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    Crewman Number 6
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    Avoiding away missions

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  1. @Terwin It's fair to say that there should be a distinction between roads designed for high speed travel point-to-point, and streets designed for accessing destinations in the local area. The former might be a freeway or highway; the latter might be a residential, or main street. The problem is that statewide standards engineered for the efficient high speed travel of only motor vehicles on freeways and highways between destinations was extended to cover many streets that serve destinations used by pedestrians and cyclists. Adding turns, narrowing lanes, adding bumps, planting trees and moving buildings closer to the roadway has the psychological effect of making drivers slow down intuitively. People drive more slowly when they are cued into thinking that it is unsafe to drive faster. This is why traffic calming measures work. It is also implicitly acknowledged by highway design standards which admit that the purpose of widening lanes, flattening grade, straightening streets and widening shoulders is to allow increase vehicle speed. Only a problem at high speeds. As I've stated, the point is to condition people to go slower in the first place. But it reduces the overall number of cars moving through an area over time. Reducing the volume and speed of cars moving through what should be pedestrian oriented spaces is my priority. Increasing speeds does increase traffic due to induced demand. I do not view this as a positive. And it only does so as long as the exits and connecting arteries can keep up otherwise congestion still results. The inverse is to reduce auto-traffic demand for those roadways in which pedestrians, cycling and public transit are preferred local means of travel. People who are uncomfortable driving through an area designed to reduce car traffic should be changing their route to take advantage of roads designed to bypass areas not meant for a high volume of car traffic. Induced demand in reverse. Modern cities are not designed to take advantage of public transit on purpose. They have been designed to prioritize car travel since the 1950's or earlier. Everything is spread out; high speed transit hubs are rarely placed near anything anyone needs on a daily basis like grocery stores, schools, shopping centers; and buses and trams are not given priority lanes over road traffic so they end up getting stuck going just as slowly in congestion as every other driver. We design our cities so that public transit will fail, and then complain that no one wants to take it. Anyway, I've droned on enough and I'm afraid of monopolizing the thread.
  2. @AngrybobHWell, we happen to have had a nationwide experiment in driving behavior and accident rate during the pandemic lock-downs the past few years. And unfortunately that data contradicts the assumption that speeders drive more attentively or have fewer accidents. The percentage of drivers speeding increased, the accident rate increased, injury and fatality rates increased. https://blog.burnsmcd.com/understanding-the-data-behind-pandemic-speeding-and-fatalities https://newsroom.aaa.com/2022/02/solving-a-puzzle-with-fewer-drivers-on-the-road-during-covid-why-the-spike-in-fatalities/ https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/the-coronavirus-pandemic-emptied-americas-highways-now-speeders-have-taken-over/2020/05/10/c98d570c-8bb4-11ea-9dfd-990f9dcc71fc_story.html Over and over again we see that when drivers believe it is safe to drive fast the roads actually become less safe. The solution is to design roads in which it is physically impossible to drive too fast.
  3. Once again shifting the burden of responsibility for preventing pedestrian involved accidents onto the pedestrian rather than the driver where most responsibility belongs. It's a trend that the auto industry successfully employed in the earliest days of car integration in cities by making "jay walking" an offense where it never was before; and insuring that the ease of travel for private automobiles is the #1 priority over ever other means of transportation, including walking. The most effective means of improving protection for pedestrians and drivers is to build streets that physically reduce the speed of automobiles via narrowed lanes, fewer lanes, meanders, changes in grade, bumps and barriers that force drivers to naturally slow their rate of travel and maintain awareness of their situation. But state codes across the country require roads to prioritize fast, wide, flat, straight, numerous traffic lanes that only increase traffic speed, driver inattention and injury. It's our roads that are built wrong. Speed kills.
  4. “Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws. The Hingefreel people of Arkintoofle Minor did try to build spaceships that were powered by bad news but they didn't work particularly well and were so extremely unwelcome whenever they arrived anywhere that there wasn't really any point in being there.” ― Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless
  5. Absolutely fascinating. Adding this to the list of things that I had never considered concerning prehistoric societies but that must have been an important development in those societies. What that individual must have gone through...
  6. So you've built a desalination plant using the more energy intensive (and more expensive) distillation process, rather than just using the less energy intensive reverse osmosis technique and pumping or channeling the water to where you need it.
  7. If you're worried about not having enough water from rainfall then where are you getting all this water to make the steam?
  8. Just a tiny nitpick, but a heat pump is functionally the same thing as an air conditioner. It's just that an air conditioner can only remove the heat to the outside, while a heat pump can move the heat outside-in or inside-out depending on your need that season. I'm a huge fan of heat pumps as they are extremely versatile and drastically more efficient than your typical electric resistance heaters - even in freezing temperatures. Ground loop geothermal is basically a big heat pump and should be heavily encouraged at the community level for all new building developments.
  9. @SunlitZelkova I apologize if this response seems a bit off topic. But my immediate thought regarding the risks, responsibilities, and accountability regarding accidents between robotic vehicles and pedestrians is that in the larger scheme society itself is to blame for mixing large, fast motor vehicles and pedestrians together in the first place. And further to blame for prioritizing that motor vehicle traffic over the walkability of their own neighborhoods. Our cities and towns are built for cars and mega-corporations first and second (reinforcing each other), with actual people coming a distant third at best. It is physically dangerous for people in my area to go to the grocery store, bank or work without doing it in a car. Zoning laws, suburban sprawl, increasingly expansive roadways, and lack of public transportation create a vicious cycle which all reinforce the forever spiraling misery. And changing any of them is considered "too expensive" and "ineffective" because all must be addressed simultaneously before any change has a chance at improving the situation. Neighborhoods should be built internally to prioritize walking, biking and small personal mobility solutions with lanes that are not only protected from motor vehicle traffic, but as the first and foremost intended users for those streets. Then, secondarily, public transit should be provided for travel within the city to support frequent destinations of daily need such as supermarkets, financial centers and main streets. Whatever roadway is then left over can then be set aside for personal motor vehicles and trucks as need requires where it does not interfere with the accessibility or safety of the first two categories of travel. So if you were to ask me what I think the "next big thing" should be, I would say it should be ditching car culture altogether.
  10. @sevenperforce It sounds like you're describing light amplification by the stimulated emission of radiation.
  11. If the comments in this thread begin multiplying out of control we'll know why.
  12. Which shares a lot of commonality with the evolutionary role of superstition. That rustle in the bush is probably nothing harmful nine times out of ten, but there's a small chance it's a tiger. The ones who didn't assume the worst were selectively weeded out of the gene pool. And now superstition is a dominant trait of humanity. It just takes all sorts of different forms because it's an assumption based on lack of evidence which requires the believer to fill in the blanks with their own guesses: Ghosts, gods, witches, and aliens, etc.
  13. It seems obvious in retrospect, but the larger the surface area the greater the risk of random collisions. The NASA Webb team naturally have studied the risk, but there is always the unlucky possibility that an outlier in size or momentum will hit something sensitive. Fortunately, having a bigger mirror surface is itself a form of redundancy in a way.
  14. Paul McCartney's "Standing Stone" orchestral album.
  15. https://hydrogen.wsu.edu/2021/08/04/the-hydrogen-fueled-farm-of-the-future/ https://www.jcb.com/en-gb/campaigns/hydrogen https://www.eesi.org/papers/view/fact-sheet-small-scale-wind-power-for-homes-farms-and-communities https://www.energy.gov/eere/solar/farmers-guide-going-solar https://www.caranddriver.com/rivian/r1t https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/26/business/ford-f150-lightning-production-launch/index.html
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