Hot answers tagged

136

In eggs As in, a fertile dinosaur egg, not the adult. Moving livestock is always tricky, even more so when said livestock is composed of strong and dangerous creatures, which have a tendency to die easily in the wrong temperature, thanks to the fact that they're cold-blooded. If pirates wanted to smuggle these creatures from their distant territories back ...


57

Guilds are the opposite of labor unions Labor unions are formed to advocate for worker's rights against management. Labor union's tool is the strike, shutting down business operations and causing management to lose business. Labor union's goal is higher pay and better benefits for the workers. Guilds, on the other hand, were management. Guilds consisted of ...


48

Collected treasures. https://www.mnn.com/family/family-activities/blogs/little-girl-feeds-crows-in-return-they-bring-her-gifts Then, in 2013, Gabi decided to do more than just share the scraps of her lunch. Each morning, she began filling a birdbath with fresh water, and setting out food — peanuts, dog food and general leftovers — for the birds to ...


43

While most answers here seem to emphasize the exclusivity of guilds, the main (original) point of a guild has been only touched upon. Guilds were founded to ensure competency in a professional trade, such as Coopers (casks - a barrel is a 32-gallon cask), Mercers (merchants), Fishmongers, Haberdashers (not hats, but clothiers in fine materials, such as ...


37

It seems odd that an organization would set up multiple 1000 bed bunkers and not provide some method for them to contact each other. So any search for other bunkers should start by a thorough review of whatever documentation and paper work already exists within your current bunker. If you find no clues there, your best first step would be to increase the ...


37

Information Harpies can fly and this would make them invaluable to help map-makers, to plot roads, to inspect large fields, and any other number of activities. They also could carry messages between the cities, creating a courier network that could surpass most kinds of treacherous terrain with ease.


35

Sail chariots On Earth, we seldom have used terrestrial transport propelled by sails because, unlike sea winds, terrestrial winds are weaker, more turbulent and thus less constant and predictable, and also because of non-flat terrain. But hey, we're come here for the handwavium, haven't we? Add constant, steady winds, and make your chariots sail the desert,...


33

Things that are unique Whether it's a mineral, a plant or an animal, the only place you know you can find it is <insert planet name here>. Well you have to import. Alternatively, it is a manufactured good, produced by one company, and that company has only one manufacture. Likely they won't bother building a factory on another because there isn't a ...


31

You are asking about a world with two centers of food production and asking if they can feed everybody who doesn't live in one of those centers. There are three main factors to consider: preservation transportation motivation Preservation You describe a medieval level of technology (except for agriculture). During the European middle ages, people had to ...


28

Relays Not electronics, I mean, takeovers. No, I don't mean coup... just read... The basic idea is that to move the merchandise, it has to change hands many times across various small settlements, preferably around one day apart (considering the load to carry). Now, of course, everybody along the way needs payment - at least the people who run the ...


25

Back in the middle age each city had its own system of measures, usually based on the human body. Inch, arm, palm, span, foot were used to measure distances, for example. Normally in the market square there was some sort of reference sample for lenght and volume (at least), which would come in handy when foreign merchants came to sell their goods and for ...


22

It depends First do note that meat is usually not a primary source of food. Ever since we stopped being hunter-gatherers more than 10 000 years ago and became farmers instead, we started relying on grains and roots (such as potatoes) as our primary source of energy. That said... A caravan needs to feed itself. Unless the caravan can buy food on the way, ...


21

Do you have a genuine anarchy or is it more a tribal or organized crime setting? The "families" do not want any city government to interfere with their business. The "families" want to do business with each other, so in the absence of law they must gain a reputation for keeping their word, and for punishing betrayals. The "families" want tourists to spend ...


19

As you say, the most sought after materials are the rarest. You also correctly assume that the rarest materials are often those with the greatest molecular mass. This is because it takes a much, much bigger star to produce heavier elements. For example, say in a sector of the universe you have 100 stars, of which: 80 are average sized (produce elements up ...


19

Monica laid out the main issues quite well and I'm not going to attempt to duplicate her answer. My answer will focus on some additional elements. Not allowing people to produce their own food is akin to holding them hostage. Or a form of servitude. At the very least, it's a tool of oppression. One example is early 20th century India. Britain ruled the ...


