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Comment Kingdom of Mocha (Score 1) 917

I can't believe how many times I have had to reference this old film in the past six months:

The Kingdom of Mocha


1) It isn't a perfect illustration, but it helps provide a foundation for understanding that too many contemporary posters sorely lack.

2) It is filled with politically incorrect (but hilarious) stereotyping ... lighten up and enjoy it.

Having at least this entry-level understanding of how a basic economy and tax system works is a prerequisite to useful discussion of a topic like UBI.

Comment Re: Pushing industry forward (Score 1) 71

This is completely ignorant. A fully-reusable multi-stage system (which is essentially the goal of SpaceX) expends nothing but fuel and oxidizer ... and your SSTO is better than that HOW?

Functional SSTO will probably eventually happen, but for anyone who knows anything, the most likely scenario is that improvements in engineering and materials science will render most use cases for SSTO moot. With better (lighter, stronger) materials, efficiency and lift capabilities for reusable multi-stage vehicles skyrocket (pun intended) ... and cost-per-pound drops to close to consumer levels. At that time, the only use cases for SSTO that will make economic sense will be high-end military and specialized commercial applications ... a good analogy would be the requirement for a supersonic jet versus the everyday application of a 757 (for things like freight transport).

Another analogy ... we still transport by truck and rail ... WHY? I mean, when we have fighter jets that can do Mach 2, why not deliver my packet of coffee creamers from Amazon Prime using those F-22's?

As the kids like to say ... SMDH.

Comment More basic problem before you even get to that ... (Score 1) 289

First of all, in spite of some scientific & other issues, I really liked the movie, and I especially thought the several bits of 'homage' were well-handled.


If you are going to nitpick the science, you really don't need to get into the quantum physics at all. They clearly have the technology (and had it developed quite a few years before the time in which the film is set) to make use of re-usable single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) space craft. I don't understand why the initial launch required a large booster rocket, either ... because mater the Ranger craft is able to achieve orbit from a planet with 90% Earth-gravity without any such assist.

So - if you have a fast, obviously re-usable SSTO craft that can hurl a bunch of mass into orbit over & over, you really don't need the dang wormhole. As anyone who really understands these things can tell you, if you have affordable, reliable, RE-USABLE SSTO craft, you can do all kinds of neat-o things which involve getting lots of mass off this rock (including starting a colony in space, on the moon, or even Mars).

With decades in which to work, and a presumably well-motivated civilization, they would never have reached this point of desperation in the first place. If you can throw enough mass (materials, fuel, equipment, people) into low-earth orbit with a fleet of re-usable SSTO craft (the Rangers) ... and do it thousands of times over perhaps decades of time, you will have no problem expanding the reach of your civilization beyond a single planet.

Problem solved.

Comment Wrong path ... try these guys (Score 1) 233

Not only do they have a long track record of reasonable, methodical engineering & development, Urban Aero has the *ONLY* design with promising practical characteristics, coupled with no showstopping requirements for "maybe in ten years" technologies.

THIS will be the first practical "flying car", if you must call it that.


Comment Re:Earliest powered heavier than air maybe... (Score 2) 267

You, sir, are an idiot.

Do a little actual historical research ... visit a library. Ever hear of the Wright B Flyer??

1910. Their FIFTH practical design. (Flyers I, II, and III, Model A, Model B) Landing gear, elevator at the rear, capable of carrying a PASSENGER, and produced in quantity, not a "one-off" experiment. Sold under contract to various branches of the U.S. military. And you can take a ride on one anytime you like at the Wright Brothers airport in south Dayton, Ohio.

Furthermore, in the years between 1903 & 1910, the Wrights flew ALL THE TIME around the Huffman Prairie fields, just a couple of miles outside of the Dayton city limits. ANYONE could lean against the fence & watch them go. (Again, do some light reading on the subject.)

"Secretive"? Hardly.

Comment Money not the problem ... (Score 2) 266

The resource that is lacking is WILL.

Call it "political will" ... "moral fortitude" ... whatever. Once the tech is available, the only thing preventing any group from making a large project like this happen is the will to do it. Which is precisely why we probably WILL have a Mars mission (manned) by 2033 ... but it WILL NOT be the government doing it.

Private enterprise has the will, the stated goal, is gathering the money, and refining the tech. Elon Musk is not the only one, either.

People routinely OVERestimate how difficult this will be once the will is in-place.

(Note: having the will to "do it" includes the acceptance of the RISK involved. Kinda like Everest climbers and cave divers.)

Comment I CANNOT MAKE IT - notpaul (Score 1) 6

Hey, my fellow Slashdotters!

Unfortunately, I have a last-minute obligation with one of my kids, and I will not be in Columbus tomorrow. Hopefully you several folks will still meet to hoist a pint in honor of the 15th! We didn't rate 15-year shirts, unfortunately (not enough sign-ups) but if anyone still wants a 10-year shirt (only XL) I will be happy to give you all one. (You can contact me via the email address listed for the party, or just through Slashdot.


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