bowlturner
  • Member for 7 years, 4 months
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What would happen if magnets stopped working?
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62 votes

We all die. Slow painful deaths. if Magnetic fields quit working, the biggest problem is the one the Earth is producing to protect us from a bunch of solar radiation. Remember the borealis? That ...

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Could a creature evolve a biological "bulletproof vest"?
46 votes

Well, we have several animals that are semi-bullet proof. There are many stories where bullets ricochet of the skulls of bears, even little black bears. Grizzlies have lots of stories where a bullet ...

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Is one year a realistic timescale to learn an ancient language if every language you knew didn't exist yet?
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41 votes

It doesn't really matter if it is an ancient language or a contemporary one. Throwing someone into an environment where there is no common tongue will end up being the same. In this case you are ...

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Are flying plants possible?
37 votes

Well, it all depends! :) There are tumbleweeds which grow, produce seeds, then die, break off and the whole plant moves by the wind, depositing its seeds in different ways, it's sort of like flying. ...

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How do I defend an island nation from attackers with 15th century technology?
36 votes

The one thing big ships feared most is fire. Creating catapults or trebuchets that can fling burning balls of pitch onto a ship will make short work of the ships and the crew. I used this trebuchet ...

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Is it possible to ride a carnivore species?
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35 votes

Many problems. The first is that carnivores large enough to ride are few and all are very dangerous. Grizzly bear, Siberian tiger, Lions all are large enough for a human to ride. However all are ...

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What if the earth were physically split in half?
33 votes

Well the first thing that happens is that both halves immediately start collapsing into a sphere smaller by half the volume of the Earth. This would be a cataclysmic event unto itself. Likely ...

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What would it take for society reach a point where the time it takes to learn leaves no time to discover?
31 votes

I think one of the biggest things that help us is the concept of the 'black box'. We use it in programming all the time. We have something and we know what to put into it, and it gives us an ...

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How do you power all the nanobots?
29 votes

Since all the other ones I thought of have already been used, I had to go find something else. The one I was going to use was piezoelectricity (though I didn't know what it was called!) And I think ...

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Most Energy Efficient Barricade
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29 votes

That's what the Romans did. They dug a pit/trench all the way around the camp, leaving 'gated' areas at the ends to get in and out. when they dug the trench they threw the dirt into a pile on the ...

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How to effectively and realistically blockade a star system?
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29 votes

Well, at least 6 would be needed. One on each of the ordinal points. After that it would really come down to effective sensor scanning. How effective are the sensors looking for the ships. And how ...

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How would a Martian colony be able to celebrate Christmas?
29 votes

Fun question! I would expect at the start that Christmas would be celebrated when it happens back on Earth. As a species we'd all celebrate it at the same time (relatively). Meaning that Martians ...

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How to explain magic-using kings
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28 votes

The biggest single thing to keep it going would be it is a symbol of power. Kings learn and perform magic. This likely has become an expectation even for the masses. If their king can't perform any ...

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How can I get my DeLorean to 88 miles per hour without a train?
28 votes

Using information from the comments, updating my info. Gravity. you need to get on slope that is very steep but has a gentle curve at the bottom. Terminal velocity is about 260mph for the car, so ...

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What good are herbivores in an animal army?
28 votes

Interesting, many herbivores are very capable fighters. Have you ever seen videos of deer beating the crap out of an idiot who got too close? They also have antlers which they can use to keep ...

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What if the seas had fresh water in them?
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28 votes

Most of the life forms, plant and animal, are dependent on salt water for their biology. Precipitating all the salt out would cause an ecological disaster. Much of the life in the oceans would die ...

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Multigeneration ship pet
28 votes

I would think that if people have issues with 'dogs' or 'cats' or what have you for religious reasons, I would say they would also have an issue 'creating' a biological animal just for our 'amusement'....

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Realistic Future Jobs for Men and Women
28 votes

The thing is, we have a misguided idea that people need to be 'gainfully' employed. One of the ideas behind a utopia is people are able to do what they want, this could mean sitting around all day ...

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Playing music during battle?
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27 votes

The whole point of the drummers and fifers are FOR the march. Walking in formation requires timing and coordination. The drums helped everyone keep the beat. Now the military uses cadences. It keeps ...

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Should AI have faith too?
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27 votes

Religion is a way to answer questions we don't understand. For an AI as a machine, they are logical, most religions deal in the supernatural and that is not 'logical'. It would be even more ...

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Planetary Scale Artworks
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27 votes

How about creating a large planet made purely from one element, or better yet a couple dozen from different elements each, Iron, gold, silver, carbon etc. then set them to spinning around a giant ...

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How to Defeat a Precognitive Warrior?
26 votes

I would say information overload. He's still human. 6 second prediction is great if you want to avoid getting a bullet, a knife or surprise punch. You should never be surprised. However, you ...

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What's the quickest way to add oceans to a planet?
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25 votes

I would say capturing a bunch of comets and burn them up in the atmosphere, leaving plenty of water vapor. Hydrogen and Oxygen are two of the most common elements in the universe, #1 and #3 ...

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Can telepathy and telekinesis exist in biological creatures?
23 votes

Telepathy is actually a little easier to imagine as actually biologically feasible. We have technology now that can 'read' your brain. There are several different kinds, with differing levels of ...

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What's the impact of a "cloning" teleporter?
22 votes

In this case you really are not 'teleporting' you are duplicating yourself and 'branching' out. There is would be no reason for you to 'come back' if you where already there. So instead of thinking ...

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How would metal cloth affect armor design?
21 votes

Actually, I don't know why you't need metal silk. Regular silk is incredibly effective as body armor all by itself. Mongols and others have used silk as armor for a long time. Some of it was 30 ...

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What would it take to build a ship capable of crossing the Pacific?
21 votes

There is a huge amount of knowledge that is needed that these people are missing and so most likely all will die. Any one of a large set of skills needed to make this adventure work are missing. ...

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Can we have a meaningful cultural exchange with aliens if we never meet?
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20 votes

Yes, and no. Mostly no. a 1300 year half duplex conversation would be intolerable for any species not similar to the Thek. The most useful would be to start a constant stream of communication ...

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Anatomically Correct Golem
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20 votes

The easy one here is, make a robot! Robots are pretty much the 21st Century realization of the Golem. It mindlessly performs tasks set by its master. It is also similar to Frankenstein, where he ...

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How to justify digging claws and opposable thumbs in the same being
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20 votes

Well a badger getting a thumb isn't hard to envision, racoons basically have thumbs, and claws. It's a little harder thinking about large digging claws with hands, but only a little. I would expect ...

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