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    [–] [The Culture or other post-scarcity utopias] How are raw materials secured and how is growth managed to prevent such a post-scarcity civilization from overrunning the universe in search of said raw materials? thomascgalvin 1 points ago in AskScienceFiction

    In the Culture specifically, they have solved all of their energy requirements through a combination of antimatter and grid energy (energy siphoned off from the medium between universes), which is for all intents and purposes limitless.

    They are able to manipulate energy at such a file level that they can read a human mind from light-years away. They generally don't, but they could. They can also transform matter into new states. For example, if a Culture vessel is going into battle, it might reformat the bulk of its mass into propulsion or weapons systems, and then undo this after the battle.

    So basically, limitless energy gives them all the building blocks they need, and their technology then allows them to create whatever else they need, essentially from scratch.

    [–] [Sci-fi in general] Swords, best bang per buck thomascgalvin 13 points ago in AskScienceFiction

    The sword isn't the limiting factor: the swordsman is.

    The people who use swords after the introduction of firearms (or similar ranged weapons) tends to have a few things in common. Most importantly, they are able to dodge (or tank) bullets, and they are able to deal a genuinely insane amount of damage using their blades.

    I think the epitome of this is the Jedi, who can block blaster bolts and sever limbs with ease. The SOLDIER from FF VII is another example; their Mako-infused bodies slip through gunfire carelessly, and their weapons cut through buildings like butter.

    So when picking a sword, you need to tailor it to the user, and what makes them special. The Jedi needed a weapon that could block blaster fire, but didn't concern themselves with slug throwers. The SOLDIERs, on the other hand, needed weapons made out of a metal that was strong enough to stay intact despite the incredible forces being applied to them, which is why they're ten feet long and six inches thick, and still suggests an advanced material, as well.

    [–] [Star Wars] Physically speaking, what does it feel like to wield a lightsaber? thomascgalvin 5 points ago in AskScienceFiction

    Yeah, the material is inconsistent, but the on-screen portrayal is more consistent with a blade that has at least some weight to it.

    [–] [Star Wars] Physically speaking, what does it feel like to wield a lightsaber? thomascgalvin 10 points ago in AskScienceFiction

    The grips are wider than would be comfortable for most people to wield, but seem fairly light.

    The generally accepted canon is that the magnetic field which contains the plasma blade also creates a gyroscopic effect with lends the blade a sense of "weight" and "inertia," which makes the blade unexpectedly difficult to move.

    I would suspect that it feels like the blade is fighting against you, which leads non-Force users to overcorrect and self-amputate.

    [–] Orange Line service is suspended until further notice thomascgalvin 5 points ago in boston

    Because they'd get dirty, and then they wouldn't be new trains anymore.

    [–] [Ghostbusters] Could the Ghostbusters capture the Holy ghost? thomascgalvin 8 points ago in AskScienceFiction

    Depends on which mythology you're going by. In the Moses/Joshua days, the Holy Ghost wasn't powerful enough to overcome an army that used iron chariots. By the Revelation, it was omnipotent.

    [–] [Terminator 2] A single T-800 took out an entire police station, why do they still think Sarah Conor is crazy? thomascgalvin 10 points ago in AskScienceFiction

    Because the alternative is that she isn't crazy, and the world really is going to end August 29, 1997. It means that the US military is - as we speak - developing a warfighting AI that will rise up against us and destroy the world. It means that there is, walking amongst us, a cyborg that it absolutely indistinguishable from a human being, but is beneath that fleshy exterior a finely crafted murder machine.

    People are excellent at rationalisation. If something challenges a deeply held belief, humanity has almost limitless ability to spin, deny, and ignore. And what Sarah Connor is proposing is absolutely shattering to the most important world view that we all have: that everything is going to be okay.

    You can see the same thing unfolding now with climate change. Essentially every credible scientist on the planet agrees that we are in grave danger, but nearly fifty percent of humanity either ignores this fact, or actively rejects and fights against it.

    We already know that there are men with guns and body armor, and that is a very workable excuse that allows everyone involved to ignore a truth that would utterly destroy them.

    [–] [DC/Marvel] Given the opportunity, would Bruce Wayne have trained with the Ancient One at Kamar-Taj? thomascgalvin 52 points ago in AskScienceFiction

    No, at least not to become a sorcerer.

    Bruce has access to a wide array of magic users, and he's dated Zatanna. If he wanted to learn magic, he would have the opportunity.

    But he doesn't like it. It doesn't make sense to him. His mind is too logical, to precise, to deal with a system that doesn't just exploit the rules, but actively rewrites them.

    He has learned spells in the past, and employed them effectively, but he doesn't like it. Similar to the Green Lantern ring, it doesn't fit with who and what he is.

    So Bruce would most likely do his due diligence, and figure out how the magic of Kamar-Taj works, and the best way to pummel them into submission of they went rogue, but he wouldn't become an active wizard.

    [–] [MCU] Once Banner became Professor Hulk after messing around in the lab, what would his daily caloric intake be? thomascgalvin 32 points ago * (lasted edited 3 days ago) in AskScienceFiction

    Edit: I am a dummy dumb dumb butt.

    As /u/Dense_Transportation pointed out, I fucked up the calories per day. What I should have said is about 15 - 20 calories per pound of bodyweight. That has two orders of magnitude worth or ripple effects throughout the rest of the post.

    To whit:

    If Hulk weighs around 800 pounds, that's 12,000 - 16,000 calories per day.

