Discuss: Interesting Stuff


This thread is for talking about whatever doesn’t fit into the other categories. Caine is your curator.

funny-rat-music

(Previous thread)

Comments

  1. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Pop went a weasel, and down went CERN-HLC.

    It’s one of the physics world’s most complex machines, and it has been immobilized — temporarily — by a weasel.
    Spokesman Arnaud Marsollier says the world’s largest atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN outside of Geneva, has suspended operations because a weasel invaded a transformer that helps power the machine and set off an electrical outage on Friday.
    Authorities say the incident was one of several small glitches that will delay plans to restart the $4.4 billion collider by a few days.
    Marsollier says Friday that the weasel died — and little remains of it.

  2. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re 3:
    It IS curious how “rodents” (or similar) seem attracted to munch on electrical cables. Several times, squirrels have munched on nearby electrical junction boxes, resulting in “glitches” locally, and charred body remains.
    *sob*

  3. chigau (違う) says

    timgueguen #5
    We have plenty of hares in my neighbourhood in Edmonton, too.
    It’s an older neighbourhood with lots of 50+ year old small houses with big yards and lots of trees.
    This is changing. The in-fill houses are huge and have fuck-all for yards.

  4. says

    Finally, after twenty seven years, British cops are blamed and admit responsibility (with a lot of foot dragging) for the Hillsborough Disaster. But whether there will be compensation or criminal charges remains to be seen.

    Jury blames police, clears fans in 1989 soccer disaster

    WARRINGTON, England (AP) — The families of 96 Liverpool soccer fans who were crushed to death at a crowded stadium in 1989 declared they had finally won justice Tuesday after a jury found that police and emergency services were to blame for Britain’s worst sports disaster.

    The US ain’t the only place where cops can falsify evidence, blame victims and avoid consequences.

  5. says

    It IS curious how “rodents” (or similar) seem attracted to munch on electrical cables.

    No it isn’t. When not chewing to simply get shit out of their way, rodents often discover jacking on, and they get worse than Bender trying to get their fix.

  6. chigau (違う) says

    left0ver1under #8
    I’m in Canada so I have only a vague memory of Hillsborough.
    I started reading the Wikipedia article but I’m taking a break after reading
    “A total of 44 ambulances arrived, but police prevented all but one from entering the stadium.”

  7. says

    left0ver1under #8:

    The US ain’t the only place where cops can falsify evidence, blame victims and avoid consequences.

    Indeed:

    Deaths in British police custody: no convicted officers since 1969.

    [As of 2013] 827 people have died during or following police contact since 2004. Families have struggled hard for justice, encountering multiple failures and police collusion from the IPCC. Why is police accountability failing in this most serious of issues?

  8. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    We had pet rabbits for a few years after we were married, and they, if out of their cage, would chew on double stranded electrical wires. Never seemed to hurt them, but many an electrical device was hurt, as they would, as it seemed, by careful calculation, to only severe one of the two wires.

  9. chigau (違う) says

    Nerd #12
    If the bunnies are that smart, we really need to make sure they never get together with the octopusses.
    Humanity would be sooo done.

  10. Mrdead Inmypocket says

    I think Negan killed Glenn at the end of season six. Not just because that’s how it went down in the comics. I’d give my breakdown but it would be too long.

  11. blf says

    The rodents and so aren’t “attracted” to the electrical cables so much as they are lured to them.

    It’s the electrons.

    Running up and down a claustrophobic confined cable all day carrying buckets of volts, that’s hard work. For very little pay, just a few ohms, and with a frequency that allows no rest. Admittedly they do get ampere sandwiches, but, well, after a while you really start to crave something else.

    Rodents are nice and juicy. And, as noted, like to chew on things. Experienced electrons can make a cable appear very chewable, and of course it’s nice and warm with a friendly buzz, so there is a steady supply of rodents.

    Nice juicy rodents to go buuUUUZZZ FOOOOM! and feed those ampere-crazed electrons.

  12. unclefrogy says

    if it is true that the rabbits only chewed through one of the wire was it the hot side or the neutral or either but just one?

    uncle frogy

  13. boygenius says

    Hello, Horde! Hi Caine!

    This seems like a good thread to jump into after lurking for a minute.

    Something that I’ve found interesting over the last couple of years is lampworking. No, not making lamps. Lampworking is the art of blowing glass using a torch rather than a crucible of molten glass and a glory hole. (Think Chihuly.) Lampworkers start with raw glass in tube or rod form and manipulate it in the flame.

    Lampworkers generally make smaller items like beads, marbles, pendants. The money is in pipes and bongs and the new-fangled contraptions that the kids are using these days, but that’s not my thing anymore. I’m content making marbles and pendants.

    I’m heavily invested in this endeavor and I’m curious if there are any other lampworkers in the Horde? I’d love to talk shop and share info/ideas. My friends and family are tired of hearing me go on and on about glass, so I’d be happy to answer any questions and help spread the gospel of the torch.

  14. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    A tailless comet, a representative of a new group of Manx objects, has been discovered.

