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Comment: Barf bag holding pattern (Score 1) 286

by Latent Heat (#48250283) Attached to: The Airplane of the Future May Not Have Windows
You can "blame Reagan" for the diminishing of barf bag usage on planes.

The classic "holding pattern" where planes are "stacked up" at different altitudes but at the same radio beacon (VOR) intersection works like this. You fly straight for one minute, execute a 180 deg right turn for one minute, fly straight for another minute, and then execute another 1 minute right turn to complete the circuit. This is often done inside the clouds -- if there were good weather, you would not be in a holding pattern. Repeat until the passenger barf.

You see, after Reagan fired all the air traffic controllers and broke the strike with replacement workers, the FAA replaced most holding patterns with ground holds, where you are just sitting at the departure gate getting anxious about your 30-minute connection in Detroit.

At least sitting on the ground isn't wasting fuel, using up the fuel needed to fly the plane, and is generally safer than this "circling" (actually, "ovaling").

Comment: Mickie Dees, 2014 (Score 1) 341

by Latent Heat (#48190267) Attached to: An Algorithm to End the Lines for Ice at Burning Man
I had the impression that McDonalds serves customers at an order-of-magnitude greater rate than just about any other fast-food chain, accounting for Warren Buffett getting rich off their corporate stock?

There is no "line" at McDonalds, there is simply a mob of customers, some of them waiting for their order, some of them staring at the menu-on-the-wall not knowing what to order, and some eager to purchase something and eat. Somehow that mob is self-organizing and the servers are able to "Can I help you?" the next person without a line and without starting a riot.

The one time that didn't work is when I was on a long drive returning from visiting my parents in "long-term care", and as I came up to the counter to open my mouth with my order, a group of people from what looked like a middle-school sports team after a game simply surged passed me, as much as pushing me aside. Didn't say anything but from my scowl, one of them remarked, "I bet that 'dude' is upset" only in somewhat more vulgar terms. I think I said something that I had a 'long day', was very tired and hungry beyond belief, but it didn't look like I was getting anything to eat anytime soon, I turned and left.

Before someone lectures me about my sense of entitlement, that was probably an epic fail of this "store" from their training at Hamburger U. I don't stop there but instead patronize another McDonalds a little further up the road with which I have good experience.

Comment: Not the hydrogen -- it is everything else (Score 1) 350

by Latent Heat (#48174099) Attached to: The Physics of Why Cold Fusion Isn't Real
Cold fusion -- yeah, it has a "Zeppelin" analogy . . .

It's not the hydrogen, it is everything else that is wrong about it.

The US Navy had these Zeppelin clones, and they crashed every one save the Los Angeles from flying into bad weather, which for a rigid airship, appears to be anything other than a perfect sunny day.

Comment: Mr. Gagarin relieved himself on the tire (Score 1) 122

They both had to relieve themselves, but Colonel Gagarin did this against the tire of the van carrying him to the rocket. Since then, crews regarded this "pit stop before boarding" as good luck.

Commander Shepard, I guess, was bolted into the rocket for so long he had to "do it in the suit."

Comment: Lost in Space (Score 1) 122

I read that read that in the unmanned tests of the Vostok spacecraft, they played tapes in the cabin to test the comm system, and there is speculation from that of pre-Gagarin human spaceflights.

To squelch the rumors, the story told is that the Soviets then played tapes of vocal choruses. No one would believe that they orbited the entire Soviet Army Men's Choral Group . . .

Comment: Try getting a medical excuse to cancel a trip (Score 1) 478

by Latent Heat (#48114191) Attached to: The CDC Is Carefully Controlling How Scared You Are About Ebola
It used to be that not only has it been hard to cancel or reschedule a trip without eating the cost, it is hard to get a medical excuse. Heck, at a doctor visit for another matter, I was given a handful of prescription anti-histamine so I could go on a trip with a serious cold. Doctors "tough it out" and go all kinds of places with colds (or worse -- there are all kinds of upper respiratory stuff with all profiles of sore throats, phlegm, and fevers).

Or at least that used to be the system until SARS/H1N1. Has this changed? Will an airline cheerfully let you reschedule if you tell them you have a fever and a bad sore throat, or do they demand "a doctor's note"?

