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Nightfall: Can Kalgash Exist?

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the burning-questions dept.

Books 86

First time accepted submitter jIyajbe (662197) writes Two researchers from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics investigate the imaginary world of Kalgash, a planetary system based on the novel 'Nightfall' (Asimov & Silverberg, 1991). From the arXiv paper: "The system consists of a planet, a moon and an astonishing six suns. The six stars cause the wider universe to be invisible to the inhabitants of the planet. The author explores the consequences of an eclipse and the resulting darkness which the Kalgash people experience for the first time. Our task is to verify if this system is feasible, from the duration of the eclipse, the 'invisibility' of the universe to the complex orbital dynamics." Their conclusion? "We have explored several aspects of Asimov's novel. We have found that the suns, especially Dovim are bright enough to blot out the stars. Kalgash 2 can eclipse Dovim for a period of 9 hours. We also tested one possible star configuration and after running some simulations, we found that the system is possible for short periods of time."

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An excellent book... (5, Interesting)

poptix (78287) | about 4 months ago | (#47539005)

I would recommend this book to anyone, it's an easy read and thought provoking.

Re:An excellent book... (4, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 4 months ago | (#47539373)

Anything by Asimov is recommendable.

Re:An excellent book... (2)

hawk (1151) | about 4 months ago | (#47539741)

I guess you missed the "cash-in, conglomerate it all!" volumes of his lat career. Foundation XXIV, and so forth . . .

hawk

Re:An excellent book... (2)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 4 months ago | (#47539901)

I saw those as a wrap-up, not necessarily a cash-in.

They are still good to read. Especially the unforseen result of the laws of robotics causing alien worlds to be eradicated because the inhabitants weren't human. What if aliens have the same approach? Humans are then seen as beings of lesser value.

Re:An excellent book... (1)

hawk (1151) | about 4 months ago | (#47540911)

>I saw those as a wrap-up, not necessarily a cash-in.

Perhaps more a monument to his ego, with the bizarre attempt to tie in everything he ever wrote.

>They are still good to read.

I forced myself through a couple, and just couldn't do it any more.

hawk

Re:An excellent book... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47544313)

Disagree. The Foundation/Empire/Robot books were much more deftly written than the originals from a literary sense, only because Asimov had forty more years of writing experience under his belt (in Asimov years, which is equal to about 200 years in "normal" writer years). "Foundation's Edge" and "Robots of Dawn" are particularly good; the characterization is much better than that of his early years, IMHO, and the plot twists and complexity are pure classic Asimov. The way Daneel Olivaw evolves into the main character for the whole series is amazing.

I think the original "Nightfall" short story is much better than the later novelization by A&S, BTW, only because the latter seemed bloated in comparison (but maybe if it had come first, it would have seemed better).

Re:An excellent book... (1)

Great Big Bird (1751616) | about 4 months ago | (#47540991)

Especially the unforseen result of the laws of robotics causing alien worlds to be eradicated because the inhabitants weren't human.

What book did this? I thought I had read them all.

Re:An excellent book... (1)

way2trivial (601132) | about 4 months ago | (#47541171)

"Humans are then seen as beings of lesser value."

Ayup...

Nobility is great.. but evolution I think, would require all species to develop to the point that they would place themselves in the most exalted position...

Re:An excellent book... (1)

josquin9 (458669) | about 4 months ago | (#47541363)

Or, more precisely, human descendents who had emigrated to space early had experienced more rapid evolution than those who did so later. Their society's definition of "human" evolved with them to the point that their robots didn't recognize humans from later waves of colonization as human, even though they were subject to the three laws.

This was in the last R. Daneel Olivaw book, which I believe was "Robots and Empire".

Re:An excellent book... (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 4 months ago | (#47539593)

I read the short story loooong ago. Is the book similar? Or do they go into more societal concerns? I also saw the movie as well (the 2000 version), and didn't care for it much.

Re:An excellent book... (5, Funny)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 4 months ago | (#47541321)

The short story ends as Nightfall is starting. The book extends past into the nightmare of the stars.