    A new kind of comet that is nearly tailless has been discovered — and the surprises don’t stop there. The new comet recently returned from the edge of the solar system but may have originated much closer to the sun, scientists say. In fact, it may even reveal clues about the building blocks of Earth.
    Given the nearly tailless appearance of this new comet, the scientists named it a Manx object, after Manx cats, which are mostly tailless…
    Astronomers focused on a comet named C/2014 S3 using the Pan-STARRS telescope in Hawaii. The comet, discovered in 2014, is a little more than twice as far away from the sun as Earth is. The 860-year-long orbit of the comet, known as S3 for short, suggested it came from the distant Oort cloud.
    Unlike other known comets, S3 was nearly tailless — up to 100,000 times or so less active than typical comets on similar orbits. Comets grow more active when they approach the sun and their ice heats up, becoming the gas making up a comet’s tail. The lack of activity from S3 suggests it was ice-poor instead of ice-rich, unlike previous known comets from the Oort cloud.
    Follow-up observations of dust in this comet’s stubby tail — conducted with the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile and the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope — revealed that S3 more closely resembled stony asteroids from the asteroid belt than a typical comet. Their model of this new comet’s dust confirmed that it came off the comet itself, as opposed to originating from a piece of rock that may have collided with the comet.
    “We’ve found the first rocky comet,” study co-author Olivier Hainaut, an astronomer at the European Southern Observatory in Garching, Germany, said in a statement.
    Because of their proximity to the sun, Earth and the rest of the inner solar system have relatively little ice compared with the outer solar system. This newly discovered comet’s lack of ice suggests that, although it came from the Oort cloud, it may have actually originated in the inner solar system. – See more at: http://www.space.com/32748-weird-tailless-comet-oort-cloud-discovery.html#sthash.qsd7c087.dpuf
    – See more at: http://www.space.com/32748-weird-tailless-comet-oort-cloud-discovery.html#sthash.qsd7c087.dpuf
    – See more at: http://www.space.com/32748-weird-tailless-comet-oort-cloud-discovery.html#sthash.qsd7c087.dpuf

  15. Saad says

    Hindu tailor hacked to death in Bangladesh for insulting Prophet Muhammad

    A Hindu tailor has been hacked to death in a district of central Bangladesh, police say, the latest of a number of Islamist killings in the country.

    Nikhil Joarder, who was in his early 50s, was attacked as he sat outside his shop in Tangail on Saturday afternoon.

    Police said he had been arrested in 2012 for allegedly making derogatory comments about Islam, then released.

    Islamic State claimed the attack although the authorities deny the group is active in the country.

    A number of similar recent killings in Bangladesh have been claimed by various Islamist militant groups.

    I don’t know why some people think the Bangladeshi government even wants to fix this. They’re on the same side. At best it’s a good cop/bad cop team.

    And earlier this week, an LGBT rights activist was also hacked to death:

    On Monday, Xulhaz Mannan, a leading gay rights activist and editor at the country’s only LGBT magazine, was hacked to death along with another man in his Dhaka flat.

    A Bangladeshi militant group affiliated to al-Qaeda, Ansar al-Islam, said it was behind those killings.

  16. anbheal says

    OK, a couple of years ago in this this discussion thread, I asked what people thought about Marvin Gaye and Solomon Burke and some other soul performers who sang a lot about Jesus and God. And whether the readers had tweaked their opinions since becoming atheists. The discussion was intriguing, among the yeas, nays, and maybes. So I was hosting a party here (foothills of La Sierra Gorda, central Mexico) last night, and on my iPod playlist that cute little song “Kiss Me”, by the Christian band Sixpence None The Richer came on, and I swear that 6 or 8 of the 20 Mexican women got all teary-eyed. Clearly it was a worldwide hit, with emotional triggers. Their responses, when I polled them, were nearly identical: “It reminds me of someone I knew a long time ago” (echoes of Joyce’s The Dead, the snow falling faintly on the living and the dead). So I came into my apartment after the party disbanded, and I Googled the name, Sixpence None The Richer. Then of course I had to read the C.S. Lewis essay in which it occurs. Hey man, I liked The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe as much as the next smart sixth-grader, but The Problem Of Pain is apologetics in the worst sense of the word, and this piece was a mess. Can anybody explain to me how the fuck a father giving sixpence to his son so that the son can buy the father a birthday present has any bearing whatsoever on why I should worship a skinny guy writhing on a stick in the Levant 2000 years ago?

    Seriously. I’m not stupid. But I cannot for the life of me grasp what Lewis’s (or the cute little Christian band’s) point is.

  17. Rob Grigjanis says

    Heartfelt condolences to CaitieCat for the outcome of the Chelsea-Tottenham match today. If Spurs could’ve held on to the 2-1 lead, they’d still have had a shot at the title, but the aptly-named Hazard tied it with a well-taken goal near the end, and Leicester wins the title.

    On the one hand, I’m happy for Leicester, the underdog story of the decade at least. But I’ve always liked Spurs, and Harry Kane’s expression at the end was heartbreaking. They’ve played some beautiful football this year, and their manager Pochettino is a class act. As is Leicester’s manager, Claudio Ranieri.

    So it goes.

  18. says

    Boygenius!

    Something that I’ve found interesting over the last couple of years is lampworking. No, not making lamps. Lampworking is the art of blowing glass using a torch rather than a crucible of molten glass and a glory hole. (Think Chihuly.) Lampworkers start with raw glass in tube or rod form and manipulate it in the flame.

    Lampworkers generally make smaller items like beads, marbles, pendants. The money is in pipes and bongs and the new-fangled contraptions that the kids are using these days, but that’s not my thing anymore. I’m content making marbles and pendants.

    I’m heavily invested in this endeavor and I’m curious if there are any other lampworkers in the Horde? I’d love to talk shop and share info/ideas. My friends and family are tired of hearing me go on and on about glass, so I’d be happy to answer any questions and help spread the gospel of the torch.

    That sounds fascinating. I’ve never done anything like that, but if you have photos, or want to write a post about it, I’ll happily host it at Affinity.

  19. chigau (違う) says

    Daz #30
    Good enough.
    I stopped smoking last October, same day as the SO’s heart attack.
    Sometimes I think I’d really like a smoke but I know I wouldn’t really enjoy it.
    Not like the good-old-days®.

