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Comment Re:Landfill?! (Score 1) 34

Until it crushes. Not all aerogels are strong, and in the picture we can see the guy bending it. And even the strength of "strong" aerogels is often overstated - they're high strength for their weight, but not for their volume.

Comment Re:Cheaper? (Score 2) 34

I fail to see how it's at all like composite building - it's a moulded product. Also note: frozen and freeze dried for two days. So if you want to make boats out of the stuff, you have to amortize in the cost of two days (per unit) usage of a thermally-regulated vacuum chamber large enough to put a boat in, which is a pretty expensive piece of kit.

Also, how long is the sonication process?

Making boats or surfboards out of the stuff sounds kind of pointless. As you already clearly know, the ideal boat hull is a twinwall composite, where you have composite layers of high tensile fabric bonded to either side of a lightweight foam or honeycomb core - the latter existing primarily to space the former out. If you replace the inner layer with aerogel, you're only cutting out the weight of the foam or honeycomb - and foams and honeycombs are already quite light. I mean, you'd save some weight... but enough to justify the cost and difficulty?

I guess if you're going really upmarket... after all, some people buy Monster cables ;)

Comment Re:fire! (Score 1) 34

Aerogel is of course nothing at all like loose-fill cellulose insulation. But no, it should not pose a fire risk either. Depending on the type, aerogels are generally considered either fire retardant or non-flammable; even if they're made of something that "burns" on a macroscopic level, there's so little "something" there to burn that the flame barrier properties that they provide generally well outweighs the heat output of their own combustion.

Comment Re:The basic question is answered...but still... (Score 1) 476

1) Government funds your study and provides your grant
2) Government wants a particular result from your study
3) Government does not renew your grant when the study does not prove what they set out to prove


1) Private industry funds your study and provides your grant
2) Private industry wants a particular result from your study
3) Private industry does not renew your grant when the study does not prove what they set out to prove
4) Private industry tries to censor any study that has results that embarrass private industry

Comment Re: The science is not settled (Score 1) 476

Speaking scientifically you are correct. But the problem is that plain language when mixed with scientific taxonomic classes can cause confusion. Chances are when someone says humanity evolved from apes they will be confused to be talking specifically about the existing great apes. We did not evolve from chimpanzees or other great apes and it's important to draw this distinction because the confusion between the scientific speech and layman speech is exploited by creationists. By using speech that indicates humans evolved from apes the layman implication is that humans evolved from the existing great apes because those are the apes that the layman knows. This breeds confusion and such statements should be avoided even if taxonomically correct.

Where these statements are made it's important to draw the distinction that humans did not evolve from the great apes, if for no other reason than to avoid confusing those not familiar with the taxonomic classifications for primates and more importantly because it reinforces that evolution is a branching tree, not a straight line. The weakness of evolutionary understanding in the US is partly because of these lazy uses of words that confuse the layman.

BTW I never said humans evolved from Lemurs, I said that current evidence indicates the common ancestor looked kind of like one as far as size of body and structural similarities.

Comment Re:The basic question is answered...but still... (Score 1) 476

well the guy below mentions Nazis, but gets downvoted because of the extreme example I'm assuming... but here's a quick google of more
'regular abuse by scientists'



And heck, I'd be willing to wager that scientists as a whole working with children... perhaps in anthropology or sociology abuse children the same as priests, UN peace keepers... And I'd also wager, their colleagues turn a blind eye to it just as every other group.

Scientists are pretty regular people.

Comment Re:I don't even know what "hyperloop" is any more. (Score 1) 216

In addition to what bws111 wrote:

Re: the MIT capsule: it's nothing like the Hyperloop Alpha concept (hence my post). SpaceX's test track that they're building is designed to handle a wide variety of vehicles, not just the one laid out in the Hyperloop Alpha concept. IMHO the MIT concept is utterly uninspiring. The drag levels are vastly higher, which are going to ruin pretty much every appealing aspect of the concept.

(but no, the tube has no electromagnets, the MIT design involves induced magnetic fields for propulsion)

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