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Everything posted by Beamer

  1. I can just imagine one of these landing on a carrier and hooking the arrestor wires as the lids pop off and the 2 troopers get launched off the other end of the flight deck. It's one of those things that looks good in the concept art but when you think about it is a totally bonkers idea
  2. Normally Dr. Becky is pretty high level, but Supermassive black holes happen to be her field of specialty. She takes a deeper dive into the claims of the paper here, starting at 20:56. She's not convinced as you might guess from the thumbnail
  3. A clever new way to detect a potential Planet 9: https://phys.org/news/2023-02-planet-unconventional-approach.html
  4. I'm excited about the images I saw of Minmus' icy surface. It immediately made me think I want to build a sled and slide down the Minmus slopes. Needless to say it will be a rocket powered sled.
  5. Yesterday while watching some YT videos I saw one in my suggestions that was titled something like "Piece of the sun breaks off, scientists baffled!", with a suitably explosive thumbnail and sensationalist typeface. It got a chuckle and a shake of the head and I think I might even have mumbled "Must have been the aliens" to myself before I clicked on to more reputable sources. But apparently, at least something did actually happen in this case (so it can't have been the aliens!). No, it wasn't a piece of the sun breaking off (surprise!). https://www.cbc.ca/news/science/part-of-sun-did-not-break-off-1.6749333 And doesn't it always...
  6. Jeet Kune Do is most certainly not traditional, it didn't exist before Lee and he didn't live long enough to formalize it, so in a sense you could say it's still in development (and might very well forever remain that way). It's by all means a very modern form. It's definitely true the various arts were developed to serve different needs. Jeet Kune Do as Lee practiced it (taking a lot from Wing Chun and Jiu Jitsu) is a fighting style optimized for self defense and quickly taking out your opponents. Most of its attacks are aimed at the 'soft parts' along the center line of the body - groin, belly, throat, eyes. Even the defensive moves are often aimed at damaging the attacking limb rather than blocking it. Basically everything that would be considered illegal or at the very least dishonourable in the more formalized traditional duel styles. This also makes it not very suitable for tournaments, probably one of the reasons Lee was reluctant to take part in them in his US years. He would have had to ditch 90% of his tool set against people who were trained their whole life in tournament rules karate. It does however make it a particularly good style to look at the physics involved. It's so heavily centered around efficiency that it becomes interesting to look at the solutions they came up with. In the end it's all still action and reaction, so how do you optimize your action such that it creates the biggest reaction? None of the developers of martial arts took out their slide rules to figure out how to do that, but through trial and error and evolution they still managed to come up with some pretty clever solutions to maximize friction, utilize angular momentum, etc. Of course people still want to measure themselves without having to pick real fights with American marines twice their weight (as Lee was reported to do in his Hong Kong years) so along the way tournament rules develop, and that will change a fighting style without prior formal dueling framework considerably. I suspect that's the case for a lot of the Chinese styles, unlike fighting styles like Karate and wrestling and their many variations which were mostly formalized a long time ago and often centered around 'fair and honourable' dueling rather than actual combat or self defense use.
  7. From the Friday-afternoon-research-department: turns out Bruce Lee's 1-inch punch wasn't magic at all, it's just physics! https://www.wired.com/story/the-secret-to-bruce-lees-superhuman-one-inch-punch/ Context: Joe Lewis was the Heavyweight Full Contact Karate Champion of the time and the first ever Kickboxing champion, nicknamed the Muhammad Ali of Karate, standing 1.83 meter/6 feet tall and weighing 88 kg/195 lbs. Bruce Lee was 1.71 meter/5'7" tall and about 64 kg/140 lbs. This was their first meeting, they would go on to become good friends and Lewis studied Jeet Kune Do with Lee for several years after. Lewis was originally supposed to be Lee's opponent in Enter the Dragon, but due to either a scheduling conflict or a falling out (accounts differ) was eventually replaced with Chuck Norris.
  8. Extraordinary claims and all that, but it will definitely be interesting to see where this goes. Solving a couple of problems at once, old supermassive black holes are 7-20 bigger than they should (could) be, and this might explain where all that dark energy is hiding: https://phys.org/news/2023-02-scientists-evidence-black-holes-source.html
  9. I imagine you can get away with some sub-par production methods and still get a very decent overall efficiency. Higher efficiency is always better of course, but many aspects that require both high efficiency and high durability on earth should be absent or far less stringent on the lunar surface due to the absence of atmosphere and abundance of available real estate.
  10. Blue Origin creates solar cells out of simulated lunar regolith: https://arstechnica.com/science/2023/02/blue-origin-makes-a-big-lunar-announcement-without-any-fanfare/
  11. I'm not typically into law subjects but I subscribe to one law channel because the guy is a bit of a nerd and often explains the legal perspective of news that interests me (for example he did pieces on the recent D&D license changes, AI copyrights, the FTX situation, etc). Together with a frequent guest he just released a look at the legal matter of the US shooting down this balloon. It's an interesting walk along the various state and international laws and agreements. Warning: it's a bit dank meme heavy at the start but they soon get to the gritty stuff Sponsor message is all the way at the end so you can stop watching when that starts without missing anything.
