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NASA Still Trying to Verify Anti-Gravity Claims

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the wild-blue-yonder dept.

Science 430

uncoda writes "The L.A. Times has an article about NASA research into a phenomenon in which the effect of gravity is supposedly reduced. It sounds like cold fusion or polywater to me, but who knows?" We've posted two previous stories about Podkletnov's research: one from a couple of years ago and another more recently.

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430 comments

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Why Linux Sucks (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219495)

I know that you linux zealots will flame this post but I don't care, you will prove me right as usual.

1. Linux installation sucks when you don't have the latest hardware.
I had to recompile the kernel for that stupid ISA Ethernet card to be seen by Redhad.

2. Startup trouble shooting sucks it is cryptic compared to windows and others.

3. Applications are rare, I cannot find lots of things that I enjoy on Windows.
I don't want to play games on Linux.

4. Sendmail sucks.

Any mail server on Windows even the freeware ones are as easy as 123 to configure without the scripting bullshit of send mail and compiling it again to support new modules.

5. Applications and user interface are so amatuerish that it is not funny at all.

6. No proper support for USB, it is still a hack and cannot have support to most of the USB hardware that I have.

7. Smaba sucks, installing it and configuring it takes hours.

8. The Whole attitude of the linux users proves that it is a plague, no help, no asistance, everyone is using it just to show off, just bunch of high school zealots with computers.

9. Javas support sucks.

10. No decent browser.
No I'm not willing to pay $49.99 for Opera, I have Internet Explorer on my Windows box and it is fantastic.

11. No decent account and home fininance package.

I could go on forever on this.

For servers it may be OK, but who cares, us home users don't need it, never will.

Flame on, linux zealots.

Re:Why Linux Sucks (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219549)

Actually, you are 100% correct except for that last bit about Linux being OK for servers. No wait, it is OK for servers. Just OK. For desktop use, let's just say the often repeated market share figure of 0.24% is downright generous when it isnt in perilous decline.

The truth hurts, Mr. Linux, I know, but you should have learnt that fact of life the first time she laughed at you.

Re:Why Linux Sucks (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219647)

Would you actually pay money for linux? No, I didn't think so. They are giving the shit away with sauce code and it still has like 2% market share.

Millions of people are willing to pay money for windows, therefor windows must be better!

Re:Why Linux Sucks (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219667)

Opera is free. So was your mom last night, by the way.

Re:Why Linux Sucks (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219720)

Don't get too "cocky". The first 10 times are free but then she jacks up the price. Damn slut/whore.

First LOTR LOST post! (-1, Offtopic)

20721 (547136) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219496)

Hahahaha! [oscar.com]

PENIS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219509)

FIRST post you fuckin nazi sympathizing jew lovers

WHERE ARE THE FLYING CARS@?!? (0, Offtopic)

waspleg (316038) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219510)

i want my flying delorean minus michael j fox

and some of those (nanotech?) self healing/cleaning/drying nikes and clothes

I was promised flying cars! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219635)

We don't have flying cars because of IBM [ibm.com] .

Bastards.

Re:WHERE ARE THE FLYING CARS@?!? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219740)

I know this may be a tad offtopic (PLEASE DO NOT MODERATE AT ALL), but there is an interesting funny "flying car" video here [mac.com] . It is written by Kevin Smith (Mallrats, Clerks, etc.) and it features the guys from Clerks.

Getting Dizzy... (1)

phunhippy (86447) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219511)

I think this would be great if it's proven true... although spinning at 5000 RPM to lose 2% of my wieght will definitely make me dizzy and hurl my lunch :(

Re:Getting Dizzy... (4, Funny)

bollocks (80650) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219556)

Would your lunch be 2% of your weight?

Re:Getting Dizzy... (2, Interesting)

MulluskO (305219) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219576)

My impression was that the object that is to lose weight does not spin, only the superconductive, levitated disk spins.

I've also got a stupid joke:
Future hard drive technology may allow super-lightweight Linux distributions.

Re:Getting Dizzy... (2, Informative)

xylon (552609) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219812)

I think the article was suggesting that the object placed on the spinning disk was above it, and therefore stationary. And that would make more sense, I think...

Lord Of The Rings upset (-1, Offtopic)

green pizza (159161) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219512)

ARgh! How can the academy be that stupid!?!

Re:Lord Of The Rings upset (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219518)

lord of the rings was good, but not that good

Re:Lord Of The Rings upset (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219523)

it's the MPAA man, they are WORKING DAY AND NIGHT TO TAKE AWAY OUR FREEDOM!

(I agree it sucked. LOTR should have won.)

Re:Lord Of The Rings upset (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219575)

upset? practically all its nominations were technical, and it only won 4 of those. it is a sad fantasy film for young teens. it probably took last place in the voting.

MicroGravity is Your Friend (4, Interesting)

AlaskanUnderachiever (561294) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219515)

Think about the potential this has for revolutionizing small part manufacturing. The precision that was till now only achieved in a LEO or better could be accomplished right here in EveryTown, USA. Well, probably not based on what I read in the article. But it's one of the few practical applications that I could think of (small scale, limited effect). That is assuming this doesn't turn out to be another "Free Energy" type hoax.

