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167

I will begin this by stating that I am a PhD Student in potato post-harvest physiology and the sprouting of potatoes is an aspect that many people that work with this crop find very important. It is certainly feasible that the potatoes, if refrigerated, would be able to sprout after several months. Some potatoes, including modern varieties, are able to ...


96

Crichton used both imperial and metric, depending on the context. In the course of one paragraph in The Sphere, he managed to use both! "Pacific coral grows two-and-a-half centimeters a year, and the object-- whatever it is-- is covered in about five meters of coral. That's a lot of coral. Of course, coral doesn't grow at a depth of a thousand feet,...


74

Star Trek, Various, 1966 (earliest occurrence) P=NP in the Star Trek universe, but the people there aren't aware of it. Evidence: There is encryption but it is always breakable. P=NP will let you crack everything but one-time pads but the Federation stubbornly continues to use NP-based ciphers. The efficacy of the universal translator. P=NP would make ...


56

Are you thinking of A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle? It follows Meg Murry, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O'Keefe who are transported via tesseract by Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who, and Mrs Which.


55

From the book: I am one lucky son of a bitch they aren’t freeze-dried or mulched. Why did NASA send twelve whole potatoes, refrigerated but not frozen? And why send them along with us as in-pressure cargo rather than in a crate with the rest of the Hab supplies? Because Thanksgiving was going to happen while we were doing surface operations, and ...


45

"The Gods Themselves" by Isaac Asimov. Quoting Wikipedia's summary: The main plot-line is a project by aliens who inhabit a parallel universe (the para-Universe) with different physical laws from this one. By exchanging matter with Earth, they seek to exploit these differences in physical laws. The exchange of matter provides an alternative source of ...


45

This sound like 'The Forever War' by Joe Haldeman. Humanity is fighting a war against a race called the Taurans and for their first battle the human troops are given a post-hypnotic suggestion, the 'false memories' in the question. At the end of the war the last returning soldiers find that humanity on Earth at least are all clones. Also that the war was a ...


39

Sounds like Poul Anderson's novel Tau Zero. (A shorter version was serialized in Galaxy Magazine as the novella "To Outlive Eternity".) Here is a plot description from Wikipedia: Tau Zero follows the crew of the starship Leonora Christine, a colonization vessel crewed by 25 men and 25 women aiming to reach a distant star system. The ship is powered by a ...


36

American scientist here. US Standard units are quite common here. Many of us tend to use Standard for casual things but use Metric for work. However, that is not always an option. Some fields, like electrical engineering, still use older units like mils (1/1,000th of an inch) and many who work for either government or industry are more or less required to ...


34

Coding Machines, by Lawrence Kesteloot (January 2009), you're welcome :D It really is an amazing story - best thing I have ever read in this vein.


30

Probably Hexanerax 2 in Childhood's End by Arthur C Clarke, given that Robert L Forwards's Dragon's Egg is a neutron star not a planet. Here's how it is described: The planet was absolutely flat. Its enormous gravity had long ago crushed into one uniform level the mountains of its fiery youth--mountains whose mightiest peaks had never exceeded a few ...


29

A highly speculative question, but let us take a stab at it: Step #1: Define a robot A robot is basically a computer with sensors and actuators attached. You can take away the sensors and actuators without reducing the essence of a robot, which leaves the computer, or the brain. A computer is based on three things (as someone with your level of education ...


28

This might be very well one of the Brain&Brawn series (by Anne McCaffrey et.al.). I have just read the first (and most famous) installement The Ship who Sang. The "brain" in the series name refers to a human brain (I think in the series it's mostly girls/womens brains) that command a starhip, the "brawn" is a crewmember/companion who does the things ...


24

The other Stross book that deals with this is The Atrocity Archives, where Alan Turing solved P=NP, but they then found that doing so allowed access to the Cthonic Realms, so now an entire branch of Government exists to prevent this discovery becoming public knowledge.


