* Posts by Martin Budden

2171 posts • joined 27 Apr 2007

べーコンはどこですか? demands post-pub nosh fan

Martin Budden
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Me three!

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An EPIC picture of Earth, sunny side up, from one MEEELLION miles out

Martin Budden
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Re: Polar storm?

Yes, it's called the 'hemispheric long wave pattern' and at the moment it has four troughs (at other times I've seen three or five troughs). It is useful for long-range rain forecasts, e.g. http://www.weatherzone.com.au/long-range-forecast/28-day-rain/act/act

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Martin Budden
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Just wait 12 hours...

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Russian billionaire: GET me the ALIENS ON THE PHONE. Do it NOW

Martin Budden
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I'd estimate we are currently Bbb's?

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Martin Budden
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FAIL

@knarf

You post an equation which estimates we will find two exoplanets with signs of life within the next ten years, and from that you conclude "Odds are we won't find any".

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Martin Budden
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Re: Intelligent alien life?

I'd settle for them finding intelligent life working for a government department !

Oi! Public servants ≠ politicians.

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What makes our planet's clouds? Tiny INVISIBLE CREATURES. True story

Martin Budden
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WTF?

Did you just seriously suggest "killing off maritime plankton"??????

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What goes up, Musk comedown: Falcon rocket failed to strut its stuff

Martin Budden
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Re: In-House is always better, it seems...

If you want something done properly, do it yourself.

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Martin Budden
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Re: So they lost an unmanned rocket, but gained a safety feature for the manned version...

I'm a bit surprised they didn't already have this in place. The idea that the capsule can survive a rocket break-up is not new: Challenger's crew cabin was in one piece (and probably still pressurised) all the way down.

Anyway, the main thing is they are going to implement this safety measure from now on, before manned flights start.

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Martin Budden
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Re: That's what happens...

Who is going to the scrap yard?

He is using brand new motors, not 40 year old motors like some people.

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Science sub spots lost Revolutionary-era SHIPWRECK

Martin Budden
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Re: And in other news

The Doom Bar in Cornwall has 600 wrecks in 1 km2. You'd think with that many it would be easy to stumble across a wreck there, but you won't find any. Sand is funny stuff.

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Happy NukeDay to you! 70 years in the shadow of the bomb post-Trinity

Martin Budden
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Stop

unintended consequences

He may well be right when he says that all normal people witnessing a nuke will become peaceniks, but it could have the opposite effect on psychopaths. And if those psychopaths happen to be government leaders (not exactly a far-fetched idea, I'm sure you'll agree) then the last thing we want to be doing is giving them nasty ideas.

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Ideal solar system for SECOND EARTH found – and it's just 186 light-years away

Martin Budden
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I see the words @Beagle has posted above... but they don't necessarily prove there is a real human who typed those words. (part of me hopes there isn't, because science!)

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Martin Budden
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Re: Current theories...

We know for sure that it has happened at least once. And if something can happen once, it can happen again.

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Large Hadron SMASHER: Boffins BLOW OPEN the PENTAQUARK's secrets

Martin Budden
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Re: Five

"If I have seen further than others, it is because I've got the binoculars."

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New Horizons: We've got a pretty pic of Pluto. Now let's get our SCIENCE on

Martin Budden
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Re: NH has phoned home

The most important question has been answered: an exogorth cannot catch a probe travelling at 16 km/s.

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New Horizons mission to Pluto prepares for terrifying silence on Tuesday AM

Martin Budden
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They'd better be very high-res pics, on account of dwarves being small.

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PLUTO FLYBY: Here's your IT angle, all you stargazing pedants

Martin Budden
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Re: Dish mish

Wow, that page really is cool, thanks for the link! The Canberra DSN is about half an hour from me. Right now it is communicating with Spitzer, MAVEN & Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (two from a single dish), and Mars Odyssey. One of the four dishes appears to be having a rest.

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Martin Budden
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Re: Getting to the next star system at that speed is going to take a long time. :(

Does that include slowing the no-longer-a-toddler down so they stop at Alpha Centauri, or do they just zoom right past and continue onwards into the vast nothingness of space?