Re:MicroGravity is Your Friend (1)

adminispheroid (554101) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219652)

I wonder, do you know of any actual verified examples of improved precision machining in zero g? Only one I recall hearing of was high precision ball bearings, which at last news never worked out.

less gravity is good for fat people (1, Informative)

yokimbo (525881) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219526)

Hey,maybe now the fattest guy in the world could actually support his weight. Now to get a motor strong enough to get him spinning that at 5000 RPM.

Re:less gravity is good for fat people (5, Interesting)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219775)

"less gravity is good for fat people"

I had the same reaction to this comment that I did when an 80 year old man was found dead on an airplane the other day. There was some debate as to whether or not he died before he got on the plane, or after.

One of the officials said "I'm pretty sure we wouldn't have allowed a dead man to board a plane." (true story)

In any case, lower gravity would help obese people move around more, but in the long term it wouldn't be such a good idea. The problem is that it'd make their condition worse as they'd be burning less energy trying to walk.

I realize you were probably just being silly, but it got me thinking. Lets say one day we had gravity reduction devices in our home to make us more comfy. Would that lead to a weaker speices down the road? Some would see the mass production of cars to have had a similar effect on our species.

The thought of gravity reduction devices scares me a little, although their applicates would definitely change the world we live in.

Marginal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219527)

Cool if not untrue, but who would believe it until shown not false.

In all levity,

Sweetie

Scotty! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219534)

Scotty, my little Vladdie-pooh, I'm a bit confused about which phone number to call you at. Am I still supposed to use (815) 727-0670, the mission apartment? Remember, that was the first place where we -- well, y'know. Tee hee! I thought you weren't living there anymore; you said you got kicked out when they found out about... us. Am I supposed to call you at your In-Laws, at (815) 723-4796, like you told me a couple weeks ago? When I called there and talked to your mom-in-law, she said you didn't live there. She sounded mad that I called her so late! Oh, behave! Scotty, I'm worried because it sounds like you're trying to avoid me. Please call me back. I need to hear your high girlish voice again. Love ya babe, Teddy

Well... upon further review... (1)

cliffy2000 (185461) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219542)

It's not really that the effect of gravity is reduced... rather, that the effects are transferred to the outside of the closed environment. Remember... Newton's law of conservation. 'das all.

antigrav felines (2, Funny)

Mr.Coffee (168480) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219544)

i swear to god that cat's must have these things in them.

which brings up a point in itself, the age old open-faced peanut butter sandwhich on the back of a cat argument.

Re:antigrav felines (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219612)

On a note related to your cat-sandiwch complex: As kids, we wanted to see what would happen if you placed a slinky on an escalator. We reckoned that the slinky would fall forever, if it fell in synch with the escalator. One day we tried it out. We went to the mall, slinky in hand, and we dropped the slinky on the escalator and retreated to watch from the floor above. Our slinky stopped working a few seconds later and before we could reach it, got caught in the top of the escalator.

Re:antigrav felines (1)

CanadaDave (544515) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219715)

About the cat thing, I heard that that had to do with the fact that time runs slower for cuts, at least they perceive everything to happen slower than we do. To a cat, falling from 5 feet may "feel" like 2 seconds, where we actually measured 1 second. No, it's not a relativity thing, because the cat is not moving close to the speed of light. It's just that because of this perceived "time moves slower for the cat" thing, it has more time to react in the air. I heard this is the same for most animals smaller than humans, like dogs, etc... Maybe that's why dogs can react quickly when you throw food at them from close range.

It's not scientific or anything, I just saw it on the Discovery Chanel or the Learning Channel a couple of years ago...

Re:antigrav felines (1)

Ryan Amos (16972) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219810)

Actually I believe it has more to do with the weight distribution of a cat. When cats get fat, most of it goes to their underbelly, so when they fall, that side falls first because it weighs more, changing their center of gravity. The same reason if you drop a hammer from any decent height, the head will always hit first. The percieved time thing would just lower their reaction time, not actually enable them to right themselves and stop it there. Of course, I could just be talking out my ass.

Wired magazine article (4, Interesting)

Ian Lance Taylor (18693) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219550)

Wired [wired.com] had a good article [wired.com] about this guy a couple of years back.

Scotty (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219551)


Scotty, my little Vladdie-pooh,
I'm a bit confused about which phone number to call you at. Am I still supposed to use (815) 727-0670, the mission apartment? Remember, that was the first place where we -- well, y'know. Tee hee! I thought you weren't living there anymore; you said you got kicked out when they found out about... us. Am I supposed to call you at your In-Laws, at (815) 723-4796, like you told me a couple weeks ago? When I called there and talked to your mom-in-law, she said you didn't live there. She sounded mad that I called her so late! Oh, behave!

Scotty, I'm worried because it sounds like you're trying to avoid me. Please call me back. I need to hear your high girlish voice again.

Love ya babe,

Teddy

Not the first $600K NASA dumped down this rathole (5, Informative)

adminispheroid (554101) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219564)

This has been going on for a while. See the most recent note [aps.org] on this subject from Bob Park's "What's New." He refers to an earlier $2M that got dropped on this crackpottery.

Flying Discs (1)

djdrew6k (526089) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219569)

How is it that the next revolution in science always has to do with some disc that's rotating?

We're still stuck on that stupid UFO from the 50's. HELLO? That's so old. pff.