  20. blf says

    What lies below: swarm of earthquakes detected beneath Mount St Helens:

    Scientists suggest volcano is restoring its stores of magma as rate of earthquakes has been ‘steadily increasing’ and reaching nearly 40 located per week

    A swarm of more than 130 earthquakes has been detected beneath Mount St Helens over the last eight weeks, according to the US Geological Survey.

    Since March, the rate of such earthquakes under the Washington state volcano has been “steadily increasing”, the USGS reported. At its peak, nearly 40 earthquakes have been located per week.

    Most of the quakes have occurred about one to four miles beneath the active volcano, and most have been extremely weak at magnitudes of 0.5 or less, the largest a 1.3-level quake.

    […]

    The quakes do not mean the volcano is any more likely to erupt in the near future, the USGS said, describing the earthquakes as common, “volcano-tectonic in nature {and} indicative of a slip on a small fault”.

    They do, though, suggest the volcano is recharging its stores of magma, the scientists said. As the molten rock rises to fill the volcano’s magma chamber, it presses against the colder rock around it, increasing stress. This push and pull creates quakes.
    […]

    Some of the more amusing readers’s comments:

    ● “It’s actually caused by fracking, windmills and her at number fifty-six who plays her radio too loud in the morning. […]”

    ● For those of you that have a more detailed interest , the ice is actually increasing on the part of ANTARCTICA that is actually the furthest out of center on the rotation.This is accelerating the crust movement.
    In reply: “Your grasp of plate tectonics leaves something to be desired.”

    ● “These earthquakes are a direct result of the increased use of windmills. When the blades strike eagles and other birds the blades are in imbalance. This sets off vibrations. Tesla experimented with vibrations and found them very destructive.”
    In reply: “I am truly hoping you are a Poe.”

    ● When that gose up. We will have a propper winter at last! In the UK.
     Only an other one and the north an hemisphere will go cold.
     Study’s show that 4 major aruptions within 10 years mini ice age is aponus.

    In reply: “English is not your strong point.”
    In reply: “Nor science”.

    ● “When President Jindal takes office, we’ll stop wasting our money on this stupid ‘volcano monitoring’ and turn our attention to the eruption of spending in Washington, D. C.! /sarcasm”

    ● “Obviously, the Gods of the netherworld are not pleased with the presumptive US Presidential candidates.”

    ● I’ll bet those earthquakes are the result of fracking in Pennsylvania, three thousand miles away. The climate change ilk can surely come up with a thousand ‘scientists’ to confirm that.
    In reply: “No it is actually God causing them — a talking snake told me! […]”
    Also in reply: “The tiny earthquakes are caused by the buttock clenching of denialists, clearly”.

    ● Let’s see— our government can change our weather, they can make hurricanes, tornadoes, no rain, too much rain— and now they are telling us they can make the earth move— So, I suggest that everyone pay attention, if the media is talking about earthquakes, and the media is told what to say by the CIA. Then—get ready, they want to make another 9/11—they need it to take control of what is left of your freedoms. Obama is a traitor, and he must bring America to her knees…prepare, do not trust the cable media. They lie.
    In reply: “Geepo darkle clëärböüŕñë yeeb.”

  21. chigau (違う) says

    Cranky Anne
    Yeah. The normal stuff is bad enuff but italic is just ffssddggbb.

  22. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Want to avoid a Drumpf presidency by moving to Canada? A dating site will help you find a Canadian to marry.

    A dating website is pledging to match Americans who can’t live with a Donald Trump presidency to Canadians looking for love, facilitating the pledge often made by U.S. voters to move to Canada if the real estate billionaire is elected.
    “Maple Match makes it easy for Americans to find the ideal Canadian partner to save them from the unfathomable horror of a Trump presidency,” the Maple Match website reads, before offering a waiting list for interested singles.
    Trump’s bombastic campaign to lead the Republican Party to the November presidential election has alarmed some Americans, both liberals and those in his own party, and the pledge by some to move to Canada if he is elected has gathered steam.
    In February, the island of Cape Breton on Canada’s Atlantic coast marketed itself as a tranquil refuge for Americans seeking to escape should Trump capture the White House.
    The Maple Match website allows users to add their name to a waitlist matching dismayed U.S. voters with interested single Canadians, adding “We’ll let you know the next steps soon!”

  23. says

    Unfortunately there isn’t a place to go to ask questions of this network of intelligent informed reasonable people. So I guess I’ll ask here.

    I’m looking for information on building and running communities, collective work on social issues, and stuff like that. What works, what doesn’t. Also, if there are examples.

  24. blf says

    Rare whale found on Australian beach believed to be evolutionary throwback:

    South Australian Museum researchers confounded by mysterious teeth previously unseen in beaked whales
    […]
    The beaked whale, found dead on Waitpinga beach in February, confounded examiners from the South Australian Museum who discovered two mysterious teeth previously unseen in that family of deep diving mammals.

    Appeals to museum colleagues across the world, including at the renowned Smithsonian Institute [sic] in the US, have yielded no answers on the vestigial fangs, which are small and pointy.

    [… T]he teeth are not believed to be a deformity but an evolutionary throwback, or a trait that reappears after generations.

    South Australian Museum senior researcher Catherine Kemper [said] that the teeth, which defied the known norm in female whales by erupting above the jawline, were “very odd{…} something I had never seen before”.

    “My mind was thinking, ‘Do we have something new here?’,” Kemper said.

    After the whale skull was stripped clean, the museum’s collections manager, David Stemmer, yanked the tooth and was surprised to find the larger tooth of a Hector’s beaked whale underneath.