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Martin Budden
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Re: Old-shool User Interfaces

Multicolored Pony Juice

Where I work we call it Unicorn Vomit.

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Asimov's ghost! Oil and gas rigs could be taken over by robots

Martin Budden
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You can recall something for 20,000 years? I have trouble remembering what I had for breakfast!

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NASA pops open a big can of red planet whup-ass with Mars Trek

Martin Budden
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He's not there yet, but there will be a documentary about him in October.

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Pluto revealed as KING of the Kuiper belt

Martin Budden
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The Dwarf King

If we are forced to accept that it's a dwarf planet, and as we now know it is King, can we rename it to Durin? Or how about Goldemar?

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Mathematician: SUNSPOT DROUGHT will mean mini ICE AGE from 2030

Martin Budden
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Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

Have you seen where a lot of the uranium comes from?

Have you seen who has the biggest uranium reserves?

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Forget lasers: how about sharks with frikkin' VOLCANOES?

Martin Budden
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not sleeping, awake and hungry

It looks as though the shark has a nibble of the weight-bag which is holding the camera down.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Chopstick-collapsing Spam musubi

Martin Budden
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Trollface

Re: Reg Units

A smidge is 1/3 of a dab, which is less than a Dabbs in some ways and more in other ways ;-)

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Martin Budden
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oxymoron?

"Prepped in advance" seems at odds with the "post-pub" brief.

And if you don't prep it in advance you have to wait half an hour for the uncooked rice to soak and another half an hour for the cooked rice to cool, by which time you've passed out in front of the telly.

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WHAT ARE the 'WEIRD' SPOTS seen on far-flung PLUTO?

Martin Budden
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Trollface

Re: I vaguely remember reading somewhere...

I wonder how many commentards' heads explode when I mention less/fewer?

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Martin Budden
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Re: Polygon

Basalt columns look very similar but they are caused by contraction fractures when cooling, not by convection cells.

The best basalt columns I've seen personally are at Sawn Rocks in New South Wales, Australia.

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Martin Budden
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Re: Polygon

OK, here's a quick discussion. Where convection cells exist within a liquid you'll see polygonal (mostly tending towards hexagonal) surface temperature gradients, with the hotspots at the centre of each cell, cold lines at the boundaries of the cells, and fluid flowing from the central hotspots outwards towards the cold boundaries. See figure 6 on this page. So it's credible that a planet with a once-liquid water layer could freeze and some of that cell structure might still be visible (amazingly, some of the water may even still be liquid below the surface!).

The same process also occurs with thermals in our lower atmosphere, which is why glider pilots like to seek out cumulus (these clouds sit on top of a rising thermal in the middle of a convection cell) and avoid the "blue sink" of clear-sky areas between the cumulus. Sometimes a prevailing wind can cause the cumulus to form near-continuous lines, gliders can use these "cloud streets" to travel long distances.

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Martin Budden
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Headmaster

Re: It's and it's

could've (the mother of could of)

ARGHHH!!! NOOOOO!!!!! Could've is the mother of could have.

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Natural geothermal heat under Antarctic ice: 'Surprisingly HIGH'

Martin Budden
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Can I just say that the pic of the plane taking off is superb: propeller tip condensation trails, skis, and frikkin' rockets!

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Martin Budden
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Re: Heat balance

I wish I could upvote the spectacularly refined chap so many more times than once: he has hit the nail on the head.

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PLUTO SPACE WHALE starts to give up its secrets

Martin Budden
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Re: Call me simple

It has not cleared its direct orbital neighbourhood of debris and is thus NOT a planet.

Neptune has not cleared Pluto from its orbit, so is Neptune not a planet?

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China wants to build a 200km-long undersea tunnel to America

Martin Budden
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Re: Transcontinental railway over several continents

You can relax. The fault line in the Bering Strait runs east-west and passes well to the north of the islands. In other words, the entire tunnel will be within a single tectonic plate. Se here (scroll down to the diagram).

