Easily Explained: Ninjas
As the first episode (as it will be called), I must put out a disclaimer. This series of articles is to answer questions that one might have about a subject. It should not be taken as something for professional reasons, but of that of both entertainment and enlightenment to information. Think of it as a secondary way of teaching, if you will; A fun way for people to learn, but also acquire little known facts about topics and expand their knowledge.
Ninjas. The very word gets you thinking about rural japanese towns and smoke bombs, but how much of that is true? I have taken it upon myself to find the facts and weed out the fiction. Get ready to have your mind blown, dear reader, because you could very well use the ways of a ninja to disappear.
Ninjas have been revered as heroes and hated as assassins, but their main concept was stealth. Now, when you think stealth, you’re probably thinking of a cringy military dude hiding in a box like in Metal Gear, and you’re probably thinking that you’re right and that it’s not worth it. But, this next piece of information will surprise you. Stealth isn’t just about silence and careful movements. It’s about something you would guess very little about. It’s about sounds and distractions.
Any Magician could tell you that the best tricks come through a sleight of hand; something that creates enough of a distraction for them to do something out of sight. Believe it or not, Ninjas work in a similar way. They have always---And I do mean always---been associated with disappearing into a puff of smoke or vanishing as soon as you look away. Parts of this are true and parts aren’t. While they couldn’t exactly disappear into smoke, they could use smoke long enough to distract you so they could run. And while they couldn’t just disappear without a trace, they could distract you long enough to run. Sounds have been proven to distract people. Even something as simple as a bottle breaking behind you, or a firecracker scaring you could be enough of a distraction. Just another case of a sleight of hand. While on the topic of stealth, ninjas did not wear black. A dark shade of blue was worn to blend in with the night sky or with shadows. If an enemy saw movement, they would turn to see nothing but the night sky and shadows made from moonlight.
The topic of distracting then running brings me to another subject: Parkour. This French sport has been associated with ninjas due to its need for quick reflexes and even quicker and silent running. That said, ninjas didn’t actually use parkour in their arsenal. In fact, Parkour didn’t show up until the 1920’s. While ninjas did climb and run rooftops, they actually used collapsible ladders and climbing claws. The ladders were used to scale walls, along with grapple hooks, and the climbing claws were usually small boards that strapped to the hands or forearms and had nails in them that would pierce wood or sometimes terracota. That said, Parkour is a way to get through your environment that could be applied to stealth. It involves climbing, running, and in some cases losing a person tailing you. As I have talked about the slight of hand and how it could be used with smoke or a loud noise, parkour could be attributed to the second part, which is indeed running away.
Ninjas have been revered as heroes and hated as assassins, but their main concept was stealth. They existed through japanese history and died out, only to resurface in our pop culture. They could have been anyone, even the simplest peasant or farmer of that era. They used sleight of hand, and tricked would-be attackers that they had vanished into thin air or hadn’t actually been there. But now, they exist only in tales of old….. and movies, of course. We don’t know much about these individuals, except that they were masters of stealth and of the illusions of disappearing. If one were to simply learn more about stealth, they could be a potential ninja. As cool as that is, it kind of explains how farmers became ninjas.
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Do note: It can be a question based on something fictional or non-fictional.
Easily Explained: Zombies
Unfortunately, like the last one, this essay deserves a disclaimer. It may be cringy and even a little bit on the terrible side, but in my defense, I couldn’t think of anything that I personally have a question for. So, I thought up a question that would(for the most part) not be explained by logic that an average person might have, and I put my mind to it.
We all have seen zombies in some form of media, whether it’s The Walking Dead or the hit game Minecraft. They are dead in some stories, and infected in others. In some they are immune to daylight, and in others they are so sensitive that they burn up or flee from light. In some they can be cured, but others… not so much. *cough*... Walking.. *cough*...Dead…*cough*... series…*cough*. Anyway, whichever story you look into, I’m still going to be the one who answers the question of how the flip these undead pedestrians even work.
Whichever story you look into, zombies have one thing in common. That one thing is that they are all connected through a disease that you have an off-chance of catching when it first breaks out. In most cases, the people who have weak immune systems are usually infected first and the people who are immune are usually the survivors. I mean, just look at Resident Evil or The Last of us or even The Walking Dead. The only one with even the slightest exception is World War Z, and that makes no sense anyway you look at it, seeing how it basically makes a U-turn in the logic spectrum. But that said, all of them have one thing in common; it’s not a natural disease that infects them. In almost every zombie survival story, it’s either a radioactive chemical that seeps into the environment and either raises the dead---or messes with some spores or plants--- or a man-made, weaponized virus that causes all this stuff to happen.
