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Posts posted by SH3RL0CK

  1. What blueprints?


    Those plans don't exist, at least not in enough detail to replicate them. A lot of the studies don't exist. NASA was under the gun to get a *huge* job done in less than a decade. Do a rush job on anything and something will suffer. In the case of Apollo, what suffered was adequate documentation to replicate what they did.


    A lot of what they did was very empirical. For example, the pogo problem (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pogo_oscillation and http://yarchive.net/space/rocket/pogo.html) was solved by trial-and-error. The rocket scientists of the 1960s did not have computational fluid dynamics techniques to analytically determine how their propulsion systems worked. They "solved" the pogo problem by experimentally adding baffles, dampers, etc. to change the characteristic frequency. They never really did solve the problem; they just mitigated it. Pogo remained a problem on all Apollo launches. Apollo 13 in particular was very lucky: Had the second stage not cut off early, the pogo oscillations they were experiencing would have torn the vehicle apart. Apollo 13 was seconds away from blowing up before it even got on-orbit.



    I disagree adequate plans never existed. Clearly the blueprints exist (or they did) in sufficient form to build many Saturn V rockets. Otherwise, Apollo 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and Skylab would not have happened. There is a complete Saturn V rocket in a musuem in Houston, it would also be possible (though admitedly difficult) to reverse engineer it.


    Now I'll grant NASA may have gambled and got lucky with this rocket regarding some safety aspects. If that is the case, then that might be a good reason for a new design if it isn't possible to modify the Saturn V to solve this problem.

  2. I think its too bad we didn't cancel this program years ago because we could have saved quite a bit of money. The Saturn rockets developed in the 1960's are similar to the requested specs for Constellation/Aries.






    Saturn V Payload: 118,800 kg to LEO; 47,000 kg to Lunar vicinity

    Ares V Payload: 148,300 kg to LEO; 60,600 kg to Lunar vicinity



    Maybe the extra 13,600 kg to the moon would be worth a new program, but I don't think that is a gamechanger considering we could alternatively send two Saturn V rockets to accomplish the same thing. Why didn't/don't we simply dust off the blueprints and rebuild the Saturn V if we want a super heavy lift system?

  3. ...

    No matter how minuscule a role genetics plays, if person A's sexual capital is exploited to the fullest (they take care of themselves, eat a proper diet their entire life, grow to their fullest height, wear nice clothes), they might still be less attractive than person B who also maximizes his or her sexual capital due to genetics, assuming both are perceived as equally sexy in confidence and personality and whatnot.


    Well part of my point is that if the point is to improve the lot of humanity, there are better avenues to address, why choose beauty? But you have already answered the question of mine below...

    Genetics may not be very important, but it's the aspect that fascinates me the most, irregardless of how complex the inner workings are in terms of the role ones thousands of genes play in ones ultimate, corporal end result.

  4. I suppose that ridiculously complicated interaction is too menacing for anyone to ever attempt to map out? I wouldn't be surprised if one day the Human Genome Project found correlations for certain traits, despite how ridiculous the relationship might be between the thousands of genes that are involved in how one appears (irregardless of one taking care of him or herself, the original body).


    But it is also much more complex than simply the genes as well.


    Consider that proper diet during childhood is a very major component of an individuals height (one item you keep bringing up) at maturity. IIRC, lots of protein during key intervals of childhood growth results in being tall as an adult. Diet is possibly more important than genetics with regards to this, if you doubt that consider that the average man during the Roman empire was only about 5ft 3 in tall.


    And proper diet is a major component determining if an individual is overweight. Overweight is also determined by excercise, and a muscular build (developed by excercise) is generally considered attractive as well.


    The confidence and attitude of an individual determines attractiveness as well. While there could be a genetic component here this isn't entirely genetic as well.


    And even if the genetic formula for attractiveness existed, what would be the point of utilizing it when other factors (diet, excercise, medical care, accident avoidance, etc.) are vastly more important? Some of the most unhappy people are also those considered most attractive, and the reverse can be true as well.

  5. So far, the most popular theories are random chance and the mailman.


    I would go with the mailman theory if it weren't for the fact that his nose and mouth resemble his father's.


