Your web-browser is very outdated, and as such, this website may not display properly. Please consider upgrading to a modern, faster and more secure browser. Click here to do so.

Mixing Giant Mecha with Science

Pacific Rim fan blog run by a busy science nerd.

Specializes in (but not limited to) science-related and logic-related discussion and headcanons.

Dec 10 '13

so-i-did-this-thing:

pacificrimscience said:I don’t drink either, but now I’m tempted to propose a drinking game based on the track we just recorded…

———————-

Take a sip when Science! is discussed. (enough alone to get drunk at this step)

Another when the Science! in the movie is pretty good, albeit still flawed.

Take a sip when we talk about accents.

Another when they’re actually good!

Take a sip when we talk about subverted tropes.

Another when we gush about Mako being a strong protagonist.

Down the glass when Jamie says “Newt” instead of “Newton”.

(Bear in mind that this is a bit of a joke; I’m not trying to encourage excessive drinking.)

As an extension of that first rule I propose the Picky Scientist Rules for a drinking game, also known as the Picky Person in STEM Rules:

Before starting the game, choose what categories of Science! discussions will require drinking. (There are a lot of Science! discussions. The categorization lets players roughly control how drunk they’ll get.)

Subject matter categories:

  • Jaegers
  • Kaiju
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
    • Neuroscience
  • Engineering and technology
    • Computers
  • Drifting

Type of discussion categories:

  • Inaccurate Science!
  • Accurate Science!
  • Mental replacements for inaccurate Science!
  • Engineering practice
  • Design decisions
  • Science! combined with literary devices
  • Other

Players are also allowed to create their own categories.

Any (combination of) logical operators on categories may be used, provided that the result doesn’t impose conditions on the discussions themselves. Here’s some examples:

  • "Inaccurate physics and engineering" (really "inaccurate Science! and (about physics or about engineering)”) is a valid set of discussions to drink to.
  • "Chemistry xor kaiju” is also a valid set of discussions to drink to.
  • "Take two sips if the discussion is about mental replacements for inaccurate Science!” is also valid, but is an additional rule rather than just a set of discussions to drink to.
  • If a discussion is about physics, it must be about inaccurate Science!” is invalid, because it imposes conditions on the discussions in order to be a true statement.

(Yes, this means players get functional completeness to work with. There are no restrictions on how complicated the criteria for drinking get, but of course the players will have to work through those criteria while playing…)

Once the criteria for discussions to drink to has been defined, start the movie and commentary track.

Take a sip for every discussion that meets the criteria set for that game.

If there’s any disagreement or confusion about whether a particular discussion meets the criteria, count it as meeting the criteria and take two sips instead of one.

If a player notices a possible Science! discussion topic (directly related to something in the movie) that meets the criteria but isn’t mentioned on the commentary track, that player must declare the topic to everyone else in that game. Everyone playing then downs their glass.

If a previously declared topic (within the same game) turns out to be mentioned later on the commentary track, take a sip.

Dec 9 '13

youngnoblewoman:

pacificrimscience:

so-i-did-this-thing:

Just finished laying down a commentary track with the-oxford-english-fangirl, pacificrimscience, and jkrockin!

I think we only got to cover a mere FRACTION of topics to discuss about Pacific Rim. Which is GOOD, because I know there are folks who wanted to record tonight, but couldn’t for various reasons.

If you’re part of the commentary project, we’re shooting for another session, possibly Sat the 14th, 6-8pm EST. I’ll be shooting out some emails this weekend. If you are on the project and don’t have my email yet (and I don’t have yours) and you’re still game to record at some point, please shoot me an Ask.

It’s been a bit like herding cats (no one’s fault, this is a horribly busy time of year) and I’m very excited we’re finally starting to lay down tracks. I was worried we’d be spending the entire movie just ::internally screaming::, but we all actually do have some very interesting commentary to bring to the table; I’m excited to release the audio and companion website very soon. :)

I’ll post a followup when the raw audio is done encoding — we’ll also be doing some cleanup and whatnot due to a few technical hiccups. It’ll be like a rifftrack — you can listen along while watching your own copy of the movie.

