* Posts by smylar

36 posts • joined 20 Oct 2010

MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less

smylar

Re: Testosterone may not help the trip

Pretty sure there's some studies going on now about how higher testosterone levels may benefit in terms of less muscle wastage and bone demineralisation. Though I can't see how a group off confined men or women tanked up on it could end well

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Will Apple give Chinese iPhone workers cancer? THE TRUTH

smylar

Re: Sellafield is fundamentally different

The article did not make that comparison, it mentioned areas of high natural radiation (higher than that around you're average nuclear site) e.g. Cornwall which has problems with Radon from decomposing Uranium in the Granite that makes up large parts of Cornwall.

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Melting permafrost switches to nasty, high-gear methane release

smylar

Re: The fat lady has sung

I am merely taking exception to your assertion of exponential growth and that nature is going to sort us out, it's wrong. Your argument large numbers of people affect the planet is fair enough

What I said is that humans ourselves already have that problem under control.

The large growth is down to the lag between people having loads of children because they are likely to die and realising they should have less because medicine means they won't die and it's costing them a fortune, nothing about nature sorting us out

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smylar

Re: The fat lady has sung

"(ii) the exponential growth in the number of humans" - SumDood

There is no exponential growth, a slow down in population growth is already built into the system, current average number of children per family (or woman) across the world is now about 2.4, which is about the number you need for a stable population. The population is still going up as all those born in the population boom time have to have their 2.4 children, and those children have to have their 2.4 etc, replacing the fewer people who existed before the boom. It also means there is still a few billion in growth left to go.

There seem to be very few people who realise this who bleat on about population control when it is in fact an impossibility (without nukes or something draconian) the growth is already in the pipeline, and not necessary - it will stabilise anyway

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The Solar System's second-largest volcano found hiding on Earth

smylar

Re: British Isles?

See here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNu8XDBSn10

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BOSS Bang boffins: DARK ENERGY spreading across the Universe

smylar

Re: Call me a sceptic

> There are just four dimensions. Anything else is ... very speculative indeed

oh yes, theoretical physics by it's very nature is highly speculative, many theories call for more than 4 dimensions. I used parts of existing theories (M-Theory and Supergravity) to come up with my own speculative theory - I fail to see your point

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smylar

Re: Call me a sceptic

I too was struck by the expansion is creating energy remark, which they neglect to explain - it would contravene thermodynamics.

But the view from my barely informed armchair is it could mean the Universe is expanding due to an injection of energy.

- If we take Brane theory and that gravity seems to be leaky i.e A force possibly acting over all dimensions etc. Then Dark Energy could be the gravitational effects of other Branes moving in our neighbourhood - where's my Nobel?!

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Bacteria isolated for four million years beat newest antibiotic

smylar
FAIL

Re: Evolution - learn some science

If you actually read what Darwin wrote, evolution is not a theory at all, evolution is the observed fact (i.e. Species change over time - a fact based on mountains of evidence). Natural selection was then the theory to explain the observed fact.

As discussed earlier, seeing as many antibiotics are derived from bacteria, then some bacteria will already have an awareness of antibitoic compounds

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MPs: This plan for proper navy carriers and jets is crazy!

smylar

Tranche 2 Eurofighter deliveries are underway, Eurofigthers have dropped bombs, they may not be fully up to speed just yet, so we may have a capability gap of just one or 2 years, as opposed to the huge chasm of a capability gap we now have which will last for 10 years.

Unless we're going to launch deep penetration raids on Iran in the next couple of years (where a TLAM is probably going to do a better job, and overfly rights might not be a sure thing), there's just no need for it.

And you do realise that Terror targets are done either by a) Drone b) Special Forces raid, Tornado is useless for that too

(N.B. Tranche 2 should be as good or better bombers than Tornados, tranche 3 is not required for this)

And @David Webb

Tornados certainly don't travel everywhere at Mach 2, they can't do more if they are based 100s of miles further away, and in fact Harriers did have better availability rates. So the smaller Harrier fleet could easily do as much as the larger Tornado fleet

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smylar

For one it's probably politically unacceptable, and highly ironic, seeing as the French left the Eurofigther programme to build the Rafale because they wanted a Maritime version.

Us now buying the Rafale for Maritime operations would make the French unbearably smug.

Second we would/should probably lease/buy Super Hornets (major F-18 rebuild) which arguably makes it more modern than the Rafale. F-18s are built in much higher numbers with tonnes of spare parts so can't see the Rafale being cheaper.

