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Comment Great for Space Junk "capture" (Score 2) 148

Imagine a net (block?) of this material. IF (and it's a very big if) it could be made large enough IN SPACE, then it could "capture" (by absorbing the impact) space junk. It might need to be hooked up to a low thrust but high efficiency ion drive to compensate for the slow loss of momentum from the impact; it needs to stay in orbit (and to change orbits if it's going after multiple large pieces).

Of course, as mentioned, the real key is can they manufacture the graphene pieces AND put them together in the 3D structure IN SPACE. Being able to create this material out of a (solid?) block of carbon (graphite) is probably essential. Otherwise the density of the structure might be too low to be launched from earth; the low density which might make it ideal for many applications on earth would be a hindrance if it required a huge fairing for the launch vehicle (imagine a blimp on top of a rocket). However, this low density is critical for its success as a space "sponge", it would allow a small mass to subtend a very large volume; essential if we're ever going to clean up the many many small fragments of space junk (and not just the big ones).

Of course, IF they can make this in space there are many space construction applications which could be practical. Would it dramatically reduce the cost of an "O'Neil space cylinder" for example? The greatly reduced mass requirements coupled with the (hopefully) greatly reduced launch costs from reusable launchers (go Space-X!) might allow really large structures to be built. (I guess you'd still need "soil" and volatiles from asteroid or lunar mining).

(A similar solution would be to use in space produced aerogels. The problems of making aerogels in space if they require supercritical carbon dioxide as a working fluid may be too great though.)

Just an early morning rant here in Vietnam, probably had too much coffee.

Comment Is it Iron? (Score 2) 296

Unfortunately I'm not a mining expert but isn't much (most?) of the iron available to humanity basically meteorites? I mean most of the iron that the earth formed with sank to the core since it is (much?) denser than the surrounding molten rock?

And wasn't this thing detected because it was a gravity or mass anomaly? A chunk of iron that big could be quite valuable! Here comes the despoiling of the Antarctic, a job made possible by global warming and the "who cares" approach to the environment of our soon to be in office leader.

Comment Re:Perfect for Satellites... and Nukes (Score 2) 107

Sorry, I guess what I wrote could be interpreted in the wrong way:

"Why would Japan want such a thing after having avowed a no nuclear policy after being subjected to the only nuclear attack in history? Because Trump has..."

I guess I could have been more clear: "Why would Japan want to use it in such a way after having avowed..."

As someone who been following national space programs for decades (and regularly attended JPL conferences), it was not my intent to say that Trump was responsible for Japan's solid rocket program (as if). Nitpicking aside, my apologies for the confusion, however the rest of my points (repeated I see by numerous other commentators) stand.

Comment Re:Perfect for Satellites... and Nukes (Score 2) 107

Did I say Japan built this thing in response to Trump? Am I claiming that Japan's nuclear reactors (including their plutonium breeder reactors) were built because they needed to make nuclear fuel for their weapons?

Of course not, however if the need arises they will surely turn towards the skills they have peaceably acquired for the production of weapons of mass destruction.

Conservatives are fond of saying that guns don't kill people, people do. Like so many many things in our technological world, (GPS, high purity aluminum alloys for centrifuges, etc.) advanced technological items can be used for many purposes (I do genetic engineering). Now we've got someone who wants to radically alter the balance of power in the world, I would say in a very short-sighted way. So people are looking anew, for their own protection, at what they have and what they can be used for.

Comment Perfect for Satellites... and Nukes (Score -1, Offtopic) 107

Actually it's not perfect for satellites (and much worse for manned missions, remember Challenger). The lack of throttle control (and an off switch) probably makes it more difficult to precisely place it into orbit.

As a military weapon of course it's just about perfect. Relatively robust to physical shock, storable (on its side!) for long periods of time without expensive cooling systems, instant launch capability (no loading of cryogenic propellants, no pressurization of fuel tanks) its only disadvantage is the specific impulse may be lower than liquid fuels (less payload). Presumably the warhead has its own guidance system so a little imprecision in the boost phase is acceptable.

Why would Japan want such a thing after having avowed a no nuclear policy after being subjected to the only nuclear attack in history? Because Trump has declared S. Korea and Japan to no longer be protected by the American nuclear umbrella. So with a rogue N. Korea using its pitifully scarce resources to build as many nuclear capable delivery systems as it can, what choice does Japan and S. Korea have?

So now the Chinese have another reason to regret their support of the Kim dynasty. It will be much more difficult for them to cow the Koreans or Japanese once they develop an effective nuclear arsenal (and considering the technological and industrial capabilities of these nations it may happen in months not years). N.E. Asia will become a more dangerous place because there will be a temptation to use nukes in the various unresolved territorial issues (Senkaku islands for example). They may consider a "small" tactical nuke necessary should there be a naval showdown that would cause them to lose face. Of course there is no such thing as a small nuke and if one is used, even in the ocean, there will be a huge temptation to take out the remaining ones in a first strike. This would lead to fears of "use it or lose it" etc. (With distances so short between the three countries, a launch on warning policy would mean making a nation-ending decision in a few minutes, not the leisurely half hour the Americans usually have). In general unlike the U.S. and say Canada; it's not a good thing when historically antagonistic neighbors acquire nukes (India and Pakistan).

That's one reason why nuclear nonproliferation is a good thing. While most of the actors in N.E. Asia are extremely level headed (excepting Kim and maybe the current S. Korean president who's got a Shaman giving her advice), that can't be said for the rest of the world. That's why Trump's other statements of letting the Saudi's develop (or buy from Pakistan) nukes to counter Iran is a bad idea; as the 19 out of 20 hijackers on 9/11 showed us, even our allies can't always be trusted. Unfortunately it looks like the nuclear club may soon be getting bigger

Comment Survival (Score 0, Flamebait) 455

While these (South Asians?) are willing to work for a fraction of the wages because it's much better than at home, relatively soon there will be a much more compelling reason for them to try to get visas (any visa or none at all).


Within the lifetime of many of those reading these words, the climate in large regions of the world will make them UNINHABITABLE. Due to a combination of high heat in the summer months and high humidity (yes there is high humidity in parts of the middle east, like near the Red Sea), the typical healthy Adult (not sick or old or young) will die after just 6 hours outdoors (I believe in the shade!). That's even with plenty of water because, with such high humidity you can't sweat the heat out.


That's Hundreds of Millions of Refugees, a number that will make the current six million fleeing Syria seem like a drop in the bucket. (And look at what this small number has done to Europe). Of course it won't be restricted just to the Middle East, another report from a military focused organization claims there will be 30 Million climate refugees from just ONE country (Bangladesh).


It's obvious that these people won't just sit there and DIE, they'll want to LIVE. They'll be willing to do anything and everything to live in a country where they won't literally die from heat (or being submerged). Thanks to the internet, they'll know where to go and how to get there. Are you prepared to share your country? To save people from dying? Or will you shoot them on sight (because that'll be what its going to take). I'm afraid we're headed towards a world where men with machine guns protecting the wealthy against the desperate masses will be a common sight. Go NRA! (Sarcasm)

If you still don't believe in Climate Change, why don't you to put your money where your mouth is and invest in property that's at risk. Say the low lying areas of Florida or Bangladesh. Or you can put it into the glittering cities of Dubai and other places like Yemen which are slated to become hot properties indeed. According to these projections, you'll only need to wait 20-30 years; some mortgages are shorter than that. And if you're right, you'll make a killing! (But if you're wrong, you'll be the one who's dead).

Thanks Trump! (Sarcasm)

Comment Re:Shocker (Score 1) 805

You've gotta be kidding right? "Anti-science" liberal culture? Being a scientist (just performed the first nanopore DNA sequencing in Vietnam!) who graduated from the top liberal arts school in the world (it always ranks number one or two, sorry Stanford!), let me tell you that our culture is far far from anti-science. For example our university has the most Nobel prize winners in the world. (Speaking of which, so how many Nobel laureates supported Trump again?).

(I also studied Architecture while a graduate and took a fair amount of general design courses so I certainly think I qualify as being in touch with my touchy-feely liberal side). Anyway, even the quickest most cursory (that means brief by the way) search would show that there is an extremely high correlation between scientists and in general well educated people being liberal. Unfortunately, you don't sound like either

Comment Re:Steve Bannon, not a racist? (Score 2) 805

Just in case other people haven't done this:

Here's the Washington Post article which talks about the interview:

And here's the actual, AUDIO of the interview so you can hear him in literally his own words saying this:

Next time you're "genuinely curious" about something, do bother to read the article carefully. See the underlined words? They indicate "links" which is a way of connecting web pages together. If you clicked on the VERY FIRST link marked "an interview", you'd have come to the actual interview.

Of course, before I call someone a racist against Asians (I had heard he was a racist against other minorities from other comments) I wanted proof. So, before I settled that opinion to my own satisfaction, I CHECKED by reading the article and following the links to the ACTUAL FACTS. So now I know, Brannon's an equal opportunity racist (or I guess white nationalist). Now that I think of it, you're probably one too and just trolling by pretending to be "generally curious"

Comment I wish Harvard wasn't brought into this :( (Score 1) 805

Unfortunately, when you look at the people who've graduated from Harvard Business School, it really appears as if their admissions standards needs re-evaluating. Their only criteria seems to be is if they think the candidate has a good chance of being "successful" later in life. Since the number one predictor (in the U.S. at least) of success isn't intelligence or diligence or "talent" but rather how successful (or rich) your dad was, they've let in some sorry characters. I believe George "Gentleman's 'C'" Bush is one of them. And, of course, once you're in and paying $50,000 a year, you're likely not to be kicked out. (It's not the Law or Medical School, cash is king).

