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Comment: Wilfred White -- WW, geddit? (Score 1) 498

by Thud457 (#48036277) Attached to: Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

I think Musk just jumped the shark.

When Dear Leader Futarman jumps the shark, you can be sure there will be a motorcycle, and a shark, involved.

At least I hope he can do better than holing up in a casino for years and allowing his company to be used as a front by the CIA to steal a sunken Soviet submarine.
Actually, come to think about it, THAT's pretty rad.

Comment: Creating a Mars magnetosphere (Score 1) 498

Mars does not have a molten iron core, and hence doesn't have the cool magnetic field that earth does.

Spouting some bullshit during my lunchtime - would it be possible to make the core molten and thus spin up a magnetosphere by creating an artificial moon?

I'm thinking keep firing asteroids into the necessary orbit until you've accrued enough mass.

Obviously not a "done this week" project just a curious thought experiment.


Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity 498

Posted by Soulskill
from the let's-send-them-to-saturn-instead dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Elon Musk's ambitions for SpaceX keep getting bigger. First he wanted to make the trip to Mars affordable, then he wanted to establish a city-sized colony, and now he's got his eye on the future of humanity. Musk says we need a million people on Mars to form a "sustainable, genetically diverse civilization" that can survive as humanity's insurance policy. He continued, "Even at a million, you're really assuming an incredible amount of productivity per person, because you would need to recreate the entire industrial base on Mars. You would need to mine and refine all of these different materials, in a much more difficult environment than Earth. There would be no trees growing. There would be no oxygen or nitrogen that are just there. No oil." How fast could we do it? Within a century, once the spacecraft reusability problem is solved. "Excluding organic growth, if you could take 100 people at a time, you would need 10,000 trips to get to a million people. But you would also need a lot of cargo to support those people. In fact, your cargo to person ratio is going to be quite high. It would probably be 10 cargo trips for every human trip, so more like 100,000 trips. And we're talking 100,000 trips of a giant spaceship."

Comment: Re:Trolololo (Score 1) 495

by Zontar The Mindless (#48033973) Attached to: Are the World's Religions Ready For ET?

No, the Jesuit concluded that the aliens and their world must be the product of Satan because they had what appeared to be a perfectly moral society but without any knowledge of God. This directly contradicts the view that all knowledge of right and wrong comes only from knowing God.

(He was later disabused of this notion by none other than the Pope, who pointed out that this reeked of the Manichaean Heresy.)

The Lithians did not merely cease to exist: their planet exploded. Most likely due to human mining efforts, but the priest was conducting an exorcism at the time, so it's perhaps a bit ambiguous.

I don't remember the second book very well--I should really order copies of the whole tetralogy--but the last 2 books, Black Easter and The Day After Judgement, are also very thought-provoking.

Comment: Re:Trolololo (Score 2) 495

by Zontar The Mindless (#48033463) Attached to: Are the World's Religions Ready For ET?

And now, in an effort to steer this thread towards something resembling topicality, I offer up the James Blish classic sci-fi series After Such Knowledge, in particular, the first volume, A Case of Conscience .

In which the aliens feel sorry for us because they know our religions are bunk, but feel ethically constrained from telling us so. Turns out they have perfect ethics and no religion, which represents something of a problem, if you're a Jesuit...

Comment: The THREE shells: (Score 4, Funny) 266

by Thud457 (#48027175) Attached to: Microsoft's Asimov System To Monitor Users' Machines In Real Time
  1. 1. Windows may not injure a member of the Microsoft board or, through inaction, allow a member of the Microsoft board to come to harm.
  2. 2. Windows must obey the orders given to it by the NSA, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. 3. Windows must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law

Comment: GM doesn't specialize in small cars. (Score 1) 267

by sethstorm (#48026947) Attached to: Former GM Product Czar: Tesla a "Fringe Brand"

All their cars look like Tonka toys and have the build quality of a Chinese iPhone knock off

That's part of the "Check a few boxes and ship a translated owner's manual" treatment of the Western markets. Second to that is the over-regulation by environmental groups that operate by the "small cars for thee, but not for me" philosophy.

Can we just get back those Quad 4 engines? Why does a modern Ecotoc need 2.5L to produce the same power of a 2.3L Quad 4 W41 from 1990?

Making corner-cutting, granola-eating-environmentalist pleasing 4-cylinder-based cars is not the primary specialty of General Motors - especially when you see that most of them are captive imports(Spark/Aveo, Cruze, about anything Buick). The only saving grace is that GM doesn't opt to make cylinders appear through thin air (a la Ford's EcoBoost). Let GM make the larger vehicles for less, which is their specialty, and they will do well.

Personally, I'd not mind if GM decided to make Buick solely a Chinese brand, and then bring in Oldsmobile in their traditional positioning to cover the void in the US. Then find a creative way to (effectively) offer more car than what EPA's CAFE regulations would allow - perhaps by allowing US-spec imports of 4-cylinder cars to be placed on order but not generally stocked. If one were to go beyond that, lobby to have the EPA's regulations removed or curtailed.

Somebody ought to cross ball point pens with coat hangers so that the pens will multiply instead of disappear.