I know we’ve only just scratched the surface - I kept all my points very short trying not to dominate the track, which means there are a lot of juicy details I didn’t address. (The extended versions are either already on this blog or will be coming when I get to write them up.)

And now that I know what recording these is like, I’m sorely tempted to try topic-specific tracks that do include all those details. One for physics, one for biology and chemistry, one for neuroscience and Jaeger programming (yes really) … alas, much more research and time is required to make that work.

image

Did somebody say “physics” and “Pacific Rim” in the same sentence? I’m in!

If you want to record with us, get in touch with so-i-did-this-thing. I’m not sure if he’s currently taking more people, but you can ask and find out!

If you just want to listen to people (mostly me right now) discuss the physics of Pacific Rim, check out the commentary track and website when they come out.

Dec 8 '13

so-i-did-this-thing:

Just finished laying down a commentary track with the-oxford-english-fangirl, pacificrimscience, and jkrockin!

I think we only got to cover a mere FRACTION of topics to discuss about Pacific Rim. Which is GOOD, because I know there are folks who wanted to record tonight, but couldn’t for various reasons.

If you’re part of the commentary project, we’re shooting for another session, possibly Sat the 14th, 6-8pm EST. I’ll be shooting out some emails this weekend. If you are on the project and don’t have my email yet (and I don’t have yours) and you’re still game to record at some point, please shoot me an Ask.

It’s been a bit like herding cats (no one’s fault, this is a horribly busy time of year) and I’m very excited we’re finally starting to lay down tracks. I was worried we’d be spending the entire movie just ::internally screaming::, but we all actually do have some very interesting commentary to bring to the table; I’m excited to release the audio and companion website very soon. :)

I’ll post a followup when the raw audio is done encoding — we’ll also be doing some cleanup and whatnot due to a few technical hiccups. It’ll be like a rifftrack — you can listen along while watching your own copy of the movie.

I know we’ve only just scratched the surface - I kept all my points very short trying not to dominate the track, which means there are a lot of juicy details I didn’t address. (The extended versions are either already on this blog or will be coming when I get to write them up.)

And now that I know what recording these is like, I’m sorely tempted to try topic-specific tracks that do include all those details. One for physics, one for biology and chemistry, one for neuroscience and Jaeger programming (yes really) … alas, much more research and time is required to make that work.

Nov 23 '13

Hello!

pacificrimscience:

Hello everyone, and welcome to my blog!

(I’m still in shock over this. O.O It’s an incredible honour.)

A few things you should know about me and this blog:

  1. As much as I love Pacific Rim and science, I cannot write science posts all day. Science posts also take time to write (and often research), even if the post is just reviewing an article. This means that this is generally not a high-post-volume blog. Please be aware of this, especially since
  2. I take questions through ask / submit! There are a few caveats though:
    • It will probably take some time to answer your question, due to point 1 above.
    • I try to keep this blog active even when I haven’t been able to finish an answer yet. Just because I’m making other posts doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about a question.
    • Before sending in a question, please check whether it’s already been answered by me or Travis Beacham.
    • Depending on the volume of questions I get, I may not be able to answer all of them.
    • My answers are not official.
  3. I am currently extra-busy due to real-life time demands. This means longer lead times for questions and somewhat less activity than I’d like, but don’t let that deter you from sending in questions!
  4. I write for an audience with a very wide range of backgrounds, both in science and in general. I try to keep my writing accessible without being overly long-winded, but I am by no means perfect. Clarification questions are welcome, and constructive writing feedback is always appreciated.
  5. On occasion I make not-strictly-science(-or-STEM) posts. Please don’t be surprised.
  6. I cannot read every reblog of my posts. If you want to show me a particular reblog for any reason, send me a message. I also track my URL tag, #pacificrimscience, in case you want to show me a post.

I hope you enjoy this blog!

Bringing this back for my new followers.

Nov 16 '13
so-i-did-this-thing:

pikalex88:

so-i-did-this-thing:

VERSION 0.1?!!
For god’s sake, I can only imagine what the bugs were like… or this is just a mockup done in After Effects (with the pilots pretending to be in sync while the jaeger goes through some pre-programmed stuff) to impress the top brass?
THIS IS WHAT I THINK ABOUT AS A PROGRAMMER.

