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  1. Tghu Verd

    Can the big bang be compared to how video games start?

    If a game AI was sufficiently (self)aware to both interrogate its environment and understand their 'creation', you can decide anything you like about what they might conclude. But I'd expect some degree of curiosity would be required for the AI to even trigger this line of thinking. The AI would...
  2. Tghu Verd

    Can a Death Star weapon actually be built?

    I'm with you there! We're wobbling all over the place, mixing fictional universes for no obvious reason, and not really concluding anything. It's fun to flex your imagination muscles from time to time, but this is not physics as we know it, Jim.
  3. Tghu Verd

    B Which rate of Universe expansion are we currently using?

    Mostly distance as I understand the objective, as part of the "cosmic distance ladder" methods: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_distance_ladder
  4. Tghu Verd

    B Which rate of Universe expansion are we currently using?

    That's not necessarily correct as the latest Hubble data lowers the possibility that the recently calculated discrepancy is only a fluke to 1 in 100,000.
  5. Tghu Verd

    Krypton Humanoids

    @lucas_, it is not clear to me what the intent of your post is, especially as you've now noted that "we don't have to concern ourselves with all these", referring to the replies to your original question. Gribbin is an excellent author, but any argument for / against extraterrestrial...
  6. Tghu Verd

    Can a Death Star weapon actually be built?

    Yep, you're right, not quite dark matter. Given that strangelets are a hypothetical particle, you know you're going to get a hypothetical answer right? But if by "the danger of strangelets" you mean the pre-LHC carry on by Johnson and Baram who noted Sir Martin Rees' claim that the LHC could...
  7. Tghu Verd

    Can a Death Star weapon actually be built?

    Change ozone layer to CO2-induced heat stress and we're pretty much living the scenario, @TeethWhitener :nb) And I'm lurching off topic, but I wonder whether a killer asteroid hurtling at us would galvanize global action faster? We're generally an 'immediate threat response' species, which...
  8. Tghu Verd

    Can a Death Star weapon actually be built?

    Hmmm, the electromagnetic force provides electricity and magnetism, it holds atoms together, it largely defines the internal properties of objects, and it is responsible for chemical bonds. If it was suddenly turned off, I'd say you'd have just created dark matter!
  9. Tghu Verd

    Can a Death Star weapon actually be built?

    Sure, why not, didn't we see one in the movie? With tongue a little less in cheek, the Star Wars universe is innumerably ahead of us in terms of pretty much everything except tyranny and wisecracking sidekicks, so presumably their materials science is sufficient to build a moon-sized ship that...
  10. Tghu Verd

    Is is just me, or is FTL dead in SF?

    Entirely concur with @Lord Crc's assessment. I missed this post and started watching Another Life recently. It is beyond nonsensical - a light years wide dark matter clump that they can't see through? Sure, why not, that's what the term means, right? No? Dang, oh well, we need it for the plot...
  11. Tghu Verd

    The Matrix

    I dunno, if the script writer is dipping into Nietzsche then they aren't exactly an idiot, surely?
  12. Tghu Verd

    Writing: Input Wanted Looking for Insight into an Obscure Type of Military Laser

    LOL, nobody is an expert on this, @LargeGrayCat, because the weapon does not yet exist! When is your story going to be set? Make it enough years into the future and you can basically write it up however you like. In terms of countermeasures, you could get creative with force fields or even some...
  13. Tghu Verd

    Is is just me, or is FTL dead in SF?

    Cheaper to just wear a tin-foil suit, surely? Don't they provide insulation and RF protection :-p
  14. Tghu Verd

    Is is just me, or is FTL dead in SF?

    Absolutely agree that the Revelation Space series is read-worthy, sci-fi, though in the context of this thread, the books lack FTL. Lighthuggers race up to relativistic speeds - with all the complexities of time dilation - to carry freight and passengers between solar systems. I've reviewed...
  15. Tghu Verd

    Is is just me, or is FTL dead in SF?

    Kindle gave my sci-fi reading a new lease of life, consuming more novels now than ever because I don't have to cart them around when I travel for work.
  16. Tghu Verd

    Could you create a battery powered plane?

