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Comment: Re:Mars has no magnetosphere (Score 1) 462

by painandgreed (#48040575) Attached to: Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

We are pretty bad at detecting dangerously large rocks flying directly at our faces.

We're even worse at putting people on Mars. We'll get better at detecting dangerously large rocks way before we get any better at colonizing Mars. By time we can colonize Mars, detecting and deflecting dangerously large rocks flying directly at our faces will be trivial.

Comment: Re:Mars has no magnetosphere (Score 1) 462

by painandgreed (#48040523) Attached to: Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

Lot of good that'll do us when Earth gets hit with a large asteroid, as it does periodically. That's why he says this is about hedging our bets, not about human happiness.

Detecting and deflecting any Earth killing asteroid will be trivial to a society capable of putting a self sustaining colony on Mars. As much as I would like for it to happen, the tech needed to reach Mars with four guys is still 30 years away with Apollo-like political drive and funding. By that time, we'll have deep space habitats and research because they'll be needed to get to Mars and our study of space will be a lot greater than it is now. Wanting to protect the human race from asteroid death by colonizing Mars is like the ancient man wanting to build vast man made lakes next to every population center to provide water. Way before we had the earth moving and engineering abilities to build vast man-made lakes, we just built wells, aqueducts, and plumbing instead.

Comment: Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (Score 1) 462

by painandgreed (#48040207) Attached to: Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

Did we abandon terraforming? I know it takes time but it takes away many problems.

If you're talking of Mars, I did the math for a base attempt on terraforming Mars. To move enough comets that are generally considered close to us, near Kuniper belt, to Mars to give it an Earth like atmosphere would take an amount of energy measured in units of days of total output of the sun. That was after already considering all the material already considered to be on Mars. While better plans with longer time tables could reduce the energy needed by a few orders of magnitude, it would still be dealing with units best described as days of total output on the sun. While we do have a sun we can use to get that energy, the engineering feats and material needed just to build that energy harvesting tools to even start would be another engineering project as big as terraforming Mars. Simply put, the problems solved by terraforming Mars will be mostly trivial and cosmetic to a society capable of actually terraforming Mars.

Comment: Re:Well .. most asian food in the US is crap (Score 1) 102

by painandgreed (#48038447) Attached to: Robotic Taster Will Judge 'Real Thai Food'

The question is, what is "American" food? Except for burgers with french fries and Apple tart nothing comes to my mind.

Industrial microwave food from the deep freezer perhaps?

In Japan, it was apparently a beef patty covered in a grey, salt sauce with a side salad and side of pasta. While I Japan, we went to an "American restaurant" to see and this is what we ended up ordering. We could tell it was an American dish because it came with plain pasta rather than rice.

Comment: Soon to be just another service (Score 1) 24

by painandgreed (#48006579) Attached to: NASA Expands Commercial Space Program
Eventually, and soon with luck, going to space will not be grand projects requiring investing in new tech, it will just be services that NASA will hire. Things like the bidding war between Boeing, SpaceX, and Sierra Nevada for a space ship will be a thing of the past, and NASA will just look for the cheapest bidder to get their stuff up much like paying for shipping on a package. Sierra Nevada should keep working on their Dream Chaser because the days where somebody else will step in to pay them to develop and build it as a new project are hopefully growing near their end.

Comment: Re:Ambiguity (Score 1) 120

Why "right-handed"?

I suppose the scientific response is, "No, shut up; we just defined this confusing and nonstandard wording as X."

Pretty much, but it is a bit more complicated that that. Right hand rule refers to the cross product dealing with current, magnetic force, and the way it is taught. Essentially, physics follows a pattern that is mimicked by using the right hand and assigning certain related forces and fields to the thumb and fingers. This is known as the Right Hand Rule.

Comment: Re:Just don't update it that way. (Score 1) 203

by painandgreed (#47988895) Attached to: Apple Yanks iOS 8 Update

I'm not standing up for Apple... this was a stupid mistake. Didn't any of their beta-testers wear skinny jeans and keep it in the pocket?

Probably did, but this is happening to probably to one hundredth of a percent of people. Their testing probably only included a few hundred people carrying the phone if that many. Still, with large sales, enough for it to be noticed. Much like the antenna issue with earlier phone. Affects practically nobody, but that's still enough to be an issue with the numbers they are selling the attention it is getting. Add in that they seem to assume that people will use cases (and most do IME, I seem to be the only phone user that goes 'bareback' that I know) or just not put a phone under the stresses that it is getting.

