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Comment Re:Landfill?! (Score 1) 36

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) 36

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) 36

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: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)

Comment Good and evil (Score 4, Insightful) 171

Republicans reject it before it even comes out and refuse to read it.

Because "Obama"

Oh, be fair now...

Remember that Obamacare website? How high quality was that?

How about Obamacare itself? Did cementing health insurance companies into federal law fix any problems?

How about closing Gitmo? How did that work out?

Hell, how about his stance on telecom immunity? How's that working out for us?

Or making up new immigration law by executive order?

Or ordering the assassination of a US citizen? (With no trial, and by authority of a secret law.)

Really. If you want to blame gridlock on the merits of the situation, then do so.

Otherwise, to the casual observer it would appear that "because Obama" is a perfectly valid reason to oppose something.

Because, you know, "good and evil".

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

Indeed. That's one of the few things that one can say has nothing to do with either the original Hyperloop alpha concept or the new college competition entries. Pneumatic tubes mean that they make use of pressure to push things - that's what the word "pneumatic" means. Pressure being the one thing Hyperloop (all permutations) distinctly lacks.

Comment Dated info. (Score 1, Informative) 17

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

Seriously. I was a big fan of Hyperloop Alpha. But the MIT team that won the "Hyperloop" contest is proposing something nothing like Hyperloop. The test track that SpaceX is building is designed to support a wide range of vehicles, most nothing like that in the Hyperloop Alpha document. So if I say "I like hyperloop", I don't know what exactly it is I'm supporting anymore. What exactly is "Hyperloop" these days?

All I can say is that I really liked the alpha one. The MIT team's maglev thing is Meh^2.

Comment Re:The fun (Score 1) 216

If you're dedicated enough to climb onto a well elevated tube, cut a hole large enough to pour concrete in through inch-thick steel - after sabotaging all of the pressure sensors tbrough the whole length of the tube and feeding them false data - and then using a concrete pump with a very tall boom fill in the tube with concrete, in order to kill people.... then why not just fly planes into skyscrapers like most people? I mean, if you're going to go through that much work.
 

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