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Comment Re:This is basic planetary physics.. (Score 1) 141

We currently have no way of fixing this problem so all the grand plans to terraform Mars won't work, unless they also restart the magnetic field

The process of bleeding away the atmosphere happens over geological time spans. If we could increase the density of the atmosphere it would still be there for tens of thousands of generations. I would not call that a terraforming failure. Given that you're argument is based on that one misunderstanding, your pessimism seems to have political roots, not intellectual roots.

Comment Re:Regulation for thee, not for me (Score 1) 570

It's a beverage that's very addictive and very unhealthy. Coffee is simply not as abused or as unhealthy. You don't see people walking around with one litter cups of coffee. Sode is causing a major health crisis in the country. That is why we see regulation. It's also worth pointing out that all classes of people from low to ruling class drink coffee and soda both. This isn't class based prejudice; it's pure paranoia and your political prejudice.

Comment Re:CO2 (Score 1) 90

My original reply was poorly worded. I retract it. And replace it with this: Perhaps we should ask which is worse, the extra CO2, or preventing *some* of the plastics from spilling over into the ocean where they can stay for thousands of years. I'm not which is worse because I don't know. I'm just pointing out that all that plastic lying around isn't as innocuous as everyone thinks.

Comment Re:Everyone Is Guilty, Only Enemies Will Be Indict (Score 1) 109

Please "beat the shit" out of the companies that call my grandmother to deliver unsolicited advertisements about a "warranty extension" on her car.

Is this a thing now? Because god damn, this company has been harassing me non stop about a warranty extension on my car. It's the first time I've experienced this many unsolicited phones calls and junk mail since they came out with the do-not-call list. I've told them four times now that I'm not interested and they keep calling.

Comment Re:CO2 (Score 1) 90

Well, I was more referring to the waste that never makes it into the ground. But up until this article, there were no known natural processes that broke down plastics aside from sunlight. So, that waste sits in the landfill indefinitely until natural erosive and/or other geological forces move it into the sea, or down into the earth where it's destroy by heat.

Comment Re: An interesting option (Score 4, Insightful) 150

If a person is going to live in a new land, he must first have some idea how he's going to live. For example, you don't just pack up your family's day sailer and go to Antarctica without any idea where you're going to get food or warmth...or anything. That's the problem with Mars now. The moon is a good place to figure out such things...and magnitudes cheaper.

Comment Realistic (Score 1) 150

I tend to agree that a human visit to Mars is premature. With current technological knowledge, we could not make a self sustaining colony. We'd just visit for a little while and leave, accomplishing little. The goal absolutely has to be self sustainability. That means--first and foremost--understanding how/where to get air, water, food, and shelter. That means understanding how to manufacture--onsite--the tools we need to do this, because bringing them with us is not an affordable option. The obvious thing to do is to first learn how to do this. We know air and water is somewhat easily obtained on Mars. There's some question on the source of nitrogen for growing food. There's a huge question about building infrastructure out of local material. How do we obtain metals? Which are the best ores on Mars for mining? Where are they? What are the processes for extracting the metals? Answering these questions obviously has to happen before people are sent. And NASA's focus is not on these things. NASA is focused on the quest for life on Mars, and these other questions are secondary and not uttered openly because people think industry=bad, and runs counter to the idea that we need to keep sending probes to Mars to search for life, which justifies what little money they get. The only affordable options are to do this on the moon. Asteroids are not an option, because mining an asteroid is totally different than mining in a gravity well and you're dealing with different minerals and more limited source materials.

Three things need to happen here: 1. The moon must be the stepping stone. 2. Telling the American people that our focus is colonization, not searching for ET. 3. Politicians need to stop shifting NASA goals.

And for fucks sake, just stick with one heavy launch platform and stop trying to reinvent the wheel. The shuttle was a white elephant. The space station was a welfare program for the shuttle. Just use a normal fucking rocket. That's the most efficient way to put stuff into orbit. Stick with it.

You've been Berkeley'ed!