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Pushing back the darkness by kindling the minds of my fellow man with science outreach.

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She's the latest Postdoc for the University of Nottingham which produces Sixty Symbols and Deep Sky Videos. Hopefully they run down the last 20 or so Messier objects and get the whole list done 'soon.'

The Beatles Suck. As in they are shit as a music group. As in they created the Pop Music Hell that we are in now. As in they were pure marketing. Before the Beatles, it would not be uncommon for 4-5 different types of music to be on the top of the charts. For about a decade afterwards? Three guitars and a drummer with shitty noodle lyrics. The only other 'popular' bands that I hate as much as the fuckign beatles are The Doors and the Grateful Dead. The only way the Grateful Dead is in anyway "good" in quotation marks is because the audience was drugged out of their minds. I will shit on the Beatles as a musical group, as a genre, as a cultural phenomena every chance I get.

Elvis and The Rolling Stones were far, far better, more talented, had more range and are worth celebrating. The Beatles will die with the last baby Boomer.

Naw, not a nitpick. Not really. I caught it as well. One of the reasons that they storms exist on gas giants is that there are no continents to mess with the trade winds. The roughest parts of the earth's oceans, for example, are the Southern Ocean along the 70°S Parallel due to no landmasses to break up the winds. Storms like hurricanes, as you pointed out are fueled by warm tropical water. Once that is gone, the storm peters out. Land creates drag on the lower part of the atmospheric stack as well, slowing the winds down and removing energy from the storms.

One thing she did not mention is that Saturn and Jupiter are 80-85% hydrogen and 10-15% helium with only a tiny bit of "other" thrown in. That makes the winds a bit more viscous and capable of doing weird things at those temps.

She is definitely not a planetary scientist, I'll say that. Her deep space stuff, however, is fantastic.

And of course it is James. He's awesome. I follow him on another astroimaging forum. I cannot get good enough data to do the mosaics like he does, but if I had 3-4 weeks of no FUCKING CLOUDS I might be able to work with something.

Some good ambient-stylish Scandinavian music. I really dig this.

francopoli  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Rest In Peace, Opportunity

SOHO is a good example of the "only designed for X years." The original mission was three years long... that was 23 years ago.

francopoli  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Rest In Peace, Opportunity

There is a ton of misinformation, miscommunication, and flat out not understanding about this 90 day thing. Sadly, the really amazing awesome stuff I have access to I cannot share thanks to a fuck-ton of NDAs and friendships that I won't jeopardize.

The rovers were not designed for 90 days. CONGRESS FUNDED THE MISSION FOR NINETY DAYS ON THE SURFACE So, lets take a step back for a second and talk about funding. NASA puts out a call for missions. NASA then runs feasibility studies on the proposals and decides if a mission will advance the goals of the Decadal Survey. If a mission will vastly forward the tech that can then be used in multiple other missions, that adds to the proposals (MER tech is still in use on Mars; the InSIGHT lander is made from MER spare parts). NASA then goes to Congress and begs for money. Building the machines happens on earth and creates jobs, increases our ability to manufacture high end tech and in general is liked by the people writing the checks. Assuming the mission is approved, the machine in question is built. In all of these missions, the most expensive parts are the support on the ground over the length of the mission, then depending on what is being built and how cutting edge it is, testing the built machine, then launch costs, then the manufacturing of the gear. To make the costs less, they say "90 days on the surface" as it is a way to cut the original costs on the mission. (Example given? Testing the James Webb Telescope is now more expensive than building the components and integrating them. Then again, JWST is pushing tech's boundaries HARD and they want this thing to last 20-25 years like Hubble.) The machine itself is built to withstand everything that the universe can throw at it. It has to survive the launch, the trip to wherever it is going, the landing/orbit and then the radiation and environmental situation once it is where it is supposed to be.

