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Comment: Re:Not always true... (Score 1) 722

by f3rret (#49349301) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

Absence seizures don't really work like that, and they don't really show up as a new diagnosis in someone that age. A prior diagnosis would have disqualified him from getting a commercial (and probably a private) pilot's license. And automatisms won't don't that. My wife is an epileptologist, I know far more than I want to about these things.

They might not work like that when the condition causing them is Epilepsy, which I agree isn't really a thing that just randomly happens.
That said, there still could be some kind of neurological condition behind this, I am not a doctor so I am not going to argue the specific diagnosis, I'm sure your wife is right.

The thing that makes me think there was something physically wrong (be it drugs or pathology), is the fact he is reported as "breathing normally" during the whole thing, even if he was a terrorist or suicidal, he would still have the fight or flight reaction, and there is no way rapidly approaching a cliff wall and knowing you are going to die and kill 200 (or however many) people in the process would not trigger the fight or fight response, and one of the main symptoms of a big adrenaline surge is an increase in breathing and heart rate.

Comment: Re:it could have been an accident (Score 1) 722

by f3rret (#49345497) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

could explain why he could be doing these irrational actions.

Possibly. But it would not explain the rational actions of a co-pilot in distress. Such as, I don't know, communicating with ATC that he was feeling light headed and was turning on auto pilot.

You would not always notice that you are becoming light headed, yes, the CO poisoning case he might have had time to radio down.

But, what about a sudden stroke or an absent seizure?

That said, in all likelihood autopilot would have been on already, the co-pilot (as I understand it) just told it to begin a decent.

Comment: Re:Not always true... (Score 1) 722

by f3rret (#49345337) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

And you think someone on a suicide death dive with 200 people into a mountain is going to sit there quietly, breathing *normally*? Unless they are a complete and utter psychopath they will surely be in a heightened emotional state, crying, screaming, blaming anyone and everyone, not casually watching the altimeter spin down.

Guy could have had an absent seizure, he would still be breathing but not necessarily conscious of the world around him, what's more it could cause him to exhibit automatism

Comment: Re:it could have been an accident (Score 1) 722

by f3rret (#49345141) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

Adding fuel to this theory is that the co-pilot was detatched and monosyllabic when receiving the briefing about landing in Dusseldorf - he had already made up his mind that he wasn't going to reach Dusseldorf. If the pilot wasn't going to go to the bathroom he probably was planning on killing the pilot anyway.

Danish news (haven't found an English language version) reports that there have been cases before where there were "gas leaks" (Although the described symptoms - headache, fainting and nausea - sounds more like CO poisoning) in planes of this type before, so if there was a carbon monoxide leak in the cockpit, that could explain the abnormal behavior of the co-pilot, not sure you have every tried being hypoxic, but it makes your brain not work very well and it could explain why he could be doing these irrational actions.

That said, reports of the pilot being "detached and monosyllabic" haven't reached any of the sites I've been following this on, so I will take your word for it being that way; if this is the case this would seem to rule out the CO-poisoning theory, it is unlikely the guy would have been huffing CO way before actual take-off. However, it does not rule out either a brain injury (aneurism or stroke) significantly altering his behavior or him being wacked out of his skull on drugs or booze.

I tend to assume incompetence or unfortunate circumstances before I assume malice, that said - I am holding off judgment until the police or security services have taken a good hard look at the co-pilot, but so far I am more inclined to think that either there was one of those CO leaks or the pilot had a stroke or something along those lines.

Comment: Re:Countries without nuclear weapons get invaded (Score 1) 228

by f3rret (#49343749) Attached to: How Nuclear Weapon Modernization Undercuts Disarmament

Various pox related diseases still exists in nature, and various countries have illegal biological weapons programs thought to include small pox. A Soviet defector even indicated that the Soviet Union had been manufacturing small pox for use as a strategic attack weapon.

You are referring to the revelations about Biopreperat made by Ken Alibek and a few others.
This is not just some rumor, hear-say based report, US and UN Inspectors visited many of the Biopreperat sites, including the Sverdlovsk site that supposedly caused an accidental release of Anthrax.

Comment: Re:Cool but what use are the humans? (Score 1) 97

Honestly, its a wicked idea however the use of Humans to execute the material retrieval for analysis does make much sense unless they are doing active and repetitive analysis at the captured space boulder.

Its seems more intuitive to just fly some robots up to do the capture and send back the samples back to Earth as needed?

I have a feeling the human participation in this mission is just as much for the sake of science/engineering. It's been a long time since we had humans any further out than the ISS.

Comment: Re:Good points, bad points (Score 1) 282

by f3rret (#49335183) Attached to: Ford's New Car Tech Prevents You From Accidentally Speeding

I dont have a speed limiter and have no trouble keeping my speed in check. As such, I've never understood this excuse.

Always thought it was more of a comfort thing, to have the limiter in I mean. Like, you set your limiter to whatever you want, then just slam your foot to the floor and newer go faster than whatever speed you set the limiter to.
I (sometimes) prefer this over cruise control, because you can always lift if you need to go slower, you can do it with cruise control, I know, but doing it with your foot just feels more responsive.

Of course, this does not touch on the fact that at least here (Europe) cars over 3500KG tend to be limited to 90 km/h, so many cars over that limit (or close to it) will have limiters too.

Comment: Re:it always amazes me (Score 1) 339

by f3rret (#49334083) Attached to: Feds Attempt To Censor Parts of a New Book About the Hydrogen Bomb

Remember, these guys get about one shot to get their test explosion right, because in about an hour after a successful test of an H-bomb by anyone the US considers a threat the USAF is going to be raining actual working H-bombs on their entire nuclear program

The US isn't going to open up on anyone with nuclear weapons, don't be silly.

Comment: Re:Star Wars? (Score 1) 126

by f3rret (#49325873) Attached to: Boeing Patents <em>Star Wars</em> Style Force Field Technology

ERROR- They "stabilize rear deflectors". The double front is only for the approach. The script calls for flak. Maybe the shield blocked that.

We never see a shield defend against ANY energy attack, at any point in the original three. We routinely see physical objects (sometimes entire ships) crash and explode versus shielded targets, doing no damage to the shielded objects. The one time a fighter crashing into a capital ship destroys it, they have just lost their shield generator... to incoming laser fire.

Well, given we can't actually *see* the shields, they are obviously transparent, and since the blasters in Star Wars obviously use visible lights (we can see them no screen), stands to reason that the deflector shields would be transparent to the blasters.

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser