3579 posts • joined 28 Feb 2007
Satellites are harder to predict
The exact time the satellite begins its reentry depends on many factors, but mostly the density of the atmosphere where it is orbiting. Because of heating from solar radiation the atmosphere's density changes over periods of hours and days which can dramatically change the amount of drag being experienced by the satellite.
Added to which this satellite has probably lost all attitude control so it will be tumbling and experiencing variable amounts of drag, all of which make predictions a bit less - well - predictable.
An asteroid on the other hand approaches the Earth through a vacuum at a relative speed of several to tens of kilometres per second following the laws of Mr. Newton. The atmosphere only has any effect on it during the last few seconds before it carves out a dent on the surface.
I suppose we should be glad that there are no economic uses for pure and applied mathematics or fluid dynamics. I mean apart from the uses that underpin many of the high value industries we supposedly need to grow the economy.
Nope definitely a solar orbit
Snoopy's ascent engine was reignited after being let loose from Charlie Brown and allowed to burn until empty. This let NASA test that the engine could be restarted in an emergency. There was enough thrust to inject it into a solar orbit. Had it been put into a lunar orbit it would have crashed by now because of the Moon's irregular gravitational field.
Interesting that Sweden voted against the extension when it is one of the few EU countries whose music business earns more through exports than is spent on imported content.
Make it Scratch
A great little language, easy to pick up, it produces great results in very little time for the attention starved youth of today, you can create multimedia projects and games, share them with people on almost all hardware platforms and you get to learn the fundamentals of program design as well as event-driven, multi-threaded programming.
The biggest problem with Scratch is getting kids to stop playing with it.
It's Oorah! in the Marines.
Do any Brits say they are 'stoked'?
If they do, I might have died a little inside.
The police manual says
They're going to take a VERY long time reviewing any images and will probably need the lovely Ms Johansson to disrobe just to ensure they're genuine and not a crude Photoshop job.
That and his ability to survive
Every day that goes by and the question 'why is Steve Ballmer still in charge of Microsoft?' goes unanswered. He's unconvincing as a tech guru, a lousy salesman for the good stuff Microsoft does produce and the company appears to be stagnant.
Time to put a visionary in the public light over at Redmond and get people excited about the very cool stuff Microsoft is developing in its labs.
They're probably doomed
Because of all the reasons laid out so well above.
But doesn't it seem a little unfair for Comet to fail BEFORE the even-worse Currys is finally consigned to the extended warranty in the sky?
A use for Twitter?
During the recent riots, the local police force ran an excellent Twitter feed giving up-to-the-minute information about the local situation. I know who live on their own or who are otherwise vulnerable who felt reassured there was timely official news that contrasted with the scary rumours flying around on other social networks.
Cutting that feed off could have made things worse for a lot of people who otherwise didn't have information about what was going on.
Phew - no physical change
I'm glad they're not dumping the optical drive just yet - if there was a 15" machine as thin as the Air in the offing I might get into trouble with my bank manager!
Launcher Engine System Test Environment (Reusable)
That way we can finally see LESTER and LOHAN together as nature intended.
You're not planning on setting this off near the combined mission control / donkey sanctuary are you?
Twitter is still waiting for a trademark registration for 'tweet' whilst a company built on the back of Twitter has already got theirs approved?
Now either Twitter is hopelessly amateur and didn't think to register tweet until relatively recently, or they employ some slack IP lawyers who haven't been progressing their claim very quickly.
I suppose if we work hard at it, we can genericise 'tweet' and stop Twitter getting their hands on it ever. So time to start replacing 'talk', 'phone', 'message' and 'email' with 'tweet'.
Google's search tentacles might have tried to get something from Souter's site but found it slow, unreliable, unresponsive and crap - technically known as being 'a bit Stagecoach'.
