Those little details in films/books/games/etc that you just can't help but wonder about.

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Well, yeah. What ones do you wonder about? What little unresolved sideplots and unanswered questions that shouldn't be important, but just bug you?

SOA overthinking time!:

Y'see, I'm up to about episode 9 on sword art online. I'd probably have watched more, but I really don't want that awkward moment when someone walks in, asks what I'm watching, and then I have to explain shit.

Now, it is amazing so far. it's a good premise, well done, with great characters. But there's one moment in particular that I just can't get out of my head.

At the first episode, when it is revealed that nobody can log out of this MMO, and if they die here, they die for real, the players' real life bodies are revealed, as before, they could create their character. The changes aren't massive in main characters (at least, not that we see) but there's one person who turns to the person next to him, a man in female armour, and says "You're a guy!?"

A little nod to how some people act in MMOs, you think. But Now...think about that more in depth. At episode 9, the game has been going on for two years. That one decision, that one point where he said "screw it, i'm gonna play as a female character", for whatever reason, be it to con gullible, lonely guys out of loot, be it for the lulz, whatever, must have haunted him for the rest of his online days. How long did he have to stay in the female default armour? People are seen fighting the first boss in the second episode in default armour, and if I remember rightly, that's at least a week later. It's thus easy to guess that SOA ain't the most generous game loot-wise.

Whatever the case you can bet whoever saw him on that first day never let him hear the end of it. Kinda makes you feel sorry for the guy. Even though, as far as I know, you never see him again.

Why does this keep coming up from the back of my mind every time I watch SOA? Pfft, like fuck if I know. Maybe it's because I've always been afraid of making small, seemingly unimportant decisions that end up resulting in someting really bad happening, something with lasting effects. I can't help but think of that guy, recieving flak yet again for the incident, wondering "if only I had chose the 'Male' option.".

Well, considering the situation, he'd probably wish he hadn't started playing, but still...y'know, he has more to regret than most people.

On a secondary note...in the more recent "italian job" movie which can't really be called a remake, there's a scene where they steal a truck by blowing a hole in the street, which it proceeds to fall through. There's a little shot of people running and screaming when the explosions go off, in which for like a second, you see some guy in a spiderman costume. He ain't even in the background, he's near enough centre frame. I mean...what was that guy doing there, in the middle of a traffic jam, dressed as spiderman? What possessed the filmmakers to put it there?

When I was younger I used to watch this programme called 'Primeval' with my younger siblings. It wasn't some serious stuff, it was about portals that open up from prehistoric times and jump out and the 'gang' have to get them back. At the end of the first series


It's implied to be some parallel universe business, but is never resolved and is just forgotten about by the time the series died a few years ago. It doesn't matter in the series now as

but it really bugs me because it could have been cool.

A lot of giant mecha and robots - why do they need to be humanoid? I suppose I get terminators and such, as in "normal sized robots" - they were probably initially designed to look like humans, so humans would be less freaked out by the machinem but they are still somewhat guilty of it. I don't think the whole bipedal thing is that efficient - it's a machine, why does it need to have 2 arms, 2 legs and a head? It's designed for war and fighting, so why not just make it better - four legs would work way better for balancing and also speed, you can still attach as many hands as you want, but you might be better off just having guns, and the head is often times the weak spot - just have the weak spot behind several layers of protection and guns. Why mimic humans all the time?

I've been perplexed by this for just so-o-o long. Since I was a kid, in fact, I never did manage to watch many robot stuff because of that, it's always been nagging me.

DoPo:
A lot of giant mecha and robots - why do they need to be humanoid? I suppose I get terminators and such, as in "normal sized robots" - they were probably initially designed to look like humans, so humans would be less freaked out by the machinem but they are still somewhat guilty of it. I don't think the whole bipedal thing is that efficient - it's a machine, why does it need to have 2 arms, 2 legs and a head? It's designed for war and fighting, so why not just make it better - four legs would work way better for balancing and also speed, you can still attach as many hands as you want, but you might be better off just having guns, and the head is often times the weak spot - just have the weak spot behind several layers of protection and guns. Why mimic humans all the time?

