Most of us learned about photosynthesis back in elementary school: plants take in sunlight and carbon dioxide, then make sugar and release oxygen. And if you were anything like me at that age, you promptly went outside and chewed on grass to see whether it really had sugar. Actually, I already knew that from all my outdoor… Continue reading How Do Plants Grow Without Sunlight?
What are Stepper Motors?
In chapter one of Scribes’ Descent, you’ll find this line: “The hum of vent fans and the whir of stepper motors blended into a sound she’d come to think of as her personal theme song.” The term stepper motor might seem like a term I made up for the Scribeverse, but it’s a common device in our world. Especially in… Continue reading What are Stepper Motors?
How the Cave System Below Feldencourt went Undiscovered
In Scribes’ Descent, after a quake hits Feldencourt, the ground splits open to expose a vast cave system 100 meters below the city. Infrastructure damage from a magnitude 7.0 earthquake in Anchorage, Alaska in 2018. Image credit: USGS. How did it go unnoticed for centuries prior when they had ground penetrating radar (GPR)? Klein explained it this way: “Nobody knew… Continue reading How the Cave System Below Feldencourt went Undiscovered
In Scribes’ Descent, most Imnans who refuse the neural implant opt for the holovisor instead. Think of a hologram projector glued to the forehead. That sounds futuristic, but you can buy hologram projectors today. I mean, we are in the year 2023, after all. Anyhow, holovisors do much more, boasting some pretty wild features. Saps, this is starting to sound like a commercial.… Continue reading Holovisor Features
Nuclear fusion in the Scribeverse and in Ours
Merry Christmas everyone! Let’s talk about nuclear fusion (tis’ the season to fuse atoms) About two weeks ago, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory confirmed it had finally achieved fusion ignition. Scientists hailed it as a major breakthrough. One we’d spent sixty years and billions of dollars to reach. But what is ignition, and what does this have to do with… Continue reading Nuclear fusion in the Scribeverse and in Ours
Why Mallory’s ears popped in the Bioprison
In Scribes’ Descent, Mallory descends a deep mine called the Bioprison. It’s encased in an indestructible black barrier stone that’s segmented by horizontal slabs into chambers. Doors in the slabs allow only a few to pass. Mallory is one of those privileged people. Well, privileged might be a stretch. If you’ve read the book, you’ll know why 🙂 And you may have wondered… Continue reading Why Mallory’s ears popped in the Bioprison
Keeping Sailing Ships Upright
Emolecipation mentions the ballast space at the bottom of sailing ships. Sailors filled these spaces with heavy stuff: smooth stones, dirt, anchors, or extra cannons. (Stones with jagged edges can damage the wooden hull, so smooth stones were preferred.) It may seem wasteful to add useless material to a ship, but weight at the bottom helps stabilize it. A top-heavy object tends to tip over.… Continue reading Keeping Sailing Ships Upright
How moles made floating islands in Emolecipation
In Emolecipation, talking moles have built what appear to be islands, but are actually rafts born up by countless bobblenuts. (like a coconut, but twice the size) Their shells are extremely strong and durable, and when treated with certain oils, can last centuries in seawater without cracking or eroding. (a big claim, I know. I might be handwaving… Continue reading How moles made floating islands in Emolecipation
About the Spacenet
Scribes’ Descent starts off with eight-year-old Mallory on Planet Imna, then jumps ahead in time to show eighteen-year-old Mallory on Planet Daishon. These planets lie on opposite sides of the Moren galaxy, and yet Mallory makes the trip in only three months. This is possible because a wormhole forms a shortcut by joining two points that lie on a sharply curved plane… Continue reading About the Spacenet
Tectonics – Why No Quakes on Daishon?
For those of you whose eyes were glazing over from all that nanotechnology talk in the last two posts, we’re drifting into a very different subject. It’s time to get earthy! Scribes’ Descent takes place on Planet Daishon, which has never experienced a major quake. How can this be, since the primary cause of earthquakes is the movement… Continue reading Tectonics – Why No Quakes on Daishon?