    They may not be mindblowingly attractive in terms of looking absolutely perfect, but compared to the range of ugly that falls into genetic diversity, I'd say the kids are pretty good looking.


    I have yet to see another person with hair like the boys, though. I just don't see where it comes from, considering no one else in his family has hair like that. I can't even think of any Caucasian models with hair like that.



    I don't understand your obsession with this point, it seem quite ordinary to me. All kidding about the mailman aside, I don't think you are giving the parents enough credit for one thing. Not that I find these people as outstanding as you apparently do (they look quite normal to me; I wouldn't give them a second look if I walked by them on the street).


    Take the dad. He isn't much shorter than the son, maybe an inch or two, and if he were to loose 20-30 lbs and lift some weights he would look very much like his son. I'm about the same height taller than my dad. Don't forget that diet plays a part in physical attributes, maybe the parents have made sure to feed their children properly.


    Regarding the hair, I notice the dad doesn't have it...so maybe when the dad was 19, he had the same curly hair? Or maybe the mother has curly hair, but straighens it with a flat iron? Or perhaps he gets a perm instead?


    Regarding "intelligence"; yes there is a genetic part. But environment also shapes general intelligence - again how about considering the effect of proper parenting?


    It isn't all genetics. People are not simply the sum of their DNA.

  6. unknown. protons might decay but we have not been able to measure it which sets an extremely high lower bound on the halflife.


    if they do decay, then eventually everything will become electromagnetic radiation.


    if they don't then stuff will hang around until its swallowed by a black hole.



    But don't black holes themselves decay via Hawking radiation?

  7. The other problem is that the people with HIV (Edit, with AIDS, not just the presence of the virus) have a compromised immune system. The HIV virus isn't going away without the immune system. Thus, drugs can only suppress the virus until it mutates such that it can overcome the drug.


    IIRC, this is also a reason (but probably not the only reason) we are seeing the emergence of drug resistant TB. AIDS patients without an immune system allow TB to survive various antibotics until the TB mutates a way around the antibiotic. I find this much more frightening than drug-resistant HIV because TB is so much more transmittable. Makes me wonder what other infectious diseases might emerge with a strong resistance to current antibiotics?


    Hopefully, we will eventually find a way to beat this virus.

  8. mm, but if you constantly use the ground as a heat sink/source for a heatpump then you need to be careful to vary the load over time. constantly dumping 'cold' there can freeze the ground and ruin your heat pumps ability to transfer heat from there.


    dumping heat constantly can have the same effect but without the freezing.


    Or you need to be sure the size of your system is sufficiently large that the heat transfer from the surrounding ground can keep up with the heat transfer to/from the house.

  9. I think it is very unlikely that they would push the asteroid in a manner to make it more likely to impact the earth. In fact, they would have to try in order to do so, virtually any impact would either have no affect or would make the odds less likely. And since no one really knows (though we probably have a pretty good idea) exactly what the effect of the impact will be, its probably a good idea to hit one that has very little chance of hitting the earth; at least until the science of moving asteroids is perfected.


    It is an interesting experiment regardless. The data gathered would be of great interest in the event an asteroid that will impact the earth is discovered. Certainly the impact would also yeild additional valuable scientific information regarding the composition of asteroids.

  10. Says who? Wouldn't it be illegal for my local city clerk to register me to vote without proper ID? That requirement is state law. And if that's illegal, why isn't it illegal for ACORN to do the same thing?



    I tend to agree with most of your post. However ACORN is not the city clerk. The city clerk has the responsibility to verify ID, not ACORN. Therefore, ACORN broke no law by bringing in a bunch of dubious registrations; even before the scandal I'm sure they would have agreed that some of these registrations might be invalid. The clerk had the responsibility of inserting the valid registrations and voiding the invalid registrations.


    The ethical course of action on the part of ACORN would have been to clearly inform "Mickey Mouse" of the illegality of false applications prior to accepting them. Then, if Mickey continued with the application, to inform the city clerk, and possibly the media if it were more than an isolated incident, of the dubious application so the appropriate investigation could commence.


