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  1. - Top - End - #181
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    By the way can somebody explains to me what the pod from two strips ago is and what it does? Some kind of fuel for the reactor?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    the Vector Legion [is the IFCC's new pawns], mark my words. Way too much unfinished business there and they already know about the Gates.
    I'll take that bet.

  2. - Top - End - #182
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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    By the way can somebody explains to me what the pod from two strips ago is and what it does? Some kind of fuel for the reactor?
    Fuel for the engines. Newton's Third. Consume mass to push the spaceship.

    Reactionless drives don't use fuel at all. But they're, ah, 'perpetual motion machines'. AKA - ain't happening.
    May you get EXACTLY what you wish for.

  3. - Top - End - #183
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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    By the way can somebody explains to me what the pod from two strips ago is and what it does? Some kind of fuel for the reactor?
    Quote Originally Posted by sihnfahl View Post
    Fuel for the engines. Newton's Third. Consume mass to push the spaceship.
    Specifically, it is reaction mass. Their ship got launched into orbit with the mag launcher, picked up cargo and reaction mass and left, and is now picking up additional reaction mass along the way. I'm not sure exactly where these fuel pods come from, or how they are moving at a convenient-to-grab speed and trajectory (I forget, has this all been explained?), but it makes sense for such a setup to exist. It isn't unlike modern commerce, where a semi truck picks up a trailer of goods and fuels up, then fuels up in places along the way. Obviously it makes you reliant upon said infrastructure, but it makes all the sense in the world: why bother accelerating you, your cargo and all your fuel/reaction mass if you can pick up more along the way?

  4. - Top - End - #184
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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Thank you.
    "Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    the Vector Legion [is the IFCC's new pawns], mark my words. Way too much unfinished business there and they already know about the Gates.
    I'll take that bet.

  5. - Top - End - #185
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    And Sam finally shows his snout again.

  6. - Top - End - #186
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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    Specifically, it is reaction mass.
    I thought that superfluous to note, since it's part of the second panels' text.

    I'm not sure exactly where these fuel pods come from, or how they are moving at a convenient-to-grab speed and trajectory (I forget, has this all been explained?), but it makes sense for such a setup to exist. It isn't unlike modern commerce, where a semi truck picks up a trailer of goods and fuels up, then fuels up in places along the way. Obviously it makes you reliant upon said infrastructure, but it makes all the sense in the world: why bother accelerating you, your cargo and all your fuel/reaction mass if you can pick up more along the way?
    It wasn't, but she did say it was 'launched' several weeks ago. So they had already placed it in orbit in anticipation for the mission (if not the specific ship).

    As for the speed and trajectory - trajectory is easy enough to calculate (we do it all the time to get cargo ships to the ISS), and reference the laser for speed.
    May you get EXACTLY what you wish for.

  7. - Top - End - #187
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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Quote Originally Posted by PoeticallyPsyco View Post
    Depends on how you're looking at it, what the goals for that redundancy were. If your goal is to be able to continue working unimpeded when something breaks, thus saving money, then yeah, waiting for everything to break is a terrible plan. If your goal is to save money on repairs, though, it makes more sense to wait for the back-ups to break, too, so they can be repaired at the same time - theoretically doubling how long you went without a break for a relatively minor increase in repair costs. Which one's a better idea depends on a lot of things, including how disruptive getting repairs done is, how expensive the parts are relative to the cost of labor for repair, and how bad it would be if whatever it is stops working for a time.
    And frequently, whether the supervisor/manager is abstracted/short-sighted enough to disapprove of spending time/money making repairs that won't significantly improve near-term performance.
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  8. - Top - End - #188
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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Quote Originally Posted by sihnfahl View Post
    It wasn't, but she did say it was 'launched' several weeks ago. So they had already placed it in orbit in anticipation for the mission (if not the specific ship).

    As for the speed and trajectory - trajectory is easy enough to calculate (we do it all the time to get cargo ships to the ISS), and reference the laser for speed.
    Okay, yes, so someone sent them there, in the right place, going the right speed and trajectory. That does mean that someone already had the means of launching them, and spent the energy/fuel to put those pods in motion. It does, to me, reinforce the semi truck analogy. Someone else has put a lot of energy into infrastructure, and the ship is there to provide the engine and the oversight to turn that into a cargo delivery.

  9. - Top - End - #189
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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    Someone else has put a lot of energy into infrastructure, and the ship is there to provide the engine and the oversight to turn that into a cargo delivery.
    Not just the cargo. Sam as well. He's, ah, going as an 'expert' in ... well, stealing.

