Hot answers tagged

156

My first thought is redundancy. You shouldn't send just one copy of the message, you should send thousands and through different methods. Some thoughts on possible methods: Rock carving in a protective sheath (e.g. amber or a similar substance). Shoot rockets to the Moon and Mars (vacuum doesn't decay things the way that atmospheres do). Build satellites ...


147

Use a stick to create a sundial. Now start counting your heartbeats. Very roughly you can expect ~5,000 per hour (80 BPM). Make marks where the shadows lie every ~2500 beats or so. Make sure you're in a resting state when you take the measurements. Do this over and over on several days and you should be able to start making a good estimate of the planet'...


143

There's a very specific existing case study of nearly this exact question. In the 1970s, the US Department of Energy began investigating what is now known as the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant as a means of safely storing radioactive waste for the next 10,000 years. Considerable thought was put into the topic of signage: how to indicate to future ...


143

Are you female? And if so, how regular is your period? A healthy female in prime child-bearing years will cycle on 29.5 days. Even women that cycle longer or shorter will usually cycle a set number of days. So, that could get you at least to a range of days to hang around the stargate. Now, that said, stress and diet (starvation) will affect the cycle -- ...


136

Shoot Him You just need someone to kill Nelson from behind or from a distance without being initially seen - you can't really stop time if you're already dead. A sniper bullet exceeds the speed of sound, so Nelson wouldn't be able to hear the initial shot and stop the bullet mid-flight. Or maybe that's too simple.


136

Allow me to generalize all of the other answers: No matter what his abilities, he can't prevent something if he doesn't know it's happening. So bullets, poison, lasers, stabbing etc. all work if they kill him before he sees them coming. If he sees the guy about to take the shot, he can prevent it. If he doesn't, he can't. Same if he sees the laser being ...


108

Stab him while he's sleeping..


105

Use John Philip Sousa... (I like "Stars & Stripes Forever" personally, but do ignore the rallentando going into the third repeat of the first strain!) If you've any exposure to him you can probably hit 120 beats per minute to within +/- 10; if you've any musical training that's closer to +/-2 bpm. Let's assume +/- 6bpm, because I don't know you. That's ...


82

I think we can all agree that whoever finds this message in 50,000 years isn't going to speak English. Or Mandarin. Or Hindi, French, Spanish, Swahili, or, in fact, any language spoken today. So we'll have to figure out a way to communicate with them in a language that we'll both understand. I'd look to communication with aliens for inspiration. There have ...


76

Use poison. If the poison takes longer than six seconds to take effect then by the time the warrior sees his own incapacitation looming, it's too late to change it. Make it a paralyzing poison, or one that interferes with the BCI (Brain Computer Interface), etc. There is nothing the warrior can do to avoid this. The warrior thought that the glancing blow ...


72

It really bugs them What you've probably misunderstood is what the term "Java developer" actually denotes. Java developers are a small mammal similar to civet cats in Indonesia both in physical characteristics and how they are used by humans. They remove bugs from and consume carefully managed Java beans, passing out the undigested remainder into the soil ...


60

Collision penetration by velocity. As a starting note, we cannot talk about a graphics fps, and only a physics fps. Graphics fps only exists to the outside observer, we can only experience our universe through physics. This is a classic problem in video-games. If physics is checked by frames and if objects are overlapping, then if something travels fast ...


57

Your description and comments seem to imply that Alice will not be able to overcome the cultist with any single sequence of attacks. So, she'll have to use a long-term strategy defeat him, where no six-second sequence of events gives Alice a clear advantage, but she gains one when they are all combined. In particular, she could use the rope-a-dope. This ...


57

Oh, the possibilities... I'm assuming that even in 'stopped time' our villain still has a metabolism to be able to do things. Poison This one is ideal even for non-magical folks. It comes in a wide variety of convenient packages, and can be easily administered in a way that is not immediately lethal - and should thus bypass the "imminent death" trigger - ...


57

Terrain objects I imagine these nomads are following the same paths every year as they perpetually circle the planet. In that case, since there are no seasons or months, each group's time cycle would be based around terrain objects they pass. This is the month of the Blue Woods, next month is the Snow-capped Peaks, next month is Dust Plains, etc. Once ...