I remember reading the book once and I was completely absorbed in the story. I finally looked up and noticed it was dusk. For a brief moment, I felt panic rising because the stars were going to come out soon. It took a moment to disentangle myself from the story.

Being able to completely lose yourself in a book can be a good thing most times - other times, it can backfire.

Re:An excellent book... (2)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 4 months ago | (#47539869)

I would say that it is also a study on behavior patterns applicable to humans. When exposed to the unknown panic can occur.

Nightfall is a typical Science Fiction story that reflects sociology in a fictional setting - which means that the reader will have less prejudice of what's right and what's wrong.

Re:An excellent book... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540557)

I'd like to know if a solar system configuration like Twinsun is possible.

free epub (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47541161)

http://www.epubbud.com/book.php?g=FTXS4APV

Re: free epub (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47543855)

Could you rewrite the link so it can be more easily accessed. Thank you.

A really great movie! (1)

Tipa (881911) | about 3 months ago | (#47543261)

I really loved the movie. They made a book out of it? Cool! Gotta look it up!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt00... [imdb.com]

Klemperer rosette (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47539027)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klemperer_rosette

Re:Klemperer rosette (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47539841)

Because nothing says stability like a Klemperer rosette.

Re:Klemperer rosette (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | about 4 months ago | (#47551639)

Configuring the Nightfall system as a Klemperer rosette would be one way of achieving the result - but the symmetry would still be broken by the orbiting moon that gives the eclipse.

You'd have to have the various stars in more-or-less concentric orbits of different periods. Then, at some point, they'd all get lined up in one (small angle of direction) from which they could all be simultaneously eclipsed. Ah, no, I see my error ; you only need to get them into one half of the sky for the other half to experience darkness.

But again, that wouldn't work for a Klemperer rosette configuration, either from the central location (not necessarily occupied) or from any of the rosette objects in a rosette of more than three objects (here there are 6 objects).

Beh (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47539047)

Is that MS^{tm} Word? No \Tex? Really, this is not worth of my attention.

Re:Beh (4, Insightful)

war4peace (1628283) | about 4 months ago | (#47539137)

The words of a true fanatic.
Nevermind the work, the science and the data. It's written in a format I dislike.
*slowclap* well done, sir.

Re:Beh (1)

LordLucless (582312) | about 4 months ago | (#47542179)

It's not that it's a format that he dislikes; it's in a format that is cumbersome to read. There's a reason we moved away from stone tablets - formats are important.

MS Word is a pretty poor choice to distribute a read-only document. Even PDF has unnecessary cruft and overhead if it's not intended to be printed.

Re:Beh (1)

war4peace (1628283) | about 3 months ago | (#47542881)

While I agree that a better format could have been chosen, I dislike the "not worth my attention" part. What does the format have anything to do with the content?
It's like saying "fuck classic movies because they're not 3D".

Re:Beh (1)

PlusFiveTroll (754249) | about 3 months ago | (#47543115)

>What does the format have anything to do with the content?

The part of not being able to view the content possibly?

>It's like saying "fuck classic movies because they're not 3D".

More like, shit I can't watch this because it's all on BetaMax.

Re:Beh (1)

war4peace (1628283) | about 3 months ago | (#47544263)

Like online document converters don't exist. My God, what are we going to do?

Re:Beh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47548397)

Fair enough. Formatting preferences shouldn't matter *that* much. But I admit that I would wonder about the quality of a paper if it were presented in Comic Sans. Okay, unless it was in the Journal of Irreproducible Results.

Re:Beh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47549789)

I agree with you in that one shouldn't judge a book by its cover. On the other hand, TeX/latex is a defacto standard in natural science academia. Natural science article written in Word is just as suspicious as photo retouch done in MS paint. It isn't quite about "favorite" format as much as "appropriate" format.

Then again, it isn't likely that an astronomical article is going to be read (and understood) by many people on Slashdot regardless of the format.

Re:Beh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47539689)

Hey, I'm the AC that wrote this. Please don't mod this informative. I wanted to flame around. I dislike Word, yes, but I don't want to harm the weak. Word *is* weak as a scientific publication tool. People who haven't learned Tex have a hard life as scientists. I don't want to insult them or their work.

