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npts2020

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About npts2020

  • Rank
    Protist
  • Birthday 11/23/1957

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  • Location
    Pennsylvania
  • Interests
    disc golf
  • College Major/Degree
    just a nerd
  • Favorite Area of Science
    Earth Sciences/Cosmology/Philosophy
  • Biography
    retired
  • Occupation
    self-appointed npts advocate

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  1. I say language. It is what has facilitated the passing of all other inventions from generation to generation and allowed the communication of abstract ideas.
  2. One of those engineering problems swansont referred to is how much water you can expect to get from a given surface area. (keep in mind, the following is only approximations but will demonstrate the scale we are talking about) A good solar distiller will give you about a gallon per day per square meter of surface area. Compare that to a distilling unit on an aircraft carrier that produces about 100,000 gallons/day using waste steam from the propulsion system in a unit that measures about 3.5 meters square by 5 meters high. The comparable solar unit would have to cover around 10 hectares and 100,000 gallons is only enough for about 500 households. Just one small city of 100,000 households would require 20,000 hectares of surface area. For comparison, the state of Rhode Island has about 400,000 households on around 300,000 hectares of land so the scale is not impossible, just very large. It seems doubtful to me that people will tolerate filling the oceans with that many distillers, though (look at how much opposition offshore wind farms got).
  3. I know this is a bit belated but a couple of comments; 1) AFAIK Nevada is the only state in the US to have a "none of these candidates" choice actually on the ballot. 2) There is something like 7 or 8 states that do not allow write-ins of any kind (doing so can invalidate your entire ballot in some places) 3) IMO "Democracy" in an ignorant society is simply mob rule (not going to argue about the efficacy or desirability of mob rule, tho)
  4. Isn't that kind of dependent on what the lattice is being used for? A spherical object loses less heat than any other shape (less surface area) but is difficult to make with a lattice. Seems to me, something in the shape of a buckyball (or if you want to be technical a buckminsterfullerene) would be the best for both strength and retarding heat transfer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckminsterfullerene
  5. If you could scale it up to the size required to propel a ship and if it was smaller/lighter than the current gearing systems onboard them (two giant if's), there is potentially a big market. On a steam powered ship, turbines run efficiently at several thousand rpm while the propellers they power are most efficient at low (typically 100-300) rpm so there is a giant cluster of reduction gears to slow turbine speed down to propeller speed.
  6. Thanks to everyone involved for this discussion. It demonstrates very clearly how even smart people will disagree on what "truth" is, even after facts are presented, in order to maintain a certain narrative. I wish I knew the solution to this but, sadly, do not. So far as finding middle ground with people who see a completely different reality from yourself goes, one may as well ask what is the middle ground between zero and infinity?
  7. I basically agree with this, Ed. One thing about enclosing the roadways is that it might be done with solar panels to power the whole system or homes and businesses.
  8. With today's technology, building rails of any kind will be a boondoggle when the entire transportation system is on the verge of being automated. I can see much of present day roadways being enclosed and restricted to automated vehicles only to enable speeds of 200+ mph (this will also eliminate problems due to weather). It would also be easier to power the transportation system with renewable energy sources, thus converting almost 1/4 of our energy use. How soon this might all happen is anyone's guess, inertia is sometimes difficult to overcome but I hope it is sooner rather than later.
  9. A large plurality of Americans are not represented in the US government. The largest number of voters *by far* are neither Republican nor Democrat. How many elected officials around the country are not Democrats or Republicans?
  10. According to Wikipedia's list of apocalyptic prophecies I have survived the end of the world at least 60 times. A few interesting predictions of the end of the world by (in)famous people; pope Sylvester II-Jan 1, 1000 pope Innocent III-1284 (666 years after the establishment of Islam) painter Sandro Botticelli-1504 Regiomontanus-1588 Martin Luther-1600 Christopher Columbus-1656 or 1658 mathematician John Napier-1688 then 1700 Cotton Mather-1697 then 1716 then again in 1736 mathematician Jacob Bernoulli-Apr 5, 1719 Emanuel Swedenborg-1757 John Wesley-1836 Jeane Dixon-Feb 4, 1962 then 2020 Jim Jones-1967 Charles Manson-1969 Pat Robertson-1982 then Apr 29, 2007 Louis Farrakhan-1991 Harold Camping-Sep 6, 1994 then Sep 29, 1994 then Oct 2, 1994, then Mar 31, 1995, then May 21, 2011 and again on Oct 21, 2011 Nostradamus-July 1999 linguist Charles Berlitz-1999 Jerry Falwell-Jan1, 2000 Isaac Newton-2000 or 2060 Edgar Cayce-2000 Sun Myung Moon-2000 Grigori Rasputin-Aug 23, 2013
  11. Four men are in a bar drinking and bragging about their families. As they come to discuss their sons, one has to use the bathroom and leaves the table. The other three continue the discussion, the first puffing his chest out with pride and telling how his son worked at an automaker and how he had gotten a bunch of patents to improve cars. He says, "In fact, he has made so much money off of his inventions that he bought his best friend a top of the line Mercedes for his birthday." The second man says, "Well, my son is also an engineer and works in the aerospace industry. He has made improvements to airplanes and spaceships and has earned so much money he gave his best friend a new Lear jet and is teaching him to fly it." The third man thought those were pretty impressive but begins to tell about his son being a real estate agent. He says, "My son is probably the best real estate agent in America and has made so much money that he gave his best friend a 30,000 square foot hacienda on the beach for his birthday." About this time the fourth man comes back to the table and is asked about his son. He says, "My son is a stripper at a gay nightclub. The other men are stunned and don't quite know what to say and begin to offer him condolences but he says, "No, he is my son and I love him nonetheless. Besides, he has a LOT of really good friends. Why just last week for his birthday one gave him a top of the line Mercedes, another gave him a Lear jet and is teaching him to fly it and still another gave him a 30,000 square foot hacienda on the beach." The conversation quickly turned to other subjects.
  12. It might also be mentioned that the less the Great Lakes freeze over, the more lake effect snow you can have. The colder the lake and the more it freezes, the less temperature differential (between water and atmosphere) and open water there will be for lake effect snow events.
  13. At least 15 states have open Presidential primaries and a couple others have semi-open primaries (like Massachusetts where independents can vote for anyone in the primary).
  14. Glad you brought this up. When it comes to nuclear power, you will need an entire salt truck for any cost estimates claimed. Since at least the mid-60's I know of no nuclear power plant built in the US at or under the cost projected when construction began and 2-3 times over budget is typical. The same is true of projected waste disposal costs and accident cleanup estimates are even worse. So far as the lifespan of solar panels, half of the ones Jimmy Carter put on the White House in 1979 (admittedly not PV but still saves on electricity for heating), are still in operation at Unity College in Maine with no loss in efficiency.
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