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Posts posted by npts2020

  1. Was more idle musing than serious inquiry but I have known more than one person who grew their own "weed" and could see tobacco smokers doing the same if they don't want to roll up chewing tobacco (not banned if I read a correct interpretation of the law).

  2. If you can get a (relatively) low pressure water pump to get anywhere near 10 PSI with air, you are doing quite well, IMO. In general, water pumps don't make very good air pumps but air pumps *may* make fine water pumps (if you don't mind a bit of leakage and can keep from burning the pump out). In a closed system, air pumps are made primarily for compression of fluid (air) whereas water pumps are primarily for transport of fluid (water). Pumps made to do both air and water compromise a bit either way and are not as efficient as one or the other but are apparently efficient enough for certain uses.

  3. 3 minutes ago, CharonY said:

    Interestingly, Canada has a rather rigid definition of human being. Essentially the Canadian criminal code states that a child becomes a human being when it has completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother. 


    Sounds like a birthday to me. I hear some people celebrate those, for some reason. ;)

  4. Lots of good points made in this discussion. Here is my $.02; near as I can tell there is no scientific reason for claiming an embryo is more "alive" than the sperm and egg were a short time before the egg first divided, or that a fetus is more "alive" than an embryo, or a newborn more than the fetus a few hours or days before. The problem is a line (if one is to be drawn anywhere) has to demarcate when one becomes a "person" worthy of curtailing another person's (the mother) right and freedom to pursue happiness etc. Since that seems to be more of an ethical/moral question than a scientific one the debate gets pushed (wrongly IMO) to viability. What happens when scientists figure out (and they get nearer and nearer all the time) how to make a human being from just a sperm or egg? Will females then be required to attempt pregnancy every time they ovulate? Will it be a capital offense for a male to ejaculate anywhere other than a fertile womb? The whole point being, there ought to be other considerations than "viability" in who gets to decide the issue. That's where personal choice for the mother comes in and when should the state curtail their options. IMO, the state has no compelling interest in stopping abortions at any stage regardless to how abhorrent you, I or anyone else finds them.

    Also, I find the Catholic Church to be one of the most hypocritical entities in this whole debate. For most of the history of the church one was not even considered to be alive until you were baptized. This was such a strong belief that many historical figures have unknown birthdays, only baptismal dates, presumably days or weeks after being born.

  5. Firstly, without giving away top secret information, I can assure everyone all US nuclear powered carriers are propelled by steam turning a turbine which, through a system of reduction gears, turns the propeller, no electricity required. When cruising at even a fairly slow speed, those props use more steam than the electrical generators and all of the other steam systems aboard combined. Lastly, smart grid technology should help keep major sudden transients within manageable limits for most reactors. (I don't think we should be building more, though)

  6. 2 minutes ago, Janus said:

    Oh, I don't know, maybe by just not delivering the reactor output to the propeller?

    Where does the power to turn the propeller for full speed ahead come from, then? The point is, the reactor I worked at aboard a carrier never seemed to have much problem with pretty wide power transitions in short periods of time.

  7. A typical method is to heat water in an insulated tank, then circulate the water through spaces where heating is desired. This can even be done with a passive solar system (you would definitely want back-up heating with that, tho)

  8. It sure looks like a keyway to me. The fact that it is a "staple" rather than just a bar could mean that it is held in place from the sides instead of the circumference. Do you know what it is from?

  9. 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).

  10. 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)

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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?

  14. Rail is expensive to build, but the cost to ship heavy things is less per mile than other modes of transportation. However, AI drivers may be able to tailgate safely, and avoid much of the air friction that limits fuel efficiency in autos. Moreover, electric flying cars with autopilots may become practical, which is another mode of transportation that allows high speeds without building an expensive cover over roadways. Additionally, the hyperloop offers some things beyond covered roadways. I think there will be multiple modes of transportation, and the one used will be suited to the travel that occurs.

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. Yes, I am aware of this. I am asking you why the numerous denizens of e.g San Francisco or Detroit should not be considered citizens worthy of representation, as your analysis implies.

    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?

  17. 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


    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

  18. 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.

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