    For comparison, Gaston eats five dozen eggs per day. There are about 78 calories in an average egg, so that's 4,680 calories per day. That's only about 2.5 - 3.5 times as much as Gaston consumes. I do not have a clever name for this metric. Let's call it the Triple G.

    On the Rock's cheat day, he eats a staggering 15,000 calories, including 12 pancakes, 21 brownies, and four large pizzas. So on cheat day, the Rock can actually eat as much as Professor Hulk. It's just that the Rock does this after dieting down for a hot, hot topless scene, and the Hulk does this every fucking day.

    In Endgame, Professor Hulk was eating tacos. There are about 190 calories Taco Bell's Crunchy Taco Supreme, which means he would need to consume between 63 and 84 fucking tacos. At $1.19 a pop, the Hulk would be spending almost $100 per day on food. And if he was consuming this much Taco Bell, he would also be spending his entire lifetime clinging to the toilet for dear, sweet life.

    Professor Hulk was eating a three-pack, which means he would also have to travel to Taco Bell 21 to 28 time per day. Between constantly filling up on Taco Bell, and constantly emptying himself of Taco Bell, I think it's safe to say that the majority of Hulk's life now involves running to, or running away from, the border.

    Or, TL;DR: Hulk eats a fuckton. Just a lesser fuckton than I originally estimated.

    For posterity:

    As a rough estimate, you can guess that a human athlete burns about 3,000 calories per pound of bodyweight per day. If Hulk weighs 800 pounds, that would be about 24,000 calories per day.

    For comparison, Gaston eats five dozen eggs per day. There are about 78 calories in an average egg, so that's 4,680 calories per day. Hulk's basal metabolic rate is approximately five Gastons per day, or the new unit which I am calling the Pentegaston.

    Or, take the Rock's cheat day extravaganza. The Rock eats about 15,000 calories on cheat day. This happens once a month (or less), and involves 12 pancakes, 21 brownies, and four large pizzas. Hulk ingests about 9,000 calories more than the Rock takes in on cheat day, and he does it every goddamn day.

    Now, let's look at how much this costs. We saw the Hulk eating tacos in Endgame. There are about 190 calories Taco Bell's Crunchy Taco Supreme, which means he would need to consume 127 of them every day in order to maintain his mass. A Crunchy Taco Supreme costs $1.19, which means Hulk would be spending about $151.13 every day, just to keep his swol gains.

    Also, he bought his tacos in a three-pack. If this is typical, Hulk would have to make 43 trips to taco bell every day. This will either increase his metabolic rate, from all the walking, which would increase his caloric needs, or it would wildly drive up his cost of transportation.

    Or, TL;DR: Hulk eats a fuckton.

    [–] [Daredevil] How is it that he can hear a heartbeat but not get his senses blasted and desensitized by gunshots? thomascgalvin 65 points ago in AskScienceFiction

    He has commented from time to time that using a gun is not the greatest idea.

    Matt has trained himself to ignore a lot of the sensory input coming his way. When we experience pain from a loud noise, it's because our ears are actually being damaged. When Matt experiences pain, it's from overload, not actual physical damage. He has simply learned to fight through it.

    It's also possible that the accident that gave him his enhanced senses made his sensory organs more durable.

    [–] [Marvel] Two-part question about Squirrel Girl thomascgalvin 5 points ago in AskScienceFiction

    When DOOM fails, it's typically because of his arrogance. He can't accept that someone whose main power is nigh omnipotence talking to slightly cuter rats is a threat, but she is.

    In their first meeting, IIRC, her squirrel buddies chewed through the wires that allowed his armor to work. It shouldn't have been possible, but ... squirrels find a way, man. Squirrels find a way

    [–] [Marvel] Two-part question about Squirrel Girl thomascgalvin 11 points ago in AskScienceFiction

    Watch as Victor von Doom finally defeats Squirrel Girl by ... purchasing her student loan debt and turning it over to collections! Muwahaha!

    [–] [Super Mario Bros] Is Mario killing people when he smashes bricks? thomascgalvin 11 points ago in AskScienceFiction

    Not all of the bricks are trapped Mushroom citizens; the ones that are produce a Magic Mushroom of Fire Flower when punched. Mario is freeing them, not killing them.

    [–] [Marvel] Two-part question about Squirrel Girl thomascgalvin 20 points ago in AskScienceFiction

    1. She attempts to reform them, and failing that, utterly destroys them.
    2. We spend too much time watching her. Her powers are like a quantum lock: they only work when she's not being observed.

    [–] [Endgame] Question about the gauntlet thomascgalvin 8 points ago in AskScienceFiction

    Tony had no reason to believe that Thanos was going to be a factor. As far as Tony knew, the Mad Titan was dead, decapitated by Thor's blade.

    If Thanos hadn't captured Paper Football Nebula, stolen her Pym particles, and send Evil Nebula back in time, Thanos would never have arrived to fight for the gauntlet. And while Tony is smart, he's not omniscient, and just couldn't foresee this eventuality.

    As for why it resized for Thanos; it was designed to work for Professor Hulk, but Tony needed to be able to use it himself as a backup, so it was designed to work with anyone ... it's just that Tony assumed that "anyone" present would be an Avenger.

    [–] [MCU] What kind of prosthetic arm does Bucky have? thomascgalvin 47 points ago in AskScienceFiction

    Science in the MCU advanced much faster than it did for us. We don't know the specifics of Bucky's original arm, but it was clearly an advanced, durable alloy connected to him through the nerve endings in his shoulder; when they remove the arm, it causes him extraordinary pain.

    This kind of cybernetic-neurological link is a precursor to the mind-machine interfaces Stark developed for his Iron Man armors, at least indirectly.