Allen Thomson

Allen Thomson

  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    I haven't read the Dying Earth books (I've heard they're great, but at my age I don't think I'm going to look back so far) Speaking of DE, this https://boingboing.net/2020/01/18/excellent-review-of-jack-vance.html...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Turkey vultures can do it without a running start, because they jump into the air and sweep their wings down at the same time Perhaps a bit of ground effect too? We have very impressive buzzards/vultures here. They do quite...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    [Daltons] Oddly, I was doing the very same sort of calculation today during the morning walk while thinking about carbon monoxide and air and why you have to be careful with indoor gas heaters. CO: 12 + 16 = 28,...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    I'd always thought that it was supposed to be a trilogy... That hadn't occurred to me but yeah, and thanks for the thought. Venus, Mars and ???. Maybe Earth? A Jovian moon?...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    I must point out that SM Stirling kind of did this with In the Courts of the Crimson Kings... I enjoyed his two Homage-a-ERB novels and sometimes wish he'd do another. But, seeing as Court ended with a pretty literal...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    DID YOU REALLY MEAN THAT? Assuming I understand what THAT is, the answer is yes. No problems whatsoever over the course of several decades....
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    Sometimes taking a Beano helps with the digestive upset afterwards Is that bean and other vegetable distress a genetic thing, like lactose intolerance? We (West Europe descent, mostly, with dashes of other clades) have been eating lots of beans,...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    Iranian head of aerospace force gives details of shootdown: https://ifpnews.com/irgc-releases-details-of-accidental-downing-of-ukrainian-plane...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    moved very close to a sensitive military spot belonging to the IRGC forces when completing a loop. The altitude and the direction of the flight's movement were like an enemy target It needs to be verified, but the departure from...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    You don’t need to have your “command and control system wired together” you just need your chief executive to close the damn airports and make an announcement . It’s not hard I'm not sure, but perhaps we're agreeing. The chief...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    why the Iranians didn’t just ground civilian airliners until things cooled down It may be that Iran doesn't have its command and control system totally wired together. In that, they're not unique, and a matter to think upon....
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    Every once in awhile someone tries to turn raw Brussels sprouts into slaw, and that it is an abomination unto Gaia, No, you can make that work by shaving them very thin and then cheating on the "raw" part by...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    Yes there is: they're cultivars of the satanic demon vegetable from hell, Brassica oleracea. (As is mustard, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Oh, dear, I fear that you have anathematized a large number of our favorite foods. Lightly zapped in the microwave...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    I expect it's also a horribly embarrassing question for the Iranian authorities Not least because if it was an Iranian air defense unit that shot down the 737 with a missile because of operator error, it would bear much...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    I believe the thought, which I find plausible, is that an Iranian air defense unit was on high alert because of the possibility of US air attack and someone made a mistake. Remember the Vincennes?...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    The Soviet equivalent is the RPG-7; AIUI, at its cheapest, $500 for the launcher, and $100 per rocket. Curiously, although the world is somewhat awash in the real thing, there's a company in Texas that's marketing an Americanized version, the...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    So, Fritz Leiber/Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser and perhaps Jack Vance/Dying Earth. High or Low?...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    Nah, Hitler's work is in the public domain since 1st Jan 2016 - and an annotated edition was one of the bestsellers in this year. Link, please. I need to refresh my German and, these days, why not Mein Kampf...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    In the strange are the ways of fate department, I just learned that the founder of the drone line that led to the MQ-9 that killed Suleimani was an Iraqi Jew who wound up in California via Israel. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Karem...
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    Speaking of climate change, as we sometimes do, Panama just celebrated the twentieth anniversary of its sovereign control of the Canal (31 December 1999). One of the themes that came up in speeches was the effect of climate change on...
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    WGS-84 Also, this. It's an interesting concept, but I don't know how much use it's getting. https://what3words.com/about-us/...
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    The current approach is to use the internet to obtain an address then use GPS navigation to try to find it. This approach is also handy in the many parts of the world where the concept of "street address" as...
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    I think any container ship that sailed with visible missiles would get identified by satellites and boarded almost immediately. You’d need to hide them and then unhide them. Like by putting them in a standard shipping container? That's been thought...
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    it's unclear what, if anything, the US is prepared to do if the current White House Denizen gets nuked. I don't know what the current arrangements are, but in classical times (pre-1991, roughly) there was a set of pre-delegations in...
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    But that does raise an interesting question. For all the fear that Trump might try to "wag the dog" with nukes if he really believed he was going down, WHO would he target? Russia, perhaps using one of the less-than-major...
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    And for a real firestorm, nothing quite comes close to a multi-kilometre-diameter asteroid impactor in the opposite hemisphere. Also R-bombing, which IIRC was a thing in A Fire Upon The Deep. Currently about R-bombing, there's this, https://www.quantumvibe.com/strip?page=2033, where a large...
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    Someone on this blog a few years back (5 or more?) posted a link to US reports that told the Pacific command that starting in September/October 3 bombs a month could be delivered. https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB162/45.pdf Memorandum from Major General L. R....
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    A Paveway with laser seeker from an airframe with a WSO does have a capability to track a moving target; a JDAM with only GPS doesn't. Er, yes. But a JDAM with a laser seeker does. http://www.deagel.com/Defensive-Weapons/GBU-54-Laser-JDAM_a002233001.aspx http://www.boeing.com/resources/boeingdotcom/defense/weapons-weapons/images/laser_jadam_product_card.pdf...
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    A Paveway JDAM has a laser seeker option that gives it moving target capabilities too. And the latest Paveway, P-IV, has GPS/INS added to provide essential equivalence to LJDAM. My guess is that LJDAM will eventually win out. Milporn video...
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    best in class solutions Got an adjective, an adjectival prepositional phrase and a noun there in just four words. I've been in analogous situations where involved people had wildly different conceptions of what any of those meant....
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