565

Santa's data collection has always been compliant with GDPR, so he has no need to change his ways. The nature of his data collection is more transparent than most companies, and he is open to updating his records if you contact one of his representatives. For example, he makes it clear that he is operating in your town: You better watch out You ...


456

Stop one ship from either sailing into a storm or (later) being taken over by pirates. In 1793, Thomas Jefferson ordered a set of instruments from France that would let the US calibrate to SI units, but the ship hit a storm at sea, blowing his ship into the Caribbean. There it was attacked by pirates (British privateers). The materials never arrived. By the ...


411

Tl/Dr: the smallest change isn't one to the laws of physics. It's a small change to the definition of magic. This is a favorite topic for me. I could talk for hours about it. Not kidding. Find me in chat if you want. There's more magic in the world than we often think! Let's start off slow, with the straight forward physics part of the question. ...


312

Through selective breeding and misplaced import laws, we only ever get to see Russian dolls that are "aesthetically pleasing". In the wild, it is relatively common to get a "double-yolker" - that is, sometimes when the outer layer dies, there are 2, or perhaps 3 dolls inside. Since these dolls are often a little misshapen when compared to the outer layer, ...


253

Yes, because QA Source: I have been tester for about 9 years. Before you let your robot to run into the wilderness letting him kill help humans, you need to know if the robot knows what is a human and what is not. So in order to test the robot, their software and/or hardware will be tested by humans. Or another automated tests. And you bet there will be ...


250

In all probability, we, 21st century barbarians, will not be very well loved by our 23rd century descendants. Non-historians of that age will probably group us together with the generations of the late 20th century, and refer to us collectively in their high-school level history courses. We are the generations who baked the earth and poisoned the seas. ...


231

People would likely use a portable, protective encasement when traveling at or near their maximum speed. Here is a possible prototype:


211

Not really. Traditionally when an army ran low on supplies, the men would start eating the mounts. When an army with bears starts to run low on supplies, the mounts would start eating the men. This could be really bad for morale. Conventional domesticated herd/pack animals tend to remain passive when hungry, bears not so much.


202

Start with the simple stuff Well you have written a bunch of rules and most of them are non fatal if tested, so you start with the simple and "safe" stuff, and then you move down the list. Objects are absorbed Well I have a slight objection to that one: absorbed as in encased and kept indefinitely or dissolved and excreted? Test: Push a sewing needle ...


201

Use of their name forces them to be aware of the one truth they can never know. TL;DR: If demons seek permanent power but trust no one, they put themselves in a strange position where mathematical truisms paint them into a corner which leaves their soul small and frail holding all the strings. Use of their name suggests you might know how to tug at those ...


188

Human engineering can, 100%, keep out a horde of zombies. In The Walking Dead things fail because if they didn't the show would be boring. In real life, there exist castle gates hundreds of years old which would hold, no questions asked. First and foremost, realize that thousands of zombies will never be pushing on the gate all at the same time. They will ...


171

Santa is Christian priest (bishop as far as I remember). As you can see here he is covered by exemption: The new Regulation will maintain the existing exemption which allows churches and other bodies with a 'religious... aim' to process sensitive data: 'in the course of its legitimate activities...'; '...with appropriate safeguards'; '...on ...


167

In the film Primer, there was a time travel machine that could only jump as far back as when it was first turned on. This puts a practical limit to how far back you can jump to the point where time travel was invented in the first place.


166

Well they wouldn't want them to be "educated" in the classical sense, but they would want them to be "schooled" in the 20th-century sense. Taking children away from their parents and making them sit in classrooms with same-age cohorts for all of their most formative years does a lot for your totalitarian government: it weakens the family (the naturally ...


164

You don't... exactly. The Poké Ball—er... hollow sphere—isn't actually containing the monster. It is merely the user-interface for a teleportation device to transport the monster from its nice (and environmentally conscious) pen to where you are (and back again later). Sure, you might need a Heisenberg compensator in order to "scale up" quantum tunneling ...


164

If all the rules have been explained to the hero I would suggest he goes out and gets a piercing. If I understand your rules correctly he would absorb the part of the piercing that is encased in his body and the hole will seal itself. This is not how normal healing would work at all, and if the wizard was lying (he isn't, but the hero doesn't know that) the ...