Comment: I start worrying when I hear "Full stop." (Score 1) 478

by Latent Heat (#48114131) Attached to: The CDC Is Carefully Controlling How Scared You Are About Ebola
There are rational arguments to advance in regard to "don't worry", and we geeks here can "handle the truth."

When someone is trying to tell me they don't want to discuss this any further and this is the end of the conversation, that is when I really start to worry.

Comment: Why go from one depressed area to another? (Score 1) 478

by Latent Heat (#48114091) Attached to: The CDC Is Carefully Controlling How Scared You Are About Ebola
What incentive is there to purchase and expensive plane ticket to go from one place without health care to another across an ocean? If people want to migrate, they will come to the US. The Central America scenerio might, just might come into play if the US places travel restrictions on West Africa.

Comment: You have never been suited up? (Score 1) 478

by Latent Heat (#48114055) Attached to: The CDC Is Carefully Controlling How Scared You Are About Ebola
C'mon people. I have frequently gotten a cold, even though they say the only way to catch one is to touch your eyes and nose, and I consciously try not to touch my eyes and nose, especially when I need to be around people with a cold. I suffer from colds.

This is sort of like the Nicholas Cage film where our hero (Cage, of course), suits up to face the Plague or the Deadly Nerve Gas, and his boss coaches him, "You'll do OK, pal, the suit will protect you. That is unless your nose starts to itch, you brush against your face mask with your hand inadvertedly, and you loosen the positive pressure seal on the mask. If you do that, there are no guarantees. Your only hope is to jam this syringe through your sternum into your heart and hope that his experimental antibody that has never been tested before happens to work . . ."

People have not worked with half-mask respirators and other gear doing orchard spraying or other such work? No matter how careful you are with the gear, you end up touching something -- oops, let's just wash our hands and then shower down real good.

Comment: Kids sleep in? No they don't . . . (Score 1) 320

by Latent Heat (#48068457) Attached to: The Era of Saturday Morning Cartoons Is Dead
The original idea behind the Saturday AM cartoons is that the kids are up early on Saturday AM whereas the parents get to sleep in.

The reason kids are up bright an early because they have an enforced bedtime so the parents (ahem) can get some quality time . . . with each other.

Teens on the other hand will want to sleep in because they are left to their own bed time, they may be up late either because of social activities, extracurricular activities such as sports, or if they are obnoxious grinds, they may have to study that much if they want to do all the homework the teachers pile on students these days. Also, teens start to need more sleep at a time when our school and social cultures lead them to sleep less.

Comment: Who is Justin Bieber? (Score 1) 192

by Latent Heat (#48024173) Attached to: New Research Casts Doubt On the "10,000 Hour Rule" of Expertise
I know the bit about him being from Canada and having something to do wtih music and about him being unpleasant to neighboring homeowners.

But is he someone I need to know about to be not oblivious to current culture, that is, apart from "getting" Justin Bieber jokes on late night TV?

Comment: Ewwwwwwww! (Score 2) 385

by Latent Heat (#47989773) Attached to: Seattle Passes Laws To Keep Residents From Wasting Food
OK, what kind of food waste am I putting in the municipal trash?

Chicken leg quarters were on sale, so we cooked a bunch of them in the oven. We ate the chicken meat, and we made a soup from the pan drippings, but we now have a big pile of chicken bones.

I picked a whole bunch of apples off the ground from the home orchard. Since they have been on the ground, I peel them before eating them. Also, I haven't quite "turned the corner" in controlling the Apple Maggot Fly, so portions of the apples start rotting. I cut those part off, which generates even more food waste. That apple waste should not go in a home compost pile as it would just breed more apple maggot flies. Don't know of the hardiness of the larvae and pupae of this breed of fruit fly in a municipal composter. But if I had a home orchard let alone had apple maggots in it, in the State of Washington I would have already been lined up against the wall.

So I fill up a curbside bin with cooked chicken bones and apple peels, without the benefit of using a plastic grocery bag as "primary containment", besides, such bags are contraband too, and just brew a smelly mash of these items as I accumulate them in the bin in the week prior to garbage day.

Ewwwwwwww!

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