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1:24 AM
Q: Itinerant doctor foils a would-be emperor's plans to commandeer old space technology to weaponize space

DavidWI most likely read this sometime between the late 1990s and 2010. I have no idea where I would have read it. It might be closer to novella length than a short story. It'd be neat to have it identified so I can find out if the author has written any other stories in this world. The milieu is a...

6 hours later…
8:02 AM
Q: Is cat grease a good sunscreen, as Eli claims?

DannyMcGIn the film The Book of Eli, when Eli is going through his goods for bartering, he offers up a vial of 'cat grease' from the moggy he'd killed and cooked earlier. He says it's a good sun screen. Is it?

8:17 AM
Can we reopen this and some of the user's other questions?
Q: What would have been the Borg's plan for earth if the writers had not changed the Borg into assimilators?

AdamNYI've always wondered. It was 1989. The writers at the time did not know what to do with the Borg. The end scene of "Q Who" airs. Guinan warns Picard that because the Borg know of the Federation's existence, that they will be coming. The Borg in that episode did very destructive things. If it was...

The answer to this is very clear. And in general, just because a question is founded on a mistaken premise or we don't know whether an answer exists, doesn't mean we close it.
I closed it as opinion based because all sorts of "What would have happened if X" and especially "what would have happened if the writers had done X" questions are opinion based on their premise alone
Q: Do the hypnotic moths in these works share a common origin?

AdamantIn The Worst Witch TV series (2017), there's a creature called a hypnapillon. It's a moth, described as feeding off of people's "minds, fears, imagination," and it hypnotizes its prey with patterns on its wings, leaving them in a mindless state. This struck me as extremely similar to the slake-...

9:05 AM
@TheLethalCarrot that's not asking for an opinion, though. That's asking for speculation. And some of these questions can be answered perfectly fine. In this case, the originally envisioned plotline for the Borg may very well have been documented somewhere.
Exactly it's asking for speculation which is by definition opinion based...
No, speculation can be based on knowledge about the work in question or its universe.
There's a difference between answering with informed speculation and asking a question for speculative answers
Yet you don't necessarily know by the question that the only possible answers are speculation.
"That's asking for speculation." You literally just said so yourself
9:16 AM
@TheLethalCarrot so I was wrong.
Taking this question as an example, the writers may have documented the direction the Borg would take in the series.
And that may be available somewhere.
10:01 AM
Q: How many episodes did Rick Berman & Brannon Braga actually write?

JeepedI'm rewatching ST-ENT from the beginning and I'm seeing an awful lot of 'Written by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga' in the opening credits. This got me thinking about Lennon and McCartney taking credit for every Beatles song ever written when in fact, there were a number of main composers who nev...

10:48 AM
@SQB That's a lot of "may have" and it makes it impossible to close any speculative question because maybe someone can reach Dr. Asimov in a seance and get an answer to a question about alternate endings for The Gods Themselves.
I would expect sources, though.
But you have no idea that any sources even exist! You're just hoping something might show up. Maybe someone will discover a trunk full of unpublishable garbage that got lost from Asimov's estate, and find some early sketches for the plot.
11:03 AM
Then the answer should be "we don't know".
@Gallifreyan or @Randal'Thor there is a cold place that needs thawing.
You can't blindly apply we don't know to everything, that's not the point of it.
It is the correct answer, though.
List possible sources, extrapolate from those sources if sensible, but don't be afraid to admit that we don't know if that's the case.
Yes in some cases we can do that. Not in every case
The POB close reason is there for a reason, we shouldn't not use it just cos "we don't know is an acceptable answer" - of course it is an acceptable answer but that doesn't mean it always applies
Q: Which book(s): Fictional account of pre-columbian indians

user46760I'm trying to identify a book, or series of books I read as a child. The setting was pre-columbian Central America, the protagonists were belonged to a river based tribe (lots of big canoes etc). If memory serves, the premise of one of the books was that the beautiful wife-to-be of one of the pr...

11:40 AM
Q: What was the first Sci-fi TV series?

DaveWhat was the first Science Fiction TV series? Did any shows predate the 1936 series of Flash Gordon? I don't really know a sensible way to search IMDB for the answer. Google, erroneously, suggests "The first popular science-fiction program on American television was the DuMont Television Netwo...

@Kevin could you please thaw a room for me?
12:15 PM
@DavidW That’s the whole point of asking it - to see if anyone can come up with a good answer. Instead of allowing the system to work the way it’s supposed to, where people post answers and the entire community votes on whether they are good answers, closing such questions means that a group of close voters has decided what the answer is. And many a time close-voters incorrectly think that a question has no answer.
Like this one, for example:
Q: Are Dementors able to kill souls in the afterlife?