162

So Descartes's Meditations on First Philosophy speaks on this. How would you determine that a perfect deception is a perfect deception? If all of your senses are lies and constructs, perfectly flawless, how do you figure out that you are in this deception? Simply by the very definition, the deception is perfect; so no flaw can be found, and a flaw is what ...


161

Logan might have a supernatural healing factor, but not superhuman pain tolerance. Having suffered the horrible pain caused by injuries no other human ever survived could have been a traumatizing experience he really, really doesn't want to repeat. Most people assume that getting blown to pieces by a bomb is a quick and painless death. But Logan knows that ...


160

I spent 6 years working as an engineer at a Nuclear Power Plant. It would be impossible for myself to start up a plant, even assuming it was shut down cleanly, the spent fuel pool was somehow not a pile of radioactive slag, and all the consumables for maintaining the site were available. We had a staff of hundreds to handle all the day to day maintenance ...


160

If a civilization finds an example of advanced technology, can they learn to duplicate the technology? You have two variables: The current technological state of the civilization. Call this "A." The technological difference between the civilization and the example. Call this "B." Therefore... The earlier "A" is, the more likely the answer is "No." The ...


154

This problem has actually been considered very seriously by very serious people, in the context of warning future generations of the dangers associated with long-term repositories of nuclear waste. The Human Interference Task Force was "a team of engineers, anthropologists, nuclear physicists, behavioral scientists and others [...] convened on behalf of the ...


149

Not the answer to the black start (that has been already answered), but given the But the plant is also powered by solar panels, so some internal security systems may be working premise, Joe the Average would do much better if he decided to rip away the solar panels (and attached batteries) and install them in the village. A community of 500 does not ...


147

A young Tyrannosaurus Rex would be eaten If you've ever looked at collections of dinosaur fossils, you might wonder about why there are really big predators (like T. Rex) and really small ones (like Velociraptor, actually the size of a big turkey) but nothing in between. That is because Tyrannosaurus was the mid-sized predator. Above is the growth chart ...


145

Yes. Wikipedia has a good article on eternal flames which are fed by underground natural gas deposits. Those deposits can be immense, as we now know because we suck the gas out and use it for our hot water heaters. They can feed a flame a long time. The linked article notes several known to have burned for thousands of years. I propose you model your ...


144

Well, there is at least one country operating that way. Perhaps it stops some crime, but that country is not a nice place to live. Most criminals do not believe that they will be caught. Most criminals do not plan for the long term, let alone generations. Depriving the children of legitimate life choices will guide them towards criminal choices. So what I'...


142

You are misunderstanding the nature of our abductions of your people. We are not enslaving humans. That's gross! Did you really used to do that to your own species? Maybe you aren't as intelligent as our advanced scouts reported. "Mostly Harmless" is probably too generous a category for you. I will have to look into getting you reassigned. But back to ...


141

Okay, hold on. Let the actual submariners weigh in. I spent 8 years of my life in the United States Navy aboard Los Angeles Class submarines as a Nuclear Electricians Mate. I have a background in engineering and radiological controls as a result. Please treat this as an extended comment - the answer as given is, in fact, no. But there are number of ...


140

This is not possible within your constraints As others have mentioned, the main benefit modern firearms have over melee weapons is accuracy, fire rate and range. Thus, under your constraints, a charging swordsman will be hit multiple times by a gunman before he closes the gap. We must either have a shorter gap (to reduce the number of shots that can be ...


139

This is a really interesting scenario, and one I've had a hard time thinking up some responses to. Lack of information distribution You will find lots of people doing lots of the same stuff. Information in our world is mainly distributed electronically, through social media and email. However, it is highly likely that many people don't check all of those ...


139

Humans are particularly suitable for a certain kind of labor that the alien race is not: As methane-breathers, mining the vibranium on our oxygen-rich 2nd moon has always proved too difficult and too expensive. But look at this race of oxygen-breathers we found, good thing interstellar slave ships are cheap! Since our race's transcendence into pure mind-in-...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible