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Comments

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New Class of Stars Are Totally Metal, Says Astrophysicist

theguyfromsaturn Re:One slight problem with that ratio... (119 comments)

I know very little of astronomy, but I have to wonder at the reason why each of the fusion cyles is shorter... is it only because some intrinsic property of the heavier fuel? I had alsways assumed that the fact that there is only a fraction of the original star mass that makes it to Carbon, and only a fraction of that to each successive element in the list what the root cause the the exponential decay in life expectancy of each fuel source. If that is the case, the reason that each cycle is shorter is the lack of fuel. Now, what if ALL the star is made of heavier fuel from the start? Shoud we still expect a ridiculously short fusion time for the initial fuel? If the answer is no, shouldn't such a star be able to shine for at least a few million years?

This is an honest question by someone who wants to know, not a criticism of the parent post.

about a month ago
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The Bursting Social Media Advertising Bubble

theguyfromsaturn Re:Tuning it out? (254 comments)

I used to use it, but then I started using no-script... and I didn't need it anymore.

about a month ago
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Star Within a Star: Thorne-Zytkow Object Discovered

theguyfromsaturn Re:Our Universe is Awesome (89 comments)

Actually I think honest politicians are probably fairly common. But as in everything, they start small, and locally, and as such things go, we, the voters, eliminated them from the race early on in favor of the politicians that tell us what we want to hear instead of what we need to hear. The result is that the longer lived politicians, are electorally selected to favour those who tell the electorate things that have little relation to reality as opposed to the electorate's fantasy. We really shouldn't complain about our politicians. We get what we want, not what we need.

about 2 months ago
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How Open Government Data Saved New Yorkers Thousands On Parking Tickets

theguyfromsaturn Why are those fire hydrants dark? (286 comments)

All the fire hydrants I have ever seen in my life, have been yellow or red. How come the fire hydrant shown in those pictures is such a dark colour? Is that the norm in NY city?

about 2 months ago
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DreamWorks Animation CEO: Movie Downloads Will Move To Pay-By-Screen-Size

theguyfromsaturn Thank god for smartphones (347 comments)

That's it. I'm only watching movies on my phone from now on.

about 3 months ago
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Skydiver's Helmet Cam Captures a Falling Meteor

theguyfromsaturn Re:Two years? (142 comments)

Obviously he's to become the living embodiement of Thor. All the clues are there.... the space rock (pretty cool hammer from the sky). He's also Norwegian... descendent of the Vikings.

about 4 months ago
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Interviews: J. Michael Straczynski Answers Your Questions

theguyfromsaturn Are there even any sci-fi shows left? (67 comments)

Not counting soap opera vamps anyways. Not really sci-fi since monsters of that type are folkloric in orginin, not scifyee. So, if we agree to exclude vamps and zombies (tiresome boring buggers), is there a single actual scifi show on TV? I honestly wanna know. I've been looking for one for a while now.

about 4 months ago
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How a 'Seismic Cloak' Could Slow Down an Earthquake

theguyfromsaturn Re:Weaponize (101 comments)

Exactly. Or even older structures in "historical" areas. You can't always build fron scratch. This is a promising way to deal with area protection.

about 4 months ago
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Damming News From Washington State

theguyfromsaturn Re:Moisture inside the dam wall (168 comments)

Not sure what you mean by water "invading" earthen dams... but just for the record, earth dams are always full of water that seeps through the component soils to one degree or another. High flow (in cracks say, or because of overtopping) is a problem at it will cause erosion, which may eventually lead to failure, but water "invading" them is not a problem, it's a given.

That being said, you are correct in mentionning that concrete actually requires water to harden through hydration. The problem with cracks in a concrete dam, is that they propagate, and the pressure of the water will certainly help them do so.

about 5 months ago
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Astronomers Investigating Unknown Object That Hit the Earth In 773 AD

theguyfromsaturn Re:Why unlikely? (84 comments)

If it is as frequent as every 1/3000 years, there definitely be some evidence of it. If there is none, it means that the odds are way less than .03% on any given year.

``

about 6 months ago
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Atlanta Gambled With Winter Storm and Lost

theguyfromsaturn Who needs a fleet of snowplows? (723 comments)

The problem is one of planning not of vehicles. Where I live, snow is a common occurrence every winter, certainly during the warmer days of winter.

