If you fit some control fins, a bacteria-generated-hydrogen burning engine and a prop to the podule then get DARPA to teach the bacteria to drive...
427 posts • joined 16 Dec 2009
I get called far, far too often; frequently two in the evening, for at least the last eighteen months.
I have tried blowing whistles, slamming big books shut, boiling the kettle and generally giving them a hard time but they still keep ringing.
I have "used" various different OS in this time, just to keep them on their toes, up to and including confusing a Sinclair programmable calculator with a computer (yes, it still works although the 9v battery cover has long since gone walkabout).
Regardless of the name they give me, if they sound Indian I call them Rani to wind them up.
I have a test rig for fixing computers and this is nomally booted from CD for whichever OS I need and has an empty hard drive. One day I may let one of the callers amok on it and see how much fun I can have as they dig about in a sandbox.
@ Marketing Hack
Can we help it if some Merkin takes a perfectly good British word and applies a negative connotation to it? I suppose we should be used to playing the bad guys.
Forget Elite, try the Orbiter space sim: http://orbit.medphys.ucl.ac.uk/
You can even download Skylon for it and try it out. Then use it to construct space stations...
Day 1: New keyboard goes on sale.
Day 2: Tech-head disassembles keyboard, uprates the air compressor and fits a petrol engine - reveals a keyboard that can double as a self stabilizing hover-board when inverted.
Day 3: Massed rush to duplicate the hover-keyboard.
Day 4: First person arrives at work on hover-keyboard.
Day 5: First competition hover-keyboard typing contest where the contestants type documents by manoeuvring over a small bump in an otherwise flat surface.
Day 6: First death by hover-keyboard when rider flips in traffic.
Day 7: Government knee-jerk overreaction bans all keyboards of any ilk to protect the children.
Day 8: Unable to function because of the inability to use computers, society collapses.
It'll all end in tears.
The best SF short stories to be made into an episode in a series of half-hour TV programmes (Varley's "Overdrawn at the Memory Bank" has already been done).
The best High Fantasy novels never filmed.
I must admit, my mouse hovered over Mote for an interminably long time before suddenly clicking on Titan.
A "We need a new icon" icon is clearly required (although this may create a self-referential feedback loop).
Also a "Playmobil reconstruction required" icon; however if we exclude the spectacular PARIS event it has been at least 18 months since the last one, so this may be a lost cause.
Finally a "You clearly haven't actually read the article so your foaming at the mouth about it only makes you look a fool" icon for the comment responders to use.
Not too sure about Banks' Culture stuff - the only one I can really see working as a single shot movie is The Player of Games.
Niven & Pournelle; not Ringworld but The Mote In Gods Eye. TMIGE will need a Peter Jackson to mini-series it because I can't really conceive it coming all in one lump. Or two. That can be the trouble with SF - too much scope. The other question is will the audience cotton on to how dangerous the Moties are even with HH Bury's screaming about it?
If you want battles and cultural differences how about Alan Dean Foster's Icerigger? It is the opposite of Avatar, no human self loathing here.
Agree with the CJ Cherryh comments on Downbelow Station, but for choice would probably choose Merchanter's Luck.
What about John Varley's Titan trilogy? Superb stuff.
Ian McDonald's Desolation Road to weird people out completely.
The Godwhale by TJ Bass has a nice ecosystem collapse and rebirth story to it, but isn't an action fest by any means, and Schwarzenegger is too old to play the lead/s now.
Lets get Girl Genius made into a movie! Once the series is finished. I want five-mile-long airship castles.
I'm waiting for Michael Grade's influence to fade away so Brit TV can start making proper Science Fiction programmes again. Stuff the films, I want series and character development, and by that I don't mean the Doctor snogging the female sidekick.
The Royal Navy used fake periscopes in the Mediterranean in WWII, just sticks painted grey and weighted at one end so they floated upright. These were dropped, normally by submarines, at choke points where enemy vessels commonly passed. They were not that successful as a periscope is hard to spot at the best of times and as they were immobile they produced no telltale feather or wake. I don't think the axis powers developed any cunning countermeasures.
Yes, you would expect as many above as below, but my inferred point to the original poster was that 50% of the population would not be below 100, but fewer than that as they had not taken the proportion of the population that had a score of exactly 100 into account.
I have seen a few purported IQ tests and the amount of locale specific questions is astonishing, and
must hammer anyone who is not familiar with the tester's history/culture.
Having useless colour vision, I always suffer when "Orange is to Yellow as Purple is to ......." style questions pop up.
If you find that half the population has an IQ lower than 100 then it probably means that the IQ test questions have not been worded clearly or possibly not applicable to the target demographic; e.g. questions on US presidential succession given to Australians. This will skew the results towards the low end.
Shinmoe-Dake is part of the Kirishima volcano complex and was erupting as recently as last month, so this is probably more of a continuation of last month's activity. In Japan both Kirishima and Sakurajima have been erupting this year.
Don't forget that there are around fifty volcanoes erupting on the Earth at any one time. For Japan the timing is rotten, but there you are.
A good source of volcano news is Erik Klemetti's Eruptions site:
Radioactive, exploding splinters.
Actually to me this looks pretty much like the middle-aged-man's refuge, the garden shed. All it needs is a few discarded tools, some plant seeds that won't actually grow and a pile of magazines on disparate subjects and it is pretty much home from home. Possibly the team psychologists are a lot more canny than people give them credit for. Or they are henpecked.
It would be nice, however, if you chose a figure somewhat further from the midpoint of the bell curve; at least two standard deviations away, possibly three. Yes, this restricts your pool of available subjects, but hopefully they will have sufficient agility to accommodate any role they acquire in a future cabinet. The major dangers of this scheme are that IQ tests are not infallible so you may end up with idiots savant making the grade, and the sneaking suspicion that The Dark Lord of the Sith will pop up in a position of power again.
You see, I don't WANT to be an MEP or MP.
Hmm. I suppose that makes me even more suitable for the job, according to Douglas Adams.
Fabulous game - nothing like being in a one-hit-wonder for concentrating the mind.
Those Y-Wings were fairly easy, X-Wings not so, and when you fell afoul of the Imperial Secret Service TIE Interceptors it really had you sweating. I became rather good at the game; nearly called it a sim then; I would gather an audience of family and friends who complained I was cheating by using the force when I would spiral madly about the screen and perform single shot kills on opponents who were not even on screen when I hit the fire button but would swing into the sights just as the blaster bolt reached the right distance.
I may have to hunt the disk out now...
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