But it didn't
Section 28 wasn't there to stop the promotion of homosexuality (whatever that means). It was there to stop any discussion of the subject. It was a hateful piece of legislation imposed to assuage a particular narrow-minded part of the population at the expense of a vulnerable minority.
That's a great idea
Add vodka for extra hilarity.
How to test a rocket at realistic high-altitude conditions.
Stick it on top of another rocket and see what happens.
Let me think
You need something cheap, expendable, bitterly cold and with no atmosphere... looks like a trip to Blackpool is in the offing.
'Australia’s best loved brand'
Surely that would be Dame Edna?
Dear god no!
You don't think you can defeat Whitehall with paperwork do you? They'll see it as a challenge.
Thorium isn't a nuclear fuel. It's fertile.
You transmute Th-232 into fissile U-233 inside a fission reactor.
You then require the economically dubious process of reprocessing to separate U-233 from Th-232 and fission products. Which produces huge amounts of actinide waste that has to be disposed of - hopefully not by pouring it into the Irish Sea.
U-233 makes for fabulous bombs. Don't we have rather too many nuclear weapons states as it is?
So nothing at all to do with weapons then?
The bit about NIF that gets a lot less attention is that it is also used to simulate the conditions inside a nuclear weapon at the moment fusion is triggered. Ever since the test ban treaty the bomb people haven't been able to turn chunks of Nevada glow-in-the-dark, so they've had to resort to simulations. And since the UK is joined at the hip to American warhead design, we've got an interest in this project.
"NIF is crucial to the NNSA Stockpile Stewardship Program because it will be able to create the extreme conditions of temperature and pressure that exist on Earth only in exploding nuclear weapons and that are therefore relevant to understanding the operation of our modern nuclear weapons."
National Research Council's Plasma Science Committee 2007.
N'ah has to be fake
For one the shadows don't match ;)
And secondly, no sign that Wallace and Gromit got there first.
If so wow! Ever since I installed 10.7 my MBA boot times have become incredibly protracted.
Nice - but...
...most things over at Yanko require at least one fundamental law of Nature to be rewritten; two if it's more complex than a cup holder.
There can be no more terrifying words in technology than
Because you know the people who said it have know idea what they're talking about.
It would be fantastic if these things could be put into local post offices. I'd even pay a small charge if it meant I'd never again have to play the will-they? won't-they? waiting game with HDNL.
You're right about using radioactive decay of isotopes to perform dating, but where it falls down is that there aren't any isotopes of gold with half lives long enough to perform geological dating. So you have to make an assumption that the gold was present when the rock was formed (in the case of Isua when sediments were metamorphosed into gneiss) and use the radiodate established from other elements in the rock - IIRC the Isua was dated using rubidium strontium dating.
Lifetime costs for nuclear?
Do the costs in that document include the cost of decommissioning the UK's nuclear power stations? The taxpayer has been repeatedly stung by ever-escalating prices for scrapping the Magnox plants (they couldn't privatise nuclear and get the private sector to take on decommissioning costs) and making the spent fuel safe. It's running at something over $2 billion a year already and will only increase as the AGRs begin to reach the ends of their lives.
Close but no cigar
Although the 'too cheap to meter' quote is often ascribed to Lord Marshall of the CEGB, it actually comes from Lewis Strauss of the US Atomic Energy Commission and he was talking about nuclear fusion not fission.
The full quote is:
"Our children will enjoy in their homes electrical energy too cheap to meter... It is not too much to expect that our children will know of great periodic regional famines in the world only as matters of history, will travel effortlessly over the seas and under them and through the air with a minimum of danger and at great speeds, and will experience a lifespan far longer than ours, as disease yields and man comes to understand what causes him to age."
Feel free to score it out of 10.
'Innocent or guilty? Vote now! Full results and analysis of our viewers' verdict with Kate Burley at 5pm. Call now to upgrade to our Bangemupanthrowawaythekey 3D package.'
Surely it should be disguised as the very lovely Paris?
The porn potential for this invention should not be overlooked - Swedes and squaddies being what they are...
