* Posts by Mike Richards

3718 posts • joined 28 Feb 2007

Shopkeeper installs forecourt khazi to counter mystery Dublin dung dumper

Mike Richards
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Re: BAe internal mail

That's really odd.

BAe usually deliver their turds to the MoD.

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Mike Richards
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'UV-staining solution.'

Does Ireland have Crimewatch - if so, the dramatic reconstruction will be amazing, not to mention the sign-off: 'The Garda are on the lookout for a man with luminous buttocks' will be one for the history books.

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World+dog to get retro classic Commodore 64 for Christmas

Mike Richards
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On the upside, the (1541?) floppy drive was able to keep a cup of tea warm indefinitely.

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Nork server blunder leaks Kim Jong Un's entire DNS – all, er, 28 .kp domains

Mike Richards
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Re: "a special set-top box"

It's what Teresa May has always dreamt of.

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Apple seeks patent for paper bag - you read that right, a paper bag

Mike Richards
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Apple will be in a constant arms race with Tesco to make the thinnest bags.

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Mike Richards
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origami gusset - was Re: Thought for the day

I had all their albums.

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HP Inc's rinky-dink ink stink: Unofficial cartridges, official refills spurned by printer DRM

Mike Richards
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Samsung emborgified by HP

Bugger.

I bought one of their cheap-as-chips laser printers three years ago and I've only just replaced the toner cartridge. HP won't appreciate that miserly income so I'm sure they'll be fitting best-before dates and killer chips in the next generation Samsung printers.

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SpaceX lands another rocket

Mike Richards
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Re: Nearly boring

Me too - I miss the Space Shuttle.

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Baffled Scots cops call in priest to deal with unruly spirits

Mike Richards
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Re: It's happening already.

And the LORD spake unto Moses and said, 'Thou shalt fear me for I am mighty and there are no limits to the wonders I can achieve.'

And the LORD saw the chihuahua of Moses and said, 'Behold! Children of Israel I shall lift this... this... What the hell is it? No, don't tell me, is it some kind of rodent? I certainly don't remember making one of those in Eden, but that sixth day was a right bugger to get right, just look at the platypus. Now where was I? Oh yes - Behold! Children of Israel...'

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Idiot flies drone alongside Flybe jet landing at Newquay Airport

Mike Richards
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Re: Risk?

A drone may not be a physical threat to the aircraft, but it is a huge, potentially fatal, distraction to th crew right at the moment when they are working hardest to ensure the safety of themselves and their passengers.

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Death of 747 now 'reasonably possible' says Boeing

Mike Richards
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Re: Last Chance To See

I love the 747 for these flights - even with BA's pack-em-in mentality and grim deep blue decor they feel more airy than the 777. But I haven't seen one on the Nairobi route for a while, it's been a clapped out 777 recently which I presume are being decanted from Transatlantic flights now the 787s are arriving.

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Russian spy aircraft are flying over Britain – and the MoD's cool with it

Mike Richards
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Putin probably wants to know where all the opposition oligarchs are hanging out - so he can arrange for some delicious tea to be delivered.

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F-35 targeting system laser will be 'almost impossible' to use in UK

Mike Richards
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Re: Wait until you see the next generation fighter...

'The next gen fighter jet wont have a meat sack inside, so it will be significantly cheaper, faster, and better.'

Cheaper? Oh dear, in that case you're not doing it right.

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Mike Richards
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'Finmeccanica (which recently, and completely incomprehensibly, rebranded itself as “Leonardo”'

Clearly a defence contractor who was inspired by an artist famous for getting very large amounts of money and never finishing the job.

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Giant Musk-stick test-firing proves a rocket can rise twice

Mike Richards
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Re: Smutty

And indeed the title of my first hand-puppet slash fiction.

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Mike Richards
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Re: All nice and well, but

And have you remembered to move the swimming pool before take off this time?

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WikiLeaks fights The Man by, er, publishing ordinary people's personal information

Mike Richards
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Re: Whew that was a close one

The word aluminum has been around since 1807 when Sir Humphrey Davy proposed it as a replacement for his previous attempt of alumium.

Both aluminium and aluminum were used in the US but I'm was preferred from 1820 when Websters dictionary used it as the acceptable American spelling. By the time aluminium became a common material, um was already the fashion in America.

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Web meltdown: BT feels heat from angry punters

Mike Richards
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Re: A small number of our customers MAY be experiencing...

