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Comment: Hmmm ... (Score 1) 47

by gstoddart (#48036971) Attached to: China Worried About Terrorist Pigeons

A ceremony at Tiananmen Square would release 10,000 pigeons at sunrise to symbolize an era of peace.

I wonder if any appreciates the dichotomy of those two things.

Because, it's not exactly true.

The Cultural revolution wasn't exactly a shining moment. Or the other reason Tiananmen Square is famous. Or many other things that's happened over the last 6 decades.

Comment: Re:well thank god im at the bottom of the list. (Score 1) 127

by gstoddart (#48036897) Attached to: Which Cars Get the Most Traffic Tickets?

LOL ... so, "bandwidth of a minivan full of magtape" then?

Why am I picturing Recaro baby seats, five point harnesses all around, a NOS system, and an express ticket to the grocery store/soccer match?

Because, really, the mommy buses often seem to be some of the craziest drivers on the road.

I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've been cut off by someone with one of those "Baby on Board" signs ... I don't know if they think that gives them license to speed, or if they're just assholes. But don't expect me to be extra safe because you have a kid on board when you're driving like an idiot and cutting me off.

You kids and your fancy cars, with the neon running lights and bass which can be heard for miles making the wiki wiki noises, your pants that don't fit, smoking the mary jane, and texting the person across the table from you.

What was I saying? Oh, yeah ... get off my damned lawn.

Comment: Re:correlation != causation (Score 2) 127

by gstoddart (#48036249) Attached to: Which Cars Get the Most Traffic Tickets?

It's like red cars. They get a higher amount of tickets, apparently.

Is it because cops target red cars? Or because people who buy red cars are more likely to drive fast?

Who knows.

In the case of the WRX, I'm not surprised ... this is a car which can break any posted speed limit in North America while still accelerating in second gear. I remember being in a friend's as he merged into traffic ... and we went from surface street speeds to passing the cars on the highway in a really short period.

I was quite impressed, since my non-turbo Impreza seemed plenty speedy to me prior to that. Though, I was just as happy with my slower version.

Comment: The cost? (Score 1) 282

by gstoddart (#48035887) Attached to: Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

But you would also need a lot of cargo to support those people. In fact, your cargo to person ratio is going to be quite high. It would probably be 10 cargo trips for every human trip, so more like 100,000 trips. And we're talking 100,000 trips of a giant spaceship.

And what is the cost, both in terms of resources and pollution, of launching 100,000 times? Even if you kept it in orbit and brought people up to it it's a huge cost.

And I'm betting 100,000 launches is more than have been done in all of history. By a rather large amount, I'd think.

As usual, when I hear futurists telling us about the awesome the future will be ... I find myself thinking "this is impractical, way more than anybody will ever be able to afford, and probably never going to happen".

It sounds like we'd need to pretty much strip the Earth of resources to pull this off, and unless Musk is paying this out of his own damned pocket, I think the entire idea is doomed to fail. And that doesn't change the fact that you're diverting a huge amount of resources for a relatively small percentage of humanity.

This is flying cars, Mr Fusion, and a vast amount of engineering, plus ponies, unicorns, and cats living with dogs ... all in one big overly-optimistic ball of fantasy.

The sheer amount of energy required to do this is so mind boggling as to make the whole idea laughable.

I think the romantic idea of space colonization is pretty cool. But I don't really think it's quite as viable as people like to think it is. At least not with current energy requirements and sources.

Comment: He's right but Mars isn't far enough (Score 1) 282

by HangingChad (#48035169) Attached to: Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

He's right that we need to get populations of humans off this rock if the species is going to survive. Mars might be a good first step, but we need to think about more distance, Mars is too close. The gamma ray burst that kills off life on earth would just as easily kill everyone on Mars. If the problem was a wandering neutron star it's going to savage everything in its path.

We need to think about sending generational ships into space. Maybe we can't do it right now, but we should be working toward that goal. Perhaps Musk is thinking that generational ships are too big of a step with current technology and that we need to get comfortable spending longer times in space before aiming higher.

Comment: Re:FP? (Score 2) 549

by gstoddart (#48034989) Attached to: David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

Don't know about you, but my car's speedometer has ... gasp ... both kph and mph on it.

I can magically change from Canada to the US and back again, and still know what speed I'm going in the correct units.

It's really quite a marvelous invention to apply two scales to a dial. I've even seen some of them new-fangled digital ones where you could change all of the units pretty easily. Imagine, the same car can display either at the touch of a button.

Sorry, but requiring car makers to make it possible to have both has been a solved problem for a couple of decades now.

Besides, if it's anything like over here, nobody is going to pay attention to the speed limit anyway. :-P

Comment: Re:We must nuke Texas from orbit, (Score 1) 389

by PopeRatzo (#48031299) Attached to: Ebola Has Made It To the United States

I don't think you'll have to use Nukes. Once Texans figure out that there's Ebola running loose around their state, they'll get out their shooting irons and go full survivalist. If the guy who's the first ebola case turns out to be a black man, I've got a feeling there are going a whole lot of people of color heading for Oklahoma and New Mexico tonight.

By the end of the week, Texas will look like an episode of Walking Dead. In other words, nobody in the rest of the country will notice.

Comment: Re:Survival (Score 1) 455

by PopeRatzo (#48030809) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

I've been reading up about that story, and the city officials didn't really mention anything about the fact that it was a connected domicile. If their rationale was based, as the officials said, on the International Building Code, there's no mention of connected vs standalone domiciles in the IBC. So I really don't know what this was about.

It seems like they were looking for a reason to cite this homeowner, who has had other run-ins with housing before, mostly for capping off her sewers.

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