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NASA's Orion Spaceship Passes Parachute Test

captainpanic Re:That's great (75 comments)

There is no one-size fits all capsule and although the Dragon could be modified to work for deep space missions as this has been taken into account from the start, it isn't currently built for that.

Agreed. The Dragon seems to be just a 7-passenger taxi service to the ISS. However, you could probably dock it to another space station too, one with living quarters, a Mars-lander and a bunch of big engines and fuel tanks, and then you have your Mars mission complete.

about a month ago
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Google Starts Removing Search Results After EU Ruling

captainpanic Re:Good. (138 comments)

True, but a lot of the requests come from politicians with dodgy pasts and paedophiles.

Yeah, but there are also millions of people who posted rather silly posts when drunk as a student, or other minor mistakes, who now have good careers and who want to get rid of some undesirable content about them on the internet.

Paedophiles, as well as any other criminal, have the right to make a new start after having served their sentence. The court determines a punishment, and often a treatment, and after that these people deserve the chance to make a new start (otherwise, the sentence is for life... and while you may agree with a life sentence, the court deliberately did not give a life sentence). Sometimes these people become politicians. If they served their sentence, and hopefully learned their mistake, then I have no problems with it.

about a month ago
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EU's Top Court May Define Obesity As a Disability

captainpanic Re:I'm almost cool with this (625 comments)

Actually, no. If it is a real disability, and an obese person is registered as such, they receive the necessary medical care as any other disabled person. If that care includes a diet or regular exercise, then so be it.

Look at someone with a disability on their legs (note: I am no doctor). They can apply for a wheelchair, which will be covered for them, but only if they go see a doctor. This doctor will first see if he can help the disabled person back on his feet. If that fails, the wheelchair is the backup plan.

The medical system - at least where I live in Europe - will always choose healing over just dealing with the symptoms.

about a month and a half ago
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DNA Study: First Farmers Were Also Sailors

captainpanic How about river deltas? (40 comments)

Maybe the first agriculture just went from one fertile river delta to the next? Those happen to be on or near the coastlines.

Unless they have dug up some boats from 10,000 years ago, I don't see any evidence of actual sailing.

about 2 months ago
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Free Wi-Fi Coming To Atlanta's Airport

captainpanic Re:Hey, what? $5? (135 comments)

Indeed. Welcome to the 21st century, Atlanta.

about 2 months ago
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NRC Human Spaceflight Report Says NASA Strategy Can't Get Humans To Mars

captainpanic Re:Sorry... (206 comments)

Also, they have a central government capable of making big decisions and capable of running large technical projects.
They may only have a little rover on the Moon, and very few (if any) space probes that are outside the earth's gravity well, but they can totally claim that they can make a decision, and then commit huge efforts to it. Look at their high speed railways. They have overtaken Europe (all of it combined) already.

If the Chinese are going for it, they really are going for it... unlike Europe or the US where the decisions are taken by a committee, which eventually will reach some lame compromise to do it only for 50% and only within a set of criteria which must support the almighty Economy, because heaven forsake if we ever waste some money - all the while blowing away money on management and bureaucratic inefficiency.

about 2 months ago
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UK Seeks To Hold Terrorism Trial In Secret

captainpanic Re:Dear UK (240 comments)

I enjoy your sarcasm, but I will still answer your 1st question as if you were serious.

How do you know it's not a case so important and transcendental that absolute secrecy is required to protect British society as a whole?

Because the system on which our liberty and freedom is based is more important than some guys setting of a bomb, no matter how large the attack.

We just cannot - under any circumstance - accept a situation that a government can capture, try and imprison people without ever having to be accountable for those actions.

I could accept a situation where trial is postponed because of ongoing investigations against others, but the trial must be public. Heck, we (= the West) have been fighting regimes that did this in the past, saying we had to liberate the people from the oppression, etc. etc., and now we're doing it ourselves? Does not compute.

about 2 months ago
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Linux Mint 17 'Qiana' Released

captainpanic Re:This is so 1990s (132 comments)

The long term support version of Linux Mint is indeed newsworthy. I think it is the upcoming popular Linux for the desktop. Why? Because it works, without any unnecessary fancy stuff.

In fact, I would recommend it to anyone who wants to upgrade an old WinXP computer to something more 2014. From experience I can say that installation is really easy, and it will allow you to go online, email, watch movies, listen music or write any documents/excel sheets just like XP did.

about 2 months ago
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US Nuclear Plants Expanding Long-Term Waste Storage Facilities

captainpanic Re:what a waste (187 comments)

Why would the feds have to invest in that? What you propose is just another subsidy by a government that is already almost bankrupt. Why not allow the corporations to exploit this very interesting and profitable market? [/sarcasm]

about 2 months ago
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Should We Eat Invasive Species?

captainpanic Re:blackberries in seattle? I'm Shocked. Shocked (290 comments)

Berries are meant to be eaten. Why else would a plant put yummy sweet stuff around its seeds? You're actually helping the plant to thrive if you pick the berries (especially if you drop a few here and there while picking, or otherwise spread the seeds around).

