Head cannon: Wallace & Grommit
New head cannon: Wallace & Grommit, far from the 1970s it appears to be set in, is a wildly transhumanist future. This is why they could build a moon rocket and go to the moon over the course of a bank holiday weekend, and why when they got there they could breathe, eat the ground,…
SciFi: The unexpected problems with gravity
Artificial gravity in science fiction falls into three categories: Applied Phlebotinum works via made-up technobabble. Examples include the gravity plating in Star Trek. Spin gravity is where inertia wants you to keep going in a straight line, but centripetal force from your outer hull keeps pulling (or pushing) you towards your axis of rotation, creating…
In the real world, the “vaporise” setting in SciFi ray-guns comes from a desire to make extras disappear quickly when their characters are killed off. As countless of pedants have noticed, a real-life weapon which vaporised a target would have all sorts of unpleasant side-effects, from the merely icky of inhaling your enemies to the…
Let’s hypothesise sufficient brain scans. As far as I know, we don’t have better than either very low resolution full-brain imaging (millions of synapses per voxel), or very limited high resolution imaging (thousands of synapses total), at least not for living brains. Let’s just pretend for the sake of argument that we have synapse-resolution full-brain…
Slightly lighter than my usual entry. I have this idea that in Star Trek, the character Q is really Lt Barclay, and all that you see on-screen in any episode featuring Q is one of Barclay’s holodeck fantasies.
Kessler-resistant real-life force-fields?
Idle thought at this stage. The Kessler syndrome (also called the Kessler effect, collisional cascading or ablation cascade), proposed by the NASA scientist Donald J. Kessler in 1978, is a scenario in which the density of objects in low earth orbit (LEO) is high enough that collisions between objects could cause a cascade where each…
Megastructures are big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big they are. I mean, you may think you live in a big city, but that’s just peanuts to even the smallest megastructure. Three of the more famous megastructures: A Halo installation: 10,000 km by 318 km (¹) A Culture Orbital: 3,000,000…