I've been perplexed by this for just so-o-o long. Since I was a kid, in fact, I never did manage to watch many robot stuff because of that, it's always been nagging me.

Yeah, that is something. Maybe some of the mechs that "link" with the user have an excuse. Like it would be too challenging for a human being to master controlling something via direct nervous input that isn't shaped at least vaguely like a human?

Maybe it's where the ideas come from. Some guy says "Hey, if we had a giant metal soldier, we'd be unstoppable!" So that's exactly what they make without actually considering all that much that it doesn't necessarily need to be just a giant soldier. So, of course, at first, the giant metal solider design works, and people rush to copy it because it's proven to work.

You could apply the whole "shape" thing to spaceships as well. Sure, the smaller ones need to leave orbit and get back in all the time, so I understand why serenity or the millenium falcon has an aerodynamic design. But why does an imperial star destroyer need to be aerodynamic? Space is a vaccum. No air, means no resistance. This is why I like the design of Red dwarf over many serious spaceships, because why wouldn't they make it a huge chunk of metal with a giant scoop on the front and thrusters at the back? This way, they can fit anything they need on it. Crew, equipment, facilities, engines, it doesn't need to conform to an areodynamic design, so it can all go where it's most efficient.

I just dislike it when something interesting sounding is only mentioned in passing, and then is never brought up again.

For example, in my favourite book Schismatrix, near the end it mentions the new horrifying varieties of transhumanism that have arisen while the protagonist has been in a coma for fifty odd years.

They're given names like the Blood Bathers, Patternists and the Lobsters. Only the Lobsters are described in detail, being humans encased in shiny black exoskeletons, who no longer need to eat, drink or sleep, and who are able to live off of solar energy and breathe in vacuum. They also have beautiful, synthetic sounding, sing-song voices and have sex via a virtual simulation.

Of the others it mentions a group of Blood Bathers basking in the artificial sunlight waiting for their skin to grow back, and Patternists apparently have lop-sided heads. That's it. After the awesome description of the Lobsters I was expecting a little more rather than a couple of hints.

Doclector:
Yeah, that is something. Maybe some of the mechs that "link" with the user have an excuse. Like it would be too challenging for a human being to master controlling something via direct nervous input that isn't shaped at least vaguely like a human?

Yes, to be fair, some do have that excuse. Well, I can only think of Iron Man right now, but I know others did it, too. Still, most show robots either being autonomous (if they are human-sized - e.g., terminators) or they are operated by buttons and levers and such. Human sized robots, as I said, do have some amount of excuse, if they were initially designed to interact with humans - making the form more familiar would reduce the freak factor and would help people not inherently distrust the robots as much. It's basic user friendliness. But if they are designed for war, you don't need them humanoid. Heck, you don't need them that big either, smaller robots can move faster, larger ones can use their size as an advantage. And making the head being the weak spot is pretty stupid.

Doclector:
Maybe it's where the ideas come from. Some guy says "Hey, if we had a giant metal soldier, we'd be unstoppable!" So that's exactly what they make without actually considering all that much that it doesn't necessarily need to be just a giant soldier. So, of course, at first, the giant metal solider design works, and people rush to copy it because it's proven to work.

I suppose the "being copied" argument could work...if it wasn't for the fact that it needs to initially be designed that way. Thing is, engineers are pretty smart people and would always go for functionality over looks. Heck, the only way a robot would be designed as a humanoid is if there was a big board of directors who decided it and let the marketing team loose on it. Which is an awesome concept for a comedy and detracts from whatever the robots show is supposed to be about.

DoPo:

Doclector:

[quote="Doclector" post="18.822239.19881273"]Maybe it's where the ideas come from. Some guy says "Hey, if we had a giant metal soldier, we'd be unstoppable!" So that's exactly what they make without actually considering all that much that it doesn't necessarily need to be just a giant soldier. So, of course, at first, the giant metal solider design works, and people rush to copy it because it's proven to work.

