terry_freeman on November 09, 2010, 06:07:24 pm
In today's panel, the two guys sitting in the audience are carrying openly. I'd expect just about everyone to be carrying; it's a personal choice whether to use a hip carry or something a bit less obvious.

I was thinking about chairs - in milligravity, there is no need for padding to cushion against the effects of gravity. One might want to pad edges against collisions. I'd expect grippy surfaces - something to grab onto, and possible something that holds one in place; otherwise, people would have to develop a habit of being very, very quiet with their body language.

Come to think of it, one might learn to instinctively balance all gestures about one's center of gravity. One hand forward, one back; one right, one left.

ZeissIkon on November 10, 2010, 05:32:00 pm
people would have to develop a habit of being very, very quiet with their body language.

Larry Niven did this -- in that part of his Known Space future history set in the Solar System, and occasionally in later stories, one could identify a Belter by his lack of gesture (because gesturing in a singleship was likely to accidentally activate some control and potentially kill you, and locking the board might kill you if you had to maneuver or enter commands suddenly).  Personally, I envision something like chair surfaces with microperforations and mild suction (like an air hocky table with the blower reversed), beds with unobtrusive restraints, perhaps also suction based (less obvious than a Space Shuttle bunk/bag, but with similar purpose -- weighing a half pound or so wouldn't keep me in a bed, though with no pressure points I'd probably move a lot less during a night), and very little use of surfaces for unrestrained display of objects.  Living in Ceres would be a great deal like living in microgravity, except if you put something down, it'd stay where it was put as long as no one turns on a fan, and you'd have to relearn leaping through empty spaces because there's just enough gravity to make you land short/low.  Alternately, folks could adopt clothing with magnetic metal fibers in it, which would stick gently to a chair surfaced with something similar to "universal magnet tape" (which is covered with alternating poles less than a millimeter wide).  And, of course, there's always 1960s vintage hook-and-loop (big disadvantage is the hooks get clogged up with stray fibers and can catch hair, while the loops eventually break and lose their hold).  There might even be competing systems, though that could lead to annoying incompatibilities between guests' clothing and the host's furniture.

Even with stiction systems, I think gesture would be greatly reduced -- if a chair isn't too sticky to easily get out of, a broad gesture will still pop you up into the air.

SandySandfort on November 10, 2010, 06:15:48 pm
If it is about anarchy then there should be some dramatics. 

JamesD, I notice your critiques are long on "shoulds," but short on justifications. Nevertheless, I suspect you think you understand how fiction works. Obviously, EFT is not as you would have written it. So we are back to horse races.

The Big Head Publisher and Director are always looking for well written content. I would love to see an example of your writing skills that would conform to your ideas of science fiction, heroism, anarchy, etc. I suggest  a "short, short story," 0 to 2000 words, or a short story up to 7500 words. You could write it whole cloth or set it in an alternate EFT universe. I suggest that Big Head run whatever you donate, as a fan fiction novelty. If your fellow readers, Big Head management and the EFT team like it, you might get a gig.

While we are at it, I suggest that Big Head periodically print fan fiction; maybe have a competition. Who knows? We may discover the next science fiction superstar!

quadibloc on November 11, 2010, 12:32:41 am
I'm perfectly happy to have "human interest" stories that tell me about how the world of Ceres works.

Fireworks in space won't necessarily be more significant than drama about events that matter to people for other reasons.

However, it turns out from the latest comic that something larger-than-life is happening. Babette, apparently, is shaping up to be a titan of industry - having spotted an opportunity, a niche no one was filling, and seized it.

ZeissIkon on November 12, 2010, 05:25:23 pm
However, it turns out from the latest comic that something larger-than-life is happening. Babette, apparently, is shaping up to be a titan of industry - having spotted an opportunity, a niche no one was filling, and seized it.

Actually, if I'm reading today's strip correctly, Babette the younger apparently spotted multiple unfilled niches, and was willing to do dirtier work for less money (else someone else would have had those jobs) than anyone else in order to fulfill her difficult goal (repaying a 150+ gram debt, with interest, in a short time frame). I wonder if she'll still be willing to clean toilets (in 3% gravity, that promises to be a messy and potentially hazardous task -- she should be wearing more personal protective equipment than just a pair of rubber gloves) once she's working for her own monetary needs instead of to salve her conscience and restore her trustworthiness?

NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on November 12, 2010, 11:00:25 pm
I wonder if she'll still be willing to clean toilets [...] once she's working for her own monetary needs instead of to salve her conscience and restore her trustworthiness?

I wouldn't expect her to do so -- at least not without a significant raise.  At this point she's "paid her dues" by demonstrating her strong work ethic, and she should be able to demand a higher price for her labor now or in the very near future -- as well as a much wider set of job opportunities to select from.

ZeissIkon on November 15, 2010, 03:51:10 pm
I wonder if she'll still be willing to clean toilets [...] once she's working for her own monetary needs instead of to salve her conscience and restore her trustworthiness?

I wouldn't expect her to do so -- at least not without a significant raise.  At this point she's "paid her dues" by demonstrating her strong work ethic, and she should be able to demand a higher price for her labor now or in the very near future -- as well as a much wider set of job opportunities to select from.

Or, alternately, she could decide she likes being able to pocket substantial numbers of grams quickly -- enough so to keep doing the dirty jobs no one else is willing to do at the offered or negotiated rate; she might even find a way to hire someone to do some of the actual work for less than what she's collecting (say, recruit a bunch of 9-, 10-, and 11-year olds -- Earth years -- who have fewer opportunities to earn spending money but are perfectly capable of steering a brush) and thus become an entrepreneur, rather than a laborer.

Or, as you say, she might well find there are other, "better" jobs around that pay better and are less unpleasant and/or easier, and for which she has (now) the necessary skills...like Ceres Port Agent, which seems to be where we originally met her...

Scott on November 20, 2010, 12:25:53 pm
Quote
I was thinking about chairs - in milligravity, there is no need for padding to cushion against the effects of gravity. One might want to pad edges against collisions. I'd expect grippy surfaces - something to grab onto, and possible something that holds one in place ...

Sandy and I have been discussing that and have come up with a partial solution -- in the Belt, we have widespread use of a material called "Gecko" which is a low-tack adhesive. People have Gecko on the soles of their shoes, on table-tops, on chairs, etc. Our problem now is how to put some explication of Gecko into story dialog in such a way that doesn't seem awkward. I'm working on it.

jamesd on November 20, 2010, 02:42:58 pm
Sandy and I have been discussing that and have come up with a partial solution -- in the Belt, we have widespread use of a material called "Gecko" which is a low-tack adhesive. People have Gecko on the soles of their shoes, on table-tops, on chairs, etc. Our problem now is how to put some explication of Gecko into story dialog in such a way that doesn't seem awkward. I'm working on it.

That explains why everything looks like it is happening in one gravity, but why not instead make everything look as if it was happening in space?

SandySandfort on November 20, 2010, 03:18:50 pm
That explains why everything looks like it is happening in one gravity, but why not instead make everything look as if it was happening in space?

Uh, because it's not happening in space? Happening on Mars or Ceres is no more "happening in space" than if it were* happening on Terra. "Space" does not equal "vacuum."

* WRITING TIP: Try learning and using the subjunctive mood. It will make you look educated and professional in your upcoming career as a writer:

 http://www.ceafinney.com/subjunctive/guide.html

Example:

"That explains why everything looks like it is happening in one gravity, but why not instead make everything look as if it were happening in space?"

jamesd on November 20, 2010, 06:19:54 pm
That explains why everything looks like it is happening in one gravity, but why not instead make everything look as if it was happening in space?

Uh, because it's not happening in space? Happening on Mars or Ceres is no more "happening in space" than if it were* happening on Terra. "Space" does not equal "vacuum."

Space implies miligravity or microgravity - space is when you are not standing on a planet.  Mars is a planet.  Ceres is not.

If you are subject to order one gravity, as the characters appear to be, you are at the bottom of a gravity well, which limits your ability to wander vast distances.

Space is a little like the wild west.  "Space" implies plenty of room.  The west was wild, when no fences, hence the hero rides off into the sunset.  In space the insignificance of gravity serves the same psychological function as the absence of fences.  The weakness of gravity, like the absence of fences, indicates freedom.

SandySandfort on November 20, 2010, 10:40:14 pm
[Space implies miligravity or microgravity - space is when you are not standing on a planet.  Mars is a planet.  Ceres is not.