I’m so glad to see someone else noticing this, it gets me every time. How do you even get to that as v0.1? Not even v0.1.5 or something, it’s just their first go. I bet they don’t even have source control, there’s one hard drive with the entire Jaeger program on it. If someone just dropped it or overwrote some code the Kaiju would win. The pilots are being overwhelmed with debugging messages where the programmers just had it print out relevant variables and then forgot to remove the code, if they rotate their hand anticlockwise the hemispheres switch and they’re not sure why yet. The pilots say the drift smells like raspberries and nobody has a clue why so they just assure them it’ll be fixed in v0.2. 
And then when they finish the demo the first thing the brass asks is if the green hemisphere could be a little greener.

#life of a programmer, #//fix the raspberies, #Jaeger.doTheThing();, #driftStrength = complicatedFunction() + 2 // Works better with +2

OH GOD, I AM CRYING. THIS IS ABSOLUTE TRUTH.

I’m also happy to see someone else noticing this. I have so many things to say about this picture, including some that will go in another post I’ve been drafting for months.
The thread above made me laugh very hard, mostly because I’ve seen many similar things in my own programming experience. (If you want to hear my programming stories, ask me on my personal blog.) Let me add some more:
Sometimes one of the external libraries crashes on perfectly valid input, to the programmers’ consternation. They’d love to use a better library, but first they need to brass to approve the time and funds to find/make one and modify the code to use it. And the brass won’t approve that unless they’re pleased with the demo.
As a temporary measure they put all direct use of that library in its own process so at least it can’t crash the whole program when it goes down. The code is littered with sections like this:

// always use the manager for this library; // it handles the inter-process communication// NEVER load the library in this process; // it crashes erraticallynextValue = LibraryManager.getNextValue();log(nextValue);
if (nextValue != -1) {    // works better with -3    complicatedFunction(nextValue - 3);} else { // library crashed    // put backup code here at some point}

During the demo they discover a whole new failure mode for that library -  it suddenly starts producing nonsense values for no apparent reason. This leads to sending a lot of nonsense to the pilots, who aren’t very happy about the sudden distraction but keep going with the demo.
The programmer watching the logs on another screen notices within a few seconds and has to kill the process dealing with that library to make the nonsense stop. The pilots aren’t very happy with the imperfect communication (due to incomplete backup code) either, but it’s better than constant distraction and they both have the planned demo sequence memorized anyway.
As the pilots are heading back to talk to the brass, one of the programmers snags a radio and explains the sudden stream of nonsense to the pilots. They promptly help the programmers get approval to use a better library, but due to the need to rewrite a lot of code the new library isn’t fully integrated until version 0.2.5.
On the other hand, it might not be that bad.
Maybe this isn’t a demo to show other people, it’s just an internal test. (No one should see version 0.1, there are too many bugs in it for that.) The demo that got the first line of Jaegers ordered (in Tales From Year Zero) probably didn’t have much Drift software at all, since Caitlin Lightcap bridged in in the middle of it without even knowing if Drifting was possible.
And they might have used mock data at that point rather than actually hooking pilots up to it. I know I’d be wary of hooking someone up to version 0.1 of a brain-computer interface where the computer can send data, especially since in this case bugs could really hurt.
But sometimes good software development practices don’t get followed…
And can we talk about the medical equipment of some sort beside that screen?

so-i-did-this-thing:

pikalex88:

so-i-did-this-thing:

VERSION 0.1?!!

For god’s sake, I can only imagine what the bugs were like… or this is just a mockup done in After Effects (with the pilots pretending to be in sync while the jaeger goes through some pre-programmed stuff) to impress the top brass?

THIS IS WHAT I THINK ABOUT AS A PROGRAMMER.

