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Thread: xkcd

  1. - Top - End - #481
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Sure, but you can relabel the red key with "countries that have crashed a spaceship on Mars because of a unit disagreement".

    And really, I'm not terribly clear that putting a man on the moon was that great an accomplishment, since it was never built upon for anything other than the photo-op. Yes, I'm sure the soil samples were excellent, but IIRC China will be getting its own samples by sending a robot, which will probably work just as well.

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    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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  2. - Top - End - #482
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    Default Re: xkcd

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Sure, but you can relabel the red key with "countries that have crashed a spaceship on Mars because of a unit disagreement".

    And really, I'm not terribly clear that putting a man on the moon was that great an accomplishment, since it was never built upon for anything other than the photo-op. Yes, I'm sure the soil samples were excellent, but IIRC China will be getting its own samples by sending a robot, which will probably work just as well.

    Grey Wolf
    Eh, you can relabel the red key with a lot of things.

    Also, our robotics weren't quite up to snuff at the time, to the best of my knowledge.

    ETA: Also, we did five more photo ops. In between the photo ops they fooled around with silly things a bunch of nerds down here wanted them to do for some reason.
    Last edited by Peelee; 2018-11-19 at 09:19 AM.
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  3. - Top - End - #483
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Also, our robotics weren't quite up to snuff at the time, to the best of my knowledge.
    Oh, it definitely wasn't. The issue here is not that reaching the moon wasn't an incredible feat - it was, don't get me wrong - but that having done that, nothing else came out of it*. It's been almost 50 years now, and as it recedes into the dustbin of history, the boast becomes more and more hollow. A hare, sitting on the side of the road, telling everyone they've won a race they've yet to complete.

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    * Plenty of thing have come out of the space race in general, but nothing much from the Moon landing itself.
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    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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  4. - Top - End - #484
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    A lot of what we know about the moon, and thus about the origin of Earth and the solar system and so on, comes from work done during the moon landings.

    Regarding even today's robotic landers, "What our best rovers on the planet can do in a week, a human can do in about 5 minutes" (Bill Nye, commenting on Mars exploration). Roll that back to what could be done remotely/robotically in the 1970s.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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  5. - Top - End - #485
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Regarding even today's robotic landers, "What our best rovers on the planet can do in a week, a human can do in about 5 minutes" (Bill Nye, commenting on Mars exploration). Roll that back to what could be done remotely/robotically in the 1970s.
    That has a lot to do with just how long it takes for data tot ravel back and forth between earth and mars. This would be far smaller problem when doing robotic exploration of the moon. I don't mean to diss the Apollo mission, of course, as that was a series of awesome pieces of engineering and human badassery.
    Last edited by DeTess; 2018-11-19 at 10:12 AM.
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  6. - Top - End - #486
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    * Plenty of thing have come out of the space race in general, but nothing much from the Moon landing itself.
    Given that NASA went back five times and planned to go more, with all missions laden with experiments for the astronauts to perform, it seems that they would disagree with you.
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  7. - Top - End - #487
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    planned to go more
    But they didn't. That's the problem. I'm not saying it is NASA's fault, but at this point, bragging about it comes across like the great-uncle that keeps telling me about how he used to be a star athlete when he was in his 20s. One gets a feeling that they've grown a bit too accustomed to resting on those laurels, and it is not doing much for the laurels either.

    Or, as xkcd put it:



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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Ceterum autem censeo Hilgya malefica est

  8. - Top - End - #488
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Given that NASA went back five times and planned to go more, with all missions laden with experiments for the astronauts to perform, it seems that they would disagree with you.
    Not to discredit NASA or any brave astronaut but even top scientists are not above doing things because they can answer also because they'd be out of a job if they didn't...
    I know this sounds much more critical than I mean it but in the end 'because they did it again' doesn't necessarily mean it was necessary. Or fruitful.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    But they didn't. That's the problem. I'm not saying it is NASA's fault, but at this point, bragging about it comes across like the great-uncle that keeps telling me about how he used to be a star athlete when he was in his 20s. One gets a feeling that they've grown a bit too accustomed to resting on those laurels, and it is not doing much for the laurels either.

    Or, as xkcd put it:



    Grey Wolf
    I vote we establish a moon base and harvest helium-3 for our fusion reactors!
    What do you mean we are not voting on that?

    In all seriousness, though, call me a romantic all you want but I consider space exploration to be the greatest endaveour mankind has ever undertake, so I feel that the U.S. is entitled to some bragging about getting to the Moon.
    But that's no excuse to refusing to switch to a scientific and more easily wieldable unit system.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    the Vector Legion [is the IFCC's new pawns], mark my words. Way too much unfinished business there and they already know about the Gates.
    I'll take that bet.

  10. - Top - End - #490
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    But they didn't. That's the problem.
    Grey Wolf
    I would argue that public disinterest and funding cuts are the problem.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kato View Post
    Not to discredit NASA or any brave astronaut but even top scientists are not above doing things because they can answer also because they'd be out of a job if they didn't...
    See above.
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  11. - Top - End - #491
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    Today's seems relevant to the above dispute:



    Yeah, the Moon is a good place to go IMO, as are a bunch of high orbits.

