Posts by Mike Hewson

11) Message boards : Cafe Einstein : Cafe Einstein: LPTP # X I \\// (Message 139599)
Posted 8 days ago by Profile Mike Hewson
That's a serious amount of coffee there Bill and a decent glass of chilled dihydrogen monoxide too. But I see dawn's early light in the background so you're evidently in boot-up phase. :-)

Cheers, Mike.

( edit ) Well done on the 10 million too. :-)


Speaking of chemical names. Did any of you hear about the uproar down in I believe it was Florida? I guess some radio station spoofed a chemical spill and reported there had been a large spill of "dihydrogen monoxide" and scared a lot of people.

Sad state of affairs for our education system :-)

And the general level of gullibility ... thus such faux-science/synthetic-news mobs make a killing on revenue with increased ratings. Scare for profit. Why anyone believes news outlets these days is beyond me. But it is an ancient issue - the triumph of intuition over analysis - the Romans for instance used to have a 'town crier' ( I forget the correct title ) who spouted BS from whomsoever paid enough. Including say news from the war front about 'tactical retreats' and whatnot. You can have propaganda outside of wars .....

Cheers, Mike.

( edit ) That spoof was obvious, but there are many stories like that but just not obviously false. Indeed the best lies are nearly true ....
12) Message boards : Cafe Einstein : SpaceX Dragon scheduled for 12/19 (Message 139595)
Posted 8 days ago by Profile Mike Hewson
What eventually became the SR71 was originally intended as a high-speed/long-range bomber interceptor ie. knock down nuke carrying bombers well way from target. ICBM's made that role ( and the bombers ) largely redundant. So the reconnaissance idea came up, and as this was after Mr Powers was shot down, there was still a perceived need to overfly. It wasn't until that role was well established that satellite imaging then became superior to it, so for a while at least the SR71 did give better information. It fell out of use mainly so as to not annoy countries overflown without consent.

But some critics would add that since imaging by all methods rather reduced the stance of hawks, because for instance the 'bomber gap' wasn't, then it's use could well have been curtailed for that reason. Eisenhower and Kennedy after him were quite critical of intelligence reports that upon reflection consistently tended toward over-estimate of threat. But then Castro put missiles in and it was back to business as usual ....

Having said that it is a gorgeous looking plane, a pinnacle of aerodynamic thinking, and a real door-slammer at throttle up. :-) :-)

Cheers, Mike.

( edit ) Initial spy satellites were one-shot/single-use eg. Corona. So when the film ran out it ejected and was picked up on the way down by a fair bit of rigamarole. They tried to keep one or more ready on the pad. The U2 could be re-used and indeed regularly overflew. Now when effective down links of image data from space was established then all that really mattered was having enough of them about in various orbits to enable any interesting part of the world to be inspected on short notice. Later on the optics really improved the detail. The Hubble was a failed KH-11 ...
13) Message boards : Cafe Einstein : Cafe Einstein: LPTP # X I \\// (Message 139586)
Posted 8 days ago by Profile Mike Hewson
That's a serious amount of coffee there Bill and a decent glass of chilled dihydrogen monoxide too. But I see dawn's early light in the background so you're evidently in boot-up phase. :-)

Cheers, Mike.

( edit ) Well done on the 10 million too. :-)
14) Message boards : Cafe Einstein : Cafe Einstein: LPTP # X I \\// (Message 139560)
Posted 8 days ago by Profile Mike Hewson
Ok. You are seeing me from the patient's point of view. No biggie. :-)

From top left : Purple Dragon, Mrs Broccoli, Mini-Me The Skelington, Captain Carrot, Penelope Puppy. Next down : shall we say Kev Koala sniffing the butt of Simon Shark which is in turn harassing Pink Pig and Funny Bunny. Next down : I wouldn't know anyone of them from a bar of soap, they just came along for the photo shoot. But of interest they are all looking at the back of my head. The rest is heavy earth moving equipment either side and AlphaBettyCaterpillar around the neck.

My Significant Other's only comment was merely 'how many signatures is it for a Section 10*?' What a strange question. I have no idea what prompted that. She really should stay on-topic better IMHO.

Cheers, Mike.

* Involuntary commit to further care under The Mental Health Act 1985.

( edit ) As for ancestors : Caligula made his horse a Consul. A fine example to follow.
15) Message boards : Cafe Einstein : Cafe Einstein: LPTP # X I \\// (Message 139555)
Posted 9 days ago by Profile Mike Hewson
The names of USSR tests and programs were pretty straightforward eg. "Nuclear Explosions For The National Economy" ( no need to guess here ) and "Tsar Bomba" ( ~ king bomb, which it was ).

@Annie : You see, if you are a Windsor then you can be related to Queen Victoria say, by several lines of descent. Ahem. One can have too few distinct great-great-grandparents .... :-)

Just one "Upshot Knothole" at him as he's "doing" a space lift and his oopsy-I'm-suddenly-quite-a-lot-upside-downsey-under-my-chair mission could be it.