The city does have a fleet of snowplows, but when a heavy snow falls, it's not the city's snowplows that handle the load but the graders and other earthmoving equipment of the local contractors. While graders are better with additional pusher attachments, just the basic blade will do wonders.

The main thing is getting organized so that the city can mobilize quickly the equipment of the local contractors in times of need. While it is always costly to hire those guys, it's certainly less costly to do it this way than purchasing your own fleet of vehicles that will rarely get used. Graders get used all the time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...
http://youtu.be/dw9dVWpcAIE?t=...

about 6 months ago
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Study: Some Antioxidants Could Increase Cancer Rates

theguyfromsaturn As long as .... (117 comments)

As long as nobody comes and tells me that dark chocolate is bad for me, I will keep an open mind. But if they dare........ I'm plugging my ears shut and listening to nobody.

about 6 months ago
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Stop Trying To 'Innovate' Keyboards, You're Just Making Them Worse

theguyfromsaturn The only improvement needed in laptop keyboards: (459 comments)

The only improvement laptop keyboards need really bad, is to be swapped with the touchpad. When I use a mouse, I very naturally extend my hand to do so. When I type, I tend to naturally rest my wrists on the table immediately in front of the keyboard. When I rest my writs on a #!@!%$#@! laptop while typing, the cursor goes wherever on the screen and very unfortunate things happen. Actually keeping my hand closer to me to use the touchpad feels unnatural. Why are they designe this way universally? I never understood. A layout with the touchpad above the keyboard instead of below it would feel much more natural.

about 6 months ago
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Revolutionary Scuba Mask Creates Breathable Oxygen Underwater On Its Own

theguyfromsaturn Re:oh come on (375 comments)

Indeed. It's not even a new concept. My first contact with the concept was as a child (in the 70s) watching an old James Bond movie (probably from the 60s, with Sean Connery, I don't remember which one). The only difference is the actual visualization of the concept. I got all excited when I thought the device actually existed as a prototype. It's not only a concept, but a concept that is still in wait of breaktrhough technologies to happen as I understand it.

about 6 months ago
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Object Blocking Giant Tunnel Borer Was an 8" Diameter Pipe

theguyfromsaturn Re:underground stuff is still really poorly mapped (141 comments)

Most stuff actually is fairly well recorded "somewhere". No work gets done without getting locates before (yellow, orrange, blue lines etc), that are generated by surveyors based on both as-built plans, and confirmed on-site from geophysical investigation instruments, be it metal detercors or ground penetrating radar etc.

After something is installed you have to provide detailed plans of location depth etc. usually in the form of drawings (both plan and profile for line structurese such as utility pipes or cables). Tables with coordinates and elevations may be sufficient for more compact objects. And you have to do a survey for the as-builts, the original plans are not good enough for final submission. (That is for any project of any magnitude that will require city approval... what people do in their backyard won't be covered).

What often happens is that (as in this case) something is there, and reported the site investigation report, but its presence goes unnoticed in the volume of data looked through when working on the project. Or it was noted originally, but the alignment of the tunnel was different and it was not a concern, but a last minute change in alignment makes it a concern and people (being people) just forget there was somthing there to consider, because they HAD checked those things before after all, and already figured out there was no concern.

Of course, whent thing are very old, the problem is often getting access to the documentation. Either it was done in a time when records were not kept as thoroughly, or the they are just very hard to track down for one reason or another. Usually, if something does require city approval though, you can find those submissions... and as long as nobody bribed a city inspetor to look the other way while corners were cut , they should provide a reasonable estimate of where things are. The main difficulty is actually tracking down all activities that may have been undertaken at that location over time. While the record may exist, making sure that all things that were done (as owners changed over time) are considered may be challenging depending on the data tracking and storage implemented at the city level over time.

about 7 months ago
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Google: Our Robot Cars Are Better Drivers Than You

theguyfromsaturn Re:Show time (722 comments)

I've seen most of my friends drive (I don't drive myself so I can be a more objective 3rd party observer) and I have to say I'd welcome self driving cars any day. Most people frequently are distracted while driving. In 99.9% of the time (yes statistic made up on the fly) nothing happens because nothing out of the ordinary happened at that particular moment. Our built-in autopilot copes very well with the routine events. But change that in any significant manner and accidents are imminent. I have no doubt that self-driving cars are more effetively aware of their surroundings most of the time.

