Out of the Blue

I forgot to mention the neat thing from my visit to Dr. Toothy the other day. One of the cool things about the good doctor is that he is always checking out new dental equipment and techniques, especially those targeted towards the comfort of the patient. The latest doohickey he used on me is a clever but simple addition to the Novocain needle that causes the needle to vibrate. This takes advantage of the relatively simple (in a manner of thinking) nature of nerves, as in this case, the nerves concentrate on the vibration and ignore the pain, so you can't even tell you are getting injected. Pretty awesome.

Meanwhile, my ISP is working through some sort of domain issue, which may be causing some mail sent to me to bounce. Hopefully they will be able to straighten this out, but if you get a mail bounced back from me, that's probably the cause.

R.I.P.: Airplane drummer Spencer Dryden dead. Thanks Mike Martinez.

Links of the Day: Playskool Mr. Potato Head Darth Tater! Thanks Heather/Zathrus. I find your lack of sour cream... disturbing.
Stories of the Day: Famous Cartoon Moms Get New Hairdos.
Submarine Crash Shows Navy Had Gaps in Mapping System (registration required).
Willie Nelson Bets on Biodiesel.
Science!: Giant robot helps prevent landslides. Gotta love giant robots. Thanks bowerbird.
Does science make room for aliens?
Why the Sun seems to be 'dimming'.
Images of the Day: APOD 2005 January 15 - Huygens Images Titan s Surface. Thanks Jim.
Hello Kitty street racer. The fast and the fruitiest.
Media of the Day: Payback Time.
Auction of the Day: OWN YOUR OWN PIECE OF NORTH YORKSHIRE. Thanks Fragzzhost.
Follow-ups: Tsunami moves North Pole, shortens daytime. Film at 10:59.
Huygens sends first Titan images.
Thanks Mike Martinez and Ant.
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27 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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27.
 
Re: Hyugens Probe
Jan 16, 2005, 05:01
27.
Re: Hyugens Probe Jan 16, 2005, 05:01
Jan 16, 2005, 05:01
 
I think when they slammed the Clementine probe into the moon they had looked for traces of it, but saw nothing.

wasn't that the probe from a couple of years ago that was looking for water vapor within the craters perpetually dark areas?

Also, my bad on saying it was liquid helium. I read a bit too much of Stephen Baxter. I beleive its methane/ethane that would be in liquid form, no?

Needing to go back to the High School science lab

-Hump

----------------------------------------------------------------------
"Sometimes I dream about....cheese. Here, have a medkit"
- Half Life 2 NPC
----------------------------------------------------------------------
"Both the “left” and the “right” pretend they have the answer, but they are mere flippers on the same thalidomide baby, and the truth is that neither side has a clue."

- Jim Goad
Avatar 10137
26.
 
No subject
Jan 16, 2005, 04:33
Tim
26.
No subject Jan 16, 2005, 04:33
Jan 16, 2005, 04:33
Tim
 
Man, I'm going to have to replace all my VFR sectionals if it happens any time soon.

Go for your IFR rating, it's fun in the soup.


I can't wait for a real eugenics movement, i'm bored by short people.
This comment was edited on Jan 16, 04:33.
___________________
I'll sell your memories for fifty pounds per year.
25.
 
Re: Hyugens Probe
Jan 15, 2005, 22:36
Jim
25.
Re: Hyugens Probe Jan 15, 2005, 22:36
Jan 15, 2005, 22:36
Jim
 
Not sure what you heard might be on the moon

You're right about the solid/liquid helium (although I was unaware of the interesting properties).

To be more precise I think it was helium-3 that was thought to exist near the south pole of the moon, or somewhere that never gets sunlit. I don't quite remember the details, and it was a long-shot idea, not something that was deemed as likely. I think when they slammed the Clementine probe into the moon they had looked for traces of it, but saw nothing. I also don't recall how they planned to get energy out of it, as I said, it was a long-shot theory, so I didn't put much thought into it. Might make for a neat sci-fi movie idea tho...


