Which is the more disturbing thought?
Papal porn or Branson porn?
3587 posts • joined 28 Feb 2007
Papal porn or Branson porn?
LOHAN drops truss, stuns children! See the shocking video.
There most certainly was a race to the Moon. At one point the Soviets had three independent Moon programmes underway. They failed because they couldn't get the two best rocket designers to agree on a single design; and when the Politburo did decide on Korolev's N1, they skimped on the funding. Korolev couldn't build big engine chambers to rival those the Americans were designing for the Saturn V, so he used large numbers of smaller engines, making his design complex. Korolev didn't have the ground testing facilities to debug the individual stages of the N1, so it would have to be tested all-up. His tragically early death meant that when the N1 was completed under Mischin, it was a shambles. Four launches, all much later than planned, four failures.
The fallback was to use the Proton - Zond to get a manned capsule based on Soyuz around the Moon before Apollo could do so. The Proton wasn't reliable enough at the beginning and Zond also had serious technical issues - including re entering at crushing G forces and depressurising in flight. A number of Zonds were sent around the Moon, but they only ever carried biological samples.
After Apollo 11 the Soviets claimed to have never been planning a manner lunar mission, saying they could do it all with their Luna sample return missions and Lunokhod. In actuality the manned lunar programme limped on until something like 1975 when the repeated failures of the N1 gave the Soviets a chance to kill their plans in favour of their Salyut space stations and what would become Buran.
Although the N1 is long scrapped, the Soviet manned LK lander still exists and is now on display in Moscow.
Seriously, is the supersonic bang that much of a problem for people? I lived under Concorde's flight path for my entire childhood and the Air France Concorde regularly passed over Cornwall at supersonic speeds (it wasn't meant to, but that's the French for you). Thump-THUMP, the windows might shake and that was it.
Most of the scares about the boom came from our ever sporting friends in America who suddenly became very concerned about the noise and pollution from SSTs right about the time they realised they couldn't get their own plane to fly.
Lunokhod went further because it could be remote controlled by human drivers from Earth, which once they'd got used to the system were able to get it scooting along at a fair old speed. The Mars Rovers have to have every move preprogrammed from Earth. When they reach the end of their transit, they scan the area, the results are sent to the operators who then plan the next shift.
How was it for people near you - could they hear the music?
Didn't just come from the usual suspects, but from The Guardian.
It'd be nice if the taxman went after Beardie Branson et al. with the same amount of enthusiasm he's had for this case.
Thorium is considered the nuclear fuel of the future (and has been for about 40 years now) for a number of reasons.
Thorium ore is easy to extract and the most common form - monazite - is found as a heavy sand in and around rivers and beaches. It can literally be scooped up. There are several times as much thorium in the crust as uranium. It's also widely distributed so it doesn't have any economic bottlenecks (unlike the rare earths or lithium). There are enough known thorium reserves to last about 1000 years, without any new discoveries. In the US thorium is getting a real boost because America has by far the largest known reserves of the metal (followed by India - a fellow thorium booster).
It's pretty much pure Th-232 which when exposed to neutrons produces fissile U-233 without any of the unwanted isotopes of uranium (such as U-238 which is converted into plutonium in the reactor).
Because you can separate Th-232 from U-233 with relatively simple chemistry, the fuel cycle is simplified and there is much less actinide waste.
Thorium-breeder reactors will be simpler and cheaper to build than uranium-breeder reactors which use liquid metal cooling and have always been prone to leaks.
The downsides of thorium are that despite a lot of research, especially in India, no thorium reactor has yet been approved for mass production by regulators. The Indians have a 300MWe plant under construction which, *if* successful, will form the prototype for a fleet of power reactors.
The second issue with thorium power, which could kill it stone dead, is that U-233 is fast fissile and can be used in nuclear weapons. If thorium were to become a major energy source it does raise the proliferation risk - somehting that should be addressed now, rather than later.
That's not *quite* true - he'd be complaining it would have been better with an American ship.
Probably not, the Reg has a spellchecker.
Even with a reduced market share, Apple still has the high end pretty much to itself.
