(C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

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(C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Aszev » Thu 19 Aug 2010, 20:04

This thread is for quick questions related to the forum topic; Post your question and hopefully receive an answer here.
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Micamo » Sun 19 Sep 2010, 16:23

How can a species naturally capable of inter-planetary travel (that is, with just their bodies, not with suits or spaceships) evolve from a terrestrially-based form of life?
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Raydred » Mon 20 Sep 2010, 18:29

Micamo wrote:How can a species naturally capable of inter-planetary travel (that is, with just their bodies, not with suits or spaceships) evolve from a terrestrially-based form of life?
terrestrially-based-you mean that come from a planet?
Making the planet low on mass would be an easy fix.
Also...Being able to last in space for some time would be easy for living beings similiar to cells. Creating big species that can stand it may be a bit harder.
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Micamo » Tue 21 Sep 2010, 00:03

Raydred wrote:
Micamo wrote:How can a species naturally capable of inter-planetary travel (that is, with just their bodies, not with suits or spaceships) evolve from a terrestrially-based form of life?
terrestrially-based-you mean that come from a planet?
Making the planet low on mass would be an easy fix.
Also...Being able to last in space for some time would be easy for living beings similiar to cells. Creating big species that can stand it may be a bit harder.
I came up with a slightly better idea. The planet their from is part of a ternary planet system, with 2 larger planets about the same size and one smaller one that goes around them both. All of them have roughly the same atmospheric conditions. This smaller planet gets so close to both of the bigger planets during its orbit their atmospheres intersect: It is possible for a flying species to move between the big planets in this way by hitching a ride on the smaller one. In fact, this mechanism allowed inter-planetary migratory patterns to develop. However, due to the massive influx of creatures flying through during the short window of atmospheric intersection, this is a hay-day for predators. So, to avoid predators, certain species developed the ability to go through the vacuum of space for a brief period slightly before and after the main intersection.

Problem is, how can an inter-planetary migration pattern develop?
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by sangi39 » Tue 21 Sep 2010, 12:18

The other problem travelling through a vacuum, especially in space, would be how they'd combat the relatively high levels of radiation and the relatively low levels of whatever they'd happen to need for respiration.

It might be possible to suggest that some method of combatting radiation developed on their home planet as the result of a decrease in the strength of the planet's magnetic field/ozone layer equivalent. Since the radiation would likely affect their DNA causing detremental mutations they might, for example, develop some form of exoskeleton/shell which relies on the consumption of some material or another in a similar manner to the shell of a snail which, IIRC is made of an excretion of calcium carbonate. Perhaps this species could develop a similar method of protection.

As for respiration, IIRC there are some crocodiles which can stay underwater for something up to an hour through slowing their heartbeat down to just a few times a minute and changin the way the heart itself beats (closing of certain chambers at different times, etc. can't remember exactly how). I'm not sure how animals like whales do it but with them it seems like a case of really big lungs and sperm whales can dive for 90 minutes apparently. If you combined the two then perhaps the individual could hold their breath for longer than that.

Additionally, space is freakin' huge! If we say the creature could travel at 60mph/96.6kph (not a lot but using it anyway) it would take them about 4,000 hours (166 days) to reach our moon from the Earth's surface. To get there in a day they'd have to be travelling, on average, at close to 10,000mph (over 16,000kph). Further, they'd have to be able to break away from the planet's gravity (so that depends on the gravity of course) as well as surviving re-entry which could be where a shifting atmosphere/ocean might be worth looking at.

I like the idea of a biologically intersteller yet formerly "terrestrial" species but I think the evolutionary processes that could lead to that kind of development might be extremely complex and rare. I think another way of looking at it might be to consider different kinds of life, perhaps life-forms without a solid body, similar to a gaseous cloud, but which still possess what we might call "life like" characteristics, e.g. self-replication, collection of energy and emission of waste, etc. I don't know if this would make the biological development of the ability for interstellar travel any easier or likely but it's interesting either way.
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by goneriku » Thu 23 Sep 2010, 00:30