    “It was still exciting and although we now knew we had a species we know, it’s a species we don’t get very often and it’s only the third specimen we have collected here in South Australia,” Stemmer [said].
    […]

    There is a fairly good picture at the link.

  25. says

    this is what the Richard Dawkins Foundation Germany has sunk to. Dunno how well Google translates that crap but main points:
    -Gender roles are based in biology as Darwin said (yes, honestly, they’re mentioning Darwin as if he were Jesus)
    -Heterosexual couples with children are living a natural lifestyle
    -that’s something a gender scientist in her “germ free homo lifestyle bubble can’t grasp”
    And more…
    Oh, the title? “Gender studies is the cancer of modern society”

  26. says

    Giliell:

    Oh, the title? “Gender studies is the cancer of modern society”

    Jesus Fuck. I’m surprised he’s not trying to float that crap here, the republicans would adore him.

  27. says

    Old conspiracy theories never die, they just hang around to keep festering. A businessman named Paul Salo has started an Indiegogo campaign to duplicate the World Trade Center attacks. He’s trying to raise 1.5 million dollars to buy a 767 and a building he can crash it into.
    http://dangerousminds.net/comments/worst_crowdfunding_campaign_ever_seeks_to_raise_1.5m_to_recreate_9-11

    Personally I think he’s off in how much he needs by at least a factor of 10.

  28. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The “death panels”, so named by Palin, are back. All they were was end of life planning, and what the doctor and hospital should do given several options after an event. The counseling and documents are now paid by CMS (medicare).

    he doctor got right down to business after Herbert Diamond bounded in. A single green form before her, she had some questions for the agile 88-year-old: about comas and ventilators, about feeding tubes and CPR, about intense and irreversible suffering.
    “You want treatments as long as you are going to have good quality of life?” Dr. Manisha Parulekar asked. The retired accountant nodded.
    “And at that point,” she continued, “you would like to focus more on comfort, right?” There was no hesitation before his soft-spoken reply: “Right.”
    Scenes like this have been spreading across the U.S. in the months since Medicare started paying for conversations on end-of-life planning. Seven years after that very idea spurred fears of “death panels,” supporters hope lingering doubts will fade.
    “The more and more that that happens, the more patients, families and doctors will become comfortable with it,” said Dr. Joe Rotella, chief medical officer of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine . “Any distrust people have about, ‘What is this?’ really disappears when patients sit down and find out this is about empowering them.”
    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services quietly tucked the change allowing for payment for end-of-life counseling into a massive package of regulations last summer, with billing permissible as of Jan. 1. To date, CMS has not released any data on how many people have taken part in the sessions, but a survey released last month suggests it may be off to a slow start.

    This is something everybody, including younger people, should be aware of and discussed with those who may need to make end-of-life decisions. You never know when something may happen.
    I was faced with the possibility of having to make a end-of-life decision if the Redhead had a second stroke four years ago. Fortunately we had discussed the issue, so I knew what she wanted done if something untoward happened.
    All this does is get people talking about it.

  29. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Another major scientific award was announced.

    American biochemical engineer Frances Arnold, whose discoveries in “directed evolution” have helped produce medicines, including drugs for treating diabetes, on Tuesday was awarded this year’s euro 1 million ($1.2 million) Millennium Technology Prize.The 59-year-old professor of chemical engineering, bioengineering and biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, was cited for “groundbreaking work that has a great impact on areas such as pharmaceuticals and gene therapy,” with hundreds of laboratories and companies around the world using methods she developed, committee chairman Jarl-Thure Eriksson said.
    “Directed evolution, which mimics natural evolution to create new and better proteins in the laboratory, uses the power of biology and evolution to solve many important problems, often replacing less efficient and sometimes harmful technologies,” the citation said. “Thanks to directed evolution, sustainable development and clean technology become available in many areas of industry that no longer have to rely on non-renewable raw materials.”
    Finnish President Sauli Niinisto presented the award.
    In her acceptance speech, Arnold said she was inspired by the natural world, “the very best inventor and engineer of all time.”
    “The biological world is the most spectacular example of crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing, problem-solving — nature’s been doing that for several billion years,” she said. “We humans with our technologies are way behind.”
    Eriksson said that Arnold — the first woman to win the award since its launch in 2004 — had been “clearly the most outstanding candidate” in a field of 79 nominations. “From the start of her career she has been a pioneer in a previously male-dominated field,” he said.
    The Millennium Prize, for technological innovations that enhance the quality of human life in a sustainable way, is awarded every two years by the Technological Academy of Finland.
    Past winners include Tim Berners-Lee for inventing the World Wide Web, Shuji Nakamura, the inventor of bright blue and white LEDs, and ethical stem-cell pioneer Shinya Yamanaka. The previous winner, in 2014, was British-American physicist Stuart Parkin for discoveries leading to a thousand-fold increase in digital data storage on magnetic disks used in large data centers, cloud services, social networks and downloads of music and film online.

    Looks like a well deserved award for Dr. Arnold.

  30. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Just watched a webcast of a SpaceX launch of a satellite to geotransfer orbit. (Boring, satellite on its way, and the booster is back in one piece.) The satellite will end up in geostationary orbit.
    This is where it gets interesting, and requires learning some orbital dynamics.
    Most satellites in orbit can be described by their apogee (highest point), perigee (lowest point), and inclination (tilt compared to the equator). The geostationary transfer orbit is an elliptical orbit with the apogee over the equator at, or higher than the desired orbit. The perigee is where the final burn of the upper stage of the rocket occurred. For missions from Cape Canaveral, that is on the great circle that passes through the Cape at its northern most point, is where it crosses the equator, somewhere around the point of Gabon in Africa. The upper stage lifts the apogee to near that required for geostationary orbit (36,000 km), but half-way around the Earth, where the inclination causes it to cross the equator again. The satellite has thrusters that will increase the perigee to equal the apogee, and also diminish the inclination to zero. This can take a few firings, all of which must occur at apogee.
    This source, from the planetary society, shows an example where three firings are required to obtain geostationary orbit (nice video near the end). The orbit must be calculated so that after the final firing of the thrusters, the satellite is over the desired longitude. That is what specifies the launch time many days ago.

