DonL

DonL

  • Commented on So you think you can be a reality TV producer
    that's what the warp does too, except it uses a different mechanism to minimize the distance. And then there was the drive in Poul Anderson's Polesotechnic League stories. IIRC the handwavium was that ship could jump forward by one quantum...
  • Commented on So you think you can be a reality TV producer
    Recall the example of the train. The light in the center illuminates, and beams of light travel toward the front and the back of the train. There's an HD CGI video of this famous scenario, loving generated ("rendered") around 1990...
  • Commented on So you think you can be a reality TV producer
    A sign of not-quite-so-bad hard SF: ships bouncing between Oort cloud comets. There's typically about one per volume of space inside the Earth's orbit; they're 150M kilometers apart, or more. In other words, months to years of travel between dirty...
  • Commented on So you think you can be a reality TV producer
    So I'm sitting here in the DC area looking at retiring probably at the end of 2021, and climate change is definitely impacting my decision making process on where to retire. My conclusion was that I should retire to Corvallis....
  • Commented on So you think you can be a reality TV producer
    What that means is that there are effectively tropical forests north to around the Michigan state line (technically paratropical), and subtropical forests north from there for a bit. Have you read "Davy", by Edgar Pangborn ? (A nominee for the...
  • Commented on So you think you can be a reality TV producer
    The problem is not the particles you can stop with heavy metals, the problem is the ones you cant and where you need half a meter of HDPE as ceiling. Right. Lead was used because it didn't take up much...
  • Commented on So you think you can be a reality TV producer
    Building it on the moon would be much smarter For accuracy, you also want the structure to be at a constant temperature. There are some deep craters on the moon with no day+night, but surely that would limit the field...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    Back to your comment is that split levels do NOT fit the life styles of more and more people. Much of the design is based around how a family once lived in the US. Dunno why they built them, but...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    Linux failed to get enterprise traction as a desktop environment for decades, despite taking the server and mainframe world by storm. True, but there are some major trends that have about half run their course, and that represent real change...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    To power a given floor area for indoor farming requires something around the same area of solar panels .. freightfarms.com thinks their containers need 125..165 KWh per day. Heating/cooling has a day/night variation, and also, plants need a "day", but...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    .. the death squads Raygun had running in Nicaragua, that WE TRAINED AND PAID FOR. Worse, the CIA trained some torturers....
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    .. while it's all PR actions and commercial secrets we're not going to know much. The best hope is that one of those companies gets good enough to roll out across the world and undercut all the luddites with their...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    Aerofarms.com report that their warehouse farm is 390 times more land efficient ... for crops that have been chosen because they use very little vertical space. Mushrooms are even more vertical space efficient. And they're even closer to being a...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    Farms are big, y'all. Yes. I have happy memories of growing up in a lovely farming area, les cantons de l'est. The farms were 160 acres, or 640. And as far as the eye could see, what they grew was...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    My proposition is that we need to start looking at prototype-scale indoor farming solutions now, so that we have a proven technology we can scale up as crop failures become more frequent and severe. Agreed. It's heartwarming to see pictures...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    Something's a bit weird here. There are certainly soil bacteria that metabolize hydrogen. However, they're not "ten times more efficient" than photosynthesizers, they're actually a bit less energetic, which is why you don't see any multicellular hydrogen breathers out there....
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    basically bioreactors that produce all sorts of useful molecules, including a flour that apparently can work well for bread: Cool! Thanks for the link. The company says they're using "microbes" but spin it as if it's a brewery, ie yeast....
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    Some of us are not entirely comfortable with solutions to climate catastrophe that start with "first we kill billions of people". You can dress that up with "monkey boy" and other insults if you like, you still sound genocidal. "Monkey...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    Where it is massively inefficient is that you've got to build the structure, rather than just plow a pre-existing patch of soil. Every big city has derelict warehouses. And I doubt that the roof over their head is the major...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    Of course, all this efficiency gain is cancelled out by harvesting the energy using solar panels, so your land use goes up not down, and even more so if you build multi storey plant parks... The solar-takes-up-space meme needs to...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    I *really* can't see corn or wheat, etc, grown in hydroponics. For that matter, it would use a LOT more water than they do now (which is too much). Greenhouses have a LOT more opportunity to recycle than open fields...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    I think the solution will be industrial-scale factory farms (i.e., indoor farming I moved to Vancouver last year, and the thing that's surprised me most is how many huge greenhouses there are in the region. We get windstorms, but never...
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    which university function are you thinking about? --Exposing students to radically different people, places, cultures, etc., as the essential form of a liberal education. Oh come now. "Universities are the fount of knowledge, and students come to drink." There is...
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    .. they'd better hope the maid service doesn't accidentally let in a small buzzing killer by accident while they're out of their home. Inconvenient, that. Not particularly. Sneaking poison into a home would be easier, and I notice that assassins...
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    Assuming that we could construct a very light framework that did not leak, and it contained a vacuum .. That was a premise of "The Diamond Age", by Neil Stephenson, 1995. Specifically, he posited mass production of a closed-cell diamond...
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    Any country discovering your bombs on their territory will consider it an act of war IIRC, this plot has already been used: The Rithian Terror Damon Knight 1953...
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    their shelf life once assembled was very short And here is a picture of a man about to assemble the Nagasaki bomb. That thing in his hand is the plutonium core....
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    I like the planetary gears the most, though they've tended to be the newest cars, with anti-lock brakes and traction control. Tsk. The newest cars are electric, and only the sportiest electrics bother to have gears. Having full torque at...
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    .. there were all sorts of interesting plans to make US cities proof against nuclear war in the 1950s .. The design of the interstate highway system had a lot of military input - for example, there were straight sections...
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    .. the sky across an elipse a couple of thousand kilometres long heats up and glows radiatively with a black body temperature in the thousands of degrees, baking everything on the surface and bringing the surface waters to a rolling...
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