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Comment No suprise there. (Score 2) 325

Most questions on a "classic intelligence test" (Stanford-Binet, Wechsler, etc) are ultimately pattern-recognition tests, albeit some classes of question (eg the verbal ones) require prior knowledge too. E.g., in the Wechsler tests, the "Perceptual Reasoning", "Working Memory" and "Processing Speed" subtests all include (or benefit from) some pattern extraction/recognition skill, only the "Verbal Comprehension" does not. Whether those tests actually measure those things, let alone "intelligence", is another question entirely. But if there's something in the brain's hardware or firmware that assists that visual processing, chances are it assists in the above tests too. (And yes, I recognize that with visual processing there's also a bunch that gets done in the hardware before the information ever gets to the higher levels.)

Although as the saying goes, IQ is that thing which is measured by IQ tests, and may or may not have any bearing on intelligence. From personal observation, it certainly has no correlation with common sense.

Comment Re:E=mc^2 (Score 1) 255

Right, we know it has positive inertial mass. We haven't yet properly observed their gravitational mass. We assume the two are equivalent; they may not be.

Actually, physicists have antimatter all wrong. A positron actually does have a negative charge but also has negative inertial mass, so it will react to an electromagnetic field the opposite way an electron does. We just observe that as reversed charge.

(Yes, I did just make that up, tongue firmly in cheek.)

Comment Re:Most important question... (Score 1) 255

Much (most?) of the energy from an ordinary nuclear bomb comes off as gamma rays. Because the atmosphere happens to be relatively opaque to gamma, it absorbs them and superheats. That's what generates the fireball.

So, expect the same thing to happen with antimatter.

And actually pure gamma emission is what happens when electrons and positrons collide. Proton-antiproton collisions tend to produce gamma plus some secondary particles (pions (pi-mesons), if I remember right, but I may not).

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 272

From Wikipedia: "The Internet protocol suite resulted from research and development conducted by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the early 1970s. After initiating the pioneering ARPANET in 1969, DARPA started work on a number of other data transmission technologies. [...] From 1973 to 1974, Cerf's networking research group at Stanford worked out details of the idea, resulting in the first TCP specification."

And then it took about 8 years to be blessed as a standard, which is about average.

I laugh, ha!, at your check mate.

Comment Re:Antares: an outsourced rocket (Score 1) 85

Orbital has a history of using hardware from other sources. The main stage of their Taurus is based on the Peacekeeper missile, for example.

Nothing really wrong with that, except it means they don't have the same kind of cost control that SpaceX does, who design and build all their own systems.

Comment Re:Well done to all involved (Score 2) 85

Rockets are very complicated machines, and we have much still to learn.

They're complicated when the design criteria includes maximizing performance regardless of cost, which was the general design rule in the 1950s and 60s. (In the 70s and 80s, that morphed to maximizing NASA jobs and the number of congressional districts the work is done in, almost regardless of cost.)

As an above poster mentioned, the Saturn F1 (for example) has been redesigned as the F1-B with different design goals, reducing the parts count (hence complexity, at the same time simplifying manufacturability) by two orders of magnitude and increasing thrust (at a very slight drop in Isp -- performance).

So I'd say we're learning.

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