Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

A Space Cannon That Might Actually Work 432

Unequivocal writes "Chalk another one up to Jules Verne. Physicist John Hunter is proposing a space cannon with a new design idea: it's mostly submerged. 'Many engineers have toyed with the [space cannon] concept, but nobody has came up with an actual project that may work. Hunter's idea is simple: Build a cannon near the equator, submerged in the ocean, hooked to a floating rig ... A system like this will cut launch costs from $5,000 per pound to only $250 per pound. It won't launch people into space because of the excessive acceleration, but those guys at the ISS can use it to order pizza and real ice cream.' Though it won't work on people, with launch costs that low, who cares?"

Comment Re:Are you kidding me? (Score 1) 822

Were the hell does that fit in to the original argument? Both sides have the potential to be money-grubbing, fame-seeking cancers on science in a highly politicized battle like this. The potential biases of one side does not absolve the other of theirs.

Billions of dollars are being thrown around with the potential for trillions. If you think that won't warp opinions on both sides, you are a fool.

Comment Re:Wake me when a prediction comes true (Score 2, Interesting) 746

The models were coded using assumptions, and we are talking about a chaotic system that is difficult to predict 7 days in advance let alone 70 years. In fact many of these models are based on models of ocean currents recently shown to be wrong. Not that anyone seems to care.

Then, of course, is the question of other factors that might be understated. Solar activity increased in the past 50 years too, but now we have had 18 months and that activity has vanished. Temperatures have historically increased and decreased with the increase and decrease of solar activity. It is an accepted factor in global warming, but looking at Mars and Jupiter it is strange how much extraterrestrial climate change is happening at exactly the same time. Maybe they have underestimated the Sun's importance.

My problem is this: "Climate change" is no longer a real science. The one thing that the hacked emails proved is that Climate Change has become far too political to be called a science. You don't need stolen emails to prove that proponents of the current climate change theory are doing what they can to stifle debate. When the debate is gone, there is no science.

I am willing to admit when I am wrong, but it is not time for that yet. Solar activity may be approaching a minimum, and if it does, it will prove me right or wrong. But I am sure-- damned sure --that if global temperatures fall with the solar activity, a good many of the current scientists echoing the conventional wisdom will adjust their models to prove that they were right all along.

Comment Re:As someone that suffers from depression too.. (Score 1) 645

The key is listening to yourself and having a doctor who listens to you. Once I had a doctor that prescribed me Wellbutrin. It made me feel worse. I told him about it, and he gave me a larger dose.

Instead of following the doctor's orders, I stopped taking the drug (weaning myself off it) and found a doctor who would listen to me. Honestly, all he had to do was give me a reason other than (paraphrasing) "It's not working? The medicine obviously works so you must need more."

Comment Re:antivaxxers on slashdot (Score 1) 292

The problem is that if you are treating me in an ER, I have no clue if you've protected yourself against catching or spreading a disease that could kill me if my body is already weakened by illness. This is a flu shot. No one is asking you to amputate your arm.

Science being what it is, no one can give you ironclad proof that the flu shot will work for you or that it absolutely won't harm you, but the same is true for any drug or medical procedure you undergo. I'm usually not one to trot out a Wikipedia page to prove my point, but this one is referenced very well, and I have neither the time nor the inclination to spend my Sunday at the library reading the New England Journal of Medicine.

While stories of neglectful unsanitary conditions are upsetting, it has no bearing on the argument at hand. Two wrongs don't make a right. You and I both know that the flu is an airborne illness, and washing your hands or cleaning equipment can only do so much. On another note, have you brought what you wrote here to your boss or whomever accepts that information at your work?

As for "scene safety," I would presume that is important, because you can't help anyone if you are dead. In that case, your logic falls apart. You are far more likely to die of the flu than you are from the flu shot. If the risks of the flu shot were as high as running up to a burning car, you'd have a point. As it is, you do not, because the flu shot is protective.

Slashdot Top Deals

Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this-- no dog exchanges bones with another. -- Adam Smith