Allen Thomson

Allen Thomson

  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    This is a hint. Taken. I'll check in once a month or so to see how things are going but keep quiet. And watch for Invisible Sun, which I hope to see before entropy catches up with me. I really...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    Interesting; the graphs I saw say that wind has never done more than 50%, and sometimes as low as 5% of actual requirements. That's more or less right, though there are occasional excursions. For those inclined to commit acts...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    There will be entire days each year when it produces perhaps 50MW, I think the situation may be more extreme than that. Motivated by the days of low wind the UK has been undergoing recently, I've started to look...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    Anyhow the nuclear enthusiasts do come across as quite reminiscent of the battleship and cavalry enthusiasts I think what we're seeing here are not so much nuclear enthusiasts as nuclear fatalists. (Nojay may wish to correct me.) They don't love...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    So he was committing to 4 years college plus 8 years to make it worth the Air Force's time to train him as a pilot. Plus I think he would be required to get a masters degree somewhere along the...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    In the USN on your first sub cruise you must learn all the systems on the ship and how to do basic operations on them. Plus know how to fight fires in every compartment. I know little of this(*), but...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    Probably back in the days when a few drops of mercury were not reckoned to be a big deal. I remember those days lasting into the 1960s, then lost touch. Any idea when and why the situation changed?...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    So if you must power vent why not just go with tankless and maybe even put it outside the house. Also, for larger houses, more than one unit isn't out of the question. One for kitchen/laundry, one for bathrooms on...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    hot is 'on demand' using a combi boiler of some kind "Tankless" on-demand water heaters, both gas and electric, are common in at least parts of Latin America and are available in the US. We've had occasion to stay in...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    For reasons of plausible deniability, many of the weapons supplied to American "clients" came from non-U.S. sources. Check out the Camp Stanley Storage Activity in Boerne, Texas. They're still hiring armorers with experience in used foreign weaponry....
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    But I'm not hopeful. Me neither. It's going to be bloody and awful....
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    I doubt we'll see a reenactment of the "fall of Saigon" ... we don't have enough helicopters with sufficient range for one thing and the Taliban are more vindictively revanchist than the NVA in 1975 & would be certain...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    Gee, wonder what happened to all those weapons we gave them? Clandestine gun-running has been a staple of US foreign policy since at least 1950. It would be interesting to find out what happened to all that hardware....
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    About pumped hydro storage: It turns out that there's a major such facility in Virginia. Wikipedia has some numbers on it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_County_Pumped_Storage_Station [Lightly edited] The Bath County Pumped Storage Station is a pumped storage hydroelectric power plant, with a maximum...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    The Communist Chinese can't invade while the Americans are still there, and can you really call yourself an empire if you haven't invaded Afghanistan and learned to regret it? Heh. About a week before the Soviet Union went into Afghanistan,...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    Assuming we were trying to meet demand for electricity from renewables only and using storage... Have you seen any estimates of how many GWh storage/backup(*) would be needed for each installed GW of wind (or wind + solar)? Since the...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    > the extreme variability/ intermittency of wind and solar on time scales ranging from minutes to weeks This table is impressionistic, but it gives the correct impression. It's the UK wind power in gigawatts sampled once each morning between 10:30...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    We know the answer is nuclear, After diving into the data available at https://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/download.phpable which seems to capture a large fraction of the UK grid supply and demand at 5-minute intervals, I am inclined to agree. Or at least want...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    > (1), (2) Something I've noticed for, lessee, maybe 40 years. Programmers/software engineers, at least in the US and I suspect elsewhere, can be very skilled, very effective and produce miraculous things. But they tend not to be very broad-scope...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    ALL UNITS IN CGS Make it MKS and I'll agree. I think in newtons and joules better than dynes and ergs....
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    > Before attention is shifted entirely to "Strange Attractors" I've got one: Has there been any press coverage in the UK about the switching on of coal-fired electricity generation Monday in response to the very low wind speeds and consequent...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    In short, the Chinese Navy doesn't have a weapon to give it a decisive advantage against SSNs. I don't know how decisive it would be, but one thing going for the PLAN is the bathymetry of the Taiwan/Formosa Strait --...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    Apparently, [sheeple] originated in the Musical Times in 1945 Google Ngram Viewer indicates that, though around, the term didn't really start to be used for another forty years. As an interested observer of the US political loonscape, I've been familiar...
  • Commented on Official Announcement: April Fools Day is Cancelled
    > neutrino detection See the JASON tutorial "Neutrino Detection Primer", https://fas.org/irp/agency/dod/jason/neutrino.pdf It's really tough....
  • Commented on Official Announcement: April Fools Day is Cancelled
    another related paper was I've noticed that USG sites tend not to like VPNs. If you're using one, you could try turning it off. Of course they'll note and record your presence -- I usually don't care about that myself,...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    Is there any difference between Scotland and England in their reactions to the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh?...
  • Commented on Official Announcement: April Fools Day is Cancelled
    Given that nukes would be difficult? Maybe not all that difficult if they decided to do it no matter what. They have some experience in the area: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiwan_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction...
  • Commented on Official Announcement: April Fools Day is Cancelled
    Police (in California and elsewhere) are also allowed to use expanding bullets against civilians, while the use of those same expanding bullets is forbidden in war. Not just the police. Expanding bullets, sometimes known as "hollow point" are widely available...
  • Commented on Official Announcement: April Fools Day is Cancelled
    Also sub-300. Perhaps relevant to extended space travel. https://phys.org/news/2021-04-ant-responses-social-isolation-resemble.html...
  • Commented on Official Announcement: April Fools Day is Cancelled
    I agreed that establishing a viable ecology IS an unsolved problem, but we don't actually know how hard it is on a habitat scale. Which reminds me... I just read another article that says available evidence indicates Musk really,...
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