Heteromeles

Heteromeles

  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Yay. Perhaps coming one day to a streaming service I don't subscribe to, Amazon today announced that they're going turn The Culture into a TV series, beginning with Consider Phlebas https://io9.gizmodo.com/amazon-is-turning-iain-m-banks-iconic-culture-books-in-1823205900 What could possibly go wrong?...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Ventral planning? Was that a malaprop, or wickedly appropriate? I do agree with you, but we'll see what happens next....
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    A note for people about electric cars: They all have high voltage DC charging capacity, which typically will get you 80% in 12 minutes, and 100% in less than 30, so, a bathroom and snack break. There are 3 standards,...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Actually, I think those paper-based gene detectors are more of a breakthrough. For example, they recently reported that hospital wastewater pipes tested were a hotbed of bacteria swapping plasmids for antibiotic resistance. If and when we lose antibiotics, surgery of...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    I'm vaguely partial to the Pratchett Conjecture, to wit: "For something to exist, it has to be observed. For something to exist, it has to have a position in time and space. And this explains why nine-tenths of the mass...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    If you have something like interlibrary loan within reach, it might be cheaper to get the dead tree version, albeit temporarily....
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Um, I did read Bonewits' original version of Real Magic when I was at Berkeley. Still have it on my shelves somewhere. Yeah. Personally, I think Lynne Kelly got it more right, but whichever. Still, there was (is) a term...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Going back to the emerging technology, I just stumbled over this one: paper test strips that use CRISPR to test for the presence of DNA from tumors and viruses. The point here isn't about CRISPR making gene hacking a reality,...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Um, check out the last paragraph of this little puff piece on the movie. Or this. the tl;dr is that the cartoon character and the party formed in parallel, which initially caused problems for Marvel....
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Patrick Kirch's On The Road Of The Winds is my favorite book for early Oceanic archaeology. I think I'm aware of the issues with aboriginal stories in Australia recalling features that are now underwater, if that's what you're talking about,...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    I think the "why not" involves Hawking Radiation, which I won't claim to understand. However, to cite the relevant Wikipedia article at a (non)random point, "So, for instance, a 1-second-life black hole has a mass of 2.28×10^5 kg, equivalent to...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    I was. What's the proper adjective for Oceania. The only two reasons I'm not using a more specific adjective is that I can't remember if the anecdote was Micronesian or Polynesia, and it turns out those are kind of white...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Building boats and whatnot to fit the user is a very old technique and one that has become increasingly rare today. Mass manufacture really needs to get properly organised and develop a standard consumer. You missed a little: Oceanic boats...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    I still think the empire should change their units so they always match the emperor. That seems like one of the major benefits to me, making the whole world jump when you go from an EU size 48 foot being...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Thinking about it (probably wrongly), the underside of a circular flat Earth would have to be some sort of giant bowl, with the rim height close to the radius of a spherical Earth, while the center would be fairly thin....
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    I forgot the term, but there's a whole notion of explaining magic as science, and I'd say Lord of Light falls squarely into it. IIRC, there's also a bit of whitewashing, in that the colonists aren't really from the Indian...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Um, yeah. I've got a little physics question. A couple actually, maybe a few: how does gravity work on a flat Earth? Specifically, how thick does the flat Earth have to be so that there's a minimum of 1 G...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    I think we may have mistaken cause and effect. Lord of Light (which I read back in, erm, the 80s...) was based on a trippy read of hinduism, with avatars and incarnating gods and such. I'd be a little surprised...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    While they are arguments there are too many protective features in modern cars (e.g. all that extra weight), and there are even better arguments that over-protective vehicles let people drive them like tanks, where the goal is to kill anyone...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    That's what I thought. When I cranked the figures on the graphene supercapacitor, I assumed I'd screwed up, because the answer in F/g was on order of a shoebox-sized battery running a car. Thing is, two orders of magnitude bigger...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    That's our plan: charge the home battery off the solar panels all week, unload it into the car once per week, and run the house on the surplus solar for the rest of the time, weather permitting. Unfortunately, the Bolt...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Yeah, any technology that lets consumers stop being consumers and start being human beings. Seriously, maybe it's my reactionary GI tract, but I have this feeling that, by 2050, consumer will be an epithet and not a category....
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Just a wild guess: my understanding is that wet lithium is bad in batteries. Even though Tesla located the gigfactory north of Reno, which is reasonably dry, their problem might be as simple as dehumidifying the manufacturing line enough that...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    What I'm trying to get at is how to store more joules per kilo. I don't know much about electricity, but I do know the capacitors aren't normally used as batteries. However, that's what we're talking about here--using them like...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    The weight problem is simple: the smaller the battery is, the greater the vehicle range can be (bigger batteries) and the more it can carry. The Bolt EV is a subcompact that weighs just under 3600 pounds, while the battery...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    My recharge rate for my Bolt on my home charger is 32 miles (8 kWh) per hour. So yes, it would take eight hours to fully recharge the car, likely more, since it took 5 hours to recharge it from...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    You're getting the point, all right: we can't replace the atmosphere, but it's required to run the economy. Therefore, it can't be valued within the economy because it's a necessary precondition for having an economy (any more than you can...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    You're right about electrochemistry, at least so far as I know. Lets see how graphene supercapacitors pan out though. Supposedly (https://www.graphenea.com/pages/graphene-supercapacitors#.Woi_93yIaM8) they top out at 550 F/gm and they're currently getting 150 F/gm at least on lab benchtops. At that...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    The problem is travel distance. With a gas-powered car and a couple of drivers, you can get across the US (~2700 miles) in about four days of reasonable driving (700 miles/day). If your electric car is limited to 400 miles,...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    For your edification: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/02/america-s-corn-belt-making-its-own-weather....
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