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Mundane stuff

14 Jun 2016 02:28 #48540 by Raa
Mundane stuff was created by Raa
So I just got home from work and my girlfriend was taking a nap. I was not tired, but I joined her for a little while anyways. As she was out I got to thinking. I know dangers!!!

The S family only needed to sleep a couple hours a week or something like that. What if your girlfriend was Power Girl or Supergirl and they were sleeping next to you. Talking about an insanely dangers situation. She rolls over and throws her arm over you. What would happen? It would be good by you, the bed and anything thing else her arm/hand touched. For this reason she would NEVER be able to sleep next to you. She may fake sleeping, but never drift off to sleep.

Then I was wondering were could she take a nap. If she slept in the woods or mountains every time she rolled over an Earthquake could happen. Another planet maybe would be safe until she had a nightmare. "Mr President, this is NASA. WE HAVE A PROBLEM! MARS IS GONE!" "WTF!!!" So I was thinking the only really safe space for her to sleep would be floating in space. If you are going to recharge the "batteries" with a nap, may do it near the Sun to really recharge the old batteries.

Lets just assume their food processing system is so good there is no need for a washroom. Really don't want to think about super charged diarrhea. LOL. Honey we need a new bathroom again.

What some more mundane stuff that would be interesting to talk about?

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14 Jun 2016 04:56 #48542 by TwiceOnThursdays
Replied by TwiceOnThursdays on topic Mundane stuff
There's the good old sneeze or fart. Superman once sneezed and destroyed a solar system.

Anything that is an involuntary reflex is going to be trouble. What if she's had a trying day and just sighs. It's something you do w/o thinking, and it could destroy everything around her.

For that matter laugher sometimes just bubbles out -- she'd have to contain that. She went to see a funny comic => city destroyed.

Don't ever make her mad enough that she shouts! (Even being annoyed and tapping her foot or drumming her fingers might be catastrophic.)

Driving might be impossible. Even though she wouldn't be hurt, the car would and so would passengers, so she still might over-react. Sometimes when things happen you panic and slam on the brakes ... good bye car, part of the road, etc. Maybe she'd panic, slip into super-speed, then could relax and think about what to do, and then carefully do the right thing.

And we're not even getting around to Niven's "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenix".

I did like the use of something mundane to beat the bad girl in Electrawoman and Dyno Girl (not spoiling that). There were some bonuses (and minuses) to how they handled her invulnerability too. (She wasn't a traditional Kryptonian type though.)

Of course if part of Kryptonian Strength is really some form of TK -- then just flopping their arms around, laughing, or sighing wouldn't destroy things, it'd take conscious mental effort. And honestly, I've mentioned this before but this is pretty consistent of Superman in movies/tv/animation. He picks up 500 lbs/3000 lbs/10 tons/100 tons/moon. First he goes "ug!" He struggles a bit, hesitates for a moment, then he lifts it. Someone who benches 600 lbs doesn't struggle to lift a 40 lb bar. There are times when he's showing off and he just lifts the heavy thing casually, but if it's a plot point that NEEDS TO LIFT THAT, it's done dramatically with effort. This is carried over to Supergirl. She needs to lift something for the plot, it's heavy (no matter if last week she lifted 1000x that). She needs to lift the key to get into the Fortress, for funs and to show she's strong, she just casually picks up the 100 Million tons (whatever it was) like it's a piece of paper.

I know that mostly this is storytelling ... but it certainly FEELS like it takes mental effort to use that much of his strength.

As you point out here, if this isn't the case, then it sucks to be that strong, it's past worthless and moves into dangerous. The world would be made of soap bubbles. You wouldn't DARE use any physical force against someone, it would kill them.

A lot of powers are like that too ... super speed (if you can't normalize your perceptions) would be AGONY. For that matter, putting a puzzle together at super-speed still takes the same perceptual amount of time. It might be an eyeblink for everyone else, but for Barry it was hours. And he cleans up stuff (etc) all the time. BORING. I always think he has some super-focus power. He can focus for normal clock time while moving at super-speed and working for hours with the focus you can give to something for minutes (never getting mentally tired, etc).

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14 Jun 2016 06:09 #48543 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Mundane stuff
Superstrength would indeed make it impossible to live in a normal world. If everything around you were soap bubbles or at best eggshells, then the most important thing in your life would be to concentrate on not touching anything, or doing it with the most cautious delicacy. Not fun.