Edit: speaking of solid light elements, I recall reading about a theory some time back that proposed that Jupiter may contain a metallic hydrogen core. I'm not quite sure if this would contain the properties of a solid metal or liquid, but it was intriguing nonetheless. I haven't read anything recently on the subject so I'm not sure if that theory is still around or not (it was early in the Galileo mission years if I recall).
This comment was edited on Jan 15, 22:39.
Jim
24.
 
Re: Hyugens Probe
Jan 15, 2005, 21:48
24.
Re: Hyugens Probe Jan 15, 2005, 21:48
Jan 15, 2005, 21:48
 
If it was liquid helium I bet there'd already be plans to set up remote mining operations there. I remember reading a few years ago that it was speculated that there was frozen helium on the moon, which would be a virtual gold mine for energy for future space expeditions.

You're correct in that it's liquid hydrocarbons (e.g. - methane), not liquid helium. For liquid helium it would have to be one hell of a lot colder than it is. There may be liquid helium on Pluto (or its "moon"), but anywhere closer it's too hot or too unlikely (nothing else closer in has enough mass to retain helium until you get to Titan, which is far too warm).

As for solid helium -- unlikely anywhere in the universe, at least not naturally. Solid helium would only form at very close to absolute zero temperatures -- well below the background temperature of the universe (at least now -- fast forward a few billion billion years and things change). Keeping it in that state is near impossible. Solid helium does have some freaky attributes, as does liquid helium (google for it -- liquid helium is frictionless and flows through small cracks faster than large ones; it's known as a superfluid, while solid helium is a supersolid), but neither have any practical use that I know of. Nor is there a ton of energy to be released there.

Not sure what you heard might be on the moon. Tritium in any quantity would be invaluable if we ever figure out controlled fusion in a useful manner. Helium-3 might have applications as well in the same manner -- I don't know enough about fusion to say -- but it's doubtful you'd find much on the Moon. Too hot for anything but gaseous helium, and way too small to keep that (the Earth is too small for that matter).

23.
 
Re: Hyugens Probe
Jan 15, 2005, 20:52
Jim
23.
Re: Hyugens Probe Jan 15, 2005, 20:52
Jan 15, 2005, 20:52
Jim
 
inda neat though, the rocks look exactly what you would find by a rocky shoreline in N.E. , worn smooth by water (or in this case, liquid helium).

Actually liquid hydrocarbons (frozen methane) and some water. If it was liquid helium I bet there'd already be plans to set up remote mining operations there. I remember reading a few years ago that it was speculated that there was frozen helium on the moon, which would be a virtual gold mine for energy for future space expeditions.

Jim
22.
 
Re: North Pole shift
Jan 15, 2005, 20:49
Jim
22.
Re: North Pole shift Jan 15, 2005, 20:49
Jan 15, 2005, 20:49
Jim
 
Wierd factoid for the day: According to the geological record the north and south poles have been swapping periodically. No one is entirely sure of the process or the effect this would have on life on earth when this next happens again.

I saw a NOVA episode on this a couple of years back. Apparently the evidence is pretty strong that there is a cyclic shift in the magnetic axis, but like you said have not fully determined the cause or what drives the cycle, but they seem to believe that another pole-swap is imminent (next few thousand years).

Man, I'm going to have to replace all my VFR sectionals if it happens any time soon.

Jim
21.
 
Re: North Pole shift
Jan 15, 2005, 20:46
Jim
21.
Re: North Pole shift Jan 15, 2005, 20:46
Jan 15, 2005, 20:46
Jim
 
Er, how does the north pole move east? More specifically, in relation to what did it move east of? Itself? Even if the north pole processes around a different point, wouldn't moving east just move it further around the same path? Any astronomers around?

