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Comments

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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 three weeks 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 three weeks 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 three weeks 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 2 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 4 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 6 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 6 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 8 months 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 8 months ago
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The Book That Is Making All Movies the Same

theguyfromsaturn Re:No wonder ... (384 comments)

Just in time for Transformers. That movie really looked like a formula movie (without a plot). Interesting to note it came in 2007 and felt like junk right of the bad. It had all the elements of "successful" movie, the inadequate boy... who meets the hot girl, pointles fights here and there. Oh yeah, did we mention the hot girl bending over the open hood of a car? Shouldn't miss that. So the bullied boy... oh yeah and the awkward parents who are actually happy to see that he'd been sneaking a girl in his room.... a puppy peeing on somebody. Oh, yeah car chases, you can't have a blockbuster without at least one car chase. And of course, giant fighting robots to add what most wouldn't have.

All they missed was a plot. But they definitely had everything else in the recipe book.

I never understood its success given the lack of plot, but apparently the book was right. Form trumps content anytime. (but really, was a little bit of a plot linking the different ingredients that much to ask? I didn need an Oscar winning plot, just the kind of plot that gets childrens books going).

P.S.
I know the continuity (or lack thereof) will offend some sensibilities. I appologize for this, but I was trying to convey my state of mind as I was watching that disaster unravelling before my eyes.

about 9 months ago
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Tech Companies Looking Into Sarcasm Detection

theguyfromsaturn Re:Great! (167 comments)

Were you being sarcastic?

about 10 months ago
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Ancient Roman Concrete Is About To Revolutionize Modern Architecture

theguyfromsaturn Re:Prior art (322 comments)

To answer your question as to "rebar corrodes", I should point out that cement is generally basic. Actually, Portland Cement can be quite basic which tengs to cause some unwanted reactions with the silicate aggregates. Still, a high PH will generally tend to protect the steel from corrosion. The salts used in de-icing salts will tend to have a low pH which will foster corrosion of the reinforcement make it expand, which causes cracking of the concrete and accelerates the influx of water to the steel which accelerates corrosion etc.

Recipes such as those used by Romans are already known (the contribution of t he paper is more as to why that is, than that it is the case as various types of ashes are used in different mixes). Replacing cement by addititives can give some properties that are good in some cases, but may make it take longer to cure, and/or reduce its ultimate strength (depending on the additives). Choosing the peroper mix depends on the usage and the cost.

As to why reinforce at all, it's because we need reinforcement for tensile strength. Concrete has a fraction of the tensile strength than compressive strength (think of a chalk) . As mentionned in a previous post, Roman works relied more on compressive strength than tensile strength. There are advantages to that approach, but definitely many practical disadvantages.

about 10 months ago
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Ancient Roman Concrete Is About To Revolutionize Modern Architecture

theguyfromsaturn Scotty would be so happy (322 comments)

From the press release: "The resulting calcium-aluminum-silicate-hydrate (C-A-S-H) is an exceptionally stable binder."

Now, if they could only make it transparent...

about 10 months ago
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Ancient Roman Concrete Is About To Revolutionize Modern Architecture

theguyfromsaturn Re:De Architectura (322 comments)

Yup. It's about the shashdot summary which sucks and completely misses the point. The press release focuses on the differences in the chemical composition of the hydrated cement (chiefly the presence of aluminium atoms in the Roman cement) and how those differences may affect durability.

about 10 months ago

Submissions

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Engineers Unveil First Casimir Chip That Exploits The Vacuum Energy

theguyfromsaturn theguyfromsaturn writes  |  about a year and a half 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  |  more than 5 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  |  more than 5 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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