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8 votes
Accepted

Can a Tidally-Breathing Animal Possess a Syrinx?

The syrinxes of the birds are located at or near the place where the trachea divides into the two bronchies. The movement of the air at that place is is no way different in birds and mammals. The ...
AlexP's user avatar
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0 votes

Could alien species with blood based on different elements eat the same food?

You can generally get around having to magically hand-wave everything by transfering the problem into your universe, instead of viewing it as something kind of outside the universe that you need to ...
AnoE's user avatar
  • 2,130
2 votes

Could alien species with blood based on different elements eat the same food?

Its a definite maybe One problem would be deficiency diseases if something needed here only as a trace element is required in orders-of-magnitude larger quantities by the aliens. For example ...
nigel222's user avatar
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15 votes
Accepted

Could alien species with blood based on different elements eat the same food?

Your question is incomplete Humans can eat styrofoam and not die, despite it having absolutely no nutritional value. Humans can die from drinking too much water, which they otherwise require to live. ...
JBH's user avatar
  • 125k
21 votes

Could alien species with blood based on different elements eat the same food?

Ultimately, we have one example of a tree of life and associated amino acids and proteins, so a totally alien biochemistry is unlikely to interface well with Earth biochemistry, fullstop, regardless ...
jdunlop's user avatar
  • 32.3k
2 votes

Why are worldships not shaped like worlds?

Just Handwave Sometimes I think people come to this site just to revoke their artistic licence. You've already built a spaceship bigger than the Moon, capable of making its own wormholes and FTLing ...
komodosp's user avatar
  • 9,489
2 votes

Why are worldships not shaped like worlds?

It wouldn't "is so large that it doesn't need artificial gravity of any sort, because its own mass produces a grav-field strong enough to make exercise machines, spin-gravity, etc. unnecessary.&...
Thorne's user avatar
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2 votes

Why are worldships not shaped like worlds?

Liability and Investment Risk Those quadrillions of dollars are not idle piles of cash that the Empress or their cohorts have lying around. It takes a lot of time and money to build this ship, and you ...
NBJack's user avatar
  • 491
3 votes

Why are worldships not shaped like worlds?

A thinner ship needs a smaller wormhole. I am imagining your ship generates a (circular) wormhole in front of itself, and that (for some reason) the ship and the wormhole have some relative velocity ...
Dast's user avatar
  • 3,222
2 votes

Why are worldships not shaped like worlds?

Force is a vector and vectors are always straight lines, duh Physical laws of universe arent changed in your setting. Your civilization is still bound by them. Your starship is still a vehicle and ...
Atif's user avatar
  • 510
0 votes

In this universe with these technologies would HUMAN infantry still be useful for the military?

Have computer technology vastly favor decryption over encryption The concept being presented here is fairly simple. If in your setting virtually anything electronic that is not sitting in a faraday's ...
General_Ripper's user avatar
13 votes

Containing a Black Hole's End-Of-Life

TL;DR: you can't hold on to uncharged black holes big black holes are too heavy and too low power output to easily use as batteries small black holes can't easily be charged therefore you don't ...
Starfish Prime's user avatar
6 votes

Containing a Black Hole's End-Of-Life

Realistically, you can't. But this is sci-fi, and that you're already using Clark-tech (indistinguishable from magic) in the premise — I will get to why in a moment — so just use the answer that Star ...
BenRW's user avatar
  • 2,081
6 votes

Why are worldships not shaped like worlds?

Multiple Smaller Black Hole Reactors and Active Support This is gonna be a bit of a creative answer, but you did put the science-fiction tag, so I'm using gonna try using fairly reasonable science. So ...
Rexotec's user avatar
  • 735
10 votes

Why are worldships not shaped like worlds?

Everything that produces or consumes electricity generates waste heat. This heat, unless carefully controlled with a system of coolant loops and exterior radiators, will spread out through the ship ...
parasoup's user avatar
  • 5,171
19 votes
Accepted

Why are worldships not shaped like worlds?

The ship is long because nearest the black hole there's lots of gravity, too much really, so only robots go near it. Most people live far away from the black hole so they are in a sweet spot of ...
causative's user avatar
  • 8,152
14 votes

Why are worldships not shaped like worlds?