If it is true... (3, Funny)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219583)

There will be a whole new rush of 'effortless weight loss' products on the market. (Not mass loss.)

Interesting but... (3, Insightful)

Eric Damron (553630) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219592)

If the experiments succeed it may give us some insite into gravity but don't look to this device to free us from the bonds of Earth.

A super cooled, electrically charged, rapidly spinning super conducting disc that reduces the gravity field above the disc is interesting. However, taken as a whole, the entire system would still crash to earth.

Sort of like putting a sail on one end of a skateboard and a fan blowing air on it on the other end. It still isn't going anywhere.

Re:Interesting but... (1)

Jeffv323 (317436) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219611)

Sort of like putting a sail on one end of a skateboard and a fan blowing air on it on the other end. It still isn't going anywhere.

Anywhere except for slashdot...

Re:Interesting but... (3, Interesting)

adminispheroid (554101) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219630)

Let me give you an example of a practical application of this technology.

Take a wheel, with the axle horizontal and place the axle directly over the edge of this thing, so half the wheel has its gravity reduced, and the other half doesn't. Then there is a net torque on the wheel. It will spin. You can put a generator on the axle and make free energy for nothing.

In other words, if this thing works, you can make a perpetual motion machine. You can interpret that fact any way you want -- I interpret it to mean this anti-gravity thing is a crock of shit.

Re:Interesting but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219640)

No, you won't be able to create a "perpetual motion machine" - it takes a *lot* of energy to cool the superconducting materials. You've created the worlds most inefficent generator though.

Re:Interesting but... (3, Informative)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219660)

wrong, because the perpetual motion machine would include the super-cooled disc spinning at 5000 rpm ... it probably takes alot more energy to spin the disk them you would get back from your wheel :)

Re:Interesting but... (1)

adminispheroid (554101) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219707)

Perhaps I'm beating a dead horse here, but spinning a disk at constant speed does not eat up any power. (Or whatever power it takes is due to imperfections in the bearings.)

Re:Interesting but... (2)

gnovos (447128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219790)

keeping it cool, however, does.

Re:Interesting but... (1)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219826)

in addition to eating up power cooling the device (which someone else already mentioned), energy would be needed to counteract the friction of the spinning plate -- it woudln't spin indefinatley at 5000rpm

Re:Interesting but... (2, Informative)

digger3001 (562414) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219760)

You can put a generator on the axle and make free energy for nothing.

Free except for all the energy you spent spinning that disc 5000+ rpm's...it's not free energy, it's a transference of energy in that case.

Suck it! (-1)

Serial Troller (556155) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219599)

I am not egg troll, dammit. Now quit emailing me.

The Human Mindset... (2, Funny)

Zspdude (531908) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219606)

Is this just me or is there a grain of truth to this.... Once again we see Humans trying to break another law. No matter what the law, or how important it is, we want to break it. Gravity, conservation of energy, prohibition: pick a law and humans can be seen diligently trying to disobey it. Is it good for us to do so? We don't care, just as long as no-one ever tells us what to do. Oh well, we've been dangerously willful beings thus far and I guess since we're still hanging around... Maybe we're just lucky punks.

Fuck Slashdot! Fuck it hard!!! (0, Funny)

Serial Troller (556155) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219609)

  • 2002. Slashdot publishes 1,000,000th rumor passed off as actual story. The story generates 480 comments, 263 of which agree with the article, and 107 of which point out its a rumor and are modded down as redundant. The remaining comments are all first posts.
  • 2002. CmdrTaco married to Kathleen Fent. Many geeks believe Kathleen, a purported transvestite, outmeasures CmdrTaco.
  • 2002. Slashdot parent corporation VA Research^W Linux^W Software stock worth 35 cents. Rumors that AOL, Microsoft, or even Jimmy the hobo who lives under the Longfellow Bridge may buy it.
  • 2003. VA Software bought by Microsoft for a cup of coffee and a donut. All Microsoft-critical articles mysteriously disappear from Slashdot. Bill Gates as Borg logo replaced with Bill Gates as God.
  • 2003. Papperatzi videos of Miguel de Icaza caught going down on Bill Gates in his private yacht spread across Usenet. Miguel swears that recent decisions to rename the Gnome desktop to Windows NT 6.0 have nothing to do with it.
  • 2004. CmdrTaco loses hist virginity.
  • 2004. The WIPO Troll returns again, showering Slashdot in 45,000 copies of the same post: Lick my crotch hairs. Slashdot, despite running on 18 redundant IIS/8.0 servers, buckles under the load. The term Slashdotted is replaced with WIPO-Trolled.
  • 2004. Slashdot, the last vestige of VA Research^W Linux^W Software^W Microsoft, officially shut down. Millions of screaming, unwashed geeks invade Redmond campus and lynch Bill Gates. CmdrTaco is believed to posess the only remaining copy of the Slashdot database on several hundred CD-Rs.
  • 2005. The Linux is world is shocked when Linus Torvalds and Anal Cox are found dead along with six penguins, an empty tub of crisco and several used condoms. Millions of screaming, unwashed geeks invade Redmond campus and lynch Steve Ballmer.
  • 2005. CmdrTaco rumored to have had sex again.
  • 2006. CowboiKneel found dead in hotel room with 56 pizza boxes covering his bloated corpse. Three suffocated gay prostitutes are extracted from beneath his body as police remove it with a backhoe.
  • 2007. CmdrTaco actually has sex again. With a woman.
  • 2007. BSD is still officially dying. No word on when its demise will take place.
  • 2007. CmdrTaco starts new weblog to replace Slashdot, creatively named Dotslash. Remainder of Linux users flock to the site and immediate WIPO-Troll it out of existence.
  • 2008. CmdrTaco has sex with his wife for the first time.
  • 2009. After years of living under the heel of his domineering wife, and being deprived of companyof his life-long friend, Jeff Homos Bates, CmdrTaco commits suicide. Another unwashed geek mob gathers and tears Kathleen Fent to shreds. Geeks discover Ms. Fent was indeed a woman, but dont exactly know what that means. Driven by their sexually-repressed rage, they subsequently invade Redmond again and lynch the current CEO of Microsoft, Miguel deIcaza.
  • 2009. Richard Stallman mysteriously murdered. Conspiracy theories run rampant, most involving Microsoft in some way. Invasions of Redmond campus by hordes of geeks become commonplace.
  • 2010. Stallman murder solved when Eric S. Raymond confesses. Raymond blamed the collapse of VA Research^W Linux^W Software^W Microsoft on Stallmans dogmatic insistence on prefixing every open-source project with GNU. Raymond is subsequently committed to an insane asylum, again giving the horde of geeks an excuse to raze Redmond.
  • 2010. An ex-hacker reports witnessing CmdrTaco at a gas station in Tennessee. The nearly-defunct Linux movement is rekindled as CmdrTaco sightings become common.
  • 2011. Microsoft campus burnt to the ground by screaming, unwashed geek mob after Microsoft is blamed when a Linuxhacker in Cambridge, Massachusetts spills his coffee on his pants. Microsoft undaunted as their plans to buy out the Federal Government come to fruition. Washington, D.C. renamed Microsoft Capitol 2010.