I’m so glad to see someone else noticing this, it gets me every time. How do you even get to that as v0.1? Not even v0.1.5 or something, it’s just their first go. I bet they don’t even have source control, there’s one hard drive with the entire Jaeger program on it. If someone just dropped it or overwrote some code the Kaiju would win. The pilots are being overwhelmed with debugging messages where the programmers just had it print out relevant variables and then forgot to remove the code, if they rotate their hand anticlockwise the hemispheres switch and they’re not sure why yet. The pilots say the drift smells like raspberries and nobody has a clue why so they just assure them it’ll be fixed in v0.2. 

And then when they finish the demo the first thing the brass asks is if the green hemisphere could be a little greener.

#life of a programmer, #//fix the raspberies, #Jaeger.doTheThing();, #driftStrength = complicatedFunction() + 2 // Works better with +2

OH GOD, I AM CRYING. THIS IS ABSOLUTE TRUTH.

I’m also happy to see someone else noticing this. I have so many things to say about this picture, including some that will go in another post I’ve been drafting for months.

The thread above made me laugh very hard, mostly because I’ve seen many similar things in my own programming experience. (If you want to hear my programming stories, ask me on my personal blog.) Let me add some more:

Sometimes one of the external libraries crashes on perfectly valid input, to the programmers’ consternation. They’d love to use a better library, but first they need to brass to approve the time and funds to find/make one and modify the code to use it. And the brass won’t approve that unless they’re pleased with the demo.

As a temporary measure they put all direct use of that library in its own process so at least it can’t crash the whole program when it goes down. The code is littered with sections like this:

// always use the manager for this library;
// it handles the inter-process communication
// NEVER load the library in this process;
// it crashes erratically
nextValue = LibraryManager.getNextValue();
log(nextValue);

if (nextValue != -1) {
    // works better with -3
    complicatedFunction(nextValue - 3);
} else { // library crashed
    // put backup code here at some point
}

During the demo they discover a whole new failure mode for that library -  it suddenly starts producing nonsense values for no apparent reason. This leads to sending a lot of nonsense to the pilots, who aren’t very happy about the sudden distraction but keep going with the demo.

The programmer watching the logs on another screen notices within a few seconds and has to kill the process dealing with that library to make the nonsense stop. The pilots aren’t very happy with the imperfect communication (due to incomplete backup code) either, but it’s better than constant distraction and they both have the planned demo sequence memorized anyway.

As the pilots are heading back to talk to the brass, one of the programmers snags a radio and explains the sudden stream of nonsense to the pilots. They promptly help the programmers get approval to use a better library, but due to the need to rewrite a lot of code the new library isn’t fully integrated until version 0.2.5.

On the other hand, it might not be that bad.

Maybe this isn’t a demo to show other people, it’s just an internal test. (No one should see version 0.1, there are too many bugs in it for that.) The demo that got the first line of Jaegers ordered (in Tales From Year Zero) probably didn’t have much Drift software at all, since Caitlin Lightcap bridged in in the middle of it without even knowing if Drifting was possible.

And they might have used mock data at that point rather than actually hooking pilots up to it. I know I’d be wary of hooking someone up to version 0.1 of a brain-computer interface where the computer can send data, especially since in this case bugs could really hurt.

But sometimes good software development practices don’t get followed…

And can we talk about the medical equipment of some sort beside that screen?

Oct 26 '13

I Finally Made a Personal Blog

It’s here. I haven’t posted very much on it yet, but at least it’s set up now.

Oct 17 '13
so-i-did-this-thing:

so-i-did-this-thing:

