0536: "Space Elevators"

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0536: "Space Elevators"

Postby 10nitro » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:04 am UTC

Image
Alt-Text:If you think space elevators are good, but just too boring and practical, check out the 'space fountain'.

Comment:
Mind of Mencia isn't funny anymore. Uuum.
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TheHand
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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby TheHand » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:04 am UTC

And yet, even if Mind of Mencia were on every channel, XKCD would still exist!

If you're not part of the solution, Randall, you're part of the problem.

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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Felona » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:05 am UTC

Or we could just put XKCD on every internet. ZING!

I jest.

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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby arbivark » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:07 am UTC

speaking of arthur c clarke and space elevators, you might enjoy this blog post by fred pohl.
pohl was one of the original sf writers back in the day, so it's kinda cool that he's blogging. he's 89 or 98 or something.
http://www.thewaythefutureblogs.com/200 ... i/#more-28

op is missing a link to the comic.

questions about space elevator economics:
currently the bottleneck in deploying space elevators is we don't have a fiber light/strong enough. the focus mostly is on better carbon nanotube. say you had some of this stuff, maybe not good enough for space elevator use but better than what we've got now, what would be some other lucrative applications?
because for most of us building a space elevator is too expensive/capital intensive, but maybe there are baby steps along the way that would make it practical to start mass production and bring costs down and fund more research.
Last edited by arbivark on Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:17 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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madhollywood
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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby madhollywood » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:08 am UTC

NOT funny and yet I am amused... Ok I have got a hold of myself and here come the space elevators!

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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Monsterboy » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:16 am UTC

I read he recently revised this to "25 years after they stop laughing." [citation needed]
Last edited by Monsterboy on Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:59 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Beautiful_Solace » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:19 am UTC

after i stoped wondering wtf?? space elevators it became very amusing ! :lol:
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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Archosaur » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:21 am UTC

On my first read, I thought Randall LIKED Mind of Mencia.

You can imagine how happy I was when I realized I'd read it wrong.

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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby sje46 » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:24 am UTC

Wow. Had a thing about how much I hate the man in Acheworld. LEt me find it.
I agree that they both have the terrible mentality about race, etc, but the reason why Mencia is worse is just because his comedy is so much more .. . mean-spirited. So is Dave's, but Mencia is such a negative person, I can't stand it. And his jokes. HE is all angry about the stupidity of humanity in general, and pretends to be a voice of reason, but he is not. HE is the voice of foundless cynicism. "Have you ever noticed how the number for Hooked on Phonics is 1-800 ABCDEFG? But I thought that they couldn't read!!"
[cue laughs]
First off, I'm sure that 99% of the people who benefit off Hooked on Phonics are below the age of 12, and you are not even allowed to order a thing on the phone unless you are 18. The phone number is obviously for the parents of those kids who are struggling. Secondly, that is not phonics. If learning how to read is as easy as reciting the alphabet, we'll be all set. I'm sure almost all alliterate people over the age of 10 know the alphabet. The problem is putting the letters together into meaningful sounds.
So right, you made a small, tenuous connection. Hey look, slight incongruency, let's laugh. That's annoying enough without him ranting on about what retards they are. DEEDEEDEE. Shut up, Ned Holness.
I don't care if you steal jokes. I care about the fact that you are just not funny, at all, and you can't deliver. A comedian can be cynical, sure, like Carlin, but he has to actually have a good reason and good jokes.
Chappelle actually has a few clever ideas for skits. True Hollywood stories with Charlie Murphy, and the KKK one come to mind. But they make it seem alright to say discriminatory things.

But all in all, the worst comedy is in the movie How High, featuring Method Man and Redman. Do not support them by buying this movie.
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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby ubergeek09 » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:32 am UTC

The first space elevator to be built will probably be by a government. No corporation would take on such a task. It would take too long. Sorry to say it but it probably won't be the U.S. government either. It it can't be done in eight years it just isn't done anymore.

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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby SwissArmyAnts » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:34 am UTC

The first thing I had to do, before I even checked the forums, was to google "space fountain".