If your ship is large enough in mass to create it's own gravity, then that gravitational force is going to tend to point to the center of the mass of the ship. Having traditional deck structures would ...
abestrange's user avatar
  • 6,122
3 votes

Future City-Sized Graduate Sorting Process

Let the Algorithm Do It You have a dictatorial setup where you have an Orwellian amount of information about candidates; written tests, private behaviour, dating lives, class choice, and everything ...
jdunlop's user avatar
  • 32.3k
0 votes

Future City-Sized Graduate Sorting Process

Resumes, job interviews, hiring agencies and internships Just like we do it. Have a trained recruiters select them based on interviews and test internships. Give them a bit of freedom of what fields ...
Victor Sergienko's user avatar
1 vote

Alternatives to A.I. for military robots?

Remote piloting: This goes way beyond sitting in front of a monitor and using a joystick to control it - the operator can see from the Robot's point of view with advanced 3d imaging, and act on the ...
Escaped dental patient.'s user avatar
1 vote

Alternatives to A.I. for military robots?

Halting problem You have run into the halting problem. Given a program, will it halt or run forever? It doesn't take very much complexity to be unable to determine an answer. Halt -> Harm human ...
Gault Drakkor's user avatar
1 vote

Alternatives to A.I. for military robots?

Tooth to Tail Ratio For any given Military force, There is a large number of personnel who are not involved in front-line operations. This is expressed in Military terms as the Tooth (The doorkickers, ...
TheDemonLord's user avatar
4 votes

Alternatives to A.I. for military robots?

Define "AI"? Machine learning and computer vision algorithms are all we've got powering our war machines right now. No one would accuse the F-22 of being "conscious", but all it ...
jdunlop's user avatar
  • 32.3k
3 votes

Alternatives to A.I. for military robots?

Lets assume for one moment that you don't have mind-uploading, because then you could just upload some boring old humans and copy them a few million times. Eh, its been done. But there's another ...
Starfish Prime's user avatar
0 votes

On a planet with 6 moons, how often would all 6 be full at the same time?

Possibly about 9120 days. This is the least common multiple of all the orbital periods, and thus the shortest possible time it would take for all the moons to be back in the same position relative to ...
Austin Hemmelgarn's user avatar
1 vote

On a planet with 6 moons, how often would all 6 be full at the same time?

Their least common denominator is: $$12=2^2\cdot 3$$ $$20=2^2\cdot 5$$ $$24=2^3\cdot 3$$ $$32=2^5$$ $$38=2\cdot 19$$ So the least common denominator is $$2^5\cdot 3 \cdot 5 \cdot 19 = \underline{\...
Gray Sheep's user avatar
  • 3,872
4 votes

On a planet with 6 moons, how often would all 6 be full at the same time?

This depends, to some extent, on what you mean by "cycles/orbital periods". If you're referring to the time between successive "full moons" on each satellite, then Anton Sherwood's ...
Someone Else 37's user avatar
12 votes

On a planet with 6 moons, how often would all 6 be full at the same time?

If your moons have quasi-circular orbits, it implies that the two moons with the same period are on the same orbit by Kepler’s 3rd law, or at least that one is on a Lagrange point of the other. Only ...
Didier L's user avatar
  • 229
14 votes

On a planet with 6 moons, how often would all 6 be full at the same time?

If they are ever all full at once, and if their orbits are stable, then the time between such grand syzygies is the least common multiple of their periods: 9120 days. Note that the periods of Io, ...
Anton Sherwood's user avatar
0 votes

How would silicon life work with silane compounds instead of silicone?

Silicon-based life forms that rely on silane (SiH4) for biochemical processes instead of high-temperature silicon-oxygen compounds could potentially thrive in cold environments. In these organisms, ...
Digital's user avatar
  • 21
4 votes

How to feed interplanetary humanity?

is there a way to circumvent the "carrying capacity" of planets for very advanced civilizations? Planets do not have a carrying capacity. The basic malthusian mistake is that output relates ...
Fattie's user avatar
  • 1,174
0 votes

Logical/Scientific Explanation for Umbrakinesis?

FRAME CHALLENGE: The Umbrakinetics are not really affecting light/darkness itself, but the PERCEPTION of it. Umbrakinesis is a form of telepathic illusion, in the same way "invisibility" ...
Going Durden's user avatar
  • 5,087
1 vote

How to feed interplanetary humanity?

If food variety and quality is not the issue, and we just focus on feeding for survival, this is not a major problem. Breeding algae in biotanks is by far the most energy/resource efficient way to ...
Going Durden's user avatar
  • 5,087
1 vote

How to feed interplanetary humanity?

