Atropos

Atropos

  • Commented on The sudden eruption of news
    If Labour get a good message on Brexit and a good message on these other issues as well they could make a Con minority government or a Lab-SNP coalition. That latter I very much doubt - the Conservatives did...
  • Commented on Popcorn Time
    Of course, this is never going to happen, for reasons too obvious to bother stating. Maybe when the alien invaders appoint me Planetary Overlord ... Surely at this point you'll be too busy making sure the rest of the planet...
  • Commented on And the Rabid Nazi Raccoons shall inherit the Earth
    Not using IR radiation would be a fairly obvious requirement - the peak transmission for a laser would be ~680nm (i.e. a deep red colour). Granted, that will indeed have Interesting(tm) effects all round. For example, you would clearly want...
  • Commented on And the Rabid Nazi Raccoons shall inherit the Earth
    We already know extremely accurately at what wavelengths the atmospher is transparent - it's why we can put visible, microwave, and radio telescopes on the Earth's surface, but UV, X-ray and gamma-ray astronomy went nowhere until putting up satellites became...
  • Commented on And the Rabid Nazi Raccoons shall inherit the Earth
    Expanding on Charlie's refutation: The primary problem with a laser as a solution is not really cooling, or power, per-se - my back of the envelop calculations (assuming a 10 trillion kg impactor 50km across spotted at a distance of...
  • Commented on In other news ...
    A most welcome break from swearing at inadequate lasers and failing to get data for a thesis - thank you for the laughter!...
  • Commented on Facts of Life and Death
    I would go further, and point out that in large parts of East Anglia, we're busy destroying excellent arable land - industrial farming and the creation of vast, efficient crop fields means that the rate of peat loss is accelerating:...
  • Commented on Empire Games
    I'm looking forward to these. Wrting a section of my thesis on atom-light interactions (specifically: on what transitions are permitted between quantum states; and under what circumstances otherwise forbidden transitions become weakly allowed, as well as why some transitions are...
  • Commented on "Tomorrow belongs to me"
    But who then subsequently sold it to the lowest bidder due to fears of the Scottish lot's Catholicism, no?...
  • Commented on But it's not April 1st yet!
    I modelled this in quite some detail a year or two back - I was looking at realistic methods of destroying the planet (and came to the conclusion that it's really bloody difficult to do, let alone on a...
  • Commented on Towards a taxonomy of cliches in Space Opera
    IR to mid visible - yes, quite easily. Aluminium, silver, and gold mirrors work quite happily from about 400nm to at least 25µm*. You might not be able to manage a dielectric coating to cover this range - but then,...
  • Commented on Holding pattern (part N ...)
    Holy crap, that's horrendous. I thought I had it bad in the Uk when I spent two weeks chasing down ground loops in my laboratory that were screwing up the linewidth of my laser frequency stabilisation. (Partly beecause my lab...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Rhesus Chart
    Luckily I can switch off the "fame" thing quite easily by sneaking out of the SF convention and going back to being a human being. Not quite so easy for Barack Obama or Benedict Cumberbatch. That's category d) - those...
  • Commented on Aftermath
    Unfortunately it is simply too difficult to demolish (and they really have tried) - the roof alone is made of steel reinforced concrete more than 9 meters thick! Too difficult covers it fairly effectively. I managed to convince one of...
  • Commented on Aftermath
    If you really want to cause havoc, you'd block a tunnel with a bunch of people inside it, kill the power to the fans, then set fire to something that emits CO Which doesn't need to be petrol. For those...
  • Commented on On the Great Filter, existential threats, and griefers
    What's the theoretical range on those things, anyway? How long would you like it to be? Planets don't dodge! It's been noted that laser beams spread into much over a range on the order of single-digit light years. The interstellar...
  • Commented on An age-old question
    The obvious starting place is to calculate an approximate life expectancy given that old age and associated factors are removed. Clearly, this is not the same thing as immortality. While it's a highly inexact thing to estimate, I've seen suggestions...
  • Commented on Some thoughts on turning 50
    Here lies Atropos. In death, as in life, Late....
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Neptune's Brood
    Sure. Now consider the hypothesis that antimatter has a negative mass for gravitational purposes and a positive mass for inertial purposes. Normal matter doesn't work that way, but antimatter might for all we know. Except that we know it doesn't....
  • Commented on Apology
    The only title that springs to mind is "The Merchant Paupers" - which, although it implies a degree of continuity and new beginning (or at least a discontinuous change), has a fair few other problems. Like the inclusion of "Merchant"...
  • Commented on Down tools
    In the event that worldwalking technology becomes widespread, the concept of "defence" changes completely. If the transformation "key" is some arbitrary mathematical function, it's reasonable to postulate that it can be arbitrarily transformed under any gauge - which is to...
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