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The Nightstar Zoo • View topic - Schlock Science, Canonical

The Nightstar Zoo

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 11:49 pm 
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You know what'd strike me as the most likely bit of the data storage goo to self-evolve?

The data preservation programming. What other bit has a vested interest in keeping it alive?

Also keep in mind that over the years they were likely exposed to many outside stimuli which'd erase data and have to be repaired. Perhaps some of the most crucial mutations happened to small bits, with less redundancy.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:01 pm 
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I've got a question about gravitic shielding in Schlockverse: My understanding is that in terms of gravy, the size of an annie-plant is most or all of what matters, as opposed to the number of plants. Does this extend to shielding as well? From this strip, we know that a much smaller plant can generate single-locus deflection of strength comparable to a much larger plant's unifield, and this strip suggests that this locus of deflection covers a small arc.

If I interpret that correctly, it seems to me that a cluster of small plants like those on the rebuild Athens could collectively provide shielding comparable in strength to the unifield of a plant significantly larger than any of the individual plants in the cluster. You could even pull some special tricks, like pulsing only parts of your shield at a time, keeping you covered in any arc you're not trying to see/shoot through at the moment.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:21 pm 
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If we assume annie plants can only be spherical, and that the output of a plant is directly proportional to it's volume, and that the energy requirements of maintaining a unifield shield of a given strength are directly proportional to the surface area of that shield (and to the square of the distance from the generator), it can be shown that a cluster of smaller plants will never be as good as a single larger plant. The cluster will occupy more volume than a single plant of equal output, due to inefficiencies in packing, and therefore have to project a shield further out from it's overall center of mass, which will provide less protection for the same wattage. Any economies of scale from larger plants or difficulties in coordinating the output of multiple plants would further exacerbate the problem.

Ability to pull off 'tricks' with gravy seems to be a function of the controlling intelligence, rather than the hardware.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:28 pm 
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That makes sense, though I do wonder whether a piecemeal shield would be workable with smaller plants distributed throughout the craft/installation/suit of armor - i.e., if you don't have room for one large plant, could you get by with a bunch of small ones wherever you can fit them? The fact that stuff like Odin-suits don't have shielding suggests that the answer is either "no" or "yes, but it's really expensive".


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:36 pm 
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Isn't that exactly how Haban's armour worked? Tiny plants, but an H/V6 AI controlling things, making for extremely efficient stuff.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:45 pm 
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I get the impression that his suit could deflect incoming strikes from one, maybe two sources at a time, and then only because Haban could think fast enough to anticipate the attack in time to get a small-arc shield up. He didn't seem to have comprehensive shielding.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:58 pm 


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:56 am 
It just occured to me that a typical Neutron Star has a radius of about 10 - 12km and typically contain around 1.35 - 2 solar masses.

So the 10 km diameter annie plant on the Extortioners probably has just under an entire solar mass worth of neutronium in it, combined with all the other stuff i imagine they come close to a full solar mass.


On the upside, you'd need way less energy to keep the neutronium compressed when you have an entire solar mass worth of gravity helping you out, on the downside you're going to need a LOT of energy to ensure that you don't end up throwing entire star systems out of whack whenever you drift too close (not to mention the effects teraporting that much mass into a place would cause to the fabric space-time, i imagine an entire extra stellar mass suddenly appearing anywhere near anything would be one hell of a jerk.)


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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 1:07 pm 
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Don't forget, annie plants aren't just solid spheres of neutronium - they're a monomolecular shell around whatever machinery is involved in an annie plant, at the center of which is presumably contained a probably-spherical mass of neutronium fuel. We don't know what fraction of the volume of an annie plant is machinery, superstructure, buffer space, and anything else that's not fuel (nor even if this fraction is constant or dependent on the size of the plant).


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:12 pm 
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Hello, gentlefolk. Do you remember Oxy-Juice

http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2001-10-20

Well, it seems it has just been invented: http://gizmodo.com/5921868/scientists-invent-particles-that-will-let-you-live-without-breathing

Or something very similar.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:57 pm 
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http://www.wirelessdesignmag.com/ShowPR ... monCount=0


One of the tecnologys I really like in Schlock mercenary is the very dangerous array.

