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Comment Well, possibly. (Score 1) 198

But the thing is you still need a store of special matter for those ion thrusters to eject, even though they're ejecting it at high velocity. And it's probably harder to store that matter than a 10T chunk of whatever you can commandeer in space, even though you might be solar powering the drive itself. What you're suggesting would be a good "first stage", useful for moving a relatively small object (perhaps there are some at the La Grange spots) into an orbit slightly different to that of the impact asteroid, so you don't have to launch that mass into space. At which point, I'd suspect there are some tricks you can use to deflect the energy of the impact asteroid into a slightly different orbit, effectively using the large weight as a "ballast" and the interception weight as a "sail", with the gravity between the objects the "mast".

ie, you might get a lot more total delta-V of the combined objects compared to the delta-V you expend with thrusters to adjust the interception vessel occasionally, due to the profile of the combined shape through the space-time slope at that point.

Comment Just redefine the categories (Score 1) 1091

It seems tempting to define "male" as "testosterone enhanced" and female as "not testosterone enhanced". Of course the long-lasting effects of testosterone lasting some time, those thinking to have a sex change to get into the easier category would be excluded right there. It would also mean that women like this would get to compete against men, and given they are not disadvantaged by hormones, possibly win. Now that would be interesting.

Comment Cquestrate is a Geotech solution for that (Score 1) 248

Which seems to me to be the first easy retort to this ... as there are geoengineering solutions which are all about taking limestone, baking it using "stranded" energy to slaked lime, then dumping it into the ocean. See Fixing acidification is the mechanism for those geotech solutions - how can they not help with it? Very strange.

Submission + - 'Avatar/Website Blackout' over .nz Copyright Law ( 2

sam_vilain writes: ""Copyright holders" in New Zealand have successfully managed to subvert the democratic process and enact a law that was almost universally rejected during commission stages as vague and turning ISPs into 'police' for the entertainment industry. As a result, New Zealanders are being faced with disconnections of their internet connections over mere accusations from these groups. They are calling on people to "black out" their Avatars and Web Site themes in protest. "Innocent until proven guilty" has been a long standing legal principle dating back to Greek times and codified in Roman Law, though the maxim/catchphrase is more recent than that."

Comment Of course (Score 1, Informative) 277

You guys know that, In the UK at least, git is a moderate insult with the same meaning as bastard?

Linus likes to name his projects after himself. Hence, "Linux" and "git" - the British slang meaning of the term being the one implied. I like the Oxford definition; "an arrogant or contemptible person". "bastard" has another meaning, though its slang use approximates the same :-).

Comment Research a new field (Score 1) 564

Douglas Adams famously wrote that a Computer Programmer is a Scientist who could never find their field. For me, it was certainly like that - science didn't seem to hold any new and exciting treasures.

If healing might be their thing, then I'd suggest a career in Acupuncture - the field needs bright minds so that there can be more decent scientific papers like this one. It's a lot different to your average Scientific field - it's very inter-personal, and there is a large degree of "knack" to be learned first while the mechanism continues to be elusive (I give it about 5 years myself before one or two of the key puzzles are unraveled histologically, then the fun will really start). Historically, the most renowned researchers have been accomplished physicians, and there is huge scope for learning complementing skills such as taiji, qigong, tuina massage, herbs... several of which are often combined for a patient.

Of course you need to find a good school ... preferably offering degrees, in-depth Western Medical training and research opportunities. Please feel free to write to me for recommendations.

Comment An excellent book on the topic (Score 1) 399

I highly recommend Apocalypse 2012: An Optimist Investigates The End of Civilization. The author, a science journalist, goes through a number of end-of-times scenarios. The difference between this book and many others is that he actually visits Scientists in the field, and travels to the relevant spots - from Guatemala to Russia. The prose is very interesting, and even though he rants far off the rails later in the book in the section on Armageddon (which is, as he writes, the most disappointing of all possible end-of-times scenarios, because it would be entirely of our making), it's still a very good read.

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