Flash Fiction: a complete story
in one thousand or fewer words.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Grist for the Speculative Fiction Mill--Unsolved Scientific Puzzles

This fine Times Online (UK) article summarizes and provides article links for some of the unsolved scientific puzzles. These puzzles might provide you some mortar for your SF or fantasy world-building. Some of the questions involve dark matter, the ignorance of certain spacecraft that refuse to follow known physical laws, constants that aren't constant enough, what's the deal with cold fusion?, What's the deal with life?, what's the deal with sex?...and more.

As Spock would say, "Fascinating." But I have my own questions:

  • Why didn't we let Pluto vote on whether it wanted to be in the United Planets?
  • Why don't we send Geraldo to the moon to find out, once and for all, whether the moon landing was a hoax?
  • Seriously: how many angels can you fit on the head of a pin? Related: if the number is large, what is the composition of an angel? Are dark angels composed of dark matter?

Labels: , , , ,

2 Comments:

Blogger Jake Freivald said...

Seriously, Bill. C'Mon.These aren't hard.

> *Why didn't we let Pluto vote on whether it wanted to be in the
> United Planets?

Everyone knows that as soon as you let Pluto vote, you get a bunch of Goofy people fighting for enfranchisement. It's overwhelming.

> *Why don't we send Geraldo to the moon to find out, once and for
> all, whether the moon landing was a hoax?

Because the moon isn't as far away as we'd like to send him. It's a good example of the expression, "letting the great be the enemy of the good."

> *Seriously: how many angels can you fit on the head of a pin?

Here's the right answer from a consultant's perspective: It depends.

From an angel-rights activist: How dare you try to force angels onto a pinhead?

From New Jersey: Who you callin' a pinhead?

> Related: if the number is large, what is the composition of an
> angel?

Anything by Abbess Hildegard von Bingen.

> Are dark angels composed of dark matter?

No, for two reasons: first, angels are composed of pure spirit, which is a form of energy, not matter; second, they're "fallen", not "dark". There is a measurable difference between them, though, as long as you have a voltmeter: When they fell, they reduced their potential.

March 4, 2009 9:40 AM  
Blogger William Highsmith said...

'scuse me? You're saying the Dark Angel TV series is a Big Lie? I don't think so.

I do like the Geraldo retort. If you give them an empty vault, they will come.

March 4, 2009 12:43 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Copyright (c) 2007 Flash Fiction Online
and the authors of the individual stories and articles.
All Rights Reserved.
Email the Webmaster with questions or comments about this site.
For other contact information visit our contact page.