    I really really dislike the process of trashing your old toys to get new ones, Skylab may have been semi-accidental, but Cassini was just rude, and de-orbiting the ISS would be really very bad.
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    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    Today's seems relevant to the above dispute:



    Yeah, the Moon is a good place to go IMO, as are a bunch of high orbits.

    I really really dislike the process of trashing your old toys to get new ones, Skylab may have been semi-accidental, but Cassini was just rude, and de-orbiting the ISS would be really very bad.
    My understanding is that Skylab was trashed because it smelled really, really bad. We still haven't figured out how to get a closed loop life support system to not develop a funk.
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  13. - Top - End - #493
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    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    I really really dislike the process of trashing your old toys to get new ones, Skylab may have been semi-accidental, but Cassini was just rude, and de-orbiting the ISS would be really very bad.
    Wasn't Cassini getting to the point where the risk of failure and thus potential contamination of a moon was considered too high?

    Or was that just the "pitch" for the "ditch"?
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  14. - Top - End - #494
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockphed View Post
    My understanding is that Skylab was trashed because it smelled really, really bad. We still haven't figured out how to get a closed loop life support system to not develop a funk.
    Nobody had been in it for years. The shuttle wasn't ready in time to refuel it. The internal capacity was huge. It was a Saturn 5 third stage with life support inside. I didn't know it was smelly, but that's probably right, even so it should have been shoved into a high orbit and left there until we worked out destinking it. It was just huge, deorbited for bad reasons, and a waste.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Wasn't Cassini getting to the point where the risk of failure and thus potential contamination of a moon was considered too high?

    Or was that just the "pitch" for the "ditch"?
    It could have been put into an orbit where it could have been collected in a couple of hundred years time. I don't know what the options actually were, but "ditch it to get a new one" really really pisses me off, and NASA have been doing that a lot lately. I think they'd prefer to deorbit Hubble if it was easy.
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  15. - Top - End - #495
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    I vote that we stop being mean to what was obviously intended to be a joke and let it lie undissected. Jokes are worse than frogs when it comes to making a mess.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    even so it should have been shoved into a high orbit and left there until we worked out destinking it.
    How would you propose to do that, exactly? Skylab didn't have any propulsion of its own, and to get it into an orbit high enough that atmospheric drag would no longer be a factor would require significant amounts of delta-V--plus it would make it much harder to actually reach it with the necessary repair crews. There's a reason the ISS orbits as low as it does--having to boost its orbit every now and again is an acceptable trade-off for the massively decreased fuel costs to actually get there.

    Basically, allowing space stations to de-orbit when they're no longer of use is by far the best thing you can do with them--it means they're no longer cluttering up increasingly crowded orbits and it doesn't cost anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    How would you propose to do that, exactly? Skylab didn't have any propulsion of its own, and to get it into an orbit high enough that atmospheric drag would no longer be a factor would require significant amounts of delta-V--plus it would make it much harder to actually reach it with the necessary repair crews. There's a reason the ISS orbits as low as it does--having to boost its orbit every now and again is an acceptable trade-off for the massively decreased fuel costs to actually get there.

    Basically, allowing space stations to de-orbit when they're no longer of use is by far the best thing you can do with them--it means they're no longer cluttering up increasingly crowded orbits and it doesn't cost anything.
    It was frickin' huge. De orbiting it was a waste. Allegedly if the shuttle had flown in time, it wouldn't have been dropped, but they got the start of the ISS out of dropping it, and that started the trend of trashing old stuff to get new. There was so much worked metal in that as well as the fact that the internal volume was still airtight.

    I don't remember how it was moved, but it was moved before. It presumably still had the original Apollo motors. It needed fuel to move, and maybe another rocket to push it.

    Most of the stuff in LEO is small, and once it stops working not that valuable, that can go as far as I'm concerned if it makes sense, dropping Skylab didn't make sense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    Most of the stuff in LEO is small, and once it stops working not that valuable, that can go as far as I'm concerned if it makes sense, dropping Skylab didn't make sense.
    Getting fuel up there to move it to the degree you propose (and you can't just move it a bit higher, unless you want to fry it with radiation) Would take about 300.000 kg of fuel (assuming a 4 km/s total dV for the move, and an exhaust velocity of 2.98 km/s, which was typical for rocket tech at that time). That's more fuel than a single Apollo 5 rocket could bring up there.

    I know what you're trying to say about it being a waste, but you're grossly underestimating just how much energy is required for spaceflight. Moving it would have been by far the greater waste. The same thing goes for the cassini mission. It didn't have the fuel to have the Saturnian system again, and valuable information was gathered during the destructive phase. The 'retrieval' your propose will simply be impossible until we reach the energy singularity.
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    New strip. I have one better: I get calls for my siblings on my cell phone. I mean I lived at my childhood home with this phone for a couple months, but it is weird when places call me and ask for my siblings.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockphed View Post
    New strip. I have one better: I get calls for my siblings on my cell phone. I mean I lived at my childhood home with this phone for a couple months, but it is weird when places call me and ask for my siblings.
    There's something similar with my sister - mail for her will periodically show up at my parent's house. The problem is that she has never lived there, and in fact my parents have moved at least twice since she left home. The mail also shows up with her married name, which she never had while she was living with my parents.

