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I'm stranded on an alien planet. How do I measure an earth year without a clock?
154 votes

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 ...

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How would the Anglo-French empire arise?
Accepted answer
10 votes

Two words: The Hapsburgs (or Habsburgs) The Spanish branch of the Hapsburgs was behind the infamous Spanish Armada, defeated in 1588 by the plucky Sir Francis Drake. That was the high point of ...

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How can a pacifist country protect itself?
9 votes

Their "defense weapons": fearlessness, contrariness, and bull-headed stubbornness If the get invaded, they totally do not cooperate with the invader. They ignore them, do not cooperate, loudly ...

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How can my robots have human-like muscles?
7 votes

The thing you wish for already exists, Nitinol wires, otherwise known as "muscle wire". From the following link: "Muscle Wire" is the perfect name for this product because it can be described ...

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How can I explain a sudden abundance of naturally-occurring beer?
6 votes

Well, I don't have a permanent solution, as in, the beer flows forever, but I can think of a way where it happens for a while: Ever hear of the Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919? A giant tank ...

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The go-to power source for transportation in a post apocalyptic world
6 votes

I'm a little more sanguine about electric than the other answers. True, you have to go to lead-acid batteries, and the power densities on those aren't nearly as high as lithium-ion, but they have the ...

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How would the rules for carry and use of weapons be affected by reliable stun guns?
5 votes

How this would be regulated would be vastly different between countries. To get an idea of how a particular country would go, look at it's current weapons regulations, and its current self defense ...

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Can an alien civilization develop without money?
4 votes

You're actually asking two questions: 1) Can the civilization develop without an economy, and 2) does that economy need to use money. Can a alien civilization develop without an economy: No. An ...

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A non-lethal gun
4 votes

I'll second James's taser bullet idea. For the nonlethal round you're looking for, working across a large variety of lifeforms, but which share our basic structure, you've got to disrupt the nervous ...

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How could a well-educated person hurled back 2000 years and able to communicate with the locals most influence progress?
1 votes

I think the time traveler's profession is much less important than the ideas he can bring (though if I had to pick a profession, I'd say mechanical engineer with a familiarity in early industrial tech ...

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Other than surprise, what is our chief weapon?
0 votes

The following, which are variations on the theme of tangling up and distracting opponents, and sowing more confusion. Nets with weighted hooks on the edges Bolas Jars of some kind of oil & hot ...

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