Glad to see it's not just me who sees the red mist with this sort of wording. It doesn't matter if it is a small number of customers, for those customers it is a complete loss of service.

PlusNet has been having occasional lie-downs in a dark room with a damp cloth over its forehead for a week or so now. Again, the mysterious power issue might be causing some problems for a small number of customers (which always seems to include me). The falling over seems to have started round about the time they told me my bill would be increasing to pay 22 tattooed millionaires to kick a ball around on a TV channel I don't watch.

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UK gov says new Home Sec will have powers to ban end-to-end encryption

Mike Richards
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Re: Wow

'Half makes you wonder if someone in the government thinks that a flesh covered metal man could come back in time to prevent a future global war from being stopped.'

Such a hypothesis would go a long way towards explaining our new Prime Minister.

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Mike Richards
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I still can't work out

If Home Office ministers are pathologically stupid when it comes to technology, or;

If Home Office ministers are pathologically deaf when it comes to technology.

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Shocker: Computer science graduate wins a top UK political job

Mike Richards
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Re: "But admirably his was one of the few voices raised against 90-day detention "

Clearly this man cannot be allowed anywhere near the Home Office where data interception and retention must be pursued with the Blunkettian zeal of the truly ignorant.

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Blighty will have a whopping 24 F-35B jets by 2023 – MoD minister

Mike Richards
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Re: sub-launched nuclear armed cruise missiles

Couldn't we just ask Israel for a quick look at the nuclear-tipped cruise missiles they almost certainly (don't) have?

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Mike Richards
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'Why have a fleet of expensive manned aircraft when you can have drones for a fraction of the price and not risk the lives of the pilots'

Translated into BAe-speak 'Why have a fleet of expensive manned aircraft when you can have drones at twice the price and not risk the lives of the lobbyists'

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Wannabe Prime Minister Andrea Leadsom thinks all websites should be rated – just like movies

Mike Richards
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I guess if you can work through the Bible without blinking at its insane contradictions, and, despite all the evidence in the Old Testament, still think him upstairs is a kind and benevolent god, you're just about credulous enough to believe in UK party politics.

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Mike Richards
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Re: Andrea Leadsom...

'To me they both look like worthy successors to one of the greatest female leaders this country has ever had.'

Which one? Mary I?

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Dell confirms price rise post Brexit vote as UK pound stumbles

Mike Richards
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Re: Prediction

It's okay, the Brexiters have told us the devaluation is good for British exporters so I'll just switch to a British designed and built computer - like... like... - I'll get back to you on that.

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Boffins boggle, baffled by blobs deep inside the Earth

Mike Richards
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Something doesn't add up here

The report says the blobs are denser than the surrounding Mantle, but also they transmit seismic waves slowly. But seismic waves travel *faster* in denser materials - that's how geophysicists calculate their density.

I suspect something has gone missing between the research and the press release.

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PM resigns as Britain votes to leave EU

Mike Richards
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And Scilly!

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Mike Richards
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Re: RE: Nigel Farage...

On the upside - Farage will now have to find a job, and it might shock him to find out he'll have to turn up to get paid.

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Mike Richards
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Re: We all know what happened

Well the financial experts will have decamped to Frankfurt so we're probably left with the hipsters.

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Patriotic Brits rush into streets to celebrate… National Cream Tea Day

Mike Richards
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An issue that bitterly divides the country

Jam first then cream.

Don't be a Devonian heathen.

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TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding pockets £2.8m

Mike Richards
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Incentive

I can only assume Dido's incentive payment is paid by TalkTalk's rivals who must be delighted to keep her where she is.

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Lester Haines: RIP

Mike Richards
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I am so gutted by this news. I never got to meet Lester, but we regularly exchanged emails and he was every bit as funny, spiky and blindingly quick witted as his articles. He made me laugh - and for that thank-you.

I can't imagine what his family are going through right now to lose someone so young, but there are thousands of people who want to thank them for sharing him with us.

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Patent trolls, innovation and Brexit: What the FT won't tell you

Mike Richards
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Re: So why is Brexit the answer?

It didn't help that British fishermen crashed the fishing stocks long before the CFP (otherwise why would British boats be just off Icelandic beaches?) and then sold their quotas to Spanish fishermen.

The problem with fishing is nothing to do with the EU and everything to do with fishermen refusing to stop fishing until they have emptied the seas.