Re:Fuck Slashdot! Fuck it hard!!! (0, Troll)

m_evanchik (398143) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219686)

Oh fuck it, but that shit ("that shit" referring to the previous post) was funny.

Re:Fuck Slashdot! Fuck it hard!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219701)

did you mean to post that anonymously?

*sigh*.. (1)

laserweasel (568666) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219615)

The only weight reduction that's going to happen here is NASA's wallet getting lighter once Congress notices we wasted that much money on the promises of a crackpot..

Poor Article Poor chances (0, Insightful)

quantaman (517394) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219620)

From the sounds of it the writer of the article might be blowing this out of proportion. All they did is built a machine to the specifications of the physicist who claimed to have achieved results years ago but no one was able to publicly replicated his results (and the set up had to be exactly right so even if he's right it still might not work!). Also I pulled this quote from the article,
The Podkletnov effect suggests it may be possible to effectively reduce the mass of the ship, thereby reducing the overall energy needed for acceleration.
Gravity has NOTHING to do with mass, anyone who took high school physics should be able to tell you that. I also have doubts if this could be used to help propel a ship out of the atmosphere. If this really worked this could be used as the basis of a perpetual motion device. Piston floats up, falls down, infinite energy. Going by the law of conservation of energy if this does reduce the effect of gravity I strongly suspect the amount of energy needed to maintain the effect will be at least equal to or greater than the potential energy difference of the material affected. The writer is obviously ill informed and I wouldn't put too much veracity in this claim. Sorry people:(

Re:Poor Article Poor chances (4, Informative)

Brandeissansoo (553129) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219773)

Quote: "Gravity has NOTHING to do with mass, anyone who took high school physics should be able to tell you that."

Actually, gravity depends on three things,
1) The mass of the object that is being attracted
2) The mass of the object 1) is attracted to(typically much greater than the mass of 1))
3) The distance separating the two.

This relationship is called Newton's law of gravitation:

F(gravity) = G*(mass(small)*mass(big))/(distance)^2

Re:Poor Article Poor chances (2)

gnovos (447128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219779)

Not exatly, let's say the amount of energy needed to keep the disk spinning up and down and float the piston up (out of the gravity well) happens to be more than the energy that is gained by dropping the ball, then energy is conserved.

Re:Poor Article Poor chances (1)

dangermouse (2242) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219780)

Gravity has NOTHING to do with mass, anyone who took high school physics should be able to tell you that.

Huh? F = ma, yo. Gravity provides a and is therefore pretty much constant. If you can vary m, you therefore can vary F, which means you can vary the amount of energy needed to counteract a. That's his whole point.

Crap, that was in my high school physics course.

Re:Poor Article Poor chances (4, Informative)

dstone (191334) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219805)

Gravity has NOTHING to do with mass, anyone who took high school physics should be able to tell you that.

Check your high school physics notes again. Gravity has everything to do with mass. Gravity is the attraction of objects to each other because of their mass. Every object posessing mass has a gravitational field. The strength of that field is proportional to the amount of... wait for it... mass.

If you witness/measure less gravitational force in a system, you can conclude at least one of three things, according to the high school physics you speak of:
1. The universal gravitational constant has been reduced.
2. One or more masses in the system have been reduced.
3. The distance between the masses has been increased.

hold the phone... (1)

vena (318873) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219626)

why didn't someone tell me it was this easy to get money from NASA?

oldest quack scheme in the book. claime something extraordinary, then claime that it's not reproducable by anyone else because they're not doing it exactly right, or don't have your special equipment. that's the same line that quack used who tried to say plants responded to your tone of voice.