I suppose the "being copied" argument could work...if it wasn't for the fact that it needs to initially be designed that way. Thing is, engineers are pretty smart people and would always go for functionality over looks. Heck, the only way a robot would be designed as a humanoid is if there was a big board of directors who decided it and let the marketing team loose on it. Which is an awesome concept for a comedy and detracts from whatever the robots show is supposed to be about.

Maybe the idea was "Shock and awe". Or simply a display of power and technical prowess, that eventually evolved into being used in active combat.

Doclector:

DoPo:
A lot of giant mecha and robots - why do they need to be humanoid? I suppose I get terminators and such, as in "normal sized robots" - they were probably initially designed to look like humans, so humans would be less freaked out by the machinem but they are still somewhat guilty of it. I don't think the whole bipedal thing is that efficient - it's a machine, why does it need to have 2 arms, 2 legs and a head? It's designed for war and fighting, so why not just make it better - four legs would work way better for balancing and also speed, you can still attach as many hands as you want, but you might be better off just having guns, and the head is often times the weak spot - just have the weak spot behind several layers of protection and guns. Why mimic humans all the time?

I've been perplexed by this for just so-o-o long. Since I was a kid, in fact, I never did manage to watch many robot stuff because of that, it's always been nagging me.

Yeah, that is something. Maybe some of the mechs that "link" with the user have an excuse. Like it would be too challenging for a human being to master controlling something via direct nervous input that isn't shaped at least vaguely like a human?

Maybe it's where the ideas come from. Some guy says "Hey, if we had a giant metal soldier, we'd be unstoppable!" So that's exactly what they make without actually considering all that much that it doesn't necessarily need to be just a giant soldier. So, of course, at first, the giant metal solider design works, and people rush to copy it because it's proven to work.

You could apply the whole "shape" thing to spaceships as well. Sure, the smaller ones need to leave orbit and get back in all the time, so I understand why serenity or the millenium falcon has an aerodynamic design. But why does an imperial star destroyer need to be aerodynamic? Space is a vaccum. No air, means no resistance. This is why I like the design of Red dwarf over many serious spaceships, because why wouldn't they make it a huge chunk of metal with a giant scoop on the front and thrusters at the back? This way, they can fit anything they need on it. Crew, equipment, facilities, engines, it doesn't need to conform to an areodynamic design, so it can all go where it's most efficient.

I think that it is stated that the Imperial ships in star wars are that way because it allows to shoot the most weapons forward by dipping the bow of the ship.

Plus Tarkin's fear of force thing might come into play , there is no ship in the star wars lore more intimidating than a star destroyer. Especially if you are a planet thinking of rebelling.

Same for the AT AT walkers I guess, the walking design is pretty bad because they can be wrecked with a tow cable but they strike fear into their enemies when they see them coming.

Here's a big one: The Death Star.

Okay, I can buy that the Empire built that thing in space, and managed to keep it a secret. But WHAT did they make it out of?

What I mean is, where in the HELL did Empire dig up THAT much metal? The Death Star is the size of a moon. That is a freaking metric fuck-ton of metal, plastic, and assorted other materials. Where did it all come from?

You could say that they found some metal-rich planet or something, but even IF (and that's a pretty massive if), they found a planet that contained enough metal to create an entire moon, how did they go about extracting it all? Even if they had every clone in the army working that planet, it would take a FREAKING LONG TIME to mine an entire moon's worth of metal. And that's ignoring transporting that much metal from a planet's surface to space. And the smelting process.

Really, if they wanted to build a spacestation the size of a moon, they should have just found a moon made out of metal, and hollowed it out. Would have taken a helluva lot less time and effort than making one from scratch.

Leemaster777:
Here's a big one: The Death Star.

Okay, I can buy that the Empire built that thing in space, and managed to keep it a secret. But WHAT did they make it out of?

What I mean is, where in the HELL did Empire dig up THAT much metal? The Death Star is the size of a moon. That is a freaking metric fuck-ton of metal, plastic, and assorted other materials. Where did it all come from?