    I mean, theoretically, they could use an unmanned cargo ship. Lob the cargo into orbit, catch it with a space tug, then send it to a trajectory that the station could receive it with their own tug.
    Last edited by sihnfahl; 2020-04-27 at 07:04 PM.
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  10. - Top - End - #190
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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Several months ago, when first planning the expedition, it's explained that the launcher sends out the pods several days/weeks before they leave. Since they're accelerating with ships drive they'll eventually catch up to pods, resupply, and consume them. This supply launch is a large part of their initial investment in the trip, getting the fuel in place for them to be able to make the trip. That's what Florence is talking about in this strip. I didn't keep searching for the full explanation as it's even further back.

    EDIT NVM here it is, only 200 ish strip ago. http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff3200/fc03192.htm
    Last edited by Thomas Cardew; 2020-04-27 at 09:32 PM.

  11. - Top - End - #191
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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Cardew View Post
    Several months ago, when first planning the expedition, it's explained that the launcher sends out the pods several days/weeks before they leave. Since they're accelerating with ships drive they'll eventually catch up to pods, resupply, and consume them. This supply launch is a large part of their initial investment in the trip, getting the fuel in place for them to be able to make the trip. That's what Florence is talking about in this strip. I didn't keep searching for the full explanation as it's even further back.

    EDIT NVM here it is, only 200 ish strip ago. http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff3200/fc03192.htm
    My basic understanding is that they could have made the trip without the initial launches, but that they actually get there faster by delaying their departure by a couple weeks to set up the reaction mass drops.
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  12. - Top - End - #192
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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Yeah, basically prepositioning some tankers so you don't have to keep as sharp an eye on the fuel gauge.

  13. - Top - End - #193
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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Cardew View Post
    EDIT NVM here it is, only 200 ish strip ago. http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff3200/fc03192.htm
    "That's more outside help than I was expecting."
    "It's like owning a trcuk. You can go from coast to coast on your own. It's a lot easier if you use the roads and filling stations."


    Alright. I guess I'm just restating the same concept that the author laid out at the start. Don't remember reading that, but I must have.

  14. - Top - End - #194
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    I wonder what game Niomi is referencing. Only one that seems to fit would be Hide and Go Seek.

  15. - Top - End - #195
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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    With the goggles and gloves it looks like an augmented reality computer game. Though that might just be a reference to current events. Maybe it's both, a loose historically-based game (that I just made up) called Pandemic 2020.

  16. - Top - End - #196
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Those are safety goggles and work gloves. And she's specifically talking about seeking out and finding problems.

    And I agree with Sam. There isn't much romantic in a romcom.

  17. - Top - End - #197
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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    Those are safety goggles and work gloves. And she's specifically talking about seeking out and finding problems.

    And I agree with Sam. There isn't much romantic in a romcom.
    Maybe, but "mostly sterile" is not a species, evolution via natural selection just doesn't/can't work that way.
    The end of what Son? The story? There is no end. There's just the point where the storytellers stop talking.

  18. - Top - End - #198
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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    Maybe, but "mostly sterile" is not a species, evolution via natural selection just doesn't/can't work that way.
    Errm, ants?


    A species is fine as long as enough of its non-sterile members reproduce. And Sqid reproduction makes a lot of offspring if I remember correctly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    the Vector Legion [is the IFCC's new pawns], mark my words. Way too much unfinished business there and they already know about the Gates.
    I'll take that bet.

  19. - Top - End - #199
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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    Maybe, but "mostly sterile" is not a species, evolution via natural selection just doesn't/can't work that way.
    A bee hive contains 1 female, a few hundred males, and several thousand individuals who are mostly sterile. Natural selection can work however it damn well wants.

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    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Ceterum autem censeo Hilgya malefica est

  20. - Top - End - #200
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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    Maybe, but "mostly sterile" is not a species, evolution via natural selection just doesn't/can't work that way.
    I'm just going to leave this here.

  21. - Top - End - #201
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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    And Sqid reproduction makes a lot of offspring if I remember correctly.
    A clutch is apparently large enough to support something like drive-by adoption.
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  22. - Top - End - #202
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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Errm, ants?


    A species is fine as long as enough of its non-sterile members reproduce. And Sqid reproduction makes a lot of offspring if I remember correctly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    A bee hive contains 1 female, a few hundred males, and several thousand individuals who are mostly sterile. Natural selection can work however it damn well wants.