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Users fear yet another hack as TalkTalk services go down

Mike Richards
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Re: Ummmmm

I'll have you know that the damp piece of string that connects TalkTalk's secure databases to the rest of the world is extremely sensitive to weather conditions.

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Wales gives anti-vaping Blockleiters a Big Red Panic Button

Mike Richards
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Re: Strange Sign

Victorian era flour was much more likely to be bulked out with chalk or alum than lead. Lead chromate was sometimes used to add colour to adulterated mustard and high concentrations of lead were found in some cheap wines and cider to mask sour flavours from improper fermentation and storage.

Some creepy details of just how widespread food adulteration was before regulations were put in place here:

http://www.victorianlondon.org/publications4/strange-25.htm

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Fresh hell for TalkTalk customers: TeamView trap unleashed

Mike Richards
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Re: Bilderberg

Perhaps Dido's making the calls to try and recoup some of TalkTalk's losses?

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Chinese space station 'out of control', will do best firework impression

Mike Richards
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Re: Typical problem when you don't have all the data

Blue Streak used a Rolls Royce licensed copy of a RocketDyne engine, so there is probably an unbroken heritage back to the V2.

Britain's experiments with the kerosene and pure hydrogen peroxide Gamma engine were pretty unique in the postwar era - although a lot of the early research into hydrogen peroxide did come from captured German aerospace data. Those engines eventually powered the Black Knight suborbital rockets and the Black Arrow which put Prospero into orbit.

As for the ESA rocket being based on Blue Streak - not very likely, the first four models of Ariane used storable propellants and variations of the Viking engine which is based on the Diamond N2O4/UDMH rocket that put the Astérix satellite into orbit in 1965.

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Mike Richards
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Re: Typical problem when you don't have all the data

Von Braun was heavily influenced by Konstantin Tsiolkovsky's design for staged liquid rockets; his heavily annotated copy of Tsiolkovsky was found in his office at Peenemünde. Tsiolkovsky was also the inspiration for both Korolev and Glushko.

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Mike Richards
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Re: Before

Nice post.

The plan was for the second Shuttle mission STS-2 to fly in late 1979 carrying a booster to Skylab and place it into a storage orbit.

Following that a 1982 Shuttle mission would rendezvous with Skylab and start the process of restoring it to habitability. Then from 1984 onwards missions would start expanding Skylab's power systems, replace the solar panels and renovate the computer systems. Missions would last 30-90 days apiece and continue to use the big Apollo Telescope Mount to study the Sun.

The final part of the plan was to start expanding Skylab so it could take up to eight astronauts. The European SpaceLab would have formed part of the new station as well as the Shuttle's External Tank.

As it turned out, the Shuttle didn't fly until early 1981 by which time they were still scraping bits of Skylab off of the outback.

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Surveillance forestalls more 'draconian' police powers – William Hague

Mike Richards
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Well one thing is clear

William Hague's understanding of encryption is everything you'd expect from a biographer of Pitt the Younger.

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Mars One puts 100 Red Planet corpses colonists through fresh tests

Mike Richards
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'And then we'll just be watching a pile of corpses millions of miles away'

A bit like tuning into BBC News then?

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King Tut's iron dagger of extraterrestrial origin

Mike Richards
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His actual intended tomb is probably WV23 which was taken by his successor Ay who ruled for 2-4 years. Tutankhamen's tomb looks like one of the occasional noble tombs that were permitted in the Valley of the Kings - most famously that of Tjuya and Yuya who were the parents of Queen Tiye, Tutankhamen's grandmother and possibly of Ay.

Under Ay's rule, Tutankhamen and his relatives were beginning to be whitewashed from history and it does look like Tutankhamen's burial was a house clearing of all of the Armana period. Ay also used the death of Tutankhamen to legalise his claim to the throne by having himself depicted as pharaoh on the tomb paintings performing the 'Opening of the Mouth' ceremony that conferred eternal life on Tutankhamen. He was in short, a total bastard.

Some of the items in the tomb are labelled for Akhenaten and the very shadowy pharaoh Smenkare Djeser Khepheru who was either Tutankhamun's predecessor or his predecessor but one, whilst other items have been relabelled for Tutankhamen - most distinctly, his second coffin which has a different face to the others.