If you want it gone, pull it out at the roots, and only then pick the berries.

about 2 months ago
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Four Weeks Without Soap Or Shampoo

captainpanic Missed opportunity (250 comments)

Missed opportunity to mention it is "Mostly Harmless" (instead of this "generally harmless"). Also, if they had gone 6 weeks, instead of 4, that would have been 42 days, which is a much better number. Then this invention should have been called the ultimate solution to the universe etc... the only puzzle remaining then is what the heck you always need a towel for.

about 2 months ago
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Trillions of Plastic Pieces May Be Trapped In Arctic Ice

captainpanic Re:It didn't take long to leave our mark in the se (136 comments)

Firstly a disclaimer: I am not the historian you asked for (i.e. no expert). But I do have 2 cents to add to this comment.

I think cities/towns were often built on high ground as a prevention against flooding. People want to live near fresh water for irrigation, but still keep their houses dry.
Therefore, the main elevation of the town centers is not a giant pile of old trash, but a natural elevation (also known as a "hill"). But it is true that people would discard old items into a canal or river, or just in the mud, and in old cities you will almost always find something if you dig down.

about 2 months ago
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Curiosity Rover May Have Brought Dozens of Microbes To Mars

captainpanic Re:And thus, terraforming has begun (97 comments)

True. The total pressure is much lower on Mars. However, the CO2 partial pressure is higher:

On Earth, we have a total of 1 bar, and 0.04% of that is CO2. That means a CO2 partial pressure of 0.0004 bar CO2, or 0.4 mbar CO2.
On Mars, there is a total of 6 mbar pressure, but 96% of that is CO2. That means a CO2 partial pressure of 0.0058 bar CO2, or 5.8 mbar CO2, almost 15 times as much CO2.

The plants may lack everything else (they do need the other gases in the atmosphere, I know, and liquid water in the soil). But just maybe some really tough microorganisms can survive.

about 2 months ago
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Curiosity Rover May Have Brought Dozens of Microbes To Mars

captainpanic Re:The stuff of sci-fi. (97 comments)

If these microbes ever evolve to something as intelligent as us humans, their archaeologists will have quite some explaining to do when they dig up the Curiosity rover.

about 2 months ago
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Curiosity Rover May Have Brought Dozens of Microbes To Mars

captainpanic And thus, terraforming has begun (97 comments)

Terraforming has begun. With some luck, there were one or two microbes that can do photosynthesis. Plenty of CO2 on Mars.
Yes, it will take a really long time, but we had to start at some point, right? Good job, NASA.

about 2 months ago
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US To Charge Chinese Military Employees With Hacking

captainpanic Re:Vs the NSA (225 comments)

At least that makes for a bulletproof court case: NSA files show that the data is now stored on a Chinese government computer... Oh, wait.

about 2 months ago
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Orca Identified As 103 Years Old

captainpanic Re:Wrong focus for your anger (194 comments)

GP never stated that he or she eat meat.
You are making an assumption on an individual based on how the majority is.

True. I should not have made it personal.
Regardless, I still think that since Sea World is a relatively insignificant issue (in the big picture), it receives way too much attention. It would be better if those who criticise it focus their anger on a larger issue than this.

about 3 months ago
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Orca Identified As 103 Years Old

captainpanic Wrong focus for your anger (194 comments)

You say that keeping a whale in captivity for education and entertainment is wrong, because it dies sooner than in the wild (which btw is not proven by this single grandmother killer whale). But I am just curious: the beef and pork you eat is also 'grown' in cages. We over eat purely for entertainment (you cannot convince me we need a 400g steak, that is entertainment), and since kids have to learn how to prepare food, it will be used for education too. So how is that different?

Yes, humans are the dominant species on the planet. And yes, we abuse animals sometimes. I do not think there is a problem with Sea World. I think the major problem is that we harrass animals also in the wild. Whales are affected by the noise of ship engines, and all marine life is affected by the pollution we produce. Stop complaining about Sea World, and just try to make this world cleaner. Then you make a real impact.

about 3 months ago
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Orca Identified As 103 Years Old

captainpanic Re:Fuck seaworld (194 comments)

Umm... A whale breathes air, as it is a mammal. Your guppy is a fish.

about 3 months ago
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Are Glowing, Solar Smart Roads the Future?

captainpanic Re:Pipe Dream I suspect (193 comments)

I very much agree with you. You should put solar panels where they can catch most sunlight. These tiles are a funny gadget for some architects to make a small-scale project (a driveway somewhere, or maybe the entrance for a theme park). But as a large scale energy source, this is hopeless.

1. The efficiency of the solar panels is reduced because of lots of dirt, and because of the very thick glass protection on top of it.
--> As a result of the lower efficiency, the solar panels will not be an interesting investment for energy.
2. The tiles are way more expensive than ordinary asphalt or bricks.
--> As a result of the higher costs, the tiles will not be an interesting investment for a road surface.

If we would really be running out of space, this may be efficient. But as the OP said, we still have lots of roofs, and plenty of other empty spaces. Use that first.

about 3 months ago

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