Talking to plants. (2)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219756)

that's the same line that quack used who tried to say plants responded to your tone of voice

Tone of voice, no. CO2 yes. Sweet-talk a plant for a few minutes and you give it a strong shot of a relatively rare gas that it requires for its metabolism.

Sounds Like Perpetual Motion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219627)

This whole thing sounds eerily like repeated claims of building a perpetual motion machine (or a levitation box, or a free energy machine). Actual details kept secret, mutterings about having his work 'stolen', no demonstrable evidence of the effect, attempts to replicate the event failing because they didn't have the equipment "exactly right". Just you watch - tests will continue to be inconclusive or negative, and the scientist will begin muttering about a 'conspiracy' of his peers to silence this 'explosive' new funding. Eventually, a group of like-minded conspiracy kooks will form around this and claim that the whole thing was covered up by the Secret Masters (presumably the same Men In Black who suppress the 150-mpg carborator for Big Oil). Put it on the same stack as Orgone energy, cold fusion, and N-rays. Until the results can be replicated (or even demonstrated to have occured once), this isn't science.

Racism in Debian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219632)

Debian Bug report logs - #17,654,548,095 irssi-scripts: inappropriate racist and other offensive material

Message received at submit@bugs.debian.org:

Subject: irssi-scripts: inappropriate racist and other offensive material
To: submit@bugs.debian.org

Package: irssi-scripts
Version: 2
Severity: important

The following racist comments have been found in the irssi-scripts package:

WHITE POWER!!!!

Kill the Jew. The jew flithy jew is working to keep our country down.

Italians are hairy filthy degenerate race. I hear they all have nigger blood in them

Japs: they have buck teeth, they keep America down, they have small penises

When will we nuke China? It's about time we exterminated those smelly backstabbing chinks!

I hate the Greeks! They are swarthy boy-fucking apes!

We must eliminate the Tutsi scum! With our machetes we will make our land clean of the Tutsi vermin!

Norwegians are worse than animals. All they do is eat lutefisk and rape their daughters.

There is no excuse for racism in Debian.

-- System Information
Debian Release: 3.0
Kernel Version: Linux phoenix 2.4.18 #1 Sun Mar 3 20:15:51 UTC 2002 i586 unknown

Weight reduction and weightlessness? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219637)

Hypothetical question: what would happen if they were to try this device in the open space(weightless environment)? Would it still work? How would it work if the object is already weight less? (Assuming, of course, it works to begin with).

tim

It would work great in space. (3, Funny)

gnovos (447128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219804)

Yes, in space your weight will be reduced by 2% by this device. Since you "weigh" zero, and 2% of zero is also zero, it won't seem like much...

Some People Will Say Anything... (1)

pyrrho (167252) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219638)

... to get someone to let them make a superconducting magnetic flying disk machine.

I am totally a sucker for this in that I really believe understanding the field of gravity better would be a major accomplishment, and so likely to occur as to be a good place to expect a revolution in science.

But this guy is not really a scientist. His contribution is not open, and that is a part of science. Modern science came from hobbyists in science that shared information openly. That where the idea of free and open projects comes from.

AntiGravy (3, Interesting)

tcd004 (134130) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219641)

"James Cox, editor of AntiGravity News, lists no less than seven major classifications of anti-gravity devices, from those based on superconductivity, to those that exploit properties of gyroscopes and purported anomalies in nuclear physics or quantum mechanics. Cox himself is working on an anti-gravity backpack that he claims is nearing the patent stage. He is currently seeking funding to develop a commercially viable prototype."

I love how the web has made every Kook with a website an "Editor"--and a reasonable source for story on a scientific topic.

The government is turning welfare moms into prostitutes! [lostbrain.com]
tcd004
(Editor, Lostbrain.com)

Re:AntiGravy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219748)

I love how the web has made every Kook with a website an "Editor"--and a reasonable source for story on a scientific topic.

[insert Slashdot bashing comment here]

w00t w00t Scotty p00 p00 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219643)

Scotty, my little Vladdie-pooh, I'm a bit confused about which phone number to call you at. Am I still supposed to use (815) 727-0670, the mission apartment? Remember, that was the first place where we -- well, y'know. Tee hee! I thought you weren't living there anymore; you said you got kicked out when they found out about... us. Am I supposed to call you at your In-Laws, at (815) 723-4796, like you told me a couple weeks ago? When I called there and talked to your mom-in-law, she said you didn't live there. She sounded mad that I called her so late! Oh, behave! Scotty, I'm worried because it sounds like you're trying to avoid me. Please call me back. I need to hear your high girlish voice again. Love ya babe, Teddy

The next step. (1)

zapfie (560589) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219650)

Upon verification of the theory, Podkletnov (with the help of NASA) promises to personally visit all those who publicly doubted him, and laugh mockingly at them, while waving handfuls of money in their faces.