  31. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Addendum to my #54, the recently launched JCSAT 14 had a launch mass of 4696 kg, and a dry (minus propellants) mass of 2622 kg. The propellants for achieving and maintaining geostationary orbit are 44% of the launch mass. Some satellites use chemical thrusters to modify the orbit, and electric thrusters to maintain orbit. The latter are very efficient.
    Some newer satellites use ion thrusters for everything. Very efficient, but they are much slower, and take longer to achieve geostationary orbit.

  32. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Addendum to #54
    I’ve continued to look into geostationary transfer orbits. The example I showed above is where the launch vehicle has enough power to get the satellite up to geostationary orbit (GSO, 35,786 km).
    Depending on the launch vehicle, subgeostationary transfer orbits, and supergeostationary transfer orbits are possible, and have been used. (Sometimes the terms subsynchronous and supersynchronous transfer orbits are used.)
    The subgeostationary transfer orbit is used when the launch vehicle doesn’t have the capability to launch the satellite mass into geostationary orbit. The satellite must them raise itself to GSO orbit and kill the inclination on its own. This can be done using chemical thrusters (electric thrusters are used to maintain GSO once there). The chemical thrusters typically use unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine and nitrogen dioxide (or dinitrogen tetroxide which it is in equilibrium with), a self-igniting (hypergolic) fuel has been used extensively in space. (Think the Space Shuttles OMS engines.) The fuel system allows for multiple firings. Not the best method from the satellites owners point of view, but may be the only way a very heavy satellite gets launched and to GSO.
    The supergeostationary transfer orbit has an apogee above that for GSO. I’ve seen anywhere from 44,00 km to 90,000 km, so it all depends upon the satellite owner and their needs, and the power of the launcher. The advantage here is that less delta vee (change in velocity) is required to obtain GSO orbit (one example was 20% less), which means less fuel is needed for orbit changes. The higher apogee also makes it easier to change the inclination at apogee. This requires multiple firings and longer time to achieve GSO that the more direct methods, but leaves the satellite with more fuel (hence longer possible lifetime) for orbital tweaks at GSO. Fifteen years expected lifetime will become 20 years in reality
    At this time, chemical thrusters are still being used for orbital changes, but this may change soon as xenon ion thrusters start being used for orbital changes with these satellites. These thrusters have very little power compared to their chemical counterparts, but they can run continuously for months (instead of minutes/seconds) to slowly change the orbit, using a much smaller amount of total mass of fuel to obtain the same results. It may take months to carry out the transformation to GSO, but the large amount of leftover propellent would increase the orbital lifetime significantly, making it worthwhile.
    A couple of changes SpaceX made to the Falcon 9, after the CRS-7 “anomaly” in mid 2015, was extending the second stage (more propellents), and increasing the density of the RP-1 and LOX by chilling them below normal temperatures. That could give 5-8% more propellent per volume to the first and second stages, which then significantly increases the final performance of the vehicle. Given that most of the velocity to high orbit is mostly from the second stage (~8,000 km/hr going to 36,000-37,000 km/hr for 3,100-5,100 kg GTO satellites), the extra performance means a lot to their customers.

  33. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    For the rocketry fans, SpaceX uploaded the end of the flip and descent/landing of the Falcon 9 booster, with the camera at the top of the booster, from the Thaicom 8 mission to YouTube. This covers about 10 minutes of descent in 30 seconds.
    Some “skeptics” say this is a launch backwards, but a few facts (besides my skepticism of their skepticism), says this is real.
    1) There is a firing of the engines for the reentry burn at 13-14 seconds, and the visible grid fins become dirty as one would expect. How did they go from dirty to pristine in a launch?
    2) Right after the reentry burn, there is heat from the middle of the right grid fin (T-rex arms) that flows toward the camera. Expected from descent, not from a launch.
    3) No further engine burns are seen until the ALS is seen.
    4) The reentry and landing burns show flames that wouldn’t be seen unless the engines were slowing the vehicle down, not speeding it up, where they would be tucked under the rocket (see the webcasts).
    5) The final burns aren’t as powerful or as long as the normal ascent burns.
    Checkmate skeptics/trolls. Remove your tin-foil hats so you can actually use your mind, such as it is.

  34. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The Swiss are having a referendum on a proposal to guarantee each adult at least $2,500/mo.

    Swiss voters get a choice Sunday in a referendum that, while not specifying a figure, asks if they want “unconditional basic income.” Experts estimate a minimum of 2,500 Swiss francs ($2,560) per month is needed for an individual to make ends meet in wealthy Switzerland, where private-sector health insurance is required and the cost of living is sky-high.
    Critics warn that the policy would explode the state budget. The Swiss government itself advises voters to reject the proposal, and polls suggest it will fail in a country known for free-market policies and a high-tech, capitalistic financial sector.
    Proponents, however, insist the time has come for a minimum monthly wage as sweeping 21st-century economic changes like robots displacing factory workers make jobs more precarious in the digital age. They say they’re seeking momentum more than outright victory.
    Polls have suggested that only about one-quarter of Swiss voters back the idea…
    The novelty of unconditional basic income is that everybody would get it automatically. It would be a floor: Salaried workers who earn more than 2,500 francs a month would get no extra money.
    Under a proposed model, each child would get one-quarter of the total for adults — about 625 francs per month — a sum higher than state child-care outlays for families today.