Re:Beh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47539807)

P.S. I have crabs.

Re:Beh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47539933)

No, you have.

Re:Beh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47549759)

Is that MS^{tm} Word? No \Tex? Really, this is not worth of my attention.

I always read comments like this in Comic Book Guy's voice.

As always, Asimov got it right way back then (2)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 4 months ago | (#47539093)

I'd be more surprised if researchers had proved his senary sun system could NOT exist. The man was a visionary.

Re:As always, Asimov got it right way back then (3, Informative)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 4 months ago | (#47539609)

And a physics professor. He knew how to plan the science in his science fiction.

Also, he is one of my two favorite authors. It's him for science fiction, and Piers Anthony for fantasy.

Re:As always, Asimov got it right way back then (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47539711)

He was NOT a physics professor at any time during his life -- unless you are trying to count his several nonfiction books on physics as "teaching". His doctorate was in biochemistry, and he served as a NONTEACHING associate professor (and later, a full professor) of biochemistry from 1958 onwards.

Re:As always, Asimov got it right way back then (4, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | about 4 months ago | (#47539795)

Biochem is just a specialty of chemistry which is in turn a specialty of physics.

Re:As always, Asimov got it right way back then (2)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 4 months ago | (#47539805)

Is there perhaps a webcomic that can explain that relationship to me? :^)

Re: As always, Asimov got it right way back then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47539907)

There was ind just lying around. Imagine That!

http://xkcd.com/435/

Re:As always, Asimov got it right way back then (4, Funny)

AdamStarks (2634757) | about 4 months ago | (#47539929)

Re:As always, Asimov got it right way back then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540013)

Is there perhaps a webcomic that can explain that relationship to me? :^)

I don't know about a webcomic, can we have a good car analogy?

Re:As always, Asimov got it right way back then (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 months ago | (#47540045)

And Science Fiction is a specialty of Fiction, which is a specialty of Language, which comes from people, who are biological creatures.

See, it all comes around full circle!

Speaking of full circle, when I was a kid, a "physic" was something to help you poop. This may have had something to do with my poor performance in Physics, which I saw as a bunch of shit.

Now, as an old man, I can see the value in physics, both the science and the laxative.

http://dictionary.reference.co... [reference.com]

And Physics (1)

josquin9 (458669) | about 4 months ago | (#47541373)

is just a reduced form of math for those with limited talents in abstraction.

Re:As always, Asimov got it right way back then (2)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 4 months ago | (#47539815)

My mistake. I knew he was a professor of one of the sciences, and forgot which one. Physics was what popped into my mind as I started the sentence. Thanks for the correction.

Of course when I started reading his stuff, I didn't know he was a professor at all. I just liked his stories.

fundementally impossible (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47539117)

Even the casual observer notes that nature has settled on binary star formation. Often you may see groups of three. Gravity simply does not allow for more than this to form much less remain stable for an appreciable period of time. Arthur c clark would not have approved.
I am sure several wack jobs will find an exception to this, and declare the exception the rule. - just be quiet.

Re:fundementally impossible (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 4 months ago | (#47539177)

Have you seen all of nature to affirm without any doubt that something doesn't exist?

Besides, just because the overwhelming majority of something is a certain way doesn't mean it can't exist in another way. For instance, while all known beaches organize themselves as flat expanses of sand, there is still a probability that a wave comes along and spontaneously forms a sandcastle, albeit a vanishingly small one. Nobody's ever seen it, and probably nobody ever will, but it's possible. That's just math.

Re:fundementally impossible (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47539287)

The problem with your logic is that it allows anything at all to "exist".

Have you seen all of nature to affirm without any doubt that a Ringworld doesn't exist?

You have a religious view of the world, that at least explains your mind-numbing posts on here.

Re:fundementally impossible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47539585)

Have you seen all of nature to affirm without any doubt that a Ringworld doesn't exist?

Nope, which is why I don't say the Ringworld doesn't exist.

Being that the Ringworld is an artificial construction, it's a moot point.

Re:fundementally impossible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540215)

So you get to pick and choose? Nice. How do you know there are binary stars? How do you know Ringworlds have to be artificial? Have you checked the entire universe?