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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Benson » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:39 am UTC

arbivark wrote:questions about space elevator economics:
currently the bottleneck in deploying space elevators is we don't have a fiber light/strong enough. the focus mostly is on better carbon nanotube. say you had some of this stuff, maybe not good enough for space elevator use but better than what we've got now, what would be some other lucrative applications?
because for most of us building a space elevator is too expensive/capital intensive, but maybe there are baby steps along the way that would make it practical to start mass production and bring costs down and fund more research.

Well, beyond the obvious mountaineering applications (which actually don't work out; price and durability), some of the intermediate projects are smaller space elevators, such as a lunar/L1 elevator, which has applications not only for conveying lunar produce (or rocks) down to (or at) Earth, but also to transfer loads from LEO to Luna much more cheaply than currently possible; future interplanetary launches could be more cheaply conducted from a lunar base long before an Earth/geosynchronous elevator could be constructed.

Additionally, if you can make light strong fibers, you can make light strong cloth, either reinforced with good fiber, or woven out of comparatively low-grade (for cost reasons) fiber. That has applications for statites, and solar sails in general.

That's all I'm thinking of right off, but I'm sure there's other good applications.

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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby dennisw » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:48 am UTC

After they stop laughing may take a while. See Bristlebots in Space.

arbivark wrote:... but maybe there are baby steps along the way that would make it practical to start mass production and bring costs down and fund more research.

Baby steps did you say? How about a nanotube stairway to heaven? Led Zeppelin anyone?

The drawing in the comic is beautiful, by the way.
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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby TunezNZ » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:57 am UTC

Quantum Teleportation is where its at!
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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Nlelith » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:01 am UTC

I like how these sorts of comics can have the people in interesting landscapes while discussing "nerdy" things. Nothing needs to be explained, it's just understood that we like to go out and do interesting things while maintaining our nerdosity. I mean, I don't think anyone here has really even mentioned it yet.

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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby davidhbrown » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:18 am UTC

So... it's a good thing, then, that I have no idea what this Mencia is? (I think I can resist looking it up 'til morning...)

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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby zAKai » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:29 am UTC

When I looked up 'images' of the 'space fountain', I just saw images of a theoretical drawing and it looked kinda... uh, phallic. So, I thought that was part of the joke, haha.

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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby CalvinBall » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:37 am UTC

I believe the landscape and the 'Oh Hush' line are both allusions to Calvin and Hobbes, although I don't know which comic specifically

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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Clumpy » Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:01 am UTC

CalvinBall wrote:I believe the landscape and the 'Oh Hush' line are both allusions to Calvin and Hobbes, although I don't know which comic specifically


Nah, I just think every young cartoonist who matters was influenced in some way by Calvin & Hobbes. I remember the "Oh, hush" line in particular. I believe it was a response to Hobbes' teasing about Susie.

EDIT: Nope - it's the one where Hobbes is sleeping in the sun, wakes up and moves. Calvin says: "Aw, did the darn ol' sun move some more?" and Hobbes responds with a slightly grumpy "Oh, hush."

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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby dA ShAzAm » Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:06 am UTC

DEFINITELY a C&H reference. From the detailed scenery to that last comment; this is most certainly yet another throwback to Calvin and Hobbes. Mr.Munroe also bases a lot of his humor and pacing off of them as well. Also as you all know this comic's laden with just as much philosophy as it is with crude, sometimes immature humor; another time honored Calvin and Hobbes style.
As much as I love XKCD I still must say that it is < Calvin & Hobbes (I think Mr.Munroe would agree with me) and anyone here who is a fan of XKCD should check it out. NOW.

No I'm serious.
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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Clumpy » Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:15 am UTC

dA ShAzAm wrote:DEFINITELY a C&H reference. From the detailed scenery to that last comment; this is most certainly yet another throwback to Calvin and Hobbes. Mr.Munroe also bases a lot of his humor and pacing off of them as well. Also as you all know this comic's laden with just as much philosophy as it is with crude, sometimes immature humor; another time honored Calvin and Hobbes style.
As much as I love XKCD I still must say that it is < Calvin & Hobbes (I think Mr.Munroe would agree with me) and anyone here who is a fan of XKCD should check it out. NOW.

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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby poxic » Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:18 am UTC

dA ShAzAm wrote:and anyone here who is a fan of XKCD should check it out. NOW.

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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Zealot » Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:37 am UTC

SwissArmyAnts wrote:The first thing I had to do, before I even checked the forums, was to google "space fountain".

