Search found 319 matches

by DanD
Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:27 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0058: "Orbital Speed"
Replies: 106
Views: 70146

Re: What-If 0058: "Orbital Speed"

getting into an orbit (which doesn't intersect the ground) is more expensive the longer you take (and being in orbit hardly qualifies as "walking speed"...) This isn't obvious. Once you're on a ballistic trajectory, you only have so much time to get to orbital velocity before you re-enter...
by DanD
Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:01 pm UTC
Forum: Books
Topic: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic
Replies: 666
Views: 271092

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

I read this book about 5 years ago but I believe it was old at the time. Book is about the life of a time traveler who learns that his race specifically time travels and destroys or limits technological abilities of other species to ensure nobody can ever challenge them. He goes about ending this p...
by DanD
Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:43 pm UTC
Forum: Books
Topic: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic
Replies: 666
Views: 271092

Re: Looking for a Webcomic

I'm looking for a webcomic strip (not xkcd) that has 3-4 panes with Spiderman chasing some criminals through New York, as they are saying "JUST A BIT FURTHER!" then in the final page it shows them driving out of the city into the countryside laughing while Spiderman is stuck on a skyscrap...
by DanD
Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:55 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Electioneering: Voter ID law passed
Replies: 107
Views: 15597

Re: Electioneering: Voter ID law passed

But wouldn't ID laws also sort of cancel itself out, in that poor people are not overwhelming democrat? Long term it would enable politicians to ignore the underclasses and cut social services*, but I don't know about it giving one party an edge over the other. *which is idiotic in the long run sin...
by DanD
Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:09 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Electioneering: Voter ID law passed
Replies: 107
Views: 15597

Re: Electioneering: Voter ID law passed

And don't forget that it's very likely that, on average, those few fraudulent cotes cancel each other out. This is based on the assumption that they are isolated incidents, which, given their scarcity seems to be a reasonable assumption. ID laws, on the other hand, disproportionately target a specif...
by DanD
Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:05 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Is a previous spacefaring species on Earth possible?
Replies: 102
Views: 32644

Re: Is a previous spacefaring species on Earth possible?

It's my impression that most deep sea organisms can survive changing pressure conditions just fine, so long as the changes are terribly rapid. And I would argue that a hunter gatherer species would not be able to sustain the surplus population that a technological society requires. Therefore, you a...
by DanD
Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:26 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0058: "Orbital Speed"
Replies: 106
Views: 70146

Re: What-If 0058: "Orbital Speed"

Dynamically damping a space elevator is far from unsolvable. Short sections of conductive tether acting as rotors in the earth's magnetic field. Servo driven hydraulic dampers built into the tether. Variable tension from linear motion of the counterweight along the tether outboard of geosynch. Those...
by DanD
Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:16 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Is a previous spacefaring species on Earth possible?
Replies: 102
Views: 32644

Re: Is a previous spacefaring species on Earth possible?

The oceanic floor is covered in all the sediments carried away by rivers, which means it has massive amounts of every conceivable mineral. Around black smokers they are in higher concentrations, but still. Also, right now, people are working on extracting uranium and maybe even gold directly from t...
by DanD
Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:10 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Is a previous spacefaring species on Earth possible?
Replies: 102
Views: 32644

Re: Is a previous spacefaring species on Earth possible?

You could say the same thing for us and deep sea. The truth is, except for a few shipwrecks and cables, we don't do anything on the oceanic floor. And to exploit oil, we need deep-water technology, but we still use it in very few and small places. Wood is a terrible thing to have underwater: it flo...
by DanD
Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:09 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Electioneering: Voter ID law passed
Replies: 107
Views: 15597

Re: Electioneering: Voter ID law passed

Understood, and I agree that it's not impossible, but is it really an undue burden? If you agree that a poll tax is unconstitutional, then yes, this is an undue burden. I mean, if someone wants to vote, they still have to fill out a voter registration form at least once, do they not? And do they no...
by DanD
Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:42 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Electioneering: Voter ID law passed
Replies: 107
Views: 15597

Re: Electioneering: Voter ID law passed

Sure, it's not convenient to have all 3 offices in the county open five days a week, but if they were, then people would be bitching about the waste of funds having government workers sitting around with nothing to do for 80% of their work week. Combined with Prairie du Sac next door, it's closer o...
by DanD
Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:02 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Electioneering: Voter ID law passed
Replies: 107
Views: 15597

Re: Electioneering: Voter ID law passed

Just saw this earlier today: http://www.brennancenter.org/publication/challenge-obtaining-voter-identification Of interest was the ID issuing office in Saux City, Wisconisn, that is only open on the fifth Wednesday of the month. Also relevant was the cost of even the Supreme Court mandated "Fre...
by DanD
Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:41 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Is a previous spacefaring species on Earth possible?
Replies: 102
Views: 32644

Re: Is a previous spacefaring species on Earth possible?

