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Physicist Kip Thorne On the Physics of "Interstellar"

QuantumPion Re:Inconsistent fuel? (289 comments)

The Endurance itself was large and heavy and full of fuel, requiring a large rocket to get to orbit.

The Ranger was a small, lightweight spaceplane which probably used something like a SABRE engine.

Here is a delta-V map of the solar system. According to it, you would need 6300 m/s delta-V to return to Earth from Mars. Which is about 2/3 the delta-V required to get to Earth orbit.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

QuantumPion Re:The Internet answer (516 comments)

The reason why no one switches energy providers whom put their cables underground because if such a utility did exist, its electric prices would be much higher and almost everyone would chose the cheaper, slightly less reliable option and drive them out of business. The problem isn't capitalism. The problem is people like low prices and our current system is good enough not to warrant voluntarily paying more.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

QuantumPion Re: Market forces don't work on essential utilitie (516 comments)

On the contrary, market forces work fine. The problem is simply a case of the leaky roof problem. You can't fix the roof it when it's raining, and when it's not raining there is no need to fix it because it isn't raining. When people's lights are on and working it's hard to convince them to voluntarily pay more to upgrade transmission systems.

about a month ago
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Halting Problem Proves That Lethal Robots Cannot Correctly Decide To Kill Humans

QuantumPion Kill Limit (335 comments)

Just make sure the killbots are programmed with a pre-set kill limit. If anything ever goes wrong, all we have to do is send waves after waves of our own men at them them until they reach said limit and shut themselves down.

about a month ago
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Ebola Does Not Require an "Ebola Czar," Nor Calling Up the National Guard

QuantumPion Re:Politics (384 comments)

And you being modded +5 Insightful while the parent is modded -1 troll summed up Slashdot. :)

about a month ago
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Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

QuantumPion Re:Ehhh, cases. (425 comments)

The thinner you make the phone, the thinner it will be even with a case on. And since the camera has to have a cut-out for it anyway, it makes no difference unless you are using the phone without any case.

about 3 months ago
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Using Wearable Tech To Track Gun Use

QuantumPion Easier and better solution (264 comments)

Why not just add a small camera attachment to the gun (i.e. on a picatinny rail where flashlights are commonly mounted) and have it automatically activate whenever the gun is held? Seems simple, cost effective, and would show exactly when and what is being aimed at and what was happening.

about 3 months ago
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UN Study Shows Record-High Increases For Atmospheric CO2 In 2013

QuantumPion Testable Prediction (427 comments)

On the global scale, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere reached 396.0 parts per million in 2013. The atmospheric increase of CO2 from 2012 to 2013 was 2.9 parts per million, which is the largest annual increase for the period 1984-2013. Concentrations of CO2 are subject to seasonal and regional fluctuations. At the current rate of increase, the global annual average CO2 concentration is set to cross the symbolic 400 parts per million threshold in 2015 or 2016.

Oh good, they actually have a testable quantifiable prediction that CO2 will continue to increase at the same rate and exceed 400 ppm in the next two years. If their prediction proves to be correct that will lend credibility to their models. But if CO2 does not do this, will they admit they don't know what exactly is going on with the environment? Or will they still claim that the less than expected raise in CO2 is also proof of climate change due to some previously undisclosed factor?

about 3 months ago
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Astronomers Find What May Be the Closest Exoplanet So Far

QuantumPion Re:Time to travel 11 light years (89 comments)

Try plugging your trip into the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation. Assume the most theoretically advanced engine exhaust velocity. What is the required initial mass for your rocket? How many multiples of the mass of the entire universe are required for your rocket?

about 4 months ago
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Researchers Find Security Flaws In Backscatter X-ray Scanners

QuantumPion Re:and yet (146 comments)

Nothing will change most likely.

Sure they will. They will quickly be replaced with an improved model, generating large profits and campaign contributions for all involved, just like in the broken window parable. Everybody wins!

about 4 months ago
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If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

QuantumPion Re: Fusion Confusion (305 comments)

Despite having spent billions (22 Billion USD on hot fusion research by US alone) on the problem so far, with billions yet to come, we do not have working fusion reactors. Even ITER will just be a prototype with no power generation at all. Cost to develop commercially, unknown but bound to be a lot of money.

Despite $10 billion spent on the Large Hadron Collider, we have yet to see any production of commercially useful quantities of antimatter. Therefore, the LHC is a boondoggle waste of money and a failure.

about 4 months ago
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San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant Dismantling Will Cost $4.4 Billion, Take 20 Years

QuantumPion Re:Cost to dismantle vs fix (343 comments)

These aren't just some random leaky pipes. We're talking about both steam generators, on both units. What happened was the old steam generators were at the end of their design life, so they were replaced with what was supposed to be like-for-like replacement. It turned out the new ones had a design flaw which caused the tubes resonate and vibrate, causing damage early on. The original cost of the steam generators was nearly $1 billion. While they could get new steam generators, it would probably take at least two years to have them made and installed. The lost generation during that time, combined with all sorts of regulatory costs, would be too much to make it worth it.

about 5 months ago
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iFixit Takes Apart the Oculus Rift DK2, Finds Galaxy Note 3 Display Inside

QuantumPion Re:Got mine 2 days ago. (57 comments)