You could say that they found some metal-rich planet or something, but even IF (and that's a pretty massive if), they found a planet that contained enough metal to create an entire moon, how did they go about extracting it all? Even if they had every clone in the army working that planet, it would take a FREAKING LONG TIME to mine an entire moon's worth of metal. And that's ignoring transporting that much metal from a planet's surface to space. And the smelting process.

Really, if they wanted to build a spacestation the size of a moon, they should have just found a moon made out of metal, and hollowed it out. Would have taken a helluva lot less time and effort than making one from scratch.

Asteroid mining. Many (I have no idea what percentage) of asteroids are nickel/iron lumps. No need to get them into orbit, easy to obtain (asteroid belts) and if you have a ship capable of smelting while it's in space, a done deal.

OT: I get that the Star Trek Federation doesn't use money in the regular sense (Ferengi and gold-pressed latinum notwithstanding), but who and how do they arrange for resources to be harvested, distributed and used? I mean, replicators use proto-matter as the building-blocks for whatever it is the device is making. So who harvests/manufactures the proto-matter?

Infrastructure is not optional!

Leemaster777:
Here's a big one: The Death Star.

Okay, I can buy that the Empire built that thing in space, and managed to keep it a secret. But WHAT did they make it out of?

What I mean is, where in the HELL did Empire dig up THAT much metal? The Death Star is the size of a moon. That is a freaking metric fuck-ton of metal, plastic, and assorted other materials. Where did it all come from?

You could say that they found some metal-rich planet or something, but even IF (and that's a pretty massive if), they found a planet that contained enough metal to create an entire moon, how did they go about extracting it all? Even if they had every clone in the army working that planet, it would take a FREAKING LONG TIME to mine an entire moon's worth of metal. And that's ignoring transporting that much metal from a planet's surface to space. And the smelting process.

Really, if they wanted to build a spacestation the size of a moon, they should have just found a moon made out of metal, and hollowed it out. Would have taken a helluva lot less time and effort than making one from scratch.

You are thinking too small, my man. Don't think of one metal-rich planet, think of a dozen, or a hundred. The Empire would waltz in, enslave the nearest local populace, have them mine it out, send the metal to thousands of factories, and finally assemble the Death Star. Many hands make for light work, as it were.

OT: One thing I've always wondered about mechs is why doesn't anyone just shoot the legs? That's the weakest point, shoot there. Sure, they might be heavily armored (unlikely), but the joints can't be. But no, they always go for the chest, the head or the shield.

Xpwn3ntial:

OT: One thing I've always wondered about mechs is why doesn't anyone just shoot the legs? That's the weakest point, shoot there. Sure, they might be heavily armored (unlikely), but the joints can't be. But no, they always go for the chest, the head or the shield.

Think that has something to do with the psyche. Like it is easier to aim the chest and head cuz it is on eye level and people don't normally see the lower body when seeing people

And mechs usually have all the circuitry around the chest and pilots are on it too so it is easier to kill them. Shooting the legs will stop them but the pilot has a better chance of escaping if that happens.

Think Broken Blade had moments where they tore off some mech legs

*shrugs*

I have a question about Avatar: The Last Airbender. I accept that people can bend one of the four elements (fire isn't really an element, but whatever). What I want to know is how the element a person is able to bend determined? Is it genetic? If so, what happens when people from different nations (for sake of example, let's say someone from the earth nation and someone from the water nation) have a child? Is one element randomly selected as dominant? If so, how is it determined which nation it lives in?

Jolly Co-operator:
I have a question about Avatar: The Last Airbender. I accept that people can bend one of the four elements (fire isn't really an element, but whatever). What I want to know is how the element a person is able to bend determined? Is it genetic? If so, what happens when people from different nations (for sake of example, let's say someone from the earth nation and someone from the water nation) have a child? Is one element randomly selected as dominant? If so, how is it determined which nation it lives in?

Its completely genetic. In the Legend of Korra series the two male leads are a firebender and an earthbender who are brothers. Their parents were of each bending ability, so its safe to say that the dominant element is completely random.

