James McLellan
  • Member for 4 years, 2 months
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Awesomeness powered magic - why would a group of awesome magicians want to keep their "kryptonite" near them?
120 votes

dave is Family Maybe something boring like a step-nephew. dave is family for several of the awesome magicians, maybe most of the party. dave really wants to be here. And, dissing family is NOT ...

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Why do people still live on earthlike planets?
64 votes

Stability Nothing beats the radiation shielding of 1,000 kilometers of magnetic field + 100 kilometers of air + (at night) 6,000 kilometers of water and rock. For heat, nothing beats 22 billion cubic ...

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Galactic Law Enforcement - Handcuff Alternatives
55 votes

Here are a few alternatives from other fiction: Halo (Minority Report) In Minority Report, criminals could be fitted with a small device around the head that numbed the brain, stunning (or at least ...

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How does an immortal vampire king hide his vampirism and immortality?
43 votes

Every Decade or So He Poses As His "Son" Every twenty to thirty years an old man "retires" from the public life, passing power to his heard-of, but rarely seen "son". The king does a good enough job ...

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Could the Tower of Babel actually stand?
Accepted answer
35 votes

I guess there are several questions to consider when trying to answer this. Could Ancient People Have Drawn Straight Lines Tens of Kilometers in Length? The Nazca lines were up to 370 meters long, ...

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Why would vampires require human blood?
29 votes

T Cells A less fantastic version of DWKraus’s excellent answer. Your vampires have evolved a symbiotic relationship with humankind. Vampires can produce their own antibody-crafting B-cells, and can ...

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How to Limit the Power of Resetting Time
28 votes

The Character is Taken Back to a Spot in His/Her History In Edge of Tomorrow the character is set back to the first day of enlistment, several days away from where most of the action is. In Groundhog ...

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How big would the brain of an omnipresent being be?
27 votes

Sensor Input Calculation The Earth is 6,371 kilometers in radius, and has another 100 kilometers of atmosphere (6,471 km total). Converted into pixels of information every micrometer $1 \times 10^{-6}$...

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Why might any self-respecting dungeon engineer employ a booby trap which isn't lethal?
27 votes

I Think It Depends on What You Are Hiding, and Why The Treasure and Trap May Be Interacted With Daily In King Solomon's Mines there were the eponymous diamonds mines of King Solomon. Mine managers ...

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What's the most convenient time of year in the USA to end the world?
Accepted answer
27 votes

Mid Spring Around late April the last freezes will have passed through the U.S.. It will be possible to remain outdoors with little protection for seven months from this time. Farmers will have ...

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Could astronauts find their bearings in the Universe after being transported 6 gigalightyears from Earth?
27 votes

Six gigalightyears is halfway to the edge of the universe (13.82 billion light years). That would create a very large obstacle for astronauts looking to find their way: they would be looking at a ...

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To the World of Death?
Accepted answer
25 votes

Looking for Choked Flow $\dot{m} = C_d A \sqrt{\gamma \rho_0 P_0 ({2 \over {\gamma + 1}})^{{\gamma + 1} \over {\gamma -1}}}$ $\dot{m}$ is the choked mass flow rate, the value we are looking for $C_d$ ...

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Are underground shelters defensible?
20 votes

You can vent into a cave system. Particularly doable in areas with very large cave systems, such as Kentucky and parts of Texas. Many cave systems are not fully mapped, so if your survivalists are ...

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Why does magical defensive equipment not work in layers?
19 votes

In two abjurations stacking a person in this world has two independently designed abjurations that are doing the same thing. For a digital metaphor, look at anti virus software. You can install 2, 3, ...

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Search for something difficult to count/estimate
19 votes

Where a cannon ball will land. A problem of extreme importance in the Middle Ages, why Newton and Galileo were studying gravity, and (because of the scale involved) nearly impossible to estimate with ...

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How can someone that has lived for hundreds of years avoid suspicion in the modern world?
Accepted answer
18 votes

Here are some ideas : Certain identity documents (like social security cards or driver's licenses) aren't essential to get by. If you are willing to accept the low-paying work, you will be able to ...

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What would cause an entire space-faring civilization to "expire"
Accepted answer
15 votes

Too Much Tampering with Genetics Stargate SG-1 had a species called the Asgard. The Asgard modified their own genetics for multiple reasons - curing diseases, better life spans, smarter, more ...

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Mining Based Civilisation
15 votes

If you take a look at the history San Francisco, you might get a good perspective of how such a colony once worked. Yes, miners are valuable. But equally, maybe even more, valuable are the merchants ...

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How to identify or authorize members of a time travel organisation?
14 votes

Low Tech Solution There's a Spanish Language show called "The Ministry of Time" (El Ministerio Del Tiempo) that handles this question. The agency is pretty broad and had been running since around ...

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Plausible reason for women not to be allowed outside settlements?
14 votes

Radiation Some materials will stay hot for hundreds to thousands of years. It may be possible for cleaners to identify and haul away all radioactive debris near the settlement, but you can't control ...

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Fantasy Military Arms and Armor: the Dwarven Grand Armory
13 votes

Full Plate Medieval Europe had two qualities of knightly armor: a far-less-expensive full plate that wouldn't stop a bullet, and a much more expensive option - about 1/4 inch thick, with two layers - ...

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What evolutionary pressures would lead to giants?
Accepted answer
12 votes

Is There Any Region We Could Look At With an Unusually High Amount of Very Tall People? Very tall people occur in many different climates (Africa, India, Northern Europe). It does not seem like there ...

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What would be the appearance and color of a deep, pure and vast liquid CO₂ ocean as viewed from space (ignoring the atmosphere's influence)?
11 votes

Blue CO2 has the same transparency as H2O over the visible light range (380 to 700 nanometers). At 3 atoms, CO2 also has about the same particle size (232 picometers) as H2O (282 picometers). ...

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Minimum force needed for an air strike against a wind farm?
11 votes

Use the GBU-43 Mother Of All Bombs (MOAB) It has an effective area of 1 square kilometer. As an air burst weapon, it will be especially effective against wind turbines. At a unit price of 170 thousand ...

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How would Earth turn into debris drifting through space without everything at its surface being destroyed in the process?
11 votes

You're Looking for the Roche Limit The Roche Limit is a term for how close one celestial body can pass to another one, and still stay together under the force of gravity. If the Earth was a mass of ...

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What kind of specialists would study ancient alien technology?
11 votes

Geologists, with a specialty in lunar geology (if such a specialty exists in your world), since it is necessary to understand what parts of the rock formation are natural, which are not, how both the ...

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Chemical weapon to kill a werewolf
11 votes

Silver nitrate may be your chemical. Silver salts are easy to prepare (silver + nitric acid (one of the easiest to develop acids)). They were used in the 1800s to treat rabies, as an antiseptic, and ...

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How to keep a town in the 1960s mostly isolated?
10 votes

Have a single road into and out of the town. It might be isolated part of the year by heavy snow (in the north), heavy rains (east coast), fog (west coast), flooding (mid south), hard terrain (...

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A near-future traveler wants to become a hero among a medieval society, what gear he would wear?
10 votes

Good Footwear I'd need to find the article, but there's an observation that humans are continually breaking world records for speed and endurance. The hypothesis is that we are not evolving, but that ...

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How to remove the limit?
Accepted answer
10 votes

Oh, wow. This is fortunate. I've actually been studying this for use in a roleplaying game. Peak human strength is based on the strength of three components : the bone, the sinew, and the muscle ...

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