Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:So, what next? (Score 1) 142

Ah, I see you have picked 1 criteria to decide whether rats or humans are the most advanced lifeform. This is a classic mistake that everyone I have had this debate with falls into.

Firstly, it is easy to demonstrate that your reasoning is false. People have been trying to wipe out rats for centuries. There was a project to wipe them out from a small offshore island, to protect the seabirds that nested there. It has taken over 10 years and the rats are still there. Also I'd bet on the rats to survive a nuclear war or global environmental disaster over the humans.

Secondly, if it were true, then I could use your logic to argue that since the Chytrid fungus is wiping out populations of amphibians all over the world, then this fungus is more advanced than amphibians. Since vertebrates are all more closely related than the fungi-animal divide, this is counter intuitive to most people. It's easy to turn the human-centric view of the world upside-down. If you put 1000 humans out in the wilderness, naked and without any tools, you'd soon see how advanced we are as a lifeform.

Comment Re:So, what next? (Score 4, Insightful) 142

If you want to rank life forms according to some arbitrary scale from most to least advanced, you'll find that rats are just as advanced as humans. Their body chemistry is almost identical to ours, they exhibit high intelligence and ability to solve problems. They outnumber humans worldwide, and their high reproductive rate allows them to evolve much faster than us, they probably go through 100 generations for each human generation.

Comment Re:Midnight Blue? (Score 1) 165

Perhaps he should have said that WD-40 is a very bad lubricant. A good lubricant will stay on the hinge/axle/gear for a long time and continue to lubricate it. WD-40 will actually remove existing lubricants from a part and cause it to seize up quicker than not using the WD-40 in the first place. You should always relubricate a part with the proper grade of grease or oil after using WD-40 on it. Don't believe everything you read, including this.

Try this, rub your thumb and forefinger together, there shouldn't be much friction due to natural skin oils and moisture. Spray a drop of WD-40 on your thumb/finger and do the same thing again, you should feel your fingerprints rubbing off each other and increased friction.

Comment Re:Great assumption (Score 2, Informative) 400

This is why I'm always horrified by stores selling clothing under fluorescent light.

Hrrmmm, yes that is truly horrific behaviour. We should call in the army to deal with those retail outlets that cause so much distress to innocent consumers. Think of the consumers.

Start with outdoor lighting. Outdoor lights, by their very nature, must be sealed. CFLs contain lots of electronic components, including electrolytic capacitors. In a sealed enclosure, these parts can heat up beyond the thermal limits of their components within minutes. Therefore, for outdoor use, you should not use CFLs, period.

Bovine Excrement. Outdoor lights should be weatherproof, that is not the same thing as hermetically sealed. Just off the top of my head, I can think of at least 6 outdoors lights that are using CFLs for the last few years. CFLs do not produce a lot of heat, perhaps 10% of the total wattage of the bulb. Even for very bright CFLs, that's about 3W of heat. A metal light enclosure will conduct heat away from the bulb so fast that you won't be able to measure a temperature difference between the inside and outside of the enclosure. Even a plastic enclosure will not trap enough heat to cause a temperature difference of more than a couple of degrees.

LED lamps will almost certainly have the same thermal failure problems for precisely the same reason.

Sorry, but precisely the same reason is actually no reason at all. LEDs use a tiny amount of power, ergo there is very little heat produced. Now I will admit that if you put a CFL, an LED and an incandescent bulb in the same sealed and insulated enclosure and turned them all on that the CFL and LED might well fail before the incandescent. That's because the heat from the incandescent will fry the other 2. But what kinda idiot would design an experiment like that?

Comment Re:Number one in what exactly? (Score 1) 260


It bugs me that the PR spin around this launch is praising NASA for developing a totally new launch vehicle in just 4 years. Like you said it's just a SRB with some weight on top of it and some new avionics.

I'm also bothered about the launch because I think that there should be a list of criteria that will decide whether this launch can be deemed a successful test or not, and as far as I am aware this hasn't been done. I've said it many times before that the Ares I design is seriously flawed, without a set of pass/fail criteria to judge the results by, NASA cannot recognize the flaws in it's own design. It's the wrong way to design science experiments or engineer any kind of project. You should start with an honest unbiased hypothesis/goal and compare everything back to that.

It is projected that the launch of Ares 1-Y will be in 2013, that means 4 more years of wasted R&D if the fundamental flaws aren't recognized during this launch.

Comment Location, Location, Location (Score 1) 384

I'm sure the research team have already considered this aspect of a gun launch. Chimborazo is possibly the best site on the planet for getting stuff into orbit. Not necessarily the best for getting stuff into the same orbit as the ISS, but a plasma powered tug would help with that problem. Another possible site would be Kilimanjaro.

Looking at Chimborazo, there seems to be a stretch of the West side of the mountain that is fairly uniform and about 1km in length. Perhaps that is why they picked 1.1km as a target design length for the launch gun.

Comment Re:Mad, you 're mad... (Score 1) 1032

Ok, so you are asserting that the Iranians are dangerous, murderous warmongers. I get it. The only problem with that theory is that they've never attacked another country. Sure, they probably have spies and agents doing some underhanded work, but then again who doesn't. That's international politics.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Gort, klaatu nikto barada." -- The Day the Earth Stood Still