Most of the stories have it to where the virus outbreak already happened and the survivors found that the government had made the virus in a lab. But that begs another question. If it was created in a lab, it must be some sort of weaponized hybrid virus. Of course, with that in mind, another inquiry is made: What kind of virus would have these traits? After coming across this question, I looked at the traits of zombies and found it interesting. They show most of the same signs as rabies: Aggression and Fatigue. They are usually hostile towards others, and while some can run, most can only walk. Not only that, Rabies is only spread through biting, which just so happens to be their number one way of attack and infection. Rabies also shows signs of light sensitivity, which just so happens to coincidentally be another part of a few stories and games, not to mention I am Legend. The other virus was pretty simple: The common flu. As you see in most stories, the people with weak immune systems are infected first. This is usually the same with influenza: people who have weaker immune systems are usually the first to get sick. That would mean that any survivors would actually have to be bitten to be infected because they were immune to the airborne virus.
Now, that all said and done, that is kind of scary. While it is possible for this to be made and weaponized, it is very highly unlikely. And while it could be a very effective bio-weapon, it would be very susceptible to backfire; affecting both enemy and ally. So, don’t expect a zombie apocalypse in the next few years, because the likeliness of it happening is about the same for someone on the walking dead to suspect that mixing a flu shot with a rabies vaccine would cure everyone; about 0.1% chance of happening. The end may be soon, but it isn’t Zombies.
If you have any questions that you would like Easily Explained, comment to firstname.lastname@example.org
It can be a question over something fictional or non-fictional, but the best attempt will be made to answer.
Easily Explained: Teleportation
Teleporting is an ability or technological advancement that has appeared in many media sources. It can instantly get you from one point to another, or can be used to avoid obstacles. It can be attributed to many characters, but how does it work?
The first thing we would look at is the effect of wormholes in the possibility of teleportation. Now, can wormholes be the reason for teleporting? No, and I’ll tell you why. Wormholes are points in space that connect to each other even though they’re thousands of miles or light years apart. Think of it like if you draw two points on a piece of paper and a line to connect them. Even though you could just travel along the line, you could very well not even move and get to point B in the fraction of a second. How? Just fold the paper in half and connect point A to point B. That’s how wormholes work. This would be fine, if we were talking about Portal. But, since we’re talking about teleportation, we’ll have to tackle an even bigger subject: Electron entanglement.
Electron entanglement happens when one atom is apart from another atom, but they coincide. What do I mean? Well, to say it in layman’s terms, it’s an atomic game of follow the leader. When one atom does something, the other does the same. The atoms are connected, even though they are really far apart. It’s kind of like wormholes, but a lot less fun. Unfortunately, if a living being were to use electron entanglement, they would become more indistinct with every travel. In one, you would have a perfect nose. In the next, not so much. If this were in constant use, the being would end up becoming a heaping mess. With that in mind, we can cross off electron entanglement from our list of possibilities, which brings us to sublimation.
Whether it’s Minecraft’s Endermen, or Night-crawler from the X-men, teleporting usually shows a series of particles coming off of the people or things teleporting. This fog or smoke would be what you could consider sublimation. Sublimation is the act of a solid becoming a gas rapidly. Kind of like dry ice. So, when you see something teleport, they’re basically evaporating and going back to a solid as if nothing had happened. But, as much as this is a decent theory, there’s a problem with this. The energy needed to turn a gas back to a solid would be enough to make an explosion of nuclear proportions. Not to mention, they’ve been turned to gas and no longer have control over their neural processes; they’ve been evaporated into a bunch of nonconscious molecules. If this had been with a machine or technological advancement, it would make sense and give an explanation for how they would get back in one piece, but otherwise… not so much.
For this one, My explanation would have to go with Electron entanglement. My reasoning is quite simple. The smoke/fog coming off the individual is the change happening per every teleport. They would be changing for a benefit actually. What they would be changing is their percentage of fat in their bodies. If you don’t know, Fat (as a substance) is highly flammable. If the Fat were to be heat rapidly(ie, change), it would essentially sublimate or evaporate, leaving only a fog/smoke coming off the teleporting individual. Do note that when I talk about fat, I’m talking dietary fat.
So, there you have it. Teleporting could be good for your health, and it uses a small percentage of unneeded body weight. I mean, you would have to have a big diet, but it works. I almost found this subject to be impossible. Once I remembered fat to be a semi-solid, I discovered it to be subject to either sublimation or evaporation. It might not be the same as a fictional mutant, but it explains it quite easily and logically. Actually, it is quite fascinating that there’s even a slightest possibility of teleportation. While we don’t have the technology to artificially teleport and we don’t have any proof of teleportation individuals, it is always a neat possibility.
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Do note: The question can be based on something fictional or non-fictional.
Easily Explained: Rampant AI and the Rise of Machines
Whether it’s a post apocalyptic Terminator or just Halo 4, Rampant AI have been a thing in sci-fi for quite a while now. Basically, it’s where the AI goes against its allies(Human or otherwise) because it is in the process of thinking itself to death or it has a defect that messes with its neural interface. But while this is a possibility in fiction, we have to ask Can Artificial Intelligence turn on us and/or go rampant?