Welcome to Terra! The Empire of Mankind is vast, and full of hiveworlds, but there is one planet that is much more populated than any other Hive: HOLY TERRA. And in contrast to Necromunda or other ...
Trish's user avatar
  • 16.7k
3 votes

How to feed interplanetary humanity?

A solution I saw in another story is manufactured food. The solution here could be the invention of a synthetic food, which can be produced from metals, ice, and other stuff that can be easily ...
Bubbles's user avatar
  • 1,646
1 vote

How to feed interplanetary humanity?

Farming requires Light, Carbon, Water and trace elements of various kinds. And maybe a bit of gravity to help things out, at least until we bio-engineer or select stuff to grow in zero gravity. Earth ...
Yakk's user avatar
  • 15.7k
4 votes

How to feed interplanetary humanity?

I agree with the @Ash. Farming in space is probably your best option. In the right conditions anything can be grown. I think of the film " The Martian" and how he was able to survive. Also ...
A.N.H.'s user avatar
  • 41
17 votes
Accepted

How to feed interplanetary humanity?

Fix your politics. Production is limited by technology problems, infrastructure problems, and political economy problems. Technology problems don't fit your core scenario of a sudden crisis. Parents ...
g s's user avatar
  • 7,529
6 votes

How to feed interplanetary humanity?

Farming in space!!!, the long and the short of it is that there are a lot of resources in space that can be used for food production and in the habitable zone, or even closer to the star, abundant ...
Ash's user avatar
  • 45.6k
1 vote

Logical/Scientific Explanation for Umbrakinesis?

Maybe they can manipulate melanosomes. This is a pigmentation found in certain species of deep-sea fish. This unique adaptation allows them to absorb more than 99.5% of the light that hits them, ...
Lynnwood Alridge III's user avatar
0 votes

How would a considerably advanced civilization do agriculture?

sustainable mixed farming using robots. we have either embraced sustainable farming by that point or massive wars caused by food shortages have reduced the human population drastically. What is ...
John's user avatar
  • 81.5k
0 votes

How would a considerably advanced civilization do agriculture?

It seems to me that the technology set you've described would essentially allow for growing single-cell (e.g. bacteria) cultures in whatever format or structure desired, with whatever protein, fat, ...
Earl Jenkins's user avatar
1 vote

High atmosphere combat - designing the optimal bomber

Building on the excellent answer by SPavel. Reverse Skyhooks SPvael's answer suggests that the bomber should work like a rocket in reverse, by using a huge burn of fuel to slow down from orbital ...
Dast's user avatar
  • 3,222
-1 votes

How would a considerably advanced civilization do agriculture?

The idea that they would need to use (what we see as) "hi-tech" solutions is naive: In fact all food would be created in a pastoral, picaresque manner. Indeed, this is happening as we speak ....
Fattie's user avatar
  • 1,174
0 votes

High atmosphere combat - designing the optimal bomber

I know you mention that your world has some sort of shield tech that only allows slower moving objects to get through hence the need for slow moving bombers vs just projectiles. Bombers are slow, if ...
ChellCPlus's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

High atmosphere combat - designing the optimal bomber

You don't need a bomber, you need a parasite aircraft carrier bombers are required because standard high velocity bombardment techniques don't work against urban planets with shield generators (it ...
SPavel's user avatar
  • 8,201
1 vote

High atmosphere combat - designing the optimal bomber

The Thermosphere is already pretty much in space. At that altitude, the atmosphere is so thin that trying to use it for lift just isn't happening. 0.001 kPA of pressure is basically non-existent. That ...
Bubbles's user avatar
  • 1,646
0 votes

High atmosphere combat - designing the optimal bomber

You have three main features needed. Be difficult to detect. If you're carrying a payload, you're automatically less manoeuvrable than anything which might intercept you. Carry enough bombs/missiles ...
Graham's user avatar
  • 20.9k
2 votes

High atmosphere combat - designing the optimal bomber

The Thermosphere is for satellites and the Stratosphere is for airplanes. At your aircraft's maximum cruising altitude, the air becomes so thin that you can not rely on lift to keep you in the air. ...
Nosajimiki's user avatar
10 votes

High atmosphere combat - designing the optimal bomber

Speed, detection, rockets We have all seen Tom Cruise redlining his fighter, the metal under tension, going straight into the danger zone. Both Top Gun and Top Gun: Maverick return us to the ...
Trioxidane's user avatar
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