DO YOU LOVE PACIFIC RIM?DO YOU LOVE PACIFIC RIM *AND* ARE INTO FILM CRITICISM?
OH BOY, THEN DO WE HAVE A PROJECT FOR YOU!
The Pacific Rim fandom has shown it has a talent for deconstructing storytelling and pop culture. There’s a significant amount of “meta” authors who write film commentary on everything from the influence of past kaiju movies to costume design to the roles of gender and culture in Mako’s character arc.
By the time the BluRay hits shelves, we should have enough material for a fan-made commentary track.
I think this could be a really cool collaborative project and am looking to recruit fellow fans who would be interested in contributing meta commentary on the film. Our end product would be an mp3 that people can download and play in sync with the movie.
Topics could include, but are not limited to:
An examination of character tropes and how they are fulfilled/subverted
Visual storytelling through color, symbols, camera angles, etc.
Characterization through costuming
Portrayals of gender, culture, disabilities
Comparisons to other genre films
Homages to kaiju movie source material
Musical motifs
"Did you notice" (background fun stuff, easter eggs, etc.)
Right now, I’m am throwing out a CALL TO ARMS for those who would be interested in contributing. Here’s a link to a signup form:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1RlZhX7dwmQhL3Wz81jZDswh4IMhaTLcCb7hyxbv2VkQ/viewform
General guidelines:
There will be a limited number of slots for actual commentary recording; people will be selected based on subject matter and where it falls within the movie - we want a variety of topics spread throughout the entire film so there’s little dead air.
Recording will most likely happen in chunks to allow for the greatest amount of flexibility + number of participants.
If you don’t want to / can’t record, you can still submit written meta for consideration for inclusion and someone else will read it for you.
Differing criticisms/interpretations are cool as long as they are persuasive enough and well-argued.
Fanons/head-canons will probably be unavoidable, please exercise good judgment. Same thing with relying on supplemental materials. Using the artbook as a spring-board to discuss Guy Davis’ contributions to the movie as a creature designer as his previous experience as an artist on the BPRD comics? Yes! Using the artbook as your primary source for discussing certain character traits/backstory that never appear in the movie? Probably not ok.
A day or so after signups close, an announcement will be made to cover deadlines and how we’ll be collecting meta commentary. Don’t worry, you’ll have time to watch the BluRay and Guillermo’s own commentary a few times. :)

UPDATE
We’re winding down on the signup window, so please submit an app if you’d like to participate!
We have an AMAZING collection of contributors so far (everything from theater and music people to engineers and scientists), and I’ll be contacting y’all Saturday, so keep your eyes peeled on your Ask / Fanmail boxes if you’ve already submitted an app.
I will make one special appeal — while we have a few kaiju movie experts now, we’re still lacking a little on the giant mecha front. So, if your expertise is in GIANT ROBUTS we’d love to have you!

Signal boosting this.
I have signed up myself, but that doesn’t mean all the science spots are full.

so-i-did-this-thing:

so-i-did-this-thing:

DO YOU LOVE PACIFIC RIM?
DO YOU LOVE PACIFIC RIM *AND* ARE INTO FILM CRITICISM?

OH BOY, THEN DO WE HAVE A PROJECT FOR YOU!

The Pacific Rim fandom has shown it has a talent for deconstructing storytelling and pop culture. There’s a significant amount of “meta” authors who write film commentary on everything from the influence of past kaiju movies to costume design to the roles of gender and culture in Mako’s character arc.

By the time the BluRay hits shelves, we should have enough material for a fan-made commentary track.

I think this could be a really cool collaborative project and am looking to recruit fellow fans who would be interested in contributing meta commentary on the film. Our end product would be an mp3 that people can download and play in sync with the movie.

Topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • An examination of character tropes and how they are fulfilled/subverted
  • Visual storytelling through color, symbols, camera angles, etc.
  • Characterization through costuming
  • Portrayals of gender, culture, disabilities
  • Comparisons to other genre films
  • Homages to kaiju movie source material
  • Musical motifs
  • "Did you notice" (background fun stuff, easter eggs, etc.)

Right now, I’m am throwing out a CALL TO ARMS for those who would be interested in contributing. Here’s a link to a signup form:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1RlZhX7dwmQhL3Wz81jZDswh4IMhaTLcCb7hyxbv2VkQ/viewform

General guidelines:

There will be a limited number of slots for actual commentary recording; people will be selected based on subject matter and where it falls within the movie - we want a variety of topics spread throughout the entire film so there’s little dead air.

Recording will most likely happen in chunks to allow for the greatest amount of flexibility + number of participants.

If you don’t want to / can’t record, you can still submit written meta for consideration for inclusion and someone else will read it for you.

Differing criticisms/interpretations are cool as long as they are persuasive enough and well-argued.