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NASA chooses ace SPACE PILOTS who'll take the USA back into manned flight

Martin Budden
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The SpaceX and Boeing spacecraft designs are also more efficient, managing to cram in four astronauts per trip

The SpaceX Dragon 2 will be able to carry seven astronauts!

p.s. I wish it was still called DragonRider, that is a very cool name.

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Black and Latina boffins regularly mistaken for janitors, study finds

Martin Budden
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Re: Well

It's a long time since I've been to London, but I distinctly remember the night sky there as being orange.

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'Real' vampires reluctant to 'come out of the coffin' to social workers – barmy prof

Martin Budden
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Re: Er, no, you're NOT a vampire @ Volands right hand

Are you saying aspen is not poplar?

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Behold the mighty Swiss SPACE JUNK NOSHER PODULE

Martin Budden
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the chameleon method

I'd like to see a clean-up sat with a sticky chameleon tongue. Yes I know this is a very silly idea which really isn't practical at all... even so, I'd like to see it :-)

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Adam Smith was right about that invisible hand, you know

Martin Budden
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Re: Algorithmic trading

What you're describing there is using an algo to decide what to invest in. About as scary as people using Excel to analyse stock prices really.

Of course it would be daft to use Excel to... do anything, really. But isn't it true that picking stocks completely at random yields (on average) better results than picking stocks by thinking with our fleshy brains? I'm sure it would be a simple matter to write an algo to pick stocks randomly.

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Dormant ALIEN SLIME LIFE frozen in SPEEDING comet will AWAKEN - boffins

Martin Budden
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Re: microbes (for which there is *no evidence*)

how do they know it's not just a load of shit?

Shit basically *is* slimy microbial life. Plus, shit must have been shat by something bigger!

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Will rising CO2 damage the world's oceans? NOT SO MUCH – new boffinry

Martin Budden
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Boffin

Plankton can be surprisingly big.

The definition of a plankter (the singular of plankton) is an organism in seawater which can't swim fast enough to make headway against the current. Put an average human in the Gulf Stream, that human is a plankter. North Pacific Right Whales live in the Pacific so you wouldn't ever find one in the Gulf Stream anyway - but if you did, it would be a 100 ton plankter.

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Martin Budden
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Re: Couldn't Lewis Page write on something he understands?

He is the ultimate cherry-picker. On the upside, he provokes much debate.

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Boffin: Will I soon be able to CLONE a WOOLLY MAMMOTH? YES. Should I? Hell NO

Martin Budden
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Re: Could I do it...?

For Science!

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Martin Budden
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If the mammoths have died out then it's because they are no longer best suited to their environment.

No, they died out because we stuck lots of spears in them. They'd survived all the previous warmer periods so their extinction wasn't environmental.

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Martin Budden
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Headmaster

Re: PULL THE LEVEL IGOR! WUH HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA!!!!

After you've pulled the level Igor, pull the sloping Igor too.

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NASA's New Horizon probe rudely fires its thruster at gnome planet

Martin Budden
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Re: Genuine question

> Late for what?

Late for its table booking at Milliways.

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Martin Budden
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Re: Rounding Error

0.5 miles per hour? You misunderestimate the speed of the average hedgehog! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oN5ept1TT60

p.s. apologies for the sax

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Congratulations! You survived the leap secondocalypse

Martin Budden
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Re: Alternatives

My suggestion: decouple Earth Time (based on rotation, so yes it changes gradually) from Astronomical Time (based on atomic vibration, so it doesn't change), and at the same time (!) adopt a better system for Astronomical Time: we should have a decimal system for counting Astronomical Time. Because decimal is just better: it is our standardised counting system*. After all, once we leave Earth and head out into the vast nothingness of space, GMT/UTC is irrelevant anyway. So let's take this opportunity to have a more scientific way of doing things for Astronomical Time, and stick with when the sun rises and sets for our normal terrestrial business.

*please don't get started on the factorial advantages of base 12**: we have 10 fingers and that's that.

**or binary, or base 60, or anything else. Seriously. Everyone is used to decimal. End of story.

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Martin Budden
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@ the other Martin

You might get it in October, we get it in April ;-)

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