firepower. The difference is computing power. Code breaking suddenly leaps ahead decades so German codes are virtually worthless. Your codes suddenly go to 256 bit encryption and impossible to break. This is just the tip of the iceberg. The real difference is the technology contained in the ship, ...


20

DARPA They're the guys responsible for making a lot of the cool tech we use today, such as graphical user interfaces, GPS systems, and even the Internet. They might not give all the information to the public, but they would "give away" more technology than most other possible people. In addition, as @SirTain so helpfully pointed out, you won't run ...


20

The People Who Came Up With It: This will be the harder option for distribution, but the fairest and in the long term ,the most effective. For scientific papers, find out the addresses of the authors. For patents, the folks who patented it. For blueprints, the companies that generated them. These will be the organizations that are already working on these ...


19

I suggest reading Isaac Asimov's 1941 novelette "Nightfall". It is very similar to your plot, depending on an eclipse that happens once every 2,000 years causing a global catastrophe. Civilization never lasts more than 2,000 years before collapsing. Each time, the eclipse fades into myth and religious texts before the cycle repeats. The story ...


17

If you can manufacture modern semiautomatic pistols, you can also manufacture semiautomatic rifles. Or automatic rifles. Or machine guns. You don't get the ability to make one without the other. For that matter, there are conversion kits to add a stock to a pistol, adding a great deal of accuracy. Handguns are more limited by short sights and the inability ...


13

As soon as you say desert, the obvious answer is water. In this case: The "river" would be underground, so the staff of 15 maintains access to the water. The value is that without this water stop, the trade route could not cross the desert. The reason it doesn't grow: with more people more food would need to be brought in, making the trade route ...


13

Lighthouses are not cheap, quick, or easy to build or maintain. Because of this they are only likely to be situated where they're going to give the most benefit So what benefit does a lighthouse give? It's a big light, that can be seen at a great distance. You can (and usually do) also have shutters rotating around to make it appear to flash in different ...


12

RMS I know someone answered "GNU" already, but if you have to pick one particular person, there is probably nobody else on the planet as radical about the openness and freedom of information as Richard M. Stallman. He is an undisputed zealot on this topic. ESR Another major openness advocate is Eric S. Raymond, head of the Open Source Initiative. ...


11

Easy answer: No0 It's certainly true that if you store written documents (paper and ink) in a perfect vacuum, sealed away from changes in temperature and all light (think: "all electromagnetic radiation") suspended such that gravity had a minimal effect on the natural deformities of paper and the changes in density caused by the saturation of ink — ...


11

No Even with today's technology building a bridge over a transform fault** is a perilous endeavor - non-trivial displacements over time preclude a rigid bridge and the presence of the fault will trigger major earthquakes frequently. At the best today one may try a suspension bridge, but it won't last long if it ever get to be build at all. As for a ...


11

The old tales aren't taken seriously because science wasn't and still isn't very advanced in your civilisation. The Greeks kept records but they made little distinction between actuality, heroic tales and the activities of gods. The current scientists might say, "Oh well, something might have happened but maybe a volcano erupted and spread ash across ...


10

Escape execution - yes. Form an independent country - highly unlikely From Nicolas II abdication on 2(15).03.1917 to his execution on 17.07.1918 there were multiple opportunities to spirit the former tsar away from his detention, especially early on. For example, in March-April 1917 there was an active plan to let Nicolas leave for England, however George V, ...


9

They could, but they wouldn't. From technical point of view there is nothing that could stop them from building such structure. Justinian build 430 metres long bridge around 500 AD. There are few reasons why not from logic, logistic and need point of view. Logic - is there a need to "waste" time, effort and materials to build such structure. Are there ...


9

Simply buy it. Neon was commercially available, although probably not terribly cheap. Linde Air Products was founded in 1907 and still exists as Praxair. They were the main users of Carl von Linde's patents and processes in the USA, and would have been an important supplier to makers of neon signs. You don't need a great deal of neon for signs, which is ...


9

It will be claimed by the government for unpaid property taxes Property taxes in Germany are assessed annually (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_Germany). Depending on the charity of whoever administers the region, it may be one or a few years - but the property will be eventually seized for unpaid taxes. After that, auction or abandoned The ...


9

Pistols generally have an effective range of ~50m against a single target. If your opponent is using shoulder-to-shoulder massed-infantry tactics like was seen in the late 1700s and early 1800s, then your likelihood that you will hit a useful target goes up dramatically at longer ranges. A unit of men all carrying modern semi-autos are going to decimate a ...


9

Solar photovoltaic cells such as you propose, are completely impossible with 19th century infrastructure, even if they have detailed blueprints. You absolutely need ultrapure silicon, and vacuum deposition of other ultrapure chemicals, and sub-sub microscopic connections, and... You might be able to cobble together a mechanism that demonstrates the effect, ...


8

Languages are not inherited biologically What language a population speaks is not determined by the biological descent of that population; it is determined by the history of that population. That is, language is not transmitted via DNA, it is transmitted via education. For example, I would assume that all European nations are of the same "race", whatever ...


8

Really, really effective as code speakers Yeah, we're not going to do something silly like waste them on dangerous jobs or anything like that when there's so much better of a use we can use them for. See, in WWII, because of it's potential, intelligence was more valuable of a commodity than any one soldier's life - so much so that the fact that the Allies ...


8

Setting the story in Germany after WWII gives you the opportunity to really complicate property claims. To prevent the government from seizing the house for unpaid property taxes, have it adjacent or on (legal interpretations differ and could keep lawyers busy) a former military base that was expanded in the 1933-1945 era (restitution claims are mired in ...


8

It would be decisive in any (non-landlocked) war prior to 1860/1870 (and quite a few after that). 1859 is when ironclads were first used, and they became all-steel from about 1870. Even with the modern armaments of your patrol boat, I expect a group of them would pose a significant-enough challenge to reduce the impact of its existence. It would still ...


8

Depends what the country prioritizes Contemporary research ships come in all sizes. According to Wikipedia, many Liberty ships were converted for non-military duties after WWII, and Liberty ships were fairly big and clunky. However, those were cargo ships (as pointed out in comments) and I can't find large-scale examples of combat ships being converted to ...


8

Japan as we know it and its broader cultural impact wouldn't exist today. Plan B if the atomic bomb wasn't dropped was Operation Downfall: an amphibious invasion of Japan. This invasion would have been mostly U.S. personnel with limited support from the U.K. The U.S. military dreaded the idea of invading Japan. The battles for Okinawa and Iwo Jima showed ...


7

We can safely assume that the manuscripts in question are supposed to be kept in an inert atmosphere, maybe argon, at constant temperature etc. If they are kept in air then of course they won't resist; after millions of years they will be gone, because oxygen won't stop attacking them until they are no more. However, no matter how they are kept, if we ...


7

The demons are so traumatic and out of the ordinary that many survivors convince themselves that it didn't happen. They blank out the actual demons, or think they are hallucinations stemming from the trauma. Possibly the magic of the demons adds to the effect. Discussion of the demons might be regarded as poor taste, or even actually dangerous. "...


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