A large number of very sensitive sensors spread over a large arc ,cordinateing their reception, allows a huge eye to be formed. The resolution depending on their spread, their number and their cordination.

If Keyvin thinks along these lines it will eventually be impossible to hide tactical data or historical information from the Toughs.

One of these days Kyvin will make a huge number of terripedos and array them in an arc a few lightyears away from any event in the past that he wishes to witness. this array will include its own AI and feature very high speed coordination.

This would allow the toughs to witness any historical event that ever occured in space to the limit of the arrays resolution. This would include knowing where anyone they might chase has headed off to , where all the bodies are buried and who was truly at fault for everything.

I imagine Petey will want one of these arrays too. The further back in time he wanted to see , the more he would need to make more and further widespread sensors, as a giant AI already Petey would gradually become the witness to everything.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:42 am 
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:20 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:55 pm 
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http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2010-05-27

Schlock science vs the real world.

http://orbitalvector.com/Materials/Geck ... 20SKIN.htm

http://www.masslive.com/living/index.ss ... stery.html

Plausability , becomes fact.

Good Job Howard Taylor


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:02 pm 
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Could Dark Matter go the way of Luminiferous Aether?

http://science.time.com/2013/02/26/cosm ... st-at-all/

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:09 am 
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With the way the beachhead cage works you could pull that trick they used on Stargate SG1 where they used one as the muzzle of a super-weapon.

In fact, imagine if you could adapt the VDA to produce a beachhead cage effect. It would allow a ship to terraport out of a TAD field just by surrounding itself with its own missles.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:04 pm 
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OK, I'm late to the party, but I want some of that Geckskin anyway.

Hang pictures anywhere without leaving a mark on the wall once removed.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:24 pm 
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"A sufficiently-advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke
"Sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology."
Jack L. Chalker
"Magic is just another way of saying 'I don't know how it works.'"
Larry Niven
"Any technology, no matter how primitive, is magic to those who don't understand it."
Florence Ambrose


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:54 pm 
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It occurs to me that the "Post-Transuranics" (PTU's) might not have normal nuclei. Perhaps they are "Dibaryonic" particles (hypothetical proton- and neutron-like particles made up of two of each Quark--theoretically possible, but beyond our current energy levels to try to create--hint, hint). From what I've read, such atoms might bond atom-to-atom via the strong nuclear force, and not only the electromagnetic force, and would be immensely stronger because of this. This would explain their immense strength, and their huge energy cost. It would also explain the fact that they are currently unknown. Dibaryonic particles would be extremely rare to begin with, and the odds of seeing anything more complex than Dibaryonic Hydrogen is vanishingly small. Hoping we'd find an atom of dibaryonic matter with an Atomic Number > 120, and a correspondingly high Atomic Mass is ridiculous. It puts me in mind of Douglas Adams' "probability" of 1/(∞-1). Such elements, if possible, will require particle accelerators several orders of magnitude more powerful than current models. Now imagine building atoms with 300 such particles, particle-by-particle, then aggregating these atoms to make a coherent structure using something like the LHC on steroids. This would consume a vast amount of wealth before even a small annie plant could be constructed, and then you'd need to make enough neutronium to fuel it. That would explain why technological societies without annie plants as loaners take "thousands of years" to make their first annie plant.

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"A sufficiently-advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke
"Sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology."
Jack L. Chalker
"Magic is just another way of saying 'I don't know how it works.'"
Larry Niven
"Any technology, no matter how primitive, is magic to those who don't understand it."
Florence Ambrose


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:21 pm 
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===============================================
"A sufficiently-advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke
"Sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology."
Jack L. Chalker
"Magic is just another way of saying 'I don't know how it works.'"
Larry Niven
"Any technology, no matter how primitive, is magic to those who don't understand it."
Florence Ambrose


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:26 pm 
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_________________
===============================================
"A sufficiently-advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke
"Sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology."
Jack L. Chalker
"Magic is just another way of saying 'I don't know how it works.'"
Larry Niven
"Any technology, no matter how primitive, is magic to those who don't understand it."
Florence Ambrose


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:38 pm 
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===============================================
"A sufficiently-advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke
"Sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology."
Jack L. Chalker
"Magic is just another way of saying 'I don't know how it works.'"
Larry Niven
"Any technology, no matter how primitive, is magic to those who don't understand it."
Florence Ambrose


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:23 pm 
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I recently discovered that "neutronium" has more than one meaning. The superdense material at the core of neutron stars is termed "neutron degenerate material," and is composed of neutrons, therefore it's neutronium. The same term can be applied to any material composed solely of neutrons, although only neutron-degenerate matter is "stable." Thus, when "neutronium" is discussed in the Schlockiverse, I presume the real meaning is "neutron-degenerate matter."

