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Topics - knnn

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DF Spoilers / WAG on murphyonic effect
« on: August 07, 2017, 12:22:55 PM »
So one of the things that's pretty universal is magic's effect on technology.   As Harry puts it, any tech after WWII gets affected, esp. electronics.

We also know from WoJ that magic didn't always affect technology, that Harry doesn't quite understand how things work, etc.

So here's the WAG:

What if the actual cause of the effect is the radiation put off by the first atomic bombs?   After all, Low background steel is a real thing (used for geiger counters).

DF Spoilers / Dog Men part 2 (Spoilers)
« on: July 14, 2017, 02:16:52 PM »
So who are these Federal agents?   Could we actually be meeting a Library of Congress taskforce?

Cinder Spires Spoilers / Democracy?
« on: January 11, 2016, 02:30:23 AM »
I'm referring to the following quote:

Quote from: Cinder Spires
Bridget: "We're a civilized society, are we not?
Esterbrook: "Since when, miss? We're a democracy."

(Esterbrook then goes into the idea that voting someone out of office is like beheading him, etc).

So what part of the government can be voted out of office?   At first, I was thinking it was maybe like the Consul position back in Roman times (with the nobility being the senate), but the Spirearch position seems to be hereditary and he can apparently unilaterally make cats into citizens and he controls the army.  The Noble houses are presumably hereditary, so what's left?

Cinder Spires Spoilers / Shape of a Shroud?
« on: January 11, 2016, 02:24:03 AM »
Sick in bed, so rereading Cinder Spires here, and I got to wondering if it is explicitly mentioned what sort of shape the shroud projects.  Barring other information I would assume it's a sphere, but this would mean that the front/back of the ship is more vulnerable to attack (closer to the edge of the shroud), and I don't remember seeing any mention of that.

(Obviously this wouldn't hold for ship with multiple cores).

Cinder Spires Spoilers / Shrouds and mass
« on: December 09, 2015, 08:54:58 PM »
We've been told that a Shroud is able to disperse the energy blasts fired by ethereal canons, but I wonder how well they would put up against traditional (i.e. metal cannonball) weapons.  After all, we know that ether-silk passes through the shroud without problem, and the fact the you can feel wind when diving means that air can pass through as well.

P.S.  In our world, bronze cannons were still in use into the 19th century (it was more "springy" than cast iron), so iron rot isn't really an argument.

Cinder Spires Spoilers / Waste systems
« on: October 19, 2015, 01:47:52 PM »
Simply put, where are the bathrooms?

Historically, the easiest way to do this would be to dig a hole in the ground.  This is obviously not an option in a habble.  The second way to do this would be to have an actual sewer system.  You'd have to overcome the following issues:

1) You really need a large supply of running water to flush things down.  Sure "water gets collected", but unless there's only a few public toilets, that's a lot of water for use.

2) Miles and miles of pipes.  These would have to be crisscrossing the bottom of each habble (presumably with some sort of incline so all the waste gets to the right place). 

2a) Plumbing would be a nightmare.  Consider that someone eventually is going to try to flush the wrong thing down the toilet.  In a regular setting, you can dig down and clear out the blockage (though manhole covers would allow access to the bigger sections).  Problem is, you can't actually dig through the spirestone.  Thus if something gets badly blocked in one of the smaller tunnels, you are royally screwed.

3) I can imagine putting up new walls/vatteries/etc. throughout the spire, but think about hooking up a new house/vat to the existing sewer system.  You either have to use an existing hookup, or add pipes, etc. above ground.

4) Doubly so for habble Landing.  They need to have a source for water for everyone (kinda hard if it's a fountain in the floor), and need to have good sewer, otherwise it would be very unpleasant for the people living below.

5) Think also where all this sewage goes.  On Earth, this this goes into the ground, eventually decomposing, etc.  Here I'd think you'd essentially need to take it outside the spire. 