55

Local time would probably dominate. There would be a strong desire to have timescales that line up with local planetary sunrises and sunsets. However, for universal time, there's a general rule: why invent a new scheme when one already exists? We've been digging away at exacting time references for a while. We may need to update them eventually, but they ...


54

Um...everything? Time freeze is unfortunately not logically consistent with reality. Think about it this way: If you freeze time you are stopping things from changing. Time and change are fundamentally linked. If nothing changes does time pass? Logically, maybe it does, but the basis of time is change and vise versa. In short there is no way to ...


53

From Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series: The heroine, Vin, was fighting a warrior who had Atium, which gave him the magical power to see her attacks before she made them, and to react to them accordingly. It was believed that the only counter to the precognition of a warrior with Atium was to have Atium yourself, but Vin had used all of hers. But then ...


53

For their day to day lives, people in different parts of the world would associate different times with different activities. While to someone in Greenwich 11:30 am might mean "lunch time", to people in the Eastern US it might mean "time to wake up", to others it might be "dinner time", or "middle of the night". No doubt if time zones were abolished ...


53

Drop him off a cliff You've said gravity applies, but you haven't mentioned whether his metabolism still runs, it could be that poison would work perfectly well. Does everything in his close world move with him? You could try setting him on fire. As a wise man once said: Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day, but set him on fire and he'll be warm ...


53

Just because the heavens don't tick doesn't mean Earthly stuff won't tick as well. People are going to count their heart beats, breaths and bowel movements. Humanity may have used the sky as its sole time piece for millenia, but once we started to pay people by the hour we got creative. The sundial was the last time piece to depend on astronomy. The ...


50

While this question is fantasy-based, this answer is reality-based in that it doesn't require that the hero know about the AI at all until after the fight has started, if at all, and doesn't require any magic or unusual equipment. As a martial artist (a red belt/4th kyu in Shotokan karate and hapkido), I have fought dan-grade black belts. The difference is ...


49

None of the below has any scientific basis, but it can potentially be made compatible with a (mostly) scientific fictional world, and a magical world that interacts with it within limits. The character doesn't stop time, but shifts to a place outside of the universe's time, in a kind of shadow world to the real one. A different dimension of time flows for ...


49

Fantasy and real world dates rarely pass 10.000 because cultures don't tend to survive that long. Date systems generally start with a significant event as 0: rise of a king, birth of a prophet, founding of an empire, solar eclipse etc. Between those moments and the fall is rarely more then a thousand years, two thousand perhaps. I figure that if the system ...


47

He needs a Clepsydra (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_clock). Basically, a reservoir filled with water, with a puncture through which water flows at a constant rate. These clocks have been well known for millennia, so they are available to your character. Upon emptying the reservoir, your alarm would be triggered.


43

Our intrepid time-travelers really have their work cut out for them! To make this possible, let's hand wave the problem of language and religion, and say they got really lucky and wound up in a country that is eager to learn and listen. This is a big hand wave, but let's at least give them a shot to try before getting executed straight away or having to ...


43

The primal civilizations evolving in such an environment would likely not develop any form of timekeeping. Without a natural daylight and season cycle there is little reason to. As soon as technology and society develop in ways which makes timekeeping necessary for coordination of actions, some arbitrary fixed unit of time would likely be standardized. In ...


42

"I'll be back before you can walk to the lake." If not an exact sense or measurement for time, maybe they'd have an approximate one based on distance. Just as we say "an hours' drive" or used to say "about a weeks' journey," though obviously people drive, cart, and walk at different speeds, a civilization may generally agree on a common-sense "average." ...


41

Inside 1.5 million robotic whales A blue whale has a volume of around 220 cubic metres. Assuming a cubic brain jar with sides of 25cm, you can comfortably fit 32 brains in one cubic metre. If you built an aquatic robot about the size of a blue whale you could fit 7,040 human brains inside it. The robotic whale could swim through the oceans, capturing ...


39

In modern physics, the only thing which is capable of altering the flow of time with respect to two points in space is gravity. In general relativity, the passage of time and gravity are inherently entwined, so "time travels slower" near massive objects. If you have a very massive object (as in black-hole massive), you can noticeably distort time. Of ...


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