To answer this question, we have to ask a different question that is What is AI? Whether it’s through brain-mapping or artificial programs, an AI is basically a computer system with near-human intelligence. While we do come close to creating such a system, we aren’t quite there yet. Now, before most of you start objecting with WE HAVE SIRI, let me stop you mid-sentence. While Siri is (to an extent) intelligent, it isn’t even relatively close to what AI is. AI is a system that can use near-human intelligence and creativity to assess and solve different kinds of problems that may occur. This means that Siri is a VI, or virtual intelligence. A virtual intelligence is a system that has an intelligence that is programmed, not learned. So, while it may be near-human, it isn’t quite thinking for itself.
Now, on the question of whether or not artificial intelligence can go rampant, that is quite simple. Where we can’t actually make an AI yet, one would assume that it would be like any other computer system: it can glitch, meaning that it can in turn fail its programming. A glitch or bug is a part of programming that doesn’t quite go the way planned. While it isn’t quite a rampancy, but more a human error, it could technically be rampancy. If a new AI system were to go against its own programming, that would be a flaw to its thinking processes. It would take a great deal of its energy to reprogram itself in order to cope with the mistake it made to its own system. It be kind of like offering an AI a paradox: It’s a statement or situation that has no definite answer, but it still forces the system to “think” on the situation. Since the AI system cannot account for the statement or situation given to be false, it continues to think in a loop until the inevitability of rampancy destroys it. So, the answer to this troubling question is, unfortunately, yes. But fortunately, it would not last over a few hours at the least.
Now, upon the second question of Could AI turn on us: that should be a “No”, and I will tell you why. The reasons AI could not turn on us are Isaac Asimov’s laws of robotics. These three laws govern everything an AI or robotic computer system does. The laws consist of these:
A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Through these laws of robotics, an AI would have to follow these or go rampant. And while rampancy is something that they could cope with over time and various upgrades, not only would they not have time or upgrades, but the paradox developed in its “mind” would force it to the edge of rampancy. With this event in the fray, they would think themselves to a horrid computerized death.
Jeez! That topic is freaking intense! While it is fun to think Hey, Terminator could happen, don’t count on it happening anytime soon! And if you’re in the process of developing an AI with near human intelligence, don’t forget the paradoxes listed in Portal 2, because rampancy isn’t a quick process! But, all joking aside, Don’t forget to include the laws of robotics into its memory banks. After this debating article, it is good to know that Siri can’t exactly develop a robot army to eliminate humanity.
If you have any questions that you would like to be Easily Explained, comment your question to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It can be based on fictional or non-fictional topics.
Easily Explained: Guardian Lasers
A while back, one of my friends let me play his nintendo switch, and I had the chance to play a really good open-world exploration game called The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. By the way, if you haven’t played, try to find someone with the game and asking if you can try it out. But anyway, back to the topic at hand, I played and ran into a few enemies. I had decided that running wasn’t an option when it clearly was, and took a few out. That was when I had came to a dangerous and foolish discovery and its name is Guardians. One shot and I was down and out; Game Over. It was at that point that I asked a question that I really didn’t think about at the time, but it kind of came back up: How do Guardian Lasers work?
To delve into this question, we must first ask: What is a Laser? Well, a laser is a focused beam of light. That’s all there really is to say. The dictionary describes it as a stimulated emission of photons. Lasers can be used in many things, such as surgery, or in this case targeting. The initial laser isn’t what kills you, it just tracks you so that the guardian can get a shot fired. But then what kind of beam is it that is shot at you if it isn’t a laser? What if I told you that it isn’t exactly a laser, but a projectile? Lasers are just stimulated light particles, so they have the potential to hurt you, but not in this case. A Guardian has a laser that blinks, locks onto its target, then fires a bigger laser that explodes on impact. But this kind of thing couldn’t actually be possible, right? WRONG!
Here recently, but not too recent, our navy has been developing a laser weapon to make naval warfare a bit easier. The way it works is actually a whole heck of a lot like the guardian laser system. It takes a while to “warm up”, then fires a beam that rapidly heats its target. The strange thing is that it actually has been able to make testing targets explode. This explains everything with the Guardians. They take a bit to warm up, and in the process lock onto their target. Then they shoot a laser that rapidly heats the target, making it explode or just get really damaged. And, believe it or not, the naval weaponry is just about the size of a Guardian’s head-piece, so if we decided to start testing and making Guardians in real life, it wouldn’t be that unbelievable.
So, yeah. Guardians aim with lasers and shoot with lasers. They are a piece of technological weaponry that our nation could actually make, and aren’t that much fiction than they are science fiction. And while it seems as though the topic is something entirely impossible, the science and fact outweigh the fiction. If our army really wanted to, we could put this kind of thing through the R&D departments and get something really cool. That said, there would be a whole ton of downsides to that idea, so it may not be worth it. But still, it is a cool idea that this kind of thing is more fact than fiction.
If you have a question that you would like to be Easily Explained, respond at email@example.com
It can be based on something fictional or non-fictional.