The challenges of exploiting land when you are not adapted for land locomotion are huge. The only part in common with space exploration is keeping a pressurized vessel. Give me an example of a resource that would be useful to an industrial civilisation that can't be found in the ocean? All minerals...
by DanD
Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:19 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0058: "Orbital Speed"
Replies: 106
Views: 70146

Re: What-If 0058: "Orbital Speed"

Heat shields ablate . The temperature near the heat shield surface is far higher than any material can stand, so they evaporate, carry off some of the energy from the solid shield via heat of evaporation, and the ejected material keeps absorbing heat for a fraction of a millisecond while it is acce...
by DanD
Thu Aug 08, 2013 3:44 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Is a previous spacefaring species on Earth possible?
Replies: 102
Views: 32644

Re: Is a previous spacefaring species on Earth possible?

The surface of the planet is very different from space for an aquatic species. They are not adapted to gravity, they have to invent technology to move without floating around. Imagine exploring jungles infested with dinosaurs or archosaurs in fish tanks with wheels. Exploiting some terrestrial mate...
by DanD
Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:48 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Is a previous spacefaring species on Earth possible?
Replies: 102
Views: 32644

Re: Is a previous spacefaring species on Earth possible?

I'm talking hundreds of millions of years old. In that time, the continental floor is subducted and molten, leaving no traces of whatever was there. And even on the continental shelf, sea water is corrosive and destroys almost everything, currents erode, etc. There would still be remains, but much ...
by DanD
Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:36 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0055: "Random Sneeze Call"
Replies: 37
Views: 19204

Re: What-If 0055: "Random Sneeze Call"

But not in our national anthem From Verse 4, if memory serves: O thus be it ever, when free men shall stand between their loved homes and the war's desolation! Blessed with victory and peace, may the heav'n-rescued band praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation. So conquer we must, ...
by DanD
Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:32 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Living in a earth-like moon orbiting a planet
Replies: 58
Views: 25579

Re: Living in a earth-like moon orbiting a planet

I also didn't think that Alpha could radiate energy and heat the side that spends less time in the sun. I don't also forget that the tidal heating can heat both sides. The heat radiated by Alpha due to Kelvin-Hemholtz contraction will be almost entirely in the infra-red spectrum; while it will heat...
by DanD
Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:56 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Living in a earth-like moon orbiting a planet
Replies: 58
Views: 25579

Re: Living in a earth-like moon orbiting a planet

I agree with all of the above with respect to lighting, but there is a caveat on thermal energy (and lighting if the inhabitants see well into the infrared). Jupiter is hot. It apparently radiates more of it's own energy than it takes in from the sun, largely due to adiabatic contraction. I can't fi...
by DanD
Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:50 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Capacity of a superconducting loop?
Replies: 14
Views: 8237

Re: Capacity of a superconducting loop?

The problem is that they're expensive, fragile, need to be cooled and can't store that much energy. Their main advantage is that you can dump or drain massive energies in very short times. As a result, they are mostly used for short term storage and regulating power supplies. They can also be charg...
by DanD
Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:03 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Runner on a Treadmill
Replies: 46
Views: 14456

Re: Runner on a Treadmill

I have to agree with what some said above. If the only forces you are counting are due to air resistance and acceleration, then air resistance is going to be the major factor. If you figure out how much energy is lost during leg impact from every stride, then the numbers are going to shift rapidly.
by DanD
Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:55 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0056: "Restraining an Airplane"
Replies: 39
Views: 20187

Re: What-If 0056: "Restraining an Airplane"

The second is a cable strength test. They tried to make a "bat mobile" turn entirely based on a grapple. They had trouble finding any cable in existence that could hand the inertia. This was a very quick yank that began at full speed. Our plain plane (on a plane) would have a gradually in...
by DanD
Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:52 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0056: "Restraining an Airplane"
Replies: 39
Views: 20187

Re: What-If 0056: "Restraining an Airplane"

What-If 56: Restraining an Airplane Also, I know braiding/plaiting/twisting is supposed to help the strength of rope, could this be applied here, or would it decrease "thickness" efficiency? Braiding or twisting increases the strength because it improves force transfer between individual ...
by DanD
Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:31 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0055: "Random Sneeze Call"
Replies: 37
Views: 19204

Re: What-If 0055: "Random Sneeze Call"

It might just be a British thing, but I have never heard anyone say "God bless you" after a sneeze, only "Bless you". Is it just me, or is America more Godly? Wouldn't surprise me. They proclaim their faith in God even on their money... But not in our national anthem or in the o...
by DanD
Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:11 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Nudity and Lighting Yourself on Fire
Replies: 94
Views: 28357

