Allen Thomson

Allen Thomson

  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    Up about 30 feet, pitch over 90 degrees, light booster and gone. Vertically launched ABMs and SAMs with extreme pitch-overs right after launch seem to have been around for quite a while. When you think about it, that makes sense...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    Why bacteria "shapeshift" in space Hmm. If these E. coli clumps manifest in the human gut, I'd have thought the astromedics would have noticed by now. Or does astropoop just get tossed without examination?...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    I checked some photos of mine in Google Photos and found that lots of pictures I took in Canada during 2003 and 2010 using a primitive digital camera with no GPS have been tagged with latitude and longitude, presumably from...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    certain effects from the action/program while not explicitly stated or desired as the primary intended outcome will nonetheless also definitely happen. Oh, most definitely indeed, usually in an unpleasant way. See, e.g., the Soviet and American invasions of Afghanistan and...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    There's been some plausible expostulation, including by some people like Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven who seem to know what they're talking about, that Star Wars was more an attempt to bankrupt the Soviet Union than it was a serious...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    One does not nuke the "bad" side of the tracks without just *ruining* the property values (not to mention killing the owners) on the good side of the tracks. Probably unfortunately, that is not true for a wide and significant...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    I don't know how long the U.S. might wait to see if such a North Korean launch was a bluff, i.e. whether North Korea would destroy the missile in flight and claim it was only conducting a test. A...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    Where did you get that last paragraph quote from? http://www.reformation.org/british-thermonuclear-bluff.html But it does sound as if someone's misunderstood something. The bit about one-dimensional propagation in a cylinder can only refer to Teller's original "Super" idea No, AIUI, it's actual x-ray...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    found this, which I was not aware of (ignorant American), Britain's Thermonuclear Bluff (1992)... And some newer work, including section 5 of The Development of Britain’s Megaton Warheads (MA thesis, Donald McIntyre, 2006) Thank you for those. They're extremely interesting...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    he can now sell missile and nuke technology to ISIL, or Bannon, or some such. I am somehow reminded of the putative plutonium production reactor Syria was building with North Korean help and got bombed by the Israelis back in...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    IMO it's a credible model of what a conservative initial attempt at making a two-stage bomb would look like. Compare the pictures in https://fas.org/sgp/eprint/morland.html , which might have served as a point of departure for the designers. They could have...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    With respect to COG, see http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/04/14/the-american-governments-secret-plan-for-surviving-the-end-of-the-world/...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    Anyway, this is a very long way of asking any Texans about their personal experiences with lack of zoning. Texans in general live, for better or worse, in cities with somewhat standard zoning regulations. Houston is a bit of a...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    Re: San Antonio flood water aquifer storage: Yeah, they've at least been trying. Just how it will all turn out is TBD. A slightly dated infomercial from the operator: http://www.saws.org/Your_Water/WaterResources/projects/asr.cfm Necessary regulations(*) regarding withdrawal from San Antonio's principal water source,...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    Given the state of Texas' reservoirs (thanks for the description, Heteromeles), developing long-term plans to divert future floods to recharge the aquifer seems like something geologists should be investigating. Already being done in San Antonio and at least considered for...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    Not really on topic, but perhaps an interesting information resource: The National Weather Service radar site includes a "Storm Total Precipitation" option which shows, as you might guess, a map of total storm precipitation derived by integrating radar precipitation...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobel_Memorial_Prize_in_Economic_Sciences...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    The coal jobs are NEVER coming back. 50 years ago, the industry employed well over 500,000 (700,000?) miners. Now it's 70+k. BLS says the total employment in the US coal industry is 54k-ish, of which about 20% could reasonably be...
  • Commented on Radio silence
    The mother of George Prescott Bush is Mexican and I believe he has her family name (Garnica) as one of his given names. This seems to have been whitewashed out of Wikipedia and other online sources, if true. His mom's...
  • Commented on Radio silence
    The mother of George Prescott Bush is Mexican and I believe he has her family name (Garnica) as one of his given names. This seems to have been whitewashed out of Wikipedia and other online sources, if true. His mom's...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Thank you for that. The US does try to break out various kinds and levels of employment/unemployment, but I have the sense that there's a lot that isn't being captured. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t15.htm Just how that contributes to the current political...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    I personally think that the labor force participation rate for Americans 25-54 years is a much more accurate measure of the economy https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/LNU01300060 Right now, it's 81.5 percent, compared to a high of 84.5 in October 1997. I have a...
  • Commented on Radio silence
    Is it actually a "v", as in victory, and not more, um, not sure of the word, labial? Not more like vh or bh? "Bilabial voiced" may be the term you're seeking. Like Spanish v and b (which sound exactly...
  • Commented on Paging Agent 007
    It's been proposed (I can't find a citation, but if it hasn't then I'm proposing it now) that you could put a base of sorts on Jupiter using a vacuum filled balloon. Since the atmosphere is hydrogen (mostly anyway) and...
  • Commented on Paging Agent 007
    The reason I was joking about this is that it would take an extremely strong and rigid shell to sustain a large enough volume of vacuum to lift the weight of even a small aircraft. An obvious application of stasis...
  • Commented on Paging Agent 007
    Hell, four American commandos rode horses into combat in Afghanistan around 2002ish. IIRC (maybe not), they were employed as spotters for the B-52s orbiting overhead....
  • Commented on Paging Agent 007
    Does XJ fit into this schema? Heads a very large country with neomercantilist leanings and a modest number of nuclear weapons, builds its own archipelagos for somewhat obscure reasons, inscrutably Oriental, etc....
  • Commented on Crying fire in a crowded theatre for pleasure and profit
    (American) Crows are common, and they are maybe not as smart but much more social, with fascinating vocal interactions and group behaviours. Also grackles, which do the same sort of things. We used to live next to a grackle tree...
  • Commented on Book day!
    I have to say I was a lot happier not knowing about the status of the Duchy of Cornwall, by the way. I was startled to learn about that too. I wonder how the chain of command from HRH The...
  • Commented on Book day!
    headcannon http://www.weirduniverse.net/blog/comments/albert_bacon_pratts_helmet_gun/ Not to be confused with headcanon. :-)...
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