    Interesting concept.

  35. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Federal Judge issues final order upholding Alabama same-sex marriage.

    A federal judge in Alabama has issued a permanent injunction barring state officials from denying same-sex couples the right to marry in that state, according to court documents made public on Wednesday.
    The order, filed on Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Callie Granade, came in response to a 2014 lawsuit challenging Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage, finalizing a decision Granade made in early 2015 that the state law was unconstitutional.
    The legality of gay marriage was at the center of a national debate until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June 2015 that the U.S. Constitution provided same-sex couples the right to marry.
    Despite that order, Alabama officials continued to resist the change in the law.
    Last month, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore was suspended for issuing an administrative order to state probate judges that they should not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
    In March, the Alabama Supreme Court dismissed petitions by opponents of same-sex marriage asking to reinstate the ban on those unions but refused to vacate or withdraw its own March 2015 ruling in favor of the same-sex marriage ban, made just months before the U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
    “This brings a finality by permanently prohibiting Alabama from enforcing its marriage laws which are discriminating against gay couples,” said Susan Watson, executive director of the ACLU of Alabama. “Given Alabama’s fierce resistance, this permanent relief was required to ensure marriage equality in the state.”
    Officials from the office of Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, who is named in the lawsuit, could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.
    Strange’s attorneys had asked for the lawsuit to be dismissed because the state was currently complying with the federal law.
    But Granade said in her ruling that “promising to sin no more” did not render a permanent injunction unnecessary. The actions of the suspended chief justice and other officials suggested that other attempts may be made to undermine the constitutional right of same-sex couples to marry, she wrote.
    “It cannot be said with assurance that there is no reasonable expectation that Alabama’s unconstitutional marriage laws will not again be enforced,” the order said.

    I love the last sentence of the report.

  36. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Watched the webcast of a launch of two satellites to geosynchronous transfer orbit earlier. A little searching showed that they were inserted into supergeosynchrounous Transfer Orbit. They both had Xenon ion thrusters instead of the old chemical thrusters. This allowed for the launch of both satellites due to the lighter mass, whereas if the two had chemical thrusters, each would have required a separate booster.
    It is expected to take 6 months to increase the perigee to geosynchronous altitude, zero out the inclination, and finally reduce the apogee to geosynchronous altitude. And the two satellites will end up over Asia and South America, about 180º apart.
    That to me is very interesting.

  37. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Egypt announces that the wreckage of crashed EgyptAir Airbus A320 has been found.

    Egypt on Wednesday said that it spotted and obtained images from the wreckage of the EgyptAir plane that crashed into the Mediterranean last month, killing all 66 people on board, according to a statement by the country’s investigation committee.
    The committee said that the vessel John Lethbridge, which was contracted by the Egyptian government to join the search for the plane debris and flight data recorders, “had identified several main locations of the wreckage.” It added that it obtained images of the wreckage located between the Greek island of Crete and the Egyptian coast.
    The next step, the committee said, will be drawing a map showing the wreckage location.
    The 75-meter (82.05-yard)-long survey vessel is equipped with sonar and other equipment capable of detecting wreckage at depths up to 6,000 feet (1,830 meters).
    The EgyptAir Airbus A320 en route to Cairo from Paris had been cruising normally in clear skies on an overnight flight on May 19. The radar showed that the doomed aircraft turned 90 degrees left, then a full 360 degrees to the right, plummeting from 38,000 feet (11,582 meters) to 15,000 feet (4,572 meters) before disappearing at about 10,000 feet (3,048 meters).
    Leaked flight data indicated a sensor detected smoke in a lavatory and a fault in two of the plane’s cockpit windows in the final moments of the flight.
    The cause of the crash still has not been determined. Ships and planes from Egypt, Greece, France, the United States and other nations have been searching the Mediterranean Sea north of the Egyptian port of Alexandria for the jet’s voice and flight data recorders, as well as more bodies and parts of the aircraft…
    Wednesday’s announcement came nearly two weeks after the French ship Laplace detected black box signals from the missing plane.
    Locator pings emitted by flight data and cockpit voice recorders can be picked up from deep underwater. The Laplace is equipped with three detectors designed to pick up those signals, which in the case of the EgyptAir plane are believed to be at a depth of some 3,000 meters (9,842 feet). By comparison, the wreckage of the Titanic is lying at a depth of some 3,800 meters (12,500 feet).
    Ten days later, Egyptian investigators said that time is running out in the search for the black boxes. They said on Sunday that nearly two weeks remain before the batteries of the flight’s data and cockpit voice recorders expire and they stop emitting signals.
    If retrieved, the boxes could reveal whether a mechanical fault, a hijacking or a bomb caused the disaster. The voice recorder should contain a record of the last 30 minutes in the cockpit, and is equipped to detect even loud breathing. The data recorder would contain technical information on the engines, wings and cabin pressure. Investigators hope the black boxes will offer clues as to why there was no distress call.
    Finding them without the signals is possible but more difficult.

  38. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Update to #65. The cockpit voice recorder has been recovered.

