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Q&A

General Q&A about worldbuilding and other speculative developments that can be extrapolated from science.

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What are Some House Games for Free Fall? [closed]

Living in space can be boring. What are some good home games for people living and working in free fall? I thought of a few - Bocce : in this variant the size of the jack and the player balls i...

0 answers  ·  posted 2d ago by James McLellan‭  ·  closed 1d ago by Canina‭

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How Could Golf Change in a Low-Gravity Environment?

Low gravity golf was invented by Alan Shepard in 1971 when he hit two golf balls 40 yards on the moon. Surprisingly, this version of the sport with little atmosphere and much lower gravity, is the...

0 answers  ·  posted 5d ago by James McLellan‭  ·  edited 3d ago by James McLellan‭

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Considerations for Recreational Solar Sailing?

I was investigating a few ideas on recreational solar sailing, and came up with some interesting things - The primary equation in solar sailing is $ F = {{2 R S A} \over {c}} \sin^2{\theta} $ Whe...

0 answers  ·  posted 5d ago by James McLellan‭

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How would an interstellar spaceship's speedometer work if everything else is moving?

A speedometer is a gauge or device used for measuring instantaneous speed of moving vehicle roughly speaking, so for example the reading shown on the speedometer of a car parked at road side displa...

14 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by user6760‭  ·  last activity 8d ago by James McLellan‭

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How Would the Sport of Wrestling Change in a Microgravity Environment?

How would competitive wrestling change in a microgravity environment?

2 answers  ·  posted 20d ago by James McLellan‭  ·  last activity 13d ago by trichoplax‭

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Meaning of Non-Locality?

Theory If I am understanding this history of this correctly, in the 1920s the mathematical process of converting measurements with a certain amount of measurement error into numbers, then doing yo...

0 answers  ·  posted 24d ago by James McLellan‭  ·  edited 17d ago by James McLellan‭

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A hair product which is both a lipid ointment and a gel

Nivea have developed a hair product which I personally found very special among this filled-with-generic-stuff market of products, which is named in German "Creme-Gel": I find Nivea's Creme-Gel sp...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user  ·  last activity 20d ago by James McLellan‭

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Discussion of Aerogel Orbital Rings [closed]

Orbital rings are a proposed megastructure intended to dramatically reduce the cost to enter or exit a planetary gravity well. The ring is a solid structure, belting around the planet like a hula h...

0 answers  ·  posted 29d ago by James McLellan‭  ·  closed 29d ago by Canina‭

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What Would a Femtometer Scale Utility Fog Be Useful For?

Utility fog is a swarm robotics concept in which a mesh of robots barely larger than a grain of pollen (5 micrometer ( $10^{-6} $ m ) bodies and 50 micrometer arms) are dodecahedrons (12 sided pol...

0 answers  ·  posted 29d ago by James McLellan‭  ·  edited 29d ago by James McLellan‭

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PVA glue curing process

What happens when PVA glue sets? I am curious about the white PVA glue that is commonly used for bonding wood and paper. Although an Internet search find lots of articles they mostly seem to be ne...

1 answer  ·  posted 2mo ago by chris-barry‭  ·  last activity 1mo ago by James McLellan‭

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Are heat waves a symptom of 'rebound effect' after climate change deceleration during COVID-19 lockdowns?

During the summer of 2022 Europe has had several heat waves. As described in 2022 European heat waves: Climatologists linked the extreme heat to the impact of climate change, and experts predict...

0 answers  ·  posted 3mo ago by fedorqui‭  ·  edited 3mo ago by fedorqui‭

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How to reduce tornados in the US Great Plains?

How could I modify an alternate Earth to have less tornados in the American Great Plains area known as Tornado Alley? Maybe make the Rockies lower? Introduce an east-west range of mountains or high...

1 answer  ·  posted 3mo ago by Aaron‭  ·  last activity 3mo ago by Olin Lathrop‭

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Price's Law Sanity Check

Price's Law is a hypothesis that in an organization, or across an industry, roughly half the productive output is being generated by a number of people equal to the square root of those participati...

1 answer  ·  posted 4mo ago by James McLellan‭  ·  last activity 3mo ago by dsr‭

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How can Single Vision lenses slow myopia for adults too? [closed]

These WorldFamous companies advertise that their lenses can control myopia for kids, NOT adults. But none of these lenses are approved by FDA. How can they work for adults too? Essilor Stellest ...

0 answers  ·  posted 5mo ago by TextKit‭  ·  closed 5mo ago by Canina‭

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If this earth were cube shaped would it be possible during Magellanic era using a float ship to figure out that the earth is cube shaped?

If this earth were cubed shape would it be possible for Magellan to prove that the earth is cube-shaped without going to space and looking at earth? It might seem strange to think that earth might...