    The other fun one I've had is creating an account with Chase after not banking with them for over a decade - when I logged into the online banking after moving I went to update my contact details, and found that they had my e-mail address from my previous account listed as a valid contact e-mail address. So having not been a customer with them for 10+ years, they just held that data and then automatically applied it to an entirely different account when I returned without consulting me in any way.

    Then again, this is the same company that gave me full access to my father's account via online banking because they couldn't handle the fact that our first name is the same. And then took several weeks to fix it, despite repeated attempts to change it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    The other fun one I've had is creating an account with Chase after not banking with them for over a decade - when I logged into the online banking after moving I went to update my contact details, and found that they had my e-mail address from my previous account listed as a valid contact e-mail address. So having not been a customer with them for 10+ years, they just held that data and then automatically applied it to an entirely different account when I returned without consulting me in any way.

    Then again, this is the same company that gave me full access to my father's account via online banking because they couldn't handle the fact that our first name is the same. And then took several weeks to fix it, despite repeated attempts to change it.
    That is more than a little creepy. I vote we destroy the internet and start over from scratch. Maybe then companies will learn how to handle data properly.
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    Rockphed said it well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    There's something similar with my sister - mail for her will periodically show up at my parent's house. The problem is that she has never lived there, and in fact my parents have moved at least twice since she left home. The mail also shows up with her married name, which she never had while she was living with my parents.

    The other fun one I've had is creating an account with Chase after not banking with them for over a decade - when I logged into the online banking after moving I went to update my contact details, and found that they had my e-mail address from my previous account listed as a valid contact e-mail address. So having not been a customer with them for 10+ years, they just held that data and then automatically applied it to an entirely different account when I returned without consulting me in any way.

    Then again, this is the same company that gave me full access to my father's account via online banking because they couldn't handle the fact that our first name is the same. And then took several weeks to fix it, despite repeated attempts to change it.
    The US really needs far stronger privacy and "data ownership" laws.

    Start with applying HIPAA-like rules to ALL information about a person. ALL of it.

    Then go further -- by law, each person should own all information/data about themselves outside of a few specific strict contexts. Any company, organization, or agency gathering, holding, buying, selling, trading, or sharing data about a person without their consent would in effect be engaged in felony theft.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    The US really needs far stronger privacy and "data ownership" laws.

    Start with applying HIPAA-like rules to ALL information about a person. ALL of it.

    Then go further -- by law, each person should own all information/data about themselves outside of a few specific strict contexts. Any company, organization, or agency gathering, holding, buying, selling, trading, or sharing data about a person without their consent would in effect be engaged in felony theft.
    It's not the USA, it's the whole world. The EU is doing some good things, but it's not going half far enough. If the data about a person was copyright of that person, that might do it.
    The end of what Son? The story? There is no end. There's just the point where the storytellers stop talking.

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    Hear, hear.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    the Vector Legion [is the IFCC's new pawns], mark my words. Way too much unfinished business there and they already know about the Gates.
    I'll take that bet.

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    The Mod Radiant: I'm going to head this off right away. What laws should or should not exist and do is a real world political topic and thus prohibited by the forum rules.
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    So, if someone asked me to unlock any of the server rooms I've ever been responsible for, and I had not been specifically told about this beforehand by someone higher up my chain of command, I would immediately be on the phone with said higher-ups to find out if it was legit, and, far from being unreasonable, I think that's a minimum standard of competence for anyone working in IT.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Campbell View Post
    So, if someone asked me to unlock any of the server rooms I've ever been responsible for, and I had not been specifically told about this beforehand by someone higher up my chain of command, I would immediately be on the phone with said higher-ups to find out if it was legit, and, far from being unreasonable, I think that's a minimum standard of competence for anyone working in IT.
    Yeah, I can see that. Even when I was working for a small company and thus knew everyone in the building, the IT department only grudgingly let me sit in their office while they were fixing my laptop. If it was going to be a while, I dropped my laptop off and went to do something that didn't take a computer (normally checking drawings for errors: there were always errors).
    Quote Originally Posted by Wardog View Post
    Rockphed said it well.
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    Arxiv is in fact one of the weirdest and most awesome things in the world... I wish I could spend more time just looking at interesting papers, like the one about the success chance of zombie apocalypses instead of digging through professional papers that have unhelpful titles and less helpful content..
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    Default Re: xkcd

    Ah, I've always wondered what happened to these boosters after they're dropped. Thanks for educating me again, Mr Munroe
    "What's done is done."

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  30. - Top - End - #510
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Caerulea's Avatar

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    Default Re: xkcd

    So, how cute would a cat the size of the planet be?
    Non caerulea sum, Caerulea nomen meum est.
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