    Grey Wolf
    Bees, ants and some wasps, I will grant you, but the mother is alive and more or less in charge in those cases. Drive by adoption is not going to work, in my humble opinion, there isn't sufficient genetic connection.
    The end of what Son? The story? There is no end. There's just the point where the storytellers stop talking.

  23. - Top - End - #203
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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    Bees, ants and some wasps, I will grant you, but the mother is alive and more or less in charge in those cases. Drive by adoption is not going to work, in my humble opinion, there isn't sufficient genetic connection.
    I hear humans practice adoption on occasion; it seems viable. And in a species where neither parent survives as a matter of course, there's little basis to expect a hereditary connection to be a factor in the first place.
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  24. - Top - End - #204
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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    Bees, ants and some wasps, I will grant you, but the mother is alive and more or less in charge in those cases. Drive by adoption is not going to work, in my humble opinion, there isn't sufficient genetic connection.
    Considering Sam's claim that puppies are more loyal and easier to paper-train, and also that Sqids are pre-industrial, it makes perfect sense to me that most Sqids would see the value in grabbing a kid or three- that's more hands to help out on the farm, after all.

  25. - Top - End - #205
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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    Bees, ants and some wasps, I will grant you, but the mother is alive and more or less in charge in those cases. Drive by adoption is not going to work, in my humble opinion, there isn't sufficient genetic connection.
    Penguins have been known to practice adoption - it usually makes the news when its a same-sex male couple adopting some abandoned egg (which makes it obvious the egg cannot be from either partner). Adoption is a perfectly viable strategy. And of course, as Jasdoif points out, there are plenty of species - I know mostly of fish - where parents dying is also a valid strategy.

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    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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  26. - Top - End - #206
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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Sam also compares where his species is to Earth's Devonian period. I doubt there are farms.

  27. - Top - End - #207
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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    I can see the argument for intelligence being unlikely to develop with the Sqids' reproductive cycle. How does natural selection favor intelligence when the only ones who are old enough to display it are also sterile? (I believe it was stated that Sqids reproduce before being old enough to be called truly sentient; someone correct me if I'm wrong.)

    But there are numerous ways that could actually happen. Intelligent adults are more capable of protecting and feeding their reproduction-capable nephews and nieces. The young Sqids could be favoring intelligent mates even though it's not directly advantageous to them (see the many, often arbitrary, ways animals select for mates on earth). Or they could still be benefiting from increased intelligence, just not as much as their older relatives, thus still causing natural selection to favor increased intelligence.
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  28. - Top - End - #208
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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Quote Originally Posted by PoeticallyPsyco View Post
    I can see the argument for intelligence being unlikely to develop with the Sqids' reproductive cycle. How does natural selection favor intelligence when the only ones who are old enough to display it are also sterile? (I believe it was stated that Sqids reproduce before being old enough to be called truly sentient; someone correct me if I'm wrong.)

    But there are numerous ways that could actually happen. Intelligent adults are more capable of protecting and feeding their reproduction-capable nephews and nieces. The young Sqids could be favoring intelligent mates even though it's not directly advantageous to them (see the many, often arbitrary, ways animals select for mates on earth). Or they could still be benefiting from increased intelligence, just not as much as their older relatives, thus still causing natural selection to favor increased intelligence.
    With our not-particularly-large sample population of 1 extant intelligent species, a species that most definitely does not primarily select for intelligence when selecting sexual partners, I am not sure we can say anything definite of how intelligence species arise from natural selection. But if I had to guess, I'd say the crux is extelligence* - the ability to preserve knowledge beyond an individual's death. Which means that long-living "uncles" capable of passing on knowledge to each successive generation would probably be a key component, even if they themselves don't pass on their genes, because they still pass on knowledge, which is a key component of intelligence.

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    *Credit: Ian Stewart, Jack Cohen & Terry Pratchett's Science of Discworld
    Last edited by Grey_Wolf_c; 2020-05-02 at 01:05 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Ceterum autem censeo Hilgya malefica est

  29. - Top - End - #209
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Well, we have an official name for another one of Harem's alts--Co-Ed.

  30. - Top - End - #210
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    Well, we have an official name for another one of Harem's alts--Co-Ed.
    Wrong Thread.

    Edit: I think we can all feel with Niomi here.
    Last edited by Kantaki; 2020-05-04 at 12:13 PM.
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