Fanons/head-canons will probably be unavoidable, please exercise good judgment. Same thing with relying on supplemental materials. Using the artbook as a spring-board to discuss Guy Davis’ contributions to the movie as a creature designer as his previous experience as an artist on the BPRD comics? Yes! Using the artbook as your primary source for discussing certain character traits/backstory that never appear in the movie? Probably not ok.

A day or so after signups close, an announcement will be made to cover deadlines and how we’ll be collecting meta commentary. Don’t worry, you’ll have time to watch the BluRay and Guillermo’s own commentary a few times. :)

UPDATE

We’re winding down on the signup window, so please submit an app if you’d like to participate!

We have an AMAZING collection of contributors so far (everything from theater and music people to engineers and scientists), and I’ll be contacting y’all Saturday, so keep your eyes peeled on your Ask / Fanmail boxes if you’ve already submitted an app.

I will make one special appeal — while we have a few kaiju movie experts now, we’re still lacking a little on the giant mecha front. So, if your expertise is in GIANT ROBUTS we’d love to have you!

Signal boosting this.

I have signed up myself, but that doesn’t mean all the science spots are full.

Oct 14 '13

potatothief asked:

Hi there! Love your blog, it's so much fun! :D I have a question about Kaiju Blue, if you or anyone else would like to hypothesize about it. We know it's kaiju blood, but other than being acidic and corrosive what would make it so toxic and stain-y? Does anyone have any opinions or hypotheses about the epidemiology of Kaiju Blue poisoning? What would it do to the body? According to MM&M "If Kaiju Blue is inhaled, the victim will begin to cough up a blue vapor." Thoughts anyone?

Hi, and thanks!

That’s actually quite a few questions! I’ll go through them individually.

We know [Kaiju Blue is] kaiju blood, but other than being acidic and corrosive what would make it so toxic and stain-y?

That could be due to any of a lot of chemicals; I can’t say for sure which ones are even in kaiju blood, but you may enjoy the K-Science discussion.

Does anyone have any opinions or hypotheses about the epidemiology of Kaiju Blue poisoning?

I’m not an epidemiologist (and I don’t have sufficient background to give it a good shot); anyone want to share some thoughts?

What would it do to the body?

We don’t know exactly what’s in kaiju blood, so any guesses at its effects on humans may well be incomplete. I’ll give it a shot based on what we do know, but anyone is welcome to help out.

As you mentioned, we know that kaiju blood is acidic and corrosive. Some acids are corrosive, so this combination makes sense. Even without exact chemicals, we can look at the effects of corrosive substances in general. The relevant European Union hazard symbol (source) is pretty clear about it:

image

Exposure to corrosive substances results in chemical burns (warning: linked page includes pictures of severe tissue damage). Wikipedia’s section on the effects of corrosive substances on living tissue gives us more details:

In addition, some corrosive chemicals, mostly acids such as hydrochloric acid and nitric acid, are volatile and can emit corrosive mists upon contact with air. Inhalation can damage the respiratory tract.

Corrosive substances are most hazardous to eyesight. A drop of a corrosive may cause blindness within 2–10 seconds through opacification or direct destruction of the cornea.

Ingestion of corrosives can induce severe consequences, including serious damage of the gastrointestinal tract, which can lead to vomiting, severe stomach aches, and even death.

Read the whole description there if you’re curious; I only quoted part of it.

According to MM&M “If Kaiju Blue is inhaled, the victim will begin to cough up a blue vapor.” Thoughts anyone?

Coughing is pretty useful for getting things out of one’s airway. The catch is that it exposes other people to those things. The Precursors may well have designed the kaiju for that effect, especially since the vapor could easily be inhaled by others who might then start coughing themselves. (It depends on what’s in the vapor, but I don’t think it would be good for humans.) We know that kaiju are built to be as troublesome as possible, and I expect that to extend to after they fall.

Oct 13 '13
In light of this, I’d like to discuss the scenario above. (Original comic here.) It’s not as simple as it looks.
(Aside: video games as Drift-compatibility tests? Totally workable. I really should run through Portal 2’s co-op (again) with some of the people on my copilot candidate list.)
Drifting while playing video games? Also workable, but tricky.  There are the obvious advantages, the not-so-obvious advantages (like how Mako seems to be using Raleigh’s view of the screen to continue playing in the last panel), and then there’s separating who’s doing what.
Let’s face it, most 2-player cooperative video games require both players to be doing different things at the same time. Each player would have to keep track of their own stream of thoughts corresponding to actions (walk, turn, shoot portal, …) without getting mixed up by the other player doing the same. I imagine that would be rather tricky.