Re: Nudity and Lighting Yourself on Fire

I'll support the magnesium mail, and add gun cotton for the clothing underneath. (I recommend starting with 100% cotton clothing and doing the conversion on that rather than trying to weave it already in nitrocellulose form.)
by DanD
Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:05 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Australian general draws the line on sexual discrination
Replies: 20
Views: 6385

Re: Australian general draws the line on sexual discrination

I'm aware. However, again, those are wartime issues. If it's WW3, then yeah, the courts will probably be busy with such things. It's not just wartime issues. Again, a civilian not showing up to work gets them fired. A soldier not showing up to work is a criminal matter even during peacetime. Likewi...
by DanD
Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:49 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: A little rant (math vs. maths)
Replies: 202
Views: 77469

Re: A little rant (math vs. maths)

I'm speculating, wildly, that in Europe the reasoning is something like "It goes one thousand, ten thousand, one-hundred thousand, million. Therefore, it should go million, ten million, one hundred million, one thousand million, ten thousand million, one hundred thousand million, billion, beca...
by DanD
Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:44 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Australian general draws the line on sexual discrination
Replies: 20
Views: 6385

Re: Australian general draws the line on sexual discrination

I can't speak for the australian military, but in my experience, the US military courts are mostly superfluous. There's very little that couldn't be handled by the same court system as everyone else. Now, I can see in like a WW2 scenario, where literally millions of people are deployed, you might h...
by DanD
Wed Jun 12, 2013 3:41 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Sterile Transit - why doesn't the US have it?
Replies: 18
Views: 14361

Re: Sterile Transit - why doesn't the US have it?

Only a guess, but the primary destination of flights from the typical airport may have something to do with it, especially during the infancy of air travel (so treating the Schengen area as separate countries). The vast majority of flights leaving from a US airport arrive at a US destination, and in...
by DanD
Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:36 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1189: "Voyager 1"
Replies: 119
Views: 55008

Re: 1189: "Voyager 1"

I caught it at Heaviside Layer, because I actually recognized that one as terrestrial, not systemic.

And part of the reason Voyager keeps leaving the solar system is that it keeps finding things further out that can be defined as the edge.
by DanD
Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:13 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1116: "Traffic Lights"
Replies: 171
Views: 52035

Re: 1116: "Traffic Lights"

Does it bug anyone else that the "off lights" are all red-green-yellow even for the ones where the on-lights are non-standard (at least the all red one on the right)?
by DanD
Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:45 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1114: "Metallurgy"
Replies: 138
Views: 30993

Re: 1114: "Metallurgy"

With regards to meteorite temperature, they can be cold to the touch immediately after impact. (I am referencing the display at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry for this). There are two reasons for this. This first is that much of the heat never makes it to the meteor, since it is compress...
by DanD
Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:15 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1114: "Metallurgy"
Replies: 138
Views: 30993

Re: 1114: "Metallurgy"

A nickel iron meteorite represents a decent lump of iron in a relatively concentrated and pure form. Of course its far from what we would consider good iron or steel currently. It is, however, considerably purer than most terrestrial iron ores. If you're just starting to work iron, you're going to b...
by DanD
Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:29 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1093: "Forget"
Replies: 125
Views: 26231

Re: 1093: "Forget"

The Challenger Disaster is the earliest clearly datable memory I have.

Of course I seem to remember a dishwasher my parents swear they got rid of when I was three, but I can't put a real date on that.
by DanD
Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:02 am UTC
Forum: XKCD Meetups
Topic: Dragon*Con meetup?
Replies: 1
Views: 11080

Re: Dragon*Con meetup?

Anyone interested in trying this this year?
by DanD
Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:58 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-if 0005: "Robot Apocalypse"
Replies: 65
Views: 57790

Re: What-if 0005: Robot Apocalypse

At the moment, most heavy (industrial) robotic devices have a hardwired e-stop. This wouldn't cover military drones, but it would cover things like industrial robotic fork lifts, which would be the next largest mobile threat. I believe it would also cover EOD robots. The number of autonomous devices...
by DanD
Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:14 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1041: "Whites of Their Eyes"
Replies: 68
Views: 20690

Re: 1041: "Whites of Their Eyes"

As it seems this a revolutionary war battle and the people in the comic are using muskets that bullet in panel 4 shouldn't be elongated and it shouldn't be spinning. Shouldn't it be a sphere traveling in either a fairly straight line (if they are at close range) or a slight arc. The mini ball and t...
by DanD
Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:09 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1037: "Umwelt"
Replies: 478
Views: 318674

Re: 1037(?): Umwelt

Kindle browser gives the snake one. At least for eastern MA.
by DanD
Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:45 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0801: "Golden Hammer"
Replies: 82
Views: 24790

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Just so everyone's aware, lead hammers are fairly common. They're used as deadblow, non-marring, non-sparking tools. Given lead's toxicity, if gold were cheap enough to stick a couple of kilos worth on the end of a hammer handle instead, it would be, by far, the first choice.

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