    The cockpit voice recorder of the doomed EgyptAir plane that crashed last month killing all 66 people on board has been found and pulled out of the Mediterranean Sea, Egypt’s investigation committee said on Thursday.
    The development raises hopes that investigators would find clues as to the cause of the May 19 crash, which remains unclear. No terror group has claimed responsibility for bringing the plane down.
    The Egyptian committee said the so-called black box — one of the two on board the plane — has been damaged but that the vessel searching for the wreckage managed to safely recover the “memory unit, which is the most important in the recorder.”
    The recorder was retrieved in “several stages,” the committee said, and is currently being transferred to the Egyptian port city of Alexandria. Once on shore, it will be handed over to the members of the committee who will unload and analyze the data.
    The voice recorder should contain a record of the last 30 minutes in the cockpit, and is equipped to detect even loud breathing. Experts say that it takes nearly 48 hours to retrieve data from the recorder, unless it’s damaged.

    Hope they find the flight data recorder shortly.

  39. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Update to #65 and #66. The flight data recorder has been recovered.

    The second black box of the doomed EgyptAir plane that crashed last month killing all 66 people on board was pulled out of the Mediterranean Sea on Friday, a day after Egypt’s investigation committee said the plane’s cockpit voice recorder had been recovered.
    The find significantly raises hopes that investigators will finally able to determine what caused the crash of the EgyptAir Airbus A320. Both France and the United States are sending investigators to Cairo to help with the probe…
    On Friday, a statement from the Egyptian committee said the vessel John Lethbridge, contracted by the Egyptian government to search for the plane wreckage, pulled the data recorder out of the sea in stages. It added that it managed to “successfully retrieve” the memory unit of the recorder, which is the “most important” component.
    While the statement didn’t elaborate on the condition of the recorder, it implied that the memory unit had been safely recovered. The two so-called black boxes were tucked into the plane’s tail.
    The committee said that the data will be downloaded and analyzed once it arrives from the port city of Alexandria, where they will be transferred from the site of the crash.

  40. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    SCOTUS refused to hear the appeal of the New York and Connecticut ban on assault weapons.

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday left in place gun control laws in New York and Connecticut that ban assault weapons like the one used in last week’s massacre at an Orlando nightclub, rejecting a challenge brought by gun rights advocates.
    The justices declined to hear an appeal of an October ruling by the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld laws prohibiting semiautomatic weapons and large capacity magazines in the two northeastern states.

    I bet the Court of Appeals looking at the California ban will take note.

  41. emergence says

    So, there seems to be yet another controversy in the gaming community. Like most of these issues, it’s fairly convoluted, but I think it began with a game developer named Jennifer Scheurle making a joking tweet about a statue. After calling it “Mansplaining, the statue”, and saying that mansplaining is a serious issue, Notch, the creator of Minecraft, came in and declared that mansplaining as a term is sexist against men, and is meant to silence men through “gender shaming”. He also decided that the term mansplaining was equivalent to using the term “cuntfusion”. Apparently, using the term mansplaining is equivalent to using actual gendered slurs.

    This lead to an article on Destructoid where a writer called Notch out on this. This in turn lead to Joshua Vanderwall, editor in chief of The Escapist, to pen his own take on the situation. That is, he agrees that calling out mansplaining is somehow sexist against men, and went on a bitter tirade against “neo-puritans”. There’s also the sort of “gotcha” argument where Vanderwall calls the Destructoid writer a hypocrite for calling Donald Trump a cunt. I’m not sure how that gets around “cuntfusion” using a gendered slur while “mansplaining” doesn’t, but that’s the least of the issues here.

    The guy seems to be a piece of work in general. For all of his calls for thoughtful discussion of these sorts of issues, he penned an article on cultural appropriation that consisted of one word: “bullshit”. Apparently, he didn’t think that cultural appropriation deserved any sort of thoughtful discussion. Another article he wrote is pretty much a laundry list of generic anti-social justice talking points. There’s the FREEZEPEACH fetishism, calling college students coddled for having standards for who the school pays to give talks, and other attempts to portray criticism of entitled assholes as silencing dissent.

    The fact that Notch said what he did is disturbing to me. I like Minecraft, and I don’t like the idea of abandoning it due to one of its creators having odious political opinions. 

  42. emergence says

    So, there seems to be yet another controversy in the gaming community. Like most of these issues, it’s fairly convoluted, but I think it began with a game developer named Jennifer Scheurle making a joking tweet about a statue. After calling it “Mansplaining, the statue”, and saying that mansplaining is a serious issue, Notch, the creator of Minecraft, came in and declared that mansplaining as a term is sexist against men, and is meant to silence men through “gender shaming”. He also decided that the term mansplaining was equivalent to using the term “c*ntfusion”. Apparently, using the term mansplaining is equivalent to using actual gendered slurs.

    This lead to an article on Destructoid where a writer called Notch out on this. This in turn lead to Joshua Vanderwall, editor in chief of The Escapist, to pen his own take on the situation. That is, he agrees that calling out mansplaining is somehow sexist against men, and went on a bitter tirade against “neo-puritans”. There’s also the sort of “gotcha” argument where Vanderwall calls the Destructoid writer a hypocrite for calling Donald Trump a c*nt. I’m not sure how that gets around “c*ntfusion” using a gendered slur while “mansplaining” doesn’t, but that’s the least of the issues here.

    The guy seems to be a piece of work in general. For all of his calls for thoughtful discussion of these sorts of issues, he penned an article on cultural appropriation that consisted of one word: “bullshit”. Apparently, he didn’t think that cultural appropriation deserved any sort of thoughtful discussion. Another article he wrote is pretty much a laundry list of generic anti-social justice talking points. There’s the FREEZEPEACH fetishism, calling college students coddled for having standards for who the school pays to give talks, and other attempts to portray criticism of entitled assholes as silencing dissent.

    The fact that Notch said what he did is disturbing to me. I like Minecraft, and I don’t like the idea of abandoning it due to one of its creators having odious political opinions. 

