Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Goodbye LEGO Universe, Hello Again Minecraft

So, I gave up Minecraft for NaNoWriMo, and then I stayed away from it up until now because LEGO Universe was ending in just two months.  Well, those two months are up.  I tried connecting to the servers, but couldn't, with text explaining why.  So now I can get back to Minecraft (and also TF2).  I think that the biggest challenge will be remembering what I was going to do.  I remember what I was planning overall, but I'm not sure at what step I was.  For instance, I was working on a runway, but I went over to my other base.  I may have been planning to work on my dry dock.  There's only one thing that I know for sure:  I need more iron!

Sudden Short Story 25

One man lay upon the battlefield, alive yet bleeding.  Around him were the slain bodies of countless men and angels.  In his right hand he gripped his sword, its blade nearly three feet in length and its pommel featuring what appeared to be a snow globe, which had been vigorously stirred from the melee.  He propped himself up on his left arm, for over him stood an angel with a sword of its own.
"Congratulations," said the angel, "You are the last human left alive.  Trust when I say that it will be of little comfort where you are going."
"I rather doubt that," said the human, managing a smirk despite the pain.  "Tell me, angel, what do they call you?"
"I am called Alphael."
"Well, that seems appropriate, since you'll be the first to die."
"I see that your sin is vainglory, for that while you managed to slay many of us with that ridiculous sword of yours, you are mortally wounded, and your comrades lay dead.  Prepare to die."
The man muttered a name and, though the angel could not hear it, it somehow sent chills through him.
"What?" he asked.
"I said that this sword, secreted from myth and history alike, the key to the ultimate plan, has a name.  I know the secret that even you have forgotten, for you, angels, are jotun, and this," he said, raising his sword, "is Fimbulvintersverð!"  The jotun prepared to strike, but the human swiftly smashed the pommel against a rock, and from it sprang forth the most bitter cold that Midgard has ever known.
The winged jotun attempted to fly away, but the cold and wind made it impossible.  In a panicked attempt, he dropped his sword, but he may as well have picked up a boulder for all the good that it did him.  The cold bit so bitterly that all that he could do was wrap his wings around himself as he huddled into a ball for what little warmth he could get.
"It was Loki who devised the plan.  Let you go long enough, and you'd start to believe your own lies.  Eventually, you would fulfill your own prophecies, which included raising the dead to fight amongst the living."  Winter spread past the horizon, and kept going.  "What could you have done more foolish?  Now, they have all died warriors' deaths!  The Aesir's army could not be any stronger, and it's all thanks to the jotun.  There is only one thing left to do now."  And with a gut-wrenching leap, the last man alive on Midgard leapt through the air with the last of his strength, felling the now-frail Alphael in one blow.  And there he died, too, though he was soon taken to Fólkvangr.  

On the Paradoxical Nature of a Perfectly Inflexible Body

... of Finite Non-Zero Mass and Non-Zero Temperature
[Note:  I had another name in mind, but, on checking my terms, it seems that "perfect crystal" and "ideal crystal" both refer to crystals without imperfections, rather than perfectly rigid ones.]
[Note:  I've had this idea in my head before, but I've never gotten to writing it down before.]
We consider the possibility of the existence of a real object with zero flexibility (or infinite rigidity).  However, rather than using math and formulae, we use logic and the overall concepts that have been known in physics for some time.
Suppose that it is possible to construct a perfectly inflexible crystal one lightyear in length and symmetrical about the plane perpendicular to this axis and bisecting its center point (such as a cylinder).  Note that, in this case, we are ignoring the thermodynamic difficulties in removing all heat from an object - we soon won't need them.  Supposing, then, that we set up monitoring stations on either end of the hypothetical object, and assuming that it will tend to pivot about its center of gravity, any movement applied to one end of the object would be immediately detectable (though in the opposite direction) at the other end.  This would entail the travel of information one lightyear in zero time, in violation of relativity.  Note that, even if we somehow hold it at the far end, the movement then becomes detectable half of one lightyear away in zero time, which poses the same problem.  (Technically, the movement is detectable in many other locations (i.e., all or nearly all points along the structure), but these ones are a bit more illustrative.)
Consider, though, that any non-zero distance poses a problem, since the speed of information travel would still be infinite.  Thus, even a perfectly inflexible crystal only three atoms in length would create a contradiction against relativity.
Note, though, that the argument outlined here applies only if there is energy in the system of the perfectly inflexible crystal, such as that applied by the movement of one end.  However, completely removing energy from the system is a difficult prospect, as it may entail, among other things, removing gravity from the universe.

Sudden Short Story 24

She opened her eyes groggily at the sound of the door's opening.  The room was tinged green through the glass - or was it the liquid in which she found herself suspended?  A man in a lab coat looked up from his console at a man in a blazer.
"I was told that you have something for me," said the new entrant.
"Oh!  Yes, sorry, I just didn't expect you so soon," said the lab technician, standing up to move around the tables.  "She's right over here."
The man in the blazer walked around the other side of the tables.  Taking the scene in quickly, he said, "I don't recall requesting this revival."
The technician pulled out a tablet.  "Aaaah," he said, filling in the gap as he variously tapped and scrolled the screen.  "Here," he said, handing it over to his apparent boss.
He read something and said, "Oh, I see.  Well, apparently, somebody wasn't paying attention at the meeting."
"Sir?  You said to do whatever it takes."
"I meant money and other incentives.  I wasn't aware that she was dead."
"Is that a problem?"
The superior seemed rather irked at this comment.  "Did you even read the name on this order?  She was an artist, but the undead don't have a creative spark!  What good is an undead musician going to be to me?"
"Ah, I didn't realize.  Sorry about the spent resources - I'll double-check the names online in the future."
"The resources aren't so bad, but do try to keep the abominations to a minimum," and with that, he reached up to something on the front of the tank, throwing the switch, ending her unlife.


Note:  Wow, I jotted down notes for this on the 6th.  January has been so busy.  @_@