24

I'm looking for a story that was probably written somewhere from the 1940s to the 1960s. "Turning Point", a short story by Poul Anderson; you can read it at The Drabblecast. The extracts below are from the original publication in If, May 1963, where it is illustrated on the cover (however, the little alien girl is described in the story as having "long ...


23

This is A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle. It's the first of a series called Time Quintet: A Wrinkle in Time (1962) A Wind in the Door (1973) A Swiftly Tilting Planet (1978) Many Waters (1986) An Acceptable Time (1989)


21

By the description, it sounds a lot like Empire Star by Samuel R. Delany.


21

I'll venture that the winner is none other than our old favourite; Krypton. Without focusing on specific numbers, the surface gravity on Krypton would have to be tens of thousands of times heavier than Earth to meet the description below. Bronze-age Superman writer Elliott S Maggin (formerly Senior Writer for DC comics) described Krypton as a "failed star" ...


21

This is "Swarm" by Bruce Sterling, a story set in the Schismatrix universe. It was published first in 1982, in the April edition of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Captain-Doctor Simon Afriel, a shaper (one of the two factions in the Schismatrix universe, the other being the mechanists) arrives on an asteroid, where another shaper, Galina ...


20

This is covered completely in this Dyson FAQ. Basically, the ground looks even flatter than our own, but the atmosphere gives you a distant cloudy horizon. And the sky is very bright, though you can't make out many individual features: What would a Dyson Sphere look like from the inside? The curvature of the "ground" would be even less than on Earth, ...


20

This could be the Tom Swift Jr. series written by victor Appleton visit https://www.tomswift.info/homepage/index.html


19

There are several possible approaches. Sidestep the problem. Some books find uses for Dyson spheres that don't require them to have internal gravity. Some examples of this include: If your Dyson sphere is actually a Matrioshka brain (as in Accelerando by Charles Stross), you don't need any gravity. Computation works fine in zero-G. The sufficiently ...


19

It's been quite a while since I read Jerry Pournelle's novel King David's Spaceship, but there are several points of match here. The space craft in question ends up being powered by the successive concussion of conventional explosives rather than a conventional rocket. Takes place in the same universe as A Mote In God's Eye and the War World books.


19

"Mars Is Heaven!" by Ray Bradbury (The Martian Chronicles, Third Expedition). It was adapted several times, including as an episode of "Ray Bradbury Theater" (July 20, 1990). Here it is on Youtube, just as you remember, but in color.


19

Although I can't find the cover you mention, I think this is the Jack Vance novel The Blue World, first published in 1966. The Wikipedia plot summary matches the features you give: Sklar Hast, the protagonist, had achieved a measure of success and prosperity by passing his examination to be a “Hoodwink”, or semaphore tower operator – a prestigious ...


18

That's AMEE from 'Red Planet' Here are some screen grabs showing demo where AMEE is handed a marker and put in Military Mode.


17

I think I found it, though the original author remains anonymous, and even the title is a mystery, as it is referred to as"The Gift of Mercy" or "We Know You Are Out There" and even "We Made a Mistake". It's origins are mysterious, but it's been posted on many message boards and creepypasta sites. As far as I can discern from discussions about the story, ...


15

In a word, no. For one thing, a lot of cameras are closed-circuit, so they're only available at the local security office or where ever else they might happen to have their monitors. Even if they're not closed circuit, I doubt the majority of cameras are exposed to the internet. And of those that are exposed to the internet, there is no single 'system' ...


15

The Mothballed Spaceship by Harry Harrison, a sequel to his Deathworld series. from ASTOUNDING: The John W. Campbell Anthology (1973) The Mothballed Spaceship In "The Mothballed Spaceship", a hostile armada is heading towards Earth, and its government contracts Jason and the Pyrrans to reactivate an ancient mothballed battleship. It is cheaper to ...


15

This is The Long Chase by Geoffrey A. Landis. I am chased. It is impossible, stupid, unbelievable, inconceivable! I am being chased. Why? Can they not leave a single free mind unconverted? In three years I have reached fifteen percent of the speed of light, and it must be clear that I am leaving and never coming back. Can one ...


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