Hot answers tagged

221

Fill it with ice cream. That will make it heavier. Also when you are done fighting you can eat the ice cream, and you will probably feel like ice cream about then.


203

Actually, careful analysis will show that Towels are already perfectly optimized for military use. Any permanent modification to the Towel, while improving it in a single dimension, will reduce its flexibility. For example, if you improve the Towel's bludgeoning capability, you reduce the protection it can give you from chemical attacks or its use as an ...


156

Kamacite and Taenite Kamacite and Taenite are both Iron-Nickel alloys found (on Earth) only in meteorites. Kamacite's composition is in the 90:10 to 95:5 Fe:Ni range. Taenite's composition is from 20% to 65% Nickel. Kamacite, in particular, can form massive crystals. A kamacite crystal listed in table 1 here had dimensions of 0.92x0.54x0.23 meters, and a ...


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 ...


125

The only thing worse than a zombie chasing you... is a FLAMING zombie chasing you! Your zombies don't immediately die once set ablaze. Sure, EVENTUALLY enough of their flesh has burned off to render them immobile, but until then they spread the fire to houses, forests, and humans nearby. The danger from raging wild- and city fires is too big to justify for ...


125

I practice early medieval (Viking) style semi-contact as a hobby. With blunt steel weapons not with some LARP toys. I can tell you how we deal with an enemy with a shield and then some historical methods I know. Now our fights are not entirely realistic, they do not devolve into fierce unarmed struggles, at the end, where we attempt to scratch out eyes and ...


119

There's a lot of toxic metals. Most are toxic in fact (including iron technically, if you get enough of it). Almost all of them have issues though: Mercury: One of the first metals many people think of when they are thinking of poisons. The problem here is quite simply that even those mercury alloys that are solid at room temperature (known as amalgams) ...


115

Consider the lowly sling. A couple of lengths of string or leather lace and a pouch, from which one hurls stones or cast shot. The sling was one of the earliest weapons created by man, and it was used by regular soldiers in warfare as recently as the Spanish revolution. In warfare, the Aztec slings were considered to be as effective as the Spanish muskets. ...


111

But in most stories, FTL doesn't actually follow Newton's 1st law; everybody knows that once your hyperdrive fails, you're dead in the water. Otherwise, the Enterprise could hit warp 9.9 and easily coast across the galaxy. And that actually makes sense in the warp-style of FTL: FTL travel is only possible within the field generated by a functioning FTL ...


106

As far as we know IRL, mech fights will not be good way to wage a war, so this answer is meant more as an excuse for the writer, not the actual reasons. That said... Limited ammo. Sword would weight about the same as two, three rockets? But with it, you could destroy more than three enemy mechs, if you are a good enough pilot. This does not make sense if you ...


102

What a wonderfully macabre question! This calls for cited sources! First off, I'd like to point out that you are correct to notice the similarities between a grenade and a rifle round. Both have the same gross pattern: they set off some explosives near some metal that is going to be accelerated by the explosive. So if we start from that very simplified ...


101

Bob could end the war. Keep in mind that ending the war is different from winning the war. Also remember that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. All he has to do is fly into the middle of a space battle and let fighters from each side blast away at his ship for a while. As their most powerful weapons don't even damage his ship's paint job, he can ...


101

Former Marine, I carried and was routinely trained with bayonets for years. Here's my input: Crossbow bayonets are not very effective. The bayonet was adapted due to the preceding pike and gun tactic. Half your guys had pikes, half had guns. The problem was that not only does this mean half your guys can't carry guns, but if the pikemen should falter or ...


100

Honestly, the best use of this would be to turn corpses (their and yours), waste, and the like into nice safe gold. Campaigning armies in medieval times suffered greatly from disease, and poor hygiene was a major part of that. The fewer dead bodies and other disease-spreading elements you have about, the better off you'll be.


98

Make the Legend last through the ages So, Merlin telemagicks to 5000 years ago, presents the sword-in-cement LEGEND to some fancy king. Then he rigs up some scenario where the sword is found. People try and fail to remove the sword, the legend spreads. Merlin then causes some event (flood, landslide, magic POOFing, etc) to disappear the sword. The sword is ...