As usual you have isolated the key problem in these enterprises, that being Innocent Operator Error (IOE). Given my history with office furniture you are quite right to sound the alert. I am currently undergoing a prolonged parole/rehab program* in this area. Just last week I was allowed to sit with the tippy-backy-fronty lever unlocked for about 20 minutes. Nothing bad came of that ( at least measurably in the short term ) so such periods may be extended .... hence I feel I am rather an uplifted and more balanced person because of it. Literally.

Cheers, Mike.

* The final aim here is to improve the patient's confidence in their local doctor. I am making great progress :



.... I'm really competing with David and his new found TV fame! :-)
16) Message boards : Cafe Einstein : Cafe Einstein: LPTP # X I \\// (Message 139550)
Posted 9 days ago by Profile Mike Hewson
They initially called the uranium for weapons 'tube alloy', a British invented term I think. When it was realised it could give a chain reaction, and thus be weaponised, there was a scramble to get all they could lay their hands on from around the world. At first it was stored in warehouses at the docks, and for the US most of it around Manhattan. So 'Manhattan District' became a code phrase as in eg. "We should look at the tube alloy in the Manhattan District". Later on it was decided to just use pretty meaningless names assigned randomly to secret activities. For instance one series of nuclear tests was called "Upshot Knothole", which makes me squirm in my chair for some reason ! :-)

@Phil : sorry, yes you lurk. My son is 6'5" and so he looms. I really look up to him these days. We sometimes use him for shade.

@Annie : I feel there is a genuine difficulty if one uses Thine Royal Family as a base case for discussing sanity issues.

Cheers, Mike.
17) Message boards : Science : out on a limb without a wave to hop on (Message 139499)
Posted 11 days ago by Profile Mike Hewson
Way to go Bill ! So that means you're actually deaf then ? What ? :-)

To put you on the spot then : with suitable artillery how would you ( in generality ) deal with target movement for a given fixed rate of shell movement ?

Cheers, Mike.
18) Message boards : Cafe Einstein : SpaceX Dragon scheduled for 12/19 (Message 139497)
Posted 11 days ago by Profile Mike Hewson
I was intrigued by a little buried reference in the link I posted to a situation that for a particular flight SpaceX had a commitment to a minimum apogee on the transfer in which they placed the payload, but got extra credit for anything beyond the minimum up to a maximum (the most the customer found useful, or wanted to pay for, or ...). On that specific flight they still had go-juice remaining when they shut down because they had hit the maximum.

Off the cuff : it may be the burn wasn't until empty for non commercial/contractual reasons. The 'transfer' orbit obtained was highly elliptical and further burn may have extended that, thus less helpful for later circularisation or timing related to a 'polite' insertion up at geostat level. Something like that. I'm only shooting the breeze.

While he clearly supervises (apparently largely successfully) a good many detail guys, I have a feeling Elon Musk often functions well in big-picture mode. I think he is so firmly committed to the potential value of re-use that low-level details of eventual importance such as cost of checkout during the turnaround, fraction of components replaced, cost of extra durability built into components beyond that prudent for single-launch use, etc. may not have been subjected to the comprehensive laundering they would get in a more traditional operation. Maybe he is missing something important, but I am sure glad they are trying.

Mr Musk certainly is on a unique trajectory ! With aerospace you have to burn quite alot of R&D dollars, or if you like every launch has an R&D component like it or not. With reuse his 'figure of merit' as it were is that the fuel is ~ 1% of launch cost, so that suggests the ( simplistic/base-case ) logic that one is 'gifted' with a ~ 99% budget for the re-launch of that same hardware. If so the obvious question is how much/little do you spend of that ?

Even if he doesn't get to his expectations regarding a reuse strategy he will have certainly learnt why not. Again, best of luck.

Cheers, Mike.
19) Message boards : Cafe Einstein : Seti Refuge Bar & Bistro Wing of Cafe Einstein (Message 139496)
Posted 11 days ago by Profile Mike Hewson
Wow. What a life to celebrate. May she rest in peace. Thanks for sharing that with us.

Mike.
20) Message boards : Cafe Einstein : Cafe Einstein: LPTP # X I \\// (Message 139487)
Posted 11 days ago by Profile Mike Hewson
It is so easy to get the wrong idea ....

LOL : "Manufacture Plutonium"

Proofread Mike, proofread ....

That made me think of one of the Tom Clancy ( may he rest in peace ) novels where the National Stupidity Agency was listening in to every phone call in South America, looking for a lead by picking out keywords via software. I suppose if I said :

"I really want to eliminate the rats in the kitchen bin at the kindergarten, because as the president of their hygiene subcommittee I feel compelled to do so. By God I get annoyed with those dirty rodents. It is my duty to kill all of them for the safety of the children. I think there are some in the cabinet as well, the one where the crayons are kept. Will I see you later on this week?"

.... then that wouldn't trigger for any trouble for me, would it ? :=)

[ looks out window for black helicopters ]

Was that Phil who snuck in ?

Cheers, Mike.


Previous 10 | Next 10

Home · Your account · Message boards

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Grants PHY-1104902, PHY-1104617 and PHY-1105572 and by the Max Planck Gesellschaft (MPG). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the investigators and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF or the MPG.

Copyright © 2015 Bruce Allen