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smylar

As you allude to there the Typhoon could pretty much do what the Tornado can (or it will in the very near future - on completion of trache 2), but with better top cover ability.

So why in flubbery did we ditch all of CAS, Maritime and inherent flexibility of the Harrier, just so we can have two airframes that can do Strike for the next 10 years

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Britain's Harrier jump-jets reprieved to fly and fight again

smylar

Not Really

Yes, Tornado can do Mach 2, but not for long, it would soon be out of fuel, it would be cruising slightly faster than Harrier (Mach 1 territory)

In terms of Libya the Harriers would have been there hours before a Tornado shows up, plus they can be based nearer the action more easily anyway, so that argument doesn't hold any water,

So what it can bomb one/two less houses on one sortie (it usually actually means they drop slightly less ordinance on the same target), but it's higher availablity counters this, you are also forgetting that the Typhoon is due the same capability as the Tornado soon and can carry more and is faster than the Tornado.

So I would have kept the unique abilities of the Harrier, it would have done fine in current situations and let Typhoon take on some strike responsibilities as it becomes available.

As it is we now have two platforms that in terms of strike, do exactly the same things - clever!

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Cheap gas is a 'crisis' for Greens, but not for us

smylar

Failure to understand!

They're not in crisis as in they are having an internal conflict about whether it's good or bad.

They are in full crisis mobilisation mode to absolutely kill shale gas, as it threatens their build windmills and Carbon free at all costs agenda.

Why, because it's very attractive to power companies, it'll be cheap, the technology is understood and requires little investment, and by the time it runs out we may actually have figured the alternative. It would substantially reduce carbon emissions as we could then decomission all the coal plants - this looks like a sensible phased approach to me, to cover the period before reliable cheapish low carbon technology actually appears! While keeping the not so well off from crucifying every green they come across!

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Russia’s space telescope in orbit

smylar
WTF?

Erm

No significant part eh?! We may have cancelled Black Arrow before it had a chance, and we might not be involved in manned exploration, but we are a top notch satellite builders and is one of our few growth industries contributing about £7bn to the economy,and if SKYLON gets anywhere we're easily poised to take a leading role.

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Save the planet: Stop the Greens

smylar
FAIL

Well yes ...

You could build more pumped storage, however, just about eveything geologically suitable is being used as such, so then you'd have to manufacture the geology - can't imagine that being cost effective.

Batteries will introduce even more inefficiency to the system, not to mention mining a fuck tonne more minerals to build them, plus they too will run out, how much storage do you install, a couple of days worth? - how many batteries is that? So you introduce even more costs to the system and still have to build a duplicate backup gas/coal/nuclear/whatever network.

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smylar
Stop

Economics

Greens always neglect the economics, they would love it not to be a factor, unfortunately it's a big one.

To power the country on wind means a hell of a lot of turbines, expansion of pumped storage, and then a load of gas turbines as back-up that can provide power in the event not a single windmill is turning and the pumped storage has run out. So you have an installed capacity well over double what you need, and massive maintenance costs.

The result is *!#&ing expensive, which means a lot of poor people, high product prices etc etc. Which is probably what the most devout greens want, so that we can all go back to the glorious hunter gatherer days!

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Russia, NASA to hold talks on nuclear-powered spacecraft

smylar

Launching not really a problem

As long as you waited to fire up the reactor when it's safely in space, there is very little problem launching a reactor, as it will pretty much only contain relatively benign weakly radioactive Uranium (They're sending up worse stuff in RTGs) there are no fission products or minor actinides.

Re-entry of radioactive material might be more of an issue - depends how it scatters, the other issue being possible production of nukes in space - But in the main it's a PR thing

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Fukushima fearmongers are stealing our Jetsons future

smylar

Plutonium

The reason why we have a pile of Plutonium, is that we haven't got a single commercial reactor in the UK capable of using it - We could have but don't - Why? because people are scared of the words "Bomb Grade" and "Commercial" in the same sentence and thinking the omnipotent terrorists will get it!

If nuclear research hadn't been killed off in the early 90s, we could be well on the way to fast breeder reactors by now, a lot of them are passively safe and can use the the minor actinides as fuel - suddenly the waste problem gets a whole lot easier to deal with and we don't need to dig up more Uranium

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Libya fighting shows just how idiotic the Defence Review was

smylar

Not the whole picture

Sorry but this completely neglects some other Harrier advantages:

They were cheaper to run

They had a greater availability rate

Ability to be delivered by sea (This is the big one)

Ability to undertake martime operations (we are an Island after all)

Use of rough and ready airfields - Tornados couldn't be deployed to Afganistan for years due to this.

