Allen Thomson

Allen Thomson

  • Commented on Upcoming events
    Going back to the Nyonoksa incident, there's this: https://www.norsar.no/in-focus/incidents-reported-in-north-russia-article1815-863.html Incidents reported in North-Russia NORSAR’s analysis of seismic and infrasound data confirm two separate events of explosive nature near Archangel in North-Russia. The first event was registered on the 8th of...
  • Commented on Upcoming events
    My guess -- the missile being tested had an radioactive heater element, a similar idea as the BAOR's nuclear land-mine chickens[0], to prevent the rocket's electronics and actuators from freezing up in a really cold winter and when the rocket...
  • Commented on Whoops Apocalypse!
    I dunno, I've only ever seen it done with a C-130. Check Credible Sport. It seems to work on takeoff, but there have been problems with landing. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSFjhWw4DNo...
  • Commented on Upcoming events
    The Washington Post reports the incident was related to the testing of a nuclear-powered missile that Putin has been touting. That's a possibility, but, really, just a guess at this point. The Russian statements so far don't point strongly to...
  • Commented on Upcoming events
    About the Nenoksa unfortunate event, it did seem to involve Rosatom activities there. It's really hard to figure out just what those were, but the language used in official and semi-official pronouncements sounds like isotope batteries [note the plural] used...
  • Commented on Whoops Apocalypse!
    I disagree. To me "I couldn't care less." sounds more formal than "I could care less.", but doesn't sound wrong. At least in the written corpus covered by Google Ngram Viewer, "couldn't care less" is used about three times more...
  • Commented on Whoops Apocalypse!
    There are six still active as SSBNs and one as a "special purpose platform". That serving as, probably inter alia, a mothership. https://news.usni.org/2019/07/02/14-sailors-die-on-secretive-russian-nuclear-submarine...
  • Commented on Whoops Apocalypse!
    Yeah, it just had the feel of Yiddish to me, and, googling around, the thought has occurred to others. Whether it's true or not, it probably should be. http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-ico1.htm There’s a close link between the stress pattern of I could...
  • Commented on Whoops Apocalypse!
    "I could care less" is much older than the Puppies. In the U.S. it goes back at least to my teenaged years in the 1980s. Google Ngram Viewer indicates it took off in the early 1960s after a slow run-up...
  • Commented on Whoops Apocalypse!
    With regard to low wage/immigrant workers, there's an interesting development going on. I'm not an economist and don't fully understand the implications, but FWIW, https://www.expressnews.com/business/local/article/The-worst-we-ve-ever-seen-San-Antonio-14117030.php ‘The worst we’ve ever seen’: San Antonio hotels are struggling to find workers by Madison...
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    Also, as someone who literally works in the Pentagon basement Heh. I went there on a number of occasions in the late 1980s and early-mid 1990s. It was gratifying in its overall WW-IIish gray, no-nonsense seriousness. Earlier, in the 1970s...
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    Since the thread is named "Ask me anything!", I'll ask OGH or anyone else here to comment on Paul Krugman's SFnal piece, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/15/opinion/future-billionaires.html...
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    But of course: http://hypergeertz.jku.at/GeertzTexts/Person_Time_Conduct.htm...
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    Which 'classic' SF story would you most enjoy doing a rewrite of (or sequel to, or other story in the world of)? Endorse that. My candidates would, of course, be from the golden age, 1935-1965ish....
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    Unfortunately, its [Falcon Heavy] performance declines when it comes to GEO AIUI, though probably imperfectly, that's due in large part to the lack of a hydrogen (high Isp) upper stage. SpaceX apparently intended to develop such about a decade ago...
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    Well, since you asked... Both Merchant Princes and the Laundryverse have a view of the nature of reality. In the case of MP, it's explicitly Everett-Wheeler quantum non-collapse and I'm not sure how to describe the Laundry universe, but it's...
  • Commented on Story time!
    > But I won't be continuing it as a series with the same ongoing cast of protagonists: there are too many of them. Whatever you'd choose to do, of course. Schmitz' Federation of the Hub comes to mind as a...
  • Commented on Story time!
    >There probably won't be a supplemental essay at the end of Invisible Sun because the book is already 25% overweight. Alas. I really like the Merchant Princes et seq. and would be very happy to see the seq. continue. As...
  • Commented on Story time!
    >> “I had tentative plans to do [an essay] for INVISIBLE SUN, on the history and design principles of the Commonwealth's attempt at computerizing—with 20/20 hindsight based on being able to see everything the USA did wrong through the year...
  • Commented on Story time!
    Safety is another issue. If you are doing stupid things in much of the US you can get in big trouble. "Much of" doesn't include, unsurprisingly, places like Texas. During some twenty years there I saw plenty of construction workers...
  • Commented on Story time!
    I'm predicting a move towards communal kitchens/canteens/restaurants as resources diminish. A precursor of that in USia and similarly influenced places is the breakfast area in hotels. Kind of a DIY cafeteria, and it works reasonably well for the purpose....
  • Commented on Story time!
    They may use something like a high resolution ink jet. So what if the "chip" is A4 sized? Now that's an intriguing thought! I wonder if anyone has tried it -- if not, it would make an interesting science...
  • Commented on Story time!
    I raise you growing up in Leeds during the cold war.' For a late Cold War look at what FEMA estimated a full Soviet laydown on the US would look like, see https://fas.org/nuke/guide/usa/napb-90/index.html The maps in Annexes A and B...
  • Commented on Story time!
    I found the matrix notation difficult to work with (also dot and cross products) In the long-ago day when I was doing such stuff, I found that the Einstein notation was vastly easier to deal with. And Kronecker deltas and...
  • Commented on CMAP #16: Book Title Blues
    DFW terminal D I think is for international but there are a LOT of domestic only flights that also use it due to a gate shortage. We had the opposite experience in IAH a couple of months when our flight...
  • Commented on CMAP #16: Book Title Blues
    Electric radiant is the step up option. That's what I have now and actually it's fine. Yes, we had radiant for the past few years (now on community bottled gas) and were quite happy with it. Need to get more...
  • Commented on CMAP #16: Book Title Blues
    I think we'd usually call it "heating element" Doing a little checking, "burner" seems to be an acceptable alternative, but I'd have a bit of hesitation about applying that to electrical hotspots. After all, there's nothing burning there unless...
  • Commented on CMAP #16: Book Title Blues
    On the cooking front, can I just note that the terms "stove" and "oven" are linguistically ambiguous? As long as we're doing linguistics, I'll comment from an USAian perspective: "Oven" is the large parallelepiped heated from below with gas or...
  • Commented on CMAP #16: Book Title Blues
    or they were born out of state decades ago My father was born in 1906 on the AS&R concession in Aguascalientes, MX(gasp!). When the Mexican Revolution came along a few years later the gringos cleared out and the hospital...
  • Commented on Social architecture and the house of tomorrow
    By that measure the Brits do much better ... Handing over/back huge areas of the planet to the people who live there. No arguments that the Brits did much better on that score, but as a solicitation of opinion(*), how...
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