Wayne
  • Member for 7 years, 1 month
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32 answers
46 votes
11k views
Creating a uncopyable physical key
54 votes

Two-Factor Authentication! Can you broaden your acceptable answer to allow the key to be combined with something else? For example: The lock requires the physical key plus exactly one drop of blood ...

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23 answers
132 votes
27k views
What could people notice about someone who is two times as dense as a regular person?
17 votes

You also need to think of things like body heat. You'll have the same surface area through which you emit heat, but you'll have muscles -- and I assume other body/cell functions -- that are emitting ...

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18 answers
44 votes
7k views
How to convey the scale of my humanoid without science or units?
10 votes

If your story has third-person narration, you could use a phrase like "While other races might view him as a child due to his diminutive size, he was in fact full-grown -- and not only full-grown but ...

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13 answers
64 votes
8k views
What sort of problem would drive a near omnipotent civilization to seek an "outside the box" solution?
8 votes

Someone has already mentioned it but didn't go all-in: a war with another similar race. There's plenty of room in the Universe to have more than one such race that have only recently become aware of ...

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32 answers
76 votes
19k views
How could an apocalypse kill off all adults -- leaving only those under the age of 18?
6 votes

Great ideas! Pretty heavy on diseases and biological explanations, so how about a few that are different? A society chooses a handful of children -- perhaps children of powerful politicians, athletes,...

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41 answers
189 votes
30k views
How do I protect my shop from teleporters?
6 votes

This assumes that your teleporting doesn't magically push things aside to make room for your arrival. Get a bunch of metal cable, and create a grid of spools in the ceiling in a grid about a foot ...

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18 answers
28 votes
10k views
How would one weaponize a black hole?
6 votes

How about create a relativistic jet with one? An astrophysical jet is a phenomenon often seen in astronomy, where streams of matter are emitted along the axis of rotation of a compact object. ...

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19 answers
71 votes
18k views
How to keep a military technology secret while using it?
4 votes

Some great suggestions about misleading that I think could be practical thusly... Quickly assemble a Censor Fusion Drone" (CFD). This plane will secretly have your Radical New Radar (RNR) onboard, ...

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19 answers
91 votes
45k views
Why would vampires be incapable of entering a non-vampire human’s house uninvited?
4 votes

Self-hatred: Perhaps the vampires actually despise their own actions and what they have become. In an act of self-justification, they feel that if they are invited in that they have permission to do ...

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11 answers
32 votes
6k views
Would we see cannons in a magic-using society?
4 votes

I gave +1 to Danny Reagan's "yes" answer, and think he implied but missed one powerful factor: human nature. A cannon can be operated by the lowest peasant, with some basic training. Cannons can be ...

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21 answers
27 votes
5k views
What architectural tricks can I use to add a hidden floor to a building?
3 votes

This doesn't meet all of your requirements, but I would ask you to reconsider the need for people to be fooled about the number of floors. Rather, we can hide in plain sight by fooling people about ...

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11 answers
39 votes
5k views
A world without natural time measures
3 votes

Assuming that they sleep, they would at some point probably find it useful to synchronize their sleep cycles so that they would could work on projects that are best accomplished with multiple helpers. ...

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22 answers
18 votes
5k views
How could reincarnation magic be limited to prevent overuse?
2 votes

The spell itself is powered by another witch, not the one being reincarnated. (After all, the one to be reincarnated is trapped in the crystal.) This makes the reincarnation candidate vulnerable. If ...

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26 answers
4 votes
6k views
Why would people choose not to use portals / teleporters?
2 votes

Several options: Perhaps they can only transport significant quantities of material with less than a certain atomic weight? Say 20 (Calcium). So humans are unaffected (iron in our hemoglobin and ...

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6 answers
8 votes
2k views
How would magic make skeletons be able to move on a very realistic and logical scientific level?
2 votes

The question is not "how?", it's "why?". The answer to "how" is "magic". Magic does what magic does... magically. And magic could create invisible forces/entities that move and strike and lift and ...