Re:fundementally impossible (0)

PlusFiveTroll (754249) | about 3 months ago | (#47543145)

If the universe is isotropic, you don't have to check it all. A sufficiently large sample will show you all the universe has to hold.

There is also another saying.

"In the universe there can only be 0, 1, or an infinite number of something" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero_one_infinity_rule)

Re:fundementally impossible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47539451)

You are an idiot. All people that manipulate the broken parts of a mathematical model to prove a hypothetical are idiots. In fact, you are so intellectually dishonest you never bothered to calculate the probabilities of your fairy tale sandcastle from forming. Even if I grant your ilks propensity for making shit up like multi-verses to account for mass that you can never observe, you reject causality. The fact that there are not enough silca atoms in your light cone to assemble themselves into a volume of space the size of earth to do anything close to what you are proposing within several lifetimes of the universe Now, please sit down.

Re:fundementally impossible (5, Interesting)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 4 months ago | (#47539323)

Epsilon Lyrae, and the vast number of amateur astronomers who've known about it for ages, would beg to differ. Two components that are naked-eye visible, one a double, one a triple. All gravitationally bound, and apparently quite dynamically stable. Five other nearby stars may be gravitationally bound to the system as well.

Castor (Alpha Geminorum) is a sextuple system.

But, of course:

"It's simply not possible for a system like this to exist. If you point out that systems like this do exist, it doesn't mean that my statement is wrong, it means that you're a wack job, so just shut up."

Bravo, good AC. Bravo.

Re:fundementally impossible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47539599)

That was a beautiful call out to Mr. impossible. Thanks for giving those examples. As someone who doesn't look into astronomy too often it's always neat to see interesting examples of exotic space stuff.

Re:fundementally impossible (1)

demonrob (1001871) | about 4 months ago | (#47548147)

hey, there are australians here, don't bring logic and science into it, we no longer believe in them, so therefore you scientists must be wack jobs.

Re:fundementally impossible (3, Insightful)

rpresser (610529) | about 4 months ago | (#47539727)

The problem is not the six suns but the constraints on the planet and moon:

* that the planet's orbit be stable over thousands of years. Millions or billions, if you want life to evolve.
* that the moon stay invisible at all times -- never be illuminated enough by any sun to be visible.
* that the moon be wide enough in angular size to eclipse one sun for over a day!

If you read this paper, you see they settled on a moon the same mass as Kalgash but with the density of Saturn! How could such a system possibly arise?

Re:fundementally impossible (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 4 months ago | (#47540157)

that the planet's orbit be stable over thousands of years

Very low thousands is plenty if the timing is right. If anything say a few thousand years pre-Copernicus contained astronomical accounts that deviated wildly from what we "know" today, we'd put it in the same category as the artwork and accounts of the flat earth resting on the back of a giant turtle.

If you read this paper, you see they settled on a moon the same mass as Kalgash but with the density of Saturn! How could such a system possibly arise?

Gas Dwarfs?
http://blogs.discovermagazine.... [discovermagazine.com]

As for the how, with 6 suns dancing around, you've got plenty of candidates to provide the required components, and lots of opportunity for freak events, collisions, etc.

Honestly, I think, after you add in 'freak occurrences' we'll eventually find some pretty spectacularly improbable planets.

Re:fundementally impossible (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#47540385)

Except that you are referring to classic multiple star systems that have a dynamic hierarchy of a binary tree. I don't recall what was the specific description of the arrangement of stars in Asimov's story, but it may have been different than that, either in explicit description or the by implications of the conditions on the planet's surface.

Re:fundementally impossible (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 4 months ago | (#47539679)

The rule are multi star systems. Single star systems are the minority.

Re:fundementally impossible (3, Interesting)

meerling (1487879) | about 4 months ago | (#47539705)

The article actually stated that it was only stable on the short term.
It also seemed pretty obvious to me that the writer wasn't trying to "prove" that star system configuration existed, just that despite it being highly improbably, an approximation of it potentially could exist, at least for a little while. It's kind of like the idea that you could go buy one random lottery ticket and win the jackpot that drawing. It's possible, but it's a lot more likely that you won't, and there's a distinct chance that nobody will win this week, but that doesn't eliminate the possibility.

