Tag Archives: ask hentzau

If We’re Living In The Future, Then Where Are All The Jetpacks?

Note: last post for a little while thanks to real life concerns making a nuisance of themselves. Will post again this time next week. Probably.

Sultana Josh asks

Jetpacs. How would they work?

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Is It Two Pair Or Four Of A Kind?

Lord Smurf asks

I can just about get my head around a planet orbiting two suns, but this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19950923 confuses me. I notice that it says two of the suns are ‘circling’ the planet, rather than ‘orbiting’. Is there a difference? I always think of suns as the giants of solar system so I don’t understand how they can orbit a planet, rather than the other way round. How does this system actually work because all the articles are telling me how amazing this is but none of them actually say how the damn thing works.

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Never Tell Me The Odds.

I had to disable Jetpack because it wasn’t letting people post comments. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Rear Admiraless Josh asks

In The Empire Strikes Back, there’s a bit where the Falcon goes into an asteroid field pursued by a bunch of TIE fighters, and they have to avoid a load of rocks flying around very fast in close proximity. It’s what a lot of people think of asteroid fields as being like, but logically that’s can’t be right, as the rocks would just bash each other into sand over the course of a couple of centuries. So what is the inside of an asteroid field really like? What is the largest thing you can swing around while reasonably expecting not to hit anything?

Ooooh, “rocks just bash each other into sand over the course of a couple of centuries” is so close, and yet so far.

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The SHIELD Helicarrier.

gnomishlich asks

Surely by now you’ve seen the Avengers, think of the SHIELD helicarrier? What is your opinion on a nuclear fuelled flying fortress? Feasible, possible, absurdly extravagant?

Well, there’s a few points to be made here, first and foremost of which is that the SHIELD helicarrier is not exactly an original concept. Gigantic flying aircraft carriers are a staple of science fiction and can be seen in everything ranging from Doctor Who to Sky Captain to Captain Scarlet. They’re a progression from the zeppelins and other airships that were common in the first half of the twentieth century, in the sense that I imagine people are thinking “Well, if we could do that with a glorified balloon then just think what we could do with jet engines!” The idea of a flying airbase isn’t a bad one in and of itself, and if you want proof I believe one of the things that was on the drawing board as part of the US military’s ever-expanding drone program was essentially a drone surveillance blimp that could stay aloft for weeks at a time and also serve as a refuelling station for other lightweight drone aircraft1.

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Gnomishlich asks

Could I ask your thoughts on Petroglyph Studios, specifically Universe at War: Earth Assault? I’ve always thought of it as ahead of its time, but bogged down by implementation issues. your thoughts?

Oh. Petroglyph. Those guys.

For those not in the know, Petroglyph was formed by the last group of Westwood refugees back in 2003 when EA turned off the life support that was keeping the zombified husk of the studio alive and merged what was left with EA Pacific. Westwood were responsible for a couple of minor PC hits you may have heard of, such as Command & Conquer, Red Alert and all that jazz. In theory Petroglyph were well placed to carry on where Westwood had left off, immediately beginning work on two RTSes that eventually came to market in 2006 and 2007. But it didn’t quite turn out that way.

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The Quickfire Round.

Innokenti asks

 Why are observatories dome-shaped? They house a telescope… but why the dome? The things can swivel around and stuff without being encased in a dome. So what purpose does it serve?

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