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Submission + - For the NASA & space fans . . .

rickyslashdot writes: It looks like the legacy of Senator Proxmire may have finally come to an end. NASA has been given it's biggest budget increase in many years, $1.7 billion, bringing it's budget up to $19.3 billion — ( http://www.pddnet.com/news/201... ) — ( http://www.techinsider.io/nasa... ). Included in this budget is funding for a Europa LANDER, to go along with the planned orbiter in 2020 — ( http://arstechnica.com/science... ). Additional funding is included to finish development of the Heavy Launch Vehicle (sadly named after the atomic-pulse vehicle — ORION — by a clueless politician), and have it operational by 2017. This will facilitate the manned Mars project, along with the ability to go to other planets with larger payloads. Everyone please give a tip-of-the-hat to Texas Congressman John Culberson, who chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over the space agency, for his work in getting America's space program back into shape. It's not exactly high-gear, but it is MUCH better than the past decades of slowly whittling away at NASA's budget, and our only real chance of surviving through the rest of this century and into the future. Lots of other interesting info at the links in the above listed sites.

Comment Here's a historical (unknown) point-of-interest (Score 4, Interesting) 85

ONE MAN COULD turn both keys in the activation sequence - which was NOT supposed to be do-able. During periodic testing of the control room -to- silo control links, a single man was left to activate the keys to test the wiring systems. The 2 consoles were 8 - 10 (or so) feet apart, and designed to REQUIRE 2 men to activate the firing sequence at the same time. Using 2 nails and a length of sting, the ingenious control house tech put one nail above the second key control, the second nail through the head of the key, tied the string to the second nail (key-head nail) and ran the string across the top nail and over to the second key station. BINGO! He could turn BOTH keys simultaneously - one by hand, the other by pulling on the string. When observed (caught) doing this testing, he was told to never discuss it, and the repercussions went like a silent tidal wave all the way to the top. I still don't know how this was resolved - but I imagine the key consoles were outfitted with additional locks that required pushing an actuator button or something, requiring 2 hands to activate.

Comment Re:Marijuana should be legalized (Score 1) 132

Consider the fact that the DEA, Washington congress-critters (alien by nature), and the 'self-righteous' and affiliates have killed, crimilalized, marginalized, and jailed MORE PEOPLE than all of mankinds war losses put together. Decriminalize, regulate (ie. alcohol), and allow personal choice - - - this single process would more than double the available budget for the US to provide USEFUL support for the taxpayers. Bottom line: This SINGLE issue would allow granny to safely cash her SS chack without facing a gang of 'users' waiting to rip off the helpless for another fix.

Comment one problem . . . (Score 1) 293

Even after decades of following this issue of H2 vs electric, I STILL haven't seen anything addressing the well-known (in petro-chemical and industrial engineering circles) problem known as 'hydrogen embrittlement'. Years-long exposure to H2, epsecially when under high pressure, effects even the best metals and alloys with seriously degraded resiliance to fracture-stresses eg think of glass being smacked with a hammer. OK - so batteries have a limited useful work-life, but at least they don't shatter when pile-driven in a collision - - - who's gonna' take out the garbage ===> ALL THE OLD H2 STORAGE CELLS ? ? ?

Submission + - New insect (mosquito) repellant (vanderbilt.edu) 1

rickyslashdot writes: This new chemical, called Vanderbilt University Allosteric Agonist or VUAA1, is apparently thousands of times more effective against mosquitos than DEET. The article covers the way this works — by totally overwhelming the blood sucker's sensory receptors — kind of like being blasted with every smell in the book. It should be really useful as a netting coating, for clothes, and even as body spray — all depending on the toxicity of the final product.
Hopefully, it won't be priced so high as to preclude use in malaria infested parts of the world.
Another (implied) feature is — since it activates the sensory triggers in the bug's antennae, it shouldn't have much (if any) issue with resistance buildup, since these chemical receptors are required for the mosquito to feed and survive.
Read the article — well written with a couple of videos — and gives good explanations.

Submission + - OPEN LETTER - /. joining ranks of bandwidth hogs

rickyslashdot writes: Short & Simple — Slashdot has taken the ad agencies to bed with the advent of default-ON video ads.
How long will the ISP's and their carriers allow this to continue without demanding part of the revenue — possibly/probably scuttling any advantage /. achieved with the ad income?
How long will /.'ers on limited/fixed incomes tolerate this abuse of their bandwidth before dropping out completely?
Why has /. made this service 'opt-out for a fee'? (Now children, can we say 'corporate greed'?)

from — Irritated and Frustrated /. user for longer than this century

Comment Ask Slashdot: Which VHS Player To Buy? (Score 1) 201

Several years ago, some high-grade hobbiests recovered data from warehouse-stored audio/video mag tapes from the lunar missions. The one important thing I remember is that they were able to get remarkably good recovery from these ancient tapes by using a very low (mildly warm) oven setting and warming the tapes for several hours BEFORE trying to read them. This had the effect of releasing the tape-to-tape stiction and also re-tensioning the mag-tape mylar base material. Good luck finding the article - possible by asking /. about it - - - or searching NASA's site. Another hint - tryout an empty cassette first to see if the other materials can withstand the temperature. You might have to remove the tape spool and heat it seperately. The tape removal and reinsertion is not child's play, but is fairly easy with a steady hand and patience. It all really depends on how valuable the material is to you personally. cheers

Submission + - Here we go again . . .

rickyslashdot writes: It seems like a never-ending story about the failed lethal injection issues with the US penal system. I personally believe that there are a FEW crimes that deserve this penalty — but, be that as it may — it is just plain a55 stupid to continue along this path.
PLEASE bring back the firing squad or public hanging for capital offenses.

In support of that issue, I do FIRMLY believe that some well known 'killer' states should REQUIRE MANDATORY SCOTUS approval before the 'cowboy roundup and lynch squads' are allowed to enact a death sentance.


'whirrrr' (sound of fishing reel spinning out as troll bait'

Submission + - Another example of how the fed's programs can be hijacked . . . (cnn.com)

rickyslashdot writes: These types of short-term loans are generally predatory in nature — by design !
They 'capture' a chunk of the Social Security disbursements by allowing / coaxing SS recipients to continue roll-overs & consolidate into new loans (even more expensive).
Each 'catch' can lead to profits of thou$and$ of dollars annually, and can last for several years of 'negative-sum' leaching of Social Security funds — - -
UNTIL the SS debtor collapses, leading to forfeiture and seizure of everything they own !

In just about every situation I can imagine, the final seizure PROBABLY exceeds tha original debt(s)
      and (also) PROBABLY by a $ub$tantial amount . . .

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