  12. Good news, it's up and running again. The cause was bit-flip from a high energy particle. They fixed it by turning it off and on again. Classic tech support solution.
  13. Jupiter is still ringed in fact, they were visible in the Webb image:
  14. Innovation is exponential. The first million years is a horizontal line at 1. The last 100 years is almost vertical.
  15. They are known as Acheulean Handaxes and have been found in many places, often in large collections. As far as I understand, in many cases they show no sign of wear or actual use. The numbers they find are often such that it goes way beyond "having a few spares in case this one breaks". This has made some evolutionary scientists suggest that the initial fabrication/collection of them may have been a form of what is called "costly signalling". This is something that can be seen in many creatures, typical examples are the exaggerated plumage of peacocks and the crazy jumps gazelles make when fleeing from a predator. They are a way of signalling "look at me, I'm so strong and healthy, I can afford all of this, you better mate with me / try to catch someone else". The suggestion is that initially, these collections may have been just a way for humans to signal those same things. Like "Hey babe, wanna see my hand axe collection? I've got tons of them!" Some might have seen use, but having an exaggerated collection of them was just a way to show you could afford more than the one with the smaller or less shiny pile. Jupiter takes back the crown. I never doubted it of course, the bringer of jollity has always been my favourite! https://phys.org/news/2023-02-jupiter-moon-solar.html
  16. I've got a number of RSS feeds running in my browser (I use the 'Brief' extension for Firefox, can recommend it). phys.org, newatlas.com, scientificamerican.com, wired.com, slashdot.org, theregister.com, arstechnica.com, huffpost.com for the funnies. Note that some of these are primarily IT news related rather than science news related. Whenever I find an article I like, I click through to the source and see if that website has an RSS feed too. Surprisingly most of them still do.
  17. There's bears on Mars! https://www.huffpost.com/entry/bear-on-mars-nasa_n_63d733d8e4b0c8e3fc7f0c49
  18. A while ago a friend of mine asked me what time it was on Mars. I didn't know the answer, other than 'UTC'. Looks like there isn't an answer yet, but they're working towards it! What time is it on the Moon? [nature.com]
  19. Everyone better grab something heavy and hold on for dear life, the Earth's core has slowed down and may possibly reverse its rotation (relative to the mantle): https://phys.org/news/2023-01-earth-core.html Ok, maybe it's no "The Core"... let's hope it's not, I don't think I could survive that 'quality' of plot writing and acting in reality.
  20. I have not read the book yet, but I've seen a lot about it in the press. After watching the first 2 episodes I can't say the show is really gripping me. I find the premise that scientists are massively offing themselves because they find out their science isn't right wholly unbelievable - then again, maybe they are being offed by some agency that hasn't been introduced yet (don't spoil it if that's the case ). I find it very fascinating to see how Chinese TV tropes are different from western ones though. It's extremely rare for anything Chinese to make it to my screens, and the ones that do are usually literary or historical dramas - not my cup of tea. It's nice to see a big 'popular' TV production for a change instead of just the latest film that won the Oscar for best foreign movie.
  21. Thought this might be of interest to space and sci-fi nerds: the first four episodes of TenCent's adaptation of the Three Body Problem novel are streaming for free on YouTube. English subs available. Note: some Chinese commercials included.
  22. Gina Lollobrigida, the 'European Marilyn Monroe', famed Italian star of the Golden Age of Hollywood, died aged 95.
  23. I turn fast travel off in Skyrim. Never built the SETA module in X4. Never used the travel terminals in Cyberpunk. Play 90% of my Warframe in Ivara prowl mode (no parkour). Don't use travel packs in Horizon Zero Dawn. Made a trip to Sag A* in Elite Dangerous without using Neutron stars (and back again of course). I think good games are worth to be experienced slowly, because there aren't all that many of them I'd rather play a good game slow than hurry through it so I can play a couple of bad games until the next good one comes out. And good games tend to provide plenty of entertainment in between the story/plot points. I would even go so far as to say that's a large part of what makes them good. If anything KSP and other sandboxey type games are proof of that - if what you can do is fascinating or entertaining enough in itself, you don't even need any story or game plot. I have no idea if Squad is like that though, never heard of it. Maybe it's just a boring walk through pixelated terrain that you have to get through or your mates will hate on you
  24. "If you wanna watch telly, you should watch Scooby Doo. That show was so cool because every time there was a church with a ghoul or a ghost in a school they looked beneath the mask and what was inside? The ****ing janitor or the dude who ran the waterslide! Because throughout history every mystery ever solved turned out to be... NOT MAGIC!" From Tim Minchin's Storm The Animated Movie.
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