XKCD makes us all smarter everyday. Hail Randal.

Same here!
I also like the shot at Mencia.

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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Charasan » Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:43 am UTC

Forget space elevators or space fountains...I'm waiting for a Great Space Coaster. Get on board!

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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Ronfar » Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:00 am UTC

::threadjack::

I think Bill Watterson would be pleased by the webcomic format and what people have been doing with it. A webcomic by Watterson would be really something, and he wouldn't have to fight the syndicates any more.

Who knows, maybe he is publishing something on the Web under a pseudonym? ;)
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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Amarantha » Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:38 am UTC

SwissArmyAnts wrote:The first thing I had to do, before I even checked the forums, was to google "space fountain".
^This. And the second thing I did was to check Google Trends for the spike :mrgreen: Sadly, "Your terms - "space fountain" - do not have enough search volume to show graphs."
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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Jahoclave » Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:59 am UTC

Ronfar wrote:::threadjack::

I think Bill Watterson would be pleased by the webcomic format and what people have been doing with it. A webcomic by Watterson would be really something, and he wouldn't have to fight the syndicates any more.

Who knows, maybe he is publishing something on the Web under a pseudonym? ;)

Maybe he magically possesses a raptor and threatens Randall until he caves and does Watterson's bidding?

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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby markfiend » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:04 am UTC

Call yourselves geeks? I knew what a space fountain is. :mrgreen:

I did have to google Mind of Mencia though -- transatlantic cultural references don't always pay off.
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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby sje46 » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:06 am UTC

Can we talk about how terrible Carlos Mencia is now?
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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby RogCBrand » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:09 am UTC

Ah! I loved Arthur C Clarke's books! When I was 12 I read "2001: A Space Odyssey" and was hooked and ended up reading every book and story he had done! "Rendezvous With Rama" was my favorite!

I was really sad when he died last year! And it's a shame he died before something like the space elevator could have been built for him to see!

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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby musashi1600 » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:29 am UTC

Stephen Colbert > Jon Stewart > Lewis Black >>>>>> Carlos Mencia.

That is all. :mrgreen:
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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Rufaellie » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:51 am UTC

In memorium of a great man of the future, sent off in traditional xkcd style. We owe much honour to these artists, Randall included.
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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Lewton » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:39 am UTC

musashi1600 wrote:* >>>>>> Carlos Mencia.

That is all. :mrgreen:


fixed

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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby scikidus » Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:10 pm UTC

www.todaysbigthing.com/2008/12/04

Unfortunately, I'm torn. Wouldn't be easier if we removed everyone's voice boxes? :?

Perhaps we could stage some global laughing gas catastrophe, preventing anyone from wanting to laugh ever again.

Alternatively, we could just sponsor small groups (think Xprize) to do it.
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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Steroid » Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:12 pm UTC

I like Carlos Mencia. Racism (sexism, homophobia, etc.) isn't funny, but the stereotypes themselves are. People who live up to their stereotypes are, almost always, people who have no individual will and seek desperately for an identity. Yes, I laugh when people like that are taken down a peg. It's also life-affirming for those of us who don't have a racial identity.

I guess what I'm saying is don't hold out hope on the space lifts.

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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Cytoplasm » Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:18 pm UTC

I don't mind Mind of Mencia either. He helped me make a math joke to help deal with a terrible math teacher ((d^3)). The students enjoyed it.

Anyways, my good friend, Luke, who also loves xkcd finds Mencia to be < funny. so, this is for him I suppose. :)

P.S. I jorb well done, Randal.
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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby OCEAT » Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:40 pm UTC

I did check out Space Fountain, and it sound cool as well.
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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby HannahH » Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:53 pm UTC

I think I can see Hobbs in that reflection on the lake!

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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Kalos » Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:16 pm UTC

Brings me back to the old days... when Mencia jokes were relevant. The blatant Calvin and Hobbes ripoff (er, "tribute") in the art style wouldn't be too bad if the comic wasn't already the crutch for the recent sledding comic.

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Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby bigglesworth » Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:51 pm UTC

The thing about carbon nanotubes is that they could be used for suspension bridges of the megastructure type, skyscrapers, even sails for tankers. So there's a lot of potential there.
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