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Comment: Re:Red Queen (Score 1) 116

by MrKaos (#48477511) Attached to: How the Pentagon's Robots Would Automate War

The 2013 military budget was 17.7%.

We'd certainly be much better off as a race if we all got along and worked toward the common good. Any brilliant ideas how to keep people from killing each other en mass over territory, religion, ideology, etc? If so, there's a Nobel Peace Prize with your name on it.

I think survival and the demise of the baby boomers will be the main drivers. A return to diplomacy I think would be the most simple way forward, however politicians are so concerned about looking weak that they have no ideas on how to be wise. Modern media is completely vapid because its job is to conceal the realization that our society has forgotten the deeper values that were it's foundations.

It is like eating fast food all the time and expecting to be satisfied, you can eat it often when you are kid but when you grow up you really want to eat a steak.

Comment: Re:Hmmm ... (Score 1) 448

by MrKaos (#48463257) Attached to: The Schizophrenic Programmer Who Built an OS To Talk To God

TempleOS is actuall a fun thing to play with. It's not replacing anyone's everyday work space, but... sometimes it's fun to turn a modern computing machine into a Commodore64 like environment.

Yeah, I installed it on a VM to have a look out of curiosity. I tried the programs and its odd syntax which was kind of entertaining. The author is a poster on /. and it was one of his posts that led me to the OS.

It's like programming in brainfuck, an interesting diversion but nothing you would commit any time to because you realize there is no practical use for it.

Except for talking to God, for which it is exceptional.

Comment: Re:caesium 137 bioaccumulates (Score 1) 114

by MrKaos (#48455447) Attached to: Fukushima Radiation Nears California Coast, Judged Harmless

Sorry, but the level of ignorance is expecting one chemical to behave exactly like another when chemistry shows us that they don't.

Sure, however I'm not doing that. I'm expecting that organisms, in general, absorb micronutrients with their metabolic processes and that in some, but not all cases, a radionuclide "analogues" a type of micronutrient when presented to a metabolism.

Essentially, I'm expecting organisms to conduct metabolic processes and I'm as concerned with how biota interacts with radionuclides as much as humans and animals.

Cesium is a Potassium analog in the body and seeks muscle mass as the main potassium channel. It has a biological half life from 30-110 days depending on which study you read.

Iodine131 is taken up in the thyroid. Even with no KI treatment, 30-40 days later it has all gone away from radioactive decay.

The microgram quantity for Pu-239 being lethal is due to the fact it is an energetic alpha emitter, has a long radiological half life, and it is a calcium analog so it seeks the bones and stays in a body for 50 years.

That's interesting. My information was that pu-239 was an iron analogue, that it's chloride was highly water soluble and its oxide states were an inhalant. It would be unsurprising if it is more complex.

The safe concentrations of various nuclides depends on their half life, the energy of the radiation they give off, and whether they retain in the body (does your body use this chemical).

Yes, that was what I also understood.

Cobalt-60, the most common radionuclide hazard in operating light water reactor power plants has a radiological half life around 5 years... but it isn't retained in the body well at all and will be eliminated in 7-10 days.

Well, I am more concerned with how many other effluents of the Nuclear industry processes are making their way into the environment. However, with respect, whilst the use of radioactive materials in medicine is important, I don't think it's just Human biology we should be looking at.

I also think we should be trying understand how these radionuclides interact with the foodchain as a whole. For example, what stops trees from rotting in the forest around Chernobyl?. I am really interested in understanding if it destroys the fungi there, and for how long? I think we are underestimating the importance of that.

I'd like to see more effort to gather data on Fukushima's effluents instead of having media blackouts from the Japanese government. I think this is an international concern now, if that's how plutonium behaves on the earth, what does it do in the ocean?

Especially, when we are talking about all of the industrial effluents from fuel cycle, just how many other effluent/analogues are out there?

If anyone wants to tell you different, check to see if they can put the title "Health Physicist" beside their name. That is who you go to for a complete and factual answer. (Often with more math than you really needed)

Yes, I do discuss this with a person like that, however the math is all greek to me. Of course other aspects of the industry also require you to be an an engineer, lawyer, politician and many other things that I am not. Maybe it was wrong to point to people and say there is no safe level of ignorance because I'm still trying to learn as much as I can. I think it's important to build an understanding of the Nuclear Industry's consequences, so when someone trivializes the behavior of these materials in the food chain, when I know it is not the case, I feel it is appropriate to point out that it is not a trivial matter at all.

Comment: Re:Red Queen (Score 1) 116

by MrKaos (#48454231) Attached to: How the Pentagon's Robots Would Automate War

You have to run faster and faster just to stay in the same place... The only beneficiary is the MIC, at the expense of everybody else.

It begs the question of just how much money and resources have been spent on the endeavor of killing and how much further we would be as a race if it wasn't so out of control. Last time I looked the US spent about half its budget on the military to protect 'our way of life' meanwhile the everyday citizen is subject to their rights being trampled, limited prospects for employment and anyone who speaks up for themselves is labeled a tewworwist. Meanwhile war, now, is the ultimate reality TV show where the minds of millions are manipulated by the mass media.

But tomorrow will be a better day and the new military robots will protect us all from subjugation, so happy days!!

Comment: Re:Mass (Score 1) 519

by MrKaos (#48431517) Attached to: What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

Not to say that they still wouldn't have gone solar because of other mission parameters (e.g., mass), but the reasons you give don't really add up.

Well mass was the main point I was making, not just because of the weight of an RTG but because of the associated control systems, stronger landing gear and so on. However another poster pointed out the mass is similar to the solar panels for the required RTG so perhaps my point is moot.

Either way, I think that the conversation is somehow painting the mission as a failure, when I think it was actually a success. The first landing on an asteroid didn't go as it was intended and I think something similar happened for Apollo - except that people were there to handle it. Maybe it will collect enough power to start up again, I hope so.

Comment: Re:Mass (Score 1) 519

by MrKaos (#48430591) Attached to: What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

It's not a "nuclear power plant," it's a radioisotope thermal generator (RTG). For this particular mission, a RTG would have had a very similar mass to the solar power system used (12 kg for the solar power system, ~12 kg for a 20-30W RTG).

Thanks, I know what an RTG is, however i didn't know that was it's mass.

Comment: Re:But ... But ... But ... (Score 0) 519

by MrKaos (#48423399) Attached to: What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

The solar panels are "green" technology.

I heard through the grapevine that the solar panels narrowly beat out using wind power but they were worried about the wind encountered at such high velocities and the possibility of killing birds.

I'm not certain how you would power a lander with solar wind however even with a slow velocity of 400Kms a second, I think it's safe to say solar winds would kill birds.

Comment: Mass (Score 1) 519

by MrKaos (#48423379) Attached to: What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

Whilst it is an appropriate use of a nuclear power plant, I'm sure the mass of a nuclear powered probe would have increased the costs and complexity of the launch and landing whilst decreasing the science payload.

I think it would have been far easier just to make sure the harpoons *actually* fired. If it was nuclear powered the probe may have just smashed, instead of bounced, the additional mass. The problem wasn't the power source, it was the landing harpoon. We have never landed on an asteroid before and these are, inevitably, the lessons that have to be learned.

The sun is a perfectly functional fusion reactor, so why wouldn't you use it for power? Had a nuclear plant been installed the probe would have had a guaranteed end of life, where as the panels afford the craft the possibility of functioning indefinitely. Had you been talking about a probe set to go well away from the sun then absolutely and pu-238 power plant would be a great idea.

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]

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