13 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by mvr950‭  ·  last activity 6mo ago by Pastychomper‭

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What are the Ground Effects of the South Atlantic Anomaly?

I was recently introduced to the South Atlantic Anomaly. As I understand, for satellites and space craft, this is a natural feature that can wreck space craft by taking even computers designed fo...

0 answers  ·  posted 6mo ago by James McLellan‭  ·  edited 6mo ago by James McLellan‭

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High-Energy Exhaust Shielding for Far-Future Drive

Imagine a far-future spacecraft drive that accelerates its reaction mass to a small fraction the speed of light (say, 1,000 km/s). Say the mass flow rate to the drive were 1kg/s, and say the reacti...

1 answer  ·  posted 10mo ago by Josh Hyatt‭  ·  last activity 6mo ago by James McLellan‭

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Could a high-pressure, low oxygen atmosphere reduce fire risk while still being breathable?

Years ago I read a letter in a magazine suggesting a method for reducing the fire risk in an enclosed environment such as a space shuttle. The idea was to reduce the oxygen concentration to the po...

1 answer  ·  posted 10mo ago by Pastychomper‭  ·  last activity 9mo ago by dsr‭

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Digging Depressions in seafloor to create artificial islands in nearby areas

Should digging Depressions in seafloor to create artificial islands in nearby areas be sustainable And by the way, was it widely done somewhere in this planet already?

2 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user  ·  last activity 1y ago by Pastychomper‭

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Was the total amount of water on earth ever significantly different?

Is it plausible to assume that the total amount of water (edit: water molecules) on planet earth was, in different periods of earth's history, significantly lower or significantly higher, or rather...

2 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user  ·  last activity 1y ago by Lundin‭

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Scientific solution to bureaucracy-applied-to-humans [closed]

I distinguish human-identification from bureaucracy-applied-to-humans: There was a period in human history in which no state existed so no bureaucracy-applied-to-humans existed and humans identi...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user  ·  closed 1y ago by Canina‭

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Could a laser using a "light capacitor" rather than a battery work?

The way this would work is by creating lasers &amp; pumping them into a chamber where it can't escape. The power for the lasers to be created is made either with a generator or by charging using an...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by pootis‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

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Human elytra flying off a cliff

I imagined a person who's scapulae is overly developed and extruding outside the shoulder girdle like an elitra or fixed plane wings. They can be moved by shrugging the shoulders or rotated by rai...

2 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by Rhea‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by dsr‭

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If the poles ice would melt, would it be critical for human survival to try to bring it back?

If humanity will cause natural dissolution of all ice in planet earth's poles and the sea level would indeed rise tremendously all over the world --- would it be justified to try to "reverse" the s...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user  ·  last activity 1y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

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What is the most efficent way of killing prey much larger than yourself?

The title sums it up pretty well - I'm basically trying to envision the ultimate predator of much larger prey. A couple of requirements: The predator must weigh 44 kilograms or more (Megafauna) ...

14 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by SealBoi‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by KalleMP‭

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The more horizontal a building (on planet earth) is, the more years it can survive a collapse?

The question may seem stupid but for someone with both a fear of heights and a collapse anxiety can choose renting/buying an apartment in a very horizontally wide building and a very vertically wid...

2 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user  ·  last activity 1y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

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Could grow lights on a massive scale replace 100% of sunlight for 100% of the growing season?

In a world where pollution and population have drastically reduced the effectiveness of sunlight to grow food, would light-panels be capable of completely replacing the sun? The problem I'm trying...

2 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by JBH‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by KalleMP‭

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A single beam laser treatment to both remove hair and flatten a scar

In all my reading about laser treatments I always found laser treatments which can be applied either for hair removal or for scar flattening (or other unique uses) but I never came across a laser t...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user  ·  last activity 1y ago by JBH‭

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How does radiotherapy destroys proximal (subcutaneous) fat cells? [closed]

From my prior research I understand that there are several ways to remove or destroy proximal (subcutaneous) fat cells: Liposuction (primarily removal) Cryolipolysis (primarily destruction by f...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user  ·  edited 1y ago by deleted user

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Making a hair cream without using any lipids/oils

Making a hair cream without using any lipids/oils, is it possible? What will be a fundamental composition of such a cream that it is easy to wash from the hands?

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user  ·  edited 1y ago by deleted user

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Natural ways to acquire gravity and heat for a colony on earth's moon

Is a colony on earth's moon must be deeply underground to ensure more natural gravity (by getting closer to its core) as well as more natural heat? By natural heat I mean "without the need of arti...

2 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user  ·  edited 1y ago by deleted user

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Creatine supplementation as enhancing the natural production of Carnosine and vice versa

I understand that both Creatine and Carnosine are amino acid derivates abundant in Animalia muscle tissue and are both occasionally taken by non-aerobic exercisers to enhance performance. The huma...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user  ·  last activity 1y ago by Pastychomper‭

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Could a habitable planet lit by the cosmic microwave background plausibly exist?