Yeah, I was a bit confused when I first read this about a week ago. I haven't seen any new info since then, but haven't aggressively looked around either. I assumed that any direction you move from the north pole is south. I also wonder, which they weren't very specific of, is that did the rotational axis change or is there now a wobble about the north pole? I guess specifying "east" might exclude the latter, but the info did seem a bit vague.

BTW Welcome to BluesNews!

Jim
20.
 
Re: No subject
Jan 15, 2005, 18:10
20.
Re: No subject Jan 15, 2005, 18:10
Jan 15, 2005, 18:10
 
Kinda makes ya think about that whole 'happens in threes' thing. <shivers>
"Thousands of people die every day. Put one dead body in the middle of a busy street and..." Hey, shut the fuck up.

19.
 
The sun isn't 'dimming'
Jan 15, 2005, 18:07
19.
The sun isn't 'dimming' Jan 15, 2005, 18:07
Jan 15, 2005, 18:07
 
It's nothing but a bunch of nonsense pseudoscientific clap trap without an ounce of actual data to prove it.

18.
 
Re: No subject
Jan 15, 2005, 17:41
JM
18.
Re: No subject Jan 15, 2005, 17:41
Jan 15, 2005, 17:41
JM
 
Pareidolic n. The erroneous or fanciful perception of a pattern or meaning in something that is actually ambiguous or random.

Just in case it wasn't clear, I was being facetious. I'll have to remember to break out those emoticons next time.

17.
 
Re: No subject
Jan 15, 2005, 16:57
17.
Re: No subject Jan 15, 2005, 16:57
Jan 15, 2005, 16:57
 
Kinda makes ya think about that whole 'happens in threes' thing. <shivers>

Pareidolic n. The erroneous or fanciful perception of a pattern or meaning in something that is actually ambiguous or random.

"There is really no need going around starting wars over oil. We have it here at home. We have the necessary product, the farmers can grow it," said Nelson, who organized Farm Aid two decades ago to draw attention to the plight of American agriculture.

You tell 'em Willie!


"You must lash out with every limb, like the octopus who plays the drums."
- The Sphinx, Mystery Men
"And then, suddenly and without warning, it turned into a real-life case of hungry, hungry hippos."
- Stephen Colbert
16.
 
Re: Follow Up from Yesterday: Elder Scr
Jan 15, 2005, 16:10
16.
Re: Follow Up from Yesterday: Elder Scr Jan 15, 2005, 16:10
Jan 15, 2005, 16:10
 
Hey, I'm basically agreeing with you! Go for it.

Sorry if that sounded like a rebuttle, I didn't mean it that way. I was just adding my own $0.02. Perhaps someday, others in the industry might agree with us
ZigZang
15.
 
Re: North Pole shift
Jan 15, 2005, 16:09
15.
Re: North Pole shift Jan 15, 2005, 16:09
Jan 15, 2005, 16:09
 
Love this story...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4174519.stm

The US military investigated building a "gay bomb", which would make enemy soldiers "sexually irresistible" to each other, government papers say.

But to be honest if I was in the US army I'd have been even more terrified of friendly fire (and adds a new meaning to the phrase) than before...

14.
 
Re: North Pole shift
Jan 15, 2005, 16:04
14.
Re: North Pole shift Jan 15, 2005, 16:04
Jan 15, 2005, 16:04
 
Yar we all catch some death rays whilst the poles swap, last time it swapped was about 100 000 years ago, which means we are due for another one any time... chalk that one up for a Doomsday near you sometime soon, along with everything else

13.
 
Marge is hot
Jan 15, 2005, 15:31
13.
Marge is hot Jan 15, 2005, 15:31
Jan 15, 2005, 15:31
 
She's a MILF now with that new hairstyle.

BTW the links to by bluenews tshirts is DEAD.