Cloud Atlas. My god, Cloud Atlas. I've seen it four times, and it is absolutely full of little details. Some of the weirder ones:

-Recurring Georges. In Adam Ewing's arc in 1849, Kupaka says something about the Reverend deciding "Old Georgia Way" is the best way to run their slaves. In Robert Frobisher's arc in the 1930s, there's a statue of Saint George and the Dragon. I've never been able to spot the equivalent in the Luisa Rey's one (but this is a fairly recent detail that I've noticed), but in Timothy Cavendish's 2012 story there's a character named Georgette. In Sonmi-451's story, my brother swears he heard someone shout out "Do it, George!" just before a customer squirts mayonnaise all over Yoona-939's back. And of course, Zachry's story revolves entirely around interactions with Old Georgie. The funny thing? Each of the ones I've spotted are introduced fairly early on in their respective stories, and are tied pretty closely into what incites the events of their respective arcs. The way the slave trade is run is what gets Autua to stow away on Ewing's boat, "sometimes the dragon slays you" is of huge significance to Frobisher's story, Georgette is one of the reasons Cavendish's brother dislikes him enough to trick him into an aged care home, Yoona-939's outburst is what sets off the Neo-Seoul story, and Old Georgie is, well, the driving force behind Zachry's adventures.

-The implications of some of the actors, beyond even the "obvious" connotations. I mean, it seems clear that the comet-marked characters are the same soul, recurring throughout history. Then there's the easy extra layers in terms of relationships. Jim Sturgess and Doona Bae's relationship occurs twice, along with Tom Hanks and Halle Berry's with, in both cases, their positions as the comet bearer inverted), aren't too hard to figure out. The funny things are when you consider that Ben Whishaw plays both Robert Frobisher and Georgette, and Jim Broadbent plays both Vyvyan Ayrs and Timothy Cavendish. So, in a roundabout, highly symbolic way, they did hook up in another time and place. I've got to believe that this kind of thing was intentional. Everything about Cloud Atlas is so well constructed, so brilliantly put together, that I'm hard-pressed to believe that anything in it was an accident.

-At one point, you can see a statue of Sonmi before she's even born. I've always wondered about that. Was Sonmi created based on the template of someone else that was famous long before her? Entirely probably, I suppose, especially given the film's main themes.

I love and adore Cloud Atlas. It's a movie where every frame is full to the brim of Easter Eggs, little details that just add to the interconnectedness of the characters' lives. In terms of mastery of cinematic techniques, it blasts every other film I've ever seen out of the water.

Leemaster777:
Here's a big one: The Death Star.

[...]

I'd guess that the Death Star is mostly made of air inside. (Question for XKCD's "what if" : would a Death Star float on water ?)

But thanks to it being Star Wars, there is of course an entire book to answer that question.

Leemaster777:
Here's a big one: The Death Star.

Okay, I can buy that the Empire built that thing in space, and managed to keep it a secret. But WHAT did they make it out of?

What I mean is, where in the HELL did Empire dig up THAT much metal? The Death Star is the size of a moon. That is a freaking metric fuck-ton of metal, plastic, and assorted other materials. Where did it all come from?

You could say that they found some metal-rich planet or something, but even IF (and that's a pretty massive if), they found a planet that contained enough metal to create an entire moon, how did they go about extracting it all? Even if they had every clone in the army working that planet, it would take a FREAKING LONG TIME to mine an entire moon's worth of metal. And that's ignoring transporting that much metal from a planet's surface to space. And the smelting process.

Really, if they wanted to build a spacestation the size of a moon, they should have just found a moon made out of metal, and hollowed it out. Would have taken a helluva lot less time and effort than making one from scratch.

Wookies. I'm not even kidding. Used them as slave labour in the EU.
And yeah, it's a lot of material, but in fairness it did take them 20 years to complete with all of the Empire's resources.