Scotty W00tty (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219655)

Scotty, my little Vladdie-pooh, I'm a bit confused about which phone number to call you at. Am I still supposed to use (815) 727-0670, the mission apartment? Remember, that was the first place where we -- well, y'know. Tee hee! I thought you weren't living there anymore; you said you got kicked out when they found out about... us. Am I supposed to call you at your In-Laws, at (815) 723-4796, like you told me a couple weeks ago? When I called there and talked to your mom-in-law, she said you didn't live there. She sounded mad that I called her so late! Oh, behave! Scotty, I'm worried because it sounds like you're trying to avoid me. Please call me back. I need to hear your high girlish voice again. Love ya babe, Teddy

spinning disks? (1)

TheCyko1 (568452) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219659)

so... this is gonna be some kinca gyrochopter or something?

It really works! (1)

mojo-raisin (223411) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219665)

I power my antigrav device with collapsing water bubbles. I'm hovering as I type this!

More Cox for everyone!! (-1)

Serial Troller (556155) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219670)

James Cox, editor of AntiGravity News, . . . .

JAMES Cox!? I wonder if this guy's any relation to ol' ANAL COX, #2 cockmaster of the Linux open mansauce operating system. Oh, and Slashdot: FUCK YOU AND FUCK YOUR ADS AND FUCK YOUR SELLING MY EMAIL ADDRESS TO SPAMMERS!!

Viagra (1, Offtopic)

XBL (305578) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219674)

This could finally be some competition to Viagra.

aTTTN! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219676)

Scotty, my little Vladdie-pooh, I'm a bit confused about which phone number to call you at. Am I still supposed to use (815) 727-0670, the mission apartment? Remember, that was the first place where we -- well, y'know. Tee hee! I thought you weren't living there anymore; you said you got kicked out when they found out about... us. Am I supposed to call you at your In-Laws, at (815) 723-4796, like you t0ld me a couple weeks ago? When I called there and talked to your mom-in-law, she said you didn't live there. She sounded mad that I called her so late! Oh, behave! Scotty, I'm worried because it sounds like you're trying to avoid me. Please call me back. I need to hear your high girlish voice again. Love ya babe, Teddy

Whatever buddy (1)

CanadaDave (544515) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219679)

"But Podkletnov insists the gravity-shielding effect only occurs when all the experimental conditions are precisely right"

Yeah, like when my instruments aren't calibrated because the Russian government won't pay me, and it just *looks* like a 2% decrease in gravity.

"The Podkletnov effect suggests it may be possible to effectively reduce the mass of the ship, thereby reducing the overall energy needed for acceleration."

But once the spacecraft is some distance away from the device, the device will probably not have much effect. Sounds like a waste of money making a cryogenic chamber large enough to house this device which would have very little effect on a rocket.

"Cox himself is working on an anti-gravity backpack that he claims is nearing the patent stage"

I wonder what the pricetag will be on that. This is sure to join the ranks of famous humorous patents [delphion.com] .

I'm not saying this won't work, but a lot of it sounds sketchy. The only credible part about it is that NASA is working on it. Wait a minute NASA...credibility...that doesn't sound right...I guess I was thinking about a different organization. If it does work, this device should theoretically be able to create gravity as well...sort of by conservation of gravity I guess.

TROLLS WHERE ARE ALL THE TROLLS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219683)

TROLLS where are all the TROLLS?

Re:TROLLS WHERE ARE ALL THE TROLLS? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219709)

Scotty, my little Vladdie-pooh, I'm a bit confused about which phone number to call you at. Am I still supposed to use (815) 727-0670 the mission apartment? Remember, that was the first place where we -- well, y'know. Tee hee! I thought you weren't living there anymore; you said you got kicked out when they found out about... us. Am I supposed to call you at your In-Laws, at (815) 723-4796, like you told me a couple weeks ago? When I called there and talked to your mom-in-law, she said you didn't live there. She sounded mad that I called her so late! Oh, behave! Scotty, I'm worried because it sounds like you're trying to avoid me. Please call me back. I need to hear your high girlish voice again. Love ya babe, Teddy

Attn Scotty Plz Respond! Thnx! :) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219690)

Scotty, my little Vladdie-pooh, I'm a bit confused about which phone number to call you at. Am I still supposed to use (815) 727-0670, the mission apartment? Remember, that was the first place where we - well, y'know. Tee hee! I thought you weren't living there anymore; you said you got kicked out when they found out about... us. Am I supposed to call you at your In-Laws, at (815) 723-4796, like you told me a couple weeks ago? When I called there and talked to your mom-in-law, she said you didn't live there. She sounded mad that I called her so late! Oh, behave! Scotty, I'm worried because it sounds like you're trying to avoid me. Please call me back. I need to hear your high girlish voice again. Love ya babe, Teddy

An open letter to Rob Malda (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219699)

You need to go back to highschool and learn some basics about life. Oh and by the way, don't waste all your time playing with computers and Linux when your hormones are raging and you could be getting laid.

You can't spell. Your grammar is worth shit. You can't get a decent job. You don't know the least about relationships (proposing on a "news for nerds" website). Either crawl into a hole and die or start taking life seriously.

PM Article. (2, Insightful)

stuffman64 (208233) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219704)

Popular Mechanics ran something to this effect sometime ago. It can be found online here [popularmechanics.com] .

I can just imagine it now, getting spam that reads: "Do you weigh over 200lbs? Well we have the solution for you! Loose over 4lbs INSTANTLY! Thats right, INSTANTLY! NO gimmicks, NO drugs, just pure science! Only $600,000! Act Now!"

