Yeah, this isn't actually about technobabble, which is something I generally find mildly abhorrent (unless it's actually good technobabble). It's just a few thoughts I had, concerning tech and science...and it's sorta random, so, yeah, technobabble. Technoramble? Hm.
  • So I don't like teleportation; I just think it'd be too much trouble to pull off. Anyone else remember that one Niven story where the guy accidentally teleports to a booth that's not on the network, and he wonders why it's so hot inside it? And it turns out it's an old booth, missing some parts; and, since it was on a different latitude, the difference of angular momentum meant there was a bunch of residual energy that had to be bled off as heat? Yeah, Niven's got his moments, he sure does.

    Maybe the difference of angular momentum is why Nightcrawler always has the fireball, but I doubt it. In general though, I tend to just think teleporters really ought to have their legs broked the second they materialize—since, unless you're teleporting to the same latitude, the difference of angular momentum is like jumping from a moving train. I only like magic teleportation.

  • So my brother gets Game Informer, and they had a review of the Iron Man 2 game that said War Machine "has more weapons than an aircraft carrier". Nice turn of phrase, but no, an aircraft carrier has, just to go by the Nimitz class, 3 or 4 gatling-type guns (each of which, in the Phalanx CIWS, is bigger than the one War Machine has). Plus it's got 16-24 Sea Sparrow missiles, each of which is bigger than War Machine. To say nothing of the 85-90 aircraft the Nimitz class has, each of which can equip dozens of missiles warheaded with anything up to a nuke.

    So yeah, any given aircraft carrier is probably capable of stripping a continent of life...which is a somewhat sobering thought.

  • Speaking of Iron Man 2, I had thought that the way Tony creates the new core for his arc reactor involved a particle accelerator...which would make what he does with it suicide (to put it mildly). But then I realized no, it's a laser; he's just forming a new element via laser inertia-confinement fusion. Eight feet from his face. Because that could never be dangerous.

    Yeah. Comic book movies, why must you screw everything up?

  • I quite like Needless for reasons having nothing to do with tech or science; mostly it has to do with the hilarity (though the fact Adam never misses a chance to recombine his powers in more effective ways makes me happy). But did you notice Eve can only take the shape of things/people who are close to her own mass? Yeah. Hey, Odo, this chick from what's basically a filthy version of S-CRY-ed has more SF bona fides than you do.

    On the other hand the Simeon Shojo Squad, who appear to think you can just tie someone up when they can take the shape of anything with similar mass, should be fired. Out of a cannon. Oh wait, they were. While naked (because it's Needless).

  • So I was trying to come up with different types of liquor for my aliens; someone's mention of Milk Mead brought me to kumis, which is milk (traditionally from a mare) that has its sugars fermented. So that was cool (now my aliens consider wine to be a type of beer, since, to them, it's all fermented seeds).

    But alas! I thought, milk from their "mammals" is solid at room temperature! But then, no, it's okay; their kumis is fermented from the stuff (whey, I guess) that squeezes out of their milk when you press it.

    Late addendum: Further research indicates fermented whey is blaand, not kumis, a drink with nearly the same alcohol content as wine found in Scotland, Scandinavia, and Russia. 'Tis a guid auld nappy, ye ken?

    I think it is ethanol (maybe methanol?), but I don't think their metabolism uses glucose, since their genetic material is held together by sulfones instead of sugars and uses different nucleobases, so AMP-ADP-ATP isn't the sequence they use. I don't have the background to get into the specifics of all that, though, so I don't.

  • So, as you may have noticed just now, the fact they haven't got DNA means the aliens aren't animals at all, except in the Aristotelian sense (where all self-mobile lifeforms are animals).

    This, of course, also means that no pathogens will be able to pass between species, though it's possible something like anthrax (toxic because of the metabolic byproducts of the bacteria) might still be dangerous.

  • It's not precisely tech, but it's always funny to read a review of an SF story with psionics in it, written by hard-SF zealots. It's the exact same tone as this Mormon dude I read once who said (not without cause) that Firefly had too much sex: it's a religious veto.

    Personally the way I handle telepathy is, since it's a mental power, it's not directly subject to the laws of physics. Or do your thoughts have mass?

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