I wonder if the board of Apple ever play Scrooge McDuck and go and swim through oceans of dollar bills in their vaults?
That's a great question - one other...
When will we get to see video of LOHAN and a donkey?
That's probably the submarine volcano Kolumbos to the NE of Santorini which is only about 15m beneath the surface. It's seismically extremely active, but hasn't had any known eruptions since the 17th Century - when it covered much of the surrounding area in ash and pumice.
You're good. There are two islands in the caldera, all formed by resurgent vulcanism since the caldera was formed. They're Nea Kameni, Palea Kameni which translate as New Burnt and Old Burnt respectively. They've been intermittently active for about 2000 years with the last explosive eruption in 1939-40 followed by quiet dome building in 1950 (IIRC).
This sort of deformation isn't uncommon in calderas as magma is regularly injected into the underlying magma chamber and then withdrawn again. It may, or may not presage more vulcanism in the very near future. If you want a good example of one that scared people witless a while back, the small town of Pozzuoli west of Naples sits in the middle of the Campi Flegrei caldera which last had a minor eruption in 1538 when the completely new volcano Monte Nuovo popped up in the middle of some fields. Between 1982 and 1984 they experienced thousands of small quakes and the ground bulging by 40cm - at its peak the town was rising by 4mm per day! Unsurprisingly, there were predictions of an imminent eruption, so the town was evacuated. After a few tense months the ground began to deflate and the area returned to its usual levels of seismicity.
And Campi Flegrei is a real monster of a volcano, about 37kya it produced 200km3 of white hot foam that now underlies most of the Bay of Naples. About 2 million people live in and around it who might need to be evacuated in a hurry. And you've seen what Italian traffic is like on a good day.
In some cases it will be the lease is so long term that they can't close the store without incurring huge penalties from the leaseholder.
Are their any 4S owners here who can tell us whether they think Siri's performance is different from when they first got their new phones?
You need a US address and formal US ID to run a Kickstarter project (anyone, anywhere can contribute to an existing project).
Kickstarter have been promising to open up to other countries for a couple of years now. First they blamed Amazon Payments for only being available in America, but that's no longer the case. They've even stopped giving updates of when they expect to offer Kickstarter in the rest of the world.
Or even further back, Jack McDevitt's excellent novel 'The Engines of God'.
Iridescence isn't the same as luminescence (glowing).
But I still think velociraptors look wrong with feathers whatever the fossils say.
That's Mars. It's quite brilliant at the moment. If you can get to a telescope it's well worth a squint.
Note to self: find how to reliably identify Venus/Mars/Jupiter in sky (I have no talent in astronomy, but I'm sure I'll be able to work it out).
There's an app for that ;)
If you want to go the old fashioned route. When Venus is visible it is always found relatively close to the Sun so it is best seen around sunrise or sunset. It is by far the brightest natural object in the sky apart from the Sun and the Moon and appears bright white. With a telescope or a pair of binoculars you might even be able to see the phases of the planet.
Jupiter is fainter and never shows phases.
Right now you can see Venus and Jupiter quite close together around sunset in the Western sky - they are both very bright. Venus is closer to the horizon than Jupiter. Meanwhile on the other side of the sky you can see Mars - it's very bright and in a region with few bright stars and distinctly reddish orange - even in built up areas.
There was a new Maserati - everything else in the world is ugly and boring.
How much 3D content is being bought or rented? A good number of 3D Blu-Rays are on the market right now, it'd be interesting to know how their sales compare to conventional disks and how the trend is shaping up.
That finds: 'You’re not you when you’re hungry @snickersUk #hungry #spon ...' utterly unintelligible? It's not exactly Don Draper stuff is it?
But this is a great idea in a world of iPhone photocopies.
They're probably taking positions to benefit from an Amazon stock collapse whilst publicly telling their clients to invest in the company.
As other more knowledgeable folks have pointed out, this gives you a more efficient use of the diesel. Something similar has been used for locomotives since the 1930s.
Which makes me wonder - any chance of a diesel hydraulic car?
Oh come on, it's far less ugly than that horrible kick-it-Kuga also on this site.