I also have a suggestion for why neutronium is usable in the cores of Annie-plants: neutronium can be put under more pressure, in which case it, apparently, turns into "quark matter" (as in quark stars), which is even denser. This state of matter obeys slightly different rules, and may be the form of matter which can decay directly to energy. A potential risk is to apply too much compression, and cause some of the neutronium to collapse to a singularity, which would probably eat the power plant, the crew, and the ship they rode in on. Thus, those civilizations which advanced to the point of experimenting with annie plants probably run their tests 'way far away from home.

_________________
===============================================
"A sufficiently-advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke
"Sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology."
Jack L. Chalker
"Magic is just another way of saying 'I don't know how it works.'"
Larry Niven
"Any technology, no matter how primitive, is magic to those who don't understand it."
Florence Ambrose


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:12 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:04 pm 
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Afaik, star gates aren't intentionally 1 way, basically 1 gate deconstructs, and one reconstructs. Stuff doesn't go through whole.


You see, gates don't send partial objects. Its perfectly safe to stick your arm into either gate(as long as its the front of the gate). The gate has a 'buffer', and anything that passes the gate goes into the buffer. Once a whole object is in the buffer, it tries to send it to the other gate. If that gate is the gate that dialed, well... no one is sure exactly what happens, but you don't walk out the other side. If you remain in the buffer of the first gate and aren't sent, or if you are sent and the other gate either stores you in its buffer or just 'discards' you, is never elaborated on.

All I've heard of entering the back of a gate is the result is 'messy'.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:02 pm 
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===============================================
"A sufficiently-advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke
"Sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology."
Jack L. Chalker
"Magic is just another way of saying 'I don't know how it works.'"
Larry Niven
"Any technology, no matter how primitive, is magic to those who don't understand it."
Florence Ambrose


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:08 pm 
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_________________
===============================================
"A sufficiently-advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke
"Sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology."
Jack L. Chalker
"Magic is just another way of saying 'I don't know how it works.'"
Larry Niven
"Any technology, no matter how primitive, is magic to those who don't understand it."
Florence Ambrose


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:11 pm 
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I have a science question. Both Luna and Earth are depicted as having ring systems* (presumably of 'junk' ... a subject itself of some interest to me), but Luna also has a beanstalk (space elevator). I know that Luna's beanstalk is smaller than (for instance) the wikipedia page would suggest, since its rotation was sped up.

I thought I'd seen some math about where the ring system would be, but I've displaced it (must be in my ... other jeans ... ) and I was under the impression the rings would be closer to the planet than the geostationary orbit is.

What is the interaction between the beanstalk and the ring system? My limited understanding of maths would indicate that if they are both centred on Luna then rotation will carry the beanstalk through the 'geometric plane' of the rings.**

If the ring(s?) is further out than the beanstalk, that would also solve the problem of collisions.

*They do seem to come and go though, should I just assume that they're not really visible when seen edge on? Even at a couple of miles wide they wouldn't be even a pixel width at the scale we see for instance when Earth and Luna are both entirely within the shot.
**This assumes that the 'plane of the ring' is not necessarily the same as the 'plane of the moon's equator', which seems safe-ish given that they are both artificial, and further assumes the beanstalk is at the equator***, and thus its rotation also forms a plane, and Euclidian geometry is enough to tell us the two planes will intersect unless they are parallel.
***Is this assumption wrong? Could a beanstalk also work from say, one of the poles?****
****I've checked the additional bonus material in my print copy of the first book*****, and both Nectaris city and the Hellevator are on the new equator, but it's an interesting question anyway. You save energy by being on the equator, but the quotes regarding terraforming indicate that energy is really cheap from the 22nd century onwards.
*****Look how smooth that plug was, smooth I tell you.


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