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Submission + - Black Hole Plays Pool With Plasma

the monolith writes: The Hubble Space Telescope is revealing that there is a pool game in progress, with a long shot being played out on a cosmic scale. It appears that the first recorded shot was observed in 1992, while subsequent canon shots were recorded between 1994 an 2014. In actuality, the shots are plasma, the current player is a black hole, and the playing surface is galactic space itself.

The BBC has a story on the observations and interpretations While the journal Nature has the paywalled in-depth article.

The current score is unknown, and one can only hope that there were no life forms involved in the collision.

Comment Re:Prior art (Score 2) 221

I stopped programming for a few years and went as a line inspection helicopter pilot with AT&T on several routes: 1. Waskom, Shreveport, Monroe, Tendal (good crawdad farm, there) Vicksburg,Jackson, MS, Meridian, MS. 2. Hattiesburg, MS, Jackson, Greenwood (some fine turkey hunting up there,) Memphis, TN, 3 Atlanta (Beaver Ruin Road, Norcross,) Meridian, MS. Always met by friendly folks, drinks and food (specially crawdads)

Not dead yet, ,just turning runny, and having to be satisfied with programming in Python - can't beat assembly code to death just yet!

Comment Re:Cooling (Score 5, Interesting) 148

It is my home town! Aqaba is a good, western-oriented town, but with occasional camels!

There is not a lot of water available anywhere in Jordan, and precious little in Zarqa Governate (where Amra is located,) and it is far, far away from Aqaba. We do need power, we need water too (the aquifers are running out rapidly.) We could also do with more coastline (in 1965, Jordan traded some desert for more coast from the Saudis.)

Personally, I need tourists who want to go diving (some excellent dives right here 15km south of town, and I happen to be an instructor) and talk tech/programming/music/movies etc. Oh, yes, there are 'problems' in the neighbouring states, but they don't impact here, except that the tourism trade has slowed down.

Comment Re:FP? (Score 1) 942

Flight Level, yes, is in hundreds of feet e.g. "Descending to Flight Level 280". However, it is not actually altitude (distance above mean ground level) but measured using a standardized pressure setting on the altimeter e.g. 29.92 Inches of Mercury or 1012.25 Hectopascals (used to be called millibar)
We also use Knots (nautical miles) for speed because of their relation to one minute of arc along any great circle.
I grew up with feet and inches, pounds, shillings and pence - ha-pennies too. I don't know my height in meters, and I don't much care to either. Never the less, I appreciate and use metric scales of all sorts in my daily life and I get by. I am sure anyone needing to use different scales from the ones they are used to will be sanguine and adjust accordingly.

Comment Re:Ready when its ready. (Score 5, Funny) 77

Lets get the terminology right:
Passengers are actually Self-Loading Cargo.
Passengers are loaded into Cattle Class no matter how much they pay for their fodder.
Passengers are treated like toothpaste - forced in at one end, squeezed out at the other end.
Height is distance above ground (dirty brown stuff,)
Altitude is distance above mean sea level (dirty wet stuff)
Auto pilots were made so that Captain Speaking and First Officer Here (heroic chaps!) could check their stock options and give peace of mind to the Trolly Dolly - Cynthia Strapin, that for at least some portion of the flight the aircraft was actually under proper control.

I for one salute the brave, bold, adventurous, noble souls that want to go to the edge of space and have a peek, but I would rather spend the time in a broken down elevator with late '60s muzak and a herd of incontinent goats.

Comment What an Idiotic Design Concept (Score 2) 76

Please bear in mind that 'Water, for all intents and purposes, is an incompressible mass.' We teach this to student divers.

Look at the following points...

Fore-planes - they are curved and cannot act in an 'aerodynamic' manner (wings create lift by causing air to reduce in pressure as the air moves in a longer path over the wing than under it,) so they are really just flow directors, and the curves will create permanent turbulence and disrupt flow behind them - the forward vertical thrusters.

Forward vertical thrusters - turbulent flow will create beta on the blades (uneven flow vectors to different blades) destroying efficiency. The fenestration/cowl that surrounds the thrusters will cause turbulence also.

Forward hull - the hull immediately around the area of the forward thrusters is voluminous and bluff to the flow of water when under way. Turbulence and drag will ensue, and this will run toward the stern gear - thrusters, aft planes, pusher thrusters and elevator.

Stern vertical thrusters - similar flow conditions will exist for these units as they exist for the forward units.

Pusher thrusters - will receive all turbulence created by gear that is forward of their position, and reduce efficiency accordingly.

Elevator - single piece curved flow director, similar to the fore-planes in intended down-thrust effect. Same problems of turbulence and drag. Potential for anti-asynchronous oscillation from turbulence caused by all equipment forward of its position.

I saw the previous version of this craft, the Super Falcon, when it came for a demonstration in Jordan in April 2011, and was unimpressed with what I saw. This concept version is not an improvement. They should get proper designers to work on it, not people that just happened to see an aircraft, or read a few pages of Wikipedia.

Comment Re:Impact of humans (Score 2) 116

Yes, a new species conflict would ensue if you took away the humans and left the rats, cats, dogs etc.. But I see you only want to take the humans out of the equation... Leaving the Lawyers (mutant species already in place) to fight the rats, cats, dogs etc.. That would be so cruel on the rats etc.. Perhaps Mothers-In-Law would equal the fight?

Comment Positive Uses for This Technology (Score 1) 914

Could this be given to terminally ill patients so that they get the gift of a life time of wonders without all the blisters of from trekking, early mornings, hangovers, late nights, working life, lousy bosses, mosquito bites, etc..
Just imagine being able to gift a full-life world holiday to someone: Machu Picchu, Tierra del Fuego, a life of diving the greatest reefs, gliding the Andes, kayaking the Colorado.

Comment Re:Unbelievable (Score 2) 108

I would have expected someone to raise the possibility of insurance companies mining the information so as to avoid dealing with 'problem' medically compromised customers, or at least increasing the coverage fees to unacceptable levels and thereby driving off the 'problem'. Perhaps that potential new employer wants to know that you aren't medical damaged goods? Perhaps you have to apply to the police or a local authority for permission for something, and they want to use the medical records to check your suitability/mental condition/drink/drugs etc..

I would have expected someone to be making comparisons to 'Gattaca' by this point in time.

Comment Done Already (Score 1) 61

Almost every day I dive past one of the Smithsonian biomass accretion modules in Aqaba Marine Park, Jordan. You can see one of the collection modules here.

If only academic departments/institutions collaborated or communicated a little bit more, maybe the research dollar would go a little further?

Cheers.

G

PADI instructor 636522

When a fellow says, "It ain't the money but the principle of the thing," it's the money. -- Kim Hubbard

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