Bellinghman

Bellinghman

  • Commented on Updating a classic
    My wife works for a local university. Some years ago, she had three women seated behind her in the office, all named Rachel. One of these was her assistant, one of these was one of our friends, and one was...
  • Commented on Scheduled downtime
    But you said it would be back up at about 9:00 am, and I tried at 9:02 and COMMENTS WERE STILL OFF! </entitlement>...
  • Commented on Upcoming Appearances: Washington DC and Baltimore
    There's also the story that Reagan's Star Wars program was heavily inspired by Jerry Pournelle and others...
  • Commented on Updating a classic
    "All departments must be profit centres"...
  • Commented on Three Unexpectedly Good Things VR Will Probably Cause
    I sometimes wonder how the people who stop dead like that don't end up getting pushed down the steps when the people behind don't stop in time. It's the problem when traffic is moving at or beyond capacity — you...
  • Commented on A purely theoretical dilemma
    Yes, the Physical Review Letters article is behind a paywall, and yes, the other two are visible. (Last time I read PRL, it was only available in hard copy, which shows how long ago that was. I spent months buried...
  • Commented on A purely theoretical dilemma
    Except that because they have FTL and FTL implies Time Travel, they will did it 4 years ago. (Where's that English for Time Travellers when I need it?) There's also the possibility that if we don't agree, we will never...
  • Commented on A purely theoretical dilemma
    While I am not one myself, my first wife was a monozygotic triplet. She and her sisters were very determined that they were individuals, and they had little time for the ridiculous idea that clones are in any way identical....
  • Commented on FAQ: The Laundry Files--series timeline
    Yes, I noticed that. If that post had still been open to comments I would have. But since it's a closed entry, I didn't think I need to give a warning....
  • Commented on FAQ: The Laundry Files--series timeline
    A small publisher can't necessarily provide the support that someone who's going major needs. An even more extreme example is Terry Pratchett. His first publisher was Colin Smythe, who runs, or at least ran (he really should be retired) a...
  • Commented on FAQ: The Laundry Files--series timeline
    He could have, yes. He is reported to have turned down a CBE from Margaret Thatcher. He also turned down a Booker lifetime achievement award....
  • Commented on The unavoidable discussion
    It may not work if you're not British The original joke, I mean - I suspect Jean may be looking at that reference and wondering what you mean....
  • Commented on The unavoidable discussion
    The other thing to do is to note the bylines. There are publications out there which end up as a mixture of thoughtful insight and outright falsehood, depending on which writer it is. Once you know which writers write what,...
  • Commented on FAQ: The Laundry Files--series timeline
    Unless the removal of Leeds from the map counts as "things get better". (I spent two days on business last week in Edinburgh, during a relative heatwave, and I have to concede that Charlie's adoptive city is stunning. Leeds, from...
  • Commented on FAQ: The Laundry Files--series timeline
    A thought: regarding the divergence that becomes publicly obvious in Annihilation Score and even more so in Nightmare Stacks (we all have unfavourite cities I'm sure - mine is Derby), I guess this is a constant issue for serial stories...
  • Commented on Rise Of The Trollbot
    That's the centralised solution. One could argue that a web-of-trust option ought also to work, but I don't think those scale. (Particular evidence being this example of such a web being broken)...
  • Commented on Rise Of The Trollbot
    Having seen attested-as-human posters using the tactics you document in section 4, yeah, I do wonder how long social media can last in its present form. I will note a certain multiply-Hugo-nominated webtoonist has turned off comments on his blog...
  • Commented on Markov Chain Dirty To Me
    The upside is that if their metabolic pathways have been modified enough to be able to cope with such conditions, they are probably no longer optimised for 'normal' conditions. They won't be dying at 30C, but I'd expect them to...
  • Commented on 5 Magical Beasts And How To Replace Them With A Shell Script
    If one of the alarmees is the person themself, then they can always cancel it....
  • Commented on 5 Magical Beasts And How To Replace Them With A Shell Script
    I think you're simplifying your simulation by simply dropping the tricky bits. But at least it won't need the litter tray. Ours don't use it either, but that's because they've got access to outside. A lot of cat behaviour just...
  • Commented on Deploying the monomyth in Space Opera
    Yeah, but not universal, which was the premise....
  • Commented on But it's not April 1st yet!
    Also given that the previous binding force for the degenerate matter core was gravity, which is now almost entirely gone away, I'm not sure what will keep the slug together. On the other hand I am not a physicist, nor...
  • Commented on But it's not April 1st yet!
    It does sound like a question for Randall Munroe's What If...
  • Commented on But it's not April 1st yet!
    Um. Rule 34 means "if you can think about a concept, there's porn of it on the internet". Not sure what you think the rule refers to... It's possible that Greg is thinking of a novel by that name. Can't...
  • Commented on But it's not April 1st yet!
    Exactly. To create that teaspoon of neutronium, you've put an enormous amount of energy in — you've crushed a mountain into a matchbox. Somehow remove all the containing forces and expose it to vacuum (or the centre of a planet...
  • Commented on But it's not April 1st yet!
    On the other hand, if you want an outrageously showy way of destroying your enemies, then this certainly qualifies. Sometimes, showy beats efficient....
  • Commented on But it's not April 1st yet!
    Yeah. I was going to point that out, but it got lost while I wandered off to find out how may Joules of energy a typical supernova outputs (answer - more than this, but it's beginning to be in the...
  • Commented on But it's not April 1st yet!
    Ah, but only if you leave this wormhole open. If what you're doing is teleporting a cubic km of neutron star core into the centre of the Earth (and necessarily teleporting a cubic km of Earth's core in the opposite...
  • Commented on But it's not April 1st yet!
    Assembly building? Sorry, brainfart — Parliament building. (I blame my recent drive over to Cardiff, where they do have an Assembly)...
  • Commented on But it's not April 1st yet!
    Whereas the insides of the Houses of Parliament in Westminster are ... well, odd. High Victorian Gothic, with all that that implies in terms of ornateness and current dilapidation. I've been in many genuinely old buildings (partly from having been...
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