Humans are Space Orcs: Screaming

What if humanity is the only species that screams when it’s scared? Because honestly, what species in its right mind would make a loud, location-identifying noise when it’s threatened by a danger thing? It terrifies aliens–for them, screaming is only used as a battle cry or something to locate others. It’s rare that a species can do it at all. High-pitched sounds like that are actually unheard of in species without sonar capabilities.

Like, take this example. An alien and a human are walking through some kind of abandoned spacecraft, being stalked by some kind of beast thing. Suddenly, the beast goes running right past them into an adjacent hallway. It doesn’t see them, but it was close.

SCARY THING HAPPENS!
ALIEN: *starts making nervous, quiet clicking noise with its mandibles*
HUMAN: *SHRIEKS*
ALIEN: *jumps and looks over in concern* What… what was that?
HUMAN: What, why did I scream? Uh, it scared me?
ALIEN: Were you trying to scare it off with that… noise?
HUMAN: Uh, no. I was just scared.
ALIEN: But wouldn’t that… didn’t that tell it where we are?
HUMAN: I guess so? I don’t know. Jeez, it just took me off-guard.
ALIEN: But you don’t have sonar, how did you even make that sound?
HUMAN: *shrugs*
ALIEN: …never do that again, please.

Most aliens think that a screaming human is more frightening than any beast.

They don’t like to take humans on missions, because the most common reaction to hearing human scream for the first time is soiling oneself.

9

Why Don’t We Have Artificial Gravity In Space?

“If antimatter has negative gravitational mass, then by setting up a ceiling of antimatter and a floor of normal matter, we could create an artificial gravity field that always pulled you down. By building a gravitationally conducting shell as the hull of our spacecraft, everyone inside would be protected from the forces of ultra-rapid acceleration which would otherwise prove lethal. And most spectacularly, humans in space would no longer suffer the negative physiological effects, from balance disorders to the atrophy of your heart muscle, that currently plague today’s astronauts. But until we discover a particle (or set of particles) with negative gravitational mass, artificial gravity will only be brought about through acceleration, no matter how clever we are.”

Ever wonder, in those science fiction shows, how space travelers always stay “down” on their starship? Irrespective of acceleration, and despite the fact that the astronauts we have in orbit around Earth are weightless, they’re always depicted as having a floor and a ceiling that are well-defined, and always find themselves on the floor. This is physically impossible given the laws of physics as we know them today, but one small discovery could suddenly render artificial gravity possible. We’ve measured the inertial mass of every particle and antiparticle we know of, and everything has positive mass/energy to it. But gravitational mass has only been measured for the particles, never for the antiparticles. There’s currently an experiment underway, the ALPHA experiment at CERN, whose goal is to measure which way antiparticles fall in a gravitational field. If they fall “down,” then they’re not the solution to artificial gravity. But if they fall “up,” this fictional technology could suddenly become real.

We presently don’t have artificial gravity in space because there’s no such thing as a negative gravitational mass. But if we get an experimental surprise, all of that could change overnight!

The problem I have with the whole “OMG, no new Star Wars villain can ever compete with Vader!” talking point is, eh,  Darth Maul and Kylo Ren are, in fact, just as interesting and menacing? In their own ways?

Maul is still legit terrifying, tho.

And Kylo is scary because you get the sense literally everyone in the First Order is, like, “What the fuck is up with this kid?”