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Comment: The War of the Worlds, Ch. Two: The Falling Star (Score 1) 122

by MancunianMaskMan (#47473175) Attached to: Giant Crater Appears In Northern Siberia
An enormous hole had been made by the impact of the projectile, and the sand and gravel had been flung violently in every direction over the heath, forming heaps visible a mile and a half away. The heather was on fire eastward, and a thin blue smoke rose against the dawn. Link here (e.g.)

Comment: Re:How surprising... not (Score 2) 110

by MancunianMaskMan (#47211269) Attached to: There's No Wind Chill On Mars

Mars' atmosphere is .. around 20 mBar ..it's near-vacuum. And vacuum makes for a very good thermal insulator.

"For all practical purposes" is not correct. The thermal conductivity of a gas is near-independent of pressure down to very low pressures, until the mean free path of particles becomes large compared to the distance to the solid where the heat gets dumped. 20mBar and the MFP is still tiny.
You need a pretty good vacuum (10^-4mbar or so) in a coffee flask otherwise it doesn't change a thing.

Comment: Re:Some things stick (Score 2) 422

by MancunianMaskMan (#47106093) Attached to: Why You Shouldn't Use Spreadsheets For Important Work
Excel checks formulas for "consistency" so if you have b1 : = a1+1 , b2: =a2+1 , b3: =a42 + 1 , b4: =a4+1 , then the ropey B3 will be flagged up. Of course there are sometimes false positives and you switch this check off or ignore it, and who knows how many false negatives.
The message "just say no to Excel" still stands.

Comment: Re:preventing officers from being able to deactiva (Score 1) 152

by MancunianMaskMan (#46947439) Attached to: London Police To Wear Video Cameras In Pilot Project
the cameras a re supposed to have a 30 seconds buffer that always records, so you get the 30 seconds before you press "Start". That, and the fact that the battery is supposed to last a whole shift, makes them a very interesting device. Where can I buy one of those?

+ - Never mind the tinfoil hat: Here's silver-lined pants

Submitted by MancunianMaskMan
MancunianMaskMan (701642) writes ""Wireless Armour" is a croudfunding attempt for a new kind of pants that protects ones cojones from nasty radiation. It's already at 25% of its funding goal which is an indication that the bounds of gullibility are wider than previously thought. Ther blurb reads: "Wireless Armour has the ambitious goal of protecting the health of the wireless generation..."
El reg has a short writeup."

Comment: Re:Do electric cars actually produce CO2? (Score 1) 330

passing neutron (= beta radiation)

beta radiation is high-energy electrons, not neutrons.

Beta decay happens in certain nuclei, upping the atomic number while keeping the nucleon count constant. A proton flips into a neutron and the spare electric charge flies off with the electron, which has comparatively little mass.

Neutrons are emitted during fission events, a nucleus splits (roughly) in half with a few neutrons left over. These neutrons are generally "fast", i.e. high-energy, and the "fast" in fast breeder refers to the fact that these fast neutrons are used for breeding rather than slowed-down ("thermal") neutrons.

Comment: Re:just buy an costa rica island to put them on (Score 1) 168

mitochondrial + nuclear DNA would make an actual mammoth

No biologist here either but I believe it's technically correct, but still useless. If elephants are anything to go by, which are social creatures, a mammoth calf would have to learn a lot about its habitat from its parents, geography, what to eat, what not to eat, etc. It can't learn that from an African elephant. A zoo animal is all you would get.

Comment: Re:Destroys the tires (Score 1) 166

by MancunianMaskMan (#46386349) Attached to: Invention Makes Citibikes Electric
I went around on a Velosolex some time in the late eighties, some people thought they were cool and retro then, and you could by them new. Horribly dangerous to ride on anything but a straight line or VERY SLOWLY.
  • Weight distribution all wrong
  • Front wheel drive unforgiving
  • Front tyre adapted for roller but not good on the road

This was a petrol engine but I can't imagine that electrics now win out on power/weight either, at least not with a useful range.

Money can't buy happiness, but it can make you awfully comfortable while you're being miserable. -- C.B. Luce

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