I've got this idea of a rogue planet that is moving that fast through the intergalactic void that the cosmic microwave radiation, thanks to the Doppler effect, actually provides enough heat that it...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by celtschk‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by dsr‭

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Composite armor based on diamonds, could it work?

Under normal circumstances, monolithic diamond is pretty terrible at resisting impact, due to it being weak in certain planes, also known as cleavage planes. To solve this, why don't we just make ...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by Mr. Mistoffelees‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

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Would there be any major disadvantages for a species to have six legs instead of four?

I want a world in which animals roam the wilderness on four legs, yet at least some of them are able to do the kind of carrying and fine handling of objects done by humans. The planet is superficia...

13 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Canina‭  ·  edited 1y ago by Canina‭

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Exploration of a 50 mile high mountain

My friends and I are building a world with a 50 mile high volcano on it. The mountain is the result of some bored god deciding to play a joke on everyone. Or, some other god got angry and decided ...

6 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by Green‭  ·  edited 1y ago by Canina‭

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How could dragons be explained without magic?

Dragons are a grand classic of fantasy. For this question, let's assume we're talking about the following stereotype: hatches from an ostrich-sized egg and can grow to mountain size if nothing l...

18 answers  ·  posted 8y ago by Sheraff‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by celtschk‭

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Multi-purpose Fictional Chemical Element Needed

I am looking for some guidance in creating a chemical element. I want to know if it is scientifically plausible for a single fictional element to do all the things I need it to, even if at a stretc...

5 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by Michael Faraday‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Canina‭

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How to protect intelligent fluids from heat damage?

So, Second Earth had/has a firearm problem. Since my magic is really just advanced science, I can't create firearm-disabling fields, so instead, I created a spell that should be able to ruin firear...

2 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by Mr. Mistoffelees‭  ·  edited 1y ago by Canina‭

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How would utility fluids move and stay together?

The concept of utility fogs is actually pretty old. The idea is a swarm of fairly small micromachines (about 100 micrometers in length) that would be able to mimic most materials and objects. Each...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by Mr. Mistoffelees‭  ·  edited 1y ago by Canina‭

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Repetitive head-hair removal and lab-grown head-hair planting

Should removing all head-hair with laser and planting new lab-grown head-hair on the head be dangerous, especially if done repetitively (i.e. two times or more)? Should it risk someone in cancer p...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user  ·  last activity 1y ago by Pastychomper‭

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Keratin biosynthesis and human hair straightness/smoothness

Some people straighten their head-hair with what's named: Keratin straightening Keratin smoothening Keratin rebonding Keratin treatment It is an external hair straightening procedure in wh...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user  ·  last activity 1y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

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Is the combination of water and medical skin laser dangerous?

Many physicians apply numbing agent creams/ointments such as Lidocaine+Prilocaine or Benzocaine+Lidocaine+Tetracaine (BLT) preparations topically some 30 minutes before laser hair removal treatment...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user  ·  last activity 1y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

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Is the Caspian Sea becoming smaller since the industrial revolution?

It might be that between year 0 to the industrial revolution (say 18th to common era), the Caspian sea significantly larger than it is today. If so, is there some graphical illustration as part of...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user  ·  edited 1y ago by deleted user

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Plausibility of "multi-type transmissible animal cell tumor" to form more complex structures.

There's apparently a type of transmissible cancer that came from new world dogs thousands of years ago, the Canine transmissible venereal tumor. As I understand, this self replicating surviving ca...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Cazadorro‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by sox‭

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Centripetal Burn in Orbit

Imagine a spacecraft in a highly eccentric orbit. Say the craft burns at periapsis towards the planet such that its orbital eccentricity does not change and the craft's periapsis moves with the shi...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Josh Hyatt‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

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Why would a race constantly deafened by ambient noises still hear?

In a story that I'm writing, there is a giant waterfall which flows down a cliff face. The waterfall is extraordinarily large, and the torrents of water which flow over the side are deafening. Beh...

3 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by DonielF‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by ajekb78‭

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How to survive and become self-sufficient in the nature?

Brad and his family are tired of society and the concept of money. They want to live a primitive lifestyle. They need a strong, comfortable and cheap refuge that will protect them from the elements...

3 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by Seraph Myrmidon‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Canina‭

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How do you establish identity when people can change their appearance at will?

Building on the universe established in this question, what happens to identity verification when someone's physical appearance and genetic code are modifiable at any time? Review of universe rule...

3 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Green‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Pastychomper‭

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How do you find a mate when everyone looks amazing?

We have modern humans found in a near future, first world country on Earth. The primary technological advancements are in the form of extremely cheap and fast genome sequencing ($10USD/genome) and...

15 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Green‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by celtschk‭