I think they would have to be minute creatures, you can look at water bears and the theory that the Earth was colonized by extraterrestrial microbes hitching a ride on asteroids.
Also, maybe they'd become planktonic- microbes (and larvae?) hitch rides on space debris and asteroids, probably going into a prolonged period of stasis. Then there'd be the hope they ended up somewhere hospitable for their survival.
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by CMunk » Sun 26 Sep 2010, 20:46

How about a creature with some sort of big mouth that could hold a lot of air as well as some plants, that would photosynthesise and feed the animal. The animal would in return fertilise them with its escrement and of course bring the plants' seeds to another planet. A symbiotic, self-sustaining relationship.
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by goneriku » Tue 28 Sep 2010, 06:22

Why would it need plants? It could just easily have pigments (mind you, they'd probably have to come in a spectrum of colors depending on what best absorbs light but I know next to nothing about this so don't take my word for it) and photosynthesize itself. Also, there's wide swaths of space where the creature would starve to death due to lack of light (unless it just stayed in one solar system or something).
Also, space is way too big for them to be able to store enough air and water to survive extended trips. They'd need to do better than that.
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Micamo » Tue 28 Sep 2010, 07:55

goneriku wrote:Why would it need plants? It could just easily have pigments (mind you, they'd probably have to come in a spectrum of colors depending on what best absorbs light but I know next to nothing about this so don't take my word for it) and photosynthesize itself. Also, there's wide swaths of space where the creature would starve to death due to lack of light (unless it just stayed in one solar system or something).
Also, space is way too big for them to be able to store enough air and water to survive extended trips. They'd need to do better than that.
Easily solved by having them go to sleep during the long haul of interstellar travel. As long as it has input from an outside source (a local star, for example) there's also no big problem with recycling air/water internally. I do, however, like the idea of multi-cellular organisms that come to live inside the creature and eventually become equivalent to internal organs. Their internal biologies could even be somewhat unique to each member of the species, much like ours is (Of course, our internal biologies consists of only microbes). However I don't think this would really work for the space-farers due to the long inactivity periods. Perhaps for another conspecies?

As for interstellar travel itself I've already thought of a solar sail system. They'd "awaken" when they approach a star, collect energy, then scour the local system for suitable planets. Once they find an acceptable planet, they drop their eggs onto it and leave. The eggs terraform the planet and then hatch creatures that eventually become space-farers themselves.
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Maximillian » Fri 08 Oct 2010, 13:59

How can I justify (historically, culturally, biologically...) the choice of nonary (base-9) numeral system for my con-people?
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Tanni » Fri 08 Oct 2010, 15:32

Maximillian wrote:How can I justify (historically, culturally, biologically...) the choice of nonary (base-9) numeral system for my con-people?
Historically: Maybe they have nine ancesters/ancestoral tribes.

Culturally: Maybe they woreship nine gods, spirits or ancesters. One of my conspecies has a base 13 numeral system for a special purpose, it is based on the number of stancas of a poem. (I've already written that poem.) There is a SF series where a species has a base 9 based culture because of the nine openings of some kind of ''source''.

They could have deliberately chosen an unusual system to set themselves apart form neighbouring tribes. Or, if the neighboring cultures believe in some numbers are bad, to set apart from that superstition, they could have chosen that number/numbers for their numeral system.

Biologically: If your conpeople have a tail, it can count, too. Remember that not all life forms are bilateral symmetrical. There are ''sea stars'' (don't know the English term) with 5 armes, I think.
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Micamo » Fri 08 Oct 2010, 16:00

One way is if your proto-language had no words for the peanos as we commonly know them today, but instead had singular, paucal, and plural number built into their grammar. To aid in keeping track of more precise values, a number system resembling ours was made by merchants. The Nonary system comes from the method invented to keep precise track of large inventories.