    Good catch, @diogenesNY, I heard an interview with Ampaire CEO, Kevin Noertker, recently, and he noted that once cruising altitude was achieved, the energy requirements of fixed-wing flight lend themselves to electric motors. This forms the basis of their hybrid design, which complements a...
  17. Tghu Verd

    What avenue of physics can a scientist in the Star Wars galaxy study?

    Ah Bender, you always know what's what :biggrin:
  18. Tghu Verd

    Martian storms

    Doesn't diffraction require a sharp edge? Not sure that the atmosphere would provide the conditions for that.
  19. Tghu Verd

    What avenue of physics can a scientist in the Star Wars galaxy study?

    Do they know what comes after death in the Star Wars universe? if not, that might be worthy of study. And depending on the basis for their FTL, there may be whole other dimensions to explore, including - presumably - different modes of physics.
  20. Tghu Verd

    Martian storms

    Yes, storms move sufficient dust around to more than cover tracks, check out https://mars.nasa.gov/news/martian-winds-carve-mountains-move-dust-raise-dust/ for an idea of the sculpting power of what is essentially trillions of fine particles of basalt rock! With regard communications...
  21. Tghu Verd

    TV shows, movies, and books that are ruined for you by physics

    The 100. After a nuclear war what's left of humanity is up in space stations, which don't rotate (we see this from external views), yet they have 1G inside. Most of the survivors are science types, yet they can't ascertain the on-the-ground radioactive levels or whether life is viable from...
  22. Tghu Verd

    Godzilla cells & exobiology

    It does not pay to think through Godzilla too closely, because it is unlikely an animal so large could survive physiologically, irrespective of its power source. But I was initially thinking that its skin might have some kind of barrier against ionizing radiation, but that doesn't work because...
  23. Tghu Verd

    Writing: Input Wanted Questions about Rovers

    Incidentally @XMarzX, the Quirks and Quarks podcast had a panel discussion recently, Should we have humans in space?, that touches on rovers versus manned missions that might be useful background information. Astronaut Chris Hadfield is on the panel, and he provides good perspectives on both...
  24. Tghu Verd

    Writing: Input Wanted Questions about Rovers

    As @Rive and @.Scott note, it is possible to send video, but remote control of any device so far away is not likely to work well. You don't "drive" it from that distance, it has to drive itself, so what's more practical is video or high-res imagery - and that should include other wavelengths...
  25. Tghu Verd

    I'm becoming a much better programmer, but maybe not a faster one

    Agree with that, @PeroK, shame really, but the best tech doesn't always win. (Though IBM sold about $20B of Z-Series kit last year, so I guess "lose" is a relative term!)
  26. Tghu Verd

    I'm becoming a much better programmer, but maybe not a faster one

    Without metaphor, eh? I considered writing this response as pseudocode but decided that would be unnecessarily cheeky, so... Around the year 2000, IBM's product marketing assumed that their Z Series was a sufficiently compelling platform that it would entice clients to consolidate all their...
  27. Tghu Verd

    I'm becoming a much better programmer, but maybe not a faster one

    I feel like I've touched a nerve, but about the turn of the century, IBM was telling the company I worked for - we were partners - that the mainframe could host traditional Z-series banking apps, and with the appropriate blades (or perhaps they were called 'cards', it was a while ago) could run...
  28. Tghu Verd

    I'm becoming a much better programmer, but maybe not a faster one

    Ah yes, the platform that IBM spruiked as their "Highlander" - there need only be one. Pretty much jumped the shark when you could install X86 blades and run Windows apps. "Wow, a mainframe that we can put a PC in," said nobody ever!
  29. Tghu Verd

    I'm becoming a much better programmer, but maybe not a faster one

    Is this their mainframe hardware? And what OS? Irrespective, old code is hard to maintain and esp. hard to extend. I worked on an insurance system that is a couple of decades old. We hit a speed hump, and one of the older devs literally pointed across the office and said "Speak to Paul, he wrote...
  30. Tghu Verd

    How do 3-D wormholes work/shift space compared to 2-D portals?

    Now you're testing me. Sorry, I can't immediately find the page, but recall it looked like a black hole render. If I can trawl it out of the browser history I'll post it in.
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