In light of this, I’d like to discuss the scenario above. (Original comic here.) It’s not as simple as it looks.

(Aside: video games as Drift-compatibility tests? Totally workable. I really should run through Portal 2’s co-op (again) with some of the people on my copilot candidate list.)

Drifting while playing video games? Also workable, but tricky.  There are the obvious advantages, the not-so-obvious advantages (like how Mako seems to be using Raleigh’s view of the screen to continue playing in the last panel), and then there’s separating who’s doing what.

Let’s face it, most 2-player cooperative video games require both players to be doing different things at the same time. Each player would have to keep track of their own stream of thoughts corresponding to actions (walk, turn, shoot portal, …) without getting mixed up by the other player doing the same. I imagine that would be rather tricky.

Sep 30 '13

youngnoblewoman:

pacificrimscience:

starfoozle:

pacificrimscience:

[[several layers of indenting cut; click username link above to see previous posts with cut text]]

Yes, come join the K-Science party!

Oh, luminol. I’d been considering it just for the color and intensity, but it really doesn’t last long and would basically have to be constantly reacting with something else to produce that sustained bright glow the kaiju gave off, so that miiight not be the best option. That list of light-emitting compounds looks like it’ll be awfully handy!

I had also thought about a red tide parallel, and I like that idea a lot! The bioluminescence is about right, and red tides are actually horribly toxic and can cause respiratory issues and severe neurological symptoms including memory loss and paralysis in humans, and kill other marine species outright. I’ve been basing my theories on Kaiju Blue around those effects, but the reason behind both the blue glow and the production of toxins by the phytoplankton in question is poorly understood in real life, so your guess is as good as mine on the interdimensional alien front.

[[That’s what happens when you start a K-Science division. :)

For those who don’t know, the cut and partly cut posts can be accessed by clicking on the username links at the top.]]

While I was researching one of my previous answers I found some links that might be useful.

There’s a list of silicon compounds, although I don’t think it’s complete. As was previously mentioned, some of them do not play well with water, but others look interesting. (That idea about ceramic bones? Check out silicon nitride. It would be tricky to grow inside a kaiju, but for a lot of the cases we’ve seen the Precursors could have just printed it in.)

There’s also a Wikipedia article on hypothetical types of biochemistry which talks about a variety of different possibilities. Maybe this will spark some ideas? (Multiple element substitutions?)

Hm, the red tide thing is interesting, but when people say “red tides” they’re not always talking about the same thing - for example, the nasty kind down in the Gulf of Mexico, Karenia brevis, produces fairly potent neurotoxins, but is not bioluminescent. On the other hand although the “red tide” here in SoCal, Lingulodinium polyedrum, has been “associated” with certain toxins, they’re a thing that affects humans so little that people will intentionally go to the beaches at night during an intense bloom for the sake of the experience of swimming or surfing in the bioluminescent water.

But again the problem comes up that those things only bioluminesce upon “impact”, whether that’s by waves crashing or someone running across wet sand or whatever. Like, you can put them in a water bottle, shake it up, and the glow doesn’t even last as long as luminol would.

More bioluminescence speculations! (And also more here.) While we’re at it, do we know how long kaiju parts continue to glow for after a kaiju dies (and the reactions producing the bioluminescent chemicals stop)? I don’t think we have enough samples to match the decay pattern(s) to chemical rate equations yet, but even a rough idea of how long they take to stop glowing will let us eliminate chemicals whose reaction kinetics are very different from that.

In light of other recent posts, maybe we should also be speculating on kaiju neuroscience. Anyone up for trying to figure out their minimum nerve conduction velocity once the DVD comes out? (Although it might vary between kaiju, especially if the Precursors were experimenting with kaiju nervous systems. We can try anyway.)