Yet people with superstrength have always been shown to be capable of living somewhat normal lives.

There are several ways to deal with that, but the easiest for the writer is to treat it like TK. The amount of power you project is a matter of how much you want to project. That's the counter to the Niven Effect.

Superman could indeed have sex with Lois Lane because he would use exactly the amount of strength that was appropriate, and for the most part, his state of mind (as in orgasm) would not alter that.

If he was with someone more sturdy, then his expectations would increase (his partner's certainly would!) and he'd rise to that challenge, so to speak. Presumably there is no upper limit to that process.

Only if he's deceived can he screw it up... e.g. thinking someone is Kryptonian but they are really human. But I suspect his enhanced senses would have detected that long before he hurt them. Kryptonian and human heartbeats must differ in several ways, their bodies would undoubtably smell differently, etc.

So if their strength is a matter of expectation, what's the mechanism?

A vastly wider range of nerve responses? Such that they could fairly accurately judge the weight of a one gram weight, a kilogram, a tonne, a thousand tons a million tons. That's a lot of bandwidth.

Or maybe some kind of TK with feedback? Easy to toss into a story, but hard to resolve via any kind of pseudo-scientific explanation. What about TK without feedback? He'd have no idea how heavy things were.

Some insane individuals have tried to work it all out. My Velorians have muscles made of two kinds of muscle fibers. Most strands are human, but a few are an alien construct that burns Orgone energy to provide vast contractile power. But the super strands don't kick in until the human muscles approach their maximum exertion. That's how their nervous system is wired. So they have to fully exert themselves at more or less human ability before the super strands kick in. After that they have only coarse control of their strength. Which has some problems when it comes to seizures or other involuntary moments of excess sensation. Which takes us back to a Niven problem.

So I added a catch... if gold encompasses their pituitary gland (think gold choker) then that gland doesn't kick out the hormone required to turn on Orgone metabolism. In that case, those alien super muscle strands can't get the energy to work. No superstrength until the choker comes off.

Anyway, with that, I now had a quasi-pseudo scientific working theory for handling superstrength. (And I also provided an excellent case study of someone wildly overthinking a problem. My geek flag flying.)

Shadar

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19 Jun 2016 00:42 #48665 by AuGoose
Replied by AuGoose on topic Mundane stuff

shadar wrote: Superstrength would indeed make it impossible to live in a normal world. If everything around you were soap bubbles or at best eggshells, then the most important thing in your life would be to concentrate on not touching anything, or doing it with the most cautious delicacy. Not fun.


Ehhh... That's the comic book version of superstrength that is ultimately wedded to being inexplicably super-massive and usually to having a telekinetically vast gripping surface. In reality a two-to-three hundred pound body can only do so much regardless of strength, "so much" being push itself harmlessly away from most things. You can't particularly stop a car with the friction exerted across two human footprints - it'll just drag/push you like any other human being. Hell you could get a rude surprise just from a horse - they're bigger than you and they know it.

Its something I tried to play around with in the Lioness. If you spend time practicing some of the grappling arts, you get a whole different appreciation of what strength can and can't do. Not to entirely belittle it - being able to flatly ignore joint-locks because NOBODY can bend your limbs in a direction you don't choose to yield is SCARY. But if you can't fly and don't have magical TK grip, a trained fighter can and will put you on your backside with stunning regularity because Strength does not equal balance or leverage. Strength is way down the list of variables that win fights. I've scripted scenes where a team of normals trounce super-strong characters just be keeping them disoriented and then taking away their contact with the ground. A noose around the ankle and enough weight on the other end to hoist a person is a massive equalizer... at least for a few seconds.

As to exercising delicacy... well, that seems doable for the most part - real world strength ranges are still pretty broad and I don't normally think of weight lifters being unable to hoist a wine glass without snapping the stem. If strength is abruptly acquired, comedic mishaps likely ensue, but only for a brief while. If anything I think the invulnerability might be more of an issue, with you lacking the softness that keeps us mortals form cracking and grinding down everything we brush up against.

I think mostly it comes down to how much sausage the author wants their protagonist to eat. It could be pure power fantasy or a deeply involved struggle to master such a gift.

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