And they couldn't hollow out a moon - they might have missed a hole or cave or vent in the side and then some rebel could have shot a torpedo in it and blown up the whole thing. And that would have been dreadful.

I remember I weirdly wonder how did the Waterbog mother is still able to recieve an income from the film The Waterboy since all she did is just stay in the house and hunt local wildlife for food. This is however before I came to learn about income benefits or whatever other recieve income that the US get.

davidmc1158:
.

OT: I get that the Star Trek Federation doesn't use money in the regular sense (Ferengi and gold-pressed latinum notwithstanding), but who and how do they arrange for resources to be harvested, distributed and used? I mean, replicators use proto-matter as the building-blocks for whatever it is the device is making. So who harvests/manufactures the proto-matter?

Infrastructure is not optional!

People still have jobs. I think the idea is that people will still want to contribute to society or understand it's necessary even if they'd get fed anyway.

And they have robots and holograms (I'm not kidding. It's dumb) that do the mining.

Well, Evangelion basically sustains itself on details that keep people wondering.
I have a whole bookshelf of books that try to explain it. lol

DoPo:
A lot of giant mecha and robots - why do they need to be humanoid? I suppose I get terminators and such, as in "normal sized robots" - they were probably initially designed to look like humans, so humans would be less freaked out by the machinem but they are still somewhat guilty of it. I don't think the whole bipedal thing is that efficient - it's a machine, why does it need to have 2 arms, 2 legs and a head? It's designed for war and fighting, so why not just make it better - four legs would work way better for balancing and also speed, you can still attach as many hands as you want, but you might be better off just having guns, and the head is often times the weak spot - just have the weak spot behind several layers of protection and guns. Why mimic humans all the time?

I've been perplexed by this for just so-o-o long. Since I was a kid, in fact, I never did manage to watch many robot stuff because of that, it's always been nagging me.

Same here. Whenever I watch Mecha anime, especially the ones that try to be more realistic, I find the actual implausibilities of mechs distracting. There's a reason we don't use them; terrible surface area to armor thickness ratio (and some other stuff too).

OT: All of the unresolved subplots in Fire Emblem (GBA 2003). Like all of the shit about rebellion and eliwood's father's involvement that just gets dropped after the dragon's gate arc.

Doclector:
Well, yeah. What ones do you wonder about? What little unresolved sideplots and unanswered questions that shouldn't be important, but just bug you?

Well, to keep in relevant to the moment, I'm going to single out Pacific Rim. Obviously the decision relies on making a cool movie, but from an in-universe perspective; why are jaegers and their defensive strategies so hopelessly badly designed?

Who decided that the ideal mecha to fight giant monsters should be human-shaped? We couldn't research anything better for fighting in the ocean? Did humanity really think the best defence against kaiju was punching them and occasionally using secondary weapons as an afterthought? Why aren't they bristling with guns and other weaponry when we've seen how effective (from the original monster attack, that one jaeger with a chest o'guns etc) they can be? Why is the jaeger program wholly reactive rather than constantly patrolling the dimensional rip? Hell, why isn't the entire area a mess of warships, submarines, giant robots and weapon platforms? Why are the defensive walls built to keep the kaiju out so piss-weak, and apparently unarmed? Why did nobody think to copy that giant gun from FFVII and just plop it on top of the wall, aimed at the sea? Why did nobody think to litter the rip with mines and depth charges, and do the same with coastal areas aside from specified shipping lanes? Why is everyone celebrating at the end because they destroyed the defensive rip even after discovering that the pan-dimensional conquerors can make another at will and will more than likely be coming back?

Humanity is so fucking dumb in that movie, they deserved to get wiped out.

heh, that's your biggest problem with SAO? Ok sorry for the snideness, I just have vehement dislike of that show on both literary and technical aspects.

As for me.

In the Tiberium Universe, Kane is the immortal ultra charismatic leader of the Brotherhood of Nod. This organization is so big that the United Nations has to fight a global war on it.

Now, Kane is an awesome dude and in the pseudo-prequel you find out that he inserted himself into the Soviet Union and even managed to manipulate Stalin.