Need clarification (1)

josquin9 (458669) | about 4 months ago | (#47541379)

What exactly does the author mean by "short term" in this context? Many scientists talk about how life on earth has only been around for a relatively short period relative to the age of the universe. So, in theory, short-term stability may provide plenty of time for life to evolve to a level similar to our own.

Stability (5, Insightful)

Livius (318358) | about 4 months ago | (#47539153)

Asimov's story only assumes that the suns' and planets' orbits are in that configuration for a few tens or maybe hundreds of thousands of years, not that they are stable for what astronomers would call the long term.

Re:Stability (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 4 months ago | (#47539637)

Good point. The multiple suns could be in a temporary pattern that just happens to coexist with that planet's sentient species evolving. Maybe in another hundred thousand the suns will have moved into another pattern that moves some of them further away, and then have "nights" happen more frequently.

Re:Stability (3, Interesting)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 4 months ago | (#47539693)

The story depends on
a) the cycle repeating enough times that people cans start to figure out that it is repeating
b) sufficient conditions for life to evolve in the first place

So if you do not require that the cycle be permanently stable, then you require two different life-supporting configurations and a transition that can also support life.

Re:Stability (1)

superdana (1211758) | about 4 months ago | (#47539785)

Space is vast and full of possibility.

Re:Stability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540589)

What if it's vast and full of the same things as here? Or worse, full of dead, empty, radiation-blasted vacuum? Cubic light-years of it?

Re:Stability (2)

Pepebuho (167300) | about 4 months ago | (#47547225)

The night is dark and full of terrors..

Re:Stability (3, Interesting)

Artifakt (700173) | about 4 months ago | (#47540515)

That's not as challenging as you seem to think. For Nightfall, you could start with the assumption that there's at least one particularly massive star, not so big as a typical A or O that won't stay on the main sequence long enough for life to evolve, but bigger than our G 2 sun, say a G 4 or 5 or even something in the F series. The other five suns can be much lighter, all the way down to red dwarfs in some cases (and the story seems to describe at least one that is). Those small stars don't have nearly the light output of the bigger one - with the right options, The planet can orbit the main star at a distance quite a bit greater than Earth orbits our sun, and be close to the exact optimum of its "Goldylocks" zone or somewhere on the cool side. Then smaller stars could exist in various configurations, and their output is low enough that if they are at, say 5 x what that planet would call an AU, they would essentially just move the planet's climate a bit towards the inner edge of the "goldylocks" range. So long as they don't nudge it completely into the hot zone, why wouldn't life cope? (Note that we are talking about their light ouput raising the planet's temperature, not them gravitationally nudgeing the planet about - gravity and how stable the planet's orbit can be if the orbits of the suns themselves are changing, that's a seperate question) Fictional Kalgash would have to orbit the biggest sun of the group and it would have to count as being near the cooler edge of the life bearing zone before you figure in the other stars, but even before the lesser suns temporarily shift into a quasi-stable configuration that prevents night from occuring except once every several thousand years or whatever, there would be various configurations that would make night a very short lived or rare and irregular thing, and life would be used to that. There are other issues, such as how do plants dispose of waste products on Nightfall world, but those issues don't vary much if there's a short night every few months or only in a thousand years - plants would have to adapt for situations much less prolonged than the current one. If we call the Nightfall orbits "perfect", then even very imperfect multi-star systems would find life constantly facing this problem.I'm thinking that by your argument, it's all too easy to say things such as "Life in Binary systems? Impossible!," and even "Life when the day lasts more than 24 hours 17 minutes? Absurd!", and things like that. I'll refrain from quiting Jeff Goldblum at this point, but hope you will consider this.
        Then there's the question of how sensitive to light the natives eyes are. If nights have always been at least short and irregular for much longer than the perfect situation has existed, we should expect the natives to not have very good night vision, as there's less demand to evolve it, so talking about relative optical wavelength outputs and such is very hard to do meaningfully.I'm not sure how we could criticise the work as SF on that basis.