Okay, thanks for clearing that up for us. So according to the JamesDictionary, space "implies" (I guess it doesn't actually mean anything) So, when Ceres was discovered, it was considered to be a planet, anyone there would not have been in space. Then it was an asteroid, so they would have then been in space. And now it is a "dwarf planet." So, I'm confused. "Dwarf planet" implies (your favorite word) that it is some kinda "planet," but also not. I guess we have to observed someone on Ceres, so as to collapse its quantum state to reveal whether not the even happens in space. (Also whether the cat is dead or alive.) Please quit making shit up.

... "Space" implies plenty of room.  The west was wild, when no fences, hence the hero rides off into the sunset.  In space the insignificance of gravity serves the same psychological function as the absence of fences.  The weakness of gravity, like the absence of fences, indicates freedom.

I cannot wait for your novel, treatise on philosophy, textbook on semiotics, white paper on art appreciation or whatever fantasy you are harboring. Seņor, all you have are opinions. Is that all you got?

MacFall on November 20, 2010, 10:52:05 pm
I only pay attention to critics if they can either do better than the work they are criticizing (e.g., Stephen King writing about Twilight), or if they can sufficiently entertain me in their critiques (e.g., The Nostalgia Critic). So far, I'm not impressed with James in either respect. I am fairly confident in my own writing ability, however, so I do look forward to critiquing some of James' own writing, which he surely has in high volume and quality.

tl;dr version: put up or shut up.
Government is not, as is often believed, a "necessary evil". Rather, it is a plain evil of such power that it has been able to convince people of its necessity.

quadibloc on November 21, 2010, 02:35:43 am
I happen to agree that it would be difficult, and distracting, to make the effort to show the people on Ceres always moving about in a manner that obviously and realistically reflects the lower gravity there.

It is true, though, that Ceres' gravity is substantially lower than that of the Moon, and so, if EFT were a movie instead of a comic book, either people would look funny all the time as they walked, or it would be unrealistic. The latter is more likely, simply because there aren't any convenient studios with 1/36th gravity (that of Ceres) let alone 1/6th gravity (that of the Moon) here on Earth.

J Thomas on November 21, 2010, 10:53:36 am
I happen to agree that it would be difficult, and distracting, to make the effort to show the people on Ceres always moving about in a manner that obviously and realistically reflects the lower gravity there.

It is true, though, that Ceres' gravity is substantially lower than that of the Moon, and so, if EFT were a movie instead of a comic book, either people would look funny all the time as they walked, or it would be unrealistic. The latter is more likely, simply because there aren't any convenient studios with 1/36th gravity (that of Ceres) let alone 1/6th gravity (that of the Moon) here on Earth.

Yes. I did a very quick google search, Ceres is listed with surface g of .28 to .33 meters/second^2. I'll call ..3. So, say you drop something into a 30 meter hole. The first second it falls .33*1^2/2 meters. About half a foot. By the second second it has fallen 2 feet. By the third second it is at 4.5 feet. If you fall off the cliff and somebody's in reach, they have close to 3 seconds to catch you. If you manage to slosh your coffee upward, you may have several seconds to catch it before it hits anything.

You would have to lean far forward to walk with any speed. To actually run you would need to lean over *very* far. Maybe it would help to have roller scates on your hands? Or push with your hands too.... If you run while angled too high you would make long high leaps. And remember a strong human can jump around 90 feet up a cliff. For that kind of running you need high ceilings. So here you are, practically lying down while you run, and if you can figure out where to put your knees you can probably run faster than on earth, because much less of your energy goes to pushing up and so more can go toward going forward. The limiting factor may be how fast you can kick. When the floor is speeding past as fast as you can kick at it, you can't go faster. There's an issue how fast you can slow down. Run headfirst toward a wall and you may have to kick it pretty hard.

I expect sitting in chairs would be no problem. If you clench your butt it would only push you up a few inches, and you'd fall back down in less than a second. If you reach down to pick up something on the floor, about half your mass has moved but your center of gravity has not. You might rise a foot or so and then settle down over maybe a second and a half. I don't have it thought out but I can imagine that when you sit back up you might rise again. You pushed on the chair an extra amount, and it takes time for that push to be cancelled by gravity. You could brace your feet against the rotation.

it's no big deal if people bob up and down a little on their seats. You'd just get used to that. Given practice it wouldn't even matter that much in the extremely rare circumstance that somebody attacks you while you're sitting down. depending on where you were in your bounce cycle you'd just respond appropriately.


 

anything