Allen Thomson

Allen Thomson

  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    The solution is to provide our ship with a supply of relatively pure 39-K 41-K, or a mechanism for sequestrating 40-K to get it out of the life support system. As just noted, a civilization that can build generation STL...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    long-baseline interferometry telescopes Back in, I guess, the 1990s when such things were being discussed on sci.space.something, the objection was raised that optical inhomogeneities in the interplanetary/interstellar medium would introduce phase uncertainties that would mess up the interferometery. At time,...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    Presumably a society that can produce an STL expedition to another system will be in a high state of technological development. Yes, like noticeably beyond Kardashev Type I, headed briskly toward Type II. Either that or a Type I/I+ society...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    Its like they didn't even bother to read what they wrote. Even bothering to read what you've written often fails to catch such things, because you know what should be there and therefore that's what you see. Hence the desperate...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    bananas 40K is a minor part of naturally occurring potassium(*). If it were actually to be a problem, I'm sure the supertech society that's built the STL generation ship could perform the needed isotope separation. As noted in 272, it...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    Once you are more than a couple of AU out the only signals you will be listening to are ones beamed at you deliberately. Sort of a random point of curiosity, but I wonder whether probes out into the Solar...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    an emphasis on hobbies and craft for recreation rather than expensive mass media, and probably no star culture of highly-paid entertainers and, er, professional full-time novelists I'd suppose the generation ship would be capable of receiving beamed communications from...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    failure rates of rockets See http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/logsum.html...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    double our productive lifespan (from ages 20-65 to ages 20-110, say) Just from looking around right now, I see both ends creeping up. I.e., the lower end is headed to > 20, and I see a lot of 70-yo and...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    This topic touches on one of my persistent peeves about current human spaceflight programs, such as they are. Restricting the discussion to Mars and maybe the Jovian system rather than the stars, there is still no visible program to develop...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    while a lot of the GOP is either silent Interestingly, My Congressman (Will Hurd, TX-23) and My Senators (Cruz, Cornyn) have expressed unhappiness with the Helsinki proceedings. Hurd has shown previous signs of not being totally Of The Body, and...
  • Commented on Unsustainable Interstellar Civilization, Hotspot Colonies, and Dwarf Culture
    The short answer is that it takes 1860s technology to tap an oil field and get surplus energy out. It takes a lot more technology and infrastructure to build a fission reactor. If you're a struggling colony, why not go...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    Moderator request: Please remove the redundant 1356. Operator error here, I'm sure. Done...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    There's another explanation... There's something of a zoo of contending explanations at the moment. I'm cautiously encouraged by the appearance of CDC, as their epidemiologists probably have the best chance of figuring things out, or at least reducing the number...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    To return to an earlier set of mystery attacks(?), the sonic ones in Havana and now Guangzhou, they remain under investigation and CDC has now been invited to join the party. Just why CDC wasn't called in from day one...
  • Commented on Unsustainable Interstellar Civilization, Hotspot Colonies, and Dwarf Culture
    The other, less known of engine is what is called Stirling engine. NASA has been flirting with Stirling engines, mostly using radioisotope heating, for use in space for a long time and I'm sure other people around the world have...
  • Commented on Unsustainable Interstellar Civilization, Hotspot Colonies, and Dwarf Culture
    For reasons that probably would not hold up under examination, this recent article struck me as relevant to geoformy and even the current topic. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/07/fence-built-keep-out-wild-dogs-out-has-dramatically-altered-australian-landscape Southern Australia’s Strzelecki Desert is home to two very different landscapes: an area of 10-meter-high...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    On simultaneity: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/05/world/europe/uk-salisbury-russia-poisonings.html Investigators have been scrutinizing the actions of Mr. Rowley and Ms. Sturgess during the hours before they collapsed. Ms. Sturgess became sick first, at around 10:15 a.m. on Saturday, going into convulsions in the bathroom and foaming...
  • Commented on Holding Pattern
    in Vancouver; I may also be wandering around Canada for a couple of weeks Maybe http://burgess-shale.rom.on.ca/en/ ?...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    That widens the class of organisations that could have had access to it rather considerably. Yes, it probably does. I'd missed the Rink business, but there's a bit more here: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/23/nerve-agent-was-used-in-1995-claims-former-soviet-scientist So the list of suspects now includes Russian government...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    Interesting comments from one of the (retired) Russian chem-war experts Yes, I think Uglev's take on the second incident at least sounds fairly plausible: “It may be secondary contamination from the first batch, or the assassin had several syringes prepared...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    Being able to block a user Yes, but the ability should be used sparingly, only in fairly extreme circumstances. Being exposed to new and uncomfortable ideas and modes of expression is a good thing more often than not. But there...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    I believe it was KF for Firefox: It apparently works on Chrome too: https://github.com/fizbin/killfile-extension I've been using it on Firefox for a while and it functions as it ought....
  • Commented on The Pivot
    someone mentioned a plugin to block trolls etc. I believe it was KF for Firefox: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/blog-killfile/...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    Yea! Please let us know when it becomes orderable. Take care of yourself, and all the best to your family member....
  • Commented on The Pivot
    the Aztec enthusiasm for industrial scale human sacrifice As it happens, the cover story on a recent issue of Science was on that very topic: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/06/feeding-gods-hundreds-skulls-reveal-massive-scale-human-sacrifice-aztec-capital I learned a new word there - tzompantli....
  • Commented on The Pivot
    > kiln technology Is there a decent treatment of just what early kiln technology was -- i.e., what were the developments that led to prolonged > 1000 C temperatures? I've done a quick check and haven't found much. Perhaps it...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    Senate Intel Committee just released its report See https://www.burr.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/SSCI%20ICA%20ASSESSMENT_FINALJULY3.pdf and https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/press/intel-committee-releases-unclassified-summary-initial-findings-2017-intelligence-community “Our investigation thoroughly reviewed all aspects of the January 2017 ICA, which assessed that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign to target our presidential election and to...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    I’ll see your human sacrifices and raise you 6000 crucified slaves along the Appian Way. Yes, and if you take a close look at the Old Testament, there are several hints of sacrifices, some mass ones, to Yahweh. Of course,...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    Some people like imitation meat, some people do not. We're generally good on TVP-based meat-inspired products here, though it's a mistake to expect TVP to imitate meat, rather than substitute for it. Accept TVP stuff for what it is, and...
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