Matthieu M.
  • Member for 6 years, 11 months
  • Last seen this week
The world is ending, how to convince/force chosen ones to come quietly?
58 votes

Disclaimer: much like @Zibbobz, I will completely reframe the problem (and solution). Not everybody may want to come, some people may even prefer to die rather than abandon their loved ones, and even ...

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Why would a civilization outfit buildings with separate portals for entering and leaving them?
48 votes

Feng Shui! In the traditional Chinese Architecture: The main gateway entrance into the courtyard house had two red doors; it was located on the eastern part of the south side conforming to the ...

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How can changes in personality/values of a person who turned into a vampire be explained?
Accepted answer
32 votes

Survivor Bias All vampires who refused their change, and fought against drinking blood, died. Early. As a result, there is a strong survivor bias here: only those vampires who adapted to drink blood ...

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Why might the government keep the gold at Fort Knox, even though super-villains steal it all the time?
29 votes

TL;DR: Ft. Knox is the best place to put it. Secure. Super villains break it about every year. That's costly. Still better than Joe random breaking it every month! At least, in Ft. Knox, ONLY super ...

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Is a land-based aircraft carrier possible?
11 votes

I will not expend why a big flat vehicle is structurally challenging on land. As @Ceiling Gecko said, you need to revisit your assumptions and design a solution from scratch. What does an aircraft ...

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Cyberpunk Loan Shark
9 votes

So the cities are somewhat disconnected. I think you are not considering the consequences of this assertion strongly enough, and the impact on this has on "skipping town". Firstly, if the ...

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Pre-electrical fast long-distance communication using Acoustic Mirrors
8 votes

Bull's Eye Lighthouses Lighthouses have been in use since Antiquity. The idea is relatively simple: a stone tower, build at the top of a hill, guarantees that the light at the top is visible from ...

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Creating a barrier between continents
8 votes

Scientific progress. A very steam-punk approach is a mad scientist discovery suddenly enabling a mode of travel which was previously impossible. For example, imagine that there are very strong ...

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How to design a fortress in a mountain to keep it hidden, but still easily defensible?
7 votes

Facts Before we delve into designing the fortress, it seems best to remember a few facts about the period itself: recreational climbing/exploration wasn't a thing, most people in a medieval era ...

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Explanation as to why Male/Female Wizards have sexy bodies
7 votes

Mens sana in corpore sano The manta of wizardry is mens sana in corpore sano: the younger wizards wish the attract a partner, the older ones wish to stay alive, all have a direct incentive to stay ...

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The most secured, completely untraceable mobile phones in the world
7 votes

Untraceability is basically impossible Make such phone completely untraceable to other 3rd parties. In security, absolutes are rare. When talking about security, you talk about attack vectors and ...

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Is it possible to win many wars while not being highly regarded in the military art?
6 votes

In the shadow of... The Young Dashing Prince, accompanied by his attendants among which a certain commander, won several wars. Look how smart and good looking the future King is! His polished and ...

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How could a group of 6 people destroy an army?
6 votes

Beware of D&D, it is highly unrealistic. Specifically, the character's progression is exponential. From Calibrating Your Expectations, and specifically in the ANALYZING ARAGORN section, you can ...

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Rite of Winter: How to Stop Crescian Couples from Mutual Assassination
5 votes

Nothing More Also known as Blood is thicker than Water. Noble marriages in the past were not too dissimilar, if you think about it. Sure, our nobles didn't use poison as a sport, but there was quite a ...

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How do rulers get rich from war?
5 votes

By funneling conflict. Backstory Prior to The War, there were constant skirmishes and conflicts between the various Dukes and Counts. Waging war on your own territory is costly: Villages are razed, ...

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What event would cause a huge, dominant nation to adopt the language of a smaller, inferior one?
5 votes

Administration LC has always had a small population and few natural resources. The only reason they have survived so far is because they are ruthlessly efficient about everything they do. Even ...

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Killing off Indiana Jones
5 votes

There's been a lot of good ideas thrown around, there's also been ideas whose feasibility is questionable. The main challenge we face really is those 500 years. A lot can happen in that time, from ...

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Reason for an exterior control panel on a space ship
4 votes

Towing. After too many incidents with space-ships ramming space stations deck because they could not sync with the rotation rate properly and given the reluctance of space ships owners to allow ...

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The go-to power source for transportation in a post apocalyptic world
4 votes

The easiest source of energy is undoubtedly: muscles. human muscles can power bicycles, of course, but do not forget cycle tuktuks which are very popular in Asia horses, of course, but also all kind ...

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Ways to keep a fantasy cold war between dragons and knight sorcerers cold?
3 votes

The Wastes: A Testament to the Madness of War The war has not always been cold. Indeed, once upon a time, a knight-sorcerers led army met a dragon-led army in the middle of contended lush plains, to ...

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Designing best mechanical doors
3 votes

I'll go against the grain here and say that yes, indeed, you can perfectly build a door which does require hands. I would not use a pedal either, though, as balancing can be tricky, especially while ...

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What could make an area of land be accessible only at certain times of the year?
3 votes

Frame Challenge I'm trying to write a story where the two main characters decide to stow away with some travelers who come through their village annually, and I want the travelers to realize that ...

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How to make being a mage so cutthroat that generally only power mad become mages?
3 votes

Do you know of Jim Butcher's Aeronaut's Windlass? In this world, those with "magic" power all end up mad. Not necessarily evil mad, but mad nonetheless. So here is my proposal: mana burns. The ...

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What is a medieval technology method of underwater enemy detection?
2 votes

Walls and Bells A medieval population will be mostly composed of farmers/fishermen/... that's a lot of people scattered throughout during day time who, if not warned early enough, will be caught by ...

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World where gender roles are swapped
2 votes

What about a matriarchal society? In Mayotte (Indian Ocean), it is customary for a family to build a house for each of their daughters1, where they will establish their family. As a result, the house ...

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What would make light pollution lethal or prohibiting?
2 votes

There are cities, today, which suffer from nighttime illumination: those close to the Arctic Cycle. The cities of Iceland or Scandinavia for example. Our bodies are conditioned for a specific light ...

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How can defeating lesser monsters grant more magical power compared to more difficult ones?
1 votes

That's what evolution would do. Due the law of energy conservation, magical energy is obtained by converting food, lots of food. Smaller monsters' metabolisms require relatively little energy, and ...

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How would an order of Monks that renounce their names communicate effectively?
1 votes

Notoriety There are two kinds of notoriety: Fleeting: who will remember Justin Bieber 10 years hence? "Eternal": Cleopatra, Leonardo da Vinci, ... Any kind of temporary designation allows ...

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Wealth of an island-castle
1 votes

A 700 square meters island is smallish (20m * 35m), but it is a good start. If you wish to build a castle, and extend your influence, you will: have to increase your revenue streams extend the ...

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How can I make my languages structurally less like English?
1 votes

I will second here the idea of studying other languages and get inspiration from their structures. You need not even go too far: in German, for example, the verb generally comes last in relative ...

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