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Old 09-10-2022, 11:07 AM   #2691
Irish Wolf
 
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Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

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Originally Posted by L.J.Steele View Post
That sounds like something Leonard of Quirm might have invented, thinking his "using-light-for-yard-maintenance machine" just a harmless toy - and Vetinari would have sequestered, knowing that someone was going to try increasing the power and using it to mow people and villages instead of grass.
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Old 09-11-2022, 03:55 AM   #2692
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On a related note, environment protection groups in Germany are pleading that people shut off their robotic lawn movers at least at night, because this robots are hurting and even killing hedgehogs.
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Old 10-07-2022, 12:58 PM   #2693
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In other news, remember the time William Butler Yeats got into a magickal duel with Aleister Crowely?

https://www.openculture.com/2016/10/...lt-battle.html
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Old 10-08-2022, 12:03 AM   #2694
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Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

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In other news, remember the time William Butler Yeats got into a magickal duel with Aleister Crowely?

https://www.openculture.com/2016/10/...lt-battle.html
Maybe they're even still at it. Speaking of Crowley, he was occult mentor to rocketry pioneer Jack Parsons, who died account or suspiciously
during an extended magickal ritual (and explosive manufacture). Parsons, in turn, initiated L. Ron Hubbard into Thelema, who would later found Scientology, allegedly financd with money he stole from Parsons.
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Old 10-10-2022, 10:52 AM   #2695
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Maybe they're even still at it. Speaking of Crowley, he was occult mentor to rocketry pioneer Jack Parsons, who died account or suspiciously
during an extended magickal ritual (and explosive manufacture). Parsons, in turn, initiated L. Ron Hubbard into Thelema, who would later found Scientology, allegedly financd with money he stole from Parsons.
..on a bet with Heinlein (or Gordon R. Dickinson).

40s, 50s, and early 60s California SF fandom and NASA engineering cadre is a wide and deep hole of "Holy CARP those folks were weird!"
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Old 10-11-2022, 03:10 AM   #2696
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Rocket to the Morgue by Boucher is a mystery featuring many of those people.
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Old 10-27-2022, 05:56 AM   #2697
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A new menace to throw into your games, whether party-scale for a fight or a larger scale menace for Atomic Horror or After The End: electrified bee swarms. And it's science! (Sort of.) Call Lightning no longer needs a nearby thundercloud, and "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" takes on additional meaning for those supers settings.

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To test whether honeybees produce sizable changes in the electric field of our atmosphere, the researchers placed an electric field monitor and a camera near the site of several honeybee colonies. In the 3 minutes that the insects flooded into the air, the researchers found that the potential gradient above the hives increased to 100 volts per meter. In other swarming events, the scientists measured the effect as high as 1,000 volts per meter, making the charge density of a large honeybee swarm roughly six times greater than electrified dust storms and eight times greater than a stormcloud.

Locusts often swarm to "biblical scales," the scientists said, creating thick clouds 460 square miles (1,191 square kilometers) in size and packing up to 80 million locusts into less than half a square mile (1.3 square km). The researchersí model predicted that swarming locustsí effect on the atmospheric electric field was staggering, generating densities of electric charge similar to those made by thunderstorms.

https://www.livescience.com/honeybee...-thunderstorms
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Old 10-27-2022, 06:35 AM   #2698
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A new menace to throw into your games, whether party-scale for a fight or a larger scale menace for Atomic Horror or After The End: electrified bee swarms. And it's science! (Sort of.) Call Lightning no longer needs a nearby thundercloud, and "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" takes on additional meaning for those supers settings.
Interesting; I particularly liked the bit about spiders apparently exploiting this by spinning negatively-charged webs - flying insects tend to pick up a positive charge, so rather than needing to fly face-first into a spider's web, simply flying close will result in the two being pulled toward each other. Might it be possible to design a dungeon such that the characters tend to build up a positive charge while exploring it (shag carpeting, perhaps)? Then, when they encounter the giant-spider webs near the end, they have to resist being pulled in. That's a markedly exaggerated effect (a person who gets positively-charged enough that a negative charge would be able to actually pull them in would probably be fried by the electrical discharge on contact), but potentially an option in a highly-cinematic setting.

There was also this gem linked in the article about what basically amount to cuckoo bees - a genetic mutation has resulted in "worker" bees that can make perfect clones of themselves via parthenogenesis, and they go into other hives to lay their eggs, with the hive raising their clones (some of them will even replace the eggs meant to result in a future queen with their own, potentially resulting in the hive's next queen being their clone). Apparently their clones basically do nothing but reproduce, and eventually overrun the colony, resulting in it collapsing. Honestly, I think I'll adopt the normal method bees use for the Malakim in my Harpyias setting, particularly the Nafilim bioships. I originally intended for these to be crewed largely by genetic clones of the bioship (and their Katim "fighter wing" to similarly be genetic clones), but I like the idea of such being the result of genetic reshuffling rather than actual clones.
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Old 10-27-2022, 11:04 AM   #2699
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Not sure how I'm going to work GUGI into a game, but...

Russia has various means of targeting underwater infrastructure. One threat comes from the Main Directorate of Deep-Sea Research, known by its Russian acronym GUGI, which is separate from the navy and reports directly to the Russian ministry of defence. GUGI has a variety of spy ships and specialist submarines which can work at extreme depths. They can deploy divers (known as hydronauts), mini-submarines or underwater drones. In 2019 a fire aboard the Losharik, one of GUGIís mini-submarines, killed 14 Russians in the Barents Seaóthat they were all officers indicated the specialist nature of the organisationís work.

https://www.economist.com/the-econom...-sabotage-work
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Old 10-28-2022, 01:33 PM   #2700
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Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

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Not sure how I'm going to work GUGI into a game, but...

Russia has various means of targeting underwater infrastructure. One threat comes from the Main Directorate of Deep-Sea Research, known by its Russian acronym GUGI, which is separate from the navy and reports directly to the Russian ministry of defence. GUGI has a variety of spy ships and specialist submarines which can work at extreme depths. They can deploy divers (known as hydronauts), mini-submarines or underwater drones. In 2019 a fire aboard the Losharik, one of GUGIís mini-submarines, killed 14 Russians in the Barents Seaóthat they were all officers indicated the specialist nature of the organisationís work.

https://www.economist.com/the-econom...-sabotage-work
The secret war against the Deep Ones, clearly.
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