At least character estimation is an important consideration when admitting students as undergraduates into Harvard College (I'm an interviewer, that's my job). We're supposed to look for people who "you'd like to have as your roommate" (it's the Turing test for personality :). Of course, Harvard does have its issues with "legacy" candidates and they do tend to give the children of extremely prominent people a closer look (like the Obama's kids) but they are certainly not fixated on one metric (like grades or SAT scores).

Comment Re:And yes, this is the guy Trump admires (Score 1) 1028

Oh and another thing (though there are many more) that particularly rankles me is Putin's state sponsored cheating on the Olympics. This of course is very well documented (by the head physician of the Russian team I believe) and of course by lots of documentation not to mention the preserved backup samples of urine (they collect TWO vials of urine, one is processed immediately at the country's anti-doping center the other is stored. Guess what the stored vials showed?)

Great example of sportsmanship, NOT!

Comment And yes, this is the guy Trump admires (Score 2, Interesting) 1028

The insanity of Trump's admiration/support/connections for a leader who murders his opponents/journalists, commits war crimes deliberately attacking humanitarian convoys and hospitals (yes, I know the U.S. hit one but at the very least they admitted their wartime error and presumably is making reparations), breaks arms control agreements and violates fundamental agreements on not seizing land by force (Crimea was taken despite the Russian pledge to respect Ukraine's border in exchange for them giving up their nukes), drives his nation into an economic dead-end by focusing on one commodity (oil) instead of diversifying (which, of course would have required him to respect rule of law and cut down on the kleptocracy), etc. well this is amongst many many reasons why Trump is completely unqualified (should be disqualified) for being the president of the U.S.

So of course supporting a guy who basically says "I have a gun that can clean blow your head off", I guess that's nothing new for Trump. (and don't tell me that the announcement of this weapon wasn't authorized by Putin). Let me be clear, I do mean Trump supports Putin; by refusing the unanimous consensus of (all?) 17 intelligence agencies that Russia was behind the hacks of the Democratic Party (gee I wonder why no Republicans were hacked?) saying, he can't say who hacked the Democrats, he is supporting Putin.

Likewise Assange, by selling himself out to Putin because of his problems with Sweden (and presumably the U.S.) indicates that he is willing to sell us all (and especially for his fellow journalists* who have been dying in Russia) out for his own skin. It has really debased the once sterling reputation of Wikileaks, hasn't it? So sad.

*but I don't think very many journalists would still be willing to say he is one of them now

Comment Is this related to the battery size/charging speed (Score 1) 150

I read somewhere (sorry I forget where) that the problem may be that the Samsung phones have a 3500mWH (or something like that) battery which is significantly larger than the iPhones which (I think) are less than 2000. Are the batteries the same physical size? That, and I heard that they charge in roughly the same amount of time.

So does that mean that they are pumping in almost twice as much current? Is it possible to damage the battery that way? Can a battery store more energy by just overloading it?

Maybe Samsung can fix this problem by changing the software(?) in the phones so that they charge slower. Am I missing something? (Or a lot of things, I'm not a battery expert).

Comment The Multiverse is an ANALOG computer simulator (Score 1) 1042

So what if our universe (and all the other universes in the multiverse) are just analog simulations? Our 3D universe + time is just a hyper sphere. If the Meta verse is 5 dimensions or more, then just as an infinitely large 2D space can be folded into a finite 3D space, then they could take even our (infinitely?) large universe and put it into a "small" 5D object. So storage wouldn't be a problem.

Imagine the beings in this 5D universe. Say they wanted to create some intelligent entities to converse to. They could create universes like ours and, because they have an extra dimension, could "reach in" and alter anything they wanted just like we can change anything on a piece of paper. Also, if time to them is just another dimension, perhaps they could "scroll" through it and alter events (or at least view) events at any time. All they would have to do is set up the laws of physics (ok ok) in the simulation and (maybe) it would be easy for them to generate an infinite 3D space there because to them an infinitely large 3D verse would be just a point.

(Actually it seems like we are NOT living in a digital simulation because it seems like there is a huge amount of wasted space. Look at the heavens and the billions of light years of apparently uncrowded perhaps uninhabited space. Unless they truly have infinite resources, it seems like a huge waste regardless of what they are trying to create (intelligence? Pretty starscapes?).

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