What about a rotating would make mass 'change'? (3, Insightful)

Calrathan (114381) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219708)

Is this effect similar to that of the levitating frogs? [I dont have a link handy... anyone care to help?]

If so, could the rotating simply be acting to create a focus point of magnetic energy at some point on the axis of rotation, above the superconducting disc? If the object being tested has any magnetic substace in it at all, then a strong magnetic field could cause it to seem less weighted, right?

I also question the use of the Cavandish balance to measure the mass of the item above the spinning disk. We're dealing with a superconductor in a magnetic and electric field... What is preventing this device from causing some strange magnetic effect. What about ionization of the air around this device?

These are just my inital reactions to the article, and I'm no Physics expert. What are your thoughts, friends?

Re:What about a rotating would make mass 'change'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219749)

No, the floating frog was showing how super-massive electromagnets can magnetize nonferrus(sp?) materials, to the point they can suspend them.

Re:What about a rotating would make mass 'change'? (2)

spectecjr (31235) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219820)

No, the floating frog was showing how super-massive electromagnets can magnetize nonferrus(sp?) materials, to the point they can suspend them.

Oxygen is paramagnetic. Any dipole molecule will act as a magnet in a magnetic field. Heck, even single electron spins act in that way (line-splitting, for example, in spectroscopy works this way).

All this was known forever. It was the first time, though, that anyone tried doing it with an object. And let's face it, levitation is cool - and highly news-worthy.

Basically, though, with a big enough magnet, you can float pretty much anything you'd come across in every-day life.

Re:What about a rotating would make mass 'change'? (1)

andrewtea (208706) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219781)

there could be some sort of magnetization going on, i agree...

the rotation wouldnt really focus the magnetic field at all because the field is probably uniform anyway..what the rotation is probably for is it creates stability in the disk (it is acting like a gyro)

what this results in who the hell knows...but i really am doubting its anything anit-gravity like

Does this mean... (1)

Wheaty18 (465429) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219711)

...that I wont need to get up to grab a beer anymore?

Perpetual motion machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219712)

So you reduce a 1kg mass's weight to one gram,
then accelerate it to a great speed, then
turn off the antigravity machine, then
use the 1000x increase in kinetic energy
to generate more energy than you put in.

I don't think so.

Re:Perpetual motion machine (1)

Bladesnitz (75600) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219736)

Well, considering gravity modifies the force of an object and force is 'weight', this has nothing to do with the topic. a 1000kg object under normal gravity (9.8m/s^2) will have a "weight" of 9800N (N -> Newtons).

I think I noticed that even in the article, they confused 'mass' and 'weight'. Mass is constant. Weight is dependent on gravity.

Nothing to do with "gravity" (1)

Loki7154 (548862) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219743)

As I recall, there was an issue (last year?) of Scientific American that had a contraption similar to this in discussion, but it was in the lab of an extremely well-respected scientist. I can't remember the name or any specifics, but from what I remember, it doesn't have anything to do with gravity at all. Actually, it works on the electromagnetic (I think...sounds close to right) properties of matter to actually _repel_ objects. There were some calculations about the size of a spinning disk of superconducting material and power requirements. Sounds awfully like the story. Again, this doesn't violate any laws of physics because the energy put into the system is greater than the energy required to "push" the object up. In short, it can negate gravity in about the same way that a rocket negates gravity. Just a little more convenient and probably more efficient. Don't be shocked if it works...but it's not "revolutionary" either. Anyone want to help on the SciAm article? I can't remember details for the life of me...

UFOs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219759)

Now, I understand why UFOS are circular-rotating ships... :-p

why this got funded... (5, Insightful)

thogard (43403) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219763)

All the space probes we can measure are slowing down. The ones where the effect is most oticed are teh GPS sats since they have real good clocks and we know where they are and the long distance Pioneer and Voyagers. NASA isn't sure why this is happening. They know its going on and need to find out why.

If I do an experiment where I can show gravity doesn't work like its expected to, they will look into it. Most of the time the result is that somone put an Acme magnet in the wrong place. NASA doesn't care what the experimentor's (or crackpot's) theory is, they want to duplicate the experiment and try to find out the real reason for the change in mass. If your respected enough to do an expirment, its worth their time to look into it even if your theory is the disk weighs less because of the magic elves.

Nothings Free (1)

rnicey (315158) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219764)

The bit about potentially using it to reduce the mass of ships to make propulsion more efficient seems a bit dodgy to say the least.

Sure, you might one day find some amazing new principal that allows you to manipulate gravity, but the energy required to do it puts you right back at square one. You need to carry fuel to power the anti-grav unit so you need less fuel.

Hmmmm.

Good point, but there is a better reason (1)

Darkfred (245270) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219815)

Good point but you completely missed the one big reason it won't work.
If you use this device to reduce the mass of a ship it would also reduce the potential energy of everything in the ship, including the fuel.
Rocket engines are basically a more complicated manner of throwing mass the other direction. If the fuel has less mass it will cause less forward motion as it moves away, this is simple highschool physics.