Re:Stability (3, Interesting)

dryeo (100693) | about 4 months ago | (#47539699)

Actually the story assumes that Kalgash existed in a stable orbit long enough for technological life to evolve, something that likely takes billions of years with our one example needing a planet that was fairly stable for close to 4.5 billion years.

Re:Stability (2)

plover (150551) | about 4 months ago | (#47539733)

Couldn't an already evolved planet be orbiting a star that is traveling, and is then captured by a multi-star system?

Assuming that evolution has produced other forms of life in many systems around the universe, it makes sense that it's done so on stars that have then had their travels altered. And yes, there are all kinds of problems. During the transition, would the evolved planet remain a safe distance from the other stars in the cluster? Would any of the life on it survive as it changes to the new orbit? I don't imagine much life would survive on Earth if we had to make a pass as close to the sun as Mercury, but it's possible a few microbes would make it and evolve again in another billion years.

Re:Stability (1)

dryeo (100693) | about 4 months ago | (#47540879)

I'd think that the planets orbit would be perturbed enough that it would no longer be in the Goldilocks zone, or at least the ideal considering its atmosphere (amount of CO2 etc)

Re: Stability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47539925)

Couldn't people just fly there? And after thousands of years forget they flew there and not remember any other way.

Re: Stability (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 4 months ago | (#47540123)

A lot of science fiction stories have that as a main premise -- that mankind expanded out to other systems, and some of those colonies lost contact for so long the people forgot where they originated, or only remember small parts of their own ancestors' story.

Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover series, Ursula K LeGuin's Left Hand of Darkness novel, and Christopher Stasheef's Warlock series are all based on it. So is Anne McAffrey's Pern series.

Re:Stability (1)

Livius (318358) | about 4 months ago | (#47540271)

It didn't have to be in that orbit the whole time life was evolving, just the time it took the culture to adapt to it and maybe some evolutionary adaptation of their psychology.

The archaeological evidence of the cyclic fall of civilization only went back a few tens of thousands of years.

Re:Stability (1)

dryeo (100693) | about 4 months ago | (#47540893)

It had to be an orbit that came with a climate that allowed complex life to evolve, about a billion years for Earth. Even the really primitive life would probably need close to ideal conditions to flourish long enough to oxygenate the atmosphere and lay the foundations for complex life.
Of course with only one sample it's hard to say if there are different routes to complex life.

Just EAT IT, or , kno I kno the secrets. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47539341)


Oh, 123 to be so bold///
I kno the secrets
the secrets to all of you
I know the secrets the secrets of the zoo
I know the secrets the secrets of frequency
I know the secrets, the secrets of secrecy

line 2
I kno the secrets, the secrets to shamanism
I know the secrets, the secrets to reason
I kno the secrets, the secrets to space
I know the secrets, the secrets of the "master race"

line 3
Oh 123
I kno the secrets, the secrets to the human race
I know the secrets, the secrets to outer space
I know the secrets, the secrets to audio
I kno the secrets, the secrets to stereo

line 4
Oh 123
U know the secrets, the secrets of exponents
U kno the secrets, the lies of innocence
U kno, the secrets, the secrets which withhold to database
O U kno the secrets, the secret of Inductance and Capacitance
U kno the secrets, the secrets being shit faced

aye aye aye aye I am the Secret Bandito

eat it, just eat it. EAT IT, EAT IT! EAT IT EAT IT
JUST EAT IT
OR BEAT IT
EAT IT
JUST EAT IT!

How about that Rodin coil. WOW horizontal math, I already had that!

Re:Just EAT IT, or , kno I kno the secrets. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47539375)

upvote it bitches!
u kno I kno!!

This was probasbly funded... (0)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 4 months ago | (#47539387)

by a government grant.

Re:This was probasbly funded... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47539413)

i dunno how (that's indian for) /. lets ya post. lol
I know everything else tho jst so u kno

Re:This was probasbly funded... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47539553)

Yes. And thank the Heavens for that. I doubt if the authors spent weeks and months on this. This was probably done over a couple of weekends at most. And they probably enjoyed it. It might have even helped them think better about their 'day jobs'. And it shows WHY scientists often get interested in science in the first place. I am an Indian, and I am glad my govt. funded this - even if indirectly. And yes, I know we have a lot of problems that need to be fixed. Just like the rest of the world.

