Pigeon

Pigeon

  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    On the other hand, worked stone tends to be quite attractive to people who are building or repairing later stone structures and could do without having to work it themselves. One way around this is to write on a ruddy...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    "IMHO, "CO2 pollution" is the real red herring" Well, yes, I tend to have some sympathy with that point of view, although I think my angle is not quite the same as yours. I don't share the trust in the...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    Thank you, I was going to ask you what had happened with the USSR's district heating systems after the collapse. Good to hear that they're still being efficiently repaired. "Other types of coal usage" are a red herring spawned from...
  • Commented on Unsustainable Interstellar Civilization, Hotspot Colonies, and Dwarf Culture
    I prefer to think of a gas turbine as cutting out not the steam bit of a steam turbine plant, but the pistons and crank bit of a reciprocating IC engine. It's a logical evolutionary path from the idea of...
  • Commented on Unsustainable Interstellar Civilization, Hotspot Colonies, and Dwarf Culture
    Difficult to get Tin on a Stirling engine anything like as high as on an IC engine; also their power density is a lot lower. For a mobile power source that you can take with you on the spaceship so...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    "Anyone know if..." I suspect "ease of use" ( = "familiarity", = standard consumer kit) has a higher priority....
  • Commented on Unsustainable Interstellar Civilization, Hotspot Colonies, and Dwarf Culture
    I thought of NiFe as it ought to be really easy, with those common elements, but they're also really frigging expensive, which I thought was why we hardly use them any more and must indicate that there's some sort of...
  • Commented on Unsustainable Interstellar Civilization, Hotspot Colonies, and Dwarf Culture
    It would pretty well have been there. After all, to get a chain reaction going all you need to do is make a big enough heap of uranium (as metal or oxide) and graphite, and you just take it from...
  • Commented on Unsustainable Interstellar Civilization, Hotspot Colonies, and Dwarf Culture
    Nobody said anything about string theory, but your description was so close a parallel to the way people attack it that I had to point it out :) Phylogenetic trees are a different class of problem - basically dictionary compilation....
  • Commented on Unsustainable Interstellar Civilization, Hotspot Colonies, and Dwarf Culture
    No... she made predictions which (apparently) made good sense, but were not good :) (Equations which make good predictions but make no sense are "edged tools" - you can use them, but you'd better be careful, because they don't do...
  • Commented on Unsustainable Interstellar Civilization, Hotspot Colonies, and Dwarf Culture
    (This is a digression, but it's your digression and your thread :)) "If a computer can do something a human with a paper and pencil can't do in a lifetime, that's a form of artificial intelligence, period, end of story."...
  • Commented on Unsustainable Interstellar Civilization, Hotspot Colonies, and Dwarf Culture
    Why we need bioaccumulation - something that seems to be largely missing both from the wikipedia and microbewiki articles is that quite a bit of the chemistry behind many of those groundwater-circulation ore-formation processes is driven by microbes. Changes in...
  • Commented on Unsustainable Interstellar Civilization, Hotspot Colonies, and Dwarf Culture
    Hey, steam-powered aeroplanes - aerodynes, not aerostats - have been built and flown, quite successfully. Mostly in the period between WW1 and WW2. A particular advantage was that they were so much less noisy than internal combustion piston engine planes...
  • Commented on Unsustainable Interstellar Civilization, Hotspot Colonies, and Dwarf Culture
    I was thinking that while we are proof against them nearly all the time, there are instances where our defences do fail, and the consequences are pretty horrible (eg. gangrene); and the logic that something that has evolved to respond...
  • Commented on Unsustainable Interstellar Civilization, Hotspot Colonies, and Dwarf Culture
    Am I missing something or has this discussion actually got two largely incompatible sub-points? It seems that we've been discussing two different types of successive colonisation under the same heading. On the one hand we have the rapaciously unsustainable, fast-moving,...
  • Commented on Unsustainable Interstellar Civilization, Hotspot Colonies, and Dwarf Culture
    "As for chemical defenses, that's a red herring: most of the really dangerous things are hacks on our biochemistry" On Earth, maybe; I agree with your point that alien versions of them wouldn't work on our architecture. I'd think the...
  • Commented on Unsustainable Interstellar Civilization, Hotspot Colonies, and Dwarf Culture
    Troutwaxer @ 76: yes to pretty much all of that. With respect to the temperature rise of a misaligned exit - yes, there is a bit of margin as you suggest, although it's not the structure of the ship whose...
  • Commented on Unsustainable Interstellar Civilization, Hotspot Colonies, and Dwarf Culture
    Some years ago I put some thought into exactly those objections. (Then lost all but the first page of the story it was for, though, due to forgetting what disk it was on...) It was important that it should not...
  • Commented on Holding Pattern
    Charlie - please have a good long break and don't stint yourself....
  • Commented on The Pivot
    Oh yes, it leads very directly to all kinds of woo, if you let it! But I think it is a useful technique as long as you keep sight of the limitations and failure modes....
  • Commented on The Pivot
    I don't think the difficulties and hazards of synthesis are all that relevant. Yes, it is unlikely to have been made in someone's shed, but I don't see any reason to think that it might have been. Neither suitably-equipped labs...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    Well, I was never taught any formal rules for English adjective order. I just put them in whatever order comes naturally; nobody's ever complained. (Come to that, I was never taught any formal rules for any other aspect of English...
  • Commented on Unsustainable Interstellar Civilization, Hotspot Colonies, and Dwarf Culture
    Poul Anderson did do that, but I think he got it wrong; his position was that while a flare might be bad news for the native inhabitants of the planet, the output of a red dwarf even having a really...
  • Commented on Unsustainable Interstellar Civilization, Hotspot Colonies, and Dwarf Culture
    "I started wondering what it would be like if a whole planet ran on a three-shift system, without the circadian rhythm penalties that shift workers face on Earth." I'm not sure that you would avoid those penalties. I think that...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    "is everyone resigning a good thing for Brexit, or a bad thing?" Could trigger a Tory leadership contest or even bring down the government. Which would paralyse the whole negotiating process, and with the deadline as close as it now...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    "EC / Greg / Pigeon aren't answering questions" Hang on, you didn't include my name in your original asking, and now you're posting faster than I can catch up :) - especially since my brain is full of porridge this...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    I don't think it was the Russian state. I know people are thinking the recklessness shows that it was, but the flavour is subtly off-colour for that, especially since it's not all that long after Fatty whacked his bro in...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    Eck That doesn't look good... Skripal, of course, survived, as predicted, and so did his daughter. Random junkie is more expendable, and adds the "murder" tag to reinvigorate the flagging beast... meanwhile in Syria questions are being asked concerning chemical...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    It did give a positive result on a googleability test, but then such checks aren't all that reliable these days. Anyway... Dagenham... dogs, docks, big Ford plant, a point towards the upper end of the District Line Insanity Scale... but...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    Jimi Hendrix is alive and well and living in Dagenham....
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