It's funny how most of my family and friends consider themselves good drivers. Having been in close calls the very few times I have been riding with each of them I find it quite scary. It's actually quite amazing that there are no more accidents on the road each day. i have sample only an infinitesimely small amount of each of those people's driving time, and the frequency of the close calls doesn't fill me with confidence about their general level of distraction. And, I repeat, ALL of them consider themselves good drivers. Food for thought.

I for one welcome our self-driving vehicles. The roads can't possibly be less safe with them.

about 9 months ago
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Most Cave Paintings Were Painted By Women, Says Penn State Researcher

theguyfromsaturn Cave Graffiti? (205 comments)

Maybe it was not "woment" but "youngsters" doing the cave paintings. Putting graffiti wherever they could, just like today's kids. :D

about 10 months ago
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Transportation Designs For a Future That Never Came

theguyfromsaturn Re:Wrong approach (120 comments)

Meh. I just use Google streetview. Don't even need a poweful mind for that.

about a year ago
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Silent Circle Follows Lavabit By Closing Encrypted E-mail Service

theguyfromsaturn Re:NSA or Chinese great firewall (470 comments)

Well, why don't you test the official story? It's easy, go to your computer and google search "pressure cooker" and a few minutes later "back pack". Make sure to let us know if the MIB go visit you. Here on /., we like to know.

about a year ago

Submissions

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Engineers Unveil First Casimir Chip That Exploits The Vacuum Energy

theguyfromsaturn theguyfromsaturn writes  |  about 2 years ago

theguyfromsaturn (802938) writes "The Physics arXiv reports on an interesting advance regarding the Casimir effect:

One of the most interesting effect arising from the quantum nature of the universe is the Casimir effect. The force can pull two conducting plates together when they are a few nanometers appart. This imposes limits on microelectromechanical machines due to the stiction arising between components. However several theories predict that the force should be repulsive between objects of certain shapes. Until now however, Casimir force experiments are extremely hard to do.

Jie Zou and others at the University of Florida have carved a single device out of silicon that is capable of measuring the Casimir force between a pair of parallel silicon beams, the first on-chip device capable of doing this.

Who knows, might be the first step into Poul Anderson's starfarers concepts (I kid)."

Link to Original Source
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Longest Tunnel Between Siberia & Alaska Planne

theguyfromsaturn theguyfromsaturn writes  |  about 7 years ago

theguyfromsaturn (802938) writes "It seems that Russia is planning to build the world's longest tunnel, a transport and pipeline link connecting Siberia and Alaska. It is part of a $65 000 000 000 dollar project to supply the U.S. with oil, natural gas an electricity from Siberia. If the plan is accepted, Russia and the U.S. may each eventually take 25% stakes with private investors and international fincance agencies as other shareholders. The undersea tunnel would contain a high-speed railway, highway and pipelines, as well as power and fiber-optic cables. At 64 miles, the planned tunnel would be twice as long as the underwater section of teh Channel Tunnel between the U.K. and France, and would lik the two islands in the Bering Strait between Russia and the U.S. Note to Editor: In my previous submission I had forgotten the link. (lack of practice submitting)"
Link to Original Source
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Longest Tunnel Between Siberia & Alaska Planne

theguyfromsaturn theguyfromsaturn writes  |  about 7 years ago

theguyfromsaturn (802938) writes "It seems that Russia is planning to build the world's longest tunnel, a transport and pipeline link connecting Siberia and Alaska. It is part of a $65 000 000 000 dollar project to supply the U.S. with oil, natural gas an electricity from Siberia. If the plan is accepted, Russia and the U.S. may each eventually take 25% stakes with private investors and international fincance agencies as other shareholders. The undersea tunnel would contain a high-speed railway, highway and pipelines, as well as power and fiber-optic cables. At 64 miles, the planned tunnel would be twice as long as the underwater section of the Channel Tunnel between the U.K. and France, and would link the two islands in the Bering Strait between Russia and the U.S."

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