Ru

Ru

  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    Pakistan. No mystery there. Whatever the situation may be wrt nuclear knowledge, when it comes to plain old missile technology it is well known that Pakistan helps NK out, to the extent that some NK missiles are just Pakistani ones...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    A) The Russians ceased aiding NK in the 1960's (I can dig up the data). Someone's been selling rocket bits to the norks. They don't appear to have the skills to make an indigenous icbm, and the recent hwasong missiles...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    The biggest hurdle appears to be just knowing it's possible to do something. Well, yes and no. The idea behind the teller-ulam bomb is pretty well known, and there's no reason why anyone who can get their hands on some...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    ... suggest a two-stage device? It's so suggestive I'm suspicious of it, TBH. Yeah, I don't think that the good old teller-ulam design actually requires a radiation case like that. The US device rumoured to have a peanut-shaped radiation case...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    Huh. I have no idea what I started to write there, with that shape thing, before I wandered off to double check descriptions and look at boring photos of metal casings. Probably nothing useful or intersting....
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    I thought an active nuke would have to be considerably larger than that ... There are certainly smaller pure-fission warheads (W54) and boosted fission warheads (W45) which are 50s-60s-era technology, so you might expect the norks to be able...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    Science: it works, bitches! Indeed. Unfortunately, someone didn't seem to have heeded their own advice: The scientist who raised the alarm a year ago watched the waters rise and eventually force him out of his own flooded house. I hope...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    (and speaking of errors and mea-culpas, the model I just linked wouldn't apply to Venus at all which is probably a bit too far from the sun to receive enough tidal heat, so was wrong to bring that one up....
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Because of the small mass of red dwarfs, the planets in the NZ are close in. That means that most are tidally locked. Which means that they probably do not have protective magnetic fields. I finally found the paper I...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Not even the decency to nod and say "Ok, well, thank-you, I'll have to re-think that now". Now I think about it, I don't recall the sonar/radio person ever so much as emitting a faint peep of embarassment. In fact,...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Yeah, believe it or not, I know what I'm talking about. Shocking, isn't it? Now look at everything I ever type in the same manner. I remember, once upon a time, another commenter account on this blog being ever so...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    So far as I know, Venus' problem isn't composition I mentioned it specifically in relation to the convective model of magnetic field generation, rather than the rotatory kind. The model suggests that if it were made of the right stuff...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Why shouldn't planets around red dwarf stars have magnetic fields? I said there's no reason that they should have one, which isn't quite the same as saying that they shouldn't have one. My writing could have been more emphatic, I...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Anyway, there's another problem: the electrical grid. In my too-basic understanding of how red dwarfs flare, I keep thinking of these flares as Super-Carrington Events. As I understand it (ie, minimally), the most exciting electromagnetic effects you get from a...
  • Commented on Traveller RPG, Firefly, Dumarest, Vatta's War... are they all "Star Punk"?
    Actually, assuming Einstein's formula is the ultimate truth, there's no known physical reason that we can't create black holes. Tipler's second paper (usually ignored) states that his cylinders can't be created, and there are reasons to believe the same about...
  • Commented on Traveller RPG, Firefly, Dumarest, Vatta's War... are they all "Star Punk"?
    "Close up quite quickly" is meaningless — if we're using a relativistic projectile to drill a hole in the atmosphere that's a meter in diameter, it'll take on the order of 1 ms for an average gas molecule to diffuse...
  • Commented on Traveller RPG, Firefly, Dumarest, Vatta's War... are they all "Star Punk"?
    If your universe allows for FTL and ant-gravity (not possible), then shouldn't it also allow you to manufacture black holes on demand [BHODs](also not possible). Well, now. I'd be careful about throwing around terms like "not possible" when you really...
  • Commented on Traveller RPG, Firefly, Dumarest, Vatta's War... are they all "Star Punk"?
    All this talk of relativistic projectiles and wasting people suggests you are thinking too small. Eh, usually the problem is people thinking too small, casually tossing around speeds like 0.3c like it isn't really any sort of big deal. If...
  • Commented on Traveller RPG, Firefly, Dumarest, Vatta's War... are they all "Star Punk"?
    Nature abhors a vacuum in free atmosphere so the "tunnel" created by the first projectile closes up quite quickly. "Quite quickly" is very probably "not quickly enough" when you're talking about relativistic projectiles. Even if you're only doing .5c (and...
  • Commented on Traveller RPG, Firefly, Dumarest, Vatta's War... are they all "Star Punk"?
    With a 6G drive at constant acceleration that's over a third the speed of light when your fuel runs out, completely ignoring relativity It isn't so bad, ignoring relativity at those sorts of speeds. (Now, the next bit only applies...
  • Commented on We get mail (contd.)
    One of my friends used to be friends with an American executive and his wife, who apparently didn't see US health care as a problem because everyone they knew had health insurance, so where were those uninsured people they sometimes...
  • Commented on The light at the end of the tunnel (is not necessarily an oncoming train)
    I always think of names they won't give ships when I see Royal Navy 'noun' ships There's always the unofficial names boats get... I can only think of a few british WW2-era ones, but there are probably as many as...
  • Commented on The light at the end of the tunnel (is not necessarily an oncoming train)
    Yeah - I'm just re-reading Excession, and the terrestrial units are kind of noticeable, but it would be even more jarring to have some invented Culture units. There's some stealth-sorta-non-terrestrial stuff in there, from recollection. The 'kilo-' prefix is 2^10...
  • Commented on Popcorn Time
    UKIP will largely disappear as an electoral force since it no longer has a meaningful purpose. If it were a slightly more coherent political party, and not a load of wingnuts hanging from farage's coattails they could easily hang around...
  • Commented on Popcorn Time
    With that in mind I've always worn the same colors (but not uniforms, of course) as those of the the local polizei when cycling. There's been an interesting bit of high-vis kit on sale in the UK that is yellow...
  • Commented on Popcorn Time
    there are elements who would view this as a giant asset-stripping exercise with England being the bit that is actually worth something England being worth something seems like a charmingly optimistic view. There's London and its environs, but does anywhere...
  • Commented on Popcorn Time
    It doesn't surprise me that asylum seekers were equated with E.U. workers. Scott Adams (Dilbert) http://blog.dilbert.com/ has a great series concerning cognitive dissonance. Well worth reading even if it does raise the blood pressure on occasions. There's a phrase that's...
  • Commented on Popcorn Time
    Once she has failed on her own, the Labour party can pick up the pieces after the next GE. Firstly it isn't currently clear that the labour party could find its arse with both hands, so to speak. Secondly, the...
  • Commented on Popcorn Time
    I could see a lot of voters believing it is the fault of a petty and vengeful EU who wanted the UK to suffer for daring to leave and as a warning for other nations. In that situation, the UKIP...
  • Commented on Popcorn Time
    I too am frustrated by the fear of fission by the scientifically illiterate, but it doesn't look like a solvable problem in the near term. France must be laughing up its sleeve at the rest of Europe in this regard...
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