Nojay

Nojay

  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    You keep using that word, "believe" when discussing engineering matters. It worries me a bit. As for "bloat" as you call it, people want comfort and safety and reliability and a whole host of other things in personal transport today...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Car engineers have spent a lot of time taking unnecessary mass off car body shells under the constraint that they have to pass modern safety standards for crumple zones etc. They aren't meant to save the car, the job of...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    a panic crash programme of building coal-fired power stations because it's that or the lights go out. Not coal, we have to import nearly all the coal we burn these days and coal-fired power stations are limited by law to...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    I see a lot more people (adults that is) cycling these days than I ever did back in the 1970s. Kids back then rode bikes because public transport wasn't available or affordable and families around my neck of the woods...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    You survived those incidents and you are reporting your escapades from a survivor's perspective. A lot of people didn't survive accidents in such cars where today, with airbags and A-pillars and crumple zones they might have walked away from accidents...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Which reminds me that the Daedalus column in the back of the New Scientist once proposed the idea of a train that powers itself on grass clippings mowed from between the rails as it goes. It might have been a...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Most of our buses here in Edinburgh now have a hybrid kinetic-energy recovery system that means they pull away from stops and lights on electric drive with the diesel engine off and it only starts a few seconds later. This...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Volume is just distance to the third, so you can simplify this by making the unit an area unit. The concept of fuel consumption measurements is based on the cross-sectional area of a trough filled with fuel that is sucked...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    I don't know about the UK, but here in Germany we were promised the 3-litre-car roughly 20 years ago—meaning the average fuel consumption of an ordinary IC car would be below 3 l per 100 km. I don't know who...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    There are estimates of how much lithium metal used in the manufacture of Tesla battery packs (Tesla themselves don't actually say). At least one of those estimates I've seen reverse-engineers the capacity of a perfect lithium-electrochemistry battery in which all...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Lithium metal is a lot more expensive than lithium oxide, carbonate or other minehead production materials since a large part of the mass is made up from oxygen and carbon molecules, and lithium molecules are noticeably lighter than both. There's...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Because once electric cars reach anything resembling parity, let alone become cheaper - and that seems inevitable. There is no obvious floor on how much better manufacturing technique can drop the price on batteries, and their raw material costs are...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    The operational economics of pumped-storage are interesting. It actually costs about the same as low-tech lead-acid battery arrays to build pumped-storage in terms of comparable capacity (about £200 million per GWh) and with modern electronic controls for charging and discharging,...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    A lot of the city centre housing around where I live has the street out front used as a bus-lane (absolutely no parking between morning and evening rush hours five days a week), no parking allowed most of the time...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    13-fold increase in battery capacity. More believable, Assuming these batteries aren't based on nuclear fusion, antimatter or other sci-fi concepts then I'm sorry to tell you that electrochemical batteries are close to their limit of capacity. The figure of merit...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Telegraphers and later, radio Morse operators used and still use shorthand and codes to send greetings and exchange information when talking to each other -- YL is Young Lady, usually referring to a sweetheart or fiance. XYL is Ex-Young Lady...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Most British con-going and Great-British-Beer-Festival-going fans here will know someone called 1/2r (pronounced "Arfa")....
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    The Littlefinger quote specifically says "grain". Even baking it into hardtack will only get it to last a couple of years before bug infestation gets to it (see weevils) and quality hardtack is expensive to make -- it's a biscotti,...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Grain doesn't store very well, it's not just vermin like weevils and mice but also fungus, sprouting and general rot from dampness. Turn it into alcohol and it'll last a lot longer of course (properly aged in sherry casks or...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    A 'coupe' in America contains chickens and there is no "t" sound in the British English pronunciation of 'niche', and don't get me started on 'solder'....
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Ageing and appearance of materials in a movie or TV show is different to ageing and weathering in models that are seen in reality and in different lighting circumstances. Movies and TV shows cheat a lot. One example I've actually...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    missile barrage statistics porn. A close acquaintance of David Weber described it as "spreadsheet carnography" -- David at one time used Excel to calculate a lot of stuff about missile barrages and their statistical effects on the various fleets involved....
  • Commented on The crazy years
    RTG builders haven't used thermocouples for a long time. They use Peltier effect semiconductors, more efficient but like their predecessors they have no moving parts. Stirling cycle motors/generator sets have moving parts, bearings etc. which in the worst case might...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Disney not only owns the princesses... and have recently acquired 21st Century Fox from Rupert Murdoch. Someone suggested this this made the Alien Queen a Disney Princess....
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Do I dare, this early in the thread, mention the Big T? Big T? Cryptic too much. Really sorry about Hugh. Nice guy....
  • Commented on The crazy years
    The Pu-238 production line that is being set up is a lot different technically to the original Pu-238 lines that were shut down in part due to safety issues. It also produces a lot less problematic waste since these days...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    We (meaning the world, more specifically the US) could put men on the Moon better, safer and cheaper than the Apollo missions. All it takes is a lot of money and some time. The "safer" part will cost time, all...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    In the UK at least the Industrial Revolution was fuelled by efficiencies in agriculture (enclosures, improvements, scientific crop rotation, breeding of new varieties of crops, steel-edged mouldboard ploughs, draft horse harnesses etc.) that released a lot of stoop field labour...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    The .50 BMG round and its derivatives has an effective range of a bit over two thousand metres, that is if can hit something at that range it can do damage. Its accuracy fired off a handheld bipod/tripod mount (i.e....
  • Commented on The crazy years
    "Effective" doesn't mean they can hit anything they aim at at that distance. The Barret is a bad example of a sniper rifle to start with and the regular .50 BMG round is crap in terms of accuracy, it's a...
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