__ FRAGaLOT
http://home.comcast.net/~zalle2/blog.htm
This comment was edited on Jan 15, 15:34.
__ FRAGaLOT
12.
 
Hyugens Probe
Jan 15, 2005, 14:10
12.
Hyugens Probe Jan 15, 2005, 14:10
Jan 15, 2005, 14:10
 
wow it looks an awful lot like.....Mars.

kinda neat though, the rocks look exactly what you would find by a rocky shoreline in N.E. , worn smooth by water (or in this case, liquid helium). On the other hand, Mars' rocks look like they were just ejected from a volcano (re; rough).

Pretty amazing that the thing made it against all odds. It couldve very easily hit some canyon wall ,etc. Not to mention every other obstacle in getting out that far in the first place.

In a couple billion years when the sun swells to a Red Giant maybe we'll see a Blue/green Titan.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
"Sometimes I dream about....cheese. Here, have a medkit"
- Half Life 2 NPC
----------------------------------------------------------------------
"Both the “left” and the “right” pretend they have the answer, but they are mere flippers on the same thalidomide baby, and the truth is that neither side has a clue."

- Jim Goad
Avatar 10137
11.
 
Re: Follow Up from Yesterday: Elder Scrolls
Jan 15, 2005, 13:56
11.
Re: Follow Up from Yesterday: Elder Scrolls Jan 15, 2005, 13:56
Jan 15, 2005, 13:56
 
It's my personal opinion that game developers can only benefit from what other developers have learned the hard way since the inception of team development.

Hey, I'm basically agreeing with you! Go for it.


-------------------
If you're a European sign the anti-software-patents petition at:
http://petition.eurolinux.org/
10.
 
Re: North Pole shift
Jan 15, 2005, 13:28
10.
Re: North Pole shift Jan 15, 2005, 13:28
Jan 15, 2005, 13:28
 
Wierd factoid for the day: According to the geological record the north and south poles have been swapping periodically. No one is entirely sure of the process or the effect this would have on life on earth when this next happens again.

I was told in an EATS course that it would leave the Earth unprotected from cosmic rays during mid-swap which would do bad things to living creatures.

Mayor Dan
------------
"Take me Jesus, take me Allah, rape me in my room
Torch our days in paranoia while we gorge ourselves on gloom"
ExcessDan
9.
 
No subject
Jan 15, 2005, 12:47
9.
No subject Jan 15, 2005, 12:47
Jan 15, 2005, 12:47
 
darth tater is awesome

swg free and loving it
Doin' it Big
8.
 
Follow Up from Yesterday: Elder Scrolls
Jan 15, 2005, 12:29
8.
Follow Up from Yesterday: Elder Scrolls Jan 15, 2005, 12:29
Jan 15, 2005, 12:29
 
you just dont have the skills to manage a project, budget, payroll, etc. you need experience

I've managed very large, high profile projects with one of the largest consulting firms on the planet with as much or more complexity, risk, and engaged resources than game development could possibly entail, and I've done this for close to 10 years.

Given that 90% of games lose money maybe it's time they tried something different and brought people in from outside the industry. Why would the QA guy make a better choice than an existing Projects Manager? The only hurdle I see apart from the ingrained system would be having to deal with artistic temperaments. If I recall correctly Bethesda's parent company has pure gaming as a sideline to their multimedia operation. (plus one of their suits is married to Linda Carter, which is just too cool. I am a sad old man.)

It's interesting that most game developers view game development somehow different from "traditional" application development. Comments such as the creative process can't be structured, or its' an iterative process, etc. Well, guess what, traditional development is all that also. One of the most succesful game developers today, whose only two released games are considered (by many) to be the best games ever created (not my words) is Valve. Gabe was a successful developer with Microsoft and despite what you may think of MSoft, they are at the forefront of application development methodology. Gabe and co. didn't reinvent the wheel here and I'm sure they use many of the same approaches in game development that were learned at MSoft and look at what they've managed to produce.

It's my personal opinion that game developers can only benefit from what other developers have learned the hard way since the inception of team development.
ZigZang
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