If Kane is that good at manipulation, why didn't he just insert himself into United Nations and manipulate them? Instead of fighting three giant wars with them?

It could be that the UN would have rejected Kane's weaponized use of Tiberium (even though they use it as a prime resource), that Kane's (understandable) messianic complex influenced him to become a ruler in his own right, or that he later decided to use the UN's Armies as scapegoats through propaganda. But it's never really brought up.

In the Dark Knight Rises there's a timer on the [SPOILER], why would there be a timer on it?

DoPo:
A lot of giant mecha and robots - why do they need to be humanoid? I suppose I get terminators and such, as in "normal sized robots" - they were probably initially designed to look like humans, so humans would be less freaked out by the machinem but they are still somewhat guilty of it. I don't think the whole bipedal thing is that efficient - it's a machine, why does it need to have 2 arms, 2 legs and a head? It's designed for war and fighting, so why not just make it better - four legs would work way better for balancing and also speed, you can still attach as many hands as you want, but you might be better off just having guns, and the head is often times the weak spot - just have the weak spot behind several layers of protection and guns. Why mimic humans all the time?

I've been perplexed by this for just so-o-o long. Since I was a kid, in fact, I never did manage to watch many robot stuff because of that, it's always been nagging me.

There's a couple series that I know of that have explanations for why actually, but they're very limited to their own universes except for Gundam's explanation.

Evangelion's pretty obvious. On one level it's symbolic that humanity's ultimate weapon against a greater, alien power, is humanoid, but also they weren't "designed" like that, and they're actually giant... people... things cloned from Adam, or (was it Lilith?) who already has that shape.

In Macross, at some point humanity found a crashed alien ship that allowed them to advance their technology a bit but they also found giant humanoid corpses. Knowing that the possibility existed that they would encounter this race and that they would be hostile, the created jet fighters that could transform into giant robots in order to fight in hand to hand combat with the aliens if it ever came down to it.

In Gundam the explanation is "Active Mass Balance Auto-Control" or AMBAC. Mobile suits are intended to be a utilized mainly in a zero gravity environment where they take advantage of Newton's Third Law of Motion to make subtle maneuvers like reorienting themselves just by moving their limbs without the need to expend fuel. I guess they don't necessarily need to be "humanoid" but eventually they do start sticking on extra moving parts onto mechs that better take advantage of AMBAC (it's why some Gundams have "wings" in space). Also in Gundam the head is almost never the weak spot and only houses a main camera. There's still numerous other cameras in other parts of the body.

Harry Potter:

How does the "magical ability" manifest itself? It's obviously genetic to a point because there are "Wizarding Families" but one of the main characters in the book is shown to be of Non-Magical lineage so it's unlikely to be strictly down to breeding.

I normally wouldn't bring it up or give it a second thought but Rowling makes a big damn deal about the whole "purebloods vs everyone else" thing so...yeah. What's the deal?

The HP magic thing is fairly weird. Then again, Rowling seemed to be building a world "symbolically" rather than technically. I wouldn't be surprised if she hadn't thought about it herself. Since muggle-borns and purebloods can present as much ability, and squibs can be born even in pureblood families, it's hard to say. I've read some fan-fiction (Harry potter and the methods of rationality) that addresses the question, but I ain't seen anything canon.

In Halo 4 I can't help but wonder how the hell that big a group of the Covienent managed to not only stay in tacked after the civil war with the elites breaking off, but also were seemingly unaware of anything that had happened in the last five years.

Also, I don't get how Ash in Pokemon hasn't aged a damn day. Seriously, he's been on his journey for at least two years at this point in the show and they still haven't given him a birthday. The fuck is up with that.

philosophicalbastard:

Jolly Co-operator:
I have a question about Avatar: The Last Airbender. I accept that people can bend one of the four elements (fire isn't really an element, but whatever). What I want to know is how the element a person is able to bend determined? Is it genetic? If so, what happens when people from different nations (for sake of example, let's say someone from the earth nation and someone from the water nation) have a child? Is one element randomly selected as dominant? If so, how is it determined which nation it lives in?

