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Patrick's Blog and Other Rubbish

doctorpat at bigfoot dot com

Sorry I can't make my address any clearer than that, but these spambots are getting smarter.


Blog Archives

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Links

Jack Robertson

The Drivel Warehouse

Uncle Al

Jane Galt

More than Zero

TransTerrestial Musings

U.S.S. Clueless

Scott, writing as Simon Templar

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hits on the counter for this page, most of which were probably me adding more entries.


19/06/2002

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Soccer

Well after Korea's last minute (literally) goal in extra time last night's game, easily followed without a TV just by watching any east asian person wearing earphones on the train, it looks as though there is still a possibility for my preferred result. Which is:

Korea to Beat England, 5-4, in the Grand Final, by a last second own goal, scored by Beckham.

As you can see, this result is selected for the greatest possible entertainment value from the perspective of someone who doesn't care.

Robbo

Jack Robertson actually sounds rather depressed at the moment as he gives up on blogging for a while to take a holiday.

Perhaps you should cheer yourself up thinking about George W. Here's a guy elected on the grounds of being a "right winger" (whatever that means any more, in this case free markets and social policies based on traditional Protestant practices) and has proceeded to be more in line with Democrat policy than Clinton. So the free marketeers aren't triumphant everywhere Jack.

Spider Silk

Ok. So spiderman didn't really need to shoot his web out of his bottom. He still needed to take his shirt off though.

18/06/2002

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Movie Spaceships

I just saw Deep Impact on video and once again noticed an interesting technical point. (This is unlike Armageddon, which had no technical points.)

They use an Orion Drive to power the spaceship sent out to destroy the Asteroid. This is exactly what you would use. Naturally they depicted it as a clean beam of light comming from the back of the spaceship, and not what it actually was, a series of small nuclear explosions being set off behind a big lump of steel to push it along. This would be much messier, harder to show in special effects, and would probably require some technical explanation, which would not do.

Still, if you absolutely had to get an interplanetary spaceship up and running in the smallest time possible, using current technology, that's what you'd use.

Studies in the 1950s showed that, using 1950s technology, an Orion drive spaceship could reach 2-10% of the speed of light. Modern technology should do much better than that.

Using the same basic design, modern materials should be able to halve the weight of the steel design. And the nuclear bombs they had probably had a weight/power ratio of at least 10 times our modern micro nukes.

So given that the fuel (nuclear bombs) was 50% of the total weight, that gives a modern ship with a total mass of about 30% of the original, for the same thrust. Because the weight advantage will be reduced as the fuel is used up, the end result would not be 3 times as fast, but it would be a very nifty interplanetary machine.

Of course the antinukers would go off their heads.

Undersea Colonies

Transterrestrial Musings answers some of my previous comments about undersea colonies.

The second is that the undersea environment is much, much harsher than the space environment. The only thing that's easier about it is the cost of accessing it. Everything else, from a habitat-design standpoint is tremendously more difficult.

But I think that many of the problems he alludes to are a result of assuming that the colony would be thousands of meters down, where there is no light and little life. This is the equivalent of putting the first space colony in the middle of interstellar space, far from any sun, planets, asteroids or comets. In other words, the least sensible place to put it. Why wouldn't you put an undersea colony at a shallow depth where there is light, and fish and things?

Actually, I've answered my own question, because if you are shallow, then you may as well be in a boat, which would be much, much cheaper, and dive down to the bottom whenever you need to go outside. The point about a space colony is that the access to space is much more difficult that jumping over the side, so it makes a lot more sense to stay there once you are in orbit.

Doh!

17/06/2002

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Colorgenics

Personality Test

The result was At this time you are feeling 'uptight' and you are urgently in need of rest and relaxation; but perhaps even more than that you need to overcome that feeling that you have been 'hard done by' and treated with a complete lack of consideration. Maybe you have, but whatever may have been the cause of your inherent anxiety, you regard the situation as intolerable. You are, however, sufficiently competent to turn that situation around - you have overcome similar problems in the past, and really this one isn't too different.

Which is totally, absolutely, and completely wrong. So there.

Yalumba Spratly White

Yalumba Spratly White, any wine that goes with the subtle taste of braised mushrooms, spicy chinese food, steak, and even raw onions, has to have something going for it.

14/06/2002

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Deadly Sin

is my result, but I bet sloth came a very close second. It would have won if it could only be bothered trying harder...

13/06/2002

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Space Analogies

Charles Murtaugh has an interesting column in which he talks about the analogies between like in Space, or on Mars, and life in a Submarine or UnderSea base.

This brings up two points.

1. Yes, life on a Spaceship would be very much like a submarine, except that you can see outside. So a spaceship could, and probably should, be run like a submarine. Such as is clearly depicted in Star Trek. At least until they get big enough to allow private space. (This too, is shown on Star Trek, each successive Enterprise got bigger, and was run less like a submarine.)

If people would run out and start space colonies if only they could, how come there are no undersea colonies? Unless of course there are, but they keep secret. An undersea colony would be much cheaper to start, and probably easier to make pay. There are, after all, already a bunch of commercial enterprises exploiting the sea bed (think oil) so any independant colony should be able to do it.

11/06/2002

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D5

Copied from Bailz again:

1) If you had to have one same-sex partner, who out of the entire world would it be?

Willow, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Yes, she is a same sex partner. No, not the same sex as me, but the same as her girlfriend. Well you should have been more specific.

2a) Guys: why wasn't it Bailz?

I've seen pictures of them both.

2b) Girls: why wasn't it the drool-worthy Kirsten Dunst or Michael's personal favourite, Julia Stiles?

Who?

3) What would you do if you were on Temptation Island?

Talk the Professor into making a metal detector, and then go looking for buried Treasure, maybe with the aid of Skipper and MaryAnn. Making sure Gilligan didn't come anywhere near me. Yes it's the wrong TV show, but they both have the same level of "Reality". I'd have more chance of finding treasure than scoring with some beach babe anyway.

4) What's the most embarrassing thing that's ever happened to you with a girlfriend or boyfriend?

Quite a number of things, all involving a lot of beer, and then.... carrots.

5) There's a fucking car alarm going off non-stop for about 15 minutes outside your place, what is the most creative way you can think of to make it shut the fuck up?

A tow rope, a 4wd, and the nearest, closely enforced, No Stopping Any Time zone.

6) Because Michael puts the six into.........

Five?



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