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About palebluehuh

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  • Birthday 02/28/1986

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  • Location
    Tampa, Florida, US
  • Interests
    Standing out in thunderstorms!
  • College Major/Degree
    Something nice and squishy...
  • Favorite Area of Science
    Awww, do I hafta choose?
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  1. Hmm... Thermoelectric alloys; I like that. But how the heck are you going to cool a spacesuit already heated to incandescence; you'd need a mad-sized radiator. I want something that's marginally mobile (I mean, a person can stand up and walk, even with difficulty; I don't expect a marathon here). But all the heat shielding and life-support components would be bulky, as well as the parachute(s) and such. That much weight would call for servo motor-enhancements, and that would add further to the bulk. Has anyone ever drawn up plans for such a thing?
  2. So... I do a de-orbit burn to lower my velocity. Pull G's. I fall for a few minutes. I don't pull G's. Perform maneuvers to bleed airspeed. Pull some G's. I deploy parachute. Pull insane G's. I hit the ground. Potentially fatal G's. How would I maintain 1 G for the entire drop? Rockets?
  3. One of the reasons given for the impracticality of large-scale usage of fuel cells to power vehicles is that it takes more energy to crack the hydrogen from a water molecule than any energy gain from the usage of said hydrogen as a fuel. My questions are: 1. Is that true? All you have to do, I think, to seperate the hydrogen from water is run an electrical current through it. Then again, my knowledge of chemistry is shamefully inadequate. How do they seperate hydrogen from water, anyways? 2. Aren't there some chemical reactions that release hydrogen? I remember reading about simply mixing sulfuric acid with iron filings, and that releasing hydrogen (I think that was how they filled the gasbags of zeppelins). Is this method feasible on a large scale to provide hydrogen for fuel-cell powered vehicles? 3. Am I right in assuming that putting the hydrogen through nuclear fusion (I know, many years before it's practical) would reap far more energy than the actual process of seperating the hydrogen from water?
  4. During freefall, wouldn't the G's be zero? In would only expect to pull G's during the de-orbit burn and the deployment of the parachute. True, true. Maybe if the sky-diver maintained a sort of belly-down orientation, and the chute-pack were in the lee of his slipstream, it would keep it from getting too hot. The leading edges, i.e., the belly of the space-diver, would be the hottest part.
  5. Long ago, I read in a science-fiction novel about a guy that went skydiving from orbit. He had on a spacesuit with ablative plating and everything. My question is: with today's technolgy, is it possible to do that? Assuming we had a really well-built spacesuit with ablative plating and some means of deorbiting, can it be done? Assuming it can be done, can we drop the prospective thrill-seeker at a given point on the planet, and if so, how much accuracy can we expect? I'm not picturing landing from orbit onto a moving vehicle, but perhaps getting within a few miles or so of one's destination sounds nice. On a related note, what's the smallest orbital vehicle we have that can withstand a reentry? I remember reading about these really tiny lifepods that were slated to act as an emergency escape for space missions, but they never were built, I think. Now, we have the Soyuz capsule on the ISS, but is there anything smaller?
  6. If you're looking for a (pretty much) guaranteed job after college, do something medical. I'm not talking about going to med school and becoming a doctor, since that's insanely difficult, not to mention insanely expensive. I'm talking about an allied health profession, like a lab technician (four years, normally) or physician's assistant (though that takes two years in PA school after your three or four in undergraduate studies). Most medical careers are wide open, like crazy, and the pay's not bad. PA's make about $50,000 a year and the job's rather nice (you have quite a bit of responsibility, even though you are operating under the intermittent supervision of a physician). Lab technicians can make anywhere between $25,000 and $40,000, depending on what you're doing and how long you've been doing it. Nothing like the $100,000 plus of a doctor, but then again, you're not going to be up to your eyebrows in student loans. You said you're poor (hey, just like me); there's quite a bit of financial aid available to those entering medical careers. Pay a quick visit to http://www.fastweb.com and check out what sort of scholarships are available. I'd recommend getting as many scholarships as you can, since even though the government is rather magnanimous to the poor in regards to the aid it gives, it often isn't quite enough. Check out the universities you plan to go to as well; they often have their own aid. And apply now, if you can. The earlier, the better. Look for scholarships. I mean it. I'm attending a fairly inexpensive public university (the University of South Florida), and I'm doing it without paying anything out of mine or my parents' pockets. But I had to fight like a mad dog to get this, and in the end, it was pure luck that I had all this aid. I have two full tuition scholarships, a $2,000 scholarship from my university, a boatload of grants from the government and no loans whatsoever (they calculated the amount of loans I would need as $55 per semester, so I laughed and politely declined). Here, since I've been through the whole get-in-to-college-bit, just email me, and I'll tell you anything you would need to know. You have time to get prepared, since I started my college stuff about the same time you did, but it's going to be insanely hectic at points. Best of luck to you, at any rate .
