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Comment Brother Guy rocks: (Score 4, Informative) 268

In addition to now being the director of the Vatican Observatory, he's a scifi fan and a regular speaker at scifi cons on astronomy. Very enjoyable and very informative.

He's a serious scientist who also is a Jesuit Brother. That's not a conflict for him.

Here's more info at Wikipedia: Guy_Consolmagno

The Vatican Observatory also runs the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope on Mount Graham near Tuscon. Vatican_Advanced_Technology_Telescope

It's optimized for photometry so it's a good fit with Brother Guy's research on asteroids and other small objects in the solar system.

Comment Re:Oh good grief (Score 1) 37

Nanotech has become a buzzword that can refer to excellent research or crackpottery depending on what's desired by the speaker. I hope you're restricting your rant to the crackpottery. but tossing baby with bathwater is practically an Olympic sport around Slashdot.

On the other hand, we've long used a lot of chemistry of all sorts that we really don't understand.

Just because we're not likely to get full up assemblers in the short term hardly means that nothing good will come of what's broadly termed nanotech.

Submission The Earth's missing element is found in stars

StartsWithABang writes: Beyond hydrogen and helium, every atom of every element we have on Earth was made in a star, processed in space and then finally condensed to form our world some 4.5 billion years ago. All the elements of the periodic table up through Uranium are found on our world, except one: technetium, element 43. But technetium is found in (some) stars, thanks to an amazing reaction: the s-process.

Comment Sugar Daddies? (Score 3, Insightful) 552

Hey, any of you Slashdot geeks won the lottery lately and have lotsa money you don't know what to do with?

Just think, you could be the new hero riding in on your shining horse to save us all! (Until we all become disillusioned with you, and we'll flame you like we have everyone else. :) )

One of the chief duties of the mathematician in acting as an advisor... is to discourage... from expecting too much from mathematics. -- N. Wiener