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Comment Re:Thought we'd have colonies on Mars by 1981 (Score 1) 61

Didn't you get the memo? Mars will always be 20 years away and so far that schedule has been consistent for past 50 years. We no longer talk about the Moon because if we did (it is only 3 days away) then someone has to come up with some serious money to build a transfer vehicle and lander now. Nobody from Musk to NASA wants to do that so they present Mars plans (and let some other smucks 20 years into the future to come up with money for transfer vehicle and lander).

Comment Re:Accurate Maps (Score 1) 146

That is a really interesting article, though here is link to entire article at and I've squandered much of my work time reading this. It seems USSR allocated a lot of people with lots of time to do this detailed field work. Google can do the same as they have tens of $billions$ of extra cash.

Comment Is it really a warning or a shakedown to sell? (Score 1) 124

Seems to me all these are all "computer security has expired! click here to update [and pay money]."

However, multiple warnings lead to "alarm fatigue" i.e. part of a situation that caused a B1 in flight test to crash. Lots of warning lights for low/moderate stuff, crew acknowledge the alarms and proceed on. Then comes CG warning but they didn't pay much attention to it, until the aircraft tilts and stalls. from

Comment Re:this is a good thing, but not enough... (Score 1) 64

I remember the STAR journal from way back when. Monthly publication about 1 inch thick, listed science, technical, and research papers. A paragraph abstract for each paper, cost and where to order. I haven't seen what has become of it. There are sites like this and this though I haven't gone through them lately. It can be very tedious finding stuff. I remember few years ago when it was pulled offline ("OMG the Chinese are stealing ALL our secrets!") which was a huge setback (basically defeated all what NASA stands for). When I do search through it, I find a lot of esoteric papers of narrow focus.

I remember ordering a couple things from STAR journal in 1970s, most things were incomprehensible for me. Small paper on "What Everyone Should Know About Solving Differential Equations" and "Space Construction Database." The SCD was a whopping 500 page document (not a book but with really long staples) illustrating different space structures carried out by the Space Shuttle with lists of materials and assembly times. One structure was a huge platform that looks like ISS but a communications platform at 23,000 miles GSO. One platform to hold several "satellites" kind of like a mountain top with a hundred repeaters and TV relay stations.

Comment Re:Incomplete title... (Score 1) 399

Third parties are too extreme for most people which they only can win a few city councils and school boards. If situation is like we have now, then they get attention for presidential election. They first need to get congressional seats, however, maybe the political machine is set so ***only*** those accepted by the R or D party can make a reasonable run. i.e. no way can a athlete compete in the Olympics without major sponsorship from a commercial company. So result is any moderate will have to engage with one of the two parties and will have to carry that Party's agenda. The extremists will carry on their agenda (oh wait, we got some of them now in the major parties).

USA political system is too entrenched with the 2-party system like football is the USA sport. Only two teams, only one can win and the other loses. A participant ***must*** be a member of NFL. Everyone else are spectators with little influence on game result, they can cheer or boo but none have any idea what upcoming game plays are (players huddle, coach-to-quarterback comms are encrypted). Teams will use whatever means fair and unfair to win the game, unless umpire or referee calls foul.

My political Gripe Of The Month.

Comment Re:Damned shame.... (Score 1) 51

It seems to me his most iconic role was the gang leader in Time Bandits. My favorite part of him describing the "map."
Kenny, "He had only six days to make the world so there are a few holes. With this map [showing the space-time holes] why not use it to make ourselves stinking rich!"

Comment I rarely can view VLC videos (Score 1) 204

Just about every site that has a VLC video link or a VLC video file or program has been excruciatingly difficult to use, at least for me. Either nothing happens or have to download all kinds of extensions I don't recognize, etc. It seems one has to be a Linux/Scripting/Network guru to make it work. I pretty much don't even bother to view anything that is VLC, I consider it not available and look to alternate means.

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If we could sell our experiences for what they cost us, we would all be millionaires. -- Abigail Van Buren