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Comment Re: Cut to the chase (Score 1) 134

from memory the plank length is the distance where the energy to measure it would create a black hole so its the limit of measurement.
plank time is the length of time traveling at c to travel the plank length, so is also immeasurable.

i would say it has the most extreme physical significance, its only in the theoretical it could be less significant.

Comment Re:Why do we do these things? (Score 2) 109

Pursuing the desire that many people share to learn and explore and to push the limits of that new knowledge does not require a balance sheet justification.

If you feel the goal of life is to balance the short term budget of america (even though the nasa budget has essentially no impact on this at all) you should probably spend some time thinking about the fact we are all going to die, the earth will die, the universe will die, and when the last human dies, do you think they will wish we could have siphoned off some more money from nasa's budget to pay some some tiny fraction of the 2014 deficit off?

Comment Re:Just do it again (Score 5, Interesting) 54

They will shortly, there was a planned launch last month but it has been pushed back for various reasons.

The fact they have this thing vertical at well below terminal velocity and apparently not spinning means the rest is just details. Controlling it down from supersonic is the hard part. They have made many successful landings with grasshopper from a vertical, low speed non spinning state.

Comment Re:I dont understand (Score 1) 483

I guess its just a marketing problem, they need drugs that make the person not move so no one feels bad. And at the end the person looks like they died naturally.

500g of c4 on someone's head would do the job and be completely painless, and cost almost nothing.

I'm guessing that its hard to get drugs that don't cause convulsions or toxic side effects Or at least they only are made by companies who dont want to be known for killing people. Because getting drugs to kill someone doesn't seem so hard.

Comment I dont understand (Score 1) 483

Disclaimer: Im against the death penalty.

But I don't understand why its so hard to kill someone. Making someone unconscious for major surgery seems to be a solved problem. Once someone is unconscious, and paralysed, how hard is it to kill them?

If you are unconscious, no oxygen will kill you in a few minutes without pain. Even if you are concious, from what I understand its CO2 in the lungs that causes pain.. just filling a room with helium should probably kill you without you feeling much pain in a few minutes.

Why these injections are taking 20+ minutes to kill people who are in pain, I don't understand.

Comment Re:Birth. Life. Death. (Score 1) 80

I doubt it. While there is many things we will learn the basic reaction of gravity ~ heat + hydrogen to helium is well understood by quantum mechanics. We have billions of examples of stars to cross check this. Comparing mentality of stars against their evolution.

On the bright side, even if we only have 1 million years left, if we haven't left earth by then its only because we have already killed ourselves.

Comment Re:I really object to this (Score 2) 80

I think the point they were making was not to stop doing science, or publishing. Instead its the problem with the reporting of science. Everything has to have drama and conflict.

The news makes it seem like every new paper is a paradigm changing event. Where as from the point of view of people who are doing this work its another piece of information to help improve our understanding.

The biggest problems is when popular news makes people think science is just stories, it seems to change every other week from one extreme to the other, so with overwhelming scientific facts like evolution and climate change people think its just some "theory" that is just as likely to be proven wrong tomorrow.

Its a difficult balance to find the best match between the public's hunger for science news and the sensational nature of reporting.

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