The person who wrote the article probably thought of this himself but just couldn't think it all the way through with his 4th grade education.less it will

hmmm...seems fishy (2, Insightful)

andrewtea (208706) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219767)

as always, extraordinary results require extraordinary proof

as much as id love to see this kind of stuff a reality, this particular claim seems off to me. It happens way too often in the physics community that someone claims to have made some breakthrough, be it in superluminal light pulses, or cold fusion and really they are just full of it.

it seems most often that theyve put so much of their life and time into their work that when they dont get anything meaningfull they either fudge the results or "see" what they want to.

unfortunately that is probably the case here..a dead giveaway is Mr P's (i cant spell his name) initial secrecy, that always kind of says something about the authenticity of the claim...it also doesnt help that his hosting university throws him out and noone else can reproduce his claim...on the grounds that its too complicated to set up properly. bs

but im always the skeptic...even if im hopeful

good for nasa though in actually staking out the claim...and if they need to killing the hype

id like to know how Mr P measured his weight change too...if he use similiar ballances to nasa or something else he cooked up

Centrifugal force (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219768)

NASA and scores of science fiction writers already use centrifugal force as a method of either increasing or decreasing "artificial gravity" and I would not be suprised if this is closely tied to the "weight reduction" claims in some manner. Magnetism has some displayable apparent gravitation effects as well. IE you can use magnetic fields to make it at least look like your defying gravity. EX: float a non-fixed position magnet between two fixed position magnets and the middle magnet appears to defy gravity. Magnetic fields could similarly be used to "fool" scales as well.
Weight is not a constant across the universe, mass however is.

Whats todays date? (3, Funny)

Linuxthess (529239) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219778)

For a second I thought it was April 1st.

The article states "The Podkletnov effect suggests it may be possible to effectively reduce the mass of the ship, thereby reducing the overall energy needed for acceleration."

Now as every semi-educated idiot knows, Mass and Weight are two different measures. Mass is an immutable constant, while weight is strictly based on the strength of the gravational field.

In other words wieght can vary, but mass will never.

I did a Google search on this "paranoid" scientist and I couldn't find anything negative.
---------------

Dear Apple (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219785)

Dear Apple,

I am homosexual. I bought an Apple computer because of its well earned reputation for being "the" gay computer. Since I have become an Apple owner, I have been exposed to a whole new world of gay friends. It is really a pleasure to meet and compute with other homos such as myself. I plan on using my new Apple computer as a way to entice and recruit young schoolboys into the homosexual lifestyle; it would be so helpful if you could produce more software which would appeal to young boys. Thanks in advance.

with much gayness,

-Father Randy O'Day, S.J.

/pot lack of editing...still the pits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219789)

Check one:
__ must read
__ good read
__ interesting read
__ none of the above

...print this out and pin it up in the break room.

Anybody recommend some reading for me? (2)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219803)

Anybody know of any beginners guides to physics, preferably on the web I can start reading?

I read 'The Physics of Star Trek' recently, and found that to have a very fascinating insight into how likely some of the fictional technology is. The author did a good job of explaining some of the more complex stuff in terms I could understand. Now I hunger for more. Anybody have a site or a book they could point me to?

This sounds like.. (2, Informative)

Zarathustra.fi (513464) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219809)

..they're approaching the Holy Grail from, if not wrong, then atleast from a difficult angle. I mean, according to the article, Podkletnov:

"..insists the gravity-shielding effect only occurs when all the experimental conditions are precisely right."

So we need a disc of special superconducting material spinning at just the right speed, etc., and then and only then the effect occurs.

If they can replicate the 2% weight loss in the experiment it'd be great. But only when they can tell what really triggers the effect, and how to do it with larger discs and at any RPM, then I'll raise my hat to true science. This is just lucky engineering, atleast to my views.

Hmm I wonder what would happen if they put multiple discs on top of each other. Would it multiply the effect..?

Okay, okay, maybe I should finally read that report he wrote some time ago. ;)

podkletnov's paper (5, Informative)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219819)

Evgeny Podkletnov and Giovanni Modanese have posted one of their papers on the arXiv: http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/physics/0108005

Levitation Movies on ArtBell.com (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3219821)

Created by odd people, which is why Art Bell has their footage on his goofy site, but check out this link [artbell.com] and look for the levitation videos, which are actually at the following (links directly to movies on art bell's site):


Movie 1 [artbell.com]
Movie 2 [artbell.com]

I think these were made by the guys who published that paper on stove top fusion a few years back... these are actual, though goofy, movies of alleged (and highly dubious) levitation.

Silly? You bet. Also on that art bell page are links to movies with David Blain street magic levitation tricks. Anti-gravity-like stuff.

Pull the other one, it has bells on.... (2, Insightful)

Observer (91365) | more than 12 years ago | (#3219829)

This "research" has all the signs of pseudo-science. The results are alledgedly reproducible, but only when conditions are "exactly right" which they never seem to be when other people try to repeat the tests independently. The researcher himself won't help other people or publish more than vague information because, so he says, he's afraid of being ripped off. As a result, he's has been thrown out of the academic institution where he used to work. No plausible theoretical underpinning for the effect, and plenty of scope in the test setup outlined in what little has been published for other effects to be present which might be confused with the result that's claimed, especially by someone who - to put it charitably - may find it difficult to maintain full scientific objectivity when considering the results.

NASA must have contracted a bad dose of the "but they said Einstein was wrong" meme to even consider getting involved in this quackery.
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