Setting: Medievaloid fantasy world, with 13th century technology. Temperate, inland area, very close to a major river.
This is a very weird question, and I'm almost sorry to ask it, but I need to figure it out one way or another, so: Are there any plants that will explode, burn in strange colors, or burn hotter/brighter/different in any way? I would really like the plants to be used medicinally, but this is flexible. If they burn in funny ways when dried, they get extra cookies. This is a fantasy world, so I can make up something, but I'd really rather use something that exists in the real world.
Googled, with strange results: exploding plants, exploding herbs. I honestly don't know what to search under for this...
A somewhat complicated bunch of questions for tech-geeks here.
When: Pseudo 1930/40s with mecha
Setting: A world where man tried to create technology in their own imagine and therefore bipedal mechanics advanced far quicker than today.
Sites checked: Many, and though helpful, none have the same benefit as the human brain...
I know that 'mecha' (of the 2+ legged war-machine variety) are inherently unstable and unjustified, but bear with me. The story takes place in a world where, while tanks (as we know them) are used, mecha are considered better; they're cheaper and, if they're destroyed, only have a single crewman. They're between 10 and 15 feet tall and weigh about 2 to 2.5 short tons, on average, not including load-out (between 500 and 1000lbs, not including crew). Now let's say that we also have the usual amenities of the period; a self-starter, headlights of some kind and a wireless radio along with 1940s military throat-mikes and other communications systems.
What I'd like to know are:
1) What sort of drivetrain would be necessary? I know diesel engines are inherently heavier than petrol engines, but what sort of horsepower (mechanical or electric) are you going to need to put in to get something out? I know on average that a 1940s truck had an engine of about 60-80kW/h and a tank at 300-450kW/h, but my understanding of engines is perfunctory at best.
2) Batteries. I know they were used, but what sort of battery would you find, and what sort of output would be necessary? I know that a starter only needs to fire the pistons but what about running other systems? Could I run a modern day computer off a 1940s battery? (don't ask why.)
3) What sort of fuel consumption would be looking at? The war-machine sucks down petroleum like a fat boy sucks down Sprite, but how much mileage would I get for my buck? I know that it's theoretical, but I like to keep my theoretical within the boundaries of reality.
All gravity and physical parameters etc. are as Earth, by the way.
If I wanted to make a 'land-ship,' that is, a 50,000 to 80,000 short ton mother of a ship afixed with enormous tracks, what would be looking at? I know in essence it would churn the earth to pulp and be felt about 50 miles away, but what sort of engines would you need? Would you need more engine/mass due to it moving via tracks rather than propellors? What sort of horsepower would be needed? Excusing the fact it's INSANE to even contemplate constructing such a thing, what would you need to get them moving?
Also; how would you transport them? Is there a logical way of moving them across a distance not under their own power? Let's say a 20 mile stretch of sea. Would one dismantle it into 3 or 4 sections and move it via extremely large 'superbarges' or could it be filled with helium and towed across?
I know it's a very messed up bunched of questions, but much gratitude to anyone who can help!