  43. Rob Grigjanis says

    Trigger warning for Nature can really suck.

    A day after first poking their heads out, all the baby swallows in my carport are dead, apparently killed by the male sparrow who’s been hanging around. After burying the two I found first (one of which had obviously been attacked), came back to see the sparrow in the swallow nest. Scared him off, and came back later to see three more chicks on the ground, all dead. Never seen anything like this in the decade or so the swallows have been nesting here. The parents have just been hovering around, obviously at a loss what to do.

  44. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Here’s a news item about an upcoming movie, Hidden Figures, about three black women working for NASA as mathematicians. One helped calculate the orbit used by Glenn.

    Janelle Monae says she’s honored to be part of an upcoming film that tells the little known-story of three black women who were crucial part of NASA’s history, including one who helped John Glenn become the first American to orbit earth.
    The Grammy-nominated singer is making her big screen debut in “Hidden Figures,” which tells the story of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson — three women who worked at NASA in the 1960s.
    “It is so important, that we as women, African-American women, tell our stories,” Monae said. “These three women opened doors for us and literally helped change the world.”
    “Hidden Figures,” stars Taraji P. Henson as Johnson; Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer as Vaughan and Monae as Jackson. The women were mathematicians and Johnson helped calculate the trajectory for Glenn’s orbit around earth, among other accomplishments. The cast also includes Aldis Hodge, Kevin Costner and Kirsten Dunst. Segments of the film were shown to fans Friday at the Essence Festival, the annual four-day music festival geared toward black women.
    Monae and Hodge, who plays Noah on WGN America’s hit series “Underground,” spoke afterward.
    Monae said she cried when she received the script.
    “I cried because I had never heard of Katherine Johnson or Dorothy Vaughan or Mary Jackson. But I know these women and their struggles,” she said. “I am Mary. I am so honored to play her. This film is so important because it shows black people and black women in a different light.”
    Hodge, who plays Jackson’s husband, Levi, said he relished the role. “He was an activist and had to deal with the dangers that came with that in the segregated south. And y’all see how feisty (Monae’s character) was? He had to come home and deal with her,” he said laughing.
    The film, which is set for release Jan. 13, 2017, is based on Margo Lee Shetterly’s book, “Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race.”

    Sounds very interesting.

  45. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Google has an intriguing doodle today, commemorating Nettie Stevens’ 155th.
    Who had something to do with chromosomes?
    Maybe discovered X, Y chromosome importance?
    I suppose I don’t know of her cuz she was a female doin man’s work with microscopes and stuff and schools think only man scientists are worth promulgating.

  46. Saad says

    This latest black execution is further proof that the Second Amendment and license to carry are exclusively for white men.

  47. Vivec says

    Apparently a Hindu religious leader is calling for the video games Smite (a MOBA where you fight various deities against each other) and Overwatch (a team based shooter where an Indian character has a skin inspired by Shiva) to both be censored.

    Some supporters are likening this to the Muhammad cartoon controversy, as if that’s supposed to make us support their stance.

  48. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Finally, one International Docking Adapter is on its way to the ISS. IDA2 is in the Dragon’s unpressurized trunk, and will be transfer to where it will be installed by the robotic arm, and installed with a spacewalk. NASA wants to have two of these docking adapters installed on the old Space Shuttle docking stations, so that both SpaceX and ULA can send manned capsules to the ISS, or any other country which uses the same standard for their capsule. The adapter will be interactive with the capsule to allow for docking to occur without involving the astronauts either in the ISS or in the capsule.
    IDA1 was lost a year ago when SpaceX had an anomaly (explosion) in the second stage of the Falcon 9 prior to MECO of the first stage; the Dragon capsule and its contents, which included IDA1, were lost.
    IDA3 has been cobbled together from spare parts, and will be launched by SpaceX at a later date.

  49. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    SpaceX is getting serious about the trial launch of their Falcon Heavy.
    Like the Delta IV Heavy, it consists of three boosters tied together. All three boosters ignite at full throttle, but the center booster throttles back after liftoff. After the two outer boosters separate, the remaining booster throttles up and delivers the heavy payload to a velocity/altitude where the second stage can deliver the payload to the desired orbit.
    Given that SpaceX wants to land and reuse their boosters, they need more landing pads back at Landing Zone 1 (was SLC 13, one pad south of SLC 14 where the Atlas/Mercury launches occurred), so that the side boosters have separation, as they return essentially simultaneously. So they are petitioning the government to allow for two more pads at the Cape (scroll down for a video that simulates what they want to do). In reality, the center booster will often be too fast/far downrange to return for an land landing, and will need a drone ship landing.
    Once operational, the Falcon Heavy will have twice the payload capacity as the Delta Heavy, and is only surpassed by the decommissioned Apollo booster, the Saturn V. The Falcon Heavy will launch from SLC 39A, which was used for Apollo and Space Shuttle missions.

  50. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    If you’re anywhere near Vancouver Canada, the Trans March & Dyke March will be held on successive days (T=Fri; D=Sat). You can find this 6’+a bit tall white woman at either, with silver crutches and a t-shirt over waffle-knit.

    Likeliest T-shirts:
    White with a naturalistically-colored Pacific Giant Octopus
    “Dyke March” t-shirts from past events
    “Gender Machine Works”(front)/”No one knows I’m a tranny”(back).
    Humboldt State University Women’s Center
    &
    Oscar the Grouch
    ==========================

    @Benoit: If you still want people to review your 2nd gen card game, I’m a game nerd from way back & have also worked hard to get women and/or female scientists in front of the public. Seems like I might be perfect. Do you know my e-mail?