As for the method itself my idea is to base it on the sum of powers of 3. Let's take for example the number 117. This can be expressed as 3^4+3^3+3^2. You can also include subtraction into this by letting 230 be expressed as 3^5-3^2-3^1-3^0. This could be kept by carving lines into a piece of wood. To keep track of changes in inventory you simply add more terms onto the wood (either additive terms or subtractive ones). Due to the complicated nature of working with the exponentials investigation into how to refine and improve the system could also be a great opportunity for your conculture to develop things like algebra and geometry.
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Micamo » Wed 13 Oct 2010, 23:46

Our system of dates from the birth of Christ, but similar systems centered around other events are imaginable as well. Still other cultures break up their years into several eras rather than just two, (The 145th year of the 19th era!), which, while impractical (calculating year distance across eras requires knowing the length of all the eras involved) is certainly more flavorful. Are there any other types of date systems?
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Curlyjimsam » Thu 14 Oct 2010, 19:56

Maximillian wrote:How can I justify (historically, culturally, biologically...) the choice of nonary (base-9) numeral system for my con-people?
Maybe a historico-biological explanation could be that your people have three fingers per hand, meaning their earliest counting systems were base three. However this proved to be not terribly practical, or sound changes messed things up, or something, so over time it evolved into base-9. Maybe this could be achieved with something like the following to start with:

1 - ka
2 - ne
3 - bo
4 - boka
5 - bone
6 - nebo
7 - neboka
8 - nebone
9 - ri

Throw in a couple of sound changes (V>0 finally except in monosyllables, b>v / V_V, o>u / _n) and the base-3 nature of the original system is no longer apparent - and of course you could take it much further than this and hide the original forms even further:

1 - ka
2 - ne
3 - bo
4 - bok
5 - bun
6 - neb
7 - nevok
8 - nevun
9 - ri
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Maximillian » Fri 15 Oct 2010, 07:03

Micamo wrote:As for the method itself my idea is to base it on the sum of powers of 3.
Ok, but why would someone take 3 as a base instead of much simpler ten or even eight?
Curlyjimsam wrote:Maybe a historico-biological explanation could be that your people have three fingers per hand
No, my people have five fingers.
Micamo wrote:Are there any other types of date systems?
Anno Mundi counts years from the creation. Regnal year is a year of the reign of a king. Ab urbe condita counts years from the founding of Rome. Check here for more.
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Xonen » Fri 15 Oct 2010, 18:38

Maximillian wrote:
Micamo wrote:As for the method itself my idea is to base it on the sum of powers of 3.
Ok, but why would someone take 3 as a base instead of much simpler ten or even eight?
Well, I suppose it could be argued that in some (ancient) cultures you just don't need to count to much more than three that often... Although perhaps five or six would still be somewhat more likely; both of these could also be based on counting with the fingers of one hand (with, say, a fist standing for "six" in the latter system). And in fact, a base six system just might evolve into a base nine system, if the original word for "nine" literally meant something like "one-and-a-half sixes" and were then obscured by sound changes and stuff.

Also based on counting with one hand, you could use more abstract gestures than just holding up fingers for numbers above five. The Chinese do this all the way up to ten (although they actually need both hands for "ten"), but presumably you could also stop at nine.
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by reizoukin » Sat 16 Oct 2010, 01:47

Xonen wrote:The Chinese do this all the way up to ten (although they actually need both hands for "ten"), but presumably you could also stop at nine.
Consequently, the Chinese actually have three ways of symboling ten: the one in the chart, crossing your middle and index finger (like the ASL symbol for "r"), and a fist. I've seen all three in use.
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Micamo » Thu 18 Nov 2010, 11:39

In my Mythos, the human (or rather, human-derived) peoples are the product of the god Eamina's twisted games. "Hey, it'd be really funny if these guys could fart rainbows! Bahahaha!" Never satisfied, He took pockets of people and played with their biologies to satisfy His boredom. Most of them are recognizable but some don't even look remotely human anymore.

Considering how many people he played with, I'm starting to think it'd be more reasonable if there weren't any "normal" humans left on Dinyoran.
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by jseamus » Thu 18 Nov 2010, 21:35

Do any of them actually fart rainbows? That would be kinda fucking awesome, though possibly unhealthy.

Also, How many conworlds around here are magic-free? Just wondering, as I am a bit of a fan of more mundane fantasy.
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Thakowsaizmu » Thu 18 Nov 2010, 21:42

jseamus wrote:Do any of them actually fart rainbows? That would be kinda fucking awesome, though possibly unhealthy.

Also, How many conworlds around here are magic-free? Just wondering, as I am a bit of a fan of more mundane fantasy.
The conlang that Changshuo is maybe living on isn't one with magic. At least, it doesn't have magic like most fantasy novels do.
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