  7. Normally, it's my own voice doing the narrating in my world, but other voices take over for a while. I've had Patrick Stewart, my best friend, Nandaba Kamon from p'FLCL' and just about everyone else take the wheel for a while. Usually, it's either my own voice or the last voice I heard before slinking into solitude. But I have a very hard time thinking without at least some voice. Weird.
  8. As for people, it's probably just a second or two. The pain and blood loss would cause one to go into shock very quickly. I don't know for sure though; are we certain that the eye-twitching's not just a reflex, that it was voluntarily controlled?
  9. FLCL. Only six episodes, but it has everything: metaphors about growing up, finding oneself, being true to who you really are... And Haruko in a Playboy Bunny costume ...
  10. Okay, the professor I emailed basically said he was a skeptic of the 'Snowball Earth Theory', which he said was more like a hypothesis, not having much proof to back it up. He stated that we don't have really any knowledge of the topography of the time, thence, we can't really know where mountain ranges lay. He went on to say that we have glaciers, even at the equator, in high-altitudes like Kilimanjaro in Africa, and that could account for the evidence of glaciation in low latitudes. So, I guess it's basically settled. Martin—http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geologic_timescale—here's a basic timeline for the era I'm talking about. According to this, the Cambrian explosion occured between 542 million and 488 million years ago. The chart also says that 'Snowball Earth' may have occured 630 million years ago, in what is appropriately called the 'Cryogenian Period'. But the hypothesis remains tentative, as far as I can tell (I'm not a geologist or any other sort of -ist, so I'm largely clueless).
  11. All kinds of physical coping mechanisms deal with emotional pain, often very well. At a particularly emotional time in my adolescence, I took to starving myself. The pain from that helped diffuse some of my hurt inside. Another time, I took to cutting intricate patterns in myself with a razor blade. The physical pain from that helped diffuse the emotional pain inside. Different coping mechanisms. Nowadays, I cry. I'm like a big coping-mechanism smorgasbord here... Now, in retrospect, those habits weren't very effective in the long run, but they did help in the short run. However, in consequence of my starving myself, my metabolism is like that of a common crustacean (and thus, I've got a gut) and because of my love of razor blades, I now have a fine pattern of scars on my arm. Let this be a lesson: deal with your problems; don't try to diffuse them like that .
  12. Very fascinating, Martin. Out of sheer curiosity, I looked the theory up, and here are a few links for the interested: http://www-eps.harvard.edu/people/faculty/hoffman/snowball_paper.html—A detailed explanation of the 'Snowball Earth' theory, with evidence and studies to support it http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/1857545.stm—BBC report on the theory's refutation, but it doesn't seem to be a strong one (i.e., it still doesn't seem to completely rule out the possibility of massive pre-Cambrian glaciation; just makes it unlikely for such glaciation to cover all the Earth) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowball_Earth—the Wikipedia article on the 'Snowball Earth Theory' http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=00027B74-C59A-1C75-9B81809EC588EF21The Scientific American article on it I've also emailed the geology staff of my university for an answer; maybe they know something.
  13. Interesting. I've heard of the Burgess Shale, but I never thought it was that early. Thanks a bunch.
  14. Alas, I do live on campus. I'm also pretty miffed about missing all this class, but what can you do? Plus side, most of my roommates will be evacuated to their comfy little homes farther up the state. I will be without their presence for a few days. This thought fills me with an indescribable joy—the thought of that racuous rabble of rockheads not being here. Then again, 160-mph winds, pounding rains, everything being closed (so I starve while holed up in my bunker). Hey, it all has to balance out somewhere...
  15. Shee-yit. That's it, I'm moving to Iceland. Volcanoes, Viking hordes and evil goats. Can't be any worse than insane Tampa-seeking hurricane missiles!
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