The machine itself is built with the best parts and tech they can get their hands on because the machine itself is NOT where all the money is going to go over the lifetime of the mission. IN the lifetime costs of Spirit and Opportunity, from what I have seem publicly listed, the Delta II for each rover cost $65 Million, each rover itself was $55 million out of a total expenditure of roughly $820 million, with an additional $120-$130million or so in mission extensions. Since the actual hardware is a low percent of the total mission costs, why not over engineer it? Why not plan for the thing to last a decade in the event you can extend the mission, because lets face it, paying to extend a mission is a factor of ten less than starting over from zero and building new gear. Cassini at Saturn, for example, was funded for four years. The orbiter was fueled in such a way at launch with Plutonium and thruster fuel as if they were going to fly for a decade or even longer. Fuel costs on these things comes out to a rounding error and is by far the least expensive part of the whole package.

Example of how this works: The Lucy mission. They are officially funding the spacecraft to end in 2033. They have several possible mission extensions and plans in the works that assuming the spacecraft is healthy, they can then pick several additional targets and do some more work. So the spacecraft is being built for a "12 year mission" in the official funding and legislation. But the people building and testing the craft have their eyes on much more.

It's worth $200m if you can find a sucker before the bottom falls out. AKA Myspace.

I think it was you and I about five-six years ago going back and forth on the Freakonomics guys that made me dig into them and re-evaluate my stance on them. Yea, that abortion methodology is suspect, but I added it into the mix as the root causes of the massive drop in crime over the last 20-30 years is still not well understood.

Crime in general is lower today than at any time we have reliable records, even lower than the 1930's and the Prohibition Era. Yet people think we are in the middle of a murder and rape epidemic. Most of us have a higher chance at being in multiple car accidents than in a single violent crime.

    And the damage it did is permanent: the people who got poisoned are permanently stupider and permanently have poorer impulse control.

Holy shit you just figured out why Boomers cannot handle social media. Never made that connection before but damn if that does not explain a ton of garbage I see from the fucknut brigade online.

If you'd fix the donation link we could fix that, ya' know.

Yea most of these studies are either very small or odd.

Taken from here

You and I have gone back and forth on this in the past, preaching to the choir. Crime in the west peaked in 1989-1990. Since then it has fallen in some cases 80%. even the most violent cities in the US are safer now than at any time in human history. Unless you are involved in the illegal drug trade, the odds of you being the victim of a violent crime are near statistical zero. Some 2/3 of all crime in the USA is in less than a dozen ZIP codes. One link The Freakonomics guys credit legal abortion, the environmentalists credit the EPA and Environmental movement of the 70's, the teacher's unions credit the rise of an educated public, we are having fewer kids and investing more into them, starvation and hunger are for the most parts gone, we are healthier thanks to vaccines and general health care, and so on and so on. If violent media was a cause of violent crime, it would show up in the stats. One mentally ill person, or one idiot wanting to copy GTA5 here and there does not mean video games, movies, comics, books etc 'cause' crime.

But fear sells, and most of us meat sacks have an intrinsic fear of violent crime. Anyone wanting to dig into the US crime statistics, can get a good start here and move on to the FBI stats here. Don't want to be a crime victim? Don't get involved in illegal drugs. Don't do meth and heroin. Don't get hooked on pills. Don't be homeless. Don't engage in sex work (prostitution, etc).

The old fucks remember growing up in crime infested shitholes... that were still statistically at least safer than our parents and grandparents hometowns when they were growing up. I've lived in poor areas were gunshots and homicides were weekly things. I now live in a town where the big crime news was three high school kids stealing trucks for joy rides. The homicide, as it is now called, was a homeowner shooting and killing a meth head breaking into his garage. That was.. 5-6 years ago now? Now the opioid and meth crisis is coming this way so I anticipate a rise in crime over the next 4-5 years, but this is an armed area full of rednecks wanting to shoot an intruder and most criminals are not that stupid so I doubt even that type of property crime will rise that much here.

posts and shares 15/23