Flame resistance and sequestering acetone

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Flame resistance and sequestering acetone

Postby WriterWrong on March 4th, 2016, 10:52 pm 

Yeesh this forum seems a bit dead. I write fantasy, and while scientific fact is by no means my roof, I at least like it to be my foundation. Very little of plate tectonics or quantum physics is ever mentioned in-story, but I just don't feel right having mountains and deserts scattered about haphazardly. Sure I might have to fudge calorie requirements to make a magic system follow known physics, but I just like the way our own universe works too much to deviate too far. At the moment, I'm pondering two biological substances: acetone, and anything flame resistant. I know certain organisms can produce and store certain toxins, so would it be possible for a hominid species to evolve an ability to store acetone in sweat glands and secrete it at will? I've also heard of various conifer seeds (or at least I believe they were conifers) that withstand wildfires and require the heat to grow, so are there substances naturally produced by any organisms that provide some degree of fire resistance?

Re: Flame resistance and sequestering acetone

Postby zetreque on March 5th, 2016, 6:09 pm 

The fire story that you seem to be referring to has to do with seeds. Some species have seeds that are programmed to germinate after specific weather events... such as flooding that leads to temporary saturated soil, or extremely dry periods and extreme heat above ground from a fire.... and there needs to be a sequence of those weather events too. There has to be a benefit for survival and reproduction that allows the seeds to germinate after specific events. Some plants actually found weird sequences to germinate and grow strong between outbreaks of pests that would eat them when they are young and week for example. And those pest outbreaks would occur during other weather patter cycles. All of which happen over year time scales and sometimes decadal time scales. How these instructions got programmed into the seeds is you have to learn how evolution works. The ones with the genes that had delayed or certain reactions to weather events survived in the area with those weather events and fine tuned over time... millions of years... into matching the environment. So you aren't going to just put acetone abilities into humans. And you have to realize that EVERYTHING is toxic when placed in a certain situation. An acid is toxic and a base is toxic, but you mix them together and they equal one another out. The same goes for certain amino acids and molecule structures.

The other part of the story is how some plants have evolved to deal with fire in areas that have frequent fires. You have to realize how evolution works. The ones that are able to survive and pass on their genes are the ones that are living today. In an area that gets frequent fires, the plants that have roots with their main part of the plant buried under soils are better able to survive fire. So after a fire burns the part of the plant above ground, it can have enough energy stored in it's roots to sprout up again into the sunlight to again photosynthesize obtaining energy.... Then you have plants like trees who bulk up in a way that lets the fire burn the outter bark as a sort of heat shield as the fire passes through the forest and then the tree can still be alive in it's core and grow through the dead burned shell again... (I'm not a plant biologist, or even a biologist, but that's my understanding on it)

After reading the two posts you gave us. I think you would be GREATLY benefit by some science and writing classes. The best fantasy and science fiction is based on real science. You have to get the real stuff down to make the fantasy believable otherwise no one will buy into your story. I attended a writing work shop this morning actually where the speaker mentioned that you need to have a real object, he used a clock from your mothers house as an example, to make the reader believe in it, and once you have something real, you can throw in anything like a space ship.. the speaker today went on to say you could be flying through space in a space ship, but if you have that clock hanging up it gives the reader that realness or something... another example that kinda came up is you have a unicorn which is based on a real animal... the horse... and you throw a horn on it and sure. I'll buy into it.

I have attended several writers workshops to step outside my box and a lot of the writers were very poor students in school, poor at math, or science, but one thing they all have in common is they sought out real knowledge and educated themselves anyway in the end and it shows. One could argue that to be a writer, you have to not only have experiences in life, but you need a broad and really good education which means lots of research.

I wish you luck in growing your education because it's a wonderful journey!
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