Now, Get the Fuck Off My Lawn.

Very good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47539567)

...now let's see you prove the existence of Krikkit.....

http://hitchhikers.wikia.com/wiki/Krikkit refers...

In other words, have not shown it possible (2)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 4 months ago | (#47539749)

"we found that the system is possible for short periods of time"

They state that their configuration is "stable for a few hundred years", and their graphs only extend to 400 years. The eclipse cycle in the story is 2049 years and has repeated enough times that people are starting to detect that it is fact repeating.

In reference to tidal forces from the Trey-Patru binary they state "(Though subsequent generations of the Kalgash people will face dangerous scenarios.)".

Their configuration actually has not been shown to be survivable for even one cycle.

Re:In other words, have not shown it possible (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540277)

A good chance life could evolve on a planet like that given the time.

With more energy comes more opportunity. Life may well evolve to use heavier elements that aren't normally used due to energy constraints.
We evolved to use the least energy-requiring configurations for the average amount of energy we could consume, which changed over billions of years, and still changes even now from an offspring-to-offspring basis. Hell, it even happens mid-life, you can literally force your body to conserve energy just by fasting. (which is what makes "fasting diets" even more hilarious, it never works!)
Likewise various animals and life uses more or less energy and resources depending on their environment.
With an abundance of energy, using those heavier elements wouldn't be as much of a problem. Then eventually you'd have life evolving ways to deal with the radiation problem of heavier elements and all that sunlight. Decay might very well become a very useful feature of their genetics!

I could only hope to see experiments of high-energy evolution scenarios being tested.
Here's hoping someone makes a time chamber that we can remove from time, or distance its influence on the insides at the least.
Or, you know, immortality. Stupid crappy bodies.

But (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 4 months ago | (#47540053)

Could such a planet be habitable?

I'd always thought it would be too hot for (life as we know it, Jim)

I blame Asmiov for the decline of skeptism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540699)

I blame Asimov for the decline of skeptism. Now, the Amazing Randall, a former magician, is another story. Mostly of Azimov was coming from a time and place era where 'teaching' meant the great (white) doctor was going to impart facts, factoids, and knowledge to his inferiors, who probably won't understand it anyway. I had several teachers like that. When applied to trying to proselytize a fact based understanding of the physical world over uncritical belief, superstition, dogma, etc., he came off "if you believe this or that, you are an idiot. You should join my cult of fact and truth, and bow down to your superiors." That has set the stage for debunkers ever since, and gee, doesn't seem to working too good.

Now, the Amazing Randall-no, not the Amazing Randi, I'm talking about the Amazing Toni Randall, did you know he fathered children in his 80's? Amazing....

Anyway, read the short story years ago. Liked it. Vaguely remember his robot story and the Laws of Robotics. Hoping against hope they will be adopted, a great redeeming idea. Saw the 1988 movie, most boring acting, ever.

If you like Azimov, I understand you pain reading this. Sometimes the truth hurts.

I blame Asmiov for the decline of skeptism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47547705)

most of the pain from reading that was because it was so badly written, sorry other AC but man you write badly!

on the novel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47541945)

Despairing of a full answer beyond the illuminating ":the [Silverberg/Asimov] story starts where hth [Asimov] short story left off" I turned to wikipedia.

That wikipedia page is one of the most unhelpful I've encountered. So I went to the source of all matters sfnal

John Clute and MJE in the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction summarise thus: "A novel version, Nightfall (1990) with Robert Silverberg, opens out the original story but in so doing fatally flattens the poetic intensity and Sense of Wonder felt by so many readers at the moment when the stars are seen."

'Nuff said.

Fabbergasted... (1)

raorajesh (1563781) | about 4 months ago | (#47559669)

... that there is even a debate. Surely all of us sending transmits are not doing so in vain, especially when Saro has responded... twice! We will deliver the baby.
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