Aug 15, 2020 3:50 PM
Confusing the hell out of Bruce Banner is too much fun
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They do!

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Okay, so he's got the categories "earthlike", "slow", and "undroppable". Undroppable might be the same set of things as the things that hang in the air when their supports are removed, but first he wants to pin down the natures of "earthlike" and "weird". He drops the key and the wood bit from a bunch of different heights repeatedly and records his best estimates of the fall times and averages them, and that should give him a sense of whether the earthlike group has an earthlike linear acceleration and of what the (currently one-member) "slow" group is doing. He also asks the forest spirit to drop the wood one time so he can watch it from below and try to catch it and check if it feels like catching a falling object on Earth, and also to make sure it works the same when the forest spirit is doing it.

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The forest spirit is happy to help!

Catching the wood item feels pretty much like catching a falling object on Earth; it's just going slower at the time than it really should be. The earthlike group does turn out to have an earthlike linear acceleration; the slow group has one too, at least initially, it just caps out really early for no good reason. (Other Tiny Items also belong to the slow group, if he tests them.)

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What if instead of just dropping the wood block, he flings it downwards with an initial velocity faster than its terminal velocity?

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It decelerates to its preferred speed, almost as though encountering an abnormal amount of air resistance.

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Bruce really wants to know this thing's secrets. What if he pitches it horizontally? Same weirdly low top speed?

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It's harder to tell, but the top speed in non-vertical directions might be higher?

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What if he holds it in one hand and swings it around like he's going to throw it but doesn't, does his hand feel any resistance? How about if he goes indoors and gets in a room alone and takes off his pants and ties it into the end of one pant leg and swings around by the other one? (Look, he really needs to know what's up with this thing, okay?)

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While in his hand it behaves exactly as any other object in his hand might.

The pants nonsense mostly fails on the grounds that the weight of the wood cube isn't enough to change much about the behaviour of the pants.

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"This is stupid. I need string." He returns his pants to their rightful place and goes to his writing desk and starts tearing paper into strips and weaving them into a little basket with a very long handle. He has no background in weaving and none in origami either and has to figure this out from first principles, so it will probably take the rest of the day.

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{what doing?} wonders the forest spirit, after he's been at it for a bit. {can i help?}

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"Hi! Sorry for wandering off; I got super nerd-sniped. I'm trying to make a thing for swinging the little wood piece around really fast so I can figure out why it moves so differently from other things the same size and shape." He shows off his partially-completed sling dealie.

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{wooooow,} says the forest spirit, marveling at this technology. {you made thing... out of other thing!}

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"I did, yeah! . . . Oh jeez, you don't have opposable thumbs, do you. That must be really annoying."

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{??} says the forest spirit, somehow.

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"Uh, I don't know what you're asking. Opposable thumbs is this," he makes some illustrative hand gestures, "and it lets me do fiddly delicate stuff."

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{oh!} Nod-bob. {can i try too? i want to make paper things!}

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"Sure!" How excellent that they have infinite paper. Bruce demonstrates how to line up the edges to fold a strip of even width, then how to crease it so it tears neatly. "Want to give it a try yourself?" He hands over the paper, keeping a close eye on the forest spirit's limbs to see how they adapt the motions to not having fingers.

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The forest spirit seems to have the ability to manipulate objects in ways not directly enabled by the shape and structure of their tiny pointy arms. Sort of like they can decide whether and how hard things should stick to their points, but with a little more fine control than that implies. It takes them several tries to get the paper lined up and folded and creased, but they do manage it eventually.

{yay!! i did the thing!!} Happy little wiggles.

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Awesome alien manipulator appendages for his awesome alien friend. "You did! If you make a bunch more I can show you how to weave them together." He holds up his in-progress thing; it looks sort of like a paper scarf extended beyond the length of a single sheet by offsetting the "warp" strips relative to each other.

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Ooh! The forest spirit is excited about this. Fold fold fold!!!

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"Nice," he says when they're done. "And then to weave them you want each strip going alternately over and under the perpendicular strips, like so . . ." with both of them working on it, they'll have a piece long enough to whirl the wood around in pretty soon. Bruce tries sticking a finger in an ink bottle and seeing if ink placed between two bits of paper and left to dry will stick them together at all usefully.

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Ink does stick paper together, but not very usefully; a few light tugs is usually enough to unstick it.

The forest spirit is So Excited about papercraft.

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Then he will not bother coating the whole thing in ink. Instead they can both be So Excited about finishing the weaving step, then he can try putting the minified wood in the middle and dangling it by the ends. Does its weight feel normal in his hand?

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It does! Still pretty light, but not any lighter than usual.

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