Cinder Spires Spoilers / Intra-Habble Transportation
« on: October 15, 2015, 02:05:26 PM »
On the one hand, a spire appears to be a single large city state, but in fact it quite effectively split up into habbles.  Consider the fact that if you want to move stuff (grain/raw materials/finished products) even one habble up or down, you need to use one of four ramps/stairs to climb or go down 50 feet.  These are real bottlenecks and I think have a number of repercussions.

1) There's no evidence of beasts of burden, so all transportation must be done by hand.  In addition, I don't think we have seen people using carts/wagons to move stuff around.  This kinda makes sense, because if you want bulk goods from a different level, I don't see how you get a cart up the equivalent of five flights of stairs.

2) Traffic on the stairs/ramps is going to be a mess.  Anyone who has business on a different level has to go through here.  Add to this the fact that there are tool booths to go through (for collecting fees) and things get worse. 

3) It would make sense if one of the staircases was blasted away and an elevator put in place.  They do have lift crystals after all.

4) There is a distinct advantage to being on a higher habble.  After all, it's easier to move commodities down a ramp than up it.  Think about rollerblading down a 2 mile ramp...

5) Note also that these bottlenecks make for great warfare targets.  After all, if you want to contain a rebellion, all you need potentially need to do is hold the staircases.  Heck, if you're on the upper habble, you can destroy the staircases.  Needing to climb 50 feet straight up to invade is going to be hard.

6) We also know that there are extensive ducts/vents going between the various levels (for critter and Auroran marine use).  Given the tariffs and the traffic, I think it would make sense that there is a lot of smuggling going on through these back routes, and some of the bigger ducts might even be official secondary paths between the habbles.

7) In any case, all this means that in essence, each habble is going to need to be pretty self sufficient.  This is partially shown by the fact that the most important habble (Morning) "wastes" space for meat vats.  In any real city, this type of industry would have been moved to areas with cheaper real estate.  Of course, it might be that they don't have the technological knowhow to move the vats anymore.

8) This self sufficiency comes at the price of efficiency.  If every habble needs to be able to support itself, then you can't have the highly urbanized "city centers" that get supported by the surrounding countyside.  In ancient Rome, the center of the city had a population density of ~70,000 people per square mile, but had to import grain and commodities from farms and villages throughout the empire.  In contrast, it took about 1 square mile of cultivated farmland (including grain, mill, vinyard, etc.) to support 500 people. 

9) Now granted, the spire has "water gardens" and vats for food, (so enhanced production) but I still think this pretty much means an upper limit of ~5000 people per habble.  This includes nobility, farmers, technicians, store owners, etc.  Specially important habbles might be able to push this a bit higher at the expense of the neighboring habbles, but I would guess that 10,000 is a hard limit.

10) This makes one wonder why more habbles didn't go the route of Landing and make their own holes in the wall.  Obviously there are diminishing returns for every extra hole, but think of a habble midway between Landing and Morning.  Bringing goods to this habble from the outside requires transport 2500 feet vertically.  That means that (e.g.) every beam of wood on this habble required a human to carry it down (probably - up would be crazy) a distance of the tallest building in the world.   It would be real expensive.

Cinder Spires Spoilers / Soul WAG.
« on: October 14, 2015, 12:27:50 PM »
Something I was thinking about this morning, just noticed it was previous articulated here:

This lends the possibility that the ships gain "soul" from their crew -- and the ships with the longest crews and most devoted crews would thus have the most "life".

I think there are a bunch of hints that support this theory:

- Remember the whole "ships that are treated as transport don't preform as well" claim?  It would fit very much.  Note also that the claim (along with "there's no evidence") sounds very much like the Alera books where Furies in wild were stronger (and had more personality) than Furies in the city.

- It certainly explains how power cores get more efficient.  More soul to devour.

- You have to "will" a crystal glove to work.  Pouring soul power into it?

- Etherialists seem to be able to manipulate energies without using a crystal.  Perhaps they have more soul (and why they start having "holes")?  By extension, could Archangels be all soul (i.e. DF reference)?

- Mentioned here as well, but perhaps the Enemy is a power crystal that has been around long enough to gain enormous power?  After all, it's Folly that talks to crystals. 

