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Comment Re: Question (Score 1) 299

"hot" is a euphemism for someone or something having a high degree of radioactivity.

That is not a euphemism. It is a colloquialism.

"That woman is hot" is a colloquialism for "I desire sexual congress with that woman".

Both of these phrases are euphemisms for "I'd fuck her".

A euphemism is the substitution of an offensive word or phrase with a genteel or inoffensive one.

Comment Borges (Score 1) 231

"The universe (which others call the Library) is composed of an indefinite, perhaps infinite number of hexagonal galleries. In the center of each gallery is a ventilation shaft, bounded by a low railing. From any hexagon one can see the floors above and below-one after another, endlessly. The arrangement of the galleries is always the same: Twenty bookshelves, five to each side, line four of the hexagon's six sides; the height of the bookshelves, floor to ceiling, is hardly greater than the height of a normal librarian. One of the hexagon's free sides opens onto a narrow sort of vestibule, which in turn opens onto another gallery, identical to the first - identical in fact to all. To the left and right of the vestibule are two tiny compartments. One is for sleeping, upright; the other, for satisfying one's physical necessities. Through this space, too, there passes a spiral staircase, which winds upward and downward into the remotest distance. In the vestibule there is a mirror, which faithfully duplicates appearances. Men often infer from this mirror that the Library is not infinite - if it were, what need would there be for that illusory replication? I prefer to dream that burnished surfaces are a figuration and promise of the infiniteLight is provided by certain spherical fruits that bear the name "bulbs." There are two of these bulbs in each hexagon, set crosswise. The light they give is insufficient, and unceasing."

- The Library of Babel, Jorge Luis Borges

Comment Purpose? (Score 3, Interesting) 193

From TFA:

This experiment will test whether plants can survive radiation, flourish in partial gravity, and thrive in a small, controlled environment.

We can (and have) test all those things here on Earth. IIRC, NASA successfully grew lettuce in zero-g on a shuttle mission.
The moon is a terrible place to grow plants:

- 13-day/night cycle
- 275 Kelvin temperature variation
- 25 rem/yr radiation with no solar flare protection
- no water
- lunar regolith useless as soil

In other words you have to take the whole environment with you. Growing plants on a scale sufficient to be considered food on the moon is a long way off.

It makes for a good kids public outreach program, but let's be realistic: the moon is basically good for 2 things - a huge radio telescope on the far side, and the 1-50 ppb He-3 in the lunar regolith. By the time we're ready to do those things, robots will be good enough to do it all for us.

Submission + - Shuttle Endeavour to be launched today

Klaidas writes: "NASA reports that on the morning before the scheduled liftoff of Space Shuttle Endeavour on the STS-118 mission, launch officials confirmed once again that the countdown is continuing as planned and no issues have surfaced.
On Monday night, workers finished loading the reactants for the orbiter's three power-producing fuel cells. Checks of the space shuttle main engine's avionics and pneumatic systems are planned today, along with inspections of the external tank, activation of ground support equipment, and crew equipment stowage in the crew module. Launch remains on target for Aug. 8 at 6:36 p.m. EDT"

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