Adrian Hall
  • Member for 3 years, 5 months
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How would an order of Monks that renounce their names communicate effectively?
Accepted answer
121 votes

They don't actually need names. Names aren't used that often in everyday communication. Body language is very effective for indicating which person in a group you're talking to. And to get somebody's ...

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Of strange atmospheres - the survivable but unbreathable
52 votes

My suggestion: 60% Xenon 20% Oxygen 15% Nitrogen 5% Carbon dioxide Why Xenon? Xenon is a noble gas. It has very few common chemical reactions, and is frequently used in situations where air is too ...

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How can I prevent interns from being expendable?
42 votes

There's a culture of master/apprentice relationships, where each high-ranking witch has a few protégés. The high-ranking witch encourages competition between her apprentices, who are eager to gain her ...

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How could indestructible materials be used in power generation?
19 votes

Nuclear pressure containment is a good method. Nukes have to be held together to make fission continue for as long as possible. If you hold 20 critical masses together for a full second, you'd ...

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How could re-absorption of mana be dangerous to an expecting mother?
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17 votes

Too much of a good thing in the wrong place. Mana causes cell growth. The elf's biology controls the flow of mana to the right places in the body, allowing faster tissue regeneration, muscle strain ...

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Why would guns not work in the dungeon?
15 votes

Hopefully one of these helps: The dungeon air is 90% oxygen. Fires are catastrophically violent and explosive, and a gun will not function safely. Also, they fight harder because they get tired less ...

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Spaceship fuel on Europa
12 votes

Under the ice: Under the ice on Europa, there is... more ice. The upper layer of the planet is actually a solid ice layer, similar to the upper mantle of the Earth. While solid, there is a lot of ...

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How useful is an impregnable castle?
12 votes

Castles are useful for defense of the land. It's really hard to take over a piece of land if, in the middle of the night, you could get slaughtered by soldiers whose entry you couldn't prevent because ...

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On a tidally locked planet, would time be quantized?
10 votes

Yes. Time is an inextricable part of the way the world works. Motion is a change in position over time. How do you catch prey? You have to go faster than them. You have to be there before they are. ...

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Could you engineer a baby for a same sex couple?
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10 votes

It would definitely be possible for male-male couples. Female-female couples are much more challenging. Here are the embryo generation procedures for same-sex couples (the embryos afterwards are ...

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Is this version of a gravity generator feasible?
9 votes

There's a reason why the centripetal gravity ring is so popular Here's your spaceship: Note: I am not an artist. You start by accelerating weights If you accelerate a 1 $kg$ weight downwards at 1 $...

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How can I explain why my mechs don't sink into the ground?
8 votes

Larger feet are what camels use to prevent sinking into the desert. Your mechs could use that technique (it reduces pressure by increasing the area of force application). They could also have rockets ...

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Externally monitoring CPU/SSD activity without software access
7 votes

Debugging and Reverse Engineering If the AI is operating without network connections (or at least doesn't need them) you should be able to run it through a debugger. Essentially, you'll freeze the ...

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Could magnetics circuits be invented before electric circuits?
7 votes

Technically yes, but it would look more like a mechanical clock than a computer. Electricity and magnetism behave similarly because they are really the same force. The main difference is that ...

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How can I measure the distance between two stars?
Accepted answer
6 votes

You need to measure the angle between the two stars, as seen from the Earth: To do this, you can use an inclinometer, which measures the angle between the ground and where you are looking. Find the ...

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Without modern electronics, how could you determine your longitude, latitude, and altitude while lost deep underground?
5 votes

While I don't think this is the best explanation for how to determine position, I think it's a worthwhile idea and I'm putting it out as a suggestion. If it's really important that your explorers be ...

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Is plausible to have subspecies with & without separate sexes?
Accepted answer
5 votes

Technically, it's possible, but they're pretty far from humans. You can achieve this via a rather convoluted genetic mechanism. However, the resulting species is majorly different from humans in ...

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Realistic Bacta Tank Fluid
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5 votes

I think the "near-future" future requirement hurts this possibility. We don't know how to treat a lot of the things the bacta tank addresses to begin with even using the full extent of ...

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Self-charging PCP Airgun
Accepted answer
5 votes

Gas-producing chemical reaction. Airbags in cars are inflated by reacting sodium azide (NaN3) with potassium nitrate (KNO3) to produce large amounts of nitrogen gas very quickly. Your ammunition ...

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How to make an alien game show be fair when hosting many different species?
5 votes

A Challenge System Before a game begins, one competitor challenges another (a rival, from a culture with a longstanding feud, etc.) to a game of ___. The two competitors negotiate the terms in public,...

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The Giant Roc and Pulse Jet propulsion
4 votes

Design: The bigger and heavier the roc is, the larger the ratio of wings to body will be. If you want it to be huge, it might look like a small body suspended in between two massive sail-like wings ...

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Hermit living down a well. How deep can he safely go?
4 votes

I doubt gas exchange would be the limiting factor. The deeper the hole, the longer it takes to exchange the gas, true. But it also increases the size of your oxygen tank. And in terms of CO2 buildup, ...

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What is the Maximum Possible Destruction from One Keystroke?
4 votes

No detection or interference? Ok. Wait until a major bank is running a permanent, large sum transfer from the Euro to the US dollar, and change the byte storing the exchange rate so that 1 Euro ...

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How to destroy a galactic level civilization and still leave behind primitive survivors?
3 votes

There are many phenomena that hit densely populated, civilized areas more harshly than primitive, isolated ones: Disease: a hard-to-detect, fast-spreading plague quickly reaches all planets with ...

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Is it logically or scientifically possible to artificially send energy to the body?
3 votes

For all practical purposes, no. There are lots of answers about how this would happen in theory. I just thought I might add some engineering concerns: The "hungry" and "full" signals are sent by ...

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Killing TV Presenters by Audience Consensus - Diss Topia
3 votes

In this video, Micheal Reeves explains a livestream system that allows users to launch things at his face through the YouTube chat. Replace the launcher with a gun and you're all set.

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Would life expectancy increase if we replaced healthy organs with artificial ones?
3 votes

Yes, to some extent. The benefit of replacing organs with artificial ones is that humans become like cars, and medicine becomes like car repair. When something breaks, you find the broken part and ...

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What is the cost of being a social animal?
3 votes

There are a million points to address here, but the one that jumps out at me immediately is communication. Social settings provide a medium for the sharing of ideas, which is critical for the ...

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How might a highly intelligent aquatic species (mermaids) communicate underwater?
2 votes

Their body language would be transmitted by sound. Living in the dark underwater restricts vision to close distances. So visual communication would be like whispering in that it is covert and short ...

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Why waste effort manifesting objects when there are already existing physical ones?
2 votes

Because not everything has the same value-to-mass ratio. Making a handful of dirt by magic is certainly more work than scooping it from the ground. But making a bar of gold might be a little cheaper ...

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