98

For the same reason some do in real life. Ship (or landing pod) landing isn't perfect so when they arrive back on earth the astronauts need to defend themselves against hostile animals or scavengers.


96

We think we are advanced but still barely able to send devices within the gravitational influence of our star. We managed to send living samples of our species on our satellite, but just for few days and then we discarded the blueprints. Now an alien race is visiting us, showing that they are able to mass travel trhough space. I would say that the mere fact ...


96

You don't want harder steel, it breaks, you don't want softer steel, it bends, you want more control of the temperature of the steel at every stage so you can get the exact properties you want. Better is more control of the process. Dragon blood is just a non-flammable liquid with thermal conductivity similar to oils or water but unlike water and oils it ...


95

Requirements: One large hollow rock One dwarf One large pair of pliers One tunnel One loud voiced announcer of who is about to try to pull the sword out Tunnel under the rock for your dwarf to get access, make sure he knows the name of the eligible person to release the sword for when the loud voiced announcer calls it out. All you need now is a mechanism ...


94

Projectile Atmospheric Entry Simulations I put together a bit of code to compute the trajectory of projectiles as they fall through the Earth's atmosphere. I made the following simplifying assumptions: All projectiles were fired from a circular orbit equal in altitude to the ISS (about $400~\text{km}$). The atmosphere is non-rotating with no winds, and is ...


93

Shield Technology Technology exists that can protect against small projectile weapons, but not against the much larger force and energy that comes with the swing of a melee weapon(as in Frank Herbert's Dune). For instance, a mech could be protected by auto-guided lasers that can vaporize small things like rockets and bullets before impact. Or, there's some ...


93

Merlin knows about metallurgy, and will place in the immediate surroundings of the rock (or even IN the rock) a sacrificial anode made of magnesium, aluminium, zinc or another suitable metal. A galvanic anode is the main component of a galvanic cathodic protection (CP) system used to protect buried or submerged metal structures from corrosion. By simply ...


93

What you need is a mine clearance flail tank The following is an animation showing it at work - click to see full video. These are based on M4 Sherman tanks and still have the standard weaponry in addition to the flails. Fuel capacity 138–175 U.S. gallons (522–662 litres) depending upon variant Operational range 100–150 miles (161–241 km) on road ...


92

Squirrels Working IT for several years, I have learned that if any rodent will mess with Comms, it's a squirrel. They are the triple threat: breed quickly with nesting, climb all man-made structures with ease, and seem to hunt out power/comms lines. I have treated cases of squirrel problems that include the following: Squirrel chewing through backup ...


92

Your swords should not exist, since you should be using a spear A fair assumption is that a larger and heavier monster will have a tougher hide and more bulk protecting its vulnerable regions. If that is the case, a sword is a poor weapon for fighting it. If you want to do damage to a large beast, you will need to concentrate on two aspects: penetrating the ...


90

Imagine for a moment finding a man in full plate armor — a veritable knight encased head to toe in steel — and ordering a few dozen men to attack him with aluminum baseball bats. What you'd end up with after a couple of hours (assuming the knight just stands there) is a whole lot of exhausted men with bent baseball bats, and a knight whose worst problem is ...


87

Your warriors are going to need a co-pilot/gunnery officer. (Note: Despite appearances, this answer does not advocate the weaponization of babies!)


86

Bullet holes are not as bad as you think. The ISS would take over 7 hours to depressurize through a bullet hole. http://www.spaceacademy.net.au/flight/emg/spcdp.htm Even a few bullet holes still gives you plenty of time to react. In a worse scenario of someone setting off a hand grenade or something that punches a very large hole, humans can still remain ...


86

Speed Not Required Give your sword a hydrophobic coating and it will never get any blood on it. The coating repels liquids, causing them to bead up like water on a lotus leaf and just run off. Bonus it stays nice and clean. Edit: A blade made of steel does not mean that It cannot have a coating that makes it repel blood. Furthermore, the surface ...


85

A real life story. Back in a high school, my friends and I were very much into science, experimenting with a lot of different things. Once on a winter morning, my friend and I procured about one liter of liquid nitrogen, which my friend poured in his thermos and carefully put in a gym-type bag. We happily walked home on a snow packed sidewalk, until I, as ...


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