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19 answers
36 votes
12k views
Would bigger space war ships be actually better or not?
2 votes

I think the analogy from naval warfare to space warfare has several issues: Actual naval warfare is constrained by a curved earth, air resistance, and the asymmetry of water and air. So aircraft ...

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20 answers
18 votes
5k views
On what technology would futuristic non-lethal guns be based?
2 votes

You specify that you want a gun, but my first question would be: what is your goal? Do you need an offensive weapon which is non-lethal, or would a defense suffice? Depending on your actual goal, ...

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33 answers
51 votes
11k views
Stumped: What would replace 'names' in an alternate history?
2 votes

I upvoted @Mormacil's answer, but let me give you an analogy that you may find useful. In some countries, you can refer to a building by a street address: 1854 Jackson Lane. You could find Jackson ...

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7 answers
25 votes
9k views
How quickly could a cyborg determine that a bullet has been fired from the sound alone?
2 votes

A couple of things to add... By definition, a supersonic bullet exceeds the speed of sound. If you are close enough, you will not hear it before it reaches your location, if it is fired in your ...

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21 answers
34 votes
7k views
Warrior caste in an utopian society: what would keep them peaceful for centuries?
2 votes

This would be called sports. This caste would become professional athletes. In one sense, the original Olympic Games reflected preparation for war: hammer throw, spear throw, wrestling, running, ...

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10 answers
15 votes
3k views
How to hide the fact of a global hibernation from the world after everyone wakes up?
2 votes

First, a great idea. The problem is the practical issues, as you suspect. Besides everything decaying/breaking/exploding -- as mentioned in other answers -- everything would be covered in a thick ...

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12 answers
19 votes
3k views
Are two cities in enmity within visibility range of each other reasonable?
2 votes

I think you are assuming that these cities would have had to develop while being antagonistic. It's possible that the two cities developed as friends, but later developed enmity. For example, one ...

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28 answers
26 votes
5k views
What would keep traders away from a specific area of the ocean?
1 votes

You said pirates are mundane, but what if there is a single area in the southern part of the continent that's suitable for a port. And it has a port. An exotic port with multiple ships and crew and ...

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23 answers
21 votes
9k views
What transfer of goods would require a large military escort these days?
1 votes

Two thoughts: I though one of the answers was about to name it, and then they didn't. Something of immense national pride. Say the US National Archives was being moved from Washington DC to Ohio. ...

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20 answers
29 votes
13k views
How do rulers get rich from war?
1 votes

Simple: corruption. While at war, the rulers can impose rationing, (threaten to) take over industries or organizations, etc. But not all -- in fact, not even most -- of the resulting resources need to ...

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8 answers
13 votes
2k views
How could a imperial dynasty keep a loose collection of pirates, raiders, etc unified?
1 votes

1) The ruling clan is the Bank. Like in Game of Thrones. If you step out of line, they will call in loans and encourage other factions to take you out (in return for economic advantages). Further, ...

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9 answers
24 votes
9k views
How could an animal "smell" carbon monoxide?
1 votes

Mosquitos can detect carbon dioxide from a distance, and follow the "scent". Shouldn't be that much different for an animal and carbon monoxide. In the real world, the main difference is that carbon ...

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4 answers
5 votes
1k views
Use of a portal as a weapon
Accepted answer
1 votes

I believe the instant you put something into one side of the portal, out comes out the other, as if you stepped through a doorway. Do you mean what happens if you turn off the portal while the object ...

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26 answers
28 votes
6k views
How to make being a mage so cutthroat that generally only power mad become mages?
1 votes

I think a taste of Highlander ("There can be only one") would help. Mages can become powerful the hard way, or the "easy" way by killing another mage and absorbing their power. So you have good mages ...

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24 answers
22 votes
7k views
What would a sentient, intelligent, but very small bird use as a ranged weapon against human or larger armored targets?
1 votes

EDIT PER YOUR ANSWER: Then the answer has to be magical weapons. The difficulty will be: how magical? Too magical and it may be a slam dunk defeat -- depending on how magical the humans are. Not ...

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