18

I think you have missed a lot in your research then First lookup Bedouins (granted these guys were more in the Saharan reaches) These nomads were prolific traders on the silk road (amongst others). In their culture Camels are a foundational pillar. The camel is good for transporting materials, it can be milked as a food source, it can also be slaughtered ...


15

A trade union is a body that primarily represents a group of employees of an organisation in negotiations with the organisation. It has no place in the middle ages because the only employers of the scale that would allow trade unions are the military, navy and church. It's not until the industrial revolution that unions would be viable. Guilds are ...


15

They go round the desert Whilst there are areas of the world where camels are key to transportation, there are nearly always alternative routes. And even with camels, areas such as the Sahara desert were completely impassible. Is this a problem? Not really. Long-distance overland travel is a really modern invention. As late as the 19th century, if you ...


15

Vegas is beautiful. All that Road Warrior post apocalyptic wasteland Fallout stuff. Bah. It is like a stew that has pepper as its only spice. Nothing wrong with pepper but your fiction has plenty of that. Make New Vegas clean and beautiful; an oasis in the desert. The competing families are Mormon families, with family values and they all promote ...


14

Well the outlook is pretty bleak. According to this Wikipedia article there's nothing we can get on Mars, as far as ores are concerned, that justifies the cost of moving it back to Earth. Also, the atmosphere is primarily, CO2, Argon, Nitrogen, CO and Oxygen - I think we have plenty of that so, gas mining is also pointless. The only thing I can think of is ...


14

Stars and star systems have a metallicity measure attached to them. Much to the despair of chemistry professionals, astrophysicists will call any element heavier than helium a metal - so we are not only talking about iron and gold here, we are also talking about carbon, nitrogen, oxygen etc. Our galaxy is rich in astrophysics "metals" in the core, and in ...


14

What about hot air balloons? The earliest believed form of the balloons goes as far back as approximately 220 A.D. Using torches or some other heat source they can heat up the air. The balloons themselves can be made from some sort of canvas or cloth material.


14

There are several methods for location depending on your world... Triangulation If your world's weather doesn't prevent walkie-talkies from working, then they can try to use those for location of other shelters. If a signal is received, they can then use triangulation to determine a location. It's a trivial task to set up. The biggest limitation of this ...


14

If paper and pens still exist in this world, then physical invoices can be used as transaction records during the blackout. An invoice is a document that records all info related to a transaction, such as the agreed price, the items sold, and when the payment needs to be made. Today, both electronic and physical invoices are used for transaction where ...


14

There are a number of questions here, let's take them one at a time. How to capture / sedate the animal, and keep it alive? Through its food, what the pirates need is some plant or drug that will keep the animal unconscious. This should be used in it's capture, just prepare a big pile of meat or other food with some of the knockout plant inside. The animal ...


13

Manufacturing equipment Massive-scale manufacturing equipment would take too long for a colony to work to on its own. 20 years at sublight to get a massive orbital construction facility created by much more massive construction facilities in home system, or 50 years a small one yourself. Comparatively, may be cheaper due to pre-existing large-scale on ...


13

No domesticated beasts of burden implies that human slaves / serfs are the beasts of burden. Now the problem is that humans make poor beasts of burden, meaning that they eat too much, need special food (vitamins and essential amino acids) and drink too much water compared to their transportation capacity. (Humans are essentially apes, who evolved in an ...


13

Without any form of domesticated animal the only real option available is to make travelling across the desert easier for humans, at which point slaves/servants/just a normal workforce would be able to transport the goods. My preferred solution? Infrastructure Given that you're building a new culture from scratch the lack of domesticated animals will ...


13

People traded internationally before the invention of currency The pop idea of barter prior to the introduction of currency is an invention, and it has little to do with how people actually traded. The idea that people were limited to on-the-spot exchanges of say two chickens for a sword and a cabbage is completely ahistorical. In fact, people were making ...


12

If you want to stick to raw physical materials, depending if your civilization is still limited to fusion or antimatter reactors for moving about, one might guess that rare isotopes used in fusion or magnetically sealed bottles of antimatter could be valuable. But really, I think everyone is thinking a bit too much inside the box here. If you think about it,...


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