    That said, the whole point of this effort by ACORN is to influence the elections by (they hope) having more people who favor their political views voting. To assist this, they had voter registration drives, and IIRC, provided "get out the vote" drives on election day. Anecdotally, it is entirely possible for a close election to be decided by these types of efforts and/or by voter fraud when victory is by only a few votes. In many recent elections (Florida Presidential 2000; Minnesota Senate 2008), clearly something is amiss.


    See for example,



    In the short time since Election 2000, we have seen startling new evidence of the disorder of registration rolls in several states. In Indiana, for example, the Indianapolis Star looked closely at the rolls. They concluded that tens of thousands of people appear on the voter rolls more than once, that more than 300 dead people were registered, and that three convicted killers and two convicted child molesters were on the rolls. In general, experts believe one in five names on the rolls in Indiana do not belong there. A recent study in Georgia found more than 15,000 dead people on active voting rolls statewide. Alaska, according to Federal Election Commission, had 502,968 names on its voter rolls in 1998. The census estimates only 437,000 people of voting age were living in the state that year. Similar studies in other states would no doubt return similar data. ...We should not presume that vote fraud is an inconsequential danger. On January 22, 2001, the Miami Herald reported that at least 2,000 illegal votes had been cast in about a third of Florida's counties -- very roughly 6,000 for the state as a whole. On January 9, 2001, it revealed that 452 felons had voted unlawfully in Broward County alone. In Georgia, analysts found that over 5,400 dead people had voted over the past 20 years. As I mentioned, at least 400 unqualified voters cast a ballot in St. Louis last November...


    To what extent the specific actions of ACORN entailed actual voter fraud is an open question, but unethical actions on the part of ACORN is not an encouraging sign to a citizen like myself who only votes once each election.

  11. There is a distinction between illegal behavior and unethical behavior. ACORN's actions were probably legal but unethical. If 100 "voters" tell you they are named Mickey Mouse, it is legal to sign them up. And it is unethical to not at least inquire further regarding the validity of said "voters" simply because you believe these "voters" are going to vote your way in the upcoming election.


    On a further note, how is it possible to be absolutely certain some of these "voters" did not actually vote in this election? Or won't vote in future elections? In other words, maybe all the fake registrations named Mickey Mouse got caught (and therefore did not/will not actually vote), but we can never be certain that some fake registrations named John Smith did not get caught or did not "vote".

  12. The bigger problem, in my mind, is the actual assembly process. How would we be able to place a carbon atom here, an oxygen atom there, a sodium atom there, and so forth on a scale that would "reconstruct" a human quickly enough to prevent the structure from falling apart before it was finished. Its not like manipulating individual atoms is an easy task. Some of the individual atoms (sodium and potasium for example) are a bit difficult to handle (perhaps they readily oxydize). And it would have to be very quick otherwise the person would die before being fully reconstructed.

  13. hmm ok let me rephrase my question. what size would a capacitor have to be to take current from a battery and convert it to wall socket current.


    I'll assume you already have 120V somehow from the batteries.


    You will have a discharge profile from the capacitor...as a starting point to answer your question, you need to specify:


    1) For how long (i.e. how low a voltage is acceptable...110V? 90V?), and


    2) under what current discharge (1A, 20A, or what)?


    After this is known, the capacitance value can be determined via standard equations. You will also need to consider the power/current rating of the capacitor. Then a particular capacitor matching these specifications can be found. Google will be your friend here...:)


    Of course, the discharge is direct current (not alternating current), so you will also need to be careful with the specifics of a load. An incandescent light bulb will work without a problem, but a motor might not function.

  14. So.. what you are telling me is you do not believe that it was ever possible for science to levitate an object in a strong magnetic field?


    Of course it is possible to levitate items with magnets. But that isn't antigravity, per se. Gravity is still pulling on the levitated items, just not as strongly as the magnetic fields are pulling in the other directions.


    It is also possible to levitate items using mechanical forces. Birds do this every time they fly but pushing down on the air with their wings. That, also is levitation, but NOT anti-gravity. Its just that the mechanical force pushing on the air (each flap of the wings) is greater than the gavitational force on the bird.