And both are positively delightful compared to the horror that is the BMW X6 - think coupe shape on a 4x4 chassis - go on Google it, I'll be here waiting…
We should be very worried if the next generation of Google phones all come with a sachet of Triclosan.
There's a good scientific reason for not wanting tourists carrying seeds to Antarctica - because it spoils research into how nature colonises formerly barren areas.
A good comparison is with the Icelandic island of Surtsey which was formed between 1963 and 1967. The island and its surrounding waters are closed to the public and can only be accessed by accredited scientists who are performing a long term study of how the island is being colonised from a bare rock to one that now holds hundreds of different species.
Even then they have to take care about accidentally introducing new species, in one case a tomato plant sprouted on Surtsey; it had from a seed that had escaped from someone's lunch. Even though there was almost no risk of the plant fruiting in the shall we say - brisk - Icelandic summer, the plant was torn up and removed from Surtsey to avoid contamination.
We have to get to work resurrecting dinosaurs immediately - packs of velociraptors are the only things that will be able ward off the killer robots.
There is literally nothing that can go wrong with this plan.
The blueprints exist, the assembly facilities are still standing and the launchpads could be modified back to Saturn V spec - the only things the US lacks right now is a determination to get back into space and the money.
"Our own origins are locked up in these pieces of rock. They are pristine material from the beginning of the solar system and hold the ingredients of life. "
That rather depends on the meteorite (if anything survives). Chondrites - especially the carbonaceous chondrites are almost pristine - only lacking some of the volatile elements with very early dates, and yes, they contain amino acids; but many other types of meteorite are mineralogically highly evolved with a large range of dates; eucrites from Vesta are over 200 My younger than most meteorites, whilst shergottites from Mars are as young as 180My.
If this chunk did hit the surface, there's not a huge chance of finding it; 90%+ of all known meteorites are stony, which to the untrained eye look like - well - stones. But good luck to anyone who does find a meteorite - just hope it's a pallasite:
A rule of thumb for impacts is to take the size of the object and multiply by ten to get the size of the impact crater.
I demand all other science (yes even LOHAN) is stopped this moment until robot dinosaurs are made real.
And can we scrap this silly 'scaled down' requirement?
Well the unconventional gas figures don't stand much scrutiny so I don't think we should put too much faith in another bunch dealing with unconventional oil reserves.
The most common figure cited for American gas reserves is 2,170 trillion cubic feet (tcf) from the Potential Gas Committee. Which is often said to be a 95-year supply if 2010 consumption figures are maintained.
Of that, 273 tcf are "proved reserves," stuff we are fairly sure is there and can be produced economically. 536.6 tcf are "probable" from existing fields, it probably exists and might be economically recoverable. 687.7 tcf is "possible" from new fields - gas that might be in new fields if and when we find them and might be recoverable. Beyond that are 518.3 tcf of "speculative," gas - the meaning is in the title and 176 tcf for coalfield gas of which 90% has not been proven.
In short the US has 11 years of proven gas, 21 of proven and possible reserves and everything after that is an unknown. And that's not even taking into account the percentage of any gas that can be recovered from a field.
As for the rig counts - does it show there is a huge untapped supply of gas out there? No, it shows that shale needs a lot more rigs than conventional reserves and that shale gas wells are tapped out much more quickly than traditional gas wells.
Oh and some of the operators might have been overstating production and reserves:
I should be all in favour of probabilistic forecasting, except this is the country where people have trouble with concepts like 'greater than' and 'less than'
More likely they're down to the interior of the Moon contracting as it has cooled.
The range on the ages of these features is pretty wide; they're anywhere from 1.2 Gya to 50 Mya years ago (most probably towards the younger end of the scale). Lunar geologists have an especially broad definition of 'recent' - even compared to terrestrial geologists.
That there was much going on on the Moon after 1 Gya is interesting enough; the youngest feature with a firm(ish) date is the Compton–Belkovich thorium anomaly, a patch of highly evolved silicic rock on the lunar far side which has been estimated at 800 Mya - 1 Gya.
It'd be interesting to see if any of the glowing Transient Lunar Phenomena which are occasionally reported by astronomers can be tied to these faults. One of the explanations for TLPs is that gas might still be coming out of the interior of the Moon.
