typodupeerror

## Comment Re:58 Second Burn? (Score 4, Informative)160

Well, let's consider the damage from the impact of a rocky asteroid, 60m in diameter. Plug this into the excellent Earth Impact Effects program at http://impact.ese.ic.ac.uk/ImpactEffects/. Assume a velocity of 17 km/s, which they say is "typical for asteroids," and an impact angle of 45 degrees.

The calculator says:

The projectile begins to breakup at an altitude of 54000 meters = 177000 ft
The projectile bursts into a cloud of fragments at an altitude of 4700 meters = 15400 ft
The residual velocity of the projectile fragments after the burst is 4.77 km/s = 2.96 miles/s
The energy of the airburst is 4.52 x 1016 Joules = 1.08 MegaTons.
No crater is formed, although large fragments may strike the surface.

Clearly you wouldn't want to be right underneath it, but even as close as 20 km, the air blast effects seem rather anticlimactic:

Peak Overpressure: 18900 Pa = 0.189 bars = 2.69 psi
Max wind velocity: 41.4 m/s = 92.6 mph
Sound Intensity: 86 dB (Loud as heavy traffic)
Damage Description:
Glass windows will shatter.
About 30 percent of trees blown down; remainder have some branches and leaves blown off.

So it'd be like BOOM! But not like KA-FOOOM!

For comparison, the Chelyabinsk meteor was estimated at 17-20m, with an airburst energy of 0.4 MegaTons.

## Comment Re:What could possibly go wrong? (Score 3, Insightful)171

No, they defintely mean 7 meters. 500,000 kg. Which seems like a lot, if it's hitting your house at several miles per second.

But that's only 90,000 kg more than the ISS (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/isstodate.html).

On the other hand, I bet the ISS would burn up a lot better on its way towards your house.

## Comment Re:Obvious answer.. (Score 1)514

Spanish is a good idea, but won't help in the Philippines, where they speak Tagalog (a.k.a. Filipino) and English.

Spanish will help you learn Tagalog, since there are some cognates. But none of my Pinoy friends speak any Spanish.

## Comment Re:BYO (Score 5, Funny)408

My favorite make-up-your-own pair, which a CSR at a bank was once forced to read to me over the phone:

Q: "You're not going out dressed like that are you?"

A: "You can't tell me what to do! You're not my real father!"

## Comment Re:Launcher barrels rifled! (Score 1)117

Mr. Elm:

That's a good point about the rifling. It appears that the Defcon fellows are using flare launchers, which, anecdotally, are described as smoothbore.

I dunno why flare launchers aren't rifled. Maybe the need for accuracy in shooting a flare is low: if it goes UP, instead of sideways, it's probably considered a success. The energy expended on making it spin could arguably be better spent on making it fly.

## Comment Good for Slashdot for following up (Score 4, Insightful)183

At least Slashdot has the journalistic ethics to post the follow-up. Good for them. I note that Network World is doing the same.

Yes, I said "journalistic" in the same sentence as "Slashdot." It's important.

## Comment Re:Favorite (Score 1)397

They will simply drop you as a client if you take them to court.

## Comment Re:I don't care about "most dictionaries"... (Score 3, Informative)180

That's really interesting, thanks. The main dictionary (oed.com) is \$295/year. I didn't know they had a concise one for free.

And it really is concise. One (really good) definition. Not 37 links, like the Google dictionary.

Not that there's anything wrong with 37 links. But sometimes I just want to want to know the definition of the word.

## Comment Re:sectioned while alive? (Score 4, Funny)199

I thought the same thing. Nowhere in the summary does it say that the patient is deceased.

May I suggest a clarification?

The slicing the brain of the famous amnesic patient H.M. WHO IS FRICKIN' DEAD into giant histological sections...

## Comment link is Judge Borked (Score 4, Interesting)245

The link doesn't work. On the other hand, there's a very nice 404 page. It's funny, friendly, and attempts to be informative.

Good error handling is something many of us don't always do well.

## Comment I dunno, man. Snow is heavy (Score 2, Insightful)456

A couple of years ago Burlington, VT received 25.7 inches (0.65 m) of snow in 24 hours. I don't know what the density of snow is (I imagine it varies wildly), but that seems like a lot of weight.

OK, maybe the warm air can support that... but if that were the case, then on days when there wasn't 89 grillion kg of snow on top, there would be some pretty huge upward forces on the tent-pegs.

OK, well, then, there are vents, to let our some of the hot air. But then you waste all that energy heating air that you're venting.

But maybe it all works out somehow.

## Comment Re:Thatcher and Argentina (Score 4, Informative)392

Wait! I retract my earlier assertion.

According to this article (cited elsewhere in this thread by acb) about French President Mitterand, PM Thatcher successfully pressured the French to reveal the "codes to make the Exocets deaf and blind" after the Sheffield was sunk.

Very interesting.

If it has syntax, it isn't user friendly.

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