HRIATEXPIn the movie The Deathly Hallows Part 2, when Harry was speaking with his parents' souls and other wizards' souls in the woods, if a Dementor had suddenly shown up there, could it have consumed one of the souls speaking to Harry? Moreover, if it is able to consume a soul in the afterlife, would ...

12:35 PM
@TheLethalCarrot Correct, it applies when the question is not opinion-based, and it doesn’t apply when the question is opinion-based. But it is not the determinant of whether the question is opinion-based.
Sure there's a grey area which there is with most things
1:00 PM
bing bong
1:19 PM
@SQB what would you do that thaw?
Hey ASR!
@AncientSwordRage Meta chat?
Meta chat?
It's for room owners.
Oh right
@AncientSwordRage bang bang
1:23 PM
Administrative duties.
2:06 PM
@SQB my wish is your command
@Jenayah You shot me down
@AncientSwordRage Bang Bang
2:27 PM
@Jenayah you shot me down
@AncientSwordRage Maybe she's trying to say "Knock knock?"
2:54 PM
@AncientSwordRage Okay, I've publicly admitted I'm clueless. Yet again. :) I hang my head in shame.
3:04 PM
@AncientSwordRage well I was thinking of the Nancy Sinatra one...
Have zero idea what the French thing is
If that can make you feel any better @DavidW :)
@Jenayah it's a remix
[insert rant about useless tag]
3:38 PM
Q: Were the Sphinx's riddles intentionally easy?

jinkevinIn The Battle of the Labyrinth, The Sphinx challenges Annabeth to a game of Answer That Riddle. Her two "historical" riddles, the Three Legs riddle and the lesser known Two Sisters riddle, are both relatively tricky by modern standards, and everyone before Oedipus got eaten. Since everyone knows ...

4:00 PM
@Jenayah give me fame
2 hours later…
6:17 PM
Q: R. A. Salvatore novel set in Faerûn - main character is a female werewolf who has dealings with priestesses of Selûne

brain56I'm trying to remember this book I read some time around 2008. I remember it as a book with R. A. Salvatore's name on it, I'm not certain if he wrote it or co-wrote it, which is why I couldn't identify it from his bibliography. I read the paperback edition and I remember its cover having a disti...

Q: Why would Truman's father disguise himself as homeless person in a society with no homeless people?

ValorumIt struck me that Kirk's choice of outfit is a peculiar one. Notwithstanding that he was actually successful in making contact with Truman, why would he think that dressing as a homeless person was an inconspicuous way to infiltrate the show? Wouldn't he stand out like a sore thumb in a town ...

7:09 PM
Doodie Man!
(might be NSFW)
7:56 PM
Q: Why do they not start the search the same day?

AllerleirauhIn the movie Live. Die. Repeat. (a.k.a. Edge of Tomorrow) the soldier and the angel of Verdun together are searching for the enemy. Why do they wait until the net morning? Why do they not start the same day the soldier comes to meet the angel of Verdun the first time?

8:16 PM
Q: What happened to Thanos's ships at the end of "Avengers: Endgame"?

Elle FieAt the end of Avengers: Endgame, when Tony Stark We did not see this with the snap in Avengers: Infinity War, where Why is it different this time around? See 2m35s of this clip, ignore the Chitauri ship in the foreground.

8:35 PM
Q: SF short story about alien trying to drive car

CarfilhiotI am trying to rediscover a short science fiction story/article. It was about an alien on Earth trying to escape pursuit in an ordinary automobile and of course finding the whole thing pretty much impossible, and described the alien trying the different controls and wondering what the heck they w...

8:55 PM
Q: What is the pattern in the ship names in the Interdependency series?

Lyndon WhiteThe names seem peculiar. I feel like they are referencing something. "Yes, Sir, That’s My Baby" this is a Frank Sinatra song "No, Sir, I Don’t Mean Maybe" the second line from the Frank Sinatra song "I'll always remember you like a child" this is a line from the song Wild World by Cat ...

3 hours later…
11:34 PM
Q: Why does The Ancient One think differently about Doctor Strange in Endgame than the film Doctor Strange?

Pika the Wizard of the WhalesIn Doctor Strange, we see that, when Strange is seeking healing, he is rejected by The Ancient One, and if Mordo had not convinced her to change her mind Strange would probably never have been trained. So, considering this evidence, The Ancient One seemed to have little to no faith that he was w...


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