Making Mordor’s Economy Work

April 24, 2013 in Editorial


We at Centives are massive Lord of the Rings fans, and keep a flaming log nearby in case of ringwraith surprises. But there has been something that has bugged us for a while.

Where did the orcs get their food from?

Mordor was an ashen wasteland where we never see any plant life (save for the odd tree in the dead swamp), let alone fields full of crops. Old volcanoes are good for making soil fertile, constantly erupting ones are not. But somehow the orcs were eating. How? To get food, the black lands must have been trading with an outside power. Read the rest of this entry →

The Market Value of a Soul

March 30, 2013 in Editorial


Typically, one’s immortal soul is considered to be of infinite value to its original owner, as possession of it is widely thought to allow access to some sort of eternal reward and/or avoidance of eternal damnation. But what if you are in a really tight spot, and don’t have any other assets to sell at that moment?

Maybe it’s time to consider entering the eternally hot market of soul trading. Read the rest of this entry →

What Can You Get For One Soul?

March 30, 2013 in Editorial


If we were ever offered the chance to sell our souls, we would be pretty careful about the whole deal. We would want to know what we’d get in exchange, and we would have very detailed and careful plans about how we would use the money/flying boat/golden fiddle we were getting in exchange for being owned by the Devil.

Only, one of the major themes in soul selling is the huge discrepancy between what is promised by the dark powers, and what the human ends up with. Read the rest of this entry →

Would You Invest In Bilbo Or The Hobbit?

December 19, 2012 in Editorial

Imagine for a moment, that you are sitting behind a desk with a large sum of money with which to invest. And imagine that two fellows come into your office and request your financial support for their ventures.

One is a film producer called Peter, who intends to make a movie about a hobbit burgling gold from a dragon.

The other is a hobbit from the Shire, who intends to go to a Lonely Mountain and steal from a fire-breathing lizard. Read the rest of this entry →

How Long Would It Take Darth Vader To Mop The Death Star?

December 12, 2012 in Editorial

The White House is currently being petitioned to build The Death Star. If successful, the initiative is expected to stimulate the economy and create numerous jobs in glamorous fields such as engineering and space exploration. But there are logistical questions that have to be answered such as “how would we mop the floors?”

The Death Star is a sphere with a 140km* diameter, made up of layers upon layers of flooring. Picture a huge office building, except ball-shaped.

To figure out how much moppable floor space there was we decided to assum Read the rest of this entry →

How Long Would Food, Fuel and Ammo Last in the Zombie Apocalypse?

October 29, 2012 in Editorial

At the end is a table. The rest of the article is our logic and workings out. If there are zombies outside now, head straight to the table. Or a rifle. Actually, rifle.

“Gather supplies. Kill Zombies. Repeat.” This is our Zombie Defence Plan at Centives. But we got to wondering just long we could go on gathering food, fuel and ammo before supplies ran out.

First, we looked at fuel. Read the rest of this entry →

How Much Would Cinderella’s Glass Slippers Cost?

October 21, 2012 in Editorial

Antariksh Bothale, a mechanical engineer, has found that Cinderella could safely walk, dance, and even run in glass slippers. How much would these slippers cost? Centives decided to find out.

Bothale assumes that Cinderella is wearing slippers made of thermal toughened glass. The heels on the slippers are Read the rest of this entry →

How Much Does It Cost To Host The Hunger Games?

September 19, 2012 in Editorial

Outside of the Capitol, the 12 districts of Panem have incredibly low living standards. Every day, residents of the districts die of starvation, poor living and working conditions, a lack of healthcare, and—for those between the ages of 12 and 18—mandatory participation if chosen in the Hunger Games. Considering that each year the Hunger Games take place in a new extremely advanced (and presumably costly) dome controlled from the outside shown via telecast with no live spectators, the question has to be asked: how much do the Hunger Games cost Panem?

In our own world, the only eve Read the rest of this entry →

Would Real Life Alchemy Be Profitable?

September 4, 2012 in Editorial


Money may not grow on trees, but to the medieval it could be made through dark sorcery. Henry IV of England banned alchemy, Pope John XII forbade the ‘lies’ of transmutation, and Dante found a special place in hell for the alchemist.

For those who are unaware, we are talking about the mythological turning of a common metal into one of more value.

If it did actually work, of course, then an alchemist could make themself incredibly wealthy very quickly. Read the rest of this entry →

Steampunk Airships…Plausible?

August 26, 2012 in Editorial

The most recent Three Musketeers film is worth watching, if for no other reason than seeing a sky battle between two airships. Firing black powder cannons at each other in the sky. Boarding actions at a thousand feet. Regardless of your attitude towards steampunk or roleplaying in general, airships really are awesome.

Now we’re reasonably sure that these things don’t exist, Read the rest of this entry →