Yes they can carry more but battlefield interdiction in Afganistan rarely requires a full loadout.

You are still neglecting the that Harrier had Air to Ground anti-Tank capability in Maverick - without considering the fact there are no Tanks in Afganistan - Therefore those missiles are overkill

And, Typhoons can just about do everything a Tornado can and better, especially over the next couple of years - Therefore we've removed a useful asset - and then replicated what we have left in another airframe.

We could have kept Harrier for Battlefield Interdiction/Martime/Fast Response and replaced Tornado with Typhoon taking over Strike and Air Defence

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smylar

Tools for the job

Did someone just pull that list from Wikipedia without thinking about it?!

Admittedly, storm shadow is stupid on Harrier, but it is provisioned for it, but not cleared.

Brimstone was in the process of being cleared, but they were dragging their feet possibly because Maverick was operational and filling the role, why spend money while they are still in stock

ASRAAM was cancelled for Harrier, seeing as it is a bomber and sidewinders are still pretty capable, it's fair enough - if you need air cover, bring Typhoons.

Litening 3 does the same job as the Sniper pods carried by Harrier

RAPTOR is a recon pod carried by dedicated Tornado platforms (GR4A) with very limited strike capability - These could possibly be kept on like we did the recon Canberras in the event of ditching Tornados.

Enhanced paveway III, so what, Harrier carried Paveway IV.

ALARM - Gulf War 1 era anti radar missile, well Harrier never was a SEAD aircraft, Typhoons more suited to this, early-ish Tranche 2 aircraft should be able to carry it.

And the whole point about the RC-135 aircraft - There are hundreds of them out there, that means they are going to be cheap to run and maintain with greater availablity, instead of having to custom make each part like they did with the Nimrod, when parts fail

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smylar

Maverick

Actually if you read that government report properly, it is about STANDARD operational loadouts, you'll also see that the Harriers were carrying Maverick missiles, which are anti-tank missiles.

So no need to introduce Brimstone until the Maverick stock is depleted (Harriers carried these from GR7 onwards)

Oh at it is indeed cleared to carry paveway IV - the latest smart bomb.

The GR9 spec calls for these weapons, the only one cancelled was ASRAAM carriage - not cleared for use just means they haven't been arsed to clear it for general use, usually for reasons of money, e.g. We need to use up the Mavericks, so no point testing or training crews for Brimstone (yet), or are we really going to stick a Storm Shadow on a Harrier. It doesn't mean they cannot use them

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smylar

Nothing There

Except all there is in the South is sand! - If you really want to bomb that far south you can let the Cruise Missiles do it (range is over 1000 miles), and you can still refuel a Harrier

As far as I'm aware GR9 spec Harriers should have Storm Shadow and Brimstone integration, as to whether they actually ever carried them is another matter (probably all provisioned for Tornados), but they certainly should be able to use them. A quick look at harrier.org.uk would seem to confirm this

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smylar

Tactics

Ever heard of operational flexibility?!

Only Harriers on Libya's doorstep could make time critical interdictions, or react quickly to unfolding events, can run many more sorties etc. Hell they could construct a forward base in Libya for the Harriers if the wanted to.

Whilst the Tornados are spending most of their time in transit as there is no nearby friendly base.

As for troops polishing tanks, if there were no tanks, they would be given a rifle and thrown into the front line, and not having to pay for the tank means money for an extra helicopter or more troops - that's the argument here; whether the tanks should be scrapped is a matter of opinion. They certainly get munched by air power and it's the troops holding the line - tanks or not.

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smylar
FAIL

Invasion

So the French are about to launch a sneaky invasion are they?!

Anyway, firstline defence is supposed to be the Typhoons' job

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Radioactive Tokyo tapwater HARMS BABIES ... if drunk for a year

smylar
FAIL

Wrong!

I-131 decays to Xe-131, which is a stable isotope of Xenon.

However, Xe-131 can be transformed into an unstable isotope via neutron capture, so yes if it was still in a working reactor you would get radioactive Xenon. But out in the general environment where the iodine is decaying this simply isn't the case.

Plus with the amount of Xenon being produced, and the fact it is generally unreactive (Xenon Oxides are very unstable) means it will be in very diffuse amounts and unlikely to suffocate anyone

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Fukushima on Thursday: Prospects starting to look good

smylar

Fire

Yes, indeed it can fly, powdered plutonium/uranium that is on fire is a problem. So far there has been no indication the cores are on fire and are mostly intact.