    True antigravity would be much different than these and as of now, we have never observed any true antigravity in the universe. We don't really know the specifics of this particular military research. "GRASP" might be research into true antigravity, but it might also be something entirely mundane. Perhaps research into using Lagrangian Analysis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagrangian_mechanics) to reposition satelites with a minimum expenditure of rocket fuel.

  15. I agree, those who have committed a crime should be picked up, but you cannot pick someone up just because they might have committed a crime, or might commit a crime in the future. It creates for a legal quagmire.



    ? You always pick people up who might have committed a crime, charge them for the crime, then try them in a court of law to determine if they actually did commit the crime. You cannot presume their guilt... it is the responsibility of the prosecutor to prove guilt during the court procedings.


    The problem is that we have picked people up and are holding them without any charges being filed and without any trial. I completely agree these actions are wrong.

  16. That's why pre-emption is a bad policy. You pick someone up because they may attack American targets in the future, but you can't try them because they have yet to commit any crime, but then you can't release them because you afraid they may attack American targets in the future and now they are even more likely too because you essentially captured and held them for no reason.



    Except they may well have committed a crime. Perhaps they provided financial aid, or technical assistance to AQ. This is why a trial of some sort is necessary.


    Additionally, our work in Afganistan is not pre-emptive. If you will recall, 9-11 happened first.


    AFAIK, Osama Ben Laden, responsible for 9-11 was not in the USA during the attacks, or even for any of the groundwork which set up this horrific crime. Suppose we happen to catch him in Afghanistan tomorrow?


    To bascule's point, we are snatching up foreign AQ members under US Military authority. Therefore, isn't a military tribunal appropriate?

  17. Good point. "Reparations" does have a criminal/victim aspect to it.


    Who said anything about "reparations"? I do think a charity to assist victims of terrorists activities would be good PR and would go a long way to help their image in the small part of the world called the west. Certainly some muslems (like Saudi Arabia) could afford it,although I'll grant most of the muslem world is quite poor and struggle to even feed themselves.

  18. I'm not a lawyer so correct me if I am mistaken. Aren't the courts set up to try people accused of committing crimes within their jurisdiction? I.e. someone who commits a crime in NYC is normally tried in NYC unless a change in venue is warranted?


    If so, suppose we catch someone in Afghanistan who admits plotting to kill Americans, but who has never set foot in the USA. Which local court should have jurisdiction? Where should this person be tried?


    Under this possibly flawed assumption, a military tribunal is the only place that makes sense to me.

  19. Since there's no conclusive evidence they're working for a foreign military, wouldn't the logical place to start be a civilian trial, and if sufficient evidence is presented that they are, in fact, working directly for a foreign military or government, to change venue and hold a military tribunal?


    Interesting questions, I tend to agree.


    By their own admission, they are working for AQ. Is AQ a foreign military or is AQ a civilian organization?


    Well, most civilian organizations do not shoot at people, plant land mines, or engage in activities designed to kill people. But then the mafia would do similar and they are tried in civilian courts.


    But AQ fighters were caught on foreign soil by the US military, not by civilian police forces in an American city...as such, wouldn't a military tribunal be more applicable?

  20. The cost of transporting even ourselves there (let alone the equipment needed for a colonization attempt) is prohibitive. For orders of magnitute less, we can very significantly improve Earth.


    Which brings up the obvious obstacle that there is no reason to do this, even assuming we have (or at some point will have) all the necessary technology to do so. The opportunity cost is prohibitive.

  21. Shall I quote a few of the emails which get forwarded to me several times per day from some of my relatives?


    A small minority, no doubt. There will always be people outside the mainstream.


    Consider http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam#Community


    A comprehensive 2009 demographic study of 232 countries and territories reported that 23% of the global population or 1.57 billion people are Muslims.[11] ... Approximately 50 countries are Muslim-majority,[122] ...Although the Arab world is often regarded as the heartland of Islam, the majority of Muslims live in Asia and Africa.
  22. What exactly is the image of muslems? Do the muslems really have a bad image in the world?


    In the middle east and parts of Asia and Africa, they are viewed in a very positive manner, with near 100% approval ratings, I'm sure. There are about a billion muslems, and the muslem world is approximately as large as both the western world (Europe, USA, Australia, Canada, etc.) and the Chinese world (China, Taiwan, Singapore).

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