Elderly Cynic

Elderly Cynic

  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Greg the main point here is why you think you have a right to take such a judgemental position on other people. . . . The British were a plague on the world. This isn’t even debatable. Their colonial history...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Genocide, conquering other people for slavery and so on were well-established in sub-Saharan Africa before the slave trade started. In general, it was only the slaves that were held at gunpoint, and I believe that relatively few were the result...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    I wasn't familiar with the word orc, either, though I was with the concept. You are probably more familiar with the modern usage of goblin (as I am) but, in mediaeval usage, it meant essentially one of Satan's minions. #302...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Indeed. And, if you were to select the author of fantasy most likely to be familiar with forgotten tropes, it would be Tolkien :-) But imaginative authors rarely simply adopt a trope, and are more likely to combine them or...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Yes, he put his own spin on all of his monsters, but he did NOT entirely invent orcs. The word orc (meaning monster) dates from 1605, and was used a certain amount in the fantasy revival of the 19th century....
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Er, Tolkien's monsters WERE standard in the genre long before he wrote anything....
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Lord Darcy had nowhere to level up to - he was already right at the top!...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    I see. You seriously misunderstood, then. The idiots I was railing against were the Little Englander BOTANISTS - that's not the only imbecility they have been responsible for, incidentally....
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    I think you need a better pair of glasses. I have rechecked, and I definitely used the word 'plants', twice. Of course, you may regard a rabbit as a plant, which would explain everything :-)...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    It's an interesting hypothesis, to be sure, but I am unable to work out how you came to that conclusion....
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Don't need to go that far - there are plenty of places where ferns, mosses etc. are more prevalent than grasses in the damper parts of the UK (and, I assume, a few places in North America). The key factor...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Yes. Bulrushes (cattails) also grow quite happily 'above' the water where the soil is almost always wet, and grow below the water only when it's very shallow. As you say, I was referring to more aquatic plants - and animals,...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    I was considering possible variants of 'earth-like' environments that would lead to (a) 'flying steeds' and (b) natural balloons. Ones that are very different from earth are another matter. (a) looks implausible, for reasons I gave above. (b) looks implausible,...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Oops. I meant to say "twice the gravity and 2-3x the air density"....
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    The reason that I have difficulty with a Titan-like scenario is that my understanding is that it is assumed that life needed a lot of both warmth and ultraviolet to get started. Worse, for a particular solid density, the escape...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Not the ones that occur in Britain, no....
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    The problem with a Titan-like scenario is that its 'habitable zone' lifetime may not be long enough to evolve as far as flying vertebrates. I have been unable to find any reference to the estimated timescale of the sun's changes....
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    I suggest that you ask someone to teach you basic comprehension; that is exactly what I said....
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Plenty of land birds do, too, even if they don't have to. The assertion that albatrosses are the upper limit is a straw man. Everyone with clue knows that they aren't. It's not just bustards that are heavier, but several...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    The mind boggles. Yes, I do know about how things occurred on earth, but the discussion was about another planet entirely. In particular, in #163, I pointed out some (geological) differences that would provide an evolutionary advantage. Are they plausible?...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    No. SERIOUSLY lower gravity, like Mars, and possibly a higher atmospheric density. A fairly implausible combination....
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Yes, precisely, which is why I regard the combination of low gravity and high air density as implausible. I am not sure if a large moon orbiting a warm superjovian / brown dwarf orbiting a dimmish G-type star would do...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Why nothing uses balloons: Why should they build huge, complex, delicate structures that are easy to chow down on and hard to steer, when the same resources can go into making millions to billions of tiny propagules that will do...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Yes, I have thought the same, and I agree. My guess is that it's because it's worth it (over 'parachutes', which are used by spiderlings as well as seeds) only if distribution via the trade winds or medium-altitude winds is...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Anaerobic decomposition of plant material creates methane, which occurs in a cow's rumen, and that is less reactive, less hydrophilic than ammonia and gives 8% more lift. Half the lift of hydrogen is probably enough that its other advantages would...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    It's a second-order effect. Lower gravity means that larger machines and organisms are viable. That MIGHT be true for higher air density, too, but it's much more complicated....
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    For organic blimps, hydrogen is definitely better than helium! Blimps have been very successfully used for several purposes, mostly observation-related, and still are. Their main problem is that they aren't good in strong wind. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blimp...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Yes, a lower gravity would allow the lifting of more mass - but, as I said, a low gravity and a high atmospheric density is physically implausible....
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Thank you. I did. I await your work with interest....
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Ligter than air devices are virtually unaffected by those, except insofar as those affect the wind speeds. And the only thing that they need significant power for is to move at speed (relative to the air, of course) - the...
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