How goes the invisible shed?
Why no mention of whether this Swedish boffinry can be applied to man's best friend - his shed (self assembly naturally)?
You're in fine company Lester
Please don't feel down because NAOMI didn't rise to the occasion; even the mighty NASA has had its share of failures to launch.
In fact you've actually beaten NASA. In 1960, Mercury Redstone I only made it 10cm from the pad before something horribly expensive went sproing! shut down the engines and brought the rocket gently back down to the Earth.
So by my calculations if you keep up this rate of success you should be on the Moon round about 2020.
In part it's a technology demonstrator that solar power can be used for deep space missions with low pier requirements, but in part it's been forced on the US by a lack of Pu-238 to go into radio thermal generators. The US has very limited supplies of the isotope which have to be shared between NASA and the military, and in recent years the US has been buying supplies from Russia. The US is ramping up production again, so this might only be a temporary bottleneck.
Might just get you a very dramatic mission jingle.
I had the good fortune to be given a guided tour by Tony last year and his enthusiasm for every aspect of the Museum was evident and infectious. His a huge loss and my sympathies go to his friends and family.
The Americans pulled decisively ahead of the USSR during the Gemini missions when the Soviet programme was effectively grounded. Their Voskhod manned capsules were death traps and the Soyuz programme was well behind schedule and of very poor quality - let's not forget Soyuz 1 killed its pilot.
Gemini on the other hand showed the Americans could manoeuvre freely in space, conduct long duration missions and repeatedly perform rendezvous - something the Soviets did not master until much later. At the same time the Americans had perfected large rocket engines and were able to get their bigger, heavier Saturn V off the pad with just five engines compared to the N1's 30 - which unsurprisingly, didn't work well.
Where the Soviets did score was that when they finally debugged their simple designs they proved exceptionally reliable - it's not poverty that's kept them using the Soyuz and Proton boosters - it's because they've had an epic success with them. And the Soviets did perhaps produce the best main engine ever designed for the N1 - used individually or in pairs it's been a huge success on the Atlas V.
Orbiters probably still fixable
But there are no spare ETs or SRBs.
Is there a charitable scientist in the house?
'Good job I don't believe anything spouted by scientists and quango's who's funding & existence tends to rely on spouting it...'
Does this maxim also apply to say oncologists? seismologists? virologists?
The Daily Mail forums are next on the far right.
They're coming from Denmark, compared to Danish the whole 'Bork! put de chicken in de pot! Bork!' dialect of Southern Sweden will be a breeze.
BTW. There's a sense of justice to all this. Now the Swedes are finding out what it was like to be English a thousand years ago - living in constant fear of an invasion from the sea of ferocious Scandinavian hairy rabid killers.
It'll go right past Palin's front window.
I bet she'll have a seizure if this ever gets mentioned to her.
So anyone want to mention it to her?
I'm pretty sure Bangor is fireproof
Several hundred years of continuous Welsh drizzle has rendered the place entirely fireproof.
The little blue pills don't really need marketing, but there does seem to be a lot of ads for erectile dysfunction on telly of late (usually during action movies - make of that what you will). They obviously can't show the condition or any before and after photos, so they have to approach the matter in incredibly elliptical manners. Watch one with the sound muted before the info at the end and there is precisely zero chance you'd guess what it was advertising - debt problems? soft furnishings? bedside lighting? a particularly dull holiday park?
Some of these people have children and are all too often willing to inflict their Dark Ages lunacies on innocent people.
'The biggest scam on the planet.'
Organised religion or Sky TV?
Which only begs one question
How bad were the candidates that failed to get the top job?
Don't forget the bit where the real money making part of the company is shipped wholesale back to the US 'so as to integrate it more fully with our core business'. If you're lucky a few widget makers or telesales jobs are kept over here.
So this is what Lester does on his days off
But what will they do if they're attacked by Optimus Prime?
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