'Does the moon still have a hot core? Is there anyway to find out (from earth)? Probably not unless one observed some sort of Luna volcano??'
The exact state of the Moon's core is uncertain. Apollo left a series of ALSEPs packages on the surface to record heat flow from the interior and register impacts which could have revealed the structure of the interior. In their period of operation we found out the heat flow is very low, but nothing big enough to send a good shock through the core hit the Moon before the instruments were turned off. Having said that, some top notch seismic boffinry has been done on the Moon.
The best estimate is that the lunar core is tiny - no more than 350km across. It's probably nickel-iron alloy with sulfur and silicon like the Earth's core. It is suggested there is a solid or mostly solid inner core about half the diameter of the whole core. The outer core is probably liquid but not convecting violently like the Earth's (hence no appreciable lunar magnetic field), but this is somewhat disputed.
Over that is the mantle which is divided into two, a lower zone about 500km in diameter which appears to be either partially molten or highly plastic and might contain sizeable pockets of magma. The outer mantle is relatively cold, solid and appears not to contain any sizeable amounts of magma.
There has been some mathematical and laboratory modelling of the lunar interior by VU University Amsterdam which used the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility to examine the behaviour of postulated lunar magma under very high temperatures and pressures. Their discovery is that the titanium-rich magmas responsible for forming the rocks returned by Apollo and Luna are unlikely to be able to rise through the lunar mantle because they are denser than the warm mantle. However, if the mantle continues to cool and become denser, we could see a resumption of vulcanism on the Moon.
Seems very optimistic to design, prototype and build a new reactor design by 2020. Especially one with sodium cooling which has never been trouble-free in the past. Good luck to them, but I wouldn't be putting money on seeing the big red switch (there is a big red switch isn't there?) being pressed in eight years' time.
So if Blunkett, Clarke, Blears and the very lovely Meg Hillier had had their way we'd have now been talking about scrapping tens of thousands of them. If only they'd been told in advance this wasn't going to work...
....oh, in news just breaking - they were.
Junk is a problem in geostationary orbit. So far no collisions have occurred, but that has been through foresight.
Gravitational perturbations from the Sun and Moon mean that satellites don't remain on station. All geosynchronous satellites require regular 'station keeping' burns to keep them more or less in place. After they have been abandoned they can wander significantly away from where we thought they are and since comms sats are clustered over the most advantageous positions, that is a serious risk. Operators are now required to demonstrate that their satellites can be fired into a graveyard orbit a few hundred km further away from Earth at the end of their lives.
I think this can only be properly visualised using the medium of Playmobil.
Perhaps the Catholic Church would be less objectionable if it followed the National Trust and sold more tea towels?
Probably need to be a Russian rocket. ExoMars was going to use a pair of Atlas Vs. A couple of Protons might be able to do the same job.
But yes, let's throw ExoMars open to the Russians, Chinese, Indians, Japanese and anyone else who wants to explore Mars.
That'll be the three downloads or fewer service then.
Apollo 17's Harrison Schmidt proposed an Apollo mission to the lunar far side with a landing site in the crater Tsiolkovskiy. It would have used a TIROS satellite orbiting around L2 to talk back to Earth.
It never went much beyond a 'what if?' and the budget cuts to Apollo doomed it.
Going back to it isn't entirely brilliant. There's still the lovely Gabrielle Drake, the UFOs still make that fabulous noise and the SHADOmobiles are ace - but why is it shot like a porn movie?
SILLY NUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS?
I was 8 - watching that much stuff blow up was precisely what I wanted to see. I don't want a big black box I want stuff blowing up.
Space 1999's first episode might go a long way to explaining my choice of chemistry...
Does it look cool?
The Eagles look incredibly cool - therefore everything else goes by the wayside.
I'd really hope they'd remake it with models - 'Moon' a couple of years ago looked so much more real (and not too dissimilar from Space 1999) because they used whacking great models rather than pixels.
The 2nd Law of Andersonian physics is that stuff blows up - regularly. Even stuff that shouldn't blow up. This is a good thing. Unless you're near the stuff blowing up.