Allen Thomson

Allen Thomson

  • Commented on Deaths and Deadlines
    Quick: which nation just put a rover on the dark side of the Moon? All rovers to date, including the recent one, have landed on the bright side of the moon. Which, in due time, became the dark side. Unless...
  • Commented on Deaths and Deadlines
    Do you have any thoughts [about Przybylski's Star]? In a word, no. The overall lanthanide abundance seems to be well established, but the short-term radioactive ones less so, at least AIUI. There's a kind of informal review/discussion in several parts...
  • Commented on Deaths and Deadlines
    What's on your top ten list of the weirdest? I don't actually have a top ten list, but Przybylski's Star would be on it if I did have one. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Przybylski%27s_Star Lanthanide elements are from 1000 to 10,000 times more abundant...
  • Commented on Deaths and Deadlines
    But then the Pentagon got it massively upsized... so it could carry a specified number of "nuclear devices". The alternative story is that, while the original NASA shuttle started small and got biggified and given lots of cross-range capability...
  • Commented on Deaths and Deadlines
    It was purely a politically driven design that never made engineering sense for any of it's supposed functions. As to nukes, that's a new one to me. Actually, the nuke part followed from the never made sense part. https://jmkorhonen.net/2013/11/18/space-system-shuttle-part-of-usas-nuclear-attack-arsenal/ Because...
  • Commented on Deaths and Deadlines
    NASA is still pressing ahead with the hugely expensive, lower payload, totally non-reusable SLS. What NASA isn't pressing ahead with is any funded payloads for SLS except the Orion capsule, which is designed to support four people for 21 days....
  • Commented on Deaths and Deadlines
    As a blast from the past, see the paper from 1973 titled "A Review of the Chemical, Physical and Thermal Properties of Lithium that are Related to its Use in Fusion Reactors". https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/4546804...
  • Commented on Deaths and Deadlines
    A prototype power reactor that puts it all together an actually delivers grid base load. You put it most succinctly. We need to get beyond a physics experiment/demonstration that can sustain a fusion reaction, likely deuterium-tritium, reliably delivering at least...
  • Commented on Deaths and Deadlines
    I'm not sure why light speed latency is such a huge problem. Speaking of latency problems, impending Brexit has apparently created one related to the speed of ships: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-07/brexit-is-nine-days-away-for-exporters-sending-ships-to-asia British exporters risk their goods sitting in quarantine and not being...
  • Commented on Deaths and Deadlines
    We would recognize their heat signatures. Something that can't be hidden - no matter what technology they use. That's highly contingent on the situation and just what heat signatures are being hidden. If the hiders know where the sensors they...
  • Commented on Deaths and Deadlines
    The fact that there's nothing intelligent can be found out there can scare people much more than any actual tentacled horror. Like asking "What if we were just wrong all along?" Yes, that's part of the fascination of the Fermi...
  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    At least one county near Dallas / Fort Worth used touch screens in 2016. I'll ask about 2018 Bexar County (Aka San Antonio), a fairly liberal county as such things go in TX, was using touch screens without, AFAIK, paper...
  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    The two new senators from Puerto Rico would almost certainly be Democrats Very likely, though I note that https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resident_Commissioner_of_Puerto_Rico "The current commissioner is Jenniffer González-Colón of the [pro-statehood] New Progressive Party (PNP), the first woman to hold the post. She...
  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    I predict that statehood for Puerto Rico will stumble over the language problem. I'm going to agree with OGH @905 and opine that this problem is surmountable. It already is surmounted, really, in Puerto Rico and the MX/US border states...
  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    In the same vein, you may like to note Capital (capitol?) Territory in Australia. Also Ciudad de México in, as you'd guess, México....
  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    How quickly could [PR] get statehood - could it be done in one "term"? The process has been somewhat variable historically, but assuming a lot of advance planning, preparation and scheming had been done, it could happen in a day....
  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    And people born in PR are full citizens But are not represented in Congress at all & thus have no say in the US taxes levied on them ... That's only somewhat correct: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resident_Commissioner_of_Puerto_Rico "Commissioners function in every respect as...
  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    The media reports, I think, "line 6" The Bureau of Labor Statistics carries no less than six "measures of labor underutilization", U-1 through U-6. U-3 is the one released into the wild as the official unemployment rate. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t15.htm...
  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    Even normal matter objects will happily orbit around each other literally forever Niggle: Because the two orbiting bodies produce gravitational waves that carry away energy and angular momentum, it's not literally forever. Just a very, very, very long time....
  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    Oh, and, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/23/opinion/particle-physics-large-hadron-collider.html...
  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    Sabine Hossenfelder, who is a Real Physicist of the theoretical sort, has been distressing about the state of foundational physics, of which dark matter is a part, for some while. It's worth following her posts, for example https://backreaction.blogspot.com/2019/01/particle-physics-may-have-reached-end.html...
  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    U-2: There are a couple of reasonably good books about the pre-Powers program, but a concise version is at http://www.coldwar.org:80/articles/50s/early_u2.asp Discussion of coverage starts about halfway down....
  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    Totally off any topic in sight, but this might be slightly useful for world-building purposes for you fictioneers: https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1624-20490-0371/430_ch4.pdf...
  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    P.S.: I'm running NordVPN on Windows 10, Android phone and a Kindle Fire en Panamá, where we are because of cold avoidance. Often autoconnects through Costa Rica, which works fine, but changing servers to other places is simple....
  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    VPN: I'm using NordVPN (https://nordvpn.com/) which is currently selling for ~USD 3.00/month on a three-year purchase. It gets good reviews and, for my part, seems to do everything expected of it. So far. Neither I, my relatives or cats(*) have...
  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    the complete failure of German military intelligence, because before they reached Moscow they were fighting divisions they hadn't known existed While that may be true, it isn't, in itself, a mark against German intelligence. Russia is vast, the Soviets had...
  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    "On the above theme, I found compelling a recent piece by London-based Aussie novelist and lawyer Helen Dale. I'm wondering what you of Charlie's commentariat will think of it." Paywalled, unfortunately. It may be a regional thing rather than an...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    Can “outsiders” use/browse/read/research that database, I wonder? Are you having trouble getting in? My VPN is currently connecting through Costa Rica and the site doesn't seem to mind that. In general I've found the LDS, despite their madcap theology, to...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    Economic growth is not possible with falling populations. Eh? Economic growth is a complex thing, not easy to define, and evolves over time. Available workforce is certainly an important component of it but there are others, like productivity resulting from...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    Common outcome of not getting regular medical check-ups because of expense is that folk wait (hope) that whatever they have will go away on its own. Okay sometimes and for some self-limiting conditions. Another aspect of this in the US...
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