Cinder Spires Spoilers / Why not bronze?
« on: October 12, 2015, 02:35:05 PM »
Maybe someone with a search function can check this out, but I don't think I've seen any reference to bronze in the book.

Given that iron gives you so much trouble, I would have thought that it makes sense to use bronze.  It is after all a copper-tin alloy and therefore I assume would be free of iron-rot.  It's also nearly as light as iron (for equal strength), and quite durable.  Sure for things where every last strength per gram counts I could see you sticking to iron despite the risk, but for guns (e.g. the pistol that Grimm carries around or the big cannon) I would think that bronze would suffice.  At the very least, I would expect it for plates/cups or maybe for everyday tools (so you don't have to worry about the copper peeling off a steel hammer).

Cinder Spires Spoilers / Minerals.
« on: October 12, 2015, 02:01:13 PM »
Is there anything that explains where they get their minerals from?  I suppose all the mud comes from outside, and maybe the lime and whatever else they need to make mortor, but for copper I would think you'd need a mine of some sort, unless they been canabalizing the spire itself for the last two centuries. 

Also, what about the iron/steel?  Iron seems to rot so quickly, and yet they have so much "copper clad iron".  They must have some source for, and more importantly, some way to forge it without it rotting, to give them time to cover it with copper.   

Cinder Spires Spoilers / Light
« on: October 12, 2015, 12:11:28 AM »
Has anyone seen references to how the various habbles get light?  After all, the habbles are like these big shopping malls with no windows.  There's either got to be lampposts everywhere or light in the ceiling or something.  Note that all this goes doubly for habble Landing, since that middle level means extra non-spirerock material.

Cinder Spires Spoilers / clothes
« on: October 09, 2015, 05:39:35 PM »
So what are clothes made of?  You've apparently got the skin from the vats and spidersilk, but that's pretty much it I would think.  No wool, cotton.

Cinder Spires Spoilers / Dogs
« on: October 08, 2015, 02:30:50 PM »
I wonder if there might not be dogs around somewhere.  Grimm calls the Spirearch a "son of a bitch".  While the word 'bitch' is a general insulting term, I'm pretty sure the etymology is from "dog/wolf". 

Cinder Spires Spoilers / angle of attack (first chapter)
« on: October 08, 2015, 01:02:11 AM »
Rereading the first chapter...

Basically, they consider using a "steeper angle of descent", because "gravity will get us there faster".  Obviously this cannot be strictly correct, but I was thinking maybe this meant that the ship itself was angled downward, creating a smaller cross-section for wind resistance. 

Thing is, I couldn't find a reference for an angle downward.  The ship simply falls "like a rock" and is still moving forward from the ethereal web.  That's what creates the angle of attack.  If this is so, they can obviously decide how much forward motion they have, but I don't see how they can drop faster. 

Site Suggestions & Support / Improving search
« on: June 30, 2015, 06:20:23 PM »
I think it's not blasphemy to declare that the search function on this site is sorely lacking  in that using the search functionality will yield very limited (and sometimes completely wrong) results.

Now I can totally understand why (e.g.) Google search might have been disabled from the forums -- it drives a lot of unnecessary traffic, and possibly increases the cost of running the site (having to pay for page-views every time a web-crawler goes through every page).

That said, I think it might be within my capability to put together a private, local search for the forums.  Depending on the technology used, it would not necessarily be generally accessible and could be updated only as often as requested. 

This is mainly just me having fun playing around with some tech tools and maybe coming up with something remotely useful.  The things I am asking permission for are:

1) Any fast websearch needs to "crawl" every post on the forums periodically to maintain its list of searchable keywords.  This means a potentially large amount (tens of thousands?) of queries to the forum server every time the list gets updated.  Is it ok to do this (say once a month)?

2) While anyone can post a link online to any topic on the (publicly accessible parts of the) forums, this would be essentially making large parts of the forum a lot more accessible to the public in a targeted manner.  Is there a problem with this?


Note that I only have vague random thoughts about how to proceed about doing this.  I am asking first just to make completely sure there isn't any problem.  Otherwise, I can always go and play with other toys.   ;)

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