Comment: Re:So wait (Score 3, Interesting) 197

by painandgreed (#47986505) Attached to: Russia Pledges To Go To the Moon

The Russians are going to take sixteen years to do theirs. Best wishes!

Pretty much, but I doubt they'll actually go. Sixteen years out is a pretty long time to take. I bet they don't even up their space spending this year. ...or the next. Sixteen years from now will be somebody else's probably rather than Putin's most likely. My cynical take is that it will go exactly where all of Bush's talk in each Presidential address about going to Mars went, nowhere past the news reporters.

Comment: Re:Why is this on Slashdot (Score 1) 475

by painandgreed (#47977449) Attached to: US Strikes ISIL Targets In Syria

Dur wut? Obama is the one who caused this by creating, funding and arming ISIS in the first place. There would have been no war in Syria for the last 3 years if the United States and it's pals Qatar and Saudi Arabia weren't sending a steady supply of guns and fighters. The Saudi Arabia that chopped off the heads of at least 8 people last month.

My understanding is that the US backed the Free Syrian Army (along with Turkey, France, etc) which did fight alongside ISIL for a while against the Assad government but ISIL finally turned on the FSA and has been fighting them also for the last year or two.

Comment: Re:DAESH, not ISIL (Score 1) 475

by painandgreed (#47977307) Attached to: US Strikes ISIL Targets In Syria

No, political persecution was invented about a couple millennia or so earlier. The Nazis needed scapegoats. The Jews were different and low in number, therefore convenient. Like political hectoring today, it had nothing to do with reality. Hitler's religion had nothing to do with his goals or implementation.

Hitler's, the NAZI party's, and even Germany's hatred of the Jews goes back farther and is much greater than just the need of a scapegoat. There are times on the Eastern front where more men and material would have made a big difference, but in the end, Hitler ordered that more Jews be sent to the camps rather than supplies and troops to fight the Soviets. It wasn't just Hitler's usual bad tactical judgement, but a determined decision that exterminating the Jews was a greater goal than winning the war.

Comment: Re:Bananas vs Grapes (Score 3, Interesting) 127

by painandgreed (#47949333) Attached to: 'Why Banana Skins Are Slippery' Wins IgNobel

The reason it became a widespread thing was that it was actually a widespread thing. In the late 1800s bananas became so popular that coupled with the practice of the day to leave garbage out on urban streets, rotting banana peels were in fact a noted hazard.

In other discussions on bananas, usually on the demise of the Gros Michael banana, I've heard it stated that such incidents were the major driving force behind public trash cans in cities.

Comment: Re:Wait, these are for real? (Score 1) 72

by painandgreed (#47927179) Attached to: Astronomers Find Star-Within-a-Star, 40 Years After First Theorized

Why wouldn't it be stable? More gravity means more fusion, not less.

That's exactly why you might expect it not to be stable for long. The mass transfer to the neutron star would be presumably quite large since it is inside the companion, and then, at some point, it will go nova again. Would the companion star survive that?

I wouldn't really expect the mass transfer to be that great. The neutron star is quite small and the red giant, quite large. Also, the neutron star, while inside the red giant, is most likely in a very low density region, it just happens that what is in that low density region is very hot plasma. There might even be other conditions such as a hot boundry layer around the neutron star that prevents too much from falling in like a stellar Leidenfrost effect. Sure, it's not stable, but the lifetime of such a thing is probably lasts far greater than our ability to watch it.

Comment: Re:Possession is nine-tenths of the law... (Score 1) 213

by painandgreed (#47909767) Attached to: Congress Can't Make Asteroid Mining Legal (But It's Trying, Anyway)

How do you know? Also, if that's true, was it ever molten, does it have a high density metal core?

Not sure how UnknownSoldier knows that. It certainly doesn't jive with what I've been hearing for the last 20 years since I was in school for physics. Current theory is that the proto Earth was hit by a proto Moon about the size of Mars. Part of the proto-Moon ejected from the collision, unfortunately, the heavy metal cores of both the proto-Earth and proto-Moon stayed with the Earth so the moon does not have a similar metal core and is mostly mantel material. Also, the proto-Moon ejection formed two bodies which re-collided fairly non-violently as things go with the other bit now smooshed onto the back side of the moon.

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?