This is very true indeed. I've had tons of fun playing flight simulators Elite Dangerous and DSC. The games where you have to move around in first person make me a little dizzy, especially when turning. I really wish there was a way to adjust the speed at which you turn, or implement some method of making walking feel more natural. Anyway, I also tried out a roller coaster demo, and that nearly made me sick after about 6 seconds. Simulator sickness, due to lack of IRL g-forces, is a very, very strange feeling

about 5 months ago
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35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

QuantumPion Re:medical services need a billing time limit (570 comments)

Because in America we have two groups of people - those that think they have a right to be provided unlimited health care for free at someone else's expense, and those that think health care is a service like any other that should be paid for by the consumer. The mess we have now is a result of government trying to please both groups simultaneously.

about 5 months ago
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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

QuantumPion My LASIK story (550 comments)

I had been considering getting LASIK for years but kept putting it off out of fear of damaging my sight, or the idea that technology would improve in the future and make the outcomes better/less risky. About two years ago though I started getting terrible headaches due to Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, caused by my glasses. Basically, the feel of my glasses on my face was causing me to contract my facial muscles so much that it was giving me severe headaches and sometimes even a jaw so sore I could not open my mouth. I tried contacts several times over the years but none of the brands worked for me - they were too dry, too irritating, and I was unable to focus on computer screens with them for some reason (necessitating needing contacts + reading glasses!).

So finally in spring 2013 I finally got the nerve (and HSA funds saved up) to get LASIK done. I went to a highly reputable doctor, whom has performed more procedures than anyone else in the country (including several famous actors and athletes). They told me going in that no surgery is perfect and to have realistic expectations. I was an excellent candidate, I had nice thick corneas and moderate myopia and astigmatism. The only problems were my eyes were a little on the dry side and my pupils dilate greater than the treated area. I went ahead with the surgery anyway, once I had the nerve to go through with it I was extremely excited and eager to have it done and be able to enjoy the rest of my youth without needing glasses.

My results came out very good, but not perfect. A friend of mine whom had LASIK just before myself was disappointed because they under corrected her. Knowing this, I asked the doc to not under correct, I wanted the full correction. I ended up getting about 20/15 in both eyes, so I was very happy. I had bad halos and starbursts, which made me somewhat worried. However, those aberrations very gradually went away. It was so gradual that I hardly even noticed that I could no longer see them - but it took over a year. I do have drier eyes even now, so I need to use eye drops once a day or every other day. But they are not irritated or uncomfortable, they just get kind of sticky over a couple days which makes my vision less sharp. The only other downside was my nightvision is kind of...weird. When my pupil dilates greater than the treated area, I see hard to describe aberrations - mainly in point light sources in a dark area that end up having a sort of blur or ghost around them.

Over all, I'm very happy with my results and glad I took the plunge. I don't even remember what it was like to have glasses any more and I love no longer being reliant on them. Especially now since the Oculus Rift is coming out very soon!

about 5 months ago
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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

QuantumPion Re:My coworker had a bad experience (550 comments)

I had lasik about 1.5 years ago, they didn't mess it up, but I do need to use eye drops every day or every other day. My eyes don't get uncomfortably dry or irradiated, but they get kind of sticky which makes my vision less sharp. So I use eye drops to wash them out basically.

about 5 months ago
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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

QuantumPion Re:Fear (550 comments)

I was too until I finally had the balls to just do it. I'd rather be able to live the rest of my active youth without the need for glasses than worry about whether I will need bifocals when I'm 40.

about 5 months ago
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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

QuantumPion Re:Astronomy, and general poor night-time results. (550 comments)

This is the one main gripe I have about the outcome of my surgery. I went in to it knowing that I was susceptible to worse night vision, due to having pupils that dilate larger than the corrected area. At night time, seeing bright objects in an otherwise dark area causes a weird sort of blur or ghost that is hard to describe. It makes visual astronomy more difficult. However despite that negative side effect, my night time vision is still better than it was with glasses - just not 100% perfect. The benefits outweigh the costs and I'm happy with the results overall.

about 5 months ago
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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

QuantumPion Re:not a permanent fix (550 comments)

I had mine done at TLC which offers lifetime guarantee - they will perform a touch up surgery for free if my vision ever degrades enough to need it again.

about 5 months ago
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Site of 1976 "Atomic Man" Accident To Be Cleaned

QuantumPion Re:Cecil Kelley (299 comments)

The people who got the highest dose at Hiroshima and Nagasaki also suffered from the other effects of the bomb, like heat and blast, and there wasn't emough left of them to measure

The bombs were detonated at some altitude above the ground so no one could have been close enough to receive that much direct radiation anyway.

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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Obama's EPA Makes A Rad Decision

QuantumPion QuantumPion writes  |  about a year and a half ago

QuantumPion (805098) writes "The Environmental Protection Agency released draft guidelines last month that could significantly relax radiation hazard standards in the case of a radiological event in the United States by using risk-based decisions.

“Think of it this way. The situations covered by these new guidelines are similar to someone dying of thirst who has the chance to drink fresh water having 2,000 pCi per gallon of radium in it. While the safe drinking water levels are 20 pCi/gal for Ra, 2,000 pCi/gal is of no threat, especially if you’re going to die from imminent dehydration. Of course, a bag of potato chips has 3,500 picocuries, so go figure.”"

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