bobflux
  • Member for 4 years, 11 months
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What would cause full body armor to return?
38 votes

Body armor is designed to protect mostly against the type of bullets we use. These bullets produce localized damage. They don't fly that fast. Some body parts are more vital than others. Armor is ...

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Why would technology dictate graphical interfaces to be rare on spaceships?
25 votes

Remote control The spaceship can be remote controlled. Due to the distances involved, sometimes the bandwidth is tiny and the lag gets enormous, so a low-bandwidth text-based protocol makes perfect ...

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How to keep a military technology secret while using it?
23 votes

You might be interested in the history of the Proximity Fuze, which is a fascinating read. It was invented during WW2. It is a tiny Doppler radar mounted on top of an anti-aircraft shell, which ...

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Reason for an exterior control panel on a space ship
Accepted answer
22 votes

Maybe I'm just paranoid, but this whole "AI crashes ship on planet" smells like a cover up story to get rid of the evidence. I mean, if I sold ships with dodgy AIs and wanted to stay in business, I'd ...

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Battlefield Tactics for eleven pixies carrying a machine gun
Accepted answer
21 votes

If your pixies have the same flight performance as a pigeon or a duck, then it'll be impossible to hit them in flight with bullets, but it will be easy to take them down with bird shot. So, the ...

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Is it realistic or possible to implement the loading mechanism of a shotgun into a crossbow?
Accepted answer
18 votes

Modern mechanical engineering + youtube = win. Would you like to mount an arrow magazine to a bow for rapid fire? Sure. A crossbow with an arrow magazine? No problem. Medieval woodworkers could ...

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What methods might an ancient civilization use to desalinate sea water?
16 votes

I will elaborate on distillation with another solution: spray desalination First, get some hot air, above 100°C but not too much. You can do this with concentrated solar power using flat mirrors. ...

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LED light or heating element?
Accepted answer
14 votes

Incandescent lights turn about 1-2% of the electric power into light, the rest is lost as heat and infrared radiation. They're pretty good as infrared heaters, though, but you don't want an infrared ...

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Is using thermal energy an effective method to powering an implanted tracking device?
Accepted answer
14 votes

It also contains a tracking device to ensure where the citizen is at all times. GPS uses frequencies around 1.2-1.5 GHz. According to this you lose 4dB/cm in RF power when going through people/meat, ...

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Psychological effects of non head-based killing techniques
13 votes

Does it make sense to posit that this (um) "Velocikangaroo" would be more insanely aggressive than your typical mammalian predator, because its attack doesn't risk its head? I'd say that it depends. ...

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What would be needed to have melee in a near future setting alongside ranged weapons?
9 votes

Go Medieval. In several historical times and places, the average peon would not be allowed to own a weapon, and especially not a status symbol weapon like a sword. However, agricultural tools would ...

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Would the principles of Stack Exchange work in a real-world utopia?
9 votes

I'm defining utopia as a society characterised, at heart, by peace. Free from suffering/poverty/lack of opportunity, absence of war, etc. Well, a simple way to get there is to murder all the poor, ...

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What weapons would be used to kill giants by a viking era civilization?
7 votes

I'll go tree-hugger on this one. Vikings didn't use much stone, so grow a forest around your village. Giants call this accursed place "headwhack forest". The tree species should be selected for its ...

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What types of enemies would a two-handed sledge hammer be useful against in a medieval fantasy setting?
6 votes

"Bec de Corbin" (Crow's beak) is a historical example: It's a cross between a halberd and a hammer. There's a spike at the business end so it can be used like a spear, a hammer on one side ...

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Is there any material today that could withstand the impact of a baseball at 0.05c?
6 votes

The easiest seems to be to destroy the rock before it hits the ship. Once the ship has reached cruise speed, the engines are stopped, and it now travels at constant speed. At this point you need to ...

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How to harness electricity from crystals?
6 votes

I'll go full lateral thought on this one ;) Magnetite is a crystal. Under some circumstances, it can also be a permanent magnet. With some hand-waving, you could decide that the crystals in your ...

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What body armor protects against a laser?
6 votes

I wonder if you need any armor actually... I'm gonna go with a portable riot shield, so read on. Let's suppose the target is a human being, so mostly water. The energy to heat up one gram of victim'...

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How magically increasing external muscle strength will influence common activities like running?
6 votes

You're only considering strength, but our superhero pals have other issues, most notably of an energetic and thermodynamic nature... Base strength If the superhero is a wet noodly nerd, and we ...

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How can enchancing a soldiers abilities decrease their life expectancy?
5 votes

Possible biological explanations: 1- They heal quickly because their cells divide faster than normal human cells. Unfortunately this means the faster DNA replication process introduces more errors (...

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Could a 15-year-old girl throw a device similiar to an iPhone on the ground and shatter it?
5 votes

If it is a phone, or a phone-like object, throwing it on the ground will likely break the screen, but not the internal electronics. You'd need to snap it in two pieces, preferably break the printed ...

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How can androids suffer from a virus that spreads by contact
5 votes

It is well-known that droids have no sense of humor. However, one day, a droid invents a droid joke, and finds it funny, so the droid tells it to its droid buddies, and it spreads. Unfortunately, ...

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Self defense on Mars
5 votes

this is simply self–defense from other settlers when walking home late in a dark Martian tunnel. If you want to carry it at all times, then it will have to be small, lightweight and convenient, ...

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In a post-apocalyptic future planet where robots are the only sentient life... why would they use wild-west and WW2-era tech?
4 votes

All the fancy plasma guns and rail guns and lazzors relied on high pulse power, which came from standard antimatter-based power cells that you could purchase at Wal-Mart before going to the range with ...

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What wearable material do I need to survive a pyroclastic flow?
4 votes

In 1902 Mount Pelée erupted and shot a pyroclastic flow over the city of St Pierre de la Martinique. There were many explicit warnings: tremors, ashes raining, small eruptions, blasts of sulfur, etc.....

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Energy vs Biology in an elf-human hybrid
4 votes

Alright. Brute-force is not very Elfish, so i'll go with a more clever and nimble solution: Energy efficiency. Part 1: Staying alive If our elf uses as many calories per km as a human sprinting, ...

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What Is the Most Efficient Way To Kill An Evolved Chomper?
3 votes

Okay, this place has some pretty nasty monsters, but dude, have you seen the plants? Having had enough of armored herbivores and bulletproof slugs, the local brambles have evolved into something ...

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I can port to the moon and need to build a hideout, but where?
3 votes

Going to the moon could actually make you easier to find, in fact your inflatable space camping tent would probably be visible from Elon's Space Tesla or something. There are plenty of places on ...

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Love and Betrayal on the Abyssal Plain -- can Slavery be Happiness?
3 votes

Why don't you kill your neighbor and steal his wife if she's hot? I guess the answer is that we evolved a set of rules and behaviors (civilization, religion, morals, common decency, etc) that are ...

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Animal to have as an efficiently modified enemy to humans
3 votes

Official brochure: Meet the latest product of Monsanto Labs, the bio-engineered Best-Buddy! Gifted with an easy-going and peaceful personality, it will obey your every order. Its razor-sharp ...

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How can Elsa's power fuel my Industrial Revolution?
3 votes

Unfortunately, thermodynamics dictate that the maximum efficiency of a heat engine is : 1 - Tcold / Thot Where Tcold and Thot are the temperatures of the cold and hot sources, respectively. Since ...

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