But you would still need to combine it with a really big fire, like the Chernobyl graphite fire to throw it far and wide

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smylar
FAIL

@lomax

Who said anything about Plutonium - only one reactor is running with Plutonium (MOX fuel) - I believe it is reactor three - besides it is pretty much a non issue unless the core detonates spectacularly (unlikely) - it being a heavy metal so likely to remain non gaseous, so it will sit in the core and be easily dealt with. Long half-life materials generally are more stable, therefore less radioactive, though I am unsure how radioactive plutonium is (different with different isotopes anyway Pu-240 is more radioactive but has a much shorter half life).

It is Indeed the short lived stuff causing the problem as they are isotopes of light elements in a gaseous form allowing it to escape easily

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Ex-PM blocked Steve Jobs knighthood

smylar
FAIL

Shame

Shame on you all the Up-Voters on this post.

Bill Gates didn't get a Knighthood for crappy software, it's because he's actually tried to go out and make the world a better place, giving the world billions and billions in aid, funding malaria research etc.

The same cannot be said of Torvalds and Jobs. Arguments about who has the best software are just a non starter compared to this and completely irrelevant.

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UK's Supreme Court greenlights Twitter usage

smylar

No Jury

Though I like the sentiment, this is the supreme court, which as far as I know doesn't do Juries - so it isn't about Jurors tweeting etc. when they should be concentrating on the case.

So unless the Judges are doing it it shouldn't be a problem

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PARIS in 89,000 ft climax

smylar
Boffin

RE: Balance

Maybe so, problem is the greater power of the wind at height; which would make the control necessary. Also doesn't help if it flat spins down, as it would appear it did in the initial stages at least. Maybe a vertical release would have helped.

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smylar
Pint

Beware Snipers

Of course it's going to come more or less straight down, it started with zero horizontal speed (stall). If you want it to glide miles then you would probably need a gyro and some actuated elevators, to start a dive and pull it out in a controlled fashion, probably ailerons and rudder too to stop any turbulence turning it over or spiralling - but then it's not a paper aeroplane is it! (It's an aeronautics degree!)

It's a great achievement, and on the first go too, and here's a pint to Lester for seeing it through!

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Cameron cocks up UK's defences - and betrays Afghan troops

smylar

Typhoon Tranche 3

Done some digging, as I thought, those weapons are in the Tranche 2 spec which is committed to and currently being delivered. However, the full integration is in the second half of the Tranche so appear by about 2012, so yes not quite all available now; how likely is it we'll need to bomb Iran in the next couple of years?

So the requirement to have to throw money at T3 is wrong. Tranche 3 is looking at upgrades for possible unnamed future weapons, system updates, such as switching to AESA radar, possible fitting of Thrust Vectoring and Conformal Fuel Tanks etc. A lot of T3 spec is probably undecided

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smylar

Ark Royal

The whole point of keeping Ark Royal, is not just about flying Harriers, though desirable, we're about to scrap a large part of the FAA only to have to rebuild it in a few years time, that smells costly.

Once/If the new Carriers appear it can easily be converted to a Helicopter Carrier, the Hull should still be decent.

As it is the Helicopters that actually do the sub hunting, the chasing of drug running Go-Fasts or Pirates, the deployment of troops etc. such a conversion is far better than keeping Frigates with their one Helicopter. They also make very useful Humanitarian aid platforms

I still think trading the Tornados and some Frigates for this is a far better idea.

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smylar

No more typhoons

No, we've bought a whole load of Typhoons we can't use, which is why we are selling them to the Saudis. You could retrain the Tornado crews to use some of the excess. I would far prefer they get the F-35s sorted out, which will take over from the Tornados and Harriers anyway and can be carrier launched, until then, zero sized carrier groups seems the most ridiculous option to me

Also to the person who said we don't have enough tomahawks, and subs to launch them. All our attack subs can launch them as they get pushed out the torpedo tubes, even the old Swiftsures have launched them in the past

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smylar

I've met you before

Paul Brandon is me, see arguments in trail before this one!

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smylar
FAIL

Bollards!

It may be a better plane, but the Typhoon can do much the same thing these days.

Also the Harrier can carry much of the weapons the Tornado can

( I very much doubt the Tornado can carry 4 Storm Shadows operationally - cruise missile strike is still better done from a sub anyway! I don't think they carry Maverick in RAF service, but the Harrier is also capable of carrying it as well, it can also carry the same Brimstone anti armour missiles, and laser guided bombs that the Tornado carries albeit in slightly less numbers)

But saving Tornados, for a marginally better bombing capability is ludicrous compared to ditching all air cover for the Navy and Expeditionary capability that they offer

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