Its completely genetic. In the Legend of Korra series the two male leads are a firebender and an earthbender who are brothers. Their parents were of each bending ability, so its safe to say that the dominant element is completely random.

Thanks for the info. I never did end up giving Legend of Korra a try. Did it say how it was decided which country the brothers lived in?

Pretty much all texts ever in Dishonoured. Especially anything involving whaling. It's possibly the most interesting thing in the game and it's not explored in much depth at all. There's a whale stuck on a ship within the first 20 seconds of the game if you look to the left and a glance at the sea at most points in the game will reward you with a whaling ship in the distance. Not to mention all the paintings depicting heroic whalers.

Basically, the oil found in whales is what passes as Dunwall's petrol or whatever fossil fuel variant you care to name. There's a debate over conservation issues among a load of other things waiting to happen because that's (cruelty to animals nonewithstanding) a technically limitless supply of fossil fuels if they get their shit together and do not hunt them right into extinction.

Also every other paragraph in the Name of the Wind books (best books I have ever read by the way.) Kvothe brings up some little nugget of information then swiftly moves on to something else. There's a brilliant bit in the second one where he's spending a fortune on luxuries and he buys some fancy ink and parchment and writes a letter to this guy who has a grudge on him posing as a lady who doesn't exist saying that "the baby" is his, signs it as a simple R, puts some drops of water as tear stains on it making sure to smudge the R so it could be a misshapen B and sends it to him.

It is never brought up again.

MGS2, why aren't there any bodies from dead US soldiers in the Arsenal Gear area? They make an entire sub/ship/whatever filled with Metal Gears but there are no soldiers in it?!

Jolly Co-operator:

philosophicalbastard:

Jolly Co-operator:
I have a question about Avatar: The Last Airbender. I accept that people can bend one of the four elements (fire isn't really an element, but whatever). What I want to know is how the element a person is able to bend determined? Is it genetic? If so, what happens when people from different nations (for sake of example, let's say someone from the earth nation and someone from the water nation) have a child? Is one element randomly selected as dominant? If so, how is it determined which nation it lives in?

Its completely genetic. In the Legend of Korra series the two male leads are a firebender and an earthbender who are brothers. Their parents were of each bending ability, so its safe to say that the dominant element is completely random.

Thanks for the info. I never did end up giving Legend of Korra a try. Did it say how it was decided which country the brothers lived in?

Well, they lived in Republic City a newly founded city-state meant to bring all cultures and nations together, but I assume they would get citizenship to whatever nation they were born in. Legend of Korra is it nearly as good as The Last Airbender, but I think its still well worth the watch and a second season is currently in production which I believe will learn from all the issues of the first.

In the Metal Gear Solid series, why isn't your radar always jammed? Really, your enemies know there is an intruder in the facility, they can easily jam your radar and they don't use it themselves so they would be unaffected by the jamming. Though, if the reason why involves spoilers for anything past Solid, please don't answer as I'm still playing through those games.

philosophicalbastard:

Jolly Co-operator:

philosophicalbastard:

Its completely genetic. In the Legend of Korra series the two male leads are a firebender and an earthbender who are brothers. Their parents were of each bending ability, so its safe to say that the dominant element is completely random.

Thanks for the info. I never did end up giving Legend of Korra a try. Did it say how it was decided which country the brothers lived in?

Well, they lived in Republic City a newly founded city-state meant to bring all cultures and nations together, but I assume they would get citizenship to whatever nation they were born in. Legend of Korra is it nearly as good as The Last Airbender, but I think its still well worth the watch and a second season is currently in production which I believe will learn from all the issues of the first.

Good to hear. Without any deep spoilers, can you tell me if Zuko's ending line "Where is my mother?" is ever followed up on?

My thoughts while watching Sword Art Online were more about the biggest manhunt in the history of the world that must be going on outside for the Psycho who ran the game and was systematically allowing the players to be murdered. The guy in woman's armour didn't get so much as a casual thought.

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