The complete obliteration of Tutankhamen's record came under the following pharaoh Horemheb, also not from the legal succession, who simply extended the rule of Amenhotep III to cover the reigns of Akhenaten, Smenkhare, Neferneferuaten (which might be the throne name of Nefertiti), Tutankhamen and (some measure of justice) Ay. Horemheb had the worship of the Aten banned, demolished its temples and spent his reign carving his name over the rather beautiful sculptures that went up during Tutankhamen's reign.

And yes, go to the Cairo Museum and be amazed. The new museum is almost ready and there will finally be space to see some of the exquisite works. The material from the Old Kingdom - especially the sculpture is simply mind blowing. But if you can't get that far, visit the Egyptian collection in Berlin to see the incredible work being done during the brief Armana Period prior to Tutankhamen's reign - the bust of Nefertiti is worth the air fare alone.

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Mike Richards
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Re: It's an interesting bit of enconomics

The Egyptians didn't understand the smelting and forging techniques of iron - in part because both fuel and high quality ore are absent in Egypt. Instead they relied on the Hittite kingdom for supplies of forged metal. Relations between the two civilisations were strained through the 18th Dynasty of Tutankhamen* and were only really put on a firm foundation after Rameses II lost/won the Battle of Kadesh in the following Dynasty. Once the Hittites and Egypt formed the first known diplomatic alliance, supplies of iron ore started flowing into Egypt and local smelting took place, but the lack of fuel meant that bronze was still widespread right up to the end of Egyptian civilisation.

* There is a fascinating letter written to Suppiluliuma, King of the Hittites by Ankhesenamun - widow of Tutankhamen in which she pleads for him to send one of his sons to become pharaoh of Egypt (Tutankhamen had no living descendants) rather than her be forced to marry a commoner who would then take the throne. The prince was sent, but was murdered en route, Ankhesenamun disappears and one of the great villains of Egyptian history, Ay, seizes power.

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Swiss effectively disappear Alps: World's largest tunnel opens

Mike Richards
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There's got to be a joke here

A 'Catholic priest, a pastor, a rabbi and an imam walk into a tunnel...'

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Norks' parade rocket fails to fly, again

Mike Richards
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If (error) {

Execute(all)

}

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Earth's core is younger than its crust surface

Mike Richards
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Re: Quite a large pachyderm in the room

'the materials from the crust mix with the cores due to these interactions at the the magma-core boundary which is why there are heavy elements for us to mine in the crust.'

Not the case. Heavy elements such as uranium and thorium become concentrated in the Crust because they are incompatible with mineral structures in the Mantle (they're called lithophilic in older books) which means they are concentrated in melts when the Mantle undergoes partial melting . Low density melts rise up towards the surface, undergo fractional crystallisation which further concentrates heavy elements in the continental crust. Some elements, such as gold and the other platinum metals are described as siderophilic because they are relatively soluble in molten iron which meant they were preferentially drawn to the Core during its separation from the silicate bulk of the Earth.

There's conflicting evidence of whether subducting plates get to the Core Mantle boundary - most become invisible around 600-700km in a region where there's a detachment in the Mantle. The Farallon Plate does seem to go very deep, albeit very diffuse as it merges with the surrounding Mantle. There's pretty much no evidence in magmas derived from deep-seated Mantle plumes of any Core material coming back up, a huge density difference between the lowermost Mantle and Outer Core prevents transfer of material.

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Mike Richards
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Re: A bit off?

Material doesn't really leave the Core. As well s the Inner Core being a giant ballbearing of solid iron/nickel alloy, there's also a profound density difference across the Core Mantle boundary which means that convection can't take place.

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NASA firms up Space Launch System nanosat manifest

Mike Richards
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Re: 20kg payload on a 90,000kg rocket to nowhere.

It's not for nothing that SLS is often called the Senate Launch System - it has kept a lot of pork going to vulnerable congressional districts for the last few years.

A much better Senate Launch System might be one that puts both houses into orbit.

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Shakes on a plane: How dangerous is turbulence?

Mike Richards
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Re: Betteridge's law of headlines.

For anyone who hasn't stumbled on it, Patrick Smith's 'Ask the Pilot' blog is well worth a follow. He's a trained pilot who knows his stuff - and I can also recommend his book of the same name as a present for anyone who is scared of flying:

http://www.askthepilot.com

Here's his take on turbulence:

http://www.askthepilot.com/questionanswers/turbulence/

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